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Full text of "War diary and letters of Stephen Minot Weld, 1861-1865"

g-lfpliPtt iitttot Welh 

1842-1920 

A SOLDIER, a man of affairs, and a lover of flowers. 
First and last I think of him in one of these three relation- 
ships. His unusual abilities of mind and heart showed them- 
selves in many other ways, in his leadership and initiative, 
in his gracious hospitality and social charm, in his love of 
sport and outdoor games, in his varied interest in all that 
was going on around him as well as in the world outside, 
in his deep antagonisms wherein he suggested his still deeper 
beliefs, and above all in the rare gift for friendship with 
which he was so amply endowed. His vitality and simplic- 
ity invested all his sayings and doings with a special inter- 
est and attraction. Still one reverts to the main fields 
wherein his activities found their full and most natural 
expression and it was in managing affairs that much of his 
life was spent. 

Straightforward in all his dealings, he combined great 
promptness of decision with patience and coolness in nego- 
tiation, together with an alertness of mind and singular fer- 
tility of resource. His outstanding quality, however, was his 
untiringness which was an overflowing spring whose source 
was hidden in some distant and inexhaustible reservoir. 

Just as he always infused into business his creative and 
imaginative faculty so his love of flowers furnished the most 
constant source of his recreation. It was the same faculty 
showing itself in another form with the same tireless patience, 
only here the creative force was more delicate and refined. 
" I wanted to give it a chance " he once said of a tiny plant 
with a microscopic blossom that with great trouble and ex- 



pense he had had sent from abroad, and he would have said 
the same of any of the young men he had helped by placing 
in a more favorable environment. 

Finally as a soldier. There was little in his ordinary 
bearing or manner that suggested it. He lacked the pre- 
cision and formality that we associate with a military life. 
His energies were all bent on creating and constructing, and 
the waste and destruction of war was peculiarly abhorrent to 
him ; even the pride, pomp and circumstance of war was 
distasteful and it was only on rare occasions that he could be 
induced to speak of his own army experiences, and yet they 
had made a very real and vital impression on his character. 
His underlying conception of life was that it was essentially 
a struggle and war is nothing but a struggle raised to its 
final power. There were moments when he embodied that 
idea and I remember the last time I ever saw him though he 
neither spoke nor moved there was something in his pose 
and look that suddenly seemed to roll time away and I could 
see the very gesture with which he had led his men into 
action fifty years before, and I think of all the impressions I 
have of him that of a soldier will be the most abiding. 

Whom the Gods love die young is a beautiful phrase and 
when the promise of youth is prevented by death from fulfil- 
ment a consoling one, but it is at best an apologetic phrase 
trying to explain by a kind of euphuism how something 
might have been which was not. Far happier is his lot who 
lives life manfully through to its natural end and then in the 
fulness of accomplishment, with unclouded mind and undim- 
med senses, passes serenely on leaving to his friends a living 
memory and transmitting through his children and grand- 
children an ever-widening circle of influence and activity. 

H. w. M. 



WAR DIARY AND LETTERS 
OF STEPHEN M. WELD 



A thrilling etory - told by the writer 
with characteristic modesty,- of the military 
life of one of Harvard's best soldiers, who 
commanded with marked ability and fought with 
unsurpassed courage, to the credit of the 
College at which he was graduated and to the 
satisfaction of Harvard men. 



Philadelphia 

Jan., 1916 



Henry Huidekoper 




i^M^^/^, 




^'M^.1^7€^^ 



WAR DIARY AND LETTERS 
OF STEPHEN MINOT WELD 

1861-1865 




1»RIVATELY PRINTED 

THE RIVERSIDE PRESS 

1912 



363100U 



COPYRIGHT, 1912, BY STEPHEN MINOT WELD 



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



THIS EDITION CONSISTS OF FIFTY NUMBERED 
COPIES OF WHICH THIS IS NUMBER .-O^ . . 



IN REMEMBRANCE OF 

MY FATHER 

AND HIS INSPIRATION AND EXAMPLE 

THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED 

TO MY CHILDREN 



PREFACE 

Thinking over my life, It has often occurred to me that 
my children and their descendants might find it of inter- 
est to know something about the life of their ancestor who 
fought in the Civil War, just as I myself would give a 
great deal if I had some story of my ancestors in the Rev- 
olution. Accordingly I have gathered together from my 
diary, which I kept during a greater portion of the War, 
— some of which I lost, which made it, of course, un- 
available, — also from letters written home to my father 
and mother and sisters, facts which will interest my chil- 
dren. I have added to it a brief account of the genealogy 
of the family so far as it is known, also some facts in my 
father's life, and some in my own life not connected with 
the War. 

Altogether my life has been a varied and interesting one, 
full of happiness and full of sorrow. Perhaps no fuller 
than the lives of hundreds of other people; still I give 
the account to my children for what it is worth, and hope 
they will be repaid for the trouble of reading it. I have 
left out a great many portions of my letters, as I real- 
ize now that my ideas then were often very faulty and 
wide of the mark, and that conclusions that I arrived at 
then are hardly worth printing now. My children reading 
the war diary must remember that I was only twenty 
years old when I went into the War, that I had graduated 
from Harvard when I was eighteen, and was still very 
young, and must make allowances for opinions expressed 
in my letters as being those of a very young man, — almost 
a boy. 



CONTENTS 



I. Introductory — The Weld Family — College Life . . 3 

II. Beginning of the Diary — Annapolis in 1861 — Fortress 
Monroe — The Hilton Head Expedition — On General 
Wright's Staff 22 

III. On General Fitz John Porter's Staff — In Camp at Hall's 

Hill, near Washington — The Peninsular Campaign — 
Jeb Stuart's Raid — Gaines's Mill — In Libby Prison — 
Second Battle of Bull Run — Antietam — The Court- 
Martial and Final Vindication of General Porter . . 45 

IV. Letters Home, March, 1862, to March, 1863 . . .88 

V. On General Benham's Staff — Camp at Falmouth, Va. — 
President Lincoln Reviews Army of the Potomac — 
General Benham's Peculiarities — On General Rey- 
nolds's Staff 158 

VI. Aide to General Reynolds — With the Army of the Po- 
tomac in May and June, 1863 — The Rebel Raid into 
Pennsylvania — First Day at Gettysburg — Death of 
General Reynolds — His Funeral — Aide to General 
Newton — Pursuit of Lee . . . . . .201 

VII. Lieutenant Colonel of 56th Mass. — Recruiting — Going 
South with the Regiment — Mr. Brown of Philadelphia 

— Annapolis — The Battle of the Wilderness — Spott- 
sylvania — Cold Harbor — Before Petersburg — the 
Mine — Taken Prisoner ...... 257 

VIII. Prisoner of War — Letters from Columbia — Exchanged 

— End of the War 358 

IX. My Life Since the War 404 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



General Stephen M. Weld, {photogravure) . Frontispiece 

From a painting by Wm. W. Churchill (1890), in the Armory of 
the First Corps Cadets, Boston. 

General Stephen M. Weld, {photogravure) . . Frontispiece 

From the painting (1912) by Milton Lockwood. 



Ninth Army Corps Badge, First Division 

My Father, Stephen M. Weld .... 

Residence of my Father, Stephen M. Weld, Jamaica Plain 

burned about 1 845 

Exhibition Part given me in College 

Fortress Monroe ....... 

Order appointing me on Staff of General Wright 
Second Lieutenant, Stephen M. Weld, Jr., January, 1862 

Lieutenant Charles J. Mills 

General McClellan at Yorktown, 1862 

Letter from General Reynolds .... 

Order appointing Court to rehear the General Porter 

Case 

My Narrow Escape (June 15, 1862) 

General Fitz John Porter and Staff, Westover, Va., July 

16, 1862 

Headquarters, Fifth Army Corps, Harrison's Landing 

James River, 1862 

Second Bull Run; Portion of Field (Aug. 31, 1862) 
Headquarters, Fifth Army Corps, Antietam . 

From a photograph. 
Headquarters, Fifth Army Corps, Antietam . 

From an engraving. 

The Battle-field of Antietam .... 
Leave of Absence after General Porter's Trial and Con 
VICTION 



TiOe 
4 

ID 
18 
30 
40 
46 

SO 
72 
84 

86 
115 

120 

124 

134 
138 

138 

140 

156 



xii ILLUSTRATIONS 

Permission to visit Philadelphia . . . . .156 

Letter of General Porter to me just after his Conviction 156 
Copy of General Order Number 7 in regard to the En- 
gineer Brigade . . . . . . . .178 

Copy of my Letter resigning as A. D. C. from Benham's 

Staff . . . 198 

Pass given me when leaving Headquarters . . .216 
Letter from General Howard to General Reynolds . 226 
Letter from General Reynolds to General Howard . 228 
Order from General Seth Williams to General Reynolds 228 
Pass given to take General Reynolds's Body to Phila- 
delphia .......... 234 

General Meade's Aides 242 

Letter from Kingsbury, General Reynolds's and after- 
wards General Newton's Adjutant-General . . 256 
Copy of Letter assigning Colonel Griswold to command the 
Regiment ......... 256 

A Letter from a Mother .allowing her minor Son to en- 
list 258 

Major Jarves, Colonel Griswold, and myself in 1864 . 262 

Brevet Brigadier Gener.al S. E. Ch.\mberlain . . 270 

Group of Officers at Annapolis ..... 274 

Captain Hir.^m S. Shurtleff 278 

Letter oF Colonel Charles E. Griswold . . . 280 
Colonel Charles E. Griswold commanding the 56TH Mass. 

Volunteers ......... 288 

Order received at Nye River when in command of the 

Brigade ......... 290 

Dress-Parade of the 56TH Mass. Volunteers . . . 306 

Buglers and Band, 56TH Mass. Volunteers . . . 324 

Earthworks before Petersburg (July, 1864) . . . 332 

Non-commissioned Staff, 56TH Mass. Volunteers . . 340 

Non-commissioned Staff, 56TH Mass. V'olunteers . 348 

Line of Battle, s6th Mass. Volunteers .... 352 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Jail, Columbia, South Carolina .... 

Rear of the Jail and Yard 

Room in Jail where Naval Officers were confined 
Town Hall, Columbia, South Carolina, next Door to Jail 358 
Sale Note of my Watch, in Columbia, South Carolina 
Draft on my Father while in Jail .... 

Confederate Ten Dollar Bill ... 

Confederate One Hundred Dollar Bill 
Headquarters, 56TH Mass. Volunteers, Alexandria 
Field and Staff, 56TH Mass. Volunteers 
Officers of the 56TH Mass. Volunteers . 
Special Order announcing my Exchange . 
Commissary Sergeant and Quarters 

First Sergeants, 56TH Mass. Volunteers, at Regimental 
Post-Office ........ 

Colors and Color Rank, 56TH Mass. Volunteers 
Letter from Governor Andrew inviting me to his Inaugu- 
ration 404 

Invitation to Lunch with General Humphreys and Staff 404 
Copy of Order appointing me Commander of the Brigade 404 
Portion of Letter from General Fitz John Porter . 404 

Letter from General Griffin ..... 404 

Letter from General Burnside .... 404 

Letter inviting me to Dinner with Governor Andrew and 
THE Cadets ■•-...... 404 

Mrs. Stephen M. Weld, my first Wife (Eloise Rodman), and 

myself about 1869 408 

Mrs. Stephen M. Weld (S. Edith Waterbury), my second 
Wife 408 



Xlll 

358 
358 
358 



364 
378 
384 
384 
386 
388 
390 
392 
394 

396 
398 



WAR DIARY AND LETTERS 
OF STEPHEN M. WELD 



WAR DIARY AND LETTERS 
OF STEPHEN M. WELD 

CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY — THE WELD FAMILY — COLLEGE LIFE 

I WISH that during my lifetime, at least, this book 
should be kept strictly private. There are many re- 
marks about people who are perhaps now living, or whose 
near relatives may be living, which I should omit if the 
book were to be made public property by publishing it. 
Furthermore, there are several laudatory letters which it 
is right and proper and very pleasant to have my de- 
scendants read, but which it would be in exceedingly bad 
taste for me to publish or give out in any book for general 
circulation. After I am dead it will be no matter who 
sees it — perhaps no one will care about reading it. 

I think to my grandchildren particularly, and to their 
children, it may be interesting to read of what will be to 
them the earlier times of the Republic; and it may help 
them to realize how important it is for them to support 
the form of government which their ancestors fought so 
hard to keep alive and to sustain in time of trouble. I am 
going to give a short sketch of my life before the War, 
and also some of the, to me, most important matters that 
had a bearing on the making or marring of my life up to 
the time of my seventy-first year. On my last birthday, 
the fourth of January, 1912, I was seventy years old. 

As being of interest to my descendants, I propose to 
insert here an article written by the Reverend Andrew 



4 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

P. Peabody, Plummer Professor at Harvard, and a class- 
mate of my father's, and printed by him in his volume, 
Harvard Graduates Whom I Have Known.^ 

STEPHEN MINOT WELD 

1826 

If the members of my class had been asked at any time who 
of the class was more beloved than any other, I suppose that 
every one of them would have answered, "Stephen Weld." 
I do not mean that he was popular, in the vulgar sense of that 
term. He had none of the traits, arts, or ways by which one 
wins that title. He united, to a degree which I have seldom or 
never known beside, the simplicity of a child, the exuberant 
mirthfulness of an untamed boy, and the thoroughly formed 
manliness of spirit which could resist evil, surmount obstacles, 
and make a hopeful beginning of a vigorous life work. I doubt 
whether the Faculty loved him; and yet such a person as he 
would be a prime favorite with the present Faculty, so entirely 
has the pervading spirit of the college regime been revolution- 
ized. He was full of fun and frolic, and no one enjoyed as he 
did a practical joke, when it could do no harm. His laugh was 
joy-giving, and I seem to hear it as I write. Though not irreg- 
ular in attendance on college exercises, I doubt whether he 
studied much till his Senior year. Yet it was perfectly well 
understood that he all along had possessed the capacity and 
taste which he then began to show, and which were sure to 
make him an excellent scholar whenever he gave his mind to the 
work. We all recognized in him not only good-nature and good- 
fellowship, but a thorough nobleness of spirit and character, 
inborn and inbred. We should have gone to him to take 
the lead on any gay or festive occasion ; but we should have 
gone to him equally for sympathy under adverse circumstan- 
ces, or for help which could be rendered only with labor and 
sacrifice. 

Stephen Minot Weld was born in Boston in 1806. His father, 
1 Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1890. 




MY FATHER: STEPHEN M. WELD 



STEPHEN M. WELD 5 

William Gordon Weld, was an enterprising and for many 
years a successful ship-master and ship-owner, and distin- 
guished himself by defeating some Algerine pirates who at- 
tacked him, and capturing two of their vessels. Subsequently, 
in our War of 1812, a vessel of his, under his own command, 
with a valuable cargo and a large amount of specie, was cap- 
tured by a British frigate off Boston harbor. He had become, 
by the standard of the times, a rich man, but was so no longer. 
Several years before this loss, he had removed to Lancaster, 
and there Stephen was fitted for college, in the school of which 
I have already spoken. He must have commenced his prepara- 
tions under the tuition of George B. Emerson. 

He entered college at sixteen years of age, without the initial 
experience of the outside world which a boy gets by attending 
school away from home. He came with exuberant spirits, with 
a proclivity for play rather than for work, and with a mirth- 
provoking power that made him a favorite with the least in- 
dustrious of his class, while his ingenuousness, his moral purity, 
and his keen sense of honor won the esteem and affection of 
those of the opposite type. His father died at the close of his 
Junior year. From that time he evidently thought more of the 
future and of his responsibilities in and for it than he had be- 
fore. He became more studious, and his college work in the 
Senior year was in every respect creditable. He determined 
to be a teacher, and felt the necessity of first being a learner. 
During that and the following year, if my memory serves me 
aright, he reviewed with care the studies required for admission 
to college. 

On graduating, Mr. Weld was employed for one year as an 
assistant teacher in the long-established boarding-school of 
Mr. Greene, at Jamaica Plain. In the following year he opened 
a similar school in the immediate neighborhood of Mr. Greene's. 
His mother joined him in the enterprise, taking charge of the 
housekeeping, and performing her full part in making for the 
boys under their united care not only a comfortable home, but 
one on which they always looked back with pleasure and grati- 
tude. She had several younger children to be educated. Of her 



6 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

older sons, William F. Weld was already in business, yet with 
no more than the remote prospect of the wealth which he 
aftervv^ard obtained, and he did everything in his power to eke 
out her slender income; forming habits of personal self-denial 
which lasted for life, in thus meeting the calls of filial duty. 
As Stephen prospered, he of course came to share in this work 
with his brother ; for there never was a time when for him the 
chief happiness of possessing was not the privilege of bestowing. 
His school grew rapidly in numbers and in reputation, and it 
is hardly too much to say that its reputation was national ; for 
pupils came to it from every part of the country, and even from 
Cuba, Mexico, and Yucatan. It continued in undiminished 
success, till at the end of thirty years Mr. Weld thought him- 
self entitled to the only rest which a man ever ought to seek — 
a change of work. 

In this case the change was not rest. In 1858 Mr. Weld was 
chosen president of the Metropolitan Railroad Company, then 
in its infancy; but he suffered so severely from overwork in the 
complicated affairs of the company, that he felt compelled to 
resign the office in the following year. The only political offices 
which he ever held were as a member of the Executive Council 
under Governors Clififord and Emory Washburn, and as pre- 
sidential elector in 1864. 

During the War of the Rebellion Mr. Weld was second to no 
one in the country's service, giving time, money, counsel, and 
effort unsparingly, and always with a sound discretion that 
largely enhanced the value of whatever he gave or did. He was 
recognized by the citizens of West Roxbury as foremost in pa- 
triotic devotion among those at home or in the field, the living 
or the dead. Had he been a younger man, I know that he would 
have enlisted for active duty, and it was in his spirit and under 
his strong encouragement, that his eldest son, bearing his 
name (H. U. i860), entered the army, in which he held an im- 
portant command with distinguished honor. 

Mr. Weld was for nine years, and at the time of his death, 
one of the Overseers of the College, and among all its alumni 
there was not one more devoted to its best interests. Shortly 



STEPHEN M. WELD 7 

before the War, I forget in what year, he had a class supper at 
his house, and invited his brother, WiUiam F. Weld, to meet us, 
for the purpose of enlisting him in some enterprise for the ben- 
efit of the College. What that enterprise should be, was the 
subject of the evening's talk. The result was that Mr. Weld 
determined to erect a building, which should at once meet the 
actual need of a new dormitory and yield a fair interest on its 
value as an investment. In accordance with this purpose, he 
procured plans and estimates, and would have gone on with 
the building had not the War intervened. When the project 
was renewed, Stephen was no longer living, and Weld Hall is 
his brother's tribute to his memory. 

Mr. Weld was generous and kind, not only in special chan- 
nels of beneficence, but in every form and way. He never lost 
an opportunity of doing good, and no man could have been 
more ingenious and inventive than he was in discovering and 
creating such opportunities. It was said that in Jamaica Plain 
there could not be found an individual who had not in some way 
been indebted to him for good offices, and none that needed 
pecuniary help by loan or gift that had not received it from him. 
He died in 1867, after a short and painful illness, during which 
he was fully aware of its inevitably fatal issue, which he met 
with entire calmness and resignation. I was one of the officiat- 
ing clergy at his funeral. The large church was crowded; and 
of the many occasions of the kind that I have witnessed, I have 
never seen one at which there were such tokens of profound 
sorrow in the entire assembly. The whole community were in 
mourning for a man who had been every one's friend, and 
whom every one had loved. 

A few anecdotes which I used to hear from rti}^ father 
about his youth may not come in amiss here. When he 
lived at Lancaster he had to go some two miles every 
day to school, winter and summer. In doing so he had 
to cross the Nashua River, and as there was no bridge, he 
and his brothers crossed in an old boat. He used to tell 



8 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

me that often he had to break the ice to get the boat 
across. What a contrast this is to the case of children 
nowadays, who are provided with transportation by the 
cities or towns in which they live, if they happen to be 
any distance from school, — in my opinion a poor and 
miserable way of bringing up children to meet the hard 
times and trials of life. 

The following sketch of the Weld family is largely 
taken from the Historical and Genealogical Register, of 
April, 1891. 

The family of Weld dates back to 1352, William Weld, 
High Sheriff of London. The New England branch came 
from Suffolk, the home of Governor Winthrop. 

In 1632 Captain Joseph Weld, with his brother, the 
Reverend Thomas Weld, being "Puritans of the Puri- 
tans," came to New England for freedom; not penniless 
adventurers, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, 
but leaving behind home, comfort, prosperity and assured 
position, for conscience' sake. 

Captain Joseph Weld settled in Roxbury, Massachu- 
setts, and became a freeman in the colony, which made 
him a grant of several hundred acres, now West Roxbury 
Park and Arnold Arboretum. My grandfather lived in 
what is now known as the Peters House, opposite the 
Bussey Institute.- This estate was the family home for 
nearly two hundred years. 

Being well trained in arms. Captain Joseph was a valu- 
able aid to Governor Winthrop in military affairs, and 
served in numerous fights with the Indians. His death 
was a great loss to the colony, and is mentioned by Win- 
throp. Savage stated that he was the richest man in 
the colony, at the time of his death, and was one of the 
first donors to Harvard College, of which his brother 



STEPHEN M. WELD 9 

Thomas was of the first Board of Overseers. My father 
also served for nine years as an overseer, and I too had 
the honor to be a member of the Board for about twen- 
ty-five years. 

Stephen Minot Weld, my father, was born in Boston, in 
1806. His grandfather, Eleazer Weld, was a judge, also 
a colonel in the Revolutionary War, and Paymaster of 
Washington's army at Cambridge in 1777 and 1778. 

His father, William Gordon Weld, was intended for the 
bar, but became a ship-owner, loaded his own ship and 
sailed her to foreign ports. It was he, who, while com- 
manding his armed ship, the Jason, in 1802, off Tunis, 
beat off an Algerine pirate vessel and recaptured two 
American brigs with their crews. In July, 1812, returning 
in the ship Mary, with a valuable cargo of wine and 
Spanish silver dollars from Spain, not knowing that war 
had been declared, he ran into Boston Harbor, right into 
the jaws of the British frigate Spartan, 38 guns, was cap- 
tured, and his vessel, crew and cargo sent to Halifax, and 
condemned. But the commander, Brenton, being an old 
friend, allowed him to escape without imprisonment, but 
almost penniless, to his home. In 1798 he married Han- 
nah Minot, daughter of James Clarke Minot, a well- 
known merchant of Boston. 

The family losses during the Revolution, and the death 
of Colonel Weld, necessitated the sale of the old home- 
stead in Roxbury, in order that the property might be 
divided among his brothers and sisters. 

My father married Sarah B. Balch, daughter of Joseph 
Balch, in June, 1838. My mother died in 1854. My 
father married again, in 1856. His second wife was 
Georgianna Hallett. I remember going with them on a 
journey to the White Mountains. One of the guides at 
the hotel took us to a waterfall but little known, which 



10 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Father christened Georgianna Falls. About five years 
ago, I heard some people just back from the mountains 
speaking of going to some beautiful falls called Georgi- 
anna Falls — but "such an ugly name!" they said. 

I was born on the fourth day of January, 1842, in Ja- 
maica Plain, on the place where my sister's house now 
stands. The house in which I was born was burned, some 
time, I think, in February, 1845.^ This fire is one of the 
first things that I can remember. The weather was in- 
tensely cold, below zero, as I was afterwards informed; 
looking out of the nursery window, I saw the pupils of my 
father's school come running out of the school-house, on 
the other side of the yard, shouting, "Fire!" My mother, 
and my cousin, Miss Doubleday, had been speaking of 
the soot falling down the fire-place, and it seems that 
the chimney had caught fire and set fire to the roof. In 
almost no time, the house was in flames. I remember 
I was wrapped up in a blanket and taken over to the house 
across the way, which my father owned. 

Another thing that I recall is the Mexican War, — 
hearing my parents discuss it, and being taken in town to 
see the "Flying Artillery" coming back from the war. 
I expected to see guns with wings, instead of which I 
was much disappointed to see cannon drawn at a slow 
pace by horses. 

I was early sent to a Miss Baker's school, which stood 
on the right-hand side of the road leading to Boston, 
about a quarter of a mile from Hogg's Bridge and a mile 
and a half from my home. I tramped to and fro every 
day to this school, when about five years old. I well re- 
member that once, when a small child, I lost my hat, hav- 
ing neglected to hang it up in its proper place. My mother 

^ I have lately found a print of the house in which I was born, and which 
was burned, a reproduction of which is printed on the opposite page. 







■4te,:1: 




CC LLl 



STEPHEN M. WELD ii 

made me wear my sister's bonnet to school as a warning 
against untidy conduct. It made such an impression on 
me that I have never forgotten it. 

I then went to school to Miss Jane Lane, a second 
cousin of my father's, and a most excellent teacher and 
splendid woman. I used to be very obstinate, and I am 
afraid that my misdemeanors had the efifect of making 
her pass many a weary hour after school, keeping me in 
by way of punishment.^ 

From there I went to Father's school. I was intensely 
fond of home and disliked exceedingly the row and tur- 
moil that necessarily accompanied a boarding-school for 
boys. My father told me that if I did not behave myself 
in his school he would send me off to some other boarding- 
school, which certainly resulted in making me behave as 
well as I could. My father at that time came into school 
for about an hour every day and heard the classes in 
Latin and Greek. I think I never knew in all my experi- 
ence a teacher who could impart to his pupils such know- 
ledge as he had so easily as he could. He made a dull 
study most interesting, and many quotations from Virgil 
and the old classic writers were Implanted In my memory 
by his tact In teaching. 

I was prepared for college at quite an early age, too 
early Indeed to get the full benefit from the studies there, 
I entered in the summer of 1856, when I was fourteen 
and a half years old, without conditions, and became a 

1 Every winter Mr. Papanticame to Father's school and gave lessons in 
dancing. After the lessons were over a party was always given. At one of 
these parties, somewhere about 1849, I was chasing Joseph Joy, one of the 
pupils at the school, when I fell and struck my teeth on the side of a ma- 
hogany chair. I knocked out a tooth and left the imprint of two or three 
others on the side of the chair, which my sister still owns and shows with 
much pride. My mother picked the tooth up and put it back. It remained 
in place till I was sixty-five years old, when it got tired and came out for 
a rest. The dentist still has it and shows it as a wonderful case. 



12 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

member of the famous class of i860, often called the 
"War Class" of Harvard. I did not touch a drop of 
wine or liquor all through my college career until about 
a month before I graduated, nor did I smoke until then. 
I was up to a great deal of mischief, but got through all 
right and took my degree in i860, graduating, I believe, 
number 28 in a class of 108. 

A description of the life at Harvard while I was there 
may be interesting. We got up to prayers the first year 
at six o'clock in the morning in summer, and seven in 
winter. We were allowed ten absences, or "cuts," during 
the term ; ten more got us a private admonition and a de- 
duction of 32 marks from our ranking marks, and twenty 
a public admonition. More than that subjected us to se- 
vere discipline and possibly suspension or rustication. 

I remember going over for my examination. I had only 
just gone from a jacket into a coat, and felt very uncom- 
fortable and green. We were all put in a big room, I 
think in University, and orally examined in every study 
that we had to pass. I remember some of the answers 
were most curious. One of the boys was asked who the 
Heraclidae were. He answered, "The seven w^ise men of 
Greece." The examination was largely a matter of luck. 
If you could keep your wits together and show any sort 
of knowledge of the subject on which you were being ex- 
amined, you got through. Either Latin or Greek was 
compulsory during the whole course.^ Mathematics, 
I think, we had to take for only two years, the Fresh- 
man and Sophomore. Recitations were oral, supple- 
mented at the end of the term by a written examination. 

The annual football fight between the Freshmen and 

* I consider that the training one's mind and intellect get from the study 
of Latin and Greek cannot be surpassed in any way, and I regret exceedingly 
the tendency of modern times to abandon the study of these subjects. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 13 

Sophomores took place the first Monday night, at the 
beginning of the term. Our class won, a most unusual ex- 
perience, and we were very much elated by the victory. 
The ball was simply put between the two classes, then 
some one kicked it, and then it was a rough-and-tumble 
fight, fisticuffs, kicking of shins, and shoving and pushing. 
A favorite amusement of the Sophomores was to get a 
Freshman standing on the doorsteps and duck him with 
a glass of water from the window above. Then, too, their 
windows were broken at night. 

I was saved a great deal of this by rooming with my 
half-uncle, Mr. Francis V. Balch. He was two or three 
years older than I and in the class ahead of me, 1859. 
It must have been an awful nuisance to him to have a 
young Freshman in his room, with his friends coming in 
and interrupting him at all times. Balch was a great stu- 
dent, and at the head of his class, and was very kind to 
me. He was my mother's half-brother. The first year we 
roomed in Hollis 4, the second year I roomed in the same 
entry, Hollis 5. The third year I roomed in Stoughton 6, 
with George S. Osborne. The fourth year I roomed with 
Tom Sherwin in Holworthy 7. 

My chum, George Osborne, got caught in an unfortu- 
nate scrape. I had gone to bed, feeling tired, when my 
cousin, George W. Weld, and Osborne came to me and 
wanted me to screw in one of the tutors, named Pearce. 
The plan was to take a hinge and screw one part to the 
bottom and the other to the sill of the door, so that in the 
morning when Pearce started to come out, he would find 
himself locked in and unable to attend prayers, and so 
could not mark us for our absence. I refused to get up, 
so Osborne and my cousin set off. They got the hinge fast- 
ened all right to the bottom of the door, but Pearce was 
on the lookout and heard them. He waited until they 



14 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

got pretty well along on the work, then opened the door. 
Osborne got down the stairs first, followed by my cousin 
George, with Pearce close on their heels. When George 
Weld got to the bottom of the flight, he grabbed the ban- 
ister and swung under the stairs, but Osborne ran out. 
It happened to be snowing that night very heavily. Os- 
borne plunged into a snow-drift and stuck there, and 
Pearce jumped on him. They had a row and a good deal 
of scuffling, and in it Pearce, who wore a red wig, lost it. 
It got lost in the snow and was never found until the 
next spring. Accordingly Pearce in the morning had to 
appear at prayers without any wig. Poor Osborne was 
expelled and it was only after a great many years that he 
got his degree. George Weld escaped by his quick wit in 
swinging under the stairs. 

The whole spirit between the Faculty and the students 
was one of war. We looked on the Faculty as our op- 
pressors, and we were — a great many of us — up to every 
devilment that we could think of, to trouble and bother 
them. A very different state of affairs I am glad to say 
now prevails. The College then was more in the nature 
of a boarding-school. There were about four hundred 
undergraduates, where now there are some four or five 
thousand. 

The following entries from my diary while in College 
give an idea of my daily life there. 

Friday, November 13, 1857. — I was up in Mathemat- 
ics and did pretty well. I was up in Latin and did pretty 
well. Cooke gave us a very interesting lecture. At the 
Institute to-night I was drawn as a juror for the mock trial 
next time, but was challenged by Wheelock. It has been 
rainy and pleasant to-day. I broke my 17th window this 
evening. I finished my theme at 10 o'clock in the evening. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 15 

I looked behind the Scientific School to-day and found 
that Mrs. Gardner's gate was still there. Frank Balch 
went home this evening. My pants came from Earle's 
to-day. Shaw gave us a first-rate lecture this evening at 
the Institute. 

Thursday, December 2)"^-, 1857. — I was up in Mathe- 
matics and did so-so. I was up in Greek and did pretty 
well. All the tutors were out this night because it is New 
Year's Eve. They caught several fellows out and sent 
them to their rooms. I went to bed at 10 o'clock. The 
Faculty had policemen all round. It rained hard all the 
morning but in the afternoon it cleared off. Frank and 
George were caught out in the Yard by Chase and Lane. 
We recited to Goodwin at 4 o'clock instead of 5 o'clock, 
so he could get some sleep. 

The college pump stood pretty nearly between Hollis 
and Stoughton, and was the only source of water-supply 
for the undergraduates. The students who were rich, or 
pretty well off, usually had a negro or some striker who 
brought them a bucket of water, blacked their shoes, and 
made their fires. The majority of the students went down 
and got their own water and did all their so-called chores 
themselves. There were no toilet-rooms or any conven- 
iences of that sort. There was one low stone building be- 
hind University Hall, which was used by all the College 
in place of our modern water-closets. It was called by the 
students "the College Minor." 

Hoi worthy Hall was the Senior building. In every 
dormitory there was a tutor living in the corner room on 
the second floor. The room underneath him was occu- 
pied by some student, usually a Freshman, who, in return 
for the use of the room, acted as a messenger for the tutor 
in various ways, such as summoning any member of the 



i6 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

class who had been disorderly, or whom the tutor wished 
to communicate with, and in general was known as "So- 
and-so's Freshman," that is, the tutor's Freshman. In the 
same way the President had a Freshman who acted as 
messenger between him and the students, or between the 
Faculty and the students, who was called the "Presi- 
dent's Freshman"; and in return for the services he per- 
formed, he had certain privileges and emoluments given 
him. 

The buildings that existed when I was in College, if 
I remember correctly, were University Hall, Holworthy, 
Stoughton, Holden Chapel, Hollis, Harvard Hall, Massa- 
chusetts Hall, Dane Law School, the President's old 
house, and the Library, or Gore Hall. Then, at the back 
of the yard were several of the professors' houses, among 
them Professor Peabody's, Professor Felton's, and others 
— Professor Pierce's, too, I think. I remember that at 
one time I hung some Chinese lanterns out of my window 
on the evening of the Faculty meeting, which was Mon- 
day. I received a parietal admonition for doing it. The 
next Faculty evening I hung them out of the window 
of the president of the Parietal Committee's room. Of 
course the Faculty must have suspected who did it, but 
I was never questioned about it. 

We went to Chapel then in University. The Freshmen 
and Juniors went in by one flight of steps, and the Sopho- 
mores and Seniors by another. This was the only way 
the two lower classes could be kept from pushing and 
fighting. My impression is that Appleton Chapel was 
built while I was in College, but I am not positive about 
this. We had the Reverend James Walker as President, 
a very shrewd, keen, level-headed old man. He was a 
Unitarian minister. 

He was succeeded in our Senior year by Cornelius C. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 17 

Felton, who had been Professor of Greek. We felt very 
much aggrieved because, at the inauguration ceremonies, 
which were to take place the day before our graduation, 
the Latin oration, which had always by universal custom 
been given to the graduating class, was given to the class 
below us because our first scholar had not taken Latin as an 
elective. It caused a great deal of feeling. The members 
of our choir refused to sing and our class would not take 
part in the inauguration ceremonies, so they were post- 
poned until the day after our graduation. At the meeting 
of the Alumni held in University Hall on that day, we 
proposed a vote of censure on the Faculty for their treat- 
ment of us as a class, which was exceedingly ill-advised. 
I remember Thornton K. Lothrop and Judge Gray ^ get- 
ting up and speaking on our behalf. Judge Gray was then 
a comparatively young man. I recollect that his uncle 
went up to him and shouted, "Sit down, young man, sit 
down! How dare you speak so!" Altogether we had 
a lively time. President Felton was very angry and 
annoyed. He started to rush up the aisle and say he would 
not be inaugurated at all, but was pulled back by his 
coat-tails and persuaded from doing so rash a thing. Al- 
together we were a lively class and one that gave the 
Faculty a great deal of trouble. There were not many 
vicious men in the class, but lots of foolish ones and lots 
of good ones. The foolish ones soon got over their folly, 
and when the call of the War came our class responded 
nobly, seventy-seven out of one hundred and eight an- 
swering the call. 

I used to go home every Saturday morning and come 
back Sunday afternoon. I never shall forget, — I think 
it was in my Senior year, — when the Volante, I believe, 

* Horace Gray, afterwards Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mas- 
sachusetts, and Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. 



i8 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

or some Boston crew, whipped the Harvard boys in a 
boat-race. The Reverend Mr. Huntington/ the Plummer 
Professor, gave out the hymn: — 

For oars alone cannot prevail to reach the distant coast, 

The breath of Heaven must swell the sail, or else all hope is lost. 

There was a good deal of rivalry then between a nice 
set of fellows in Boston who had not gone to College and 
those who had. Those who had not gone formed a boat 
club in Boston, and there were several contests which 
were quite exciting between them and the college crews. 

Robert Gould Shaw was a classmate of mine. He won 
immortal fame by commanding a negro regiment, and giv- 
ing up his life at Charleston in the attack on Fort Wagner. 
The tablet or monument opposite the State House in 
Boston is an exceedingly good likeness of him, apart 
from any consideration of it as a work of art. 

Communication with Boston took place, I think, every 
half-hour, by stage. I took my meals at Miss Willard's 
on Mt. Auburn Street during most of my time in College. 
She kept a most excellent table. Board was $4 a week at 
first, then $4.50. Club tables existed, but there were not 
many of them. 

In the light of the development of telegraphy, both wire- 
less and the ordinary sort, during the last fifty years, a 
lecture that Professor Lovering gave us when I was in 
College is very interesting. The first message across the 
Atlantic cable after it was laid had just been received, 
and Professor Lovering told us that it was an impossibil- 
ity for an electric message to be sent such a long distance, 
that batteries were not strong enough, and that the mes- 
sage was a fake. It was a message from Queen Victoria or 
Prince Albert, I have forgotten which. Professor Lovering 

1 Frederic Dan Huntington, afterwards Bishop of Central New York. 



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STEPHEN M. WELD 19 

told us that the message had been sent to Valencia, if 
sent at all, there put on board a fast steamer and sent 
to Cape Race, and from there transmitted by telegraph. 
Thus it is curious to see how the world moves. 

I think it was usually some Saturday morning in Octo- 
ber, after the regular Exhibition parts were declared, that 
the so-called "mock parts" were given out. The class 
was addressed by one of the class officers from a win- 
dow in Hollis. The class was supposed to pass in a proces- 
sion, and as each man came by, his part was given out. 
They were usually based on some physical or mental 
peculiarity, and were rarely ill-natured or ugly. For in- 
stance, my mock part was, "S. M. Weld will display his 
big feet [feat]." Another classmate, the sitting-down part 
of whose body was very large, was introduced by the 
quotation from Shakespeare, "I will a round, unvarnished 
tale [tail] deliver." Another man, who was rather penu- 
rious, had the mock part, "Though on pleasure he was 
bent, he had a frugal mind." I remember that in the class 
ahead of me William Swan, who was accustomed to wear 
a beaver (which was rather unusual), and Ames, who 
was very attentive to Miss Felton, were introduced in 
this way: "Swan with his beaver, and Ames with his 
felt on [Felton] will appear in this procession." I cannot 
recall any of the other mock parts at the present moment. 
Charles A. Whittier was the one who read out ours. I 
remember the occasion very well. 

When I graduated, my father put me into the office of 
Peleg W. Chandler to study law, his idea being to keep 
me there for a year and then put me into the Law School. 
I stayed with Mr. Chandler for about a year, and then 
entered the Law School in 1861. My father then told me 
I would have to help earn my living, and he got me the 
appointment of tutor in Latin to a class in the school of 



20 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

a Mr. Smalley In Jamaica Plain. The times were quite 
stirring then. The Anti-Slavery party was very strong, 
and feeling was running exceedingly high between the 
North and the South. I was very anxious to go to the 
War, but my father was unwilling, feeling that I ought to 
stay at home and study. 

As far back as I can remember, my father was a Whig, 
and during the contest between Douglas, Breckenridge 
and Lincoln, In which Lincoln was elected, he was for 
Bell and Everett. Although not of age, I took sides with 
the Republicans and did what I could to help elect Lin- 
coln. The feeling was intensely bitter. It was very 
marked among the students at Harvard who came from 
the South, .they being strongly In favor of slavery and 
the doctrine of State's Rights. After the attack on Fort 
Sumter the feeling at the Somerset Club was intense 
against any man who took command of a negro regiment. 
Nothing compared to this in Intensity of feeling has ex- 
isted at any other time In my life, and It is hard for any 
one nowadays to understand the bitterness which existed 
then. My father during the War was a strong Repub- 
lican and did all he could to further the cause of the 
North. The Northerners who sympathized with the 
South were called "copperheads" and the feeling against 
them was more bitter, If possible, than against the 
Southerners. 

While In the Law School, I had a room on Brattle 
Street, Cambridge, with Dr. John G. Perry. 

The following pages from my diary give perhaps a 
better account of my start In the army than anything 
which I could now write. I have adhered closely to the 
wording of my diary as I then wrote it, and have not 
endeavored to Improve the language or construction, as 
I think it will give a much better Idea of what I really 



STEPHEN M. WELD 21 

was as a boy and a young man. At intervals I have in- 
serted notes written subsequent to the war, but have 
placed them between brackets, so that the diary may be 
read as it was written, uncontaminated by any after- 
thoughts or after- knowledge. I have also added, in their 
proper places, many of the letters that I wrote home. 

I ought to mention that I belonged to the Independent 
First Corps of Cadets in Boston, and got my first military 
training under Colonel Holmes, a man whom we all loved 
and admired. After the War I was temporarily in com- 
mand, for a season, of the Cadets, a position I accepted 
with a great deal of pleasure as I was delighted to be able 
to do anything to help the old corps. 



CHAPTER II 

BEGINNING OF THE DIARY — ANNAPOLIS IN 1861 — FORT- 
RESS MONROE — THE HILTON HEAD EXPEDITION — ON 
GENERAL WRIGHT 'S STAFF 

Sunday, October 6, 1861. — While I was spending 
Sunday at home, I learned that Uncle Oliver Eldridge ^ 
was going to sail in command of the steamer Atlantic on 
General Sherman's secret expedition to some southern 
port. I immediately asked Father to let me go with him 
as captain's clerk, or in some other capacity. He was 
unwilling, but finally consented to ask Uncle Oliver if 
he could take me. Father said that there was no room 
for me, and I therefore gave up all idea of going, to my 
great disappointment. 

In the afternoon Horace Howland - came out to our 
house and wanted me to go in town and dine with him. 
We dined at Parker's and then went to the Lothrops' to 
take tea. We left there in time to take the nine o'clock 
'bus for Cambridge. When we reached Cambridge, I 
found a letter for me from Father, saying that I might go 
with Uncle Oliver, and that I must start at eight o'clock 
the next morning. I packed my trunk in a few minutes, 
and went into Boston and spent the night at Parker's. 
I took the 8.30 train for New York in the morning, and 
reached New York at 5. I went directly to the Astor 
House, and found that Uncle O. had not started, much to 

1 Married to my step-mother's sister, Miss Almira Hallett; he was a 
sea-captain, and a fine man. 
^ My classmate. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 23 

my relief, as I was afraid he might have gone. I saw him 
in the evening, and he introduced mc to Captain Hascall, 
U. S. Q. M., who said he would give me a place as one of 
his clerks. I went down to Collins's wharf the next morn- 
ing, and was there introduced to Saxton and Marsh, both 
Captain Hascall's clerks. 

I spent a week here, at times quite busy, loading 
ship, etc. I called on the Rowlands and also went to 
Horace's apartments, which he has with Ned Wetmore ^ 
and Fowler. I enjoyed myself very much, being reminded 
of old college times. While in New York I saw Wilson's 
regiment ^ pass through, and felt proud of Massachusetts 
when I heard the cheers and praises so bountifully be- 
stowed upon them. I saw Tom Sherwin ^ and Charley 
Griswold ^ with the regiment. 

October 14. — I paid my bill at the Astor House to-day, 
and went on board the Baltic, Captain Comstock. The 
Baltic was anchored in the stream, and we were taken out 
to her in a small tug-boat. I was introduced to the 
steward, Mr. Godsell, who offered me a drink, which 
I declined, as I shall not drink or smoke while away. 
I found it pretty hard to give up smoking, but leaving 
off drinking is no hardship for me. We spent the night 
on board the ship. Weather pleasant. 

Tuesday, October 15. — Captain John Eldridge came 
on board this morning. He was a welcome visitor for 
two reasons. First, he brought me several letters from 
home; and secondly, the sight of such a jolly old gentle- 
man was enough to drive away any blue devils which a 
fellow might have. He is my idea of Falstaff, and a most 
perfect one, too. I hope to enjoy his company on the voy- 

^ Edmund Wetmore, my classmate. 

- The 22d Mass., Col. Henry Wilson, United States Senator. 

' My classmate and college chum. 

^ Afterwards Colonel of the 56th Mass. 



24 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

age, and shall not be disappointed. He said Father was 
in New York, and would come to see me. He did come 
about ten o'clock, and reported all well at home. When he 
left the ship he would not bid me good-by, but departed 
in a hurry. 

Captain Comstock came on board about ii o'clock, 
and we started about 12 m. We left our pilot at Sandy 
Hook, and waited there for our ship, the Ocean Express, 
which we are to tow. The sail down the harbor was quite 
pleasant, and I looked with feelings of pleasure and satis- 
faction on Fort Lafayette in particular, and also at Forts 
Hamilton, Richmond, etc., which are situated at the 
Narrows. The sea was calm, the weather pleasant, and 
everything foretold a pleasant voyage. It was good at last 
to feel we were really off, bound the Lord knows where, 
for I am sure no one on the ship knew. 

While steaming down the harbor, I struck up an ac- 
quaintance with one of the ship's officers, the surgeon. 
Dr. Bangs, a man who kept us in good spirits all the time 
he was with us. A true wit, for he has a most wonderful 
power of language, which he makes the best use of in 
telling stories and yarns the most improbable and impos- 
sible man ever heard of, and at the same time preserving 
a gravity of countenance which greatly enhances the fun 
we have in hearing him talk. He is, I find out, a lawyer 
in New York, but having once studied medicine he took 
this opportunity of going on this expedition. And really, 
I believe he is as good a doctor as half those who have 
an M.D. stuck on to their names. This, however, is not 
saying much for his knowledge as a doctor. 

We also had two young men on board named Hub- 
bell and Grant, both nice fellows, and acting as mates 
merely for the sake of a passage to our place of destina- 
tion. Our purser is a jolly, fat, red-faced gentleman, a 



STEPHEN M. WELD 25 

Pole by birth, an American by naturalization, and a 
tobacconist by trade. His name, be it known, is Julian 
Allen, — of a somewhat quick temper, although meaning 
to do right always. Then as assistant engineer we have 
a man fearfully and wonderfully made, the light of the 

nineteenth century, and in addition a fool, Marvin 

by name, and bound on a pleasure trip; not a pleasure 
trip to his companions did he make it. My chum is Sax- 
ton the chief clerk, a smart fellow, but somewhat given to 
exaggeration. His story told in the smoking-room about 
two negroes eating strawberries on a bet, and one de- 
vouring one hundred baskets, and another one hundred 
and twenty-five, which one hundred and twenty-fifth 
basket caused the aforesaid negro to burst and die, which 
fact he vouched for, and declared he saw take place in the 
market-place, rather knocked me. I think I had him 
though when I told him I was there and saw a strawberry- 
bed spring up from the poor nigger's body, from which 
bed I plucked and devoured many pints of the red berry. 
We have a pilot also, who is easily excited, and who 
bagged more plunder at Port Royal than any other two 
men in the fleet. 

To return, however, to the ship and the voyage. We 
fastened on to our ship at 6 p.m., and started off at the 
rate of eight knots an hour, bound at first for Fortress 
Monroe. We broke our tiller-rope during the evening, but 
this was soon repaired, and we went gaily on our way. 

Wednesday, October 16. — Nothing of any interest 
happened to-day. The morning was pleasant, and the 
afternoon cloudy. We stopped our engines at 6 p.m. and 
drifted, being about twenty miles from the Capes. 

Thursday, October 17. — We passed the Capes about 
10 A.M., running within two miles and a half of Cape 
Henry. This cape is composed of sand-hills shelving down 



26 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

to the beach, with nothing but a lighthouse and two small 
houses to be seen anywhere in the vicinity. The point is 
in possession of the rebels. We passed the gunboat Day- 
light keeping the blockade, and guarding the lightship. 
We saw a great many duck flying about us. About 12 we 
came in sight of the Rip Raps, and soon after of Fortress 
Monroe. The Rip Raps, a few miles ofif, look like a mass 
of stones dumped down in a heap, and on coming nearer 
to them, one finds that the opinion he formed of them at 
first sight was correct. They embrace perhaps an acre 
and a half to two acres, and are formed entirely of granite 
rocks dropped in utter disorder and confusion into the 
middle of Hampton Roads, and at about a mile and a 
half from Fortress Monroe. There are one or two small 
houses on it for laborers, but a more desolate hole I can- 
not imagine. The fortress itself cannot be seen until you 
are quite near it, on account of the shore being so low. 
We could see only two sides of it from the sea, the houses 
and trees on the shore hiding the rest of it. I saw the 
famous Sewall's Point for the first time. The batteries 
are not visible, being on the other side of the point. The 
masts of our ships at Newport News could also be seen, 
some 8 miles distant. We left our ship, the Ocean Express, 
here, and turned round and started for Annapolis, where 
we were to take our troops on board. We steamed up 
the Chesapeake to within about 40 miles of Annapolis, 
and then anchored on account of the fog. We passed 
the mouth of the Potomac, and also those celebrated 
Points — 

P'int Lookout, and P'int Lookin, 

P'int no p'int, and p'int agin. 

Friday, October 18. — We reached Annapolis about 
II o'clock in the morning, and had to anchor in the 
stream about 4 miles from the city. I went ashore in 



STEPHEN M. WELD 27 

the afternoon, and took a look at the city. We landed at 
the Naval School, and found the grounds full of troops, 
etc. The 21st Massachusetts, Colonel Morse, is stationed 
here, but I had no chance to see any of the officers. The 
grounds of the Naval School are quite spacious, and face 
the Chesapeake on one side, and the river Severn on the 
other. The buildings are of brick and quite substantial, 
though by no means handsome. Right on the water is a 
round building with guns mounted, which was used for the 
middies to practice in. On the right of this battery a long 
pier runs out into the river, and at the end of it, the Con- 
stitution was anchored. Uncle Oliver told me that when 
he came here last April, the rebels were erecting a battery 
on the other side of the river, and about an eighth of a 
mile distant, to destroy the Constitution. His timely ar- 
rival, however, put an end to their villainous schemes, by 
taking the ship and school away. The professors' houses 
were built in a row on the right side of the ground. 

Having procured a pass, we got outside the grounds, 
and into the city, the capital of Maryland. The streets 
were in a terrible state from the rain, which made a hor- 
rible clayey sort of mud, much to the detriment of our 
shoes, which were soon covered with a good coat of this 
Maryland blacking. We finally came out on a street 
which was roughly paved and which led us to the post- 
office and the hotel. I inquired for letters, but found 
none, and was consequently much disappointed. The 
next place I visited was the State House. It stands on a 
hill, the highest one in the town, and has a green around 
it. From this green the streets all diverge, making a sort 
of cobweb. On entering the State House, I was saluted 
by a young boy about ten years old, who was smoking a 
cigar, and who seemed to think himself the owner of the 
place. Accepting his services as an escort, we were shown 



28 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

into the Senate and House of Representatives. They 
were both of them ordinary-looking rooms with very 
common-looking pine chairs and desks. On first entering 
the House, the visitor sees the arms of the State staring 
him in the face, and the motto, "Crescite et multipli- 
camini," written under them. The city, however, belies 
the motto as far as I could see, for it looks as if it had not 
increased for a century, but had stood still, and as if all 
its inhabitants and buildings had been enjoying a cent- 
ury's rest. From the cupola I had a most magnificent 
view, and one which well repaid me for the trouble I had 
in getting ashore. Close around me was the town, with 
its quaint, old-fashioned houses, with gables and over- 
hanging roofs, many covered with moss, and, in some 
cases, plants growing from the eaves. It was more like a 
view of an old-fashioned English town which one often 
sees painted on canvas in stage-scenery. Then beyond 
the town were fertile fields, with crops ready for gather- 
ing, and every little way, a beautiful hillock rising up, 
with splendid trees growing there, and the river winding 
among them, now sparkling like a silver cord, and now 
hidden from the sight. Then again, the white tents of the 
soldiers would peep out from the dark green of the trees, 
and what at first sight seemed a long fence, but on 
closer inspection proved to be the troops going through 
their dress-parade, would meet one's view. The sight was 
a most beautiful one, and one which I cannot describe. 
The rivers on both sides of the city, with their steep 
banks thickly wooded, and winding so prettily among 
the hills, were in themselves a sufficient compensation for 
the climb up to the cupola. Then looking out on the 
Chesapeake and seeing over twenty steamers, in addi- 
tion to a large number of small craft quietly at anchor in 
the bay, and the long blue shore of Virginia opposite, 



STEPHEN M. WELD 29 

made one wish to stay forever almost, and enjoy the 
beautiful sight. I could hardly tear myself away; but 
as I had little time to waste, I soon descended. 

I saw here a cannon which Lord Baltimore brought 
over in 1624, and which had fallen into the river and had 
lately been fished up. I saw Captain Eldridge and went 
on board the Baltic with him. 

Saturday, October 19. — Nothing of any interest oc- 
curred to-day. We expected our regiment to come on 
board and waited all day in vain. Finally, about eight 
o'clock P.M. they came, and to my disappointment I found 
they were the 4th New Hampshire regiment, as I hoped 
to see some Massachusetts troops. Church, the reporter 
of the New York Sun, and Green of the Boston Journal 
came on board. 

Sunday, October 20. — This day passed like any other, 
except perhaps it was a more busy one. The baggage of 
the regiment was put on board, and we started on our 
way for Fortress Monroe at noon. We steamed down the 
Chesapeake, and came in sight of the Capes, when we 
had to anchor owing to a fog and a storm, I received a 
letter from John Perry, much to my delight, as he is the 
only one I have heard from. 

Monday, October 21. — We again started this morning 
for Fortress Monroe, and as we proceeded had a calmer 
sea. When I got up this morning, I had my first taste of 
seasickness, owing to the closeness of my state-room. My 
chum refuses to have the window open, and the conse- 
quence is we have more foul air in the room than is pleas- 
ant for me. I was soon well, however, after getting on 
deck, although I carefully and secretly looked over the rail- 
ing into the sea, and gave Davy Jones a scanty offering. 
It was amusing to see the soldiers sick and vomiting, espe- 
cially after I waswell. We arrived at the fort about ioa.m., 



30 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

and anchored near the Atlantic. As nothing particularly 
interesting happened while we were here, I shall just 
jot down a few events interesting to myself only. I went 
ashore and walked all over the fortress, and all around 
the walls. There is a ditch all around the fort, and on 
some sides a water battery on the outside of it. There is 
one tier of guns in casemates, and one en barbette. On the 
sea side, outside of the walls, is the Floyd gun mounted, 
and the Union gun ready to mount, both of them remark- 
able only on account of their size. The fort is connected 
with the mainland by two sandy necks of land, between 
which is a large body of water which has access to the 
ocean by a channel running through one of these necks, 
and over which a new bridge has lately been built. This 
last-named neck is the one by which they go to Hampton 
and the mainland. The interior of the fort is quite pretty, 
trees growing there, and walks being laid out very much 
like a park. There are several houses here, and also a 
church. A man might make himself very comfortable 
here, in my opinion. 

I walked over to the place where most of our troops 
are encamped, which lies between Hampton and the 
fort, and which is approached by the neck before referred 
to. I went to the camp of the i6th Massachusetts, and 
saw Waldo Merriam, the adjutant, and Bill Amory of 
Jamaica Plain. I had a very pleasant time, and was de- 
lighted to see old faces again. I saw a very good dress- 
parade, and returned to the fort again, passing through 
the camp of the Naval Brigade, Colonel Wardrop. I 
spent the night at the Hygeia Hotel, most of which is 
used as a hospital for our troops. Just as I had gone to 
sleep I was waked up by the most fearful succession of 
screams I ever heard in my life. It turned out to be a 
sick soldier in the hospital who was having his wounds 



<r^ 



^ 



STEPHEN M. WELD 31 

dressed. The next morning I met Harry Fisher, captain's 
clerk on board the Minnesota, and went with him on 
board of her. I was well paid, too, for a more beautiful 
and clean-looking ship I never saw. The decks looked 
clean enough to eat one's meal off of, and the long line of 
guns on each side, all polished and in perfect order, 
seemed eager to bestow a few compliments on any rebel 
or enemy who might make his appearance. Hubbell 
went with me, and was also much pleased with the ship. 
I saw Captain Van Brunt ^ on board, looking as well as 
ever. 

We waited here at Hampton Roads for a week, anx- 
iously expecting orders to sail, and growing at times de- 
spondent and gloomy about the success of the expedi- 
tion. Then, to make us still more gloomy, reports were 
flying about of the desertion of the commodore's pri- 
vate secretary, with important papers, containing the 
secret naval signals, our place of destination, etc. To 
crown the whole, and plunge us still deeper into despair, 
we heard of the battle of Ball's Bluff, and of the defeat 
of our forces. The news of Putnam's death, of Holmes ^ 
being wounded, etc., made me feel the reality of the war, 
which is a hard thing to bring home to one's self until 
one loses a friend, or meets with some such mishap. 
However, as the ships began to get up steam, and as vari- 
ous other little matters showed that we were going to 
start soon, our fears and despondent feelings began to 
give way to a more cheerful state of mind, and when 
we were actually under way every one felt buoyant and 
hopeful. While waiting here, one of the 7th Connecti- 
cut soldiers was drowned by jumping overboard for a 
plate which we had dropped. Major Pangborn, formerly 

^ Captain, afterwards Commodore, Jeffrey G. Van Brunt. 
^ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 



32 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

editor of the Boston Bee, came on board. He is paymaster 
for our brigade. 

Tuesday, October 29. — Off at last. Last night we 
steamed out towards the sea about four miles, and then 
anchored. This morning I was waked up about 6 o'clock 
by the moving of the paddle-wheels. By the time I was 
up and dressed, which was about 8 o'clock, I found that 
we had at last fastened our tow-line to the Ocean Ex- 
press, and about ten we started slowly on our way, with 
the most delightful weather imaginable, the air being 
warmer than it had been for some days previous, and 
the sea being moderately calm. When we passed Cape 
Henry we could see the lighthouse standing up boldly on 
a barren sand-hill, and no signs of civilization visible 
except two small huts, situated at the foot of the light- 
house. To make the place seem still more desolate than 
nature had made it, a wrecked schooner could be plainly 
seen about half a mile from the lighthouse, a monument 
of the wickedness of these rebels who destroy lighthouses 
as well as try to destroy their government. The cape is a 
barren, desolate spot, with high sand-hills rising up in the 
background, and gradually decreasing in size until they 
terminate in a narrow sand-spit. We passed within two 
miles, and might easily have been disabled by a battery 
placed there. The sight of so many vessels leaving the 
port at once, with different-colored flags on their masts 
as signals or to denote their names, was a most beautiful 
one. When we had passed the cape, our tow-line parted, 
repairing which delayed us about an hour. We finally got 
off at two o'clock, proceeding as slowly as possible all the 
afternoon, in order to keep with the rest of the fleet. 

The sea was pretty rough all the day, but most of the 
ships stood it well except the ferry-boats. In the evening 
different signals were displayed from the war-ships, of 



STEPHEN M. WELD 33 

red, white, blue, and green lights, which looked very 
prettily, flashing up as they did on all sides of us. I spoke 
to Captain Hascall about getting me a place on General 
Wright's ^ staff as volunteer aide. A society was formed 
for the "confusion of useless knowledge" the other even- 
ing, and we had a meeting this evening. 

Wednesday, October 30. — The day was beautiful and 
pleasant. The air was soft and balmy, as we had just 
struck the Gulf Stream, and the temperature of the water 
was 74 degrees. We had to go as slowly as possible, as we 
did yesterday, in order to keep with the rest of the fleet. 
The fleet kept nearer each other, and in better order than 
yesterday. According to the pilot we were off Cape Hat- 
teras at 2 p.m. We found out however, as events showed, 
that we did not take sufficient account of our slow rate of 
speed, and of the Gulf Stream. Nothing of any particu- 
lar interest occurred during the day. I saw nothing of the 
ferry-boats. It was so rough that some of them must have 
gone in nearer to the shore. 

Thursday, October 31. — This morning about 2.30 
o'clock I was waked up by the ship's shaking, jarring, 
groaning, and screeching generally. I at first thought 
we had been struck by a heavy sea, but a second shock, 
following soon after the first, convinced me that I was 
wrong. At the second shock I called Saxton and asked 
him what the matter was, and we both jumped out of 
bed, I running into the saloon to see what had happened, 
and Saxton lighting the candle. The saloon was full of 
people, excited and running around, but still not noisy. 
I found out from the hospital steward that the ship was 
aground. All the while we were bumping heavily, caus- 
ing the ship to groan and creak in every timber. I must 
confess that a dreadful shudder ran through me at the 
' General Horatio G. Wright. 



34 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

idea of being drowned, for so it seemed to me must be 
the fate of every one on board, as the night was dark and 
the sea rough. I thought, however, that it would do no 
good to be frightened, so I put on my trousers, shoes, 
and coat, then took my watch and ring from under my 
pillow, and finally took the cork life-preserver from under 
the bed, and fixed it so that I could slip it on at a min- 
ute's notice, I then left it on my bed, and went up on 
deck to see how we were getting on. When I reached the 
deck, the bumping had ceased, and the ship had backed 
off" safely. The pumps were sounded, and everything 
found snug and tight, much to my delight as well as that 
of others. 

When we struck, the concussion was so severe as to 
throw several people out of their berths, and those on 
deck were thrown several feet. We sent up rockets as 
signals of distress, and as a warning to other vessels of the 
fleet. Pretty soon the Coatzacoalcos came along, and 
asked us if we wanted any assistance. We told her we 
were all right, and she then informed us that the Illinois 
had also grounded, but had got off without injury. She 
had been obliged to cut loose the ship which she was tow- 
ing, which we also had to do, our ship barely grazing our 
starboard wheelhouse. We backed for some distance, and 
then steered due East. I went to bed at four and slept till 
six, when I got up and dressed myself. I saw our ship, 
the Ocean Express, on our port bow, and about ten 
o'clock we fastened our tow line to her. 

In regard to the behavior of the passengers of the ship, 
I think it should be praised as a general thing. Most of 
them were calm and quiet, although some of them made 
fools of themselves. Captain Comstock says we had a 
very narrow escape indeed, one of the most wonderful 
on record. The wind luckily had subsided, and the sea 



STEPHEN M. WELD 35 

was, compared with the evening before, quite calm. No 
one seemed to know what shoal we struck, although it 
afterwards turned out to be the Outer Hatteras Shoal. 
There must have been some gross negligence, to say the 
least, in our getting on the shoal, and from all I can learn, 
the Wabash was to blame, as she at ten last evening gave 
us the course to steer, which we followed strictly, and 
consequently ran aground. Hubbell and the second mate, 
Hallet, saw breakers ahead about three minutes before 
we struck and told the captain of it. He said it was im- 
possible, and was just going forward when she struck. 
The captain says the waves were as high as the yards, and 
that the shoal must have been steep and precipitous 
on its sides as otherwise we should have struck amidships, 
and been "hogged." Lieutenant Richardson, the officer 
of the day, behaved nobly. He told all the sentinels to 
do their duty, and stick the first man who came up, while 
he stood at the head of the stairs with a loaded pistol, 
and told them he would shoot the first man who tried to 
pass him. The captain was thus enabled to work the ship 
easily, which would have been impossible with all the 
soldiers on deck. 

We saw the Illinois with one smoke-stack broken off 
by her ship running into her, but she has now repaired it. 
The fleet is either all scattered or else we are away from it, 
and the latter proves to be the case. I should think that 
more than two vessels must have struck the shoal. The 
war-steamer Bienville, blockading off Hatteras Inlet, 
chased us this morning to ask if we had seen the Wabash. 
The Bienville also said she went ashore last night on the 
same shoal. In the afternoon the Atlantic spoke us, 
steaming back to hurry up the rest of the fleet. She said 
the Wabash was ahead of us, much to our gratification as 
we were afraid that a great part of the fleet had been lost 



36 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

on the shoal. A soldier who died of brain fever was buried 
this evening, and services were held on deck. 

Friday, November i . — There was a rainbow early this 
morning, and the old adage that "a rainbow in the morn- 
ing is the sailor's warning" was well carried out; for 
about ten o'clock it clouded up, and in an hour we had a 
strong breeze blowing, which soon turned into a gale. It 
blew hard all night, and I surely thought we were going 
to the bottom. One sea which broke over the ship killed 
one of Captain Hascall's horses. I did not go below dur- 
ing the whole night. I am afraid the Governor and some 
other vessels are lost. We parted with our tow this even- 
ing. I never passed such a horrible night in my life. I had 
fully made up my mind to be drowned, but suspense 
was dreadful. The wind would blow and shriek through 
the rigging till it seemed as if it could blow no harder; 
and when I thought it was at its height, it would scream 
and whistle more than ever. There was something terri- 
ble to me in the waves, which were enormously high, and 
only rendered visible by the phosphorescent light on the 
tops of them. At times it would rain so that one could 
not see, and the gangways would be full of water dashing 
hither and thither with the motion of the ship, until it 
seemed as if we were full of water and were going to sink 
immediately. The drum-major of the regiment exhibited 
such cowardice that it was disgusting to see him. I was 
glad to see daylight as the sea grew calmer. We were in 
Long, yj^ 53' and Lat. 33° 01' at noon. 

Saturday, November 2. — The storm continued all day, 
but it reached its height last night between 12 and 3, so 
that to-day towards evening it moderated a little. Many 
of the people were seasick, and I myself barely escaped 
being so. In the afternoon we steered west, in the direc- 
tion of Brunswick, Georgia. We lay to most of the night. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 37 

We left the Gulf Stream to-day, and the change from the 
warm air to the colder was very marked. The fleet is all 
scattered, and but four are now in sight. Our sealed or- 
ders were opened to-day. 

Sunday, November 3. — We started at four o'clock this 
morning, and headed due west. We came in sight of land 
at about nine o'clock. I think it must have been Tybee 
Island at the entrance of Savannah River. The pilot will 
not say where we are. There is an island on the extreme 
right with what looks like a lighthouse on it. We had a 
very good sermon from the chaplain this morning, and 
afterwards the colonel addressed the soldiers in regard 
to their sending home their pay. The chaplain in his 
sermon hit the drum-major very well. He told the men to 
avoid snivellers and cowards, etc. Our ship was the first 
one to get here, followed by the Daniel Webster, and now 
five are in sight. It is a clear, cool day. I think from what 
the pilot says that the land we saw this morning must 
have been off Port Royal Sound, which leads to Beaufort. 
We saw 19 vessels in all this afternoon, none of them 
war vessels, however. We are now drifting along at the 
rate of half a mile an hour, and are within 20 miles of 
land. They say that the ship was on fire last Friday 
night, and I am inclined to think it was so. 

Monday, November 4. — A beautiful calm day. We 
sailed in a southerly direction, and came in sight of about 
30 of the fleet at anchor about 10 miles off Port Royal. 
Several of the gunboats were engaged in sounding the 
channel, making reconnoissances, etc. I went on board 
the Oriental and Atlantic. We had orders to start for the 
Ocean Express and find her, as she had all the powder and 
ammunition on board. Just as we were under weigh, we 
heard cannon firing, and saw our gunboats firing at what 
we suppose were three rebel gunboats. I could not see 



38 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

anything very distinctly. It was very provoking to go off 
just as we supposed the fight was to begin, but such were 
our orders, and we had to obey them. It would have 
been a beautiful day to land troops, as the sea was as calm 
as a mill-pond. We struck one of our coal schooners in 
the evening, but did not hurt her any. Saw nothing of 
the Ocean Express. 

Tuesday, November 5. — We came back to the Sound 
again without finding the Ocean Express. On our way 
back we were spoken by the sloop-of-war Dale, which is 
blockading here. She had her guns double-shotted and 
would have fired at us if we had not stopped. We reached 
our old place at 2 p.m. and found that all the fieet had 
gone over the bar, and were five miles nearer shore than 
before. We saw the Ericsson fast on the bar. We waited 
here until 6 p.m., and as no message came for us in regard 
to the channel, we had to put to sea again. W^e were 
passed by the R. B. Forbes this afternoon, going to join 
the fleet. The day was pleasant and calm, but about 
9 P.M. a strong west breeze sprang up. 

Wednesday, November 6. — Came to our anchorage 
again, the night having been pretty rough; but towards 
morning the sea was calmer, and we had a pleasant day. 
The Ericsson got off the bar without any injury. The 
R. B. Forbes towed the Dale in nearer to us. The Great 
Republic is outside the bar and has set signals of distress 
for want of water. It will be bad as she has 500 horses 
on board. A boat came to us from the Ericsson, and said 
that the fight on Monday was with the shore batteries, 
and was simply a reconnoissance. In the evening we had 
music from the band and dancing on the deck. Sea calm. 

Thursday, November 7. — Mark this day with a white 
mark for we have been victorious in battle. We took a 
pilot from the R. B. Forbes, and one from the Vixen, and 



STEPHEN M. WELD 39 

started off at 9.30 o'clock for the anchorage of the other 
ships. We had to proceed slowly and cautiously, for we 
drew 22 feet of water, and at low tide there is not more 
than three fathoms according to the chart. Just as we 
started we saw the Wabash and the gunboats getting 
under weigh, and heading for the Sound. It was a most 
exciting moment for every one, as we expected to see the 
smoke from the rebel cannon every second, announcing 
that the fight which we had so longed for and on the suc- 
cess of which so much depended, had begun in reality. 

When we were about six miles from the land, we saw 
the white smoke curling up in the air from a point on the 
left of the sound called Hilton Head. This was followed 
by the heavy " boom " of the report, and by several more 
cannon fired from two batteries on the opposite side and 
from rebel gunboats in the Sound. We, of course, were 
very much excited and watched the proceedings with 
great earnestness. The Wabash soon gave the rebels a 
broadside, to which they responded briskly. Finally we 
dropped our anchor about two miles and a half from shore, 
and just out of the reach of their batteries. Here we could 
get a fine view of the whole fight, our ship being the near- 
est one of the transports. 

During the first of the fight the rebel batteries on both 
points fired quite vigorously, but the one in Bay Point 
soon ceased firing except at intervals, either because our 
ships were out of range, or because they were disabled. 
It was probably from the first reason, as our ships during 
the whole fight paid more attention to the Hilton Head 
battery than to any other. The ships would go round in 
an ellipse, firing at each battery as they passed it. At 
first they went within 800 yards of Hilton Head, but the 
second time round they approached within 600 yards. 
The scene was a truly magnificent one. The Wabash 



40 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

would lead off with a perfect storm of shot and shell, fol- 
lowed closely by the gunboats and the Susquehannah. 
The rebels seemed to like the Wabash bet-ter than any 
other ship, as she was a much larger mark, and whenever 
she came round they would make a spurt, and man their 
guns quite well. During the whole of the fight I could 
see shot strike the water, sending a fountain up in the air 
some 15 or 20 feet high. They would drop on all sides 
of some of the vessels, but not many seemed to hit. The 
second time the Wabash came round was well worth 
travelling a thousand miles to see. She looked like a cloud 
of smoke and flame, so incessant a fire did she keep up. 
Then, at the same time, the gunboats increased the rapid- 
ity of their fire, so that the fort was pretty well rained 
upon. From the water's edge, where some of the shot 
struck, to the woods two miles back of the fort, the air was 
filled with rings of smoke, and with dust and dirt. Around 
the fort it was terrific. I counted over 50 shells bursting 
at once in and close around it. So thick was the air with 
dust and smoke from the shells, that frequently the fort 
would be hidden from sight. This would continue for 
about 15 or 20 minutes, when the Wabash would haul off, 
and go on her rounds to the other battery, letting fly a few 
shot at it. The woods behind the fort were well shelled, 
and if any rebels were there, they must have suffered 
severely. 

By the time the Wabash left on her second round, four 
of our gunboats had taken up a position where they could 
enfilade the rebel batteries, which they did in a handsome 
manner. When the Wabash went at her work for the 
third time, a little steam-tug, the Mercury, with a 20- 
pound Parrott rifled gun, ran right up to the battery, and 
got in so near they could not hit her. Then she backed 
round with her stern towards the fort and let drive her one 














1 










1 . V 






^ 






^ 



.^ 



>< 

K 



^ 




<a^ 



STEPHEN M. WELD 41 

gun. It was the best thing done during the whole action, 
and was loudly cheered from all the transports. The last 
broadside of the Wabash frightened the rebels, and at 
about 2 o'clock the marines from the Wabash landed, and 
took possession of the island.^ 

At 12 M. General Wright came on board, and I spoke 
to him about my commission on his staff, which he had 
made out. He told me to get ready instantly, which 
I did, appearing in a good deal of borrowed plumage. At 
3 o'clock the general and his staff got into a boat and 
shoved off from the Baltic, and went to the Illinois, where 
we found the 7th Connecticut embarking in boats. Soon 
the Winfield Scott took about 50 of these boats in tow, 
carrying them as near the shore as she could go. By 5.30 
o'clock we were on South Carolina soil, and we instantly 
went up to the fort. We found all the marines jolly drunk 
on whiskey which they had found in the canteens, and in 
a house there. They were sent on board ship as soon as 
possible, and the place handed over to the military au- 
thorities. 

The fort was a very strong one, and not much damaged 
by our fire. It mounts 22 guns besides a small battery, 
outside, of one gun and two mortars. Its name is Fort 
Walker, and it was built by an engineer named Lee, as we 
found out from a plan in what used to be a hospital and 
General Drayton's headquarters combined. Here I found 
an envelope on the floor with $291.31 marked on the out- 
side. The envelope was torn open and most of the money 
taken out, but on opening it still more, I found two shin- 
plasters, a 20- and a lo-cent one. I also got a one-dollar 
bill on the Bank of the State of South Carolina, from 

^ It turned out that this fight had for its object the capture of Port Royal, 
in which we succeeded, as these two forts controlled the entrance to the bay 
on which Port Royal is situated. 



42 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Captain Goodrich. I found in Dr. Buist's trunk, the rebel 
surgeon, a wreath for the hat, which I appropriated. 

After we had been on shore about half an hour, General 
Wright sent me to order boats to the Cahawba, and as 
one had to wade some 20 or 30 feet in the water in order 
to get near a boat, it was not so pleasant as it might have 
been. The scene on the beach when the soldiers were 
landing, surpasses description. Guns going off, some 
fired by drunken marines and others by disorderly sol- 
diers; men screaming, yelling, and rushing about in per- 
fect disorder, made altogether a perfect pandemonium of 
the place. It could hardly be avoided though, owing to 
the manner in which the soldiers were landed : they being 
in small boats and easily getting scattered, it was a work 
of much difficulty getting them together again. General 
Wright soon got his brigade together, and immediately 
garrisoned the fort and stationed pickets, and posted all 
the regiments, making them sleep on their arms, ready 
at a minute's notice. He took me with him at about two 
o'clock in the morning, and went the rounds. I got about 
an hour's sleep in the headquarters, and was glad enough 
to get it. I was so busy most of the time that I had no 
chance to get any plunder, and then too the general was 
going round, stopping the men from plundering, and of 
course under such circumstances I did not wish to do it. 
Many of the marines got swords, pistols, guns, watches, 
etc., from the tents. It was quite a pretty sight in the 
evening, when the moon had gone down, to see over a 
hundred fires burning in every direction, and groups of 
soldiers round them, talking, smoking, and joking as if 
safe at home. The rebels left one of the guns in the fort 
all loaded and ready to fire, and from many such signs 
it would seem as if they must have left in quite a hurry. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 43 

Friday, November 8. — I went back into the island, and 
saw a dead rebel on the way, killed by one of our shells. I 
passed cotton fields, sugar-cane, and sweet potato fields in 
any quantity, and finally came to a house about two miles 
and a half into the island, where there were four rebels, 
three mortally and one severely wounded. One of them 
had just died under an operation (cutting his leg off), and 
those horrible turkey buzzards could be seen hovering in 
air over the house, smelling even so soon the dead man. 
It was a horrible sight, and made one feel what war was. 
I found a rebel knapsack, which I took home with me. 
The road was strewn with them for two miles back in 
the woods, showing that there had been a rebel Bull Run. 
I went into the fort and saw near one of the dismounted 
cannon, a piece of a man's head, and a large pool of blood. 
There were three men killed here. This morning when 
going to the ship I saw an explosion at the battery on the 
other side, which I since learn was a mine. Our forces 
took possession of the fort, called Beauregard, early this 
morning, it having been evacuated by the rebels last 
night. 

Saturday, November 16. — I have nothing to tell ex- 
cept an account of my expedition to Scull Creek. We 
started Tuesday, November 12, and came back Wednes- 
day. We went on the steamer Parkersburg, to get corn 
from Seabrook's plantation, and any other things which 
might fall in our way. We had 25 soldiers to help us. 
We found Seabrook's plantation did not amount to much 
in its buildings. May the Lord preserve me from living in 
any such house! A miserable white- washed concern, set 
up on piles, which no white man would live in up North. 
Everything had been plundered by the negroes and sol- 
diers, and not much remained but corn, which we set to 
work to get as fast as we could. I thought I would walk 



44 STEPHEN M. WELD 

up to Pope's plantation about three miles from here. 
This was the best house I saw, but everything was taken 
away, or smashed up. I took a piece of a clock as a me- 
mento, and went to the negro quarters, where a great 
many of them were living. I picked a bunch of castor- 
oil beans here, which I shall take home as a curiosity. I 
found some very good springs of water on this side of the 
island, which were quite agreeable to me as I had not had 
any good water for some days. I saw any number of pal- 
metto trees, and did not think them a very handsome 
tree. They look like a cabbage stuck on a pole. We re- 
turned to the steamer Parkersburg and spent the night 
on board. The next day we went up Scull Creek in a row- 
boat to try and dig out a sloop which was on the beach. 
While we were endeavoring to get her out, a boat came 
from the Ottawa and took possession of her. I only hope 
they had a good time digging her out. In the afternoon 
we went over to Pinckney Island, where we found a bale 
of cotton which we appropriated and took on board the 
steamer. This was the first bale to reach New York. I 
also bought some peanuts of the negroes. I saw a greal 
quantity of meadow larks on this island. 



[The first part of my diary ends here. 



CHAPTER III 

ON GENERAL FITZ JOHN PORTER'S STAFF — IN CAMP AT 
hall's hill, near WASHINGTON — THE PENINSULAR 
CAMPAIGN — JEB STUART's RAID — GAINES's MILL — 
IN LIBBY PRISON — SECOND BATTLE OF BULL RUN — 
ANTIETAM — THE COURT-MARTIAL AND FINALVI NDI- 
CATION OF GENERAL PORTER 

[I CAME home from the Port Royal expedition and 
begged my father to let me go to the War. He wrote to 
Fitz John Porter, who had been one of his pupils at his 
school, and asked him if he could take me on his staff. 
General Porter was very kind and said that it would be 
necessary for me to get a commission first in some of the 
Massachusetts regiments. This my father succeeded in 
doing for me, and I was commissioned as second lieu- 
tenant in the i8th Massachusetts on January 24, 1862, 
under Colonel James Barnes, an able and accomplished 
officer. I at once started for Washington, and then, on 
February i, I began again to keep a diary. The first 
entry therein is preceded here by two letters which I 
wrote immediately after my arrival in Washington.] 

Willard's Hotel, Washington, Jan. 30, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I reached here safely this morning 
and am now waiting for the arrival of James. ^ I am 
afraid from what I hear about the time it takes to trans- 
port freight, that he will not be here for some two or three 
days yet. 

' James Cowan, my servant. 



46 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I spent Tuesday night in New York and called on the 
Rowlands. Mr. H. is quite sick, but all the rest of the 
family were well and Miss Helen and Miss Cornelia 
wished to be remembered to Hannah. I stayed at the 
Brevoort House, and on Wednesday morning, just before 

1 started for Philadelphia, I met Mr. George Minot and 
bid him good-bye. I arrived at Philadelphia at about 

2 o'clock and went immediately to the Furnesses', where 
I dined and took supper. They were very glad to see me, 
and Mr. Furness spoke quite kindly about you in connec- 
tion with his son Charles. I took the 1 1 p.m. train from 
Philadelphia for Washington, and feel quite sleepy this 
morning. 

The weather here is damp and foggy, and at times a 
drizzling rain falls, making the streets quite dirty and 
muddy. There is no snow to be seen around here, but 
mud can be had in any quantity. I am going to look 
round the city to-day, and think I shall start for camp 
to-morrow, if James does not come to-day. . . . 

Washington, D. C, Jan. 31, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I am lodging at a house on 14th St., 
just opposite Willard's, and taking my meals at Willard's. 
Perkins ^ is in the same room with me, and in case you 
come on here at any time and cannot get in at Willard's, 
you will find it a good place to get a room at this house, 
Mrs. Dull's. . . . 

James arrived here this evening and says the horse is 
all right, with the exception of a cold which he caught 
coming on last night in an open car. I shall buy a rubber 
blanket for the animal, and think he will be all right then. 

I started with Perkins to go out to camp this morning, 
but we broke down on the way out, and had to return, 

^ William E. Perkins, of Harvard i860, my classmate. 




SECOND LIEUT. STEPHEN M. WELD JR. JAN. 1862 



STEPHEN M. WELD 47 

not getting back in time to start again to-day. It is just 
as well, as I shall have to go to-morrow morning with all 
my baggage, etc., and report to General Porter. I have 
had to wait for James, or else I should have gone imme- 
diately to camp. 

The roads are in a most horrible condition, the mud 
being the worst I have ever seen. I shall be glad to reach 
camp and get settled down as I am tired of waiting here 
in Washington. If it had not been for Perkins I should 
have been very unpleasantly off indeed. 

I saw Sowdon ^ a few minutes after my arrival here 
Thursday. He was just starting for home, not having 
obtained his commission. 

I am perfectly well and in good health, and received 
your medicines safely. . . . 

February i, 1862. — Day was rainy, but towards even- 
ing the clouds cleared away somewhat and I started for 
General Porter's headquarters with all my bags and bag- 
gage. Such mud I never saw before. Up to, and over at 
times, the hubs of the wheels, came the nasty fluid, com- 
pletely hiding all the holes into which our unfortunate 
carriage slumped. However, I finally surmounted all my 
troubles and reached General Porter's quarters at Hall's 
Hill. The general was not in, but his Assistant Adjutant- 
General, Captain [Frederick T,] Locke, was very kind to 
me, and invited me to stay and dine with him, saying 
that they were not quite ready to receive me as my tent 
had not come, which he had sent for. I then went over to 
my regiment, the i8th, and reported to Colonel [James] 
Barnes. He was in his tent and seemed quite pleasant 
and gentlemanly. He introduced me to Lieutenant 
Colonel [Timothy] Ingraham, and to Surgeon Holbrook. 

1 Arthur J. C. Sowdon, Harvard 1857. 



48 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

He then sent for my captain, [Stephen] Thomas, of Rox- 
bury, who used to be connected with the iron foundry 
near the Hogg's Bridge. The colonel remarked that he 
was somewhat inclined to be fat, in which remark I en- 
tirely coincided when I saw him. He seemed as if he might 
be a very smart officer, however, notwithstanding his 
size. I found him a regular specimen of a smart, good- 
natured Yankee, somewhat illiterate to be sure, as one 
could tell from his conversation, and also I should judge 
from his writing, if the specimens I heard of it were cor- 
rect. Stockings, according to his dialect, is spelled 
"storkings," shoes, "shues." However, he can make 
himself understood, I suppose, and that is the main thing. 
Captain Thomas introduced me to my lieutenant [Wool- 
bridge R.], Howes, a boat-builder from New Bedford, and 
a polite, well-educated man. I took up my quarters in 
his tent, and put my servant, James, in there too. I bor- 
rowed a bedstead from one of the officers, and prepared 
to make myself comfortable. We also had the fifer of 
our company (D) in the same tent. The tents of the regi- 
ment are a gloomy sort of concern, being the French bell- 
tent, with no floors. I got on first-rate though, and passed 
a very comfortable night. 

I left home January 29, and reached Washington, 
January 30. I met Bill Perkins here, and set out with 
him on January 31, to go to camp, but broke down on 
the way. 

Sunday, February 2. — Nothing to do to-day. Sun 
was out, the first time during 28 days. Dined with Cap- 
tain Locke. 

Monday, February 3. — Received my order to report 
to General Porter. Slept in Lieutenant [George] Mon- 
teith's tent, as mine was not ready. Stormy again. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 49 

Hall's Hill, Feb. 3, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I have been detached from my regi- 
ment, and am now at General Porter's headquarters on 
the above-mentioned hill. I am occupying for a day or 
two Lieutenant Monteith's tent, he being absent in 
Washington, and am not quite settled yet. I shall make 
preparations to stay here for a fortnight at least, as we 
cannot advance before that time, and hardly under a 
month's time. General Porter has not yet returned, but 
will be here to-morrow evening. All his staff whom I have 
seen are pleasant fellows and are quite kind to me. The 
Assistant Adjutant-General, Captain Locke from New 
York, is a very polite, gentlemanly fellow, and Is a smart 
business man. Lieutenant Batchelder is quite pleasant, 
and Lieutenant McQuade seems to be the same, although 
I have not seen much of him. 

My tent was pitched this afternoon in the midst of a 
driving snow-storm, and I shall not occupy it till I receive 
some boards to make a floor, and a stove, both of which 
I must beg in Washington. It will be quite a comfortable 
tent when I shall have fixed it up a little. I have not dis- 
covered any superfluous article yet which I have brought 
out here. I am only sorry I did not buy me a bedstead 
and cork mattress, which I shall have to get. My buffalo 
robe is the best thing I have. I could not have got along 
without it, and I thank my stars every night that I 
have such a comfortable robe. 

General Porter every one says is extremely simple in 
his way of living, etc., which I am glad to find out, as it 
will save me a great deal of expense. Hautville, who is 
on Banks's staff, told me that it would cost me from 
$45 to $50 a month to live, but I hope to find that he is 
mistaken. 

James gets on quite well, although somewhat slow in 



50 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

his ways. In a week or two I shall have him in good trim, 
and shall make him quite a good servant. He is somewhat 
inclined to grumble, but not much so, and this too I shall 
stop. He seems to take good care of my horse, and on the 
whole I like him quite well. If he does not suit me I shall 
discharge him and send on for Tom. 

The weather is stormy again, and no prospect of clear- 
ing off. Sunday was the first day the sun had made its 
appearance for i8 days. We had a regular New England 
snow-storm to-day, but now it seems inclined to change 
to sleet. 

When Colonel Barnes handed me my order to report 
here, he said he would like me to come over and drill 
with his regiment whenever I could, and I shall do so, as 
I think it will be a good thing for me. He was very 
kind and pleasant to me all the time I was there. I am in 
first-rate health and have no doubt but that I shall con- 
tinue so. 

Tuesday, February 4. — I have been busy all day fix- 
ing my tent, and am quite comfortable now. Went to 
ride over the country, and caught 7 men stealing fences. 
Tom Sherwin ^ was with me. Had quite a pleasant time. 

Wednesday, February 5. — I tried my hand at aide-de- 
camp duty for the first time, to-day. General Martindale ^ 
had a brigade drill, at which I was present as aide to the 
general. The day was a glorious one, and the ground, 
having been frozen during the night, was in pretty fair 
condition. As it w^as the first time I had tried my horse, 
I felt somewhat nervous about riding, expecting to be 
thrown from him. I got along very well, however, al- 
though the horse seemed inclined to shy at anything he 

' My college classmate and chum; afterward general. 
- General John H. Martindale. 











"HU^u^ ^t^^'--^' 



STEPHEN M. WELD 51 

saw. He stood the firing very well, not moving an inch. 
The troops went through the various evolutions very 
well, and as it was the first time I had ever seen a brigade 
drill, I was very much interested in it. The drill lasted 
about two hours, beginning at 1 1. I met Charles J. Mills ^ 
on the parade ground, much to my astonishment. He 
came from Washington. We drove over to see Tom 
Sherwin, and from there went to the i8th Massachusetts, 
my regiment. Charles dined with me, and started for 
Washington as soon as dinner was over. I really enjoyed 
his visit very much, it is so pleasant to see an old familiar 
face out here. I have not yet had any feelings of home- 
sickness, and find camp life quite pleasant. I spoke to 
the brigade quartermaster to-day about getting me some 
flooring, etc. 

Hall's Hill, Feb. 5, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I have now got my tent all fixed ex- 
cept the floor, which will be put down as soon as I can get 
the lumber. The mud inside having mostly dried up, I 
have placed pine twigs on the ground and am getting on 
quite comfortably. I have just bought me a camp-stove, 
my former one being a borrowed article, and have fixed 
me a table, hat-tree (so-called at home), and a place to put 
my saddle. Of course these articles of furniture are some- 
what rudely constructed and would not bear comparison 
with any of your tenant's manufacture, but still they 
answer my purpose as well as any mahogany articles 
would. My hat-tree is a young savin tree, with the 
branches cut off short, and the tree fastened to one of my 
tent-poles. The table is made of the top of my saddle- 
box placed upon three sticks driven into the ground and 
crossed so as to form an inverted tripod. It is somewhat 

1 Afterwards adjutant in my regiment; my classmate, and one of my 
dearest friends. 



52 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

shaky as the top is not yet fastened on, it being con- 
venient at times to remove it to make more room. It is 
wonderful how many conveniences one can always find 
about him, if he only has to do so. I find no difficulty in 
keeping my tent warm, except at night, when it gets 
somewhat chilly after the fire has gone out. 

