Bearing arms in the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts regiment of volunteer infantry during the Civil War, 1861-1865



























A.E. Burnsides





BEARING ARMSIN THE Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts RegimentOFVOLUNTEER INFANTRYDURING THE CIVIL WAR.1861-1865.By W. P. DERBY.
decorationBOSTON:WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING COMPANY,18 Post Office Square.1883.




Copyright, 1883, by W. P. Derby.

PREFACE.

While our chief purpose has been to write a history of the Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts Regiment, yet, to give the work more general interest, we have thought best to include an account of co-operative movements, and the varied fortunes of the places which it was the lot of the regiment to capture or garrison. We gladly acknowledge our indebtedness to Congressman George D. Robinson for such official documents as were needed, as well as for a full set of thirty-two volumes of the “United States Roll of Honor,” by which much of the fullness and value of our roster became possible; to C. M. Lee of Springfield for a scrapbook of newspaper notices of the regiment during the war; to E. T. Witherby, Esq. (formerly a member of the Twenty-Fifth Massachusetts) of Selma, Ala., for information through Southern sources; to Capt. E. L. Peck for personal memoranda covering the entire term of the regiment; and no less to Surgeon D. B. N. Fish for the list of casualties, and to him, with Dr. George E. Fuller of Monson, for our valuable medical record. We have also to acknowledge the favor of hosts of correspondents and friends.






The work has received, in advance of publication, the criticism of many prominent officers and men of our regiment; and, while it is not claimed to be perfect, it is hoped it may escape exacting criticism.

As the History is issued under the authority of the regiment, by their unanimous consent, it is heartily dedicated to The Homes of Western Massachusetts by

THE AUTHOR.

ILLUSTRATIONS

Major Gen'l Ambrose E. Burnside,Frontispiece.
Major Gen'l John G. Foster,Opposite page 29
Brevet Brig. Gen'l Horace C. Lee,Opposite page 36
Map Dep't of North Carolina,Opposite page 99
Map Bermuda Hundreds and vicinity,Opposite page 252
Chart of New Berne and its fortifications,Opposite page 117
Chart of Washington, N. C., and its fortifications,Opposite page 168
Chart of Battlefield of Drewry's Bluff,Opposite page 291
Chart of Gum Swamp and vicinity,Opposite page 460






LIST OF BATTLES AND ENGAGEMENTS.
Roanoke Island, N. C.,Feb. 7, 8, ’62.
New Berne, N. C.,March 14, ’62.
Core Creek, N. C.,June 17, ’62.
Dover × Roads, N. C.,July 28, ’62.
Bachelor's Creek, N. C.,Nov. 12, ’62.
Kinston, N. C.,Dec. 14, ’62.
Whitehall, N. C.,Dec. 16, ’62.
Goldsboro, N. C.,Dec. 17, ’62.
Rocky Hoc Creek, N. C,March 23, ’63.
Siege of Washington, N. C,March 30 to April 16, ’63.
Gum Swamp, N. C.,April 28, ’63.
Gum Swamp, N. C,May 22, ’63.
Walthall Junction, Va.,May 6, 7, ’64.
Arrowfield Church, Va.,May 9, ’64.
Drewry's Bluff, Va,May 13 to 16, ’64.
Bakehouse Creek, Va.,May 23, ’64.
Cold Harbor, Va.,June 2, ’64.
Cold Harbor, Va.,June 3, ’64.
Cold Harbor, Va.,June 1 to 12, ’64.
Petersburg, Va,June 15, ’64.
Petersburg, Va.,June 18, ’64.
Mine, Petersburg, Va.,July 30, ’64.
Siege of Petersburg, Va.,June 15 to Aug. 24, ’64.
Gardner's Bridge, N. C.,Dec. 9, ’64.
Foster's Mills, N. C.,Dec. 10, ’64.
Butler's Bridge, N. C.,Dec. 12, ’64.
South-West Creek, N. C.,March 8, ’65.

EXPEDITIONS.

Trenton, N. C.,July 25 to 27, ’62.
Tarboro, N. C.,Nov 1 to Dec. 2, ’62.
Goldsboro, N. C.,Dec. 11 to 20, ’62.
Kenansville and Warsaw, N. C,July 4 to 8, ’63.
Rocky Mount, N. C,July 17 to 20, ’63.
Magnolia Salt Sulphur Springs, Va.,March 4 to 7, ’64.
Blackwater, Va.,April 12 to 15, ’64.
Rainbow Bluff, N. C.,Dec. 4, ’64, to Jan. 7, ’65.






ERRATA.

Page 150, line 17. Read Dec. 16th, not Dec. 17th.

Page 151, line 6. Read Dec. 17th, not Dec. 18th.

Page 333, line 6. For Co. C, read Co. D.

Page 353, line 7. For July 18th, read June 18th.

CONTENTS.

Introduction, . . . . . 1-6

CHAPTER I.

Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. Col. Lee. Recruiting. Reporting at Camp. Field and Staff Officers. Testimonials of favor. Governor Andrew to Col. Lee. Line Officers. Ordered to the front. 7-18

CHAPTER II.

Off for the War. Hudson River. Philadelphia. Annapolis. First service. General Burnside to command. Brigaded. General A. E. Burnside. General John G. Foster. General H. C. Lee. Our Brigade relations. First death. Orders to embark. . . . . . 19-42

CHAPTER III.

The Burnside Expedition. Fleet and Armament. Ranger. Guerrilla Cape Hatteras. Terrible storm. Troubles at Hatteras. Crossing the Swash. Unpleasant discoveries. Sailing Orders. Defences of Roanoke Island. Bombardment. Landing of Troops. The Bivouac. First Battle. Flanking Ft. Defiance. The Enemy surrender. Casualties. Foraging. Re-embarking. Capt. Henry A. Hubbard's death. Prisoners exchanged. . . . . 43-76

CHAPTER IV.

New Berne. Fleet under way. Landing at Slocum's Creek. Battle of New Berne. Enemy's works. Position of the Union troops. Victorious charge. The Enemy retreat. Trent Bridge and Public Buildings burned. We capture the Seventh North Carolina Camp. Casualties. Lieut. J. W. Lawton. Incidents. Congratulatory order. . . . . 77-97






CHAPTER V.

Life in Dixie. Camp Warner. Bachelor's Creek. Hospital. Reinforcements. Battle of Camden, N. C. Siege of Fort Macon. Fortifications of New Berne. Beyond the lines. Military Governor. Grand review. Premature rejoicings. Departure of Gen'l Burnside. Burnside's plan. Trenton Expedition. Capt. Sandford at Gum Swamp. Killed by lightning. Washington, N. C. attacked. Companies A, C, and I ordered to Washington; B, D, E, F and G to Newport Barracks. H and K at Bachelor's Creek. Department of North Carolina. Defences of Washington. Defences of Plymouth. Naval Combat on the Blackwater. Wingfield and Shiloh. . . . . 98-133

CHAPTER VI.

Tarboro Expedition. Nine months’ troops. Rhalls’ Mills skirmish. Advance to Rainbow Bluff. Detour to Tarboro. Council of war and return. Attack upon H and K at Bachelor's Creek. Lieut. Wood's strategy. . . . . 134-144

CHAPTER VII.

Kinston, Whitehall and Goldsboro. Our force engaged. Skirmishing by the way. Battle of Kinston. Battle of Whitehall. Field and battle of Goldsboro. Clingman assaults Lee's Brigade. Casualties Rebel force. Incidents. . . . . 145-158.

CHAPTER VIII.

South Carolina Expedition. Regiment at Washington, N. C. Co's G and H go to Plymouth. Mail steamers and mails. Hyde County gaerrillas. Fort Anderson attacked. Siege of Washington, N. C. Demand for its surrender. Commodore Hull. Ceres runs the blockade. Aground under the guns of Rodman's Point. Spinola retreats. Nailing the flag to the staff. Cotton Battery and Hill's Point. Steamer Escort runs the blockade. General order. Gannett declines to assault. The Siege raised. Incidents. Engagement at Rocky Hoc Creek. . . . . 160-188

CHAPTER IX.

Gum Swamp. Engagement at Dover X Roads. Gen'l Palmer loses his temper. Gum Swamp under Col. Jones. A Night in the Swamp. A grand Success. Following Col. Pierson in a swamp. Lieut. Hunt and his men at Core Creek Bridge. Attack upon Bachelor's Creek. Col. Jones killed. What was it? . . . 189-201

CHAPTER X.

Col. Lyman resigns. Life in New Berne. Attending a colored Church. Foster General Hospital. The Forty-Sixth Mass. Kenansville and Warsaw Expedition. Rocky Mount Expedition. Gen'l Foster commands the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. Gen'l Peck commands in North Carolina. Veteran Reserve Corps. Capt. Geo. Warner. Guard for Conscripts. Negro wedding. 202-217

CHAPTER XI.

Gen'l Foster calls for his old Brigade. At Newport News. Gen'l Foster relieves Gen'l Burnside at Knoxville, Tenn. Provost duty. Reenlistment. Review Review of 1863, . . . . . . 218-221

CHAPTER XII.

Veterans at home. Mayor Alexander's Address. Col. Bartholomew's reply. Census of Norfolk Contrabands. Our Drum Corps. Helping in colored schools. Julian's Creek. Organization of the Red Star Brigade. Death of Adj't E. D. Lee. . . . . 222-231

CHAPTER XIII.

Department of North Carolina in danger. Attack upon New Berne. A terrible Revenge. Plymouth attacked. The ram Albemarle. Death of Lieut.-Com. Flusser. Plymouth surrendered. Capt. Sampson. Washington, N. C., evacuated. A fierce Naval Combat. Hoke attacks New Berne again. His hasty Retreat. . . 232-244

CHAPTER XIV.

The Army of the James. General C A. Heckman's special Report, Bermuda Hundreds. Battle of Walthall Junction; losses. Walthall Junction, May 7th; losses. Gen'l Grant's Instruction to Gen'l Butler. Battle of Arrowfield Church. Mudsills vs. Chivalry; losses. Retire to Cobb's Hill. Lieut. Pliny Wood. Drewry's Bluff. Sharpshooting. New position. Company D on picket. Battle of Drewry's Bluff. Beauregard's Instructions; how executed. The Enemy repulsed. Attacked in the rear. Loss of Colors and Prisoners. What the Enemy say of the Battle. Casualties. Capt. C. D. Sandford. What Gen'l Butler has to say. Letters from Major-Gen'ls Smith and Weitzel. Letters from Gen'ls Heckman, Pickett and Lee. Reorganization of the Regiment. New Commanders. Ordered to the Army of the Potomac. . . . . . . 245-293






CHAPTER XV.

The Army of the Potomac. White-House Landing. March to new Castle and Cold Harbor. Promptly at work. Battle June 2; losses. Charge of June 3. Opinions of the Charge. Losses. Major W. A. Walker. Capt. E. K. Wilcox. Lieut. Samuel Morse. Lieut. F. C. Wright. Truce to bury the Dead. Means to recognize the Dead Sanitary and Christian Commissions. New movement. 294-327

CHAPTER XVI.

Siege of Petersburg. Battle of the 15th; losses. Matter in dispute. Assault June 18; losses. Incidents. Gen'l Smith's Address. Gen'l Stannard's farewell. Chaplain Woodworth resigns. The Enemy's works. . . . . . 328-348

CHAPTER XVII.

A Summer before Petersburg. Experiences at the front and at the rear. Casualities. Tri-monthly Report. Aggregate Strength of the Regiment during the Summer. Fleas, sandflies, etc. Extremes. Picket line. Gen'l Smith's farewell. The Mine fiasco. The Rebels mine our position. Interchange on the picket line. . . 349-366

CHAPTER XVIII.

Return of the Veterans. The Regiment ordered to North Carolina. Col. Lee interposes. Tri-monthly Report Sept. 9. The Veterans at Springfield. Mayor Alexander's Address. Ex-Mayor Bemis’ Address. Col. Lee's response. Col. Bartholomew's response. 367-377

CHAPTER XIX.

Andersonville. Lack of Shelter, Fuel and Water. A wonderful Providence. Libby Prison. Arrival at Andersonville. Surgeon's call Burial of the Dead. A Fast of nearly four Days. Two sides of such life. Leaving Andersonville. Railroad Accident. Savannah. Millen. Blackshire. Andersonville again. Abandoned in Florida. What was endured. Personal Incidents. Forgiven but not forgotten. . . . . . 378-407

CHAPTER XX.

Officers in Prison. Useless requisitions. Specimens of Chivalry. Greetings at Camp Oglethorpe. Uuder fire at Charleston, S. C. Savannah, Ga. Line officers at Charleston, S. C. Camp Sorghum, Columbia, S. C. How Escapes were made. How Money and News were obtained. A stampede of officers. Escape of Capt. Nutting and others. Capt. Nutting gets solicitous. Not anxious for acquaintance. New Difficulties. Under the Stars and Stripes. Escape of O'Connell and others. Friendship of Negroes. Drifting out to our Fleet. . . . . 408-434

CHAPTER XXI.

Return to North Carolina. Torpedo Explosion. Military Execution. Yellow fever. Volunteers for hazardous duty. Destruction of the Ram Albemarle. Recapture of Plymouth, N. C. Successful foraging. Marching orders. . . . . 435-445

CHAPTER XXII.

Rainbow Bluff. Gardner's Bridge. Foster's Mills. Butler's Bridge. Fun all on one side. Col. Frankle's movements. Tri-monthly Report. Major Moore belligerent. Ordered to Beaufort. Ordered to New Berne. Expeditions against Fort Fisher. Red House and Rocky Run. . . . . 446-458

CHAPTER XXIII.

South-West Creek. Marching orders. Col. Bartholomew's little Speech. At South-West Creek. Being flanked. Battle of South West Creek. Hardly a fighting chance. Rallying around our Colors. Defeated; casualties. Col. W. G. Bartholomew. Incidents. Adjt. J. W. Holmes. Story of the prisoners. A speedy release. . 459-477

CHAPTER XXIV.

Close of Service. The Soldier's life. The Last Ditch found. Disbanding of the Army. Muster-out of the Regiment. The fearful Cost Personal Notices of Officers and Men. . . . . 478-495






CHAPTER XXV.

Medical. Surgeon Otis. Surgeon Otis’ Letters. Hospital Department. On the way to Annapolis. New Berne Battlefield. Asst.-Surg.’s Camp and Hubon. Hospital funds. Effect of large Bounties. Dr. G. E Fuller. At Cold Harbor, Va. Around Petersburg. Return to North Carolina. Yellow fever. Hamilton Expedition. South-West Creek. Final service. Signal Corps. Our Men in that Corps. Its Advantage to the Army. . . . . 496-519

CHAPTER XXVI.

Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts Regimental Association. Its object. Discovery of the captured Colors. How recovered. A Jubilee of the Regiment at Springfield. How the Flags were received. Press reports. Flags deposited at the Springfield City Library. Letters of regret; longing to be with us. Fraternal Greetings. . 520-531

Roll of Honor, . . . . . 533

Roster, . . . . . 551

INTRODUCTORY.

One of our most eminent statesmen has said, “All governments must pass through three ordeals before having a confessed standing in the family of nations; first, the knowledge of and declaration of independent rights; second, defending rights and territory from foreign aggression; and lastly, maintaining itself against insurrection and treason within its domain.” Two of these ordeals had been successfully passed by the United States, but in the last the nations of the world predicted its ruin. “We had no cohesiveness or power to enforce our laws, and at the first shock would fly to pieces like a torpedo from forces within. At best, a republic based on universal suffrage and intelligence but nourished the causes that would prove its ruin.” These predictions showed the bias of the nations, and their acts became so unfriendly at the outset of our contest, as to justify our noble President Lincoln in saying, in his annual message in 1862, “Every nation distracted by civil war must expect to be treated without consideration by foreign powers.” Count De Gasparin, a writer of acknowledged ability, said, “Suppose Europe not to exist, and America a duelling-ground in which no one can interfere, you cannot imagine a continuance of the struggle. Four months would suffice for the reduction of the South from the day it ceases to count on Europe.”






It is proper to recount a few of the leading causes of the war as an introduction to the services and sacrifices of those who battled for the integrity of our Union. Headley in his History of the civil war says, “It is easy to see that it will be vain for either North or South to attempt to prove itself entirely guiltless before impartial history;” a declaration which means that, although the North was right in its determined opposition to slavery, the South was in a measure justified in recourse to arms, from the methods by which their pet institution was antagonized. Such a statement may be soothing to a neutral mind, but lacks the vigor and honesty of the truism that right is always aggressive against evil, and must be in loyalty to itself.

The loyal North had endured banterings and insults until forbearance ceased to be a virtue. For the sake of peace, they had submitted to a long series of dominations, resulting in the admission of Texas as a slave State, and rendering effete the Wilmot Proviso, by the terms of which slavery could not be introduced into acquired territory. After a bitter struggle, slavery was legalized in Missouri under the Missouri Compromise, providing that henceforth slavery should be prohibited north of the thirty-sixth degree of latitude. To repeal this compromise, Squatter Sovereignty had been the rallying cry, and this declared it the right of those settling in a territory to decide its domestic institutions. To vitiate State sovereignty, as in Kansas, they appealed to border ruffianism, and invoked the military power of the government to crush out and destroy the opposing sentiment. Still dissatisfied, they obtained the famous Dred Scott decision from the Supreme Court, which

declared, “There is no difference between slaves and other kinds of property,” and that “All American citizens may settle everywhere (in our domain) with their property.” With the patronage of the government at their command, its marshals were employed in recovering fugitive slaves, and both houses of Congress passed stringent laws, ordering all the forces of the States, both public and private, to assist in capturing and returning the fugitives to bondage. Espionage was placed upon the mails, and all literature assailing slavery prohibited therefrom. Social ostracism against persons from the free States at the South, was exacting and intolerable, individual, opinion overawed, and any expression of opposing sentiment was followed by a notice to leave, or by personal violence. Prominent men in all departments of government were playing fast and loose with treason, and distrust was justified on every hand.

Although a Massachusetts senator had been stricken down at the National Capitol, and these changes been endured, there was no intention to interfere with the institution of slavery, otherwise than by legislation, though secession and nullification had been openly advocated at the South.

The election of Abraham Lincoln furnished an occasion rather than a cause for the South; and the weakness or duplicity of James Buchanan, the opportunity to unveil their treasonable plans. South Carolina passed an ordinance of secession Dec. 20, 1860, and seized all public property within her State, under the plea of eminent domain. This was repeated in all the cotton States, until, upon the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President, March 4, 1861, seven States had passed ordinances of secession.






Each in turn seized the public property, Florida and Louisiana ignoring their purchase by the government at a cost of about sixty millions of dollars, and Texas the fact that her place in our constellation had been secured by upwards of two hundred millions of dollars, and large numbers of valuable lives.

Friday, April 12, 1861, at half-past four in the morning, a shell from a mortar battery near Fort Johnson, Charleston, S.C., described a curve high in air, and fell within Fort Sumter, then occupied by Major Robert Anderson, with a garrison of one hundred and twenty-eight men. After a bombardment of thirty-six hours, by forces under General Beauregard, the fort was surrendered and evacuated April 14th. Thus was treason consummated, and a conflict inaugurated, which, in gigantic proportions, and far-reaching results, must ever stand as one of the boldest monuments in political history.

These acts narrated, resulted in a proclamation for convening Congress July 4, 1861, and a call for seventy-five thousand troops for three months. Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas, now cast their lot with the South, while Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri refused their quota, and notified the government, — “Troops could not pass over their domain to coerce the sovereign States.”

By this accession, the seceded States embraced a population of five and a half million whites and three and one-half million blacks, with a territory of five hundred and sixty-four thousand square miles. Cotton had been king, yielding to these States upward of two hundred millions annually, in addition to immense revenues from other crops, and from

mines and forests of ship-timber. The conflict must be waged, if at all, along an inland line of upwards of twelve hundred miles well suited for defence, and twenty-four hundred miles of seaboard, containing the best harbors and strongest fortresses of the Union.

From the Potomac to the far West, all was chaos and lurking treason when Congress met. An insurgent army was gathered at Manassas, Va., threatening the national capital. Kentucky had decided to remain in the Union, but Buckner and Breckenridge, and other leading men were secretly plotting to lead it into the rebellion; Missouri was rent in twain by treason and contesting forces, and its governor and the rebel General Price, were actively at work to force it into the Confederacy. Privateers sailing under letters of marque were destroying our merchant marine upon the high seas, while the nations of the Old World pointed with scorn at one more failure of a republican government.

Even while Congress was debating the right or advisability of coercion, the battle of Bull Run was fought; and the retreating, demoralized Union army — of twenty-eight thousand five hundred and sixty-eight men, — as it fell back upon the national capital, awoke the two houses from sentimentality to a conception of duty. The needed appropriations were quickly made, and the call for five hundred thousand volunteers was authorized.

Before a step could be taken to retrieve our national honor, this army must be enlisted, equipped, and drilled. A great danger also threatened the nation in the expiration of the term of the three months troops; but, thanks to their






unwavering loyalty, these troops volunteered to remain until such time as new levies could replace them. Fortunately, the call for volunteers was met by an uprising and response without parallel, exceeding by two hundred and fourteen thousand one hundred and forty the number called for, a sight which startled the nations of the world, and awoke in our enemies a new conception of the conflict they had precipitated.

Suspecting that the national government would be forced to resort to arms — with eminent wisdom — Gov. John A. Andrew, of Massachusetts, had issued his General Order No. 4, Jan. 16, 1861, requiring the commanding officer of each militia organization, to perfect, recruit, and equip his command with men ready for service at a moment's notice; and to discharge such as were unfit and unwilling to enter active service.

By virtue of this forethought, Massachusetts was able to respond so promptly to the call for troops, that the unfading honor of the first response to the nation's call, belongs to her, and to the valiant Sixth Massachusetts Regiment. The morning following the call, the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment mustered on Boston Common, and the evening of the 17th was en route for Washington.

The President's first call was met with such an uprising that but a small proportion of the volunteers could be accepted; but after the battle of Bull Run, with a more vivid conception of the conflict before it, the government once more appealed to the States for help, and Governor Andrew issued his proclamation, “Your country calls you to the post, where the heroic soldiers of April hastened with generous alacrity and sublime devotion.”

CHAPTER I. TWENTY-SEVENTH MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT.

August 28, 1861, Horace C. Lee, City Clerk of Springfield, a gentleman of large experience in the Massachusetts State Militia, received a telegram from Governor Andrew, offering him the lieutenant-colonelcy of the Twenty-First Massachusetts Regiment, then in camp at Worcester. He telegraphed his acceptance, and the next morning went to Boston for instructions, when he was informed that five additional regiments were to be raised, and that the governor had decided to authorize him to organize one of these in the western part of the State.

September 3d, he received written authority from Governor Andrew to organize a regiment, to be recruited in the four western counties. It was then supposed that the regiment would be called the Twenty-Fifth Massachusetts Regiment, and all its earlier orders were so given.

Colonel Lee at once communicated with fifteen gentlemen of former prominence in the militia, offering commands and positions as he considered them competent, in return for enlistments.

September 10th, recruiting offices were opened at Northampton, Amherst, Greenfield, Athol, Ludlow, Chicopee, Springfield, Westfield, North Adams and Pittsfield. So intense was the enthusiasm that on the 15th instant Northampton and Westfield reported full ranks; Ludlow, seventy-five men enlisted; and other places that they were meeting unexpected success.

September 17th, the companies at Amherst, Adams, Chicopee






and Ludlow, were ordered into camp on “Gunn's Lot,” situated upon the Wilbraham Road, about a mile east of the United States Armory, at Springfield, Mass. The camp was well situated upon high and level ground, far enough from the city to facilitate discipline, and yet easy of access for visitors and supplies. Luke Lyman, Esq., of Northampton, Register of Probate for Hampshire County, was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the regiment; and, as Golonel Lee's time was largely occupied in closing his business and facilitating recruiting, the command of the camp devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Lyman until about the middle of October.

Dr. George A. Otis, of Springfield, was appointed surgeon, commenting on which, the “Springfield Republican” congratulated the regiment on “having secured one of the foremost, best educated, and most successful physicians in the county, and every way fitted for the post.” Walter G. Bartholomew, of Thompson's Express, formerly of the United States Sappers and Miners, was made commander of the North Adams company, and ordered to bring the same to camp.

In consequence of the drain upon the Quartermaster's Department at Boston, it was impossible to obtain camp equipage, so that for the lack of these when the Pittsfield and Amherst companies arrived at Springfield, the 19th inst., the City Guard offered them the use of their armory for the night. The morning of the 20th, a portion of the tents arrived, and our rendezvous was named Camp Reed, in honor of Gen'l John H. Reed, Quartermaster-General of Massachusetts. During the day, the Amherst, Westfield, and Pittsfield companies repaired to the ground and pitched their A tents, which furnished accommodations for six men each. Official notice was also received of the appointment of William H. Tyler, a former merchant of South Adams, as Quartermaster of the regiment. This for the time created

quite a ripple, as Colonel Lee in consideration of assurances from the governor had promised the same to J. B. Stebbins, Esq., a worthy citizen of Springfield, who had already begun to act in that capacity. The responsibility assumed by Colonel Lee in the matter of appointments was a delicate one, subjecting him to great pressure from all sides, in behalf of particular friends; and it is creditable to his judgment and the forbearance of his officers that he succeeded with so little friction. There was rivalry in the appointment of a chaplain between the friends of Rev. Miles Sandford, a Baptist minister of Adams and those of Rev. C. L. Woodworth, a Congregationalist of South Amherst. The former received the appointment, but the latter succeeded him a few months later.

September 21st the Northampton and Ludlow companies reported at camp, but the small supply of tents forced us to crowd twelve men into quarters intended for six. They lay at antipodes that night upon their pallets of straw. No wonder there were frequent complaints of crowding, kicking, and of feet being in some one's face. These trials were, however, soon submitted to, and the hilarity of camp gave place to quiet and sleep. Soon some straitened, aching limb, unconsciously raised for relief, strikes our supply of tin-ware hanging upon the tent-pole, and sends it like a score of cymbals over the sleepers. To add variety, a heavy rain fell about two o'clock in the morning, flooding the camp and leaving our embryo soldiers lying in puddles of water.

The Commissary Department was equally deficient in supplies, and some companies were provided with rations at the Eagle Hotel, now known as the “Rockingham House.”

It must be remembered that the response to the call for troops had been without parallel. The enthusiasm which fired the heart of New England had been encouraged by liberal pecuniary aid from patriotic and influential citizens. Hon. H. G. Knight of Easthampton paid one hundred dollars






to each married, and fifty dollars to each single man enlisting in our regiment from that town. Judge James D. Colt, Col. C. M. Whelden of Pittsfield and Sylvander Johnson, Esq., of North Adams were also specially prominent, while many others in a quiet but still efficient way, worked in their own localities.

We prospered, because the people had a mind to work, and hence it was not strange the regiment was ready for camp before its supplies and equipage could be obtained.

Sunday, the 22d, was novel in experience, strict enforcement of camp discipline not being required. The men were allowed to attend the various churches of the city, or roam the fields at pleasure. There was not enough of mutual acquaintance to suggest frivolity, but all were models of soberness and decorum. In the afternoon, Captain Fuller took the Pittsfield company — Whelden Guards — to the Eagle House, and furnished them one of its best dinners at his own expense.

Parts of the Springfield, Chicopee, Greenfield and North Adams companies arrived the 23d inst., and Amos Bond, of Springfield, was authorized to organize a band for the regiment. A full supply of tents was secured during the day, allowing one to each six men.

Orders were issued the 24th requiring flannel to be used as underwear, and a supply issued; but the uniforms, to be made by Merritt Clark & Co., of Northampton, were as yet undelivered. During the day six men of the Ludlow company were drummed from camp for insubordination because of dissatisfaction with rations. The Athol company arrived during the afternoon headed by the Athol Band, so that the ten companies were present, though as yet without full ranks.

The encampment had now its full proportions.

The parade ground was a scene of restless activity; the various detachments engaged in company movements, or

the manual of arms. A large tent in the rear of the camp answered for hospital purposes, and for the examining of recruits. On repairing to this place the men were ordered to strip and, one by one, were put around the tent at double quick. Defects, constitutional, accidental, or arising from habits, were carefully sought out, and the utmost soundness of lung and limb demanded. Dame Nature must have plumed herself over the perfection of her creation, for but few were found unsound. Such were the men New England was furnishing as a pledge of her loyalty. Like the sacrifice of the ancient Jews, their offering was without spot or blemish, and it was no poesy that they were “the flower of New England.”

Our regiment was made up of Massachusetts yeomen — the best element of the people. It stood for the best of which America can boast — men of independence, character, and honest toil. Most of them were what might reasonably be expected from New England's free-school system, — men of intelligence, “who knew their rights and knowing dare maintain.” The rank and file were the equal of those in command, and yet, for the public good, were willing to surrender individuality, and work through others the nation's redemption. The “Republican” in speaking of them said: “They are the hardy yeomen of western Massachusetts, and when fully organized, are likely to equal, if not surpass, the popular Tenth Regiment.”

September 27th, the morning reports gave the following men in camp: Westfield, one hundred and fifteen; North-ampton, one hundred and ten; Amherst and Athol, one hundred each; Ludlow, ninety; Pittsfield, eighty; North Adams, fifty-eight; Springfield, forty-nine; Chicopee, forty; Greenfield, thirty; and these, having passed the surgeon, were mustered into the United States service by Major Semple, U.S.A., for three years unless sonner discharged.






The same day the following list of field officers for the regiment was promulgated:—

Colonel, Horace C. Lee, of Springfield.

Lieutenant-Colonel, Luke Lyman, Northampton.

Major, William M. Brown, North Adams.

Surgeon, George A. Otis, Springfield.

Assistant Surgeon, Samuel Camp, Great Barrington.

Quartermaster, William H. Tyler, Adams.

Adjutant, George W. Bartlett, Greenfield.

Chaplain, H. Winslow,——.

Of the last person, the author can say nothing, the including of his name being doubtless a clerical error, as on Sunday, the 29th, Rev. C. L. Woodworth, of Amherst, conducted “divine service,” as a candidate for the office. A choir improvised by J. L. Skinner, of the Amherst company, aided the exercises. Thus early the standard of the cross was elevated, and a remnant was faithful to it through all the vicissitudes of service. The men marching out, formed a hollow square, and, seated upon the ground, by worship dedicated the dome of the sky as their religious temple.

The work of organization, equipment, and drill was pressed without intermission to prepare us for the field at the earliest moment. The Quartermaster and Commissary departments were now fully supplied, and the hearts of the people opened to furnish everything love and loyalty could suggest. Hardly a day passed but mementoes from loved ones came to gladden our hearts, in many cases the result of a sacrifice at home more patriotic than that which led us to the field.

The children's work opened on the afternoon of the 12th of October, when the Northamptom company marched into a hollow square formed by the other companies and were presented in behalf of the Sabbath schools of that town with testaments, towels, combs, and cushions. Appropriate remarks

were made by Rev. Mr. Capen, and patriotic songs sung by a chorus accompanying the delegation. On the 16th the Ludlow company was alike favored, and upon the 29th the following note, with the supplies alluded to in it, was received:—

Springfield, Oct. 29, 1861.

Col. H. C. Lee:

The scholars of State Street Grammar School cheerfully contribute the following articles to your hospital stores: Four blankets, three pairs slippers, twenty-one sheets, two boxes of bandages, eighteen pairs pillow-cases, one box lint, fifty towels, one roll linen, sixteen pairs wool socks, two boxes soap, ten handkerchiefs, one night shirt, and a collection of books; and we sincerely hope they may be the means of affording much comfort to the brave men of your regiment. Yours respectfully,

(Signed) J. A. Miller,

S. G. Felton, Teachers.

This was followed by gifts from the Union Street Grammar and High School of the city.

It is much easier to say that the ladies left nothing undone which love could suggest or ingenuity devise, than to enumerate their favors. On the 15th the North Adams and Pittsfield companies received towels, combs, and cushions, from Mrs. J. M. Thompson, of Springfield, while the former, and the Chicopee companies were remembered by a Mrs. —— Carney, by the same gifts, not to omit a liberal supply of “doughnuts,” sufficient for the Adams company. Those doughnuts touched the jealousies of the whole regiment, and longing eyes watched their disappearance, wondering at such partiality. If the donor had only enlarged her bounty to include us all, she would have been unanimously declared the mother of the regiment. The hospital was in daily receipt of supplies from the ladies, and upon the 23d the following was received:—






Northampton, Oct. 23, 1861.

Dr. Otis:

Enclosed you will find one hundred dollars, contributed by the good people of Northampton, for the benefit of the sick of your regiment. Mr. Lyman assures me that if placed in your hands it will be judiciously used. It has afforded us great pleasure to contribute in our way to the comforts of your brave men. If they are willing to leave home to protect ours, the all we can do is but a poor return, yet it may say to them, we in a measure appreciate the sacrifice, and that our prayers and best wishes attend them. (Signed)

Maria T. Damon.

Friends were equally appreciative of our officers, and each day some new victim found himself called upon to respond to unexpected testimonials of good-will.

Captain Bartholomew again led off, and most suspiciously; “an out-of-town lady” presenting him with a handsome uniform, of which the “Republican” suggested “it was not surprising,” leaving the rest untold. Lieutenant-Colonel Lyman received a sword, sash, and belt from the Lyman Guard of Northampton; Captain Bartholomew and Lieutenant Bailey received like gifts from the Union Guard of Springfield; as also Lieutenant Hunt from John West, Esq.; Lieutenant Warner from Sheriff Bush, and Captain Cooley from the Masonic fraternity; Surgeon Otis received a horse and equipments from friends; and, upon the 21st inst., Colonel Lee received the same gift from his city friends. October 18th, the regiment formed in a square upon the parade grounds, and were presented by Major Andrews, Assistant Commissary General of Massachusetts, with a stand of State and United States colors. As he presented them to us Major Andrews said: “Though they be stained with human gore, riddled by weapons of destruction, hurled by an infuriated foe, or faded by the lapse of time, bring them back unblemished, — bring them back a crown of glory for your brow.” The colors were received at “present arms,” Colonel Lee

plighting our lives, if need be, to save them from dishonor.

It had been expected that this regiment would form a part of the Sherman expedition, at that time rendezvousing at “Hampstead Camp,” L. I., and as early as October 7th, orders were received to be ready to leave for that point the 14th inst. Colonel Lee responded that this was utterly impossible, as the regiment was without arms or uniforms, and imperfectly recruited and organized. The attempt to enlist so many regiments at once, had filled our towns with recruiting offices, both for our own and other States. Of this, complaint was made, and the following reply elicited:—

Boston, Oct. 11, 1861.

Col. H. C. Lee:

I understand that persons are recruiting in the four western counties under the supposed authority of Major-General Butler, thus delaying the recruiting of your regiment. This is wholly wrong, and in defiance of the order of this department, and of the authority to me imparted by the Secretary of War. No person can be commissioned in the volunteer service, otherwise than by the governor of the State, nor can regiments be recruited over his authority, unless he refuses to commission officers and raise troops when demanded by the United States government. I have authorized as many regiments as can be safely attempted at one time in the State, and as many as the Secretary of War has requested. The four western counties were designated as your recruiting ground, and I will not at present change the order in that respect.

(Signed) John A. Andrew, Governor.

Through the influence of Ansel Wright, Esq., at Northampton, thirty men were at once secured from that town for the Chicopee company. Colonel Lee left the command of the camp under the efficient care of Lieutenant-Colonel Lyman, and gave personal attention to the various recruiting offices, so that by October 20th the ranks were practically






full. Enfield rifles and uniforms were issued October 10th. The latter consisted of a navy-blue coat and “blouse,” light-blue pants and overcoat, with a black felt hat. The companies were assigned position in line and rank as below; the numerals signifying their order in rank, counting in order from right to left as on dress parade; the letters the future designation of the companies.

Position in line from right.Town from.Order of rank.Company letter.Position in line from right.Town from.Order of rank.Company letter.
1Adams,1H.6Ludlow,8I.
2Greenfield,6C.7Amherst,5D.
3Springfield,4K.8Westfield,10F.
4Chicopee,9G.9Athol,7B.
5Northampton,3A*10Pittsfield,2E.
* Color Company.

The “warrant” or non-commissioned officers were announced, and everything hastened to complete the organization; but with all the despatch possible, it was unable to perfect the regiment in season for the Sherman Expedition, which left Fortress Monroe October 29, 1861. October 14th and 22d, the regiment paraded through the city, receiving hearty compliments from the citizens and press for appearance, evolutions and discipline.

Sunday, October 20th, Rev. Henry M. Parsons, pastor of the First Congregational Church, Springfield, preached upon the grounds an eloquent and stirring sermon from 1 Cor. 16: 13—“Quit yourselves like men; be strong.”

October 25th the following line officers received their commissions, and were mustered into service:—

Co.Captains.First Lieutenants.Second Lieutenants.
AS. C. Vance, Indianapolis, Ind.M. H. Spaulding, North-ampton.E. C. Clark, Northamp-ton.
BA. W. Caswell, Gardner.P. W. McManus, Daven-port, Iowa.L. H. Horton, Athol.
CW. H. Walker, Green-field.J. H. Nutting, Greenfield.W. F. Barrett, Green-field.
DT. W. Sioan, Amherst.A. R. Dennison, Amherst.J. H. Aitcherson, Chico-pee.
EG. A. Fuller, Springfield.J. W. Trafton, Spring-field.L. J. Bradley, Lee.
FL. F. Thayer, Westfield.J. W. Moore, Tolland.J. H. Fowler, Westfield.
GR. R. Swift, Chicopee.P. S. Bailey, Springfield.F. C. Wright, Northamp-ton.
HW G. Bartholomew, Springfield.C. H. Sandford, Adams.W. H. H. Briggs, Adams.
IH. A. Hubbard, Ludlow.E. K. Wilcox, Spring-field.C. W. Goodale, Wilbra-ham.
KH. K. Cooley, Springfield.George Warner, Spring-field,W. C. Hunt, Springfield.

The afternoons were given to “battalion drill” and “dress parade,” drawing large crowds of spectators; and hours of leisure to wrestlings, dances, games and visits. The sutlers Langdon and Bidwell erected a shed just outside the guard. This establishment was complete of its kind; and its supplies, while those ordinarily on sale at such places, might be guaranteed to produce anything from a dyspeptic to a full-fledged corpse. One of the unexplained incicents connected with this institution, was the placing of a barrel in their keeping, and wonderful to tell, the morning following the body was found, but the spirit(s) had departed.

October 29th our entire equipment was at hand, including horses, baggage wagons, and ambulances; and the regiment received orders to start for the front Saturday, November 2d.






The morning of the 1st we were reviewed by Quarter-master General Reed, and in the afternoon by Gov. John A. Andrew and staff.

This closed our duty at Camp Reed, nothing having occurred to darken our experiences. All was bright and inspiriting, and — barring the little incursions which will be made by men promiscuously gathered — our stay was as pleasant to those living near the grounds as to ourselves.

CHAPTER II. OFF FOR THE WAR.

Saturday, November 2d, opened cool and clear; the rustling leaves and curling smoke being quickly driven to shelter before a strong north-west wind. Daily duties and preparations were soon over, and with our first three days’ rations, and with knapsacks slung, the Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts Regiment awaited orders. At nine o'clock the signal to “break camp” was given, and the field of tents disappeared as by magic. Hospital, camp equipage, and supplies, were soon en route to the railroad; and the frisky wind fanned the smouldering camp-fires into a flame, which speedily consumed the straw with which our tents had been bountifully provided.

At noon, with three rousing cheers for “our homes,” for “Camp Reed,” and for “our flag,” we stood in line as on dress parade, nine hundred and eighty strong. Though we could not fathom the experiences through which success would be reached, an intelligent soldierly bearing gave promise that the remnant would return with the laurels of victory, and of an honorable peace.

A waiting escort, our band favored the assembled multitude with national airs and “Home, Sweet Home,” in which last the regiment joined with a fervency and pathos inimitable. It was the soul offering its tribute of love at a shrine before which it was certain many would never again appear. It was a refrain receding to our hillside homes, assuring them, that, though duty now separated us, our hearts would watch for the dawning of the day permitting our return.






At half-past twelve Colonel Lee gave the order “Column!—Forward!—Guide left!—March!!” and with firm, reliant step, and colors to the breeze, the Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts Regiment of Infantry took up its march for the front. The feelings of such an hour the pen cannot portray. Thoughts were too deep for expression. The silent recesses of hearts with such an experience can only know the secret fullness of such moments.

Our line of march was through State and Main streets to the “Boston & Albany” depot, two miles and a half distant, our escort consisting of the Armory Band, Union Guard, Ocean Fire Company, and the Springfield Cadets.

Although much of the display attending the departure of earlier organizations was omitted, yet it was not a heartless multitude which gave homage on the way. The railroads centering at Springfield had made excursion rates; and the hillside homes of Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampshire, joined with Hampden and Western Worcester in doing honor to the occasion. Gray-haired sires and matrons, queenly women and blushing maidens, thronged the curbing with tearful eyes, showering blessings and adieus; while enough of ardor was evinced by waving of kerchiefs and national colors to show the enthusiasm the occasion inspired. Controlling their sorrows opportunely, the Spartan mothers and daughters of New England gave us new strength, by inspiring us with their own matchless fortitude and loyalty. In their veins coursed the blood of heroes, and they gave, and ever will give, the sterile, rocky soil of New England its chief excellency, a race of sons and daughters whose acts best enshrine the royalty of their ancestors.

“The maid who binds her warrior's sashWith smile which well her pain dissembles,The while beneath her drooping lashOne starry tear-drop hangs and trembles;Though heaven alone records the tear,And fame should never hear the story,Her heart has shed a drop as dearAs ever dewed the field of glory.“The wife who girds her husband's swordMid little ones who weep or wonder,And bravely speaks the cheering word,What though her heart be rent asunder;Doomed nightly in her dreams to hearThe bolts of war around her rattle,Has poured as sacred flood, as e'erWas poured upon the plain of battle.“The mother who conceals her grief,While to her breast her son she presses;Then breathes a few brave words, though brief,Kissing the patriot brow she blesses;With no one but her secret GodTo know the pain that weighs upon her,Sheds holy blood as ere the sodReceived on freedom's field of honor.”

No wonder, then, that, commissioned by such hands, each comrade swore fealty to ancestral honor, and vowed that no act of his should cause that mother, or the maid whose plight was held, to spurn us as tainted ones on our return.

Arriving at the depot an hour later, we stacked arms and awaited transportation until four o'clock, when, with partings said, we turned our back on home and friends, and were “off for the war.” Our train consisted of twenty-one cars, drawn by two powerful engines, with which we sped our way over the Boston and Albany Railroad, the platform of each station, as we passed, crowded with anxious, expectant friends. These places had contributed to our ranks, and as the train rushed by, cheers were given in lieu of the blessings friends were not permitted to speak, and chubby babes were raised above the surging crowd, that their fathers might catch one more glimpse of the little ones.






At eleven o'clock we arrived at Hudson, N. Y., where, after considerable delay, we boarded the Steamer “Connecticut,” and, stretched upon the cabin floor, were soon asleep. While transferring our baggage, Corporals R. R. McGregor and Charles Hadley, of Company K, were pressed overboard, but were fortunately rescued unharmed.

At three o'clock, Sunday morning, we turned our prow towards New York City, and by light had reached the vicinity of Rhinebeck. Nature had reserved her richest charms, and the trip down the Hudson River will retain its place amongst the most vivid recollections of our army experience. Mountains, glens and villages were bathed in sunlight and rich autumnal colors, while hillsides here and there were dotted with camps, whose occupants cheered lustily as we passed. West Point and the “Narrows,” with their suggestive histories; the numerous cities, towns, and villas, with their rich surroundings; the long line of Palisades, with their cascades from dizzy heights; and the “Empire City,” with its far-reaching suburbs, steeples and turrets, steamers and masts, all conduced to awaken pleasure and enthusiasm.

At one P.M. we were received at the “Jersey City” depot by Col. Frank Howe, Massachusetts agent to provide for her troops en route. During the collation served, he reminded us that we “went forth with no spirit of vindictiveness, but to teach the South that the United States was bounded, on the north by British America, east by the Atlantic Ocean, south by the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico, and west by the Pacific Ocean.” Colonel Barnes and others followed, with fitting remarks, Colonel Lee responding in behalf of the regiment.

At five P.M. we left Jersey City, reaching Philadelphia at midnight, where a most sumptuous collation was furnished us at Cooper's Volunteer Refreshment Rooms, — a collation suited to an epicure, and more than appreciated by us.

The idea of these rooms, says Lossing, arose in this way.

The wife of a mechanic living near the foot of Washington Avenue, was so affected by the needs of our men passing to the front, that she went out one morning with a coffee-pot and cup, and distributed its contents among them. From this act, was suggested the “Cooper Refreshment Rooms,” through whose beneficence upward of a million and a quarter volunteers were bountifully fed. Later, a hospital was established as auxiliary to its work, and cared for over twenty thousand wounded and sick returning from the army. When information was received of a regiment en route to the city, a signal gun was fired, bringing a large number of ladies to the rooms, and whenever the troops arrived, the tables were loaded with smoking viands suited to the most delicate tastes.

No inquiry was made as to what State the regiment was from; it was enough to know they were soldiers of the Union.

Philadelphia, and the noble women who served us at midnight, “did themselves proud,” and their loving “God bless you, boys!” met a hearty return from the Twenty-Seventh. Monday morning, under darkness and a threatening sky, we moved across the city, and at six A.M. entered the cars, the transportation agent remarking that “no regiment in his experience had accomplished this with so much order and decorum. “Why,” said he, “I never knew the like; you have not a single tipsy man aboard!” If this virtue was a necessity, it is much to the credit of some one.

On reaching Perryville, at ten A.M., we found several regiments awaiting transportation. After some delay we were ordered aboard a train, and moved forward, much to the chagrin and vexation of those whom we had found there, who were disposed to treat it as anything but a joke. We are inclined to think there was a bit of diplomacy used, which we fortunately enjoyed, as we hastened to Baltimore, where we arrived at five P.M., and were served with refreshments






by the Union Committee. The ominous bullet-holes were everywhere present in the depot, and we were credited with being the first regiment passing through the city with unloaded arms since the unfortunate attack upon the Massachusetts Sixth, April 19, 1861. As soon as a freight train could be secured, we were forwarded to Annapolis, arriving there at three A.M., November 5th, where we were quartered in the Naval School buildings.

At noon of the same day we marched westerly to a plain a mile distant, and established “Camp Springfield.” The ground was rolling and well suited for its purpose as a rendezvous of troops, and camp of instruction. Here we found the Massachusetts Twenty-Fifth, Colonel Upton, and the Fifty-First New York, Colonel Ferrero, already in camp, and were soon after joined by the Twenty-Third and Twenty-Fourth Massachusetts, and Eighth and Tenth Connecticut regiments.

The change from Massachusetts to Maryland was like moving the seasons backward, and exchanging November for September. Hardly had the lines been established, with the men fairly at work pitching their tents, than the ubiquitous darkies, — uncles, aunties, shades, quadroons and octoroons, — bowing, scraping, and scratching, plied us with their hoecakes, fried and sweet-potato pies, banjos and clog-dances, until all work was well-nigh suspended, and in desperation they were ordered beyond the lines.

October 23d, Brig. Gen'l Ambrose E. Burnside had been ordered to organize an expedition, with headquarters at Annapolis, Md. It was first intended that this expedition should contend with the batteries on the Potomac River and other waters of Virginia, and hence it was composed of troops from the Atlantic States, as possessing greater nautical skill and fitness for the experience likely to fall to them. After the arrival of many of the troops at Annapolis, and upon further consultation with General McClellan and

the War Department, the original plan was given up by General Burnside, as will appear in this history.

Rumors prevailing of a contemplated raid by the rebels, on the Annapolis Branch Railroad, General McClellan ordered the patrol doubled to the Junction, some twenty miles distant; and Company A of the Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts reported to Colonel Morse of the Twenty-First Massachusetts Regiment for this duty.

The company was divided into three detachments; Lieutenant Spaulding with the first being left about seven miles; Lieutenant Clark with a second, five miles; and Captain Vance with the remainder at Anderson's Switch, two miles, — from Annapolis Junction. It is not given out that there were any raids or hair-breadth escapes, except for certain luckless “cullud indiwiduals” returning from “seein’ Dinah on de nex’ plantation.” These were several times halted with an exhibition of molar ivory suggestive of discomfiture. The company returned to camp the 13th, and prided themselves with the honors of the first active service of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment.

On the 17th of November, Brig. Gen'l Ambrose E. Burnside, who had been placed in command of the forces in the vicinity of Annapolis, made his first inspection, attended by Secretaries Seward and Cameron, with Gov. John A. Andrew of Massachusetts, and officers of high rank in the army. On the 27th of November sixteen regiments were present, and were brigaded as follows: —

First Brigade.

Brig. Gen'l John G. Foster, Commanding.

Twenty-Third Massachusetts, Col. John Kurtz.

Twenty-Fourth Massachusetts, Col. Thomas G. Stevenson.

Twenty-Fifth Massachusetts, Col. Edwin Upton.

Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts, Col. Horace C. Lee.

Tenth Connecticut, Col. Charles L. Russell.






Second Brigade.

Brig Gen'l Jesse L. Reno, Commanding.

Twenty-First Massachusetts, Col. Augustus Morse.

Sixth New Hampshire, Col. Nelson Converse.

Fifty-First New York, Col. Edward Ferrero.

Ninth New Jersey, Col. Joseph W. Allen.

Fifty-First Pennsylvania, Col. J. F. Hartranft.

Third Brigade.

Brig. Gen'l John G. Parke, Commanding.

Fourth Rhode Island, Col. J. P. Rodman.

Fifth Rhode Island Battalion, Maj. Job Wright.

Eighth Connecticut, Col. Edward Harland.

Eleventh Connecticut, Col. T. H. C. Kingsbury.

Eighty-Ninth New York, Col. H. S. Fairchilds.

Fifty-Third New York, Col. Lionel J. De Epinueil.

Battery F, Capt. Charles Belger, Rhode Island Artillery, consisting of one hundred and fifty-six men, one hundred and twenty horses, four ten-pound Parrott guns, and two twelve-pound field howitzers, constituted a part of the division.

General Burnside's staff consisted of Capt. Lewis Richmond, Assistant Adjutant General; Capt. Herman Biggs, Division Quartermaster; Capt. T. C. Slaight, Assistant Division Quartermaster; Capt. Charles G. Loring, Assistant Division Quartermaster; Capt. E. R. Goodrich, Commissary of Subsistence; Capt. William Cutting, Assistant Commissary of Subsistence; Capt. J. J. De Wolf, Assistant Commissary of Subsistence; Lieut. D. H. Flagler, Ordinance Officer; Lieut. Duncan C. Pell, Lieut. George Fearing, Aides-de-Camp; Maj. W. H. Church, Division Surgeon.

General Foster's staff: Capt. S. Hoffman, Assistant Adjutant General; Capt. Daniel Messenger, Brigade Quartermaster;

Capt. E. E. Potter, Commissary of Subsistence; Capt. P. W. Hudson, Aide-de-Camp; Lieut. E. N. Strong, Lieut. G. N. Pendelton, Lieut. J. F. Anderson, Volunteer Aids.

As we were but indirectly connected with the Second and Third Brigades, the staffs of these are omitted.

Major-General Ambrose Everett Burnside, who commanded this force, was born May 23, 1824, the fifth child of Edgehill Burnside, Esq., an attorney of Liberty, Union County, Ind., who was in direct descent from Revolutionary heroes, and in early life had moved from South Carolina to the above place, where he was favored with many public offices and trusts. His son Ambrose received an appointment as a cadet at West Point in 1843, from which he graduated in Artillery July 1, 1847, with a commission as brevet second lieutenant of Artillery. He was promoted to second lieutenant of the Third United States Artillery Sept. 8, 1847, and joined the army in Mexico, but too late for active service in the field. On his return he was stationed at Fort Adams, Newport, R. I., and was subsequently ordered to New Mexico, where he was connected with Bragg's famous battery.

Leaving the army in 1853, General Burnside was for a time engaged in the manufacture of fire-arms, which proving unremunerative, he was found at the opening of the Rebellion in Chicago, as treasurer of the Illinois Central Railroad. Accepting the command of the First Rhode Island Infantry, he was present at the first battle of Bull Run, acting as brigadier-general in command of the First Brigade, Second Division, and rendered conspicuous service in saving the routed Union forces. The successful organization and exploits of the Burnside Expedition were worthy of the man whose name it bore, and the magnanimity with which he shared his success with others, was a trait rarely exhibited.






General Burnside was continuously in command of the Ninth Army Corps, from its organization until the close of hostilities, save the brief times in which he commanded the Army of the Potomac, and when temporarily surrendering it to Major-General Foster, at Knoxville, Tenn. His service was rendered on the fields of North Carolina and Tennessee, as well as on the stubbornly contested fields of Virginia and Maryland.

At the close of the war he was repeatedly chosen governor of Rhode Island, from which position he was advanced to the Senate of the United States, and was still holding this honorable position at his death, which occurred at Bristol, R. I., Sept. 13, 1881, at fifty-seven years of age. General Burnside died at the pinnacle of fame, not worn and laid aside by service and age, but in the vigorous use of all his powers.

“Leaves have their time to fall,And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath,And stars to set, — but all,Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!”

His heroic patriotism, noble magnanimity, tender sympathy and self-sacrificing spirit, were traits endearing him alike to his command and his country. His life was clear and frank as an open book. No suspicion of jealousy of superiors, or wilful neglect of subordinates ever justly rested upon him. He was not of stolid mind, able to disregard the sacrifices and sufferings of the field, for his nature recoiled at carnage, and — we say it charitably — this led to a hesitancy in precipitating contests where it is possible a little more promptness might have resulted in greater economy of life and limb. No corps commander had a stronger hold on his command than General Burnside, and in the hour of exultation, when receiving the intoxicating applause of a grateful people, he nobly and magnanimously, as at Cincinnati, reminded them, “It is not to me, but to the grand army of






J.G.Foster Maj. Gen. John G. Foster

noble men in the ranks, and still at the front, you are indebted for the victories with which you accredit me.” This was not the ebullition of a moment, but the expression of a permanent conviction to puncture a bubble of hero worship, which ascribed to a commander all the achievements wrung from the field of contest by the valor and blood of subaltern and soldier. Consistent with this, no subordinate, however low or menial, ever sought redress for wrongs at his hand without a hearing, and such relief as the case demanded. His large-heartedness was only exceeded by his bravery and loyalty, and though our service under his immediate command was limited to some seven months, it was long enough to win a warm place in our hearts, which will ever be sacred to his memory.

Major-General John Gray Foster, son of Perley and Mary Gray Foster, was born at Whitefield, Coos County, New Hampshire, May 27, 1823. He was of loyal lineage, his father having served during the war of 1812, in command of the Nashua Artillery, and later as a major in the State militia. At the age of ten he removed to Nashua, attending its public schools, and advanced to the Baptist High School at Hancock, N. H. He subsequently prepared for West Point Military Academy at Crosby's High School, Nashua. By request of Hon. Franklin Pierce, senator, and Hon. Charles G. Atherton, member of Congress, he was appointed a cadet and entered West Point June, 1842. Among his classmates were Generals McClellan, Couch, Gordon, Oaks, Reno, Stoneman and Sturgis, of the Union army; and Stonewall Jackson and Wilcox of the rebel army.* He

* His standing in order of general merit or proficiency in studies, was second in Infantry tactics, third in Engineering and Artillery, fourth in Ethics, and seventh in Mineralogy and Geology. He also stood twenty-third in conduct, of two hundred and thirteen cadets, with only seven demerits, as against two hundred for the lowest standard given.




graduated July 1, 1846, fourth in standing, with a commission of brevet second lieutenant of engineers, United States Army. He was present in many of the engagements during the Mexican war, and was brevetted first lieutenant for gallant and meritorious conduct at Contreras and Cherubusco. At the storming of Molino del Rey, Sept. 8, 1847, he was one of the assaulting column, receiving a severe wound in the ankle, and for conspicuous service was brevetted captain.

From 1854 to 1857 he was assistant professor of engineering at West Point; and April 28, 1858, was assigned to the fortifications of North and South Carolina.

The opening of the war found Foster second in command at Fort Sumter, and for gallantry there, he was promoted to a brigadier-general of volunteers. On arriving north, General Foster was put in charge of the fortifications of New York Harbor, and was ordered Oct. 23, 1861, to report to General Burnside for duty. At Annapolis he was assigned to the command of the first brigade of the Burnside Expedition, the success of which was due in no small degree to his prudence and skill. After the capture of New Berne, N. C., he was appointed military governor of that State, and, upon the departure of General Burnside with most of his troops to aid General McClellan on the Peninsula, succeeded to the command of the Department of North Carolina, with the difficult task of holding our extended lines with a decimated force. The successful record of the Department of North Carolina, recorded in this work, is largely due to his prudence, bravery and foresight.

July 16, 1863, General Foster was assigned to the consolidated command known as the “Department of Virginia and North Carolina,” with headquarters at Fortress Monroe. In November following he was ordered to the command of the Department of Ohio, where, with a small body of men, he pressed through a hostile country to Cumberland Gap and Knoxville, Tenn., for the relief of General Burnside,

then under siege at the latter place by Longstreet's rebel forces. Arriving at Knoxville, Dec. 11, 1863, just after the hasty retreat of the enemy, General Burnside issued a farewell address to his army, expressing strong friendship for his successor, and the complete confidence with which he entrusted every interest to his consummate skill and care. An accident, here, caused General Foster's Mexican wound to re-open, necessitating a surgical operation, and by his own request he was relieved by General Schofield, Jan. 24, 1864. May 26, 1864, he was assigned to the Department of the South, which position he held until Feb. 15, 1865, co-operating with General Sherman in the capture of Savannah and Charleston, and having the pleasure of wresting from rebel hands the very fort (Sumter) from which he had been ruthlessly driven on the opening of hostilities. It was his fortune to hear the first gun that ushered in the civil war, and when at its close the news arrived in Florida of the surrender of Lee and Johnson, he was still pressing marauding bands infesting that State. Upon relief from duty at the South, he was assigned to the defences of Boston Harbor, where declining health forced him to apply for a “sick leave.”

After thirty-two years of continuous service he retired to his home at Nashua, where, suffering some six months as a consumptive (a disease which had carried off most of his family), he died Sept. 2, 1874, and was buried with military and civic honors due his rank and services.

The following indicate his successive promotions: —

Brevet First Lieutenant, Aug. 20, 1847; Brevet Captain, Sept. 8, 1847; Second Lieutenant, Feb. 28, 1848; First Lieutenant, Feb. 2, 1854; Captain, July 1, 1860; Brevet Major, Dec. 26, 1860; Brigadier-General Volunteers, Aug. 21, 1861; Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel United States Army, Feb. 8, 1862; Brevet Colonel United States Army, March 14, 1862; Major-General of Volunteers, July 18, 1862;






Major United States Army, March 3, 1863; Brevet Brigadier-General United States Army, March 13, 1865; Brevet Major-General United States Army, March 13, 1865; Lieutenant-Colonel United States Army, March 7, 1867.

Major-General Foster was regarded as one of the most accomplished, brave and prudent officers in the army, and, during his long and varied service, never suffered a defeat on the field. He was endowed with wonderful foresight and fertility of resource, enabling him to provide for any emergency, so that his troops never were found in false or fatal positions. This was in part due to military training, and in part to a trait asserting itself in all his acts, that what was worth doing at all was worth doing well. As a result, whatever field he entered, he became conversant with all its features and detail. As engineer on the coast defences of North and South Carolina, previous to the war, he not only acquainted himself with the fortifications, but the topography of the surrounding country, which proved of inestimable benefit to himself and his country during the Rebellion. As commander at New Berne he built its fortifications so well, that though the enemy drove the garrison several times into the intrenchments, they never dared assault them. John G. Nicolay, private secretary to President Lincoln, commenting on the bombardment of Fort Sumter thirty-six hours without the loss of a single life, says, “Captain Foster, the accomplished engineer of the fort, by many expedients known to military science, had pushed its defences to a state of relative completeness, with the limited means within the fort. Most of the embrasures of the lower tier of casemates were closed, . . . and here the garrison were securely housed.”

He was in some respects the opposite of General Burnside, for while closely allied with, and prudent of his troops, his education, zeal and loyalty to his work, led him to ignore contingent results to accomplish his end. His

nature was more inclined to aggression than defence. By restless activity with a small force, he was able to inflict serious losses upon a larger one, and by surprises and reconnoissances, to hold them constantly on the defensive. He was a strict disciplinarian; but his genial nature cultivated a most cordial relation with subordinates. His wise, humane, and yet determined course, secured the fear and respect of both friend and foe. As our brigade or division commander in thirteen engagements and expeditions, General Foster proved his eminent ability and courage, and it is safe to say his command would have followed him (he always led) wherever he went. He was peculiarly the idol of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, and his frequent presence, attended by Mrs. Foster and his staff, at our dress parades, with frequent souvenirs — not forgetting the fawn from Mrs. Foster — evinced the high regard in which he held our organization; and, while disparaging none of our commanders, he will always hold the highest place in our esteem.

His remains now rest in the Nashua Cemetery. A plain marble shaft, bearing the following inscription, marks his last resting place:—

To my Husband.

John Gray Foster, Lieut. Col. U. S. Engineers, and Brevet Maj. Gen'l U. S. Army, Died at Nashua, Sept. 2, 1874, Aged 51.

Post No. 7, Grand Army of the Republic, Nashua, N.H., has the honor of bearing his name.

The first Mrs. Foster, so well known and esteemed by us, died just after the close of the war.






Of the officers of the organizations composing the Burnside Expedition, many rendered conspicuous service, and for gallantry were promoted to the command of brigades and divisions, among whom were Colonels Lee, Stevenson, Harland, Ferrero, Hartranft, and Lieut. Col. C. A. Heckman.

General Horace Clark Lee was born in Springfield, Mass., Jan. 31, 1822, and enjoyed the full educational advantages of that city with academic privileges at Greenfield, Mass., and East Hartford, Conn. At the age of twenty he assisted in the formation of, and enlisted as a private in the Springfield Light Guards, under the command of Captain, now Colonel J. M. Thompson. He received successive promotions in the Springfield Guards and at the time of the expiration of their charter was serving as a fourth lieutenant. Upon the formation of the present Springfield City Guard Company, Lieutenant Lee was elected captain, and continued as its commander for several years. In 1854 he was elected as colonel of the Third Regiment Massachusetts Artillery. Under the reorganization of the State Militia and change of arms, this regiment was designated the Twelfth Massachusetts Infantry. Colonel Lee served five years as the commander of the Twelfth Regiment, or as an acting brigadier-general of the Sixth Brigade, Third Division, of the Massachusetts Militia, when he resigned his commission. On a later reorganization, the Twelfth Regiment was called the Tenth Massachusetts Infantry; and the six companies constituting that organization were the nucleus of the Tenth Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, which was the first body of men leaving Western Massachusetts to aid in suppressing the rebellion. Colonel Lee was prominently mentioned as a commander for that regiment.

August 23, 1861, Gov. John A. Andrew offered him the position of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Twenty-First

Massachusetts Volunteers. Colonel Lee went to Boston intending to accept the offer, when the governor informed him of authority from Washington for raising five additional regiments in Massachusetts, and of his desire that one of them should be raised in Western Massachusetts. The command of such an organization was tendered to Colonel Lee, and Sept. 3, 1861, written authority was given him to raise the regiment. His commission as colonel of the Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts Regiment was dated Sept. 20, 1861. He was present with his command until July 4, 1862, participating in the battles of Roanoke Island and New Berne, N. C.

Upon the departure of General Burnside and the reorganization of the forces in North Carolina, Colonel Lee was appointed an acting brigadier-general, and as such commanded the Trenton Expedition, and participated in the Tarboro and Goldsboro expeditions. At Goldsboro, General Lee and his brigade received honorable mention for gallantry in repulsing General Clingman's brigade in its charge upon Belger's and Morrison's Batteries. He was recommended by Major-General Foster as a brigadier-general of volunteers, but failed of being confirmed because of the excess of such appointments already given Massachusetts officers. General Foster then appointed him as provost-marshal general of North Carolina and subsequently of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, which position he held until January, 1864. Colonel Lee served upon commissions and courts-martial until the following May, when he again took command of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, participating in the battles of Walthal Junction, Arrowfield Church, and Drewry's Bluff. At the last of these engagements he was captured by the enemy, with half of his regiment, and suffered imprisonment at Libby Prison, Richmond, Va., and Camp Oglethorpe, Macon, Ga. June 10th, Colonel Lee — with fifty of the highest Union field officers held by the Confederates






— was removed from Macon and placed in Charleston, S. C., under fire of the Union guns before that city. He was exchanged, Aug. 2, 1864, and after a thirty days’ furlough at the North, arrived at Fortress Monroe, Va., in time to intercept his regiment, then on its way to North Carolina. By energy and perseverance he secured an order detaching those whose enlistment was to expire in September, 1864, and also instructions for them to report at Springfield, Mass., for discharge. Colonel Lee was mustered out Sept. 27, 1864, and for meritorious service was brevetted a brigadier-general of volunteers.

In executive ability, General Lee was the peer of any of his associates; and it was the recognition of his capacity by his superior officer which kept him so continuously absent from his regiment. The varied duty to which he has been called speaks most effectively of his worth. He was formerly a dry-goods merchant, but for several years preceding the war had been assessor and collector or clerk and treasurer of his native city. Since the war he has been four years in the Custom House of Boston, Mass. He is now upon his third term as postmaster of Springfield.

Our relations with those with whom we were brigaded were harmonious; but particularly so with the Twenty-Fifth Massachusetts, Tenth Connecticut, and Ninth New Jersey regiments, and with Belger's Battery. These by service and valor immortalized their names, and were a source of pride to their States and strength to those with whom they were brigaded. The greatest fortitude and endurance were exemplified in them, and not a single act has tarnished their record.

In January, 1863, we were forced to part with the noble Tenth by their removal to South Carolina, but all their career was watched with increasing pride. They were of the first to enter the rebel capital upon its evacuation. The “Jersey

H.C. Lee. Thos. Chubbuck, Eng._Springfield, Mass.





boys,” though not always brigaded with us, were always in supporting distance. They were the only regiment from that State serving near us, and seemed fully imbued with the Scotchman's idea, “it was not in bulk but in quality;” and hence, though serving with three Massachusetts regiments, they undertook to make up disparity in numbers by superior valor.

This might have been easier of accomplishment, were it not for our brothers of the Twenty-Fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, who were the flower of Worcester County. This regiment was fortunate in the ability and character of both officers and men, in internal harmony and discipline, and their cordial relations with others. They were present in all our principal engagements, save the siege of “Little Washington,” till January, 1865, — active participants in all our conflicts, and entitled to a full share in the honors of our victories. There is no meed of praise we would withhold from these organizations mentioned, no exhibition of courage of which we would not consider them capable; and, while jealously guarding the laurels of our own regiment, we place these regiments as the equal of any, in services or character.

These expressions in no sense reflect upon other organizations with which we were at times connected, but with whom from various causes we were less intimate.

Thanksgiving Day was observed by freedom from military duty. Friends at home had remembered us liberally “by express,” so that we were enabled to enjoy a miniature feast. To Company D came a well-filled box containing among other things, a mammoth turkey, with this inspiring note attached: — “My patriotism can survive no longer. I willingly die for the good of my country, and when you have picked my bones, give three rousing cheers for the Union and Plainville.” The day closed with wrestling matches, and with dancing upon “company streets,” the fair sex






represented by comrades with handkerchiefs tied above the elbow.

Hardly had the men resigned themselves to sleep ere a scattering fire of musketry occurred, dispelling the dreams of home and “festive board.” The long roll roused the “slumbering men,” and the voice of officers arose above the din: — “Turn out, Twenty-Seventh! fall in!! fall in!!!” The night was pitchy dark, and from its sable mantle came the sound of bugle, hurried orders, and the marshalling to arms of other camps. Each formed in line on their “parade ground,” awaiting orders that were to direct them to the deadly fray; the darkness charitably hiding blanched cheeks and trembling knees from malicious eyes.

At length a courier arrives; “it is a ruse,” “a false alarm,” to see how readily the troops could be marshalled for action; and a sneering guffaw ran along the line as visions of heroic combat vanished into night. “Honors were easy.” The colonel's cook appeared, excitedly inquiring, “Which way are you going to retreat? Which way is Massachusetts?” While the story went the rounds of one or two attempting to find knot-holes in the canvas tents through which to escape. The men went to their quarters with a noise much resembling the angry hum of a disturbed hive.

The daily routine of camp was:—

Reveille and roll-call,6.30 A.M.
Breakfast,7 A.M.
Guard mounting,8 A.M.
Surgeon's call,9 A.M.
Company or battalion drill,10 A.M.
Dinner,12 M.
Battalion or brigade drill2 P.M.
Dress parade,4 P.M.
Supper,5 P.M.
Tattoo,9 P.M.
Taps,9.30 P.M.

December 19th, a grand review occurred before General Burnside, with General McClellan and several cabinet officers, which occupied the entire day.

The configuration of the ground was such as to present rising and disappearing lines of glistening bayonets, as the brigades marched in review, or were engaged in field movements, or the manual of arms. The scene was most animating, the appearance and evolutions of the troops eliciting unqualified praise from General McClellan.

We received our first pay Dec. 12, 1861, in gold, the same being in full to November 1st, of which several thousand dollars was sent North the next day by Colonel Lee, who went home on a short leave of absence.

William H. Sheridan of Company H, died of typhoid fever, November 18th, the first of our long list of deaths in the country's defence. The next morning, funeral services were conducted by Chaplain Sandford. The body, in its humble white-pine box, was placed in an ambulance, and the funeral cortege, with reversed arms and muffled drum, moved with slow and measured step before the camp.

“He died at noon;In the morning came the small platoon,With muffled drum, to bear him to his rest,With sods upon his manly breast.Hark! ’Tis their fire, his only knell,More solemn than the passing-bell.’Tis well, though not a single tearLaments his fall. The Volunteer!”

Unscathed as yet by the vices of camp, and uncalloused by the carnage of battle, all hearts were moved. The last sad rites of earth by military usage, are peculiarly simple and affecting. The measured, pensive step, the reversed arms, the squad of one's own comrades performing the last act of






friendship, the parting salute, all impress the truth with an unequalled force that,

“Our hearts . . . . . .. . . . like muffled drums are beatingFuneral marches to the grave.”

During November, the health of the regiment was excellent, but in December, measles became epidemic, and there were three hundred men upon the sick-list, with the following deaths:—

Private Franklin Holcomb, Southwick, Co. F, December 25.

Private Charles Reynold, New Salem, Co. B, December 27.

Private Dennis C. Carter, Gill, Co. C, December 27.

Private David Haley, Williamstown, Co. H, December 28.

Private Patrick McGowan, Greenwich, Co. B, December 28.

Private Rinaldo C. Thorp, South Hadley, Co. A, December 29.

Private Holcomb came to Annapolis at his own expense, and enlisted against the wishes of his wife. In just five weeks his lifeless body was sent to her at Westfield.

December 6th, Maj. William M. Brown resigned his commission, followed, Jan. 1, 1862, by Capt. Lucius F. Thayer of Company F, the latter resigning on account of the serious and continued illness of Mrs. Thayer.

The following promotions were accordingly announced:—

Capt. Walter G. Bartholomew, Major, vice Brown, resigned.

First Lieut. Charles D. Sanford, Capt., vice Bartholomew, promoted.

Second Lieut. W. H. H. Briggs, First Lieut., vice Sandford, promoted.

Sergt. Maj. H. C. Dwight, Second Lieut., vice Briggs, promoted.

First Lieut. John W. Moore, Capt., vice Thayer, resigned.

Second Lieut. James H. Fowler, First Lieut., vice Moore, promoted.

First Sergt. Pliny Wood, Second Lieut., vice Fowler, promoted.

Private Ira B. Sampson, Sergt. Major, vice Dwight, promoted.

The large increase of sick required additional accommodations, and St. John's College, Annapolis, was opened for that purpose. Surgeons Otis and Camp were assiduous in attention to the invalids, and the question, which for a time existed, as to our being able to accompany the expedition, was decided affirmatively by a large reduction from the sicklist at the opening of the new year.

The following comrades died previous to or just after our departure:

Private Alvin E. Stevens, Montague, Company C, Jan. 3, 1862.

Private Luman Andrus, Westfield, Company F, Jan 4, 1862.

Private Elliott P. Ferry, Granby, Company D, Jan. 5, 1862.

Private William K. Flagg, Westfield, Company K, Jan. 9, 1862.

Private Lester H. Quigley, Becket, Company H, Jan. 12, 1862.

Private Peter F. Baker, Leyden, Company C, Feb. 4, 1862.

Jan. 4, 1862, orders were received to cook three days’ rations, and to be prepared to embark upon Monday, the 6th. The weather was pinching cold, with snow which upon the 5th was increased to four inches in depth. The storm of the last date was one of those sticky, wet, uncomfortable snows so common at the South, and which makes one long for one of New England's “regular nor'easters” as a substitute.

On the morning of January 6th orders were given to pack knapsacks, strike tents, and be ready to move at half-past eleven; but owing to the crowded condition of the Navy Yard — at which point the troops were embarking — it was late in the day before the orders to move were received.

A little before noon the Twenty-Fifth Massachusetts marched by, halting long enough to fire three salutes before our camp. About four P.M., with three rousing cheers and a tiger, we bade adieu to Camp Springfield, our tramp through Annapolis being enlivened by “Lee's March,” an






original piece by our band, and so named in honor of our Colonel. At the Navy Yard we stacked arms, standing about in the freezing slush until ten P.M., when the right wing of the Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts went aboard the steamer “Ranger,” and the left wing were permitted to go within one of the naval buildings. There was no time in our military experience when we suffered so much from the inclemency of the weather, as during the snow-squalls which prevailed while standing in line upon Camp Springfield, or while waiting at the Navy Yard in the freezing slush and cutting winds of the evening.

At three o'clock, the morning of the 7th, the left wing of our regiment was aroused, and taken by tugs and row-boats to the barque “Guerrilla,” the latter being anchored some distance from the docks. While Capt. H. K. Cooley and Lieut. W. C. Hunt, with twenty-one members of our regiment, were being transported in a small boat to the “Guerrilla,” they were run down by the stern-wheel steamer “Union,” crushing their boat, and plunging all into the icy waters of the Chesapeake. The night was dark, but with prompt assistance, all were rescued except Private James M. Hamlin of Company E, Great Barrington, and Michael Cavanaugh, of Company F, Granville. Most of the rescued were insensible; Captain Cooley and two others remaining so more than two hours; but all were rallied without further serious results.

CHAPTER III. THE BURNSIDE EXPEDITION.

This expedition consisted of fifteen regiments of infantry, one battery, Howard's Marine Artillery or Naval Brigade, and a squadron of naval vessels. The fleet to transport the troops and supplies comprised eleven steamers, nine armed propellers, five barques, one brig, and twenty troop and supply schooners. The navy was composed of eighteen steamers and two sloops, a total in the expedition of sixty-six vessels. The naval armament under Commodore Goldsborough consisted of fifty-four guns, from an eight-inch Columbiad to a one hundred pound Parrott, rifled. Howard's Marine Artillery had fifty pieces suitable for field use, and, with Belger's Battery, gave fifty-six guns for land service. The strength of the expedition, then, was one hundred and ten guns, and about fifteen thousand infantry.

The troops were embarked as follows: —

First Brigade.

Brig. Gen'l J. G. Foster, Commanding.

Flag-ship, “New Brunswick.”

Twenty-Seventh Mass. Vol. Regt., propeller “Ranger” and barque “Guerrilla.”

Twenty-Fifth Mass. Vol. Regt., steamer “New York,” propeller “Zouave.”

Twenty-Fourth Mass. Vol. Regt., steamer “Guide” and propeller “Vidette.”






Twenty-Third Mass. Vol. Regt., propeller “Hussar” and schooner “Highlander.”

Tenth Conn. Vol. Regt., steamer “New Brunswick” and schooner “Farrington.”

Second Brigade.

Brig. Gen'l Jesse L. Reno, Commanding.

“Flag-ship, Northerner.”

Twenty-First Mass. Vol. Regt., steamer “Northerner.”

Fifty-First N. Y. Vol. Regt., propeller “Lancer” and propeller “Pioneer.”

Fifty-First Penn. Vol. Regt., steamer “Cossack” and schooner “Scout.”

Ninth N. J. Vol. Regt., ship “Ann E. Thompson” and brig “Dragoon.”

Sixth N. H. Vol. Regt., steamer “Louisiana.”

Third Brigade.

Brig. Gen'l John G. Parke, Commanding.

Flag-ship, “Eastern Queen.”

Fourth R I. Vol. Regt., steamer “Eastern Queen.”

Fifth R. I. Vol. Regt., ship “Kitty Simpson.”

Eighth Conn. Vol. Regt., propeller “Chasseur” and barque “H. D. Boardman.”

Eleventh Conn. Vol. Regt., propeller “Sentinel” and barque “Voltigeur.”

Fifty-Third N. Y. Vol. Regt., barque “John Trucks.”

Eighty-Ninth N. Y. Vol. Regt., ship “Aracan.”

The naval fleet consisted of the following vessels, commanded by Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough: —

Flag-ship “Southfield,” Capt. Behan, 3 guns.

“Delaware,” Commodore Rowan, Capt. S. P. Quackenbush, 5 guns.

“Stars and Stripes,” Lieut. commanding, Reed Werden, 7 guns.

“Louisiana,” Lieut. commanding, F. K. Murray, 5 guns.

“Hetzel,” Lieut. commanding, H. K. Davenport, 5 guns.

“Commodore Perry,” Lieut. commanding, Charles H. Flusser, 3 guns.

“Underwriter,” Lieut. commanding, W. N. Jeffers, 2 guns.

“Valley City,” Lieut. commanding, J. C. Chaplin, 5 guns.

“Commodore Barney,” Acting Lieut. R. D. Renshaw, 2 guns.

“Hunchback,” Acting Lieut. E. R. Calhoun, 4 guns.

“Ceres,” Acting Master S. A. McDermaid, 2 guns.

“Putnam,” Acting Master W. J. Hotchkiss, 2 guns.

“Morse,” Acting Master Peter Hayes, 2 guns.

“Lockwood, Acting Master G. L. Graves, 2 guns.

“Seymour,” Acting Master F. S. Wells, 2 guns.

“Brinker,” Acting Master John E. Giddings, 1 gun.

“Whitehead,” Acting Master Charles A. French, 1 gun.

“Shawsheen,” Acting Master T. G. Haywood, 2 guns.

Sloop “Granite,” Acting Master Ephraim Bomen, 1 gun.

“Jenny Lind,” —— ——, 1 gun.

The armament of the fleet was committed to Norman Wiard, Esq., inventor of the Wiard gun, and, with the exception of six long thirty-twos, was composed of rifled pieces, with a range of from one and a half to two and one-half miles.

The steamer “Ranger,” containing the right wing of the regiment, was a screw propeller, drawing seven feet of water, with three decks for the accommodation of troops. It had been used in coastwise trade, and, after purchase by the government, was armed with two thirty-pound Parrotts, rifled, four twelve-pound Wiards, and one twelve-pound howitzer. Like many others of its kind in the fleet it was totally unfit for the service intended, and should have been sent to sea with the guilty party who purchased it for the government.

The barque “Guerrilla” was formerly the slaver “Mary Jane Kimball,” and was captured after an exciting race of two days, with five hundred slaves aboard. It was a staunch






vessel, with two decks and a hold for the use of troops, and was a satisfactory exchange for our canvas tents. Both of these vessels were fitted with temporary berths, suitable for our accommodation, but were deficient in light and ventilation.

They were filled to their utmost capacity, the only chance for exercise being a stroll on deck; yet to these accommodations, we were destined to be limited nearly two months and a half, before effecting such a footing on the sacred soil, as to be able to dispense with them.

The 7th and 8th were occupied in completing the equipment and embarkation of the expedition. At 6.30, on the morning of the 9th, the signal for sailing broke on the morning air, from Gen'l Burnside's flag-ship, “Pickett,” and by seven o'clock, the first brigade was well under way, the “Guerrilla” in two by the “Ranger.” During the afternoon, David H. Steele, of Annapolis, who had enlisted in our band, in a fit of insanity threw himself overboard, but was rescued, the cooling waters inspiring him with a remarkable degree of gratitude for his preservation. Sundown found us off the mouth of the Potomac, with a heavy rain and fog upon the bay, causing the fleet to anchor about eleven P.M., near the mouth of the Rappahannock. By this we were delayed until three P.M., the 10th, when the fog lifted sufficiently to enable us to reach Fortress Monroe at nine o'clock that evening.

The scene the morning of the 11th was full of activity and inspiration. Upon the starboard lay the fortress with its frowning armament; eastward the frigates “Minnesota,” “Cumberland,” “Roanoke,” and “Congress;” south-ward the Rip-raps; and five miles beyond, Sewall's Point, where vauntingly floated the rebel flag. The waters adjacent were covered with a forest of masts, while “tugs” and “sails” were darting here and there, with orders to the fleet.

The ponderous “Union” gun, with its yawning mouth,

stood as a faithful guardian near us; while from Sewall's Point deep reverberations greeted the ear, as though challenging us to combat, or warning of the reception which awaited us beyond that forbidden line. Sealed orders were delivered, with instructions “Not to be opened until beyond Cape Henry.”

At 10 P.M. the signal to sail was given, and by midnight we were off the Cape. Our sealed orders read: “When off Cape Hatteras, throw overboard ballast, and run into the inlet.”

Sunday, the 12th, we followed the sand-hill coast of North Carolina, a chopping sea inducing considerable sea-sickness.

About eight o'clock the 13th, a dark murky line appeared along the northern horizon, causing a hurried reefing and securing of sails, and soon after we were struck by a gale which parted our “hawser” with the “Ranger.” “Hoisting the jib,” the “Guerrilla” was soon bounding over the billows, and in company with the “Ranger” rounded Cape Hatteras about two P.M. The sea, now lashed to intense fury, was breaking heavily over the decks, the roar of the breakers and howling of the tempest warning us of danger in either attempting to thread the fickle channel by which the inlet was reached, or of anchoring there until its fury had subsided. The “Ranger” was pitching and tumbling like a porpoise, and there was no choice for them; they must enter or be lost. The captain was thoroughly incompetent for his position, and more frightened than his crew. Lieut. Col. Lyman being in command of the steamer by virtue of his rank, secured the services of the engineer, who proved to be a man of experience and nerve, and through him a favoring Providence granted them a safe entrance to the inlet. A barge in two by the “Ranger” containing the camp equipage and hospital supplies of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment foundered and was lost.

The steamer “City of New York,” in attempting to enter






the inlet, ran upon a bar, and in twelve hours was a total wreck. The barque “Guerrilla,” with fourteen other vessels, undertook with double anchors and full chains to weather the gale; but many others put out to sea, and were unable to return until a week later.

The morning of the 14th found those outside still floundering, the fury of the storm increased, with a number of flags Union down, the signal of distress. The “Guerrilla” was one of them, being without water, and dragging anchor. Gen'l Burnside saw our signal of distress, but no one could venture out of the inlet in that storm. His steamer, too, was out of water, and nothing, even to whiskey, to quench thirst, the supply vessels having been driven to sea. As night was closing upon the scene, as far as the eye could reach the waves were rolling at dizzy height, and capped with spray and foam. Black, angry clouds swept by, dipping their edges in the surging waves, and the masts creaked and groaned as the vessels careened before the gale. Gen'l Burnside cast his eye over the wreck of his fleet, exclaiming, “This is terrible! when will it cease? what will my poor men do?” But with an invincible faith he rose above the discouraging surroundings, saying, “The sun is not gone out, though the sky is overcast! We are only so many atoms working out the will of the Almighty, and somehow good will come out of this calamity.”

For nearly two days, with closed and battened hatches, the left wing of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment upon the “Guerrilla,” had been confined in the close and stifling air below. The consequences can be better imagined than described; many asserting that nothing but the size of their army shoes prevented them from turning wrong side out. One of our officers expressed a strong desire for an interview with the author of “A life on the ocean wave,” and if under these circumstances the poet could not justify his muse, he would choke him for such an outrageous deception. The storm

ended during the night of the 14th in a grand chorus of thunder and rain, but it was late in the afternoon of the 15th before the waves subsided sufficiently to allow of relief. At that time the steamer “Phœnix” received one-half the troops from the barque, and the steamer “Pawtuxent” followed, towing the “Guerrilla” into the inlet, leaving the latter at anchor near Fort Hatteras.

The waters were strewed with wreck, and wild rumors were rife as to the extent of our disaster. After a week's delay it proved to be five vessels with supplies lost, and eight disabled. The 16th, while Colonel Allen and Surgeon Weller of the Ninth New Jersey were attempting to reach the wreck of the steamer “City of New York,” their boat was capsized and they were drowned.

To Gen'l Burnside's task of reorganizing his shattered fleet was added the peril of a water famine. Schooners were despatched from Fortress Monroe laden with water, and during rains the decks were covered with rubber blankets to catch the aqueous treasure. Even these expedients furnished but a small part of the quantity needed, and water became an article of barter and sale.

Lieut. M. H. Spaulding of Company A was placed in charge of this important matter, and to him and his crew is due our exemption from suffering experienced by others, though, with all his care, our men were reduced to the allowance of a pint and a half of water each per day.

The vessels of the navy were stationed as a cordon around the fleet at distances varying from two to five miles from our anchorage, and from their exposed service were obliged to keep up steam at all times. These gunboats were furnished with “condensers” which were run night and day, to which Lieut. Spaulding repaired each morning, and by an early call was able to collect as high as twenty-four barrels per trip. Rough or smooth, rainy or windy, the urgency of a supply of water was so imperative as to admit of no cessation






of effort; and Lieut. Spaulding with his crew are worthy of honorable mention for the inestimable service here rendered. We were in the anomalous position of constant danger from

“Water, water, everywhere,But not a drop to drink.”

All was bustle and activity around the inlet. Officers bearing orders were darting in gigs among the flotilla. Steamers and tugs were hastening from point to point, aiding vessels stranded on the “swash,” or bearing troops to them at their anchorage within the sound. The navy occupied the day in practice, forming in line of battle, and discharging broadsides, or moving in column by division. The bands on the various vessels discoursed their choicest selections, which, wafted over the waters, came to us with a rich, subdued, and perfect harmony. Mails neither arrived nor departed, and scraps of newspaper were read with an avidity worthy the choicest authors. The inertia of confinement was relieved by games, with the simple purpose of “killing time.” Cards and checkers were the standard games, and any scruples as to the use of them disappeared under the mental famine existing.

Sunday, January 19th, the “left wing” removed to the schooner “Recruit,” the “Guerrilla” being unable to cross the “swash.” The “Recruit” had been used as a “hospital transport” for the fleet, and from this cause was unfit for the purpose assigned. The “swash” referred to, was a shifting bar of sand separating the inlet harbor from the navigable waters of the sound. It could be crossed at high tide only, and then by vessels of nine feet draught or under.

The 20th, the steamer “Pilot Boy,” — now Gen'l Foster's flag-ship — took the left wing of the Twenty-Seventh aboard, and crossed the “swash,” awaiting the schooner “Recruit” which, when lightened, was taken in two by the steamer “Pickett,” to be brought over. Unfortunately the schooner

grounded, and the left wing was forced to remain on board the “Pilot Boy,” without rations or protection, until the next day, when Lieut. Spaulding and his crew appeared with some raw pork and hard-tack, the former being devoured by the hungry men without a suspicion that it was uncooked. During the night there were sundry culinary supplies discovered aboard the “Pilot Boy,” but the next day, when the steward wanted them for Gen'l Foster's use, there was nothing to be found. The General good-naturedly retorted, if the Twenty-Seventh made as clean work of the enemy as of his supplies, it would be a sorry day for the Rebellion when they were let loose. The “Ranger,” with the right wing, passed the “swash” the 22d inst. without incident.

Our discomforts were enhanced by finding the vessel filled with vermin, in army vernacular known as “graybacks,” disreputably as “body lice.” Disregarding rank or station they invaded cabin and hold, and proved a most difficult foe to contend with, the most skilful skirmishing failing to dislodge them. When first discovered, entire uniforms were thrown overboard, only to find the new suit soon as lively as the old. During sunny hours, the decks were covered with men, a la Turk, en déshabille, with clothes turned wrong side out, and each one busily skirmishing with the marauders. Undress was substituted for “dress parade” and many a guffaw elicited by the spans and tandem teams improvised. Washing of clothes was out of question, as we had no changes, or water with which to wash.

Thus situated we were disgusted with our filthiness, and anxiously awaited deliverance.

While anchored at the inlet, a detail from the Twenty-Seventh Regiment was made under Capt. Moore, for laying pontons. As they were engaged in the work, the steamer “Union,” — familiarly known as the “Wheelbarrow,” from having a stern wheel, — was backing around in their vicinity, when it unfortunately wrecked Capt. Moore, his crew and






boat, by drawing them under. This steamer seemed to spite the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, it being the same one which swamped Capt. Cooley and his crew at Annapolis, Md. The tide was going out strong, and as the men had on their heavy coats it was no easy matter to get from under the flat bottomed hulk. Fortunately they were near the shore, and with prompt assistance all were rescued. While the captain was still submerged, Jones, a tall six-footer who happened to be on shore, exclaimed, “I declare, captain's watch will be spoilt in that salt water!” The captain was saved, but it was some time before Jones heard the last of the watch.

Everything now betokened an early movement, but Gen'l Burnside had as yet imperfect knowledge of the enemy's forces and position, till, fortunately, about the last of January, a schooner was seen bearing towards our fleet, which when overhauled by our navy, proved to be from Roanoke Island, laden with wood, and with three contrabands aboard. One of them proved an intelligent man, knowing the enemy's force and position, with the location and armaments of all their forts. From his information the plan of attack at Roanoke was arranged, and his services were secured as a guide for our forces in the movement.

February 3d, Gen'l Burnside issued the following order:—

Headquarters Department of North Carolina, Pamlico Sound, Feb. 3, 1862.

General Order, No. 5.

This expedition being about to land on the soil of North Carolina, the General commanding, desires his soldiers to remember that they are here to support the constitution and the laws, to put down rebellion, and to protect the persons and property of the loyal and peaceable citizens of the State. On the march of the army all unnecessary injury to houses, barns, fences, and other property will be carefully avoided, and in all cases the law of civilized warfare will be strictly observed.

Wounded soldiers will be treated with care and attention, and neither they nor prisoners must be annoyed by word or act.

With the fullest confidence in the valor and character of his troops, the General commanding looks forward to a speedy and successful termination of the campaign.

By command of Brigadier General, A. E. Burnside.

Lewis Richmond, Asst. Adj. Gen'l.

The next day the following order was promulgated:—

Headquarters Gen'l Foster's Brigade.

Steamer “Pilot Boy,”

Department of North Carolina, Feb. 4, 1862.

General Order, No. 4.

The vessels of this brigade will be prepared, with hawsers out to their tows, to start at eight o'clock, A.M., to-morrow, or chains hove short, etc., and will leave the anchorage for Roanoke Island at the following signal: — Union Jack at fore with the division flag underneath (or brigade flag underneath, in case of brigade signal), and American flag at the stern, and will sail in the following order:

No. 1, “Pilot Boy.”

No. 2, steamer “New York” towing schooners “Highlander,” “Skirmisher,” and “S. P. Bailey.”

No. 3, steamer “New Brunswick” towing schooners “Recruit” and “E. W. Farrington.”

No. 4, steamer “Guide,” towing schooners “Sea Bird” and “Emma.”

No. 5, propeller “Hussar.”

No. 6, propeller “Ranger.”

No. 7, “Vidette.”

After rounding the shoal and entering the sound, the vessels will form in two lines, the first line being steamers “New York,” “New Brunswick,” and “Guide,” with their tows, the second line being the propellers “Hussar,” “Ranger” and “Vidette.”

The signal for anchoring will be the American flag at the fore, vessels of each brigade close to each other. If in a fog, two whistles from the flag-ships, repeated at intervals of one minute. The signal will be repeated by the flag-ship of each brigade.

A guard of ten men, under command of a commissioned or non-commissioned






officer, to include convalescent, commission or extraduty men of all kinds, must be left on each vessel, with the following strict injunctions, viz.: —

Not to allow a vessel to be moved from its anchorage unless necessitated by stress of weather, danger of collision, or order of brigade commander; and to defend the ship against all attacks; and to preserve order and military discipline on board.

On landing on the beach, the regiments of this brigade will form according to their numbers, from right to left, in line of battle. One field officer — the colonel preferred — will land with the first detachment from his regiment. In case of stranding or distress, the signal will be the American flag, Union down. At the signal the whole fleet will slacken speed and look for the signal to anchor. The steamers “Pilot Boy,” “Phœnix,” and “Pawtuxent,” and all the tugs, will be sent at once to the assistance of the disabled vessel by the commander of each brigade.

Commanding officers will enjoin upon their commands, that under no circumstances are they to throw off, or away, any of their arms or equipments.

Light marching order will be understood to mean without blankets, and with overcoats, the latter to be slung, or worn at the option of the commanding officer.

Forty rounds of ball cartridges will be dealt out to each man when the fleet is fairly under way.

The guns, with cannoniers, ammunition, and all necessary appurtenances, will be landed with the first detachment from each vessel.

By order of Brig. Gen'l, J. G. Foster.

Southard Hoffman, Asst. Adj. Gen'l.

At the appointed hour, the 5th of February, with military precision, the vessels moved in the places assigned, and sighted the mainland about one o'clock P.M. The day was in delightful contrast with those of stormy Hatteras, for during our twenty-three days’ stay at that place, only one had proved sunny and pleasant. If ever our country in a paroxysm of wrath, should desire a penal colony for the punishment

of criminals, — some Siberia or Botany Bay, where the roar of waters from headlong heights howl and hiss in endless torture, — there is no place on the globe better fitted for it than Hatteras. Here the elements are at constant war, and the sun seldom shines. The wail of winds and ceaseless battle of waves against the strands, would be constant reminders of the nation's anathemas against crime. Let the bandits of treason and raving Guiteaus be banished to this strand; let them be restricted to a range of twenty miles north and south of this windy gorge, and there, for the rest of their lives, dig clams and fight mosquitoes; and injured justice would be amply satisfied.

Our fleet now in motion, and the inertia of idleness broken, we awaited the future with high anticipations. During the day we basked in the sun, or climbed the rigging to scan the shores now closing in upon either side. At eight o'clock we anchored for the night about fifteen miles from Roanoke Marsh Light. Under a threatening sky we resumed our voyage the morning of the 6th, but a heavy rain and fog again forced us to anchor. In the afternoon the troops upon the armed propellers were moved to other vessels, Company D of the Twenty-Seventh remaining on board the “Ranger” to man its guns. This company, while at Hatteras, had been drilled in the artillery service by Lieut. Dennison, the armament of the “Ranger” furnishing needed material and opportunity.

The dawn of the 7th revealed a clear sky, and after months of preparation and vexatious delay, we at last saw the day so anxiously looked for, a day which compensated for all the past by its glorious opportunities.

At nine o'clock the fleet was signalled under way, and each vessel speedily took its place in line. Quietly, grandly, it moved forward in double column, not a breath or sound stirring the morning air, while the majestic fleet of fifty-five vessels, in exactness of detail, was reproduced in the transparent






waters of the sound. The morn, the fleet, the men, seemed inspired with victory, and moved forward, with the battle half won by their fearless and invincible spirit. It was such a sight as had never before disturbed the tranquil waters of America.

Entering Croatan Sound by an inlet scarcely two hundred yards wide, and close to the mainland, which is here a boggy marsh, we sighted Roanoke Island about five miles distant. This island is about fifteen miles long, and some six miles wide, and is made up of chaparral swamps and forests, with a small amount of arable land at its northern end. It was settled by an English colony under Ralph Lane as early as 1586, but subsequently all trace of the colony was lost,—the only further record of them being a tradition of the Hatteras Indians about 1700, that “some of our tribe were formerly pale men, and could talk in a book as you do.” Near the north end and just in the rear of the place of our bivouac the night of February 8th, is the site of a small fort constructed by these colonists. Its outlines are yet quite distinct, though broken and trenched upon by trees of considerable size, and buried in the surrounding forest. The island contains a population of six hundred, and gave only two votes in favor of the ordinance of secession. It is separated from the mainland by a body of water three and a half miles wide, known as Croatan Sound; and from the sand-banks of Nag's Head, along the Atlantic, by Roanoke Sound, a body of water about two miles wide, but so shallow as to be unnavigable save for crafts of very light draught.

