Regimental Journal - 54th New York Infantry Regiment
Of Colonel Eugene A. Kozlay,
Commanding 54th Regt.
New York Volunteers
From June 30th 1861 To April 23rd 1866
Part One: 1861 - 1862
Transcribed And Donated By Janet Kozlay.
I have attempted to render this transcription as accurately as possible. However, I have taken the liberty of deleting the thousands of commas which Col. Kozlay used unnecessarily, which I trust will make this transcription more readable. An example is: ”My men obeyed my orders; but his own regt, did not; and we were compelled to see, how the 75th is carrying off, the fences, before our nose.” This is rendered by me as: “My men obeyed my orders, but his own regt did not; and we were compelled to see how the 75th is carrying off the fences before our nose.” On the other hand, I have tried to keep the words precisely as written; occasional awkwardness sometimes offers insight into the writing of someone whose native language was not English. Also note that names are sometimes spelled differently, again rendering them as written.
There are a few places in the Journal where damage has occurred or where a small portion of the page is missing or for some other reason the writing is indecipherable. These locations are indicated either with question marks, [illegible], or [missing].
Colonel Eugene A. Kozlay
Courtesy of Douglas and Janet Kozlay
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November ?, 1861
The United States Regulations require that the Commanding officer of a Regiment should keep a Journal and a complete history of his regiment.
In order to comply with these orders, I will in a brief statement relate the organization of this regiment, with such facts as may be usefull afterwards for the information of my successor and the War Department.
On or about the 28th of June last, while I was employed under Mr. Barney in the New York Customhouse as withdrawal entry clerk, about 35 individuals, all Germans, called upon me and asked me to undertake with them the organization of a sharpshooters regiment to be called “Schwarze Jaeger”. These individuals handed me a list of their names and also the position which they wish to occupy in the regiment. I have to be their leader and provide the necessary means to carry out the object. They themselves could not contribute any money; in fact they had not a decent suit of clothes.
The object, however, was a noble one, to crush this accursed rebellion. I agreed to their proposition, and on the 29 June called a meeting at the Democratic Hall in Houston street and forthwith begin to recruit. I placed Hoch in charge of the recruiting service and assigned the others to different parts of the city of New York to recruit.
The names of these individuals were; Hoch, Besold, Konig, Doring, Schraub, Friedenfeld, Smith, Kohlberger, Lampe, Erehardt, ?h, Scholl, Herzer, Vogel, Smith I. Stern, Deiker, Scheurer, Lo[missing], Durian & Albrecht. The Balance of them were not mustered in as officers, [and thus] no mention is needed of their names.
The owners of the Democratic Hall would not subsist the recruits unless they are paid every week. At that time we had not money, and the little we had was needed for the recruiting officers; we could therefore not agree, and taken up our headquarters for recruiting by Messrs. Grosh & Rau, Tivoli Garden, ? Avenue, who agreed to subsist these men and wait for the payment. The recruiting officers receiving two or three dollars daily to subsist their recruits thro’ the day, and send in the evening Grosh & Rau to be subsisted by them. We have taken Mr. Beer and Astrock, quartermasters, who agreed to loan for the organization of the regiment 1500 dollars. In the first few days they have done what they promised, but afterwards they failed and had constant quarrels with each other. At last this quarrel ended by the withdrawal of Astrock, and Beer took to himself as Quartermaster Sergeant Mr. Van Bell. Astrock was paid back the money expended by him, about 900 dollars. When Van Bell joined the regt ? organization, it turned out that Beer has very little money. Van Bell previous to this loaned him about 600 dollars. These two agreed pretty well for a while, but at last differences arose between them. Van Bell, with good reason, claims that he invested a large amount of money, twice more than Beer. His whole investment was over 2400 dollars cash and besides what he loaned to Beer on his personal security: in all over 3000. From this money were paid every day the recruiting officers two, three dollar shirts, shoes, blankets, knives, straw, medicines, candles, soap and other things were bought, in order to supply the wants of the men. Bills for printing, advertisement, ferriage transportation, and in fact, from these money were paid all expenses necessary to beginn.
The recruiting was very brisk, and we needed more place where to subsist the men, and in the beginning of July we made written contract with Kreider & Hagen to subsist the Recruits; and [missing] to Mr. Landman Hamilton Park. These contracts we had agreed to pay 42 cents per ration and the same [missing] Grosh & Rau. The men were now subsisted by Grosh & Rau in the city, and by Kreider at Hamilton Park.
The men increased in numbers, but also the expenses. Kreider demanded cash pay every week for subsistance & lodging, and he was paid a few hundred dollars. More money and money was needed, and Van Bell would not give more, and Beer could not. I had to borrow where I could to keep the machinery running. From 15 to 30 dollars I had to pay daily to the recruiting officers, besides all other expenses. Even I had to supply with money the families of married recruits.
The recruiting was going on very well, and about the 15th of July I had over 200 men in two places aforesaid. I made an application to the War Department to accept a regiment of sharpshooters. But I received no answer, and on the 29th July I went to Washington, with a good letter from the Hon. Moses H. Grinnell to Mr. Seward, who gave me a letter to the War Department, and then I received a letter of assurance from Mr. Leslie, their chief clerk, that as soon as I have enrolled 400 men, the Department will accept the regiment. With this letter I came to New York on the 3rd of August. See official letter dated the 2nd August.
On my arrival home I found a great deal of trouble. There was no money, and no one to advance any. I at once borrowed from a friend of mine, Mr. Fried, once 100, then 100, and lastly 400 dollars, and handed the money to Beer, receiving his receipt for the same. The other trouble was between Beer and Van Bell. They could not agree, and at last Mr. Van Bell agreed to withdraw if I become the security for the repayment of his money, in all over 3000 dollars. Matters were at this time in a very critical condition. At last at the recommendation of Capt. Schneider of Hoboken, we got for Quartermaster F. W. Billing, who promised to advance 4000 dollars. I was very glad to have him; and with him I became security to Mr. Van Bell for the money advanced to Beer for disbursements. Or in other words, he gave all the money to Beer; I have received none of it. But Beer informed me that Van Bell furnished so much and himself so much, viz Van Bell over 3000, and Beer over 1400.
About this time I had more than 400 men enrolled, and I asked the War Department to trust in the men. I wrote several times and telegraphed, but without result. At last a telegram came about the 27th of Augt, asking from me a copy of my acceptance. I at once went to Washington, produced the official letter of the chief clerk, and on the 30th August, I received a regular acceptance, and an order from Capt. Ruggles to muster my regiment. See Acceptance dated 30th Augt. 1861 to Col. E. A. Kozlay.
On the 3rd of September I arrived home and at once prepared to muster into service all the men enrolled.
I was disappointed very much, when I called in the men for muster, could not find more than about 370 men from nearly 500. This being nearly the number when I left for Washington. And to my astonishment Muhs, Becker and Weszlanszky have not filled their companies neither, though promised to do so long ago.
On the 4th of September, I divided the men at Hudson City where the new camp was located, and where the organization did more in my absence, into 4 companies [missing] 82 men and on the 5th of September Captain Lampe mustered in these 4 companies direct in the U.S. Service. About 50 men were left to be mustered next day into a new Company. Muhs gave about 35 men for muster. Neither Becker nor Weszlanszky have their companies filled yet and I knew that I would be compelled to give them the men recruited by the other recruiting officers, who were not enrolling men for a separate company, but for the regiment in large.
When these 4 companies were mustered in it was also paid to them the bounty of three dollars to each men, which I promised as a recompensation for their lodging, board &c. In order to prevent desertion and dissatisfaction, the like amount was promised to every man who is mustered into service. This promise I kept faithfully, but how I am to get back this money from the government, I hardly know at present. Tho’ Billing says that the money can be collected very easily.
Before the men were mustered into service they were carefully examined by Dr. Hagen, the present Surgeon of the regt, and his assistant Drescher. Dr. Hagen is with the regt since the begin of its organization and is a skillfull efficient Surgeon. Dr. Drescher I cannot keep. The Surgeon Genl says in a letter that he has not passed his examination and is mustered out of service by order of the Major General, Governor Morgan.
The men were drilled every day, whether they were mustered in or enrolled. I have hired muskets for them from Mr. Fischer; powder & balls are also bought and the men were practicing target shooting.
Weszlanszky declined to recruit; and he turned his men over to first Lt. Ashby and 2nd Lt. Steinhardt. Ashby completed the recruiting of his company, tho’ he could not quite succeed. I was obliged to give him about 30 or 35 men, recruited by others to fill up his company.
This was also the case with Becker, who recruited at his own house and subsisted himself his own men. But he could not complete his company; I gave him the large portion of his company, recruited by others. However, I have not paid him nor Muhs any recruiting money; neither to Ashby.
Wahle’s company I was also obliged to fill up with men recruited by my recruiting officers. He brought about 30 men from Philadelphia. They were subsisted in the beginning by Grosh & Rau. Wahle claims about 45 dollars for transportation.
Captain Kovacs joined the regiment about the beginning of October with 19 men, of which about 4 were fit for service. The others were discharged by Dr. Hagen. He was mustered into the State service, afterwards I took him to myself at the request of General Yates.
About that time that the last three companies were mustered in we were again short of money. I hardly can conceive what the quartermaster could do with such a large amount of money. Messrs. Grosh & Rau also furnished money cash once about 950 then 250 and 100 dollars. Besides they say they gave to Hoch 200 dollars. But Hoch says that he has the receipt for the disbursements. Lindenmuller also gave Beer 400 dollars in silver in my presence, for the regiment, and he gave Hoch 200 more in my absence. The monies received by me from Grosh & Rau, from Fried, and also 850 dollars from the German Committee, I turned all over to the quartermaster for disbursement. Some money was paid out by me, but I gave the receipt of such expenditures to Billing.
From the money received from the German Committee, which I presume originally came from the Union Defense Committee, 300 dollars were paid to Mr. Klein for an embroidered regimental flag. I paid nearly 500 dollars for articles in newspapers about the regiment. And yet, I am astonished where all that money gone. The recruiting lasted nearly 4 months; two or three dollars to each recruiting officer, would make about 2300 dollars. Now then the bounty of 3 dollars to about 1000 men would amount to 3000 more. To this amount must be added the small amounts paid to different lager bier saloons, for refreshment brackfast &c. I think about 1500 in all. Also for altering the uniform of the men. Paid to tailors and green cloth, to make the frockcoats. I ordered this amount to be charged to the men. I think 75 cents to each man, as the quartermaster says.
A few new officers were taken into the regiment, viz Muhs, Ashby, Becker, with their own partly organized companies and lieutenants. Mohr, Gefrorner joined without men.
On or about the 14 October last, I received an order from Governor Morgan, authorizing me to examine my own officers and give them certificates as to their qualifications. This privilege was conferred upon me alone; no other officer received such authority. I examined all officers, and issued certificates to all excepting to Schraub, Friedenfeld & Herzer. I however allowed them to resign, as they were already mustered in prior to the 14th. Their resignation I have accepted, and sent the same to Major General Morgan for action. They were discharged. However, Friedenfeld was taken back as 1st Lieutenant, instead of Captain, for which position he was first mustered.
About that time, when I had already nine companies mustered into Service, Genl Morgan sent after me and stated that he concluded to consolidate Col. Kryzanowsky men with mine; and that I have to take Kryzanowsky as my Lieutenant Colonel. Kryzanowski was too much terrified and asked me to save him. I did so. I stated to the Governor that I don’t need his men, nor do I intend to take away his chances of becoming a colonel. That I have nine companies mustered in and the tenth one ready to be mustered. The Governor accepted by proposition, and thereby Kryzanowsky was saved.
The Governor [missing] to Hoch, against whom charges were made of a very serious character, viz that he was a criminal prisoner for forgery in Austrian prison. Yet, these statements I could not trace to any reliable source, and I have taken his part and asked the Governor to appoint him. My request was granted. I appointed Major, a certain Littrow, who seems to be a good officer; but he drinks. He caused me already great deal of trouble in Hudson city. However I will try, and if he continues in his habit, he has to go.
On the 17th of October the Regiment was fully organized by an order from Adjt. General Hillhouse and I was ordered to report for duty to Genl. Burnside. I did so, and I was very much pleased with my new Comdg Genl. However, my object was to join Blenkers Division. Previous to this occurrence, I asked Blenker to have mine regiment attached to his Division. I wrote to Blenker, informing him of my whereabout, and a few days afterwards I received orders to take my regiment to Washington and to report to Genl Casey. On the 29th October we left Hudson city. Arrived to this place yesterday, assigned to us by Genl Casey, to whom I reported for duty and who seems to like me very much.
On our arrival to the Depot, Blenkers Adjutant Fritz was already there to conduct us over the Potomac. But he had no official orders, and I was to report to Genl Casey, as of course I could not go, on my own authority.
On the 24th of October two flags and two Genl guide flags were presented to us by the Collector of the Post, Mr. Barney. The presentation took place at Hudson city. Some of the officers even objected to be present on the presentation of these flags on that very account, because Mr. Barney did not give a single cent towards the organization of the regiment; tho’ I requested him to loan us some money, but I was refused. However, we called the regiment the Hiram Barney Rifles, at the special request of Mr. Hamilton Bruce. [Hamilton Bruce also presented Col. Kozlay with a Colt pocket revolver engraved with his name, though misspelled. This was likely presented at the same time.] My officers I compelled to be present on the presentation, to receive the guest civilly and to keep every ill feeling unnoticed. The festival went off very nicely.
I had however great trouble to get my officers their equipment; only two or three were able to furnish their equipment without my assistance; for the others, I was compelled with my quartermaster and Grosh & Rau to get them what they needed on credit. In fact, even their shirts were furnished by our credit. The whole set of them has never furnished towards the organization a single cent, excepting Lindenmuller & Vogel. The money, which I contributed from my Salary at the Custom house, towards the organization, would amount to about 540 dollars. Whether I ever can get back this amount I do not know.
