Thursday, November 27, 2014

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Thursday, January 28, 1864

Some of the troops that are going out on an expedition to Meridian, started on their way this morning. It is rumored that the Seventeenth and Sixteenth Army Corps are to make a raid across the State of Mississippi for the purpose of destroying the railroad running from Vicksburg to Meridian, and that General Sherman is to be in command of the expedition.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 165

Diary of Private Charles H. Lynch: May 26, 1864

Broke camp very early this hot morning. Once more on the march. Again waded Cedar Creek, passing through Strasburg, on up Fishers Hill, hot and very dusty. Again camp near Woodstock. Some of the boys come from the town of Woodstock, Connecticut. There are many incidents that remind us of home. As soon as we halted for the night, began to hunt for wood for our fires, to boil coffee, fry our bacon and hard tack. We seem to be always hungry and ready to eat. The health of the regiment at this time is good.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 63

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: January 26, 1862

Arrived at Hudson, Mo., midnight. Next morning, Sunday, reshipped men and horses and left in the freight cars at nine P. M.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 6

45th Indiana Infantry

See 3rd Regiment Cavalry.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1136

46th Indiana Infantry

Organized at Logansport, Ind., and mustered in December 11, 1861. Ordered to Kentucky and duty at Camp Wickliffe till February, 1862. Attached to 19th Brigade, Army of the Ohio, January, 1862. 19th Brigade, 4th Division, Army of Ohio, to February, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of Mississippi, to April, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Army of Mississippi, to July, 1862. Helena, Ark., District of Eastern Arkansas, Dept. of the Missouri, to December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, District of Eastern Arkansas, Dept. of the Tennessee, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 12th Division, 13th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to February, 1863. 1st Brigade, 13th Division, 13th Army Corps, to March, 1863. 1st Brigade, 12th Division, 13th Army Corps, to July, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 13th Army Corps, Army of Tennessee, to August, 1863. and Dept. of the Gulf to July, 1864. 4th Brigade, 1st Division, District of Kentucky, Dept. of the Ohio, to December, 1864. Garrison, Lexington, Ky., District of Kentucky, Dept. of the Ohio, to February, 1865, and Dept. of Kentucky to September, 1865.

SERVICE. – Ordered to Commerce, Mo., February 16, 1862. Siege of New Madrid, Mo., March 5-14. Siege and capture of Island No. 10, Mississippi River, March 15-April 8. Expedition to Fort Pillow, Tenn., April 13-17. Operations against Fort Pillow April 17-June 5. Capture of Fort Pillow June 5. Occupation of Memphis, Tenn., June 6. Expedition up White River, Ark., June 10-July 14. St. Charles June 17. Grand Prairie July 6-7. Duvall's Bluff July 7. Duty at Helena, Ark., till April, 1863. Expedition to Arkansas Post November 16-22, 1862. Expedition to Yazoo Pass by Moon Lake, Yazoo Pass and Coldwater and Tallahatchie Rivers February 24-April 5. Operations against Fort Pemberton and Greenwood March 11-April 5. Fort Pemberton March 11. Moved to Milliken's Bend, La., April 12. Movement on Bruinsburg and turning Grand Gulf April 25-30. Battle of Port Gibson, Miss., May 1-14. Mile Creek April 12-13. Battle of Champion's Hill May 16. Siege of Vicksburg May 18-July 4. Assaults on Vicksburg May 19 and 22. Advance on Jackson July 4-10. Near Jackson July 9. Siege of Jackson July 10-17. Ordered to New Orleans, La., August 10. Duty at Carrollton, Brashear City and Berwick till October. Western Louisiana "Teche" Campaign October 3-November 30. Grand Coteau November 3. Moved to New Orleans, La., December 17. Regiment reenlisted January 2, 1864. Red River Campaign March 10-May 22. Advance from Franklin to Alexandria March 14-26. Battle of Sabine Cross Roads April 8. Monett's Ferry, Cane River Crossing. April 23. Alexandria April 30-May 10. Graham's Plantation May 6. Retreat to Morganza May 13-20. Mansura May 16. Expedition to the Atchafalaya May 30-June 5. Moved to New Orleans, La., thence home on Veteran furlough June 12. Expedition down the Ohio River toward Shawneetown, Ill., to suppress insurrection, and from Mt. Vernon, Ind., into Kentucky against Confederate Recruiting parties August 16-22. White Oak Springs August 17. Gouger's Lake August 18. Smith's Mills August 19. Moved to Lexington, Ky., to resist Buckner's invasion of Kentucky. Burbridge's Expedition to Saltsville, Va., September 17-October 19. Garrison, Prestonburg and Catlettsburg, Ky., during the Expedition. Return to Lexington and garrison duty there till September, 1865. Moved to Louisville, Ky., and there mustered out September 4, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 66 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Officers and 191 Enlisted men by disease. Total 264.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1136-7

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

1st Lieutenant Charles Fessenden Morse, July 15, 1861

Martinsburg, Va., July 15, 1861, Sunday.

I will try and take time to give you an account of the proceedings up to this time since we left Hagerstown.

We started from the latter place about four o'clock, Thursday afternoon, and marched to Williamsport, a distance of seven miles. The men stood the march very well. We reached the side of the Potomac about 6.30, where we camped for the night; nothing occurred of importance during the night except one of the guard being fired upon just before daylight. The camp was aroused at four o'clock, and the column started very soon after. The fording of the river was a very interesting sight. It was about a quarter of a mile wide and two to three feet deep in that place; the regiment marched through it bravely, keeping in close column. As soon as we got over, everything was put in fighting order, as we were told there was a body of cavalry on the look-out to cut us off. Our company was thrown out as rear guard to look out for the wagons, stragglers, etc. Our march was uninterrupted, however, and we arrived at Martinsburg towards night, after a hard march of fifteen miles with no halt except occasional rests; passing by, on our way, the late battleground, on which I picked up a small dirk which had evidently seen service. I have now got to hurry up, as the Quartermaster has just informed us that we march to-morrow morning at five o'clock, and it is now “tattoo.”

Our army here is about twenty thousand strong, and is encamped seven miles from General Johnson's rebel force. I suppose our move to-morrow is towards the enemy, although I don't know it.

We had a rather narrow escape from getting into a trap to-day. Colonel Gordon detailed Captain Curtis and myself, with four picked men from each company, to go with the Quartermaster and four wagons to forage. We started off for a place the Quartermaster had been told of, where there were hay and other things we wanted. We had got within about a mile of the place when we met a white man, who happened to be a Unionist, who told us that instead of going to a place where we would get forage, we were within about fifteen minutes' march of about two hundred rebels. We deployed the men instantly, and then the Captain and Quartermaster started back on another track to see what could be found in another direction. In about five minutes, I had orders to carry the party to a house about a half a mile off, that belonged to an out-and-out secessionist. We surrounded it, made our bargain for hay, pigs, chickens, etc., very much against the owner's will, and started back for camp, where we arrived in due time.

You must not expect to hear from me again for some time, as we are going out of the region of mails. I am in the best of health, and we are having cool, comfortable weather.

SOURCE: Charles Fessenden Morse, Letters Written During the Civil War, 1861-1865, p. 5-7

Captain Charles Russell Lowell to John M. Forbes, September 19, 1862

Headquarters, Army Of The Potomac,
Friday Evening, Sept. 19.

My Dear Mr. Forbes, — I have just received your letter of 13th. We had a severe fight here on Tuesday, and a battle on Wednesday in which the loss among our officers was very serious.

I have had my usual good luck, but shall have to buy a new sabre and shall have one horse the less to ride for a month or two. Young Bob was in the fight of Tuesday and the afternoon of Wednesday, but was untouched.1 Our victory was a complete one, but only decisive in so far as it clears Maryland. Had Harper's Ferry not been yielded, this battle would not have been fought, — Jackson and A. P. Hill marched on Tuesday from Harper's Ferry, and reinforced Lee, Longstreet, and D. H. Hill. On Wednesday morning we had their whole army in front of us — about 80,000 on our side and not less than 100,000 on theirs;2 we took the positions we attempted and in most cases held them; the enemy at no point occupied the field of battle at dark, though, in the neutral ground between the lines, the dead and wounded of both sides at some points lay mingled. During Thursday we received reinforcements of fifteen or twenty thousand men, and should have renewed the fight to-day, had not the enemy withdrawn. They commenced moving away about 9 P. M. and by daybreak none but stragglers and wounded were on this side the Potomac. Remember that McClellan started from Washington with a demoralized army, and I think you will admit that the campaign has been very creditable to him.
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1 “Young Bob," also mentioned in the letter from Harrison's Landing, was a vigorous young horse, raised by Mr. Forbes at Naushon, and given by him to Lowell.

