New Bern, North Carolina
SOLDIERS and SAILORS
WHO DIED IN
The DEPARTMENT of
NO. CAROLINA 1861 - 1865
NEW BERN, NO. CAROLINA
NOVEMBER 11, 1908
PUBLISHED BY Gardner & Taplin BOSTON, MASS. 1909
COPYRIGHTED 1909 BY JAMES B. GARDNER
FIGURE OF “PEACE”
Photographed from Clay Model
The Reason Why
MANY who were present at the dedication of the monument erected by the State of Massachusetts in the National Cemetery at New Bern to the memory of her sons who died in the Department of North Carolina in 1861—1865, and also others who were unable to attend, have expressed a wish to obtain a picture of the monument and an account of the ceremonies incident to its dedication.
The balance of the appropriation made by the State, after defraying the cost of the dedication, being insufficient to meet the expense of such a record, I decided to publish an account on my individual responsibility.
It seems not only appropriate, but even requisite, that such an account should be prefaced with a sketch of the services performed by Massachusetts troops which induced the State to erect this monument. Desiring to make this sketch as complete and as accurate as possible I have consulted various regimental histories and the “Official Record”; in addition, proofs were submitted for suggestion and criticism to at least one representative from each regiment interested, and I believe the chapter contains no material error.
I hope this little book may be of interest to those who served in the Department of North Carolina during the civil war, and can assure my comrades and others if they derive as much pleasure from its perusal as I have in its preparation I shall feel amply repaid for my labor.
Secretary Monument Committee
Secretary 44th Mass. Reg't Ass'n
Monument tablet listing the 2D, 3D, 5TH, 8TH, 17TH, 21ST, 23D, 24TH, 25TH MASS. VOL. INFANTRY]
TABLETS ON SIDES OF MONUMENT
Monument tablet listing the 27TH, 33D, 43D, 44TH, 45TH, 46TH, 51ST MASS. VOL. INFANTRY and 2D MASS. VOL. HEAVY ARTILLERY]
Services of Massachusetts Troops Department of North Carolina 1861 - 1865
IN one particular the state of North Carolina is unique. Although it is called a seaboard state but a small part of the main land actually borders on the ocean. A glance at the map shows that for about two thirds of its eastern boundary, from the Virginia line southerly, the main land is separated from the Atlantic by Currituck, Croatan, Pamlico and Core Sounds, varying in width from five to forty-five miles, and these are in turn separated from the ocean by a narrow strip of sand in some places scarcely more than a quarter and seldom over a mile in width.
In addition to those mentioned, Albemarle Sound, a sheet of water some fifty to sixty miles long and from ten to twenty wide, runs westward from Croatan. Emptying into these Sounds are the Chowan, Roanoke, Pamlico, Tar and Neuse rivers, all of which are navigable to a greater or less distance for light draft vessels, besides several others navigable only by small boats.
The sandy strip of land which separates these Sounds from the Atlantic is broken in several places, called inlets, which form passages connecting the Sounds with the ocean. Few however are practicable for any but the lightest draft vessels, and except at Old Topsail Inlet, just south of Cape Lookout and which is the entrance to the harbor of Beaufort, about nine feet is the maximum depth. These conditions made this an ideal locality for
blockade runners which were generally of light draft, and as the water outside was shallow should a blockade runner succeed in passing the fleet, our vessels being unable to follow owing to their greater draft, it was practically safe from capture.
As the Confederates depended for a large part of their supplies upon imports and as a numerous fleet was needed to properly guard and patrol the coast the Navy Department realized very early in the war the advisability of securing possession of one or more points in this territory, not only to enable it to dispense with part of the blockading squadron but to secure a base for future operations. Admiral Ammen states that the War Department did not at that time grasp the importance of this movement. However, after considerable solicitation, General Wool consented to detail eight hundred men under Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, with orders to report to Flag Officer Silas H. Stringham and assist in the attempt to capture Forts Clark and Hatteras which commanded Hatteras Inlet, the passage most generally favored by blockade runners. “The object of the expedition being attained” the troops were to “return to Fort Monroe.”
The land force consisted of five hundred men of the 20th and two hundred of the 9th New York; one hundred of the Union Coast Guard; and sixty of the 2nd U. S. Artillery. The expedition sailed from Fort Monroe on the morning of August 26, 1861, and arrived off Hatteras the same afternoon. The bombardment of the forts was begun on the 28th, discontinued later in the day as Flag Officer Stringham feared that unless he could make a greater offing some of his vessels might be blown ashore, resumed on the 29th, and before noon of that day the forts had surrendered.
Immediately after the articles of capitulation had been
signed, Flag Officer Stringham and General Butler returned to Fort Monroe taking with them some five or six hundred captured Confederates, and leaving the Pawnee, Monticello, and tug Fanny, with detachments of the 9th and 20th New York and the Union Coast Guard, to hold the captured territory. Gen. Rush C. Hawkins was left in command.
Sept. 6, Gen. Hawkins wrote Gen. Wool stating that the enemy were fortifying Roanoke Island, urged the necessity of our taking immediate possession of that place, and earnestly called for reinforcements of troops and light draft vessels. On Sept. 11, he again wrote to the same effect, a copy of the latter letter being sent directly to the Secretary of War. Excepting a simple acknowledgment no attention was paid to the matter by that official although the recommendations were strongly endorsed by General Wool. Had these been favorably acted upon by the War Department, the battle of Roanoke Island, and perhaps that of New Bern also, might have been unnecessary.
Very early in the war Gen. Burnside suggested the formation of a “Coast Division” consisting of about ten thousand men for operations on the Potomac and Chesapeake, and to act as an auxiliary to the Army of the Potomac. He had several conversations with Gen. McClellan on this subject, and on Sept. 6, 1861, the latter wrote the Secretary of War suggesting that a force of ten regiments be recruited from the New England States, the men from that section of the country being presumably better qualified for the special service in prospect than would be those from an inland state. They were to be provided with light draft vessels, and several naval officers were to be detailed to accompany them.
There was great difficulty in getting the requisite number of the kind of vessels needed, so although the nucleus
of such a Division was formed, and on Oct. 23 orders were issued for it to assemble at Annapolis, the purpose for which it had originally been designed was changed.
Late in the fall of 1861 the authorities at Washington began to realize the strategic advantages of North Carolina and the necessity of securing a foothold there. The main line of railroad from Richmond south passes through that state and her agricultural resources, especially during the latter period of the war, were invaluable to the Confederates. One writer speaks of this state as “the jugular artery of the confederacy.” The possession of a base of operations in North Carolina would threaten Richmond from the south, and one suggestion was made that it might be possible to effect a connection with our forces in Tennessee and thus divide the Confederacy.
General Orders, No. 14*, Head Quarters Coast Division, dated January 3, 1862, assigned the vessels to the different brigades; and General Orders, No. 15†, January 4, directed the embarkation.[note][note]
First brigade, Brig. Gen. John G. Foster: 10th Connecticut, 23d, 24th, 25th and 27th Massachusetts.
Second brigade, Brig. Gen. Jesse L. Reno: 21st Massachusetts, 9th New Jersey, 51st New York, and 51st Pennsylvania.
Third brigade, Brig. Gen. John L. Parke: 8th Connecticut, 9th and 53d New York, 4th and 5th (battalion) Rhode Island.
Fourth brigade, Brig. Gen. Thomas Williams: 11th Connecticut, 6th New Hampshire, 89th New York, 48th Pennsylvania, Battery F, (Belger's), 1st Rhode Island Artillery, and Battery C, 1st U. S. Artillery.
Note. None of those to whom proofs were sent have any recollection of Williams’ brigade, nor is any mention made of that brigade in the reports of the battles of Roanoke Island or New Bern; yet the 11th Connecticut, which was attached to this brigade, is mentioned as taking part in the latter action.
The embarkation began early on the morning of January 6th and was completed on the 8th. Early on the morning of the 9th, the fleet steamed out of Annapolis harbor. The destination of this expedition was one of the inconsiderable number of war secrets (?) that was well kept. Probably few, if any, of those accompanying it, except Gen. Burnside, knew where it was bound. The only instructions received by the several commanders were to follow the leading vessel until they reached a certain point, when they were to open their sealed orders.
In a letter from Gen. McClellan, then Commander-in-Chief, to Gen. Burnside, the latter was directed, after uniting with Flag Officer Goldsborough at Fort Monroe, to proceed under his convoy to Hatteras Inlet. In accordance with his general instructions he was to take command of the Department of North Carolina. His first point of attack was to be Roanoke Island. Having occupied that and erected batteries and defences so that it might be held with a comparatively small force, meanwhile assisting Flag Officer Goldsborough, should he so request, in seizing or holding the entrance to the Norfolk Canal, he was then to make a descent upon New Bern.
Gaining possession of that city, he was directed to occupy Beaufort and reduce Fort Macon in order to open the port which was the seaboard terminus of the railroad to New Bern, Kinston and Goldsboro. He was directed to then proceed, if possible, to Goldsboro and Raleigh, but was told that he must exercise great caution in making such an advance.
The expedition reached Fort Monroe on the afternoon of the 9th and left about midnight on the 11th. When well at sea the destination was announced to be Hatteras Inlet. Sunday, the 12th, while nearing that place, the weather was stormy and it continued to grow worse until it became a regular gale. Some of the vessels succeeded in making the Inlet on the 13th, while, of those which failed to get through, many decided to attempt riding out the gale at anchor, while others, believing that their only safety lay in being at a distance from land, stood out to sea. The fleet became widely scattered, and it was a most anxious experience for both officers and men. Fortunately the loss of life was small.
Between the Inlet and the navigable waters of the Sound there was a shifting, sandy bar, called the “Swash,” across which vessels drawing more than eight feet could not pass. One of the conditions of the charters was that no vessel when loaded should draw over a stated depth, but, as usual, government contractors expected to be allowed some latitude in filling their contracts, and the result was that many vessels had to be unloaded before they could pass the “Swash.” By the last day of January, however, all had safely entered the Sound.
Roanoke Island which commands Croatan Sound, the connecting link between Albemarle and Pamlico, is from ten to fifteen miles long and from two to five miles wide. It is a place of great strategic importance, commanding
the Sounds and the rear defences of Norfolk, Va. It was defended by Fort Bartow, at Pork Point, on the west side of the island; Fort Blanchard, farther north; and Fort Huger, still farther north. About the centre of the island was Fort Defiance, a redoubt or breastwork some seventy to eighty feet long, with three embrasures for cannon. One flank of this redoubt was protected by a swamp and the other by a marsh, both of which were thought to be practically impassable. The main north and south road of the island passed through the redoubt. In addition to these defenses the Confederates had in Croatan Sound a naval force of ten small vessels mounting eighteen guns.
On February 4th, Burnside reported to Goldsborough that everything was ready, and on the morning of the 6th they started for Roanoke. The afternoon of the same day they were within six miles of the Island. A heavy fog prevailing made them decide it would be unwise to attempt a further advance that night. The Confederate fleet was off Fort Bartow. On the 7th, Lieutenant Andrews, of the 9th New York, with a party of men from the 5th Rhode Island,made soundings in Ashby's Harbor, situated near the middle of the island on the west side.
In the afternoon Foster was ordered to land his brigade. He embarked five hundred men of the 25th Massachusetts on board the Pilot Boy, which towed the boats carrying the rest of his brigade, and headed toward Ashby's Harbor. Discovering an ambuscade of infantry and artillery, he changed his proposed destination and made a landing in front of Hammond's House, a point just above the Harbor, where he encountered no opposition. He was quickly followed by Reno and Parke, and in about twenty minutes four thousand men had reached the land safely.
The force forming the ambuscade, fearing capture,
made a hasty retreat and joined the main body at the redoubt. During this time, and throughout the battle, the naval division had kept Fort Bartow engaged. The steamer carrying the 24th Massachusetts ran aground so that regiment did not land till the following day.
The night of the 7th the 21st Massachusetts was in advance and picketed our line. It rained constantly and the men suffered considerably. Lieutenant Colonel Maggi says in his report, “None of the men slept, and every half hour I made the companies fall in in greatest silence.”
At daybreak on the 8th, Foster's brigade moved forward, the 25th Massachusetts leading They drove in the enemy's skirmishers on the main road until, when near the middle of the island, they met the confederates in a strong position prepared for battle. Their guns had a clean sweep of 700 yards. Foster placed six light guns from the ships’ launches in the road so that two could be used at the same time and then advanced to the attack. These guns were supported by the 25th Massachusetts in line on one side of the road and that regiment was supported by the 23d. As the 27th Massachusetts and 10th Connecticut came on the ground the latter regiment relieved the 23d, which, supported by the 27th, was ordered to the right with instructions to pass through the marsh and turn the enemy's left.
General Reno soon came up and was ordered to push his brigade through the swamp to our left and endeavor to turn the enemy's right. Parke followed Reno and he was instructed to assist the 23d and 27th Massachusetts on the right.
The engagement in the direct front had been very warm. The guns having used all but ten rounds were instructed to cease firing; the 25th Massachusetts, having expended all its ammunition, was sent to the rear and
MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 30, 1868 NATIONAL CEMETERY, NEW BERN, N. C.
the 10th Connecticut moved to the front. The engagement began about 8 o'clock. About 11.30 A. M., Foster ordered Parke to charge. The enemy fled in great confusion, partly in consequence of this charge and partly because both flanks had been turned. General Reno immediately started in pursuit, quickly followed by General Foster, the 24th Massachusetts being on the right of the brigade. He soon overtook and passed Reno, the latter being busily engaged in capturing the fleeing enemy who were endeavoring to escape by boats to Nag's Head.
Just before they reached the upper extremity of the island, Colonel Shaw, of the 8th North Carolina, who, owing to the absence of General Wise, was in command of the confederate forces on Roanoke, sent a flag of truce to Foster asking on what terms he would accept surrender. “Unconditional,” was the answer, and Foster added that he would allow but sufficient time for a reply to reach him before recommencing hostilities. As the delay appeared to be longer than necessary, Foster advanced with the 24th Massachusetts, but when near the confederate camp he was met by another flag of truce and was informed that his terms had been accepted. Colonel Kurtz, of the 23d Massachusetts, was ordered to secure the camp of the 31st North Carolina, but the order had been anticipated by General Reno, who was already in possession.
This battle resulted in the capture of forty-two guns, about three thousand prisoners, and the occupation of a most important strategic position.
General Wise, who was nominally in command at Roanoke Island, but who was ill at Nag's Head at the time of the action, felt much aggrieved at the result, claiming that General Benjamin Huger, commanding the Department of Norfolk, failed to give him proper support, and by countermanding some of his orders and interfering with
his plans was responsible for the loss of the Island. A voluminous and somewhat acrimonious correspondence ensued between these officers. It occupies about sixty pages of the “Official Records.” Wise plainly expressed his opinion of the importance to the confederacy of holding this position when, February 13, he wrote Jefferson Davis:
“Such is the importance and value, in a military point of view, of Roanoke Island that it ought to have been defended by all the means in the power of the Government. It was the key to all the rear defences of Norfolk. It unlocked two Sounds, (Albemarle and Currituck); eight rivers, (the North, West, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Little, Chowan, Roanoke and Alligator); four canals, (the Albemarle and Chesapeake, Dismal Swamp, Northwest, and Suffolk); and two railroads, (the Petersburg and Norfolk, and the Seaboard and Roanoke). It guarded more than four-fifths of all Norfolk's supply of corn, pork and forage, and it cut the command of General Huger off from all its most efficient transportation. It endangers the subsistence of his whole army; threatens the Navy Yard at Gosport; to cut off Norfolk from Richmond, and both from railroad communication with the south. It lodges the enemy in a safe harbor from the storms of Hatteras, gives them a rendezvous, a large, rich range of supplies, and the command of the seaboard from Oregon Inlet to Cape Henry. It should have been defended at the expense of twenty thousand men and many millions of dollars.”