This brief statement relates to the history of the organization of this regiment. I think I have stated such matters which are of interest.
Bladensburgh Nov 4th 7 o’clock P.M.
I ordered Besold & Mohr under arrest for ungentlemanly behavior. They were drunk; and if they will be found in such state next time, they have to leave this regiment. Our Camp is arranged. Deiker is acting in place of Billing at New York yet.
It seems to me that the trouble begins. Utasy was by me this morning and asked me to come over to Blenker at once. He says that Blenker promised him to make a Brigadier as soon as my regiment is on the otherside of the Potomac.
But here I am puzzled and I hardly know what to do. Mr. Batori, whom I have known as Freisinger, was by me last night. He speaks very roughly about matters in the German Division. He says that it is demoralized, gambling and swindling prevails every wheres to a large extent. About Blenker he has also great many thinks said. If the case is such, I cannot go there. All my efforts, to serve my country faithfully and honestly would be twarted. All my exertions to do right would be checked. And besides, how should I go into the Brigade of such a man as Utasy, who is accused of such dishonest acts, by Batory, who is or was his suttler, and who swears that he paid Utasy 400 dollars monthly. That Utasy sells the commissions to the officers, thro’ Col. Repetti. That Blenker besides charges 100 every month each suttler; and great many other things.
[Utasy, usually written as Utassy or D’Utassy, and Batory/Freisinger were both Hungarians, as was Major Kovacs. Batory immigrated with Kozlay in 1850. The Hungarians were heavily represented in the Civil War relative to their small numbers in the population due to their experience in the 1848-49 War of Liberation against Austria.]
Afternoon. 6 o’clock
Mrs. Bacon was by me. She speaks in the same language as Batory. This matter is of a very serious nature. But more proof is needed.
We have dress parade every afternoon. How long we have to remain in this place, I do not know. I understood Genl Casey is organizing a brigade for himself. After all what I heard about the German Division, I think it will be better for the Service if I try to remain under the command of Genl Casey. Now then, how to begin?
Received orders to join Blenkers Division. Seen Genl Marcy orders countermanded. I am obliged now to take my stand or I will be rooted.
Washington. Nov 20th 1861.
For many days past I have neglected my Journal. It is no wonder. These past few days were full of excitement, anger, vexations and even disappointment. Blenker carried his point, and I was defeated this time.
Now let us look back, what took place.
A few days ago my officers held a meeting and petioned the Comdg General to be assigned for duty anywhere else except in the German Division. To this petition I added my own request. Stating the reasons of my objection. But all these demonstrations could not move McClellan and a peremptory order was issued to join the Army of Potomac forthwith. There was no appeal; and what could I do? Having stated in my official letters to Genl Casey my reasons, fully and explicitly; averring that I rather resign my position than to be compelled to join a division where a decease exist, which would destroy all my endeavours to serve honorable to my country; and In the face on this statement, I could not do otherwise but resign my position. This was the only manly and honorable way for me to finish up this case. I may have acted to fast,—I allow. But I thought proper to act this way, and bring the state of affairs in the German Division to the notice of the Government. If I have done injury to myself by loosing my position, I have but myself to feel it; but I also have done good to the Government for disclosing such dishonorable practices prevailing in Blenkers division. Anyhow the matter is ended. I put in my resignation. I was requested by Blenkers friend to withdraw the same, but no! I wanted to succeed, for the wellfare of my Regiment and even for the noble cause we are at present engaged; wherefore I asked that the resignation be accepted. It was accepted yesterday; and to day I am again but a humble citizen, whose effort will be to do good otherwise than in the military line.
On this day I have sent to the Governor my official communication about my resignation; stating to him the case as fully as I could; also I [sent a] copy of my original resignation. I have drawn my pay, in all about $262.
As soon as I finished up my accounts, I will return to New York. I have also forwarded my farewell address to the officers and privates of the regiment.
Brooklyn Dec. 2d 1861
Well! I am home with my family. I have a dozen letters from the regiment; all urging me to come back, and not to leave them at the mercy of such man as Hoch & Littrow; who as they say are handling matters very roughly, especially when they are drunk. The officers are quarelling; the men are demoralized. True! I ought not to have left those brave men, who with joy and full of hope assembled to my side to gain victories and to die for their adopted country. But, I could not do otherwise.
Brooklyn Dec 7th 1861
This morning I went over to New York to see my friends and to look after something to do to support my family.—As Colonel, I have not made a single cent, on the contrary I made debts, and even my salary for the last five months I invested in the organization of the regiment. I am sure I never will get back a single penny of it.—Good that Mr. Barney did not discharge me yet. This monthly pay will last us at least a few weeks, within which time I presume I can secure the continuance of my place in the custom house.
Everybody asks me for the reasons I resigned. Peoples, I presume are very anxious to know matters which is not their business at all.
I have letters from Batory. Informing me, that he has seen Barney and Governor Morgan. That these two Gentlemen have seen McClellan and Blenker. That I have to go back.
Dec 11th 1861
To day is the mail in as usual and brought me many letters. From the Custom House I have an other letter in which I find my new Commission as Colonel of the 54th. Genl Hillhouse sent me the commission, and in a day or two I have to join my old regiment and take command of the same.
Hunters Chapel Va. Dec 26/61
I am here again, and in command of that regiment which I raised, and which I have found in a very bad condition. The officers insulting and persecuting each other. Those who suffered in my absence are jubilant, the others who slandered me in my absence are downhearted. Well, well! Such is life and the changes to which a man is subjected by our Heavenly father.
The men received me with joy, with unceasing hurrahs, with music, serenades and other joyfull expressions of their sentiments.
Blenker received me very warmly apparently; tho’ I am sure he wont forget the little quarrel we had. They never believed that I will come back; they considered it an impossibility.
When I arrived Hoch was with 5 companies on picket duty. Littrow received me, in my old tent. A little perplexed, and even not quite sober.
It seems to me I have plenty to do.
Dr. Hagen made charges against Hoch for drunkenness on picket duty and other things. Ernenwein is also under charges, brought against him by Hoch.
Well! this will be a very lively business.
Blenker compelled me two days ago to go back to Washington, and ask McClellan for a Special order to take command of the regiment. I told him I do not need it. The Commission and the muster is sufficient. But it done him good I presume to order me back, and I went, and brought such a Special order, with such addition that I can take command of the regiment direct, without going after Blanker.
The regiment is under the Brigadier Steinwehr; at least in his brigade, who is the special friend and protector of Hoch and consortes.
January 3d 1862
New Years is passed. A little fun we had on new years eve. The men were very lively and begin to fire a few blank cartridges. This alarmed Hoch, Besold, & a few others. In fact, they thought that the men are going crazy and excited and massacre Hoch and his friends.
I was called out from Blenkers headquarters to quell and dispers the disturbance as Hoch stated; and when I arrived into the camp all was quite and not the least shadow of any quarrel. I understood that Hoch and his friend officers were afraid in the camp. They imagined that the men will kill them in their excitement. This was reported to me. Some of the friends of Hoch, went to Steinwehr for assistance to quell the disturbance. But this was only a small trick of theirs. They thought by it to secure the interference of Steinwehr to reprimand me, or something else.
I have reinstated Ernenwein as Adjutant of the Regiment whose place was filled by Brandt.
Matters assumed a better shape. I have forbidden all ill feelings and expressions towards each other amongst the men and the officers.
Hoch desires very much to be reconciled; but the game is played out. He allowed the few friends of his openly to slander me. Instigated them to tell lies; and most shamfully deceived me in great many instances. Me! I say who has protected him and made him what he is at present. Blenker, Steinwehr and Shutte protect him.
Hoch, I understood, tried to get rid of officers by putting them before a board of examiners; which is, as I am informed, nothing more or less than an institution to get out such officers which do not suit to the Colonels of the different regiment. And the worst assertion about this institution is that if they want to dismiss any officer, he may be the best soldier and qualified for his position, yet he has to go. Well, let us see how this machinery is working.
I have no doubt that I will have plenty of trouble with Steinwehr. Hoch is in Washington. Littrow too, and I am informed drunk every day. I ordered him back to his regiment to do duty.
It requires a great deal of patientia, and forbearance, to have matters in a peacefull way amongst the officers. They are hating each other. In fact they are trying to cut the throat of each other. I am compelled to use the most stringent and most severe measures against them. Astonishing how Germans persecute germans, and slander each other. Well, dirty bird, which ___ ___ in his nest.
My Suttler, Mr. Grosh, was requested to pay 100 dollars for Blenkers headquarters. Grosh came to me and stated his case. In case of a refusal, he cannot get his pass signed. I told him not to pay anything—and tell the party who requested him for the money that I fordid him to pay any money to any one as tax, excepting his regiment the 10 cents tax per man. How this little quarrel will end, we will see. Gilsa gave the same orders to his Suttler.
As far as I have seen this German Division, its institutions, government and matters, how they are carried on I verily believe that the stories and statements made to me in Washington and Bladensburgh are too true.
Blenkers daily dress parade is very interesting. Some of them are against it, but I approve of it. The officers are at least prevented to gamble during that time. Blenker ought to have it every hour.
January 11th 1862
I paid a visit to Stahel. He speaks the Magyar language well. He is in complexion a little dark. Has, if I am correct, Jewish features; but whether he is one or not I do not know. His acts recommend him very well. He is pleasant and gentlemanly; and I think he is a honorable man and a good officer. At least he tries to get good order and discipline in his brigade.
Bohlen is seems to me is an old scholar. He means everything good, and is a good disciplinarian.
About Steinwehr, is to be very little said. He never drilled yet his brigade and is mostly at Washington. I could not say anything about his military qualifications; I never seen him to drill his brigade.
Blenker, if alone, is very good man and a good officer. I have no doubt he desires a good order in his division, and is very anxious to give, or to effect, that it shall have a good name. Many accidents and trespasses and faults of officers are suppressed by him, on that very reason, because he dont like to give to it publicity, by which the division would afterwards suffer in reputation. But Blenkers staff is not the one I would choose for myself. Besides he ought not to allow himself to be led by Shütte. I am sure that Schütte is a very cunning shrewd Jew; and he will make trouble for Blenker yet, if he allows himself to be governed by Schütte.
January 12th 1862
Nothing of importance is to be recorded; unless I put down every little business connected with the management of the regiment.
The muskets which we at present use for the men of 8 companies will be exchanged, and Enfield Rifles of caliber 57 given to us.
February 22d 1862
This day ought to be a holyday. It is to me. The name of Washington remains for ever; and the memory of that brave man ought to be mentioned always with solemnity and pride. Every true American cherishes his memory with national pride and blessings.
I have been busy, with quarrels and troubles. Neglected even my Journal; but when troubles are around us, to be settled, the Journal must be laid aside, to be taken up afterwards.
Many things have taken place.
I am at last rid of Besold and Mohr, and also Durian.—They have been dismissed the Service for refusing to appear before the examining board.
With court Martial I would not succeed, because Steinwehr suppressed my charges against them, which were for signing and making out false ration bills against the Government.
I knew that the proceedings of these court Martials are but mockeries to justice. This is plainly seen in the cases of Hoch and Dr. Hagen.
Dr. Hagen made charges against Hoch for being drunk on outpost duty. And tho’ the testimony was direct, yet he is acquitted. And the court tells to Hoch to put Dr. Hagen before Court Martial for slander &c. Well Hoch makes out the charges and the same court has also acquitted the Doctor. Now then! Which of these two is guilty—the Doctor or Hoch. Most assuredly one of them ought to have been punished.
Such is the case also with Ernenwein’s case, who was put before the court by Hoch.
My just quarrels with Steinwehr have begin.
For many days past we have been under marching orders, and yet we are here at this moody [probably “muddy”] place. But to tell the truth, I really do not know how to move when one day is fine, the other rainy and the rods impassable.
February 26th Hunters Chapel
Major Littrow has been also dismissed by order of the President. I urged his case frequently before General Blenker, but it was of no use. At last I had to appeal direct to the president. [He died in April “of disease.”]
I have a few [days] ago placed under arrest Hoch, under charges for signing and approving rations bills which he knew to be frauds upon the Government; and also for disobedience &c. Also Mohr, Besold were placed under arrest for the same purposes, and Albrecht. Well, Steinwehr suppressed the charges and released from arrest all the officers without my consent. I demonstrated with him and asked for justice; but it was of no avail. At last I made a report to Blenker about these proceedings and asked that Steinwehr should be reprimanded for such unmilitary act &c. and also that the regiment be detached from his brigade.
This gave Blenker a great deal of trouble, how to decide, at last at my urgent request, he detached the regiment from Steinwehr, and asked me not to bring matters further. I gained one point anyhow.
Steinwehr is very angry, especially because he was defeated. He begin to triffle, and he has the worst of the job.
Gilsa asked me to help him [get] promoted; I promised and placed my regiment under him, to be increased to a brigade.
Blenker urges me to taken Holmstedt, Gilsa’s Lt. Colonel, into my regiment, and Hoch shall go to Gilsa. Gilsa has quarrels with his Lt. Col. and wants to get rid of him.
March 2d 1862
Hunters Chapel Va.
Since I am here, the regiment improved very much in drilling. Every day, when the weather permits, and the ground is but a little dry, there is a company and batallion drill and target shooting.
It seems to me we cannot agree very well with Gilsa. At the last review, he commanded the brigade, composing of his own and my regiment. A few mistakes he made in the command; I showed him, by Genl Blenker, the mistakes committed, and he acknowledged that I was right.
A few days ago Mr. Witthaus was here. I presume that Hoch affairs we will be able to adjust in such way that he has to leave. I cannot forgive him his greatest offence of signing false ration bills.
I had a long talk with Col Bohlen; he should like to have me in his brigade, and asked me to join his brigade and see Blenker about it. I presume this will be the best thing I can do for the present.
