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The Fifth regiment Massachusetts volunteer infantry in its three tours of duty 1861, 1862-'63, 1864

Date: 1911 | Identifier: E513.5 5THR
The Fifth regiment Massachusetts volunteer infantry in its three tours of duty 1861, 1862-'63, 1864, by Alfred S. Roe. Boston, Mass. : Fifth Regiment Veteran Association, 1911. 510 p. incl. front., illus., maps, ports. 24 cm. more...
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[Illustration:

COLONEL SAMUEL C. LAWRENCE
]





THE
FIFTH REGIMENT
MASSACHUSETTS
VOLUNTEER INFANTRY



IN ITS THREE TOURS OF DUTY
1861, 1862-’63, 1864

By ALFRED S. ROE
A veteran of the Civil War

ALFRED S. ROE

REGIMENTAL COMMITTEE ON HISTORY
WILLIAM C. BATES, Cbairman
GEORGE E. MITCHELL, Secy. and Treas.
EDWIN F. WYER JAMES H. GRIGGS EPHRAIM A. HOWE

Published by the
Fifth Regiment Veteran Association
Boston, Massachusetts
1911




[Illustration:

JOHN B. FROTHINGHAM (K)
IN THE PARADE, APRIL 19, 1911, BOSTON WITH UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENTS OF FIFTY YEARS:BEFORE
The Blanchard Press Worcester, Mass.

]





PREFACE.

Next to his Bible, the average veteran of the Civil War prizes the record of his services in behalf of the Union and in freeing the slave. Massachusetts, recognizing this very natural trait, has generously proclaimed her willingness to assist in the publication of histories of the several organizations that contributed to the salvation of the nation and thereby the good of humanity, so that already considerably more than one half of her regiments have histories more or less complete. When the call of President Lincoln came in April, '61, it found the Fifth Regiment as anxious to respond as those which were first notified; the members of the Fifth accounted themselves true minute-men, and the alacrity with which they repaired to BOSTON when the bugle was sounded for them was ample proof of their devotion and preparedness; the firing upon Sumter found Colonel Lawrence and his men eager for the ordeal. Those disposed to examine the three rosters of the regiment in its several tours of duty will find that very few names appear in each one of these lists, hence the obvious fact that, while bearing the same regimental name, in reality there were three different organizations, though the continuance of officers, both field and line, along with a very few enlisted men, together with the nominal connection with the military arm of the Commonwealth, amply warrants the application of the numeral 5 to each organization.

In telling the several stories, care is taken to keep close to the regiment; only as much is told of other bodies and events as may be necessary to make clear the services of those who called themselves “The Fifth.” As a rule, the nearer we keep to the individual the more entertaining is found the narrative. The Roster becomes a series of brief biographies of all those who constituted the rank and file of the regiment, thus assuming somewhat the form and character of a roll of honor. Probably less than a fifth part of all the men belonging can ever see their names in these lists, but the same may be a source of satisfaction to descendants and friends as well as to the general public that will ever revert to this period of the nation's life as one of its exhibition of true chivalry.

In sending forth this record of soldierly life, thanks are due to very many people who have been exceedingly helpful in every stage of its preparation. Much information was gleaned from the histories of some of the cities and towns represented in the regiment, also from the brief recital of the Fifth's career, put forth in 1879 by Frank T. Robinson, and the History of the Richardson Light Guard, besides the Report of the Adjutantgeneral





for the year 1861. In addition to these printed sources of knowledge, the writer has received great help from the several members of the Publication Committee, the sudden death of whose chairman, Comrade Bates, was a serious loss to the work; Edwin F. Wyer as a member of the three bodies has been able to furnish invaluable aid through his recollections of men and events; George E. Mitchell, in securing data from others and in narrating his visit to North Carolina, has contributed greatly to the success of the history; while E.A. Howe, Esq., through his long service as Secretary of the Veteran Association of Co. I, has been able to make the vital records of the three companies thus designated more complete than any other in the book. Also, the same connection rendered it possible for him to secure a larger number of subscriptions than are credited to any other company, nor should this enumeration close without an expression of gratitude to Gen. S. C. Lawrence, the late Fred A. Newell (G, 100 days), James C. Melvin, brother of Asa Melvin (G, 3 mos.), Fred B. Rice, son of Lieut. Wm. B. Rice (E, 100 days), Geo. E. Marsh (C, 9 mos.), G. H. Sampson (F, 9 mos.), H. E. Marion (G, 9 mos.), C. W. Bartlett (A, 100 days), Chas. Brigham, H. W. and Ward M. Otis (all of K, 9 mos.), John Brown (C, 3 mos.), whose generosity set the project of a history on a solid foundation. The kindness of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Veteran Association is appreciated in the loan of certain North Carolina cuts. While obligation is felt towards all who helped in any way, this is particularly true of those who furnished letters recalling their experiences in the long ago; thus in the Three Months’ Service, Lieut. H. P. Williams (F), Jos. J. Giles (I) and the friends of Lieut. Chas. Bowers and the Bros. E. S. and E. L. Wheeler, all of G, contributed freely, while Geo. W. Nason (I) kindly loaned many of the cuts that adorn the book.

Nine Months’ Service.—Valuable aid was rendered by E. C. Mann and Jos. Sinclair, both of “B”; Geo. E. Marsh of “C”; V. Wallberg and Wm. A. Hardy, both of “D”; Darius Baker, A. B. Comey and B. F. Wyman, all of “E”; H. G. Wesson, war letter of C.M. Kimball, the diaries of E. G. Champney and Milton Moore, all of “G”; and the extended account of his experience furnished the Hudson Enterprise by E. A. Perry (I).

One Hundred Days’ Service.—For letters, data and recollections, thanks are due C. S. Clerke (A); A. H. Drown, C. W. Libby and H. W. Woodbury, all of “D”; J. F. Whiting (E), E. A. Clapp (F); Clarence Littlefield, T. V. Sullivan, H. E. Marion, all of “G”; W. W. Wood, J. H. Sawyer (I); M. J. Ferrin and F. M. Sweetser, both of “K.”

Alfred S. Roe.





THREE MONTHS’ SERVICE.
Preliminary.

“The rising of a people is one of the rarest and most marvelous prodigies presented in the annals of humanity.” These words of Count Agenor de Gasparin in his “Uprising of a Great People,” published just as the war-clouds were bursting, had their full realization when Abraham Lincoln sent forth his call for 75,000 troops for the purpose of suppressing armed rebellion. The demand upon Massachusetts for soldiers was met with the utmost enthusiasm, since the militia of the Commonwealth for months had been waiting anxiously to march towards the theatre of action. Obedient to that message from U. S. Senator Henry Wilson, “Send on 1,500 men at once,” received on the 15th of April, 1861, men of the Third, Fourth, Sixth and Eighth regiments came pouring into BOSTON with the utmost speed. Each day marked a forward step towards the foe; the 16th saw the ranks complete, the 17th witnessed their departure, the 18th the continued advance, and the 19th the shedding of the first blood in Baltimore. It was while their brothers were battling in Maryland's Monument City that orders came for the members of the Fifth Regiment to report in Boston. So ready were they to comply that by the next day, the 20th, the organization was prepared to depart. The same orders directed the assembling of the Third Battalion and of the First Battery, so that the eventual numbers from Massachusetts, in response to the first call of the President, amounted to more than 3,700 men, far in advance of the original demand. Large as the number appears, it was only a fraction of the militia strength of the Commonwealth. That very efficient branch of the public service, under the wise direction of Governor Nathaniel P. Banks, Jr., had grown to 15,000 effective men, a very small part, it is true, of the immense aggregate furnished





by the Bay State for the war, less than one tenth, yet a considerable force for people devoted to mechanical and commercial pursuits to maintain in times of peace.

That war was imminent, nearly every thoughtful American believed; the length of its continuance extended from the “sixty days” of Secretary Seward's opinion to the years which others assigned to its duration. Earth and air seemed to be inflammable, so much so that the merest spark were enough to start a conflagration. April 16th, the bark “Manhattan,” from Savannah, Georgia, Captain Davis, reached her BOSTON wharf, 573 Commercial Street; hearing the news, Captain Davis hoisted a flag bearing fifteen stars and a rattlesnake. It was not long before the emblem was discovered and the people began to gather, and the cry soon arose, “Who put it there?” “I did,” said the Captain, who was walking the deck, “and I mean to keep it there.” As the throng continued to increase, the officer retreated below and the crew hauled down the obnoxious ensign, fearing that the multitude might harm the vessel. No sooner did the flag touch the deck than the crowd jumped aboard and in a moment tore the “rattlesnake rag” into a hundred pieces. That Captain Davis soon learned discretion was evident in a letter from him to Governor Andrew, dated April 18, wherein he disavowed any disaffection, “in consequence of the unfortunate use of a southern flag as a private signal. I desire as an earnest of my loyalty to tender my ship as a transport to convey men or munitions of war to any port within the United States.” To this contrite note he affixed his name and office, “Francis B. Rice, Master and Owner of the Bark ‘Manhattan.’ ”

The same day in which Bostonians objected to the public display of emblematic rattlesnakes, the steamer “South Carolina,” that had left BOSTON for Charleston, April 6th, came back unexpectedly. She had put into Norfolk, Va., on account of stress of weather, and there learning the condition of public affairs, landed her passengers and steamed north again.





It was in these fiery times that Major, afterwards Major General, Burnside, being in New York city, being asked how much time he needed for preparation, replied instantly, “One minute,” and the world knows that he led the First R. I. V. M. to Washington. “My son,” said another New Yorker, to his son and namesake, “I would rather give a thousand dollars than have you go to Washington soldiering.” The boy replied kindly but decidedly, “Father, if you could make it $100,000 it would be of no use, for where the Seventh Regiment goes, I go.”

It was a time when men as well as vessels had to show their colors, and many who had gained a reputation for southern sympathies hastened to set themselves right with the public. George Lunt, associate editor of the BOSTON Courier, certainly not conspicuous for devotion to military measures, on the 17th of April found room in his columns for a noted poem of his own writing, though not written for the occasion. The stanzas were those of “My Country, Right or Wrong.” Originally uttered by the brave Decatur, the poet had made them the burden of his ringing words. Notwithstanding the hardship attending separation, wouldbe soldiers were given fervent “Godspeeds” by their loving wives, though one man, rushing in and bidding his helpmeet prepare for him his shirts and undergarments, along with a lunch, that he might be off at once, was told that she would do nothing of the kind, thinking thus to deter his going altogether. “Well, then, I'll go without them,” shouted the excited militiaman; and go he did, intentionally or otherwise omitting to kiss his loving other half his accustomed “goodbye.” She was heartbroken, and he was not out of sight before she set to work to collect his needed apparel and to prepare the best she was capable of making as a peace-offering on the following day. Burdened with her load of food and clothing, she appeared at the entrance of Faneuil Hall and, making known her errand, was soon enfolded in





the embrace of her forgiving spouse and became quite the heroine of the hour as her deeds became known.

Banks, business firms and individuals were constantly tendering the loan of money for the public weal, and the legislatures of all loyal states made large appropriations that their citizen soldiers might go forth adequately equipped. So far from there being any shrinking from the duty that impending war imposed, there was a friendly rivalry on every hand as to who should first reach the recruiting office. The uniform and place of the militiaman commanded a premium with very few ready to accept the offer. In the single case where a captain had declined to order out his company, an immediate disbanding was the penalty, the men proceeding at once to reorganize and to proffer their services in their new capacities. Though they were not accepted then, nearly or quite all soon found their way into the service of their country.

While not included in the summons which had sent their fellows forward, the soldiers of the other organizations in the Commonwealth were confident that they would soon be called for, and in a veritable sense were all of them in a state of feverish expectation. Consciously or not, each man seemed to have the Latin words, Semper Paratus, graven deep upon his mind and he literally slept upon his arms. Nor were his promptings vain, for the 19th of April carried from the State House General Schouler's order for Colonel Samuel C. Lawrence to report with his Fifth Regiment for duty. This was the welcome call for which hundreds of ears had been listening eagerly. So far as their presence in BOSTON was concerned, the men were ready to march the day following, but were detained till the 21st for a supply of clothing, etc. To the authorities, in view of the lack of equipment sufficient for all, it seemed best to separate the regiment and to send the second section when prepared. The thought was to send forward the left wing under Lieutenant-Colonel Durrell Greene, and Colonel Lawrence with the right would follow





when ready. The young Colonel hastened to headquarters to protest against such division of his command. “No provision has been made for so many men at supper,” he was told. “My men would prefer to stay together and live on crackers and water than be separated,” was his earnest reply. Taken at his word, he went back to the hall and, on reporting his errand, was enthusiastically endorsed by the men while the band played, “Hail to the Chief.” The order for separation was countermanded by the Governor.

All of the ten companies which constituted the Fifth Regiment in this first service were not originally of that organization. To the companies of the Fifth from Concord, Somerville, Medford and the two from Charlestown were added two from Salem, one each from South Reading and Haverhill (all of the Seventh Regiment, M. V. M.), and the single company from BOSTON which Captain Wardwell had raised to take the place of the disbanded company in Chelsea. While the several companies had numbers sufficient from various cities and towns to warrant calling the organizations by such town or city name, men came from all parts of eastern Massachusetts, though principally from Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk counties. While the same spirit actuated all parts of the Commonwealth, the scenes in the several localities merit their own special descriptions. For convenience, the following tabulation is given, stating regiment, company, locality, and commander in every case:

The Fifth Regiment.

Company A, Concord, Capt. Prescott.

Company B, Somerville, Capt. Brastow.

Company D, Charlestown, Capt. Swan.

Company E, Medford, Capt. Hutchins.

Company H, Charlestown, Capt. Boyd.





The Seventh Regiment.

Company B, Salem, Capt. Peirson.

Company E, So. Reading, Capt. Locke.

Company H, Salem, Capt. Danforth.

Company G, Haverhill, Capt. Messer.

Company —, Boston, Capt. Wardwell.

In the merging of the Fifth, Seventh and the newly organized company, the new designations of letters mingled the respective bodies in a manner entirely regardless of former regimental relation.

COMPANY A. (Salem.)

The first letter of the alphabet fell to that Salem company (Co. B of the 7th) long known as the Mechanic Light Infantry. With a single exception, it had been continuously organized longer than any other company in the regiment. Formed Feb. 26, 1807, it first paraded July 4th of that year, under the command of Capt. Perley Putnam, a family name well remembered in New England. The gallant officer survived until the outbreak of the war, and he was privileged to make the address in presenting to the company a beautiful silk flag on the day of its departure, the 20th, for Boston. Eighty-four years of age, his life linked the War of the Revolution with that of the Rebellion. As there were more men in the company than the regulations allowed, some had to drop out, much to their regret. Assembling at their armory at 7 a.m. on the 20th, they reported for duty at Faneuil Hall at 10 o'clock.

COMPANY B. (South Reading, now Wakefield.)

Organized October, 1851, the charter of the Richardson Light Guard bears date the 2d day of the month and is





signed by George S. Boutwell, Governor and Commander-in-Chief. When the noon-day orders of the 19th of April were received, the company was lettered “E” in the Seventh Regiment, but here, as often elsewhere, a change of name made no difference with the object itself. As early as Jan. 18, 1861, in response to a letter of inquiry from the Governor as to how many were ready to respond to a call to arms, the twenty-three men present were unanimous in their answer, “Yes.” From that date onward, there was a constant looking forward to the summons, which came at 12.30 of the 19th, the day made famous in 1775, Colonel Lawrence directing Captain Locke to report with his company in BOSTON forth-with. To the music of ringing bells and the firing of guns, the men responded with such alacrity that, at 2.30 o'clock, eighty-seven men, rank and file, marched from the armory to the Common. With equal zeal and haste, the citizens had there prepared a collation, of which the soldiers partook hurriedly, and then proceeded to the railroad station for addresses and good-byes. The speakers were Edward Mansfield, Hon. Lilley Eaton, P. C. Wheeler, the Rev. E. A. Eaton and others, prayer being offered by the Rev. D. W. Phillips. It was about 4 o'clock when the company boarded the cars and was off for Boston, through whose streets, escorted by the Malden Brass Band, and accompanied by many South Reading citizens, the men marched to Faneuil Hall, spending the night in the drill-hall of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.

COMPANY C. (Charlestown.)

The Charlestown Artillery (Co. D of the Fifth until this reorganization) was first chartered in 1786, but, suffering a lapse, was begun again in 1831, and was known as one of the famous military bodies of the State. So near does the Bunker Hill City lie to Boston, quite as near then as now,





that whatever is current in one place is equally common in the other, so that the going away of earlier regiments had given an unusual degree of expectancy to the Charlestown “boys.” For more than twenty-four hours the company had been ready to march on the tap of the drum, and on the 19th it did cross over the Mystic and take its place with others in the Cradle of Liberty.

COMPANY D. (Haverhill.)

The Haverhill Light Infantry (Co. G of the 7th), generally known as the Hale Guards, was organized in 1853, receiving its name from the Hon. E. J. M. Hale, a very prominent business man of the city. Orders for the march of the company found the men drilling, hence there was little wonder that its four score men were in readiness to march at once. They were accompanied to the station by a large number of citizens and were addressed before going by the Rev. R. H. Seeley. One of the most interesting items in connection with the leaving of the company was the manner in which it was supplied with a flag. In those days every company thought it should be thus supplied, forgetting that it was the regimental colors on which the companies formed and behind which they marched. In those times, too, bunting was scarce and starry banners were not so common as they have become since the war. In this plight, E. K. Davis, a former Guardsman, one of the original company, though he had been transferred to a Charlestown company (K) and was now infusing his zeal into the hearts of his old Haverhill associates, remarked to his sister, Mrs. Daniel Buswell, “Nancy, we have no flag and no war clothes to wear.” This good woman, a patriotic seamstress, replied, “You shall have a flag, if I have to make one.” The anxious yet doubting brother said, “You can't do it, Nancy; you haven't time, for it is now Wednesday, and we shall have to





start Friday.” “I'll find time, if I have to work day and night;” and this she did literally, working continuously fifty-six hours, with only two hours for sleep in that long interval. It was “Stitch, stitch, stitch,” but not in “poverty, hunger and dirt,” for in her own comfortable home she was not repeating the sad lines of Hood, but rather, from ribbons of red, white and blue, she was fashioning the stars and stripes of her country's flag with her needle, that most delicate of weapons, proving it the fit companion of sword and bayonet, and herself a Haverhill heroine, unequaled since the days of Hannah Dustin. The wonder is that Whittier, with his


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rare eye and ear for patriotic incident, did not make Nancy Buswell and her flag a companion picture to “Dame Barbara” and her “silken scarf” which she shakes forth with such royal will.*

COMPANY E. (Medford.)

In this single instance the letter for the Medford company, in the new Fifth, coincided with that employed in the old regiment. It was still Co. E and, as the Lawrence Light Guards, carried along with it the name of the Colonel who formerly had been its beloved captain. Organized on Oct. 1, 1854, it had always been a popular corps in the home town. Anxiously expectant, they were not surprised ears on which fell the words of Daniel W. Lawrence, brother of the Colonel, as on the night before the 19th of April he rode over the precise route of Paul Revere, eighty-six years before, when were heard—

  • “A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
  • And a word that shall echo for evermore.”

The people of Medford apparently appreciated the situation, as in great numbers they thronged the centre of the town to witness the departure of their sons and brothers. The gathering soon took upon itself the form of a meeting in the Town Hall, and the Rev. Jarvis A. Ames, a local Methodist minister, prayed, “and never was a more devout, earnest, patriotic and Christian prayer sent up to the throne of God, than fell from the lips of that noble man.” This company

[note]



was the very first of the Fifth to report on BOSTON Common in the afternoon of the 19th, accompanied by nearly 500 Medford citizens and led by a brass band. The impromptu meeting in the Town Hall had resulted in the subscribing of more than $5000 for the aid of the bereft families, the Hon. Thatcher Magoon giving $500 towards this meritorious cause. First-Lieut. John G. Chambers, later Adjutant, and who, later still, as Lieut.-Col. of the 23d Mass., was to fall at Drewry's Bluff, received many tokens of regard and respect from his fellow journalists, among them a sum of money and a full equipment, besides a certificate of a $2000 life insurance issued upon his life in favor of his wife. Lieut. Wm. H. Pattee had a month's extra pay from his employers and $80 from others, also a revolver. “You'll see me back when the fighting is over,” he said, “or not at all.”

COMPANY F. (Boston.)

Sometimes called “Wardwell's Tigers,” this was the only company enlisted purposely for the Fifth, taking the place of the Chelsea corps which had been disbanded through the disobedience of its captain; also it was said to be the first company of volunteers to leave Massachusetts raised after April 15. David K. Wardwell, who had been a soldier in the Mexican War, received permission from the Governor, on the 16th, to raise a company of men. So earnestly did he prosecute his task, so brimming full were the people with patriotism, in less than two days his object was attained, and at the meeting for election of officers Colonel Robert Cowdin of the First Regiment presided. “The BOSTON Volunteers” had become a reality. During this period the “Hub” was receiving a real baptism of Union fervor. Cars, cabs and omnibuses were bedecked with flags; the great area of the BOSTON Theatre had become a drill-room for would-be soldiers; Hogg, Brown & Taylor offered to outfit





clerks who would enlist, pay them salaries while away and retain their positions for them on their return, an offer which thirteen clerks, unnaturalized Nova Scotians, accepted. One of Boston's ladies’ schools takes a vacation for a week and the girls vote to give their entire time to the making of garments for the soldiers; Oliver Ditson & Co. offered outfits and retention of situations to their clerks, and when the Sixth Regiment went away from the old BOSTON & Worcester station, the newsdealer there gave to the soldiers his entire stock of papers, and on the 18th the newsmen in the Old Colony station did the same thing for the soldiers departing thence. Leopold Morse, Dock Square, offered the Governor 200 pairs of pantaloons for the men, and his offer was accepted. When the girls employed in a book-bindery learned that one of the men laboring with them had enlisted, they made up a purse of fifty dollars for his wife. Never had there been such sales of war music, though the call for “Dixie” disappeared completely. A reader of the Transcript calls attention to the following distich from Mrs. Barbauld, the poet:

  • “Man is the noblest growth our realms supply,
  • And souls are ripened in our Northern Sky.”

The enlistment story of Co. F, as told by 3d Lieut. Horace P. Williams:

On the morning of April 15th, 1861, when going into town, on the train from Brookline, I read the President's proclamation calling for 75,000 men, and going to my office, 16 Congress St., my business that as agent of the “Cow Bay Coal Co.” of C. B. and reading my mail, I decided at about 10 a.m. to go to the State House and see General Schouler. I found him in and said, “General, I see the President has called; what can I do?” He said, “Wait a minute; Captain Wardwell has gone up to see the Governor.” Soon Wardwell came in with an order, the first the Governor has given, after the call, to raise a Company. General Schouler introduced me and said, “Take hold and help him to recruit his Company,” and handed us a five-year U. S. Army recruiting blank and Wardwell and I started down town. I knew of a vacant





office on Congress Sq., in the rear of my office, and I asked Mr. Way for the use of it which he granted. We then wrote off a hand bill: “Recruits wanted for the war at office in Congress Square,” and I took it to my friend Dutton, of the Transcript, and he at once had printed 300 copies of it. These Stoddard and I took in our arms and walked down and through the crowds in State Street, which was a jam of people, and scattered them to the people. The Captain had been left in the office, and when we got back found he was getting signatures rapidly so that by 1 o'clock the roll had 107 names. We organized, elected officers, and the Captain took the roll to the State House. When he came back he had orders to dismiss the men and to assemble next morning at the hall over the Fitchburg R. R. depot.

I declined being first or second Lt., not being sure if I could arrange my business, but I had to give it up and lose 14 cargoes of coal I had sold to arrive. On the 16th the Captain and I drilled these men all day in the school of the company and the first and second Lts. attended to raising the funds and in ordering a uniform. The 17th the company was ordered to march to the State House and he and the Adj. General inspected and mustered the men. Andrew made a speech and the men were furnished with blankets, haversacks and canteens and then ordered to match to Faneuil Hall and report to Col. Lawrence, as a part of his 5th Regiment. We reported and were armed with Springfield rifles and a good uniform. George Lane, the clothier in Dock Square, gave each man a blue flannel shirt; in the pocket of each were a pocket Testament and pocket handkerchief.

COMPANY G. (Concord.)

“The Concord Artillery” (Co. A of the old Fifth), organized 1804, parading the first time July 4 of that year, was the oldest body in the regiment, though there had been a change in its drill from artillery to infantry about 1848. The name of this corps is connected with the State House in an interesting manner. When chartered, it was ordered that two small brass field pieces, consecrated to the memory of





Major John Buttrick and Captain Isaac Davis and thus engraved, should be presented to the company. In 1846 the old pair was exchanged for new guns similarly engraved and the old ones were placed on exhibition in Doric Hall at the Capitol. The same spirit which drew the farmers of ’75 to the “rude bridge which arched the flood” compelled their grandsons to leave the plough and workshop and swiftly form themselves in ranks of war, leaving Concord for BOSTON at noon of the 19th. The town contributed $4500 for soldiers’ families. The three Buttricks in the company were said to be descendants of the famous Major who gave the first command for Americans to fire on British troops.

COMPANY H. (Salem.)

“Salem City Guard” (Co. H of the Seventh in the old order) was formed Nov. 14, 1846, and shared with the Mechanic Light Infantry the enthusiasm which sent the other company out under the command of Captain Peirson. April 17th there was a great meeting in the City Hall, over which Mayor S. P. Webb presided and in which several thouands of dollars were subscribed for the care and relief of families distressed by enlistments. Spirited addresses were made by the Mayor and others. The officers of the City Guards were presented with handsome revolvers through the agency of Geo. W. Williams of Salem. Leaving their home city at 9 a.m. of the 20th, the Guards were soon mingling with their fellows in Faneuil Hall.

COMPANY I. (Somerville.)

“Somerville Light Infantry”* (Co. B of the old Fifth) was organized, October, 1853, under the command of Captain George O. Brastow.

[note]



In 1859, returning to the command of the company, it was his good fortune to be at the head of the same when the great storm began. Premonitions of the outbreak had resulted in the enlistment and retention of men who would be likely to stick when the moment of trial came. The call for the earlier regiments only made these men the more anxious for their own summoning which duly came. On the 17th of April a meeting was held for the purpose of


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REVERSE.
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MASSACHUSETTS MEDAL OF HONOR-FRONT.
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UNIFORM OF CO'S B AND I.
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devising means of properly caring for the families of the men who were about to leave, resulting in the raising of nearly $5000, of which $700 was placed in the hands of Captain Brastow,





who with his company marched into the meeting. The remainder was voted to be placed in the Lechmere Bank, subject to call as needed. On Saturday, the 20th, the company was drawn up around the flag-staff in Union Square, where the flag was saluted and prayer was offered by the Rev. Mr. Fairbanks; next the men marched to the Congregational Church in Franklin Square, where each man was presented with a Testament by M. H. Sargent, who had already subscribed $100 to the general fund. Thence escorted by fully 2000 citizens of Somerville, including a company of horse, the march was made to Faneuil Hall. Many personal tributes were made, as when Sergeant J. C. Watson, by the BOSTON Board of Brokers, was given a fine set of equipments, including a sword and revolver; Geo. W. Nason, Jr., a Franklin man, still a member of the company, delivery clerk for the Fiske & Co.’s Express, was presented with a silver-mounted Colts revolver; his position was retained for him and his salary was paid to his wife during his absence. He was able to turn in $8000 towards the Government loan, which, when the war was ended, he received back again with interest at 7%. Though he found his position awaiting him, he held it only twelve days, for the war spirit was still on and he soon enlisted again. Geo. F. Whitcomb was given a finely mounted revolver, a bowie-knife, a dressing-case and a purse of $50 by his friends.

COMPANY K. (Charlestown.)

Alphabetically, “The Charlestown City Guards” came last in the list. Organized in 1851, it had been Co. H in the old Fifth, but as newly constituted it had the same men and officers. There was no doubt as to its being one of the most popular military bodies that the city opposite BOSTON had ever known. Lying so near Faneuil Hall there was no difficulty in Captain Boyd's being one of the early officers to report





there with a loyal following. Company K's personal story is quite as extended as that of any of the corps constituting the regiment. Wellington, Goss & Co., Devonshire Street, gave to one of their clerks who had volunteered a soldier's suit and a complete outfit, guaranteed his salary during his absence and his old place, if he returned, while his fellow clerks gave him a silver-mounted revolver. To both Charlestown companies the Rev. Abbott E. Kittridge of the Winthrop Congregational Church gave a pocket Bible for every member. Two men in the office of the BOSTON Journal had determined to go with their company, whereupon the Journal remarks, “A. W. Tibbitts and C. F. Richards have concluded to exchange the ‘shooting-stick’ for the ‘shooting-iron,’ and may God preserve them,” to which pious prayer the Transcript appends “Amen.” Sergt. D. W. Davis was presented with a revolver by his fellow boarders at the National House. Lieut. Walter Everett and Private B. S. Drew were similarly served by clubs to which they belonged, and Eben White was given a sum of money and an outfit by his employers, March Brothers. History does not record the name of the young man, but one of the Guards was about to be married and, on this account, considered the propriety of staying at home, but he got his “right about face!” from his inamorata when she emphatically said, “If you do, I'll never marry you in the world.” It is to be hoped that “When the Cruel War was Over,” fulfilled vows led to years of happiness. Finally, no man of the company went without his revolver, for the “fine” or honorary members took care that every one was supplied.

FANEUIL HALL.

It was a happy fate that had preserved “The Cradle of Liberty” for the rocking of Liberty's children of a generation, far away from that which, in Revolutionary days, was cradled here. Never did it seem to answer better the purposes for





which it had been reserved than when it was crowded with the vigorous sons of Massachusetts, impatiently awaiting the hour when they were to march hence to do the duties of true soldiers. The 19th of April, which saw the gathering in BOSTON of the several companies henceforth to be welded into a compact history under the name of the Fifth M. V. M., already was fragrant with the memories of an earlier 19th, just eighty-six years before, and even while these untried soldiers of the new regiment are assembling, their brothers who departed from the same hall, just two days before, are fighting and dying in the streets of Baltimore, thus, as it were, burning yet deeper into the hearts and minds of men the significance of April's 19th day. Though the hall itself and the rooms of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery, on the floor above, are at the disposal of the men, there is little or no room for drill. Rather is the time taken for the distribution of uniforms and other articles of apparel, getting acquainted with each other, and in saying “good-bye” to the many friends who come in great numbers, anxious to see once more the loved one whom, it is possible, they may never meet again.

Undoubtedly there are men here who would quite as well have served their country by remaining at home and caring for families dependent upon them. One Charlestown soldier, in his early twenties, but yet a husband and father, was with his company very much against the will of his mother, a vigorous dame who had begun life on the Isle of Erin, she insisting that it was his duty to stay at home and look after “Kitty and the baby.” “Jim,” however, did not see his obligation in the same light and determined to go the length with the “boys.” Once within the sacred walls of Faneuil Hall, cradled there, as it were, he thought himself quite safe from maternal interference; not so, however, reasoned that irate mother, and ere long the young soldier heard a comrade shout, “Look out, Jim! your mother's coming up the stairs.” What was a valorous militiaman to do under such circumstances?





He had never dared disobey her before and, armed and uniformed soldier though he was, he did not wish to begin then, yet go he would with his company. The result was a surrender to his fear of meeting her who had rocked his cradle, and a masterly retreat was made through a quickly opened window, whence he could reach a water conductor from the roof and, sliding down the same, he was able to defy petticoat government until his observing friends signaled that the amiable enemy had herself retreated and he could return to the hall in safety. In later years he was wont to remark that subsequent emotions, when under fire at Bull Run, were not so provocative of flight as were his when he heard that his mother was after him in Faneuil Hall.

The galleries held a goodly array of people day and night, ever interested in what was doing in the arena below. Sleep was quite out of the question, for, coming together with the intention of departing early in the evening of the 20th, it was evident that every moment must be devoted to the journey impending. Not even the time extended to the morning of the 21st sensibly abated the hum of preparation. That final night made a lasting impression on those who passed through it. The Brigade Band furnished music, Governor Andrew was present until a late hour, and his gayly bedecked aides were in evidence throughout the entire ordeal. Once, at least, there was work in plenty for those gorgeously equipped officers. Muskets and haversacks were given out to the men, and as blankets and knapsacks had not yet been received, they were to be forwarded in boxes. An early breakfast was served at 4 o'clock in the morning, an edifying sight to the hundreds of people who, from the galleries, were determined to see their boys off, not infrequently breaking out into cheers at some unexpected demonstration on the floor below.

DEPARTURE.

Daylight was streaming into the windows of the ancient edifice as line was formed for departure, the regiment marching





in two divisions. The line itself was formed on South Market Street and with the 1st Division went the Brigade Band, while Hall's accompanied the 2d. Starting at 5 a.m., the line proceeded into State Street, a vast throng of eager humanity accompanying, even at this early hour. Thence the regiment marched through Court, Tremont, West, Washington, Beach, Albany and Oak streets to the BOSTON & Worcester freight station. There also was the BOSTON Light Artillery, Captain Asa M. Cook, to be fellow excursionists southward. There too, seemingly, was a large part of the population of Boston, who had either stayed up all night or had made a phenomenally early rising record for Sunday morning. The train, apparently in two sections, consisted of nineteen cars, two occupied by the artillery. There had been many changes in the original make-up of the Fifth; for all sorts of reasons, men had been discharged, but for their places there were many in waiting, so that the maximum numbers were easily maintained, and 805 men were in the array that at 6.50 on this Sunday morning, amidst the strains of brass bands and the shouts of thousands of on-lookers, rolled out of BOSTON and took their course westward. After describing the departure, the Transcript says this of the Commander of the Fifth: “Commanded by Colonel Lawrence, an experienced officer and a noble-hearted man, this regiment will shed glory on the Commonwealth whose honor she is ready to sustain.”

The first stop was at South Framingham, and early though it was, the people were earlier out, open-armed and open-handed, with proffers of food and other comforts to all who would partake. At Worcester the record was much the same, though the night before the Heart of the Commonwealth had witnessed the departure of her own Third Battalion, under the command of Major Charles Devens, for Baltimore. Palmer gave the “boys” an ovation, with hot coffee, cake and other substantials, for, evidently, the men were thought to be constantly hungry. Springfield seemed





much more like a Fourth of July celebration than a peaceful city in the quiet hour of church attendance. Even a passing funeral could not resist the temptation to applaud, and thus down through Hartford, Meriden, New Haven, Bridgeport, Norwalk to New York the entire way was glorious. The BOSTON Transcript of the 23d had a letter from one of the boys in Company B, who thus described his impressions of the journey:

We arrived in Springfield at 1 p.m. on the 21st, in the best of spirits. Our journey was a complete ovation. You would not have thought it possible that it could be the Sabbath, to see the people in the places we passed through, as they gathered at the depots, and to hear the roaring of cannon, the ringing of bells, the bands of music, the cheering, etc. Old men grasped us in their arms as we halted for a brief time at the R.R. stations, while their streaming eyes and their fervent “God bless you” told of the intensity of their feelings. At Springfield, the people completely overwhelmed the regiment with acts of kindness. They spread for the men a substantial and a bountiful repast and when the troops reached Hartford, scenes occurred that will never be erased from the memories of those witnessing them. One little personal incident I cannot help mentioning. A charming young lady asked for my address, tied the tri-colors in my button-hole and told me to wear them even unto death if need be, which you know I will do.

Had a certain Concord boy returned from his brief leave of absence, the train had carried 806 men instead of the number recorded. It seems that he had been permitted to visit friends ten miles away, thinking that the regiment would not get away until Monday. The feelings of the poor fellow can be imagined when he got back and found the hall empty and his comrades missing. But he was no deserter, whatever may have been the thought of his officers. Friends quickly rallied, raised the money necessary to take him to Annapolis, and he started after as rapidly as steam cars could take him. Alas, however, for the good intentions of his friends and his own as well, for he was arrested as a spy, was tried





and was sentenced to be hanged, his story being unbelieved. However, before the sentence could be executed, confirmation of his tale was received and he was restored to his company and comrades, by no means the coward and poltroon that his absence some had thought to indicate.

NEW YORK.

While the reception of the regiment to New York was grand, the edge of popular enthusiasm had been taken off by the Sixth on its march down Broadway. Of that memorable event, descriptions many and vivid still exist. As the men passed by a certain office, the cheering was noticeably loud even where every one was seemingly filled with acclaim. The shouters were exclusively Bay Staters afar from home, and they received with averted faces a New Yorker who essayed to join them, telling him that he could have no part there, since he was not a native of Massachusetts. Whereupon he exclaimed; “It is true that I am a New York man, but I married a BOSTON lady and made a first rate bargain.” This let him into the “True Blue” throng and his shout was considered as good as the best. Massachusetts was cheered over and over in the Brokers’ Board and in all public places. The late hour of arrival may have had a lessening effect also, though those who had not witnessed the earlier reception could have missed nothing in the eager manner of these thronging masses.

The New York Tribune of the 22d had this to say concerning the arrival and speedy departure of the Fifth:

The Fifth Massachusetts Infantry arrived in this city last night at 8 o'clock, 1000 picked men from BOSTON and vicinity, as fine looking a body of men as can be found. They were met at the Depot by Captain Bryan of the 19th Ward Police and escorted down Broadway. The men appeared to be in excellent spirits and eager to reach the scene of action. The Fifth Avenue Hotel was a center of tumultuous cheering and here Captain Speight of the 21st Ward with a platoon of





policemen joined the escort, the prospect being that the crowds would be great and, thereby, the march might be impeded. This was true, each street contributing its quota as the force proceeded. Arrangement had been made for supper at some of the large hotels, past or near which the route was to be, and thus companies filed out of line as they reached the Metropolitan, Lefarge, Astor and St. Nicholas. At a late hour the regiment marched to Pier No. 4, North River, and went aboard the steamers Ariel and DeSoto. Massachusetts has, within six days, responded to the President's proclamation with five full regiments of Infantry, a Battalion of Rifles and a splendid corps of Flying Artillery.

In these early days of the war, the city of New York had not acquired the habit of caring for regiments on their way through the Empire City to the seat of hostilities. Later such visitors would have gone, quite unheralded, to City Hall Barracks and there have partaken of the coarsest of soldiers’ fare; now they go to the finest hotels on the continent and are fed with the best the cuisine affords. While halls and corridors may have afforded improvised couches for tired men, there are records of guests giving up their rooms that these militiamen, on their way to save Washington from the foe, might rest in comfort and quiet. Some, we are told, bivouacked on the sidewalk, and years later one of such sleepers told the Astor House clerk that he much preferred his bed of the night before to that of 1861. For the first time Adjutant Barri made his appearance here, for though he had formerly resided in Cambridge, his residence in 1861 was New York.

The BOSTON Artillery had accompanied the Fifth all the way, and in New York the Third Battalion was also joined, so together the three bodies made their way to the landing, and four companies, under Major Keyes with Major Charles Devens's Battalion of Rifles, went on board the Ariel. The other six companies with Colonel Lawrence and Cook's Light Battery boarded the DeSoto and, at 3 o'clock in the morning of the 22d, started for Fortress Monroe. The food





given the men on this trip was a most decided contrast to that almost thrust upon them on their way down from their homes through Massachusetts and Connecticut to New York. Then there was more than they could eat, now they begin to realize some of the privations of a soldier's active life. Colonel Lawrence wrote back to the authorities in BOSTON that the three days’ rations supplied his men were a total failure: the corned beef was mouldy, decomposed, and had to be thrown away. Thus early began one of the crying evils of the war, indeed the chief cause of complaint in all wars.

Noon of the 23d saw the vessels at Fortress Monroe, then very often mentioned in popular speech, and that the regiment was now within rebel reach was evident when the men were enjoined to keep their guns near at hand as the steamers went cautiously up the Chesapeake, the eastern shores of Virginia and Maryland being considered, at the best, debatable territory. As the ships rounded into the mouth of the Severn, in the morning of the 24th, and neared the docks of Annapolis, every eager soldier noted the presence of many great steamers, for the most part filled with troops, and several national vessels, a warlike showing never seen by them before. Here had been planted the U. S. Naval Academy while George Bancroft of Massachusetts was Secretary of the Navy, but owing to the nearness of the prospective war, to be moved, i. e., the students and teachers, in May to Newport., R. I. The frigate Constitution launched in BOSTON October, 1797, had long been here, serving as a schoolship for the “middies” of the Naval Academy, and was deemed very much in danger of capture or destruction by the rebels. Thirty tons of powder were in her magazine and a sailor had been stationed with a slow match to be used in case of need, but happily Massachusetts men had rendered the ignition of the match unnecessary, since, under orders from General Butler, soldiers of the Eighth Regiment boarded her and on the 26th were to sail away to safety in New York, later to resume, in Newport., her old-time office of trainingship.





Men of the Fifth got hardly more than a parting glance at Old Ironsides as they steamed by.

ANNAPOLIS.

The men were landed in the afternoon of the 24th, and at first temporary lodgment was found within the grounds of the Academy. Indeed when Gov. Thomas H. Hicks had protested against the presence of armed soldiers from other states in Maryland at all, the ever ready General Butler assured him that there could be no possible objection to the use of U. S. territory, which that of the Naval Academy surely was. During this halt within the grounds of the Academy, at least a portion of the regiment was quartered within a church, possibly that in which the cadets worshipped. Two youngsters, taking up their beds in the gallery, were amused at the variety of snores that the church floor afforded. One of the gallerygods conceived the brilliant idea of snoring also, terminating each effort with a prolonged whistle, thus startling a Quincy Irishman, down on the floor, who affirmed that there was a Banshee in their midst. Direful threats had been made as to what would happen if any of the northern men ventured outside of the enclosure, but the General called for a detail of printers, with them took possession of a printing establishment, soon set up and struck off some posters so large that the poorest vision could read their terms, and put them up in prominent places. The wording was to the effect that if a single hair of a soldier's head was injured, he would level the city to the ground. Whereupon the gates were thrown open and men came and went, quite safe from rebel molestation. Rebel sympathizers had torn up a considerable part of the railroad track to Annapolis Junction, and the only locomotive had been put out of commission, but the men of the Eighth Regiment had righted these defects before the Fifth was ready for action.

Our regiment had not gone all this distance to stay in Annapolis. The ultimate destination was Washington, and on





the next day, the 25th, orders were received that at midnight the start should be made, but the train could accommodate only four companies, the other six under Lieut.-col. Greene being obliged to foot it, making thus their first real military march. Starting thus early on the 26th, to this day it is a question which division fared the worse, for while one was nominally riding, it was over a road never any too well-equipped, so that the passengers thought themselves in danger of being pitched down the embankment at any moment.* It also was a case of working one's way, since again and again the train was stopped that the track might be made safer. It was on this day that the DeSoto passengers had cartridges given to them, and it is told that one of the men, doubtless a recruit, in his ignorance turned to his comrade as he prepared to load his gun, saying, “Which end of this thing goes in first?” Those arriving in the Ariel had been supplied on shipboard. The Massachusetts Eighth and the New York Seventh had been the forlorn hope in this plan of getting to Washington; they had already traversed the twenty-one miles between Annapolis, the capital of Maryland, and the Junction, whence they were to take the main line of the road from Baltimore to Washington. The story of that early induction into marching through a hostile country, Theodore Winthrop of the New York Seventh, so soon to fall at Big Bethel, in an article published in the Atlantic Monthly about the time of his death, told in such graphic terms that his reputation as a literary man was firmly fixed, but all of this was preliminary to the labors of the Fifth Regiment.

[note]



In what way the idea gained circulation that it was only nine miles to the Junction may never be known, but such was the report, and when that distance had been accomplished, the men began to think that “lying signboards” were not confined to New England. If the expression “nine miles to the Junction” was heard once, it was a hundred and more times as the men plodded their weary way onward. The phrase became a stock expression for all of the coming weeks of their service. Whatever the scheduled distance those who walked were sure the half had never been told. While men enough, on foot and horseback, were seen in the distance, the Junction was reached with much less adventure than had been expected. As one of the men expressed it, “We lay on our arms till the next morning.” A letter of those times says, “So thoroughly tired were we that nature demanded a good rest and I camped on the bare earth beside Major Keyes, and was so exhausted that I did not awake until long after sunrise and then found one cheek blistered as I was called to a ‘snatch’ breakfast.” From the arrival of the Sixth Regiment in Washington on the 19th, owing to the suspension of trains and the cutting of telegraph wires, the capital was entirely cut off from communication with the northern world, except as a special messenger broke in on the 24th, until the arrival of the Seventh New York at noon of the 25th, at which time the Fifth was waiting in Annapolis. Some of the Eighth Regiment, which had blazed the way from Annapolis to the main line, had not shared the facilities of transportation afforded the New Yorkers and were ready to advance with their later arrived friends of the Fifth.

WASHINGTON.

Beyond the Junction, there were yet twenty-one miles to the capital, and though the Sixth and a part of the Eighth Massachusetts and the Seventh New York were there, the





force seemed small compared with what the enemy could easily concentrate against it. While feet were blistered from the experience of the day before, a considerable portion of the men started on, encountering similar obstacles to those of the 26th, but a long train of empty cars had been making its way slowly and cautiously from Washington, very likely the same vehicles that had conveyed the soldiers of the day before to the rescue of the isolated city. As quickly as possible, the train was started back again. Chroniclers of this progress of the Fifth Regiment vary in their accounts, one authority stating that the six companies which marched from Annapolis did not reach Washington until about 8 a.m. of the 27th. Evidently the careful keeper of a diary was absent in those days. Some of the men who rode claim that their party reached the capital Friday, the hour varying from noon to 2 o'clock p.m. and later; not improbable, since they rode the most of the way. The cars are described as open, platform vehicles, rickety, and exposed to smoke and cinders. Of those marching, one writes, “The dawn of Friday finds the marchers twelve miles on their way, and at 9 a.m. they are at the Junction, i. e., some of them; the officers have disappeared and the men are advancing in squads, one of which gets in as stated; the rest not arriving until two hours later. The record of eleven hours had beaten that of the Seventh N. Y. by fourteen hours. At 3 a.m. Saturday, the 27th, a start is made towards Washington on foot, but at 6 o'clock they board a freight train and ride the remaining distance. Nor is it probable that all went even then, since the Official Records of the Rebellion make Colonel Corcoran of the 69th N. Y. reporting on the 29th, and state that he found near the Junction Lieut. K. Stark (H) with a detail of thirty-seven men on guard. Whatever the precise hour and manner of their arrival, the men were quartered in the U. S. Treasury building, and there they remained until sent across the Potomac towards the end of May. A double purpose was thus accomplished: the Treasury was well guarded and the troops





were properly housed, though it is claimed that certain of the men contracted here coughs and colds that hung on for many a day. The baggage that was to follow the regiment did not appear until the 29th of April, on which day also the regiment was honored by a visit from the President.

The routine of work consisted in patrol and sentry duty, not very hard of itself, but liable to become irksome if too often repeated. One seventeen years old youth records that he had been posted several times at an iron door that opened towards his station. Never having seen any one go


[Illustration:

REGIMENTAL KITCHEN—AN ANGLE IN TREASURY INCLOSURE
]

through that passage and, being tired and sleepy, he closed the door, proceeded to lie down against it and went to sleep. Ere long his infraction of regulations was discovered, but instead of the outcry such an act might have occasioned, the judicious officer had a strong decoction of tea made and compelled the lad to drink about a quart of it, effectually





banishing all tendency to sleep, not only for the rest of the night, but for the next forty-eight hours. May 1st, the regiment marched to Jackson Square, where it was formally mustered into the service of the national Government by General Irvin McDowell, and also marched in review before the President at the White House. Officers recall seeing General Scott at a White House reception. It was while quartered in the Treasury building that the companies were relettered, thus acquiring the nomenclature by which they must go down through the ages. Of these days, Adam Gurowski in his famous Diary says: “Regiments pour in; the Massachusetts men, of course, leading the van, as in the days of the tea-party. My admiration for the Yankees is justified at every step, as are my scorn, my contempt, etc., etc., of the southern chivalrous slaver.” Lieut. Bowers (G), writing to his son, said: “I wish you could have been with me last night at Mr. Seward's. I should like to have had you shake the strong, honest hand of the President. I did, and never did I have a heartier shake. He is all and more than I expected. Instead of being so homely (the accounts we have had had of his being so), he is one of the finest looking men I have met in Washington.”

Everywhere in Washington was apparent the fact that in laying out and building the city, no provision had been made for war. Though the Capitol had been burned during the War of 1812 by the British, the happy Americans had made no further attempt at defense, hence the evidence on every hand that the paths of peace must become those of possible hostilities. As early as the 18th of April, when the unarmed Pennsylvanians made their appearance in the city, “a new kind of deposit was made in the basement rooms of the Treasury building, in the shape of several hundred casks of middlings, barrels of white beans, sugar, sacks of coffee, etc., to supply the troops which were concentrating in Washington. It is not often that such commodities have storage in buildings of such elegant and costly architecture. In and around the





General Post Office and public buildings also were stored hundreds of barrels of pork, and other army supplies from Baltimore and other points.” Later the gorgeous Capitol itself, or certain portions of it, under the directions of a Massachusetts man,* was to be transformed into a monstrous bakery for the benefit of the teeming array of soldiers who had come to defend the honor of the nation.

Nor were the provisions given out to these soldiers from Massachusetts altogether those described above, for friends at home took good care, when the lines of communication were again opened, to send to the boys, not exactly in camp, but engaged in guarding the Treasury of the United States, specimens of what they were wont to enjoy when under the ancestral roof. Record is found of the receipt of provisions by the steamer Cambridge on the 11th of May, sent by the marketmen of Boston. What visions of Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market their coming must have excited. Then, too, when a package of papers from the home village came, what eagerness to secure a copy. The larger dailies of New York and Philadelphia were not in the running at all with the country weekly. There seemed to be ample space for lodging, as soldiers are wont to rest, since a room sixty feet long and twenty wide, for two companies, gave liberal expanse in which to turn over; and what more could any one ask?

It was while campingin the nation's financial storehouse that the universal “Passday” came. In those times permits to be away from quarters were issued on certain colored cards, and not with the care and precision of later times when experience, as a teacher, had got in its work. Private Pierce of Company E, to be known through the later years of his life as “Farmer” Pierce, with his quick and observing eye had discovered where the officers had procured the cards thus employed. He at once bought enough to serve the company and coming back proceeded to pass out every man in said

[note]



company. Naturally, the cry soon arose, “What has become of the men of E?” and it seemed that not one was in sight. On their return the passes appeared to be O. K., but a new system of issuing these privileges ensued at once. The subsequent efficient member of the Signal Corps escaped unpunished for his liberal distribution of “tickets of leave.”

All of the possible activities of military life were resorted to, that the men might not grow homesick through inaction; a picture, still extant, with all of the stiffness of a wood-cut, portrays the regiment charging up a steep incline of the Capitol grounds just to show the men what they might have to do under possible circumstances. The drills to which the men were subjected, directed as they were by such skillful officers as Colonels Lawrence and Greene, were training hundreds of them, not so much for immediate service as for that of the coming years, when a very large number were to reappear in all parts of the country and in all branches of military duty amply equipped, through this severe regimen, to serve as commissioned officers. There were many churches in Washington, and the most of the men proved their proper rearing by seeking the sanctuaries individually and sometimes in squads and companies. Target practice was another useful manner of employing the soldier's time, extra effort at precision being secured by the offering of prizes.

A letter, written May 19th, gives this comprehensive scheme of daily life in camp: “A. M., reveille, 5 o'clock; company-drill, 6 to 7; breakfast, 7; guard mount, 8; surgeon's call, 8.15; company drill, 8.30; squad drill, 10 to 11; target-practice, 11 to 12 M.; dinner, 1 P. M.; company drill, 2 to 3; battalion drill, 3.30 to 6; supper, 7, with tattoo at 9 o'clock. We are marched over rough, stony and muddy ground, over ditches and up steep banks thirty feet high, at double-quick time, that we may become accustomed to maneuvering upon uneven ground; Friday (17) we marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, formed in line in front of the National Hotel and were






[Illustration:

The Fifth Mass. “Minute Men of'61” charging at double-quick up a steep hill, Washington, near the Capitol, May, 1861
]





reviewed by General Butler, who appeared highly pleased with our promptness.”

While Washington was filling up with soldiery from all parts of the north, the Virginia side of the Potomac was in rebel hands. Within plain sight of the Capitol, enemies of the nation were disporting themselves at their own will, and Alexandria, once a part of the District of Columbia, was a hotbed of secession. If there were any loyal people there, they had to be exceedingly careful not to let their feelings be known. From the roof of the Marshall House floated a banner of the foe, and had the secessionists possessed as much real determination as they constantly asserted, there would have been a movement of their soldiery across the Long


[Illustration:


]

Bridge weeks before the Union forces anticipated any such act on their part. How far they might have gone in their effort to enter Washington can never be known, though the probability is that their advance would have been vigorously opposed. In brag and bluster the North was a very poor second to the South, whose press, from Richmond to New Orleans, demanded the immediate capture of the Federal City. On the part of the North, possibly the most graphic reply was the “war-time” envelope bearing in its upper left corner the figure of a large dog having unmistakably the





well-known face of General Scott, his paw upon a large bone, labeled Washington, regarding a lean and evidently hungry canine, while from his mouth stream the words, “Why don't you take it?”

Of these days, Lieut. Williams (F) tells the following:

Co. F drilled each morning on the green back of the White House in Company movements and skirmish drill and the regiment on the land where the “Smithsonian” building is now. From the upper windows in the back of our house opposite the National Hotel, we could see the rebel flag flying on the Marshall House at Alexandria, and Charles E. Fuller, who was waiting for his commission as Captain and Quartermaster U. S. A. to be made out, said, “Boys, if you will meet me tomorrow night off the upper wharf in Alexandria I will go down there in the morning and get that flag and meet you there after dark.” This we agreed to do, and after roll-call four of us officers and four of the men of our Company took a boat from below the long bridge and rowed down to the appointed place. Awaiting some time, one of the men attempted to change places with another and made such a noise as to attract the attention of the Quartermaster of the U. S. Ship, Harriet Lane, and we were ordered aboard much to our disgust. The Captain kept us until almost morning and we had a hard time to get back to quarters before roll-call in the morning. Fuller got his flag all right, but some one informed Jackson that his flag was down and he rushed out of the office, and met Fuller coming down the stairs with the flag buttoned up in his coat. Jackson took the flag away and also Fuller's pistols and said, “The next man that takes down that flag is a dead man;” and that man was Col. Ellsworth.

It was impossible, even if desirable, that active young men would always be absolutely within the bounds of decorum, military or otherwise. Tradition has it that on one of these days of waiting and preparation a party of five men from Company B went over Long Bridge. One of the party, H. W. Eustis, shot a small hawk on the wing with his pistol; obtaining a boat the bird was secured. The incident evidently aroused the curiosity of two rebel pickets who





were stationed near the Virginia end of the bridge. One of the pickets asked who had fired so excellent a shot, saying that it was a remarkable one; whereupon Corporal Sweetser replied, pointing to Private Eustis, “That's the man and he's the poorest shot in the company.”

Whatever part of a company might be allowed out at night, every one was expected in at “taps” or before, all delinquents being subject to arrest. However, few soldiers of actual service failed, at some time in their career, to “run the guard,” or at least try to. Three privates came up Pennsylvania Avenue under the light of a glorious full moon, not in the least disposed to “turn in,” even if it was time for “lights out.” “Let's stay out beyond time,” says one of the mischievous boys. “The guard will let us in when we come back.” All agreeing, they set off for a two hours’ stroll through parts of the city, not on the avenue. When they finally came back, it was to find Captain Peirson, Officer of the Day, making his rounds. The guard kindly “put them wise” and they ran around to the White House side of the building, jumped the fence and sought to use the rear entrance of the corridor, but the Captain was vigilant and their gray uniforms with three rows of buttons were very conspicuous. They were still thirty feet away when the Captain called out, asking if they were of the Fifth, to which one of the lads promptly replied “Yes.” To the further order to come in the boys declared their willingness if they could be assured of not being put in the guard-house. Of course the officer would make no such promise, so one of the soldiers shouting, “Come on, boys,” they ran to the horse-sheds, filled with the greenest of new steeds, where they were in imminent danger of being kicked into “smithereens,” the Captain, however, valorously following. Fairly caught, the lads gave up, and two of them were collared and walked along towards the building, the third scamp following. On the way up the stairs one of the boys in leading suddenly dropped out of the clutches of his captor. The latter made sure of the bird in hand and deposited him in the “under-the-roof”






[Illustration:

CAVALRY QUARTERS, NEAR TREASURY BUILDING.
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guard-house and then sought the others, who had hurried to their quarters. One freeing himself of his uniform was too much like his fellows to be identified, while the other, pausing to talk to the boy on guard, lost time, so was still in his full dress when the Captain tried to waken him from his simulated sleep. At this moment someone sang out, “Put out the lights,” and in the ensuing darkness there was another escape, and the culprit, finding a fellow soldier willing to let him take his place on guard, effectually evaded the pursuing officer. Later all three of these mischievous fellows served their country well, all of them wearing shoulder straps, all the better officers through their own experience as privates. As a guest of the subsequent General Peirson, many years afterwards, the leader of the escapade was told by the quondam Captain, “You came near having me kicked to death by those animals.”

It was of these Treasury-building days that Dr. S. G. Howe, the famous philanthropist, wrote to friends at home, bearing particularly on Captain Prescott of Co. G, saying, “There will be many captains (referring to Massachusetts troops, generally) like the one I could name in the Massachusetts Fifth, the stalwart man, every inch of whose six feet is of the soldier stamp, the captain who eschews hotel dinners and takes every meal with his men, eating only what they eat; who is their resolute and rigid commander when on duty, but their kind and faithful companion when off duty; who lies down with them upon the bare ground or floor and, if there be not blankets enough for all, refuses to use one himself; who often gets up in the night and draws the blanket over any half-covered sleeper and carries water to the feverish and thirsty; the man who is like a father as well as a captain of his soldiers.” Captain Prescott also obtained a deal of praise from his men for the successful manner in which he reproved a young West Pointer for his profanity when drilling these Concord boys. The Captain knew the rules





of propriety and duly told the youngster where his duty lay. The lesson was salutary for both officer and men.

For more than a month Union troops had been assembling in Washington, and they had done nothing towards driving the rebellious people across the Potomac to a more respectful distance. It was becoming apparent that if the Federal forces did not cross the stream and fortify the several heights on the Virginia side, the enemy would. It is recorded that General Butler had told General Scott that Manassas ought to be seized and held, that the capital could be defended better from that point than from the near-by ranges of hills opposite the city. To this suggestion, however, the aged officer turned a deaf ear. As time advanced and the people began to wonder why no blow was struck, it became necessary for something to be done, hence came, on the early morning of the 24th of May, the general advance into rebellious territory, the intention being to have simultaneous movements across the Chain, Aqueduct and Long bridges with a crossing of the river by steamer and transport to Alexandria. Between four and five o'clock in the morning of the 24th, the Baltimore and Mt. Vernon, having on board the New York Fire Zouaves (Eleventh N. Y. Infantry), Colonel E. E. Ellsworth, drew up at the wharves of Alexandria.

The tragedy of the Marshall House, where the young Colonel of the Fire Zouaves went to his early death at the hands of the landlord, J. W. Jackson, it is no part of this history to portray save as it serves as a preface to the introduction of our regiment to Virginia. It was yet early morning when the flag was secured from the roof of the hotel and its captor met his death, and consternation reigned in all directions, though the extent of the misfortune was carefully withheld from the men of Colonel Ellsworth's regiment; indeed, they were in the main confined to their transport in mid-stream lest they, in their grief, might pillage and fire the city through revenge. The body of the fallen officer was carried to Washington and, at the request of President Lincoln, who had





formed a warm attachment for the Colonel, lay in state in the East Room of the White House, where immense throngs of people gazed upon the features of the deceased. The funeral was at noon of the 25th, the first of hundreds of a military character to follow in Washington.

Several men of the Fifth attended the funeral, including Colonel Lawrence, who was present as one of the pall-bearers. As the funeral cortege, on its way to the depot, passed the Treasury building, there was an opportunity for all not on duty to behold the scene. Rumor, ever active, was particularly so in those days, and the report came that an attack from the direction of Alexandria was imminent. Orders are said to have come very early from General J. K. F. Mansfield for the regiment to be ready to march in “fighting rig” at a moment's warning.

While in the procession accompanying the remains of the Alexandria martyr to the station, the President was informed by a courier, riding in great haste, of “stirring hostilities” on the Virginia side of the Potomac. General Mansfield, commanding the Department of Washington, had been similarly informed, and very likely his alarming earlier message to the regiment was one of the results. Dense smoke was seen and cannonading was heard. The latter proved to be funeral minute guns, and the smoke came from not over brisk campfires. But this solution of indications was not known until the command “Fall-in!” resounded through the camp. With the utmost enthusiasm the men responded to the orders, including several who had been excused from duty by the surgeon. All grasped their muskets with alacrity and zeal, and in fifteen minutes’ time the regiment was moving at a double quick to meet the foe. The commander was Major Keyes, the Colonel being still detained as a bearer.

Says a participant: “We double-quicked down Pennsylvania Avenue, and so on to Long Bridge, which we struck with a swing that I shall always remember. We were full of enthusiasm, and we hit that old bridge with a cadence step





which we maintained until near the middle of its length. We were new to such experience, were entirely ignorant of the effect of rhythmic motion on suspended structures, but if we had not held up about the time we did, there would have been a fall of the bridge and a sudden plunge bath for a large part of the Fifth Regiment.”