I suppose it will interest you to learn how I spend my 
time. We are quite fashionable in our hours. Breakfast 
is upon the table about 9 o'clock. There is nothing to be 
done before that time. Then on a pleasant day there is 
some brigade drill, which begins at 10 and lasts till about 
one. After that I ride round to the different camps and 
see my friends. Then we dine at 4.30, having only two 
meals a day. For breakfast we have some kind of meat 
and bread, coffee and tea. For dinner, meat, at times 
soup, and at times pudding, and always cofTee. To-day 
General Martindale had a brigade drill, and I went w^th 
him to learn my duties as far as possible. They consist 
in carrying orders to the different colonels. The day was 
a splendid one overhead and pretty fair under foot, as 
the ground was frozen last night. The drill was quite a 
success as far as the infantry and artillery were con- 
cerned, but I cannot say as much for the cavalry, though 
the squadron we had was quite an inferior one. The in- 
fantry were all in line, with pieces of artillery (Martin's) 
between the regiments.. The cavalry were ordered to 
charge down the line, and such a sight I never saw be- 
fore. No two men were in line, and the ridiculous appear- 
ance these small bands of stragglers made excited every 
one's laughter. I was within twenty feet of the cannon 
when they were fired, and was surprised to find that my 
horse did not move an inch. The musketry fire did not 
seem to disturb him either, and so far I am entirely 
pleased with him, except that he interferes behind. I 



STEPHEN M. WELD 53 

have him shod differently, and hope it will remedy the 
trouble. If it does not, I shall have to get him an inter- 
fering strap. This drill is the first I have been to, and 
when General Porter returns I suppose he will assign 
me some other duties beside attending drills. 

My time has been well taken up fixing my tent, and 
will be for a day or two. In the evening I write letters 
or read the newspapers which we receive every morning. 
I get a New York paper here the morning after it is pub- 
lished. They are brought here by boys from Washing- 
ton who have regular passes allowing them to come. . . . 

General Porter will not be here till to-morrow morn- 
ing. ... 

I find camp life agrees with me and I with it. I like 
it very much indeed. . . . 

Thursday, February 6. — Stormy again to-day. General 
Porter came out here from Washington, and was quite 
kind and pleasant to me when I was introduced to him. 
He is quite a good-looking man, and I should judge a 
very pleasant one. My tent gradually begins to assume 
the comfortable look which some of the other tents have. 
All I need to m.ake it perfectly comfortable is a floor, 
and this I hope to have by to-morrow night. 

Friday, February 7. — Day cloudy. A fair sample of 
most of our weather when not actually stormy. I rode 
over to the 22d Massachusetts, and saw Tom [Sherwin] 
and Dr. Prince. In the afternoon rode over to Miner's 
Hill with the general and staff. [Nathan] Appleton and 
Shattuck were here to-day. Tom Sherwin came over in 
the evening. 

Saturday, February 8. — Wrote an account of a court- 
martial for Captain Locke. Morning, snowed slightly, 
cloudy the remainder of the day. Nothing of interest 



54 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

happened. Captain McHarg, brigade quartermaster, 
said that General Porter would not allow him to get me 
any flooring. I can't conceive why he should do so, but 
I suppose for some good reason. 

Hall's Hill, Va., Feb. 8, 1862. 

Dear Mother, — I am now safely fixed in my tent 
on this hill. The tent is as warm as our parlor and can 
if necessary be heated to a much higher temperature. 
I have kept a good fire going all the time in order to dry 
the ground and get the dampness out. It is now com- 
paratively dry, considering what it was when the tent 
was first pitched. The ground then was a perfect mud 
hole, but now is quite decent. For a flooring I have savin 
boughs, and I intended to have a plank, or rather board 
flooring put down, but General Porter would not allow 
me to get one, saying that we should be here so little 
while that it would not be worth while to get one. By 
the way, please tell Father of this remark that General 
Porter made at dinner to-day. After reading the account 
of the taking of Fort Henry he said that now, unless some 
terrible blunder was made, we were sure of beating them, 
i.e. rebels, everywhere we met them. He is not a man 
who talks much, and reminds me of Uncle Oliver in that 
respect. One can rely on what General Porter says. He 
is very kind and pleasant to me and every one, but 
I should not like to do anything he did not like, for I 
guess any one who did so would catch a blessing. He is 
not quick-tempered or anything of that kind, but he has 
an eye that shows some determination. He is a very 
handsome man, and reminds me of Tutor Gurney, but 
without Gurney's projecting under jaw, and with dark- 
colored beard and whiskers pretty closely cut. . . . 

The country round here is pretty desolate looking. As 



STEPHEN M. WELD 55 

fast as the army advances down go the trees, and soon 
they disappear in the stoves of the different camps. 

There is any amount of quail and rabbits out here, 
and when I get a good opportunity I shall shoot some of 
them. 

General Porter asked me about my brothers and sisters 
the other day. He asked me if I was the eldest, as he said 
there was a baby there when he left, about two or three 
months old. 

Please tell Aunt Eliza that as far as I can find out the 
soldiers are well provided with everything and do not 
need anymore mittens. Stockings are always welcome, as 
they wear out easily owing to the feet slipping so in the 
mud. In regard to the stockings being ribbed or not, it 
does not make much difference. I delivered the mittens 
and socks to the men in my company which is now fully 
provided. Tell her that her socks are a great comfort to 
me, being so soft. 

There is not much war news here. Our pickets cap- 
tured 14 rebels the other day and one 4-horse wagon. It 
is really impossible to realize that we are so near the 
enemy. In fact, one never can realize it, unless he gets 
into a skirmish or fight with them. 

We have some fine bands here, and it is quite pleasant 
to hear them play, it being almost the only amusement 
our soldiers have. The men are all drilling in target 
practice now and the best shots receive prizes. 

Sunday, February 9. — Nothing of any special in- 
terest happened. Received a letter from George Weld 
enclosing draft. 

Monday, February 10. — Nothing of any special in- 
terest happened. Went to Washington and drew draft, 
etc. Saw Judge Washburn.^ 

1 Hon. Emory Washburn, afterwards governor of Massachusetts. 



56 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Tuesday, February ii. — Stormy and snowing. Tele- 
graphed to Judge Washburn that I should be happy to 
see him out here to-morrow. 

Thursday, February 13. — Judge Washburn and lady 
came out here to-day, and met with a very kind reception 
from the general and staff. They took lunch here, and 
seemed to enjoy themselves very much. Generals Martin- 
dale and Butterfield ^ were present, and also Judge Davis 
of New York. We had quite a jolly time. Saw Dr. Prince 
of the 22d Massachusetts this evening. Sent a valentine 
to Edith.2 

Friday^ February 14. — St. Valentine's Day, I believe. 
Nary val. for the "poor soldier." Such is life. The day 
was a beautiful one, and reminded one of spring. Towards 
evening, however, it began to grow cold and chilly. A 
large force under General [George W.] Morell made a 
reconnoissance beyond Vienna, and as far as Hunter's 
Mill. No enemy was seen except a few pickets. It was 
made because intelligence was brought that a regiment 
of cavalry had been seen around there for a day or two. 

Saturday, February 15. — Snowy to-day. General 
Butterfield gave a dinner-party to all the generals in the 
division and to the French and Russian Ministers, etc. 
I had a short visit this afternoon from Tom Sherwin and 
Cousins. I received a pleasant note from Bill Perkins. 
I read up on skirmishing this morning. 

Sunday, February 16. — Snow-storm. Went down to 
the 22d this evening with Tom Sherwin, who dined with 
us to-day. 

Monday, February ly. — A most delightful day in 
some respects, although cloudy and rainy. We received 
the cheering news from Tennessee of our success there. ^ 

* General Daniel Butterfield. ^ Edith Weld, my sister. 

3 The capture of Forts Henry and Donelson. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 57 

The general Instantly dispatched messengers, or rather 
orderlies, to the different brigadiers under his command, 
and ordered them to call out their respective brigades, and 
read them the "glorious news." The order was obeyed, 
and such cheers I never heard before. The men were 
delighted, and received in honor of the event a ration of 
whiskey. General Porter was extremely pleased, and had 
several colonels in his tent, to whom he gave whiskey, 
etc. I unfortunately could not drink, but I made up for 
it in wishing. We also heard that Savannah had been 
taken, but whether this was true or not, I am unable to 
say. We had Captain Allen of the 5th Massachusetts 
Battery here to dinner, and as far as I could judge he was 
a very gentlemanly person. I received a letter from Alice ^ 
to-day, extremely well written both as to the handwriting 
and mental part. Her letters will bear reading twice. 

Hall's Hill, Va., Feb. 17, 1862. 

Dear Father, — At noon to-day we received a tele- 
gram from Washington telling us of the glorious news in 
Tennessee, and the capture of so many troops as prisoners. 
General Porter immediately sent word to all the brigadier 
generals under his command to have their brigades out, 
and inform them of our success. The order was imme- 
diately obeyed, and such cheering was never heard before. 
All the batteries fired salutes and the bands played, and 
altogether a more exciting scene could not be imagined. 
General Porter is delighted, of course, and immediately 
informed the different colonels that they might, if they 
wished, issue a ration of whiskey to the men. I was in his 
tent with several officers, and heard some very interest- 
ing conversation. The general said that we should be in 
Richmond within six weeks, unless the rebels laid down 

1 My sister, Alice B. Weld. 



58 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

their arms before that time. He also said that McClellan 
meant that Burnside, Buell, and Halleck should all strike 
at once, and that the delay to Burnside's expedition was 
providential, as Buell was delayed by the state of the 
roads, and Halleck by various matters. But the delay of 
Burnside caused them all to act together, though of 
course there was no communication held between these 
different commanders, and their acting in concert was 
in the end purely accidental. General Porter thinks that 
now Columbus must fall. He also thinks that the rebels 
will not give up until they are whipped at Manassas, so 
you see, I am glad to say, that we stand a fair chance of 
having a battle before the war is over. It would be too 
provoking not to have any fighting at all, and the only 
thing which would make our soldiers cheer louder than 
they did to-day would be an order to advance. 

My horse seems to be getting on rather better than he 
did at first. He is in better spirits than when we first 
came here, and will I dare say turn out quite a good ani- 
mal after he has recovered from the effects of his jour- 
ney and gets well acclimated. James makes a very good 
servant and I am entirely satisfied with him. 

It is now raining heavily here, and is decidedly un- 
pleasant, but I am as comfortable in my tent as in my 
room at home. I keep a good fire going all the time, and 
so manage to keep the ground dry as a floor. I made 
James split some logs and make a floor to put myl^ed on, 
and the rest of my tent floor is composed of small savin 
boughs. My saddle-box I have made into a washstand 
and bureau, and a borrowed box furnishes me with a ta- 
ble. These things, together with two camp stools, com- 
plete the furniture of my establishment. 

I am perfectly well out here and enjoy the life very 
much. All the staff are gentlemen and are very kind to 



STEPHEN M. WELD 59 

me. General Porter also is kind to me, and lets me do 
anything I wish to do. I am careful of course not to abuse 
the privileges I have and hope soon to make myself as 
perfect as possible in all my duties I may have to per- 
form. 

I am trying to get a possum to send home as a present 
to Henry and some day you may see one coming. . . . 

Tuesday, February i8. — Rode over to Miner's Hill 
with the general and saw some target practice by GriflEin 
and Weeden's batteries. Morning cloudy, but cleared at 
noon, and cloudy again at night. Received a long letter 
from Hannah,^ and answered it. 

Hall's Hill, Va., Feb. i8, 1862. 

Dear Hannah, — ... I went with General Porter 
to Miner's Hill to-day, and saw and I must say also heard, 
some cannon firing. One gun from Griffin's Battery, 
Regular Army, and one from Weeden's Battery (R. I.) 
came out to practise before the general. The firing was 
quite successful. My horse was a little uneasy, but no 
more so than any of the others. You ought to hear those 
shells scream when they fly through the air. I feel certain 
I should bob my head if I heard one coming towards me. 
You have no idea what a fiendish noise they make. It is 
just like a locomotive going by one like a lightning flash, 
screaming with its shrillest whistle all the time. 

I am going to a staff supper to-morrow night, or rather 
to a supper given by General Martindale's staff to our 
staff. I anticipate a very pleasant time and will give you 
a report of it soon. 

I was just speaking to you about Griffin's Battery. 
You know he was at Bull Run and lost his battery, 

1 Hannah M. Weld, my sister. 



6o WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

through the want of military knowledge of other parties, 
who ordered him within musket range of the enemy with- 
out supporting him by sufficient infantry. The battle was 
in a great measure lost to us by General Barry, who 
rode up to Griffin, who had his guns loaded with grape, 
and told him not to fire upon some regiments which were 
marching in front of him, saying that they were our 
side. Griffin knew better and could have cut them all to 
pieces, if it had not been for this order of General Barry, 
whom he was obliged to obey. It turned out afterwards 
that these troops were Johnston's just arrived from Win- 
chester. Griffin would have driven them from the field 
if it had not been for General Barry. 

In regard to these things which I have written home 
about any military matters or opinions, of course you all 
understand that they must not go too far from home, for 
I might get myself into trouble if they did. . . . 

General Porter said (that's the formula I begin all 
military news with) the other day that Colonel Gorman, 
— I think that is his name, — who took command after 
Stone ^ left, did not think Stone guilty. When General 
Porter heard of Stone's arrest he felt pretty badly, but 
did not say much, evidently being afraid that some of the 
charges were true. I have heard him express no opinion 
about the matter lately. 

We are enjoying a beautiful serenade now, and you 
can imagine me writing amid the most beautiful strains 
of music, and enjoying it very much, I can tell you. 

I give you below a sketch of the inside of my tent, taken 
by Darley. Tent supposed to be transparent. 

1. Lieut. Weld at his table 

2. Saddle 

^ Charles P. Stone, who afterwards held high military office under the 
Egyptian government. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 6i 

3. Bedstead 

4. Stove and wood piled round it 

5. Trunk 

6. Wash-stand 

7. Pole used as a hat-tree, with various things hung upon it, 
— coat, holsters, towel, clothes-brush. The other things hang- 
ing there represent sticks with a crook, instead of nails. 

I think Darley sketches pretty well, don't you? 

I was sorry to hear from General this evening 

that General Grant in Tennessee is not to be depended 
upon. He is a man of great energy and a laborious worker, 
but the general says that he cannot be depended upon. 
Heis just as likely to be drunk in the gutter as to be sober. 
I am therefore sorry that he is to be made a major general. 
If it were not for Buell, the general says that he would be 
licked in Tennessee. Let me caution you all again not to 
let anything I write go too far, as it is not meant to be 
spread around and might get me into trouble if it does 
get around. . . . 

Wednesday, February 19. — A stormy day. In the 
evening we went to a supper given by General Martin- 
dale's staff. It was really a very fine supper, especially 
for a camp one. They had a handsome bill of fare, with 
gilt, etc., and quite a handsome-looking table. The 
chandelier for the occasion was made of bayonets fastened 
on to a wooden circle, and in the end of the bayonet 
where it fastens onto the gun, were placed the candles. 
There were two of these circles, one above the other, pro- 
ducing a gay-and-festive-looking object. The festivities 
were kept up until twelve. Speeches and toasts were 
given and responded to with much enthusiasm, and 
songs, etc., made the evening pass quite pleasantly. 

Thursday, February 20. — I went to Washington to- 



62 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

day in an ambulance, with Sam and Michael and one of 
the telegraph operators. We went on the corduroy road, 
and such riding I never felt in my life before, the wagon 
creaking and shaking in every joint, and I myself feeling 
as if I were doing the same. Up two or three feet in the 
air at one moment, and down again the next. Driving in 
the mud compared with it is like the difTerence between 
riding in a carriage and in a tip-cart. I went in to get 
some things for Captain Norton,^ and to have my photo- 
graph taken. I think I have a very good proof, but shall 
not get it till Monday. The day was chilly, and a blanket 
thrown over my knees was a welcome protection. When 
I came out here I found that General McClellan and staff 
had been here, and in fact were here, for I reached camp 
just in time to see them mount and ride off. I am sorry 
I was not here, as I should have liked to be introduced 
to McClellan. I had a small tent placed before mine as 
an entrance. Quite an improvement. 

Friday, February 21. — Nothing new to-day. Pleasant 
weather. My tent is much improved by having the sad- 
dle put in the outer tent, and my table put in the corner. 
It gives me twice as much room as before. 

Saturday, February 22. — Washington's Birthday was 
appropriately celebrated by firing salutes, and by the 
parade of the different regiments, and the reading of 
Washington's Farewell Address before them. The day 
was not favorable for any extensive preparations, it be- 
ing rainy most of the time. I walked out into the woods 
about half a mile from the camps, and practised with my 
pistol, making some pretty fair shots considering the lit- 
tle practice I have had. I am reviewing Hardee and 
last night got as far as "School of the Battalion." I find, 

1 Our division quartermaster. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 63 

however, that reading The Cloister and the Hearth is much 
more entertaining. 

Sunday, February 23. — Day cloudy and misty as 
usual. This morning I found that my horse had the 
scratches. I am sorry for it, as I shall not be able to use 
him for some days. Captain Allen and Lieutenant 
Phillips ^ were here this evening to visit me. I bet a box 
of cigars with Martindale that we should not leave here 
within a week from to-day. 

Monday, February 24. — We had a very strong wind 
to-day, at times amounting to a hurricane, blowing over 
trees and tents promiscuously. My tent luckily did not 
blow over. My horse narrowly escaped being crushed to 
death in his stall by the falling of the stable. Almost 
all the tents in the regiments around here were blown 
down. General Porter went away. 

Tuesday, February 25. — Wind moderated, and day 
pleasant. Went up to General Morell's to see a flag-pre- 
sentation, but got tired waiting and so rode home with 
Tom Sherwin. Got our new cook to-day. 

Wednesday, February 26. — Morning and most of the 
afternoon pleasant, but just as I came in from brigade 
drill under General Martindale, it began to rain. Found 
the general at home, and busy writing orders for our 
starting. If it does not rain too much we shall start to- 
morrow, I think. I am getting my things ready. Re- 
ceived some of my photographs from Washington to-day. 
They are the best I ever had taken. 

Thursday, February 2"]. — We were waiting in anxious 
expectation all day for our orders to march, but no such 
orders came. We heard that Banks had crossed the 
Potomac below Harper's Ferry, and I found that if we 
marched, we were to go to Washington, from there up the 

1 Charles A. Phillips, my classmate. 



64 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

river as far as possible by rail, and then march to Win- 
chester. Our sick were all taken to Washington. John 
Ropes ^ was out here to see me, and brought me a small 
package of medicine from Uncle Doctor.^ I was glad 
to see him, and went with him to the 83d Pennsylvania, 
22d Massachusetts, and i8th Massachusetts. 

Friday, February 28. — Our orders to be ready to 
march were countermanded to-day. Nothing new. 

Saturday, March i. — Mr. Foote, a brother-in-law of 
the general's, came out to-day to spend a few days. We 
had a very pleasant day, and very like spring. 

Sunday, March 2. — I went with the general and Mr. 
Foote to Stockton's regiment, where we saw them in- 
spected. W^e then went to Colonel Averell's,^ where we 
had a lunch ; then to Forts Woodbury and De Kalb, and 
from there home. A little while before we started for 
home, it began to snow furiously, and by the time we 
reached there, the snow was some two inches deep. 

Monday, March 3. — I rode into Washington with the 
general, and General Butterfield. I drew my pay for a 
month, amounting to $102.50. We stopped at McClel- 
lan's headquarters, where I found that all the generals 
of division of the Army of the Potomac were assembled. 
I left the general, and came out here on a full gallop to 
test my horse's powers of endurance, and I was well 
pleased with them. I paid Monteith $14.86 for my mess- 
bill, and my servant James $17.56 for wages up to 
March i. 

Hall's Hill, Va., March 3, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I infer from your last letter, in which 
you say that I have not written you how I was received 

1 John C. Ropes, Harvard 1857. 

2 My uncle, Christopher Minot Weld. 

^ William W. Averell, of the cavalry, afterwards brevet major general. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 65 

by General Porter, that you have not received all my let- 
ters. In letters written to Hannah and others of the fam- 
ily, I have mentioned several times that I liked General 
P. very much, and that he received me very kindly, etc. 
You know that when I came here first the general was 
not here, and he did not return for some days. When he 
did come I was introduced to him by Captain Locke, and 
was warmly welcomed by him. I gave him your letter, 
which he read. He asked how you were, and has since told 
me that he had been meaning to send you a photograph 
of his. He also wished me to remember him to you. He 
advised me to drill with my regiment whenever it was 
practicable, and to go out with General Martindale on his 
brigade drills. My regiment have had no battalion drills 
since I have been out here, on account of the mud. They 
have had bayonet drills under sergeants, and target 
practice, at neither of which I could attend as an officer. 
I have been over there some five or six times, and when 
I go, always stop and see my captain and lieutenant and 
some other officers. My captain's name is Thomas, a 
regular Yankee, with the nasal twang, sharp and smart, 
and a very pleasant man, although not remarkably well 
educated. He is from Roxbury, and used to be connected 
with the iron foundry in R. just by the tannery, and 
where our old man Michael used to work. My first lieu- 
tenant is named Howes, and is from New Bedford, where 
he was a boat-builder. I should say that he and Captain 
Thomas were about 45 years old. Lieutenant Howes is a 
smart officer and an agreeable man. I don't know any of 
my privates, but hope to soon. My company is D, and is 
one of the best in the regiment. It has the right of the 
line. . . . 

I see Tom Sherwin two or three times a week, and often 
ride with him. I can't ride as often as I would like, as my 



66 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

horse has the scratches and the mud increases them and 
makes them worse. You ask about one other person, 
beginning with C, but I can't make out the rest of the 
name. I see Colonel Griswold quite often, and am quite 
intimate with him and Tom Sherwin. I also know Lieu- 
tenant Martindale quite well, a son of the general's and 
one of his aides. 

I have hardly made up my mind about the horse yet. 
I have had no chance to try him fairly. I think, however, 
he has good powers of endurance and will stand hard- 
ships well. I believe I can stick on him as long as he can 
run. I took him out yesterday to go with the general to 
the different camps to inspection. He had not been out 
for some days, and so thought he could have it all his own 
way. He raced round the field through bogs and ditches, 
and brambles, etc., kicking and rearing, etc., but all to no 
purpose. I clung on and ran him round until he got tired 
of the business. To-day I went to Washington with the 
general, and rode him (horse, not general) very fast 
all the way. When I got in there we went to General 
McClellan's headquarters and I left him out in the rain 
and mud for three or four hours, not knowing the general 
would stay so long, or else I should have put him in a 
stable. I then galloped him almost all the way out here 
through mud-holes and mud-ponds, etc., and on arriv- 
ing here found that he was not tired or blowing at all. 
I think it is a pretty good test for him. 

Look out for news soon. All the division commanders 
of the Army of the Potomac were at headquarters to-day, 
and it was to meet them that General Porter came in 
town. There were some twelve generals there. General 
McClellan was not there, being, I think, with Banks's 
column. I should judge that we were going to advance 
down from Harper's Ferry from some such indications. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 67 

I hear that the Regulars are all under marching orders. 
I left General Porter in Washington, he saying that this 
meeting would keep him till midnight. The generals had 
a large quantity of maps, etc., spread out on a table, and 
were all figuring over them. I got the general some of his 
photographs, drew a check for him, and then started for 
camp. 

Yesterday I went with the general to see Stockton's 
Michigan regiment reviewed, and from there went down 
to the cavalry camps, where we lunched, and then went 
over Forts Woodbury and De Kalb, both of them small 
earthworks. It began to snow just as we started for 
home, and by the time we reached here the snow was 
some two inches deep. A heavy rain has set in to-day, 
however, and I hope soon to find it all gone and the roads 
in good condition. Our orders to be ready at any minute 
to march were countermanded a day or two ago, probably 
because Banks had no opposition offered him. . . . 

We are to have a son of Colonel Barnes here as volun- 
teer aide with rank of captain. He is a good-looking 
gentlemanly fellow, a lawyer by profession in New York, 
and will be quite an acquisition to the staff. 

I received an invitation to Miss Chase's ^ reception to- 
morrow from I till 4, through General Butterfield, who 
was kind enough to send it to me. I think I shall make 
my "debut" in Washington society, as General Porter 
is going and kindly offered to have me go with him. 

Tell the girls I have cut off my magnificent moustache 
and beard because they did not grow fast enough. How 
do you like my last photographs? 

I forgot to mention that General Martindale's head- 
quarters are within 30 feet of General Porter's, so that 

1 Miss Kate Chase, daughter of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase; after- 
wards famous as the wife of Senator William Sprague of Rhode Island. 



68 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I should see as much as ever of my present staff. General 
M. is one of P.'s brigadier generals. . . . 

Tuesday, March 4. — I found that my horse had cast 
a shoe yesterday, so that I was obliged to have one put 
on this morning by the farrier at Martin's Battery. 
General Porter returned this morning from Washington. 
I received an invitation from General Butterfield yes- 
terday to attend Miss Chase's reception, but as General 
Porter did not go, I thought it hardly worth the while. 
James went to Washington to-day, and bought himself 
a pair of boots, etc. 

Hall's Hill, Va., March 9, 1862. 

Dear Father, — We start certainly to-morrow at 
six A.M., and advance directly to Centreville. Our division 
proceeds to Fairfax Court House by the "dirt road." 
Colonel Averell with a regiment of infantry and two of 
cavalry pushes a reconnoissance beyond Centreville, 
supported by McDowell and Heintzelman in reserve. 
I shall let you know the result of any encounter which 
may take place as soon as possible. All the rest of the 
divisions move on by different routes into Virginia. I 
have just copied the order of the routes for the different 
divisions and so speak from what I know to be true. 

Theodore Colburn is here from Cambridge. He will 
spend the night here and can probably give you an ac- 
count of our departure. . . . 

P.S. We shall have no fighting at Manassas, so I hear. 
The rebels are evacuating it. 

McCl. is a failure. Don't say a word about this to any 
one as it would bring me into trouble, but still I know it 
to be a fact. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 69 

Fairfax Court House, March 10, 1862. 

Dear Father, — Safe in the former headquarters of 
General Beauregard in the house of Dr. Gunnell, once a 
physician here but now a surgeon in the rebel army. 
The house, now General Porter's headquarters, is one of 
the best in this town, being built of brick and being two 
and a half stories in height. It stands back from the road 
some 300 feet, and has a straight avenue leading to it, 
with medium-sized trees planted on each side. Still it has 
the true Southern look about it, viz., the air of neglect, 
of something wanting to complete the estate, as if the 
owner had begun with the idea of making a fine place and 
had been stopped short for want of funds. The fences 
round the place are of the most common kind, such as we 
see in our pastures. What adds to the air of shiftlessness 
is a sow with a litter of a dozen pigs rooting around the 
trees and in what used to be a garden. She threatened to 
bite me to-day when I went too near her young ones, and 
worked upon my fears so much that I put my hand on 
my pistol to shoot her, but she fortunately retreated. She 
was a fierce and ugly creature. I offered James a quarter 
to catch me one of the young ones, as I wanted to see 
the sow run at him, but he thought it was safer to let 
them alone. I tried to get General Porter to let me have 
one killed for dinner, but he would not. You can tell 
when you arrive in a Southern city by seeing pigs and 
cattle running round in the streets. I have found it so in 
Washington and Georgetown. 

I got about three hours' sleep last night, being occupied 
in packing, and writing for the general most of the time. 
We had breakfast at 5 and started about 8 o'clock on our 
advance. We reached here about 12, having a pouring 
rain most of the way, from which I was well protected 
by my rubber coat, and cap-cover which you bought me, 



70 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

and which I now prize highly, I did not get a particle of 
my clothing damp or moist. My horse I think a great 
deal of. He has great powers of endurance, and was not 
in the slightest degree tired when we reached here, al- 
though I carried more on his back than any of the other 
officers. I begin to think that it was a good plan having 
him shaved. A few minutes after the rain was over he 
was as dry as when he started, while the other horses 
were wet and steaming. Nothing of any importance hap- 
pened on the way, no rebels being seen, as they evacuated 
the place yesterday. Colonel Averell we found here on 
our arrival, he having started early in the morning. He 
left soon after with McDowell's division for Centreville, 
which place he has reached without finding any enemy, 
and he is now pushing on to Manassas, which he will reach 
to-night. The enemy have evacuated that place too, and 
where they have gone no one knows. I think that McClel- 
lan had a hint from Lincoln that unless he did something 
within a few days his course would come to an end, and 
hence his speedy advance. We (P.'s division) shall prob- 
ably remain here a day or two. McClellan has taken 
up his headquarters at this place, a few houses distant 
from us. 

My room here is a large pleasant one, with a big open 
fireplace, in which I have some enormous logs burning, 
casting a very pleasant light over the apartment. It is 
occupied by Batchelder, McQuade and myself. I have my 
buffalo-robe blanket, and canvas bag filled with changes 
of clothing, etc., with me, and can get along quite com- 
fortably with my present conveniences for three or four 
weeks. My trunk I left at camp in charge of one of the 
clerks who stays there with the guard. 

As we approached Fairfax we found slight earthworks 
which had been hastily thrown up by the rebels some 



STEPHEN M. WELD 71 

time ago, commanding all the country round the town, 
for some distance. They don't amount to anything and 
were probably occupied by the rebel pickets some time 
ago. On entering the town we struck the turnpike, which 
is quite a decent road, and which forms the principal 
street of the town. The Court House is situated on it 
and is an old-fashioned brick building with a portico in 
front. We should call this a small village in Massachu- 
setts, but here it is quite a city in the estimation of the 
F.F. V.'s. 

I copied a report for Hendricks of the New York Herald 
this afternoon which you will probably see in to-morrow 
morning's N. Y. H. It was amusing to hear him "get 
off" the usual stereotyped phrases about the enthusiasm, 
alacrity, etc., of the soldiers, and then hear him say "big 
lie," etc., to each phrase. For instance, when he wrote 
about there being very few stragglers, I said I did n't 
agree with him as I thought there were a good many. 
"Oh, I know it," said he, "still I must write it so." That 
is just the way these newspaper reporters do. All the 
stories about fine drill, discipline, etc., we know to be un- 
true half of the time. Still, on this morning's march the 
soldiers did very well, as the roads were muddy and the 
travelling very heavy. 

The troops are all bivouacked to-night and some regi- 
ments have what are called shelter tents, — small low 
tents, accommodating three men, and equally distrib- 
uted among the three men on a march, each one carrying 
his share. 

I am so sleepy that I must end and ask you to excuse 
any deficiencies in the letter on account of my being so 
tired. 



72 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Fairfax Court House, March 13, 1862. 

Dear Father, — . . . The President's Proclamation ^ 
is liked very much by all the officers I have seen. 

I have got the box here, and daily tickle the palates of 
myself and brother officers with the different things you 
were kind enough to send me. I will see that the stockings 
go to the soldiers, etc. 

Coming in from Hall's Hill yesterday I was struck with 
the picturesque scene which I saw in the village. It was 
about half an hour from sundown, the air soft and balmy 
as could be, and resembling some of our delightful autumn 
or spring days. It was just the hour when the camps are 
busiest, and present their most lively appearance. First 
we came to a cavalry regiment with their horses fastened 
to a long rope stretched along parallel with the road, and 
eating their supper, neighing, biting and snapping at 
each other. On my right was an undulating space cleared 
of all trees and with some slight breastworks put up by 
the enemy. This large plain was covered with camps full 
of life and activity, soldiers marching to a review by 
McClellan, with bands playing and their colors flying, 
and a hum arising from those not yet in ranks. All this 
was delightful to me, but to one who is accustomed to it 
it loses its beauty in a great degree. Following this road 
till I came to the turnpike, I turned to the right, and came 
on a scene which I thought must resemble some European 
city. Here were all these old-fashioned houses, with 
queer windows and porches, guards before many of the 
doors, and soldiers in many cases sitting in the porches 
talking with the women of the house. The street was full 
of soldiers in every imaginable attitude, and in perform- 
ance of all sorts of duty. Here was the provost guard 
clearing the stragglers from the street, there a man with 

1 The special message urging " gradual emancipation " of the slaves. 




Zxt^ 



HiJ^ 








STEPHEN M. WELD 73 

two oxen who would go in opposite directions and he in 
despair, for no sooner would he get them straight than 
some band of soldiers would on their march come across 
his path, to the infinite delight of the by-standers. Then 
again all the soldiers would be talking in groups, which 
seemed quite picturesque from the variety of uniforms. 
Sutlers' wagons, ambulances, baggage trains and a large 
corral of cattle also appeared. I never was so well pleased 
with any such sight and would have given a great deal if 
I had been able to sketch it. 

What I wrote you about McClellan the other day was 
this. A cabinet meeting was held, so I heard, and an angry 
discussion took place, most of them at first being in favor 
of turning McClellan out altogether and putting McDow- 
ell in his place (in the Army of the Potomac), but on 
second thoughts they determined to confine McClellan's 
command to the Army of the Potomac. The President 
then told McClellan that he would be turned out if he 
did not advance, and hence this advance was made. 
This came from a source hostile to McClellan and I have 
good reason to think is exaggerated. The President I 
know ordered the advance, but I doubt if the whole of 
the story is correct. McClellan's plan was, I think, 
to go to Richmond by water, a much more practic- 
able, less expensive and quicker method of doing the 
business. It may be done so yet as there is no enemy to 
fight here, and to advance on Richmond with our large 
army will be an immense and tedious operation as all 
the bridges are destroyed and we shall have to wait for 
them to be rebuilt as we must depend on the railroad 
for all such things. 

I heard a curious story from Stedman, the World corre- 
spondent, to-day. Last summer, just after Bull Run, he 
dined at Centrevillc with a Dr. Grimsley. In reply to the 



74 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

doctor's question as to when he would be there again, he 
said in the course of a year. The doctor laughed at the 
idea and told him that it was nonsense, and it ended by 
their betting a supper on the result of the question. When 
Stedman entered the doctor's house at Centreville, which 
he did Tuesday, he found a note addressed to him, saying 
that he would find a dinner ready for him and four serv- 
ants to wait on him. The doctor said he had retired to 
the interior of the State. Sure enough, there was a dinner 
spread out for him, of turkey, sweet potatoes, etc., and 
four niggers to wait on him. They told him their mas- 
ter had cleared off and left directions for them to wait 
for Stedman and wait upon him. It 's strange what queer 
things turn up sometimes. I think we shall be here some 
days. . . . 

Friday, March 14. — We started for here last Monday 
morning, and have been here ever since. 

[This is as far as my diary goes at this time. W^e 
went from Alexandria to Fortress Monroe, and disem- 
barked there and began the so-called Peninsular Cam- 
paign, beginning with the attack on Yorktown. It was 
originally intended to approach Richmond by way of 
James River, but the presence of the rebel ram Merri- 
mac at Norfolk Navy Yard forced us to change our base 
to the York River. To get there we first had to capture 
Yorktown. As this was strongly defended, we had to lay 
siege to it, and just before the attack was made. General 
Magruder vacated it and our troops followed him up and 
fought a battle at Williamsburg. Then the base of sup- 
plies was transferred to White House on the York River, 
We marched from here up to Gaines's Mill and had our 
headquarters for some time at Dr. Gaines's house. While 



STEPHEN M. WELD 75 

here our corps went up and had a battle at Hanover Court 
House. I was just out of the hospital and did not go with 
the force, but was left in charge of the camp. 

While at Gaines's Mill we had regular daily routine, 
picket-drilling, looking after the men, and getting them 
into shape. The battle of Fair Oaks, in which our corps 
did not take part, was fought on the other side of the 
Chickahominy. We took turns in running the mess. The 
week it was my turn I went out with the headquarters 
wagon, with a negro driver and four horses, went to Old 
Church, left the main road there, and took a circuit which 
struck the main road again two or three miles farther on. 
On this circuit I went to various farmhouses and bought 
butter and eggs and chickens. With my wagon loaded 
with supplies, as I was driving towards the main road, on 
a curve, I saw an enormous amount of dust on the main 
road into which my road ran. I stopped the driver and 
told him to wait. I listened, then jumped out and crept 
along the wall by the side of the road and peeked through 
the crevices of the wall. To my horror, close to me I saw 
an immense body of rebel cavalry going full tilt towards 
our army. I crept back to the wagon, turned around and 
drove back, meaning to enter the main road ahead of the 
Confederates, as I hoped, and from there get back to 
camp. About half a mile ahead of where the road ran into 
the main road, I saw a battle going on, tents burning, and 
pretty lively times. I drove into the wood and fastened 
my horses to the trees and waited. 

At night things quieted down and I started across coun- 
try, and with the negro driver tramped until daylight, 
when I ran into one of our pickets. He halted me and I 
said who I w^as. He called the officer of the guard, and up 
came my classmate, Harry Winsor, of Rush's Lancers, 
a Pennsylvania regiment. I borrowed a horse of him and 



76 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

got home, much to General Porter's deHght, as he sup- 
posed I had been taken prisoner. The men I saw were 
General Stuart's^ Confederate cavalry, making the cele- 
brated raid around our army. This was the second time 
I had met my classmate Winsor. Once before, when I was 
out foraging, I was driving up to a substantial looking 
house where I afterwards found a Mrs. Brockenborough 
lived. A company of our cavalry was riding out of the 
avenue with a sheep at the head of every horse, and a 
bundle of corn-shucks behind each rider, turkeys and 
chickens, pigs and everything else, hanging from the 
saddles. Harry Winsor was commanding the squadron. 
He told me I would not find much left in the house, he 
thought. I went up to the house and there was Mrs. 
Brockenborough, and a madder lady I never saw in my 
life. I tried to buy some supplies, but she said nothing 
had been left her. 

I remember going with a message to General McClel- 
lan, while before Yorktown, and asking him to give me 
his autograph on one of his photographs, which he very 
kindly did. He was a charming man, and after knowing 
him, one could well understand why our troops had such 
immense confidence in him. Indeed I think he inspired 
more confidence than any general that ever came after 
him, although many who succeeded him undoubtedly 
had more push and go in them than he had. 

One of the most interesting things that happened while 
we were besieging Yorktown was an experience of General 
Porter's. He got up early one morning, at about half- 
past five or six, and went up in a balloon which was used 
by the army and was under the charge, I believe, of the 
aeronaut, Mr. Low. The balloon was held down by ropes, 
and our generals would go up a thousand feet or more and 

1 General J. E. B. ("Jeb") Stuart. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 77 

reconnoitre. Low had some trouble with his employees, 
and to revenge themselves they put acid on the rope. 
General Porter, all unconscious of what had been done, 
got into the balloon and went up to the extent of the 
length of the rope, when it parted where the acid had 
eaten it. I was not yet dressed when my orderly ran in 
and said, "General Porter's balloon has broken loose and 
he is sailing over us." I rushed out, and there, about a 
mile up in the sky, saw the balloon, with of course, as we 
all knew, General Porter in it. It sailed away over our 
heads, then off toward the enemies' tents as one current 
took it, then, as it entered another current, came back 
over our camp, where it rapidly descended. As General 
Porter afterwards told me, when he found the balloon 
had broken loose, he looked around for the ropes to pull 
the valve to let out the gas. He found to his dismay that 
they were tied six or eight feet up in the netting, away 
from the car. So all he could do was to climb up, while a 
mile up in the air, into this netting, get hold of the ropes, 
climb down into the car again, and then, when a current 
of wind took him over our camp, open the valves and 
pull on the ropes. This he did with all his vigor, and he 
came down, landing on a shelter tent, without being 
hurt or hurting any one else. He was a little overcome 
by the fumes of the gas, but that was all. 

I remember how gingerly we went into Yorktown the 
morning of the evacuation. There were several mines 
laid there, some of which exploded by contact. I was in 
momentary expectation of being blown up, but luckily no 
such bad luck befell me. 

Soon after the battle of Hanover Court House the army 
was in camp before Richmond, with half the force on one 
side of the Chickahominy and half on the other. Stone- 
wall Jackson attempted to come down and turn our right. 



78 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Meanwhile, the Merrimac having been destroyed by the 
Monitor, General McClellan thought it best to change 
his base from White House to the James River, at Har- 
rison's Landing, and the memorable Seven Days' fight 
took place. On the second day of the fight, at Gaines's 
Mill, General Porter sent me out with eight or ten cavalry- 
men to find General Meade, who was then in charge of 
the Pennsylvania Bucktails, and to ask him to report as 
soon as possible with his command. On the way out I 
came to the old camp at Gaines's Mill, where we had been 
for some time and which he had just left that morning. 

As I was crossing the bridge at the mill, I met Lieuten- 
ant Hayden,^ commanding a company of artillery in 
the regular service, who asked me where I was going. 
I told him I was going to try to find General Meade, and 
he said, "You won't find him on that road; all our forces 
are withdrawn." 

"Well," I said, "I was told to come out here and find 
him, and I am going to try to do it." 

I got out to the road leading to Gaines's house, just 
where our tents had been, and in a wood just about 
a couple of hundred yards away, I heard heavy firing. 
I posted my escort along the apple trees in the avenue, 
and went ahead to reconnoitre myself, a foolish and un- 
necessary proceeding. I got to the edge of the woods, and 
found them so thick that I had to dismount and fasten my 
horse. I came out of the thicket where I tied him, and 
twenty yards in front of me was a line of rebel skirmishers. 
I had on a cap without any U. S. on it, and I saw in a 
second that if I hesitated I would be shot, so I marched 
straight ahead ^ and asked a Confederate private where 

^ Lieutenant H.J. Hayden was my classmate in College and a dear friend. 
2 As soon as they saw me, they threw up their guns to shoot; but I 
marched right straight on as if nothing was the matter. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 79 

General Whiting was, General Whiting being a rebel 
genera! who, we had heard from rebel prisoner? cap- 
tured the night before comma ndf^d some of the troops 
in our front. 

He said, 'You Vi iii hnd liim m the rear," 

I man h- d right through the line of skirmishers, mak- 
ing up rn} mind that if I could get twenty or thirty yards 
away from them I would then scoot off to the right and 
get into the road where there was a stone wall, behind 
which I hoped to turn my back on them and get back to 
our lines. I had gone only a few feet before one of the of- 
ficers stopped me, saying, "Hold on, I think you had bet- 
ter come and see our major." 

I went up to him and said, " It is no use, I am a Union 
officer." 

He then took _^ with him on the skirmishing 

line, iintil Hayden began shelling us; soon a shell burst 
right over our heads. I told the major I did not care about 
being kilied by our own men. He then sent me to the 
rear, to Stonc^\ all Jackson. Jackson asked me some ques- 
tions which it was perfectly proper for me to answer, and 
then sent me to the rear, and I was taken, I think, to 
Bethesda Church, and during the day heard the most 
tremendous firing going on between Stonewall Jackson's 
forces and ourselves. Prisoners of ours kept coming in 
during the whole day, and it was not until the end of the 
day that Jackson was successful. General Porter always 
took the ground, and I think he was right, that if he could 
have been supported then with one or tw^o more divisions, 
he would have won a victory. 

From there I was sent to Richmond and put in the cele- 
brated T.i'tby Prison. I was kept here for about six v 
about t\\x» hundred of us being conlined in a room pci ^, 
150 feet long by 50 feet wide. I was then exchanged and 



8o WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

taken down to the James River with other officers, where 
I took a steamer and joined General Porter at Harrison's 
Landing. From there in a few days we took transports 
and went to Alexandria. The air was full of rumors 
about McClellan being superseded, etc. His forces, as 
fast as they reached Washington or Alexandria, were for- 
warded towards Manassas to join General Pope. We 
were landed at Aquia Creek and from there marched 
up to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, via Bealeton 
Station, to Manassas, to join General Pope. 

This campaign, which resulted in Porter's trial by 
court-martial and in his conviction of disobedience to or- 
ders and dismissal from the army, was most disastrous. 
Porter did all in his power to make the campaign a suc- 
cess and to aid Pope. General Pope was completely at a 
loss. He did not know where his men were, or where 
Jackson was; he was completely out-generalled from 
beginning to end. Without going into this controversy 
too much in detail, as the matter has already been settled 
by much more competent military authorities than I am, 
I will merely say here that throughout the whole of this 
campaign I never saw Porter more vigilant, or more de- 
termined to do his duty, or trying harder to bring success 
to our armies, than during this period. Lieutenant Mon- 
teith and I were the only aides he had, and therefore 
had unusual opportunities of seeing what was going on, 
and of knowing his feelings and what he was trying to do. 
As I have said, all this was amply confirmed by the second 
court, which convened some years afterwards, several of 
us having meanwhile made unceasing efforts to that end, 
and which I shall refer to later on. 

On the morning of August 30 we marched, by Pope's 
orders, from the vicinity of Manassas Junction, to join 
his army at Bull Run. On arriving there we reported to 



STEPHEN M. WELD 8i 

General Pope, and I remember General Kearny, General 
Heintzelman, and the other officers, talking together 
in the most disheartened state of mind, owing to the fact 
that General Pope seemed wholly at a loss what to do and 
what to think. He (Pope) said that he did not know where 
his own men were, or where Jackson was. General Porter 
later sent him one of our own men, who had been made 
a prisoner by the Confederates and escaped, who said 
the enemy were in full retreat. General Porter said he 
did not believe the man's story, but thought he ought to 
send him to Pope with all the information he had. General 
Pope sent back word that he believed the man's story, 
and that we were to attack at once and press the enemy 
with vigor, — which is a matter of history. 

We went into the woods where Sigel had been the day 
before disastrously defeated, going over the ground 
covered with dead bodies, and attempted to attack the 
enemy in a cut which had been excavated for a railroad 
which was to have been built but never had been finished. 
Here we met with a repulse, and on retreating we were 
attacked on our flank by Longstreet. He had followed us 
from the extreme left, taking the very course we had 
taken that morning. Where the road that we came on and 
that Longstreet came on joined the Centreville Pike, 
the fight was very hot towards dusk. General McDowell 
rode up to General Porter and said, "Porter, you ought 
to put in the Regulars here." — "I will do so," said Por- 
ter, "if you order me to." — "No," said McDowell, 
"I will not take the responsibility." Porter then said he 
would do it anyway. He put in the Regulars and checked 
Longstreet's advance. He was within tsvo or three hun- 
dred yards of the Pike, and if he had gained that, it would 
have meant a disastrous rout for our whole army.^ 

1 In the midst of the battle I was riding across an open field, with a few 



82 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

That night and the next day we marched towards 
Washington and received news that General McClellan 
had been put in command again. The effect was Hke 
magic on the whole army. Men who had been straggling 
along, blue and dispirited, fell into place in their ranks 
with new vigor and new life, and with renewed determina- 
tion and courage. 

From Centreville we went to Washington, and then 
marched up to the Antietam. At the battle of Antietam 
Porter's forces were held in reserve, and a large portion 
of them detached to various portions of the field, where 
their services were most needed during the day. I had 
the best chance to see a battle that I ever had in my life. 
On the right Hooker and Sumner would charge up 
through the corn-fields near Dunkirk Church, and you 
could see the black line of troops advance, and black dots 
dropping, dropping, dropping, until they got by the 
Church ; then they would be driven back, then advance 
again, like the waves of the sea. The firing was terrific. 
Burnside was ordered In the early part of the day by 
McClellan to cross the Antietam and take the Confeder- 
ates on their right flank, the idea being to get there 
before Jackson got up from Harper's Ferry. He did not 
succeed in getting across until Jackson had arrived, and 
too late to do any good.^ 

bushes in it, the shot and shell falling around me thick and fast, when I 
heard a squealing and quite a racket in a bush by my side. I looked, and 
there was a poor little rabbit, frightened most to death. He was screaming 
the way a hare does when it is wounded. 

This was the only battle in which I ever saw a cannon-ball coming towards 
me. It was a round shot, and I could see it coming through the air, strike 
the earth forty or fifty yards away from me, then bound along the ground 
and roll close by me. The horse I was riding was shot in the foot, so that 
later on he had to be killed. 

' The day after, I think it was, the enemy retreated across the Potomac. 
We followed through Sharpsburg. On getting to the banks of the Potomac, 
which were much higher than on the Virginia side, we saw a Confederate 



STEPHEN M. WELD 83 

Within a day or two a flag of truce came over, with a 
Confederate surgeon, to look after their wounded. He 
told us a curious story about General Toombs. He said 
that on the night of the battle of Antietam, General 
Toombs and his staff were sitting around a fire, when 
two cavalry men rode up and asked some questions, 
which were answered; then, suddenly drawing their pis- 
tols, they fired right into the crowd, shooting Toombs 
through the hand or the wrist. They then wheeled their 
horses and cleared out. The surgeon said they never cap- 
tured them and never could find out who they were. 

We waited at Antietam to recruit and get clothing and 
things for the troops. While there I went up once in a 
balloon attached to a rope. I went up about a thousand 
feet, and it was a most disagreeable sensation. 

One day President Lincoln came up to consult with 
McClellan and dined at our headquarters.^ That day I 
happened to be sent across the river on a flag of truce. 
I met General " Rooney " Lee^ on the other side of the 
Potomac, and delivered my letter, and while awaiting an 
answer, I talked with one of the aides, Captain Brocken- 
borough. He told me how near he came to capturing me 
at the time Stuart made his raid around the army.^ 

I got back to headquarters with my answer, the purport 
of which and the purport of my message I never knew. 
From here we crossed the Potomac and marched down 
through Virginia to near Warrenton, where General 

battery go into camp right under our noses. We quickly put a battery in 
position and shelled them out. 

1 President Lincoln told a story at our mess-table, which was very funny, 
but too broad to repeat here. 

2 W. H. F. Lee, General R. E. Lee's second son. 

3 He said he tried to get permission from General Stuart to take a squad- 
ron and go around on this road on which I was with my wagon, but that 
Stuart said it was too dangerous and there was not time to delay. If they 
had gone, they would have captured me. 



84 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

McCIellan was relieved again, and General Porter was 
summoned to Washington and relieved of his command 
and court-martialed. I staid with him until the court- 
martial was over, and then reported, in accordance with 
orders from the War Department,^ to Boston to await 
orders. There I waited for some time until I heard from 
General Butterfield that I was reported as absent with- 
out leave. He wrote me a friendly letter, saying I would 
get into trouble, as I was reported as absent without leave, 
if I did not return. I said I was only too anxious to re- 
turn but was awaiting orders in accordance with instruc- 
tions. I then tried to get on General John F. Reynolds's 
staff as an aide, and had the letter from him which is 
reproduced opposite. 

Finding that I could not get a position with him, I ap- 
plied to General Henry W. Benham and was assigned to 
duty with him. 

I have alluded in a previous page to the effort made by 
several of us to get a rehearing for General Fitz John 
Porter. It occurs to me here that a brief account of the 
history of the case might be interesting reading. When 
trying to get a rehearing, of course we did all we could to 
enlist our senators and representatives in behalf of Gen- 
eral Porter. Senator Hoar of Massachusetts was appealed 
to. General Grant who, when he was President, had re- 
fused to give Porter a rehearing, after his term of office 
had expired looked into the matter and found that he 
had been wrong, and he then took sides very strongly in 
Porter's favor. Senator Hoar, in answer to our importun- 
ities, sent on and asked that some officer w^ho was well 
acquainted with Porter's case be sent to Washington to 
talk the matter over with him. As I had been on General 
Porter's staff, I was selected to go on and have an inter- 

' Facsimile opposite p. 156. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 85 

view with Senator Hoar. I went to his house at twelve 
o'clock noon, and talked with him until twelve at night, 
and I felt in despair when I left him. Like a good lawyer 
he had brought up everything he could against Porter, 
to see how I could answer it, and I thought that he was 
prejudiced against Porter and that I had made no im- 
pression. 

In desperation I cudgelled my brains to see what to 
do. I remembered seeing in the paper that General Grant 
was staying with General Beal in Washington, and I made 
up my mind to see what I could do there. I asked Senator 
Hoar whether he would be willing to see General Grant 
if I could arrange an interview. He said he would; so, 
early in the morning, about eight o'clock, I took a car- 
riage, drove up to General Seal's house, sent in my card, 
on which I wrote that I was an aide of General Porter's 
during the War and that he. General Grant, could aid 
Porter very much if he would give me a brief interview. 
He sent for me at once. He was taking breakfast alone 
in General Real's library, drinking a cup of coffee and 
eating a boiled egg and some toast. I told him that I had 
been sent to talk with Senator Hoar, and that I thought 
if he would see Senator Hoar he might do General Porter 
a great deal of good. He said, "Bring him right around 
here." 

I drove around to Senator Hoar's house, got him, and 
drove back to General Real's and saw General Grant. 
Senator Hoar asked several questions, which General 
Grant answered very strongly in Porter's favor. We left 
the general, and drove towards the Capitol. Senator 
Hoar turned towards me and, said, "Weld, I have made 
up my mind to vote for Porter, and furthermore I am 
going to make a speech in his favor to-day." He added, 
"I am up now for reelection before the Massachusetts 



86 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

General Court, and I suppose my action is going to cost 
me my election, but I can't help it, it is the right thing to 
do and I am going to do it, and I don't care much if 
I do go home and take hold of the practice of law with 
my son." 

I said nothing, but I made up my mind that if I could 
do anything to help his reelection he should have all the 
aid I could give him. I asked him if I could go in and hear 
his speech. He said no, not unless he appointed me his 
private secretary, as it was against the rules of the Sen- 
ate. "But," he said, "I will do that. I will make you 
my secretary." 

He did so. He appointed me his private secretary, and 
I went in and heard his plea on Porter's behalf. It was 
most eloquent and convincing. I remember how angry 
the Republican senators were. Senator Logan came up 
and shook his fist in the old man's face. But the old man 
stood firm and reiterated his belief in Porter's innocence 
and gave his reasons for so doing. At the end of his speech 
he was congratulated by some of his most bitter political 
enemies, some of the Southern senators, who said it was 
one of the grandest things they had ever known a man 
to do — to take a stand against all his political friends and 
incur their hostility, by doing what he considered to be 
right. The bill passed, Porter got his rehearing, and was 
not only acquitted, but praised for everything he had 
done, by a board of officers composed of Generals Scho- 
field, Terry and Getty. It was a perfect vindication. 

On returning home I went to a friend of mine who had 
held a command under Porter, and who had once prom- 
ised me to do what he could to help him. I said to him, 

"Colonel , I know you control fifteen or twenty votes 

in the legislature. You promised me once you would do 
anything you could to help Porter. I want you to throw 



Speciai- Obdebs ) HEADQUAKTEKS OF THE AEMY, 

>■ Adjutant Geneeax's Office, 

No. 78. ) Washington, April 12, 1878. 

The followiDg order has been received from the War Department : 

An appeal has been made to ttie President as follows : 

" New Yobk, March 9, 1878. 
" To His Excellency Eutheefokd B. Hates, 

' ' President of the Untied States. 

"Sib: I most respectfully, but most urgently, renew my oft repeated 
appeal to have you review my case. I ask it as a matter ot long d&layed 
justice to myself. I renew it upon the ground, heretofore stated, that 
public justice cannot be satisiied so loQg as my appeal remainb unheard. 
My sentence is a continuing sentence, and made to tollow my daily life. 
For this reason, if for no otUer, my case is ever within the reach of execu- 
tive as well as legislative intertereuce. 

"I beg'to present copies of papers heretofore presented, bearing upon 
my case, and trust Ibat you will deem it a proper one for your prompt and 
favorable consideration. 

" If I do not make it plain that I have been wronged, I, alone, am the 
sufferer. If I do make it plain that great injustice has been done me, then 
I am sure that you, and all others vvuo love irutu and justice, will be glad 
that the opportunity for my vindication has not been denied. 

'Very respectfully, yours, 

" FiTz-JoHN Pobteb." 

In order that the President maj be fully informed ot the facts of the 
case of FiTZ-JoHN Poetek, late Major General of Volunteers, and be en- 
abled to act advisably upon his application for relief in said case, a Board 
is hereby convunad, by order of the President, to examine, in connection 
with the record ol the trial by Court-Martial of Major General Pobteb, 
such new evidence relating to the merits ol said case as is now on tile in the 
War Department, together with such other evidence as may be presented 
to said Board, and to report, with the reasons for their couclusion, what 
action, if any, in their opinion, justice requires should be taken on said 
application by the President. 

Detail for the Board. 

Major General J. M . Schofield. 

Brigadier General A. H. Terry. 

Colonel G. W. Getty, 3d Artillery. 

Major Asa B. Gabdkee, Judge Advocate, Recorder. 

The Board will convene at West Point, New York, on the 20th day of 
Jane, 1878, and is authorized to adjourn from time to time, and to sit in 
such place as may be deemed expedient. 

By couMANi) OF GENEBAii Shebmam : 

E. D. TOWNSEND, 



Official : 

L. H. Pelouze, 

Assistant Adjutant General. 



Adjutant Oeneral. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 87 

those votes for Hoar. It is only fair to him after what 
he has done." 

He said, "Weld, I would do it with the greatest pleas- 
ure, but I am on So-and-so's staff; he is running against 
Senator Hoar, and it would be impossible." 

I said, "I cannot help it: you have promised me to do 
it and you must." 

After thinking a minute he said, "Well, I will"; and 
he did, and the votes that he turned secured Senator 
Hoar's reelection. I was always extremely pleased at the 
little I was able to do in helping Senator Hoar, and I was 
doubly glad to see a man rewarded for doing right 
and for acting, as a good many would say, against his 
party, because he thought it was right. I always after 
this had the greatest respect and love for Senator Hoar, 
and while I did not agree with him in all his views, I felt 
that they were those of an honest man, and held always 
because he thought they were right. 

The following letters were written during the months 
that I kept no diary.] 



CHAPTER IV 

LETTERS HOME, MARCH, 1 862, TO MARCH, 1 863 

Fairfax Court House, March 14. 

Dear Father, — We start again to-morrow at 6 a.m. 
for Fortress Monroe, or rather Cloud's Mills, sh miles 
from Alexandria. We spend the night at Cloud's Mills. 
We then go to Alexandria, where we take steamers 
for Fortress Monroe. Where we go from there I don't 
know, but I suppose it is to Richmond by water. 

All the soldiers are in good spirits and glad to march. 

You must not expect to hear from me for some time, 
as I may not have a chance to send any letters. 

Cloud's Mills, March i8, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I think we are going up Pocosin 
[Poquoson?] River, a small river just behind Fort Monroe. 
This is confidential. 

Cloud's Mills, March 20, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I received your two letters contain- 
ing the two photographs one of which I gave to General 
Porter, he asking for it first. I liked the full face better 
than the other, which General Porter took. 

I saw Professor Low the aeronaut the other day. He 
is a very good-looking man and still enthusiastic about 
the balloon's crossing the ocean. 

Our staff gave General Porter quite a handsome sword 
last evening. Curiously enough it was the anniversary 
of his wedding, which together with this sword presenta- 
tion were, he said, the two pleasantest occasions of his life. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 89 

I attended a review of General Franklin's division 
with General Porter yesterday. The troops made a fine 
show, being well drilled and disciplined. Porter's (Mass.) 
Battery is in this division. General McClellan was there 
and rode, of course, at the head of the reviewing column, 
which consisted of any amount of generals and their stafifs. 
Generals Franklin, Porter, McDowell, Slocum, Heintzel- 
man, who commands our corps d'armee, Kearny, Barry 
and numerous others were there. The soldiers cheered 
McClellan heartily as he rode up and down the lines, fol- 
lowed by about fifty officers. 

I think I was mistaken in what I wrote you about Mc- 
Clellan. It came from one of his enemies and I am con- 
fident was wrong. If you notice what Burnside says in 
his report of the battle at Newberne you will see what he 
says about following out the minute orders given him 
by McClellan. That will rather knock the N.Y. Tribune, 
which has been abusing McClellan abominably. I hope 
you never take the paper. 

The whole force of the Army under McClellan is 
257,000 men, including Burnside and Sherman, I suppose. 

I hear that Sherman is to be superseded by General 
Hunter. The administration are not satisfied with him, 
and with good reason. 

We are waiting here for our transports, which have 
already taken some troops, and landed them, and are on 
the way back for more. I don't see how we can start be- 
fore Monday. We shall probably go to the place I wrote 
you about, in a short note. Don't speak of it until you 
hear we are there. . . . 

Steamer Daniel Webster, March 21, 1862. 

Dear Hannah, — We are at anchor off Alexandria, 
having embarked on this fast steamer this afternoon. 



90 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

We shall go to the dock to-morrow morning to take 
General Porter and horse on board, and I intend taking 
that opportunity to send this letter. I am forced to use 
red ink, as my inkstand is packed up. I feel pretty well 
used up, as I have been walking around carrying dis- 
patches, my horse being on board ship. My foot has 
troubled me to-day, the first time for a long while. You 
know my toes have an unfortunate habit of getting out of 
joint and paining me excessively. I had it down at Port 
Royal. The next pair of boots I have made I shall have 
fixed in some peculiar way so as to remedy this if I can. 

We shall probably start to-morrow morning, and reach 
our destination in 24 hours. 

I am very tired and cannot write you a long letter. I am 
very sorry indeed to hear that Bill Horton is probably 
mortally wounded. How dreadfully his family must feel. 

Please write the same as before and let me hear from 
you often. I don't know how soon you will hear from me 
again. It may be some time before I have a chance to 
send you another letter. . . . 

Camp at New Market Bridge, March 26, 1862. 

Dear Hannah, — We shall probably start to-mor- 
row morning for Big Bethel, which we shall occupy and 
I think without a battle. A reconnoissance was made to- 
day, but very few of the enemy were seen. We arrived 
here yesterday, and are encamped about 6 miles from 
Fortress Monroe, and 3 miles from Newport News. The 
country is very level and sandy, pines growing in great 
abundance. We selected a very pleasant place before a 
burnt house, on a grass plot, and pitched our tents there. 
Our pickets were thrown forward about quarter of a 
mile along the banks of a stream, which branches out 
from Back River. I wish you could see some of the scenes 



STEPHEN M. WELD 91 

of camp life. There are so many of them queer, and at the 
same time beautiful, that I know you would be pleased 
with them. To-night I was struck by one in particular. We 
have a large fire kept burning outside our tents all the 
time, around which we all of us frequently gather. To- 
night about 7 o'clock we were all around the fire in 
various attitudes, some sitting, others standing, etc., 
generals, colonels, etc., in fact all grades down to privates 
were represented. A guard brought in two negroes from 
Yorktown, they having made their way up to our lines. 
As soon as they had been questioned by the general, some 
one gave them some crackers, and down they dumped 
themselves on a pile of wood close by the blazing fire. It 
was a scene worth witnessing. The officers and servants, 
some mounted and some not, scattered around in every 
way imaginable, and these two contrabands, the picture 
of perfect contentment, notwithstanding the sufferings 
they had just gone through. Footsore, famished, and 
their clothes in tatters, they had escaped from Yorktown 
where they had been working on fortifications, with a 
band of seven others. Two were shot by the rebels and 
one wounded. Two are now wandering in the woods, 
and two have arrived here. 

If the Merrimac comes out again she will never return. 
We have a plan to capture her, which I believe is as fol- 
lows: Five large steamers are selected, to run her down 
all at once, and sink her. They say she cannot possibly 
stand the shock, and will be stove in. I hope so at any 
rate. It will be an expensive operation, but those who 
ought to be well informed about her, do not seem to be 
at all alarmed about her. 

We have quite warm weather here, although it is damp 
in our tents, because we have no fires. I am careful, how- 
ever, and get on first rate. I have had no letters from 



92 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

home for some days, and shall not have any for some time 
to come, I imagine. You had better direct all letters to 
Fortress Monroe, Gen. F. J. Porter's headquarters. I 
shall get them much sooner that way. . . . 

Camp near New Market Bridge, March.29, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I suppose you have not heard any- 
thing about our moving here from the newspapers. All 
of them are forbidden to publish any news whatever of 
our movements. Day before yesterday a reconnoissance 
was made towards Big Bethel. I wrote Hannah a day 
or two ago that we were all going to advance. It turned 
out that it was to be a reconnoissance only. They saw a 
few of the enemy and killed one. We advanced beyond 
Big Bethel to within 6 miles of Yorktown. I had to stay 
here in camp to see that things went straight. I did not 
lose much, however. The rebels had been working on the 
fortifications at B. Bethel the very morning our troops 
advanced, but when they reached there, the rebels had 
run off with their cannon. They had captured two of our 
men, outside of our picket lines, where they were ex- 
pressly forbidden to go, in the morning, and so had no- 
tice of our advance. Our pickets have orders to shoot 
any man they see outside the lines, whether on our side 
or not. This will have a good effect on stragglers. 

I wish I could send you home some of the holly trees 
I have seen down here. They grow in great abundance 
and of all sizes from a small bush up to a large-sized tree. 
They look very prettily with their dark green leaves and 
red berries. I have decorated my tent with a branch. 
The apricots down here are in full blossom, and the 
weather is warm and delightful, everything showing that 
spring is here. 

We shall probably advance in a day or two, very likely 



STEPHEN M. WELD 93 

to-morrow. General McClellan will be here to-morrow, 
and his coming will be the signal for our advance. I heard 
General Porter tell one of the commodores at Fortress 
Monroe that we should have 130,000 men and 300 pieces 
of artillery with us on our advance. The commodore said 
that the rebels were making great preparations to meet 
us, and would give us a severe battle between West Point 
and Richmond. W. P. is on the York River, I think. 
I do not know why we did not land at the Pocosin [Po- 
quoson?] River. I think it was the plan to do so. I have 
received no letters from home for a week, but expect 
them now daily. 

I enclose a hyacinth root dug up right behind the place 
we are now encamped. Please give it to Hannah. I broke 
off the leaves so as to keep the life in the bulb. . . . 

There are 24 correspondents of newspapers at Fort 
Monroe. They will be kept in the rear, as far as is pos- 
sible, and will not learn much about movements planned, 
but not yet executed. If there is any battle government 
will let it be known instantly, so you need not be afraid 
of any fight being concealed. . . . 

Headquarters Porter's Division, ^/>ri7 6, 1862. 

Dear Father, — We are now encamped about 2 miles 
from their batteries at Yorktown. I stood under my 
first fire yesterday, and don't think it is the pleasantest 
feeling in the world. Day before yesterday we advanced 
from New Market Bridge and went some 15 miles to 
Howard's Creek which is 4 miles from Big Bethel. About 
one mile from H.'s Creek we discovered some earthworks, 
and some rebel horsemen there, and two guns of Wilson's 
Battery. Our skirmishers opened on them, and were re- 
sponded to by 4 shots from their guns, which did not 
reach far enough. Allen's Battery soon put them to 



94 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

flight and we crossed over the creek about an hour after 

they had gone. Yesterday we marched on towards 

Yorktown, and when within about two miles or one and 

a half miles from the place, we discovered the presence 

of their batteries by a shell screeching over our heads, 

followed by another one, on our side, about 20 feet off, 

and by another about 30 feet in front and above us, 

which last one burst there. It was an unpleasant feeling. 

I am well, and to-morrow probably the batteries will be 

taken. 

Headquarters Porter's Div., 30 Army Corps, 
Camp No. 5, April 16, 1862. 

Dear Hannah, — The bombardment proper of York- 
town will not begin probably till 5 or 6 days from now, 
although there are scrimmages taking place every day, 
either between our gunboats and the rebel batteries or 
between our artillery and their batteries. To-day we have 
had both kinds, our artillery in Hamilton's division having 
fired continually from early this morning, and being as 
warmly replied to by the rebels. From a dead or leafless 
tree behind the general's tent, a ladder some 75 feet in 
length has been built, and this we use as a look-out. From 
this ladder I saw our gunboats and the rebels' batteries 
fire at each other, but without any injury to either side. 
Our fuses were all too short, the shell bursting in the air 
a mile off from the rebel battery. They fired from a large 
105-pound pivot gun, and fired very well, too. The 
shot, many of them, struck within a few feet of the gun- 
boat. 

We came quite a dodge on the rebels a few nights ago. 
General Porter, who by the way is terribly anxious to get 
at the rebels, ordered out all our batteries at 2 o'clock a.m. , 
and ordered them to open fire on the encampments of 
the enemy, which they did with a good will. Just imagine 



STEPHEN M. WELD 95 

being waked up at that time of night by shot and shell 
falling into your tent. I only hope they will not open on 
us from their big pivot gun, for we are just in range of 
it. Our encampment is quite pretty. We have planted 
pine trees all around it, and so manage to protect our- 
selves very well from the heat of the sun which is getting 
to be quite oppressive. It is the pleasantest and prettiest 
place of any of the encampments I have seen. 

The firing is quite lively now in Hamilton's division. 
They are firing at the fort which Martin's battery attacked 
on the day of our arrival, and where the 22d Massachu- 
setts Volunteers lost ten men killed and wounded. There 
are frequently twenty guns fired in a minute, the reports 
of which we can hear quite plainly as we are only about 
a mile and a half from them. 

I had a fine view of Yorktown and Gloucester Point 

yesterday. I crossed over a bridge over Creek, 

which bridge we have just built, and then went out to a 
point which projects into the river. I was about three 
quarters of a mile from Yorktown, and could see the 
rebels at work very plainly ; they have two strong water 
batteries, and above these still stronger ones. The banks 
are very steep and precipitous here, and afford a fine op- 
portunity to place works. At Gloucester Point on the op- 
posite side, they also have strong batteries, and we could 
see their men all run when they saw the smoke from one 
of our gunboats. The shells burst near them, and made 
them skedaddle some. 

General Porter is in very good spirits, although annoyed 
at the slowness of the engineers. He gets all the ox-hides, 
ropes, etc., which he can pick up, using them for coverings 
to the fascines. The general is confident of success, and 
I think he is right in being so. Our division is in the front 
and will distinguish itself, I have no doubt. The exact 



96 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

number of our guns is 295, 100 of which are siege guns 
and mortars, and the rest light artillery. . . . 

Headquarters Porter's Div., 30 Army Corps, 
Camp No. 5, April 18, 1862. 

Dear Mother, — The siege of Yorktown has not yet 
begun, and will not I am afraid for a week to come. We 
have skirmishes almost every night, some of their forces 
rushing out and firing a few rounds, and then running 
back again as fast as they can. Cannonading goes on from 
one morning to another without ceasing. It does not come 
from our whole line at once, but is kept up on any of 
their working parties we see, and by them upon our gun- 
boats and barges. It seems strange to hear the reports 
of heavy guns, and the whistling of shot all the time, but 
one soon gets used to it. At times, as last night, the firing 
becomes pretty rapid, and then we are all routed out, to go 
to bed again in a few minutes. The enemy made an attack 
last night upon our pickets, but withdrew as quickly as 
they came out, but making us all leave our beds to repel 
them. The place is a perfect Paradise for fleas and wood- 
ticks. They abound in every place, and are the bane of 
one's existence. The country is very level and swampy, 
the ground near the river being much broken up by deep 
ravines, which are not visible until one comes within a 
few feet of them. I am very careful about the dampness, 
and have boards all over the floor of my tent. The nights 
are a little chilly, but not nearly as bad and damp as I 
expected them to be. There is a delightful breeze to-day 
which cools the air, and makes it feel soft and balmy. It is 
a pleasant change from the last few days, which have been 
extremely hot. . . . 

I have a request. Mother, to make of you, and one 
which I depend on you to have carried out. Don't let 



STEPHEN M. WELD 97 

any of the girls or female relatives come on to take care 
of me, in case I am wounded. Nothing would be more 
unpleasant to me or make me feel so anxious as the 
idea that Father shoukl allow any such thing. This is no 
place at all for women, — a thing which many of them 
cannot realize. I mention this because Hannah has fre- 
quently spoken of the Hortons staying at home, as being 
very strange. They are perfectly right. A woman in a 
place like this would be a source of trouble and anxiety to 
a wounded soldier. James will be able to take care of me 
in case of any such necessity, which I hope will not exist. 

We must have over 100,000 men here now, and 295 
cannon. One hundred guns compose the siege train, and 
among them are some of the heaviest guns and mortars 
used in the service. The remaining 195 guns are light ar- 
tillery. Our corps under the command of Heintzelman 
consists of 34,810 men. Of these our division has 13,400. 
We have 64 guns, and about 2000 cavalry in the corps. 

The 1st Massachusetts is in our corps, and also the 
nth Massachusetts. I am going over to see Sergeant 
Brazier, and Rice, in a day or two. 

My man was going in bathing in the river yesterday 
when a round shot flew over him close to his head. It 
stopped his bathing for the day. General Porter sent him 
to dig it up, which he did, and on weighing it, it turned 
out to be a 64-pounder. It was fired from Yorktown at 
some of our boats in the river. . . . 

Heax)Quarters Porter's Division, 30 Army Corps, 
Camp Winfield Scott, April 21, 1862. 

Dear Father, — By orders from headquarters the 
name of this camp has changed to Camp Winfield Scott. 
Ever since we landed at Fort Monroe our camps have 
been called by number in regular order. Our first camp at 



98 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Hampton was No. i, etc. This camp, properly No. 5, 
has been called as above, and McClellan means to honor 
the camp and the general whose name we have adopted 
for it, by winning a splendid victory. 

Guns are being taken by the camp this evening to be 
mounted on our earthworks. It will still take some few 
days to get everything in readiness. The roads are in a 
terrible state from the rain, and hence additional labor 
is entailed on the men and horses, and necessitates still 
further delay. New sites for batteries are constantly 
being selected by General Porter, and when we do get 
ready, the rebels will have to "keep their eyes peeled." 
We can see them mounting additional guns every day, 
and strengthening their works. In the end I suppose it 
will result in giving us a few more cannon to add to the 
list of prizes taken. 

Last night, for the first time I believe since we have 
been here, I was not waked up by any firing. The enemy 
kept themselves quietly within their works. 

The men in this division have a great deal of fatigue 
duty to perform, such as mounting guns, making roads 
through the woods and digging earthworks. It is really 
fatigue duty, especially in this storm. They seem to stand 
it very well, however. 

There is nothing especially new going on, , . , 

Some of our men crept up so close to the rebel pickets 
last night that their relief guard passed within ten feet 
of them. They also heard some of their conversation. 
One man crept along the bank of the river until he heard 
the sound of oars. He waited until the boat touched the 
shore, when an officer jumped out and was met by an- 
other officer who came out of the bushes, and spoke to the 
first one, about crossing by the mill with some horses. 
The wind blew so that he could hear no more of their 



STEPHEN M. WELD 99 

conversation. I don't know what the conversation re- 
ferred to. 

General Porter is General McClellan's favorite general, 
and McClellan often calls for him to go out and recon- 
noitre, etc., with him. The night I carried those dis- 
patches to McClellan, he said, "My God! if I can't de- 
pend on Fitz John's division, I don't know what I can 
depend on." He showed very plainly how highly he 
thought of General Porter and his division by his con- 
versation. He was very pleasant to me indeed. I saw 
Captain Mason ^ on his staff the other day. He is from 
Boston, you know. . . . 

Headquarters Porter's Division, 30 Army Corps, 
Camp Winfield Scott, April 25. 

Dear Father, — Last night about ten o'clock we re- 
ceived a dispatch from the headquarters of the corps, 
telling us to change the countersign, and the position of 
our guards and pickets, as a high officer had deserted to 
the enemy. The changes were made, and every prepa- 
ration made for meeting an attack from the rebels, but 

none occurred. The officer, I hear, was Colonel , and 

it is not known whether he was captured or whether he 
deserted. 

I had a letter from you last night in which you asked 
me what I did every day. My duties for the last week or 
two have been very light, consisting in getting out the 
countersign, which, together with day and night signals, 
is written on pieces of paper, sealed, and sent out to the 
different commanders in the division. I have also been to" 
ride with the general to the different batteries, and also 
have gone every other day to General Heintzelman's for 
any dispatches which might be there. General H.'s head- 

iVV. Powell Mason, Harvard 1856. 



263100U 



lOO WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

quarters are about a mile from here near the saw-mill. 
Grant Johnson from Boston is on General H.'s staff. 
This saw-mill is on the Yorktown road, about a mile and 
three quarters from their batteries, and was left unin- 
jured by the rebels when they retreated. They had used 
it for sawing wood to make barracks, and timber to 
mount their cannon on. I can't imagine why they left it 
whole, unless it was that we came upon them unawares. 
Indeed, one of their men said that they did not expect 
us for a week, and when we advanced thought that 
we only meant to make a reconnoissance, as we did 
once before when we advanced to Big Bethel from 
Hampton. 

I have to take messages to the different brigade or 
regimental commanders when an attack is anticipated or 
when the message is too important to be trusted to an 
orderly. Then when any order has to be got out in a 
hurry I have to help write it. When General Porter goes 
out nowadays he usually goes with McClellan, and as he 
has to pass an exposed place he never takes more than 
one aide, and then the senior one, Monteith. I went with 
him and General McClellan the other day to the bat- 
teries. I get up in the morning at 6.30 and have my 
breakfast at 7.30. We all mess together, and my seat is 
on the general's right. He is always kind and pleasant to 
me and I like him very much. At 4 o'clock we dine, thus 
having only two meals a day, and that is plenty. We live 
better than any one yet that I have seen in camp, and at 
a cheaper rate. We have oysters in plenty, and cooked 
in every style. They are very good-sized ones, but hardly 
have the flavor of a New York or Boston oyster. They 
are transplanted from here in great quantities to New 
York and Philadelphia. 

I have plenty of spare time on my hands, which I spend 



STEPHEN M. WELD loi 

in reading, when I can get hold of anything to read. 
Books are rather scarce out here now. Whenever you get 
an opportunity to send me any books, they will be very 
welcome. I go to bed by nine o'clock, and always get a 
good night's sleep. Whenever the fight begins, there will 
be plenty of work to be done, and no time to read. My 
opinion is that we shall not open fire on them until they 
open on us. We shall dig our trenches, and make the 
parallels until we are troubled by them, and then our 
batteries will open on them. The nearer we get to them 
the better it is for us, and so it would be folly to provoke 
their fire by opening on them, when by keeping still our 
men can get nearer to their works. I think our men began 
to work on the trenches last night. The whole affair will 
be conducted on scientific principles applied by skilful 
engineers, and with a man at the head whose forte is in 
this kind of warfare, namely General McClellan. My 
idea is that he will take the place with the least possible 
sacrifice of life, and in order to do this, he must have 
sufficient time to carry out all his plans thoroughly, and 
employ the men in trenches, etc., until we get within a 
reasonable distance to storm their works, if such a course 
be necessary to drive them out. The enemy have made a 
fatal mistake in not cutting down the woods to a greater 
distance from their works. They have just left a belt of 
woods, which forms a splendid line for us to build bat- 
teries' and form a base for our operations, and which also 
affords a shelter to our encampments. The last few days 
have been unusually quiet, very few skirmishes taking 
place. We have one battery on our extreme right, on a 
promontory in the York River, close to a Colonel Flarin- 
lecoult's house, which mounts 6 guns, 5 lOO-pounder 
Parrott guns, and one 200-pound gun. This Colonel F. 
is in the rebel army. 



102 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I have just heard that Frank Bartlett^ of the Massa- 
chusetts 20th, acting lieutenant colonel, has had his 
leg amputated. He was shot through the knee by a 
musket ball while on picket. 

In regard to my drinking, which you seem to feel some 
anxiety about, I wish to say that I have not touched a 
drop of anything but water and coffee since leaving home. 
I only want the brandy for a medicine in case I should 
need it. In regard to giving my friends liquor, I have not 
a friend here whom I care enough about to give him 
liquor, and have not bought any since I have been here. 
All my friends are in regiments away from this division. 
I have formed no intimate friendships out here, although 
I am on very friendly terms with all my brother ofiftcers. 
They, however, have no interests in common with me, 
except, of course, the ordinary civilities of everyday life. 
There is one fellow whom I may except. He is a signal 
officer named Johnson, a graduate of Yale in '60, and is a 
first-rate fellow. He was on our staff, but has recently 
been promoted to General Heintzelman's staff. I don't 
care about forming any intimate friendships with any 
one I meet, and I have enough now. Of course I am care- 
ful to be polite to every one, and on good terms with my 
companions. Tom Sherwin I see quite often, and wish, 
of course, to except him from the general class of officers 
I meet with. Griswold, too, I like very much. He is 
lieutenant colonel of the 22d Mass. Then I know the 
lieutenant colonel of the 83d Penn., Strong Vincent, a 
graduate of Harvard in '59, and a very nice fellow. I am 
in the same tent with McQuade, one of the aides, and a 
very pleasant person, and one easy to get along with. 
I don't wish you to think from what I have been writing 
that I am squeamish, and overnice in my friendships. 

' William Francis Bartlett, Harvard 1862, afterwards major general. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 103 

I try to be friendly with every one, but reserve my intim- 
ate acquaintance for those whom I know well and espe- 
cially esteem. Of course it won't do to set one's self up 
as being particularly good or too refined to associate with 
every one, in this world. We have to take people as we 
find them, and adapt ourselves to the circumstances in 
which we are placed. This I do, as far as is in my power. 
I get on very well, and am very happy, and like my life 
very much. 

Our gunboats fire at long range, and so far with little 
success, as their fuses have not been long enough. When 
the fight begins they will approach much nearer and will 
then do some damage. I imagine that one of our iron 
gunboats will run by the water batteries here at the 
proper time, and will give them a good dressing in their 
rear. 

I am astonished to find the season so backward here. 
I imagined that it was some six weeks ahead of our sea- 
son, but find that I am mistaken. We have had two or 
three hot days, but most of the time we have been here 
a fire has been almost a necessity. The leaves have just 
burst through their buds. I imagine the change is more 
sudden up North from winter to spring, while here it is 
more gradual. For instance, we have had no snow since 
the first of March, while you have had plenty of it, yet 
I don't think we are more than a week, or possibly two 
weeks ahead of you as regards the season. . . . 

I heard from pretty good authority that the Secretary 
of War handed in his resignation to the President because 
the President ordered Franklin's division to reinforce 
McClellan, contrary to Stanton's wish. I only hope that 
it will be accepted and that these men who are trying to 
advance McDowell by the ruin of McClellan will be 
made to answer for it. 



104 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

My horse is in good condition and spirits. He likes to 
jump around some, when he has not been used much, 
but I soon take that out of him. If I ever get him home 
safely, he will make a fine carriage horse. He is turning 
bay color now as he sheds his old coat. . . . 

I hope if you come as far as Washington you will please 
try to come on here, or I hope to Richmond. 

Headquarters Porter's Division, 30 Army Corps, 
Camp Winfield Scott, May i, 1862. 

Dear Hannah, — ... We are still in statu quo and 
shall probably remain so until the middle of next week. 
I begin to see into the cause of our delay, or rather the 
cause of our waiting to storm Yorktown. McClellan has 
not enough men, since McDowell is taken away from him. 
If he and his corps had been here, the works at York- 
town would have been stormed immediately on our ar- 
rival. As it is, every man is considered of great account, 
and as the battle will come off at Williamsburg, McClellan 
cannot spare the loss of so many men, which would neces- 
sarily ensue from storming the works here, and so weaken 
his force before the time came for the attack at Williams- 
burg. Yorktown once in our possession, the York River 
is ours, and with it, more suitable landing-places for 
goods, etc. Even should the enemy leave Yorktown 
without a battle, which I think is barely possible, the 
gain will be on our side, notwithstanding the immense 
time and labor spent on our works. You see how much 
harm has been done by some one, in detaching McDowell. 
It has caused a delay of some weeks, and all for the pur- 
pose of injuring McClellan by McDowell's gain. I believe 
our generals do not expect the enemy to make a very de- 
cided stand at Yorktown against our batteries. Yesterday 
our battery (No. i) of hundred-pounders opened on the 



STEPHEN M. WELD 105 

enemy and kept up quite a lively little duel with them, 
although with somewhat larger weapons than are com- 
monly used in such fashionable pastimes. No injury was 
done us, and we learned this morning from a deserter that 
one of our shells burst and killed 2 and wounded 1 1 of the 
rebels. We heaved a good many of these small tokens 
into their works, and I have no doubt that many more 
must have been killed. When any of these shells do 
not take the groove of a gun, they make a noise like an 
engine going at full speed. One of their shells burst, 
and we found that the shell was of English manufac- 
ture, and probably thrown from a 100-pound Armstrong 
gun. 

I frequently go to mortar battery No. 4. This is situ- 
ated on Wormsley Creek, and is on made land, a notch 
having been dug right in the side of the steep bank, and 
the dirt thrown into the water. In the notch they are 
mounting ten 13-inch mortars, each one weighing 
17,180 pounds. It took 48 horses to haul one along the 
road the other day. 

General McClellan spoke in terms of highest praise of 
General P.'s division and did not mean that sentence in 
the way you took it. General McC. resembles his photo- 
graphs in the features, but his moustache is a light brown, 
and his complexion sandy, or rather colorless. . . . 

Camp Winfield Scott, May 5. 

Dear Hannah, — Yorktown was deserted yesterday 
by the enemy and our troops took possession. We are 
fighting them at Williamsburg now. None of our men 
were killed except a few wounded by torpedoes. I have 
no time to write any more at present. 

Don't be alarmed if my letters are long coming. The 
mails are very irregular. I am all serene. 



io6 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Our division is still here held in reserve, and will prob- 
ably not be called upon. 

Headquarters 5th Provisional Corps, 
Camp 5 miles from White House, May 20, 1862. 

Dear Father, — General Porter has been placed in 
command of a corps which consists of his old division 
now commanded by General Morell, and Sykes's brigade 
of Regulars. It is called a provisional corps, I imagine, 
because it is of McClellan's making, and is not firmly 
established. It will, however, be a permanent thing, 
I suppose. We moved yesterday from our camp at White 
House to this place, called from the name of the railroad 
station, Tunstall. The White House farm belongs to a 
man named " Rooney " Lee,^ who was in '58, and was in 
College with me about two years. He left some six months 
before his class graduated, to enter the army, and at the 
breaking out of the Rebellion he left our army and joined 
the rebels. While in College he was a "fast man," like most 
Southerners, and was quite popular with his classmates. 
He little thought then that his wheat fields would be 
trodden down by a hostile army from the North, many 
of whom were his classmates. 

I started for the camp the day after you went, and 
reached there safely the same day. I am quite well now, 
and shall be able to stand the march to Richmond. 

We shall start again to-morrow and move on. I don't 
know how far we shall go. 

The country around here is quite pretty. The trees 
clothed in their new leaves look fresh and beautiful, and 
the aspect of the country itself, varied by thickly wooded 
hills, and fertile plains, presents a very agreeable view 
to the eye. The bridges over all the small streams and 

' See note on p. 83. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 107 

brooks are all burned, so that fast marching is difficult, 
as we have to wait for the bridges to be repaired before 
our wagon trains can move. 

I meet John Hayden quite often now, he being at- 
tached to Sykes's brigade. It is quite a pleasure to me to 
see any of my classmates out here, and especially Hay- 
den, who is one of my best friends. He is attached to 
Captain Edwards's battery. 

The water here is very disagreeable to me, for it is 
strongly impregnated with sulphur, which I do not like 
at all. It comes especially hard to me, who do not like 
tea and coffee, and who am obliged to make water my 
sole beverage. 

I hear that Colonel Lee^ is very anxious to be made 
military governor of Richmond. I wish they would grat- 
ify him, and place him in that position. How mad it 
would make some of the Richmond people, and what a 
triumph it would be for him. 

How did you and Mother spend your time after you 
left me, and did you enjoy the end of your journey as 
much as the beginning? . . . 

Opinions vary as to whether we shall have a fight or 

not before reaching Richmond. My opinion is that we 

shall have a fight, although our corps may be held in 

the reserve. . . . 

Headquarters 5th Prov. Army Corps, 
Camp near New Bridge, June i, 1862. 

Dear Father, — We have been ready all day to start 
out, and join in the fight which has been going on,^ but 
unfortunately the Chickahominy has been overflowed 
by the recent heavy rains, so that it is a swamp on both 
sides of the stream, making it impassable for artillery. 
We shall have to delay our advance, — that is, the advance 

* William Raymond Lee, 20th Mass. ^ Battle of Fair Oaks. 



io8 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

of our corps, until the water subsides. The day has been 
hot and sultry, and I therefore hope that by to-morrow 
we shall be able to cross over the stream at New Bridge. 
So far we have been successful, Heintzelman having 
driven them to-day a mile and a quarter at the point of 
the bayonet. Yesterday afternoon they attacked us, 
driving back Casey's division, and then being driven back 
by Kearny's division. The fighting lasted till 8 o'clock 
in the evening, the firing, in the general's language, being 
terrific. It sounded so to us certainly, who were about 
three miles distant, and what must it have been for those 
who were in the fight. We could hear whole vollies of 
musketry, but the firing most of the time was by file, the 
guns keeping up a continual pop pop, for several minutes 
at a time. Then the artillery firing at times would be 
very severe. This morning the firing began at 5 o'clock 
and continued pretty lively till 10 o'clock, since which time 
it has been pretty quiet. The men in the balloon say that 
they could see the roads from Richmond full of soldiers, 
coming out to reinforce their men. We have captured 
to-day two generals and several field officers. Among 
the captured yesterday was Lieutenant Washington (I 
think it must be the one who left College a year ago. 
John Bushrod Washington is the lieutenant's name), an 
aide of General Johnston's, who came into our lines by 
mistake. The name of one of the generals taken is Petti- 
grew. The other one refuses to give his name. . . . 