The strategic value of the position was its safety as a base of operations; its control of the Albemarle Sound and its immense water-courses; and the fact that from thence a small force could easily penetrate the State in many directions, necessitating a considerable force at each of the threatened points to insure safety.

Its defences consisted of Fort Bartow, below the blockade,

with eight thirty-two pounders (smooth), and one one- hundred pounder rifled gun; three guns were mounted en barbette, and the remainder in embrasures. This fort was garrisoned by a battalion of the Seventeenth North Carolina, under Maj. G. H. Hill. About half a mile above was a blockade of pile and sunken vessels, extending from the island across Croatan Sound to Redstone Point on the mainland, at which place was Robb's Fishing Battery, mounting six guns, thirty-twos, in embrasure.

To protect the blockade was Fort Blanchard, situated a mile and a half above on the island, and mounting four thirty-twos, en barbette. Half a mile further north, at Weir's Point, was Fort Huger, the main defence of Croatan Channel. The armament of this fort consisted of two one-hundred pounders, rifled, en barbette, and ten thirty-two pounders, smooth bore, in embrasure; and was by far the most formidable work on the island. In addition to these batteries in defence of the sound, were the rebel steamers “Sea Bird,” “Beaufort,” “Forrest,” “Curlew,” “Powhattan,” “Ellis,” “Emily” and “Fanny,” two guns each; and the “Raleigh” and “Cora,” one gun each; — a naval fleet of ten vessels, mounting eighteen guns, five of which were rifled. The island's interior defences consisted of Fort Defiance and an entrenched camp supported by the following organizations:—

Eighth Regiment North Carolina Inf'y, Col. H. M. Shaw.

Seventeenth Regiment North Carolina Inf'y, Maj. G. H. Hill.

Thirty-first Regiment North Carolina Inf'y, Col. L. V. Jordan.

Fifty-ninth Regiment Virginia Inf'y, alias “Wise Legion,” alias “Richmond Blues,” Col. Anderson.

The whole was under the command of Henry A. Wise, a former governor of Virginia, and the official executioner of John Brown.

Entering Croatan Sound, the water defences, as described, lay before us, with the rebel fleet moving along under cover






of their forts. As our navy advanced, Commodore Goldsborough hoisted from the “Southfield” the memorable words of Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar, “Our country expects every man to do his duty” to-day! The steamer “Underwriter” had the advance, and at 11.45 A.M., a shot from her eighty-pounder rifled gun, followed by others from the “Southfield,” opened the sanguinary conflict. Ten minutes later our fleet had reached close range of Fort Bartow, and two guns from her armament responded to our attack.

The transports, laden with troops, anchored in the mainland channel in full view, but three miles distant from the conflict. As soon as the first gun announced the opening of the contest, there was a scramble for spars, riggings, bowsprits and masts, or any elevated place where a hold could be obtained; and every vessel, from deck to highest peak, was covered with soldiers, anxious for the most advantageous position from which to view the conflict. Those who could find no place above, crowded the starboard, until every vessel leaned heavily towards the island; and as our ponderous shot and shell sent columns of water and dirt above the vaunting rebel flag, cheers from the troops well-nigh drowned the sound of strife. At noon both forces had become fully engaged, our navy sailing back and forth before Fort Bartow, and giving the rebel fleet a shotted salute as they turned to repeat their compliments to the fort. The smoke of conflict rolled along the waters, hiding the contestants in sulphurous clouds, through the rifts of which our fleet delivered an effective fire on the enemy's fort, but presented an ever-shifting object for their guns. The sloop “Granite” literally “sailed in,” and with provoking coolness tacked back and forth close to the rebel forts, delivering compliments from her one-hundred pound rifled Parrott. Her gun was plainly distinguished above the furious contest, and seemed to fairly lift her from the water. At one o'clock a dense volume of smoke ascending from the barracks in Fort

Bartow, perceptibly slackened the enemy's fire, while our forces redoubled their energies. Again the contest deepened with an uninterrupted roar of artillery; and from the sulphurous cloud enveloping the fort, geysers, or shooting columns of water and dirt were constantly rising far above the tops of the highest trees.

At three o'clock the enemy's fire had notably slackened, and signals were given for the infantry to land.

The “Wheelbarrow” (steamer “Union”) steamed along side the “Recruit,” to receive the left wing of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, but Lieut. Spaulding and crew, who had been anxiously awaiting the signal, received a portion of our color company (K) into their launch, and with Major Bartholomew hastily struck for the island.

There was nothing to be thought of but duty, and a multitude of small boats were seen struggling furiously for the honor of first landing on the hostile soil. The gunboats “Delaware” and “Morse” were shelling the shore half a mile above Ashby's Harbor, at a place known as “Widow Baum Point,” towards which our boats were all centering for a landing. By keeping to the windward and clear of the struggling boats, Lieut. Spaulding and his muscular crew distanced their competitors, and first reached the “sacred swale.” Major Bartholomew jumped into the grassy marsh, followed by the boys of Company K, and waded to a slight elevation, on which stood the Hannon house, surrounded by arable ground sufficient for a bivouac for our forces. They were just far enough ahead to say “first,” for in a few moments three thousand men had struggled through the swale and were forming in line at their side. The enemy had hoped we would have landed further south, and had provided a two-gun masked battery for our reception; but this we declined, preferring to wade the jungle of our landing, to receiving their complimentary fire of shell and shrapnel. Those who landed from larger crafts were obliged to wade






some distance in water, as the vessels were stuck in the mud before reaching the marsh.

Soon after landing, the glare of bayonets moving along the edge of the woods skirting our position was discovered; but if the enemy had serious intentions, a few well-directed guns from the “Delaware” interfered with their plans, for they hastily disappeared. The only disturbance for the night was an occasional exchange of shots along the picket line.

During the evening a drizzling north-east rain having set in, the fires of our bivouac added little to our comfort. The smoke found only one avenue of escape, and that directly in our faces, no matter how often we changed position. The ground on which we bivouacked had been cultivated the previous season, and by rain and tread of feet soon became a sticky mud, and while impossible to lie down, it was almost as uncomfortable to stand. Any one of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. who served in North Carolina, will be willing to attest that under the most favorable circumstances, the soil of North Carolina, wherever we bivouacked, was several degrees softer than that of any other State in the Union, and that during rain storms it was simply indescribable. To crown the misfortune of the night, we were without rubber or woollen blankets, or shelter from the chilling rain. By midnight, all the force had been landed (except the Twenty-Fourth Mass., which was aground near Roanoke Marsh Light) and the field presented a mass of bivouac fires veiled in mist.

Light dawned tardily Feb. 8th, and it was seven and one-half o'clock before the column was ready to move. At that time Foster's Brigade moved into the pines, following a secluded cart-path. The Twenty-Fifth Mass. held the advance, followed in order by the Twenty-Third and Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts and Tenth Connecticut Regiments. The road was a muddy pulp, and to reach the enemy's position required the fording of a stream waist deep. On either

side of the way was a dense chaparral, filled with stagnant pools and thickets of sweet brier. The dripping trees,

“Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves,”

wept woefully as we pressed onward toward the field of contest.

As the Twenty-Fifth Mass. entered an open field, they received a raking fire of canister and shell from a masked three-gun battery, which they gallantly engaged, and hearing which, the Twenty-Seventh moved at double quick to their support. Reaching the scene, we were ordered to follow the Twenty-Third Mass. to the right of the field, but were obliged to halt under the converging fire of the enemy's guns upon entering the field, until the former regiment could move out of the way. While here, Lieut. Col. Lyman's hat was knocked off by an exploding shell; First Sergt. Pliny Wood received a painful wound in the elbow and side, while Private Levi Clark, standing by Col. Lee, was mortally wounded in the abdomen. The mangled and dead of the Twenty-Fifth Mass. were borne along our line. One poor fellow, with a limb shattered by a solid shot, shouted, with a husky voice, as he was carried by, “Go in Twenty-Seventh! Give ’em h—l! They've laid me up, or I'd be with you!” It was an ordeal which tried the regiment more than mortal combat, and certainly was not calculated to inspire one with confidence in offering himself as a “short-stop” for balls of such a character.

The field was about two hundred yards wide and three hundred yards long, on the north of which was a masked curvette, known by the enemy as Fort Defiance. The fort was pierced for three guns, and was sufficient for the economical operations and protection of five hundred men. The armament consisted of a twenty-four pound Dahlgren howitzer, and one each of eighteen and twelve pound field-pieces. A battalion of the Fifty-Ninth Virginia






Regiment (Richmond Blues), and a part of the Thirty-First North Carolina Regiment, occupied the fort; the remainder of their force being under cover of a boscage of trees and briers to the left. The strength of the position was in the chaparral swamps and forests which covered its flanks, and the deep morass on its front; the only approach being by a corduroy road swept by the guns of the battery. These swamps were considered impervious, so much so that the enemy declared a rabbit had never penetrated them; while the Wilmington (N. C.) “Journal,” commenting on the position, said, “A hundred men could easily hold one thousand at bay.” The battle-field was a deep morass, save a small knoll at the rear and centre; and this position was occupied by six marine howitzers, under command of Midshipman B. F. Porter. It was here, after the gunners had all been slain, Chaplain Horace James, of the Twenty-Fifth Mass., earned his sobriquet, “The Fighting Chaplain,” by manning the guns and rendering effective service during the remainder of the engagement.

Moving across this field, we sank to our knees in mud, which, though uncomfortable, relieved us of a greater misfortune by allowing the enemy's shots to pass harmlessly over our heads. The contracted field not allowing our deploying in line of battle, we wheeled and fired by companies, which so annoyed the enemy as to lead them to concentrate their artillery upon us. We were directly opposed by the “Richmond Blues,” who, after capture, acknowledged the effectiveness of our fire. The battle was now at its height,—shell, shot and canister sweeping the ground and crashing through the forest in our rear; while the number of mangled and bleeding comrades taxed the utmost capacity of the ambulance and stretcher corps in removing them from the field. The Twenty-Fifth Mass., which had borne the brunt of battle for upwards of an hour, with a loss of six killed and forty-two wounded, with exhausted ammunition, were now

relieved by the Tenth Conn. These had held the position but a short time when their gallant commander, Col. Charles L. Russell, fell dead upon the field. The Ninth New York (Hawkins's Zouaves) formed at their right. Near them was Lieut. Col. Victor De Monteil, of the Fifty-Third New York (De Epinueil Zouaves), who had volunteered for this occasion, his own regiment having been returned to Fortress Monroe for insubordination. With musket in hand, near the right of the Ninth New York, he was cooly loading, firing, and watching the effect of each shot, when he was killed by a sharpshooter.

At ten o'clock orders were received for the Twenty-Seventh and Twenty-Third Mass. to flank the enemy's position to the right, while the Twenty-First Mass. and Fifty-First New York, which had taken positions on the opposite side of the field, were ordered to flank it on the left. For an hour the Twenty-Seventh was edging its way through briers and underbrush, the officers slashing with swords, the men breaking and treading upon the brush for a footing; sometimes clinging to clumps of brush to buoy them up, at others so deep in mire as to need assistance to extricate themselves. Reaching the edge of the woods at the left and rear of the enemy's works, a sheet of water fifty yards wide lay between us and the fort; but the order was, “Forward!” and, with muskets and cartridge-boxes raised above our heads, we plunged into the land-locked waters, finding them waist-deep at the centre. As we emerged from the woods we were discovered by the enemy, who at that time were busily engaged in an attempt to repulse the advance of our force on the opposite flank. This discovery spread consternation in their ranks, and they broke into a precipitate retreat.

A Richmond correspondent describing this battle, said: “Provision had been made, in case of defeat, to retreat back of Shallowbag Bay and cross to Nag's Head from that point; but a body of Yankees appeared on the left flank just before






retreat, cutting us off from all chance of escape.” This body of Yankees was the Twenty-Seventh and Twenty-Third Massachusetts Regiments.

The Twenty-First Mass. and Fifty-First New York, with less natural obstructions to contend with, were at close quarters with the fort as we cleared the woods, and as we reached the centre of the pond, mounted its parapets and planted their colors on the works; while the Twenty-Fifth Mass., followed by the Ninth New York, moved down the corduroy road and reached the fort about the same time as the Twenty-Seventh. So precipitate was the enemy's retreat that they left their dead and wounded in our hands, beside the armament of the fort, with caissons and munitions complete.

Gen'l Reno, with a part of his brigade, followed the retreating foe, while Foster's forces rested upon the field, gathering trophies, or relieving their clothes of their super-abundance of water and mud. Soon a courier arrived, and giving Gen'l Foster a small black horse, said, “The rebels are attempting to escape to Nag's Head, and Gen'l Reno desires assistance.” The Twenty-Seventh was immediately ordered to Gen'l Reno's aid, followed by the Fifty-First New York, and other regiments.

On arriving at the point indicated, we found the enemy's plan had been frustrated. O. Jennings Wise, of the Richmond Blues, a son of ex-Governor Wise, in attempting to escape by boat, had been mortally wounded, and was lying in a small house near by. Surgeon Otis, of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., during a residence at Richmond previous to the war, had become well acquainted with young Wise, and was now invited to see him, with the information, “He can't live but a few minutes!” Our Surgeon replied, “No! he would know me in a minute; as I can't help, I won't disturb him!”

Leaving Gen'l Reno at this point, Gen'l Foster, with his

brigade, pushed the main body of the enemy towards the north end of the island. The Twenty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, which had now arrived, was given the advance, and after a hard march we came upon the enemy a short distance to the rear of Fort Huger. As we were preparing for an assault, Lieut. Col. D. G. Fowl, of the Thirty-First North Carolina, appeared with a flag of truce, and was shown to Gen'l Foster, when this colloquy ensued:

“Col. F. I came, sir, to ask what terms of capitulation you will grant our army?”

“Gen'l F. None whatever, sir! Nothing but immediate and unconditional surrender!”

“Col. F. How much time will you grant for its consideration?”

“Gen'l F. Only sufficient for an immediate return with your commander's decision!”

After some delay, well-nigh resulting in an assault by us, Col. H. M. Shaw, of the Eighth North Carolina, appeared and surrendered Roanoke Island, with its forces and defences. Well, yes! I have heard of enthusiasm, cheers, and “tigers,” but they do not begin to express the joy that thrilled and echoed in the surrounding forests, and awoke sleepy, boggy old Roanoke to an inspiration it had never dreamed of before; have known of enthused life, but never saw sedate manhood given over to the exuberance of childhood, with as many standing on heads as feet; never saw a hug culminate in a wrestle, or a line of soldiers turned into a crowd of Cochins gone mad. It was all there, and even more; so much so that Col. Lee never gave the order, “Attention!” under more difficult circumstances. We had thought we felt tired, wet and stiff, but this must have been some vague aberration of the mind, for we now moved forward, “light as feathers,” and were soon in line on the north of Camp Georgia, at which point the enemy had concentrated. The other regiments of Foster's Brigade came






forward and completed the investment, when nineteen hundred and ninety-eight men surrendered themselves as “prisoners of war at this point.”

After the close of the battle, but before the result was known at Fort Huger, a schooner from Elizabeth City landed Col. J. Wharton Green and five hundred of the Second North Carolina Regiment on the upper side of Weir's Point. The schooner soon after obtained information of the defeat of the Confederates, and, considering discretion the better part of valor, decamped without consulting Col. Green. This reinforcement fell into our hands, without having had an opportunity to fire their guns; and though the Colonel was excusable for not enjoying it, he made as graceful a surrender as the circumstances would warrant.

The prisoners, as a whole were warmly clad, but in a variety of costumes, colors, and equipments, exceeding that of Falstaff's famous recruits. Their arms consisted of Enfield and sporting rifles, Springfield and Harper's Ferry muskets, double and single barrel hunting-pieces, cap and flint locks, with as varied accoutrements. After stacking arms on our front, and a formal surrender, they were (outrageously?) marched to their barracks, and the Twenty-Third Mass. Regt. duly installed as provost-guard over the camp. The Twenty-Seventh marched back to an adjoining plantation, where a few of our number secured shelter in the house or out-buildings, but most of the regiment lay down without blanket or shelter, with clothes still wet from the exposure and service of the day and night previous. With the consciousness of a faithful performance of duty, we accepted the hardship and exposure incident to our lot. The news of this victory was received at the North with devout gratitude, and it proved worthy of record with that of Fort McHenry, which occurred two days earlier, and that of Fort Donaldson, occurring four days later.

The results of the day had been the capture of twenty-five

hundred and twenty-seven prisoners, thirty-five hundred stand of arms, five forts, with an armament of thirty-two guns, beside an immense quantity of ammunition and quartermasters’ stores. The Twenty-Seventh captured two rebel flags, each three and one-half by six feet in dimension, with one white and two red bars. One contained twelve stars in a blue field, surrounding a sickly representation of an eagle, with the inscription, “Brown Mountain Boys, Stokes County, N. C.” The other was similar in design, except that it had only ten stars in the constellation. This was a recognition of the fact that Kentucky and Missouri were not to join them, or, perhaps, that on their finely-wrought “ship of state” decay had already taken place. While reckoning these results, a lurid glare lit the sky, followed by a terrible concussion, and the fort on the mainland opposite, with the disabled steamer “Curlew,” were hurled into the air, a shapeless mass.

The Confederate loss in this engagement, as reported by Lieut. Col. Fowl to the “Wilmington Journal,” was twenty-two killed and thirty-six wounded, but which we think is an understatement. It was reported at the time thirty killed and ninety-three wounded.

The Union loss was fifty killed and two hundred twenty-two wounded, including both army and navy.

The loss of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. was —

Killed.

Private William Hill, Athol, Company B.

Corp. George M. Hale, Westfield, Company F.

Private Levi Clark, Sandisfield, Company F.

Private Henry C. Bardwell, Northampton, Company G. Total, 4.

Wounded.

Private Cordean Sweet, Hatfield, Company A. Arm and leg.

Private George H. Whitney, Dana, Company B. Right leg.

Sergt. Bartholomew O'Connell, Whately, Company C. Elbow.






Corp. Otto L. Stamm, Gt. Barrington, Company E. Hip; fatal.

Private George Duncan, New Marlborough, Company E. Fatal.

Private Hiram Sheffield, Lee, Company E. Fatal.

Private Cyrus Agans, Mt. Washington, Company E. Slight,

First Sergt. Pliny Wood, Westfield, Company F. Elbow and side.

Corp. Isaac Hunt, Belchertown, Company G. Fingers.

Private Charles L. Clark, Wilbraham, Company I. Throat; severe.

Private Martin Kelly, New York, Company K. Fingers. Total, 11.

Corporal George M. Hale was a native of Tolland, twenty-one years of age, and of unusual promise. The last lines in his diary, written evidently just previous to the battle, were:

“We are born, we live, we love, we die.Why were we born to live, to love, to die?Who can answer the secret deep? Alas, not I.”

Levi Clark, the first man of the Twenty-Seventh to fall on the field of battle, was a native of Sandisfield, twenty-two years of age. He was a jovial, kind-hearted young man, faithful and reliable in the discharge of duty, and fell just as we entered the field of battle. Who can forget the heavy thud of that fatal shot? A widowed mother and a sister mourn his untimely death.

Comrade Clark of Company I, was wounded by a Mexican bullet passing through his neck, between the artery and wind-pipe. As this was considered fatal, the wound was dressed by simply filling it with lint, and his name was placed among the dead. His appearance to his company a week later, was a genuine surprise. He was granted an indefinite leave of absence, never rejoined his company or received a discharge, and still suffers disability from his wound. As Patrick Weal, of Company H, stood at the position of “prime,” a bullet pierced his gun-stock between the barrel and rammer, and at the battle of New Berne, following, another bullet struck the same place.

During our stay at Annapolis, a person was granted access

to the camp, selling lithographic company records. While we were resting at Fort Defiance, a body was found whose features answered his description, and were so recognized by different regiments. Was he a spy?

Early the morning of the 9th, a number of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. strayed to a ravine a short distance from their bivouac, and returned laden with trophies of rifles, double and single barrel guns, pistols, swords, and “Yankee stickers;” which proved to be a part of the effects of Col. Green's command. Finding themselves without means of escape, they had divested themselves of everything possible, and during the entire morning the Twenty-Seventh Regiment reaped a rich harvest of trophies, many of which were forwarded home by first steamer, reaching Springfield in season to add zest to the 22d of February,—that day having been set apart by the loyal North as a day of thanksgiving for our national victories.

About noon, the 9th, permission was given the entire force to forage for the remainder of the day. With rifles in hand the troops invaded the remotest parts of the island, the Minie balls chi-ie-ing from every direction, rendering life about as uncertain as in the contest of the previous day. Soon the tide turned, and they came marching back again with “Hurrah! Hurrah!” On poles supported from shoulder to shoulder, were carcases of beef, veal, pork, mutton, geese, turkeys, ducks and chickens, without regard to their age or condition. Sweet potatoes and other roots and vegetables were found buried in pits in the fields, for which sacks were constructed of overcoats, and these were slung across the backs of cows, often accompanied by a brace of squawking hens or flopping turkeys; some came staggering under loads that would do credit to an athlete, or tugging away at contrary hogs, many of which were so poor as to indicate the last stage of consumption. Where all these






supplies were found, or what many of them were good for, were questions easier asked than answered.

When night enforced a truce, the sight before us vied with Fulton or Faneuil Hall Market. Such quantities of all conceivable culinary supplies, it remained for this day, and the Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts as master hands, to collect. For two days the Twenty-Seventh settled down to business; the flaying by amateur butchers, and numberless fires of coals — upon which tin plates were serving as broiling irons — showing they had a taste for, and were still prosecuting “flank” movements. It was a scene for an epicure; the variety of dishes invented being sufficient to eclipse Delmonico or Miss Parloa, and, if mentioned, would excite a resonable credulity as to success. Suffice it to say, if the regiment lay down the night previous, tired, hungry and cold, they were now filled to surfeit, but without protection as before. During the night of the 10th, a white spread was laid over the exposed and sleeping soldiers, so lightly, many of them did not know it had snowed, until they awoke in the morning.

After the capture of the island, Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough, learning that the rebel fleet had retired to Elizabeth City, despatched Commander J. C. Rowan with thirteen of our naval vessels to that point, with so complete success, that we append the account as rendered by the latter: —

United States Steamer “Delaware,”

Off Elizabeth City, Feb. 10, 1862.

Sir: — I have the happiness to report that I met the enemy off this place this morning, at nine o'clock, and after a very sharp engagement, succeeded in destroying or capturing his entire naval force, and silencing and destroying his battery on Cobb's Point.

The only vessel saved from destruction is the “Ellis,” Captain J. M. Cook, who is wounded and a prisoner on board this ship. I have other prisoners.

I am happy to say our casualties are few, considering the warmth

of the enemy's fire, — say two or three killed and some wounded. I send the “Ellis” to you under command of Acting Master Chase of this ship, whom I hope you will confirm in command.

The conduct of the gallant men I have the honor to command, is worthy of all praise. I am happy to say none of our vessels are severely injured.

I shall leave here a small force, and visit the canals, and take a look into other places before I return.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. Rowan,

Commander United States Navy.

The deed of Acting Master Chase, for which he was promoted to the command of the “Ellis,” was, his sitting upon an open barrel of powder, at a time when the “Delaware” was on fire from the enemy's shot, and thus saving the vessel and its crew from destruction.

On account of our lack of camp equipage, — all of which was lost while entering Hatteras, — orders were received for the regiment to re-embark; and after a tedious march of seven miles through muddy roads, we reached Ashby's Harbor at noon of the 11th. Here we found twenty-seven graves of Union soldiers who had fallen the 8th; also a deserted two-gun battery, which the enemy had constructed to prevent landing at that point. By night we were in our quarters on the “Ranger” and “Recruit,” having been absent four nights without protection, of which three had proved rainy, and the other snowy.

The next morning Col. Lee issued the following congratulatory order to the regiment: —

Headquarters Twenty-Seventh Regt. Mass. Vols.,

Schooner “Recruit,” Off Roanoke Island, Feb. 12, 1862.

The commander of the regiment takes this first opportunity since the engagement of the 8th, to congratulate his command upon its successful termination. With feelings of pride, he looks upon the coolness, bravery and good conduct displayed by them while passing






the fiery ordeal of a first battle. We can go into the next action with a feeling of strength, which — let what will come — must give us the victory. While dropping a tear for the fallen brave, may we remember we are in the hands of an all-wise God, who watches over and protects us, as well on the field as in camp; and, putting our trust in Him, may we go forth with stout hearts and willing hands, prepared to do our duty wherever or whenever called upon.

By order,

Col. H. C. Lee,

Commanding Twenty-Seventh Regt. Mass. Vols.

Geo. W. Bartlett, Adjt.

Among those left sick upon the “Recruit” on debarking the 7th, was Capt. Hubbard of Company I, who had been prostrated some four weeks with sickness, but with no anticipation of immediate danger. On the morning of the 12th his disease resulted in death.

Captain Henry A. Hubbard was born at Ludlow, Mass., Aug. 25, 1836. His father was a citizen of official prominence in that town, while his mother was a Brainerd of Haddam, Conn., and near of kin to the missionary Rev. David Brainerd. The early life of Capt. Hubbard was passed upon a farm, in which time he not only studiously improved his opportunities at the public schools, but forced the hours when employed in manual labor to contribute to his store of knowledge. He fastened his book upon the plough and studied as he turned the soil, or left it at a convenient nook in the fence as he hoed the field, grasping some new advance upon each return. By teaching during the winter he secured means to prosecute his studies at Wilbraham Wesleyan Academy, and graduated therefrom with high honors. He continued his studies a year at Amherst College, and afterwards for a time at Union College,

Schenectady, N. Y., but, deciding upon the legal profession, left the latter and entered the office of Beach & Bond, Springfield, Mass. Poetry was his delight, Milton's “Lycidas” his favorite; and the hours after his daily toil were spent in close companionship with the choicest of American and English poets.

While engrossed with legal tomes, he united with the Union Guard of Springfield, and soon became adept in military tactics. Upon the opening of hostilities he rallied his Ludlow neighbors and friends and drilled them in the “School of Soldiers,” preparatory to the call he felt sure must come. When the raising of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment was authorized, Col. Lee commissioned him to recruit for that organization, and the filling of the ranks of the Ludlow company so promptly was due mainly to his zeal and magnetism. He was mustered as captain Oct. 16, 1861, and continued with his command until their arrival with the Burnside Expedition at Hatteras Inlet, N. C. Here he contracted a serious and prolonged illness, from exposure. He remained upon the schooner “Recruit,” and during the battle of Roanoke Island was on Croatan Sound just beyond reach of the enemy's guns. He heard our first cheer of victory, but died Feb. 12, 1862, just after the return of the regiment to the vessel. Though prevented from participating in battle, he died as really a martyr in his country's cause as if he had fallen amid the carnage of battle. His remains were buried with military honors at Ludlow, Mass., Feb. 24, 1862, under escort of his old comrades of the Union Guard. October 16th, two weeks previous to his departure for the seat of war, he was married to Annie, danghter of Deacon Booth of Ludlow. His widow still survives him.

Upon the death of Capt. Hubbard, First Lieut. E. K. Wilcox was promoted to be Captain of Company I, vice Hubbard deceased; Second Lieut. C. W. Goodale to First Lieutenant, vice Wilcox promoted, and First Sergt. J. W. Lawton to Second Lieutenant, vice Goodale promoted.






During the remainder of our stay in Croatan Sound little of interest occurred in the vicinity. On the 13th a native was shot, as accessory to the death of three of the Fifty-First New York, who were found in the swamp with their throats cut. On the 15th a detail from our regiment was sent to the island to encircle it with a telegraph, successfully accomplishing their mission and returning the 17th. The 18th Gen'l Burnside and Com. Goldsborough issued a joint proclamation as follows:—

Roanoke Island, N. C., Feb. 18, 1862.

To the Citizens of North Carolina:

The mission of our joint expedition is not to invade any of your rights, but to assert the authority of the United States, and to close with you the desolating war brought upon your State by comparatively a few bad men in your midst.

Influenced infinitely more by the worst passions of human nature, than by any show of elevated reason, they are still urging you astray to gratify their unholy purposes.

They impose upon your credulity by telling you of wicked, and even diabolical intentions on our part; of our desire to destroy your freedom, demolish your property, liberate your slaves, injure your women, and such like enormities; all of which, we assure you, is not only ridiculous, but utterly and wilfully false.

We are Christians as well as yourselves, and we profess to know full well, and to feel profoundly, the sacred obligations of the character. No apprehensions need be entertained that the demands of humanity or justice will be disregarded. We shall inflict no injury unless forced to do so by your own acts; and upon this you may confidently rely.

Those men are your worst enemies. They, in truth, have drawn you into your present condition, and are the real disturbers of your peace and the happiness of your firesides.

We invite you, in the name of the constitution, and in that of virtuous loyalty and civilization, to separate yourselves at once from these malign influences, to return to your allegiance and not compel us to resort further to the force under our control.

The government asks only that its authority may be recognized,

and we repeat in no manner or way does it desire to interfere with your laws, constitutionally established, your institutions of any kind whatever, your property of any sort, or your usages in any respect.

L. M. Goldsborough,

Flag Officer, Commanding N. C. Blockading Squadron.

A. E. Burnside,

Brig. Gen'l, Commanding Department of North Carolina.

February 14th, Gen'l Wool for the Union, and Howell Cobb for the rebels, agreed upon a cartel by which prisoners in the hands of either party were to be exchanged; any surplus, and such as should be captured in the future, to be released at once upon parole. February 18th, in compliance with this agreement, the prisoners captured by us were conveyed by the steamers “Cossack” and “New York” to Elizabeth City, where they were received by a body of Georgia troops with such scorn and neglect, as to necessitate the issuing of rations to them by our vessels, to save them from suffering until they could provide for themselves. Jefferson Davis finding that “pirates” captured on vessels sailing under “letters of marque” from him were not regarded as prisoners of war by us, abrogated the cartel, and ordered these prisoners to report at once for duty to their respective regiments. It was a duplicity characterizing all his dealings, destroying the little confidence entertained for his honor in this country, and ending in an obloquy as widespread as his name.

By long confinement on the vessels the health of the regiment was considerably impaired, typhoid fever and kindred diseases being quite prevalent; but as a movement was imminent, we were retained on board the vessels. Some companies went ashore from the “Ranger” for drill, from time to time, the remainder relieving the tediousness of confinement in writing, games and phrenological examinations, the latter of which became quite a profession. Amateur clubs of






chess and chequer players were organized, who acquired a proficiency that would have taxed the best of skill at home. Large numbers who had been left sick at Annapolis and Hatteras rejoined the regiment February 27th, increasing its effective strength to about eight hundred men.

Our brilliant success had produced a most depressing effect upon the enemy. To quote from their papers: “It has placed in the enemy's hands the ‘back-door key’ to Norfolk and Richmond; threatened the great through route from Richmond south at Welden; and opened the great State of North Carolina to the merciless grasp of maudlin invaders. It was criminal carelessness that left an entire army at Roanoke Island, to be slain and captured by Burnside's horde of outlaws; but it was doubly criminal to have left their firesides exposed to Yankee treachery.” Each menaced point was sure their position was next to be assailed, and North Carolina called vigorously upon the Confederate government to return its veteran troops for the defence of their own firesides. To add to their fears, harmless sallies were made by portions of our fleet in various directions in the Albermarle Sound, as though reconnoitring for a general advance; now threatening one port, now landing at another; until the confused enemy magnified our force to an army sufficient to occupy the entire State.

CHAPTER V. NEW BERNE.

Early in March, all the forces on Roanoke Island, save the Ninth and Eighty-Ninth New York, and Sixth New Hampshire Regiments, were re-embarked. Lieut. Spaulding of Company A, Twenty-Seventh Regiment, who, with his crew, had, at various times, received favorable notice from the commanding and brigade generals, now received orders from Gen'l Foster to organize such boats and launches as were connected with transports of the First Brigade, with a view to greater efficiency in landing troops, when needed. This act on the part of Gen'l Foster was in recognition of the lieutenant's precedence at the landing at Roanoke, and was fully justified by the results.

During the delay incident to replenishing our supplies, preparatory to another attack upon the enemy, Gen'l Burnside had sent spies to New Berne, and through one arriving at this time, received information of its garrison and defences to March 7th. The morning of the 11th, the entire fleet retraced its course to Hatteras, arriving there about dusk. Here our hearts were gladdened by the arrival of the steamer “Suwanee” with a large mail from the North.

The 12th was a faultless day, not a breeze disturbing the long, smooth swell of Pamlico, or chilling the sun's rays from a cloudless sky. Hatteras, for once, had declared a truce. At an early hour, the fleet was moving in column by brigade, the gurgling of water at the prow, or lapping of the extending arms of our wake, alone disturbing the stillness






of the hour. Half a mile in advance of the transports, with flanks extending far to the right and left, the navy moved in line of battle, covering the fleet of sixty vessels which, in double column by brigade, was ploughing the waters at the rear. The decks were covered by men basking in the sun, re-reading letters from home, or gathered in knots to hear “the latest from the front.” The First Brigade was again in advance, the “Recruit” in two of her faithful consort, “New Brunswick,” and the “Ranger” in the second column, just opposite. At 2 P.M., we entered the Neuse River, which, at its mouth, is an estuary twelve miles wide, with little diminution for upwards of twenty-five miles. Our approach and progress were signalled the enemy above, by means of fires along the northern bank, the black smoke rising upward like wierd fingers of fate.

As night set in, the sky was heavy with threatening storm, and the wake of our vessels became a sheen of phosphorescent light, fading far to the rear in pitchy darkness. At nine o'clock, we reached the mouth of Slocum's Creek, fifteen miles below New Berne, and anchored for the night. No signal-light threw its rays over the scene, but dark, grim and silent as the abode of death, the fleet rested on the waters. A gentle roll gave motion to our craft, sufficient to rock us to the deepest sleep, and the soldiers who were so soon to respond to the tocsin of war, rested peacefully and securely in their berths, while the noble, vigilant “tars,” in boats and launches, formed a cordon of videttes around the fleet to protect us from hostile intrusion. Night deepened into ebon darkness and storm, the only sound being the driving rain upon deck, or the half-hourly toll of the night watch on the armed vessels encircling us.

In spite of a drenching rain, the signal to land was hoisted at seven o'clock the 13th, and with three days’ rations, forty rounds, overcoats, and rubber-blankets, we awaited conveyance ashore. The navy shelled the southern banks to cover

our landing, while the steamers “Alice Price,” “Pilot Boy,” “Phenix,” “Pawtuxent,” and “Union,” with long lines of launches in tow, started for the mouth of Slocum's Creek. So eager were the men for the honor of first reaching the shore, that many leaped into water waist deep, and struggled to the banks; and so close were the competing crews that the question never has been, nor will be, settled, “Who first desecrated this sacred soil?” The Twenty-First Mass. Regt. (Reno's Brigade) were given the advance as skirmishers. The Twenty-Fourth Mass., under the eye of Gen'l Foster, moved up the turnpike in support of the skirmishers, followed by the rest of the brigade as landed; Company A, of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., bringing up the rear at the landing, about four P. M.

The head of the column had proceeded about six miles, and were near Otter Creek, when Capt. Williamson of the Topographical Engineers, reported heavy works upon our front, apparently deserted. These consisted of well-constructed breastworks from the river to the railroad, a mile distant, a fort guarding the river-flank, and four flanking bastions facing the railroad terminus; the whole protected by abatis and a deep, wide ditch along its front.

Resting here until three o'clock for the force in the rear to close up, Gen'l Burnside ordered Gen'l Foster, with his brigade, to advance by the turnpike, — Gen'l Reno by the railroad, — while Gen'l Parke was to follow Gen'l Foster, and support either commands as needed. The rain continued to fall the entire day, and the roads — at best but sloughs — were churned to a sticky pulp, of uncertain depth, so that progress was slow and difficult. At eight o'clock in the evening, the advance bivouacked in a pine forest about four miles from New Berne. Company A, of the Twenty-Seventh, was, at this time, far in the rear, tugging in the darkness with two twelve-pound howitzers, whose wheels sank to the hubs in the muddy road. Every man “pulled for all he was worth,”






slipping, plunging, and tugging, until, at nine o'clock, Lieuts. Spaulding and Clark — who had completed the debarking of troops, and hurried forward to overtake their company — arrived. Seeing the exhausted condition of their men, they assumed the responsibility of leaving the guns with a squad of troops guarding a cross-road. Plunging again into mud and darkness, this company advanced until about midnight, finding their regiment at the extreme front.

Camp-fires were burning in all directions, some of them running to the top of resinous trees, lighting the surrounding forest as by the glare of the setting sun. The men lay about on beds of brush, and were covered with rubber blankets for protection from the rain. About two o'clock a cloud seemed to burst over the bivouac, deluging it with a flood which awakened the sleepers, most of whom found themselves lying in pools of water.

At half-past five, the 14th of March, the reveille roused the troops for the stern duties of the day, the heavy fog rendering the dawning light almost imperceptible. An hour later the column was in motion, the Twenty-Fourth Mass. still in advance, followed in order by the Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts Regiments. After following the road some distance, the Twenty-Fourth Mass. deployed in line, with its left resting upon the road, the Twenty-Fifth Regiment forming upon their right. The Twenty-Seventh now moved in column to the front by the turnpike, and were somewhat in advance of the brigade, when suddenly a solid shot sped down the road, and would have entailed a heavy loss upon the regiment but for the ranks having opened to either side to avoid the mud at the centre.

Gen'l Foster, who was at the head of the regiment with Col. Lee, said to him, “Colonel, bring your regiment into line upon the left of the road! You need not deploy skirmishers, the enemy are just in front. Move forward in line and engage them at once!” Advancing in line about two

hundred yards, we came to the edge of the woods, in full sight of the enemy and their works. The chart explains the position of the forces, and also indicates the position of the companies of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., as in line of battle:


Line of battle of the companies of the Twenty-Seventh Mass.

At the river, upon the extreme right, was a large fort, mounting thirteen thirty-two pounders, rifled — six of which were swivel-guns, commanding our position. From this a continuous line of breastworks extended to the railroad, some distance to the left. Behind these works were three field-batteries, and a thirty-two pound gun in a bastion across the road to guard its approach. Beyond the railroad was a series of thirteen curvettes and redans, extending a mile and quarter, with a two-gun fort at the extreme left. These fortifications extended a distance of two and a half miles from the river, and were defended by three batteries, seven regiments and four independent companies of infantry, a battalion of cavalry, and a company of the First Maryland (rebel) Regt. in reserve; the whole under the command of Gen'l Lawrence O. B. Branch, a graduate of Princeton College, and a former representative to Congress. Col. Campbell, of the Twenty-Seventh North Carolina Regiment, was in the immediate command of the forces, from the river to the railroad, and Col. Avery, of the Thirty-Third North Carolina, of those beyond.






We had but time to glance at these fortifications, with a rebel officer riding a white horse behind them, when Col. Lee gave the order, and the fire of the Twenty-Seventh rang out on the morning air. Unfortunately, we went into the engagement without testing our rifles, and many were so damp as not to discharge, while with others the balls fell harmless a few feet from the muzzle. There was a moment's lull, when, as by one impulse, the enemy's works were a sheet of flame and smoke. Twenty-six cannons and thousands of rifles belched their iron hail upon us, with a concussion that shook the earth. The air was filled with groanings, crashings, howlings, hums, and z-z-z-ps, while showers of splintered limbs of trees fell around us, doubling the risk of the field. As one writer described it: “The air was alive with all mysterious sounds, and death in every one of them. There were muffled howls that seemed in rage because their missiles missed you; the angry buzz of the familiar Minie; the spit of the common bullet; hisses, and the great whirring rushes of shell. And then came sounds which made the air instinct with warning, or quickened it with vivid alarms, — long wails that fatefully bemoaned the death they wrought; fluttering screams that filled the space with horror, and cries that ran the diapason of terror and despair.” To one unharmed, it was grand to stand on that shot-rent field, and view its terrible grandeur. The spell had been broken; the Twenty-Seventh had given and received the shock of battle, and, like their own rock-ribbed coasts and hills, stood unmoved amid the tempest. In antebellum days, we frequently saw pictures of battles and charges, in which the line was formed in two ranks, shoulder to shoulder, dressed by the right with perfect precision, as they received the shock, or charged upon the enemy's works. Such sketches draw more upon the artist's imagination than observation, and in practice would be an evidence of incompetency or foolhardiness. Actual war dissipates such notions of order and bravery, for however perfect the alignment at

the outset, when shell, grape, and Minies begin to pour into the ranks, such order is soon lost. When the column moves forward to the charge, there is about as much precision as with a swarm of bees upon the wing, so that when the objective point is reached, companies and regiments are often mixed in a way never contemplated by military tactics.

At the order, “Load and fire at will!” we broke ranks, adjusting ourselves to our position, as irregular as forest trees, and settled to the stern work of war. The horses and gunners of the rebel batteries received special attention to prevent the movement of the guns to threatened points.

The enemy, encouraged by our first fire, exposed themselves unguardedly, and our second volley was in consequence more fatal. Their sharpshooters in the trees back of their position, made fatal work along our line, until, satisfied of their position, we directed a volley into their coverts, when their harassing practice ceased.

The position of the Twenty-Seventh was in the open field, and some rods in advance of the remainder of the brigade, which had formed and opened fire within a serrated line of woods. After being engaged half an hour, we were ordered back to complete the alignment of the brigade.

The Twenty-Fifth Mass. occupied the extreme right before Fort Thompson, with the right of its line refused to guard its flank. The Twenty-Fourth Mass. formed next to the Twenty-Fifth, with its left resting upon the turnpike. The right of the Twenty-Seventh rested on the left of this road, supporting six howitzers under command of Capt. Dayton, of the schooner “Highlander,” and Lieut. McCook, of the “Stars and Stripes.” This part of the regiment remained in the open field, subjected to a sharp enfilading fire from the enemy's artillery in their attempt to silence our howitzers. The left of the regiment was in part protected by a copse or spur of the forest in which it rested. At their left was the Twenty-Third Mass., followed by the Tenth Connecticut Regiment






and Reno's Brigade, most of Gen'l Parke's Brigade being in reserve. The enemy's position was — strangely — lower than that occupied by us, and the rain of the previous night so softened the earth that each recoil of their artillery settled “the trail” of their guns sufficiently to keep most of their fire above us. As the battle progressed our howitzers were dismounted and silenced, and the contest was continued by us with rifles alone.

A heavy smoke settled upon the field, obscuring the enemy, so that we were forced to rely upon the elevation and range obtained early in the engagement. Our men were dropping fast, and it was evident we were before the most effective works of the enemy, but this only inspired the regiment with greater zeal. At nine o'clock our ammunition was exhausted, and with fixed bayonets we held our position, unable to return the fire which the enemy were now delivering with double fury. Half an hour later the Eleventh Connecticut relieved us, and we retired with a loss of seven killed and seventy-eight wounded.

While waiting for ammunition, the sound of a charge fell upon our ears and we returned at double quick to the support of our comrades, arriving in time to see them scale the works, and the enemy in full retreat. The yell of the charge gave place to cheers of victory, in which we joined as we dashed over the abatis and entered the entrenchments. The dead and wounded lay scattered along the breastworks, the incoherent expressions of many of the latter showing a beastly intoxication. The artillery horses lay dead or struggling in the traces, thus preventing the removal of a single gun. The Fourth Rhode Island and Eighth Conn., supported by the Fifty-First New York Regiment, had broken the enemy's line at the right of the railroad, but the remainder of Reno's Brigade, and a portion of Gen'l Parke's were still sharply engaged in the woods beyond. Gen'l Foster at once advanced upon the rear of their position

with the Twenty-Fifth Mass., capturing some two hundred of the enemy, and routing the remainder.

Ten days previous, when Gen'l Burnside's spy left this locality, there were no fortifications at this point, hence the General was unaware of the difficulties to be met at this part of the field.

The enemy attribute their misfortune to the Seventh North Carolina Militia, who were stationed at the north of the railroad. This regiment had been driven from the works by a portion of the Twenty-First Mass. Regt., when the latter were in turn driven out by the Thirty-Fifth North Carolina and the Seventh returned to their position. Later, the Fourth Rhode Island and Eighth Connecticut, supported by the Fifty-First New York, made a determined assault upon them, when the Seventh were again forced from their position and the day lost. Doubtless the point was not as tenaciously contested, or perhaps was not capable of the resistance of other parts of the line, but the assertion that “they ingloriously retreated without a contest” is not sustained by the losses of our three regiments engaged in the charge, or by the riddled forest on their front. Misfortune must have its scapegoat, and the Seventh North Carolina Regiment bears the odium of a defeat which was inevitable.

The main body of the enemy retreated across the Trent River above New Berne, but a portion of them, with re-inforcements arriving just as the battle closed, and a train loaded with the wounded and slain, escaped through the city, setting fire to the railroad bridge as they passed. This bridge, seven hundred feet long, had been prepared for destruction, and when our column, two miles below, first sighted it, the fire was fully under way. Smoke, black as midnight, rolled up from the bridge and from different parts of the city, a livid representation of Dante's Inferno, or a second Sodom or Gomorrah. Had the words Doom! Doom!! Doom!!! been suspended in huge letters over the city it






could hardly have intensified the scene, or the retributive justice upon an unrighteous cause. Arriving at the river the regularity of the strects of the city opposite, enabled us to see the enemy still at their work of incendiarism. Two pieces of artillery were placed upon the railroad and shells thrown over the city and through the streets to stop their nefarious work.

Commodore Rowan, with his usual promptness, had blown up the river blockade, and arriving before the city, offered to transport the forces across to New Berne. The Twenty-Fifth Mass. were landed at the foot of Craven Street, and immediately occupied the city as “Provost Guard,” while the Twenty-Seventh were carried to its western suburbs, and, landing at the upper dock on the Neuse River, marched out to the North Carolina Fair Grounds and occupied the camp of the Seventh North Carolina Regiment without opposition.

Thus closed the 14th of March, in which the yeomanry of the North had clothed the army with a new prestige and given the Union a victory which struck consternation to its enemies. Its results were the capture of eight batteries of heavy guns and three batteries of light artillery (in all sixty-four guns), two hundred prisoners, the entire camp equipage of the enemy, large quantities of ammunition and quartermasters’ stores, two steamers, a number of sailing vessels, and a large quantity of rosin, turpentine and cotton. Says Woodbury's “History of the Ninth Army Corps”: “It was a peculiar conflict, and it may be doubted if another such was fought during the war. A bold attack upon a strongly fortified position, heavily armed and abundantly manned, made by a force of infantry without siege guns, or anything but a few howitzers.” Our force engaged did not exceed sixty-five hundred, which was equalled by that of the enemy; yet after four hours of conflict

we succeeded in defeating them in their chosen position, and in putting them to utter rout.

Gen'l Burnside said in his official report: “I beg to say to the commanding general, I have a division under my command that can be relied upon in any emergency.”

Jefferson Davis says of Roanoke and New Berne: “These places were given up without resistance,” though their official report of this engagement places their loss at five hundred and fourteen killed, wounded and missing. Southern historic papers say: “The rapid fall of Roanoke and New Berne struck terror and dismay along the whole coast.” As to the accuracy of our fire, Major Whitford said to the writer a year later, when on a flag of truce, “Give the d—l their due, it was you —— Yankees with your rifles who captured New Berne. Your range was so perfect it was about sure death to raise a head above the works!”

This victory was purchased with the blood of New England's bravest sons, the loss by brigades and regiments being as follows: —

First Brigade.
Gen. Foster.
Killed.Wounded.Total.
Twenty-Third Mass. Regiment,53944
Twenty-Fourth Mass. Regiment,84149
Twenty-Fifth Mass. Regiment,41620
Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regiment,77885
Tenth Conn. Regiment,51621
Totals,29190219

Second Brigade.
Gen. Reno.
Twenty-First Mass. Regiment,174057
Fifty-First N. Y. Regiment,147892
Ninth N. J. Regiment,45862
Fifty-First Penn. Regiment,-1010
Totals,35186221






Third Brigade.
Gen. Parke.
Killed.Wounded.Total.
Eighth Conn. Regiment,347
Eleventh Conn. Regiment,62127
Fourth R. I. Regiment,102232
Fifth R. I. Battalion4711
Totals,235477

A loss of eighty-seven killed, and four hundred and thirty wounded, or a total loss of five hundred and seventeen men.

The enemy's loss, as reported by the Governor of North Carolina to the North Carolina State “Journal,” was: —

Killed.Wounded.Missing.
Seventh N. C. Regt., Lieut. Col. Haywood, commanding,61530
Twenty-Sixth N. C. Regt., Col. Zebulon C. Vance, commanding,51072
Twenty-Seventh N. C. Regt., Major Gilmer, commanding,4842
Twenty-Eighth N. C. Regt., Col. Lee, commanding,--6
Thirty-Third N. C. Regt., Col. Avery, commanding,3228144
Thirty-Fifth N. C. Regt., Col. Sinclair, commanding,5119
Thirty-Seventh N. C. Regt., Lieut. Col. Barber, commanding,138
Latham's Battery,101122
Brem's Battery,1817
Mayo's Battery,-2-
Four Independent Companies Infantry,56368
Totals,64101413=578

The following is the list of the killed and wounded of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt.: —

Killed.

Lieut. Joseph W. Lawton, Ware, Company I.

Private Samuel A. Dunning, Worthington, Company A.

Private Joseph Drake, Warwick, Company B.

Private Edward A. Jackson, Lee, Company E.

Private Lyman M. Marshall, Tolland, Company F.

Private William C. Soule, Tolland, Company F.

Private Leander Woodruff, Agawam, Company F.

Wounded. — Company A.

Private Thomas Bolton, Easthampton. Leg; slight.

Private Frederick Klistner, Hatfield. Leg; slight.

Drummer Charles C. Loud, Northampton. Face; severe.

Private George Stevens, Williamsburg. Leg; slight.

Company B.

Sergt. Otis Oliver, Athol. Right thigh.

Corp. Van Buren French, Athol. Arm.

Corp. William H. Pierce, New Salem.

Private George Britton, Erving. Hip.

Private Frank Oliver, Jr., Athol.

Private Adolphus Porter, New Salem.

Private Isaac Powers, Prescott. Breast.

Private George M. Williams, Wendell.

Company C.

Serg. Reuben DeWolf, Leyden. Arm; severe.

Private John C. Delvey, Gill.

Private Martin L. Jones, Enfield.

Private Patrick Sweeney, Shelburne. Shoulder; fatal.

Company D.

Lieut. John S. Aitcheson, Chicopee. Head; slight.

Corp. George A. Griffin, Pelham. Shoulder; slight.

Private Charles K. Baker, Amherst. Skull fractured.

Private Charles H. Barton, Amherst. Lost two fingers.

Private James Bowman, Amherst. Leg; slight.






Private John E. Cushman, Amherst. Left arm amputated.

Private Henry Dunakin, Hadley. Side; slight.

Private Otis B. Griffin, Pelham. Left knee.

Private James A. Preston, Amherst. Right side; slight.

Private Solomon H. Williams, Amherst. Gun burst in his hands.

Company E.

Lieut. John W. Trafton, Springfield. Slight.

Sergt. Richard J. Bush, Great Barrington. Leg; slight.

Corp. Charles H. Bligh, Pittsfield. Arm.

Corp. Laville F. Hall, Pittsfield. Hand.

Private Marceline Barrett, Cheshire. Arm.

Private Alfred B. Champlin, Lee. Thigh.

Private Roswell D. Cobb, Monterey. Foot.

Private John McCavanaugh, New York. Hip

Private Martin C. Parish, Dummerston, Vt. Leg; slight.

Private Benjamin D. Washburn, Athol. Shoulder.

Company F.

Corp. Daniel W. Bates, Southampton. Slight.

Corp. Edwin H. Coit, Huntington. Slight.

Corp. Calvin J. Treat, Granville. Slight.

Private Vernon D. Austin, Southampton. Arm and side.

Private Edward Burns, Westfield. Temple.

Private Leroy Bosworth, Westfield. Right arm.

Private William E. Clark, Springfield. Severe.

Private John Dorflin, Westfield. Slight.

Private John W. Madison, Westfield. Slight.

Private Asa P. Merritt, Huntington.

Private Addison Noble, Westfield. Cheek bone fractured.

Private Amos B. Pomeroy, Granville. Slight.

Private Charles H. Searle, Southampton. Slight.

Private Alfred Woodworth, Agawam. Slight.

Company G.

Capt. Ripley R. Swift, Chicopee. Leg; severe.

Sergt. Edwin C. Hendricks, Chicopee.

Private Marcellus M. Adams, Chicopee.

Private Calvin Blackmer, Northampton.

Private Patrick Coffee, Northampton.

Private John Manix, Northampton.

Private Thomas Monlin, Chicopee. Face.

Private William D. Steele, Chicopee. Hand.

Private James Sullivan, Chicopee.

Private Thomas Taylor, Chicopee. Arm.

Company H.

Sergt. William Campbell, Adams. Ankle.

Sergt. Nelson W. Bowen, Adams. Shoulder.

Private Jared Estes, Adams. Head.

Private Charles A. Fowler, Williamstown. Head.

Private John O'Brien, Adams. Slight.

Private James H. Perkins, Williamstown. Knee.

Private Royal H. Plumb, Adams. Leg.

Private James L. White, Stamford, Vt. Head.

Private Joel Wing, Ashfield. Thigh amputated; fatal.

Company I.

Private Jacob P. Barton, Brimfield. Head; slight.

Private Thomas D. Pepper, Brimfield. Jaw.

Private Addison P. Wade, Ludlow. Knee.

Company K.

Lieut. George Warner, Springfield. Right foot amputated.

Sergt. Frederick A. Ingersoll, Springfield. Leg.

Corp. Robert R. McGregor, Chicopee. Slight.

Private Patrick Hayes, Ware. Slight.

Private Michael McGrath, Ludlow. Leg shattered.

Private Anthony Wackle, Great Barrington. Head; fatal.

Comrade Wackle was included with the killed in the official report. He, however, lived unconscious until the 17th instant.






Lieut. Joseph Wallingford Lawton was born at Ware, Oct. 9, 1839, and upon the death of his mother, three months later, was entrusted to the care of his grandmother, under whose training and faithful counsels he remained until entering his country's service. He recruited sixteen men, with whom he joined the Ludlow Company (I), himself as first sergeant, where his energy and promptness secured for him, upon the death of Capt. Hubbard, promotion as a second lieutenant. He first appeared as such on the march to, and upon the battle-field of New Berne, where his new uniform became a prominent mark for the enemy's sharpshooters. He fell while in our first position, soon after entering the field, a ball piercing his forehead, killing him instantly. He was the first of the sons of Ware to fall upon the field, and his name is borne by Post No. 85, Grand Army of the Republic, of his native town.

Comrade Dunning of Company A, was a member of Lieut. Spaulding's boatcrew, and after a hard day's work in landing the troops, the 13th, was told he could remain with the fleet. He replied, “I shall not leave you, lieutenant. If there is to be a battle, I shall be there!” About ten minutes after the engagement opened, a ball pierced his forehead, and he fell without a struggle. He was a faithful, noble-hearted young man, of eighteen years, “the only son of his mother, and she a widow.”

Amongst those who fell in other organizations was Lieut. Col. Henry Merritt, of Salem, Twenty-Third Mass. Regt., and the brave and accomplished Frazar A. Stearns, Acting-Adjutant Twenty-First Mass. Regt. The latter was a son of Pres. W. A. Stearns, D. D., of Amherst College, and fell as a portion of his regiment made their first charge on the enemy's works. Gen'l Burnside presented one of the six-pound

brass guns captured of Brem's Battery, to this regiment, as a monument to his memory, and the same is now suitably inscribed, and preserved at Amhert College.

March 24, 1862, the legislature of Massachusetts passed the following resolution: —

Resolved, That the thanks of the people of Massachusetts are due, and through the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled are gratefully tendered, to the officers and soldiers of the Twenty-First, Twenty-Third, Twenty-Fourth, Twenty-Fifth, and Twenty-Seventh Regiments of Massachusetts Volunteers, for their heroic deeds at the battle and victory of New Berne. In the hands of these men the honor of Massachusetts will always be safe.

Of the many incidents of interest, we present the following: Col. Jordan, of the Thirty-First North Carolina Regiment, whom we captured and paroled at Roanoke, was reported by citizens to have been at New Berne the day previous to the battle, and, in conversation with Gen'l Branch, to have said, “General, you have my best hopes and wishes, and were I not on parole, you would have my assistance; but, General, I will give you just twenty-four hours to hold your position. They would charge your batteries and intrenchments, if the obstacles were twice as great. All h—l won't keep them back. If they can't do better, they will swim the river” (it was two miles wide at this point) “and come in your rear! Have the place they will, and you can't hold it!” Evidently the Colonel remembered Roanoke Island.

“Joe,” a member of the band, was a favorite with our regiment, but had an aversion to the letting go of words. Awaiting a call for ambulance duty, he had sought refuge behind an old stump, when a solid shot buried itself in the ground just in front, covering him with a shower of dirt and mud. This was a trifle too much for Joe, and he hastily






moved to another part of the field, exclaiming, “Thi- thi- this is no place for the Fa- Fa- Fay family!”

W——, of Company —, Twenty-Seventh Regiment, a young man of strong religious principles, was absent on detached service at the battle of Roanoke Island, and when hearing its recital, assured his comrades if they would but trust in the Lord, they could enter such scenes without fear. Early in this engagement, a charge of canister killed and wounded several of his company, when W—— suddenly decamped, appearing at New Berne late in the evening. Unfortunately, many of Company — had been skeptical of his assertion, and now wickedly plied him with the inquiry, whether he trusted most that day on the Lord, or on his legs. W—— honestly replied, “I didn't realize how scarey it was to be shot at. I don't believe the Lord has much to do with such operations.”

Says the Wilmington “Journal” of that date, “John Mixon, of Company E, Twenty-Seventh North Carolina Regiment, was wounded through the shoulder and breast, the ball passing through him and lodging in his clothes. John has saved the ball, and says he shall kill a Yankee with it, if (?) he lives to get well.” Please report, John; ’tis some years since.

As we landed at the New Berne wharf, a darkey woman, whose white hair betokened great age, came dancing forward with exuberance of joy, and, grasping the author by both arms, exclaimed, “Bress de Lord, Massa! Ize ben prain fur uze dese forty years! I taut uze nebber comin tall! But uze come at las! Bress de Lord! Bress de Lord!!” Her features were suffused with joy during this effervescence, and the loose planks of the wharf kept time with her dance and gesticulations. It was a simple faith which recognized the providence of God in the fruition of a long-deferred hope. The belief of the negroes in such intervention was as strongly shown in an incident a few moments later. A man was evidently

making the best of the last opportunity to escape, and was well out beyond where our fortifications were afterwards placed, when a shell thrown over the city by our guns, buried itself in the ground, and exploded just behind him, covering him with dust and dirt. A darkey near us, who had been intently watching him, exclaimed, “Judy, se dar! Dars Massa runnin awa, an de wengence of de Lord is arter him!”

The New Berne “Progress,” a paper published at New Berne by —— “Pendleton,” previous to our occupation of the place, was placed under the care of George Mills Joy, a member of the Twenty-Third Mass. Regt., and formerly in the employ of the “Hampshire Gazette,” of Northampton. The following was in type: —

“The signals on the Neuse River, below our batteries, gave notice of the approach of the enemy yesterday afternoon about five o'clock. A boat was immediately despatched down the river, and, on its return, we were placed in positive information of the presence of ten steamers and one large transport (schooner) in the river, only twelve miles below New Berne, and in a few miles of the blockade. Everything was active, and preparations were busy here last night, and a battle is expected to-day, and the day will probably decide the fate of New Berne.”

To this, Editor Joy added:—

“Friday did it! We have taken New Berne. The enemy undertook to burn the town, but were unsuccessful.

“Yankee Printer.”

The rebel editor retired to Goldsboro, and issued a card, saying, “He had lost all, but intended to reopen again, if Gen'l Burnside did not press too far into the bowels of the State.” In reply to Editor Joy's promise in his first issue, to furnish a better-looking sheet as soon as he could get some decent paper, he caustically replied, “It's hard enough






to rob a man of all his money, without cursing the style of his currency.”

The Wilmington “Journal,” in commenting on the misfortunes of North Carolina, said, “The day is dark, but we must face the music. . . . It is about as unprofitable commenting on such events as whistling to mile-stones.”

Upon the occupancy of the city, Gen'l Burnside appointed Gen'l Foster Military Governor of the State of North Carolina, with headquarters at New Berne; Gen'l Foster appointed Capt. Daniel Messenger provost-marshal of the place; and upon these officers devolved the execution of the laws and the protection of property, with plenary power in all breaches of civil or military law. Stringent regulations for trade in conquered parts of insurrectionary States had already been issued through the Secretary of the Treasury, and these depended upon the loyalty and vigilance of provost-marshals for execution. The persons and property of all, if not deserted, were respected, and, where needed, guards were placed for their protection. All civilians were obliged to prove identity before the provost-marshal, and no one allowed to move about the city without a pass, except officers in uniform and the colored people. This was too much for “poor shade,” who exclaimed, “Bress de Lord an Massa Lincoln! Hallelujer! dat dis yer ole nigger should lib to see dis happy time, when white folks mus hab a pass to go bout, and dis nigger wid the officer can go whar him pleas widout one! Bress de Lord! ha! ha!! ha!!! Juber!” There was not the least demonstration of loyalty or Union sentiment with the whites, but a sullen moroseness, indicative of intense disloyalty. Few whites, however, remained, and these, with only a few exceptions, were of the lower class, with little property and less intelligence.

March 15th, Gen'l Burnside issued the following congratulatory order: —

“The general commanding congratulates his troops on their gallant and hard-won victory of the 14th. Their courage, their patience, their endurance of fatigue, exposure and toil, cannot be too highly praised. After a tedious march, dragging howitzers through swamps, and a sleepless night passed in a drenching rain, they met the enemy in his chosen position, protected by strong earthworks mounting many and heavy guns; and although in an open field themselves, they conquered.

“With such soldiers, advance is victory. The commanding general directs, with peculiar pride, that, as a well-deserved tribute to valor, in this second victory of the expedition, each regiment shall inscribe on its banner the memorable name New Berne.”

Sunday, the 16th, was observed as a day of thanksgiving, all the churches being opened for public worship. The Twenty-Seventh Regiment, with arms and equipments, occupied the First Baptist Church, where Chaplain Sandford preached his farewell sermon, from 1 Sam. iv. 9: “Be strong, and quit yourselves like men.”






CHAPTER V. LIFE IN DIXIE.

New Berne is the third city of importance in the State, and is situated at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers. These form, at this point, a stream two miles wide, with a channel nine feet deep at low water, permitting direct communication with our largest ports. With Wilmington, it holds an almost absolute monopoly of the trade in tar, resin, and turpentine, which are its chief commodities. The surrounding country is a dead level, interspersed with dense, marshy forests, but, owing to the large number of turpentine distilleries, was deemed to be more than ordinarily healthy. The city is regularly laid out, boasts of five churches, a masonic hall, an academy, a theatre, two hotels, and a jail. It is the county seat of Craven County, and in time of peace, must have had a population of about seven thousand. The place was of special importance to the enemy for its manufacture of ordnance, as a shipping port, and as controlling the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad.

March 17th, Gen'l Foster issued the following congratulatory order to his brigade: —

Department of North Carolina,

Headquarters First Brigade.

New Berne, N. C., March 17, 1862.

General Order, No. 11.

Gen'l Foster again congratulates his brigade on the brilliant victory in which they participated, and by their steadiness and valor contributed so much to win; and renews, most sincerely, his






Dept. of North Carolina for the Twenty Seventh, Mass, Regt. History.
Dept. of North Carolina for the Twenty Seventh, Mass, Regt. History.





thanks for the endurance of hardship, steadiness, coolness under fire, and willing and prompt obedience, shown by all from the moment of landing.

The test was more severe than at Roanoke Island; and as Gen'l Foster judged by their conduct there what it would be here, it is the highest praise to say that the conduct of the brigade equalled or surpassed his expectations. He hopes and believes that each successive action will but add to the laurels already won by the brigade he is proud to command.

By command of Brig. Gen'l J. G. Foster.

Southard Hoffman,

Assistant Adj't-Gen'l.

The same day on which this order was issued, we renovated and remodelled our captured camp, after which it was known as “Camp Warner,” in honor of Lieut. George Warner, wounded the 14th inst. It was situated upon what was known as the “North Carolina Fair Grounds,” and was furnished with Sibley tents. The tents, when captured, were supplied with floors and bunks, and with bedding and comfortables, all of which were acceptable to us on account of our loss at Hatteras. Our camp had a border of juniper trees upon three sides, which afforded grateful shade, while it was sufficiently elevated to secure good drainage. It was near by the city and the Neuse River; and was not only the best camp in the department, but also the best we had during the war. The Seventh North Carolina Regt., its former occupants, had determined to defend their camp, and upon the day of the battle, had formed in front for its defence, but a shell from our guns caused a reconsideration and a hasty adjournment. A full set of band instruments captured in this camp were presented by Gen'l Burnside to the regiment.

March 20th, Companies D, F, H and K, under command of Major Bartholomew, advanced up the railroad nine miles






to Bachelor's Creek, driving the enemy's cavalry before them, and burning the railroad bridge. Here they remained, with foul weather and fowl living, until the 23d, when they were relieved by the Twenty-Third Mass. Regt., and returned to Camp Warner. Meantime, the Third Brigade under Gen'l Parke, marched down the railroad to Beaufort, thirty-six miles distant, investing that place and Fort Macon; while the Twenty-Fourth Mass. occupied Washington, N. C., without opposition.

March 25th, Col. Lee and Capt. Fuller went North on a “leave of absence,” attended by First Lieut. Mark H. Spaulding and Second Lieut. Edwin C. Clark of Company A, both of whom had resigned their commissions. The last two were men of large experience, mature judgment, undoubted courage, and exact in detail and discipline. The regiment could ill afford to spare such officers, and to the company the loss seemed irreparable. Most of the men enlisted by them, embraced the opportunity because of their confidence in them. There was no disposition to question the sufficiency of their reasons, yet it was felt the misfortune should have been averted. Lieut. Spaulding was one of the earliest adventurers in California, his experience amidst lynch law and vigilance committees developing a cool, calculating spirit, equal to any emergency, and furnishing him abundant resources to cope with more than ordinary difficulties. He returned to Northampton, crowned with success, and, at the outbreak of the rebellion, was junior partner of the firm of Stockwell & Spaulding. He was more like our noble Capt. Sanford, whose actions were a glorious legacy to our regiment. Lieut. Spaulding's services at Hatteras were of inestimable value to the expedition, and his presence on the field, conspicuous and inspiring.

Lieut. Clark had large executive ability, was strict in discipline, and watchful of every interest of his command.

He was, from mustering until his resignation, unremitting in duty and valorous upon the field. He sought no preferment, but acted from principle, without regard to reward or consequences. Later in the war, both of these officers served under higher commissions in the Fifty-Second Mass. Regt., and since their return, have been honored with the highest offices in the gift of their constituents.

Fortunately for Company A, there was one in the regiment, by birth and association allied with them, who was a natural leader, of courage and ability, and to him the command fell. Henry C. Dwight of Northampton, upon the organization of the regiment, consented to serve as sergeant-major, but December 7th, had been commissioned as a second lieutenant, and assigned to Company H. Waiving the conventionalities of promotion, Col. Lee, with undoubted wisdom and sagacity, appointed him as first lieutenant of Company A, while Orderly Sergt. John P. Blakeman, of the same company, was commissioned second lieutenant.

During the afternoon of Sunday, March 30th, communion services were held in the Presbyterian Church, presided over by Chaplains Horace James of the Twenty-Fifth, and Jonas Clark of the Twenty-Third Massachusetts Regiments. The sanctity of the hour, the place, the occasion, the causes for gratitude, for repentance, for consecration, were all subjects, which, under the inspired and ready tongue of Chaplain James, gave a solemnity rarely experienced.

A few days before, we stood upon the riven field, amidst the mad storm of battle, fearless and defiant; to-day, how changed the scene! The cheers of victory were hushed, and, oblivious of rank, the victors were bowing reverently before the “God of battles,” acknowledging the hand that had shielded and gotten them the victory. Although the church was full, none but men were there; but a united prayer ascended that the Saviour would reveal himself to the






dear ones at home in that hour, and that his comforting presence and support might be afforded those who mourned the loss of our fallen brave. To live consistently at home involved much, in the army immensely more; and Christian resources were often put to the severest tests. It should hardly be said that army experiences made bad men; it rather stripped the mask from those inclined to evil, while it strengthened and ennobled those acting from principle. Privacy in devotional exercises was out of the question, and these duties must be performed — if at all — amongst, and unscreened from, the eyes of heedless comrades, who, perhaps, at that moment were engaged in the pleasures and heated disputes of games. There were those among us who braved this; they maintained irreproachable lives, and by example were a constant restraint upon others. To the credit of our army be it said, difficulties in these matters arose from heedlessness rather than heartless opposition; for honest convictions were always respected.

Eligible hospital accommodations were secured in the suburbs of the city, consisting of a row of cottages with comfortable grounds and shade. This enabled our surgeons to classify and separate our sick and wounded, which arrangement materially enhanced the comfort and recovery of our invalids. During the warm season the grounds were profuse with flowers, filling the air with fragrance, and bountifully supplying the sick-rooms with bouquets. March 27th, Assistant Surgeon Samuel Camp resigned his commission on account of sickness. His thorough knowledge of medicine and intense application to the welfare of the men, had rendered him invaluable to the regiment. He was born at Norfolk, Conn., May 5, 1829, and graduated in medicine from the University of New York, in March, 1851. He followed his profession five years in New Marlborough, Mass., and three years in St. Joseph, Mich., being located at Great Barrington, Mass. at the opening of the war. Upon his resignation

he returned to the last named place, where he still resides, possessed of a large and lucrative practice.

Our hospital department consisted of one steward, with seven assistants, and was, in character, ability and success, a credit to the regiment, and the good sense which dictated the selection. It would be a sufficient encomium for any similar organization, to say it was its equal. There was not opportunity to bestow the care of home; but it was intelligent and faithful, and as constant as the multitude of the cases allowed.

The sanitary condition of the camp and men was carefully attended to by Col. Lyman and Surgeon Otis. The tents were frequently struck, to expose the ground to the defecating rays of the sun, while the regiment was as often marched to the river for a bath. Negro “pie pedlers” were forbidden entrance to the camp, and the use of such trash discountenanced. To counteract malaria, a gill per man of “quinine and whiskey” was issued each morning, and where principle intervened with some, others were sufficiently elastic (or generous?) to accommodate the additional ration.

If we had endured hardships, we now enjoyed comparative ease and comfort. A line of steamers connected us with the outside world, furnishing — irregularly — mails, and the “latest from the seat of war” by New York papers. Large numbers of speculators, under special permits from the Treasury Department, flocked to the place; and anything desired could be obtained. We were favored with visits from friends at home, amongst whom was Rev. Mark Trafton, father of Lieut. John W. Trafton, of Company E, who said he thanked God the “Mayflower” did not drift to Southern shores, for then the sterile, rock-bound shores of New England would have had no attractions, and we should have missed the stalwart, iron men, which their sterility has given us. An Alabamian told him, he could conquer a whole






regiment of Yankees by offering them a price for their guns; but they were now finding that, while we had an eye to business, there were two things we would not barter, home or principle.

About this time we were in receipt of large numbers of letters from friends in the Tenth Mass. Regt., — then stationed at Camp Brightwood near Alexandria, Va., — complaining of the favoritism by which a new regiment — raised months after they had gone to the front — were permitted to glean high honors on the field, while they were in enforced idleness. It was a little strange; but this source of discontent was soon after removed, and from the other extreme they were somewhat excusable for desiring a more satisfactory mean.

April 1st the regiment went up the railroad on picket, leaving Company B to guard the camp. Our lines were now extended seven miles from New Berne, and by active scouting the enemy were kept at a safe distance.

On the 6th, a body of rebel cavalry charged within a short distance of our camp at the outpost, but finding us on the qui vive disappeared with equal celerity. Our supplies were mostly obtained from the country. Coons, possums, calves, pigs, and fowl were plenty — (at first?) — though the last were always the special property of the “old woman.” The complaint of the owners at their disappearance received similar comfort to that afforded one later by an officer of one of the regiments. “Vat — all your shicken gone? You mays be tankful it was no mo! Shust you march so much, an fights so hard, an has no mo than my mens, — I tinks you takes a little shicken too!” There was no loyalty among citizens, except as artfully shown to defend some interest. They were in constant sympathy and collusion with the rebels. The enemy were reported twenty thousand strong at Kinston, intending to attack us at once; but if such an intention existed, the arrival of the Seventeenth

Massachusetts, One Hundred and Third New York, Forty-Eighth Pennsylvania, and Second Maryland, with the Third New York Artillery and Third New York Cavalry regiments, April 2d, must have seriously disturbed their plans.

April 7th, the Twenty-Seventh Regiment was relieved at Bachelor's Creek by the Seventeenth Mass., and returned to Camp Warner, the remainder of the month being occupied with camp duties and drills. Gen'l Reno, with the Twenty-First Massachusetts and Fifty-First Pennsylvania, sailed from New Berne the 17th inst., taking on detachments of the Sixth New Hampshire, and Ninth and Eighty-Ninth New York regiments at Roanoke Island, and, upon the 20th, surprised the enemy at Camden, N. C., in the midst of a heavy thunderstorm. The Ninth New York charged without orders, and were met by a severe fire, causing them to throw themselves upon the field to escape loss, when the Twenty-First Mass., and Fifty-First Penn. charged to their relief, routing the enemy and capturing two pieces of artillery with a few prisoners. Our loss was fourteen killed and ninety-six wounded, mostly of the Ninth New York. The position assailed was in the rear of Norfolk, Va., and only eighteen miles therefrom. Because of the danger of attack by a superior Confederate force, the place was evacuated during the night. The movement caused consternation at Norfolk, and hastened its evacuation by the Confederates, which was accomplished the 10th of May.

Meantime the investment of Fort Macon had progressed favorably under Gen'l Parke, who demanded its surrender the 24th inst. This being refused, our batteries opened upon it the 25th, and after a bombardment of ten hours, Col. Moses J. White, its commander, a nephew of Jefferson Davis, and three hundred and twenty men, surrendered themselves, and the fort, with sixty-five guns and its military stores. This fort was one of the most important and costly on the Atlantic coast, being second in importance to Fortress Monroe and






Fort Sumter. It was a large, low, pentagonal, casemated brick structure, covered with a heavy, sodded embankment of earth. The guns were en barbette, and consisted of sixty ten-inch guns, with one one-hundred-twenty-eight pounder Columbiad. Encircling the fort, and half its height, was a huge rampart of earth, with a broad, gentle slope towards the outside; and from its parapets guns frowned upon the adjacent fields. The whole stood on a hummock of sand upon Bogue Island, just at the entrance of Beaufort harbor; and commanded Old Topsail Inlet, about three-quarters of a mile wide.

At the time of its capture it was garrisoned by the Atlantic Artillery; Battery B, Tenth Artillery (“Woodpecks”); and three companies of rebel infantry. The Union force accredited with this victory was the Fourth and Fifth Rhode Island and Eighth Connecticut Regiments, with Ammon's Battery I, Third New York Artillery. By saps and approaches they succeeded in placing batteries within fourteen hundred yards of the fort, and after about three weeks’ preparation forced its surrender.

The threatening attitude and increase of the enemy's forces in North Carolina, as well as the plans of the commanding general, necessitated the making of New Berne as a base of supplies, secure against any contingency, and this work was assigned to the skill and care of Gen'l Foster. At the rear of New Berne the distance from the Neuse to the Trent River was about a mile, across which neck, during the month, Gen'l Foster constructed a cordon of fortifications, with Fort Rowan at the railroad and Fort Totten at the county road. These works, with the flanks well protected by gun-boats stationed in the river enfilading the field, rendered our position safe against attack in this direction. The same peculiarity existed south of the Trent, with Forts Amory and Gaston, so that the place was a citadel, the character and extent of its defences insuring it from attack; and, though at

different times the enemy drove our forces to the intrenchments, they always withdrew without assaulting them.

Fort Totten was the most formidable work. It was a pentagon, covering nearly seven acres, with parapets eight feet high and twelve feet thick. This massive embankment was revetted from the bottom of the slope in the ditch with sods, one on the other, to the depth of eighteen inches, and the embrasures with wicker baskets filled with sand. A huge parapet of earth and logs was constructed on the terra pleine of the fort, thirty-five feet high, twenty-eight feet thick and four hundred feet long, to shelter the garrison in case of bombardment. On the top of this huge parapet was a series of rifle-pits for the use and protection of sharpshooters. The ramparts were protected from enfilading fires by traverses, and complete control of the field secured by bastions at each angle. The armament of the fort consisted of twenty-eight guns, mostly naval thirty-two pounders and sixty-four pound Columbiads, the exceptions being two one hundred pound Parrotts, rifled.

On the 1st of May our new chaplain, Rev. C. L. Woodworth, of the South Amherst Congregational Church, received a hearty welcome to the regiment. It is not too much to say that he was all a chaplain could be, — genial, sympathetic, approachable; attached to his work and zealous for the welfare of the regiment. As an earnest, consecrated worker, a clear expositor and a pathetic pleader, he had no superior; while his knowledge of human nature and his good common sense well fitted him for his work. He was sure to present himself at the tent when least expected, with a hearty “Good morning! how are you, boys?” and made free use of the hospitalities extended him.

May 3d, we broke camp and marched to Bachelor's Creek, relieving the Twenty-Third Mass. from outpost duty. This post had suffered severely from a guerrilla warfare, resulting in frequent wounding or death to members of the Twenty-Third.






Expeditions were at once set in motion for Tuscarora and other points, and a system of scouting and reconnoissance adopted which soon created a respect and wholesome fear for the Twenty-Seventh. During our years of service, much of which was occupied in outpost duty, we never deserted a post or lost a man, killed, wounded or taken prisoner while on picket duty. Other parts of our lines were subjected to attack and loss, but wherever the Twenty-Seventh was, the pickets were unassailed. Our camp was situated south of the railroad and easterly of the creek, the latter running through a deep, wooded ravine. Grounds were cleared and graded, stumps removed, wells dug, cook-houses built; and when our new Sibley tents were received, the camp was inspected by Gen'l Foster and pronounced perfect in equipment, appearance and comfort. Seven miles of unbroken forest separated us from the fields of New Berne, and whichever way we turned it was marsh, thickets and woods, from whose depths came the delicious fragrance of the magnolia and the warble of the matchless mocking-birds. Daylight and darkness was redolent with perfume, and there was not an hour when the mocking-bird's song could not be heard in the forest.

Just beyond our outposts at Tuscarora was a family named Davis, who were always willing to furnish refreshments for a consideration. One day, when Lieut. Hunt was in charge of the outposts, he placed Sergt. Peck upon picket near this plantation. The sergeant was very considerate of the wants of the inner man, and when Lieut. Hunt returned to this part of the line, he found the former had been to Davis's house, and ordered what he termed “a stomach distender for two.” Sergt. Peck's appetite and liberality got the best of his scruples, and he invited the lieutenant to the feast; an invitation promptly accepted.

They had nearly finished their repast, when a sudden roar and rattle, as of heavy guns and musketry, was heard.

Grasping their arms and equipments, which had been laid aside for the occasion, they unceremoniously rushed out of doors, cleared the fences and fields, expecting each moment another volley or a demand to surrender. As they reached the post, with an appearance of anything but an orderly retreat, one of the pickets called out, “Hallo? What's your hurry? Why didn't you stay until after the shower?” Sure enough, while they had been engaged at the table, one of those famous thunder-clouds had overcast the sky, from which a crashing stroke had come, resulting in their discomfiture. It was some time before these two officers were allowed to forget this dinner, and the “old man Davis” often glibly referred to it as “the attack on the pickets.”

At one time, when guerrilla farmers were particularly annoying, a squad of one of our companies followed the trail of one of these scoundrels to his house. A horse was hitched conveniently near, but the owner, from a lack of time, was obliged to escape without it. After raiding the premises and securing all the bacon and poultry, one of the men discovered a large and well-filled bee-hive. There was a sudden rally of the command for consultation, during which, one of the men, with an eye to business, pushed the hive over on the ground. As a business venture it was a grand success, for the next moment the whole squad was rolling upon the ground, or engaged in a mad race for camp. They lashed themselves with grass, and plunged into thickets of brush, to rid themselves of the enemy, but the last hum was not heard until every marauder was fully half a mile from that house. The boys bragged considerably about saving the bacon and poultry, but a more discomfited set of men never entered the camp of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. Such eyes, and such monstrous noses and thick lips, were wonders to behold.

Our connection with New Berne was maintained by means of a “hand car,” which ran daily to the city with mail and






despatches, under the care of W. P. Derby, postmaster of the regiment.

It was not all trial and pain in the army. There were hours when, in the leisure of camp, games, wit and rollicking humor made the air ring with boisterous laughter, and the men rolled upon the ground in unsuppressed merriment. There was the story of the scout and the plunder of the foraging party to be discussed over smoking viands, which gave a relish (oh! go away dyspepsia!) that defied the thought of “surgeon's call.” There were new stories and new experiences for each day; new plans and new discoveries, new expeditions with new prisoners and new refugees. There was the hunting the possums and coons, the trapping of game and fishing of streams, besides ever-changing scenes and scenery. The enemy were an illusion and a delusion to us, “and were averse to cultivating an intimate acquaintance.” We could see them daily far up the track, but on our approach they hastily disappeared; so that we rarely were able to exchange shots. Few days passed in which black smoke was not ascending somewhere on our front, caused by the enemy burning mills, distilleries and other property. We were given to understand that we should not return to New Berne, but should advance into the country; hence we were much surprised by orders to return to the city the 29th inst.

Our campaign in North Carolina was so intimately connected with the movement in Virginia that vital changes in our operations were possible at any moment. Concentration at this time was necessary with us, for readiness to reinforce Gen'l McClellan upon the Peninsula in case of his defeat; for defence, should the enemy be defeated and driven back into North Carolina, as seemed probable; or to enable us to promptly co-operate with the army in Virginia by advancing into the interior of the State, should additional troops be furnished the department. Gen'l Burnside's plans contemplated

these emergencies, even to the extent of the evacuation of North Carolina and of attempting to hold the conquered part of the State by the navy alone. This last was disapproved of by the authorities at Washington, D. C. During the month large numbers of Union prisoners arrived at New Berne via Washington, N. C. These were mostly captured at Bull Run and Ball's Bluff in 1861. Their features and clothing corroborated their stories of privations and wrongs. Elegant specimens of carving in wood and bone showed how they had whiled the tedious hours of captivity; and were liberally purchased by us to relieve their necessities.

Intricate questions of a civil nature were constantly arising, embarrassing and burdensome to our commander, and at his request for a military governor, Hon. Edward Stanley, a former citizen of North Carolina, was appointed by President Lincoln. He had represented the State in Congress, but at the outbreak of the rebellion was living in California. His misconception of his duties and privileges, or a want of loyalty to them, led him into acts so antagonistic and culpable as to arouse most intense indignation in the department. His safeguards were in the hands of citizens, soldiers and guerrillas within and outside of our lines. Provost regulations limiting the kind and quantity of supplies purchasable by any party outside the lines, were prostituted so as to permit one individual to purchase for as many others as would send orders. A day or two later another citizen would appear with duplicate orders from the same parties, and in this way immense quantities of supplies were furnished the enemy. Colored schools were discontinued, and all slaves ordered to be held subject to the demand of their masters. So subversive was the power exercised by Governor Stanley, that, after eight months of trial he was removed by the President, and his actions annulled.

The month had been one of great activity in Virginia.






The Army of the Potomac had commenced its advance up the Peninsula, resulting in the evacuation of Yorktown; while Norfolk had been abandoned and the famous “Merrimac” had ingloriously suicided at Craney Island by lowering its flag, and committing itself to the flames. Had the “Merrimac” been invulnerable, and so anxious to renew the conflict which was so often declined by the “Monitor,” why did it not strike at its cowardly foe, and in the crucible of battle sustain its honor and the waning fortunes of its cause. Too much had been claimed; and there was no escape from confession but in suicide, and suicide was confession.

About midnight, June 3d, we received orders to be ready to move at an hour's notice, with three days’ rations; but these were countermanded by Gen'l Foster, and the Twenty-Fourth Mass. Volunteers substituted, in view of our constant service. This regiment proceeded by steamer to Washington, and, the 5th inst., marched seven miles to Trantor's Creek, where they found the enemy fifteen hundred strong, in command of Col. Singletary. The Union force consisted of the Twenty-Fourth Mass., Company I Third New York Cavalry, a detachment of Marine Artillery, and one company of the First North Carolina Union Volunteers. The engagement lasted three-quarters of an hour, when the enemy were routed, leaving their dead upon the field. Our loss was seven killed and eleven wounded, but would have been much greater but for the use of malleable iron balls by the enemy, which struck with a sharp sting and fell harmless to the ground. It was a rainy day and answered every requirement for a movement in our department. We were a Coast Division, selected for this service because of supposed familiarity with water, and, singularly, we never moved without a good supply from above and under foot.

June 17th, companies F and G, with a detachment of the Twenty-Fifth Massachusetts and Tenth Connecticut, under Major Bartholomew, went up to Core Creek to take the

dimensions of the railroad bridge and report on the condition of the road. With some skirmishing, they drove the enemy five miles; found the rails and ties removed as far as they could see; and, accomplishing their work, returned without loss in a heavy thunderstorm, followed at a safe distance by the enemy, who burnt the Tuscarora station before retiring.

June 20th was a gala day for the Department. All unnecessary duties were suspended, and a grand review was held upon the south of the Trent, before Gen'l Burnside and Adjt. Gen'l Mauran of Rhode Island; after the completion of which, an elegant sword was presented our commanding general in behalf of the State of Rhode Island.

The troops were brigaded, and moved in the following order: —

First Division.

Brig. Gen'l John G. Foster commanding.

First Brigade, Acting Brig. Gen'l T. J. C. Amory. — Twenty-Fifth Mass., Twenty-Third Mass., Sixth N. H., Seventeenth Mass.

Second Brigade, Acting Brig. Gen'l Thomas G. Stevenson. — Twenty-Seventh Mass., Tenth Conn., Ninth N. J., Twenty-Fourth Mass.

Second Division.

Brig. Gen'l Jesse L. Reno commanding.

First Brigade, Second Division, Acting Brig. Gen'l —— Nagle. — Forty-Eighth Penn., Eighth Conn., One Hundred and Third N. Y., Second Md.

Second Brigade, Second Division, Acting Brig. Gen'l Edward Ferrero. — Twenty-First Mass., Fifty-First N. Y., Fifty-First Penn., Eleventh Conn.






Third Division.

Brig. Gen'l John G. Parke commanding.

First Brigade, Third Division, —— ——. Fourth R. I., Fifth R. I., Eighty-Ninth N. Y. (the rest of this division was absent).

Belger's Battery, Third N. Y. Artillery, Howard's Marine Artillery, and the Third N. Y. Cavalry.

The formation was in column by regiment, each regiment wheeling into line by companies as they changed direction for review. The field was admirable for display, and the polished arms and equipments gave an almost blinding glare, which enveloped the moving column. As the Twenty-Seventh neared the reviewing officers, Col. Lee gave the order, “Shoulder arms!” and the movement was executed with marvellous precision. Every cap-visor was at “front,” every elbow touched, every motion was steady, every step sure, as they passed before the stand and to the field beyond. If it was not perfection, it was not excelled, and no one blushed to say he belonged to the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regiment.

The review ended, the troops formed a hollow square around the position held by Gen'l Burnside, when Gen'l Mauran presented the sword, in a terse and patriotic speech, which was responded to by Gen'l Burnside, who assured him that his command would ever strive to merit the high encomiums bestowed by him. Singularly, while the sword was being presented, thunder clouds covered the skies, and a heavy shower fell upon the opposite side of the Trent, but passed us unharmed. As the sun burst through a rift in the cloud, a beautiful rainbow arched the field, and from the writer's position, Gen'l Burnside and staff occupied the centre of the arc, which was greeted as an omen of promise for our commander and his troops.

On the 26th, Col. Howard of the Marine Artillery, with Major Bartholomew and Adjt. Bartlett as “aids,” made a

reconnoissance up the Neuse River, finding no enemy until at Streeter's Landing.

All our information from the Army of the Potomac was reassuring, our forces being within sight of the steeples of Richmond. Orders were therefore issued to “be ready to move on short notice,” with a view of seizing Goldsboro, and intercepting the enemy in their search for that “last ditch,” over which they would contend until every male and female capable of bearing arms should have been sacrificed. The bustle of preparation was suddenly stayed July 1st, by a countermand for the First Division, and all confidence in our shrewdness dispelled, by seeing the Second and Third Divisions embark with the utmost haste and disappear down the Neuse. In the midst of our speculations, Gen'l Burnside suddenly reappeared, with news of the capture of Richmond, followed by the return of the fleet the morning of the 4th. The day was given to wild rejoicings, the different regiments parading the streets amidst ringing of bells and salvos of artillery. Mock battles were fought between the regiments, the Rebs always ingloriously defeated. The sun went down amid a deafening roar, and during the evening, bonfires of tar and resin made the whole surroundings light as day, “And all went merry as a marriage bell.”

But our joys were transient, for, while we were revelling, a steamer was hastening to urge forward Gen'l Burnside to the relief of our army upon its disastrous retreat to Harrison's Landing. Upon its arrival, consternation succeeded exultation, and looks inquired more forcibly than words, “What does this mean?”

Col. Rush F. Hawkins of the Ninth New York, commandant at Roanoke Island, had learned, the 2d inst., through rebel sources considered by him reliable, of the capture of Richmond, and had despatched the steamer “Alice Price” to inform Gen'l Burnside, meeting him on the steamer “Highland Light,” en route for Hatteras with his fleet.






The information being in accord with his expectation, Gen'l Burnside at once returned with his fleet to New Berne.

The Second and Third Divisions having remained on the steamer, the fleet retraced its course to Hatteras the 5th inst. Thus we bade adieu to Gen'l A. E. Burnside as our commanding general, though he did not issue his farewell to the army of the Department of North Carolina until considerably later as will appear by the following order: —

Headquarters Ninth Army Corps,

Fredericksburg, Va., Aug. 20, 1862.

General Order, No. 15.

The commanding general on retiring from the department of North Carolina, desires to express his deep regret at taking leave of the gallant soldiers who have been his comrades through so many trials. The requirements of the service prevented his bidding them farewell in person, when suddenly called to other scenes of duty, and he now desires to pay a high and well-deserved tribute to their discipline, their patience and their courage. In the trying scenes at Hatteras Inlet and on the battle-fields of North Carolina, these soldiers’ virtues were fully shown, and he now parts from them as from well-tried friends who have always proved true to their leaders and to their country, and on whom in any emergency he could always rely.

By Command of Major-General Burnside.

Lewis Richmond, Asst. Adjt-Gen'l.

It was his expectation, at the time of his departure, to return to North Carolina as soon as the military situation in Virginia should allow.

The Department of North Carolina never fulfilled the original plan as conceived by Gen'l Burnside. He urged that a sufficient force be thrown into this State so that an advance might be made on Richmond via Weldon, transferring the base to the James River as soon as practicable. Also that an effective army in North Carolina should intercept






Topographical Map of Newberne N.C. as Fortified in 1864. Drawn by Solon M. Allis. 27th Mass.

and hold the lines of railroad, and by cutting off their supplies, oblige the insurgents to abandon Virginia. The Bermuda Hundreds movement of 1864, made under Gen'l Grant's approval, was little more than the accomplishing of Burnside's original plan, which had been disapproved of by Gen'l McClellan. It was intended that North Carolina should be the scene of aggressive operations, but, from lack of sufficient force, it became simply a line of menace and observation. Even “the march to the sea” by Gen'l Sherman, was only a grander conception than that of Gen'l Burnside, who desired such forces accumulated at Knoxville, Tenn., under Gen'l Buell, and at New Berne, N. C., under himself, as would enable them to march conjointly on Raleigh, and, by intercepting all sources of supply to the enemy, transfer the contest to North Carolina. There can be no doubt, however, that it was better that the rebel army should be held to Virginia for its final overthrow, than that, with contingent results, our army should be drawn further from its base of supplies.

The departure of so large a force from North Carolina, necessitated the contracting of our lines, and reorganization of our forces, in accomplishment of which, the troops were brigaded the 6th, as follows: —

First Brigade, First Division, Acting Brig. Gen'l H. C. Lee, commanding.

Twenty-Fifth Mass., Twenty-Seventh Mass., Twenty-Third Mass., and Tenth Conn. Regiments.

Second Brigade First Division, Acting Brig. Gen'l Thomas G. Stevenson, commanding.

Twenty-Fourth Mass., Seventeenth Mass., Fifth R. I., and Ninth N. J. Regiments.

This well-merited acknowledgment of Col. Lee's ability and worth, left the regiment again in command of Lieut. Col. Luke Lyman.






The enemy's force in North Carolina at this time, consisted of about fifteen thousand men under Gen'l Holmes; but learning of the withdrawal of a large force from New Berne, they despatched about twelve thousand men to reinforce Gen'l Lee. The enemy had still three thousand men in the vicinity of Kinston, to watch an equal Union force, occupying a line of over three hundred miles, from Beaufort via New Berne to Washington, Roanoke, and Plymouth.

The heat was intense, with frequent and terrific storms of lightning and wind. On the night of July 26th, one of the tents of Company A was struck by lightning, killing Joseph A. Birge of Northampton, and severely shocking Francis A. Willard and Leonard F. Dunn, of the same town, and William B. Watts of Worthington. All of these men had been on guard that night, and were lying with their guns beside them, and bayonets sheathed. The course of the electric current was marked on their persons by serpentine lines of red, and upon the guns and bayonets, by a furrow of molten steel, while the powder of all the cartridges within their cartridge-boxes was flashed. The only trace of lightning upon the cartridges, was a hole the size of a pin in the metallic case, and through which the powder had flashed. In all the tents near this one, the bayonets were fixed, and the muskets stacked around the centre-pole of the Sibley tent. Under supposed rules governing electric currents, it would seem any of these should have been more likely to suffer from lightning than the tent upon which it fell. The shock resulted in no permanent disability to Comrades Dunn, Willard and Watts, all of them serving out their full term of enlistment.

A reconnoissance was made by troops under Col. Lee to Trenton, the force consisting of the Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Seventh Mass., Belger's Battery, and Companies D, E, H and L, Third New York Cavalry. The column left New Berne at four P.M., July 25th, but before reaching

Deep Gully, large numbers, including Capt. Wilcox and Lieut. Bailey, succumbed to the extreme heat. The next morning, we moved cautiously forward, the enemy's videttes retreating till we came upon their picket line, four miles from Trenton. About two miles from Trenton, Major Lewis of the cavalry charged upon the enemy, driving them without loss across the Trent River, where they made a stand, and fired the bridge. Our infantry at once charged, driving the enemy from their position, and by hard work extinguished the fire. They had learned of our intended movement, and evacuated the place the previous day, so that the object of the expedition at this point was frustrated. Trenton would hardly be called a village, though it contains a court-house and jail, and boasts of being the county seat of Jones County. It was occupied by the enemy as a cavalry station, and was favorably located for incursions upon our lines, upon either side of the Trent.

After a stay of five hours, we marched towards Pollocksville, camping at night on the famous Bill McDonald place. As we were leaving these premises in the morning, some one fired their mill and buildings; nothing but the stern commands and interference of Col. Lee preventing the destruction of the principal buildings. At Pollocksville, we joined another column which had come up on the south of the Trent under Lieut. Col. J. F. Fellows of the Seventeenth Mass., and together we returned to New Berne the 27th inst., with a loss to the expedition of two killed, and two wounded and prisoners. The march of fifty-three miles in fifty hours, and in midsummer heat, was a severe tax on our endurance. If the expedition failed in its object at Trenton, it, however, demonstrated that the enemy had not sufficient troops in North Carolina to menace our position.