This is the story of the day from the orderly's point of view: “At the battle of Antietam, the Captain was carrying orders from General McClellan to every Corps Commander. He went with some orders to General Hooker on the right: when we got there, the men were coming back in disorder, and the Captain went in and helped rally them, and a solid shot struck his scabbard and shivered it to pieces. He told me, before he got back to Headquarters, that Berold [a handsome, tall sorrel] was giving out, — he could only trot, — and he told me to take the saddle and put it on Bob. When I took the saddle off Berold, there was two great lumps on each side of him as big as a hen's egg. He had been shot. I kept the Captain's scabbard a long time, and, when we started for Boston, he took the sabre and would not let me keep the scabbard, but told me to throw it away. I wanted him to keep his overcoat that he got shot full of holes, but he said No, and gave it to a coloured man after the battle of Antietam.”

2 Lowell evidently gives the figures as then estimated by his General, whose foible was, as Lowell later appreciated, the over-estimating of the enemy's strength. As a matter of fact, now conceded, Lee had the smaller army. General Palfrey, who endeavours judicially to sift the varying statements on both sides, calls attention to the fact that, of the 87,000 troops which General McClellan reports that he had at the battle, two corps and the cavalry hardly had any share, thus reducing the force to less than 60,000; and adds: “If any allowance be made for the notorious difference between morning report, totals, and effectives in action, it will appear that the Federals engaged cannot have outnumbered the Confederates in more than the proportion of three to two, and probably did not outnumber them so much. This is by no means large odds when the attacking force has to deal with a force occupying a strong defensive position, as the Confederates confessedly did, and one where the ground was admirably adapted for the safe and secret and rapid transfer of their troops from a less pressed to a more pressed portion of their line.”

SOURCE: Edward Waldo Emerson, Life and Letters of Charles Russell Lowell, p. 225-6, 411-2

Diary of Josephine Shaw Lowell: June 3, 1862

Rob's watch came today. The blow was exactly on the edge and a quarter of an inch farther out would have been fatal. The hands are lost and it is broken apart.

SOURCE: William Rhinelander Stewart, The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell, p. 28

Diary of Major Rutherford B. Hayes: Tuesday, September 10, 1861

Marched seventeen miles, drove enemies' pickets out of Summersville, followed nine miles to Gauley river. Enemy entrenched on a hill, high, steep, and hidden by bushes, three to six thousand strong. We get ready to attack. We have been divided into three brigades: First, General Benham's, consisting of Tenth (Colonel Lytle's Irish), Twelfth (Colonel Lowe's), and Thirteenth (Colonel Smith's) regiments; Second, Colonel McCook's — the Ninth, Twenty-eighth, and Forty-ninth; Third, — Twenty-third and Thirtieth and Mack's Battery. McMullen's Battery attached to McCook. Stewart's Cavalry, West's to headquarters, and Schaumbeck's Cavalry to McCook's.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 87

Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Lyman to Elizabeth Russell Lyman, May 17, 1864

Headquarters Army Of Potomac
Tuesday, May 17, 1864

. . . Just at dark there occurred a most disgraceful stampede in the 6th Corps — a thing that has been much exaggerated in the papers, by scared correspondents. You will remember I told you that we had two dubious divisions in the army: one, the Pennsylvania Reserves, has done finely and proved excellent; but the other, General Ricketts's division of the 6th Corps, composed of troops from Winchester, known as “Milroy's weary boys,” never has done well. They ran on the Mine Run campaign, and they have run ever since. Now, just at dark, the Rebels made a sort of sortie, with a rush and a yell, and as ill-luck would have it, they just hit these bad troops, who ran for it, helter-skelter. General Seymour rode in among them, had his horse shot, and was taken. General Shaler's brigade had its flank turned and Shaler also was taken. Well, suddenly up dashed two Staff officers, one after the other, all excited, and said the whole 6th Corps was routed; it was they that were routed, for Wright's division stood firm, and never budged; but for a time there were all sorts of rumors, including one that Generals Sedgwick and Wright were captured. In a great hurry the Pennsylvania Reserves were sent to the rescue, and just found all the enemy again retired. A good force of them did get round, by a circuit, to the Germanna plank, where they captured several correspondents who were retreating to Washington! Gradually the truth came out, and then we shortened the right by drawing back the 5th and 6th Corps, so as to run along the interior dotted line, one end of which ends on the Germanna plank.

General Meade was in favor of swinging back both wings still more, which should have been done, for then our next move would have been more rapid and easy.

The result of this great Battle of the Wilderness was a drawn fight, but strategically it was a success, because Lee marched out to stop our advance on Richmond, which, at this point, he did not succeed in doing. We lost a couple of guns and took some colors. On the right we made no impression; but, on the left, Hancock punished the enemy so fearfully that they, that night, fell back entirely from his front and shortened their own line, as we shortened ours, leaving their dead unburied and many of their wounded on the ground. The Rebels had a very superior knowledge of the country and had marched shorter distances. Also I consider them more daring and sudden in their movements; and I fancy their discipline on essential points is more severe than our own — that is, I fancy they shoot a man when he ought to be shot, and we do not. As to fighting, when two people fight without cessation for the best part of two days, and then come out about even, it is hard to determine.

SOURCE: George R. Agassiz, Editor, Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, p. 97-9

Major-General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Mead, August 22, 1864

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac, August 22, 1864.

I have received your letters of the 18th and 19th insts. I have known of Sergeant's1 condition for some time, because, when I found he was so sick, I wrote to Dr. Hewson, who at once replied to me. Everything has been done for Sergeant that could be done. He has had the best medical advice, and the most careful nursing. This should be continued, and the result left to that Power who governs and rules all things, and to whose decree we must submit with resignation.

I have been very much occupied for several days past in the operations of my command on the Weldon Railroad, particularly Warren's Corps, who during this time has had three very pretty little fights, in all of which we have whipped the enemy, though we have suffered a good deal in casualties.2
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1 Son of General Meade.

2 Attack at the Weldon Railroad, August 19-21, 1864. Federal loss — killed, wounded, and missing — 4,543 (O. R.).

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 2, p. 222-3

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Wednesday, January 27, 1864

We have battalion drill now every afternoon, and today our regiment was reviewed by General Chambers. A division of the Sixteenth Army Corps from Chattanooga landed here last night.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 164

Diary of Private Charles H. Lynch: May 24, 1864

Nothing of importance has taken place in camp since the last date. Marching orders received in the shape of general orders. Advance up the valley. Four days' rations to be issued, with instructions to make it last eight. That puts us on half rations, and we are also put in light marching order. All extra baggage, with knapsacks, sent to the rear, at Martinsburg. Regiment on skirmish drill. Our company, color company, remains on the reserves. When the regiment forms in line the formation is made on center company and the colors. All things are now ready for the advance. Waiting for orders.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 62-3

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: January 25, 1862

Arose at 3 A. M., fed, watered and prepared to move. Second Battalion moved at ten A. M. Some rolling country and some level prairie. Passed burnt bridge where guards were stationed.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 6

44th Indiana Infantry

Organized at Fort Wayne, Ind., and mustered in November 22, 1861. Moved to Henderson, Ky., December. Attached to 13th Brigade, Army of the Ohio, December, 1861. 13th Brigade, 5th Division, Army of the Ohio, to February, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Army of the Tennessee, to March, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, Army of the Tennessee, to April, 1862. 14th Brigade, 5th Division, Army of the Ohio, to September, 1862. 14th Brigade, 5th Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Ohio, to November, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Left Wing 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 21st Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to October, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 4th Army Corps, to November, 1863. Post of Chattanooga, Tenn., Dept. of the Cumberland, to April, 1864. 1st Separate Brigade, Post of Chattanooga, Tenn., to January, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 1st Separate Division, District of the Etowah, Dept. of the Cumberland, to May, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, District of East Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to September, 1865.

