56th New York Infantry Regiment's Civil War Newspaper Clippings
FROM THE TENTH LEGION.—A correspondent of the Times, writing from Port loyal Harbor, under date of July 7th, says:—
The regimental health cannot be spoken of in very flattering terms. The malarious atmosphere that surrounds us in these regions is telling very perceptably [sic]on the health of the regiment. Fever and ague is very prevalent; dizziness, stupor and blindness, (temporary,) and other forms of disease are among us. Over one hundred answer each morning to the sick call. It is cheering, however, to know that none of these have resulted fatally, and that quite soon the system throws off these diseases, and the patient becomes fully acclimated. Our hospital is in the best possible condition, and our surgeons and sick attendants are unwearied and skillfull [sic].
Last Saturday was supposed to be the Fourth of July on Seabrook Island, and we an some measure observed that glorious day; in impromptu celebration came off in the afternoon. The entire regiment assembled in the grove at the reading room, at the music of the Drum Corps. Dr. Van Etten was called to the chair. Chaplain Van Wyck invoked the Divine blessing. In consequence of the failure to find any copies of the Declaration of Independence in camp the reading of that renowned document was omitted. The Drum Corps afforded us Yankee Doodle and other national airs. Col. C. H. Van Wyck and Lieut. Jesse F. Shafer, addressed the audience on topics suggested by the day and the occasion. Then followed music, the benediction and the adjournment.
56th Regiment N. Y. Vol.
Henry B. Loomis recently promoted from a Sergeant to a Second Lieutenant, in the 56th Regiment, N. Y. Vol., was on the 30th ult. made the recipient of a handsome Sword and Belt by the members of Company F., as a token of their esteem. The presentation was made by Orderly Sergeant Clements, in a few brief remarks, and was responded to by Lieut. Loomis in a neat and appropriate speech. It was an occasion of much interest to the boys of Company F.
The 56th Regiment was lying at Seabrook Island, S. C., on the 1st of May.
Captain R. Tyler, of Cochecton, has been promoted Major of the 56th Regiment N. Y. Vol., now stationed at Seabrook Island.
Capt. Elipaz Smith with two or three other officers and several privates whose names we have not learned, of the Tenth Legion, have been detached from the regiment to take charge of the conscripts to be sent South to fill up the old regiments.
DEATH OF MAJOR A. J. GROVER.—This brave officer is named among the killed in the battle of Friday. He entered the 56th regiment at the time of its organization as a Captain of a company that he had recruited at Cortland, where he had been pastor of a Methodist congregation. He was wounded seriously in the second Bull Run battle, and on his recovery was promoted to Major. In the fight of Friday he had the chief command of his regiment. He was a brave soldier, an able officer, and an excellent pastor and citizen. At one time he was pastor of the Bleecker Street Methodist church in this city, and as such was greatly loved and respected. Many are the tears that will be shed here and elsewhere in his memory, while his soldiers, we doubt not, will feel that their loss is one which can not be replaced.—Utica Herald.
We were personally acquainted with the faithful minister and gallant soldier mentioned above, and can fully endorse all that the Herald says of him. He was in the largest sense a Christian soldier. Our heart is sorrowful at the news of the death of one we so much esteemed and for whom we have felt so much respect and friendship.
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.
NEWBURGH, July 23, 1863.
LIEUTENANT ISAAC BECKETT, of the Tenth Legion (Fifty-sixth Regiment New York State Volunteers), that now are probably participating in the attack on Charleston, leaves New York in the steamer Fulton, to-morrow, to rejoin his old command. The lieutenant was detached from his regiment a year ago last December, since which time he has served as an officer in the Signal corps. He has been under some twelve major-generals, and had flags awarded him for distinguished services and meritorious conduct, both at the battle of Fair Oaks and Malvern Hill. For a year and a half he has served in the Army of the Cumberland, under the gallant Rosecrans. He now rejoins his old regiment, and hopes to be in time to witness the fall of Charleston.
Some one signing himself "In Irishman," is out in a very sensible letter in the Newburgh dailies, in which he deprecates the part taken by his countrymen in the late disgraceful riots. He reasons correctly when he says that the natural effect of such conduct will be to set the whole community against them, and they then will be worse off than the "black men themselves. He says, should such conduct continue, "people will not employ us to do their work; neither will they trade with those of us in business. All classes will rise up against us. We will be hunted out of the land, and the innocent will have to suffer with the guilty. Unless such work ceases, it may be our time to be flying before the mob." His remarks commend themselves to all.
A COMPANY of Newburghers are camping out at Orange Lake. By reports they are enjoying themselves in the "tallest manner," receiving and entertaining friends, and sporting generally.
THE OLD CAMP GROUND, Newburgh, memorable as the sojourn and drill of the Tenth Legion (Col. Van Wyck's) Fifty-sixth regiment, is now luxuriating in a growth of corn and potatoes.
The Tenth Legion is to be filled up to the maximum standard from the ranks
of the drafted men. Officers from the regiment have come North to take charge of the conscripts. The effective force of the Legion is now about 500 men. The general health of the regiment is good.
THE TENTH LEGION.—What remained of this once splendid body of the hardy sons of Orange and Sullivan was engaged in the bloody and fruitless attack upon Fort Wagner, near Charleston, on the 18th inst. We see no mention made of Col. Van Wyck or the part his regiment took in the engagement. In the list of wounded we find the names of Paul Ernesti and George Long, privates in the 56th.
Lieutenant Isaac Becket, of the Tenth Legion, Fifty-Sixth Regiment New York State Volunteers, that now are probably participating in the attack on Charleston, leaves New York in the steamer Fulton to-morrow, to rejoin his old command.—The Lieutenant was detached from his regiment a year ago last December, since which time he has served as an officer in the Signal Corps. He has been under some twelve different Major Generals, and had flags awarded him for his distinguished services and meritorious conduct both at the battle of Fair Oaks and Malvern Hill. For a year past he has served in the Army of the Cumberland under the gallant Rosecrans. He now rejoins his old regiment, and hopes to be in time to witness the fall of Charleston. He will keep the readers of the Journal advised of the "doings" in that department.
TENTH LEGION, FIFTY-SIXTH REGIMENT.
The following is a complete list of the killed, wounded and missing of the Tenth Legion Fifty-sixth Regiment N. Y. S. V., at the battle of Fair Oaks, May 31, Col. C. H. Van Wyck commanding:
Company B—William Mahle.
Company C— David Hardenbrook.
Company D—Serg. R. McGuffie, Thos. Farrill, John Keiser, Philip Mehan.
Company E— Capt. W. J. Williams, Or. Serg. H. McC. Sackett.
Company F—Col. Gd. Jas. Bonney, Moses Robertson.
Company I—Moses Hammond, Jacob Hollenbeck.
Company K— Corp. Robert Davis, Michael
Clark, Francis Everton, Abijah Hinckley.
Company L—John Brown.
Col. C. H. Van Wyck.
Company A—F. B. Davenport, Samuel Cameron, Arthur C. Price, John Zindle.