The Twenty-Third Mass., serving on “provost duty” in New Berne, had four of its men wounded by being fired upon by inmates of houses in the city. At half-past nine






P.M., the 25th of July, another, Michael Galvin, of that regiment, was seriously wounded in the groin. The house was immediately surrounded by two companies of the Twenty-Third, and six men and one woman made prisoners. At nine A.M. the 26th, the Twenty-Third Mass. surrounded the place, and, removing a part of the underpinning, attached ropes to the house, (a large, square, two-story building) and pulled it over upon its side, the whole collapsing in a mass of debris, and a cloud of dust, while their band struck up the inspiring tune, “Bully for you! Bully for you!!” Not a remnant of the house or fence was left standing, or a brick of the foundation in place. The regiment had evidently read Peter Henderson's “Gardening for Profit,” particularly on “cutting back;” for no sooner were the buildings demolished, than the spacious grounds were swept of vegetables, vines, shrubs and trees, and a more desperate pruning never was witnessed. There were no further attempts to shoot guards in New Berne.

Companies D and H of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regiment, left Camp Warner for outpost duty at Bachelor's Creek, the 21st inst. At one o'clock A.M., the 28th of July, they left the creek under command of Capt. C. D. Sandford, accompanied by a detachment of cavalry, to surprise the enemy's “cavalry outpost” at “Gum Swamp.” One of the enemy's videttes was discovered about daylight, who, failing to discharge his carbine, hastily retreated to warn his camp, followed by Capt. Sandford's force at doublequick. The vidette had barely time to give the alarm, before our men were upon them, delivering a volley into them as they retreated towards Kinston. This volley frightened the horses which were tethered near by, so that many broke loose and escaped. They secured twenty horses, with the entire camp equipage, stores and arms, beside nine prisoners who were run down in the open field by our men. Beside these, the enemy lost two killed and two wounded, while our companies escaped without a casualty.

August 17th, Capt. Sandford, with fifty men from Companies D and H, was scouting some miles beyond the creek, when he discovered a small body of the enemy approaching. Secreting himself and men in the woods, he discovered it to be a “flag of truce,” and advanced to meet it with five of his men. The colonel in charge of the flag remarked, “Captain, this is very unfortunate; were it not for this flag, I should have made a splendid capture this morning!” “Would you?” replied Capt. Sandford; “let's see! Forward, Twenty-Seventh!” when his force suddenly emerged from the brush, with loaded arms and fixed bayonets. “Ah!” responded the colonel, “beg your pardon; this alters the circumstances!” “Yes!” retorted Capt. S., with a suppressed laugh, “and circumstances alter cases!” With the flag of truce were Misses Adelaide and Adeline Wetherby of Westminster, Mass., Baskie Kenfield of Hyde Park, Vt. and Annie O. Wheeler of Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Their joy seemed unbounded when safely in our care, and their fervent love for the old flag was expressed with touching pathos and tears. They could not have fallen into the hands of a more perfect soldier or gentleman, and through his efforts they reached their homes in the North.

August 14th, an expedition left New Berne for Swansborough to destroy the salt works five miles from that place. They returned the 20th inst., with a loss of one wounded. There was only twenty-five bushels of salt in the works; but for this the proprietor begged piteously, claiming that he “only made a little for his own use.” (!) He must have been “an old salt.” War was war, however, and it was all confiscated, and the proprietor's works destroyed.

A misfortune befel us, in common with the entire army, August 30th, in the loss of our band, by an order of the War Department, which allowed but one band for a brigade, — regiments being confined to martial music. The morale of our band had been unexceptional from the outset, and the






absence of the familiar strains of “Lee's March,” “Kate Kearney,” and “Widow Machree,” revealed how much their service had relieved the tedium of camp. The regiment also lost a valuable and graphic war correspondent, in Edwin W. Foster, a member of the band. Many of these men afterward enlisted in other regiments, and served with credit to themselves and the State.

The intense heat — often at one hundred and ten degrees in the shade — was very debilitating, and sentry-boxes were constructed along the guard line, to screen the sentries from the burning sun. All unnecessary duty was suspended in the heat of the day, mornings and evenings witnessing great activity in the camps and city. With the utmost care, the regiment suffered severely from the heat. To the disabling loss thus sustained, must be added that from reckless expenditure for pedler and sutler supplies, the injurious effects of which on all regiments can hardly be overestimated. This assails the good judgment, rather than the character of the troops, and the kind rather than quality of goods obtained. Consumers of such supplies were sure to be candidates for the hospital, and for an early discharge or premature grave. It would be most unjust to charge all invalids with such improvidence, but it was an aggravating cause of many difficulties, as army surgeons will testify. It is safe to say no officer could exercise closer surveillance in diet and sanitary matters, or by example inculcate the principle of temperance in all things, more fully than our commanding officer, Lieut. Col. Lyman.

August witnessed the gigantic blunder of Gen'l Halleck, ordering Gen'l McClellan to withdraw from the Peninsula, which being discovered by the keen watchfulness of the Confederate Gen'l Lee, determined him to fall upon Gen'l Pope's column at Cedar Mountain, and defeat our armies in detail before concentration was possible. As early as the 9th, Jackson appeared before Gen'l Pope, but not until the

25th was the defeated Union column joined by the Army of the Potomac. It was the old and inevitable story, “detachments assailed by the enemy in force,” the coolness and dash of Gen'l Jackson serving him well in our extremity. That more disastrous consequences did not result, was due more to the invincible spirit of our subordinate officers and their men, than to the skill with which the troops were handled. There was no doubt that Gen'l Jackson was Gen'l Lee's right arm, and that his place was never filled after his death. We are confident, however, he had reached the meridian of his glory, and in future contests with our arms, Jackson's fame, with that of his “foot cavalry,” would have waned like that of the once famous Stuart, and Wade Hampton, with their cavalry. The crucible of war educated for the Union, a group of officers with prudence, forethought, skill, and bravery, which theory alone had failed to inculcate.

September 6th, a force of the enemy, consisting of eight companies of infantry, two of cavalry, and one of artillery, made a desperate attack upon Washington, N. C, then garrisoned by Companies A and B of the Twenty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiment, A and B of the First North Carolina Regiment, with one company of cavalry, and Capt. Wall's Battery of the Third New York Artillery. The enemy entered the town without opposition, across the “Grice place,” evidently led by some one understanding our position, and immediately surrounded the quarters of the Twenty-Fourth Mass., while another force seized three pieces of artillery upon the “Hospital Green.”* Companies A and B of the First North Carolina Regiment, bravely cut their way to the quarters of the Twenty-Fourth Mass. Fortunately, an expedition under Lieut. Col. Mix,

* It is worthy of record of the three pieces of artillery captured at this time, that they were taken from our forces at Bull Run, Va., 1861; recovered by us at the battle of New Berne, March 14, 1862; now again recaptured by the enemy; and two of them were again retaken by us at Kinston, about three months later.




consisting of four companies of the Third New York Cavalry, and four guns of Riggs’ Third New York Battery, had landed at Washington during the night, unknown to the enemy. With Rainbow Bluff as an objective point, it had left the town about five o'clock A.M., but had gone but a short distance, before it was recalled by the sound of the attack. At full speed they charged back to the town, and cut their way to the Union barracks. The fight was of the most sanguinary character, from house to house, and tree to tree, the cavalry charging and re-charging through the town; while citizens joined in the fray against the Union troops, from windows and secreted spots. For two hours the battle fiercely raged, the enemy yielding from house to house, until about seven A.M., when they hastily withdrew, leaving forty-eight killed and sixty wounded and prisoners. Our loss upon land was fifteen killed, and forty-seven wounded and prisoners.

The cause of the attack, beyond the seizing of stores and supplies, was to capture the two companies of native Union volunteers, — called by them “buffaloes,” — and by visiting condign punishment upon them, prevent further enlistments in our cause. One of these men being wounded, attempted to reach his home, and was overtaken by a rebel cavalryman at his gate. The wounded man's wife threw herself between her husband and his pursuer, when the latter laid her head open with his sabre, and shot the father and a three-year-old girl standing in the door. To add to the casualties, as the gunboat “Pickett” was clearing for action, one of the hands went into the magazine, and by some carelessness, exploded the same, killing Capt. Nichols and nineteen men, wounding six others, and annihilating the steamer.

On the 8th of September, two hundred recruits joined the regiment at New Berne, most of them brothers and friends of the original men; and these soon proved themselves veterans in endurance and courage. The next day, in the midst of a pouring rain, a heavy gale prostrated most of our

camp. This caused considerable discomfort to the men, but with that wonderful elasticity of temperament peculiar to soldiers, it was made an occasion of frolic and good humor. While this excitement was at its height, Companies A, C and I were ordered to Washington, N. C., and left at five P. M. on the steamer “Ocean Wave,” to relieve a detachment of the Twenty-Fourth Mass., at that place. The 14th, Companies B, D, E, F and G of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regiment, were ordered to Newport Barracks, an outpost on the railroad, central between New Berne and Beaufort. The entire regiment was now on outpost duty, our positions being separated, by the ordinary means of communication, by upwards of one hundred and fifty miles.

Why the Twenty-Seventh should be assigned so largely to this duty, finds no explanation, except in Gen'l Foster's absolute confidence in their vigilance and courage. Washington, N. C., was a most exposed position, considering the smallness of its garrison, and its menace to the enemy. New Berne could not be attacked on its front, without first assailing our detachment at Bachelor's Creek, while no rear or flank movement on that city, or attempt to interfere with its communication with Beaufort, could be made without assailing us at Newport Barracks.

The detachment at Washington was under command of Lieut. Col. Lyman, that at Newport Barracks under Maj. W. G. Bartholomew, while Companies H and K still remained at Bachelor's Creek under Capt. H. K. Cooley. The detachment at Newport Barracks was quartered in “rude huts” plastered with mud, one of which they set apart as a chapel, and equipped with platform, desk and seats. The position was surrounded with forests and marshes filled with stagnant water, and was therefore peculiarly unhealthy. Haverlock Station, also included in its lines, was in the midst of chaparral swamps, so enervating and poisonous as to break down the strongest constitution in a few days.






We append an abstract from a consolidated morning report, at which time D company had been there but one week.

Abstract of Consolidated Morning Report, Five Companies 27th Regiment Mussachusetts Volunteers.
Saturday, Oct. 25, 1862.PRESENT.
Station.Commanding Officer.For Duty.Sick.In Arrest.
Newport Barracks,Maj. W. G. Bartholomew.Field Officers.Staff.Co. Officers.Enlisted men.Officers.Enlisted men.Officers.Enlisted men.Aggregate.
12------3
B,--277-14--93
D,--129266--98
E,--271-12-287
F,--372-21--96
G,--16919-181
1293183122-3458

Picket duty, scouting and foraging, fully occupied the time, the latter usually so exciting and remunerative, as to compensate for the labor and risk. Here, for the first time, our men remained “on picket” twenty-four hours without relief, the ever-present gnats, fleas, and mosquitoes poignantly assisting them in their vigils, while the only comfort afforded was the philosophical one,

“Fleas have other fleas to bite ’em,And these again have other ones,And so ad infinitum.”

The fleas at this place grew to a wonderful size, and were plentiful in the extreme. One man musing over his discomfort said, “They carry a biting apparatus equal to a two-inch auger, and are sure to reach hard-pan every time. If some

of those chaps boring for oil in Pennsylvania, would only import a few of these ‘well-sinkers,’ he would be sure to get the oil if there was any between him and China. I tell you, boys, for artesian work, fleas can't be beat!”

September 30th, Capt. Sandford again paid his respects to the enemy's outpost at Core Creek, capturing their camp equipage, with nine horses and twenty carbines; the enemy escaping through the failure of a detachment of the Third New York Cavalry to occupy the place assigned them.

October 7th, by the courtesy of Major Folsom, Paymaster U. S. A., the writer was invited to accompany him on a trip through the department, in connection with his official duties, which opportunity we improve to give a clearer idea of its configuration, forces and defences.

The line of occupation, as held by the Union arms, was nearly due north and south; Winton and Plymouth on the north, with Beaufort on the south, being a little east of the longitude of Washington, D. C., while Washington and New Berne were but a little west of the same. The country occupied was traversed by not less than seven navigable streams, some penetrating far into the interior of the State. Numerous smaller streams entered the sounds at frequent intervals, whilst Albermarle and Pamlico Sounds (when entered) would furnish a safe harbor for the navies of the world. The larger part of the country was densely wooded and marshy, with numerous lakes and bodies of stagnant waters. Wherever the land emerges from the swamp, the soil at once assumes a light, sandy character, with forests of pine, oak, black walnut and ash.

The marshes are fathomless swales, where vegetable mould has accumulated for ages, until sufficient consistency has formed to crowd the bilious waters into meandering streams and intersecting and dividing pools of stagnant water. Into the slimy depths of mire, huge cone-shaped roots from the cypress plunge for sustenance and support, while monster






trees rise, with distended, paunch-like trunks, towering aloft as if attempting to escape from their repulsive surroundings. Huge vines embrace their trunks like serpents, crossing from tree to tree, and mingling in interminable snarls, while the “sweet briar,” which forms the undergrowth, forbids admission to, or exit from these confines. The river-banks are low, disappearing almost imperceptibly at the water line. Wherever the shores assume solidity, scattering fishermen's homes cling close to the river, the scant clearing around them showing they calculate little on the soil for sustenance. The lack of boldness and variety is painfully apparent in all the scenery adjacent to the coast and the water-courses of North Carolina.

Our sail down the Neuse and out on the restless Pamlico, under a full orbed moon, that October evening, furnished inspiration to extend the stories of camp and field till nearly midnight.

The next morning we landed at Washington, one hundred twenty-five miles from New Berne. The town is built on the northerly bank of the Pamlico River, and, excepting the Grice Mansion, presents few attractions or evidences of thrift. It is the shire-town of Beaufort County, was a slave-mart before the war, with a considerable trade in naval stores, and boasted of a church, an academy, a bank and a weekly newspaper. Appearances indicated a low ebb of social life and intelligence, whilst the decayed wharves, rickety buildings, and unkempt surroundings, attested the indolence of their owners and the lack of ordinary comforts. Few remained except the women, and these were sullen and bitterly hostile. During the later occupancy of this place, the Grice mansion, with its serpentine, arbored walks, flowers and evergreens, was appropriated for hospital purposes, because of the covert disloyalty of its owner.

The place was now garrisoned by Companies A, C and I, of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regiment, two companies of

the First North Carolina Union Volunteers, and one company each of the Third New York Artillery and Third New York Cavalry, all under command of Lieut. Col. Lyman, with Capt. William H. Walker of Company C, Twenty-Seventh Regiment, as Provost Marshal. This force was supplemented by three United States naval vessels, under command of Lieut. Commander R. D. Renshaw. The defences consisted of a line of fortifications encircling the town half a mile from its suburbs, with block-houses on the river, above and below the town, and on the roads entering the place. Fort Washington, at the centre of the line of works, and rear of the town, guarded the approaches not enfiladed by the navy. These defences, and the naval vessels, mounted twenty-seven guns, from a six-pound Wiard to a hundred-pound Parrott. Opposite the town, a bridge of some fifteen hundred feet spanned the river, affording direct land communications with New Berne, forty miles distant.

After enjoying the hospitalities of the three companies from the Twenty-Seventh for a day, and gladdening them with the regulation supply of greenbacks, we again turned our prow toward the sound. Dark threatening clouds mantled the sky, from which came livid flashes of lightning, which rendered the darkness more impressive. The wake of the vessel was a train of expanding phosphorescent light, sparkling brightly under the steamer's wheels, but fading as it receded until lost in the distance. At length the storm broke with a deluge of rain, which quelled the surging waves to a long, smooth swell, through which we sped our way to Plymouth. Taking the southern channel of the Roanoke, we passed a country loyal to the most dismal description given of North Carolina.

Plymouth is situated upon the southerly side of the Roanoke, about nine miles from its mouth, and a mile below the head of the islands, which here divide the river into three channels. Although only thirty-six miles from Washington,






and seventy-six from New Berne by land, yet the distance by steamer was two hundred miles from either place. The town is surrounded by death-breeding miasmatic swamps, and the sallow fever-and-ague tint was equally observable on citizens and soldiers. It was garrisoned by one company each of the Ninth New York and First North Carolina Union Volunteers, with a detachment of the Third New York Cavalry. Its defences consisted of a line of fortifications encircling the town from river to river, with several contiguous outlying forts, built under the personal supervision of Capt. Farquhar of the Engineer Corps. With the naval force which covered the town and guarded the river approaches, it was considered invulnerable to any attack likely to be made against it. At this time the town contained quite a number of ornamental residences and business marts, but later was nearly destroyed by the enemy.

While here, Capt. Calhoun of the steamer “Hunchback,” furnished the author the following account of an engagement up the Chowan River. An aid of Gen'l Dix at Fortress Monroe, communicated with our naval authorities, desiring the fleet to co-operate with them in an attack on the enemy along the Blackwater River. The “Commodore Perry,” Commander Flusser, and the “Hunchback,” Capt. Calhoun, were assigned the duty, and six A. M., September 27th, was fixed for the attack. This date proved too early for Gen'l Dix, but before his aid returned, the above-named vessels were anchored at Winton, a few miles below the scene of the morrow's conflict.

At six o'clock, the 6th, the vessels were promptly at the place assigned, fired the signal gun for action, and at the same time commenced cautiously ascending the Blackwater River, which was so narrow that a desperate foe might board them from either bank. Suddenly, a musketry fire raked the vessels from stem to stern, cutting down the “Perry's” flag. Everything was ready for close action, and for

four hours they kept up the unequal contest, with grape, shrapnel and half-second shell, hoping each moment to hear the sound of friendly arms to their relief. Twice during the engagement, Commander Flusser sent forward a man to raise the stars and stripes, each of whom fell lifeless at the foot of the flag-staff. Seeing this, Flusser rushed to the spot, raised his colors midst a storm of bullets, and returned unharmed, though his clothing was riddled by shot. He then went to a gunner, saying, “I'll show you how to cut a fuse,” stooping at the same time and cutting it close, when a ball passed over him, piercing the heart of his gunner, who fell upon him. Their ammunition being nearly exhausted, and failing to hear from Gen'l Dix, they reversed their engines to drop down the river. Fortunately the two vessels were armed ferry-boats, and could move with facility in either direction, as it was impossible for them to turn.

A new difficulty now beset them. During the engagement, a detachment of the enemy had felled trees from both banks into the river below, completely obstructing return. With a resource never failing them in an emergency, they fastened the two steamers stern to stern, and with a full head of steam ploughed their way through the obstructions. Their huge guns thundered forth storms of iron hail, with awful concussion, and terrible havoc, as they ran the gauntlet of the blockade. It was gallantly done; the enemy giving up the contest, if the vessels would only retire from their front. Capt. Calhoun modestly refused to speak of his deeds, which others averred were no less daring than those of Capt. Flusser, there being not less than one thousand scars from musket-balls upon his boat. It is needless to say to the Twenty-Seventh, that when he got at work, something got a “terrible Hunchback.” It is worthy of record of these commanders, that an order to rendezvous at, or attack a place, was construed to mean just what it said, and executed accordingly; and no disaster or disappointment befell






from dereliction of duty on their part. The results of battle in a majority of cases, turn on the simple matter of punctuality and literal obedience to orders; a lesson not laid to heart, until tens of thousands of our rank and file had shed their blood to compensate for the jealousy, tardiness, or duplicity of some “general officer.” It was a tower of strength to any threatened position to say, that the “Commodore Perry” or “Hunchback” was there; and, after this encounter, the enemy gave them a wide berth.

At noon of the 11th, we left for Wingfield, forty-five miles up the Chowan; and the most northerly point occupied by us in the State. The Chowan River, like the Neuse and Pamlico, is really, for many miles, a broad estuary from the sound, but unlike them, abounds in undulating shores with commanding bluffs, and compares more favorably with our northern rivers, for variety and beauty of scenery. The headquarters of the post was at the house of Dr. Dillards, whose discretion had led him to seek the company of more congenial spirits. The defences at this point were a block-house and a line of rifle-pits. As a last resort, in case of an overpowering attack, they could retreat to the river under cover of the Union fleet. The position was valuable only as a point of observation, and was garrisoned by a company of the First North Carolina, recruited in that vicinity by Lieut. James J. McLane, a former member of the Twenty-Fifth Mass. The men enlisted under condition that they should be allowed to guard their homes, and more valuable service than these loyal sons of North Carolina gave, could not be rendered. The government would gladly have removed them to a less exposed position, but they insisted that with their knowledge of the country, and their love for home and friends, they could render their most effective service here. We cannot lose the opportunity of recording our appreciation of the loyal sons of the Old North State, who, in every engagement, fought with a bravery born of

desperation, knowing the fate awaiting them if they fell into traitor hands.

On leaving Wingfield we visited the beautiful town of Edenton, so like many of our New England villages. This town, under the wise administration of Mayor James Norcum, a staunch Union man, was, as by mutual consent, neutral ground. The almost constant presence of our navy in the bay rendered the place untenable for the enemy. Our party went ashore unarmed, but, being advised by the mayor of a body of guerrillas lingering near the town, considered discretion the better part of valor, and withdrew to our steamer.

The next morning we arrived at Shiloh, a post on the Pasquetank River, garrisoned by another company of the First North Carolina Union Volunteers. The water at the landing being shallow, a negro with a mule and cart drove out some two hundred feet, and backed his cart to the steamer, leaving only the side raves above water. Some pieces of board were laid across the top, when the negro with a grim smile called out, “All aboard for de shoa!” We were not unexpected or unwelcome guests, for the right number of horses awaited to carry us to the camp, some three miles distant. Here we found a fine, intelligent body of men, with a discipline and a perfection of accoutrements rarely excelled. The camp was well situated, with high and dry surroundings, but like Wingfield, was valuable only as a point of observation. The next day we returned to Roanoke Island, — of which a description has already been given, — where we revisited the battle-field and the graves of our fallen comrades, reaching New Berne the afternoon of the 14th.






CHAPTER VI. TARBORO EXPEDITION.

Under the exigencies of service, the government had called for seventy-five thousand nine months’ troops; deciding to throw such a force into the Southern departments, as to insure them against successful assault during the truce of winter in Virginia, and if possible, to enable them to assume the offensive. Accordingly the following regiments were assigned to North Carolina, arriving as stated below.

Third Mass., Col. Silas G. Richmond, one thousand and twenty-four men, arrived October 27th.

Fifth Mass., Col. George H. Pierson, nine hundred and eighty-four men, arrived October 27th.

Eighth Mass., Col. Frederick J. Coffin, nine hundred and eighty-four men, arrived November 30th.

Forty-Third Mass., Col. Charles S. Holbrook, one thousand and seventy-six men, arrived November 15th.

Forty-Fourth Mass., Col. Francis L. Lee, one thousand and forty-seven men, arrived October 26th.

Forty-Fifth Mass., Col. Charles R. Codman, one thousand and twenty-five men, arrived November 15th.

Forty-Sixth Mass., Col. George Bowler, nine hundred and eighty men, arrived November 15th.

Fifty-First Mass., Col. A. B. R. Sprague, nine hundred and seventy-three men, arrived November 30th.

Total, eight thousand and ninety-three men.

By thoughtless remarks, a temporary spleen was engendered between some of the veteran and new regiments, but in active service this for the most part disappeared.

The Forty-Sixth Massachusetts Regiment and Company H, Capt. George R. Davis, of the Eighth Massachusetts Regiment, were kith and kin of the Twenty-Seventh, and were recruited from their homes. From the outset, the most amicable feeling existed toward these men, and, if “the Forty-Sixth felt inspired with the confidence and invincible spirit of veterans when standing shoulder to shoulder with us,” we also felt that the same blood coursed in their veins, and they could be relied upon for any duty assigned them. Among their rank and file, as well as officers, were men who stood high in civil life, morally, socially and politically; men who had been not only counsellors and executors of the law, but lawgivers; business men, under whose prudent care, vast enterprises had sprung up, giving prosperity to entire communities, and furnishing sustenance to those whom war had bereft of the strong arm of support. Soon after their arrival, Col. Bowler was obliged to return home, and was succeeded by Col. William S. Shurtleff, a gentleman of finished attainments, reliable and efficient as an officer; and of personal magnetism and fearlessness. He has long served the county of Hampden as its judge of probate, ably seconded by Samuel B. Spooner, his former major, as register.

The Third Regiment was raised in Plymouth County, the Fifth and Eighth in Essex County, the Forty-Third, Forty-Fourth and Forty-Fifth in the vicinity of Boston; while the Fifty-First was a Worcester regiment, and held the same relation to the Twenty-Fifth Mass. as the Forty-Sixth to the Twenty-Seventh.

During the evening of October 29th, Major Bartholomew, at Newport Barracks, had orders to be ready to move with his detachment, in three hours, or upon the return of the train from Beaufort. It was two o'clock the morning of the 30th, however, before the train arrived, and three o'clock when we reached New Berne. Here we remained until eight, A.M.,






when we boarded the steamer “Pawtuxent,” and arrived at Washington, N. C., the 31st inst. We were accompanied by other vessels, with the Fifth, Twenty-Third, Twenty-Fourth and Twenty-Fifth Mass., Fifth R. I., Tenth Conn., and Ninth New Jersey Regiments. On the afternoon of October 30th, Col. T. J. C. Amory, with the Seventeenth and Forty-Fourth Mass., Third N. Y. Artillery, and Third N. Y. Cavalry, left New Berne by the overland route, expecting to reach Washington by the night of the 31st. They reached Swift Creek at sundown, the 30th, and found the enemy had destroyed the bridge, but made no effort to repair the same until the following day. On this account, he failed to reach Washington until dark, November 1st, a full day behind time.

During the delay, Capt. James M. Pendleton, an aid to Gen'l Foster, in hurrying to deliver an order, jumped on a strange, high-spirited horse, and dashed down the street. On the way, the animal shied and threw him against a tree, breaking three ribs, one of which pierced his lungs, and, with other severe injuries, resulted in death. Thus suddenly was removed a man of more than usual promise, who had volunteered his services, paid his own expenses, and lived the rough life of a soldier, without other remuneration than the consciousness of his country's approval. He distinguished himself at Roanoke Island and New Berne, receiving complimentary notice therefor, and was always ready where duty called, whether on the march or the field of battle. He was about thirty years of age, and a native of New York City, whither his remains were forwarded.

The troops present were temporarily brigaded as follows: —

First Brigade, Col. T. J. C. Amory commanding: Twenty-Third Mass., five companies; Seventeenth Mass., six companies; Twenty-Fifth Mass., five companies; two sections Third N. Y. Artillery, four guns.

Second Brigade, Col. Thomas G. Stevenson, commanding: Twenty-Fourth Mass., five companies; Forty-Fourth Mass., ten companies; Fifth Rhode Island, five companies; Tenth Conn., eight companies; Belger's Battery, six guns.

Third Brigade, Col. H. C. Lee, commanding: Twenty-Seventh Mass., six companies; Ninth New Jersey, six companies; and Fifth Mass., ten companies; with Batteries B, H and K, Third N. Y. Artillery, sixteen guns; the whole force aggregating some five thousand men, and twenty-eight pieces of artillery.

The other companies of these regiments remained as camp guards or upon outpost duty.

The column moved the morning of November 2d, Stevenson's Brigade in advance, capturing some of the enemy's pickets at six miles, and their camp at nine miles, the latter having been deserted on our approach. The country was level, with light, sandy soil, and an almost unbroken forest of pine. At four P M. our advance came upon the Twenty-Sixth North Carolina Regiment, with a section of Moore's Battery, strongly posted at Old Ford, four miles from Williamston. The Twenty-Fourth and Forty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiments, with Belger's Battery, engaged them, charging across the creek and swamp, the enemy retreating precipitately to Rhall's Mills, from which position they were driven by the same force. Our loss in these two engagements was three killed and thirteen wounded; that of the enemy, ten killed and twenty-nine wounded. The movement was continued until two o'clock A M., the morning of the 3d, when we bivouacked in a cornfield in the midst of a heavy rain.

At eight o'clock the 3d, the march was resumed, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. in advance, supported by Lee's Brigade, the expectation being that the enemy would contest the occupation of Williamston. We found the place deserted by both troops and citizens, however, and the gunboats “Hetzel,” “Hunchback,” “Commodore Perry,” “Seymour,”






and “Valley City,” lying opposite the town. It would not do to attempt a description of the carnival of five thousand hungry men in a deserted town. Groceries, dry goods and “wet goods,” too, were at a large discount, and bolted doors as useless as curtains of gauze to keep out intruders. Coerceive excess was unknown, guards being placed over all tenanted premises; but deserted supplies were legitimate trophies of war. At three P.M. we moved about five miles, and encamped for the night in a cornfield. The morning of the 4th we advanced on Rainbow Bluff. Here the enemy had a fort pierced for five guns, with a line of breastwork extending half a mile into the woods, across the Hamilton Road. The works were evacuated upon our approach, and when our fleet came in sight, they found them fully manned, with the “flag of our Union” over them, and a garrison which welcomed them with deafening cheers. Rainbow Bluff was upon the southerly bank of the Roanoke River, fifty feet high, and was a point from which the enemy had several times repelled the attacks or further advance of our gunboats. Hamilton was deserted on our arrival, the roads being strewed with furniture and apparel dropped in the hasty stampede of the owners. The army bivouacked that night upon a large plantation three miles beyond Hamilton, finding a large supply of poultry, pork, corn and sweet potatoes. The whole encampment could be seen at a glance, and, with its hundreds of bivouac fires, was brilliantly grand.

Our movements thus far indicated Weldon as our objective point, towards which the enemy were hastening all their available forces; but on the morning of the 5th, we turned sharply to the south, finding no enemy until within seven miles of Tarboro. Leaving a brigade to occupy their attention, the main body made a considerable detour to within four miles of Tarboro, with a view of intercepting and capturing three regiments known to have had an

encampment near. The enemy's indisposition either to be amused, or fight, led them to fall back upon the town, and thus that which proved to be the real object of the expedition, failed of accomplishment. Throughout the night the moving of trains at Tarboro was heard, which our scouts, as well as prisoners captured during the night, reported to be the arrival of reinforcements to the enemy.

In view of the failure of the original plan of the expedition, Gen'l Foster deemed it wise to convene a “council of war” of his field officers, to consider the advisability of a further advance. At this council, the lateness of the season, and a threatening storm, with Coneeto Swamp in our rear, and evidence of a considerable reinforcement to the enemy, led the council, with but three dissenting voices, to vote to return, and it was so ordered. The reported reinforcements proved to be a myth, and the sound of the moving trains was but the noise of their hasty evacuation, as was proved by later scouts, and by the picking up on the road of the Tarboro post-office stamp. On the morning of the 6th, we retraced our course to Hamilton, through a rain which rendered the roads inconceivable to those unacquainted with the wretchedness of Southern thoroughfares in rainy weather. Much of the way, the road was a deep mortar-bed, of perfect boot-jack adhesiveness, through which horses and artillery ploughed and floundered, while drivers and dragoons cursed and lashed the helpless animals wallowing beneath them. “I say, Jack,” said one of Howard's Marine Artillery, “this is sort a retreat, ain't it?” “H—l! no,” was the reply, “this is a stragetic movement!”

After a night's rest, with an abundance of supplies furnished by foragers, we resumed our march in the midst of a storm of snow and sleet, which lasted the entire day. We arrived at Williamston late in the evening, and found comfortable quarters within its deserted houses. The storm continued during the 8th, and the jaded troops were allowed






to remain in shelter, while the sick and maimed were placed upon the gunboats. During the day our troops cut down the public “whipping-post,” and burned the jail. Previous to our approach, this jail had contained thirty Union men, who were manacled and tied to the baggage wagons of the retreating rebels. The darkies clustered around the burning building in an exuberance of joy, one exclaiming, “Bress de Lord! dis yere chile's prayer am herd! Bress de Lord for de Yankees an Massa Linkum!” It had been a “black hole of Calcutta,” a modern inquisition to those now rejoicing over its destruction.

On the morning of the 9th, as the troops were awaiting orders to move, Chaplain Woodworth rode along the line, saying, “Boys, this is the Sabbath, and as we cannot have other religious exercises, can't we all join in the Doxology!” Comrade Oliver A. Clark of Company A, to whom music and the sentiment were both inspiring, led off in a clear, strong voice. Like electricity it sped from line to line, and the rising sun witnessed five thousand warriors with uncovered heads, singing “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” We marched to within four miles of Plymouth, during the day, and arrived at that place about noon the 10th. Here, the troops were embarked for New Berne, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. remaining as guard over the artillery and baggage, until it could be removed.

The total loss of the expedition was three killed and thirteen wounded, the only engagement being at Rhall's Mills. In the absence of the usual order to place this engagement on our flags, the Forty-Fourth Mass. inscribed it on their pipes. The result of the expedition was the capture of two hundred horses and mules, a month's supplies for our forces, and the development of a considerable Union sentiment in that section of the State.

Brig. Gen'l Martin, in command of the Confederates at Kinston, supposing the baggage and artillery train would

retrace its course via land to New Berne, despatched a force to capture it. Upon the 12th, he also made a demonstration against our outposts at the Red House, and at the Harrison House near New Berne; and about nine P. M. had forced the pickets back to the fortifications. At midnight, the Thirty-First North Carolina Regiment appeared before Bachelor's Creek, with a view of capturing Companies H and K of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Reg't, which still held its position. Capt. Cooley opened fire upon them from the block-house, while Corp. Innman of Company K (an old artilleryman) secured a pair of cart-wheels, and by the aid of a few comrades, rushed them around, hurridly giving the various orders incident to the arrival and limbering for action of artillery. Whatever the effect of this ruse, the enemy suddenly withdrew for reinforcements. Before these could arrive, the enemy obtained information that the fleet from Plymouth was landing at New Berne, and beat a hasty retreat. Capts. Cooley and Sandford were highly complimented for their courage and efficiency in holding the position during the night. Gen'l Martin's force at Swift Creek, was equally disappointed, for the prize they coveted was safely at Plymouth, in the keeping of Major Bartholomew and the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt.

November 22d, Assistant Surgeon Franklin L. Hunt, with Mr. Tanner, our sutler's clerk, and a cavalry vidette, were riding on the Jamesville road, two miles from Washington, when Mr. Tanner heard a noise like the click of a gunlock, and wheeled his horse without warning his companions. In doing this he received a charge of buckshot, riddling his clothes and badly lacerating his horse, but was able to make good his escape. Surgeon Hunt and the vidette, who were slightly in advance, received the fire without warning, the former falling forward in his saddle, mortally wounded. His body fell to the ground as his horse wheeled to follow the vidette, who, though seriously wounded, galloped






back to town. A squad of cavalry was at once despatched, and recovered the body of Surgeon Hunt, though it was stripped of uniform, arms, and valuables. A post-mortem examination revealed the fact that his left thigh was badly shattered, and that sufficiently to have caused death, though nine other wounds were found on his person. The assassins were doubtless Walker's cavalry guerrillas, who had been frequenting the vicinity of Washington, N. C., for some months. The body was embalmed and forwarded to New Berne. It was awaiting transportation home, when his brother arrived as captain of Company I, Fifty-First Mass., and met a greeting from the icy hand of death, instead of the warm welcome he expected. Funeral obsequies were held at New Berne, December 7th, on the return of the regiment from Plymouth. Dr. Otis said of Surgeon Hunt: “He was a faithful and excellent physician, popular with the soldiers, and much respected and trusted by myself.” “Cyrus” of the “Hampshire Gazette” wrote, “It is sufficiently expressive of our estimation of him to say his memoir is written on a thousand hearts.” He was, at the time of his death, post surgeon of Washington, N. C., and though but three months with the regiment, he had secured its confidence. His love and enthusiasm for his profession had carried him through a season of unusual tax upon skill and endurance. He left a wife and two children at West Boylston, Mass.

November 24th, Lieut. Cushing, with the gunboat “Ellis,” steamed twenty-two miles up New Creek to Onslow, and securing all the stores possible, started back the following morning. Eight miles below, a masked battery opened upon him, which was silenced, as also several others en route, during the day. On reaching the mouth of the creek, they found it obstructed by sunken flats, with a battery of four guns covering them. They engaged this battery for twenty-four hours, when, finding themselves

aground, they blew up the “Ellis,” and started homeward in small boats. They reached Beaufort the 28th, with three schooners captured in Bogue Sound, one of which was loaded with cotton and naval stores.

The six companies remaining at Plymouth under Major Bartholomew were several times called to arms by attacks on the picket line. Learning the whereabouts of a portion of Walker's cavalry, Lieut Pliny Wood of Company F, received permission of Major Bartholomew to attempt its capture. With a detachment of three non-commissioned officers and twenty privates of the various companies, and a negro guide, he left Plymouth at night for “up country.” In spite of darkness, rain and snags, they toiled up the river through branches and creeks till three o'clock the morning of the 21st, a distance of twenty-five miles. After landing and finding the coast clear, they marched four and a half miles through woods and swamps to the main road to Williamston, a mile above, and in the rear of Shiloah Church where the cavalry were quartered. Finding the enemy quiet, Lieut. Wood divided his force into three squads; each under command of a non-commissioned officer, with explicit instructions.

It was now gray dawn, and, advancing by the double-quick, they divided so as to command the three doors, and when within a few rods (though undiscernible from the church), Lieut. Wood shouted, “First Division, Halt! Front! Ready!” which was responded to by the second and third divisions on different sides of the church, “Halt! Front! Ready!” The confused rebels, before they had time to collect their senses, found the lieutenant at the door, demanding immediate and unconditional surrender. The rebel sergeant, in obedience to the demand, marched out with sixteen men, and while some of our boys secured their arms and equipments, others seized their horses picketed near by. At length the rebel sergeant asked, “Where in h—l are you






uns men?” and when told to “see them,” angrily exclaimed, “Is that all? If we had known that, we would have given you uns a merry fight, by —— ! You uns did that right pert, but you aint got the pickets yet!” The countersign was extorted from a prisoner, and Sergt. ——, with Privates Hooper of A, and Madison of F, were detailed to relieve the pickets. This duty was successfully accomplished with four additional prisoners, and their horses. The party arrived at Plymouth about noon, with twenty prisoners, their arms and equipments, twenty-five horses, twelve mules, and forty contrabands; all without the firing of a gun. The regiment captured thirty-five other prisoners while upon scouts in the vicinity of Plymouth.

December 2d, orders were received for the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. to return to New Berne, where we arrived the 3d, having been away thirty-five days without overcoats, blankets or change of clothing. We had been absent from Plymouth just a week, when the garrison at that place was surprised at early morning, and driven to the cover of the gunboats. The enemy were in possession of the town nearly an hour, during which time they burned the larger part of the place, and, after having robbed her of several thousand dollars, murdered Mrs. John Phelps, an esteemed and defenceless Union woman.

CHAPTER VII. KINSTON, WHITEHALL AND GOLDSBORO.

The assigning of Gen'l Burnside to the command of the Army of the Potomac, upon the relief of Gen'l McClellan in November, awoke the Department of North Carolina to eager expectation, as the close relationship between the departments, and the value of our position as a menace to the enemy, led us to believe that any important movement by Gen'l Burnside would involve essential co-operation by us. In this we were correct; for the plan of assault upon Fredericksburg, December 13th, included a simultaneous attack by Gen'l Peck, upon Weldon, N. C., and also of Gen'l Foster upon Goldsboro; both being important positions on the enemy's seaboard line of communication, and favorable diversions for the more important movement on the Rappahannock. To guard against unfavorable contingencies, Wessel's Brigade at Suffolk, Va., was ordered to rendezvous upon the Chowan, and transportation was furnished them to New Berne, where they arrived December 9th. This brigade consisted of the Eighty-Fifth, Ninety-Second and Ninety-Sixth New York Regiments, Eighty-Fifth, One Hundred and First, and One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania Regiments, with an aggregate strength of twenty-one hundred men; and increased that of the department to about sixteen thousand infantry, beside cavalry and artillery. Detachments of the Third, Forty-Fifth and Forty-Sixth Massachusetts Regiments were despatched to the various posts and picket stations to relieve the veteran troops, and






the Eighth Massachusetts placed in charge of New Berne and its fortifications; leaving an offensive force of twelve thousand men and forty-six pieces of artillery for the duty assigned.

The army as now constituted, consisted of

Lee's Brigade. — Third, Fifth, Twenty-Fifth, Twenty-Seventh and Forty-Sixth Mass. Regiments.

Stevenson's Brigade. — Eighth, Twenty-Fourth, Forty-Fourth Mass., Fifth R. I., and Tenth Conn. Regiments.

Amory's Brigade. — Seventeenth, Twenty-Third, Forty-Third, Forty-Fifth and Fifty-First Mass. Regiments.

Wessell's Brigade. — Eighty-Fifth, Ninety-Second, Ninety-Sixth N. Y., Eighty-Fifth, One Hundred and First, One Hundred and Third Penn. Regiments.

Artillery Brigade, Maj. Kennedy. — First R. I. Battery, F, Capt. James Belger, four ten-pound Parrotts, and two howitzers.

Battery B, Capt. Morrison, six twelve-pound Napoleons; Battery E, Lieut. G. E. Ashby, two thirty-two-pound howitzers, two twenty-pound Parrotts; Battery F, Capt. Jenny, six ten-pound Wiards, rifled; Battery H, Capt. Riggs, six twelve-pound Napoleons; Battery K, Capt. Angel, six three-inch Rodmans, iron; and Battery I, Lieut. G. W. Thomas, four twenty-four-pound Parrotts; all of the Third N. Y. Artillery. One section Twenty-Third N. Y. Battery, Capt. Jay E. Lee, two twenty-four-pound Parrotts. One section Twenty-Fourth N. Y. Battery, Capt. Alfred Ransom, two twelve-pound Wiards, rifled. Battery C, First U. S. Artillery, four twenty-pound Parrotts.

The Ninth New Jersey and Third New York Cavalry regiments were an independent column to act as the advance. Three hundred negroes from the contraband camp at New Berne, joined the expedition as pioneers under the direction of Henry W. Wilson, a master carpenter.

At early morn, December 11th, in the midst of a fog so dense as to obscure objects ten feet distant, Gen'l Wessell's Brigade advanced by the “Trent road,” followed in order

by Stevenson's, Amory's, and Lee's Brigades. At a distance of fourteen miles, the roads were found so obstructed by felled trees that the force bivouacked for the night, while the pioneers cleared the obstructions. The next morning, with the Ninth New Jersey as skirmishers, the column advanced to Vine Swamp Road, where Capt. Hall, with three companies of cavalry, was ordered to advance up the direct road to Kinston; while the main body went up the Vine “Swamp Road,” flanking the enemy's works and obstructions. Capt. Hall, after a sharp skirmish, and the loss of two killed, drove the enemy from their position, capturing eighteen prisoners. The main column was delayed at “Beaver Creek,” to replace the bridge, which, when completed, the Fifty-First Mass. and the Twenty-Third N. Y. Battery were left to protect, as well as to hold the cross-road, and support Capt. Hall if necessary. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. bivouacked late at night in a cornfield eleven miles from Kinston, and, with the main body, soon made fuel of every length of fence in the surrounding fields. By some oversight, Quartermaster Tyler failed to provide the usual rations of meat, and hard-tack with tea proved hardly sufficient to satisfy the cravings of soldiers in active service. It goes for saying it, every deficiency was fully made up by our foragers.

On the morning of the 13th we again left the main road to the right, leaving the Forty-Sixth Mass., with one section of the Twenty-Fourth N. Y. Battery, to hold the position, and make a feint upon the direct road. About nine o'clock, Capt Cole's company of cavalry came upon the enemy at Southwest Creek, protected by earthworks and four guns. Finding it impossible to reach their position, the bridge being partly destroyed, Morrison's Battery was brought into position under cover of which the Ninth New Jersey crossed the creek and ravine above, and the Eighty-Fifth Penn., about half a mile below the bridge, supported by the Twenty-Third Mass., when the Ninth charged the enemy's position,






capturing a six-pound gun and caisson, with twenty-prisoners. After rebuilding the bridge, the column advanced by two roads upon Kinston. Major Gerrard, with three companies of cavalry and a section of artillery, made a reconnoissance ten miles upon the Whitehall road, but finding no enemy, rejoined the main column, then in bivouac four miles from Kinston. As a matter of precaution, lights or fires were not permitted, but the pine woods in a measure, protected the Twenty-Seventh from the inclemency of the night.

It was of this action, the Confederate commander sent the following despatch, which, contrasted with the facts narrated, is very suggestive.

Kinston, N. C., Dec. 14, 1862.

To Gen'l Cooper, Adjt. Gen'l, etc., Richmond, Va.

Gen'l Foster attacked Kinston, N. C., yesterday, with fifteen thousand men and nine gunboats. I fought them ten hours, and have driven them back to their gunboats. His army is still in my front.

N. G. Evans, Maj. Gen'l Com'g.

Sunday, the 14th, we advanced within a mile of Kinston, where the enemy were found strongly posted; secured on the right by a deep swamp, and their left by the river. The Ninth New Jersey, with Wessell's Brigade, attacked them, Batteries B, F and I, Third N. Y. Artillery, and Belger's Battery, being placed advantageously on the right of the road half a mile to the rear, supported by Lee's Brigade at double column of half distance. A fierce artillery fire was waged until one o'clock, under which a portion of Stevenson's and Amory's Brigades, with Belger's Battery were advanced, when the Tenth Connecticut, Lieut. Col. Leggit, gallantly charged across the swamp under a murderous fire and forced the enemy to a precipitate retreat. Col. Mullet of the Sixty-Eighth North Carolina Regiment with his entire battalion, was captured by the Tenth Conn. near

the bridge, with four pieces of artillery and five hundred stand of arms. The enemy retreated across the Neuse, and fired the bridge previously made ready for destruction, in saving which Col. Grey, of the Ninety-Sixth New York, was instantly killed by the discharge of a musket in the fire. A slight but ineffectual resistance was made by the enemy at the bridge, but Stevenson's, Wessell's and Amory's troops were crossed over to the town, and our artillery supported by Lee's Brigade brought into position. Batteries E and I, Third New York, with their Parrott guns, were ordered to open upon Gen'l Evans, who had taken a new position at Washington Hill, two miles above Kinston, but before our troops could be brought forward, he beat a hasty retreat. Capt. Cole, Company K, Third Cavalry, and a section of Battery F, Third Artillery, later in the day went down to the blockade, capturing a battery of seven guns, two of which were those captured from Washington, N. C., September 6th.

The Twenty-Seventh Mass. bivouacked just on the outskirts of Kinston, and it would be claiming too much to say that hens, turkeys, geese, bristled grunters, and sweet potatoes, not to mention quantities of apple-jack, and delicious scuppernong wine, did not furnish a temptation before which all scruples failed. Our losses for the day had been thirty-eight killed and one hundred and eighty-five wounded, of which number nearly one-half were from our brave comrades of the Tenth Conn. The loss of the enemy was two hundred killed and wounded, four hundred prisoners, five hundred stand of arms, and eleven cannon, besides ammunition, equipments and stores. The morning of the 15th, while Major Fitzsimmons, with three companies of the Third Cavalry, were making a feint above Kinston, the troops were withdrawn to the south of the Neuse, and upon the return of the cavalry, the place was evacuated, and its stores and the Neuse bridge destroyed. We advanced seventeen






miles without opposition during the day, and bivouacked. Major Gerrard, with a battalion of cavalry and a section of Jenny's Battery, reconnoitered four miles beyond to Whitehall; a rebel regiment and battery statoned there, retreating across and firing the bridge. Discovering an ironclad under construction upon the opposite bank of the Neuse, Major Gerrard called for volunteers to attempt its destruction, which was responded to by Henry Butler of Company C, Third N. Y. Cavalry, stripping and swimming the river. While attempting to secure a fire-brand at the burning bridge, he was discovered and chased by two of the enemy, but in spite of their fusilade upon him in the water, succeeded in reaching his company unharmed. (The rebel Gen'l Robertson notices this in his official report.) Our battery now opened upon the ram and battered it in pieces, when the battalion rejoined the main column.

December 16th, Major Gerrard, with three companies of the Third N. Y. Cavalry, and a section of Ransom's Battery, made a raid on the Mount Olive Station and Goshen Swamp trestle upon the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad; destroying several miles of track and trestle; burning the ties; twisting the rails and destroying the telegraph. Advancing to Whitehall, the main column found the Eleventh, Thirty-First and Fifty-Ninth North Carolina Regiments with Starr's Battery, strongly posted in the woods across the river. The Ninth New Jersey and Seventeenth Mass. were deployed along the banks as sharpshooters, while thirty pieces of artillery, supported by Lee's Brigade, were posted along the elevations which sloped steeply towards the river. A furious cannonade was now opened upon the enemy, their guns returning a rapid fire of shot and shell which ploughed the crest and dropped around us for two hours without casualty. Under cover of our batteries, a considerable force was advanced, and a feint made to rebuild the bridge, which not only deceived the enemy, but led quite a number of the

Tenth Conn. to attempt to swim the stream. While this was going on, Gen'l Foster quietly formed the remainder of his column, and resumed the march on Goldsboro, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. bivouacking at night in an old cornfield eight miles from that place.

Early the 17th, Major Fitzsimmons, with two companies of the Third N. Y. Cavalry, made a raid on Dudley Station and Everettsville, destroying a train of cars, with stations, trestle and culverts, while Major Gerrard, with another battalion of cavalry, Angell's Battery, and the Forty-Third Mass., moved to “Thompson's Bridge.” The latter engaged the enemy, but, finding the bridge destroyed, rejoined the column at night. Lee's Brigade now held the advance, with the real work of the expedition before them. About noon, the Eighth, Fifty-First and Fifty-Second North Carolina Regiments, with a battery, were discovered in the woods skirting the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, and Riggs Battery was brought into position to disperse them. The Twenty-Seventh advanced down the road by an old house, through a wooded ravine and shallow stream, and formed in line on a knoll commanding a view of the railroad and bridge, the objective points of the expedition. The Ninth New Jersey and Seventeenth Mass. were now advanced to the right of the position held by the Twenty-Seventh, Twenty-Fifth, and Third Mass., while the Fifth and Forty-Sixth Mass. were moved to the left to protect that flank. This force advanced in line toward the railroad across the Daniel Everett farm, which was central between the railroad and turnpike bridges, each a quarter of a mile distant. After a sharp engagement, the enemy broke, and retreated across the bridge, Gen'l Clingman's attempt to rally them proving futile. “Arriving at the opposite side of the Neuse, Starr's Battery was placed on the road commanding the turnpike bridge, supported by the Eighth North Carolina, while the Fifty-First North Carolina, Col. Allen, was deployed on the






river-bank below, and the Fifty-Second North Carolina, Col. Marshall, above,” to oppose us. Robertson's, and a South Carolina brigade, held the position at the railroad bridge, and were reinforced, during the engagement, by Evans’ Brigade from Whitehall.

In advancing to the attack, our forces worked well to the right towards the railroad bridge, under a heavy fire from the enemy, driving Clingman's forces across the river as narrated. Upon reaching the railroad embankment, volunteers were called to fire the railroad bridge. Adjt. B. N. Mann of the Seventeenth Mass., and many others attempted the daring feat, but each in turn was wounded or killed. The enemy clung tenaciously to the opposite banks near the railroad bridge, and swept its approaches with a withering fire. All our batteries were now posted on surrounding elevations, and concentrated on the enemy at this point a rapid fire, under which Lieut. George H. Graham of Rockett's Twenty-Third New York Battery, and William C. Semmons of the Ninth New Jersey, succeeded in reaching and firing the bridge. The exasperated enemy poured a desperate fire of musketry and grape upon them, to escape from which they dropped through the bridge, and making their way down the river under cover of brush skirting its banks, succeeded in reaching our forces unharmed. As soon as the bridge was in flames, our artillery tripled its fire to prevent its rescue. Lee's Brigade stacked arms, and rushing up the embankment, wrenched the rails and ties from the road-bed, cut down the telegraph poles, and heating the rails on fires made from the poles and ties, wrenched and twisted them beyond reclaim. The enemy's batteries opened upon us, but beyond knocking down a few stacks of arms and pitching them twisted and bent in the air, no harm was done. The reserves cheered to the echo the thorough work of the brigade, and between roaring of artillery, rattling of musketry, cheering of men, flames of burning bridge,

and the long line of troops upon the railroad in their work of destruction, it presented a scene of devastation and din rarely equalled.

The object of the expedition being fully accomplished, orders were issued for the troops to withdraw; Lee's Brigade acting as rear guard. In the execution of this order, the Twenty-Seventh Regiment withdrew to an old house upon the opposite side of the ravine and stream, improving the time in making coffee, while awaiting the removal of our batteries; Morrison's Battery with the Third, Fifth and Forty-Sixth Massachusetts Regiments, still remaining on the field. The enemy, discovering our intention to withdraw, ordered Gen'ls Clingman and Evans to attack our rear, with a view of capturing Morrison's, Riggs’ and Belger's Batteries, which remained with the rear guard. For this purpose Gen'l Clingman moved the Fifty-First and Fifty-Second North Carolina Regiments across the river under cover of the woods and railroad to threaten our right, with instructions to make no reply if discovered by us, until, with the Eighth and Sixty-First North Carolina Regiments and two pieces of artillery, he could move up the turnpike, and, placing the Sixty-First against our centre, and the Eighth on our left flank and rear, he could assault our position, his attack to be the signal for a general assault.* Gen'l Evans’ brigade was in close column at the centre of the field with two batteries to support the movement. Gen'l Clingman claims that Gen'l Evans precipitated the contest before he was in position, by ordering the Fifty-First and Fifty-Second North Carolina to charge, and this seems verified by the facts.

While Lee's Brigade were awaiting the movement of our forces to the rear, they were suddenly startled by a rebel yell, followed by peals of artillery, which brought every cavalier to his saddle, every cannonier to his seat, and every soldier to his position in line. Hastily the cavalry with

* Clingman's official report.




glittering sabres dashed down the cart-path, followed on the double-quick by the Twenty-Seventh and Twenty-Fifth Mass., across the ravine to the knoll overlooking the field, where we saw a surging line of rebels charging upon Morrison's Battery at the right of the field. The Fifth and Forty-Sixth Mass. had rushed to its support, and gallantly withstood the shock. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. took position upon the extreme left of the field, with its left refused to defend its flank, while Belger's Battery dashed in front, and poured an enfilading fire upon the enemy's line, as it swept around and up the foot of the hill. Onward they came as an invincible host, and the batteries at three hundred yards began firing double loads of canister, under which great swaths were mown in their line. Capt. Belger looked nervously to the rear as if to assure himself of his supports, and turning to his men exclaimed, “We are all right, men! Steady! Give ’em shrapnel! Make every shot tell!” At a hundred yards the enemy wavered, halted — and then broke into a confused and disastrous retreat. Fortunately for them, just at this juncture Gen'l Clingman with his battery and the Eighth and Sixty-Second North Carolina appeared in the woods upon our left, and opened fire upon the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt.

To prevent the disintergrating effect of moving by companies, Col. Lyman ordered a “left wheel by battalion” — a difficult but well-executed movement, — followed by the order “By file, commence firing.” Belger's and Riggs’ batteries opened upon the enemy, and after a short engagement the Twenty-Seventh advanced into the woods, driving the enemy from their position, and following them with several volleys of musketry. In this movement Lorenzo D. Gibson of Company F, was killed, his head being blown off by an exploding shell.

Col. Lee's judicious arrangement of his brigade had anticipated Clingman's entire plan, and he would gladly have followed

the retreating foe, but as his instructions were, “act entirely upon the defensive,” he ordered his force to withdraw. In repassing the ravine, we found the stream had been increased to a roaring torrent. One of our engineers, supposing our forces to have crossed, had opened a flood-gate above to intercept the enemy; hence we were obliged to ford the stream to our armpits in recrossing.

Of this attack on the part of the enemy Gen'l Foster says in his official report: “Owing to the efficiency of Lee's Brigade and Morrison's Battery, it was a miserable failure.” Gen'l G. L. Clingman, commanding the Confederate forces, says: “We had to move across an open space of one thousand yards, swept by heavy batteries, and which was supported by large masses of infantry. Our forces advanced courageously, but were cut down by a fire of grape and canister not possible to withstand. But for the loss thus sustained, we should have had the satisfaction of knowing that with a vastly inferior force, we had driven the enemy from a strong position, and obliged their whole army to retreat, almost without loss to us.” The enemy's loss in this charge must have been very heavy, as will appear from the official reports of two of these regiments.

Fifty-First North Carolina Regt., Col. Allen, six killed, forty-three wounded, eight missing. Fifty-Second North Carolina Regt., Col. Marshall, eleven killed, fifty-eight wounded, ten missing. The Eighth North Carolina, Col. Shaw, reports three killed and six wounded; and the Sixty-First North Carolina, Col. Devane, three killed, seventeen wounded, and twenty-three missing in their attack upon the Twenty-Seventh. No reports have been obtained of the losses of Evans’ Brigade and the batteries.

Considering the exposed condition of Lee's Brigade during the day, it is remarkable that they escaped with so few casualties. They were at the burning of the bridge; sharply shelled while destroying the railroad; and repelled unaided the rebel charge.






The loss of our brigade was as follows:—

Killed.Wounded.
Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt.12
Forty-Sixth Mass. Regt.13
Twenty-Fifth Mass. Regt.1-
Fifth Mass. Regt.17
Third Mass. Regt.-2
Total414

The casualties of the Twenty-Seventh were

Lorenzo D. Gibson, Company F, of Westfield, killed by shell.

John Robinson, Company I, of Brimfield, wounded in neck by shell.

James B. Hill, Company K, of Springfield, wounded in thigh by shell, seriously.

Comrade Gibson was buried in the garden back of a house at the head of the lane, after which we resumed our march, the Twenty-Seventh at the rear of the column.

Darkness had closed upon us and the deserted embers of the bivouac had been fanned into vast forest fires skirting the road through which we were forced to pass. The scene was inexpressibly grand, while the suffocating smoke and intense heat endured was only an exchange from what we must otherwise have suffered from our drenched clothes and the inclement night. We continued our march until midnight, and bivouacked on the ground of the night previous, glad even for mother earth on which to rest our wearied and chafed limbs. Gen'l Foster complimented the bravery and endurance of Lee's Brigade on its arrival, adding by way of encouragement, “In a week we shall be in Wilmington.” Arriving at Kinston he learned of the defeat of Gen'l Burnside at Fredericksburg. Learning also that Gen'l Dix had not moved from Suffolk, he continued his march back to New Berne. The enemy followed the retiring column, dropping

shells around our rear guard, but without loss to us; and after eleven days’ absence, we reached New Berne, glad to enjoy the rest and comforts of our tented homes.

The full object of our expedition was accomplished, but its main advantages were neutralized by the failures at Fredericksburg and Suffolk. The results, besides the vast damage inflicted upon the enemy's supplies and communications, were the capture of four hundred and ninety-six prisoners and twelve pieces of artillery.

The following rebel regiments reported forty-one killed, two hundred ninety-eight wounded and two hundred sixteen prisoners, as resulting from the battles of Kinston, Whitehall and Goldsboro:—

Eighth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twenty-Sixth, Thirty-First, Forty-First, Forty-Fourth, Forty-Seventh, Fifty-First, Fifty-Second, Fifty-Ninth, Sixty-First, Sixty-Second, Sixty-Third, Sixty-Eighth North Carolina Regiments; Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Twenty-Second, Twenty-Third South Carolina Regiments, Holcombe's Legion and Starr's Battery. In addition to these, Daniels’ Brigade, consisting of the Thirty-Second, Forty-Third, Forty-Fifth and Fifty-Third North Carolina Regiments and Second North Carolina Battalion arrived from Richmond just about the time of Clingman's charge, and this brigade hung upon our rear as we returned to New Berne. We may therefore say that we were opposed by twenty-three regiments of infantry, three battalions, and at the least two batteries. We think it is reasonable to doubt the enemy's loss above given, since we have seen Clingman's Brigade reported at Goldsboro, twenty-three killed and one hundred twenty-four wounded; while Mullet of the Sixty-Eighth, with over four hundred men, was captured at Kinston. The entire Union loss was ninety killed and four hundred and seventy-eight wounded.

During the engagement at Goldsboro, it is reported one of Morrison's men was severely wounded, and when asked by a






chaplain if he was supported by Divine grace, replied “No! we were supported by the Ninth New Jersey.”

The fertility of resource of our foragers is well illustrated by T—— of Company —. Securing a mule, he rode to an adjacent plantation, and, accosting a negro girl near an old hen-house, demanded some eggs. Discovering a disposition to demur, he backed the mule toward her, and applied the spurs, when the animal let its feet fly at her face like a vicious tedder. T—— clung desperately to the animal, exclaiming “Get some eggs, or I'll kick your head off!” Dinah wilted and promised, but getting behind the bolted door of the hen-house, with some obstinacy began to parley, when T—— backed the mule to the shed and reapplied his spurs. This the donkey resented by a terrible battering with his hind feet against the door, leaving it shivered and prostrate within, and Dinah not only willing to furnish eggs but all the poultry the inordinate appetite of T—— demanded.

While engaged in repelling Clingman's assault, Major Bartholomew was sitting upon his horse under a tree — the left of the line being in the woods — when a shell cut the tree off about twenty feet above him. Casting his eye upwards the Major put spurs to his horse, and the next moment the top of the tree pierced the ground where he had been standing. Whirling his horse back upon the other side of the tree, he exclaimed “There, I'm safe now! They can't hit this tree again!”

Johnnie Dorflin of Company F, would at any time kill a pig for its pluck, and being suspected by the provost marshal, was charged with foraging against orders. Johnnie was placid and silent until the enraged marshal drew his sword to enforce his anthority, when our equally enraged comrade (Greek mit Greek) jumped for him with the exclamation, “You t——n Tutchman, you show fight, me show fight; you draw sword, I fix mine payonet!” The marshal

disappeared, but on his return to New Berne, called for the arrest of John Horflin, but the order was returned countersigned “No such man in the regiment.”

Upon the return of the expedition, Gen'l Foster at once repaired to Washington, D. C. for further instructions, returning December 27th with commissions as brigadier-generals for Cols. Hunt, Ninety-Sixth New York, Stevenson, Twenty-Fourth Mass., Heckman, Ninth New Jersey, Potter, First North Carolina, and Ledlie, Third N. Y. Artillery; the recommendation of Col. Lee being rejected on the ground that “it would not do to appoint more than one of these from each State,” the influence of Col. Stevenson's friends securing the Massachusetts appointment for him.

Thus closed the operations of 1862, every movement by the Union army in North Carolina having met unqualified success. Much of the advantage expected from them, however, had been vitiated by the failures in Virginia. The brave Army of the Potomac, after a campaign of unexampled hardship and loss, was still upon its old camping ground, with the problem of the destruction of Lee's army and the suppression of the rebellion more involved and doubtful than ever. At the West, Rosecrans had pressed Bragg and Breckenbridge, and closed the waning year with the hotly contested battle of Murfreesboro’. Stanley was still an incubus upon our department, his acts constructively loyal, but menacing to every military movement, and neutralizing every plan.






CHAPTER VIII. SOUTH CAROLINA EXPEDITION.

The year 1863 opened with promises of unusual activity in North Carolina, the following troops arriving from January 2d to January 5th:—

Spinola's Brigade: One Hundred and Thirty-Second, One Hundred and Fifty-Eighth New York; One Hundred and Fifty- Eighth, One Hundred and Sixty-First, One Hundred and Sixty-Eighth, One Hundred and Seventy-First, One Hundred and Seventy-Fifth, and One Hundred and Seventy-Sixth Pennsylvania Regiments.

Nagle's Brigade: Eleventh Maine; Fifty-Sixth, Eighty-First, Ninety-Seventh, One Hundredth New York; Fifty-Second and One Hundred and Fourth Pennsylvania Regiments.

Ferry's Brigade: Fifty-Eighth, One Hundred and Seventy-Fourth Pennsylvania; Sixty-Second, Sixty-Seventh Ohio; Thirteenth Indiana; Thirty-Ninth Illinois, and “Les Enfants Perdus,” the latter a regiment composed of all nationalities, known as “the lost infants.” This force aggregated some fifteen thousand men.

The monitors “Montauk” and “Passaic,” with the steam frigates “Colorado” and “Dakota,” had rendezvoused at Beaufort Harbor, the original “Monitor” having been sunk en route, January 1st, in a gale off Hatteras. The armament of the monitors consisted of one eleven and one fifteen inch gun, the latter of which carried a shell of four hundred and three, and solid shot of four hundred and sixty pounds, requiring a pulley and tackle for loading; and thirty-five to

seventy pounds of powder for discharging the same. In a visit to these ironclads the writer was welcomed and generously entertained by Commander John L. Worden, the hero of the original “Monitor” in its conflict with the “Merrimac.” One side of his face was still discolored by powder blown into it on that occasion.

A complete reorganization of our forces occurred during the month of January, each of the new brigadier-generals being furnished with commands; and on the 29th inst. Nagle's, Ferry's, Stevenson's and Heckman's Brigades, with Batteries A, C, D and E armed with rifles, and B, F, and I with full batteries, all of the Third New York Artillery, sailed for Beaufort, S. C. Soon after Gen'l Foster's arrival at that place, a misunderstanding arose between him and Gen'l Hunter, in which Gen'l Foster's troops naturally sided with their commander. Gen'l Stevenson and Col. Osborne of the Twenty-Fourth Mass., with Quartermaster Sleight and many other general officers, were placed under arrest. The War Department at Washington, D. C., failed to sustain Gen'l Foster, and he returned to North Carolina, regretting most of all the loss of his veteran troops under Gen'ls Heckman and Stevenson.

January 4th the detachments of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. broke camp at Newport Barracks and Bachelor's Creek, and joined the detachment at Washington, the regiment becoming once more a unit after six months of separation. This, however, proved of short duration, for on the 25th of the same month, Companies G and H under Major Bartholomew were detached for garrison duty at Plymouth.

About this time, Gen'l Foster's “Orderly Manning” obtained permission to go within the rebel lines and recover his brother's remains at Kinston. On arriving at the place of burial he found the bodies had all been exhumed, stripped, and meagrely covered in another trench. The rest is as well untold: the body was not recovered.






We had now, at various times, held most of the important positions within the Department of North Carolina, with the best of opportunity to witness such society as remained within the lines. There were few intelligent women. Most of the females remaining were so coarse and unfeminine in habits, as to degrade their sex. The leaden eye, sallow skin, swaggering gait and uncouth slang were too much for the Northern man, and made him devoutly thankful he descended from a nobler lineage. A lady's evening call (they never speak of afternoon) would be incomplete without snuff, and to omit to offer it to a caller was unpardonable. After the compliments of the day, and the seating of the guests, the hostess was expected to pass saucers, twigs, and a bladder of snuff, with which the visitors regaled themselves during the call. Some were so addicted to the habit of snuff-dipping, as to indulge in it upon the streets, regardless of their disgusting appearance. Snuff-dipping is practised by women alone, but clay-eating is common to both sexes. Both of these habits produce a moral and physical effect, clearly marking their victims. Over eight millions of dollars are consumed annually in snuff, within the South, at the present time.

Contrabands crowded the department, bewildered in their freedom. Freedom to many of them consisted of nothing to do. They failed to avail themselves of the little work to be found, and were so improvident as to buy their tallow dip only when darkness enforced it. Others valued their freedom with its opportunity. To impress the lesson of their lives, I take their own story and language.

“Well, Uncle,” said I, “how do you like the Yankees?”

“Right well, sar (my name's George Washington, sar), yuse mighty fine people, sar.”

“So you feel free now, do you?”

“Yes, sar! yes, sar!! an I tank deor L an Massa Linkum for dat. Dis ole man hab worked a heap of yeas, an de Lor

he send me de ole woman an a heap o'chilen. Massa he sell some afore de war, an tuck de ole woman an de rest fo de Yankees come. Now, de ole man am lone in de world; but de good Lor an Massa Linkum make me free (bracing up) an I shall die a free man! yes, sar! Bless de Lor! ole George will be all right at las, bless de Lor!”

President Lincoln had just issued his confirmatory Proclamation of Emancipation, and language was too weak to express their overflowing joy.

It would certainly be gross carelessness to omit mention of the steamers “Ellen S. Terry,” “Dudley Buck,” “Collins,” and “Augusta Dinsmore,” by which our communication with home was maintained. Before their three whistles were given as a signal of a “mail aboard,” the watchful eye of anxious ones would descry the vessel below the blockade, and the electric news would fly through streets and camps. Nothing so thrilled the department to its centre, or started such a hum of expectation, as the arrival of the irregular “mail steamers.” A jostling crowd would fill the wharf, and eagerly enquire before the steamer was near enough to cast the line, “How much mail, Capt. Chapin?”

The regulations at the post-office allowed no sleep after the arrival of a mail until it had been assorted and delivered. Some idea of the amount of letter-writing in this department may be obtained from the fact that two hundred and twenty-five thousand letters were sent North from New Berne post-office during the month of January, seventy-five thousand being sent on the “Dudley Buck,” January 18th. It occupied seven clerks twenty-four hours, in posting this mail. Nor were our friends at home negligent; sixty five-foot mail-bags were received January 27th and 28th, with an estimated mail of seventy-five thousand letters, and one hundred and fifty bushels of papers. These were extra occasions, however, but from statistics of the writer (at that






time military postmaster of the Department of North Carolina) it was shown, that during the months of December and January, each soldier averaged to write two and one-half letters each week, and to receive about the same, besides newspapers and other printed matter. More letters were written by the soldiers than were received. John Dibble, a former citizen of New Berne, and a staunch Union man, held the position of civil postmaster. He is now a valued citizen of Westfield, Mass.

At each arrival of steamers from New York, one thousand daily papers were received, the proportions being, seven hundred “Heralds,” two hundred and fifty “Times,” and fifty “Tribunes.” The “World” was classed with Richmond papers, and was only in demand among (loyal?) citizens. So great was the rush for papers that they were sold without folding, and delivered as fast as the ten-cent scrip could be collected.

Trade permits were issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, and every store in the city, beside many private houses and temporary buildings, were occupied by speculators in sutlers’ and naval stores. Sales within the department were ad libitum; those beyond the lines were restricted to sixty dollars, but this restriction was construed by Governor Stanley to allow any one to buy this amount for any number of persons, if only holding orders from them. It was not to be expected that those who obtained their appointments as division or regimental sutlers by a contract to divide usurious profits from the nation's defenders amongst certain officers, would scruple to use extreme license; and hence large quantities of supplies, by this means, reached the enemy.

February 13th a body of the enemy moving on Bachelor's Creek to try the mettle of the Fifty-Eighth Penn., was met by Col. Jones with a part of his regiment at Tuscarora, and relieved from further duty, by the killing of three, and capture

of forty-six prisoners, the entire force falling into our hands. At the same time Capt. Graham with his “Gray Horse Cavalry,” made a raid on Greenville from Washington, and after a short contest, captured ten prisoners, twenty horses, and the entire camp equipage of that outpost. The frequent raids of this officer and the Twenty-Seventh Mass. from Washington, so menaced the enemy, that in desperation, they blockaded the roads with felled trees for long distances in all directions.

March 1st, Captain Joy's company of the First North Carolina, with one company of the Third New York Cavalry, scouting in Hyde County, were ambuscaded by the enemy, seventeen out of forty of our men being killed or wounded at the first discharge. The cavalry charged the ambuscade, killing many and capturing the officer in command, with five men. All the prisoners held safeguards from Governor Stanley, but they were safely manacled and placed aboard the steamer “Escort.” The officer failed to arrive at New Berne; it is known he did not escape. On the arrival of the steamer at New Berne, Capt. Joy marched the prisoners through the street with a large placard on the back of each,

“Guerrillas captured with Governor Stanley's Safeguards,”

for which act Capt. Joy was placed under arrest, by order of the Governor. The captain's fearless course while editor of the “New Berne Progress,” had incurred the Governor's displeasure, nor did his unswerving loyalty fail him now. Governor Stanley soon found it convenient to order his release. The enraged cavalrymen vowed vengeance for the death of their comrades, and returned to Hyde County the 7th inst. with every available man, supported by the One Hundred and First and One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania Regiments. They failed to accomplish anything, however, as did another expedition in Jones County at the same time,






because every suspicious person was armed with a safeguard from Governor Stanley.

March 14th was the anniversary of the capture of New Berne, an event of such harrowing remembrance to the rebel heart, that it became chronic to attempt some “highly important and promising movement” towards its recovery, upon that day. Gen'l D. H. Hill had assumed command of the rebel forces in North Carolina Feb. 24th, 1863, and had accumulated a considerable army at Kinston, N. C., for offensive work. At two o'clock the afternoon of the 13th, Ransom's and Daniels’ Brigades, with cavalry, attacked our outposts at Bachelor's Creek and Deep Gully, occupied respectively by the Fifty-Eighth Pennsylvania and Twenty-Fifth Massachusetts Regiments. Col. Lee ordered the Fifth and Forty-Sixth Massachusetts Regiments to the support of the outposts, sharp skirmishing continuing during the evening and following day. At an early hour the 14th, Pettigrew's Brigade appeared before Fort Anderson, — north of the Neuse,— demanding of Lieut. Col. Anderson and the Ninety-Second New York Regiment an unconditional surrender. Information was at once signalled Gen'l Foster and the navy of the situation, and the answer returned “My orders are to hold this fort, and I shall never surrender it!” The enemy immediately opened with shell, grape and canister, which ploughed the parapets and exploded in the fort, or richochetted out upon the waters of the river. The fort was an unfinished work with no guns mounted as yet, and the garrison could only lie with fixed bayonets awaiting the charge.

The gunboats “Hetzel,” and “Hunchback,” were aground and could only use their long-range guns, but the “Seymour,” “Shawsheen,” “Whitehead,” revenue cutter, and a schooner — with one gun manned by negroes — succeeded in reaching the scene of contest. Four batteries were also posted on the river above the fortifications, and for three hours New Berne was treated to an incessant roar of artillery

and bursting shells, some of the enemy's shot reaching the field in front of the “Fair Grounds.” The enemy's fire suddenly ceased, and after a short delay, the Ninety-Second New York moved cautiously out, finding them in retreat, and their position strewn with three bursted cannon. The grounds were ploughed, and the trees torn as though destruction had run riot. Our loss was only two wounded.

Gen'l Pettigrew's colored cook was captured returning with a fish for the general's dinner, from whom the enemy's project and forces were ascertained, with the additional information that Gen'l Pryor with his brigade had gone to attack Washington. It was noticed the cook wore a Union dress-coat, and to inquiries he replied, “I took it from one of your dead on the peninsular campaign, and was allowed to wear it if I would turn the buttons with the eagles’ heads down,” and sure enough every eagle drooped.

Gen'l Foster being satisfied that an attack was imminent at Washington, ordered eight companies of the Forty-Fourth Mass. to that place, where they arrived the 16th inst. Scouts continued to report the enemy in considerable force with lines well advanced towards New Berne and Washington, until the 28th inst., when Gen'l Foster returned from Wingfield with prisoners from the Forty-Second North Carolina Regiment, from whom he learned farther of the enemy's plans. Sunday, March 29th, Gen'ls Foster and Potter quietly left New Berne on the steamer “John Faron,” ordering the “Phœnix,” with commissary stores, and the “Thomas Colyer” and other steamers, with Spinola's Brigade, to follow at once.

The “Faron” arrived at Washington the morning of the 30th, and Capt. Jocknick's cavalry, with Companies E and G of the Forty-Fourth Mass., were ordered to reconnoitre the Greenville road. After advancing a mile and a half, they met the enemy, before whom they retired with a loss to the Forty-Fourth Mass. of three wounded and prisoners. Capt. Richardson,






of Company E, Forty-Fourth Mass., was also wounded but escaped capture. Capt. Lyons and two companies of the First North Carolina Union Volunteers immediately crossed to Rodman's Point, but were driven to their boats at two o'clock the following morning by a superior body of the enemy. These two companies were saved from capture or death by the self-sacrifice of a gallant negro, who, seeing the boat was aground, and all must perish, or one for all, jumped overboard and pushed the flat into the river. The brave man fell lifeless into the water, but the launch floated away to a place of safety. The Union loss at this point was three killed and thirteen wounded, among the latter, Capt. Lyons.

At five P. M. it was evident the enemy were present in overwhelming numbers, and, in the midst of a drenching rain, the troops were ordered to the fortifications. The available Union force consisted of eight companies each of the Twenty-Seventh and Forty-Fourth Mass., two companies of the First North Carolina, Battery G, Capt. Wall's Third N. Y. Artillery, and Company I, Capt. Jocknick, Third N. Y. Cavalry. The consolidated morning report for March 30, 1863, gave the aggregate strength of this command as eleven hundred and thirty-nine men present for duty. Company B, Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., held Blockhouses Number One and Two, covering approach by the river and Greenville road west of the town, while Company F held Blockhouses Number Three and Four, guarding the Jamesville and Plymouth roads, with the river approach on the east. Companies C and D were now placed within Fort Washington, and the right to the river held by the remainder of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., and the left by the Forty-Fourth Mass., and First North Carolina Regiments. When these were marshalled behind the long line of fortifications, they at once revealed our weakness in numbers, to remedy which, every able-bodied negro was ordered to the works.

This was our first experience with armed negroes, and it was wonderful how quietly it was submitted to by many who had loudly declared, “they never would fight side of a nigger!” Whitworth shots, exploding shells, and bullet tz-z-zps, were wonderfully persuasive arguments on such a question, and settled it once for all with the garrison of Washington.

The land defences consisted of Blockhouse Number One, near the river above the town, commanded by Lieut. P. W. McManus; Number Two on the Greenville road, Lieut. Ira B. Sampson; Number Three between the Jamesville and Plymouth roads, Capt. J. W. Moore, and Number Four on the river below, Lieut. Pliny Wood. Each of these block-houses contained a six-pound gun, save Number Four, where a twelve-pounder was substituted. At the centre of the works, and rear of the town, was Fort Washington, a small but strong quadrangular, bastioned fort, surrounded by a ten-foot ditch and heavy abattis. Its armament consisted of four thirty-two pounders, two six-pound Wiard, and two twelve-pound Napoleon guns. On the Jamesville road was a thirty-two pound gun under command of Lieut. W. C. Hunt, of Company A, Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., and upon the Plymouth road, a six-pounder in charge of Corporal Steele of Company F, of the same regiment. A redoubt covered the river bridge containing one thirty-pound Parrott, one thirty-two-pound Rodman, and two twelve-pound Napoleon guns. The river-front was protected by the steamers “Louisiana,” six guns, and the “Commodore Hull” and the “Eagle,” four guns each. The available forces for defence, army and navy, were then about fourteen hundred men, and thirty-two guns.

The enemy were under command of Maj. Gen'l D. H. Hill, and consisted of the following brigades and regiments: —

Gannett's Brigade, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth






North Carolina, Eighth, Eighteenth and Fifty-Sixth Virginia Regiments.

Pettigrew's Brigade, Twenty-Sixth, Thirty-Second, Forty-Third, Forty-Fifth, Forty-Seventh, Fifty-Second North Carolina Regiments.

Daniel's Brigade, Fifty-Sixth North Carolina, Twentieth, Twenty-Eighth, Fifty-Ninth Virginia, and Sixty-Fourth Georgia Regiments.

Robertson's (cavalry) Brigade, Fifty-Ninth North Carolina, Second Georgia, and Seventh Confederate Cavalry Regiments, — in all, seventeen regiments of infantry, and three of cavalry, with forty pieces of artillery.

Gannett's Brigade, with Starr's Battery and the Fifty-Ninth Cavalry, occupied Clay Hill north and west of the town. Pettigrew and Daniel's Brigades, respectively, Rodman's Point and Hill's Point, while the artillery and cavalry were suitably posted for offence on the river, and defence against New Berne via land.

All the inceptive movements of the enemy were wonderfully favored and successful. For three days a high west wind drove the water from the river, leaving our gunboats before Washington, aground. This allowed the enemy to plant their batteries opposite and below the town without opposition, and prevented assistance from the navy below. By evening of the 30th, the enemy had occupied Rodman's and Hill's Points, the former one mile and the latter seven miles below, and on the other side of the river from the town. The channel of the river ran close to the shore occupied by their batteries, and any relief must come through the capture of them or the hardy experiment of running the gauntlet of seven miles of artillery and sharpshooters.

The investment being complete, on the morning of the 31st, an officer appeared on the Jamesville road under a flag of truce demanding surrender. Gen'l Foster returned answer, “If you want Washington, come and take it.” A

demand was then made that the women and children be removed from the town, but which our officers refused to entertain, returning the answer “Gen'l Foster declines to receive flags of truce, and will fire on any future one that appears.” The surprise and disappointment of the enemy is best set forth by this officer's exclamation, “My God! is Gen'l Foster here?” At noon, Virgil Gilbert with the schooner “Brooks,” ran the enemy's batteries with dispatches to the fleet below Hill's Point. The enemy concentrated every available gun upon the vessel, and lined the banks with sharpshooters, but its light draught enabled it to avoid the channel, and the high wind to defy the enemy's fire, and it reached the fleet below unharmed. The “Commodore Hull” was aground just above Rodman's Point, and the disabled boat was subjected to a destructive fire of solid shot which crashed through its sides, or raked its decks, dismounting its guns. Blockhouse Number Four had a short tilt with the enemy in its defence, but its gun was of too short range, while one of their Whitworth shots went through the blockhouse with apparent ease.

April 1st was ushered in by a terrific cannonade from Rodman's Point and a new battery at Laurel Hill. The morning was windy and clear, and the “Commodore Hull” with its brave crew still at the mercy of the enemy. Lieut. Saltonstall stood by his long thirty-two pound Parrott, though all his other guns were dismounted, and the “Hull” careened on its side, until he had given the enemy three hundred shots. Ninety-eight balls had pierced her sides, and three guns had been dismounted, yet her commander spurned the thought of deserting her, declaring, “As long as there is enough left to mount a gun upon, I propose to fire from the ‘Hull!’ ”

During the day Lieut. McManus at Number One, discovered the enemy placing a battery on the island above, and dispersed them so hurriedly that the attempt was not renewed.






Fort Washington engaged the enemy on Clay Hill, and with the aid of Numbers Two and Three and of Lieut. Hunt on the Jamesville road, succeeded in considerable interruption and damage to their works. William Fuller of Company K, West Springfield, received a severe wound in the leg from a Whitworth ball during this action. Col. Lyman's headquarters were at Blockhouse Number Three. His whole time was given to the easterly defences of the town and to the comforts of his men, while Mrs. Lyman, who had been spending the winter there, was under the protection of the hospital flag, rendering such aid therein as the situation afforded opportunity for.

At four P.M. Master's Mate McKeever of the “Louisiana,” with Acting Ensign De Camora and six men of the “Commodore Hull,” started in a sail-boat with dispatches to the fleet below. Hundreds were watching them as the sail caught the wind, and bore them through the waters seething with iron hail. With a charmed life they sped into and through the raking fires of Rodman and Hill's Points; defied the searching fires of sharpshooters; and though often hid in the splashing waters, at length drew safely up to the fleet below. A shout of victory and derision then rent the air, which the enemy resented by broadsides of shrapnel and canister, causing our exultant spectators to hug the ground with most tender emotion. It was a fashionable way of expressing one's feelings however, for at such times one can't well be too thin or humble. During the following night McKeever returned unmolested, but the schooner “Brooks,” loaded with ammunition, was considerably damaged, although it succeeded in reaching the town with its supplies unharmed. The wind went down early in the evening and the river assuming its usual depth, the “Commodore Hull” was docked and repaired. Over one thousand shot had been hurled upon it, one hundred and nine of which had taken effect, but by the free use of baled hay its machinery remained unharmed.

The morning of the 2d of April the “Commodore Hull” was again in its wonted place, with its guns remounted and ready for effective work. The enemy opened the contest from a new battery opposite the town, but this was soon silenced by the guns of the “Louisiana” and of Number One. A detachment of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. crossed the bridge to secure the deserted guns, but a deep morass, defended by a mass of infantry, rendered the attempt abortive. During the night a redoubt was built by us on the river in front of Number Four, and armed with one thirty-pound Parrott, one thirty-two-pound Rodman, and two twelve-pound Napoleon guns. This was commanded by and named after Lieut. Hamilton of Battery G, and manned by Company F of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Rodman's Point was annoyed by the sudden appearance and effective work of this battery, and opened a fierce fire upon it for three hours, when the discomfited enemy at the Point were thrown into confusion, and their battery silenced by the explosion of their Whitworth gun. Fort Hamilton continued its effective work on the Point, until, by a premature discharge of one of its guns, James Baker of Westfield, Seth Liswell of Agawam, and Alfred Holcomb of Southwick, all of Company F, were severely wounded. Baker was carried bodily over the breastworks, losing one eye, and severely burning his face. Edward Miner of Otis, Company K, was severely wounded in the face by a piece of a shell.

The enemy had now six batteries on Clay Hill, within eight hundred yards of our works in the rear of the town. The opposing pickets were near to each other, and being placed after dark, often trenched upon each other's lines, but when discovered, were peaceably withdrawn to their proper place. The picket line was comparatively safe, for, the enemy being disposed to a truce, we had every reason to sustain it. They felt sure of us. As one put it, “We are sure of you uns soon, and don't care to fight.” A






rebel officer with glass had been reconnoitring our position from the Jamesville road two mornings past, and being discovered by Gen'l Foster, he asked Lieut. Hunt to try his thirty-two upon him. The first shot threw dirt over the reb, and the second ploughed the ground close by him, the officer brushing off the dirt and continuing his work. Gen'l Foster now tried his hand, and the ball hugged the “Johnnie's” position so close that he moved to the right and renewed his work. “That will do,” said Foster, pleasantly; “he's a good soldier.”

At nine o'clock the morning of the 4th, the gunboat “Ceres,” Capt. McDermott, ran the blockade without opposition, and when opposite Rodman's Point, shelled the enemy's position without reply. The “Ceres” was loaded with ammunition, and its unopposed arrival was unaccountable to us. After removing the ammunition Companies C and I of the Twenty-Seventh boarded the “Ceres,” and moved cautiously toward Rodman's Point, but when opposite it, the enemy opened with shrapnel upon the boat. In attempting to withdraw from this, the “Ceres” broke her rudder-chain, and ran aground. Discovering her helplessness, the enemy opened fire with double energy upon the “Ceres,” the “Hull,” “Eagle” and Fort Hamilton joining in her defence. The most intense excitement existed among the garrison, as our men were huddled in masses on the deck of the “Ceres,” exposed to the enemy's missiles, and nothing seemed to draw their fire from the unfortunate vessel. After some delay the troops were removed by lighters to the shore, but the “Ceres” remained aground until eight P.M., when it was docked, with one man mortally wounded.

The casualties of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. were:—

Almus Bliss, Ware, Company I; wounded in thigh.

Elmer W. Carder, Springfield, Company I; wounded in thigh.

James Waters, Blandford, Company I, wounded left thigh.

A general artillery engagement ensued, for a time as exciting as any of the siege, during which a new battery was opened by the enemy from the Blount place, taking Fort Hamilton in reverse. Its position was masked by a hedge fence, but by a loan of two Wiard guns from the bridge redoubt, we unmasked and silenced the battery.

Sunday, the 5th, was a regal day, not a shot from either side disturbing the sacred hours. This led us to give the enemy undeserved credit for religious scruples. Each army was busy in repairing or constructing works, expecting the lull of the day would be followed by double activity on the morrow. In this we were disappointed, however, as the only occurrence of the 6th was three guns from the “Hull” to the Point, which received no reply. During the night, Acting Master Josselyn and eight men ran the enemy's blockade in a cutter to the fleet below Hill's Point. Our supply of ammunition was now so low that it became necessary to economize it, by paying more attention to accuracy, than to silencing the enemy by rapid firing. The rebels had eight batteries with ten rifled and six smooth-bore guns pouring a converging fire upon us from Clay Hill, ploughing the face of our works, besides those opposed to us across the river. Finding it impossible to run the blockade with the troops below, Gen'l Foster ordered Gen'l Spinola with his brigade to return to New Berne, and with the entire available force to attack the enemy via Swift Creek. Three days later, he did attack them at Blount's Bridge, but lacking the skill and judgment for such an undertaking, after a two hours’ contest, retired to New Berne. The gunboats below Hill's Point kept up an intermittent but useless fire, the question of relief to Washington being remanded to the valor and endurance of its garrison.

Our works were as perfect as the consummate skill of Gen'l Foster could devise. Parapets were turfed, port-holes constructed for riflemen, traverses and bomb-proofs conveniently






arranged, and every man assigned to a place and ready to defend it. The siege developed a folly or recklessness, which led the men to engage in base ball and kindred sports, and that in full view of the enemy and under fire of their guns. Suddnely the watch would cry, “Down,” and all would drop, or rush for their gopher-holes like frightened coyotes, when a shell would explode near, or a solid shot pass ricochetting towards town. During the most terrific artillery engagements the men were safely ensconced within their bomb-proofs, intent on games of cards and chess, apparently unconscious of the strife without, but, on the signal of alarm, instantly occupied their places at the works. An accident occurred to Isaac Powers of Prescott, Company B, which proved fatal the 8th, but was a result of disease rather than of the siege.

On the morning of the 7th a new battery opened a sharp cannonade upon the “Louisiana,” but its effect fell mostly upon the town. It is asserted that at this time a sympathizer was heard at his devotions praying, “Rain them down, O Lord! send the shot and shell thick and fast among the enemy,” when a shell suddenly burst in his chimney, and he fled exclaiming, “Not on me, O Lord! not on my house.” The explosive friendship of a shell was never reassuring. One woman described the sensation of such a siege in this way: “It seemed as if a score of spinning-wheels were running upon the roof of the house, and claps of thunder constantly bursting in my cars.” The citizens for the most part lived in holes dug from the cellars, and retired there on the least alarm, so that few casualties occurred among them. During the day information was obtained through a prisoner taken that an attack was to be made the following morning. Gen'l Foster inspected the entire works with orders that “The works must be defended to the last man.” His form and bearing infused courage and confidence, and it was no secret that our confidence was reciprocal.

At four o'clock the 8th, every man was in his place awaiting the expected assault; but the only affair of the day was a fruitless duel between Fort Hamilton and Rodman's Point. The enemy were largely engaged during the 9th in opposing Gen'l Spinola's attempted advance via New Berne, already noticed. There was no doubt that Spinola was fortunate in avoiding a general engagement. Rodman and Number Four had a sharp contest during the day, and twice during the night our forces were brought to the works by false alarms. The last alarm occurred the morning of the 10th, and was due to McKeever, Josselyn and De Camora again running the blockade, this time with two schooners loaded with ammunition and forage. These supplies were an imperative necessity, as there was not enough of ammunition to have withstood a desperate and persistent assault, while for three days our horses had had only sufficient food to maintain life. The desperate attempt to sink these vessels had failed to harm them materially. The enemy were more than ever exasperated at this successful defiance of their blockade, and kept up a continuous fire the entire day upon the garrison. The top of the flagstaff of Fort Washington was shot away, when one of our men gallantly climbed the staff, and nailed the flag to the shivered top. As he was about to descend, a shot struck the staff below him, felling him to the ground. One of the most foolhardy acts of the siege occurred during this contest, when one of the garrison mounted the parapet with a rocking-chair, and derisively rocked there during the hottest of the fire. It was a miracle that he escaped unharmed.

The strengthening investment of the place, and the certainty felt by citizens that Washington must fall, had developed intense and unconcealed disloyalty. Looks spoke a language more exultant, scornful and treasonable than words. Attempts were made to communicate with the enemy, but a close watch by provost guards rendered such efforts too






dangerous for ordinary shrewdness. The enemy's batteries were watched by the citizens with a lurking pride, but their shots often put them to a most indecorous haste. One woman was seen waving a cloth towards the enemy, but an hour later one of their shells exploded in her house, much to her peril and disgust. The colored people were loyal and helpful, and had the most implicit confidence in our arms, apparently thinking we could withstand the world. Whatever we did, was all right, and “like as we did it.” When McKeever arrived with the schooners, one old woman rushed to the wharf, and seeing what had been done, straightened up, exclaiming, “Ise a proud woman dis da!” As to their opinions of us, as compared with their former masters, one said: “Seems dat uze hab different heads from dese yer people.”

Early the 11th the enemy opened a rapid fire along the entire line, raining shells, Whitworths and canister in torrents within the works. Number Three, Lieut. Hunt and Fort Washington, replied with coolness and precision, dropping shells in the redoubts along Clay Hill, and dismounting one of their guns. Fort Hamilton, Number Four, and the “Hull,” engaged the Point, the latter being silenced about nine o'clock by the explosion of another of its Whitworth guns. The contest was continued with more or less vigor the entire day, the only casualty to us being the loss, by one of Lieut Hunt's gunners, of the seat of his pants, by a piece of a shell.

The remarkable exhibition of principle on Sunday, the 5th, inspired a delusive hope that the enemy's scruples would renew a truce the 12th, but a most desperate engagement occurred, the enemy firing upwards of two hundred rounds an hour into Fort Washington, and proportionally so along our works and the river. A new cotton battery opened fire upon Number One and the “Louisiana,” which was returned with five-second shell and hot shot, setting fire to the cotton and dismounting their guns. Discovering

a signal officer in a tree, the “Louisiana” trained its “long thirty-two” upon it, cutting the tree off and sending the officer headlong to the ground. At the same time our gunboats at Hill's Point made a desperate attack, the roar of the ponderous guns of the “Hunchback” mingling with the din of strife around us.

The enemy's works at Hill's Point were ingeniously constructed. They consisted of a serrated ditch without embankments, ports being cut through the river-bank for their guns, so that nothing appeared above the earth's surface.


Confederate positions at Hill's Point

This construction, together with its elevation, rendered it impregnable against naval attack, while it permitted a plunging fire on the channel which ran close by.

The night was dark and stormy, and the “Louisiana,” like a watchman, tolled off the passing hours by occasional shots. With a groan, its shells would rise with comet trains, then like a parachute would hang in air, when a scintillating sheet of flame would shoot out with dazzling glare; the report of bursting shell would then return, and join with the peal of guns in the surrounding forests, like the breakers of two opposing seas, echoing and re-echoing until it died on the ears of our comrades at New Berne, telling them the enemy were still at bay. At such times there was a terrible grandeur in our surroundings which language fails to describe.

The 13th was a drizzly day, but by seven o'clock all our guns in the rear of the town were fully engaged, a new redoubt on the Greenville road, giving Lieut. Sampson, at Number Two, a more than usual prominence in the contest. At nine o'clock Rodman's Point and the Creek Battery opened






upon Number Four and Fort Hamilton, and at two P.M. the cotton battery and the guns on the road across the bridge, reopened on the “Louisiana,” and Lieut. McManus at Number One. All these efforts proved harmless to us, while the hostile guns at the cotton battery and bridge were speedily dismounted. The night settled dark, rainy and cheerless, and our men, smeared with mud in their bombproofs and wearied with constant watching, were placed on three-quarter rations of meat and bread. Orders had been issued during the day to collect and save the enemy's missiles for use by us in case of necessity. We were certainly verging on bitter extremities, but there was no diminution of purpose to resist to the last.

At ten o'clock an alarm was given bringing every man to his post, and through the darkness we strained our eyes for an explanation of the larum. Hill's Point and the river batteries were belching forth a sheet of flame, and, mingling with the peal and din, was the rattle of musketry and clash of arms below. Nearer and nearer the contest waged, until at eleven o'clock Rodman joined in the fray. The enemy on the hill seemed puzzled like ourselves, and opened with grape, canister and shell along the entire line, our guns replying with vigor and effect. All was intense excitement and suspense. The blaze of gun and shell, with glare of Parthian arrows, and peal on peal in quick succession, told of a desperate strife; but “What could it be?” By the flash of guns at Rodman's Point, our men at Number Four detect what seems to them a phantom steamer, ploughing its way up the river through a storm of fire and iron hail. Rubbing their eyes, already strained by constant watching, they pierce again the curtain of night, and, now assured, send cheering tidings along the line, “There's a steamer coming!” How we trembled with hope and fear as we saw it defying Rodman's murderous fire, and as it emerged from the gauntlet of death, we were in ecstacy of joy, the lapping of its

friendly wheel assuring us all was well. As it passed Number Four, the garrison gave cheer on cheer, which received a ringing response from those on board, and three steamer whistles so exultant and natural, that every man in the beleaguered town exclaimed, “That's the ‘Escort’! that's the ‘Escort’!!”