SERVICE. – Duty at Calhoun, Green River, Ky., January-February, 1862. Moved to Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 11-12. Investment and capture of Fort Donelson February 14-16. Expedition to Crump's Landing, Tenn., March 9-14. Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7. Advance on siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Pursuit to Booneville May 31-June 12. Buell's Campaign in Northern Alabama and Middle Tennessee June to August. March to Louisville, Ky., in pursuit of Bragg August 21-September 26. Pursuit of Bragg to Loudon, Ky., October 1-22. March to Nashville, Tenn., October 22-November 7, and duty there till December 26. Lavergne November 23. Advance on Murfreesboro, Tenn., December 26-30. Battle of Stone's River December 30-31, 1862, and January 1-3, 1863. Duty at Murfreesboro till June. Middle Tennessee (or Tullahoma) Campaign June 23-July 7. Occupation of Middle Tennessee till August 16. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River and Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign August 16-September 22. Battle of Chickamauga September 19-20. Mission Ridge September 22. Before Chattanooga September 22-26. Siege of Chattanooga September 26-November 23. Assigned to Provost duty at Chattanooga November 8. Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23-27. Mission Ridge November 25. On Provost duty at Chattanooga, Tenn., till September, 1864. At Tullahoma September 28 to October 2. Return to Chattanooga, Tenn., October 15, and Provost duty there till September, 1865. Mustered out September 14, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 76 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 9 Officers and 220 Enlisted men by disease. Total 309.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1136

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

1st Lieutenant Charles Fessenden Morse, July 11, 1861

Hagerstown, Md., July 11, 1861.

We have just arrived here, two o'clock A. M., and have quartered our men in two churches.

I am perfectly well and will write again as soon as I have an opportunity; now, I must get some sleep, as we start to join General Patterson's army early in the day, about twenty miles from here.

SOURCE: Charles Fessenden Morse, Letters Written During the Civil War, 1861-1865, p. 5

Diary of Josephine Shaw Lowell: May 29, 1862

First letter from Rob since the battle. “Quite a fight” he calls it. A bullet struck his watch and made a dent in it, else his stomach would have received it. As it was, his thigh was bruised. The papers give an account of very severe fighting, fatiguing and harassing. The Second behaved very well and covered the retreat. Dear fellows!

SOURCE: William Rhinelander Stewart, The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell, p. 27-8

Diary of Major Rutherford B. Hayes: Monday, September 9, 1861

Marched over Powell Mountain and camped eight miles from Summersville. Enemy near us; a battle to come soon.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 87

Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Lyman to Elizabeth Russell Lyman, May 16, 1864

Headquarters Army Of Potomac
Monday, May 16, 1864

I will continue the letter of this morning, describing our first day's fight. I had got as far as the death of General Hays and the wounding of Carroll. This was between five and six o'clock. Hays commanded one brigade of Birney's division. He was a strong-built, rough sort of man, with red hair, and a tawny, full beard; a braver man never went into action, and the wonder only is that he was not killed before, as he always rode at the very head of his men, shouting to them and waving his sword. Mott's division behaved badly (as you observed, it broke and came back). This is a curious instance of a change of morale. It is Hooker's old fighting division, but has since been under two commanders of little merit or force of character; then there was some discontent about re-enlistments and about the breaking up of the old 3d Corps, to which it had belonged; and the result has been that most of this once crack division has conducted itself most discreditably, this campaign. However, the fresh troops saved the day, and, at dark, we occupied our old line (the dotted one along the Brock road). . . .

It was long after dark when I rode back, and, with some difficulty, found our camp, now pitched in a dusty, ploughed field. The fight of this day had been an attack by parts of our three corps against the Corps of Ewell on our right, and of Hill on our left. The fight had swayed back and forth and ended in a drawn battle, both sides holding their lines. General Grant ordered the attack all along the line, the next morning at 4.30; but put it off to 5 o'clock on the representation that Burnside could not get up in time. He was ordered to get in position by daylight and to go in on Hill's left flank, where you see a dotted line nearly parallel to the Parker's Store road. We were all up right early on that Friday the 6th of May, you may depend. “Lyman,” said the General, “I want you to take some orderlies and go to General Hancock and report how things go there during the day.” It was after five when I mounted, and already the spattering fire showed that the skirmishers were pushing out; as I rode down the crossroad, two or three crashing volleys rang through the woods, and then the whole front was alive with musketry. I found General Hancock at the crossing of the plank: he was wreathed with smiles. “We are driving them, sir; tell General Meade we are driving them most beautifully. Birney has gone in and he is just cleaning them out be-auti-fully!” This was quite apparent from the distance of the receding firing and the absence of those infernal minie balls. “I am ordered to tell you, sir, that only one division of General Burnside is up, but that he will go in as soon as he can be put in position.” Hancock's face changed. “I knew it!” he said vehemently. “Just what I expected. If he could attack now, we would smash A. P. Hill all to pieces!” And very true were his words. Meantime, some hundreds of prisoners were brought in; all from Hill's troops. Presently, however, the firing seemed to wake again with renewed fury; and in a little while a soldier came up to me and said: “I was ordered to report that this prisoner here belongs to Longstreet's Corps.” “Do you belong to Longstreet?” I hastened to ask. “Ya-as, sir,” said grey-back, and was marched to the rear. It was too true! Longstreet, coming in all haste from Orange Court House, had fallen desperately on our advance; but he had uphill work. Birney's and Getty's men held fast and fought with fury, a couple of guns were put in the plank road and began to fire solid shot over the heads of our men, adding their roar to the other din. The streams of wounded came faster and faster back; here a field officer, reeling in the saddle; and there another, hastily carried past on a stretcher. I stood at the crossing and assisted in turning back stragglers or those who sought to go back, under pretext of helping the wounded. To some who were in great pain I gave some opium, as they were carried past me.

It was about seven o'clock, I think, that Webb's brigade marched along the Brock road, and, wheeling into the pike, advanced to the support of Birney. Among them was the 20th Massachusetts. Abbot smiled and waved his sword towards me, as he rode by, and I called out to him wishing him good luck; and so he went on to his death, as gallant a fellow as fell that day; a man who could ride into the fight with a smile on his face. Just before eight o'clock came one brigade of Stevenson's division (Burnside's Corps) which had been sent to strengthen Hancock; the other brigade came later and was put on our left, where we were continually paralyzed by reports that the enemy was coming up the Brock road to take us in the flank. This prevented proper mobility of our left, and, after all, they turned out to be a division of Rebel cavalry, who were defeated later in the day by our men. Stevenson's brigade was now put in to relieve the advanced lines that had long been under fire, and all other fresh troops were marched to the front. But Longstreet knew full well (they know everything, those Rebels) that Burnside was coming up with two divisions, on his flank; and knew too that he was late, very late. If Hancock could first be paralyzed, the day was safe from defeat, which now impended. Gathering all his forces, of both corps, he charged furiously. At a little after eleven Mott's left gave way. On the right the brigade of Stevenson, consisting of three raw Massachusetts regiments miscalled "Veterans," broke, on being brought under a tremendous fire.  . . . The musketry now drew nearer to us, stragglers began to come back, and, in a little while, a crowd of men emerged from the thicket in full retreat. They were not running, nor pale, nor scared, nor had they thrown away their guns; but were just in the condition described by the Prince de Joinville, after Gaines's Mill. They had fought all they meant to fight for the present, and there was an end of it! If there is anything that will make your heart sink and take all the backbone out of you, it is to see men in this condition! I drew my sword and rode in among them, trying to stop them at a little rifle-pit that ran along the road. I would get one squad to stop, but, as I turned to another, the first would quietly walk off. There was a German color-bearer, a stupid, scared man (who gave him the colors, the Lord only knows!), who said, “Jeneral Stavenzon, he telled me for to carry ze colors up ze road.” To which I replied I would run him through the body if he didn't plant them on the rifle-pit. And so he did, but I guess he didn't stick. Meanwhile there was no danger at all; the enemy did not follow up — not he. He was busy swinging round to oppose Burnside, and was getting his men once more in order. At half-past one I rode to General Meade and reported the state of affairs. The Provost-General went out at once and stopped and organized the stragglers. At two o'clock Burnside, who had been marching and countermarching, did attack. He made some impression, but it was too late, and he had not enough force to follow on. About this time I returned to General Hancock.1 His men were rallied along the road; but regiments and brigades were all mixed up; and we were obliged to listen to Burnside's fighting without any advance on our part. In our front all was quiet; and I got permission to go back to the 2d Corps hospital and look up the body of Major Abbot. Two miles back, in an open farm surrounded by woods, they had pitched the hospital tents. I will not trouble you with what I saw there, as I passed among the dead and dying. Abbot lay on a stretcher, quietly breathing his last — his eyes were fixed and the ashen color of death was on his face. Near by lay his Colonel, Macy, shot in the foot. I raised Macy and helped him to the side of Abbot, and we stood there till he died. It was a pitiful spectacle, but a common one on that day. I left in haste, after arranging for sending the remains home, for the sudden sound of heavy firing told of some new attack. The Rebels (unquenchable fellows they are!), seeing that Burnside had halted, once more swung round and charged furiously on Hancock in his very rifle-pits. I rode at once to General Meade, to ask that Burnside might attack also. This he did, without further orders and with excellent effect. When I got back to the cross-road, I was told the enemy had broken through on the plank and cut us in two; this turned out an exaggeration. They did get into a small part of a rifle-pit but were immediately driven out leaving near sixty dead in the trench at the point.
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1 Lyman says in his journal: 1.15 (about). Back to Hancock. He alone, in rear of Brock road; and there he asked me to sit down under the trees, as he was very tired indeed. All his Staff were away to set in order the troops. They had now constructed a tolerable rifle-pit extending along the Brock and to the head of the cross-road. He said that his troops were rallied but very tired and mixed up, and not in a condition to advance. He had given orders to have the utmost exertions put forth in putting regiments in order, but many of the field officers were killed and wounded, and it was hard. At 2 P.M. Burnside, after going almost to Parker's Store and again back, made a short attack with loud musketry. Ventured to urge Hancock (who was very pleasant and talkative) to try and attack too; but he said with much regret that it would be to hazard too much, though there was nothing in his immediate front, which had been swept by Stevenson's other brigade, which marched from left to right.”