ALEXANDRIA.

Notwithstanding the haste of the departure from the camp, the traditional halt and wait occurred on the bridge, where for two long hours men wondered what it was all about. Some said the “draw” was up, others just guessed. Though the regiment did touch the “sacred soil” of Old Virginny, it was not for long, since the orders to countermarch were soon heard, and the Long Bridge was recrossed, with the Treasury building as the terminus of the trip. Our army in Flanders that marched up the hill and then marched down again was perfectly imitated by these Bay State boys and, for that matter, by the sons of other states as well, since the return was made by several organizations, those in command apparently being quite uncertain of their own minds. It was on this day, and when the hurried departure was had, that General Winfield Scott, that famous relic of the days of more than half a century before, yet still in command of the armies, was seen by some of these young soldiers whose fathers had voted for him in 1852 when he was the Whig candidate for the Presidency. They gazed admiringly on his gigantic stature and his kindly face, and possibly some of them wondered whether, had he been elected instead of Franklin Pierce, the national outlook would have been altered. There were disappointed men among those who stacked their guns once more within the walls of the Treasury building; they had expected a sight of the enemy.

Still their stay was not so very long, since that very evening there came the summons to the Virginia shore again, and






[Illustration:


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this time it was to stay. The orders were not so hurried nor peremptory as those of mid-day, and under the command of Colonel Lawrence the Fifth once more set its front towards the foe. One chronicler writes that it was 10.30 in the evening that the regiment, obedient to orders, filed out of its quarters, occupied for about one month, and with the welcome plaudit of “Well done” from General Mansfield, the Long Bridge was approached for the third time within twelve hours. These novices in military matters were to learn most thoroughly, in their ensuing two months of service, that “orders” are not always what they seem.

It was while crossing the bridge this third time that ensued a memorable incident in the history of the regiment. When the soldiers filed out of the Treasury building and quickly formed in line, certain Massachusetts men, interested observers of their militant fellow citizens, discovered that the organization had only the State color, the national ensign not having been presented on leaving Boston. These gentlemen, the Hon. G. W. McClelland, A. W. Fletcher, Captain Perkins and J. Wesley Jones, began a search for “Stars and Stripes.” Happily their search was shortened by the kindness of Mr. J. D. Hammack, who consented to sell to them a new cashmere flag of the finest quality which the ladies had made for his hotel. Securing a carriage, the benefactors overtook the regiment midway of the bridge. Colonel Lawrence, who was at the right of the regiment, naturally hastened back to find what was occasioning confusion in the line.

The surprise of the officer may be imagined when the committee stepped forward and unfurled to the breezes of the Potomac a beautiful banner, which they presented to him and through him to the men whom he commanded, the presentation being made by Mr. J. W. Jones in these words:—

Soldiers of Massachusetts! A title rendered illustrious in the early struggle for freedom on this continent, and now established by your prompt and heroic inauguration of the





present war for the Union, is the proudest title any citizen of the world can bear.

Soldiers of Massachusetts! With honor you have borne the beautiful ensign of your native state, even within the confines of the enemies of human freedom. Having rendered the capital of our beloved country safe, you now march towards the Gulf!—ready “to do and to dare” for the true and the right, which is your country's cause and that of liberty. And we bring you now and here, on this dividing line between loyalty and treason, the flag of our common country—the flag of the forever United States.

Soldiers! Thus far your deeds are matters of history, and noble acts. But we come to give expression to the feeling of pride which we have as Massachusetts men, at the universal praise accorded, by all the citizens of Washington, for your gentlemanly bearing and noble conduct while quartered in the capital. Not a single complaint has been made by any citizen of Washington, friend or foe, of any uncivil act by any Massachusetts volunteer. Bearing this high reputation, you now advance, not as a conquering army to subjugate and enslave, but as the advance guard of the grand liberating army of deliverances, bearing the “Stars” of hope to the oppressed lovers of liberty in the South and the “Stripes” of justice to all their traitorous oppressors. For, bear in mind that though you will contend with desperate villains of the darkest hue, assassins and poisoners, and perjured traitors, there are yet millions of the white race in the South who, like good old Daniel, daily, with their hands outstretched towards the heavens, and their faces eastward, pray God for a sight of your advancing columns as their only salvation from a bondage worse than death, an oppression more terrible than Siberian convict rule. As soon as these noble men shall dare to speak, your hands will be strengthened and your hearts cheered. Go on, then, ye heralds of civilization, establishing in your march the church, the school-house, the Bible and the Constitution as the only sure foundation of human liberty. In your veins flows the blood which ensanguined the plains of Lexington and Concord, and rendered immortal the heights of Bunker Hill, and which has rebaptized the cause of human liberty in the streets of Baltimore. With you, we can trust this glorious flag, assured that it will be borne to higher places of honor, and will never cease its triumphant march until every secession symbol





shall have been trampled in the dust, and every traitorous enemy shall have been hung in mid-heaven, or be forever exiled from the land which he has cursed. Bear this flag on every battle-field for liberty, guard it well and long, until it shall forever wave “o'er the land of the free” and no home of a slace!

To this eloquent address the Colonel responded briefly though feelingly, receiving the flag from the hands of his friends and thanking them both for himself and for the men whom he led. The men themselves gave three rousing cheers and, with the heartiest of God's blessings for the generous donors, there was soon heard again the command “Forward!” “The night was perfect; a full moon just mounting the eastern sky cast its silvery sheen over the rippling waters of the majestic Potomac, and sparkled on the bayonets of a thousand muskets. Campfires and signal lights dotted the hills on both sides, making a picture of quiet beauty never to be forgotten.”

For all northern soldiers, the Potomac was the Rubicon, and that stream surely was passed when, with their new stand of colors, the men of the Fifth entered Virginia. Reports differ as to the distance covered that night, but evidently they were near enough to Alexandria to warrant the curious lads from massachusetts to inspect whatever part of the city they could reach. The 26th was Sunday, and the regiment, for greater convenience in camp, moved back about half a mile, filling a gap, General Sandford said, between the Twelfth N. Y. and Alexandria, near a muddy stream which the boys on bathing bent discovered to be filled with water-snakes, the camp receiving the appellation of “Camp Andrew,” in honor of the Governor of the Commonwealth. Some antiquarian of the force discovered that the ground had been occupied in Revolutionary days by General Washington and that careful search revealed traces of his fortifications. As a matter of fact, the distinguished leader saw very little of this particular section in those times. His pew in the Alexandria church





the soldiers saw and occupied. It was here that a detachment of men, left in Washington to look after baggage, etc., came up and rejoined the regiment. An immediate detail was sent into the city for guard duty, and in some way the Fifth was represented there as long as it stayed in the vicinity. It was of this first stop that Lieut. Williams (F) states: “I was detailed with a guard to take an advanced post where the railroad crossed the road. The next morning early I could see a carriage coming down the road with an officer in uniform, so I turned out the guard and presented arms to a Major General, who proved to be N. P. Banks, Jr., our Ex-Governor. When informed that the guard was of the Fifth Massachusetts, he said, ‘That is good.’ On my advising him not to go further, he turned back to Washington.”

Work upon the extensive fortifications, in a few months to completely surround the District of Columbia, was early begun and, on the 28th, details of men wended their way to the top of Shuter's Hill to commence the erection of one of the most extensive of all the forts that eventually crowned the summit of every prominence near the capital. Covering several acres of area, commanding the entire vicinity, the superintending engineer in its construction was Lieut. Geo W. Snyder of the Corps of Engineers, regular army. He had been with Major Anderson in the defense of Fort Sumter and was brevetted Captain for bravery there. He was No. 1 in the Class of 1856, West Point, in which General Geo. D. Bayard, k. at Fredericksburg, Dec. 14, ’62, was No. 11 and Fitzhugh Lee, of subsequent fame, was No. 45, there being forty-nine in the class. Lieut. Snyder was brevetted Major for gallantry and merit during the Manassas campaign, from whose exposures he was furloughed until Nov. 17, ’61, when he died in Washington at the early age of 28 years. Started so soon after the melancholy ending of Colonel Ellsworth, what more natural than that the new defense should bear his name? Working with the Fifth in this unwonted occupation of digging, were regular details from the First Michigan, which





was camped nearer Alexandria; Fourth and Fifth Pennsylvania and the Eleventh New York, Ellsworth's regiment. It is said that men of the 1st Minnesota also shoveled dirt in this important earthwork. The New Yorkers were camped, practically, on the hill itself, and the Fire Zouaves ought to have worked with a will on the commemorative fort whose trenches and embankments, angles and complete outlines are in this 1910 still in admirable preservation, a magnificent relic of fifty years ago. The level area between the fort and the brow of the hill looking towards Washington is now used by a golf club, and the Free Masons of Alexandria have secured a portion as the site for another monument to the memory of Washington, the corner-stone already being in place.

A map of the period places the Fifth Massachusetts relatively near Alexandria, with the camp between the railroad and the Chesapeake canal, thus accounting perhaps for the sluggishness of the stream which one of the scribes of the regiment noted. The camp of William Tecumseh Sherman's battery was a little south of a direct line from Camp Andrew to Shuter's Hill, where were had the daily digging stunts and whence in the westward distance could be plainly seen the steeple of Fairfax Seminary, then in the hands of the enemy. Three hundred men with three hours’ work each day, along with similar application on the part of other regiments, told rapidly and the frowning ramparts speedily took form and shape. Though, in the main, novices in the use of pick and shovel, like Massachusetts men, wherever placed, these adapted themselves to the situation and more than earned their limited wages. May 27th General Irvin McDowell of the regular army was put in command of all the Union forces in Virginia, and Colonel Charles P. Stone was ordered from Washington to Alexandria to succeed Colonel O. B. Wilcox of the First Michigan, though Stone was soon relieved by Colonel S. P. Heinzelman of the regulars and whom it was the fortune of the Fifth to follow later at Bull Run. On the 29th came orders to be ready to move at a moment's warning.





Though the call was not immediate, it came on the 3d of June, when the regiment moved up a little nearer to the city and planted itself about a quarter of a mile to the southward of the fort on which the men had expended so much strength. Reaching this point at 6 o'clock p.m., the new camp was dubbed “Massachusetts” for obvious reasons, and this was the Virginia home of the men until the march was taken which led to Bull Run. Incessant rains made duty of every sort extremely difficult, and men on guard were subjected to constant annoyance over the frequency of alarms. June 6th a detail of a hundred men was sent into Alexandria, under the command of Lieutenant Shepard, Co. B, the latter receiving the appointment of Provost Marshal. For some time, a company was sent each day into the city to act as guards, being stationed at street corners to examine passes and maintain a general supervision of the city's well being. Picket duty called the men to the outlying country, Falls Church being the limit in that direction, and here one night the man on post had a distinguished visitor in the person of Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, the gentleman being anxious to see how a rebel looked at short range.

On one dark, stormy night a private found himself posted at the jail steps with no visible communication with other posts, but his remonstrance availed him nothing. He had been instructed, if attacked, to discharge his gun and run for quarters. Having, besides his rifle, a five-chambered revolver, the sentry made up his mind not to run. The situation was lonely enough to the boy, the hour past midnight; every bush was surely an enemy, until lightning revealed the contrary. Said lightning also suddenly changed a seeming man, approaching, into an overgrown dog that the sentinel was about to challenge. Coaxing the animal to him, he was forcibly retained by the sentry's suspenders, temporarily detached for such purpose, and with this canine society, the darkness seemed more tolerable. Between 1 and 2 a. m. came a very smart officer with the grand round, who, to the guardsman's challenge, returned





the wrong word, evidently to try the knowledge and nerve of the boy. The latter was behind a telegraph pole and his response was for the officer not to stir a step from his tracks or he would be shot. Once more a lightning-flash revealed the soldier with leveled musket ready to fire, whereupon the officer said he would like to approach and give the true word, but he was told that if he moved, he did so at his peril, and there he had to stay until the “relief,” certainly so in his case, came around and released him, but the sentinel was complimented on dress-parade for his faithfulness.

The slave-pen of Price and Birch, made famous throughout the entire North through the “Life of Solomon Northrup,” was within the points covered by the men of the Fifth, and the most of them carried away with them memories of their impressions when they first saw the hateful sign. Though they may not have seen the sale of human beings from the auction-block, they did see where such iniquity was practiced, and they were only too glad to act in any way which should enhance the condition of the black man and thereby trouble the slave holder. From this place the boys took a colored man, for whom only one name had been found up to this time, and that was “John.” The man became a great favorite with the members of the regiment, and attaching himself to the person of Captain Brastow of Co. I as a body servant he returned to Massachusetts with the latter and remained in Somerville until, hearing from his wife in the South, he joined her there. In the regiment the negro was almost as well known as the Captain. On the 13th of June, when on battalion-drill, Colonel Lawrence greatly pleased his men by telling them of the engagement at Big Bethel, where the Fourth Massachusetts had exhibited distinguished bravery. Three cheers were given with a will and then, closed in mass by companies, the regiment charged upon an imaginary enemy.

It was while the Fifth was in Camp Massachusetts that Colonel Lawrence and Lieut.-colonel Greene were presented with handsome steeds, duly caparisoned for war for their use





during the approaching campaign. The New York Express thus tells the story: “Elias Howe, Jr., of New York, the sewing machine millionaire, presented each field and staff officer of the Massachusetts Fifth Regiment a stallion, fully equipped for service.” Evidently the number was a little in excess of the truth, but the latter was good indeed. The inventor of that most useful machine, himself a native of Spencer, Mass., had not forgotten his native State, and feats of generosity were as characteristic of him then as when later himself a member (private) of the Seventeenth Connecticut Infantry, he advanced money to pay off the entire regiment.

Venus, Cupid and Mars are alike of celestial origin, hence it would be impossible for a regiment of men to camp long in the Virginia regions without some incident introducing the winged god and those at whom his arrows fly. A certain maiden from the direction of Leesburg brought milk to the camp of the Fifth. She was not exactly handsome, being too large and freckled, but she was a woman, and that was enough for at least two impressionable youths from the Bay State. One of the boys professed to be deeply smitten and was invited to call with his friend. She said she had a piano and that she could sing and play. The young men went, found the piano, the thinnest specimen of its kind they had ever seen, placed under the front stairs and altogether lacking in music, but the girl thought to the contrary and hammered away, to the distraction of her callers. Neither of the boys was a very good singer, but they essayed to sing “Oh, how could a poor gypsy countess like me,” going through the motions of laying their fortunes at her feet. The discord was terrible, but the maiden thought she had made a Yankee conquest sure. How long she sighed for her faithless lovers, they never knew.

Friday, June 14th, brought distinguished visitors to the camp in the persons of President Lincoln and his Secretaries of War and the Treasury, Messrs. Simon Cameron and Salmon P. Chase. Of this visit, a letter written the day following has this description:





We have had two quite exciting days. Yesterday, President Lincoln and Secretaries Chase and Cameron honored Camp Massachusetts with their presence, and the President reviewed the regiment. He expressed himself as highly gratified at the splendid appearance and drill of the Fifth, and said that Massachusetts might well be proud of it and its efficient Commander. And, by the way, in speaking of Colonel Lawrence as a drill officer, one of our best colonels in the regular army, after witnessing the drill yesterday, declared it the most perfect and effective drill he had seen in the volunteer militia, with especial reference to the double-quick movements and the change of column in mass. To-day the Alexandria brigade, with the Massachusetts Fifth on the right, paraded through the city, greatly to the dismay of the secessionists at the grand display. Some of the more timid retired to their homes, and tremblingly averred they never saw so many soldiers before. The Fifth was praised at every point, and even citizens at heart secessionists smile upon the Fifth; for, by their gentlemanly conduct and soldierly bearing, they have won respect and are called by them, “The Steady Fifth.” The boys are fully equipped, every man having forty rounds of cartridges, and the regiment daily expects orders to advance farther into Virginia. The Colonel and his entire command are in fine health and excellent spirits, and the people of Massachusetts may rest assured that the Fifth will give a good account of itself in the approaching conflict.

Writing on the 16th day of June, Lieut. Bowers (G) had this to offer concerning events in Camp Massachusetts:

Yesterday, the brigade paraded for the first time and marched through Alexandria. It made a very imposing demonstration. The effect upon the few secessionists left there was salutary. It was entirely unexpected to them and they thought we were on the march to Manassas. Many of the women who have brothers, sons and husbands in the southern army were in tears. It was a solemn sight and made a deep impression. I send you the latest speech made by our orator, Asa Melvin. He gave it last Friday evening, and it is as follows:





  • “Davis is a traitor, Davis is a thief!
  • Davis steals from Uncle Sam,
  • But soon he'll come to grief.
  • Abe will go to Davis’ house,
  • And if he hasn't fled,
  • One of the Concord butcher boys
  • Will chop off Davis's head.”

This, spoken in Asa's inimitable style, made a good deal of sport.

June 17th! While the date may awaken some quickening thoughts in every Massachusetts man's mind, it means almost all the other patriotic days of the year rolled into one to the Charlestown born, especially if he happens to be along in the impressionable years. Though the regiment had been routed out of sleep at 2 o'clock in the morning by a false report of the approach of the enemy, the two Charlestown companies were none the less prepared for the celebration on which they had lotted, and for which they had made due preparations. In a neighboring grove they had spread a dinner and, after a parade, they repaired thither and partook of their feast with speeches commemorative of Bunker Hill, having as special guests, the field, staff and company officers. The next day, the 18th, brought to the South Reading Company (B) a number of home visitors in the person of Dr. S. O. Richardson and his son, S. O., Jr., Captain Geo. O. Carpenter, Thomas Emerson, Charles Copeland and John Betume. The company greeted the Captain and Dr. Richardson with three rousing cheers and the entire party dined with the soldiers, all enjoying certain delicacies not often seen in camp. There was also, this day, a grand review of troops on the race course near the Virginia end of the Long Bridge. Of this parade, the Harper's Weekly of July 6th, with accompanying double-paged illustration, says, “It was the greatest military display ever witnessed in this country. About 8000 troops were on the field, the reviewing officer being Simon Cameron, the Secretary of War.” Our Fifth Massachusetts was there along with three regiments from New Jersey, as many from





New York and the Fifth Pennsylvania. In the large picture, Arlington, the long time home of General Robert E. Lee appears in the background.

A slight touch of real war was had on the 20th when a skirmish arose on the outskirts of the city, in which a young Confederate, a sergeant, was shot, but whose body was not carried off by his comrades. Men of Company E brought it in, along with five or six men whom they had captured in the brush. The sergeant looked like a man not accustomed to work, evidently of the better element in the South. Among letters found in his pocket was one from his sister, saying that she would send to him the rubber cover of her piano to serve him for a blanket, a use that the missiles of the Union men had prevented. He was well armed, having two nice pistols, one of which had never been loaded. Private Beckwith of B, in his rummaging around, found a heavy iron hand-cuff used in restraining slaves and duly sent it home to South Reading, long an object of curiosity to the dwellers there.

Tuesday, June 25th, at dress-parade Lieut.-colonel Greene, Major Keyes and Adjutant Barri, having been promoted to positions in the regular army, took leave of the regiment, expressing their regret at leaving the men and trusting, into whatever peril war might direct them, that they would sustain their honor and credit. This separation was viewed with a deal of regret by the entire regiment, the officers being splendidly equipped for their respective places and all of them, as will be seen by reference to the roster, to fall upon the battle-field in later months. It was not strange that a numerously signed letter to Senator Henry Wilson was sent requesting him to use his influence in retaining these officers in the Fifth until its term was over, but it seems that nothing came of the effort. To their efficiency, the regiment owed much, and all were ready to express hearty appreciation.

July, the third and final month of the Fifth's first term of service, began on Monday and the continued drill to which the men had been subjected bore excellent fruit in a degree





of proficiency in which the men themselves took particular pride. Wednesday, the 3d, the regiment set up in front of the Colonel's quarters a fine flag-pole, that the same might be ready for the morrow. This day also marked the camping near by of the 1st Minnesota, a regiment which in coming years is to win imperishable fame. Its men had a part, though a small one, in the construction of Fort Ellsworth. While the celebration of June 17th was, in a manner, restricted to the Charlestown companies, there was nothing of a local character in the way all hands united in doing honor to the ever glorious Fourth.

There was never a time when the spirit of mischief did not assert itself under due provocation. Fun that does not annoy someone is hardly sufficient for many, hence the commotion that spread through the camp on the night before. The officer in whose charge the keeping of the camp was could not cover all of the points at once, hence it was not long before the sinks and the cook-houses were ablaze. Of course, no one knew who the offenders were, but when, on the day itself, instead of celebrating with their fellows, certain roistering youths were put on police duty to repair damages, those who looked on observed that probably few mistakes had been made in the detail.

Sunrise beheld the men marching to the flag-staff, where the national colors were flung out with enthusiastic cheering. For two hours there was band music in front of regimental headquarters. At noon, after forming line on the parade ground, the men marched to the shade of a great tree, formed a square, with Colonel Lawrence and staff within. After preliminary remarks by the Colonel, all listened to the reading of the Declaration of Independence by Chaplain De Costa, who followed with an appropriate prayer, while every one united in the singing of America and the Star Spangled Banner. The firing of thirty-four guns called attention to the number of states, then in or out of the Union, while an admirable address by Colonel Lawrence touched on a variety





of subjects pertinent to the regiment and the occasion. His remarks drew forth rousing applause from the men, accompanied by cheers for the Stars and Stripes.

The next move was to dinner, where the accustomed monotony was varied by such unusual dishes as roast lamb, green peas and other luxuries. The evening was devoted to fireworks, the centre-piece in which was a large dead tree with thick, dry foliage, which was set on fire, and into the flames, folded newspapers, containing packs of fire-crackers, were thrown with such other freaks and fancies as unrestrained Young America could devise. Again there were refreshments, music by the band and three times three for the flag, before the men dispersed to their tents, satisfied that the day had been properly observed once more. While the “boys” in camp were thus jubilant, others of the Fifth, on duty in Alexandria, were enjoying a lawn-party with Union citizens, who were the very soul of hospitality.

July 4th was noteworthy also from another fact, since on this day twenty-seven recruits were mustered in. They were mainly from Woburn, members of the company of the Fifth that had been disbanded just before the war began, but filled with martial ardor they got together fifty men and marched to Boston, hoping to form a part of the regiment. They were too late and while many went into other organizations, these men, the recruits, were finally admitted. Their enlistments are set down as early in June, but, owing to war's delays, they did not really join till their muster-in as above. They were distributed, fifteen to G, ten to I and one each to Companies B and F. One of these men, Edwin F. Wyer, of I, had been Third Lieutenant of his, the Woburn Company. The 5th day brought another visit from Governor Andrew, who was assiduous in his care for the soldiers. After a hasty examination of the quarters of the men and testing the quality of their food, with all of which he pronounced himself highly pleased, and having been introduced to the line officers, the regiment was formed in mass on the parade and Colonel Lawrence





introduced the Governor to the men. The War Governor of Massachusetts was ever happy in his remarks to soldiers, and never was he more so than when, at this time, he told the “boys” of the maternal care that the Common-wealth had for her children and of her readiness to welcome them home again when their service was complete, and of the excellent officers he knew the men would make in the three years’ regiments then being recruited. The regiment received the Governor most heartily and cheered him to the echo. This was only one of the many visits made to Washington by Governor Andrew, not alone for the purpose of interviewing the President and seeing his soldiers, but as a sort of respite from the incessant cares that beset him when on duty in Boston.

It was on this same 5th day that the vacancies made by the departure of the Lieut-colonel, Major and Adjutant were filled by the election of Captain George H. Peirson (A), senior captain, to the place of Lieut.-col. Greene, and Captain John T. Boyd (K) to the Majority, vacated by Major Keyes, while Lieut. John G. Chambers (E) was appointed Adjutant. The week that was ending witnessed the completion of Fort Ellsworth, and thereby the resumption of more frequent and more prolonged periods of drill, which, after all, is the prime requisite for good soldiers. June 23d, the indiscriminating giving of revolvers to the men bore fruit when Wm. H. Richardson, a Stoneham boy of Company F, only eighteen years old, in handling his “shooting-iron” was fatally injured, dying on the 7th of July. He was the recipient of every possible kindness on the part of his comrades, both officers and men, but they could not keep him alive, and his death was the first fatality in the regiment, resulting in more stringent rules as to the possession of such weapons. That one touch of nature which makes the whole world kin was shown in the taking of a collection throughout the regiment, resulting in the raising of more than $150 to pay the home going expenses of the dead soldier and those of his father, who was with him during





the most of the time after the accident. The boy's chief regret was that he had run away from home to enlist. Lieut. Sleeper of F Company accompanied the body to Massachusetts. The following week, Saturday, the 13th, came orders to pack all personal baggage and to place it in Alexandria in expectation of breaking camp and a long march. Some one has written that about this time Generals McDowell and Franklin rode on the grounds, and the regiment, being formed in hollow square, the distinguished officers were introduced by Colonel Lawrence to the men, whom the Generals successively addressed, saying that their term of enlistment was about to expire, that it was for them to decide whether they draw out of line and go home, or stay till the emergency was over, thus winning glory and victory. To the everlasting credit of Massachusetts soldiers be it said that, to a man, they chose the latter course and stayed in the ranks, a marked contrast to certain regiments from other states which, under the same circumstances, withdrew from their positions when actually on their way to Bull Run. Forever blessed be the soldier who marches to the sound of the enemy's guns and never flinches, no matter what the provocation.

The regiment was ordered to take three days’ rations and be ready to march at daybreak. On Colonel Lawrence's informing the Generals that there were only one half day's rations on hand, he was promised a new supply that very night. Though they did not arrive until midnight, the array of cooks was sufficient to have the food properly prepared for the time of departure. Among those who thus gave the night to cooking were Willard C. Kingsley, for whom the Somerville Post of the G. A. R. was subsequently named, and Joseph G. Giles, also of Somerville. The 16th began early and was a busy day. The knapsacks were packed and left in camp. Blankets were rolled and suspended from the shoulders. Three days’ rations were stored in the haversacks and in this light marching order the advance began. “On to Richmond” had been the cry of the newspapers for weeks,





and in a half organized condition the troops were setting out on a warlike errand. Luckily for them, the forces they were about to assail were in the very same inexperienced state as themselves. Both sides were to know a great deal more, a year from this time.

Brigadier-general Irvin McDowell, U. S. A., was in command and it is interesting to note the officers who served upon his staff, men later to achieve distinction of a high order, as James B. Fry, John G. Barnard, A. W. Whipple, H. L. Abbot, Geo. C. Strong, Jas. S. Wadsworth and Guy V. Henry, three of whom, as Major Generals, were to perish in battle. The five grand divisions were commanded by Brig.-Gen. Daniel Tyler (1st), Colonel David Hunter (2d), Colonel Samuel P. Heintzelman (3d), Brig.-Gen. Theodore Runyan (4th, this was not engaged) and Colonel Dixon S. Miles (5th). The three brigades of the 3d Division were commanded in one, two and three order by Colonels Wm. B. Franklin, Orlando B. Wilcox and Oliver O. Howard, each officer to wear two starred shoulder straps ere many months. Associated with our Fifth Regiment in the First Brigade were the 11th Massachusetts and the First Minnesota along with a battery of Light Artillery commanded by Captain James B. Rickets, another future Major General. The First Michigan and the N. Y. Fire Zouaves associated with the Fifth in building Fort Ellsworth were in the Second Brigade. Except for a very few who had seen active service in the Mexican War every one of these soldiers was ignorant of battle sensations.

BULL RUN.

The route was over Shuter's Hill and towards Centerville, almost directly westward, halting for the night near Pohick church, famous for its associations with Washington, and being about seven miles from Mt. Vernon. During this day's march, the Fifth, being at the right of Franklin's Brigade and that body leading the division, it was the lot of the regiment





to lead the column. Companies D and E were deployed as skirmishers. The halt for the night was at 7 o'clock and at 8.30 there was an alarm given, followed by the bringing in of a prisoner and the killing of his horse; the advance was resumed at 7 a. m. of the 17th with Companies A and K acting as skirmishers. Fifty men from the Fifth Regiment and as many from the First Minnesota had been detailed at Alexandria as pioneers. Each man supplied with an axe, his gun slung across his back by the strap, the hundred men march close behind the skirmishers. The march was cautious, the pioneers cutting away large trees, felled by the enemy to obstruct the roads, in some cases making new ways through the woods. At noon Company C was sent forward to relieve Company K. The skirmishers found their labors exceedingly difficult as they proceeded through swamps and dense woods, the men spreading out at a considerable distance apart on each side of the road. The enemy was seen at intervals, but generally out of range; owing to the circuitous route taken by the force the people were unaware of the advance, but rebel pickets and scouts soon spread the news, so that the country was aroused. Everywhere could be seen traces of the late presence of the enemy who had fled hastily. Some Union people were found who rejoiced at seeing again the Stars and Stripes. Rebel camps were found whence the enemy had departed so quickly that they had time only to fire a parting shot, leaving their outfit and food uneaten. An earthwork also was found, but no attempt was made to defend it.

It was 3 p.m. when the troops reached Sangster's Station on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, where, it was hoped, the enemy, retiring from Fairfax Court House, might be intercepted, but the retreat had been too rapid for the pursuer, and in their flight the rebels had burned two bridges, to make their retirement all the more effectual. Evidently they had no expectation of returning. Had the Union force been an hour earlier the hostile army had been encountered and





possibly the entire array captured. The men were pleased at seeing their Colonel riding both days at the head of the skirmishers and pioneers, ready for any emergency, evidently disposed to share any peril that might be encountered. The march had been twelve miles in distance, long enough for men quite unused to such exactions, and all were ready for the bivouac in a mown field, on the edge of a wood, near the railroad, where they enjoyed the sleep which followed the exhausting march of the day. As the tents had been left behind, camping meant simply rolling oneself in his blanket and lying down to such dreams as sleep might offer.

At 9.30 a.m. of the 18th, Captain Messer, Co. D, conducted a scouting party of forty men, passing southward towards the Occoquan River and on the south side of the railroad. Engaging the enemy's picket at Wolf Run Shoals, eight miles from Sangster's, they killed one of the foe and captured the picket-roll. The party did not rejoin the regiment until 9.30 in the evening at Centreville. A little after noon of this day, the sound of battle-volleys smote upon the ears of these inexperienced men. The fight was at Blackburn's Ford, four miles below the site of the greater engagement, to follow on the 21st. Beauregard had supposed that the general attack was to be at this point and had ordered his forces accordingly, but it was only a feint on the Union part. Here the Massachusetts First Regiment had its introduction to battle's din and suffered considerably. It was the threshold of the Confederacy, barely approached by the invader, over which he was to make a mighty effort to step three days later. Not until 5 p.m. did the regiment leave its camping-place and start for Centreville, having the marching accompaniment of a severe thunder-shower. Four hours later the Fifth halted in a grain-field and camped. The sight of the camp-fires of 30,000 men was not only a novelty, it was an inspiration to these men, mere novices in the art and circumstance of war.

The 19th brought pretty full accounts of the disaster at






[Illustration:

FROM WASHINGTON TO BULL RUN.
]





Blackburn's the day before; many a man was wondering how fared his friends in the First Regiment, and not a few looked forward to coming events with apprehension, for every one knew that a great battle was impending. Owing to the extreme heat, brush tents were erected by officers and men in the effort to ward off some of the sun's rays. The unusual record of divine services on a week day is had for 8 o'clock p.m. of this day. Also an incident of quite another character is recounted to the effect that, early in the morning, a flock of about fifty sheep was seen coming out of a neighboring grove. Never did the inborn predatory nature of the soldier more quickly assert itself. Apparently simultaneously, twice as many men as there were sheep started from the many regiments in sight and rounded up that flock in far less time than it takes to tell the story, and when they were through, not a sheep escaped being turned into toothsome mutton, our Yankee boys getting their full share.

Small Virginia villages attained sudden fame in these early days of the war. Centreville, half a mile from the camp, was a hamlet of a few single-story structures, fated to be more talked about during the coming week than it ever had been or would be again. Certain of these active, inquisitive men, in spite of the heat of July 20th, spied out what there was to be seen in the village, visited General McDowell's headquarters and some of the batteries, and then passed on to the cross-roads on the Warrenton turnpike, thus reaching the outside picket station, whence could be seen the grove near which the fight of the 18th took place. An unexploded six-pound shell was picked up here, and having been sent back to South Reading, was for some time exhibited in the local armory, to meet the fate, however, of nearly all such explosives, thirty years later, Sept. 3, 1891, when the barn of James Eustis was burned. At 2.30 p.m. rations for three days were distributed and orders given to be ready to march at 6 o'clock in the afternoon, subsequently changed to “soon after midnight.”





It was not strange that men were wakeful during that night: visions of home and mother danced before many an eye, and the call to “fall in lively” was rather a welcome sound than otherwise, and this was heard between one and two in the morning. Rations must have been eaten hurriedly, for soon after 2 a.m. line was formed and the regiment marched a short distance, only to be halted and to remain thus till half past four, all owing, it appeared later, to the tardiness of the First Division under Tyler. It should be stated that the Confederate army lay in detachments behind Bull Run at five different fords, along a line of eight miles. The left or northernmost flank was at the stone bridge, where the Warrenton turnpike crosses Bull Run, though McDowell supposed it to extend to the next ford above. The fight at Blackburn's Ford had been at the extreme rebel right, and there Beauregard supposed the battle would be resumed. Indeed he and Johnston, who had arrived with reinforcements, had determined to advance their own forces this Sunday morning and to attack Centreville with all possible strength, but the signal guns of the Union army told them that their plan was forestalled.

The orders for the day were for Tyler's First Division to move on the stone bridge with all of his force, except Richardson's brigade, which was still to menace Beauregard at Blackburn's, while the Second and Third Divisions under Hunter and Heintzelman, respectively, were to march northward and, crossing Bull Run at Sudley's Ford, fall upon the rear of the enemy, who was supposed to be in force beyond the stone bridge. Colonel Miles's Fifth Division was to remain in reserve at Centreville, while General Runyon's Fourth was still farther in the rear, between Centreville and Alexandria. Just three months to a day from leaving Faneuil Hall, the Fifth was marching into battle. It was soon after passing through Centreville that two organizations were passed whose time being out, they were determined to go away from rather than towards the enemy. Turning deaf ears to the





entreaties of General McDowell, these men, not New Englanders, marched back towards Washington, leaving their comrades to their fate. Technically, these men were within the letter of the law, but measured by the standard of brave men the world over, they were deserving of severest condemnation. It should be recorded that the Pennsylvania Colonel went to the field, serving on the staff of Colonel Franklin.


[Illustration:

OLD STONE HOUSE, 1910.
]

Following Tyler and his First Division until over Cub Run, the Second and Third Divisions turned northward, and after a heated march of about ten miles, reached the ford at Sudley Church. The woods through which a considerable part of the march was made lessened somewhat the severity of the test, but the scarcity of water occasioned great discomfort. The last mile or two of the advance, on account of the noise of battle, had been made at a double quick, a severe





trial at any time, especially so under a broiling sun. There was little pause for rest, since to the southward their comrades in blue were facing the enemy and in sore need of aid. The stream was forded and, after depositing blankets in heaps, by organizations where possible, the men in response to the command, “Fifth Massachusetts, forward; double quick, march!” were off to do and die. For the first time they see friend and foe, dead and dying; it is a time to test the stoutest soul, whizzing bullet and screaming shell making wild music in these unfamiliar ears. Taking their position on the brow of a hill, directly in front of the rebel batteries, they are ordered to fall flat on their faces, thus permitting the shot of the enemy's cannon to pass harmlessly over them. Some one beholding the sight says this of the scene:

I saw the Fifth Massachusetts in their dark uniforms and their steady advance under the enemy's fire of shot and shell; I noticed them some distance off; they came into the field by a flank movement, and then into column, with as much coolness as if they had been on an ordinary muster-field. They then had to pass over an open field, exposed to the full fire of the rebel batteries, but they did not waver in the least. They were ordered by Colonel Franklin to take and hold a position on the brow of a hill, in front of the enemy's batteries. Here I first saw their Colonel (Lawrence) at their head. He is tall and slim, with dark hair. He is quite young, not more than twenty-five. They took their positions in perfect order and fought bravely.

Another observer says:

The boys were no ways abashed by this hot reception, but took the whole thing very cooly, waiting very patiently to “pitch in” again. The firing now was perfectly terrific and it seemed at times as if the heavens would burst asunder with the concussion. Colonel Lawrence, standing the most of the time in the middle of the regiment, used his utmost efforts to keep the men calm, in their places, close to the ground out of the way of the shot, which went singing their peculiar death-song three or four feet above them. Several of the men were wounded by the bursting of a shell, and Private





Angier (K) was wounded by a six-pound shot in his leg. This rest (lying close to the ground) afforded great relief to the men whose mouths were parched with thirst; the scarcity of water, the rapid marching and double-quick motion having well nigh exhausted them. A field officer rode up and inquired, “What regiment of regulars is this?” The men answered, “We are not regulars, we are the Fifth Massachusetts.” He replied, “Is it possible! I thought you were regulars, you are in such perfect order under fire.”

In the advance Color-bearer Lawrence (E), while bravely waving the flag, was shot dead by a musket ball, shot through the breast. Corporal Wallace (D), himself wounded, already bearing the State ensign, seized the national flag as it fell from Lawrence's hands, and carried both gallantly, until Sergeant-major Quincy, grasping the State colors, bore them forward with equal gallantry. Colonel Lawrence, who had so bravely stood where others were lying prone, was wounded and when the retreat began was carried to the rear. The Colonel's escape with his life he ascribed to his college classmate, Paymaster George F. Hodges (vide Roster). In an account of the classmate, prepared for Harvard's memorial volume, Colonel Lawrence wrote:

Just at the close of the battle, I was wounded while near the right of the regiment. Hodges came up and ordered the men to carry me to the rear. He had me put into an ambulance, which is the last thing I remember then, for I became insensible. Four or five men, I believe, accompanied the ambulance a short distance. In the confusion of the general retreat the others, supposing me almost dead, and that it was impossible for me to survive, all left me; but not so Hodges. He took me out of the ambulance, which the driver had left, and bearing me over a fence into a wood, supported me against a tree. He told me that all had gone, and that I should probably soon be taken a prisoner, but that he would stay with me and be taken too. I told him to go, for it was bad enough for one to be captured. “No,” said he, “I shall stay, for it is not right to leave you, our Colonel, helpless here alone; and besides, I want you to understand, I will not desert a classmate.” And so he stayed until assistance





came. By Hodges’ means, I escaped captivity at that time and probably death. He was a noble fellow and no one could wish a better friend.

The Fifth left the field in some confusion, mostly by companies, but was soon together again, and under the command of Major Boyd, marched by the morning route of Sudley's Ford to the former camping-place in Centreville. Lieut.-colonel Peirson had gone to the relief of the wounded Colonel, hence the Major in the lead. On reaching their late bivouac, regimental line was formed, arms were stacked, a guard was set and the men lay down for a night's rest. There surely was no indication of a frightened “run-away” here. Returning to the field itself, a few words of general survey are in place. Volumes have been written about this engagement. This is no place to enlarge upon the same as a whole. A part, a small part it is true, was set for the regiment to perform. This the men did with infinite credit to themselves and the Commonwealth. They marched, they double-quicked, they suffered for lack of food and drink, they forded the stream, they advanced into battle with the steadiness of veterans between the batteries of Griffin and Rickett, they charged the rifle-pits of the enemy, they supported the batteries, exposed to the raking fire of the foe,—in a word, they executed every order given, and at last, when all hope of success was gone, fell back, free from the confusion that has been the popular notion of the closing moments everywhere at Bull Run.

In crossing at Sudley's Ford, the regiment must have passed down a part of the territory covered by the Second Bull Run; the men, either advancing or retreating, must have passed near the old stone house, so often mentioned in all accounts of the battle, and around the well men on both sides mingled in the general mixup after the day was done. It was here that a private of Co. K insisted on filling his canteen, against the advice of his comrades, and when it was filled he lost time in holding it to the lips of a famished foeman, weak





and wounded, unable to help himself. While thus engaged a rebel appears on the scene and with fierce oaths demands the surrender of the Good Samaritan, but the man who has drank of the water given by the Union soldier exclaims, “No, let him go, he gave me drink;” and the Federal escaped while one, at least, of his comrades who would not pause passed


[Illustration:

HENRY HOUSE IN BATTLE DAYS.
]

on to capture and months of prison life. The position of Franklin's brigade indicates that our Massachusetts boys were well up to the plateau on which Jackson stood. When pointing to him, the Florida General, B. E. Bee, himself about to die, gave to the Virginian his immortal prenomen, “Stonewall,” and they could not have been very far away when the same “Stonewall” was wounded. They must have seen the Henry House, and if they did not see the aged Judith Henry shot to her death, they were where the death shots were falling thick and fast, and they must have shared in the mid-day thought that the battle was won and then, when the





mists had cleared away, they too, realized that the day was lost and retreat the only recourse left.

There was direful confusion on both sides; a Grant or a Jackson, with the experience of a twelvemonth later, would have pressed home the advantages of noon and eve to the complete undoing of the vanquished side. Fortunately for the Union cause, the inexperience of the Northern army was matched in full by that of the South. Non-combatants on


[Illustration:

CUB RUN BRIDGE, 1910.
]

both sides did much to add to the distress of those who were carrying arms. A single brigade like that of the Vermonters in ’64 would have swept the field clear of every obstruction, but Federal and rebel, whether volunteer or regular, knew nothing of actual war; at Bull Run they were learning their alphabet of battle. On some parts of the field, the situation was indiscribable; what else could be expected? Says John G. Nicolay in his “Outbreak of the Rebellion”:

It must be remembered that these were only three months’ volunteers, and besides, as such, the most impulsive and independent men in their several communities, whose innate promptness of thought and action had brought them to the





forefront of the civil war. Lacking long drill and discipline, they acted upon individual judgment and impulse rather than as organized bodies merely executing the orders of their officers. This explains the remarkable statement of Captain Woodbury that at 4 o'clock on the 21st there were 12,000 volunteers on the battle-field of Bull Run who had entirely lost their regimental organization. They could no longer be handled as troops, for the officers and men were not together, and it is worthy of remark that this disorganization did not arise from defeat or fear.

Not all, however, of the Fifth fell back to Centreville. There were dead and wounded on the fatal field among them soldiers who, with loyal hearts and ambitious zeal, had rallied to Faneuil Hall and had done all they could for the cause they loved and now had sealed their devotion with their blood. As of Ellsworth who had fallen yet earlier, so of them it might be written, “Dead, at the dawning of the Strife, and late, so loyal, true and brave!” When all the companies had been canvassed and results compared, it was found that nine men had been killed, a much larger number were wounded and twenty-three had been taken prisoners. The record is as follows:

Colonel Samuel C. Lawrence, wounded.

Company A.

Wounded, D. P. Moore, J. W. Patten; prisoners, H. T. Briggs, S. A. Cate.

Company B.

Prisoners, Sergt. G. W. Aborn, Private F. L. Tibbitts; wounded and prisoner, J. H. Griggs; wounded, Joe Eustis.

Company C.

Wounded, S. M. Clark, G. W. Hobart, F. L. Lane, W. S. Oakman, F. W. Pfaff, J. M. Pratt, Lewis Smith, Bernard Wotton; wounded and prisoner, Edward Foster.





Company D.

Killed, Hiram S. Collins; wounded and prisoner, J. A. Shaw; wounded, Corporal G. W. Wallace.

Company E.

Killed, Sergt. Wm. H. Lawrence; wounded, Privates Wm. H. Dane, A. F. Dow, G. E. Peak, E. N. Peirce, E. W. Ramsdell, M. F. Richards, S. H. Turner; prisoner, J. H. Hoyt.

Company F.

Killed, Sergt. C. W. Cassebourne, Privates Thos. Hettler, I. M. Low; prisoners, Bernard McSweeney, Stephen O'Hara, C. F. Wardwell, E. J. Williams. (The Hon. Alfred Ely in his prison record gives one Isaac Lowe, Co. I, Fifth Mass.)

Company G.

Wounded, Rob't Pemberton; prisoners, Sergts. Cyrus Hosmer and Wm. S. Rice, Privates Wm. C. Bates, E. S. Wheeler, H. L. Wheeler.

Company H.

Killed, G. A. Thompson; wounded, Wm. Farrell, Chas. McFarland; prisoners, G. W. Dow, Wm. Shanley.

Company I.

Killed, E. F. Hannaford; wounded, John Adams, G. W. Nason.

Company K.

Killed, Sumner Fish, never seen after the battle; wounded and prisoners, H. A. Angier, C. A. Babcock, S. E. Chandler; prisoner, Geo. T. Childs.

The aggregate losses at Bull Run seem small when compared with those at Antietam, Gettysburg and other battles of later





dates, yet they carried consternation and grief into thousands of Northern homes. Though “The Vacant Chair” had not been written then, the vacant places awaited the song when October 21st, a few months later, had sealed the fate of


[Illustration:

MONUMENT IN HENRY HOUSE YARD. DEDICATED JUNE 11, 1865. IN PICTURE ARE GENERALS HEINTZELMAN, O. B. WILCOX, WELLS, BENHAM, MEIGS AND GAMBLE, WHO DIRECTED THE SCHEME. LIEUT. WM. McCALLUM (16th MASS. BATTERY), ARCHITECT AND BUILDER STANDS ON THE MONUMENT.
]





Lieut. J. Willie Grout (Fifteenth Mass.). The summaries tell us that 481 Union soldiers were killed, 1,011 wounded and 1,460 were taken prisoners, many of whom were wounded. The Confederates lost 387 killed, 1,582 wounded and a few prisoners. The result was not what the shriekers of “On to Richmond” had expected, and thereafter a distinct lessening, among these gentry, of their warlike advice was noticeable. Their lesson had been learned, and apparently they had concluded that men trained to the art of war had better make ready for it, hence the entry of McClellan and the months of subsequent organization, drill and preparation.

A Summary of the Bull Run Campaign as Seen and Described by Edwin F. Wyer, Co. I, Later Adjutant of the Regiment.

We left Camp Massachusetts about 9 a.m., July 16th, bound for Manassas. Proceeded slowly and cautiously, reaching the vicinity of Pohick Church about sunset and bivouacked for the night. A picket-guard under Capt. Hutchins, Co. E, was sent out and they had been gone but a few minutes when we heard sharp firing and the Captain's voice giving orders excitedly; we fell in hurriedly and sent out support as we heard the drums beating the long-roll in the Confederate outpost near by, while the regiment stood in the chill night air nervously waiting for orders to move forward. The innocent cause of the alarm was soon found, when a detail from the picket brought in a badly scared native, who had been wending his way homeward, all unconscious of the pressence of Federal troops in that vicinity, until fired upon and his horse was killed. He was kept till morning, when he was allowed to go home on foot. On our advancing the next morning, we came upon the Confederate outpost which had been so hurriedly abandoned that the men had left their breakfasts cooking on the fires. The second day's march was carefully made, beating the bush on both sides of the way, searching for masked batteries and concealed rebels, having been told that the woods were full of them, but none appeared before us. We camped at night at Sangster's Station, near a county house on the Orange & Alexandria R.R. The





next morning (18th), we captured our first prisoners, the boys bringing in fourteen large moccasin snakes. At this stage of the game, foraging was strictly prohibited, officers and men being enjoined to respect the person and property of the inhabitants. Capt. Brastow (Co. I) had been told that one of the natives, who was a prosperous farmer and a Union man, living about a mile away, had some fine lambs which he would sell dressed for three dollars each. The Captain proposed to me that I go and buy one of the animals and thus give the boys a lamb stew for dinner, it being understood that we would remain in camp until afternoon, and Old Jack, the relic from Price and Birch's Slave-pen, would cook the same to the queen's taste. We started, but had proceeded only a little way from camp when we saw a squad of cavalry approaching in the distance which we suspected might be rebels, so we took to the woods and remained hidden until the horsemen had passed, when we came back to the road, meeting there some of the Fifth Regiment, who had been to the very house we were in search of and who told us that General McDowell and staff had just gone in the direction of the camp, these proving to be our supposed Confederates. On reaching the house, the yard was full of stragglers from different regiments getting breakfast, and we found that we would have to negotiate our purchase with the women-folks, as there were no men in sight. They had not heard the latest quotations on spring lamb, so we insisted on seeing Mr.—himself; after much persuasion, one of the women confided to me that the absent party was a Union man and when he saw the cavalry, the same that had encountered us, he had departed in a hurry and was hidden somewhere in a large field of tall corn quite a distance from the house. He was found and, being assured that we would pay the price agreed upon, he promised to bring the lamb to camp. Though we hurried back, it was to find that all had packed up and departed. Doing likewise was the next move for us, but we felt that lamb stew for dinner had disappeared also. Happily the next morning brought about the sheep episode, already narrated, at Centreville, where Old Jack proved himself the man for the hour and lamb stew with mutton broth were surely had.

July 20 was devoted to making brush shelters to protect us from the scorching July sun and speculating on the probable outcome of the morrow, for we knew that our baptism





of fire was impending, and that for the first time we were to be pitted against the boasted chivalry of the South. Would we stand the test? Of course we would! Could we fail? Perish the thought! Hadn't we been given the job of putting down the Rebellion? Didn't Secretary Seward assure us that the insurrection would be quelled in 60 days? With an optimism born of youth and inexperience we started for the fight at Bull Run. The early grey of the morning of the 21st of July found us toiling our weary way towards the field of glory as we believed. We soon heard the booming of cannon that told us that the fight was on. As our division had to make a wide detour to get into the rear of the Confederates, there was for us a long, hard march under the broiling sun.

As we advanced, the rattle of musketry and the roar of artillery grew nearer and still nearer, until we reached the field of the first general engagement of the war; we went onto the field in column by companies, were halted and ordered to lay off our blankets, haversacks and all useless impediments. Presumably, after we had beaten the enemy, we were to return and resume our laid off habiliments, but to many of us the opportunity never offered. While lying on the ground, hugging Mother Earth, General Franklin, commanding our brigade, seeing the Fire (Ellsworth's) Zouaves, the 11th N.Y., advancing across the field in the distance, said, “There goes a gallant regiment, but it ought to be supported.” Whereupon our Colonel Lawrence spoke up, saying, “It can have support, General; the Fifth Massachusetts will go anywhere you order it.” “Move your regiment by the right to their support,” said Franklin; but before we could connect with the left of the 11th, it was subjected to a withering fire from the enemy, massed around the Henry house, thus throwing the regiment into disorder; the sunken road over which we moved to their support proving a great protection to us. It was while going to the support of the Fire Zouaves that the most of the casualties in our regiment occurred.

The first intimation that all was not going well with our side, came when the two companies of regular cavalry (all the cavalry on the field) came tearing down the road where we lay, shouting, “Get out of here or the Black Horse Cavalry will get you all.” We had been detached from our brigade, and not an order from General Franklin had reached us since





we left the brigade to support the Zouaves. At this juncture, Captain Brastow asked General Burnside, who was on our left with his Rhode Island Brigade, if we might form on his column and march under his orders, a request that was speedily granted, and in that order we came off the field. Crossing Sudley's Ford, we retreated by the same road we had taken in the morning until we reached Cub Run; there at the bridge we discovered that the Confederates had posted a battery and were working it with an energy worthy of a better cause.

As the water in Cub Run was only about waist deep we forded it, and found on the other side 16,000 troops, McDowell's reserves, that had not fired a shot nor moved an inch, although within easy reach of their hard-pressed comrades. Had McDowell thrown in his reserves at the critical moment, the first Bull Run fight had been a victory instead of a disaster. Reaching our camp, which we had left in the morning so full of hope and glorious expectation, the men threw themselves upon the ground, a tired, footsore array, confident that they deserved a better fate, after marching and fighting continuously twenty hours, and there was bitterness in their hearts against the general officers who had so ingloriously led them.

Data and Comments from the Commanding Officers as Recorded in the Official Records of the Rebellion, Vol. II, First Series, pp. 384, 385.

From the report of Colonel Andrew Porter, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, and the division after the wounding of Colonel David Hunter, describing the attack of Burnside's Brigade upon the enemy's right:—

The head of Heintzelman's column at this moment appeared upon the field, and the 11th and 5th Massachusetts regiments moved forward to the support of our center, while staff officers could be seen galloping rapidly in every direction, endeavoring to rally the broken 8th (N.Y.); but this laudable purpose was only partially attained, owing to the inefficiency of some of its field officers. General Tyler's Division (1st) was engaged with the enemy's right. The 27th (N.Y.) in the edge of the woods, in the center, covered by a hill, upon which lay the 11th and 5th Massachusetts, occasionally delivering a scattering fire. The 14th (N.Y.) was moving by the right flank. The prestige





of success had thus far attended the efforts of our inexperienced but gallant troops. The lines of the enemy had been shifted forcibly nearly a mile to their left and rear. The flags of eight regiments, though borne somewhat wearily, now pointed towards the hill from which disordered masses


[Illustration:

BULL RUN BATTLEFIELD.
]

of rebels had been seen hastily retiring. Griffin's and Ricketts’ batteries were ordered by the commanding general to the top of the hill on our right, supporting them with the Fire Zouaves and marines, while the 14th (N.Y.) entered the skirt of woods on their right to protect the flank, and a column composed of the 27th N.Y., 11th and 5th Mass., 1st Minn. and 69th N.Y., moved up towards the left flank of the batteries; but as soon as they were in position, and before the flanking support had reached theirs, a murderous fire of musketry and rifles, opened at pistol range, cut down every cannoneer and a large number of the horses. The fire came from some infantry





of the enemy, which had been mistaken for our own forces, an officer on the field having stated that it was a regiment sent by General Heintzelman to support the batteries. The evanescent courage of the Zouaves (Fire) prompted them to fire perhaps a hundred shots, when they broke and fled, leaving the batteries open to an attack by the enemy's cavalry which took place immediately.

From the report of Colonel Wm. B. Franklin, commanding the First Brigade, Third Division, pp. 405, 406:

The brigade left Centreville at 2.30 a.m. in the following order: 1st, Minnesota regiment; 2d, Ricketts’ battery; 3d, 5th Mass. regiment; 4th, 11th Mass. regiment. At Centreville a delay of more than two hours took place to enable the columns of General Tyler and Colonel Hunter to pass


[Illustration:

BULL RUN BRIDGE, 1910.
]

Colonel Heintzelman's. The march then recommenced and continued without interruption until the brigade reached Bull Run, about 11 o'clock, a.m., after a march of about 12 miles.

Colonel Hunter's column had, by this time, become engaged with the enemy, and Ricketts’ battery was immediately ordered to cross the run and to hold itself in readiness for action. The Minnesota regiment was ordered to cross to support the battery, and was, by a subsequent change in





the order, placed in position on the left of the field. The 5th and 11th Mass. were for a very short time held in reserve on the left bank of the run. Ricketts’ battery was directed to take position in a field towards the extreme right of our line, and commenced firing at a battery of the enemy placed just beyond the crest of a hill on our left. After firing for about twenty minutes at this point, the battery was moved to a point about 1000 feet from the enemy's battery, where it was immediately subjected to an incessant fire of musketry, at short range, disabling it almost immediately. Here Captain Ricketts was severely wounded and First Lieut. D. Ramsey was killed. The battery also lost, in the course of a few minutes, eleven non-commissioned officers and men killed, and fourteen wounded. Many horses were also killed, so that the battery was entirely crippled and its remains were drawn off the field, all of the guns being left on the field.

While the battery was in the first position, the 5th and 11th Mass. regiments were brought to the field and took position just behind the crest of a hill, about the centre of the position. Here they were slightly exposed to the fire of the enemy's battery on the left, and were consequently thrown into some confusion; this was shown by the difficulty of forming the 11th Regiment, and by wild firing made by both regiments. They fired without command, and in one or two instances, while formed in column, closed in mass. From this point both regiments were ordered to proceed to the vicinity of the point where Ricketts’ battery was disabled, to try and get back the guns. They went there, and, with the help of some other regiments on the right, the enemy was driven from the guns three times. It was impossible, however, to get the men to draw off the guns, and when one or two attempts were made, we were driven off by the appearance of the enemy in large force with heavy and well-aimed volleys of musketry. Colonel Hartranft of the 4th Penn., whose regiment refused to march forward that morning, accompanied me to the field as aide-de-camp. His services were exceedingly valuable to me and he distinguished himself in his attempts to rally the regiments that had been thrown into confusion.

Bull Run as Described by Lieutenant Williams (F).

We left camp July 16th, blankets rolled across the shoulders and three days’ rations, and took the march to Centreville. We left the main road to Fairfax and turned off to the left and





took a more southern route, circular route, with flankers out and skirmishers ahead. The Rebels were seen at times ahead and, surprised, made attempts to obstruct the roads by falling trees, etc., but the Minnesota boys with their axes soon cleared the way, came across some earthworks, but the enemy had left in a hurry, leaving their dinners. We arrived in Centreville on the 18th. On the 19th we made some brush tents, the 20th orders were to prepare three days’ rations and be ready to move. On the 21st at 1.15 a.m. order to “fall in lively,” and at 2.30 a.m. the regiment started on the Warrenton Pike for Bull Run. When we got out on the road it looked as if all the Senators and Congressmen had come out from Washington in carriages to see us off. We crossed the bridge at “Cub Run” and filed off to the right through the woods to Sudley's, 10 miles, where we came out on the ridge. We could see and hear firing off to the left and soon the order to double-quick came, and after piling our blankets near the church, started on the double-quick, forded the run and went into action on the crest of a hill. The enemy's shot and balls


[Illustration:

PRESENT HENRY HOUSE AND MONUMENT.
]

were flying pretty lively, but we formed close order and by division commenced firing at them over the crest as they retired before us. Soon the order came to file down the Newmarket road and support the “Fire Zouaves” in their charge. In this movement we lost some men and it was then charge and counter-charge, and the Rebels were gradually forced to the rear until about 3 p.m. it was noticed the Rebels were being reinforced by a column of the enemy coming down on our left rear which compelled us to fall back to Sudley's Hill, where we formed line and remained until dark and then took up the line of march to our camp at Centreville.





We found when we got to “Cub Run” bridge we could not cross, as the enemy's guns controlled it and it was filled with broken wagons, and so we had to ford the stream about up to our arm pits. Blenker's Brigade was drawn up in line, had not been in the fight, and I think the whole battle was sustained by Col. Heintzelman's and Hunter's Divisions, consisting of Franklin's, Wilcox's, French's and Burnside's Brigades. When we got back to the old camp we had coffee and a cracker and lay down to have a rest, but there was no rest for us, for at 12 midnight we were ordered to fall in and march back to camp at Alexandria, a long march, which we accomplished about 11 o'clock a.m., had coffee and then fell in again to march to Washington through the rain and mud. Arriving in Washington the men were housed in an old hotel and the officers in others. A friend took me to a store and fitted me out with new underclothes and pants; my old ones were covered with mud, and had some bullet holes, and then went to the Willard Hotel for a fine dinner and a good sleep in his bed, much needed after 24 hours’ constant move.

HOMEWARD BOUND.

The stay at Centreville was short, since in about an hour came the command to march to Washington. Beginning at 1.30 a.m. of this day, there had been little if any cessation of activity among our soldiers, and if they were weary it was only the natural result of continuous effort. The early hours of the 22d found them still en route for the Potomac, said to be twenty-five miles away. To add to their discomforts, the morning brought rain, the usual sequel to a day of battle, and through Virginia mud the defeated army plodded on. It was 10 o'clock in the forenoon when the Fifth reached its old Camp Massachusetts, but even there the wait was short, for before noon, came orders to proceed to Washington. Gathering up all of their effects that their late experience had left, the column, under the command of Major Boyd, started for the Capital. Nine miles through mud and rain, hungry and drenched to the skin, the destination was reached





at about 4 o'clock p.m. Many of the men had been wounded the day before and their condition, under the circumstances, was specially distressing, though private houses were opened for their reception and care. The Government had not developed its vast system of hospitals as yet, and but for the sympathetic care of the patriotic public, the fate of the wounded would have been serious indeed. The Fifth Regiment was not the only one to reach Washington that afternoon and the city was more than full. While the men of the Fifth were quartered in a number of buildings, there were soldiers who had to bivouac on the sidewalk.

For the following five days, the soldiers who cared to do so had an opportunity to renew some of the experiences of their late month's stay in Washington and to compare notes with other participants in the fight of the 21st. It was a time of getting ready to go home on the part of thousands of three-months’ men like themselves, whose departure was so seriously modifying the plans of those at the head of the armies and the Government. On Sunday, the 28th, the first Lord's day since the battle, began that most welcome of all events in a soldier's life, his going home. At 9 a.m., for the last time in Washington, the regiment paraded on Pennsylvania Avenue, near Willard's Hotel, Lieut.-colonel Peirson in command, and was briefly addressed by Colonel Lawrence, who, though suffering from his wound, was determined to see his men safely home again. At 10 o'clock the train was boarded at the old Baltimore & Ohio station, and Washington was left more directly and more happily than it was approached three months earlier. In Baltimore there was a delay until 6.30 p.m. before leaving for Philadelphia, where the Fifth arrived at 5.30 in the morning of the 29th.

Still moving northward, after enjoying a substantial breakfast in the City of Brotherly Love, New York was reached at 4.30 in the afternoon, where the men had a bountiful supply of provisions at the Park Barracks, a development since the April visit, while the officers were entertained at the Astor House.