Company B—A. W. Lomas, Richard Foos, Thos. Hargrave, Wm. Walsh, Charles Brooks, Cornelius Berry, John Krieter, John McCabe, John McFadden.
Company C—Walter Hedden.
Company D—Jos. Crill, Robt. Decker, Miler Odell, Ralph Osborn, Jas. York.
Company E—Corpr John Hornbeck, Corp. Harry Kerner, Corp. M. Schwartz, Corp. John Wilson, Corp. Jesse Stevers, George H. Hill, Alpheus Van Gorden, Jas. Edwards.
Company F—Corp. M. Welton, John Austin, Bernard Kirshner, Nathan P. Lent, John E. White, David Whitmore, Henry C. Yarner.
Company G—John Dagrone, Daniel Sherman, Peter Vandermark.
Company H—Lieut. Wm. T. Calkins, John Holpp.
Company I—Serg. F. W. Teller, John Crossmand, John Rhodes, Jerome McLean.
Company K—Corp. Abraham Leroy, Henry Goodwin, Patrick Higgins, Jas. Johnson, Oliver Hector.
Company L—Squire Barnhart.
Company B— Serg. Strickland, John Lockwood, Thos. McNearney.
Company G—Henry Tyson.
Company E—Jas. Bell, Geo, Froeleigh, Jas. Hannon.
Company L—J. March.
The following is a list of the killed and wounded in the Seventh and Eighth Independent New York Batteries, raised by Col. Van Wyck with the Tenth Legion:—
Lieut. Isaac Becket, of the Tenth Legion, 56th Regiment, N. Y. S. V., that now are probably participating in the attack on Charleston, leaves New
York in the steamer Fulton tomorrow, to rejoin his old command. The Lieutenant was detached from his regiment a year ago last December, since which time he has served as an officer in the Signal Corps. He has been under some twelve different Major Generals, and had flags awarded him for his distinguished services and meritorious conduct both at the battle of Fair Oaks and Malvern Hill. For a year past he has served in the army of the Cumberland under the gallant Rosecrans. He now rejoins his old regiment, and hopes to be in time to witness the fall of Charleston.—Newburgh Journal.
The Tenth Legion.
Newbury, Ct., Nov. 6.
The Tenth Legion left here this P. M. by boat. They will pass through New York tomorrow. Colors will be presented to them at Everett House at noon.
TENTH LEGION.—The Legion was encamped on Seabrook Island, S. C., at latest date—April 18.
Second Lieutenant James H. Smith, of Company C, Fifty-sixth Regiment, N. Y. S. V., (Tenth Legion), has been promoted to he First Lieutenant in the same company.
Corporal John B. Gourlay, from Montgomery, of Company C, died in hospital at Hilton Head on the 3d of April, of asthma.
Letter from Col. Van Wyck.
To the Editor of The N. Y. Tribune.
An editorial in The N. Y. Evening Post of March 11 stated that the "slanderous attack" by myself on Collector Barney had met with a full denial and refutation by Mr. Butler, and was "to be made the subject of a more formal exposure." As that paper evidently spoke by authority, it was proper I should wait to reply for "the more formal exposure;" but it has not yet come. For obvious reasons, The Post is the special advocate of the Custom-House. In this controversy it has not only opened its columns to communications, selected letters and paragraphs, and indulged in a bitter editorial in its support, while it has not given a single sentence or line of anything that has appeared on the other side. I refer not to this complainingly, for I ask no favor of a paper which has not the manhood to give even a statement of the positions it controverts.
The friends of the Revenue officers, feeling the weight of the evidence against them, that the same could not be contradicted and pointed irresistably [sic] to unpleasant conclusions, and when they knew a satisfactory answer could not be offered, adopt the subterfuge resorted to by criminals in all ages to direct attention from themselves by raising a false issue and impugning the motives of those who expose them. From the petit thief to the murderer, when a defense of fact and argument fail, all resort to the course pursued by the Collector's friends, and denounce the witnesses who testify and the prosecuting attorney who tries the cause.
I ask again, what alleviation can it be to Mr. Barney, even though I were his bitterest enemy? I am not a witness in this investigation; the most I have done is to draw conclusions from facts sworn to by others. His friends have not dared to deny the facts sworn to by unimpeachable witnesses, and they do not pretend my conclusions are unjustifiable. What, then, is my offense? Only that I have examined witnesses who testified to facts reflecting upon the revenue officers, or persons connected with them.
The people, through their representatives, without a dissenting voice, ordered the investigation by this committee.
Almost as soon as it was ordered, Mr. Washburne conceived the plan to send it to a Committee who had no power to take such examinations, and thereby to have prevented any investigation at all. In March, 1862, I was engaged about two weeks in examining witnesses. No witness objected to testify on the ground that a quorum was not present. Most of the sessions of the Committee had been held in the absence of a quorum, with three, two, and sometimes only one member present. I examined fifty witnesses; Mr. Washburne, true to his refined instincts, says the examination was “disgraceful." The literary Mr. Butler, smarting under the loss to himself or friends of from $50,000 to $75,000 per year as a result of that examination, says it was "disgraceful." That evidence has been taken for over a year, the Committee have had it in their possession, doubtless friends of the revenue officers examined or were apprised of its contents, many of the witnesses were friends of the Custom-House officers, yet not one of those fifty has been found to say his examination was conducted in a "disgraceful" manner—not one to say he was asked an improper question, or his answer not taken down correctly, Wherein was it "disgraceful?" The mere fact of my laboring for two weeks, an examining fifty witnesses, was not so in itself. Furnish the proof. If it exists anywhere it is in the evidence itself, which the Committee endeavored to suppress. If it is true, as Messrs. Washburne and Butler assert, then the strongest defense for the Custom-House would be to publish the evidence. The inference has always been held that when a party attempts to suppress evidence, it is presumed damaging to his cause.
The grave charge is that I took this evidence without authority. I beg to refer to my report just published, to show the utter falsity of this charge. The Committee knew I was engaged in taking this testimony. The Custom-House knew it, for I enjoyed the privilege of several visits from some of its officers, and received warm invitations to visit them. The Evening Post know it, for its edition of March 14, 1862, three days after I commenced the examination, it said, "An investigation into the affair of the New-York Custom-House has been commenced by Mr. Van Wyck, Chairman of the Congressional Investigating Committee. A considerable number of subpenas have been issued and several witnesses examined. Among the subjects of investigation are the alleged abuses of the warehousing system, and the acceptance of perquisites and fees by the revenue officers, and the testimony is understood to be important; but it has a large scope, and the particular stage of progress attained does not permit the publication of details. Developments may be expected, however, at an early day. Some of the other members of the Committee are taking testimony in Boston and the West.
" Orders are daily expected from Washington which may for the present suspend the investigation here, as Mr. Van Wyck, the member of the Committee who appears to have been most willing to begin this investigation, will rejoin his regiment as soon as it is likely to go into action."
The country on the 14th of March was apprised, through The Post, of my doings. The Post then had no censure that a Committee of six should at the same time hold meetings in Boston, New-York, and the West. The Custom-House and the Committee knew the nature of my proceedings; and not until the 24th of March great pressure was brought to bear, and the Committee sent me a dispatch from Washington ordering the examination to be suspended for the present—in that act recognizing that I was acting by their authority.