SOURCE: George R. Agassiz, Editor, Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, p. 92-7

Major-General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Mead, August 18, 1864

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac, August 18, 1864.

Hancock's movement across the James has resulted in bringing on an action with a part of Lee's army, which at first was in our favor, but from their reinforcing him I judge Hancock has come to a stand still, and will not probably be able to effect more. Warren has gone to-day on a similar mission on our left, to see if he can find a weak spot in the enemy's line. His guns are now plainly heard. These movements are made by Grant, with a view to keep the enemy on the alert, prevent his detaching any troops to Early, and, if possible, compel his bringing back some of the troops in the Valley, and thus give Sheridan more chance.

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 2, p. 222

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Tuesday, January 26, 1864

I went on picket today. The weather is quite warm. Vicksburg, on the east bank of the Mississippi, is built on very high ground. It is quite rough and rolling here. There are some nice buildings here — a very fine court house, six good church buildings and a number of very nice dwellings, besides some large warehouses and stores. During the siege the houses were all more or less damaged, there being scarcely a single building that was not in some way injured. There are very few of the old citizens living here at present, as the military rule of the Union army is not good for their peace of mind.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 164

Diary of Private Charles H. Lynch: May 21, 1864

Colonel Ely and other officers who have been prisoners since June 15th, 1863, returned and assumed command of the regiment. We are again in good condition for any kind of duty that we may be called upon. A good rest here, near Cedar Creek.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 62

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: January 24, 1862

Had quite a cold, so kept close to quarters.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 6

43rd Indiana Infantry

Organized at Terre Haute, Ind., and mustered in September 27, 1861. Left State for Calhoun, Ky., October 1, and duty there till February, 1862. Attached to 14th Brigade, Army of the Ohio, to December, 1861. 14th Brigade, 5th Division, Army of the Ohio, to February, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of Mississippi, to April, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Army of Mississippi, to July, 1862. Helena, Ark., District of Eastern Arkansas, Dept. of Missouri, to December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, District of Eastern Arkansas, Dept. of the Tennessee, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 12th Division, 13th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to February, 1863. 1st Brigade, 13th Division, 13th Army Corps, to July, 1863. 1st Brigade, 13th Division, 16th Army Corps, July, 1863. 1st Brigade, 13th Division, 16th Army Corps, Arkansas Expedition, to August, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Arkansas Expedition, to January, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 7th Army Corps, Dept. of Arkansas, to April, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 7th Army Corps, to May, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 7th Army Corps, to July, 1864. Camp Morton, Ind., to June, 1865.

SERVICE. – Ordered to Commerce, Mo., February 19, 1862. Siege of New Madrid, Mo., March 5-14. Siege and capture of Island No. 10 March 15-April 8. Riddell's Point March 17. Expedition to Fort Pillow, Tenn., April 13-17. Operations against Fort Pillow April 15-June 5. Capture of Fort Pillow June 5. Occupation of Memphis, Tenn., June 6. Expedition up White River, Ark., June 10-July 14. Adam's Bluff June 30. Grand Prairie July 6-7. Near Duvall's Bluff July 7. Aberdeen July 9. Duty at Helena, Ark., till August, 1863. Near Helena October 18 and 20, 1862. Expedition to Arkansas Post, Ark., November 16-21. Expedition to Yazoo Pass, by Moon Lake, Yazoo Pass and Coldwater and Tallahatchie Rivers February 24-April 8, 1863. Operations against Fort Pemberton and Greenwood March 13-April 5. Battle of Helena July 4. Repulse of Holmes' attack. Steele's Expedition to Little Rock August 11-September 10. Bayou Fourche and capture of Little Rock September 10. Pursuit of Marmaduke's forces October 26-November 1. Duty at Little Rock till March, 1864. Regiment reenlisted January 1, 1864. Steele's Expedition to Camden March 23-May 3. Elkins' Ford Crossing, Little Missouri River, April 3-4. Prairie D'Ann April 9-12. Camden April 16-18. Marks' Mills April 25. Jenkin's Ferry, Saline River, April 30. Duty at Pine Bluff and Little Rock till June. Veterans on furlough June-July. Volunteered for duty at Frankford, Ky., during Morgan's operations, and invasion of Central Kentucky. Assigned to guard duty at Camp Morton guarding Confederate prisoners till June, 1865. Mustered out June 14, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 2 Officers and 41 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 5 Officers and 200 Enlisted men by disease. Total 248.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1136

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Lyman to Elizabeth Russell Lyman, May 15, 1864 – 10 p.m.

Headquarters Army Of Potomac
10 P.M. Sunday, May 15, 1864

Well, to be more or less under fire, for six days out of seven, is not very good for the nerves, or very pleasant. But now that there is a quiet day, I thought I would make a beginning of describing to you the sad, bloody work we have been at. I will write enough to make a letter and so go on in future letters, only writing what can now be of no importance to the enemy. The morning of Wednesday the 4th of May (or rather the night, for we were up by starlight) was clear and warm. By daylight we had our breakfast, and all was in a hurry with breaking up our winter camp. To think of it to-night makes it seem a half-year ago; but it is only eleven days. About 5.30 A.M. we turned our backs on what had been our little village for six months. Already the whole army had been some hours in motion. The 5th Corps, followed by the 6th, was to cross at Germanna Ford, and march towards the Orange pike. The 2d Corps to march on Chancellorsville, crossing at Ely's Ford; each corps was preceded by a division of cavalry, to picket the roads and scour the country. The main wagon-train rested on the north side at Richardsville. So you see the first steps were much like the Mine Run campaign. I have drawn a little map to help you in understanding; not very exact in proportions, but still enough so.