I am wholly well now, my cough having left me, and 
my strength having returned. I feel fully prepared for 
a summer's campaign and think that with care I shall 
get along very well. . . . 



STEPHEN M. WELD 109 

Headquarters 5th Prov. Army Corps, 
Camp ^ mile from New Bridge [about June i]. 

Dear Father, — We moved this morning from Cold 
Harbor to this point, from a half to a quarter of a mile 
from New Bridge. The distance was short, being only 
two miles. To-morrow, if what I can gather be correct, 
we shall advance upon Richmond, and then I think we 
'shall have one of the bloodiest battles of the war. We 
shall probably have a tough time of it, as the rebels are 
massing their troops right in front of us, they knowing 
that Porter's corps is here, and being in dread of it, I hope 
with good reason. I know that all our generals expect 
a severe fight, and that General Porter said we should 
have a bloody battle, I should not write you all this if I 
did not think that the result of the battle would be known 
before this reaches you. I have great confidence in 
General Porter and McClellan, and have no doubt but 
that we shall soon be in Richmond. 

We hear rumors to-day that Banks has been defeated. 
I am afraid that is true, but hope not.^ . . . 

I started for camp the day after you left, and found 
that I had rather overestimated my strength, for the next 
day I was very weak, and feared a relapse. I luckily got 
over it safely, and am now as well as ever. We are en- 
camped in a field next to Dr. Gaines's house, which Gen- 
eral Smith occupied as his headquarters. It is a beauti- 
ful place with some splendid oaks in front of the house 
which it would do you good to see. They are perfect in 
shape, and with their new and fresh foliage on, look really 
splendid. There is an air of neatness about the place 
which resembles New England more than any place 
I have seen. Guinea fowl abound, and James wants me to 
send you a pair. I had a plate of strawberries this morn- 

^ He had been defeated by Jackson at Front Royal, on May 26. 



no WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

ing which tasted very pleasantly. They were a present 
to General Porter. 

The chief annoyances of our camp life here are bad 
water and insects. General Butterfield had nine ticks on 
him the other day. Decidedly disagreeable. The water 
troubles me more than anything. I don't like tea or 
coffee, and I do like to drink water. 

There are rumors, and merely rumors, that General 
Porter will be made governor of Richmond in case of our 
taking it. Counting one's chickens, etc. Some even go so 
far as to say that he will be governor of Virginia. This 
of course would not be, as some politician would have 
that place. Please don't mention these rumors, as I think 
they all take their rise from the staff, who would like some 
such arrangement. 

In case of a fight you need not expect to hear from me 
for some four days, as I can't get at the telegraph, and 
letters take a long w^hile to go now. . . . 

Headquarters 5th Prov. Army Corps, 
Camp near New Bridge, June 4, 1862. 

Dear Father, — Here we are still and here we shall 
probably stay for a few days, until the rain has exhausted 
itself, and the banks of the Chickahominy have peeped 
above the surrounding waters. I begin to think we shall 
have to get an ark built if the rain continues. Every night 
regularly we have terrible thunder-storms, which last 
the whole night, and at morning it clears up again. This 
has happened for four successive nights, and last night 
It culminated in an easterly storm, which bids fair to last 
some time. My tent resembles Fortress Monroe in one 
respect. It has a deep ditch of water all around it, which 
has lately been pretty full. In one respect this rain is 
peculiarly unfortunate. It delays our advance to Rich- 



STEPHEN M. WELD iii 

mond, where we should have been two days ago, were it 
not for this dirty little stream of a Chickahominy which 
the rain swells up so as to make it impassable. The roads 
to the river are streams of mud and water which no cor- 
duroying can remedy, and which dry weather and the sun 
can alone make passable. In some places the roads to the 
bridges are covered with water four or five feet deep, with 
a nice mud bottom. All we can do is to wait patiently. 
The general says that it seems almost as if Providence 
connived at the escape of the rebels, for we should have 
bagged a good lot of them if we could have crossed the 
other day. 

General McClellan has issued an address which I send 
to you, and which I want to be kept. It has the true ring 
to it, and was greeted by many and loud cheers from the 
soldiers, to whom it was read yesterday on dress-parade. 

The roads here are in a shocking condition. I went out 
yesterday in a light wagon, foraging, and rode some 
twelve miles. In many places the horses were up to their 
bellies in mud, and at times down we would go in the 
quicksand or in some deceptive hole, covered with water. 
I got, however, some fresh butter, chickens, strawberries, 
cherries, onions, lettuce, and eggs. We manage to get on 
very well in the eating line. 

That Stanton is a bitter old rascal. He suppressed 
some dispatches of the Associated Press agent containing 
an account of the battle of Hanover C. House, and only 
allowed a meagre telegram to appear. It was meant as a 
hit at General McClellan and General Porter, who have 
some personal enemies in Washington. I think that Gen- 
eral McClellan has shown his greatness in the way he has 
borne all his ill-treatment. Not a word of complaint has 
he uttered. Stanton has prolonged the war by his med- 
dling and interference, and has shown himself a bitter 



112 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

and unfair man. He has prevented McClellan from re- 
ceiving reinforcements, and delayed him in every way 
possible. . . . 

Headquarters 5th Prov. Army Corps, 
Camp near New Bridge, June 5, 1862. 

Dear Father, — ... As an instance of the ad- 
vanced state of civilization and refinement in these re- 
gions, and to show the progress the F. F. V.'s make in the 
treatment of insane people, let me tell you the following 
true story. Captain Locke and some others of our staff 
went off to ride on one of the numerous side roads which 
abound in this country, the other day, and in the course 
of their ride stopped at a house by the way. Here they 
found a crazy man, the son of the man who owned the 
place, who was confined in a small out-house or den separ- 
ate from the house. Here he was chained naked, and with 
no furniture but a small quantity of straw to lie on. His 
food was conveyed to him on the end of a stick which was 
thrust through the window. Just imagine a human being 
chained like a wild beast in a cage, and this in the middle 
of the nineteenth century. They said his howls and 
shrieks were terrible, and made them shudder to hear 
them. A fair sample of most of the poor whites and 
farmers. Ignorant, and as superstitious as the people of a 
hundred years ago. No idea in their head, but that of 
secession, and this slowly dawning on them as a humbug, 
and meaning ruin to them and advancement to the rich. 

I am glad to hear you say that you have confidence in 
McClellan. You may think him slow, but remember, he is 
sure. He is hampered by Stanton, whose orders and com- 
mands have delayed, worried and retarded McClellan, 
and lengthened this war. McClellan had the whole cam- 
paign arranged in a most perfect manner. He would have 
had a large force in New Mexico, threatening Texas, and 



STEPHEN M. WELD 113 

keeping the rebels from carrying on a protracted warfare 
there, which they threaten to do, if he had been let alone. 
Richmond also would have been ours some time ago. 
But hampered by the want of troops, he is compelled to 
advance cautiously and slowly. General Porter thinks 
now, however, that the rebels are on their last legs, and 
that the rebellion will be speedily closed. With the excep- 
tion of 's division, which ran in the most disgraceful 

manner, our troops behaved splendidly and have given 
our generals great confidence in the result of the impend- 
ing battle. I feel sure that we shall whip them, and that 
thoroughly. Casey lost ten guns in the fight, but we 
licked them well afterwards, and drove them at the point 
of the bayonet. The prisoners say that they expected to 
bag 30,000 of our men, who had no bridges to cross the 
Chickahominy, but that after the fight they thought we 
had 200,000 men and plenty of bridges. General Porter 
is as brave a soldier and as good a general as any in the 
army. He is modest, but will make his mark in this war. 
He has made himself many enemies on account of his 
sticking by McClellan, and this prevented his confirma- 
tion by the Senate until near the end of the Yorktown 
siege. 

Camp near New Bridge, June 15. 

Dear Father, — I have had a pretty narrow squeak 
from being sent to Richmond in advance of our army. 
The circumstances under which I came near being taken 
were as follows. I went out Friday, June 13, with a light 
wagon and four horses and a negro driver named Sam. 
I am caterer for our mess now, and was going out to get 
some butter and eggs, etc. I went out to Hall's Mill some 
six miles from camp, and the place where our outpost 
pickets are stationed. From here, I took a road to the 
right, which led me to Mrs. Brockenborough's, the wife 



114 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

of a doctor in the rebel army. I bought 36 pounds of 
butter and a few onions, and turned round to come home. 
I should have told you before that Hall's Mill is situated 
at a point where four roads meet. One, the road I came 
on, which goes on to Hanover Court House. Another 
goes to Richmond, and on the prolongation of this latter 
road away from Richmond, I was getting my butter, etc. 
When I passed our pickets at Hall's Mill, they said that 
it was safe for me to go to Mrs. Brockenborough's as 
our pickets were there. As I said, I got my things all 
safely and turned round to go back to H.'s Mill, and 
from there home. When within 200 or 300 feet of the mill, 
I saw cavalry proceeding at a rapid rate towards Old 
Church, coming from the road to Hanover. At first I 
thought that it was all right, as the pickets had told me 
that our scouting parties had gone out in that direction. 
I thought, though, that their uniform looked rather light 
and so told my driver to stop while I crept up nearer 
them. I went into some woods on the right of the road 
and crept along the fence till I came within 50 or 60 feet 
of the rascals, and could plainly see that they were Secesh. 
At first, indeed, I could hardly believe that they were 
rebels, but thought they must be some regiment of our 
cavalry dressed in gray, but I remembered that we had 
none dressed that way. I could see and distinguish the 
officers by a broad gold stripe which they had on the 
pants and caps. The men were dressed in all kinds of 
clothes. Some had gray clothes, some the bluish gray, 
some white shirts, some red, and in fact almost all the 
colors of the rainbow were there. The coverings for their 
heads were of all sorts. Some had caps and others 
slouched hats, etc. A bend in the road I was on concealed 
the wagon from them while passing the mill, but when 
they had passed by the mill a few rods, there was nothing 



STEPHEN M. WELD 



115 



to conceal us from them. Luckily they were riding away 
from us, and so happened not to see us. I waited nearly 
an hour for them to get past us, and then turned the 
wagon round. I was afraid to do it before, because I 
thought it would attract their attention to move while 
they were so near. In order to turn, my man had to drive 
still nearer the mill where the road was broader, and this 














took him beyond the bend, so that he came in sight of 
some of them feeding their horses. They saw him, too, 
but made no effort to catch him. The only reason I can 
assign is that they took our wagon for one of the farmers' 
wagons belonging in the vicinity. There must have been 
two thousand cavalry in all, and after them three pieces 
of artillery. As soon as I had the wagon turned, I set 



ii6 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

the horses off on a good smart trot, expecting to see the 
cavalry pursuing me every moment. No one came, how- 
ever, and I thought that I was all safe. I luckily knew the 
way to Old Church, and followed it as quickly as I could. 
I was going in the direction in which the horses are 
faced, w^hen I first came in sight of the cavalry. I then 
turned round and went in the direction of the arrow, and 
thought myself safe, thinking of course that the enemy 
would never dare come as far as Old Church. When 
about a quarter of a mile from Old C. I saw the rascals 
burning the camp of the 5th Cavalry, and the main body 
drawn up in line along the side of the road. I was thus 
cut off from our camps, as there was no other road I could 
take to get back. I instantly drove my horses and wagon 
into the woods on the right of the road, hid there in the 
bushes, and covered over the tracks of the wheels. 
I then went to the road where I could watch the rebels 
and not be seen. Pretty soon the main body started and 
went on to White House. Stragglers and pickets stayed 
behind, however, making it impossible for me to leave 
the woods. Besides, I did not know but what they might 
have infantry with them, and intended to occupy the 
place. As it turned out they went on to Garlick's Land- 
ing two miles from White House and from there to Tun- 
stall's Station and then across the Chickahominy at 
Charles City. It was a bold and brilliant dash, well ex- 
ecuted. The enemy had all the information they wanted 
in regard to the position and number of our troops, from 
the inhabitants around there, one of whom we have ar- 
rested, he having been seen the morning the rebels came, 
at H. Ct. House. He will swing for it, I suppose. We had 
only three companies of cavalry (5th U. S.) to oppose all 
the rebels, and of course they could make very slight 
resistance to 2000 men. The camp of two companies of 



STEPHEN M. WELD 117 

the 5th Cavalry, on picket at Old Church, was burned 
amidst loud cheers from the rebels, which I arrived in 
time to hear. After being in the woods some little while, 
three men from the 5th Cavalry came in, they ha\ang 
been in the fight which the three companies of the 5th had 
with the rebels. Two of them had lost their horses. I got 
a negro who was by the roadside to let me know if any 
rebels came along, and I myself stood where I could look 
down the road. Soon I came where I could see a company 
of rebels, as I thought, coming towards me, and the negro 
motioned me back into the woods. These cavalry were 
in their shirt-sleeves and in the dust looked just like the 
rebels. I went back into the swamp a little way and 
waited there. A horse belonging to one of the 5th Cavalry 
neighed and drew the whole body of cavalry into the road 
to the wagon. I heard them talking there for more than 
an hour, and as it was getting pretty dark I started for 
home, walking through the woods. There was a private 
from the 5th Cavalry and my driver with me. I wandered 
through the woods, losing my way and expecting to meet 
with the enemies' pickets every minute. At about I o'clock 
in the morning I saw some of our pickets and called to 
them. I was in as much danger of getting shot by our 
own pickets as by theirs, for they are not apt to challenge 
when they know the enemy are near. I saw them first, and 
called to them, and found out the way to camp. At three 
o'clock, after tramping along through forests and woods, 
and mud knee deep, I came to a church where I met a 
Lieutenant Winsor, who was in my class for a year. He 
very kindly lent me a horse which I rode home to camp. 
I never was more grateful for any favor than I was for 
the loan of this horse, for I was worn out mentally from 
constant watchfulness for the enemy and for pickets, 
and the cords of my legs were sore enough from tugging 



ii8 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

through the mud, swamps and woods, besides not having 
eaten anything since morning. I got back to camp a little 
past four and glad enough I was to see it. The general 
and staff had all given me up and expected that I was a 
prisoner in Richmond. They all were very glad to see me. 

The next day I went out with some cavalry and found 
the wagon and brought it home. The horses and contents 
of the wagon were gone. I am quite confident now that 
they were our own men who were there, and expect to 
get the horses in a few days. From seeing them in white 
shirts and from the negro's warning I thought they were 
Secesh. I shall be mighty careful how I go again foraging. 

The enemy burned some schooners and stores at Tun- 
stall's Station and captured some of our wagons. It is 
a shame that they escaped so easily. There was nothing 
to prevent them from going to White House and burning 
up everything there, and then we should have been in a 
nice fix. I was not afraid when I saw them as I should ex- 
pect myself to be, for I had a sort of feeling that I should 
get off. I could have taken to the woods by Hall's Mill 
and gone where cavalry could not have followed. I was 
excited enough though, and the feeling, combined with 
the feeling I was not going to be caught, was rather 
pleasant than otherwise. . . . 

We shall not advance until we receive reinforcements, 
and those may not come for some time. McClellan won't 
move, in my opinion, until he is certain to whip, and to 
be certain of doing that we need reinforcements. . . . 

Headquarters sth Prov. Army Corps, 
Camp near New Bridge, June 19, 1862. 

Dear Father, — ... I do not have as much to do 
as I did before the two new aides came, but still Gen- 
eral Porter gives me things to do. Yesterday he heard 



STEPHEN M. WELD 119 

that the enemy had left the vicinity of New Bridge, and 
sent me down with an order to the battery there to fire 
12 rounds at a work the enemy had erected in the woods 
opposite the bridge, and to see if they could not wake them 
(the enemy) up. We had erected a small earthwork there 
to protect our guns, and there I went. We fired about 
three rounds, when bang went one of their guns, and a 
shot flew whizzing over our heads. The officers told us to 
lie down in the trench, whenever we saw a gun fired, and 
kept a man on the watch, who called out "fire" when he 
saw a gun go ofif, and down we would all go. They fired 
splendidly at us, planting the shell in the battery and all 
around it. My horse was tied to a tree behind the bat- 
tery, and I thought his chance of escaping was pretty 
small. I had to stay till the 12 shots were fired, to tell 
the general the result, and was glad when they were all 
fired. Our firing was indifferent. I waited till the enemy 
had fired two shots in succession, and then made a rush 
for my horse with a lieutenant from Weeden's Battery 
whom I met there. It did not take us long to get out of 
range. The enemy were 1000 yards distant. 

I had a narrower escape the other day than I thought 
for. The enemy's infantry were near Mrs. Brockenbor- 
ough's house, and a body of their cavalry followed down 
soon after I went down that road, by Mrs. B.'s house. 
Then, too, I should have been shot by our own cavalry 
had they seen me in the woods, for they had orders to 
shoot any one they saw in the woods, no matter w^ho he 
was. This was necessary as they were the outpost picket. 
I refer to the party I mistook for rebels. 

Captain Mason is a very pleasant fellow, and I like him 
very much. He is always kind and polite to me. 

I hope General McClellan will receive all the troops he 
wants. General McCall's division has arrived, and is on 



120 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

this side of the river. It is under General Porter for the 
present. He and all his staff came near being captured 
by the rebel raid the other day. 

General Franklin's corps has passed over the river, and 
now we are the only corps on this side. . . . 

All reports confirm the scarcity of food at Richmond. 
A darkey who came in this evening said that the rebels 
were conveying all their specie to Danville, N. C. They 
seem, however, afraid to trust it all in one place, and are 
pretty anxious about it. 

Don't place any confidence in newspaper reporters. 
They are all rascals. 

Headquarters 5th Prov. Army Corps, 
Camp near New Bridge, June 22, 1862. 

Dear Father, — Why don't they send us reinforce- 
ments? From present appearances, we shall stay here all 
summer sweltering under this powerful sun, our ranks 
daily decreasing from sickness and exposure, all from 
want of reinforcements. Unless we are attacked by the 
enemy, or unless General McClellan gets some very fav- 
orable chance to attack them, there will be no fighting 
for some time, and in case of a battle the result, to say the 
least, is extremely doubtful. They greatly outnumber us, 
and are daily throwing up trenches and batteries right op- 
posite our army. In the face of all these facts, and not- 
withstanding McClellan's frequent and earnest appeals 
for more troops, the Government at Washington refuses 
us any reinforcements. The Abolitionists in Congress 
have a great deal to do with this, and are purposely pro- 
tracting the war in order to render emancipation necessary, 
and are so endangering our existence as a nation united 
and whole. It is decidedly disagreeable to sit down here 
and see things go on so, and feel that we are liable to be 



STEPHEN M. WELD 121 

whipped at any time, when victory could be made certain 
for us. McDowell holds back as long as he can, and 
would be glad to see McClellan defeated. If he were any- 
thing of a general he could defend Washington or the Rap- 
pahannock, with 20,000 men and let the rest come here. 
At the end of the war, I think that a history of these facts 
will come out, which will fully vindicate McClellan, and 
show up Stanton and Co. in their true light. By the way, 
I heard of a remark he made when coming into ofBce. 
"McClellan organizing the army? It is the Democratic 
party he is organizing. / 7/ clip his comb for him." Now 
General McC. would not accept of the Presidency if it 
were offered him, according to the most positive asser- 
tions of his friends. He has a complete copy of all tele- 
grams, etc., received from Stanton, which his friends will 
let out at the proper time. All this, of course, is to be 
kept for yourself and no one else. 

I called on Colonel Barnes the other day and had a very 
kind reception from him. I also saw my captain. I don't 
think there will be any chance for my promotion unless 
it comes in the regular order from vacancies arising in 
my regiment which will push me along. 

I have got some things which I am going to send home. 
One is a club which I got from Sayres's house where Mrs. 
General Lee was imprisoned. The family have all left, 
leaving the place in charge of negroes. One of the women, 
who let me in the house, said the club was one which be- 
longed to John Brown, and which was taken from him at 
Harper's Ferry. Then I have some fossils, etc., which I 
took from a pretty collection there called the Marlborne 
collection. Also a book which I found In the house, every- 
thing except the cabinet being taken away. Also a shell 
which the rebels fired at us a day or two ago from the 
other side of the Chickahomlny. . . . 



122 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

[I was taken prisoner on June 27, as already described 

on pages 78 and 79.] 

Richmond, June 30, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I am perfectly well and unhurt. We 
are all treated as well and kindly as is possible. I send 
you a list of Massachusetts officers injured in the fight, 
and made prisoners. 

22d Massachusetts 

Col. Gove, killed. 
Capt. Dunning, killed, Boston. 

Capt. Whorf, E. Cambridge, wounded in arm, prisoner. 
Lieut. Stearns of Brookline, wounded in leg, prisoner. 
Lieut. Washburn, Taunton, wounded and prisoner. 
Lieut. Styles, wounded and prisoner. 
Capt. Conant, prisoner. 
Lieut. Crane, from Woburn, ditto. 
Dr. Prince, ditto. 

Major Tilton, wounded in shoulder and prisoner. 
Dr. Milner, prisoner. 

Lt. Col. Varney of 2d Maine is also a prisoner. 
Sherwin I think is safe and not a prisoner. 
Lieut. E. W. Whittemore of 17th Reg., and from Cam- 
bridge, is not a prisoner. 

9 th Massachusetts 

Col. Cass, wounded and not a prisoner. 
First Lieut. P. W. Black, prisoner. 
Lieut. O'Hara, ditto. 

Please let friends of prisoners know. 

Libby's Prison, July i, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I was taken by the skirmishers of the 
13th Virginia regiment on the morning of last Friday. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 123 

I got right In their midst while looking for General Rey- 
nolds's brigade. I am well treated and In good health. 
There are about 100 of us officers In a room about 70 by 
50 feet. Colonels Corcoran and Ely were confined here at 
one time. 

You need not feel at all anxious about me. If you get a 
good chance, send me $50 in gold and silver, half of each. 
I have but three cents left, having but a dollar on me 
when taken. 

Richmond, July 31, 1862. Prison on i8th St. 

Dear Father, — Time goes rather slowly here, as we 
expect to be released soon, and find the waiting for the 
lucky day tedious. However, we manage to do pretty 
well, and with the help of books and cards, make the 
hours pass more quickly than they would if we did not 
have the above-mentioned articles. 

In the evening we have lectures delivered by some of 
the officers here, which are very interesting. Morning and 
evening religious exercises are held. 

We have the papers every day, and find quotations 
from Northern papers, which give us some Information of 
what Is going on In the world. 

I received a letter from General Porter in which he very 
kindly offered to send me money or clothing. He relieved 
my mind very much by telling me that all were well at 
home, and free from anxiety on my account. I am per- 
fectly well. Love to all. 

{To Brig. Gen. F. J. Porter) 

Richmond, July 31, 1862. Prison on i8th St. 

Gen. F. J. Porter, 

Dear Sir, — I received your kind note of July 21, and 
am much obliged to you for your kind offer of money, etc. 



124 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I am in hopes, however, that we shall be released in a few 
days, and if so, I can get along very well without funds. 
Will you be kind enough to forward the enclosed note 
to Father. Will you please have my baggage kept at 
camp. 

Endorsed on hack : — "Sent him on Friday last $25.50, so that 
he will not suffer. I expect him to be free by end of this week. 

F. J. P." 

Headquarters Porter's Corps, 
Camp near Harrison's Landing [Aug., '62]. 

Dear Father, — Here I am, thank Heaven, under the 
Stars and Stripes again, ready and willing to go at my 
duty. I reached here this morning at 7.30 o'clock, having 
left Aiken's Landing on the James River at 4 o'clock a.m., 
coming down on board the steamer Ariel. 

After many disappointments and delays we left the 
Libby Prison at Richmond yesterday at 12 o'clock. 
Though the sun was at its hottest heat, and pouring down 
its literally burning rays, and although we had to march 
fifteen miles on foot, I doubt if there was one officer 
among the one hundred and fifty who was not glad and 
willing to start at that precise moment in preference to 
any other, and undergo the fatigue and labor of the 
march for the sake of getting away from that vile prison. 
We started off at a smart pace, too much so indeed, but 
every one was anxious to get away as soon as possible. 
We marched steadily for three miles and then made a halt 
at a bridge. Almost every one was tired out by that time, 
and several were even in danger of being sun-struck. 
After going a quarter of a mile farther, the officer in 
charge found it necessary to halt at a house surrounded 
by trees, the officers being completely used up. He de- 
termined luckily to wait until five o'clock before starting 



STEPHEN M. WELD 125 

again, by which time the sun would be less powerful. 
The field officers and the sick, who were in wagons, soon 
caught up with us, and got out to enjoy the shade. We 
waited till 3.30, when the sun became clouded, and the 
air cooler. I was completely used up, the skin being worn 
off my foot by the chafing of my boot. I got into one of 
the wagons and off we started again. Soon a strong wind 
came up, completely enveloping us in a cloud of dust, of 
a thicker and dirtier nature than I have ever known be- 
fore. Soon, however, rain came, and made the travelling 
quite pleasant. We went by the Drewry's Bluff road, and 
passed by some dozen works on that road alone, besides 
seeing as many more on the other side of the river. Our 
route lay along the river part of the way, although we 
were led some four miles away from our course, in order 
that we might not see some new works they were making. 
The country was rich and fertile, and was planted entirely 
with corn, which was in very good condition. By eight 
o'clock we reached Aiken's Landing, and were transferred 
to the steamer without giving any parole, and without 
any conditions. Our exchange is complete at 12 o'clock 
to-day. We slept on board the steamer and started early 
this morning. I walked up to headquarters and was very 
kindly welcomed by the general and staff. The general 
has been very kind to me, having written me that you 
were all well, and relieved of all anxiety for me. He also 
sent me $25.50, which was very acceptable. $12.50 was 
in gold, worth about $25.00 in Confederate notes. 

In regard to my treatment in Richmond, I met with 
very kind treatment from the officer in charge. Lieu- 
tenant Trabue. The first officer who had charge of us, 
Captain William Read, was as conceited a puppy as ever 
lived. He was impudent to the officers, and was conse- 
quently removed. Trabue then had charge of us and was 



126 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

very kind and obliging. He was removed, however, on 
account of tlie escape of five officers, three of whom made 
good their escape, and two were recaptured. We then 
were more strictly guarded and the privilege of getting 
spring water refused us, although this was partially re- 
stored to us again. Most of the officers who had anything 
to do with us, treated us personally in a very kind manner, 
but their government treated us quite harshly. The only 
food furnished us was sour bread, meat, and salt, and at 
times a little vinegar. The meat was made into greasy 
soup, entirely unfit for a human being's stomach. If we 
had not had some money, we should have starved. I had 
only one dollar when I reached Richmond, but I met with 
an officer who lent me twenty-two dollars, and when that 
was used up, I sold my rubber coat, which cost me $6, 
for $15. Then I also received $25 from the general, $9.50 
of which I gave to Harry Russell,^ who was taken prisoner 
by Ewell or Jackson last Saturday. All Pope's officers, 
30 in number, taken on Saturday, were treated shame- 
fully. They live in a room with the privates and are al- 
lowed nothing but bread and meat, and are not permitted 
to buy anything outside. No blankets are given them, 
but when I went away I sent Harry Russell my bed and 
blanket. I was not allowed to see him, but received a 
short note from him, in which he said he was well, and I 
also heard that he was well and uninjured from officers 
who saw him. I shall write Mr. Shaw about his being 
captured. Harry R. said in his note to me that Major 
Savage was wounded in arm and leg and taken prisoner. 
When I went away I sent Russell all the money I had. I 
will enclose the note, which I received from him. His 
order on Mr. Shaw was his own idea, of course, and not 

' The late Col. Henry S. Russell, for many years Fire Commissioner of 
Boston. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 127 

mine. I shall write Mr. Shaw and let him know that 
Harry is well. 

I send you a list of the prices of articles of food in 
Richmond. Butter, $1 per lb. Apples, $.50 to $1.00 a doz. 
Eggs, $1.00 per doz. Molasses, $.75 per pint. Sugar, 
$.75 per lb. Cherries, 50 cts. per quart. Potatoes, 30 cts. 
per quart. Coffee, $2.50 per lb. ; and rye coffee, $.75 per 
lb. Tea, $16.00 per lb. 

On my way from Richmond I saw Merrimac No. 2, 
lying at the Rockets just below. She must be very nearly 
finished. She was covered like the roof of a house and will 
be a formidable antagonist if she ever succeeds in getting 
out. We were kept in the Libby Prison for a week, and 
were then moved to a building on i8th St., where there 
were splendid opportunities for escaping. I bought me a 
Secesh uniform and should have tried it if we had not 
received the news of the exchange. There were five or six 
Union families within a stone's throw of our prison, and 
we used to converse with them by the dumb alphabet and 
by writing on boards, etc. The officers frequently went 
out nights through a hole made in a fence separating 
another building from ours, and came back again after 
walking about the city. I will give you an account of my 
imprisonment at greater length, in a few days. 

General Porter has been away all the day and will not 
return till morning. Even if he should offer me a fur- 
lough I should not take it while there was any chance of a 
move. I think we shall move in a few days, but I think 
it will be towards Fortress Monroe. . . . 

Headquarters 5TH Army Corps, 
Camp at Newport News, August 19. 

Dear Hannah, — I have had no chance to write since 
my first letter to Father as the army has been in motion 



128 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

since that time. We left Harrison's Landing on Thursday, 
8 P.M., and reached Barrett's Ford on the Chickahominy, 
a distance of twenty miles, by 7 o'clock the next morning. 
We crossed the Chickahominy on the pontoon bridge 
just constructed, 2000 feet in length, and camped on this 
side. Saturday at 4 a.m. we started for Williamsburg, 
about 12 miles distant, and made our headquarters in the 
President's house at William and Mary's College. Wil- 
liamsburg is an old-fashioned city of 4000 inhabitants, 
although now mostly deserted. Sunday at 6 p.m. we 
started for Yorktown, 14 miles off, and from there pushed 
on to Newport News, 28 miles, reaching here at 8 o'clock 
yesterday morning. The whole army is now across the 
Chickahominy and the bridge taken up. I am somewhat 
tired, but in other respects perfectly well. 

Prison life did not leave any bad effects upon me, ex- 
cept the natural one of weakness. I was well all the time, 
with the exception of some slight eruption, which broke 
out on my body, probably a mild form of scurvy. My 
chief annoyance was from the lice. Every morning for 
over six weeks I looked over my clothes carefully, and as 
regularly found two or three of the disgusting old fellows, 
besides any amount of nits and young ones. The build- 
ing was full of them and whenever any one hammered on 
the floor above, down came the lice. I have always had a 
great horror of them, and found them rather hard to bear. 
All the ofificers were in the same condition. Our life was 
the same from one day's end to another. Our mess (No. 2) 
took breakfast at 7.30. We had sour bread, coffee made 
from rye and bought (75 cts. lb.) by ourselves. Then we 
would read or play cards or go to sleep during the fore- 
noon until I o'clock, when we dined on bread and greasy 
soup. The afternoon was spent in much the same way as 
the morning. Supper we took at 6, and at 9 went to bed. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 129 

I don't want Father to send my horse on. I shall buy- 
one on here. As soon as I can get a chance I shall have 
my things sent on to me, but at present I don't know 
where to have them sent to. I think we shall go to 
Aquia Creek. We probably go on board to-night. 

I have not heard from home yet and do not know why 
letters do not come. I hope you are all well. I was very 
anxious while in prison until I heard from the general 
that Father was well and relieved of all anxiety about 
me. . . . 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp near Falmouth, Aug. 23. 

Dearest Family, Father, Mother, Sisters, Bro- 
thers, ETC. — 

We arrived here from Fortress Monroe day before yes- 
terday, and our whole command has gone to Barrett's 
Ford some ten miles from here up the Rappahannock. 
We follow this afternoon or evening. 

We are encamped on Major Lynch's grounds right 
opposite Fredericksburg. The house is a splendid brick 
mansion beautifully situated on the banks of the Rappa- 
hannock. Terraces slope down to the river, and beautiful 
trees keep off the burning rays of the sun. The proprietor, 
of course, is in the Secesh army, and has left his place 
deserted. Our troops are encamped all over his grounds, 
and Major General Burnside and Major General Porter 
have pitched their tents close to the house. I was intro- 
duced to General Burnside yesterday, and found him very 
pleasant. 

We have a very pretty view of Fredericksburg from 
here. It seems to be the picture of peace and quietness, 
and is a very pretty little town. 

I was sent by General Porter down to Fortress Monroe, 
and was to meet him there, but by some mistake missed 



130 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

him, and was obliged to follow after him in another 
steamer. I came from Aquia Creek here by railroad, — a 
distance of 13 miles. . . . 

Heavy firing was heard from Pope yesterday and this 
morning. We have not heard the result as yet. ^ . . . 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp near Falmouth, Aug. 23. 

Dear Hannah, — ... I see no chance of getting 
home for some time. I have asked for no leave, as I know 
the general would have offered me one if it was allowable. 
No furloughs are granted except to dangerously sick peo- 
ple, and I am in as good health as any one can be. 

I am mighty sorry for Harry Russell. He will probably 
have a hard time of it in Richmond. 

We leave to-morrow morning for Barrett's Ford. All 
our corps is there. 

Franklin's corps will be here in a few days. . . . 

I imagine you were all in a flutter to know what became 
of me until you heard from General Porter. I felt anxious 
enough to let you know, but could not. My imprison- 
ment probably made me lose promotion on the staff, 
although it might have been the same had I been here. 
By the new law, a major general has a right to three 
aides, one major and two captains. Our present senior 
aide, Monteith, the general considered too young to make 
a major of, so he placed Kirkland, who was temporarily on 
duty here, as major and chief of staff, and made Monteith 
and McQuade captains. This was before I returned and 
w^hile I w^as in Richmond, and when the general did not 
expect me back till autumn. I hope, how^ever, that I may 
ultimately get promotion, although at present I must say 

' The fighting was practically continuous along the line of the Rappa- 
hannock during the last half of August. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 131 

I see little chance of it. Kirkland and Mason have both 
gone home sick. . . . 

Tell Father I was right In that letter I wrote in June 
about reinforcements, etc. 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, Aug. 26, 1862. 
Camp five miles from Bealeton. 

Dear Mother, — ... We are continually on the go 
now, and are guarding several of the fords through the 
Rappahannock. Griffin's brigade is at Barrett's Ford 
some eleven miles from here. Butterfield and Martindale 
are at Kelly's Ford six miles from here, and Sykes's divi- 
sion is with us on the way to Rappahannock Station, 
where the Orange and Alexandria R.R. crosses the Rap- 
pahannock River. The first three brigades (Grifiin's, 
Butterfield's, and Martindale's) compose Morell's (Por- 
ter's old) division. The corps has quite a long line to. 
guard. Sumner, however, is landing his corps to-day at 
Aquia Creek and will soon join us. Heinzelman went 
to Alexandria and part of his force is 5 miles from us. 
Franklin lands at Alexandria and marches up to join 
Pope. Keyes stops to guard the Peninsula. You now 
know where McClellan's army is. Burnside came to 
Aquia Creek with 7000 men; 5000 of them are with Pope 
and the remainder with General Burnside at Falmouth. 
To-day I was in the saddle at seven o'clock a.m. and out 
at 4 o'clock P.M., having ridden all over the country with 
the general. As a general thing the country is barren, 
stony, and unproductive. There are some five or six gold 
mines round here, which were worked by New York 
companies but which do not amount to much. 

I am remarkably well, and grow stronger every day. . . . 



132 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Warrenton Junction, Aug. 27. 

Dear Father, — We arrived here this morning and 

find that the enemy are at Manassas Gap, between us and 

Washington. General Pope, in my opinion, is a complete 

failure. He can handle 10,000 men, but no more. We 

still have communication with Washington via Aquia 

Creek. I hope we shall see a successful issue to this 

trouble. 

Centreville, Aug. 31, 1862. 

Dear Father, — We had a severe battle at Bull Run 
yesterday, and were obliged to retire to this place. The 
retreat was conducted in good order, and without the loss 
of wagons, etc. General Porter's corps did most of the 
fighting. Pope made a complete muddle of the whole af- 
fair and ordered us into a place where we were hit hard. 
I can only thank God that I got out safe. We were under 
a very severe fire of musketry, round shot, shell and case- 
shot. My horse was slightly wounded in the leg by a 
musket shot. If we ever reach Washington in safety, it 
will be more than I expect. 

Pope has blundered terribly. He let Jackson get be- 
tween him and Washington, destroy any number of cars 
and the railroad track at Manassas Junction and the 
telegraph. Jackson then went to Centreville, then to 
Bull Run. EwelP is killed on the rebel side. Lee com- 
manded the rebel centre where we attacked. Pope knows 
he is dead if he retreats to Washington and so he keeps 
us here, where the enemy may cut off our supplies. The 
place itself is very strong and we occupy the enemy's old 
works. . . . 

[The beginning of the next letter is lost, but I remember 
the circumstances which occasioned it. Colonel Webb, 

^ This was a mistake. Ewell lost a leg on August 28, but was not killed. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 133 

of McClellan's staff, came up to see the Army, and he 
was invited to breakfast by Ruggles, who was on Pope's 
staff. The rest explains itself.] 

. . . Webb was quite hungry. Pretty soon he saw Pope call 
Ruggles aside and begin to scold at him. He thought 
from Pope's manner that he was displeased at Ruggles 
asking him to breakfast, and so he took up his hat and 
bid them good morning. Ruggles came up to him and 
said: "The truth is, Webb, that General Pope don't like 
my asking you to breakfast. He says that he won't have 
any of General McClellan's staff at his table." Pretty 
small for Pope. 

There is a rumor that General Porter is to take com- 
mand of the Army of the Potomac. I hope it is so. 

In regard to my being rash in going out so far that day, 
I wish to say a few words. I have always made it my in- 
tention to do everything the general has told me to do, 
and not come back and tell him that I could not find any 
one I was sent for or do anything I was sent to do. So this 
time I did not want to come back and tell him that 
I could not find the rear guard. The position of some of 
our troops and of the enemies' batteries confused me, and 
made me go out too far. I will try and give you the posi- 
tion of our forces on the 2nd Bull Run field. 

A was where the enemy had a battery placed during the 
day, that fired at us and finally withdrew, leaving only 
two pieces there. We advanced from the hills, B, and 
went across the plain into the woods A'. The enemy had 
a strong force in the woods C, and in the railroad gap in 
which they were posted. We tried to advance from the 
woods A' across to C, and were repulsed by a terrible fire 
of grape, canister and musketry which mowed down the 
men like sheep. They had their batteries posted along 



134 



WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 



the edge of woods C, and got a cross fire on us. The rail- 
road gap served as a breastwork for them. Our left was 
turned by them and we were compelled to retreat to an- 
other range of hills behind the first, where towards night 
the}^ were held in check by the Regulars, and time given 
us to retreat to Centreville, which was done in good order. 








Z:^-^ 



Some of the troops straggled dreadfully, but were all 
picked up by Franklin's division. I will get a map of the 
country and show it to you as soon as I can. The general 
and staff were in the skirt of woods A ; and when the 
enemy began shelling, it was a hot place. Their case- 
shot would burst and come whizzing around us, knock- 
ing the dust up under our horses and on all sides of us. 
Then would come the sharp zip of the bullet, and the fear- 
ful screech of the shot and shell. I saw at least a dozen 
round shot and pieces of shell, come flying towards us, 
and then only could one get an idea of the fearful force 



STEPHEN M. WELD 135 

with which they were propelled. To see this dark object 
come by like a flash, strike the ground, and go ricochetting 
along with enormous bounds was fearful. Then our ar- 
tillery on the hills B would open and the noise of the can- 
non, the whizzing of the shot and the sharp buzz of the 
bullets seemed to make the place a perfect hell. I saw 
more than a half a dozen men knocked down by these 
round shot but not injured, the ball knocking the ground 
from under them or covering [them] with dirt. After a 
while the wounded men who could walk came straggling 
out, and others were carried by their comrades. Soon 
well ones came running out by squads, and the general 
sent me to General Bayard of the cavalry to order him 
to form a line and stop them. We soon, however, had to 
abandon our position and fall back to the hills. Two 
batteries were lost during the fight, none of them from 
our corps. . . . 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp at Hall's Hill, Va., Sept. 4, 1862. 

Dear Father, — We have at length, after fighting 
over a year, reached Washington, and are as badly off as 
we were a year ago. Here we are encamped in the identi- 
cal spot we were last March when we started off on our 
way to Richmond. And now what is this owing to? 
Simply to the interference of the Abolitionists and poli- 
ticians with McClellan. They bothered him, and inter- 
fered with him until they compelled him to retreat from 
his near position to Richmond, and finally made him 
come up here, when he offered to take Richmond with 
25,000 more men. He, however, pushed his troops on to 
Pope's assistance with all the rapidity he could. Pope 
marched us and countermarched us, and wore us out by 
his marches, then let the enemy get between us and 



136 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Washington and capture three new and complete batteries 
from off the cars at Manassas, in addition to any number 
of things which they wanted. They also cut off our sup- 
pHes. Pope then goes hunting in the wrong direction for 
the enemy, and finally finds him at Bull Run. Here he 
pushes our corps from a strong position into the woods, 
where we are butchered and fall back, protected alone 
by our artillery. The left is turned, and were it not for the 
assistance of Sykes's division of Regulars in Porter's 
corps, the whole army would have been cut to pieces. We 
are compelled to leave the field with a loss of some thou- 
sands, and retire to Centreville. Pope waits here while 
all the generals tell him that the enemy will surround 
him. He wanted to get all McClellan's troops and be in 
complete command of them. He gets them and retreats 
for Washington, being nearly cut off on his way. When 
near Chain Bridge McClellan comes out to meet the 
weary discouraged soldiers. Such cheers I never heard 
before, and were never heard in Pope's army. Way off 
in the distance as he passed the different corps we could 
hear them cheer him. Every one felt happy and jolly. 
We felt there was some chance for Washington. The 
President and Halleck, after taking away his army and 
leaving him two thousand men and a battery, and after 
he had sent in his resignation, were compelled to go and 
see him and ask him to take command, as he was the only 
man who could then save the country. Two days before, 
when he heard his own troops engaged in battle and he 
wished to go out and see them, as a spectator, leave was 
refused him. Pope deceived the President and General 
Halleck by his lying dispatches. I only hope that they 
did not find it out too late. 
I am perfectly well. . . . 



STEPHEN M. WELD 137 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp at Hall's Hill, Sept. 6, 1862. 

Dear Father, — The report is that Generals Porter 
and FrankHn are reHeved of the command of their respect- 
ive corps, until charges are tried which are preferred 
against them by General Pope. Pope will probably try 
to blame Porter, and lay the blame of the whole matter 
on him, on the ground of disobedience of orders. General 
Porter disobeyed no orders, and if these stories are true, 
in regard to his being relieved of command, why I have no 
fear of the result of any court-martial. It will only turn 
out to the disadvantage of Pope. You cannot conceive of 
the intense feeling against Pope, McDowell and Stanton. 

Meanwhile the enemy are advancing into Maryland, 
and there will soon be a bloody struggle there, I suppose. 

They annoy us very little in front, and are waiting, 
I suppose, for the force in Maryland to operate. 

I am in perfectly good health, and find that out-door 
life agrees with me. 

Sept. 10. 

Pope, I think, must have given up all idea of bringing 
any charges against General Porter, for I hear no more 
said about them. . . . 

General Porter has charge of all the forts from Fort 
Bennett to Fort Ellsworth, inclusive. I have had a great 
deal of riding to do, between the forts, picking out en- 
campments, etc. We moved here to Arlington House 
from Fort Corcoran yesterday, and shall probably stay 
here for some time. I think I shall have a commission as 
first lieutenant in my regiment soon. . . . 

We have a very pleasant officer here as chief of staff, 
Lieutenant Colonel Webb of the regular army, — a very 
gentlemanly officer. . . . 



138 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Leesborough, Sept. 12, 1862. 
Headquarters 5TH Army Corps. 

Dear Father, — . . . We received orders this morn- 
ing to join General McClellan, and set out on our way 
about nine o'clock. Our destination is Brookville. 

I suppose you have seen General Pope's report of the 
battle. He wrote it apparently for the purpose of laying 
the blame of his own incompetency and mismanagement 
on General Porter. General Porter luckily has the written 
orders from Pope, which will completely use him up. . . . 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp near Sharpsburg, Sept. 18. 

Dear Father, — I just write you a few lines to let you 
know that I am all right so far. Yesterday we had a ter- 
rible battle ^ in which we drove the enemy along the whole 
line. The severe fighting was on the right and left. The 
centre was slightly engaged. We were in the centre and 
in the reserve and were not actively engaged. From a hill 
where we were the whole day we had a fine view of the 
right and most of the centre. I carried several dispatches 
during the day. To-day we have been getting up ammu- 
nition, etc., and also some 10,000 fresh troops. The enemy 
greatly outnumber us, but the men are confident and in 
good spirits. To-morrow a great battle will probably 
come off, and I hope we shall be successful. . . . 

Frank Balch was in the fight yesterday, Fsuppose. I 
have not been able to see him yet. . . . 

We lost 8 generals yesterday, killed and wounded. . . . 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp near Shepardstown, Sept. 22. 

Dear Father, — ... The enemy are still on the 
opposite side of the river and I do not know what meas- 

1 The battle of Antietam, or Sharpsburg as it is called in the South. 




*^:b 



STEPHEN AI. WELD 139 

ures will be taken to drive them off. Meanwhile we are 
getting a day's rest, which every one needs badly enough. 
I am in the saddle almost all the time, and have very few 
chances to write. I feel so tired after coming in at night, 
that I go to bed instantly. 

We have four guns here at headquarters which were 
taken the other evening from the other side of the Po- 
tomac. One of them is a gun taken from Griffin's Battery 
at Bull Run No. i. Griffin, who is now a general in the 
corps, is well pleased at getting the gun back, and is going 
to have it placed with his old battery. 

I went over the river this afternoon with a message to 
Colonel Webb, who was over there with a flag of truce. 
We sent over some paroled prisoners and also applied 
for leave to bury our dead, who were killed in the skir- 
mish on that side. I saw Colonel Lee,^ who was in College 
with me, being in the class of '58. He now commands the 
9th Virginia Cavalry. He said that their men behaved 
disgracefully in the fight of September 17 and ran like 
sheep. He gave as the reason, that they were starved and 
had nothing to eat. When the 4th Michigan crossed the 
river the other evening, he said, they drove a whole bri- 
gade of rebels, who ran shamefully. These are Colonel 
Lee's own words. He also said that the rebels deserted 
27 guns that evening, of which we got four, not knowing 
where the rest were. There is no doubt that the rebels are 
mighty hard up for food and clothing. There were some 
forty of our dead there, and all of them had their shoes 
taken and pockets rifled. The faces of the dead were hor- 
rible. Some could hardly be distinguished from negroes, 
their faces were so black. I had charge of burying a good 
many of them. There are some 1200 rebels wounded, 

1 W. H. F. (" Rooney ") Lee, already mentioned. 



I40 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

in the barns and hospitals around here, most of whom will 
be paroled. . . . 

I have every reason to think General Porter is satisfied 
with me. from the messages he intrusts to me, many of 
which are very important. 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp near Shepardstown, Sept. 23, 1862. 

Dear Hannah, — I have cut out a map from the Phil- 
adelphia Inquirer, which gives a fair view of the battle- 
field of September 17. With the aid of this map and what 
I have marked upon it, I think, aided by this letter, that 
you will be able to form a good idea of the battle. Except 
when carrying messages, I was on the hill marked "Gen. 
McClellan's Headquarters," and had a fine view of the 
whole affair. 

On the map you will see the crescent-shaped ridge oc- 
cupied by the rebels. Now imagine this long ridge over- 
looking a hilly and open country in front, which country 
is full of ravines and cornfields, but free from woods, and 
lower, mind, than the ridge. The ridge itself is wooded 
on its summit on the right of Sharpsburg, the Hagerstown 
pike running parallel and in front of the woods. On the 
left of Sharpsburg the ridge is mostly free from woods. 
All that we could see of Sharpsburg was two steeples, the 
rest of the town being hidden in the valley beyond the 
ridge. All along this ridge the rebels had batteries placed, 
both on the right and left of the road. Their infantry, 
according to their custom, was hidden in the woods. Our 
batteries were, except on the extreme right, placed on a 
line of hills parallel to the Antietam, and on the south of 
it. Our infantry held about the line I have marked in ink. 
The attack began early in the morning, the artillery on 
both sides firing rapidly at each other. Soon the mus- 
ketry on the right grew loud and furious, and we could see 



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Eiva 



I' 



w JUS 







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ATTACty/Or 
I BURNSipE 



SKARPSSUB^ 







F ANTIETAM 



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OCCUPIED ^^ 




(^■<-^HiGU HILL -. -^//;^ 
VvTHICH WAS GEN^M^ '^^/< 
LLANS HEAD OJilARTrRS 



STEPHEN M. WELD 141 

our whole line advancing slowly but surely. You see A. 
That is a school-house in the edge of the wood held by the 
rebels. Our line advanced nearly up to that, and crept 
through the cornfield C until they came onto the crest of 
the hill, where a furious fire from infantry and artillery 
opened on them, which after a few minutes drove our 
men back in disorder. It was a dreadful sight, and it 
made me feel badly, I can tell you. All along the hillside 
black specks could be seen which we well knew were the 
dead and wounded on our side. Soon our men rallied, 
and fresh troops came up and deployed more to the left 
of the cornfield C. Again we advanced, and this time I 
could see the rebels run from the cornfield D. Meanwhile 
Burnside tried to cross the bridge on the left of the map, 
and after great loss charged across the bridge and took it. 
He advanced about a mile, but was driven back about 
half the distance. So it was throughout the whole day. 
We would advance and get driven back, but would again 
advance, and the rebels run. Our men on the right broke 
four times, but were four times rallied, and finally kept 
the ground they had gained. Very little firing was done 
in the centre, except artillery. There was one mighty 
plucky battery on the right. It kept pushing forward, 
whenever it could get a chance, and banging away at the 
enemy. Finally it got near D, and there it had three 
batteries firing on it, with a cross fire. They stood it some 
time, but finally had to give way, leaving two caissons. 
As soon as they had got their guns in a safe place, back 
they went for their caissons and got them away safely. 
It was a plucky thing and well done. 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp near Shepardstown, Sept. 27, 1862. 

Dear Father, — ... I saw the ist Massachusetts 
Cavalry day before yesterday. The officers were all well. 



142 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I am rather glad I did not get into it, and from what I 
could learn, I imagine that the officers do not like Colonel 
Williams. Captain Sargent wished me to remember him 
to you. 

I went up in the balloon yesterday and had a fine view 
of the country around here. Nothing could be seen of the 
enemy, and they are now some distance from the river. 
As soon as the river rises I suppose that things will as- 
sume a different aspect, and that we shall pitch in again. 
At present we are enjoying a rest, which is much needed 
by officers and men. 

In looking over one of your letters to me, you ask why 
we were beaten so by the rebels, when we were under 
Pope. You have a sufficient answer as to our men's fight- 
ing as well as the rebels' in the battles of September 14^ 
and 17. 

Headquarters 5TH Army Corps, 
Camp near Sharpsburg, Oct. 9. 

Dear Father, — I have not heard from home for 
some days as our mails do not go and come with much 
regularity. We shall probably leave here in a few days, 
and move in some direction against the enemy. I sup- 
pose that the move will be across the river, but do not 
know, and I think we shall start to-morrow. The war 
will be over, in my opinion, before the first of January, 
either in one way or another, — that is, for or against us. 

I went over with another flag of truce day before yes- 
terday, to convey a letter to General Lee. I was stopped 
after going half a mile the other side of the river. I deliv- 
ered my letter to Lieutenant Coney of the 5th Virginia 
Cavalry and then proceeded back. General Porter in- 
vited me to go with him to Hagerstown, where he was to 
meet his wife. We rode up in an ambulance, passing by 

^ South Mountain. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 143 

the field of battle of the 17th. Shattered fences, trees cut 
down and torn "by balls, and graves on all sides showed 
plainly enough where the contest took place. We arrived 
in Hagerstown about 5.30. I went to the hotel, and the 
general made arrangements for his wife and mother at a 
private house. Hagerstown is a quiet, old-fashioned place 
of some 4000 inhabitants, and has nothing about it re- 
markably attractive. In the morning I was introduced to 
Mrs. Porter and to the general's wife, who is a very pleas- 
ant, ladylike person. His mother is quite young looking. 
He has a splendid boy four years old, who will look just 
like his father. From Hagerstown drove to St. James Col- 
lege, where General Porter's mother lives, and where she 
has her son at school. I left the general there and came 
back to camp yesterday. 

General Porter spoke to me about Burnside the other 
day, and said that, hearing these reports about him and 
Burnside, he asked him whether he had preferred any 
charges against him. Burnside said, no; that he had not 
asked General Porter for reinforcements, so that of course 
there could be no charges to bring against him. I know 
that they are great friends, and that there is no truth 
in the reports about them. I suppose we shall have a big 
fight soon, which will in a great measure settle the contest 
in Virginia. . . . 

I have just received your letter of October 2, and find 
your views and mine coincide. The expediency of the pro- 
clamation ^ at the present time is all I doubt. . . . 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp near Sharpsburg, Oct. i6, 1862. 

Dear Father, — A reconnoissance was made to-day 
by part of our corps towards Smithville, which is part of 

1 President Lincoln's proclamation, promising emancipation on January i. 



144 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

the rebel line. General Humphreys was in command and 
had 6000 infantry, six guns and 500 cavalry, the latter 
under command of Major Curtis of the ist Massachusetts 
Cavalry. I was going with the cavalry to show them 
where the enemy's pickets were, in order that we might 
capture them; but as the cavalry did not go across when 
they were ordered to go, namely before daylight, and as 
I knew that they would catch it for not obeying orders, 
I merely showed them the way and washed my hands of 
the whole thing, in doing which Lieutenant Colonel Webb 
told me I was right. The pickets got away and our whole 
force crossed over the river in safety. In the afternoon, 
General Porter sent me to see how the affair was going 
on. I found General Humphreys 4 miles from Shepards- 
town, engaging a battery of the enemy's, and returning 
back to camp with all the news I could gather, found the 
general away. A dispatch came from General McClellan 
just after I had returned, asking for the latest news from 
Humphreys, and wanting an immediate answer. As I 
was the only officer here, I gave him all the information 
I could in a dispatch, the copy of which General Porter 
read on his return, and told me that it was a very good 
and well-written answer. He is quite complimentary to 
me now, and seems to have a good deal of confidence in 
me. This, of course, is for your own ears, as I don't want 
to sound my own trumpet. 

I went up in the balloon the other day, and had quite 
a fine view of the country. When I have nothing else to 
do, I amuse myself by going up in the balloon, and the 
view one gets amply repays one. The other day I reached 
the altitude of 900 feet, which is quite fair for a small 
balloon with ropes to it. . . . 

We have a new aide on the staff with the rank of first 



STEPHEN M. WELD 145 

lieutenant, which he gets from his regiment. His name 
is Maclntyre and he belongs in Philadelphia. 

Mrs. Colonel Webb and her child left camp to-day for 
home. . . . 

I think there will be a forward movement soon. We 
have been waiting for clothing, shoes, etc., for the men, 
many of whom are in a very destitute condition. 

Oct. 17. 

The general and staff are going to Washington to- 
morrow to attend a court-martial. 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp near Sharpsburg, Md., Oct. 24. 

Dear Father, — We returned from Washington day 
before yesterday, and reached camp safe and sound in the 
evening. . . . 

I saw Mr. Bowditch while in Washington and invited 
him to come and see me in camp. The day after I ar- 
rived here, he came in company with Mr. Donelson, and 
I took them through the camps, and down to the banks 
of the river. I then introduced him to Generals Porter, 
Sykes and Reynolds. Both he and Mr. Donelson seemed 
pleased with their visit. 

In regard to my horses, I do not have to pay for their 
food, and even if I did, it would be necessary for me to 
have two, as I have so much to do, when there is any- 
thing going on. 

I have been hard at work all day inspecting the 1st 
brigade of Sykes's division, consisting entirely of Regu- 
lars. It is very tiresome work, when one has so many 
to inspect in one day. 

Caspar Crowninshield's squadron, and Captain Mot- 
ley's squadron are at headquarters as body-guard for the 
general. I had the pick out of three squadrons from the 



146 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

1st Massachusetts and chose these two. It will be very 
pleasant for me, and they all seem to like the change. . . . 

We are under orders to move at any moment, and I 
think we shall soon be on our way. The enemy had a large 
force of infantry just across the river a day or two ago, 
but they have now withdrawn them, I think. . . . 

I don't feel at all doubtful of the result of this contest 
provided politicians do not interfere with the plans of our 
generals, and produce disasters such as we witnessed this 
summer. Our men will fight as well as the rebels, and will 
whip them if we are only let alone. Of course I natur- 
ally feel anxious, when I see these politicians at work 
and look back upon the disastrous results of their schem- 
ing during times past. . . . 

Camp at Sandy Hook, Oct. 31. 
Headquarters 5th Army Corps. 

Dear Father, — We are at length on the march 
again, and I must say that I find it quite pleasant after 
being still so long. We left Sharpsburg yesterday after- 
noon and reached here this morning, camping on the 
way at night. The weather is delightful and the country 
beautiful. It is warm and pleasant, quite a contrast in 
fact to the weather for the last two weeks. 

The men are now all provided with shoes and clothing, 
which they were very much in need of after the battle 
on Antietam. 

General Morell has been transferred to the command 
of the Upper Potomac, and General Butterfield now 
commands Morell's division. The change is a very bene- 
ficial one, and will greatly improve the command. Morell 
is an awful slow man, and would never take any respons- 
ibility upon himself. His whole division is heartily glad 
to have this change made. 

General Porter took me with him to headquarters yes- 



STEPHEN M. WELD 147 

terday, going off on a side road, while the rest of the com- 
mand proceeded to Harper's Ferry. I had quite a long 
conversation with him about different subjects, and among 
other things he asked me what you thought about the 
chance of finishing this war quickly. I told him you were 
at times very hopeful and sometimes blue. He told me 
to tell you the following from him. Of course you will 
keep this private. He said that we never could conquer 
the South quickly, with the present course the Adminis- 
tration is pursuing, alluding, I suppose, not only to the 
political, but to the military course. The President is 
managing this war and not the generals. Halleck does 
not have his way even. Now have we not had enough of 
civilians like the President undertaking to manage a cam- 
paign? I think you will say we have. In regard to the 
political course of the Administration, General P. says, 
and very sensibly, that the South is under the control 
of the most wicked men in the world. Now, our great 
object should be to make the people feel this and dis- 
gust them with their rulers. But all this abolition talk is 
a great handle for Jeff. Davis and Co., and always will be. 
General P. says we ought to take all the sea-port towns, 
then take the line of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, 
push into the interior from all these points, starve and 
freeze the people, so that they will become disgusted 
with their rulers. He certainly seems to me to be right. 
In regard to slavery, I think General P. is right. Leave 
the whole thing alone, and as our armies advance, slav- 
ery must go under. 

In the present campaign I think we are going to push 
for Front Royal, thus compelling the enemy to retreat 
from Winchester and the Valley, from fear of being cut 
ofif, and if possible to push them so that they will have to 
give fight. 



148 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

In regard to an advance on Richmond from the way of 
Manassas, I don't think it practicable. We must of ne- 
cessity have a long line of communication with our base 
to keep guarded from their cavalry. The Peninsula is 
the only safe and true way, and you will find it so, unless 
we should rout them in a big battle near Manassas. 

Humphreys's division crossed the river this morning. 
He is in our corps. Please remember that what I have 
said is strictly private. General Porter also wished me to 
say to you that men's and horses' bellies must be filled, 
and no one who has not been out here can imagine the 
work it is to do it. 

Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp at Snickersville, Nov. 4, 1862. 

Dear Father, — General Sykes's division holds Snick- 
ers' Gap, and yesterday General Porter sent out our cav- 
alry, two squadrons, amounting to about fifty men, under 
Lieutenant Colonel Sargent, to make a reconnoissance to 
the Shenandoah, which runs the other side of the moun- 
tains. General Sykes also sent two infantry regiments 
to support him. I went out with the general to see how 
our party was getting on. The general sent me on to the 
front to get some dispatches from Colonel Webb. I found 
our cavalry on the banks of the Shenandoah, firing at 
the enemy's cavalry w^ho had just forded the river. In- 
fantry sharpshooters were also firing at our men from a 
house on the other side. Colonel Sargent and the cavalry 
behaved very well. The enemy soon opened on our men 
with artillery ; and when w^e had discovered their force, we 
retired, having lost 29 men killed, wounded and missing. 

We took a prisoner yesterday, who gave us some valu- 
able information, which I will give you, of course as a 
secret. The man was a clerk in the quartermaster's de- 
partment of Hill's division. He said that Jackson was at 



STEPHEN M. WELD 149 

Winchester, D. H. Hill at Ashby's Gap, and Longstreet 
near Front Royal. He said that Stuart lost two guns in 
his fight with Pleasonton, and that Stuart attributed his 
defeat to the carelessness of his pickets. Last evening, 
we expected to have a fight at Ashby's Gap this morn- 
ing and take it, in which case Jackson would be in a bad 
fix, as we should cut him off. I have not heard any guns 
until just now, when I heard three or four. I think any- 
how we shall have a big fight soon, and whip the rascals. 

One of the captains, named Pratt, of our escort, was 
killed in the reconnoissance yesterday. His body was sent 
on this morning. 

From the top of the mountain here, we can see the rebel 
wagon trains moving to the South as fast as they can. 
We can also see their troops moving. D. H. Hill occupied 
Ashby's Gap yesterday, and now holds it with some three 
or four brigades. He was the general whom we whipped 
so badly at South Mountain. 

By this movement of ours, we shall drive all the rebels 
out of Northern Virginia, and, I hope, capture a good lot 
of them. If we do so. General McClellan will be as popu- 
lar a general as any man can hope to be.^ . . . 



Headquarters 5th Army Corps, 
Camp at White Plains, Nov. 8, 1862. 

Dear Mother, — We have had the first snow-storm 
of the season to-day, and a very disagreeable one it was, 
too. I had to ride from here to General McClellan's for 
orders, and was pretty nearly frozen by the time I got 
there. It was a ride of about eight miles through a rough 
hilly and stony country. I had to wait there 5 hours for 
an answer, and arrived back here at about 7 o'clock p.m. 

1 On Nov. 7 Gen. McClellan was superseded in the command of the 
Army of the Potomac by Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside. 



150 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

We all move forward to-morrow, and from present ap- 
pearances I should judge that we were on a race, Rich- 
mond being the goal for both parties. Our advance, con- 
sisting of cavalry under Bayard, is beyond the Rappahan- 
nock, and we are pushing ahead with all possible speed. 
May Good Luck attend us! Just imagine how severe this 
weather is for the soldiers. The officers can manage well 
enough, but it is very severe for the privates. . . . 

Washington, D. C, Nov. 14, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I telegraphed you last night that 
I was here, and hope that you will come on here, as I wish 
to see you not only for the pleasure of meeting you, but 
also on matters concerning myself. 

General Porter has been relieved of his command and 
ordered here, according to the programme which has and 
is to be carried out against McClellan. Franklin will soon 
follow, and Burnside will be relieved, to be superseded 
by Hooker. 

You may expect to hear of a raid on the Orange and 
Alexandria R. R. by the enemy at any moment. 

From what I can see and learn, every effort will be made 
to crush General Porter, and if they succeed I shall resign. 
I have been offered a position on Butterfield's staff, but 
shall not take it, being determined to hang on to General 
Porter through thick and thin. He is a brave, generous 
and good man, and he has a pack of cunning, wicked and 
lying men who are trying to hunt him down. I wish to 
see you in person in order to tell you some things which I 
am afraid to write, as mails are not safe nowadays. . . . 

Washington, Dec. 6, 1862. 

Dear Father, — ... General Pope was on again to- 
day, making the third day he has been on the stand. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 151 

He has not made nearly as strong a case against General 
Porter as the general expected he would. It has been very- 
difficult to get a straight answer from him, and he cer- 
tainly has shown a wonderful amount of cunning and 
sharpness in evading the questions put to him. His 
memory, too, has been very convenient, not remembering 
things one day, but the next day recalling a heap of things 
which he managed to arrange to suit himself during the 
intervening time. I rather think General Porter got the 
best of him to-day, though I have not seen the general yet. 

I hope to get a chance to go home about Christmas. It 
will depend altogether on the time that I am called up as 
witness. 

I am afraid that General Porter will be sent out West 
if he gets clear of this court. If they give him a command 
anywhere, it will be there, I think. Of course that would 
not be so pleasant as being near Washington. However, 
I mean to stay by him as long as he wants me. The rumor 
here is that Burnside would have crossed to-day if the 
storm had not interferred. . . . 

Washington, Dec. 11, 1862. 

Dear Father, — ... I received General Porter's let- 
ter in your note and gave it to the general. I have not 
yet testified in General Porter's case, and do not know 
when I shall be called upon. Yesterday Captain Pope, a 
nephew of General Pope, testified, and gave testimony 
injurious to General Porter and directly contrary to my 
testimony, which I shall give. General Porter depends on 
my testimony for knocking Captain Pope. Of course 
I shall testify to nothing that is not straightforward and 
true, and I feel positive, to say the least, that Captain 
Pope has been stretching a point. To-day, however. 
General McDowell will testify, and if he remembers all 



152 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

that took place his testimony will go to prove mine to be 
true. This will, of course, be important to General Porter, 
as McDowell is a witness called by the prosecution. 

The report is that Burnside will cross the river at 
Fredericksburg this morning. There will be a terrible 
battle there if he does, and I only hope he will be suc- 
cessful. I hope none of General Porter's witnesses will be 
killed. . . . 

I am glad you feel so confident about the success of this 
war, but I must confess I do not. I am afraid the North 
will meet with a terrible blow, and will be greatly dis- 
appointed. I do not judge this from what General P. 
says, and he has never told me anything of the kind, but 
get it from officers who come up from the army daily. 

I am pretty busy now, and have my evenings and a 
good part of the daytime taken up in writing, etc., for 
General Porter. 

Washington, Dec. 15, 1862. 

Dear Father, — The news from the front is very 
disheartening. Our loss^ is at least 10,000, and most say 
nearer 20,000, while the rebels have not lost as many 
hundred. Our men behaved nobly and are not disor- 
ganized, but still, when one thinks of our terrible loss, and 
the want of gain to balance it, it makes a person feel blue 
enough. Major Kirkland and Colonel Locke, both on 
General Porter's staff, were with General Butterfield at 
the time of the battle and have just returned this even- 
ing. People are just beginning to know, or rather to sus- 
pect, the result of the fight. We have not taken any of their 
works and have met with a terrible repulse. Can God ever 
devise punishment bad enough for Stanton and his crew? 
Just think, a number of human beings equal to three times 

^ At Fredericksburg, Dec. 13. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 153 

the population of Jamaica Plain wiped off the face of the 
earth, by the rascality of men here in Washington! It is 
too dreadful to think of. . . . 

It is doubtful whether I shall be able to come home 
Christmas, but I hope I shall be able to get there by that 
time. 

General Porter's trial goes on slowly. McDowell's 
testimony is very injurious to General Porter, and is 
directly opposite to what he said to General Porter at 
the time he was with him on Aug. 29. So much did Gen- 
eral Porter depend on his testimony that he was going to 
summon him as one of his own witnesses until he found 
that he was summoned by the Government. Still, he will 
be able to disprove McD.'s testimony if some witnesses 
are not killed in this battle. 

I do not suppose that you at home will get at the truth 
in regard to this battle until some time passes by. Still, 
we will hope for the best. 

Washington, Dec. ly, 1862. 

Dear Mother, — . . . There is a great deal of excite- 
ment here with regard to the late battle at Fredericks- 
burg. There is an intense feeling against Halleck and 
Stanton, and from all I hear I think the President will be 
obliged to remove them. 

Just think, 15,000 wounded and killed, and no advan- 
tage gained or corresponding loss inflicted on the enemy ! 
When the North learns the true state of affairs, there will 
be a howl loud and long enough to make that villain of 
a Stanton tremble. This last fight exceeds any other we 
have had in its severity and loss of life and limbs. The 
proportion of killed to wounded is small, a great many 
being wounded. I saw the adjutant of the 2d Maine 
to-day, named Mudgett. He was a prisoner with me in 



154 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Richmond, and was wounded in this last fight. He had 
two of his toes broken by a bullet. . . . 

General Porter's Court has adjourned till to-morrow 
on account of the absence of witnesses. He receives new 
evidence for his defence almost every day. 

I don't think I shall be able to get home Christmas. I 
shall have to wait here anyway until I am examined as 
a witness, and it does not look now as if I could be up 
until after Christmas. 

From the feeling here I think we shall see General 
McClellan in command soon. His enemies are changing 
wonderfully. Wilmot, Senator from Pennsylvania, said, 
so I hear, at Willard's last night that Stanton and Hal- 
leck must be driven out of Washington. . . . 

Washington, Dec. 21, 1862. 

Dear Father, — The city is full of all sorts of rumors, 
naturally, and it is difificult to find out what is true, and 
what false. One thing I have heard, which I know to be 
true. Halleck and Stanton have had a fight. They were 
each trying to put the blame of the Fredericksburg affair 
on the other, and finally Stanton called Halleck a liar. 
Halleck slapped his face. I do not know whether the 
affair proceeded any farther. It was a most disgraceful 
affair anyway, and fully worthy of the actors. "When 
rogues fall out, honest men get their dues." 

Burnside came up here last night, and went to see the 
President. From what I hear, I am confident that he was 
ordered to cross the river where he did. 

The next few days are, or will be, the most important 
ones in the history of our nation, in my opinion. The 
events that take place then, will decide our fate as a 
nation, and will determine whether we are to be utterly 
ruined, or whether we shall stand a fair chance of being 



STEPHEN M. WELD 155 

saved. I will tell you how matters stand. There are two 
parties at work, to gain the Cabinet and the control of the 
army. The ultras, with Sumner and Co., are trying to 
break up the present Cabinet, and make it very ultra 
indeed, saying, a la Tribune, that the President should rely 
more on the party who put him in power. Their plan is 
to put Fremont in as general-in-chief, and of this several 
conservative Republican members of Congress are very 
much afraid. Should it be done, our ruin will be complete 
and effectual. Since the recent reverse, I don't think the 
army will stand any more trifling. Such an act would 
cause innumerable resignations among our best and high- 
est officers, or might even lead to direct acts of violence 
against the Government, from the army. In such a case, 
I should not at all be surprised to see Lincoln kicked out, 
and a dictator put in command. . . . May heaven save 
us from any such steps, for we shall surely be lost if such 
things become necessary, or rather seem necessary, to any 
one. The triumph of the ultra Republicans would be the 
triumph of the rebels, and the ruin of this nation. 

Then there is a second party, composed of conserv- 
ative men of all parties, but chiefly Republicans, with 
Seward at the head. The story to-day is that Seward is to 
remain in the Cabinet, and all the rest of the Cabinet 
except Welles to be turned off, and Halleck with them. 
Then Seward is to have the formation of the new Cab- 
inet. I hope this latter story is true. I hear, however, 
that Fremont is staying at the White House, which 
makes the first supposition look unpleasantly probable. 

Anyhow, things are in a perfect turmoil here, and 
everything is upside down. The Cabinet is about broken 
up, Chase among others having handed in his resignation, 
much to my joy. I only hope the President will choose 
wisely and well, and save us from ruin. If Seward were 



156 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

in, I suppose McClellan would be put in Halleck's place, 
Burnside kept wliere he is, and Halleck sent out West. 
This is the "slate" as now laid down. . . . 

Washington, D. C, Dec. 24, 1862. 

Dear Father, — I was called up before General 
Porter's Court to-day, as witness. I had a pretty severe 
cross-examination, which only made my testimony 
stronger. The general and his counsel were very much 
pleased. I, of course, told nothing but what was true, 
and so came out all right. I testified to the night of the 
27th, ^ and to my carrying an order to General Pope, on the 
29th, and to various circumstances connected with move- 
ments, etc., on the 29th. I was paid a very high compli- 
ment for the clearness and straightforwardness of my 
testimony by Mr. Fames, one of the general's counsel. 

Christmas is kept here just as Fourth of July is at 
home, by firing crackers, etc. I don't anticipate a very 
pleasant time here to-morrow. 

Dec. 26. 

I spent Christmas here, and took my dinner with 
Charles Horton, who is in Washington. I hope it will 
be the last Christmas I shall spend away from home for 
some time. . . . 

The general had some very strong testimony in his 
favor to-day, and things look very bright for him. 

I am very busy most of the time writing, etc. I am per- 
fectly well. . . . 

Washington, Dec. 30, 1862. 

Dear Father, — The evidence in General Porter's 

case continues to be more and more favorable for him 

every day. I cannot see how he can help being acquitted 

without the Court's stultifying itself. My only fear is that 

. 1 Of August, 1862. 
















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STEPHEN M. WELD 157 

the majority of them are packed, and that their opinion 
was made before they met. 

In any case, however, the general will see that I get a 
staff appointment. I had a talk with him this morning 
in which he said he would look out for me. I think [(from 
any cause or reason he should not be in the service, that 
I shall try and get on General Reynolds's staff. He is a 
very fine general and a gentleman. He was with me in 
Richmond, and I know him quite well. . . . 

Dec. 31. 

The general said that he should apply for leave to go 
on to New York as soon as his Court was over and there 
abide the decision. He told me that I could get a chance 
to go home then. I shall avail myself of it most certainly. 

We are having a snow-storm here to-day, with signs 
of cold weather. Thus far I have worn my overcoat but 
once, the weather being quite mild and pleasant. To- 
morrow is a great day here. Every one calls on every one 
else, and has a good time generally. We all pay our re- 
spects to General Porter to-morrow morning. The gen- 
eral's Court has adjourned until Friday. All the evidence 
is in, except three or four witnesses. General McClellan 
comes on the stand on Friday. Burnside was on to-day, 
and General Butterfield and Buford. 

Major Walley, son of your classmate, is here. He was at 
my room last evening. He has just been appointed pay- 
master. All such positions should be given to disabled 
officers and not to men fresh from civil life. . . . 

There are rumors here that the army is going to cross 
the Rappahannock below Fredericksburg. Richmond 
will never be reached in that way. 



CHAPTER V 

ON GENERAL BENHAM's STAFF — CAMP AT FALMOUTH, 
VA. — PRESIDENT LINCOLN REVIEWS ARMY OF THE 
POTOMAC — GENERAL BENHAM's PECULIARITIES — 
ON GENERAL REYNOLDS's STAFF 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, March 7, 1863. 

Dear Father, — I am very comfortably settled here 
at headquarters, and feel quite at home. 

The first day I got here I dined with General Hooker. 
He has certainly one good quality and that is self-confid- 
ence, and a sure feeling that he will be successful. I feel 
pretty confident from what I heard said at his table that 
he will not have any interference from Washington, and 
that he will not stand anything of that kind. He is going 
to work in such a way that he will make himself popular 
in the army, and I think will gain the confidence of the 
soldiers. He will make a spoon or spoil the horn. It is 
uncertain what command General Benham ^ will have, 
although I think it may be a division, with the Engineer 
Brigade underWoodbury as a part. This private, of course. 

We are messing together, but as we have no cook or 
cooking stove as yet, it is pretty hard scratching. I hope 
by Tuesday to have everything in shape, and ready to go 
ahead. I have a nice new wall tent, with a board floor and 
stove, and feel quite comfortable. 

I met some of my old friends here. Among them was 
Lieutenant Perkins of Butterfield's staff; I messed with 
him until we got our mess going. 

* General Henry W. Benham. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 159 

General Benham went down the river on a reconnois- 
sance the other day as far as Port Royal. To-morrow he 
will probably go up the river. I like him very much, and 
find him very pleasant and kind. I think I shall find my 
position very pleasant. 

I am on the lookout for another aide for the general. 
He asked me if I knew of any officer. I think I can find 
one in the 2d or 20th Massachusetts. Captain Motley 
has gone on to General Gordon's staff. To-morrow I shall 
try and go down to my regiment, and see whether I can 
get a place for George.^ 

I find I can have my own way on the staff here, and on 
that account it is, of course, much better than my former 
position. Then, too. General Benham seems to be a favor- 
ite of General Hooker's, and will stand a very fair chance 
of promotion. 

That letter in New York was from General Butterfield, 
advising me to return or resign. I saw him last night and 
explained the whole matter to him. He was quite kind. 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, March 15, 1863. 

Dear Mother, — We are having at this moment, 
9 P.M., a delightful hail-storm, but as I am in a nice com- 
fortable tent, I do not mind it much more than you do in 
the parlor at home. 

General Benham went to Washington yesterday, and 
left me here to see that things went straight, although 
I really don't see much to look after or attend to. James 
went to Washington this morning to get me a horse and 
a few mess stores. 

The general told me to find him an aide, and so I went 

' My cousin, George W. Weld, who was trying to get a commission. He 
was a son of William F. Weld, and a classmate of mine in College. 



i6o WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

over to the 20th Massachusetts yesterday to try and get 
Ropes. He is a fine fellow, and would have been a great 
acquisition, but I am sorry to say that he did not like to 
leave his regiment. He is a very conscientious person, 
and felt that as there were so few officers left in his regi- 
ment, and so many of them permanently absent from loss 
of limbs, etc., he did not think it right to leave. I am 
very sorry indeed to lose him. I hardly know where to 
find any one who would suit me and the general, or rather 
the general and me. I shall keep my eyes open, however. 
I dined with the fellows at the 20th, and had quite a nice 
time there. I met Major Macy, Captains Abbott and 
Holmes, and Lieutenant Ropes, all of them well. 

To-day I went to General Sedgwick's headquarters and 
dined with Captain Whittier, a classmate of mine. I saw 
General S. there, and he told me that he considered Gen- 
eral Benham the smartest man in our army, which, com- 
ing from General Sedgwick, is a great deal of praise. . . . 

Headquarters Army Potomac, 
Camp near Falmouth, March 16, 1863. 

Dear Father, — ... I was very glad to hear Gen- 
eral Sedgwick speak so highly of General Benham as he 
did. He said that he considered him the smartest man 
in the army, although he thought he did not possess so 
much general information as some others. General S., 
General Hooker, and General Benham were classmates at 
West Point. I think General B. may have a corps, 
although I do not want you to say anything about this. 
I see no chance of any move for some time. 

I tried to get Henry Ropes on General B.'s staff, but he 
did not wish to leave his regiment. I do not know whom 
to get now. Almost all my friends are captains. . . . 

I have very little to do at present, except read and write. 



STEPHEN M. WELD i6i 

and ride about to see my friends. I am reading a French 
book, among other things. 

I have got a cook and everything in regard to our mess 
fixed. We take two meals a day, breakfast at eight, and 
dinner at five. . . . 

I hear that General Porter is to be made Street Com- 
missioner in New York. I hope it is true. 

I called on General Barnes the other day, and also on 
my regiment. I am glad I did not get on Meade's staff. 
From what I can learn, I do not think he is a very pleas- 
ant man to be with. . . . 

[At this point my diary begins again.] 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 
Camp near Falmouth, Virginia. 

March 20, 1863. — General Benham relieved Gen- 
eral Woodbury,^ to-day. Snowed hard. 

March 21. — General Woodbury started for Washing- 
ton this morning, and General Benham issued General 
Orders No. i, announcing his staff. For the present I am 
acting as adjutant-general. Did not move from head- 
quarters to-day on account of the storm. Saw General 
Williams ^ about adjutants-general, and found that there 
were two unassigned. Captain Williams and Captain 
Wood. 

March 22. — Colonel Sherwin, 22d Massachusetts, 
came over to see me this morning. We rode down to the 
Fifth Army Corps, and stopped on the way at General 
[David B.] Birney's and General Whipple's headquarters. 
Saw Captain Dalton ^ and in company with him rode 

1 United States Engineer Corps. 

2 General Seth Williams; he was the bearer of the letters between General 
Grant and General Lee at Appomattox. 

' Captain Henry R. Dalton. He was on General Russell's staff. 



i62 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

down to headquarters of the Fifth Corps. Saw Colonel 
Locke and Colonel [Alexander S.] Webb, and asked about 
Captain Williams. He was very highly recommended by 
both of them. Then went to the i8th and 226. Massachu- 
setts and to General Barnes's headquarters. Then called 
on Captain Martin, and Colonel Vincent/ 83d Pennsyl- 
vania. Came back to camp at 5 p.m. Was cloudy in 
morning, but cleared off towards noon. Roads muddy. 

March 23. — General Benham rode off this morning 
with Captain Bowers, Lieutenant Van Brocklin, and 
Major Spaulding. He visited the commands of Major 
Spaulding and Captain Slosson. Major Spaulding and 
Lieutenant Van Brocklin selected a new encampment for 
the pontoon train. Captain Lubey went down to Belle 
Plain to drill in the pontoon-bridge laying. Moved our 
headquarters over to the Engineer Brigade. Morning 
pleasant, but towards afternoon it grew cloudy. 

March 24. — General visited detachments at Belle 
Plain. Confidential circular received from headquarters 
in regard to leaves of absence after April i. To-day was 
set apart for a hurdle race and a good time generally at 
General Birney's headquarters, but on account of recent 
rains it was postponed until Friday. 

Headquarters Engineer Brigade, 
Camp near Falmouth, March 24, 1863. 

Dear Father, — We moved over here to the head- 
quarters of the Engineer Brigade yesterday morning. 
I am still acting as adjutant-general, but expect to be re- 
lieved to-morrow or next day. Last Sunday I went down 
to the Fifth Army Corps, and inquired about Captain 
Williams, who is on duty there as additional adjutant- 
general. He was away on a leave of absence, but from 

' Strong Vincent, Harvard 1859. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 163 

what I could learn, he is a very nice fellow. He will prob- 
ably be ordered to join General Benham. I am sufficiently 
acquainted with the duties now to perform them when- 
ever the regular officer is absent. I should not like to 
be adjutant-general permanently, as there is too much 
office work, and as it is too confining. I think if the army 
cross successfully, and everything in our department is 
done promptly and well, that General Benham will stand 
a very good chance of promotion. In case he is promoted, 
I shall be also. We are about a third of a mile from head- 
quarters of the army. It is always the custom, I believe, 
to have the Engineer Brigade near by headquarters. 

We shall move soon, I am quite certain. Orders come 
in every day, which show that a move is soon to be made. 

Lieutenant Perkins, our new aide, joined us to-day. 
He is a very pleasant fellow. . . . 

I have no idea where we shall cross the river. I should 
think that if we crossed down below, we might move to 
the York River, and establish our base of supplies there. 

We have two regiments in this brigade, the 50th and 
15th New York Volunteers, numbering about 7800 men 
in all. They are very much scattered though, one com- 
pany being at Harper's Ferry, one at Washington, and the 
rest scattered through this army, some at Aquia Creek, 
some at Stoneman's Switch, and some at Belle Plain. 
There are six pontoon trains with the brigade, only two 
of which are completely equipped and ready. The others 
lack transportation, but will soon be complete. . . , 

March 25. — Captain Rasdereschen ^ came here to- 
day, to see about his new trestle bridge. The general had 
some spikes and hooks made according to his plans. An 

1 Captain Rasdereschen, if I remember right, was a Russian who had in- 
vented some new kind of bridge. He was currently reported to feed on 
candles and nothing else. 



i64 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

order was sent to Captain Slosson to furnish chess to 
General Birney for use on Friday. Day cool and pleasant, 
and very windy. Cloudy at night. General selected a 
place for Major Spaulding's command to encamp. 

March 26. — Captain Strang went to Washington and 
Captain Bowers left to report to General Woodbury. One 
lieutenant and 40 men reported to Captain Rasderes- 
chen for trestle-bridge drill. Colonel Stuart spent the 
night here. Snowing in the morning. Cloudy most of 
the day. Went over to headquarters of the Army of the 
Potomac in the evening with Colonel Stuart. Saw Gen- 
eral Williams in regard to the Adjutant-General, Captain 
Williams. The general said that Captain Williams wished 
very much to remain where he was. Said that the general 
might nominate any one he chose for the place. Lieu- 
tenant Perkins and Van Brocklin went up to Bank's Ford. 
Issued an order to Captain Slosson to furnish balks to 
General Birney. 

March 27. — Day clear and beautiful. There was a 
hurdle-race at General Birney's headquarters, besides 
other amusements. One man was seriously injured by his 
horse falling on him. The general and staff went over to 
the race, and from there to Major Spaulding's, where 
the general reviewed the detachment. I was at home all 
day. Received present of some fish from Major Cassin. 

March 28. — Day cloudy and rainy. Saw Colonel 
Schriver in the evening, in regard to the appointment of 
an inspector-general. He said we were entitled to one. 
Went over to General Sedgwick's in the evening. 

Headquarters Engineer Brigade, 
Near Falmouth, March 28, 1863. 

Dear Father, — Do you know of any good engineers 
in Boston, who would like commissions in this brigade? 



STEPHEN M. WELD 165 

I wish you would write me, and let me know, as General 
Benham wants to find some good engineers to commission. 
I told him that I would write you, and see whether you 
knew of any such. 

I received your letter inclosing George's recommenda- 
tions, and sent them over instantly to Captain Abbott of 
the 20th, a friend of mine and a classmate.^ He is a son 
of Judge Abbott. I could not deliver them personally, as 
my duties kept me closely confined in camp. I sent a very 
strong letter of recommendation with them, and told Ab- 
bott that I would consider it a personal favor if he would 
recommend George. I also told him that I would be over 
at his camp to-morrow and see him about it. He sent 
back word that he would make it all right when I came 
over. I also asked him to show the recommendations to 
Major Macy, who is in command. I shall go over to- 
morrow and see him personally. Even if I could not get 
George a place there, I feel quite sure I could get him one 
in this brigade. You need not say anything about it, as 
I do not wish to raise any false hopes. You can let George 
know that I am doing my best for him. 

I hear that Longfellow's son ran away, and enlisted as 
a private in the 1st Massachusetts Battery, and that Sen- 
ator Sumner sent for the captain of the battery, and told 
him that he would get L. a commission in the regular 
army if he (the captain) thought him fit for it. 

General Benham is trying to collect the brigade to- 
gether, and soon we shall have most of the companies 
near headquarters, together with a band. At present the 
brigade is very much scattered, some being at Harper's 
Ferry, some at Washington, and the rest scattered 
throughout the army. 

1 Henry L. Abbott, of the 20th Massachusetts, who showed great military 
ability. He was killed later in the war. 



i66 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I am still acting adjutant-general, and do not know 
how soon I shall be relieved. 

The general is going to appoint an inspector-general 
on his staff. If I can find a good fellow, I shall get him 
on the staff. The new aide, whom I got, is a very nice 
fellow. His name is Perkins. 

Yesterday was a delightful day, but to-day we have 
one of those everlasting rains. It has cleared up again 
to-night. 

General Birney's division had races yesterday. There 
were some 10,000 spectators present. As usual, there 
were some accidents, men being thrown and breaking 
their legs. 

The army is in good spirits, and very good discipline. 
As soon as we can move, we shall do so. . . . 

March 29. — Went over to the 20th Massachusetts, 
with Whittier.^ Saw Ropes, Macy, and Holmes. Was 
not very successful in regard to George. From the 20th 
we went to General Whipple's headquarters, where we 
saw Henry Dalton. From there went to General [Charles] 
Griffin's, and then to [George M.] Barnard's. Started 
from the i8th Massachusetts to the 1st Massachusetts 
Cavalry, where I saw Clapp and Bowditch.- Spoke to 
Clapp about coming here as inspector-general. He said 
he would like to come. Day very pleasant, but windy. 

March 30. — Colonel Stuart came up from Aquia 
Creek with one company. Captain Slosson's boats were 
moved to-day. Captain Strang back from Washington. 

March 31. — Severe snowstorm in the night. Sent over 
to Captain Clapp in the afternoon to see about adjutant- 
generalship. 

1 Charles A. Whittier, my classmate. 

- Channing Clapp, and Nathaniel I. Bowditch. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 167 

April I. — General Benham and Lieutenant Perkins 
went to Washington. The army was stampeded last 
night by a report that the enemy were coming down on 
us. From all that I can learn, it was probabl}^ an "April 
Fool." I went down to Dalton's to-day, and then to 
General Griffin's. Also saw Colonel Hayes in regard to 
George, and received a favorable answer. Went to the 
22d Massachusetts with Barnard, and saw Sherwin. 
Day pleasant and windy. I should judge from indications 
I see around me, that the next move will be in the direc- 
tion of Burnside's mud movement.^ Some think that we 
shall be sent out to the Mississippi. Granting furloughs 
again certainly does not look much like a speedy move. 