Utasy was confined in close arrest, in Gilsa’s regiment, and was sent to Washington by Blenkers orders, under arrest. Mrs. Bacon desired to pay him a visit, but whether she has succeeded or not, I do not know.
I am sorry for Becker; he could not pass his examination, and he had to resign. It is a good look for him that his resignation was accepted before his dismissal arrived here. Some of the officers grumble that I placed them all, without exception, before examination. But this is the only honorable way to do business.
We are still under marching orders. I think we go in a day or two. I am glad of it.
March 9th 1862
I have been placed in the Brigade of Bohlen, at my own request. Blenker consented very easily. I think we will go along now pretty well. Blenker begins to trust me, forgetting the old quarrels; which were directed not against him personally, but against Utasy. In fact, I had no notion to be placed under such a man as Utasy—and I am glad that matters turned out this way. But Blenker assured me yesterday too, that he never promised Utasy a brigade, nor had he any intention to place me under him, even if he have had a brigade. It seems to me that my quarrels with Blenker, could have been adjusted without trouble, if I would have seen Blenker and explained to him my objections. But let us rest this matter; it is past.—
The enfield Rifles which are received are very good. The old muskets received from the State of New York we returned by the same wagons which brought us the Rifles.
March 9th 10 o’clock P.M.
Orders received to march to morrow morning before day break. At last. I am glad.
Camp near Fairfax Court-house
March 18th 1862
On the 10th of this month, about 5 o’clock, we were ready to march. About 9 o’clock, however, we left Hunters Chapel and proceeded on the road leading towards the Anandale road. The rain was pouring down upon us the whole day. It ceased only about 5 o’clock, just about an hour before we encamped near a large farm house. Our rout or line of march was not the road which leads from Alexandria to Fairfax, but a side road leading on the south side of the Alexandria road. The roads which we passed were very tiresome, moody and healy [hilly?]. The country here is covered mostly everywheres with woods. We passed a few small creeks. Nothing of importance took place on our march. No sign of the enemy.
Yesterday afternoon about 4 o’clock we arrived to this place, and Bohlen wanted to put us on the west side of the town, where no shelter of any kind could be had. The rain was also mercyless. With heavy West wind. At last, thro’ the interference of Genl Blenker, we were allowed to encamp on a small hill on the Northeast side of the town, in a wood. The men were all wet and weary; but managed to dry themselves with fire. There is no shelter but the trees above us; besides, the provision wagons are not yet here. Nothing to eat. To day, the sun is shining above us, in its glory. I was with the regt. thro’ the whole night; laying on the snowy, wet ground. Many of my officers went into town last night to find some sleeping place. So did Holmstedt.
Hoch was discharged from the Service. He may go now, where pleases. I am sure that I lost the money, for which he did not render any account. The amount is over 300 dollars; besides he owes the Sutler over 200 more.
March 20th Fairfax C.H.
The weather has changed.
To day we had a large review. Genl Sumner took command of all the forces here; he reviewed the whole German Division on a ground near the Alexandria Road. How he was pleased with the appearance of the troops—nothing is known.
Camp South of Fairfax
This morning we encamped at this place, near the woods and on the road, leading to Burkers [Burke] Station, about 1 1/2 mile from the town. The weather is clear, and beautifull. Nothing of the enemy. Srgt Ostenthal was drunk as a beast. The men were laughing at him. I have to reduce him to rank. We have to stay here for a few days.
I received a dispatch from Washington that my wife is there. Well she came in a wrong time. I could not go to Washington, even if I wanted. I can not leave the regt when it is marching towards the enemy. But if we have to stay here for many days, then I will try to get permission to go to Washington for a day or two.
Ernenwein just showed me the order, just arrived. In an hour we are off; where? No one knows.
Centreville, March 24
Arrived at this place last night about 9 o’clock. We are encamped on a large hill on the east of the town, near the fortifications abandoned by the enemy. The men have nothing to eat. No coffee & no crullers.
This place is not as well fortified, as it was said to have been; and in my opinion could have been taken with a small force. The town is situated on a hill, and the country could be overlooked to a far distance. Many barracks have been left behind by the enemy, and they were sheltered very well against the clemency of the winter. Ruin and desolation has left its marks everywhere here. Houses are destroyed, and the inhabitants left, leaving many things to the mercy of our soldiers.
No enemy could be seen. Our cavalry did not reach them yet. In a ½ an hour we are off .
Manassas Junct March 25
Yesterday about four o’clock, we arrived at this place. Astonishing, I can not see anything of those strong fortifications which we were informed to have been made by the Rebels.
On our march we passed the famous Bull Run River, where the first battle was fought. I could be seen that the Rebels had a very good position there to oppose our forces. The hills were to disadvantage to us, whereas it covered the forces of the enemy. The locality is such that the enemy could see our approaching forces, whereas their own was covered from the sight of our army.
Yesterday I bought a flag from a soldier, and to day I hoisted the stars and stripes; but to my astonishment a man came forward and claimed the flag to have been stolen from him at Fairfax. He proved that he is the owner of the flag, and I returned the flag to him. This man was a civilian from Fairfax, and he valued very much the flag. It is but proper that he should have his property. I have to lose the money; but if a man, even in good faith, purchases anything, which afterwards turns out to be stolen property, the purchaser of course has to suffer for his carelessness.
The men received to day but half rations.
We are encamped on the South side of the railroad. The weather is fine to day. I presume to morrow we have to march further, if not to day yet.
Warrenton Junction March 28th
About 4 o’clock arrived at this point. The march was a very heavy one. No stragglers up to day. We passed and forded Kettle River—passed Bristow and forded Cedar River, which was about 4 feet deep. The regiment marched thro’ the water closed by files. I was leading them thro’ the water on foot, carrying the flag. The music was playing on the other side of the river. We were wet it is true; but obeyed orders. No complaint can be made against us, not one regiment passed the creek in such good condition as ours. I am called to a meeting, to be held to morrow by Col Amsberg. What is in the wind? The roads were very moody in some places. All the farms we passed seemed to be deserted. This is the first place when we came into contact with the enemy. Their cavalry pickets have been withdrawn. The first gun was fired to day but the enemy is gone. We are short of rations. The weather is clear and warm.
March 31st W.J.
A meeting of the officers commanding regts was held to day. Propositions have been made to request Genl Blenker for different improvements to be made at once in the Division, and resolutions passed and a committee appointed to let Genl B. known the wishes of the Comdg offs. Gilsa was appointed Chairman of the Committee. I was against any such demonstration. I thought that a General ought to know what he has to do. Besides it will make matters worst. But I was in favor to suggest to the Genl that such and such things would be needed. I am sure that from the whole thing no practical result will be obtained. It is a great pity that Comdg officers are obliged to make propositions to a Comdg Genl. And yet, tho’ these proceedings are not quite correct, they are needed however. And really I should like to know, when will this chaos in this division cease.
To morrow, there is another meeting to be held. The object is Utasy, as I understood.
April 3d W.J. Va.
Another, and a spirited meeting was held. It was in regard to Utasy of the Garibaldis. Gilsa presided, having the oldest commission, who stated that by the orders of the Sery of War, Col Utasy was released from confinement and ordered to take command of his regt. Resolutions were introduced to send a document signed by the commdg officers to the Sery of War, informing him that if Utasy is sent back, the officers of this division will not serve with him. Others again proposed to inform Utasy of the feelings of the officers, and ask him to resign his commission. I objected in a strong language to send any communication to the Sery of War. Stating that such would be a madness, and it would bring only ourselves into difficulty; because the Sery of War, would only answer: if you don’t want to serve, you may go. And further, that for such act of ours Mr. Stanton may send also our dismissals. I carried my point in regard to this matter.
Krizanowsky stated that he knows his dear friend and comrade Repetti, in command of the Garibaldis, who is a very good officer, and a honest man. That he does not know Utasy, but heard many hard things against him, and he proposed that Repetti shall be promoted to get the place of Utasy, and this later [latter] not allowed to get the command of his regiment. That Repetti stated to him that Utasy is a scoundrel and so on.
Nutschell was of the same opinion as many of us. But neither of them brought forward that Repetti was the right hand of Utasy’s to sell and bargain out the commissions of the officers; nor the secret tax imposed upon their sutler.
I told them that these discussions do not amount to anything. That if Repetti knows so much about the dishonesty of Utasy, let him make charges against Utasy, and (if he chooses) inform this meeting of those charges, because I have reason to believe that Repetti knows every dishonest act committed by Utasy; and whereas I have no desire to keep Utasy in the Service, I wish also that the men who helped Utasy to commit dishonest acts should share also the fate of Utasy.
This declarations did not suit every one present. Repetti left the tent; excusing himself, not to participate in the proceedings, because they are against his superior officer. What a mockery!
I have seen what a spirit governs this meeting I left. I was informed to day that a committee was appointed to inform Blenker of the proceedings of the meeting and its resolutions; which were in fact nothing else but to tell Utasy to resign. So ended this farce and foolish proceeding. My place was to put Utasy before Court Martial; because I knew that he would be sentenced for dismissal, which he fully deserved. Tho’ I have no faith in these Court Martials, but I knew the very strong feeling expressed against him, I was sure that he will be convicted.
I was very much astonished at the behavior of Gilsas. I thought him more correct in his military transactions. What Blenker will say, I do not know. I presume he will say that the officers dont know anything, because they did not sign a protest against the orders of the Sery of War.
We have a very fine day. Rations not quite sufficient. I hear Genl Sumner will leave us. I would not be astonished if he got tired of us already.
Warrenton April 5th
This afternoon we arrived to this place. Genl Blenker is in command. Sumner left us. This is a nice little village or town as they call it. The weather continues good. This was not a heavy march. I had a little trouble with Bohlen. He gave me orders not to permit the men to destroy the fences around the farms. My men obeyed my orders; but his own regt, did not, and we were compelled to see how the 75th is carrying off the fences before our nose. I demonstrated; but no justice. My regt is stationed on the north of the town. Nothing to eat but coffee and a few crackers.
Salem April 7th
I am writing this on the top of a wagon.—We arrived here yesterday from Warrentown, where we stayed but one day. This march was the most tiresome we had since left Hunters Chapel. The rain and snow was falling upon us the whole day. Mood and snow plenty, and to day there is little prospect of a better weather. We are encamped on the north side of this town in the woods. There is no shelter against the rain or snow. The ground wet and the snow 6 inches deep. I do not believe that the men can stand these marches without being better provided with rations. No wonder if the men go out of camp and look after something to eat. Nothing to eat, nothing to warm the men. I have already about 100 sick; many are to be sent to the Hospital. The whole brigade ought to be here; but I don’t believe that there are 200 men in camp. The poor devils look after a dry place where to lay down. Some of them are quartered in the deserted houses. Some in the town school building.
I am myself not very well. Bohlen has quarters in the town. No enemy in sight.
The men received since yesterday some fresh brief [beef?], but no crakers, very little coffee or sugar.
My quartermaster Srgt found on a deserted farm house 14 barrels of flour; and I ordered him to bring the same into the camp. Bohlen got information of the fact, and requested me to give to each regt in the brigade at least 3 barrels. So I did, leaving for mine 5 barrels. Our men are very busy coocking and backing cakes.
The day is very beautiful to day. Nothing of the enemy. This little town is almost deserted.
The artillery has the greatest trouble to get along on account of the bad roads.
Paris April 12
This small place we occupied this evening. I am very feeble and was obliged to travel in the ambulance. Tonight, my sleeping place will be the little church on the west side of the town.
Nothing new. No enemy to be seen. The country is here very high and montaneous. Half rations for the men. The weather rainy.
Ashby’s Gap. April 13th 1862
We are on the banks of the Shenandoah river; which is at present, on account of the heavy rains, very high. We will cross the river here. They are at present preparing the boats &c. for crossing.
I am quartered at the house of Mr. Samuel Showers, a Union man. He likes his country very much, yet complains that the Union soldiers have done him more injury and to his property than the rebels. I would not be astonished if the case is really such. Only this morning our [men] took away his four horses, and I was compelled to send my Lt Col to recover them and restore to him. Their fences around their property has been entirely destroyed.
On both sides of the river the mountains run very high; yet on the East side they are more elevated. The water runs very swiftly down.
April 14th West Side of river
The 74th Penn, the 58th N.Y. and my regiment crossed the river safely to day. To morrow Bohlen’s has to cross. One portion of our forces has to go to Snickersville to pass the river. To day is very fine; no traces of the enemy.
To day a very serious accident occurred. The 75th Bohlens regiment lost about 55 men while crossing the river; the boat was too feeble and the strom capcized it, and the men thrown into the River. As far as it is ascertained, about 55 men were drowned and 29 saved. Amongst the saved ones is my adjutant Erwenwein, who was crossing the river with dispatches for Genl Rosecranz, under whose command we will belong henceforth. This accident could have been avoided. It is a gross negligence and carelessness. Great deal of blame is attached to Bohlen; the men are exasparated against him. They say that he ordered the men into the boat, tho’ it was told him that it will be unsafe. I was not at the crossing, wherefor can not blame anyone.
The weather is very beautiful. In a short time we march towards Milwood.
The balance of our forces left for the [illegible] Snickersville [Snicker’s Gap?].
Milwood April 16th
To this village we arrived about 3 o’clock and are encamped on the east side. The 58, 74 and mine regt are here, also the 29 men saved from the watery grave belonging to the 75, Bohlens, the balance of which regiment refused to cross at Ashby’s Gap, wherefore they were sent to Snykersville.