Gen'l Foster repaired to the wharf, and as the steamer drew near, Col. Sisson jumped ashore, and saluting him said, “General, I am here with the Fifth Rhode Island Regiment.” Rome immortalized her sons, but these immortalized their State, and how grand and herculean they looked as they marched ashore. And the grand old “Escort,” too; how she loomed in the darkness like a thing of life, proud in her unconsciousness, filled to the brim with aid and comfort, and yet with only a single scar to tell of the terrible ordeal through which she afforded this cheer. Such a miracle, or succession of miracles! Not a soul had been injured nor an ounce of supplies lost or damaged. Such cheers and wild delight as filled that besieged town is given only few to know, and we say now, as then, “God bless the Fifth Rhode Island, and that noble craft and crew of the ‘Escort’!” Lieut. Pliny Wood, who had gone to New Berne just previous to the siege, and Lieut. F. C. Wright, who had been upon a furlough, were on board and had been below the blockade several days, ready to embrance the first opportunity to join their companies.

If the night closed darkly, the morning of the 14th was joyous in the extreme, for no doubt could now exist as to the end. At seven o'clock the dogs of war were again let loose, and at eleven o'clock began the sharpest artillery engagement of the siege, an incessant rain of shrieking, bursting shells and howling Whitworths dropping within the lines. At two p. m. the batteries on Clay Hill engaged the blockhouses and fort. At six p.m. Rodman's Point and Fort Hamilton, with the “Commodore Hull,” had their usual tilt,






in which the latter cut down the enemy's flag. At six o'clock A.M. the 15th, the steamer “Escort,” with Gen'l Foster on board, again ran the enemy's blockade. One hundred guns in quick succession greeted it from Rodman's Point, but still, as with enchanted life, it sped its way through volleys of musketry, to Hill's Point, where sixty more shots were counted ere it passed beyond and drew up to the fleet below. Gen'l Foster remained in the pilot-house until entreated by Capt. Wall to go below, a shot tearing through just after he left. One cannon-shot passed through the general's room, over the foot of the berth; a shell passed through a boiler on the stove in the galley, also through a bale of hay, taking off a negro's arm, exploding in the engine-room. Another shell burst against the pilot-house, shattering it badly. Twenty-five other shots took effect in various parts of the steamer, but it was able to proceed to New Berne. Mr. Patrick, the pilot, a loyal North Carolinian, stood bravely at his post through the terrible fire, like the Roman soldiers at Pompeii, receiving a fatal shot in passing Hill's Point, but held the wheel until past danger, and fell expiring, saying, “I am willing to die if Foster is safe!”

In leaving Washington, Gen'l Foster issued the following order:—

Headquarters, Fort Washington, April 14th.

General Order.

The commanding general announces to the garrison of this town that he is about to leave for a brief time the gallant soldiers and sailors of this garrison. Brig. Gen'l Potter will remain in command, and in him the commanding general has the most perfect confidence as a brave and able soldier. The commanding officer of the naval forces remains unchanged, therefore that arm of the service will be as effective as heretofore.

The commanding general leaves temporarily, and for the purpose of putting himself at the head of a relieving force; having raised

the siege, expects soon to return; but before leaving he must express to the naval forces here, and to the soldiers under his command, viz., the Twenty-Seventh Mass. and Forty-Fourth Mass., detachments of the Third N. Y. Artillery, Third N. Y. Cavalry, and the First North Carolina Volunteers, his thanks for and admiration of the untiring zeal, noble emulation and excellent courage which has distinguished them during the sixteen days of the enemy's attack on this fort, and feels confident that the display of those qualities under Gen'l Potter will hold the post until the siege is raised.

By command of Maj. Gen'l Foster.

S. Hoffman, A. A. G.

Gen'l Gannett, commanding the Confederate forces at Clay Hill, received peremptory orders during the night to storm our works at the earliest moment, but is said to have returned answer, “I should lose half my men in getting there, and the other half in getting back,” evidently understanding the spirit of the garrison, if overrating its abilities. The enemy seemed crazed at their failure to sink the “Escort,” and plied every gun bearing on us, until earth and air trembled in the terrible concussion. The artillery of the sky joined with that of man in the awful strife, until the flash of Parrotts, Whitworths and muskets, surrendered to the livid darts and crashing thunders of heaven. The air was rent, and forests shivered with the unearthly contest. Rivers of rain submerged the fields, driving us to our gopher holes, but these were soon filled by the floods, and the men driven to the open field. The storm settled into a drizzling rain lasting until the morning of the 16th. At daylight the eighteenth day of the siege, six deserters informed our pickets on the Jamesville road that the enemy were in full retreat. Capt. Dwight, with Company A, at once moved out to Clay Hill, planting our colors on the deserted redoubts. He discovered their rear guard four miles distant.






It is not possible to individualize the experiences or feelings of these days and nights of peril and anxious watchings; to explain how, through a siege of eighteen days, amidst accumulating dangers, our regiment escaped with only nine wounded; or how the puny garrison with its hundreds, by superior vigilance and courage foiled the strength of thousands. The siege from beginning to end was a surprise, and to satisfactorily explain it requires more information than is now in our possession. A correspondent of the “Wilmington Journal,” and one of the rebel force upon the south of the river, says, “If I could ask Gen'l Hill just one question, it would be, Why didn't you take Washington?” The loss of the entire garrison was only seven killed and twenty-three wounded. The “Commodore Hull” was struck one hundred and nine times, the “Ceres” seven, the “Eagle” five, and the “Louisiana” once during the siege. The enemy's missiles were as variable as imagination could conceive, from old scrap-iron to the most finished projectiles of their English sympathizers. It was laughable to see the cringing effect of flying shots. Gen'l Foster was standing near the fort as the guard ducked for a passing shell, when he good-humoredly exclaimed, “Don't duck, boys! don't duck!” A few moments later, a Whitworth came tumbling end over end with its peculiar howl, when the general ducked, too, saying, “You can't help dodging those fellows, can you?” and a negro near by fell flat, exclaiming, “Gorra mighty, how dem rebs do frow dat iron!”

The siege was an artillery duel from beginning to end, but he who has stood on the field of battle exposed to its dangers, unable to actively participate, only knows how much more trying the position. A Cincinnati paper commenting on the siege, said, “The boldness and courage evinced by the Twenty-Seventh Mass. has yet to be equalled; it finds no parallel in the rebellion. A handful of men besieged by more than ten times their number, cut off

from all communication with our forces, and yet would not receive the suggestion of a surrender. Any regiment in the service may copy the noble example of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., without danger of lowering its standard.”

Hill's and Rodman's Points were immediately occupied by our forces, and the opposing works on Clay Hill destroyed. Our troops arrived at Rodman's Point before the rebels had fully evacuated it, and after a short engagement, captured their works, finding one Whitworth and one twenty-pound Parrott gun exploded. The body of the brave negro who gave his life to save Capt. Lyon's company, was still unburied on the strand. On a tree near by was posted the following:—

Yankees!

We leave you, not because we can't take Washington, but because it is not worth taking. Besides, a man to live here must be amphibious. We leave you a few bursted guns, a few stray solid shot, and a man and brother rescued from the waves to which he was consigned in a fray with his equals.

We compliment the plucky little garrison of the town, and also salute the pilot of the “Escort.”

Yours,

Company K, Thirty-Second N. C. S. T.

During the siege an artillery sergeant known as “Zip,” had been detailed to assist at managing the six-pound gun at Blockhouse Number Four. Zip had a weakness for eggs, and one afternoon secured permission to go into the town for a supply. While upon this errand, he also replenished his supply of whiskey, and as a matter of convenience, put the eggs in his pockets, but as a matter of taste, stored his whiskey internally. By the time he reached his quarters, the eggs were all broken and decidedly mixed, his pockets and appearance indicating a very eggs-acting experience.






So disloyal had been the acts of many citizens, that Gen'l Potter issued a general order the 17th, which was in terms similar to the following order from the provost marshal: —

Office of Provost Marshal,

Washington, N. C., April 18, 1863.

In pursuance of the foregoing “General Order,” all persons residing within our lines are requested to call forthwith at this office between the hours of nine o'clock A.M. and one o'clock P.M., to give satisfactory evidence of their loyalty to the United States government. All persons not conforming to this order must remove within five days beyond the federal lines.

Capt. W. A. Walker,

Provost Marshal.

April 23d a part of Spinola's Brigade arrived at Washington, the intention being to occupy the position with a full brigade. The Twenty-Seventh Regiment received orders to return to New Berne, Companies A, B, D and F returning by the steamer “Phœnix,” and Companies C, E, I, and K by the “Thomas Colyer,” both steamers arriving at New Berne the 25th inst. Marching to the Fair Ground, we were furnished with “A” tents, and hoped for the rest which the constant watching and labors of the siege had fitted us so well to enjoy.

While the siege progressed the contest of arms was heard daily by Major Bartholomew at Plymouth. The most intense anxiety was felt, not only for our fate, but for themselves, knowing if the enemy were successful at Washington, the fate of Plymouth was sealed also. The force at Plymouth consisted of Companies G and H, Twenty-Seventh Mass., Company D, Fifth Mass., Company C, First North Carolina Regiments, and a squad of cavalry. The untiring activity of Major Bartholomew, commanding the post, assisted by such an officer as Capt. Sandford, gave the little garrison enough to do, and kept the enemy at a safe distance, unless when

present with superior numbers. March 20th, eight companies of the Twenty-Fifth Mass., under Lieut. Col. Moulton, and part of the Forty-Sixth Mass. Regt., arrived at Plymouth, Col. Moulton assuming command of the post as the ranking officer.

On the 23d, an expedition consisting of Companies F, I and K, Twenty-Fifth Mass., and Company H, Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regiments, started for Wingfield to assist Lieut. James J. McLane of the First North Carolina Union Regiment, who had been attacked by the Forty-Second North Carolina and a Virginia regiment. On their arrival at Wingfield they learned of the defeat of the enemy, and also that the gunboats had prevented a part of the rebels from crossing the river, and that these were now in the vicinity of Rocky Hoc Creek. Our force landed at Holly's Landing, five miles below Wingfield, at daylight the 24th. Capt. Sandford pressed rapidly forward, reaching Rocky Hoc Creek at eight o'clock. Capt. Denny of the Twenty-Fifth Mass., being in command, ordered Capt. Sandford to cross the creek, after doing which, our men advanced a short distance, and developed the enemy in a heavy thicket. Company H engaged them sharply, but was driven back to the gunboats, when the “Perry” and two guns on the “Faron” opened on the enemy. Reinforced by Capt. Foss's company of the Twenty-Fifth, Capt. Sandford recharged the enemy, capturing one officer, with one of their killed and eighteen of their wounded, all of the Forty-Second North Carolina.

Our loss was —

Charles A. Fowler, Company H, Williamstown, killed.

John W. Allen, Company H, Cheshire, wounded.

Curtis C. Gillett, Company H, Southwick, wounded.

David Monta, Company H, Williamstown, wounded.

Gillett's wound proved fatal May 12th, and Monta was discharged for disability June 12th following.






The enemy were pursued without result, our troops remaining at Edenton until the next day when they returned to Plymouth. Gen'l Foster's “Orderly Manning” left the expedition at Wingfield, making his way through thirty-five miles of the enemy's country to Suffolk, with despatches for Gen'l Peck.

April 30th Capt. Sandford, with volunteers from the Twenty-Seventh and Twenty-Fifth Mass. Regiments, under command of Capt. Flusser of the navy, went up the Roanoke to Hyman's Landing, to capture a post of the enemy. Mr. Hyman was brought out in his night dress, but was ignorant of any rebel post in that vicinity, until the probing of Capt. Flusser's sword reminded him that there was one near a small house three miles distant. Capt. Sandford at once marched to the point indicated, and captured twelve cavalrymen with horses and equipments.

CHAPTER IX. GUM SWAMP.

The eight companies from Washington had hardly settled at New Berne, ere they received orders to march with three days’ rations. The regiment was suffering considerably from scurvy and exhaustion, a sequence of the siege, but turned out as full as on dress parade, for which — and their appearance—they were highly complimented. At four P.M., April 27th, we boarded the cars for Bachelor's Creek, leaving there at nine o'clock, with “one hundred rounds” each. We marched twelve miles, in company with the Fifth Mass. and two companies of the Forty-Sixth Mass. Regiments, and reached Core Creek about midnight. The Fifty-Eighth Penn., Forty-Fifth Mass. and Third N. Y. Cavalry advanced by other routes, everything so arranged as to give an exaggerated appearance of force. A heavy rain set in at midnight, which lasted until one o'clock P M., the 28th, when companies D and E, Twenty-Seventh Mass., under Capt. Dennison, moved forward as skirmishers, supported by the Fifty-Eighth Pennsylvania Regiment.

After a hasty advance of thirteen miles to Wise Forks (otherwise “Dover × Roads”), they came upon an intrenchment along the railroad, held by three hundred of the enemy. The Forty-Fifth Mass. and Fifty-Eighth Penn. were at once advanced, but with an alignment which caused mistake as to their identity, and which resulted in some confusion and loss. Meantime Company D had advanced under cover of an old building to within close range, and had lain down to shield them from the enemy's






fire. Their position was critical, which being observed by E company, they “rallied as reserves,” and charged to them, when unitedly they rushed upon the enemy, putting them to rout. Lieut. J. L. Skinner with his men first scaled the works, and sweeping to the left, soon met the Forty-Fifth Mass., with whom they captured twenty-five prisoners. Sergt. Edmund Boltwood, Company D, Amherst, was severely wounded in the leg during the charge; the Forty-Fifth Mass. losing one killed and three wounded, and the Fifty-Eighth Penn. one killed. Of the charge of Companies D and E the “New York Herald” correspondent wrote: “The pluck of these companies deserves recognition. The act shows that the indomitable purpose of our troops finds no discouragement in superiority of numbers of choice of position.”

Our object being accomplished, the force was ordered back to Core Creek. The march of the morning had been very exhausting, some men being obliged to go back to the creek, but the return after dark was indescribable. The rain at times fell in torrents, and the swampy roads churned to a pulp by the morning march, now lay covered in long stretches by water six to twelve inches deep. “The men fell in great numbers from exhaustion, some like stones, unable to move, others in wild delirium, while some unconsciously continued the march, deliriously shouting and beating the air.” When every available conveyance was full, stretchers were improvised, while others were borne in blankets by sympathetic comrades.

Gen'l I. N. Palmer, the commander of the expedition, remained at Core Creek during the day, but learning the condition of the regiment upon its return to that place, petulantly called it “a set of white-livered cowards.” This odium applied to a body of men returning from a field on which they had been so victorious that the enemy dared not follow them, furnishes its own commentary. With neither

blankets nor overcoats to protect them from the falling rain, our men made such shelter as was possible, in doing which they unfortunately (?) stripped the side of a shed containing Gen'l Palmer's horse. Many men dropped upon the ground wherever they could find a place, some near the general's headquarters; all of which furnished new sources of irritation and cursory abuse. Two of the Third N. Y. Cavalry having been killed by guerrillas the 29th inst., Gen'l Palmer determined to capture them if possible, and ordered, “As the Twenty-Seventh could not march, they should be kept marching until they could.” On the morning of the 30th, our regiment left the bivouac, scouting alone eleven miles to the house of a Capt. Coners commanding a guerrilla band, but without discovering the enemy. Five men fell out on the return, Surgeon Fish securing an old cart and buggy to convey them back, and keeping one man alive on the way by artificial respiration. For this, the regiment was again censured, and Surgeon Fish threatened with arrest. On the morning of May 1st the regiment marched two miles to the railroad, and were returned to camp at New Berne. The effect of this expedition told severely upon the strength of the regiment for the month following, a daily average of two hundred and thirty men being within the hospitals or answering the surgeon's call.

May 7th, after a careful inspection of the barracks adjoining our camp by Lieut. Col. Lyman and Asst. Surgeon D. B. N. Fish, the regiment moved into them, finding them airy, roomy and comfortable. The next day we had the pleasure of greeting Major Bartholomew with Companies G and H from Plymouth, and, after ten months of separation, the regiment was once more together. The same day thirty families from New Berne were banished from our lines for disloyalty, by order of Gen'l Foster. They were taken on cars to Core Creek, but the enemy, who had been previously advised of their coming, refused to receive them, and






burned the bridge at the creek, forcing us to leave seven carloads of their effects upon the ground.

One can hardly forget the enthusiasm amongst the negroes at this time, placards being posted around the city, calling for four thousand men for “Wild's colored brigade.” Street processions of most motley characters were the order of the day. These would swell to multitudes as they passed from street to street, singing,

“We'll hang Jeff Davis to a sour-apple tree!”

The enthusiasm of the negro women knew no bounds. Following the “procession of recruits,” with glowing faces and distended mouths, they seized every able-bodied man of their race, shouting, “We's don't want nofin of you round yere, Bill Joe! you's looks a heap better in de crowd dar!” at the same time shoving him by force into the ranks. That brigade was soon filled!

May 13th Mrs. General Foster presented the regiment a handsome full-grown fawn as a testimonial of the high regard of herself and the general. The presentation was at “dress parade,” and the gift was received at “present arms” with hearty cheers for the general and his worthy lady. The fawn was a great pet with the regiment, following us in all our movements until at Julian's Creek, Va. There its frequent foraging expeditions incurred the displeasure of one of the citizens and it was shot. It had the utmost confidence in the regiment, and in times of danger would run to us for safety. Being chased near Suffolk, it dashed across the river, followed by the gaining hounds, and, reaching camp, rushed into a tent and leisurely laid down, as much as to say, “There! I know when I'm safe.” It is worthy of notice in this connection that it was a frequent occurrence for the general and staff, with Mrs. Foster, to be present at our evening parade, an honor highly appreciated by the regiment.

Frequent depredations along our front by the enemy, secured for Col. J. Ritcher Jones, of the Fifty-Eighth Penn. Regt., permission to attempt to dislodge them. Col. H. C. Lee, Acting Brigadier General, being North on a leave of absence, his brigade (consisting of the Fifth, Twenty-Fifth, Twenty-Seventh and Forty-Sixth Mass. Regiments) was assigned for this purpose, and with three guns of Riggs’ Battery, and a portion of the Twelfth N. Y. Cavalry, rendezvoused at Core Creek about sunset, May 21st. The Twenty-Seventh was ordered immediately to Col. Jones at Core Creek bridge two miles distant, while the remainder of the force, under Col. Pierson of the Fifth Mass., were to move by the Dover road at midnight, and divert the enemy until Col. Jones with his own and the Twenty-Seventh Regiment should arrive in the rear of the enemy.

At eight P. M., as the moon set, the Fifty-Eighth Penn., followed by the Twenty-Seventh Mass., left the railroad just above the bridge, striking into a chaparral swamp ten to twelve miles wide, unpierced by road or path, with foliage so thick and tangled as to shut out the least trace of light. After penetrating this swamp a mile, our course turned sharply to the east along an old ditch a mile and a half, then as sharply due west ten miles, through an everglade defying description. For miles the regiment marched in single file, through indescribable darkness, following their leaders by hand upon their belt, or the click or crackling of brush before them. Interminable snarls of briars, vines, and brush beset the way, the former clinging tenderly to, and torn obstinately from our persons, or, in unguarded moments, snatching our caps and hurling them into darkness and slime. Sometimes in flying from the comrade in advance the briars would show their attachment in a most feelign way across the neck and face, or, tangling the feet, pitch the luckless adventurer sprawling into the seething mire. The vines were so thick and low as to require much of the march to be






made in a stooping posture. Every step was attended with a slumpy, sucking sound, as we sank above our knees and then tugged to withdraw from the sticky depths. Not a word was audible, nothing disturbing the midnight stillness but the labored step, crackling bush, or screech of night-bird disturbed in its lair. As the column changed its course about midnight to the west, the rear of the line was temporarily lost, by one of the men catching a nap as he stood in the ranks, and allowing those in front to move off unobserved.

For thirteen hours, without other rest than while the guides consulted, the column slowly worked its way through this trackless wild, passing between two of the enemy's posts unnoticed, until, at nine o'clock A. M., the head of the column emerged from the swamp a short distance in the rear of the enemy's works. Companies B, C, G and K of the Twenty-Seventh, under Capt. Caswell, were ordered to the Dover road above, to intercept reinforcements or prevent escape; and Companies D, H and I, under Capt. Sandford, supported by Companies A, E and F, under Lieut. Col. Lyman, were ordered to charge the enemy. The configuration of the ground was such that only two companies of the Fifty-Eighth Penn., who formed on our right, could engage actively in the charge, the remainder acting as a reserve. As our column moved forward at double quick, Gen'l Ransom commanding the Confederates, was riding leisurely down the road toward the intrenchments, but discovering us, turned with spurs to his horse, shouting as he dashed towards Kinston, “The Yankees! the Yankees!!” Capt. Caswell's force, too late to intercept him, gave a volley as he dashed by. The charging column under Col. Lyman, rushed to the house used as his headquarters, turned sharply to the left and gave the now affrighted and demoralized foe a volley as they closed upon them. A six-pound gun loaded with shrapnel was turned upon us, but failing to discharge was seized by our advancing lines, while the enemy, scattering in

perfect rout, sought refuge in the swamps at the right, or escaped to the railroad by a path new and unknown to our men.

The fortifications consisted of two lines of works, one crossing the Dover road, and the other the railroad — each at right angle — one line being occupied by the Fifty-Sixth and the other by the Twenty-Fifth North Carolina Regiments. Col. Pierson had moved up with his column, meeting the enemy's pickets at daylight, and driving them into their defences. The troops then formed with the Twenty-Fifth Mass. on the right, the Forty-Sixth Mass. across the turnpike, and the Fifth Mass. on the left of the railroad. In this position they skirmished sharply four hours, until serious apprehensions existed for Col. Jones and his force.

Suddenly, like the slogan of the Highlander, our volley met their ear, when, writes the “New York Herald” correspondent, “There was a shout by Pierson's men, ‘That's the Twenty-Seventh! I know their lively guns,’ and the Twenty-Fifth, Forty-Sixth, and Fifth Mass. dashed forward only to find the enemy had skedaddled to the swamp.” Capt. Sandford hastily followed to the left down a bank to the railroad, where he found the main body of the rebels retreating up the track. Col. Lyman, with his men, intercepted the demoralized enemy in the swamp, when they surrendered without opposition. Levander French, drummer of Company A, and Wheaton Lovett of Company D, while scouring the swamp, came upon a lieutenant of the Fifty-Sixth North Carolina, with twenty-six of his men. The lieutenant was perfectly willing to surrender to an equal in rank, but objected decidedly to being led in by two men with a pair of “drumsticks,” as that would not comport with “southern chivalry,” even though there was no hope of escape. Accordingly help was summoned, and the lieutenant surrendered, “French” securing the officer's belt and revolver as evidence of his accomplishment. The result of






the movement thus far, was the capture of two hundred and two prisoners, three hundred muskets, one piece of artillery, fifty horses and mules, and a large quantity of supplies. The rebel loss, beside, was one killed and six wounded. Col. Jones, remembering the aspersion thrown upon the Twenty-Seventh on the last march to this place, remarked as the work was closed, “I don't want any better fighting regiment than the Twenty-Seventh Massachusetts!” Capt. Dwight, with two men of Company A, captured six of the enemy, while Lieut. Pliny Wood found two rebels hid behind a log, and forced them to surrender. While gathering the enemy's muskets, Dennis Sullivan of Company K (Springfield), was severely wounded by an accidental discharge.

Col. Jones now made a costly error, doubtless in consideration of the tiresome march of the night previous; but, however the act may now be criticised, there was none at the time disposed to find fault with his allowing the column to rest on the field. At five P.M., as the troops were preparing to return, our pickets were attacked, and shells came flying over a belt of woods along the front. Col. Jones’ column retired to Core Creek that night, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. arriving at McCoy's plantation at 11.30 P.M., closely followed by the enemy. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. and Fifty-Eighth Penn. Regiments had marched thirty-one miles, beside taking the prominent part in the engagement narrated, since leaving the Creek the night previous. Camp-fires were not allowed, and sharp skirmishing continued during the night. John R. Rowley of Company F (Suffield, Conn.), was killed, and Albert E. Champlin of Company E (Lee), severely wounded, just as the column was moving the morning of the 23d. The wagon train and prisoners were hastened to Bachelor's Creek, guarded by the Fifty-Eighth Penn. and the cavalry, while Col. Pierson was left in command of the remaining force.

Not deeming it prudent to attempt to reach the railroad by the turnpike, Col. Piers on ordered the column (the Fifth,

Twenty-Fifth, Twenty-Seventh and Forty-Sixth Mass. Regiments) to make a detour in the swamp, towards Tuscarora. He plainly heard the contest waged against Lieut. W. C. Hunt and his twenty men of the Twenty-Seventh at Core Creek bridge, but for some reason disregarded it. Soon after entering the swamp, he lost his direction. He soon found himself near the railroad, where he was met by a courier from Lieut. Hunt, with the “information that there was a regiment of the enemy opposed to him at the bridge, while two others had moved out towards the Dover road, but that he would hold them in check until the column could reach the railroad.” Col. Pierson claims to have understood that the enemy now held the road with three regiments, and hence ordered his line to move back into the swamp, where it wandered for hours, so near the railroad as to hear the locomotive which had been sent with a train to return them to New Berne. Lieut. Hunt with his little squad, bravely held their position, and kept the enemy in check, until ordered upon the train, when they moved cautiously down the road about four miles, meeting the head of the column just as it emerged from the swamp. As the Twenty-Seventh Mass. appeared upon the track, an officer on the train shouted, “What regiment is that?” and well he might; for, smeared with the black mud of the swamp on our faces and clothes, we looked most like “a negro brigade.” Said a correspondent, writing at the time: “We ran up about ten miles on the cars, and found the troops just emerging from Gum Swamp, and a more worn, tired and pitiable set of men I never saw, wet to their hips, and fairly covered with mud.”

We avail ourselves of an extract from Capt. Denny's able history of the Twenty-Fifth Mass. Regt., describing their experience on this march and their opinion of a North Carolina swamp:—

“It was four miles of mud and slush knee deep, — four miles of






thick underbrush, of tangled wild-wood, of brambles, of thorny copses, of water courses and stagnant pools alive with creeping things, and crawling things,—of snakes that hissed, and adders that forced their villanous tongues into sight, if not into legs. Through this terrible place we cut and slashed our way, slowly, tediously, grievously. The sun, as if to make our efforts more unendurable, poured down its burning rays and not a breath of air came through the thick foliage to our relief. Burning with the heat, exhausted with fatigue, men called for water, — ‘Give us water!’ Men scooped up the thick, muddy water in their tin dishes, water black with the poisonous roots and the slime of swampy pools, and covering the dish with a dirty towel, or a long-carried pocket handkerchief, — anything that could be utilized as a strainer, — sucked the black water into their stomach. Oh, the horrid taste, as if drinking pulverized snakes and lizards, and oh, how it griped, and served like an emetic or a purging powder upon those who imbibed of the noxious compound. In that fetid pocoson the mixture our soldiers imbibed had been seething for a century.”

It may have seemed to some of our friends that our descriptions of these swamps were overdrawn, hence we are glad to corroborate it with the above.

Our tired troops were soon on board the cars and whirling towards New Berne, grateful for the refreshing breeze of the rushing train. The force opposed to us consisted of the Twenty-Fifth and Fifty-Sixth North Carolina Regiments, and Cook's Brigade, the Fifteenth, Twenty-Seventh, Forty-Sixth, Forty-Eighth and Sixty-Second North Carolina Regiments, with eight pieces of artillery. Comrade Nelson A. Kingsley, of Company A, Twenty-Seventh Mass. (Westhampton), was asleep in the swamp when we left Wise Forks, but on awaking, discovered three regiments of the enemy near him. While musing what to do a negro approached, when Kingsley retreated further into the swamp, neglecting to take his rifle with him. The negro found the rifle and left without discovering its owner. Kingsley wandered in the swamp, dodging the enemy at various places,

and made his way to camp, reporting there two days later, much to the surprise of his comrades.

Just before emerging from the swamp in the rear of the enemy, Comrade King, of Company I, was trudging along more asleep than awake, when he marched butt up against a huge forest tree, sadly disfiguring his face. He suddenly opened his eyes and rubbed his disfigured phiz, exclaiming, “I wonder what in thunder that tree is doing here!”

The Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. had just reached camp, when notice was received that the enemy had attacked the outposts along Bachelor's Creek, with orders for us to be ready to move at a moment's warning. Companies A and I, Forty-Sixth Mass. Regt., were holding the Neuse and Washington road bridges over Bachelor's Creek at Maple Grove, Sergt. A. S. Bryant, of Company A, with seventeen men being stationed at the former. This force was attacked early in the afternoon by the enemy, but held the position until the arrival of Capt. Tifft with two companies and a section of Riggs’ Battery, which was en route from Gum Swamp for New Berne. A medal was awarded Sergt. Bryant for conspicuous gallantry on this occasion. By coolness and rapid firing, Capt. Tifft impressed the enemy with the presence of a large force, and held them in check until the arrival of Col. Jones with D and I companies of his regiment. The enemy with their artillery were stationed at a house eighty rods distant. Col. Jones ordered the bridge relaid, and right and left flanking columns thrown out, while he, with his companies, advanced up the road. He had been credibly informed, that the enemy were present in superior force, but he gave it no attention. With his orderly, Michael Webber, he advanced a few rods across the bridge, when a shot pierced his breast, breaking his spine and lodging in the back of his blouse. He fell into his orderly's arms, exclaiming, “Oh, Michael!” and expired. Our men then fell back into the intrenchments, while the






detachment of the Fifty-Eighth Penn. who could now hear their regiment heavily engaged at the Creek railroad station, hastily returned to that point, leaving the two companies of the Forty-Sixth alone. The enemy, however, made no farther determined attack upon them.

While deeming the act of Col. Jones imprudent, we cannot but put on record his sterling character. Although of rough exterior, he was a man of principle, and fearless in the discharge of duty. It is an encomium rarely deserved when we say of him, no swagger, bluster, cursing or rum ever defiled his lips. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. attended his funeral, but amongst the obsequies, there was no more eloquent sorrow than that of “poor Mike,” crying like a child as he led the colonel's horse in the procession. The enemy retired during the night, our loss in the expedition and during the attack at the Creek being only two killed and seven wounded.

We cannot close the record of this expedition without referring to a ludicrous experience of our comrades of the Twenty-Fifth and Forty-Sixth Mass. Regiments, as they were en route to Core Creck. We copy it verbatim et literatim, from Capt. Denny's history of the Twenty-Fifth Mass., page 202:—

What is it? — In marching to Bachelor's Creek, having proceeded about four miles, the column was halted for a short rest. It was far beyond the midnight hour, and, therefore, the wonted time had passed when church-yards are supposed to be haunted by all sorts of sprites, and the air is said to be filled with the harmonious music of the spheres. It is not to be supposed that the men forming the Twenty-Fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, educated as they were in the schools in New England, possessing all the general intelligence marking the New England character, had gone down to North Carolina to be frightened by owls, ghosts, or live rebels, or that they would be inclined to believe in stories about ghosts, fairies, witches and apparitions. We say this while we well remember

that so great a poet as Robert Burns. . . . said — “though no one can be more skeptical than I am in such matters, yet it often takes an effort of philosophy to shake off these idle terrors.” But if poor Betty Davidson had concentrated all her ghost stories upon the Twenty-Fifth Mass. Regt., as it was halted in the woods on that darkest of nights, the terror could not have exceeded that occasioned by the swift passage of the apparition, the phantom rider, the frightened deer, or whatever else it was, or might be supposed to be. Briefly, while the battalion stood halted in the road, something struck the flank just below Company K, which had the advance. It came like the rushing of a mighty wind, and, suddenly, the regiment opened to the right and left, and just as suddenly, the men were heaped up promiscuously in either ditch, without order and with no regard to rank — captains and lieutenants, sergeants and corporals, men of the front rank and men of the rear rank, number one men and number two men indiscriminately piled together like the pieing of a printer's form, while each man's hair upon his head stood erect like quills on the fretted porcupine.

Capt. Denny stops just here, leaving every one to draw his own conclusion. From our knowledge of these regiments we append our belief that they were not suffering from too much “Commissary,” or “Kentucky sustenance,” though we are well aware such results are very apt to follow the too free use of such comfort. The captain should have added, they were so disturbed by this apparition as to have sought a neighboring house, inquiring if they ever had commotions around there at night? Betsy replied “Law, yes! a heap of dem! When you uns fust come, we uns had a right peart time chucking de Yankee soldiers, but fust we knows, you uns cabalry came into de camp over dar and kills all our men. Since den, we can hear dem cabalry charge ebery night!” Many of the Forty-Sixth Mass. Regt. shared in this experience. What was it, Colonel?






CHAPTER X. RESIGNATION OF COL. LYMAN. — LIFE IN NEW BERNE.

For nearly a year, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. had been under the command of Lieut. Col. Luke Lyman, whose wise supervision and thorough drill had brought the regiment to a high degree of efficiency. His knowledge of and proficiency in tactics had established for him the reputation of a field officer second to none in the department. Under his command the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. had been engaged in the Tarboro, Kinston, Whitehall, Goldsboro, Gum Swamp and Wise Forks expeditions, and the siege of Washington, in all of which they had received the congratulations of their commanding general. Col. Lyman enjoyed to a remarkable degree the confidence of both officers and men, and was accessible to the lowest private seeking redress for grievances. On the 28th of May we learned with deep regret of the acceptance of Col. Lyman's resignation, and received his adieu in a few chosen words upon dress parade that evening. The officers of our regiment presented him with a handsome silver set, properly inscribed, as a token of their esteem.

Through some informality the first information received by Gov. John A. Andrew of Col. Lyman's resignation, was through a letter of Major Walter G. Bartholomew of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, recommending certain promotions, which drew from the governor the following endorsement of Col. Lyman: —

Boston, June 5, 1863.

Major Walter G. Bartholomew:

No official information of the resignation of Lieut. Col. Lyman has reached this department, and while the within letter indicates that such resignation has been tendered, the Governor trusts that it may have been withdrawn, or not have been accepted, believing it would be a great loss to the regiment to lose so able and faithful an officer.

By order of His Excellency,

John A. Andrew.

A. G. Brown, Jr.,

Lieut. Col., Mil. Sec.

Lieut. Col. Lyman received from Congress the title of brevet brigadier-general, for conspicuous service during the war. Gen'l Luke Lyman was born at Northampton Nov. 1, 1824. At the age of nineteen he enlisted in the Northampton Artillery Company, and received successive promotions therein, until holding its command. This company, though by name in artillery, was really an infantry company, and at the time embraced most of the leading citizens of the town. He was a natural leader, and his ambition seemed best satisfied while drilling his company in the manual of arms, or while engaged in field evolutions. It is admitted that much of the reputation of the Northampton Artillery Company was due to Capt. Lyman's inspiriting presence and zeal. Upon the outbreak of hostilities, at the request of members of Amherst College, he became their military preceptor, and infused a most enthusiastic military spirit among the students. In retiring from service, Gen'l Lyman returned to his position as register of probate for Hampshire County, and has held that office continuously until the present time. He has been chairman of the selectmen and overseer of the poor in his native town since 1876. He is a man of large experience, practical knowledge and marked individuality, and well fitted for enlarged usefulness.






The command of the regiment now devolved upon Major Walter G. Bartholomew, an officer of great personal magnetism, restless activity and presence of mind. He was brave to a fault, and blind to all opposition. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. May 29, 1863. Capt. William A. Walker of Company C, senior captain, was promoted to major; First Lieut. J. H. Nutting to captain; Second Lieut. J. L. Skinner to first lieutenant; and Orderly William McKay of Company H, to second lieutenant.

June 6th the Twenty-Seventh Regt. relieved the Forty-Fourth Mass. Regt. from provost duty in New Berne, and were conveniently quartered within the town. For four months they were subjected to the demoralizing influences inseparable from such service, but maintained their high standing and discipline. While relieved from the exposure and peril incident to outposts, the duty was no less exacting and important. The execution of the provost marshal's orders; the ordinary police duty of cities; the surveillance of questionable citizens; the demanding of passes from all enlisted men; and the prohibition of all travel within the city lines after nine o'clock at night, all devolved on them.

On entering the town Capt. Charles D. Sandford of Company H, was appointed provost marshal of New Berne, with Lieut. W. C. Hunt of Company A, as assistant. Captain George W. Bartlett of Company K was at the same time appointed provost marshal of Beaufort. All of these officers by their faithfulness added much to the safety and efficiency of the department. Only one unpleasant event marred the execution of this duty. A soldier connected with another regiment disregarded the authority of the guard, in executing which the refractory soldier was shot dead. The occasion furnished an opportunity for the expression of the good will existing between the Twenty-Fifth Mass. and the Tenth Conn. Volunteers, and the Twenty-Seventh Regiment. The

regiment of which the offender was a member made violent threats of retaliation, but received information from our comrades above that “if any trouble was to be made with the Twenty-Seventh, they must be counted in.” The affair was a very unfortunate one, and as deeply regretted by our regiment as by the unfortunate man's comrades. The guard was deeply moved by the result of his act, but was exonerated and sustained by the commanding general.

While on duty in the city we improved the opportunity of attending the colored church, and here relate what we saw and heard as descriptive of the religious type of the negro character. The day was a hot one, the thermometer registering one hundred and ten degrees in the shade, and the church in the suburbs, was crowded to its fullest capacity. A well-proportioned colored man occupied the pulpit, who, in a simple, fervent prayer, opened the services. This was followed by the singing by the congregation of

“Roll, Jordan, roll.I wants to go to hebben when I dies,To see Jordan roll;”

which was sung with a melody and pathos peculiarly their own. The reading of the Scriptures was an indication of the preacher's good intention, though he walked darkly, with guesses and ventures vexatiously mirthful. The long prayer was long and exhaustive. First humble, then persuasive, pathetic, fervent, grandiloquent, uproarious, roof-lifting, until the congregation, moved from centre to circumference, were shouting, “Amen! Tank de Lord! Oh, yes! Come along, mourner!” Amid such excitement one person was carried out “filled wid de spirit” (in a swoon). This to them was the height of spiritual life, making the subject almost a saint, for this frenzied excitement was to them “de power of de spirit,” and as such encouraged.

After this prayer, and the singing of another soul-stirring melody, the preacher announced, “My tex is de fourth






chapter of de Reberlations,” from which he argued his call to the work, — “Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must come to pass hereafter,” — adding, “An I has come to tell dese yere sinners, what da are coming arter.” After launching out in a glowing talk on heaven, he closed with the peroration, “Bredderin, I feels as I was jus afore de golden gates, wid de shinin streets afore me, an I knows I shall soon be dar, wadin knee-deep in milk an honey.” During the sermon a rat ran across the platform in full view of the congregation. A good “brudder,” not relishing his presence, rushed at the intruder with his cane, much to the amusement and disturbance of the congregation, the preacher remarking at its close, “Bredderin, dar'll be no sturbances up dar!”

The contribution was an essential feature of the programme. The preacher stated the amount needed, and asked the deacons to come up to the front and receive and count the money, while the choir sang. Very few came forward upon this effort, when the preacher exclaimed, “We wants a better chune dan dat; Brudder Carter, you come heyar an lead de congregation!” Brudder Carter raised an old soul-stirring melody, which the dullest spiritual army could not resist, when they came forward filling both aisles with a stream of contributors. This through with, he added, “Now, while Brudder Carter is a doin de singin, let de choir an deacons come yere an gib dar money.” It was after all a religion of heart, if not of understanding, and, in spite of incongruities, we have always held in high veneration the simple, trusting faith of this down-trodden race.

The hospitals of New Berne were the pride of the department, and, grouped together, were named in honor of our commander, “The Foster General Hospital.” Their location was the finest in the city, upon a square between Craven and Middle streets, and with the residences thereon, and the barracks constructed in the spacious gardens, furnished

unequalled accommodations for all demands made upon it. It was amply supplied with every remedial agency and surgical appliance, and was under the care of men of recognized standing in their profession.

The medical department of North Carolina was in care of a medical director and a medical purveyor. Surgeon C. A. Cowgill was in charge of the Foster General Hospital, with an able corps of subordinates, detailed from the various regiments. Capable “nurses” were secured from the convalescents, whose constant experience soon made them skilful and invaluable. The hospital buildings were divided into “wards,” and these wards were placed in charge of nurses, responsible for the comfort and cleanliness of their department. Neat iron bedsteads, mattresses, and clean linen were abundantly supplied, with reading for the convalescent.

The culinary department received liberal donations from the Sanitary Commission under Dr. J. W. Page of Bath, Me., and contributions of delicacies from home, beside the ordinary commissary supplies. The spiritual interests of the Foster Hospital were in charge of Chaplain J. W. Rouse, an Episcopal clergyman from Rochdale, Mass., whose active sympathy and unselfishness made him peculiarly the man for the place. The adjoining grounds were laid out with perfect symmetry and taste, and richly supplied with beautiful and fragrant flowers. Those who were able were permitted to rest within the shaded bowers, or, if willing, to work amongst the flowers; while through the window the sufferers might feast their eyes on the floral beauties, or inhale their fragrance. This hospital was for the relief of the over-crowded “regimental hospitals,” but not removing their necessity. Additional accommodations were provided at Beaufort and Portsmouth, through which our invalids, during the hot season, were permitted to enjoy the invigorating breezes of the sea.






The term of enlistment of the nine months’ regiments having expired, they left the department as follows:—

June 6th, Forty-Fourth Mass. Regt.

June 11th, Third Mass. Regt.

June 22d, Fifth Mass. Regt.

June 24th, Eighth, Forty-Third, Forty-Fifth, Forty-Sixth, and Fifty-First Mass. Regiments.

The Third, Fifth, and Forty-Fourth Regiments, went directly home, but the other organizations were ordered to report to Gen'l Foster, then at Fortress Monroe. “Gen'l Lee,” with rebel hordes, was at this time invading Maryland and Pennsylvania, and these regiments (with the exception of the Forty-Third) offered their services to the government for the emergency. Their offer was accepted, and they were ordered to report to Gen'l Schenck at Baltimore.

We are sure a brief notice of the Forty-Sixth Mass. Regt. will be acceptable to the Twenty-Seventh Mass. and its friends. The regiment was recruited from Western Massachusetts, at Camp Banks, Springfield. Nov. 5, 1862, they left for Boston, where, after several days’ detention, seven companies went on board the steamer “Saxon,” the other three companies being upon the steamers “Mississippi,” and “Merrimack,” with the Forty-Third and Forty-Fifth Mass. Regiments. The Forty-Sixth arrived at New Berne, Nov. 24th, camping upon the “Fair Ground” (peculiarly “our camping ground”) and were at once assigned to our (Lee's) brigade, and armed with Windsor rifles. Companies A and K, under Capt. (afterwards Major) Spooner, immediately occupied Newport Barrack, made vacant by our hasty departure for the Tarboro expedition. The regiment took an active part in the Goldsboro expedition, and boldly met the desperate charge of the enemy at its close, in their attempt to capture Morrison's Battery. Until March 13th, it was

engaged in strengthening the fortifications, and during that and the following day maintained an advanced position on the Trent road, though closely pressed by the enemy in their attack upon New Berne. On account of the assault upon Fort Anderson (across the Neuse) they were ordered within the fortifications, but on its repulse, at once advanced to their former position. March 26th they reinforced Major Bartholomew at Plymouth, remaining there during the excitement attending the siege of Washington, listening with keen anxiety to the rumbling cannonade which told of our peril.

Upon the arrival of Gen'l Wessell's brigade at Plymouth, they returned with major Bartholomew to New Berne, May 8th, and renewed work upon the fortifications, joining with us on the Wise Forks expedition; not to omit the gallant defence of the bridge by Companies A and I upon our return. But while what they did was creditable, what they would not do, and what they offered to do, was notably so. Much feeling existed among the nine months’ troops, from an order by the War Department, requiring the muster of those regiments “to date from the muster of its last company,” by which several weeks additional service was exacted of each. Gen'l Foster ordered that “companies might be discharged from date of their muster if the application was approved by the commander of the regiment.” Although it added more than a month to the service of the Forty-Sixth, they magnanimously declined to avail themselves of the order. Col. Jones Frankle of the Second Mass. Heavy Artillery, secured upwards of one hundred of its members for his regiment. Of this number was Lieut. Fordyce A. Dyer of Plainfield, Mass., one of earth's noblemen, of scholarly attainments, courage, and self-sacrificing devotion. During the prevalence of yellow fever, as provost marshal of New Berne he refused to quit his post, and while laboring for others fell a victim to the scourge Oct. 26, 1864.






June 24th the regiment left New Berne with orders to report to Gen'l Foster, then at Fortress Monroe. Lee's army being at this time on its raid into Pennsylvania and Maryland, the Forty-Sixth volunteered its services to the general government during the emergency, and was ordered to report to Gen'l Schenck at Baltimore, and by him was assigned to Gen'l E. B. Tyler, commanding the outer defences of Baltimore. They remained here on provost and patrol duty until July 6th. After the battle of Gettysburg, they joined Brig. Gen'l H. S. Briggs’ brigade in the pursuit of Gen'l Lee. Proceeding the 7th by rail to Monocacy Junction and Sandy Hook, they were ordered to “occupy and hold Maryland Heights,” the enemy being in force at Harper's Ferry. Here they remained, picketing the Sharpsburg road, until nine P.M. the 11th, when, after a continuous and exhaustive march of twenty-four hours, they joined the First Corps, Army of the Potomac, at Funkstown. While the army was crossing the Potomac at Berlin, the regiment unexpectedly received orders to proceed by shortest route to Massachusetts, in obedience to which they reached Springfield July 21st. The Forty-Sixth Mass. was mustered from service July 29, 1863, on Hampden Park, by Capt. Gardner, United States mustering officer. The regiment lost sixty-four men from wounds or disease while in service.

The Third and Eighth Mass. Regiments were unfortunately armed with Austrian rifles, which, after a short and unsatisfactory experience, they suggestively named “rusty trifles” a parody upon the common “trusty rifles.” But for these arms, these regiments would have gone to Charleston, S. C., with the force in January.

Upon the resignation of Capt. Daniel Messenger as provost marshal, Col. H. C. Lee was appointed Provost Marshal General of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, holding final decision over all questions of appeal from the rulings of the provost marshals of the various posts. Of

this appointment the “New York Herald” correspondent wrote, “No better selection for this important and responsible position could have been made in the department. Col. Lee is known as a sagacious, vigilant and impartial officer. His integrity and zeal are beyond question, and his ability to fulfil the duties of the station will be proven whenever opportunity offers.”

July 4th, Gen'l Heckman, with the Seventeenth, Twenty-Third, Twenty-Seventh Mass., Ninth New Jersey, and One Hundred Fifty-Eighth New York Regiments, advanced thirty miles into the country in support of a raid of the Third New York Cavalry upon the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. The first night we bivouacked on a large plain five miles beyond Pollocksville, and resumed our march at four o'clock the morning of the 5th, halting about ten o'clock five miles beyond Trenton. From this point the expedition proceeded to Keenansville and Warsaw, destroying two trains of cars; manufactories of knapsacks, salt and saltpetre; besides an iron foundry. We succeeded in capturing a rebel mail, three hundred horses and mules from a deserted cavalry camp, and a large quantity of army stores. July 17th a raid was made upon Rocky Mount near Tarboro, a diversion in its favor being made by the Twenty-Seventh and left wing of the Twenty-Fifth Mass. Regiments. We crossed the Neuse River, and advanced to Swift Creek, where we remained until the 20th inst. The result of this expedition was the burning of the railroad bridge three hundred and fifty feet long, at Rocky Mount, with four hundred feet of trestle-work, a cotton mill, machine shop, an engine, a train of cars and eight hundred bales of cotton. The column then made a detour to Tarboro, and destroyed two steamers, a partially completed ironclad, and one hundred bales of cotton. Although harassed by the enemy, front and rear, upon their return, they reached camp with a loss of only twenty-five killed, wounded and missing.






July 11, 1863, Gen'l Dix was relieved from command at Fortress Monroe, that part of North Carolina and southern Virginia occupied by our forces being consolidated into one department. This was known as the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, and was placed under command of Maj. Gen'l John G. Foster, with headquarters at Fortress Monroe. On his departure from New Berne July 29, 1863, he issued

General Order, No. 105.

. . . . As the enlargement of his command will remove the major-general commanding from immediate association with the corps he has so long commanded, he desires to express to them the satisfaction he has always felt at the courage, discipline and invariable good conduct exhibited by them.

He hopes that on future fields under his command, they will sustain their high reputation and vie in honorable rivalry with their companions of the Seventh Army Corps, many of whom are old friends and comrades, and sharers of the glories and perils of the Burnside Expedition.

By command of Major General J. G. Foster.

(Signed) S. Hoffman,

A. A. Gen'l.

The Department of North Carolina was soon after placed under command of Maj. Gen'l John J. Peck, an officer of national reputation, gained by his conduct during McClellan's peninsular campaign, and his vigorous defence of Suffolk, Va., during its twenty-four days’ siege by Longstreet's rebel forces. The Department of North Carolina was by him subdivided into the following districts: First district, New Berne and vicinity; district of Pamlico, Washington and vicinity; district of Albemarle, all points held upon that sound or rivers entering the same, including Roanoke Island; and the district of Beaufort, the country contiguous to that place.

Under the exacting service to which the entire Union army had been subjected, it now contained a great many men

Map of Washington N.C. During the Seige of April 1863. Drawn by Solon.M.Allis.C.G.





unfit for active duty, but not sufficiently disabled to warrant their discharge. Many able-bodied men were being used to garrison forts, protect communications, and also as nurses within hospitals. From such causes the effectiveness of our army had been so crippled, that it was decided to organize the Invalid or Veteran Reserve Corps from the disabled class, and with them relieve able-bodied men for service in the field. By General Order, No. 229, from the War Department, rules for the transferral of disabled soldiers were promulgated, and Aug. 30, 1863, Lieut. George W. Warner and sixty-four men of our regiment were transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps.

The meritorious services of Lieut. Warner deserve more than a passing notice. At the outbreak of the war, he was “turnkey” at Hampden County Jail, Springfield, Mass. He enlisted Sept. 13, 1861, as a member of Company K, Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., and was mustered first lieutenant of the same Oct. 16, 1861. When the regiment left the State, November 2d, he remained to secure stragglers, but rejoined the regiment at Annapolis empty handed, reporting, “the Twenty-Seventh Mass. had no such men.” While standing with his company in the battle of New Berne, his right foot was shattered by a grape shot and was amputated on the field. He was of the first to share the hospitalities of the New England Rooms, New York City, and with the aid of crutches reached his home the May following. His four months’ leave of absence was extended to Jan. 1, 1863, when he rejoined his regiment at Little Washington, participating in the siege. Incapacitated for marching, he was appointed commissary of subsistence for the poor till Aug. 30, 1863, when by “General Order 229,” he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, and ordered to report to Col. Nugent, New York City. He was assigned to the command of the Twenty-Sixth Company, Second Battalion Veteran Reserve Corps at Fort Schuyler and Willis Point.






Feb. 9, 1864, after a rigid examination, he received a commission as first lieutenant United States Volunteers, signed by President Lincoln, and resigned his commission in the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regiment. He organized the One Hundred and Twenty-Ninth Company Veteran Reserve Corps, for duty at Finley Hospital, and soon after reported to Col. H. G. Thomas at Cincinnati, Ohio. Here he remained for eighteen months, at Leytle Barracks, receiving a commission as captain for meritorious service March 13, 1865. The onerous and responsible duties of commander of this post were met with honesty and efficiency until June 30, 1866, when he was discharged from service. Capt. Warner is now a merchant at Lynn, Mass.

September 12th, by the kindness of Col. Lee, the writer accompanied him on the “Ella May,” up the Neuse, upon a flag of truce. At Street's Landing, nine miles above the city, we met Major Whitford on his way to New Berne to give notice of a party of women and children at his camp, desiring to enter our lines. In consideration of the delicate health of a Miss Richardson whom we were conveying to their lines, we were permitted to ascend to Clarkson's Landing, near Whitford's camp. The major, with a captain and a lieutenant, were taken aboard the “Ella May,” and whiled away the time with jests over the encounters which they had had with our regiment. Major Whitford was dressed in a neat suit of gray, with a gilt star upon his collar and embroidered knots upon his arms indicating his rank. Of the battle of New Berne, Major Whitford remarked, “Give the devil his due; it was your —— Yankee rifles that took that place; you got the range complete, and it was sure death to rise above the works. You were thoroughly whipped, but were —— fools enough not to know it, and turned around and licked us!” During the transaction of official business, the writer conversed with the lieutenant

and found him an under-graduate of Yale College. He severely criticised the government for arming the slaves, asserting that it was an evidence of our extremity, and that it would unite the South as never before. He said if the war should be left to Massachusetts and South Carolina to settle, — or better still to Jefferson Davis and “Abe Lincoln,” — it would be a just retribution. (Davis was considered by them a dead shot.)

The rank and file at Street's Ferry were armed with various kinds of fire-arms, and clothed with every style of garments. They were ignorant in the extreme, morose and revengeful in appearance, evidently fair exponents of the poor whites and their squalid poverty. The only thing of interest to them was suggested by their remark, “You uns wear right peart clothes.” On the arrival of the women and children, one woman, formerly of Pennsylvania, as she came on board, looking up, pathetically exclaimed, “God bless that dear old flag! Oh, how beautiful it looks!” Altogether, the visit to Dixie was pleasant and enjoyable, developing a friendly intercourse, and drawing from the lieutenant the honest declaration, “If there could be more of such friendly converse it would hasten the close of the war.”

The draft was now in full operation, and the risk of desertion attending the transportation of conscripts and bounty-men to the field so great, an order was issued detailing certain numbers from the veteran regiments to guard them to “the front.” The Twenty-Seventh furnished ten men under Capt. J. W. Trafton and Lieut. Pliny Wood, for this service. They rendezvoused at New York or Boston, at various times, delivering detachments of men for the armies in the East and West. In the spring of 1864, upon their own request, Lieut. Wood and most of the men returned to the regiment. Capt. Trafton remained at Boston Harbor till the spring of 1865.






Thirty years previous, James Whitby had taken Emeline, a neighboring slave, as wife, and fifteen children had been born to them, eight of whom had been sold, enriching his master by six thousand dollars. “Jim” knew, however, that by the courts of his State it had been declared “there could be no legal marriage between slaves,” and now that he was free, requested to be “jined by de book, cordin to de law of liberty.” A son was also to be married, hence they decided to engage the Episcopal Church, “an be jined like white folks.” At the appointed time the church, brilliantly lighted with gas, was filled to its capacity, the double train crowding the chancel to repletion. “Jim” tried by vigorous pulls to cultivate a closer relation between his pants and shoes, for the pants were considerably shorter than warranted by fashion; and Emeline, in ordinary dress, by a free use of saliva was endeavoring to smooth her curly locks. The young affiant was in perfect bridal costume, with orange blossoms, veil, train, and page; her deep ebony features, broad smile, and full white set of teeth, presenting a strong contrast with the motley surroundings. Chaplain Rouse officiated, and to the question “You promise to take Emeline as your lawful and wedded wife?” Jim emphatically replied, “Yes, Massa; I'll do dat for shu!” To the suggestion to Emeline that she would love, honor and obey, she replied, “I'll try, Massa.” This was a little too much for Jim's ardent affection, and he heartily expostulated with her, declaring, “We's want dis ting right dis time, for shu!” so Emeline consented to the full text.

The younger couple were effusive, till stunned by the superfluous challenge of the marriage service, allowing any one to question their right to each other. No objection being raised, Judy dropped her head in coyish delight, while the groom rolled his eyes in supreme felicity. With much stumbling and instruction the services were concluded, and

two as happy couples left the altar as were ever “joined by de book.” A most elaborate reception was held at the old folks’ house, where we first heard the thrilling negro melody:—

“Nicodemus the slave was of African birth,He was bought for a bagful of gold;He was counted as part of the salt of the earth,But he died years ago, very old.’Twas his last request, so we laid him awayIn the trunk of a hollow tree,Wake me up, was his charge, at the first break of day;Wake me up for the great Jubilee.Chorus. There's a good time coming, it's almost here,’Twas long, long, on the way.Now run tell Elijah to hurry up Pomp,To meet us at the gum-tree down by the swamp,To wake Nicodemus to-day.”

If Nicodemus would not wake under such fervency as moved the crowded cabin at that midnight hour, melody and volume will do little to accomplish it. Emancipation was to them a great jubilee, and in the realization of long-deferred hope, every power of body and mind was thrown into this melody which expressed their faith in God's deliverance.






CHAPTER XI. GEN'L FOSTER CALLS FOR HIS OLD BRIGADE.

October 4th, after four months of provost duty in the city of New Berne, our regiment was relieved by the Seventeenth Mass., and went into camp upon the south of the Trent River, near Fort Gaston. This was in preparation for a more important movement. Gen'l Foster's order on leaving New Berne, indicated he had farther use for his original brigade, and a natural pride and confidence in them led him to desire their presence in his immediate vicinity. October 10th, he issued a special order transferring them to Virginia, and the 13th, inst. it was promulgated through Maj. Gen'l Peck.

Headquarters Army and District of North Carolina, New Berne, N. C., Oct. 13, 1863.

Special Orders, No. 59.

The following-named regiments and batteries will at once proceed to Elizabeth City without camp and garrison equipage, to which point the quartermaster's department will furnish transportation. From Elizabeth City they will march to Norfolk, and upon their arrival, be reported to Maj. Gen'l Foster, at Fortress Monroe. The Ninth New Jersey, Twenty-Third, Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Seventh Mass. Volunteer Infantry Regiments, Belger's Battery F. . . . . .

Camp and garrison equipage will follow by transports. . . . .

By command of

Maj. Gen'l Peck.

Benj. B. Foster, Asst. Adjt. Gen'l.

Headquarters Forces and Defences of New Berne, New Berne, N. C., Oct. 13, 1863.

(Official.)

J. A. Judson, Asst. Adjt. Gen'l.

This order was received with evident satisfaction by all these organizations, from their unbounded confidence and enthusiasm in Gen'l Foster. Until this time most of the permanent force in North Carolina had been those engaged in its capture, but by this order only the Fifth Rhode Island Regiment remained of the original force. Other troops were sent to the State to replace our brigade. Owing to difficulty in obtaining transportation through the sound, the order was changed so that the Twenty-Seventh Mass. embarked upon the steamer “John Rice,” at Beaufort, N. C., October 17th. It arrived at Newport News Sunday, the 18th, at six P.M., and bivouacked on the banks of the James River for the night. The rest of the brigade followed at intervals, the last of it (Twenty-Fifth Mass.) arriving October 29th. “A” tents, well banked, and sea-weed as a substitute for straw, enabled us to protect ourselves from the chilly winds and night air. Battalion and skirmish drills — by bugle — with inspection and reviews, comprised our daily duty.

October 28th, Maj. Gen'l B. F. Butler superseded Maj. Gen'l J. G. Foster, in command of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, the latter being ordered to relieve Maj. Gen'l A. E. Burnside, in command of the Department of the Ohio. By this transfer we bade a final adieu to our gallant commander, but followed him with increasing pride in his hasty march through Cumberland Gap in relief of Gen'l Burnside's beleaguered force at Knoxville, and when relieved by Gen'l Schofield, in his vigorous operations in the Department of the South.

November 10th, by order of Maj. Gen'l Butler, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. reported at Norfolk and Portsmouth for provost duty, relieving the Twenty-First Conn. Regt., seven companies being stationed at the former and three at the latter place. These cities were in bad repute from their bitter disloyalty and numerous places of low resort. To






control these evils, companies were quartered in convenient parts of the cities, and a daily detail of ten men made as a special patrol, beside the guards necessary for the protection of public and private property. A sharp watch was established over suspicious persons and resorts, while treasury and provost regulations controlling trade were carefully enforced. On account of the ease of access, and the accommodations afforded at Norfolk, many of the officers induced their wives to enjoy the winter with them, but their society was shunned by the êlite of the place. This, however, was a little matter, as the number of Northern ladies present, formed a large circle of itself. Prominent citizens of the North visited the place in the interest of their local regiments, among whom was C. M. Lee, Esq., brother of Col. Lee, and O. W. Wilcox, Esq., father of Capt. Wilcox, both of Springfield, Mass. The latter came at the request of his city with a view of ascertaining the feelings of the regiment as to re-enlisting.

By General Order 359 from the War Department, conditions were prescribed, under which troops enlisted under certain calls might re-enlist. Large bounties, a thirty days’ furlough, and a remitting of the remainder of the original enlistment, were the inducements offered. Under this order Capt. H. C. Dwight of Company A, was appointed recruiting officer for the regiment, and by March 1, 1864, three hundred and forty-three of our comrades had re-enlisted. The appointment of Capt. Dwight for this important work was a recognition, not only of his ability, but his high standing with the rank and file. He was regarded by them as a man of unusual probity and honor, and his remarkable success in re-enlisting was due to this confidence. He declined to sanction the petty threats, deceits and compulsions of which serious complaints were made in other regiments, depending upon the patriotism and conviction of each as to his duty. The re-enlisted men and recruits obtained at this

time were sufficient to continue the organization as a “Veteran Regiment,” at the close of its original term.

The year of 1863 had been far from satisfactory. The victories of Vicksburg, Port Hudson, Missionary Ridge and Knoxville had been offset by the mortifying raids of Lee into Pennsylvania, Morgan into Ohio, Quantrell into Kansas, and the murderous riot in New York, as well as the drawn battles of Chancellorsville and Bristow Station in the East, and Chattanooga in the West. The Army of the Potomac, with all its terrible sacrifices, remained before its original camps, without an acknowledged leader. The only material advance for the year was the opening of the Mississippi River. The desperate character of the struggle had forced drafting to supersede volunteering as a means of recruiting the army. Wise counsel prevailed in filling the ranks of depleted regiments at the front rather than forming new organizations, thus economizing the resources of the government, and rendering the army more effective in the field. President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had crystallized the negroes into an offensive force in the field, and an active ally within rebel lines, furnishing reliable information of the enemy's forces and movements, or aiding our unfortunate prisoners in attempts at escape. The “Confiscation Act” had weakened the hands of traitors by an effective embargo against secret support from the North. The country had gained a more thorough appreciation of the struggle, and by these two acts had severely crippled the enemy's resources and power. On every hand evidences accumulated, that the conflict would be renewed with double energy after the enforced truce of winter. Unusual activity had been manifested in recruiting during the fall, and early winter found many of the regiments filled, with winter before them in which to discipline and organize the force.






CHAPTER XII. VETERANS AT HOME.

January 15, 1864, Lieut. Col. Bartholomew, with two hundred and twenty re-enlisted men, left Norfolk on a thirty days’ furlough. They were enthusiastically received at Springfield, Mass., the 18th inst., by a salute from the Union Battery, and by a large concourse of friends. After a brief time for friendly embrace and congratulations, the regiment marched under escort of the Armory Band, Union Battery, and city officials, through Main and Elm streets to the City Hall. Every available place was filled with a surging, cheering crowd; and buildings were lavishly decorated with colors and welcomes. Noticeably among these were the “Springfield Republican” with its “Welcome, Twenty-Seventh”; Tilly Haynes, Esq.’s “Welcome to the Twenty-Seventh. We honor the brave,” followed by a list of our engagements; Tinkham & Co., Goldthwait & Co., and the Massasoit Insurance Company. A bountiful collation was spread at the City Hall, where we were royally received, the hall being filled to its utmost capacity.

Mayor Alexander then addressed us as follows:—

Veterans of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment!

One of the pleasantest duties which has devolved upon me officially, is this welcoming you back to your city, your homes and your friends. A little more than two years ago you left us, one thousand in number, but one in heart, to meet the enemies of your

country, and nobly have you redeemed your pledge which you gave in your firm purpose and martial bearing. We have followed you with our affection and sympathy, from your departure until your return. The captures of Roanoke and of New Berne, the victories of Kinston and Goldsboro, and more than all these, the sturdy and unyielding defence of Little Washington, which were among the achievements of your brave hearts and strong arms, have been our pride and our boast. The battles which Generals Burnside and Foster directed to be inscribed on your banners, have been written in our history, because you went from us, and are our brothers and sons. You have fought many battles, but have met with no defeats; the enemy might always see your faces, but never your backs. You have not lost an inch of ground that you have conquered, and the rebellious who yielded to your arms, and with whom you have lived, and who learned what manner of persons you were, have been among the first of our enemies to show evidence of returning allegiance. Soldiers can have no superiors who always win (and with equal ease) the victories of war and the victories of peace.

Sorrowfully, indeed, we miss some of your number. The cruel fates of war have been allotted them, but they died as brave soldiers should die, fighting in a good cause, and in the “fierce joy” of battle. Theirs is the reward of good men who have done their whole duty, and they will live always in the affectionate remembrance of those who knew and loved them in life, and in the history of their country which they died to save. We give to you a heartier welcome, because you have returned with an undaunted courage and an unyielding purpose. You have declared your intention of completing the work you have so gallantly commenced.

Once more you have pledged your faith and your lives to the country, until the last foe is vanquished, and the last rebel flag is lowered in submission. We receive this pledge as an assurance of victory and — before the snows of another winter shall cover our fields — the return of peace and happiness, of loyalty and freedom throughout our land. We welcome you then again, brave soldiers of the Twenty-Seventh, who have renewed your first vow to the country — “three years or for the war.”






Just how Col. Bartholomew was to dispose of his obligation in reply, no one could guess, as he had never indulged in oratory before his men, and hence they were wild with delight over his graceful reply.

Mr. Mayor:

I thank you, and through you the citizens of Springfield, for the friendly reception which has welcomed our return. In the severe trials of our campaigns, next to the consciousness of doing our duty, we were best sustained by the reflection that we had the sympathy and affection of our friends at home. In the cordial reception which we have this day received and which you have prepared for us, we forget all our past trials, and remember only the honors and awards which our fellow-citizens and our country bestow upon us. I conceal from no one my pride in the regiment with which I have the honor to be connected. Wherever duty, danger or patriotism called them, they have been the first to march and the last to leave. Massachusetts has sent forth no braver body of men, and there are no braver men than those whom Massachusetts sends.

Mr. Mayor, we have come home for a few days only. We are going on with the work we have commenced, and when we come back again, we shall bring in our right hand victory and peace. We can boast of one thing which no other regiment in the service can: for a year and a half that we have been on picket duty, we have not lost a man killed, wounded or taken prisoner; and it has been a well-known fact, that when there was a chance for a fight, the ranks were full to the last man. Our little colonel — unwillingly absent — wishes to be remembered to his Springfield friends. You will be glad to hear that he is in command of his old regiment again, beloved by all, and, though we say it, deserving promotion.

Mayor Alexander again called for “three cheers for the Twenty-Seventh Regiment,” and Col. Bartholomew “for the citizens of Springfield” and “our gallant colonel,” and then gave the command “Ready, Twenty-Seventh! — Charge!” and the refreshments loading the tables disappeared as

promptly as the enemy on a Core Creek raid. After dinner the men were dismissed until February 14th, and after a month's furlough, re-arrived at Norfolk, February 19th, 1864.

Under ante bellum régime, everything at Norfolk seemed to have gone to wreck and ruin. Wharves, streets, vehicles, and people looked as though renovation or repairs had never been dreamed of. The whites had a pinched, scrimped, hungry look, and among the few remaining, no young men were to be found, their work being performed by girls, even to the driving of mule carts about the city. The ubiquitous negro was “omniprevalent, omnifarious,” and the main reliance for labor. After enlistment nothing suited them better than a raid into the surrounding country, their return being marked by processions surpassing the wildest dreams of scarecrows or “hobgoblins.” This boasted land of “hominy and bacon” did not furnish a “rooter” whose appearance would not suggest the last stages of consumption. It redeemed itself on oysters, however, which were as far superior to Norwalks as the latter excel the ordinary “plants.”

“Oysters, natives, fine and fat;Oysters roasted! think of that!Oysters cooked in every way;Oysters plenty every day.”

Such was the poetic effusion of one who for the first time revelled in their lusciousness.

During the winter a detail from the regiment was made for a census of the colored population of that vicinity. Negro families were huddled together in squalid poverty, without regard to convenience, comfort or decency, and were about as easy to enumerate as a lively ant-heap. The children were so numerous, that many were without names, and answered to the suggestive nicknames, Nigger-head, Black-brat, Woolly-pate, and the like. No amount of persuasion could induce the parents to attempt to furnish names,






but they warmly urged our census takers to aid them out of the difficulty. Whether as a desperate resort, or as a result of wilful maliciousness of those engaged in the work, we will not say, but as a fact, all the great men of the nation were furnished with namesakes, not omitting many officers and men of our own and other regiments. This use of power resulted in some annoyance and considerable amusement, over which its perpetrators gloated with intense satisfaction. It was not unusual, while on our daily rounds of the city, to be suddenly stopped by a stentorian voice from attic or cellar, calling our names, saying, “Come he-ar dis minnit, or I'll broke yer hed!” This was followed by a sudden scattering of black cherubs from the gutters, with hands full of cigar-stubs and other gutter rubbish.

After entering the city, Chief Musician L. C. Skinner of Amherst, organized and uniformed a drum corps of twenty members, and by persistent practice brought them to unusual perfection. This corps was a source of pardonable pride to the regiment, and of great enjoyment to the citizens. When its martial strains filled the air in parading the streets, business cares and treasonable reserve gave place to appreciation and delight. No band in the department enjoyed the high estimation of this “drum corps,” the credit of which is due to Comrade Skinner. Music was to him an inspiration, and most of his exercises were original with himself. Comrade Skinner died at Plainville, Conn., Feb. 14, 1867.

Much labor was bestowed in establishing religious and educational facilities. A portion of the time the religious services of the regiment were held in the theatre building. Later, Chaplain Woodworth, by choice of the church, and the appointment of Gen'l Butler, assumed charge of the First Presbyterian Church, its pastor, Rev. Dr. Armstrong, having been sentenced to hard labor at Fort Hatteras, N. C., for treasonable utterances. Under Rev. W. L. Coan, schools for freedmen were established, including eight graded

and four primary departments. These were attended by two thousand scholars, while the evening schools were crowded by motley throngs beyond possible accommodation. Language fails to describe the longings of these emancipated ones for a taste of knowledge. An old man said to the writer, “Ef dis ole man can only read from dis blessed book for hisself, of de lub ob Jesus, it's nough for me!” A primer and Testament constituted the course of study, and for the most part best satisfied their wants. March, 1864, Mr. Coan wrote: “For months the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. has been with us; they have been our defenders, have met us in our praying circle, and we have been strengthened by their prayers and exhortations. They have devoted much time to the instruction of the poor freedmen, and our night and Sabbath schools have been greatly aided by them. We deeply regret the necessity of parting with them.”

Upon the accession of Gen'l Butler to the command of this department, Col. H. C. Lee was relieved as provost marshal general by the discontinuance of the office, and rejoined the regiment at Norfolk. During January, February and March, he was on special service with Porter Sherman, Esq., of Norfolk, and George E. Carney, Esq., of Lowell, Mass., as “bank commissioners,” investigating charges made by colored persons, who claimed they had funds in the bank of Norfolk, demands for which had been dishonored. Later, Col. Lee sat as president of a court-martial, before which six charges and forty-two specifications were brought against Col. Donahue of the Tenth New Hampshire Regiment, by his lieutenant-colonel, on all of which the accused was acquitted.

The Twenty-Seventh Regiment was under the command or Lieut. Col. Bartholomew, and by faithful service, won from Col. Whelden, provost marshal of Norfolk, the declaration “The Twenty-Seventh was the best regiment for provost duty I ever knew, seventeen men and a sergeant keeping a






population of forty thousand as quiet as any New England city.” The evening of March 4th, the enemy was reported advancing in force from Suffolk. At eleven P.M. the regiment advanced three miles into the country, bivouacking for the night and following day in a driving storm. At eight P.M. the evening of the 5th, we advanced a little beyond Magnolia Salt Sulphur Springs, remaining there until the morning of the 6th, but finding no enemy, returned, reaching Norfolk the evening of the 7th.

Norfolk was thoroughly northernized by the introduction of large numbers of merchants from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, New Haven and Springfield; in fact they monopolized its entire business. The most questionable enterprise was the establishment of the “Norfolk Régime” under military auspices. It could hardly claim to be a newspaper, its contents being mainly the publication of courtsmartial, with charges, specifications and findings, verbatim et literatim. It was a frequent inquiry, under what stress of service this outlay was warranted, or from what appropriation paid?

March 21st the Twenty-Seventh Mass. was relieved from provost duty by the Fourth Rhode Island Regiment, but on account of a protest to Gen'l Butler from military authorities and the board of trade, the order was rescinded. This did not reach us, however, until the 22d, at which time we were well on the way to “Julian's Creek.” The regiment were averse to returning, and succeeded in holding good the original order so far as to secure the relief of most of the regiment; Company F, and fifty men from other companies, were, however, returned to the city as a special guard. Six inches of snow had fallen and the entire distance to Julian's Creek, was marched in a driving storm, which increased to almost a hurricane before we reached our destination. Fortunately for us — as we could neither bivouac nor pitch tents at such a time — the Tenth New Hampshire Regiment was

absent from camp, and, true to the generous impulses of the Old Granite State, we received from those remaining a cordial welcome for the night. The morning of the 23d, a foot of snow lay upon the ground, with drifts of considerable depth. Before night closed the Twenty-Seventh had cleared the snow, pitched and stockaded their tents on an adjoining field, and were quietly ensconced around their cheerful fires.

During the months of January, February and March, two hundred and thirteen recruits joined the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, bringing its aggregate strength to nine hundred and thirty-three men, of which less than five per cent. were “under surgeon's care.” Of those who joined us during these months it is but just to say, that while technically “recruits,” their acts soon proved any distinction between them and veterans to be invidious. If they emulated the courage, invincibility and enthusiasm of more experienced comrades, they succeeded because of natural affinity. The meritorious record of these men during the remainder of the war, warrants us in dismissing, once for all, the term “recruit.” While the service of the regiment had been hitherto unremittent and exacting, we were about to enter upon a series of conflicts with which former contests bore little comparison. Such tenacity, fierceness and carnage were new experiences, even to our veterans, for upon former fields, after a few hours’ strife, we charged the enemy's position with uniform success. No defeat had tarnished our record, and at no time had we been driven from the field, or forced to turn our backs to the enemy. We were now to meet crushing defeat from the errors of others, many were to languish and die in loathsome prisons, yet in these experiences the new men were constant in service, vigilant in danger, courageous on the field, and patient in suffering even unto death.

While stationed at Julian's Creek, Heckman's Red Star Brigade was organized, consisting of the Twenty-Third,






Twenty-Fifth, Twenty-Seventh Mass., and Ninth New Jersey Volunteer Regiments, all of which had been closely connected with us in service since the fall of 1861. It is not too much to say of these regiments, again united with us, that they were the peers of any troops in the field, and so far as courage and fortitude would sustain, were thoroughly reliable. Brig. Gen'l C. A. Heckman, the commanding general, had earned his promotion from lieutenant-colonel of the Ninth New Jersey, in active service in North Carolina, and was known by us to be a fearless and valiant commander. April 12th the Twenty-Seventh made a reconnoissance in force to the Blackwater River, but returned without discovering any traces of the enemy.

April 17th Adjutant E. D. Lee, a genial and popular officer, died, at thirty years of age.

Edward D. Lee, Eldest son of Hon. Artemas Lee of Templeton, Mass, was commissioned as second lieutenant March 15, 1862. He joined the regiment May 1st, and was promoted first lieutenant Nov. 16, 1862. He served most of his time with Company I, Capt. Wilcox, or as adjutant of his regiment, but at his death he was acting assistant adjutant-general on the staff of Col. H. C. Lee. The latter wrote of him: “As an assistant adjutant-general I never expect to replace him. He was, in office, prompt, systematic, untiring, and on the field, cool, brave and determined. His loss creates a gap which will be felt and noticed.” Maj. William A. Walker wrote: “In the performance of his duties he was prompt and efficient, devoting his time and abilities to the interests of the regiment, and adding no small share to the reputation it enjoyed for order and discipline.” He had been acting in his last position but a brief time, but had been frequently complimented by the department inspector for his order and accuracy. He was a thorough student of his

position, excelled by few in his knowledge of tactics and military discipline. In the midst of preparations for the summer's conflict, he was prostrated by an inflammation of the lungs, and removed to Balfour Hospital, Portsmouth, Va., where he died April 17, 1864. The body was brought to camp at Julian's Creek for funeral services, when it was escorted to the steamer at Norfolk by his company, and forwarded to Lee, Mass., for burial. At Lieut. Lee's death, a brother of his was in a precarious condition from wounds received in battle.






CHAPTER XIII. THE DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA IN DANGER.

The history of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. is so closely interwoven with the Department of North Carolina, a record of events occurring since the departure of the regiment will prove of interest. In October, 1863, the enemy extended the lines of their department to include the southern defences of the James River on the north, and Wilmington on the south, with headquarters at Petersburg, Va. This department was placed under command of Gen'l George E. Pickett, whose vigilance and courage gave promise on the part of the enemy of a determined effort to rid North Carolina of its invaders. Confidence in their ability to accomplish this was strengthened by their knowledge of the departure of Gen'l Foster with his veteran troops, and a material reduction of the Union army by the withdrawal of the nine months’ regiments. Maj. Gen'l John G. Peck, commander of the Union forces, was of conceded courage and engineering skill, and had distinguished himself at Fair Oaks and Suffolk, Va. He had not, however, the restless activity required to secure in advance a knowledge of the rebels’ plans and strength by expeditions against, and frequent reconnoissances along the enemy's lines. With the small force at his command, such activity was imperatively needed for safety.

At gray of dawn Feb. 17, 1864, the One Hundred and Thirty-Second N. Y. Regt., Col. P. J. Claassen, at Bachelor's Creek,

was attacked by Hoke's, Clingman's, and Corse's brigades under command of Gen'l Pickett. Gen'l Dearing's brigade moved on Fort Anderson across the Neuse, while Gen'l Barton, with Ransom's and Terry's brigades, advanced through Pollocksville, on the south of the Trent, intercepted communications with Beaufort, captured a company of the Fifth Rhode Island at Newport Barracks, and attempted to construct batteries along the river below the Trent. The One Hundred and Thirty-Second New York gallantly defended their position several hours, inflicting severe loss upon the enemy, including the death of Col. H. M. Shaw of Roanoke Island fame, until the arrival of Lieut. Col. Fellows with a detachment of the Seventeenth Mass. A company of the Second North Carolina Union Volunteers, occupying a block-house at Beech Grove, surrendered without contest, permitting the enemy to gain our rear. Col. Fellows had hardly reached supporting distance of Col. Claassen, when he found his flanks assailed by Hoke's brigade, before which he retired to the fortifications at New Berne with a considerable loss in prisoners. Col. Claassen's troops fell back by the railroad, contesting the enemy's advance at every opportunity, reaching the intrenchments at New Berne late in the afternoon.

The night closed upon New Berne with Gen'l Pickett's forces occupying the timber fronting our defences between the Neuse and Trent rivers, and Gen'l Barton investing the city on the south of the Trent. Our defences encircling the city were about four miles in length, including Forts Totten on the Trent road, Rowan on the railroad, and Stevenson outlying on the bank of the Neuse, as western defences, with Forts Gaston and Amory south of the Trent, and Fort Spinola outlying on the Neuse, easterly. Our available force did not exceed thirty-five hundred men, and could present only a feeble resistance along this extensive line. Able-bodied negroes were armed and scattered along the






fortifications. Lieut. W. C. Hunt (of Company A, Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt.), assistant provost marshal of New Berne, rallied a full company of sutlers and traders, under the euphonious title of “Letter B (let her be) Company,” in whose evolutions and courageous exhibitions he took unbounded delight. During the evening rebel bands regaled us with “Dixie,” “Lone Star,” and “Bonnie Blue Flag,” to which our band responded from Fort Totten with national airs, and “Oh, dear, what can the matter be?”

About midnight a volunteer force of one hundred and fifty marines from Richmond, under a Col. Wood, moved down the Neuse in “launches,” intending to surprise and capture our fleet. The gunboat “Underwriter” lay abreast Fort Stevenson, and was closely approached under cover of darkness. The enemy disregarded our challenge, when discovered, and before the crew could be rallied, were boarding the vessel. A fierce hand to hand conflict ensued, with only one possible result, until the commander of Fort Stevenson, comprehending the situation, on his own responsibility opened fire upon the unfortunate gunboat, exploding its magazine and frustrating the design of the enemy. This act met the unqualified approval of the commanding general. The enemy were in full possession of the “Underwriter,” our men having been driven into the water, so that when the explosion occurred it fell upon the foe with disastrous effect.

Strange as it may appear, at daylight the next morning, Gen'l Pickett with his entire army had withdrawn. Whether the field, covered by the frowning guns of our forts in front, and the transverse fire of our navy from either flank was too much for the sensitive nerves of Gen'l Pickett, or whether he was disgusted with the failure of his marines, the inactivity of Barton and the non-appearance of Gen'l Dearing, we are unable to say. We venture the suggestion that his sincere respect for the first lost him the prize. Either of his divisions might have forced the southern defences and captured the place, although they could not have held it.

A terrible fate awaited the unfortunate company of North Carolina Volunteers captured at Beech Grove, many of whom were deserters from the rebel army. They were betrayed by one of their own sergeants, and being found in arms, twenty were executed at Kinston. The orderly sergeant of the company, who voluntarily furnished the company roll by which evidence necessary to their conviction was secured, suffered a just retribution in being executed with them. The report of their execution caused a thrill of horror at New Berne, but an investigation failed to establish criminality beyond the usages of war. They were deserters from their army, and their terrible fate was justified by military law. The fault was with the government in enlisting such troops, or if enlisted, allowing them in such exposed positions. The natural tendency to revenge, rendered it easy to establish such charges against “Buffalo Yankees,” as they termed them.

Brig. Gen'l H. W. Wessell, with his brigade, had remained at Plymouth, since relieving Companies G and H of the Twenty-Seventh in May, 1863, with little to disturb the garrison. Frequent rumors of an ironclad at Rainbow Bluff, destined to assault the place, were received. His force consisted of the Sixteenth Conn., Eighty-Fifth N. Y., One Hundred and First and One Hundred and Third Penn. Volunteer Regiments; Companies “G,” Capt. Ira B. Sampson, and “H,” Capt. Joseph E. Fiske, Second Mass. Heavy Artillery; Twenty-Fourth N. Y. Battery two companies of the Third N. Y. Cavalry, and two companies of the First North Carolina Union Volunteers; with the gunboats “Miami,” “Southfield,” “Whitehead” and “Bomb-hell.” April 17th this force — excepting detachments at Roanoke Island — were all present at Plymouth. Sunday P.M., the 17th, while the troops were attending divine service, the pickets were simultaneously attacked at War Neck, Fort Grey and Lee's Mills roads, and early in the evening a desperate assault was made






by “Kemper's brigade” on Fort Grey. This assault was repulsed with great loss. An artillery duel ensued the 18th, the enemy being again repulsed in an attempt to break our lines adjoining “Lee's Mills road,” but about eleven P. M., after three successive charges, Hoke's brigade succeeded in carrying the Eighty-Fifth Redoubt, or Fort Wessell, and capturing its garrison.

At three A.M. the 19th, the gunboat “Whitehead” was “on picket” at the head of the islands, with instructions to give immediate notice of the approach of the ironclad ram “Albemarle.” In some way the “Whitehead” allowed itself to be surprised and cut off from the direct channel, so that the first warning of our fleet was the sight of the “Albemarle” bearing directly upon them. Commander Flusser immediately lashed the “Miami” and “Southfield” together, and stood by his forward gun (at the time loaded with a shell), and as his mailed antagonist closed upon him, drew the lanyard, against the protest of his crew, when a piece of the rebounding shell struck him in the side, inflicting a ghastly and fatal wound.

Lieut. Commander Flusser entered the navy in 1847, and for meritorious and gallant service, received successive promotions, his commission as lieutenant-commander being dated July 16, 1862. Being of Maryland birth, a scion of the family of Theodore Bland, and nephew of Commodore Mayo, U. S. N., strong influences were used to induce him to desert his country for the Confederacy. Just after the opening of hostilities, while attending his uncle's funeral, he heard some one say that his uncle had “lived long enough to attest his loyalty to the South.” Flusser indignantly rejoined, “In my opinion Commodore Mayo lived one week too long for his own honor or that of his family.” He was as fearless as loyal, as dashing as determined. It is reported of him when bearing down upon the “Sea Bird,” the rebel Lynch's flagship, at Elizabeth City, February 10th, he hailed

the vessel, saying, “Tell the commodore to get out his fenders, I'm coming aboard;” and the next moment his steamer struck the “Sea Bird,” crushing it beneath the waves.

Among those who pressed him to join the South was his comrade, Hollins, afterward an officer in the Confederate navy. His reply, so characteristic of the man, has been made public: —

Dear Cap, — I shall never do it. What! be one of the very first to fire on the Flag? Not I! I have no appetite for argument to-night; my heart is sick. Is it not enough to drive an honest man out of his senses, to find thieves making a great nation destroy itself? Where are your wits, man? How can this business end? In “peace” and slavery? The end may bring the death of both forever, and worse, inaugurate an era of blood, unparalleled. . . . Just look, then, at the prospect; blood, rapine, desolation, war, Hollins!

“Thou canst not shake thy gory locks at me, And say I did it.”

Yours in Union,

C. W. Flusser.

Let this be his monument; few men raise their own, or choose a nobler epitaph; and, though we buried him amid the lowly in the soldiers’ graveyard at New Berne, and his headstone now bears this simple inscription,

— — FLUSSER,

U. S. Navy,

yet a grateful people will hold him in memory, and teach their children to copy his example.

After the death of Commander Flusser, the uneven contest continued but a short time before the steamers “Southfield” and “Bombshell” were sunk, and our navy retired to






the sound. Reinforced by the “Albemarle,” the enemy hurled a galling fire of grape, shell and canister from all sides on the devoted garrison. Three successive demands for surrender were met with prompt refusals, to the last of which, Gen'l Hoke retorted, “I will fill your citadel with iron, and compel you to surrender, if it take the last man!” At 4.30 A.M., Wednesday, April 20th, Pegram's, Marshal's, Blount's, and Lee's batteries opened on the works along Columbia road and Coneby Creek, under cover of which, “Ransom's brigade” in “double column by division,” by a desperate charge, carried Coneby and Compher redoubts, and pressed into the town. The enemy's fire now swept every portion of our line, while the contest was waged from house to house and tree to tree, until at seven o'clock, all the defences but Fort Williams and Fort Grey at War Neck, had been captured. The former was under command of Capt. Ira B. Sampson, formerly of the Twenty-Seventh, who at this time was chief of artillery on Gen'l Wessell's staff. For five hours this force withstood the combined attack, the entire artillery of the enemy and the “Albemarle” concentrating a fierce fire of grape, shell and solid shot upon the fort until the unequal contest was ended by the surrender of Fort Williams. Fort Grey, finding all the other defences captured, capitulated. The enemy heartlessly massacred all negroes with arms, besides many of the North Carolina Volunteers. Our loss was fifteen killed, one hundred wounded, and sixteen hundred prisoners; that of the enemy ninety-five killed, and six hundred and thirty-five wounded. After the defeat of our naval forces by the “Albemarle,” Capt. Horace I. Hodges, assistant quartermaster, volunteered to carry dispatches to the fleet below, in doing which his boat was capsized and the captain drowned. Capt. Hodges was born at Savoy, June 12, 1818, a graduate of Williams College 1838, studied law with Bates & Huntington, Northampton, and with the exception of three years,

practised law or resided at that place. He was influential in politics, a trial justice, judge of insolvency, and commissioner for Hampshire County. He was commissioned captain and assistant quartermaster 1863, with assignment to this post, and died at the age of forty-six years, leaving a widow and two children.

Ira B. Sampson was born in Middlefield, April 22, 1840, and received a sergeant-major's warrant in the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., dated Dec. 7, 1861. He was commissioned a second lieutenant March 1, 1862, and at the time of his resignation, was under recommendation for promotion with us. He was present in the marches and battles of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment until the close of the siege of Washington, N. C., receiving honorable mention for a successful movement from Bachelor's Creek, against Whitford's guerrillas. He was promoted as captain of Company G, Second Mass. Heavy Artillery, and after several months of recruiting service at the North, returned to active duty. Large bounties had drawn a great number of bounty-jumpers to his command, and the moving of his battalion to the seat of war without the loss of a man was warmly commended by Gov. Andrew and Gen'l Pierce.

March 1, 1864, Gen'l H. W. Wessell appointed him chief of artillery, Department of Albemarle. His headquarters were at Fort Williams, the principal defence of Plymouth. Of the contest made by this fort during Hoke's attack, Gen'l Wessell said: “Capt. Sampson's guns, though of old and clumsy patterns, were handled with a coolness and skill worthy of all praise, inflicting severe loss upon the enemy.” Capt. Sampson capitulated Fort Williams five hours after the capture of the town of Plymouth, having himself received a wound from a shell just previous to the surrender. He suffered imprisonment ten mouths at Macon and Savannah, Ga., Charleston and Columbia, S. C. He escaped from Savannah, July 3, 1864, but was recaptured






three days later within three miles of our gunboats. On the approach of Gen'l Sherman to Columbia in February, 1865, he secreted himself between the ceiling and roof of a piazza to a hospital building, until the 15th, when he escaped to a barn near the city. Here be witnessed Wheeler's (rebel) cavalry fire the railroad depot and several warehouses, and says the fire was raging heavily when the Union forces entered Columbia. After serving on staff duty to Fayetteville, N. C., he descended the Cape Fear River on the first dispatch boat in charge of a howitzer. After a leave of absence he returned to duty as commander of Fort Macon, and resigned June 8, 1865, after the close of hostilities.

April 25, 1864, for reasons unknown, Maj. Gen'l Peck was removed from the command of the Department of North Carolina. He retired from service to his home at Syracuse, N. Y., where he died in 1878. Col. Harland, with the Twenty-First Conn. Regt., was at this time holding Washington, N. C., and learning of the capture of Plymouth, evacuated the place, destroying the fortifications and large quantities of military stores. All points on the rivers and sounds were expecting each in turn to fall victims to the “Albemarle.” Our fleet had been reinforced by a superior class of naval vessels, including the “Sassacus,” “Tacony,” “Wyalusing” and “Mattabesset,” each of which were armed with iron prows. Commodore Melancthon Smyth, an officer of large experience and energy, was also placed in command of the naval forces in the sound, and the hope of the department was, should the “Albemarle” venture into the open sound, the fleet might be able to run it down.

At four P.M., May 5th, the steamers “Mattabesset,” “Sassacus,” and “Wyalusing” were lying at anchor at Bluff Point near Edenton Bay, when they received warning from the “Miami” and “Whitehead,” on picket near the mouth of

the Roanoke River, that “the Ram was out,” attended by the “Bombshell” and “Cotton Plant.” The “Ram,” otherwise known as the “Albemarle,” was armed with two one-hundred pound Brooks guns, rifled, and these so arranged as to fire from front, sides and rear. It was decoyed by our fleet to just below Edenton Bay, when the conflict was opened by a gun from the “Miami.” The “Mattabesset” and “Sassacus” followed with broadsides, but their missiles bounded from their mailed antagonist like rubber balls. In turning for a broadside, the deck of the “Sassacus” was raked by the fire of sharpshooters upon the steamer “Bombshell,” causing the former to deliver its broadside upon the rebel craft, which resulted in the immediate surrender of the “Bombshell.” The “Mattabesset” and “Wyalusing” were now engaging the “Albemarle,” when Commander Roe of the “Sassacus,” determined to close upon the foe. With thirty pounds of steam, and throttle wide open, the “Sassacus” rushed for its antagonist, striking it amidship at a speed of ten knots an hour. Its prow pierced the iron monster, and with full steam the “Sassacus” continued to crowd its opponent heavily upon its side.

At the moment of collision a hundred-pound shot passed through the “Sassacus” from stem to stern, but without material damage. A black muzzle again protruded from the port of the foe. The crew of the “Sassacus” with haste trained their Parrott, and a ponderous shot shivered the muzzle of the “Albemarle's” gun before it could be fired. They were within ten feet of each other, the powder from each blackening the side of its antagonist. It was “broadside to broadside,” and “yard-arm locked to yard,” while the crew of the “Sassacus” threw shot, shell and hand-grenades into the ports of the “Albemarle.” Gun answered gun in quick succession, while the scattering fire of sharpshooters was working death on either side. Another gun protrudes from the ram, and another Parrott on the “Sassacus” is quickly






trained upon it, and both discharge together. But a sound strikes the crew of the “Sassacus,” more terrible than that of belching cannon or bursting shell. The enemy's shot has passed through her boiler, and quick as thought, the “Sassacus” is enveloped in a cloud of scalding steam. Scores are writing in the burning mist, but the brave gunners stick to their batteries, and ply their ponderous missiles upon the mailed sides of the foe.

It is a duel for life, and the divisions stand to their guns with a gallantry unequalled since the days of Decatur. At length one of our hundred-pound shots crumbles against the iron craft, part of the ball wedging itself into and sealing the port, and thus silencing the rebel guns. Still our batteries continue their incessant pounding, until the steam has exhausted from the boilers of the “Sassacus,” and its wheels fail to revolve, when it helplessly drifts away from its antagonist. When the steam cleared away, the crew of the “Sassacus” saw the foe making effort to escape. Nineteen had been severely burned and one killed by the scalding steam, and though the burns were deep and painful, they forgot their sufferings and cheered lustily over the victory. The fleet followed the ironclad to the Roanoke River, but the latter succeeded in making good its escape. It is hard to avoid the conviction that had the other vessels joined in the fray at close quarters, it would have been impossible for the “Albemarle” to have escaped.

While these events were transpiring a more portentous feature of the enemy's plan was developed by a force, estimated at fifteen thousand men under General Hoke, leaving Kinston for the purpose of capturing New Berne. The connection was too evident. This place was now under command of Brig. Gen'l I. N. Palmer, an officer who — whatever his accomplishments — failed to inspire confidence in his nerve and valor. The reliance of the District was rather on Capt. J. A. Judson, Assistant Adjutant-General

on his staff, an officer of unquestioned courage and ability and, as Capt. Denny well says, “of energy enough to run half a dozen headquarters, and, with his big goose-quill, able to turn off any amount of solid work.”

Nine o'clock, May 5th, the enemy were discovered in heavy force upon the south of the Trent, intercepting communication with Beaufort, and commenced the construction of batteries along the river, and opposing our works. The fire from our navy interfered little with their labor, but no demonstration was made by them against any part of our line. On the morning of the 6th, as the monitor car ran down to the creek bridge, it was met by a flag of truce with a formal demand from Gen'l Hoke, for “an unconditional surrender of New Berne and its forces, or the place would be stormed at four p.m., and the garrison held responsible for the useless loss of life.” We were assured the “Albemarle” was then in the river and no possible hope could exist for aid from any direction. Negroes were again forced to the front and Lieut. Hunt's valiant “Letter B Company” rallied for defence, for the available force outside of convalescents did not exceed three thousand men. Everything indicated that the enemy would assault the southern defences, as our weakest point, and these were strengthened by troops from Fort Totten.

At five p.m., there having been no assault, a reconnoissance was made by Capt. Graham of the First North Carolina Union Cavalry, who reported the enemy in full retreat. On capturing some of their rear guard at Pollocksville, he learned that “Gen'l Pickett had received a dispatch from Richmond saying a large force of Yankees had landed a few miles below that city and ordering him to hasten with the utmost dispatch to its relief.” Thus again was New Berne saved, and though hundreds of miles intervened, the movements of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., as it advanced on Richmond from Bermuda Hundreds, was the means of once






more saving New Berne and its garrison from the grasp of the enemy. It was a prize which might well have tempted the most ambitious. With it the entire control of North Carolina would have reverted to the enemy, while its enormous supplies would have aided their depleted stores. The prestige of such a victory would have strengthened their cause in the field and with the nations. The heroic deeds of our navy and the sudden advance of Heckman's brigade within sight of the rebel capital frustrated their deep-laid plans.

CHAPTER XIV. THE ARMY OF THE JAMES.