The subject was brought before the Confederate Congress and the Investigating Committee of the House of Representatives made an exhaustive report fully endorsing the opinion expressed by General Wise when he wrote: “The forts of this island were all out of place; they ought to have been at the south end, they were at the north, leaving several of the landing points on the south end without any defenses against the shot and shell of the heavy steamers which came quite up and covered the landing of their troops.”
In their finding the Committee place the blame for the loss of the Island on General Huger and Secretary of War, J. P. Benjamin.
In connection with the battle of Roanoke Island, and as the officer to whom the following letter was addressed attended the dedication of the New Bern monument as a delegate from the 21st Massachusetts, it does not seem out of place to reproduce it in this volume. The letter is self-explanatory.
Head Quarters, 21st Mass. Vols.
Camp Burnside, Dept. N. C.,
Roanoke Island, Feb 10, 1862.
To Capt. Theodore S. Foster,
The day before the battle of the 8th inst., the aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Frank Reno, told me he would present a flag to the Company of the Second Brigade who would fight most bravely. The day after the battle in which our regiment comported itself so gallantly, he gave the flag to me, saying, “Give it to the Company which has fought the best in your regiment.”
At a meeting of the officers of the 21st regiment, presided over by me, it was decided that the flag should be given to you alone as a small token of the great courage, bravery and intelligence which you displayed on the 8th instant.
You may inscribe on the flag these words: “The Officers of the 21st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers to the brave Captain T. S. Foster, of Company D.” I am,
Your sincere friend,
A. C. Maggi,
Lieutenant Colonel Commanding.
This flag Capt. Foster later presented to the Fitchburg Library, Company D having been mainly recruited from that city.
After the capture of Roanoke, the naval vessels followed the enemy's flotilla to Elizabeth City reaching there on the 18th, extinguished the fire which the confederates had set for the purpose of burning the town, blocked the entrance to the Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal, and destroyed one schooner, several guns, and a quantity of supplies. They then proceeded to Edenton and Winton on the
Chowan, but accomplished little except the destruction of a large amount of supplies. No Massachusetts troops were engaged in this expedition.
The troops remained at Roanoke Island, strengthening its defences, until the morning of March 12, when an expedition left for the Neuse river, its purpose being the capture of New Bern. The river had been blockaded below the city, and as Burnside thought it would be difficult to make a direct attack, he decided to land below New Bern and approach the city by land. That evening he reached Slocum's Creek, about sixteen miles below New Bern.
On the morning of the 13th Foster placed about five hundred of the 24th Massachusetts on board the Pilot Boy, about six hundred more men from his brigade on boats in tow of that steamer, and landed near the mouth of Slocum's Creek. The shallowness of the water made the approach difficult and many men, in their impatience, jumped over-board and waded ashore. The navy had shelled the bank so effectually that there was no opposition.
Foster advanced a short distance, when he halted and awaited the arrival of Reno's brigade, which by order of General Burnside had been given the advance. Foster then proceeded along the old County, or “Beaufort” road, the one parallel to and next the Neuse road, the 21st Massachusetts of Reno's command being at the head of the column. About six miles from Slocum's he met Captain Williamson, of the Topographical Engineers, accompanied by some officers of Burnside's staff and his own, who were just returning from a daring reconnoissance. Captain Williamson reported the discovery of a line of breastworks a short distance ahead, which they found deserted, extending from the Neuse to the railroad. General Reno having arrived, he and Foster entered these works and the troops were halted for dinner. A little distance beyond these
VIEW LOOKING DOWN Neuse River, North Carolina">Neuse river
Taken from roof of Gaston House, looking southeast
VIEW LOOKING UP TRENT RIVER
Taken from roof of Gaston House, looking southwest
works they bivouacked near the enemy's position, being about twelve miles from the point where they landed. It had rained hard all day, the mud was deep, the men were tired and wet and were perfectly willing to go into camp.
At daylight on the 14th, Foster advanced his brigade till he met the enemy. The confederate left was at Fort Thompson, on the Neuse. This fort had been built to defend the river, and while strong on the water side was weak on the land; a line of breastworks extended from the fort to the railroad, a distance of a mile and a half; beyond the railroad was a series of redoubts for about three quarters of a mile farther; the confederate right rested on Bryce Creek*. Their line crossed the main County, or “Beaufort” road, the railroad, and the Weathersby, or Pollocksville road, which was between the railroad and Bryce Creek. All these roads converged at a point about two miles in the rear of the confederate line. Foster was followed by Reno on the railroad, and Parke was placed in rear of Foster ready to support either, as occasion might require. Foster placed the 25th Massachusetts in line on the extreme right and the 24th on its left, the left of the latter regiment resting on the Beaufort road. A howitzer from the Highlander was placed in the road, supported on the left by the 27th Massachusetts in line. On the arrival of some navy howitzers these were placed to the left of the other, and the 23d Massachusetts moved to the left of the 27th. The fire from the breast works was at short range, incessant, and very severe As the 10th Connecticut came on to the ground it was placed on the left of the 23d, and the 27th, having nearly exhausted its ammunition, was relieved by the 11th Connecticut, the former regiment going a short distance to the rear.[note]
A little before 8 A.M. Reno, who was following the railroad, heard Foster's brigade hotly engaged and saw what he thought an attempt of the confederates to bring a gun to bear on the railroad. He sent out his skirmishers and as soon as he could get the right wing of his leading regiment, the 21st Massachusetts, into line he ordered it to capture the brick-kiln near the railroad which it did very quickly, the enemy fleeing at the first volley. The color sergeant of the 21st climbed to the roof of a building in the brickyard “and amid a perfect shower of minie balls * * * waved the Star Spangled banner presented to the regiment by the ladies of Worcester.”
As General Reno did not know the confederate line extended beyond the railroad he supposed he had turned its right. He found, however, he was opposed by the 16th and 33d North Carolina who for three hours made a most gallant fight. Their ammunition then being exhausted and their forces between the river and the railroad having been driven back they were finally obliged to retire. The right wing of the 21st, which had taken the brickyard and later had captured a battery, was attacked by an overwhelming force and obliged to fall back, but on arrival of reenforcements it regained possession of the brickyard. About the same time, Foster, seeing the troops in his front waver, charged with his whole brigade. The combined attack resulted in the defeat of the enemy who made a rapid retreat to New Bern.
Our troops immediately started in pursuit. Parke was ordered forward to save the bridges, if possible, but he did not reach them in time. The railroad bridge had been burned and the draw of the county bridge destroyed. Part of the city had been set on fire by the retreating enemy. The naval forces had reached New Bern in advance of the troops; with their co-operation Foster's brigade
was moved over to the city and assisted in extinguishing the fire which had been partially conquered by the citzens and the naval contingent.
In his report of this battle to Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas, Burnside writes, “I beg to say to the General Commanding that I have under my command a division that can be relied upon in any emergency.” Each of the brigade commanders speaks of his own men in equally complimentary terms saying virtually what Foster said of the 24th Massachusetts, “they behaved with marked coolness and steadiness.” Several who subsequently saw severe service in Virginia say it was one of the hardest fights in which they were ever engaged.
It is reported that just before the battle, Colonel Jordan, who was captured at Roanoke, said to General Branch, who was in command at New Bern, “General, you have my best hopes and wishes, and were I not on parole you would have my assistance. But, General, I will give you just twenty-four hours to hold your position. The Yankees would charge your batteries and entrenchments if the obstacles were twice as great. All hell won't keep them back. If they can't do better they'll swim the river, (it was about two miles wide at this point), and come in on your rear. Have the place they will, and you can't help it.”
New Bern, the headquarters of the Department of North Carolina during the war, and a city familiar to all who served in that state, is situated at the junction of the Neuse and Trent rivers, about forty miles from Pamlico Sound. It was laid out in 1710. There is but one older town in the state, and in commercial importance it is second only to Wilmington. It was named for Bern, Switzerland, the birthplace of its founders, DeGraffenried and Mitchell. Here, in 1749, James Davis, of Virginia, established the first printing press used in the colony.
Today New Bern carries on an extensive lumber industry, her cotton business is important, and she makes large shipments of early fruits and vegetables to northern cities.
In 1894, the City Council voted to adopt the armorial bearings and colors of Old Bern; in February, 1896, the Council of Burghesses of the latter city presented to its offspring a beautiful Bernese banner in token of the kindly feeling existing between the old and the new Bern. The letter of presentation concludes with these words:
“Let the banner fly under the shadow of the Star Spangled Banner; both lead to the peaceful struggle for the welfare of mankind.”
Immediately after taking possession of New Bern, Burnside began fortifying the place that it might be successfully defended by a comparatively small garrison against any force that would probably ever attempt its recapture. The construction of Fort Totten was immediately begun under the direction of Captain Williamson, engineer officer on Burnside's staff. In “Bearing Arms in the 27th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry,” (one of the most complete and comprehensive of the many regimental histories and other volumes consulted by the writer), Fort Totten is described as,
“A pentagon, covering nearly seven acres, with parapets eight feet high and twelve feet thick. This massive embankment was revetted from the bottom of the slope in the ditch with sods, one on the other, to the depth of eighteen inches, and the embrasures with wicker baskets filled with sand. A huge parapet of earth was constructed on the terra pleine of the fort, thirty-five feet high, twenty-eight feet thick, and four hundred feet long, to shelter the garrison in case of bombardment. On the top of this huge parapet was a series of rifle pits for the use and protection of sharp shooters. The ramparts were protected from enfilading fires by traverses, and complete control of the field secured by bastions at each angle. The armament of the fort consisted of twenty-eight guns, mostly naval 32-pounders and 64-pound Columbiads, the exception being two 100-pound Parrotts.”
VIEW OF New Bern SHOWING ELKS BUILDING
Taken from roof of Gaston House, looking west
VIEW OF New Bern TOWARDS THE Neuse River, North Carolina">Neuse river
Taken from roof of Elks Building, looking north
This fort was situated on the Trent, commanding the approaches from Kinston, and the entire city. A smaller work, Fort Rowan, was erected near the railway and commanded the Neuse. Forts Amory and Gaston, were on the south side of the Trent. The author of “Cayuga in the Field”, (a history of the 3d New York Artillery, in connection with other regiments from Cayuga County), states that these forts were completed in January, 1863, by Lieutenant Colonel J. Stewart.
Within a few hours after the occupation of the city, some members of the 23d Massachusetts, who were of an inquiring mind, discovered a printing office and found two forms of a newspaper locked up and ready for the press. The press being disabled they immediately struck off about one hundred copies with a “planer”, a wooden block used by printers for levelling type, and this “first edition” met a ready sale. A paper was established with George Miles Joy, editor. As it was forbidden to publish anything that might give information to the enemy the non-arrival of mail from the north sometimes caused a great dearth of news. No matter what were the conditions, the editor had to supply copy, so on one occasion he printed an account of a “GREAT BATTLE” which was taken verbatim from the Old Testament. This edition had a tremendous sale. At another time he published the Declaration of Independence in full.
March 20, Colonel Thomas G. Stevenson, with the 24th Massachusetts, started for “Little” Washington. The morning of the 21st they were within six miles of the town. Deserted batteries were discovered on each side of the Pamlico, and the river itself was barricaded by a row of piles cut off three feet below the surface of the water. Colonel Stevenson loaded two companies of the regiment on light draft boats and pushed to the town, but found no enemy to
oppose his landing. He reported having found a strong Union feeling among the residents. He left Washington the same night and returned to New Bern.
As soon as practicable after the capture of New Bern, Burnside proceeded to carry out the other instructions received from McClellan. General Parke was ordered to attempt the capture of Fort Macon, and on March 19 left Slocum's Creek with part of his brigade. No Massachusetts troops were engaged in this expedition, although Lieutenant Prouty, 25th Massachusetts, was in command of an 8-inch mortar battery. After an extremely difficult march, Parke reached the fort March 23 and immediately demanded its surrender, which demand Colonel White, the confederate officer in command, promptly refused.
Fort Macon was situated at the easterly end of Bogue Island, and was surrounded by water on three sides. It commanded absolutely the entrance from the ocean to the town of Beaufort, as well as the entrance to Morehead City, the terminus of the railroad to New Bern, Kinston, and Goldsboro. Of all the Atlantic forts it was second in importance only to Monroe and Sumter, and its occupation by us was a military necessity.
Surrender having been refused, General Parke immediately prepared for a siege. Owing to difficult transportation and meagre facilities it was about a month before he could begin active operations. During part of this time Burnside was present in person. On April 23, Burnside himself demanded its surrender which was again refused by Colonel White, and on April 25, Parke was ordered to open fire. At 5 P. M. the same day, White capitulated and our troops took possession of the fort. This success gave us control of practically the whole North Carolina coast, with the exception of the entrance to Wilmington.
On our occupation of New Bern General Foster was
assigned to the command of the city. He advanced his forces some miles and established strong picket lines at Batchelder's Creek on the north, and Bryce Creek on the south; later he opened the railroad between Morehead City and New Bern.
In April, Burnside organized the troops in North Carolina into three divisions, commanded respectively by Foster, Reno, and Parke. On April 3 and 7 he wrote Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, and on the 17th he wrote McClellan also, requesting reenforcements, especially of cavalry and artillery, and stated that they would be absolutely necessary should he attempt an advance on Goldsboro and Raleigh, a movement which he advocated very strongly if it could be made with a reasonable prospect of success. About the middle of April, the 17th Massachusetts, which, since its departure from that state the previous autumn, had been on duty in or around Baltimore, arrived and was assigned to the first brigade of Foster's division.
On May 3, and on May 5, Burnside again wrote Stanton, repeating his suggestion of an advance on Goldsboro, and added that should it be successful Wilmington and Fort Caswell as a natural sequence would fall into our hands.
During the rest of the spring and early summer nothing of special importance happened in the Department. Frequent reconnoissances were made, and several skirmishes occurred, in most of which Massachusetts troops took a prominent part and proved themselves a credit to the state from which they had enlisted.
Among the places visited, and at many of which there was more or less fighting, were Newport, Elizabeth City, South Mills, Plymouth, Deep Gully, Gates’ Mill, Young's Cross Roads, Tranter's Creek, Swansborough, Carolina City, Trenton, Pollocksville, and several other localities.
These reconnoissances resulted in the capture of a number of confederates; the seizure or destruction of large quantities of supplies; in gaining much valuable information regarding the geography and topography of the surrounding country; and more important still, they accustomed the men to the hardships of a soldier's life, taught them how to take care of themselves on a march, gave them confidence in themselves and their comrades; but most important of all, they preserved the morale of the troops, for there is nothing that will cause deterioration in an army quicker than inaction.
In June, 1862, Burnside, Ambrose E.">General Burnside received the following message:
Washington, June 28, 1863.
I think you had better go, with any reinforcements you can spare, to Gen. McClellan.
and this message was supplemented by one to the same effect, and of the same date, from the Secretary of War.
On the 25th, McClellan had notified Burnside that he thought Beauregard had withdrawn from North Carolina and gone to Richmond, and instructed him to advance on Goldsboro with all his available forces, destroying as far as possible all railroad connections in the direction of Richmond. In view of McClellan's previous order, the instructions given by the President and Secretary of War were modified by them to “render him (McClellan) any aid in your power.”
July 3, Burnside wrote McClellan that he was on his way with four thousand infantry, “when I met a messenger informing me of your important success before Richmond, which, if true, renders it unnecessary for me to join you.”
July 5, Stanton telegraphed Burnside, via Fort Monroe:
“The Department has no further orders to give, but hopes you will with all speed reach General McClellan with as large a force as possible.” Burnside left on the 6th with his 2d and 3d Divisions; at 4.40 P. M. on the 7th he reported his arrival at Fort Monroe and asked instructions. The only Massachusetts regiment that left North Carolina with these troops was the 21st.