April 2. — Channing Clapp came over from camp, and 
we went over to General Sedgwick's together. As we 
found no one in there, we went to General Devens's,^ 
where we saw the general. Colonel Eustis, and Lieuten- 
ant Davis of the ist Massachusetts Cavalry. I sent the 
general's letter asking for Clapp, to General Williams, 
and also a communication asking to have him detailed 
as acting assistant adjutant-general until his regular 
appointment arrived. Saw General W. personally about 
it. Weather pleasant, but very windy in the evening. 

April 3. — General Benham arrived here this morning 
at 8 o'clock. About 11 a.m. Lieutenant Van Brocklin, 
Captain Strang, and I started for Major Spaulding's old 
camp. From there we went to the new camp, and then 
to the picket line, but here we were stopped, our passes 
being of no avail. On the way back, stopped at the 20th 
Massachusetts and saw Major George N. Alacy. Camp 
was partially surrounded with a hedge to-day. 

' This refers to the Fredericksburg campaign, which was so called. 
^ General Charles Devens, afterwards Justice of the Massachusetts Su- 
preme Court, and Attorney-General of the U. S. under President Hayes. 



i68 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

April 4. — Lieutenant Perkins returned to-day from 
Washington. He could not get my money, so that I shall 
be obliged to go to Washington for it myself. The day 
has been cold and disagreeable, and promised a storm, 
which began about nightfall. It snowed quite fast, and 
blew a very heavy gale. No signs of an immediate move. 
Report says the President and Cabinet will be down to- 
morrow to see a review of the whole army. 

Headquarters Engineer Brigade, 
Near Falmouth, Va., April 4, 1863. 

Dear Father, — I received a note from you in re- 
gard to George yesterday. . . . 

I don't know how soon we shall move. They are 
granting furloughs again, on the ground that the roads 
are bad. These high winds that we are having, how- 
ever, are drying the roads wonderfully fast. I went out 
yesterday on the Warrenton road, about to be an impor- 
tant one, I judge, and found it very bad. The mud move- 
ment under Burnside cut it up so much that it will be 
some time before it is decent again. I was going out 
of the lines on business, but had so much trouble with 
the pickets that it got too late to go. The President and 
his wife are coming down this afternoon, to review the 
troops. The review will come off to-morrow. 

Channing Clapp of the ist Massachusetts Cavalry will 
probably be appointed as our adjutant-general. He is a 
very nice fellow, and will make a pleasant addition to our 
staff. I am still acting as such. 

We have been fixing up our tents and camp-ground 
the last few days. It looks quite nicely here now. The 
whole camp is surrounded with a pine hedge, about ten 
feet high, and the Interior is nicely gravelled. . . . 

I send you an old copy of the countersigns. A list like 



STEPHEN M. WELD 169 

the enclosed is sent out every week to the headquarters 
of each corps. 

April 5. — This morning the snow was between two 
and three inches deep. We were to have a brigade guard- 
mounting to-day, but owing to the storm it was put off un- 
til to-morrow. About ten o'clock the sun came out, and 
before night the snow had almost entirely disappeared. 
I went over to the Sixth Corps with Dalton about one 
o'clock. I saw Dr. Dalton there. Went from there with 
Whittier to Brigadier General Devens. General Benham 
called Lieutenant Roosa up to-day in regard to disturb- 
ance while the general was in Washington. Also a sutler 
named Jerry. There was to have been a grand review of 
all the cavalry to-day, but it was postponed on account 
of the weather. Major Cassin was here to-day. A detail 
of 500 men was ordered this evening. 

April 6. — I went over to General Sickles's headquar- 
ters this morning with a letter from General Benham in 
regard to the difficulty of passing our picket line. Gen- 
eral S. sent his compliments to General Benham, and said 
he would issue a general order on the subject. After leav- 
ing there, I went over to the cavalry review of General 
Stoneman's corps. It was a fine sight, and almost every 
one who had a horse was present. As the President came 
in sight he was saluted with the usual number of guns. 
General Steinwehr, Major-General Sickles, Meade, Rey- 
nolds, Hooker, and Slocum, and Brigadier Generals Pratt, 
Kane, etc., were present. I saw Waldo Merriam, Scott, ^ 
Phillips, Martin,- Colonel Vincent, and numerous other 
friends of mine there. Five hundred of our brigade were 
out on fatigue duty, clearing a space for the infantry 
review to-morrow. 

' Henry B. Scott, my classmate. ^ Augustus P. Martin. 



170 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

The President looked very thin and pale, so much so 
that many people remarked that there was a fair chance 
of Hamlin being our President soon. We had brigade 
guard-mounting for the first time to-day, and I officiated 
as assistant adjutant-general. A few days' experience 
will make the whole thing go off quite successfully. In 
the evening I went over to General Hooker's head- 
quarters. 

April 7. — We all started out this morning, except 
Perkins, to see the review, by the President, of the army. 
On arriving at headquarters, we found that the review 
was postponed on account of the mud. Day pleasant. 

April 8. — To-day there was a review of the Second, 
Third, Fifth, and Sixth Corps by the President. It was 
one of the finest spectacles I have ever seen. The differ- 
ent corps arranged in line, with their flags of all colors, 
contrasting well with the dark blue of the uniforms, was 
a very pretty sight. As they passed in review they 
would come to the shoulder, and then double-quick as 
soon as past the President. I went over in the evening 
to see Starr, ^ and had a very pleasant time. Received a 
letter from Hannah full of interesting items. Mounted 
guard this evening quite successfully, and I believe made 
no mistake. This is the third time that we have had 
brigade guard-mounting. Day very pleasant. Several 
ladies were at the review, and among others Mrs. Lin- 
coln. The President's son rode at the head of the review- 
ing column. It was quite exciting when riding through 
the lines, as we did, at a full gallop. There were several 
ditches in the way which we had to leap, and In trying 

' Captain James Starr, of Rush's Lancers. They had a lance with a small 
red flag on it. They were called "Turkey Gobblers" by the men, and when- 
ever they passed the infantry every one began to gobble. It was extremely 
annoying to them, particularly as they were a fine regiment, under perfect 
discipline, and always performed most effective service. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 171 

to do so some were stuck in the mud, others thrown, etc. 
It was quite amusing for those who got through safely. 

April 9. — Day deHghtfuI, being a real summer, or 
rather spring, day. The President reviewed the First 
Corps to-day. Rode over to see Colonel Eustis in regard 
to Engineer officers. On my way back, I stopped for 
Whittier, and went over with him to see Furness on 
Stoneman's staff. Had guard-mounting in the afternoon, 
which passed off quite successfully. The general rode 
over to Major Spaulding's in the afternoon, with Lieu- 
tenant Van Brocklin. 

April 10. — Charles Whittier came over here this 
morning, and after getting my monthly report ready, 
and having sent it in, and having my tri-monthly report 
well under way, I started off with Whittier to see John 
White. ^ We came by headquarters just as the President 
and General Hooker came out, on their way to review 
the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps. On our way we came 
to the camp of the i6th Massachusetts and stopped and 
saw Captain Amory. We then continued on our way over 
the corduroy road until we came to the camp of the 1st 
New York Volunteers. Both sides of the corduroy road 
were lined by Sickles's corps, who were out to cheer 
Father Abraham. We found John in, and spent a very 
pleasant hour with him. From there we went to Belle 
Plain, to see about the pontoon boats. I found Major 
Cassin there, and Captain Wood. Saw the canvas boats, 
and reported their condition to the general. On my way 
back I stopped at Rush's Lancers' camp, and saw Win- 
sor, Furness, and Davis. 

When I arrived here at camp, I found that the general 
had gone out on a reconnoissance toward and beyond 
White Oak Church, General Reynolds's headquarters. 

' John C. White, my classmate. 



172 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

He told me in the evening that it was Lieutenant Com- 
stock's plan to cross the river below Fredericksburg, 
The general did not seem in favor of such a move. Sent 
in my tri-monthly report this evening. Day pleasant. 

April II. — A detail of 500 men was ordered this even- 
ing to report for repairing roads, etc. General Benham 
sent in to General Butterfield his report on his first recon- 
noissance. All the pontoon trains were inspected by 
order of General Benham. Inspected the one in the 15th 
New York Volunteer Engineers. Day pleasant, as have 
been all the days in the week. 

Headquarters Engineer Brigade, 
Camp near Falmouth, April 11, 1863. 

Dear Father, — I have been quite busy for the last 
few days, getting in my monthly, and tri-monthly reports, 
besides a great deal of other office business. To-morrow, 
I am glad to say, I shall be relieved from duty as adju- 
tant-general by Channing Clapp. Although I have got 
along very well with General Benham, I don't think I 
should like to be his adjutant-general permanently. He 
is not at all well posted in regard to office business, and 
keeps doing things which are irregular, and the blame of 
which, if any mischief should ensue, would fall upon the 
unfortunate adjutant-general. I have never got into any 
scrape with him, except once, and I did it then from fol- 
lowing out his orders. I gave a certificate of "muster 
out" to an officer, in order that he might be mustered in, 
with his new and increased rank. The general had given 
me an express order to do so in all such cases, but as it 
happened, he did not wish this officer to get his new rank 
as it had been obtained in a rather underhand manner. 
The officer, too, lied to me in regard to his commission, 
and so obtained the certificate. The general made me 



STEPHEN M. WELD 173 

write him (the officer aforesaid) a note, saying that I had 
given him the certificate without authority, which was 
not so. I did as he directed, however, as I did not wish 
to have a quarrel with the general. Of course the proper 
way for the general to have done would have been to 
demand the certificate back on the ground that it was 
fraudulently obtained. As it was, it exposed me to insult, 
etc., by having my authority to sign a paper called into 
question, and indeed, I don't see why any officer might 
not now refuse to obey any order signed by me, on the 
ground that I had signed it without authority. Even 
if I had signed it without authority, it was very impolitic 
for the general to have a written statement made to that 
effect, when he could get out of the scrape in any other 
way. This, and one or two other things of a like nature 
done to. others on the staff, makes me feel rather anxious 
in regard to the future. If anything the general orders 
to be done is not successful, I very much fear that the 
blame may be thrown on his staff officer, whoever he may 
be, by the general disavowing the act or order. He has 
constantly thrown the blame of all his former troubles 
on other people. However, it will only make me more 
careful and anxious to do my duty faithfully. I don't 
wish you to think that I am on unpleasant terms with 
General Benham or that I have had any serious trouble. 
We are on the best of terms, and he did not blame me 
much about the certificate, but, as you know, straws 
show which way the wind blows, and I, of course, wish 
to go through this war with honor, and don't want to 
render myself liable to any blame. Now, this present 
position in the Engineer Brigade is a very ticklish one. 
Any amount of blame and censure has been heaped on 
the former commander, and should it come on the present 
one, I prefer that it should not be shoved off on my 



174 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

shoulders. And from seeing General B. not disposed to 
stand up for his stafif, which I have never before known 
a general not to do, I feel somewhat anxious. Of course, 
an aide's reputation, honor and everything is in the 
hands of his general, and if an aide cannot feel that his 
general will support the orders he gives him to carry or 
to perform, why there is an end of him. Now, I think 
I can easily get on some other staff, and after giving you, 
in perfect confidence and with a knowledge that yon will see 
it in its true light and keep it perfectly secret, a full state- 
ment of the case, I wish to know your opinion about it, 
I know the general is satisfied with me and has perfect 
confidence in me, and as a companion he is jolly and agree- 
able. But then he is very incautious in what he says 
about others, and censures the acts and abilities and do- 
ings of other generals in a way which must get him into 
trouble, and which has, undoubtedly, in my opinion, 
made him enemies in his former campaigns, and led him 
into many of his scrapes. He is very ambitious, and very 
conceited. Of course everything here is for your ear 
alone, and must go no further. 

We shall probably move in two or three days. The 
roads are all dry, and all the preparations are being 
made for a speedy move, probably down the river. By 
the time you get this we shall be on our way, unless 
storms prevent. Parties are at work on the roads fixing 
the bad holes, etc. 

To-day we had an inspection of all our pontoons, and 
shall have them all in condition by to-morrow night. We 
have over a hundred of them. 

At some convenient time, I will write you a full ac- 
count of everything here. Don't be at all anxious about 
me, as I have always and shall always do my duty. I 
have spoken to you in perfect confidence as a son would 



STEPHEN M. WELD 175 

do to his father, in regard to my position and to my feel- 
ings. I will again say that I am on the best terms with 
General Benham, and know everything that is going on 
from him, which would not be the case if he did not have 
confidence in me. 

I have been mounting Brigade Guard for the last week, 
and find it quite pleasant. I have at least learned much 
by my present position, and gained a great deal of useful 
experience. 

April 12. — Captain Clapp came over this morning 
with his servant and relieved me as assistant adjutant- 
general. Lieutenant Van Brocklin went out with a detail 
of 500 men to repair roads near Bank's Ford. The de- 
tail of 250 men that came from the 15th Regiment was 
half an hour late, much to the disgust of the general. He 
had two officers placed in arrest, and fumed and fretted 
the whole day long. Day pleasant. 

April 13. — Duplicate copies of the estimate for mules, 
etc., handed in to-day to Generals Williams and Ingalls. 
The original that was sent in on March 25 could not be 
found at headquarters. Preparations are being made for 
an immediate move. All the pontoon boats have been 
made tight, and have been caulked and put in complete 
order. Orders received from headquarters to be ready 
to move at short notice in any direction. Day pleasant. 

April 14. — Rode out to Bank's and United States 
fords this morning with Generals Hooker, Benham, and 
Warren, Captain Cadwalader, Major Ludlow, and Cap- 
tain Comstock. Before going went to Colonel Stuart with 
an order from General Benham to send an officer out to 
examine the roads from White Oak Church to Schenker's 
Neck. Officer started, but could not get through the 
picket line. On the way to Bank's Ford we passed over 



176 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

the road repaired by Mr. Van Brocklln. At Bank's Ford 
we found three lines of rifle-pits. At United States Ford, 
some five or six miles above Bank's Ford, they had a line 
of rifle-pits, and a line of redoubts. At both fords the 
banks on our side are very high, and command the oppo- 
site shore. At Bank's Ford the ground is low on the 
enemy's side, and rises gradually. At United States Ford, 
the rise on the enemy's side is very much less. I do not 
think that General Hooker liked either place as a cross- 
ing for the army. Coming back, we saw a working party 
leaving Bank's Ford. At United States Ford we saw 
about half a regiment behind the rifle-pits. Some of them 
called out to us, and asked us to come over. Our cavalry, 
which moved last Monday (that is, yesterday), crossed 
the river at Kelly's Ford. On my way back I stopped in 
Falmouth and saw John Perry, who arrived this after- 
noon. The morning was warm and pleasant, but towards 
evening it clouded up, and became chilly, and in the 
middle of the night it began raining. 

April 15. — It rained heavily during the night, and 
also this morning, putting an effectual check on all move- 
ments for some time. The rain continued all day. Sup- 
plies were forwarded to the cavalry. Had an order to 
inspect the pontoon train in General Howard's corps as 
soon as the rain held up, but had no chance to go as the 
rain continued all day. Every one feels blue on account 
of the cavalry, whose movements the rain must seriously 
interfere with. 

April 16. — Day was pleasant. Rode over to General 
Howard's headquarters, and showed him an order from 
General Benham to inspect the pontoon train. He was 
very polite and sent an aide with me to Hope Landing, 
where the train was. Got down there and saw Captain 
Lee, Quartermaster, and Mr. Waterman, a civilian, who 



STEPHEN M. WELD 177 

has charge of the train. The train consists of 22 wagons, 
with 8 boats, which are taken apart on the march and put 
together again when needed. One boat consists of some 
35 to 40 pieces. The pieces are all tongued and grooved, 
and then bolted together. The stringers are 33 feet long, 
and the bays 25 feet in length. The chess are common 
plank, and average some 15 inches in width, and 15 feet 
in length. The boats are 18 feet long and 8 feet wide. 
I should think that they would be liable to leak on ac- 
count of the numerous joints. It takes some fifteen min- 
utes to put a boat together. The horses are very poor 
indeed, and very green. The train is in charge of Mr. 
Waterman, who receives $150 a month, and 16 mechan- 
ics, who have from $2 to $2.50 [a day]. Got back to 
camp about 2 p.m. 

April 17. — General sent me down early in the morn- 
ing to Hope Landing with an order to Mr. Waterman to 
send up the train immediately, and also ordered me to 
direct the train. I reached Hope Landing at about 11 
o'clock and started the train by 12. Such a miserable, 
green, balky, God-forsaken set of horses I never saw be- 
fore in my life. All the 23 teams utterly refused to draw 
except one, which went ahead very well. To make mat- 
ters worse, there was a corduroy road leading up a very 
steep hill which we had to go over in the first part of our 
journey. After getting all the teams up the hill, I rode on 
to Stafford Court House to see Colonel Asmussen, General 
Howard's chief of staff. I got a detail of 100 men from 
him and went back to the wagons with them. On my way 
to Colonel A.'s I stumbled on General Slocum's head- 
quarters, and found Charles Horton, Morse, and Motley. 
I got my wagons as far as Stafford Court House by 
8 P.M., having gone some three miles in 8 hours. Colonel 
Asmussen gave me a bed, a stable for my horse, etc., and 



178 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

treated me very kindly indeed. In the evening I had a 
guard placed over my wagons, having first telegraphed 
for permission to park at Stafford Court House for the 
night, which w^as granted. I went to General Slocum's 
in the evening and passed a pleasant hour with Morse, 
Horton, and Motley. Day pleasant. Cloudy part of 
time. 

April i8. — Started from Stafford with my wagons a 
few minutes past six a.m. Reached General Howard's 
quarters myself about 8, Asked him for a new detail of 
100 men to relieve the lOO obtained early in the morning 
from the 82d Ohio. He was very pleasant and obliging, 
and ordered the men to meet me at Brook's Station, 
where I arrived with train about lO o'clock. Found 
my detail and pushed on to our headquarters, which 
I reached about 2.30 p.m., without meeting with any 
accident except having a team run away and tumble 
into Potomac Creek. We had a tough time getting up 
the hill near the creek, but after that everything went 
straight. There was a Captain Mensel of General 
McLean's staff who had charge of the fatigue party of 
100 men. He lunched here with me, and was very 
agreeable, 

April 19. — The general had some of the new pon- 
toon boats of Waterman's put together, and sent for 
General Hooker to see them, but the general could not 
come. A detail of eight or ten men was made from each 
regiment, composed of the best mechanics, to see the 
boats put together. The general and Captain Comstock 
went down to the river, where General Franklin crossed in 
December. This is the first time we have had any hint in 
regard to the army's crossing at this place. General B. 
says we have got to butt against the enemy somewhere, 
and that we might as well cross here as anywhere. Major 



Camp near Falmouth, Va., April 17, 1863. 



^% ^mwm pmm, 



General Orders, I 
No. 7. f 

OKDER OT MARCH OP THK PONTON TRAINS OP THE ENaiNEER BRIGADE. 

The ponton trains will be arranged and designated as follows : 

The train in charge of the 50th regiment New York volunteer engin- 
eers, (now with Major Ira SpaulJing,) and having the mule teams brok- 
en in, will be called the "First Tr^in of the 50th Regiment." The 
Captains of these trains, especially responsible, for the details of equip- 
ment and march, will be, for the " first train " Captain Geo. W. Ford, 
and the "second train" Captain W. W. Folwell, — Major Spaulding 
being in general charge of both tiains. 

Major E. 0. Beers, 60th regiment, (with Captain Asa C. Palmer, com- 
pany "H," captain of the train,) will take charge of the train recently 
repaired by him, which will be called the " Third Train of the 50th 
Regiment." 

The train now under the charge of Captain H. V. Slosson of the 15th 
regiment, and having the horses broken in, will continue under his com- 
mand, and be styled the " First Train of the 15th Regiment." The other 
train recently parked with this, will be under the command of Captain 
Jos. Wood, Jr., 15th regiment as captain of the train, which will be 
called the " Second Train of the 15th Regiment." Both trains will be 
pommannded by Major Walter L. Cassin, 15th regiment. 

The train at these Head-Quarters will be commanded by Captain Tim- 
othy Lubey, and will be called the " Third Train of the 15th Regiment," 
^nd be under the general charge of Major Thomas Began. 

In addition to these, there will be assigned to each train another com- 
pany, to be under the general command of the captain of the train, as 
already designated. To the 1st, 2d, and 3d trains of the 50th regiment, 
(Jampanies "C" and "F," and ("D"and "K,") of Captains Geo. N. Fal- 
ley, and M. H. McGvath, and Asa C. Palmer, and James H. McDonald, 
respectively, and to the Ist, 2d, and 3d trains of the 15th regiment, com- 
panies "A" and "I" and "K" of Captain A. P. Green, Lieutenant Thom- 
as Sanford, and Captain Sewall Sergeant, respectively. 

Each train will be divided by its captain into four sections, comprising 
" first section " and "second section of pontons," and " first section " 
and " second section of equipage." The first and second platoons of the 
captains of the trains, will be assigned to the first and second sections of 
pontons, and the 1st and 2d platoons of the second company to the first 
and second sections of camp equipage. 

The remaining companies of each regiment will forma road party, the 
largest company and any force beyond one company to each train, pre- 
ceeding the first train, the second in size the second train, and so on. 



I 



and if there are but two oompaniea, the eecond in size will be dlTided so 
that abont one-half shall preceed each of the last two trains. 

The working parties of the 60th regiment will be under the charge of 
Major Wesley Brainerd, and of the 16th, under Major E. C. Perry. Eaoh 
working party will be supplied with tools in the proportion of one to 
each two men, who on a m^rch, will relievo each other in carrying these 
tools, at equal intorrals, by the order of tho officer. The kind of tool 
will be, not over one-tenth picks, though with two at leaat to each party, 
and the balance about equally, shovels and axes. The whole command 
being necessarily available as a working party at all times, will have 
their knapsacks and extra rations carried on the trains, if not overload, 
ing the teams, but so placed as to be readily unloaded in case of emer- 
gcncy. The men will habitually, only carry (heiy arms and 40 rounds 
of ammunition, rations in their haversacks, blankets and overcoats. 

Tho ambulance trains will be about equally divided, for Iho rev of 
?ach train until otherwise directed. Tho largest proportioin of ambti- 
lanoes with the rear train, the officer in charge to havo hiE^ position in 
the ro*r of 2J train of 15th regiment, and ono.non-commijteioMed officer 
in roar of 2d train of 60th regiment. The inslrumenis of tho band will 
be carried in the trains to which they belong, and the mu3icians will be 
prepared to assist at the ambulances. 

The colonels of (ho regiments will take tho general direction and 
charge of tho trains and see to their proper closure, &c. on the march, 
taking care to expedite their marches to the utmost degree practicablCj 
and being each responsible for tho same.dircctly to the General command* 
ing, from whom, or through his staff all necessary orders will be given. 
Tho place of the colonel will be generally (when not called elsewhere 
by duty) between the lat and 2d trains of his regiment. And the colo- 
nel will be careful to send an officer to tho General commanding, each 
evening on the parking of the trains of his regiment, and when practi- 
cable between 10 and 12 a. m. of each day, to impart full information as 
to the condition of their trains, or to receive ordorij. 

The colonel will bo assisted in his general supervision by the lieuten- 
ant colonel, whose position will be habitually between the 2d and 3d 
trains, and who will bo especially charged with selecting positions for, 
and parking tho trains, as well as with their prompt starting on marches 
at the hour ordered, with a view to which, their mode of parking will be 
anangad, and trains 1 and 2 of each regiment will be parked as near to- 
gether as practicable. Those marches, will, unless otherwise directed, 
oBually begin at the earliest light that the roads can bs» plainly visible, 
he breakfast of tho men, the striking and packing of tents andharness- 
ag and hitching up of teams being completed before that hour. 

The respective field officers commanding trains will select a careful 
reliable non-comnassioned officer with a guard of five men for each com- 
pany under their command, to bring up the rear of each train, to pre- 



vent straggling, muraadifig, skulking, &c., and presidtebt atxagglers will 
be sumniarily dealt with. The oflScera in charge of the different sections 
of the train are held responsible, that no one rides on the wagons with- 
out the written authority of a medical officer therefor, for which one 
medical officer,* if so many are available, will accompany each train, tne 
senior of the regiment with each 2d train. Each section of a train Trill 
start off when ready at the hour ordered, to follow the moTi^meut of its 
next advance section, and without being delayed for a rear section. 
And in all cases when a wagon is delayed by an accident or any cause 
whatever, those in the rear must if it is possible pass on, leaving such 
wagon to take its proper place, whenever prac.ticable, and without delay 
to the trains, unless contrary orders shall be given by the colonels, in 
writing, to the captains of the train. 

Should wagons become fixed or "set" in bau places, it may be expedi' 
ent to unload them at ouco, to drag the wagons out seperately, as the 
balks, chess, &c., can be readily carried for short distances on the shoul- 
ders of the men, and it may even be advisable to dismount a ponton to 
move it by rollers, or cvon directly on soft muddy gronad, like the stone 
"boat" or "drag." 

As it is dcsirn.blc to give as much freedom of passage as possible Uy 
the trains'; when two roads arc known to be practicable to the point 
aimed at, unless othorwlso specially directed, the trains of the 60th reg- 
iment will habitually tako the right hand roads, in such cases, those of 
the 15th regiment following the left roads. One wagon load of ammuni- 
tion, with the regimental wagons, forage, &c., with the beef on the hoof, 
will follow in rear of the 2d train of each regiment, in charge of its 
regimental quartermaster and assistant commissary of subsistence. 

The Head-Quarters wagons under the brigade quartermaster will take 
the head of the column of the 50th regiment; near which will be the 
habitual position of the commanding General. 

The wagons of the traifu will not be halted for locking the wheels, or 
for watering the animals, except under the direct orders of the oaptAiim 
of the trains or other superior officers, who, in giving such orders ^rill ftt 
the same timo.station reliable officers or non-commissioned officers at the 
points for locking, and for unlocking wheels, and watering the aninals, 
who will bo responsible that these operations are performed with die 'ut- 
most expedition possible. A supply of extra wagon poles and kingbolts 
will' be caiTicd with each train to avoid delays from these sources. 

Tho road parties, will whenever it is at all practicable, in very bad, 
especially miry places , construct double road ways, that the train may 
pass, if any wagons should break down at these points, and in making 
"corduroy" ways.especial care will bo taken to lay as near as may bo the 
logs or poles of the same diameter next each other, the buts on the same 
'side, and to place above these the smaller branches or limbs well streight- 
ened, before laying on the earth of the road-way. The-stumps of trees 



in road w^ys, must be cut close to the ground. These niUs are to be geu' 
cralfor all roads, worked by this brigade. 

All orders to any of the officers of the regiments in relation to the 
halts or movements of the trains, given in the name of the General 
commanding, by the assistant adjutant general, aides and quartermaster 
will be at once complied with. 

As a prompt obedience to orders, especially as to hours for details or 
for marches is indispensable to the successful movement of this brigade 
(it may be said — in its present situation— for this whole army,) the 
ofiQcers of the command may rely upon it that any delinquency in this 
respect will bo inexorably followed up and traced to the offender— to tte 
end that, even in a first offence discovered in any person not of a fair 
character as an officer, or for any second offence of this kind such de- 
linquency may be reported to the General commanding this army for his 
action. 

By oedee o> Bbiqadiek Genekal H. W Benuah: 

Commanding Engineer Brigade 

Pfvicial : 



t'apl. and A. Ass' I A'l/'t Gen'l. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 179 

Cassin's trains moved to near the Wallace House. John 
Perry and Abbott were here to-day. 

April 20. — It rained to-day, and I had to start with 
Waterman's train to go over to Major Spaulding's. I 
moved it to a point a mile the other side from the rail- 
road, where I was relieved by an officer from Major 
Spaulding. The Regular battery reported to General 
Benham, and had Captain Wood's old train assigned 
them. 

April 21. — Captain Falley's train moved from Major 
Spaulding's this afternoon to Major Beers's camp. Rode 
over to Major Spaulding's and to General Couch's head- 
quarters with General Benham. Went ahead with a road 
party to repair road, etc. The Regulars moved their train 
to a point near the river. Major Cassin also moved his 
train some hundred feet or so. The only mule teams 
that arrived at the time they were ordered were Major 
Cassin's. The others were from an hour to two hours 
late. 

April 22. — Rode down to the river, and saw the 
places where it is intended to cross the river. Three 
bridges are to be where Franklin formerly crossed, and 
two a mile below. Two also at Bank's Ford, where I did 
not go. The report is that our cavalry all crossed at 
Rappahannock Station to-day and that the Orange and 
Alexandria R.R. is running. The general and Captain 
Clapp and Major Hewitt and myself formed the party 
that went out this morning. A division of General 
Reynolds's corps went down to Port Royal with some 
of our canvas pontoons. They came back again without 
crossing. 

April 23. — It rained all day, thus putting ofif any 
movement for some days. General Benham, I hear, is 
blamed for not sending down the material with the can- 



i8o WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

vas boats, for making a bridge at Port Royal. His orders, 
however, were to send the boats only. The teams were 
ordered to be returned from the pontoon trains, and the 
trains parked. Everything looks as if the whole plan for 
the movement was changed. I went over to headquarters 
in the afternoon. John Perry and Henry Abbott were 
over here in the afternoon. 

Headquarters Engineer Brigade, 
Camp near Falmouth, April 23, 1863. 

Dear Father, — It rained all last night, and for the 
third time we have had our move postponed. I hope the 
rain may not last long, as it will stop operations, which 
are now going on. 

The plan of movement as far as I can see is as follows. 
The main body of the army will cross near where General 
Franklin crossed last December, about two miles below 
Fredericksburg. Here there are to be three bridges. One 
mile below this point there are to be two bridges. On 
these five bridges the main part of our army will cross, as 
I think. Then there are two bridges to be thrown across 
the river at Bank's Ford or near there, to cause a diver- 
sion. This movement, together with that of our cavalry, 
who crossed the river at Rappahannock Station yester- 
day, will bring a large force of the enemy up the river. 
Then a division marched down the river yesterday to 
Port Royal, where some of them will cross to create a di- 
version there. Of course I am not sure that such is the 
plan, but so it seems to me. The weather, however, may 
interfere seriously with us, as it has several times already. 
It really seems as if everything went against us. 

I get along very well with General Benham, and give 
him no possible chance to catch me napping, or disre- 
garding orders. He is unfortunately very quick-tempered. 



STEPHEN M. WELD i8i 

and pitches into officers without giving them the slightest 
chance to tell their side. The consequence is that he is 
very unpopular and has created a great many enemies for 
himself. He is a man that I have no respect for at all. He 
loses his temper and becomes so violent that it is ludicrous 
to see him. The other day he called me out of my tent 
and showed me a paper that a colonel had just sent in to 
him. The colonel had, through mistake, and acting on 
the advice of one of the general's staff, the inspector- 
general, sent in a paper which was not strictly correct. 
The general worked himself into a terrible rage, swore 
that it was a piece of damned impertinence, and finally 
tore the paper to pieces. I tried to explain to him that 
the colonel was acting in good faith and that he meant 
nothing impertinent. He would not hear a word, how- 
ever, and on seeing him tear the paper, I could not help 
feeling disgusted, both at his folly and anger. If he 
wanted to convict the colonel of impertinence, it was 
foolish to tear the paper up. I turned right round and 
left him, saying, "Well, sir, / had nothing to do with the 
matter." That day at dinner, when he had recovered his 
good temper, he said to me, " I am not quite such ad — d 
fool as you think I am. I saved those pieces and put 
them together again." He said this laughing, and he 
evidently knew what I thought of him. He is a man of 
good ability, and it seems too bad that he should go 
through life making any number of enemies and doing 
so little good, all from his bad temper. Luckily I can get 
along with any one and so don't mind him much. 

I was ordered to bring up a pontoon train from Hope 
Landing the other day, some fifteen miles from here. I 
stuck to the train until I got it through, although I had 
a great deal of trouble and labor in doing so. I think 



i82 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

that he was pleased at my doing so. However, I shall be 
careful and always do as I am ordered, and hope to es- 
cape all blame by so doing. I have had three chances 
to go on other staffs since I have been down here, but 
do not like to do so until I am absolutely compelled to 
leave General B. It does not look well for an officer to 
change much. The enemy are being heavily reinforced 
opposite us, and will doubtless make a strong resistance. 
A few days ago they were reported to have but 40,000 
men opposite here. 

April 24. — Rainy most of the day. Towards even- 
ing it cleared up. Lawrence Motley was here to dinner. 
General Benham w^ent over to headquarters, and came 
back very much pleased, as General Hooker told him 
that the pontoons were ready in time for this last pro- 
posed movement. Cut my thumb with case-knife. Re- 
ceived a letter from Father, in answer to the one I wrote 
about . 

April 25. — General Benham and Captain Clapp went 
up to Bank's Ford. Henry Dalton was here. The day 
was warm and pleasant. The general received a telegram 
from Major Cassin, who started for Washington in the 
morning, saying that the canvas pontoon train would be 
ready by Monday morning. I took the dispatch up to 
General Hooker. 

Sunday, April 26. — Went up to Bank's Ford with 
General Meade, General Benham, Captain Weed, and 
Captain Jay. General Hooker and Captain Comstock 
went as far as Falmouth, where they stopped. Got 
back to camp about 5.30 o'clock. Day was pleasant. 
The works at Bank's Ford have been strengthened by 
traverses, etc. The enemy have a battery of five guns 
covering the river above the dam. Major Cassin tele- 
graphed that the train was ready at 2.30 to-day. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 183 

April 2^]. — General woke me up at 2 o'clock this 
morning to write some orders for Captain Lubey in re- 
gard to the canvas pontoon train. Received a telegram 
from him at 7 in the evening, saying that he was at Wash- 
ington Navy Yard. Day was pleasant. Everything points 
towards a movement to-morrow night. 

April 28. — The general received a telegram from 
Captain Lubey, saying that the pontoon train arrived 
at Warrenton at 7.30 o'clock this morning. I took the 
telegram, or rather a verbal message, to General Butter- 
field, to the effect that the train arrived at Warrenton at 
7.30. General Benham then went over to General Sedg- 
wick's, with Perkins and myself. General S., General 
Sickles, and General Reynolds were there. After leaving 
there, General B. sent me with a message to Major Cassin, 
saying that he wished his train to be moved over the crest 
near the Wallace House. Major Cassin moved his train 
as ordered, and proceeded down to the pine forest near 
the river bank. At five o'clock in the afternoon, General 
Sedgwick and General Newton came to headquarters, 
and General B. went with them to the river, where they 
left me. I went back to headquarters in accordance with 
General B.'s orders, having waited for him an hour. At 
nine in the evening, General Hunt arrived here, and with 
all his staff. General Benham started for General Sedg- 
wick's headquarters. After remaining here for half an 
hour, or rather 15 minutes, General Benham went on 
towards the river, until he met General Pratt. He or- 
dered me to stay with General Pratt, and as soon as the 
enemy took the alarm to order the batteries down, and 
one train of pontoon equipage. While here, General 
Benham had a row with General Sedgwick's aide, Cap- 
tain Halstead. 

General Benham, after giving his instructions to 



i84 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

General Pratt and other ofificers, left for the lower bridges. 
General Pratt sent me down to the river to give notice 
as soon as the enemy were alarmed, General Newton's 
officers, who were to perform that duty, not being pre- 
sent. I waited on the bank of the river some half hour, 
having first questioned all the pickets in regard to any 
sounds or noises heard on the opposite bank. Everything 
was very quiet, except the sound arising from our pon- 
toon boats being transported by our men. When the 
boats arrived at the bank, I joined General Benham. He 
sent me down to the river's edge to listen, and to see 
whether the enemy were aware of our approach. I soon 
heard the clanking of swords, etc., and saw signals dis- 
played, and so informed the general. By one or two 
o'clock some 40 boats were at the river's bank. At four 
our men crossed, one volley and a few scattering shots 
being all the resistance that they encountered. Some half 
a dozen men were wounded. The time between 4 and 6 
o'clock was occupied in crossing troops.^ 

Camp near Falmouth, April 28, 1863. 

Dear Father, — I think we shall start to-morrow 
night, if it does not rain. The pontoons are all near the 
river, and everything is in readiness to move. Some of 
the corps have moved up near the river to-day, in order 
to move promptly and quickly when the order comes. 
It seems to me that we shall cross in three places: at 
Bank's Ford, where Franklin crossed at Fredericksburg 
fight, and about a mile below Franklin's position. 

In regard to the feeling in the army, it is not so good as 

^ Gen. Hooker's movement to turn the Confederate left flank, which 
resulted in the battle of Chancellorsville, began on April 27, when a force 
under Sedgwick was sent across the Rappahannock below Fredericks- 
burg. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 185 

it was. There is a feeling that the golden opportunity has 
passed away, and that if we cross now we shall have Hill 
and Longstreet's forces to contend with in addition to 
Lee's force. Had we gone over last Monday, we should 
not have half the force to contend against that we have 
now. However, it does not do to give way to any such 
feelings, especially before the men, and we must all do the 
utmost in our power to help and aid General Hooker. In 
regard to his drinking, I will say to you what I have never 
spoken about to any one else outside the army. / know 
of his having been tight twice since I have been here, al- 
though I hope he does not indulge enough to render him 
incompetent to perform his duty. He is, to tell the truth, 
a brave, dashing soldier, rather an adventurer than any- 
thing else, and bound to win or lose everything. Too 
much given to boasting and talking, he is nevertheless a 
man who will win the love and admiration of the soldiers, 
provided that he succeeds in his first fight. Whether he 
possesses the ability and the power to handle this large 
army remains to be seen. So far, in my opinion, General 
Butterfield has "run the machine," and he is admirably 
fitted to attend to its internal discipline, etc. I feel anx- 
ious myself in regard to General Hooker, on account of 
the numerous delays we have had. They are certainly as 
bad, if not worse, than any of McClellan's, and we must 
certainly admit that either Hooker is right and McClel- 
lan also, or that Hooker is wrong as much as McClellan 
ever was. Every one here begins to say now, "Well, 
McClellan was right after all." I do hope most earnestly 
that by the time you receive this letter you will also have 
the news of our crossing the river successfully, and giving 
the enemy a good whipping. 

To-night it seems to threaten a storm for to-morrow. 
We get ready to move during the pleasant weather 



i86 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

and are on the point of starting just as tiie rain begins 
again. 

I was called up this morning to write some private 
dispatches for an officer going on a secret expedition. 

General and myself were the only ones around here 

who knew of the place and object of the officer's journey. 
The officer himself did not know, as the dispatches were 
sealed and were not to be opened until he reached Wash- 
ington. Yet this afternoon I was told by an officer where 
and for what purpose the officer was sent. It leaked out 
from headquarters of the Army of the Potomac in some 
way. It is a difficult thing to keep anything secret. 

April 29. — At 6 the first bridge was begun, and at 7 
it was completed. About 8.30 we all started for the lower 
crossing, where we had been repulsed in our attempt at 
crossing. At 9 o'clock our men, protected by rifle-pits, 
opened a sharp fire on the enemy posted in their pits, and 
soon made them start from them, they leaving one by one. 
Our artillery then opened on them, and I saw one man 
knocked plump over by one of our solid shots. When- 
ever a rebel attempted to run from one pit to another, 
or showed himself in any way, our men would open on 
him, and if he was hit, a shout would be raised by every 
one. It was pleasant for us who were not under fire to 
see the devils knocked over. Soon a few boat-loads of 
men were thrown over the river. As soon as our men ap- 
peared on the opposite bank, there was a stampede of the 
rebels from all the rifle-pits and houses along the bank, 
and then there was a race, our men running and firing 
at the enemy as they went along. As we came to the dif- 
ferent pits, our men would pull out the rebels, and send 
them over the river. From one pit a white rag was shown, 
and one of our men pulled three rebs out of it. Over a 



STEPHEN M. WELD 187 

hundred prisoners were caught here. The bridges were 
laid here by 11 o'clock, the enemy shelHng us towards 
10 o'clock, but without any damage. At 12 o'clock, I 
reached camp, and immediately went to sleep, not having 
had any for twenty-four hours. In the morning, I was sent 
three different times to General Sedgwick: once with the 
message that General Russell had refused to obey Gen- 
eral Benham's orders; the second time, that General 
Russell had refused to obey General B.'s orders, and 
that he had put him under arrest; and the third time, 
to ascertain how many bridges General S. wished. 

Headquarters Engineer Brigade, 
Camp near Falmouth, April 29, 1863. 

Dear Father, — It is now 4.30 p.m., and we have fin- 
ished five of our bridges. I will endeavor to give you a 
brief account of everything that has happened since yes- 
terday morning. Yesterday was cloudy and rainy, to- 
wards afternoon and evening the weather growing very 
misty, much to our joy, as last night was the night selected 
to lay the bridges, two of which were to go down at 
Bank's Ford; but these were afterwards shown and ex- 
posed to view merely to deceive the rebs, without any 
effort being made to lay them ; three more were to be laid 
at Franklin's old place of crossing, and two a mile and a 
half below Franklin's old place. The weather was perfect, 
and could not have been better. A very thick fog hung 
over the earth, completely hiding every object a few 
yards distant. The boats were drawn by teams to within 
a mile of the intended crossing place. From here they 
were carried on poles to the river's bank, there being 75 
men to each boat. This was done in order to get near the 
enemy unheard, and take them if possible by surprise. 
At 10 P.M. last night we left our camp, and went to 



i88 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

General Sedgwick's headquarters, who had entire charge 
of the movements at the two lower crossings and who had 
the 1st, 3d and 6th Corps under his command. He and 
General Benham made their arrangements, and to assist 
General Benham, General Sedgwick sent an aide with 
him. While giving him some instructions a short time 
after. General Benham abused him shamefully without 
the slightest cause. Soon after he got himself into a scrape 
with General Brooks, and then with General Russell, 
whom he placed under arrest. I was asked by two officers, 
General Russell being one, whether General Benham was 
not drunk. I said he was not, as I knew he took wine 
only and not any liquors. Then, too, I was accustomed 
to his swearing, etc., and thought nothing of it. Pretty 
soon a captain came riding along on horseback, and Gen- 
eral Benham opened on him, yelling out in a loud tone of 
voice and Goddamning him. This, too, right on the bank 
of the river and when he had just been cautioning every 
one to keep quiet. I said to the general, "Don't call out 
so loud, sir, the enemy can hear you." He still kept on, 
however. All this time he was lying flat on the ground, 
complaining of fatigue. He then sent me ofT to find a 
Captain Reese, and when I came back he was gone, hav- 
ing left directions for me to stay where his horse was. I 
did not see him then for some time, when he came back 
on a borrowed horse and reeling in his saddle. He said 
to me in a thick voice, "Go tell General Sedgwick that 
General Russell has disobeyed my orders," and kept re- 
peating it. I went off with the message to General S. 
During this last hour, everything had been going wrong. 
There was no one to attend to the matter and General B. 
confused and confounded everything. The enemy knew 
of our presence, and were signalling all along their line. 
And so it was until 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning, when 



STEPHEN M. WELD 189 

men were put into the pontoon boats and pushed over, 
several shots being exchanged, with a loss of six wounded 
for us. Our men went right over and drove the enemy. 
Meanwhile, I was on the go to General Sedgwick with 
any number of messages from General B. When I came 
back about 6 o'clock, I found General B. drunk as could 
be, with a bloody cut over his left eye, and the blood all 
over that side of his face and forming a disgusting sight 
altogether. He had fallen down and cut his face. Soon 
after he reeled in his saddle, and in trying to shake hands 
with General Pratt, he fell right off his horse on to the 
ground. I saw him do this. The soldiers picked him up, 
and he mounted again, and rode round among the men, 
swearing and trying to hurry matters, but only creating 
trouble and making himself the laughing-stock of the 
crowd. Finally three bridges were got across and then we 
started for the two lower bridges where an unsuccessful 
attempt had been made to cross in the morning. The 
general had got moderately sober by that time, and began 
to feel slightly ashamed of himself. I never in my life 
have been so mortified and ashamed as I was this morn- 
ing. I shall leave his staff as soon as possible, and I don't 
see how he can escape a court-martial and dismissal from 
the service. By sheer good luck we got the men across 
the river and built the bridges. General Benham's being 
drunk delayed the laying of the bridges for four hours ; his 
mismanagement all but ruined the whole plan. Every one 
there expected a disgraceful termination to the whole 
affair, and as I have said, good luck only saved us, for the 
rebels had two or three hours to prepare themselves, after 
we arrived on the ground, when they should have had but 
half an hour at the outside. 

At the lower crossing, I witnessed one of the prettiest 
sights of the war. It was our men driving the rebs from 



190 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

their rifle-pits. Our men in rifle-pits opened a heavy fire 
on the enemy's sharpshooters, and soon one man jumped 
out and ran, then another, and soon all along the line 
men could be seen running from houses, ditches and rifle- 
pits. Then our artillery would open and make the rascals 
scatter. I saw one round shot knock a rebel head over 
heels. Then, too, as the rebs ran from their hiding places, 
our men would yell and cheer and send a perfect storm of 
bullets after them. Soon our men rushed over in boats 
and ran up the bank and began popping away at the rifle- 
pits, houses, etc. Then came the grand skedaddle. From 
every imaginable place came a rebel running for dear life, 
with our men cheering at their heels and our artillery 
helping to kick them along. Out of one large rifle-pit, I 
saw lo or 12 rebs taken prisoners. Out of another one, a 
white rag would be raised and waved. Out of this came 
three rebels. 100 prisoners were captured in all, and a 
prettier sight I never saw in all my life. It is all very 
pleasant to look on and see a fight when your side is whip- 
ping, and you are not under fire, but it is not so pleasant 
to be in it yourself. I think myself that this movement 
here is a feint, whilst four of our corps cross at Bank's 
or United States Ford. However, all will be settled in a 
day or two, and at present everything looks bright for us. 
I cannot imagine where General B. got his liquor. I 
think it must have been sherry wine which he had with 
him. He must have drunk it very quietly, as none of us 
saw him drinking. May I be saved from another such 
general ! 

April 30. — General Benham went up to General 
Hooker's in the morning and came back to breakfast, 
saying that he [Benham] had been accused of being 
drunk, and that that was the cause of the delay in laying 



STEPHEN M. WELD 191 

the bridges. He asked all his staff what they thought, and 
received in answer that they considered him intoxicated. 
He asked me about it, and I had to tell him my opinion of 
the matter. He received an order in the afternoon to take 
two of his bridges up and go to Bank's Ford, and lay them 
by daylight, at which time the enemy would have evacu- 
ated. On the way to General Hooker's, he asked me why 
I had told Colonel McMahon that he was drunk. I gave 
him my reasons. At dusk we went down to the river, 
and had two bridges taken up, and started for Bank's 
Ford with them, one train leaving at 11 p.m., and the 
other at 12. 

May I. — We travelled all night with our pontoon 
trains, reached Bank's Ford at 6.15 a.m., and found that 
the enemy had not evacuated the ford. During the day 
we put the road leading to where our bridges were to be 
placed, in repair. General Hunt came up during the day, 
with orders to protect the ford, and keep the enemy from 
crossing. We were stampeded in fact, and the few men 
that we had with us in our brigade were ordered out on 
picket-duty at the ford. The day was pleasant, and re- 
minded me very much of May Day at home. As we 
lunched in the woods, the presence of ladies was alone 
wanting to make one think that he was on a picnic. We 
had three tents with us. Captain Clapp and I slept in the 
ambulance. No alarm during the night. 

May 2. — General Reynolds's corps moved up to-day 
from the left to United States Ford. Captain Lubey came 
here in the evening. He said that the canvas pontoon 
train was used at Kelly's Ford, where three corps crossed 
on it. General Benham sent me to General Hunt,^ to as- 
certain whether he considered himself in command here. 
General Hunt said that he did. There was heavy firing on 

1 General Hunt was Chief of the Artillery. 



192 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

the right in the evening, which turned out to be the enemy 
attacking the Eleventh Corps, which ran disgracefully.^ 
Day was pleasant, and in the night we had the moon, 
which is now almost full. General B. spoke to me again 
about the occurrences of April 28 and 29, and I had to 
tell him my opinion again. Captains Strang and Nares 
were here to-day. 

May 3. — The enemy evacuated the ford to-day, and 
General Benham laid one of the bridges. After he had 
done so, he received a telegram ordering him not to lay 
it. The other bridge was ordered to United States Ford, 
where it went with Colonel Colgate, and sixteen boats. 
General Sedgwick carried the heights behind Fredericks- 
burg this morning, and made his way up as far as B.'s 
Ford, on the plank road. About 5.30 I went across the 
river, and saw his men attack the enemy posted near 
Salem Church. We were driven back. General Hooker 
telegraphed in the morning that he was driving the en- 
emy, and that he only needed Sedgwick to make his 
victory complete. 

May 4. — General Benham received orders to build 
another bridge, which he managed to do with the rem- 
nants of two trains. It took some six hours to finish the 
bridge, and before it was done the enemy began shelling 
it, sending their shot and shell disagreeably near the 
bridges, but luckily not hitting them. One sergeant of 
the 15th [New York Volunteer Engineers] was killed. 
The enemy got in Sedgwick's rear, and retook Fredericks- 
burg. Sedgwick was hard pressed on all sides, and during 
the night sent for General Benham, when it was decided 
that he should retreat. 

May 5. — The whole of Sedgwick's corps got across by 
4 A.M., the enemy shelling at random, but not injuring 

1 May 2 was the second day of the battle of Chancellorsville. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 193 

any one. The night was dark and foggy, and favorable 
for taking up the bridges, which were swung round dis- 
mantled during the mist, the boats being drawn up the 
ravines under cover. During the day the enemy shelled 
us, throwing some shells over two miles. In the afternoon 
we started for United States Ford, having sent our 
wagons back to headquarters. We reached the ford at 
about 3.30 o'clock, and I was sent forward in a pouring 
rain to General Hooker, whom I found 3 miles out. He 
said that General Benham might return to camp. We 
found that the whole army was going to retreat during 
the night. On the way up, we passed all the wagon trains 
of the army on their way to Potomac Creek. We left 
United States Ford at 5 o'clock, and I went ahead. On 
arriving at the railroad, I found the creek so swollen that 
it could not be forded, so I went back to Falmouth, and 
spent the night with John Perry. 

May 6. — Came to camp early in the morning. Slept 
during the day. The last boat was taken out of the river 
at Bank's Ford at 11 a.m. No pursuit of our army was 
attempted. Day rainy and disagreeable. I received a 
letter from Frank and Hannah. Also from Uncle Oliver. 
Read a paper for the first time since the movement began. 
Trains from Bank's Ford arrived late at night. 

May 7. — Day cloudy, but not rainy. Went to head- 
quarters in the morning. We received an order to have 
everything ready for a move this afternoon, and from 
the aspect of affairs I should judge that we were to move 
to-night, and lay the bridges at Franklin's Crossing. The 
order was revoked this evening for our crossing the river 
to-night. The President and Halleck were here this 
morning, and went away in the evening. There was a 
great feeling of relief when we found that we were not to 
cross the river immediately. 



194 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Headquarters Engineer Brigade, 
Camp near Falmouth, Va., May 7, 1863. 

Dear Father, — We are back again from the front 
and in our old position near headquarters of the army. 
The whole army has likewise re-crossed the river, and are 
occupying their old positions. The loss in killed, wounded 
and prisoners will be about 10,000 men, as nearly as I can 
judge. From what I can see and hear, I should think that 
Hooker's plan was a good one, but he was unable to carry 
it out on account of the superior numbers of the enemy 
who were reinforced from Petersburg, Richmond, and, 
I think, even from Tennessee. They have shown their 
accustomed vigilance and activity, and have rather got 
ahead of us again. Hooker's plan was to turn their left, 
but they quickly massed their troops there, and by their 
superior numbers and through the disgraceful behavior of 
the Eleventh Corps, they compelled us to halt, and use the 
much despised (by us) shovel and spade for our defence. 
We were not whipped anywhere, and I think their loss was 
much greater than our own. The chief mistake that was 
made, was abandoning the heights of Fredericksburg af- 
ter we had once taken them, and in underestimating the 
force opposed to us. As far as I can see, the soldiers are 
not disheartened, although the unsuccessful termination 
of this affair will, I am afraid, injure General Hooker, who 
was, as it were, on trial for ability to command this army. 

I will try and give you an account of what our brigade 
has done during this move. On the morning of the 29th, 
5 bridges were laid. On the 30th, 2 bridges were taken 
up and started for Bank's Ford, General B. and his staff 
going with them. We remained here six days, laying the 
bridges Sunday and Monday. Fourteen bridges were laid 
during this move. On Sunday I crossed Bank's Ford 
with Captain Clapp and went up to General Sedgwick's 



STEPHEN M. WELD 195 

corps, who were engaged in a fight. I saw the whole 
affair. A brigade charged and drove the enemy to Salem 
Church, where they made a stand and drove our forces 
back to their original position. 

In regard to General , I would say that I received 

your letter to-day and shall certainly leave his staff as 
soon as I can get a chance. Major Whittier of General 
Sedgwick's staff has been trying to get me a place there, 
but I am afraid that I can't get it, as General S. says that 
it would be a rude thing for him to take me away from 
General Benham. They were talking about General B.'s 
affairs, and my name was mentioned in reference to it. 
General Reynolds who was present spoke a good word for 
me, and told General Sedgwick that whatever I said could 
be relied on. Whittier is still trying for me, and I hope 
will succeed. Please be careful and not have anything 
written to General S., as I would prefer him to select me, 
if he should do so, of his own choice and not through any 
pressure brought to bear on him by his friends. I am very 
much obliged to Miss Sedgwick, and am glad that she was 
kind enough and took enough interest in me to write the 
general, but of course I don't want him to think that I am 
writing home and trying to get his friends to get the place 
for me. You can understand how I feel, and of course will 
do nothing out of the way in that respect. 

General Benham is not in the habit of getting drunk, 
as far as I know, and I do not think would have been so 
the other night were it not for his fatigue, etc. Still, I am 
not willing to be with any man who is at all liable to any 
such failing. You know Rosecrans charged him with the 
same thing. General Benham is a man whom every one 
hates and laughs at, and I can assure you my place is 
not pleasant with him. Please say nothing about what 
I have written about him. 



196 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

General Reynolds told me, some three weeks ago, that 
he was glad that I had got a place, but as he afterwards 
told Whittier, he did not say he was glad that I was with 

, as he knew I would not like him. General B. has 

tried to make me say that he was not three times, 

but each time I have told him to his face that he was, 
and have given him my reason for so saying. His want of 
delicacy and tact disgusts me. He jokes with the privates 
and tries to cotton to them; but as he passes them, the 
staff see them laughing and making jokes about him. 
It is not pleasant, I can tell you. The contrast between 
him and General Porter is not favorable to the former. 

As soon as I can learn in regard to our next move, I will 
write you. 

May 8. — I went over to the headquarters of Whipple's 
division this morning, and saw Dalton. He told me that 
General Whipple had died from the effects of his wound. 
Gave me my shoulder-straps. Went to Griffin's head- 
quarters and saw Batchelder, who told me that he could 
get me a place on General Crawford's staff as aide. Was 
waked up early in the morning (4 A.M.) to send Captain 
Lubey and his canvas train up to Kelly's Ford to meet 
and cross over General Stoneman and his cavalry. The 
animals for the train arrived at 9 minutes of 8, and the 
train started at 8.15 a.m. Went to General Stoneman's 
headquarters in the evening. Heard here when I came 
back that was to be relieved. Day cloudy. 

May 9. — Weather warm and pleasant. Went over 
to headquarters to try Lieutenant Oliver's horse. Major 
Spaulding's detachment went into camp with their regi- 
ment. Enemy's tents visible in the same place as before. 
General Stoneman's force crossed the river safely, and 
so the canvas pontoon train returned to camp. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 197 

May 10. — To-day has been the first real summer's 
day we have had, the sun being warm enough to make one 
feel uncomfortable. I went back with John Perry to his 
camp, and spent a few hours there in the evening. John 
was here to dinner. Expected a move again to-night, but 
had none. 

May II. — Another hot summer's day. Sent a note to 
Captain Batchelder in regard to General C[rawford]. In 
the evening Captain Starr came over here from head- 
quarters with Duncan Lamb, who is down here trying 
to find his uncle's body, who was killed at Chancellors- 
ville. The band from the 50th [New York Volunteer En- 
gineers] came here in the evening, and gave us some 
very good music. 

May 12. — Weather very warm. Went down to Gen- 
eral Griffin's and took dinner there. Went to my regi- 
ment, to General Barnes, and to the 22d, and stopped 
at General Meade's headquarters on my way back. 
Found that Captain Clapp and Captain Strang had gone 
to Washington, and that I should have to act as acting 
assistant adjutant-general. 

May 13. — Had a thunder-storm in the afternoon. 
Mounted guard at 6 p.m. Went over to camp of the 15th 
New York Volunteer Engineers. Received an order at 
9 P.M. to send a pontoon bridge train to United States 
Ford. Captain Slosson started with his train at 11 p.m. 

Headquarters Engineer Brigade, 
Camp near Falmouth, May 13, 1863. 

Dear Father, — I think I shall go on General Craw- 
ford's staff. He commands the Pennsylvania Reserves 
and is stationed on the defences of Washington. I hear 
very good accounts of him, and know his adjutant-gen- 
eral very well. 



198 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I am sorry to say that the army have very little con- 
fidence in General Hooker. When he was at Chancellors- 
ville, he said that he had a position which God Almighty 
could not drive him from, and that he had the rebels and 
God Almighty could not help them. Not much wonder 
that we were whipped, I think. 

I am quite busy and must stop, in order to get this into 
the mail. 

May i^. — Weather was much cooler to-day. Very 
windy at night. Went over to headquarters in the even- 
ing. John Perry came over here to lunch. Two wrens 
have been building a nest in my stove-pipe for the past 
tw^o days; they are quite tame, and come to the door of 
my tent to pick up rags, etc. 

May 15. — Day was pleasant. Rode down to the 1st 
Massachusetts Cavalry with Whittier. Saw Dr. Perry 
there, and Dr. Heywood. Saw Osborne also. Stopped at 
General Grififin's on my way back. 

May 16. — Captains Clapp and Strang came back 
from Washington. Went over to Captain Starr's in the 
afternoon, and also to headquarters. Day breezy and 
pleasant. 

May 17. — Major Whittier came over here this morn- 
ing, and told me a few things in regard to Brigadier Gen- 
eral . The major was on his way to Washington. I 

saw General Benham during the morning, and told him 
that I should like to leave him, on account of what had 
occurred between us in regard to the night of laying the 
bridges. We had a short conversation, and I told him 
that I should like to resign my place as A. D. C, to take 
effect on the 19th. I then went over to headquarters, 
where I saw General Reynolds, and told him everything 
that had happened in regard to this affair. He told me 



STEPHEN M. WELD 199 

that I had done right, and in reply to my question as to 
whether he would be wilHng to have me as an acting 
aide, said that he would. About 5 in the afternoon we 
had a severe wind, followed by a heavy shower. 

71/^3' 18. — Rode down to the Fifth Corps, and saw 
Captain Batchelder, and then went to General Reynolds's 
headquarters. The general told me to come over to his 
headquarters to-morrow. Captain Clapp went down to 
the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry in the evening. 

May 19. — Left General Benham this morning at about 
10 o'clock, and came over to General Reynolds. Saw 
Lieutenant Egbert, 12th Infantry, and made arrange- 
ments for tenting and messing with him. Am with Major 
Riddle's mess until our mess gets started. Day warm and 
pleasant. Saw General Sedgwick in the morning, and 
told him that I had left General Benham. He told me 
that I was right in doing what I did on the night of laying 
the bridges. Saw Charles W[hittier], who was sick. 

[A few words of explanation will perhaps be proper-, 
in regard to General Benham and my relations with him 
while on his staff. General Benham, I believe, graduated 
first in his class at West Point. He was certainly very 
high in his class. He was a man of a great deal of brain, 
but with an inordinate amount of vanity, and exceedingly 
nervous and irritable. On the evening that we were to 
lay the bridges, orders had been given to every one to 
speak in a whisper. Officers were to give their orders in 
a whisper, and every effort was being made to take the 
enemy by surprise, with no knowledge of what was in- 
tended. General Benham had a canteen, in which he said 
that he had put two glasses of sherry and had then filled 
it with water. This was the explanation which he gave us 
afterwards. At all events, his conduct that evening was 



200 STEPHEN M. WELD 

most peculiar. He rode down to the bank of the river 
where the troops were lying on the ground, and rode 
through them, yelling and screaming and making an awful 
row. Adjutant-General Channing Clapp and I did not 
know what to do. General Benham quarrelled with all 
the general officers and put several of them under arrest, 
which he had no authority or power to do, and finally, 
when it got towards daylight, he tumbled off his horse 
and cut his face very badly. He left the blood to dry on. 
He finally said, " Come with me. Weld," and off he started 
to General Reynolds's headquarters. He rushed up to 
the general, who was standing by his horse with his staff, 
"Hurrah, Josh!^ Hurrah for here and Buena Vista!" 

Altogether it was the most embarrassing and unpleas- 
ant and disagreeable experience I had ever had in the 
army. What to do I did not know, neither did Clapp. 
We tried to keep things as straight as we could, and to 
have the orders that had been given from headquarters 
carried out. It finally resulted in my sending in my re- 
signation from his staff. The general first called all his 
staff together and said he had heard reports that he was 
intoxicated, and wanted to know what we thought. 
Every one of us said he was afraid that he had been. He 
said: "That is impossible. I had but two glasses of sherry 
in a canteen full of water. It was utterly impossible." 
Anyway, the affair was so disagreeable and made every- 
thing so uncomfortable, that I decided to leave, and I 
reported to General Reynolds, and both he and Sedg- 
wick, as I have said in my diary, told me that I had be- 
haved properly and as I ought to have done.] 

^ A nickname of Gen. Reynolds. 



CHAPTER VI 

AIDE TO GENERAL REYNOLDS — WITH THE ARMY OF THE 
POTOMAC IN MAY AND JUNE, 1 863 — THE REBEL RAID 
INTO PENNSYLVANIA — FIRST DAY AT GETTYSBURG 
■ — DEATH OF GENERAL REYNOLDS — HIS FUNERAL — 
AIDE TO GENERAL NEWTON — THE PURSUIT OF LEE 

May 20, 1863. — General Reynolds had an order is- 
sued this morning announcing me as acting aide. I rode 
over to the Engineer Brigade in the afternoon, and from 
there to the Fifth Corps, to witness the presentation of a 
horse, etc., to General Barnes, but found that the affair 
was postponed till to-morrow. Day warm and pleasant. 

May 21. — Started James for Washington to get me 
some mess things. Egbert and I began our mess to-day. 
Went over to General Barnes's in the afternoon, and 
saw the presentation of a sword, etc. The affair passed 
off very successfully. The lieutenant colonel of the i i8th 
Pennsylvania made the presentation speech, and General 
Barnes answered, reading from manuscript. General 
Meade, General Benham, and all the officers of the brig- 
ade were there. The good things of this life were there 
in abundance. All kinds of punches, champagne, etc., 
were freely circulated. The grounds were beautifully 
decorated with flags and banners. Over the entrance were 
two American flags, with two white flags with the coat- 
of-arms of Massachusetts intertwined. I got back to 
camp about lo o'clock, having stopped on the way at 
General Sedgwick's. Weather warm and pleasant. 

May 22. — Captain Wadsworth went down the Penin- 



202 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

sula this morning. Day warm and sun shining. Lieuten- 
ant Smith of the I2th Infantry was here this afternoon. 

May 23. — Rode along our picket line this morning, 
beginning near Mrs. Gray's, arid going from there to the 
extreme left. Saw nothing new. Day sultry and warm. 

May 24. — To-day has seemed to me more like Sun- 
day than any other Sunday that I have spent in the army. 
I heard some men singing a psalm tune early this morn- 
ing, which made me think of home, etc. Such thoughts, 
however, are too agreeable to be indulged in out here. I 
rode over to the Engineer Brigade in the morning, and 
from there went to Falmouth. Saw Perkins at the En- 
gineer Brigade quarters, and found that he was going 
off to his regiment. Buzzby^ was in Washington. The 
day Was misty, and mizzly, and disagreeable. James 
came back from Washington with our mess things. 

May 25. — This morning there was a great change in 
the weather in comparison with yesterday. The air was 
chilly and we had a slight rain. It was cloudy most of the 
day. In the afternoon I went over to see Whittier, but 
found that he had started for home, quite sick with a 
fever. I went to the headquarters of the Army of the 
Potomac, and found them in their new position near 
General Sedgwick. I went from there to the Engineer 
Brigade, and settled my accounts with Clapp and Strang. 
We received the news of the fall of Vicksburg^ in to- 
day's paper. Had a letter from Father, and one from 
Hannah, enclosing her photograph. 

May 26. — Remained in camp all day. The expedition 
from the Neck returned this noon. Captain Clapp, 
Captain Strang, and Lieutenant Perkins were here this 
evening. The weather was moderately cool to-day. 
Captains Batchelder and Jay were here to lunch. 

^ General Benham, I believe. ^ The news proved to be incorrect. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 203 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, May 26, 1863. 

Dear Father, — I am happy to say that I have left 
General Benham and gone with General Reynolds. My 
position here is only as acting aide, but still it is on a 
corps staff, and with a brave and fine general. I might 
have obtained a position on Crawford's staff or on Gen- 
eral Barnes's staff as a regular aide, but I preferred this 
place. I told General Benham that I should like to leave 
him, and soon after I met General Reynolds, to whom 
I told the whole story. He told me that I acted perfectly 
right throughout the whole affair. . . . 

I see no prospect of our moving for some three or four 
months. Our army is growing smaller every day and will 
soon be reduced to 55,000 men fit for duty. Our loss in the 
recent battles was between 17,000 and 18,000 men in 
killed, wounded, and missing. This is true, although the 
officer in command of this army has reported it at only 
10,000 or 12,000. He has also reported that one cause of 
his retreat was the rising of the river, on account of the 
storm. Now, I know that the retreat was ordered long 
before the storm came up, some 12 hours before. I was 
at United States Ford when the storm began, and our 
wagons and part of our artillery had started some time 
before. I think it possible that General Hooker may have 
been seriously affected by that shell which struck a pil- 
lar he was leaning against and knocked him senseless. I 
think that he may not have recovered from the shock for 
some days and that he was not himself when he ordered 
the retreat. His plan certainly seems to have been a good 
one. 

I wish you would send me the Saturday Evening 
Gazette once in a while. It has some articles in it that 
are quite interesting. . . . 

General Reynolds has treated me very kindly through- 



204 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

out this whole affair. I spoke to General Sedgwick after 
I had this place on General R.'s staff, and told him what 
I had done. He also said that I had acted perfectly right 
in the whole affair. When he saw me coming into his 
tent, he said, "Well, Weld, has old Benham shipped you 
or have you shipped old Benham?" He was very kind 
to me. General Benham has been boring him dreadfully 
about this matter and he is thoroughly sick of him. 

General Benham's adjutant-general, inspector-general, 
and his other aide have left him, and the remaining two 
officers on his staff will leave as soon as possible. 

May 27. — We received orders to have three days' 
cooked rations on hand, and to be ready to start to-day, 
but the order was afterwards countermanded. I went 
with the general to headquarters, and from there to 
General Wright's headquarters. I then went down to 
the picket line, and delivered a message to Colonel Wis- 
tar in regard to citizens passing through our lines. Saw 
a Lieutenant Fisher in the evening, of Harvard '56. The 
day was pleasant. 

May2S. — Asked the general to let me go off this 
morning, but he thought he might want me, so I re- 
mained. This afternoon there were rumors that we were 
going to move to-morrow. The day was pleasant. I re- 
ceived letters from Father, Hannah, and Alice. 

May 29. — Had a letter from Frank Balch this morn- 
ing, and also one from Father in regard to George Weld's 
commission. Day pleasant. Lieutenant Nares came over 
in the evening. Amused myself pitching quoits. 

May 30. — I got up this morning at 5.30, as v/e were to 
have a review of the corps at 7 o'clock by General Rey- 
nolds. The ground selected was near Colonel Shaler's 
headquarters, and considering the wind and dust and 



STEPHEN M. WELD 205 

rain, I think the review passed off well. There were 
about 8000 men out. I rode over to see Captain Starr in 
the afternoon. Also went to Engineer Brigade, and had 
my horse shod. Saw Van B., etc. Captains Clapp and 
Strang came over here in the evening. 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, May 30, 1863. 

Dear Father, — I received your letter yesterday in 
regard to George, and will try and show it to Colonel 
Hayes. I am sorry that the Governor has sent George's 
name back, as Colonel Hayes took George almost solely 
on my recommendation, as I had lost those you sent me, 
and now I am afraid that he will think that the Gov- 
ernor is opposed to George. I shall see him as soon as 
I can get away from camp. The regiment (i8th) had no 
chance to distinguish itself at Chancellorsville, and only 
lost one man killed and half a dozen wounded, so that 
there was no chance for any man to deserve promotion 
for bravery. 

I am very pleasantly situated now with General Rey- 
nolds. The way I came to leave General Benham was as 
follows : you know that I tried to get off his staff as soon 
as that trouble occurred that night. For some time he 
did not know that I was trying to leave him, and he did 
not dare send me away, for fear that I would tell people 
that I was sent away for saying that he was drunk. He 
told an officer, whom I know quite well, and whom he did 
not know I was acquainted with, that he should not touch 
Weld this time, but that he would give it to him in a little 
while. The old rascal meant to let this affair pass by, and 
then try and catch me on something and play the mis- 
chief with me. By some means or other, he got wind of 
my efforts to get a position on another staff, — I think 
myself that he listened to some conversation going on in 



2o6 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

my tent, — and so he thought he would get ahead of me, 
and send me back to my regiment, and at the same time 
prevent my getting on General Sedgwick's staff, so that 
by having the odium of being sent back to my regiment 
on me, I could not get another staff position, and could 
do him no harm in my regiment, where whatever I might 
say would be confined to a limited circulation. I can 
tell you he is the most cunning and bitter man I know of. 
I found out everything that he was planning, and so went 
to him immediately and told him that thinking my pre- 
sence would not be agreeable to him, after what occurred 
between us in regard to that night, I had been trying to 
obtain a position on another staff, and that I hoped to hear 
the next day in regard to it; that if I was not success- 
ful, I should like to return to my regiment. He said that 
he supposed I had been trying to leave him, and that 
he had selected another aide to fill my place. I then said 
that I would like my resignation to take effect two days 
from that time. He asked me where I was trying to go. 
I said that I would rather not tell him. He then spoke 
about what I had done, and said that I had committed a 
gross violation of good faith, etc. I told him that I had 
acted solely from what I considered my duty, and that 
I felt that I had done perfectly right. I then went over 
to headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, where I 
met General Reynolds and told him that I had resigned 
my place as A. D. C. to General Benham and would like 
to go with him as acting aide if he was willing to have 
me. He said that he should like to have me very much 
indeed. That when he heard that I had gone with Ben- 
ham he felt very sorry, for he felt sure that I could not 
get along with him. I told him the whole story, and 
what I had done. He said that I had done perfectly 
right; that he saw him that night, and knew that he 



STEPHEN- M. WELD 207 

was drunk, and that General Wadsworth also knew 
that he was drunk. I felt very much relieved indeed. 
The day I left him, and while on my way to General 
Reynolds's, I stopped at General Sedgwick's and said 
that I wished to have a few minutes' conversation with 
him about that night. He said that I had done right. 
He asked me as I came in, whether old Benham had 
shipped me, or I old Benham. General Reynolds has 
been very kind to me, indeed, throughout the whole of 
this affair. 

We have had orders to move for two or three days, but 
I suppose we shall stay here for a while. I think that the 
enemy have been threatening our right flank, and that 
we were to move up there, but as a division of the Fifth 
Corps has already gone there, I think there will be no ne- 
cessity for our moving for some time. I think the enemy 
will assume the offensive before we do, and I am afraid 
now that they will try and cut us off from Washington. 

All General Benham's staff have left him except Cap- 
tain Clapp, his A. A. G., and Captain Strang, his Q. M. 
They will leave as soon as possible. I hear that he is very 
bitter on his staff, indeed. 

The weather here has been extremely dry and hot for 
some time. It is entirely different from our weather up 
North, or rather its effects are different. Here I can sit 
all day with coat off and do anything of that kind, which 
up North would give me a severe cold. I suppose living 
in the open air all the time has a great deal to do with 
it. . . . 

We had a review of the corps this morning at 7 o'clock. 
There were only some 8000 men out. The 13th Massa- 
chusetts made a very fine appearance. Indeed our Massa- 
chusetts troops are ahead of any others that I see, ex- 
cept some of the Western troops, who make fine soldiers. 



2o8 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Jarves's old regiment, the 2d Wisconsin, is in this corps, 
and a fine regiment it is. . . . 

May 31. — General Reynolds went to Washington 
alone this morning. I started for Stafford Court House 
to see the 2d Massachusetts, about 10 A.M., and stopped 
on my way at General SedgAvick's, where they had no 
news from Whittier, and also at headquarters of the Army 
of the Potomac, where I saw Perkins. I found the 2d, 
after a long and dusty ride, about a mile west of the 
Court House. When I arrived, they were having church. 
I saw Mr. Quint, the chaplain, and Charlie Mudge, now 
in command of the regiment. Also both the Foxes, 
Tom Robeson, and George Thompson. I took dinner and 
tea there, and saw their dress-parade, which was very fine. 
After spending a very pleasant day, I started for Fal- 
mouth at 7 P.M., and reached there about 8.15. Left 
there for home about 10.30. The weather was very warm. 

June I. — The first day of summer, and as dusty and 
disagreeable a day as one often passes. Nothing of any 
interest occurred, except in the evening, when we had 
some officers over here, and the band to play for us. Af- 
ter the band left we had some banjo-playing and nigger 
dancing. Egbert returned to-day. 

June 2. — Rode down to see Henry Dal ton this morning. 
On my way I stopped at headquarters of the Army of the 
Potomac, and saw Oliver and Russell, and rode down with 
them to General Graham's, where Dalton is. I took din- 
ner there and spent the day. Received a box of very nice 
French candy from Hannah, which Dalton brought on. 
After leaving him, I rode over to the Engineer Brigade 
and found Captain Clapp away. Rode on and caught up 
with him on his way to headquarters. He and Captain 
Strang came over to see me. Day windy and pleasant. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 209 

June 3. — James came to me this morning, and said 
that he wished to go home. I shall have to let him go, I 
am afraid. Captain Dalton was over here this afternoon, 
and took dinner with us. Late at night we received or- 
ders to be ready to march at daylight in the morning. Day 
pleasant and cool. Showers in the morning and evening. 
General Reynolds returned from Washington this even- 
ing. Had a letter from Hannah saying that I was com- 
missioned a captain in the i8th.^ 

June 4. — I got up about 2 o'clock, and had all our 
things packed up, expecting to start, but nary move did 
we have. Remained in camp all day. Wrote Father in 
regard to Palfrey," and forwarded his application for a 
commission. Heard this evening that Colonel Dana, our 
quartermaster, had resigned. 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, June \, 1863. 

Dear Father, — Will you please make an applica- 
tion for my degree as A.M. I think that I receive it this 
year ; if possible I shall try and get a leave of absence to 
come home for Commencement, but I am afraid that 
I shall stand a slim chance of getting it. . . . 

I received a letter from Hannah yesterday, saying that 
I had received a commission as captain in my regiment. 
Will you please send me a copy of the paper announcing 
it. My regiment is at United States Ford at present, so 
that I have no chance to see my colonel about it at pre- 
sent. 

I spoke to Palfrey this morning in regard to what you 
wrote about getting him a commission in the 55th. He 
was very much obliged to you, and said that Dr. Palfrey 
and Charles Hale were both trying to get him a commis- 

* My commission was dated May 4, 1863. 
2 Hersey G. Palfrey, of the class of i860. 



210 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

sion, that he would not like to lose any chance for a com- 
mission that they might have obtained for him, by asking 
for one in the 55th. I think the best plan would be for 
you to see them, and if they have any chance of getting 
him a place in a white regiment, then you could aid them. 
If not, why then he would like a position in the 55th, and 
you three could probably obtain it for him. I would be 
very much obliged to you if you could get him a place. 
I enclose a note from him to you. 

We are under orders to march at any moment, probably 
to resist any attempt the enemy may make to cross the 
river. The rascals are up to something, and I think it may 
be that they will try to cross the river above, and attack 
us. I think that we are waiting here simply to prevent the 
rebels opposite from going to Vicksburg. Were it not for 
the critical state of affairs there, I think we should go to 
Washington, in order to fill up the army with conscripts, 
and reorganize it. . . . 

June 5. — We received orders this afternoon to be 
ready to move at daylight to-morrow. General Reynolds 
told me to keep my horse saddled all night. Sent James 
down to Aquia Creek to get some mess stuff and a box 
from Adams Express. Day pleasant and cool. Had a 
mess-chest made, and got all my things packed up, ready 
for a move. Heard heavy firing in the afternoon. Found 
out that it came from Sedgwick, who crossed the river at 
Franklin's old crossing with one division. Captain Cross 
of the Regular Engineers was killed during the crossing. 

June 6. — Got up at 3.30 a.m., but all to no purpose, as 
we did not move to-day. In the afternoon, I went with 
General Reynolds down to the signal station near the Fitz- 
hugh house. Could see two guns in position on the Bowl- 
ing Green Road, and the enemy behind their rifle-pits. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 211 

On the way back, General Reynolds sent me to General 
Sedgfwick. Found his headquarters on the bluff, just op- 
posite the bridges. He was very kind indeed, and spoke 
of receiving a letter from Miss Kate Sedgwick, in which 
she spoke about me. As I left General S. the rain began 
to pour down, and before I reached camp we had quite a 
heavy thunder shower which was extremely welcome. In- 
troduced myself to General Wright^ this afternoon. He 
remembered me and was quite pleasant. 

June 7. — The weather was much cooler to-day, owing 
to the shower of last night. Spent the whole day in camp. 
We are still under orders to move. James made up his 
mind to stay with me, for $20 a month. 

June 8. — Remained in camp until after dinner, when 
I started for the Engineer Brigade. On the way there, 
I met Clapp, Strang, and Nares, on their way down to 
the river. I tried to get my horse shod at the Engineer 
Brigade quarters, but the wind was so bad that it could 
not be done. Came back to camp in about an hour. We 
had a very pretty serenade last night from a violin and a 
tambourine. Weather cool and pleasant. I heard that, 
when we crossed the river this last time, some fifty pris- 
oners were taken in the rifle-pits, belonging to the 2d 
Florida. General Benham rushed up to them and asked 
them whether they knew him. They said they did not. 
Then he asked them if they did not know who built the 
sea-wall at St. Augustine. One of them said that he had 
heard it said that "red-haired Benham" built it. I hear 
that General Benham now tells every one that he was 
recognized by the rebels from their rifle-pits on the other 
side of the river. 

June 9. — The general sent me down to the Fitzhugh 

1 General Horatio G. Wright was the officer with whom I served at Port 
Royal as volunteer aide. He afterwards commanded the Sixth Corps. 



212 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

house to see if there was anything new from the rebel 
force opposite Mrs. Seddon's. 

Could discover nothing new. Camp^ had just found a 
new rebel signal station. Towards evening one of our guns 
opened on the rebels, who replied to them. I was sent 
again to the Fitzhugh house and Mrs. Seddon's, but could 
discover nothing new. In the evening, Colonel Sanderson 
celebrated his birthday by a punch and speeches. All the 
tents had lanterns, and inscriptions in front. Nigger- 
dancing, music, etc., completed the festivities. Got a 
cook named George Minot this morning. 

June 10. — Had a letter from Hannah this morning. 
Went over to see Captain Starr, and from there to head- 
quarters of the Army of the Potomac, after dinner. Heard 
of the fight our cavalry were in, and found that they be- 
haved very well. Went over to the Engineer Brigade, but 
found no one there. Day warm, and towards evening 
cloudy and threatening rain. 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, June lo, 1863. 

Dear Mother, — ... We are still in our old camp 
near White Oak Church, and although we are under or- 
ders to move at any minute, I begin to think that we may 
be here some weeks yet. W^e may relieve the Sixth Corps, 
which has a division across the river at Franklin's old 
crossing, but that is the only move we shall make, in my 
opinion. This crossing the river was made solely to keep 
the enemy here, and prevent them from going out West 
or to any other point to reinforce their troops. Of course 
it may lead to a battle, should they attack us. . . . 

My mind is made up to see this war through, if it don't 
see me killed beforehand. We have got to whip and par- 
tially exterminate the South, although it may take some 

' Signal officer. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 213 

years to do so. I have got my dander up, and am mad 
with the rascals. I even think seriously of going back to 
my regiment and serving there, so as to be well posted in 
tactics, and fitted to take a higher position. I feel in much 
better spirits than when at home. I still think that the 
Government have treated General Porter shamefully, but 
live on in the hope of seeing him righted some day. We all 
feel here that we can whip the rebels if we only have a man 
who can command us properly. This Army of the Po- 
tomac is truly a wonderful army. They have something 
of the English bull-dog in them. You can whip them 
time and again, but the next fight they go into, they are 
in good spirits, and as full of pluck as ever. They are used 
to being whipped, and no longer mind it. Some day or 
other we shall have our turn. At present we are doing a 
great deal of good in holding Lee in check and preventing 
him from reinforcing Pemberton. . . . 

Will you please get me some ginger and send it on. I 
tried to buy some in Washington, but could not get any. 
I want some sugared and dry and not preserved in liquid. 
It is very nice on a march, and is convenient to carry. . . . 

Yesterday our cavalry had a real hand-to-hand fight 
with the rebels near Kelly's Ford. Our men behaved 
splendidly, and drove the rebels 5 miles. We captured all 
Stuart's private papers, and found that he was to have 
started this morning, with 25 guns and 12,000 cavalry, to 
make his raid into Pennsylvania. 

Tell Henry that Jackson is dead, and that I send him a 
kiss and will let him ride my horse when I get home. . . . 

June II. — Slight shower in the morning. Received a 
letter from Father. Put on my captain's straps to-day for 
the first time. Received orders in the evening to move 
before daybreak. 



214 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

June 12. — We (the staff) started at 5.15, having had 
our tents pitched and baggage all packed beforehand. We 
went at a gallop through woods and stubble down to 
Stoneman's Station, where we struck off for Berea Church. 
Just before reaching the church an orderly rode up with 
my commission, and a note from Colonel Locke inclosing 
$8, which was my share of Norton's mess-bill, which he 
has since paid. We found General Meade's headquarters 
near Berea Church, and here we had a lunch. The troops 
halted here, and just before starting, a deserter was shot 
in accordance with the sentence of a court-martial. He 
belonged to General Wadsworth's division, and I carried 
the order to the general to have the affair hurried up.^ At 
12.30 we started for Deep Run, where the troops arrived 
at 5 P.M., having made a march of 22 miles. The day was 
warm and the roads extremely dusty. Spent the night 
near Deep Run, in almost precisely the same spot where 
I was with General Porter last August. 

June 13. — We started on our march again at day- 
break, and went to Bealeton Station on the Orange and 
Alexandria Road, a distance of 15 miles. General Rey- 
nolds has now the command of three corps, the Third, 
First, and Eleventh. Day warm, and the evening threat- 
ening showers. The chaplain of the 4th Michigan was 
shot in three places near Deep Run last Monday. Day 
before yesterday, General Birney's advance guard was 
fired on by guerillas, while on the road to Bealeton. I was 
sent at 6.40 p.m. to General Birney, with an order for him 
to prepare to move, as the army was to start that evening 
for . I delivered the order to General Reynolds 

at General B.'s headquarters, at 6.45. On the way up 

' It seemed rather hard to march a man all the morning and then shoot 
him at noon, but this was one of the hardships of war. Although I have seen 
lots of men killed, I could not wait to see this affair come off, — it was too 
sickening. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 215 

I met Major Stirling, Captain Dahlgren, and Lieutenant 
Bates, all from General Hooker's headquarters. I started 
at 9.30 for General Barnes's headquarters at Grove 
Church, with a dispatch for General Meade, which I de- 
livered at II P.M., reaching camp at 2.34 a.m. 

Jime 14. — Started at daylight, and went to General 
Birney's headquarters. Waited here for some time, and 
then went to Bealeton Station. By 12 o'clock our whole 
corps was in motion for Manassas Junction. Rode down 
to Rappahannock Station, to General Pleasonton's head- 
quarters. In the afternoon rode down to Bristoe Station, 
and gave General Doubleday an order to move on to 
Manassas Junction. Started from here at 6.45, and de- 
livered the order at 7.45. 

June 15. — We started at daylight, and rode at a gal- 
lop to Bristoe's Station. Here we found General Meade. 
From here we proceeded to Manassas Junction, where we 
halted for some time, and where General Reynolds or- 
dered the Third and Fifth Corps to be put in position. 
General Reynolds now commands five corps, the First, 
Third, Fifth and Eleventh, and the Cavalry Corps. From 
Manassas Junction we came to Centreville, and had 
our headquarters placed near General Howard's. The 
weather was very hot. 

Jiuie 16. — Spent the day in camp, and had a chance 
to rest myself and my horse. Captain Babcock is in the 
Eleventh Corps now, and has his tent close to us. We 
heard to-day of the rebel raid into Pennsylvania.^ The 
weather warm. General Hooker arrived at Fairfax Sta- 
tion to-day, and General Reynolds now commands only 
his own corps. 

^ The raid which culminated in the campaign and battle of Gettysburg. 
Lee's northern movement began early in June, and by the 26th the whole 
Army of Northern Virginia had crossed the Potomac. 



2i6 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, 
Camp at Centreville, June i6, 1863. 

Dear Father, — Last week we received orders to 
move up the river and support the Fifth and Third Corps 
which were guarding the fords. Accordingly we started 
at daylight last Friday on our way, and marched until 
four in the afternoon, camping at Deep Run, in exactly 
the same spot that General Porter encamped last August 
when on his way to join Pope. While on the march, and 
just before reaching Berea Church, I met an orderly 
coming from the headquarters of the Fifth Corps, with 
my commission as a captain. I was quite glad to get it, 
I assure you. At Berea Church we halted for an hour, and 
just before starting, a deserter from an Indiana regiment 
of General Wadsworth's division, was shot to death by 
musketry, he having been found guilty by a court-martial. 
I did not see the affair, as I had no desire to do so. The 
distance marched the first day was about 23 miles. The 
second day we pushed on to Bealeton Station, about 20 
miles. On the way we passed another camp where Gen- 
eral Porter stayed. About nine o'clock in the evening of 
our arrival at Bealeton, I was sent back to General 
Barnes, some 12 or 15 miles from us. As guerillas were 
round about, it was rather unpleasant, but I saw nothing 
of them. Here at Bealeton we received orders to march 
to Centreville and take up our position there. General 
Reynolds then had command of five corps. General 
Hooker, w ith the three remaining corps, taking the route 
by Dumfries. From Bealeton our corps moved to Manas- 
sas Junction, over twenty miles. Our headquarters were 
at Catlett's Station. Yesterday we arrived here at Cen- 
treville, soon to be on the march again, I imagine, for 
Pennsylvania, or the Valley of the Shenandoah. I hear 
that the enemy have whipped Milroy, and I suppose that 



STEPHEN M. WELD 217 

we shall soon march against them. I have been pretty 
well tired with these long marches, for an aide, you know, 
has to march almost double the distance that the troops 
do, for he rides back and forth all the time. . . . 

I am very sorry to see that the President has called for 
volunteers for six months. Why can't he learn wisdom 
from experience? I do think that the trial of the 9- 
months troops ought to satisfy any one of the utter use- 
lessness of such men. Most of them are worse than no- 
thing for the last two months of their service, straggling 
on the march, and behaving shamefully. It is absolutely 
criminal for the President to call out 6-months men, or 
make any such experiment again. It makes the 3-years 
troops on the field discontented and unhappy, and they 
all think what fools they were to enlist for 3 years, when 
the 9-months and the bounty men go home and are made 
heroes of for doing nothing at all. This war may be, and 
I think it will be, a long one, and President Lincoln had 
better open his eyes to the fact and look it straight in the 
face, and take his measures and precautions accordingly. 
He ought to enforce the draft immediately, and have no 
shilly-shallying about the matter. . . . 