If the Committee did not consider the testimony taken by myself as properly taken, why did they suffer the remainder of that session and the vacation to pass, and spend about one day in taking evidence and that to exculpate the revenue officers? Why did they suffer nearly a whole year to pass without investigating the subject?
Read the evidence contained in my report and tell what part was taken in a “disgraceful” manner. Read, also, the …. even if he could ship them through Kentucky.
The selfish demagogues of the Northern States would raise a clamor about a black immigration that nothing short of physical force would subdue. The poor creatures who would make a living in the free North cannot live with their masters, because they will starve to death. Tell us, then, TRIBUNE, what to do. Will not some gentle Copperhead venture a suggestion? The Rebels keep all the able-bodied negroes they can find to build fortifications. The women and children are launched upon our charity. Will not tax-payers make more money by receiving them North? Here they are expensive and valueless. North the women can make $1 50 and $2 per week, supporting themselves and their children. But ignorance and bigotry must work their own cure.
Ohio people—laboring people at that—prefer to pay 25 and 30 cents a bushel for coal, rather than receive competing labor in the market. The demaogues will not permit them to see that a reduction of the expenses of living is so much added to their daily wages. Let us wait a little. None so blind is they who will not see. Perhaps the wilfully [sic] blind may see in due time. The main point now is to solve the present difficulties which afflict us. Tell us what to do with them when we are done with them, and what to do with the women and children.
Since the foregoing was written, I have read The Atlanta Intelligencer, of the 7th instant, containing a report of a debate in the Georgia Legislature. which broadly admits that the Rebel armies are reduced to quarter rations. A bill was pending amending the act restricting planters to the cultivation of three acres of cotton, so that they should not be permitted to plant more than one acre. The planters opposed the amending bill. The opposition (Cornites) insisted upon the amendment, because it gave two more acres of land to grain growing, contending that it is a measure of vital necessity. The editor of The Atlanta Intelligencer went to the capitol to hear the debate. He pronounces it intensely interesting, and rebukes the three acre men as selfish, and opposed alike to the true interests of Georgia and of the Confederacy. He characterizes the one-acre bill the "great measure" of the session, and that a scene such as he had "rarely witnessed" followed the failure of the House to pass the bill. Finding that the bill would not pass, its friends attempted to compromise on two acres, but the opposition declined to yield. In the end, however, it was reconsidered, and is still pending. The editor sketches the debate as follows:
Mr. Dever of Polk "showed that by planting two additional acres of corn to the hand in his county, 60,000 bushels additional would be produced. Allowing twelve bushels to feed a man a year, 5,000 more men would be fed than now. The object of the bill is to give additional assurance to the army that cotton planters are willing to make any and every sacrifice to feed their families.
Mr. Render said "corn was abundant in Merriweather County." He and Mr. Chandler of De Kalb were for King Corn.
Mr. Hester of Elbert was the champion of cotton. "He spoke of the healthy condition of the army with a quarter of a pound of meat a day, at the present time, and of their readiness to fight the enemy. He was asked by Mr. Trammell of Catoosa, if he attributed such a condition of the army to the circumstance of their being fed on one-fourth rations."
Mr. Hester ridiculed the idea of there being starvation before us. "He verily believed members were eating more than usual for fear that in a short time they will not have anything to eat. He was willing to suffer famine before he would consent to subjugation."
" It is very easy," says the editor of The Intelligencer, seriously, "for a man well fed, whose face is rotund and ruddy from abundance, to speak thus; but let the picture be reversed. Let such well-fed persons go and subject themselves for one month, if they can, to the scanty fare of poor women and children in some of our upper counties, and we are sure such persons would quickly change their opinions."
Mr. Du Bose of Hancock followed with the startling announcement that he had been informed that there was flour enough in the Valley of Virginia to feed the whole army of the Confederacy for a twelvemonth, and that flour was selling at $5 per barrel in that section.
Says the editor: "If there is such plenty it must be in that portion of the valley now in possession of the enemy. We traveled last October the whole length of that valley, from Bonsack on the railroad, through Lexington, Staunton, and Winchester, twelve miles beyond the latter point, and we inquired at all of the principal places in the valley .... valley and nowhere found flour at any such price. The lowest price of flour was $12 50 per barrel, and that was at a point many miles from any transportation by railroad."
Mr. Du Bose "thought if the people of Cherokee, Ga., would use the good old Methodist doctrine of works as well as faith, there would be no such scarcity."
Mr. Lester of Cobb said, "We are told that the reason there is so much destitution and suffering in Cherokee from want of food is that they do not follow the good old Methodist doctrine of works. What chance (said Mr. L.) has a poor woman, who doesn't even own a horse, with three or four girl children to support, to obtain corn from South-Western Georgia?"
Mr. Hester of Elbert had "likened the condition of Georgians to the children of Israel in the desert, when God led them with manna." Mr. Smith of Brooks said, "Will the gentleman give us assurance that God will feed us with manna?"
Mr. Hester—"We have assurance that God will give us sunshine and rain until the end of the world."
Mr. Smith—"Ah! but we want the manna. The gentleman does not want the necessary means to be used, the necessary foresight to be employed, and therefore he must assure us of the manna."
Mr. Hester—"We also have in the account that .... Barney's action of patronage;" and then he argues that this contract was beyond the control and patronage of the Collector. No, Sir, the public eye has pierced that vail and seen the deformity beyond.
Mr. Butler tries to relieve from the effect of the testimony of Isaacs, one of their friends, and says that Isaacs told him that in ten years he had not received $100 as bribes, and never paid any money to the Collector. Now this is what Isaacs swore to on the 9th day of September, 1862:
Question. It is charged that you, with other inspectors performing the same duties, assume full authority to examine baggage; that you pass it with or without examination, as you choose; that in many cases you receive money for passing baggage, five and ten dollars at a time, and that you do this as a regular business. What do you say to these charges?
Answer. I have never in my life received a shilling from any individual, except when it has been delivered over to the Collector, Surveyor, or Naval Officer, as money presented to me as a bribe. For instance, here is money (showing a roll of bills) which was offered to me this morning as a bribe. I received it, and then seized the man's goods and sent them to the public store. We often take such money when offered to us as a bribe, but we always deliver it to the Custom-House officers.