After the departure of Burnside, Foster was placed in command of the Department. He continued the practice of making frequent reconnoissances and of keeping his men constantly engaged. Of the less important actions one of the most serious was the confederate attack on “Little” Washington in September. The town was garrisoned by companies B and D of the 24th Massachusetts, two companies of the 1st North Carolina, two companies of the 3d New York Artillery, and five companies of the 3d New York Cavalry. The enemy attacked early in the morning, surprised our pickets and entered the town. Col. Potter, of the 1st North Carolina, who was in command, had just started for Plymouth with Col. Mix, four companies of cavalry, and one battery, in obedience to orders he had received to cooperate with the Navy in an attack on Hamilton. Hearing the firing he immediately returned, and with the assistance of the gun-boats soon drove the enemy from the town and pursued them about eight miles. During the fight the magazine of the gun-boat Picket blew up, practically destroying the vessel, and killed and wounded a large number of men, among the killed being the commander, Capt. Nicoll.
In several communications to the War Department Foster mentioned that he was fortifying Washington, building block-houses at a number of important points, and strengthening his defenses generally. The fortifications were but just begun at the time of the above-mentioned raid.
In the fall of 1862, the army in North Carolina was largely reenforced, eight Massachusetts regiments having been sent there. The 3d, 5th, and 44th landed at Morehead City October 26; the 43d, 45th, and 46th, November 14; and the 8th and 51st reached New Bern November 30th.
October 30, Foster wrote General Halleck that he had just learned of three confederate regiments having gone into Washington and Hyde counties for the purpose of foraging and obtaining conscripts. He says:
“These counties form a bag, the mouth of which is between Washington and Plymouth. If I am not too late, (the information was forty hours in reaching me), I hope to engage and capture this force. Should I accomplish that, I shall push on for Hamilton. * * * I am led to make this attempt from information received (from the navy) that iron-clad boats are being constructed there.”
The following day Stevenson's brigade, comparising the 24th Massachusetts (5 companies), the 44th Massachusetts, the 5th Rhode Island (5 companies), the 10th Connecticut, and Belger's Battery F, 1st Rhode Island Artillery; and Lee's brigade, 27th Massachusetts (6 companies), 9th New Jersey (6 companies), 5th Massachusetts, and three Batteries of the 3d New York Artillery, were embarked on vessels and sailed for “Little” Washington. Amory brigade, 23d Massachusetts (5 companies), 27th Massachusetts (6 companies), 25th Massachusetts (5 companies), two sections of the 3d New York Artillery, and a detachment from the 3d New York Cavalry, proceeded to Washington overland. Most of the artillery, ambulances, and baggage wagons of the other brigades accompanied Amory. Those companies which were not with their regiments on this expedition were on detached service or formed part of the garrison at New Bern.
Stevenson's and Lee's brigades reached Washington on the morning of November 1. Foster had intended to make an immediate advance, but as Amory's brigade did not arrive till late in the afternoon, having been delayed by burned bridges and other obstructions, as well as a small amount of skirmishing, he was unable to do so.
Soon after daybreak, Sunday, November 2, the column started for Williamston, Stevenson's brigade in advance. Although it was engaged in skirmishing more or less during the day, it met no opposition of any importance until just before dark. Reaching a place called Little Creek, the advance, which consisted of the Marine Artillery, one company of the 10th Connecticut, and a small force of cavalry, was fired upon from the far side of the stream. These organizations were halted and companies H and C of the 44th Massachusetts were sent forward as skirmishers. They crossed the creek which was nearly arm-pit deep and the water of which was ice cold, reached the opposite bank and drove the enemy some distance. Most of their ammunition becoming wet while crossing the creek, they were relieved by companies E and I of the same regiment. Belger's Battery was brought into action and shelled the ground in our front very effectively. About a mile beyond Little Creek was Rawle's Mills. Here the confederates made a stand having previously burned the bridge. It was nearly 2 A. M. before our troops went into bivouac.
During the night the pioneers rebuilt the bridge and early on the morning of November 3 Foster moved forward to Williamston which he reached about noon. Williamston was a pretty, attractive, typically southern town, “flowing,” if not “with milk,” at least “with honey.” The column left Williamston late in the afternoon and camped for the night between that town and Hamilton.
On the 4th, the troops reached Rainbow Bluff on the Roanoke where the confederates had built a formidable earth-work to defend the river, but which was weak on the land side. This fortification was deserted. No trace could be found of the gun-boats which were reported as being in process of construction. After a brief halt the column kept on to Hamilton, and remaining but a few hours in that place, proceeded a short distance towards Tarboro, where it camped for the night.
A detachment consisting of companies A and G of the 44th Massachusetts, a few cavalrymen, and two small brass howitzers, all under command of Major Gerrard of the 3d New York Cavalry, was sent forward on the main road as a feint, while the main body took a more circuitous route. This detachment had quite a lively skirmish; it rejoined the main force the following morning.
Foster was within about four miles of Tarboro when learning that the enemy had been heavily reenforced, his men being nearly worn out owing to the difficulty of wading through the mud, the rapidity of the march, and the additional fact that a large part of his force was inexperienced in this kind of work, he decided to return to Hamilton, which he reached on the evening of the 6th. That night, to their great satisfaction, the men were quartered in houses.
On the morning of the 7th, in the midst of quite a snow storm, the troops started for Williamston reaching there the same evening. They remained at Williamston till the morning of Sunday, November 9, when they moved towards Plymouth and camped that night about four miles outside. Monday morning they entered the town, and as rapidly as transportation could be provided were sent back to New Bern.
Owing to the delay in starting, the expedition failed in
GEN. Burnside'S HEADQUARTERS GUARD HOUSE NO. 1 GASTON HOUSE GEN. Foster'S HEADQUARTERS MASONIC HALL
its main object which, as previously stated, was the capture of the confederate regiments, but it was of great advantage in many other respects, and resulted in the destruction of a large quantity of provisions and supplies which the enemy could ill afford to lose.
On the afternoon of November 11, a report reached Colonel Amory, who had just returned from Plymouth with the 17th, 24th, part of the 23d, and about one hundred and fifty men of the 44th Massachusetts, that the enemy were driving in our pickets on the Trent Road. Colonel Kurtz, of the 23d Massachusetts, who had been in command at New Bern during the absence of General Foster, warned the gun-boats and troops as soon as he heard the rumor, and before he knew of the arrival of Colonel Amory, who was the senior officer. The latter, on assuming command, drew the pickets in to the edge of the woods in front of Fort Totten and formed a line from the Trent to the Neuse, making all necessary arrangements to repel an attack. The affair was probably a simple reconnoissance as the enemy withdrew during the night.
December 10, a small force of confederates attacked Plymouth, then garrisoned by Company I, 3d Massachusetts, and Company C, 1st North Carolina Infantry.* The third shot fired by the enemy disabled the boiler of the gun-boat Southfield, on whose aid the garrison had been placing considerable reliance. Our troops took refuge in the custom house and made as good a defense as possible.
The confederates were in possession scarcely thirty minutes, but before retiring succeeded in burning about half the town.[note]
General Orders, No. 65, dated December 4, 1862, constituted all the artillery in the Department into a brigade under command of Colonel James H. Ledlie, 3d New York Artillery.
General Orders, No. 76, December 9 (?), forbade all straggling or unauthorized foraging, and appointed Major Jones Frankle as Provost Marshal for the coming expedition.
December 10, Foster wrote Halleck, General-in-Chief, of his intention to advance on Goldsboro, and added, “even if I do not succeed in my expectations, I hope my movement may be useful as a demonstration in favor of the Army of the Potomac.”
General Foster and General Peck, who was in command at Suffolk, Virginia, had been in frequent consultation, and on December 2 the latter wrote General Dix, at Fort Monroe, “The interview with General Foster today was all that could be desired. He is an old friend and we canvassed matters fully. Have memoranda* which will govern moves for some days * * * .”[note]
General Dix had promised to lend Foster some troops, and on December 5 Wessells’ brigade left Suffolk, reaching New Bern December 9.
December 11, Foster started for Goldsboro in conformity to his understanding with General Peck. His force was composed of
Lee's brigade: 3d, 5th, 27th and 46th Massachusetts.
Stevenson's brigade: 24th and 44th Massachusetts, 10th Connecticut and 5th Rhode Island.
Amory's brigade: 17th, 23d, 43d, 45th and 51st Massachusetts.
Wessells’ brigade: 85th, 92d and 96th New York, 85th, 101st and 103d Pennsylvania.
Artillery brigade: Battery F, (Belger's), 1st Rhode Island Artillery; six Batteries 3d New York Artillery; Battery C, 1st United States Artillery; and sections of 23d and 24th New York Independent Batteries. Total: 40 guns.
The 9th New Jersey and the 3d New York Cavalry were not brigaded. There were about 10,000 infantry, 640 cavalry, and the artillery, making in all about 12,000 men. The 8th Massachusetts and some small detachments from several of the regiments above mentioned were left to garrison New Bern.
A dense fog which prevailed the morning of the start materially delayed the formation of the column so that it was quite late in the forenoon before it could be put in motion. This delay, added to the bad condition of the roads, and obstructions such as felled trees, burned bridges, etc., made its progress much slower than had been anticipated by General Foster.
On Friday, December 12, the troops were in motion at daylight. The main road to Kinston having been badly obstructed and being strongly defended, Foster decided to
take a more circuitous route. When Vine Swamp road, which turned off to the left, was reached, the column followed that, while three companies of cavalry made a demonstration on the main road.
The rebuilding of the bridge over Beaver Creek caused a short delay. Leaving the 51st Massachusetts and a section of artillery to protect the bridge, guard the junction of the roads, and act as support to the cavalry detachment should it need assistance, the main force pushed on several miles when it camped for the night. During the afternoon it had been rumored among the rank and file that they were within five miles of Kinston, but after marching the rest of that day, all day Saturday, and part of Sunday morning, they decided that North Carolina miles were the longest they had ever known.
On Saturday morning, December 13, Foster left the Vine Swamp road and again bore to the left, leaving the 46th Massachusetts and a section of a battery to protect this junction and to feint on the road he had just left.
Reaching Southwest Creek, the bridge was found destroyed and the enemy strongly posted on the opposite bank. “The creek ran at the foot of a deep ravine and the stream not being fordable at this point made the position difficult to attack.” The 9th New Jersey, which was in advance, crossed, partly by swimming, partly by the remains of the bridge, and the 23d Massachusetts, which was ordered to its support, crossed by a mill dam a little distance above. The 85th Pennsylvania crossed half a mile below, partly by fording, partly by felling trees, attacked the confederate left and forced it to retreat. There was a brisk skirmish but the loss on either side was small.
Sunday, December 14th, the enemy was met in force about one mile from Kinston. “They were posted in strong position in the woods, taking advantage of the ground which
formed a natural breastwork.” Their right was protected by a deep swamp and their left by the river Neuse. The 46th and 51st Massachusetts, which had been detailed to guard the roads in the rear, had been ordered to rejoin the main body and arrived before the action began. The 9th New Jersey was sent forward as skirmishers and Wessells’ brigade advanced on the right and left of the road. The 17th Massachusetts supported the 9th New Jersey and the 23d and 45th Massachusetts moved directly down the road.
Stevenson's brigade, with Belger's battery, was then ordered forward. The 24th Massachusetts supported the battery and with the 10th Connecticut was on the left of the road, while the 44th was on the right, the two latter supporting the regiments in their front. The 10th Connecticut, in connection with the 96th New York, made a most gallant charge, and drove the confederates across the bridge which they had unsuccessfully attempted to destroy. The charge resulted in the capture of about four hundred prisoners. The 9th New Jersey and 17th Massachusetts at once moved into the town of Kinston where they were halted. The other regiments crossed later and bivouacked just outside of the town.
Company K, 3d New York Cavalry, was sent down the east side of the Neuse and found a work of great strength which had been abandoned. Two heavy guns, which could not be moved, were destroyed, and four field pieces were taken away. The magazine was blown up.
Early on the 15th, the troops recrossed to the west bank and took the river road to Goldsboro. A strong cavalry guard was left in Kinston to make a demonstration on that side of the Neuse, which having been made they, too, recrossed, and then burned the bridge.
The column met no opposition and halted for the night
within three and a half miles of White Hall. A detachment of cavalry was sent forward to that place. One regiment of confederates with four guns was on the west bank, but on the approach of this detachment retreated across the river and destroyed the bridge.
On the 16th, five companies of cavalry and a section of artillery were sent to Mount Olive, a station about fourteen miles below Goldsboro on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. They tore up a mile or two of track and burned the bridge over Goshen Swamp.
The bridge being destroyed and the enemy in force on the opposite bank, when the main column reached White Hall Foster made a strong feint of crossing. The action which ensued, though it lasted but a couple of hours and only a small part of the force being actively engaged, was quite sharp and the loss heavy in proportion to numbers. The Massachusetts regiments that suffered the most were the 23d, 44th, and 45th. After silencing the enemy's guns the column moved on to Goldsboro, a few sharp-shooters being left behind to engage the sharpshooters of the confederates.
On December 17, the advance was made on Goldsboro. Two companies of cavalry made a feint in the direction of Dudley Station and Everettsville. “They burned two culverts, destroyed the depot, water station, and a railroad train, besides damaging the track.” Another raid was made to Thompson's Bridge, the 43d Massachusetts supporting the cavalry.
Colonel Lee's brigade was in the advance and met the enemy near the railroad. The 9th New Jersey and 17th Massachusetts were ordered to strike the track and follow it to the bridge which they were to burn. They were supported by the 3d, 25th, and 27th Massachusetts. Wessells was ordered forward, and the rest of the force disposed so
it might readily render assistance as needed. In about two hours, after several unsuccessful attempts had been made, the bridge was fired by Lieutenant Graham, 23d New York Independent Battery, assisted by Lieutenant B. N. Mann, of the 17th Massachusetts, who was wounded in the attempt.*
After the destruction of the bridge was assured the troops were ordered to return to New Bern, Lee's brigade acting as rear guard. Considering the fight practically over, he was forming his men preparatory to leaving the field, when three regimental colors, (confederate), were seen across the railroad, the men being protected by the embankment. Lee immediately placed Morrison's battery in position, re-formed his line, and was joined by Belger's battery. The enemy advanced with cheers and made a gallant attack but were met by such a severe fire from the batteries, aided by that of Riggs, which was placed so as to subject the charging column to a cross fire, that it soon broke. It was a bold attempt on the part of the confederates to capture Lee's brigade and the batteries, but it met decided failure. The troops reached New Bern the evening of December 20, though many of the men fell out as soon as they were inside the picket lines and did not come into the city till the following day.
December 23, Foster telegraphed Halleck from Fort Monroe:[note]
“I have just arrived from New Bern. My expedition was a perfect success. I burned three railroad bridges at Goldsboro and Mount Olive, and tore up several miles of the track of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. We fought four engagements, viz; at Southwest Creek, Kinston, White Hall, and Goldsboro, and whipped the enemy handsomely each time. The force of the enemy is now largely increased in North Carolina from Fredericksburg, rendering the second step in my plan of operations of doubtful execution unless I am pretty largely reenforced. Can I communicate freely on this point by telegraph, or shall I come to Washington for that purpose? I have a steamer here and can be there in ten hours.”
Halleck replied the same day, “Consult freely with General Dix and then come to Washington.”
On the 24th, Halleck ordered Dix to send twelve thousand men to Foster, and on the 29th notified Foster that Dix would send Ferry's, Spinola's, and Naglee's brigades, with an Independent Battalion from New York, a total of eleven thousand, nine hundred and thirty men.
No Corps organization had existed in North Carolina previous to December, 1862, when the Eighteenth Corps was formed in accordance with the following order:
General Orders, No. 214.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Adj. Gen. OfficeWashington, December 24, 1862.
By direction of the President, the troops in North Carolina will constitute the Eighteenth Army Corps, and Maj. Gen. J. G. Foster is assigned to the command.
By order of the Secretary of War,
L. THOMAS, Adjutant General
On the same day, Brigadier General I. N. Palmer was ordered to report to General Foster.
December 31, 1862, the following Massachusetts regiments were in North Carolina: 3d, 5th, 8th, 17th, 23d, 24th, 25th, 27th, 43d, 44th, 45th, 46th, and 51st.