Three hours later, or at 7.30 p.m., by way of the Sound, a start was made for New England, reaching Groton, Connecticut, at 6.30, the morning of the 30th. Thence an hour afterwards, a train of cars was bearing the regiment towards Boston, which was entered, Providence station, at 1.15 p.m., just the hour for a public reception, and the “Hub of the Universe” was ready and equal to the occasion. Though the Third and Fourth regiments had already been received with enthusiasm, they were not men tried as by fire, not yet a fortnight away. It might be said of BOSTON at that time that her people were Bull Run mad, and here were the very men who had marched more than twenty miles beneath a blistering sun, had fought a gallant foe, leaving some of their numbers dead upon the field and many more wounded or prisoners in the hands of the enemy, — why should not the populace gather for a sight of the heroes who had come back to them? Not only was the Second Battalion at the station to meet the Fifth—every citizen who could by any possible means gain a foothold was there also. Debarking with difficulty on account of the throng, line was formed and, escorted by the Second Battalion, with music by Gilmore's matchless band, the march through home streets began. At the head of the procession in a carriage rode Mayor Wightman and several members of the Governor's staff, the route being through Tremont, Court and State streets and, returning, through Washington, School and Beacon to the Common. No available foot of space lacked an occupant, and every beholder had a voice, which he used to its limit. Let the reporter for the Boston Journal tell the story of what he saw at the time and on the spot:

People began to flock to the Common at an early hour, and on the arrival of the escort, an hour previous to the arrival of the regiment, the crowd had become very large. After several hours of patient waiting, the commotion in the neighborhood of the Providence depot plainly indicated the arrival of the train, and hundreds bent their steps in that direction. Most, however, remained on the Common, supposing, of course, that the troops, who had had nothing to eat since





their departure from New York, Monday evening, would first partake of the collation which had been spread for some hours on the Beacon Street mall. The regiment, however, proceeded through the streets of the city before arriving on the Common. Their approach was a signal for a grand rush. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and friends seized the hands or clung round the necks of soldiers as they came upon the parade ground. The strict order “not to meddle with the boys on the march” was only partially heeded, and the detour of the parade ground was accomplished by the troops to the sound of familiar music, with their glorious colors still flying, and with numerous accessions to their ranks. No sooner had the regiment been formed in line with the Charles Street mall, than from all quarters of the parade ground rushed throngs of people to greet them. The orders to stack arms, etc., were obeyed under great disadvantage, as at this time the ranks were much broken by the influx of innumerable friends. Then followed the greetings. Colonel Lawrence rode down the parade ground on his splendid horse, receiving the hearty congratulations of his friends on all sides. The civic and military authorities present, including several United States officers, repaired to the marquee at the north end of the ground, where a repast was laid, and where many friends had been gathered. In the scenes of welcome and heartfelt congratulations the repast was wellnigh neglected.

Many an affecting incident occurred, and many tears of welcome were shed within the tent and all along the ranks. The troops were conducted to their collation and for a couple of hours were allowed the full enjoyment of the meeting. One never failed of interest in walking among them. Here a hardy young soldier was exhibiting a shattered musket, or a few clean bullet-holes in his garments, another was the center of an eager crowd which was listening intently to the latest authentic account of the Battle of Bull Run, from an “eye witness.” Outside the lines, little knots of people listened to new incidents of the fight, and none enjoyed the scene better than the returned volunteers.

To drink from a returned soldier's canteen that had been filled often from the puddles of Fairfax and Centreville, was the especial delight of many, while trophies of the field were liberally dispersed on all sides. In scenes like these, two happy hours of the afternoon passed away, and we heard it from





the lips of many of the regiment that it was a source of special delight that their first reception was beneath the green trees of Boston Common.

A special order, issued July 30th, from the headquarters of the State Militia, substantially stated what the regiment, under the efficient command of Colonel Lawrence, had accomplished, that it had upheld the good name of the Commonwealth and that it had now returned to receive the welcome and gratitude of the public for its patriotic services. “The memories of the men of the Fifth who have fallen in the great cause, and whose bodies lie moldering in the soil of Virginia, Massachusetts will ever hold in grateful remembrance.”

Once more the line was formed, this time at ten minutes past four, when Capt. T. J. C. Amory of the regulars proceeded to muster out the regiment from the service of the United States. This ceremony took an hour and a half more of the afternoon and then the several captains, taking command of their respective companies, marched away with them homeward. Before the final dismissal, Colonel Lawrence briefly addressed the regiment that had followed him so faithfully, thanking both officers and men for their noble efforts and hearty support. He wished them much happiness in their homes, and remarked that he had never issued an order that was not cheerfully obeyed. There was something akin to sadness in many hearts when the Colonel bade them farewell until they should meet again, for though they were looking towards their homes, they could not forget the common dangers through which they had passed and which had united them closer, in some cases, than ties of blood.

All of the foregoing was on Boston Common; to follow were the receptions in the respective cities and towns whence had marched the companies. Men of mark from all of these municipalities were present to accompany the “boys” home to Charlestown, Salem, Medford, and all of the places that had sent organizations into the fray. There were more eating, drinking and hand-shaking in the town halls as fellow citizens





crowded up to greet the returning brave and then, last of all, came the meeting of nearest and dearest friends around the hearthstone and altar of home, closed to the eyes of the world, sacred to those most interested.


[Illustration:

HOME AGAIN.
]

Massachusetts was receiving back again those who survived the enlistment of three months. The scenes of the closing days of July and early August were to be repeated on many a similar occasion, through more than four long and weary years, but very likely enthusiasm never ran higher than when these apt pupils in the school of war, the soldiers of the Fifth, came home from their brief tour of duty. Had they not accomplished every task set for them, had they not overstayed their time that they might add lustre to the name of the Commonwealth and make clearer still the significance of “faithful unto death”? The aptness of these students,





in their lessons of the preceding quarter, was subsequently proven on hundreds of battlefields where, as officers and enlisted men, they exhibited the efficiency of Colonel Lawrence's drill and oftentimes, with their life-blood, sealed their devotion to the cause they loved. All honor to the Fifth Regiment, M. V. M., in its Three-months’ or Minute-men Service.

BULL RUN PRISONERS.

The inexperience of both North and South was in no way better illustrated than in the lack of facilities both evidenced when the fate of battle threw numbers of the enemy into their respective hands. Just how to treat a captive foeman seemed a problem to the people of Richmond, and the journals of that capital city calmly discussed whether the prisoners should not be made to earn their keeping by labor on fortifications, on roads and streets, or by way of punishment be subjected to the ceaseless toil of the treadmill. Records of the progress from the battlefield to Richmond are not numerous, yet we have something of a story from the respective volumes of the Hon. Alfred Ely, Member of Congress from Rochester, N. Y., who kept a journal of his experience, and the history of the 27th N. Y. Infantry, Col. H. W. Slocum, by C. B. Fairchild. To a certain extent, the experience of the Congressmen, the New York soldiers and those of the Fifth was the same.

Says Mr. Ely:

I was conducted, in company with about 600 officers and men, all prisoners of war, on foot, that evening to Manassas, a distance of about seven miles from where I was arrested, over the dustiest road that it was ever my fortune to travel. The dust, so dense that it might almost be cut with a knife, the weather dry, and no water to be had, my mouth became so parched that it seemed impossible for me to move my tongue. On the march by the side of the road, a few of the soldiers’ canteens were filled from dirty pools of water, and from one I took a draught which relieved me greatly. We reached Manassas about 9 o'clock in the evening.





One of the 27th N. Y., taken at the Stone House, records:

We were marched that night five miles to Manassas Junction, where we remained till 3 o'clock the next day. It rained all night, and we had no cover, and nothing of any account to eat. We were kept standing in an open space — a solid mass of men; and what little food was given us was thrown into the pen, and most of it trampled into the mud before we could get it.

Both accounts agree as to the disagreeable features of the night, the rain which beat upon them and which, at the same time, was adding torture to the retreat of their comrades towards Washington. Mr. Ely was conducted to the headquarters of General Beauregard, seeing upon the piazza of the house Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, who had come out to witness the engagement, fellow members of Congress as well as Beauregard himself. The quarters assigned to the officers were a “miserable old barn,” already crowded with officers stretched upon the floor, and so numerous that there was scarcely room for the new comer to assume a like position. All was darkness save for a tin lantern in the hands of the guard, and one person could not be distinguished from another. There was only the filthy floor to lie upon, no blankets under or over, a sorry night to men unused to war; still it was not so bad as the condition of the enlisted men at that very time, for though just as gently reared, they were obliged to spend the pelting storm entirely in the open, with mud rather than a floor in or on which to rest. Personal incidents of men of the Fifth captured are few, but one survivor narrates that, on himself and comrade finding themselves in the hands of the foe, the comrade proffered his gold watch to the captors if they might be allowed to go free, and was indignantly turned down. To the men taken in later days this appears strange indeed, since then there was a general search of every prisoner, and whatever he carried was considered spoils of war. The prisoner went to prison and his valuable into the pockets of the victor.





The men soon understood that Richmond, 130 miles away, was their ultimate destination, and through the driving rain they were escorted during the day to a train of cars on the Virginia Central R. R. The departure, however, was slow, since the loading on of many wounded men took a deal of time, and it was not till after 4 p.m. that the train was started for the rebel capital. An all night's ride brought the slowly moving train to Gordonsville, sometime in the forenoon of the 22d. The delay here was a lengthy one, in which food was given out, such as it was, to the hungry occupants of the cars, and the people had their fill of seeing the terrible “Yankees.” They assembled from all the country-side to satisfy their curiosity; the prisoners were not allowed out of the cars, though juvenile peddlers were not averse to entering and proffering their “handouts” for pay in the shape of the hated Union currency. The progress southward must have been exceedingly slow, since Mr. Ely's journal indicates and the scribe of the 27th plainly states that they did not reach Richmond until 8 o'clock in the evening of the 23d of July.

There had been intimations that the reception of the prisoners in the capital would be a warm one, though Major Prados, the officer in charge of the detail, assured his hapless charge that his 150 men would be sufficient to prevent any harm befalling the captives. The reception was all that had been promised; judging from the behavior of the chivalry, the Union prisoners had arrived at the head village of a tribe of Indians and that the latter were about to compel the Yankees to run the gauntlet. The mob was armed with clubs, bricks and stones, besides being filled with scoffs and curses, which they used freely in their accompanying the prisoners to the quarters assigned. The building into which the men from Bull Run were conducted, the first prison-house of the Confederacy, was Harwood's tobacco-factory, situated on Main Street, near Twenty-fifth, not so famous as the subsequently notorious “Libby,” but certainly conspicuous as the first structure devoted to the unhappy office of covering





Union prisoners of war. Both Ely and the diarist of the N. Y. regiment give daily résumés for the summer and the beginning of autumn, when, Sept. 21st, a detachment including the most of our men of the Fifth was sent to the extreme south. In their stay in the Confederate capital, they were introduced to Wirz, later to be the best hated man in the


[Illustration:

HARWOOD TOBACCO-FACTORY.
]

entire rebellious territory, and eventually to be hanged for his misdeeds, and Lieut. Todd, a brother of President Lincoln's wife, both Wirz and Todd being in immediate charge of the prisoners, under the direction of John H. Winder, who here began the career which made his name synonymous with cruelty and tyranny in the memories of all the helpless men in his custody. Mrs. Lincoln's brother was no exception to the cruel character of those to whom was committed the care of Union prisoners. Says one of the annalists:

He is vicious and brutal in his treatment of his prisoners, and seldom enters the prison without grossly insulting some of the men. He always comes in with a drawn sword in his hand, and his voice and manner indicate his desire to commit some cruel wrong. I have seen him strike a wounded prisoner who was lying on the floor, and cut a heavy gash across his thigh with his sword.





The Lieutenant was later killed in battle, as were the other two brothers of Mrs Lincoln. Some of the characteristics of Lieut. Todd were made the theme of one of the poetic effusions in “The Stars and Stripes,” the outcome of intellectual effort when the prisoners had got down to their New Orleans prisonhouse.

Unlike the Prisoner of Chillon, these of Richmond left their place of incarceration without a sigh, for they argued any change would be an improvement. Little could they foresee the horrors of Belle Isle and Andersonville. Once more in the street with clear air and sunshine, they just had to give three cheers for the Stars and Stripes, and they were not sorry, though it did bring down upon them a “charge bayonet” of the guards. The act was contagious, and men in other prisons took up the refrain, to the infinite chagrin of the hostile accompaniment. The route southward was through Petersburg, Goldsboro, N. C., both names to become famous in later years; Sumter, S. C., Kingsville, Orangeburg, and Augusta, Ga. Everywhere the prisoners are objects of derision and fiercest scorn, a sure mark of the small advance the people had made from barbarism. Next came Atlanta, to be known worldwide in a few brief years, thence to Montgomery, Ala., the first capital of the Confederacy, where the people were more civil than they had been elsewhere. Thence they ride down the Alabama River on a steamboat and under the rebel flag to Mobile, reaching the city on the 28th of September. Having ridden in box cars, on plank seats, Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, is reached the next day, twenty-four hours without food.

It was Sunday, and even the churches were closed, that the people might have a chance to see the hated Yankees, the latter looking more like real folks than the natives had supposed. The guards had a fine repast served to them, and what was left they generously passed over to their hungry charge. New Orleans was reached on the last day of the month. The crowd being so great that the guard was afraid to face it, the





train was run back several miles and did not return until several hours later. By that time, the populace was so well in hand that it was thought proper to debark the train-load, and to please the vast crowds, the prisoners were marched over and through a large part of the city, thus marking a day of triumph in this modern Rome. The end of the march is at the doors of the parish prison, through whose portals the tired travelers pass, glad for any place in which to lay their weary bodies. The authorities in Richmond had thought to divide the responsibilities and burden of caring for so many captives by sending a part of them to this remote part of the Confederacy.

As a solace in their confinement, these men of active minds produced, at intervals, a paper called by them “The Stars and Stripes,” and no doubt added to their strength and endurance by so doing. After his return north, Wm. C. Bates, one of the prisoners, supervised its publication in Boston, 1862. Long out of print, it is now one of the rare bits of Rebellionana.

PRISONERS OF WAR OF THE FIFTH REGIMENT, M. V. M., IN 1861

By William C. Bates,* Co. G.

A score of men who left Massachusetts in April, 1861, in the ranks of the Fifth Regiment found themselves inside the walls of a Richmond prison before the end of July, 1861. Here was a part of the large body of Union soldiers captured

[note]



at the first Battle of Bull Run, reported “missing” and afterwards accounted for as “prisoners,” upwards of a thousand men. Here men were quartered in various military prisons improvised from tobacco warehouses, cotton factories and jails at Richmond, later in Charleston, New Orleans, Tuscaloosa, Salisbury, N. C., and Macon, Ga. These men were held in confinement until the end of May, 1862, when they were paroled at Salisbury, N. C., under the following terms, and delivered to the Federal forces at Washington, N. C., May 23 and subsequently.

The following form of parole was subscribed to by several hundred men after ten months’ imprisonment:

We, the undersigned, prisoners of war to the Confederate States, swear that, if released, we will not take up arms during the existing war against the Confederate States until we are regularly exchanged, and that we will not communicate in any manner anything that may injure the cause of the Confederate States which may have come to our knowledge, or which we may have heard since our capture.

Signed at Salisbury, N. C., May 22, 1862.

No continuous record of the prison experience of these men has been compiled; glimpses may be had here and there in regimental histories, notably in the History of the 27th Regiment N. Y. Vols., and in a little volume published in Boston in 1862, “The Stars and Stripes in Rebellion,” a series of papers written by Federal prisoners (privates) in Richmond, New Orleans, and Salisbury, N. C. While the prisoners of the Fifth M. V. M., or Minute-men, as they happen to be called, do not desire to pose as martyrs, they may be excused for desiring that their unique and rather unusual experiences of prison life in southern prisons may become part of the history of a notable military organization.

The soldier arriving in prison quarters quickly occupies himself in learning “how to live.” He drops into squads of apparently congenial men to receive and divide rations, answer roll call, and generally make the best of it, talk over





the prospect of release, and act out his nature, optimistic or melancholy. The three months’ men of the Fifth Regiment probably had as much cause for homesickness as often falls to the lot of men. Their companions were by this time (the last of July) already near Massachusetts, their enlistment expired, and soon to be safe inside the open door of home, while before the prisoners was the prospect of weary


[Illustration:

WM. C. BATES, 1861.
]


[Illustration:

WM. C. BATES, 1910.
]

months of imprisonment, with hunger, filth and degradation surrounding them. At such a time individual character asserts itself; the strong sustain the weak, and in a few days life becomes more endurable. The authorities make attempts at supplying rations and sanitary conveniences; the standard of population is the number of men that can lie on the floor of the rooms of the tobacco-houses; the hours of meals were





fixed according to the resources of the cuisine. In these first days even Sergeant Wirz, later so famous, was comparatively amicable at times. Confederate officers talked and argued with intelligent prisoners more or less, but this was not conducive to amiable conclusions and was not long continued. The Richmond papers advocated putting the Yankee prisoners at work on the fortifications, or at the coal mines in Virginia, and the United States seemed to have forgotten their flagless soldiers. Before two months had passed the Confederate Government found the problem of feeding the increasing number of prisoners getting beyond its capacity, and devised the plan of quartering them on the larger cities of the South, sending them in five hundred lots to New Orleans, Charleston, Tuscaloosa, Macon, Montgomery and Mobile.

Members of the Fifth M. V. M. captured at first Battle of Bull Run:

Henry T. Briggs (A)Danvers, Mass.
*Samuel A. Cate (A)
*George B. Aborn (B)
Jas. H. Griggs (B)E. Somerville.
*Frank L. Tibbetts (B)
*Edward Foster (C)
*James S. Shaw (D)
*J. H. Hoyt (E)
Isaac M. Low (F)
*Bernard McSweeney (F)
*Stephen O'Hara (F)
Cyrus F. Wardwell (F)Oxford, Me.
*Edward F. Williams (F)
*Wm. S. Rice (G)
*Cyrus S. Hosmer (G)
*Wm. C. Bates (G)
Edw. S. Wheeler (G)Lowell, Mass.
*Henry L. Wheeler (G)
*Geo. W. Dow (H)
*Wm. Shanley (H)
Henry A. Angier (K)Somerville, Mass.
[note]



*Converse A. Babcock (K)
*Samuel E. Chandler (K)
Geo. T. Childs (K)St. Albans, Vt.

It was a melancholy outlook for the young Massachusetts soldiers when they were dispatched to the other end of the Confederacy almost at the beginning of the war; the hope of release seemed to be indefinitely postponed; the duration of the resistance possible to the Confederate States was soon to be greatly extended; from a three months’ campaign it was recognized as a possibility of years, and the spirits of the men fell proportionately. Rolls were made of five hundred men and these were sent off in two detachments under Wirz; the first, Sept. 21st, 1861. Those of us who had received in youthful years anti-slavery teaching recalled the tales of slave gangs taken from Virginia to the auction markets of New Orleans. Wirz seemed to guard the men with an eye to their market value, so escape was rare, and by October 1st the whole number was safely delivered to the Provost Marshal of New Orleans, Gen. Palfrey, of a Massachusetts family, and by him domiciled in the Parish Prison, under contract for food and lodging with the sheriff of the city, or so it seemed to us.

One wing of the prison had been emptied of its civil criminals, and the three corridors of cells, with use of the large yard with flagged floor and running water (a portion of the day), were turned over to the military prisoners. These were the quarters of five hundred men (privates) for the next four months, when they were removed pending the capture of the city by Farragut and its occupation by Butler.

The cells along these corridors were filled with prisoners or war, as many as could possibly lie on the floor. One of them, J. W. Dickens, of Ohio, wrote for the Stars and Stripes the following, a gem of poetry:

[note]



Fragment.

By J. W. D.

  • ’Twas midnight, and save the tread
  • Of unneeded sentinel, quiet as of the dead
  • Reigned. An angel, clothed in robes of mist,
  • Looked in upon the slumbering forms, and kissed
  • The brows of those whose thought in sleep
  • Reverted to the ones (whom may God's presence keep
  • From danger or distress) they'd left behind.
  • With sympathetic touch she loosed the mind
  • Of each; then gathering with nervous hand
  • Her train, she passed o'er all the land,
  • And with a calm delight bent o'er
  • The forms of those, the minds she bore
  • Had thought on. Then in her mystic veil folded
  • Them, and each thought was in them all remoulded.

Parish Prison, New Orleans, February, 1861.

Romance in Rebel Prison, 1861.

Not many days had passed in the tobacco-factory before squads of soldiers began to get acquainted, for mutual associations and encouragement, and mental and moral support. Chess, playing cards, checkers, singing clubs, and the making of small bone ornaments gave occupation and warded off dread melancholy.

One of our men confided to us that only the previous winter he had been a resident of Richmond, and had become engaged to an estimable young woman. “The deuce you did,” we exclaim, “and what are you going to do about it?” “Oh! there won't be much to do, I guess. I'll let her know I am here, but I don't want to make her any trouble by knowing a d—d Yankee prisoner.” Harry opened correspondence with the young lady and finally made a date, that she should join the crowd across the street, and wear a red ribbon at her neck and look for him at the second story corner window, Sunday afternoon, at three o'clock; care would have to be taken that Harry should not come too near the window and so invite a shot from the sentry on the street—an occasional incident.





This tragic tryst continued for several weeks, and those rough men with gallantry left Harry to his window, and who can tell what telepathic currents were left unhindered by those unarmored knights? The months passed and Harry was ill, but a detail of five hundred prisoners was to be sent to New Orleans; a single hand clasp, as closely guarded prisoners filed into the box cars making up the Swiss Sergeant's (Wirz) train, was all the young couple were vouchsafed until the cruel war was over.

  • “A soldier of the legion lay dying in Algiers:
  • There was lack of woman's nursing,
  • There was dearth of woman's tears.”


[Illustration:

PARISH PRISON, NEW ORLEANS.
]

On arriving at the Parish Prison, October, 1861, the Federal soldiers found themselves under conditions quite different from those of the prisoners going to Macon, Salisbury, Tuscaloosa, and Charleston, and will show marked difference in character, associations and results. Of these five hundred men about seventy-five were from New England, twenty-four from the Fifth Massachusetts, about twenty from Oberlin, Ohio (undergraduates of Oberlin College), and all were





of those who enlisted under Lincoln's first call for volunteers. The variety of age, nationality, religion, occupation of the Union Army was represented, and individual character had opportunity to appear with marked effect not only on the men, but on the history of the period; soon after settling down to the new conditions, rations, quarters, and associating fellowship, the Oberlin students arranged Bible study, Sunday services and prayer meetings, while the Boston contingent organized a Lyceum and Debating Society with weekly meetings; the first subject debated, Nov. 28, being, “Resolved: that the present war will be ended by the spring of 1862.” Doubtless had the contest depended on the will and wishes of these prisoners, the result would have been as they decided. One of the products of this latter was a newspaper, “The Stars and Stripes.” This was written on envelopes and slips of paper from old books, and read at the meetings of the twenty or thirty members. By a happy thought these papers were preserved, and on the return to Boston were printed and now can be availed of to throw light upon the character and surroundings of these first volunteers of the Union Army, of which the three months’ men of the Fifth were a part.

One avocation of the men not unusual to prisoners of all sorts, where the existing conditions permit, was the making of ornaments, tools, etc., in bone, obtained from the cook or butcher, and sold to visitors or guard, or exchanged for bread or soup. One member of a Massachusetts company was able to sell his silver watch to one of the cook's assistants for “half a biscuit a day as long as we stay in this prison”; this gave his companions and himself comparative luxury for the two months remaining before they were all removed to Salisbury, N. C. Apropos of the bone working, one of the craft sent the following to the editor of “The Stars and Stripes” for the week:

Sonnet on Bones.
  • I propose to give in homely rhyme
  • A few hints to those who are prone
  • To spend the few hours of prison-time
  • In manufacturing bone.





  • For though the labor is hard indeed,
  • And in money but very small pay,
  • Yet it gives us the exercise we need
  • To keep disease away.
  • And first of all a bone must be got,
  • Which as bones are weighed, not made,
  • Is not an easy task, I wot,
  • Where so many are in the trade.
  • Here I'll tell you a plan you can try,
  • It has Dominique for a voucher,—
  • He says that bones can be got on the sly,
  • By giving a ring to the butcher.
  • Bones that are raw are best, I opine
  • (Though some prefer bones that are boiled),
  • As the first will easily take a shine,
  • For which in vain on the other I've toiled.
  • It matters not much which you take,
  • If ’tis only heavy, clear and bright,
  • And if a thing of value you'd make,
  • Your bone must be perfectly white.
  • Now, here let me advise,
  • That you have saw and knife of your own.
  • For at least ’tis very unwise
  • To be bothering friends for a loan.
  • If you borrow my saw, ’tis my hope
  • That you'll use it as I myself do,
  • Put on plenty of water and soap,
  • And carry your hand firm and true.
  • If any device you would raise
  • On the top of the ring that you make,
  • The edge of the bone you always
  • For the face of the ring must take.
  • If the bone is to be reduced much,
  • The light-colored stones are the quickest;
  • But for giving the finishing touch,
  • The dark-colored stones are the slickest.
  • I'll tell you where is the best one,—
  • Near the barrels on the side next the tub,
  • Where, if any nice work is to be done,
  • I give the finishing rub.
  • To assist you in shaping the bone,
  • And briefly—I'll only just say,
  • That at the point where most weight is put on,
  • The bone will wear fastest away.





  • By experience here I have found
  • That in making the hole for the ring,
  • A piece of cloth round your knife-handle wound
  • Is what your sojer boys call—“a big thing.”
  • For smoothing them inside and out,
  • A properly shaped piece of brick
  • Is better, beyond a doubt,
  • Than the old-fashioned sand on a stick.
  • If like a very rare gem,
  • You'd have them take polish as bright,
  • In soap and water just put them,
  • And let them lie there over night.
  • A piece of thick woolen cloth
  • With some brick-dust sprinkled thereon,
  • Is the best thing that I know of,
  • To put a finish on bone.
  • Don't make your rings too stout,
  • Beauty for lack of strength will atone—
  • Who wishes to carry about
  • A great clumsy chunk of a bone?
  • If a handsome stiletto you'd make,
  • That you'll not be ashamed to carry home,
  • The greatest care you should take
  • In shaping the finger and thumb.
  • Would you get up a book, an anchor, or heart,
  • That you may expect to admire,
  • Give it the utmost extent of your art,
  • No matter how much time ’twill require.
  • We know that rings must buy bread,
  • But remember the dear ones at home,
  • And make up some nice things ahead,
  • To carry when the “good time” shall come.
  • The “good time” is coming, my friends,
  • May it see none but joyful tears;
  • Grind bone till captivity ends,
  • And away with your doubts and fears.

[By S. B. Simmons, First Rhode Island Regiment. From “Stars and Stripes,” Parish Prison, New Orleans, 1861.]

Among the men there was a good deal of discussion as to the justice of our government neglecting to arrange an exchange of prisoners. To help formation of a correct public





sentiment the following article appeared in “The Stars and Stripes,” Dec. 12, 1861:


[Illustration:

INTERIOR PARISH PRISON.
]

A Word Upon Exchange.

Mr. Editor. Sir: Allow me, through the columns of your valuable paper, to offer a slight rebuke to a class of individuals, of whom I am sorry to say there are quite a number amongst us. I denominate them “the growlers,” and their chief offense consists in their complaining continually of the Federal government because it does not gratify the Southern Confederacy and them by consenting to a regular exchange of prisoners. Let me, sir, in as brief a manner as possible, endeavor to show them the folly and selfishness of such a course. It is acknowledged on all hands that if the Federal government agrees to exchange prisoners in the manner usual between two nations at war with each other, it will virtually acknowledge this so-called Southern Confederacy to have the rights of a nation. The course of our government, the opinions of the press, and the anxious endeavor of the rebels to bring about such an arrangement, are sufficient evidence to establish the position I have assumed, without recourse to further argument. It will not be denied that the fond hope and chief reliance of the leaders of this rebellion was in the





belief that foreign governments would be obliged to recognize them. The most sanguine of them have been obliged to relinquish all hope of such an event. Would it then be wise for our own government to adopt the very course that in other nations they have been exerting strenuous efforts to prevent? Can we be so selfish as to imagine for one moment that it is the duty of our government to sacrifice the welfare of twenty millions of people— and of who can tell how many millions yet unborn?— for the sake of returning to civilized life two or three thousand men who volunteered their lives, if need be, to protect the government they now so unjustly censure? I should consider it one of the greatest evils that could befall me if for a single moment my fidelity to the Federal government should be doubted. Our sufferings are as nothing compared with those of our forefathers in their struggle to establish what we now support. It is natural that men should grow irritable and gloomy, situated as we are, and if one does not carefully examine the case, he will be apt to find fault with our government; we hope, however, these few words will call all back to reason. Depend upon it, our government is, and has been, doing all that consistently lies in its power to release us. I doubt not it has made honorable proposals to our captors for our release, but they have been rejected simply because they do not gratify their pride and fulfill their hopes of recognition. If it is possible for our government to release us, they will. Let us, then, bear up bravely under our trials, until such time as either our victorious arms or successful diplomacy may honorably release us.

Truly yours, Contentment.

No. 4 of “The Stars and Stripes,” or that for Dec. 19th leads off with as fine a specimen of irony as could or can be found anywhere, remembering the loud boasting of the South and the impoverished condition in which the people speedily found themselves.

Singular Facts Established During the Rebellion of 1861.

Wooden shoes are superior to leather ones; they are more pliable. Cotton cloth is far warmer than woolen, and more endurable. When enough corn is raised in one year to supply the people for two years, it is necessary to raise the price two





hundred per cent. higher than when none is grown. Rye coffee is much superior to Mocha. All the soldiers in the Southern army are “gentlemen” (query — what kind of a gentleman is the individual who, for the last two or three days, has carried out the refuse?). Red, blue, or green pieces of pasteboard are superior to coin as a circulating medium. In the South, there are any quantity of fine-salt mines, yet the people prefer to use coarse. Orange-leaves make much better tea than hyson does. The Southern army is always victorious, and yet never fails to fall back when the enemy advances; and it is an utter impossibility for them to lose more than one man.

The week just passed (Jan. 15, 1862) is perhaps the one to be longest remembered by the prisoners of war in New Orleans, unless it be the week which shall witness our departure. The government has sent to us a full supply of clothing, with its usual liberality. The supply sent is abundant; every man is now comfortably clothed, either for remaining here or going home. Of the distribution of the clothing we have less reason to complain than we expected. Instead of a few dozen shirts finding their way to the backs of Confederate soldiers and other criminals, it is perhaps surprising that the whole cases of coats or pants were not lost (?) on the way from Norfolk to New Orleans. Gen. Palfrey,* we say, has done his duty; the clothing was given out impartially and expeditiously, with as much care as would have been used in our own army. We suppose our fellow soldiers in Tuscaloosa have been similarly provided for.

[note]



There is one thing in this connection we have to say. We have reason to believe that a deep-laid plot exists on the part of the officers near us, aided by the captain of this prison, to induce the men to sell their clothing at a small part of its real value. They wish to clothe whole companies in the good substantial clothing of Uncle Sam. To accomplish this, the criminals are authorized to buy what they can; and the guards are put up to trade for shoes, shirts, or anything they can barter for. They openly boast that in a month's time they will have uniforms enough for an entire company. Soldiers of the Army! this must not be. The idea is an insult to your honor. See to it that you prove yourselves above such cupidity. We know you need only to be warned in time, to be saved from such shame. For the honor of our country, go out of this prison well clothed in the most honorable garments you can wear — those of the United States soldier.

Parish Prison, N. O., January, 1862.

A meeting was held in the yard this morning, January 18th, to consider the expedience of adopting some measures to prevent the selling of clothing to the enemy. Mr. Bates called the meeting to order, and on motion, Mr. Stiles of Ohio was chosen chairman. The meeting was then addressed by





Mr. Bates, of Massachusetts; Mr. Dickens, of New York; Mr. Hendrickson, of Maine, and Sergt. Bohm, of Ohio, in able and patriotic speeches. A committee of five was appointed to report to our government any cases of the disposing of clothing to the enemy. The committee consists of Wheeler, of Mass.; Hendrickson, of Maine; Bohm of Ohio; Edmiston, of Pennsylvania, and Dickson, of New York. The meeting adjourned sine die.

[It is interesting to note that nearly every number of “The Stars and Stripes” has an announcement of the regular prayer-meetings and the Bible class, though it was seemingly incongruous that they should be held in certain “cells.” In this connection it is not amiss to note that possibly the prison song of war times beginning, “In my prison cell I sit,” etc., may have come from this New Orleans. experience, for all the world knows that the many thousands of Yankees who were held in Richmond, Andersonville, and Salisbury knew nothing of “cells.” What more reasonable than that a copy of “Stars and Stripes” may have come into the hands of Henry C. Work and from his reading there arose the wording of his “Tramp, tramp, tramp”?—A. S. R.]

The Flagless Company of Patriots.

As noted above there were among the prisoners a number of students from Oberlin College who took part in occasional prayer-meetings and Bible classes. The prisoners at times asked for Sunday services, to which the Provost Marshal (Palfrey) consented; quite naturally the Episcopalians suggested that an Episcopal clergyman come in, and on one occasion this request was granted, and the Episcopalians were quite happy in having one of their own connection conduct the services, but unfortunately, when that portion of the ritual came to the prayer for the President, the clergyman proceeded according to the form of the Southern Church, and in a rotund voice prayed for Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. The assembled audience with one accord rose from their knees and with jeers





and cries of derision started for their cells, whereby the service was seriously interrupted. There was not much use for apologies to the minister.

It is probable that the first feeling on being taken a prisoner is of sadness at the loss to the country, and all it means, rather than of personal disappointment, and yet subsequent homesickness is one of the greatest causes of illness and despondence, and no doubt a serious increase of mortality. The love of the flag is not an idle sentiment to the imprisoned soldier, for henceforth he leads a flagless life. Above him floats the flag of the Confederacy, and how he hates that flag! It means more to him than it does to the ordinary citizen, as it is the flag of his country. On one occasion, Christmas, ’61, it occurred to some of the prisoners that a celebration appropriate to the day and the situation should be held by the prisoners. The program of music and recitations was provided. The platform entrance to one of the second story cells furnished a good rostrum, and at the proper time the men would assemble in the court of the prison, and a program of recitations and songs proceeded. Finally, towards the end of the exercises when the enthusiasm of the audience had attained marked success, it came to Childs (Co. K) to sing from this elevated position in sight of the audience the “Star Spangled Banner.” The attention of these flagless men was intense, and when he came to the lines “The Star Spangled Banner shall yet wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave,” Childs drew from his breast a little silk flag that somebody had preserved, in proportion 8″ × 10″, and waved it before these excited men, then the enthusiasm rose to an unrestrained height with shouts and cheers of joy. Those who were present can never forget the emotions of that exceptional moment. The prisoners were called to order by the attendants and sent to their cells for punishment for 24 hours, which was a trifle. They had testified to their devotion to the flag of their country.





(Two prison letters from a Co. G boy.)

Richmond, Va., July 30, 1861.

My dear Mother:

I was taken prisoner at the battle of Manassas and the next day was taken to this place with others. There are five of the Concord company here, viz., Sidney Rice, Cyrus, Hosmer, Edward Wheeler, — Bates of Boston, and myself. We are treated well and have plenty of everything but liberty; do not be uneasy on my account. I will return as soon as possible, but when that will be, you know as well as I.

Yours affectionately,

H. L. Wheeler.

We are all well and hearty.

Salisbury, N. C., April 20th, ’62.

My dear Mother:

I have not received any letters from you or any one at home since coming here and I feel quite anxious about you. Since my last letter to you, nothing of interest has happened (to) me. We are all well and do not want for anything but liberty, that we do not expect at present, but we hope the day of our release is not very distant, until then you must do the best you can for yourselves at home, and not trouble yourselves any at all on my account, as I can take care of myself anywhere. I have made great plans for the future, if God would spare my life until peace is restored to our country, and if He sees fit to take it, I hope to meet you in that better world above. O that we all may meet there as a family is of far more importance than another meeting on earth. I have never realized the importance of a good and holy life until since I became a prisoner.

From Henry.

The envelope containing this letter bears the frank of John L. N. Stratton, Member of Congress in those days from New Jersey. Such letters were forwarded through the kindness of Congressmen, since the prisoners themselves had no stamps.—A. S. R.

In February, ’62, the New Orleans. prisoners were transferred to Salisbury, North Carolina, thus introducing that place to the rest of the world, fated to become in following years as famous as the Black Hole of Calcutta or the Hellish Conciergerie of Paris, though the possibilities of suffering





here were not unfolded to these earlier prisoners. The start from New Orleans. was made Feb. 6th and the impression was given that it was for an immediate release, but after a nine days’ trip the men found themselves, one very dark and stormy night, alighting at an unknown station, whence, through the mud and darkness, they marched some distance on and were turned into a large building wholly unlighted, on whose floors, however, the weary travelers were glad to throw themselves


[Illustration:

OLD COTTON MILL, SALISBURY, N. C.
]

at once. Morning revealed the quarters to be a large, unused cotton-mill in Salisbury, and here the remainder of their stay in Rebeldom was to be spent. It was here that the histrionic talent of the men was exhibited, and in some inscrutable manner they managed to arrange and equip after a fashion a stage on which they played dramas, most wonderful to behold. How the dress of a woman was ever smuggled into the prison, only those implicated can tell, but there it was with a masculine occupant, who played his feminine part so well that Confederate





officers drew their swords and rushed towards the performers, demanding to know how that woman got there. Though the revelation appeased them, the lovelorn prisoners could not be satisfied until they had crowded upon the stage and with their embraces nearly smothered the Yankee counterfeit maiden. It is claimed that Confederate and considerate officers assisted in equipping the stage and in securing costumes. The only men of the Fifth who participated in the playing were Bates of G and Childs of K. As time wore on, men who had held up bravely through the New Orleans. tests, here lost their courage and, giving up completely, were the first of those whose burial trenches now hold more than 13,000 unnamed Union lovers within the Salisbury inclosure.

The day of release from this Old North State prison came May 23d, when having signed their parole, they were marched out of the pen and to the railroad station, whence by train they went to Tarboro, where, going aboard an open scow, they were towed down the Tar River to Washington, under the Confederate flag and the white one of truce, the Union forces having already occupied this place, named for the Father of his Country. Never had the Union flag seemed half so beautiful as when these men saw it floating from the masthead of a Federal gunboat, but the cheers they were going to give when their Union saviors came alongside, died breathless; they were too happy for expression. Very soon they found themselves upon a Government transport, beneath the Starry Banner and “Homeward Bound.” Three days of steam and wave brought them to New York, whence little time was lost in departing for the sheltering haven of old Massachusetts.






[Illustration:

OFFICERS FIFTH REGIMENT VETERAN ASSOCIATION, 1904-5.
]






[Illustration:

COLONEL GEORGE H. PEIRSON.
]





NINE MONTHS’ SERVICE.
Preliminary.

Early in July, 1862, President Lincoln issued an order calling for 300,000 volunteers to serve for three years, or until the end of the war, for the purpose of forming new regiments or for filling the ranks of those already in the service. Of this great number 15,000 were assigned to Massachusetts. On the 7th of July, Adjutant-general Schouler issued General Order No. 26, apportioning the levy to the cities and towns. The response to this order was prompt, enthusiastic and inspiring, but its demands had not been fully met before there came from the President, August 4th, another call for “Three Hundred Thousand More,” for nine months, these men to be drafted. The demand from Massachusetts in this call was 19,080 men, or quite 4000 more than in the previous summons. On what basis the apportionment was made, no one ever knew, though it was found, on adding the two apportionments, that the aggregate, 34,080, bore about the same proportion to the 600,000 that the free population of the Commonwealth did to the similar population of those states in which the majority of the people had shown themselves loyal and to be Union supporters.

The thought of a draft, however, was repugnant to the feelings of those in authority and equally disagreeable to the people at large, they being ready to make the most strenuous efforts to raise the required number by volunteering before the time for drafting should arrive. Accordingly they early sought to know what would be required of the several municipalities, a difficult question to answer because of the fact that many towns had far exceeded their quotas and, besides, the enrollment of the militia was also in considerable confusion. In the solving of the problems thus arising, no more efficient





aid was given the Department of the Adjutant-general than that rendered by Prof. Charles W. Eliot, of Harvard, later to become the famous President of the University. It was early determined to call upon the militia regiments for further service, as well as to raise a certain number of new regiments. To the everlasting credit of Massachusetts, it should be recorded that the demands for both calls were met without recourse to the distasteful draft, thus far all of her soldiery being volunteers.

Repeatedly Governor Andrew requested from the National Government the postponement of the draft, and its infliction was finally left to his discretion, and with the above result. What efforts were made to fill the quotas and so stave off the dread imposition! The Governor requested that all of the places of business in the State be closed in the afternoon, during the last week in August, and in Boston this request culminated in a monster mass meeting on the Common, addressed by the city's two most famous orators, Edward Everett and Robert C. Winthrop, besides the Governor himself, whose closing words to the immense throng were, telling the possible soldiers to go into any one of the regiments then in the field or those in formation, “But go somewhere. Go now, go together, all of you, and heaven bless you. Save and preserve our country, and be with our children forever, as God has been with our fathers until now.” On Sunday, August 10th, he had addressed an audience of 8000 people at the Martha's Vineyard camp meeting, who, he was sure, were with him in political faith and the emotions of the hour, making there what he always considered the best speech of his life. It was here that he uttered the famous expression, so often quoted, “I know not what record of sin awaits me in another world, but this I know, that I was never mean enough to despise any man because he was ignorant, or because he was poor,—or because he was black.” The “Amens” and shouts of “Glory” that greeted this sentiment told where the hearts of his listeners were.





The year following the return of the Fifth from its three months’ tour of duty had not been particularly encouraging to the Union cause, and the more recent disastrous conclusion of the Peninsular campaign had filled many a heart with forebodings, yet when, on the 14th of August, the call came for the regiment to again advance, there was an immediate agreement to go. A meeting of the commissioned officers of the Fifth was held that very day, in Charlestown, and they voted unanimously to tender their services for nine months in the field. This action was reported by Colonel Peirson to the Governor, who at once accepted and ordered the regiment to be filled to the maximum. Though the numerical designation of the regiments in the first and second service was the same, there was really very little identity in the two organizations. As may be seen in the summary, appended to the Roster of the Minute-men, the majority of those who marched from Annapolis to Washington and, after camping on the sacred soil of Virginia, had displayed their courage and endurance at Bull Run, were enlisted in scores of the regiments of Massachusetts and other states and were in a loyal manner proving the efficiency of the drill received in their early campaign. Of the Field and Staff, only the Colonel and Lieut.-colonel were out in the three months’ term, and a reading of the roster for the present term reveals comparatively few names starred, indicative of former service in the Fifth.

THE COMPANIES.

The companies that made up the Fifth Regiment in its first term of service seem to have almost entirely disappeared. Company B, South Reading or Wakefield, was to reappear as “E” of the 50th; Company D, Haverhill, also had a place as “G” in the same regiment, its Captain, C. D. Messer, being commissioned Colonel, and Captain John W. Locke of B, Lieut.-colonel; Company E, the Lawrence Light Guard





of Medford, was to win renown as “C” of the 39th, a three-years’ regiment; to some extent, B of Somerville revived I, of the first term, Company C, Charlestown, reappeared in “D” of the same city, while Company H had a considerable nucleus from “K” of the Minute-men. The first term Companies, A, B, D, F and H, had no representatives in the second service. So intense was the strain in behalf of soldiering at the front, apparently very little attention was given to the citizen soldier at home. It certainly seems as though, at the best, the militia bodies in 1862 were little better than skeleton organizations, existing for emergencies only.

These were the opening days of bounty giving. While many men were ready to go, there were as many, or more, quite content to stay at home. It seemed only reasonable that some extra incentive should be offered those who were willing to imperil life, aside from the not over-alluring compensation offered of $13 per month. Though the sums paid were far below the great amounts offered in ’64 and ’65, yet the lump sum of $100 in hand had an alluring look to the men and boys of those days and was one source of the draft's avoidance. In Marlboro, objecting voters were brought to time in a very effective manner, for of course there were those who insisted that patriotism alone ought to suffice, though nothing moved them. The first proposition was that the bounty be $50, and by amendments the sum advanced to $100, to which strong objections were made, until E. P. Dart, one of the solid men of the town, arose and moved that $25 be added, and further said, if objection was made, he would move another $25. This ended the debate, and volunteers from that town received $125 each.

Wholly new companies were raised to be lettered A, C, E, G and K, while recruiting was started immediately to bring the older companies up to the standard. The old and new organizations as finally mingled were as follows: A (new), Charlestown; B (Light Infantry), Somerville; C (new), South





Danvers; D, Charlestown; E (new), Boston, Cape Cod and Middlesex Co.; F, Medford (Light Infantry); G, Woburn, though new at this time, it secured the same letter as borne by the Woburn company, disbanded just as the war began; H, Charlestown; I, Marlboro; K (new), Watertown and Waltham. From the day of proffering the services of the regiment and their acceptance, strenuous efforts were made to secure additions to the several companies. Essex, Middlesex and Barnstable Counties gave their sons so freely that by the 10th of September, five companies were in Camp Lander, town of Wenham, Essex Co., the camp bearing the name of that brave son of Salem, General Frederick W. Lander, who, after a brief but brilliant career in the field, died March 2, 1862, in Virginia. By the 29th of the month the last of the ten companies was in the camp.

Though the departure of companies and regiments no longer occasioned the excitement of the first months of the war, there were observances whenever a body of men went away to camp or the field, but of such exercises, let those in Medford, when Company F departed, be a type of similar proceedings elsewhere. The offer of a $200 bounty had resulted in the speedy recruiting of the company, so that in a little more than a month from the call for enlistments the quota was full, and 96 men were ready for camp. Meeting in the Town Hall, September 22, at 1 o'clock p.m., they proceeded thence to the public square, where prayer was offered by the Rev. Geo. M. Preston. At 2 o'clock, preceded by the Boston Brigade Band, they marched to the Eastern Railroad station, escorted by the selectmen, a cavalcade and a procession of citizens, under the direction of Thomas S. Harlow, Esq. There boarding the train, they rode to Wenham, where, in Camp Lander, they enjoyed a bounteous collation furnished by the liberality of Medford citizens. Woburn gave her sons $100 each, and on the 10th of August, the Woburn Mechanic Phalanx, to the number of 96 men, assembled in the armory, where they were addressed by the Rev. Dr. R. P. Stebbins,





and were thence escorted to the railroad station by the Phalanx Associates, reaching Wenham at 4.30 p.m. “The town seems dull without them!”

CAMP LANDER.

The camp itself was delightfully placed on the shores of Wenham Lake, long noted for its beauty, the location being about six miles north of Salem and at the left of the railroad station. Here on a sandy plain were well-built barracks and other buildings for two full regiments, and for a time the Forty-eighth was a companion regiment with the Fifth. The bunks were in tiers of two, each for two occupants; they were bare, but straw was handy. At first the camp was under the command of Col. E. F. Stone of Newburyport. Companies C, E, G, H and I were sworn into the service of the United States, September 16th, by Lieut. James M. Brown, U. S. A. (7th Reg't); B, D and K on the 19th, F on the 23d and A on the 29th. The season of the year was ideal for camp life, and there followed the usual routine of drill and guard duty. The number of young men assembled in camp precluded any possibility of dullness, and while there were many stirring episodes, perhaps nothing occasioned more excitement, while it lasted, than the raiding of the sutler. When the time comes that a sutler will not be considered lawful plunder to the average enlisted man, there will be no more wars, hence no sutlers nor soldiers. Just what was the particular provocation that brought about the raid, history does not relate, but the fact remains that the purveyor of alleged camp necessities was in very short order cleaned out completely of all his belongings. Probably a war of words terminated in one of blows, with the result that the assets disappeared, the sutler was out the value of his goods and no one was punished.

Though soldiers, the men were not forgetful of politics, and a Congressional campaign as well as the annual State contest was in full swing in September and, learning that





Charles Sumner, the famous Senator, was to speak in Salem in aid of the candidacy of the Hon. John B. Alley of Lynn, a party was made up to visit the city, under the command and direction of Corporal Wm. Alley (I), and after the address the boys thought nothing of walking back six miles to camp. An entertaining anecdote comes down to us through the years, illustrative of the talk about the draft which must have been current in those days. As already stated that dreaded ordeal had been deferred at the request of the Governor, but not even His Excellency could prevent the drafts of wind that would rush through the barracks when, through carelessness, the doors were left open. On one such occasion, those awake were greatly amused and those asleep were awakened by the stentorian voice of a non-commissioned officer of Company I who roared, “Shut the door, draft's postponed.”

A letter home by a Cape Cod boy is yet extant, and its boyish frankness demands a permanent place here:

Well, here we are in camp, though we are hardly settled in our new mode of living as yet. We stopped about three hours in Boston and left the city a little before 3 o'clock, there being three companies in all. The people cheered us as we left the depot and as we passed through Lynn and Salem. And by the way, our encampment is (at Wenham) on the Eastern R. R., but a few miles beyond Salem. There were seven companies on the ground last uight and two have come on this morning. We (Dan and myself) were detailed for guard duty last night, having two hours on the watch and four off. We ought to have been on the same duty to-day, but by mistake we were told that we were not needed and a new guard was detailed. This morning the company was drilled in squads between 8 and 9 o'clock, but we were exempted on account of having been on guard. From 10 to 11 o'clock, the company drill took place, in which we took our first lessons in military tactics. The drill again takes place between the hours of three and five. Our meal hours are 7 a.m., 12.30 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. Two of the company have been detailed as cooks. We have not been sworn in yet, but probably will as soon as possible, and receive our uniforms. We were furnished with two blankets last night, temporarily. We cannot





tell when we shall have a furlough, but probably not before next week. I suppose they let perhaps half a dozen go home at once. You must excuse the writing, as my desk is only a newspaper on my knee.

Thus for six weeks there was a continuance of drill and preparation for active service, not entirely free from the complaints that soldiers are wont to make. Clothing did not come as expected and no day went by without some one thinking home a much better place than the camp, but, as a rule, the days sped along filled with instruction in the essentials of military life. There was considerable leeway in the matter of evenings out and, late in the stay, leave was given to a squad, under the direction of a non-commissioned officer, to attend a prayer-meeting in the village of Wenham. In the midst of the opening prayer, word was brought that a terrible railroad accident had taken place, just a little north of the village. The prayer was ended at once, and the men asked to report at the scene of calamity immediately. Two full passenger trains had collided at almost full speed, wrecking the engines, killing three of the four men on them, telescoping the cars and wounding the passengers. The “boys” of the Fifth proved themselves very helpful and, by the immediate summoning of the regimental surgeons, rendered efficient aid.

Visitors were common in camp; they came individually and in groups; occasionally, it seemed as though some whole village turned out. This was the case when on Thursday, September 25th, at 10.30 in the forenoon, the Woburn Phalanx Associates appeared, the pleasure of the visit being common to all concerned. They remained to dinner, partaking of the common though wholesome fare of the soldiers, but, for the sake of variety, they had brought a generous dessert with them, enough to go around the entire company. The same day also brought a Woburn boy in the shape of John L. Parker of the Twenty-second Mass., who had been wounded at Gaines’ Mills and, for a couple of months, had tasted the hospitality of Libby Prison, and was just home from a Philadelphia hospital.





His locomotion by aid of crutch and cane was not much like his wonted agility. He made a good example of what war might do to a man. October 3d brought Colonel Peirson and staff, the former assuming command of the regiment. Tuesday, the 7th, the Mayor of Salem appeared and presented the Colonel with a fine steed and trappings. The next day, at the expense of the non-commissioned officers and privates of Company G, Sergt. Hastings presented Orderly Stevens with a sword and sash. The chaplain of the regiment, Wm. Snow, had been taken from the ranks of Company B; Harvard College, 1861; he enlisted from Andover Seminary. James Walker of Company G was made Color-sergeant.

In the matter of clothing, possibly more trouble arose over the wholly unfit overcoats given out than from any other one cause:

These were of a very poor grade of shoddy, and black in color. Not only was the cloth poor in quality, it was so very poor it would not hold the coloring put into it. The soldier who stood guard in the rain with his overcoat on, soon was all of one color—his clothing, his body and all. Mutterings both deep and loud were heard throughout the regiment. Soon after the orders to prepare to embark came, a conspiracy was entered into by almost every man to get rid of the obnoxious garments, viz.: On our way down State Street in Boston, the coats were to be thrown into a heap and left, the boys preferring to go to the front without overcoats rather than with these. Whether the authorities heard of the scheme or not, it is certain that the day before embarking the black coats were called in by the Quartermaster and the regiment went away without overcoats of any kind, and thus continued until some time after reaching Newbern, when garments of regular quality and color were issued.

It might be added that this new distribution did not take place until a new series of complaints arose, not only from the men themselves, but the folks at home were heard from, as witness the following letter written to the Governor from Medford, Nov. 14: “Why don't you see that Drunken Bill





Schouler sends the Fifth Regiment their overcoats?” (Signed) “Smith.”

Though the men assembled in the Wenham camp knew it not then, this period was one of the most critical in the entire war. The South had seceded with the hope and expectation of foreign recognition; the North was in constant dread of such action. France was ready to recognize the belligerent rights of the Confederacy; a large element in England had all along been anxious that the Republic should perish; Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell were arranging for a meeting of the British Cabinet to act in accord with France, this to be on the 23d day of October, when Wm. E. Gladstone, another member of the Cabinet, so far forestalled that meeting by his speech in Newcastle, which was received by the audience with jeers, that said meeting was never held, and the recognition, so dreaded by America, was averted. In his remarks, the Secretary of the British Treasury said Jefferson Davis “had made a nation,” and that the independence of the Confederacy and the consequent dissolution of the American Union were “as certain as any event yet future and contingent can be.” How our people fumed at those words, and how many times did the eloquent Gladstone, in subsequent years, apologize for them! It was in such days that these men enlisted and staved off the draft.

DEPARTURE.

Certain dates burn themselves deeply into the mind; they need no association for vivid recollection, and to men of the Fifth, the day of their departure from Wenham is one. For them October 22d is a point in the calendar forever fixed. Of course the time had been foretold, and the day before had been one of many visits and greetings from friends and relatives. At 8 o'clock in the morning of the 22d, the knapsacks were packed and the men were in line ready for the command





to march. As befitted soldiers of a Christian nation, there was prayer by the Chaplain before departure. But when the men were ready, the cars were not in sight. Were they ever on time? When they did arrive and the men were safely on board, it was 11 o'clock. The records of the Fifth disclose that twenty men forsook the regiment this day. “Deserted at Wenham” is the entrance on the rolls, as reference to the Roster will show; seventeen of them were from the Charlestown companies, A and D, the other three from K, Waltham and Watertown. Apparently they were forerunners of that great array of bounty-jumpers who during the ensuing two years and more were to bring disgrace upon the Union armies. They had received their first bounty and now, under new names, were ready for the next, and still other enlistments. Next in interest to the Annals of London's Newgate, would be the true story of the Northern Bounty-jumper, 1862-’65.

Boston was reached at 12.30 p.m., and line was formed on Canal Street, whence through Hanover, Court, State and Commercial streets the regiment marched without any attempt at hurrah or other demonstration, to Battery Wharf, where was lying the steamer “Mississippi,” which was to be the conveyance of the Fifth to the theatre of war. Near by also was the “Merrimac,” another transport vessel, and three regiments were awaiting transportation on these boats. The Forty-fourth Regiment was to go aboard the “Merrimac,” and the Third Militia was to be divided between the two. As the three organizations were recruited to the maximum, and there was a great mass of camp equipage, aside from officers’ horses and other belongings, there was no great excess of room on shipboard. Upon the wharf was a vast array of friends assembled for the final leave-taking, the seriousness of which only those can appreciate who have passed through it.

The “Mississippi” was under the command of Captain Rodney Baxter, a Hyannis man, an experienced and competent seaman, one who merited and received the respect of all on board. The vessel, however, appeared to be somewhat





unlucky, or some of her passengers were, which amounted to about the same thing. Very soon after the Fifth had embarked, a member of the Third Regiment, in coming on board, fell between the ship and the wharf, upon the fender, hurting his head badly, and at first it was thought that his leg was broken, but it proved otherwise, and on landing he was recovering from his injuries. The next misfortune terminated more seriously. Claude Grenache, Company I, a French Canadian by birth, was a professional strong man, and had given exhibitions in public with traveling companies. He had frequently amused his comrades with his feats of strength. It would appear that injudicious potations on his way to the wharf rendered him unduly lively and unsteady, hence when on shipboard he essayed to climb into the rigging and out upon a yard to display his agility and strength, it was not strange that he should lose his balance and fall. In striking the deck, he nearly killed another man upon whom he fell, losing his own life, the first fatality in the regiment and, withal, so utterly needless. Nor was this all, for in passing down the Narrows, a small schooner was encountered, breaking in half the fore yard of the transport and carrying away the smaller vessel's masts.

AT SEA.

These incidents happened after the steamer had left the wharf, in the edge of the evening, hauling into the stream and waiting for the “Merrimac.” It was about 8 o'clock p.m. when the anchor was weighed and the grand start was made. The body of the deceased Grenache was on board and it was thought best that it should be returned to his late home, Marlboro. Accordingly, a collection was taken among the men whereby sufficient money was secured to pay the transportation, and the “Mississippi” put into Holmes’ Hole (Vineyard Haven) on the 23d, where the remains were landed, accompanied by Luther H. Farnsworth of Company I, who





was to go home with them. He was also directed to find and bring back with him a missing member of the same company, a feat which he accomplished, and the wonder is that he had not been commissioned to bring back also the twenty men who had eloped from Companies A, D and K. While the accommodations within the “Mississippi” were not quite so pleasing as those of Camp Lander, the records concerning the same are far more favorable than might be expected of men crowded into limited space, to whom the trip was the very first experience of sea traveling.

One story is told that might have happened on shore as well as on ship. A stew for dinner was in progress, whose fate proved the truth of the adage that many cooks spoil the broth. All unwary the men took their portions, thinking the dish a cheerful variant on accustomed prandial menus. As one scribe expresses it, “I broke into the stew quite a portion of the soft bread, issued on leaving camp, then taking one mouthful, I went to the side of the vessel and turned the whole dish overboard. Many, however, in spite of its saltiness, managed to eat their entire ration.” It seemed that cooks and officers, fearing that others had neglected their respective duties, without tasting the compound, each had added what seemed the proper amount of salt, the result being the equipping of a first-class salt-boiling vat. The effect upon the men may be imagined. The supply of water was none too great at the best, the nearest being that coming from the condensed exhaust steam, and it was warm and saline. Fifteen hundred men were suffering from extreme thirst, and their cry for water became so all-pervading that Captain Baxter receded from his first determination not to use any of the liquid stored in the hold, and stationing his men, had the satisfying draughts passed up from below to the anguished soldiers, to whom the relief was like that which the miracle brought to Hagar and Ishmael of Bible times.

At Holmes’ Hole the Boston pilot was left and, after waiting until evening for the “Merrimac,” another start was made,





the morning of the 24th revealing an open sea, with no sign of land, the first unobstructed view that the majority of the soldiers had ever had, though the sister transport, “Merrimac,” was in plain sight some five or six miles ahead. This relative position was maintained all day, but when the morning of the 25th arrived, we were in the lead. During these days the weather was delightful and none of the troubles of the Carolina coast were evident. Active men suffer when cooped up on shipboard and they must do something to unkink their legs, so the officers danced to the music of fife and drum, a sort of military quickstep, and those who couldn't or wouldn't, were fined six cents each, for the benefit of the musicians. One active fellow sought exercise by taking a hand at the pumps while the crew were washing up the decks. Dancing and singing helped wile away the time until 10.30 p.m., when sleepy men sought their quarters. As the vessel proceeds southward, it becomes desirable to spread an awning over the decks to shield all hands from the sun's rays. Cape Hatteras was made about the middle of the afternoon, but the steamer continued to move forward until midnight, when she was “hove-to” till morning, when, ahead of the “Merrimac,” she ran in, and off Beaufort Harbor signaled for a pilot. When an eighth of a mile from the wharf the steamer ran aground, to the great disgust of all concerned, especially of the captain, who accused the pilot of being a rebel, in which opinion many of the men concurred, and for a time it seemed dangerous for the man, but when the excitement was at its highest pitch, there came over the waters, from near-by Beaufort, the sound of church-going bells. Evidently the fact that the day was Sunday had not occurred to many of the men until that moment, but the thought of church and worship was sufficient to still angry passions and to bring men back to their senses. Meanwhile the “Merrimac,” more fortunate, was disembarking her men in plain sight, a most aggravating spectacle.

True to the traditions of the coast, it was fated that the regiment should not land without some taste of the weather





said to be characteristic of the vicinity of Hatteras. Saturday night it began to rain and at intervals the same fell during Sunday; at the same time there was blowing a very cold wind; so that first impressions of the “Sunny South” were just a bit coolish. It was nearly noon of Monday, October 27th, that


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the landing was finally effected, and the Fifth Regiment set foot on North Carolina soil, the place being Morehead City, opposite Beaufort, both places being at the mouth of the Newport River. The city, so called, was a characteristic southern place of only a few houses, but it was the terminus of a railroad extending up to Newbern. This was the road over which the Forty-fourth Regiment had ridden the day before, and on whose open platform cars the Fifth and Third Regiments were to proceed to Newbern. One of those thus getting his first impressions of the Old North State writes:

“The country through which we passed—some thirty-six miles—seemed almost entirely uninhabited. Occasionally we passed the pickets and encampments of our troops, with here and there negro huts. The rest of our way was through woods, the greater part of which is pitch-pine.”