Mr. Butler dwells on the cotton transaction. He now claims that the commissions were paid to the auctioneer; that the Collector acted as cotton agent without receiving any compensation in that capacity. Mr. Barney himself has not yet said that he has not received nor is expecting to receive any compensation or commissions. Look for a moment at Mr. Butler's position. Barney is acting gratuitously for the Government as agent. If he ignorantly or willfully discharges his duties to the injury of his employer, then he is equally criminal. The custom of merchants, which is not denied, allows ten cents per bale for storage, and ten cents for labor. Mr. Barney, gratuitous cotton agent, pays $1 09. The price of selling per bale is 25 cents. Mr. Barney pays over $2. Auctioneers would gladly have sold the cotton at one-quarter of one per cent. Mr. Barney pays one per cent. How can you defend this agency, Mr. Butler? Will you say the storage was given to the firm who have the general order business in Brooklyn, and they are friends of this Collector? It would certainly be as forcible as most of your arguments. Consult, if you please, Mr. Barney's statement as cotton agent, and you find that only seven days were occupied by the auctioneer in selling, for which nearly $7,000 were paid by agreement—nearly $1,000 per day compensation to the auctioneer deliberately agreed upon. This may be a small matter in the eyes of the Collector, but can you reconcile such an agreement with the presumption of fairness and ordinary business qualifications? A few such agents would soon bankrupt the nation.
Pardon the length of this communication. I will have no opportunity to make any further reply, as I soon leave for Port Royal. I would ask that portion of the press who have taken such an interest in this controversy as to allow only one side to go to their readers to give my statement in their columns.
Should any further attack be made, I can only refer to the facts and reasons set forth at length in my report.
New York, April 2, 1863. C. H. VAN WYCK.
From South Carolina.
Correspondence of the Newburgh Journal.
CAMP FIFTY-SIXTH REGIMENT N. Y. S. V.,
FOLLY ISLAND, S. C., Aug. 5, 1863.
After a tedious voyage of four days duration, the steamer Fulton, on which I had taken passage, dropped anchor in Port Royal harbor in the afternoon of Monday, July 27th, and a few minutes later found me safely landed on the wharf at Hilton Head.
I must confess that my first impressions of South Carolina were very far from agreeable, and time has accomplished little toward effacing the impressions received on the day we came in sight of the long, barren ridge of sand which the pilot assured us was the coast of this troublesome little state. Here and there a few stunted pines and palmettos stood out against the sky, but their presence only rendered the barrenness more vivid by contrast. When we steamed into the harbor, and saw the miserable collection of sutlers' shanties and Quartermasters' sheds, dignified by the title of Hilton Head village, the full beauty of the scene burst upon us. The portion of the island of Hilton Head on which this village is situated, and from which it takes its name, is nothing but a vast heap of white sand, which yields to the foot like a snow-drift, and when the faintest breeze stirs, fills eyes, ears and pockets with the annoying atoms. Farther in on the island the land is covered with a rank vegetation and stunted shrubbery.
The island was taken possession of by our naval and land forces under Admiral Dupont and General Sherman in November, 1861, since which date the Head, being the best landing place, has been the base of our operations in the state, and the main depot of supplies in the Department of the South.
Beaufort, formerly a town of four or five thousand inhabitants, and of great beauty, is situated on the island of Port Royal, fifteen miles above. Before the war, this town was the home of the South Carolina aristocracy, and doubtless within its circumference the present rebellion was planned and brought to maturity.
Early on Tuesday morning I secured a passage on the steamboat Boston, for Folly Island, some sixty or seventy miles north, and in the afternoon of the same day I walked from the Point to my old regiment, which I found encamped within twenty yards of the shore, in the midst of a grove pf cedar and palmetto, and, in every respect save one, admirably situated. The commissary department is in fine order, the air cool and invigorating, the saltwater bathing conducive to health and vigor. But the great drawback to their complete contentment is to be found in the quality of the water used for culinary and drinking purposes, which is truly abominable, as, in addition to its not very desirable state of luke-warmness, it is either strongly impregnated with sulphur [sic] or rendered very disagreeable to the palate by the flavor of decayed vegetable matter. Colonel Van Wyck remains faithfully at his post, making, as usual, the comfort and welfare of the men his special study. He is untiring in his efforts to promote their health and happiness, and every man has reason to feel grateful for the labor so cheerfully bestowed.
Our excellent Lieutenant Colonel, John J. Wheeler, is also worthy of all commendation for his exertions in our behalf. Since his promotion to the position he fills so creditably, he has worked faithfully to promote the drill and discipline of the regiment, and the result is they are fit to compete with any regiment in the department as regards those two essential qualities.
The siege of Charleston progresses with vigor, and its capture is only a question of—not months, but—weeks, and perhaps days. A large force is engaged in mounting Parrot guns, of one, two and three hundred pound calibre, and when the whole number intended to be used shall have been mounted, the people of Charleston will hear such a knocking at their gates, compared with which the monitor attack was but as child's play. I believe General Gilmore has resolved to leave Fort Wagner for the present, and reduce Sumter by firing over the former. The distance from our batteries to Sumter is only twenty-three hundred and fifty yards, and officers competent to judge have decided that a breach can be easily made by our heavy guns. I am not at liberty to give the number of guns to be used, but I can write that not less than twenty tons of solid iron will be hurled against the walls of Sumter at each discharge.
In order that you may understand something about the situation on Morris Island, and the relative positions of the Rebel works, I will describe it as plainly as I can.
Suppose yourself standing by our advanced batteries on the narrow ridge of white sand, or rather succession of sand drifts, known as Morris Island, and looking toward the north end of the same.—Directly in front of you, about six hundred yards distant, stands the little sand battery of Fort Wagner, better able to resist a bonbardment [sic] than Sumter itself. On a continuation of the same line, on the opposite side of the channel, you fine Fort Moultrie, and to the right and left of it lining the shore of Sullivan's Island, a series of small sand batteries. To the left of Wagner, and farther on, you find Cummings' Point Battery, and Battery B. Directly on your left, and about five miles distant is situation the city of Charleston, only the spires of which are visible over the woods on James Island. On a line nearly midway between Moultrie and Charleston, and about twenty-three hundred yards distant, the grey walls of Fort Sumter meet your view as they stand on their firm base of rock, and seem to bid defiance to every effort for their reduction. In addition to the works referred to, you see Fort Johnson on the end of James Island, Fort Ripley on the other side of the channel, Castle Pinckney to the left of Sumter, and numerous sand batteries along the shores on either side.
When the reduction of Fort Sumter shall have been effected (and I candidly believe that event will soon happen,) the capture or destruction of Charleston is a matter of certainty as our iron-clads can then remove the obstructions in the harbor, and either steam up to the wharves of Charleston and compel the vile den to bow in humble submission; or they can reduce Fort Johnson and the other works on James and Morris’ Islands, and thus pave the way for our land forces.
The negro troops in this department, of which there are four regiments, behave themselves splendidly. In an attack made by the enemy on our forces on James Island, two weeks ago, they maintained their position where many white regiments would have given way, and in the attack on Fort Wagner on the 18th ult., they conducted themselves in a manner that won the admiration of every officer and man in the department. The 54th Massachusetts< (colored) is particularly noted for brilliant deeds. The men fight with a reckless determination that carries everything before it.
When the bombardment will commence I cannot state with certainty, but judging from preparations in progress, I hazard the opinion that it will take place before the 20th inst., and in two days thereafter Fort Sumter will be a heap of rubbish.