The roads were hard and excellent, full of waggons and black with troops; as we got past Stevensburg and went through a more wooded country, there were the little green leaves just opening, and purple violets, in great plenty, by the wayside. As the sun got fairly up, it grew much warmer, as one could see by the extra blankets and overcoats that our men threw away, whenever they halted. By 8 A.M. we drew near the Ford, and halted at a familiar spot, where we had our camp on the Mine Run campaign. How bitterly cold it was then! And now there was green grass all about, and wild flowers. Griffin's division was already over, and the others were following steadily on. At 9.30 we went over ourselves, and, for a long time, I sat on the high bank, some seventy feet above the river, watching the steady stream of men and cannon and trains pouring over the pontoons. It was towards six in the evening before the last were across; and then one bridge was left for Burnside to cross by; for he was marching in all haste, from Rappahannock station. Meantime the head of the 5th Corps had reached the Orange pike, and that of the 2d, Chancellorsville. The Headquarters pitched their now reduced tents on the bank of the river that night, and I went down and took a slight bath in the stream, by way of celebrating our advance. General Grant came up betimes in the morning and had his tents near ours. He has several very sensible officers on his Staff, and several very foolish ones, who talked and laughed flippantly about Lee and his army. But they have changed their note now, and you hear no more of their facetiousness. The more experienced officers were sober, like men who knew what work was ahead. Our first grief was a ludicrous one. Our cook, a small Gaul, had mysteriously disappeared, and all we had left to cook for us was a waiter lad, who however rose with the occasion and was very conspicuous for activity. It turned out after, that the cook was arrested as a suspicious person, despite his violent protestations. . . .

We were off betimes the next morning (Thursday, May 5th), and about 7 o'clock got to the junction of the plank and pike, the troops meantime marching past us, as we stood waiting news from the front. Presently Griffin (5th Corps), who was two miles out on the pike (going west), reported the enemy in his front; while the cavalry, thrown out on the plank road, towards Parker's Store, sent to say that the Rebel infantry were marching down in force, driving them in. General Wright's division of the 6th Corps was turned off the Germanna plank to the right and ordered to march down the cross-road you see on the map, leading to the pike; and he and Griffin were directed to press the enemy and try to make a junction by their wings. At 10.40 A.M. General Getty's division (6th Corps) was sent to hold the Orange plank road. It marched down the Germanna plank and took the little cross-road where the dotted line is, and got to the Orange plank just in time to stop the advance of A. P. Hill's Corps. Meantime the rest of the 5th Corps was ordered into position on the left of, or in support of, General Griffin, about parallel to the most westerly dotted line, crossing the pike. Word was sent to 2d Corps, near Chancellorsville, that the Rebels were moving on us, and ordering Hancock to at once bring his men across to the Brock road and so take position on the left in support of General Getty. At noon, I was sent to General Getty, to tell him the disposition of the various troops and to direct him to feel along to his right, and find roads to communicate with the left of the 5th Corps, where, you will see, there was a considerable gap. Our Headquarters were on a piney knoll near the join of the Germanna plank and the pike. I rode down the dotted cross-road and came immediately on General Eustis, just putting his brigade into the woods, on Getty's right. I stopped and directed him to throw out well to the right and to try to find Crawford, or a road to him.

Here it is proper to say something of the nature of this country, whereof I have already spoken somewhat during Mine Run times. A very large part of this region, extending east and west along the plank and pike, and the south, nearly to Spotsylvania, is called “The Wilderness,” a most appropriate term — a land of an exhausted, sandy soil, supporting a more or less dense growth of pine or of oak. There are some cleared spaces, especially near Germanna plank, where our Headquarters are marked. The very worst of it is parallel with Orange plank and upper part of the Brock road. Here it is mostly a low, continuous, thick growth of small saplings, fifteen to thirty feet high and seldom larger than one's arm. The half-grown leaves added to the natural obscurity, and there were many places where a line of troops could with difficulty be seen at fifty yards. This was the terrain on which we were called to manoeuvre a great army. I found General Getty at the plank road (a spot I shall remember for some years) and gave him instructions. He told me the whole of Hill's Corps was in his front and the skirmishers only 300 yards from us. For all I could see they might have been in Florida, but the occasional wounded men who limped by, and the sorry spectacle of two or three dead, wrapped in their blankets, showed that some fighting had already taken place. I got back and reported a little before one o'clock, and had scarcely got there when B-r-r-r-r torang went the musketry, in front of Griffin and of Wright, which for the next hour and a half was continuous — not by volley, for that is impossible in such woods; but a continuous crackle, now swelling and now abating, and interspersed with occasional cannon. Very soon the ambulances began to go forward for their mournful freight. A little before two, I was sent with an order to a cavalry regiment, close by. The pike was a sad spectacle indeed; it was really obstructed with trains of ambulances and with the wounded on foot; all had the same question, over and over again; “How far to the 5th Corps’ hospital? As I returned, I saw, coming towards me, a mounted officer — his face was covered with blood and he was kept in the saddle only by an officer who rode beside him and his servant who walked on the other side. “Hullo, Lyman!” he cried, in a wild way that showed he was wandering; “here I am; hurt a little; not much; I am going to lie down a few minutes, and then I am going back again! Oh, you ought to have seen how we drove ’em — I had the first line!” It was my classmate, Colonel Hayes, of the 18th Massachusetts; as fearless a soldier as ever went into action. There we were, three of us together, for the officer who supported him was Dr. Dalton. Three classmates together, down in the Virginia Wilderness, and a great fight going on in front. I was afraid Hayes was mortally hurt, but I am told since, he will recover. I trust so.

Gradually the musketry died away; and, at a quarter before three, General Griffin rode up — his face was stern and flushed, as it well might be. He said he had attacked and driven Ewell's troops three quarters of a mile, but that Wright had made no join on his right and Wadsworth had been forced back on his left, so that with both flanks exposed he had been obliged to fall back to his former position.1  Meantime we got word that the head of Hancock's column had moved up the Brock road and made a junction with Getty. At 3.15 I was sent with an order to General Getty to attack at once, and to explain to him that Hancock would join also. He is a cool man, is Getty, quite a wonder; as I saw then and after. “Go to General Eustis and General Wheaton,” he said to his aides, “and tell them to prepare to advance at once.” And so we were getting into it! And everybody had been ordered up, including Burnside, who had crossed that very morning at Germanna Ford. General Grant had his station with us (or we with him); there he took his seat on the grass, and smoked his briarwood pipe, looking sleepy and stern and indifferent. His face, however, may wear a most pleasing smile, and I believe he is a thoroughly amiable man. That he believes in his star and takes a bright view of things is evident. At 4.15 P.M. General Meade ordered me to take some orderlies, go to General Hancock (whose musketry we could now hear on the left) and send him back reports, staying there till dark. Delightful! At the crossing of the dotted cross-road with the plank sat Hancock, on his fine horse — the preux chevalier of this campaign — a glorious soldier, indeed! The musketry was crashing in the woods in our front, and stray balls — too many to be pleasant — were coming about. It's all very well for novels, but I don't like such places and go there only when ordered. “Report to General Meade,” said Hancock, “that it is very hard to bring up troops in this wood, and that only a part of my Corps is up, but I will do as well as I can.” Up rides an officer: “Sir! General Getty is hard pressed and nearly out of ammunition!” “Tell him to hold on and General Gibbon will be up to help him.” Another officer: “General Mott's division has broken, sir, and is coming back.” “Tell him to stop them, sir!!” roared Hancock in a voice of a trumpet. As he spoke, a crowd of troops came from the woods and fell back into the Brock road. Hancock dashed among them. “Halt here! halt here! Form behind this rifle-pit. Major Mitchell, go to Gibbon and tell him to come up on the double-quick!” It was a welcome sight to see Carroll's brigade coming along that Brock road, he riding at their head as calm as a May morning. “Left face — prime — forward,” and the line disappeared in the woods to waken the musketry with double violence. Carroll was brought back wounded. Up came Hays's brigade, disappeared in the woods, and, in a few minutes, General Hays was carried past me, covered with blood, shot through the head.
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1 Of this incident Lyman writes in his journal: "2.45. Griffin comes in, followed by his mustering officer, Geo. Barnard. He is stern and angry. Says in a loud voice that he drove back the enemy, Ewell, ¾ of a mile, but got no support on the flanks, and had to retreat — the regulars much cut up. Implies censure on Wright, and apparently also on his corps commander, Warren. Wadsworth also driven back. Rawlins got very angry, considered the language mutinous, and wished him put in arrest. Grant seemed of the same mind and asked Meade: ‘Who is this General Gregg? You ought to arrest him!’ Meade said: ‘It's Griffin, not Gregg; and it's only his way of talking.’”