Our record left the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Vols. at Julian's Creek, Va., where, at eleven, A.M., April 26, 1864, it received marching orders, with instructions to forward unnecessary baggage north, and to store their camp equipage at Portsmouth, Va. At five o'clock in the afternoon the regiment embarked upon the steamer “Escort,” an old-time friend in North Carolina. We left Portsmouth at five o'clock the morning of the 27th, and arrived at Yorktown about noon. Here we received our first issue of sheltertents, in preparation for the summer campaign. After marching and countermarching to deceive the enemy, we embarked upon the steamer “Winona” at Yorktown, Va., with sealed orders. For the purport of these orders, and the manner of execution, we refer to the following special report for this work, from the commander of the Brigade.

Brig.-Gen'l C. A. Heckman's Report; or The Army of the James.

Its Mismanaged Movement on the James River, and How it Ended in Disaster.

On the morning of the 26th of April, 1864, the Army of the James, composed of the Tenth Corps, Gen'l Q. A. Gillmore, and the Eighteenth Corps, Gen'l W. F. Smith, under command of Gen'l B. F. Butler, commenced moving to co-operate in the reduction of Richmond, in accordance with orders from Gen'l Grant. The fleet sailed up the York River to Yorktown. The Star Brigade,






composed of the Ninth New Jersey and Twenty-Third, Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Seventh Mass. was sent up the peninsula near to Williamsburg, a large number of transports meanwhile sailing further up the river. This movement being designed only as a feint, the troops suddenly counter-marched and re-embarked, the whole fleet returning during the night of May 4th, to Fortress Monroe. On the morning of the 5th, the fleet sailed up the James River, the ironclads in advance, and in the evening the Star Brigade debarked at Bermuda Hundreds and marched inland one mile, to cover the landing of our army. Next morning took possession of Cobb's Hill without opposition. It is at the neck of the narrow strip of land known as Bermuda Hundreds, around which the river bends, so that our army rested both its wings on it, though they were many miles apart by water. A line of works across this neck, with its flanks covered by gunboats in the river, made it a most defensible position, and one also in which an aimless force could easily be rendered neutral by an inferior one. About 1 P.M., under orders from Gen'l Butler to “ascertain, if possible, the numbers and position of the enemy, but be sure to avoid bringing on a general engagement,” my brigade moved forward to Port Walthall Junction, on the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad. We found the enemy well posted behind the railroad embankment. Our skirmishers drove their pickets back upon their main line, and the order in which they retired proved them to be regular troops. To develop their strength, a section of three-inch rifled guns opened a brisk and most accurate fire upon them, dropping its shells in the midst of their infantry, en masse. After a couple of hours manœuvring, the enemy failing to respond with artillery to our annoying practice, I was assured the force on our front was a small one (two or three regiments), and from information obtained from deserters that it was the only body of regular troops in the neighborhood, and returned to camp and reported accordingly. “The brigade being (by its orders) restricted in its movements, I put in practice a manœuvre, on which I felt considerable anxiety; viz., how it would be effected in retiring from the enemy under fire. In double line of battle they marched steadily forward until within half-musket range, then charged on the double quick to the enemy's breastwork, when the recall sounding brought them right about.

They retired about one hundred yards, faced to the front, sent a volley into the Johnnies, again faced to the rear and steadily marching out of range, faced to the front, the rebs keeping up a steady fire, but not venturing from behind their breastwork. The movement was admirably executed, and drew expressions of admiration from the members of Gen'l Smith's staff that were present.” If an immediate advance on Petersburg by one of our corps, and simultaneous with that movement an attack on Drewry's Bluff by the other corps had been made, we would have carried both points with comparatively small loss. But the great opportunity for a decisive strike was thrown away. The landing on the south side of the James had been a complete surprise; but that night the “Cockade City” slept secure, with only one small South Carolina brigade, the Washington Artillery (unserviceable for want of horses), the militia (Bates’ battalion of boys, “for local defence,”) and a regiment of Clingman's brigade — a ridiculously inadequate force — to defend it, and Butler's army of thirty-five thousand veterans in sight of its church steeples. As it was afterward ascertained, Kautz's Cavalry, who had moved (via Suffolk) simultaneously with the Army of the James, had been partially successful in cutting “the Weldon road,” and the small force engaged at Port Walthall was all of Beauregard's troops, coming hurriedly up from South Carolina, that had been able to pass the break in the railroad. On the 7th a meaningless movement was made on Port Walthall, and a useless battle fought. Weitzel, it is true, destroyed several miles of railroad, but the enemy repaired it the following day, while our army remained supinely in camp. Wise, Hoke and Kemper now arrived, and formed line on Swift Creek. Beauregard arrived, and to him Gen'l Pickett turned over the command, which he had held for so many anxious days and nights. Monday, the 9th, our two corps made their first combined or even concerted movement, the operations of days before having been carried on by detached brigades and divisions. A small force of rebel infantry, with a section of Whitworth guns, was encountered at Swift Creek, three miles from Petersburg. The Star Brigade was deployed in two lines of battle on the right and left of the road. They fired a round over our heads, fell back to the next hill, and so continued to fire and fall back until we had arrived






within three hundred yards of Arrowfield Church. Here they appeared in strong force, and assumed a vigorous offensive. I was about to relieve my front line with the second, but, instead, closed up, instructing my colonels to fire at a given signal. The Confederates came on in splendid style with the peculiar “rebel yell” till within forty yards of our line, when our crushing volley swept them over the brow of the hill and across the creek into the arms of their comrades who were holding a redoubt which covered the ford. It was a gallant charge and a bloody repulse. Capt. Leroy Hammond, mortally wounded, and a prisoner in our hands, when told that the troops who were opposed to the Confederates were the “Star Brigade” composed of the Ninth New Jersey, and Twenty-Third, Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regts., remarked “that it was a striking coincidence that two regiments of the attacking force, the Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Seventh South Carolina, should have met two regiments of the same numbers from her most inveterate enemy — Massachusetts.” “The attack would not have been made,” he said, “but for the idea that our troops were ninety days’ emergency men, and certainly the timorous movements of our army since the landing gave some reason for such an opinion.” On no other hypothesis could the enemy account for our failure to advance. For the next four or five days, while our enemy was marching hither and thither in the open county, the time was improved by Beauregard in hurrying up troops and getting them well in hand. From Drewry's Bluff he suggested to Gen'l Bragg “that Gen'l Lee should fall back to the defensive line of the Chickahominy, or even to the immediate lines of Richmond, sending temporarily to this place fifteen thousand of his troops. Immediately on this accession to my present force I would take the offensive and attack Butler's army vigorously. Such a move would throw me directly upon Butler's communications, and, as he now stands, on his right flank, well towards the rear. Gen'l Whiting should also move simultaneously. Butler must then necessarily be crushed or captured, and the stores of that army would fall into our hands.” This was written on the 14th. Let us now see how well the plan was carried out. Our army at this time was facing north, and operating more immediately against Fort Darling, having, on the

very day that Beauregard's dispatch is dated, driven the enemy within his works. The enemy held a strong line of works, extending from Fort Darling on our right to the Appomattox on our left, and threatening us, instead of our threatening them — we being in an essentially false position. The Star Brigade held the extreme right of our line, “at the base of Drewry's Bluff and within half musket range of their outer earthwork,” with an unoccupied space of one and a quarter miles between it and the river. This was the most important part of our line, as it covered the shortest route to our base and supplies on the James. On the morning of the 15th there was a scattered musketry fire, with an occasional volley. In the afternoon it was perfectly calm. The unusual quietness of an enterprising enemy was suspicious, and having learned that he had been reinforced by Anderson's corps of Lee's army, it became apparent that Beauregard meant to attack us while our faulty position offered such an excellent opportunity for an effective stroke. With our glasses we saw President Davis, Beauregard and other general officers, reconnoitring our position, and from deserters we learned that a plan of attack was being made, the troops selected for the assault even being named. This state of affairs I in person reported at division and army headquarters, with a request for reinforcements to occupy the all-important space between my right and the river. “After reporting to Gen'l Weitzel, at his request I started, Capt. Belger accompanying me,” for Gen'l Smith's quarters, but being wrongly directed I rode into Gen'l Butler's, and, before I was able to beat a retreat, Maj. Kensel appeared at the door and said that Gen'l Butler wished to see me. With my verbal report, I gave to the General a rough diagram of the position of both forces in my end of the line. He seemed to be impressed with the importance of my request, and I expected the needed reinforcements. Just at this moment Gen'l Smith came in, and Gen'l Butler gave him the substance of my report. I was impressed with the thought that my irregular transmission of information had more effect upon him than the information itself. He, however, visited my line, and seemed to realize that there was solid ground for my apprehension. Later in the afternoon two sections of Columbiads and one section of twenty-inch rifled guns, under command of Capt. Belger, were sent to






cover the gap, and subsequently withdrawn, for safety. “They were captured the next day.” Afterward a squadron of the Eleventh Penn. Cavalry were sent to guard the space on my right that should have been occupied by a brigade of infantry with artillery. Being thus denied the reinforcements so sorely needed, and unable to procure wire for the protection of my front, “but with which the whole line to my left was amply supplied,” preparations were at once made to meet the attack we were assured would be made before the rising of another sun. A breastwork of such material as could be gathered was quietly and hastily thrown up, so that the position, so essential to the safety of our army, should be defended to the last. On my right and well thrown forward was posted a strong picket line, the men grouped in fours in gopher holes, with the right resting on a farm-house, fully one mile on our right front, under command of Capt. Lawrence of the Ninth New Jersey, who was instructed to give a vigorous resistance to any force coming against him. At midnight the rebs moved out from their works, massing strongly on our extreme right, and just before daylight, having obtained position, rushed with great impetuosity on our pickets, but after a desperate struggle were forced back by the gallant Capt. Lawrence, and day broke (thanks to the vigilance and gallantry of the Star Brigade) with our lines still unbroken. Shortly after dawn a dense fog suddenly enveloped us, completely concealing the enemy from our view. Five picked brigades in column debouched from the enemy's works, and, rapidly advancing, drove in our pickets, pressing up on a run to our main line. Hearing their approach, my brigade swept instantly into line, and steadily awaited their coming. When only five paces intervened between the rebel bayonets and our inflexible line a simultaneous scorching volley swept into the faces of the exultant foe, smiting hundreds to the earth and hurling the whole column back in confusion. Five times, encouraged and rallied by their officers, that magnificent rebel infantry advanced to the attack, but only to meet and be driven back by those relentless volleys of musketry. Finding it impossible to succeed by a direct attack they now changed front, and attempted to crush my right, held by the Ninth New Jersey, but here, too, the right wing having been reserved, they were met by a galling

fire, and again for a moment faltered. But soon they once more advanced in column by brigade, and the Star Brigade, being without artillery and withal vastly outnumbered, was, for the first time in its history, compelled to fall back and take up a new position. While this movement was being executed, — the Ninth already in position, — my staff being engaged in other parts of the field, I passed along to the left of the Ninth to a point I supposed to be occupied by the Twenty-Third, but found instead an approaching line of battle. Taking it to be reinforcements, I ordered them to wheel to the right and charge, and at the next moment discovered that they were “graybacks,” and at nine A. M. of the 16th, I was a guest at the Hotel de Libby. I never at any other time experienced such musketry fire as on that day. It was one incessant volley, and its terrible fatality may be judged from the fact that the enemy acknowledged a loss of four thousand five hundred on my front alone; and I lost nearly all my field and line officers, either killed or wounded. Many others joined me at Drewry's Bluff and accompanied me up the river to Richmond. The result of the campaign which culminated in this battle was a source of great congratulation to the enemy. Not only was the threatened danger to Petersburg and Richmond averted, but the pressure on their lines of communication was relieved; and Butler, besides suffering a terrible loss, was shut up and held inactive by a comparatively small force. Had Gen'l Whiting moved out of Petersburg with his ten thousand men as directed, the Army of the James could not have escaped destruction. The ultimate results: The spoiling of Grant's plan of campaign, the transfer of the Army of the Potomac to the south of Richmond; the siege of Petersburg; the bloody struggle for the Weldon road, all these, with their enormous losses of life and property, are the sadder to think of when it is remembered that it was all caused by the incompetent handling of the Army of the James, composed of two veteran corps, the equal of any in the United States armies. Gen'l Grant laid the onus of the failure on Gen'l Butler in a caustic paragraph of his official reports; the press and the histories of the war blame him, with the severest language, and even now the nation at large call him “bottled-up Butler.”

It would hardly be satisfactory to the Twenty-Seventh or






its friends to neglect to mention their part in these important movements narrated by Gen'l Heckman, even at the risk of repetition. After reaching Bermuda Hundreds, landing was effected without opposition, the Twenty-Seventh advancing a mile, and bivouacking in a wheat-field. At six A.M., Friday, May 6th, the regiment started for Cobb's Hill, seven miles distant. The morning was cloudless, and the winding, sandy road was soon strewn with blankets, coats and shoes, which the heat and toil of the way made unendurable. No enemy was discovered, and by noon we halted at Cobb's Hill, near a deserted signal-tower. Our forces at once commenced the construction of a line of fortifications from “Point of Rocks” to “Dutch Gap Bend,” four miles distant, leaving a large, irregular peninsula in our rear, capable of easy defence, and every way suitable as a basis for intended operations. The Army of the James consisted of the

Eighteenth Army Corps, Maj. Gen'l W. F. (Baldy) Smith commanding.

First Division, Maj. Gen'l —— Brooks.

Second Division, Maj. Gen'l Godfrey Weitzel.

Third Division, Brig. Gen'l Edward W. Hincks.

The Tenth Army Corps, Maj. Gen'l Q. A. Gillmore commanding, with three divisions under command of Gen'ls Ames, Terry, and Turner. The whole force numbered about thirty-four thousand men, under command of Maj. Gen'l B. F. Butler. The Twenty-Seventh was of the Second Division, Eighteenth Corps, and, as previously stated, under command of Brig. Gen'l C. A. Heckman.

At four P.M., Gen'l Heckman, under orders to develop the enemy's force and position, advanced his brigade, with Companies A and H of the Twenty-Seventh as skirmishers, supported by the regiment in close column. Passing through light timber-land, and over a ravine beyond an old mill,






Map of Bermuda Hundreds and Vicnity for the History of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt.
Map of Bermuda Hundreds and Vicnity for the History of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt.





they encountered and followed the enemy's pickets, emerging into an open field known as the “Mary Dunn Farm,” in full view of the junction of the Richmond and Petersburg, and Port Walthall branch railroads. The skirmish line advanced so rapidly the column had difficulty in keeping supporting distance, the Ninth New Jersey jocosely remarking, “The Twenty-Seventh skirmishers must be trying to connect with the “Richmond Express.” As the main column emerged from the woods, a train of cars arrived loaded with rebel troops, who, dismounting, advanced a line of skirmishers towards our position. The main body of the enemy attempted to show their coolness by going through the manual of arms upon the field. Seeing this, Capt. Sandford with Company H, pressed forward at double-quick, followed by Capt. Dwight with Company A as a “reserve for skirmishers.” Slowly and regularly the opposing skirmishers gave way to Capt. Sandford's impetuous advance, showing by their regular movements we were contending with veterans. After crossing a ravine, our skirmishers encountered a severe fire, the enemy using the banks and fences skirting the railroad as parapets. Capt. Dwight with Company A advanced to their relief, and by courage and coolness enabled the skirmishers to retire to the ravine without material loss.

The Twenty-Seventh advanced in line of battle across the field to the ravine in support of the skirmishers, where the regiment opened fire. The remainder of the brigade formed en echelon, the Twenty-Fifth Mass. supporting the Twenth-Seventh Regiment, with the Ninth New Jersey and Twenty-Third Mass. to the right and left. Howard's Fourth U. S. Battery opened with shell upon the enemy, but were replied to with musketry only, one ball taking off a part of Gen'l Heckman's little finger, and killing his horse. An “Aid” dismounted, offering the general his horse, with which he returned to his position, amid the cheers of his






brigade. For an hour a sheet of fire crowned the summit of the railroad and fence, sweeping our position, while the fire of the Twenty-Seventh covered the field with a dense cloud. The brigade moved forward, the Ninth New Jersey and Twenty-Third Mass. opening fire near the foot of the hill, while the gallant old Twenty-Fifth stood in reserve, receiving unanswered the galling fire. The sun had long been below the horizon, when Gen'l Heckman, satisfied that the enemy was present in small force and that without artillery, ordered the recall.

It was a keen disappointment to his veteran troops, and to retreat in order under such a fire, tested, as no other movement could, the courage and discipline of the brigade. Being farthest to the front, the Twenty-Seventh was now the rear guard, and facing to the rear, loaded as they retired with measured steps; then faced to the front and fired, repeating the movement until beyond range of the enemy. This was witnessed by members of Gen'l Smith's staff, and drew from them and the commanding general expressions of unqualified praise. The astonished enemy made no attempt to follow. Our force reached Cobb's Hill about ten o'clock P.M. The Union loss was eight killed and sixty wounded, and that of the Confederates, as reported by the rebel general, Hagood, two killed and thirty-one wounded. Gen'l Hagood also says this force consisted of the Twenty-First and Twenty-Fifth South Carolina Regiments under command of Col. Graham of the Twenty-First.

It is worthy of record that this engagement is immortalized in Confederate record as a victory, Jefferson Davis, in his “Rise and Fall of the Confederacy,” saying, “We compelled them to withdraw to the shelter of their gunboats,” while some Confederate poet has enshrined in verse the “Victory of Walthall.”

The loss of the Twenty-Seventh was:—

George Stevens, Company A, Williamsburg, killed.

Sergt. Alfred L. Mantor, Company B, Hawley, killed.

Wounded.

Maj. William A. Walker, right foot, slight.

Lafayette Smith, Company A, Enfield, right shoulder, fatal.

George A. Hill, Company A, Easthampton, leg, slight.

Corp. William B. Bliss, Company B, New Salem, right leg.

Alonzo J. Thomas, Company B, Shutesbury, left side.

George A. Draper, Company D, Amherst, abdomen, fatal.

Peter McGowan, Company D, Springfield, left thigh, slight.

Henry McCoomb, Company E, Pittsfield, both thigh and groin, severe.

Charles L. Nye, Company E, Lee, right shoulder.

A. Gilmore, Company F, Otis, right leg, severe.

Henry J. Pulsifer, Company G, Chicopee, right thigh, severe.

Leverett Clark, Company H, Newburyport, right arm, flesh.

John O. Erwin, Company H, Adams, groin, severe.

George McGue, Company H, Adams, left arm.

Corp. Newton Wallace, Company I, Holland, face, flesh wound.

Dorr R. Bruce, Company K, Longmeadow, abdomen, fatal.

Total: Two killed and sixteen wounded,

Comrade Stevens of Company A was on temporary service with the ordnance officer, and, in a moment of leisure, was permitted to take the officer's horse, to visit the front. He unfortunately ran into an ambush, and the horse returned a few moments later without a rider. His body was not recovered.

May 7th an advance was made by our forces to destroy the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad. Burnham's Brigade of Brooks's Division, occupied the centre, with Heckman's Brigade supporting its left by way of Walthall Junction, and two brigades of the Tenth Corps supporting its right flank by the Chesterfield turnpike. The Twenty-Seventh again






took the advance by the route of the night previous, reaching the Dunn farm about nine A.M. without opposition. The enemy were present with increased force, Hunton's, Barton's, and Gracie's rebel brigades, with artillery and cavalry, resisting our advance. Our artillery was placed in front of the “Mary Dunn house,” while the brigade rested in double column half distance at its rear. An artillery duel was maintained the entire day, with a loss to our brigade of nine wounded, of which five were from the Twenty-Seventh Mass. The following was our list of wounded:—

Capt. Charles D. Sandford, North Adams; thigh; slight.

John Richards, Company C, Hatfield; face and chest; slight.

Charles Walker, Company C, Easthampton; finger; slight.

Malachi Horner, Company F, Southwick; back; slight.

Elijah W. Knight, Company H, Springfield; back; slight.

The heat of the sun was intense, and, with the suffocating, sulphurous clouds, taxed our endurance to the utmost, fifty of our regiment suffering from sunstroke. At our right, Gen'l Brooks was heavily engaged, and succeeded in reaching and destroying a mile of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad during the day, after which the column retired once more to camp at Cobb's Hill.

It is hard to say why these repeated warnings were given the enemy, or why opportunity was afforded them for concentration and defence. A surprise could not have been more perfect, or promised more glorious results. The available forces of Richmond had been hastened to oppose the “Army of the Potomac” — which had crossed the Rapidan, May 4th; Gen'l Beauregard had delayed departure from Charleston, S. C., not knowing the destination of the Tenth Corps, while all of Gen'l Pickett's available force was two hundred miles distant, before the fortifications of New Berne, when the Army of the James first landed at Bermuda Hundreds. Not a man could be spared from

the conflict with Gen'l Grant; Gen'l Pickett's forces, leaving New Berne at noon, the 6th, could not have reached Petersburg before the night of the 8th, had sufficient transportation been at their command; and Gen'l Beauregard, with his distance and the devastating work of Gen'l Kautz, at Stony Creek, must have been considerable later. The movements of the 6th and 7th gave satisfactory evidence of the great weakness of the enemy still the Army of the James, with its thirty-four thousand men and able commanders, were ordered, for ten days, to dally with insignificant forces, till, gathering strength from distant fields, the enemy availed themselves of the delay, and “bottled up” our entire force within the prisons of Richmond, or the narrow confines of Bermuda Hundreds.

We append so much of Gen'l Grant's instructions as bear upon the movements of the Army of the James, for the information of our readers.

Fortress Monroe, Va., April 2, 1864.

General:— . . . You will collect all the forces from your command that can be spared from garrison duty — I should say not less than twenty thousand effective men — to operate on the south side of the James River, Richmond being your objective point. To the force you already have, will be added ten thousand men from South Carolina, under Maj. Gen'l Gillmore, who will command them in person. Maj. Gen'l W. F. Smith is ordered to report to you, to command the troops sent into the field from your own department.

Gen'l Gillmore will be ordered to report to you at Fortress Monroe, with all the troops on transports, by the 18th instant, or as soon thereafter as practicable. Should you not receive notice by that time to move, you will make such disposition of them and your other forces, as you may deem best calculated to deceive the enemy as to the real move to be made.

When you are notified to move, take City Point with as much force as possible. Fortify, or, rather, intrench, at once, and concentrate all your troops for the field as rapidly as you can. From






City Point directions cannot be given, at this time, for your further movements.

The fact that has already been stated — that is, that Richmond is to be your objective point, and that there is to be co-operation between your force and the “Army of the Potomac” — must be your guide. This indicates the necessity of your holding close to the south bank of the James River as you advance. Then should the enemy be forced into his intrenchments, in Richmond, the Army of the Potomac would follow, and, by means of transports, the two armies would become a unit.

All the minor details of your advance are left entirely to your direction. . . . .

U. S. Grant, Lieut. Gen'l.

Maj. Gen'l B. F. Butler.

Sunday, May 8th, the regiment rested in camp, funeral services being held for our slain, by Chaplain Woodworth. On the 9th a general movement was made, the Twenty-Seventh again in advance, with Companies E and I as skirmishers. On reaching the battle-field, Surgeon Fish discovered a member of the Forty-Eighth New York Regiment who had been wounded severely, the 7th inst., and who, being left by his comrades, had succeeded in hiding himself in the underbrush. Here he had remained two days without food or water, unable to move, surrounded by the enemy and by forest fires which had burned close to his hiding place. When once more in the hands of friends, the poor fellow's joy knew no bounds. It was a keen pleasure to relieve his wants and attend him to the ambulance.

Beauregard had now taken command of the rebel forces, consisting of six brigades from North Carolina, four brigades from Charleston, S. C., and the garrisons and reserves of the Richmond and Petersburg fortifications. The demands on Gen'l Beauregard required the division of his force for the protection of Richmond, on the north, and Petersburg, on the south; our position cutting his communication, and affording opportunity of defeating each army in detail. The turnpike

before us crossed the railroad and ran due south through a wooded, undulating country, and crossed Bakehouse, Swift and Oldtown Creeks, before reaching Petersburg, six miles distant.

After a short rest our skirmishers moved down this turnpike, cutting their way through tangled underwood, behind which the enemy, with skirmishers and artillery, contested our advance. The Twenty-Seventh moved forward in column by companies, till within a short distance of Arrowfield Church, when the stubborn resistance to our skirmishers necessitated the deploying of Company B for their assistance. Col. Lee now formed the Twenty-Seventh upon the right of the road, with orders to advance as rapidly as possible, in doing which, the enemy were developed in considerable force near Arrowfield Church, and a hard fight at once began. Gen. Heckman ordered the Twenty-Fifth Mass. to the left of the road, supported by the Twenty-Third Mass. and the Ninth New Jersey, to the support of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, when we again attempted to advance, but were met with a galling fire of canister and musketry. Howard's U. S. Battery was brought into position upon the turnpike and a second line of battle formed in our rear. An earthwork of the enemy across Swift Creek soon placed Howard's Battery hors de combat, and, as it rushed to the rear, caused the second line to waver, supposing Heckman's Brigade had been defeated. Volley upon volley came in quick succession from the front, and cheer upon cheer through the thickets of brush, as the contest waged nearer, each assuring them that Heckman's Brigade was invincible still.

We were face to face with Beauregard's veteran troops, with the inspiration of his presence, and the advantage of position, and (as we afterward found) with a liberal supply of liquor to incite them to combat. Strange that the enemy were so long in learning that men steeped in liquor






could not cope with courage inspired by a cool head and well-balanced mind. New Berne gave evidence of the same inordinate use of liquor previous to and during the engagement. It is stated on good authority that the enemy often mixed gunpowder with the liquor to increase the intoxication to frenzied madness.

For an hour the tide of battle swept the field, our force slowly closing upon the enemy's position. Our line stood somewhat like a V across the turnpike, the right of the Twenty-Seventh well advanced in a scattering growth of pine, while the left of the Twenty-Fifth was also advanced and mostly concealed in a thicket of bushes. Suddenly “a rebel yell” rose above the din of conflict, and from the east of the road, four columns deep, came Hagood's South Carolina Brigade, at double quick, charging directly upon us. It was a grand spectacle, that line of gray-clad soldiers in solid column charging against our merciless fire. Yelling like demons, onward they came with a courage worthy a nobler cause, and deserving a better fate. If Massachusetts has reason to cherish the memory of her victorious sons upon that field, no less has South Carolina to revere the self-sacrifice and daring of her defeated troops.

These moments, fraught with momentous consequences, found the Star Brigade firm and reliant. “Steady, men! Steady! Cease firing until ordered!” rang along our line; and as a grim and silent wall of adamant we awaited the shock. At twenty yards the order, “Fire!” was given, and a zigzag flame swept along the line upon the foe, and with the second volley, the charging column melted into a disorganized mass in precipitate retreat. The Ninth New Jersey in our rear cheered lustily over the enemy's defeat, and started to charge; which Lieut. Col. Bartholomew's willing spirit construed into a general order, and, with the left wing of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, charged upon the enemy, driving them from the field. The entire force

now advanced, and as Gen'l Heckman came up to Col. Bartholomew he good-naturedly exclaimed, “Colonel, what are you doing here?” During the battle, the firing of the Twenty-Seventh had been so rapid that Gen'l Heckman expressed a fear we were wasting ammunition, and Col. Bartholomew now replied, “General, what do you think now about the Twenty-Seventh wasting ammunition?” Gen'l Heckman replied — patting the colonel and a private on the shoulder — “You've done well! You've done well!”

The whole field was strewn with the dead and dying, forty-nine dead lying on a space sixty by one hundred and fifty feet, while one company of the Twenty-Seventh South Carolina Regiment left forty-two of its number upon the field. Hagood's Brigade consisted of the Seventh, Eleventh, Twenty-First, Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Seventh South Carolina regiments, and the last two were pitted against the same numbers from Massachusetts, in which the former were ingloriously defeated. Mudsills versus chivalry! Hunt's Battery D, Fourth U. S. Artillery, was brought into position, covering a redoubt across Swift Creek, from which the enemy were shelling the ambulances under Surgeon Fish. The duel lasted till sundown, when the enemy's battery was silenced, and our forces were left in victorious possession of the field. The sad work of ministering to the wounded and dead was continued far into the night, Arrowfield Church being used as a hospital. Capt. Leroy Hammond of the Twenty-Seventh South Carolina Regiment lay mortally wounded upon the field. Finding with whom he had contended, he exclaimed, “That's strange! South Carolina has met and been defeated by her most hated foe;” adding, “We were assured there was nothing but raw recruits from Massachusetts in front; had we known you were veteran troops, we should not have charged; it was like retribution.”

We shall not soon forget the surprise with which the






enemy received the comforts our scanty supplies afforded, even the cup of cold water to assuage the thirst of ebbing life. As Col. Lee stooped over a dying man, and bestowed such attention as was possible, the man, with an effort, said, “Our — officers — wouldn't — do — that; Colonels — don't — care — for their — men.” The night was cold and chill, the church and grounds resounding with the groans of the wounded and dying, while the sturdy men of Heckman's Brigade were busy gathering and relieving a foe, who but two days previous, on another field, had neglected our comrades and permitted their bodies to be mutilated by hogs. The loss of the Twenty-Seventh in this engagement was:

Killed.

Company B. — Corp. Nathaniel B. Twitchell, Athol, shot through the head; Charles W. Wheeler, Jr., Greenfield, shot in the breast; Nelson G. Wood, Athol, shot in both lungs and abdomen.

Company G. — Corp. Richard Curry, Fall River, shot in the breast.

Company H. — Levi Holden, Haverhill.

Wounded.

Company A. — Frederick Klisner, Hatfield, back, slight; John M. North, Northampton, head, fatal.

Company B. — Sergt. Daniel W. Larned, Athol, foot, slight; Corp. Horatio W. McClellan, Athol, thigh, fatal; Joseph Briggs, Leverett, arm, flesh wound; George Britton, Erving, lost finger; Alvin King, Orange, hand.

Company C. — Corp. John Shoals, Amherst, groin; Aaron A. Terry, Orange, fatal.

Company D. — Sergt. Franklin Elwell, Hadley, right thigh, severe; Corp. George A. Griffin, Pelham, shoulder, flesh wound; Eugene P. Hervey, Amherst, face; William J. Hopkins, Amherst, a bullet in right eye, destroying the eye; Maxon G. Healey, Braintree.

Company E. — John G. Bickley, Lee, face and foot; Egbert Garfield, Monterey, abdomen.

Company F. — Lieut. Pliny Wood, Westfield, left thigh, fatal; Bennett Aldrich, Southwick, leg, flesh wound; Lester D. Hanchett, Westfield, thigh; Edwin D. Jones, Blandford, foot; Edwin Stevens, Southwick, thigh fractured.

Company G. — John W. Whitcomb, Blandford.

Company H. — Willard A. Thompson, Bernardston, Vt., groin.

Company I. — Seth Brown, Palmer, leg, slight; Solomon Rhodes, Belchertown, arm, slight.

Company K. — Sergt. John Lambert, Springfield, shoulder, slight; Corp. Charles Geckler, Springfield, chest, flesh wound; Maurice Bishop, Plainfield, knee and abdomen, fatal; Hervey H. Converse, Stockbridge, leg, flesh wound; James Dimpsey, Ware, left leg, flesh wound; William W. Loomis, Chester, shoulder; Jonathan D. Miller, Springfield, right lung, fatal.

Total loss five killed and thirty-two wounded.

At the close of the engagement Gen'l Heckman retired for instructions, leaving the brigade under command of Col. H. C. Lee. The night passed quietly along our front, but with a sharp engagement some distance to the right. At ten o'clock the 10th, orders were received to retire and we reached Cobb's Hill late in the afternoon without incident. A body of the enemy massed on the extreme left of the Tenth Corps, as they retired, resulting in a sharp engagement, lasting several hours. At the close of this engagement, Gen'l Bushrod Johnson appeared with a “flag of truce,” asking for permission “to bury their dead;” for an exchange of wounded; and for a general exchange of prisoners. To this Gen'l Butler replied: “We have buried your dead, and we willingly assent to an exchange of the wounded, but we cannot agree to exchange others, until you consent to acknowledge colored soldiers as prisoners of war.” To this the rebel emissary would not submit. Insolence and barbarity had been heaped upon the unfortunate black captured in Union uniform or with arms. Many had been reduced to slavery, or with “ball and chain” forced to work on the






enemy's fortifications, and punished with instant death if they refused. In a time of grave emergency, their fortunes and resources had been freely offered the United States government as active allies against or within the rebel lines, and anything short of this decision would have been the basest ingratitude. Hard as it bore upon white prisoners in rebel hands, and terrible as its consequences were to our own regiment, there was no other honorable course open to a humane government in behalf of those who wore its uniform.

Of those who fell at Arrowsfield Church there was one who deserved a passing notice.

Lieut. Pliny Wood.

Uncle Pliny, as he was best known, enlisted from Westfield as first sergeant of Company F. He was promoted to second lieutenant Jan. 2, 1862, and first lieutenant May 2, 1863. Upon the organization of the Tenth Mass. Regt. he was chosen as first lieutenant by the Westfield company, and went with them to camp. Governor Andrew, however, commissioned another, much to the disgust of the company, many of whom refused to muster for service. The town of Westfield justified her volunteers in this protest, and held an indignation meeting over the failure to commission Lieutenant Wood.

He was a man of courage, tact and good humor, and seemed best satisfied when engaged in active service. He was wounded severely at Roanoke Island, but returned to service, running the enemy's batteries that he might join his regiment then under siege at Washington, N. C. With twenty men he captured an equal number of rebel cavalry, with their horses, arms and equipment, above Plymouth, N. C., and measured strength with one of the enemy at Gun Swamp, bringing his foe from his hiding place a captive. At the time he received his fatal wound, he was with his

men in the thickest of the fray, and, as he fell, said calmly to Capt. Moore, “They've got me, Captain!” The ball pierced his left thigh, requiring a socket amputation, which proved fatal May 31st. “Uncle Pliny's” commission was no bar to intimacy and sympathy with his command, for he often stood between the shortcomings of his men and their just deserts. Many of their pranks were sworn secrets with him, and were in safe-keeping so long as the record of the guilty ones was otherwise unexceptionable. He holds a warm place in the memory of all his comrades.

May 11th the regiment remained in camp at Cobb's Hill and Gen'l Heckman improved the opportunity to issue the following congratulatory order:—

Headquarters 1st Brigade 2d Division 18th Army Corps.

In the Field, May 11, 1864.

General Order, No. 24.

The General commanding takes great pleasure in returning to the gallant officers and men of his command his thanks for the noble manner in which they have discharged their duties since the opening of the present campaign. The enviable reputation which they had attained has been sustained in a noble and creditable manner; and the commanding general would not only do great injustice to his feelings, but to the officers and men of his command, did he fail to notice it. The fatigue and privation suffered without a murmur are but characteristic of the brigade; and the punishment inflicted upon the rebels is one of the many lessons that will ever cause them to remember and fear the Star Brigade.

By command of

Brig. Gen'l C. A. Heckman.

W. H. Abels, A. A. G.

During the day Ezra Baker of Company D, Amherst, received a severe wound in the knee from the accidental discharge of a musket.

At sunrise the 12th, the entire army was placed in motion, this time on the direct line to Richmond. An hour after, the






rain began to fall in torrents, continuing almost unremittingly till the night of the 15th. The Twenty-Seventh Regiment advanced in line of battle, reaching the Richmond turnpike about nine o'clock, when the enemy opened upon our advance for half an hour. After halting until one o'clock, P.M., we marched some distance to the right, and, advancing a mile, skirmished sharply with the enemy until night, when they disappeared. Drenched to the skin, we bivouacked in the woods with such shelter from the rain as could be devised, our position commanding a view of the surrounding country. Before us was a marshy, densely-timbered region, through which flowed Proctor's and Kingsland's Creeks, and, high above the forests, was the rebel flag at Drewry's Bluff, three miles distant.

At two P.M., the 13th, the regiment moved to the left and advanced into the dripping forests, in a direct line for Drewry's Bluff. Our skirmishers sharply engaged the enemy, closely supported by the regiment in line of battle, through an undulating country, interspersed with fine plantations, swales, and thickets, until late in the evening, when in a bewildering darkness, Companies C and F, under Capt. Moore, were advanced as pickets. Early the 14th these companies, as sharpshooters, with sixty rounds of ammunition, advanced, driving the enemy through the woods into a field covered with abattis, to within three hundred yards of Fort Stevens, where, with such defences as the abattis afforded, they commenced the work of the next two days. The regiment moved to their support under a sharp artillery fire, taking position under cover of a low terrace or elevation, near the edge of the timber. As often as the sharpshooters exhausted their ammunition, they were relieved, bringing their wounded with them. The 14th and 15th were days of intense excitement and of ingenious devices to decoy the enemy's sharpshooters, who, like ourselves, were lying behind logs or stumps, watching for some luckless head

to peer from its hiding place. A shout as of a charge or order to advance is given, and the Johnnies’ heads come up to see the expected advance, when a scattering fire lays many of them low. So effectual was the work of our sharpshooters that the enemy at Fort Stevens found great difficulty in using their guns. Hats and coats were raised and mules driven upon the parapets to draw our fire, when the gunners would attempt to load their pieces, but, like the donkey, would generally perish in the venture.

Drewry's Bluff rises abruptly some two hundred feet from the James River, which here runs due east, but changes sharply to the south at Chapin's Bluff, two miles below. On the land side it slopes gradually to the south with a broken, undulating surface; the forest before it had been felled, forming an almost insurmountable abattis against approach, but allowing unobstructed range for defence. On the eastern extremity of the bluff was Fort Darling, a formidable earthwork, commanding the river and eastern approach, and supplied with the most approved munitions of war. Contiguous to this, and along the crest of the bluff, were two other strong works, guarded by a deep dry ditch, which was swept by converging guns. Between our position and Fort Darling, three lines of rifle-pits and redoubts skirted the bluff; and northerly from the fort, along the river, the woods remained standing, affording protection and secrecy for movements by the enemy. The whole formed a Gibraltar, against which the ponderous guns of our navy had vainly contended and which was destined to withstand any attack of the army.

Gen'l Butler established his headquarters at Charles Friend's house, some distance to the rear, but convenient of access to the army. After three days of skirmishing and sharpshooting, measured in part by the expending of eighty thousand cartridges by the Twenty-Seventh, and a loss to us of twenty-seven wounded, orders came, Sunday afternoon,






the 15th, relieving and ordering us to the extreme right of the Army of the James, ostensibly for rest. Exposure and constant service at the head of the column, had told severely on the effective strength of the regiment and brigade. It was therefore with no surprise we received this order, with the assurance that it was to a less exposed position, and to less arduous service. With lightened hearts we moved to the extreme right of the Army of the James, at half musket-range from the enemy's outworks, the right of the brigade resting across the Osborn Pike, which led directly up the bluff, and its left connecting with Wistar's Brigade of Weitzel's Division.

The Star Brigade was stationed in Gregory's Woods, with the Ninth New Jersey upon the right, followed in order by the Twenty-Third, Twenty-Seventh and Twenty-Fifth Massachusetts Regiments. The Twenty-Third Massachusetts, with a portion of the Twenty-Seventh, held position along a cartpath just in the edge of the woods; while, at the left of the Twenty-Seventh and the Twenty-Fifth, the road fell to the rear, and their line followed a slight ravine. Fort Darling, on our front, was a mile and a quarter distant, while an emptied ice-pond lay just before us, and an unoccupied space of a mile and a half between our brigade and the James River. As soon as our alignment had been formed, Gen'l Heckman realized the exposed position assigned to us, and, after a careful survey, reported his fears, and received the assurance that the space between us and the James should be properly occupied. Col. Drake, at Point of Rocks, received orders during the following night to occupy this position, and immediately started with the Ninth Maine and the One Hundred and Twelfth New York Regiments, but arrived too late to avert the impending disaster. Nor was our brigade commander alone in his apprehensions of danger; every man, to the lowest private, realized it, and, with cups, plates and bayonets for spades, commenced the construction

of defences. At the right of the Twenty-Third Regiment, and some five hundred yards in advance, and to the north of the road, was the “R. A. Willis House,” which Capt. Lawrence of the Ninth New Jersey Regiment captured, and occupied as a picket station.

Late in the evening, Capt. Bailey, with Company D, of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., reported to Lieut. Col. Stewart, of the Ninth New Jersey, in command of the picket line, and was ordered to take position on the right of the “Willis House,” and to extend his line to a given distance, pressing as near to the enemy as possible. In doing this three men were severely wounded by a previously established line of the Eighth Maine, at the rear. After some difficulty, Capt. Bailey reached the maine regiment, and explained who he was, and by whose orders there; but about midnight a volley from the rebels in front aroused their suspicions, leading the Maine boys to again fire upon our company. During the night, the felling of trees and movement of artillery along the James River, was plainly heard; but an incessant rattle of musketry prevented any intelligent knowledge of the enemy's movements.

The space from our right to the river, was picketed by the Eighth Maine and a squadron of Cole's negro cavalry, all of whom had been on duty forty-eight hours without relief. To entangle and delay the enemy in case of assault, Gen'l Smith suggested that wire from the telegraph lines along the turnpike be interlaced among the trees on his front. The supply of wire had been exhausted before the Star Brigade reached its new position, and hence they were without what proved to other parts of the line a valuable means of defence. Thus situated, the midnight hour ushered in our “dies iræ,” a day of gloom, disaster and death for many of our regiment.

We append so much of Beauregard's official report as to show his plan and the movements made against our position.






[Extract from P. T. Beauregard's Official Report.]

“Swift Creek, Va., June 10, 1864.

. . . “I determined . . . that our left wing, turning and hurled upon Butler's weak right, should, with crushing force, double it back upon its centre, thus interposing an easterly barrier between Butler and his base; that our right wing should simultaneously with its skirmishers, and afterward in force, as soon as the left became fully engaged, advance, and occupy the enemy, to prevent his reinforcing his right, and thus check him in front, without, however, prematurely seeking to force him far back, before our left could completely outflank him, and our Petersburg column close up on his rear; finally, that the Petersburg column, marching to the sound of heaviest firing, should impose a southern barrier to his retreat.

“Butler thus surrounded by three lines of fire, could have with his defeated troops no resource against capture or destruction except in an attempt at partial and hazardous escape westward, away from his base, his train and supplies.

“Two difficulties . . . . might impede, . . . . one was a stubborn and effective resistance, . . . . another . . . . the rapid handling of a fragmentary army. . . . . On the other hand, I reckoned on the advantage of being all in readiness at day-break, with short distances on which to operate; a long day before me in which to manœuvre; direct routes; and simplicity in the movements to be executed. . . . .

“Ransom moved at 4.45 A. M. . . . . His division consisted of the following brigades, in the order named, commencing from the left: Gracie's, Kemper's (commanded by Col. Terry), Barton's (under Col. Fry), and Col. Lewis (Hoke's old brigade). He was soon engaged . . . . capturing five stands of colors and some five hundred prisoners. The brigades most heavily engaged were Gracie's and Kemper's, opposed to the enemy's right, the former turning his flank. Gen'l Ransom then halted, to form, reported his loss heavy and troops scattered by the fog, his ammunition short, and asked for a brigade from the reserve, . . . . and re-formed his lines in the old position, near the lines he had stormed. Here his infantry rested the greater part of the day, Donorant's cavalry, dismounted, being thrown forward as skirmishers towards a small

ridge on the edge of George Gregory's woods, north of Proctor's Creek.” . . . .

The rain had ceased, and with the dawn came a dense fog, rendering objects a few feet distant undiscernible. Several times during the night, the Twenty-Seventh had been aroused by the sharp contests of our pickets in front. About half-past four, the morning of the 16th, while Lieut. Col. Bartholomew was inspecting the line, the air was suddenly rent with belching guns, and the field illuminated with a glare of flame, while shrieking, crashing messengers of death gave warning that our hour of trial had come.

Capt. Bailey, with Company D, retired before the enemy's attack, expecting, by falling to the rear of the brigade, to be able to join his regiment. His attention was attracted by hearing an unusual commotion as he neared the road, and, halting his men, he heard an order given in Confederate dialect. This revealed to him the character of the force before him; but, by making a detour towards the James River, and crossing Proctor's Creek some distance to the rear, he succeeded in eluding them and in saving his company, except Samuel A. Chapin, who was killed by a shell. From Proctor's Creek the company escorted a body of prisoners to Bermuda Hundreds, and reached camp at Cobb's Hill early in the evening.

Meantime, the enemy, in accordance with their plan, had massed Gracie's, Kemper's, Hokes and Barton's Brigades on our front, and had charged with impetuosity, but were driven back by the merciless fire of the Star Brigade. The fog materially interfered with our defence, and facilitated the enemy's movements, by permitting them to approach at close range unobserved. Three times the foe charged our position, but the fire from our lines drove them back to their intrenchments. The rebel yells, the thunderings of the artillery, the crashing of shells, and falling of limbs about us, filled the air with wildest confusion; but the answer of Heckman's






Brigade was an incessant roll of musketry. Not a man thus far had yielded an inch, but, firm and resolute, awaited the assault, without fear of defeat; for, not a regiment in that “iron brigade” had ever turned their backs to the enemy, but had wrested victory from every field of contest.

The turning of our right, by a part of Gracie's Brigade, necessitated the changing of front by the Ninth New Jersey Regiment; but the officer who was dispatched to inform us of the movement was unfortunately killed en route. Being ignorant of any disaster to our column, and having been the third regiment in line from the right, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. had little cause to fear a rear or flank attack, without timely warning. Just as we were giving our attention to another charge against our position from the front, we were startled by a volley from the rear, with the enemy close upon us, yelling: “Lay down your arms, lay down your arms, you Yankee devils!”

It was a moment of intense anxiety for men who had never suffered a defeat; but, with cold steel, and smoking rifles front and rear, there was little encouragement to resist. When our defeat became evident, it was impossible to control the rank and file. Some, in anger and chagrin, struck their rifles across trees and stumps, bending and otherwise rendering them unserviceable to the enemy. Col. Lee was beset by a burly foe, but refused to surrender, until persuaded by a revolver at his head, in the hand of a rebel adjutant. Lieut. Col. Bartholomew when last seen by our men who escaped, was firing his revolver at the line advancing from the rear. Lieut. F. C. Wright, of Northampton, barely escaped; a musket ball spraining his ankle and tearing the heel from his boot. Before our color guards were aware of special danger, the ruthless hands of rebels had grasped the standards. Colorbearer A. A. Gage, of Monson, sought to save the “Ladies’ Flag” by tearing it from the standard, when a rebel officer

put his revolver to his head, saying: “Tear another thread, and I'll blow your brains out.” Manning was decidedly belligerent over a demand for the State colors he held, while Sergt. Dickinson clung to the United States flag until it was wrested from him. At such a time there are thousands of acts of personal bravery of which we cannot speak; suffice it to say, many of our men were repeatedly captured in attempts at escape, while some turned the tables by leading their captors as captives into the Union lines. Humbling as defeats always are, there was nothing in this affecting our honor. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. were ordered to hold this position, and, in doing so, presented an unbroken, immovable front to the enemy, yielding nothing except as compelled by inexorable fate. Companies F, E and K were, in the order named, on the left flank of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment; and, seeing the enemy closing upon their rear, rushed to the left and gave the alarm to the Twenty-Fifth Mass. Capt. John W. Moore, the senior officer of our regiment present, assumed command of these companies, and, with Lieuts. Wright, Newell, and Harrington, rallied such other members as had escaped, and was engaged during the day, as flankers, skirmishers, and in support of our artillery. By uniting with the Twenty-Fifth Regiment, and making a determined fight, these companies aided in repelling the advance of the victorious foe, thus saving the Army of the James from a worse defeat. At five o'clock, after thirteen hours of contest, these companies were relieved, and wearily dragged their way to Cobb's Hill, where they arrived an hour before midnight. Col. Pickett, of the Twenty-Fifth Mass. Regt., assumed command of the Star Brigade after its discomfiture, and we append so much of his report as relates to our escaped companies:—

. . . “At this juncture, while marching my regiment through the woods to the rear, I was informed by Capt. W. H. Abels, Act'g Adjt. Gen'l of the brigade, that Gen'l Heckman and Col. Lee were






both reported missing. Being senior officer, I was ordered by Gen'l Weitzel to assume command, collect the remnants of the regiments, and form the brigade in line of battle, in the open field, in the rear of the woods. The brigade was then ordered by Gen'l Smith to an elevated piece of ground on the right, in order to check the further advance of the enemy on our right flank. Remaining there about an hour, the brigade was ordered by Lieut. Graves, of Gen'l Weitzel's Staff, to move at double-quick to a turnpike, a short distance in the rear of which we supported a battery. . . . About five o'clock P. M. orders were received to withdraw the brigade, reaching camp about nine o'clock P. M. . . . The total loss of the brigade in killed, wounded and missing, from the 12th to the 16th, is six hundred and ninety-three. . . .

“J. Pickett,

“Col. Twenty-Fifth Mass. Vols., Commanding Brigade.

“Capt. W. H. Abels,

“A. A. G., Second Division, Eighteenth Army Corps.”

Of the nine hundred and eighty men captured that day, six hundred were from the Star Brigade, and two hundred and forty-nine from the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. In two ranks, with a heavy guard, and a stalwart rebel, bearing our three flags, leading the column, our captured men marched over fields strewn thick with dead. Over the clash of arms was heard the agonizing wail of the wounded and dying; and when the prisoners reached the bluff, the long rows of dead and wounded lying near the fort, made it clear that the victory over our slender column had been secured at a terrible cost. The captives were marched down the steep embankment of the bluff to a steamer, and by nine o'clock were in Richmond, the butt of jests, and a gazing-stock to the curious. They were immediately marched to Libby Prison, where the officers were confined in the third, and the men in the second story of that famous gaol.

With a single attenuated line, the Union forces had enveloped those of the enemy. The advantage of position, with short distances, and direct routes, were entirely in our enemy's

favor, while it is probable their effective strength was nearly equal to that of the Union forces present upon the field. Our line was not unlike that at Cemetery Ridge, at Gettysburg, with the armies reversed, of which Gen'l Doubleday says: “History furnishes few instances in which forces assailing such a position are not disastrously defeated unless supported by a large preponderating force.” The Star Brigade, with a prophetic knowledge of the enemy's plan, had warned the commanding general of the exposed condition of our right. To remedy this defect, two regiments were ordered to occupy a front which would have required a division to hold it, and these regiments failed to arrive until after the disaster had fallen upon our men.

The enemy's attack was made substantially as planned in Beauregard's report, but failed in realizing his sanguine expectation at a point where the execution of the plan would have proved his ruin. Ransom's forces were so demoralized by their attack upon our brigade as to have been useless for the rest of the day, as admitted by Beauregard's report. As to this contest, C. T. Locher, of the First Virginia (Kemper's Brigade) writes: “I do not think it was an easy victory. The fire of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., in response to the first call to surrender, killed eight of the First Virginia. Terry's (Kemper's) Brigade, next to Gracie's, lost three hundred and fourteen killed and wounded, out of one thousand men in the assault, and Barton's Brigade, next to Terry, lost nearly as many.”

The First and Seventh Virginia Regiments of Kemper's Brigade, had attacked us in the rear, while the Forty-Third and Fifty-Ninth Alabama Regiments of Gracie's Brigade, and the Twenty-Fourth and Eleventh Virginia Regiments of Kemper's Brigade, were assailing us in front. The colonel of the Forty-Third Alabama, and lieutenant-colonel of the Twenty-Fourth Virginia Regiments, were killed; and the colonel of the Twenty-Fourth Virginia, and colonel and adjutant






of the Fifty-Ninth Alabama Regiments, with the lieutenant-colonel colonel of the Sixtieth Alabama, were severely wounded. The Forty-Third and Fifty-Ninth Alabama Regiments were completely demoralized by the terrific fire, as were also the Eleventh and Twenty-Fourth Virginia Regiments. Terry's (Kemper's), Barton's and Lewis’ (Hoke's) Brigades, made up Pickett's Division when they made that famous charge at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. Lieut. Col. Cabell, of the Thirty-Eighth Virginia, was the only field officer of that Division who walked off that fatal field, and he fell dead this morning, as Barton's Brigade moved upon the Union line. Mr. Locher, historian of Kemper's Brigade, gives their loss that morning as fifty-five killed and two hundred and fifty-nine wounded; and adds, that of Gracie's and Barton's Brigades, must have been equally great. As these facts are all obtained from Confederate sources, they may be considered reliable, and show most vividly the desperate fight made by our men to defend their position.

As to this conflict, we present the opinion of some of those present during the day. Brig. Gen'l Weitzel, Chief Engineer of the Army of the James, said, “I never knew a better officer, or a better fighter than Heckman, either in the regular or volunteer service.” The “New York Herald's” correspondent, under date of May 19, 1864, wrote, “The brigade maintained its splendid reputation, and for an hour resisted the enemy on all sides, and covered the field with dead and wounded rebels. The enemy charged upon them in over-powering numbers, and the iron men who had stood the brunt of battle for ten days, were driven from the field.” The “New York Tribune” correspondent, detailing the action, mentions the rumor of our capture, but adds, “We very much doubt the truthfulness of this rumor, as Heckman's fighting brigade has always proved itself more than a match for the enemy.” The correspondent of the Eighteenth Corps

wrote: “It was a great mistake to have put men jaded by constant service, in that position, and especially Heckman's Brigade, which has been in constant service, and always in the advance, from the very moment of landing, up to the time of the attack.” Capt. E. K. Wilcox of Company I, who was aide-de-camp on Gen'l Weitzel's staff, wrote: “The hardest fight I ever was in happened yesterday.” Two deserters from the Eighteenth Georgia Regiment, said, “We could walk on bodies from our works to your position after the wounded were removed.” Charles Weed, of Company E, Twenty-Seventh Mass., who was wounded and lay upon the field until noon, says: “When I was carried through the field to the rebel works, the wounded had been removed and laid in long winrows around the fort, while the field was covered with their dead.”

C. T. Locher, the historian of Kemper's (rebel) Brigade (composed of the First, Third, Seventh, Eleventh and Twenty-Fourth Virginia Regiments), writes, under date of Sept. 28, 1882:—

“The First Virginia carried your lines where the stage road enters. After passing about one hundred yards down this road, finding nothing in our front, and hearing the firing to our right and rear, we turned towards that direction, coming across where the coffee was temptingly boiling. We stopped awhile and took some. That it was good I can testify. It was a rare treat to us. After leaving the coffee-pots we struck a line of men marked A (see sketch of field of Drewry's Bluff), who, after some talk, dropped their guns without firing. Meanwhile, the left of our regiment drew the attention of those further in their front, and lower down, marked B, who called, What regiment is that? Our reply, The First Virginia! was answered by a shotted salute, killing eight and wounding scores of our men. J. B. Angle, one of our men, saw Gen'l Heckman surrender to Col. Flouree of the Seventh Virginia.”

This letter is corroborated by Col. Sandford and Lieut. Col. Troy of the Sixtieth Alabama, and Adjutant Hall of the






Fifty-Ninth Alabama, of Gracie's Brigade. Cols. Sandford and Troy say, “They came up with many misgivings because they thought there was a battery there,” as there was (Belger's) the night before. The firing at four o'clock, the 15th of May, was to feel out our lines, and they found out where they ended, then; but as our brigade moved farther towards the James during the night, where Beauregard counted on nothing, he found something.

Thus closed the day upon the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., but its shattered ranks returned to camp, “Not like the quarry slave at night, scourged to his dungeon,” for they had done all that courage and manhood could do. Still, misfortune has its cruel thrusts, and the deserted quarters of our comrades were forcible reminders of the loss we had sustained. We report in detail the losses of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. at Drewry's Bluff.

Killed.

Capt. Charles D. Sandford, North Adams; shot through head.

Samuel A. Chapin, Company D, Granby; shell; head.

William M. Tymeson, Company E, Monterey.

Sergt. Joseph W. Roberts, Company F, Granville.

Joseph Doyle, Company F, Springfield.

Franklin M. Hibbert, Company F, Tolland.

Luther P. Vaille, Company F, Tolland.

Charles H. Searle, Company F, Southampton.

Robert H. Macauley, Company H, Becket.

Richard Campbell, Company K, Springfield; through breast.

Wounded.

Lieut. Frederick C. Wright, Northampton; heel.

Lieut. Sherman P. Cooley, Granville, left arm and side.

Company A.

James Adams, Williamsburg; finger amputated. Hiram A. Beach, Huntington; thumb and ankle. Edward L. Lewis, Northampton; fingers.

Company B.

Milton N. Jillson, Athol; neck and right shoulder. Aaron Oliver, Athol; bayonet wound, foot. Ebenezer Winslow, Wendell; right foot.

Company C.

Sergt. Francis D. Avery, Charlemont; left arm and side. James J. P. Davis, Sandisfield; thigh, amputated. Orrin Jones, Deerfield; left foot. Jesse D. Comstock, Commington, right thigh. Henry H. Johnson, Northfield; left lung, fatal.

Company D.

James W. Spear, Amherst; left thigh, amputated, fatal. Nathaniel F. Manley, Springfield; both legs, fatal. Charles B. Spaulding, Amherst; left arm. Lucius D. Smith, Hadley; right knee. Josiah Wood, New Bedford; arm, amputated. Charles R. Collins, Chicopee; slight.

Company E.

Sergt. Charles H. Bligh, Pittsfield; right shoulder. Samuel S. Chapman, Lee; left knee, amputated. Daniel F. Andrews, Great Barrington; head. Joseph Dwyer, Hinsdale; hand. Benjamin W. F. Smith, Great Barrington; ear. Dennis O'Connor, Pittsfield; slight. Lewis Tatro, Douglas; knee amputated. Charles Weed, Pittsfield; both legs and groin. James Williams, Pittsfield; side, fatal. Jonas Scott, Great Barrington; fatal.

Company F.

Sergt. Chauncey Holcomb, Westfield; fatal. Sergt. George W. Cone, Westfield; arm, slight. Corp. Nathan B. Pomeroy, Westfield; breast, left arm, amputated. Hiram H. Weiser, Westfield; face, left side. Howard E. Cornwell, Southwick; right arm. Walter R. Madison, Westfield; right arm. Reuben A. Richards, Springfield; right thumb. Vernon D. Austin, Southampton; right hand. Frank W. Chamberlin, Westfield; slight. George E. Clark, Springfield; left arm, contusion. Patrick Coughlin, Chester; thigh. John Dorflin, Westfield; fatal. William A. Moody, Westfield; leg. Henry W. Soule, Tolland; slight. Henry H. Underwood, Sandisfield; right side, contusion. Peter Wilson, Southwick; slight.






Company H.

Sergt. Francis E. Weil; right lung, fatal. Corp. Horace A. Loomis; right foot. Charles A. Odell; finger. Charles W. Coon; left foot. Nelson A. Randall; finger. Casper J. Heisler; fatal.

Company I.

Lucian J. Erwin, Brimfield.

Company K.

Jerome E. Smith, Groton; left arm, flesh wound. John Woodward, Springfield; right thigh, slight.

Prisoners.

Col. H. C. Lee.

Lieut. Col. W. G. Bartholemew.

Capt. R. Ripley Swift.

Lieuts. Joseph H. Nutting, P. W. McManus, J. Leander Skinner, John H. Judd, Justus Lyman, William G. Davis. Total, 9.

Company A.

Sergts. Henry Dickinson, Abel C. Kenney.

Corpls. Alvin W. Clark, Edmund T. Drake, Sylvester S. Hooper, Nelson H. Kingsley, Frederick Frey.

Privates Lyman B. Abbott, Richard B. Abbott, Frank Alvord, Henry Anthony, William H. Bartlett, Thomas Bolton, Thomas C. Brady, Henry Braman, Edgar C. Brewster, John Buchanan, Oliver A. Clark, John Donovan, Calvin C. Hosford, Frederick Klisner, Ed. L. Lewis, John McCaffrey, Albert Meir, Patrick Murphy, Richard Raftis, Rufus C. Robinson, Francis G. Russell, Warren E. Russell, Andrew J. Shaw, Thomas F. Smith, Charles A. Spencer, Ezra O. Spooner, Morris Stark, Frederick P. Stone, James F. Thayer, Emerson W. Torrey, Caleb F. Tufts. Total, 38.

Company B.

Sergts. Mark Rankin, Levi Bosworth, Henry H. Bush, Charles Gray.

Corpls. John Bolles, William P. Huntoon, William H. Pierce, John W. Brizzee.

Privates James H. Allen, David Blair, Hiram Blair, John T. Bliss, Joseph Bracewell, Jr., James L. Bragdon, Charles Davis, William N. Dexter, George S. Dresser, John M. Dodge, Theo. E. Galer, Grosvenor Hollenbeck, John W. Howe, Reuben Huntoon, Norris B. Meacham, James Miller, Sylvanus E. Oliver, James H. Richardson, Samuel Rich, Asa Tilden, Charles E. Wright, Wesley A. Woodward. Total, 30.

Company C.

Sergts. Alfred D. Burdeck, Bartholomew O'Connell.

Corpls. Francis A. Loveland, John Manning, Levi Brizzee, Elijah Carter, Samuel Woffenden.

Privates Oscar C. Britt, Daniel E. Ball, George W. Bradburn, Joseph W. Blair, John Callighan, Lewis A. Drury, Chauncey L. Emmons, William R. Elder, John Fitzgerald, William Farrell, Charles W. Harvey, George Hunter, James C. Hitchcock, William Hazard, Charles T. Howard, Martin L. Jones, Frank W. Jones, Peter Le Clair, Oscar M. Loomis, Hart E. Mowry, Patrick Murphy, Mahlon M. Merritt, Joseph Nadeaux, James H. Pratt, Merrick A. Packard, Mayhew M. Phipps, Brigham S. Ripley, Joseph Richards, Isaac Spooner, Gilbert D. Streeter, John W. Woffenden, Andrew M. Witherell, Merritt E. Wright, George W. Taylor. Total, 41.

Company D.

Corp. Josiah Wood *

Privates Charles R. Collins, Ezra Kelsey, Charles A. Smith. Total, 4.

Company E.

Sergts. William H. Monnier, Otto L. Stamm.

Corp. Eldad E. Moore.

Privates Hugh Dolan, Dennis O'Connor,* Jonas Scott,* Lewis Tatro,* Charles Weed,* James Williams.* Total, 9.

Company F.

Sergt. Chauncey Holcomb.*

Privates Martin Arrenz, Milo H. Cooley, Frank W. Chamberlin,* John Dorflin,* John W. Gibbs, Chauncey P. Howe, Seth Liswell, William A. Moody,* Charles W. Roberts. Total, 10.

* Wounded also.




Company G.

Sergts. William Q. Wight, Andrew J. Dunham.

Corp. Stanley Howard.

Privates George A. Boice, Michael Cavanaugh, Richard Curtis, Patrick Gleason, Edward G. Kellogg, Michael Lyons, Patrick Murray, William W. Patridge, Charles Pratt, Patrick Riley, Edwin Smith, Michael Splaine, Charles Williams, Eleazer Wilbur. Total, 17.

Company H.

Sergts. Joseph Ainley, Alexander G. Harrington.

Corpls. Irving R. Clark, Thomas Hare, Christopher Reagan, Henry Remington, Jr.

Privates John W. Allen, Harvey E. Bassett, William P. Bracy, Edward P. Clark, Charles A. Como, Wardrop Davidson, James Donlan, Sidney T. Estes, Casper J. Heisler,* Sylvester Kent, Andrew Lacey, Charles A. Lyman, George McGue, Samuel L. Montague, Charles H. Morgan, Emory P. Morton, James Parker, Royal H. Plumb, Charles L. Spooner, Henry C. Terry, James M. Thompson, Albert Whiting. Total, 28.

Company I.

Sergts. Charles J. Osborn, Abram Childs, George W. Hobart.

Corpls. Alvin A. Gage, William W. Halin, Austin Jennison, Henry H. Pepper, James E. Perry.

Privates Horace H. Acres, Hiram W. Aldrich, Perez Blackmer, Robert B. W. Bliss, Joseph E. Boynton, Henry Busha, Lucius Brown, Augustus L. Chapman, Stephen Clark, John Coash, Albert Collins, Charles S. Coleman, Caleb Crowningshield, James K. Crosby, James Crosby, William H. Davy, George H. Dimick, Thomas Finnerty, Lucian J. Erwin,* John J. Flaherty, John K. Fuller, C. J. Glover, Elmer Jewett, Almon Laide, Ebenezer Lyon, Michael McKinney, Richard McNary, Alex. B. Murdock, Lyman E. Needham, Stephen O'Halloran, John P. Pepper, Silas H. Phelps, Daniel Pratt, Flavius J. Putnam, Solomon Rhodes, John Sullivan, George H. Walls, William E. Washburn, John Whitney. Total, 47.

Company K.

Sergts. John W. Bartlett, Parsons M. Ault, Edwin P. Grover.

Corpls. Erastus Innman, Frederick Kurtz.

* Wounded also.

Privates Thomas C. Allis, Joseph Day, Elisha J. Griggs, Carl N. Lippman, John McDonough, Robert McDonald, John McGrath, Edward P. Meacham, William O'Brien, John Tucker. Total, 15.

Our casualties before Drewry's Bluff were ten killed, fifty-five wounded, and two hundred and forty-eight prisoners. Of the prisoners, twelve were wounded, and appear in that list also, so that our total loss was three hundred and one men. The companies held the following position in regimental line of battle, D being absent:—

[Right.] H, A, I, C, B, G, K, E, F. [Left.]

[Prisoners.] 28 38 47 41 30 17 15 9 10

This view of their position, in connection with the narrative, will show why certain companies lost so largely in prisoners. Our total casualties for ten days since landing at Bermuda Hundreds, was sixteen killed, one hundred and nine wounded, and two hundred and forty-eight prisoners, an aggregate loss of three hundred and sixty-one men. The effective strength of the regiment had been farther reduced since landing by detaching upwards of one hundred men, for pioneer, ambulance and other special duty; while large numbers had broken down under the severe strain, and were sick at camp or in the hospitals.

Were it possible, we would gladly record the courage and sacrifices of all who fell on that fatal morning, but we must intrust their memories to a grateful people.

There was one who fell whom we must mention, for not to do so would rob the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. of the record of one of its bravest and most accomplished officers.

Capt. Charles D. Sandford.

Charles Durand Sandford, son of our first chaplain, Rev. Miles Sandford, was born in Pontiac, Mich., March 20, 1840, from which place he moved successively to Detroit, Chicago,






Boston and North Adams. He was fitted for college by his mother, and graduated at Williams College in 1858, at eighteen years of age, and three years later from Albany Law University. Fired by the national insult at Fort Sumter, he returned to North Adams, and enlisted a company, his name heading the list. He was commissioned first lieutenant Oct. 16, 1861, and promoted captain Dec. 7, 1861, in Company H. From first to last he was intrepid, zealous, intelligent and discreet, and his acts a heritage of lustre and fame to the regiment. Capt. Sandford was present in every action of the regiment until his death, save the siege of Little Washington, at which time he was at Plymouth. He had several engagements with the enemy with forces under his special command, notably: Gum Swamp, June 28, 1862; Core Creek, Sept. 30, 1862; and Rocky Hock Creek, March 23, 1863,—in all of which engagements he signally defeated the enemy. He was judge advocate during the summer and fall of 1862, and provost marshal of New Berne from June to November, 1863, when, by his own request, he was relieved, that he might share with his men their hardships, dangers and victories.

On account of our exposed situation, Capt. Sandford was accorded the position of honor at the right of the regiment, before Drewry's Bluff, May 15, 1864, and during the attack of the 16th magnetized his men with his invincible spirit. For an hour he stood with them, using his revolver, until, as the enemy charged the last time, he shouted, “Stand to the rack, boys; don't flinch!” when a Minie ball pierced his forehead, traversed his brain, and escaped near the centre of the back of his head. He fell across the rifle of one of his men just in the act of firing, and came heavily to the ground upon his face. He was a worthy son of his Alma Mater, of indomitable energy, finished and comprehensive scholarship, manliness and docility of character, magnanimity and sympathy of heart. With a wonderful

memory, his knowledge of fact and detail made him an encyclopedia of reference, rarely in error. His whole-hearted consecration to his country only increased his love for literature, which was insatiable. Capt. Sandford was a Christian, too, of unostentatious, retiring piety, yet of such firm convictions as to give him decision of character and purpose. The North Adams Post No. 79, Grand Army of the Republic, has the honor to bear his name.

Of the movements of the Army of the James, Gen'l Butler writes the author, under date of June 26, 1882:—

. . . . “The plan of the campaign was agreed upon between Gen'l Grant and myself at Fortress Monroe, substantially, that with my forces organized as the Army of the James, I was to move on City Point, and take possession of Bermuda Hundreds, and fortify it so as to be able to hold it in case of disaster, and then march upon and throw my forces around Richmond on the south bank of the river, forming a junction with the Army of the Potomac, which was to drive Lee into Richmond, and thus scoop Lee and Richmond out of the Confederacy. My march to City Point was to be a surprise, and it was a surprise. When I got to City Point, I conferred with the general officers commanding the several corps, and desired that they should march on Richmond, one of them with ten thousand men, being sure that there were but few troops there, and they (the general officers) strongly opposed any such deviation from the general plan. . . . I was to take possession of the outer line of fortifications of Richmond, part of which was done the 15th of May, on which day I was to meet Gen'l Grant there, and of his movements I was to be informed. . . . On the 15th of May, when we were lying around Fort Darling, I was informed by the arrival of Gen'l Sheridan, that Gen'l Grant had altered his line of march after the battle of the Wilderness, and was moving on Cold Harbor and City Point by the left flank, instead of the right flank, as he had expected to do; and, therefore, I had nothing to do but perfect my fortifications at Bermuda Hundreds, to afford him a base of supplies.






“The Walthall Junction movement . . . was . . . First, to impress upon the enemy that my objective point was Petersburg, and the destruction of the southern railroad system; and, second, to destroy the railroad so as to impede the march of troops and the conveyance of supplies into Richmond. There was neither the intention or expectation of taking Petersburg when the demonstration near Swift Creek was made. On the contrary, when I did think of taking Petersburg, I went on the other side of the Appomattox. The cause of the delay from May 9th to May 12th, was that I had agreed to be there on the 15th, and it was necessary to get the fortifications across the throat of the peninsula at Bermuda Hundreds in proper condition, to be able to withstand any attack.

“At the time we were attacking the fortifications around Richmond (at Drewry's Bluff), I had so heavy a force stationed near Petersburg, that, although attacked by the whole Confederate force in Petersburg (see page 270), trying to get thence to Richmond, no effect was produced on our lines. And so far as our army was concerned, we could have stayed with safety around Richmond three or four days longer. . . . . My business was done there. If General Grant could not join me there, I had nothing to do there. . . . All details were left to my judgment.

“I was sorry to learn at the time of the loss of the Twenty-Seventh, which you recall to my mind. They were good men and true, so far as I know; but it was the want of proper picket system in front of the brigade to which they were attached, and the not putting up of some defences before the line of that brigade, that caused the severe loss. It is hardly the fault of the commanding general that a brigade gets surprised (!) in a fog, especially if the precautions which he has directed have not been taken by that brigade.”

At a personal interview with General Butler at the Executive Chamber, the author asked an explanation of the closing part of this letter, and received the following reply:—

Boston, March 17, 1883.

You ask an explanation as to what I refer to as defective picket system in front of Heckman's Brigade, a part of which your regiment






Battle-field of Drewry's Bluff. May 16, 1864. For the Tenty-Seventh Mass. History.

was on the morning of the 16th of May. I do not mean to say, for I do not know, that pickets were not thrown out, and perhaps they had covered themselves; of that I do not know. But I do know that in front of the line that was not surprised, and the part of the line where the surprise was repulsed, there was telegraph wire stretched about the height of a man's knee, far enough in front to entirely disorder the enemy as in the fog they tumbled over it. And the same precaution was ordered in front of Heckman's Brigade, but there no telegraph wire was stretched, and so far as I know, no impediment thrown in its place. To that I then attributed, and now upon further information I do attribute, the misfortune that happened to that brigade that morning in the fog.

Yours truly,

(Signed) Benj. F. Butler.

As Gen'l A. A. Humphrey's volume entitled “The Virginia Campaign of 1864 and 1865,” seemingly corroborates these letters, it is only necessary to say that that account is largely from reports and dispatches from Gen'l Butler, since Gen'l Humphrey was, at the time under consideration, serving with the Army of the Potomac. We have, therefore, only Gen'l Butler to reply to.

In matters pertaining to the civil war and his individual record therein, Gen'l Butler has been so accustomed to go to his imagination for his facts, and to self-interest for their confirmation, that it is hardly a source of wonder that after so terrible a defeat, he seeks to throw the odium from the commander upon the command. As to how unreliable these statements of Gen'l Butler's are, and how little he was prepared for, or has ever understood, the plan of Beauregard against him, we ask the readers to re-read Gen'l Beauregard's official report on page 270, and refer them to the sketch of the battle-field of Drewry's Bluff; appending letters from the officers commanding the right of the Army of the James, viz.: Maj. Gen'l W. F. Smith, commanding Eighteenth Army Corps; Maj. Gen'l Godfrey Weitzel, commanding






the First Division, Eighteenth Army Corps; and Brig. Gen'l C. A. Heckman, commanding the First (Star) Brigade, First Division, Eighteenth Corps; with statements of regimental commanders.

Gen'l W. F. Smith writes under date of Feb. 7, 1883:—

“With reference to Gen'l Butler's assertion of the position taken by Gen'l Gillmore and myself as to his march upon Richmond, we have both denied it in the public prints. The denial was unanswered. Gen'l Butler was however the commanding general, and it is rather pleading the baby act, to lay claim, after the war, unsupported by one jot of evidence, for a brilliant idea which he did not carry out because his two subordinates did not see it. The brilliant ideas which are carried out by commanding generals, though in opposition to the advice of subordinates, show the military leader. Gen'l Butler, from his own showing, belongs to a different grade of military men. I was opposed to the campaign on the James River from its inception. Only one person ever knew of it. I did my duty as an honest soldier to carry out the plan, and when it failed, I told Gen'l Butler what I thought should be done.”

New York, March 30, 1883.

. . . “The inherent trouble was in the position we held, and there is no blame to be attached to any one save the higher (military) powers. We had one thin line with a mile or more of country between our right and the James River. I had called attention to it, and even asked for a small body of cavalry to put in there for pickets, but could not get it. I was excessively anxious about our position, and reported that I had no reserves. I was told there were two regiments back at the “half-way house.” The night before the attack, I had been out, and personally established a strong picket in a house on our right — probably Willis’ in your sketch — and was there until midnight, thinking probable any movement the enemy would make would be against the house first. . . . I was quite prepared to lose that force if they made a fight and gave the alarm.

“When I went back to headquarters, it was beautifully clear with brilliant moonlight, which I thought favorable to us. When I was

awakened by the firing in the morning, I had hard work to find my way to the turnpike where I made headquarters, and remained till all was over. The faulty disposition of our lines made any form of serious attack on our right a good plan, which would have occurred to any one with the slightest military experience. The whole thing, so far as the manœuvres and position were concerned, were of that character to free the troops from all responsibility in the matter. . . . As I have said before, my anxieties were very great, and two or three days before the fight I happened to observe the wire on the poles, and sent to Gen'l Brooks to take the wire down, and string it from the stumps in his front. Gen'l Brooks did not attach any importance to the wire. After the fight he came to me, rubbing his hands, saying the wire was a great thing, and that his men shot the enemy down like partridges. That was all there was in that matter. I do not think I ever reported it to Gen'l Butler. I know the idea never came from him. . . .

“Faithfully yours,

(Signed) Wm. F. Smith.”

It is to be noticed Gen'l Smith's instructions regarding the wire were only to Gen'l Brooks’ Division. He says nothing of Weitzel's Division.

“Phila., Pa., May 2, 1883.

. . . “Wire entanglements were used by most of my division in front of its log entrenchments. I think no order was given for its use, but it was suggested and, the wire was taken from the telegraph poles on the Richmond and Petersburg Turnpike. I believe Heckman's Brigade did not use any.

“Our defeat on the morning of the 16th of May, 1864, at Drewry's Bluff, was due to the fact that my right was in the open air with nothing but a thin skirmish-line of cavalry between my right and the James River, a distance of about three-quarters of a mile; and that all my troops were in line, and I had none to place in reserve. Beauregard observed this, and made a heavy attack upon my right brigade (Heckman's), and by sheer force of numbers rolled back that brigade, although the enemy suffered terrifically in doing it. . . . The whole of Heckman's Brigade fought most gallantly,






and no blame attaches to it for the reverse on that morning. The enemy's force hurled against it, outnumbered it by four to one as near as I can remember. All of the above is written from memory.

Very truly yours,

(Signed) G. Weitzel,

Lieut. Col. of Engineers,

Brevet Major Gen'l, U. S. Army.”

“Phila., Pa., May 11, 1883.

. . . “Heckman's and Wistar's Brigades were all of my division engaged. My other brigade, Hincks’, was the garrison of City Point. I had not a single man in reserve. Every one of my men was in the front line, and utterly unsupported, until Gen'l Turner gave me the One Hundred and Twelfth New York and Ninth Maine . . . I was not surprised (at the attack) on that morning. I had myself awakened at four o'clock, and was drinking my coffee, when the first firing began. Lieut. Wheeler of Heckman's Brigade was the first staff officer I ordered to go the right, and report to me. He was brought back soon after, in a blanket, mortally wounded.

“Very truly and sincerely yours,

(Signed) G. Weitzel,

Lieut. Col. of Engineers,

Brevet Major Gen'l, U. S. Army.”

“Phillipsburg, N. J., March 23, 1883.

. . . “The last attempt (of Gen'l Butler) to palliate a criminal blunder is as imbecile as those preceding it. I have no recolection of any order for the use of wire, but I do remember that on the morning of the 15th I made an unsuccessful attempt to procure wire, the possession of which would have helped to strengthen our front. Gen'l Butler should remember that Gen'l Beauregard's direct attacks were repulsed with fearful slaughter, and that it was not until the enemy stole in upon our rear that the Star Brigade suffered defeat. If a line officer of military prestige (success under fire with troops) had been in command of the Army of the James during those days of halting and doubting, the enemy would have been driven from Petersburg, Richmond per force occupied by the Army of the Potomac, and subsequent disasters averted.

“I am truly yours,

(Signed) C. A. Heckman.”

Gen'l Joshua Pickett, then colonel in command of the Twenty-Fifth Mass. Regt., and, after Gen'l Heckman's capture, in command of the Star Brigade, with Gen'l H. C. Lee, at the time colonel commanding the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., unite in the following statement: —

“We received no order for the use of wire. Our picket line was fully established and under the competent command of Lieut. Col. Stewart of the Ninth New Jersey Regt. We had made such a disposition of our commands as to be ready for any assault. Such fortifications had been thrown up as the time and the exhausted condition of our command would permit, and the men were lying upon their arms at the works. Three times during the night we were in line to repel attack, and when at length assaulted, we three times repulsed and hurled back the hostile force. Our surprise was only in that which was allowed to befall us from the rear.”

We have only to add that if Gen'l Butler uses the term surprised, as relating to his ignorance of the enemy's purpose or his lack of preparation for what occurred, we do not care to question it, but if it is used as indicating heedlessness or a lack of vigilance on the part of the troops forming Heckman's Brigade, we reply that that matter was fully investigated at the time, and it was proved that so far as the troops were concerned, they were on the alert, and were constantly reporting during the night the condition of matters on their front.

From this point, the history of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. must be narrated under the following heads: the regiment in active service; the officers in prison; and the rank and file at Andersonville. The night of May 15th, after taking our new position, Maj. William A. Walker, received permission to return to camp at Cobb's Hill, expecting to rejoin the regiment the following morning. Before his return, the disaster had occurred, and on him devolved the difficult task of re-organizing our shattered ranks. With






the three escaped companies as a nucleus, the regiment was formed into three “divisions” (right, left and centre), the escaped and convalescent of other companies being united in these commands. Capt. John W. Moore commanded the right (B, F, I and H), Capt. P. S. Bailey the left (A, D, G), and Lieut. F. C. Wright the centre (C, E and K). Brig. Gen'l George J. Stannard, who had been ordered to report to Gen'l Butler for duty previous to the battle, was assigned to the command of the Star Brigade, and the Fifty-Fifth Pennsylvania Vol. Regt. added to the command. Also, Brig. Gen'l J. H. Martindale relieved Maj. Gen'l Weitzel from the command of the Second Division, Eighteenth Army Corps.

Sunday, May 22d, was a sad day, as with depleted ranks we gathered for divine service, and reviewed the terrible experiences of the previous week. Fervent prayer was offered, that God would shield those who had fallen into the enemy's power, and temper the winds to the bereaved at home. While we were engaged in this service, Maj. Gen'l Martindale arrived, and, dismounting, remained with uncovered head until the close, joining tears with us over lessons drawn from the lives of comrades slain. The enemy having forced Gen'l Butler's army into his fortifications at Bermuda Hundreds, now established opposing works in close proximity to the Union lines. An ever-deafening roar of strife hung upon the ear, sounding more like a continuous battle than the skirmishing of our advance. The crash of heavy guns from our navy at either flank, was like spasms of volcanic eruptions, which came with a power that seemed to unshackle every nerve. It is not to be wondered that under the whirl of brain and crushing headaches consequent upon this roar, some poor mortals “wished they would touch off those big guns a leetle easier.”

May 23d, fifty-five men of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., and a portion of the Ninth New Jersey, with a section of

artillery and a squad of cavalry, made a reconnoissance, but, finding the enemy in strong force near Bakehouse Creek, retired with a loss of Joseph Goddett of Pittsfield, Company F, Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., wounded mortally in the thigh. Our service for the most part consisted of picket duty, and the strengthening of our works, with frequent alarms and hasty movements to threatened points. During one of these engagements, a Gatling gun was used upon the enemy, a prisoner inquiring as he passed it, “What kind a gun is that? Do you load it Sunday and fire it all the week?” May 26th, Brooks’ and Martindale's Divisions of the Eighteenth Corps, and Devens’ Division of the Tenth Corps, were detached from the Army of the James, and under command of Maj. Gen'l W. F. Smith, were ordered to report at City Point. The effective strength of this command was about thirteen thousand men. At ten o'clock the 27th inst., with blankets, tents and luggage slung on our backs, and two days’ rations in haversacks, we crossed the Appomattox on pontons, arriving within a mile of City Point about midnight of the 28th. At noon the 29th, we embarked upon the steamer “Vidette” and barge “Pratt,” the former an old acquaintance of the Burnside Expedition. It is worthy of note that this march was in a drenching rain, and our embarkation, which followed, occurred on Sunday, both of which were common occurrences in the movements of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt.






CHAPTER XV. THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.

At five P.M., May 29th, the fleet of transports, laden with troops, set sail from City Point. A trip down the James, at any time, is not uninteresting; but when accompanied by a fleet of vessels laden with troops, through scenes renowned in early American history, as well as for recent bloody conflicts, all other travel touches the level of stupidity. Here is the site of Jamestown, the first permanent settlement on the continent; there a portion of a wall, a part of the ruins of its first meeting-house; here, also, the same year that brought our Pilgrim Fathers to Plymouth Rock, was sown the seed of discord in African slavery, which was to engulf the nation in a bloody strife. On either side were the ruined mansions and broad acres of Virginia's opulent aristocracy; here Malvern Hill, and, further on, Harrison's Landing, with places of lesser note in McClellan's peninsula campaign.

Speculations were rife as to our destination, which changed into conviction, as we rounded Fortress Monroe, and at half-past nine, the 30th inst., turned our prow up the York River. The morning was clear and cool, and the transports, as they moved forward, looked more like beehives, with swarming freights of blue-coated heroes. At West Point, the confluence of the Pamunkey and Mattapony rivers, word was received that Gen'l Grant had crossed the former river at Hanovertown the day previous, and hence we entered that crooked stream. At its mouth, broad sweeps of marsh line

it on either side, bounded by wooded bluffs. Some of the transports appeared to be headed north, some south, some east, and some west; in fact, the stream is so crooked that it was humorously stated, one of the neighboring farmers had maintained a fruitless lawsuit for twenty years to determine upon which bank of the stream his farm lay. Late in the evening we arrived at White-House Landing, remaining on board until morning.

Early the 31st, the scene was animating as viewed from our deck. Troops debarked, and, quickly forming, moved out to the fields beyond to make room for others, while large groups clustered under a tree near the ruins of the Custis mansion, giving away to undisguised hilarity. At this mansion Washington had plied his courtship with Widow Custis, but all that remained of the mansion's former grandeur was a desolate chimney. Traces of Sheridan's raid ten days previous lay about, with sickening effluvia, while half-burned ties, and twisted rails, told of former pretensions as a railroad station.

Our march to the front began about three P.M., through, rather than over, roads so powdered that our course could be traced by rising columns of dust in front and rear, which, in settling, reduced features, uniform, and foliage to one common gray. The heat was terrible, not a breath of air relieving its intensity. Sweat trickled down our dusty faces, and our tongues were parched by the quantities of dust inhaled. Occasional traces of mounds remained over the hastily-buried dead of the peninsula campaign, but without a name or distinguishing mark. Deep reverberations were heard through the forests in quick succession, reminding us the deadly fray still progressed, and that the Union commander was in earnest, when he said, “I intend to fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer!” It is said that Alexander the Great when charged by Darius with wanton aggression, replied, “I am master of Asia; if you care to debate the






point, do so like a man on the field of battle. I shall take care to find you wherever you are.” Our modern Alexander believed in the superior courage and endurance of the Union army, and was convinced that the battles of the Army of the Potomac had never been fought through. Satisfied with their invincible spirit, Gen'l Grant gave notice to the enemy that he was master of Virginia, and that he should debate the point only in battle, taking care to find them wherever they were.

About eleven o'clock P.M., we bivouacked at New Castle, but, on the morning of June 1st, received orders from Gen'l Grant to report at New Cold Harbor. This was the original intention, but a clerical error in the order received at White-House Landing, substituted “New Castle” for “New Cold Harbor. The error was a costly one, not so much from the inconvenience and fatigue of the additional march, as, had we arrived the night previous, we could have seized important positions in advance of the rebels, and avoided the fearful loss afterward sustained in attempting to recapture them. A forced march of twenty miles was made, under a scorching sun, over a road ground to powder by the tramp of Sheridan's cavalry the day previous, and through a country fetid with putrefying carcasses of animals, the stench from which was sickening and intolerable.

The morale of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. was such that Capt. Denny, Provost Marshal of the Eighteenth Corps, commanding the rear guard, reported only four stragglers from our numbers. At three P. M. we came upon the rear of the Sixth Corps at Old Church, eleven miles from Richmond, this force being en route from the right to the extreme left of the Army of the Potomac.

The Army of the Potomac was the nation's idol. Into it, more than any other army, had been poured unstinted treasures and supplies; but divided counsels, and a wily foe, had loaded it with misfortunes. It consisted of veterans,

many of whom considered the services of other Eastern troops pastime and skirmishing, compared with that exacted of them. Their numbers exceeded that of all other Eastern divisions combined, and the strife and carnage attending their engagements seemed to belittle the contests of less pretentious forces. They had endured long and fatiguing marches, and their courage and endurance had been equal to the most trying emergencies. Every field, from the Potomac to the Chickahominy, had drank deep of their life-blood, and though discouraged by frequent and disastrous defeats, they never shrank from meeting the enemy. As Gen'l Palfrey well says: “Its story is a sad one, for it was always better than its commander, and marched and fought, endured and achieved, rarely animated by victory.” It is not to be wondered at, with such convictions and experiences, this army discounted the services of a corps formed from troops along the coast, and greeted us sarcastically, “Hallo! Parlor Soldiers!”

The Army of the Potomac was directly in front, with the Sixth Corps taking position, four columns deep, at the left, near New Cold Harbor. Warren's Fifth Corps rested with its left on Woody's farm, a mile north of Gaines’ Mill road, and its right near Bethesda Church. Burnside's Ninth Corps, with line deflected to the rear, and right, rested near Gilman's Mills, while Hancock's Second Corps was at the extreme right, advantageously situated to protect the flank, or act as a reserve. The whole line extended, irregularly, eight miles, with Sheridan's Cavalry on the left, and Wilson's at the right. We copy the following from Gen'l Smith's report: —

“The converging lines at Cold Harbor rendered its occupation of inestimable value, and Gen'l Sheridan was ordered on the 31st to seize the position with his cavalry, and hold it until the arrival of the Sixth and Eighteenth Corps, who were ordered to his support.






Accordingly, on the morning of the 1st, he occupied the place, after a sharp encounter.

“Gen'l Lee, realizing the value of the strategical point, had been hastening forward Longstreet's Corps, and at the time of our arrival, was pressing Gen'l Sheridan at all points with overwhelming numbers. The arrival of the Eighteenth Corps was opportune to his veterans, whose prowess still held the enemy at bay, and who had been expecting us, with no knowledge of the cause of our delay. The precise terms of my orders was ‘to hold the road from Cold Harbor to Bethesda Church, and to co-operate with the Sixth Corps in an attack.’ The attenuated line of the left, with character of my instructions, led me to act on the latter part of instructions.

Gen'l Smith advanced the Eighteenth Corps, in a single line, to unite with the forces on either side, — Devens’ Division on the left, Brooks in centre, and Martindale at the right. Devens’ and Brooks’ Divisions relieved the right of the Sixth Corps, and, charging upon the enemy, drove them from the works, capturing five hundred prisoners; but, being unable to hold their advance, were driven back, with a loss of about eight hundred killed and wounded. A portion of Martindale's Division was ordered to their support, but darkness intervened, and the order was countermanded.

On the arrival of the Twenty-Seventh Mass Regt. at Cold Harbor, Companies F and H were deployed, and, advancing through a belt of woods and marsh, were soon sharply engaged with the enemy. Here they remained during the night, subjected to scathing volleys, with a loss of John W. Madison, of Westfield, wounded through the shoulder, and of Daniel B. Pomeroy (Granville), of Company F, mortally wounded in the side. Madison was wounded in the left lung, the ball lodging near the shoulder-blade. The ball forced a piece of his rubber blanket, one inch wide and one and one-half inches long, into his lung, which remained there five years and three months, when he succeeded in coughing it

up. The ball still remains. He now resides at Hatfield, Mass. About dark, the rest of the regiment took position at the left, supporting Devens’ Division, near Rickett's Division of the Sixth Corps. From this point the Twenty-Seventh Mass. marched through a strip of timber, and, pressing to the extreme front, relieved Drake's New York Brigade. The position was in a ploughed field, subjected to an enfilading fire from the enemy's works, from which frequent sorties were made on us during the night. A heavy rain converted the field to a sea of mud, in which we laid down, to protect ourselves from the missiles of death. Such was the introduction of the Eighteenth Corps and of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment to the Army of the Potomac. During the night, Hancock's Corps moved to the extreme left, with orders for the Ninth Corps to follow, but the movement was detected by Gen'l Lee, and the latter corps was attacked so vigorously that its removal was delayed until the 5th inst.

The following letter, picked up by one of our men on this field, is too suggestive to need comment:—

My Sainted Love, — If the Yankee cusses will let me alone, I will write you. U. S. Grant is a “bull-dog,” and Meade a match for the d—l. No matter how deep we get into the woods, the Yanks are sure to find us. They fight more fiercely than I have ever seen them before. They build strong works, and then our brave officers order us to charge them. We have done so, and get h—l every time. My dear, you will excuse this language, for if you were here you would say h—l, too. Do not blame me, my sainted love, but I really wish I was out of this army and joined to you in the holy bond of matrimony.

I must close; the Yankees are coming.

Truly your own, J. Graham, Sg't C. S. A.

At early light a now unknown brigade relieved Companies F and H of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., and a part of






Devens’ Division relieved the remainder of the regiment, when Major Walker retired to seek the former companies. Under cover of darkness the enemy succeeded in constructing and occupying an advanced line of rifle-pits, and opened a cross-fire upon the position captured by Barton's Brigade the night previous. While cooking our morning rations, a major of Gen'l Devens’ staff rode up in haste, ordering the Twenty-Seventh Mass. to Barton's assistance, and offering to lead us to position. After making a short detour through some woods to the right, and into a newly cleared field, we were suddenly attacked by the enemy under cover of woods in front. The first volley cut our lines seriously. Fortunately the felled timber afforded some protection to our men. After holding this position for a short time, we were enabled to reach the cover of the woods, where we remained until afternoon, when Major Walker returned with orders to rejoin the brigade. Of this engagement Capt. Caswell, temporarily in command of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, writes:—

. . . “Whether the enemy had taken a new position unknown to the officer directing us, or that he had lost the exact position, or directions, I am unable to say. He was at the head of the regiment near me when we were fired upon, but, from that moment, I have never seen or heard from him. . . . I soon discovered if we could reach a position eight or ten rods to the right, we would be out of the enemy's range, and succeeded in reaching it without further loss.”

The loss to the Twenty-Seventh Regiment was four killed and fourteen wounded, most of whom fell by the first volley:—

Killed.

Rollin Cowles, Amherst, Company D; throat cut; grape shot.

Ephraim Marsh, Jr., Leverett, Company D.

Charles D. Mullet, Amherst, Company D.

Rodolphus L. Baker, Company E.

Wounded.

Company B. — William A. Brizzee, Hubbardston; shot in thigh, shoulder and left leg.

Company C. — Dwight Russell, Amherst; finger.

Company D. — Sergt. Ptolemy P. Cutler, Amherst, both legs and thigh; fatal.

Sergt. Edward B. Dickinson, Amherst; hip and head; slight.

Sergt. John F. Russell, Hadley; shoulder, side and thigh; fatal.

Sergt. Simeon E. Preston, Amherst; head; slight.

Private Watson E. Carr, Huntington; left leg, right foot; fatal.

Private Marshall A. Cowles, Hadley; hand.

Private Henry Hawley, Amherst; left ankle; severe.

Private Henry B. Sears, Amherst; right thigh.

Private Frederick H. Smith, Hadley; right arm.

Company F. — Private Hiram Spooner, Southampton; abdomen; fatal.

Company I. — Private Homer R. King, Ludlow; chin; slight.

Company K. — Private William H. Fuller, Chicopee; leg and abdomen; fatal.

Orders were issued for a general assault along the entire line at 4.30 P. M., but owing to a tempest of wind and rain the time was changed to half-past four the following morning. It was well that mortal vision could not penetrate the veil that hid the morrow. Thousands lay down that night to their last earthly sleep, and tens of thousands to a rest whose reveille would be a call “to arms,” for ere another sun should cast its rays upon them, these fields would reek with human gore. Such hours were rich in thoughts of home. All the letters at hand were read and re-read by flickering lights, until every word was traced upon the heart and every stroke of the pen seemed eloquent with love. These letters were then committed to the flames, so that no misfortune could place them in treacherous hands. Little packages, taken from the inner pocket, were carefully unfolded, and a






long look taken of the dear ones at home. Strong men sat pale and thoughtful, forming resolutions, the effects of which were to be seen in the morrow's contest. A few were apparently hilarious and thoughtless. One by one they laid themselves upon the ground and were soon lost in slumber. Sleep, brave comrades! the morning's struggle will call for all your courage and strength.

Says Gen'l Smith, in a letter to the author, “A circular order was received on the evening of June 2, 1864, requiring all corps commanders to attack the enemy in their front at 4.30 A. M. the next day. There was no plan of battle, and no concert of action, and the result might have been predicted. I lost too many good men there ever to forget the battle.”

The rain still fell; a dark, gloomy morning ushering in the 3d of June. At early dawn, the Twenty-Seventh Regiment was quietly awakened, and, hastily disposing of “hard-tack and coffee,” marched in advance of the brigade, to the extreme left of the Eighteenth Corps, near Getty's position, of the Sixth Corps. Passing under cover of a wooded elevation, into a ravine with a small “run,” we followed it until we reached the edge of the woods, in plain sight of the enemy's works. A terrific artillery combat soon opened from Hancock's left to the extreme right, under cover of which we countermarched, obliquely, up another ravine, and immediately deployed as skirmishers. Quickly advancing up the bank of the ravine, and over its crest, we encountered and drove the enemy's pickets from two lines of rifle-pits into their main works, one hundred yards distant. Here they opened a raking fire, before which it was madness to advance, and we crouched behind the enemy's works, in reverse. Comrades De Forrest and Richards, of Company F, were killed in this movement. It was a position trying the stoutest hearts. Before us, on a commanding eminence, were the enemy's works, with salients near our right and left,

and with centre well refused. Behind them lay Gen. Hill's rebel corps, with nine stands of colors in view, and giving blows with a mailed hand upon our slender column. Midway, between the fire of contending hosts, we crouched behind the captured “rifle-pits,” the air rent with an unearthly contest.