June 17. — W^e started this morning in the direction 
of Leesburg, intending to go as far as Goose Creek. All 
the other corps started at the same time. We took the 
road to Frying-Pan from Centreville, and from Frying- 
Pan we were on the road to Farmwell Station, when we 
met Captain Perkins, who had orders for us to stop at 
Guilford's. I went back with Captain Perkins, with a 
note for General Butterfield. We reached headquarters 
of the Army of the Potomac about 4.15. I delivered the 
note to General Butterfield when he was at dinner, and 
was invited b}^ General Hooker to dine with him, which 



2i8 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I refused. After I had got my orders, General Butter- 
field asked me if I had had any dinner. I told him I had 
not, and he sent me to Major Lawrence, who provided 
me with a very nice dinner. I started back at 6 p.m., and 
reached camp at Herndon's Station at 11.30, having a 
guide and a pass provided me by Colonel Gray, of the 
4th Michigan, who were on picket near Fairfax Court 
House. The guide had strange stories to tell about the 
guerilla Mosby. In all I travelled about 60 miles to-day, 
and was pretty well used up, as the day was extremely 
warm and sultry. Found camp at Herndon Station. 

[In connection with Mosby, an interesting story was 
told of Major Eraser. He was out scouting after Mosby, 
and as they were passing a house close by the road, a 
sergeant, with the troops with him, saw a man in a gray 
uniform standing at the window of the house. The ser- 
geant drew his pistol and fired. He instantly went into 
the house, and there was a Confederate on the floor with 
his cloak drawn over his face. He said, "I am mortally 
wounded, please leave me alone." They pulled up his 
waistcoat and saw a hole right through his abdomen, 
where he had been shot, and they left him, supposing he 
w^as dying. Five minutes after, they found it was Mosby. 
They turned around and went back, but he had been 
taken away by his friends. It turned out that the bullet 
had only penetrated the outer skin, followed around, and 
come out at the back, so that Mr. Mosby got well and 
tormented us as usual. Had Eraser captured him, he 
would have got a brigadier general's commission.] 

June 18. — Major Riddle started for headquarters 
yesterday, and did not return to camp until this after- 
noon. We were all afraid that the guerillas might have 



STEPHEN M. WELD 219 

gobbled him, as there is a report that Major Stirling was 
taken last night while on his way to General Pleasonton 
at Aldie. I was going to start for our headquarters at 
the same time, and with Major Stirling, but on account 
of General Butterfield asking me to dinner, I waited fif- 
teen minutes. It rained in the afternoon and during the 
night, being the first rain we have had for some time. All 
the crops through the country where we have been, are 
suffering terribly on account of the drought. The general 
was going to send me to headquarters again this afternoon, 
but just as I was starting an orderly came from there, 
which saved me the trouble. I drew a government horse 
to-day for temporary use, until my mare's back gets well. 

[A day or two after writing this entry I found that two 
staff officers belonging to different corps headquarters, 
who had lunched with me at headquarters of the Army 
of the Potomac on the i8th, had got into trouble. One 
started a little after lunch, and wanted me to go along 
with him. I said no, I thought I would wait a few min- 
utes and have a smoke. In about fifteen or twenty min- 
utes I started. The other aide wanted me to wait and 
go with him in half an hour. I 'said no, I thought I had 
better go ahead; so I started. Before starting I was 
cautioned by General Butterfield to be very careful, as 
Mosby's guerillas were all around the army; and as soon 
as I got to our outposts I was to demand an escort and 
carry them with me to camp. Accordingly I started, as 
nearly as I can remember, about 5 o'clock in the after- 
noon. I rode until pretty nearly dark, when I met our 
outpost. I gave my orders to the colonel for an escort, 
and he gave me a lieutenant and, I think, five or six 
men. By the time we were pretty well started on our 
way, darkness had set in. The lieutenant enlivened our 



220 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

way by telling me of numerous skirmishes and encoun- 
ters they had had with Mosby within a few days. We 
passed one house, and he said that one of Mosby's lieu- 
tenants lived there, who captured one of our sergeants 
the other day. A little farther on, he said, "We had a 
fight with Mosby here the other day. He tried to sur- 
prise us." 

I was in a state of nervous tension that one can hardly 
realize. I had one hand on my horse's reins, and with the 
other I grasped my pistol, ready to shoot in case we were 
attacked. As we rode along, we could hear the katydids 
singing, and occasionally an owl hooting, or some of the 
numerous midnight noises that one always hears on a 
summer's night. The lieutenant said to me: "The hoot- 
ing of the owl is one of the favorite calls of Mosby's 
men." Then I would get a little more stirred up, if pos- 
sible, and a little more nervous. Finally, though, we got 
through all right, after one of the most exciting rides I 
ever had in my life. In the morning our head teamster 
was up in a cherry tree about two hundred yards from 
headquarters, when Mosby came along right in our camp, 
made him a prisoner, and took him off. It happened, as 
I afterwards learned and as I have said, that both aides, 
the one who left after me and the one who left before 
me, were captured by Mosby, while I got through safely.] 

June 19. — I had a good sleep last night, and enjoyed 
it very much. We left our camp at Herndon Station this 
morning at 8 o'clock, and followed Doubleday's division, 
which preceded us yesterday, to Guilford's Station, some 
three miles. Our corps was camped on Broad Run. In 
the afternoon I went out with General Paul to establish 
the picket line. The road was beautiful, being wooded 
on both sides, with oak groves. We left a real Union fam- 



STEPHEN M. WELD 221 

ily at Herndon, a family from Pennsylvania. This even- 
ing we received orders to move on to Goose Creek, but 
the orders were countermanded. I was sent to General 
Doubleday to countermand them. Our signal officers 
sent up a rocket this evening, to the great alarm of our 
cook, George, who had never seen anything of the kind 
before. We had a very heavy shower this evening, which 
I got caught in, much to my disgust, as it is the only time 
I have ever been out without my rubber coat. 

June 20. — It rained very heavily last night, flooding 
part of our tent. This morning at 8.40 I started for Gen- 
eral Howard's on the Church road, near Goose Creek, 
and distant about seven miles from here. I found the 
general out riding, and after seeing Captain Babcock, the 
signal officer, in regard to connecting with us, I went on 
with the general to our headquarters. Many of General 
Howard's staff have been chased by guerillas lately. This 
afternoon guerillas appeared between here and Herndon 
Station, probably capturing our guide. The weather has 
been cloudy all day, with occasional showers. Colonel 
Dana told me to-day that the number of our wagons 
was 370 odd. Received three letters from home to-day, 
and one from Jarves. Am officer of the day to-night. 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, 
Guilford Station, Jtme 20, 1863. 

Dear Father, — We arrived here yesterday from 
Herndon Station, a distance of three miles. We expect 
orders soon to march on to Goose Creek, which is about 
six miles from here, and which empties into the Potomac 
near Leesburg and Ball's Bluff. I do not think that the 
whereabouts of the main force of the rebels is known, and 
until it is found out I think we shall not move very far. 

Our cavalry is partly at Aldie, where they have had 



222 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

two fights in both of which they whipped the rebels, cap- 
turing between 60 and 70 cavalry each time. 

This railroad that we are on is the London and Hamp- 
shire road, running to Leesburg. It is torn up in many 
places from Vienna here. 

I have a great deal of riding to do, and have already 
used up two of my horses. I am now using a government 
animal, but by to-morrow or next day I shall be able to 
use my own. Their backs are a little sore, but are getting 
well fast. 

I am perfectly well, and was never better in my life. 
In regard to the position of our Army, I shall say but 
little, as this letter might be captured. The corps are 
mostly round about this country, however. 

I have not heard from home for some eight or nine 
days. We have not been able to get our mails, on account 
of our frequent marches. 

A correspondent of the New York Tribune has been 
arrested this morning for publishing the movements of 
the different corps. . . . 

June 21. — Rosengarten relieved me as officer of the 
day this evening. The weather has been cloudy and rainy 
most of the day. We sent a regiment (7th Indiana) down 
to Frying-Pan, to capture guerillas, etc. A detachment 
came back this evening with seven citizens or bush- 
whackers. We found out to-day that our guide was cap- 
tured at Coleman's house yesterday. Coleman lives about 
two miles from here, and as he had a lot of forage, our 
guide and quartermaster's clerk went there for it, and 
were caught by a Secesh there, said to be Mosby. 

June 22. — W^ent over to General Howard's this morn- 
ing, and gave him a dispatch from General Reynolds. 
Left here at 10.36 and arrived there at 1 1.20, not meeting 



STEPHEN M. WELD 223 

any bushwhackers on the way. The general had a dis- 
patch this evening from General Meade, saying that he 
had laid a trap to catch Mosby, but that M. with 30 men 
drove our 40 cavalry and then escaped from 30 infantry. 
Tried to buy me some trousers this afternoon, but did 
not succeed. Weather cool and pleasant. Saw Colonel 
Asmussen, whom I met once at Stafford Court House, 
at General Howard's headquarters. 

Jime 23. — The general routed us all up this morning 
at 6 o'clock, to be ready to go out with him. At 8 o'clock 
our cavalry escort of 20 men, with a regiment of infantry, 
started for Moran's Cross-roads, about two miles from 
headquarters. The cavalry rode ahead and formed a line 
near the cross-roads, while our infantry went into the 
woods on this side as skirmishers. We found no one in 
the woods, however. We stopped at Coleman's house, 
where our guide was caught the other day. It was un- 
doubtedly Mosby who took him. In the afternoon three 
ladies and two gentlemen drove up here from Washing- 
ton. They were Mrs. Dana, Mrs. Ames, and Miss Green, 
daughter of General Green. They spent the night here, 
and in the evening a band came over to serenade them. 
General Howard was ordered this evening to proceed 
to Harper's Ferry. The day was pleasant and cool. The 
evenings are still quite chilly. Received a letter from 
Hannah and Father. 

June 24. — Started this morning for General Howard's 
headquarters with a dispatch from General Reynolds, but 
on reaching General H.'s picket line, I found that three 
guerillas had been started out of a house close by, some 
ten minutes before I came up. The ladies who were here 
started back for Washington this morning. This evening 
we heard that Longstreet had crossed into Maryland, 



224 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

and we received orders to move for Edward's Ferry. 
Day pleasant. 

June 25. — Received orders early this morning to be 
ready to move, and at about 8 o'clock we started for 
Young's Ford, three miles below Edward's Ferry. When 
near the ferry we found that the ford was too deep for 
infantry, so we moved for the ferry itself, where they 
have a pontoon bridge across. We met Birney's corps 
just before turning off from the pike to the ferry. Here 
General Reynolds took command of the First, Third, 
and Eleventh Corps. We reached the river just where 
Goose Creek runs in, and crossed the creek on a pontoon 
bridge, and then the Potomac on another. I found Cap- 
tain Reese and Captain Turnbull here, and after a little 
while we went up to their tents on the hill, which rises 
from the river. A new bridge was soon finished here, so 
that we had two going. The view from here was very fine, 
and the troops crossing made a very beautiful scene. Up 
to this time we had had a very dusty march of eight 
miles, but about 3 p.m. it began to rain, and soon settled 
into a drizzle which lasted all night. Our headquarters 
were established about a mile and a half from Poolesville, 
Maryland. General Reynolds rode into the town and 
saw General French. I heard that the 2d Massachusetts 
Cavalry were near here, and on looking for them, found 
them. I saw Colonel LowelP and Major Forbes,^ both 
looking very well. 

June 26. — We got up and breakfasted at daylight. 
It was a most dismal morning, being drizzly and thor- 
oughly uncomfortable. General Reynolds and staff rode 
down to the ferry, where General Hooker and General 
Slocum soon came up. We then rode back to Poolesville, 

' Col. Charles Russell Lowell, killed later at Cedar Creek. 
2 William H. Forbes. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 225 

and from there General R. went to Barnesville, about 6 
miles, passing near Sugar Loaf. Barnesville is a small, 
old-fashioned town, with one or two neat little cottages 
in it, with pretty flower-gardens in front; quite a contrast 
to anything we had seen in Virginia. Some of the houses 
had overhanging eaves, others piazzas all round, and on 
the main street there was a well with windlass and wheel, 
quite different from anything I ever saw in New England. 
It seemed more like my idea of a European town than 
an American one. Like almost all Maryland towns the 
houses were all on one main street. From Barnesville we 
went on to Adamstown, a small way-station on the Bal- 
timore & Ohio R. R. From here we went to Jefferson, 
lying on the other side, and at the foot of the Little Ca- 
toctin range. The scenery all along the route was very 
beautiful. We passed neat farmhouses with whitewashed 
palings, and through fields of wheat, rye, etc., almost 
ready to be gathered. From the top of Little Catoctin 
the view was splendid. The fertile valley lying between 
the Little Catoctin and South Mountain ranges presented 
an appearance truly delightful to our eyes, which had 
been disgusted and wearied by the monotonous and un- 
cultivated soil of the Old Dominion. Here acres upon 
acres of clover, wheat, oats, etc., were spread out to our 
view, seeming like a perfect paradise. We found that 
Jefferson was a strong Union town, with many pretty 
houses, and some three or four churches. We pitched, or 
rather established, our headquarters in a house at the 
west end of the town, and here I slept in a bed, for the 
first time since I have been in the field. Our wagons did 
not get up with us. We travelled about 27 miles to-day, 
and most of the time in a drenching rain. I ate some 
cherries, the first I had tasted this season, in Jefferson. 
General Reynolds still has command of three corps. 



226 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

June 27. — Started early in the morning for Middleton. 
The day was cloudy and rainy part of the time. Reached 
Middleton and went to General Howard's headquarters. 
Learned that the rebels had gone through Hagerstown to 
Pennsylvania yesterday, Longstreet's corps being the last 
to move. General Lee went through Hagerstown yester- 
day at 12 o'clock. Our tents were pitched just behind 
the town. I went on as officer of the day this evening. 

Headquarters Right Wing, 
Camp near Middleton, June 27, 1863. 

Dear Father, — We arrived here this afternoon, and 
found that the rebels had marched on through Hagers- 
town towards Pennsylvania yesterday. I imagine that 
they have possession of Harrisburg by this time. We 
have them now just w^here we want them, and with decent 
generalship we ought to seize the whole party. Our men 
will fight desperately and give the rebels fits. 

General Reynolds has still command of three infantry 
corps, and of General Stahl's cavalry. It is only a temp- 
orary affair, however. I dated my letter to Hannah yes- 
terday one day too early. . . . 

It may be some time before you hear from me again, 
and you must not be alarmed if you do not hear from me 
for some time. We are within three miles of South Moun- 
tain, where the fight occurred last year. 

I am perfectly well. 

June 28. — Sunday, and the sound of the church bells 
in Middleton seemed pleasant indeed. I went over to 
General Howard's with General Reynolds, and from there 
started down for Frederick, when we met an orderly 
with an order for our three corps to move down to Freder- 
ick. The general sent me back to Generals Doubleday 



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STEPHEN M. WELD 227 

and Howard, with orders for them to move at once. 
While at General Howard's we learned that General 
Hooker had been relieved, and General Meade put in 
command.^ The intelligence was welcome, although I 
should have preferred McClellan to any one else. I went 
on and joined General Reynolds at headquarters, and 
then picked out a camping place near the alms-house, 
and a mile west of the town. In the evening it rained. 
During the day it was cloudy. Secured some chickens 
and eggs to-day. The movement of the army to-day 
looks like a move to protect Baltimore. 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, June 28, 10 p.m., 1863. 

Dear Father, — We have had another change for the 
better. General Hooker has been relieved, and General 
Meade put in his place. The Administration would not 
let Hooker withdraw our forces from Harper's Ferry, nor 
would they give him any reinforcements from Washing- 
ton or Baltimore, and so he properly resigned. This sui- 
cidal policy of the Government is strange. Here we have 
the whole rebel force in Pennsylvania, and greatly out- 
numbering us, and yet they persist in keeping a large 
force at both of these places, in order to prevent the 
Secessionists from "robbing the stores." This is Presi- 
dent Lincoln's reason, given to General Butterfield. 

You spoke of Porter and McClellan in your last letter 
in a very unfair way. They are true and loyal and were 
always willing to carry out the views of the President. 
The more I see of this war, the stronger and firmer is my 
belief in McClellan. I see Hooker doing exactly what 

1 I was with General Reynolds when he received the order appointing 
Meade to the command of the army. He said he was very glad of it and he 
spoke most highly of Meade. He then told me, confidentially, that the com- 
mand had been offered to him, but that he had refused it. 



228 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

McC. was blamed for doing, and I see Grant butting 
against the fortifications of Vicksburg and being driven 
back with fearful loss, and finally resorting to the de- 
spised spade. Now, McClellan would have suffered the 
same defeat at Yorktown had he attempted to assault 
it, and yet just see how he has been abused for not doing 
it. All the soldiers and ofhcers are still strong McClel- 
lanites, and General Meade among the number. 

We are encamped near Frederick, having marched 
here to-day, and to-morrow march Northward. May 
success attend us. 

Palfrey is sick and in the hospital. I sent him a bottle 
of sherry and a few delicacies to help him along. . . . 

June 29. — We started early this morning, moving in 
a drenching rain, which continued most of the day, for 
Emmetsburg, some 23 miles off. We passed through some 
magnificent farms near Frederick, the fields of grain being 
ripe for the harvest, and looking as if they were ready to 
bend to the ground with their golden fruit. We passed 
through Mechanicstown and Catoctin Furnace, and fin- 
ally reached Emmetsburg about 2 o'clock. I managed to 
get a feed for my horse, and some bread and milk for my- 
self, and then started for Middleburg, 10 miles off, with 
a note from General Reynolds. I met Newhall ^ on the 
way, with General Gregg. I arrived at Middleburg, and 
found headquarters in a hotel. I had to wait until 10.30 
for orders, but the time seemed less tedious from the music 
of the cavalry band, which played almost all the evening. 
Came back to camp and found our headquarters in the 
town. We passed on our march to-day St. Mary's College 
for young men, about two miles from Emmetsburg, and 
St. Joseph's, a convent where the Sisters of Charity 

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ORDER FROM GEN. SETH WILLIAMS 



STEPHEN M. WELD 229 

"hang out." I travelled between 40 and 50 miles to-day 
and did not get to bed until nearly one o'clock. Obtained 
General Howard's orders, and brought them to him. 
Every one felt better to-day as General H. was away. 

June 30. — Moved this morning in a mizzly, misty 
rain to Marsh Creek, a branch of the Monocacy. One 
division, rather, moved here, and the others a mile or 
two beyond. We had our headquarters at a tavern called 
Moritz's, about a mile inside of the Pennsylvania line. 
Just after we started I was sent to Taney town (9 miles 
from Emmetsburg), to headquarters. I delivered my 
dispatches to General Meade, and received orders for 
Generals Howard and Reynolds. Moritz's Tavern is 
about 7 miles from Gettysburg, where our cavalry ad- 
vanced this morning. General Reynolds has command of 
three corps again. First, Third, and Eleventh. General 
Sickles resumed command of his corps again to-day. 
Spent the night at the tavern. Corps marched about 5 
miles. 

July I . — General Reynolds came in and woke us up 
this morning, as he has frequently had to do, but we little 
thought that it would be the last time that he would do 
so, or that he had passed his last night on this earth. We 
moved off at 8 a.m., the weather still being muggy and 
disagreeable, and making the roads very bad in some 
places. When we reached the outskirts of Gettysburg, a 
man told us that the rebels were driving in our cavalry 
pickets, and immediately General Reynolds went into the 
town on a fast gallop, through it, and a mile out on the 
other side, where he found General Buford and the cav- 
alry engaging the enemy, who were advancing in strong 
force. He immediately sent me to General Meade, 13 
or 14 miles off, to say that the enemy were coming on 
in strong force, and that he was afraid they would get the 



230 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

heights on the other side of the town before he could ; that 
he would fight them all through the town, however, and 
keep them back as long as possible. 

I delivered the message to General Meade at 11.20, 
having been an hour and twenty minutes on my way. 
He seemed quite anxious about the matter, and said, 
"Good God! if the enemy get Gettysburg, I am lost." 

I started on my way back, and when half-way met an 
orderly, who told me that General Reynolds was shot. I 
did not believe him, but of course felt very anxious, and 
rode on as fast as possible to ascertain the truth of the 
matter. When near the town I met Captain Mitchell with 
an ambulance, and General Reynolds's body. I felt very 
badly indeed about his death, as he had always treated 
me very kindly, and because he was the best general we 
had in our army. Brave, kind-hearted, modest, some- 
what rough and wanting polish, he was a type of the true 
soldier. I cannot realize that he is dead. The last time 
I saw him he was alive and well, and now to think of him 
as dead seems an impossibility. He had just been put- 
ting the Wisconsin brigade in position when the enemy 
opened a volley and the general was struck in the back of 
the neck, killing him almost instantly. 

I offered my services to General Howard, and was 
sent by him down to General Schurz, and also to find 
what regiment it was that was advancing into the town. 
I found General S. and troops retreating through the 
streets, and the bullets whistling around them and 
through the fence alongside of the street. The general 
said he was flanked on both sides, and I found out that 
the regiment was a rebel one, to my perfect satisfaction. 
A few minutes after I came back, our men came along the 
street that runs by the cemetery, in great disorder. We 
tried to rally them, turning the First Corps into a field on 



STEPHEN M. WELD 231 

the left of the road, and the Eleventh to the right. Stein- 
wehr's men, who were not in action, were placed behind 
a stone wall in front of the cemetery, and soon drove the 
rebel skirmishers back. General Doubleday sent me to 
get some intrenching tools, and as I was coming back 
with them, I met General Hancock, who told me to send 
them back. Just then I met Riddle on his way to join 
the general's body, and I went with him, as he seemed to 
think it proper. I tried to find General Doubleday, but 
could not. We rode on to Taney town, meeting General 
Meade on the way to Gettysburg. At Taneytown we 
found that the general's body had gone to Westminster, 
and as soon as we got leave, we started for that place, 
riding all night. Rode 70 miles. Gave my horse to a lieu- 
tenant of the 84th Pennsylvania, to return to our head- 
quarters. 

[My journal for the first day of July ends here. A great 
many things that are not stated in the journal it is per- 
haps just as well for me to write down now, while my 
memory is still active and before old age overtakes me. 

In the first place, I have been asked a great many 
times as to the time that we arrived at Gettysburg. My 
diary says we started at eight o'clock, and we could not 
have taken more than two hours, I should think, getting 
to Gettysburg. From there we rode out and saw the Con- 
federates' batteries going into position on Seminary Hill, 
the lines of battle forming and skirmishers being thrown 
out. Opposed to them were our cavalry skirmishers, 
spread out like the fingers of the hand, falling back and 
firing, and, as I remember it, occasionally firing from a 
field-battery. After seeing this, General Reynolds rode 
back to the town, went into a field on the right of the road 
and talked two or three minutes with General Buford, 



232 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

and then called all his staff around him. He looked us all 
over, and said, "Weld, I am going to pick you out to go 
to General Meade with a message " (the message as given 
in the diary). He told me where the road started for 
Taneytown, where General Meade was, and told me to 
ride with the greatest speed I could, no matter if I killed 
my horse; if I did, to take the orderly's. 

I naturally felt quite complimented at being chosen, 
the youngest of the staff, to carry such an important mes- 
sage, and so I did my utmost. As nearly as I could make 
out, I went about 15 or 16 miles in about an hour and a 
quarter. That ought to have got me to General Meade's 
somewhere about quarter past eleven, as I assume that 
it must have been at least two hours from the time we 
started in the morning before I set off with my message. 
General Meade was very much disturbed indeed at the 
receipt of the news. He said, "Good God! if the enemy 
get Gettysburg, we are lost!" Then he — to speak in 
plain English — roundly damned the Chief of Staff, 
whom he had inherited from his predecessor, for his slow- 
ness in getting out orders. He said that two or three 
days before, he had arranged for a plan of battle, and it 
had taken so long to get the orders out that now it was all 
useless. From what I have heard since I suppose this 
referred to the proposed plan of battle at Pipe's Creek. 
At all events, after this tirade against the Chief of Staff 
of the Army, he summoned all his aides out to hurry up 
Hancock and all the other commands. From what Gen- 
eral Reynolds said to me, it was evident that he appreci- 
ated the importance of holding Gettysburg and the 
heights. General Reynolds also told me to tell General 
Meade that he would barricade the street at Gettysburg 
and hold the enemy back as long as he could. General 
Meade said, "Good! that is just like Reynolds." 



STEPHEN M. WELD 233 

These are unimportant details but perhaps may be 
interesting reading for future generations. The other 
staff officers, who were with Reynolds at the time he fell, 
told me he was not one hundred yards from the Confeder- 
ates when he was shot through the neck and instantly 
killed. The corps captured one or two brigades of the 
enemy early in the day. When I reported to General 
Howard, General Hancock had not arrived. We were 
standing in the cemetery with a battery of guns pointing 
westerly, or northwesterly, I cannot say exactly which, 
when a line of battle came out of the woods about, I 
should say, 500 yards off. I said to the general, "General, 
those are the rebs, why don't you fire at them?" He 
said, "No, I think they are our men." I said, "They are 
not, sir, they are the rebs"; and they were. They were 
soon followed by another line. Then it was he sent me 
down into the town to see what those troops were. There 
was a board fence all along the road I was riding on, and 
the bullets were zipping through the boards at a lively 
rate. There was no question in my mind, and I soon 
found out they were the rebs. On my way back I saw a 
lady riding in, through all those bullets, on a horse with 
a side-saddle, who turned out to be Mrs. General Barlow. 
She had heard of her husband's^ dreadful wounds and 
came in to nurse him. She came in safely, as I afterwards 
heard, and undoubtedly saved her husband's life.] 

July 2. — Started from Westminster in the cars at 
5 A.M. and reached Baltimore about 12. I gave my mare 
to an officer of the 84th Pennsylvania, who promised to 
send her to our headquarters train. In Baltimore we met 
Major Reynolds, the general's brother, and Mr. Gilder- 
sleeve, his brother-in-law. We had the body embalmed, 

' Gen. Francis C. Barlow, Harvard 1855. 



234 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

and placed in a coffin, and at 8.30 p.m. took the train for 
Philadelphia. We reached there about 12, and met Ros- 
engarten's father and brother. The general's body was 
taken to his brother-in-law's, Mr. Landis. We went to 
the Continental. 

July 3. — Started from the hotel this morning with 
Mitchell, and ordered a pair of trousers, to be finished 
to-morrow, as we go to the general's funeral then. In the 
afternoon I dined with Rosengarten, and then proceeded 
to make some calls. I first went to Mr. Furness's, but 
found him the only one at home, as the three boys had 
gone to the war. In the evening I met Milton at the hotel, 
and called with him on Hallowell and Parkman Blake. ^ 
I met Frank Haseltine^ at Blake's, and was of course 
delighted to see him. 

Continental Hotel, Philadelphia, July 3, 1863. 

Dear Father, — I arrived here last night from Get- 
tysburg with General Reynolds's body. Three other of 
his aides also came on with the body. 

On the morning of July 1st we started from Moritz's 
Tavern on the road from Emmetsburg to Gettysburg, 
and distant 7 miles from the latter place. The general 
was two miles in advance of his troops, and as he entered 
Gettysburg, he heard that the enemy were driving in our 
cavalry pickets, posted about a mile and a half from the 
town. He instantly rode out there on a gallop until he 
came in to General Buford, who commanded the cavalry. 
Here he found out that the enemy were advancing in 
strong force from Cashtown. The position in which our 
cavalry were posted was a very strong one, being a range 
of hills back of the town, and whoever held this range 
commanded the town and the country round about. 

1 S. Parkman Blake, Harvard 1855. ^ My classmate. 




.^J- -.- 



STEPHEN M. WELD 235 

Therefore it was very important for us to get there, but as 
the enemy were much nearer them than we were, and 
were advancing rapidly, the general was afraid he could 
not get there in time to hold them. He galloped back 
towards our troops about 2 miles off, and on the way 
asked me if my horse was in good condition. As I had 
travelled 30 miles the day before, I said that she was not, 
but that I would go anywhere with her that he wished 
me to. He told me to ride as quickly as possible to Gen- 
eral Meade and tell him that the enemy were advancing 
in strong force on the town, and that he was afraid they 
would get there before he did, but that he would fight 
them all the way through the town, and keep them back 
as long as possible. General Meade was at Taneytown, 
14 miles distant. I started off on a gallop and got there 
in an hour and twenty minutes, very good time consider- 
ing that my horse was so used up. I delivered the message 
to General Meade, and started back, and on my way back 
met General Reynolds's body in an ambulance. I was 
very much shocked and felt very badly about it. The 
general, it seems, hurried his troops up and was getting 
them in position on this range I spoke of, when the enemy 
opened on them ; and while the general was rallying some 
of his men, he was shot in the back of his head, killing 
him almost instantly. A braver man or a better soldier 
than General R. never lived. He was a very reserved 
man, but still a kind one, and one for whom I had the ut- 
most respect and regard. His kindness to me I shall never 
forget. 

At the time he was shot, the general had command of 
the three Corps, the First, Eleventh, and Third. The 
First was coming on to the ground, the Eleventh near at 
hand, and the Third some ten miles distant. I offered my 
services to General Howard, who took command, and was 



236 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

sent by him to General Schurz, to see how he was getting 
on. Just before I got to him the rebels got into the town 
and began firing. As I passed by a board fence along the 
road, I could hear the bullets come crashing through, 
making an unpleasant noise about one's ears. I found 
our men running back, the enemy having flanked us, and 
General Schurz was riding up the street, when I saw him. 
I had seen this rebel regiment approaching the town, 
and was sent both to see General S. and to find out what 
troops these were. I had good evidence that they were 
rebels. I reported then to General Howard. Our troops 
were now falling back in some confusion, having been 
flanked on both sides from the rebel line overlapping ours, 
from mere superiority in numbers. We took position, 
however, on a high hill on the south side of the town, 
where there was a cemetery, and along a stone wall in 
front our men were posted, with the batteries behind 
them. The rebels pushed out a few skirmishers against 
us, but these were soon driven back, and soon we drove 
the rebels out of the town again. So affairs stood at nine 
P.M., when I left with Major Riddle to catch up with the 
general's body, which had gone ahead. We rode about 
30 miles, to Westminster, where we met the body, and 
took the cars for Baltimore. To-morrow morning we go 
to Lancaster to the funeral, and on Monday I expect to 
start for the army again. I shall try to get on to General 
Sedgwick's staff, but if I do not succeed,- 1 shall go to my 
regiment. . . . 

July 4. — Last June I expected to spend my Fourth 
in Richmond and to celebrate the day by a dinner, etc. 
Alas, I spent it there, but in a different character from 
what I expected, and my fare for dinner was sour bread 
and bad meat. This year I expected to spend the Fourth 



STEPHEN M. WELD 237 

in a battle, and find myself Instead In Philadelphia. Were 
It not for the errand that brought me here, I should have 
enjoyed the day very much. 

We started for Mr. Landis's house, 1829 Spruce St., 
at 6 A.M. From here the body was taken to the Lancaster 
depot, and placed In a private car. Only the general's 
brother and sister and staff were present. We reached 
Lancaster about 12 m., and there found an immense 
crowd of women, men, and children waiting at the depot. 
We got into some old wagons, and drove to the cemetery. 
Here a chapter of the Bible was read, and prayer de- 
livered, and then poor General Reynolds disappeared 
from us for some time to come. We dined at the hotel, 
and started on our way back in our special car at 2.25, 
reaching Philadelphia at 5 or 6 p.m. Went to the Union 
League rooms, and to Blake's in the evening. 

July 5. — I went out to see Rosengarten and his family. 
Their country house is at Germantown, where there are 
a great many country residences of the Philadelphians. 
R.'s house is quite a pretty stone cottage surrounded by 
a lawn, and with pretty shrubbery, etc. I spent two or 
three hours there, and then took a drive through School- 
house Lane, which they were fortifying, and then to the 
right on a road running along Wissahickon Creek. The 
scenery was beautiful and reminded me very much of the 
suburbs of Boston. 

After spending a few hours here very pleasantly, I 
went back to Philadelphia, and on leaving the cars, 
heard the news about Meade, ^ etc. It literally poured, 
and in the midst of this rain I drove to Frank Haseltine's, 
arriving there at two o'clock, just at dinner-time. I saw 
Mrs. Haseltine, looking as young and pretty as ever. Mr. 
Haseltine I saw last night. Parkman Blake was present, 

' That is, of the final victory at Gettysburg. 



238 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

and we had a very pleasant dinner indeed. After dinner 
we adjourned to Frank's room, and looked over his old 
college papers, and talked over old times. I really passed 
a most pleasant afternoon. From Frank's we went to Mr. 
Field's, and took tea there, meeting Mr. Newhall, Mr. 
Furness, and Clem Barclay. Mrs. Field was very kind, 
as was Mr. F. Philadelphia people are much more hos- 
pitable than Boston people. 

July 6. — Bought some things this morning, and had 
my photographs taken, and started for Baltimore in the 
1 1 o'clock train with the rest of the staff. On arriving in 
Baltimore we found out that headquarters of the Army 
of the Potomac would be in Frederick the next day. We 
made two efforts to get a train for Frederick, but found 
that we could not get off until to-morrow. Met Rev. 
James F. Clarke at the Eutaw House, looking for Henry 
Huidekoper.^ Before leaving Philadelphia, I called on 
General Reynolds's sisters, and received the general's 
pocketbook as a memento. Saw General Butterfield, 
and he offered me a place on his staff when he came 
back. 

July 7. — Started at 8.15 a.m. for Frederick, and met at 
the Relay House Mr. Donaldson. I was glad to see him, 
and to find that his family were all well. He got out at 
Ellicott Mills. We passed on our way some ten trains 
loaded with troops for Harper's Ferry. Headquarters 
reached Frederick a few minutes after we did. They were 
at the United States Hotel, and here General Meade re- 
ceived a dispatch saying that Vicksburg had fallen. Some 
ladies came in to see General Meade, giving him bou- 
quets, and insisted on kissing him. I saw the performance 
through the window. I found our mail ambulance here, 
and rode out to our wagon train, about a mile out from 

1 Henry S. Huidekoper, Harv^ard 1862, Mr. Clarke's nephew. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 239 

Frederick. I found that my mare had not been returned, 
and accordingly sent James out after her. He found her 
after hunting four hours. It rained heavily this evening, 
and during the night. 

July 8. — We broke camp this morning in a drenching 
rain, and started with the wagons for Middleton, where 
our corps is. I saw the Twelfth Corps passing through 
the town, and saw Major Morse, commanding the 2d 
Massachusetts, and Bill Perkins. Heard of Tom Robe- 
son's ^ death, and Charley Mudge's - also. About a mile 
out from town I passed the body of the rebel spy, hung 
by Buford, naked and discolored, still dangling to a tree, 
— a fearful warning to such rascals. He had been accus- 
tomed to sell papers and maps in our army. I found Gen- 
eral Newton,^ who was put in command of the First 
Corps, near Middleton. He said he should be happy to 
have me stay with him, and I shall do so. At 3 p.m. we re- 
ceived an order to move to the Gap, which we did, bivou- 
acking there for the night. Our cavalry pickets had been 
driven in to Boonesboro, and we were sent therefore to 
prevent John R.^ from getting the Gap. The Eleventh 
Corps also went there. A cavalry fight was going on a 
mile or more beyond Boonesboro during the afternoon, 
in which we held our own. It cleared off at noon. Found 
that Egbert had been taken prisoner and his things sent 
home. 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, Md., July 8, 1863. 
Dear Father, — I joined the corps this morning at 
Middleton, where we now are, about 8 miles from Freder- 
ick. I reported to General Newton, who is in command 
of the corps, and shall stay for the present with him. 

1 Thomas R. Robeson, Harvard 1861. ' Gen. John Newton. 

^ Charles R. Mudge, my classmate. * Johnny Reb. 



240 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

On my way back from Philadelphia and while at the 
Eutaw House in Baltimore, I met General Butterfield, 
who was wounded slightly in the breast. He said that he 
would like me to go with him when he came back. I told 
him that I was trying to get on to Sedgwick's staff, but 
if not successful would be happy to go on to his staff. 

On my way here from Frederick, I passed the body of a 
spy hanging to a tree. He was stark naked and was a 
most disagreeable object, as he had been hanging there 
for two days. Our cavalry captured him and hung him 
immediately. He was a man who had been selling papers, 
etc., in our camps, and when caught was leading the rebel 
cavalry to our trains. . . . 

What glorious victories we are having! I really begin 
to think now that we are soon to see the end of this war. 

July 9. — We remained here during the day. I rode 
over the mountain where our corps was, and learned all 
the roads. Our tents were pitched this afternoon. Head- 
quarters of the Army of the Potomac moved up to the 
Gap to-day. Egbert returned this afternoon, having es- 
caped from the rebels. Day pleasant. Sixth Corps 
moved through the Gap to the front. Saw the ist Mas- 
sachusetts Cavalry. 

July 10. — Started at 6 A.M. and moved to a position 
beyond Beaver Creek, and about 5 miles from Boones- 
boro. Our cavalry had a fight with the rebels, and drove 
them. We took up our position on the right flank of the 
Sixth Corps. Saw Whittier to-day. Skirmishing going 
on all day. We bivouacked at night in the woods. 

July II. — The Maryland Brigade under General 
Kenly joined us to-day, and was assigned to Rowley's 
division, thus putting Kenly in command of the division. 
Nothing new occurred to-day. Weather warm and sultry. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 241 

A regular dog-day. General Newton went to a council of 
war this evening. 

July 12. — Sunday, and therefore a day to expect a 
battle. We did not have it, however. Our corps started 
in the morning with orders to hold Funkstown Heights. 
The weather was sultry and disagreeable and, although 
we had not more than three or four miles to march, we 
found it quite fatiguing. The Eleventh Corps got ahead 
of us, and we had to wait about three hours for them. 
Just before entering Funkstown, we found the enemy's 
rifle-pits, which they evacuated last night. The town is 
just like all Maryland towns. After entering the village, 
we turned to the right, and crossed the Antietam on the 
Hagerstown pike. We formed our line on the left of the 
Eleventh Corps, which formed our extreme right resting 
on Antietam Creek. On our left we joined the Sixth 
Corps. Our men built rifle-pits all along the line, and 
were prepared for an attack, although these measures 
were merely precautionary. Our line was a very strong 
one indeed, running parallel for a long distance to the 
Hagerstown and Sharpsburg pike, and then crossing it 
on the left, and running towards the river. The enemy's 
line was not much over 1000 yards from ours, the skir- 
mishers of both parties being sharply engaged almost all 
the time. The general was sick to-day, and in the after- 
noon General Wadsworth assumed command of the 
corps. I rode into town to get some supper, and met Se- 
cretary Cameron and General Reynolds's brother, at a 
house in town. We had a severe thunder shower in the 
afternoon. 

July 13. — General Wadsworth went to a council of 
war last night, and the opinion is that they voted not to 
attack the enemy to-day. The vote was as follows, I be- 
lieve. Against it were General Sedgwick, French, Hays, 



242 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Slocum; and in favor, Generals Wadsworth, Pleasonton, 

and Howard. General Meade was also understood to be 

in favor of an attack. It rained all day long, and the only 

excitement we had was from the rebs opening on us with 

artillery. They fired four or five shots, and then subsided. 

I rode along our lines this morning. Had our tents 

pitched. Briggs's brigade joined us this evening. 

July 14. — Went to bed last night wondering whether 

I should not be waked up by shells, etc., in the morning. 

We heard none, however, and soon found out that the 

enemy had evacuated. All the corps were put in motion 

for Williamsport. I went through Hagerstown and saw 

lots of pretty females. I met Mrs. Porter there, also. 

Our corps went on to within a mile of Williamsport, 

where we established our headquarters at a house owned 

by Mr. Findlay. 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, 
Camp near Williamsport, July 14. 

Dear Hannah, — Johnny Reb has got away from us 
again, I am sorry to say. They left our front last night, 
and crossed the river in safety. It is too bad, but I don't 
well see how it could have been helped, as it would have 
been utterly useless for us to have attacked their position 
with the few men we had. I suppose now that we shall 
wait here until we get our conscripts, and then move on 
them again, and have another campaign in that god- 
forsaken, desolated country of Virginia. It is rather dis- 
couraging, but I think we ought to be satisfied with hav- 
ing driven them successfully out of Pennsylvania. Gen- 
eral Meade has certainly done all that a man could do 
with the few men under his command. The enemy occu- 
pied a strong natural position here, made almost impreg- 
nable to our small force by fortifications. 

Without disparaging General Meade, one can't help 










w 



STEPHEN M. WELD 243 

drawing a parallel between McClellan's campaign at An- 
tietam last year, and this present one. In both of them 
we whipped the enemy, but he succeeded in crossing the 
river safely. It seems to me that God has so ordered it 
that everything should turn out to show that General 
Geo. B. McClellan was right in his campaigns, and that 
he acted as every true soldier would act. 

I am an acting aide for General Newton, and shall 
probably remain with him. All the other aides report to 
the Adjutant-General of the Army. 

Please direct your letters to me, as before, to head- 
quarters 1st Army Corps 

July 15. — Received orders to march to Berlin. We 
marched to Keedysville, and from there to Crampton's 
Gap. Our corps did not go through the Gap, but head- 
quarters were at Burkettsville on the other side of the 
Gap. Day pleasant most of the time. The march was 
long and tiresome, as other corps were ahead of us. 

July 16. — Started from Burkettsville and marched 
about four miles, when we encamped for the day. Our 
headquarters were at Mr. West's house, our tents being 
pitched in a pleasant, shady spot in his front yard. 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, 
Camp near Berlin, July i6, 1863. 

Dear Hannah, — We are wanderers on the face of the 
earth, like the Israelites of old. We don't stop 24 hours 
in the same place, but keep up this eternal marching all 
the time. We are going to cross the river again at the 
same place that we crossed last year. 

We are having glorious news now, and I really think 
that the end of this rebellion begins to draw near. The 
only thing that mars this good news is the account we 



244 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

have of the riots in New York, which I hope the Govern- 
ment will put down with a strong hand, and not stop un- 
til they have shot or hung every one of the rioters. It is 
disgraceful, and I only wish that I could be in New York 
to help kill some of the rascals. I see by to-day's paper 
that there has been some disturbance in Boston. I don't 
think there will be much danger of a riot there. I suppose 
that the Winthrop Home Guard will turn out in Jamaica 
Plain and prevent any disturbance there. Tell Father not 
to expose himself, for you know how excitable he is, and 
in case of any trouble I am afraid that he will be in the 
midst of it. A regiment of Regulars and a battery of 
artillery have gone from here to New York, and I think 
that with their assistance the draft will be put through in 
that place. 

We are now near Berlin, and have our headquarters 
in the front yard of a Mr. West, amongst a large grove of 
trees. We get our meals in his house and are living quite 

comfortably. 

July 17. 

. . . Our cavalry crossed the Potomac last night at 
Harper's Ferry. There is a pontoon bridge being laid at 
Berlin, and we shall probably cross on it to-morrow. I 
suppose we shall push for Warrenton, as we did last year, 
and then we shall remain there, or make for Richmond. 
General Meade seems desirous of pushing ahead as fast 
as possible, but I am rather afraid that our present force 
is too small to take Richmond. However, we shall not 
remain inactive for a very long time, and you may feel 
sure that General Meade will do all in his power to whip 
the rebs. . . . 

July 17. — Rained heavily in the morning, and con- 
tinued at intervals during the day. We had a rest for one 



STEPHEN M. WELD 245 

day, and welcome it was, too. Our meals we obtained 
from the house, I received a letter from Father and one 
from Hannah. I answered Father's immediately. The 
Fifth and Sixth Corps crossed the river this afternoon. 
The rumor is that the Second and Twelfth move down 
the Shenandoah Valley. Late this evening we received 
orders to move at 4 a.m. across the river to Waterford, 
about 12 miles distant. 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, July 17, 1863. 

Dear Father, — I received your note of July 13th, 
and hasten to answer it. I would like that position you 
speak of, and hope you can get it for me. Either that or a 
majority, I would like, and feel myself competent to fill 
such a position. I could get any number of recommend- 
ations for such a position, but would prefer not to do so, 
as I don't care about having anything to do with getting 
it myself. If General Reynolds were alive, I could get a 
very high recommendation, and could get such probably 
from General Newton, although he does not know me 
well enough as yet. General Porter would do anything of 
the kind I wished, but I suppose anything from him would 
do me more harm than good at present. I think that 
General Sedgw^ick would be very willing, also, to help me. 
Colonel Hayes of my regiment, and General Barnes would 
both of them be glad to assist me. If you find that you 
can get me such a position, I wish you would try to get 
it in Griswold's regiment, provided there are none others 
better than his. I could have my own way there. . . . 

We move across the river in a day or two, but whether 
to Washington or Richmond, I don't know. Probably for 
the latter place, although we have rather a small force 
for an advance in that direction. 

I am much obliged to you for getting that present for 



246 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Frank Balch. I meant to have written to you to do so, 
but on account of moving all the time, and the bustle and 
excitement attending the march, I forgot it. 

Please let me know in your next letter how John Perry 
is and where he is staying. . . . 

July i8. — Headquarters started at 5 a.m., and crossed 
the river at Berlin. Saw Captain Reese at the Bridge. 
We moved on to Lovettsville, and from there to Water- 
ford, 7 miles distant. Just before reaching Waterford, we 
met a Union man, who said that a rebel cavalryman, 
named Orison, who lived there, was at home. I rode over 
to the house with two orderlies, and found that his horse 
was gone, and that he was not to be found. I soon found 
him, however, in the weaving-house, and sent him to Cap- 
tain Taylor. Waterford is a good Union town. I hear 
that there are not more than five rebel families in the 
whole town. We stayed at Mr. Hough's house, and were 
very kindly treated. We lived on the fat of the land, 
much to our enjoyment. The march to-day was one of 
the pleasantest we have had on this campaign. Major 
Russell was sick to-day, and for a few hours I acted as 
A. A. G. Weather pleasant. 

July 19. — We started at 6 a.m., and moved on to 
Hamilton, 8 miles distant. We found this town a regular 
secession hole, like almost all other towns in Virginia. 
Our headquarters were at a Mr. Janney's house. He was 
captured a short time ago trying to run goods over the 
river at Point of Rocks. Day warm and pleasant. 

July 20, — Started at 4 a.m. for Middleburg, about 13 
miles distant. Passed through the Quaker settlement, 
and through Circleville. Stopped at the Quakers' 
houses and found them very pleasant and hospitable. We 
reached Middleburg about 5 p.m., after a long and weari- 



STEPHEN M. WELD 247 

some march, losing our way several times, and having a 
great deal of trouble in finding a ford over Goose Creek. 
The bridge over the creek was destroyed by our cavalry 
some three weeks ago. We finally forded the creek at 
Benton's Mill. Major Russell and Colonel Sanderson 
were gobbled near this ford by about twelve of Mosby's 
men, and taken through Middleburg on their Way to 
Warrenton. After reaching M., I was sent to headquar- 
ters of the Army of the Potomac, and found them at 
Union, 6 miles distant. Received orders to stay where we 
were to-morrow. Baird is A. A. G.^ 

July 21. — We remained in camp all day on the east- 
ern outskirts of the town. I went down into the town and 
seized a man named Chancellor to act as a guide. I also 
gobbled a negro living on Mr. English's place. I put 
them both under guard. Two drummer boys who were 
captured by Mosby yesterday came back this afternoon, 
having been paroled. They reported Mosby as being 
about 8 miles from here, and as having robbed Russell 
and Sanderson of all their money, etc. A man named 
Nolan was arrested and brought in, accused of having 
helped Mosby take the drummer boys. The weather was 
pleasant. 

Jidy 22. — As we did not receive any orders to move 
last night, we supposed we were safe for to-day, but 

' As we were starting out this morning, we got one or two hundred yards 
ahead of the corps, and looking to the left, I saw fifty or sixty Confederate 
cavalry in the field, not more than two or three hundred yards to our left. 
I showed them to the general, and he told me to take our headquarters 
guard and go after them. As soon as they saw us, they retired in short order 
into the woods. I followed them for about a mile, but could not get them. 
I found a hospital for sick horses belonging to Mosby, but could accomplish 
nothing, so returned. When we got to Goose Creek, the general wanted to 
cross over. As we were about a quarter of a mile ahead of the corps, I begged 
him to wait, and he did so. Lucky he did, for Major Russell and Colonel 
Sanderson, who did cross a few minutes ahead of us, were captured by 
Mosby. 



248 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

about I P.M. Major Biddle came up with orders for us to 
march on to White Plains. We started as soon as possible, 
compelling an old darkey and a man named Simmons to 
act as guides. We had a very pleasant march of about 
9 miles, reaching White Plains about 8 p.m. On our way 
we found traces of Mosby's corrals, etc. The day was 
pleasant. 

July 22,. — Captain Mitchell arrived here at 5 a.m., 
with orders for us to move to Warrenton, 13 miles from 
White Plains. General Kenly led. We reached Warren- 
ton about 3 P.M. ; Mosby's men were ahead of us all along 
the route. We met the cavalry train parked about 8 miles 
from Warrenton. Our corps was camped on the Waterloo 
and Culpeper roads. Our headquarters are at the Warren 
Green Hotel. A year ago next November I passed 
through here with General Porter on the way to Washing- 
ton. He had just been relieved, and was accompanied as 
far as this hotel by General Hooker. We saw Burnside at 
the hotel, General Halleck, and numerous other generals. 
There has been a great change since then. Burnside and 
Hooker both in command of this army, and both relieved. 
I wonder how much was gained by removing McClellan? 
We dined at the Warren Green on biscuit and bacon. 
Our wagon train, with General Cutler's division, went by 
way of New Baltimore. Colonel Painter was fired at 
while entering the town. We sent skirmishers in at one 
end of the town while our wagon train was entering the 
other end. 

July 24. — The general sent Lieutenant Carson out to 
Waterloo with 20 cavalrymen, and five companies of in- 
fantry as a support. He saw nothing of the enemy except 
a straggler, whom he captured and sent in. He went 
a mile across the river, and then returned. He heard 
heavy firing towards Culpeper, proceeding from our 



STEPHEN M. WELD 249 

cavalry, who crossed above here. In the evening Mrs. 
Wallach and her daughter came in from Culpeper. They 
said that when they left Culpeper there were no troops 
there. The firing was from our cavalry fighting infantry, 
near Annisville. General Ingalls arrived here this evening, 
and I obtained a paper from one of his party, the first I 
have seen for a week. I took a walk through the town 
during the afternoon. Saw some pretty girls, who would 
not even glance at us, however. The town is quite a 
pretty one, and has some neat cottages in it. Some of them 
reminded me very much of the houses on the Beverly 
shore. The population of Warrenton before the war was 
2000. At present it cannot be over 600, and these mostly 
women and children. Almost all the families here are in 
mourning, but almost invariably, so I am told, give as the 
reason for wearing black, that some aged relative has 
died. I suppose they think that the Yankees would be 
glad to know of any one being killed in battle, and so 
refuse to tell. 

July 25. — Received orders to march at daylight 
this morning for Warrenton Junction. Started as ordered, 
and reached there by noon, a distance of 10 miles. Be- 
fore leaving in the morning, Mrs. Smith, wife of Extra 
Billy,^ came up to the hotel, to try to get back her cattle, 
which General Cutler took. I believe she was successful. 
She said that she hoped Extra B, would be inaugurated 
Governor of the State and the Union in January next. 
We found the Eleventh Corps just arriving at the Junc- 
tion as we came in. Two divisions of the corps were placed 
on the right of the railroad, and one proceeded to Beale- 
ton. We found good water scarce, as it always is in this 

^ "Extra Billy Smith," Governor of Virginia somewhere about the begin- 
ning of the War. Called "Extra Billy" Smith because he put in so many 
bills for extras. 



250 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

vicinity. Our headquarters were near the Junction, in a 
grove of trees. This makes the third time that I have en- 
camped at Warrenton Junction during this war. The 
first time last August, with General Porter; the second 
time last month, with General Reynolds; and the third 
time with General Newton. 

July 26. Sunday. — Lieutenant Jackson started for 
Washington this morning. We gave him various com- 
missions to execute for us. Robinson's division went up 
to Bealeton to protect the railroad, etc. Day pleasant. 

July 27. — I rode up to Rappahannock Station, where 
we have a brigade and a battery. Found that the enemy 
were on the opposite bank, but not in very great force. 
Rode over to General Buford's headquarters, which were 
near, and saw Wadsworth. Dined with them, and rode 
down here with Captain Keough. Lamed my mare on 
the way down. Jackson returned to-night, and brought 
our mess stuff. The Eleventh Corps is now on our right, 
the Twelfth in our rear, the Second three miles from us, 
on the road to Warrenton, and the Third and Sixth at 
or near Warrenton. Had a heavy shower during the day. 
Weather unsettled and close. 

July 28. — Went this morning to the 2d Massachu- 
setts and saw Bill Perkins, George Thompson, and 
Francis. From there I went to General Greene's head- 
quarters, and saw Charley Horton.^ Went to Gordon's 
division of the Twelfth Corps, and saw Gray, Motley, 
and Scott. ^ When I came back, I found that the general 
had gone to Rappahannock Station. Nothing new. Wea- 
ther showery in the afternoon. 

July 29. — Received a letter from Father, saying that 
I had been nominated as lieutenant colonel by Charley 

1 Charles P. Horton, Harvard 1857. 
- Henry B. Scott, my classmate. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 251 

Griswold, and that the Governor was going to confirm the 
nomination. Told the general, who said that he was 
sorry to lose me, but that he was glad to congratulate me 
on my promotion. Was not very well to-day. Charley 
Horton came over here in the afternoon, and I rode over 
with him to General Gordon's. We had a fine band 
here belonging to General Gordon's old brigade. Rainy 
throughout the day, as it has been ever since we have 
been here. 

July 30. — Received a letter from Father, saying that 
the Governor had signed my commission, and that I 
would soon receive notice to come home. Weather 
showery. 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, 
Camp at Warrenton, July 30, 1863. 

Dear Father, — I received your letters of the 27th 
and 28th inst., and am very much obliged to you indeed 
for the trouble you have taken to obtain that position 
for me. 

On receiving the letter, I went to General Newton, and 
told him that I expected the commission as lieutenant 
colonel, and that as soon as convenient to him, after re- 
ceiving the commission, I would like to go home. I also 
told him that I was sorry to leave him, and that I was 
much obliged to him for his kindness to me. He said that 
he was sorry to lose me, but that he congratulated me on 
my promotion, etc. He was very kind to me indeed, and 
told me the best way to get my discharge. As soon as 
I receive my commission, I will start for home. I shall take 
James and both of my horses with me. The box of cloth- 
ing I luckily received last night. I shall endeavor to get 
that bundle sent by Lieutenant Corcoran, but I am afraid 
that I stand a poor chance of obtaining it. 

We are encamped close by the spot that General For- 



252 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

ter was, last year. His not moving when ordered to, was 
one of the charges against him. Our position here is not 
very pleasant. We are on low ground, which gets soaked 
every time there is a rain, and yet decent drinking water 
is impossible to get hold of. It is convenient on account 
of being so near the railroad, but that is its only advantage. 
I saw Charlie Horton and Motley yesterday. They were 
both well. General Gordon, on whose staff Motley is, is 
in the Eleventh Corps, much to his disgust. The corps has 
such a bad reputation that any good soldier feels himself 
disgraced to be in it. The best way is to disband it and 
mix it in with the other corps. 

James has a letter from his wife which says that he is 
drafted. If so, he had better enlist in the regiment I am 
going into, and then let me detail him as my servant. 

General Newton does not work his staff nearly as much 
as General Reynolds used to. I am rather sorry for it, 
as I like to have plenty to do out here. I am not at all 
afraid of having too much to do at Readville. I like the 
idea, and think that it will do me good. 

There has been some sharp correspondence between 
Halleck and Meade. Halleck telegraphed that this army 
could not fight or march worth a damn. Meade immedi- 
ately asked to be relieved, but this was not granted, and 
Halleck apologized. If you take into consideration our 
inferior force, every one must acknowledge that Meade 
has done all that a man could do. Even now, we do not 
number 50,000 infantry in this army. If we are compelled 
to cross the Rappahannock with our present number, we 
shall stand a fair chance of being soundly whipped. We 
shall have to wait here until we receive our conscripts. . . . 

July 31. — Rode up to headquarters of the Army of 
the Potomac this morning in an ambulance with the 



STEPHEN M. WELD 253 

general, Jackson, and Wainwright. About halfway our 
ambulance broke down, compelling us to seize one be- 
longing to the Sixth Corps, which was passing at the time. 
We reached headquarters about 3 p.m., having been three 
or four hours going 10 miles. On the edge of the town of 
Warrenton we found an immense quartermaster's es- 
tablishment, where they were repairing ambulances, shoe- 
ing mules and horses, etc. Headquarters were half a 
mile out from the town, on the Sulphur Springs road. 
Took lunch with Perkins. Saw Riddle, Oliver, Mitchell, 
etc. Started to come back on our horses at 6.30 p.m., hav- 
ing passed a very pleasant afternoon. When we arrived 
at camp, which was at 9 p.m., I found a letter from Father 
saying that I had been telegraphed for on the 29th in- 
stant by General Schouler. Day pleasant. 

August I. — We received orders last night to picket 
the river from Beverly Ford to Wheatley's Ford ; to hold 
the opposite bank of the river until the bridge was built; 
and also to hold the railroad from Warrenton Junction 
to Rappahannock Station. This is a good job for one 
corps to accomplish. We struck tents early in the morning, 
and the general, Jackson, and I, started for Rappahan- 
nock Station in an ambulance. When we arrived there 
we found that we had about 100 cavalry and some sharp- 
shooters across the river. The enemy retired without 
firing a shot, being only videttes. The engineers began 
to lay the bridge soon after we got there, and as soon as 
it was finished the cavalry began crossing. As soon as 
they had sufficient force over, a squadron went off to the 
right, and deployed as skirmishers, advancing up the hill 
very prettily, but meeting no enemy. Soon after, another 
force rode out to the front, and deployed as skirmishers, 
followed at a distance by the whole body of cavalry. It was 
a very pretty sight, and had it not been for the excessive 



254 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

heat of the sun, one would have enjoyed looking at them. 
As it was, however, it was as much as one's life was worth 
to stand out in the broiling sun any length of time. Our 
cavalry met with no resistance until they had gone some 
two miles and a half from the river. I got leave about noon 
to go out and see the fight. I found our forces a mile be- 
yond Brandy Station, and soon after I got there the 
8th New York made a charge on 4 guns, which they came 
near taking. Our headquarters are at a Mr. Bower's 
house, where General Buford was. In the evening I was 
sent to find General Buford. He was about three miles 
from the river. He advanced within a mile and a half 
of Culpeper, driving Jones's and Hampton's brigades 
of cavalry that far. He met A. P. Hill's corps, and was 
driven back two miles this side of Brandy Station. 

[The cavalry staff officers were a lively set of boys. 
Craig Wadsworth and a lot of them sat down while there 
was a short halt before going into a fight, and began play- 
ing poker. In a few minutes the game was interrupted 
by the call to arms, and off they went into the fight, and 
were in the charge on the four guns. It was as near a cap- 
ture as anything I ever saw.] 

August 2. — The general rode down to the river this 
morning and crossed. We went first to the hill on the 
left, where General Cutler's division is. From there we 
rode to the hills on the right, where General Robinson's 
division is. Our position is a very strong one. We have 
rifle-pits built along the whole line. After being out we 
came back to camp with General Buford and staff, who 
remained and dined with us. The day was the warmest 
we have had yet, it being very oppressive and disagree- 
able. Heard nothing more about my commission. I think 
that there must be some mistake somewhere. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 255 

August 3. — We received a message this morning that 
the enemy was advancing in force. Lieutenant Jackson 
rode down to the river, and found that it was a false 
alarm. Weather sultry and hot. 

Headquarters ist Army Corps, 
Camp at Rappahannock Station, 6 p.m., Ajig. 3, 1863. 

Dear Father, — I have heard nothing about my 
commission, and nothing about coming home. I am 
afraid that there is some mistake about the matter. In 
case any telegram or document is sent me, you had better 
have it directed to me at these headquarters. Of course 
I can take no measures about coming home until I receive 
official notice that I am commissioned as lieutenant 
colonel, or until I am ordered home by the W^ar Depart- 
ment. Even if I took any such measures, no attention 
would be paid them, unless, as I have said, I should re- 
ceive official notice. 

We are settled here for some time, I think. At present 
we have most of our corps across the river, waiting until 
the railroad bridge is completed. I went out to the front 
day before yesterday, and saw the cavalry fight. The 
fighting I saw took place near Brandy Station, some six 
miles from here. 

Our headquarters are on this side of the river and about 
a mile from the river. 

I hope I shall hear soon from some one in regard to my 
commission. As soon as I do hear, I shall start for home, 
going from here to Washington on the railroad, which is 
a safe route. I shall send my horses on to New York by 
boat. 

August 4. — General Newton rode down to the river 
this morning and visited General Robinson and General 



256 STEPHEN M. WELD 

Cutler. Also stopped at General Buford's headquarters. 
We had just got back to camp when we heard firing down 
near the river, and found that the enemy were advancing. 
After swallowing a hasty dinner, we rode down on a gal- 
lop, and found that the enemy were being driven back 
by our cavalry. It was showery during the day. 

August 5. — Rode over to headquarters this afternoon 
to see if I could get a leave, in order to go home and accept 
my commission as lieutenant colonel. Had a letter from 
Father this afternoon. Got back to camp about ten and 
a half. Found staff engaged in playing poker. 



{Letter from Gen. Reynold a" and after-vards Gen. Newton's 
Adj. -Gen.) 



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CHAPTER VII 

LIEUTENANT COLONEL OF 56TH MASS. — RECRUITING — 
GOING SOUTH WITH THE REGIMENT — MR. BROWN 
OF PHILADELPHIA — ANNAPOLIS — THE BATTLE OF 
THE WILDERNESS — SPOTTSYLVANIA — COLD HARBOR 
— BEFORE PETERSBURG — THE MINE — TAKEN PRIS- 
ONER 

[I LEFT the army at Rappahannock Station, having been 
appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 56th Massachusetts 
Volunteers. This was one of four new regiments, the 
56th, 57th, 58th, and 59th. The idea was to have them 
largely composed of veterans who had recovered from 
wounds or sickness. I came home and set about the work 
of recruiting my regiment. I was appointed superintend- 
ent of recruiting for several counties in Massachusetts. 
We finally started for the war, for Annapolis, in March, 
1864, most of the winter being spent in Readville re- 
cruiting the regiment and getting it into shape for serv- 
ice. Camp life at Readville had many pleasant features. 
We had a splendid regiment and a very fine band, led 
by Martland, who for some time had led the band at 
Brockton, Massachusetts. The band was so well known 
in the army that it was selected to go to Gettysburg when 
Lincoln made his celebrated speech and dedicated the 
monument there. 

My life while recruiting had many pleasant and many 
disagreeable incidents. I had a chance to go to parties 
and see the young ladies, dance, etc., but the difficulty of 
getting recruits and drilling them, and the constant dis- 



258 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

ciplining the new men, was very wearing, and I was only 
too thankful when we finally got off and I started for the 
front. As I have said, we had a splendid band, and I used 
to enjoy them very much. We had for adjutant a fellow 
named Lipp, a very brave fellow, but excitable, and, being 
a foreigner, not understanding very well how to get along 
with our men, I had Horatio D. Jarves, my classmate, for 
major, and afterwards for lieutenant colonel. He always 
did well, but having lost his foot in the early part of the 
War, he was disabled a good deal of the time and could 
not always be present, I started out with my classmate, 
Charles J. Mills, as adjutant, but we lost him soon, as 
he was detailed on staff duty and was killed in the last 
battle of the War, before Petersburg, while on General 
Humphreys's staff. He was a brave and charming fellow 
and a delightful companion. His mother gave me his 
ring, which I still have, — an antique representing a lion 
tearing a hare. Colonel Griswold, my colonel, had been 
in the 226. Massachusetts; he suffered from a chronic 
trouble, which compelled him to resign from there. He 
used to be with me in the cadets. He was a brave man 
and a good officer. Captain Hollis, Captain Cartwright, 
Lieutenant Mitchell, Lieutenant Cadwell, and a great 
many others were fine officers and good men. Captain 
Duncan Lamb was also a good officer of the regiment, 
a brother of William E. Lamb of '59. Major Putnam 
was also a fine officer. He was mortally wounded at Cold 
Harbor. Some of the incidents of recruiting were quite 
amusing. A letter sent in by the mother of a recruit is 
reproduced on the opposite page,] 

Annapolis, March 20, 1864, — It is now over six 
months since I left Rappahannock Station for home, to 
take the position of lieutenant colonel of what was then to 



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STEPHEN M. WELD 259 

be called the ist Veteran Volunteers from Massachusetts, 
but is now the 56th Massachusetts Volunteers. At the 
time I left the army I expected to be back again, with my 
regiment full, in the course of three months at the out- 
side. I am now well satisfied at being here at all with my 
present rank. 

When I reached home, matters looked badly enough 
for the regiment. Not a man enlisted, the recruiting, 
or rather attempts at it, having been going on for three 
weeks at least. My commission bore date of July 22, 
1863, but I must say that for three or four months from 
that date, I had little expectation of ever being an officer 
in the United States service with that rank. I never 
should have taken the place, had not my old chum Harry 
Egbert persuaded me to do so. 

Recruiting for our regiment began in reality about the 
first of November, under the call of October 17, 1863, for 
300,000 men, stimulated by the promise of extra bounties 
from the State. It continued very fairly until about the 
first of March, when all our recruiting officers were called 
in. On January 2, 1864, I was mustered in as lieutenant 
colonel by Lieutenant Robert P. McKibben, 4th U. S. 
Infantry. The 4th of January, 1864, was my twenty- 
second birthday. 

On Sunday, the 20th of March, 1864, after numerous 
false starts in accordance with the usual custom, the regi- 
ment finally started from Readville on its way to Anna- 
polis. I was glad enough to get off, as the men were con- 
stantly deserting while in camp at Readville, and were all 
the time on guard or detailed, so that we could neither 
drill nor discipline them properly. The day before we 
started, over thirty gallons of liquor were confiscated on 
the persons of people coming to see their friends or rela- 
tions in Readville. 



260 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

[The passage in the diary describing the journey from 
Readville to AnnapoHs with the regiment is omitted, as 
that journey is described with more detail in my letter of 
March 25 to my father.] 

Headquarters 56TH Massachusetts Reg't. 
Camp Holmes, near Annapolis, March 25, 1864. 

Dear Father, — We are now comfortably settled in 
tents about two miles from Annapolis, on the exact ground 
that the 24th Massachusetts were encamped two years 
ago. The ground is dry and easily drained, with water, 
etc., within convenient distance. The railroad runs within 
a fourth of a mile of our camp, making it very convenient 
for us to get our supplies. 

We left camp, as you know, on Sunday morning, the 
men and officers being in the best of spirits, and with but 
few of the men, I am glad to say, drunk. The day before 
we left, over forty gallons of liquor were confiscated at 
General Peirce's headquarters, being found on the persons 
of the soldiers' friends, or rather enemies. We reached 
Groton at 3 p.m. without losing a man. At every place we 
stopped, the officers and guards got out, and prevented 
any civilians from having access to the men. In this way 
we managed to keep all liquor away from the soldiers. At 
Groton we shipped the regiment on board the Plymouth 
Rock and reached Jersey City by 2.30 a.m., experiencing 
no trouble except from the boat-hands selling rum to the 
men. At Jersey City we had to wait until 10.30 A.M. be- 
fore we could get the regiment on board the cars and 
started. We lost but two men here. We reached Camden 
at about 7 p.m. with all our men except one. At Newark a 
citizen was shot by one of the officers for refusing to go 
away from the cars, where he was selling liquor, and for 
throwing stones at the officer. I don't know whether the 



STEPHEN M. WELD 261 

man was mortally wounded or not. At Camden we took 
the ferry and crossed to Philadelphia, where we received 
a supper from the Union Association. I demolished a 
liquor shop in Philadelphia and took the proprietor pris- 
oner. I had him hand-cuffed and taken on to Baltimore, 
where I had half his head and beard shaved and then 
turned him over to the provost marshal. At Philadelphia 
the colonel and quartermaster left us, and went on to 
Baltimore to provide transportation for the regiment, and 
therefore I had command. After taking our supper here, 
we marched to Philadelphia and Baltimore depot, where 
we took freight cars for Baltimore. We arrived there at 
12 and found the colonel waiting for us. As a dinner was 
promised us here at the Union Rooms, we marched some 
two miles from the depot to the place, where we found 
that we had been taken in, for no dinner was ready, so like 
the king of old we marched down the hill again. We took 
the steamer Columbia at Baltimore about 2 p.m. and 
started for Annapolis, reaching there at 6.30 p.m. in a 
driving snow-storm. We disembarked as soon as possible, 
and marched to what are called the College Green Bar- 
racks, where the paroled prisoners are kept for the first 
day or two after their arrival. We found only four of the 
barracks empty, and had to pack our men in them, put- 
ting four hundred where two [hundred] are usually put. 
Still it was much better this way than without any shelter 
at all, for the night was bitter cold and the wind keen 
and sharp. In the morning we made arrangements with 
Major Chamberlain to provide our men with hot coffee 
and meat, until we could draw our rations. Major Cham- 
berlain is in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry and in charge 
of the parole camp. He was very kind and obliging to us, 
for without his aid we could have done nothing for our 
men, and should have been obliged to have seen them 



262 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

suffer a great deal. As it was, they had a pretty hard time 
of it. This same morning, that is, Wednesday, lots of our 
men got into the town, and drank much bad whiskey, be- 
sides bringing a lot more into camp. About noon camp 
began to be a perfect pandemonium, and as the colonel 
was away, the major and I sallied out to restore order. 
We put all the noisy drunkards in the guard-house, and 
soon quelled the disturbance outside. In the guard- 
house, however, confusion reigned supreme for a long 
time. We tied up any number of men, and finally suc- 
ceeded in getting quiet restored. One of the worst cases 
in the regiment, named Casey, I had tied up by the 
thumbs, and gagged. He then kicked an officer there, and 
I said to him, " Casey, I will shoot you if you do that 
again." Another officer came by and he kicked him, and 
I drew that pistol Uncle Oliver gave me and fired at him 
twice. The first shot went through his arm, in the biceps, 
without touching the bone. The second hit the bayonet 
in his mouth by which he was gagged, and dropped into 
his stocking. The bayonet saved his life, for the shot 
would have gone through his head otherwise. I meant to 
kill him, and was very sorry I did not succeed. The shots 
had a wonderful effect in quieting the men, and I had very 
little trouble with them after that. 

Yesterday morning we started for our camp outside 
the city and delighted (?) the Secesh citizens by playing 
"John Brown" as we marched through the town. We 
pitched all the tents before night and had the regiment 
comfortably housed and fed. Considering that some regi- 
ments that arrived over a week ago only managed to do 
the same thing in a week, I think we have every reason 
to be satisfied. . . . 

My address is simply, 56th Mass. Vols., Annapolis, Md. 
I understand that we are the commencement of the 




MAJOR JARVES, COL. GRISWOLD, LIEUT. COL. WELD OF FIFTY-SIXTH 
MASS. TAKEN IN 1864. JUST BEFORE WE STARTED FOR THE WAR 



264 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

putting a decidedly unpleasant aspect on things in general. 
We sent in a patrol to Annapolis and secured about a 
dozen of our men. 

Saturday, March 26. — The storm continued with great 
violence. Patrol brought in seven men. Men had to re- 
main in their tents. 

Sunday, March 27. — It cleared off last night, and to- 
day we enjoyed the most delightful weather. It is just a 
week to-day since we left Readville. Lieutenant Galucia 
went out to-day with the patrol, but did not catch any 
one. Wrote Sergeant Ford in regard to deserters. Had 
dress-parade for the first time since leaving Readville. 
During the night six men deserted, five from H Company 
and one from C Company. 

Monday, March 28. — Weather pleasant. McCartney 
of A Company was sent in to-day for attempting to de- 
sert. He had bought citizen's clothing and was about 
to leave when he was apprehended. Lieutenant Galucia 
brought in Shean and Murray of E Company, both of 
whom were placed in the guard-house. The colonel had 
an officer's drill to-day and afterwards a battalion drill. 
Major Chamberlain was here in the afternoon, and saw 
our dress-parade. It is reported that private McAinsh 
was found with his throat cut in the woods near camp. 

Tuesday, March 29. — The report about McAinsh is 
not true. It turns out that he is in town pretending to 
belong to the provost guard. Had a good battalion drill 
this afternoon. Very windy during the day, with rain 
during the night. Work commenced on the quarter- 
master's building. 

Camp Holmes, Annapolis, March 29, 1864. 
Dear Father, — ... We are gradually getting our 
camp into very decent shape. The men all have A tents 



STEPHEN M. WELD 265 

and the officers wall tents. Most of the companies have 
bought lumber to build cook-houses with, and these are 
now almost completed. 

Annapolis is probably one of the worst cities in the 
Union at the present time. All the camp-followers attend- 
ant on our army, together with a large body of New York 
and Baltimore roughs, infest the place. These, together 
with paroled prisoners, make the place dangerous for any 
civilized beings. Within a fortnight four soldiers have 
been found between here and Annapolis with their 
throats cut. The last one found was a man named Mc- 
Ainsh of this regiment, a very good man indeed, but one 
who was fond of going on a "bender" occasionally. He 
left camp without leave, went to Annapolis, got drunk 
probably, so that these rascals saw his money, and on his 
way out here had his throat cut, and his money taken. 
He was found dead in the woods close by here. 

W^e have a new and novel way of holding the bad cases 
amongst the prisoners. There is a high platform built 
about twenty feet from the ground, and on this are kept 
some eight or ten very hard cases. 

I hear that fifty-six infantry regiments are going with 
Burnside. My opinion is that we go to North Carolina, 
although I have no official or private information to make 
me say so. I do not see how we can get off before the 
1st of May, and possibly later, even. New regiments are 
coming in daily, and amongst others several negro ones. 

It turns out that the man who had his throat cut was 
not one of our men. ... 

Wednesday, March 30. — Woke up this morning and 
found that we had a confounded rain-storm. It is too 
provoking to have them now when we need all the pleas- 
ant weather possible, to drill our men. In this rainy 



266 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

weather there is nothing to do, except sit in one's tent and 
read. The men have nothing to do, and consequently are 
liable to get into mischief. They are twice as happy when 
they are hard at work. Received no letters to-day. 

Thursday, March 31. — Pleasant weather. The Coun- 
cil of Administration, composed of Captains Putnam and 
Thayer and myself, met at 11 a.m. We set a tariff for the 
sutlers, and then adjourned until to-morrow. Had bat- 
talion drill at 3 p.m. Men did quite well. All the company 
cook-houses are finished except one. Quartermaster's 
building all completed except roofing. 

Friday, April i. — Pleasant in the morning, but rain- 
ing in afternoon. Gave Casey a pass to go to Annapolis 
on condition that he would touch no liquor. Received an 
order detailing me for court-martial to meet to-day, but 
as I did not receive it until late in the afternoon I did not 
report. Rode out of camp for first time since I have been 
here. Went about three miles on the road to Annapolis 
Junction. Bath. 

Camp Holmes, Annapolis, April i, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — ... I am glad to find that you are 
so pleasantly situated in Baltimore, and hope you will 
enjoy your visit very much. As to my coming on to see you, 
I am afraid that I shall not have any chance to do so. 
I have not been out of camp but once since arriving here, 
and now I am on court-martial, which will take up all my 
time from nine a.m. until three p.m. every day. I am very 
sorry that I cannot accept the invitation for the ball this 
evening, but as I have said, my duties prevent. 

The regiment is getting into very good shape indeed. 
The men begin to appear and act like soldiers. We have 
very little trouble with them, and the number in the 
guard-house is diminishing. For the worst cases, we have 



STEPHEN M. WELD 267 

provided a scaffold some twenty feet from the ground, 
erected on poles. Here the hard cases are placed, with the 
ladder withdrawn at night. 

The troops around here are very poorly drilled and dis- 
ciplined. Many of them are old regiments just returned 
from furloughs, which I most sincerely hope accounts for 
their want of drill and discipline. They are many of them 
Pennsylvania troops, however, which accounts for their 
deficiencies or failings. . . . 

I am most happy to inform you that the regiment has 
improved greatly in battalion drills, etc. It will be a fine 
regiment soon. . . . 

Saturday, April 2. — Stormy all night, with heavy 
snow-storm in the morning, which changed again to rain 
at noon. Reported to headquarters ist Michigan Sharp- 
shooters, where the court-martial was ordered to meet, 
but found that the colonel was away in town. The court 
will not meet until next Monday. Received a letter from 
Hannah, dated Baltimore. 

Camp Holmes, Annapolis, Md., April 2, '64. 

Dear Father, — We are in the midst of a heavy snow- 
storm, which seems more like November in New England 
than April in the "Sunny South." Since we have been 
here we have only had three sunny days, a great disad- 
vantage to us, as we want all the pleasant weather possi- 
ble to drill our men. 

I am detailed on court-martial, which will take up most 
of my time for some weeks to come. We shall have ten 
or twelve cases from our own regiment to be tried. 

I have been riding around in the camps of some of the 
regiments here, and am glad to say that our men and 
officers look more like true soldiers than any that I have 



268 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

seen. They are more uniform in their dress, more respect- 
ful, and better disciplined by far, than the men of any 
other regiment here. Our camp is the neatest and most 
comfortable one that I have seen. We have cook-houses 
and cooking-stoves for every company, and most of our 
men have floors for their tents. Altogether I am very well 
satisfied with the regiment, and think that it will be one 
of the best in the corps. 

In regard to shooting that man Casey, I was perfectly 
justified in so doing. He was formerly in the 12th Mas- 
sachusetts, where he was utterly unmanageable. The 
lieutenant colonel of that regiment once drew a pistol on 
him, and told him he would shoot him if he did not keep 
quiet. Casey damned him and told him that he dared not 
shoot him, and he did not. This I heard since my trouble 
with him. When I had the trouble with him, he was tied 
up, and while in that position he kicked an officer. I told 
him I should shoot him if he did any such thing again. 
He at once kicked an officer who was passing by. I im- 
mediately drew my pistol and shot at him twice. He has 
often threatened my life, which of course I paid no atten- 
tion to, as I knew he would never dare attempt it. I 
called him up a few days after shooting him, and told him 
that I meant to have killed him when I fired at him, but 
that if he would promise to let rum alone, I would release 
him from the guard-house. I might have had him tried 
by court-martial and shot, but I thought I w^ould give 
him another chance. I have no doubt now but that the 
fellow will make a good soldier. He and other men in the 
regiment know that I will enforce discipline at all hazards, 
and that if I say that I shall shoot them, it will be done. 
I am firm and strict with all but always endeavor to be 
just and to discriminate between the totally bad and 
those temporarily led away. I find that I can govern men 



STEPHEN M. WELD 269 

with strictness and yet be liked, although popularity is a 
thing that I never have and never shall seek for, with my 
men. If an officer does his duty, it comes of itself. The 
good men in the regiment feel very sorry that I did not 
kill Casey, as they consider him a disgrace to the regiment. 
On the whole I am glad that I did not, as the results pro- 
duced by the shooting are just as good as if I had killed 
him. 

I am rather discouraged at the poor condition of the 
portion of the Ninth Corps that I have seen. If the re- 
mainder is at all like what is here, I hope we shall soon 
leave it. . . . 

I think that General Grant is going to concentrate all 
his forces on Richmond this spring and take it by over- 
whelming it. I dare say that he will concentrate between 
150, and 200,000 men. I think that two columns will 
move against the city. One will probably go up James 
River, and I dare say that we shall form part of that force. 
If we only get Virginia from the rebels, we shall get North 
Carolina and East Tennessee, and then our lines will be 
shortened wonderfully. It is absolutely necessary to get 
some great advantage over the Confederates this spring, 
and with Grant at the head of our armies, I feel confident 
that we shall succeed in doing so. . . . 

I forgot to say to you that the liquor dealer ^ that I 
carried ofif from Philadelphia was a big rascal. Several of 
the citizens and policemen thanked me for taking him ofif, 
and begged me to keep him, saying that he enticed sol- 
diers to desert, got them drunk, etc. I do not anticipate 
any trouble from the matter. I merely took him and de- 
livered him over to the nearest provost marshal. I don't 
think he complained much about having his head shaved. 
He was probably afraid of being laughed at if he did so. 
^ See page 261. 



270 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Sunday, April 3. — Day was cloudy, although not 
stormy. We had the usual Sunday inspection, which was 
very poor. Inspected four companies, I, A, H and E. 
A and H were fair, but the other two were shameful. 
After inspection we had some forty men standing at at- 
tention. Two weeks to-day since we left Readville. 

Monday, April 4. — Cloudy in the morning. At 3 P.M. 
began raining and continued so all the evening. Went 
into town to see Colonel DeLand, and found that he was 
out at camp. Found that Johnnie Hayden's battery ar- 
rived here yesterday from Knoxville. Looked for it some 
time but could not find it. Called on Major Chamberlain 
while in town. Lieutenant Galucia went to Baltimore 
this afternoon. Colonel drilled the non-commissioned 
officers this noon. 

Tuesday, April 5. — Rained hard all day. Almost fin- 
ished Benet. Received letters from Father, Hannah, and 
Carrie ; ^ also from General Peirce. Confoundedly stupid 
in camp. Major Jarves received letter from Horace How- 
land, saying that he was coming to see us. 

Annapolis, April 5, '64. 

Dear Father, — ... We are having a continued 
storm here, without the slightest cessation. I don't think 
we have had three pleasant days since we have been here. 
They have with two exceptions been snow-storms, but 
the snow quickly melted away. The only difference be- 
tween here and home is that it is much more moderate 
here than there. I suppose you have had snow all the 
time. 

Our camp here is much better than the Readville one. 
The soil here is sandy, so that the water is quickly ab- 
sorbed. An hour or two after the storm is over there is 

1 My sister, Mrs. S. S. Gray, who died June i6, 1912. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 271 

scarcely a puddle to be seen, and the ground is dry and 
hard almost immediately. 

The regiment is in a very healthy condition indeed. 
We have but seven or eight sick in the hospital. . . . 

Johnnie Hayden's battery has come here from Knox- 
ville. I suppose I shall see him soon, as he is encamped 
about a mile from where we are. 

Horace Howland is coming on to see us, from New 
York, in the course of a week. We shall have quite a 
class meeting if he gets here. 

Colonel Hartranft, who is in command of the troops now 
here, said that our camp was the best one around Anna- 
polis. This is quite a compliment for a raw regiment. 

I see no probability of our leaving here for some weeks. 
Burnside has established his headquarters at New York 
for the present. . . . 

Wednesday, April 6. — Morning cloudy, but towards 
noon it cleared. Rode into town and put $398 of Foley's 
into hands of Adams Express. Major went with me. We 
stopped at Holland's to get some oysters, and witnessed 
some everyday occurrences in this town, such as officers 
treating their men to drinks, etc. The 3d New Jersey 
Hussars came in last night. Had battalion drill. I took 
command of dress-parade. Corporal Jones had his chev- 
rons taken off for absence without leave, in presence of 
whole regiment. In the evening felt very tired and sick. 

April 7. — Splendid day. Sick abed most of the day. 
Threatened with a fever. 14th Massachusetts Battery 
arrived to-day. Received letter from Ford in regard to 
deserters. Jonathan Soule, who escaped at Brunswick, 
is among the number caught by Ford. 

April 8. — Received letter from Hannah. Day pleas- 
ant. Felt much better and took hot bath in the evening, 



274 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Annapolis, Md., April 13, '64. 

Dear Father, — The court-martial that I am on be- 
gan its sittings this morning. From the amount of busi- 
ness before it, I imagine that we shall have a busy and 
long job. Many of the cases are small ones, which ought 
properly to be tried by a field officers' court. 

General Grant inspected all the regiments here to-day.^ 
I was rather disappointed in his looks, as he is anything 
but an able-looking man. General Burnside and General 
Washburn were with him. I understand that General 
Burnside is to remain at Annapolis where his headquar- 
ters will be. I am glad of it, as he is much needed here. 
I see no preparations made for our leaving here and imag- 
ine that we shall remain here some time. . . . 

The chief trouble that we have from our men now is 
caused by liquor. They manage to get hold of it some 
way, and get drunk. We have very little trouble with 
them, however, in any way. 

I have not touched a drop of liquor or wine since leav- 
ing Readville, and don't mean to while I am with the 
regiment. I don't think it safe for an officer to do so, 
especially one who has so many lives in his charge. . . . 

Thursday, April 14. — Court-martial took up the case 
of Sergeant George Young. Did not finish it. Some of our 
cases are to come up to-morrow. Day pleasant. Took 
command of dress-parade this afternoon. The regiment 
has improved a great deal since coming here. Had a 
game of whist in the evening with Mr. Lipp and 
others. 

Friday, April 15. — Received a letter from Father. 

* General Grant issued his first order as Commander-in-Chief of the 
Armies of the United States, in March, 1864. His headquarters were with 
the Army of the Potomac thenceforth, to the end. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 275 

Day pleasant. O'Brien was tried to-day for desertion. As 
I was a witness, I did not sit on the court. Colonel Good- 
rich, of General Burnside's staff, was here to-day. He 
had some ladies with him and is going to have them here 
to-morrow to hear our band. 

Annapolis, Md., April 15, 1864. 

Dear Father, — ... I see and hear no indications 
of our moving soon, nor have I any idea where we are 
going. I hope that it will be against Richmond, as I want 
Lee's army to be destroyed and Richmond taken. We 
must do both of these things this summer. 

Our band serenaded General Burnside the other even- 
ing. This afternoon his chief of staff, Colonel Goodrich, 
came up here with some ladies to hear the band play. 
They did not stop long, however, on account of the 
chilliness of the atmosphere. They are coming again 
to-morrow. 

I am not able to drill with the regiment now at all, 
as I am on court-martial almost all the time, and from 
present appearances shall continue on it as long as we 
are here. 

We have been having quite pleasant weather lately, 
giving us a good chance to drill the men and get the camp 
in good condition. We have had two snow-storms since 
our arrival, the last one being merely a flurry. The grass 
around here is beginning to grow green, the trees to bud, 
and the birds to sing. Everything in fact looks like spring, 
by far the pleasantest season in the year in the "Sunny 
South." The big blue-bottles, the pest of a camp, are 
beginning to show themselves and buzz round with that 
disagreeable noise and in that blundering, careless way 
which makes them so unpleasant, 

I am thankful to say that we have got rid of two of our 



276 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

incompetent officers, and are in a fair way of losing 
another. . . . 

We are all sorry to see that the draft has been post- 
poned. I do wish that they would have it in every place 
that has been at all backward. We need the men very 
much. 

Saturday, April i6. — Rained all day. The court simply 
finished O'Brien's case, and adjourned until Monday, 
when Porter comes before them. Received a letter from 
Hannah to-day. Had a final meeting of the Council of 
Administration. Nothing new. Took bath. 

Annapolis, Md., April i6, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — Received your note, and am happy 
to say that I arrived here safely on Tuesday evening. . . . 

There is nothing new here. I go to court every day. 
They are now trying cases from this regiment. . . . 

Everything is going on quietly and we are having a 
good time. The regiment behaves very well, and gives 
us very little trouble. The incompetent officers are being 
weeded out, and soon we shall have everything in fine 
shape. 

We had a short visit from General Grant the other day. 
His looks disappointed me very much. He is not fine 
looking at all ; on the contrary he is a very common-look- 
ing person. Still, his looks are of no consequence, if his 
deeds and actions are successful. . . . 

I saw a funny couple the other day riding into town. 
There was an officer on horse-back, with a lady on behind 
clinging on to him. It began to sprinkle just as I met them, 
so the officer took the lady's parasol and opened it. The 
horse objected, and began dancing, and the female began 
yelling and the man cried Whoa. I could n't help stopping 



STEPHEN M. WELD 277 

and laughing at them. The horse soon quieted down and 
everything went on well. 

Sunday, April 17. — Day showery. Had the usual 
Sunday inspection, which was very creditable to the 
regiment. Nothing new happened. 

Monday, April 18. — Court met at 9 o'clock and fin- 
ished Porter's case. Then began on Jones of F Company. 
Weather pleasant. Major Chamberlain took tea with us. 
Sent home my pipe by Adams Express. Three negro 
regiments came in this afternoon. The corps was or- 
ganized into brigades and divisions yesterday, but for 
some reason General Burnside, who went on to Wash- 
ington last evening, countermanded the order. There are 
the usual number of camp rumors afloat. One is that 
the corps is to rendezvous at Newport News. Another 
that five regiments have received marching orders. None 
of them are true, I think. By the way, the chief quarter- 
master says no wagons will be issued to us here. That 
looks like transportation by water from here. 

Tuesday, April 19. — Court-martial finished the case 
of Jones, also McCartney's, and began on McClellan's 
case. I was called as a witness in McClellan's case. Gen- 
eral Stevenson ^ was here to-day, and John Jones. I am 
glad to say that General S. is to command our brigade, to 
be composed of the 24th Massachusetts, loth Connecti- 
cut, 56th, 57th and 58th Massachusetts Volunteers. We 
had a visit from Mrs. General Burnside, Mrs. Richmond 
and several other ladies. General Ferrero, Colonel Coales 
and Colonel Goodrich were with them. They waited here 
some half hour. General S. dined with us. Had a letter 
from Hannah to-day, and received my photographs. 