SOURCE: George R. Agassiz, Editor, Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, p. 85-91

Major-General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Mead, August 16, 1864

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac, August 16, 1864.

I am right glad the dear children are enjoying themselves. I wish I could be with you and them; but this is out of the question, and there is no use thinking about it. I have made up my mind to stick it out here, regardless of every consideration, except that of doing my duty at all hazards. They shall not say that any personal considerations caused me to turn my back upon the enemy.

Hancock has been fighting for two days across the James, and though he has met with success, yet he has not been able to break through the enemy's lines, he finding them everywhere in strong force. His demonstration, however, has undoubtedly prevented the sending of reinforcements to Early, as we had reason to believe they designed doing. Hancock, with his usual luck, has captured some guns and colors.

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 2, p. 222

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Monday, January 25, 1864

The Eleventh Iowa Regiment was today sworn into the United States service for three years or during the war, and now we are a veteran regiment. Our company had an election of officers, but it did not amount to anything, as it was vetoed by the colonel, and men of his own choice were put into the offices. The role of officers as elected is as follows:1

Captain S. S. McLoney
First Lieutenant William Spencer
Second Lieutenant Joseph Tomlinson
First Sergeant Lewis Elseffer
Second Sergeant David Huff
Third Sergeant Hiram Frank
Fourth Sergeant John A. White
Fifth Sergeant Alexander G. Downing
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1 The men had been promised the right to elect their own officers if they re-enlisted. — A. G. D.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 163-4

Diary of Private Charles H. Lynch: May 20, 1864

Nothing important has transpired since the last date. Weather warm and fine. Getting rested. A soldier must obey orders, not ask questions, keep his eyes open, be on the alert ready for the call to duty. Our company, C, loss at New Market, twelve wounded, five prisoners. General Sigel relieved of the command. A good officer. Kind to the men under his command. From a soldier's view we need more men in this, the Shenandoah, valley. Major-General David Hunter now in command. Dark complexion, black moustache, stern looking. We don't like his looks. We are doing picket duty and drilling as the days come and go. Writing many letters. We manage to keep our writing paper dry.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 62

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: January 23, 1862

Rode a little while about town. The boys better.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 6

41st Indiana Infantry

See 2nd Regiment Cavalry.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1135

42nd Indiana Infantry

Organized at Evansville, Ind., and mustered in October 9, 1861. Ordered to Kentucky, and duty at Henderson, Calhoun and Owensboro, Ky., till February, 1862. Attached to 14th Brigade, Army of the Ohio, October to December, 1861. 14th Brigade, 5th Division, Army of the Ohio, to April, 1862. 17th Brigade, 3rd Division, Army of the Ohio, to September, 1862. 17th Brigade, 3rd Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Ohio, to November, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Center 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to April, 1863. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 14th Army Corps to October, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 14th Army Corps, to July, 1865.

SERVICE. – Advance on Nashville, Tenn., February 10-25, 1862. Occupation of Shelbyville and Fayetteville and advance on Huntsville, Ala., March 28-April 11. Action at Wartrace April 11. Advance on and capture of Decatur, Ala., April 11-14. Action at West Bridge near Bridgeport, Ala., April 29. Duty at Huntsville, Ala., till August. March to Nashville, Tenn., thence to Louisville, Ky., in pursuit of Bragg, August 27-September 26. Pursuit of Bragg into Kentucky October 1-15. Battle of Perryville, Ky., October 8. March to Nashville, Tenn., October 16-November 7, and duty there till December 26. Advance on Murfreesboro December 26-30. Battle of Stone's River December 30-31, 1862, and January 1-3, 1863. Duty at Murfreesboro till June. Reconnoissance to Versailles March 9-14. Middle Tennessee or Tullahoma Campaign June 23-July 7. Elm River June 29. Occupation of Middle Tennessee till August 16. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River and Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign August 16-September 22. Davis Cross Roads or Dug Gap September 11. Battle of Chickamauga September 19-21. Rossville Gap September 21. Siege of Chattanooga, Tenn., September 24-November 23. Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23-27. Lookout Mountain November 23-24. Mission Ridge November 25. Pea Vine Creek and Graysville November 26. Ringgold Gap, Taylor's Ridge November 27. Regiment reenlisted January 1, 1864. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1-September 8, 1864. Demonstrations on Rocky Faced Ridge May 8-11. Buzzard's Roost Gap May 8-9. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Advance on Dallas May 18-25. Operations on Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Pickett's Mill May 27. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Pine Hill June 11-14. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Ruff's Station, Smyrna Camp Ground, July 4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17, Buckhead, Nancy's Creek, July 18. Peach Tree Creek July 19-20. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Utoy Creek August 5-7. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Near Red Oak August 29. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Operations against Hood in North Georgia and North Alabama September 29-November 3. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Averysboro, N. C., March 16. Battle of Bentonville March 19-21. Occupation of Goldsborg March 24. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 19. Grand Review May 24. Moved to Louisville, Ky., June and there mustered out July 21, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 5 Officers and 108 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 196 Enlisted men by disease. Total 310.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1135-6

Sunday, November 23, 2014

John Lothrop Motley to Mary Benjamin Motley and their Daughters, June 14, 1861

Woodland Hill.
June 14th, 1861.

My Dearest Mary And Dearest Darlings, — My note from Halifax, with the announcement which you must have seen in the papers, will have told you enough of my voyage.1 It was a singularly favourable one, and we reached Boston Wednesday morning at 8 o'clock. I found my dear mother looking not worse than I had anticipated, but very feeble. She had had an attack of neuralgic pain the day before, and was not able to come out of her room. She was, however, pretty well the next day, and is not very much changed in the face, although she has evidently become more infirm.

My father seems a good deal older, but is very active and in vigorous health. All the various members of the family are very well. I walked out about eleven o'clock, and went first to the State House to see Governor Andrew. He received me with the greatest cordiality, I may say distinction, and thanked me very warmly for my papers in the Times. I may as well mention once for all, that not a single person of the numbers with whom I have already spoken has omitted to say the same thing. You know how enthusiastic our people are when pleased, and you can therefore imagine the earnest and perhaps somewhat exaggerated commendations which I receive.1

The paper was at once copied bodily into the Boston and New York papers, with expressions of approbation, and I make a point of stating this to you, both because I was myself surprised at the deep impression which the article seems to have made here, and in order that you may let any of our English friends who are interested, know that the position taken in the article is precisely that which is recognised by all men throughout the Free States as the impregnable one in this momentous conflict.

The reason why I am saying so much about it now, is simply because it is the text, as it were, to all I have or probably shall have to say on the subject of American politics in my letter to you. Any one who supposes that this civil war is caused by anything else than by an outrageous and unprovoked insurrection against a constituted government, because that government had manifested its unequivocal intention to circumscribe slavery, and prevent for ever its further extension on this continent, is incapable of discussing the question at all, and is not worth listening to. Therefore it is (and with deep regret I say it), that there is so deep and intense a feeling of bitterness and resentment towards England just now in Boston. Of course I only speak of Boston, because having been here but two days, I have as yet taken no wider views, and I intend, when I write, to speak only of that “which I do know.” The most warm-hearted, England-loving men in this England-loving part of the country are full of sorrow at the attitude taken up by England. It would be difficult to exaggerate the poisonous effects produced by the long-continued, stinging, hostile articles in the Times. The declaration of Lord John Russell, that the Southern privateers were to be considered belligerents, was received, as I knew and said it would be, with great indignation. Especially the precedent cited of Greece struggling against Turkey, to justify, as it were, before England and the world, the South struggling against the United States Government. This then is the value, men say to me every moment, of the anti-slavery sentiment of England, of which she has boasted so much to mankind. This is the end of all the taunts and reproaches which she has flung at the United States Government — for being perpetually controlled by the slavery power, and for allowing its policy to be constantly directed towards extending that institution.