I have a beautiful place for my headquarters. Never had a better one. I am in the house of Mr. Burwell, at the Carter house, as they call it. A beautiful place indeed, and the building is such that even the president could be happy to live in. The lady of the house is very kind, tho’ she confesses herself very freely to be a secesh. She received me however very well and thanks me that I have protected their property from destruction and robbery. She has however very freely given beef, ham, &c. for our men. She is a very small lady. In her young days she must have been very pretty. From her conversation, I could discover at once that she has a very fine social education. To day, by dinner, we have avoided all conversation about the war or political matters. They tell me that she is the second wife of Mr. Burwell and had twenty two children. Mr. Burwell had 11 more by his former wife. Whether this statement is true, I do not know.
I have yesterday been informed where my headquarters will be, but I did not expect to find such a good one. Mr. Burwell has two very beautiful horses, and my Charley says that the nigger who takes charge of them desires to go with us and take the horses along. I have forbidden at once such robbery. In his garden I have seen two deers, but they are yet too wild, jump very high as soon as we approach them.
There is nothing new. And what more nothing to eat for the men. No enemy. The day clear and warm.
Near Winchester 18 April
From Millwood, thro’ Berryville, we arrived to this camp. It is situated about one and a half mile from Winchester. The country is here very good and cultivated; the fences around the farm houses are in a good condition to day, but they wont be to morrow.
To day I received my furlough to Washington for 7 days. I will start to morrow.
Genl Rosencranz issued his order, assuming the command of the Division. I understood to day from Paymaster Patton that he will however leave us in a few days.
Winchester April 19/62
I start to day to Martinsburg, where I will take the cars to Washington. I am glad that an opportunity is afforded to me to see my wife and child, who were waiting for me at Washington nearly 6 weeks. Paymaster Patton gave me $224. The weather is very fine.
Saturday eve April 26
To day I returned and resumed the command of the regiment. I have found everything in good order. Well, I knew that I can trust to Holmstedt. I met my wife and LeBeer at Harper’s Ferry, by accident, nearly I missed them. Then I went with them to Baltimore at the Eutaw House, where we were staying five days. Here I became acquainted with Mr. Colemans daughters and family.
The paymaster will pay off the regiment to morrow morning as he says.
The day is fine. No signs of the enemy. I wish we had a little moss [?].
Near Winchester April 29
The regiment, at least the boys, are very lively. The paymaster paid them yesterday. We are still at the same encampment; when will we march, we do not know.
At present I am quartered with my Lt. Col by Mr. Dingel, who has taken us as boarders, and who has a very large family of grown up children. He is a Penn. German, but leaving [living] in this place now over 14 years. He has five or 6 daughters and three sons. All of them fit to be fathers and mothers; and the girls as of course ready to marry. The girls are well built and good looking; but the years will soon destroy their good look. Two of his sons are in the Southern army, as I am informed by S. Jackson. The girls, however, seem to be pleased with the Union officers. Well, well. Feelings and patriotism are two different things.
Genl Rosecranz will inspect the troops to morrow or sooner maybe; and then we have to march. But the difficulty is, he must first provide us with clothing for the men &c. There are at least 300 men in my regiment who need clothing, and who cannot march without shoes. Bohlen has been requested by me long ago to see to this matter; but nothing has been done. Poor Bohlen, I was sorry for him when his own regiment, on account of the Shenandoah casualty, cried after him as loud as they could, “Hang him! Hang him!” For three days he did not allow his face to be seen. Yet, this exclamation does not trouble him, and in fact it ought not to be allowed. Another bad habit the men have is that, if they don’t get coffee in one day, they at once exclaim by companies Coffee! Coffee! I will not allow any such thing.
Genl. Blenker visited the camps yesterday afternoon. He looks very sickly. He says that since the fall which he had at Warrenton, and from that injury he cannot easely recover. My opinion is that his horse must have injured him too much. I am also informed by him that we will be attached to Genl Freemont’s corps. I am sure that many officers don’t like Freemont, neither does Blenker. Received to day letters from Mr. Barney. He sent me one also to Genl Freemont. All right!
I am sorry to record the death of my countryman, Major Wikey of the Garibaldis. I have no doubt that he was the best officer in that regt. and honest. I have no doubt that Repetti will not shed tears after him, because Wikey knew all the rascalities of Repetti and Utasy. I can not forget his words, what he said at that famous meeting at Warrenton Junction. He said: Gentlemen! If you are as much against Utasy, why don’t you bring forward your charges. I know something about him, as well as about others of our regt; but I am not the proper person to bring it forward. You must know, however, that in our regiment (Garibaldi) everything was and is carried on, on the principle and via divide et para. Some very funny stories are told about the decease of our friend. It was hinted to me yesterday that he was poisoned. This story appears to be absurd; because he was sick for many days. Yet, everything is possible to rascals and men of means.
The weather is very mild and clear. The mood is drying very fast. No sign of the enemy. No orders for marching.
It seems to me we are getting pretty familiar with Dingels family. They are good I am sure.
Near Winchester May 1st
Genl Rosecrantz reviewed and inspected all the troops belonging to the German Division. The inspection was a perfect one. He has seen every men, and he had to say to every one something. As of course he found fault with many, and did not spare even one of my captains (Kempe), and not without reason. I am glad of it; I wish he would have ordered him into arrest. This individual I appointed at the request of Genl Blenker, but I was very much disappointed in him. He does not know anything, and besides he is careless in the administration of his company. The men however were pleased very much with Genl Rosencranz.
The first Brigade of Genl Stahel’s left this place yesterday afternoon about 4 o’clock. That they were marching towards Romney gives me also to suppose that we have to follow them.
Last night we had a very heavy rain. Bad for marching, because the roads are very moody, tho’ the pike road is pretty good condition.
The daughters of Mr. Dingel, it seems to me, begin to recede from their secesh proclivities. They say that our troops are good and far better than those under Genl Banks who, while staying here, committed many deprivations and other acts derogatory to Union soldiers.
One of the daughters of Mr. Dingel, a married one and by whom Col Steinwehr is quartered, complains very bitterly against Steinwehr and his officers. No wonder. She was accused and her husband of stealing money from the room occupied by Steinwehr. It was found out, however, who the thief was; and this lady and her husband were entirely innocent of the charge.
No signs of the enemy. Blenker is by Mr. Williams, not far from here yet. The day dry.
Romney May 8th
Yesterday afternoon we arrived to this place. A beautiful little village, located on the side of a hill, surrounded on the west and east with higher ones. In fact the scenery is here very romantic.
We are encamped on the east side of the town on a hill.
Our march to this place was a very tiresome indeed. We crossed and recrossed mountains, valleys, and streams. Passed also the romantic Hanging rocks. A very interesting structure of the nature. Under its basement flows a little creek, which in better times has supplied above the Rock many mills, at present abandoned and destroyed. The roads are in a bad condition, deeply intersected and swept away by the streams. The valleys and mountains are perfect scenery, all along we passed.
On the “little timber ridge” we had difficulty in the mountains, on the top of the same, because some fool set fire to the mountainous ridge, and the wood fire was also dangerous to the passage of our artillery. The fire was indeed very large. The whole valleys and mountains were full of smoke, and the fire lasted at least 4 days, as we could see from far away.
To morrow we have to march further. I received just order to lead the way, and begin my march at 9 o’clock, in order to be in good time by the ferry to cross the South Branch of the Potomac, on the road leading towards Burlington.
Astonishing that we cannot find the enemy in this part of the country, tho’ we hear that they were here yesterday.
The weather is good and fine. Not much to eat. The men have shoes &c received at Winchester.
4 o’clock P.M.
We crossed the river, South Branch of the Potomac, this morning about 10 o’clock. All our men, at least my regiment, crossed the river in a small boat attached to the bank of the river on a rope. One of the paymasters wagons was carried away by the stream, and his safe, containing many thousands of dollars, went down about 20 feet deep in the water. I am informed that the money is recovered by an Italian diver of the Garibaldi guard. Received 500 dollars reward for his services. We will march forthwith. I am informed, we lost a few horses, having been capcised by the stream and drowned. All my wagons are safe.
Burlington May 10/62
Arrived to this place last night. The roads we passed were tolerable good. The country is montaineous but very fertile from appearances. The march was not a heavy one. The day is fine. No signs of the enemy. We march to day towards Petersburg, where I am informed is Genl Freemont.
Petersburg May 12
Arrived to this place last night about 4 o’clock and were reviewed by Genl Freemont. We were drawn up, the whole brigade in one line, in line of battle. My regiment was ready to receive the General as he passed. Our men cheered him. He was very much pleased with the troops, I am informed.
Provisions are very scarce. The men very tired; and their feet sore. However we have to march to day or to morrow. It is said that Franklin is occupied by the enemy; that place being our destination. The weather is fine. No signs of the enemy. Received order just now to march to morrow at 10 o’clock. Franklin is about 35 miles to this place. Our march was not a heavy one. The country is very good and cultivated where we passed. Met yesterday of Union man with a Union flag. Our bands played off, and the men cheered, seeing the first flag with the Stars and Stripes on the top of a farmer [farm?].
Franklin May 13th
This afternoon about 3 o‘clock we arrived to this place. Passed thro’ creeks, streams, and a very moody road. The country is here very high, mountains and valleys without interruption. Good water and plenty of grass around the road. Well, we drink the best water in our march to this place. These are but a few buildings here, and even these in a abandoned condition. The story that this place is occupied by the enemy, all nonsense. We united our forces with Genl Milroys. But the enemy cannot be seen, tho’ they say they are but 8 miles from here. Genl Milroy’s forces are saved anyhow. He was compelled to withdraw to this place.
The march was a very hard one. The roads infernally bad. Nothing to eat. No crackers, and no coffee. They are selling crackers at 2 shilling and a half a dollar a peace.
All our forces are here. My regiment is on the side of a hill, may be called mountain. Milroy’s camp is opposite mine. He arrested my sutler and his wagon to day for selling whiskey.
The day is fine to day. At last. We had plenty of rain yesterday.
To day I am going to seat on a Court Martial, to be held upon Col Schimmelfennig. The enemy is about 8 miles from here. Why not go after the enemy, if so near. No provisions.
Franklin May 17th
A very stormy court Martial was held to day. Schimmelfennig objected to Gilsa and Nutschell, and they were consequently withdrawn. Present members are, Stahel, Bushbeck, Armsberg, Krzanowsky and myself. Theuerkuhn is the Judge Advocate. From the to days proceedings it turns out that the charges brought forward are of a very old character and malicious. The whole thing appears, as the object were, persecution, without reason or good cause.
The day is beautiful and warm. Nothing of the enemy. The expedition which went out to make reconnaissance returned, and they report having seen the enemies pickets, but done no mischief and injury to them. We have no rations. Sickness also prevails to a large extent.
I am exceedingly glad that this tiresome business of sitting on Court Martial is over. I was sure that the charges were brought forward for malicious persecution. Nothing could be proved against Schimmelfennig, and the officers ought to be punished for their slander upon their Colonel. We acquitted the accused. Blenker did not like the result. He told me this afternoon that he did not would have believed that I will so strongly defend one of his bitterest enemies. My answer was: that I have done but just, and according to the testimony.
There is nothing new. The men received half rations. Weather clear and warm.
No sign of the enemy, from any direction, tho’ yesterday our foraging party met a few bushwakers and had a little fight. Did not amount to much. I can not see any reason why we do not move to some place forward or backward. No provision it is true, but why delay matters.
Petersburgh May 24
To this place once again we arrived this morning after a very severe marching, without provisions. Our men are suffering indeed very much. Many sick we have. I have only 560 men duty; left Hunters chapel with nearly 750 men. What a trouble I have with the officers. I have to see to everything myself. Such a neglect I never saw in my life; if I am not after them at all hours, nothing is done. The men are good. Some of our regimental wagons arrived from New Creek. What has become of the others, I do not know; I hear that they have been captured by the enemy. The men who came from New Creek say that a large portion of our regimental baggage have been stolen and destroyed. What a careless way the Quartermasters manage things here. We hear of nothing else, but this or that is lost. My trunks and private papers, vouchers &c can not be found neither.
Genl Bohlen just told me that we have to march to Moorefield, about 12 miles from this place. We move about 5 o ‘clock. The weather is very warm; it is better to march in the night.
I am informed that Jackson, after whom we marched to Franklin to save Milroy from destruction, is at present at Winchester, enjoying himself at our expense. Astonishing, have we no spies, no scouts, to find out the movements of the enemy. I am verily at a loss to comprehend this business of warfare. They told us that Jackson was forcing Milroy at Franklin, we go there to help Milroy, loose the time there in nothing doing, and allow the enemy to go into our rear about 90 miles. Fremont must have been deceived by his spies, or he does not know any strategy.
Wardens V May 29
Arrived at this place to day. Near Moorefield we crossed again the South Branch of the Potomac. We had very hard marching and very little provisions for the men. Yesterday the 58. 75. 74 came up, only with very few men. I had the most, because my regiment is the strongest. On our march from Petersburg to this place, we could hear nothing of the enemy. The mountains which we were obliged to cross are very high, the roads bad and moody. These mountains are called the Hunting Ridge. I must confess that I have never seen such a beautiful scenery of the nature, and the country is here. High mountains, deep valleys, with little streams, very good vegetation. The weather is good to day.
To morrow the monthly muster will take place at this beautiful camp.
Near Strasburg May 31
To day and last night we had the heaviest march we ever made. My regiment was the rear guard. The night was very dark, thro’ the mountains we passed, and the rain was pouring upon us the whole night. Lightning and thunder, with its awful crashing, made these mountains tremble and illuminated the roads before us. In some places we have hardly could see one step before us, and were compelled to light candles and march by candle light. All night and along the road I could see men resting near the blazing fires and warming themselves and drying their wet clothes. This was indeed most heartrending sight. Poor soldiers, how they suffer. And if we could have had only rations for them, it would make our sufferings a little more light. But nothing to eat.
The weather has changed. This morning, when we left our camp, where we arrived about 2 o’clock, the sun shine above us, and the marching was very heavy amongst the woods, where no air or wind could reach our faces.