January 12, 1863, in General Orders, No. 14, General Foster
announced his staff, of which Major J. Lewis Stackpole, judge advocate; Major John F. Anderson, senior aide-de-camp; Captain Daniel Messenger, provost marshal; and Lieutenant Joseph A. Goldthwaite, acting commissary of subsistence, were from Massachusetts.
Foster had planned an attack on Wilmington and the start was to have been made January 8. Various reasons, the principal one being unfavorable weather, caused a postponement, and this delay, added to the loss of a monitor on the assistance of which he had placed much dependence, and the fact that most of the iron-clads were of too great draught to pass the bar, induced him to relinquish the proposed attempt. It was then decided that this force should be sent to South Carolina to assist Hunter in his intended attack on Charleston. Foster reported his arrival at Beaufort, South Carolina,February 2. The only Massachusetts troops that went on this expedition were the 23d and 24th.
March 6, General Prince with his brigade made a strong reconnoissance in the direction of Wilmington for the purpose of “ascertaining the roads, the crossings of the rivers and creeks, the position of the enemy, etc.” The 3rd and 51st Massachusetts were on this expedition. The brigade was absent five or six days, returning before the attack on New Bern.
On the evening of March 13, the enemy appeared in force on the Trent Road. General Foster, in his report of this attack, which is dated March 15, says:
“* * * the enemy appeared in force on the Trent Road, driving in our pickets on that road; the force on the road was heavily reenforced and ordered to retire slowly and fight if they were pressed.
At daylight on the 14th, General Pettigrew, with a force of seven thousand men and seventeen pieces of artillery, attacked a small work on the north side of the Neuse River
occupied by the 92d New York Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel Anderson. They opened a fire from all their pieces on the work and held their infantry in reserve for assault. Colonel Anderson was ordered to surrender several times which he declined doing. Referring to me for orders, I instructed him to defend and hold the work. The navy gun-boats were in an unfortunate position to be of much assistance at first, owing to one being aground and the other two damaged. They were, however, towed to position by tugs, and assisted by a battery of rifled guns on this side of the Neuse, compelled General Pettigrew to withdraw his artillery and infantry, mainly remaining in a threatening position till this morning, when he retired. On the south of Trent River the enemy advanced to within six miles of New Bern, but have withdrawn. The attack was to have been made with vigor enough by General Pettigrew to have taken Fort Anderson, which would have enabled him to have planted rifled batteries at that point, whence he might have driven the gun-boats from the river and shelled the town, during which a strong attack was to have been made on the Trent and Neuse Roads. Our pickets held them on the Trent Road although they were ordered to fall back to my defenses where I proposed making the fight.
The whole affair, meant to be effective and strong, was ineffective and weak, inflicting no damage and accomplishing no object.
The force of the enemy was about thirteen to fourteen thousand infantry and cavalry, and thirty-nine pieces of artillery.”
General D. H. Hill, who was in command of the confederate forces, says he accompanied Daniels’ brigade on the lower Trent Road, and sent Robertson around on the upper Trent Road to cut the railroad. Pettigrew was to bombard the shipping and barracks from the other side.
Hill complains bitterly of his treatment by the officials at Richmond and of their absolute indifference to his suggestions and requests. He (and also Pettigrew) claims
that the failure of the attack arose from the absence of a Whitworth rifled gun which had been promised but which had not been sent, and of the poor quality of ammunition furnished him.
March 15, eight companies of the 44th Massachusetts, (companies B and F were on picket duty at Batchelder's Creek), were sent to “Little” Washington to reenforce the garrison. The force, in addition to the 44th, consisted of eight companies of the 27th Massachusetts, two companies of the 1st North Carolina, (Union), one company of the 3d New York Cavalry, and one company of the 3d New York Artillery, a total of about twelve hundred men.
Having learned that General Hill intended to attack Washington with his whole corps, Foster left New Bern Sunday, March 29, and reached Washington on the morning of the 30th. Foster had left orders that reenforcements should follow immediately, but owing to delay in starting them and the transport getting aground, they did not reach the mouth of the Pamlico until the investment of Washington was complete.
Immediately after his arrival, Foster sent out a reconnoitring party, consisting of Companies A and G, of the 44th, one piece of artillery, and a few cavalrymen, to learn if the Cross Roads, about three miles from the river, were held by the enemy. About a mile and a half from the river they were fired upon by the confederates and finding them in possession the reconnoitering party fell back.
One company of the 1st North Carolina was sent to occupy Rodman's Point, on the south side of the river, a mile and a half below the town. They landed, but the next morning were driven away by the enemy. While trying to get off one of the boats grounded. The men were lying flat to escape the heavy musketry fire, when one of the negro boatmen exclaimed, “Somebody's got to
die to get out of dis, and it may as well be me,” deliberately got out of the boat and pushed it off, then fell, pierced with five bullets.
From March 30 to April 16, the town was in a state of siege, and for most of the time the artillery fire was very heavy. Foster strengthened the fortifications as much as possible, and the defense was materially assisted by the gun-boats Louisiana, Commodore Hull, Eagle, and Ceres, which protected the water front.
The consolidated report for March 30 showed eleven hundred and thirty-nine men present for duty, a very small force to effectually defend from two and a half to three miles of breastworks. For more than two weeks they were constantly on duty.
Foster tried to obtain reenforcements. A column under General Spinola left New Bern and endeavored to reach Washington overland, but at Blount's Creek it found the enemy so strong that it had to fall back. The 3d, 5th, 8th, 17th, and 43d Massachusetts were with this column.
On the night of April 13, the Escort, (formerly the Nellie Baker, which ran between Boston and Nahant), an unarmed steamer, on board of which was the 5th Rhode Island, successfully ran the blockade and brought rations and ammunition to the beleaguered garrison. Considering that for about eight miles it was under a heavy artillery fire, a large part of the time being within a few hundred feet of the enemy's guns, it is thought to have been one of the most heroic actions that occurred during the war.
In the “History of the 5th Rhode Island and Battery F Association” it is related that when Colonel Sisson called for volunteers every man but one stepped to the front. When the regiment went on board the Escort this negative voter was the first man on the steamer. Colonel Sisson ordered him back, saying he would allow no one to go
except those who volunteered. “It's all right, Colonel,” replied the man, “I meant to have gone any way, but I didn't want the vote too damned unanimous.”
On the morning of the 15th, Foster, on the same steamer, ran the blockade down the river. The pilot of the Escort, Captain Pedrick, a loyal, brave North Carolinian, was killed by a rifle shot just as it was thought the danger point had been passed.* The following morning it was reported that the enemy had retired. General Potter, whom Foster had left in command, sent out several reconnoissances and found the report was correct. Three companies of the 44th Massachusetts were sent to Hill's Point where they were joined by three companies of the 43d. The 5th Rhode Island was sent to take possession of Rodman's Point.
The troops that landed at Hill's Point found the following notice conspicuously posted:
We leave you, not because we cannot take Washington but because it is not worth taking; and besides, the climate is not agreeable. A man should be amphibious to inhabit it. We leave you a few bursted guns, some stray solid shot, and a man and a brother who was rescued from the waves to which some foray among his equils consigned him.
But this tribute we pay you: you have acted with much gallantry during this brief siege. We salute the pilot of the Escort.
Company K, 32d Reg't, N. C. Vols.[note]
As soon as Foster reached New Bern he placed himself at the head of a relieving force, the advance of which reached Hill's Point April 19, but the necessity for assistance no longer existed. General Foster complains that neither Generals Palmer, nor Prince, especially the latter, gave him loyal support, and that neither tried very hard to send him relief.* General Spinola, in a letter to Lieutenant Colonel Hoffman, A. A. G., 18th Corps, dated May 15, says he thought General Prince was to have commanded the expedition for the relief of Washington, as he had been ordered by Foster to proceed with it to the relief of the garrison, and was therefore much surprised when he found the command was to devolve on him. He called on Prince, and says:
“I found General Prince in a state of mind denoting that he was very much exercised in regard to the propriety of making the contemplated march, and he freely expressed his opinion to me that the expedition would not succeed, that none of those that accompanied it would return, as they would all be captured, and that it was like making the rebels a present of all the artillery.
He writes that Prince asked him to volunteer to take command of the expedition, and that he answered that while he was entirely willing to take his chance with others, the importance of the trust forbade one of his limited military experience from assuming the command, except under positive orders from a superior officer.
Special Orders, No. 90, Department of the South, dated April 12, 1863, stated that it having been officially represented that General Foster was in danger of being captured in Washington, Heckman's brigade should immediately[note]
go to his relief. The 23d Massachusetts, one of the regiments which accompanied Foster to South Carolina, was in this brigade, and reached New Bern April 16, in time to join the expedition which Foster himself led to the relief of the garrison at Washington. The other Massachusetts regiment, the 24th, never came back to North Carolina, although Foster asked for it many times.
In the latter part of April a demonstration was made towards Kinston in which the 5th, 17th, 27th, 43d, 45th and 46th Massachusetts regiments took part. Foster wrote Dix it was made partly with the hope that it might draw off some of the confederate forces then besieging Suffolk.
May 22, Foster ordered another advance toward Kinston. The force consisted of 5th, 25th, 27th, and 46th Massachusetts, and the 58th Pennsylvania. They drove the enemy and captured one hundred and sixty-five prisoners. The following day, having been heavily reenforced from Goldsboro, the confederates made an attack, but were repulsed all along the line. Colonel J. Richter Jones, 58th Pennsylvania, who for a long time had been in command of the outposts, a brave, skilful, gallant, officer, was killed in this attack.* The 3d Massachusetts, on the morning of the 23d, was ordered to join this force but did not arrive in time to go into action, although it took charge of the prisoners which had been captured the previous day.
May 5, 1863, and again on May 11, Foster wrote Halleck[note]
requesting that Stevenson's brigade be sent back from South Carolina, and stated that could he have it he would try to capture Smith's Island at the entrance to Wilmington harbor. His request was not granted.
The 3d, 5th, 8th, 43d, 44th, 45th, 46th and 51st Massachusetts were nine months troops and their term of service expired in June. The 44th, which was the first of these regiments to reach New Bern, was also the first to leave, and sailed for home June 6. The 3d followed on the 11th and the 5th on the 17th. The 8th, 43d, 45th, 46th and 51st left on June 24th. Lee was then making his invasion into Maryland and Pennsylvania, a movement which culminated in the battle of Gettysburg, and as every available man was called upon, these regiments were sent to Fort Monroe instead of to Boston. Most of them were on duty in and around Baltimore but some of them were called upon to do very severe marching. They were not mustered out of service till the latter part of July.*
The departure of these regiments had so materially reduced the force in the department of North Carolina that but few active operations could be undertaken. In the summer of 1863, Foster left New Bern and went to Fort Monroe, and from July 15 to November 15 was in command of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. Major General John J. Peck was assigned to the command of the North Carolina district.
The 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery was recruited in 1863 but the organization had not been fully completed at the close of the year. Jones Frankle, formerly of the[note]
17th Massachusetts was appointed colonel, and later, A. B. R. Sprague, formerly of the 25th and 51st, lieutenant-colonel. The first battalion, companies A, B, C and D, left Boston September 4, and companies E and F followed on November 6. Eight companies of this regiment served in North Carolina, the other four companies being stationed in Virginia. The head quarters of the regiment were at first at Norfolk, Va., but in May, 1864, were moved to New Bern. In July, companies B and K were transferred from Virginia to North Carolina.
In October, 1863, Foster ordered the 23d, 25th and 27th Massachusetts to report to him at Fort Monroe. Their departure left the 17th Infantry and 2d Heavy Artillery the only Massachusetts troops remaining in North Carolina.
The force in this Department having been so greatly reduced that there were barely sufficient men to garrison the places then in our possession, no offensive operations were undertaken in the winter of 1863-64.
Nothing of any especial importance happened till early on the morning of February 1, 1864, when the outposts at Batchelder's Creek were attacked by Hoke's brigade of Early's command, supported by General Pickett's whole division. General Pickett in his report states that the attack was made by a direct order of General Lee, dated January 20. Knowing how greatly our strength in North Carolina had been weakened, he probably thought it would be a comparatively easy matter to regain possession of New Bern, and, if the attempt was successful, it would undoubtedly result in driving our forces out of the state. The confederates started from Kinston in three columns. General Pickett reports his force as thirteen thousand, three hundred aud eight; General Palmer, who was then in command at New Bern, says he had but thirty-five hundred effective men with which to meet this attack.
The fighting at Batchelder's Creek was very severe and Lieutenant Colonel Fellows, eight officers and eighty-three men of the 17th Massachusetts, were captured during the action.* The confederates on the south side of the Trent cut the railroad between Newport and Morehead though strongly opposed by Colonel Thomas J. C. Amory, who commanded on that side of the river.
On the morning of February 2, the enemy succeeded in capturing and destroying the gunboat Underwriter which was lying opposite Fort Anderson. On the night of that day they began to fall back, having failed in their attempt to capture the city. General Barton (confederate) reports that the defenses were too strong to attack, and other confederate officers attribute their failure to lack of co-operation between the different columns. The 2d Massachusetts Heavy Artillery was highly commended by General Jourdan, who was in command of the Beaufort District, for its action during this engagement.
April 13, 1864, General Wessells, who was in command at Plymouth, notified General Peck that he was threatened with attack by a force of ten or twelve thousand confederates and called for a reenforcement of at least five thousand men, and also requested that the gunboat Commodore Perry be sent to his assistance. It was generally believed that the enemy were building an iron clad ram on the Roanoke River, and between November, 1863, and April, 1864, General Peck wrote General Butler at least fifteen times calling attention to the defenseless situation of Plymouth should the ram prove a success. To one of these letters Butler replied, “I don't believe in the iron clad.”[note]
April 14, Peck notified Butler that the iron clad was completed and delayed its attack on Plymouth only because the water was not sufficiently high to permit it to pass over “the shoals.” April 17, a land force consisting of Hoke's, Ransom's, and Kemper's brigades, with several field batteries and a suitable number of cavalry, made an attack on Plymouth. Wessells held them at bay till the 19th, successfully repelling five assaults. On that day, the ram Albemarle, which had succeeded in passing over “the shoals” came down the river. The gunboats Smithfield and Miami had been lashed together. When the Albemarle approached very closely one gun was fired; the shell rebounded from the ram and killed Captain Flusser, who was in command of the gunboats. The Albemarle rammed the Smithfield and she sank within five minutes. Captain Flusser was perhaps the best known naval officer serving in North Carolina. He was absolutely fearless, there was no officer in whom the men generally felt more confidence, and his death was a severe loss to the Union cause. The defeat of our gunboats gave the enemy full possession of the river. Wessells, convinced that reenforcements could not reach him under existing circumstances, decided it was useless to prolong the fight and surrendered on the morning of the 20th. April 21, General Peck wrote, “We could have held the land force at bay for weeks.” General Butler said, “Plymouth really fell because the theory of its defense pre-supposed an occupation of the river by our gunboats which would cover our flanks. * * * The commander of our naval forces had expressed the most unbounded confidence [in his ability to hold the river] and on this I have no doubt General Wessells relied.” Wessells’ report was not made until after he had been exchanged and returned North. It is dated August 18. He says he had requested reenforcements from Virginia as he
knew it was impossible to get any from North Carolina, but that after the enemy had gained possession of the river it was impossible for any to reach him. About two hundred of the 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery were captured with Wessells; the rest of the force was principally from New York and Pennsylvania.
April 26, General Harland received orders to evacuate Washington, and on April 30, that town was abandoned by the Union troops.
From the capture of Plymouth in April until the following October, the Albemarle held undisputed possession. On the night of October 27, Lieut. William B. Cushing, in a small steam launch fitted as a torpedo boat, succeeded in destroying that vessel. The night was dark and he approached within twenty yards before he was discovered by the enemy. The single torpedo which was exploded destroyed the ram, but the steam launch was lost and only one of the men engaged in this attempt, excepting Lieutenant Cushing himself, escaped. It was a daring undertaking and Cushing received due credit for his success. Four days later our troops again occupied Plymouth.