NEWBERN.

Newbern, the destination of the regiment, had been in the possession of the Union forces since the 14th day of the preceding March, when after the battle of Newbern, fought a few miles to the southward, and the other side of the Trent River, the place with all its belongings fell into the hands of Burnside and his men, this being the second blow struck in this section by the so-called Burnside Expedition, the first having been that at Roanoke Island in the preceding February. Distant by rail from Beaufort and Morehead City from thirty-six to forty miles, it was the capital of Craven County and, before the war, had ranked as the second seaport in the State. Near the beginning of the eighteenth century, it was founded by a colony of Swiss, under the lead of the Baron de Graffenreid, the location being in strong contrast with the mountainous country whence they had come, yet they gave to the new settlement the name of their own elevated capital city, hence the words, “New Berne,” or as





usually given, Newbern. The river Trent formed its southern boundary and the Neuse was on the east.

Had there been an efficient guide on the train which bore the regiment from its landing to this place, he might have pointed out the scene of the engagement, between the Confederate and Union forces, on that 14th day of March, when, for the second time, Burnside and his men were able to send a thrill of rejoicing through the loyal North on account of an unqualified Federal victory. In the interval, Burnside had been ordered to the Army of the Potomac, taking with him a considerable part of his original force, leaving in command General John G. Foster, an officer in universal esteem among his men, but considerably crippled for aggressive work on account of the depletion of the army through the withdrawal of regiments. Of Massachusetts troops there were already at Newbern or in the immediate vicinity, the Seventeenth, Twenty-third, Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth and Twenty-seventh regiments, all three years’ bodies, and, of nine months’ organizations, in addition to the Fifth, there were in the department or on their way, the Third and Eighth Militia, the Forty-third, Forty-fourth, Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth, and Fifty-first Volunteers, the expectation of the Government being that these organizations would make good the withdrawal of troops in the preceding months.

However important Newbern may have been to the Union cause as a strategic point and base of operation, to these men, fresh from trim and snug New England, it had anything but an imposing look. Said one careful observer:

In houses and general appearance, Newbern does not compare favorably with any place of like size in our part of the world. We are encamped just at the edge of the city; the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts is but a short distance from us; a few rods to the right is Fort Rowan, and on our left is Fort Totten. We live in tents (put up for us by the Twenty-third Massachusetts) about sixteen feet in diameter (Sibley's), nineteen men being in ours, all from the same locality. Each





tent has a camp-stove in its centre, which is very convenient some of these cold nights. Should we stay here long we shall probably go into barracks. Most of the white inhabitants have left the city, and with them went the majority of ablebodied black men. The whites who remained were obliged to take the oath of allegiance. There are lots of “contrabands” around; from sunrise to sunset they are in the camp with almost everything in the eating line: gingerbread, pies, oysters, plenty of cookies, sweet potatoes, fried fish, etc. They sell a deal of this stuff to the soldiers, because our cooking appliances have not yet arrived, and the rations we brought with us are about all eaten up, with the exception of the hard tack, hence their stuff takes pretty well with us. We can get a dinner at some of their houses with all we wish to eat and drink, for twenty-five or thirty cents. You ought to hear them tell about “Massa” running one way and they the other. Some say they didn't wait for “Massa” to run and take them with him, they “skedaddled” first. They offer to wash our clothes for five cents an article. All of the ground about us is very low; on one side is a small cypress swamp. The days are very warm and the nights cool; we are without overcoats and, in these cold spells, we are disposed to think even the miserable ones we turned in would be better than none.

Two days were devoted to adjusting themselves to their new surroundings. In the interval the guns for the regiment had been distributed, they having been packed for transportation, it being thought that they could be carried this way better than in the hands of the men. On inspection, the soldiers were delighted to find that they were equipped with Springfield rifles, then considered the best in the service. On the 29th, at dress-parade, orders were read to the effect that the regiment would leave camp on the following morning in light marching order. A considerable part of the night was given to preparing rations and making ready for the next step in army life. The movement in which the Fifth is to bear its part is known in the story of the war as the





TARBORO MARCH.

Whatever the leaders knew, nothing was revealed to the enlisted men and the lower commissioned officers. The night of October 29th and 30th was as broken as any could be and yet the men be supposedly resting in camp. To begin with, three days’ rations were to be carried. They had not even arrived, to say nothing of cooking them. This is the way the hours seemed to pass to one incipient soldier: “Of course we had very little sleep that night; we would turn in for perhaps an hour, when the order would come, ‘Turn out and get your canteens;’ after waiting a while we got them and went back to our tents to be roused, soon after, with ‘Turn out to get your guns.’ After having this essential part of a soldier's outfit handed us, we went back only to be called out again, ‘To get your ammunition,’ for every man had forty rounds before starting. Then it was to turn out and to turn in for rations until the night was whittled away.” While all the soldiers may have had a general idea of the management of a musket, the actual ignorance of many was almost pathetic, considering how near they were to the use of shooting-irons where life and death were involved. Knapsacks, canteens and haversacks had obvious uses, the loading end of their muskets was recognized, but scores of them halted in sheer amazement over the manner of applying a gun-strap. Fortunately there was sufficient leaven of experience in each company soon to enlighten the entire mass. Regimental line was formed at about 4 o'clock a.m., and a start was made for some unknown destination soon after. On reaching the wharves at the river's bank, the men were embarked on certain gunboats, four companies going on the transport-schooner “Scout.” Starting soon after daylight, all had a fine opportunity to observe the obstructions that the Confederates had placed in the Neuse to prevent the advance of Burnside's fleet in the preceding March. Consisting principally of old sunken vessels, enough of them had been cleared away to afford a passage





for such craft as had to come and go. Also some of the fortifications erected by the enemy were in sight, including those silenced in the battle of March 14, though intervening woods obscured the view.

During the day the report gained circulation that the destination of the voyage was Washington, N. C., which proved to be true. Though on shipboard, at least some of the companies were drilled in the manual of arms for the first time. During this trip, the steward of the “Scout” signalized his acquisitive faculty by making pies which he offered to the soldiers at sixty cents apiece. Though from the so-called pie-belt of the country and naturally fond of pastry, one of the boys writes, “I wasn't hungry enough to buy at that price.” The route was down the Neuse to Pamlico Sound, whence in due time a turn was made into the Pamlico River, up which the fleet proceeded, though it came to anchor some distance below Washington, the men finding very good accommodations on shipboard. After the grounding of at least one of the vessels, the landing was finally effected on the last day of the month, and quarters for some of the companies were found in all sorts of buildings, not over clean, but even these would be thought quite attractive before the week was done.

Very often in discussing this part of the country, the place where the landing was effected is referred to as “Little” Washington, but incorrectly, the name of the Father of his Country having no modification, the adjective having been applied probably to distinguish it from the capital of the nation. Situated on the north bank of the Tar River, a few miles above its confluence with the larger Pamlico, the place is a very interesting southern village, not so large as Newbern, yet it was known as a city. This place also had been early taken by Burnside's forces, and it had been more or less threatened by the enemy nearly all of the intervening time. Indeed the march of our regiments on the day of landing was obstructed by intervening barricades in the shape of chevaux de frise, these being necessary on account of the repeated raids





of the Confederate cavalry. While there were a number of well laid out places, one was particularly so, this being the estate of Mr. Jas. R. Grist, who claimed to be a Union man, yet his loyalty was thought to be of that selfish kind that could be easily turned rebelward if the fortunes of war appeared to lean in that direction. In the winter following Fredericksburg, he solicited General Potter, then in command at Washington, for the privilege of going with the Confederacy, and he betook himself with his family into the heart of rebeldom, his mansion being taken for a hospital. Later still, when Vicksburg, Gettysburg and Port Hudson plainly shadowed forth the end of Rebellion, he asked the privilege of coming back to his own, but he was refused, being told that his residence was already serving a very useful purpose. A part of the regiment bivouacked on his estate, one observer chronicling the largest natural arbor (Arbor vitae) he had ever seen, extending from


[Illustration:

RESIDENCE OF JAMES R. GRIST, WASHINGTON, N. C.
]





the main entrance to the house a number of rods. The interested loyalty of the proprietor was revenue-making in a peculiar manner, in that he was taking in large amounts of Confederate currency at a great discount, and then, through some sort of connivance, he was sending the same through the lines and buying cotton, paying for it in the depreciated scrip at face value. His purchase he was able to sell at immense profits. The house showed marks of the siege in the preceding spring.

It was here that the brigade relation of the regiment was first defined, it being a part of the Third Brigade, First Division, Department of North Carolina. The regiments associated with it were the Third, Twenty-seventh and Forty-sixth Massachusetts, along with the Ninth New Jersey, the brigade being under the command of Colonel Horace C. Lee of the Twenty-seventh, an officer uniformly meriting and receiving the highest degree of respect from all of his followers. A thorough tactician, there was no time when he failed to measure up to the highest standard of an officer in his position, and the regiment considered itself fortunate to be led by him through its entire term of service. Also it was a pleasing reflection that the men were associated with so large a number of fellow Massachusetts soldiers. There was a halt in Washington, all of the 31st of October and November 1st, on account of the failure of the force that had gone overland to arrive. Under the command of Colonel T. J. C. Amory, commanding the First Brigade, portions of the Seventeenth and Twenty-third Massachusetts, with cavalry and artillery, accompanied by a large wagon train, had left Newbern, early in the morning of the 30th, expecting to reach Washington, at the latest, by the evening of the 31st. After a day's march, Swift's Creek was reached at sundown of the first day, where it was found that the enemy had destroyed the bridge. As no effort was made to rebuild the bridge until the following day, Washington was not gained until dark, Nov. 1st, fully a day late.

The troops composing the expedition were as follows:





First Brigade, Colonel Amory, portions of the Seventeenth, Twenty-third and Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, with four guns of the Third N. Y. Artillery; Second Brigade, Colonel Thos. G. Stevenson in command, parts of the Twenty-fourth and Forty-fourth Massachusetts (entire), Fifth Rhode Island, and Tenth Connecticut, with Belger's Battery, Battery F, Rhode Island Light Artillery, six guns; Third Brigade, Colonel H. C. Lee, parts of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, Ninth New Jersey, ten companies of the Fifth Massachusetts and sixteen guns of the Third N. Y. Artillery, — an aggregate of about 5000 men with twenty-six pieces of artillery. The grand advance began at daybreak, Sunday, the 2d of November, Stevenson's brigade leading. Though the commands were to proceed in light marching order, the load of three days’ rations, cooked in Washington, with gun and its belongings, haversack, canteen and blanket, one of the boys thought the knapsack would not have added very much to the weight of the outfit. Although the Fifth was credited with having full ranks, there was really a considerable shortage, twenty-five men from each company having been left at Newbern and an entire company at Washington, for guard and other necessary duty.

The first indications of the presence of the enemy were felt at about 9 a.m., when their pickets were driven in, their fire, as they retired, wounding two of the cavalry horses. With occasional halts of a few minutes each, the march proceeded until along in the afternoon, when there was a halt of an hour. This being the first day's real marching, its effects were quite severe. The next move continued until sundown, when artillery and musketry firing were heard, half or three-quarters of a mile ahead. Here there was a halt, with momentary expectations of being ordered forward, but before this came, the firing had nearly ceased. When the word was given the advance was for only a short distance; the men, some of them, by this time, were so tired that they lay down on the damp, cold ground and went to sleep at once. The next start





carried the regiment to the banks of a wide stream, whose waters were fully waist deep. It was Little Creek, the scene of the fight. Of this portion of the day's march E. A. Perry (I) writes:

Before many hours, we struck a swamp whose waters were the color of strong coffee. (Apparently the borders of the creek.) There were two ways of crossing, viz., a footpath along the side of the road, consisting of a series of single logs, laid lengthways, their ends being on the tops of stumps, these same logs being slightly flattened on one side. Thus a single file was possible through the swamp, but more than one man fell off as he tried this Blondin act, all accoutred with his equipment. The road itself was corduroyed, but the logs were all under water; the most of the men preferred the middle way. . . . It was on this march that we first loaded our guns. It would naturally be supposed that every one would know which end of the cartridge went in first, but there were many who did not, much to the amusement of their wiser comrades.

Darius Baker (E) writes of this same scene:

The order came that we must ford the stream, and we began to get ready for it. We took off our cartridge boxes and hung them on our bayonets, and then some of the men took off all their clothing except their shirts, others their pants only, others their drawers alone, and still others with boots and stockings taken off and pants rolled up, were standing around. We must have made a laughable appearance, but we didn't think so then. We had all prepared ourselves, when we found we could cross without getting wet by going single file. Then ’twas to put on our clothes again and cross the creek.

As to the engagement itself, it was not a serious one, only a slight hold-up of the advance, consisting of the Twenty-fourth and Forty-fourth Massachusetts, the enemy having thrown up small earthworks and having some artillery with them. The Confederates here were of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina, with a section of Moore's battery, the place being known





as Old Ford, four miles from Williamston. It did not take the Massachusetts and New Jersey men with the Marine Artillery and the Rhode Island Battery (Belger's) a great while to clear them out, and to send them in precipitous retreat to Rawles’ Mills, from which they were again driven. The entire Union loss in the two engagements was three killed and thirteen wounded; of the enemy there were reported ten killed and twenty-nine wounded. While all this was happening up in front, the men away back in the rear had nothing to do but wait and listen. Even then some of them could not keep awake, and when the enemy gave way and the victorious Yankees swept after them with a cheer, the same was taken up all along the intervening line, reaching at last Company I of the Fifth, awaking one tired sleeper, who sprang to “attention” with the shout, “I'll get one shot at the Rebs before I die.” After a few more halts and repeated changes of position, camp was finally pitched in and around the deserted earthworks. The day's march covered eighteen miles, our Sabbath day's journey.

Monday, the 3d, the march was resumed, with the Third Brigade in advance, the Fifth holding the left of the line. Williamston was entered at noon or thereabout, with not a human being, black or white, in sight, though the probabilities were that the inhabitants had deserted their homes, not so much on account of the approach of the army as through fear of a bombardment by the Union fleet, whose five gunboats were lying portentously near in the Roanoke River. Five thousand hungry men in a deserted town! Here were food and drink and here also were the boys who could make way with them. Did they?* Let one of them reply: “While here, the

[note]



men foraged everything they could lay hands upon: pigs, fowl, sweet potatoes, honey, molasses, apples, etc. It was new business for us, but we soon got used to it.” In the afternoon the advance was resumed, the direction being towards the west, and at dark camp was pitched near Hamilton.

The next morning, that of the 4th, the start was made towards Hamilton, though there was delay occasioned by the burning of a bridge, which had to be rebuilt, so that the town was not reached until afternoon. On the way, Rainbow Bluff was passed, where the enemy had erected a fort and pierced the same for five guns, with a line of earthworks extending half a mile into the woods and crossing the Hamilton road. But there was no effort made to hold them, the Confederates withdrawing on our approach, so that when the Union gunboats steamed up, they found the flag of our Union there before them, along with a garrison ready to receive them with the loudest of cheers. The bluff, fifty feet high, was on the south bank of the Roanoke, and several times had prevented the further advance of the gunboats. Hamilton, too, was a deserted place, and similar scenes to those of the day before took place, “our only difficulty being the shortness of our stop. The pigs would be skinned and put, warm as they were, on the coals; the fowls, with a stick run through them, placed in the flames. The streets and roads were strewed with furniture and apparel dropped in the hasty flight of the inhabitants. Our camp was pitched about three miles beyond Hamilton.” Located so that the entire encampment could be seen at a glance, the scene was magnificently beautiful.





Though the camping-place was a cornfield, the stalks that the men wished to lie upon were a quarter of a mile away, but the suggestion being made that they would soften the hard ground considerably, there was a general rush for the bundles, that served an excellent purpose for one night at least. A Company I man had not had enough of foraging on his way through Hamilton, but must needs try again during this night and, discovering a tree with live fruit upon it, viz., half a dozen turkeys, he “shook them off” and brought them into camp. There, in the ingenious manner that only necessity can invent, he had them cooked as a toothsome breakfast for his comrades. Here, too, the newly enlisted Yankee boys learned the peculiarities of the beautiful yellow persimmon; how deliciouswhenripe, how horribly puckery when green! Wednesday, the 5th, beheld the line still advancing towards Tarboro, the direction being a little south of west, halting for the night about nine or ten miles from the above-named town. The march was long and hard and there was a deal of straggling, some companies having only a small proportion of the members at camp-pitching, but all came in finally. By orders, there were no fires, and a camp without a fire is dreary enough; besides, the night proved to be dark and stormy, the rain and snow filling the depression between the corn rows so that all got thoroughly wet. Morning light revealed one of the most interesting sights of the entire expedition, for the snow, in falling on the rubber blanketed men and the intervening ground, had covered all “with a silence deep and white,” and the outlook was what a great fold might be, filled with a host of elongated sheep. It is safe to say, however, it was not the beauty of the scene that impressed Mike Skerry of Company E, when he shook the fleecy stuff from his form on rising, for he was heard to ejaculate in tones not in the least appreciative, “And this is the Sunny South, is it; the land of cotton, pineapples and oranges? Here we are, knee-deep in the snow. Divil a bit have I seen of their Sunny South! By my soul, it's Greenland, I believe it is.”





THE RETURN.

The end of the advance was reached, Wednesday, within a comparatively short distance of Tarboro. The original object of the expedition was the destruction of rebel gunboats, said to be building at Hamilton, but the report proved to be incorrect, as investigation showed when the town was occupied. However, General Foster had heard that a force of 3000 Confederates was encamped near Tarboro, and to capture them was the reason for the trip beyond Hamilton. We were so near the tar-named place that the sound of trains could be distinctly heard during the night, supposedly bringing reinforcements to the aid of the enemy. It was at this time that General Foster called a council of his field officers, and the question of advance or retreat was considered. The lateness of the season, the prospects of a severe storm and the apparent certainty of rebel reinforcements induced a vote, with only three dissenting, that the advance had gone far enough. So far as the reinforcements were concerned, it appeared later from captured rebels that the railroad commotion was incident to the effort of Confederates to get away rather than to approach. So, then, Thursday, the 6th, saw the countermarch, and the beginning of the return. Once more the Third Brigade was in the rear, and a hard place some of the boys in the Fifth found it to be. Let one of them tell his own story:

The rain of the day made the roads very bad. It was the only day I did not keep up with the company. The last eight miles were marched without a halt, and at very quick time. I made up my mind that I could get along easier by halting occasionally, and did so, coming in some distance in the rear and, for that matter, nearly half the regiment straggled. We made fourteen miles during the day, and when we got to Hamilton we missed the houses, that were burned when we were going the other way, though we managed to find shelter. During the night it grew colder and snow fell before morning, keeping it up at intervals throughout the day. Some of the men managed to get on the gunboats here, so that our company fell off considerably.





It was on this leaving Hamilton, on the return, that occurred an incident characteristic of the time and men. There were very strict orders against foraging, yet officers, like justice, were sometimes blind. One of them tells the story that on the march he saw a heifer in a field by the roadside, and soon after one of the enlisted men of his company came up and wanted to borrow his knife, he being known to carry a long-bladed one. “What do you want it for?” was a natural question for him to ask, but the reply was not exactly enlightening, “Oh, nothing much, but I'll not hurt it.” The man got the knife and disappeared; the officer, fearing the fate of Lot's wife never looked back. Soon there came the sound of a musket, and still no looking about by the careful lieutenant; but long before the camp was reached his knife was returned and with it a fine piece of beef, and no questions were asked. That officer could have testified conscientiously that on that day he had seen no case of foraging.

There were men who, with indomitable pluck and will, found food and comfort even in deserted Williamston, and the use they made of sweet potatoes and fresh pork indicated anything rather than discouragement. When a darkey was given a dime for his kindness in lending his iron kettle, he exclaimed with joy and gladness, “Golly, dat's silber! Rats can't clean dat up.” Friday, the 7th, the retreat was continued to Williamston, where there was a longer halt than usual for recuperation. The shiretown of Martin Country, its jail was burned during the retreat, but the court house was occupied by the troops. Born rummagers, these inquisitive Yankee boys sadly deranged the orderly accumulation of deeds for far more than a century, and how they did wish they could send some of the curios home to Massachusetts. One boy did send a bill of sale of a negro and an old deed. Whipping-post and stocks were also unaccustomed sights to the invaders. Both jail and whipping-post went up in flames this day, the soldiers thinking their mission ended, the former having been the place of torture to many a Union man. The 8th of November





was a veritable day of rest and the boys made the most of it. In one company, the story is told that the tallest man in its ranks brought in a hive of bees and, securing the honey, now and then one of the insects that made it appeared. This tall man in taking a bite of the sweetness of the honeycomb, did not observe the business end of a bee as he rolled the sweet morsel in his mouth, but the bee got in his work and the sight the poor man's swollen cheek presented, only those who saw could properly picture. No lesson nor retribution could destroy the soldier's liking for honey.

Having rested Saturday, the retreat was continued the next day, or Sunday, the 9th. As the lines were forming the Chaplain of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts rode along the ranks of his regiment, saying, “Boys, this is the Sabbath, and as we can't have other religious exercises, let all of us join in singing the Doxology.” It was started at once, and like wild-fire the sound sped down the lines, and in a moment five thousand men, with uncovered heads, were singing “Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” a magnificent tribute to their birth and rearing. The march of this day was to the vicinity of Plymouth, within four miles, it was said. The route was along the south bank of the Roanoke. Monday, the 10th, brought the expedition to Plymouth, and a chance to travel in another manner. An enterprising place, as North Carolina villages went, the chief fame of this southern Plymouth was to come two years later, when the place was captured by a large rebel force under General R. F. Hoke, and very large numbers of Union prisoners were taken, including several hundred from the Second Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. In the engagement the enemy was assisted by the rebel ram, “Albemarle,” constructed on the Roanoke, at Edward's Ferry, forty miles above Rainbow Bluff, visited in the recent raid. This craft was to win greater fame, in subsequent months, through her being rendered helpless by the ramming of the U.S.S. “Sassacus,” under Lieut. Commander F. A. Roe, and her subsequent destruction by the affixing of





a torpedo, as she lay at her Plymouth wharf, by Lieut. W. B. Cushing.

It was just before reaching the village, at the encampment of the preceding night, that there was given a good illustration of “forbearance ceasing to be a virtue.” Many of the officers had sought shelter in the house belonging to a fine plantation. The women members of the household were implacable rebels, and were incessant in their nagging of all the officers. At first Colonel Peirson had given orders that the belongings of the place, whether sentient or insentient, should be unmolested. For a considerable time he endured the vituperations of the women, till at last he could endure their tongue-lashing no longer, and sent to the regiment, ordering that two of the smartest men from each company should be sent to him. On their arrival he simply remarked to the twenty men that they might help themselves to whatever feathered creatures they might find. Whether the permission stilled the offensive tongues of the women it is not known, but the members of the companies record high feasting on that particular night.

Tuesday, the 11th, the men were embarked on gunboats preparatory to a ride back to Newbern. Rations were distributed before going on shipboard, and some of the companies were disgusted enough at finding their supply of hard-tack just a mass of mould, on account of the drippings from leaky barrels of corned beef. Luckily the ships’ stores were able to make up for the loss, though the substitute rations proved to be animated, sometimes the case, but the men shut their eyes and kept on eating. On the way down the river, and through Albemarle Sound, the boats passed by Roanoke Island, the scene of Burnside's victory in the preceding February, and naturally all eyes were alert to get a glimpse of the locality whose capture had given the loyal North so much comfort and encouragement. The gunboats were getting back to Newbern from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning, the men having been away just two weeks, in the





language of one observer, “Having captured 200 horses and mules, a month's supplies for our forces and having developed considerable Union sentiment in this part of the Old North State. Besides, these Yankees had learned what “piney woods” meant, and one witty fellow remarked that the section would be a good one for musicians, since they would always be sure of the “pitch.”

NEWBERN.

It has been stated already that certain portions of the many regiments which were in the Tarboro Expedition had been left at Newbern as a defense against possible attack. One of the men thus left behind remarks in his notes that at first he thought himself particularly unfortunate, but when he saw his comrades on their return, weary, muddy, lame and sick, he concluded he had had a pretty good time. As he recounts his story, “The very night after the troops left us, the enemy drove in our pickets, who were guarding the city along the Trent road. There was no myth this time, for the rebs were there for sure. Our officer in command, Lieut. E. N. Pierce, was equal to the occasion for getting us into line; he spoke in an eloquent manner, telling us that we had no means of knowing what might happen during the night, but he enjoined upon us the necessity of standing firm and of acquitting ourselves like men. The night was very dark, heavy clouds overhung the camp, vivid flashes of lightning added to the interest or excitement, while orderlies riding at great speed made us think there was trouble ahead sure. But the enemy came no farther than the picket line, and while we returned to our quarters, we were enjoined not to take off our equipments nor to lay aside our guns. In the meantime, the wind began to rise and driving the halliards of a tent-cap against the canvas with a heavy thud, awoke an excited soldier, who sprang up shouting, ‘The rebels are on us!’ This was enough to stir up the occupants of other tents,





who repeated the shout, and soon the whole camp was aroused and the long roll sounded again.” November 5th, as spoils from the enemy, 150 horses were brought into camp. The next day twenty-five disabled men came back from the regiment. One man remarked that he had ransacked the camp for something to read, but without success, had re-read all of his letters and would give his day's rations for a Boston paper. First frost came November 9th. On the 11th the pickets were driven in again, and the long roll was sounded, picket firing continuing during the night. In the morning, troops were sent out to reëstablish the line. Evidently the enemy thought the absence of so many troops on the Tarboro trip was a good time to stir up Newbern, but before a really effectual assault could be arranged, the absent regiments began to return and the “Johnnies” thought they would wait awhile.

On Saturday, the 15th, L. H. Farnsworth (I), who had gone home from Holmes’ Hole with the body of Grenache, returned bringing with him the deserter mentioned in that connection. In camp life there is many a tempest in a teapot, and one company was thrown into a tumult because of the unwillingness of the cooks to wash the dishes, the captain finally ruling that each man must pay 25 cents per month as his share of the compensation, due the aforesaid cooks for the extra labor. Tent company or associates were frequently the result of locality sameness, or kindred tastes and habits. There were such associations where there were the reading of the Bible and prayer each night. From such a tent, the records say that there came an editor, a Boston grammar-school master, a high-school teacher, a lawyer and a minister. Most of the men thought themselves fortunate that they were sheltered in Sibley tents, rather than in barracks made of green lumber, as some of the latter were. After awhile the greater number of the tents were raised up and floored and, with a sheet-iron stove in the middle of the tent, they had no trouble in keeping warm. Unfortunately the pipe furnished by the quarter-master did not reach the top of the tent, so, unless the occupants





clubbed together and bought additional lengths, the smoke took its own time in escaping from the inclosed space.

A source of great annoyance to the men was the presence of many rats, that seemed to thrive on the unsanitary ways of housekeeping that obtained. They grew quite unconcerned over the presence of human beings, and the latter sometimes had their slumbers disturbed by the rodents running across their faces. Much to the comfort and satisfaction of the men, the long-delayed overcoats arrived and were distributed, some say, the 18th of November, whereupon the soldiers felt that they were really “Boys in Blue.” That the regimental band played at dress-parade on the 18th is evidence that it was in existence then, and its playing secured admiring mention by the chroniclers. A young man who had enlisted as a student, evidently continued his studies in camp, since on the 24th he records his finishing of Cæsar's Commentaries. Also on this day, obedient to orders, Second Lieutenants A. J. Holbrook (E) and E. N. Pierce (F), with Privates R. T. Chamberlain (B), Wm. Coleman (D), C. W. Richardson (G) and L. H. Farnsworth (I), were detailed for service in the Signal Corps. “Over the River for Brigade Drill” means that the several regiments had to go through the city and cross the Trent to reach the place of instruction. Writing home on the 25th, a young man informs the good folks there as follows:

Our camp duties are nearly the same that they were at Camp Lander, except that they occupy more of our time and are more strict. At 6 a.m. reveillé is sounded, when we turn out for roll-call. After that, by the time we get our blanket shaken and hands and faces washed, fires made and street swept, it is 7 o'clock, the time for breakfast. It takes the greater part of an hour to have the same served out and eaten and dishes washed. From 8 o'clock to 10 we generally have the time to ourselves, to clean guns, mend clothes and write letters. Company drills are from 10 o'clock till 12. Dinner follows, and at 1.30 or 2 o'clock we fall in for regimental or brigade drill, as the same may be, then drilling until 4 p.m. Dress-parade takes place at 4.30, and supper





comes at 5.30. At 8 retreat is sounded, and at 8.30 lights are out at the sound of taps. On the 19th we were inspected and commended by General Foster. Second Lieutenant Holbrook (E) has been appointed to the Signal Corps. Our new overcoats are a great improvement on the old ones. The latter were charged to us at the rate of $1.87 apiece, and General Foster says we can sell them to the darkeys at $1.50 each, so our few days’ wear cost us 37 cents apiece. Yesterday I had a pass and went into the city to get some things for Thanksgiving dinner, viz.: a peck of Indian-meal, 30 cents; three quarts of molasses at 20 cents a quart. We thought the company would draw fresh meat rations to-day, so that we could get suet for an Indian pudding, and we had even engaged to have it baked by one of the negro women, but we got salt fish instead, hence had to give up the pudding. The officers of the Charlestown City Guard have bought fowl, as chickens and turkeys, for their men, and are going to have a regular Thanksgiving dinner.

Friday, Nov. 28. There was a meeting held last Sunday, the first one since leaving Camp Lander, and in the evening there was a prayer-meeting. We have had a chapter in the Bible read every night since we came into camp, each one taking turns. Yesterday was Thanksgiving and we had the entire day to ourselves. Half of each company had passes in the forenoon, the other half in the afternoon. Our dinner was of beef-steak and a stirred pudding and, under the circumstances, was very good. In the afternoon there was a burlesque dress-parade in which there was no end of fun. Many officers, looking on, saw and heard themselves travestied in no uncertain manner, each little peculiarity getting its proper hit.

Another writer describing the fanciful affair of the afternoon says:

Our regiment had an evening dress-parade, none but privates were allowed to participate, and they selected a full complement of officers from the ranks. Each soldier dressed as he pleased. Some were clothed in white, some in red and variegated colors; others had heavy gray beards and wigs, made from the moss which grows so plentifully in the cypress swamps; shirts and drawers outside; caps and coats wrong side out and wrong side up, in every conceivable





manner, making a novel and picturesque, if not elegant, appearance. Each member of the band played a tune of his own choice, creating a bedlam of discords indescribable.

From other sources it appears that the Thanksgiving Proclamation of Governor Andrew was read, and Chaplain Snow conducted religious services. There was no uniformity in dinner menus, each company being a law unto itself, oyster stew and plum pudding filling the bill in one, while chicken stew and whiskey punch were the notable viands of another. Perhaps no one company fared better on this day than the Woburn Phalanx (G), whose good luck was thus mentioned in the diary of a member: “Seventy-six chickens were brought to the Phalanx for Thanksgiving,” and on the day itself he wrote: “Company G had baked beans for breakfast, boiled chicken for dinner and doughnuts for supper.” In the retrospect, one or two reflections concerning this last entry are allowable. Those seventy-six chickens must have been very small, the men enormous eaters, or such an allowance of fowl ought to have afforded Thanksgiving suggestions for the remainder of the week.

To the good, honest soldier no pleasure of his camp life was greater than that of receiving letters from home. No matter how engrossing the duties of his every-day life might be, there was ever time to think about home and to wonder when the folks there were going to write. When the mail came in, whatever the hour of day or night, he was ready to receive and read; witness the following, written Monday, Dec. 1: “A mail arrived at midnight; all turned out at one o'clock to receive letters from home; candles were lighted and all who had received letters were soon engaged in absorbing the contents of the precious missives.” Another, commenting on his failure to hear from home for nearly a month, thinks that the messages must have gone astray. He is evidently a thoughtful young man, since he has criticism for Fernando Wood and Erastus Brooks of New York, and a word of rejoicing over the





election to Congress of Alexander H. Rice, the subsequent Governor of the Commonwealth. He comments thus on passing events:

Last Sunday (Nov. 30) eleven of us went into the city to church. It is a Presbyterian edifice, but is now used by the soldiers. The building was well filled, principally by soldiers of the Seventeenth Massachusetts, whose Chaplain preached from the 136th Psalm, not a very appropriate sermon for a soldier audience. The organ, however, was there and the singing was splendid. Later we went to a colored church, where the people seemed to be earnest and deeply engaged. They sing old-fashioned tunes, whose words the minister lines for them. . . . Last night (Dec. 1) Daniel McGillicuddy (F) of Medford died, he being the third to pass on since we left Massachusetts; the other two were Grenache (I) from a fall on shipboard and Timothy Shehan (A), of Charlestown, Nov. 22. Court-martials have been common since Thanksgiving; one private for forging a pass was sentenced to wear his knapsack, packed, on all drills for a week, and not to receive a pass for a month; another for getting drunk on Thanksgiving Day had the same knapsack sentence and is debarred from passes for three months. We haven't had much cold weather yet, though the nights have been rather chilly. Today (Dec. 2) I drilled without a vest and was plenty warm. The steamer “Mississippi” has just brought two more Massachusetts regiments, the Eighth and the Fifty-first, they having come up from Morehead City, Nov. 30.

The earlier days of December abounded in stormy weather; one man writes, “Confining us to our tents, where we live in the sand like swine.” Evidently he and his party had not put flooring into their “Sibley.” Another, writing on the 5th, says, “It rained today, so that we drilled only a short time.” He makes this interesting entry concerning guardduty, “When the guard comes off duty, it fires at a target, which is a full sized man marked on a board, and the best three shots are excused from duty when their turn comes around again. Of course, I wasn't one of the lucky ones. For several days past, we have drilled by brigade in loading





and firing blank cartridges. It looks as though we were getting ready for action. The paymaster has arrived and there is prospect of our receiving our first two months’ pay. It is nearly three months since we were mustered in, still I don't think we have much occasion to find fault. The boys are receiving boxes from home and it seems good to see old Massachusetts ‘grub’ once more.”

December 6th brought an immense mail, it being stated that 10,000 letters and papers were distributed to the Fifth Regiment alone. What a host of friends the boys had in that far-away homeland. In a single tent there were received thirty-six letters and thirty-nine papers one day and twenty-five letters the next. With such literary occupations, reading and writing, where did the time for other work come in? When the folks at home write stating that from letters received, they would not suppose that the Tarboro trip was a very trying one, the honest volunteer says, “I had no idea of writing about ‘awfully hard marching,’ ‘blistered feet,’ ‘nothing to eat,’ and so on. I didn't expect to have a very easy time when I enlisted and thus far I have seen no more hardships than I expected, and I have not yet been sorry that I entered Uncle Sam's family of boys. Perhaps when we encounter greater hardships, I shall have occasion to change my mind.”

The night before the 7th of December it was cold enough to freeze the water in the near-by swamp to the thickness of three-eighths of an inch. Evidently the good folks way up in that northland are preparing many tokens of their loving care and boxing them for their representatives in Dixie, for all records teem with recitals of boxes received or boxes expected. In these winterish days, there were thoughts of Bible study, and it is recorded that a class of fifty members, in three sections, was organized, and the first meetings were scheduled for the 7th, this being Sunday, but the advent of a mail of papers interrupted, nor was there any other religious service, the raw weather preventing. That some of the regiment were careful of appearances is shown when a boy writes home for





yarn with which to mend his socks, saying that he had become a great hand in washing and mending, though he did not always wash on Monday, and his ironing was done on the 8th day of the week.

GOLDSBORO EXPEDITION.

Probably all members of the Fifth Regiment will agree that there was no more important event in the record of their nine-months’ service than the December raid which they, with several thousands of others, made into the interior of North Carolina. While the Burnside Expedition had accomplished much for the Union cause and had enheartened Lincoln and the people immeasurably, yet the taking away of many of the troops to the Army of the Potomac and elsewhere, the withdrawal of Burnside himself, however excellent his successor, General Foster, might be, all had conspired to prevent the realization of plans that had been in the mind when the Union forces entered the Carolina waters in the preceding February. There had been times when to hold what had been taken was esteemed the best those left in charge could be expected to do. It was to compensate for these same withdrawn regiments that our Massachusetts men, of the short term, had been sent, and they were about to have a chance to show how well they could act.

General Burnside, on the 7th of November, had been appointed by the President as the successor of General George B. McClellan in the command of the Army of the Potomac. In these early December days his great force of men was gathered on and about the Heights of Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg, Va., with the waters of the Rappahannock flowing between. That he might meet the least opposition possible in his contemplated attack on the Virginia city, behind whose buildings and battlements the hosts of Lee were encamped, it was ordered that there should be a simultaneous attack all along the lines, thus preventing any






[Illustration:

MAP SHOWING THE GOLDSBORO MARCH.
]





sending of relief to the Confederates when the attack should begin. That Burnside in this connection should remember his faithful followers on the Carolina shores was the most natural thing in the world, and when his armies were essaying the terrible crossing of the Rappahannock, the soldiers in the Old North State under Foster were to move on to Goldsboro. Another simultaneous movement was to have been an attack on Weldon by General John J. Peck in command at Norfolk, but the detaching of General Henry W. Wessells and his Brigade to Newbern and General Foster left Peck in such condition that attacking was quite out of the question. To take care of his post was the most that could be expected of him.

Goldsboro, the county seat of Wayne County, is one of the important cities of the North State and in war-times had considerable prominence as a station on the Wilmington & Weldon R. R., the principal line between Richmond and the extreme South. Could the railroad be taken and held or seriously injured, a severe blow thereby would be inflicted upon the Confederacy, another reason for these winter activities. Situated on the Neuse, it was one of the larger places of the State, and at certain times was reached by vessels, though as a rule Whitehall was considered the head of navigation on that stream. The force assigned to the expedition consisted of the brigades of Lee, Stevenson, Amory and Wessells, with the artillery brigade under Major Kennedy, having in all about fifty guns of varying calibre.

Lee's brigade was made up of the Third, Fifth, Twenty-fifth, Twenty-seventh and Forty-sixth Massachusetts Regiments.

Stevenson's had the Eighth, Twenty-fourth, Forty-fourth Massachusetts, Fifth Rhode Island and Tenth Connecticut Regiments.

Amory's comprised the Seventeenth, Twenty-third, Forty-third, Forty-fifth and Fifty-first Regiments.

Wessells’, the lately arrived from Norfolk, had the Eighty-fifth, Ninety-second, Ninety-sixth New York, Eighty-fifth,





One Hundred and First and One Hundred Third Pennsylvania Regiments. It should be stated that the Eighth Massachusetts did not accompany the expedition, but remained in Newbern as garrison. In all, it was estimated that about 12,000 men were on the march.

Major General of Volunteers John G. Foster, chief in command, was a New Hampshire man by birth, 1824, and a West Pointer, 1846; served in the Mexican War, was wounded, and was brevetted for gallantry; was assistant professor of engineering at West Point, 1854-’58, and as an instructor taught many of the young officers now opposed to him, among them the Colonel, H. K. Burgwyn, Twenty-sixth North Carolina, one of the regiments opposed to the Federals in their Tarboro trip, one of those making a stand at Rawles’ Mills. The Confederates in their account of the affair laid considerable stress on the pupil's having outwitted his teacher. Foster was one of Burnside's brigade commanders, and when the superior officer was ordered to the Army of the Potomac, Foster succeeded him in North Carolina. He had been one of Major Anderson's men in Fort Sumter. The greater part of his subsequent service was had in this department. He died at Nashua, N. H., September 2, 1874.

Brevet Brigadier-general Horace C. Lee, Colonel of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, at this time commanding the brigade, was born in Springfield, January 31, 1822, and received his education there. At the age of twenty, he assisted in the formation of the Springfield Light Guards, and was Fourth Lieutenant at the expiration of their charter. He subsequently held high rank in the militia, having been Colonel of the Twelfth Regiment, and was a Brigadier-general when he resigned his commission. Largely instrumental in the raising of the regiment, he saw all of the earlier service of the same in the Burnside Expedition, and on the retirement of Burnside became a brigade commander. He was actively employed in North Carolina until the spring of 1864, when, with others, his regiment was ordered to the Virginia service,





where he was taken prisoner at Drewry's Bluff. He was mustered out with his regiment September 27, 1864. After the war he was several years in the Custom House, Boston, and later was Postmaster of Springfield for twelve years, dying June 22, 1884.

Brigadier-general Thomas G. Stevenson was the first Colonel of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts. Born in Boston, he was twenty-five years old when the war began, and was Major in command of the Fourth Battalion, Fort Warren, during the earlier months of the war; promoted for gallantry on the field, he was called to Virginia by his old leader, Burnside, and, in command of the First Division of the Ninth Army Corps, was killed at Spottsylvania, May 10, 1864. A beautiful bas-relief, erected by his comrades and friends, fills a space at the south entrance of the Hall of Flags, State House, Boston.

Brevet Brigadier-general Thomas J. C. Amory, also Boston born, was graduated from West Point, 1851, and was a captain in the Seventh Infantry when the war began. In 1861 he served as mustering officer, thus assisting in the organization of many regiments. On the organizing of the Seventeenth, he was commissioned Colonel, and accompanied the same to North Carolina. In the autumn of 1864, Newbern suffered from a scourge of yellow fever, and among other victims was the wife of the Colonel. Returning from her funeral, he was himself stricken with the dread disease and died on the 6th of October.

Brigadier-general Henry W. Wessells was a native of Litchfield, Conn., February 20, 1809; West Point, 1833; served in early wars with the Southern Indians; in the Mexican war, where he was wounded and brevetted for bravery; he organized the Eighth Kansas, and with his regiment was under General Sykes at Yorktown; was wounded at Fair Oaks. From Virginia, as already seen, he was transferred to North Carolina, and in April, ’64, being in command, he was obliged to surrender Plymouth to the enemy, after a defense of four days. He was retired January 1, 1871, from the regular army





after forty-two years of faithful service. He died in Dover, Delaware, January 13, 1889.

December 10th orders were issued to the effect that rations should be prepared and baggage packed with expectation of marching within thirty-six hours. Of course, no one had the least idea of his destination. The soldier's duty is to obey orders, not to reason why. The food was made ready, knapsacks were packed with whatever the owners did not deem imperatively necessary on the march and, with other camp equipage, were stored on transports, leaving only the tents standing. As the brigade was to close the rear as usual and the Fifth was to act as a wagon-guard, the start for these men was not as early as that of those who led off. Though the regimental line was formed at 7 a.m. (12th) and the brigade soon after, there were so many halts and interruptions, sundown saw them still within sight of their standing camp, the same being scarcely more than a mile away. A dense fog in the morning obscured everything. The route was along the Trent road, and though the march was kept up until nearly 4 o'clock in the morning, scarcely more than seven or eight miles were traversed. Much of the distance was marked by the destruction of fence-rails, these being the standard articles of use in all campfires, whether for heat, light or coffee-boiling. All along the roads were tall pitch-pines from whose wounded sides had flowed the pitch for the making of tar, rosin and turpentine. There being great quantities of the pitch, dried and adhering to the sides of the trees, it was an easy matter to ignite it, and a splendid spectacle of fire accompanied much of the march.

Late as was the halt, even it was not of long duration, for after four hours’ rest, the command was again “Forward,” and a rapid pace was maintained until 10.30 a.m., when there was a halt of three hours. This stop, however, was not one of real rest, rather was it a period of constant expectation, being called into line frequently, only to find that the start





was a false one. The trouble arose largely from the trees that the enemy had felled across the roads, thus rendering them impassable until the barriers had been cut away. It is probable that the presence of so many obstructions on this road towards Kinston, convinced General Foster of the propriety of changing his contemplated route for one farther to the left, so that he might evade the preparations of the Confederates. Friday, camp was pitched soon after midnight. Saturday, the 13th, a slow start was made at 6.30, and just before noon a deep stream was crossed by means of a log bridge, near which the Fifty-first Massachusetts had been left as guard. Here we saw our first rebel prisoners. A squad, under the command of a lieutenant, had been surprised and brought in by our cavalry in the advance. They were a sorry looking lot, dressed in butternut homespun, wearing headgear of all sorts and conditions. They were first-class soldiers, though, brave, resolute and reliable, as we soon had occasion to know.

The corduroy roads over which much of the route lay, soon began to suffer from the heavy baggage wagons and cannon rumbling across the logs, and many of the latter broke through, thus precipitating the vehicles into the underlying mud. Through such means a train was stalled during the afternoon of Friday and all hands had to turn in to help the same along. Though this was effected at the expense of much loud talk and profanity, especially on the part of the teamsters, the delay was long and vexatious. The story is told, though with how much truth it would be difficult to tell, that the driver of one of the stalled teams, in the midst of his wild raging, was approached by an over-zealous chaplain with the words, “My dear man, do you know what Jesus died for?” “T’ ’ell with your conundrums; help me get these d—d mules out of this — mudhole,” was the answer the chaplain got. Darkness came on during the efforts at extrication, and the weird effect of the torches, lighted to help on the work, gave impressions of Inferno that few of these





youthful soldiers had ever had. At last all of the wagons, save one, were drawn through, and this, in a fit of desperation, was unloaded. Among the contents was a barrel of sugar of excellent quality. Though government goods, those defenders of the flag thought themselves the nearest consumers, and they went for that barrel in a most determined manner, very soon emptying it of its very last grain of the tasty stuff, but he was a lucky and most strenuous man who succeeded in getting more than one dip in the barrel. After the exit from the swamp, camp was pitched in a pleasant grove near a little church, known as Woodington,* though there was no other house in sight and there were not more than half a dozen within the radius of a mile. Confiscated sugar helped out the evening repast of hard-tack and coffee.

KINSTON.

The battle of Kinston was fought Sunday, the 14th day of December, just sixty-three years after the death of Washington, as some of the well-posted soldiers recalled. The Lord's day always did seem to get its full share of fighting in all wars, and never a larger one than in that of the Rebellion. The Fifth Regiment had all of the noise and excitement of a nearby fight, with but little of its danger. Says one of the lads who made notes in passing:

The two right companies, H and E, were detailed in the morning to support a battery of artillery and some cavalry which were sent around by a road that turned off to the right, but finally joined the road which the main body of our troops followed, probably to prevent the rebels from retreating that way. We marched quickly around to the support of the artillery, which was already engaged with the enemy, numbering several hundred men, who had destroyed the bridge some

[note]



three rods long, over a small branch of the Neuse, called Southwest Creek, and, having thrown up an earthwork, had planted two pieces of artillery. We left our overcoats and blankets in the woods to be ready for action, and the first platoon of “H” was sent forward as skirmishers; the rest of us were posted a short distance from the road, to be in supporting distance of the artillery. We lay there for some time, expecting the order to move forward every minute, but the Rebs, after firing awhile, probably hearing the noise of the battle in their rear and not knowing our numbers, being afraid that they might be cut off, skedaddled, leaving us to rebuild the bridge, which we did not finish until four o'clock.

We then started on again, with the second platoon of H as skirmishers, but had advanced only half a mile when we heard that Kinston had been taken. The skirmishers were called in and we pushed on rapidly, reaching the river in time to cross it soon after dark, and encamped for the night in the town, the rest of the regiment remaining on the other side of the stream with the baggage. Our squad of cavalry succeeded in capturing six or eight of the rebels after our long stop in repairing the bridge. These Rebs are about the hardest looking lot of men I ever saw—ragged, dirty, the military looks of some consisting in cap only; others have uniforms of homespun, others with perhaps a part of a suit, and still another with an old hood for a cap. Some said they had received no pay since last March; some haversacks contained only cornmeal bread and pork. I should judge that they fare pretty hard. I saw some of our dead and wounded and, in talking with one of the One Hundred Third Pennsylvania boys the day after the fight, he showed me where he had been wounded the day before, in the fleshy part of the leg above the knee, the bullet still remaining there. He didn't pay much attention to it, limping along as if it were not of much consequence. I think our loss must have been about the same as that of the enemy. In one place we found a hog, killed and dressed, ready to be cut up, and in another a box filled with pies, cakes, biscuit, sweet potatoes, etc., apparently to be sent to some soldier in the rebel army. Instead it helped fill certain Yankee stomachs. Kinston seemed to me to be a place of more thrift and business, and had a more Yankee-like look than any place I have seen in the State.

How nearly related people North and South were, was well illustrated by an incident of this occupation. The wife of a





Dr. Miller was a Woburn woman, née Jameson. She had been visiting in her native town and had improved the opportunity to return to her North Carolina home on the steamer “Mississippi” when that vessel bore the Fifth Regiment southward. Though professing to be loyal in her sentiments, it later appeared that her trunk was filled with quinine for the aid and comfort of the enemy. Acting Lieut. Wyer of Co. E thought the chance for a call too good to be omitted, and so sought out and had a visit with this former fellow townswoman who, in her Kinston home, was realizing what civil war meant. Burning cotton and other articles filled the air with smoke, hence the interview between the soldier, the Doctor and the latter's wife was not exactly conventional.

Evidently these two supporting companies of the Fifth came nearer the fray than any other part of the regiment, the major portion being still in the rear guarding the baggage train. Many of the men improved the opportunity to make up the loss of sleep for the preceding days and nights, the noise of the firing in front affording only a pleasant lullaby. As to the battle itself, while our regiment had only distant connection, it should be said that it was a brisk engagement, considering the numbers, and added somewhat to the laurels of General Foster, though its details were not exactly what he had intended. While the Forty-fifth among the Massachusetts nine-months’ troops was hotly engaged, and lost sixteen men, the other regiments from the Bay State heard and saw more of the fight than they actually had a part in. The brunt of the struggle seemed to fall on the Tenth Connecticut, and General John L. Otis, then Lieut.-colonel of the Tenth, tells this interesting story of the battle as he and his men saw it:

Kinston was on the further side of the Neuse, on elevated ground and about half a mile from the bridge. Between us and the bridge, and less than half a mile from it, was a dense, heavily wooded swamp, passable, as was supposed, only by a narrow road cut through it. No attempt was made to pass this swamp by the road, for it was enfiladed by the






[Illustration:

BATTLE OF KINSTON, N. C., DEC. 14, 1862.
]





enemy's artillery, on the opposite side of the river. The swamp itself was fully exposed to the fire of the same guns. Close up to this swamp, on the opposite side, the rebels held a good position, fairly well protected by a knoll covered with scrub-oak. They had also garrisoned an old church on their left. In this position they had a small brigade of infantry commanded by Colonel Mallett of North Carolina. On the other side of the river they had four guns so located that they could sweep the bridge, and not more than twenty feet from it. Below the bridge they had six or seven heavier guns, all entrenched and properly supported. Wessells’ brigade had the advance. Two of his regiments were ordered to penetrate the swamp on the right of the road, the other four on the left. The Forty-fifth Massachusetts of Amory's brigade was ordered to support on the right and the Twenty-third Massachusetts on the left. The remainder of Amory's brigade was held in reserve in the rear of the Twenty-third. Our artillery was in position about 200 yards in the rear, supported by Lee's brigade in “close column by divisions” on the right of the road. Stevenson's brigade was in marching column three-fourths of a mile in the rear. Despite heavy firing of musketry and artillery for more than three hours, the enemy still held his position behind the swamp and drove back the seven regiments sent against him. Up to this time, no one of the Burnside regiments had taken any active part, but now the Tenth Connecticut of Stevenson's brigade, Lieut.-col. Robert Leggett commanding, was ordered to the front. As it passed Lee's brigade, the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, with whose men those of the Tenth were on the best of terms, cheered loudly and offered lots of advice and promised to help if needed. The Tenth formed on the right of the road, in the rear of the three regiments that had been engaged already. General Foster, in person, had ordered the regiment to pass the swamp, to find the enemy and give an account of him. . . . . . The regiment passed through the swamp as rapidly as possible, exposed to the artillery of the enemy, and deafened by the firing from the Union guns near at hand. The Tenth passed over the men of Wessells’ brigade as it lay in line of battle, meeting no opposition until it reached the top of the scrub-oak knoll, where it encountered the concentrated fire of the whole rebel force. It was a hurricane of lead. While officers and men went down by the dozens, the regiment did not flinch, returning





the fire vigorously for ten minutes when, the enemy showing signs of confusion, the Tenth dashed forward, giving the rebels the naked bayonet. The rout was complete and the Confederates made for the bridge in wild confusion, soon covering it with a bewildering array of men in gray. Seeing that the men, on crossing the bridge, were forming behind breastworks on the other side, the Tenth halted and poured a deadly fire directly into the struggling mass on the bridge. This had the effect of forcing those, still remaining on this side, to throw away their muskets and to take refuge under the river's bank. The enemy had fired the bridge, it being smeared with turpentine, in his crossing, but this was extinguished by the formation of a bucket brigade, using the artillery buckets of the batteries. Meantime the fire of our artillery on the entrenchments opposite was so strong that the rebels withdrew, those still on this side of the river surrendering. Notwithstanding the putting out of the fire, there was enough left to discharge one of the thrown-away muskets, thereby killing Colonel Chas. O. Gray of the Ninety-sixth New York, who had ridden up to see the retreat. . . . . Two or three regiments were allowed to cross the river and to take possession of Kinston, the place being filled with smoke, arising from burning cotton and corn, the same ignited by the enemy in his retiring. The bridge having been repaired the entire army crossed, and passing through the town camped in the fields beyond. In the morning, instead of pursuing the foe, the army recrossed the river and burned the bridge, to preserve which so much pains had been taken the day before.

In the Kinston telegraph office General Foster found news of the disaster at Fredericksburg, and that unlimited re-enforcements could and would be sent to the relief of the Confederates, a condition that it was well for our General to understand, and a knowledge of it was full compensation for the derangement of his original plans, which were to permit the rebels to burn the bridge in retiring, thus confining them to the northern side of the stream, while the Union troops would proceed directly towards Goldsboro. The morning of Monday, the 15th, beheld the army again on the march, and there was all the more reason for activity, since the fact that Lee was sending





help would require the utmost speed to accomplish the purposes of the expedition. The march was a long and tedious one; the brigade (Wessells’), which was in advance on the 14th, was now in the rear, and Lee's brigade moved up a number. Owing to narrow roads and their crowded condition, it was not the easiest of tasks for our regiment and its associates to get to their place. However, the longest day has its end, and that of the 15th came after a weary tramp of 15 miles along the right or south bank of the Neuse. The camp was on a widely extended plain, so wind-swept that it was with difficulty that the men could keep their blankets over themselves. The days of these marches were like those of middle autumn in New England, while the nights certainly missed the sun.

WHITEHALL.

Tuesday, the 16th, was to bring another battle name into note, though the “boys” didn't know it as they plugged steadily forward, but once more the part of the Fifth in the affair is best told in the following frank manner by a private, writing to his sister:

Before noon, the heavy report ahead, soon followed by others, indicated that the “ball” was once more opened. The reports increased in number and rapidity, mingled with the sharp crack of musketry, showing that quite a brisk engagement was taking place ahead, and that there was some prospect of our taking another lesson in warfare. The ambulances soon began to return, bringing the wounded, and I think this of all sights would be apt to give a sickening sensation to a soldier going on the battlefield for the first time. But that, like every other feeling, would wear off after a while. The scene of the battle was at a place called Whitehall, where it seems the rebels had quite a large force, and where it was reported some rebel gunboats were being built. Our first brigade only, I think, was engaged. Of the rebel force, I can form no adequate idea. Before the engagement was over our brigade received orders to go to the front. Accordingly we passed along the road on the side of a hill overlooking the whole affair, and therefore we had a fine opportunity of






[Illustration:

BATTLE OF WHITEHALL, N. C., DEC. 16, 1862.
]





observing the disposition of our forces. As we passed in the rear of the batteries, the bullets whizzed over our heads quite briskly. One of the men in our company, Thomas Eldridge, was wounded in the leg by one of them, the ball first going through the overcoat and blouse of the man standing next to him. Three others in the regiment were wounded here. This was really the first time we were under fire. Soon after we had passed, the firing ceased and we learned that the rebels had been whipped.

So much for Whitehall as the unsophisticated boy saw and heard it. Once more let us turn to the story as told by General Otis of the Tenth Connecticut:

When our brigade was about four miles from the place, a heavy fire of artillery was opened and kept up continuously. We pushed forward rapidly and were soon met by General Foster's orderly, Schroeder, with orders for us to hasten forward, as we were needed at the front. We lost no time in getting there, but when we arrived, we wondered what all of the hurry was about. An unbridged and unfordable river was between us and the enemy. They lined the banks with infantry, well protected by large trees, in whose branches many sharpshooters were concealed. Over thirty pieces of artillery were thundering at them from out side, to which their single battery was replying with spirit. Of course the advantage was with them, since they were protected, while our troops fought in the open field. Our superiority in artillery was not, under the circumstances, of the slightest advantage to us. With the exception of the Twenty-fifth, the Massachusetts boys had little to do at Kinston, but some of them were in for it here. When we arrived on the field, the Ninth New Jersey and the Seventeenth Massachusetts of Amory's brigade, and 100 men from the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, Lee's brigade, were deployed along the river's bank, returning the fire of the enemy opposite. The remainder of Lee's brigade was drawn up in support of the artillery. The Twenty-fourth, Forty-fourth and other regiments were moving to different positions, which they reached without serious loss, but the Twenty-third Massachusetts, Colonel Chambers, advanced deliberately in line of battle across an open field to the river bank, under a galling fire, which they continued to return with great coolness until they had expended their ammunition, and lost sixty-two in killed and wounded. Their conduct was magnificent,





but it yielded them no trophies. An impassable river separated them from the enemy, and neither arms, colors nor prisoners could be captured. The Forty-fourth lost twenty-two killed and wounded, the Twenty-fifth had several wounded, and some loss fell on Amory's brigade, but the great loss of the day fell on the Twenty-third.

General Otis's regiment, the Tenth Connecticut, was ordered so far to the left that they found no enemy opposite, but with characteristic Yankee industry, anxious for something to do, four of their pioneers swam the river, its waters being ice cold, having their axes strapped upon their backs, and commenced felling trees into the stream. Others were doing the same thing on our side of the river, and a large detail was sent to pull down a house near by to secure timbers for the equipping of a bridge, which would have been evolved in short order had not General Stevenson ridden up and told them they were a bit previous, since General Foster did not wish to cross the river there, hence history is silent concerning the well-planned bridge which never was built. Another incident of Whitehall is told by E. A. Perry of “I”: “On the bank of the river, opposite to our position, were two partially constructed ironclads. To destroy them was one of the objects of the expedition. A delay was made to do this. A daring private, named Butler, but of what regiment I do not know, plunged into the stream and swam to the burning bridge, and securing a torch, attempted to fire the vessels. Immediately he became the target for rebel sharpshooters, and was driven off without accomplishing his object. Again as he swam back, he was shot at by the enemy, but he escaped unharmed. The gunboats were battered into ruins by our artillery.”

(The soldier was Henry Butler, Co. C, Third New York Cavalry.)

After this episode by the riverside, the march proceeded for several miles, ending at sunset, when there came the well-earned bivouac, where after cooking coffee and fresh pork or whatever kind of meat the soldier may have foraged, and





baking the potatoes which some frugal North Carolinian had stored up for the winter, each man wrapped the drapery of his couch (in this case just a woolen blanket) about him and lay down to dreams pleasant or otherwise.

Certain it was that each one was tired enough to enjoy the chance. The night passed all too quickly for these weary mortals and, seemingly very soon, came the reveillé, a call to action again. Breakfast eaten, at 8. a.m. the command “Forward” was heard along the lines, and Foster's army advanced still further into Rebeldom. It was noon or thereabout when artillery firing was heard ahead. Again a regimental scribe is quoted, he telling what came under his observation:

GOLDSBORO.

It seems that our advance came out of the woods onto a small hill, whence a few rebels were seen across the clearing, but a few shots from our battery sent them “flying” into the woods. This, as we afterwards learned, was our destination, our purpose being to destroy the railroad bridge which here spans the Neuse, and also to break up the telegraph communication, Goldsboro being an important point on the Wilmington & Weldon R. R. I send you [his sister] enclosed a rough plan of the scene of the fight, thinking it may aid you in understanding the disposition of the forces. Our regiment first entered the woods on the left of the road, with the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts nearly opposite the house, the other troops being posted in the field, facing towards the figure “3” where the rebels were first seen. After firing awhile, our infantry and artillery supporting them, were advanced towards the railroad, about where you see the figure “5,” our regiment being formed in the rear of Morrison's (N. Y.) Battery, which was stationed where the number “2” is seen, probably intended to prevent any flank movement of the enemy. We were almost out of range, though the shot occasionally struck near us. One shell struck on the railroad track, close to General Lee. He came down by our regiment laughing, and saying, “It was coming pretty close.” The rebels, however, were soon driven away, and the bridge having been set fire to and the telegraph wire cut, the troops went to work and tore up the






[Illustration:

Sketch by Darius Baker, Co. E.
GOLDSBORO BATTLEFIELD.

]





railroad track in the quickest if not the most scientific style. Whole sections of the track, sleepers still attached, were tipped up and thrown down the embankment, so twisted and warped as to be of no further use to the enemy; the latter condition being effected by piling up the sleepers and whatever other woody material that could be found, and after laying the rails above, setting fire to the combustible stuff.