Gen'l Smith, who had fixed his headquarters upon a hillock covered with trees, about five hundred yards to the rear, came to the position where the brigade was forming, and held a hurried conversation with Gen'ls Martindale and Stannard, during which our artillery ceased firing, and “the recall” was sounded for the Twenty-Seventh Regiment.

The position assigned for assault was a commanding one, at the right of a road leading from Cold Harbor to Gaines’ Mills, and constituted the key to the enemy's position. It was considered the most desirable route for advance, either directly upon Richmond or for a flank movement to the left across the Chickahominy. The position of the two armies, reversed, was essentially the same as occupied by them in the battle of Gaines’ Mills, June 27, 1862. The fields between the armies were undulating, with ravines, hillocks, and timber, but for the most part arable and recently ploughed. Across the field, fifteen hundred yards from our works, was a serrated line of pine woods skirting the crest of a low hill, along which, a year previous, the enemy had constructed permanent and formidable works of logs and earth, which, at this time, were green with sod. In front of these were two lines of redans and curvettes, one hundred and three hundred yards distant, the latter bordering a ravine which ran southwesterly and obliquely to the enemy's works. The crest of this ravine was fringed with brush, and the field interlying, dotted with stunted oaks. Back of this was the hillock occupied by Gen'l Smith during the engagement; then a ravine, near which many of our dead were buried; then a cleared space of one hundred yards, followed by






woods, in front of which was a line of intrenchments captured June 1st; beyond, another cleared field, and on the opposite side, the position of the Eighteenth Corps previous to the assault.

The enemy's position was some fifteen feet higher than the field in front, and was supported by such a force as to render it fairly impregnable. Military usage, as taught and practised hitherto, would have shunned such a fastness, for nothing but dire necessity justifies the hurling of men against such a wall. Von Moltke, the German chieftain of the Franco-German war, was wont to assault such places by successive approaches with strong lines of skirmishers. Every advance was held, until succeeding lines of skirmishers had brought forward his entire force. This was repeated until the Germans were able to get so near as to charge with their whole army over a very limited space, or, as was often the case, until they held the works of the French in reverse. It is possible that a vastly superior army in numbers, might have secured the reduction of this stronghold by attrition, but a reasonable economy of life would have suggested approaches or more extended siege operations, or the forcing of its evacuation by flank movements, as more humane. It is stated that Gen'l Grant has included this charge of June 3d, at Cold Harbor, as “one of the three mistakes of the war.”

The Star Brigade was formed in double column, the Twenty-Seventh Mass., Major Walker, and the Twenty-Fifth Mass., Col. Pickett, forming the first line, supported by the Twenty-Third Mass., Col. Elwell, and the Fifty-Fifth Penn., Capt. Nesbitt, the whole brigade hardly exceeding six hundred men. The Ninth New Jersey Regiment failed to participate, their transport having grounded in coming up the river.

As the Twenty-Seventh Mass. took position, Capt. E. K. Wilcox of Company I — aide-de-camp to Gen'l Stannard —

came forward to the left of the line, and against protest, declared his purpose to join the regiment in the assault. The line was speedily formed, when Gen'l Smith's voice rang out on the morning air, “Forward!” The brigade with a shout sprang up the hill, over the crest and the first line of riflepits, into the riven field. Forward, struggling like maddened billows amongst breakers, — mown down by scores, — but onward, till the second line of rifle-pits are reached; over, and the gallant men like a wave shorn of its strength, sink under the terrible storm. Again they struggle to breast the iron hail, crouching to escape its fury, for that brigade had never learned to acknowledge defeat in the open field.

“Thrice the assailants shook them free,Once gained their feet, and twice their knee,”

till the crumbling ranks sank under the withering fire, unable to reach the goal, or retrace their steps to friendly shelter.

“Into ten mortal minutes was crowded an age of action, ten minutes of the figment men call time, and yet that scant space decided a battle. There are a thousand details, ten thousand episodes, but the essential was this, — that first rush carried our force butt up against a line of works which we were unable to break, or, if broken, hold. Conceive the fierce onslaught, midst deafening volleys of musketry, thunderings of artillery, and the wild, mad yell of battle; see the ranks mown down as they contend for every inch they advance, until the lines crumble and break before the iron tempest. Conceive of all this, and you will then be able to individualize acts as they occurred along the line.” Each man in the “Star Brigade” was a host, and the sum of their heroism an immortal action. It was a repetition of the lustrous charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava, whose heroic action Tennyson has so vividly set forth, and which, aptly, with little change, has been applied to this action, in Denny's “Wearing the Blue.”






“Forward the Star Brigade!Was there a soul dismayed?Not though the soldier knewSome one had blundered.Theirs not to make reply,Theirs not to reason why,Theirs but to do or die,Into the field of DeathCharged the six hundred.“Cannon to right of them,Cannon to left of them,Cannon in front of them,Volleyed and thundered;Stormed at with shot and shell,Boldly they charged, and well,Into the jaws of Death,Into the mouth of Hell,Charged the six hundred.”

It was almost impossible to move and live, the lifting of a head of hand being a signal for volleys of musketry. Many lay surrounded by the dead, which they so arranged as to make defences, behind which the living might crouch their heads, and escape the plunging fire of the adversary. Trees of considerable size were so riddled by rifle-shots, that they fell before the storm. The surface of the field seemed like a boiling caldron, from the incessant pattering and ploughing of shot, which raised the dirt in geysers and spitting sands. Some of the wounded attempted to work back to the ravine during the day, but only a few succeeded. Doubtless many of those who died would have been saved, could their wounds have been cared for. Major Walker and Capt. Wilcox were instantly killed as they passed the last line of rifle-pits, the first by a rifle-ball through his neck, the latter pierced by several fatal shots. Both were at the head of the column cheering their men onward. So thick were the dead, and such the necessity that the living should appear to be so, that one of our men lay a considerable time

without knowing all were dead about him. The second line, (the Twenty-Third Mass. and Fifty-Fifth Penn.) with such of the first line as failed to pass the rifle-pits, fell behind the earth-works in reverse, and stubbornly resisted all attempts of the enemy to advance.

Thus the day passed till darkness spread its pall over the scene, when

“They that had fought so well,Came thro’ the jaws of Death,Back from the mouth of Hell,All that was left of them;Left of six hundred.”

As we leisurely passed the brave Sixth Corps, crowds of them greeted us in cordial sympathy, exclaiming, “If you are parlor soldiers, you charge and fight like h—l!” We had received a bloody initiation into the Army of the Potomac. From that time the Star Brigade was in full standing with the army, and we heard nothing more of “parlor soldiers.” The whole army had been ordered to advance, on that fatal morning, but, having neither plan or concert of action, success was impossible. Hancock's Second Corps which moved to the extreme left the day previous, assailed the enemy near Watts Hill, gaining a temporary advantage, but were forced to retire with a heavy loss. Gen'l Tyler and several colonels were killed. Barlow's Division sustained the brunt of the battle at that point; McKeon's Brigade of Gibbon's Division fought with conspicuous gallantry, their commander falling in the contest. The Sixth Corps, under a desolating fire, carried the first line, but made no farther progress against the batteries posted on their front. Warren, on our right, suffered little, while for some unaccountable reason, Burnside's Ninth Corps failed to move until afternoon. His inactivity allowed the concentration of a portion of Hill's Corps upon us.

The Eighteenth Corps constituted the centre of the






army, and had a most important part assigned them. Two years previous, Gen'l McClellan held the heights on our front, unfortified; and, though the enemy were massed in double column, and were hurled against the position with desperate fury, it was carried only after two days’ struggle, by an army double our own, and with terrible loss. The position of the contestants was now reversed, with the additional advantage to the enemy, of heavy and permanent fortifications. They were fighting with the desperation born of despair, in their last Thermopylæ before reaching the defences of their capital. It was an evidence of the discipline and courage of the Union arms, that such an assault could be made. The loss sustained in three days, had been equal to the aggregate strength of the Eighteenth Corps. The official loss as reported, was seventeen hundred and five killed, nine thousand and forty-two wounded, and twenty-four hundred and six prisoners, an aggregate loss to our army of thirteen thousand one hundred and fifty-three men; while that of the enemy (confessedly correct) was about eleven hundred. The loss of the Eighteenth Corps was about three thousand, and that of the Star Brigade three hundred and forty-seven men, or more than half its effective strength. A few hours after the first assault, Gen'l Meade sent orders to each corps commander to renew the assault. The order passed from corps to divisions, brigades and regiments, but not a man stirred, the immobile columns making a silent but emphatic protest against further sacrifice.

It is worthy of record as to the confidence of the commanding general in the Star Brigade, that when Gen'l Smith received orders to assault this position, he was ordered to select his best brigade. None other would do, as it is customary to select for storming columns the elite of the army. Gen'l Smith remarked just before the charge, “It is simply an order to slaughter my best troops! I have no discretion left me.”

The “Herald” correspondent wrote upon the field: “Stannard's Brigade (Heckman's old command) again covered itself with glory, charging across an open field, and through dense woods filled with the enemy and continuous lines of rifle-pits. The slaughter was terrible, but they held their position through the day. A perfect hail of musketballs and shell, poured down on those devoted men, and repeated charges were made to drive them from their advanced position, but with a tenacity and courage that deserves to be immortalized, they held their ground until the enemy gave up in despair.” Another wrote: “Stannard and Stedman's Brigades, of Martindale's Division, lost heavily. They were in the hottest of the fight, and advanced to the second line of the enemy's works. Stannard proved a worthy successor of the fighting Heckman, and the old brigade, under his orders, again covered itself with glory. Genl. Stannard, though wounded, refused to leave the field.” Still another correspondent wrote: “The results were equally disastrous to our whole line, and only the Eighteenth Corps succeeded in making any decided advance in their lines, and retaining it. A rebel major, while viewing the carnage of the field, during the truce of the 7th, remarked to Surgeon Fish of the Twenty-Seventh, “It was one of the bravest and most useless charges I ever witnessed.”

The losses of the Massachusetts regiments in the Star Brigade were as follows:

Twenty-Third Mass. Regt., three killed, forty-six wounded, five prisoners.

Twenty-Fifth Mass. Regt., fifty-three killed, one hundred and thirty-nine wounded, twenty-eight prisoners.

Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., fifteen killed, sixty-five wounded, four prisoners.

We append a detailed account of the casualities of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt.: —






Killed.

Maj. William A. Walker, Greenfield.

Capt. Edward K. Wilcox, Springfield.

Lieut. Samuel Morse, Chicopee.

Company D.

Dwight Barrett, Belchertown; Henry E Potter, Hadley.

Company E.

Henry Glover, Douglas; James E. Thompson, Monterey.

Company F.

Harvey DeForest, Lee; Reuben A. Richards, Springfield.

Company G.

Sergt. Edwin C. Hendricks, Chicopee; Sergt. Irvin Chapin, Chicopee.

Company H.

Levi Edson, Amherst; John Bulfin, Cheshire.

Company I.

Eland Merritt, Palmer.

Company K.

David Bolio, Pittsfield.

Wounded.

Company A.

Corp. Frederick Jessimine, Westhampton; abdomen, fatal.

Company B.

Capt. A. W. Caswell, Gardner; slight.

Sergt. Albert D. Pond, Athol; left thigh. George H. Dodge, Leverett; left thigh, fatal. Thomas Barbour, Easthampton, contusion.

Company C.

William B. Saxton, Deerfield; leg, flesh wound, serious. Patrick Bain, Jr., Deerfield; contusion, thigh, severe. John Richards, Hatfield; left arm and side, flesh wound, right knee and thigh amputated, fatal.

Company D.

Capt. P. S. Bailey, Springfield; right leg, slight.

Sergt. Edward B. Dickinson, Amherst; forehead, figures “27” driven into the skull.

Corp. Chester Dickinson, Jr., Amherst; right arm. Corp. Medad Vinton, Amherst; leg. Lewis H. Freeman, New Salem; head. William W. Lind, Granby; head, slight. Cornelius O'Connor, Amherst; head. Jacob L. Rust, Amherst; finger amputated.

Company E.

Lieut. H. Smith Newell, Chicopee; right leg, severe.

Corp. William W. Cummings, Warren; foot, slight. Martin Gaitley, Lanesborough; wrist. Rufus Groat, Pittsfield; leg and right hand. John H. Hewitt, Monterey; abdomen, fatal. Joseph W. Huntley, Great Barrington; slight. Augustus H. Martin, Lenox; arm.

Company F.

Capt. John W. Moore, Tolland; temple, slight.

Sergt. Hiram G. Everton, Westfield; thigh and finger, slight. Sergt. George W. Cone, Westfield; side, contusion. Sergt. George F. Green, Granville; right ear. Sergt. Charles H. Pratt, Tolland; right forefinger. Sergt Calvin J. Treat, Granville; leg.

Corp. Daniel W. Bates, Southampton; stomach, contusion. John W. Brewer, Granville; wrist, slight. Emerson J. Cowles, Westfield; left lung, fatal. Louis H. Fuller, Northampton; foot. Chauncey P. Howe, Granville; slight. Michael Horrigan, Tolland; shoulder, severe. Stephen W. Knox, Granville; right hip, severe. George Manning, Lenox; abdomen, severe. Leroy S. Oakes, Dana; fingers, slight. Francis Sackett, Ashburnham; hand, severe. George M. Searle, Westfield; slight. Edward N. Smith, Huntington; chest, severe. Charles W. Territt, Granville; left side, severe; Ward I. Vining, Southwick; finger, slight; George Welcome, Southwick; leg, slight. George Welcome, Jr., Southwick; head, slight.

Company G.

Sergt. George Chalmers, Holyoke; left leg, flesh wound. George S. Lombard, Chicopee; shoulder, contusion. Michael Murphy,






Chicopee; slight. Isaac Smith, Northampton; groin, severe. William D. Steele, Chicopee; thigh. Ebenezer Sherman, Chicopee; slight.

Company H.

Capt. William McKay, Adams; foot, slight.

Corp. Joseph M. Montgomery, Adams; right shoulder. Dennis Dillworth, Adams; finger. William J. Lowell, Worcester; back, slight.

Company I.

Lieut. William F. Harrington, Pittsfield; right arm, severe.

Philander Pike; back, severe. Daniel R. Sanger; both thighs, severe. James Waters; shoulder, slight.

Company K.

Sergt. Charles F. Hale; hand, slight. Orrin Burlingame, Jr.; leg, slight. Frederick Gutberlet; right elbow, fatal. Jerry Harrington, 1st; finger, slight. George R. Ring; finger, slight. Thomas A. Ring; face, slight.

Prisoners.

Sergt. Joseph H. Cowles, Company E, Mount Washington.

Private Levi Bosquet, Company E, Becket. Private Chauncey P. Howe, Company F, Granville. Private Ebenezer Sherman, Company E, Chicopee.

Major William A. Walker was born at Portsmouth, N. H., in 1828. His parents, William and Elizabeth Perley Walker, were descendants of New Hampshire's earliest settlers, and were devout members of the Methodist Church. Their children, however, were brought up under the ministrations of the Unitarian Church, Rev. A. P. Peabody, pastor. Deacon John Foster, superintendent of the Sunday school, did much to give direction and strength to Major Walker's character. After graduating at Portsmouth high school, he removed to Boston and entered the house of E. V. Ashton & Co., then under charge of Daniel Haskell, Esq., who afterwards became the honored editor of

the Boston “Transcript.” Major Walker connected himself with the State militia, and held a commission therein. He was also deeply interested in the Boston Mercantile Library, and at one time was its vice-president. From Boston he removed to Greenfield, where he was identified with religious and educational interests, and was an enthusiastic worker in the Sunday school, and a valued member of the general school committee. He was in active sympathy with all that was intended to promote the welfare of the young. When the war broke out, he aided in the enlistment of the Greenfield company, and was commissioned captain, with assignment to that company. He was at no time absent from his command upon the field, save at Drewry's Bluff, from which place he had returned to camp at Cobb's Hill, expecting to rejoin his command the following morning. Although laboring under a presentiment of the fatal consequence of the contest at Cold Harbor, he was at the head of the column, cheering on his men, when he fell, mortally wounded. Major Walker was of a thoughtful mind, with a quiet reserve, which was often mistaken for coldness and dissociability; but to those who knew him best, it was but the shrinking of a refined nature from the immoralities and repulsive concomitants of war. He indulged in no ribaldry, nor tolerated it with even tacit approval in his presence. His action on the field resulted from principle and consecrated patriotism, rather than from a love of adventure and recklessness. As a result, what he did was well done; and if there were no lustrous actions to mark him in history, neither were there any mistakes or shortcomings for which to condone.

Capt. E. K. Wilcox.

Edward Kirk Wilcox, son of O. W. and Mary Ann Wilcox, was born at Springfield, Aug. 24, 1841. He fitted for college at Williston Seminary, Easthampton, and with Alexander Hyde, Esq., of Lee, entering Williams in 1858, but






after two years decided upon a business instead of a professional life, and was temporarily with his father at Springfield. He was of the first to enlist at his country's call, and mustered as sergeant-major of the Tenth Massachusetts Regiment, June 21, 1861, marching with them to the front. Upon the organization of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment he was appointed first lieutenant, and assigned to Company I, Capt. Henry A. Hubbard. On account of the sickness and early death of his captain, he was in command of the company in all its North Carolina service, and was promoted captain, Feb. 13, 1862. Indifferent to danger, he was a spirited leader, with coolness and efficiency, inspiring his men by his own demeanor. He was with the regiment on provost duty at Norfolk, during the winter of ’63 and ’64, but upon the organization of the “Red Star Brigade,” was appointed acting assistant adjutant general on Brig. Gen'l C. A. Heckman's staff. After reaching Bermuda Hundreds, he was appointed aide-de-camp to Gen'l Weitzel commanding the Second Division, Eighteenth Army Corps, and participated in all the actions of the Army of the James. Of the battle of Drewry's Bluff, May 16, 1864, he wrote, “It was the hardest fight I ever was in. How I escaped I cannot tell, as I was under fire seven or eight hours carrying orders into the thickest of the fight.”

May 17th, Gen'l Stannard assumed command of the brigade, and Capt. Wilcox was transferred to his staff as acting assistant adjutant general First Brigade, First Division, Eighteenth Army Corps. May 30th, the Eighteenth Army Corps started for White-House Landing, effecting a junction with the Army of the Potomac at Cold Harbor on the eve of June 1st. Stannard's Brigade was led immediately into action, and its frequent changes and the nature of its service, rendered Capt. Wilcox's duties incessant and onerous. Says Durfee's “Annals of Williams College:” “It so happened that as he was passing through his regiment, the morning

of the 3d, a charge was ordered.” Unconsciously, this does not do him full credit; it did not happen. Instructions as to the charge had passed through his hands at three o'clock the day previous, and he was there from plan and purpose. He placed himself in front of the line, when one of his brother officers said, “Coxey, go back where you belong; this is no place for you!” to which he replied, “I am going with you; my place is where I can serve my country.” When Gen'l Smith's voice rang out on the morning air, “Forward!” with a ringing cheer and call to his men, he dashed forward, foremost of all. Gaining the enemy's curvettes, he dashed over them in advance of the column, with his face set on the enemy's main line just in front, when he fell pierced with a dozen bullets. “Coxey,” as he was generally known, was popular, genial, courteous and affable. His urbanity, frankness and kindness, insured lasting friendship. His often expressed preference was, that he might be allowed to return to his command, and share with them the honors and dangers of the field. His name is now borne by Post 16, Grand Army of the Republic, Springfield, Mass., an excellent painting of him gracing their hall.

Lieut. Samuel Morse enlisted from Chicopee as the first sergeant of Company G, and re-enlisted Dec. 23, 1863. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant Dec. 8, 1863. We have no knowledge of his parentage, or early life, but we can speak of him as a royal comrade. As a soldier he was faithful to duty, and courageous on the field; and as an officer was conspicuous and daring. He fell at the extreme front, beyond the captured rifle-pits.

Capt. Moore was in command of the left wing of the regiment, and to avoid the leaden hail, dropped upon the ground near a small pine tree; in this position he was grazed by a musket-ball on the left temple and foot, while another shot passed through his coat between his body and left arm.






Corp. Cowles of Company F, was lying by the side of Capt. Moore, when, seeing a rebel expose himself above the works, he said, “Captain, I'm going for him!” He fired and the Johnnie dropped, but in an instant a storm of bullets poured around him, one of which pierced Cowles’ left lung. Comrade Cowles died at the Harwood Hospital, Washington, D. C., June 27, 1874. Corp. Frederick Jessiman of Company A, received a fatal wound in his abdomen, and was the last member of that company present for duty. Comrade Jessiman was a faithful, conscientious, unassuming soldier. He died at White-House Landing, June 8, 1865, and sleeps with the great army of “unknown United States soldiers.”

Much of the fatality of this field might have been averted, but for the enemy refusing to honor a truce until the 7th, when the sickening stench from the dead compelled them to accede to our request for “an opportunity to remove our wounded, and bury our dead.” No valid reason was given for this heartless delay, and the feeling prevailed — perhaps uncharitably — that it was that suffering, exposure and neglect, might complete the deadly work of their rifles. Various expedients were resorted to for removing our wounded, some being reached under cover of darkness, others aided by comrades who crept up to them, and though forced to remain prostrate, aided them to the rear. Others were so far to the front, and so covered by the enemy's fire, that trenching was resorted to, while now and then some brave soldier picked up a wounded comrade, and by a wonderful providence, reached the rear unharmed. Over the crash of arms came the wail of the wounded, with cries for aid, and many efforts were made to relieve their wants. The great cry was for water, “Give me some water!” “Oh! if I only had some water!” for the pain of the wound is often forgotten in the thirst caused by the loss of blood. Canteens of water were thrown to our suffering comrades where possible, and

handkerchiefs or lint attached to sticks and stones cast to them for use. Everything was done which ingenuity or bravery could devise, to relieve their sufferings, and many heroic acts might be narrated, were it not invidious where all were heroes. Every effort to succor the wounded was at the peril of the life or limb of him who made it.

Here, for the first time, we met, and went into action under the eyes of two home regiments. Gen'l Eustis’ Brigade, of Getty's Division, Sixth Corps, consisted of the Seventh, Tenth and Thirty-Seventh Mass., and Second Rhode Island Regiments. The Tenth Mass. were completing their term of enlistment, with thirteen engagements inscribed on their standard, and a record of which they were justly proud. Their experience from the outset had been with the Army of the Potomac, having shared its varied fortunes. The Thirty-Seventh Mass., Col. Oliver Edwards, left the State Sept. 7, 1862, and though younger by sixteen months than the Tenth Mass., its record challenged any claim of precedence or excessive valor by its elder. Its escutcheons already bore the hard contested fields of Fredericksburg, Salem Heights, Gettysburg, Wilderness and Spottsylvania, with many of lesser note, and was destined to bear all the future contests of the Army of the Potomac, until a glorious victory should crown their labors. These regiments for the first time were permitted to see the mettle of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., and exulted in its valor with a pride akin to that awakened by their own achievements. Said one of the members of the Thirty-Seventh Regiment to the writer, “It was one of the most terrible charges I ever witnessed, and, as I saw great gaps in your line closed up, and the terrible struggle against that desolating fire continued, my manhood deserted me. I gave away to tears, — tears of sorrow for the terrible carnage; tears of pride that we boasted a common ancestry.”






Thus closed a month that had told fearfully on our effective and numerical strength. May 4th we left Yorktown with seven hundred and forty-four men for duty, but at roll-call the night of June 3d, only five officers and seventy-eight men responded to their names. Two hundred and thirty had been killed or wounded, two hundred fifty-three taken prisoners, leaving one hundred and seventy-eight who had broken down in service, or were on detached duty, as pioneers, teamsters, in the ordinance department or ambulance corps. Many of the “special duty men” were now called back to the regiment, so that by the 7th inst., four officers and one hundred and sixty-one men reported for duty. After being relieved the evening of the 3d, we rejoined our division at the centre of the Eighteenth Corps, occupying advance fortifications, and exposed to continual fire, which made necessary unusual care in moving about our position. During the night the enemy made several sorties and kept up a merciless fire, causing Capt. Caswell, now commanding the regiment, to send for reinforcements. We succeeded, however, in holding our position unaided during the night. We were sharply engaged during much of the 4th, and Lieut. E. H. Coombs fell mortally wounded, with Thomas W. Norton of (Springfield) Co. E, wounded in the thigh, and John R. Ryan of (Lee) Co. E, wounded in the foot.

Lieut. Edgar H. Coombs, Or, as he was better known, “Sergt. Coombs,” was mustered into the United States service, from Lee, Oct. 1, 1861, as first sergeant of Company E, and re-enlisted Dec. 23, 1863. He was an active participant in all the engagements of our regiment, and hitherto had escaped unharmed. He had just received a commission as second lieutenant, dated April 18, 1864, but under which he had not mustered. While sitting behind a tree, drinking a cup of coffee, a rifleball

glanced from a limb above and crushed through his skull, near the coronal suture, sinking into the brain. He was removed to the regimental hospital, but all efforts to arouse him from carus seemed fruitless, until his friend Amos F. Whittaker began removing his valuables for safe-keeping. As a ring was being taken from his little finger, he gave the only sign of consciousness, by rubbing his thumb over the place where it had been. Its associations could only be surmised, but his thoughts evidently clustered around it to his latest moments. After a few hours of unconscious suffering, he passed away, and his body was buried upon the field. He rests with the great army of the “unknown,” but there is no more sacred vault for the nation's martyred dead than the fields which their deeds and life-blood have consecrated.

June 5th, as Lieut. F. C. Wright, acting adjutant of the regiment, was engaged in the defence of our position, a rifleball inflicted a fatal wound in his right thigh.

Lieut. Frederick Clark Wright

Was born at Northampton, Mass., March 25, 1839. He was the fourth son of Ansel and Elizabeth Bullens Wright, and was in direct descent from the earliest settlers of Massachusetts Colony. His early life was shaded by years of sickness and debility, retarding his development physically and intellectually. Later he overcame his physical weakness, rapidly acquiring proficiency equal to his years, and becoming a general favorite with his companions in the militia and fire companies of his native town. In the hour of his country's need, impelled by a sense of duty, and in sympathy with a popular movement, he found little difficulty in deciding his course. He was mustered into service June 21, 1861, as a private of Company C, Tenth Mass. Regt. Vol. Infantry, and went with them to the front. Serving in






the ranks until October, 1861, he received a commission as second lieutenant, with assignment to Company G, Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., and also Oct. 30, 1862, merited promotion to first lieutenant of Company K. Duty with him was pre-eminent, and was discharged from a high sense of honor and patriotism.

Lieut. Wright was popular as an officer and associate, and with those intimate with him the opinion prevailed that in his subordinate position he was hardly at his best. Whether as a company officer, acting adjutant, quartermaster, or “chief of harbor police” at Norfolk, Va., he was more than ordinarily efficient and successful. In action he was cool and daring, and never willingly away when his regiment was engaged in battle. Absent at the beginning of the siege of Little Washington, he was satisfied only when he had run the enemy's batteries and rejoined his company. At Drewry's Bluff, when most of the regiment, and his own company, were captured, he bravely fought his way out, escaping with a trifling wound in the ankle. June 3d he was in the thickest of the battle, and now fell at the extreme front. As he was borne to the rear, an officer of the regiment exclaimed, with tears, “One more of our bravest and best!” His wound was dressed without removing the ball, by Surgeon Fish, one of his closest friends, and from the first was considered moretal. He was removed to Arlington Hospital, Arlington, Va., where he was attended by his brother, Ansel Wright. Later, typhoid pneumonia intervened, which, with the weakness and exhaustion caused by his wound, terminated his life, June 27, 1864. His body was taken to his native town, and buried with civic and masonic honors.

The enemy continued a brisk fire upon our position, the 5th and 6th of June, with several fruitless attempts to dislodge our men. The reply of the Twenty-Seventh was, however, as sharp as the assault, and held the enemy in check along our front. Finding it impossible to dislodge us,

the enemy opened with mortars, dropping shell in uncomfortable proximity, and interfering seriously with the movement of our ammunition and supplies. Bombproofs and gopher holes were constructed to protect those not on duty, and these men, while safely ensconced in their retreat, indulged in laughter and wit over the unceremonious movements and shyings of comrades along the works.

There is a flexibility in man which yields to the unavoidable, relieving much of its sufferings, and extracting sweet from every bitter experience. This adaptation of our soldiers to varied experiences, with a perennial flow of good humor, gave stamina and courage to the army. The effects of the battle must terminate with the battle, in order to nerve the men for future conflicts. Soldiers, like machines, are not to question, but obey. Manhood and intellect were subordinated, in enlistment, to a great end. Others were to think and direct. There can be no doubt but that intelligence and thoughtfulness made better soldiers, as comprehending the importance of movements contemplated, yet it is the duty of a soldier to act, and not ask the reason, why?

After sharp skirmishing on the 7th, the enemy agreed to a truce for burying the dead; only two hours were allowed for this sad and herculean task. Four days of sun and rain, with the severe heat of summer, had passed over our slain, and the air was laden with insufferable putrescence. We breathed it in every breath, tasted it in the food we ate and water we drank. What seemed intolerable to us, was doubly so to the enemy, from their nearness to the dead, and from the fact that the prevailing winds, wafting over the field, carried the fumes directly to them. The granting of the truce was a necessity rather than a virtue. Along the lines white flags were flying, and the enemy, with little else to do, were lounging about, with coarse and unfeeling jokes, such as, “You uns got it right smart, I reckon.” Corp. Weiser, of Company F,






and six men were detailed to assist in the sepulchral work, and, under Surgeon Fish, repaired to the scene of our contest of June 3d.

The ground was strewn with bloated and discolored forms, every feature so distorted that recognition from this source was impossible. Major Walker's body was found lying in front of the advance line of works, head to the foe, and was recognized by Surgeon Fish by his haversack and by papers in his pockets. He called a party of bearers, engaged in removing the dead, and placed the body on a stretcher. The surgeon then turned to an officer near by to ask “where they were burying the officers,” but on looking back found to his distress that the bearers had disappeared with the body. Midst the rapid-moving crowd it was impossible to recognize the parties bearing the body, and every means to recover the remains proved unavailing. It was impossible to censure any one, as decomposition had progressed so far as to leave the remains in a loathsome state. Capt. Wilcox's body was recovered, and buried by members of Gen'l Stannard's staff. Lieut. Morse was also identified and buried.

The recognition of the private soldiers was almost impossible from the similarity of uniforms, excessive decomposition, and the great haste required. Unless papers or ornaments on their persons revealed their identity, they were buried as “Unknown.” Now and then some poor wounded one was found, in all the horrors of a living death. For four long days and nights they had remained upon that field, with ghastly wounds, without food, water or care, and surrounded by remains exuding a stifling stench. Who can depict the terrible sufferings of those long, long hours of horror, or the intense joy with which — if reason was not unthroned — they received the rough but hearty care now given them? Nature gave but few the endurance to bridge such an awful chasm, so that the work was chiefly with the dead. Long trenches were dug, in which they were laid,

side by side, with such winding-sheets as their blankets afforded.

“The old army blanket, the shround-destined blanket,Which e'en to the last served the martyr so well.” — Peck.

As the sepulchral work progressed, the notes of a dirge unutterably mournful and sad, came floating over the field from the bands within our lines. This requiem was our only service for the dead.

The utmost haste failed to entomb the immense mass of our slain, before a signal-gun gave notice that the “truce had expired.” At the next gun the dogs of war would be let loose upon any remaining on the field, and hence our burial party hastily retired. A few moments later we were again engaged in the deadly fray. Those comrades participating in the burial were so overcome by the stench as to be unfit for duty for several days. From the one hundred and fifty-five thousand graves of the “Unknown” buried on our battle-fields and in our national cemeteries, comes the demand that our country should adopt some expedient for the recognition of her dead; if no better, the affixing of an official number to their names at state and national head-quarters, which number should be attached to some protected portion of the clothing of each man, as a means of identification. This method was adopted during the last Prussian war, with good results. It had been the practice with the Twenty-Seventh Mass., when in camp, to write the name of the deceased, and, after enclosing it in a vial securely corked, to bury it with the remains. This plan had also been adopted by the Fifth Corps Hospital under Dr. Reams. Such a practice throughout our army, or better, perhaps, the two plans combined, would have made it possible to have recognized all our dead upon the field or in the subsequent work of gathering them into national cemeteries.






To narrate the experiences of each day would be to repeat the story of marchings and countermarchings from front to rear, and from right to left, subjected to a fire which was hardly less annoying at the rear than at the front. “Spent balls” at the rear were glancing and richochetting in every direction, and “mortar shells” dropping where and when least expected; from neither of which could we find full protection. At the front the shots came direct, and, with watchfulness, the rifle-pits were effective defence against them. There is no doubt that our terrible repulse had given Gen'l Lee's army new courage and prestige. Flaming telegrams and dispatches were constantly being sent to Richmond, recounting the courage and victories of their troops, with the terrible carnage suffered by the Yankees. On the evening of June 9th, a rebel band in Longstreet's Corps came to the front, and in a tantalizing way discoursed their national airs, which were responded to by Union bands with our national airs and “Rally round the Flag.” This music was as good as medicine to our worn troops, and for a time the sound of strife gave place to a musical soirée:

“Her unoffending charmsHad quelled the savage clash of arms.”

Our position, the evening of the 9th, was within pistol-shot of the enemy, the shells of both forces rushing a mad race over our heads. The previous night one officer and thirteen men had been killed or wounded here by one of our own shells; and the consequent insecurity of this position was not at all reassuring. The Eighty-Ninth New York Volunteer Regiment of infantry, an old acquintance of the Burnside Expedition, had now been added to the Star Brigade, giving it an effective strength of about nine hundred men. With this addition we were able to hold our position against the most determined assaults of the enemy. Joseph Mattis

of Windsor, Company E, was wounded during the day by a musket-ball upon the head and right ear. June 11th the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. was detailed as sharpshooters, relieving the One Hundred and Forty-Eighth New York Regiment of Stedman's Brigade. We soon acquainted ourselves with the positions and tricks of the enemy's sharpshooters, who, like many of our men, were in the trees, picking off any who showed their heads above the defences. It was the work of only a few moments to place every tree under surveillance, and every puff under the cover of a dozen muskets. It was “Greek mit Greek” the entire day, in which our men providentially escaped unharmed.

Volumes of thrilling interest might be written of the work of comfort and consolation by the Sanitary and Christian Commissions, during these days of our country's peril. The Sanitary Commission gave material aid, and prepared the way for the other. Rev. Dr. H. W. Bellows, it is said, was the original mover for this Commission, and when he presented the matter to Secretary of War Stanton, the latter received him coldly, saying, “I hate philanthropists!” Dr. Bellows quickly replied, “And I hate generals! But I mean bogus generals, and you mean bogus philanthropists.” Stanton's opposition was thus disarmed, and an order permitting its work granted. It was henceforth the great channel through which the homes of the North reached their sons in the field. The supplies offered through this medium were as broad and deep as the love and patriotism of the loyal North. While the main object of the Sanitary Commission was to relieve suffering, it also sought to prevent sickness by contributions for those in active service. Large quantities of vegetables were forwarded to the front to relieve a tendency to disease, which the want of them had caused. The work of the Christian Commission was to minister to the religious wants of the army, supplementing the work of the chaplains, and supplying their place when there were none. Their distinctive






field was in the hospitals, or among the wounded at the rear. Kneeling beside the sick or wounded to assuage pain, they extended the consolations of the gospel of Christ, and supplicated for spirits passing into eternity. They received the last message and token for the loved ones at home; tenderly holding the hand as the spirit fled, and closing the eyes in its last long sleep. Many a home was cheered through them by news from the wounded, and rejoiced that there were those willing to do the work — in the name of the Master, — which they were denied the opportunity to do.

The results of June 3d, proving that Richmond could not be taken in that direction, led Gen'l Grant to decide on a movement which had been contemplated from the first; — that of uniting the Armies of the Potomac and James. Burnside's and Warren's Corps were successively withdrawn from the right, and placed in reserve, shortening our front to four miles, and leaving the Eighteenth Corps as the right flank. Sheridan's Cavalry were started off, as a diversion, to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad, and co-operate with Gen'l Hunter at Lynchburg; while our line was gradually advanced as if intending another assault. June 12th, the army formed almost a square, with its left resting upon the Chickahominy, and its position strongly entrenched. Early in the evening, Wilson's Cavalry and the Fifth Corps were moved across the Chickahominy at Long Bridge, and strongly posted through White Oak Swamp. The rest of the army — save the Eighteenth Corps — followed quietly and rapidly, and reached the James River at Wilcox Landing, without opposition, June 15th. The Eighteenth Corps also received instructions to return to White House Landing where transports were awaiting them. A strong line of cavalry, with horses tethered conveniently near, replaced the infantry along the entire front, and continued the contest until nearly dawn, when they hastily mounted

and pressed after the column to the James. So stealthy and successful was the movement, that no suspicion entered the mind of Gen'l Lee of our intention, until the morning revealed our deserted fields.






CHAPTER XVI. SIEGE OF PETERSBURG.

At nine o'clock, the evening of June 12th, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. quietly abandoned the position last noted at Cold Harbor, and made a forced march of twenty miles through suffocating dust, arriving at White-House Landing at six o'clock, the morning of the 13th. Here we lay down upon the grass under cover of the gunboats, enjoying refreshing and needed rest; when, late in the afternoon, we embarked upon the steamer “Claymont.” Stiff and sore from the march of the previous night, and worn by continuous service, the men threw themselves upon the deck and were soon unconscious of the heat of the sun, or the varied scenery through which they passed. During the march to White-House Landing, Peter Wilson was taken prisoner, but eluded the vigilance of his captors, and made his way to the Sixth Corps on their march to the James, and rejoined our regiment before Petersburg. The fleet rendezvoused at Yorktown till three A.M., the 14th, passed Fortress Monroe two hours later, Fort Powhattan, a relic of 1607, about three P.M.; and Harrison's Landing at five P M., arriving at Broadway Landing about nine P.M., where the troops immediately debarked.

The criticism that this change of base was a tacit admission of defeat, and that Gen'l Grant could have reached City Point without loss, instead of sacrificing eighty thousand men, while having the humanity of the argument, loses sight of the following material considerations: the necessity

of re-establishing confidence in our arms; of crushing the esprit de corps, the numerical force, and the material resources of the enemy; and also that the movement now made was contemplated from the first. The Army of the Potomac, for more than a year, had gone into battle with a depressing doubt, rather than with the inspiration and expectation of victory. They were invincible against, but insufficient for victorious assault. In the field the armies had met like two opposing seas, and in the recoil each had suffered so severely that at the most it could only be claimed “they had checked the enemy.” The Confederates had unbounded confidence in their commanding general, and in spite of misfortunes, contemptuously left our army in its defences along the Rappahannock, and annually engaged in devastating raids in Pennsylvania and Maryland. They were equal to any sacrifice, and fearlessly coped with any force, with an enthusiasm seemingly beyond the reach of our arms.

Before the battle of Cold Harbor, all this had been reversed. Invincibility and valor were now the animating spirits of the Union army, and while the rebel army fought fiercely, they refused a contest save with the greatest odds, or behind the strongest fortifications. Gen'l Grant's instructions to Gen'l Butler were also significant, as appears from his words, . . . “the necessity of covering Washington . . . makes it impossible to unite the forces at the beginning of any move. . . . . Should the enemy be forced into their intrenchments in Richmond, the Army of the Potomac would follow, and by means of transports, the two armies would become a unit.” With Lee's original force around the city of Petersburg, we could not have secured or held a foothold before its fortifications. All was now changed, for, when trusting on shorter lines to strengthen threatened points, Lee detached a corps for the annual raid upon Maryland, he found his arm paralyzed and the attempted diversion






futile. The confidence and numerical strength of the rebel army were destroyed, and though it was capable of effective defence, the struggle was continued, as Gen'l Lee admitted, only to improve the terms of surrender.

At two o'clock A.M. June 15th, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., with the Star Brigade, moved across the Appomattox River on pontons at Point of Rocks, the Twenty-Fifth Mass. in advance. Here the Eighteenth Corps united with Hincks’ Colored and Kautz’ Cavalry Divisions, the entire force being under command of Maj. Gen'l W. F. Smith, with Petersburg as its objective point. After some delay, Kautz’ Cavalry moved to the left, well out to the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad; Hincks’ Division to the Jordan Point turnpike, supported by Brooks’ Second Division, Eighteenth Army Corps; while Martindale's First Division, with the Star Brigade at the front, followed the Appomattox or Petersburg turnpike. With this arrangement, the force advanced without opposition until about nine o'clock, when Martindale's Division encountered the enemy's pickets near the railroad crossing, and slowly drove them to their works. Our whole force was deployed and advanced in line of battle, each organization furnishing its own skirmishers. Martindale's right rested near the Appomattox River, followed in order by Brooks and Hincks, with Kautz’ Cavalry at the left flank. We advanced through tangled thickets, swamps, ravines and open undulating fields, until a shell from the front warned us that we were approaching the rebel defences.

The Star Brigade was on the right of the City Point Railroad and the Twenty-Seventh Mass. upon the left of the turnpike, about two miles from Petersburg, whose spires were visible from our position. Cautiously advancing through a considerable thicket, we emerged into an open field, half a mile from and in full view of the enemy's works. On a bluff at the left was a fort commanding the

railroad, known to the enemy as Battery Five, which opened a fierce fire of shot, shell and canister upon us as we advanced. An hour later we moved at double-quick across a deep ditch into a position covered by a slight elevation with scattering timber, to avoid the enemy's fire, which had already inflicted a loss upon the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. of eleven men severely wounded. Among the first wounded was Corp. H. H. Weiser, Company F, Westfield, whose arm was shattered by a cannon-ball near the shoulder, inflicting a mortal wound. The opposing works consisted of strong redans connected with Battery Five on the bluff by a line of rifle-pits. The field intervening was a low meadow cut by ditches and ravines, with the railroad piercing it at the left, and was completely covered by hostile guns. The position was naturally strong, and if defended by a determined force, could have been carried only by most desperate valor and frightful carnage. The enemy's centre and left were even stronger than in front of Martindale's Division.

The surroundings and defences were so entirely different from that indicated in information given Gen'l Smith, that it required considerable time to arrange our forces for assault. The distance intervening between the armies was such that infantry was yet unavailable, and the crossing of such a field so forbidding, that Gen'l Smith deemed it prudent to delay attack until the arrival of our artillery, which, unfortunately, did not reach us till about seven o'clock in the evening. The troops were forced to hold position, meantime, under a terrific fire from Battery Five, and a battery of Napoleon guns in the meadow on the banks of the Appomattox River, at our right, the latter enfilading our position.

During this delay narrated, Private H—— of Company —, of our regiment, was sitting in the shade with his back to the enemy, about ten feet from where Gen'l Stannard






was standing. Against the jeers of his comrades, and in spite of the fatigue, H—— had clung to his knapsack in all our movements, and at this time had it strapped upon his back. A six-pound shot came ricochetting along the ground, hitting the knapsack, and sending its owner sprawling upon the ground. On picking himself up, H——, in a wild, confused manner, felt for his head and then his knapsack, and, to the boys’ assurance that he was still safe, responded with a sickly smile. Gen'l Stannard, seeing he was all right, exclaimed, “That's a mighty lucky knapsack, boy!” “Yes,” responded H——, “and I always carry it!” There was no use of arguing the knapsack question with H—— after that.

A cloud of battle still crested the enemy's works, when, at seven o'clock, a battery of twelve-pounders at our left and rear, opened upon the enemy. This was a battery from Hancock's Corps, and its perfect execution was greeted with most enthusiastic cheers. Under cover of this fire Gen'l Smith, to save slaughter by a movement in force, advanced a strong line of skirmishers from each division, with instruction to force the enemy's position if possible. Advancing at double-quick, under a terrible fire, they cleared the ditches, ravines, and meadow, forward and onward, until, to the surprise of all, they scaled the enemy's works and turned the captured guns on the retreating foe. A shout of victory rent the air, and the entire force sprang forward with an enthusiastic rush to their support. The Star Brigade captured the redans on their front and two Napoleon guns. Hincks’ Colored Division fought nobly, capturing the works on their front and several hundred prisoners. Burnham's Brigade captured Battery Five on the bluff, with two hundred prisoners and eleven guns. It was now quite dark, and for reasons which will appear, Gen'l Smith gave orders to hold our position and bivouac for the night. The casualties

of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. during the day were:

Capt. William McKay; left side; slight.

Company B.—Corp. William B. W. Bliss, New Salem; contusion, leg.

Company C.—Silas Cowles, Hadley; through both hips; fatal. Sidney Davis, Northampton; slight. Madison R. Olds, Hadley; contusion, left thigh.

Company E.—William A. Keep, Otis; contusion, right foot.

Company F.—Corp. H. H. Weiser, Westfield; right arm; fatal.

Company G.—Ephraim Wilson, Pittsfield; contusion, left shoulder.

Company H.—Corp. Joseph H. Montgomery, Adams; contusion, thigh.

Company K.—Charles A. Willard, Springfield; left leg, severe.

While the Eighteenth Corps had been thus engaged, the Army of the Potomac had succeeded in reaching James River at Wilcox Landing without material opposition, and were crossing by pontons to Windmill Point. Hancock's Second Corps had the advance, with orders to reach Harrison's Creek on the City Point R.R. as speedily as possible. From defective maps this corps was led astray and did not reach supporting distance of Gen'l Smith until orders suspending operations for the day had been executed. Gen'l Hancock, waiving seniority of rank, offered the co-operation of his corps to continue the advance, which Gen'l Smith did not think it wise to accept. Petersburg could still have been captured the morning of the 16th, and doubtless would have been but for an order of Gen'l Meade's to “await the arrival of the Ninth Corps” (Gen'l Burnside), which he said might be expected by the middle of the forenoon. This corps did not arrive in position until afternoon, and this delay proved fatal. During the afternoon the rebel troops were seen






across the Appomattox pouring toward Petersburg; and when the advance was made, instead of raw recruits of old men and boys to oppose us, their works were defended by Lee's veteran troops. That a great mistake had been made cannot be denied; but, with facts from history, it is easier to accuse Gen'l Smith, than to prove neglect or inefficiency at a time when information and appearances were so misleading. The truth evidently is, there should be a division of responsibility.

Gen'l Grant, in his report upon this action, criticises Gen'l Smith, claiming that “our advance confronted the enemy's pickets before daylight, and that the attack was needlessly delayed, and, when made, might have been pressed to a successful occupation of Petersburg; asserting the night was clear, the moon shining brightly, and favorable for further operations.” In the interest of impartial history it should be said that all the information with which Gen'l Smith had been furnished proved singularly incorrect as to the position and strength of the enemy and the routes to their works. This was true, also, of that furnished to Gen'l Hancock, who, to co-operate, was ordered to “take position on the City Point Railroad where it crosses Harrison's Creek,” which creek was miles away, and far within the enemy's lines. This error led to considerable delay in his column reaching the field of action. On file in the War Department is a paper on matters relative to this movement, which has this endorsement by Gen'l Meade: “Had Gen'l Hancock or myself known Petersburg was to be attacked (that day) Petersburg would have fallen.” This shows that in addition to inaccurate and inadequate knowledge, there was no general understanding that a combined attack was to be made, and in the absence of specific instructions, Gen'l Smith was bound to act according to his best judgment, even though it should afterward prove erroneous.

Gen'l Smith in his report, after detailing the operations of the day, says: “We had thus broken through the strong line of rebel works, but heavy darkness was upon us, and I had heard some hours before that Lee's army was rapidly crossing at Drewry's Bluff. I deemed it wiser to hold what we had, than by attempting to reach the bridges at Petersburg, to lose what we had gained, and have the troops meet with a disaster. I knew also that some portion of the Army of the Potomac was coming to aid us, and therefore the troops were placed so as to occupy the commanding positions and wait for daylight.” In corroboration of Gen'l Smith's information it is an assured fact that Hoke's Division crossed the James at Drewry's Bluff quite early the morning of the 15th, and took position in the rebel works before Petersburg about eight o'clock that evening; so that, had we advanced, we should have found the works now manned by veteran troops. With subsequent information, however, there is ground to believe an assault by the Union forces might have resulted in the capture of Petersburg. So far as the arrival on the field of Gen'l Smith's Corps may be a matter in dispute, our memoranda indicate a slight skirmish with the enemy at the railroad crossing about nine A. M.; near the field an hour later; exposed to a severe artillery fire at eleven A. M.; an order for a charge issued at twelve M., but delayed from a lack of artillery.

In obedience of Gen'l Smith's order to hold our position for the night the Twenty-Seventh Mass. bivouacked near the captured works, but soon after dark the entire regiment was ordered on picket. The night was uneventful to us, one of our men sarcastically, yet truthfully, remarking, “The Johnnies are too busy fixing another line for us.” At the left, during the evening, there was a sharp engagement for a short time, when everything lapsed into perfect quiet. On the morning of the 16th, as indicated, Gen'l Meade






being present, assumed command, delaying the advance until late in the afternoon, at which time a considerable part of the Army of the Potomac was in position before Petersburg. By the best information we can get, Beauregard was now in command at Petersburg with fourteen thousand veteran troops and a few emergency men, Lee and the remnant of the rebel army not reaching there until the morning of the 18th. The enemy maintained a harassing fire of artillery on our position during the entire day, but without reply from our forces. At six o'clock P.M. a general artillery engagement opened along the line, under which the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, with others, moved forward as a diversion, in favor of an attack at the left by the Second and Ninth Corps. The engagement lasted most of the night, with questionable success. At eleven o'clock our regiment returned to its position in line, and bivouacked for the night. The 17th we held our position under the enemy's guns without loss. A general assault was ordered for June 18th.

At half-past three the Twenty-Seventh Mass. awoke from the fitful slumbers of the soldier, and partaking of their scanty repast (commissary supplies were very short at the time), fell into line two hundred and three strong. At nine o'clock A.M., the order to advance was given, and the first line of rebel works was carried by us without determined opposition. A deafening contest right and left convinced us the enemy had been surprised on our front, but were disposed to yield elsewhere only to superior force. To avail himself of the vantage we had gained upon the enemy's flank, Gen'l Martindale decided to assault the enemy's new position some half a mile in advance, and by noon had deployed his troops for that purpose. The Twenty-Seventh was halted on a knoll near the Appomattox, within rifle-shot of the enemy's works, and as an attack was imminent, with orders that none should leave the ranks.

Col. Pace's residence, known as Greencroft, with a “well-sweep” just in front, was too great a temptation, however, for gnawing stomachs and parched throats. Many of our men risked the enemy's fire which swept the surroundings, and succeeded in quenching their thirst with delicious water. A table in the house, laden with fragments of the morning's repast, afforded a few crumbs of comfort, and in about as little time as required to tell it, all were back in position, without a misgiving for their disobedience.

At one o'clock we charged forward, capturing a second line from the enemy, driving them into their main works, a short distance in front. The heat of the sun was intense, while the smoke of battle rolled over us from Burnside on the left, clinging close to the ground and obscuring our surroundings. The enemy now massing on our front, poured in a heavy fire of artillery and musketry, under which, begrimed with powder, smoke and dust, we hugged and almost burrowed the earth for safety. Stedman's Brigade and the Eighty-Ninth New York, of the Star Brigade, were ordered to assault the enemy's position, but after a gallant charge were repulsed and obliged to lie down, unable to return, from the fierceness of the enemy's fire. The Star Brigade present, consisted of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., Capt. John W. Moore, commanding; the Eighty-Ninth New York, Col. Fairchild; Ninth New Jersey, Col. McChesney; and the Fifty-Fifth Pennsylvania, Capt. Hill. The Twenty-Fifth Mass., Capt. Parkhurst, had been temporarily detached the day previous for service near the river; while the Twenty-Third Mass., Col. Elwell, was left at Point of Rocks the 15th, and did not rejoin the brigade until the 20th inst.

At two o'clock Lieut. James H. Fowler of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., now aid to Gen'l Stannard, brought orders for the Twenty-Seventh Mass. and Fifty-Fifth Penn. Regiments to carry forward and align upon the right of the






Eighty-Ninth New York, who were three hundred yards in advance, and to charge the enemy's works. The Twenty-Seventh sprang to arms, charged at double-quick up an abrupt ascent, over a high fence beyond the crest, down to an open field covered with half-grown oats, but with no evidence of the force before us with which we were seeking to align. Still the order was “Forward!” and nerved by an irresistible impulse and an unswerving courage, the advance continued into the grain, our course trailed with mangled forms of dead and dying. Onward, till every officer but Lieut. Jillson was wounded, and he endeavoring to aid Lieut. Cooley from the field. Onward—under sergeants, till these too had been almost annihilated, when a sweeping volley from the enemy at close range brought the depleted ranks to the earth like reeds before a tempest. As by a common impulse all dropped into the friendly cover of the grain, which secreted us sufficiently to protect us from the enemy's aim. Endurance, courage and valor had been taxed to their utmost, but in vain.

Capt. Moore, our commander, was wounded soon after passing the fence, followed in quick succession by Capt. McKay and Lieut. Cooley. The bodies of Sergts. Meacham, Brewer and Calwell, with Corpls. Eggleston and Oaks and other slain, with scores of wounded, marked our perilous advance. The two Brewer brothers, of Company F, lay near each other in the embrace of death, having fallen within a few seconds of each other; Bolio, Dunakin and Prior, of Company D, were lying near by. We seemed in danger of utter extinction. A furrow through the field served us well as a partial protection from the enemy's fire, while cups and bayonets were briskly used to draw the earth from under us, and place it on the exposed side. Others again, sought shelter behind fallen comrades, and strengthened the human breastwork by throwing dirt against the bodies. While lying on the field Sergt. (afterwards

Lieut.) E. L. Peck made the following memorandum in his diary. “A charge and a repulse. Awful slaughter! We are literally cut to pieces. Ten are killed outright and are lying near me. Many are in the agonies of death; not an officer left; bullets flying like hailstones; here I lie, my knapsack in front of me as a protection from bullets. Some are heaping up earth against them for protection. The cries and groans of the wounded and dying are awful. They lie scattered around, and we cannot help them. To raise our heads is sure death. I am half choked. Shall die by some means or other soon, by bullets or sunstroke.”

It seemed as if the sun were standing still a second time, and this time for the benefit of the Amorites. Napoleon never longed for night to come at Waterloo with more earnestness than these battle stayed soldiers on that fatal field. To advance was death or capture; to retreat would but double the loss already sustained. While the waving grain concealed us from the enemy, it also prevented the air from reaching us, so that we almost broiled under the rays of the sun. At length darkness came, and we stealthily gathered our dead and wounded, and moved to the rear. Sergt. Major Henry W. Tryon of Granville, though wounded severely in the leg, and unable to walk, refused assistance, that others, more unfortunate might be cared for; and also because of the exposure such efforts would entail upon those caring for him. He crawled back, dragging his wounded limb, until within reach of the ambulance corps. Sergt. Hiram Everton of Westfield was in advance of most of the regiment, and was wounded by a Minie-ball passing entirely through his body, just above the hip. Sergt. Everton was one of the best soldiers in the regiment, and though never absent from our engagements, had escaped unharmed until now. With characteristic courage he endured his sufferings until dark, when with his gun for a crutch, he hobbled back to the lines, and was carried to the hospital. Comrade






Everton survived his wound until Sept. 27, 1881. Search for the wounded and the burial of our dead occupied much of the night, as the enemy were constantly on the alert. Our dead were buried in a ravine in front of the Greencroft mansion, from which we started at nine o'clock. Sergts. Brewer, Meacham and Caldwell were laid side by side. Lieut. Jillson was ordered by Gen'l Stannard to remain near the headquarters of the brigade, and gather any of the regiment who might return, and then report to him for duty. Knowing the men would be famished from hunger, Lieut. Jillson procured and cooked rations in readiness for them, and rallied the regiment just in front of Greencroft during the night. Our casualties for the day proved to have been eleven killed and twenty-eight wounded.

KILLED.

Company D. — Levis M. Bolio, Amherst; shot in head. Henry Dunakin, Hadley; shot in head. Fred. S. Prior, Hadley; shot in head.

Company E. — Sergt. George W. Brewer, Great Barrington; shot in breast.

Company F. — Corp. C. T. Eggleston, Westfield; shot through side. Charles C. Brewer, Granville; shot in breast. John W. Brewer, Granville; shot in head. Leroy S. Oaks, Dana; shot in head.

Company H. — Sergt. Bernard Calwell, Adams; shot in head.

Company I. — Anthony C. Pott, Ludlow; shot in head.

Company K. — Sergt. J. W. H. Meacham, Shelburne; shot in head.

WOUNDED.

Capt. John W. Moore, Tolland; left hand, severe. Sergt. Major H. W. Tryon, Granville; left leg, severe.

Company B. — Charles Sears, Athol; hand. Alonzo J. Thomas, Shutesbury; neck.

Company D. — William D. Brackett, Blandford; lower jaw and neck, severe. Charles A. Pettingill, Belchertown; arm, slight. James A. Preston, Amherst; right shoulder, severe. Elmer P. Snow, Springfield; eye, slight. William H. Snow, Springfield; both legs, severe.

Company E. — Charles H. Davis, Pittsfield; right arm, hip, and body, fatal. Thomas Jones, Great Barrington; hand, amputated.

Company F. — Lieut. S. P. Cooley, Granville; left shoulder and side, severe. Sergt. Hiram G. Everton, Westfield; through the body. Charles H. Allison, Springfield; both thighs, severe. William H. Bush, Westfield; head, severe. Alfred Holcomb, Southwick; leg and finger. Malachi Horner, Southwick; left leg, flesh wound. Henry Walker, Sandisfield. Peter Wilson, Southwick; groin.

Company G. — Corp. F. E. Nutting, Northampton, left shoulder, severe. Edward Bride, Northampton; leg and arm, flesh. Aretas Walters, Holyoke; shoulder. Lewis Wellspeak, Springfield; arm and leg, slight.

Company H. — Capt. William McKay, Adams; left side.

Company I. — Arthur N. Hotchkiss, Springfield; elbow, slight. Marshall G. Rice, Springfield; left foot, amputated.

Company K. — Patrick Harrington, Springfield; head and left arm, severe. Samuel L. Sherman, hand, slight.

Capt. John W. Moore was wounded by a musket-ball in the left hand. Lieut. Sherman P. Cooley of Granville, was wounded severely in the side, under the pain from which he was staggering along trying to follow his men, when Lieut. Jillson came and urged him to go to the rear. Lieut. Cooley objected, saying, “Jillson, you are the only officer left, and I won't leave you!” when another ball struck him in the shoulder, and he fell into Lieut. Jillson's arms, and was borne off the field. Lieut. Cooley had previously received wounds at Cold Harbor, and there, also, refused to leave the field.

Amid the grim surroundings of the field, there are often humorous experiences which disarm fear, and provoke laughter.






G—— W—— of Company F, was sure to turn up when there was fighting or fun, and under the most trying circumstances, would dryly perpetrate the most side-splitting jokes. After the charge, like many another, he was trying to find some hollow spot to deposit himself, as a defence from the hostile fire, but found it difficult to spread himself thin enough upon the ground. This feeling was a common one under fire, but to W—— it had an uncomfortable application. Nature had endowed the brave old fellow with generous abdominal proportions — well, he was large all around, too much so to admit of protection in ordinary excavations. Falling upon his face he thrust his head into a furrow, the remainder of his body cutting a most ridiculous figure, and exclaimed, “There! fire away! I've got a place for my head, any way!”

The assault of the 18th was ordered by Gen'l Grant, under the impression that Gen'l Lee's army was not yet fully present, or the works so far perfected as to be invulnerable. Had the attack been made the 17th his surmise would have proved correct, but Gen'l Lee, with his entire army, arrived early the morning of the 18th. The Union army assailed the enemy along the entire front, with a loss of ten thousand killed and wounded, but without any advantage save on our immediate front. Intrenchments and systematic approaches were now the only expedients. Having placed himself on the south of Richmond, the objective point, neither change of base nor flank movement could now avail, except so far as Gen'l Grant might attempt to cut the south side railroads, over which the enemy secured supplies. To this end future movements were directed.

The morning of the 19th Sergt. E. L. Peck presented Gen'l Stannard with a list of casualties in the Twenty-Seventh Mass. the day previous, when the general, noticing the sergeant's modest uniform, inquired, “How is this? Where are your officers?” A look into the hospitals would

have answered the question. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. now mustered one officer and eighty men, and, worn by the fatigues of the day and night previous, lay down to sleep, regardless of the shells which fell around them during the entire day. During the evening, the Eighteenth Corps was relieved by the Sixth Corps and marched back to Point of Rocks, reaching there about midnight. We camped on the same grounds occupied by us previous to our departure for Cold Harbor, experiencing the novel sensation of rest undisturbed by z-z-p of ball or bursting shells. While here Gen'l Smith took occasion to promulgate the following complimentary address:—

To the Eighteenth Army Corps:—

The General commanding desires to express to his command his appreciation of the soldierly qualities displayed during the campaign of the last seventeen days.

Within that time they have been constantly called upon to undergo the hardships of a soldier's life and be exposed to all of its dangers.

Marches under a hot sun, have ended in severe battle; after the battle, watchful nights in the trenches, gallantly taken from the enemy; but the crowning point of the honor they are entitled to has been won since the 15th instant, when a series of earthworks, on most commanding positions, and of formidable strength have been carried, with all the guns and material of war of the enemy, including prisoners and colors. The works have all been held and the trophies remain in our hands.

The victory is all the more important to us, as the troops have never been regularly organized in camp, with time to learn the discipline necessary to a well organized corps d'armée, but they have been hastily concentrated and suddenly summoned to take part in the trying campaign in which they have engaged. Such honor as they have won will remain imperishable.

To the colored troops, comprising the Division of General Hincks, the General commanding would call the attention of the veterans of the Eighteenth Corps; they have stormed the works






of the enemy and carried them; taken guns and prisoners, and in the whole affair, they have displayed the qualities of good soldiers.

By command of Major-General Smith. Wm. Russell, Assistant Adjutant-General.

The same day Gen'l Stannard was relieved from the Star Brigade and assigned to the command of the Second Division, Eighteenth Army Corps. The brief time which we served under him was eventful, and we parted with the deepest regrets. A man of rough exterior, he was not choice in language to express his disapproval of inefficiency or unsoldierly conduct. Cool, fearless, and daring, he was the embodiment of a soldier in camp or field. His rough exterior covered a warm and sympathetic heart, with a glowing admiration for courage and bravery. His expressions of pride in the heroic conduct of the Twenty-Seventh will always be cherished by us as a tribute from one who exemplified in himself a high standard of courage and patriotism. His appreciation of his brigade is best evinced in his farewell order:—

Headquarters First Brigade, Second Division, Eighteenth Army Corps, In the Field, Bermuda Hundreds, Va., June 20, 1864.

General Order, No. 15.

Having been assigned to another command, the General commanding desires, in taking leave of his brigade, to convey to them his pride and satisfaction in connection with the uniform courage, endurance and ready obedience which has characterized the entire command during his short but eventful connection with it.

The memorable 3d of June when, at Cold Harbor, Col. Pickett of the Twenty-Fifth, Major Walker of the Twenty-Seventh, Col. Elwell with the Twenty-Third, and Capt. Nesbitt with the Fifty-Fifth so gallantly charged the enemy's almost impregnable works; and again during the more recent trying campaign in front of Petersburg, when the Eighty-Ninth (N. Y.), Col. Fairchilds; Twenty-Seventh Mass., Capt. Moore; Twenty-Fifth, Capt. Park-hurst,

and Fifty-Fifth (Penn.), Capt. Hill, have so unflinchingly, during the 15th, 16th and 18th of June pressed the enemy home to the last earthworks, will remain forever engraved on my heart. To whatever sphere of duty I may hereafter be called, I shall always carry with me the proud recollection of the deeds of the “First Brigade,” and the calm reflection that they will never disgrace the laurels which they have nobly won by their blood.

By command of Brig. Gen'l Stannard, Wm. L. Kent, Capt. and A. A. A. General.

The Fifth Maryland Regiment was here added to the Star Brigade, so that it now consisted of seven regiments, with Col. Fry of the Fifth Maryland in command. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. was now under command of Capt. P. S. Bailey, and contained four line officers and one hundred and fourteen men present for duty. Our wounded and sick were scattered in hospitals, from that of the corps near the scene of action, to those at Fortress Monroe, Washingington, Philadelphia, New York, and those within our native State. The public spirit and resources of loyal homes were taxed to the utmost to provide for the increasing number of patients within these hospitals, and no history of the war would be complete without a generous acknowledgment of the invaluable aid rendered by patriotic women of the North in relieving the sufferings incident to its prosecution.

At this time the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. sustained a loss it could ill afford, in the resignation of Chaplain C. L. Woodworth. He had followed all our varying fortunes, ready to minister to our spiritual and physical comforts. He was kind and sympathetic, cheerful and familiar, yet ever maintaining a consistent walk and an elevating influence. His special work was never forgotten, nor neglected with lame apologies; but in all his duties he was persevering, efficient, and popular. Without belittling himself, or his office, Chaplain Woodworth placed himself in contact with






all, obtaining a warm place in our esteem. The terrible desolation which had befallen “his men” was too much for his sympathetic heart to endure. Seven hundred and forty-four men had left Norfolk with him, six weeks before, in the vigor and prime of life. The privilege of performing the last sad rites of earth over his honored dead had often been denied him by the exigencies of service; but many others had been committed to the dust under his faithful care, and little mementoes secured and forwarded to loved ones by his hand. He had aided in binding up wounds, and staying the ebbing tide of life, and had received the last words of farewell and remembrance, and penned them to the bereaved at home, until, as he said, “My men are all gone. The service and exposure to which the few remaining are called puts them beyond my reach, even if I could bear the mental agony their presence revives.” On the 20th of June he bade us farewell and returned to Amherst, where he had been settled previous to the war. It is fitting to say that though we lost his presence, he has always maintained an active interest in all that pertained to us. Chaplain Woodworth is at present engaged with the American Home Missionary Society, with headquarters at the Congregational House, Boston, Mass. The remainder of our army experience was passed without a chaplain.

Our withdrawal from the front was of short duration, as the extended Union lines required the entire army for defence and active operations. We reached the front again at eleven P.M. June 21st, and relieved the Vermont Brigade, some distance to the left of our former position, and within two hundred yards of the enemy. The various assaults along the line since the 15th inst., had resulted in a loss of fifteen thousand men, and it was clear, with the time the enemy had now gained, that whatever we did must be through systematic approaches, rather than by a coup de main. Growing in strength from day to day, the Confederate

lines of defences had become so formidable that to take them by assault was impracticable. Their lines consisted of heavy forts and a chain of redans, connected by infantry parapets of powerful profile; while the approaches were completely obstructed by abatis, stakes and entanglements. Beginning at the Appomattox in front of our position, they enveloped Petersburg east and south, stretching westward beyond the farthest reach of the Union arms. A continuation of works on the north of the Appomattox, protected the city and the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, via Walthall and Drewry's Bluff to the James River, then north of the James encircled Richmond, the whole constituting the most formidable series of defences engineering could devise. The whole system extended in an almost continuous line of upwards of sixty miles.

The cities of Richmond and Petersburg, although twenty-two miles apart, were within the arc of a circle, against any threatened point of which, the enemy, with their railroad, could throw a preponderating force with great celerity. A surprise was fairly out of question, because, working on the periphery of the circle, Gen'l Grant required days for a movement which the enemy could provide against in as many hours. Although assailed, Richmond and Petersburg were at no time strictly under siege, as the western roads were open, and tenaciously held by the enemy. Through this section passed the Lynchburg and Southside railroads, connecting at Danville with a southern network of railways furnishing uninterrupted communication through the Confederacy. These roads, though poorly equipped, by running day and night, were able to furnish the enemy with needed supplies.

The Union army held the investing lines of Petersburg, under the eye of Lieut. Gen'l Grant, but with Maj. Gen'l Meade as the immediate commander. Gen'l Butler's forces still occupied the entrenchments at Bermuda Hundreds. An entrenched camp was held north of the James River at Deep






Bottom, and was connected with Bermuda Hundreds by pontons. The enemy's force consisted of Hill's, Ewell's and Longstreet's Corps within Petersburg, with detachments under Beauregard, advanced close to our lines near Point of Rocks. The enemy had about sixty-five thousand available infantry, besides artillery and cavalry, around Petersburg and Bermuda Hundreds.

CHAPTER XVII. A SUMMER BEFORE PETERSBURG.

To follow the varying fortunes of the next two months would be but to recount the details of our duty at the front as pickets and sharpshooters, or within the trenches, suffering by exposure, wounds and death. When temporarily relieved and at the rear, we were endangered by shells and bombs which were incessantly falling around us. No description can convey an adequate idea of our surroundings. It was a continuous battle from the 15th of June until we re-arrived at Point of Rocks, August 25th. The battle varied in intensity and carnage, now enveloping us with the smoke and din of conflict, and then receding to the distant left. Night or day, rain or shine, the roar of cannon, groan of bombs, rattle of musketry, and tz-z-p of bullets were heard continuously.

The experience of fighting the enemy from behind fortifications was a new one to us, since in all our previous contests we had been in the open field, while the rebels had been safely ensconced behind strong earthworks. Our lines were built with the utmost care, and each day grew in strength under accomplished engineers. The intrenchments were constructed with “port-holes” for the use of sharp-shooters; gopher-holes and bombproofs were made for the protection of those within the trenches; while front, flanks and salients were protected by entanglements and rifle-pits. Within the last our sharpshooters picked off the enemy's gunners, or as pickets, watched the movements of their army.






The network of our intrenchments by saps and traverses constantly closed upon the enemy's position, each advance attended by some counter-movement on their part to dislodge us. Charge upon charge was made, with terrible loss to their assaulting column, but rarely with any apparent gain. In this way the most successful battles of the summer were fought. Movements purely to invite attack were made with great frequency by us, as most effectively exhausting the enemy, and compassing their defeat. Our system of defences at no time equalled those of the enemy in completeness. Covered ways were made along their front, furnishing sufficient protection for all their force out of the trenches, with safe and direct communication by which to reach threatened points.

Any shrinking from duty at the front was known as “shell fever,” and subjected the offender to the most humiliating exposure and punishment. It was not an unusual occurrence to see a brace of cowards, securely yoked together, making the rounds of the camps at the rear. In the advance were fifes and drums playing the “Rogues’ March.” Then followed the convicts, with closely shaved heads, and labelled with large placards, “Coward!” Behind them were guards, with fixed bayonets, pointing close to the backs of the sneaks, and forcing them onward. In this way the squad marched from camp to camp, the guilty ones receiving unstinted jeers and taunts. It was a terrible warning to beholders, and such a one as few would be willing to undergo. We are glad to record no such discipline was ever suffered by any member of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. The rule was early established, “two days within the trenches, and two days off,” and we willingly admit our retirement to the ravine, when relieved, was seldom undertaken with much idea of military order or precision. We were often, however, in greater danger at the rear than under cover of the fortifications. June 27th, when the

Twenty-Seventh Mass. were lying in a ravine near the railroad, the enemy opened, from the north of the Appomattox, a close and accurate fire of shell upon our camp. Our stacks of guns were knocked down, and several muskets destroyed. Fortunately many of the shells failed to explode, so that we miraculously escaped without loss. It should be stated as a notable fact, that the enemy's shells were very unreliable, and, from non-explosion, failed of much damage to us. August 17th, when we moved our camp in the woods, just in rear of the front works, under cover of darkness, a fierce fire of shell was opened on us, and for a time the corruscating light, sulphurous smoke, and deafening concussion of their explosion, made our position more like the infernal region than the abode of men. For four nights the enemy covered this position with mortars in front, and enfiladed it with rifled shells and Whitworth shots from the right. One sixty-four pound shell exploded close to our headquarters, and Whitworth shots pierced the largest trees around us with the utmost ease. As one of our boys remarked, “The enemy had a cross fire on us, and it was cross enough too!”

Our contests were often the fiercest of artillery duels, between guns of the heaviest calibre, whose incessant ponderous discharges shook the earth and fell on our ears with such a deafening roar as to leave headaches, which, under other circumstances, would have incapacitated us for any duty. At such times, if we were in the trenches, we were hardly more than spectators, closely hugging the fortifications, or bombproofs; but if at the rear, we were in constant watch for unceremonious “intruders,” against which we had no protection. At night the mortar contests were sublime. The forests trembled with deep reverberations, and huge bombs rose with groans and meteor train, ending in a corruscation of light, and an explosion even louder than that which sent it from the mortar. The largest mortar at the siege of






Petersburg was the “General Grant.” It was mounted on a platform car, and moved at pleasure along the military railroad skirting the rear of our intrenchments. This mortar threw a bomb weighing two hundred and twenty pounds. Each bomb contained six hundred and twenty-five bullets, and exploded with a shock plainly distinguishable above any clash of arms.

The unyielding grasp with which Gen'l Grant held the enemy to his fortifications, required watchfulness and promptness, and, as a result, we laid on our arms and were called out from three to four o'clock each morning to await the developments of light. It was a death-struggle with the enemy, and no expedients were too extreme to resort to, to rid themselves of the anaconda which was slowly but surely winding them in its coils. While the contest, as stated, was continuous, the following casualties to the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. are worthy of special record. June 29th, John Quinn of Company C (Southampton), was accidentally but fatally wounded. A ball pierced his right shoulder, from which wound he died July 4th. At four P.M., June 30th, while the Twenty-Seventh Regiment was supporting four Cohorn mortars, and a battery of field artillery, the enemy replied with a fierce concentric fire for two hours. Our position was behind a knoll on the front line, so that most of the fire passed over us. The following comrades were wounded during this contest: Dexter Burnett, Company D, South Hadley, left hand; slight. John K. Freeman, Company D, New Salem, left hand; slight. Cornelius O'Connor, Company D, Amherst; shoulder. July 8th, the enemy made a sortie on our entire front for the purpose of preventing reinforcements being forwarded to the relief of Washington, D. C., but were repulsed with slaughter by our forces. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. sustained the following loss during the day: James E. Ashwell, Company D, Springfield, right arm; severe. Albert Cates, Company D, Amherst, slight.

Edwin H. Potwine, Company D, Amherst, slight. Corp. Charles H. Robertson, Company H, Adams, head. Patrick Conley, Company H, Adams, arm; slight. Nelson Sheldon, Company I, Wilbraham, head; slight. July 9th, Sergt. Robert M. Roberts of Company E, Mount Washington, received a scalp wound. July 12th, Henry Walker of Company F, Sandisfield, who had been wounded July 18th, received a severe wound in the leg while going to a spring at the rear for water. This wound was considered fatal from the first. He died at Fortress Monroe, Aug. 3, 1864. During the evening of July 13th Homer R. King of Company I, Ludlow, was wounded in the hand while in the trenches. The 17th, Luke F. Bowker of Orange, a cook for Company E, received a fatal wound in the abdomen while bringing rations to the trenches. He died the same day. Also, while supporting the mortar batteries, Jay E. Nash of Amherst, was wounded in the shoulder.

A tri-monthly report dated July 19th, showed the condition of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. to be as follows:—

Commissioned officers present for duty,5
Commissioned officers on special duty,2
Commissioned officers on detached service,5
Commissioned officers in arrest,2
Commissioned officers sick and wounded,5
19
Enlisted men present for duty,135
Enlisted men on special duty,30
Enlisted men sick and wounded,281
Enlisted men on detached service,123
Enlisted men absent with leave,3
Enlisted men absent without leave,6
578
Total,597

This report does not include our captured men. Those reported on detached service were mostly within the pioneer,






ordnance, and ambulance departments, but engaged in active duty at the front.

July 20th, John B. Slate of Company B, Shelburne, and Benjamin W. F. Smith, Company E, Great Barrington, were wounded; the latter severely in the hip, while engaged as sharpshooter. July 24th, William W. Latham of Company D, Amherst, was killed while at the front. The position was the closest held by us, at any time, to the enemy's works. Comrade Latham had re-enlisted, and was expecting a furlough home the next day. July 28th, Jerry Harrington of Company K, Springfield, was wounded in the wrist during a fierce cannonade. Aug. 14th, Henry E. Demeranville of Company H, Cheshire, was wounded over the right eye. Aug. 19th, Henry A. Ryther of Greenfield, cook for Company C, was mortally wounded while gathering kindlings for his fire. He was at the rear with only thirty days more to serve, and was in high anticipation of returning home. He survived but an hour.

During the summer Capt. George W. Bartlett and Lieut. W. Chapin Hunt, who had been on duty in North Carolina as provost marshals of Beaufort and New Berne, rejoined the regiment. These officers, with Capts. Caswell, Bailey, and McKay, and Lieut. Jillson, successively held command of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. The demands of the campaign were so exacting and incessant that none but men of iron constitution could meet them without sooner or later requiring hospital care. As a fact, the only officers who did meet this strain were Surgeon D. B. N. Fish and Lieut Edwin L. Peck, both of whom were always present for duty. Despite the constant accessions to our ranks from men returning as convalescents, and from special duty, no gain in numerical strength was made. The following abstract from the consolidated weekly reports of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. shows the strength of the command present for duty before Petersburg, from week to week:—

Officers and men.
June 18th, aggregate strength,203
25th, aggregate strength,183
July 2d, aggregate strength,189
9th, aggregate strength,187
16th, aggregate strength,195
23d, aggregate strength,195
30th, aggregate strength,194
Aug. 6th, aggregate strength,184
13th, aggregate strength,186
20th, aggregate strength,183

Much of the time our rations consisted of hardtack and pork, and often these supplies were limited. The lack of vegetables induced many disorders, and though the Sanitary Commission undertook to furnish them, their supplies were but as drops in the ocean of our needs. Potatoes, cabbages, and onions were the great necessities. Sutlers’ supplies were so high few could afford to indulge in them, and this, without doubt, proved a blessing in disguise. The regular ration for the private soldier, if furnished in full, and properly cared for, was more than he actually needed; and in this respect the privates were sometimes better off than the officers, for the latter were furnished nothing by government except quarters, transportation, and forage for their horses. They had to buy all their clothing and equipments, and provide themselves with food, and this often without money, owing to the failure of the government to pay them for five or six months at a time. One of our captains expressed the pecuniary circumstances of many of our officers by saying that, “if lard was twenty cents a barrel, he couldn't buy enough to grease his hair.” While, at another time, a diligent search for money to help the lieutenant-colonel pay the charges on an express package, revealed only twenty-seven cents among all the officers present.

Our extremity was Lieut. Peck's “opportunity,” for,






while suffering from too great familiarity with our reliable hardtack and pork, he concocted, discovered or invented a dish, which he appropriately named “scouse.” The name was unquestionably classic, as Lieut. Peck was a graduate of the Westfield Normal School. The modus operandi was to break up the hardtack somewhat fine in cold water, and boil it with pork, seasoning with salt and pepper (if you had them). Had Lieut. Peck had other supplies, there is little reason to suppose his inventive genius would have rested until he had eclipsed Delmonico's fame, but as this was the extent of his resources, he was forced to be satisfied. At any rate “scouse” became a deservedly popular dish with our entire army, and had they known the lieutenant, his popularity would have equalled that of his dish. He has withstood the charms of the opposite sex with a success akin to that which he had on the field, and is still a bachelor forlorn.

To the misfortune of insufficient rations were the additional ones of fleas, sand-flies and — yes, lice, — for we were lousy from generals down to the lowest soldier, and we couldn't help it. The fleas must have been of the genus “pulex irritans,” for the irritation to us involved both soul and body, and too often found vent in violent spasms of oaths and athletic exercises, in the last of which we were generally distanced. The fleas were invaluable auxiliaries along the picket line in sustaining wakefulness, and were never half appreciated. The friendship of the trio named above was fully demonstrated, for no adversity was able to separate them from us. Heat or cold, rain or shine, shell or shot, only strengthened their attachment. They had, too, a most convincing way of expressing their feeling for us. It is an admitted fact that change of water was the only greater evil to which the army was exposed. They were a constant sap at the source of life, and must be fought against, though only to lessen the nuisance instead of ridding ourselves of the pests.

Our supply of water was much of the time a question of primary importance; such as we had being obtained a half a mile to the rear. Those at the left were less fortunate than ourselves, depending on the scanty supply brought by drays. During July the intense heat and lack of rain caused great distress, and a good drink of water was a real luxury. No rain fell from the 3d of June until the 19th of July; the marshes and streams of considerable size were dried up, and the dust was so deep as to occasion great suffering. This was succeeded by a rainy season. The trenches then became one vast pool of slimy yellow mud, and bombproofs and gopher-holes were filled to the brim with water. For many days we were drenched to the skin, and smeared from head to foot with mud. We were perfect embodiments of squalor and filth. Like the Israelites of old who desired meat, and were given until they loathed it, so fully were our longings for water satisfied.

Our positions in the trenches were for the most part unsheltered, and subjected to the intense heat of the sun, which often rose to one hundred and ten degrees in the shade. This would be succeeded by the chill and damps of the night, which in time permeated the body with rheumatic pains. During the rainy season, many of the dead (who were buried June 18th) were uncovered on the field in front of us, and the air was laden with a burdening nausea. This hideous sight was ever-present, reminding us of the possibilities before us, and our feeble tenure of life.

The daily New York press supplied us with news, and we were several times encouraged by the news that “picket firing had entirely ceased before Petersburg;” but somehow the information never reached the picket-line. First a ball would spat into the dirt; then, with a tz-z-p, a little fellow would travel past as the compliment of some sharpshooter from a tree within the rebel lines. A cur-r-r-r would come singing from a rifle at the right, then a whistle at the left,






suggesting “that Minie has struck and glanced,” while another comes along with a hum like a nail whirling in the air, and which we think is a ball almost spent. All this was very unpleasant, as many were killed and wounded by such occurrences each day, and we were glad the papers had determined to stop them. Thus we lived, no worse than the entire army with which we were connected, no better.

By the first of July, the rebel defences before Petersburg were so perfect, that Gen'l Lee considered his position impregnable to assault. He therefore determined upon a diversion, — as in years past, — hoping by threatening the national capital to force the withdrawal of the besieging force from Petersburg, or so much of it as to leave its weakened lines at his mercy. Accordingly, Gen'l Jubal Early with fifteen thousand men, was dispatched through the Shenandoah Valley, and, reinforcing the rebel army in the valley, made his appearance before Martinsburg July 3d; Frederick, Md., July 7th; and by the afternoon of July 11th, was before Fort Stevens, part of the fortifications in the immediate vicinity of Washington. The Nineteenth Corps had just arrived at Fortress Monroe from New Orleans, when information of this invasion reached Gen'l Grant. The Sixth Corps was temporarily detached from the army before Petersburg, and with the Nineteenth Corps, arrived at the threatened capital just before the appearance of Early's force before Fort Stevens. The 12th, a spirited engagement occurred before Washington, after which the enemy beat a hasty retreat. From that moment Gen'l Lee admitted that the fate of the Confederacy was sealed.

July 20th, Maj. Gen'l W. F. Smith, who had been absent some days from his command, was relieved by order of Lieut. Gen'l Grant, and Maj. Gen'l E. O. C. Ord assigned to the command of the Eighteenth Corps. It was with genuine regret we parted with this able and efficient commander;

his farewell address faithfully interpreted the feelings of his command.

Headquarters Eighteenth Army Corps, July 20, 1864.

To the Officers and Soldiers of the Eighteenth Army Corps:

I part with you in accordance with orders from the lieutenant-general commanding the armies of the United States, with great regret; and my highest pride is that you share my feelings. Since I have been your commander I have tried to share with you your dangers, and have rejoiced with you in your gallant deeds. During this time your record has been bright and unsullied. Whatever in it has not been all that you could wish, I can assure you has been from no fault or shortcoming of yours, and I trust you will believe that I have been no more culpable than yourselves.

May God bless and always crown your efforts with victory!

(Signed) W. F. Smith, Maj. Gen'l.

[Official.]

W. F. Russell, Major and A. A. Gen'l.

Maj. Gen'l Smith was a native of Vermont, and a graduate of West Point in the corps of engineers. He was Gen'l Grant's chief engineer during his command of the Military Division of the Department of Mississippi, and took an historic part in the battle of Chattanooga. He served with distinction also with the Army of the Potomac. He was a brave and accomplished general, distinguished for his strategic grasp, military foresight, and fearless spirit. He was the embodiment of soldierly qualities, and the idol of his troops. He was familiarly known among his troops as “Baldy Smith,” and his presence always awakened intense enthusiasm.

July 26th, Gen'l Hancock and a portion of the Second Corps with a body of cavalry, crossed the James River at “Deep Bottom,” threatening Richmond from the north of the James. No important result accrued from this save as it drew away a considerable force of the enemy from Petersburg, and facilitated a movement about to be executed by the Union army.






During the month of July, Gen'l Burnside, by permission of the commanding general, had succeeded (through the Forty-Eighth Pennslvania Regiment) in mining a rebel fort on his immediate front, and four o'clock the morning of July 30th, was the time fixed for exploding the mine. At eleven o'clock P.M., the 29th, the Twenty-Seventh Mass., in common with most of the Eighteenth Corps, moved to the scene of action, the corps massing fifteen columns deep in the rear of the Ninth Corps and immediately in front of the fated fort. A slight eminence interposed between us and the enemy, protecting us from their observation and fire. Intense excitement prevailed as word was passed along the line of the intended explosion, but all commotion was suppressed. The lingering hours dragged heavily, but nothing on the rebel side indicated a suspicion of their peril. Four o'clock, and for an hour every eye was fixed on the fated work, until at five o'clock, a solid mass of earth, guns, and men, rose like a dark cloud two hundred feet in the air, with a shock that seemed to rend the earth. Like forked lightning the flash of powder pierced the cloud of debris; and earth, armament, and men fell with a heavy thud. A black cloud hung for a moment over the spot, then floated to the north as if shrinking from the carnage and destruction it had created. It is understood that this fort at the time of the explosion was occupied by the Palmetto Battery with the Eighteenth and part of the Twenty-Third S. C. Regiments.

At the instant of the explosion, one hundred and eighty pieces of artillery in the immediate vicinity, as by an electric touch, opened upon the enemy's position, pouring a merciless fire of destruction along their lines. A mass of infantry bounded over our works and across the field into the chasm created by the explosion. Why they went into it no one could imagine; why they halted there was equally beyond conjecture, as the panic-stricken rebels had deserted their works and made little opposition to the Union advance.

The surprise and rout was complete, but our forces seemed like an incoherent mass, and could not or would not move forward. The enemy soon rallied upon the flanks, and Gen'l Mahone by a covered way brought heavy reinforcements to their support, pouring into the seething mass of Union troops a frightful fire of musketry and artillery, which threatened to fill the chasm with the slain. It was a sight which appalled the stoutest heart, so needless, so ghastly, so crushing! In a brief space of time, hardly exceeding that required to pen this account, four thousand of our men were killed or captured. Even now this scene hangs like a horrid nightmare over the remembrance of years.

There was no opportunity for the Eighteenth Corps to engage in the fray, for the field before us was clogged with struggling troops. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. sustained the following casualties: —

George Gilmore, Company B, Hinsdale, wounded by a shell.Patrick Coffee, Company G, Northampton, wounded by a shell.

Gen'l Grant appeared at the scene during the afternoon, his determined countenance indicating much excitement. The careworn, distressed look of Gen'l Burnside revealed his keen disappointment and chagrin over the failure of a plan which promised so much for our arms. The night of the 30th, the Eighteenth Corps returned to their place at the right of the line.

The whole movement was thoroughly investigated by a Congressional Committee, who reported as the cause of failure: first, that the charge was led by white, instead of black troops; and second, that Gen'l Meade directed that the assaulting column should push for Cemetery Hill, instead of clearing the enemy's lines to the right and left of them. The first finding was based on the statement of Gen'l Burnside, that he had been drilling his colored troops for some time for the occasion, and that during the night previous he received peremptory






orders from Gen'l Meade to use white troops only for the assault. Gen'l Burnside claimed that the time intervening was insufficient to arrange for their disposition and instruction.

A Military Court of Inquiry consisting of Gen'ls Hancock, Ayres, and Miles, found the causes of the failure to be—

“First.—The injudicious formation of the troops in going forward, the movement being made by flank instead of extended front. . . . It is the opinion of the court there was no proper column of assault. The troops should have been formed in the open ground in front of the point of attack, parallel to the enemy's works. The evidence shows that one or more columns might have passed over to the left of the crater without any previous preparation of the ground.

“Second.—The halting of the troops in the crater instead of going forward to the crest where there was no fire of consequence from the enemy.

“Third.—No proper employment of engineer officers and working parties, and the lack of materials and tools for their use in the Ninth Corps.

“Fourth.—That some parts of the assaulting column were not properly led.

“Fifth.—The want of a competent common head at the scene of assault, to direct as occurrences should demand.” . . .—Conduct of the War, vol. I., page 215.

Gen'l Burnside sharply arraigned Gen'l Meade in this matter, claiming that the chief difficulty was the jealousy of Gen'l Meade, who in every conceivable way misconstrued his correspondence, and hampered his movements. While Gen'l Meade held him responsible for the whole project, he was jealous of a possible success by Gen'l Burnside, and hence failed to co-operate effectively in the movements. From such a person as Gen'l Burnside, this statement will largely establish his claim. He had waived seniority of rank over Gen'l Meade at the opening of the campaign for the general

good, and had in everyway respected him as a superior officer. The admitted modesty and self-abnegation of Gen'l Burnside, establishes presumptive evidence of grounds for such a complaint. Still we cannot avoid saying that drawing lots for brigades and commanders for such perilous and important work, was not in accordance with prudence and good judgment, nor in keeping with Gen'l Burnside's usual good sense. There can be no doubt that had able commanders and subordinate officers led the assaulting column, the day would have witnessed a glorious victory for our arms, if not the capture of Petersburg. The time was opportune because an important part of Lee's army were absent near Deep Bottom, on the James, whither Hancock's raid of the 26th had drawn them. The project promised great results; it failed in the execution of its details.

As an effect of the mine explosion a sense of insecurity sprang up along both lines. At points where our fortifications ran close to the enemy's, our sharpshooters would joke them about the mine, asking them how they liked to go to heaven that way, and if they were ready to go; but it was evidently a sore subject for our men too, as they constantly expected a similar experience. A sap had been run from our lines to within about fifty feet of the rebel fortifications, and was occupied by portions of the Star Brigade. Our sharpshooters at this close range had so covered the enemy's works as to threaten their capture. This sap was occupied by the Twenty-Third and Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regiments on the 4th and 5th of August. During the 4th suspicious sounds were heard which satisfied us that the enemy were mining close by, awaking not over comfortable sensations. There is no insecurity quite like that of feeling that the ground beneath you is likely to engulf you at any moment. About five o'clock, the morning of the 5th, we were suddenly aroused by an explosion just in front of our works, which buried us in a cloud of debris and smoke, but with no greater injury than






a genuine scare, as the enemy had miscalculated the distance. The explosion was followed by a sortie of the enemy under cover of a sharp artillery fire, but they were hurled back to their intrenchments with heavy loss. The Twenty-Seventh Mass., though in the sharpest of the engagement, were well protected by the intrenchments, and hence escaped unharmed. Col. Steadman, commander of Steadman's Brigade (next to us in line), was killed during this action.

With our time fully occupied in such perilous work, the summer months were quickly passed. There was no cessation of strife, nor recognition of the Sabbath. Occasionally there would be a brief respite, caused by our band or those of the enemy, tauntingly discoursing their national airs at the front. Such respites, however, were very rare, but were heartily enjoyed. August 24th, the Star Brigade received marching orders, but the Twenty-Seventh Mass. was not relieved from the trenches until nearly daylight the 25th inst., when it followed the brigade which had preceded it to Point of Rocks. As we crossed the Appomattox, Gen'l Heckman, our former commander, rode up, and was received with a wild round of cheers and “tigers,” such as only veteran soldiers know how to give to a trusted leader. After the enthusiasm had subsided, he greeted us with a short but pregnant speech, closing by hoping to meet us soon amid the familiar scenes of North Carolina. We were assigned to a camp near the breastworks at Cobb's Hill, which seemed a very eligible situation. Our experiences were, however, graphically described in a letter by Surgeon Fish.

“We had everything just done, ready to lie down and rest ourselves, when orders came to load everything in the wagons immediately, as we were to move to the right. You know there is nothing like a little urging on a fellow when he is hard at work; and so the rebels thought. First came a shell a few feet over our heads, and burst in the rear; then a second shot struck about ten feet from headquarters, throwing dirt on me; ricochetted, just missing the

head of one of our drummer boys as he stooped down; barely escaped the horses in front of headquarters, and then passed on. You may easily believe that the wagons were quickly loaded and out of the way, and we took for the breastworks. We moved to the right, then countermarched to the left, and at length settled for the night just in the rear of the position which we had left so suddenly. This may be rest, but the style is peculiar to the Eighteenth Corps. We are waiting orders to move to the right, and have not pitched our tents. Had a ducking last night (of course!); first a real whirlwind, and then a small flood.”

In spite of such shifting and ducking our jaded men sank down to rest, — such rest as one only knows how to enjoy who has been robbed of its recuperative power to almost the verge of endurance.

The Confederates on our front proved to be the same troops which were opposed to us at Drewry's Bluff. Good feeling existed while we remained, between the opposing pickets, both armies drawing their supply of water from a brook between the lines. Here the opponents met and recounted their war experiences in a friendly way and exchanged papers, or what was quite as much appreciated, swapped yankee coffee for rebel tobacco.

On the 31st of August, Lieut. Edwin L. Peck was in command of the picket line, and while visiting a remote station, wandered outside of the lines. He suddenly espied a rebel officer, who, like himself, was taking advantage of the friendly feeling, in a saunter through these middle grounds. Signs of truce were interchanged, when the officers came together with a cordial grasp of hands. After a long and friendly conversation, papers and autographs were exchanged, the Confederate officer being Lieut. Washington A. Elliott, Company B, Eleventh Virginia Regiment of Kemper's Brigade. A close and lasting friendship sprang up between these officers, resulting in another meeting the following week, and in an interchange of correspondence






and visits since the war. Lieut. Elliott speaks unqualifiedly of the gallant conduct of the Star Brigade at Drewry's Bluff and the good faith with which they maintained the truce along the picket line before Bermuda Hundreds. It is not denied that such proceedings were breaches of military discipline, but it is a matter of fact that such meetings were of daily occurrence. They developed the better nature of those engaged in this great conflict, and gave occasion for many mirthful and grotesque experiences.

CHAPTER XVIII. RETURN OF THE VETERANS.

There had been frequent rumors that we were to return to North Carolina, and it was supposed that the hint in Gen'l Heckman's speech, made upon our arrival at Point of Rocks, was not without official authority. We were not greatly surprised, therefore, September 6th, to learn that the Twenty-Third and Twenty-Fifth Mass. Regiments had embarked for New Berne, N. C. They reached that port the 11th inst. September 9th, Capt. Moore, who had now mustered as major of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., returned to the regiment, but was as yet unable to assume its command. September 10th was one of the most trying days in our army experience. Our knapsacks were received from Portsmouth, Va., where they had been stored since the last of April. It was sad to look them over, each being plainly marked by stencil-plate with the name of its owner. Brothers wept over the knapsacks of brothers whom the ravages of war had long since laid low in death, or bewailed the uncertain fate of those who had fallen into rebel hands, and from whom no tidings had come during these eventful months. All the little valuables and necessaries a soldier would prize were carefully packed within, with many tokens and reminders of friends at home. The knapsacks of the missing and dead were carefully sent to their friends at home.






During our absence from Portsmouth, the place of storage had been entered by persons unknown, and most of our records and valuables stolen. The loss of our records has proved a serious one to the regiment, for it has made it impossible to establish many facts and dates; while it also accounts for the absence of many official orders and reports which would naturally appear with its history. It has also added greatly to the labor of preparing this account of their services and may excuse much of its incompleteness.