But I must not forget to notice the manner in which we gained Morris Island, the key of Charleston. Gen. Gilmore moved up to the north end of this Island, and mounted his guns under cover of darkness, the operation lasting several nights.—While engaged in the work, the guns already mounted, as well as the troops gurrding [sic] them, were kept concealed from the rebels by a thin curtain of sand thrown up in front. When all was ready, a few men with shovels made embrasures in the sand heaps, and at daybreak next morning a fire was opened on the Rebel forts on Morris Island, not more than a few hundred yards distant, that took them completely by surprise. When we crossed the river and took possession we found all manner of wearing apparel, both male and female, watches, ear-rings, and trinkets of every description [sic], scattered about in the most reckless profusion.
Our navy is laying off the harbor, ready to cooperate with us whenever the word shall be given. The little monitors throw an occasional shot at the Rebels, and Port Johnson treats us to fifteen minute doses of shell, but without producing any unpleasant result save a general scrambling for the bomb proofs, when the mortar is seen to be discharged.
I have now given you a description of our position, and such other facts as I have been able to collect. When I write again I will endeavor to have a little more interesting matter to communicate.
Yours truly, B.
The efforts of Colonel Van Wyck to recruit his regiment up to its full complement, have, we are glad to learn, met with the most encouraging success. Every day last week from twenty to fifty recruits were added to the Legion, and the District in consequence is nearly or quite out of the draft.--Press.
COLONEL C. H. VAN WYCK'S REGIMENT.
The Tenth Legion, Fifty-sixth regiment Now York State Volunteers, leave Newburg. for the seat of war on Wednesday next, November 6. The orders are peremptory, and the troops will embark at four o'clock P. M. The Legion will be escorted from the encampment grounds to the wharf by General Stephen C. Parmenter and staff, and by the Nineteenth regiment New York State Militia, under the command of Colonel William R. Brown. The following orders have been issued by Colonel Brown:—
REGIMENTAL ORDERS—NO. 28.
HEADQUARTERS NINETEENTH REGIMENT N. Y. S. M.,
NEWBURG, NOV. 1, 1861.
The field and staff officers and musicians, and the several companies (excepting those in the service of the United States) comprising the Nineteenth regiment New York State Militia, are hereby ordered to assemble in the village of Newburg, on Wednesday, the 6th day of November, 1861, uniformed and equipped as the law directs, for regimental parade. The field and staff officers will appear mounted. The regimental line will be formed in Front street, between First and Third streets, at ten o'clock A. M. Commandants of companies are hereby charged with the promulgation of the above orders to the members of their respective companies, and will make due returns according to law. By order of
WILLIAM R. BROWN,
Colonel commanding Nineteenth regiment N. Y. S. M.
CALVIN R. BROWN, Adjutant.
THE TENTH LEGION.
The Tenth Legion, Colonel C. H. Van Wyck, will leave their encampment at Newburg on Wednesday next, arriving in this city Thursday morning, November 7, and proceed to the Everett House, where the Sons of Orange and Sullivan will present them with a beautiful stand of colors. The regiment will thence proceed to Washington.
THE FIFTY SIXTH REGIMENT TO START TO-DAY—THE TWENTY-EIGHTH TO FOLLOW SPEEDILY—GREAT ACTIVITY AMONG THE MILITIA.—The greatest activity prevails among the militia in this city, as well as among the regiments which have not been called upon as those who have been called. Nightly assembles take place at the various armories and drill-rooms, and every preparation is being made in anticipation of a requisition for their services.
The Fifty-sixth and Twenty-eighth Regiments have without the least difficulty been recruited up to the full standard. The Fifty-sixth is in readiness to start, and expects marching orders to-day.
Gen. Duryea has issued the following special order, by which it will be seen that the order for the parade of the Fifth and Eleventh Brigades on the 14th inst., has been countermanded. This, it is presumed, will necessitate a further postponement of the laying of the corner-stone of the new Armory in the Eastern District:
HEADQUARTERS OF THE SECOND DIVISION,
N. Y. S. M., BROOKLYN, July 12.
SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 32.
1. The orders for the parade of the Fifth and Eleventh Brigades on the 14th inst. are hereby countermanded.
2. In pursuance of the proclamation of the Commander-in-Chief the commandants of regiments and companies are charged with the duty of recruiting their regiments and companies up to the full standard within ten days, and they will make assignments of officers and non-commissioned officers for this duty, agreeably to special orders which will be hereafter issued.
3. The regiments which hare been designated for one hundred days service (twenty-eighth and Fifty-sixth) will be recruited with the utmost rapidity, and will report for marching orders at the earliest practicable period.
H. B. Duryea, Major-General.
W. I. STEELE, DIVISION-INSPECTOR.
DROWNED.—GEORGE PRINTER, about fourteen years old, was drowned last night, while bathing in the river, at the foot of Court street. The body was recovered and taken to the residence of his parents, No. 290 Atlantic street, where an inquest will be held to-day.
HEAVY ROBBERY.—Officer WILSON, of the Forty-third Precinct, yesterday arrested a man named JAS. MCMAHON, who is charged with stealing a coach, valued at $700, from a livery stable, No. 54 Monroe street, New York city. He was held for examination.
RAILROAD ACCIDENT.—JOHN PRICE, a conductor on the Fifth Avenue Railroad, was yesterday very seriously injured, by being caught between a car and a post. He was taken to his residence, NO. 74 Fourth place.
From the Middle town Press.
Colonel Van Wyck, with a, patriotism that knows no bounds, is making use of the furlough extended to him and his veteran volunteers, to recruit the regiment up to its full standard. This is most praiseworthy, as well as fortunate for the district, and should be encouraged by every loyal citizen.—Should his efforts meet with success—as we have no doubt they will the quota of the district under the new call could thus be very nearly filled. The reenlistments of his brave legion have already very much reduced the number to be raised in Orange, as well as in Sullivan and Ulster; and it needs but a united effort on the part of our patriotic people, to not only fill up the ranks of the veteran 56th, but to save the district from a draft altogether.— Shall not this effort be made, and made quickly?
Colonel Van Wyck has set the ball in motion, and commences the good work in earnest. He proposes to visit his friends throughout the district, and at the same time hold a series of meetings to aid in recruiting.. He has so well set forth his object in large posters circulated throughout the district, that we cannot do better than to copy it entire, as follows:
RECRUITS WANTED FOR THE TENTH LEGION!
56TH N. Y. VETERAN VOLUNTEERS.
An early enlistment will secure all the bounties, The Supervisors of Orange and Sullivan have resolved to continue the $300 bounty, and the Government bounty is paid until April 1st.
BOUNTY PAID TO VETERANS ……………………………..$852
BOUNTY PAID TO RECRUITS.................................................$677
In addition, the $15 paid to the officer bringing the recruit will be secured to the recruit himself. Be not deceived; no other regiment receives any larger bounty. Every man enlisting in this regiment will be protected from the cupidity of bounty brokers, and no one will be allowed to plunder the soldier by discounting his bond. All men enlisting will be entitled to a furlough from the date of enlistment until the regiment returns to the field. The following
have established Headquarters as follows: Colonel C. H. Van Wyck, Middletown; Captain H. Hines, Newburgh; Lieutenant Sears, Montgomery; Lieutenant Champlin, Liberty; Sergeants, Gowdy, Walden; Bennett, Wurtsboro'; Adams, Ellenville; Stuart, Callicoon; Titus, Cochecton; Conklin, Fremont; Boyd, Newburgh, Springstead, Liberty; Barlow, Ellenville; Whipple, Neversink.