Stahel brigade has the advance and met the rear of the retreating enemy. I was the advance guard of our brigade. Bohlen has taken fancy to my regiment. He said that this is the only regiment upon which he can rely, and I was also the first to march in double quick against the enemy, to take my position in line. My men, the poor devils, exhausted and hungry as they were, cheered and cheered when the sound of the gun reached their ears, and when I gave them the command in double quick forward, March!
Our advance guard was skirmishing very heavily with the rear of Jackson forces, who is in full retreat towards Strasburg.
We have already many prisoners. My regiment has the right wing of the Brigade. I am in line of battle. In my rear are two regiments in colums. Our camp is on the side of a hill, covered from the view of the enemy.
Provisions are very scarce.
At present is heavy fireing going on near Strasburg. I do not know the reason why we are here staying. True, our men are tired out, yet we ought to follow up Jackson now. I was sure that he fooled us all along. Here is the result. He escaped us, that is very plain.
Mount Jackson May [sic] 4
Arrived here to day, resting and waiting till the pontoon bridge is ready to cross the Shenandoah. We passed Strasburg yesterday, the 3rd June, and also Woodstook. The road is very good, tho’ in some places moody. Rain we have plenty. At Hawkinsburg, we crossed the river yesterday on a very bad bridge. The enemy destroyed all the bridges in his retreat. But we are doing him injury. We take prisoners every day. In many places we find baggage, ambulance, cars, left behind. Killed horses from the enemy artillery, and so forth. At last, we are fighting. It is time.
This river I understood is the North Fork of Shenandoah. This country is called the Shenandoah valley. Indeed it is fertile, beautiful, romantic. Good pasture all along, and good water. The day is warm.
One mile about Harrisonburgh
Yesterday we passed New Market. The enemy is running. No signs of him in this quarter, tho’ it is said that Jackson is only 3 miles from here; if the case is such, why not attack him. What is the matter. The roads were moody yesterday. The march tiresome. Very little to eat.
4 o’clock Same Place
Our advance had a little fight with the enemy. One Colonel of a New Jersey Regiment of Cavalry was killed to day while attacking the rear of the enemy. Our men went ahead carelessly, and the enemy had the best of the fight.
I am informed that Genl Schenck cut off the retreat of the enemy. If such is the case, then Jackson has to fight, or to lay down arms. Very funny stories are going around. I wish however, from my heart, that they may prove to be true. They say that McClellan has beaten the enemy and that Richmond is taken. Our men are suffering. No food sufficient for them.
Near Harrisonburgh June 7th
We are encamped on the east side of this little town, situated very beautifully on the side of a little hill in the valley.
We were slept under arms. Jackson is running as fast as he can. He has no notion to fight. Our advance guard is skirmishing with the enemy. The whole army is here yet, tho’ I am informed we move to day yet, or to morrow. I am informed that Shield has checked the enemy in his retreat. I wish it is true.
No provisions for the men. This is I presume the reason of our delay.
Schield, I am informed is at Port Republic on the other side of the Middle River.
We have no mail, and no news of any character which would confirm the statements about McClellan having taken Richmond.
I have received orders to be ready to march at any moment notice.
The country is very fertile here. Grass in abundance and good pasture everywhere.
I had a little trouble with Bohlen. My men, poor, hungry fellows, have taken hold of a few geese belonging to a farmer where Bohlen is. But the quarrel was satisfactorily settled. My men could not restore the animals, because they devoured them as hungry wolves.
Near Port Republic
At last we met the enemy and had a fight. But what a fight! No head and no tail to it.
Yesterday, when we left Harrisonburg towards Cross Keys, about five or 6 miles distance, we met the enemy.
I was ordered to ploy my batallion into double colums, being the left wing of the brigade, and in the first line; and marching towards the battle field on the right of a road leading to the town. I told Bohlen to put forward skirmishers. He consented to it, and I extended my line to the right to cover my flank, and in front to join the chain of skirmishers of the 58 on my left. In this position we advanced about half a mile when, to my astonishment, I see the 45 Penn in front of my regt in colums, which I presumed to be in the second line of the brigade. This regiment had no skirmishers, and the enemy’s fire pouring upon them. The men laying on the ground and doing nothing but holding up and down their heads to avoid the whistling balls. I was ordered to go on the left of that regiment, my skirmishers having been recalled by Bohlen, and take position on the top of a small hill. Before I occupied the place assigned to me, I called Bohlen’s attention to the fact that it will be a dangerous place to post double colums on that hill without skirmishers. Bohlen said, “go as you are ordered.” I road up at the top of that hill alone, to see what way will be most advantageous for me; but I could not stay there, because the enemy was pouring his balls like rain towards me; I escaped minus my feather on my hat. I ordered my Lt. Colonel Holmsted to halt the regt on the side of the hill.
The first division, which nearly arrived at that point where I was, I drove down to the side of the hill to cover themselves against the fire. At this moment, the 75th was compelled to retreat, and I, seeing this, could not bring my men on the top of this hill without sacrifying one of them, and yet doing no injury to the enemy. At this moment I received order to retreat; and in my retreat I was compelled to cover with my colums the 45th against the enemie’s fire. I could hardly proceeded 40 or 50 paces in my retreat when I was looking round for Bohlen and his adjutant, but could see none of them. The 75th has left me already on my right and the 74 on my left. While looking round in my position and still retreating in good order, and amidst the joyfull expressions of my men, at once, as tho’ from the earth at once produced, Genl Blenker was coming towards me, alone, to whom I at once told my position and called his attention to the approach of the enemy, and asking him whether it would be in his opinion judicious to try to capture one regiment of the enemies forces, posted near to a house and on the end of the woods. He at once gave me order, by a flank movement, to try to go into the woods and try to flank that regiment. I did so at once, but the fences, ditches were very much impeding our progress. As soon as we arrived in the woods, I told my Lt. Col. to deploy in line of battle at once, and give the command to the right wing to begin to fire. I directed the left wing also to begin the fire. This of course has confounded the enemy, because they thought that we retreated, and the enemy under this severe fire gave away and run towards the other end of the open field. I cried to Holmsteadt, after seeing this, to change direction to the right, because I have seen that the enemy is approaching towards our battery. But this fire anyhow checked the enemy and prevented his design in regard to the capture of Widrich’s battery, which had caused great slaughter in the ranks of the enemy. At this time I received orders to make about face at once and to withdraw. This order was to me repeated twice, and I could not do otherwise but command about face and leave the retreating enemy to go unpunished. My men were excited on this order, they told and cried, why to retreat, when the enemy is running; but I could not help it. I was not allowed to pursue the enemy. I was glad anyhow that my loss was very light and that I was not repulsed by the enemy; but we repulsed them with a heavy loss and prevented them to take our Guns. I was the last regiment who left the battle field. Steinwehrs brigade had no part in the fighting. Who the devil managed this battle, I do not know; but it was a miserable wrong conducted affair. It turns out that every regiment on the whole line was repulsed excepting my regiment. And I am astonished how I was left, or could be left, without support, and to be at the same time Army Corps, Division, Brigade and Regimental commander. They left me alone to fight just as I please. If, however, at the commencement of the engagement, I would have placed my men on that hill where Bohlen ordered me, and stood there only for two minutes, I am sure I would have lost at least half of my men. And even on our march towards the battlefield, how many conflicting orders I received from Bohlen. I really think that man must be crazy, or he does not know anything at all. I am sure that Blenker is brave as lion. He came amongst us in that fire, alone, cool, collected and laughing.
I am informed that Bohlen was censured by Blenker and Freemont. Well, I do not know that Bohlen is alone to be blamed in this affair. I think there are many others who managed this battle in a very loose way. The disorder anyhow was great, and we were lucky that Jackson did not take it in his head to turn his colums against us, and weep [whip?] us, in return. Some regiments have suffered great deal; the 8th and 39th. Gilsa was wounded, but slightly. I am glad that my regiment stood his ground so nobly and bravely. The ground on which the battle was fought is called “Kross Keys.”
I am here with my regiment on outpost duty. The enemy is seen on the other side. Jackson escaped. He defeated Shield with great loss, I am informed, and burned the bridge accross the river, just before we arrived to this place, and which was built by Shield. We are played out this time. The weather is rainy and foggy.
Old camp near Harris[on]burgh June 10
Arrived to this place about 3 o’clock from Port Republic. What an awful march we had to day. The rain was pouring upon us without interruption.
Our dead and wounded are taken care off. The enemy suffered more than I first anticipated. Their dead were many, especially at that point where our Battery, Wiedrichs, stood, and which battery I am proud to say we saved from the clutches of the Louisiana Tigers.
General Blenker gave us a great compliment for our good conduct and bravery. He acknowledged that we were the only ones not repulsed by the enemy. Bohlen does not like this. He is angry as a maradon(?). Especially hates me because I complained that he left me at the battlefield without support; and also because last night I complained again of his carelessness. But I could not do otherwise. To commit such folly as he did last night it deserves a severe punishment. The case stands this way:
While I was last night before Port Republic on outpost duty, I covered with my pickets the left wing of the army, in flank and front, along the river, and my reserve of 2 companies were nearly opposite a ford, in the woods; and on close distance a line of pickets I had on the banks of the river. The evening was very foggy. About 8 ½ o’clock in the evening, I hear a very verificious [ferocious? vociferous?] and heavy firing from the artillery on my right. The firing became more violent, and I could not imagine what produced this movement. My pickets were all well posted; no disturbance occurred. While looking towards my pickets, Bohlen appears with his staff about 9 P.M.
“ What regiment is this, what are you doing here?”
“ This is the 54th General,” I answere, “We are on outpost on picket duty.”
“ Why,” thundered Bohlen, “why are you not in line of battle, the enemy is crossing at the ford.”
“ That can not be Genl,” I replied, “because I ought to be the first man who could know the approach of the enemy.”
“ No! No! Form line of battle at once, and march on the open field, and wait for orders. Don’t you hear that the artillery is firing,” exclaimed Bohlen.
“ Genl, I have but two companies here, and they are at once in line of battle,” answered I, and gave the command and Bohlen left me. He could hardly have proceeded 100 paces when my Captain Muhs comes in from the line of pickets and horrified informs me that he is obliged to move with his men from his post, that he can not stand the firing, that our artillery has opened fire upon them. That he is afraid that his men will be killed by the artillery firing. I at once sent communication to headquarters; but before my message arrived, the firing ceased. I went to Bohlen and told him how matters stood, and returned to my reserve. Bohlen seems to me was fooled. My men were patrolling the line of pickets, and relieving them. Through the fog, somebody imagined that they are the forces of the enemy, and Bohlen ordered them to be shelled. Fortunately no lives were lost; my men took shelter behind a large brick house. I mean that company which was posted near the Ford to relieve the others.
Because I complained to Blenker for this careless act, Bohlen was very angry with me.
The roads are most infernally bad.
We heard that Jackson gone after Shield and that this is the reason why we come this road, to proceed further north to help Shield and protect him from destruction.
Our men are suffering very much. Nothing to eat again; tho’ there is prospect I hear to get something to day yet.
My wounded are taken good care off.
June 13th 1862
Mount Jackson, near the town
Arrived to this place about 12 o’clock yesterday. An other compliment we received from Genl Blenker to day, which as of course does not suit Bohlen. It seems that Bohlen and Blenker are pretty strong in bad feeling against each other. Blenker accused Bohlen of cowardice. Bohlen again, Blenker of incompetency. What a fun.
One of my men was shot to day by a man of the 58th. From carelessness. No wonder, there is no head nor tail to this army. There is however a little hope that my man will recover; but whether a better order in the army will reign or not, to this problem is at present very little prospect.
Our sick, who have been transported to Harrisonburg from Cross Keys, were left behind in the Hospitals, and the enemy has them in his possession now, because I am informed that we hardly left the town when the enemy reappeared again. Lt. Erhardt , of my regiment, is also one of those left behind. He was but sick and not wounded.
At request or order of Genl Bohlen, who was compelled by Blenker to ask for it, I sent in my report (official) to the Headquarters. I am informed Bohlen does not like it. The report was ready before yesterday. The following is the copy of the same.
Camp Mount Jackson
June 11, 1862
Report sent in to the General
Commdg 3d Brigade
I have the honor to report that on the 8th of June about 3 or 4 miles on the other side of Harrisonburg I was ordered to deploy my Regts into double colums & to proceed on the right of the road, leading to Port Republic paralell with the 58th Regt who were marching on the other side of the road. Arriving in a small open field, I was ordered to cross the road and to proceed with my double colum and take position on a small bare hill, on the left of the 75th Regt, which was posted there in double colums. Before I occupied the position assigned to me, and having many dificulties in marching on account of fences and morasts [morasses] which lay before me and which I had to cross, I rode myself on the top of the hill to choose a suitable position for my colums.
When on the top of the hill, on my right the 75th Regt already began to moove backwards, as the fire of the enemy was very severe upon us, under this circumstances I could not bring my forces on the top of the hill without an unnecessary great loss and I had ordered them to stay in a little valey as it is seen in the annexed diagram on the side of the same hill.
Ordering my men to stand for a minute on the side of the hill, which covered them against the fire of the enemy, I hardly stood there two minutes when I received orders to retreat after the 75th Regt, whom I had protected with my double colums against the advancing forces of the enemy. I hardly marched with my Regiment 40 paces when I met General Blenker alone, riding through the colums, and suggested to him, that there is a Regt of the enemy, whom we could take prisoners.
He at once gave me orders not to retreat, but flank this Regt, and proceed into the woods. By a flank movement I at once directed my regiment, and marched into the woods, deployed the colums into a line of battle, and opened a severe fire upon the advancing enemy. This fire put the enemy into a great confusion, and they gave up, not only the object to flank us, but begun to run before our advance and fled on the other side of the open field. Seeing that the enemy is retreating I gave directions to change direction to the right, in order to inflict a more severe chastisment on them; but before I could accomplish this, I received orders to withdraw and I have retreated in good order and without the least confusion. My officers and men behaved themselves, though exposed to severe fire of the enemy and admirably well and bravely.