Now that we have overthrown that party, and now that we are struggling to maintain our national existence, and with it, liberty, law, and civilization, against the insurrection which that overthrow has excited, we are treated to the cold shoulder of the mother country, quite as decidedly as if she had never had an opinion or a sentiment on the subject of slavery, and as if the greatest war of principle which has been waged in this generation at least was of no more interest to her, except as it bore on the cotton question, than the wretched squabbles of Mexico or South America. The ignorance, assumed or actual, of the nature of our constitution, and the coolness with which public speakers and writers have talked about the Southern States and the Northern States, as if all were equally wrong, or equally right, and as if there had never been such a State in existence as the one which the Queen on her throne not long ago designated as the “great Republic,” has been the source of surprise, disappointment, and mortification to all. Men say to me, We did not wish England to lift a little finger to help us — we are not Austria calling in Russia to put down our insurrections for us — but we have looked in vain for any noble words of encouragement and sympathy. We thought that some voice, even of men in office, or of men in opposition, might have been heard to say, We are sorry for you, you are passing through a terrible ordeal, but we feel that you are risking your fortunes and your lives for a noble cause, that the conflict has been forced upon you, that you could not recede without becoming a by-word of scorn among the nations; our hands are tied — we must be neutral in action—you must fight the fight yourself, and you would be ashamed to accept assistance; but our hearts are with you, and God defend the right. But of all this there is not a word.

. . . Now it is superfluous for me to say to you that I am not expressing my own opinions in what I am writing. In my character of your own correspondent, I am chronicling accurately my first impressions on arriving here. You see that the language I hear does not vary so much in character as in intensity from that which I have used myself on all occasions in England to our friends there. But the intensity makes a great difference, and I am doing my best, making use of whatever influence and whatever eloquence I possess, to combat this irritation towards England, and to bring about, if I can, a restoration of the old kindliness.

You cannot suppose that I am yet in condition to give you much information as to facts. One thing, however, is certain, there is no difference of opinion here. There is no such thing as party. Nobody asks or cares whether his neighbour was a republican, or democrat, or abolitionist. There is no very great excitement now — simply because it is considered a settled thing which it has entered into no man's head to doubt, that this great rebellion is to be put down, whatever may be the cost of life and treasure it may entail. We do not know what General Scott's plan is, but every one has implicit confidence in his capacity, and it is known that he has matured a scheme on a most extensive scale. There are now in Washington and Maryland, or within twelve hours’ march of them, about 80,000 Union troops. There are, including these, 240,000 enrolled and drilling and soon to be ready. The idea seems to be, that a firm grasp will be kept upon Maryland, Washington, Western Virginia—and that Harper's Ferry, Richmond, and Norfolk, will be captured this summer — that after the frosts of October, vast columns of men will be sent down the Mississippi, and along it, co-operating with others to be sent by sea; that New Orleans will be occupied, and that thus with all the ports blockaded, and a "cordon " of men hemming them in along the border of the middle States, the rebellion will be suffocated with the least possible effusion of blood. Of course there will be terrible fighting in Virginia this summer, and I am by no means confident that we shall not sustain reverses at first, for the rebels have had longer time to prepare than we, and they are desperate. General Scott promises to finish the war triumphantly before the second frost, unless England interferes. This was his language to the man who told me.

You see that it was no nightmare of mine, this possibility of a war with England. General Scott loves and admires England, but there is a feeling in Washington that she intends to recognise the Southern Confederacy. This would be considered by our Government, under the present circumstances, as a declaration of war — and war we should have, even if it brought disaster and destruction upon us. But I have little fear of such a result. I tell every one what is my profound conviction, that England will never recognise the “Confederacy” until the de facto question is placed beyond all doubt, and until her recognition is a matter of absolute necessity. I have much reliance on Forster. I know that his speech will do infinite good, and I doubt not that Buxton will be warm and zealous. I hope that Milnes and Stirling will keep their promise; but what nonsense it is for me to tell of what you know already, and what I shall know in a few days.

Yesterday afternoon I came out here to stop for a couple of nights. My first object was to visit Camp Andrew. This is the old Brook farm, the scene of Hawthorne's “Blithedale Romance,” and his original and subtle genius might, I should think, devise a new romance out of the wonderful transformation effected now in that locality.

Five regiments, in capital condition, have already gone from Massachusetts to the seat of war — being, as you know, the very first to respond to the President's summons. We have more enlisted for the war, which are nearly ready to move, and will have their marching orders within a fortnight. Of these, the crack one is Gordon's regiment—the Massachusetts Second. Lawrence Motley is one of the first lieutenants in this corps, and you would be as pleased as I was, to see what a handsome, soldierly fellow he is. And there is no boy's play before his regiment, for it is the favourite one. All the officers are of the jeunesse doree of Boston — Wilder Dwight, young Quincy, Harry Russell, Bob Shaw, Harry Higginson, of Dresden memory, and others whose names would be familiar to you, are there, and their souls are in their work. No one doubts that the cause is a noble and a holy one; and it is certainly my deliberate opinion that there was never a war more justifiable and more inevitable in history.

We went to the camp to see the parade. To my unsophisticated eye there was little difference between these young volunteers and regular soldiers. But of course, my opinion is of little worth in such matters. I had a good deal of talk with Colonel Gordon. He is about thirty, I should think. He graduated first in his class at West Point — served through the Mexican War, and is, I should think, an excellent soldier. He is very handsome, very calm and gentle in manner, with a determined eye. You will watch, after this, with especial interest the career of the Massachusetts Second.

. . . Gordon's regiment will, it is hoped, be taken into the permanent service, after the war, as the regular army must always be on a much larger scale than before. In that case, these officers will have a profession, which has been one of the great wants for young men of rich families in our part of the country.

I am now going into town, when I shall post this letter, and order your Boston newspaper. No event has taken place, of any very great moment, since I left you. General Scott, I am very glad to say, is in no hurry. He is too old a campaigner and strategist to wish to go unprepared into petty conflicts to furnish food for telegrams. The thing is to be done on a great scale. There is no thought of.peace, and there is a settled conviction in the minds of the most pacific by nature, that, even had the United States Government been base enough to acknowledge the Southern Confederacy, it would necessarily have been involved in war with it. There are at least half a dozen casus belli, which, as between two belligerent nations, could only be settled by the sword, unless the North chose to go on its knees, and accept the dictation of the South. There is no need of saying more. The Mississippi alone speaks war out of its many mouths. The Union hardly intended, when it bought Louisiana and the Mississippi valley, in order to take it from the control of one enemy, to make a present of it to another and more bitter foe.

The girls here are all pretty and nice. N sings very well, with a fine, fresh, ringing voice, and gave me “The Starspangled Banner” last night, with great spirit.

God bless you all, dearest ones. I will write from Washington.

Ever most affectionately,

I shall go to see Mrs. Greene3 to-day, who is in town and in good health. It was impossible for me to do so yesterday, as I was detained by many visitors. Amory came almost the first. He is delightful as ever, and sends his love to you.
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1 Mr. Motley's anxiety in this crisis of American affairs led to a sudden visit to Boston, his family then expecting to follow him.  His appointment to U.S. Minister to Austria, which became vacant after his return, changed the plan.

2 At the beginning of the Civil War, Mr. Motley wrote an elaborate letter to the London Times, explaining clearly and comprehensively the nature of the union and the actual causes of the struggle. There was so much misunderstanding upon the subject that the letter was of the greatest service. It was republished in the United States, and universally read and approved.

3 Sister to Lord Lyndhurst.

SOURCE: George William Curtis, editor, The Correspondence of John Lothrop Motley in Two Volumes, Volume 1, p. 371-7

Charles Eliot Norton to George William Curtis, April 29, 1861

Shady Hill, 29 April, 1861.

I wish we could have a long talk together. Your last note found its answer in my heart. Everything is going on well here. The feeling that stirs the people is no outburst of transient passion, but is as deep as it is strong. I believe it will last till the work is done. Of course we must look for some reaction, — but I have no fear that it will bear any proportion to the force of the present current.

It seems to me to be pretty much settled by this unanimity of action at the North that we are not to have a divided Union. I almost regret this result, for I wish that the Southern States could have the opportunity of making a practical experiment of their system as a separate organization, and I fear lest when the time of settlement comes the weakness of the North may begin to show itself again in unmanly compliances.

But our chief danger at the present moment is lest the prevailing excitement of the people should overbear the wiser, slower, and more far-sighted counsels of Mr. Seward, — for it is he who more than any one else has the calmness and the prudence which are most requisite in this emergency. I am afraid that he is not well supported in the Cabinet, and I more than ever wish that he could have been our President. I am not satisfied that Mr. Lincoln is the right man for the place at this time.