Drummers and Musicians for a Band will be enlisted.
The officers and men of the regiment, wherever located, are requested to assist in recruiting.
COLONEL VAN WYCK
Will address Meetings in Orange and Sullivan, as follows;
At Wurtsboro’, Wednesday evening, March 23d; at Fallsburgh, Thursday evening, March 24th; at Liberty, Friday evening, Martch 25th; at Ellenville, Saturday evening, March 26th; at Jeffersonville, Monday evening, March 28th; at Port Jervis, Tuesday evening, March 29th; at Middletown, Wednesday evening, March 30th; at Newburgh, Thursday evening, April 1st; at Warwick, Saturday evening, April 2d.
FROM THE TENTH LEGION.—D. A. Mabie, Jr., brings us news from the Legion to the 26th of June. Colonel Van Wyck had been suffering from an attack of typhoid fever, but was better when Mr. Mabie left. Slight attacks of typhoid were frequent among the men, leaving them in an enervated condition. Very few eases were fatal. Out of fifteen deaths recorded in a number of the Free South brought to us by Mr. Mabie, eleven were from fever, but none from the Legion.
BURNING OF THE TENTH LEGION HOSPITAL.—The Port Royal Herald of March 24th says that on Tuesday evening, between 7 and 8 o'clock, the large house at the corner of Ninth and F streets, fronting the Common Beaufort, occupied in part as the hospital of the Fifty-sixth New York Regiment, Colonel Van Wyck, caught fire and was completely destroyed. The fire took in the roof from sparks, and although discovered before it obtained much headway, could not be extinguished, owing to a scarcity of water.
The Fire Department turned out promptly, but their only supply for their engines was from wells in the vicinity, the water in which was exhausted in a few moments. About a dozen sick soldiers were in the building, and they were removed to other quarters in safety. Dr. Van Etten, the surgeon of the Regiment, is Post Surgeon, but was present and superintended the removal of the sick. Dr. Hardenburgh, Assistant Surgeon, who had charge of the hospital, had quarters in it, as did Chaplain Van Wyck and other officers. Nearly all the property was removed. This building had been appraised to be sold, but was still the property of the Government.
SWORD PRESENTATION.--A few days ago a very elegant sword and equipments were presented at Beaufort, S. C., to Colonel C. H. Van Wyck of the Fifty-Sixth Regiment, N. Y. V. (Tenth Legion,) by the non-commissioned officers and privates of his command. On the scabbard was inscribed:
" Colonel Van Wyck, our comrade in the hour of danger, our friend always. The privates and non-commissioned officers of the Tenth Legion present this token of their regard."
The presentation speech was made by Sergeant Emmet Clemens. The gift was duly acknowledged by Colonel Van Wyck.
TENTH LEGION.--The Sullivan Republican has letters from the regiment as late as the 11th of January. On the 29th portions of this and two other regiments were sent on a reconnoisance in the direction of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad, all under command of Capt. Cox, of the Fifty-Sixth. When the picket line of the enemy had been driven in, the enemy were found in force in their entrenchments, and it not being designed to bring on a general engagement our force was withdrawn. The following are the casualties in the regiment since the 9th of December: December 26th, Private John C. Calhoun, side, slight, while supporting a battery. December 29, Captain James I. Cox, E, shoulder severe; Sergeant Thomas Harding, H, side, severe; Sergeant C. B. Newkirk, C, breast, severe; Private A. B. Wheeler, C, ear and neck; Private James Lemon, C, nose and eye severe.
Privates William Turner, G, of wounds; King Bennett, H, of wounds: Jacob Dambom, H, of wounds; Cornelius Smith, F, of disease, in hospital; John McCarly, of disease, in hospital.
The following promotions are announced: Addison J. Clements to be Quartermaster, Robert C. Rope to be Second Lieutenant of Company A; Jamison Fisk, Second Lieutenant of Company F; Marshall L. Batsford, Captain, Henry A. Hawks, First Lieutenant, Andrew P. Conklin, Second Lieutenant, all of Company L. The hospital and sick of the regiment were left at Morris Island when they moved out to the railroad, and still remain there.
TENTH LEGION, FIFTY-SIXTH REGIMENT.
The following is a complete list of the killed, wounded and missing of the Tenth Legion Fifty-sixth Regiment N. Y. S. V., at the battle of Fair Oaks, May 31, Col. C. H. Van Wyck commanding:—
Company B—William Mahle.
Company C— David Hardenbrook.
Company D—Serg. R. McGuffie, Thos. Farrill, John Keiser, Philip Mehan.
Company E— Capt. W. J. Williams, Or. Serg. H. McC. Sackett.
Company F—Col. Gd. Jas. Bonney, Moses Robertson.
Company I—Moses Hammond, Jacob Hollenbeck.
Company K—Corp. Robert Davis, Michael Clark, Francis Everton, Abijah Hinckley.
Company L—John Brown.
Col. C. H. Yan Wyck.
Company A—F. B. Davenport, Samuel Cameron, Arthur C. Price, John Zindle.
Company B—Capt A. W. Lomas, Richard Foos, Thos. Hargrave, Wm. Walsh, Charles Brooks, Cornelius Berry, John Krieter, John McCabe, John McFadden.
Company C— Walter Hedden.
Company D—Jos. Crill, Robt. Decker, Miler Odell, Ralph Osborn, Jas. York.
Company E—Corp. John Hornbeck, Corp. Harry Kerner, Corp. M. Schwartz, Corp. John Wilson, Corp. Jesse Stovers, George H. Hill, Alpheus Van Gorden, Jas. Edwards.
Company F—Corp. M. Welton, John Austin, Bernard Kirshner, Nathan P. Lent, John E. White, David Whitmore, Henry C. Yarner.
Company G—John Dagrone, Daniel Sherman, Peter Vandermark.
Company H—Lieut. Wm. T. Calkins, John Holpp.
Company I—Serg. F. W. Teller, John Crossmand,
John Rhodes, Jerome McLean.
Company K—Corp. Abraham Leroy, Henry Goodwin, Patrick Higgins, Jas. Johnson, Oliver Hector.
Company L—Squire Barnhart.
Company B—Serg. Strickland, John Lockwood, Thos. McNearney.
Company G—Henry Tyson.
Company H—Jas. Bell, Geo. Froeleigh, Jas, Hannon.
Company L—J. March.
Correspondence of the Middletown Press.
Tenth Legion Correspondence.
RETURN OF COLONEL VAN WYCK TO HIS REGIMENT—VIOLENT SNOW STORM AND INCIDENTS ON THE PASSAGE—FAILURE TO TAKE CHARLESTON—EXCURSION AMONG THE ADJACENT ISLANDS—MAGNIFICENCE OF THE SEABR00K ESTATE—THE WILLING SACRIFICES OF THE REBELS—THE NORTH STILL LACKING EARNESTNESS AND PATRIOTISM—THE PALMETTO AND LIVE OAK WITH THEIR DRAPERY OF MOSS—ABOUT SNAKES—DEATHS IN THE REGIMENT.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTY-SIXTH REGIMENT, N. Y. V.
SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C, April 12, 1863.
MR. HASBROUCK—Dear Sir: The promise of an occasional letter as to the movements of the regiment I will endeavor to fulfill. Leaving New York on the afternoon of Saturday, the 4th instant, a violent snow storm met us that night, the most severe the Captain of the Arago had encountered for five years. The waves not only swept the decks, but the smoke pipes for the distance of fifteen feet above were incrusted in salt where the crests of the billows had lapped their angry folds and spurned the hot surface, yet leaving the mark of its snowy foam. The staunch vessel rocked—the sport of the wind and plaything for the waves—sometimes on the topmost sea, then in its trough, answering to the rudder, still kept on its certain course. Were you ever sea-sick? If so, you know all about it; if not, it is impossible to describe the sensation. The ocean continued rough for two days. The most trifling incident interests on a sea voyage. Watching porpoises as they leaped a full length out of the water or swam in schools in front of the vessel amused us by day; without any effort their speed was greater than the steamer. Tracking our course by waves of phosphorescent light in the wake furnished matter of reflection at night. On the third clay, when about one hundred miles from land, a beautiful bird rested his weary wings on the mast. Soon a life boat without oars, and rudder gone, went skimming upon the waves; from whence—what had been its errand, and what tale it night unfold, was a matter of speculation alone. Reached Port Royal on Wednesday at 2 p. m., found the monitors and troops had gone to Charleston. At midnight on the Locust Point left for Edisto Inlet. In the morning learned that the Fifty-sixth was on Seabrook Island; by a small boat secured reached them, and I need not tell you what gratification it afforded me once more to join and greet that gallant band. I found them pleasantly encamped and enjoying good health.
Here, as at Port Royal, all was excitement, full of hope, and sanguine of success. Charleston is only eighteen miles distant, and the terrific cannonading had been distinctly heard. From this harbor had gone out the most formidable and magnificent war fleet the world had ever seen. The possibility of failure seemed not to have been entertained. You can readily imagine how great was the feeling of disappointment and gloom when tidings came that the iron-clads had been repulsed, Keokuk sunk, and the whole fleet to be withdrawn. Here the stern reality was felt, while to your mind it came with various explanations and apologies.
Saturday morning went to Stono; there first learned of the intention to withdraw, and saw the transports slowly and sullenly move from that harbor. On the steamer Nelly Baker went to what is known as the plantation house, about five miles from Charleston; from the walking beam, could plainly see the church spires of that modern Sodom. Why the wrath of an offended God does not suffer its destruction seems marvelous [sic], unless its existence is qualified by the same limitation as that which controlled its prototype of old, even though there be ten righteous men. But who supposed there were even ten righteous men to be found in that den of abominations.
Stono Inlet is a fine harbor, and makes safe anchorage. Adjoining it are Coles and Folly Islands; a little to the rear John's Island, on which just at the water's edge, about three miles distant, Legareeville, having the outward appearance of a beautiful New England village. Sunday morning with the remaining vessels, on board the Canonicus, I returned to camp. Edisto Inlet, ten miles south of Stono, is a finer harbor, where vessels of deep draft can move easily across the bar. For miles along this Southern coast, in fact from Charleston to Savannah, a net work of islands, marsh and bays, separate the ocean from the main land.
At this point are several islands, Edisto and Seabrook the principal ones. Here, as in the feudal times, the country is owned by a few land owners. The ancient Seabrook owned many plantations; he himself had a princely estate on Edisto Island; while the mansion was unpretending, the grounds were said to be magnificent. Groves, lawns, parks, artificial lakes and islands, filled with all varieties of fish, birds of grandest plumage and sweetest song, flowers from every clime; so that at all times the air was filled with the melody of sound and the fragrance of flowers. It must have been a spot that " Shenestone might envy?"
In our rear, about two miles distant, is another beautiful town, known as Rockville; small in size, yet prepossessing in appearance. Much of this Southern coast is said to be very unhealthy, yet now and then are spots which for some cause the malaria does not reach. Here the planters of the surrounding country gather, and form villages by building houses for summer residences. All these towns and plantations are deserted; in most cases the owners have moved hurriedly away leaving all their furniture behind, just as the inhabitants of Herculaneum and Pompeii moved to escape the burning lava.
It does appear that we yet fail to comprehend the desperate determination of the men arrayed in arms against us. Wherever we go, the same unyielding spirit is manifested. I certainly cannot but admire the valor and heroism of this people. Villages are deserted, homes abandoned, property left behind at our mercy; in a better cause they would deserve success. War is dear to their hearts when such sacrifices are cheerfully made—and they are cheerfully made. In trying to create a belief to the contrary we are only amusing ourselves with a delusion. Would that our own people exhibited one-half the devotion to perpetuate that they exhibit to destroy the Union.
No sacrifices are made by the men at the North except those who have given husbands, fathers and sons to the army. The man who stands whining at the pittance of a small tax, and is quivering all over with fear and trembling, and whose knees are smiting together at the prospect of conscription, demands the present as he will receive from the future, the execration of mankind. If greater sacrifices were required of our people, there would be more warm and generous patriotism. If they were required to abandon homes, give up their all, they would know the value of a country. They who are crying "peace, peace, when there is no peace," are making the war more bloody, and the end farther off; so that our worst enemies are those of our own household.
Our encampment is pleasant; from the beach extending back through a cheerful grove of palmetto and live oak, we can look out upon the dark blue ocean, hear its never ceasing solemn roar, and enjoy its healthy breeze. Like most of the islands the soil is sandy, and much of it yet a native wilderness. You wonder that a soil apparently so light should produce forests which attract attention by the magnificence of their growth and richness of foliage. The palmetto is a dwarf of the palm, usually growing about eighteen feet high, straight, with no branches, but a tuft of leaves on the top. The live oak is a grand old tree, commencing to branch near the ground, it spreads its huge limbs from fifty to seventy feet on either side, sometimes arching over the road, the extreme end resting on the ground.
Occasionally a pitch or yellow pine rears its tall form. The feature of a Southern forest is the moss hanging profusely from nearly every tree. It droops from the trunk, branches, and even twigs. The palmetto it shuns entirely; decks occasionally the pine, but delights to festoon in graceful drapery the live oak. This is the moss from which the hair for cushions is obtained; by a process of decomposition it becomes the black, wiry, springy, hair. It grows out from the bark and hangs in thick clusters from two to six feet in length. Each tree looks like so many grey-headed giants. It has been useful to us in making beds, and we have extemporized hair mattresses to an unlimited extent.
Another feature of this country is snakes, wonderful to tell of and behold. You see them everywhere; when you walk by the way, when you sit down and rise up. They cross your path, occupy your tent, and make themselves generally annoying. We have them of all sizes and varities [sic]. South Carolina has a most appropriate device on her banner in the palmetto and rattlesnake.