I had in the engagement present 373 men /officers, non-commiss. officers and privates/, and had the misfortune to loose two brave soldiers who were killed and three wounded. I beg also to state that through the engagement I received great many conflicting orders, coming to me from staff-officers, unknown to me, which I disobeyed.
I have also to report that by our fire, we have prevented the enemy to outflank us, and have also prevented two regt of the enemy to advance upon our batteries, who were only stopped by our flank fire, and have suffered by it a considerable loss on lives, while my Regt was protected against the fire of the enemy in the woods, excepting one hundred paces, where I had to cross the open field on my retreat. My men were unwilling to retreat, and I was the last who retreated, because I was not supported by other Regiments. My men were eager to fight and if not withdrawn, the enemy would have been on this point repulsed. I was not followed by them. My flank fire stopped the enemy’s advance.
Your obedient servant
E. A. Kozlay
This report I sent in. How it pleased Bohlen I do not know. That portion of the report which relates to conflicting orders, I have no doubt he does not like. I should not be surprised to see the report returned, and that portion left out. Well, well, let us wait.
June 18th near Mount Jackson
From information which I received from the head quarters, it turns out that Shield received a very severe loss from the hands of Jackson. His forces hardly counted more than 4000, while Jackson had at least 10,000 men.
Provisions are very scarce yet, but I presume that full rations can be got shortly.
Great changes are in proggress in the organization of the Army Corps. Schurz will have a division of two brigades. Stahel is confirmed, I heard.
Blenker left us yesterday and gone to Washington as I am informed. I am sorry to hear that troubles are amongst these higher commanders. Blenker can not agree with Freemont. This continuous quarrel amongst German officers is of old, it lays in the nature of the men. I presume that they have frequent quarrels and underground works amongst them. I, for my part, I dont trust any one of them, not even my own officers as far as veracity goes.
At the request of Genl Blenker, I consented yesterday that Lindenmüller shall have 30 days furlough. What a useless scoundrel this man is. He must go from this regiment. There is no hope for him. Muhs has to go too. He is an other dishonest individual. His orderly Srgt says that he drawn money for men who deserted months ago. But the shortest way will be to get his resignation accepted and let this dishonest individual depart. I must have him out, that is very plain.
I have been also disappointed in Holmstedt, as far as veracity is concerned. It is no wonder Gilsa could not agree with him. I thought I would, but I see I can not. I have him retransferred.
Near Strasburgh June 23rd
There is nothing new in our movements. We are still here; waiting I presume to ascertain what kind of movements the enemy will take.
Genl Sigel with his army is stationed about 3 miles from here, between Middletown and this place. To day Fremont, Sigel & Banks are in conference, I presume to asertain where it is the best mode and place to meet again the enemy and destroy him. Genl Stahl commands the 2d Division of this army. I heard that Steinwehr, who never had done anything in his life for the benefit of the army, has been confirmed; this is an outrage on the men who deserve promotions and cannot get it. Steinwehr left even his command one day before the fight on the 8th by Cross Keys, and has not participated in any movement but gone home on 20 days furlough. The other worthless appointment is Bohlen, who does not know anything and does not deserve anything.
It seems to me that the newspapers have done us, or Genl Fremont himself, injustice. Our Regiment has been the last which left the fire, we drove the enemy back, and yet have no credit for all our good behavior. However, I have been informed that Genl Fremont in his report will by all means tell to world and the Secretary and the President how brave we behaved ourselfs. Yet these after reports do not accomplish all what ought to have been done. The first news is the best and most read. We deserved the mentioning in the first report, because we have done as much as the Regts to whom the puffs were given already.
Genl Schurz is very diligent to see his troops. Every day 4 or 5 times he passes between our lines and asks questions appertaining to the necessaries of the men. Good movement how long it will last?
Bohlen has changed his coat. Always very kind and obliging. What is the meaning of this rash change? Col. Fach says that charges have been made by him and Genl Blenker against Bohlen for cowardice and incompetency. In fact if such is the move, then somebody deserves credit for the beginning. One thing is prety sure, viz, that Blenker is brave as lion in the fire. He was amongst us, where the balls, like shower of rains, were coming and poured upon us, and Blenker stood there cool and steady and ready for them in any strategical movement. I have more respect for the man now than I had before. He is brave, that cannot be denied. But Blenker has not the power of administration. This is the fault. He ought to have men arround himself who understand this branch of military knowledge.
I understood there is a moove amongst my officers to make me a present for the action of mine to lead them bravely to a little victory. What the present may be I do not know. I will see afterwards. The whole is kept in secret.
There is to be issued an order to march from here to Middletown, and there to remain for a few weeks, till the regiments are completed. I have no orders yet to send recruiting officers to New York to recruit up the ranks of my regiment. But Genl Schurz says that it will be done in a few days.
Near Middletown June 25th, 1862
We arrived to this place yesterday afternoon, and encamped on the West side of the town in a little wooden place, which is very agreably located.
Genl Bohlen had nothing to do with the selection of the place, otherwise we would have bee placed on a spot where the burning rays of the sun would have cooked us the whole day. Genl Schurz gave us a very good place. He seems to take care of his men, and if he does so well as he begins, the men will like him very much. There is nothing new in the organization of the army. Colonel [left blank] brigade and Bohlen’s compose the Division of this army corps. I understood that will be reinforced with a whole brigade. I wish very much that it shall be done at once. Genl Bohlen does not like that my regiment has soll well behaved itself on the battle field. He is sensuring Blenker by every harsh word, because he is praising our regiment alone from the third Brigade.
Astonishing how easely men can change their collars and even behavior. Now Bohlen was on every occasion down on my Regt, but he now confesses it this to be the best in his Brigade. My officers, it is true, and even the men don’t like him and desire to be transferred to another Brigade. This movement certainly I have to perform, and whereas we have no confidence in his ability and no faith in his generalship, the necessary steps we must take to go out of this brigade.
I heard to day that the army will be here perhaps for many weeks. It is necessary that it should be so. The men must have new clothing, and the regiment to be filled up or consolidated. Besides the men must have also rest. I wrote a letter to Ernewein in regard to different matters. An other one to the Adj’t Genl of the state of New York, asking him to send us one whole company with officers. Another to Genl Bohlen, asking the dismissal of Lieut Lampe and Grofner.
There is nothing new in our army to be recorded. We are still in this beautiful camp, which according to the statement of other officers, is the best and pretiest in the Army Corps.
Genl Schurz it seems to me likes us very much, because he visites our camp mostly every day. Yesterday he was here twice. I understood this afternoon that perhaps in two or three days we will march away from this place, southward toward Stanton.
June 28th, 1862
Genl Fremont is to be relieved from the Command of this Army, at his own request, and Genl Schenk, next in Command, will take the temporary command. Much confusion and disaffection, even dissatisfaction, exists in the Army Corps. I do not know how matters will end.
Fremont has gone to New York to day and gave the Command to Schenk. I heard Genl Sigel will resign if the command is not given to him. Genl Schurz sent a telegram to Washington to appoint Sigel to the Command. I hope it will be done at once to restore piece.
There is nothing new in our movements. Genl Sigel has at present the command of the forces here. How long this will be God knows. Always some kind of a quarrel turns up. When it will end. No one knows. I expect to day my wagons from Petersburgh & New Creek. They ought to have been here many days ago. No letters yet from Washington. I wrote to the Postmaster again, but it seems to me that it does not much good. I have no letters from Capt Ernewein from New York. His leave of absence will expire to day, and has to come, or must be reported absent without leave. Rumours we have plenty. To day it is reported that Richmond is taken, and McClellan dead. The Baltimore papers have nothing about it, though rumours are stated therein. My regiment is on duty mostly every day. Outposts, Pickets and Guards in every direction. Letters I sent home to day, one to Emma [E.A.K.s wife], enclosing therein a receipt for $150 from Adams Express, sent to Charles [Emma’s father].
We have celebrated the Indepentance day. Had parades and Musik the whole day along. Mrs. Genl Schurz visited my Camp, and she was very much delighted to see the same in such a good order. In the evening the whole Camp was illuminated. Even colored fires were burning in every direction of the Camp. The avenues were planted with evergreens, and gates were made of the same beautiful tree. The boys were lively the whole day, though they understood very well the news, about McClellans defeat. Great preperations are going on here. Certainly we have to go and help McClellan, otherwise he may be lost with his whole force.
At last we got rid of our most distinguished Gin Manufacturer Bohlen. He has been assigned to the command of another Brigade. Our Brigade had only 4 Regimts, but now we have only three; and our Pole friend Krizanowsky being the oldest in the rank, is assigned to the Command of the same. All right. Let him have his share of Republican plunder also. I cannot protest against the appointment, because he is senior Colonel in this brigade, but the best portion of the arrangement is that Schimmelfenning, being the oldest, he was taken out of our brigade, because if this is not done, then the Comd must have been given to him. But to gratisfy Krizianowsky, they put aside Schimmelfenning. I am the youngest , therefore I have no part in the intrigue, and unfair political movements. If, however, Genl Schurz begins to manage the military maters in his division on this scale and principle, then he very soon will find out that he is disappointed very much in his expection. I certainly will not mix myself into the Brigadier quarrel. Let Schimmelfennig and Krizianowsky fight out amongst themselves. I am pretty sure that the man who will loose most will be Genl Schurz himself. There is no better road, but the well known. I told Schimmelfenning that the object will be to outnumber him and put him aside in order to give the other the preference. Old Gin Manufacturer understands this business very well. My officers and men are very much delighted that they are rid of Bohlen. Even Privates are cheering the news.
That news from Richmond is very bad. They do conceal the whole truth. The loss in McClellans army must be very heavy, and this defeat will postpone all further operations this warm season.
The men near Richmond cannot suffer the warm climate and in a short time the Yellow fever will be on their neck, and carry them off by 1000. I presume we will share their misfortunes. Our destination will be Richmond too, but when and which direction, I do not know, mybe to Manassas or to Fortress Monroe, and from there on James River to McClellan. I sent to day Captain Kovacs for recruiting service to New York and give him and under his charge a box, to Adams Express, and another one (tin) small he took himself to Dr. Cobb Brocklyn, to be delivered to my wife. The articles they contain are not needed here to me. I am informed that to morrow or perhaps the [day] after to morrow we will march to Winchester or Fort [Front] Royal. But from that place, where? Nobody knows.
We arrived here last night. The Country is very beautiful here, and even the City, though small, yet most admirably situated on the banks of a little creek. To morrow we go to Sperryville, which is about 15 miles from here. We have no knews of any kind from New York. We do not know what is going on arround us. Sigel has gone to Washington. How long he remains there and what the result of the conference will be, not yet known. The defeat of McClellans must be very awfull and disastrous.
Sperryville July 13
On the 11th we arrived at this little town. We are encamped on the easterly side of the town on the top of a small hill. Genl Schurz always praises my regiment. He makes us too many compliments. Why is this? What is in the wind? He said to day that my men marched through the town and on the road as the old Grenadiers and he thanked at least a dozen times for it. So did Krizianowsky. But to this later named gentleman cannot trust much. He is deceitfull. He talks, but does and thinks otherwise. Another compliment. Genl Schurz has thanked again for the order which exists in my regiment. I should like to know what are these gentlemen ever driving at with their daily praise. I presume to give courage and good will to do it and theyr duty cheerfully every day. Superfluous. My men are the best in the division, and the regiment too. Here is at least order and good will.
There is nothing new in our movements. It was reported yesterday that we have to march to day, but inasmuch as General Sigel is not yet here, we are waiting after him, and when he arrives, than our destination may be detirmed.
The controversy is settled also. Krizianowsky as the oldest in this Brigade will have at present the Command of the same. How long, that only the time will show. One thing is pretty sure, viz: that Bohlen made a fool of himself. He told lies and stories to praise Krizianowsky and now he is sorry for his foolishness. Bohlen and the Pole are very much against each other. Bohlen help him to get the position of Brigadier and now he runs down Krizianowsky. Really the old Gin Manufacturer must be a grazy, hipocondric individual, as others say him to be thus. They/Bohlens & Krizianowsky’s friends inserted in the newspapers puffs about themselves, where they are all praised to the sky, and now Capt Chandler of Bohlen’s staff says that he inserted the same in the Philadelphia newspapers in order to have good puffs and humbugs.
Now everybody knows that Bohlen behaved himself most miserable at the Battle of Cross Keys. If he had the least honest feeling, then he would have resigned at once.
I am astonished that nothing is heard of Blenker, not the least. I wrote him a letter a few days ago, but no answer of any kind was returned to me yet. It may be that he has not received my letter. Krizianowsky does not like that he is spoken off as coming back to this place. Why is afraid of his present temporary position. When we have taken up our arms in the Defence of the Union, we thought that the Republicans will not take into consideration the political distinction. But I am very much mistaken. If a man is even an ass or an ox, and belong to the Republican party, than he is made by Schurz and others a General. This is our experiance in this Army Corps, and I have no doubt, it will be or it is so everywhere. We have here Brigadiers who do not deserve to be Captain in the line, but they are Republicans, therefore must have the title. Such men are Steinwehr, Bohlen, Krizianowsky, Schurz and half a dozen others; and such brave soldiers as Gilsa, Bushbeck, Armsberg, Wratislaw—well they are left behind. No wonder that the Union forces are beaten mostly in every engagement with the enemy. It cannot be otherwise. We must loose when we have such leaders as these Genls and hundreds others. Now I should like to see wether any improvement will be made if Sigel returns and takes hold of the reins. My opinion is that matters will be as before. We are marching and countermarching, and fighting and in plain words, we are without head and tail. Loose our men, by dozen every day on marches, and in a short time we will be just there, where we began the fight. Armsberg says that under such asses as Schurz & Schenk he dont want to serve, he will wait till Stahel returns, and then hand in his resignation. In fact he is disgusted with such a war pursuit. Gilsa I presume will not return any more, because he has the same opinion about matters here.
