27th New York Independent Battery's Civil War Newspaper Clippings
LOCAL AND MISCELLANEOUS.
BUFFALO, TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 1864.
DEATH OF JARED TIFFANY.--It will be seen from the following note from Lieut. Clark, that Sergeant Jared Tiffany, of the 27th N. Y. Battery, is no more. Mr. Tiffany was well and favorably known throughout this county, having represented his town (Wales) for several years in the Board of Supervisors. Mr. T. was a brother-in-law of Messrs. Alonzo and Amos B. Tanner, of this city, and one of the first to join the 27th. He was about 43 years of age. The funeral will take place at his late residence, in Wales, to-morrow morning, at 10 o'clock.
Washington, D. C., April 8.
ALONZO TANNER, Esq., Buffalo, N. Y.:
DEAR SIR—I write to inform you of the death of Jared Tiffany, of this Battery. The sad event took place at Kalorama General Hospital, (Georgetown,) night before last. I informed his wife of the fact by letter, last evening.
We have procured for the remains a better coffin than that furnished by the Government, and the remains will be sent to you by Express, this day, to be forwarded to his family for burial.
The death of Sergt. Tiffany has thrown a shadow of gloom over the entire company, by whom he was greatly beloved and esteemed. For myself—and I but express the feelings of my brother officers—his loss is deeply and keely felt. Sergt. Tiffany was a man we all respected and esteemed, for his integrity, patriotism, and soldierly qualities. Be assured that we shall all gratefully and fervently cherish his memory.
His illness was long and painful, but still we kept looking for his complete restoration to health, until the very last. His unfortunate accident, in my opinion, really resulted in his death. Erysipelas set in, from which he never recovered.
I trust the remains will reach you in safety, and that our action in the matter will not prove displeasing to the sorrowing and afflicted family.
I have written hastily, being somewhat pressed for time.
I remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
C. A. CLARK
1st Lieut. 27th N. Y. Battery.
Tuesday Evening, December 27, 1864.
From the 27th N. Y. (Eaton's) Battery.
The following letter from a member of Eaton's 27th N. Y. Battery, now in the field, will be read with interest by our citizens:
27TH, N. Y. BATTERY, Dec. 19th, 1864.
EDS. COMMERCIAL:—It will be two years tomorrow since the Buffalo Light Battery left the city for the seat of war, and two eventful years they have proved to be. Of the original one hundred and thirty men in the ranks when we left Buffalo, there are but sixty-five remaining. We have experienced some "hardships" and endured a few "privations" during our career thus far, and anticipate still more in our path of war and glory, but we have also had our sunny days and pastimes. We first belonged to the Army for the Defence of Washington, and it was there we met privations grevious to be borne. Then we were transferred to the Department of the Susquehanna and stationed in the city of Brotherly Love (Soldier's Paradise) for the purpose of fostering amity and good will among its heterogenous people, and it was there in particular that we saw "sunny days" and plenty of "fun" and soft bread.
In April last we were attached to the 9th Corps, commanded by Gen. Burnside, and from that day till this, although plenty of time has elapsed for observation amid marching and fighting, we have failed to perceive any considerable amount or "fun;" to be sure, it is a species of fun to be aware that a 12-pounder shell containing eight ounces of powder and a burning fuse has just passed within a few feet of your devoted head screaming "cousin," "cousin," and it is fun to realize that the minnie from that sharpshooter's rifle went away from you with simply an ardent buzz of admiration or an intense hiss of scorn; but that style of fun is "negative" (if I may so express it) and only momentary at that, for we generally feel well assured that there are plenty more of the same sort where that last came from.
It was after leaving Washington that we encountered the "hardships," such as the marches and countermarches during the struggle in the Wilderness through the rain and deep Virginia mud, in the dense cloud of dust at midnight, or beneath the hot rays of a June day sun; the small rations and no time to cook them; the poor water carried a long distance, &c., &c. But notwithstanding the "hardships" and "negative fun" we have encountered and expect to encounter in the future, there is not a man in the Battery who does not prefer campaign life to the monotonous existence we experienced among the "privations" of Washington, neither do many lust after the sunny days and pastimes of Philadelphia. In fact the Battery is now morally and physically in excellent condition, and the men were never better satisfied with everything and everybody than at the present time.
Considerable firing takes place every day along this part of the line, but our men are protected by earth works of a formidable character and the number of casualties is astonishingly small and generally of a slight nature. The most serious which has occurred to us lately was produced by a spherical case shot that exploded immediately over one of our pieces in Fort Hell on the afternoon of the 16th. A fragment of the case penetrated the groin of Chris. Kensle, who was serving ammunition; Kensle has friends residing on Michigan street, and it will be a gratification for them to know that the wound, though painful, is not considered dangerous, and they need be under no apprehension concerning his welfare.
Quite a number of military executions have transpired within the two weeks past, with a view to deter deserting and bounty jumping. Two men named Smith and Rowe, of the 179th N. Y., were hanged on the 10th inst, at Hancock Station, within view of our camp. Daniel Smith, who paid the death penalty for deserting to the enemy, belonged in Buffalo, and formerly worked for Messrs. Tiffts, as carpenter and pattern maker. He approached the gallows with firm steps, smoking a cigar, and preserved a most placid countenance throughout the entire proceedings. Poor Smith! He remarked to the Chaplain some hours before his untimely end, that his mother had often told him he "would be hanged if he did not mend his ways!" What fate to contemplate! It is verily a most revolting and disgraceful spectacle, and it is to be hoped that the examples made of these poor men will have a salutary influence upon the week-kneed and avaricious men in the army.