All this being done, we were told by General Foster that our object was attained, and that we were to return at once to Newbern, our brigade bringing up the rear, and we began to move off at once. All of the regiments except our own had started, and the last battery had limbered up and was just about taking its position ahead of us, when the rebels, numbering, I should think, one regiment, came out of the woods cheering, and bearing what appeared to be a flag of truce. Some of our cavalry went down towards them, but were fired into. The point where they came out was near the number “4.” Our battery was run back and took its position (it is marked on the diagram) and our regiment formed in its rear for support, the Third being placed a little to the rear and right of us. The enemy came across the track and advanced where you see the word “rebel” with quite a good front, seeming about to charge on the battery, evidently thinking that most of our troops had gone back, as a small hill hid them from sight. The battery immediately opened on them, and, advancing as they were with the Stars and Bars in their midst (which, by the way, was the first rebel flag I had seen), it had a fine chance to fire at them. The first shots must have told terribly in their ranks. We could see great gaps made by the grape and canister as they were hurled among them at short range. After the first few shots they began to waver, and the battery keeping up its fire, their colors having been shot to the ground, they broke, and fled to the cover of the woods as fast as possible.

Just before this another battery (Belger's Rhode Island) had got into position behind the Third Regiment, and both regiments had lain down to allow the firing over us. The artillery continued firing, while the rebels remained in sight, and as it was ordered to fire low, the balls could be seen to strike the sand and skip along. Meanwhile two or three other rebel regiments of infantry had come around on our left with the intention of outflanking us, but they were promptly met





by the Twenty-fifth, Twenty-seventh and Forty-sixth Massachusetts of our brigade, which was the only Union brigade in the fight. They were posted near the figure “6.”

The rebel troops which had been repulsed on our right, having reformed, I suppose, came along that point of woods marked “7,” with the intention of firing down upon us from the trees, but they were seen, and the Third Massachusetts, being nearer, and more nearly facing the woods, was ordered to fire into them, and for a few minutes the bullets whizzed over us pretty lively. Nearly all the time we were lying on the ground, the grape and shells from the enemy had been dropping over and around us and several in the regiment had been wounded, though none of them were from our company. By this time it was nearly dark and the “Rebs,” finding they could accomplish nothing, retreated, no doubt thinking they had caught a Tartar.

I forgot to mention that as we first formed behind the battery we had orders to fix bayonets, and if they had advanced farther we should have had a chance to charge. The rebels having been driven away, we had started to overtake the other brigades before halting for the night. The little stream, marked “8,” when we came to the field did not come to the top of our boots, but our troops had destroyed the saw-mill just above, and thereby let the water down, so that when we came to it on our return, it was running a swift stream, waist-deep. We thought it rather cold, but there was no alternative to wading it, and so in we went, the Twenty-seventh covering the rear and the Fifth was next ahead. We marched slowly until we reached our camping ground of the night before, where we halted. The woods along the way were one continual fire, made by the troops in advance of us, and before we got to camp our clothes were nearly dry. The troops we had fought, we heard, were from South Carolina, and had just arrived in the cars, a train of which was approaching when the bridge was set fire to. Undoubtedly, had we been a day later, the fighting had been harder.

Another private of the Fifth narrates that as General Foster and staff galloped swiftly to the front, the Fifth was ordered forward at double-quick to take its place on the left of the battle-line. Crossing a small stream, called “Sleepy Creek,” with high banks, but only a few inches of water, line was formed in the woods. While waiting there, one of the boys in Co.





“I” caused a general laugh, for, when all were expecting a rain of shot and shell, this fellow was seen climbing one of the tallest of the pine trees near the line. The major, catching sight of this, ordered him down. Though he obeyed, it was with an injured air, exclaiming, “I want to see the rebels,” a wish which was soon gratified. Soon after the Third Massachusetts was detached from the line to assist in tearing up the railroad tracks, so that our regiment came out of the woods and was formed on the open, almost at right angles to its former position. At this moment Lieut.-colonel Boyd came down the track and ordered Co. D to march forward to defend the men who were tearing up the track. The rest of the regiment had nothing to do but patiently wait. It was not a very long time, seemingly, but the track was torn up for a mile, the bridge across the Neuse destroyed, and with cheers for the success of the expedition, we were turning our faces homeward, the other regiments having already left the field. We were about to recross Sleepy Creek, leaving the battery (Riggs’) still in position on the hill, when our ears were greeted with the rebel yell. Coming to our ears for the first time, it was a great surprise, being more of a screech than an honest yell or cheer. The waiting in line, unable to return the shots, was more trying than active engagement. One of the men exclaiming, “I'm hit,” dropped his gun and made for the rear, but very soon returned, saying, “Well, boys, I guess I'm not much hurt after all.” A grape shot had touched his arm, grazing his sleeve and leaving a scorched trail. The soldier survived this peril to die of yellow fever, the following summer. As an illustration of the faithful soldier who sought his place, even in the front, was furnished when his comrades heard the remark, “Boys, I am glad that I've found you at last.” It was the company cook who, encumbered with camp-pots, kettles, etc., had sought his fellows until, finding them, he dropped in among them as though a battlefield were a place of refuge. The day, a mid-winter one, was cold, and a certain corporal felt the lack of warmth so much that he





went back to a rail-fence which was burning, this in spite of the commands of his lieutenant, ostensibly to get warm. He didn't stop at the fence, but went further. The act was never forgotten and months afterwards in the silence of the night, a voice might be heard crying, “Corporal A —! Corporal A —!” When the corporal had been roused and had replied, the query would come, “Got warm yet?”

For a clear description of the entire field, recourse is once more had to the story as told by General Otis of the Tenth Connecticut:

Lee's brigade had the advance, with the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts as skirmishers. About noon they struck the rebel skirmish line and drove it back on the main body at the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad bridge, over the Neuse River, near Goldsboro. To destroy this bridge and thus prevent railroad communication between Lee's army and the south part of the Confederacy, in case of Lee's defeat at Fredericksburg, was the prime object of the expedition. The enemy's force on our side of the river consisted of a brigade of infantry and a battery under General Clingman. As the enemy was forced back, the Third, Twenty-fifth and Twenty-seventh Massachusetts took a commanding position on the right, where they were joined by the Ninth New Jersey and the Seventeenth Massachusetts, with the Fifth and Forty-sixth on the left. Wessells’ troops were beginning to arrive, so the line pushed forward and drove Clingman's force back towards the bridge in confusion. His efforts to rally his men were futile, the most of them crowding over the bridge in disorder, while some of them concealed themselves along the bank, which was covered with trees and underbrush on our side. Across the river they had stationed Starr's Battery, so as to enfilade the bridge and command quite a stretch of the railroad over which our troops must pass to capture and burn the bridge. This battery was supported by a brigade of infantry, while two other regiments, with Robertson's South Carolina brigade, were stationed so as to cover the approaches to the bridge and the river bank. Evans's brigade arrived from Whitehall in time to assist them. Adjutant Mann of the Seventeenth Massachusetts and several others attempted to approach the bridge, but all were killed or wounded, and the chances for burning it seemed desperate.





The necessity for burning it had passed with Burnside's defeat, but it was determined that our expedition should be a complete success, so nearly our entire strength of artillery was placed in a commanding position and opened on the enemy. Under the cover of its fire, Lieut. Graham of the Twenty-third New York Battery and Private Wm. Semons of Co. E, Ninth New Jersey, succeeded in reaching and setting fire to the bridge. This seemed to drive the enemy wild. Regardless of the thirty or forty pieces of artillery raining shot and shell upon them, they enfiladed the road with a fire that it was impossible to pass through, so Graham and Semons threw themselves from the abutments into the bushes and succeeded in making their way back in safety. We then had orders to move back on the road to Newbern, but we had not marched more than two miles when a furious artillery fire broke out in our rear. The Tenth halted, and soon an orderly came riding at topmost speed and looking very much frightened, with an order for us to return. We countermarched, and at double-quick were soon back with the rear guard, but too late to be of any service to them. Lee's brigade, with Morrison's, Belger's and Riggs’ batteries, had been left as a rear guard, occupying the slope of a hill not far from the railroad, but were making preparations to withdraw. Morrison's Battery, supported by the Third, Fifth and Forty-sixth Massachusetts, was still in position; the other batteries were preparing to retire, the Twenty-fifth was on the way to the rear and the Twenty-seventh making coffee, when suddenly the well-known rebel yell filled the air, followed by the roar and crash of rebel artillery and three double lines of infantry under Evans were seen charging up the slope to capture Morrison's guns. Lee's three regiments in line pressed up to support Morrison, whose guns were already cutting gaps in the rebel lines. The Twenty-seventh dropped their coffee cups, and taking their muskets, closed promptly up on the left. Belger, who would put his guns nearer to the enemy than any battery commander I ever saw, swung his pieces into position to enfilade the enemy's lines as they advanced, and Pickett of the Twenty-fifth without waiting for orders countermarched at double-quick to support him. General Clingman had crossed over from Goldsboro unobserved, by a county bridge, which by a strange oversight had been left standing, at the head of two heavy brigades of infantry and two batteries, and had made this






[Illustration:

BATTLE OF GOLDSBORO, N. C., DEC. 17, 1862.
]





serious attack before his presence on this side the river was known, but the steady fire of five Massachusetts regiments, together with the execution by the artillery, soon sent the Confederates hurrying back, leaving their dead and wounded in great numbers strewing the ground over which they had advanced.

While the foregoing was happening to Evans and his men, Clingman himself had led two regiments and a battery to turn our flank, but Evans having been disposed of, Lee turned Belger's and Riggs’ batteries against them, and Clingman too was driven back in disorder, this ending all overt acts on the part of the Confederates. The behavior of the rear guard under Lee was magnificent, and it received credit, indirectly, from Clingman himself, who said in his report: “We were swept by heavy batteries, supported by masses of infantry. Our forces advanced courageously, but were cut down by a fire of grape and canister not possible to withstand. But for this 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 any loss to us.” This was equivalent to saying that if our rear guard had offered no resistance, he would have won a victory. As it was, Lee's brigade routed him completely with considerably less force than he brought into action. On our side, it was the best managed engagement of the campaign. In it the enemy were taught the difference between charging a strong position and waiting in such a position to be charged. Acting on the offensive, we almost always had to attack well selected and strongly fortified positions. By some the enemy's loss was put as high as 800, by others as low as 500; it was undoubtedly higher than the lower figure. Lee's loss was small, not exceeding twenty-five killed and wounded.

Returning to the story of the day as told by survivors of the Fifth, it appears that the popular notion then that the cutting of the dam, thus raising the waters of Sleepy Creek, was an act of the enemy, was entirely wrong, the same having been done by order of General Foster, to hinder any pursuit that the Confederates might institute. Whatever the cause, all agree that the waters were cold and the imperative bath far from agreeable. “We plunged in, carrying guns, haversacks,





cartridge-boxes, etc., high over our heads. The comfort of crossing was not enhanced by the occasional charging through our line of a log or rail; the current was so swift that we were borne down stream some distance. I had hardly stepped into the water when I felt my bayonet clutched by some one behind. He had a strong grip, whoever he was, and he kept his hold till the further bank was gained. He proved to be the Lieutenant in command of the company next to ours, and he was gentleman enough to express his thanks for the service thus rendered. He was so light in weight that he declared he could not have got across without my help. It was a lucky thing for us that the regiments ahead of us had set fire to the trees, so that we marched through a double line of illuminations till we reached the site of last night's camp.”

Geo. E. Mitchell of “B” was said to be the shortest man in the regiment; if those of average stature had a hard time in crossing, how much more difficult must it have been for him? He said, himself, that he walked on tip-toes with his chin up, utterly careless as to gun and cartridges, and so went through to find his Lieutenant Harrington, moving up and down the bank of the creek, shouting, “Has anyone seen Mitchell?” The thoroughly saturated bodily presence of the future Mayor of Chelsea was a grateful revelation to the anxious officer.

THE RETURN.

Fully a week away from Newbern, rations were growing scant, and “almost supperless to bed” was the fate of the majority of these tired soldiers. The baggage train was far ahead, since Lee's brigade was again in the rear, and a long way too. It was necessary to live on the country, but what could we expect after the thousands equally hungry had foraged before us? However plenty sweet potatoes may have been to the head of the column, there were very few left fo us. A few cattle were found and killed, but he most of them had been found by the earlier marchers. The meat





ration of about two cubic inches per man, that night, was far from satisfying. However, it required more than one day's fast to quench the ardor of the men who had heard and seen so much that day. Thursday, the 18th, revealed the exceeding leanness of the commissary's cupboard; that of the traditional Mother Hubbard could scarcely have been more bare. Whatever the officer's disposition, he had absolutely nothing for his men. Some of them were ready to breakfast from the raw turnips in a nearby field, but to such food there was an early limit. Since there was nothing to cook and eat, if they halted, it seemed best to all to forge ahead as rapidly as possible, and this they did, with just a little coffee and now and then a sweet potato, which had to be shared with hungry neighbors.

In the edge of evening, there came a little relief when a cache of more than a thousand bushels of sweet potatoes was found and utilized. Sharp eyes had discovered what those of the morn had overlooked. One thoughtful writer comments on the suffering this inroad must have induced among the dwellers along the route: “In our need, we must have left many a household with nothing of their winter's supply of bacon and sweet potatoes. Upon what they were to live during the weeks of the winter we asked not. They were our enemies and we were hungry. Such is war, essentially selfish and barbarous.” General Otis commented that probably there was not left alive a chicken nor an unburned fence-rail between Newbern and Goldsboro, within half a mile of the line of march. As the distance was about seventy miles, there must have been a widespread region of desolation. The distance marched this day some of the men give as twenty-five miles, the same ending about midnight, and not so very far from Kinston. Just below the latter place hard-tack rations were secured from the gunboats, and these lasted until reaching Newbern. In exchange the boats took aboard the wounded and disabled from the fights and marching.





Whether war be excusable or not, there is not the least doubt as to the transcendent beauty of a camp-scene at night. Many of the weary travelers on this day and night were late in reaching their bivouac, and more than one recorded his impressions of the sight as he came near where he was to pass the rest of the night. Says one of these scribes, “It was past midnight when we neared the camping place of the whole army, it occupying a large clearing on a hill; long lines of soldiers extended at right angles to the line of march. Wood was plenty and every squad had built a fire, so that almost innumerable fires gleamed in parallels; for some unknown reason the nearest fires seemed to burn with an intense white light. The next had a slight tinge of color, this deepening in each successive line until the last, which were of a pronounced red. It was the most magnificent pyrotechnic display that I ever saw. Men weary, footsore, dirty, ragged and hungry, dragged themselves to the top of the hill, whence this sight was seen, and forgetful of their troubles, dropped their musket butts to the ground, exclaiming, “Oh, how beautiful!”

Friday, the 19th, the return was begun again, this time taking the route that Foster swerved from in his advance, that he might evade the preparations for a warm reception made by the enemy. His wisdom was apparent in every step of the way, for had the direct road been taken it could have been gone over only with great loss. The wit of the General in thus setting at naught the careful work of the rebels was a matter of frequent comment. Night found the Fifth within ten or twelve miles of Newbern, which city was reached Sunday, the 21st, about noon, though there were arrivals before this and afterwards; but whether earlier or later, all were glad to get back, Newbern being much like home as compared with what they had been through. One of the unlooked-for results of the expedition was the bringing back with the soldiers of a large number of ex-slaves, who, putting their entire possessions in a bundle, larger or smaller, as the case might be, added themselves to the column, and to





the number of 500 or more came into Newbern with the army. Very many of them soon afterwards were helped to the North, and a very large part of the permanent colored population of Massachusetts reached this “promised land” by way of Newbern. It was also commented that seemingly each family was followed by at least one dog.

NEWBERN.

Ten days’ absence from the established camp was long enough to give to every man an ardent wish to find out what the mail and express had brought to him, for the constant marching had put them beyond the reach of such conveniences. Says one of the favored concerning what he found, “You can't imagine how good those doughnuts, that cake, the butter and preserves tasted. The mittens are all right. A lot of boxes came to-day, just in time for Christmas.” The records of the regiment give the following list of casualties: at Whitehall, W. W. Anderson (B), painful contusion just below the left knee, spent ball; Peter Conlin (D), ball in the knee; Wm. Eldridge (E), seriously, ball lodged in the thigh; at Goldsboro, G. W. Burroughs (B), contusion on left hip, from grape-shot; G. W. Barnes (B), contusion in leg; W. A. Hardy (D), contusion in back; David O. Williams (D), flesh wound in head; H. J. Babcock (I), contusion in leg. As a result of the expedition, all regiments participating were permitted to have inscribed on their banners the words, Kinston, Whitehall and Goldsboro, the three engagements in which they had borne a part. Also, through the recommendations of General Foster, commissions as Brigadier-general were issued to several officers who had distinguished themselves, among them Colonel Thomas G. Stevenson of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, clearly most worthy, but that to Colonel Lee, who had so gallantly led our brigade, was denied on the statement that not more than one such commission at a time should go to a single state.





The period we are about entering proved to be one of exceeding quiet, especially in the old North State. Burnside's forces on the banks of the Rappahannock, across from Fredericksburg, are recovering from the shock of their terrible engagements. In the west, Rosecrans with his army is working along towards the dread culmination of Stone River or Murfreesboro, on the very last of the month, and Sherman is beginning the operations against Vicksburg. In the records of these final days of December, only a single mention is made of any point in the Department of the Gulf, and no appearance of North Carolina is found until January 17th, a skirmish at Pollocksville, in which the Third New York Cavalry figured. Indeed, so even ran the course of events in this department, the statistical accounts make only four mentions of North Carolina from this time onward for the next four months. The very carefully kept order book of Adjutant Eustis has only the record of individual details, the providing for courts-martial and the petty operations incident to garrison life.

This state of affairs was one for which the soldiers themselves were in no way responsible. They were present for duty, and after they had recovered from the fatigue of the latest expedition, would have been glad to start again for some part of the Confederacy where they might strike a blow for the Union. Just what the purpose of the Government was in this prolonged period of inaction, never has been told, possibly never will be. At this time, almost half a century after the days involved, inasmuch as many of the three years’ regiments were withdrawn for service in South Carolina, and all of the short-term troops were retained in the North State, it would seem that the authorities at Washington were contenting themselves with the holding of what had already been gained, thus employing a certain portion of the Confederates as an offset while new operations were begun elsewhere. Evidently the time for moving on Wilmington had not as yet arrived. Under the watchful care and guidance of General Foster, it was almost sure that no misfortune would befall this portion of the





seat of war; meanwhile something was doing towards inspiring a Union sentiment among the native North Carolinians.

Unless a man is of a very active, nervous temperament, he is likely to adapt himself to almost any condition where his physical wants are all supplied and the work is not too hard, provided that his pay is going on and in the not very remote distance he sees the probability of his return to his home and normal occupations. For some time this seemed to be the situation in which the Fifth was placed. Camp Peirson was as comfortably pitched as any such aggregate could be, barring the presence of some malarial laden swamps. The city of Newbern was near at hand, and passes could be had at frequent intervals, so that soldiering in North Carolina was not the hardest task in the world. Postal facilities were good, and the express companies were constantly bringing to these far-away sons and brothers no end of good things from home. There is hardly a letter or diary extant that does not mention the arrival of receptaclesfilled with “goodies” for the “Boys in Blue,” so remote from the realms of “mother's cooking.” Again during this period, there is a lacking of entries in the records that the soldiers were wont to make in their individual journals Seemingly one day was very much like another, and what was the use of entering the monotonous round of “Got up, ate, drilled, did fatigue duty and went to bed”?

Of this particular portion of the regiment's stay in the department, Private E. A. Perry (I) has the following interesting entry:

In our Newbern camp, we remained until the 13th day of March. Several expeditions were made by small parties into the surrounding country. Generally only a single brigade took part in these. The casualties were small and the results unimportant. These little raids kept the troops in warlike trim and the enemy in a delightful state of uncertainty. To the private soldier, and for that matter to the officers, except those in the counsels of those high in command, many matters are a puzzle. For instance, during these months of





idleness, two brigades came into the department from Virginia; important movements seemed to be planned, but what they were we never learned. Rumors were numerous, but as is often the case, they had very little foundation in fact. But even rumors served their purpose. They gave us something to talk about. Our speculations often ran in curious channels. This, however, was better than nothing to talk about. Certain it is that had we gone to all, or even one-half, of the places suggested by Dame Rumor, we should have seen service enough for half a dozen regiments.

While a long way from home the Massachusetts soldiers in Newbern, so numerous were they, and coming from such divergent sections of the Commonwealth, had it been possible to meet in a general assembly, could have told something about every one of the three hundred and thirty-nine cities and towns of the State. While a visit to the different regiments would not produce the localities whence those visited came from, it could and did bring up visions of favorite portions of the homeland, hence the many passes issued for the boys of this and that organization to go over to see some old friend or acquaintance in other regiments. The homes of the several companies of the Fifth represented a considerable part of Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk Counties with a bit of Barnstable; the Third surely accounted for every township in Bristol County. If any part of Essex was lacking in the Fifth, it was more than supplied by the Eighth; the Seventeenth held more men from Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk; the Twenty-third touched Essex, Suffolk, Bristol, Plymouth and Norfolk; the Twenty-fourth had members from two hundred and nineteen different cities and towns of the State; the Twenty-fifth and the Fifty-first were almost exclusively from Worcester County; the Twenty-seventh and the Forty-sixth were raised in the four western counties, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Berkshire; the Forty-third, Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth went from Boston, with some coloring from Norfolk and Middlesex. In this way mention has been made of every county in the Commonwealth except Nantucket





and Dukes, and they were found in the Twenty-fourth and others of the foregoing enumeration. There was no intention of thus assembling the Bay State in miniature, through her sons in the Old North State, but it was an interesting coincidence.

While these concluding days of 1862 contained the holidays known and recognized the Christian world over, and while at home younger patriots are hanging their stockings for the kind inspection of Santa Claus, the boys in the fields appear to make little if any mention of them. Just a single diary of the period in question makes entries for the individual, but very likely they would apply equally well to others. Thus for the 22d (Monday) the writer says: “Fixed up as well as we could and received our knapsacks.” It will be remembered that these were stored when the expedition was prepared for. The scribes for other regiments remark on the application of court-plaster and mutton-tallow to blistered feet, the exchange of socks, the clean shirts and other matters of attire altered, washed or changed on account of the ten days of constant marching and fighting. The 24th has this characteristic entry: “Received a box from mother; everything spoiled except some butternuts and cake. Johnny treated all of us to a whiskey punch.” We may be sure it was not “Johnny Reb” who was thus generous, while the saved contents of the box assured at least one soldier an extra morsel for his Christmas dinner. Christmas, the day of all the year most loved by Christian mankind in general, has only this short sentence: “Went down town and played billiards with John, Joe and Oscar.” Evidently those boys were not in the least sentimental. Sunday, the 26th, brought the regular inspection, and as the writer was not feeling well and went to the hospital, his remarks cease to be of general interest.

1863.

So far as records go, the first day of the New Year was not an exciting one in Newbern, and there were few, if any, of the





conventionalities prevalent nearer home, though every man wished his comrades a Happy New Year, and all formed, if they did not express, the wish that they might be at home for the opening of the next year. The regimental band gave the headquarters a serenade in the evening. This 1st day of January was also notable as the date on which the freedom of all slaves in rebellious territory was proclaimed, in accordance with the famous war-measure of the preceding September, by the President. Some of the colored people knew of their good fortune, while others were as ignorant as ever. The next three days seem to have been devoted to getting out material from the neighboring woods for the flooring of the tents. Monday, the 5th, the regiments crossed the river for a brigade-drill. Early in this month, the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts was united at Washington, and Company A of the Fifth, which had been in the latter place since the Tarboro expedition, was ordered back to Newbern, arriving there on the 8th of the month, thus bringing all of the companies together. Our diarist enters for the 8th of January: “Signed the pay-roll and expected to be paid, but it was deferred till tomorrow.” Thursday, the 9th, brought the first pay-day the boys had seen and apparently the soldiers made, for the most part, excellent use of what they got; the pay was to Nov. 1st. Says one, “I received $28; I sent $25 home and I paid——the dollar I owed him.” Another, evidently from Ashland, says, “The twenty-eight Ashland boys sent $528 home.” Need we wonder that the men who thus remembered the faraway home won the cause for which they fought? In his Crimean Episode, Bayard Taylor said:

  • “The bravest are the tenderest,
  • The loving are the daring.”

Though so many of the men were thoughtful and provident, and it is stated that out of their two months’ pay, the men of Co. B sent $1600 to their Massachusetts homes, there were many who cared only for the passing moment, and wasted much of their pay in some form of alcohol, and brought





trouble upon themselves thereby. The 10th of January marked four months from the time of the companies’ repairing to the Wenham camp. January 11th has interesting observations on the condition of the colored people, one of whom, Pompey Stanley, had been a slave of the grandfather of Govenor Stanley; his second master was a Taylor, whose daughter had given him his liberty and a sum of money besides, this some ten years before, a very small oasis on the desert of slavery. The other instance was that of an enlisted man undertaking to teach a freedman to spell, the latter having learned his letters while still a slave. It did not take men from the Bay State a great while to enter into the spirit of President Lincoln's Proclamation. Monday, Jan. 12th, came the burial of Sergt. B. S. Houghton of Co. K, who had died on the 9th. There were the muffled drum and the reversed arms to the grave, and the quickstep for the return, for the march of life is ever onward, and constant mourning is hardly possible.

While infrequent mention is made in these records of the name of Colonel Peirson, the 13th of January finds a certain private stating that he with others had been reported for neglect of duty. The plain truth was he had skipped drill that he might read a book he had just borrowed, and the Colonel gave the boys a deserved talking to, dismissing them without further punishment. Was it strange that the young man wrote, “The Colonel is well liked,” or that he then resolved to be more strict with himself? The same day brought brigade inspection, with the band in evidence, the same serenading the Colonel, later, at his quarters, and in the evening the musicians went into the city, accompanied by the Colonel, Staff and Captains and played for the edification of Colonel H. C. Lee (Acting Brigadier) and General John G. Foster. It was on the 17th of January that a philosophical correspondent of the home paper wrote thus: “It is the general impression that this war is a farce, and that the difficulty will never be settled by fighting, should it continue for years.”





On just what food this scribal Dogberry had recently fed, that he should thus cry “peccavi” in the face of the enemy, there is no way of knowing now, but it is certain that he could not have been familiar with Lowell's splendid advice under such circumstances, “Be sure you know before you prophesy.” The Newbern Progress, then printed by men from the several regiments present, had its representatives from the Fifth, among them John R. Nickles, Co. G; Charles H. Gordon, Co. H; John H. Potter, and Wm. H. Brazier, Co. B. Tuesday, Jan. 20th, there came an echo from the Goldsboro trip, when three members of one of the companies, having been courtmartialed for skulking under fire, were publicly disgraced by having their names read at dress-parade, and punishment was indicated to the effect that they must stand on barrels a certain number of hours in the company street. On the same day began the details of men to assist in caring for the blacks who were constantly coming into the lines. Privates C. W. Hill and Wm. T. Wood of “I” and B. T. Hutchinson (C) were directed to report to the Rev. Mr. Means, then the superintendent of the freedmen.

On the 21st, Maj. General Foster with engineers was observed in front of the camp, and observations were evidently being made for some purpose, just what the men could only guess. The next day (22nd) work was begun on a series of earthworks around the camp, the portion not already protected by swamps. At the outset only ten men were detailed from each company; later the number was increased, and finally, so urgent was the matter, work continued even Sundays. One man writes of these works: “The ditch is twenty feet wide and the height of the embankment is eighteen feet from the bottom of the ditch.” Before the works were completed two cannon were received to be used in defence, their history being of unusual interest. It was understood that they were captured from the Union army at Bull Run, and when Burnside and his men invaded North Carolina the guns came back to their own. Later, having been sent to Washington on the






[Illustration:

CAMP PEIRSON, NEWBERN, N. C.
]





Tar, in one of the many assaults on that devoted city, the rebels got them again. Once more in the battle of Kinston, like shuttles they were cast into Union hands, and now were to be turned against the gray. They had been terribly misused by the foe, the railroad iron and other disreputable missiles employed by them having grooved the guns in a manner very far from regular.

One of the many scribes with whom the Fifth abounded, writing of this period, says: “Probably a new detail will be made every day, so that doubtless I shall have a chance to use the shovel and pick. The Twenty-fifth, encamped next to us, is also digging rifle-pits. The troops going on the expedition are embarking as rapidly as possible for Beaufort.” Reference in the foregoing is made to the shifting of the Twenty-fourth and otherveteran regiments to South Carolina, where, eventually, they were to bear a part in the campaign against Fort Wagner. On the 23d, a boy who was not obliged to take a hand in fortifying says he volunteered to dig. “I dug there all day, part of the time throwing dirt at each other.” Was there ever anything more boy-like written than that? When did a boy, wherever placed, fail to make a frolic of his task if there was the least opportunity? “ ‘General’ Foster and Prince came along towards night and said we had done well; a drink of whiskey at noon.” The query naturally rises as to whether the volunteering had any alcoholic provocation. It was in this period that a volunteer moralized on the difference between northern and southern soldiers, stating that whenever he went outside of the lines and called on some of the natives, it was to find only the feminine portion of the household at home, the masculine having long before gone into the rebel army, and while the Union boys were complaining if they did not get at least a letter a week, these poor people had not heard a word from their dear ones from the very beginning. For this condition there were two reasons, either one sufficient, viz.: first, the mail facilities were of the poorest kind possible, and secondly, neither those at home nor those





at the front, in the majority of cases, could read or write a word. No wonder that the long interval of separation was one continuous blank. It was on this same 23d that a lad thought it of sufficient moment to state that in their drill, that day, Adjutant Eustis and Surgeon Ingalls drilled in the ranks as privates. Doubtless the excellent officers thought it desirable to have more exercise than their positions gave them.

Not even regular guard and fatigue duty, drill and digging in the trenches could exhaust all of the energies of these Massachusetts boys, so they must needs organize a baseball club, a thing they had never done before in the month of January, and company rivalry naturally ran high. The nine from Company I beat that of Company C to the tune of fifty to twenty-nine. It goes without saying that this was in the days of old-fashioned ball, when large scores were not unusual, and a phenomenally small one by no means argued a superior game. During these later days of January, work continued on the fortifications, the same gradually extending around the western and northwestern part of the camp, the breastworks requiring logs for their facings, and these were furnished by the pioneer corps and others from the neighboring woods. January 28th the schooner “H. B. Frye” arrived, having on board a considerable number of boxes from home, and on the next day the grand distribution took place, no less than 304 boxes and barrels finding lodgment among these soldier boys, seventy-five of them going to the Woburn Phalanx alone. Writes one of the lucky Woburnites: “Our company has more boxes than any other one. There are fifteen or sixteen in this tent alone; the sutler and the negro women will have little business now, and even the cook-house is not of much account. Our tent looks like a small grocery.”

The 30th brought a little variety in that the nearly completed intrenchments were used as a part of mimic attack and repulse. At battalion drill, the men fired over the ramparts; the Twenty-fifth did likewise from their rifle-pits on the left of the Fifth. The Twenty-fifth and the Forty-sixth made a





charge, while still another brigade at the extreme left by the woods was firing vigorously. The last day of the month affords nothing of general importance, but this rhapsody from a youth of Company G, standing on the bombproof of Fort Totten, makes a good closing: “The numerous encampments, the thousands of soldiers, the bright winding of the river in the distance, the steeples of Newbern rising out of the trees, the band playing in the court below, form an interesting sight.”

February began on Sunday and many of the men went into the city to service, some of the pulpits being occupied by army chaplains. Writing on the 3d of the month one of the soldiers ascribed the excellent health of the regiment to the fact that they were living in tents, while other organizations, housed in barracks, were suffering from many ailments. Again Colonel Peirson comes in for praise because of his election of tents rather than barracks for the Fifth. In a letter, written the 5th, may be read: “Our intrenchments are nearly finished. The ditch and embankment are completed and part of the embrasures for the guns are cut. I don't know but my writing several times about fortifying the place may have caused you anxiety for fear the enemy was going to attack us here. I think that General Foster is so fortifying the place that it will be next to impossible for the rebels to take it, should they be driven out of Virginia, or if they should make a raid, learning that General Foster had gone on an expedition. I don't believe the enemy will dare to make an attack, there being more than twenty regiments left here yet. I see by the papers that the Democrats are getting troublesome—the traitors; deserting the Government in this emergency! They deserve punishment more than half of the rebels, who don't know what they are fighting for.”

The funeral of Edwin F. Whitney, Co. H, was held on the parade-ground, the 5th of February, he having died of fever the 3d inst. The regiment, without arms, formed in a square upon the field, with the flag-covered coffin in the center,





the Chaplain reading the burial service. It was understood that Captain Drew of the company defrayed the expenses of returning the body to Massachusetts.

A young man who visits Fort Totten, named for General Joseph G. Totten, Chief of Engineers, and one of the oldest officers in the army, gives this description of what he saw: “It is a large earthwork, mounting twelve guns, some of them 64 pounds calibre. It is surrounded by a ditch from twenty to thirty feet in width and ten in depth. Besides the large guns, it has smaller brass pieces placed in position to rake the ditch. It is now garrisoned by two companies of New York artillery and two companies of the Eighth Massachusetts.” February 8th was Sunday and a writer offers this concerning services:

“The Rev. Chaplain A. L. Stone, Forty-fifth Massachusetts, preached. The church was plain and small, and crowded to its limit with soldiers. There were a few ladies, officers with glittering shoulder-straps, colonels, majors, captains, lieutenants, etc., and ten single stars of a brigadier-general. The Forty-fifth with guns and equipments and colors filled the aisles. The singing by four soldiers was very good and the sermon was about Esau and Jacob.”

It is recorded that on the 13th, members of Company B were all presented with caps by the mother of Charles B. Hollander, one of the comrades himself. Just what kind of cap it was is not stated, whether for night or day use. Weather and camp-life are clearly described in the following selection from a letter, written in these days: “The weather has been very warm lately, about what we have in June at home. I drew another blanket the other day, as the nights are quite cold, and we may have more of them, the negroes saying that the coldest weather comes in March. We do not want for company nights, since mice have battalion drill, judging by their numbers. Soon after the lights are out, they begin to scamper around over our knapsacks and us. Sometimes, when almost asleep, a mouse will run over my face, this happening





quite frequently too. I suppose you at home would think them quite too neighborly for comfort, but we don't mind them much. Quite a number of the boys are making rings, picture cases and even little baskets from the bones that come with the fresh beef, some of them being quite pretty. I haven't tried my hand at them yet. Judging from what some of the —th's men write home, that particular regiment has seen more hardship, has done more, and in fact is the best regiment in Newbern. I am glad we don't have so much blowing, nor write such soft letters as are published from that body of men. While I suppose there are few, if any, men in the Fifth spoiling for a fight, I haven't any fears as to the men's doing their duty.”

Sunday, the 15th, one man says he tried to attend church, but the edifice was so crowded he could not get in. Another records that he heard the sermon by the Rev. Dr. Lothrop (doubtless the Reverend Samuel K. of Boston). Both men later witnessed the dress-parade of the Forty-fifth, Colonel Codman commanding; one says: “Very good,” the other, “I was disappointed; don't think they do as well as the Old Fifth.” In the evening of the 19th, the band came out and furnished music on the parade-grounds for the men to dance by, agreeable alike to those who danced and those who only looked on. Saturday, the 21st, brought marching orders for Company G; the men were to pack immediately to depart for Hatteras Inlet. Lively times followed in this part of the camp, every man being pleased at the thought of a change. The same day, orders were received by Company D to make ready to go to Elizabeth City, N. C. The next day, the 22d, in a drizzling rain, the companies left their camp, the regiment being drawn up to receive them and to cheer the departing comrades who, accompanied by the band, marched by. Leaving Camp Peirson about 9 a.m. the route was through the city to the wharves, passing the quarters of Colonel Lee, commanding the brigade, Co. G going aboard the propeller “North Star” at 10 o'clock, which conveyed the company to the





gunboat “Lancet,” out in the stream. As the men steamed away they gave three cheers for Colonel Peirson, Adjutant Eustis and the band. The gunboat mounted two 32-pound guns. Going down to the mouth of the Neuse, the “Lancet” dropped anchor for the night. During the day in Newbern, 100 guns were fired in honor of Washington's birthday.

The birthday of the Father of his Country having come on Sunday, the following Monday was given to the soldiers as a holiday, a day which they could do pretty much as they liked, within reasonable bounds. The most noteworthy feature of the day, so far as these Massachusetts boys were concerned, was a ball given by the Forty-fourth Regiment. It was honored by the presence of General Wessells and Colonel H. C. Lee, each accompanied by his staff. Those attending claimed that the rooms were too crowded for dancing. There were no ladies present, though some of the boys dressed up as members of the gentler sex, but all pronounced it a grand success. The 25th was long memorable in regimental annals as the day of the Great Review, when all of the troops at Newbern, except those on guard, were assembled on the south side of the Trent, and in the proudest manner possible passed in review before General Foster, commanding the department. The band accompanied the Fifth, though in going through the city it played for the brigade. Our regiment was in the Second Brigade, First Division, General I. N. Palmer in command, the parade being the finest display of its kind that the men had ever seen, and the most of them thought that their Colonel, or “Uncle George,” as some affectionately referred to him, was proud of his followers. In some way the boys acquired the news that their brigade was the best in Newbern, and that the Fifth was the second best in the brigade, only the Twenty-fifth, a three years’ regiment, excelling it.

Company G was left on the “Lancet,” at anchor in the mouth of the Neuse, late in the night of the 22d-23d. On the latter day the vessel proceeded on its way to Hatteras Bar, reaching that sandy waste at 10.30 a.m., landing by means of an old





wreck, and made their way to certain ruined barracks near Fort Clarke, and tried to make themselves as comfortable as the circumstances would permit. The next day, 24th, a squad of nineteen men, under command of Sergt. Hastings, started off on a march of sixteen or eighteen miles to Hatteras Light, where they were to remain as guardians. Their quarters, all under cover, were thought to be very fine indeed. The same day that Co. G started for Hatteras, Company D of Charlestown took ship for Elizabeth City, quite an important place for North Carolina, located at the head of Pasquotank Bay, near the mouth of the stream that flows out of the Great Dismal Swamp. This company also was to remain away from the regiment until the start for home. The special orders thus detailing these companies are numbered seventy-four and seventy-five. That regarding Company G is in effect as stated, with the additional fact that ten days’ rations were to be taken, and that all camp equipage, save tents, was to be carried also. The same wording was used for Company D, except that only three days’ rations were to be taken, and the company went as an escort for General I. N. Palmer. The statement, moreover, is made that the company will probably remain at Elizabeth.

Variety is not one of the strong points in garrison life, even though the enemy may be near the picket line, an enemy, however, that is quite well satisfied if he manages to keep the men on duty wakeful and vigilant. Naturally regimental discipline and style, so to speak, increase with the absence of active campaigning, all officers seeming to think that drill and polishing of brasses the chief end of a soldier's life. Men employed in a clerical capacity at headquarters were excused from the regular duties of camp life, hence, needing exercise, supplied themselves with Indian clubs for use in creating an appetite and in keeping up their physique. Colonel Peirson, happening along one day, and finding them swinging the clubs vigorously, suggested that if it was exercise they were needing, perhaps they had better take in brigade drill. He retired,





laughing, on being told that such a course would result in as much work for him as for the men themselves. On the 6th, the regiment gets a notion of activity in the reception of orders to prepare three days’ cooked rations at once, usually a premonition of something doing. Orders had already been received to be prepared to march at an hour's notice. On the 5th and 6th, troops were leaving along the Neuse road, among them the brigade of General Spinola, indeed a period of action seemed impending.

Short trips into neighboring counties were made by some of the regiments. On the 7th some of the troops returned, and at 9 o'clock in the evening, orders were received to be ready to march before morning. On the 8th one man said he could not attend church on account of the imminence of danger, while another records that he did attend, and makes out quite a story of how affairs were managed in a colored organization. “On our way back, we went into a colored church, where the people were exhorted to come up and become members of the church, there to tell how they had come out of darkness into light, or in other words, to relate their experience. When the man was before the audience, the minister would ask if any one knew his history and could testify as to the individual's character, and if all were willing to accept him as a brother; if so he was taken by the hand and thus was made a member.” Possibly some of the activity among the men was incident to the advancing season, since péach trees are in bloom and dandelions have been picked.

March 10th, Spinola's troops returned and some patriotic men in the regiment had prepared in the neighboring forest a new flag-staff, which was drawn into the camp preparatory to a raising on the coming 14th, the anniversary of the capture of Newbern the year before. The next day matters had quieted down so much that orders were read at dress-parade stating that the necessity of keeping three days’ cooked rations on hand no longer existed, and companies could act accordingly. That the new flag-staff might be in place for the





celebration on the 14th, the raising was attempted on the 13th, and progressed all right until, by the unlucky breaking of a rope, the timber came crashing to the earth, nearly braining a man of Company H, who saw his danger, but was too badly scared to move. However, the miss that is said to be as good as a mile saved him. At 5 p.m. orders came to the regiment to be ready to march within an hour:

At 6 we were on the way, taking the road by Fort Totten, and advancing rapidly till 9 o'clock, when we halted just inside the picket station. Men on guard walked their beats rapidly without overcoats just to keep warm, so cold was the night. We could see the gleam of the enemy's campfires, but we were not allowed to build any, lest we should reveal our presence and so invoke the fire of the rebels. Early next morning (14th) we advanced to feel the rebel position and to find, if possible, his number and position. Skirmishers were already deployed, and the significant crack, crack, crack of their rifles could be heard as the Fifth advanced to form in line of battle behind them. At this instant the morning gun at Fort Totten was heard, and to our surprise, this was followed by a brisk cannonade. At first it was thought that the men in camp had begun their celebration of Newbern Day early, but the irregular continuance soon drove out that notion. While we were puzzling ourselves over the matter, an orderly rode up on foaming steed with orders for us to return to Newbern without delay. We countermarched at once, and made for the city. Colonel Peirson was not one to indicate his feelings by the expression of his face, but it was noticed, as he rode by at the head of the regiment, that he carried a more solemn look than usual. With the orderly had come the rumor that we might have to cut our way through a large body of rebels in order to reach Newbern. However, there was no molestation, and the regiment was back in camp before 10 a.m. Some of the men took their time after reaching the shelter of the guns and came in later.

The following graphic account of this episode of garrison life is from the pen and recollections of Acting Lieut. E. F. Wyer of Company E:





After dress-parade, while some were eating supper, we were surprised by the drums beating to the colors on the parade-ground, and the order “fall in” given by the officers. The enemy in force, with artillery and infantry, said to be a part of the corps of D. H. Hill, had come to retake Newbern, just one year from the date of its capture by the Federals. Two companies of the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts were on picket at Deep Gully, six miles out, and, being unable to check the advance of the Confederates, had sent a hurried order for support. The Fifth, in extra light marching order, without stopping to take overcoats, blankets or haversacks, with only muskets and ammunition, made record time, covering the most of the distance at double-quick. Forming line in rear of the pickets, we were ordered to make no noise or light any fires, but to keep awake and alert for the attack of the enemy, which might come at any moment. Thus we stood, each man by himself, or huddled in groups of a dozen or more, for the warmth of each other's bodies, waiting for the onslaught or the coming of the day. How we longed for the overcoats and blankets which we had left in the camp! About 4 o'clock, just in the gray of early dawn, we heard a furious cannonading in our rear. Some said, “Oh! They are firing a salute in honor of the capture of Newbern, just a year ago today.” I was skeptical about its being a salute, having noticed that the discharges were irregular, that they appeared to come from guns of different calibre, the reports indicating that they were from 6, 12, 24, and 100-pound pieces, not a customary procedure when firing national salutes. Just at this time, Colonel Peirson passed along, in rear of the line, and one of Company E men asked him if it was not a strange kind of a salute they were firing. “I should think it was. It's my opinion that we are attacked there.” Colonel Peirson was instinctively and intuitively a soldier of rare good judgment and keen perception. It was not long before his opinion as to the condition of affairs at Newbern was confirmed by the arrival of one of General Foster's aides, he having ridden furiously out with orders for the Fifth to return with all possible speed, as the enemy had attacked the city. Fort Peirson was without a garrison and its guns without men to work them. Then followed another race to get back behind the breastworks of the fort, which was an earthwork of our own building, under the direction of General Foster, situated midway between Forts Rowan and Totten. It mounted four





12-pound and two 24-pound brass smooth-bore cannon, a battery of English guns which the sons of North Carolina, resident abroad, had purchased and presented to the State, having been first used and captured by our forces at the taking of Newbern. We got back to camp about 10 o'clock, where very stringent orders were received from General Foster forbidding any officer or enlisted man to go outside the camp for any reason whatever, or to permit any one to enter, also to hold the fort at all hazards; should the fire of the enemy ignite any building or tent, to let the same burn, and in no case, for any reason, allow a man away from the works. Things looked pretty serious to these boys as they came from their all night's tour of duty without food, drink or sleep.

There must have been some reason for all of the hurly-burly, and the explanation is that, apparently, the enemy thought he would take a hand in observing the anniversary of Newbern's capture, and would forestall the exercises that some of the regiments had prepared so carefully. Across the Neuse, possibly half a mile above the city, some two months before, at the request of General Wessells, a small earthwork had been thrown up, and here the Ninety-second New York, under the command of Lieut.-colonel Anderson, was stationed as a garrison. The regiment had no artillery, but its place was supposedly made good by the near presence of a gunboat. At this particular time, the “Hunchback,” a double-ender ferryboat, mounting a cannon (100 pounds) at either end, was present. Early in the morning, when the firing after Totten's signal had begun, the Confederates, under General Pettigrew, appeared before the fort of the Ninety-second and demanded its surrender. Commander Anderson declared that, unless ordered to do so, he would do nothing of the sort, meanwhile sending back to General Foster for directions. It is said that his reply to the Confederate was, “I'll surrender when you take me, and not before.” It has ever been a matter of discussion and wonder as to why the enemy did not advance to the assault at once, their numbers being far in excess of those of the Federals.





The rebels finally opened on the fort with grape, and upon the gunboat with shell and solid shot. The Union soldiers behind their earthworks awaited the assault, which they supposed would surely come. Little damage was done except to tear into shreds the tents of the soldiers. After awhile the gunboats got ready to bear a part in the melée, and then affairs grew livelier still. The withdrawal of the Confederates speedily followed. The foe had brought some big guns with them, with the evident intention of bombarding the city from the north side of the Neuse. One of their large guns had been dismounted and burst by, it was said, the explosion of a 100-pound Parrott shell from the “Hunchback.” In several places about the field excavations might be seen large enough to hold an ox-cart, made by the explosion of these great missiles. It was not strange that the rebels suddenly thought of some former engagements and decamped.

The principal local effect of the attack and repulse was the enforced deferring of the celebration, so long expected and prepared for. Aside from the night's outing the Fifth's participation in the fray was one of listening principally. On the 16th, the Forty-fourth Massachusetts took transport (Escort) for Washington, N. C., and rumors are abroad that the Fifth will go to Plymouth. With the 17th came the deferred games of the Twenty-fifth Regiment, invitations having been extended to all other bodies in Newbern, especially those from Massachusetts. There was a large delegation of onlookers, while the contestants themselves tried to climb a greased pole, to catch a greased pig, to race in sacks, and to perform the many other stunts that from time immemorial have been sources of diversion on the 4th of July and other “days we celebrate.” It was well for the Twenty-fifth that the men laughed when they did, for the very next day they were ordered away to Plymouth. It would seem that the advance of spring was stirring up both sides in this war between brothers. Historian D. Waldo Denny of the





Twenty-fifth wrote most glowingly of the kindness of the band of the Fifth, which escorted the departing men to the wharf.

The departure of the Forty-fourth Regiment to Washington, and that of the Twenty-fifth and Forty-sixth to Plymouth, left the Fifth as the sole representative of the brigade in Newbern. If possible, matters were more quiet than ever, only the regular rounds of police duty and drill to keep up an appetite. During these days, however, efforts were put forth on the part of Northern people, supplemented by the army, to educate the negro, or rather to break the shell of ignorance in which for generations he had been encased. One of the boys wrote this on the 24th: “Went into an old church, now used for a schoolhouse, and found about one hundred and twenty-five negroes, old and young, learning to read. Chaplain Stone, Forty-fifth Massachusetts, and wife are the chief teachers, and they have others to assist them. I stayed about half an hour and was very much pleased. It was a rare sight to see men from thirty-five to forty years old in the same class with children of six or eight years, the latter rarely having a whole suit of clothes.” This was the beginning of the efforts to redeem the enslaved population intellectually, and the same work is still in progress, after almost fifty years, and there is so much to be done. While affairs are so quiet in Newbern, quite the contrary was the situation in Washington on the Tar, whither the Forty-fourth had gone on the 16th. In the vicinity of the latter place, the Confederates, under General D. H. Hill,* had assembled to the number of about 14,000 men. Very likely some of them were the very ones who woke up the troops at Newbern on the 13th and 14th. Luckily General Foster was present with his 1200

[note]



men in the beleaguered city, and when the trouble began on the 30th, continuing till the 18th of April, he was able to so dispose his forces as to render the attacks of the enemy unsuccessful, and to necessitate the withdrawal of the latter.

HATTERAS.

Company G, during the month of March, continued its somewhat monotonous tour of duty on Hatteras. Whatever excitement came to the men there was from the ocean, to the eastward, rather than from any proximity of the rebels. The expedition of General Butler late in 1861, followed by that of Burnside in ’62, had pretty effectually ended the hostile appearance along this peculiar part, not of terra firma, but of shifting sands thrown up by the sea. Forts Clarke and Hatteras are garrisoned by the company, and detachments are disposed in varying numbers at other points, including the Light, several miles to the northward. On the 2d day of March, Champney of “G” makes the following interesting entry concerning the Light and its surroundings:

This afternoon I walked out to the extreme point of Cape Hatteras, where the breakers roll and toss in wild turmoil and confusion. Just before sunset, I went up into the lighthouse with the two keepers to see the lamp lit. It is quite fatiguing to ascend the steps to the lantern, from which there is a fine view. To the southwest we could look away down to Hatteras Inlet. The island is spread out like a map before us, with all its flat, swampy surface. At this point it seems wide and woody. To the north, the narrow strip of sand reaches as far as the vision extends, with calm waters of the Sound on one





side and those of the swelling ocean on the other. The sunset was splendid: gorgeous crimson and golden clouds! The lantern is an elaborate and expensive piece of workmanship. It is a revolving light with a copper-silver-plate reflector. The glass is very thick and of the finest quality. The revolving cylinder is moved by clockwork. The light itself is a triple Argand burner. As the sun was setting, the refraction of its rays in the glass was beautiful.

On the 5th these isolated men were favored with a visit from Major Worcester and Act. First Lieut. Wyer, who had come down from Newbern on a visit. They remained with the detachment to dinner. Much to the disappointment of the men, so comfortably placed at the Light, all save a corporal and three privates had to go down to Fort Clarke on the 28th, where they became a part of the routine at that point. Capt. Jas. E. Ashcroft, Company C, Third New York Cavalry, commands the post.

WASHINGTON.

April 1st brought the usual amount of All Fools’ pranks, even though the sound of cannonading towards the north indicated the siege in progress at Washington, and there were standing orders to be ready to “fall in” at the utmost speed on the beating of the “long roll.” The second day, Thursday, “Fast Day at home,” as many a boy remarked to his fellow, had a short drill in the morning and the remainder of the time was given as a holiday, a recognition of Massachusetts that all appreciated. The evening of the 3d brought orders to be ready to start in light marching order at 6 o'clock the next morning. Reveillé sounded at 4.30 on the 4th, and at 6 o'clock, according to orders, the Fifth was on its way through the city and across the Trent to embark on the steam transport “Northerner.” This was an old lake steamer that had seen its best days. The





Hundred and First Pennsylvania also was borne on this not over-large vessel, so that room was at a premium from the very start. There was a large quantity of fixed shell on board, and there were from twelve to fifteen hundred men carried, so that close quarters were in constant evidence. The boys remarked that boxes of shells did not make exactly soft couches, and so like sardines were the men packed, if one wished to turn over he had to get up and turn around to effect his purpose. Not only were the decks thus thronged, but the same rule prevailed through the entire boat. State-rooms were opened to the men, but what must have been the state in rooms where three men were in each berth and three more were on the floor? Leaving Newbern about noon, the “Northerner” steamed down the Neuse and into Pamlico Sound, anchoring at 9 o'clock in the evening.

Getting under way at 6 a.m. of Sunday, the 5th, the steamer proceeded up the Sound and river towards Washington, stopping at noon or before, where fourteen other gunboats and transports were lying. Shells were thrown at intervals into the enemy's works on the shore, but to no great apparent purpose, until later in the day the gunboat “Hunchback” came along from Newbern and threw some 100-pound shells into the camps of the enemy, resulting in a three hours’ bombardment by the latter's artillery. During the afternoon a flag of truce appeared on the east shore of the river and a boat was directed thither, and returning, brought back two men who wished to be taken off, claiming to be Union men. These men stated that there was a large force of the enemy, some 3000 men with three batteries, on the right bank of the river, three miles above where we were lying. As there was some firing in the evening, the sight of flaming shells was one to be remembered. Evidently the purpose of landing for reinforcing or assault was abandoned, since, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon of the 6th, the prow of the “Northerner” was turned down the stream, and with a schooner in tow the city of Newbern was sought again. Being a slow steamer, the vessel





anchored late in the evening some miles short of her destination, and not till 9 a.m. of the 7th was the old camp at Fort Peirson reached.

To the men cooped up within the narrow quarters of the steamer the excursion from Newbern and return was quite unintelligible, but when the whole story was told later, reasons appeared. It will be remembered that, after the menacing of Newbern on the 14th of March, General D. H. Hill moved his forces to the northward and laid siege to Washington, the place whence the Tarboro trip started. The Union force there was small, consisting principally of eight companies each of the Twenty-seventh and Forty-fourth Massachusetts regiments, with certain North Carolina Union troops with two batteries of artillery. The aggregate strength on the morning of March 30th was 1139 men present for duty. To help out this small force in manning the extended fortifications every able-bodied negro was ordered into the works. Of the Confederates, there were seventeen regiments of infantry, three of cavalry and forty pieces of artillery. By their good fortune they had been able to construct fortifications around and opposite the city, and their men were so disposed as to threaten the city from the north as well. On the 31st the surrender of the place was demanded, to which the reply was, “If you want Washington, come and take it.” The rebels were greatly surprised at finding that General Foster was present in person, they supposing him to be in Newbern. Notwithstanding the complete investment, as the enemy considered it, the blockade was run on that very day under a very heavy fire to the fleet below.

April 1st the cannonading against the city was terrific. Without detailing the events of the siege it may be stated that it was a case of give and take, to the complete satisfaction of both sides, i.e., equal bravery was displayed and equal advantage was taken of every opportunity presented by the adversaries. To throw reinforcements into the beleaguered city or to effect the raising of the siege in some manner was





the reason for the sending of the regiments from Newbern. General Henry Prince, to whom had been assigned the command of operations in raising the blockade, and so relieving Washington, in his report, dated April 13th, giving a general statement of the situation, has this to state pertinent to our regiment:

The “Northerner” arrived with the following troops on board: the One Hundred First Pennsylvania, Colonel Morris, 350 strong; the Fifth Massachusetts, Colonel Peirson, 500 strong; making the whole number here—2500 men. In the afternoon the “Hunchback,” Captain McCann, arrived, having been detained by boisterous weather. The “Hunchback,” “Southfield.” and “Whitehead” made a combined attack on the battery at 6 p.m. The battery replied with but three shots, which passed near the “Hunchback.”

Later, the General states, he began to prepare the steamer “Emilie” by way of interposing bales and boxes of clothing to protect the boiler as she attempted to run up to the city. In the morning of the 5th, he received dispatches from General Foster directing him, “if he found it too risky to land and take the batteries,” to content himself with sending through two regiments with a plentiful supply of ammunition, then leaving the gunboats to take care of the Confederates’ batteries, “to return at once to Newbern and, taking every man that can possibly be spared (five regiments are enough for the safety of Newbern), march across the country from Fort Anderson to Washington. I am quite certain that you will meet only ten regiments on the way, and them you can overcome. The road from Fort Anderson to Swift's Creek is bad, but the rest is good.” At 10 o'clock in the evening comes another order from General Foster, thus: “If you cannot send the two regiments through without delaying the main demonstration and attack from Newbern, send only one, or leave it to be sent, and push the other matter. It is my belief that the battery on Hill's Point will be abandoned on the approach of our forces at the cross-roads, three and a half miles from here on the road to Newbern.”





After consultation with his officers, General Prince decided that it was “too risky” to send the “Emilie” through, and ordered the One Hundred Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania, Lieutcol. Troxel, to embark on schooners to be towed up to the city by steamers. So far as the report of General Prince is concerned, we are at liberty to suppose that this plan was carried out, but reference to the story of “Pennsylvania in the War” reveals the interesting fact that Captain McCann also thought it “too risky” to send the vessels forward to what he denominated “inevitable destruction,” so the One Hundred Fifty-eighth went back to Newbern, to participate in the overland venture of the subsequent days. The General states that he sent through in an open boat all the six-pounder and three-inch guns’ ammunition which arrived in the “Northerner.” With the foregoing explanation the narrative begins again at Newbern.

SPINOLA'S TRIP.

Though regular camp-duties had begun on the return, they were not to continue long, since in the evening of the 7th came orders to prepare four days’ rations and to be ready to march in the morning. That morning (the 8th) began at 1.30, when the long roll was beat and the men fell into line. The start, however, was not immediate, for coffee was served and an early breakfast followed, after which, still very early, the regiment proceeded to the wharves, whence going aboard flatboats, they were towed across the Neuse to Fort Anderson, where, in the middle of March, the rebels had undertaken to capture the Ninety-second New York and bombard Newbern. Here ensued a long wait while the other regiments were crossing, in which time the boys had a chance to inspect the scene of attack and successful resistance. It was afternoon by the time the line of march was taken for Washington. According to the report of General I. N. Palmer, then in command at





Newbern, the troops in the expedition comprised the Fifth, Seventeenth and Forty-third Massachusetts, together with certain other regiments of the Eighteenth Corps (the regiments are not named) with a considerable number of batteries. The expedition was under the command of General F. B. Spinola, a New York politician and political soldier, commonly known by the men as General “By Jesus” and General “Dickey,” the latter name referring to his enormously tall collars, the former to his favorite swear words. His peculiarities of dress and language followed him through life, which he departed, not so very many years ago, having been for several years a conspicuous figure in Congress. After the failure of this relief trip, the men, by transposing the first letter of his name to another place in the first syllable, were able to give him a still more significant nick-name. Though General Palmer's very inadequate report does not mention them, it should be stated that the troops on the march also included the Third and Eighth Massachusetts and the Fifth Rhode Island.

General Spinola summarizes the expedition, led by himself, to the effect that he started at 3 p.m. of the 8th and arrived at “Little Swift Creek” at 8 o'clock in the evening, his advance guards meeting the enemy's pickets about seven miles from Fort Anderson. The pickets retreated without returning fire, and a half hour later, their alarm guns were heard. He learns that the enemy's force consists in 5000 infantry and 1000 cavalry, strongly placed at Walter Ruff's farm, on the road leading to Blount's Creek. He also hears that the enemy is strongly placed near Swift Creek Bridge, that there are other forces on the road leading to Kinston, and he presumes that the rebels are in force at the cross-roads near Washington. If he proceeds he is afraid that he will be attacked in the rear by the rebels at Ruff's farm, that he may be harassed by the Confederates on the Kinston road and if, failing to drive the enemy from the cross-roads near Washington, he should be compelled to retreat, he could do so only at great





sacrifice, if at all. He learns that the Confederates about Washington number 22,000, and he believes the only way to relieve the besieged is by way of Hill's Point, whence our regiment had just returned. He further adds that his men are building a bridge across the creek. Writing again the next night at 11.30 o'clock, he describes the trip of fifteen miles to the head of Blount's Creek. He had intended crossing the creek, but he found the situation too difficult for him and the forces with him. He enumerates the strength of the enemy, the character of the defenses — in a word, he thinks the works “impregnable.” The attack by the Seventeenth and the Forty-third Massachusetts with Belger's Battery is flatteringly mentioned, but evidently thinking the venture quite “too risky,” he announces his intention of returning to Newbern on the following day,—another case of marching up the hill and then marching down again. How the trip seemed to the men and boys of the Fifth appears from their letters and notes.

One veracious chronicler says there are fourteen regiments of infantry and some cavalry, besides sixteen pieces of artillery, but all of the regiments are very far from being full, an aggregate of men possibly from six to seven thousand. The roads are at times sandy, occasionally wet and muddy, but much better than those encountered on the Goldsboro trip. The Fifth was near the middle of the column and the day was very warm. After a march of perhaps ten miles, camp is pitched at about 9 o'clock in the evening. The 9th saw the line under way at an early hour, much of the route lying through a cypress swamp, made passable by means of cypress corduroy roads, the swamps having, now and then, island clearings with the shanty homes of “poor whites.” The afternoon was well advanced when, after fifteen miles’ marching without food and few halts, Blount's Creek was reached. It was here that ensued the sharp engagement wherein, on our side, the Seventeenth and Forty-third Massachusetts and Belger's Battery had a part. The trouble had begun with an attack





by a mountain howitzer in the hands of a detachment from the Third New York Cavalry, commanded by Lieut. Burke. The cavalry was a part of Colonel Amory's Brigade. Owing to the position of the ground it was impossible to develop a large force against the enemy, hence only the above two regiments were engaged.