There are great many who will resign, because they say and with justice that they don’t fight for the niggers and the Emancipation policy of the Abolitionist. That Congress had no right to pass law to abolish slavery anywhere is, and that this war is only for that purpose instituded by the fanatics.
I agree in many things with this Genls who are high officers and influential; and if Congress, the President or their fanatical Abolitionist General will institute measures for the emancipation of the slaves, against the wishes of the majority and the wishes of the Eastern & Western states, then I will myself withdraw from the field. I came here to reestablish the Union as it was, but not to robe and subjugate any people. Let the South to be paid as they deserve for their fooly [folly]. Let every men die who works to destroy this land of liberty; but never steal their property, as the Abolitionist desire to do with the Southern men, and their slaves. Now we have traveled over and over, but the slaves do not follow us. They do not seem to have their liberty.—Some of them who followed our army—left us again and returned to their masters, to their prior capacity. So this the class of people the fanatics desire to free?
Genl Sigel returned at last. What we intend to do, we do not know even ourselves. Our movements depend entirely on the movements of the enemy and the position of McClellan.
No preparations are yet made for marching, though the talk is going on always that we will marche to day or to morrow.
This place which we occupy at present is a very good one. But I think that in case of a disaster, a retreat would be most injurious to the Army. The passes between the mountains are such that with a small force posted on the narrow roads on the hillside, a whole Army could be destroyed.
To day we had inspection of Arms at seven o’clock A.M.—All right.—Ten days rations had been given out, but no sugar and even coffee too short. Besides, the most necessary article, soap, is not to be had. This town is situated between two small hills in the middle of which a little creek is running through.
To day we had a grand review before Genl Sigel. My Regiment received its share of Compliment for his good behavior.
I have been appointed by Major Genl Sigel, Field officer of the day for the whole first Army Corps. I entered upon my duties at 12 o’clock N.
I have visited the outpost in every direction. Made the grand round. Found some dificulties but remedy the same at once. I was on horseback nearly the whole day and night. Nothing new in our movements. How long we stay here we do not know ourselves. It depends entirely on the occurences before Richmond. We have no newspapers of any kind. Even our letters behind. Since Middleton we received no letters of any kind.
I visited the outpost this morning at 2 o’clock. All right. Reported to General Sigel. Yesterday evening my Regiment drilled [missing word] in battalion before Genl Schurz. General Schurz complimented to me and said that he never would have believed that this Regiment is so well drilled; we performed great many manoevers.
Nothing new in our Camp. We are still at this small place. Drilling goes on very fast every day. Genl Schurz is very busy with his troops. If he has any time to spare he is amongst them. This is very good movement. The men begin to like him, and if he takes care of them otherwise, than I have no doubt they will be satisfied with his Genlship. Yesterday I was by him to dinner. He gave me a special invitation. What is in the wind?
Still at this place. No newspapers and no letters of any kind. Even our official letters are behind.
Where is the fault? Certainly not with us, because I ask every day permission to sent after them. But no, we cannot go anywheres—therefore the letters we cannot get. To morrow we ought to have Division Drill again. But the rainy day of to days made plenty of mood, and I dont think that Genl Schurz will drive the men in the moody country around.
I understod to day that Genl Blenker and Stahel are confirmed. I am very glad of it. They used it is true my influence prety freely, but I gave the same to them cheerfully. In the meantime, knowing that I put myself behind the others. If I would not have asked the president, Mr. King, Harris & Barney to use their influence to confirm Blenker and Stahel, now I would have been Brigadier myself long ago. I should like to know whether those Gentlemen will be gratefull for my protection extended to them.
The weather is clear, beautiful, but awful hot, as a furnace.
Nothing new in regard to our movement.
Nothing new, the weather clear and warm. To day we had a Division Drill again. I commanded the 2d Brigade.
Still here, though we have marching orders to be ready at any moments notice. To day we received also our mail, from New York and other parts.
To day I had very early in the morning battalion drill.—It cannot be denied that my regiment is the best in the whole division.
Great dissatisfaction is caused in the Regiments amongst officers on account of the Bill passed by Congress which reduces their pay. I have no doubt that this new law, if it ever goes into operation, will cause great deal of trouble. The officers already begin to talk to resign their positions and go home. I think that this law ought not to be enforced in these critical moments, when the Government is raising new Regiments. The officers mostly in every Regiment are dependent upon their pay. Some of them have to support large families, and they are at present soldiers, because they have to make their living by it, and support their families. It is very well to talk about patriotism, but an officer who has nothing else but his monthly salary to live upon and to support his family, in case he is wounded, crippled, or shot on the battle field, how he will provide for his family. He can hardly spare now a few Dollars for saving, and what will he do with less pay.
Will they serve here as soldiers, risk their lives, and allow their families starve at home?
Such legislation by the Congress does only destroy the vitality of the army. Men who are rich can be patriotic and show their patriotism, not only at home, with their money, but they may come here and risk their lives. In case of their death, the families of them have plenty means to depend upon. But what will be the case with those dependent on their monthly pay. We have examples of every day occurrence how the United States Government provides for them. In fact it is a shame and inhuman, the treatment they receive.
Now there is another point. The Governors are raising at present new regiments, and leave the skeleton regiment as they are. I should like to know why not to fill out the ranks of the old regiments, who are already drilled and fit for service?
What is the use to have Regiments here of 200 or 300 men strong? Why not consolidate them, or use the new recruits to fill out the ranks of the old ones. Bad managements. But the managers will find out their mistake and folly always too late. They are taking out mostly every day men from the Regiments to Artillery for Teamsters and God knows what else.
Under these circumstances, there is not much encouragement to stay here. And to be a commanding officer of 300 or 400 men. I for my part have restored [resolved?], in case my Regiment is not filled up, to go home, and leave the trouble for my successors. I should like to know what the consequence of all this measure will be? Surely it will have a very bad effect upon the army and upon the new recruiting system. We hear it already stated that the new levy of Recruits is coming in very slow. And if matters will go on, at this rate, than no new recruits can be had without drafting.
General Schurz has every day some kind of compliments for myself and my Regiment.
Why! What is his object? Very good policy to encourage us, but we know what we have to do without his praises and compliments.
He nominated Krizianowsky to command a brigade, though he knows, or at least must have known, that he (Krizianowsky) never was a soldier, that he is not educated, in fact does not understand anything, and totally unfit for the position.
But it makes no Difference to me.
If the General and the Secretary of war chooses to loos the lives of soldiers, and prefer defeat—to victories, let them appoint all the Brigadiers of politicians and unfit individuals.
Last day of this month.
At 10 o’clock A.M. grand parade in honor of the deceased Van Buren.
Proclamation of the President to be read to them.
There is nothing new in our Camps, no sign, not the least, about moveing or marching anywhere.
I presume we have to stay here till the dog days are over.
I received an official notification from Genl Hillhouse to that effect that Capt. Stephan Kovacs is appointed Lieut Colonel of this Regiment. What a folly? To appoint a men for that position who is totally unfit.
I cannot understand the folly of this appointment.
How was it done? Who recommended him? I did not.
I am sorry for poor Kovacs because he looses even his former position by this mad act of his to accept such appointment for which he is unfit.
A beautiful warm day. The sky is clear; but I am afraid there will be rain to day yet.
We expect General Pope. I have no doubt a grand parade will be given to him, afterwards a Review and marching.
It seems to me that he and Sigel cannot agree.
Sigel’s hands are tied: he is unable to give passes and accept resignations which ought to be conceded to a Major Genl.
We have no mail to day again, and we had none for more than the last three days.
Our suttlers cannot come. Mostly all of them have been detained by General Pope at Warrentown because they were selling to the farmers salt and other articles which they cannot get.
This step is a good one; yet we must have our suttlers here.
The Herald has a pretty good joke about Pope.
Well Pope is a Native. That is enough.
Sunday to day. Nothing new here, everything is quite.
To day we had inspection as usual.
Our letters arrive a little more regular, as usual We have New York papers from the first of August.
I wrote a letter to General Hillhouse, in answer to his communication in regard to the promotion of Capt. Kovacs.
My letter is very piquant but just to the point.
I sent order to Capt. Kovacs at once to return to his regiment for duty.
I am sorry for him, by his mad act, in accepting the position, he will lose I presume even his former position.
Genl Schurz pays me visit, mostly every day.
He says that my Camp is the prettiest and best ordered in the whole Army Corps.
In fact he is right. No Camp here is as well ordered and beautiful as mine.
It is my opinion that we dont stay here for more than 2 or 3 days.
We have to change our Camp to some new ground.
The one we have at present is getting already used up. Everything arround us was green at our arrival; but now the green foliage & grass vanished away and the ground is dry without grass.
We have expected Pope to come here. But no signs of his arrival.
It is astonishing that our official communications are kept back so long. For the slightest information we have to waite many days.
No wonder! General Pope says: that his Headquarters are in his saddle, this must be the reason why he stays at Warrentown and has no time to sign the official papers.
The general opinion prevails here that not much will be done by him, though much expected.
I sent my letter to the President; I should like to know what the result will be of my communication to him.
My health does not improve, and I think I will be forced to resign.
We cannot get a few days furlough to recruit our health, while others are staying away from theyr Regiments for month. What an injustice!
I have a letter from Blenker in which he says that if the Division is given back to him, then he will come back, if not, than he will stay.
I presume he will have the Command of a separate Corps or Brigade. I am glad however that he is confirmed; because I urged his confirmation.
What thanks I will have for my exertions, I do not know.
Stahel and Blenker would never been confirmed had it not my influence brought forward to accomplish the object.
It seems to me that Krizianowsky and I will not agree well. He is deceitfull, I am sure of it, and with such individuals is very hard to deal. A man must be very careful in his transactions with such men.
He envies the praises I receive from General Schurz. This is the reason, I am sure.
My Quartermaster desires to be a recruiting officer and stay at New York.
Well Billing thinks that he is fit for the position and desires to stay home.
No. No. This thing will not do, will not suit me. He is not fit for the place. A recruiting officer must be a man who knows how to talk, and how to get his men to bring him the recruits.
The war Dept issued a new order in regard to recruiting, and direct that two Commissioned Officers be sent home and ten Privates to do the job.
This order is out now more than 10 days and yet Genl Pope, from his Saddle Headquarters, had no time to transmit the same to us.
That is the way we go.
I wrote a letter to Emma to day. Dr. Root has taken the same to Washington.
There is nothing new up to day. We are still in a fog about our advancing or retreat.
The days are very hot. We hardly can stand this awfull weather.
Nothing but swetting and swetting.
They say that General Pope will be here to day. We will see whether he will arrive safely with his saddle Headquarters or not.
I have no letters from home. I presume the mail is in disorder again as usually. The days are very hot. If we have to march on these days, then Good bye. We will loose our men by sunstrike. It is as warm as a furnace can be.
Culpeper August 9
To day we arrived here, the fighting is going on, and we proceed to help the boys.
We arrived here about ½ an hour ago. We marched through the whole night and day from Sperryville to this place.
The fight over. Our loss is great, and that of the enemys perhaps larger.
We had no part in the fighting.
Bank Army Corps alone had the fight; but we were in reserve.
Rapidan August 16
We are still here. Doing nothing, and there is no prospect of doing anything, till the army of McClellan is in our middst.
We expect the Paymaster here to morrow. Ten Regiments have been paid off already.
[The following dates are incorrectly set down as 1863, and in one case 1864. It is probable that E.A.K. was transcribing this Journal from another source and merely forgot the correct year, which was still 1862. According to records in the U.S. Archives, on August 23, 1862, E.A.K. was treated at the Alexandria Hospital for chronic diarrhea. One may assume that following this treatment he returned home for a time. Ed.]
Sept 4th 1863 [sic]
I am here in New York. Sick and exhausted. Only a two days, and yet trouble enough on hand from the creditors. To my astonishment, I am informed that Hoch &c have issued large bills on the regiment, which was open fraud upon the Government. I have to inform the Government of the fact at once. What a rascality! Can it be done, that these men receive money on such fraudulent vouchers? Lindenmuller & Muhs were to day troubling me with their accounts. Asher says that Muhs drawn money already. Consequently, I will not sign his papers before I ascertain this fact. Larned I am told is removed.
September 10/63 [sic]
Wrote to the dept about these frauds once again. Have seen the district attorney in regard to it. He says that he cannot do anything in the matter. Who the devill will then take action, if he can not. What a trouble I have with these rascals, and even with the creditors. They trouble me day and night. I wish I am far away from here.
October 20/64 [sic]
When a man has great deal of annoying trouble, is compelled to lay aside his diary. I have seen Major Allen, who investigate these matters. My creditors urge me to sign their papers all in ration bills. So urge me even Blair, Ernenwein, Steinhardt, Lindenmuller and even Mr. Klein. Billing says that is the only form.
December 1863 [sic]
The following statement I sent to Col. Olcott. I have seen him myself. Those infernal scoundrels were forged my name to two accounts. Deiker says they understand to sign my name very well. What a dishonesty and rascality!
In compliance with your instructions, I have the honor to report to you the following facts in relation to the Hiram Barney Rifles 54th Regt NYSV.
On the 27th of June 1861 with thirty individuals headed by Mr. Alexander Hoch, I agreed to organize a new Regiment.
These men all desired to be Officers of the organization. Myself being at that time in the employ of the Honorable Hiram Barney, Collector of the Port, I named the regiment the “Hiram [Barney] Rifles” in honor of Mr. Barney, Collector of the Port, who has taken a lively interest in the organization of the same. I wrote to the War Department and offered the acceptance of a new regiment to be organized under my control, and on the 3rd of August I received a letter of assurance that as soon as I had enrolled 400 men the regiment would be accepted.