1 General Thomas G. Stevenson, of Massachusetts, killed at Spottsyl- 
vania on May lO, less than a month later. 



278 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Annapolis, Md., April 19, '64. 

Dear Father, — I have not heard from home for a 
week, I should think. What is every one about? 

We have had some pleasant news to-day. General 
Stevenson was here to-day and took dinner with us. He 
is to have a brigade composed of the 24th Massachusetts, 
the loth Connecticut, the 56th Massachusetts, the 57th 
Massachusetts, and the 58th or 59th Massachusetts. As 
the new regiments come here, he is probably to have a 
division. 

You don't know what a load is taken off my mind, 
by having General S. command our brigade, and by 
having such fine regiments as the 24th Massachusetts 
and loth Connecticut in a brigade with us. I feel a 
thousand times better than I did this morning. . . . 

I do not think that we shall leave here much under 
four weeks. There are to be 65 infantry regiments here 
in all, and the total number present will be at least 30,000 
men. The corps is to be divided into four divisions. 
General Parke is to have one, General Foster may take 
another, and the fourth one, composed of colored troops, 
is to be under the command of General Ferrero. 

I am busy all day now on court-martial. We are en- 
gaged on cases in this regiment at present. 

Wednesday, April 20. — Day pleasant. General Steven- 
son was here in the morning. He takes command of the 
division temporarily. It is to be commanded by Major 
General Crittenden. Colonel Griswold is temporarily 
in command of the brigade. Received orders to be ready 
to march Saturday morning at 4 a.m. Also to turn in 
A tents and draw shelter tents. 57th Massachusetts 
arrived this evening. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 279 

Annapolis, Md., April 20, '64. 

Dear Father, — I am afraid that you will not have 
a chance to see me before we start. We shall probably 
leave here before the end of the week. I think letters 
may be addressed Ninth Army Corps, via Washington. 
They will probably reach me, where a great many other 
of my letters have. 

We draw shelter tents for our men to-morrow and turn 
in our A tents. The officers will likewise have to draw 
shelter tents. Everything points to an active and speedy 
campaign, and I imagine that a week from to-day, or 
perhaps two weeks, may see us in a fight. I feel pretty 
confident that the regiment will do well, and will be an 
honor to the state. I most certainly hope so. 

I am very glad indeed that we have General Stevenson 
with us. He is to command our brigade and Major General 
Crittenden our division. General S. is temporarily com- 
manding the division until General Crittenden's arrival, 
which gives Colonel G[riswold] our brigade for a few days, 
and me the command of this regiment. 

We leave on Saturday morning at 4 o'clock. 

Thursday, April 21. — Court-martial adjourned until 
to-morrow at 9 A.M. Regiment busy all day turning in 
dress-coats, caps, etc. Ordered five days' rations cooked 
to be ready by 6 p.m. to-morrow. Had a room hired at 
Annapolis for regimental baggage, a portion of which 
was taken down to-day. Mills was detailed yesterday on 
General Stevenson's staff, and likewise the quartermaster, 
Lieutenant Shurtleff, was detailed as acting adjutant, 
and Lieutenant Cartwright as acting quartermaster. 

Friday, April 22. — Made all our preparations for 
starting to-morrow. Mrs. Burnside was at camp to-day. 
Five days' cooked rations were issued. Colonel Griswold 



28o WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

was relieved of the command of the brigade, and Colonel 
•Carruth, 35th Massachusetts, was put in his place, as 
he ranked Colonel G. Day pleasant. 

Saturday, April 23. — General sounded at 4 A.M. Left 
camp at 8.15 a.m. and marched to within one mile of 
Patuxent River, about 14 miles, where we encamped. 
As usual with a new regiment, the men overloaded them- 
selves and for the first five miles the ground was strewn 
with blankets, knapsacks and clothing. The day was ex- 
cessively warm, and notwithstanding all our efforts, the 
men straggled a good deal. Captain left his com- 
pany without leave, probably on account of Captain 
Putnam's place in line. 

Sunday, April 24. — Left camp about 8 a.m., reveille 
sounding about 5 o'clock. Marched all day long, the men 
doing well, especially in the afternoon. The morning 
march was tiresome, as we had to halt every few minutes. 
We went into camp about 10 miles from Washington on 
the Bladensburg Pike, about 9 p.m. Took us a long time 
to cross a branch near our camp, and when we pitched 
our tents the rain was falling fast, and everything seemed 
gloomy and uncomfortable. I luckily had my shelter 
tent with me, which we pitched with the colors. Wagons 
did not arrive until 4 a.m. 

Monday, April 25. — We started about 7 a.m. and 
forded the stream at Bladensburg. Marched on to Camp 
Barry [near Washington], where we halted some time. 
Here we formed in platoons and marched in review by the 
President, who was on the balcony at Willard's Hotel, 
He looked ten years older than when I saw him last. 
Saw Frank Balch. Crossed Long Bridge and camped in 
front of Fort Scott. Men marched well. Day pleasant 
though hot. Made about 16 miles. 

Tuesday, April 26. — We remained in camp all day and 



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"^"^"^7^"=^ y<rx^ ^CU^ UL c^M- ^^^^, 




^^^t^ ^^ ^^^^ Ati-A,<ix^ -T-i^z^l 




STEPHEN M. WELD 281 

sent in requisitions for ordnance, etc. Had an inspection 
of all our companies, and a general overhauling of all our 
baggage, etc., preparatory for a campaign. Gilmore, our 
sutler, came out to see us. Weather pleasant. General 
Stevenson was the only general officer present in the corps. 
I don't like the way things are conducted in the corps. 
Every one has to move on his own hook, and things seem 
very loosely conducted. The 24th Massachusetts and 
loth Connecticut had been sent to Fort Monroe when we 
arrived here. Charley Griswold showed me a letter ad- 
dressed to me in his valise, to be opened in case anything 
happened to him. 

Wednesday, April 27. — Received orders to move at 

5 A.M. Finally started at about 8 o'clock on the Leesburg 
Pike. Branched off on the Columbia Pike and reached 
Fairfax Court House about 6 p.m., where we went into 
camp. Day warm and dusty, and march very fatiguing 
to the men. One man from the 57th dropped down dead. 
Marched 15 miles. Dabney ^ came to see us. Met Lieuten- 
ant Colonel Chandler of the 57th Massachusetts. 

Thursday, April 28. — Started about 7 a.m. and marched 
to Bristoe Station, about 20 miles, getting into camp at 

6 P.M. Day cool and pleasant. Men as usual marched 
well. General Burnside joined us at Manassas Junction. 
It really seemed like home to go over this country, which 
I have been through so many times. Thought of General 
Porter as we passed over the country, through which 
we were then campaigning. Saw some of the enemy's 
scouts at Centreville. Saw Captain Spear, who said we 
were to relieve the Fifth Corps, who were guarding the 
railroads. 

' Lewis S. Dabney, Harvard 1861. 



282 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Bristoe Station, April 28, '64. 

Dear Father, — Here I am again on the old ground. 
We left Alexandria yesterday and reached here to-night. 
The regiment marches well, and I am much pleased with 
it. 

The report is that we relieve the Fifth Corps, which is 
guarding the railroad at Washington. I don't believe it, 
although I think it highly probable that the negro division 
of the corps may be left to do guard-duty. We marched 
from Fairfax C. H. this morning, and as I feel very tired, 
I must stop. 

Friday, April 29. — Left camp at about 7.15 a.m. and 
marched to Catlett's Station, where I saw Billy Swan ^ 
and Captain O'Beirne of the 14th Regiment of Regulars. 
From there we marched to Warrenton Junction, then to 
Licking Run, some two miles farther. Here we were 
encamped for the night, having marched about 13 miles. 
We threw out pickets, etc., to protect ourselves from 
guerillas, but were not troubled by them. It seems that 
we are to guard the railroad from Catlett's Station to 
Rappahannock Station, relieving General Griffin's di- 
vision of the Fifth Corps. We expect to remain in camp 
here for a day or two. Weather pleasant. We have been 
very fortunate in our march, having had but one rainy 
night for a week. 

Saturday, April 30. — Left camp about 9.15 a.m. and 
marched to Bealeton Station, where we took possession of 
the 4th Michigan camp. Met Monteith on the way up 
and Batchelder^ at Bealeton Station. Went up to General 
Griffin's headquarters and saw Barnard and Davis. Then 
saw Captain Martin and offered him $275 for his horse, 

^ W. W. Swan, Harvard 1859. 

^ Both Monteith and Batchelder were with me on General Porter's staff. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 283 

which he would not take. Rained a little during the day. 
Were ready to form line at a minute's notice. Last 
evening I received documents from War Department in 
reference to Brown of Philadelphia.^ 

Sunday, May i . — I was detailed as brigade field- 
officer of the day. Our regiment was moved out half a 
mile from the station, and six companies placed on picket 
with four in reserve. I visited my line three times, it being 
about five miles long. Stayed with Captain Thayer's 
reserve during the night. A few shots were fired, not 
amounting to anything. Day pleasant. Fifth Corps move 
to the front to-day. 

Monday, May 2. — Colonel Chandler relieved me as 
F. O. D. Took a bath and changed my clothes. Most of 
the day was pleasant, but in the afternoon we had a sort 
of tornado. Night chilly. Received several letters and 
some photographs from Black's. George Weld wrote me 
that he had sent me a horse by the 59th Massachusetts, 
part of which arrived here to-day. 

Tuesday, May 3. — Rode up to Rappahannock Station, 
where I found my horse with the 59th Massachusetts 
Volunteers. Crossed the Rappahannock on a pontoon 
bridge, which was built under charge of Captain Slosson, 
Went to General Meade's headquarters, where I saw 
Colonel Lyman, Bates, Bache, Riddle, Joy, Mason, and 
Biddle. Then went to cavalry headquarters, where I saw 
Colonel Kingsbury. Found General Sedgwick's head- 
quarters about half a mile from here, where I saw the 
general and Whittier. Saw Henry Dalton and General 
Wright, and dined with them. Saw the orders issued for 
the movement of the army, and also General Meade's 
address to the army. The Army of the Potomac moves 
to-morrow at 4 a.m. They cross the river at Germanna 
^ The man whom we smashed up for selling liquor to the men. See p. 261. 



284 ^VAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

and Ely and Culpeper Mine fords. We follow at the two 
first fords. Had a jolly time, and reached camp at 6 p.m. 
Found that we were under orders to move at a moment's 
notice. Liked my horse very much indeed. Received a 
letter from Hannah. Day pleasant, although it sprinkled 
in the evening and threatened rain for to-morrow. 

Bealeton Station, Va., May 3, '64. 

Dear Hannah, — I am very sorry indeed that you did 
not find us at Annapolis. We started quite suddenly, and 
had only about 24 hours' warning. We marched to Wash- 
ington, and passed in review before the President, who 
was at Willard's Hotel, and then moved across Long 
Bridge to camp near Alexandria. We remained there one 
day, and then moved on to Fairfax C. H., where we 
camped one night, moving on the next morning to Bristoe 
Station, passing over country that I have been through 
so many times. We camped for the night at B. Station, 
and then moved to Licking Run, two miles beyond War- 
renton Junction. The next morning we reached Bealeton 
Station, where we are now camped. Our regiment is 
picketing the railroad for about five miles. 

The Ninth Corps is to guard the railroad while the 
Army of the Potomac advances. If they are successful, we 
shall probably move down to Aquia Creek, and guard 
that railroad to Fredericksburg. . . . 

Wednesday, May 4. — Started at about 7 o'clock for 
Brandy Station. Halted there in the sun for four or 
five hours. At 4.45 p.m. we started for Germanna Ford. 
Saw Colonel Marshall just before I left. The regiment 
marched and marched, but as it was separated, the latter 
half did not reach the ford until next morning, having 
marched 27 miles, 6 miles out of our way. We went into 



STEPHEN M. WELD 285 

camp at 2 a.m. with about fifty men, constituting all that 
was left out of four companies. Other regiments were 
just as bad. Weather pleasant. March the hardest I have 
ever been on. Saw Colonel Macy to-day and lent him my 
horse to ride ahead. 

Thursday, May 5. — Started at daybreak and marched 
6 miles, when we joined the remainder of the regiment 
near Germanna Ford. We soon started again, and crossed 
the river on a pontoon bridge at the ford. Heard that the 
army met with little opposition here. Saw some of Gen- 
eral Grant's staff, who told us that our army was in posi- 
tion at Mine Run and was to attack this morning. Gen- 
eral Grant ordered us to hold the hills and fortifications 
which command the crossing, which we did. His aide 
told us that Sherman telegraphed that all looked well, 
and that he was to attack to-day. Gillmore and Smith 
attack Petersburg to-day, and we feel of the enemy at 
Mine Run, where he retreated after the crossing of the 
army yesterday. Heard cannon and musketry about one 
o'clock, continuing at intervals during the afternoon. 
Started about 8 p.m. to march, but were ordered back 
again. The loth and 4th Regulars joined us to-day. 

Friday, May 6. — Started about 3 a.m. and marched 
on the Plank Road to a point near General Meade's head- 
quarters. From here we were sent to the left and ordered 
to report to General BIrney. All this time the musketry 
firing was fearful. It was one continual roll, at long in- 
tervals broken by the loud booming of a cannon. We 
went up what was called the Brock Road. We kept 
receiving orders from Generals Hancock, BIrney and 
others, so that "things were slightly mixed." We found 
quite a sharp fight going on, the enemy having been 
driven two miles since morning. The firing was almost 
entirely from musketry, as we were In the celebrated 



286 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Wilderness, where the country is thickly wooded, with a 
thick underbrush of scrub-pine, briars, etc. Our brigade 
was filed to the right of the Orange Court House Road, 
and placed in column of regiments with the left resting 
on the road. We advanced, being the third line, some half 
a mile without much opposition. We were engaged in this 
way about three hours, from 8.45 until 11.45, losing only 
about six men. At about 12 the enemy flanked our left, 
and we were sent to oppose their advance. We were 
posted in a ditch along the side of the road, and on the 
left. A heavy fire was immediately opened on us, and as 
some of the men were in confusion from some of the 
Second Corps running through them, Colonel Griswold 
ordered the colors forward. Colonel Griswold was shot 
dead, through the neck, and consequently I was left in 
command of the regiment. 

As the enemy had crossed the road on our left and 
right, I asked General Webb, who was to the rear a few 
paces, whether I should not order them to retreat. He 
said I had better do so. His actual words were: "Get 
out of there as d — d quick as you can!" We had to try 
a double quick-step in order to save our colors and escape 
being taken prisoners. I tried to rally the men five or six 
times, but as soon as we stopped we got a volley which 
started us on again. The men did not retreat until I 
ordered them to do so. They behaved admirably. I was 
very much astonished that they did not all run when the 
Second Corps ran over them. Sergeant Harrigan, our 
color-sergeant, behaved nobly. When we had gone back 
about 30 or 40 rods. Captain Adams was wounded and 
left in the hands of the enemy. We reached the road with 
about 75 men and the colors, — ^more men than were with 
the colors of any other regiment. We soon collected 100 
more men, and by afternoon the ranks were swelled to 300. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 287 

We were on the Plank Road to Orange Court House, 
where we were engaged, and after the fight we were 
placed behind rifle-pits on the Brock Road. We were in 
action about three and a half hours. Saw John Perry just 
as I was going into the fight. Got a bullet through my 
boot-leg, while we were retreating. The fire was the heav- 
iest I have ever been under. Several of my men, that 
I drove out from behind trees, were killed by my side. 
Trees were cut down by the bullets, and bark was 
knocked into my face time and again by the bullets. We 
were not able to get poor Charley Griswold's body. Sent 
out for it, and also for Zab Adams's, but could find no 
traces of either. The last words that Charley said to me 
were, "Poor Bartlett is killed." ^ The result of the day's 
fight was that we gained ground all along the line, cap- 
turing several hundred prisoners. The enemy partially 
turned our right. 

[When we were advancing on this morning we passed 
several rebels lying on the ground, who had been wounded 
a little while before. One of them asked one of our men 
for some water. The man stopped at the brook, got him 
some water, and then went ahead. As soon as we had 
gone fifty yards or so, the fellow we had given water to 
drew himself up and shot one of our men. Some of the 
others went back and quickly put him out of the world. 
It was a mean, cowardly thing for a man to do who had 
•been treated as we treated him. 

The firing to-day was the heaviest I have ever known 
or heard. I think the regiment did remarkably well con- 
sidering that they were a new regiment, and that the old 
troops whose terms of enlistment were expiring did not 
behave very well — as one might naturally expect where 

^ General Bartlett was not killed, as Griswold had heard. 



288 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

troops who were to go out of service the next day were put 
into a hea\'y fight. I have every reason to feel proud of 
the regiment. Griswold's death was a sad blow to me, as 
I was very fond of him. He was extremely brave and be- 
haved like a gallant soldier. He was shot through the 
jugular vein while holding the colors, which were covered 
with his blood.] 

Saturday, May 7. — We were posted as a reserve for 
the brigade. Had no fighting in our front during the day. 
We held the Brock Road. Weather pleasant. Heavy 
firing on the right. I was placed in command of my bri- 
gade, being the senior officer present. All the wagons 
were sent to Chancellorsville last night. Sent out again 
to-day and found Colonel Griswold's body, robbed of 
everything. He looked very natural. Had a coffin made 
and had Charley buried, as we could not send the body 
home. We started for Chancellorsville at one a.m. 

[We regained the ground we had lost in the morning, 
and found Griswold's body stripped of everything but the 
underclothing. I sent back at once to the headquarters 
wagon and got his valise, and opened a note I found in 
it, a facsimile of which is printed opposite page 280. 
Of course I could not find any black bag, but there is 
a curious sequel to this. Some five years after the War 
I was at a party in Boston, when a married lady whom 
I was talking to asked me if I was not with Colonel 
Griswold. I said I was, and after beating around the 
bush for some time she finally said, "Do you know 
whether anything was seen of a locket that he had around 
his neck? " I said no, it could not be found, but he asked 
me to get it and send it to his mother. She said, "My 
picture was in that locket."] 





iL^^. (g Kj^p-L^d^^u/itCc^ 



C^niuU S^^^ftAy^, "^7 



(f 



STEPHEN M. WELD 289 

Sunday, May 8, — Reached Chancellorsville about 
noon, where we found all the trains of the army and the 
Reserve Artillery. It seems that the enemy retreated 
during the night (?). We are making for Richmond as 
fast as we can. Our loss in the late fight [of the 5th and 
6th] is from 10,000 to 11,000. The battle is to be called 
Battle of the Wilderness. Camped for the night about 
two miles from Chancellorsville. Weather warm and 
pleasant. Saw Captain Ladd, and dined in his tent with 
General Stevenson. 

Monday, May 9. — Started at 3.30 a.m. for Spottsyl- 
vania Court House. After numerous halts and losing our 
way, we got within three miles of the town, when we were 
ordered to make a forced march and join General Willcox, 
who was engaged with the enemy. The day was fearfully 
warm and dusty, and in making the march we lost some 
hundred stragglers who soon turned up, however. Found 
General Willcox and reported to him. Was ordered to 
keep the brigade in reserve. His division, together with 
Lesure's brigade, was posted on the heights beyond the 
Nye River, and about a mile from Spottsylvania. Be- 
yond we could see the rebel lines and the rebel troops 
moving, together with their trains. The corps lost about 
200 men in to-day's fight. Sent the 57th and 56th Mas- 
sachusetts to a point, on this side of the river. Head- 
quarters with the Regulars.^ 

Tuesday, May 10. — Weather pleasant. Heavy firing 
began on our right, and continued during the day. Regu- 
lars were sent to Colonel Humphreys to keep up the 
communication with General Meade. The 59th and 56th 
were afterwards ordered there. An attack was made 
along the whole line about 5 p.m. We gained ground in 

1 The series of engagements from May 8 to i8 is known collectively as 
the Battle of Spottsylvania. 



290 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

front of our corps. The firing on Meade's left surpassed 
anything I have ever heard. The firing lasted over an 
hour, but with what success I cannot say. The 56th was 
afterwards moved over the creek to support a battery. 
I had my headquarters with them. We all of us felt 
dreadfully to-day on account of Tom Stevenson's death. 
Was with him when he died. Had some of my men make 
a coffin for him. On the left of the road were three or four 
terraces, and he was lying down under one of them, when 
a sharpshooter from Spottsylvania fired at him from one 
of the trees. The bullet penetrated his head, and he died 
in half an hour. He will be a sad loss to us all. 

Spottsylvania C. H., May 10, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — I am safe and sound so far, I am 
thankful to say. We have had the hardest battle of the 
war, with fearful loss on our side. We were in the se- 
cond day's fight in the battle of the Wilderness and had 
a mighty tough time of it. It was by far the hottest fire 
I have ever been under. Colonel Griswold was killed 
while behaving most nobly. We were in line of battle 
along the side of the road, when the Second Corps came 
rushing over our two right companies, throwing them into 
some confusion. Colonel Griswold ran up there with the 
color-bearer to rally the men, and while doing so was shot 
dead through the jugular vein. I then took command 
of the regiment, which had to fall back soon on account 
of being flanked. We had the rebs on three sides of us, 
and I held on as long as I possibly could, and then gave 
the order to fall back. General Webb was a few yards 
behind me, and I did not retreat until he ordered me to. 
The men and officers behaved splendidly, and I am real 
proud of them. We are following the enemy up close. 







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ORDER RECEIVED AT NYE RIVER WHEN IN COMMAND 
OF THE BRIGADE 



STEPHEN M. WELD 291 

and driving him. We are going to whip them thoroughly, 
I think. 

Henry Abbott is killed and Colonel Macy wounded, not 
serious. General Stevenson was killed by a stray shot 
from the enemy this morning while in a comparatively 
secure place. 

Since the third day's fight I have been in command of 
my brigade, and Major Jarves of the regiment. Imagine 
me in command of a brigade. Colonel Bartlett is wounded, 
not serious. Colonel Gould and Colonel Carruth were 
both sun-struck. 

Wednesday, May 11. — Quiet most of the day except 
skirmishing. All the troops were withdrawn from the 
heights beyond Nye River, at 8.30 P.M., and moved to the 
rear, to connect with the Army of the Potomac. We im- 
mediately moved back again into our old position with- 
out any opposition. We were ordered to move at 4 a.m. 
against the enemy. Rained in the afternoon. Tom 
Stevenson's body was sent home to-day. John Jones went 
with it. It made me feel blue enough to lose such a fellow 
as he was. 

Thursday, May 12. — General Crittenden arrived last 
evening and took command of our division this morning. 
Our whole corps advanced at 4 a.m., Potter's division 
leading and Crittenden's following. The 1st Brigade of 
Crittenden's division had the advance of the division. 
We moved up the Spottsylvania road, swinging our left 
around so that it was nearly at right angles to the road. 
We advanced about a mile from the road before we were 
engaged with the enemy. The movement turned out to 
be one to connect with Meade's army, I thought that 
the enemy had retreated, and that we were following him, 
and had no idea that we were going right into a fight. 



292 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Potter was soon briskly engaged, and as they were trying 
to flank him, I threw forward my right, making almost a 
right angle with his line. Potter carried the first line of 
the enemy's pits. I had the 59th and 57th detached, the 
former to report to Potter and the later to Lesure, leaving 
me with the 56th. Soon the Regulars joined me, and were 
posted on the left of three brass guns, with the 56th on 
the right. Skirmishers and sharpshooters soon began to 
annoy, and the battery cleared out. About 3 p.m. an order 
was received from General Grant, ordering the corps to 
charge the enemy's works. My brigade was out of ammun- 
ition, but the 56th advanced, misunderstanding the order. 
Artillery and infantry soon opened on them, and for some 
time shells were plenty. Our men were repulsed. Major 
Jarves was wounded in the heel. Likewise Lieutenant 
Galucia. Captain Putnam ordered them to fall back 
slowly. Two thirds of them obeyed, but the remainder 
ran. I rallied about 80 of them and put them in the front 
again. We had brisk skirmishing all day. In the night, 
as we had not formed a junction with Hancock, it was 
proposed to fall back, but it was effected without falling 
back. On the right we were very successful, Hancock 
capturing several thousand men. Rained in the afternoon 
and night. Had to lie down on a bank without any- 
thing but a rubber coat. Felt cold and miserable all 
night. 

Friday, May 13. — Our men finished building their 
rifle-pits. Sharpshooters popping away at us all day. 
About 4 P.M. the enemy fired a volley at us, and another 
at 9.30 P.M. We were notified that two army corps were 
to pass in our rear during the night, and form on our left. 

Saturday, May 14. — I was relieved this morning of the 
command of the brigade by General Ledlie.^ Fifth and 

1 Gen. James H. Ledlie. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 293 

Sixth Corps formed on our left. Rumor that they took a 
battery there. 

Sunday, May 15. — Little more sharpshooting than 
usual. A man from E Company was killed by a sharp- 
shooter while standing by a line in rear of headquarters. 
George Barnard and Davis were over here to see me this 
morning. Heard that we formed the extreme right, the 
Second Corps having moved to our left. Rained a good 
part of the day. Threw up traverses. 

Monday, May 16. — Remained in the same position 
as yesterday. Barnard came over with a Boston paper 
of May II. Corporal Sherman of A Company slightly 
wounded by a sharpshooter. We sent out our pickets to 
feel the enemy this morning. They advanced to within 
100 yards of the rebel pits, where they were driven back. 
The Regulars afterwards went out and lost six or seven 
men. The enemy were found in force. Orders came for all 
calls to be sounded as usual, and for all bands to be sent 
to the front. Had my horses sent to brigade headquarters. 
Heard of Waldo Merriam's death. Rainy in the morning 
and pleasant in the afternoon. 

Tuesday, May 17. — Day pleasant. Major Jarves came 
up to see us. He goes home on a twenty-days' leave of 
absence, to get his wooden leg repaired. Sent home a 
letter by one of the Sanitary Commission to Father. 
Heard that we were to move over to the left to support 
the Sixth Corps in the attack to be made to-morrow. Got 
my blankets from James. Late in the evening found that 
the plan of attack was changed, and that we were to 
charge the battery in our front. The change is not very 
agreeable to me, as we shall get particular Tophet if we 
go in on our front. 

Wednesday, May 18. — I was sent for by General 
Ledlie at 3 a.m. Saw General L. and General Crittenden. 



294 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Received orders to move forward into the woods in my 
front, with the 56th, the 35th Massachusetts acting as 
the support, and charge the rebel rifle-pits. Moved for- 
ward at 4 A.M. When within about 100 yards of the 
abattis, I ordered a charge, and going on the double-quick 
we reached the abattis, a very thick one. Here we were 
under a very heavy cross fire of canister and musketry, 
and it was impossible to get the men forward. I could 
not blame them much, for the limbs, and even trees, were 
cut down like grass, and the place was most decidedly un- 
comfortable. I sent the sergeant major to General Ledlie 
with the information that we could not take the works. 
He returned, but could get no instructions. I ordered 
the men forward again in vain, and in endeavoring to get 
up the 35th as a support, they ran away, for which I did 
not blame them. I then ordered the men to fall back, 
which they did, forming in front of the rifle-pits. We were 
ordered into the woods again, and the men ordered to lie 
down. We were soon ordered into the breastworks again. 
The 57th Massachusetts and 4th and loth Regulars 
were ordered in, but got no farther than we did. We lost 
37 wounded, 2 killed, and 10 missing. Twq officers were 
wounded, Lieutenants Maylone and Littlefield. Lieuten- 
ant McArdle seriously wounded in the head by a sharp- 
shooter. General Crittenden sent, for me in the evening 
and told me to take charge of the corps picket, as we were 
to withdraw and take up a new position. 

Thursday, May 19. — Corps started by 4 a.m. Drew in 
my pickets by 4.20 without any trouble. None of them 
were fired at. The corps marched three or four miles to 
the left, and took up its position on the left of the Sixth 
Corps, in front of Anderson's house. We began to in- 
trench late in the evening. Had quite a strong position. 
Day pleasant. Saw Henry Dal ton and breakfasted with 



STEPHEN M. WELD 295 

him and General Russell. Heard of General Sedgwick's 
death. ^ 

Friday, May 20. — Had our rifle-pits all finished this 
morning, and abattis placed in front. Men had a chance 
to rest. Heavy fogs during the night. Men were aroused 
at three a.m., expecting an attack. James came up with 
horses. Enemy attacked our supply trains on the right, 
and were repulsed by the Heavies. 

Saturday, May 21. — Morning pleasant. At noon we 
received orders to be ready to move at a moment's no- 
tice. Our pickets were driven in during the afternoon, and 
we were sent out to support them. When we came back, 
we started again for Richmond by a flank movement. 
Marched all night. Had a heavy shower in the after- 
noon, which wet me through. Marched about 4 miles 
before I could get my horse. 

Sunday, May 22. — We marched until 4 or 5 this 
morning. We passed through Guinea Station, and halted 
in a ploughed field beyond it. We passed through the 
most beautiful and fertile part of Virginia that I have 
yet seen. The trees were all in leaf, and the corn and 
wheat well started. The country is rolling, with numer- 
ous streams intersecting it. I hear that we are the rear 
guard, with the trains. The army moves in three columns. 
Hancock is ahead. Lost my pistol last night. Met Holmes 
on the march. Day warm. 

Monday, May 23. — Started at 6.45 a.m. and marched 
until 7.30 P.M. Very tiresome march, as we had to keep 
halting and then making a long stretch. Most of the men 
out of rations. Hancock immediately in our front, fight- 
ing for the ford over North Anna River. Hear that he has 
it. Warren has crossed on the right. Sharp firing there. 

^ He was killed at Spottsylvania on May 9. 



296 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Saw Captain Sleeper this evening. Crossed the Mat, Ta 
and Po rivers.^ 

Tuesday, May 24. — Remained on the north bank of the 
river [North Anna] until about 12 m. We then crossed 
by a ford. Our brigade formed in line of battle, and about 
3 P.M. advanced into the woods. The banks on both sides 
of the river are steep and woody. We gained the crest 
on the south side, and formed line in an open field. Our 
brigade was in three line , the 35th Massachusetts being 
deplo^^ed as skirmishers. We advanced about three 
fourths of a mile without opposition. The skirmishers soon 
became engaged, and soon ours were driven back. I then 
ordered my men to rise and give a left oblique fire, which 
they did, driving Johnnie Rebel. Came near being hit 
in the ankle. We then charged to within a hundred yards 
of their works, receiving grape and canister on the way. 
Here we remained two or three hours, the sharpshooters 
picking off our men all the time. Major Putnam received 
a scalp wound [from which he afterwards died. A brave 
officer]. Baker of A Company was killed while fighting 
bravely. 

About 6.45 a thunder-shower came up, and during 
it the enemy charged on our right flank and front just 
as we received an order to fall back. While I was trying 
to rally my men, I got a bullet through my coat, scratch- 
ing me on my side. Colonel Chandler of the 57th was 
mortally wounded at the same time, and died in the 
enemy's lines in two hours. We lost 8 killed, 38 wounded 
and 24 missing. General Ledlie lost three of his staff and 
his brigade flag-sergeant. Wallace was taken prisoner, 
Sergeant Cosgrove wounded through both legs. The 
enemy thought it was an attack on their centre in force. 
General Ledlie made a botch of it. Had too much 

* These, when united with the Nye, make the Mattapony River. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 297 

on board, I think. Rained during the evening. Gen- 
eral Crittenden placed me in charge of the brigade, as 
General L. was sleepy and tired. 

[After we were driven back on this day. Chandler 
stopped me and said, "Weld, what are you going to do?" 
I said, "I don't know." He said, "I am going to rally 
my men and try to make a stand." I said, "I will join 
you." He got about 50 or 60 of his men together; I had 
my colors in my hand getting my men together, and when 
I had collected about the same number, General Mahone 
came up within forty yards of us and gave us a volley. 
I was turning, calling some of my men back at the mo- 
ment the volley was fired, and got a bullet through my 
coat that scratched my side for about three inches and 
drew blood and raised an enormous welt, from which I was 
sore for a week or ten days. The same volley seemed to 
me to knock over all the men I had got together. Chand- 
ler was mortally wounded, and altogether it was an un- 
pleasant little time. My only idea was to try and get in- 
side our lines before I dropped. As soon as I got behind 
the temporary works we had thrown up, I pulled up my 
shirt and found I was only scratched, and I felt quite 
happy. At the moment I was hit it felt like a red-hot 
iron on my side.] 

Wednesday, May 25. — We occupied the second line 
of intrenchments. Had a heavy thunder-storm. During 
the day we rested, while the Fifth Corps advanced their 
skirmish-line. W^e were assigned to the Army of the 
Potomac to-day, and our division temporarily assigned 
to General Warren, who is on our right. Saw Colonel 
Theodore Lyman to-day. 



298 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

[May 25, written on envelope] 

Dear Hannah, — I am glad to inform you that I am 
safe and sound so far. Had a hard scrimmage yesterday. 
I came out safely although a bullet went through my 
coat, etc., and raised a scratch over an inch long. It is 
the first time that I have ever been wounded or rather 
touched by a ball. Had my boot torn by a bullet in the 
Wilderness, which was the nearest 1 ever came to it. 

We go into a real fight every six days. Have been 
in one the 6th, 12th, i8th and 24th. Next time will be 
the 30th. I shall be lucky if I get through without being 
killed. Every one is being killed that I know. We are 
whipping the rebels well, although it is a work of 
time. 

I see by the papers that we lost our colors. It is a false- 
hood. We have never lost our colors, and I hope never 
shall. 

Thursday, May 26. — We remained in the second line. 
Received orders to be ready to move about 4 p.m. The 
whole army is to recross the river, move down on the 
enemy's right flank towards Hanover Court House. We 
moved at dark, crossing on a bridge which had been 
built while we were in the pits. It rained heavily, so that 
the river rose and almost washed the bridge away. Our 
brigade moved up to Jericho Ford, holding it until 
morning. 

Friday, May 27. — Held the ford until half-past eight 
A.M., when we were relieved by the cavalry. We then 
marched down towards Bethel Church. During the day 
our corps formed the rear guard, marching after the 
trains. We marched until about 10 p.m., making about 
10 or II miles, one of the most fatiguing marches I 
have ever made. We had to halt every few feet. Went 



STEPHEN M. WELD 299 

into camp just after striking the Bowling Green Road. 
Ten stragglers. 

Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29, — We started 
at 9.20 A.M., being the rear brigade. Made easy marches 
until 12, when we halted an hour for dinner. Continued 
marching until 6 p.m., by which time we had made over 
15 miles. We were then bothered for over two hours by 
the trains in our front. We kept on marching all night, 
until 6 A.M. in the morning, making about 13 additional 
miles. We crossed the Pamunkey on pontoon bridges 
at Hanover town. We passed through Dr. Brocken- 
borough's place and over the road where I came near be- 
ing captured by Stuart two years ago. We then went 
into position on a cross-road, and remained there during 
the night. 

Monday, May 30. — We moved to the front about 
noon. We then went into position in the right of the 
Fifth Corps. Threw up rifle-pits and remained there 
during the night. Quite heavy skirmishing in our front. 
Day pleasant. 

Tuesday, May 31. — We were ordered out to the front, 
and took possession of some rifle-pits. Remained there 
but a few minutes as the enemy were found to be in 
strong force. Had two men shot while moving out, by the 
enemy's sharpshooters. Went back to our old rifle-pits, 
but about two o'clock were ordered out again, the 56th 
being deployed as skirmishers in front of the brigade. 
Moved forward and took possession of the pits we va- 
cated in the morning. Skirmishers were thrown out 60 
paces in front of the rifle-pits. Had some hea\y skirmish- 
ing for about an hour. Lost two men killed, and thirteen 
wounded, and one of^cer. About dark the brigade was 
withdrawn, the 56th remaining until 12 p.m., when we 
were relieved. 



300 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

[I cannot find from my diary exactly when what I am 
about to narrate here occurred, but it was somewhere 
within a day or two, if it was not this very day. We were 
ordered out to attack the enemy, and it was to be in the 
nature of a surprise as far as possible, so that orders were 
given that no one sjiould spealc above a whisper. All 
orders were whispered to the men, and we were told, in 
marching forward, to try and not even break the branches 
on the ground that we were treading on. It was a beau- 
tiful summer's day, birds were singing and the sun shim- 
mering and shining through the trees. Everything as far 
as nature was concerned was as far removed from the 
idea or appearance of war as it possibly could be. I do 
not think that the suspense of going into a fight was ever 
so trying as it was on this occasion, and that is why I 
mention it here. It made such an impression on me that 
it will last the rest of my life. Everything, as I have said, 
in the surroundings breathed of peace and beauty and 
quiet and the loveliness of nature. Contrasted with it, 
we knew that within two or three minutes there would be 
a fight, and while advancing and waiting for the first shot 
to come, I had all I could do to keep myself up to my duty. 
When the first shot was fired, I did not care, the charm 
was broken, and I was ready to do my duty; but the sus- 
pense of waiting for this was perfectly awful.] 

Wednesday, Jiine i . — We did not get the regiment 
into camp until about 2 a.m. We occupy a very un- 
pleasant place. The road passes right in our rear, and a 
cloud of dust envelopes us night and day. We were un- 
der marching orders all day. The enemy attacked the 
Fifth Corps, and also made a reconnoissance in force in 
our front. Saw Riddle and Mason in the evening. Han- 
cock moved to the left. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 301 

Thursday, June 2. — We were under marching orders, 
and about 3 p.m. moved to our rear. The whole corps 
marched ahead of us, leaving us as rear-guard. We had 
not gone far before the rebels attacked us. The whole 
thing was miserably managed. We checked the enemy, 
however. Our regiment was in the third line, being in 
front of Captain Thomas's battery. While there we lost 
about six men, and Lieutenant Mitchell, wounded by our 
own shell. We were moved afterwards to the right, occu- 
pying some temporary rifle-pits. Had a heavy thunder- 
shower during the afternoon, just before the enemy at- 
tacked. Captain Cowdin, F. O. D., was wounded while 
falling back. During night, rainy. Dug some strong 
rifle-pits. 

[Our position this day was a most disagreeable one. 
We were supporting a battery and in front of it, they 
firing over our heads and we lying down on the ground. 
The battery was on slightly rising ground, but the shells 
stripped as they were fired from the guns, and as the 
firing was unusually bad, it was most destructive to our 
regiment, as the strips of the shells and shot flew around 
us right and left. It was bad enough to be killed by the 
rebels, but to have our own men shoot us was worse. 
Captain Cowdin never turned up. He was probably 
killed. The last seen of him he was getting over a wall. 
He was a good officer and did his duty well, and we were 
very sorry to lose him.] 

Near Tottopotamoy Creek, Va., 
(11 miles from RICHMOND) June 2, 1864. 

Dear Father, — We are stationed here about four 
or five miles from Mechanicsville, and about 11 from 
Richmond. We are bivouacking, and may move at any 
moment. We have had skirmishing almost every day, in 



302 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

which this regiment has lost some men. Yesterday even- 
ing the enemy opened a heavy fire on us, advancing a 
very heavy line of skirmishers on to the front of our corps, 
and also on the Fifth Corps. It was more of a reconnois- 
sance on their part than a general attack. They were 
driven back along the whole line. 

Our men are pretty well used up by this campaign. 
Officers as well as men need rest, and I hope we shall get 
it before long. A great many of the men are without 
shoes, and most all of them are in rags. We have com- 
munication open with White House now, and I hope that 
we shall soon have all such deficiencies supplied. 

We shall have some pretty hard fighting before we get 
Richmond. We are gradually working our way to the 
left towards James River, where I imagine we shall open 
communication with Butler. 

I never knew before what campaigning was. I think, 
though, that all this army have a pretty fair idea of it 
now. We have had to march all day and all night, ford 
rivers, bivouac without blankets or any covering during 
rain and sunshine, and a good part of the time have been 
half starved. I know that no one staying at home can 
have any idea of what this army has been through. Any 
one who gets through safely may consider himself lucky. 

We have lost 300 men in killed, wounded and missing 
since the beginning of the campaign. The missing amount 
to about 30 or 40 men, many of them killed and wounded. 
I have but 250 men for duty now, — rather a contrast to 
the size of the regiment when we left Readville. 

Do you know whether I am to be commissioned as 
colonel of the regiment or not? No other person, were he 
commissioned, could take the place, as there are not 
enough men for him to be mustered. If I am commis- 
sioned as colonel and my commission dates the 6th or 7th 



STEPHEN M. WELD 303 

of May, I can probably be mustered back to that date, 
as I have been acting as colonel since then. I had over a 
minimum regiment on the 7th of May. 

I think there is no doubt about our getting Richmond. 
It will undoubtedly be hard work, but we expect that. 

I have not heard from home for a long time. I suppose 
you have seen Major Jarves. He behaved splendidly. 

Give my love to all the family. 

June 3. — We were held in reserve, and had to march 
and countermarch all day long. We were finally moved 
out to support Willcox, who was to make a charge. While 
we were lying here, a shell came along and grazed my 
coat sleeve. I had just changed my position, thereby 
saving my life, for the shell otherwise would have hit me 
in the back. We were finally moved to form a junction 
between Willcox and Potter. We did so, and after build- 
ing rifle-pits retired to our old position, leaving the 39th 
to guard the pits. I was in command of the brigade part 
of the day as the general was sick.^ 

[Since this diary was written, I have found out that we 
formed the extreme right of the army, this right being 
refused so as to protect our rear. This brought us back 
to back with our troops right in front of us, our line being 
curved around like a fish-hook, and we forming the barb, 
as it were. It also turned us back to the enemy. There 
was a battery somewhere on our flank that was annoying 
us, and the rumor was that Willcox was to charge it and 
we were to support him. Anyway, the men were all lying 
down, and I was sitting with a cape of my coat thrown 
over my shoulder, leaning against the roots of an up- 

^ The fighting in these early days of June is known as the Battle of 
Cold Harbor. 



304 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

rooted pine tree. Shells and bullets would keep dropping 
every once in a while, but nothing hot or heavy. I finally 
got tired and threw my legs from one side of the trunk to 
the other. It was not more than five seconds after I had 
done this that a shell fired at our troops on the front of 
our line, along the long part of the fish-hook, as it were, 
came over them, and plunged through the roots of the 
pine tree, just grazing my shoulder and covering me all 
over with dirt. It dropped right at my feet. Had I not 
changed my position, I should have been taken square in 
the back and crushed to pieces. It made me very nervous 
about shells. Until then I had not minded them much. 
Sometimes they seem to burst in the air all around you 
and never do much harm, although occasionally one would 
be destructive. My men all jumped up, thinking I was 
killed ; but my usual luck attended me and I came out all 
right.] 

June 4. — We were under orders to march during the 
whole day. Finally moved in the afternoon to a position 
between the Fifth Corps and the Eighteenth Corps. We 
were placed in reserve under the crest of a hill. Took tea 
with Captain Wright. 

In the field, near Bethesda Church, June 4, 1864. 

Dear Father — Your letters of May 26th and 28th 
were received yesterday, and glad enough I was to get 
them. 

We form the extreme right of the army, and are in 
strong fortifications. Yesterday our corps attacked the 
enemy in our front, and drove them about half a mile. 
The day before, we fell back from our line about two miles 
in front of our present one, in order to keep up our con- 
nection with the rest of the army, which had moved to the 



STEPHEN M. WELD 305 

left. While falling back the enemy attacked us, but we 
held our own and repulsed them. Our brigade was not 
actively engaged yesterday, being held in reserve. We 
were started from one end of the line to the other, and 
then back again, being under heavy shell fire, and scat- 
tering musketry. I had a very narrow escape. I was sit- 
ting on a fallen tree, when a 12-pounder shell came along 
very nearly spent, and grazed my coat sleeve. If I had 
not changed my position about 15 seconds before, it 
would have struck me in my right shoulder. 

The enemy made a heavy attack on Hancock's Corps 
late last evening, and were repulsed with heavy loss. 
Things look well, although I have no idea what General 
Grant's plans can be. I should think that he would en- 
deavor to reach the James River, and join with Butler. 

I am perfectly well, although pretty well tired out from 
this hard campaigning. You have no idea of what the 
men and officers have had to undergo for the last month. 
A good portion of the time I have slept on the ground 
without blankets or shelter during rain and shine. I have 
not caught cold, and have never been in better health. 

Give my love to all the family. 

P.S. I received my commission as colonel this morning. 

June 5. — Were again under orders to move, and did 
not get off until 6 p.m. We then moved to the rear, 
throwing back our right, as we form the extreme right 
of the army, the Fifth Corps moving to the left. V^ery 
heavy firing on our extreme left, some ten miles off, I 
should think. The enemy attacked the Eighteenth Corps 
a little after dusk, and were repulsed. Saw Ladd to-day. 

June 6. — We strengthened our rifle-pits, throwing up 
traverses, etc. In the afternoon the enemy shelled us, 
and pushed Potter quite strongly. We were under orders 



3o6 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

to move to his assistance if needed. Had a slight thunder- 
shower. 

In the field, near Cold Harbor, June 6, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — ... I am thankful to say that so 
far I have escaped both shell, bullet and sickness, al- 
though the campaign has been by far the most severe that 
I have ever undergone. Our food has consisted of hard- 
tack and beef, when we could get it, with occasional vari- 
ations of salt pork. Yesterday, though, my boy foraged 
some green peas, and I had a regular feast, I can tell you. 
Our shelter has generally been the "broad canopy of hea- 
ven" through all weathers, although I have been able 
occasionally to indulge in a tent fly. How you would 
laugh at home to see how dirty, brown and ragged we are. 
I had to go without a change of clothing for over twenty 
days, and during that time was unable to take my clothes 
off, even. 

I have had three as narrow escapes as I ever wish to 
have. The last one was three or four days ago, when a 
i2-pounder shell that had not exploded, passed close by 
me, grazing my coat cape. 

Everything looks as if we had settled down to a regular 
siege of Richmond. We shall probably have any amount 
of digging to do and, I hope, some rest. We can't get 
hold of our wagons though, which makes it very incon- 
venient. 

I suppose you know that I am commissioned as colonel, 
Raish as lieutenant colonel and Captain Putnam as 
major. I am afraid that I cannot get mustered as colonel, 
as I have not enough men. . . . 

Tuesday, June 7. — Received orders to move about 
10 A.M. Our brigade marched to the rear, taking a posi- 
tion near Allen's Mill. We dug the usual rifle-pits, and 




FIFTY-SIXTH MASSACHl 




/OLUNTEERS ON DRESS PARADE 



STEPHEN M. WELD 307 

made ourselves comfortable. Late in the evening the 
37th Massachusetts took position on our left. Day pleas- 
ant. 

Wednesday, June 8. — Had all the men in the com- 
mand washed to-day, and took a bath myself in the mill- 
pond. Day pleasant. Had no firing on our line. General 
Crittenden left us to-day, having been relieved at his own 
request. General Ledlie takes command of the division, 
and Colonel Gould of the brigade. 

Thursday, June 9. — Saw John Jones to-day. He is 
going back to his regiment. They are with Butler at 
present. (Got my bundles from Alice.) Day pleasant. 
Ladd was here to-day, and also General Ledlie. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vol., June 9, 1864. 

Dear Father, — We have enjoyed a rest of a couple 
of days, which is doing our men a vast amount of good. 
We are all of us completely worn out, both in body and 
mind. We have now been over 37 days marching and 
fighting. 

From what I can see, I do not think that we shall be in 
Richmond in much under two months. The papers give 
too rose-colored a view of matters, and I am afraid that 
they have raised public expectation too high. We are 
blocked here for the present, having butted against Lee's 
fortifications in vain. I do not feel discouraged about it, 
as I feel quite confident of ultimate, but not of immediate 
success. I expect daily to see the whole army start for the 
James River. When once there, inside our fortifications, 
we can afford to dig and wait. Here, in our present po- 
sition, I am afraid that delay is dangerous, for Lee will 
use some such plan as he did against McClellan. We 
number probably more men than he does, but they are not 
the Army of the Potomac, which is pretty well used up. 



308 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

They consist of heavy artillery, dismounted cavalry, etc., 
of whose fighting qualities I have my doubt. If we only 
reach James River safely, we can wait for Hunter's 
forces, or for Crook's, or even a portion of Sherman's, 
should he demolish Johnston. 

Our baggage and commissary stores have all been sent 
to White House. Possibly this corps may be sent round 
by water to James River. I hope it will, as it would be a 
most delightful rest for us all. 

Will you please send me $2 worth of postage stamps, 
and also enclose twenty-five dollars to me, sending it in 
different letters by ten and fives at a time. I am entirely 
out of funds, as we have not been paid for almost seven 
months. 

I am gradually rooting out my bad officers, and filling 
up their places with tried men. The last few weeks have 
proved a man's courage and worth pretty effectually. I 
shall promote some of the sergeants who behaved very 
bravely. 

General Crittenden has been relieved at his own re- 
quest. He was the ranking major general of the army, 
with the exception of Burnside and Grant, and felt, quite 
naturally, unpleasantly at having only a small division 
under him. I find that he is quite a friend of Uncle 
Oliver's. He is a fine man, and I am very sorry that he 
has gone. He went off quite unexpectedly, and I did not 
know it until he had gone. He told Charlie Mills that 
he wished to see me very much before he went. I think 
that he received a letter from Uncle Oliver about me 
just before he left. I know that he thought quite highly 
of me. 

I have just received a pair of colonel's shoulder-straps 
from Palmer and Batchelder's. I am very much obliged 
to the person who sent them to me. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 309 

Friday, June 10. — All our teams are ordered to 
White House. I find that our cavalry under Sheridan 
started two days ago on a raid. I imagine they are going 
to join Hunter, who is reported to be at Staunton. The 
reconnoissance made across Bottom's Bridge by the 
Fifth Corps was a diversion in favor of our cavalry. Was 
mustered to-day as colonel, to date from May 6. Rebel 
cavalry drove in our cavalry pickets this afternoon. 

Saturday, June 11. — Day pleasant. Rode along 
picket line, and went out towards Mechanicsville road 
with Colonel Gould. Two women came in and reported 
the rebels advancing, which turned out to be untrue. 
Took a bath. Received a large mail to-day, with letters 
from Hannah, Jarves, Father, etc. 

Sunday, June 12. — Received the resignations of Cap- 
tains Thayer and Redding, but they could not be acted 
on as we were making preparations for moving. Started 
at 8 P.M. and marched all night. 

Monday, June 13. — Reached Tunstall's Station about 
4 A.M., and remained there until about 2 P.M. We then 
marched to about three miles from the Chickahominy, 
where we remained for the night. Had hard marching 
during day. 

Tuesday, June 14. — Routed out at 4.30 a.m., to move. 
Crossed a creek at Pollock's Mills. About a mile farther 
we crossed the Chickahominy, which divides, running 
round an island. The branches were not over 25 feet 
broad. Saw Colonel Spaulding^ here. We then marched 
down to within two miles of the James River, near 
Tyler's Mills. Halted here an hour, opposite Ex- Presi- 
dent Tyler's house. Moved on three miles, and went in 
rear of the Sixth Corps, where we camped for night. 
Dalton came over, and gave us provisions. 

^ Commander of one of the regiments in the Engineer Brigade. 



3IO WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

[We had been twenty-four hours without food. By 
changing our base from White House over to the James 
River we interrupted the commissariat somewhat. I do 
not think I was ever so hungry in my life. We stacked 
arms in line of battle, and just as we did so a quail flew 
up. The men had broken ranks, and they gave chase and 
caught him, and he was given to me and I had him broiled 
for my supper. Henry Dalton came over also and gave 
us some hard- tack. Adjutant Lipp caught a box- turtle 
and had him roasted. Late in the evening we all of us had 
plenty to eat.] 

June 15. — We lay all day about two miles from the 
James River, in the same position that we were last 
night. Day warm. We received orders to be ready to 
move at 6 p.m., and after issuing four days' rations of 
ham and bread, and two of coffee and sugar, we started 
for the river [James], crossing on a pontoon bridge 2100 
feet long. Passed General Meade's headquarters before 
crossing the river, and saw Bache.^ 

June 16. — We marched all last night, and all to-day 
until 6 P.M., when we went into position behind General 
Potter, on the left of our line in front of Petersburg. 
Heard that the 5th Cavalry did well. Col. Henry S. 
Russell was wounded slightly in the shoulder. We carried 
their first line of works, and took 18 guns.^ 

Junei'j. — The anniversary of Bunker Hill. We 
moved forward and occupied the first line of the enemy's 
pits, they having been taken by General Potter last 
night. At 2.30 P.M. we were ordered to move over and 
support Willcox, who was going to charge the enemy's 
rifle-pits. Willcox charged, and was unsuccessful, being 

^ An aide to General Meade. 

2 This was the beginning of the investment of Petersburg. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 311 

driven back. Our division was then formed in line, the 
1st and 2d brigades in the first line, and the 3d brigade 
in the second line. Colonel Gould had command of the 
first line, giving me command of the 1st brigade. At 
about 6 P.M. we charged forward, and under a heavy fire, 
about 200 yards, and took the rebel pits, losing heavily 
in doing it. We were, as usual, under a destructive en- 
filading fire. We held the pits some two or three hours, 
when the rebels charged on us, driving us from the pits 
into our lines again. Our men were without ammunition, 
and fell back on that account. We mustered 130 men in 
the brigade after the fight. During the fight to-day, I 
saw General Barlow right up in our front line. 

[I could hear the rebel officer order his men forward 
and tell them to keep steady when they charged us. 
Crawley^ was killed. We lost just about half the num- 
ber of men we took into the attack. General Ledlie was 
drunk and quarrelled with Crawford. I believe that 
General Ledlie, the officer of whom I am speaking, is 
dead, and as this diary is never to become public pro- 
perty, it does not seem unfair for me to tell the truth here 
and to state some facts. General Ledlie was drunk on 
May 24, at the North Anna. There were several times 
that he had had too much to drink during the campaign, 
I think the poor man was a coward and took the liquor 
to try and fortify himself for the fight. Anyway, in the 
charge that was made this day, when I found that we 
were to make the charge, I made all my men take the 
caps off their guns. I knew from previous experiences in 
the campaign that, if we made a charge and the men had 
the caps on their guns, when we got within a few yards 

^ Sergeant-major, recently appointed an officer. I believe he had not re- 
ceived his commission. 



312 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

of the works the men would stop to fire and then turn and 
run, and that would be the end of it. The only chance 
was to keep on the steady jump and rush them right over 
the works. I told my men what was to be done, and said, 
"When you get the order to charge, you leg it like the 
devil. Don't stop for anything, just run as tight as you 
can " ; and they did so, and went swarming over the rebel 
works, capturing lots of their men, with lots of ammuni- 
tion and knapsacks and all their fixings. Then came the 
end, which is always likely to happen when one's com- 
manding officer is incompetent through drink or anything 
else. After holding the place for three hours, we ran out 
of ammunition. I sent back messenger after messenger, 
begging them to send us ammunition. The men were there 
exposed to a heavy fire, both enfilading and direct from 
the front, and without ammunition to reply to it. It was 
dark before we were driven back, and then, as I have said 
in my diary, I could hear the rebel officer giving the order 
to his men: "Steady, men, steady!" while they were ad- 
vancing on us. We had to retreat, as we had nothing to 
shoot with. When we got back over the plain into the 
valley from which we had started, — for we were formed 
in a ravine before making the charge, — I asked for 
General Ledlie, to whom I was to report, and who was in 
command of the division. He was asleep on the ground. 
His adjutant-general went up and kicked him awake, 
poked him, and said, "Colonel Weld wishes to report." 
I said, "General, we have been driven back and our men 
are all scattered, and I don't know what to do." He drew 
himself up in a hazey-dazey sort of way, and said, "Why 
Colonel Weld, there are thousands of men all around 
here"; and then tumbled down in a drunken sleep again. 
If I had been older and had more sense, I should have 
preferred charges against him. I think there is less harm 



STEPHEN M. WELD 313 

in writing what I am writing here now, because some six 
weeks later, when we led the charge at the Mine, I am 
told the same thing occurred. I did not see him there, 
so I cannot vouch for it, but the evidence before the Com- 
mittee on the Conduct of the War shows that he was 
intoxicated in a bomb-proof and never went out to the 
Mine where we were at all.] 

Saturday, June 18. — We went into position again 
this morning at 2 o'clock, joining on to the left of the 
Second Corps. Remained here all day. The enemy 
evacuated their line in our front, and the Second Corps 
and part of the Ninth advanced about a mile. Day very 
warm. Our loss yesterday was 8 killed, 44 wounded, and 
15 missing, out of a total of about 130 present for duty. 

Sunday, Jmie 19. — Had quite a quiet day, as most of 
the Sundays during this campaign have been. Re- 
mained in our position nearly all day, and then moved 
100 yards to the front. Our skirmishers were pushed out 
beyond the Petersburg & Norfolk R. R. Day pleasant 
and quite warm. 

Near Petersburg, Va., June 19, '64. 

Dear Father, — By forced marches we have reached 
this place, getting here before the main part of Lee's 
Army. We have been quite successful so far, having ad- 
vanced through two lines of their works in some places, 
and three in others. Day before yesterday our division 
charged the enemy's pits in our front, and carried them. 
Willcox's division had already tried it and been repulsed. 
The 56th was, as usual, in the first line of battle. I was in 
command of the brigade, Colonel Gould commanding two 
brigades. The fire was very hot indeed, but at the or- 
der to charge, the men rushed forward over an open field 



314 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

200 yards wide, and drove the rebels out of their pits, kill- 
ing a great many and capturing about 70 prisoners and 
a stand of colors. In about an hour, however, our ammu- 
nition gave out, and the enemy charged us, compelling 
us to fall back. We should have been properly supported 
and the thing would not have happened. The loss in the 
regiment was about 60. We went in with a few men over 
200. Grant most certainly got ahead of Lee on this move. 
Lee was fortifying at Malvern Hill, while we were cross- 
ing James River, and on our way to Petersburg. 

The 5th Cavalry did finely the other day. They charged 
an earthwork and took it, together with three guns. 
Harry Russell was slightly wounded in the shoulder. 

There was very hard fighting yesterday. Our men took 
the Petersburg & Norfolk R.R. and now hold it. Peters- 
burg can be shelled from almost any portion of our line. 
As soon as we get hold of their railroads we shall be all 
right. . . . 

Headquarters 56th Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., June 19, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — ... Day before yesterday we were 
in a hard fight. We charged the enemy's rifle-pits in our 
front, and took them. We formed under the crest of a 
hill in two lines of battle, our regiment forming part of 
the first line, and charged over two hundred yards over 
an open field, carrying the works, and capturing about 
60 prisoners. The men behaved splendidly, as usual. I 
was in command of the brigade, Colonel Gould command- 
ing two brigades. I came out safely, without a scratch, 
although we were under a very heavy fire indeed. 

To-day we are in the reserve resting our men, although 
we may be ordered into action at any minute. Our men 
hold the Petersburg & Norfolk R. R., and our skirmishers 
are in the outskirts of the city. We shall probably gain 



STEPHEN M. WELD 315 

the city itself in a day or two, although it will take some 
hard fighting to do so, as Lee now has his whole force 
in and around the city. If we get possession of the city, 
then Richmond must fall in time. Things look better 
to me now than they have at any time during the 
campaign. . . . 

. . . Thomas of Jamaica Plain has been missing since a 
skirmish we had on the Chickahominy on June i. He 
is probably taken prisoner. Meagher of Jamaica Plain 
was wounded day before yesterday in five places, the 
most serious one being in his hand. I understand that 
all the rest were flesh wounds and that he will recover. 
He was wounded while on the enemy's breast-works, 
and behaved very well. Richmond Hayes of Jamaica 
Plain is safe. He behaved very bravely day before yes- 
terday. 

I am very well indeed. Health good in every respect. 
Spend my nights on the ground wherever we may happen 
to be, most of the time without any shelter and without 
any covering or blankets. I find that I can stand almost 
anything in the way of exposure. 

There are about 170 men left in the regiment, 170 fight- 
ing men, Lmean. Every fight we go into reduces us ter- 
ribly. 

Things begin to look like a siege now. I doubt if much 
more charging is done. We shall rely on our heavy guns 
and shovels a great deal. Such a course is absolutely ne- 
cessary, I think. Grant has wasted a great many of his 
men in useless charges, and a few days must be given to 
recuperate and reorganize. I think that the losses since 
we left Bealeton Station must be very nearly 10,000 men. 
I may place the figures pretty high, but I think that it is 
a correct estimate. Of course, when we have time to 



3i6 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

collect the slightly wounded and the stragglers, this num- 
ber will be reduced some thousands. . . . 

Ju7ie 20. — We moved in the evening and relieved 
Barlow's division of the Second Corps, our brigade oc- 
cupying the first line. Received a letter from Carrie, and 
Hannah, and one from the major ^ also. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., June 20,1864. 

Dear Father, — I write to you again to-day, or 
rather again since yesterday, to let you know that I am 
still unhurt. We are* in the reserve, and have been resting 
here for two days. A little way from here the spires of 
Petersburg can be plainly seen, within a mile of us. I 
hear that the papers report that we hold the city. That is 
incorrect, although I hope it will not be so long. 

There has been no fighting so far to-day, except con- 
tinual skirmishing. Our pickets are within a hundred 
yards of the rebels, which makes it rather dangerous to 
show one's head there. 

I saw Frank for the first time yesterday. He is very 
well, and seems to like his position very much. I saw him 
again to-day for a few minutes. 

Give my love to Mother. I guess I will write her a few 
lines myself, however. 

Dear Mother, — I saw the chaplain of the 3d Mary- 
land Regt. the other day. His name is Breckman, or 
something of the sort. He knows Aunt Harriet, and seems 
to think everything of her, and wished me to send her his 
very kindest regards. He is a great Swedenborgian, and 
says that Aunt Harriet has given $100 a year for the 
support of his paper. I found him a very intelligent and 

^ Major Jarves. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 317 

highly educated man, and a very agreeable one, too. 
Please remember me to Aunt Harriet with my best 
wishes for her health, and tell her that I saw this gentle- 
man. 

I am in a horribly filthy condition. Our baggage we 
have not seen since the beginning of the campaign. It was 
put on board a scow at White House, and I suppose is 
lost by this time. I have a change of underclothes, which 
I carry in my saddle-bag, but am sorry to say that they 
are in as bad a condition as those I have on; viz., full of 
animals. I have them boiled every chance I get, but as 
the whole regiment is in the same condition that I am, 
it does not seem to do any good. I don't get any chance 
to bathe all over, as I don't dare to leave the regiment 
long enough to find a brook. On the whole, I shall be 
glad enough when this campaign is over. 

Give my love to Henry and Arthur, and tell Henry 
that I am very sorry that he has broken his arm, and that 
I hope he will soon get well. 

Tuesday, June 21. — Remained in the rifle-pits. Our 
regiment is in a better position than any other on the line. 
We are troubled very little by sharpshooters. Did not 
lose a man to-day. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., June 21, 1864. 

Dear Father, — We moved out to the front last 
evening, relieving General Barlow's division of the Second 
Corps. The idea is, I believe, to have the Second Corps 
moved to the left, to prevent a flank movement by the 
rebels. 

There is one thing that I have noticed throughout this 
campaign. The newspapers have been giving a false and 
incorrect report of the state of the army and of our battles. 



3i8 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

They have claimed great victories, where we have been 
repulsed, and have not stated our losses correctly. It is 
perhaps necessary to have such reports go abroad in 
order to prevent our people from being discouraged, but 
I don't like to see them. 

The only time that Grant has got ahead of Lee, was 
in crossing the James River, and attacking Petersburg. 
He did outmanoeuvre him there, most certainly, but did 
not follow up his advantage. The feeling here in the 
army is that we have been absolutely butchered, that our 
lives have been periled to no purpose, and wasted. In the 
Second Corps the feeling is so strong that the men say 
they will not charge any more works. The cause of the 
whole trouble, in my opinion, is owing to the carelessness 
of those high in command, such as corps commanders 
and higher officers still, who have time and again reck- 
lessly and wickedly placed us in slaughter-pens. I can 
tell you. Father, it is discouraging to see one's men and 
officers cut down and butchered time and again, and all 
for nothing, 

I don't wish you to think from all this that I am croak- 
ing. I feel that we shall take Richmond in time, but hope 
that some consideration and some regard for life will be 
shown in doing so. We can't afford to make many more 
such bloody attacks as we have been doing. The enemy 
will outnumber us if we do so. We shall have to settle 
down to a siege of Petersburg and take the place in that 
way. We have our lines so near the city that it will not 
be a difficult matter to burn and shell the whole concern 
out, if necessary. 

I have 1 80 men left for duty in my regiment, and this 
is a fair-sized regiment. 

We are quite fortunate in our position here. We are 
in woods, with the enemy's line about 300 yards in our 



STEPHEN M. WELD 319 

front. The woods screen us from them, so that we can 
walk around with comparative safety, but on our left 
the Hne is outside the woods, and woe betide any man 
who shows his head. The whistling of innumerable bul- 
lets around him warns him of the dangerous proximity 
of the enemy. The camp that we left yesterday was in the 
middle of a dusty field, where all the dead on both sides, 
killed during the charge of the 17th, were buried. The 
efiluvia got to be unbearable finally, and we were all glad 
enough to change to any position, no matter where. 

Can you do anything to help recruit this regiment? If 
you have a chance, I wish you would put some good men 
in it, as we need them very much. 

My health has been remarkably good during the whole 
campaign. We have been remarkably fortunate in regard 
to weather, having had pleasant and dry weather almost 
all the time. 

Wednesday, June 22. — Day warm. Second and Fifth 
Corps moved to the left. In the evening there was quite 
heavy cannonading on our left and right. Heard that 
Second Corps lost four guns and 1300 prisoners. Had 
quite a brisk skirmish on the left of our picket line. 

Thursday, June 23. — Lost three men on picket. En- 
emy again opened on us on the picket line. The rebels 
had a mortar in position, with which they shelled our 
batteries. Our brigade was relieved and put in the second 
line, but six companies of our regiment had to remain in 
the front line. 

Friday, June 24. — It was reported that Smith was to 
attack, so all the line was notified to be in readiness to 
repulse any attack from the enemy, in case Smith was 
unsuccessful. No attack occurred, however. Day very 



320 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

warm. Night unusually quiet, there being but very little 
firing along the line. Nothing new happened. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., June 24, '64. 

Dear Father, — We are still in our old position in 
the front line of rifle-pits. Our brigade was relieved last 
night, and put in the second line, but as there were not 
enough men in the brigade relieving us to fill up the 
space we occupied, six companies of my regiment had to 
remain. We are about as safe here as in the second line, 
unless the enemy attack us, which I don't think he will 
do in our front. We have a thick skirt of woods in our 
front, which hides us from the rebel sharpshooters. 

You will probably find James at home by the time 
this reaches you. He is pretty well frightened, and has not 
been of much use to me lately on that account. I think 
on the whole it was best for him to go home. He asked 
me to let him go, and I made no objection. He paid his 
own way home, as I had no money with me. Will you 
please settle with him up to the 22d day of June? 

I wish you would send me, every few days, a five- or 
ten-dollar note in your letters, and charge the same to 
me. I have four months' pay due me, but until I get it 
shall be dependent on what I receive from you. 

I also wish that you would buy me a knife and send 
it on to me, as I need one very much. 

The weather here is excessively hot. We had a man 
die of sun-stroke yesterday. We have had no rain for 
several weeks, to amount to anything. 

Please send word to Mrs. Jones that I saw her son this 
morning. He is an aide on General Turner's staff^, and is 
in good health and spirits. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 321 

I am perfectly well, as I have been throughout the 
whole campaign. 

The left of our army is swinging round to the rear of 
Petersburg. They have captured the Petersburg and 
Roanoke R. R., which is of great importance to the rebels. 
I hope we shall gradually close in on them, so that they 
will have to abandon their line here. 

The smell around here from the dead bodies is anything 
but pleasant. Towards evening it becomes disgusting. 

Please give my love to Hannah and all the rest. 

Saturday, June 25. — The six companies of the regi- 
ment were moved into the rear line with the rest of the 
regiment. Had the first rest to-day that I have enjoyed 
for a long time. Weather fearfully warm. Went by di- 
vision headquarters, and from there I went with Colonel 
Thomas to the 4th Division hospital, where I saw Frank. ^ 
On the way back, quite a heavy fire was opened on our 
picket line. Got back to the regiment on double-quick, 
and found that the enemy had been firing at a working 
party. Were routed out again during the night by firing 
on our right. Smith shelled Petersburg with 30-pounders 
this evening. 

Sunday, June 26. — Received letter from Father en- 
closing |io and postage-stamps. Also a letter from Han- 
nah, G. White, and General Cowdin. Nothing new to- 
day. Weather very warm indeed, with no breeze. Quite 
sharp skirmishing during the night. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., June 26, '64. 

Dear Father, — . . . We are still "in statu quo," 
neither side doing much beyond a little shelling, and 
picket firing. 

1 My cousin and classmate, Dr. Francis M. Weld. 



322 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I saw Frank last evening at the division hospital. He 
seems very well and in good spirits. 

What is to be our next move no one knows. I hear that 
a charge is to be made to-morrow along the whole line. 
I doubt this very much, as I don't think that we can 
afford to lose the men that would necessarily be sacrificed 
in such an attempt. If unsuccessful, it would be disas- 
trous in the extreme to us, so I hope that we shan't risk 
it. We shall have our hands full, in my opinion, to hold 
our own here, which we shall have to do, in order to save 
Hunter and Sherman. If we cut off Petersburg from 
Richmond and keep it so, we ought to wait until we can 
get reinforcements from Hunter or Sherman. By waiting 
here, and threatening Richmond, we can prevent Lee from 
reinforcing Johnston, and let Sherman use him up. Our 
losses have been fearful since the beginning of this cam- 
paign. Since crossing the James River alone, we have 
lost 14,000 men. 

I wish that they would abolish the $300 commutation, 
and have a draft, which will bring men, and a decent 
class of men. We need them now very much indeed. 

We are now in the second line of intrenchments, and 
were it not for the fearfully hot weather, should be com- 
paratively comfortable. The weather is fearful, and at 
noon it is almost dangerous to put one's head out into 
the sun. 

I don't know what to do about a major. I need some 
one here to help me, and to take charge of the regiment 
in case anything happens to me. . . . The one that I 
wish to nominate. Captain Z. B. Adams, is wounded and 
a prisoner. . . . 

Monday, June 27. — Went over to corps headquar- 
ters, and saw General Burnside, and got him to accept 



STEPHEN M. WELD 323 

the resignations of Captains Redding and Thayer. Re- 
ceived notice of Priest's death. Captain HolHs sent for 
an extension of his leave for 20 days from the 22d. Had 
a letter from Raish. In the afternoon we had quite a 
pleasant shower. No firing of any account during the 
night. 

Tuesday, June 28. — Weather cool and pleasant. Had 
a man wounded, the marker Koernberger, under peculiar 
circumstances. Moved out to the front line, and relieved 
the 2d Brigade. We occupied our old position on the 
right. Had a good deal of skirmishing during first part 
of the night. 

Headquarters 56th Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., June 28, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — I am happy to say that I receive a 
letter from you every few days. Please keep on writing, 
as all news from home is very pleasant in this outlandish 
hole. . . . 

We are still here in front of Petersburg, making pre- 
parations for a siege. I am glad of it, for I don't care about 
charging any more breastworks just at present. It is 
rather unpleasant work, although it will do by way of 
pastime once in a great while. 

We are in the second line of rifle-pits, but have to go 
to-night to relieve the brigade occupying the front line. 
I lose a few men by stray bullets coming over, but on the 
whole consider the regiment in quite a good position. 

I saw John Jones to-day. He is on General Turner's 
staff in Tenth Corps. He is very well. Am very well 
myself, as I have been all along. . . . 

The rebels have been amusing themselves this after- 
noon by throwing mortar-shells at us. We have several 
going all the time. You don't know how prettily they 
look at night. You can see a tail of fire after the shell as it 



324 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

describes an arc in its passage. " Distance lends enchant- 
ment to the view." 

What sort of a time did you have Class Day? We were 
almost melted. I never suffered so from heat in my life. 
Several men were sun-struck. . . . 

June 29. — Began to make out the monthly muster- 
and pay-roll, etc. Got hold of our regimental desk and 
baggage. Quartermaster starts for home to-day, his resig- 
nation, to accept promotion, having been accepted. Sent 
a letter to Father by him. Weather moderately cool. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., June 29, '64. 

Dear Father, — We are all very busy Indeed, making 
out our returns for the past month. We are now in the 
front line again, having relieved the 2d Brigade last 
night. We occupy the same position that we had when 
here before, by far the pleasantest on the line, as we have 
a skirt of woods in our front, which shields us from the 
enemy's sharpshooters. I hear that heavy guns are to be 
mounted along our line to-night. 

Everything remains "in statu quo." There seems to be 
a head wanting somewhere, if we are going to have a siege. 
Each corps seems to be working on its own hook, as far 
as I can see. 

I am detailed on court-martial again, and am President 
of the Court. We meet at division headquarters every 
day. 

I suppose that James has got home by this time. Has 
he recovered from his fright yet? He was completely dis- 
gusted with the army when he left here. 

I wish you would please send me the semi-weekly 
Advertiser once in a while, and at the same time enclose a 



f 






'si 



ex 




STEPHEN M. WELD 325 

nice cigar. I find a good many officers get occasional 
cigars in that way, to help them digest the news. 

I think that we shall remain where we are for some 
time, unless the rebs drive us away, or we take Peters- 
burg. I don't see any likelihood of either event happen- 
ing yet awhile. 

I am afraid that Jarves will not be able to come back 
to this regiment. I wish him to hold his position, how- 
ever, as I think he has lost enough serving his country 
to entitle him to the place, even if he cannot perform any 
duty. 

We lose men every day from the enemy's sharp- 
shooters. I have lost but one or two, having been quite 
lucky. 

What kind of a time did you have on Class Day? We 
were under almost broiling heat, which killed two of our 
men on picket. I would have given anything to have 
been at Cambridge then. 

Our quartermaster, Captain Ladd, Is going home in a 
day or two, he having been promoted. He goes home to 
give bonds, etc. I shall ask him to call and see you all. 
Please ask him to tea, "if he comes. He is a very nice fel- 
low, and is half brother to Mr. Upham of Spencer, whom 
you know. 

Please give my love to all the family. I am perfectly 
well. 

June 30. — Sent in our tri-monthly. Captain Howe 
mustered the companies, but did not finish, as a heavy 
fire was opened on our right, caused by the Eighteenth 
Corps advancing their pickets. Soon quieted down, how- 
ever. Bugler Gallagher was wounded, and during night 
Sergeant Hanson of F Company was killed by a stray 
bullet. 



326 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

[Hanson was lying in a shelter tent, the middle man of 
three. Any one who knows the size of a shelter tent 
knows that three men can pack in by lying close together. 
A bullet came over from the rebs and hit him in the 
bowels. It skipped the other two.] 

Near Petersburg, Va., June 30, 1864. 

Dear Father, — I send this note by Quartermaster 
Ladd, who is going home. Am well, and hope you will see 
Captain Ladd, who will tell you how things are going on 
here. . . . 

Nothing particularly new, except that the rebels amuse 
themselves more than usual by firing at us. They have 
put a couple of bullets into the embankment in front of 
my quarters. 

I think that a grand attack will be made in a day or 
two. I do hope that it will be successful. . . . 

July I. — Captain Howe finished mustering the regi- 
ment. Hard at work on our monthly return, and muster- 
rolls. Heavy picket firing during the night. Day very 
warm. Court-martial begun. Case of McLeod, D Com- 
pany. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July i, '64. 

Dear Father, — I wish you would see Henry Wilson, 
and ask him to get permission from the War Department 
to have my band mustered as a brigade band. The state 
of the case is as follows: The men, twenty (20) in num- 
ber, were enlisted and mustered as privates, with the 
promise that they should not perform duty as privates, 
but should be detailed for a band. The officers agreed to 
pay them $25 a month, and the leader $100 a month. 
Now that the officers are so reduced in number, it makes 



STEPHEN M. WELD 327 

it very hard for them to pay such a large sum to main- 
tain the band, and we wish to have them transferred as 
our brigade band, there being none for our brigade. I 
wish you would get him to put the thing through. All 
that is necessary is to have an order from the War De- 
partment, ordering the transfer. 

There is nothing new to report, except an unsuccessful 
charge made by the Tenth Corps on our right yesterday 
afternoon. I also hear that Wilson's cavalry division was 
all cut up, and almost captured day before yesterday. 
I hope it is not true. 

I hope that we shall be reinforced soon, and heavily, 
too. We need them immediately, and every exertion 
ought to be made up North to forward 100,000 men to 
us, as soon as possible. If people wish this war to come 
to a successful issue, they should send us men. The trou- 
ble is that every one is willing, "a la Artemus Ward," to 
have their wives' relations go, but is unwilling to go him- 
self. 

I must stop now, as it is getting quite dark. 

July 2. — Were moved to the second line this evening, 
we coming about in the centre of the brigade. The 3d 
Maryland relieved us. Court-martial continues case of 
McLeod. 

Headquarters Mass. 56TH Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 2, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — ... I understand that Captain 
Hollis is engaged. He was engaged to a Miss French of 
some place, Exeter, I think, and just before the war the 
engagement was broken off. Rumor says that was the 
cause of Captain H.'s going to the war. When wounded 
and going through Washington, he met Miss F. and 
the engagement was immediately renewed. Romantic, 



328 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

is n't it? Captain H. is a very nice fellow indeed, and I 
am sorry that you were not introduced to him at Class 
Day. . . . 

I am very sorry indeed about Major Putnam's death. 
He was one of my best and bravest officers. So was Lieu- 
tenant Priest. Both are a severe loss to the regiment. 

We lose a man or two every day from the enemy's 
sharpshooters. Two nights ago, when everything was 
comparatively quiet, I heard two fearful shrieks from one 
of my men. He was lying with two other men under a 
shelter tent. A stray bullet entered the tent, and wounded 
him in the abdomen so that he died in a few hours. He 
was the centre one of the three, and was acting as first 
sergeant of F. Co., making the seventh first sergeant in 
that company that has been killed or wounded in this 
campaign. I tell you it made me shudder to hear these 
two shrieks breaking the stillness of the night. Wounded 
men seldom cry out. I have had men knocked over close 
by me time and again, but have never had anything 
affect me the way this did. 

We shall probably remain here almost all the summer, 
from what I can see. The weather is fearful, hotter than 
anything I have ever experienced. Occasionally we get 
a slight shower or a cool breeze, and then I feel as if I 
were in Paradise. . . . 

Night before last there was a fire in Petersburg, pro- 
bably set by our shells. I could plainly hear the fire-bells 
ringing. The fire burned all night. . . . 

July 3. — Chelec of C Company wounded in the head. 
A man from the heavy artillery was killed while passing 
by, near my quarters. Rumors are that we charge on the 
enemy's pits to-morrow morning. Sharp picket firing all 
night. John Jones was here to-day. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 329 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 3, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — We were moved into the second 
line of rifle-pits last night, although we did not make 
much by the exchange, for in our present place we are 
only about 100 yards from the first line, and in an open 
field, so that the rebels have a fair view of us. There was 
a man killed about fifteen feet from my quarters this 
morning, and another one wounded, both by the enemy's 
bullets. 

It is now about 6 p.m., and I see no indication of any 
move on our part to-morrow, I think we shall have a 
quiet time of it unless the rebels attack us. . . . 

Our Q. M, (now Captain) Ladd has resigned his posi- 
tion in the regiment, in order to accept promotion. I 
asked him to call on the family and think he will do so. 
He is a very nice fellow indeed. 

I wish I were at home to protect you from the robbers. 
I think that this war will and has brought a precious set 
of scoundrels round. I am afraid that when some of the 
regiments are mustered out, some of the men will find it 
so hard to settle down to civilized life that they will take 
to robbery, etc., by way of amusement. 

Monday, July 4, 1864. 

We still remain quiet. All last night the enemy kept 
up a tremendous popping, in order to prevent us from 
moving or massing troops. Several of the bullets struck 
my shanty, which, by the way, is a very nice little place. 
It consists of two rows of logs placed one on another, 
with dirt thrown up on the outside. It is proof against 
any bullets the enemy have. On the inside it is dug down 
about 18 inches so that we feel quite safe here. All the 
officers have to live in this way. It is the only way they 



330 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

can live with any approach to safety. When one ven- 
tures out too much, the sharp zip of bullets admonishes 
him of his danger. 

The Sanitary Commission has been doing a great deal 
of good lately. They have been issuing tomatoes and 
saurkraut to the troops, as well as to the sick. Occa- 
sionally lemons are dealt out. These fresh vegetables 
have a wonderful effect on the health of the men. They 
prevent scurvy and keep the men in good condition. I 
imagine that an immense supply of these articles must 
have been sent down here, for the headquarters of the 
various generals have generally absorbed a great portion 
of the stuff sent by the Sanitary. . . . 

July 4. — Court-martial adjourned after finishing case 
of McLeod. Went over to General Burnside's quarters 
to see Captain Rathbone. Had a man from G Company 
slightly wounded. 

July 5. — We were to have attacked yesterday, with 
Ferrero's division ^ in front, had things been ready. We 
moved to the front line, taking our position on the right 
of the battery. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 5, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — ... Sergeant Ford is a very good 
soldier. He had a piece of a bayonet shot into his leg in 
the battle of the 24th on the North Anna. . . . 

July 6. 

We moved out to the front line last night, and now 
occupy a position where we can see all the enemy's works. 

It is rather dangerous work to show one's head here, 
for the enemy are very sharp, their sharpshooters pop- 
ping at us all the time. I had a man killed this morning 

1 Ferrero commanded a negro division. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 331 

by one of them, and any number of bullets are floating 
around loosely all the time. We hear that Ewell is up 
near Harper's Ferry, and that some of the Sixth Corps 
have gone up from here to help oppose him. . . . 

I am busy now every day, or rather every morning, 
on court-martial. I believe I told you that I was Presi- 
dent of a C. M. We hold our meetings at division head- 
quarters. By the way, Charlie Mills wished to be re- 
membered to both you and Alice. 

My house, or place where I hang out at present, is a 
hole about ten feet long and six wide, dug into the side 
of the hill. On top there is a layer of logs, and on the sides 
logs. All the officers have to live in such places, if they 
care about living five minutes. The men are all in holes 
or pits dug down into the ground, where they are safe 
unless a bomb-shell happens to come along. A man in the 
3d Maryland had a piece of shell from a lo-inch bomb 
knock his canteen to pieces, out of which he was drinking 
at the time. Pleasant place to live in, isn't it? 

I have nominated Zab Adams for major, and shall send 
the letter on to-night. I do not suppose that he will be 
able to join me for some time. I wish I could get some 
definite news from him. 

I suppose you know that Duncan Lamb is commis- 
sioned as a captain in the regiment. He has not yet re- 
ported for duty. . . . 

Wednesday, July 6. — McAndrews of D Company 
was killed this morning by a sharpshooter. The rebels 
have a rifle-pit on our right, from which they enfilade our 
line completely during the night. I had ways dug for the 
men. 

Thursday, July 7. — Court-martial tried the case of 
Captain Howell of the 179th New York. Had the ditches 



332 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

deepened, and whole place improved. During night there 
was quite heavy picket firing. 

July 8, — Court began on case of Lieutenant Knicker- 
bocker. Day very warm indeed. We were moved into 
the second Hne at night, being the second regiment from 
the right. Captain Lamb reported for duty. Had brisk 
firing on our right, which extended down the line, the 
enemy opening on us with artillery. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 8, 1864. 

Dear Father, — I spend every morning now at divi- 
sion headquarters, where the court-martial, of which I 
am President, meets. We usually have a session of three 
hours every day. We are still in the front line of rifle-pits, 
but are to be relieved, I think, to-night. We have to keep 
very close to our works here, as the enemy have a rifle- 
pit on our right, which completely enfilades our line. We 
have to have traverses every 20 feet to cover the men. 
The men are protected from a front fire by a deep ditch, 
deep enough to cover them completely when standing 
up. I will give you a profile view of it. 




'T'^l^ 



When the men have to fire, they get up on the "ban- 
quette" which exposes them only as far as their head and 
the upper part of the body is concerned. When loading 
they step back into the ditch, so that they are completely 
covered, when not actually firing. The officers' quarters 



STEPHEN M. WELD 333 

are just in rear of the ditch, where they have to dig holes 
and put up logs to cover themselves, A traverse runs at 
right angles with the rifle-pit from the "interior slope," 
and protects the men from a flank fire. They are usually 
made of logs and dirt thrown up so as to form an embank- 
ment. A traverse naturally divides the rifle-pits into 
different sections, and in order to connect these differ- 
ent sections I have had a deep and narrow ditch dug 
parallel with the rifle-pit. From each section another nar- 
row ditch runs out and connects with the one parallel to 
the pit. The men can now travel round in comparative 
safety. Before I came here, it was very dangerous indeed 
to go from one section to another. 

It is pretty well decided, I think, that anything that is 
done here in front of Petersburg, will have to be done by 
our corps. We are nearer the enemy's works than any 
other corps except the Eighteenth, and they cannot ad- 
vance any nearer the city, as the position in their front is 
commanded by the enemy's batteries on the other side 
of the Appomattox. In front of our division we can cer- 
tainly do nothing. If we attempt to charge, we shall be 
cut to pieces. Our only hope lies in General Potter's 
front. He is mining under a battery of the enemy, and 
as soon as the mine is completed, 10,000 pounds of pow- 
der are to be placed in it. As soon as it is exploded, the 
negro division is to charge. Our brigade is to be the next 
in order, followed by a brigade from Willcox's division, 
and then Potter's division. 

I see by the papers that Ewell has gone up to Pennsyl- 
vania. I hope that his raid will have the effect to increase 
volunteering. We need more men here very much indeed. 

General Franklin is at City Point, I hear. His corps is 
on the way to join us from New Orleans, and is expected 
here in about six days. 



334 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I received the knife which you sent me, and am very 
much obliged to you for sending it. It is just the sort of 
a knife that I wished for. 

I asked Hannah to buy me a small wooden inkstand to 
carry in my pocket, and a gutta-percha penholder. Please 
have them sent to me by mail as soon as convenient. 

Captain Lamb joined us this morning. He is from the 
2d Heavy Artillery, and is a gentleman and a very nice 
fellow. I nominated him to be captain. He was formerly 
second lieutenant in Frankle's regiment. He is a brother 
of Miss Rose Lamb, who lives on Somerset St., Boston. 

I have nominated Captain Adams of my regiment to 
be major. As he is wounded and a prisoner, I don't ex- 
pect to see him for some time. Still, he is a brave officer 
and a gentleman, and I did not think it would be right 
to skip him. 

I almost wish that the enemy would go up into Penn., 
and transfer the seat of war there. I think that it would 
have a beneficial effect on our people, and would make 
them realize the necessity of crushing the enemy in this 
campaign. 

I wish you would ask Alice to write me. I have heard 
nothing from her for a long time. I had quite a pleasant 
letter from Hannah this morning, dated July 3. . . . 

The enemy have not shelled us much in our present 
position. They have shelled the troops on both sides of 
us, but have let us alone so far. I don't know how long 
they will continue to leave us free from bombs and such 
things. 

The Sanitary Commission is doing a great deal of good 
in distributing fresh vegetables among the troops. It 
has saved them from a great deal of sickness. The dry 
weather, too, has been a godsend to our men. I don't 
know what we should do if we had much rain. The men 



STEPHEN M. WELD 335 

would die off like sheep, as they have to be in the trenches 
all the time. Fever would thin our ranks fearfully in case 
we had rainy weather of long continuance. 
Love to all the family. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, July 8, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — ... You ask me what rifle-pits 
are. A rifle-pit proper is a small hole dug for sharp- 
shooters or pickets. It is detached and separate from any 
other pit, and holds from one to three men. The term 
is commonly used, however, as synonymous with breast- 
works. I give you a profile view of one properly con- 
structed. When the men fire, they stand on the place 
marked "3 feet." That is called the "banquette." 
XA' hen they are not in action, they go down 2 feet lower, 
and are pretty well protected. W'hen we are at all ex- 
posed to a flank fire, traverses are built. They are mounds 
of earth running at right angles with the main rifle-pit. 
They have to be built quite high and thick in order to 
resist artillery. Where I was the last time I was at the 
front, we would have to trust to our legs and a kind 
Providence to protect us whenever we went anywhere 
from the pits. The enemy would shoot at us regularly. 
In most cases narrow ditches are dug, with the earth 
from the ditch thrown up towards the enemy, leading to 
the rear. The men can walk in these ditches with com- 
parative safety. 

Yesterday as our regiment was moved to the second 
line, I went out on a travelling expedition. I called on 
General Barlow first. He had just received the notice of 

's dismissal from the service. It seems he asked the 

hospital steward to give him something to make him sick. 
It is too bad, especially as his brothers have done well. 



336 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

He had a great deal better have been killed. From Gen- 
eral Barlow's I went to General Hayes's, my old colonel. 
He commands the brigade of Regulars in the Fifth Corps. 
I then went to the 20th Massachusetts, but could see no 
one that I knew. I went to the Second Corps hospital 
and found John Perry, and had a very pleasant time. John 
Perry will probably go home with the 20th. Their time 
is out to-day, and fifty of them go home. We were moved 
into the second line last evening in anticipation of an 
attack from the enemy, which did not come off. 