Though we succeeded in silencing the enemy's battery, yet we were unable to drive them from their position, as our infantry and artillery fire was without effect upon them, owing to the nature of their earthwork and the position of our guns. It was equally impossible to enfilade their works or to cross or ford the creek at any other point and, as stated before, the bridge being destroyed, we were unable to charge the enemy or to build the bridge under their heavy musketry fire. Seeing that it was impossible to cross the creek, I was obliged to return, and did so at 5 o'clock this afternoon, without being molested in any way by the enemy. (From Spinola's letter of the 9th, written “near New Hope School House.”)

In justice to General Spinola, it should be stated that he was leading the expedition, not at his own behest, but under orders from General Palmer. We have seen that General Prince came back from Washington, directed to lead a party overland to the relief of the invested city. The General, on arrival, was attacked with something similar to later “nervous prostration,” and declared himself unwilling and unable to lead. All this appears in Spinola's letter to General Palmer, found in “The Records of the Rebellion,” Series I, Vol. XVIII, pp. 247-252. Though Prince was a graduate of the Military Academy, his long service in the pay division seems to have unfitted him for fighting. Whatever his lack of success, Spinola at least was willing to make a trial. In his enumeration of troops he names a large number of regiments from New York and Pennsylvania, with artillery, reaching an aggregate of 6465 men.

One of the observers describes the attack as made by Belger's Battery: “Very soon the boom of heavy guns told us





we were in for it again. Belger had opened with his cannon, and the rebel battery was replying, throwing big shells almost down to our position. We could hear them as they crashed through the trees. Belger's horse was killed and himself wounded by the fragment of a shell. As he was carried through our lines he recognized one of the men of the Fifth, saying to him in passing, ‘Cholera medicine won't help this.’ ” It was a great surprise to the rank and file when the command “About-face” was heard, and they began to retrace their steps, at the worst thinking it only a movement for change of place, with the attack deferred to the next day. At this late day, it is impossible to repress a word as to what any one of a dozen officers of note would have done under similar circumstances. What would have been the course of Foster himself had he been with the column instead of being hemmed in at Washington? However, the retrograde pace was a swift one, double-quick some of the way. So hard was the retreat, notwithstanding the supposed dangers of straggling, many fell out and took their chances of catching up. Through the dust of the roads in places, and the smoke of burning trees, the rapid pace of the column brought it back to its starting place of the morning in four hours, and after crossing the creek the tired soldiers encamped. It was somewhat late in the morning of the 10th that the movement campward was re-begun, Lee's brigade in the rear reaching the banks of the Neuse in the afternoon, and was expecting to pass the night on the north side, but soon after dark there came orders for it to return to Fort Peirson, which it was able to do at about 11 o'clock at night.

NEWBERN.

Evidently the return has not been to a place of continued ease and rest, since the 11th of April brings orders to prepare three days’ rations again, and another march looms up before






[Illustration:

HEADQUARTERS FREEDMEN'S BUREAU, NEWBERN.
]





the weary men, whose flesh and bones are still aching from the last. How badly used up some of the men are, appears in the fact that thirty, or fully one-half of one company, responded to the surgeon's call. Though the Chaplain preached, he was not awed by the number of his listeners, so many of the boys thinking more of preparing for inspection, as sure on Sundays as are death and taxes in civil life, and in trying to gain some recuperation from recent exactions. Happily the rest period was permitted to continue for a brief time, the most noteworthy event of these days being the unfurling of the flag in the afternoon of the 16th. The regiment occupied three sides of a square, inclosing the staff, with visitors, band and singers filling the fourth side. Prayer was offered by the Chaplain, a hymn was sung by the choir, the Chaplain gave a short address and then Colonel Peirson stepped forward and pulled the rope that released the flag, which found just wind enough to float it gently, while the choir sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and the band accompanied. The Adjutant proposed three cheers for the flag, and after more music by the band and choir, the regiment was dismissed. A poem written by Private H. S. Everett of Company H was read by Lieutenant Everett of the same company. Colonel Lee, commanding the brigade, was present with his staff.

    Private Everett's Poem.
  • Fling to the breeze that brave old Flag,
  • Long has it prostrate lain;
  • Against rebellion's vain contempt,
  • We will its cause maintain.
  • No star erased, no stripe obscured,
  • Complete in every part;
  • Today we raise that banner fair,
  • So dear to every heart.
  • And we, the sons of sires that fought
  • For this same flag of yore,
  • Shall we prove recreant to their trust,
  • Their sacrifice ignore?





  • No! rather let us emulate
  • Their virtues and their fame;
  • Prefer to die, than purchase life
  • Without eternal shame.
  • Triumphant let this banner float,
  • To cheer our drooping hearts,
  • Till glorious Union binds in one,
  • Our Country's severed parts.

During these days the siege of Washington continues, but the end is approaching. The Fifth Rhode Island, and the story should be told to its everlasting credit, chagrined at the disastrous ending of the two efforts to relieve the defenders of that city, had volunteered to risk the passage of the enemy's batteries. The regiment had just returned with the others from the march to Blount's Creek, but the men had voted a willingness to undertake the trip by water. The “Escort” was at the wharf, so, muddy as they were, they went on board the steamer, and throwing themselves down upon the decks, entered on one of the pluckiest incidents of the entire war.* Seventeen hours brought them to the fleet of gunboats, five miles below the battery at Hill's Point, where there was a delay to make ready for running the blockade. The Rhode Islanders were anxious to go ahead at once, but experience had taught the officers of the boat the advantage of preparation. With the engine and boiler protected by bales of all sorts, under the protection of the fire from the gunboats, at 10 o'clock in the evening of the 13th, Monday, the “Escort” steamed forward and through a storm of fiery missiles reached the landing in Washington at a little before midnight. With the steamer at the wharf, the chance to reach Newbern was embraced by General Foster, and at 5.30 in the morning of

[note]



the 15th the vessel again ran the fierce gauntlet of the rebel batteries, looking like a veritable sieve when she finally left the Confederates behind her, having been hit by eighteen shot and shell, and her upper decks were fairly riddled by bullets. Her faithful pilot, Mr. Padrick,* lost his life near Rodman's Point. Given the usual running time, the “Escort” must have reached Newbern on the 16th, and sounds of preparation for another overland expedition were heard at once. From General Foster's diary of the siege as given in his report, “Record of the Rebellion,” Series I, Vol. XVIII, p. 215, the following is taken:

April 15th, at daylight, the “Escort” started and ran the batteries She was fired at 100 times by the Rodman and Hill's Point batteries and struck forty times, but with no material injury. The pilot, Padrick, a brave and skillful man, was killed by a rifle shot. At 6 a.m. all the batteries opened and continued a heavy firing for an hour.

Acting Lieut. E. F. Wyer, Company E, writes of that passage of the batteries: “The pilot-house was the target for the Confederates’ fire, since if they could kill the pilot, which they did, the boat would be grounded and in their hands. But there was a colored man in the crew who, it was said, knew the channel, but was so frightened he did not wish to go into the wheel-house. General Foster ordered him to take the wheel, and standing beside him, pistol in hand, told the negro that if he ran the steamer aground, he would blow his brains out.” On the authority of Geo. E. Mitchell, Company B, it is stated that Samuel Knowlton, Company A of the Twenty-third, a scout in the immediate employ of General Foster,

[note]



when the Spinola Expedition reached Blount's Creek, did not return, but made his way through to Washington and was in the wheel-house with Foster after the shooting of Pilot Padrick.

WASHINGTON.

Friday, April 17th, came near being pay-day; Major Jameson was on the grounds and the men almost saw their precious earnings, when there came the stern announcement to be ready to march in an hour. Military commands admit of no parleying, they must be obeyed at once, and the pay will keep. By means of the steamer “Allison,” the regiment is transferred to the northern side of the Neuse once more and camps within sight of the river. The road from Newbern to Washington is becoming a thoroughfare. It was opened by Burnside's men in the spring of ’62, and it would seem that an average of a trip a month had been made in the intervening year. Some went through; at least one did not. Perhaps had communication between the two cities been of the quickest and best, General Foster would not have started on this particular expedition, since, when these men are starting on another march, the Confederates are retiring from their intrenchments around Washington, a fact to be withheld from the Federals until they reach the fortifications themselves. The start towards Washington was made at 8 a.m. on the 18th and the march was pretty steady all day, reaching Blount's Creek, the terminus of the recent expedition, at about sundown. While all accounts agree as to the difficulties of the route, estimates as to distance traveled range from twenty-five to thirty miles. Near the camping-place is a grain and saw-mill with large quantities of lumber. An inspection of the fortifications erected by the enemy, and which General Spinola concluded not to attack, convinced the observers that there would have been the liveliest kind of a fight had General Foster's orders been executed.





The withdrawal of the Confederates relieved our forces of the necessity of trying to drive them out, but they had not gone so far that they could not impede our advance on the 19th. Their rear guard of cavalry would halt, face about and apparently prepare to charge upon us, causing our nearest troops to stop and form line to receive them; then they would be off again, leaving the Union force to advance once more. While interesting and exciting, the same was not conducive to a rapid forward movement. One observer comments on improved conditions in the country through which they are passing, there also being plentiful indications of the recent presence of the enemy. Towards night, line of battle was formed in front of Fort Hill, but investigation showed that the rebels had departed. During the day a Confederate major and several men were captured, along with a Confederate flag. So completely had this section been denuded of provisions, our own haversacks in some cases furnished food for the famished natives, who could not understand how we should be so well supplied while the rebels were lacking. Camp was pitched scarcely more than two or three miles from Washington. Though the distance passed over was not more than thirteen or fourteen miles, the march had been an exciting and wearisome one.

Early in the morning of the 20th, the regiment was splashing through the mud of a swamp, not a rare thing in this part of the country, on our way to a bridge which spans the Tar River and by means of which we crossed and marched into the long-besieged city. We passed right through Washington and camped in a cornfield on the further side. Finding near by a storehouse filled with lumber, we proceeded to appropriate and to build a small city of our own, but ere we could use the same to any great extent, we were ordered back into the city itself, where we were assigned quarters, E and H finding theirs in a large edifice, containing a theatre and a Masonic Hall, H being initiated into Masonry, while E acted its role in the theatre. A, I and K were in an unoccupied





building known as Farmer's Hotel; Company B was on picket along the Greenville road. In reference to this successful effort to reach Washington, General Foster in his report to General H. W. Halleck, then General-in-Chief, says that as an accompaniment to the movement he had sent General Prince on a march with something of a force towards Kinston, and Spinola, with the latter's brigade, was ordered to take the direct road to Washington, by way of Swift Creek, while he (Foster) and his force took the route already stated. “The movement toward Kinston with this latter movement, together with the enemy's information of the accession of strength by Heckman's brigade, and the fact that, after fourteen days of close siege of Washington, General Hill had failed to obtain a single advantage, or to advance one step nearer his object, in all probability caused him to retreat.” Another version of the withdrawal is that the plans were forming for the annual spring campaign of the Army of the Potomac, and Chancellorsville is less than two weeks away. While the test, under that name, could not be known to either Hill or Lee, yet experience taught them that a union rather than a dispersing of forces was then desirable. At any rate the siege was raised, and the much-afflicted Washington was again wholly in Union hands.

An incident of the entrance of the overland troops, specially interesting to the Fifth, was the discovery among the citizens of a former Woburn man, long resident in the place. As soon as it became evident that all prospects of success on the part of the rebels had vanished, the people began to proclaim their undying devotion to the flag, among them a man by the name of Fowle, for generations an honored patronymic in Woburn. It appears that the lumber-mill and storehouse where the men of the Fifth had made themselves comfortable were the property of this individual. An elderly man, he appeared at the mill, early in the morning, saying that he was Massachusetts born, son of William Fowle of Woburn, who had been a soldier in the Revolution, that he was proud of his lineage and





of the Old Bay State, which he had left some thirty-five years before, to establish a home in North Carolina, where he had secured a competence. The war, however, had proved his undoing, his thirty-five slaves had left him, his most intelligent and trusted house-servant even then was serving General Foster, for all of which, and much more, he claimed protection for his family and property, forgetting to say that the members of his family were uncompromising in their hostility to the Union Government, and that his son was then serving as Adjutant-general on the staff of General Zebulon Vance. Though the Woburn Phalanx (G) was at Hatteras, its first Orderly-sergeant, E. F. Wyer, then Acting Lieutenant in Company E, was on hand, and was interested in this revelation of a fellow townsman.

Active Yankee boys spent a considerable part of the 21st in thoroughly inspecting the scenes made famous in the preceding days, and in scraping acquaintance with the natives, old and young. One young man comments on the innate rebellion evident in some of the youngsters, and one name he immortalizes in the amber of his notes, saying that George Evans Crabtree is the smartest of them all. The day was pleasant and the visitors made the most of it. One of the interesting finds of the explorers was the following message posted on a tree:

Yankees—We leave you, not because we can't take Washington, but because it is not worth the taking. Besides, the man who lives here must be amphibious. We leave you a few bursted guns, a few stray solid shot, and a man and a 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 North Carolina S. T.

The words “man and brother” referred to the body of a brave negro who jumped into the water and shoved off a grounded boat, thus saving the lives of several of our men.





The incident was incorporated, years later, by Anna Dickinson in “What Answer?” she making the hero exclaim as he leaped overboard, “Somebody's got to die to get out of dis,” and he was the man. Early in the morning of the 22d, the Fifth and the Seventeenth went on board the thoroughly ventilated “Escort,” the Forty-fourth taking the “Thomas Collyer,” and at nightfall the men were again in their old Newbern camping-place.

NEWBERN.

Thursday, the 23d, brought the completion of the event just begun on the 17th, and the four months’ pay that Major Jameson left with the regiment gladdened not alone the immediate recipients, but hundreds of homes in the distant homeland. Still the soldiers retained enough to make, as one of them says, “the sutler the most popular man in the camp.” There followed several days of regular drill and garrison duty, into which all had to enter immediately on reaching camp.

CORE CREEK.

Thus time passed until late in the evening of the 26th, when orders came to be ready to march at daylight the following morning. The 27th dawned, but the start was not made till 9 o'clock, and the regiment was not clear of Newbern till pretty near night. Of course few, if any, knew the object or the destination of the trip, but their surprise as well as their pleasure was great on being embarked on platform cars along with the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, and two companies of the Forty-sixth, and all steaming westward towards Kinston. Of course other troops were enlisted in the same enterprise, as the brigade of General Amory, the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania, a section of Riggs’ Battery





and a company of the Third New York Cavalry. Leaving the cars at Batchelder's Creek, we had a straightaway march of ten or twelve miles in the rain, carrying three days’ rations and 100 rounds of ammunition, reaching Core Creek at mid-night. Other parts of the force advanced by other routes so as to give an exaggerated appearance of strength. There was a heavy rainfall during the forenoon of the 28th, and men made themselves as comfortable as possible beneath the shelter of their rubber blankets. In the afternoon the engagement of Wise Forks or Dover Cross Roads was fought, in which nearly all of the expedition bore a part except the Fifth, it apparently being held in reserve. Of the 29th one writes: “Lay still in the camp all the forenoon. Two cavalrymen were shot by the guerrillas not a great distance from camp. It created a deal of excitement. An alarm towards night proved groundless.” April 30th began with a detail of Companies E and H for picket duty, but the order was soon countermanded that they might accompany the regiment on a reconnoissance along the river road. In his report Colonel Peirson mentions cautious skirmishing with rebel pickets, until near the works which commanded the railroad and the Dover road, about ten miles from camp. “After reconnoitering about one and one-half hours and drawing their fire, I found the enemy in strong force. I then retired agreeably to my instructions.” The immediate cause of this otherwise peculiar episode was said to have been an effort to keep the enemy busy while our engineers were making surveys for a topographical map of the locality. This version is borne out in a letter from General I. N. Palmer to Colonel Peirson, the former not being accustomed to throw many bouquets towards the Bay State. In addition to complimenting the Colonel and his command for their services in the reconnoissance, he takes occasion to say: “The General commanding the division desires to compliment Sergeant Charles Brigham





of Company K, Fifth Regiment, M. V. M., for the well executed topographical sketch which accompanied your report of the 3d inst.”

May day found the regiment in the vicinity of Core Creek, and the day itself was not “uncomfortably” warm, though more so than it is wont to be in Massachusetts. Whatever the object of the expedition, the end of it had arrived, for after marching about three miles across to the railroad, cars were taken for Newbern, though some of the soldiers had grown to denominating it as “home,” having been there so long. They even remark on the disagreeableness of such frequent departures.

HATTERAS.

During the month of April, Company G was still at Hatteras, having no part in the varieties of the regimental life at Newbern and the surrounding country, though the men there are learning more about the sea and its moods than they had ever dreamed. When the wind blew hard, as it was inclined to do the greater part of the time, the sand “blows into all the cracks and crevices, fills the bunks, gets into our victuals, blinds our eyes and torments us in every possible manner.” The wind and waves at times would force the waters over the bar, cutting new channels and seemingly endangering the very quarters of the men, yet the same chronicler writes of the men dancing when the waves were almost upon them. “Sand and fine sand! The air is filled with it! Everything covered! Eyes, ears, nose, mouth filled! Awful! Terrible! Cold! It seems as though this was the worst place in the world.” April 8th a squad from the company with an equal number of Buffaloes (native and loyal North Carolinians) went aboard the tug “James Murray,” having with them a 12 pound cannon, and went over the Sound to Juniper Bay, on a sort of reconnoissance, and for the purpose





of bringing off certain loyal families. The locality was known as Poplar Ridge and the excursion, though enjoyable to those taking part, was quite devoid of incident, all parties returning on the 10th. April 26th, Captain Grammer went to Newbern and returned on the 30th. Of the deeds and travels of the other companies, nominally at Newbern, these men at Hatteras had only rumors.

PLYMOUTH.

When Company G was sent away to Hatteras, a special order was also issued to the effect that Company D, Captain Howard, would proceed to Elizabeth City as escort to General I. N. Palmer. From those who made up the party which left Newbern on the 22d of February, steamer “Escort,” it appears that there was a stop at Roanoke Island, where General Palmer inspected the post, and thence proceeded directly to Plymouth, relieving Company I of the Third Massachusetts, which was sent to Elizabeth City. Possibly the latter fact may account for the disparity between the order and its execution. There was a quartette of excellent singers on board the steamer, and they serenaded General Palmer the first evening while steaming up Pamlico Sound. On reaching Plymouth, quarters were found for the company at the Custom House, and these were retained throughout the stay. The garrison, in addition to the company, included two companies of the Twenty-seventh, G, Capt. R. R. Swift and H, Capt. C. D. Sandford; a section of the Twenty-fourth New York Battery, Capt. A. Lester Cady, commanded by a lieutenant; some troops composed of native North Carolinians, all under the command of Major W. G. Bartholomew of the Twenty-seventh. Besides, there were in the river (Roanoke) several gunboats, commanded by Capt. C. H. Flusser, who was to lose his life a few months later very near





here in the famous ram “Albemarle” encounter. When the seven companies of the Twenty-fifth appeared in March, Major Bartholomew was superseded by Colonel Josiah Picket of the latter regiment. Of the native soldiers, the new comers did not entertain the highest opinion, one saying that only one enlisted man could read, and he drew the rations simply on account of the foregoing fact. Lieut. C. P. Whittle of the company became Acting Assistant Quartermaster of the post, and Private W. A. Hardy his Acting Assistant Quartermaster Sergeant.

Aside from issuing rations to the soldiers, the same were given out to the “contrabands” who, from 200 to 300 strong, thronged the place. When they became too numerous, they were passed along to Roanoke Island. Moreover, once a month there was a visitation of from 75 to 100 poor whites who came from all the country round. “They beggared Falstaff's famous recruits, carrying away their rations in the arms of old coats, pant-legs, etc. As payment, we received the pleasing knowledge that their men-folks were in the rebel army, trying to kill us, while we fed the starving families. How merciful was Uncle Sam!” During the stay of Company D, it went on several expeditions, two of which were conducted by “D” alone. The first was made in row-boats to Edenton, on Albemarle Sound, near the mouth of Chowan River, to destroy certain saltworks of great value to the enemy. The object was attained without resistance. Another trip, under Captain Howard, was into the neighboring region for the purpose of capturing a seine, which being set in the Roanoke and operated by a Plymouth citizen, furnished fresh fish for the troops. Another raid was made up the Roanoke, two gunboats with one of the Twenty-seventh's companies, and “D” all proceeding about six miles above Plymouth, where the enemy had begun to throw up earthworks. After shelling the place the troops and crews landed and captured some tobacco, live pigs and poultry.





As a general headquarters for the Union fleet in the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, Plymouth was an important station, and was threatened repeatedly, a considerable force of the Confederates being encamped within a few miles of the place. Without the assistance of the neighborly gunboats the post could not have been held, as was plainly shown the following year, when so many Union soldiers were captured in a vain attempt to hold it. The rebels were specially in evidence during the siege of Washington. March 20th came the Twenty-fifth and Forty-sixth regiments, and extensive fortifications were laid out under the direction of Captain F. U. Farquhar, Chief Engineer of the Eighteenth Army Corps. New troops coming into Plymouth, under General H. W. Wessells, the force already on duty was relieved, and embarking May 3d, found itself again in Newbern the next day, Company D ready for all subsequent service. (The preceding account is prepared from data furnished by First Sergt. V. Wallberg and Private W. A. Hardy.)

GUM SWAMP.

Until the 21st of May there was nothing in camp-life except the routine of drill, guard duty and inspections. Careful scribes find nothing more entertaining than the fact that a certain field officer does not excel in directing battalion drill, and that Colonel Peirson finally has to take his men in hand to obviate some evident defects. No fault is ever found with him. On the 16th, there were inspection and review by General Palmer and staff, always essential to the physical and moral well being of military bodies. Wednesday, the 20th, brought the ominous orders for the preparation of three days’ rations, so that all were aware that another movement was contemplated. General Foster, in his report to General Halleck, says that the troops of the enemy being constantly





drained from this department into Virginia, and that frequent depredations had been made by the rebels from Kinston way, he determined to make a demonstration towards the latter place and if possible capture the picket-regiment of the enemy. Col. J. Richter Jones (Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania), commanding the outpost, was directed to attempt to surround the Confederates at Gum Swamp and, if successful in capturing them, to make a demonstration as if in force, but to make sure of an avenue of retreat. He was reinforced by four regiments, four pieces of artillery and three companies of cavalry. The immediate part of the Fifth is told by one of the men to the effect that we left Newbern about 7 o'clock a.m. and went by rail some fifteen miles, where we waited for the Twenty-fifth and the Forty-sixth to be brought up, thence we crossed over to the camping place of three weeks before on Core Creek.

The story of the affair, as gathered from the report of Colonel Peirson, is to the effect that Col. H. C. Lee, being at home on furlough, the command of the brigade devolved on him, viz., Colonel Peirson. It was decided to send two regiments by an unfrequented and circuitous path to the enemy's rear, while the main column moved up and engaged the enemy's attention and prevented his escape in front. Both columns were to arrive at the enemy's intrenchment as near daybreak as possible on the morning of the 22d, and thus make a joint attack front and rear. Accordingly, at dusk of the 21st, Colonel Jones moved at the head of his column, consisting of the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania and the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, which he subsequently joined at the depot, and stealthily proceeded, under cover of the night and by direction of a faithful guide, to gain the enemy's rear. For thirteen hours the men of this devoted combination struggled through the mazes of that almost impenetrable swamp, emerging at 9 a.m. of the 22d, as expected, behind the rebel works. While moving steadily forward, the column came near capturing General Matthew W. Ransom (later and for





many years U. S. Senator from North Carolina), who was in command of the post. Luckily for him he saw the Union force in time to shout, “The Yankees! The Yankees!” and putting spurs to his horse galloped towards Kinston. The engagement was short, fierce and decisive. According to the programme, Colonel Peirson and his force advanced, and had been for a number of hours in front skirmishing and waiting the promised coöperation of Jones’ men in the rear.

Resuming the report of Colonel Peirson, we have his word:

About half past nine or ten rapid firing was heard in rear of the enemy. Judging that Colonel Jones had succeeded in reaching the desired position, I moved the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts on the right and the Fifth on the left, and ordered them to be prepared, if necessary, to charge the intrenchments. The Forty-sixth was ordered to support the Twenty-fifth, advancing further towards the front. Colonel Pickett, commanding the Twenty-fifth, prudently threw forward skirmishers to ascertain if the works were abandoned. The skirmishers reporting that the enemy had left their first line, I ordered forward the regiments rapidly to gather up the fruits of the victory. On entering the works, we met detachments of the Twenty-seventh and Fifty-eighth bringing in prisoners, many of whom they had captured in brilliantly charging them. Detached squads were sent into the swamps to hunt out and capture those of the enemy who were there concealed. Nearly 200 prisoners were taken out of a force from 600 to 700. The escape of so many was owing to the fact that the Twenty-seventh and the Fifty-eighth did not exactly join, and more than half of the rebels got through the open place. As soon as possible, the cavalry was ordered forward in pursuit, but the Confederates had too great a start.

It was not long before the enemy was sufficiently reinforced from Kinston to enable him to return the attack, to which our artillery replied in kind. At 10 o'clock p.m. the Union troops recrossed Core Creek and encamped for the night, undisturbed by the enemy. On the 23d, Colonel Jones with the Fifty-eighth





Pennsylvania, the artillery and cavalry, moved down the Dover road to Batchelder's Creek without molestation from the enemy. Lee's brigade under Colonel Peirson took the cross-road leading to the railroad, distant some three miles. Information being received that the rebels were coming in sufficient force to dispute the passage, it was determined to avoid them, since a victory then could bring no advantageous results. It was determined to bear off to the left and thus reach the railroad by a shorter route through the woods and swamp. Unfortunately the depths and extent of that swamp no one in the party knew. Some say that mortal man never went through it before, and many are equally positive that no man in his senses will ever thread its mazes again. In the annals of regiments that plunged into the slough, that warm day in May, the passage has a prominent place as the “Gum Swamp” incident.

One of the Fifth thus tells the story of that fearful ordeal:

The swamp was one typical of North Carolina. The mud was knee-deep (in places waist-deep), the brambles thick and thorny, the water coffee-colored, alive with creeping things, the air heavy with moisture and foul odors. Through it the men fought their way, stumbling and falling, marching sometimes when asleep from weariness, and all this within sound of the whistle of the locomotive attached to the train waiting to carry the men back to Newbern. At last the shore was found and the exhausted men crawled out to the railroad track and the train. Men could hardly go through a worse experience and live. So far as garments were concerned, eyes seldom looked upon a sorrier sight than they presented when they reached their camp. The color and texture of their garments could hardly be told, because of the mud upon them. The clothes themselves were torn into tatters by the briers of the swamp. They were the blackest lot of white men that were ever seen. Many a man left in that swamp his health, and has never recovered it. Some sank under their distresses and were helped out by their stronger comrades.





Captain D. Waldo Denny, historian of the Twenty-fifth, presents the scene most graphically, calling his sketch, “In the Pocosin”:

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 villainous 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 effort more unendurable, poured down its burning rays, and not a breath of air came through the thick foliage to our relief. Exhausted from fatigue and burning with heat, the men called for water—“give me water.” They scooped up the thick mud water in their tin dishes, water black with the poisonous roots and the slime of the 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 the stomach. Oh, the horrid taste, as if drinking pulverized snakes and lizards; and oh, how it griped, and served like an emetic or purgative upon those who imbibed the noxious compound. Not even the hellish draught compounded by the witches in “Macbeth” could have been more repulsive than this which some men essayed to drink in the Dover swamp.

As trophies of the expedition, Colonel Peirson reported 165 prisoners, 28 horses, 10 mules with wagons, ambulances, harnesses, saddles, 11,000 rounds of ammunition, a 12-pound howitzer with limber. Not all the troops returned with Lee's brigade. Two companies remained at the bridge over Batchelder's Creek, where they were attacked in the afternoon by the enemy, but they held their position until the arrival of Captain Tifft (Forty-sixth) and a section of Riggs’ Battery, which was on its way to Newbern. In this engagement, Sergt. A. S. Bryant of Company A (Forty-sixth) so distinguished himself as to win a medal of honor. The coolness and rapid firing of Capt. Lewis A. Tifft so impressed the enemy with a belief in the size of his detachment that he was





able to hold back the rebels until the arrival of Colonel Jones of the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania, and Companies D and I of his regiment. Colonel Jones ordered the rebuilding of the bridge while he and his companies advanced up the road. He had been informed that the Confederates were present in force, but he gave no attention to the knowledge. With his orderly he had advanced a short distance across the bridge when his breast was pierced by a bullet, fired by a sharp-shooter concealed behind the chimney of a house some rods away. The death of this officer, brave to imprudence, was deeply mourned by all the troops. The enemy made no further attack at this point.

NEWBERN.

That washing up and trying to look decent again formed a large part of the soldiers’ time after the “Gum Swamp” experience, goes without saying. The men were tired, hungry and thereby appreciative of the well-earned rest that the return to camp afforded, but Death, the great destroyer, rested not, and the 24th called out the entire regiment, or that portion still in Newbern, for the funeral of Corporal Benjamin G. Blanchard, Jr. (Company H), who died only the day before. Comment is made on the amount of illness in the regiments, there being more cases of sickness than at any former time. Notwithstanding recent exactions, there was still work for the Fifth to do, and on Monday, the 25th, came orders to break camp on the morrow, and be ready to take transports for Wilkinson's Point, there to build a fort. Apparently the orders did not apply to Companies E and B, they remaining for camp and picket duty. Thus six companies, under command of Major Worcester, embarked on the gunboat “Allison” at 9.30 a.m. of the 26th, and with three cheers for Colonel Peirson, steamed some twenty miles down the Neuse to the pointnamed, and having anchored at 1 o'clock p.m., soon





after effected a landing under cover of four gunboats. The camp was pitched on a narrow sand-bluff, close to the river, the bluff being so narrow as to afford scant room for the tents, the river bordering on one side, a swamp on the other. At this point the Neuse is quite two and a half miles wide, more properly a sound than a river, the water too salt for drinking. The point was a fishing station, and though this was not the season for fishing with seines, the boys equipped themselves with the latter and undertook to supply the camp with piscatorial food, their success, however, being only indifferent. The 27th the men went into the woods and cut out a number of logs for use in raising up their tents, but before any considerable advance was made in establishing the camp, orders came for a return to Newbern, so at 5 p.m. of the 28th the men went aboard ship again and at 10 o'clock were back in their old quarters.

To those who had remained, there was work, and in the evening of the 27th the pleasant duty of assisting General Foster observe his 39th birthday. Music was furnished by the band of the Fifth, the same having remained in camp, and the Forty-fourth Regiment turned out largely. The gardens of the General's house were hung with lanterns and various regimental colors helped adorn the house itself. The prisoners captured in the affair of the 22d were not all sent away at once, hence there was a chance for curious Yankees to get acquainted, chances that some of them embraced. They found the Confederates of a better stamp than those taken on the Goldsboro tramp, that they were from the elevated regions of northwestern North Carolina, and that they effected to dislike the coast dwellers very much, calling them “sand-lappers.” Though their garments were made of cotton, butternut in color, they were better than those of former rebel wear. Inquiry naturally rises as to the trip of the regiment down the river and its almost immediate return. No authoritative reason is found, but surmise answers that General I. N. Palmer, in command during the temporary absence of





General Foster, and cherishing a pique against the Massachusetts men, undertook to make them uncomfortable under the pretext of erecting a fort at Wilkinson's Point. On the return of General Foster, he quickly countermanded the action of Palmer, hence the return of the Fifth, and the band that played the men back to camp was glad to see them.

Reënlistment is freely discussed, and a new regiment, to be known as the Second Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, to be commanded by Major Jones Frankle of the Seventeenth Massachusetts, is projected. There was evident need of troops to care for and man the defenses which the men already in the field had been constructing. The officers, originally commissioned, were taken from the Bay State organizations already in the service. Considerable effort was made to enthuse the men of the Fifth in the proposition, but with not the best of success. It was about this time also that the men on detail were called in, a fact which made the boys think that “going-home” was in sight. Friday, the 29th, General Foster addressed the men on the subject of enlisting in the new regiment, saying he wanted one hundred and fifty men from the Fifth, that every one enlisting should have a thirty days’ furlough home and a bounty of $150 besides, his pay to continue all of the time. On the 30th, one hundred men were detailed to work on intrenchments to be dug from Fort Rowan to the Neuse, and orders were issued for five companies to go out to Deep Gully for picket duty. As enumerated in the special order, sent out by Adjutant Eustis, the companies thus designated were H, E, B, K and I. Captain Drew of H, being the senior officer, was in command of the detail.

Deep Gully is a chasm extending several miles to the north from the Trent River, having a narrow but deep stream of water, there being a ford about half a mile south of the bridge. A substantial earthwork had been thrown up near the bridge, and the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts was on duty here when the episode of March 13th took place. Though the orders called for a 4 o'clock departure, it was after 6 of the 31st before





the start was made and the reserve picket station was reached at 9.30 a.m. some seven miles out. Here were found four companies of the Third Massachusetts that had come out for the same duty. After some delay it was decided that the Fifth would remain, and proper details were made for picket. Accordingly, those detailed proceeded to the scene of real outpost duty, the same being along the eastern edge of the gully, thus making the line at right angles to the Trent River. One of the boys thus placed records this of his labor and observations: “We saw no sign of any enemy. I fancy there is no considerable force of rebels this side of Kinston, except a few guerrillas. The picket reserve station is two miles nearer Newbern, and there we have first-rate water. Black mulberries and plums are quite plenty and there are some blackberries. The camp is on an old plantation, and the fruit that we get is from some of the old trees left standing. We have built houses of logs and branches, and things seem quite convenient and comfortable. We appreciate the absence of restraint so prevalent in the Newbern camp.”

HATTERAS.

Company G in its May days at Hatteras has not the same sort of activity that attends the major part of the regiment, but men are kept busy, as when they are sent to Roanoke Island to cut wood, patrolling various parts of the great sandbar, keeping guard at the lighthouse and at other points of the Hatteras sand waste. Among these Woburn men is one of artistic abilities as well as poetic, as is evident in his diary entrances, when on the 3d of May he writes: “Splendid night, full moon which lighted the whole beach and made a radiant pathway across the ocean.” Hundreds of observers see just such sights, while only one remarks them. May 5th one of the men writes: “One intelligent black man rowed me ashore, his back being well covered with a coat formerly





worn by the Rev. Dr. Stebbins of Woburn. He is called after his benefactor and wears the reverend garment with becoming dignity.” May 6th the “Dudley Buck” arrived from Newbern, bringing Colonel Peirson, Adjutant Eustis and Captain Crafts, who were received by the company, drawn up in line, which also greeted them with three cheers. The alleged loyal North Carolinians, whom the soldiers denominate “buffaloes,” do not stand very high in the minds of the men from Massachusetts. Seemingly they are more observant of calls for rations than for work of any kind. The Colonel, Adjutant and Captain Crafts went away on the 11th. Sea-bathing is not the least of the pleasures afforded at Hatteras, and firing the great guns is excellent practice, some very good work being done in this direction. May 19th Captain Grammer succeeded to the command of the post on the departure of Captain Ashcroft (Third New York Cavalry). In the way of visitors, the most notable, during the month, came on the 23d in the persons of General Foster and staff, accompanied by General E. E. Potter, of some note in connection with Washington on the Tar; C. B. Wilder, superintendent of contrabands; Capt. James H. Strong, etc. “General Foster was very pleasant and looked the same as ever, white hat and white pants.” A salute was fired in his honor and he inspected the guard, seeming to think that things were better than when he visited before. There was an exhibition of target practice, and one shot the General pronounced a “lovely” one. Their stay was brief, the departure coming the same day.

DEEP GULLY.

Excepting the Hatteras detail and the companies in camp, the early part of June finds the Fifth on picket, and as a rule there is more poetry as well as incident in service away from the stiff regimen of camp life with its interminable routine,





all of the latter necessary for the best results, at the same time never agreeable to the soldier himself. In Newbern active efforts were made to secure recruits for the Second Heavy, especially by Captain Newton of “I,” who was to accept a similar position in the new regiment. The names of the nine men are borne on the rolls as having been discharged, June 6th, that they might re-enlist in the Heavy Artillery. Many more enlisted at a later date. The Forty-fourth Regiment, whose muster-in preceded that of the Fifth by a few days, took cars for Morehead City on the 5th and thence was carried by steamer to Massachusetts. The period of picket duty extended to the 10th, with no special incident or variation. One of those who did not leave the camp for this tour of duty writes of his going out to visit his fellows, on the very border of Union limits, and finding them very comfortably placed and enjoying themselves. He sampled the mulberries there abounding and, by an unexpected fall from a tree, learned that limbs of the mulberry tree are exceedingly brittle.

The visitor also was told of a realization, by one of the boys, that “a miss is as good as a mile,” for a corporal, as was his wont and duty, going down to the edge of the Trent to discover whether a certain rebel sharpshooter was attending to his part of the hostilities, was suddenly and convincingly informed. He had glanced across the water and had about-faced to return, when a bullet from a hidden foeman took off the visor of his cap as closely as possible without breaking the skin of his forehead. While the “miss” was sufficient, he was sure that the rebel was on deck and duty. Had he deferred his turning the briefest instant, the shot would have penetrated his forehead and another would have been added to the death roll. Sunday, the 7th, the major, surgeon, adjutant and other officers as well as enlisted men were visitors at the picket station, and the next day was marked by the presence of





Colonel Peirson, accompanied by officers and men. The 9th brought wagons to carry back the heavier portions of the baggage, though the men had the privilege of another day on the borders, since the soldiers to relieve them were somewhat slow in their appearance.

NEWBERN.

The way back to Newbern was taken early in the morning of the 10th, and the pace was slow, so much so that some of the men grew impatient, and going ahead, had a right to claim that it was the regiment that straggled. Former quarters were reached about the middle of the afternoon. Thence onward to the 22d, whatever the nominal occupation of the men, the principal thought was the return home, which was surely near at hand. To be sure, there was the regular round of camp duty along with that of extras, as cutting wood, working in the city, and warding off homesickness, which had begun to attack the men, or some of them, in an almost virulent manner. Guns and equipments had to be put in the best condition possible, and then, lest they might forget, there was a resumption of the drills that late activities had superseded. On the 16th and 17th details were made for labor on the intrenchments, so near did the day of departure follow these reminders of former and regular work. Somehow, the idea had been widespread that the regiment would leave on the 18th, but that day came and went and Newbern was still in sight. The steamer “Guide,” which had taken the Forty-fourth home, had been detained somewhat by heavy fogs, and this may have occasioned some delay. However, on the 21st came the long-expected and eagerly-awaited Regimental Order No. 37, to the effect that all would be in readiness to depart on the morrow.





GOING HOME.

“Oh, the day it came at last,” has been sung o'er and o'er by thousands of voices, not alone by those who waited the breaking of prison bonds, but everywhere the world over, men of all ages have thought them, if they did not chant them, for “I'm going home” is one of the happiest combinations that the language affords, and hundreds of men, on the morning of the 22d, had them in mind and on the lip as they packed their knapsacks for the last time, and turned their backs on scenes that had grown familiar through many months of off-and-on occupancy. The Third Regiment had gone home on the 11th, and the remaining nine months’ troops were to follow on the 24th. It was well known that great events were impending up in northern Virginia and Maryland, and in reporting at Fortress Monroe, there was the possibility of being ordered thither, as some of those going on the 24th were. But no bridge can be crossed until reached, so these home-ward-turning men gave as little thought as possible to what might follow, and made all preparations for a speedy sight of Massachusetts. The manner of the Fifth's getting away from Newbern is appreciatively described by Historian Denny of the 25th:

June 22d, the Fifth Massachusetts, Colonel Peirson, left Newbern, homeward bound, reaching Boston harbor on the 26th of that month. The regiment was brigaded with the Twenty-fifth during its service, and its camp was adjacent to Camp Oliver, so that a very friendly feeling existed between the officers and men of the two battalions. The Twenty-fifth (also the Forty-sixth), wishing to express appreciation of the gallant services rendered by the Fifth on all occasions, turned out with full ranks, and escorted their comrades to the wharf, and there exchanged parting salutations. Colonel H. C. Lee, commanding brigade, found an opportunity to make a neat little speech to the officers and men of the Fifth, and among other good things said: “You may perhaps think you have done more than your share of labor, having engaged in more expeditions, endured longer marches, and performed more





arduous service than any other nine months’ regiment, or even the three years’ troops, in the same period of time. But you should remember the Scripture passage, that ‘whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth,’ and accept the toils and hardships you have borne as a proof of the good opinion of your commanding General, who calls most frequently into service those regiments in which he has the most confidence.”

This most delightful “send-off” took place in one of the open places of the city, where the regiment was drawn up in a hollow square, and thence it marched to the wharf where Companies D, I and K, under command of Lieut.-col. Boyd, went on board the “Convoy” with instructions to stop at Hatteras, there to take on board Company G, so long stationed on that barren waste. The remaining companies, A, B, C, E, F and H, proceeded by railroad to Morehead City, and at 10 a.m. boarded the steamer “Guide,” so frequently mentioned in all affairs pertaining to North Carolina in wartimes, the steamer starting soon afterwards. As the “Convoy” is to pick up Company G, it will be well to anticipate that call and find out how June has been passing on the bar. General Prince visited the post June 7th and inspected both forts and the barracks. He is described as a “short, stout man with a black beard.” Flies annoy the boys by day and fleas make weary the night. “General Wild* arrived this morning (June 14th) for the purpose of enlisting contrabands. He is a tall, slim man with a reddish beard. He has lost his left arm and the empty sleeve dangles at his side. The darkeys are very ready to become soldiers and they have been enlisting all day.” The General succeeded in getting about 150 men from the colored people on the bar, leaving only

[note]



the old and decrepit. To the men cooped up on this sand desert, time seemed even longer than it did to their comrades at Newbern. They had heard that they were to be carried home in the “Convoy,” and that vessel's name was on every lip, seemingly, during all the waking hours. She would surely come the next day and then the next. Frequent bets were made as to her arrival. Where there was no imperative duty, men spent the most of their time trying to be the first to announce the coming of the transport. Towards the end of the stay, Captain Grammer went to Newbern, and on his return, the 21st, he announced that “tomorrow the ‘Convoy’ will surely arrive.” The men seemed beside themselves with joy, “laughing, shouting, and acting like men possessed.” At last the steamer appeared and at 5 p.m., honored by a salute of four guns from the fort, Company G went on board the “Convoy” and was off for home. Passing through the inlet heavy waves were encountered, the same prevailing until past the Cape; so near to the same did the vessel go, the men could distinguish the quarters occupied in the preceding March. “After getting around the Cape, the water was much smoother and the rising moon made the night delightful.”

Though of different rates of speed, the two transports were supposed to be companions on the homeward trip. The “Convoy” first reported at Fortress Monroe and Lieut.-col. Boyd went ashore to state the situation. Some one narrates that General John A. Dix, the commandant, must have been in an ill temper, for when the officer asked the General's orders for the left wing of the Fifth, the latter replied that he had no use for half regiments. Taking this as his orders to proceed northward, the Colonel saluted and retired. Anchor was weighed and the “Convoy” started out to sea again, meeting on the way out the “Guide” and the officers were told to turn about and steam for Boston. (One of the “Guide's” companies states that the vessel reported at Fortress Monroe, just the same, and was ordered to Massachusetts.) During





the 24th, while moving through an open sea, that old acquaintance of the Neuse and Newbern, the steamer “Escort,” was met on her way southward. It was a pleasant though a final meeting. Towards night the “Convoy” held up to enable the “Guide” to approach, she having been far astern all day. The 25th reveals the coast of Massachusetts, with the “Guide” leading, since her captain is familiar with the points along the shore, and all observers proclaim the view a great improvement on that of the old North State. It was late afternoon as the vessels neared Boston. In passing Fort Warren the fort fired a salute and the garrison band played “Home, Sweet Home,” and never did the melody fall on more appreciative ears. Anchor was dropped near the foot of Battery Wharf and the night was passed on ship-board, not without many visitors in boats coming out to speak the word of welcome.

It was 8 o'clock in the morning of the 26th when the landing was made, and the soldiers again set foot upon the territory of their, for the most part, native State, and they would gladly have started for their respective homes by the shortest route, but a reception was awaiting them. Three companies, A, D, and H, were from Charlestown, and that city wished to receive her sons and their comrades in fitting manner. Letters had been written to Colonel Peirson some weeks before intimating the purpose of the citizens, and the subject was submitted to the other officers and by them to the men. While gratitude was expressed for the kindness of the intentions, the men expressed a wish to get home as early as possible, instead of halting for a parade. Unluckily, this decision did not reach Charlestown, and when a committee came aboard to arrange details and to announce the preparations already made, it seemed ungrateful to decline such hospitality, so, with a few exceptions, all agreed to march and be entertained. There was a wait of two hours on the wharf before starting; the day was extremely hot and knapsacks





with equipage were exceedingly heavy, since many of the soldiers had stocked up with relics for the pleasure of the folks at home.

Finally the start was made, the regiment marching up State Street by platoons, amid the cheers of an immense throng of people, and thence through Court, Sudbury and Haverhill Streets, over the river to Charlestown. The escort was long and imposing, including the National Lancers, Captain Slade, with Standish's Band; City Government of Charlestown in carriages; National Guard, Captain Stevens, with Boston Brigade Band; Charlestown Reserve, Captain Norton; Fire Department of Charlestown, with Hall's, Gilmore's and the Germania Bands; with civic societies, Hamilton Institute, St. Mary's Relief, Father Mathew Total Abstinence and St. Francis de Sales Association; cavalcade of 150 horsemen; Somerville Light Infantry, Captain Brastow; Somerville Hook and Ladder Co., with Chelsea Band; cavalcade of seventy-five horsemen, all under the direction of Chief Marshal Haynes. While crossing Warren Bridge a salute was fired by guns on the Charlestown wharves. It had been understood that the parade should be a brief one, but the chance to show a regiment just home from the front did not come every day, hence the route was unduly prolonged, much to the disgust of both officers and men. At least one captain, Grammer of G, refused to march farther, and with his men fell out of line just before the collation was served in Winthrop Square, almost under the shadow of the Monument. At the tables, set for 1400 people, prayer was offered by the Rev. James B. Miles, and congratulatory remarks were addressed to Colonel Peirson and his command by Mayor Phineas J. Stone, extending the hospitalities of the city, to all of which the Colonel responded briefly yet heartily. The buildings were profusely decorated with flags, bunting and mottoes. Windows and balconies were filled with ladies, who showered bouquets of flowers upon the soldiers. It would seem that not all of the companies remained to the feast, for





it is recorded that “E” also fell out dinnerless. The Woburn company found a special train to carry it home, and on arrival in town there was a march over Academy Hill to the Common, where remarks were made by Mr. Cummings, Rev. Dr. Stebbins, C. C. Woodman and Capt. Grammer; then the company repaired to Lyceum Hall, where a bountiful spread awaited the men, though not all remained to partake, preferring to hasten at once to that dearest of all spots in the world—Home. A similar reception was accorded Company I in Marlboro on Saturday, and the crowds cheered to the echo the exhibition of drill afforded by the soldiers. Somerville greeted her company with equal fervor, and Medford was not a whit behind in doing honor to her Company E, the same being escorted to the town line from Charlestown, where it was met by the officials and a large part of the people of Medford, and with them was marched to the Town Hall, where, after an eloquent welcome from General S. C. Lawrence, colonel during the regiment's first term, and a reply by Captain Currier, all partook of an elaborate collation prepared by the ladies. All were permitted to go home and remain there until the following Wednesday, July 2d, when they gathered at their old camping place, Lake Wenham, for muster-out.

It is interesting to note that, as the ceremony of leaving the service was in progress on the peaceful shores of the lake, one of the world's greatest battles—Gettysburg—was in its second terrible day, and the high tide of rebellion was yet to break on the slope of Cemetery Ridge, while at Vicksburg and Port Hudson were impending surrenders which should permit the waters of the Mississippi to flow unvexed to the sea. But of all this these men, after their campaign of nearly a year, are as yet blissfully ignorant. They have served their country in accordance with the terms of their enlistments, and now, having turned over to the proper authorities their guns, knapsacks, haversacks, in a word all with which the Government had equipped them, they were ready to be resolved once more into the great mass of the people whence





some months before they had emerged. Their discharge papers bore the name of Robert B. McKibbin, first lieutenant, Fourth Infantry, U.S.A. While enlisting for nine months the service of the men, in most cases, exceeded ten months, so there could be no charge of failure to render full time, and with a consciousness of having done their entire duty, of having fought a good fight, of having kept the faith, the members of the Fifth Regiment, M. V. M., in its second tour of duty, hastened away from the camp to their respective homes, there to take up the vocational threads raveled by their temporary employment in the episode of war.

THE REGIMENTAL BAND.

By Henry Grant Weston, “One of ’Em.”

While encamped at Wenham, I was discovered in the ranks of Company G by Benj. Wyman of Company E and invited to take my instrument to Newbern, as a band was to be onganized on arriving there. As at first organized, it included Henry K. Holder (C), leader, and Webster Brooks (E), Geo. A. McCurdy (E), John K. Meader (H), Ezra Morse (E), Josiah W. Parker (C), Augustus Perkins (E), Charles H. Prentiss (F), Samuel Rinn (G), Joseph Sinclair (B), Henry G. Weston (G), Francis E. Whitcomb (B), Lucius L. Woolley (F), James G. Wormwood (K), Benj. F. Wyman (E).

Under the leadership of Comrade Holder, we made fair progress, although our stock of music was very limited. Rehearsals were continuous for several weeks, and how proud all of us were when the officers decided that we played well enough to appear at guard-mount and dress-parade. What member of the band does not remember the “flag raising,” after the ninety-foot pole had been erected near the Colonel's quarters. The regiment had been assembled and “Old Glory”





run to the peak, ready to be broken forth when the band should have played “The Star Spangled Banner.” The leader was of a nervous temperament, sometimes lost his head, and when the command was given, and the flag was flung to the breeze, the band played “Hail Columbia,” much to the disgust of our worthy Adjutant, who was master of ceremonies. For a few moments, there was a distinct halo of bright blue


[Illustration:

JOE SINCLAIR'S DOG.
]

round Eustis's head. Who does not recall Joe Sinclair's dog that acted as drum major, and no human could have filled the position with greater dignity.

During the winter, the officers secured as bandmaster Mr. Joseph W. Kennedy, who had been at the head of the Brigade Band of Boston, as well as leader of the band of the Twelfth





Massachusetts. Coming to us with a generous supply of new music, we improved rapidly under his instructions, and the “McClellan Quick Step” soon became our masterpiece. We were delighted when told that we were to serenade General Foster, and I, for one, can never forget that night. We arrived at his headquarters about 9 o'clock, lighted our lanterns and proceeded with the concert. After a time we were invited into the dining-room for refreshments. On entering the room, we found the table laden with crackers, cheese and sardines; in the centre of the table was a ten-quart pail, filled with a liquid, steaming hot and provided with plenty of tin dippers. I was from the country, a hayseed of the first magnitude, had never heard of “hot whiskey punch.” Seeing the lemons in the liquid, I asked what it was. Joe Parker said, “Hot lemonade! Have some, Henry!” So filling a pint dipper, I soon disposed of it, and then helped myself to a genteel sufficiency of the edibles. By the time the repast was finished I was becoming quite “voluminous.” Before leaving the room, I was induced to take a second drink, being told it would do me good, since the night was cold and chilly.

Before leaving headquarters, I forgot my instrument, in place of which I had a lighted lantern in each hand. Passing through Pollock Street, I had never seen the elm trees so thick. They seemed like soldiers on parade. About that time, I was too numerous to mention. I could have met, without a quaver, the whole rebel army that night, thus ending the war there and then. What a narrow escape it was; there would have been no Pickett's charge at Gettysburg; no Grant at Appomattox! But I saw no rebels that night. I did not even see my captain, who was officer of the day, as I passed in at the guard tent, going directly to my quarters.

The following morning, one member of the band was absent at guard-mount. During the forenoon, I became conscious that some one was trying to waken me. Opening my eyes as best I could, I beheld my captain, who said he thought I





must have had quite a time last night. I replied that I was not quite sure what I did have. I had heard of a man's having a swelled head, and for once I was it. I was excused from duty until my head had reached its usual size, and I may add that, from that day to this (1910), I have had no dealings with “hot lemonade.”

Everybody remembers the trip home, especially the concert given as we sailed into Boston harbor. All went well until we played “Home, Sweet Home,” when the big dog of Company F joined in the chorus. The tones he uttered were not heavenly, yet were they unearthly. It was a self-evident fact that the dog preferred to remain at the seat of war. What a reception we received when we landed. We did our very best that day, and many were the compliments we received from Boston musicians who listened to us. Bandmaster Kennedy remarked many times in later years that that day was one long to be remembered. This I can say after an experience of forty-two years in the best bands and orchestras in this country, that the members of the regiment have every reason to be satisfied with the music furnished by the little band of sixteen men.

Subsequent to his service in the band of the Fifth, Weston held a like position in the band of the Second Brigade, First Division, Second Army Corps, and was finally transferred to the Sixteenth Company, Second Battalion, V. R. C., and was stationed at Lincoln General Hospital, Washington, D. C., to the close of the war.

By way of explanation, it should be added that an order of the War Department, late in the summer of 1862, had decreed the discharge of all regimental bands, and that was how Leader Kennedy became available for the enlisted band of the Fifth. His salary and expenses were borne by a tax levied on the officers, and whatever other expense the band incurred was met in the same manner. The men belonging





to the band and to the regiment at the same time, discharged their respective duties in their companies as well as those of band membership.

Joe Sinclair called his dog Fido, but the “boys” all called him “Major” because of the graceful manner in which he discharged the duties of Drum Major. Of imported Scotchterrier stock, he came into Sinclair's possession two weeks before the latter enlisted. Dog and master went to Prospect Hill and they were there two weeks; and on the march to Boston, on the way to Camp Wenham, Fido was lost, but he found his way back to his Cambridge home before midnight, the most tired canine in the city. When Sinclair went back to Wenham from a brief furlough home, Fido went with him and accompanied him and the regiment to North Carolina. He was a good forager, and many were the chickens that he caught and brought to his hungry master. He knew his place ahead of the band, countermarched, and always kept his distance. Fond of the water and a good swimmer, he gave the boys no end of fun. When the vessel bringing the regiment home reached the harbor, Mrs. Sinclair went out in a boat to greet her husband, and he unchaining the dog, till then attached to his friend, placed the animal at the rail, whence, seeing his mistress, he leaped into the water and swam to the side of the small boat, was taken in and no persuasion could coax him back. He survived his return from the front seventeen years.

DRAFT RIOT.

The Fifth Regiment had hardly more than reached home when necessity brought on the infliction which the enlistments of the midsummer of 1862 had averted, viz., the draft. The “may” of the former year had now become “must,” and the volunteers reached Massachusetts to find widespread discontent regarding compulsory service in the army. Men had been drafted, and those who did not respond otherwise, had to be personally notified. It was in the afternoon of





July 14th that two assistant provost-marshals were serving notices on men who had been drafted, and who lived in rather disreputable quarters at the north end of Boston, when they were suddenly assaulted by a woman whose husband was among the conscripts. The cries of this infuriated woman, as if by a preconcerted signal, drew an immense throng, principally of women, so large that it completely choked the narrow streets in the vicinity of the Boston Gas Light Company's works. The officers fled for their lives and the local patrolmen who came to their rescue were beaten almost to death. At this very time the terrible Draft Riot of New York city was in progress, whereby troops were ordered up from the very seat of war. Fortunately Boston was able to dispose of her own troubles, and the returned militia with the local police were sufficient for the emergency.

The whole north end of the city was in a state of revolt. Men had taken the places of women in the mob, and there were indications of organization among these people with special reference to the resistance of conscription, the outbreak by the women being uxexpected and precipitous. The call of the Governor for the assembling of the militia was on the 14th, and the response was immediate, and great credit attaches to the nine months’ regiments because of their readiness to serve in this trying moment. Of the Fifth, Companies A, B, D, F and H were represented more or less. There was a single company of the Sixth; the Forty-fourth and the Forty-fifth are included as regiments and all did willingly whatever duty was assigned them. But the brunt of the work came on the Eleventh Battery, Capt. E. J. Jones, which from its Cooper Street Armory, in the evening of the 15th, fired a single charge of canister into the mob that beset its quarters, threatening their destruction. That one shot was enough, though the extent of carnage wrought thereby will never be known. There were no burial returns and the lawless masses, convinced that a hand of iron was wielding the long unsheathed sword, borne on the escutcheon of the Commonwealth, melted





away. While the volunteers continued their tour of duty some days, there was no further overt act against the peace and order of the city.

The particular duty assigned to those of the Fifth who responded to the call was performed in Watertown, where they kept special vigils over all roads leading to the arsenal, work that was more responsible than might at first appear, since the arms stored there would be the immediate quest of a mob, should one be aroused. At least one member of the regiment, Mitchell of (B), Somerville, performed his task by proxy, for, sick in bed at the time, his brother donned the uniform, carried George E.’s gun and walked the beat, just as though he were a veteran.

Adjutant General Schouler, in his General Order No. 20, dated August 3d, 1863, by the direction of the Governor, extended the thanks of the Commonwealth to the several organizations (enumerating them) for their discharge of the “delicate and arduous duties assigned them.” Though the service was not fraught with serious labors, long marches nor heavy fighting, yet the citizen soldiery once more proved the value of its existence, and through them Massachusetts was again put and kept in the ranks of the well disposed.

THE NEWBERN MONUMENT.

In keeping with the custom begun at Gettysburg of erecting monuments to the memory of Massachusetts dead in the national cemeteries, the Legislature of 1907 passed a resolve providing for such a memorial in Newbern. This resolve was approved by the Governor March 22d of that year. The sum thus appropriated was $5000, to which was added a further sum of $4000 by a resolve, approved March 23d, 1908. The plan to thus honor Massachusetts dead in North Carolina had its inception in the mind of Jos. E. Shaw, chief of the District Police of the Commonwealth. A veteran of the Seventeenth Volunteer Infantry, who had served in this department,






[Illustration:

NEWBERN MONUMENT.
]





when visiting North Carolina in the early fall of 1906 he went through the home of the Union dead in Newbern. Here the thought took shape in his mind and on his return to the Bay State he took up the matter in earnest.

Among those to whom he introduced the subject were General Jones Frankle, late Colonel of the Second Heavy Artillery, and Major Charles B. Amory of the Twenty-fourth Infantry, a brother of General T. J. C. Amory who had died in Newbern during the war. The project met immediate favor, resulting as already stated. Comrade Shaw, the originator of the plan, died the April after the passage of the resolve, hence his name does not appear among those to whom was committed the execution of the legislation. A design for the monument, submitted by Comrade Melzar H. Mosman of Chicopee, and a veteran of the Forty-sixth Massachusetts Infantry, was accepted by the Commission appointed by the Governor. The monument as completed has a base seven feet square, a second base five feet square and a die three feet six inches square; the whole, six feet high, made of hammered granite. The base and die are suitably inscribed; the bronze tablet bears the words, “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Erects this Monument in Grateful Memory of her Soldiers and Sailors who Died in the Department of North Carolina, 1861-1865.”

Above the die is a bronze female figure clad in classic costume; her head crowned with a wreath of laurel, representing Peace. Her left arm rests on a pedestal and supports a shield on which is inscribed, “After Loyal Conflict, Union and Peace.” The total height of the monument is thirteen feet. The formal dedication of the same came on the 11th of November, 1908, for which purpose a large delegation had gone down from Massachusetts. Each one of the seven regiments that served in the department had two official representatives, appointed by the Governor, those from the Fifth being Lieutenant Edwin F. Wyer (E) and Private George E. Mitchell (B), besides Dr. Horace E. Marion (G), Horace W. and Ward M. Otis, both of K, George E. Marsh (C), George W.





Nason (I of the three months’ service) and Henry G. Weston (G), who carried the colors for the official party.