Yours truly, W. R. SCOTT.
From Eaton's Battery.
The following letter is from a member of the 27th N. Y. (Eaton's) Battery, raised in this city. The writer left his "stick" and his "case" in this office, to go to the war, and has shown himself to be a faithful and efficient soldier:
HANCOCK STATION, Va., Feb. 11, 1865.
EDS. COMMERCIAL:—Quite a number of interesting and exciting events, worthy of being recorded have recently occurred in this department, and I thought an account of some of them might be pleasing to you and your general readers. The first which recurs to my mind is the promotion of Lieut. C. W. Clark to the command of the 12th N Y. Light Battery. Capt. Clark is a cool, energetic officer, and no matter what danger or difficulties may surround him always preserves a firm upper lip, and I can safely say that no one ever saw a trace of fear lurking in his face. In his intercourse with the men he was affable and considerate, while on points respecting duty or discipline he was rigid and exacting—two characteristics in an officer that go far toward producing military efficiency and maintaining a healthy tone in the ranks. The 27th is a loser by his advance, and the men of the 12th may congratulate themselves on having Captain Mc-Knight's place filled by an officer so well qualified to command.
I alluded in my last letter to the execution by hanging of two men belonging to the 179th N. Y. Infantry, and now, sad to relate, I must chronicle the exit of another man named Waterman Thornton, of that regiment, who passed into Eternity through the same portal. He is represented as having been a very successful bounty-jumper, and the current report of the circumstances attending his last attempt to desert, his curious arrest and subsequent punishment, is interesting, and if not very instructive, at least goes to show that it is dangerous at the present time to be found on a dark night groping about in the swamps of the Old Dominion with no visible object in view. During one of our spirited moves on the left, he abandoned his post on picket, and started with the intention of reaching the Rebel lines. But, alas, poor human sagacity cannot always be relied upon! The night was dark and his way lay through swamps and slashings which rendered traveling extremely difficult and even dangerous; but he persevered in his course, as he supposed, toward the Johnnies, and of course, when the gruff challenge "Halt! who goes there?" rang out on the still night air, he answered boldly enough, "Deserter!" With equal confidence did he advance in response to the sentinel's invitation "Come in Deserter," saying as he approached that he had fought long enough. But imagine the poor wretch's consternation and surprise to find himself confronting a Blue instead of a Gray back, as he had anticipated. This was a contingency for which he had neglected to provide; still his wits did not forsake him. He comprehended the situation at once, and bursting into a loud laugh attempted to convert the whole thing into a real good joke. The picket failed to perceive the point; consequently he was turned over to the Provost Marshal and became another martyr to infidelity.
It is a lamentable fact that the warning examples made of these misguided men will, in a measure, be thrown away so long as such great inducements are held out for unscrupulous and daring soldiers to desert from one corps to enlist in another. One of our men, a tall, angular blacksmith, about 33 years of age, Henry Ormond by name, obtained a furlough in the month of December for the purpose of visiting Detroit, and he was entrusted by one of his comrades with $150, which he promised to deposit with a party there. The reprobate stole $50 of this money and has not been heard of since. Now, deserting on a furlough is ranked by the men of this army as a trifle meaner than absconding to the enemy with equipments; but in this particular case, combined as it is with theft, if we could see him undergo the punishment inflicted on a member of the 31st Maine, about his own age, we should be satisfied, although we would prefer to see him hanged, for shooting is too honorable an end for him to meet. This poor downeaster deserted to the enemy, was smuggled through our lines, re-enlisted, was discovered, tried by court martial, condemned to suffer death, and yesterday, beside the gallows tree, near his own open grave, seated on his pine coffin, with his hands shackled behind him and a white bandage over his eyes, he expiated his offense by a sudden and bloody death at the hands of his quondam friends. This form of capital punishment is much less revolting in its details and not near so barbarous to witness as hanging, and must be less objectionable to the culprit. The solemn and impeding spectacle attracted quite a large number of military spectators.
I had the satisfaction of witnessing the arrival within our lines of the rebel Peace Commissioners on the 31st of January, near Fort Morton, about two miles distant from the Cockade City. A train of cars had stood waiting for them at Meade's Station from an early hour in the morning to bear them to City Point, and this fact gave us ample notice of their coming, and accordingly all the soldiers in the immediate vicinity, not on duty at the time, assembled to see them. They arrived at the close of day, just as the sun sunk behind the Alleghanies, and the hazy mist, which is not unusual here at sunset, began to obscure the distant horizon and give the landscape a gloomy and sombre aspect. A fitting escort met them midway between the lines to conduct them in. At first as we watched, they seemed as shadows moving in the hazy light, but as they approached their forms became clear and distinct, and we soon stood face to face with the representatives of treason, tyranny and wrong. They entered an ambulance drawn by four beautiful gray horses and were driven towards the depot at a rapid pace. As they rode away an attempt was made to raise three cheers, at the conclusion of which I heard a sharp-looking private remark, "That was a darned feeble effort, anyhow!"
During the time these things were transpiring in the centre, a heavy battery of rifled guns located on our right, near the Appomattox river, maintained a rapid exchange of shots with a rebel fort to the westward of the stream, and. as the sharp reports reverberated along our works, they seemed like so many angry dissenting voices protesting earnestly against the hollow truce, and ominously significant of the means that should be employed to obtain an honorable and lasting peace. Very truly,
W. R. SCOTT.
KILLED.—Corporal George Shoop of the 27th ((Eaton's) Light Battery was wounded before Petersburg on the 19th, necessitating the amputation of his arm. He died on the 20th inst. from his injuries. His relatives reside in this city.