Early in September that dreaded scourge, yellow fever, made its appearance in New Bern. The city was placed under strict quarantine The regiments and detachments at outlying posts did not suffer so severely, but the mortality among those stationed in the city itself was very great. The first death, that of one of the stevedores, occurred Sept. 5. Among those who died from this disease were Col. Thomas J. C. Amory, of the 17th Massachusetts, who was at the time in command of a brigade, and also his wife, leaving an infant daughter who afterwards became the wife of Mr. Dugan, of New Orleans, and who officiated at the unveiling of the monument. The origin of this epidemic was credibly traced to some clothing which had been sent
for distribution among the poor of New Bern. “Investigation led to the statement that it had come from Cuba and was sent to New Bern by a Dr. —— Blackburn of New York, ostensibly for charitable purposes, but actually for the work which it accomplished only too well.” The ravages of the fever continued with more or less severity until the coming of cold weather.
In September, 1864, the 23d, 25th and 27th regiments, which since their departure from North Carolina had been on duty around Petersburg, were ordered back to that state.
November 6, Colonel Jones Frankle, with three companies of his regiment, the 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, was ordered to Plymouth, and he was appointed Military Governor of the Plymouth District. December 6, a column under his command made a demonstration towards Rainbow Bluff, but the movement proved to be of small importance.
About the middle of December, Sherman had reached and captured Savannah, and thus had successfully completed his “March to the Sea.” Although at one time Grant seriously considered the idea of having Sherman's army transported by sea to Virginia, there to join the Army of the Potomac, (this plan was abandoned partly in consequence of the difficulty of transporting so many thousands of men, and partly in consequence of the objections raised by General Sherman), it was generally understood that as soon as his army had recovered from the fatigue of the march from Atlanta, had been supplied with clothing, provisions, quartermaster's stores, etc., it would probably start north through the Carolinas with the intent of joining Grant in Virginia. The weather in January was very unpropitious; the mud was deep, the roads had to be heavily corduroyed, the rivers were so swollen that the difficulty of crossing was very much increased, so it was
not till February 1, 1865, that Sherman felt he was ready to give the order to move north.
January 31, 1865, General John M. Schofield was appointed to the command of the Department of North Carolina, which was extended to embrace the whole state. In accordance with General Orders, No. 12, War Department, Schofield was to be in absolute command, subject only to orders from General Sherman. On the day of Schofield's appointment, Grant wrote him, “Your movements are intended to co-operate with Sherman's through the state of North Carolina.”
February 25, Schofield had ordered Palmer to move at once on Kinston, but as the former General thought Palmer was unnecessarily dilatory he removed him from his command and appointed General J. D. Cox in his place. On March 8, an engagement occurred at Southwest Creek, within a few miles of Kinston. The fighting was very severe. The 27th Massachusetts and 15th Connecticut held Hoke's entire division for fifty-five minutes. The 27th lost seven killed, forty wounded and one hundred and forty-seven captured, the regiment being practically annihilated.*
Either Wilmington or New Bern was to have been selected as a base of supplies for Sherman in his passage through the Carolinas. Owing to the greater depth of water in the harbor at Beaufort, the fact that the forty miles of railroad from Morehead City to New Bern were already in our possession, and for several less important reasons, the latter city was finally decided upon as being the most desirable base.
Sherman's Army, in which were but two regiments from Massachusetts, the 2nd and 33d, entered North Carolina[note]
March 8. On March 16, there was some heavy fighting at Fayetteville in which the 33d was engaged; and the battle at Bentonville, in which both the 2nd and the 33d took an active part, although it lasted but about an hour, was hotly contested and was the only severe battle fought between Atlanta and Raleigh. On March 22 and 23, Sherman's army entered Goldsboro, where it united with the troops from New Bern under General Schofield.
Sherman had arranged to resume his northern march on April 10. The news of the capture of Richmond and Petersburg decided him to go in pursuit of Johnston rather than attempt to affect a junction with Grant. The surrender of Lee, April 9, and that of Johnston to Sherman, on April 26, virtually ended the war.
Although no great, decisive battles were fought in North Carolina and comparatively little was published regarding the movements in that state, our occupancy of Roanoke, Beaufort, New Bern and other points, was of great service to the Union cause. Had we not taken possession of these as we did it would have cost thousands of lives to have effected their capture later, even had we been successful in the attempt. Our position was a constant menace to the confederate lines of communication between the South and Virginia and when Sherman made his march through the Carolinas our occupancy of New Bern and the other points was of inestimable advantage in affording a base from which he could open communication with Grant and the authorities at Washington, and procure many necessary supplies.
As stated, while no great battles were fought in this state, there were numerous minor actions, some of considerable importance, and all of which were hotly contested; a siege as long and severe as any undertaken by the confederates during the war; the losses, in proportion to the numbers engaged, as great as in most of the other Departments;
and the Massachusetts regiments, which for a long time represented the larger part of the force in the state, displayed as much endurance, courage and patriotism, as any that came from the Old Bay State, many of them later winning additional laurels in Virginia and elsewhere.
Massachusetts may well feel proud of her sons who served in North Carolina, and she has not only honored them but has honored herself by erecting a monument to their memory.
Note [See page 39]. Colonel Henry Splaine writes under date of June 28, 1909, [the account of the battle of Goldsboro had then been printed]:—
“Even at this late day, I deem it proper to correct an erroneous statement about the burning of the railroad bridge at Goldsboro, N. C., December 17th, 1862.
Your history, and some others, have it that Lieutenant Graham burned that bridge. I know, for I was there and saw it, that Lieutenant Barnabus N. Mann, of the 17th Massachusetts, burned the bridge in obedience to orders from Colonel John F. Fellows, commanding the regiment. Two of my own Company, “A,” Edmunds and Besse, with others from other companies, were detailed with Lieutenant Mann for the work.
Lieutenant Graham had been detailed by General Foster to fire the structure, and although he wore the uniform of a confederate officer, made the attempt, failed, and came running from the bridge, exclaiming, ‘no use, it cannot be done.’ Shortly afterwards Lieutenant Mann and party fired the bridge, Mann being wounded in the abdomen, a wound which resulted in his death a few years afterwards.
The 17th Massachusetts had the advance that day, and was the the only regiment engaged at or very near the bridge.
The writer was within one hundred feet of the bridge in command of his company and could have fired it, if ordered. The bridge was not fired until after the 17th was swung back from the railroad bed and placed in rear of the sand pits, supporting Captain Morrison's battery.”
VIEW OF CEMETERY LOOKING NORTH Massachusetts Monument
Supt. JOHN A. REEVES Monument
The New Bern Cemetery
An account of its Establishment; Description of the Grounds; and certain Statistics regarding this and other National Cemeteries
Very soon after the outbreak of the war, Congress realized the need of securing suitable burial places for such Union soldiers and sailors as were killed in action or died of wounds or disease and whose bodies could not be sent home to be cared for by friends.
By Section 18, of “An Act to define the pay and emoluments of certain officers of the army, and for other purposes,” approved July 7, 1862, the President of the United States was authorized to purchase cemetery grounds, and cause them to be securely enclosed, to be used as a National Cemetery for the soldiers who shall die in defense of their country.
By Section 1, of “An Act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the Government for the year ending June 30, 1867,” approved July 28, 1866, fifty thousand dollars were appropriated for the establishment of National Cemeteries, and for the purchase of sites for the same at such points as the President of the United States may deem proper, and for the care of the same.
April 13, 1866, a joint resolution was passed by Congress authorizing and requiring the Secretary of War to take immediate measures to preserve from desecration the graves of the soldiers of the United States who fell in battle or died of disease in the field, and in hospital, during
the rebellion, to secure suitable burial-places in which they may be properly interred; and to have the grounds enclosed, so that the resting-places of the honored dead may be kept sacred forever.” Part of these burial-places were obtained by purchase; part were donated; part were on the original military reservation; and part were obtained by appraisement under the Act of February 22, 1867.
On December 19, 1867, Brevet Major General D. H. Rucker, acting Quartermaster-General, U. S. A., made a report to the Secretary of War, offering several suggestions regarding head stones, fences, lodges for the superintendents and other matters. This report was returned January 3, 1868, endorsed: “Erect the fences and lodges, but do nothing about the head stones. ”
From a “List of National Cemeteries,” issued by the War Department, giving data to June 30, 1908, it appears there were then eighty-four National Cemeteries under charge of that department. Of these, seventeen were in Virginia; eight in Tennessee; six in Kentucky; four each in Illinois, Louisiana and North Carolina, (New Bern, Raleigh, Salisbury and Wilmington); three each in the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas; and one each in Alabama, California, Iowa, Mexico (Mexico City), Montana (Custer Battlefield), Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
The total area of these cemeteries is fifteen hundred and ninety one and a half acres, of which eleven hundred and ninety nine and a half acres are enclosed. The largest cemetery is that at Arlington, Virginia, four hundred and eight and one third acres, all of which are enclosed; and the smallest, fifty seven ten thousandths of an acre, or less than two hundred and fifty square feet, is at Ball's Bluff,
Virginia, where twenty five Union soldiers have found their final resting place.
The total number of burials in all these cemeteries was, on June 30, 1908, three hundred and fifty thousand, three hundred and thirty two, of which one hundred and fifty two thousand, two hundred and seven, or a little more than two-fifths of the whole number, are classed as “Unknown.”
The largest number of burials in any one cemetery is at Arlington, Virginia, where repose the bodies of twenty one thousand, one hundred and six; and the smallest number, eleven, at Andrew Johnson Cemetery, Tennessee. Of the interments reported, about ninety three hundred are of Confederates and mostly in the cemeteries in the northern states.
The deed conveying the land occupied by the National Cemetery at New Bern was signed by William P. Moore and wife, and was dated March 13, 1869, the area of the land being stated as seven acres and five hundred and eighty nine thousandths. On July 1, 1874, Isaac N. Hughes and wife deeded an additional strip of land the area of which is not stated. The “official” area of the cemetery is given as seven and six tenths acres.
March 28, 1870, the Legislature of North Carolina granted to the United States Government absolute jurisdiction over this land; and on November 26, 1888, the city of New Bern gave a perpetual right of way, sixty feet wide, from the City to the Cemetery. The government has constructed a shell road over this right of way and it forms a strong contrast to most of the roads in and around New Bern.
The New Bern National Cemetery is situated about an eighth of a mile from the Neuse River, on the northern edge of what was formerly the old “Fair Ground” and
which was used in 1862 and 1863 by the regiments of Stevenson's brigade as a drill field. It is within a few feet of the creek that emptied into the Neuse at the upper end of this field. The bridge that crosses this creek is known as “Jack Smith's Bridge,” and is on the direct road to Swift's Creek and “Little” Washington. The cemetery is approximately a mile to a mile and a half from the business part of the city. It is rectangular in shape, the length being double the width; there is a broad drive-way from the gate, through the middle of the grounds, extending to the rear of the cemetery. The graves are arranged in sections on either side of this drive-way, the sections being separated by quite wide paths. At present there are laid out nine sections on each side. Each section contains five rows and each row about forty-five graves. The Massachusetts men are laid principally in the fifth and sixth sections on the right, and in the fifth section on the left, from the entrance. The monument which was erected by Massachusetts is placed about six to ten feet from the drive-way on the right and between the fifth and sixth sections. There are a few small monuments but the only ones erected by states or organizations, in addition to that of Massachusetts, are those of New Jersey and the 15th Connecticut Regiment. As far as possible, the soldiers from each state are laid in the same section. Each grave is marked with a neat, simple headstone giving the number of the grave and, when known, the name of soldier and the state from which he enlisted.
John A. Reeves, superintendent of the cemetery, to whom the committee feel under great obligation for the many kindnesses he has shown them and the strong personal interest he exhibited in his endeavor to make the dedication of the monument a success, has sent a list of the Massachusetts soldiers buried in the Cemetery as taken
VIEW OF CEMETERY LOOKING EAST New Jersey Monument
from his “register of interments.” That shows the burials from the different Massachusetts regiments to have been as follows:
|3d Inf'y, 2.||5th Inf'y, 5.||8th Inf'y, 4.|
|17th Inf'y, 27.||20th Inf'y, 1.||21st Inf'y, 5.|
|23rd Inf'y, 46.||24th Inf'y, 51.||25th Inf'y, 50.|
|27th Inf'y, 87.||33d Inf'y, 1.||38th Inf'y, 1.|
|43d Inf'y, 3.||44th Inf'y, 7.||45th Inf'y, 46.|
|46th Inf'y, 11.||51st Inf'y, 3.||67th(?) 1.|
|2nd Heavy Artillery, 104.||Unknown 42.|
Several Massachusetts men who served in the navy are laid in this cemetery. When the writer was in New Bern, February 21, 1908, he counted five hundred and twenty three graves marked as being those of Massachusetts men.
Superintendent John A. Reeves reports the burials from other states:
|New Jersey||61||New York||641||North Carolina||79|
|U. S. C. T.||239||U. S. Navy,||(Several no doubt from Massachusetts)||181|
Reeves does not report number of “unknown,” but in the four sections devoted mostly to the U. S. C. T., the writer counted 744 headstones. A very large majority of these troops are marked unknown. The report of the
War Department, which has been quoted above, gives the full number of interments as three thousand, three hundred and sixty-six. Two women were laid in this cemetery, the headstone of one being marked “Laundress, U. S. A.”*
Most of those who died in New Bern during the war and whose bodies were not cared for by friends, were buried in the old New Bern (city) cemetery and elsewhere, but after the establishment of the National Cemetery, all these bodies, as far as possible, were removed to the latter. General David W. Wardrop, colonel of the 3d Massachusetts (three months), and later of the 99th New York, was appointed to superintend moving the bodies to the new cemetery. He was assisted by George W. Nason, formerly of the 5th Massachusetts (three months service), and later of the 23d Massachusetts, who looked after most of the details of the work. Comrade Nason remained in New Bern for several years after the war, and for ten years he was Postmaster. In 1864, he was Chief of the Fire Department. In consequence of the attack on New Bern in the spring of that year he was ordered to arm and equip his men as a regiment which was sometimes called the 3d North Carolina, but which was officially known as the Fire Department regiment. Nason was made colonel of this organization. In talking with him he states that one civilian, David Heaton, who he thinks received his title of colonel from service in the Ohio militia previous to the war, and had been for some years active in the politics of that state; who was a warm friend of President Lincoln, had served two terms in Congress as Representative from the New Bern district and who was supervising agent of the Sixth Special Treasury Agency, was buried in this cemetery,[note]
VIEW OF CEMETERY NEAR ENTRANCE LOOKING EAST Band Stand Entrance Superintendent's Lodge
special permission having been granted by the Secretary of War, at Washington. A beautiful headstone has been erected by his family.
When the cemetery was established it was bare of trees or verdure of any description. Comrade Nason, at his own expense, planted the first trees.* This first attempt was a failure but the second was a success and many of the trees planted by Colonel Nason are today from eighteen to twenty inches in diameter. Today the cemetery is rather attractive, Superintendent Reeves keeps it in excellent order, and the party who attended the dedication of the monument felt pleased that the comrades who had left them could lie in such a pleasant place and that they could rest there assured that their graves would never be neglected so long as the Nation existed.[note]
CURTIS GUILD, JR. Governor of Massachusetts
The Idea Suggested. Legislative Action. Description.
In the late summer or early fall of 1906, Joseph E. Shaw, chief of the District Police of Massachusetts, formerly a member of Company C, 17th Infantry, gratified the desire felt by most old soldiers of re-visiting the scenes of their army life by spending his vacation in North Carolina. While there he was strongly impressed with the feeling that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should erect a monument in the National Cemetery at New Bern to the memory of her sons who were there buried. On his return he spoke of this to Colonel Henry Splaine and Captain Joseph A. Moore, former comrades of the 17th regiment, who were also associated with him in the District Police. The suggestion met their hearty approval as it did that of others to whom it was mentioned.