Owing to illness, Governor Curtis Guild, Jr., was unable to accompany the party, his place being taken by President William D. Chapple of the Senate. In addition to those named above, there was a very large representation from Massachusetts of both sexes, who improved the opportunity to visit scenes so long noted in history, and so far did the city of Newbern enter into the spirit of the day that all business was suspended and there was a general outpouring of city and country to witness the ceremonies, which were very impressive. In the ranks which were formed to proceed to the cemetery, there marched a number of men who had fought under the Stars and Bars, yet were ready now to salute the Flag of the Free as heartily as those who had never done otherwise. School children surrounded the monument, and hard by was a company of North Carolina National Guard, clad in khaki uniforms. Among the songs sung by the children were “The Star Spangled Banner” and “The Blue and the Gray.” General Frankle as chairman of the general committee called the assembly to order and introduced Chaplain Edward H. Hall, D.D. (Forty-fourth), who offered prayer; then Sculptor Mosman arose and formally turned over to Chairman Frankle the product of his genius and skill. At this moment the strings confining the flags enclosing the monument were loosed by Miss Alice Alden Sprague, daughter of General A. B. R. Sprague (Fifty-first and Second Heavy Artillery), assisted by Mrs. Laura A. Dugan, daughter of General T. J. C. Amory (Seventeenth), and Mrs. J. L. Hartsfield, the daughter of a Confederate veteran, and the flags falling away revealed the memorial in all its beauty. A letter from Governor Guild was read by General Frankle, after which President Chapple of the State Senate spoke in place of the Governor. Sergeant Reeves, the officer in charge of the cemetery, accepted the monument thus intrusted to his care and keeping. The orator of the day was Judge A. A. Putnam, a lieutenant in war-time of the Second





Heavy Artillery, and his address was replete with the eloquence for which he was noted. It is worthy of notice that Mrs. Dugan, who assisted in the unveiling, was born in Newbern and was a babe in arms when her parents died of smallpox. At first she was in charge of Colonel Frankle, until she could be sent north to her Boston grandparents, with whom she abode until, formally adopted by her uncle, Major Chas. B. Amory of the Twenty-fourth, she became a resident of New Orleans, where she eventually married. Nothing could have been more cordial than the reception accorded the northern people who visited Newbern on their commemorative errand. There were receptions of the most enthusiastic character, in which Confederates and Federals joined most heartily, and as a token of the appreciation of the northern visitors, they sent back from Boston to the Daughters of the Confederacy in Newbern, a magnificent punch-bowl, with the hope and expectation that the same would still further contribute to the good fellowship established by the events attending the dedication of the Union monument.

OLD SCENES REVISITED.

By George E. Mitchell, Co. B.

Our first business on reaching Goldsboro was to secure transportation to the battle-field. The gentlemanly livery-stable keeper and the curious ones who gathered round, taking in the situation and knowing us to be “Yanks,” proved to be old Confederate soldiers who had sturdily resisted our coming in

[note]



1862. They now cordially greeted us and with a hearty grip of the hand made the honest statement, “Boys, the war is over and we are right glad to see you.” We were earnestly entreated to stay and accept their hospitalities, but time would not permit. We secured a three-seated carriage and a pair of horses for our ride, and a single carriage for our baggage and quartermaster's stores, and with the writer for driver, responding to the word, “Forward,” we left for the Goldsboro battle-field, about three miles away.

We go by the river road and soon cross the old county bridge, coming in sight of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad, where it crosses the river and over which is the covered bridge which was burned by the Union troops December 17, 1862. Before crossing we see the railroad; we see the ruins of heavy breastworks and two forts that the rebels had erected and maintained. They were built after the battle, and had we tried again during the war to visit Goldsboro, no doubt we should have received a warm reception. But to return to my story. The county road now crosses the railroad and runs through the centre of the old battle-field. Desiring to view the field from the same direction as that taken in ’62, we drove to the rear and to the mill which, so many old boys will remember, was burned the day of the fight. The mill-dam being destroyed, near the close of that fateful day, the escaping waters almost cut off our escape from the field.

Here we took as guide J. A. Moore, son of the proprietor of the mill in battle days, and who, a lad of thirteen years then, at least heard the fight from his home. Under his lead we passed over the field, by the ruins of the old cotton-gin, on and over the brook, up the hill, and here we got the same view of the field that we had in ’62. We stand on the ridge where then we supported Belger's Rhode Island Battery. Here it was that, raked by rebel grape and canister, we lay upon the ground until the guns of the enemy were silenced by those of Belger and whence, also, we saw later the triple charge of the rebels on our lines, resulting so disastrously to them. Here we





picked up minie-balls as mementoes of the long ago day.

After dinner we started for Whitehall through the pine woods and through swamps and by the camp ground which we occupied the night after our retreat from Goldsboro. After riding a while we walked the old road again and rehearsed the times of old. What memories were ours as we marched over General Foster's route! We found the roads just as soft and sandy, the swamps as deep as of yore, and 1862 seemed but yesterday. We made the pine woods ring with the melody of old war songs, and many a veteran Confederate planter stood still by his plow and regarded us with astonishment as he heard the war-time melodies of the Yankee soldiers. Though he recognized them he none the less greeted us most heartily, evidently pleased at meeting Massachusetts men once more. We reached the village of Whitehall at sunset. Though the village was destroyed by the Federals in ’62, it has been rebuilt since and looks to-day substantially as it did on that bright December day when Foster drove the rebels out and burned the Confederate gunboat then building by the river's side. On account of the discovery of a number of medicinal springs on the outskirts of the village, it is now known as Seven Springs, and a large hotel has been erected near for the accommodation of northern people who come here for remedial purposes.

Our arrival was soon heralded through the hamlet and we became the centre of attraction. There being no hotel here, Corporal Davis suggested that we secure the little town hall as barracks, but the good people of the village would not have it thus and we were freely offered the best the town afforded. Quartered upon Postmaster Simmons we found him the most genial of hosts, so anxious to do his best for us that he drove three miles to a plantation to secure the services of a noted colored cook to prepare our food. She served us admirably, and during our stay the old Confeds seemed to think nothing too good for us. Nearly every one in the village called on us, the most prominent in the number being Colonel George H. Whitfield,





the proprietor of the medicinal springs, and a large planter besides. He served in the Quartermaster's department during the war, and his house, standing on the outskirts of the town, was used by our forces as a hospital. Visiting the house, we found Yankee blood-stains on the floors and here many of our boys breathed their last. Here it was that Gilson, with his old time propensity for foraging, found in an adjoining building a bayonet that Colonel Whitfield had recently plowed up near the spot where men of the Forty-fourth Massachusetts were killed. Comrade Maynard secured an exploded Union shell which until recently had been buried in a tree. Though the tree had been cut down and piled up for burning, the shell was not discovered until the blaze exploded it, after having been imbedded more than a quarter of a century.

Colonel Whitfield and the villagers explained the positions of the rebel sharpshooters who annoyed us so much during the battle and he paid us off in full of all demands with Confederate scrip. The next day we proceeded to Kinston, whence we sent our transportation-train back to Goldsboro and took fresh horses for the trip over the Kinston field. We went out to Woodington Church, where the Fifth lay during the fight, in charge of the baggage-train. How vividly came back to us, all the escapades and adventures of that day in the early sixties, not excluding apple-jack, this being the home of that penetrating beverage and the far-famed scuppernong wine. The night was spent in Kinston and the next day we took the train for Newbern, passing by the rebel fort at Mosely Creek, the scene of the engagement May 23, 1863, when we captured it; thence through the Gum Swamp, where we were nearly if not completely “swamped” in our retreat; thence along to Core and Batchelder's Creek, both names having a decidedly familiar sound to our ears. We stand on the platform of the car as the colored brakeman, who was here in war-times, points out places of interest to old soldiers of the Eighteenth Corps. Here is the covered bridge where we passed so many days and nights





on picket; passing by Fort Rowan, the train begins to slacken speed and soon the trainman shouts, “Newbern!”

It is the veritable old town with seemingly very few changes; its streets and houses have altered very little; the line of breastworks and the forts are well preserved. The old Gaston house looks as imposing as ever; Masonic Hall (General Foster's headquarters), many buildings used as hospitals then, and other points of interest are just the same to-day. With our baggage “toted” by boys of considerable color, we hasten to Hotel “Albert,” whence we radiate in search of old-time scenes. Camp Peirson is sought first of all, but it seems to have suffered more than other fortifications, there being only some parts of the embankments remaining, while the camp and parade ground are thickly covered by the small houses of colored people. Still, there are some reminders of old times, for here is the cedar tree that stood at the end of the line officers’ tents, now in the back yard of a negro shanty. Here is the swamp which once divided our camp from that of the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts and there on the left is the one which held off Fort Rowan. Here was the long row of cookhouses, and we almost hear the welcome call, “Fall-in, Company B, for your hardtack.” Here, in fancy, we hear and see Captain Parker, Lieutenants Bailey and Harrington, as well as the manly presence of our beloved Colonel Peirson and the old comrades of the Somerville Light Infantry.

Leaving the old camp with regret, we stroll over to Forts Rowan and Totten, both well preserved, though trees are growing in the ditches. The view, however, from the ramparts reminds us of long ago. Inside the forts are growing early garden vegetables, the ventures of large planters who here start for northern markets such growths as are usually begun under glass. Where we cut away the trees for unimpeded artillery sweep, now flourish fine truck-farms, one of the city's chief industries being the raising of early vegetables for the North. Next we engage the services of “Limber” Lewis and his team of mules for a drive out to Deep Gully. “Limber” is a colored





gentleman who feels very proud of his war record. Veterans of the Fifth and the Twenty-fifth will remember him as the wagoner who hauled quartermaster's stores to our respective camps. We pass out by Fort Totten, out over the old clearing into the woods, on by Camp Palmer, the abode of the famous Third New York Cavalry, by Rock Run (the inner picket line) and then to Deep Gully. Time has dealt gently with the breastworks here, the birds, snakes and hogs are as plenty to-day as then, and save the constant outlook for Johnnie Rebs up the road, Deep Gully is just as we left it.

It was late at night when we got back to Newbern; the roads were very bad (whoever saw them otherwise here?), and “Limber's” mules were well nigh jaded out when we reached camp. Our driver was full of war reminiscence and we sang war-time songs as we journeyed cityward. On the morrow, strolling out to Fort Rowan and standing thereon, we looked across the river to Fort Anderson, recalling the events of that 14th of March, ’63, when the rebs undertook to recapture Newbern; also the many weary marches whose beginning was the crossing of the Neuse right here. Thence we visit the National Cemetery where lie so many Union dead, 3500 men, who lost their lives in North Carolina that the nation might continue undivided. We had expected to cross the river on leaving Newbern and thus to go over some of the trips made that way when we were younger, but owing to high water the roads were deemed impassable. Hence we left the city at nightfall by rail, and in the midst of a heavy snow-fall rode to Kinston, where we remained over night. The next day we rode to Goldsboro, whence by way of Rocky Mount we proceeded to Tarboro, now a busy manufacturing town. Owing to the investment of northern capital here in cotton mills, the prospects of the place are very bright. Our advance in this case was easier than that which we made under General Foster in November, ’62.

Boarding a steamer here, we steam fifty miles down the Tar River to “Little” Washington, the trip being made especially





pleasant through the courtesy of the captain, an old Confederate, who points out objects of interest as we float along. As we near Washington, we pass through mementoes of the siege in the shape of double piling chained together in the river. Our landing is near the point we touched on our first trip here, the last of October, ’62. Again our explorations reveal very little alteration; the Grist place with its remarkable approaches seems unchanged. Calling there we are met by a daughter of the elder Grist, she being only a little girl when we were here in ’62. She made us welcome and invited us to go over the house, view the premises, and make ourselves perfectly at home. In Washington, too, we found genial old Dr. Gallagher, who, as soon as he learned that Union soldiers had arrived in town, sent his compliments and requested us to call at our earliest convenience and partake of his hospitality. He will be remembered as the doctor who stayed through the Federal occupation, though his sympathies were with the Confederacy and his sons were in the rebel army.

One of Dr. Gallagher's sons is now a physician in the village, and through his kindly efforts we were able to make the trip to Blount's Creek by steamer. As the roads were so bad, we chartered a steam-tug and with the jolly doctor as a companion and guide, we sailed down the river past Hill's Point, where was located the battery that gave the “Escort” such fiery receptions when she ran the blockade; the old earthwork is unchanged. Entering Blount's Creek we wind our way through its many devious turns, under overhanging trees, and at last reach the saw-mill and find ourselves just where we were when the attack was made in April, ’63. The earthworks stand well preserved, and we feel that to complete the picture of long ago only the music of Belger's Battery is lacking. We stay as long as possible, but respond to the tug's whistle that we may get out of the creek by daylight.

In Washington we go over the fortifications, none of which have been removed, and in one of the forts we find Washington's Confederate monument. The next morning we leave the





place with its friends and pass put by the Grist estate and to Bellevue cross-roads, where Company B was first posted on picket when we started away from Washington in ’62 on our way towards Rawle's Mills. It was here that we had our first, not dress, but rather our undress parade when we made ready to cross that wide and deep mill-stream. We re-enter Williamston and spend the night; the villagers, though former Confederates, are the soul of hospitality and cheerfully take us to spots that we recall. Though we had purposed going hence to Plymouth, we were debarred by the floods, so by rail we went to Weldon, and from that point we made our way northward and homeward.


[Illustration:


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[Illustration:

CAPTAIN THOMAS F. HOWARD, CO. D.
ADJUTANT WM. T. EUSTIS, In Later Years.

]






[Illustration:

MAJOR WILLIAM T. GRAMMER.
]





THE ONE HUNDRED DAYS’ SERVICE.
Preliminary.

The coming of General Grant out of the West like another Lochinvar, in the spring of ’64, had wrought many changes in the surroundings of Washington, the capital city. It was early seen, in the very dawning of the strife, that the capital must be held at all hazards. Under the direction of skillful engineers men in blue had labored diligently, if not always willingly, until immense fortifications to the number of sixty-eight batteries and forts crowned every hill and knoll and guarded every approach to Washington on both sides of the Potomac. Fort Ellsworth, one of the largest of the defenses, the Fifth had helped build in ’61; the perimeter of the space inclosed by these works was more than thirty-seven miles; that of the forts themselves, thirteen; there were twenty miles of rifle-pits and three block-houses, besides ninety-three unarmed batteries for field-guns having 401 emplacements. The forts themselves had 1120 emplacements with 807 guns and 93 mortars actually in position. There were thirty-two miles of military roads besides the existing streets and avenues of the District by which communication could be had from point to point. To man these earthworks, so formidable and so necessary, there were many regiments of Heavy Artillery enlisted especially from the Eastern and Middle States. They were well drilled in the use of heavy and light guns, as well as being proficient in all parts of infantry drill and tactics.

When Grant was gathering his mighty hosts for the death-grapple with Rebellion, he saw these magnificently arrayed men within the defenses, and recognizing their value to the battleline, so soon to be flung against the army of Lee, he ordered every regiment to the front. Leaving their artillery, heavy and light, behind them and shouldering their muskets, these 40,000 fresh soldiers marched out to the reinforcement of the Army of





the Potomac, just bestirring itself from its winter at Brandy Station and already looking at the waters of the Rapidan, beyond which lay the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Appomattox. It was a motley company into whose keeping the carefully built and equipped forts were entrusted. The new General-in-Chief knew little and apparently cared less about the dangers to which this procedure exposed the President, his advisers and the National Government. The perilous situation became evident in the following July, when Jubal Early and his following knocked fiercely at the gates of the capital guarded by Fort Stevens. The nine hours’ halt at the Monocacy, July 9th, where Lew Wallace and his less than a single division of the Sixth Corps, with a few Maryland Home Guards and others, had held the rebels until the remaining wearers of the Greek Cross could reach Washington from City Point, just saved the city. So near did the capital come to falling a prey to the enemy! Fear and consternation seized the dwellers within the District of Columbia, and how earnestly they sighed for the disciplined soldiers who had constructed and once manned these frowning battlements. It was in such times as these when the Army of the Potomac was enfolding Petersburg within its terrible embrace and endeavoring so to hold the attention and strength of Lee, that there might be no more detaching of troops for assailing the capital that the 100 Days’ Men were summoned from Massachusetts and elsewhere.

The beginning of Grant's campaign, early in 1864, strained the resources of the Government as they had not been tested before. The straits in which the authorities found themselves were realized by some of the war governors who proffered ready aid thus: “On the 21st day of April, 1864, Governors Brough (Ohio), Morton (Indiana), Yates (Illinois), Stone (Iowa) and Lewis (Wisconsin) made an offer to the President to the following effect: that these states should furnish in the aggregate 85,000 troops for 100 days, Ohio to send 30,000; Indiana and Illinois, 20,000 each; Iowa, 10,000, and Wisconsin, 5,000. The whole number was to be furnished within twenty days; they





were to be armed, equipped and transported as other troops, but no bounty was to be paid nor was any credit to be given on any draft. After full conference between the President and General Grant, the President accepted the offer and inside of four weeks Ohio organized and placed in the field 35,646 officers and men, largely exceeding the stipulated quota. The other states contributed with proportionate alacrity. These troops did important service in the campaign; they supplied garrisons and held posts for which experienced troops would be required and the latter were relieved so as to join the armies in the field.” (Secretary Stanton, Rebellion Records, Series III, Vol. IV, p. 534.)

The terms for which these men were mustered would terminate in mid-summer, moreover the enlistments of thousands of three-years’ troops were up at about the same time, hence all the more need of immediate reinforcement. To this end, early in July, Governor Andrew wrote to the War Department offering volunteers from Massachusetts for the term of 100 days, with the single restriction that they should be exempt from draft during that period. To this letter the reply of Provost Marshal-general Jas. B. Fry bears date, July 5, ’64, and is to the effect that the Secretary of War accepts the offer on the terms named, and requests the sending on of 4000 infantry at the earliest practicable moment. Apparently the Governor was in Washington at the time, since in the same letter he is requested to call at General Fry's office at 10 a.m. the following day. His own letter to Adjutant-general Schouler and to his private clerk, Colonel Browne, is also dated the 5th, and therein he states that Secretary Stanton desires 5000 100-days’ volunteers from Massachusetts to garrison fortifications in Washington. “Get our fort companies to volunteer immediately for 100 days if possible, and begin new companies additional. Issue an order and set the work going vigorously. Let all my staff make every effort.”





COMPANIES.

No other positive evidence of the manner of ordering out the militia for active service than the foregoing can be found, excepting the President's call, July 18, 1864, for 500,000 men. Possibly there were orders from the State House and preliminary meetings of the several companies, but if so, the records are not accessible. However, it appears that companies from Charlestown, Somerville, Woburn, Peabody and Hudson that had been in the nine-months’ service responded to a call, and others from Boston, Marlboro and Stoneham also appeared. The companies, places and captains were as follows:—

Company A, Boston, Captain George H. Homer,

Company B, Somerville, Captain John N. Coffin,

Company C, So. Danvers (Peabody), Captain Geo. F. Barnes,

Company D, Charlestown, Captain George H. Marden, Jr.,

Company E, Marlboro, Captain David L. Brown,

Company F, Boston, Captain Philip J. Cootey,

Company G, Woburn, Captain Charles S. Converse,

Company H, Charlestown, Captain Daniel W. Davis,

Company I, Marlboro (Hudson), Captain Andrew A. Powers,

Company K, Stoneham, Captain Francis M. Sweetser.

Practically all of the field officers and a considerable part of the line had seen service in recent campaigns, while in the rank and file were men who had served faithfully in former years. At the same time, examination of the roster will show that the majority of the men were very young, many of them below the draft age, though they may have given their ages as eighteen, an exhibition of lapse from truth that the recording angel, we hope, overlooked. The alleged danger of Washington, the reputation of the regiment, acquired in its two former terms of service, rendered the filling of the old and the enlisting of the new companies a very easy task, and the reporting at the Readville rendezvous began at once. There the men





found little more time than to receive uniforms, arms and equipments before they were ordered away. Colonel George H. Peirson, who had so efficiently led the Fifth in the North Carolina campaign, was still at the head of the regiment, supported by W. E. C. Worcester as lieutenant-colonel, Wm. T. Grammer major, and Edwin F. Wyer adjutant.

There were some items of enlistments that deserve more than passing mention; thus while Company A was from South Boston, it had a squad of seven or eight boys from Cape Cod who had come to Boston on soldiering bent. For fully two weeks they had hung around the city with hopes of getting in somewhere. The South Boston company was their chance, for Captain Homer was in a hurry to raise his requisite number. The Captain sent the Cape Codders to Readville. The most of the boys were undersized, so it was lucky for them and history that they reached the place after dark. They were told to be ready for muster that evening. Not wishing to leave any chance for being rejected, the lads made haste to increase their respective bulks by recourse to the hay bedding that was furnished the barracks, and judicious stuffing rounded out their boyish forms in good shape. Requisite stature was attained by stuffing the toes of their boots with hay, thus uplifting their heels a couple of inches; in this way the eye of the mustering officer was deceived and the most of the boys passed muster. The Charlestown companies, D and H, reported on July 13th and 14th respectively. A veteran of the former company says, “We started in citizen's garb, each man with a box or bundle under his arm, some with bunches on their hips, all of us as jolly as we could be.” It is stated that in Companies E and I there were a dozen men from Stow descended from soldiers of the Revolution, in which struggle the good old town had a company of seventy-seven men.

Those companies and men that arrived in time were put through all the drill possible before the time of leaving, but with some it was just come and go, and there is no long story





of hilarious life at Camp Meigs, named after Major-general Montgomery J. Meigs, Quartermaster-general of the army. The Boston Transcript, commenting on the general appearance of the regiment, said: “Although many of the members are quite young, it is doubtful if a more soldierly, enthusiastic or finer looking company has left Boston since the war began.” The impending draft was arousing apprehensions in the minds of many, and the funny man of the day imputes the following refrain to one of the nearly “scared-to-death” fellows:

  • “Another draft! ah, woe is me, pray tell me how I can
  • Escape the call, and how it chanced that I was born a man?
  • I know I am not fit to serve, I don't think war is right;
  • For I'm a coward and poltroon, and I don't want to fight.”

DEPARTURE.

The dates of muster-in range from the 16th of July to the 28th, on which day the regiment departed for the south, leaving in so great a hurry that certain men absent on leave, with no expectation of such hurried departure, were left behind, and they had to reach their organization by their own wits, no one desiring the reputation of a deserter. Colonel Peirson himself barely reached Readville in time to depart with his men, they being in the very act of embarking on the train. There had been little time to prepare cooked rations before starting, and as there was no chance to make coffee on the cars, the commissary outlook was far from alluring to some. One informant says his company had hardtack and corned beef. The cars upon which the regiment was loaded were open platform, with temporary seats arranged, and being crowded at that, the ride to Providence might have been more enjoyable than it really was. There a boat was taken for New York city, and the trip down the Sound lacked many features of a holiday excursion, though fun and dancing on its main deck were in constant evidence. On reaching its





destination ferryboats were taken for South Amboy, N. J.

On leaving New York, the morning of the 29th, rations of hardtack and bologna sausage were given out; the former proved all right, but the latter was so aged that the most of it was thrown overboard to the fishes. From South Amboy, cars were taken to Camden, the train going in two sections, about ten minutes apart. Frequent stops were made through the State, and enthusiastic receptions were accorded the Massachusetts boys, with liberal supplies of food. Camden was reached at 4 p.m., and the Delaware was crossed by ferry, whence the regiment marched to the places where generous


[Illustration:


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hiladelphia, throughout the war, extended lavish hospitality. Whether the same was dispensed at the Cooper Shop or the Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, it was all the same, and always absolutely free. That veteran who ever dined here must have lost his memory if his heart does not glow with pleasure at the thought of what the City of Brotherly Love did for him and his comrades as they, on their way to the front or homeward bound, tasted what the name of Pennsylvania's chief city means.





The march through Philadelphia was accompanied by enthusiastic cheering and the waving of flags, the populace, apparently, never tiring of seeing the vast numbers of volunteers who, first and last, made the streets of the famed city a small part of their route towards the south. At the Baltimore station, the regiment found itself confronted with a train of cattle-cars for its conveyance to the Monumental City, and six companies did thus ride southward, while the remaining four were comfortably seated in regular passenger coaches. The morning of Saturday, the 30th, revealed Maryland's metropolis, and breakfast was secured at the Soldiers’ Rest, the quality of the same being in marked contrast to the supper in Philadelphia. However, healthy men do not starve when supplied with a sufficient amount of hardtack, corned beef and coffee. All along, the soldiers had supposed that Washington and its forts were their ultimate destination. Some members of the regiment had hurried thither three years before and they had grown to think they might have a chance to save the capital again.

BALTIMORE.

However, it appeared that Baltimore had need of these men from the Bay State, and here they were retained. Though all of the rebel brag, bluster and bravado of 1861 had disappeared and the city was on its good behavior, there was need of a numerous assemblage of “Boys in Blue,” so here the Fifth was halted. It was about 11 a.m. when the line was reformed and the march begun which ended at Mankin's Woods, a point possibly five miles outside of the city proper. The day was extremely hot, and this trip through and out of Baltimore was made when the sun was highest and hottest. The result can be foreseen readily: there were sun-strokes and a demoralization not unexpected, considering the inexperience of the men. Some officers, considerate of their charge, had secured





transportation for the baggage of their men, but this did not apply to many who had to carry all their luggage with them, and they suffered accordingly. Some men thus early learned that it was easier to carry the essentials of a march rolled up in their blankets rather than retain their knapsacks, throwing the latter away, though at the very best the march was exceedingly trying.

Mankin's Woods proved to be the abode of the regiment for several weeks, and diligent effort was made to produce uniform action among the men, to very many of whom a gun was an entirely unknown weapon and, until the present, they had learned only the simplest rudiments of drill. It was the boast of the State that unexampled activity had been shown in reaching the south, yet there were those toiling under a Maryland August sun who questioned at least one word in the general statement current at the time, viz., that Massachusetts had raised, armed, equipped, drilled and sent to the field 5000 men in twenty-five days, thanks to the efficient manner in which Governor Andrew kept the militia. Too much emphasis had been put on the word “drilled.” As a matter of fact a large number of these “Boys in Blue” had been boys in school up to the close of the same, early in July, and parental consent had been secured to enable them to be the soldiers that Colonel Peirson and his officers were making.

“Mankin's Woods was an ideal spot for a military camp: high and dry ground, heavily wooded, with springs of good water and a stream near by for bathing.” Apparently the conditions, so finely set forth, exist to-day and no doubt account for the fact that the famous Johns Hopkins Hospital is situated near the site of the Fifth's first camp. Says one eloquent observer: “Surely our lines had fallen in pleasant places, and we hugged to ourselves the delusive thought that we had a goodly heritage.” However delightful the surroundings, there was no delay for recuperation, since on the next day, July 31, there was a grand review of all the troops encamped in the vicinity, an early introduction to the Third





Separate Brigade, Brigadier-general Henry H. Lockwood, one of the many brigades making up the Eighth Army Corps, commanded at this time by Major-general Lew Wallace. The day proved to be exceedingly hot, 103° F. in the shade, so said, and as a result heat prostrations were numerous. Men right out of offices, stores and workshops were far from being acclimated, and they wilted easily. Company G suffered particularly, Surgeon Treadwell pronouncing some of the cases the worst he had ever seen. Another serious feature was the fact that he was entirely lacking in hospital supplies and was unable to get from the Baltimore dispensary the brandy for which he had made a requisition. On appealing to the officers, he found one who acknowledged having a bottle which he said had been given to him by a friend in Readville, and this he would gladly contribute. The surgeon was profuse in his thanks, and said he would surely make good the loan when his demand on the local source of supplies was recognized. The officer long since made up his mind that the requisition was never honored, for the debt remains unpaid until this day.

Throughout the loyal portions of the country, August 4, Thursday, was observed as a day of fasting and prayer by Proclamation of the President, to the end that “God in His infinite goodness might soften the hearts, enlighten the minds and quicken the consciences of those in rebellion, that they may lay down their arms and speedily return to their allegiance to the United States, that they may not be utterly destroyed, that the effusion of blood may be stayed, and that unity and fraternity may be restored, and peace established throughout our borders.” While folks at home could repair to churches for worship, to soldiers in the field, the weapons to secure the objects prayed for, there was not so much variation in daily duties.

Exactness in dates does not seem to be a characteristic of these days, rather do we find “about this time” of frequent recurrence. However, it is probable that the beautiful view





of Baltimore and the salubrious air of Mankin's Woods were enjoyed for nearly or quite two weeks when there came an order directing Colonel Peirson to report with his command to Gen. W. W. Morris at Fort McHenry. Somehow the idea again became prevalent that Washington was the real destination of the Fifth, and rather than put the regiment to the fatigue of the long march, the kind and careful Colonel, on reaching the city, sent his Adjutant ahead to report to the General and ascertain if he had any further commands. Though the start from the camp had been made late in the afternoon, mid-August weather was not likely to be very cool, and the men, under their heavy burdens of outfit and camp equipage, suffered not a little, so that straggling became common before the end of the march.

Adjutant Wyer obeyed the order of the Colonel and rode forward to the fort, and being ushered into the presence of General Morris, after saluting, said, “Colonel Peirson of the Fifth Massachusetts Infantry presents his compliments and desires to know if you wish him to report in person with his command, or have you other directions for him?” To this statement, the General, who was a fine representative of the old school of officers, replied, “Tell your Colonel to report at once with his command.” As the Adjutant turned to depart, the General resumed, “Leftenant, what sort of a regiment is yours?” The “Leftenant” was not slow in replying: “Like all Massachusetts regiments, a good one.” “What part of the State was it recruited from?” Ans., “Boston and vicinity.” “Are there, among the officers, any liberally educated men?” Ans., “Yes, one captain and one first lieutenant.” “Have you any good clarks among the enlisted men?” Ans., “Yes, many of them.” “Have you any good artisans among the enlisted men, such as joiners, plasterers, brick-layers, whiteners, decorators?” Ans., “Yes, lots of them.” “Tell your Colonel to report as soon as he arrives.”

It would seem that these Yankees were just the folks the General had been looking for, since they would be able to do





a variety of things of which he thought himself in need. The garrison of the fort had consisted of four companies of regular artillery with the 192d (100 days) Pennsylvania, the latter to be relieved by the Fifth and to go at once to Ohio for duty at Bolton Station, opposite the mouth of the Great Kanawha River of West Virginia. One informant says that first night in the fort was signalized by a severe storm of rain, lightning and all the accompaniments of that time of the year. There was an abundance of water and no tents were up. When later the barracks in which the new comers were to be lodged were inspected, they were found to be in a condition quite out of keeping with the Massachusetts standard, having already more than a quota of inhabitants, not men in blue uniforms, but real, many-footed graybacks, as bloodthirsty as such parasites are wont to be. Permission to camp outside the fort was sought and obtained, and under shelter-tents on sloping ground, along the southwesterly side of the fort, between it and the Patapsco River, the men found shelter and better accommodations than the over-populous fort afforded. When the regiment from the Keystone State was to depart, Colonel Peirson was anxious that its exit should be made with all due military formalities and honors. Hence he had passed around word that the Fifth would be drawn up in line and that the extreme of precision and attention should be exhibited. The surprise, not to say disgust, of the Colonel can better be imagined than described when he and his regiment beheld the departing troops file by without the slightest acknowledgment of the courtesies extended. Of course the lapse was owing to lack of training, not to intentional impoliteness.





FORT McHENRY.

Fort McHenry, where our regiment was for a time encamped, and in or near which some part of the Fifth remained during its entire service, was fragrant with history, and one of the members of Company D who lay down in the darkness of the arrival night, unknowing as to his whereabouts, rubbed his eyes with astonishment in the morning at the familiar appearance of his surroundings, until it dawned upon him that his sight beheld in verity what he some years before had seen pictured in Gleason's Pictorial as the interior of Fort McHenry of Baltimore. His boyish hand had copied the representation; so vivid had been the impression and so exact his memory, he recognized the place and objects at once. The fort was the result of an act of the Maryland Legislature in 1793, giving to the Federal Government the privilege of erecting a fortification on Whetstone Point, to which was afterwards given the name of Washington's Secretary of War, James McHenry, who, an ardent patriot of that State, had accompanied Washington when the latter journeyed to Cambridge in 1775 to take command of the American Army. He died in 1816, three years after Francis Scott Key had immortalized the fortress by his “Star Spangled Banner,” written while the British fleet, in which he was held a prisoner, was bombarding the fort.

The commandant of “McHenry,” General Wm. Walton Morris, born in Ballston Spa., N. Y., 1801, was a West Pointer, 1820, and had had a part in nearly everything, in a military way, that the country had known from that time to the beginning of the War of the Rebellion. He had fought Indians in Florida, had served on the Canadian frontier in 1839, won distinction and promotion in the Mexican War, assisted in quelling disturbances in Kansas, and the Rebellion found him a Colonel in command at Fort McHenry, whose guns it was his privilege to train on the rebellious Baltimoreans on the






[Illustration:

FORT McHENRY, EXTERIOR VIEW.
]





19th of April of that year, when they were offering the reverse of hospitalities to the Massachusetts Sixth, thus preventing a continuance of their riotous behavior. His refusal to honor the writ issued by a Maryland judge demanding the person of a soldier belonging to his garrison, on the ground that the beginning of hostilities had suspended the habeas corpus act, secured for him the admiration of all loyal people. He was old-fashioned in his manners, pronunciation and straight-forwardness, and the men of the Fifth respected him fully. He had already been brevetted a brigadier, and later was similarly honored with a brevet major-general's rank in the U. S. Army. He died in Baltimore, December 11, 1865.

As far as the regiment was concerned in this term of duty, it never got nearer Washington than Baltimore, nor were the services of the Fifth rendered as an entire organization. There were too many points in and about the city to be looked after to warrant the continued presence of the whole body at any one place for any length of time. While Baltimore had become, outwardly, very calm and apparently resigned, there was a feeling in Federal circles that the closer and keener the watch over the city and her citizens, the better it would be for the country. There were men and women engaged in business who were constantly under espionage, and sometimes they were detected in their efforts to give aid and comfort to the enemy. The raid of Jubal Early in the preceding July with the accompanying cavalry progress of Harry W. Gilmor, the burning of railroad bridges, the capture of Union officers and other successes had inflamed the hearts of rebel sympathizers almost to the point of open declaration of their sentiments All the time they were sending through the lines expressions of their devotion to the secession cause, and if a rebel officer blossomed out in a new uniform of gray, the probabilities were that it came, either made up or in the cloth, from Baltimore.

Again the system of recruiting then in progress, the returning of paroled or exchanged prisoners to their regiments, required





some central point of distribution. The high bounties offered had given an incentive to desertion and re-enlistment, thus giving rise to what became known as “bounty-jumping,” and the service was afflicted with accessions, when they could be delivered to their respective destinations, of a large number of undesirable men whom a considerable force had to watch constantly. Just such a centre of distribution Baltimore had become, and to accomplish the proper rendering of recruits, prisoners and soldiers at the end of furloughs to their places was to absorb the time and services of the men of the Fifth for the greater part of their enlistment. Then, too, there were in this 1864 many Confederates, captured in the Potomac campaign and in that whirlwind advance of Sheridan in the Valley of the Shenandoah, who had to be delivered at the points devoted to their retention. All this time Fort McHenry had been the place of confinement of many citizens of Baltimore, to whom the fortification became a veritable Bastile, a name which the rebelliously inclined were wont to apply frequently. Under the battlements of the fort was found place for the confinement of rebel prisoners, whose safe keeping was also largely in the hands of the Fifth. There was an abundance of incident and variety in the duties to which the regiment was assigned, and at no time during its nominal presence in Baltimore was there any danger of tedium through lack of occupation.

The removal of the Fifth to Fort McHenry brought about new brigade relations, the regiment being now in the Second Separate Brigade, under the command of Gen. W. W. Morris. It was not a very great array, since, aside from the Fifth, there were only two companies or batteries, H and K, of the Second U. S. Artillery. In October the name of the Ninety-first N. Y. Infantry appears, but even then it could not have been contemporary with the Massachusetts men a great while, since the latter returned home the first of November. Possibly the New Yorkers succeeded the Fifth. Pleased as the men were to find themselves assigned to the historic Fort McHenry,





it was not for all of them to remain there long, since there were other fortifications to be garrisoned, so the regiment was apportioned out among Forts Federal Hill, Marshall and Carroll, leaving a portion of the men in McHenry. The first-named fort was the result of General Butler's occupation in May, ’61, and the wisdom of his action was shown many times during the subsequent years. Placed at the terminus of Fell's Point, rising fully thirty feet above McHenry, it commanded that as well as the city itself. Laid out under the direction of Major Henry Brewerton of the U.S. Topographical Engineers and built by one of the New York Zouave (Duryea's Fifth) regiments, the defenses inclosed the entire crown of the hill. It was so arranged that the angles of the bastions, by means of its guns, could rake every street leading thereto. Fort Marshall was a strong earthwork, occupying space east of Patterson Park, near the centre of the city. Fort Carroll was built on low-lying land some eight miles down the bay and was notoriously unhealthful, so much so that in subsequent years it was roofed over and abandoned. Wherever placed, the duties of the men were substantially the same, viz., guard and escort work.

Wherever the members of the regiment may have been during their Baltimore stay, it would seem that some part of them were at Fort McHenry all of the time. Among the several communications outlining the services of the Fifth an agreement appears as to several points, such as the presence of rebel prisoners and the holding of certain distinguished men in the inner fort, though as to the latter there is a manifest difference when attempts are made to name them. As a tarrying-place for people of alleged treasonable tendencies, McHenry disputed honors with the Old Capitol of Washington, and Forts Lafayette and Warren of New York and Boston respectively. Among the most distinguished who were held here for a while were Mayor George Wm. Brown and his Chief of Police, George P. Kane, of Baltimore; Harry W. Gilmor, also a Baltimorean, afterwards gaining the rank of Colonel in





the Confederate service, who as a spy was held from September, ’62, to February, ’63, and in the year 1864 he was particularly annoying to the Union cause, along with the raid of Early into Maryland. The Official Records of the Rebellion print the names of many who were held at the fort, but no mention is made of a certain quadruped that, it is claimed, was also a prisoner for a time. The famous trotting horse, “Flora Temple,” long the property of Hiram Woodruff, had been sold in 1858 for $8000 to William McDonald, a wealthy citizen of Baltimore, who in 1861 had the poor judgment to evince rebel sympathies, and, as a consequence, his then fleetest steed in the world was confiscated in August, or an effort was made in this direction, and she was led off to the fort. It is also claimed that her owner accompanied her to the prison, and divided the stall with his celebrated possession. Later the property of Mr. A. Welsh of Philadelphia, she died December 21, 1877, at the great age, for a horse, of more than thirty-two years.

Clarence Littlefield of Company G asserts that August 14th three companies under Colonel Peirson, with Adjutant E. F. Wyer, were ordered to Fort Marshall; three more, under Lieutenant-colonel Worcester, went to Federal Hill; a still smaller detachment was sent down the bay to Fort Carroll, leaving, nominally, four companies at McHenry.* These with the two companies of regulars had to do the work, proper for twice that number. “The old brick storehouses are surrounded by a stockade and are filled with Confederate prisoners, conscripts and substitutes.” This day, the 14th, eight men were detailed from each company, making thirty-two

[note]



in all, as a guard for a party of 115 prisoners, bounty-jumpers, stragglers and conscripts to Alexandria. “We arrived there without losing a man and returned to the fort in safety.” Confederate prisoners had to be taken to Point Lookout, the tip-end of Maryland at the mouth of the Potomac; these men acted as guards in getting them there. In one such trip the escort was surprised to find the regiment, guarding the enclosure, to be the Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry (colored), and one of that body said he had found his old master among the prisoners, an interesting turning of the tables. The acquisitive faculty is early and easily developed in the soldier, and when this escort found on the dock many barrels of onions and sweet potatoes in the great abundance of provisions there piled up for the use of those without as well as those within the stockade, cupidity was so far excited that when the boys went back to Baltimore, a considerable quantity of the vegetables went with them, and the appetizing odor of onions about camp indicated that the supplies were at once turned over to the cook. While no record of their reception was made, the men were none the less grateful for the chance to improve their health and spirits.

It will be remembered that General Morris inquired earnestly as to artisans in the Fifth when the regiment reported for service. He soon found employment for men of nearly all trades represented. The old fort needed them badly, and soon the sound of the builder was heard as the carpenters and masons all but made over the chapel, barracks and other parts of the fort. A baker was found for the bake-house, a butcher for the commissary department, and M. T. Allen (G), whose stature placed him at the extreme left of the company, was detailed as an orderly for the General. Two masons, Wm. S. York and Humphrey Chadbourn, also of “G,” for their first job were sent to the chapel, where they were to mix a bed of mortar, at which they demurred, claiming not to know how. When the situation was reported to General Morris, the latter sent for Captain Converse to find out why such men were





sent as masons. The Captain comprehended the condition at once, and was able to make it clear to the officer that at home they were master-masons and not hod-carriers. The choleric old General saw the point immediately and subsequent orders brought the additional workmen needed.

The first task, assigned to carpenters, E. M. Coffin, Geo. W. Kimball, James H. Knowlton and E. H. Lawrence, of “G,” was the enlargement of a gallows, originally constructed for one culprit, so that it might be used for four at one time. August 17th, after due trial, four men were condemned as spies and sentenced to be hanged on the 29th. As the senior officer in command, the execution of the sentence devolved upon Major Grammer, a duty by no means coveted by him. It was near midnight, before the fatal day, when the Major was aroused from his sleep by the guard, who announced the arrival of Orderly Allen with a document from General Morris announcing the reprieve of the condemned men, and an order committing them to the penitentiary at Albany, N. Y., for the remainder of the war, an order soon after carried into effect. In 1875, when the Centennial of the Battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, was celebrated in Charlestown and the Fifth Regiment of Maryland became the guests of the Fifth Regiment, M. V. M., a member of the former body sought out the then Colonel Grammer and introduced himself as one of the quartette that just escaped death at his command. On the 21st of August the hearts of the Woburn men were gladdened by a visit from Samuel Grammer, a brother of the Major, Charles W. Converse, son of the Captain, and George Conn, all from Woburn and all bringing news from home.

Nor were diversions wanting at Fort McHenry. Nothing escapes the wideawake Yankee; he soon learned how to catch crabs, and he practiced much of his spare time. It took two to make the catching successful, thus: one man tied a string to a piece of salt pork and lowered it into the Patapsco River, his partner standing by with a scoop-net. Very soon the claw-armed crustaceans had the pork in their clutches, each





one hanging on with all his might. It is then that fisherman No. 1 carefully pulls up his string and No. 2 as gently pushes under the net, and, as the crabs let go on leaving the water, they drop into the trap, to be transferred thence to the boiling pot, where they speedily become most toothsome morsels. By judicious exchange with M. J. Flanagin (H), head cook for the officers, the latter got a taste of the Patapsco luxury, while the fishermen had soft bread with their catch. This amusement, however diverting, came to an abrupt end one morning by the discovery of the body of a member of the Ninety-first N. Y. floating in the water a short distance from shore. He had been drowned while trying to swim around the wall enclosing the grounds and extending into the river. That he was a bounty-jumper appeared in the $400 in bright, fresh greenbacks contained in his pockets. The unclad portions of his body had been badly mutilated by the crabs, and the fishermen all at once lost their appetites for shell-fish, thus proving themselves far more fastidious in taste than Barham's “Lady” (Ingoldsby Legends), whose “Knight” had been drowned in a favorite eel-pond and whose garments, covering his body, half eaten by eels, disclosed scores of the good woman's favorite food. Nothing loth, she had the squirming, snake-like fishes prepared for her supper and, when the meal was over and she was folding her napkin, she said to the valet:

  • “Eels a many I've ate; but any so good ne'er tasted before!—
  • They're fish, too, of which I'm remarkably fond,—
  • Go—pop Sir Thomas again in the pond—
  • Poor dear! He'll catch us some more!”

A certain lieutenant was officer of the guard, in which capacity he had some words with an enlisted man who protested that it was only the uniform and buttons that saved him, the officer, from a good “licking.” The Charlestown wearer of shoulder-straps did not forget that he was from Bunker-Hill-town and, remarking that such little things as buttons and straps need not stand in the way, just doffed the outfit and, inviting the fellow to the space outside the gate,





in much less time than it takes to tell it, had changed the face of the boaster so that his best friend would not have recognized him.

Who was he? Several writers agree as to there having been a prisoner of state within the innermost part of Fort McHenry, but they do not agree as to who he was, their opinions being as variant as are the names given the famous “Man in the Iron Mask.” They claim that he was kept there through the entire war. They agree that he was confined in a room on the ground floor and that his door was open in warm weather. The sentinel who stood on this post often received fruit and other courtesies from the distinguished prisoner, he seeming to have rich and influential friends in the city, who drove out in their carriages, bringing fruit and other delicacies. In the morning and afternoon, at stated periods, he would be permitted to be out of his room a few minutes, when he would pace up and down the prescribed space as rapidly as possible to keep up his vigor and strength. His snowy white hair well set off his refined face. The strong and massive gates to the inner fort were closed and fastened every night.

In their trips to the many places where recruits and others were consigned, the men of the Fifth had a good opportunity to study southern geography and to meet some of the famous men of the day. One man writes: “We left Baltimore on the sidewheel steamer ‘Georgiana’ and steamed down the Chesapeake to Fortress Monroe, where we landed with our detail and there embarked on another boat, passing our fleet of gunboats anchored in Hampton Roads, getting a good view of the wrecks of the ‘Cumberland’ and ‘Congress,’ made so by the Rebel ram Merrimac; finally reaching the grand Union base of supplies, City Point, on James River. The sight of so many soldiers, the sound of artillery firing on Petersburg, and the general hustle and hurry quite impressed us young men so recently from home. We saw General Grant, smoking in his tent, surrounded by a number of his officers. We brought back with us many sick and wounded soldiers from the front.”





September 10th, Horace Pearsons (G) died in the McHenry Hospital of typhoid fever, this being the second death in the regiment, Lemuel Gott, Jr. (I) having died in Baltimore, August 29, the result of sunstroke. At the expense of his comrades, the body of Pearsons was embalmed and sent home for burial. A comrade of Pearsons says that in his delirium he fancied that he could reach home by swimming under water, and one day he saw his chance when the nurse was in another part of the ward and, slipping out, he ran to the water's edge and plunged in. His absence was soon discovered and, being followed, he was caught just as he entered the stream and was returned to his cot to die in the old-fashioned way. This same 10th of September was the date of a false alarm, when shots from the direction of the Confederate prisons were followed by what was thought the long roll, the men rushing hurriedly into line. Fortunately the alarm proved to be a false one and quiet once more reigned. August had its day of fasting; September followed with one of thanksgiving for the signal victories of Sherman in Georgia, and those of Farragut and Canby in Mobile, Alabama. Sunday, the 11th, was the day set apart for observance in Baltimore, and all who could be spared from duty attended divine service.

The 22d of the month witnessed the military execution of Geo. W. McDonald, a deserter from the Third Maryland Cavalry, who had added to his offense through resisting and shooting the arresting officer. He was said to be a fine specimen of physical manhood, thirty-eight years old, six feet and three inches tall; from Illinois originally, he was in Texas at the breaking out of the war and there enlisted in the Texas Rangers. Captured in battle, he had taken the oath of allegiance, but evidently he was always an adventurer, very likely a bounty-jumper. Twelve hundred soldiers and a hundred civilians were present; the former, under command of Major Grammer, formed on three sides of a hollow square in front of the gallows. The firing party, consisting of six men from the regulars and as many more from the Ninety-first N. Y.,





marched slowly on the field to the strains of the Dead March in Saul as played by the muffled drums, halting by the side of an open grave, where, also, was the coffin soon to contain the mortal remains of the soldier. After the reading of the findings of the court-martial, August 17th, by the Provost Marshal and some remarks by the prisoner, he was made to kneel by the side of the coffin, having been bound and blindfolded. At the word of command the squad fired and the deserter fell forward, his body pierced by five bullets.


[Illustration:

Bombardment of Fort N'Henry, Baltimore 1814.
A Contemporary Print.

]

To go back a few days in this record, it should be stated that the 13th of September was not forgotten by the men who found themselves in the historic fort, since that day was the fiftieth anniversary of the bombardment of McHenry by the British fleet under Vice-admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane. Francis Scott Key, a Marylander, was a prisoner on board one of the enemy's vessels and saw the entire display of fireworks; the Britons firing, it is said, from 1500 to 1800 shells, only 400 of which fell within the works, the garrison losing only four men killed and twenty wounded. The most





aggravating feature of the attack, to the men within the fort, was their inability to reach the fleet by any missiles their guns would throw. They simply had to stand and take what the enemy sent, but the flag flew through the entire bombardment.

Another incident of these days of early fall is recorded by Captain Homer of Company A, at the time Assistant Provost-Marshal, serving on the staff of General Wallace. A stock company from the Boston Museum was playing “The Heir at Law” at the Holliday Street Theatre. The Captain and his wife, both ardent theatre-goers, were present, pleased with the idea of seeing and hearing such favorite Boston artists as William Warren, Josephine Lawton and Emily Mustayer. Of course the city was under martial law, with a provostguard at every theatre. Somewhere in the play occur the words, “Thank God I am not an American.” The actor who recited this passage, himself an Englishman, for the evidept purpose of exciting sympathy in the audience and gaining the applause always so dear to the Thespian's ear, exclaimed, “Thank God I am not a Yankee.” Immediately the whole house rose, waved handkerchiefs and hurrahed. Mrs. Homer, turning to her husband, said. “This man is not giving his line as he should; don't you recall it?” With blood at fever-heat, the Captain went behind the curtain, had the actor taken to the guard-house, and the affair was reported to General Wallace the next morning. The Captain's ready action made subsequent variations of lines for the sake of rebel applause less popular.

An unusually desperate lot of men was started from Fort McHenry under Fifth Regiment convoy. There was more than the usual proportion of blacklegs among the motley crew that started from Baltimore, many of them clearly determined that they would not report to whatever point they may have been assigned. One managed to get away before leaving Baltimore. On reaching Washington the party was sent to the “Soldiers’ Relief” for the night, to be marched to Alexandria the next day. Just as “taps” were sounded and






[Illustration:

FORT FEDERAL HILL, FORT McHENRY IN DISTANCE; NOW A PART OF BALTIMORE'S PARK SYSTEM.
]





lights were extinguished, a rush was made for one of the doors. “We were in a large, square room, one of several under the same roof, with two doors on the exposed sides; most of the men were asleep on the floor under their blankets. I had been watching a half dozen or more playing a game of poker near the door towards which the rush was made. Two men got through the door and climbed the fence in the rear of the barracks. The near-by guard cried, ‘Halt!’ and fired. We learned the next day that one of the men escaped and the other, terribly wounded, was taken to the hospital, where, it was rumored, he died.” The commotion aroused the reserve guard, who came hurriedly in and investigation disclosed the interesting fact that preparations had been made by many of the men to make a general attempt to escape; its culmination, however, was frustrated by the untimely effort of these men, who apparently were afraid the break would not be made.

FORT FEDERAL HILL.

The duties of the companies stationed here were not unlike those assigned to the men remaining in Fort McHenry, though its proximity to the railroad made it more convenient as a point of distribution of recruits constantly arriving from points north, east and west. The Virginia side of the Potomac had its Camp Distribution, opposite Washington, and the camp in Baltimore was of a similar nature, though possibly a less number of men were halted here, and finally sent on to the many regiments of the Potomac Army. As a Company D man writes: “Every week large numbers of recruits and convalescents arrived at this post from Hart's Island, N. Y. Harbor; Elmira, Western N. Y.; Gallipolis, Ohio, and other points. The guards who had accompanied them thus far were relieved and sent back to their respective stations. After a large number had been gathered, the officers in charge would read the names of the men who were to go to the front, there





to join their several regiments and batteries. When ready, these men were accompanied to the trains, under the guard of members of the Fifth and, still under their direction, the party would be taken to City Point, Washington, Harper's Ferry and other places.

The National Tribune (Washington, D. C.), February 23, 1911, has the following purporting to come from L. S. Griswold, Chatham, N. Y.:

Some 100 days’ men from Massachusetts were doing garrison duty in Fort Federal Hill, Baltimore, during the month of September, 1864. Along with a party of convalescents and recruits, I was put in the barracks to remain over night. The moon was shining very bright, when I heard the sentinel sing out, “Halt!” and looking out I saw a man running towards the parapet. He did not stop at the word, but sprang upon the breastwork. The sentinel, who was running towards him, fired, but missed. The fellow sprang over the pickets and the sentinel after him. Soon came the call, “Corporal of the Guard, Post 26,” and soon came the corporal and the guard. I heard him ask, “Where is the sentinel of this post?” The answer came from the outside of the fort, “Here I am; I've got a jumper. Put a man on my post and come out through the gate.” The morning revealed the “jumper” with bayonet thrust through his leg, and thus not much of a jumper of any sort. As those of the Fifth were the only Massachusetts men in the fort, the punctual sentinel must have been one of the “Yanks.”

Post 24 at Federal Hill was a favorite with those doing guard duty, since residing near were people of Union sentiments who always brought out a good dinner to the sentinel at that hour. A reason for this unusual procedure was given in the statement that, at the beginning of the war, the head of this house was arrested by the disloyal authorities and kept in confinement until the arrival of General Butler, who reversed things in Baltimore, and our Union man came out and his rebel persecutors went in. Gratitude for this act of the distinguished officer prompted the conspicuous generosity of the patrons of Post 24. There were other posts not so agreeable,





especially those where wharf-rats abounded, and so numerous were they, it was not an infrequent act for a sentinel to bayonet one or more of the preying rodents.

Comrade Libby of Company D writes: “One afternoon when doing duty, under the open window of one of the barracks, holding a large number of new arrivals, I observed one of the latter rolling up bankbills as he would a card and dropping them into his canteen. I said to him, ‘Johnny, drop some of them out to me.’ He replied, ‘I have fifteen hundred dollars here, and I'll give you half if you will give me a chance to get away to-night.’ My next was, ‘Oh no, Johnny, I don't care to spend the rest of the war at the Rip Raps with a ball and chain on.’ ” In 1864 bounty-jumping was at its height, and out of every squad arriving for the front, a considerable part was ready to depart if opportunity offered. Private Libby writes again: “Just on the brink of the hill, facing the harbor, were the camp-sinks back of the barracks, and guards were always posted there. One night when at supper, we were startled by the report of a musket, indicating an attempt to escape. One of the ‘jumpers,’ dashing by the guard, had plunged down the hill, only to receive the ball through his hat. That, however, did not stop him, but the police of the city were specially vigilant on account of the reward of $50 per capture, so it was not long before the would-be runaway was returned. He remarked that he thought he would not take any more chances of that sort; the front itself could not be more dangerous.”

Target-shooting was practiced on the back side of this same hill Saturday mornings, preparatory to cleaning up guns and equipments for Sunday inspections, and on one such occasion, some citizens came hurrying in, saying that bullets were passing through their houses. To do this and reach houses half a mile away and far over the edge of the hill, the culprits must have intentionally elevated their pieces far above the targets; but the spirit of deviltry often prompts men and boys, especially the latter, to do unaccountable





things. At Fort McHenry, where soldiers went down to the water's edge to discharge their guns, men were known to take deliberate aim at fishing-boats, perhaps a mile off, and the way anchor was tripped and the speed with which small creeks were sought indicated that bullets were reaching them.

It is written that, September 24th, a salute of 100 guns was fired in honor of the great victory won by Sheridan at Winchester. It was one of the not over enjoyable duties of the soldier to go through certain stores in search of contraband goods, that is, articles presumably held for the purpose of trying to pass them through the lines. At one time a detachment was sent down into the city to quell a riot on Eastern Avenue, one of the worst streets in Baltimore, or any other city for that matter, at that time, and again men of the Fifth were directed to take the stacked guns and colors of a three-years’ Pennsylvania regiment which had mutinied; this being done by a 100 days’ organization made the medicine all the more bitter. One long-term soldier, somewhat under the influence of fire-water, announced his ability to whip any 100 days’ man that ever lived. Whereupon one of the Fifth boys remarked that he was willing to give the braggart a chance. In the moving picture that ensued the long-termer got all that was coming to him, but he was not a little consoled when he learned that his victor had served three years before going into the Fifth, a bit of knowledge which drew from the vanquished the sad statement, “I thought something was the matter with him.”

John F. Whiting of “E” enters the following in his account of experiences: “I was sent to Washington with three negroes, chained together. We rode to Washington, but there I was told that the walking was good to Alexandria, where I had been ordered to deliver my charge. On getting back to the Soldiers’ Rest I was told to report with a squad of five men to the office of the Provost Marshal, and there I was ordered to proceed under the lead of a guide to Ford's Theatre, where we arrested a well-dressed man wearing a tall silk hat, whom on our return we delivered at Fort McHenry. Who he was, I






[Illustration:

Soldiers' Rest,
Washington, D.C., Oct 25 1864.
GUARDS AND PATROLS:
Pass Corp'l Whiting and five men through the City, until 12 O'clock tonight...M.
pass expires 12. M 1864.
Sergt F.E. Marden
Commanding Detachment.
APPROVED: E M Cam Jr
Capt., A. Q. M., and A. A. D. C.,
Commanding Post.

]

ever knew. I have preserved, all of these years, the pass given me when in the capital.” It was not all work at the fort; the boys had their fun-drill, guard-duty and escort notwithstanding. If they could not get passes, they slid down the incline which they had tunneled through the hill to Pratt Street; as they could not climb back they had to take their chances on their safe return. A beer-saloon and billiard-room, kept by a Dutchman, was a favorite gathering place also on Pratt Street. For favors rendered the bounty-jumpers, some of the men were liberally rewarded, though their memories were sometimes poor in the matter of returning change, and even the major part of the errand, viz., the canteen of whiskey, did not always reach its proper destination. One of the fort tasks was to fill redflannel bags with powder for cannon cartridges, using a copper scoop and wearing on their feet wash-leather moccasins. After so much care against explosions it may be imagined the greetings that men received who came within range smoking a cigar or pipe.





FORT MARSHALL.

Having a central location on the eastern boundary of Patterson Park, this fortification played an important part in maintaining order in the city and in reducing the rebellious spirit of some of the fire-eaters to a state of outward compliance with the rulings of the National Government. Here were the Colonel and Adjutant, and thus here were the headquarters of the regiment, during nearly all of its term, very widely distributed. From this point also were sent recruits and others to their several destinations, and there was very little time for ease or play, in spite of the general impression that the short-termers had an altogether easy time. It was while thus garrisoning Fort Marshall that Colonel Peirson received an order from General Morris to the effect that he should detail one of his most reliable officers and one private to conduct and deliver to the Provost Marshal at Washington a Confederate officer. “Send none but the most trusty and dependable men.” Whereupon the Colonel, turning to Adjutant Wyer, remarked, “You must detail yourself, Adjutant.” Of this duty, the Adjutant writes:

The officer was Major Johnston of the — Virginia Cavalry, who at the breaking out of the war was just beginning the practice of law in Baltimore; his strong southern sympathies prompted him to give up his profession and to enter the Confederate service, where he won promotion and the reputation of being one of the most fearless, aggressive and resourceful leaders in the cavalry of northern Virginia. He was a man of commanding presence, more than six feet in height, fine figure, having a haughty military bearing, the latter being considerably emphasized by his new Confederate uniform which his admirers in Baltimore had just presented him. When the towering form of the Major thus arrayed and resplendent with embroidery, gold lace and the insignia of his rank was turned over to the detail, the responsibility was felt to be great, especially with the injunction, “Watch him,” added, since this was the second time he had been captured. He had already escaped from the Old Capitol Prison of Washington once, and would






[Illustration:

FORT MARSHALL. NOW INCLUDED IN BALTIMORE'S PARK SYSTEM.
]





hesitate at nothing to secure his liberty. There was neither sleep to my eyes nor slumber to my eyelids until we received a receipt for his safe delivery to the Provost Marshal of Washington. While waiting in the station for the Baltimore train, my attention was roused at the vigorous applause given an officer who was passing through the crowd. On asking who the officer was, I was told that he was General Sheridan, then returning to his Shenandoah Valley force. Neither he nor I knew that the next day was to usher in the battle of Cedar Creek and Sheridan's Ride, “From Winchester, twenty miles away.”

It was in these Fort Marshall days that Adjutant Wyer persuaded his fellow townsman, Major Grammer, to ride out with him to see the famous stables of William McDonald, the owner of the still more famous Flora Temple, during her long career on the race-track, easily the queen thereof. The Major was not particularly “horsey,” but the Adjutant had seen the trotter on the track and doted on all kinds of equines. The day's inspection made a deep impression on both men, though the Major did not enthuse over the gaunt figure of the bobtailed trotter. He did, however, wax eloquent over the fine points of the running nags, and to the day of his death it was a favorite diversion of his friends to get him to tell of that visit. The stables themselves were a veritable revelation to a steady-going New Englander, with their colored jockeys and a dozen or more of the fastest steeds in America. While the Adjutant loved to describe the characteristics of Flora, his superior officer failed to recognize them, but did warm up as he recalled the fleet runners and, having a tolerably florid vocabulary, could and did tell the story of the visit in a way to interest all listeners.

Perhaps no service of the regiment was more fruitful of good than that rendered in October, when it assisted in steadying the hands and heads of Maryland voters who then voted on the question of ratifying the new constitution of the State. For nearly three months a convention had been considering the question and had finally reported a measure which, among other features, included the abolition of slavery and the disfranchisement





of all those who had borne arms against the government or had in any way aided the Rebellion; all participants also in the election were compelled to take the oath of allegiance. To see that all classes of people were allowed equal privileges at the polls, that only eligible voters should participate, and that the oath was duly administered, required the presence in certain parts of armed men, hence the sending of a large part of the Fifth in detachments to many polling-places, the names of only a few of them being remembered. The following interesting statement is made by one of the officers who directed a party into the dreary section known as the “Eastern Shore”:—

GUARDING THE POLLS.

One night at about 8 o'clock, just before Maryland was to vote on her new constitution, the companies at Fort McHenry were ordered to board a transport, taking their commissary stores in bulk, and within an hour the order was complied with. The departure was made under sealed orders, no one knowing the destination:—

About midnight the orders were opened and the Eastern Shore was found to be our goal and the guarding of election booths our duty. The first company to land was commanded by a staff officer, who was to proceed to the town of Trappe in Talbot County and report to the supervisor of elections. Not having a very clear idea of the distance to Trappe, nor of the means of forwarding the baggage of the party, there being only one house in sight and that a quarter of a mile away, he decided to get his bearings, if possible, at the place named and also to secure a mule as a burden-bearer. The mansion in question was a fine specimen of colonial days, standing some 300 yards back from the road, with slave-quarters in the rear, also large and commodious stables and out-houses, evidently the home of some agricultural aristocrat and slave-owner.