I saw Frank Weld last evening and gave him your mes- 
sage. Tom Sherwin was with him, . . . 

Saturday, July 9. — Court continued the case of Lieu- 
tenant Knickerbocker, and then adjourned till Monday. 
John Jones came over to see us to-day. Went over to 
Fifth Corps headquarters in afternoon, and then to Gen- 
eral Turner's headquarters, where I took tea. Made ar- 
rangements with John to go to Point of Rocks in the 
morning. 

Sunday, July 10. — Jones took breakfast [with me], 
and then we started with Captain Sealy for Point of 
Rocks. We rode by General Smith's headquarters, and 
reached the Appomattox. The country we passed through 
was very fertile indeed. We could see Petersburg and the 
batteries on both sides of the Appomattox. Crossed the 
Appomattox at Point of Rocks on a pontoon bridge, and 
went to the Tenth Corps headquarters, where we met 
Captain Hutchings. With him we went to Jones's Land- 
ing on the James River, where we found Quartermaster 
Thompson. Had a pleasant time here, and then went out 
on a tug to the gunboat Mackinaw, which was anchored 
off Aiken's Landing. We met Captain Beaumont here, 
and dined with him, and then rowed across to Aiken's 



STEPHEN M. WELD 337 

Point. This was the place where I was exchanged two 
years ago. After remaining here a Httle while, we went 
back to Thompson's, and from there rode home. Day 
very warm. Roads very dusty. Regiment moved to the 
rear. 

Monday, July 11. — Court finished case of Lieutenant 
Knickerbocker, and then adjourned till Wednesday. 
Rode over to General Griffin's headquarters, and then 
to General Meade's. Dined with Bache, and saw Gen- 
eral Meade and had a pleasant chat with him. Rained 
on the way home, the first we have had for a long time. 
Had a very pleasant time. The regiment moved to the 
second line. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. V., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 11, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — ... Yesterday morning I made 
use of the adjournment of the court-martial (it being 
Sunday) and started with John Jones for Point of Rocks, 
near which are the headquarters of the Tenth Corps. We 
went to see Quartermaster Hutchings, and found him 
there alive and well. On the way I passed General 
Smith's headquarters, Eighteenth Corps, and had from 
there quite a fair view of Petersburg, and the surround- 
ing country. I could see the Appomattox, and the enemy's 
batteries on the other side. The view is really a very 
pretty one. The country is fertile and broken, being a 
constant succession of hills, sometimes wooded, and 
again in some places under cultivation. 

We crossed the Appomattox at Point of Rocks, on a pon- 
toon bridge. On the other side we saw an enormous tower, 
over a hundred feet high, built by General Butler as a sig- 
nal station. From here we had a ride of about three miles 
to headquarters Tenth Corps. Here we found Captain 
Hutchings, and in company with him rode over to Jones's 



338 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

wharf on the James River, where Quartermaster Thomp- 
son of the 25th Massachusetts is stationed. Here I in- 
dulged in a glass of iced milk, which was a great luxury, 
I can assure you. As we approached the James River, we 
had a most beautiful view of the banks on both sides. The 
valley of the James is probably the most fertile portion 
of Virginia. On the opposite side of the James we could 
see enormous fields of wheat already ripe and ready to be 
gathered. In fact, all the land that is under cultivation 
is planted with wheat or corn. On the other bank, I could 
see Aiken's house and Landing. I recognized it immedi- 
ately, it being the place where I was exchanged almost 
two years ago. From Jones's wharf, we went on board a 
tugboat, and steamed up to the Mackinaw, a gunboat 
commanded by Captain Beaumont, formerly in com- 
mand of the Nantucket. When I was introduced, he asked 
me immediately if I was any relation to Dr. Weld, and 
wished to be remembered to him. The tugboat that we 
w^ent out on is called the Linda. There are four of them, 
called torpedo boats. They have a long pole lashed to 
their bow on which a torpedo with 150 lbs. of powder 
can be placed. As soon as the enemy's ironclads make 
their appearance, these four tugs fix their torpedoes on 
and bunt into her. The gunboat Mackinaw was lying 
right off Aiken's Landing. After dining with Cap- 
tain Beaumont, we went on shore with him to see Mr. 
Aiken's family and place. Aiken himself has just been 
arrested. We found his daughter, 14 years old, with two 
little brothers and two small sisters, the sole occupants 
of the house. It is a fine brick mansion with a park for 
deer on one side and numerous negro shanties, etc., on 
the other side. During an engagement the other day, be- 
tween the enemy's boats and ours, a hundred-pound 
shell exploded close by the house, denting the bricks in 



STEPHEN M. WELD 339 

nine or ten places. The little girl was very polite indeed. 
She was strong Secesh. I could not help pitying her 
though. Only think of the poor child being exposed to the 
insults of any straggling soldiers or sailors who might 
come along. 

We rode back home again in the moonlight, having 
passed a very pleasant day. It is the first time that I have 
been able to get away from the regiment since the cam- 
paign began. 

We have received orders to begin besieging Petersburg 
in front of the Fifth and Ninth Corps. We shall have a 
hard time at it, I am afraid. 

The Sixth Corps have gone to Washington to fight the 
rebels who invaded Maryland. 

Our regiment is in the rear now, resting for two days. 
To-morrow we go to the front again. 

Tell Father to be careful what he says about Gen- 
eral L. or any other general. It may get me into trouble 
if he is not so. General L. has resigned, and will probably 
leave us in a day or two. He has always treated me 
kindly and I don't care about saying anything against 
him. 

Love to all. The flies bite so, I can't write any more. 

Tuesday, July 12. — Lieutenant French was wounded 
in the side to-day. Also a man named Kurtz in A Com- 
pany, in the face. We moved to the front line in the 
evening. One of the color-guard was killed while we were 
moving out. Lieutenant Lipp and Captain Fay went 
to City Point. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 12, '64. 

Dear Father, — ... Lee seems to be playing a 
bold game. The rumors are that all his old army have 



340 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

gone up into Maryland, and that Beauregard's men are 
left in our front. If true, I suppose we shall have an- 
other campaign in Maryland and Penn. One consolation 
is that our men fight much better there than they do here. 

Please tell Hannah that I received the letter she sent 
by Colonel Bartlett this afternoon. It was forwarded by 
him. He apologized for not being able to deliver it in 
person. 

Will you please collect any money that may be due me 
from my bond or railroad shares, and divide it between 
Hannah and Alice. They can use it to help pay for going 
to the sea-shore, or in any other way they see fit. Now 
that things are so high, I imagine that it will be accept- 
able to them. I enclose the orders for the money. 

I received a letter from yesterday. I cannot like 

her. It seems to me that she likes to parade her sufferings 
to every one. I am sorry for her, although I must say 
that I dislike her as a woman extremely. 

We move out to the front line to-night and remain there 
four days. 

I went to General Meade's headquarters last night, and 
saw all my friends there. I then went into General 
Meade's tent with Captain Bache, and called on him. 
He remembered me, much to my astonishment, and we 
had quite a pleasant conversation for 15 minutes. 

I saw George Barnard and Tom Sherwin yesterday. 
Both were well. . . . 

Wednesday, July 13. — Heard accounts from Washing- 
ton. Enemy shelled us from mortars during day. Day 
warm. 

[Every evening the rebs would fire about a dozen 
mortar-shells at us, about dusk. We could see the lighted 



t 




4 




^ 




^^ 



\ 



^ 




STEPHEN M. WELD 341 

fuse going way up in the air, then stopping, and then 
coming down, and could tell pretty nearly where it was 
going to fall. Before their shells had reached the ground, 
our batteries would respond with an equal number, and 
return the compliment.] 

Thursday, July 14. — Shelled again to-day. Troops 
were up all night expecting an attack, as a deserter came 
in and said that a great many more would come in if we 
would throw up rockets. We saw rockets thrown up, but 
whether the deserters came or not, I don't know. Day 
pleasant. 

Friday, July 15. — Had four men wounded, among them 
Lieutenant Littlefield. Went over to see Colonel Bell, 
4th New Hampshire. Enemy seem to have left Washing- 
ton. 

[Littlefield was sitting in a bomb-proof trench, with his 
back towards the enemy, way down out of sight. A bul- 
let from the rebels came over, and striking an oak sapling 
on the other side of the trench, was thrown back by the 
rebound of the tree and hit him in the side of the head, 
making quite a bad wound.] 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 15, '64. 

Dear Father, — I don't know whether this will reach 
you or not, as all communication with Washington seems 
to be cut off. 

There are various rumors afloat about what we are 
going to do, but without any foundation as far as I can 
see. I dare say that we may fall back in order to save 
Washington, although there is nothing certain. 

I do hope that we shall not lose Washington. Things 
look squally there most certainly. I am perfectly well. 



342 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Saturday, July i6. — Went to court-martial as usual. 
Moved out in the evening to the rear. Saw John Jones in 
the evening. Day warm. Night chilly. Several shells 
burst near our quarters. 

Sunday, July 17. — Rode over to see General Barlow 
and General Hayes. Also saw John Perry. In the evening 
Tom Shervvin, Frank Weld, Captain Phillips and Captain 
Davis came over to see me. About nine o'clock we were 
moved to the second line, as it was reported that the en- 
emy were massing in our front, and were going to attack 
us in the morning. No attack was made, however. 

Monday, July 18. — We were moved to the rear and 
were inspected together with the 57th and looth Penn- 
sylvania. We then marched in review before Captain 
Hovey. In the evening we marched to the second line 
again and took position on the right of the 57th Massa- 
chusetts, who were on the extreme left. 

Tuesday, July 19. — We had a rain-storm to-day, which 
lasted through the night, making us all very uncomfort- 
able. Enemy were pretty quiet through the day. Raish 
arrived last night. Saw him to-day, and went with him 
to see General Burnside. 

Wednesday, July 20. — Rain continued at intervals. 
We moved into the first line at dark, taking position on 
the right of the battery. Several shells came near our 
quarters. In the afternoon rode over to division hospital, 
and to General Meade's headquarters, with Raish. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 20, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — I received two letters from you at 
Beverly, dated on the 14th and 15th inst. I judge that 
you must be having a very pleasant time. ... I think 
Miss Gardner would like to be out here. She might charge 



STEPHEN M. WELD 343 

over some field where men had been fighting, and nearly 
step on many a poor dead fellow. It is the most unpleas- 
ant part of a fight to see some poor fellows horribly muti- 
lated and dead lying by one's side. 

Raish Jarves arrived here yesterday. He will prob- 
ably be put on court-martial. I went up with him to see 
General Burnside, who was quite kind to us. , . . 

The rebels are getting a splendid range on us with their 
mortar-shells. They are beginning to throw them into the 
trenches, which makes it slightly uncomfortable, as you 
can well imagine. They send a piece through my shanty 
occasionally. At night it is really good fun to watch them. 
You can see them gracefully ascending until they almost 
seem to stand still, and then down they come faster and 
faster, and finally explode. As a general rule, they do but 
little damage, for it is very difficult to get an accurate 
range with them. Just as I had written this, along came 
two mortar-shells, and burst within 40 feet of my shanty. 
Pleasant life we lead here, I can assure you. Yesterday 
we had our first rain for six weeks, and uncomfortable 
enough it made us, I can assure you. The trenches were 
half full of mud and water, as well as all the officers' 
quarters. I slept last night in a perfect mud-hole, half 
drenched myself. To-day we have a regular dog-day. 
Hot and sultry, a day that makes one feel dirty and 
sticky all over. 

I am still on court-martial. It keeps me busy about 
three hours every morning. 

The men had a rumor that I was appointed Provost 
Marshal of Alexandria, but I cannot find that there is 
any truth in the report. 

We have had several false alarms in regard to the enemy 
attacking us. They are undoubtedly massed in our front, 



344 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

expecting an attack from us. They may attack us, how- 
ever, some foggy morning. 

We move out to the front line this evening. We have 
four days on the front line, and four days on the rear, two 
of the latter are passed in the rear and two in the second 
line. . . . 

Thursday, July 21. — General Bartlett arrived at di- 
vision headquarters. Saw Jones there. The enemy shelled 
us heavily during afternoon and evening. An attack 
was expected on Willcox's front. Day pleasant. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 21, '64. 

Dear Father, — General Bartlett arrived here to- 
day, and takes command, I believe, of our brigade. I 
should not be surprised if he received the command of the 
division, in case General Ledlie's resignation is accepted, 
which, by the way, we hear nothing of. I hope that we 
shall have General Bartlett, as he is a good soldier and 
a pleasant fellow. 

We are now on the front line again, in a pretty fair 
position. The men have to keep well under cover, how- 
ever, in order to avoid the fire of the sharpshooters. The 
shells from the enemy's mortars go over us, almost en- 
tirely. The second line is much more dangerous in this 
respect than the first. Colonel Jarves reached here day 
before yesterday. He is probably going on some court- 
martial, until he gets stronger. 

There was a rumor that I was appointed Provost 
Marshal of Alexandria or of some other place. I don't 
suppose there was the slightest truth in the story. 

The Nineteenth Corps have arrived at Bermuda Hun- 
dred. They are to go into position on the north bank of 



STEPHEN M. WELD 345 

the James, and I hear are to make a strong demonstration 
there. We hear good news from the Sixth Corps, that 
they have whipped the enemy severely at Snicker's Gap, 
and taken some prisoners. 

Things remain unchanged here. I hear nothing said 
about attacking, and see no indications of it in our front. 
On the contrary, everything looks like remaining here 
quietly some time. All the regiments whose time is out on 
or before the 25th of August are to be sent to Washing- 
ton to perform garrison duty. I don't think that anything 
of the kind would be done if we intended to resume active 
operations immediately. 

Under this new call for 500,000 men, I hope to get some 
men for my regiment. Please send me any that you can 
lay hands on. 

I went over to General Meade's headquarters yester- 
day, and saw all my friends there. It is real pleasant to 
meet some of my old friends out here. In the Ninth Corps 
I have but few, most of my acquaintances being merely 
those whom I have met on this campaign. 

I am busy every morning on court-martial. We meet 
about 10 A.M. and adjourn at i p.m. The remainder of the 
time I am with the regiment, attending to business there, 
or reading and writing. 

Please tell Thomas's father that we have received no 
information in regard to his son. He probably, to tell the 
truth, went to sleep on the picket line, and when the men 
fell back during the night, did not wake up, and was 
taken prisoner. He is not much of a loss to the regiment, 
although I am sorry for his parents. Has John Meagher's 
son reached home? I suppose he will be furloughed from 
the hospital. . . . 

As usual, I am enjoying perfectly good health. The 
regiment is in a pretty fair sanitary condition, consider- 



346 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

ing the exposure they have to undergo. I lost one man 
named Swan yesterday, killed on picket. . . . 

We have had two rainy, foggy days in the trenches, 
and unpleasant enough they were. They are the first 
we have had for the last six weeks. To-day, we have a 
nice cool breeze, and a pleasant sky overhead. The 
trenches are drying up, and will soon be inhabitable 
again. . . . 

Friday, July 22. — The 2d Brigade were reviewed by 
General Ledlie. Sharp firing on our left in the afternoon. 
Court-martial adjourned immediately on account of 
review. 

Saturday, July 2j. — Day pleasant. Firing quite 
heavy, and had to get up several times. Nights foggy. 
Enemy shelled us quite vigorously. Colonel Jarves came 
out to the front line, and dined. Set the men to work on 
bomb-proofs. 

Sunday, July 24. — Men worked on bomb-proofs, and 
completed them as far as the logs would go. Captain 
Galucia and two officers of the 57th wounded by a shell. 
Saw Charlie Amory to-day. Went to see Jones with 
Raish. Moved to the rear at dark, in old position. Began 
to rain just after we got there. Sky came down in the 
middle of the night. On the whole did not enjoy the 
night much. 

[Captain Galucia used to come to me almost every 
morning with a long face and a piece of a shell in his hand, 
saying, "Colonel, that fell near me last night." It got 
to be quite a joke, and I said, "Galucia is sure to be hit 
by a shell some time, they seem to trouble him so much." 
In telling this story I do not mean to reflect on his cour- 
age at all, as he was a brave man and always did his duty. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 347 

Sure enough, when he was officer of the day, he was 
standing with two other officers in front of a bomb-proof 
underneath an arbor made of green boughs, when a bomb- 
shell came over and dropped right into the middle of the 
arbor. They all tumbled down just as the shell exploded. 
One of the officers was cut right up the back as if with a 
knife. The other one was killed, and Galucia had the 
toes of both his feet pushed back. He suffered from the 
effect of the wound the rest of his life.] 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 24, '64. 

Dear Father, — . . .A shell from one of the enemy's 
mortars exploded in front of the headquarters of the 
57th Massachusetts to-day, and wounded three officers. 
One of them was a Captain Galucia of my regiment, 
who was on his tour of inspection as brigade officer of 
the day. He is wounded in both feet, though not very 
seriously. 

General Bartlett is in command of our brigade now. 
He is going to have Charlie Amory as his adjutant-gen- 
eral. I saw Charlie to-day, looking very well indeed. 

We move to the rear line to-night. I have had my men 
at work constructing bomb-proofs, since they have been 
on the front line. 

Next Tuesday we are to have a review. General Ledlie 
is to review our brigade. . . . 

We hear very good news from Atlanta to-day. I 
should not wonder if it made the rebels desperate, and 
forced them to attack us here. They will get thoroughly 
whipped if they try it here. The mornings, however, are 
favorable for a sortie, as they are extremely foggy. . . . 

Please ask Hannah to send me Miss 's photo- 
graph. 



348 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Monday, July 25. — This morning weather cleared off, 
and we prepared for our review. Had dress-parade. 

Tuesday, July 26. — Line was formed for our review 
at 9.30. Men looked well and the affair on the whole was 
a success. Ended at 1.30 p.m. We moved to the second 
line at dark. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 26, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — I received a letter from you this 
morning dated July 22d. . . . 

I am now in a most delightful situation, sitting under 
the shade of some large trees near General Burnside's 
headquarters, with a delightfully cool breeze blowing. We 
are now enjoying our two days in the rear, but unfortu- 
nately they end this evening, making it necessary for us 
to go back to the second line of works. 

Our brigade was reviewed this morning by General 
Ledlie. We had quite a decent review considering the 
situation we have been in. 

My box arrived yesterday with everything safe. I in- 
vited John Jones to dinner, and just as dinner arrived, 
General Bartlett came in, so that we had quite a sociable 
time of it. Your candy and ginger came in as a dessert, 
and quite a welcome one it was. The cigars were very 
nice indeed. To-day I opened the cracker-box, and treated 
myself and friends to them. They were hard and dry, 
and tasted remarkably well. 

I had a letter from Eliot Furness ^ a day or two ago, ask- 
ing me to try and get him a position as field officer in one 
of the negro regiments under General Burnside. He said 
he M^anted to get it so that he might be married. He 
is at present with General Gordon at Memphis, Tennessee. 

That mine that I told you of is finished and I expect 
* William Eliot Furness, a classmate. 




#^>^«^ 




STEPHEN M. WELD 349 

that it will soon be blown up. It extends under the first 
and second lines of the enemy. I understand that two or 
three tons of powder are to be placed in it. Imagine what 
a cheerful time the enemy, who may be above it when it 
is blown up, will have. . . . 

Wednesday, July 27. — Went down to City Point. 
Saw General Benham, Doctor Dalton, and others. Day 
warm, with some slight showers in the afternoon. Heard 
a rumor that the corps was to move. Mine ready. 

Thursday, July 28. — We moved to the front line. 

[We had heard for some time that there was a mine be- 
ing dug in our front, and that it was to be exploded soon. 
Dates differed, and we could get very little accurate in- 
formation. At times I began to think that they were 
merely the usual camp rumors. It afterwards turned out 
that the mine was dug by Lieutenant Colonel Pleasants 
of a Pennsylvania regiment which was largely composed 
of coal-miners; there were four tons of gunpowder in- 
serted in this mine.] 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 28, 1864, 

Dear Hannah, — I enclose a beautiful ambrotype of 
two illustrious officers of Uncle Sam's Army. One of 
them is Major Hovey (just promoted to Major A. I. G. 
of General Ledlie's stafif) and the other is your humble 
servant. This work of beauty and art was taken at City 
Point, Virginia, yesterday. I went down there on a pleas- 
ure trip with Major H., and had quite a pleasant time. 
I stopped at General Benham 's headquarters, which are 
at the Point, to see Channing Clapp. He was not there, 
so I resolved to beard the lion in his den, and see the 
general himself. So in I went, and shook hands with him. 



350 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

He was very polite, and asked after Uncle Oliver. We had 
quite a long talk on war matters, etc., in which the old 
gentleman showed his usual amount of conceit. He bid 
me good-bye very pleasantly. 

I then went to General Grant's headquarters, to see 
Mr. Dunn and thank him for bringing me that box, but 
could not find him. Please thank Father and receive my 
own thanks yourself for the contents of the box. We also 
went down to the wharf at City Point, where we saw the 
usual amount of ships, steamers, sutlers' shops, etc., which 
always congregate at the depot of supplies for an army. 
Near here we had our pictures taken, each one costing 
two dollars. About a mile from City Point we came to 
the army hospitals, in a fine location, with the grounds 
well laid out and neatly policed, etc. They have two en- 
gines there which pump the water up from the river into 
a tank. From this tank the water is distributed all over 
the grounds to large wooden tubs. All the streets are 
watered by regular watering carts, so that the grounds 
are free from dust, and the air cool and pleasant. Dr. 
Dalton is in charge of the whole machine. We stopped 
and called on him, and had a very pleasant time. He is 
Henry Dalton's brother, and is a very smart man indeed. 
After leaving the hospital we rode for home, or rather for 
the second line of rifle-pits in General Burnside's front, 
having passed a very agreeable day. On reaching my 
regiment, I found that we were under orders to be ready 
to move, as an attack was expected on our left, the Second 
Corps having moved from there to the extreme right, the 
other side of James River. Hancock had a fight there, 
capturing 4 guns and some provisions. You will learn the 
particulars by the papers before this reaches you. 

The mine is all finished, the powder in, the fuse all 
ready, and nothing wanting to make it go off except a 



STEPHEN M. WELD 351 

lighted match, which will be applied, I think, to-morrow 
morning. Our brigade moves to the front line to-night, 
so that I don't know whether we shall be in the scrimmage 
or not. I rather think we shall get into it, however, before 
the day is out. It will make some noise, as there are to 
be five (5) tons of gunpowder placed in it. 

I hope that the attack, or assault, will be successful ; for 
if it is, we shall [have] Petersburg in our possession. . . . 

Friday, July 29. — Charlie Amory came as brigade 
adjutant-general. We were called up to General Bartlett's 
headquarters and told that the mine was to be sprung, 
and our division was to lead in the charge. We were told 
that we were to press on through the mine to the hill 
beyond, called Cemetery Hill. We were relieved about 
10 P.M. by colored troops from the Eighteenth Corps, and 
moved to the rear. About 2 a.m. we moved to the front 
through Willcox's covered way, and got into position 
about 4 A.M. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Petersburg, Va., July 29, '64. 

Dear Father, — We are now in the front line of works, 
having moved there last night, feeing in the front line 
may save us from being in a charge, which I think will 
take place to-morrow. I think that the mine will be ex- 
ploded to-morrow morning early. We have expected it 
to come off for the two past mornings, as the powder has 
been placed in it, and the thing is ready to be lighted. 
To-day General Burnside has had all his division generals 
up at headquarters, making preparations, I suppose, for 
to-morrow. 

You remember that man that I had to shoot at Anna- 
polis. He threatened, so I was told, all sorts of things. 
I paid no attention to them, but called the man up, and 



352 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

gave him a talking to. He is naturally a smart man, and 
has had a very good education. I treated him just the 
same as I did the other men, and tried to reform him, by 
showing that I had confidence in him, and that I was not 
going to help pull him down. He behaved very well, and 
rose to be first sergeant, until a few days ago, when he got 
hold of some whiskey, and began to fall into his old ways 
again. I had to reduce him to the ranks again, which 
made him feel -very badly. I send you a note which he 
wrote me yesterday, marked private. Please have it 
filed away, and don't let any one see it, as I wish to keep 
it among my papers. I think that he will keep his word, 
and will not touch anything while in the regiment. 

I am still on court-martial and have to go every morn- 
ing to division headquarters. 

My health is good, as usual, much better even than 
when I am at home. I only feel the need of a little rest, 
from the constant wear and tear on one's nerves, which 
every one feels here. 

Please send me some stamps in your next letter, as I 
am entirely out of them. 

General Hancock has moved to the other side of the 
James River, where he captured four cannon, and several 
prisoners. The cavalry have also gone out, no one knows 
where, but I imagine to get in rear of the rebels who are 
now in the Valley. . . . 

Saturday, July 30. — We were formed in column of 
brigade wings, the 2d Brigade leading, under Colonel 
Marshall. General Bartlett commanded our brigade. 
Colonel Gould having the right wing, and I the left, con- 
sisting of the 2 1 St Massachusetts on the right, the 56th 
Massachusetts in the centre, and the looth Pennsyl- 
vania on the left. We were in position about three quar- 



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i* . 'Si '♦^ *« "J^ Jil^iM— 







FIFTY-SIXTH M, 



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lUSETTS VOLUNTEERS 



STEPHEN M. WELD 353 

ters of an hour before the mine was blown up, and while 
waiting my feelings were anything but pleasant. The of- 
ficers and men were disappointed and discouraged at hav- 
ing to lead, as we had heard all along that the negroes 
were to do this, and we had no confidence in Ledlie. He 
had failed us on several occasions, notably on June 17. 
At 4.30 A.M. the mine was blown up. It was just early 
dawn, light enough to distinguish a person a few yards 
off. The explosion was the grandest spectacle I ever saw. 
The first I knew of it, was feeling the earth shaking. I 
looked up and saw a huge mass of earth and flame rising 
some 50 or 60 feet in the air, almost slowly and majestic- 
ally, as if a volcano had just opened, followed by an im- 
mense volume of smoke rolling out in every direction. 
The noise was very slight indeed, considering that there 
were nine tons of powder exploded. The men of the divi- 
sion were stampeded at first, but were soon rallied. We 
charged, having to go by the flank, as we could only get 
over in one or two places, and entered the enemy's pits 
under a moderately heavy fire. We found an immense 
hole here, formed by the explosion, some 30 feet deep by 
100 long and 40 wide. We were ordered to go to the right 
of the crater, and here I endeavored to re-form my regi- 
ments. The scene inside was horrible. Men were found 
half buried; some dead, some alive, some with their 
legs kicking in the air, some with the arms only exposed, 
and some with every bone in their bodies apparently 
broken. We held the enemy's line about three or four 
hours, capturing some 500 prisoners. When we had been 
there about four hours, the negro troops charged over, 
filling our pits and crowding us so that our men could not 
use their muskets. They made a charge on the enemy in 
our front, which was repulsed and followed by a counter- 
charge, driving the negroes head over heels on to us. 



354 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

trampling down every one, and adding still more to the 
confusion. Several negroes were shot down close by me, 
I was taken prisoner and sent to the rear, where I found 
several of my men, together with Captain Fay. While on 
the way, I had to climb a breastwork exposed to our 
men's lire. I saw the rebs run up and shoot negro pris- 
oners in front of me. One was shot four times. We were 
taken to a place about half a mile from Petersburg, and 
kept there until evening. General Bartlett, Colonel Mar- 
shall and Captain Amory arrived about 4 p.m., in a squad 
that was captured later. We were moved still nearer the 
city, and camped in an open lot there. Charlie Amory 
had his boots stolen from under his head while asleep. 
He was using them as a pillow. 

[These notes are written fifty years after the event, but 
it seems to me as if the whole matter was as vivid and 
clear as if it had happened yesterday. We started down 
late that evening and got into the covered way, which 
was a zigzag trench leading up to our rifle-pits. The rifle- 
pits had strong abattis trenches and wires and every- 
thing else, including chevaux-de-frise, to impede any of 
the enemy who were charging us. Orders had been given 
that the trenches were to be filled up with sand-bags, and 
the abattis removed for a space of 200 yards, so that a 
regiment could march forward practically in line of battle. 
This was not done, for when we charged we had to go by 
the flank, not more than four men at a time, a space only 
about eight or ten feet having been filled up, and none of 
the abattis removed. This delayed the advance very 
much and undoubtedly had a great deal to do with losing 
us the battle this day. The mine was planned to be blown 
up at half-past four, but the fuse went out and they had 
to send men in to unpack the stuff which had been put 



STEPHEN M. WELD 355 

around the fuse to prevent the force of the powder blowing 
out the tunnel, which took some time, so that it finally 
blew up at about half-past six or seven. The minute the 
mine exploded, a hundred and forty of our guns opened 
fire from the lines in the rear, shelling the Confederate 
lines all around on both sides of us. It was a magnificent 
sight and one never to be forgotten. I never shall forget 
my mortification while waiting for this mine to blow up. 
The troops were all standing in line, ready to charge, 
and bullets fired by sharpshooters and pickets kept zip- 
ping over us all the time and the men kept ducking. They 
were not to blame for this, as the orders were, when we 
were in the rifle-pits, invariably to duck if they saw a puff 
of smoke from the other side. This was absolutely neces- 
sary, as we lost men every day from their curiosity in 
peeking up to see what was going on. The minute a cap 
appeared it was the target for a dozen sharpshooters. Of 
course we were all nervous, standing there waiting for a 
charge which we were very uncomfortable about, owing 
to reasons which I have explained later on, and the men 
kept ducking as a bullet passed by. I said, "Steady, men, 
that bullet has gone by you by the time you hear it." 
Just then a bullet, which I am convinced was specially 
meant for me, went whizzing by me and I at once ducked. 
Every one laughed and I did not blame them, but a more 
mortified man than I was never lived. 

When the mine did go up, it looked as if this immense 
cloud of timber, dirt and stones and everything was go- 
ing to fall right down on us and we involuntarily shrank 
back. We at once got over this and started to make the 
charge. When we got to the pits, as I have said, there was 
no getting over except by a flank. Instead of going over 
about in line of battle, we moved by the flank through 
this narrow space, and before I could get over, the firing 



356 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

had become very hot and the dust was knocked up all 
around my feet all the time as I went over. The neglect 
to fix the works in our front also had another very bad 
effect. It broke the regiments all up. The men went over 
by the flank, scattered along as they could get through, 
and with almost no organization. As soon as we got into 
the crater, I did all I could to get my men together, and 
in some sort of shape for a fight. By that time it was al- 
most impossible to do anything. We were as badly off then 
as we were in our own pits. There was no head. Our di- 
vision commander was off on the other side and did not 
come over with us. General Bartlett was a cripple and 
had his wooden leg broken, and it was almost impossible 
to get anything done. I came near having my head 
knocked off by grape-shot two or three times. Finally 
the rebels charged on both our flanks. I was packed in 
there in the midst of the negroes. It was a perfect pan- 
demonium. The negroes charged into the mine, and 
we were packed in there like sardines in a box. I literally 
could not raise my arms from my side. Finally, when the 
Confederates charged, those of the men nearest the rifle- 
pits next our line got over the line and got away. Luckily 
most of my men I had formed there, so that they were 
able to get away and protect our colors. 

I got cut off and took refuge in a bomb-proof, as I could 
not run away, being surrounded on all sides. Pretty 
soon the rebels yelled, " Come out of there, you Yanks." 
I walked out, and the negro who had gone in there with 
me, and Captain Fay came out also. The negro was 
touching my side. The rebels were about eight feet from 
me. They yelled out, "Shoot the nigger, but don't kill the 
white man"; and the negro was promptly shot down by 
my side. They then grabbed my sword and my hat. 
'Xome out of that hat, you Yank!" they yelled; and one 



STEPHEN M. WELD 357 

of them cried, "What do you 'uns come down here and 
fight we 'uns for?" Then they told me to get over our 
embankment in their rear, which formed their second 
line, and I scrambled up, the bullets from our own men 
striking the dirt on all sides of me. I got over the embank- 
ment all right, and was walking to the rear, when I saw 
a negro soldier ahead of me. Three rebels rushed up to 
him in succession and shot him through the body. He 
dropped dead finally at the third shot. It was altogether 
the most miserable and meanest experience I ever had in 
my life. You could not fight, you could not give an order, 
you could not get anything done. Out of the nine regi- 
ments in my brigade I was the only regimental com- 
mander left alive. The others were all killed outright 
or mortally wounded. We were sent back about a mile 
to the rear and camped on a hill that night. 

My diary for the year 1864, during the Wilderness 
Campaign, was carried in my boot-leg and so escaped 
seizure when I was captured at the mine.] 



CHAPTER VIII 

PRISONER OF WAR — LETTERS FROM COLUMBIA — EX- 
CHANGED — END OF THE WAR 

{From Horatio D. Jarves to Stephen M. Weld, Senior) 

August 2, 1864. 

My DEAR Mr. Weld, — What was a little uncertain 
about Steve has been cleared up, and we have had de- 
finite news from him. One of our officers conversed with 
the captain who took him. It appears he and some few 
men were so run over and trampled upon by the colored 
troops in their stampede that they could n't move until 
too late. It was in between two traverses of the rebel 
first line. The rebel captain says that Steve and the few 
men with him held out to the last, and was finally "taken 
like a soldier with his arms in his hands," by an over- 
whelming rush of rebs. He was unhurt, and took it good- 
naturedly. His enemies could n't help admiring him. I 
send you a lot of letters which have come for Steve, and 
have taken care of his things. I will take measures to send 
home his horses as soon as possible. 

With regards to all your family, 

I am yours truly, 

H. D. Jarves. 

Sunday, July 31. — We started this a.m. and marched 
through Petersburg, the officers being sandwiched in 
between the negroes. Colonel Marshall and I were al- 
lowed to march with the white troops. We were placed 



r 



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4 

', VyMv 



j^X-. 



ff IS ^ 



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JAIL— COLUMBIA S. C. SEEN FROM MAIN STREET 




~ _ ^*^^ •**"£:- 



REAR OF JAIL AND YARD 



1^ ^ I 




ROOM IN JAIL WHERE NAVAL OFFICERS, CAPTURED 
IN ATTACK ON FORT SUMPTER, WERE CONFINED 



IS" 




TOWN HALL, COLUMBIA, S. C. NEXT DOOR TO JAIL. MARKET UNDERNEATH; 
ON BALCONY AT NIGHT, WATCHMAN CALLED THE HOURS. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 359 

on an island in the Appomattox, Rations were served 
out late in the afternoon.^ Spent the night here. 

Petersburg, Va., July 31, '64. 

Dear Father, — Am well and uninjured. We start 
for Andersonville, Ga., to-morrow. 

Monday, August i . — We started at 4 a.m. and marched 
to the depot of the Petersburg & Danville R.R. where we 
were put on cars, and started off for Danville at 6.30 
o'clock. All along the road we saw traces of Wilson's raid. 
At Burkesville Junction we were delayed until late in 
the evening, on account of a train having been thrown 
off the track. 

Tuesday, August 2. — Reached Danville at about 
6 A.M., it being distant about one hundred and forty- 
eight miles from Petersburg. We were placed in tobacco 
warehouses, which constitute here, as in every other 
place, the military prisons. We have very poor quarters 
and rations, being thrust into a lousy, dirty room, badly 
ventilated, and with no conveniences for washing, etc. 
Passed a very unpleasant day. 

Wednesday, August 3. — Remained in the same place. 
Had a shower which cooled the air somewhat. General 
Bartlett went to the hospital yesterday. He seemed al- 
most worn out. He is no better to-day. Heard that we 
were to move to-morrow to Columbia, S. C. Had our 
usual ration of coarse corn-bread and bacon, and an extra 
one for to-morrow. 

Thursday, August 4. — Started for Columbia to-day 
at 6 A.M. Reached Greensboro' about noon, and remained 
there until 6 p.m. It was election day in North Carolina, 
and this town is looked upon as rather Union in its feel- 

^ Got wormy bacon, raw onions, and hard-tack, and it was fine. 



360 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

ing. Some of the inhabitants seemed to sympathize with 
us somewhat. Distance from Danville forty-eight miles. 
Started at 6 p.m. for Charlotte. The engineer and con- 
ductor were both drunk, having been celebrating the 
day (election day); the cars (old cattle cars) were nasty 
and dirty, the track, a single one-strap rail, in bad condi- 
tion, and the train an hour behind time. We were to meet 
the train from the South at a turn-out some miles ahead, 
and taking everything into consideration, we had about 
as lively, exciting and unpleasant a ride as I ever hope 
to indulge in. The train went faster than I have ever been 
before, so much so that the cars would actually jump from 
the rail, and yawn and open everywhere. Our destina- 
tion on this heat was Charlotte, one hundred and ten 
miles. 

Friday, August 5. — Reached Charlotte early in the 
morning, where we drew one day's rations. I got hold 
of a raw onion here, and had a good meal on that, a 
hard-tack, and some wormy bacon. It tasted good, for 
I was hungry. Started again for Columbia, one hundred 
miles distant. We passed through sorghum, cotton and 
corn-fields, — many of the latter, few of the two former. 
Reached Columbia at 7 p.m., and were immediately sur- 
rounded by friends of the South Carolina regiment that 
was blown up in the mine, anxious to learn about their 
friends and relatives. Were marched to the jail, and from 
what I could see of the town should think it a very pretty 
one. Passed Wade Hampton's house. There were beau- 
tiful shade trees planted along the street we were marched 
through. Was quartered on the lower floor in a room with 
several others. 

Saturday, August 6. — Did not sleep any last night. 
The bed-bugs and other vermin crawled over me in 
thousands. I looked like a man with small-pox, from the 



STEPHEN M. WELD 361 

number of my bites. Tried a table in the room, but found 
it as bad as the floor. We found several naval officers here, 
who were captured at Fort Sumter. They have been here 
almost a year. Everything was in confusion and turmoil. 
Had bacon and corn-bread served out to us twice. 

Columbia, S. C, Aug. 6, 1864. 

Dear Father, — We arrived here yesterday. Am per- 
fectly well. We are treated quite well here. I think we 
shall remain here for some time. Please write Lieutenant 
Lipp, my adjutant, and ask him to have my valise, bed- 
ding and baggage, and any papers belonging to me that he 
may find, sent on home. I wish my horses to remain with 
the regiment under the charge of my servant, Loud. 

Love to all the family. 

(over) 
P.S. Please send me a 20-pound sterling bill of exchange. 
It is the safest and best way of sending money. Make it 
payable to my order. Try and send it through Major 
Anderson of General Foster's staff. I know him and think 
he would be able to get the money to me quicker than 
any one else. General Foster is in command at Hilton 
Head. 

We are in the jail at Columbia, S. C, and have very 
fair quarters and are well treated. 

Sunday, August y. — The navy officers and the old 
army residents moved downstairs. Ensign Porter gave me 
his bedstead, and we moved upstairs to their old rooms. 
We formed messes and tried to regulate things so as to 
live decently. Everything so far has been in confusion. 
No decent man could get anything to eat, and the place 
has been a perfect pig-stye. Colonel Marshall has now 
taken command with Charlie Amory as his assistant 



362 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

adjutant-general and Captain Fay as commissary. We 
had nine officers in our mess, — Colonel Marshall, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Buffum, Major Filler, Captain Fay, Cap- 
tain Amory, Lieutenant Sterling, Captain Stuart, Colonel 
White, 31st Maine. We all have a room together. Bed- 
bugs tormented me as usual. 

Monday, August 8. — Nothing new. We heard of the 
fleet passing Fort Morgan. Spent the morning in the 
navy room and had a very pleasant game of whist. 
Weather very warm. We are let out three times a day 
into a yard at the back of the jail, at 6 a.m., 10 a.m. and 
4 P.M. Two privates escaped last night by going down 
into the sink and digging out. 

Tuesday, August 9. — Heard of the surrender of Fort 
Gaines to Powell at Mobile. Some of the officers refused 
to recognize Colonel Marshall as commandant. Troubled 
all night by bed-bugs. Had some trouble with Corporal 
Patterson, who was drunk and wanted to run me through. 

Wednesday, August 10. — Colonel Marshall was ap- 
pointed commandant of the prison by order of Captain 
Senn. Had a game of whist with the navy. Nothing new 
from Mobile. 

Thursday, August II. — We had quite a shower to-day. 
Usual routine gone through with. We wake up at 6 a.m., 
and go out into the yard for half an hour, where we wash 
ourselves, etc. Have a good supply of water luckily, from 
a hydrant. We then go back- to our rooms and have an 
inspection of our clothing, which takes a good hour. 
About nine o'clock we have breakfast. At ten we are 
let out into the yard for an hour. Then we have until 
three o'clock to read, loaf, and enjoy prison life. At three 
we dine, and at four are let out again for an hour. In 
the evening we play whist, etc., and retire when we feel 
like it. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 363 

Richland Jail, Columbia, S. C, Aug. ii, 1864. 

Dear Father, — Charlie Amory is here with us. He 
is well and unwounded. He was captured with General 
Bartlett. He is in our mess, which consists of Colonel 
Marshall, 14th N. Y. A., Colonel White, 31st Maine, and 
Lieutenant Colonel Buffum, 4th R. L, all of whom were 
captured the same time I was. When the enemy charged 
us on the 30th ult. I was in the second line with my regi- 
ment. We were so closely packed in the rifle-pit that 

1 could not move an inch, nor could my men fire a shot. 
The enemy carried the first line and for some time amused 
themselves by shooting at the crowd I was in, I was 
luckily not wounded. 

We are very kindly treated indeed, and I am not at all 
troubled except by certain little animals, which inhabit 
beds, and give out an unpleasant perfume when killed. 
They are especially fond of me. 

Please send me a 20-pound sterling bill of exchange, 
payable to my order. I think you can send it through 
Major Anderson or Major General Foster, commanding 
at Hilton Head. If not, you can send it via Fortress Mon- 
roe. Try and get a small box through to me containing 

2 shirts, 2 pairs drawers, 2 pairs stockings, and a small 
box of mercurial ointment. Also 6 packs cards, some 
needles and thread and buttons, etc., and anything else 
you can think of. Address me Prisoner of War, Columbia, 
S. C. . . . Am in good health. 

Captain Fay is here, well. Sergeant Ford was also taken 
prisoner, unhurt. 

Friday, August 12. — Had our usual mess of water- 
melons, which we are allowed to buy of outsiders every 
morning. A change was made in the mess arrangements 



364 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

so that each one buys his own extras. Porter of the navy ^ 
came up in the afternoon. 

Saturday, August 13. — Four or five of us clubbed to- 
gether and bought a pack of cards for sixteen dollars 
Confederate scrip. Weather warm. Nothing new. Our 
jail is the county one. On the first floor the navy officers 
are kept, and deserters and conscripts; on the next floor 
the army officers, and on the third floor the criminals 
and runaway negroes. Also on the same floor General 
Grant's brother-in-law, named Dent, captured, I believe, 
on some cotton speculation in Louisiana or Mississippi. 
On the left of our jail is the lock-up and the town market, 
and the court house beyond. Every Sunday morning 
we are regaled by the cries from negroes being whipped 
in the lock-up, for various offences. The drunkards in 
the lock-up entertain us nightly by hideous yells and 
cries, and in the day-time by repentant and seedy coun- 
tenances. In the lock-up yard are various pigeon-houses 
inhabited by every variety of doves. We spend much of 
our time watching them. Just beyond the yard of the 
lock-up is the court house and town hall, and under them 
the market. We get nearly all our food from there by 
purchases made through the sergeants. On this court 
house is a square tower with clock, etc., and around it 
a railing and walk where the watchman every quarter 
of an hour throughout the night calls the time and says, 
"All 's well." He is there more particularly to give notice 
of any fires, etc. Back of our yard the rebel Treasury is 
located, and from windows we daily see the blue-back notes 
hung out to dry. On the right of the jail is a small house 
and shop kept by a Union man. The navy officers came 

^ Lieutenant B. H. Porter, commanding flagship Malvern, killed at Fort 
Fisher, together with Flag Lieutenant W. S. Preston. Both were fine brave 
fellows. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 365 

near escaping through there last Christmas by digging a 
tunnel. They were unfortunately found out the night 
before they planned to escape. 

Sunday, August 14. — Unusually dull, as we did not 
like to play cards and had nothing to do. Some of the 
nayy officers came up in the afternoon. 

Monday, August 15. — Played whist in the navy room. 
Had a drunken sergeant on guard who would not allow 
any one to come in with watermelons, etc. It is reported 
that Secretary Stanton has resigned. 

Tuesday, August 16. — Inspector of Prisons was here 
to-day. He said that we were much better off than the 
Charleston prisoners. Asked if our rations were suffi- 
cient. Had our usual games of cards to-day. 

Wednesday, August 17. — Usual routine of prison life. 
At night the air was terribly close, and one finds it a relief 
to see daylight. What with bed-bugs and foul air the 
nights are unpleasant. They found a tunnel our men were 
at work on to-day. 

Thursday, August 18. — While we were playing whist 
to-day, Colonel Morgan, brother of the rebel general, 
came up to see us. He has just been released. Porter came 
up to see us. Weather very hot, as usual. 

Friday, August 19. — Went outside the prison to-day 
for the first time. Lieutenant Eichberg sent for me to 
pay me the money for my watch. It was sold at auction 
for $102, of which I got $85, the balance being for com- 
missions, etc. Afternoon and evening cool. Had a gen- 
eral clearing out of bed-bugs. Had the usual number of 
watermelons. Some letters were received from the North 
to-day by flag of truce. 

Saturday, August 20. — -We amused ourselves with 
draw poker and whist. Hot as the devil during the day. 
Night cool, consequently did not suffer much from bed- 



366 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

bugs. Major Filler's bed was taken downstairs. Went 
outside the prison to get some money from Lieutenant 
Eichberg. We have to pay $5 per pound for butter, $2.50 
a dozen for eggs, 50 cents for small loaf of bread, $4 for 
watermelons, $1 per dozen for small apples, etc. 

Sunday, August 21. — Went down to the navy room 
and spent most the day with them, and dined there. Read 
most of the day and finished Waverley. 

Monday, August 22. — Heard bad news from Peters- 
burg with regard to General Hayes's capture. 

Tuesday, August 23. — News better to-day. Learned 
that our forces hold the W^eldon R. R. Captain Senn 
said that he would give us a room by ourselves as soon 
as possible. 

Wednesday, August 24. — The air of the prison is per- 
fectly stifling all day and most of the night. I spend most 
of my time killing bed-bugs, etc. I am afraid we shall 
all have fevers if we remain here long. 

Thursday, August 25. — We had the room used by the 
conscripts downstairs assigned to us field officers to-day. 
We scrubbed it up with sand and brick, and moved down. 
It is on the corner and is much cooler and pleasanter than 
our old quarters, and we have much more liberty allowed 
us. Lieutenant Preston ^ of the navy received permission 
to give his parole for 30 days and endeavor to get ex- 
changed for Lieutenant Glascelle. 

Friday, August 26. — Passed the most comfortable 
night we have as yet had in the prison. Captain Amory 
is a little under the weather. He walked in his sleep. 
There are nine of us in the room: Colonel Marshall, 
Colonel White of the 31st Maine, Major Filler of Penn- 
sylvania, Lieutenant Colonel Buffum of Rhode Island, 
Captain Amory and Captain McChesney. 

^ See note on page 364. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 367 

Saturday, August 27. — Nothing unusual occurred. 
Night chilly. 

Sunday, August 28. — Captain Williams (afterwards 
lost on the Oneida) left prison to-day and went to the 
hotel, under charge of a son of Commander Ingraham, 
Confederate Navy, who is ordered to take him to Charles- 
ton. He is then to be released on parole for 45 days, to 
effect an exchange of all nayy officers. He came down 
to see us in the evening before leaving. 

Monday, August 29. — Rumors about that we have 
suffered a defeat on the Weldon R. R. with a loss of six 
thousand prisoners, and that Sherman had retreated. 
One of the men in the yard escaped, and a tunnel was 
found leading from their barracks. 

Tuesday, August 30. — News from the Weldon R. R. 
turned out to be untrue. Lieutenant Preston was taken 
sick with fever and sent to the hospital. 

Columbia, S. C, Aug. 30, 1864. 

Dear Father, — I send this letter by Chaplain Fowler. 
He goes home to-morrow. 

We are all well. Chaplain Fowler lives in Cambridge, 
and will endeavor to see you. 

Love to all friends. Please have the following list of 
men from my regiment inserted in the paper for the bene- 
fit of friends. They were taken with me on the 30th July. 

Captain W. W. Fay Sergeant Dwelley 

Sergeant Ford Private Smith 

Sergeant Halloran Private Moriarty 

Sergeant Fletcher Private Deering 
Sergeant Morse 

There are 12 more whose names I cannot recall. All the 
privates were left at Danville. 



368 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Wednesday, August 31. — Nothing new In a war way, 
except Sherman's movement at Atlanta. Chaplain 
Fowler of Connecticut left for Richmond to be exchanged. 
Sent my pipe home by him. 

Thursday, September 1. — Had our room washed and 
cleaned. We take turns at this, and will soon make good 
scrubbers. We get some sand or clean dirt from the yard, 
and scatter over the floor, then throw some buckets of 
water in, and then set to with bricks and scrub. We fenced 
off one corner of the room with a blanket, and made a 
bathroom of it, using half an old barrel for a tub. Usual 
routine gone through with. Captain Senn comes in twice 
a day, — morning and evening, ^ — and counts us to see if we 
are all there. 

Friday, September 2. — Captain McChesney went out 
into the town on parole. Our table and chairs came to- 
day. Cost $40. Received news of McClellan's nomination 
on a peace platform, which will kill him. 

Saturday, September 3. — Heard news of a great vic- 
tory in Atlanta. Five thousand prisoners captured, to- 
gether with all the siege guns. Such news make a prisoner 
feel jolly. Had quite a heavy rain to-day. Five weeks 
since we were captured. 

Sunday, September 4. — Nothing new, except that 
Atlanta is certainly captured, but no mention made of 
the number of prisoners. Had nothing to do as it was 
Sunday. Read The Monastery. Night warm. 

Richland Jail, Columbia, S. C, Sept. 4, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — We are quite comfortably situated 
here, considering our position as prisoners of war. Eight 
of us have a room together, about 18 feet by 15. It is on 
the ground floor and on the corner, so that we get plenty 
of air, and manage to keep quite cool and comfortable 



STEPHEN M. WELD 369 

during this hot weather. The occupants of the room are 
Colonel Marshall, 14th N. Y. H. A., Colonel White, 31st 
Maine, Lieutenant Colonel Buffum, 4th R. L, Major 
Filler, 55th Penn., Captain McChesney of a N. Y. regi- 
ment. Captain Amory of Jamaica Plain, Lieutenant 
Sterling, A. D. C. to General Terry, and myself. Our 
rations are corn-meal, bacon, tobacco and salt. We have 
plenty, and are allowed to buy anything that we wish 
outside. 

I wish you would try and have a box sent on to me. 
Send cards (6 packs at least) and clothing and books. 
Also send me a bill of exchange for 20 pounds sterling. 
Captain Williams of the navy will tell Father what I wish. 
Please write and give me the news. Also any information 
you may have from my regiment. . . . Send your letter 
by way of Port Royal. 

Monday, September 5. — Had our usual number of 
watermelons and dumplings. Had a very heavy thunder- 
storm, together with hail. Room was quite wet, as we 
have no window-sashes. Had a heavy thunder-shower 
in the evening. 

Tuesday, September 6. — Encounter between Colonel 
Marshall and Major Filler. Was in the navy room in 
the evening. Night quite cool. 

Wednesday, September 7. — Captain Amory bought a 
mattress which was full of bed-bugs. Day hot and 
close. 

Thursday, September 8. — Had the mattress taken 
apart and cleaned. Day pleasant. 

Friday, September 9. — Scrubbing day, but as Lieuten- 
ant Sterling was unwell, had the ceremony postponed. 
Charlie Amory received a box and letter from Major 
Anderson. The box contained clothing, and Charlie 



370 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

gave me a pair of drawers and a shirt, which were very 
welcome. 

Saturday, September lo. — Had rations issued to us. 
Sorghum flour and six pounds of bacon were the amount 
issued for eight men for ten days. Next time we are to 
have no more meat. Day pleasant. Six weeks since we 
were captured. 

Sunday, September ii. — Day close. Can't help feel- 
ing homesick Sundays. 

Richland Jail, Columbia, S. C, Sept. ii, 1864. 

Dear Father, — I suppose you have heard from Cap- 
tain Williams by this time that I am well. In case he is 
unsuccessful and has to return here, please send $100 
in gold by him. If he does not come back, please forward 
a bill of exchange for 20 pounds sterling to Major Ander- 
son of General Foster's staff, and ask him to get it to 
me. I am very anxious to hear from you all at home. 
Have heard nothing since my capture, which was six 
weeks yesterday. Have managed to get along very com- 
fortably since I have been here. Our rations are good 
and in sufficient quantity, and we have obtained money 
to buy extras by selling our watches. 

Captain Amory is well. He received a box of clothes 
day before yesterday from Major Anderson. He very 
kindly furnished me with a shirt and pair of drawers, 
so that I manage to keep a clean suit of underclothes with 
me. 

We all of us expect a general exchange of prisoners this 
fall. It certainly ought to be done for the sake of the en- 
listed men, who have no money and no means of getting 
any. 

In our new room we have got rid of all vermin. An 
agreeable riddance, I can assure you. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 371 

. , . Please give me any news you may have in regard 
to my regiment. 

Monday, September 12. — Nothing new. The day 
passed as usual. 

Tuesday, September 13. — Received letters from home. 
One from Father and one from Alice. It is a great relief 
to find that all are well and that they have heard from 
me. Also received a letter from Mr. Kidder. In the even- 
ing the navy officers heard that they were to be ex- 
changed. 

Wednesday, September 14. — Dr. Marks ^ called to see 
me and said he had received a letter from Father. Lent 
me $200 in Confederate money. Had an agreeable call 
from him. 

Thursday, September 15. — Mrs. Crane's son was 
drowned to-day. Nothing new about exchange. Sub- 
scribed to the Charleston Courier for one month. 

Friday, Septe?nber 16. — Wrote to-day to Dr. Marks 
and Mr. Saunders for reading matter. By the way, when- 
ever any one comes to see us, we always have to have a 
rebel officer present, so that the conversation is naturally 
rather constrained. Received several books from Dr. 
Marks, with some writing paper and a bottle of coffee. 

Saturday, September 17. — Received a pair of blankets 
from Mr. Saunders, as did Charlie Amory. Went over 
to the navy room and had a drink of whiskey, the first 
I have tasted for six months. 

Sunday, September 18. — About 9 o'clock the corporal 
of the guard came in and asked whether a Colonel Weld 
was here. The same thing happened in the evening. 
Could not find out what it was for. Had a rainy day. 
Shaved by the barber, who is a negro. He is allowed to 

' He had a son at Father's schoo 



372 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

come in every morning and shave any one who can pay 
for it. Had the navy officers in our room in the evening. 
Day passed rather more quickly than last Sunday. 
Finished Aurora Floyd. 

Monday, September 19. — Found that the officer who 
called yesterday thought the corporal was the Provost 
Marshal, Captain Hampton. He received a letter from 
General Ripley, commanding post at Charleston, asking 
whether my "status," as Captain Senn called it, was good. 
He rather thought it was, on inquiry. Day cloudy. Began 
Mistress and Maid. We heard that men were being sent 
away from Andersonville. 

Tuesday, September 20. — Sent a letter to Alice to 
Mr. Kidder at Wilmington. A Mr. Eastby (?), mentioned 
in Father's letter, called to see me. He is going to send 
me some underclothing. Had a drunken Frenchman sing- 
ing to us all night in the lock-up next door. Had a fearful 
noise all night from the prisoners in the third story. 
Lieutenant Barclay spent the night here. He leaves for 
Richmond in the. morning. Sent a letter to Hannah by 

him. 

Richland Jail, Columbia, S. C, Sept. 20, 1864. 

Dear Hannah, — I send this letter by Lieutenant Bar- 
clay who is going to Richmond to-morrow to be exchanged 
with the sick and wounded. For the last few days I have 
had a good many visitors. First Dr. Marks came and 
lent me $200, and afterwards sent me books, writing 
paper, etc. Then a Mr. Saunders came with a pair of 
blankets for Captain Amory and a pair for me. He fur- 
nishes me anything I want, at Mr. Kidder's request. Then 
last Sunday an officer called to see me, but was not ad- 
mitted as the officer of the day was not present. This 
officer came to see if I was comfortable, at the request of 
General Ripley of Charleston. To-day a Mr. Eastby came 



STEPHEN M. WELD 373 

at Mr. K.'s request to see if I had everything I wanted. 
So you may feel certain that I am as comfortable as a 
prisoner can be. 

None of the money that Father sent has as yet reached 
me. I can obtain what I want from Mr. Saunders. 

We spend our time here reading and playing cards. It 
is rather stupid and dull at times. Next door to us is the 
city lock-up and the City Hall. At night we are amused 
by concerts, etc., from bands and glee clubs in the hall, 
and also by drunkards in the lock-up. 

Ask Father to let me know what the prospect of a 
general exchange is. If it is not good, I wish to try for a 
special exchange. 

Captain Amory and I are both well. Love to all the 
family. Write as often as possible. 

Wednesday, September 21. — Day pleasant. About 
50 men from Wilmington arrived here to-day. 30 of them 
were deserters. The men in the barracks would not let 
the deserters in, so they had to sleep in the hall. Rained 
during the night. Dr. Marks wrote to Captain Senn, 
to see if I wanted anything. 

Thursday, September 22. — Day cloudy. Dr. Marks 
called on me this morning. One of the deserters was 
roughly handled by the men. They tore his clothing off, 
and robbed him of his money. He did not meet with much 
sympathy. Had our usual concert in the night from drunk- 
ards in the lock-up. 

Friday, September 23. — We had a rainy day. Went 
upstairs to see the ofhcers there. Heard of the victory 
in the Valley. The deserters were sent away to-day. 

Saturday, September 24. — A new officer arrived at the 
navy room. He was captured at Plymouth last Febru- 
ary. The navy made some egg-nog, of which we had our 



374 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

share. Day cloudy most of the time. Scrubbed out the 
room. Spent the evening in the navy room, singing, etc. 
Had quite a scene in jail to-day. A rebel deserter was 
brought in. He was captured in the street, his two sisters 
being with him. When he was brought into the jail the 
sentry tried to keep the sisters out, but they shrieked and 
screamed and fought, and finally dodged in under the 
guard's bayonet, and joined their brother amid the ap- 
plause of the surrounding multitude. 

Sunday, September 25. — Wrote a letter to Father, 
enclosing it in one to Mr. Kidder. Shall try to have it run 
the blockade. Finished Hopes and Fears. Weather de- 
lightful. More like an autumn day at home than anything 
we have had yet. Navy officers hear that they are to be 
exchanged October i. 

Richland Jail, Columbia, S. C, Sept. 25, 1864. 
(Oct. II. Am very well and in good spirits, [over]) 

Dear Father, — Have heard nothing from home ex- 
cept the letter written on 29th ult., enclosing one from 
Alice. I am going to send this letter by a different chan- 
nel, and think you might answer through the same way. 
Your letters would then come with more certainty. 

Dr. Marks called again to see me this week. He seems 
in very feeble health and I am afraid will not live long. 

The navy officers will probably leave here next week. 
I shall send letters by them. 

Am well and comfortable. Captain Amory the same. 

Time passes rather slowly here. We have nothing to 
do except reading and card-playing. In the day-time we 
walk about the yard, and amuse ourselves with an occa- 
sional game of quoits. I usually write you twice a week, 
and hope that you receive most of the letters. We are 



STEPHEN M. WELD 375 

allowed to subscribe for the papers, and have the news 
from Richmond and Charleston. The prisoners confined 
here are almost all of them in good health. Indeed, there 
have been no very serious cases of sickness since we have 
been here. Both Captain A. and myself are well provided 
with everything, so that you need not feel anxious on 
account of our health. . . . 

( Written on back of letter) 

Dear Father, — As the navy officers start to-mor- 
row I thought I would send this note by them. As you 
see from the original date, it is some time since the ink 
part was written. We are all well here. A Mr. John Cald- 
well called here last Friday and offered to cash my draft 
on you for any amount. So you see I am all right. I shall 
give him a draft for 50 dollars in gold, which will last me 
some time, although I have to pay some borrowed money 
out of it. Almost all the officers in the Southern Confeder- 
acy are now confined in a stockade about two miles from 
this towm. They were sent here from Charleston. I hear 
that the privates in C. are dying at the rate of 100 a day 
from yellow fever. They are so worn out by their impris- 
onment that they are fit subjects for any epidemic. Tell 
Hannah that her letter of Sept. i6th reached me about 
two days ago. Was very glad indeed to get it. In future 
when writing me you had better put care of Captain 
Senn, who commands our guard. Ensign Tillson of the 
navy will probably deliver this. 

An outbreak occurred among the prisoners brought 
from Charleston the other day. Several managed to get 
away. . . . 

Monday, September 26. — Captain Senn's letter in 
reply to the article "Outrage " in the Carolinian, appeared 



376 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

in the Guardian. Last night chilly. Weather to-day de- 
Hghtful. Some more car-jumpers ^ brought in. 

Tuesday, September 27. — The Carolinian came out 
with a long letter in reply to Captain Senn. Renewed our 
subscription to the Carolinian. Major Filler sent a 
petition to Secretary Seddon that he be allowed to go 
to Washington to effect the exchange of prisoners here. 

Wednesday, September 28. - — Navy officers expected 
news in regard to their going to Charleston for exchange, 
but received none. Some more car-jumpers and men who 
escaped from Florence arrived here to-day. Some of them 
got wuthin 30 miles of Newbern. Several hundred es- 
caped at Florence. Bought myself some stockings and a 
shirt. Clean clothes came in to-day. 

Thursday, September 29. — No news for the navy as 
yet. Good news still from Sheridan, and gold reported 
down to 200. More escaped prisoners brought in. Wrote 
to Mr. Saunders for money. Had my letter to Father, 
which was to run the blockade, returned me to-day. 
Captain Senn on as officer of the day. 

Friday, September 30. — Meade received a letter from 
home, saying that Captain Williams had called, and said 
that the exchange had been effected. Day pleasant. In 
the evening 100 sailors came up from Charleston. They 
are to go on to Richmond to be exchanged. Major Gist 
was here on an inspection tour. He said that the exchange 
would be resumed in a few days. Wrote to General Rip- 
ley and Dr. Marks. 

Saturday, October i. — Lieutenant Bell escaped last 
night, and was brought in this morning. He wandered 
round the town and played billiards. He got on a train, 
but was put off by the conductor. About 100 sailors and 

' Prisoners who had escaped from the cars, and were recaptured while try- 
ing to get back to the Union lines. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 377 

some officers came up from Charleston. They are to 
wait here and go on with the navy officers to Richmond 
and be exchanged. Rained during the night. Had our 
room scrubbed out. Had a fire in our room in the even- 
ing. Lieutenant Steding received a letter. 

Sunday, October 2. — Two officers escaped last night. 
Their names were Williams and Peirce. Wrote Father 
and finished Pelhani. Day passed very slowly. Had a 
skirmish with cornbread in the evening. 

Monday, October t,. — Rained hard all night. Morning 
dark and gloomy. Cleared off for a little while during the 
day. Dr. Marks called to see me. Said he sent me a 
basket of books, which did not reach me. Is going to 
write to General Ripley for me. Received particulars of 
the fights near Petersburg and Richmond. 

Tuesday, October 4. — My Charleston paper of yes- 
terday came this a.m. It is the first time I have received 
it since subscribing. Lieutenant Gear received an order 
to go to Richmond, probably for exchange. Had a con- 
cert at the City Hall. Sent a letter by Lieutenant Gear. 

Wednesday, October 5. — The men dug a tunnel and 
were all going last night. Lieutenant Belcher was officer 
of the day and discovered the affair. Had another con- 
cert this evening. Captain Senn told me Dr. Marks had 
written General Ripley about my exchange. 

Thursday, October 6. — Wrote a letter to Alice, to go 
by Lieutenant Ware. Had a heavy rain in the afternoon. 
A Mr. Caldwell called with a letter from a Mr. Coleman, 
80 Wall St., New York, and offered to cash any of my 
drafts on Father. He lent me $50 for temporary use. Some 
more car-jumpers came in. Nothing new in papers. 

Friday, October 7. — Wrote to Mr. Caldwell for some 
money and sent it by Captain Senn. Captain McChesney 
was sent for by the commandant of the post, and ques- 



378 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

tioned as to any intended outbreak amongst us. As there 
was none intended, no information could be given. Four 
cannon were fired towards evening. Some officers from 
Charleston came by here in wagons about noon. Spent 
most of the day mending my trousers. Day rainy and 
cloudy. 

Saturday, October 8. — Weather was quite cool towards 
morning. Had a fine day. Room scrubbed out. An officer 
from Charleston came to the prison to-day with letters 
for Charlie Amory and me. Five for Captain A., and one 
for me from Hannah. All well at home, and was glad 
enough to get it. Second one I have received. 

Sunday, October 9. — Last night was the coolest of the 
season. Managed to keep pretty warm. Dr. Marks 
called in the morning and gave me a copy of the New 
Testament in Greek, and promised to send me a com- 
forter. Sewed my blankets together with paper between 
them. Quite chilly so that we had a fire all day. 

Monday, October 10. — Three officers were brought in 
last night who escaped from the depot. There are now 
1400 officers at the stockade, some two miles from here. 
We are now kept locked up all the time, I suppose from 
fear of an outbreak. Gave the letter I was going to send 
by Lieutenant Ware to one of the hospital stewards who 
is going to Richmond to-morrow, to be exchanged, with 
the sick and wounded. Doctor examined several sick 
to-day and sent them off to be exchanged. Captain 
McChesney was sent to the hospital to-day. Heard that 
our privates were dying at the rate of 100 per day at 
Charleston, of yellow fever. 

Tuesday, October 11. — The navy officers received 
orders to go to Richmond this A.M. They were the happi- 
est set of men I have ever seen. In the afternoon we sang 
"Auld Lang Syne," etc. All day they were busy giving 



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STEPHEN M. WELD 379 

away blankets, etc. I sent a letter to Raish and one to 
Hiram. Had our windows fixed to-day by boarding the 
upper part, and putting a sliding board for the lower sash. 
Day pleasant. Last night cold. Filler went with the navy. 

Wednesday, October 12. — Navy went about 5 a.m. 
We were not allowed to see them off. Meade kindly sent 
me his hammock. It seemed dreadfully dull all day, and 
we missed them very much. They were almost all of them 
very pleasant companions. Mr. John Caldwell was here 
to-day, and I gave him a draft in triplicate on Father for 
$50 in gold. He exchanged it at the rate of 24 for i, mak- 
ing $1200 in Confederate money. I paid him back the 
$55 which I borrowed, and he returned me my receipt 
for the same. I lent Charlie Amory $50 and paid Colonel 
Marshall $50 and took $45 myself, leaving $1000 in the 
hands of Lieutenant Belcher. Colonel Marshall had a 
chill in the afternoon. 

Thursday, October 13. — Lieutenant Kramer tried to 
get away last night, but failed. Saw the two-headed 
negro girP at the City Hall window, where the man 
brought her at our request. She has two bodies joined 
back to back, and she played on musical instruments, etc., 
with both sets of hands at once. Wrote Major Forbes. 
A major of the 17th Maine was in here this afternoon. 
He came from the stockade, and goes on to Charleston 
for exchange to-morrow. 20 officers sent on from Charles- 
ton stopped here last night, on their way to the stockade. 
Day pleasant. Drew $500; $100 to Colonel Buffum, 
$150 to Colonel Marshall, $50 to Colonel White, $50 to 
Major Filler, and $150 to Captain A. 

Friday, October 14. — The two-headed girl continued 
on exhibition. Two lieutenant colonels, one from Rich- 

1 The girl was afterwards on exhibition at the North, in Boston among 
other places. 



380 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

mond, and Colonel Pickett of Hardee's staff were here to- 
day. They thought the prospect good for an early ex- 
change. Nothing new. Hood's famous march to Sher- 
man's rear does not seem to have amounted to much so 
far. 

Saturday, October 15. — Had the room scrubbed out. 
Put up my hammock. Doctor told Captain Amory he 
was to be exchanged. Day pleasant. 

Sunday, October 16. — A dull, homesick sort of a day 
in jail. Every one seems to feel blue. Lieutenant Gill on 
as officer of the day. He has just returned from leave. 
Weather pleasant. Southern papers begin to feel rather 
blue about Hood. As usual, they made great boasts about 
what he was going to do, and are now much disappointed. 

Monday, October 17. — Played the usual number of 
games of cribbage. In the afternoon a Mr. Garesche 
called and showed me a letter from a Mr. McLane of 
New York, requesting him to see that I received the full 
value of the enclosed draft. No draft was enclosed and the 
amount of it was not stated. Mr. G. was very kind and 
offered to supply me with money or anything else I 
needed. Received three letters: one from Hannah, the 

28th ult., Father, the 30th ult., and Miss . 

They made me jolly for the rest of the day. Wrote to 
Dr. Marks and Mr, Garesche about Wharton Greene. 

Richland Jail, Columbia, S. C, Oct. i-j, 1864. 

Dear Father, — If a friend of Colonel White's of the 
31st Maine deposits any money with you, please place 
it to my credit. I have let Colonel W. have some money 
which I draw from a Mr. Caldwell here by giving a draft 
on you. I have already drawn on you for fifty dollars in 
gold. Will see that Captain Amory is provided with as 
much money as he may need. We are both perfectly well. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 381 

We have been amused for a couple of days looking at a 
double-headed girl on exhibition at the City Hall next 
door to us. She is a negress, and looks like two women 
strapped back to back. You see we have our amusements 
down here as well as up North. The navy have all left 
here for Richmond, to be exchanged. I suppose you have 
received the letters that I sent by them by this time. Have 
not received the box that you said was sent me. Captain 
A. had a box sent by Major Anderson, which has not yet 
reached him. Have only received two letters since I have 
been here. Please write as often as possible, and send by 
way of Charleston and Richmond. Mr. Caldwell ex- 
changed my draft on you at the rate of 24 for i. If you 
get a good opportunity, send me some Boston papers. 
Love to all. . . . 

P.S. Have just received two letters from home, one 
from you and one from Hannah. Yours of Sept. 30 and 
Hannah's of Sept. 28. A Mr. Garesche called to see 
me to-day. He had a letter from a Mr. McLane of New 
York, who requested him to see that I received the full 
value of the enclosed draft. There was no draft enclosed. 
He was very sorry about it, and wished me to write and 
stop the payment of the draft. Please stop payment of 
all the drafts you have sent me, so I can draw all I wish 
here from Mr. Caldwell. All the drafts sent to me have 
undoubtedly been taken out of the letters. Mr. Garesche 
was very kind, and offered to supply me with money or 
anything else I needed. He evidently knows nothing of 

the draft and never received it. Shall write Colonel 

about it. . . . 

Tuesday, October 18. — Captain Amory received his 
box from home, with several Northern papers and books. 
Gave me a shirt and a pair of drawers, which Major 



382 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Anderson sent me. There was a large meeting in town 
last night to consider Mr. Boyce's letter. Had a drunk- 
ard in the lock-up who amused us. I was measured yes- 
terday for a pair of shoes, to be finished by Saturday, 
by one Flannigan. Colonel Marshall received a letter 
saying he would be exchanged. 

Wednesday, October 19. — Dr. Marks called to see me, 
and showed me the answer in regard to his application for 
my exchange. Day pleasant. Nothing new. 

Thursday, October 20. — Received a letter from Mr. 
Garesche, saying that he had taken steps to find out 
Colonel Greene's residence. Captain Amory received a 
letter from his mother and one by mistake from Ned 
Boit, intended for William Amory's son, alluding to 
Charlie Bowditch. Lieutenant Belcher brought in a list 
of names from Richmond, of officers who had money 
there, in the hands of Quartermaster Moffatt. Mine 
was among them. A man escaped to-day by jumping over 
the fence behind the privy. Day pleasant. 

Friday, October 21. — Lieutenant Eichberg was on 
to-day, the first time for a long while. Had half-sashes of 
glass put in to-day. Each pane was made up of four or 
five pieces. 

Saturday, October 22. — Medical Director came to see 
Colonel Marshall, with a note from a lady, and some 
money. Day has been windy and chilly. Begins to look 
decidedly like winter, or rather autumn. Received news 
of Sheridan's victory in the X'alley. Captain McChesney 
came back from the hospital this evening. All the officers 
who have been able to be moved, have been sent away 
from hospital. Did not get my shoes. 

Sunday, October 23. — No additional news from the 
Valley. Weather pleasant. Day as dull as usual. Wrote 
Father and Livy. Captain Senn is going to put another 



STEPHEN M. WELD 383 

mess of 14 in our cook-house. Sent Dr. Marks's books to 
Captain Senn's house. 

Monday, October 24. — Colonel Marshall asked Lieu- 
tenant Belcher whether Captain McChesney has asked 
him for an affidavit. He said he had not. Some conversa- 
tion occurred between Colonel Marshall and Captain Mc- 
Chesney. Received a letter from Captain Chute of the 
59th at the stockade. A Mr. Thomas Pauvear called to 
see if he could do anything for me. He said a Mr. Sprague 
of Boston asked him to do so. Day pleasant. 

Tuesday, October 25. — Caught cold to-day and was 
unwell this evening. Had fuller accounts from the Valley. 
The double-header was on exhibition again to-day. 

Wed?tesday, October 26. — Captain Amory had a letter 
from Mr. Campbell, saying that all special exchanges 
were at an end, but that a general exchange would soon 
take place. Rebel officers have been trying to enlist some 
of our men, so we sent Captain A.'s letter out to them. 
They cheered on hearing it read, w^hich brought Captain 
Senn out. Drew $200. Lent $50 to Sterling and $50 to 
Colonel White. Men began digging on a new sink. Cap- 
tain A. received a letter from Captain Belger, saying that 
Lieutenant Amory had gone North, and that Major 
Forbes was at the stockade. Leaves are beginning to 
fall quite fast now. 

Thursday, October 27, — Wrote to Alice. Had a rain- 
storm all day long. Some officers from the stockade came 
up to see us. One was Major Reynolds of Colonel Mar- 
shall's regiment. Sent a note down to Major Forbes by 
them. Cheering in the evening from the crowd assembled 
to see the double-header. Five of the men jumped over 
the fence, were caught, and put in irons on bread and 
water for ten days. The guards were taken out of the yard 
to-day. Ten deserters went out of the yard to-day, sup- 



384 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

posed to have enlisted in the Irish Brigade now form- 
ing to do provost-duty in Richmond. The men mugged 
the corporal as he was taking their things out of the 
yard. 

Friday, October 28. — Day pleasant. Heard of fighting 
at Petersburg. Wrote to Mr. Caldwell for another check. 
Rumors in the afternoon of heavy fighting at Petersburg. 
Inspectors from Richmond were here and Lieutenant 
Colonel Means, commanding stockade. 

Saturday, October 29. — Received a £5 bill of exchange, 
and letter dated Aug. 17. Came from Captain Mofifatt 
of Richmond, quartermaster. Officer arrived here last 
night, captured at Atlanta. Says things are going all 
right there. 

Stmday, October 30. — Three months to-day since I was 
captured. Day very dull. Nothing additional from Peters- 
burg. 

Monday, October 31. — Rumors that $29,000 came to 
the stockade yesterday. A lieutenant of artillery came 
here with a letter from a gentleman in Richmond inquiring 
how I was. Wrote to Dr. Marks and Mr. Kidder. Day 
pleasant. The five men who escaped and were put in the 
lock-up on bread and water, escaped again. Johnny Bull 
fired at them and recaptured three. Two escaped. 

Tuesday, November i . — Colonel Bedel went down to 
the stockade to-day, to get any letters or money which 
might be there for our officers. He found that all such 
things had been sent back to Charleston. He wrote to the 
provost marshal for it. Day pleasant. Mr. Caldwell 
called and cashed my draft on Father for $50 in gold. He 
gave me $1200 in Confederate money. I gave Captain 
Senn $900, making $1000 now in his hands. A draft for 
£5 for me was among the letters sent back to Charleston. 

Wednesday, November 2. — Baker, our former waiter, 




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STEPHEN M. WELD 385 

was tried by the provost marshal and found guilty of 
stealing. Wrote to the postmaster of Charleston for my 
draft of £5. Received a letter from Mr. Garesche. He 
said he had been unable to find the address I wanted. Had 
a chilly rainy day. Sent yesterday for the Savannah 
Republican. There was an order in the paper making 
Captain Senn commandant of the post, during the ill- 
ness of Major Greene. 

Thursday, November 3. — Rain-storm continued, mak- 
ing it cold and gloomy. Wrote Mother. Nothing new. 
This evening during the storm the officers upstairs had 
a plank run out from the window on to the roof of the 
adjoining house. It remained there an hour and a half 
before the sentry discovered it. He fired five or six times 
at it. The officers were luckily afraid to try it. Sergeant 
White was on as officer of the day. 

Friday, November 4. — Johnny Bull on as officer of the 
day. Cleared up during the night, but rained again dur- 
ing day. No war news. 

Saturday, November 5. — No letters. Day pleasant. 
No news. Bought butter at $8 per lb. Weather chilly. 

Sunday, November 6. — Dull as usual here. Johnny 
Bull on as officer of the day. Weather warm. Major 
Greene reported dangerously ill of pneumonia. 

Monday, November 7. — Day warm and pleasant. 
Bought a five-pound bale of Killickinick for $30. Captain 
Paine heard he was to be exchanged. Captain Hatch, 
assistant agent of exchange, was in the city last night. 
Had the room scrubbed out. Sent letter to Father. 

Tuesday, November 8. — Election day up North. A 
vote was held amongst the officers and men. Among the 
officers Lincoln had 67, McClellan 7. Among men Lin- 
coln was 9 votes ahead. Day cloudy and hot. A regular 
dog-day. Received some books from Dr. Marks. Some 



386 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

officers were brought in who had escaped from the stock- 
ade. Captain Senn said there was a letter for me. 

Wednesday, November 9. — Lieutenant Gill sent in a 
letter for me and one for Captain Amory. Mine was 
from Dick Milton. Heard that several letters were sent 
to us from the stockade. Mackentire, who took the oath 
of allegiance to the South and who pretended to be an 
officer, was put in among the other deserters. He is ac- 
cused of robbing a citizen. 

Thursday, November 10. — News came this morning 
that McClellan was elected. Not believed. Confederate 
gunboat Florida said to be captured. Colonel Means 
was here, and had some conversation with Colonel Bedel. 
Several had letters, but none for me. Day pleasant. 

Friday, November 11. — This morning the news is that 
Lincoln is reelected. Hope it is true. It is probable that 
we shall be sent to the stockade, and the jail used as a 
hospital. Wrote to Mrs. Greene and Mrs. Garesche. Day 
warm and pleasant. Grew cooler in the evening. 

Saturday, November 12. — Lieutenant Belcher brought 
me a letter from Father, containing £5. It was the one he 
sent me through Major Anderson. A Captain May of the 
blockade-runner Night Hawk called to see me. He came 
from Wilmington, and brought me a bundle of clothes 
from Mrs. Kidder, as well as a note from Mr. Kidder 
and Miss Sue. Gave me the address of Mrs. Greene. He 
offered me any money that I might need, etc. Wrote 
to Mrs. Greene at Warrenton, N. C. Day warm and 
pleasant. 

Sunday, November 13. — Wrote home. Answered Miss 
K.'s letter. Day pleasant. 

Monday, November 14. — The men received orders this 
morning to get ready to leave by 10 o'clock. All of them 
were sent off at that hour. The yard has seemed de- 



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STEPHEN M. WELD 387 

serted all day. Captain Martin, Assistant Adjutant-Gen- 
eral of the stockade, was here to-day. Had a box for 
Colonel Buffum. Maria brought us a chicken pie, for 
which we paid $30. 

Tuesday, November 15. — Received a letter from Lieu- 
tenant Read of the C. S. N., saying that he would do all 
he could for my parole, etc. Drew $100 from Captain 
Senn, leaving $400 due me. Mr. Caldwell called with a 
note from Mr. Felton. Day pleasant. We are allowed to 
go out into the yard whenever we choose, now that the 
men are gone. Received a letter from Mr. Garesche. 

Wednesday, November 16. — General order in the paper 
putting Colonel Means in command of the district. 
Expects to go to the stockade soon. Day quite warm. 
Lieutenant Belcher on as officer of the day. Captain Mc- 
Chesney went over to the stockade to stay. Colonel 
Crooks, 22d New York Cavalry, came over here in his 
place. 

Thursday, November 17. — Colonel Ashworth of the 
1st Georgia Union Cavalry was put into our room to- 
day. He has been very badly treated. He is from Dalton. 
We made him as comfortable as possible. Day pleasant. 

[Colonel J. H. Ashworth, ist Georgia Cavalry (Union), 
was captured in Gilmer County, Georgia, November 5, 
1864. He was twice robbed of all his clothing and money 
by the rebels. Information in reference to Colonel A. can 
be obtained from James G. Brown, Dalton, Ga., ap- 
pointed Chief of Scouts by General Thomas, U. S. A. 

Colonel A. captured, on or about November i, Lieuten- 
ant Colonel Harp, 1st Georgia State Cavalry, in Pickens 
County, Georgia. 

Eighteen of Colonel A.'s men, regularly enlisted in the 
LT. S. service, were captured with him. Twelve of these 



388 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

men, to the best of Colonel A.'s knowledge, were taken 
out tvvo days after their capture by some guerillas near 
Gatesville, Ga., under Captain Tom Pope Edminston, 
and shot. Six of these men who were killed had never 
belonged to the rebel service. The remainder had taken 
the oath of allegiance and regularly enlisted in the U. S. 
service, under direction of General Steedman, U. S. A.] 

Friday, November i8. — Received a letter from Han- 
nah, dated October 23. Contained news of Colonel 
Amory's death. Charlie had four letters. All came by 
way of Charleston. Also received a letter from Mr. Kid- 
der in reference to my exchange. Several officers who 
escaped from the prison camp were brought in here last 
night. Among them was Major Reynolds of the 14th 
New York Heavy Artillery. Gave us an interesting ac- 
count of their adventures. 

Saturday, November 19. — Heard of Sherman's ad- 
vance from Atlanta. The officers who came here last 
night were sent back to the stockade. Began to rain this 
afternoon. One of the men who escaped on the way to 
Florence was brought in here. 

Sunday, November 20. — Day rainy and gloomy. 
Wrote Alice. Colonel Ashworth was quite unwell. 

Monday, November 21. — Major Filler escaped this 
afternoon. He told us that he was going to try and 
leave. When we were let out in the afternoon, he went 
into the men's barracks and hid underneath the floor. 
We dressed up a dummy in bed, so that when Captain 
Senn counted us over he thought we were all there. 
Filler escaped through a tunnel during the night, with 
some men. Day rainy. Sherman reported near Macon. 
Received a letter from Dr. Marks, giving me Colonel 
Greene's address. Lieutenant Gill officer of the day. 










^ 




STEPHEN M. WELD 389 

Tuesday, November 22. — Day cold and cloudy. Ma- 
jor Filler was missed this morning while we were at 
breakfast. Lieutenant Belcher came in here and tried to 
find out how he escaped. They are very much puzzled 
about it. We told them that he had escaped up the 
chimney. Sherman reported at Union Point. 

Wednesday, November 23. — We bought 37 pounds 
fresh beef at $2.50 per pound, for our Thanksgiving din- 
ner. Last night very cold ; the ground froze and ice 
formed. They have not yet found out the way Major 
Filler escaped. Very cold in the evening, as we had no 
wood. 

Thursday, November 24. — Thanksgiving up North. 
We had our dinner of course. Some canned turkey, roast 
beef, turnips and potatoes formed our repast. In the 
evening we had pumpkin pies. Received 3 letters. One 
from Alice, one from General Peirce and one about Ser- 
geant Dwelley. Milledgeville captured by Sherman. 

Friday, November 25. — Nothing new from Sherman. 
Order from Wade Hampton with reference to his soldiers 
on furlough. Weather a little milder. Captain Senn was 
relieved from command of the post yesterday, and on 
duty here to-day. He showed us the order in regard to 
getting money, which he says will prevent us from get- 
ting money from Mr. Caldwell. Wrote to Alice. Dirt 
taken out of the yard. 

Saturday, November 26. — No news from Sherman. 
Wounded officers from the Macon hospitals arrived here 
yesterday, and report A. P. Hill's corps arriving at 
Charleston. Belcher on. All the militia is being sent for- 
ward to Hamburg. 

Sunday, November 27. — To be marked with a white 
cross. Over two hundred letters received here to-day, all 
old mail. I received four, one from James, one from 



390 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Rowland, Frank Balch and O. B. L. Day quite warm 
and pleasant. 

Monday, November 28. — Colonel Means came here 
to-day with Dr. Spencer. Dr. S. is to examine the officers 
for exchange. He told Colonel Marshall that he was to 
go. Received a note from Major Chambliss and Miss 
Currier, a cousin of Colonel Greene's. Day pleasant. 
Wrote to Mr. Caldwell about my exchange. 

Tuesday, November 29. — Captain Martin came here 
to-day; says there is a large mail for us. Wrote to Major 
Chambliss, Miss Currier, and Father. Rumors that 
Sherman has cut the railroad between Augusta and 
Branchville. Saw the female soldier who was brought 
here some days ago. Captain McChesney is said to be 
colonel of the foreign legion. He has not been heard of 
at camp since he went from there to town. 

Wednesday, November 30. — Lieutenant Belcher on. 
Mr. Caldwell came to see me and gave me strong hopes 
of an exchange. Captain Senn came with him. Day 
warm and pleasant. No letters received. Nothing defin- 
ite from Sherman. His cavalry reported at Waynesboro. 

Thursday, December i. — Day warm and pleasant. 
Captain Senn on. Nothing new from Sherman. Scrubbed 
out our room. Had permission from Captain Senn to 
make an application to go to camp for letters. 

Friday, December 2. — Lieutenant Gill on, as officer 
of the day. Mr. Caldwell came to see us. Spoke to me 
about Dr. Spencer. My rheumatism does not get any 
better. Day pleasant. One hundred of Sherman's men 
brought in. All confident and in good spirits. 

Saturday, December 3. — Sherman reported at Millen. 
All of us anxious to have Dr. Spencer come. Made my 
application to go to camp. Day pleasant and warm. 
Belcher on. 






^5? 




STEPHEN M. WELD 391 

Sunday, December 4. — Day pleasant. Nothing new. 
Captain Senn on. Wrote home. Bill Forbes was brought 
in, having been recaptured. 

Monday, December 5. — Major Milton and Dr. Spencer 
were here to see me. Told them about my rheumatism; 
were here some time. Day pleasant. Application to go 
to camp refused. 

Tuesday, December 6. — Lieutenant Belcher on. Men 
sent off to Florence. Day pleasant. Rumors of a fight 
with Sherman. 

Wednesday, December 7. — Rained a little In the morn- 
ing. Cleared off during the day. Received news of 
Hood's defeat at Franklin. Wheeler whipped by Sher- 
man. Exchange resumed at Charleston. 

Thursday, December 8. — Day passed as usual. About 
5 P.M. Major Griswold and a Mr. Isaacs came Into the 
room. They had a list for exchange with them. My 
name was on It, thank God! Colonel Marshall, Colonel 
Buffum, Sterling, Captain Norrls and Sherman were also 
on the list. Had a regular scrape-down all night. All of 
us were sorry for Captain Amory, whose name was not 
on the list. 

Friday, December 9. — We bought ourselves some ra- 
tions and started for the depot at 10.30 a.m. There were 
eight In all. We reached the depot about 11 o'clock and 
had to wait there In the cold until 3.30, when a party of 
185 officers came from the camp. Major Forbes was 
among them. Started Immediately for Charleston In a 
drizzling rain. Stopped at KIngsville for refreshments. 
Charge $10, or your brains blown out. As the box cars 
were very cold I managed to get into the conductor's car, 
where there was a fire. 

Saturday, December 10, — Reached a station about 15 
miles from Charleston at 6 a.m. Got breakfast there 



392 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

through the influence of the conductor. Charge $500! 
Reached Charleston, where we were with a Colonel 
Hatch. He told us we were to go to the Pavilion Hotel, 
as it was doubtful if we could get to our boat on account 
of the fog. Were taken to the hotel. Colonel Hatch 
called the colonels in and gave us a drink of whiskey and 
made us a speech, etc. As the fog soon cleared up, we were 
sent down to the boat, a blockade-runner. Saw the ef- 
fect of the shells on the city, which, by the way, is very 
old-fashioned looking. Almost every house in the lower 
portion has a shell-hole in it. Were taken out and 
transferred to our boat, the George Leary. Saw all the 
fortifications, etc. Day rainy and misty. 