September 17th, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. and Ninth New Jersey received marching orders, and embarking upon the steamer “Convoy,” arrived at Portsmouth that evening, where we were gladdened by the appearance of our Col. H. C. Lee, whose safe return was greeted with vociferous and prolonged cheers. He had remained in durance vile until August, when both he and Lieut. Col. Bartholomew were exchanged, and on arrival North, were granted leave of absence to recover from their debilitating confinement. Knowing that the term of enlistment of a large number of the regiment expired in September, Col. Lee was hastening to the army with a view of facilitating their discharge, and met us, as stated, upon our arrival “from the front.” By proper representations he obtained a telegraphic order from the War Department, detaching from the regiment those men whose term expired in September; and an additional order from Gen'l Butler, that these should report at once at their place of muster for discharge. This timely action on the part of Col. Lee saved our returning veterans much annoyance and risk, for had they returned to North Carolina, the prevalence and fatality of yellow fever in that department would have delayed their departure for home and necessitated a tedious quarantine at Northern ports, not to speak of the probability that many would have fallen victims to that fatal malady.

The record of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., September 9th, showed its condition to be as follows: —

Officers and men present,233
Officers and men on detached service,128
Officers and men absent with leave (prisoners),259*
Officers and men absent sick or wounded,218
Officers and men absent without leave,1
Aggregate strength of the regiment,839

Of this number two hundred and fifty-nine were reported for discharge, but only one hundred and seventy-nine were able to attend the column on its homeward journey. Three hundred and four officers and men remained with unexpired terms of enlistment, and of this number only one hundred and twenty-four were present for duty. These were removed to the transport steamer “United States,” under command of Maj. John W. Moore.

The veterans were delayed at Fortress Monroe until the 23d inst., when Capt. McKay and Adjt. Joseph W. Holmes were ordered to proceed north with the detachment, and arrived at New York by steamer early Sunday morning, the 27th inst. From lack of transportation they were detained until evening, when they took the steamer “Dupont” for New Haven, at which place they arrived the morning of the 27th.

Monday noon, the 28th, a signal-gun at Springfield announced the departure of the regiment from Hartford, and various organizations by a previous agreement hastily convened and repaired to the depot, where, at half-past twelve, a second gun announced their arrival. As the train moved into the depot a salvo from the Union Battery, and cheers from the multitude, welcomed back to the old Bay State and

* Six of this number should have been reported among the killed, but in the absence of such knowledge they were properly included as above.




to their homes, this battalion of battle-scarred veterans. Two days’ notice had been given that the regiment was on the journey home, and the distant hamlets of Berkshire and Franklin, by delegations of kindred and friends, joined greetings with Hampden, Hampshire, and Western Worcester, in the safe return of their sons from the field.

Hastily leaving the cars, the men were given a few moments for the embrace and congratulations of friends, when they formed in line on Railroad Row, and fell into the rear of the procession organized for their escort. The attentions shown were alike honorable to the city, and flattering to those upon whom they were bestowed, and the more so when we consider the little time allowed for preparation. The procession moved in the following order: —

Hon. A. D. Briggs, Chief Marshal, and Assistants.

Armory Cornet Band.

Engineers of the Fire Department.

Union Fire Company.

Military Band.

Constitution Fire Company.

Monitor Fire Company.

Drum Corps.

American Hook and Ladder Company.

City Government and Citizens.

Union Battery, Capt. Wells.

Drum Corps.

The Twenty-Seventh Regiment.

Carriages containing Disabled Members of the Twenty-Seventh and other Regiments.

The column moved through the principal streets, which were thronged with dense and cheering crowds. Patriotic emblems, decorations, and welcomes were everywhere displayed, with emblazoned lists of engagements in which the regiment had participated. After marching up Union Street and cheering Col. Lee at his residence, the procession countermarched to Court Square and formed in front of a platform which had been erected near the Court House. After a

brief and appropriate prayer by Rev. L. Clark Seelye (now president of the Smith College, Northampton), Mayor Alexander welcomed the regiment as follow: —

Officers and Soldiers of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment: From the victorious fields of Roanoke and New Berne, Goldsboro and Kinston, Little Washington, and a score of others which your bravery has made historical, we welcome you back to your homes and ours, in the dear old Commonwealth. It is three years since you went away. An abundant harvest had filled all our granaries; the rewards for peaceful labor were within the reach of every man; we had never heard the voice of the enemy, and his nearest encampment was hundreds of miles from our borders. Leaving every comfort which abundance, art, industry and peace could bestow; sundering the ties which happy, virtuous and prosperous homes had bound about you, — voluntarily, joyfully, you assumed the hardships and privations of soldiers, to defend the honor of the Commonwealth, and the integrity of the Union. Your three years of patient service, your twenty-two battle-fields, your thinned ranks, your heroic dead, attest how truly you have kept your faith. You have never been absent from our thoughts. Through all the changes of these three years of war our eyes have followed you. In the solitary encampments, in the long marches, when among the mighty hosts upon the battle-field, we have sought out and kept sight of your flag. Your dead have not fallen unnoticed and unmourned by us. Your brave comrades were our sons and brothers, and their patriotic courage has been our loudest boast, and their untimely death our saddest sorrow. Their names, their brave acts and yours, make up the proud history of this regiment which you this day complete; a history which will ever remain as an example of true patriotism and courage, which will furnish a bright page in the annals of our country, and give to our local tradition “the glow of romance and the spirit of song.”

Your career as soldiers is ended. You return once more to the peaceful walks of civil life. You have your duties to perform here; for the country and the institutions you have defended are to be illustrated by your lives and are to be preserved for future generations by your devotion and ours. Do not be disturbed by






the cry of peace at any price! (Applause.) The work which you have commenced, is to be finished. This country is not to be surrendered to designing politicians and cowardly and coppery traitors. (Ringing applause.) All the blood and all the lives that have been given to cement and make strong the temple of liberty, and to make this country forever, and all over, free, shall not be lost to you, or your brave dead. (Applause.) Thrice welcome, then, to your homes and to Massachusetts, soldiers who have defended, and citizens who will preserve, our noble Union forever and forever.

The inspiration of the hour was intensified by the band leading and the vast throng uniting in singing Payne's sweet song, “Home, Sweet Home.” How it carried us back to three years before, when, nine hundred and eighty strong, we had united in that same song at Camp Reed just as we were to leave for the war. One hundred and seventy-nine were there; where were the eight hundred and one now absent from our ranks?

After singing, Mayor Alexander said, —

Veterans of the Twenty-Seventh: We have on the platform an esteemed citizen and an old friend of yours. He had much to do with the raising of your regiment, and at the time of your departure, he spoke you words of encouragement and bade you God-speed on your patriotic mission. He told you that the clouds that then hung around the glorious stars and stripes, would in God's good time be lifted and the old flag wave again in all its original brilliancy and beauty. He esteems it a high privilege to be here to-day, to thank you in behalf of the city of Springfield and Hampden County, for the gallant service you have performed, and to join in the cordial welcome home.

Ex-Mayor Bemis responded:

Officers and Members of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment: I am happy to join with his honor the mayor, and my fellow-citizens, in welcoming you home once more, after the perils and trials you have endured in defending the rights and the interests of the

country; first, because in all the battles in which you have been engaged you have been true to the country; you have never turned your backs to the enemy, you have sustained the old flag, and kept it floating in the breeze amid victory or defeat. Second, I promised, when taking leave of you as you were about to go forth to join the army of the Union, to keep you in remembrance, and whether you returned alive and in health, or in the cold embrace of death, I would be present to aid in doing you honor, either with the laurel or the cypress. And now we meet—you covered with glory and victory. How well you have done your duty we have from time to time had notice, and we have received the rebel flags, emblems of your valor, and they have more than once decorated our City Hall, where your friends at home have so often met to consult together as to means to prosecute the war, or to render aid to you and others on the distant battle-fields.

We welcome you home again—those who have been in prison, as well as those of you who were placed in front of Charleston to be shot down, and those who met the enemy in front of battle—to mingle with your friends and fellow-citizens in the peaceful pursuits of civil life, to greet your fathers, mothers, wives, children, and sweethearts; and to make your homes in our pleasant valley, or on the sides of our mountains. How great the change must be to you, fresh from the toil and hardships of war, to the abodes of peace and plenty! Why, I should rather have the greetings of the honest girls of Connecticut valley and the Berkshire hills, than of all the slipshod trash, with their black attendants, that line the whole Virginia shore. (Loud laughter and applause.) May you have the satisfaction of living to a good old age to recount your deeds of valor to your children and your children's children, deeds to be handed down by them to generations yet unborn. Pardon me, gentlemen, if I hesitate, for I haven't made a speech for two years. I used to make speeches, when I had the vim in me, but I don't talk very well to-day, though I am considerably excited. (Laughter and cheers.) When you left, I cautioned you not to allow the enemy to reach their long spoons across the pickets to dip into your porridge, for I would as soon go into the lower regions to supper, as to fraternize in the least with those who would kill and murder your brothers in cold blood. But you have






done no such thing; the battles of New Berne, of Kinston, of Whitehall, of Cold Harbor, of Fort Darling, and hosts of other battles, attest your fidelity to your country and your determination to meet the expectation of your friends.

But what tribute shall we pay to the departed ones—to those who were killed in battle—the brave, the noble-hearted Wilcox, who held a captain's commission in your regiment and fell in the battle of Cold Harbor, and whose mortal remains now rest on the soil of Old Virginia? Would to God that the dust of our brave men who sleep their last sleep on her soil, may tend to bring to remembrance hereafter the efforts of freemen while fighting for liberty and right, as they view the hillocks which cover the remains of our sainted patriots and heroes.

There is also the brave Major Walker, who fell in the same battle, and the brave Capt. Sandford, who fell in front of Fort Darling, and many other names whose memory will be remembered and cherished while freedom and liberty have a home in the hearts of men. Methinks I see them now on the rugged banks of Jordan, waiting to be wafted over the stream! I can almost see the alabaster forms of the departed patriots and sainted dead who have gone before them, on the other shore, beckoning them across the stream to the glorious plains of the blessed land. What are all the possessions of earth, all its honors, all its friendships, all its show, all its vanity, compared to a peaceful rest among the redeemed in heaven!

“So fades the summer cloud away,So sinks the gale when storms are o'er.”

May you have a pleasant meeting with all your friends, and be prepared to meet your comrades who have gone before you to the better land.

Col. Lee responded to the address of welcome:—

Mr. Mayor and Citizens of Springfield: In behalf of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, which I have had the honor to command for the last three years, I tender you sincere and grateful thanks for this sympathetic and generous reception. Three years ago you bade us farewell with a hearty God-speed. We were then one

thousand strong, and were afterwards augmented to fifteen hundred, and we come back to you to-day with the small number you see before you. Some are now on the regiment's old camping ground in North Carolina, but the rest are in Southern prisons, or their bones lie on the fields of Roanoke, New Berne, Goldsboro, Whitehall, Drewry's Bluff, and many others. There you will find them. It has been my lot for the last two years to be separated from the immediate command of the regiment, and I can consequently speak without egotism in its praise. There are none braver; no men in the army ever stood higher; they were never backward or hesitating when called upon for duty of any kind. It gives me much pleasure to thank you for this reception—though in looking back through the past three years, in thinking of the many who have fallen in battle, my feelings overcome me, and I cannot say what I would like—but I thank you most sincerely.

Three times three cheers were then given for the regiment, the escort, the army and the Union, when loud calls were made for Lieut. Col. Bartholomew, who responded:—

Brave boys! I am very happy to meet you again! I have been absent from the regiment about four months, but you know not how much I have thought of you. I expect now to go back and have command of those you have left. I am sure they will keep up the gallant reputation of the regiment, for no braver or better men ever fought. Some of you will want to re-enlist, and I give you all an invitation to join the Twenty-Seventh. (Applause and laughter, with voices, “We will!”) I have been home now six weeks, and though I have been well treated, it is too quiet for me, and I want to be back where there is more going on. You, I am sure, will find it so, too; but I must now bid you an affectionate adieu.—Boys! If anybody should ever question your bravery, send them to me. (Cheers and “tigers.”)

At half-past two the order was given, “Fall in for rations,” and we marched into the City Hall, where a sumptuous collation awaited us. While going through the knife and fork manual, a choir of one hundred and






fifty misses rendered with much spirit, “When Johnny comes marching home again;” “Rally round the Flag,” and “Just before the Battle, mother.” The whole reception was the work of the ladies; nor was it the first time their kind hearts and ingenious hands had been enlisted for our good. When an opportunity was offered the regiment, we expressed our appreciation by three lusty cheers for the ladies, and three more for the youthful singers who had favored us.

Chaplain Woodworth closed the exercises of the day, by recounting briefly the experiences of the regiment, tenderly remembering their honored dead, and reminding the survivors that consistency required in returning to civil life that they should be exemplar citizens, loyal to God and to humanity. These remarks were worthy of note, but unfortunately no permanent record of them was made, save as they have moulded themselves into the subsequent lives of his hearers.

The regiment remained at the “Soldiers’ Rest” over night, and were mustered out of the United States service Tuesday, the 29th of September, with payment in full from Feb. 14, 1864, and the one hundred dollars bounty due each enlisted man. Lieut. George D. Ramsey, ordnance officer from the Watertown Arsenal, received the camp and garrison equipage, on inspecting which he paid the high compliment to the regiment that they were in the best condition of any yet returned.

CHAPTER XIX. ANDERSONVILLE.

Sixty-two miles south-west from Macon, Ga., on the Southwestern Railroad, in Sumter County, was situated a little hamlet with a population not exceeding twenty in number, known as Anderson. Like many of its kind, it was in the midst of immense forests of pine, hemlock and oak, in which were interspersed large and productive plantations, lying at considerable distances apart. The country is rolling and hilly, with a soil of reddish clay, indicative of rich agricultural resources, and of large returns for labor bestowed. The vicinity is noted for its numerous streams and springs of clear, cold water, one, only twelve miles distant, known as Magnolia Spring, discharging sixty gallons of water per minute, while it is in close proximity to a stream sufficient and suitable for laundry and bathing purposes. These features are noticed because they present the facilities for furnishing those supplies for which our men lacked and for which they suffered most severely.

After viewing many places more eligible, Anderson was selected by Howell Cobb, for reasons unknown, unless its fitness for the terrible work it finally accomplished. When selected, the entire ground was covered with a dense forest, which was used in constructing the stockade, not a single tree being left unfelled. The trees sheltered our race,

“Ere man learnedTo hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,And spread the roof above them.”




A considerate man suggested to Howell Cobb that a little shade would afford some protection to the prisoners, but received the significant reply, “That's just what I won't give! I'll make a place here for the d—d Yankees, where they will rot faster than they can be sent.”

The enclosure was situated on a southerly slope, about sixteen hundred feet from the railroad, and at first included only twenty-two acres, but about July 1, 1864, it was increased to twenty-seven acres. It was longest due north and south, was fifteen hundred and forty feet long by seven hundred and fifty feet wide, and was surrounded with a stockade of hewn logs set closely together, so as to entirely obstruct the exterior view. It was a double stockade; the inner one at a height of twenty feet, with “sentry boxes” surmounting it thirty yards apart; and an outer stockade one hundred twenty feet distant from the inner, twelve feet high, intended to render escape more difficult, and to aid in defence from without. Through a wide, oozy, slimy quagmire, about one hundred and fifty yards from the southern end, a sluggish stream, from three to five feet wide and as many inches deep, flowed through the enclosure from west to east. This stream, tainted with decaying vegetation, received the wash and sinks from several rebel camps, and the offal from an immense cook-house above, and yet was for a time the only water supply furnished for all our wants.

Seventeen feet from the inner stockade was a line of poles, supported by crotched stakes, known as the “dead line,” beyond which to venture or extend a hand was certain death. Deducting the land between the dead line and stockade, with that occupied by the slough, there was an average space for each prisoner of about thirty square feet. A grave for an adult will average eighteen square feet.

Within such circumscribed area, thirty-five thousand men, during the heat of summer, were compelled to perform all

the functions of life, cooking, washing, defecation, exercise and sleep. As a result of the use of such water, and of poor and ill-prepared food, chronic complaints rendered the sinks along the stream of no use to those any distance therefrom, so that the grounds were strewed with excrement and the swamp with fæces and liquid filth. Under the action of the sun the stench became so great that the inhabitants even at a distance could not endure it, and sought an injunction from the courts to secure a mitigation of the nuisance, or the removal of the stockade.

Though the singing of the breezes could be heard in the adjacent forests, no regular issue of fuel was made with which to cook such food as was furnished. For a time the stumps of the original forest made up the deficiency; but these were soon exhausted, and our men would burrow in the ground with cups and spoons, and follow each little rootlet far into the earth with as much care as a miner follows his vein of gold.

No friendly shelter greeted the unfortunate captive as the creaking gate swung back for his admission, but an irregular mass of booths, made from tattered blankets, whose ragged surface seemed to invite, rather than repel, the scorching rays of the sun, or the drenching rains. Others protected themselves by burrowing in the ground, forming subterranean houses of unique construction, but telling forcibly of extreme poverty and misery. By far the larger part of the unfortunate men, however, had neither booths nor burrows, but wandered by day in the scorching sun or falling rain, and lay down to rest where night overtook them. In such a jostling crowd there could be no order or regularity; hence each one secured the most favorable place, without regard to streets or formation, and squatter sovereignty was the recognized law.

At first no rigid search of prisoners was made, but soon after, a complete system of robbery was adopted; first by






the officers in charge, who took from our men all of their valuables, and then turned them over to the rebel guard, who stripped them at will of hats, coats, pants, and shoes, unless they were worse than their own, or so badly worn as to be unsalable. As a result, large numbers of prisoners came within so nearly nude that the remnants of clothing afforded the wearers but little protection. It was a common spectacle to see a “fresh fish” (as a new arrival was called) come into the stockade bare-headed, bare-footed, shirt-sleeved and perhaps wearing a ragged shirt and pair of pants which the guard had forced him to take in exchange for his own. With destitution growing more distressing from month to month, they were forced to wallow in the filthiness of this pen, and were scantily fed from the garbage and offal of the rebel stores.

The rations consisted of four ounces of meal (corn and cob), two spoonfuls of rice, two of beans, with two ounces of bacon per day, and occasionally a teaspoonful of salt. Had these been wholesome and nutritive, they would still have been inadequate to sustain the vital forces, but they were frequently so offensive as to be past use. The regular United States ration for a man in active service is thirty-seven ounces per day, and, during the time now being considered, our government was issuing thirty-four and one-half ounces per day to rebel prisoners. Of ordinary food our animal economy requires thirty ounces to sustain unimpaired its various functions, and, in its concentrated forms, not less than seventeen ounces per day. Yet, all witnesses agree, that the amount issued our men at Andersonville, was less than ten ounces per day, and this often unfit for use.

I have said that the only supply of water furnished was the stream through the swale, but this was in part remedied by deep wells constructed by our men, one being estimated not less than seventy feet deep. This was dug largely with cups and spoons, and the earth drawn up by ropes made from the

clothes of the dead. During the latter part of this work we were favored by our keepers with two shovels, a rope, and a bucket, but were obliged to return them every night. These wells, however, gave a limited supply, and were guarded with zealous care, so that but few enjoyed their benefits. Tuesday, the 9th of August, 1864, an awful thunder-storm visited us, attended with a heavy fall of rain, which, gathering in the slough between the two hills, undermined the stockade — both above and below, — and covered the swale with a swift current of water. The enemy were obliged to turn out at double quick in the drenching rain to guard the breaches, which our men, who were alike exposed, enjoyed hugely. When the storm had passed, and the waters had receded to the banks of the stream, it was found that the swift current like a faithful scavenger, had cleared the swamp of all its filth, and that at the foot of the hill and just over the dead line, a spring of clear, cold water had burst forth, sufficient to supply the wants of the entire camp. This spring continued to flow undiminished, until our departure, a constant reminder of God's miraculous care and intervention. No Moses had been sent to smite the rock, but none the less had the Almighty cleansed this Gehenna by floods of water, and opened the fountains of the earth to minister to the wants of his suffering creatures.

The malign genius of this Gehenna was Brig. Gen'l John H. Winder, Commissary General of Prisoners, a Baltimorean by birth, and a bosom friend of Jefferson Davis. Of medium height, his gray locks fell from beneath his slouched hat nearly to his shoulders. The expression of his stony features was intensified by cold, gray, sunken eyes, and a rigid mouth with corners well drawn down; such a visage as marks one who is the coward on the field, but who can delight in torturing a helpless captive. Winder's barbarities at Richmond had outraged the feelings of the rebel secretary of war, who demanded his dismissal, but being a bosom






friend of Davis, during the month of May, 1864, he was assigned to this distant post, where his ferocious nature could have unfettered license. It was Winder, beholding the three thousand and eighty-one graves filled during the month of August, who boastingly said, “I am doing more for the Confederacy than twenty regiments!” His terrible work was ably forwarded by subordinates in sympathy with him, but by none more effectually than by Henry Wirz, Captain C. S. A. To him was assigned the infernal plot by which in a few short months the adjacent cemetery was to become the resting place of thirteen thousand Union soldiers, many of them fathers, husbands, brothers or friends of my readers. This was not a triumph over wounded and enfeebled men, but over the bone and sinew of our army who had dared to meet the enemy in the place of their choice, and had bearded them at the mouth of their own cannon.

The fiendish heart of Gen'l Winder gloated over the multiplying wrecks within, and sustained Wirz in any act, however atrocious. Their hands recklessly laid low many, who, imbeciled in mind, thought by their plaintive pleadings, to reach their hearts and secure a mitigation of their sufferings. A Union soldier, familiarly known as “Chickamauga,” from having lost a limb in that battle, in semi-idiocy plead with Wirz to relieve him from his torture, saying, “I would rather die than bear it longer!” to which he responded by ordering the guard to “shoot the d—d Yankee,” and in less time than required to tell it, his soul was winging its upward flight. Another prisoner lay helpless on the ground and was ordered to fall in with his detachment, but being too weak to obey, the heartless villain jumped with both feet on his prostrate form, and a crimson tide from ears, nose, and mouth, with a few gasps, told of another struggle ended.

These instances, not excessive in brutality over multitudes of others, must have prepared the minds of the reader to

receive with full credence the following experiences of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. as prisoners of war. The record is made with no desire to rekindle animosities against the perpetrators, nor to awaken anew the sorrow of years in our own homes, but with a faithful desire to place in history the memory of loyal, worthy sons of New England, who thought no sacrifice too great to perpetuate the integrity of our Union, and to make us all more grateful for the heritage their sacrifice has secured for us. They were offered freedom if they would forswear their government, but they chose rather to suffer a martyr's death, than live a tainted life.

The record left our captured men within the rebel gaol at Richmond, at which place they arrived at nine A.M., May 16, 1864. The building in which they were confined was the three-storied brick building known as Libby Prison. At this time most of the former prisoners had been hurried off to Andersonville, from fear incident to Gen'l Grant's forward movement, and the building had been thoroughly renovated. The officers were placed on the floor above the men, and being left to themselves a short time, instituted measures to ascertain the number captured. Corp. Alvin A. Gage of Company I made a list of our men, and succeeded in getting a copy of it, through a crack in the floor, to Lieut. J. L. Skinner, by which it was ascertained there were nine officers and two hundred and thirty-eight men present.

Dick Turner and his light-fingered satellites soon appeared, their eyes gloating over the new victims, which the “gods of war” had delivered into their power. The statement was made that they were about to search us, and that if any had money, watches, or valuables of any kind, and would surrender them without search, they would take their names, with the amount or articles surrendered, and when exchanged, would return all to them; but if they were obliged to search for them, everything found would be confiscated. But few






placed confidence in this statement. The men were ordered to strip, and a rope was stretched across the room to separate the fleecer and his victim from the prisoners. One by one they were examined, and as fast as the space was filled at the rear, the line was moved, until all had passed the ordeal.

The search being in full sight of the captives, — the villany and wilful malice of these monster “home guards” was discovered. They confiscated equipments, canteens, haversacks and rubber blankets, leaving only woollen blankets (to such as had them), and these simply because they were not allowed to use anything with the hated letters “U. S.” upon it. This, however, did not surprise us, “but when it became evident that the robbery included, beside money and other valuables, the photographs of our friends at home, and that a smile of villanous satisfaction greeted their discovery, while all pleadings to retain them were vain, our hearts sank, and a new sense of the satanic spirit of our foe overwhelmed us.”—(C. C. Hosford.) The search progressed with varied success, each of our men at his wits’ end to contrive ways to save their treasures. The amount of money obtained was very small, the largest sum being from Col. Lee, of less than one hundred dollars. Edgar C. Brewster, of Company A, had about eighty dollars in green-backs with him, all of which he saved by dividing it amongst his company, some placing it in their mouths, while others uncapped their blouse buttons and put the money within.

When any article of an officer was coveted, extravagant offers in Confederate money were made, but the article was always for a personal friend, and “if it fitted, they would return the money, otherwise the goods.” A few were caught in this way, one of our officers being offered three hundred and seventy-five dollars and a pair of partly worn army shoes for his boots. It is unnecessary to say it was an old trick with them, and neither was the money paid or the boots returned. When the search was completed the

men were moved across the street to the Pemberton building. This structure fully justified all that had been said of its filthiness. The seams of the walls and floors swarmed with vermin, against which it was as useless to contend as to beat the air.

The sudden relaxation from active conflict, the humiliation of defeat, and vain longings for one more grasp of the rifle to retrieve one's honor, are feelings which experience can alone portray. The loved ones at home: God have mercy on them, when

“Their hearts are wrung by the battle's refrain;”

when dread uncertainty shall pale the cheek of mother, wife, lover or sister; when the dimmed eye of father shall trace in the list of “missing,” my name; when the home circle shall realize for me all the ills which war entails, and each day go through for me the last sad rites of earth, not knowing my lot. A rigorous foe withholds all communication, and as for affording our friends relief, the grave could not enforce a more cruel silence. We know not what is before us, but turn our eyes northward and longingly inquire,

“Land of my birth, shall I greet thee again?”

With such thoughts our hearts rebelled against our lot and against the fate which left us passive spectators of our country's necessities.

As already stated, we reached Richmond, Va., at nine A.M., May 16th, but it was the afternoon of the 17th before any attention was paid to our wants, at which time we were served with a genuine “Argonaut bean soup” and a small piece of corn bread, but each in such quantity as to mock the gnawings of hunger, which by this time were becoming unendurable. We soon found that any attention to our wants was to be a question of convenience, rather than of necessity. Says Charles Weed, of Company E, who was






wounded when captured, “I have seen our men suffering for months from painful wounds, but their hunger was so intense as to drown all other sufferings. For eighty days I lay without change of lint on my wounds, shirt on my person, or clothes on the cot, with the heat much of the time from ninety to one hundred and ten degrees in the shade, but my greatest suffering was from incessant hunger.”

After we had been a week at Richmond, the reverberations from the guns of the Army of the Potomac greeted our ears; sounds pleasant to us, but reminding the city of its precarious condition, and the authorities of the fact that the Union army had at last an invincible general. At two o'clock, the morning of May 23d, we were marched across the James River to Manchester, and boarded a freight train for removal south. The cars were filled to their utmost capacity, each containing about seventy-five men and four guards, the latter from the Third Virginia Militia. We arrived that night at Danville, where we remained until the 25th inst., awaiting transportation. Our course south lay through Greensboro, Salisbury, Charlotte, N. C., and Columbia, S. C., at the last of which places, the train was held an hour to gratify the women's curiosity to see a “live Yankee.” From Columbia we reached Branchville, and took the Charleston and Augusta road for the latter place. At Augusta, Ga., we received humane treatment, and were permitted to occupy a cotton-pen during the night, resuming our journey the following day. Such officers as were with us, were left at Macon Sunday, May 29th, while the enlisted men were forwarded over the Southwestern road to Andersonville, where they arrived at an early hour May 30, 1864.

We had been a full week en route, with a mere pittance of food, over roads so rough, that the jolting of the train was painful in the extreme. Our crowded condition rendered the heat oppressive, and prevented lying down for rest or

sleep. When it became known we were to pass through North Carolina — our old camping-ground — endless plans of escape were made, even to the seizing of the train, but the difficulty of united action, and the fact that our route was so far inland, prevented any attempt. The route for the most part lay through immense forests, in the midst of which, at short intervals, the train stopped for wood and water. The night we passed through Salisbury, a portion of the men were allowed to lie on the top of the car. While stopping for water, Lewis A. Drury of Company C, made his escape, but was recaptured soon after, and sent to Andersonville. After leaving Augusta, Ga., Sergt. Bartholomew O'Connell, Corp. J. W. Brizzee and Private George W. Taylor, all of Company C, succeeded in cutting a hole through the floor of the car, and, the night of the 29th of May, under cover of darkness, effected their escape, the account of which will be found farther on.

On arriving at Andersonville, we formed in line near the north gate, on an elevation overlooking the stockade. At this time it contained about fifteen thousand prisoners, the sickening sight of whose destitution lay fully in view. Here we were again thoroughly searched, but with unsatisfactory results to the enemy. We were then designated as “Detachment 69,” and enough men from other organizations were added to it to complete the required number. A detachment consisted of two hundred and seventy men, over which a rebel sergeant was placed, whose chief duty was to call the roll each day. This detachment was divided into three squads of ninety men each; and each squad into three “messes” of thirty men; these sub-organizations choosing their own commissaries to receive and distribute the rations issued. Later in the season, the number of deaths so reduced the detachments, that many were consolidated, and the smaller numeral retained for its name; while at other times new prisoners were included to fill up the number.






As a fact, the Twenty-Seventh, during its experience here, were parts of several different detachments, but for the purpose of this history, they will be known as “Detachment No. 69.”

The work of search and organization being completed, the north gate creaked heavily back on its hinges, and two by two we marched into this abode of death. Crowds were gathered beyond the dead-line, curious who the new arrivals (fresh fish!) might be, and anxious to know of the fortunes of our arms. Their unkempt hair, glaring eyes, their sharpened visages blackened by pitch-pine smoke, and their tattered, filthy garments, rendered them embodiments of despair, and horrid spectres of suffering and want. A sickening realization of what was in store for us, was read in the features of our unfortunate comrades, but the half could not be conceived, and

“The half has never been told.”

Passing the crowded grounds to the easterly side, and crossing the quagmire on a path near the dead-line, we halted just across the border of the marsh, and with spoons, cups and such conveniences as were with us, commenced throwing dirt into the slimy depths, to construct sufficient grounds on which to bivouac. We at length succeeded, though the surface was so elastic that it yielded to our weight, and through the cracks oozed the filthy slime which showed what the foundation was. The crowded condition of the stockade left this as our only alternative, but as the sequel shows, it was a terrible one, and with the malaria, stench and miserable food, became the subsequent cause of disease and death.

“For twenty-one days following, the clouds gathered and burst over the ill-fated camp, the men wet through by day and night, with hardly a ray of sunshine or starlight, during the entire time.”—(J. E. Perry, Company I.)

The camp was one vast slush of mud, and our position (bad enough at the best), was available only as we stood half-way to our knees in mud, while our clothes were besmeared from head to foot with filth. The constant use of corn and cob meal in a raw state, added to our exposure, soon told upon our men, and by the 20th of June the death record of the Twenty-Seventh at Andersonville was commenced by the decease of Mahlon M. Merritt of Company C, while large numbers were suffering from chronic diarrhœa.

The “Surgeon's call” was held between the stockades, just outside the “South gate,” to which point our sick would crawl, or, if unable to do so, were carried by their comrades. The bearers immediately returned into the stockade, leaving the patients’ names affixed to their clothing for recognition, when they were beyond consciousness. Here the sick would remain for hours awaiting the surgeon, and, if not received into the hospital, were sent back into the stockade, or when necessary, word was sent to the squad to assist them back. The hospital was situated outside and at the south-easterly corner of the stockade. It consisted of a line of large tents which had been “condemned for service,” and which in reality were simply canvas spreads, without sides to exclude the dampness of night or the driving storms and winds.

The entire hospital was a disgrace to humanity, and was such only by name, for no signs of cot or blankets, or even straw, graced the place, but long winrows of men in poverty and suffering found their bed upon the earth. There, in furrows scooped out by their own hands, lay hundreds of men covered almost to the neck with a mantle of earth, to protect themselves from the swarming pest of flies and vermin; and for such comfort as its cooling touch gave their fevered forms. These facilities, even, were inadequate to accommodate the enormous increase of patients, and the rule was early adopted to receive no more into the hospital,






than would replace the deaths of the previous twenty-four hours. On this account the deaths within the stockade began to multiply, so that, during the months of August and September, these exceeded those within the hospital by two hundred and seventy-one; there being three thousand and fifteen deaths in the stockade and twenty-seven hundred and forty-four in the hospital.

The record shows that seventeen thousand eight hundred and seventy-three of our men* were admitted to this hospital, and that eight thousand seven hundred and thirty-seven of that number died, a mortality of nearly forty-nine per cent. To judge of the reasonableness of such a record, contrast the treatment of two hundred and fifteen thousand cases of the same diseases by United States surgeons in our camps and hospitals, in which the percentage of deaths was less than five per cent. Two million five hundred and seventy thousand cases of wounds and disease were treated in our hospitals during the years of 1862 and 1863, of which number only two and one-half per cent. were fatal. Of forty-two thousand four hundred able-bodied men incarcerated in this Gehenna, twelve thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight are buried in the cemetery adjoining. These were the flower of our army captured at the extreme front, and from them the grim messenger reaped the rich harvest of thirty and one-half per cent.

“Deliverer!God anointed thee to free the oppressed.Nor dost thou interpose,Only to lay the sufferer asleep,Where he who made him wretched, troubles notHis rest: thou dost strike down his tyrant too,And avenge the wrong of him, who knowsNo other friend.”

The medical staff was entirely inadequate to the emergency, and were prohibited from adapting remedies to particular

* This has no reference to the sick and to deaths in the stockade.

constitutions, but were required to prescribe for each disease a remedy officially designated by a number, furnished by the “medical purveyor.” Equipped with a knowledge of the prevailing diseases, and an official list of remedies, the veriest quack could have been as successful as the most skilled physician. To the credit of the profession, be it said, many physicians refused to be partners in this awful crime, and withdrew from the service. The carnival of death was thus unimpeded by medical skill, and in one day (the 23d of August) one hundred and twenty-seven of our comrades at this pen passed to “where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest,” an average of one death every eleven minutes for the entire twenty-four hours.

At a stated time each day, the detachments brought their dead to the dead-line near the gate, where the bodies were piled upon mule-carts like cordwood, and borne away to the cemetery. Details from the prisoners were paroled and sent to the cemetery for the burial of the dead, for which labor they were allowed double rations that day. At the cemetery long trenches were dug, within which the bodies were laid as close as possible, and, after being strewn with quicklime, were hastily buried. At the head of each body was placed a stake, with a number scratched upon it by a metallic point. One of our prisoners made a private record of these numbers, with the names of the deceased opposite them, by which timely act, it has been possible to recognize the graves of twelve thousand four hundred and sixty-one Union prisoners in Andersonville cemetery, leaving only five hundred and seven graves at that place with the sad inscription, —

UNKNOWN United States SOLDIER. 1864.

How touching and fitting this act of our government in claiming these unknown dead, and in lieu of their own






name, to christen them with its own great name and most honorable service. Many of the bodies were sent from the stockade nude, for tattered garbs could be of no farther use to them, but, though faded and torn, the clothes might give the living a little stronger hold on life, or they might relieve the suffering and exposure of those but a step removed from the gate of death.

On the first day of July the addition to the stockade had been completed, and our “Detachment 69” was the first to enter it. We selected a position at the north end, close to the dead-line, and central on the width. Here our condition was very much improved, and with such awning as could be made from the few blankets and spreads we had, we were as well situated as any upon the grounds. With cups and spoons, and a couple of shovels loaned by the Confederates, we dug a well seventy feet deep, and were repaid by a good supply of water which proved of inestimable value to us. During the night of July 2d, the prisoners tore down the logs which had separated the addition from the old stockade, — and which were now useless, — so that by the next morning little of it remained which had not been appropriated for fuel. This so enraged Capt. Wirz (familiarly known as the “old Dutchman”), that he ordered that no rations be issued for that day. We were already so emaciated by want of sufficient food, that our clothes were badly disproportioned to us; but how we could stand it with no food at all was a question we disliked to contemplate. The next morning ushered in the “glorious Fourth,” and no misfortune could so far damp the spirits of our men as to prevent the recognition and proper observance of our country's natal day. Long before the sun had cast his beams over the pen, the camp was resounding with cheers and patriotic songs from tens of thousands of voices, the inspiration of which was, an unconscious, yet consecrated patriotism, which endured ignominy, sufferings, and death, rather than tarnish their loyalty and

national pride. For these exhibitions of patriotism Capt. Wirz retaliated by orders that no issue of rations would be made that day. Hungry and starving though we were, nothing could restrain the service of song, which whiled the hours away, though the “picnic” and the “orations” were necessarily omitted. “About noon the 5th, rations were issued to the south side in a raw state, but it was nearly dark the night of the 6th, before they completed the issue upon the north side. Amongst the last of those to receive food was ‘Detachment 69.’ No rations had been issued us since eleven o'clock., July 2d, and those were only intended for that day.”—(C. C. Hosford, Company A.) We cannot depict the famishing sufferings of men for four days deprived of food; suffice to say, that though issued to the men raw, they rushed to the water, wet their meal, and ate it down unseasoned and uncooked.

The daily routine was now and then broken by rumors of exchange, all of which were falsely circulated, and the disappointment following was a fruitful cause of dementia and death. Manhood could not endure all this without protest or attempts at escape. At long intervals, squads were permitted to go outside for fuel, which they gathered from the dead limbs and debris of the woods, during which, frequent, but generally, futile attempts at escape were made. The more common resort was by tunnelling, but when this was suspected, all rations were suspended, until some starving prisoner hoping to better his condition, would reveal its location.

During July, some of Detachment 69 had succeeded in running a tunnel fifty feet beyond the stockade, and were intending to effect escape the night of July 28th, if favorable. During that day one of the Eighth Connecticut in his anxiety, had gone into the tunnel to be sure all was right, when suddenly the earth caved behind him, leaving him the alternatives of either breaking the ground and attempting






escape, or else to remain and suffocate. In choosing the former he succeeded in getting to the woods, but within an hour was returned to camp. The quartermaster was soon around with his squad of negroes, and, while they filled our tunnel, he tauntingly remarked, “You have done right smart, boys; this is the best yet! but it must have been right tough business with cups and spoons. Next time come to me and I will loan you a shovel and pick. I'd keep on; it will keep you from rotting to dig in the dirt, but we sha'n’t let you get out all the same.”

July 30th, Corp. Perry of Company I, wrote, “We have lost two days’ rations this week from the enemy's suspicions; we are being starved, dying, will soon be dead.” Why did not the mighty energy of despair nerve the whole camp to organized revolt? There were those who lacked neither energy or courage, but the enemy understood too well the axiom, “all that a man hath will he give for life,” and hence adopted a régime which drew the line so close between life and death, that some poor starving one was sure “to cave” and reveal the whole plan before it could be consummated. A comprehensive plan to seize the camp and guards was thus defeated by one of its trusted leaders. The stockade had been undermined, and could have been torn down at several points in a few moments, but, for a morsel of corn bread, the whole plan was exposed. If by any means a man escaped, he was sure to be recaptured and returned by the bloodhounds which made daily circuit of the camp, unless the work of capture was so thoroughly done as to render their return unessential.

To maintain a show of clothing often required considerable ingenuity. Says one of Company A, “I kept cutting off the legs of my pants to mend the seat, until all that was left was the seat.” Another: “To economize, I would wear my pants a short time, and then substitute my drawers for pants. As a last resort, I used the one to mend the other,

until it was hard to tell whether they were pants or drawers.” As a rule, all one had was on his person, and in time these became so ragged that it was hard to tell where the clothes began or the holes ended.

It is not surprising that, under such experiences, much depravity was developed. An organized gang of robbers was discovered, and many cases of personal violence and murder reported. This resulted in the organization of a vigilance committee, by whom the guilty parties were apprehended. By permission of Capt. Wirz, these were tried and condemned “to be hung till dead,” by a court constituted with judge, counsel and jury chosen from among the prisoners. The sentence was executed the afternoon of July 11th, and produced a salutary effect. Later, during the progress of exchange, many were deprived of their only chance for life,—when too feeble to respond for exchange,—by others responding to their names and claiming to be the persons intended. This was the trick of the professional “bounty jumper,” who eagerly seized such opportunities, and was sure to succeed, unless through the persistent watchfulness of the friends of the sick. Many died after their names were upon the exchange roll, but these were often unreported, so that others might respond and secure exchange in their place.

There were those who remembered their higher obligations, and, strangely though it seemed, daily offered their supplications to God. Strangely, because it seemed as though we had already reached the world of despair. There were meetings for prayer where each sought to strengthen and encourage the other, and to confirm one another's faith in the promise that “all things shall work together for good.” No clearer record of the fatal effects of the treatment endured by us, nor more unanswerable indictment against the enemy can be made, than is found in the annexed statement, showing the deaths from month to






month, with the aggregate loss of each company and of the regiment in captivity.

Deaths from our Regiment in Rebel Prisons.
MONTH.ABCDEFGHIKTotal.
May, 1864,----22-1--5
June,1-1----1--3
July,452----5--16
August,1552--3-7-23
September,513---124117
October,2-11--2210523
November,31--1-121-9
December,2-1-2--12-8
January, 1865,1----13-3-8
February,--------2-2
March,1-1-------2
April,1---12----4
Unknown,35--------8
Total,2115193651014296128

Perhaps it should be said in explanation, that the decrease of deaths during September may be accounted for by the sickness and absence at Macon of Wirz, the last of August and early September, during which time our rations were increased in quantity and quality, and also that the removal for “supposed exchange” inspired us with new courage and fortitude to endure our misfortunes. The removal to Millen and other prisons, of men expecting exchange, was a terrible disappointment, and renewed with us in October the fatalities of August.

Of the two hundred thirty-eight of our men confined at Richmond, three escaped on their way South, leaving two

hundred thirty-five admitted to Andersonville. Of those included in this table, eight died from wounds which might have been fatal in our hospitals, leaving an aggregate of one hundred and twenty deaths, or a little more than fifty-one per cent. of the number incarcerated. These were not, we repeat, effeminate or crippled men, but the bone and sinew of the Twenty-Seventh and of New England, who in the day of battle were,

“Where duty called or danger,”

every inch men and heroes.

September 2d Gen'l Sherman's victorious army entered Atlanta, one hundred and ten miles distant, resulting in the hasty removal of the Andersonville prisoners. Fears of an attempt at release by the Union forces had already drawn from Wirz his infamous order: “If the United States forces come within seven miles, the entire artillery will be opened on the inmates of the stockade.”

On the 14th of September “Detachment 69” was ordered away, and with nothing of luggage and preparation, were promptly in line. Nature never seemed so lovely as when we emerged from that desert of death and viewed once more the broad green fields with their flowers and adjacent forests; and we realized as never before, what had almost seemed a dream of youth, the beauties of “God's handiwork.” The enemy carefully promulgated the idea that our removal was for exchange, thinking by this means to avoid attempts at escape, as they could not furnish sufficient guards for the train. About four miles out, the engine jumped the track, telescoping the cars, killing fifteen prisoners and severely wounding nineteen more. Many of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. received severe injuries, but not being wholly disabled, were not included in the list of casualties. We bivouacked that night near the scene of the disaster and were returned next morning to Anderson-ville,






where we remained till the 28th inst. As we left that day, Wirz remarked, “Don't you lets me see you tamm Yankees some more!” to which one of our men responded, “We want to see you some more! just once on even terms!” but he was quickly hustled along by his comrades, fearing the revolver Wirz held in his hand. Many of the men had little faith in the promised exchange, but we were certainly moving towards Savannah, at which place we arrived October 1st.

Our treatment at Savannah was most humane; the citizens offering food and clothing, and especially vegetables, for the lack of which we had suffered severely. In every way possible for them, they ministered to our wants and even received some of our sick into their hospitals, with equal care bestowed upon their own men. Thomas C. Allis of Company K found an uncle who assumed his care. We gladly testify to the kindly feeling here shown, as a more true expression of the heart of the Southern people, whose hospitality before the war was proverbial, and call attention to this oasis amidst the desert of human feeling we experienced. The responsibility for our atrocious treatment was not with the people; it rested nearer the throne.

October 23d we were moved to Millen, by which act the veil of falsehood was removed, and all doubts dispelled as to the enemy's first intent. While on the way, Corp. Erastus Innman of Company K escaped, and after three captures and re-escapes reached our lines at Hilton Head, where, falling in with R. R. McGregor, formerly a corporal of his company, he was kindly aided home. We were now in small detachments, some thirty having been left in the hospital at Andersonville, unable to be moved, ten were in hospitals at Savannah, eighty were confined at Millen and the remainder were about equally divided between Charleston and Florence, S. C. Seventy-two were already dead. It is unnecessary to narrate the experiences of Millen,

Blackshire and Thomasville, Ga., or Charleston and Florence, S. C. We were under the immediate supervision of Gen'l Winder, and whoever commanded the post, or wherever we were, hardships and cruelties continued, with lessened vitality and courage on our part to endure them.

Election day, by request of the enemy, a vote was taken at Millen; our keepers professing to believe that if it was left with the soldiers, Gen'l McClellan would be elected President. Their disgust at President Lincoln's overwhelming majority was beyond bounds. The vote of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. was, Lincoln 66, McClellan 14.

Early in November, a special exchange of sick and disabled prisoners was made, in which quite a number of the Twenty-Seventh were included, their condition being such as is described in “personals” included in this work.

Gen'l Sherman's movement from Atlanta, Nov. 14, 1864, and the near approach of Gen'l Kilpatrick's cavalry enforced removal from Millen also, and on the 21st of November we were forwarded via Savannah to Blackshire, Ga., where our bivouac was in an open field. We left at Millen about thirty-four hundred prisoners unable to move, amongst whom were many members of the Twenty-Seventh. For several days following our departure from Millen the booming of cannon was plainly heard, and upon the morning of December 3d the guard suddenly disappeared from the stockade. The enemy had vainly used deceit, threats and force to induce the prisoners to march out, but as the men were too far reduced to do so, they left them with the exclamation: “Go to h—l then; if the Yankees get you they can't save you from the devil!” For hours, all was anxious expectation, when, suddenly the gates were opened and Gen'l Sherman rode in with a detachment of cavalry bearing the glorious old flag. The sight was too incredible for belief, and the captives almost feared it to be the workings of diseased minds. “Boys,” said the General, “you are my boys now!






We have come a great ways for you! Cheer up and I will see you have good care now!” Were there cheers? There were attempts; but the weak, husky echo was but an index of the will. Still they did cheer, until the tears from the captives and their rescuers choked farther utterance. After some days of careful nursing, the sick were placed upon captured steamers, guarded down the Ogeechee River, and after the capture of Savannah were forwarded North.

After two weeks’ delay the prisoners at Blackshire, Ga., were removed to Thomaston, remaining there until about December 20th. We were then marched some fifty-three miles to Albany, Ga., and, taking cars, re-arrived at Andersonville Dec. 24, 1864. Christmas followed, but there was nothing to remind us of this festive day, nothing exhibited of feeling by our remorseless foe, indicating any knowledge of the Divine Being whom the day honored.

The inclemency of winter with only shreds for clothing, added to the brutality of our captors, rendered life a burden; “yet we must not, will not give up, though facing cold, starvation, and death, by day and by night.” Jan. 18, 1865, Corp. Perry of Company I wrote:—“Fearfully rough and cold; we are freezing, with hardly rations enough for one scant meal.”

“The crowd was famished by degrees,And, shivering, scraped with their cold skeleton handsThe cooling ashes Their feeble breathBlew for a little life, then lifted up their eyesAnd beheld each other's aspect,Saw, and shrieked, and died.”

Gen'l Winder had died suddenly, and was succeeded by Gen'l J. D. Imboden, but Wirz was still our persecutor. In March a few more of our men were exchanged, reaching Vicksburg, Miss., the 27th inst. Those remaining were again scattered, to avoid capture, marching to Thomasville

and back, a long, toilsome journey, of over one hundred and twenty miles.

April 9th witnessed the surrender of Lee and his army, but we, — again returned to our pen at Andersonville, — knew nothing of the triumphs of our arms. April 15th the enemy had another scare, and we were ordered on the cars “for exchange” as usual, but in this we had no faith. Reaching Albany, Ga., we again marched through Thomasville into Florida, where, on the evening of the 26th inst., while encamped in the woods, some thirty miles from Jacksonville, the sad news of the assassination of President Lincoln reached us. The next morning Capt. Wirz, who had attended us thus far, ordered the guard removed from around our camp, leaving the wonderful instructions, “You uns may kere for yereselves,” when they at once disappeared. Finding Jacksonville the nearest point occupied by our forces, we directed our course thither, arriving there the afternoon of April 28, 1865. Here we first learned of the surrender of the entire Confederate forces and the virtual termination of the war.

As we looked again upon the banner for which we had suffered so much, we almost worshipped it, and involuntarily adopted the eloquent lines of Drake: —

“Flag of the free heart's hope and home!By angel hands to valor given;Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,And all thy hues were born in heaven.Forever float that standard sheet!Where breathes the foe but falls before us,With Freedom's soil beneath our feet,And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us.”

Comrade Milo H. Cooley of Company F, writes: “If there was ever rejoicing on earth, it was when we first came in sight of the old flag. We hurrahed, with tears rolling down our cheeks, threw our caps in air, and shouted at the






top of our voices, continuing until our strength gave out. I never shall forget that happy day! It seemed as though I had got into a new world, and had something again worth living for.”

It is a privilege, in closing this record, to note the care the nation is bestowing over the sacred ashes of her dead. A national cemetery of fifty acres has been enclosed at Andersonville, and tastily laid out with walks and drives. By means of records kept by Dorrence Atwater and a Mr. Welsh, — who, as prisoners were detailed in the hospital, — a nearly complete list of names, dates of deaths, and number on the stake at place of burial, has been secured by the government, by which twelve thousand four hundred and sixty-one graves have been suitably marked by marble slabs, inscribed with the name, regiment, company, and date of death of its occupant. Only five hundred and seven remain unknown, amongst which are fourteen of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment. On the 17th of August, 1865, Col. Moore, U. S. A., in the midst of a national salute, raised the stars and stripes over this hallowed spot and conducted funeral service over this army of sleeping dead, closing with our national hymn, “My country, ’tis of thee.” Unfortunately, during the haste incident to our removal from Millen to avoid capture by Gen'l Sherman, the records of that place were lost by our keepers. A portion of them were accidentally found amongst some refuse paper-stock at Philadelphia, Pa., after the close of the war, by which the names of a small number of those who died there have been rescued from oblivion. Those at Florence, Charleston, Savannah, Blackshire and Thomasville, are mostly left to swell the ranks of the “unknown.” Whether known or unknown, the scattered remains wherever found have been removed to national cemeteries, at convenient centres, and watchful care is now bestowed upon their resting place by agents of our government.

Personals.

Sergt. Henry Dickinson, of Company A, our United States color-bearer during his service, was a “Freemason,” and through that order received many favors after his capture. He learned of the intended removal before it was known in the stockade, and secured a transfer to the first detachment which left Andersonville about September 6th. His comrades had less faith in the promised exchange than he, and urged him to remain with them, as he was in fair health. Finding himself deceived when at Charleston Race Course, he became disheartened, and died at that place early in October, 1864. — (A New York Cavalryman.)

Oliver A. Clark, private, Company A, was not of strong constitution, and early fell a victim to chronic diarrhœa. Finding Charlie Rensalier, a colored boy from his native town, a prisoner there, he shared with him the little left him by his captors. June 27th he was carried by his comrades to the surgeon's call. Being unconscious, his name was fastened upon his shoulder (O. A. Clark, Company A, Twenty-Seventh Mass., Detachment 69), and left on the ground between the two stockades awaiting the surgeon. During the afternoon a burial party reported him lying upon his face, and apparently dead. His death is entered on this date. He was a Christian soldier, with courage equal to his convictions.

Calvin C. Hosford, private, Company A, was so far reduced by scurvy that his limbs were drawn double, and he could move only by hitching himself backwards with his hands and resting on one hip. He was included in the first exchange, on condition that he would get from the Millen stockade to the railroad, a mile distant, which he succeeded in doing by a hard day's work. He is now a mechanic at Haydenville, Mass.

Thomas Bolton, private, Company A, did not know his






own name when exchanged, and was saved by Corp. Drake of his company, who responded for and presented him to the “exchange officer.” He is now a dentist at San Francisco, Cal.

Francis G. Russell, private, Company A, was assisted to the surgeon's call July 17th, and died before his comrades had left him. Cause, chronic diarrhœa. — (T. Bolton.)

James F. Thayer, private, Company A, died within the stockade, without medical care, July 23d, of starvation and chronic diarrhœa. — (T. Bolton.)

Thomas C. Brady, private, Company A, died a horrible death. He did not arrive at Andersonville until June 15th, and being naturally despondent he remarked, “What signifies it; a man can't live here a month.” He was constrained to lie down and die, the vermin with gangrene having destroyed the supporting walls of the intestines. His word was prophetic; he died July 11th. — (Bolton and Hosford.)

Alvin A. Clark, corporal, Company A, on the 28th day of September, when our detachment left Andersonville, was left in the stockade, unconscious, and very low, in the care of a member of Company H, Twenty-Seventh Mass. He died the 30th inst. — (Hosford.)

Sergt. Abel C. Kinney, Company A, was aptly known by his comrades as “Noble Kinney.” He was helpless during the entire fall, but being a favorite with the men, was retained with them, which no doubt saved his life for a time. He suffered his accumulating ills without repining, and cheerfully conversed of his approaching death. He died at Blackshire, Ga., Dec. 11, 1864, and was buried in the woods north of the village, the most westerly of a group of graves. They laid him tenderly on a bed of grass and covered him with the same before filling the grave. — (S. S. Hooper.)

John K. Fuller, private, Company I, was lying near by upon the ground, unconscious, when his name was called

for exchange. Two burly men came forward, each angrily claiming to be the man intended, when one of Fuller's company showed the officer where he lay. The rejoinder was significant: “That looks more like it!” — (C. C. Hosford.) Comrade Fuller now lives at Goshen, Mass.

Hiram Aldrich, private, Company I, while suffering from what we knew as “sun fever,” which was attended with temporary mental aberration, innocently crossed the deadline, and was shot dead by the guard October 15th. — (W. A. Moody.)

Daniel Pratt, private, Company I, was detailed with others August 23d, to gather wood for the camp, and while so doing concluded to attempt escape. He was recaptured, brought within the stockade, suspended by his thumbs and a detail of seven rebels fired upon him from the rear, killing him instantly. — (W. A. Moody.)

William P. Bracey, private, Company H, October 12th, at Millen, while looking along the dead-line for crusts, which were often thrown over by the guards, or visitors who ascended to their stations, was ordered by the sentinel to clear out or he would shoot him. “Shoot!” replied Bracey, “you can't make it any worse for me!” He was instantly shot through the head. — (W. A. Moody.)

Sergt. John W. Bartlett, of Company K, was among those exchanged from Millen in November. He was so reduced by scurvy and chronic diarrhœa as to weigh less than one hundred pounds, and was considered incurable. He was placed in the hospital on his arrival North in November, and was unable to bear removal home until July, 1865. He is now the American Express Agent between Springfield and Albany.

William A. Moody, private of Company F, sustained a compound fracture of the bone below the knee at Drewry's Bluff. Severe as was his wound the rebels gave him no surgical care, but confined him in Andersonville with those






uninjured. The washing of his limb with cold water was the only care he could bestow upon his wound. He was much reduced at the time of his removal to Millen, but supposing the removal was for exchange, he mustered courage for the journey. After arrival at Millen he became wholly crippled, and was of the number found there on the arrival of Gen'l Sherman's troops. He remembers the arrival of the Union cavalry within the stockade, but he was so low that the excitement attending the occasion overcame his strength. He remembers little else until reviving within our hospitals at the North. He still lives at Northampton, but with enfeebled health and strength.

Corp. Aaron A. Gage, of Company I, color corporal and bearer of the flag presented by the ladies of Springfield, was terribly reduced at the time he arrived at Millen. Considering his case hopeless the rebel surgeon placed his name on the list for exchange in November. Finding himself exchanged, with an almost superhuman will he rose above his weakness and infirmities, and soon after reaching our lines, surprised his friends by appearing at their door. Although formerly a man weighing one hundred and sixty pounds, he then weighed but ninety-six pounds. Whenever missing, his friends knew just where to find him, and it required the most tender watchfulness and care to prevent fatal results from the voracious appetite with which he was pressed. Comrade Gage is a man of sterling worth, has long enjoyed official prominence in his native town, and is a successful manufacturer at Monson, Mass.

We have not been able to make a full list of those of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment who escaped from the Rebels. In addition to Comrades O'Connell and Brizzee, we should mention the names of Corp. Eldad E. Moore of Company E, Sergt. Alexander G. Harrington, Corpls. Irving R. Clark and Henry J. Remmington, all of Company H; and Corp. Erastus Innman of Company K. These all escaped, with the

exception of Comrade Clark, by jumping from the trains, while being moved from place to place. Comrades Moore and Remmington were recaptured, but re-escaped and narrowly missed capture again by a gang of guerrillas, who seized the train they were upon. They were followed, but getting into the woods, eluded their pursuers. All of them reached their homes in such a condition of health as to awaken the keenest solicitude of their friends.

We might enlarge this list of incidents to include most of our number, as few returned without permanent disabilities, resulting from inhumanity, neglect and disease. We are confident our friends will say, it is enough; and we gladly leave the record of other sufferings to the fickle monuments of memory.

It would be well if the hand of oblivion could blot out the terrible story of Southern prisons. That the nineteenth century should have witnessed such scenes of wanton cruelty and neglect, seems almost beyond belief. The record admits of neither denial nor apology. We may forgive, but to forget is impossible. As a driven nail leaves its scar when withdrawn, so the story of our wrongs will leave a scar which even the spirit of Christian forgiveness cannot efface. How can we forget the thirty-six thousand comrades buried near the site of rebel prisons, or the blighted lives of thousands more who survived only to die as they reached their homes; or the shattered constitutions of men still forced to rely upon a grateful country's bounty?






CHAPTER XX. OFFICERS IN PRISON.

Much of the experience of enlisted men in rebel prisons was also endured by officers in the hands of the enemy, and after what has already been written, need not be repeated. On reaching Libby Prison, May 16, 1864, they were required to register their names, rank, regiment and company. They were then subjected to examination for personal effects, as already described, with the statement: “If you surrender your valuables without search, they will be returned when you are exchanged, but failing to do this, they will be confiscated.” The consequences to those who voluntarily surrendered their valuables to Turner were sad to contemplate, for they introduced themselves into captivity without any means to relieve its misfortunes.

After search, the officers were confined on the third floor of that famous gaol, Libby Prison. It was a large three-story building, containing nine rooms, each about forty by one hundred feet. The lower floor was used for hospital and guard purposes. The building was close to the Lynchburg Canal and the James River. In full view across the river was the village of Manchester, and beyond, magnificent plantations with mansions, groves, and waving fields, reaching far to the south and east. Looking from the opposite side was that charnel-house for enlisted men, Castle Thunder; the tents of our guards; and the uninviting rear walls of buildings facing another street.

No rations were issued until the next day, under the economical plea, “prison rations were drawn but once a day,” our arrival (nine A.M.) being too late to be included that day. It was a very convenient rule, and was found elastic enough to preclude the issuing of rations to all prisoners the day of their arrival. It must have been in recognition, if not in acknowledgment of the fact, that the surest means of destroying courage and fortitude, was to withhold the means of sustaining life. On the afternoon of the 17th a few old United States army blankets, — discarded by former prisoners, — with one cup, spoon, and plate for three, and some black bean soup, were issued to us. Hungry as we were, many declined the unpalatable dish.

When our funds were taken, Turner said we might draw against them at the rate of seven dollars in Confederate currency to one of greenbacks, not to exceed one hundred dollars per month. A few days later he appeared with a pen and requisitions, saying that if signed by us he would bring the funds the next morning. The third day he returned, claiming there was some informality in the first requisition, when a second was signed, and a few days later he sought signatures to a third, on the same pretext. This we refused, and it is hardly necessary to add we heard nothing farther from our funds. Fortunately, Col. Lee espied a familiar face upon the street, whom he recognized as formerly attached to the United States Armory at Springfield, and succeeded in getting a note to him, inducing him to call. As he left, he slipped one hundred dollars into Col. Lee's hands, and soon after sent in a basket containing knife, fork, spoons, cup, basin, and towel, all of which was contributed to the mess of the captured officers of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt.

Dick Turner, who was the animating spirit of this gaol, was a vindictive Baltimorean, and so close a counterpart of Gen'l Winder, his chief, was he, as to often be himself the instigator of acts of brutality. He so completely overawed






all sense of humanity in subordinates as to impress a doubt as to its possession by any of them. One of them has remarked, since the war, “Turner is the greatest scoundrel that ever went unhung.”

After remaining at Richmond until May 31st, we were aroused, at five A. M., and ordered to get ready to go south. As we filed out of Libby, half a loaf of corn bread, and a slice of bacon was given to each, and, after a slight delay, we were marched over the river to Manchester, the terminus of the Danville Railway. Here we were hustled into box-cars, and at 7.30 A. M. started for Danville, at which place we arrived about one o'clock the morning of June 1st. At seven A. M. we were transferred to the Greensboro road and to the care of a detachment of the Third Virginia Infantry, under a Lieut. Gay. We were favored with passenger coaches on this road to Greensboro, but at that place sixty-two-officers were crammed into a box-car at the point of the bayonet. At two A. M. June 2d we started for Salisbury, but the train moved with great difficulty, and with frequent delays to get up steam. A drenching rain — by cooling the air — made our overcrowded condition more endurable.

While waiting at Salisbury, a citizen recognized Col. White of the Fifty-Fifth Pennsylvania Regiment, and entered into conversation with him. A guard named Arnold ordered Col. White back, and away from the car door. From some cause the guard failed to attract Col. White's attention, which resulted in the latter being roughly seized by the guard and thrust back, with the exclamation, “Go in there you Yankee son of a ——!” Capt. Belger protested against such treatment, which the guard resented by levelling his musket at him saying, “I'll learn a Yankee how to talk to me!” He was checked from firing by a Capt. Carpenter—who was sitting upon the roof of the car, — saying, “I see no cause for such treatment.” The enraged Arnold struck Carpenter several times upon his feet and legs with his

gun, when the latter withdrew from his reach, and supposed the affair ended. A few moments later the guard appeared upon the car behind Capt. Carpenter, and dealt him two stunning blows upon his head with his musket, and left him with the exclamation, “There! d—n you, take that!” While efforts were being made to resuscitate the injured man, Lieut. Gay happened along, and, hearing Arnold's story, called the guards around him and delivered the following tirade: “I've heard of Arnold's affair. He did just right! Don't you take a word from the d—n Yankees. If they don't mind at the first word, put a bullet through ’em, d—n ’em! Arnold did just right!” A citizen and one of the guard attempted to say, Capt. Carpenter was not at fault, but Gay stopped them with an oath, saying, “Arnold did right!” There were about seven hundred enlisted men upon the train as prisoners, and at one of our stops, liberty had been granted some of them to get off and fill their canteens. A sick man was attempting, by the aid of comrades, to get into the cars as the train started, which being noticed by Lieut. Gay, he gave orders to one of the guard to shoot him, and a moment later his body was being ground under the wheels of the train.

We arrived at Charlotte, N. C., at four P. M. June 2d and marched to a grove near by, where we remained in a drenching rain until morning. So profuse was the fall of rain, we began a serious inquiry what we should do, but it was so much better than being packed in close cars, we concluded to let it rain. At early morning two days’ rations were issued, consisting of four hard-tack and one-fourth a pound of bacon, after which we were again crowded into box-cars, and moved for Columbia, S. C. We arrived at this place just before dark June 3d, disappointing a large crowd at the depot who had congregated with supplies of home luxuries, anticipating the arrival of a train loaded with Confederate wounded. Their disgust when they






found it was “nothing but a load of Yankee ghouls” was beyond bounds. Here we again changed cars, this time to a train just cleared of cattle and as yet uncleaned. The morning of the 4th found us at Branchville, the junction of the South Carolina and Charleston railroads, and four o'clock P. M. of the same day at Augusta, Ga. After crossing the river we were confined in a cotton-pen for the night, with a brick pavement for a bed. Here we bade adieu to the inhuman Lieut. Gay and his cohorts, and passed into the keeping of Capt. Bradford (son of ex-Governor Bradford of Maryland), Provost Marshal of Augusta, Ga. Here supplies of hard-tack and bacon were ample, and of good quality, with which our needs were fully satisfied.

Sunday, June 5th, crowds flocked from the surrounding country to see the “Yanks,” and many leading citizens were admitted into our enclosure, and conversed freely of the war. Among these was a former citizen of Massachusetts, but who was now a cotton manufacturer at this point. He provided us a good dinner, and gave us a considerable sum of money to relieve our future needs. It is stated on good authority that this gentleman contributed upwards of fifty thousand dollars to relieve the necessities of our prisoners. Soon after noon we were formed in line, and stood in the broiling sun until five o'clock, when we marched to the station in a heavy shower. After a comfortable night's ride we arrived at Macon, Ga., June 6th, at nine A.M.

Camp Oglethorpe of Macon, Ga., was a stockade containing a trifle less than three acres, and was intended for officers alone. It was supplied with all modern improvements, including heartless keepers, vindictive and ignorant guards, dead-lines and bloodhounds. All the peculiarities of Andersonville were to be found at this place, save its over-crowded condition and lack of shelter. These were important considerations, and saved us from much of the suffering and fatality incident to that Gehenna. Our shelter, however,

was more a pretence than a reality, since at no time were there less than two hundred without it. The prisoners were divided into detachments of one hundred, the senior officer being placed in command, and for convenience in culinary matters, the detachments were subdivided into squads of twenty. Few articles were issued to aid in cooking, the rule being, borrow or lend. Rations for five days consisted of seven pints of corn meal, one-half a pint of sorghum, two ounces of bacon, two table-spoonfuls of beans or rice, and two of salt. Quality was of no consideration to them. After roll-call we were marched by squads into the enclosure, and were greeted, as we entered, by the cry, “Fresh fish! Fresh fish!!” For a time after entering the stockade, we were known as “fresh fish;” then as “suckers;” after six months, as “dried cod,” those of longest term being known as “dried herring,” the highest order in the fraternity. When any were enrolled for exchange, they were known as “pickled sardines.”

We were hardly within the enclosure, before most of us heard our names familiarly called from the motley crowd, and soon found ourselves surrounded by old-time associates from North Carolina. These included among others, Gen'l Wessell, Lieut. Col. Fellows of the Seventeenth Mass, Capt. Ira B. Sampson and Lieut. H. L. Clark of the Second Mass. Heavy Artillery, and Col. Swift, brother of Capt. Swift. It was a jovial meeting, in spite of its unfortunate associations. Our friends received us with all possible hospitality, and as we were conveniently late to excuse our captors from issuing rations to us that day, they generously divided their meagre pittance to relieve our necessities.

There were those here in confinement, who had been in captivity upwards of twenty months, and, amidst accumulating disappointments and poverty, had sunk into moral apathy and squalid personal neglect. This is hardly to be wondered at, for the impression had fixed itself upon their






minds that their country was needlessly neglecting them to waste and die in captivity. While there was much to suggest former education and refinement, yet their spirits had become so broken, and their surroundings so repulsive, that they easily fell into low vulgarity and profanity, with the most complete neglect of person and appearance. “Fresh fish” when they arrived, would often manifest great disgust at what seemed to them, our needless squalor. These would determine to show “cod” and “herrings,” how a gentleman could live, but after a few weeks’ combat, they would yield to the inexorable, and often prove the most squalid of all. It is worthy of note, however, that none so far forgot their love for country as to falter in their loyalty.

Roll-call was effected each morning by deploying a company across the centre of the enclosure, then carefully driving all the prisoners to one side, and counting them as they filed through the line to the opposite side. But so many tricks were played upon the guards in doing this, that it often required three hours, and two or three counts to satisfy them. For amusements, clubs were formed in wicket, cricket, and base ball; while those seeking improvement sought it in the study of the languages, rhetoric and “Butler's Analogy.”

June 10th, five generals, nine colonels, eleven lieutenant-colonels and twenty-five majors were removed from the stockade, and carried to Charleston, S. C., for the purpose of placing them under fire of our batteries, then engaged in bombarding that place. Gen'ls Wessell and Heckman, with Col. H. C. Lee and Lieut. Col. W. G. Bartholomew, were included in this number. For a time they were confined in Charleston Jail, but under a protest from Gen'l Seymour, the senior Union officer present, they were allowed the choice of any unoccupied house within the bombarded district. They selected a three-story house on Board Street near Ashley River, and secured commodious and healthful

quarters. They were permitted to purchase extra supplies, and though under the fire of our batteries, and confined to prescribed limits, were more favorably situated than any equal number of Union prisoners elsewhere. That they did not suffer from the barbarous act of their captors, is due to a marked providence, rather than to a disposition on the part of their enemies. The act of placing our helpless prisoners under fire was protested against by our former commander, Maj. Gen'l John G. Foster, then commanding the Union forces before Charleston, and a requisition was made on our government for prisoners equal in number and rank, to place under the fire of their batteries in retaliation. The requisition was honored by our government, and an equal number of Confederate officers were placed under the fire of the rebel guns, until an exchange was effected Aug. 2, 1864. The exchange did not involve the abandonment of this inhuman policy, for six hundred more Union officers were brought to Charleston July 31st, and replaced those released. Included in this number were the remaining officers belonging to the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. As illustrating the ineffectiveness of our blockade, Col. Lee writes, an average of two blockaders per week arrived during his stay at Charleston, S. C.

The debilitating effect of intense heat and scanty rations, upon those retained at Macon, created extreme dissatisfaction, and reports favoring an exchange were magnified into a reality. “Exchange fevers” ran high, and usually arose from lies originating with our keepers, that they might enjoy and taunt our disappointed hopes. Tunnelling was as frequent and attended with equal disadvantages and disappointments as with our enlisted men; and deaths at the deadline — in proportion to numbers present — were as frequent and barbarous as at Andersonville. Foolish attempts were made to repress expressions of loyalty, and chaplains were threatened with dire vengeance if they persisted in invoking






the Divine blessing upon our cause. The morning of July 4th was observed by patriotic songs and speeches, but an officer entered, threatening the orators with irons and solitary confinement, if they persisted in any farther notice of the day. When Capt. Tabb prohibited praying for the president of the United States, Chaplain Dixon of the Sixteenth Connecticut, at once stepped forward and warmly invoked God's blessing upon all in authority, especially the president, his cabinet, and our armies. Capt. Tabb withdrew in disgust, remarking, “—— smart prayer, but I don't believe it will amount to anything.” Such petty tyranny was as ineffectual as it was puerile and vindictive.

July 27th, orders were received to move the camp. These orders meant more to us than to those who issued them, for they suggested opportunities for escape, and to obey them included such preparations as would enable us to avail ourselves of the first opportunity of getting free. The first detachment was removed to Charleston, S. C., July 28th. The remainder left Camp Oglethorpe the 29th inst. A number got under rather than in the cars, and while the train stopped for wood and water, made good their escape. Others busied themselves cutting through the floor of the cars, intending to attempt escape when near the coast. Our surprise was great when we found ourselves rushing past the Charleston Railroad junction, and before we could determine our course and perfect new plans, we were borne into Savannah. Our prison-pen at this place consisted of a portion of the Marine Hospital grounds, enclosed on three sides with an eight-foot brick wall, surmounted by a board fence, and upon the fourth side by a twelve-foot board fence. Several large trees were standing upon the field, and these, with a few “A” tents, furnished all the shelter we had. Our guard consisted of the First Georgia Regiment, Col. Wayne, sentry stations being constructed along the line of the wall, and overlooking the enclosure. The rations were a decided improvement

in quantity and quality over those at Oglethorpe. To make escape doubly difficult, elevated fires were kept burning during the night between the dead-line and walls, and a line of sentries were posted without and at some distance from the enclosure, so as to detect the opening of tunnels outside the grounds. We remained here with usual prison experiences some six weeks, Col. Wayne being at times lenient and liberal, at others morose, fitful, and vindictive; so that it was impossible to predict a day's experience in advance.

Monday eve, Sept. 12, 1864, orders came to “pack up and be ready to move to-morrow morning at five o'clock.” The night was spent in preparation and surmise, the wish expressed being that this move might be to “God's Country,” another name for home. Morning found us crowded into coal cars, old, filthy, and dilapidated, and our train moving northward along the coast. In passing Pocotaligo, we were within eleven miles of the Union lines, and, had night favored us, an attempt would have been made to overpower the guard. Our journey, however, passed without incident, and we arrived at Charleston, S. C., September 13th, at two P. M. We were incarcerated in Charleston Jail, as filthy, verminous, and comfortless a place as could be imagined. Permanent gallows graced the enclosure, and everything indicated it as having been the abode of criminals of the worst character. Within this gaol we found portions of the Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth and Fifty-Fifth colored regiments, who had been captured in the assault on Fort Wagner. Nothing could exceed the loyalty of these brave men, their only wish expressed, being, that they might be released to renew their contest for their country in its hour of need.

It was wonderful to witness the fertility of resource shown by our jailers in inventing epithets to express their abhorrence of us. We were “mud-sills,” “Abolitionists,”






“black Republicans,” “Yankee scabs,” “ycleps” and “ghouls,” while “anything was too good for us.” Our rations were about as bad as could be, while the following effort at a parody on “When this cruel war is over” suggests how satisfying they were in quantity: —

“Weeping sad and lonely,Oh, how bad I feel;Down in Charleston, South Carolina,Praying for a good square meal.”

Ten days’ rations consisted of three pints of flour, five of corn meal, four spoonfuls of rice, or two of beans, and two ounces of bacon, or in lieu of the last, one gill of sorghum. Those who had funds could buy milk at a dollar and a half per quart, flour at three dollars per pound, and sweet potatoes at thirty dollars per bushel. The sun beat like a smelting furnace on us; and the enclosing walls prevented any circulation of air. Fully one-half the prisoners were without shelter of any kind, and with clothes so ragged as to be of little use. None of them had more than the suits they wore when captured, and these had been economized by wearing only underclothes a part of the time. When both had failed they repaired one with the other, until it was considerable of a question to decide whether they had been outer or inner garments. No attempt was made to renovate the enclosure. So extreme became our destitution and so offensive the effluvia, that many subscribed to a parole not to attempt to escape, or hold converse with any one outside the guard line, if permitted to go to the Roper Hospital. This was a building designed as a city hospital, and was a paradise compared with the jail-yard.

Lack of sanitary regulations within the city, together with the large number confined in and around Charleston (thousands of our prisoners from Andersonville being now encamped on Charleston Race Course) engendered that fatal

malady, “yellow fever.” As the enemy were forced to remain with us, sheer self-preservation was sufficient to insure our removal. During our entire stay at Charleston, shells from our guns on Morris Island had been exploding over and around us, but by a wonderful providence only one of our Union prisoners was injured, and he but slightly. As we marched up King Street (the Broadway of Charleston), rank weeds and grass were growing untrodden upon it. The desolations of war had sought out this iniquitous centre of treason, and visited upon it in full, the measure it had prepared for others. As we reached the railroad station, a thirty-pound shell from a Union gun buried itself in the ground near by without exploding, and was greeted by us with vociferous cheers.

Our journey to Columbia was made in one night, our train arriving there at one A.M., October 6th. Here we were turned over to the care of a Capt. Semple, and remained without rations until the morning of the 7th. We were then marched across the Saluda River to the top of a hill two miles distant, where we found a field partially covered with second-growth pines, surrounded with a line of sentinels. This field was named by us “Camp Sorghum,” from the fact that for one hundred and thirty-three days sorghum was issued here in lieu of meat. Into this field we were turned like cattle, without a piece of canvas or a board, without an axe or spade with which to construct a shelter, or a cooking utensil with which to cook the raw rations furnished to us. This was Andersonville, indeed. Pine-brush booths were made, but they were no defence against a two weeks’ storm which then set in. Cold autumn winds swept the hill with a chill which pierced our shrivelled forms, while our petitions for shelter met the stereotype answer, “I'm expecting tents every day sufficient for all your wants.” This continued for several weeks, until the frigid heart of our keeper, melted sufficient to allow us to






buy a few axes and shovels (the former at forty-five dollars each), by the aid of which we succeeded in constructing quite a number of huts, before our next removal.

This was our first prison experience without either wall, fence, or stockade. About twenty feet within the line of sentinels was the dead-line, marked in the ordinary way. To enable us to pick up wood for cooking, a loop guard was thrown out into the woods; but when all their forces were needed to oppose Gen'l Sherman, a daily parole of prisoners was substituted for the purpose. If water was wanted, you must await your turn at the guard line, and there stand until the return of the one who preceded you. Escapes were of almost daily occurrence, and how to prevent them seemed more of a problem than the Johnnies could solve. If out with the “loop guard,” a little shrewd wandering, loitering or dodging on the part of prisoners, would often secure opportunity for escape. When paroles were substituted, the papers were at first taken up by the officer of the day, and instructions given the guard to pass them at will during that day. Men not on parole would take advantage of this plan to convince the guard they too were on parole; that they had been out before and had given up their papers, and, if these succeeded in passing the guard, of course they never returned.

A new plan was then adopted, requiring each man to keep his parole paper until he had completed his day's work, when it was surrendered. The prisoners would then go out once or twice, and return their parole to the officer of the day with the statement they were through work. They would then collect food as if intended for those working outside, and the sentinel, ignorant that their parole had been surrendered, would then pass them, and their disappearance would not be known until roll-call the following morning. If the guard happened to demand to see their parole paper, any writing would answer, since the

guards, as a rule, were too ignorant to read. As a last resort we were taken out under guard, and on reaching the woods, sentinels were placed around a piece of woods within which we might gather fuel. Bribing then became the order of the day; and as the rebel troops had not been paid for a long time, a little money would do wonders for us. Fifty dollars in Confederate scrip was sufficient to remove the scruples of any of the guards. Most of these were old men and boys, many of whom, it is alleged, were members of the Union League. However much truth there may have been in this, it is fact that we were often cautioned as to certain guards, to our great advantage.

Of the large number escaping from Camp Sorghum, the greater part succeeded in reaching our blockading squadron. Of this number were Capts. J. H. Nutting, P. W. McManus, and J. L. Skinner, and Lieut. W. G. Davis of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt.; and Capt. James Belger of Belger's Battery. Large as was the number of escapes, it would have been very much larger, but for the low condition of the prisoners’ health, and their lack of shoes and clothing. Cold weather and the penuriousness and cold-heartedness or our keepers but added to the discontent, until Major Griswold, who had succeeded Capt. Semple and Col. Means as our commandant, posted the following notice:—

“I shall be very sorry to do it, but unless this running away is stopped, I shall be obliged to open my artillery on the camp.”

This notice is in spirit so in keeping with what we have so often had to record, it seems hardly necessary to add that Major Griswold was also from Maryland. His threat had no perceptible effect. Several officers were shot fatally during our confinement here, and each on the most trivial pretext; and in every instance the guard was fully sustained without an investigation. Only one thing brightened our hours of imprisonment, and that was an occasional letter






from home, assuring us we were not forgotten there. Late in the fall a considerable quantity of clothing was received through the Sanitary Commission, but the supply was so inadequate to our needs, that if a person drew a pair of drawers, he must dispense with pants, or if he secured a shirt or vest, he must do without a coat. Even at this the supply failed to go round.

There had been threats that if escapes continued to be made, we should be removed to a stockade, and, in keeping with the threat, we were removed, December 11th, to Asylum Prison near Columbia. This pen consisted of about two acres of the Columbia Insane Asylum grounds, from which it was separated by a twelve-foot board fence, high brick walls forming the other sides of the enclosure. Two small buildings and the frame of another comprised all the shelter afforded, and these were hardly sufficient for hospital purposes. During the two months following our arrival, we succeeded in constructing thirteen other buildings each capable of sheltering thirty-six persons. By the use of old tents and holes in the ground, and by crawling under the buildings, about one-half our number secured shelter. What the sufferings of the prisoners must have been during the months of December and January, with inadequate food, clothing and shelter, is more easily imagined than described. Our rations were less in quantity, and poorer in quality. Five days’ rations consisted of five pints of corn and cob meal, two table-spoonfuls of rice, two of salt, and five gills of sorghum. Variety was insured by inversion, hot mush and sorghum for breakfast, cold mush and sorghum for dinner, and if anything happened to be left over (a rare occurrence), it was sorghum and cold mush for supper.

Money sent from home was held by the rebel quartermaster, and the envelope, with the amount received endorsed upon it, forwarded to the owner. This was credited to us at government rates, thirty-three dollars in Confederate money

for one in gold, twenty-seven for silver, and three and a half for greenbacks. Had it been turned over to us, we could have secured about a third more as the current rate of exchange. When we needed anything we were permitted to draw on the quartermaster, payable to the order of the rebel sutler, and a due-bill from the sutler was given for any surplus not used. When short of funds, many of the prisoners drew bills of exchange upon parties at the North, and sold them at ruinous discount. These were forwarded by “blockade-runners,” to England, and in about two months they would be presented to the prisoner's friends for payment.

To relieve the ennui of prison life, stringed instruments were obtained while at Charleston, and an orchestra formed, which not only proved of great benefit to our men, but drew considerable crowds of Secesh to hear the Yankee musicians.

The utmost care was used to prevent our obtaining current news, but by the favor of a colored man who had daily duty in the camp, we received frequent information from outside. Sherman's masterly advance was the great theme from which we drew sufficient inspiration and hope to sustain our waning strength. The press was under a close surveillance, and we were as often convinced of the success and progress of our arms, by what the papers did not contain, as by what they did. From the 10th to the 12th of February, 1865, our surmises were strengthened by the distant peal of guns and the hurried, anxious appearance and movements of our enemy.

The 13th the entire camp was ordered removed, and the morning of the 14th most of the prisoners were en route to Charlotte, N. C. So confident were we of Gen'l Sherman's nearness, that every imaginable way was contrived to secrete ourselves. Many buried themselves in holes in the ground, crawled under buildings, hid back of wainscoting, under floors and roofs, but most were found and hastened on to Charlotte, N. C. A cold, driving sleet fell during our journey,






which benumbed the guard and forced them into the cars with the prisoners. The cars were old and rickety, two of them breaking down by the way, while six others broke loose and were not missed until the head of the train arrived at a station five miles distant. We arrived at Charlotte at four P.M. the 15th inst., and marched three-quarters of a mile to “Camp Necessity.” Capt. Stewart, the commandant, told us, with seeming candor, that we had been brought here for exchange. We had unbounded confidence that we were to be liberated through Gen'l Sherman's forces, but the exchange story had become too stale for credence. February 19th the camp was again on the wing, this time to Greenboro, N. C., at which place Lieut. J. H. Judd made good his escape and secreted himself under care of a Union man until the arrival of Sherman's forces. He was with Sherman's army at the battle of Bentonville, reaching Goldsboro, N. C., March 22, 1865, the day after its occupation by our forces under Gen'l Schofield.

This escapade left of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. only Capt. Swift and Lieut. Justus Lyman in the hands of the enemy, five of the nine captured having escaped and two having been exchanged. Capt. Swift and Lieut. Lyman, with other prisoners, were moved through Raleigh to Goldsboro, from which place they went by railroad to Wilmington—then in Union hands—and were exchanged about the first of March.

A STAMPEDE OF OFFICERS.
Escape of Capts. J. H. Nutting, P. W. McManus and Lieut. W. G. Davis.

BY CAPT. PARK W. McMANUS.

There was no end to plans of escape, but, owing to the vigilance of the guard, or the many miles of hostile country between us and a place of safety, few were carried out. A short time previous to the escape here narrated, we arranged with the guard to pass ten of us over his beat for three hundred dollars Confederate money. Our plan was to pass out singly, under cover of darkness, and to rendezvous at a dead tree in plain sight of our camp; a place easily found at night. We knew just when the guard went on, and where his beat was, to a foot. The night selected was fearfully dark and stormy, with considerable lightning; and just as the two who bore the money reached the “dead-line,” a flash revealed them to the next guard, who fired, killing one and wounding the other.

A few days later, our second plan was perfected and put into successful operation. To enable us to get wood for cooking and warmth, it was at first customary to throw out a loop-guard into the timber; but when “Sherman's march to the sea” made it necessary to dispatch every available man to oppose him, they substituted a daily parole. By this, a certain number were permitted to go into the timber and bring to the guard line such fuel as was needed, which those within would receive and carry to our quarters. In this way the lines within and without were constantly meeting, and when the tired men outside would sit down on the wood to rest, the anxious ones within would sit down with them also. When rested, each would go their way, with occasional exceptions, when some one within would go out with the paroled and neglect to return.

In this way, on the 27th of November, 1864, a part of our ten escaped, and on the 29th inst. the remainder, including Capt. J. H. Nutting and Lieuts. J. L. Skinner and W. G. Davis walked out from the woodpile. In my anxiety for the inner man, I had gone back to my shanty to arrange with Lieut. Justus Lyman to have my overcoat sent out with some bread rolled in it. When I returned I found the paroled had left for the woods, and my chance gone, unless I put on a bold front and risked being detected. Dodging behind my shanty, I took off my coat and placed it on my shoulders as an apparent protection from bruising in carrying wood, and, picking my teeth as though just from dinner, walked one hundred yards to the guard line. As I crossed the line the guard approached (I supposed to stop me), and my heart sank to my shoes, but rose as the guard remarked, “It's warm weather now, an you uns don't need so much wood.” I did not stop to discuss the matter, but simply said, “We are getting enough to last us two or three weeks,” and continued my walk to the timber. This venture, with its possibilities, was not reassuring






to one's nerves, and produced such a pallor as to lead Capt. Nutting, the first one I met, to inquire if I was sick. I made several trips with wood and rails, before my coat, which I had sent in with some fine large chips, was returned to me by Lieut. Lyman. I cannot say what became of those chips as I lost all interest in them when I discovered five loaves of bread in the coat. It was reported (with how much truth I cannot say) that some of the guard belonged to the “Union League,” though they cautioned more than one of us whom to trust or shun. As I was leaving I overheard one of the guard exclaim, “Lord! just see them uns getting away! I'se don't care if dey don't get over my beat; dey has a right hard time of it.”

A captain of the Seventh Conn., whose experience and information, obtained in a former attempt at escape, was considered valuable, was chosen leader, and we looked to him as our Moses to guide us through the wilderness. Before night, we came across Lieut. Davis, with a Lieut. J. B. Smith of the Fifth West Virginia Cavalry, whose boyish appearance and helplessness appealed to our sympathy, for he declared his purpose of returning to prison if he could not join our company. At dark, we gathered at the tree designated, where, to our surprise, we found Nutting, Skinner, “Seventh Conn.,” and about twenty others. Our ten “was told off,” and the others informed they must look out for themselves. Explanations were useless, and, seeing their determination to remain with us, I asked Capt. Nutting if we could not “paddle our own canoe,” certain he would not require me to repeat the question. Nutting, Davis, Smith, and myself, consequently dropped out, and took our fortunes into our own hands.

Soon after separating, we were impressed, by the barking of dogs, with the necessity of avoiding all traces of civilization, and so we shunned roads and plantations, until twenty miles from Columbia. Our line of escape lay south of the Congaree River. The first night out was clear, and, guided by the “north star,” we made some fifteen miles, keeping some two miles from the Charleston, or State road. About midnight the second night we made bold to take the road, keeping within the shade of the forests as much as possible. Desiring to eke out our supply of food, we entered a plantation towards morning, and, of course, made direct for the negroes’ quarters. Seeing a light in one of the cabins, we cautiously crept to the window, and, to our surprise, saw Lieut. Skinner, with Major Jenkins and Capt. McDonald, of the Fortieth Mass., with one other, all of whom we had imagined drifting leisurely down the river. We entered without invitation or formality, seriously disturbing their serenity, with visions of blood-hounds, recapture, and prison-fare, before they so far recovered as to recognize us. After an hour's rest and interchange of experience, and the purchase by each party of a loaf of corn-bread from the darkey woman, we separated. We passed each other two or three times,—as we found after reaching our lines, — at one time suspecting we

were near them from the peculiar odor of the tobacco with which they were regaling themselves.

We now used the road constantly, except to hide during the day, or to forage. The darkeys were always kind, preferring to give us of their scanty stores, but they were so destitute that, with a little urgency, they would take money, as this was even more scarce than provisions. If the information given us was not always reliable, it was from their lack of comprehension and ignorance of distances. To a certain “cross-road” it was “two good looks, and a right smart chance,” meaning it was some distance beyond a second curve in the road. Fortunately, before leaving Columbia, we had obtained a traced copy of a map of the surrounding country, with all important roads, which we studied thoroughly while resting each day. After travelling several nights, we became foot-sore and weak from exposure and insufficient food, and therefore determined to get to the river, and, if possible, secure a boat.

Reaching “Monk's Corner,” and crossing the railroad, we turned towards the Santee River, and had gone about three miles beyond the McClellansville road, when we were advised by the negroes to change our course, as the road was bad, and we were already wet to the knees. Near morning, we were startled by the growl of a dog close to us, and more so by hearing some one saying to him “Keep still!” when we saw a man near by, sitting upon a fence. Capt. Nutting was in advance that night as leader, and he walked directly towards the “man and brother.” The stranger suddenly keeled backwards over the fence, saying, “U uns don't hurt me; I'se no hurt you!” Both parties were soon assured of safety, when the negro told us there was a “picket-post” at the river near all crossings, and offered to secrete and feed us at the plantation, and at night start us on the direct road. He told us, also, that our gunboats were near McClellansville, on blockade-duty, and that he had helped a number to escape to them, and would be glad to aid us. At ten o'clock he brought us some buttermilk, and a nameless mixture of food, but which disappeared with as much relish as a Delmonico bill of fare before an epicure.

During the evening we were taken into a cabin, where our colored friends furnished us with a bountiful supply of corn-bread, and sent us forth with a guide, and their hearty “God bless you, massas.” Our guide led us through the woods to the McClellansville road, and escorted us two or three miles thereon before leaving us, proving to be one of the most intelligent colored men I ever met. From this time until reaching McClellansville, we kept the main road, sometimes with little, often with nothing to eat; and such supplies as we had, were obtained at such risk, that Capt. Nutting declared, Davis’ nose or my appetite would be the ruin of us. Lieut. Davis was suffering from a terrible catarrh, and were it not for my appetite which impelled me to run any risk to obtain provisions, we should have gone hungry much oftener than we did. Parties often passed on horseback so close that we might have touched them with sticks from our hiding-place.






The night we were to pass through Pineville was very dark, and we were using extra care, but before we were aware of being near the town, we ran against a house, and in attempting to retrace our steps, found fences and barns in all directions. Trees, known as the “Needle Pines,” were standing thickly around the houses, and these made the darkness very intense, while the soft leaves were so thick upon the ground as to render it impossible to discover the road. We succeeded in extricating ourselves, and in finding a hiding-place, just at daylight. A heavy, incessant rain lasted the entire day, and we gladly welcomed the darkness which permitted us to resume our journey.

We arrived at McClellansville at nine o'clock P.M., December 12th, tired, hungry, anxious and bewildered, and sought the hospitable shelter of the negro quarters, where all our wants were supplied, and the glad information given that one of our blockaders was just outside of Cape Romain lighthouse. After much trouble, one of the colored friends remembered seeing a boat under a building upon an island which could be reached by a foot bridge. On arrival there, we found two boats and a canoe, which we tested in the water, only to find them unreliable. Selecting a metallic lifeboat, we tore the linings from our clothes to stop the leaks, and over this calking rubbed some hard soap, a small piece of which we happened to have. This, in salt water, acts very much like tar, and answered the purpose admirably. The building had formerly been used as a hospital, and we fortunately found a piece of rope, a jug which would hold water, and part of an old bunk which answered for oars. With equal care in launching and boarding, we found by energetic bailing we could keep afloat.

The night was dark and cloudy, and the tide, now at full height, formed innumerable channels and islands among the reeds, which, without light or compass, soon bewildered us, and forced us to lay by, and to hold on to the reeds for anchor. The rain fell in torrents, making the bailing onerous, and success more doubtful. The clouds dispersed with the morning light, when we found ourselves in full view of McClellansville, with Romain lighthouse in the distance, for the latter of which we rowed as quickly as possible, and with a favorable tide, reached it in an hour and a half. Mounting the deserted lighthouse, we scanned the horizon to catch sight of some friendly vessel, but at most could discern what we imagined might be the “topmast” of a schooner. What must be its distance, even if our imagination was true? Between us was a long succession of surging, dashing “breakers,” whose “white caps” warned us of a “dead-line” our frail craft must not venture to cross. Drenched to the skin, we built our first fire since leaving prison, in the fire-place of that deserted house and fully enjoyed its cheer. A few oysters, which we found near the landing, was all the addition we could make to our larder, though we chased a cat, which had been left here until wild, and which we would have roasted, had it not been too fleet-footed for us. For two days we enjoyed ourselves as well as the low condition of our supplies,

and the disappointment at the non-appearance of our gunboats would permit.

At length, hungry and discouraged, we were forced to decide to return to the mainland for supplies, which we did after inscribing upon the walls our names and some doleful comments upon disappointed hopes. After considerable difficulty, we succeeded in landing near a plantation, and Smith and myself advanced as skirmishers to reconnoitre. A negro cutting wood was talking with a white man, who inquired if he had seen some men prowling around. Being answered affirmatively, we concluded our room was better than our company, and retired to enter the plantation from another direction. To our inquiries the negroes responded, “De ole man Dupree, him's at home,” but we assured them we were not over-anxious for his acquaintance; we would like something to eat. Hearing foot-steps, we turned, and beheld the veritable “Dupree” with a double-barrel gun, close upon us. He advanced, and gave us the chilling salutation, “Who are you?” Smith pluckily replied, “None of your business!” To all his inquiries we returned evasive answers, I attempting, meanwhile, to get near enough to use my hickory stick, and get possession of his gun. It was evident, however, he was more frightened than we.

Informing him we were from Wilmington, en route to Charleston, he led us to the gate, and gave us explicit directions, for which we thanked him and gladly left, though we knew he must have known us by our uniform, and lack of southern brogue. We soon met a darkey, who said, “Ise know who you uns is! you's ’scaped prisoners!” and, as he was on his way to see “Dinah on de nex’ plantation,” he would see we got something to eat, and a guide. The omniprevalent Dupree (who, by the way, was a minister) again appeared, and ordered the darkey back, but the latter soon returned, and apprised us of his master's intention of informing the officials at McClellansville of our presence. At the next plantation our wants were fully supplied, and after an hour's rest, we started under two negro guides for the Santee. Both guides remained with us until we were well on our way to the ferry, where we arrived just before daylight.

With considerable effort, we found the colored ferryman, who gave us information that his master had received notice to look out for four escaped prisoners who had been in McClellansville, and coaxed off some slaves; and also, that there was a steamer at South Island, which place we could easily reach in one night. Our money was all gone. The only article of value remaining, was Capt. Nutting's watch, which was offered the negro if he would ferry us across both streams. The river here was divided into two channels by an island, a canal through the latter connecting the streams. We were suspicious of our man and watched him closely during the day, but whatever his inclination, he hid and fed us well, and at eight o'clock escorted us to the ferry. A second hand, who was to help, refused to move unless some settlement was made with him,






as the watch could not be divided or sold without suspicion. I compromised with him by giving him my vest, which was new when captured, and we were soon across the streams, and piloted beyond the cabin of the opposite ferryman and his drove of dogs.

The guides informed us we were now on the direct road, eight miles distant from the island, with no pickets before us, and at low tide, could cross to the island, without wetting our feet, all of which proved incorrect. We were moving along listlessly about four o'clock in the morning, when, hearing a sound as of a horse chewing, we discovered three horses tethered near by, and a tent not fifty feet distant. We went back a short distance to cover, and concluded to flank the post, but finding a deep creek across our path, decided we must have got upon a wrong road, and hence returned to the timber land. During the afternoon of the next day, we found a negro at a deserted plantation, and learned we were right before we retraced our steps; that the picket station had been there for several months; and that to reach the desired island, we must swim. We made our way back to the causeway, and from our hiding-place, saw the pickets as they returned from watering their horses.