Opposite the house the company halted and the commander proceeded to interview the occupants. A vigorous tattoo by means of the old-fashioned brass knocker soon brought to the door a man of about fifty years, who, at first sight, would be





classed as an educated, well-bred gentleman. But the war apparently had engendered in him a bitter animosity against the government and its supporters, for when the purpose of the call was made known, viz., the use of a mule-team and driver to take the supplies from the landing to Trappe, for which services he should be paid, he replied, glancing towards the road where the company could be seen, “I see you have the power to take anything you want;” and with fire in his eye and venom in his heart, he launched into a tirade of abuse, calling us “Lincoln hirelings,” who had come to coerce and intimidate honest voters at the elections. Without avail the officer told him that he was in error. “We have been sent down here, at the request of the civil authorities* of the State of Maryland, to assist them in conducting a lawful and orderly election, where every voter can cast his ballot as he chooses and have it counted as cast.” Without further delay, the officer broke away from the southern fire-eater, went to the stables, ordered one of the colored men to hitch up a team, get the luggage at the landing, and to follow the company to Trappe, some five miles distant.

It was Sunday morning early when we reached the sleepy little town; few people were astir at that hour, and the Sabbath stillness was unbroken save for the barking of dogs and the crowing of cocks. No people were in sight, except fifteen or twenty men collected around a corner grocery, and they met us with a stony stare, gazing with stoical indifference as we advanced towards them. They had no glad hand for us. Halting his command, the officer proceeded to fire a few questions at them as follows: “Can any one of you gentlemen tell me

[note]



where I can find Mr.—,supervisor of elections?” No one replied. Again an effort is made: “Can you tell me where Mr.—is to be found?” naming another Supervisor. No better luck this time than before. Just to change the subject, he next inquired if any one could direct him to a vacant building where he could quarter his men. Again not a word from any one of them. After all this vain questioning, the men were ordered to cap their pieces, whereupon the citizens began to sneak away in different directions, all but one, who followed the company as it moved up the street in search of quarters. Coming alongside the commander, he remarked that Union men had to be careful about what they said in the hearing of that gang, that he was a Union man and would assist all he could.

It was the opinion of our new found friend that, as there was no service in the Methodist Church, this Sunday, the men might be quartered in the vestry. He went to see the sexton and to get the key. It was a great find, the men enjoying the clean and comfortable quarters, though a little remote from the “Hustings,” as the polling-places were called. Our morning's experience had served to impress upon our minds that we were in the enemy's country, consequently it was easy to keep the men within the guard-lines, which were at once established, over which no soldier was allowed to go nor citizen to enter. If food or drink were offered them they were to decline with thanks; in a word, “to beware of the Greeks, though bearing gifts.” As the commander had to go in quest of the nearest Supervisor of Elections, some five miles away, the camp was left in charge of the First Sergeant, and right here is where the Union man of the morning proved himself invaluable, for he furnished transportation and piloted the way.

Reporting for orders to a civilian was a new experience to this somewhat punctilious officer, but orders were orders with him. He found the Supervisor to be a sturdy, resolute Scotchman, a strict constructionist of the law, who would stand for no evasion or violation of it, and he seemed pleased to find that he was to be supported by Federal bayonets. Having just returned from church and it being about meal-time, the officer and his guide were invited to stay and share his “frugal meal,” an invitation that was not declined, for the enforced fast of twenty-four hours was getting in its work. No urging was necessary on the part of the host to secure full justice to the bountiful spread, and meanwhile the officer was getting points as to the part he would have to play at the “Hustings.” While





Talbot County would, probably, give a substantial majority for the constitution, there were many hot sympathizers with the Confederacy, and to avoid giving unnecessary provocation, it was decided to be best to keep the men within their quarters, ready to respond at a moment's warning, should they be needed to quell any disturbance.

Returning to camp, we waited for something to happen to relieve the monotony of our confinement. In the hurried leaving of Baltimore, no provision had been made to subsist the officer. To remain three days in camp without provisions was not to be thought of; fortunately, near the camp an old colored auntie held sway over a small cabin which seemed to be scantily furnished with cooking utensils and quite barren of supplies, but this seemed the only chance, so approaching the cabin, Auntie was asked if she could cook. “Yes, shua; I's a good cook, I is. I dun cooked fo’ quality fo'ks in Baltimo’.” She was engaged as chef, and she made good. We were called out but once, and that the last day for voting; some turbulent souls, assisted by ardent spirits, created a disturbance and a hurry-up call was responded to by a squad of men. The sight of Boys in Blue coming towards them at a double-quick had a sobering effect, and most of the offenders silently stole away. But we took one prisoner, marched him to camp, where he was detained until the session of the court convened in the vestry which served as detention quarters and court-room. The trial-justice came to court with his law books under his arm; after due consultation of his volumes he found the statute that he thought applied to the case and then proceeded to try the culprit. After hearing the evidence, he ordered the fellow to keep the peace and to recognize in the sum of $50, a travesty on the judiciary of the State of Maryland.

After the polls were closed and the ballots counted, we were relieved from further service by the civil authorities. The restraints of the camp were relaxed and the men allowed to mingle with the villagers and to enjoy the hospitality of the loyal citizens. We had about an entire day to wait for the coming of the boat to the five miles distant landing, where finally we were taken on board along with other detachments that had been performing like services in other portions of the Eastern Shore.

The result of the election was very close, there being an aggregate vote of 60,000, with the scant majority of 375 for the loyal or Union side. Like the famous cut which did for Mercutio, though not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door,





it served. Very likely any other well-officered regiment would have done as well, still men of the Fifth Massachusetts are entitled to the pleasant reflection that their presence in various places along the Eastern Shore made a difference of more than 375 votes, not to mention the rejection of ballots proffered by those who would not take the oath to the number of nearly one hundred, and that they really helped keep “Maryland, My Maryland,” in the straight and narrow way. Incidentally, the victory, though close, had its influence in the following November, when Lincoln was re-elected.

The experience of other detachments did not differ essentially from that already given, but mention should be made of Company G's representation, some thirty in number, that, under Captain Converse and Lieutenant Fuller, in heavy marching orders, with four days’ rations of hardtack, salt pork and coffee, embarked at Fort McHenry's wharf on a small steamer bound for Greensboro, also on the Eastern Shore. Entering the Choptank River, at half tide, the steamer had not gone far before grounding on a sandbar, where boat and burden had to remain until the next tide. Cooking facilities on shipboard were not first class, consisting of one small sheet-iron stove, so that raw-pork sandwiches became virtues of necessity, though not to any one's liking. Arriving at Potter's Landing, the head of navigation, Lieutenant Fuller with ten men marched in one direction, while Captain Converse with the remainder set forth for Greensboro, ten miles away, where, on arrival, we were assigned quarters in the village church. Though tired and dirty, immediately after guard mounting, the two sheet-iron stoves, by which the edifice was heated, were utilized, and a more palatable manner of serving our rations than that of the steamboat was possible.

The next day, the 11th, being that before the election, after a good night's sleep, using the pews of the church for bunks, the men not on guard were permitted to ramble around the town and to learn the ways thereof; some of them, such as the disposal of apple-jack and peach brandy, proved to be quite too





strenuous for new beginners. As the day wore on, considerable loud talk was generated, but nothing serious occurred. Election morning the command was formed in light marching order, rifles were loaded, cartridge-boxes were filled and the men marched to the polling-place, in this instance the public


[Illustration:

GENERAL LEW WALLACE IN WAR TIMES.
]

avern, around which guards were posted and a double line was drawn up to a window, within which sat Captain Converse with the election supervisors. Through this line of soldiers, the voters, one by one, passed to the window and deposited their ballots. Comments on this manner of voting were numerous, often profance, and seldom complimentary to the soldiers or the U. S. Government. At the same time the peaceably inclined were much pleased with the result, and with only two or





three disturbances the election passed off quietly. After the supervision was over, in light order, our baggage being drawn to the dock by a mule, we made the return trip in two hours and a half, making the acquaintance, on the way, of the persimmon, a fruit the finest in the world when ripened by frost, but otherwise of puckering tendencies so strong that the men were hardly able to get their mouths in shape to appreciate’ the possibilities of a field of sweet potatoes found near the landing. Lieutenant Fuller and his party were late, not getting in until near midnight, but the time was passed in roasting potatoes, gathering and cooking oysters, which abounded on the shore, and in watching the heel-and-toe performances of certain pickaninnies who danced to the music of an aged darkey, the darkness partially dispelled by a bonfire kindled from peach-crates, the property of a rebel sympathizer. Owing to the crookedness of the river, the boat did not start on the return trip until morning.

A detachment from Company D sailed up the Pokomoke River to Snow Hill, Worcester County. Of the river, a writer comments: “It is like a succession of letter S's. You sail an hour up one side, then turn and sail back again, and all the real advance made in the whole interval is about 200 feet. So we zigzagged all the way to the head of navigation. Seemingly we could have jumped ashore any where, yet had we done so we should have been lost, inevitably, in the tall eel-grass.” At Snow Hill the detachment was subdivided into smaller groups and sent out to several places, one of them going to “Nutter's,” that being the name of the polling-place. “Mr. Nutter himself was a Union man, but we were not allowed to converse with the voters nor to take anything from them; they came mostly on horseback, with a rifle, carbine or shotgun slung over the shoulder. They were dressed largely in butternut homespun, wore long hair and whiskers, and as a whole were as unkempt a lot of voters as were ever seen. Our own weapons, loaded and capped, were stacked, ourselves standing at attention behind the stacks. There was no enthusiasm in the voting,





but determination was noticeable. The men slept in Nutter's barn, and his servants brought us baked sweet potatoes, hot coffee, johnny-cake and other items in plenty, besides congratulating us on our behavior and good looks. Many of the voters dressed and looked like rebels, which they unquestionably were, and it was said that they would shoot on very little provocation. They came sullenly, voted gravely, and then silently stole from our sight.

“The voting ended, then came the return, a fifteen miles’ march in the night, the first five miles of which were passed over with the utmost speed, so anxious were we to meet another squad also on its return, so that we might compare notes and talk over the situation. Perhaps it should not be mentioned, but there were those whose steps were rendered very unsteady by potations of genuine apple-jack; when the effects of the latter had worn off, the regular route step was resumed and the men strode on through the darkness. Daylight brought new possibilities, for as we were marching back, I using my gun as a crutch, because of a blistered foot, there being no tompion in my weapon, I discovered in easy range a native razor-back hog. In an instant I had capped my gun, taken aim and fired. I spun around like a top as the gun went off, the latter kicking violently on account of the five inches of sand that had been forced down the muzzle as I had limped along. The split in the barrel was seven inches long, the pig escaped with whole skin, and I had a lame right shoulder for the remainder of my service. I carried the ruined weapon aboard the boat and if I only could meet the man whose good gun stood behind the water cask, I would apologize for the exchange that I made. Similar incidents might be related of those who went to Berlin, Big and Little Bog, and still other places, where all accomplished the work set for them to do.”

We may read in the Official Records of the Rebellion (Series I, Vol. XLIII, Part 2, p. 430) that on the 17th day of October, three companies (B, C and H) reported for duty to the First Separate Brigade, General E. B. Tyler, and were stationed





at Monocacy Junction. “Though fully armed and equipped, they have very little ammunition, no shelter-tents, cooking utensils, company-books nor records. The men are exposed to all of the inclemencies of the weather, and it is almost impossible for the officers to make correct reports of the numerical strength of their companies. They have since been supplied with ammunition and will be supplied with tents as soon as possible.” At Monocacy the 9th of July preceding had been fought an important battle between the forces of Jubal Early, commanding the rebels, and those of General Lew Wallace, and though nominally a Union defeat, it really saved the city of Washington from capture. Almost from the beginning of the war, the locality had been debatable ground, and it had been marched over and camped upon, alternately, by the opposing armies till desolation was a prominent feature of the landscape. Just three miles northwest was the famed Frederick City, the home of Barbara Frietchie, and the scene of Whittier's noted poem. “The clustered spires of Frederick stand” in plain view from the camp of the companies of the Fifth on this brief tour of duty, and between the Junction and Frederick is the grave of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the “Star Spangled Banner.” Unfortunately no survivor of this part of the work of the regiment has furnished data for consideration, so it must be stated in general terms that the men did guard duty and helped to render this part of the State safer for Union people and less desirable for their enemies. The order relieving the three companies from duty and their return to Baltimore bears date, November 1, at which time all of the separated parts of the Fifth were coming together for the journey homeward.

October 19th is memorable as the day on which Sheridan annihilated the army of Jubal Early at Cedar Creek, and a few days later wounded men from that scene of carnage, along with hundreds of prisoners, began to appear in Baltimore, thus calling into service the energies of the Fifth as prisoners were escorted to Point Lookout and other places, and in assisting the





Medical Department in its care of the helpless from the fight. On the 26th, members of the Woburn company were pleased at receiving visits from A. Ellis and Horace Tidd, directly from home, besides Lieut. Charles K. Conn, Company K, 39th Massachusetts, who, as a wounded and paroled prisoner, came into the camp. As early as October 27th, in a letter to Assistant Adjutant-general E. D. Townsend, General Lew Wallace calls attention to the approaching end of the term for which the Fifth had enlisted and the necessity of supplying troops for their places, asking if they shall be retained until other regiments can be found. “Shall I keep them over time?” is the query that he propounds. Fortunately others were secured in time to allow the Massachusetts men to depart in season for their promised muster-out. Orders dated November 1st and 4th are found calling for the assembling of the regiment, which was accomplished so that it was ready for departure Saturday, the 5th of November. From the separation of the companies in August at Fort McHenry until the reassembling at Federal Hill, there had been no time when a regimental dress-parade was possible, a condition quite destructive of real esprit de corps.

HOMEWARD BOUND.

Though not so long away from home as were the three years’ men, yet no true lover of native place and residence ever found himself home-returning without feelings of exaltation, so when the separated companies had met once more and they were ready to turn their backs on Baltimore, they were smiling faces that looked towards the Philadelphia station. It was evening when the right wing, with Colonel and staff, embarked and rolled away northward; the left wing with Lieutenant-colonel Worcester following one hour later. Had the trains possessed the right of way, as would have been the case had the regiment, in an emergency, been headed the other direction, the ride to New York would have been a matter of only a few hours; as it was, it lasted more than twenty-four. To be sure,





the cars were not originally intended for passengers, being freight-cars, seated, and the trip was uneventful until reaching Havre-de-Grace, where the train was side-tracked until after midnight. The weather was cold, the cars not heated, hence to keep warm, men had to resort to self-devised ways, the principal one being the building of bonfires, using for fuel fence-rails and cornstalks. At the same time there was a growing hunger, as there were scant rations for a protracted ride.

Morning, however, revealed Philadelphia, and again the hospitalities of the Volunteer Refreshment Saloon were tried, and wonderfully satisfactory they proved. Intervening years have not erased the impression of sufficiency that the food served there made on hungry men. Some of the eaters contrasted their last meal at Federal Hill, consisting chiefly of hardtack and half-baked beans, with the abundance of perfectly cooked and served viands offered by the generous Philadelphians. Sunday was absorbed in slowly starting, bumping and stopping through the entire length of New Jersey, the right wing reaching Jersey City at 8 o'clock in the evening. Then there was a long wait of three hours for the left wing and the officers’ horses to arrive. The terminal point appeared to be in the Tenderloin district of the city, a fact that did not add to the discipline and morale of the men. Never again would those in charge, had they the opportunity, halt a regiment near the parts where red lights glow.

Crossing over to New York, the hour was too late for water-transit homeward, even if such had been projected, hence there was nothing left except to march up Broadway to the 27th Street Station. Nor was it a scene of delight, since the matter of military draft was quite too vivid in the minds of the people who crowded the streets and who, evidently, thought the regiment one arriving to assist in directing further demands for service. The tune played by bands, had there been any, would not have been, “See the Conquering Hero Comes,” quite the reverse of the reception accorded the Fifth when in April, ’61,





it marched through the city on its way southward. “It was apparent by the jeers and epithets hurled at us that the draft was unpopular, hence our progress was not accompanied by a continuous ovation.”

It was nearly midnight when the depot was reached, where it was learned that no transportation had been provided, and there was nothing to do but wait until morning. Such officers and men as had money found lodgment in nearby hotels and boarding-houses, while impecunious ones had the privileges of the floor, seats or sidewalk or, last of all, the ground. Rations, it will be seen, were irregular, and a breakfastless start did not serve to make the noontime hunger in New Haven any less; and if some of the regiment did take and eat without, in every case, rendering a strict account, perhaps the exigency may be a partial excuse. Those who had a part in the banquet claim that very little that was edible was left in the restaurant. True to the halting manner characteristic of the entire journey homeward, Boston was not reached until nearly midnight of Monday, but late as it was, representatives of Charlestown were in waiting to receive the men belonging there and to escort them across the river to City Hall. The march was under the direction of Chief Marshal John B. Norton, with the sweet strains of a brass band to let the people know that the “boys” were home again.

Citizens were out in force, all ready to see and hear their friends just from Baltimore, and to assist in serving the bountiful collation, at the Prescott House, whether a late supper or an early breakfast has never been determined. His Honor Mayor P. J. Stone was there and made a warm welcoming speech, and then, at 2 o'clock a.m., the soldiers wended their way homeward for just a few winks of sleep, before going to the polls to help elect Abraham Lincoln for his second term. There was still another assembling of the regiment necessary for the muster-out, the same coming on the 16th of November. Nor was this final meeting unaccompanied with certain disagreeable features. On account of real or fancied wrongs, some of





the enlisted men took it upon themselves, in the absence of the commissioned officers, who were riding in a car by themselves, to seriously mar and deface the cars, to the extent that they resembled a cyclone wrecked settlement when Readville was reached. Under the significant title, “Vandalism,” the public press of the day discussed the matter at length, and it is said that the railroad authorities promptly placed an injunction on the pay the men were to receive, so that a final settlement was not effected till some weeks later, in the meantime the commissioned officers having settled the bills for damage.

Thus ended the third and final term of War-of-the-Rebellion service of the Fifth Regiment. Though not called upon to face the enemy on the field of battle, it had, nevertheless, done with credit to itself whatever duty had been presented, and had sensibly added to the already interesting history of one of the oldest militia organizations in the Commonwealth. Several of the officers and men were to continue their connection with the regiment on its peace footing and to attain enviable prominence therein. The story of the services of the regiment in its three tours of active duty is presented as a portion of the proof, if any were needed, of the value of the militia as a weapon for the public defense.

RETURN OF THE FLAGS.

Once more another gathering of a portion of the regiment came when the numerous organizations of Massachusetts assembled in Boston to turn over the flags borne by them to the permanent keeping of the Commonwealth. The day was December 22d, Forefathers’ Day, and never before nor since have so many military bodies been formally represented at the State House. Major General Darius N. Couch was in command, with General E. W. Hinks as Chief of Staff. The parade was imposing and the speeches eloquent. Three hundred men of the Fifth Regiment, led by Colonel Peirson, are reported to have been in line, a number at least one half larger than that





presented by any other organization. The two flags borne by the regiment were received by Governor Andrew and by him were turned over to the custody of the State. At first grouped with the many other stands of colors, they looked out on Doric Hall, but in the changes incident to the extension of the State House, they have found final harborage in the Hall of Flags, and there let us hope they may continue to be viewed and revered by generations yet to come.

VETERAN ORGANIZATION.

That the old times might be kept vividly in mind, and that the old battles might be renewed, at least once a year, the survivors of the Fifth early effected an organization and annually come together at some point more or less convenient to those who attend. Naturally these meetings have been held in the eastern part of the Commonwealth. That of 1909, when the preparation of this history was settled upon, was held in Ashland, the next in Reading, and that of 1911, marking fifty years after the beginning of the strife, is to be observed in Haverhill, whose Hale Guards was Company D in the three months’ service. These reunions have ever been scenes of the utmost good fellowship, and while all of them have been filled to the brim with bright discussions and pleasant memories, perhaps no one had happier features than that which, in honor of the Cape Cod members of the regiment, gathered at “The Nobscussett,” Dennis, June 24, 1896. It was the thirty-fifth reunion, and nothing that the Cape people could do was too good for the “boys,” not so old then as they are now. The route was from Boston to Yarmouth, seventy-five miles by rail, thence a free barge ride to the hotel. Of course every one had to remain over night, but with such elaborate camping facilities and with an unexcelled commissary, the veterans recked not of time nor place, and when the time of separation came they marveled not at the affection that the native of the Cape ever cherishes for the place of his birth.





REGIMENTAL ROSTER. Three Months’ Service.

No matter what the record of the regiment, for some of its members the Roster will ever hold the first place, for here they find, in alphabetical array, the names of their comrades with whom they once stood side by side. The brief history accorded each individual assures him a place on the scroll of fame and he knows that oblivion can never hide him, nor the story of the effort he made to preserve the Union and to free the flag of its deepest stain—slavery. The prime source of data presented in the several rosters of the Fifth Regiment is the revised rolls, carefully preserved at the State House, along with the published Record of the Massachusetts Volunteers, prepared by Adjutant General William Schouler. Additional facts as to civil life and occupations have come from surviving comrades.

To save time and space, abbreviations are used as follows:

A. A. G.═Assistant Adjutant General; b.═born; bur.═buried; bvt.═brevet; batt.═battalion; Capt.═Captain; Co.═Company; Col.═Colonel; com.═commission or committee; Corp.═Corporal; d.═died or dead; D. of C.═date of commission; des.═deserted; dis.═discharged; disa.═disability; en.═enlisted; ex. of s.═expiration of service; F. & S.═Field and Staff; G. O.═General Order; H. Arty.═Heavy Artillery; Infty.═Infantry; k.═killed; lat. add.═latest address; Lt. or Lieut.═Lieutenant; M.═married; M. I.═mustered in; M. O.═mustered out; mos.═months; mus.═musician; M. V. M.═Mass. Vol. Militia; N. F. R.═no further record; N. G.═National Guard; O. W. D.═Order, War Department; prom.═promoted; prin. mus.═principal musician; rep.═reported; res.═resigned; re-en.═re-enlisted; S. S.═sharpshooter; Sergt.═sergeant; trans.═transferred; S. H.═Soldiers’ Home; V. R. C.═Veteran Reserve Corps; wd.═wounded; W. D.═War Department; S.═single.

In giving facts concerning each name, the same order obtains throughout the roster; the family name of the soldier comes first, followed by his Christian appellation; in a few






[Illustration:

GENERAL SAMUEL C. LAWRENCE, IN LATER LIFE.
]





instances, place and time of birth are given, but, as a rule, age, whether married or single, occupation, when enlisted and residence follow in order; incidents in the army life of the soldier come next, continuing with date of leaving the service for any reason, and concluding with data as to life subsequent to discharge. In the three-months’ service, as the several companies, unless otherwise stated, were all mustered in on the same days, the fact is not restated in the list. In the three-months’ service, whether married or single is seldom given. The application of the system is seen in the following illustrations:

Armstrong, James, 28, Salem; dis. June 8, ’61, disa.; later Corp., Co. B, 17th Mass.; d. June 2, 1909, Salem.

Printed in full the above record would read:

Armstrong, James, at the age of 28 years, enlisted from Salem; was enlisted and mustered in with his company and discharged for disability; that he later enlisted as a corporal in Company B, of the 17th Regiment of Mass., and died June 2, 1909, in Salem.

Field and Staff.

(Unless otherwise stated, all officers and men were mustered into the United States service May 1, 1861, and mustered out July 31, 1861.)

*Served in the 9 months’ term.

†Served in the 100 days’ term.

COLONEL.

Samuel Crocker Lawrence, 28; Medford; D. of C., July 23, 1860; wd. Bull Run July 21, ’61; commissioned Brigadier General, M. V. M., June 10, ’62, by Gov. John A. Andrew; resigned Aug. 20, ’64; in 1869 elected to the command of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery; though prominent in the councils of state and national politics, he steadfastly declined all official positions, except that of Presidential Elector in 1876, and the merited honor of being the first Mayor of Medford; he has served with honor and distinction as director in financial and charitable institutions, also in various railroad corporations, notably in the Eastern, Maine Central and Boston & Maine; he has long taken great





interest in Free Masonry, in whose ranks he has held the highest offices, being for many years one of the most active in the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite and for fourteen years was the Deputy for Massachusetts; largely through his agency a charitable fund has been established in every body with which he has been connected; three times he was elected Grand Master of the Masonic Order in Massachusetts, and his efforts contributed largely to the final payment of the debt on the Masonic Temple in Boston; his library bearing on Masonic topics is one of the most extensive in the country; perhaps one of the greatest honors of his entire life is the fact that the Grand Army Post of Medford bears his name, since prophets are not always honored in their own city. Of English lineage, traced from Robert Lawrence, Lancashire, who was knighted by Richard Cœur de Lion, 1191, in the Crusades as “Sir Robert of Ashton Hall,” his descendant in the twenty-fourth generation, our Colonel, was born in Medford, Nov. 22, 1832, the son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Crocker) Lawrence. His preparatory work being done in Medford, he was graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1855. The same year entering the militia, his progress was steadily upward, reaching a colonelcy, as above. Before the war he was offered a commission in the regular army, which he declined.

LIEUTENANT-COLONELS.

James Durell Greene, Cambridge; D. of C., July 23, 1860; dis. June 26, ’61, for commission as Lieut.-colonel, 17th U. S. Infantry; D. of C., May 14, ’61; commanded regiment at Fort Preble, Portland, Me., until June, ’63; joined Army of the Potomac and was engaged at Gettysburg; Colonel, 6th U. S. Infantry, Sept. 20, ’63; commanding regiment, Charleston Harbor, S. C.; bvt. Brig. General U. S. Army, March 13, ’65; resigned June 25, ’67. Subsequent to his resignation, Colonel Greene visited Europe and, when in England, was stricken with paralysis, from whose effects he never fully recovered. Never marrying, his later years were spent in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he died March 21, 1902,





his body receiving burial in the family lot, Mt. Auburn (Cambridge) Cemetery. He was born in Lynn May 12, 1828, and was graduated from Harvard in 1849, with a strong bent for military affairs, so that he early joined the Cambridge City Guards, to whose captaincy he was soon advanced. Before the war, he was in command of the 4th Regiment, M. V. M. His own preferences would have taken him to West Point rather than Harvard, but his mother objected on account of her brother having died while a cadet at the Military Academy. Having invented a breech-loading gun, he was engaged in filling a 10,000 stand of arms order for the Prussian Government when the war began.

*† George H. Pierson, promoted from Captain, Co. A, July 5, ’61; M. O. with regiment; vide nine months, and 100 days’ service.

MAJORS.

Hamlin Wales Keyes, b. Connecticut; 28, Boston; D. of C., Aug. 27, 1860; dis. June 25, ’61, for Com. as Captain, 14th U. S. Infantry; D. of C., May 14, ’61; bvt. Major, May 5, ’64, for gallant and meritorious conduct at the Wilderness; d. June 18, ’64, from wounds rec'd May 12, Spottsylvania.

*John T. Boyd, prom. from Captain, Co. K, July 5, ’61; M. O. with regiment; vide nine months service.

ADJUTANTS.

Thomas Oliver Barri, b. Connecticut; 35, Cambridge; D. of C., June 5, 1856; dis. July 8, ’61, for Com. as Captain. 11th U. S. Infantry; D. of C., May 14, ’61; k. Gettysburg, July 2, ’63; bvt. Major for gallant and meritorious conduct at Gettysburg.

John G. Chambers, appointed Adjutant, July 8, ’61, from 1st Lieut., Co. E; M. O. with regiment; First Lieut., 23d Mass. Infty., Oct. 5, ’61; Major, Mar. 15, ’62; Lieut.-col., Nov. 26, ’62; d. July 13, ’64, from wds. rec'd at Drewry's Bluff, Va.; General Lawrence said of him, “He was a born soldier, and those details of the military art which many learn only by painful application seemed to come to him by inspiration.”





QUARTERMASTER.

Joseph E. Billings, 40, Boston; D. of C., Aug. 15, ’60; M. O. with regiment.

SURGEON.

Samuel H. Hurd, 30, Charlestown; D. of C., Aug. 13, ’61; M. O. with regiment.

ASSISTANT SURGEONS.

Henry H. Mitchell, 22, East Bridgewater; detached, July 1, ’61, to 11th N. Y. Infty. (Col. Elmer Ellsworth's Fire Zouaves); M. O., July 31, ’61; 1st Lieut., Assistant Surgeon, 39th Mass., Aug. 25, ’62; dis., Nov. 1, ’63, for prom. as Major, Surgeon 36th U. S. Colored Infty.; res. July 15, ’64.

William W. Keene, 24, Philadelphia; appointed July 1, ’61; M. I. July 11, ’61; M. O. with regiment.

CHAPLAIN.

Benj. F. DeCosta, 29, Charlestown; D. of C., April 17, ’61; M. O. with regiment; Chaplain, 18th Mass. Infty., Dec. 6, ’61; res. disa., Aug. 4, ’62.

PAYMASTER.

George F. Hodges, 24, Roxbury; D. of C., May 8, ’61; M. O. with regiment; First Lieut. and Adjutant, 18th Mass. Infty., Aug. 20, ’61; d. Hall's Hill, Va., Jan. 31, ’62, of disease (typhoid fever) contracted in the service; b. Jan. 12, 1837, Providence, R. I.; Harvard College, 1855; Harvard Law School, 1860; en. private, Co. K, April 20, 1861; detailed at regimental headquarters until commissioned.

SERGEANT-MAJOR.

Henry A. Quincy, 44, Charlestown; M. O. with regiment.





QUARTERMASTER-SERGEANT.

Samuel C. Hunt, appointed from Co. K, June 28, ’61; M. O. Aug. 1, ’61; vide letter W. D. Nov. 16, ’95.

HOSPITAL-STEWARD.

Nathan D. Parker, 29, Reading; M. O. with regiment; later Hospital-steward, 9th Mass. Infty.; M. O. disa. Dec. 13, ’62.

DRUM-MAJOR.

Charles Foster, 34, Charlestown; M. O. with regiment; en. Feb. 4, ’64, from Waltham as Mus., Co. E, 59th Mass. Infty., becoming Principal Mus. (F. & S.), March 4, ’65; trans. with same rank, June 1, ’65, to 57th Mass.; M. O. July 30, ’65, ex. of s.; d. Charlestown.

FIFE-MAJOR.

Freeman Field, 44, Charlestown; M. O. with regiment; enlisted as Principal Musician, 32d Mass. Infty., Dec. 1, ’61; dis. Oct. 6, ’62, O. W. D.; enlisted as Principal Musician, April 22, ’63, Co. C, 1st Battalion Heavy Arty.; M. O. Oct. 20, ’65, ex. of s.; d. before 1886.

Company A.

(Mechanic Light Infantry, Co. B, 7th Regt., M. V. M., Salem. Unless otherwise stated, all enlisted April 16, ’61.)

CAPTAINS.

George H. Pierson, 45, Salem; D. of C., Jan. 17, 1857; prom. Lieut.-colonel, July 5, ’61.

Edward H. Staten from 1st Lieut. July 6th, ’61; M. O. with regiment; Captain, Co. B, 7th Infty., M. V. M., July 1, ’62—Dec. 31, ’62; Captain, 6th Infty., M. V. M., 100 days, July 15, ’64—Oct. 27, ’64.





FIRST LIEUTENANTS.

Edward H. Staten, 29, Salem; prom. Captain, July 6, ’61.

Lewis E. Wentworth, from 2d Lieut., July 6, ’61; M. O. with regiment; Captain, 2d Co., S. S., with 22d Regt.; res. July 16, ’62; again Captain, same company, Aug. 20, ’62; disa. May 18, ’63.

SECOND LIEUTENANTS.

Lewis E. Wentworth, 38, Salem; prom. 1st Lieut., July 6, ’61.

Charles D. Stiles, from 1st Sergt., July 6, ’61; M. O. with regiment; First Lieut., 2d Co., S. S., with 22d Regt.; res. Aug. 4, ’62; d. Oct. 8, 1908, Boston.

SERGEANTS.

Charles D. Stiles (1st), 25, Salem; prom. 2d Lieut., July 6, ’61.

James H. Estes (1st), 32, So. Danvers; from Sergt., July 6, ’61; 1910, Salem.

Benj. K. Brown, 28, Salem; later wagoner, 2d Unattached Co. (L), 3d Mass. Cav., Oct. 21, ’61—Dec. 27, ’64.

David N. Jeffrey, 28, So. Danvers; later Sergt., 2d Co., S. S., with 22d Regt., Sept 18, ’61—Oct. 17, ’64.

Albert J. Lowd, 21 (painter), Salem; from Corp., July 6, ’61; b. Salem; 15 years Asst. Treas. and Collector, Salem; Adjt., Post 34, G. A. R.; Past Grand, I. O. O. F.; Past Chief Patriarch and Scribe, Salem Encampment; d. Jan. 4, 1904, Salem.

CORPORALS.

Albert J. Lowd, 21, Salem; prom. Sergt., July 6, ’61.

John W. Hart, 21, So. Danvers; en. Feb. 28, ’62, 1st Mass. H. Arty.; re-en. Feb. 28, ’64; 1st Sergt., Feb. 29, ’64; dis. June 21, ’65, disa.

James H. Sleeper, 32, Danvers; later Sergt.; Co. K, 8th Regt.; 9 mos. service; d. Topsfield.

Joseph M. Parsons, 21, Salem; later 2d Lieut., Co. B, 7th Regt., M. V. M.; 6 mos. service; 1st Lieut., Co. A, 1st Batt. H. Arty., Jan. 30, ’63; 1st Lieut., 3d H. Arty., Nov. 24, ’63; Captain, May 28, ’64; M. O. Sept. 18, ’65; 1910, Salem.

John F. Clark, 28, Salem; from private, July 6, ’61.





PRIVATES.

Adams, Charles P., 23, Salem; later 1st Co., S. S., with 15th Infty.; d. June 26, 1893, Salem.

Allen, Charles W., 20, Danvers; later 1st Sergt., Co. K, 8th Regt.; 9 mos. service; lat. add. Philadelphia, Penn.

Bailey, Edwin, 25, Danvers; later 1st Lieut., Co. K, 8th Regt.; 9 mos. service; 1910, Haverhill.

Briggs, Henry T., 21, Danvers; prisoner, Bull Run, July 21, ’61; M. O., June 24, ’62, with party released prisoners; later Co. H, 3d H. Arty.; d. Feb. 16, 1910, Danvers.

Burrows, Wm. A., 28, Danvers.

Burton, Jacob, 25, Danvers.

Buxton, George B., 18, Salem; dis. July 12, ’61, disa.; d. 1905, Everett.

Buxton, George F., 22, Salem; later Salem Cadets, 1862; also Q. M. Sergt., Co. B, 2d H. Arty.; 1910, Everett.

Buxton, Samuel H., 24, So. Danvers; 1910, Peabody.

Cate, Samuel H., 20, Salem; prisoner, Bull Run, July 21, ’61; M. O. with party released prisoners, June 24, ’62.

Chipman, Charles G., 21, Salem; later 1st Sergt., Co. B, 24th Mass.; 2d Lieut., 54th Mass., May 31, ’63; 1st Lieut., Jan. 20, ’64; Captain, Dec. 16, ’64; M. O. Aug. 20, ’65; d. Green Bay, Wis., Jan. 25, 1887.

Clemons, Wm. H., 20, Salem; later 2d Co., S. S., with 22d Regt.; 1910, Salem.

Crane, Albert J. 25, Danvers; later 2d Co., S. S., with 22d Regt.

Crosby, Lyman D., 23, Danvers.

Crowell, George M., 29, Danversport; later Sergt., Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos. service, 1862; later 2d Lieut., Co. I, 6th M. V. M., 100 days service, 1864; 1910, Danvers.

Daniels, John B., 30, Salem; later Co. E, 48th Mass. Infty.

Davenport, David, 20, Salem.

Davidson, Henry, Jr., 19, Salem; later served 4 years in 4th Battery; d. Dec., 1904, Salem.

Davis, Charles W., 21, Salem.

Dodge, Charles W., 23, Salem.

Dominick, Joseph, 21, Salem; later Co. H, 29th Mass.

Dowst, Joshua W., 24, Salem; later 1st Unattached Co. (Read's Co.), 3d Mass. Cav.; also Sergt., Co. I, 6th M. V. M., 100 days service, 1864.





Drown, William P., 23, Salem.

Ford, John F., 24, Salem; later Sergt., Co. E, 48th Mass. Infty.

Fuller, George H., 25, Danvers; later Co. B, 2d H. Arty.

Gardner, Abel, 24, Salem; later 2d Co., S. S., with 22d Regt.; also Corp., Co. B, 1st Batt. H. Arty.

Gardner, Charles W., 18, Salem; Salem Cadets, 1862; U. S. Navy, July 15, ’63—Aug. 15, ’64; 1910, Somerville.

Gardner, William H., 21, Salem; 1910, Salem.

Giles, Charles H., 18, Salem; later Co. I, 6th M. V. M., 100 days, 1864; 1910, Danvers.

Gilman, John T., 19, Danvers; 1910, Lynn.

Glidden, Joseph H., 20, Salem; later 1st Sergt., Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862; also 1st Lieut., Co. I, 6th M. V. M., 100 days, 1864; d. Sept. 5, 1892, Salem.

Gwinn, Charles H., 25, Salem; later Corp. Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862; also Sergt. Co. I, 6th M. V. M., 100 days, 1864.

Hildreth, Elbridge H., 32, So. Danvers; later wagoner, Co. C, 23d Mass.; d. S. H., Togus, Me.

Hill, James, 20, Danvers; later 1st Sergt., Co. C, 33d Mass.

Howard, John H., 19, Danvers; later Corp., Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862; 1910, Peabody; b. Jackson, Me., Jan. 4, 1842.

Hurd, William H., 30, Salem; later 2d Lieut., Co. B, 50th Mass.

Kehew, John H., 26, Salem; Co. B, 24th Mass.

Leavitt, Israel P., 28, Salem; dis. June 8, ’61, disa.; later Corp., Co. B, 17th Mass.; d. June 2, 1909, Salem.

Leonard, James, 21, Salem; later Sergt., Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862; also 1st Sergt., Co. A, 3d H. Arty.; 1910, Boston.

Libby, Henry, 23, Salem; later Sergt., Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862; 1910, Salem.

Lufkin, William, 25, Danvers.

Mansfield, John R., 40, Salem; orderly to Lt.-col. Pierson; later Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862; also wagoner Co. A, 1st Batt. Arty.; d. Oct. 4, 1908, Salem.

Maxfield, James, Jr., 23, Salem.

Melcher, Levi L., 27, Salem; later Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862; also 2d Co., S. S., with 22d Mass.; 1910, Salem.





Moore, Denison P., 21, So. Danvers; wd. hip, Bull Run; d. 1903, Peabody.

Morse, George W., 22, Salem; later Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862.

Moser, John H., 18, Salem; later Co. D, 22d Mass.; d. Danvers.

Moses, James, 21, Beverly; later Co. A, 23d Mass.; also Co. G, 40th Mass.; d. Beverly.

Moulton, Henry W., 20, So. Danvers; later 1st. Lieut., Co. K, 35th Mass.; also 1st Lieut. and Adjt., Co. A, 39th Mass.

Munroe, Stephen N., 27, Salem.

Munsey, Joseph C., 19, Danvers; later Sergt., Co. H, 14th N. H. Vols.

Nimblet, Benj. F., 29, Salem; later Corp., Co. B, 23d Mass.

North, James D., 21, Danvers; later Co. D, 62d Mass.

Osborne, John H., 18, Salem; 1910, Detroit, Mich.

Osborne, Laban S., 20, Salem; later Co. A, 1st H. Arty.

Palmer, William H., 20, Salem.

Patten, James W., 18, Salem; wd. elbow, Bull Run.

Peabody, William M., 19, Salem; later 4th Battery; d. Salem.

Perry, Henry W., 40, Salem.

Phippen, Charles H., 22, Salem; later Sergt., Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862; also Co. A, 1st H. Arty.; 1910, Salem.

Poor, James, Jr., 29, So. Danvers; later Co. C, 1st H. Arty.

Pousland, John H., 20, Salem; later Corp., Co. A, 1st Batt. H. Arty.; 1910, Amesbury.

Pratt, Calvin L., 19, Salem; later 4th Battery.

Pratt, Lewis R., 21, Salem; later Sergt., Co. L, 2d H. Arty.; d. July 5, 1899, Salem.

Ricker, Chas. W., 18; Danvers.

Rix, Asa W. S., 18, Danvers; 1910, Saratoga, N. Y.

Semons, Francis A., 23, Salem; later Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862; also Co. E, 2d H. Arty.; d. Dec. 16, 1899, Chelsea.

Sloper, Henry, 29, Danvers; later Corp., Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862; also Co. E, 2d H. Arty.

Sloper, William A., 23, Salem.

Smith, Henry J., 22, Salem.

Smith, Robert, 20, Danvers; later Sergt., 2d Co., S. S., with 22d Mass.

Stiles, William W., 27, So. Danvers; d. Wellesley.






[Illustration:

J. H. Howard
Geo. F. Buxton
Co. A.
A. W. S. Rix

]

Symonds, Nathaniel A., 26, Salem; later Corp., Co. I, 6th M. V. M., 100 days, 1864.

Tufts, Rufus W., 20, Salem.

Warren, Edward J., 27, Salem; 1910, Salem.

Webber, Mendall S., 23, Danvers; 1910, Salem.

Weeks, William H., 22, Salem; d. (typhoid fever) Sept. 3, 1861, Salem; bur. by Company, under arms.

West, George, 27, Salem; later Co. B, 7th M. V. M., 6 mos., 1862.

Wheeler, Samuel B., 23, Salem; Co. A, 1st Batt. H. Arty.

Williams, Charles A., 20, Salem; later Sergt., Co. I, 6th M. V. M., 100 days, 1864; d. June 13, 1898, Peabody.

Wilson, James, 29, Topsfield; later 2d Lieut., Co. D, 48th Mass.; d. Nov. 18, 1902, Topsfield.

Company B.

(Richardson Light Guard, Co. E, 7th Regt., M. V. M., South Reading, now Wakefield. Unless otherwise stated, all enlisted April 16, ’61.)





CAPTAINS.

John W. Locke, 30, So. Reading; D. of C., April 17, ’61; M. O. with regiment; Lieut.-colonel, 50th Mass., Nov. 11, ’62 —Aug. 24, ’63; d. Wakefield, Aug. 24, 1892.

FIRST LIEUTENANT.

Charles H. Shepard, 33, So. Reading; D. of C., April 30, ’61; M. O. with regiment; 2d Lieut., 1st H. Arty., March 19, ’62; 1st Lieut., Jan. 16, ’63; dis. Nov. 18, ’64, disa.; d. April 23, 1902, Wakefield; had served in the Mexican War.

SECOND LIEUTENANT.

James D. Draper, 29, So. Reading; D. of C., April 30, ’61; M. O. with regiment; 2d Lieut., Co. E, 50th Mass.; also served as Corp. in Co. E, 1st Batt., H. Arty.; 1910, Hopedale.

SERGEANTS.

George W. Townsend (1st), 33, So. Reading; later served as Corp. in Co. E, 24th Mass.; also as Sergt., Co. C, 59th Mass.; 1910, Wakefield.

Jason H. Knight, 22, So. Reading; later served as 1st Sergt., Co. E, 50th Mass.; also as 1st Lieut., Co. E, 8th M. V. M., 100 days, 1864.

Benj. F. Barnard, 36, So. Reading; later served as 2d and 1st Lieut., Co. K, 23d Mass.; res. Aug. 19, ’63; also 1st Lieut. and regimental Quartermaster, 59th Mass.; 1910, Wakefield.

George W. Aborn, 26, So. Reading; prisoner, Bull Run, July 21, ’61; exchanged and M. O., June 1, ’64; d. July 26, 1890, Wakefield.

CORPORALS.

William E. Ransom, 27, So. Reading.

James W. Sweetser, 32. So. Reading; served as Sergt., Co. E, 8th Mass., M. V. M., 100 days, 1864.

George H. Greene, 26, So. Reading; served as Sergt., Co. E, 50th Mass.; d. at sea, Jan. 10, 1863.

James A. Burditt, 24, So. Reading; served as Sergt., Co. E, 50th Mass.; also as 2d Lieut., Co. E, 8th Mass., M. V. M., 100 days, 1864.





MUSICIANS.

Alvin Drake, Jr., 31, So. Reading; later served in band, 19th Mass.; d. 1910, Melrose.

William V. Vaux, 24, So. Reading; later served in Co. A as Musician, 1st Batt., H. Arty.; d. 1900, Chelsea.

PRIVATES.

Abbott, Oramel G., 27, Reading; later 2d Lieut., Co. D, 50th Mass.; d. Milford, Conn.

Adams, Oliver S., 19, Reading; later in Cos. B and C, 1st R. I. Cav.; 1910, Lynn.

Anderson, Charles E., 20, So. Reading; later Sergt., Co. K, 22d Mass.; also V. R. C.; d. Dec., 1904, Haverhill.

Anderson, James H., 23, So. Reading; later Co. K, 24th Mass.

Barker, Samuel S., 22, Andover; later 1st Co. S. S., with 16th Mass.

Batchelder, George W., 22, Melrose; later Sergt., Co. K, 22d Mass.; also 1st Sergt., 32d Mass.

Beckwith, Robert S., 21, So. Reading; later 1st Sergt., Co. G, 20th Mass.; 2d Lieut., July 7, ’62; d. Dec. 31, ’62, from wds. rec'd at Fredericksburg.

Bixby, Hiram, 20, So. Reading.

Burditt, George A., 18, So. Reading.

Coney, John S., 37, Reading; later 1st Lieut., Co. D, 50th Mass.; d. 1902, Worcester.

Cook, Jonathan, Jr., 28, Reading; later Co. H, 24th Mass.; d. Dec. 5, ’64, Annapolis, Md.

Dix, Joseph O., 51, So. Reading; later Co. E, 50th Mass.

Eaton, Alvin A., 18, Reading.

Eustis, Henry W., 26, So. Reading; en. U. S. Signal Corps, April 29, ’64; Wiscasset, Me.

Eustis, Joseph S., 27, So. Reading; later Corp., Co. E, 50th Mass.; wd. hand, Bull Run; d. 1909, Fayette, Iowa.

Fairbanks, James M., 20, So. Reading; later Co. G, 24th Mass.; 1910, Wakefield; d. Feb. 24, 1911.

Fletcher, Charles N., 22, Reading.

Foster, Davis, 27, So. Reading; later 1st Sergt., Co. H, 24th Mass.; prom. 2d and 1st Lieut., Captain; Bvt.-major, March 13, ’65.





Griggs, James H., 23, Reading; wd. and prisoner, Bull Run, July 21, ’61; M. O. June 1, ’62; later Sergt., Co. D, 33d Mass.; en. Jan. 18, ’64, 37th U. S. Col. Troops; Com. Sergt., Feb. 1, ’64; 2d Lieut., Oct. 27, ’65; b. 1838, Dedham; 1910, Somerville.


[Illustration:

Charles T. Harrington (B).
Geo. T. Childs (K).
IN LATER YEARS.

]

Harrington, Charles T., 23, So. Reading; later Co. E, 50th Mass.; d. Oct., 1905, Wakefield.

Hart, John F., 18, So. Reading; later Co. H, 24th Mass.; also Co. A, 1st H. Arty.

Hartwell, Albert A., 20, Reading; later Co. E, 1st Batt. H. Arty.; 1910, Woburn.

Hayden, Frank W., 26, So. Reading; later Sergt., Co. E, 1st Mass. Cav.; also 1st Lieut., Co. D, 1st Batt. Cav.; d. Dec. 18, 1908, Wakefield.





Hayden, Wm. H., Jr., 32, So. Reading; later Sergt., Co. B, 1st Batt. H. Arty.

Hayward, Alex M., 20, Reading; later Sergt. and 1st Sergt., Co. C, 24th Mass.; prom. 2d and 1st Lieut.; res. as Captain, May 15, ’65; P. O. Foreign Dept., Boston; d. May, 1897.

Hosmer, Orran S., 31, Woburn; also found as Oliver; d. Feb. 19, S. H., Chelsea.

Hoyt, Henry D., 28, So. Reading.

Kidder, George H., Jr., 24, So. Reading; later Co. E, 1st Cav.

Lord, Byron, 20, So. Reading; later served in 11th Battery.

Lord, George H., 19, So. Reading; 1910, Philadelphia, Penn.

McGee, Edward, 20, So. Reading; en. June 20, ’61; M. I. July 4, ’61; served in Co. C, 24th Mass.; also in Co. E, 192d Penn.; also in the Navy.

McKay, Gordon, 19, Melrose; later 2d Lieut., 22d Mass.

McKay, Thomas M., 25, So. Reading; later Sergt., Co. G, 20th Mass.; prom. 2d and 1st Lieut. and Captain; assassinated in camp, near Culpeper, Va., Oct. 6, 1863.

McKenzie, John, 24, Boston; b. Prince Edward Isle, 1838; came to Boston, 1858; learned patriotism from Dr. E. N. Kirk, Ashburton Place; 1910, Roxbury.

Morrill, James M., 24, So. Reading; later Corp., Co. E, 50th Mass.; also 1st Sergt., Co. E, 8th M. V. M., 100 days, 1864; 1910, Boston.

Moses, George, 20, So. Reading; later Co. E, 50th Mass.; also U. S. Signal Corps.

Nichols, George W., 21, Reading; later Sergt. and 1st Sergt., Co. H, 24th Mass.; prom. 2d and 1st Lieut. and Captain; d. Nov., 1903.

Parker, Nathan D., 29, Reading; prom. Hospital Steward, May 1, ’61.

Parker, William D., 35, Reading; later Co. H, 24th Mass.; d. Nov. 30, 1906, Wakefield.

Parsons, Benj. W., 24, Lynnfield; dis. June 3, ’61, disa.; later Sergt., Co. L, 3d Cav.; prom. 2d Lieut.; dis. July 15, ’64, disa.

Peterson, Leonard, 20, Reading.

Pratt, Edwin, 23, So. Reading; later Co. E, 1st Batt. Arty.

Rahr, Christian E., 21, Reading; later as Rohr in Co. F, 32d Mass.; trans. to V. R. C.; 1910, Custom House, Boston.





Rayner, John, 37, So. Reading; d. 1891, Wakefield.

Rayner, Ozias, 33, So. Reading; later Sergt., 24th Mass.; had served in the Mexican War; d. Mar. 28, 1900.

Robinson, Charles H., 21, Reading; later Sergt., Co. G, 20th Mass.

Roundy, John D., 21, Reading; later Sergt., Co. E, 20th Mass., also given as DeRonda.

Sherman, William H., 30, Reading; later Co. C, 6th M. V. M., 9 mos. 1862; d. Feb. 16, 1901, Reading.

Smith, Thomas, 23, Stoneham.

Stephens, John R., 22, Stoneham.

Sweetser, Oliver S., 28, So. Reading.

Sweetser, Thomas, 27, So. Reading; later Sergt., Co. E, 50th Mass.

Thompson, Charles, 25, So. Reading.

Thompson, John F., 25, S. Reading; later Corp., Co. K, 4th H. Arty.; 1910, Medford.

Tibbetts, Charles H., 24, Reading; dis. June 3, ’61, disa.

Tibbetts, Frank L., 20, Reading; prisoner, Bull Run, July 21, ’61; ex. and M. O. June 1, ’61; 1910, West Epping, N. H.

Twiss, Adoniram J., 29, So. Reading.

Tyler, Wm. N., 26, So. Reading; later Corp., Co. E, 50th Mass.; also Sergt., Co. E, also Sergt.-major, 8th M. V. M., 100 days, 1864; b. Dec. 7, 1834, Andover; 1910, Wakefield.

Walker, William H., 23, So. Reading; later 2d and 1st Lieut. and Captain, 20th Mass.; res. April 26, ’64.

Wardwell, Henry F., 18, Reading; later Co. D, 33d Mass.; d. Feb. 16, ’64.

Warren, Horace M., 20, So. Reading; later 1st Lieut., 50th Mass.; also 1st Lieut. and Adjt., 59th Mass.; Maj., Aug. 4, ’64; d. of wds. rec'd at Weldon R. R., Aug. 19, ’64.

Weston, Robert H., 23, Reading; later Corp., Co. A, 20th Mass.; d. Jan. 13, ’63.

Wiley, Joseph E., 23, So. Reading; later Co. L, 1st H. Arty.; d. May 11, 1899, Wakefield.

Wiley, William, 25, So. Reading; later Sergt., Co. A, 17th Mass.

Wilkins, Edward L., 25, So. Reading; later Sergt., Co. K, 4th H. Arty.





Wyman, William, 19, Melrose; later Co. C, 24th Mass.; d. Feb. 23, 1903.

Company C.

(Charlestown Artillery, Co. D [before the war], 5th Regt., M. V. M. Unless otherwise stated, all enlisted April 16, ’61.

*Served in 9 months’ term. †Served in 100 days’ term.

CAPTAIN.

William R. Swan, 34, Chelsea; D. of C., June 13, 1860; M. O. with regiment; 1910, Chelsea.

FIRST LIEUTENANT.

Phineas H. Tibbetts, 38, Charlestown; D. of C., June 13, 1860; M. O. with regiment.

SECOND LIEUTENANT.

John W. Rose, 26, So. Boston; D. of C., June 13, 1860; M. O. with regiment; 1910, Boston.

THIRD LIEUTENANT.

Hannibal D. Norton, 22, Chelsea; D. of C., June 13, 1860; M. O. with regiment; Captain, 32d Mass.; later V. R. C.; Bvt.-major March 13, ’65; b. Nov. 9, 1838, Addison, Me.; boyhood spent in Boston; 1866, Asst. Inspct. Genl., Dept. Carolinas; later, till 1869, Commander West. Dist., N. C.

FOURTH LIEUTENANT.

*†George H. Marden, 21, Charlestown; D. of C., June 13, 1860; M. O. with regiment; vide Co. D, 9 mos. service, also 100 days.





SERGEANTS.

*Thomas F. Howard (1st), 28, Charlestown; vide Co. D, 9 mos.; later Corp., Co. K, 4th Cav.

Charles W. Strout, 28, So. Dedham.

James H. Rose, 23, So. Boston.

*†Charles P. Whittle, 21, Charlestown; vide Co. D, 9 mos., also 100 days.

CORPORALS.

Samuel E. Holbrook, Jr., 25, Charlestown.

Henry W. Copps, 21, Boston; later Sergt., Co. E, 47th Mass.

Joseph J. Bell, 21, Boston.

*Valentine Walberg, 19, Somerville; vide Co. I, 9 mos.

MUSICIAN.

George Oakley, 20, Charlestown; later served in band of the 19th Mass.; also as Mus., 1st Batt., H. Arty., and as private, Co. B, 43d Mass.

PRIVATES.

*Ash, William G., 24, Charlestown; vide Co. D, 9 mos.

Blood Hiram, 28, Charlestown.

*Branch, Hiram R., 30, Charlestown; vide Co. D, 9 mos.

*Chamberlain, John H., 27, Charlestown; vide Co. D, 9 mos. Chase, Charles L., 26, Charlestown; later in 10th Battery.

*†Chell, George, 33, Charlestown; vide Co. D, 9 mos., also 100 days.

Cheslyn, Richard W., 21, Charlestown; later Co. D, 1st Mass. Cav.; d. June 17, ’63, Aldie, Va.

Clark, John W., 18, Charlestown.

Clark, Stephen M., 22, So. Boston; wd. Bull Run; later as Charles Rogers in Co. D, 12th Mass.

Cobleigh, Charles C., 19, Townsend; later Co. L, 1st Cav. and Co. L, 4th Cav.; d. Feb. 5, 1909, Brighton.

Colburn, Charles F., 23, Charlestown; later 1st Sergt., Co. H, 29th Mass.; 1910, Charlestown.





Connor, Thomas, 24, Boston.

Craig, Thomas F., 25, Boston; later Sergt., Co. E, 22d Mass.

Cross, George W., 20, Charlestown; later Co. I, 32d Mass.; b. Aug. 6, 1840, Sebec, Me.; morocco dresser at enlistment; later engineer, member Post 10, G. A. R.; d. Dec. 27, 1906, Worcester.

Davis, Charles L., 24, Charlestown.

Davis, George W., 23, Charlestown.

Davis, George W. G., 19, Charlestown; later Co. G, 22d Mass.; d. Nov. 6, 1902, S. H., Chelsea.

†Dean, John, 20, So. Boston; later served in the U. S. Navy; vide Co. A, 100 days.

Dickey, Neal S., 21, Deering, N. H.; later Sergt., Co. D, 3d Cavalry.

Doyle, William J., 21, Charlestown; later Corp., Co. I, 32d Mass.

†Dwight, Joseph F., 36, Charlestown; vide Co. D, 100 days.

Fales, Lowell E., 25, Walpole.

Fitzpatrick, Thomas B. N., 22, So. Boston; later 37th U. S. Colored Troops, originally the 3d North Carolina.

Foster, Edward, 30, Charlestown; wd. head, and prisoner, Bull Run, July 21, ’61; dis. June 24, ’62; later Co. E. 59th Mass.; trans. to Co. E, 57th; d. April 17, 1897, Boston.

Fox, Edward, 21, Charlestown.

French, William C., 19, Northampton.

*Gabriel, William E., 42, Saugus; vide Co. D, 9 mos.

Gammons, Charles A., 19, Charlestown.

Gifford, Albert D., 27, Stockholm, N. Y.; later Co. H, 50th Mass.

†Gossom, Elijah D., 24, Charlestown; later Co. K, 16th Mass.; vide Co. D, 100 days; also Co. A, 2d Cav.

Grant, Melville C., 20, Chelsea; d. 1894, Medford.

Hatton, James, 24, Charlestown; later Sergt., Co. C, 28th Mass.; 1910, Charlestown.

Hayes, William, 28, Waltham; later Co. M, 1st Cav.; d. Dec. 27, ’63, Hilton Head, S. C.

Herman, Conrad, Jr., 23, Boston; later Co. K, 1st Mass. Infty.

Hobart, George W., 23, Boston; wd. Bull Run; later Co. C, 1st Cav.

Jones, Melville D., 19, Plaistow, N. H.; later Corp., 6th M. V. M., 9 mos., 1862; 1894-6, Alderman, Somerville; Rep. Legislature, 1897-8; d. June 22, 1910.





Kilborn, Albert, 20, Salisbury, N. H.

*†Kilham, George W., 23, Charlestown; vide Co. D, 9 mos., also 100 days.

†Lake, Alpheus A., 22, Charlestown; later 8th Battery, 6 mos., 1862; vide Co. D, 100 days.

Lane, Frank W., 25, Charlestown; wd. Bull Run; d. Waltham.

Leslie, Albert S., 24, Woburn; later 1st Sergt., Co. K, 39th Mass.

Lincoln, Joshua W., 24, Charlestown; d. April 4, 1903, Eastham.

Lord, Charles L., 31, Charlestown; later Corp., 3d Battery.

McCloud, John, 28, Charlestown.

†McIntire, John C., 22, Boston; later Corp., Co. E, 22d Mass.; vide Co. D, 100 days.

†Miller, Eugene J., 19, Boston; vide Co. D, 100 days.

Morrison, Daniel P., 24, Cambridge.

Nichols, Charles H., 23, Salisbury, N. H.

Norton, George, 24, Boston; later U. S. Navy; 1910, Salem.

Oakman, Winslow S., 27, Charlestown; wd. Bull Run; later 1st Sergt., Co. I, 32d Mass.; also Sergt., Co. H, 2d H. Arty.; 1910, S. H., Togus, Me.

Peeler, Albert, 19, Charlestown; later Sergt., Co. G, 1st Cav.; 1910, State House, Boston.

Penny, Charles H., 30, So. Boston.

*Perham, Albin B., 34, No. Belgrade, Maine; vide Co. D, 9 mos.

Pfaff, Francis W., 22, Boston; wd. ankle, Bull Run; later as Wm. F. Sellinger, Co. K, 2d Cav.; 1910, Taunton.

Pratt, John M. P., 23, Charlestown; wd. abdomen, Bull Run.

Quinn, Maurice M., 21, Townsend; later Co. B, 1st Cav.

Reed, Freeman H., 22, Charlestown.

Richardson, Alvah, 22, Townsend; later Co. B, 26th Mass.

Robertson, John, 35, So. Boston; later Sergt., Co. F, 28th Mass.

Rowe, Charles A., 27, So. Boston.

Selvey, William, 32, So. Boston; later Corp., Co. E, 61st Mass.

Smith, Lewis, 20, Charlestown; wd. knee, Bull Run.

Stone, Horace P., Jr., 27, Woburn; dis. June 2, ’61, disa.

Sullivan, Humphrey, Jr., 27, Charlestown; later 1st Lieut., Co. A, 28th Mass.





Wade, James P., 27, Chelsea; later Sergt., Co. C, 32d Mass.; prom. Sergt.-major, 2d and 1st Lieut.

White, William H., 38, Charlestown; later Corp., Co. I, 32d Mass., trans. V. R. C.

Willan, Thomas, 24, Charlestown;