Sunday, December 11. — This morning it was pleasant 
and clear, so that I had a chance to see Morris, James and 
Sullivan's Islands. In the afternoon, about 5 o'clock, we 
were transferred to the United States, a propeller. These 
were chiefly field officers. Rebel flag-of-truce boats were 
out again this afternoon. 

Monday, December 12. — We are fairly on our way. 
Started with a fair wind and a clear sky about 8 a.m. 
Bumped on the bar three or four times. Wind was from 
the west, so that we had all our sails set. Passed Frying- 
Pan Shoals this evening, 

Tuesday, December 13. — Fair day. Passed Hatteras 
about 4 P.M. Could see the lighthouse. Hardly any one 
sick. 

[For some reason or other I stopped keeping a diary 
regularly after my release. I suppose that I was so glad 
to be getting nearer home that I did not care about writ- 
ing any more. Anyway, we were landed at New York, 
and I went home. I had got leave of absence from Anna- 
polis, so did not have to stay there. I remember getting 



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STEPHEN M. WELD 393 

off at the station In Jamaica Plain, and my father coming 
to meet me, expecting to find a skeleton. I suppose I was 
rather thin, but I was pretty well on the whole. 

I add, as a sort of supplement, some notes which I 
made in the autumn of 1885; also a few letters which I 
wrote home Immediately before and after the close of the 
war.] 

Dedham, November 7, 1885. 

On arranging and looking over my books and papers 
for my "den," I found this diary. Enclosed in it were the 
following notes, written on a sheet of letter-paper. I had 
been paroled the December before this, and had just 
been exchanged. April i I at once started for the front 
to join my regiment, but too late to join in any more 
fighting. It seems to me appropriate that the beginning 
and ending of my military life should be written in the 
same book. When I am dead, it may interest my grand- 
children to read these notes of a young boy, for I was 
only nineteen and three-fourths years old when I started 
on the Hilton Head Expedition. 

Sunday, April 2, 1865. — Left Washington at 3, in the 
boat for City Point. Had a very pleasant sail down the 
river. Colonel Jarves and Captain Shurtleff were with 
me. Met Colonel Forbes on the boat. 

Monday, April 3. — Reached Fortress Monroe about 
7.30. A.M. Several officers came on board. Among others 
Colonel Cutting of General Burnslde's staff. Heard that 
an attack had been ordered on Petersburg by the Sixth 
and Ninth Corps. Colonel Jarves was left here. Reached 
City Point at 3 p.m., when we heard the glorious news of 
the capture of Petersburg, and the evacuation of Rich- 
mond. Saw thousands of prisoners who had been cap- 
tured by our army, many of them guarded by marines 



394 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

and sailors, who seemed to enjoy their duty hugely. Took 
the train for the front, and by General Warren's advice 
got out at Meade Station. Sent my things into Peters- 
burg by a mail wagon. Crossed our lines through Fort 
Stedman and went to General Willcox's headquarters 
in Petersburg. Could find out nothing about our divi- 
sion. Saw the quartermaster sergeant, and took his 
horse. Left Captain Shurtleff with baggage. Rode 
about 8 or 9 miles and met our train. Stayed over night 
with Lieutenant French. 

Tuesday, April 4. — Started to join the regiment. 
Went about 3 miles, and found General Meade's head- 
quarters. Saw Generals Webb and Macy, and all the 
staff. Found that my regiment was but a little way in 
rear. Went back and joined them. Met with quite a 
pleasant reception from officers and men. We marched 
about 2 miles and then halted. Saw Loring and Van 
Buren. Marched till about 7, and then went into camp. 
Routed out at 9, and marched to Ford's Station, where 
we picketed the railroad. Got to bed about 4.45 a.m. 
Had about an hour's sleep. 

Wednesday, April 5. — Men relieved from picket about 
12 noon, and started on march again. Weather very 
warm and hot. Had a very disagreeable march, halting 
every few minutes, until we reached Wellsville, about 
31 miles from Petersburg. Went into camp for the night. 

Thursday, April 6. — Went to corps headquarters. 
Started about 12 o'clock, and moved through Black and 
Whites. About two miles beyond went into camp. 
Started again about 7, and reached Nottaway Court 
House, where we were sent to guard a bridge. 

[My notes end here. The following letters carry the 
record to the end of my military life.] 



STEPHEN M. WELD 395 

Wellsville Station, South Side R. R. 
31 miles from Petersburg, April 8. 

Dear Hannah, — Our corps is guarding the railroad 
and wagon trains. We are to guard this railroad per- 
manently from Petersburg to Burkesville, so I understand. 
My regiment was in the battle on Sunday at Petersburg 
and charged the works. They were very fortunate, only 
losing 14 men killed and wounded. They did splendidly. 
I did not start from Washington until Sunday and reached 
my regiment on Tuesday morning. Met with a very 
gratifying reception indeed. Saw several of General 
Meade's staff. General Lee and remnants of his army 
are supposed to be between the Appomattox and the 
James River on their way to Lynchburg. General Grant 
has his headquarters at Burkesville, about 20 miles from 
here, and General Meade is some 15 miles to the north 
of B. The opinion seems to be that General Lee will be 
cut off, but I doubt it. 

Am perfectly well. 

Am sorry to say that I find my blue mare is dead. 
After Colonel Jarves left, she was ridden by every one, 
contrary to his express orders, and was used up. I feel 
quite badly at losing her. . . . 

Burkesville, Va., April 18, 1865. 

Dear Hannah, — We are now camped with the bri- 
gade about half a mile from the above place. I have got 
a tent up, and am quite comfortable. My Q. M., who is 

a and is only acting as Q. M., furnishes me daily 

with chickens, ducks, geese, eggs and butter. He wishes 
to be appointed Q. M., but I don't think I shall give it to 
him until he has found all the poultry in the country. 

I went to corps headquarters last evening, which 
are close by us, and saw several of the staff. General 



396 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

Parke, who commands our corps, told me that he saw- 
General Meade the other day, and that General M. ex- 
pressed a desire to see me. I imagine the mine affair is 
what he wished to converse about. I shall go up there in 
a few days and see him, if he would like to gaze upon me. 

I am quite busy now, drilling my regiment, and fixing 
the camp. The regiment is in good condition and disci- 
pline. Captain Adams, who is acting as major, tents with 
me. We have a nice floor to the tent and bedsteads put 
up made out of poles, so I think on the whole we are as 
comfortable as could be expected. 

Captain Lipp is with the regiment. He cannot per- 
form any duty, as he is very lame indeed. I am trying to 
get him a staff position, but if I am unsuccessful he will 
have to resign. . . . 

What a fearful thing the assassination of the President 
was! The feeling is very strong in the army about it. If 
it turns out to have been done by the sanction of Jeff 
Davis or any of his crew, but little mercy will be shown 
to any of them. We have not had any particulars yet. 

City Point, April 24, 1865. 

Dear Hannah, — I received several letters from you 
last night, several of them complaining of my short let- 
ters and my want of enthusiasm for Lee's surrender. To 
tell the truth, we none of us realize even yet that he has 
actually surrendered. I had a sort of impression that we 
should fight him all our lives. He was like a ghost to 
children, something that haunted us so long that we could 
not realize that he and his army were really out of exist- 
ence to us. It will take me some months to be conscious 
of this fact. 

In regard to the brevity of my epistle, I can only say 
that I have nothing to tell about. 



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STEPHEN M. WELD 397 

I have got a splendid mule, which I am going to take 
home with me, if I can. He is the finest animal I have 
ever seen. 

Last Thursday we received orders to move to City 
Point, and from there to Washington. Part of our corps 
has already moved and we are waiting for transporta- 
tion. We shall probably move to-morrow, having reached 
here yesterday afternoon. Last Wednesday, the day be- 
fore we moved, I went up to General Miles's headquar- 
ters. First I went to Second Corps headquarters and then 
with Charlie Whittier to General Miles's. While there, 
about forty negroes came in from Danville. General 
Miles ordered the band out, and told the negroes that he 
would hang every one who would not dance. About seven 
refused to dance, saying they were church members. 
The rest went at it tooth and nail, gray-headed old men 
and young boys. I never laughed so hard in my life. From 
General M.'s we went to General Barlow's, who commands 
the 2d Division. We amused ourselves with a galvanic 
battery which General B. has for his health. From there 
we went to General Meade's headquarters, where I had 
a very pleasant talk with General M. Saw Theodore Ly- 
man, who Is probably home by this time. He was very 
kind to me indeed, and gave me several articles of cloth- 
ing which were very acceptable. Had a very nice time 
there indeed, and had a very pleasant reception from the 
staff. When my men saw me on my arrival, they gave 
me 9 cheers and then 9 more, etc., etc. I tell you this 
because you asked me. 

We had quite hard marching, making 63 miles in a little 
over 3 days. The story Is that we are going to Texas, that 
we are to be sent home for 6 months to be disbanded by 
that time, in case we are not wanted, etc., etc. No one 
seems to know what we are going to do. If we have a 



398 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

good camp in or near Washington, perhaps I will let you 

come down there. 

Alexandria, Va., May i, 1865. 

Dear Hannah, — We arrived here last Thursday 
and are now encamped about two miles from the city. 
We have quite a pretty camping ground on a hillside, 
directly south of Fairfax Seminary, and in sight of the 
different forts. We are on a Mr. Fowle's place, whose 
house is quite a pretty one, more like our modern coun- 
try residences around Boston than any I have seen. 

We had quite a pleasant passage up from City Point 
on the steamer Montauk, a propeller. We had only our 
regiment on board, all of whom behaved themselves and 
gave us no trouble. We had the most delightful weather. 
I was quite unwell all the way, and until yesterday did not 
feel like myself again. I had a sort of bilious fever, some- 
thing like what I had three years ago at Yorktown. I 
am perfectly well now. 

In regard to losing my valise, I will tell you all I know. 
When I got off the cars at Meade's Station, I gave my 
valise and bedding to an ambulance driver to take to 
General Willcox's headquarters at Petersburg. When I 
sent for my things, my valise was not to be found, and no 
one knew where it was. The first thing I heard of it, was 
a note from a captain in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry, 
saying that it had been picked up in the woods near City 
Point by some of his men, rifled of its contents. He has 
since sent it to me. My scarf-pins were taken, amongst 
other things. 

I spent part of Sunday in Washington with Father. 
He starts for home this morning. 

From all that I can learn, we shall be mustered out of 
service in a few weeks. We shall probably remain here 
until that takes place. 




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STEPHEN M. WELD 399 

I saw Lane Brandon, one of my classmates, among 
those prisoners captured with Ewell, I think I did not 
write you of this. He seemed quite pleasant although 
rather blue. . . . 

We are having a cold chilly day here. 

Johnny Hayden came to see me day before yesterday. 
He is stationed at Alexandria. 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Alexandria, Va., May 25. 

Dear Hannah, — We had our big review day before 
yesterday, and everything passed off splendidly. We 
started from camp on Monday morning at 6 o'clock, and 
marched over Long Bridge to Washington. I met William 
George, Uncle William and Mr. Andrews in W. and again 
in the evening, when they came to my camp. We marched 
beyond the Capitol about a mile, and bivouacked there 
for the night. Saw Harry Townsend here. In the morning 
we started about ten o'clock and marched by the Capitol 
and up Pennsylvania Avenue. The scene when marching 
up to the Capitol was splendid. It really seemed as if 
the statue of the Goddess of Liberty were alive and look- 
ing down on us with triumph and pleasure. The Avenue 
was crowded with ladies and gentlemen, and with the 
long column of troops looked splendidly. Where the re- 
viewing ofificer was stationed there were thousands of 
people, and it almost bewildered me to see so many faces 
gazing on the show. We marched down to Long Bridge, 
where I left my regiment, and came back to see the rest 
of the troops. Our corps looked better than any other as 
far as I could see, and every one that I met told me the 
same thing. The 56th were in first-rate trim, and I flat- 
ter myself looked as well as any of the regiments about 
there. I came back to camp late in the evening, and found 



400 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

William George and Mr. Andrews bunked in in Colonel 
Jarv^es's and my tents. They went off yesterday morning, 
and had quite a pleasant time I imagine. 

I expect to have a dinner this afternoon for several of 
my class, and for any visitors that may come along. I 
expect the governor may be here. 

Bill Perkins has been camped near here, but has now 
moved across the river. 

May 26. 

Had a dinner party last night. John Hayden, Charlie 
Whittier, Lawrie Motley, Walter Thornton, Charlie Hor- 
ton and Charlie Amory were present. We had a jolly time, 
and enjoyed ourselves very much indeed. 

I am appointed on a board to examine officers below 
the rank of colonel, who desire to remain in the service. 
From what General Griffin, our division commander, 
told me, I imagine that I shall have very little trouble 
in remaining in the service myself, if I desire to do so. 

We are having a heavy rain-storm to-day. . . . 

Headquarters 56TH Mass. Vols., 
Near Alexandria, Va., June i, 1865. 

Dear Hannah, — I have received several letters from 
you lately, but have been so busy that I have had no 
chance to answer them. I am President of a Board for 
Examination of Officers in this brigade who desire to re- 
main in service, and consequently have my hands full. 

There was a review of the Second Army Corps day be- 
fore yesterday, which I attended. I saw the Lorings there, 
but did not speak to them, as I did not know whether 
they would remember me. Also saw Miss Schenck, who 
told me that she had just come on from Boston, and had 
met you there. After the review was over there was a 
grand spread at Second Corps headquarters. Charlie 



STEPHEN M. WELD 401 

Whittier is A. A. G. on the said staff, so I was an invited 
guest there. They had a long row of tent-flies stretched 
so as to make a tent over a hundred feet long. The sides 
were made of firs and green branches. Outside were hung 
two enormous American flags, while numerous regimen- 
tal and state colors were planted in the ground all around 
the headquarters. Inside the tent were two rows of tables, 
and meat, bread, cake, strawberries and ice cream in pro- 
fusion. Also punch of the kind called claret and rum, 
which I, of course, did not touch. I saw President John- 
son and Secretary Stanton there. Also Generals Hancock, 
Meade, Humphreys, and numerous others. Saw most of 
Meade's staff, and among them General Macy. When I 
got back to camp, I found George Weld. He was on his 
way back from Richmond. He spent the night with me, 
and went home the next day. 

I am going to send out for Charlie Griswold's remains 
in a day or two. I have received two or three letters 
from Mrs. G. who is very anxious to have them sent 
home. 

I think that the men who are left from the 36th Massa- 
chusetts will be sent to my regiment. The 36th goes out 
of service as a regiment in a few days. 

I have two hens in camp, who lay every morning under 
the head of my bed. They are quite tame and seem to 
enjoy camp life very much. 

My garden in front of headquarters is the admiration 
of all the passers-by. It is really quite pretty and I feel 
quite proud of it. I manage to secure a new flow^er almost 
every day. To-day I got hold of a very fine fuchsia. 

Young William when he was here offered to sell me 
his plantation down in South Carolina. I don't like the 
idea of going down there to live; and unless there was 
a prospect of getting rich speedily, I should not want to 



402 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

take hold of it. I can probably remain in service as colonel 
if I wish, but I don't think I shall do so. . . . 

Headquarters, 2D Brig. 2D Div. qth A. C. 
Near Alexandria, Va., June 15, 1865. 

Dear Hannah, — . . . Last night three of the men 
who have been committing these robberies around here 
were caught. Two of them proved to be Mosby's- men. 
It has not been safe to travel at night between Washing- 
ton and Alexandria for some time. . . . 

[While my memory still serves me, it is perhaps well 
to recall a few incidents of the end of the campaign. I 
remember we marched on to Burkesville Junction. While 
there we were given several hundred prisoners to guard. 
Late in the afternoon we heard news of Lee's surrender. 
The Confederates who were prisoners refused to believe 
it. One ofificer, a lieutenant colonel, made quite a flowery 
speech to me. He said, "Sooner shall the sun cease to 
bury herself in the Occident than Robert E. Lee surren- 
der." Many of them however said they were glad of it, 
and that they were going to make the best of it. 

We marched back to City Point by easy stages, and 
from there were sent by transports to Alexandria, Vir- 
ginia, where we remained until we came home, some time 
in the end of June or beginning of July. Our life there 
was a quiet and pleasant one, though made somewhat 
uneasy by the fact that the men were expecting to be dis- 
charged and did not see the necessity of much discipline. 
While we were waiting there, the grand review was held 
in Washington. I remember we were marched over and 
camped for the night near the Capitol, and then marched 
up Pennsylvania Avenue and by the Treasury Building. 
My men appeared very well. They wore the tall felt hats 



STEPHEN M. WELD 403 

which gave them the appearance of being larger than they 
really were. We had a very pretty camp two or three 
miles out from Alexandria. Some of the men who had a 
taste for gardening made quite a pretty little garden in 
front of headquarters. On one occasion at Alexandria 
we gave a big dinner, at which things were rather lively. 
I remember a colonel, a friend of mine, got pretty tired 
and went to sleep in my tent, and dropped his lighted 
cigar in a box of ammunition. Luckily it did not go off. 
The ammunition was kept under my camp-bed in case of 
trouble, but we never had to use it. Here we passed a 
quiet, pleasant time until we were sent home. 

We landed at Readville, and were discharged as soon 
as we could be mustered out. This ended my campaign. 

In justice to my regiment I feel that I ought to state 
here that in Regimental Losses in the Civil War, by 
Lieutenant Colonel Fox, three hundred regiments are 
mentioned as having done well enough to be called the 
"Fighting Regiments of the War." The 56th Massa- 
chusetts was one of these.] 



CHAPTER IX 

MY LIFE SINCE THE WAR 

When I finally returned home after the War, I found 
that my father had bought stock in a small silk mill in 
Roxbury, called the Boston Silk and Woolen Company, 
and also in a felting mill at Norfolk, Massachusetts, 
called the Elliott Felting Mills. He said that he had 
taken this stock in order to have a place for me when I 
returned, and although I did not at all fancy the job, — 
for I thought it very doubtful if it could be made a suc- 
cess, — I took hold and did the best I could. 

The Silk and Woolen mill my father finally sold out 
at quite a loss. The felting mills failed after my fa- 
ther's death, which occurred in December, 1867, and the 
mortification was almost more than I could bear. The 
whole of my share of my father's estate was about four- 
teen thousand dollars' worth of the stock of this felting 
mill. Some good friends, among them Mr. Nathaniel 
Thayer, whose father had been exceedingly kind to my 
father, and the Hon. T. Jefferson Coolidge, who has al- 
ways been a most liberal and loving friend to me, took 
hold and advised me to buy a cotton mill which was con- 
nected with the felting mill. I bought it for, I think, 
twenty-five thousand dollars, borrowed from my friends, 
and went to live at the City Mill, Norfolk, leaving my 
wife and children with her mother. I literally had not a 
cent left in the world. 

After the mill had been running about a month, a 
freshet broke down the dam of the pond, two miles above 



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May aoih, 1865. 

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tion of the Head Quarters of the Corps and of the Review 
ground, near Bailey's Cross Reads. 

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STEPHEN M. WELD 4^5 

the mill, which supplied the water-power. The pond 
broke loose and swept down the valley. About a quarter 
of a mile away, where the old New York and New Haven 
R. R. (or New York and Erie, as it was then called) ran 
across the valley on a high embankment, the water had 
made up behind this embankment. On going up there 
that evening, I saw and heard the stones shooting out 
from underneath the culvert, which was the ordinary 
channel of the brook, in such a way that it was evident 
to me that the embankment must soon give way. I sent 
a man on horseback to signal the station above to stop 
the New York express, which was due in an hour or two, 
and then turned my attention to the mill, and tried to 
have a channel dug to let the water through when the 
embankment gave way. 

It was all in vain. The whole embankment washed out, 
and down came the flood and swept the mill away — 
absolutely destroyed it. 

I do not think that any physical misfortune that ever 
happened to me, affected and unmanned me as that did. 
But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I went to 
work at once to see what I could do to earn a living, and 
to try to pay off my debts — the money borrowed to buy 
this mill. 

Mr. George Dexter sent for me and said that he wanted 
a salesman to sell cotton which his brother-in-law, Mr. 
Blagden, bought in New York and sold to the mills. I 
started with them, and in about a year Mr. Dexter re- 
tired, and I went into partnership with Mr. George Blag- 
den, a most charming and delightful man, and a liberal 
and good friend. Both he and Mr. Dexter were always as 
kind to me as men could be. After a while Mr. Blagden 
became a partner in a brokerage house in New York, 
and left me in sole control of the business. 



406 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I took in as my partner Mr. Blagden's former clerk in 
New York, Mr. Charles W. Ide. The partnership con- 
tinued for several years, with great success, until my 
sons went on to New York to assist Mr. Ide. 

One evening Alfred came home and said to me: " Papa, 

I have some awful news for you. Mr. has stolen 

three hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars from the 
firm." 

Luckily I was in very good health, else I could not have 
withstood the shock of having an old friend treat me in 
that way, to say nothing of the set-back necessarily 
caused by such a terrible financial loss. 

I went at once to Mr. T. Jefferson Coolidge, Jr., Presid- 
ent of the Old Colony Trust Co., of whom I was borrow- 
ing quite a large sum of money. I told him the facts in 
the case, and said that I was prepared to turn over all 
my property to the trust company, or to do whatever he 
thought best. He said: "You keep right on." He went 
to his father and borrowed fifty thousand dollars. He 
then asked what I had for collateral. I said: " I have no 
quick assets, but property which I estimate roughly at 
about four hundred thousand dollars." "Well," said he, 
"it would never do to have this thing come out. Father 
will lend you fifty thousand dollars without any collateral 
and I will let you have four hundred thousand on what- 
ever you have got. I have confidence enough in you to 
know that you will pull out." 

I doubt if many men have had such confidence placed 
in them, or have received such magnanimous treatment 
as I received then, and have received all my life. By 
good luck I was able to pay both Messrs. Coolidge in two 
years. I wish here to enjoin upon all my children and 
grandchildren always to keep alive in their hearts the 
remembrance of my debt of gratitude to the Coolidges, 



STEPHEN M. WELD 407 

and to do everything in their power to help any of their 
descendants. 

I have had several losses in business since, but never of 
sufficient importance to shake my credit or to cause me 
many moments of uneasiness. I went into the Planters' 
Compress Company and lost half a million dollars there 
in my endeavors to improve the method of baling and 
handling cotton. The patents held by the Planters' were 
obtained by Mr. George A. Lowry, and I wish to say here 
that I believe that no process of baling cotton will ever 
come anywhere near the process invented by Mr. Lowry 
in effectiveness. We did not make a success of it owing 
to the very large and powerful vested interests in the old- 
fashioned square compress, which we found it impossible 
to compete with. This loss I made up largely from the 
various branch houses established all over the world in 
my endeavors to make the Planters' bale a success. 

I suffered also another large loss of some two hundred 
and twenty-four thousand dollars on forged bills of lad- 
ing of Steele, Miller & Company. This probably will be 
largely reduced by the decision of the Court, which 
should bring the loss down to about one hundred thou- 
sand dollars. 

I have had no serious losses since this bill of lading 
matter. On the contrary, my business has prospered and 
everything has gone well. We have opened a house in 
Bombay and contemplate opening one in Japan. I feel 
that at my time of life I am entitled to a rest, and I am 
endeavoring to stay away from the office as much as pos- 
sible. During the last four or five years I have been 
abroad shooting, one year in Scotland and three years 
at Rockingham House, Boyle, Ireland. All of these out- 
ings I have enjoyed exceedingly, and I feel that they 
have prolonged my life. 



408 WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

I have been exceedingly fond of shooting all my life. I 
have had a great many fine dogs, and have enjoyed them 
very much. When living with my mother-in-law, Mrs. 
Alfred Rodman, at Tiota Woods, Dedham, one fall, 
sometime in the seventies, I was going to bed one moon- 
light evening and had almost wholly undressed, when I 
heard my hunting-dog, who was in a dog-house about 
fifty yards from the house under some pine trees, barking 
violently. I always made it a principle to have my dogs 
mind. I called out to him to keep quiet, to charge. He 
still kept on barking. I turned to my wife and said, "I 
am going to give the dog a whipping to make him mind." 
I slipped on my trousers and coat, and as I was going out 
I took a pistol, thinking that possibly some cat was an- 
noying the dog and I would shoot her. I went out and 
gave the poor dog a whipping, and was turning to go back 
to the house when I thought I heard a noise back of the 
farm-stable, about a hundred yards beyond where the 
dog was. It was a bright moonlight night, and I thought 
I would walk down and see what was the matter. I 
jumped over the stone wall that ran behind the barn, and 
as I did so saw two men going out of the cow-barn. I 
pulled out my pistol and called out to them, "What are 
you men doing here?" They said, "We are hunting for 
a night's lodging." I said, "I will give you one; just 
march right along, straight ahead of me." 

They walked up towards the barn — I holding my 
pistol — in the moonlight, and when near the corner of the 
barn going towards the house, they said, "Where are you 
going to take us?" I said, "To the police station." They 
said, "We '11 be damned if we go there." I said I would be 
damned if they did n't. They suddenly turned and ran, 
one running into the woods. I fired once over his head. 
The other man ran for the road that went in front of the 




MRS. S. M. WELD MY FIRST WIFE [ ELOISE RODMAN 1 AND MYSELF. 
ABOUT 1859 




MRS. S. M. WELD [S. EDITH WATERBURyI MY SECOND WIFE 



STEPHEN M. WELD 409 

house. I chased after him, calling out to Barney, Mrs. 
Rodman's farmer, who lived in a cottage close by the 
road. I fired twice over the fellow's head and was gaining 
on him rapidly, when he made a dive for the stone wall 
by the side of the road, grabbing two rocks, one in each 
hand. He threw one at me with all his strength, just 
grazing my head, and then turned and ran again, I in full 
tilt after him. He called out, "If you won't shoot any 
more, I will give up." 

I stopped then, just at the corner of Lauder Street and 
High Street, about two or three hundred yards from the 
house. He stood facing me, with the stone that he had 
not thrown in his hand raised up ready to throw. I had 
the pistol pointing right at him. I said, "If you throw 
that stone, you are a dead man." By that time Barney 
came up. I said, "Barney, grab that fellow by his shirt 
collar, not by his coat collar — he will slip out of that. 
If he tries to hurt you, I will shoot him." Barney grabbed 
him and they had a tussle, and Barney threw him. Just 
then a police officer came up, having heard the shooting 
from where he was in the village. I told him the circum- 
stances of the case and said that he would probably find 
another man before long who had run into the woods. He 
took the man down to the lock-up, and about an hour 
afterwards a man came along asking the way to Boston. 
They took him to the lock-up. They found on both of 
the men a pair of lady's slippers with a very peculiar ro- 
sette on them, which had undoubtedly been stolen from 
a shoe store. The man who ran to the woods had a pistol, 
and they both had hammers and jimmys in their pockets, 
and great big bags for storing things away in. The men 
were held in jail for four or five months and then brought 
before the Grand Jury, but no bill was found against 
them. 



4IO WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF 

The next morning Mrs. Rodman said, "Stephen, I 
heard some one last night swearing, saying, ' I will be 
damned if you don't.' What was it all about?" 

A most curious thing happened to me about 1906 
or 1907. I had bought, at Mrs. Weld's request, a new 
depot omnibus which would carry eight people, to bring 
guests to and from the village and my house. It was 
built by the French Carriage Company of Boston. 
After using it a year between the depot and the house 
only, and once to a neighbor'^ close by, it began to get a 
little shabby and Mrs. Weld thought it would be well to 
have it varnished. Accordingly it ,was sent in to the 
French Carriage Company. Mr. French called me up 
in a day or two and asked me if I had lost any jewelry. 
I said no, and finally went down to see him. He said 
something had been found in the omnibus. He told me 
that his workman in taking the body ofif the wheels had 
to drive a bolt out, and that while driving it a diamond 
bracelet fell down on the handle of his hammer. It 
had dropped through the drip-hole at the bottom of the 
omnibus, which drained the space into which the windows 
dropped down when they were open. I advertised the 
bracelet everywhere and wrote every lady who had ever 
ridden in the carriage, but never could find the owner. 
It was a bracelet worth three thousand dollars. I showed 
it to several jewellers and they could find no jeweller's 
mark on it and nothing to identify it in any way. The 
workman kept the bracelet and probably has it to-day if 
he has not sold it. My theory is that some thief with the 
bracelet was passing by French's shop in front of which 
the wagon was standing, thought he was being followed, 
and got frightened and dropped the bracelet into the en- 
closure on the side of the carriage where the window 
went down. That is the only way I can account for it. 



STEPHEN M. WELD 411 

On June i, 1869, I married Miss Eloise Rodman, 
daughter of Alfred Rodman, Esq., and Anne Lothrop 
Motley, and niece of John Lothrop Motley, the historian. 
We were married in the old Rodman house in Dedham, 
called Tiota Woods — the same house, by the way, to 
which I came over from Readville, while recruiting my 
regiment there, and brought my regimental band to 
serenade Miss Elizabeth Perry just before her marriage 
to Mr. E. F. Bowditch. 

We had seven children : — Stephen Minot and Alfred 
Rodman, twins, born September 2, 1870; Edward Mot- 
ley, born September 4, 1872; Lothrop Motley, born July 
26, 1874; Eloise Rodman, born July 24, 1879; Rudolph, 
born August 20, 1883; Philip Balch, born January 4, 1887. 

Only Edward, Rudolph and Philip are now living. 

My first wife died January 14, 1898, and on May 26, 
1904, I married Susan Edith Waterbury, daughter of the 
Rev. Julius H. Waterbury and Jane Rebecca Branford. 



INDEX 



[Throughout the Index, the initial W., standing alone, refers to the author of the diary . 
Names of Confederate officers are followed by the letters C. S. A.] 



Abbott, Henry L., killed at Spott- 

sylvania, 291 ; 160, 165 and n., 179, 

180. 
Abbott, Judge Josiah G., 165. 
Abolitionists, in Congress, 120; and 

McClellan, 135. 
Adams, Zabdiel B., 286, 287, 322, 

331.334.396. 
Aiken, Mr., 338. 
Aiken, Miss, 338, 339. 
Aiken's Landing, 336, 338. 
Albert, Prince, 18. 
Allen, John A. P., 56. 
Allen, Julian, purser of the Baltic, 

24.25- 
Allen, Captain, 63. 
Allen's Battery, 93, 94. 
Ames, P. W., 19. 
Ames, Mrs., 223. 
Amory, Charles B., captured at the 

mine, 354; 346, 347, 351, 361, 363, 

366, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 

375. 378. 379. 380, 381, 382, 383, 

386, 388, 391, 400. 
Amory, Thomas J. C, 388. 
Amory, William A., 30, 171. 
Anderson, Major, 361, 363, 369, 

370.381.382. 
Andrew, John A., Governor of 

Mass., 205, 251, 400. 
Andrews, Mr., 399, 400. 
Annapolis, in i860, 26ff.; in 1864, 

265:273. 
Antietam, battle of, 82, 138^. 
Appleton, Nathan, 53. 
Appleton Chapel, 16. 
Army of the Potomac, "a wonderful 

army," 213. 
Ashworth, J. H., Georgia (Union) 

Cavalry, 387, 388. 



Asmussen, Charles W., 177, 178, 223. 
Astor House, 22, 23. 
Atlanta, capture of, 368. 
Atlantic, the, steamer, 22, 35, 37. 
Averell, William W., 64, 68, 70. 

Babcock, Captain, 215, 221. 

Bache, Markoc, 283, 310, 337, 340. 

Baird, Edward C, 247. 

Baker, Captain, 296. 

Baker, Miss, W.'s first teacher, 10. 

Balch, Francis V., 13, 15, 138, 204, 

246, 280, 390. 
Ball's Bluff, battle of, 31. 
Baltic, steamer, W. goes South on, 

23#.; aground off Hatteras, 33, 

34- 
Baltimore, Lord, 29. 
Bangs, Dr., surgeon of the Baltic, 24. 
Bank's Ford, 175, 176. 
Banks, Nathaniel P., defeated at 

Front Royal, 109 and n.; 63, 67. 
Barclay, Clement B., 238. 
Barclay, Lieutenant, 372. 
Barlow, Francis C, 233, 311, 317, 

335. 342. 397- 
Barlow, Mrs. Francis C, 233. 
Barnard, George M. Jr., 166, 167, 

282,293,340. 
Barnes, James, W.'s first colonel, 45; 

presentation of sword to, 201 ; 47, 

48, 50, 121, 161, 162, 197, 215, 216, 

245- 
Barnes, Captain, son of James B., 67. 
Barnesville, Md., 225. 
Barry, William F., 60, 89. 
Bartlett, W. F., captured at the 

mine at Petersburg, 354, 356; 102, 

287 and n., 291, 340, 344, 347, 348, 

352. 359- 



414 



INDEX 



Batchelder, Lieutenant, 49, 70, 196, 

197. I99t 202, 282. 
Bates, J. C, 215, 283. 
Bayard, George D., 135. 150. 
Beal, George L., 85. 
Beaumont, Captain, 337, 338. 
Beauregard, Pierre G. T., C. S. A., 

69, 340. 
Beauregard, Fort, 43. 
Bedel, John, 384, 386. 
Beers, Edmund O., 179. 
Belcher, Lieutenant, C. S. A., 377, 

379, 382, 383, 386, 387, 389. 390, 

391- 

Bell, John, 20. 

Bell, Louis, 341. 

Bell, Lieutenant, 376. 

Benham, Henry W., W. joins staff 
of, 84, 158; W.'s first impression 
of, 159; Sedgwick's opinion of, 
160; W. begins to be distrustful of, 
172-174; his bad temper, etc., 180, 
181; orders Russell under arrest, 
187; intoxicated 188/.; conse- 
quence of his condition, 189; W. 
plans to leave his staff, 195, 196, 
and so informs him, 198; more de- 
tails concerning, 199, 200; 161, 
162, 164, 165, 166, 167, 169, 171, 
175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 182, 183, 
184, 192, 193, 194, 201, 202, 203, 
204, 205, 206, 207, 211, 349, 350. 

Biddle, James S., 248, 283. 

Bienville, the, 35. 

Birney, David B., 161, 162, 164, 
214,215,224,285. 

Black, P. W., 122. 

Blagden, George, 405. 

Blake, S. Parkman, 234, 237. 

Boston, threats of draft riots in, 
244. 

Boston Silk and Woolen Co., 404. 

Bowditch, Charles P., 382. 

Bowditch, E. P., 411. 

Bowditch, Nathaniel L, 166. 

Bowditch, Mr., 145. 

Bowers, H. W., 162, 254. 

Brandon, Lane W.( i860), C. S. A., 
399- 



Brandy Station, battle of, 253, 254. 
Brazier, Sergeant, 97. 
Breckman, Chaplain, 318. 
Brockenborough, Captain, 83. 
Brockenborough, Dr., 299. 
Brockenborough, Mrs., 76, 114, 115, 

119. 
Brooks, General, 188. 
Brown, James G., 387. 
Brown, John, of Harper's Ferry, 121. 
Brown, liquor-dealer in Phila., W.'s 

adventure with, 259, 269, 283. 
Buell, Don Carlos, 58, 61. 
Buffum, Martin P., captured at 

mine, 362, 363, 366, 369, 379, 387, 

391. 

Buford, Napoleon B., 157, 229, 234, 
239, 250, 254, 256. 

Buist, Dr., C. S. A., 42. 

Bull, Johnny, C. S. A., 384, 385. 

Bull Run, first battle of, 59, 60. 

Bull Run, second battle of 80, 81; 
General Pope's mismanagement 
of, 80, 81, 132/. 

Burnap, Mrs., 273. 

Burnside, Ambrose E., and F. J. 
Porter, 143; supersedes McClellan, 
149 n.; his" mud movement," 168, 
169; 58, 89, 129, 141, 150, 151, 152, 
154, 157, 248, 265, 272, 274, 275, 
277, 281, 308, 322, 343, 348, 351. 

Burnside, Mrs. A. E., 277, 279. 

Butler, Benjamin F., 302, 305, 307, 

337- 
Butterfield, Daniel, 56, 64, 67, 68, 

no, 131, 146, 150, 152, 157, 159, 

172, 183, 185, 217, 218, 219, 238, 

240. 
"Buzzby" (Benham), 202. 

Cadets, First Corps of, 21. 
Cadwalader, George B., 175. 
Cadwell, W. H., 258. 
Caldwell, John, 375, 377, 379- 380, 

381, 384, 387. 389. 390. 
Cameron, Simon, 241. 
Camp, signal officer, 212. 
Cape Hatteras, 33, 35. 
Cape Henry, 25, 26, 32. 



INDEX 



415 



Carruth, Sumner, 280, 291. 
Carson, Lieutenant, 248. 
Cartwright, James W., 258, 279. 
Casey, Silas, 108, 113. 
Casey, Private, disciplined by W., 

262; 266, 268, 269, 351, 352. 
Cass, Thomas, 122. 
Cassin, Walter L. 165, 169, 171, 179, 

182, 183. 
Chamberlain, Samuel E., 261, 264, 

270. 
Chambliss, Major, 390. 
Chancellor, Mr., 247. 
Chancellorsville, battle of, 191-93; 

discussed, 194; 203. 
Chandler, Charles L., 281, 283, 296, 

297. 
Chandler, Peleg W., 19. 
Chase, Kate, 67 and n., 68. 
Chase, R.H., 15. 
Chase, Salmon P., 67 n., 155. 
Cheever, Adjutant, 263. 
Chelec, Private, 328. 
Christmas, in Washington, 1862, 

156. 
Church, reporter of N. Y. Sun, 

29. 
Chute, Captain, 383. 
City Mill, Norfolk, Mass., destruc- 
tion of, 404, 405. 
Clapp, Channing, 166, 167, 168, 172, 

175, 179, 182, 191, 194, 197, 198, 

199, 200, 202, 205, 207, 208, 211, 

349- 

Clarke, James Freeman, 238. 

Class of i860, the "War Class," 12; 
and the inauguration of President 
Felton, 17; more than two thirds 
of, served in the war, 17. 

Clifford, John H., Governor of 
Mass., 6. 

Cloud's Mills, Va., 88, 89. 

Coales, Colonel, 273, 277. 

Coatzoalcos, the, 34. 

Colburn, Theodore E., 68. 

Cold Harbor, battle of, 303^. 

Coleman, Mr., 222, 223, 377. 

Colgate, Clinton G., 192. 

College pump, the, 15. 



Columbia, S. C, W. a prisoner at, 

360/. 
Comins, Linus B., 263. 
Comstock, Captain, of the Baltic, 

23. 24. 34. 35- 
Comstock, Charles, 172, 175, 178, 

182. 
Conant, Captain, 122. 
Coney, Lieutenant, C. S. A., 142. 
Confederate money, rate of exchange 

for, 379. 
Confederate troops, at Antietam, 

139- 

Constitution, the, frigate, 27. 

Cooke, Josiah P., 14. 

Coolidge, T. Jefferson, 404, 406. 

Coolidge, T. Jefferson, Jr., 406. 

"Copperheads," 20. 

Corcoran, Colonel, 123. 

Corcoran, Lieutenant, 251. 

Cosgrove, Sergeant, 296. 

Couch, Darius N., 179. 

Council of Administration of the 
56th, 266. 

Cousins, Mr., 56. 

Cowan, James, W.'s servant, 45, 46, 
47- 49. 50. 58. 64, 68, 69, 72, 97, 
109, 159, 201, 202, 209, 210, 211, 
252, 293, 295, 320, 324, 389. 

Cowdin, Robert, 321. 

Cowdin, Captain, 301. 

Crane, Lieutenant, 122. 

Crawford, Samuel W., 196, 197, 311. 

Crawley, Sergeant-Major, 31 1. 

Crittenden, Thomas L., 278, 279, 
291, 293, 294, 297, 307, 308. 

Crook, George, 308. 

Crooks, Samuel J., 387. 

Cross, Captain, 210. 

Crowninshield, Caspar, 145. 

Currier, Miss, 390. 

Curtis, Greely S., 144. 

Cutler, Lysander, 248, 249, 256. 

Cutting, W., 393. 

D Company, i8th Mass., 65. 
Dabney, Lewis S., 281. 
Dahlgren, Ulric, 215. 
Dale, the, sloop-of-war, 38. 



4i6 



INDEX 



Dalton, Henr>' R., i6i, i66, 167, 
168, 182, 196, 208, 209, 283, 294, 
309. 310. 

Dalton, Dr., 169, 349, 350. 

Dana, James J., 209, 221. 

Dana, Mrs., 223 

Dane Law School, 16. 

Daniel Webster, the, 37, 89. 

Davis, Charles G., 167. 

Davis, Jefferson, 147, 391. 

Davis, Walter S., 293, 342. 

Davis, Judge, 56. 

Davis, Lieutenant, 171. 

Daylight, gunboat, 26. 

Deering, Private, 367. 

De Kalb, Fort, 64, 67. 

DeLand, Charles V., 270, 272. 

Dent, Mr., 364. 

Deserter, execution of a, 214, 216. 

Deserters from the 56th, 264. 

Devens, Charles, 167 and n., 169. 

Dexter, George, 405. 

Donaldson, Thomas, 238. 

Donelson, Mr., 145. 

Donelson, Fort, capture of, 56 and n., 

57- 
Doubleday, Abner, 215, 220, 221, 

227, 231. 
Douglas, Stephen A., 20. 
Drayton, Thomas F., C. S. A., 41. 
Dull, Mrs., boarding-house keeper, 

46. 
Dunn, Mr., 350. 
Dunning, Captain, 122. 
Dwelley, Sergeant, 367, 389. 

Fames, Mr., 156. 

Eastby, Mr., 372. 

Edminston, T. P., C. S. A., 388. 

Edwards, John, 107. 

Egbert, Harry C, 199, 201, 239, 240, 

259.273- 
Eichberg, Lieutenant, C. S. A., 365, 

366, 382. 
Eldridge, Mrs. Almira (Hallett), 

22 n. 
Eldridge, Mrs. Eliza, 55. 
Eldridge, Capt. John, a perfect Fal- 

staff, 23, 24. 



Eldridge Oliver, 22, 23, 27, 54, 193, 

263, 308. 
Eleventh Corps, disgraceful conduct 

of, at Chancellorsville, 192, 194; 

its bad reputation, 252. 
Elliott Felting Mills, 404. 
Ely, Colonel, 123. 
Emerson, George B., 5. 
English, Mr., 247. 
Ericsson, the, 38. 
Eustis, Henry L., 167, 171. 
Everett, Edward, 20. 
Ewell, Richard S., C. S. A., 132, 331 

333- 

F. F. V.'s, 112. 

Fair Oaks, battle of, 75, 107, 108. 

Falley, Captain, 179. 

Fay, W. W., captured at the mine, 

354. 356; 339. 362, 363, 367. 
Felton, Cornelius C, inauguration 

of, as President of Harvard, 16, 17. 
Ferrero, Edward, 277, 278, 330 n. 
Field, John W., 238. 
Field, Mrs. John W., 238. 
Filler, John H., 362, 365, 366, 369, 

376, 379- 388, 389. 
Findlay, Mr., 242. 
Fisher, Daniel S., 204. 
Fisher, Harry G. B., 31. 
Fitzhugh house, 211, 212. 
Flarinlecoult, Colonel, C. S. A., loi. 
Fletcher, Sergeant, 367. 
Florida, the, Confederate gunboat 

386. 
Flying Artillery, the, 10. 
Foote, Mr., 64. 
Forbes, William H., 224, 383, 391, 

393- 
Ford, Sergeant, 264, 271, 330, 363, 

367. 
Foster, John G., 361, 363. 
Foster, R. S., 278. 
Fowler, Chaplain, 367, 368. 
Fowler, Mr., 23. 
Fox, Thomas, 208. 
Francis, James, 250. 
Frankle, Jones, 334. 
Franklin, William B., said to have 



INDEX 



417 



been relieved on account of 

charges preferred by Pope, 137; 

89, 103, 120, 131, 134, 150, 178, 

180,333. 
Fraser, Douglas, and Mosby, 218. 
Fredericksburg, 129. 
Fredericksburg, battle of, 152, 153. 
Fremont, John C, 155. 
French, William H., 224, 241. 
French, Lieutenant, 339, 394. 
French, Miss, 327. 
French Carriage Co., and the 

diamond bracelet, 410. 
Furness, Charles E., 46. 
Furness, W. E. (i860), 171, 348. 
Furness, William H., 46. 

Gaines, Dr., 75, 109. 
Gaines's Mill, 74, 75. 
Gaines's Mill, battle of, W. taken 

prisoner at, 78, 79. 
Gallagher, Bugler, 325. 
Galucia, Warren B., 264, 270, 292, 

346. 347- _ 
Gardner, Miss, 342. 
Garesche, Mr., 380, 381, 382, 384, 

386,387. _ 
George, William, 399, 400. 
"Georgianna Falls," 10. 
Getty, George W., 86. 
Gettysburg, first day at, 229-236. 
Gildersleeve, Mr., 233. 
Gill, Lieutenant, C. S. A., 380, 386, 

388,390. 
Gillmore, Quincy A., 285. 
Gilmore, sutler, 281. 
Gist, Major, C. S. A., 376. 
Glascelle, Lieutenant, C. S. A., 366. 
Godsell, steward of the Baltic, 23. 
Goodrich, Captain, 42. 
Goodrich, Colonel, 275, 277. 
Goodwin, William W., 15. 
Gordon, George H., 250, 251, 252, 

348. 
Gore Hall, 16. 
Gorman, Willis A., 60. 
Gould, Jacob P., 291, 307, 309, 311, 

313.314. 352- 
Gove, Jesse A., 122. 



Governor, the, 36. 

Graham, Charles K., 208. 

Grant, Ulysses S., rumors concerning 
in Feb., 1862, 61 ; and F. J. Porter, 
84-86; his plan of campaign in 
1864, 269; W.'s impression of, 273, 
274; 161 n., 228, 276, 285, 292, 
305. 308, 315, 318, 395- 

Grant, mate of the Baltic, 24. 

Gray, Horace (Mass.), 17. 

Gray, Horace (4th Michigan), 218. 

Gray, John C, 250. 

Great Republic, the, 38. 

Green, reporter of Boston Journal, 
29. 

Green, Miss, 223. 

Greene, George S., 250. 

Greene, Wharton, 380, 382. 

Greene, Major, C. S. A., 385. 

Greene, Mr., teacher, 5. 

Greensboro', N. C, Union sentiment 
in, 359. 360. 

Gregg, General, 228. 

Griffin, Charles, 58, 59, 131, 139. 
166, 167, 196, 197, 198, 282, 400. 

Grimsley, Dr., anecdote of, 73, 74. 

Griswold, Charles E., Colonel of 
56th Mass., nominates W. as 
lieutenant colonel, 251; killed in 
battle of the Wilderness, 286, 287, 
288, 290; his letter to W., 288; 23, 
66, 102, 245, 258, 261, 270, 278, 
279, 280, 281, 283, 401. 

Griswold, Mrs. C. E., 401. 

Griswold, Major, C. S. A., 391. 

Gunnell, Dr., C. S. A., General 
Porter's headquarters in his house, 
69. 

Gurney, Ephraim W., 54. 

Hale, Charles, 209. 

Hall's Mill, W.'s adventure near, 

113-118. 
Halleck, Henry W., feeling against, 

after Fredericksburg, 153, 154; 

and Meade, 252; 58, 136, 147, 155, 

156, 193.248. 
Halloran, Sergeant, 367. 
Hallowell, Norwood P., 234. 



4i8 



INDEX 



Halstead, Captain, 183. 
Hamilton, Charles S., 94, 95. 
Hamlin, Hannibal, 170. 
Hampton, Wade, C. S. A., 254, 360, 

389- 

Hampton Roads, 30/. 

Hancock, Winheld S., 231, 232, 233, 
285, 292, 295, 350, 352, 401. 

Hanover Court House, battle of, 75, 
III. 

Hanson, Sergeant, 325, 326. 

Hardee, William J., C. S. A., his 
Tactics studied by W., 62. 

Harp, Lieutenant Colonel, 387. 

Harrigan, Sergeant, 286. 

Hartranft, John F., 271. 

Harvard College, student life at, in 
the eighteen-fifties, 12/.; more 
like a boarding-school, 14; build- 
ings of, in 1857-1860, 16; inaugu- 
ration of President Felton, 16, 17; 
Southern students at, before the 
war, 20. 

Harvard Hall, 16. 

Hascall, Herbert A., 23, 33. 

Haseltine, Frank (i860), 234, 237. 

Haseltine, Mrs. Frank, 237. 

Hatch, Captain, C. S. A., 385, 392. 

Hautville, Captain, 49. 

Hayden, Horace J. (i860), 78, 79, 
107, 270, 271, 272, 273, 399, 400. 

Hayes, Joseph, 167, 205, 245, 336, 
342, 366. 

Hayes, Richmond, 315. 

Hays, Alexander, 241. 

Heintzelman, Samuel P., 68, 81, 89, 
97, 99, 100, 108, 131. 

Hendricks, reporter for New York 
Herald, 70. 

Henry, Fort, 54; 56 and n., 57. 

Hewitt, Sylvester M., 179. 

Heywood, Dr., 198. 

Hill, Ambrose P., C. S. A., 185, 254. 

Hill, Daniel H., C. S. A., 149. 

Hilton Head, storming of, 39, 40. 

Hilton Head Expedition, 32,^. 

Hoar, George F., and General Por- 
ter, 84-87. 

Holbrook, Surgeon, i8th Mass., 47. 



Holden Chapel, 16. 

HoUis, Abijah, 258, 323, 327, 328. 

Hollis Hall, 13, 16, 19. 

Holmes, Oliver W^endell, Jr., 31, 160, 
166,295. 

Holmes, Colonel, of the Cadets, 21. 

Holworthy Hall, 13, 15. 

Hood, John B., C. S. A., 380, 391. 

Hooker, Joseph, his self-confidence, 
158; his intemperance, 185; com- 
pared with McClellan, 185; lack of 
confidence in, 198; his bombast at 
Chancellorsville, 198; superseded 
by Meade, 227; 82, 150, 169, 171, 
I75i 176, 178, 182, 184 n., 190, 191, 
192, 193, 194, 203, 215, 217, 224, 
248. 

Hope Landing, 176, 177. 

Horton, Charles P., 156, 177, 178, 
250,251,252,400. 

Horton, W^illiam, 90. 

Hough, Mr., 246. 

Hovey, Captain, 342, 349. 

Howard, Oliver O., 176, 177, 178, 
215, 221, 222, 223, 226, 227, 229, 
230, 233, 235, 236, 242. 

Howe, Captain, 325, 326. 

Howell, Captain, 331. 

Howes, Woolbridge R., 48, 65. 

Howland, Cornelia, 46. 

Howland, Helen, 46. 

Howland, Horace (i860), 22, 23, 270, 
271,390. 

Hubbell, mate of the Baltic, 24, 31. 

Huidekoper, Henry S., 238. 

Humphreys, Andrew A., 144, 148, 
258,401. 

Humphreys, Colonel, 289. 

Hunt, Henry J., 183, 191. 

Hunter, David, 89, 308, 309, 322. 

Huntington, Rev. Frederic Dan, 18. 

Hutchings, Captain, 336, 337. 

Hyde, Misses, 273. 

Hygeia Hotel, 30. 

Ide, C. W., 406. 
Illinois, the, 35, 41. 
Ingalls, Rufus, 175, 249. 
Ingraham, Timothy, 47. 



INDEX 



419 



Insane man, cruel treatment of, 112. 
Isaacs, Mr., 391. 

Jackson, Thomas J. ("Stonewall"), 
C. S. A., 77, 79, 82, 109 n., 132, 
148,213. 

Jackson, Lieutenant, 250, 253, 255. 

Janney, Mr., 246. 

Jarves, Horatio D. (i860), 208, 221, 
258, 270, 273, 291, 292, 293, 303, 
306, 309, 316, 323, 325, 342, 343, 
344, 346, 358, 379, 393, 400. 

Jason, the, 9. 

Jay, William, 182, 202. 

Jefferson, Md., 225. 

Jerry, sutler, 169. 

Johnson, Andrew, President of U. S., 
401. 

Johnson, Grant, 100, loi. 

Johnston, Joseph E., C. S. A., 60, 
308,322. 

Jones, John, 307, 320, 323, 328, 336, 

337. 342, 344. 346, 348. 
Jones, Corporal, 271. 
Jones, General, C. S. A., 254. 
Jones, Private, 277. 
Joy, Joseph, 11 n. 
Joy, Captain, 283. 

Kane, Thomas L., 169. 
Kearny, Philip, 81, 89, 108. 
Kelly's Ford, cavalry engagement 

at, 213. 
Kenly, John R., 240, 248. 
Keough, Captain, 250. 
Keyes, Erasmus D., 131. 
Kidder, Susan, 386. 
Kidder, Mr., 371, 372, 374, 384, 386, 

388. 
Kidder, Mrs., 386. 
Kingsbury, C. Jr., 283. 
Kirkland, Joseph, 130, 131, 152. 
Knickerbocker, Lieutenant, 332, 

336,337- 
Koernberger, Private, 323. 
Kramer, Lieutenant, 379. 
Kurtz, Private, 339. 

Ladd, George P., 305, 307, 324, 325, 
326, 329. 



Lamb, Charles Duncan, 197, 258, 

331.332,334- 

Lamb, Rose, 334. 

Landis, Mr., 237. 

Lane, George M., 15. 

Lane, Jane, W.'s teacher, 11. 

Lawrence, W. H., 218. 

Ledlie, J. H., at Spottsylvania, 296, 
297; his intoxication and its conse- 
quences, 311, 312, 313; 292, 293, 

294, 307, 339. 344. 346, 348. 

Lee, Robert E., C. S. A., 132, 143, 
161 n., 185, 213, 226, 307, 315, 318, 
322, 339, 395, 396. 

Lee, Mrs. Robert E., 121. 

Lee, W. H. F. ("Rooney"), C. S. A., 
83, 106, 139. 

Lee, William Raymond, 107. 

Lee, Captain, 176. 

Lesure, General, 289, 292. 

Libby Prison, W. a prisoner in, 79, 
I22ff.; his letters from, 122-124; 
his treatment there, 125-127. 

Lincoln, Abraham, President of 
U. S., his "gradual emancipation" 
proclamation, 72; and McClellan, 
72, 136; dines at headquarters, 83 
and n.; his proclamation promising 
emancipation, 143; Porter on the 
course of his administration in 
1862, 147; two parties in his cab- 
inet, 155; reviews Army of the 
Potomac by instalments, 169, 
170, 171; his appearance, 169; 
wisdom of his call for 6-months 
men questioned, 217; his policy 
criticized, 227; reelected, 385; 
assassination of, 396; feeling in the 
army thereon, 396; 20, 70, 103, 
154, 168, 193, 257, 280, 284. 

Lincoln, Robert T., 170. 

Lincoln, Mrs. A., 168. 

Lipp, Adjutant, 258, 274, 310, 339, 
361,396. 

Little Catoctin Mt., 225. 

Littlefield, James A., 294, 341. 

Locke, Frederick T., 47, 48, 49, 53, 
65, 112, 152, 162, 214. 

Logan, John A., 86. 



420 



INDEX 



Longfellow, Henry W., 165. 
Longstreet, James, C. S. A., 81, 149, 

185, 223, 226. 
Loring, Charles G., 394. 
Lothrop, Olivia B., 382, 390. 
Lothrop, Thornton K., 17. 
Lov^ering, Joseph, and the progress 

of science, 18. 
Low, Professor, aeronaut, 76, 77, 88. 
Lowell, Charles Russell, 224. 
Lowry, George A., 407. 
Lubey, Timothy, 162, 183, 191, 196. 
Ludlow, William H., 175. 
Lyman, Theodore, 283, 297, 397. 
Lynch, Major, C. S. A., 129. 

McArdle, James, 294. 

McAndrews, Private, 331. 

McCall, George A., 119. 

McCartney, Private, 277. 

McChesney, Captain, 367, 368, 369, 
377. 378. 382, 383. 387. 390. 

McClellan, George B., "a failure," 
68; and the President, 73; his plan 
of advance on Richmond, 73; gives 
W. his photograph and autograph, 
76; restored to command, 82; at 
Antietam and after, 82, 83; again 
relieved, 84; W.'s changed opinion 
of, 89; his high opinion of Porter, 
99; his skill in siege operations, 
loi; his personal appearance, 105, 
109; Stanton's bitterness against, 
III, 112, 121; his plans hampered 
by Stanton, 112, 113; Pope's 
jealousy of, 133; interference of 
Abolitionists and politicians with, 
135; and Pope, 135, 136; enthusi- 
asm of troops for, 136; asked to 
resume command, 136; finally 
superseded by Burnside, 149 n.; 
W. expects his restoration to com- 
mand, 154, 156; compared with 
Hooker, 185; W.'s continued faith 
in, 227, 228; Meade's campaign 
compared with his Antietam cam- 
paign, 243; nominated for Presid- 
ent, and defeated, 368, 385, 386; 
58, 62, 66, 70, 72, 89, 93, 98, 100, 



103, 104, 106, 109, 118, 119, 120, 
138, 144, 150, 157, 248, 307. 

McClellan, Private, 277. 

McDowell, Irvin, would like to see 
McClellan defeated, 121 ; feeling in 
army against, 137; his testimony 
against Porter, 153; 68, 70, 73, 81, 
103, 104, 151, 152. 

McHarg, John, 54. 

Maclntyre, Lieutenant, 145. 

McKibben, Robert P., 259. 

McLane, Mr., 380, 381. 

McLean, Nath. C, 178. 

McLeod, Private, 326, 327, 330. 

McMahon, Colonel, 191. 

McQuade, John F., 49, 70, 102, 130. 

Macy, George N., 160, 165, 166, 
167, 285, 291, 294, 401. 

Magruder, John B., C. S. A., 74. 

Mahone, W., C. S. A., 297. 

Manassas. See Bull Run. 

Marks, Dr., 371, 372, 373, 374, 376, 
377. 378, 380, 382, 383- 384. 385. 
388. 

Marsh, quartermaster's clerk, 23. 

Marshall, Elisha G., captured at the 
mine, 354; 284, 352, 358, 361, 362, 
363, 366, 369, 379, 382, 383, 390, 

391- 
Martin, Augustus P., 162, 169, 252. 
Martin, Captain, C. S. A., 387, 390. 
Martin's Battery, 95. 
Martindale, John H., 50, 52, 56, 65, 

66, 67, 68, 131. 
Martindale, Lieutenant, 66. 
Martland, band-master, 257. 
Marvin, assistant engineer of the 

Baltic, 25. 
Mary, the, 9. 
Maryland, motto of, 28. 
Mason, Addison G., 283, 300. 
Mason, W. Powell, 99, 119, 131. 
Massachusetts Hall, 16. 
Massachusetts troops, excellence of, 

207, 208. 
Mattapony River, 296. 
Maylone, J. W., 294. 
Meade, George G., supersedes 

Hooker, 227; a strong McClel- 



INDEX 



421 



lanite, 228; his campaign com- 
pared with McClellan's, 243; and 
Halleck, 252; 78, 161, 169, 182, 
197, 201, 214, 215, 223, 229, 230, 
231, 232, 235, 237, 238, 242, 289, 
337. 340, 395. 396, 397. 401. 

Meagher, Private, 315, 345. 

Means, Lieutenant Colonel, C. S. A., 
384, 386, 390. 

Mensel, Captain, 178. 

Mercury, the, 40. 

Merriam, Waldo, killed at Spott- 
sylvania, 293; 30, 169. 

Merrimac, the, 78, 91. 

Merrimac, no. 2, 127. 

Miles, Nelson A., 397. 

Mills, Charles J. (i860), 51 and n., 
258, 279, 308, 331. 

Milner, Dr., 122. 

Milroy, Robert H., 216. 

Milton, Richard, 386. 

Milton, William F., 234. 

Milton, Major, 391. 

Mine, at Petersburg, beginnings of, 
333; completion of, 348, 349. 350, 
351 ; dug under direction of Lieut. 
Col. Pleasants, 48th Penn., 349; 
preparations for explosion of, 351 ; 
explosion of, 353^.; W. taken 
prisoner at, 354, 356. 

Minnesota, the, 31. 

Minot, George, 46. 

Minot, George, cook, 212, 221. 

Minot, James Clarke, 9. 

Mitchell, Robert W., 230, 234, 248, 

253- 
Mitchell, Lieutenant, 258, 301. 
" Mock parts," 19. 
Moffatt, Captain, C. S. A., 382, 384. 
Monitor, the, 79. 
Monroe, Fortress, 26, 29, 30. 
Monteith, George, 48, 49, 64, 80, 

100, 130, 282. 
Morell, George W., 56, 63, 106, 131, 

146. 
Morgan, Colonel, C. S. A., 365. 
Moriarty, Private, 367. 
Morse, Augustus, 27. 
Morse, Charles F., 239. 



Morse, Sergeant, 367. 

Mosby, John S., C. S. A., anecdotes 

of, 218, 219, 220, 222, 223, 247 and 

n., 248. 
Motley, J. Lothrop, 411. 
Motley, Thomas Lawrence, 145, 159, 

177, 178, 182, 250 252, 400. 
Mudge, Charles R. (i860), killed at 

Gettysburg, 239; 208. 
Mudgett, Adjutant, 153. 
Murray, Private, 264. 

Nares, Captain, 192, 204, 211. 

Naval Academy, 27. 

Negro troops, in the mine at Peters- 
burg, 353, 354, 356; shot after 
capture, 354, 356, 357. 

Negroes, at Gen. Miles's quarters, 

397- 

New Market Bridge, Va., 90-93 • 

New York, draft riots in, 244. 

New York Tribune, and McClellan, 
89:155,222. 

Newberne, battle of, 89. 

Newhall, Thomas, 238. 

Newspaper correspondents, at Fort- 
ress Monroe, 93; "all rascals" 
120. 

Newspapers, false reports in, 317, 

318. 
Newton, John, W., joins staff of, 239; 

183, 241, 243, 245, 248, 250, 251, 

252,253,255. 
Ninth Corps, poor condition of, 269. 
Norris, Captain, 391. 
Norton, Charles B., 62, 214. 

O'Beirne, James R., 282. 

O'Brien, Private, deserter, 275, 276. 

Ocean Express, the, 24, 26, 32, 

37.38. 
O'Hara, Lieutenant, 122. 
Old Mathison, 273. 
Oliver, Lieutenant, 196, 208, 253. 
Orison, Confederate cavalryman, 

246. 
Osborne, George S. (i860), 13, 14, 

198. 
Ottawa, the, 44 



422 



INDEX 



Paine, Captain, 385. 

Painter, William, 248. 

Palfrey, Francis W., 209. 

Palfrey, Horsey G. (i860), 209, 210. 

Pangborn, Zebina K., 31, 32. 

Papanti, Mr., dancing-master, 11 n. 

Parke, John G., 278, 396. 

Parkersburg, the 43, 44. 

Paul, Gabriel R., 220. 

Pauvear, Thomas, 383. 

Peabody, Andrew P., his Harvard 

Graduates whom I have Known, 

quoted, 4-7; 16. 
Peabody, Mr., from Boston, 272. 
Pearce, Edward, 13, 14. 
Pierce, R. A., 260, 270, 389. 
Pemberton, John C., C. S. A., 213. 
Peninsular Campaign, the, 74. 
Pennsylvania, rebel raid into, 215 

and n. 
Pennsylvania Bucktails, 78. 
Pennsylvania troops, failings of, 267. 
Perkins, William E. (i860), 46, 47, 

48, 56, 239, 250, 253, 400. 
Perkins, Captain, 217. 
Perkins, Lieutenant, 163, 164, 166, 

167, 168, 183, 202, 208. 
Perry, Elizabeth, 411. 
Perry, John G., 29, 176, 179, 180, 

193. 197. 198, 246, 287, 336, 342. 
Petersburg, investment of, 3io_^. ; 

capture of, 393. And see Mine. 
Pettigrew, James J., C. S. A., 108. 
Phillips, Charles A. (i860), 63, 169, 

342. 

Pickett, Colonel, C. S. A., 380. 

Pinckney Island, 44. 

Planters' Compress Co., 407. 

Pleasants, Henry, directed digging of 
mine at Petersburg, 349. 

Pleasonton, Alfred, 149, 215, 242. 

Poor whites, ignorant and supersti- 
tious, 112. 

Pope, John, at 2d Bull Run, 80, 81; 
and General Porter, 80; com- 
pletely outgeneralled, 80, 81; a 
complete failure, 132; his blunder- 
ing at 2d Bull Run, 132, 135, 136; 
said to have preferred charges 



against Porter and Franklin, 137; 
feeling in army against, 137; his re- 
port of 2d Bull Run, 138; his 
testimony against Porter, 150, 
151; 130, 131. 

Pope, Captain, 151. 

Port Royal, fleet at anchor off, 37; 
capture of, 41 and n. 

Porter, B. H., 361, 364 and n., 365. 

Porter, Fitz John, agrees to take W. 
on his staff, 45; W.'s first meeting 
with, 53; his character, 54, 113, 
and personal appearance, 54; his 
optimism after fall of Forts Henry 
and Donelson, 57, 58; and the run- 
away balloon, 76, 77; at 2d Bull 
Run, 80, 81; court-martialed and 
cashiered, 80, 84, 150^.; rehearing 
and reversal of judgment, 84-87; 
McClellan's dependence on, 99, 
100, 105; commands provisional 
corps, 106; prospective governor 
of Richmond, 1 10; Stanton's ani- 
mosity to, III; his optimism, 113; 
said to have been relieved, 137; and 
Pope's report of 2d Bull Run, 138; 
his confidence in W., 140; W.'s 
intimate relations with, 142, 143, 
146, 147; and Burnside, 143; his 
views concerning the administra- 
tion and the war, 147, 148; re- 
lieved of command, 150; unjust 
treatment of, 150; 47, 49, 55. 56, 
59, 60, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 
76, 78, 79, 88, 89, 90, 93, 94, 95, 

97, 98, 109, no, 118, 120, 123, 

124, 125, 127, 129, 130, 131, 132, 

133. 134. 140, 144. 145. 161, 196, 

213, 214, 216, 227, 245, 248, 250, 
251, 252, 281. 

Porter, Mrs. F. J., 143, 242. 

Porter, Mrs., mother of F. J. P., 143. 

Porter, Josiah, 89, 165. 

Porter, Private, 277. 

Porter's Battery, 89. 

Potter, General, 291, 292, 303, 305, 

310,333- 
Pratt, Calvin E., 169, 183, 184, 189. 
Pratt, Captain, 149. 



INDEX 



423 



" Presidentls Freshman," the, 16. 
Preston, W. S., 364 and n., 366, 367. 
Priest, Lieutenant, 323, 328. 
Prince, Dr. William H., 53, 56, 122. 
Putnam, Wallace, A., 258, 266, 280, 

292, 296, 306, 328. 
Putnam, William Lowell, 31. 

Quakers in Virginia, 246. 
Quint, Chaplain, 208. 

R. B. Forbes, the, 38. 
Rasdereschen, Captain, 163 and n., 

164. 
Rathbone, Captain, 330. 
Read, William, C. S. A., 125. 
Read, Lieutenant, C. S. N., 38?- 
Readville, recruiting, etc., at, 257, 

258. 
Recruiting, incidents of, 257, 258, 

259- 
Redding, Captain, 309, 323. 
Reese, Captain, 188, 224, 246. 
Regiment: 5th U. S. Cavalry, 116, 

117-314- 

7th Conn., 41. 

lOth Conn., 278. 

1st Mass., 97. 

2d Mass., 208. 

9th Mass., officers of, captured 
at Gaines's Mill, 122. 

nth Mass., 97. 

13th Mass., 207. 

1 6th Mass., 30. 

1 8th Mass., W. 2d lieutenant 
in, 45; 47, 48, 64, 65, 205. 

2 1st Mass., 27. 

22d Mass., 23, 64, 95; officers 
of, killed or captured at 
Gaines's Mill, 122. 

24th Mass., 278. 

56th Mass., W. lieutenant 
colonel of, 257; organization 
of, 257; starts for the front, 
257; band of, 257, 258, 326, 
327; on the journey south, 
259-263; getting into shape, 
266, 267, 268; praised by 
Hartranft, 271; good conduct 



of, 274; reduced to 50 men, 
285; admirable conduct of, in 
the Wilderness, 286, 287, 288, 
290; losses of, in Wilderness 
Campaign, 302; before Peters- 
burg, 3i3ff.; men of, captured 
at the mine, 367; in the grand 
review, 399, 402; one of the 
"fighting regiments," 403. 

57th Mass., 257, 278. 

58th Mass., 257. 

59th Mass., 257. 

1st Mass. Cavalry, 141, 142. 

2d Mass. Cavalry, 224. 

4th Michigan, 139. 

4th N. H., 29. 

15th N. Y. Engineers, 163, 172. 

50th N. Y. Engineers, 163, 197. 

83d Penn., 64. 

15th Va., C. S. A., W. captured 
by, 122, 123. 

2d W'isconsin, 208. 
Republicans, two factions among, 

155.155- 

Reynolds, John F., W. joins his 
staff, 199; and Benham, 200; his 
death at Gettysburg, 230, 235; his 
character, 230, 235; his body 
taken to Phila., 233/.; 145. I57. 
169, 183, 195. 196, 198, 201, 203, 
204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 
211, 214,215, 216, 222,223, 224, 
225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 231, 232, 
245, 250, 252. 

Reynolds, William H., 383, 388. 

Reynolds, Major, brother of John F. 
Reynolds, 233, 237, 241. 

Reynolds, Misses, 238. 

Richardson, Lieutenant, 35. 

Richland Jail. See Columbia. 

Richmond, Mrs., 277. 

Richmond, McClellan plans to ad- 
vance on, by water, 73, 74; re- 
ported scarcity of food at, 120; 
price of various staples at, 127; 
evacuation of, 393. 

Riddle, William, 199, 218, 231, 236, 
253. 283, 300. 

Rifle-pits, described, 335. 



424 



INDEX 



Rip-Raps, the, 26. 

Ripley, Roswell S., C. S. A., 372, 

376,377- 
Robeson, Thomas R., killed at 

Gettysburg, 239; 208. 
Robinson, General, 255. 
Rodman, Alfred, 411. 
Rodman, Mrs., Anne L. (Motley), 

408, 410, 411. 
Rodman, Eloise, marries W., 411; 

her death, 411. 
Roosa, Lieutenant, 169. 
Ropes, Henry, 160, 166. 
Ropes, John Codman, 64. 
Rosecrans, W. S., 195. 
Rosengarten, Joseph H., 222, 234, 

237- 
Rosengarten, Messrs., 234. 
Rowley, Thomas A., 240. 
Ruggles, George D., 133. 
Rush's Lancers, 75, 170 n. 
Russell, David A., 187, 188, 295. 
Russell, Henry S., 126, 130, 208, 

310. 
Russell, Major, captured by Mosby, 

249 n. 

Sam, negro driver, 113. 

Sanderson, captured by Mosby, 

247 n., 212. 
Sanitary Commission, the, 330, 334. 
Sargent, Horace B., 142, 148. 
Saunders, Mr., 371, 372, 373, 376. 
Savage, James, Jr., 126. 
Savage, John, 8. 
Saxton, quartermaster's clerk, 23, 

25.33- 

Sayres, Mr., 121. 

Schenck, Miss, 400. 

Schofield, John M., 86. 

Schouler, General, 253. 

Schriver, Edmund, 164. 

Schurz, Carl, 230, 236. 

Scott, Henry B. (i860), 169, 250. 

Scull Creek, 43, 44. 

Sealy, Captain, 336. 

Seddon, James A., Confederate Sec- 
retary of War, 376. 

Seddon, Mrs., 212. 



Sedgwick, John, his opinion of Ben- 
ham, 160; killed at Spottsylvania, 
295; 164, 183, 184 n., 187, 188, 
189, 192, 194, 195, 199, 200, 201, 
202, 204, 206, 207, 208, 210, 211, 
236, 240, 241, 245, 283. 

Sedgwick, Kate, 195, 211. 

Senn, Captain, C. S. A., 362, 366, 
368, 372, 373, 375, 376, 377, 382, 
383, 384. 385- 386, 387, 388, 389. 
390,391- 

Seven Days' battles, 78. 

Sewall's Point, 26. 

Seward, William H., heads conserv- 
ative Republicans, 155; rumors 
concerning, 155, 156. 

Shaler, Alexander, 204. 

Sharpsburg. See Antietam. 

Shattuck, George B., 53. 

Shaw, Robert Gould (i860), 18. 

Shaw, Mr., 126, 127. 

Shean, Private, 264. 

Sheridan, P. H., 309, 376. 

Sherman, William T., 22, 89, 285, 
308, 322, 367, 368, 380, 388, 389, 

390,391- 
Sherman, Corporal, 293. 
Sherwin, Thomas (i860), 13, 23, 50, 

51. 53, 56, 65, 66, 102, 122, 161, 

167, 336, 340, 342- 
Shurtleff, Hiram S., 279, 393, 394. 
Sickles, Daniel E., 169, 171, 183, 229. 
Sigel, Franz, 81. 
Slocum, Henry W., 89, 169, 177, 178, 

224, 242. 
Slosson, John S., 162, 164, 166, 197, 

283. 
Smalley, Mr., 20. 
Smith, Charles F. ("Baldy"), 285, 

319,321. 
Smith, William ("Extra Billy"), 

Governor of Va., 249 and n. 
Smith, Mrs. William, 249. 
Smith, Lieutenant, 202. 
Smith, Private, 367. 
Somerset Club, 20. 
Soule, Jonathan, deserter, 271. 
Southern cities, pigs and cattle in 

streets of, 69. 



INDEX 



425 



Sowdon, Arthur J. C, 47. 

Spaulding, Ira, 162, 164, 179, 309. 

Spear, Captain, 281. 

Spencer, Dr., 390, 391. 

Spottsylvania, battle of, 289^. 

Sprague, William, 67 n. 

Stahl, General, 226. 

Stanton, Edwin M., Secretary of 
War, said to have resigned, 103; 
his animus against McClellan and 
Porter, iii, 112, 121; feeling 
against in the army, 137, 153; and 
"his crew," responsible for Fred- 
ericksburg, 152, 153; rumored 
fight with Halleck, 154; false re- 
port of his resignation, 365; 401. 

Starr, James, 170, 197, 198, 205, 212. 

Stearns, Lieutenant, 122. 

Stedman, reporter for New York 
World, and Dr. Grimsley, 73, 74. 

Steedman, James B., 388. 

Steele, Miller & Co., 407. 

Steinwehr, Adolph von, 169, 231. 

Sterling, Lieutenant, 362, 369, 377, 

383.391- 
Stevenson, Thomas G., killed at 

Spottsylvania, 290, 291; 277 and 

n., 278, 279, 281. 
Stirling, Hugh, 215, 219. 
Stockton, Thomas B. W., 64, 67. 
Stone, Charles P., 60 and n. 
Stoneman, George, 169, 171, 196. 
Stoughton Hall, 16. 
Strang, Edward J., 164, 166, 167, 

192, 197, 198, 202, 205, 207, 208, 

211. 
Stuart, Charles B., 164, 166. 
Stuart, J. E. B. ("Jeb "), C. S. A., 76, 

83 and n., 149, 213, 299. 
Stuart, Captain, 362. 
Styles, Lieutenant, 122. 
Sumner, Charles, and the ultras, 

after Fredericksburg, 155; 165. 
Sumner, Edwin V., 83, 131. 
Sumter, Fort, 20. 
Susquehannah, the, 40. 
Swan, William W., 19, 282. 
Swan, Private, 346. 
Sykes, George, 106, 107,136, 145, 148. 



Taylor, Captain, 246. 
Terry, Alfred H., 86; 369. 
Thayer, John F., 266, 283, 309, 323. 
Thayer, Nathaniel, 404. 
Thomas, Stephen, 48, 65, 121, 321. 
Thomas, Private, 315, 345. 
Thompson, George, 208, 250. 
Thompson, quartermaster, 336, 337, 

338. 
Thornton, Walter, 400. 
Tillson, Ensign, 375. 
Tilton, William S., 122. 
Toombs, Robert, C. S. A., anecdote 

of, 83. 
Townsend, Harry, 399. 
Trabue, Lieutenant, C. S. A., 125, 

126. 
"Turkey Gobblers," nickname of 

Rush's Lancers, 170 n. 
Turnbull, Captain, 223. 
"Tutor's Freshman," 15, 16. 
Two-headed negro girl, exhibited at 

Columbia, 379, 381, 383. 
Tybee Island, 37. 

Ultras, the, policy of, 155. 
Union Association of Phila., 261. 
United States Ford, 175, 176. 
University Hall, 15, 16, 17. 

Van Brocklin, Lieutenant, 162, 164, 

167, 171, 175, 176, 205. 
Van Brunt, Jeffrey, G., 31. 
Van Buren, J. L., 394. 
Varney, George, 122. 
Vicksburg, false news of fall of, 202; 

fall of, 238. 
Victoria, Queen, 18. 
Vincent, Strong, 102, 162, 169. 
Vixen, the, 38. 

Wabash, the, 35, 39, 40, 41. 
Wadsworth, Craig W., 201, 207, 250, 

254- 
Wadsworth, James S., 214, 241, 242. 
Wagner, Fort, 18. 
Wainwright, Charles S., 253. 
Walker, Rev. James, President of 

Harvard, 16. 



426 



INDEX 



Wallace, Edwin A., 296. 
Wallach, Miss, 249. 
Wallach, Mrs., 249. 
Walley, Henshaw B., 157. 
Wardrop, Colonel, Naval Brigade, 30. 
Wardwell, Captain, 273. 
Ware, Lieutenant, 377, 378. 
Warren, Gouverneur K., 175, 295, 

297. 394- 

Warren Green Hotel, 248. 

Warrenton, Va., 248, 249. 

Warrenton Junction, 249, 250. 

Washburn, C. C, 274. 

Washburn, Emory, Governor of 
Mass., 6, 55, 56. 

Washburn, Mrs. Emory, 56. 

Washburn, Lieutenant, 122. 

Washington, George, his birthday 
celebrated in camp, 62; his Fare- 
well Address, 62. 

Washington, John B., C. S. A., 108. 

Washington, in danger, 341. 

Waterbury, Mrs. Jane R. (Bran- 
ford), 411. 

Waterbury, Rev. Julius H., 411. 

Waterbury, Susan E., marries W., 
411. 

Waterman, Mr., 176, 177, 178. 

Webb, Alexander S., 132, 133, 137, 
139, 144, 148, 162, 286, 290, 394. 

Webb, Mrs. Alexander S., 145. 

Weed, T. J., 182. 

Weeden, William B., 59, 119. 

Weld, Alfred Rodman, W.'s son, 
406,411. 

Weld, Alice B., W.'s sister, 57, 204, 

307. 334- 340, 371. 377. 383. 389. 

Weld, Arthur G., 317. 

Weld, Carrie, W.'s sister, 270, 316. 

Weld, Christopher Minot, W.'s 
uncle, 64. 

Weld, Edith, W.'s sister, 56. 

Weld, Eleazer, W.'s great grand- 
father, 9. 

Weld, Edward M., W.'s son, 411. 

Weld, Mrs. Eloise Rodman, 410. 

Weld, Eloise R., W.'s daughter, 411. 

Weld, Francis M. (i860), 15, 193, 
316, 321, 322, 336, 342. 



Weld, George W. (i860), 13, 14, 15, 
55, 159 and n., 165, 166, 167, 168, 

204, 205, 401. 

Weld, Mrs. Georgianna (Hallett), 
W.'s step-mother, 9, 10, 385. Let- 
ters of W. to, 54, 96, 129, 131, 149, 

153. 159- 212, 272, 316. 

Weld, Mrs. Hannah (Minot), W.'s 
grandmother, 5, 9. 

Weld, Hannah M., W.'s sister, 46, 
97, 204, 208, 209, 212, 223, 245, 
267, 270, 271, 272, 273, 276, 277, 
284, 309, 316, 321, 334, 340, 347, 
372, 378, 380, 381, 388. Letters of 
W. to, 89, 90, 94, 104, 105, 127, 
129, 130, 140, 242, 243, 266, 276, 
284, 290, 298, 306, 314, 323, 327, 
329- 330, 335. 337. 342, 348. 368, 
372. 395. 396. 398. 399. 400, 402. 

Weld, Henry, 213, 317, 

Weld, Joseph, 8, 9. 

Weld, Lothrop M., W.'s son, 411. 

Weld, Philip B., W.'s son, 411. 

Weld, Rudolph, W.'s son, 411. 

Weld, Mrs. Sarah (Balch) W.'s 
mother, 9, 10, 11 n. 

Weld, Stephen M., Senior, Rev. A. 
P. Peabody's reminiscences of, 
4-7; birth, 9; his school for boys, 
11; his power of imparting know- 
ledge, 11; originally a Whig, 20; a 
strong Republican during the war, 
20; death of, 404; 22, 24, 45, 204, 
244, 245, 251, 253, 270, 274, 293, 
309, 321, 350, 358, 371, 372, 373, 
374. 376, 377. 379. 380, 382, 385, 
386, 390, 393. 398, 404- Letters of 
W. to, 45, 46, 49, 51, 57, 64, 68, 88, 
92, 93. 97. 99. 106, 107, 109, no, 
112, 113, 118, 120, 122, 123, 124, 
129, 132, 135, 137, 138, 141, 142, 
143, 145, 146, 148, 150, 151, 152, 

154, 156, 158, 160, 162, 164, 168, 
172, 180, 184, 187, 194, 197, 203, 

205, 209, 216, 221, 226, 227, 234, 
239, 245, 251, 255, 260, 264, 267, 
270, 274, 275, 278, 279, 282, 301, 
304. 307. 313. 316, 317, 320, 321, 
324, 326, 332, 339.. 341. 344. 347. 



INDEX 



427 



351. 359. 361, 363- 367. 370, 374. 
375. 380. 

Weld, Stephen M., Jr., birth and 
early recollections of, 10; his early 
schooling, 11, 12; college life, I2_^.; 
extracts from diary in college, 
14, 15; in the Law School, 19; 
tutor in Latin, 19, 20; goes south 
on the Baltic, 23^.; at Annapolis, 
26-29; at Fortress Monroe, 30; 
with the fleet off Port Royal, 37 
ff.; joins staff of Gen. Wright, 41; 
commissioned 2d lieutenant in 
i8th Mass., 45; in Washington, 45, 
46; joins Fitz John Porter's staff, 
47; pitching his tent at Hall's Hill, 
49, 51; first brigade drill, 50, 51, 
52, 53; daily routine, 52; first 
meeting with Gen. Porter, 53, 65; 
relations with Porter, 59, 140, 142, 
143; narrowly escapes capture, 75, 
83 and n., 113-118, 119; taken 
prisoner at Gaines's Mill, 78, 79, 
122; in Libby Prison, 79, I22ff.; at 
2d Bull Run, 81 and n., 133-135; 
at Antietam, 82, 138^.; "up in a 
balloon," 83, 144; joins Gen. Ben- 
ham's staff, 84; his share in secur- 
ing a rehearing for Gen. Porter, 
84-87; helps reelect G. F. Hoar 
to U. S. Senate, 86, 87; at siege of 
Yorktown, 93^.; wishes no female 
relatives to nurse him if wounded, 
96, 97; his duties, 99, 100, loi; 
his habits, 102, and friendships, 
103; his trophies, 121 ; letters from, 
at Libby Prison, 122-124; his re- 
lease and journey back to camp, 
124, 125; his treatment in Rich- 
mond, 125-127; effect of prison 
life on, 128; conversation with 
Porter as to course of administra- 
tion, 147; determined to "hang 
on" to Porter, 150; testifies in 
Porter court-martial, 156; on 
Benham's staff, 158,^.; first im- 
pression of Benham, 159; acting 
adjutant-general, 161, 162; begin- 
nings of unpleasantness with Ben- 



ham, 172,^., 180, 181, 182; painful 
experience with him, i88_^., 199, 
200; plans to leave Benham, 195, 
and so informs him, 198; joins Gen. 
Reynolds's staff, 199, 201, 203; 
further details concerning his re- 
lations with Benham, 205-207; 
hears of his captain's commission, 
209, and receives it, 216; questions 
wisdom of call for six-months' 
men, 217; narrow escape from 
Mosby, 219, 220; his constant 
faith in McClellan, 227, 228; at 
Gettysburg, 22gff.; sent by Rey- 
nolds to Meade, 230, 232; goes to 
Philadelphia with Reynolds's 
body, 233^.; joins Gen. Newton's 
staff, 239; invited to join Butter- 
field's staff, 240; acting aide to 
Gen. Newton, 243; hopes of pro- 
motion, 245; nominated and con- 
firmed as lieut. col. of 56th Mass., 
245, 257; superintendent of re- 
cruiting for new regiments, 257, 
258; mustered in, 259; starts south 
with the 56th, 259; the journey 
described, 260-263; adventure 
with Brown, the Phila. saloon- 
keeper, 261, 269; and Private 
Case}', 262, 268, 269, 351, 352; 
first impression of Gen. Grant, 
273, 274, 276; on court-martial 
duty, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 324, 
326, 331, 332, 336, 337, 343, 345; 
in Wilderness Campaign, 28iff.; 
commands 56th after Griswold's 
death in the Wilderness, 286; 
commands brigade at Spottsyl- 
vania, 291, 292; suspense before 
battle, 300; on the stern realities of 
campaigning, 302; his narrow 
escape, 303, 304, 305, 306; com- 
missioned and mustered as colonel 
of the 56th, 306, 309; commands 
brigade before Petersburg, 311^.; 
life in the trenches, 343; preparing 
for explosion of the mine, 35 1 , 352 ; 
leads charge after the explosion, 
353. 354; taken prisoner, 354, 356; 



428 



INDEX 



recollections of the scene, 354-357; 
the only regimental commander 
left alive of the 9 regiments in his 
brigade, 357; his journey south to 
Columbia, 358-360; prison-life in 
Columbia, 361-391; exchanged, 
391; journey north, 391, 392; end 
of the war diary, 392 ; the close of 
the war, 393-395 ; his reception by 
his regiment, 397; the great review 
in Washington, 399, 402, 403; 
mustered out, 403; in business 
after the war, 404^.; relations 
with the Coolidges, 406; with the 
Planters' Compress Co., 407; ad- 
venture with thieves, 408, 409; 
marries Miss Rodman, 411; their 
children, 41 1 ; marries Miss Water- 
bury, 41 1. 

Weld, Stephen M., 3d., W.'s son, 
411. 

Weld, Mrs. Susan E. (Waterbury), 
410, 411. 

Weld, Rev. Thomas, 8, 9. 

Weld, W^illiam, ancestor of the 
family, 8. 

Weld, William F., W.'s uncle, 6, 7, 
159 n., 399. 

Weld, William Gordon, W.'s grand- 
father, his adventures, 9. 

Weld, William Gordon, W.'s cousin, 
401, 402. 

Weld Hall, 7. 

Welles, Gideon, Secretary of the 
Na\T, 155- 

West, Mr., 243, 244. 

Wetmore Edmund (i860), 23. 

Wheeler, Joseph, C. S. A., 391. 

Wheelock, George G. (i860), 14. 

Whipple, Amiel W., killed at Chan- 
cellorsville, 196; 161, 166. 

White, Daniel, captured in mine, 
362, 363; 366, 369, 379, 380, 383. 

White, John C. (i860), 171. 



White, Sergeant, C. S. A., 385. 
White House, Va., 106. 
Whiting, William H. C, C. S. A., 79 
Whittemore, E. W., 122. 
Whittier, Charles A. (i860), 19, 160 

166, 169, 171, 195, 196, 198, 199 

202, 208, 240, 283, 397, 400, 401 
Whorf, Captain, 122. 
Wilderness, battle of the, 285J^. 

losses in, 289. 
Wilderness Campaign, the 28 ij". 

losses in, 302, 315, 316; useless 

sacrifice of men in, 318. 
Willard, Miss, 18. 
Willard's Hotel, 46. 
Willcox, Orlando B., 289, 303, 310. 
William and Mar>' College, 128. 
Williams, Robert, 142. 
Williams, Seth, 161 and n., 164, 167, 

175. 
Williams, Captain, 161, 162, 163, 

164. 
Williams, Captain, U. S. N., 367, 

369. 370, 376. 
Williamsburg, battle of, 74. 
Wilmot, David, 154. 
Wilson, Henry, 23, 326. 
Wilson's Battery, C. S. A., 93. 
Winfield Scott, the, 41. 
Winsor Harry (i860), 75, 76, 117, 

171. 
Winthrop, John, 8. 
Wistar, Isaac J., 204. 
Wood, Captain, 161, 171, 179. 
Woodbury, Daniel P., 158, 161. 
Woodbury, Fort, 64, 67. 
Wright, Horatio G., W. joins staff 

of, 41 ; 33, 42, 204, 211 and n., 283. 
Wright, Captain, 304. 

Yorktown, evacuated by Confed- 
erates, 74, 77, 105; siege of, 93^.: 
number of troops before, 97. 

Young, George, 274. 



TTi/n/ 



J