About midnight we started across the swamp, well to the right of the “picket-post,” knowing they were awake, as we could hear them. When nearly opposite them, we heard them speak — then a cap snapped — and, as soon as it could be replaced, a ball went whizzing over our heads. We remained quiet half an hour, then moved on some distance, crossed the creek from which we turned back the night previous, soon reached the road, and shortly after, arrived at the creek separating us from the island. Securing some planks — remnants of a former bridge which spanned the stream — we sat down to get our courage up for a December bath, and to eat our last meal in “Secessia.” My repast consisted of two table-spoonsful of dry rice, fresh picked to be sure, but of sufficient hardness to keep my jaws from rusting. Stripping ourselves for the fray, Nutting and Davis crossed first, with their clothes kept above water by their weight on the other end of the plank. When across, they pushed the planks back to us. Smith could not swim, and I took him on the plank with me, but no sooner had we gone beyond his depth, than he began floundering and shuddering, until he arrived at the forward end of the plank. The moment he touched bottom, he sprang from the plank, sending me back into the middle of the stream to ruminate over the pleasure of a midwinter bath.

Regaining the shore, and putting on my drenched clothing, we struck into a double-quick to start our chilled circulation, and left behind us the dangerous neighbors of yore. In half an hour, we found ourselves at the seaward side of the island, facing Winyaw Bay, and our eyes were regaled by the sight of one of our gunboats four miles distant, with the stars and stripes unfurled to the breeze. The island had been a sea-resort for wealthy planters, and several houses yet remained, on the top of one of

which, we fastened a pole, and to it such rags as we could spare, to attract attention. Just at this time, a boat full of men emerged from a point across the bay, and bore directly for us. Who they were was a vital question, but at last our strained eyes detected a small flag at its stern, the nationality of which could never be mistaken. It was a man-of-war launch which had been on picket duty, and as they came near shore, hailed us with, “Who's there?” We did not wait to answer, but rushed into the water waist deep, from which we never knew nor cared how we were taken. I doubt if any one could describe the feelings of such an hour: suspense, enemies, dangers, privations and captivity, had given place to blissful security, civilization and comforts, with visions of home and friends.

Our famished look told its own story, and a bag of hard-tack put to flight all emotional feelings or restraints, the inner man asserting itself in a combined attack upon the hard-tack. At nine o'clock, the 15th of December, 1864, we were welcomed on board the United States steamer “Nipsic,” cheerful, happy, and covered with “gray-backs.” Here we found Lieut. Skinner and his party, who had drifted down the Santee, arriving only the day before us. On the arrival of the “Nipsic” at Charleston we were placed on board the steamer “Massachusetts” for Hilton Head, where we were trusted for new suits throughout, and had the pleasure of seeing those we had shed carried off with a pair of tongs. December 26th, we left on the steamer “Arago,” and reached Norfolk, Jan. 1, 1865, where we received our pay to date. The morning I arrived upon the steamer “Nipsic” I weighed one hundred and thirty-five pounds, while two months later I weighed two hundred and three pounds, and at that was considered only “in fair flesh.”

I cannot close this narrative without acknowledging the debt of gratitude we owe the colored people along our route, for food, information, and guides. They willingly gave what they had, asking for no return; but in simple faith plead with us to hasten the freedom for which they had so long been praying. Their self-sacrifice, deserves all the blessings which they have secured through the triumph of our arms.

Escape of Sergt. Bartholomew O'Connell, Corp. Levi Brizzee, and Private George W. Taylor.

This trio of comrades have all passed earth's trials and reached their reward. Sergt. O'Connell enlisted from Whately, Sept. 28, 1861, and re-enlisted Dec. 24, 1863. He was made corporal at the beginning of service, and received successive promotions until orderly sergeant of his company. At the battle of South-West Creek, March 8, 1865,






he was in command of Company A, and fell mortally wounded while the regiment was singly, yet gallantly holding Hoke's Division at bay. Corp. Brizzee enlisted from Montague, Oct. 1, 1861, re-enlisted Dec. 24, 1863, and served creditably with his regiment until his capture at Drewry's Bluff. After his escape here narrated, he rejoined his company and was recaptured March 8, 1865, and held as a prisoner one month. He was a fearless soldier, with more than ordinary power of endurance, but survived his last imprisonment only a few days. He died at his home in Northfield, April 15, 1865. Private Taylor enlisted from Somerset, Feb. 25, 1864. Though his active service in the field covered less than two weeks, he had shown the courage and dash of a veteran. His fate, like that of thousands of noble men who fell, is the simple tale, “unknown.” We have the following account of their escape from Corp. Brizzee, previous to his decease. After giving testimony to rough treatment and the filthiness of Libby Prison, Corp. Brizzee said:

At the close of a week the prisoners were taken through Danville, N. C., Columbia, S. C., and Augusta, towards Camp Sumter at Andersonville, Ga. Many had hoped to escape, while passing through North Carolina, but found it impossible. Lewis A. Drury, of Company C, jumped from the cars near Salisbury, but was fired upon by the guard and recaptured.

On starting from Augusta, Sunday, May 29th, O'Connell, with his jack-knife, set himself resolutely at work to cut a hole through the floor of the car. There were some fifty men crowded into the freight car and this, together with the care used by our comrades to shield us from the view of the three guards confined in the car, enabled us by dark that night to cut an opening sufficiently large to effect escape. The probabilities of success were small, even should we elude the vigilance of the train guard, so that but few were willing to risk the effort. We determined to make an attempt at all hazard. At nine P.M., when the train stopped for wood and water, Taylor crept out, and O'Connell and myself followed at the next stop, with the understanding we should meet Taylor near the place of his escape, and where he was to await us. No alarm was given at either place, and when the train moved on, we started back upon the track. On nearing the appointed place to meet Taylor, we saw persons

congregated there, when we plunged into the woods far enough to feel secure from observation, and remained during the day. At night we wandered around the vicinity, but finding no traces of Taylor, moved into the woods, guided by the north star.

Our plan was to go North by way of Knoxville, Tenn., some three hundred and fifty miles distant, and although this, in an enemy's country, with regulation uniforms, and without rations, we knew to be almost impossible of accomplishment, it seemed to be our only hope. We travelled all that night, and concealed ourselves in the woods till late the following afternoon, when the gnawings of hunger led us into the indiscretion of applying to a neighboring plantation for food. The owner pretended to be a Union man and gave us a hearty meal, but must have betrayed us as soon as we left, for we discovered scouts guarding the roads in all directions. In following a stream that night to find some suitable place for crossing, we were fired upon, but by plunging back into the forest, made good our escape. We soon found the negroes reliable friends, and threw ourselves entirely upon their honor. They would share with us their last morsel, cook supplies with which to sustain us on the way, and furnish guides, who, on leaving us, would give specific directions with reference to our journey, and where it was safe to stop. For this they would receive no pay, but seemed only too glad to help us.

During the second day out, we were discovered in a swamp by a well-informed negro, who advised us to change our plans and attempt to reach the sea-coast near Savannah, only about one hundred miles distant. His advice and directions were so intelligently given, that we concluded to adopt his suggestions, and that night, with a liberal supply of provisions furnished by him, we turned our steps for Savannah. We were about ten days in travelling this distance, following railroad tracks or county roads as served our purpose best, but sometimes following the course of the streams, by advice of negroes. Only once during this time did we show ourselves to a white person, and then because our colored friends had nothing to give us. The negroes had informed us there were no men around, and supplied us with “butternut suits” with which we passed ourselves off as “secesh soldiers.” By this means we succeeded in getting the best the house afforded, the darkies grinning to “see how missus hab ben fooled by dem ar Yanks!”

June 9th we reached a plantation near Fort Jackson, Savannah, and remained concealed by the negroes until Monday, June 13th. We were then piloted beyond the rebel pickets, by a darkey belonging to the commanding officer of the fort. We crossed over to Dutch and Skiddoway Islands, swimming many streams and inlets, and threading our way through tangled forests and deep marshes. In the midst of the latter, O'Connell lost his shoes. The remainder of the way was a terrible trial to the poor fellow, lacerating his feet unmercifully, and rendering our progress slow and painful. Two days had passed since leaving the rebel pickets, in






which (being in salt water marshes and lowlands) we had not had a particle of water to drink, and our thirst was almost unendurable.

Late in the afternoon of the 15th of June, we discovered one of our gunboats, but could not draw its attention. During the night we constructed a raft from such materials as we could collect in the swamps, by binding them together with green withes, and on the morning of the 16th, worked our way out upon Assaband Sound, where, about the middle of the afternoon, we were picked up by a crew from the gunboat “Wiona.” We met with a hearty reception on board from officers and crew, and everything possible was done for our comfort. On the afternoon of the 19th, we were carried by the “Unadilla” to Port Royal, and to the fleet off Charleston, where we were received by Admiral Dahlgren and warmly complimented for our successful escape. Transportation was here furnished to Philadelphia, where, through the kindness of friends, we were enabled to reach our homes July 1, 1864.

CHAPTER XXI. RETURN TO NORTH CAROLINA.

Our record left a part of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. whose term of enlistment was yet unexpired, on the transport “United States,” off Norfolk, Va. Two hundred and forty-seven of the regiment were still in captivity, — four having been exchanged or escaped; while three hundred and four were reported for duty. Of those in captivity nothing definite could be learned, but vague and startling rumors were rife of their dire extremities and sufferings. Sept. 19, 1864, the steamer “United States,” with the Twenty-Seventh Mass., steamed for Beaufort, N. C., the regiment going into camp at Carolina City the 21st inst. under command of Maj. John W. Moore. The Twenty-Third and Twenty-Fifth Mass., and Ninth New Jersey Regiments, as before stated, had preceded us to this State, and were stationed south of the Trent River, and along the railroad towards Beaufort; but the Star Brigade from this time ceased to exist. Only such of this brigade as had seen service in North Carolina were ordered to return, but these, though at times associated in action, held no future organic connection.

The lines of this Department had been considerably contracted by the capture of Plymouth and evacuation of Washington the previous spring, the troops being confined to places covered by the gunboats. The navy had been reinforced by the “Otsego” and “Chimera,” and was the real reliance for defence. As left by us, our position in North Carolina






was a constant menace to the enemy, requiring a large army to defend threatened points. As found on our return, it was simply a post of observation held by the feeblest tenure, and liable to fall before any determined assault. The elan of the garrison had departed, and rebel iron-clads seemed to be expected in every direction; even down the railroad, and sailing across lots. There was neither an adequate force to man the works in case of an attack, nor confidence sufficient to inspire determined resistance against assault.

June 1st, three torpedoes constructed from pork-barrels, containing two hundred pounds of powder each, were sent by car to Bachelor's Creek in charge of Lieut. Jones of the One Hundred and Thirty-Second New York, to be placed in the Neuse River to guard against iron-clads from Kinston. Desiring to communicate with Col. Claassen of the One Hundred and Thirty-Second New York, commanding this post, he carelessly left them without a guard, or warning any one of their character. The quartermaster-sergeant of the One Hundred and Thirty-Second New York Regt., supposing them to be supplies, ordered them removed, and personally rolled the first one to the platform safely. The second was pushed down the gangplank, followed closely by the third. As the second struck the first — now stationary on the platform — the blow broke a hair-spring, and the three torpedoes exploded with a concussion which startled the enemy at Kinston, over twenty miles distant. Thirty were killed and seventeen wounded of the One Hundred and Thirty-Second New York Regt., and ten killed and twenty-three wounded of citizens and contrabands. The log depot, twenty by thirty, with one hundred feet of platform and a signal tower ninety feet high, were shivered to splinters. The remains of the unfortunate victims were scattered in trees or upon the ground upwards of half a mile. A sight more awful or harrowing could not

be imagined. All that was recognized of the quartermaster-sergeant was his little finger, known by his ring; while most of the remains were scraped together in infinitesimal bits and buried in “hard-tack boxes.” A platform car covered with straw brought the forty wounded to New Berne, a sight of shrivelled, mangled humanity, impossible to describe.

During the spring and early summer of 1864, the regiments of this Department had been recruited by “conscripts” and “bounty men.” Among the latter were “professional bounty-jumpers,” who, having secured the bounty, availed themselves of every opportunity to escape. Many had been arrested, and on the morning of August 13th, seven were in Craven Street Jail under sentence of death. The most desperate one of these deserters was shot that morning before Fort Spinola.

The next morning (Sunday) the reveille awoke the camps at the first trace of dawn, and the Seventeenth Mass. Regt. gathered before the gaol. A “Special Order” required every enlisted man in the garrison, not on duty or excused by the surgeon, to be present, and hence the entire division was formed on three sides of a hollow square before Fort Totten. At four o'clock the funeral cortege moved down Craven and through Pollock Streets, headed by the provost marshal and a band with sepulchral dirge, followed by the commanding general and his staff in full-dress uniform. Each condemned man was preceded by a “drum corps” with muffled drums, a squad of cavalry, a platoon of infantry, followed by a cordon or hollow square of soldiers with reversed arms, in which an ambulance moved, containing a manacled victim sitting upon the end of a plain pine box, his coffin. Six times this mockery of funeral pageant and human woe repeated itself ere the column was complete. The dirge, the roll of muffled drums, the weeping, haggard, manacled victims, and the plain, narrow house, were combinations too aggravating for weak nerves, and the author for once disobeyed






orders and declined to attend. When the cortege arrived at Fort Totten the condemned men were marched around the inside of the square, each one preceded by four soldiers bearing a coffin. At the open side of the square were six graves, and before each a box was deposited, upon the foot of which a victim was set with his heart bared for the fatal bullet. A company of the Seventeenth Mass. Regt., with loaded guns — half ball and half blank cartridges, — were brought forward, and as the first rays of the sun fell on the scene, the fatal word was given. Three fell lifeless, and three mortally wounded. Before another detail two more fell lifeless, and another in the pangs of death; and the provost marshal (shall I say humanely?) finished the work by a muzzle close to the breast of the writhing man.

Doubtless the fate of most of these men was just, but the facts stated regarding one of them deserve mention. He was a member of the Fifth Rhode Island Regt. who had rendered efficient service upward of a year and a half. In enlisting he had overstated his age to insure admission to the army, and was now but nineteen years old. His mother being sick, and not expecting to recover, had written, asking him to come and see her before she died. His application for a furlough was rejected, and, as the steamer “Dudley Buck” was leaving New Berne, he was found in the coal bunk, turned over to the authorities and was condemned to death. No friendly hand sought to save him, but his fate received the mute condemnation of every enlisted man. How unlike the noble Queen Victoria when the death sentence of a “royal guard” was handed her for signature. “Go and see if you can learn anything good of this man,” said the merciful queen. Twice the officer returned and answered “No!” “Go once more,” said the anxious queen, and this time the officer returned, saying, “I learn nothing except that he has a family and loves them;” upon which she took the sentence and wrote in large letters across its

face, “PARDONED!” Whatever this boy's fault, over the door of his heart was inscribed, “Love for mother,” and this should have entitled him to mercy. Had his case been submitted to the tender-hearted President Lincoln, doubtless death would have been averted. In any case death penalties should be subject to review by courts removed from the bias of local interests or prejudices, and if the findings admit of a reasonable doubt, the condemned man should be granted a hearing before another tribunal. So frequent became the abuse of extreme power by courts-martial during the last year of the war, that President Lincoln issued an order that all executions must be approved by him.

There was too much power assumed by many general officers, too many rights of our enlisted men infringed upon. Stern disciplinarians and martinets may deride and declare less restraint subversive of discipline; but in a country like this, we cannot afford to follow the effete methods of monarchial nations founded upon privileged aristocracies, with ignorant classes to obey their beck. In the rank and file of our volunteer force, were men equal in ability, education and fitness to command, to those whom wealth, influence or accident had placed in authority over them. In monarchies a commission in the army is an expression of the monarch's favor, often without regard to fitness and ability; but in republics the right to its possession should be demonstrated. Vacancies in office were filled from the ranks without loss of effectiveness, and the closing scenes of the war were enacted under men who had served as subalterns and privates.

It is but reasonable that officers and men should be held subject to the same regulations and penalties, the right to resign withdrawn, and discharges granted upon uniform terms. “Absence without leave” with officers should be designated by the clear, incisive word “desertion,” as with enlisted men. If the death penalty is the only adequate remedy for






desertion, cowardice, or sleeping on post with the rank and file, substitute it for dismissal and cashiering for similar offences with officers. If intoxicants were not good for men, they were tenfold more pernicious and injurious for those needing clear heads to command. If houses of prostitution should be forbidden resorts for enlisted men, it was damning to make them stand guard before them day and night, that none but officers might enter. A commission should insure implicit obedience, but not a single right or favor beyond.

September 5th, New Berne found itself attacked by a force more subtile and deadly than that of the Confederates; no less a foe than yellow fever in its most malignant character. The first victim was the stevedore of the harbor, and his disease was credibly traced to clothing forwarded from New York, for charitable distribution amongst the city poor and the hospitals. The unfortunate city was soon transformed to one vast hospital and morgue, the total number of victims exceeding seventeen hundred. Col. T. J. C. Amory of the Seventeenth Mass. Regt., Maj. H. T. Lawson, chief provost marshal, and Lieut. Fordyce A. Dyer, assistant provost marshal, both of the Second Mass. Heavy Artillery; Lieut. Col. H. M. Stone, Third N. Y. Artillery, and Lieut. H. C. Hathaway of Gen'l Palmer's staff, were among those who fell. Investigation led to the statement that these goods were obtained from Cuba, by a Dr. —— Blackburn of New York City, and were forwarded ostensibly as a charity, but really for the work they accomplished.

Fifteen members of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. went to New Berne as nurses and assistants during the epidemic, of which number Thomas Frary, Company D, Hatfield, Alonzo Jockett, Company D, Northampton, George H. Benedict, Company E, Lee, and Joseph Twenkler, Company I, Wilbraham, fell victims to the scourge. Men who will take their lives in hand and go into such a plaguestricken

city to rescue their unfortunate comrades, are worthy of a lasting monument. We gladly record their noble act as reflecting honor upon themselves, the regiment, and the State, and only wish it were possible to mention all by name who offered themselves for this humane work.

Patrols were organized, districts assigned, every house visited twice a day, new cases reported, and bodies removed to the morgue. Tar was kept burning on every street corner; and the only travellers upon the streets were the patrols and the funeral cortege, followed by Chaplain J. Hill Rouse, a former rector of the Episcopal Church of Rochdale, Mass. The untiring work of this good old man in affording the consolations of religion to this stricken city, was a silver lining on the murky cloud. The death-rate increased to a maximum of thirty-five per day, and exceeded in percentage of mortality the scourge of Norfolk, Va., or the more recent one at Memphis, Tenn. The only fatal case at the camp of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment was that of Egbert B. Strong, Company G, of Northampton.

Comrade Lafayette Clapp of Company A, Easthampton, who had been on hospital service at New Berne during the absence of the regiment in Virginia, declined to avail himself of the expiration of his term of service September 20th, and magnanimously remained during the ravages of the pestilence. At the height of the scourge he was detailed to assist Dr. J. W. Page of the Sanitary Commission, where his large experience and good judgment were soon brought into use, in the entire management of the Commission during Dr. Page's illness. Later on, Comrade Clapp suffered a severe attack of the plague, but, aided by a good constitution, abstemious habits, and by the watchful care of his numerous friends, he recovered. This self-sacrifice on the part of one with a home and family to which he longed to return, deserves honorable mention. Comrade Clapp has twice filled the office of president of our Veteran Association, and still enjoys the high esteem of his comrades.






The evening of October 27th, Lieut. W. B. Cushing, U. S. Navy, and a crew of thirteen, ascended the Roanoke River on “Launch No. 1,” to destroy the ram “Albemarle” at Plymouth. A mile below the town they found the channel obstructed by the wreck of the steamer “Southfield” and by sunken schooners. A guard of twenty rebels was captured at this point, without the firing of a gun. About two A.M., the morning of the 28th, Lieut. Cushing reached a position opposite the ram, which he discovered to be fastened to the wharf, surrounded by a line of logs, chained together thirty feet from its side. Keeping close under the shade of the opposite banks, until he had gained a point above, which gave him the favoring current of the river, he turned, and was bearing bow-on to the ram, when the enemy sprung their rattle, rang their bell, and commenced firing upon the launch. Lieut. Cushing gave them two charges of canister, and with full steam, bore down with such speed as to break the log obstructions surrounding the “Albemarle.” Lowering the boom of the launch, with a suspended torpedo attached, by a vigorous and dexterous push, he forced it under the ram and exploded it.

With the concussion from the torpedo came a dense flood of water engulfing the deck of his boat; and also a plunging shot from the “Albemarle, which crashed through the launch. A vigorous musketry fire was now opened upon Lieut. Cushing and crew, the former twice refusing to surrender. Finding the launch fast sinking, the brave lieutenant ordered every man to look out for himself, threw off his coat and shoes, jumped overboard, and swam for the opposite shore. The launch sank within fifteen feet of the wharf, Lieut. Cushing and a colored sailor only escaping; the rest of the crew were either killed, drowned or captured. Lieut. Cushing succeeded in reaching the swamp opposite, where he secreted himself until the afternoon. The enemy were several times within a few feet of him; but

being buried to the neck in water, and surrounded by swamp grass, he escaped detection. During the afternoon, he approached the river near enough to satisfy himself that he had sunk the “Albemarle,” when he made his way to Middle River, found a skiff, and reached the “Valley City” at eleven o'clock P.M.

The next day, Commander Macomb made an attempt to occupy Plymouth, but was prevented by the shore batteries. The 30th, he decided to try Middle River channel, but on account of the difficulties of the way, he failed to reach the head of the islands until about four P.M. After shelling the place with one-hundred-pound Parrotts for an hour, the fleet anchored until the morning of the 31st. After a reconnoissance and considerable firing, the fleet was signalled, at 9.30 A. M., “Go ahead fast!” and was soon abreast the forts and batteries. For half an hour a fire of grape, canister and shell fell on the hostile works, when our marines landed and drove the enemy from the place. Col. D. W. Wardrop, commandant at Roanoke, knowing the purpose of the navy, and anticipating the need of a co-operating land force, fortunately appeared with one hundred and sixty men from the One Hundred and Seventy-Sixth Pennsylvania Regiment, and occupied the town. Our forces captured twenty-two pieces of heavy ordance in position, thirty-two prisoners with a large number of arms, and quantities of supplies. The Union garrison was soon after strengthened by a battalion of the Second Mass. Heavy Artillery.

With the Twenty-Seventh Mass. back amid former experiences, their longings for the flesh-pots of North Carolina were revived, and any deficiency of food was speedily made good by our foragers. Soon after pitching camp at Carolina City, a number of men started upon a scout, and discovered a fine two-acre watermelon patch; but neither money nor persuasion could induce the owner to part with any of them for their use. It was a crushing disappointment






to leave such luscious melons untouched; too much of a trial for weak humanity to submit to gracefully; hence it was determined to try other tactics to relieve their distress. About ten o'clock that night, the disappointed ones were again upon the ground, and were revelling among the watery viands, when their attention was arrested by a man approaching with a lantern and a large dog. Unfortunately, the lantern served the purpose of our men better than that of its owner, for they could see his every movement. When at close range the crack of a revolver laid the dog to rest, and a second later a ball pierced the lantern and extinguished the light. To the demand, “Lay down that gun, and leave, or you'll go next!” the owner left a few tracks, with the heels towards our men, and a loaded shot-gun on the ground. It is as useless to attempt to say how many melons were taken, or how such a quantity were brought to camp, as to gauge the capacity of boys in a like adventure. On reaching the outpost, the challenge of the pickets was answered by a twenty-five-pound watermelon, and this countersign was declared “correct.”

Early the next morning, the surly owner appeared at our camp, dismounted from his horse, and sought aid of Lieut. Briggs to discover the melons and the culprits. Not a melon or rind was discovered, the occupants of each tent scornfully cursing the man who dared suspect any of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. capable of such an act. As, at the end of a useless search, he turned in disgust to go home, he found his horse missing, and no clue could be found of it, until a darkey, employed in camp, “disremembered seein a horse wid a camp-kettle tied to his tail, runnin dat ar way as tho de debbil was arter him.” Such a look of reprobation; such futile anger and disgust; such a realizing sense of human depravity, never centred more fully in the face of one man, than in that of our visitor, as he turned to trudge home. A few moments later, a large

melon rolled unceremoniously into Lieut. Briggs’ tent — it never came out whole — and the occupants of our camp sat down to a good, square treat on watermelon.

November 21st, Lieut. Col. W. G. Bartholumew, now senior officer of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., rejoined his regiment at Carolina City, and was received with unbounded enthusiasm. The 28th inst., we removed to Beaufort, and performed provost and picket duty until December 4th, when orders arrived: “Report at once at New Berne, in light marching order.” With nothing but overcoats to encumber us, we reached New Berne that night, boarded the steamer “Massasoit,” and arrived at Plymouth December 7th.






CHAPTER XXII. RAINBOW BLUFF.

A COMBINED attack upon Fort Fisher, below Wilmington, had been for some time under consideration, and Gen'l Wild appeared at New Berne, with orders from Gen'l Butler requiring that a co-operative movement be made from this department. The instructions were: “Rendezvous a sufficient land force at Plymouth, N. C., and, after effecting arrangements with our fleet, co-operate with them in an advance to Rainbow Bluff and a joint attack upon Fort Branch. Succeeding in this, the land force will make a forced march upon Tarboro as its objective point, destroy the railroad bridge, and fall back under cover of the gunboats. Should any part of this plan fail, the commander will maintain secrecy, that the same may be open for future movements.”

In the absence of Gen'l Palmer from the department, Brig. Gen'l Edward Harland designated for this movement the Twenty-Seventh Mass., Ninth New Jersey, Sixteenth Conn., Eighty-Fifth New York, and One Hundred and Seventy-Sixth Penn. Regiments; Battery A, Third N. Y. Artillery; and the Twelfth N. Y. Cavalry. Col. Savage, the commander of the last-named regiment, was to command the expedition. Battery A, Capt. Russell, one hundred and ninety men, dismounted, and armed with rifles, were for the time consolidated with the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. For reasons unknown, the Twelfth N. Y. Cavalry failed to report at Plymouth, and the command of the expedition devolved upon Col. Jones Frankle, of the Second Mass.

Heavy Artillery, as senior officer. He was at this time Military Governor of the Department of the Albemarle, with headquarters at Plymouth. Lieuts. Cogan, of the Ninth New Jersey, and E. L. Peck, of the Twenty-Seventh Mass., were appointed aides-de-camp to Col. Frankle. Joint arrangements were effected with Commander Macomb; and at five A.M., December 9th, the column moved from Plymouth, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. and Ninth New Jersey Regiments in advance.

The enemy were encountered five miles out, but fell back with light skirmishing to Gardner's Bridge, where they made a stand the morning of the 10th. They were strongly posted on heights across a creek, supported by artillery and cavalry, and were attempting to destroy the bridge. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. and Ninth New Jersey charged, driving them from the bridge, and routing the forces on the heights. Sharp skirmishing continued until reaching Foster's Mills, where the enemy took position on bluffs skirting the opposite side of the stream, with the intervening bridge dismantled. This position was the one known as Rhall's Mills on the Tarboro Expedition, from which the Twenty-Fourth and Forty-Fourth Mass. dislodged the enemy on that occasion. Four pieces of artillery were brought into position upon the road, with the Second and Twenty-Seventh Mass. and Ninth New Jersey Regiments deployed above, and the remainder of the force below the road. The enemy were engaged for half an hour, under cover of which Lieut. Reed, of the Second Mass., repaired the bridge sufficiently for the passage of troops, when the foe suddenly retreated. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. lost in this engagement Thomas Shea, Company K, of Northampton, killed, and Ezra Lovering, Company G, Northampton, wounded in the hand.

After a delay of five hours repairing the bridge, we again advanced, the rebels retreating stubbornly beyond Williamston,






which place was occupied the evening of the 10th. Sunday, the 11th, we remained at this place, awaiting arrival of the navy, reports as of heavy guns reaching us from down the river. As the day declined, it was decided to move on, leaving the Eighty-Fifth New York to guard and forward supplies when they arrived. At midnight the column advanced, avoiding the river road, reaching Spring Green Church, one mile from Butler's Bridge, at one A.M. the 12th. At the latter place the enemy were intrenched and Col. Frankle decided to divide his force, ordering the Twenty-Seventh Mass. and Ninth New Jersey to make a detour to the right, reach the rear of the enemy's position, and join in a simultaneous attack upon the intrenchments.

The night was bitterly cold, the water in our canteens chilled to ice, and the frozen ground jagged and rough. The moon shone with a flood of light, requiring great care and secrecy in our movement to prevent discovery. Our guide led us to the right, across wooded fields and through a deep, dry ditch, and ravines shaded by overhanging cliffs, to a stream over which the bridge was destroyed The stream was at flood height,—a roaring torrent,—but by the aid of flood-wood and brush against the piers, a crossing was effected. The setting moon was now obscured by clouds and the waning light enabled us to see the outlines of Fort Branch as we passed. Crossing the fields, we struck a road connecting Fort Branch with the Hamilton road, via Butler's Bridge, and followed it to their intersection. Having gained the rear, we advanced a short distance down the road to the cover of a forest, and rested, while a reconnoissance was made to determine the enemy's position and force.

We had been observed by Col. Hinton, commandant at this post, whose headquarters were at a house just above the intersection of roads. Supposing us to be reinforcements he had expected, he mounted his horse and rode up to Capt. Russell (Third N. Y. Artillery), who was holding the rear

of the Twenty-Seventh, and accosted him, “Good morning, Captain! Never so glad to see any one in my life!” and turning to the men, added, “Had a pretty rough jaunt, ain't you, boys? You are most there, though!” There was hardly light enough to discern colors in the gray of dawn, but Capt. Russell scented the fun, and replied, “Good morning! Colonel is just ahead, and would be glad to see you!” Reaching Col. Bartholomew, Hinton extended his hand, saying, “Good morning, Colonel! just in time! There's fun ahead!” Col. Bartholomew had walked just far enough to particularly admire the gray steed before him, and his love for horseflesh (never at low ebb), was now “at the bulge,” as the natives had it. Grasping Hinton's hand and the horse's bits most affectionately, Col. Bartholomew exclaimed, “Ah! Good morning! I'm awful glad to see you! You may get off that horse! you won't need it any longer, as you are my prisoner!” “Wha—What!” exclaimed the astonished rebel officer, “What regiment are you?” “Twenty-Seventh Mass.,” was the prompt reply. “The d—l you are! I thought you were the Weldon Junior Reserves,” was Col. Hinton's disconsolate rejoinder.

We had now, not only the commander of the post, but the key to the position; we were now the “Weldon Junior Reserves.” Advancing to three or four log barracks a short distance ahead, we saluted the sentinel, “Turn out the guard for the Junior Reserves!” These came tumbling out, grumbling at being disturbed, and were seized without the firing of a gun, and before they could realize the situation. Advancing towards the intrenchments, Capt. Hufty, of the Ninth New Jersey, was challenged by two sentinels, but kept on, saying in a drawling tone, “Come ah-n, boy-es; come ah-n! we-ur Weldon Reserves; they uns won't hurt us. Come ah-n!” and before the sentinels could decide what to do, they were prisoners.

Surgeon Fish now reported that there was a squad of






cavalry, with infantry, approaching from the rear (this was the Junior Reserves), and Col. Stewart of the Ninth New Jersey, who was in command of the force, deployed his own regiment facing the approaching column, and the Twenty-Seventh Mass. in reverse, facing the intrenchments, and gave the order, “Charge!” In getting into position a shot was fired by a rebel guard, which was responded to by the “artillery boys” just as the order to charge was given. The Junior Reserves broke in all directions before the impetuous rush of the Ninth New Jersey, while the Twenty-Seventh Mass. charged down the corduroy road upon the astonished enemy in the intrenchments. The Johnnies abandoned their works in utter rout, some taking to the woods, others with three pieces of artillery rushing down the road to Tarboro Forks, making good their escape to Tarboro. A large number were captured by us. Several of our men were also captured by the enemy, but made their escape.

Lieut. E. L. Peck, of Company F, Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., acting aid to Col. Frankle, with Lieut. Reed of the Second Mass. Heavy Artillery, were, at this juncture, vainly endeavoring to urge the skirmishers of the Second Artillery forward to occupy the forks of the road. The failure at this point robbed the expedition of the fruits of victory. In justice to these officers, and to the Second Mass. Heavy Artillery as an organization, it should be said that the detachment present in this engagement, was composed of unassigned conscripts, substitutes, and recruits recently arrived and temporarily assigned to the Second Mass. Heavy Artillery. They were in no sense representative of that regiment, many of whom were men of experience and meritorious service.

Col. Frankle, on learning the difficulty with the skirmishers, went to the front and endeavored to urge the troops forward, and at the same time sent an order to Capt. Graham to move forward and occupy the forks of the road with his cavalry. While the skirmishers were being pressed forward,

a piece of artillery was brought across Butler's Bridge and opened upon them, wounding Lieut. Spencer and four men. While Col. Frankle was deploying his men to engage this gun, our charge from the rear was made, as already narrated, so that neither the infantry nor cavalry succeeded in reaching the point necessary to cut off the rebels’ retreat.

The understanding was, the forks of the road should be occupied in force; but Col. Frankle rejoins, “Col. Stewart's orders were to gain the rear and await his attack in front.” Such instructions were not unfrequent during the war, and often resulted in brilliant success. There are, however, so many contingencies permitting no delay, with flanking columns, that it would seem to be a more judicious arrangement to hold the force in front ready to co-operate in the attack from the rear. Justified by many successful examples, and by the personal efforts of the commander to press to success each detail of the movement, whatever disappointment we had, must rest upon the character of the force in front.

Col. Frankle immediately ordered Graham's Cavalry to follow the fleet-footed enemy toward Tarboro, but this failed of material results. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. and Ninth New Jersey returned to Col. Hinton's headquarters and reconnoitred towards Fort Branch, discovering the Junior Reserves drawn in line before the fort. These two regiments desired to assault the fort; but, “having only four rounds of ammunition for the artillery, after consultation with Gen'l Wild, Col. Frankle ordered the troops to withdraw to Williamston.” The failure of the navy, which had our extra ammunition, to connect and co-operate, and the lack of information from them, was the ground of withdrawal. The injunction of secrecy in the orders prevented any explanation by Col. Frankle. While resting upon the field, Col. Bartholomew decoyed a quartermaster-sergeant and captured him. He mourned sorely over this untimely misfortune,






as he had been married only the night previous. The result of the expedition was the capture of one hundred and twenty-nine prisoners, including Col. Hinton, two field and two line officers, and one hundred and twenty stand of arms. Gen'l Wild writes in commendation of this movement: “The whole affair and all the details were planned with judgment and carried out with coolness and steadiness.”

Returning to Williamston, and finding no tidings of the fleet, couriers were dispatched to Jamesville, who returned with the information that the river was so full of torpedoes it was uncertain when the navy would be able to arrive. Seventy torpedoes had already been removed; the “Otsego” and “Bazely” gunboats sunk, several vessels injured, and the fleet was still near that place. On the 14th we fell back to Jamesville to secure supplies and render the navy such assistance as they might need. At Jamesville the Twenty-Seventh Mass. and Ninth New Jersey Regiments were ordered to Cedar Landing, to cover the navy, returning the 17th inst. On the 21st, Commander Macomb sent word from Poplar Point that the enemy were concentrating upon the bluffs; and desired aid to dislodge their sharpshooters. By this time our supplies were exhausted, and the men so chafed and footsore that fully one-half the force had been placed upon the sick list by the surgeons. Word was sent Commander Macomb to that effect, when both forces returned to Plymouth, awaiting supplies; but before another advance could be arranged the entire force was recalled to New Berne.

The waning days of 1864 completed a year of struggles which materially advanced the prospects of peace. The defeats of the Union army at Olustee, Paducah, Fort Pillow, Plymouth, Red River, Drewry's Bluff, Cold Harbor, Mine, and Hatcher's Run, had been of temporary, if not of questionable, benefit to the enemy; while the victories of Farragut at Mobile, Sheridan in the Shenandoah, Steele in

Missouri, Schofield at Franklin, Thomas at Nashville, and Sherman at Atlanta, were crushing defeats to the enemy. Grierson's march from Tennessee to Louisiana, and Sherman's from Atlanta to Savannah, showed the exhausted and hopeless condition of the Confederacy, — “a shell with nothing in it,” — while the iron grip of Gen'l Grant held its best general and army with a tenacity which paralyzed its power. These results had been obtained with a terrible cost of life and limb, over one hundred and twenty thousand men having been placed hors de combat in Virginia alone, and two hundred thousand on all the fields of battle. If the loss had fallen most heavily on the Union arms, the benefits had proportionately accrued to them.

The sad results of service had told fearfully upon the numerical strength of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., the tri-monthly report of December 19th showing:—

Officers upon the rolls present,15
Officers upon the rolls prisoners,7
22
Enlisted men on the rolls present,234
Enlisted men upon the rolls sick,101
Enlisted men on the rolls prisoners,241
576
Total upon the rolls,598

On the 7th of January, the regiment received orders to return to Beaufort, and sailed from Plymouth the 8th inst. The trip was rough and sloppy, a cold wind and rain, with a lack of blankets, rendering it chilly in the extreme. Several bales of cotton aboard were appropriated to our comfort, occasioning considerable mourning and bluster by a quasi citizen and resulting in the presentation of a bill of several hundred dollars to Major Moore for settlement. The major had been used to wordy contests, and being of the legal fraternity, believed he understood the “true inwardness” of this






“cotton speculation,” and rather wished to focus matters. Hence he replied: “If this is your cotton, what business has it on a government transport, and how came you by it? If it is government cotton, what right have you to demand pay for it? Let Gen'l Palmer demand pay, and I will make answer to it!”

January 10th we arrived at New Berne, and proceeded by rail to Beaufort, but on reaching Morehead City, found telegraphic orders to return to New Berne. We had been absent since December 4th, without blankets or change of any part of our clothing; but military orders were inexorable, and though within sight of Beaufort, we returned without visiting our camp. During the interim of absence we had turned our shirts several times, wearing one side until the other appeared the cleanest, when we put that outside. This was soldiering indeed! Arriving at New Berne, we found no provision made for our supply or comfort, and were forced to bivouac in an open field and in a pouring rain until the morning of the 11th, when some plain, incisive “words” from Col. Bartholomew to negligent authorities, secured permission for us to go into the depot for shelter. Here we were joined by those we had left with the camp at Beaufort December 4th, and on the 12th were assigned to outpost duty, relieving a detachment of the Second Mass. Heavy Artillery. Companies B, D, F, G, I and K were stationed at Rocky Run, under command of Col. Bartholomew, and the remainder at the Red House, three miles nearer the railroad, under Capt. McKay. We were here initiated into a new feature of picket duty, the cavalry videttes being stationed at the rear of the picket-line. We were also made glad by a sight of the “longed-for paymaster,” having been without pay since the previous February. Some little dissatisfaction existed when it was found the payment was to cover only to August 31st; but the clothing account being included, it passed satisfactorily.

The expedition against Fort Fisher, with which our advance above Plymouth was intended to co-operate, proved a miserable failure. The troop transports did not arrive at Beaufort until December 18th, and were detained at that port by a gale, arriving off Fort Fisher the evening of the 24th. Fifty-three of our best naval vessels, mounting five hundred and thirty-nine heavy guns, had assaulted the fort for five hours that day, not a hostile gun replying beyond an hour and a quarter after the opening of the engagement. The 25th inst., landing was effected five miles east of Fort Fisher, under cover of the navy. Gen'l Weitzel advanced his skirmishers within fifty yards of the fort (which was under a heavy fire from the fleet), and three or four men went upon the parapet, and captured the garrison's flag; but Gen'l Butler deemed the fort susceptible to capture only by siege, and, claiming that that was not included in his instructions, he re-embarked his troops and returned to Fortress Monroe.

This failure was the occasion, rather than the cause of Gen'l Butler's removal, for it was no secret that the commanding general had long been dissatisfied with him. The order for him to report at Lowell was universally approved by the army and the country. It is but just to concede Gen'l Butler's ability as an executive officer; his shrewdness and skill in diplomacy and statecraft. He was at his best as the military governor of New Orleans. His success during the rebellion was in this direction. It was not discreditable that he was not a successful field general; that he was not equal to besieging, or to defending besieged places, to planning battles, or to directing assaults. His prominence during the war, arose from his use of favoring events; his signal failure and the country's disappointment from the fact that he had military greatness thrust upon him, but was nowhere equal to it.

January 6th, Maj. Gen'l A. H. Terry left Fortress






Monroe, with eight thousand men under Gen'ls Ames and Paine, and Col. Abbott, to renew the assault upon Fort Fisher, the navy co-operating. The troops landed the 13th, as before, and constructed a line of defence against a possible rear attack. Gen'l Paine's and Col. Abbott's Brigades (forty-five hundred men) were left to defend this line, while Gen'l Ames’ Brigade (thirty-five hundred men) was the assaulting column. The assault was made at three o'clock the 15th, and lasted until about nine o'clock, when the fort and outlying works were captured, with a Union loss of eighty-eight killed, five hundred and one wounded, and ninety-two missing. The Confederate loss in killed and wounded was about four hundred; besides which we captured one hundred and twelve officers, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-one men, one hundred and sixty-nine pieces of artillery, and two thousand stand of arms. Fort Caswell and the river batteries opposite, were evacuated, and blown up by the enemy during the night.

Maj. Gen'l John M. Schofield, stationed at Eastport, Miss., and the Twenty-Third Corps, were ordered to the Department of North Carolina; but it was not until about February 19th this force arrived in the State, a part of it being sent to New Berne, and the remainder to Fort Fisher. Gen'l Sherman was at this time moving upon Columbia, S. C., and the strengthening of this department was for the purpose of co-operating with him, and of uniting forces at Goldsboro, at which place Gen'l Sherman expected to arrive about the middle of March. On the 22d of February, Gen'l Schofield captured Wilmington, with a loss of less than two hundred men, the enemy being flanked, and the place captured with but little resistance.

February 11th Capt. J. W. Trafton returned from duty at Boston Harbor, and relieved Capt. McKay at the Red House. Companies C, D and I were joined to this command, and Company H returned to Rocky Run. Quite an

excitement was created, a few days later, by a full company of the Sixth North Carolina Cavalry, with horses, arms and equipments, deserting, and coming within our lines. After being disarmed, they were given the freedom of New Berne, many of them in their new-found freedom, remarking, “If the Confederate army knew they would be treated like this, you would have the whole army here in a few days.” February 12th Capt. J. H. Nutting and Lieut. W. G. Davis returned to the regiment, having escaped from prison as before narrated. On the 15th, thirty recruits were received, and were assigned to Company C, increasing the effective strength of the regiment to about two hundred and sixty-four men. Company C now returned to Rocky Run, and was replaced at the Red House by Companies B and F.






CHAPTER XXIII. SOUTH-WEST CREEK.

February 25th, Gen'l Palmer received instructions from Gen'l Schofield to move at once upon Kinston, but being dilatory, was superseded March 3d by Gen'l J. D. Cox and assigned to a subordinate command. He was soon relieved from this also, and retired from the front. New Berne was at this time overrun with convalescents, recruits, and conscripts who were being crowded to the front, and these represented nearly every organization in the Tenth, Eighteenth and Twenty-Third Corps. Many of them, unable to find their regiments, had collected at Camp Chattanooga, but were now assigned to various regiments forming Carter's Provisional Corps.

Gen. Schofield's first plan against the enemy was to make the movement from New Berne subsidiary to more important ones from Wilmington, via the Weldon Railroad. The enemy's forces were, however, strongly posted before Kinston, and were reinforced by Hoke's, Cheatham's and a part of S. D. Lee's Divisions; and the whole command placed under Gen'l Braxton Bragg. Their plan was clearly to hold Kinston and Goldsboro at all hazards, to crush each advance from New Berne and Wilmington in detail, and then to unite with Johnston in a combined attack upon Sherman's victorious host. This necessitated making the movement via New Berne most prominent; and a part of the Twenty-Third Corps was hastily removed by transports from Wilmington to that place. The advance towards Goldsboro was made under the watchful eye of Gen'l Schofield; while Gen'ls Terry

and Couch co-operated from Wilmington, with instructions to join our column at the earliest moment possible.

March 4th the Twenty-Seventh Mass. was brigaded with the Fifteenth Conn. Regt., under command of Col. Charles L. Upham, and the brigade was designated as the Second Brigade, Second Division, District of Beaufort. The Fifteenth Conn. was a veteran regiment, much reduced by service, to which so many men from Camp Chattanooga had been temporarily ordered that it had nearly its original numbers. Of necessity it lacked the cohesion and spirit resulting from a union of service.

The force under Gen'l Cox moved from New Berne March 3d; and two days later, the Twenty-Seventh received orders to “report at Core Creek in light marching order, with four days’ rations and sixty rounds.” Early the morning of the 5th we rendezvoused at Bachelor's Creek, and advanced by the Neuse and Dover Roads — the old Gum Swamp route — reaching Core Creek about four P.M. At half-past six the morning of the 6th a general movement began, the Twenty-Seventh Mass. upon the advance as skirmishers. The roads were muddy, and heavily blockaded by the enemy, so that our progress was slow and tedious, and we halted for the night on a field near the scene of our old Gum Swamp conflict. Before being dismissed, Col. Bartholomew addressed the regiment as follows: “Boys, we are going into another fight, and I expect you will maintain the honor of the old Twenty-Seventh. Don't run until you see me run, and be sure you mistake no other man for me. When you see me going, run like hell!”

The pioneer and construction corps were busy the entire night, clearing and constructing roads, and it was nearly noon of the 7th before orders to advance were received. The Ninth New Jersey and One Hundred and Thirty-Second New York took the advance as skirmishers, the enemy opposing them sharply with musketry and artillery. Reaching






Wise Forks, the force under Col. Claassen charged the enemy's skirmishers, driving them across South-West Creek at Jackson's Mills, — four and a half miles from Kinston, and one and a half miles from the Forks. A considerable artillery engagement took place, under which the Ninth and One Hundred and Thirty-Second were withdrawn, and half Gum Swamp and Vicinity
of the Fifteenth Conn. moved forward and took position across the road one hundred yards from the creek. The other half was marched south into a field to protect the left flank, while the Twenty-Seventh Mass. was posted in the woods on the right of the Jackson Mills road, supporting

the pickets. Thus situated, the Twenty-Seventh spread their blankets for the night, their rest being disturbed at intervals by shots from the enemy's battery across the creek.

The grounds were mostly a dead level, covered with partially reclaimed swamps, or thickets of woods and marsh, while the roads were mud-holes of uncertain depths. Palmer's Division held the right along the railroad two miles distant, while Carter's Provisional Division occupied Wise Forks, one and a half miles to the rear. Between these forces was a gap of nearly half a mile, depending upon its marshy character for defence against rebel incursions. At the rear of our position, the Old British Road, from the railroad, cut the Jackson Mills road at right angles, at the south-westerly corner of which was an earthwork, occupied by Company D, Seventeenth Mass. Regt., Capt. Cann. A detachment of the Twelfth N. Y. Cavalry were on the British Road south of the corners, as videttes; while a section of Batter I, Third N. Y. Artillery, Lieut. Seymour, was stationed on Jackson Mills Road, at the rear of the Fifteenth Conn. Regt.

At seven A.M., the 8th of March, rumors reached us that “the enemy were attempting a flank movement at our left,” and the Twenty-Seventh Mass. were ordered to take position across the British Road, south of the Corners, which they did, while two cavalry videttes were thrown half a mile in advance to warn of danger. We were holding this position about eleven o'clock A.M., when an old man, upon horseback, and in citizen's dress, rode up, saying to Col. Bartholomew, “You are being flanked, and may expect the enemy in that direction at any moment,” pointing towards the woods in the direction of Wise Forks.

This was really our rear, and separated us from our supports. Col. Bartholomew immediately changed front, bringing the regiment on the easterly side of the road (facing east), and advanced the left flank company under Adjt.






J. W. Holmes and Lieut. L. A. Holmes, as skirmishers. They were moving too far to the right, when Col. Bartholomew advanced to a slight rise and ordered them farther to the left, pointing with finger, and following with his eye the desired direction. As he did so, the enemy suddenly emerged from the whole line of woods, and charged double-quick towards our position, and the intersection of the roads. The woods were literally full of them, from which they swarmed with yells, until they covered our front and flanks.

Col. Bartholomew returned to the regiment, and as soon as the skirmishers had returned, ordered us to open fire. The two pieces of Seymour's Battery, after firing a few rounds, rushed down the road in the direction of Wise Forks, one of its guns falling into the enemy's hands; while the detachment of the Seventeenth Mass. made good its escape by the British Road. The Twenty-Seventh Mass., by its morning report, March 7, 1865, numbered nine (it should have been ten) officers and one hundred ninety-one men, of whom Col. Bartholomew writes: “I felt as much confidence in them as in a whole regiment of new troops, and that confidence was never misplaced.”

The enemy captured the detachment of the Twelfth N. Y. Cavalry, who were upon the British Road below us, and charged our skirmishers, driving them back three hundred yards upon the regiment. Here we delivered a rapid and effective fire, causing their massed troops to recoil from our front. The Confederates covered our position with shrieking shot, amidst which Col. Bartholomew moved back and forth along the line, encouragingly saying, “You are doing well, boys; keep cool! Don't waste your ammunition!” We kept our position, giving them the best we had, again and again causing their lines to halt, until their shots came quartering from the rear, and we could see them in nearly three-quarters of a circle around us. Our colonel again moved along the line, saying, “Boys, I want to face you

to the rear; march back a little, and turn around and give it to them again. Keep cool and steady: About — Face! — Forward!” and the regiment moved compactly across the road, forming in the field beyond the enemy's flanks.

It was a trying movement, and none but men of sterling courage and coolness could have executed it so well; for the prevailing impulse in retiring from danger is excessive haste, which in such a moment easily becomes a total rout. Every man stopped at the order “Halt!” and faced about, concentrating a well-directed fire upon the rebels’ advance. From front and flanks a converging fire swept our position, and the enemy closed upon us, yelling, “Surrender! Surrender!” for they were in overwhelming force. Hoke's entire division of five thousand five hundred men was there, with its assault concentric upon us. Again and again our fire swept the field, cutting fearful winrows in the enemy's ranks, which, massed in column by division, was pressing down upon us. The contest deepened, dealing death and destruction along our line, and the light faded almost to twilight, under the battle-cloud of smoke which covered the sky with its murky hue. Again the enemy enveloped our flanks, and shots came quartering from the rear, and our invincible line again faced about, marched out of the encircling line and formed behind an old rail fence. Here we found the half of the Fifteenth Conn., which had been placed in reserve the night previous. Once more our column faced the foe, returning defiant answer to their fire and demand for surrender. Many of the Fifteenth Conn. joined manfully in the fray, and the enemy again and again recoiled before our trusty rifles.

In this uneven contest, unaided by a single piece of artillery, there could be only one issue; but we hoped to prolong the contest until our forces at Wise Forks could afford relief. From the first there had been for us no way of escape, and each man had resolved that, if overpowered, it would be






with exhausted ammunition, and with commensurate loss to the enemy. The tide of battle swept mercilessly along our front; both of our color-bearers had been shot down, and the colors picked up and defiantly flaunted by others. Again the rebels had reached our rear and were endeavoring to complete their cordon of investment around us, when Col. Bartholomew, as a last resort, gave the order, “Twenty-Seventh! rally round your colors!” Many of the Fifteenth Conn. rallied with us, and on that storm-rent field the devoted band emulated the courage and valor of Thermopylæ and Marathon, and desperately contested the advance of the enemy. With a frenzy born of despair, they defied the enemy's fire, refused to surrender, and plied their faithful rifles until their ammunition was nearly spent. Could it be that aid would fail? and only two miles distant! Was this the reward of valiant service? “They must hear, and, knowing the weakness of our column, must understand that such a clash of arms must be from an overwhelming foe,” were thoughts that crowded the mind.

The enemy now came pouring over South-West Creek in our rear, seeing which, the Fifteenth Conn. broke, the panic carrying many of the Twenty-Seventh with them. Just at this moment a Minie-ball crushed through Col. Bartholomew's leg, shattering the fibula, or small bone below the knee, and he fell helpless to the ground. The enemy, quick to discern the temporary faltering of our fire, rushed upon us, and with one sweep crushed our column, and the conflict was over. Col. Zachary, of the Twenty-Eighth Georgia, received Col. Bartholomew's sword, while the enraged foe threatened vengeance on us for their terrible loss. Adjutant Holmes was looking at his watch when our colonel fell, finding we had then been contending, single handed, fifty-five minutes. He immediately went to Col. Bartholomew, caring for his wound, when a rebel captain came up ordering both our officers to pull off their boots, overcoats and hats,

give up their money, and even took the handkerchief with which the adjutant had commenced to dress the colonel's wound. It is a pleasure to add, this act was severely condemned by Col. Zachary, who was a soldier and gentleman of honor. A few weeks later, Col. Zachary visited Col. Bartholomew while in hospital at High Point, N. C., and generously returned him his sword, as a tribute to his bravery upon the field. By permission from Gen'l Hoke, Adjutant Holmes remained with Col. Bartholomew two days, and through entreaties with Surgeon Mathus of the Twenty-Eighth Georgia, saved the colonel's limb from amputation.

The men broke in all directions, hoping for some avenue of escape, but were speedily captured by forces advancing on all sides, only seven men, including Surgeon Fish and Hospital-Steward Parker, escaping from the field. These, however, were all members of the Ambulance Corps, and were cut off from the regiment early in the engagement. The captured men were hastily moved across the creek, and marched to Kinston, where they remained during the day, and at night were removed by cars to Goldsboro. The rank and file were thrust into a cattle-pen, and left for the night in a pouring rain, while the officers were confined in the court-house. The enemy had captured in this engagement twenty-six officers, and nine hundred and forty enlisted men from Upham's Brigade, the loss of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. being seven killed, forty wounded, and one hundred and forty-seven prisoners.

The following is our list of casualties:

KILLED.

Company A. — Sergt. Bartholomew O'Connell, Whately.

Company C. — Michael O'Conner, Fitchburg.

Company F. — Corp. George W. Phillips, Sandisfield. Louis H. Fuller, Northampton.

Company G. — Corp. William J. Paige, Chicopee.

Company H. — Dennis Dillworth, Adams.

Company I. — Harrison Rowe, Wilbraham.






WOUNDED.

Lieut. Col. W. G. Bartholomew, Springfield; left leg, fibula broken.

Company A. — Albert Holbrook, Huntington; contusion, leg. Brainard E. Taylor, Worthington; left arm, fatal.

Company B. — Lieut. Daniel W. Larned, Athol; right side, left leg. John Clark, Phillipston; face, left arm, side, severe. Fernaldo L. Lord, Athol; right wrist.

Company C. — Lieut. William G. Davis, Schenectady, N. Y.; left breast. Corp. John Shoals, Amherst; left leg, amputated. William Brace, Greenfield; through left lung. Jonathan Burroughs, Northampton; leg, severe. Orrin J. Eaton, Deerfield; left arm, severe. Oliver Woodbridge, Springfield; left leg. Charles F. Webster, Montague; jawbone broken. Frederick West, Canton; right shoulder.

Company D. — Lieut. Charles H. Bligh, Pittsfield; right hip. Sergt. Warren C. Snell, Springfield; both hips and leg, severe. Corp. James D. Haskins, Granby; right thigh. Alvin R. Bradford, Florida; arm. Frank H. Leonard, Shutesbury; leg, slight. James H. Reed, Shutesbury; right thigh. William H. Snow, Springfield; foot, slight.

Company E. — Corp. William W. Cummings, Warren; slight. George A. Martin, Windsor; leg, flesh wound. Henry V. Searle, Westfield; right leg, severe. Benjamin W. F. Smith, Great Barrington; right arm. William Smith, Great Barrington; right arm, amputated.

Company F. — Sergt. Calvin J. Treat, Granville; right hip. Henry H. Underwood, Sandisfield; shoulder. Proctor Woodruff, Westfield; arm, fatal.

Company G. — Patrick Coffee, Northampton; leg and left cheek. John L. Clark, Northampton; ear. Richard Curtis, Hatfield; leg. Edward Pendleton, Chicopee; left ankle, right leg and arm. Ephraim Wilson, Pittsfield; ear.

Company H. — Color-Sergt. John McCleary, South Reading; right shoulder, severe. Corp. Horace A. Loomis, Williamstown; head, severe.

Company K. — Lieut. William H. Cooley, Springfield; leg, contusion. Corp. William Watt, Belchertown; hand. Daniel E. Comstock, Springfield; right arm, severe. Jerre Harrington, 2d, Springfield; right leg.

All of these, except Ephraim Wilson of Company G, fell into the enemy's hands with the following list of

CAPTURED.

Capt. William McKay, Adjt. Joseph W. Holmes, Lieut. Lyman, A. Holmes, Lieut. Edwin L. Peck, Chief Musician Lineus C. Skinner.

Company A. — Sergt. Charles C. Loud, James Adams, Edward Merrigan, Alfred Pasnow, Simon Schaefer.

Company B. — Sergt. Prescott M. Metcalf, Corp. William P. Huntoon, Corp. George E. Trask, Corp. Theodore Washburn, Corp. George D. Townsend, John Abbott, Thomas Barbour, James L. Bragdon, Martin O. Makeley, Dexter O. Oaks, Valentine O. Rathburn, John B. Slate, Michael Sullivan.

Company C. — Sergt. George P. Holden, Corp. Levi Brizzee, Patrick Bayne, Jr., John Barry, Jesse D. Comstock, Thomas Craven, Donald Donovan, James C. Fletcher, Henry P. Hanchett, Hugh Kennedy, Patrick McCabe, Mozart E. Perry, John Pryor, James Smith, John Sullivan, Patrick Sullivan, William Taylor, Michael Talbot, Harrison H. White, Elijah S. Williams, Jr., Charles L. Wright.

Company D. — Sergt. Jay E. Nash, Corp. Warren F. King, Corp. Newton Pease, Corp. Medad Vinton, Rawson C. Briggs, Dexter Burnett, George W. Coleman, John Eagan, George P. Field, John K. Freeman, Lewis H. Freeman, Eli H. Johnson, Frederick B. Kentfield, John H. Nichols, Cornelius O'Connor, Dwight A. Reed, Elmer P. Snow.

Company E. — Sergt. Charles N. Cook, Sergt. Franklin Hurst, Sergt. Alonzo H. Conklin, Corp. Nelson L. Adams, Corp. Fred. A. Robbins, Henry C. Bacon, Sylvadore Beach, Charles Dennison, John W. Gilmer, Rufus Groat, Joseph W. Huntley, John Lander, Joseph Mattis, Dennis McDonough, Thomas W. Norton, George W. Parish, Alfred C. Turner, Isaac F. Woodward.

Company F. — Sergt. George W. Cone, Sergt. Charles H. Pratt, Corp. Lafayette Babb, Henry W. Chatfield, Timothy C. Cooney, Alfred C. Crocker, John Gorman, Richard Miller, Ulysses H. Pierce, Amos B. Pomroy, Walter A. Richards, George Welcome, George Welcome, Jr., David Woodworth.






Company G. — Sergt. George Chalmers, Corp. John H. Hannum, Corp. John Ward, Corp. Lorenzo H. Yance, Avery Bryant, Edward Bride, George S. Corkins, Edward M. Cobb, Daniel Haney, James Lenahan, Elihu Smith.

Company H. — Sergt. Sydney S. Terry, Corp. Charles H. Robertson, Charles G. Bennett, William Bowers, Franklin B. Brayton, Judge Bullard, Leverett Clarke, James Casey, Henry C. Crandall, John Q. Erwin, William J. Lowell, Nelson A. Randall, Albert A. Talham.

Company I. — Corp. William Allen, Samuel Ashworth, Edwin H. Atwood, Henry Baker, Andrew Baird, Jacob Barton, William H. Chapin, James K. Crosby, William I. Joslyn, Elias S. Keyes, Horace Merritt, Gilbert McNall, Loren Wood.

Company K. — Sergt. Joel Meacham, Corp. David H. Ingerson, Charles Baker, Hiram Burlingame, Jr., Harvey H. Converse, John R. Davis, Wilbur F. Davis, James Dimpsey, Francis Fisher, William Flynn, Patrick Hayes, Carl N. Lippman, John Mahoney, Andrew Marian, William Murphy, John McGowan, George R. Ring, Dennis Sheehan, William S. Tiffany.

The only members of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. who escaped were Surg. D. B. N. Fish, Hospital Steward Parker, Privates George A. Hill and William Bly, of Company A, Ephraim Wilson, Company G, Dwight E. Bruce, Company K, and one other, now unknown.

Col. Walter Gustin Bartholomew, son of Abiel and Sarah Gustin Bartholomew, was born at Colchester, Conn., June 26, 1826. His educational advantages were confined to the district schools. August, 1849, he enlisted in the U. S. Engineer Corps, served five years in Company A, Sappers and Miners, at West Point Military Academy, and was discharged as a corporal at the expiration of his term of enlistment. After his discharge he located at Springfield, Mass., and was employed in Thompson's Express Office until the opening

of hostilities. On the organization of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., he was commissioned captain, with assignment to the North Adams company (H), which he soon brought to such perfection as to distance competition. He was assigned the post of honor, — the right of the regiment, — a position justly deserved, and unanimously accorded to him. On the resignation of Maj. William M. Brown, Dec. 6, 1861, he was promoted to fill the vacancy; and May 27, 1863, upon the resignation of Lieut. Col. Luke Lyman, was commissioned lieutenant-colonel. He was discharged as lieutenant-colonel June 26, 1865, but for conspicuous and meritorious service, was brevetted colonel.

Col. Bartholomew was an ideal soldier in appearance, bearing, courage, and discipline. He was of commanding presence, securing obedience by acknowledged superiority rather than by brute force. He presented a somewhat rare combination of commander and comrade, but never belittled himself or dishonored his office. Though nowhere deficient, he excelled on the field of action. No heat of contest, nor extremity, seemed able to disturb his composure, while no venture was too great to be hazarded. While holding his men by a genial, personal magnetism, he met anything like disorder by an austerity sure to bring order out of chaos. At Roanoke Island he checked a detachment, showing undue haste in retiring, and brought them to an order and step recognized by military codes. At Goldsboro, to reassure his men, he probed the ground where a shell had just buried itself, and later, took position where one had just struck, saying, “They can't put another there.” In fact some coolness or fearlessness exhibited itself in every engagement to enliven our story of the field, or to add lustre to our actions. The “Battle of South-West Creek, March 8, 1865,” exhibited him advantageously. Although cut off from support and succor at the very outset, and knowing himself surrounded by an overwhelming force, he transformed his handful






to a host and fought Hoke's entire division in four different positions, holding them at bay a full hour before surrender. So impressed were the enemy by the unwonted bravery and fortitude of Col. Bartholomew and his men, as before stated, that Col. Zachary, of the Twenty-Eighth Georgia Regiment, who received his sword, returned it to him in recognition of distinguished bravery.

By the misfortunes of war he was twice a prisoner and once severely wounded (March 8, 1865). It was at first decided that amputation must be made, but the present of a silver-mounted revolver to the surgeon by Adjutant Holmes, made him kindly disposed toward the colonel, who was given extra attention in consequence; and after the wound had been examined by a council of surgeons, they decided that the limb could be saved. The colonel was overjoyed at this conclusion and made a present of his gold watch chain, previously concealed on his person, to the surgeon. The wound was unskilfully dressed by Surgeon Mathus of the Twenty-Eighth Georgia Regiment, and continued to ulcerate and to break out at intervals, until February, 1881, when it discharged a piece of leather an inch square, since which, it has permanently healed. Col. Bartholomew enjoyed the unbounded confidence of his men, and had equal confidence in their courage and ability. He now resides at Tampa, Fla., and is high sheriff and United States marshal for that vicinity.

Sergt. Bartholomew O'Connell had been temporarily placed in command of Company A, but was in reality a member of Company C. He was wounded at the battle of Roanoke, taken prisoner at Drewry's Bluff, escaped from his captors by cutting a hole through the cars as the train approached Andersonville, made his way with Corp. Brizzee to the Union lines, rejoined his company, and died upon the field of South-West Creek. His acts best enshrine his virtues.

Color-Sergeant John McCleary and Color-Corporal William W. Cummings had both fallen wounded upon the field of South-West Creek, when our colors were caught up and borne by Comrades Lafayette Babb of Tolland and Leverett Clarke of Newburyport, during the continuance of the engagement. Seeing the battle was likely to end disastrously, they rolled the colors on their standards, thrust them under the side of an old rotten log, and scraped leaves and swamp grass before them to hide them from sight. Upon the exchange of our men a month later, they forwarded information of this to New Berne, and the colors were subsequently recovered by some of our men and brought back to the regiment.

Capt. J. W. Trafton of the Twenty-Seventh, had been detached for staff duty with Col. Upham, and was present on the field when the enemy first appeared in our rear. Taking in the situation at a glance, he hastily rode to Gen'l Palmer's Division by the only avenue of escape, informing him of the situation and asking for aid. This general, however, was too fully occupied by the enemy on his front, to be able to furnish relief.

Surgeon Fish had established quarters on the field, a little to the left of the regiment, and was at the line jestingly trying to effect an exchange with Lieut. Davis, — familiarly known as “Jeff Davis,”— of a piece of cake for his splendid meerschaum pipe, saying, “You might as well do it, Jeff, that Johnnies are after it, and you won't get even a piece of cake.” At that moment a volley from the enemy swept the field, and Surgeon Fish returned to his position. Finding that place too exposed for surgical practice, he retired to the earthwork at the corner, but finding this deserted, with vicious Minies clipping around his ears, and a line of anxious Johnnies in full charge toward him, he evacuated the work without a contest, and retreated towards the railroad. He writes, “The memory of the Twenty-Seventh was always






dear to me, and I felt I showed a willingness greater than that of any other man, to preserve its name and organization. I was the only officer who had courage to run out of, and away from a fight, that the regiment might not be blotted out. I did it in good style, too, from South-West Creek, with yellow kids on my hands and a piece of cake in my mouth.” This should not be construed too literally of Surgeon Fish, for it was only as a last resort, when success had been reduced to an impossibility, that the surgeon laid aside his surgical appliances and sought the rear. He was uniformly successful in his ventures, as well as his practice, though we are obliged to record a failure in his negotiations for the pipe. Jeff had but lately returned from an extensive Southern trip, and with keen recollection of Southern hospitality, he was in no mood to sacrifice either himself or his pipe. It was of no use, however; the rebs were after it, and, as Surgeon Fish predicted, Jeff parted with it without even a piece of cake in return.

Adjutant Joseph W. Holmes

rendered conspicuous service during the engagement of South-West Creek. Fearless of personal danger, and realizing the desperateness of the conflict, he was through it all invaluable to Col. Bartholomew in carrying out his orders. When the colonel was wounded he stayed by him ministering to his comforts until forced by his captors to join his fellow-officers for removal to Richmond. Adjutant Holmes was born at Windsor, Conn., Aug. 31, 1833; was for a time clerk in hotels at Madison, Wis., Louisville, Ky., and afterward became landlord of the Union House, Springfield, Mass. At the opening of the war he was in business in New York City, and enlisted at Springfield, Mass., as a private under Capt. Wilcox, Aug. 25, 1862. He joined the regiment in North Carolina, and, being a good penman and systematic in his

work, he was appointed adjutant's clerk, holding that position until the battle of Drewry's Bluff, when he was promoted from a private to first lieutenant, and appointed adjutant of the regiment. His services to the end of the war were rendered in this capacity. He was exchanged from Richmond, March 26, 1865, and gave personal attention to the intricate details incident to the settlement of accounts and the mustering out of the regiment. He retired to Springfield where he engaged in the insurance business. Meeting misfortune in 1873 he refused to bow to it, and labored hard to meet his obligations. He was a warm friend, generous to a fault, and none loved the old regiment better than he. He died at his home Jan. 24, 1881, leaving a widow and three children. The flags captured at Drewry's Bluff had just been recovered, and our national colors enfolded the casket during the funeral obsequies. Dr. D. B. N. Fish, of Amherst, wrote of him; “We have met a great loss in the death of Adjutant Holmes; I shall never forget how we skirmished about in the rear of the regiment at Arrowfield Church, where he had been sent; how we moved to the left, then to the right, and again to the left to avoid the thickly falling shell, till he, with rifle in hand, started for the front, where he had no more business than I; while I, true to my sense of duty, started for the rear.”

James H. Trask, of Company B, at this time upon the Ambulance Corps, attempted to reach the regiment with an ambulance from Wise Forks. He continued to advance, under the impression that it was only a line of skirmishers, until the enemy jumped out of the woods for his horse, when the latter suddenly wheeled and bore him away in safety, though the ambulance was riddled with shot.

Everybody in the regiment, and a good many outside of it, knew “old George W.” He could play “poker” with the most expert, and, it was said, made enough in this way to afford him unusual luxuries, and yet to enable him to






send home to his good wife more than his wages. If George got full, he always had a ten-dollar bill in his “west pocket,” to bet that he could whip any man in the regiment. He got into another camp one day, and when he made his usual bet, fell among the Philistines. He was used up badly, and when he returned to camp, bleeding and sore, said, “— — boys, they didn't use me fair; they doubled up on me!” He was very careful after this about going among strangers for a fight. He went through nearly four years of service; never shirked; and when captured at South-West Creek, still had a ten-dollar bill in his “west pocket,” and was willing to bet any rebel in the Confederacy he could whip him if there was no doubling up on him.

Of the contest of South-West Creek the “New York Herald” correspondent wrote, under date of March 11th: “They (the enemy) came upon them (Upham's Brigade) furiously, and the consequences were, a large portion of the two regiments were captured, being outflanked by the rebels, who crowded upon their rear and sides. The Twenty-Seventh Mass. numbered less than two hundred men, Lieut. Col. Bartholomew being in command. He is a most worthy officer, and his command fought like heroes before surrendering; but it was against odds far too great. When they found themselves surrounded they fought like Spartans, resorting to the bayonet when their ammunition was exhausted. They deserved a more glorious fate than they met.” The “Army and Navy Journal” in commenting on the engagement in its issue of March 18, 1865, says: “The Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. resisted the shock with admirable gallantry, the enemy confessing that we disputed the ground obstinately.”

Having compassed our defeat, the enemy assailed the columns of Palmer and Carter with temporary success; but the obstinate contest of Col. Upham's brigade and our misfortune, became their salvation, in giving them warning of and

time to prepare for the rebel onset. Palmer's column was forced back; but when the enemy attempted to pierce the gap between the two divisions, they were met by fresh troops under Gen'l Ruger, who arrived about 4 P. M. The combined Union forces now re-established their lines and waited till the 10th with some slight skirmishing. The morning of the 19th, the enemy, being reinforced by the remainder of S. D. Lee's Corps from Hood's army, made a bold and determined attack to crush the Union forces before the arrival of Couch's Division from Wilmington. Three assaults were made, but they were decisively repulsed with heavy loss to the enemy, while our total loss was less than five hundred men. So complete was the repulse that upon the arrival of Couch's Division on the 11th, the enemy abandoned the field and withdrew to the north of the Neuse at Kinston, destroying the bridge and an iron-clad steamer. Bragg evacuated Kinston the 13th, without a contest, and Gen'l Schofield occupied it the same day.

The story of our men captured at South-West Creek, is briefly this: We were placed upon cars at Goldsboro, the afternoon of the 11th, arriving at Weldon about dusk. Here we bivouacked in the open air, guarded by the “North Carolina Reserves.” At noon, the 12th, we took cars for Clarksville Turnout, marched ten miles, bivouacked, and arrived at Clarksville the evening of the 13th. The next morning a crowd of young women, came down to gaze upon the “forlorn Yanks.” Mrs. Mahone, wife of the rebel Gen'l Mahone, — now United States Senator from Virginia — and her two sons, visited us also, her whole action bespeaking ladylike refinement and gentleness. Marched twenty miles the 14th, and bivouacked for the night on the banks of the Dan. At 11 A. M., the 15th, we moved forward, reaching the Danville Railroad at Wolf Trap, having crossed the Dan at Nichols Ferry. The 16th, marched ten miles to “Clover Station,” where Lieut. Edwin L. Peck records:






“Bought forty dollars worth of grub for supper and am hungry yet.” This march and the bivouac for the night was in a drenching rain.

Although all rebels pretended to hate Uncle Sam, still his promises to pay were held in high esteem by them. Understanding this, one of our officers took advantage of a good-natured Georgia lieutenant, and by cautious negotiations, induced him to try to get a supply of apple-jack, for medicine. His labor of love was successfully performed (for ninety dollars), and about midnight he returned with ten canteens full of “Southern comfort,” himself well braced up by it. There were some twenty patients in the crowd. The medicine was given in ten-drop doses, and as no spoons were to be had, an officer stood near the patient, and every swallow counted for a drop. Most of the cases were desperate and required frequent doses. A thunder-storm deluged the tent and its occupants during the night, but the indications were that the crowd had given the storm but little thought, as they were wetter inside than out.

From Clover Station the rank and file continued their march to Richmond, arriving there Thursday, the 23d inst. On arriving at Manchester an officer rode along the line, threatening to shoot any one attempting to throw his personal effects into the river. One of the men had an elegant gold watch, given him by his mother, to save which he hid it in a piece of boiled pork, and passed the examination without its discovery. The officers boarded the roofs of freight cars at Clover Station, at eight A. M., the 17th, and after a slow, tedious, and rough ride, arrived at Manchester at three A. M., the 18th.

The officer in charge of the detachment was ignorant of the exact locality of the “Hotel de Libby,” and Lieut. W. G. Davis, having once been escorted to that celebrated resort, had the pleasure of directing the column to its door. On arriving at Libby, all the men were stripped and relieved of

money, jewelry, and clothing, by Sergt. Ross, acting for Dick Turner, but many recovered the money when exchanged. The prison rations issued were as filthy and meagre as ever, but the deficiency was in part made up by issues from the stores held by Capt. James Stewart of the One Hundred and Forty-Sixth New York Regiment, United States distributing agent at that place. This was a decided surprise and an improvement over the arrangements for comfort and supplies which our captives enjoyed the May previous. Shoes, socks, needles, thread, coffee, sugar, and the like, were issued to relieve immediate necessity, and were more than appreciated by our unfortunate men.

It was clear that an early release by parole would be granted, and upon the morning of Sunday, March 26th, we were aroused and ordered ready to leave for the Union lines. There was the greatest enthusiasm as we moved down the street and embarked. We soon passed Drewry's Bluff, the scene of our first disaster; later the rebel fleet of iron-clads below Chapin's Bluff, and at one P. M., arrived at Aiken's Landing. At two P. M. we were aboard the steamer “New York,” en route to Annapolis, where we were allowed a thirty-day furlough, arriving in Springfield at eleven o'clock April 3, 1865, being furnished a collation and night accommodations at the “Soldiers’ Rest.”






CHAPTER XXIV. CLOSE OF SERVICE — NOTICES OF OFFICERS.

At the time of our disaster, March 8, 1865, Major Moore had just been mustered from service, and Capt. Nutting was on detached service as brigade quartermaster. Quartermaster George M. Bowker was discharged from service Feb. 11, 1865, and Lieut. Benjamin B. Peck, who had succeeded him, was at the rear, with the regimental and quartermaster stores; so that there were still in North Carolina, Surgeon Fish, Capt. Nutting, Lieut. B. B. Peck, and some thirty enlisted men. About forty more were sick, or upon sick furloughs at the North. March 11th, Capt. Nutting assumed command of the regiment, only eight men reporting for duty. The next day we received orders to report at New Berne for guard duty at the Foster General Hospital. March 15th, seven recruits joined the regiment. Our camp was near Fort Totten, and a portion of our men were temporarily attached to the Fifth Rhode Island Artillery at the Fort. April 1st, the regiment (thirty men) was ordered to Camp Distribution as guards. This camp, as its name suggests, was for the temporary accommodation of convalescents. At times it contained only a few, and at other times thousands of men en route to their regiments.

April 13th we received news of the surrender of Gen'l Lee and his army, and it was currently said, an order was issued that “if any member of the army was found sober at

four P. M., he would be arrested and court-martialled.” At least the spirit of such an order was to a large extent carried out. Fort Totten and the navy responded to our cheers with a national salute, and the day was generally celebrated with mock engagements, speeches, national and patriotic songs. April 26th, the festivities were again renewed over the surrender of Johnston's army and the virtual close of the war. A wilder set of men never existed, and the exhibitions of joy manifested never reached sublimer heights. The strifes of four long years, the sacrifice of blood and life, the measureless sufferings of the crippled and dead, now found fruition in victory and in an honorable peace.

The soldier's life was usually a very hard or a very easy one, and it was emphatically so with our regiment. Its days of ease in camp, garrison or provost duty, contrasted frequently and sharply with the siege, the forced march, the bivouac on the cold and wet ground, the deadly assault, or the horrors of a prison life. Whenever an assault must be made, or dangerous ground held, it fell to the lot of the Twenty-Seventh to find itself where shot and shell flew thickest and fastest, where death reaped its most abundant harvest. First on the field, and last off it at New Berne, Goldsboro, Walthall, and Arrowfield; in the thickest of the fight at Drewry's Bluff; one of the first to rush into the “jaws of hell” at Cold Harbor; pouring out its blood like water in the deadly charge at Petersburg, it at last sank in a sea of blood at South-West Creek. With such hardships and exposure, it is no wonder that the effective strength of the command was greatly weakened by disease, that the wounded were so many, and that the death list was the highest of any infantry regiment that left this State to suppress the rebellion.

As the furlough of the paroled men expired about the 1st of May, Adjutant Holmes received the following instructions: —






Boston, May 1, 1865.

In reply to your inquiry relative to men of the Twenty-Seventh Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, now in the State as prisoners paroled, and whose furloughs from Camp Parole, Annapolis, are about to expire, it is deemed advisable — to save expenses of transporting them to and from Annapolis again, — that they should remain in the State, holding themselves subject to the orders of the War Department, and its action in this particular case.

F. M. Clark,Maj. and A. A. P. M. G.

The disbanding of the rebel army soon filled the country with “Johnnies marching home;” and as some of them were passing through New Berne, one of the Twenty-Seventh boys saw a sword upon a rebel captain which looked familiar, and, using a soldier's privilege, insisted upon seeing it, and thus discovered Adjutant Holmes’ sword, which was promptly taken, and forwarded to its original owner. With the close of hostilities, Col. Bartholomew was brought to New Berne, and, under the watchful care of skilful surgeons, was soon after able to be sent North. There were now three hundred seventy-three men at the North and in the hospitals, and only thirty-three men on duty in North Carolina; and Adjutant Holmes applied to the War Department to have the latter sent home. On the 6th of June, before action had been taken on this request, Capt. McKay and Lieuts. Lyman, E. L. Peck, Bligh and Larned, with fifty enlisted men, returned to the command at New Berne.

June 26th the regiment was mustered out of service at New Berne by Capt. James D. Parker, Assistant Commissary of Musters, in accordance with orders from Department Headquarters. July 1st the regiment, with seven officers and one hundred and thirty-two men, sailed for the North, reaching Readville, Mass., July 7, 1865. Here, almost within sight of home, a tedious delay of twelve days occurred

in closing the accounts of the regiment, when they were paid off by Paymaster Holman and the regiment disbanded. Many of those in hospitals at the North did not obtain discharges until some time later. The last man discharged was Spencer C. Wood of Company A, Easthampton. He went North on a sick leave in December, 1862, and was never able to return. His papers were forwarded for discharge, but were mislaid until found through the efforts of Senator Dawes. He received his discharge in January, 1881, to date from Nov. 27, 1862.

It is unnecessary to recount the successive brilliant achievements of the Union arms, by which in one short month after our last engagement, the rebel army in Virginia was forced to an unconditional surrender; or to note the march of Gen'l Sherman's victorous host and the capitulation of Johnston's army, April 25th. May 11th the last engagement of the war occurred near Palmetto Branch, Texas, where Col. Barrett and a portion of the Thirty-Fourth Indiana Regiment attacked a rebel camp. The object of the expedition was accomplished in the capture and destruction of the camp. The enemy, however, rallied, and forced our troops to retire on Brazos. The same day Jefferson Davis, the quasi president of the Confederacy, was captured by Col. Pritchard and the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, in that “last ditch” which with so much flourish the rebs had declared a purpose to defend; it was the shawl, raglan and hoop-skirt of Mrs. Davis. “Thus closed a war which,” says Jefferson Davis, “commenced and ended with Confederate victories;” but as results were the fruits we sought, we do not care to quarrel over his innocent claims, for the Union was saved.

It was a strife which made insignificant the greatest wars of the past, and was waged with triple fury because of consanguinity; with forces and resources commensurate to the country and to the issues at stake. The magnitude of the struggle best appears as we recede from its military operations






and more fully understand their details. To the anxious North, the Grant campaigns of 1864 and 1865 seemed slow and fruitless, but to-day we look back upon them with wonder. In eleven months the exultant army of Lee, which had tauntingly defied the Union arms before the Rappahannock, was reduced to abject surrender by the assaults, manœuvres, marches, and constant vigilance of this army, and Grant did “fight it out on that line,” though it took almost a year. It cost the Union Army operating for the defeat of Lee's Army in Virginia, in 1864-5, twenty-five thousand slain and one hundred thousand wounded, but its spirit was equal to any sacrifice to accomplish its purpose. From the beginning of the war to its close two million six hundred and eighty-eight thousand seven hundred and twenty-three men had participated in the contest; this, reduced to the three years standard, gave an effective three years’ force of two million one hundred fifty-three thousand six hundred fifty-seven men. Of this number, it is estimated three hundred and five thousand men were buried upon or adjacent to the fields of battle, irrespective of those who died at home. Nearly an equal number were more or less severely wounded upon the field, while at least two hundred and eighty-five thousand were discharged for disability, and came back wrecks of their former selves, many of them only to die. These losses, coupled with the immense destruction of stores and supplies, and the outlay of billions of dollars, give a little idea of the magnitude of our struggle.

The South mustered one million two hundred and eighty-seven thousand men into their army during the war, and surrendered at its close a total of one hundred and sixty-seven thousand three hundred and thirty-nine men. Most of the rebel troops, however, dispersed without giving parole. Lee's army, when it commenced its retreat from Petersburg, numbered about fifty thousand men, though but little more than half that number were paroled. The rebellion, then,

called into the field nearly four millions of men. In its prosecution it cost the lives of nearly five hundred thousand men, and the health of four hundred and fifty thousand more. Out of this struggle, however, in the prophetic words of President Adams, came “a people fully initiated into the family of nations,” with a unity and prowess commanding the honor and respect of the world.

PERSONAL NOTICES.

Maj. John W. Moore was born in Tolland, Hampden County, Mass., March 12, 1830. His father, Elgin D. Moore, was a leading man of affairs in church and town, and, with his wife, Harriet Wadsworth, of Hartford, Conn., was of Puritan stock and of honorable connection with the wars of the Revolution and of 1812. Major Moore's educational advantages were limited, until, by his own effort, he was enabled to attend the Suffield (Conn.) Institute and the Westfield Academy, where he fitted for college. He entered Williams College, but at the close of the Freshman year went to California, remaining until 1859. Upon his return he entered the law office of Gillett & Stevens, Westfield, Mass., and was admitted to the “Hampden County Bar” a year later. Upon the outbreak of the rebellion he was attending Harvard Law School. When authority was given to Col. Lee to raise the Twenty-Seventh Regiment, Major Moore offered to assist in recruiting a company, and, succeeding, was commissioned as a first lieutenant in that company. Upon the resignation of Capt. Thayer, Lieut. Moore was promoted to captain. After the death of Major Walker, while upon the return to White-House Landing, June 12, 1864, he was ordered to the command of the regiment, and soon after received his commission as major, dated June 4, 1864. Major Moore participated in all the engagements of the regiment until June 18, 1864, at which time he was wounded, and went North. He returned to the






regiment before Petersburg early in September, and commanded the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Vols. on its return to North Carolina, and until Lieut. Col. Bartholomew rejoined the regiment in the November following. Soon after the return of Col. Bartholomew, Major Moore tendered his resignation, because of ill-health, and because the few men connected with the regiment did not require the retention of two field officers; but, owing to the cotton difficulty (recorded on page 453), the resignation was not accepted until March 8, 1865. Major Moore flatly refused to be bled for the benefit of speculators within or outside of the army. Finally, upon a declaration that the entire correspondence would be sent to the Secretary of War, unless some decisive action was taken by Gen'l Palmer, Major Moore secured the acceptance of his resignation. Major Moore has lived in California, Moniteau County, Missouri, since 1865. He has served four years as a circuit attorney for the First Judicial Circuit of Missouri, and has now a large and lucrative law practice.

Col. Joseph H. Nutting, of Greenfield, Mass., was a clerk in a grocery store, and after aiding in enlisting the Greenfield company (C) was commissioned first lieutenant Oct. 16, 1861. Upon the promotion of Capt. Walker to major, Lieut. Nutting was promoted to his place. May 11, 1865, Capt. Nutting was commissioned as major, and May 15, 1865, for conspicuous and meritorious action, was brevetted lieutenant-colonel. Col. Nutting was one of the few always to be relied upon, and his bearing upon the field was courageous and inspiring. He was present in all our contests until May 16, 1864, when, with nine other officers, he was made prisoner. He escaped from the enemy at Columbia, S. C., as already narrated. After a short leave of absence he rejoined the regiment, filling responsible positions with credit to himself, and giving special attention to

the final mustering-out and discharge of the regiment. Col. Nutting's entire service reflected honor upon himself and the regiment. His sword, captured from him at Drewry's Bluff, May 16, 1864, was recaptured with Jefferson Davis and party, and was returned to Col. Nutting.

Capt. George W. Bartlett, first adjutant of our regiment, was a native of Bath, Me., and a graduate of Dartmouth College in 1856. He was principal of the Deerfield Academy in 1857; read law with Hon. Thomas Jenks in 1858; and graduated from the Albany Law School in 1859. He began the practice of law at Greenfield, Mass., and at various times was associated with Alvord & Wells, Judge C. C. Conant, and E. E. Lyman, Esq., all of that town. He received well-merited promotion to captain for gallantry on the field, while his legal abilities were recognized in appointments as judge-advocate and, later, as provost-marshal of the District of Beaufort. Capt. Bartlett possessed a well-balanced mind, with finished scholarly attainments. He was a self-made man, of good parts, close in application, patient in detail, and independent in thought. He was fearless upon the field and fond of adventure. At the close of his service he returned to his profession at Greenfield, and June 7, 1865, married Mrs. Frances Gregg Smith, a granddaughter of Hon. Daniel Webster. He served as a representative in the Mass. General Court in 1865, and subsequently as an assistant assessor of the Ninth District. He died Feb. 4, 1873, needing no better monument than the court records of Franklin County. The following resolutions were adopted by the court, March 23, 1873, and an adjournment ordered for the day, in honor of his memory: —

Resolved, That we, as his associates, bear testimony to his learning and ability as a lawyer, his uniform courtesy and uprightness in all his professional duties, as well as his untiring zeal and faithfulness to his clients and fidelity to the courts.






Resolved, That in the death of Mr. Bartlett the county and community have lost a citizen of much enterprise and public spirit, a firm friend of education and progress, and that his memory will be kindly cherished.

Surgeon D. B. N. Fish. Jan. 23, 1863, the hospital staff was reinforced by Assistant Surgeon D. B. N. Fish, who had been appointed January 5th to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Assistant Surgeon Hunt. He remained with the regiment to the end, and was deservedly promoted until he stood in the place of our renowned Surgeon Otis. Although suffering much of the time from fever and ague, Surgeon Fish was with us on every march and in every battle from this time until our last engagement, March 8, 1865. Even during Surgeon Otis’ and Assistant Surgeon Hubon's connection with us, he was for the greater part of the time in charge of the regiment, — the former officers being upon detached service. During the trying campaign of 1864 he followed us with untiring zeal upon every movement, having plead for relief from a most flattering position as surgeon at the Corps hospital, that he might share the fortunes and lighten the misfortunes of our men. Surgeon Fish was born in Amherst, Mass., in 1838. He entered Amherst College in 1858, but on account of a hemorrhage of the lungs was obliged to leave at the end of the Freshman year. He graduated in medicine at Berkshire Medical College in 1862. He was soon after offered his choice of position as assistant surgeon either of the Tenth or Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regiments. He chose the latter, and became at once a most valued and trusted officer, and to his unremitting care many of our number owe their exemption from the disabilities incident to war. Surgeon Fish now resides in Amherst, Mass., and holds an enviable position as a physician and surgeon.

Capt. Park W. McManus was from Davenport, Iowa, but in 1861 was a member of the Junior Class at Amherst College. He had no former military experience, and, for that matter, needed but little, as he was a born soldier, with a commanding presence and a courage equal to any emergency. He was commissioned first lieutenant, and assigned to Company B. Upon the death of Adjt. E. D. Lee he was appointed adjutant, and was serving as such when captured, May 16, 1864. After an extended acquaintance with rebel prisons he made his escape, as narrated in this work. Capt. McManus participated in all our battles, until his capture, and resigned his commission Dec. 31, 1864. He now resides at Davenport, Iowa, and has represented his constituents in the State legislature.

Capt. Gustave A. Fuller was for several years a noncommissioned officer in the Springfield City Guard, and was commissioned captain with an assignment to the Pittsfield company (E). His company was given the second position in rank — the left of the line — for proficiency in the school of soldiers. After passing through the battles of Roanoke Island and New Berne, he resigned his commission July 22, 1862. After the war Capt. Fuller became a prominent member of the Old Guard of New York City, and the proprietor of Fuller's Express. He died at New York City Jan. 18, 1883, and was buried with military honors by the Old Guard in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Capt. Horace K. Cooley served as a private in the Mexican war, and at the time of the organization of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt., was a member of the Springfield City Guards. He assisted in the recruiting of the Springfield company (K), and was commissioned as captain. He was present in the battles of Roanoke Island, New Berne, Kinston, Whitehall, Goldsboro, and the siege of Washington.






In November, 1862, he was in command of the outpost at Bachelor's Creek, and though surrounded by the enemy, he defended his position until their retreat, for which he received special mention by the commanding general. He resigned his commission on account of disability, April 29, 1863, and now resides at Somerville, Mass.

Capt. R. Ripley Swift was for several years a sergeant in the Springfield City Guards, and previous to the outbreak of the rebellion was a photographer at Chicopee, Mass., and an agent of Thompson's Express Company. He recruited for his company at Chicopee, and was commissioned captain of the same, Oct. 16, 1861. He was severely wounded at the battle of New Berne, and though he never fully recovered from the consequent disability, he rejoined the regiment; and during the time it was scattered upon outpost duty, served as quartermaster for one of the detachments. Later, he entered the field with his company, and was captured before Drewry's Bluff, May 16, 1864. He was exchanged in March, 1865, and discharged from service March 12, 1865. Capt. Swift was accidently drowned at Springfield during the summer of 1879.

Capt. Timothy W. Sloan of Amherst, was formerly an officer in the Mass. State Militia, and when that town decided to raise a company for the Twenty-Seventh Regiment he was naturally selected as its leader. In company with Ami R. Dennison of Amherst College, and J. Leander Skinner, he raised a company of men, second to none in the regiment. He was commissioned as captain of this company, and after participating in the battles of Roanoke Island and New Berne, resigned by reason of disability, Nov. 15, 1862 Capt. Sloan is a shoe merchant, and resides at Amherst, Mass.

Capt. Adin W. Caswell was also connected with our

State militia; and upon the opening of hostilities, was a shoe manufacturer at Gardner, Mass. He had recruited a company at Athol and Gardner, expecting to join some Worcester County regiment; but in the absence of such an opportunity the company was offered to and accepted by the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regt. Capt. Caswell served his full term, and was present in all our battles save that at Drewry's Bluff, at which time he was disabled by a wound received at Arrowfield Church. As a remarkable fact he never asked for or received a leave of absence. He was discharged by reason of the expiration of his term of service, Nov. 19, 1864. He still resides at Gardner, Mass.

Capt. William H. Tyler, our first quartermaster, was in business at North Adams when appointed to that position by Governor Andrew. He had had no former military experience. It is a sufficient comment upon his worth to record that upon the organization of Stevenson's Brigade, Jan. 1, 1863, Lieut. Tyler was selected for his staff. He was promoted to captain and commissary of subsistence, U. S. V., and continued with that brigade until he was discharged from service. He died at North Adams near the close of the war.

Capt. Henry C. Dwight was a native of Northampton, Mass., and a descendant of a time-honored family. Though a young man with flattering prospects, he relinquished all at the call of his country, and was influential in recruiting the Northampton company. Moved by an earnest enthusiasm, he first took a subordinate position, but received the first promotion given in the regiment, and was rapidly advanced to captain, commanding Company A. In this position he served until May 16, 1864, with credit to himself and honor to the regiment. While lying with his company before Drewry's Bluff, the night previous to the battle, he received






Special Order No. 27, Headquarters Eighteenth Army Corps. ordering him to report forthwith to Capt. John Hall, Chief Commissary of Subsistence. Although the order was complimentary to Capt. Dwight, he was indisposed to leave his command, feeling confident that a desperate battle was impending. The order, however, was imperative, and in obeying it, he escaped the consequences of that battle, and remained until the close of his term, Sept. 28, 1864, as captain and assistant commissary of subsistence, Eighteenth Army Corps. Capt. Dwight's intelligent, courageous, patriotic service, with his genial, self-forgetful spirit, inspired universal confidence and regard. He still is one of our most popular comrades, and has a keen interest in all that pertains to our regiment, He resides at Hartford, Conn., has been honored by his constituents with municipal and pecuniary trusts, and is now a large and successful manufacturer.

Capt. Peter S. Bailey was prominent in the enlistment of the Chicopee company, and was commissioned its first lieutenant. He was promoted to captain, Feb. 17, 1864, and assigned to the command of the Amherst company. He escaped the disaster which befell our regiment, May 16, 1864, being at the time upon the picket line. He was wounded at Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864, and subsequently held command of the regiment before Petersburg, Va. He was discharged from service Dec. 17, 1864, and now resides at Springfield, Mass., holding the responsible position of treasurer of the Hampden Savings Bank.

Capt. J. Leander Skinner was born in Jamaica, Vt., Nov. 29, 1838. He afterwards removed to Brookfield and Ware, Mass., and at the opening of the war was a clerk in the store of A. & B. W. Allen, of Amherst. His first enlistment, from lack of numbers to organize a company, proved of no avail. Upon the next call for troops he himself determined

to try to raise a company. In company with three associates, he canvassed Amherst and the adjoining towns, and in two weeks the ranks were full. Although fairly entitled to a commission, he accepted the position of first sergeant and by successive promotions was made captain, Sept. 29, 1864. As a matter of principle, Capt. Skinner never absented himself from duty. He shared in all our battles until May 16, 1864, at Drewry's Bluff, at which place he was captured, and suffered imprisonment at Macon, Ga., and Charleston and Columbia, S. C. He escaped from Columbia Nov. 4, 1864; was recaptured four days later, but re-escaped November 29th, and made his way to our blockading squadron off the mouth of the Santee River. He reached Fortress Monroe about Jan. 1, 1865. Jan. 21, 1865, by Special Order, No. 33, from the War Department, he was mustered out of service, to date from Dec. 31, 1864. Capt. Skinner subsequently served as the postmaster of Amherst and is now residing in Sacramento, Cal. He has recently received his sword, captured at Drewry's Bluff, through the kindness of a lady of South Carolina.

Lieut. James H. Fowler, son of Charles C. Fowler, Esq., of Westfield, Mass., was born at that place, Dec. 2, 1839. At the opening of the war, he was in the hardware business in Boston. He responded at once to the call for volunteers; but so general was the response, that but a small number of the companies offered to the Government were accepted. While connected with one of these unaccepted companies, he became an adept in the manual of arms and company movements, so that when he received his commission as second lieutenant in our regiment, Oct. 16, 1864, he had but few superiors as a drill-master. He was promoted to first lieutenant Jan. 2, 1862; served for a time as adjutant; and during the campaign of 1864, as commissary of subsistence upon Gen'l Stannard's staff. He was






discharged Sept. 28, 1864; re-engaged in business at Boston, and died Oct. 12, 1877.

Lieut. William G. Davis was a resident of Schenectady, N. Y., but being at Greenfield at the time of the enlistment of Company C, joined the same as its first sergeant. He was promoted to second lieutenant, May 2, 1863, and to first lieutenant, June 4, 1864. He was captured at Drewry's Bluff and after six months’ imprisonment made good his escape, as narrated in this work. He rejoined the regiment in North Carolina; participated in the battle of South-W