Among these were General Jones Frankle, late colonel of the 2nd Heavy Artillery, and Major Charles B. Amory, of the 24th Infantry, whose brother, General Thomas J. C. Amory, had died in New Bern, as has previously been related. General Frankle became very enthusiastic on the subject and as the senior in rank, as well as in age, and as commander of the regiment having the largest number of men laid in this cemetery, was requested to head the movement for the erection of such a monument. It was a wise selection, for no one could have put more enthusiasm, and love, and disinterested effort into any project than did General Frankle into this. Almost every comrade to whom the idea was mentioned gave it his unqualified approval, as did also several others who were not in the service.
As a result of this feeling, the following petition was prepared and signed by as many of the old soldiers as could be conveniently reached:—
“To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in General Court Assembled:—
The undersigned petitioners, citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, respectfully request that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts appropriate the sum of five thousand dollars, to be expended under the direction of the Governor and Council, for the erection of a suitable monument in the National Cemetery at New Bern, North Carolina, in memory of the members of the various regiments of Massachusetts who lost their lives in the North Carolina campaign during the civil war, and respectfully pray for the passage of the following resolution:”
[Note.—This resolution was substantially the same as that passed by the Legislature; see the resolution below.]
This petition was presented in the House of Representatives and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. On Thursday, February 21, 1907, this committee gave the petitioners a hearing, which was largely attended, at which General Frankle, Captain A. A. Putnam, Captain J. Waldo Denny and others spoke advocating the project. A favorable report was made by the committee and in due course of time the following resolve was passed by the Legislature:
“Resolve to provide for the erection of a Monument in the National Cemetery at New Bern, North Carolina.
“Resolved, That there shall be allowed and paid out of the treasury of the Commonwealth, the sum of five thousand dollars, to be expended under the direction of the governor and council, for the erection of a suitable monument in the national cemetery at New Bern, North Carolina in memory of the members of the various regiments of Massachusetts troops who lost their lives in the North Carolina campaign during the civil war.” The resolution was approved March 22, 1907.
It was generally understood that the Governor desired the selection of the design and the general details
COMMITTEE ON MONUMENT
Sergeant Ephraim Stearns
Major Charles B. Amory
General A. B. R. Sprague
Captain Joseph A. Moore
*General Jones Frankle, Chairman
Major Daniel W. Hammond
Corporal James B. Gardner, Secretary
should be placed in charge of those who had served in North Carolina and that he wished a number of names suggested from which he might select a committee for that purpose. Accordingly the following invitation was sent to several representative men from each of the regiments interested:—
33 Broad St., Boston, 25 May, 1907.
The Legislature of Massachusetts having appropriated five thousand dollars for a monument in honor of the Soldiers and Sailors of that State, to be erected in the National Cemetery at New Bern, the Governor will appoint a commission to attend to all the details, and he wishes to select its members from those who served in the Old North State.
A meeting of representatives of the regiments which served there will be held in the G. A. R. room, at the State House, on Saturday, June 1, 1907, at 1 P.M., to select names to be presented to the Governor for members of that Commission, and you are cordially invited to attend as a representative of your regiment.
(Late Colonel 2nd Mass. H. Artillery.)
Please reply to
JAMES B. GARDNER,
33 Broad St., Boston.
At this meeting nearly every regiment interested was represented by one or more comrades. The character of the proposed monument and various other matters in relation to it were thoroughly discussed. A nominating committee was appointed and it was decided to suggest to the Governor the following names: General Jones Frankle, 2nd Heavy Artillery; General A. B. R. Sprague, 51st Infantry; Major Daniel W. Hammond, 23d Infantry; Major Charles B. Amory, 24th Infantry; Captain Joseph A. Moore, 17th Infantry; Sergeant Ephraim Stearns, 45th Infantry; and Corporal James B. Gardner, 44th Infantry. (Comrade Shaw, with whom the idea of
the monument originated, had died the previous April). This committee met immediately on the adjournment of the general meeting and chose General Frankle, chairman, and Corporal Gardner, secretary. It also appointed as a sub-committee to procure designs and estimates, General Frankle, Major Amory and Corporal Gardner. These names were immediately sent to the Governor by the secretary. It was discovered, however, that owing to the wording of the resolution the former had no authority to delegate this duty to a committee, that is, officially, and the committee was so informed; but he requested the sub-committee, as a personal favor, to attend to procuring designs and estimates and to other necessary details, reporting the results of these endeavors to him, thus relieving him of the necessity of giving his personal attention to these matters. The committee, of course, willingly acceded to his request. Invitations were sent to about twenty firms and individuals to submit proposals. Several did not respond, but a number of very appropriate designs were submitted. The general committee held several meetings, and, although during the discussions there were many differences of opinion, as there always will be in such matters, when it came to action the decision was generally unanimous.
The design finally reported by the committee, and accepted by the Governor and Council, was one submitted by Mr. Melzar H. Mosman, of Chicopee, a former member of the 46th Massachusetts. While the committee were unanimous in their opinion that his design was the best and most satisfactory, they were pleased, as a matter of sentiment, that the contract should be given to one who had actually served in the Department and would naturally have a strong personal as well as professional interest in producing the best of which he was capable. Several who
TABLET ON FRONT OF MONUMENT
attended the dedication and who were familiar with such works, both in Europe and America, pronounced it one of the most beautiful they had ever seen; the proportion, modeling and poise were excellent and the artist had caught and expressed the full meaning and sentiment of the design.
The monument consists of 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 Barre granite. On the front of the second base the word “Massachusetts” is cut in block letters, the face of the letters flush with the face of the base. On the front of the die is a bronze tablet securely fastened to the granite, with the dedicatory inscription:
“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.”
On either side is a tablet bearing the numbers of the Massachusetts regiments that served in North Carolina. On top of 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 whole monument is about thirteen feet high.
Soon after the awarding of the contract it was thought advisable that some member of the committee be sent to New Bern to decide on its location and some other necessary details, and the secretary, Corporal James B. Gardner, was selected. He reached New Bern Friday, February 21, 1908,
and was most cordially greeted by Mr. James, who was then superintendent of the cemetery, as well as by many of the old confederates, who, when they learned the object of his visit, did everything in their power to make it pleasant and tried and succeeded in obliterating any disagreeable memories of the late “Unpleasantness.” He found New Bern, so far as the city proper was concerned, not much changed though somewhat improved, but it had grown very much and what were formerly open fields were now covered with factories and railroad tracks. He took advantage of being in New Bern to make a trip to “Little” Washington, where he was stationed during the siege of that place, and there, as at New Bern, received the kindest treatment from his one-time enemies.
An incident occurred during this visit to Washington which is worthy of mention. It chanced to be February 22, Washington's birth-day. Dr. J. M. Gallagher, who was a boy at the time of the siege of this town, and who, notwithstanding his youth, was a very efficient confederate spy, had a large American flag displayed in front of his drug store. Every man as he passed under that flag removed his hat; if not voluntarily, Dr. Gallagher invited him to do so. In response to a remark by the writer Dr. Gallagher said: “Although only a boy, I bitterly detested that flag for years, but today I honor it above everything else in the world and no one shall pay it disrespect in my presence.”*[note]
HON. WILLIAM D. CHAPPLE
President Massachusetts Senate
Itinerary. List of Visitors. Dedicatory Exercises.
It was felt that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the regiments that served in North Carolina should be properly represented at the dedication of the monument, so during the session of 1908 an application was made to the Legislature for a suitable appropriation to defray the necessary expense. One or two hearings were had and the result of these was the passage of the following resolution:
“Resolve to provide for the representation of the Commonwealth at the Dedication of the Monument to be erected in the National Cemetery at New Bern, .
“Resolved, That there shall be allowed and paid out of the treasury of the Commonwealth a sum not exceeding four thousand dollars, to be expended under the direction of the governor and council for a proper representation of the Commonwealth at the dedication of the monument to be erected under the provisions of chapter thirty-four of the resolves of the year nineteen hundred and seven, on the grounds of the national cemetery at New Bern, North Carolina, by the following officials:—His excellency, the governor; the lieutenant governor; two members of the governor's staff; two members of the executive council; the president of the senate; the speaker of the house of representatives; the clerk of the senate and the clerk of the house of representatives; the joint committee on military affairs; the monument committee; two members from each regiment which served in the department of North Carolina, one of whom shall be an officer, and one of whom shall be an enlisted man, to be selected by the different organizations, or by the senior officer when no regimental association exists, or if it has no regular meeting before the appointments must be made, except that a member of any such regiment who is also a member of the monument committee shall be considered as one of the members selected from that regiment: all to be approved by the governor; and such other guests as the governor may personally invite.” This resolution was approved March 23, 1908.
Subsequently the Sergeant-at-Arms, in connection with the Finance Committee of the Executive Council, was authorized to make all necessary arrangements for the visit to New Bern. A contract was made with the Raymond & Whitcomb Company, and the Official Party left Boston at 8 P. M., on Monday, November 9, 1908, via. the New York, New Haven and Hartford R. R. Four Pullman sleepers were placed at their disposal and remained with the party during the entire trip.
Governor Guild had expected to accompany the party, but owing to his not having recovered from a severe illness, his physician absolutely forbade his going. It was a great disappointment to him personally as it was, not only to the delegation, but to our southern friends who were so desirous of meeting the Governor of our Commonwealth.
ON BEHALF OF THE COMMONWEALTH
|Hon. William D. Chapple,||President of the Senate|
|Brig. General William H. Brigham, Adjutant General||Governor's Staff|
|Major Ira Vaughn, Aide-de-camp||Governor's Staff|
|Hon. Albion F. Bemis,||Executive Council|
|Hon. Seward W. Jones,||Executive Council|
|Henry D. Coolidge||Clerk of the Senate|
|James W. Kimball||Clerk of House of Representatives|
|Hon. William R. Salter, Senator||Joint Military Committee|
|Daniel E. Denny, (42d Mass.) Representative||Joint Military Committee|
|John F. Cook, Representative||Joint Military Committee|
|James Oliver (21st Mass.), Representative||Joint Military Committee|
|John H. McKenney, Representative||Joint Military Committee|
|Andrew R. Linscott, Representative||Joint Military Committee|
|Charles F. McCarthy, Representative||Joint Military Committee|
|Charles T. Holt, Representative||Joint Military Committee|
|J. J. Madsen, Representative||Joint Military Committee|
|J. H. Schoonmaker, Representative|
|Captain David T. Remington (31st Mass.)||Sergeant-at-Arms|
|Henry Grant Weston (5th Mass.)||Color Bearer|
GUESTS INVITED BY THE GOVERNOR
|Mrs. Laura A. Dugan||Assisted in Unveiling the Monument|
|Miss Alice Alden Sprague||Assisted in Unveiling the Monument|
|Lieut. Charles H. Porter, (39th Mass.)||Recorder of the M. O. L. L. U. S.|
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE REGIMENTS
|General Jones Frankle, (2d Mass. H. A.)||Sub-Committee on Monument|
|Major Charles B. Amory (24th Mass.)||Sub-Committee on Monument|
|Corporal James B. Gardner (44th Mass.)||Sub-Committee on Monument|
|Capt. Theo. K. Parker||2d Mass.||Lieut. Nathaniel Morton||3d Mass.|
|Corp. John E. Foye||2d Mass.||Priv. George A. Grant||3d Mass.|
|Capt. Edwin F. Wyer,||5th Mass.||Asst. Surg. M. E. Webb||33d Mass.|
|Priv. George E. Mitchell||5th Mass.||Corp. Albert C. Stacy||33d Mass.|
|Gen. Benjamin F. Peach||8th Mass.||Maj. Everett Lane||43d Mass.|
|Gen. A. Hun Berry||8th Mass.||1st Sgt. Brainard Cushing||43d Mass.|
|Capt. Joseph A. Moore||17th Mass.||Capt. Charles Hunt||44th Mass.|
|Sgt. John W. McKnight||17th Mass.||Priv. Horace Forbush||44th Mass.|
|Lt. Col. Theo. S. Foster||21st Mass.||Priv. Edwin P. Longley||45th Mass.|
|Priv. Luther E. Stewart||21st Mass.||Sgt. Ephraim Stearns||45th Mass.|
|Maj. Dan'l W. Hammond||23d Mass.||Lieut. Joseph G. Noble||46th Mass.|
|Com. Sgt. Thos. Swasey||23d Mass.||Priv. Melzar H. Mosman||46th Mass.|
|Capt. William F. Wiley||24th Mass.||Capt. John S. Baldwin||51st Mass.|
|Priv. John C. Cook||24th Mass.||Priv. Albert W. Hersey||51st Mass.|
|Gen. A. B. R. Sprague||25th Mass.||Capt. A. A. Putnam||2d Mass., H. A.|
|Priv. Edwin Wilbur||25th Mass.||Priv. Warren Lee Goss||2d Mass., H. A.|
|Capt. Henry C. Dwight||27th Mass.|
|Corp. Daniel W. Bates||27th Mass.|
ACCOMPANYING THE OFFICIAL PARTY AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE
|Robert G. Amory, (2d Mass. H. A.)||Edw. W. Mitchell|
|C. J. Batchellei||Mrs. George E. Mitchell|
|George W. Brooks, (44th Mass.)||Mrs. M. H. Mosman|
|Loammi B. Carr, (51st Mass.)||Miss Mosman|
|Mrs. Daniel E. Denny||Richard J. Nichols, (8th Mass.)|
|Charles O. Fellows, (17th Mass.)||Horace W. Otis, (5th Mass.)|
|Perley Goddard||Ward M. Otis, (5th Mass.)|
|Charles G. Gould, (8th Mass.)||Mrs. Benjamin F. Peach|
|Rev. Edw. H. Hall, D. D., (44th Mass.)||George F. Putnam, (17th Mass.)|
|Mrs. Daniel W. Hammond||Mrs. George F. Putnam|
|Augustus C. Jordan, (43d Mass.)||Bailey Sargent, (2d Mass. H. A.)|
|Mrs. Augustus C. Jordan||Henry Splaine, (17th Mass.)|
|Augustus S. Lovett, (45th Mass.)||Mrs. A. B. R. Sprague|
|Albert W. Mann, (45th Mass.)||Samuel O. Staples, (51st Mass.)|
|Horace E. Marion, M. D., (5th Mass.)||J. W. Wixtead|
Fred K. M. Jones and W. F. Smith, of the Raymond & Whitcomb Co.
Two other excursions were organized. The first was arranged by George E Marsters, and the party was composed of
|Frank M. Alley, (23d Mass.)||Caleb W. Marsh|
|William S. Bowden, (8th Mass.)||George E. Marsh, (5th Mass.)|
|A. Otis Chamberlain, (23d Mass.)||William E. Murdock, (25th Mass.)|
|William A. Chaplin, (23d Mass.)||George W. Nason, (5th & 23d Mass.)|
|Andrew J. Clark, (4th and 23d Mass.)||William P. Plimpton, (45th Mass.)|
|A. Walter Clark||James T. Pool, (8th Mass.)|
|George F. Clark||William W. Ricker|
|Joseph W. Day, (17th Mass.)||Louis L. Robbins, (23d Mass.)|
|Mrs. Joseph W. Day||William S. Sterling, (23d Mass.)|
|*Guy B. Flanders, (8th and 27th Mass.)||Henry Stone, (8th Mass.)|
|William A. Gray, (44th Mass.)||Charles F. Tenny, (25th Mass.)|
|Mrs. William A. Gray||Andrew D. Trout, (23d Mass.)|
|Thaddeus Griffin, (23d Mass.)||Herbert E. Valentine, (23d Mass.)|
|Mrs. Thaddeus Griffin||Owen T. Whitney, (3d Mass.)|
|Albert T. Hills, (23d Mass.)||M. T. Drummey, (Conductor of party)|
|Fred L. Jones, (23d Mass.)|
|*Returned with the Peirce party.|
This party left Boston Sunday, November 8, via the Fall River Line, reaching Washington, D. C., at 1.15 P. M., Monday. It left Washington at 6.30 P.M., via the Potomac River Steamer, arriving at Norfolk Tuesday morning and New Bern the same evening. Its quarters were at Hotel Hazelton. It left New Bern Friday morning, November 13, returning by the same route, arriving at Boston Sunday morning.