Sumner dined with our Club on Saturday.1 He did not make a good impression on me by his talk. He is very bitter against Seward; he expressed a great want of confidence in Scott, thinking him feeble and too much of a politician to be a good general; he doubts the honour and the good service of Major Anderson. There is but one man in the country in whom he has entire confidence, and in him his confidence is overweening.

After Sumner had gone Mr. Adams2 came in and talked in a very different and far more statesmanlike way. His opinions are worthy of confidence. I think he is not thoroughly pleased with the President or the Cabinet, — but in him Mr. Seward has a strong ally.

You see that Caleb Cushing has offered his services to Governor Andrew. I understand that two notes passed on each side, — one a formal tender from Cushing of his services, which the Governor replied to with equal formality, stating that there is no position in the Massachusetts army which he can fill. Cushing's first letter was accompanied by another private one in which he offered himself to fill any position and expressed some of his sentiments on the occasion. To this Andrew answers that in his opinion Mr. Cushing does not possess the confidence of the community in such measure as to authorize him — the Governor — to place him in any position of responsibility, and that, even if this were not the case, Mr. Cushing does not possess his personal confidence to a degree which would warrant him in accepting his services. This is excellent. It is no more than Cushing deserves. Neither the people nor the Governor have forgotten, and they will never forgive, his speeches last November or December, or his previous course. . . .3
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1 The Saturday Club of Boston.

2 Charles Francis Adams was appointed minister to England, March 20, 1861.

3 Cushing had presided at the Democratic National Convention which nominated Breckinridge to run against Lincoln.

SOURCE: Sara Norton and  M. A. DeWolfe Howe, Letters of Charles Eliot Norton, Volume 1, p. 231-3

John M. Forbes to Moses H. Grinnell, July 6, 1861

Boston, July 6,1861.

Thank you for your telegram. I wrote you last Sunday in substance as follows: —

We are obliterating party lines, which is all the fashion, especially with the Outs. Why not do so with state lines? Of all the men who should go abroad, Lothrop Motley would do most credit to the administration. He was shut off by Adams and Burlingame, much to our regret, and to the loss of the country. He is a Republican from the start, a linguist, and the historian of the day. Now that Burlingame has been banished to China, why not send Motley to Vienna? It would be a delicate matter for Massachusetts to press, as she has two foreign missions, but if the suggestion came from you, upon considerations of public interest, I should think Mr. Seward would not hesitate to appoint him. We have not, outside of London and Sardinia, a very strong representation in Europe, and it does strike me this would strengthen the administration.

If you agree with me, and will push it, you can do it, and I know it will be applauded, as Mr. Irving's appointment, you remember, was universally. It would be a compliment to literature rather than to our State. . . .

I hope to see Congress organize a mercantile navy, and put you at the head of a commission to sit in New York, and see to it. Buy clipper ships, and commission the captains with good rank for the war!

SOURCE: Sarah Forbes Hughes, Letters and Recollections of John Murray Forbes, Volume 1, p. 225

George William Curtis to Charles Eliot Norton, June 18, 1862

18th June, '62.

What a resplendent summer! How densely rich and blooming! I am out all I can be. This moment A. darts in and out again, asking,”What's your hat on for?” I've just been pruning and quiddling, and feeling of the ground with the roots of the Virginia creeper (no allusion to McClellan), and of the air with the white blossom sprays of the deutzia. I am grand in my square foot principality! My patch to me a kingdom is, and that elm tree! (do you remember it ?) my prime minister.

Colonel Raasloff waits to see what Congress will do about his St. Croix proposition. I have written to him that it seems to me we want our Southern laborers where they are, but we want them free, and, until they are so, I should cry godspeed to any man who wanted to escape as a free man to another country. Consequently I shall work all the harder upon public opinion to hasten the day of their freedom. It is better they should be a “free rural population” in their native land, which wants their labor, than in another country, isn't it?

Colonel Raasloff says, and this is entre nous, that he saw Sumner the day before; and when the colonel said that the war would be long, the Senator was evidently “delighted,” which R. says he was sorry to observe. He says that Speaker Grow told him that Congress would not adjourn before the middle of July, or certainly until Richmond was taken, adding, “The army is encamped before Richmond, and we are encamped behind the army.” Fortunately for us all, Mr. Lincoln is wiser than Mr. Sumner. He is very wise.

SOURCE: Edward Cary, George William Curtis, p. 155-6

Captain Charles Russell Lowell to Anna Jackson Lowell, September 19, 1862

Headquarters, Army Of The Potomac,
Sept. 19, 1862.

We had a severe fight day before yesterday — a good many officers on our side wounded because the men in some brigades behaved badly. Frank Palfrey is wounded, not seriously, — Paul Revere, slightly wounded, — Wendell Holmes shot through the neck, a narrow escape, but not dangerous now, — Hallowell badly hit in the arm, but he will save the limb, — Dr. Revere is killed, — also poor Wilder Dwight, — little Crowninshield (Frank's son) shot in the thigh, not serious, — Bob Shaw was struck in the neck by a spent ball, not hurt at all, — Bill Sedgwick very badly wounded.1 A good many others of my friends besides are wounded, but none I believe in whom you take an interest. None of General McClellan's aides were hit.2

This is not a pleasant letter, Mother: we have gained a victory — a complete one, but not so decisive as could have been wished.
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1 This was the great battle of the Antietam, at Sharpsburg, Maryland. The friends here mentioned were officers of the Twentieth and Second Infantry, two of the best regiments that Massachusetts sent to the war. Colonel Palfrey of the Twentieth has already been mentioned. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (now Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States), was captain in the same regiment. His father, the Doctor, has told the story (“My Hunt after the [wounded] Captain”) in his works. Norwood P. Hallowell became colonel of the Fifty-Fifth Massachusetts (coloured) regiment. Dr. Edward Revere (a grandson of Paul Revere), a noble man and devoted surgeon in the Twentieth, after arduous work among the wounded under fire, was shot dead as he rose from operating on a hurt soldier. Lieutenant-Colonel Dwight, early in the war, wrote, after hearing of a military success elsewhere, “I had rather lose my life to-morrow in a victory than save it for fifty years without one. When I speak of myself as not there, I mean the Massachusetts Second in whose fortunes and hopes I merge my own.” He had been largely instrumental in raising that, the first three-years regiment from his State. His wish was granted.

Lieutenant Francis Welch Crowninshield was a youth of delicate constitution, whose great spirit carried him through the whole period of the war, although he was struck by bullets at Winchester, Antietam, Chancellorsville, and elsewhere. Yet he steadily returned to his regiment, the Second Massachusetts Infantry, which he encouraged to reenlist. He became a captain, shared in the actions of the Atlanta Campaign, and, in spite of his frequent injuries, marched through to the sea with Sherman. The year after the war ended, his constitution succumbed to the effects of wounds and exposure, and he died in Italy. Of Robert Shaw much has been already, and will be, said in this volume.

William Dwight Sedgwick, of Lenox, Massachusetts, a good and strong man, well born, and of excellent attainments, was practising law in St. Louis when the war broke out. Eager in his patriotism, he at once joined the Second Massachusetts Infantry as a first lieutenant. The next year he was placed on the staff of his uncle, the gallant and loved General Sedgwick, with the rank of Major and Assistant Adjutant-General. While carrying orders at Antietam he was shot in the spine, and died in the hospital ten days later.

The stories of all these officers are told in the Harvard Memorial Biographies.


2  Lowell said no word of his important service, as one of the aides of the general in command, in helping to rally General Sedgwick's division, of the Second Corps, broken and retreating before the terrible fire. An officer who recognized him said, I shall never forget the effect of his appearance. He seemed a part of his horse, and instinct with a perfect animal life. At the same time his eyes glistened and his face literally shone with the spirit and intelligence of which he was the embodiment. He was the ideal of the preux chevalier. After I was wounded, one of my first anxieties was to know what had become of him; for it seemed to me that no mounted man could have lived through the storm of bullets that swept the wood just after I saw him enter it.” (See Professor Peirce's Life of Lowell in the Harvard Memorial Biographies.)

SOURCE: Edward Waldo Emerson, Life and Letters of Charles Russell Lowell, p. 224-5, 409-10