With this thirty individuals I began the enrollment on the 27th of June and on the 14th of August I had over 400 men, and asked the Department to muster in the men allready enrolled. No order came however, and on the 26th of August 1861 I left for Washington, and there with the assistence of the Hon. Moses H. Grinell and F. W. Seward I received the regular acceptance of my offer and the order of the Adjt Genl for muster. A copy of these documents is hereby annexed.
August 30th 1861
Col. Eugene A. Kozlay
335 Navy Street Brooklyn
The regiment of infantry which you offer is accepted for three years or during the War, provided you have it ready for marching orders in thirty days, to be armed as sharpshooters if so desired by the General Commanding.
This acceptance is with the strict understanding that the Department will revoke the commissions of all Officers who may be found incompetent for the proper discharge of their duties. Your men will be mustered into the service of the U.S. in accordance with Genl Orders. No. 58 & 61 from this Department.
Very respectfully your obedt
Thomas A. Scott
Asst. Secty of War
Adjt Generals Office
Washington D.C. August 30 1861
The mustering Officers in New York will muster this Regiment.
By order of
George D. Ruggles A.A. Genl.
On the third of Sept I returned to this city and on the 5th I mustered four companys per 83 men into the U.S. service.
Through the delay to which I was subjected by the War Dept. I lost many recruits by desertion whom I had subsisted for nearly 60 days, and in order to satisfy their wants I purchased clothing, blankets, shoes, knives & forks and paid partly in cash for their subsistence. I paid further to each recruiting officers 2 or 3 Dollars daily, for subsisting his recruits in the different parts of the city before they were transported or sent to the Camp at Hudson City or to the Tivoli Gardens to Mess. Grosh and Rau, my special contractors. I paid in cash for fuel, candles, soap and for advertising, printing, transportation and all other necessary things for recruiting. I enrolled over 1600 men between the 27th of June and 29th of Octob. From this you will at once perceive what an amount of money I was compelled to invest to carry through the noble object, in behalf of my adopted country. I have only received, through the assistance of the Hon. Hiram Barney and Mess. B. A. Withaus, F. Kopp & Hugo Wisendonak $850 from the German Comitee and nothing more. I had no union Defence Comitee to back me, but was left entirely upon my own resources and upon those of my friends. None of those thirty individuals, sanguine to become officers, even contributed a single cent towards the organization. My special contractors were Mess. Kruder & Hagen at Hudson City and Grosh & Rau in this City, to whom the recruits were sent from the various recruiting officers throughout the city every day or two. I beg further to state that Capt. Ashby, Muhs, Becker, Wahle and Kovacs who came to me later had recruited men who were not under my supervision and control. But the officers under my direction and supervision enlisted the men not for a separate Company, but for the Regt. The recruits were afterwards in camp organized into Companys and I mustered in with each company three officers whom I selected.
Besides these two special contractors, I had a few others, and their accounts being small were paid in cash. After the 5th of Sept all the men subsisted by my special contractors were paid every ten days by the U.S. authorities viz: the recruited or enrolled men by Col. Sacket, those again already mustered in, by Col. Eaton.
From this you will see, that all the recruits enlisted by my officers were sent every day or two to the Tivoly Gardens on to the Camp and each recruiting officer received cash money to subsist those men which he had enlisted in a day.
For a longer term they were not allowed to keep the men under their control but sent them to the Tivoly or Camp.
I have not paid any money to Ashby, Becker, Muhs, Wahle & Kovacs, these parties came to me later and brought with them their recruits, though none of them had a complete company for muster.
I beg further to state that a small amount of our recruiting bills, which were put in order for collection, have been paid by Col. Sacket or other mustering officer in Nov or Dec 1861. But it required a great deal of time to put them in proper shape, there being many hundreds of small bills, and these consisting our claims, we took along to Washington for collection, and before they were ready for presentation we marched away from Hunters Chapel carrying with us a portion of the original Vouchers, showing the expenditures of the monies.
However a small amount was put in for collection by Quart Mast Billing; and some accounts were afterwards returned to me at Sperryville for correction, having been in Washington for nearly 8 month without result; and my Quarter not being at Sperryville, I put these vouchers in a box containing other vouchers and regt papers, and while on our retreat near Centreville the baggage was burned by order of the Div. Quart. Mast. As you can perceive from the following certificate original thereof hereto annexed.
I certify on honor that on the 29th or 30th day of Aug 1861 near Centreville I have destroyed by fire a large box containing regt papers and vouchers belonging to the Colonel of the 54th NY Vol. I have done so by order of the Div. Quar. Master Capt. Lacy, who gave me orders to destroy by fire all the baggage in order that it may not fall into the hands of the enemy, and I have done this in the capacity of Act. Quart. Master of the Regt.
/sig/ Otto Hagen Lieut & A.Q.M.
From this you see why our accounts are not yet adjusted and paid. A small amount however has been paid, a few days ago, by the Quart. Mast. Dept. to Lieut. Billing as he informed me.
I beg further to state the while we were stationed at Middletown Va. Quart. M. Billing informed me that discharged and dismissed officers of my regiment were collecting very large ration bills in this city on account of my regiment. I was astonished to hear it, and I at once sent a telegram to the Adjt Genl at Washington forbidding him the payment of any bill on account of my regiment without my consent and signature.
This was about the 12th of July 1862.
On the 26th of Aug last, I received orders from Genl Sigel to come to New York as recruiting officer of my regiment, being at that time in a very sickly condition and not able for active duty.
On the 3rd of Sept I arrived here and was informed by different parties and by my Quart. Mast., who was also here, that still large ration bills were being paid on account of my regiment, also that my name had been forged to some of them, notwithstanding these bills were paid against mine and my Quart. Mast. protest.
I thought perhaps the Adjt Genl had not received my communication in regard to this matter. I once more sent him the following letter: of which I afterwards found a copy at Col. Reeves on file.
New York Sept 16 1862
Adjt Genl Thomas [illegible]
I had the honor to send you a telegram dated June 15th or thereabouts to
this effect; that discharged & dismissed officers of my regiment made out certain
ration bills to have been issued to recruits of my regiment by individuals unknown
to me and forbade the payment of any such claims. Such claims as I have been
informed having been certified by Alexander Hoch, Becher, Besold, Mohr,
Konig, Vogel , Stern, Muhs, Schrante and a few others. I beg respectfully to give
you due notice again, not to pay any claims of any kind without my
countersignature. Laid claims certified by the above named individuals I declaire
fraudulent issues. I gave notice long ago to the dispursing officer at the place to
this effect. I am also informed that even my signature was forged to some of this
I am Genl your obed servant
/sig/ Eug. A. Kozlay
Col 54th Regt NY Vols
I beg further to state that on the 7th or 8th of Sept I went to the U.S. Dist. Attorneys Office and saw Mr. Smith to whom I was introduced by Mr. Rice (one of his assistance) and told him that large frauds had been committed on my regiment, and asked him what could be done in the matter, and wether he would take any proceedings in the matter. His very short reply was that he was very buisy and could not do anything in the matter.
On the occation of my first interview with Colonel Reeves I told him that I had to collect from the U.S. Government the regt expences amounting to over $12000 and that I intend to sign the bills of my creditors accordingly. I was informed than by him and Mr. Hughes that large amounts had been paid already, and that they think they cannot pay anymore, even with my signature.
Col Reeves showed me a few bills and asked my opinion about them. These bills were paid by Capt. Learned. I than demanded a list of all the payments which were made on account of my regiment, and told him I would tell him if the bills were shown to me, my opinion about the bills already paid and what they are worth.
A few days after this, I went again to Col. Reeves, and in his absence Mr. Hughes showed me a list of payments, hereto annexed. I told him at once that I could see what an enormous amount had been paid on account of my regiment, and that I was very sory to find that very little was paid that ought to have been paid, and that it made no difference how much had been paid, I most positively would collect all the claims of my creditors to whom the Regiment was under pecuniary obligation for effecting its organization.
From the annexed list of payments you will see that I have approved a few bills viz:
One for Capt. Ashby for $1824; one for Capt Muhs for $1650, and one for Capt. Becker for $282. I acknowledge that I put my signature to these bills. I did so in good faith, and if their account turn out, upon your investigation, to have been overcharged, I cannot be blamed. But I will insist upon their punishment for obtaining my signature under false pretences. I approved them on their representations of being correct and just bills. They subsisted their men before they came to me, they were not under my controll. I had no means to disproove, but take their word as officers as to the correctness of the bills and approved them. But you will discover that bills were paid without my approval and against my protest. My signature did not amount to anything to them, they cannot claim, that they paid the bills on the strength of my signature, they placing no value on it.
You will also see that there are two more bills on the list purporting to have been approved by me viz: one for Mr. Baumann, but I do know Mr. Capt. Konig whose signature is annexed to this bill. I never wrote my name to this bill and I pronounce the same a forgery. It is true that Capt. Konig called upon me for my signature to his bill, but I would not sign, telling him that he was not entitled to a cent. I gave him the first Company and I am sorry to say see him turn out a swindler and a forger.
The other bill is from a certain Ditmar contractor for the amount of $1698. The name of my Lieut Col Charles Ashby appears attached to this bill. I am sure I do not know Mr. Dittmar and am sure I have never signed a bill for him for $1698. Therefore my name must have been attached to it by some party unknown to me.
I have handed to Col Reeves a letter to the effect that he shall prosecute the parties to whom payment was made on account of these two bills of Baumann & Ditmar.
I beg further to state that at Middletown Va at the request of my Quart. Mast. Billing I approved two or three very small bills for rations. I am sure none of them amounted to over $300 cash. Billing says that these bills were never completed and among them was one for Capt. Ashby for $168.60. Billing says that this small bill was given to Capt. Ashby and destroyed by him. If I remaimber well I also approved a small bill for Mr. Landmann Hamilton Park at the request of my Quart. Mast.
This bill I cannot find on the annexed list of payments.
The following bills are fraudulent issues on my regiment.
Francis Kramer $2309.00
F. Henzler 1342.00
Chs Guntzer 1075.00
I. Feierbrand 1749.00
Wm Guntzer 2590.00
John Zeiss 504.00
W. Guntzer 2321.00
Otto Schaible 928.00
G. Strauss 827.00
Chs Keppel 1061.00
Chs Keppel 1412.00
Henry Haag 1499.00
M. Freidenfeld 2628.00
John Houser 1287.00
F. Heine 1119.00
Aud Killian 2288.00
F. Ditmar 1698.00
I. Baumann 1632.00
Marmont’s about 1200 or 1400
R. Mendinger 2231.00
L. Muller 368.00
I. Fleishmann 700.00
I. Feierbrand 587.00
F. A. Herzen 2284.00
I. Feierbrand 1018.00
I. Fleishmann 488.00
F. A. Herzen 1546.00
I. Hellenbrand 930.00
Geo. Smith 1807.00
Now during the organization of my regiment, I never heard of the existence of the above named parties, and the officers who certified these bills had no other recruits other than those who were under my supervision and these were subsisted by me.
When the organization began they did not bring me a single recruit. They have recruited and enlisted the men under my supervision and control, and these recruits and enlisted men were subsisted by my contractors Mess. Kreider & Hagen at Hudson City. Mr. Lindenmüller also subsisted men, but not many and his claim is still unpaid. Those two contractors were paid by me and the U.S. Government. I dare any living soul to impeach this statement and call as witness my special contractors.
There are on file the ration bills paid last year by Col Socket and Col Eaton.
I do not pretend to say that these officers had no men before they came to me, but if they had any (of which I had no knowledge) they were not mustered into my regiment, they did not bring any to me at the organization, consequently cannot claim payment from my Regiment.
From my letter to the Adjt Genl you will see that I objected to the bills of Capt. Becker and was informed that he presented annother one.
Now the one I certified must be the correct one, because Capt Becker told me he has subsisted his own men in his own house. Consequently, the other bill certified by Capt Becker for Hildebrandt for $930 must be a fraudulent one in my opinion. I was also informed that Capt Muhs made out bills for $3600.00. I thought this amount too high therefore objected to it. But afterwards he told me in the presence of others, that he had never signed another bill and that this one for $1650 was a just and correct bill of his contractor. I than approved the bill in good faith.
I beg further to state that I have stopped the payment of many other bills by the dispursing Officer Capt Carr, who desired to see me and asked my opinion about them. Among these was one of Capt Wahle $2200.
It is true that this officer had recruits before he came to me, he brought them with him from Philadelphia. He never claimed any amount for subsistence but $45 or 50 for transportation.
Capt Kovac’s men were subsisted by the State authorities before he came to me.
I beg further to state that I never received any compensation, pay or percentage from my officers or from any of my [illegible] contractors or my sutler, and I have never received any part of their earning of any kind.
I furthermore state that I hold the certificates and vouchers of the Quart Mast Billing to the fact that I have delivered over and accounted for every Dollar I borrowed for the organization of the Regt and that all money so borrowed was invested in the organization of the same.
I think it is quit proper to state to you at the request of my creditors and a few officers of mine, I signed two bills in ration form. One for Mr. Lindenmüller and the other for Mess Kreider & Hagen. These parties volunteered to collect not only their own claims, but the claims of other parties. These bills however were never presented to the U.S. authorities for payment and whereas I could not get possession of them, I stopped their payment not only here but at Washington, for their irregularity of form.
All which I respectfully submitted
Colonel Comdg 54th Regt N.Y.V.
From this statement it can be seen that I have protected the U.S. Government, as far as it was in my power, against these scoundrels. Yet, bills were paid, in face of my warnings. Whose fault is it? Most assuredly the disbursing officers are responsible for all their payments. They have been warned; but of no avail. I am informed that I was the only officer in Uncle Sam’s Service who disclosed these facts to the Government. Well, we will see whether the Government will appreciate it or not!
February, I was relieved as recruiting officer of my Regiment.