The other party was organized by the Peirce Tourist Company. This party left Boston on Saturday afternoon, November 7, for Providence, where it took a steamer of the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company for Norfolk, Va., reaching there Monday morning, and arriving at New Bern the same evening. This party was quartered at the Gem Hotel. It returned by the same
route, leaving New Bern Friday morning and reaching Boston Sunday afternoon. The members of this party were:
|Nahum Brewer||W. C. Richardson|
|Jos. P. Eaton, (25th Mass.)||*Fred W. Stackpole, (45th Mass.)|
|George A. Howard, (24th Mass.)||Melvin O. Walker, (45th Mass.)|
|Joseph R. Kendall, (44th Mass.)||George P. Walcott, (44th Mass.)|
|Fred A. Kent, (44th Mass.)||William S. Wellington, (44th Mass.)|
|Freeman H. Lothrop, (45th Mass.)||John D. Whitcomb, (45th Mass.)|
|Hosea J. Marcy, (25th Mass.)||Henry C. Whitcomb|
|Edward A. Mason, (45th Mass.)||Henry Wheelock, (45th Mass.)|
|Edward F. Reed, (45th Mass.)||Albert Whitney (45th Mass.)|
|Charles F. Peirce, (5th Mass.)||Gershom C. Winsor, (45th Mass.)|
|F. A. Richardson||Francis Wright, (25th Mass.)|
|*Returned with the Marsters party.|
Additional to these were Edward R. Blanchard (44th Mass.) and son, and E. Perez Smith, (44th Mass.) who went independently.
The “Official” party arrived at Washington, D. C., Tuesday forenoon. Three or four “sight-seeing” automobiles were at the station waiting their coming and for about three hours they had a most enjoyable ride around Washington. To some of the party the city was very familiar; to many the trip was a succession of delightful surprises; while to all it was extremely interesting. The conductor of one of the cars was a “play bill” boy at Ford's Theatre the evening President Lincoln was assassinated, and his account of that event and of many incidents occurring in Washington during the war was exceedingly graphic.
After an appetizing dinner at Congress Hall, a comparatively new hotel, near the Capitol, the party returned to the train and resumed their journey. At Petersburg they were joined by General Julian S. Carr, of Durham, N. C., the state commander of the C. S. A. camps in North Carolina, who had been especially invited by Governor Guild
COL. J. J. WOLFENDEN
N. C., C. S. A.
HON. JAMES A. BRYAN
Mayor of New Bern
to attend the dedication. General Carr was most cordially welcomed and proved to be as strong a Union man today as any of the party; and a fine specimen of the typical old-style southern gentleman. Goldsboro was reached early Wednesday morning, but instead of waiting for the regular train they ran as “special” to New Bern, reaching there about 7 A. M. The train did not stop at the station, some three-quarters of a mile from the hotel, but continued on to South Front street, a little over a block from the Gaston House, which was the headquarters during the visit, so most of the party walked to the hotel. Rooms were assigned and breakfast served immediately after arrival.
About 10 A.M., the Mayor of New Bern, Hon. James A. Bryan, an ex-confederate, called at the Gaston House where he held a reception and gave the visitors a most cordial as well as official welcome to the city of New Bern.
Mayor Bryan was much disappointed when he learned that Governor Guild was not with the delegation, and immediately sent him the following telegram:
Curtis Guild, Jr.,
State House, Boston.
We greatly regret your absence and extend to you our hearty sympathy in your illness and trust that you will be speedily restored to health. North Carolina sends greeting to Massachusetts, as a loving sister and a child of our common country.
James A. Bryan,
Mayor of New Bern.
At 1.30 P.M., the procession formed in front of the Gaston House, Front street. Many former confederates were in the ranks, among them General Julian S. Carr, Colonel J. J. Wolfenden and Colonel Wilson G. Lamb. Several wore the old gray uniform but they all showed as much interest and sympathy with the occasion
as if they had worn the “Army Blue.” It was hard to realize that almost half a century ago we were on opposite sides in the civil war.
The day was a holiday in New Bern, most of the stores and offices being closed. A special train had been provided, and headed by the Kinston band of the N. C. N. G., the procession proceeded to the cars. Early in November, Colonel Wolfenden had written, “there are two or three military companies a little way up the State that have expressed a willingness, and not only a willingness but a desire, to come on that occasion (at their own expense) to help do honor to the dead.” The secretary immediately replied, “We should welcome the military companies most cordially. * * * Such expressions of kindly feeling are conclusive evidence that the antagonisms engendered by the war are being rapidly forgotten and that the North and South are now united as never before.” Just as the train was ready to start the Kinston company of the North Carolina National Guard, Captain Henry Harper, came up on the double quick (their train was late in reaching New Bern) and joined us. They were a body of fine looking young men, clad in khaki uniforms, and their good will and sympathy were appreciated by all the visitors.
The special train landed its passengers within a few rods of the cemetery gate when the procession reformed and, with the Kinston company as escort, entered the grounds. A space around the monument was reserved for the school children and their teachers, who, through the kindness of Colonel J. J. Wolfenden had consented to take part in the exercises, and directly opposite Superintendent Reeves had built a platform for the speakers. The monument was concealed by American flags, and after the ladies who were to assist in the unveiling, Mrs. Dugan, Mrs. Hartsfield and Miss Sprague, had taken their positions,
MRS. LAURA A. DUGAN
the school children and their teachers seated on benches around the reserved space, and the speakers escorted to the platform, the exercises opening with singing by the children. Among the songs rendered by them were the “Star Spangled Banner,” the “Blue and the Gray,” and many others of equal significance.
General Frankle, as chairman of the general committee, then called the assembly to order and introduced the Rev. Edward H. Hall, D.D., formerly chaplain of the Forty-fourth Massachusetts, who offered an eloquent and touching prayer.*
Mr. Mosman, the sculptor, then rose and addressing General Frankle, said: “As chairman of the committee appointed to receive from my hands the monument erected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, now resting upon this sacred ground to commemorate the deeds of the heroic dead, I present it to you and hope it may stand there to testify to the faithfulness and patriotism of the Sons of Massachusetts who in this distant land, far from home, laid down their lives to preserve the nation.”
Miss Sprague then drew the cord releasing the pins which confined the flags and Mrs. Dugan and Mrs. Hartsfield those which were attached to the latter and the beautiful monument was displayed to the company, the band playing an appropriate selection.
General Frankle, turning to Mr. Mosman, said:
It is highly gratifying to the Committee to whom was intrusted the execution of this monument to be able to receive it from you with feelings of entire satisfaction.
In doing so, they desire gratefully to acknowledge their indebtedness to you for interpreting in bronze and stone,[note]
through this noble work of art, their sentiment and design.
That you had been yourself a soldier and a comrade of those who, after heroic struggle, found here their final resting place, would, in the opinion of the Committee, lend additional inspiration to your brain and skilful hands.
That they judged rightly, the unveiling of this statue today has fully proved.
He then requested the secretary to read the following letter from His Excellency, Governor Guild:
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
Boston, November 5, 1908.
General Jones Frankle,
153 Milk Street, Boston.
My Dear General Frankle:
I regret extremely to say that my physicians have decided that I cannot, without certainty of a physical relapse, endure the fatigue incident upon five nights in a sleeping car and fare other than the carefully selected diet to which at present I am restricted.
I shall, therefore, be debarred from the privilege of assisting at the dedication of the monument at New Bern. As the Governor is not in this case to be the orator of the day, I have accepted this to me most unpleasant verdict with the assurance that I shall not be greatly missed.
The delegation of the staff and the members of the Council will accompany the party and the State color bearer will also go with the colors of Massachusetts. The acceptance of the monument by the Commonwealth and its transfer to the United States authorities will be made by President William D. Chapple of the Senate. You can
MELZAR H. MOSMAN
rest assured that in his hands that duty will be gracefully and patriotically performed. I have been looking forward to this trip with the keenest pleasure, and that I should be barred from it is a bitter disappointment, I can assure you. Nothing but sheer physical inability to endure such a strain could keep me away. Will you explain this to your comrades and believe me, with deep regret,
Curtis Guild, Jr.*
Addressing the Honorable William D. Chapple, President of the Massachusetts Senate, who in the absence of the Governor represented the Commonwealth, General Frankle continued:
And now, may it please your Honor, the Committee to whom was intrusted the duty of designing and procuring the monument to be erected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at this National Cemetery, in memory of her sons who, while serving in the Department of North Carolina during the Civil War, laid down their lives in defense and for the preservation of our Union, have accomplished their allotted task. The monument, completed and in its proper position, awaits dedication under your direction. While others may speak of the gallantry of[note]
our comrades who found their last honored resting place in this sacred spot, it is for this committee to refer and point to the results achieved by their heroism and sacrifices.
In this regrettable, fratricidal conflict, each side—in accordance with its conception of right and duty—served the cause to which it was committed and for which with equal heroism and sacrifices it battled. The result of this deadly struggle was Union and Peace, as yonder monument proclaims to all who now and in the future may behold it. The inscription on the monument reads:
“AFTER LOYAL SERVICE UNION AND PEACE”
happily now acknowledge by all our land, East, West, North or South. And it is for this reason that, as the events of this unhappy period of our national life recede into the dimness of history, the survivors of this gigantic struggle can look into each other's faces with pride, stretch out their arms toward each other, grasp each other's hands in friendship and call each other comrades instead of foes—forming a united front against any foes of our beloved country, striving unitedly under our glorious banner of the Stars and Stripes, for justice, right and liberty.
Comrades of the Union Camp and of the Confederate Camp, it is much to be regretted that our Governor, whose letter expressing his own regret you have just heard, can not be with us today. He would, by his presence, have been a living illustration of the sentiment here and on our monument expressed; for it was he, a Northern citizen soldier, who side by side in comradeship with the famous Southern soldier, the gallant General Fitz Hugh Lee, battled for justice, right and liberty in bringing independence to our Sister Republic of Cuba. But in his absence
MISS ALICE ALDEN SPRAGUE
MRS. J. L. HARTSFIELD
it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you his representative, Hon. William D. Chapple, President of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In accepting the monument for the Commonwealth, Mr. Chapple said:
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:
By reason of the illness of His Excellency, Curtis Guild, Jr., Governor of Massachusetts, which we all so much regret, it devolves upon me to accept for the Commonwealth from the committee having charge of its construction this beautiful monument erected to the memory of those sons of Massachusetts who laid down their lives in her behalf, and who are now sleeping in this peaceful cemetery.
for its assistance today deserves the thanks of Massachusetts, as it did in days of old when the colonies were struggling for liberty.
For while Massachusetts was resisting the Stamp Act and sacking the home of Lieutenant Governor Hutchinson, the men of North Carolina were surrounding the home of their royal governor, taking from his very presence the comptroller of the province, and compelling him to make oath that he would not enforce that unjust law.
When the blood of Massachusetts was spilled in 1770, at the Boston massacre, it was followed in 1771 by a battle with the royal authorities in which two hundred of the North Carolina patriots, who had been driven into revolt against the British by extortion and unlawful imprisonment, lost their lives. As Sam Adams coolly locked the door of the chamber in which the Massachusetts Provincial Legislature was sitting at Salem, denying admittance to the royal governor's secretary who had arrived with a writ dissolving the assembly, thereby enabling it to designate the meeting place of the first Continental Congress and
elect delegates to represent Massachusetts, so did your Provincial Assembly, meeting at New Bern in defiance of Governor Martin's prohibition, elect delegates to represent North Carolina at that Continental Congress.
It needed but the news from Massachusetts of the battles of Lexington and Concord for the citizens of North Carolina to meet on the 20th day of May, 1775, and declare the country independent of Great Britain, sending a copy of the resolutions by special messenger to the Continental Congress, a date, which to this day is proudly borne upon the seal of your state, and it was North Carolina first of all the colonies that by formal resolution, adopted on the 12th of April, 1776, instructed its delegates in Congress to vote for independence.
In 1861, and the terrible years which followed, it was the proud command of our state that Massachusetts expects every man to do his duty, and what more could she demand of her sons than that they should be willing to give up their lives for her sake, and more than forty years ago these old soldiers who surround us were willing to make even that sacrifice, for they were within the borders of North Carolina as northern soldiers fighting for a cause they loved as you men of North Carolina love you own fair state; today they return as friends to do homage to the beloved comrades they left behind them, with no more malice in their hearts than is in yonder figure symbolizing Peace, whose calm eye looks down upon the graves of six hundred sons of Massachusetts, who will remain resting in the soil of North Carolina till time shall be no more.
And now in behalf of Massachusetts, I accept this beautiful memorial to her soldier dead, and in her behalf as well, (turning to Mr. Reeves, superintendent of the cemetery), I tender it to you, Sir, representing the government
CAPT. A. A. PUTNAM
Orator of the Day
of the United States and typifying as you do our common country, one nation and one flag.
Mr. Reeves, on behalf of the United States Government, accepted the charge, saying:
“In behalf of the Department which I have the honor to represent, I cheerfully assume the duty of caring for and preserving this beautiful monument from now on.”
The Orator of the Day, Judge A. A. Putnam, formerly captain in the 2d Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Colonel Frankle's old regiment, was then introduced by the latter. Captain Putnam spoke as follows:
Ladies, Comrades and Gentlemen:
In common with all of you who are here, cherishing remembrance of old regimental associations, I rejoice ever so much in the erection at last of a monument in memory of our Massachusetts soldier dead here in this southern state. To you as to me it must seem right, salutary and beautiful. As it was said by Webster upon the completion of Bunker Hill Monument, so may we also not inappropriately now say, “A duty has been performed.” If so, then may we all rejoice here together, whether we be of the Old Bay State or of the Old North State.
Assuming, as perhaps we may, that there prevails here such an unanimity of sentiment nothing can be much more impressive, gratifying and heart-gladdening than this simple occasion. A single thought beyond all others at this hour must needs possess us as we recall the sanguinary and tempestuous past and then consider our mission here today, so peaceful, and our treatment here received today, so hospitable and fraternal under this Carolina sky. Two score and more years it is since I toiled beneath it in the hot, sultry summer of sixty-four and almost I am overcome
as thought comes over me of the measureless dissimilarity of conditions now and then.
Verily, it is one of the happiest signs, rather it is the happiest of all signs, of the fraternal solidity of our country that the people of the northern states, through their representatives, can come down here among the people of the southern states for the purpose of erecting and dedicating memorials in memory of their soldier dead and feel that they come among friends.
Looking back three and forty years and recalling the relations of the two great sections of the land, northern and southern, then fresh from a fiery conflict of four years duration, how little did we dream that at any time hence the country would be so cemented in the bonds of complete union as it is today! Then, to be sure, there was peace; arms had ceased to clash; campaigns were no longer in contemplation; soldiers, weary, were retiring to their homes and glad, glad to retire and but one flag was recognized to be in authority. But oh! what sores were bleeding, what animosities were still alive, what disappointments were still felt and above all, what convictions still remained on the one side and the other that the one was right and the other wrong in the tremendous struggle.
How out of so much soreness could there come friendliness? How out of so much antagonism could there come unity? How out of states discordant, if not dissevered, acrimonious, if not still belligerent, should there come a republic one and indivisible? None could quite say. None could forecast. It was beyond the ken of man to see, beyond the scope of statesmanship to devise.
Nevertheless, all the while from the inception of the conflict, through all its entanglements and flaming fields, down to the season of ultimate reconciliation, there was a divinity shaping our ends, rough hew them how we might.
If we cannot point to this, that or the other measure of human device or any number of human devices combined which led us to feel and believe it far better that we should dwell together in peace as a people of one blood, we can yet somehow understand what manner of Providence it was that wrought the consummation. Who shall say that we were not inspired by the God of hosts to contemplate afresh this continent of our denizenship, so washed by oceans on the east and the west, so laved by incomparable lakes on the north and bounded so much on the south by the grand old gulf; with mighty rivers coursing from their mountain sources in every direction, with manifold mines of untold wealth still asleep in their rocky beds, with a soil leaping for culture and forests primeval beckoning the axe, and all to tempt the hands of a common industry; and thus contemplating, to see and know that Nature herself, here as nowhere else, had fashioned a land and bountifully stocked it for the abode and growth, the power and happiness of one people under one government, the Stars and Stripes for its ensign, no star henceforth to be erased, no stripe to be polluted, its motto evermore to be, “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.”
The exercises concluded with singing and at the close a salute was fired by the New Bern company of the N. C. N. G., Captain C. J. McSorley.
Most of those present then returned to the train which had been held in waiting, and went back to the city while many of the visitors took advantage of the few hours of daylight to revisit many of the localities so familiar to them forty-five years ago.
New Bern Re-visited
Incidents. Receptions. Homeward Trip.
After the conclusion of the exercises at the cemetery on Wednesday afternoon, the visitors occupied themselves in various ways until evening. Many visited the ruins of old Fort Totten; many tried to locate their old camp grounds and other familiar spots; while others enjoyed a ramble around the old town.
Upon invitation of Mayor Bryan, Adjutant General Brigham and some twenty or thirty others called on the former at his residence, which during the war was occupied by General Burnside as headquarters. They had a most enjoyable reception, meeting many of the leading citizens of New Bern. The refreshments, both solid and liquid, were particularly appetizing. The reception was very informal; there were but two or three brief speeches, and those who were present speak of the occasion as one long to be remembered with great pleasure.
Chaplain Hall was very desirous to visit the camp ground of his old regiment, and piloted by the Secretary who had located it during his visit the previous February, his wish was gratified. The scene had materially changed during forty years of absence but some few familiar landmarks still remained. On their way back to town they met Mr. Stewart, one of the most influential of New Bern's citizens, who kindly placed his horses, carriage and driver at their service, and until it became too dark to see clearly they enjoyed driving around the city.
On November 7, two days before we started for North Carolina, a letter was received from Colonel Wolfenden, in which he said that New Bern Chapter, Daughters of
the Confederacy, wished to give the Northern visitors a reception at their hall on Wednesday evening, and inquired if it would interfere with any of our contemplated arrangements. The secretary immediately replied that it would not interfere with any proposed arrangements; but that a circular had been issued, which it was now too late to recall, stating that evening dress would not be required; that many of us felt that out of proper respect for our hostesses we should appear at such a function appropriately clothed, but if the “Daughters” would kindly overlook the informality we should only be too happy to accept their courtesy. Accordingly, at about eight o'clock most of the visitors assembled in front of the Gaston House and piloted by General Brigham and Sargeant-at-Arms Remington, proceeded to the hall which was but a short distance from the Hotel.
The “Daughters” occupy a pleasant, commodious room and were present in large numbers to welcome their “Yankee” guests. In the receiving line were Mrs. Charles L. Stevens, (president of the New Bern chapter, who had been visiting at quite a distance and came home in order to be present at the reception), Mrs. R. B Nixon, Mrs. S. W. Hancock, Mrs. George Henderson, Mrs. F. S. Duffy, Mrs. T. G. Hyman, Mrs. J. J. Wolfenden, Mrs. J. L. Hartsfleld, Mrs. George Henderson, Jr., Miss Eulalia Willis, Miss Annie Foy, Miss Carrie Arendall, Miss Janie Stewart, Miss Katherine Street, Miss Sara Whitehurst, Miss Margaret Bryan and Miss Henrietta Hancock.*
It was the universal opinion of all the visitors that this reception was one of the pleasantest functions of this description that any of them had ever attended. After the actual ceremony of the reception was over, there was the[note]
utmost informality, introductions were regarded as entirely superfluous, the “Daughters” vied with each other in their wish to make their visitors feel “at home” and their reception was even warmer, though of a different kind of warmth, from what they would have liked to have given us forty years ago. As one of the ladies (and not one of the seniors—we are timid about speaking of any of them as old) remarked in the course of the evening: “I have always been one of the ‘un-reconstructed,’ but you Yankees are much better fellows than I ever thought you were and if I should meet a few more of you I'm afraid I should become as strong ‘Union’ as you are yourselves.” Light refreshments were served; many of the ladies officiated at the piano, there was singing in which all joined and there was no lull in conversation. It was close upon the “wee small hours” before the last guest had left the hall. All who were there will ever recall this reception as one of the pleasantest memories of their lives.
Thursday was devoted to general sight seeing. Through the kindness of Hon. C. R. Thomas, Representative in Congress from the New Bern district, the revenue cutter “Pamlico,” stationed at that city, was placed at the disposal of the visitors and a large number enjoyed a sail, or perhaps more correctly speaking a “steam,” for from fifteen to twenty miles up the Neuse River, towards Kinston. Major Amory and a number of others who were present at the battle of New Bern visited the old battlefield. Brooks and Forbush, of the 44th Massachusetts, drove out to Batchelder's and Bryce's Creek. Many spent part of their time at the studio of Mrs. Bayard Wootten who was by general consent adopted as the “official photographer,” and secured views of the places in which they were most interested. Others visited the houses which they occupied while doing provost duty when they were able to locate
them. Many rambled around the city and others spent their time in visiting some of the acquaintances they had made since their arrival. In the afternoon, under the guidance of Mr. W. T. Hill, of New Bern, several went to the Masonic Hall, which during the war was for a time used as a hospital. To the members of the Masonic fraternity this was one of the most interesting events of the trip. The lodge is one of the oldest in the state, if not in the country, and it has preserved many documents dating back to the eighteenth century. The Bible has been in constant use for nearly, if not quite, one hundred and fifty years and shows unmistakeable signs of wear. The writer regrets exceedingly that he failed to make notes of the various papers shown us as a list of these would be of much interest to the craft wherever dispersed.* The frescoing of Masonic emblems on the ceiling of the hall was practically the same when the building was devoted to hospital use, although they have been repainted. One of the party recalled having visited a comrade who had been very ill and was lying on a cot in the north-west corner. Almost the first remark he made as he greeted his visitor was: “I think it a d——d shame to put a man as sick as I've been where every time he looks up he sees a coffin hanging over his head.” It is needless to say that the comrade at that time was not a member of the fraternity. On their way back to the hotel they visited the “Elks” building, one of the finest in the city, beautifully appointed, and which would be a credit to a city many times larger than New Bern.
Shortly after six o'clock Thursday evening the train backed down to South Front street and the “official party” prepared to start on their homeward journey.[note]
Many of the friends whom they had made during their brief stay accompanied them to the train. Colonel Wolfenden, to whom the delegation was under many obligations for the great interest he had taken in the dedication from its inception was, unfortunately, unable to meet us, but Mayor Bryan and others were present, among them Mrs. Stevens, president of the New Bern Chapter, Daughters of the Confederacy, who presented many members of the delegation with a small confederate flag as a memento of their visit to “Dixie.” General Carr accompanied us on our return as far as Petersburg.
Reaching Washington shortly after ten A.M., an appetizing breakfast was enjoyed at the Congress Hall, when the members separated to ramble about the city. One party visited the new Senate and Representative buildings and Congressional Library, and under the escort of Mr. James A. Cuthbert, assistant engineer at the Library, formerly of Company A, 44th Massachusetts, were given an unusually good opportunity to inspect these buildings, being admitted to many rooms which are ordinarily closed to the general public. In the afternoon President Roosevelt gave the delegation a reception at the White House which was attended by most of its members who were glad of the opportunity to greet their “strenuous” chief magistrate.
Before leaving New Bern the following telegram was sent:
New Bern, N. C., Nov. 12, 1908.
To Hon. C. R. Thomas,
Greenboro, N. C.
The Massachusetts delegation thank you and the officers of the “Pamlico” for a most delightful trip on the cutter. The citizens of New Bern have fully demonstrated the true meaning of the term “Southern hospitality.”
Wm. D. Chapple,
President Mass. Senate.
From Washington Mayor Bryan was telegraphed:
Washington, D. C., Nov. 13, 1908.
To Hon. James A. Bryan, Mayor,
New Bern, N. C.
The Massachusetts delegation begs to assure you and the citizens of New Bern, of its appreciation of the great hospitality and the many graceful courtesies that have so materially helped to make its visit an event long to be remembered.
Wm. D. Chapple,
President Mass. Senate.
The train left Washington about 3.30 P.M., and reached Boston at 7 A.M., Saturday. Breakfast was served at the South station restaurant, a few brief speeches were made, thanks were tendered to Sergeant-at-Arms Remington, Messrs. Jones and Smith, of the Raymond & Whitcomb Company, and some others and the delegation separated with the feeling that the dedication trip had been in every respect most enjoyable and successful.
The Marsters party had the great advantage of including among its members Colonel George D. Nason, who for a long time was a resident of New Bern and for several years was Postmaster of that city. His extensive acquaintance enabled him to materially assist the members of his party in finding many places of individual interest which otherwise they would have had trouble in locating.
Some of the members of the Peirce party, especially those who were present during the siege, stopped for several hours at “Little” Washington, where they were most hospitably entertained by Dr. Gallagher and others. Most of this party took a trip to Kinston and were piloted over the battle-field by three “Johnnies” who were in that action. Although changes had been made in forty-five years, many of the locations were readily recognized. Previous to their departure from New Bern they formally issued the following address:
New Bern, N. C., Nov. 12, 1908.
To the residents of the City of New Bern:
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Representatives of the 25th, 44th and 45th Massachusetts regiments, present at the dedication services of the Massachusetts Memorial to her buried soldiers in the National Cemetery at New Bern, which regiments respectively, among others, in addition to their other service in the Department of North Carolina, served as provost guards of the city of New Bern at various periods during its occupation by the Federal forces, have, though nearly a half century has passed, vivid and especial memories of persons of former times and of ancient landmarks yet remaining within the borders of the old and picturesque city.
On the part of the regiments specified, and we are sure, on the part of all soldiers who have visited the city on this present occasion in 1908, thanks are due and are hereby extended for the kindly reception with which all Massachusetts soldiers have been received, and for the courtesies and hospitalities, so generously extended everywhere and by everybody in the city of New Bern.
To the United Daughters of the Confederacy thanks are specially returned for the courtesy of their reception night, an occasion of unalloyed sociability and pleasure to all who attended the function. Many of the visiting soldiers of the Federal forces who attended the reception knew during their tour of duty in New Bern the grandmothers and mothers of the young and lovely ladies whose hospitality was enjoyed, some of their maternal ancestors being brave enough to remain during Federal occupation at their own homes in the city, and to have no fear of the invading “Yankee.” In this day their daughters may be assured that their mothers appreciated the good order kept by the provost guards of this good city, and that womanly presence in the city was appreciated by the men of the guards.
Again, thanks! thanks! and good-bye.
JOSEPH P. EATON,
25th Mass., Chairman.
JOHN D. WHITCOMB,
45th Mass., Secretary.
Although the members of the “Official Party” had both individually and collectively expressed their appreciation of the courtesies shown them while in New Bern, they felt a wish to express that appreciation in some permanent and tangible form, so soon after leaving that city a suggestion was made to that effect. At the breakfast at the South Station in Boston, on Saturday morning, a committee consisting of Hon. Wm. D. Chapple, Adjutant General Brigham, Major Charles B. Amory, Sergeant Ephraim Stearns, and Private Horace Forbush, was appointed to carry out the suggestion. Accordingly on Dec. 3, 1908, the following letter was sent to New Bern Chapter, No. 204, United Daughters of the Confederacy:
Boston, Mass., Dec. 3, 1908.
Mrs. Charles L. Stevens, New Bern, N. C.
Dear Mrs. Stevens—The undersigned were appointed a committee by the Massachusetts Delegation to New Bern to present to New Bern Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, a suitable memorial, that they may realize in a slight degree the deep sense of gratitude which the Massachusetts Delegation feels toward them; and we have, accordingly, purchased a sterling silver punch bowl and ladle, which we are shipping you by express today.
(Signed) Wm. D. Chapple,
Wm. H. Brigham,
Chas. B. Amory,
The accompanying engraving will give an idea of the testimonial. The bowl, which was gold lined, had a capacity of about sixteen pints, and with the ladle which accompanied it, was enclosed in a handsome velvet case. The inscription engraved on the bowl was:
Presented to New Bern Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, by the Massachusetts Delegation of State Officials and Veterans of the War of 1861-1865, in grateful appreciation of the hospitality, kindness and sympathy shown them at the dedication of the Soldiers’ Monument in the National Cemetery at New Bern, N. C., Nov. 11, 1908.
PUNCH BOWL PRESENTED TO NEW BERN CHAPTER, NO. 204, UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY
The “Daughters” acknowledged its receipt in the following letter:
United Daughters of the Confederacy,
New Bern Chapter, No. 204.
New Bern, N. C., Dec. 21, 1908.
Mr. Chapple and Members of the Committee.
Dear Mr. Chapple—On December 19th, at our regular monthly meeting, the officers of the U. D. C. gave an informal reception to the Chapter in honor of the punch bowl lately sent them by the Massachusetts Delegation. This was done that the Daughters might be the first to see and christen the beautiful gift, for indeed it is a thing of beauty, and “perfect” is the only word that any Daughter could find to express her admiration.
The unlooked-for but much appreciated acknowledgement of the Daughters courtesy to the Union Veterans on the occasion of their visit to New Bern makes us feel surer that that visit will help to a clearer understanding between those of the two sections, hence a fuller appreciation of each other. Thanking you again, I am very truly,
Mrs. W. P. M. Bryan,
Cor. Secretary New Bern Chapter.
A great deal of interest was felt in the erection of this monument by all who had served in North Carolina, though but comparatively few were privileged to attend the dedication. On the evening of December 2, 1909, by invitation of the Historical Committee of the Massachusetts Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Captain Putnam gave a detailed and most interesting account of the excursion to the members of that body. In speaking of the ladies who assisted in the unveiling he said:
“Mrs. Hartsfield, a New Bern lady, was invited to participate in the ceremony as a representative of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and from compliment to her father, Colonel J. J. Wolfenden, commander of the local Confederate Camp, who had helped greatly in making the dedication exercises so successful.
Miss Alice Alden Sprague, the fair and youthful daughter of our commander, General A. B. R. Sprague, (General Sprague
was then commander of the Massachusetts Commandery), is a lineal descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullens, of the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock.
Of the other, Mrs. Laura A. Dugan, there is a tale at once pathetic and pleasant. In the time of the yellow fever at New Bern, 1864, that scourge that so decimated the ranks alike of combatants and non-combatants, one of the unwritten chapters, I may say, of the story of the civil war; at that time Colonel Amory, of the 17th regiment, together with his wife and four children, were at Beaufort. Both the father and mother died of the fever, leaving Laura, a babe five months old. Colonel Frankle, then in command of New Bern in the absence of General Palmer, had much to do in caring for the orphan children and more than once had this infant in his arms, though Mrs. Palmer, wife of the General, had chief charge of the child. As soon as transportation could be provided consistently with the strict quarantine, the child was taken to her grandparents, near Boston, where she lived until adopted by her uncle, Major Amory, of our Order. After forty-four years Mrs. Dugan returned to New Bern to see her birthplace, even the house where she was born, and to aid in unveiling the monument erected in memory of comrades in the same local service of her gallant father.”
From the inception of the idea until the completion and dedication of the monument and return to Massachusetts of those who visited New Bern, everything connected with the plan was a complete success. Our opponents of nearly half a century ago received us with open arms, and the events of the civil war seemed to be but a memory. The monument itself is beautiful in design and execution, and is a fitting testimonial to those in whose memory it was erected. But beautiful and appropriate as it is, the patriotism and devotion displayed by the sons of Massachusetts whenever required to serve their country or their state will ever be their most expressive and enduring memorial.