Since parting with the regiment in December last, three noble spirits have fallen at the touch of disease. Corporal Lewis Eckhart and Bradley Gorton, of Company K, and Reuben Hollis of Company H. Virginia has become to us sacred soil, for it contains the graves of many of our comrades. There are but few sick at present. We have, officers and men, nearly six hundred fit for duty.
Yours, &c, C. H. VAN WYCK.
RETURN OF THE TENTH LEGION.—The Tenth Legion arrived in New York on Monday night of last week, from Beaufort, (S. C.) They were handsomely entertained in the city by the Sons of Orange and Sullivan; came up to Newburgh Tuesday, where they were hospitably welcomed; and arrived at Middletown Wednesday.—At the latter place they were given a public reception. They appear to have been given a public reception. They appear to have been well kept, being in excellent condition and spirits. They are furloughed for thirty-five days.
Tenth Legion Correspondence.
Orders to evacuate Seabrook Island—Order countermanded—Picket duty—An exciting Occurrence—Payment of the Regiment; over $20,000 sent home—A death in Co. B—Hospital and Reading Room—Recreations—Ripe Oranges and Blackberries—Rembrance [sic] of Friends at home Animal life—Arrival of the Mails—Dearth of Reading matter, &c.
HEADQUARTERS 56th Reg't N. Y. V.,
Seabrook Island, S. C., May 13th, 1863.
Mr. Hasbrouck: I ommitted [sic] to mention that our picket line is about three miles in advance of the position occupied by the camps. That picket duty is done by all regiments alternately, each remaining out one week. On Thursday, April 15th, our week commenced. The afternoon before many steamers came in the harbor, and at night we were ordered to strike tents and get ready to move on board—that the island was to be evacuated. Accordingly, the whole night was spent in carrying stores, baggage and tents about half a mile up the beach and loading on transports.
Next morning we were ordered on the line to relieve the 24th Mass., so they might move on boats. In the afternoon orders came that in the dusk of the evening we should withdraw from the front, so that the enemy would not be apprised of our movements. About dusk orders came that we should make preparations to remain a week—that the order to evacuate had been countermanded, that tents and stores would be unloaded. Everything was brought back and each regiment established itself on its old camping ground, and the snow-white canvass soon, as by magic, converted a desolate island into a city of tents.
The week on picket passed rapidly, the time being occupied in watching rebels and snakes, fighting sand, flies and mosquitoes. Our line is under cover of woods. In front is a large field of several hundred acres (one of Seabrook's plantations), the ridges plainly showing the cultivation of cotton. In the centre of the field is a large house, surrounded with negro quarters and a fine hedge fence. By the house and along the fences the rebels have their outposts, and show themselves, sometimes on foot, sometimes on horseback, with sufficient activity to make our duties somewhat exciting. On several occasions they fired upon our pickets. Their firing showed good rifles and marksmen; balls were planted in the trees which covered our men.
On Tuesday, the 20th, after midnight, we were still awake at the main reserve, listening for every sound coming out of the darkness. The sentinel near by said he heard something breaking through the bushes; on it came, still cracking the undergrowth and branches. "It must be some wild beast," said the sentinel in a low tone. Still on it came. "Halt!" sounded from the determined voice of the sentinel, "who comes there?" "A friend, but without the countersign," was the response. "Approach to the road," replied the sentinel. He came to the road and we found it to be Corporal Sylvester Hall, Co. F, who reported that the enemy had come upon their post at which three men were stationed and driven them back. This post was in a hazardous situation, on a point of land putting out from the island and reached only by boats. The night before an attempt had been made without success to surprise the post. During the day our boys had practised [sic] a little strategy, and at night changed the location of the post. The rebels came in considerable force in two parties, and closed together, as they supposed, in the rear of the post, hoping thereby to make a sure capture; but, fortunately for us, they moved directly in front of the post. The orders previously were that in case of an attack, one should cross the stream and notify the reserve. Corporal Hall started out to do so, came to the beach, found the rebels had pushed off the boats; but plunging in he swam to the opposite shore. The night was dark, but through the woods he made his way, forded one swamp, was taken out of his course, finally changed, swam a pond filled with alligators, and came upon us as stated. But few men could have performed the feat. The Regiment had been paid only the day before. Over $50, his four months' pay, was in his pocket. In swimming the stream it was washed out, but the officers of the regiment promptly repaid his loss.
The reserve was soon under arms. A reconnoisance was made, but the enemy had not crossed the stream. I forgot to state that the day before the regiment was paid for four months, pay rolls of several companies were signed under the fire of rebel pickets. From this payment the regiment sent home between twenty and twenty-five thousand dollars.
On Saturday night, May 2d, private Brown, of Co. B, died from consumption. This is the first death from disease in that company. Their health has always been a marvel. Several fine young men from the Barryville region enlisted with us. This is the first of their number they have followed to the tomb. With a proper escort his body was taken and buried at Port Ryoal [sic]. He was a good soldier. At St. Helena he was offered his discharge, but declined it. Now he has fallen at his post and with his armor on.
We have but three sick now in hospital. We always strive to make the hospital attractive and cheerful; it is now well floored and filled with evergreens and flowers of all kinds. Out of palmetto leaves and pines we have made a spacious reading room, with tables and seats and nearly thirty files of papers. Independent of papers to individuals, the last mail brought thirty-five, and from thirteen different states of the Union.
The men are all in good spirits, and enjoying themselves much in sea-bathing, sailing and other recreations. Nearly all have gone to Edisto Island, procured boards, chairs, tables, and many articles of convenience in camp. A few days since they came back loaded down with ripe oranges and blackberries. It was wonderful to see ripe fruits and berries the first of May—particularly when the days have been only pleasantly warm, and the nights cool. Thus far, as many blankets have been required at night in sleeping as were used in Virginia last spring.
A few days since we dispatched six large boxes, having smaller ones within containing shells and curiosities, to friends at home. Nearly every soldier sent a remembrance. If they are received with as much gratification as they were sent, there will be many happy recipients.
We are busily engaged fortifying the island with rifle pits and forts. The whole country is full of life. It swims in all waters, swarms everywhere in the sir, creeps over every inch of land and nearly every leaf of the forest. Alligators, snakes of all sizes and varieties, lizards, swifts, chameleons, frogs, flies, fish of all kinds, birds of magnificent plumage, and rich song, yellow, red, mocking birds—at daybreak the air is full of sweet sounds. Under the magic influence of free labor what a country this would be!
The principal feature in camp is the arrival of the mails, generally once in two weeks. The quartermaster's tent is usually the post office. Around it gather nearly the whole regiment, anxiously, hopefully looking for a letter or paper from home. Seldom any meet with disappointment—every man gets something.
There was a great dearth of reading matter when we first came—old papers were read and re-read. The Seabrook House had been ransacked and all magazines and periodicals confiscated—books that could be of use and those that could not. A Greek volume had been brought into camp; some of the boys would pore over the contents, and if they could not read at least could wonder what it meant. For a time the perusal of the life of Robinson Crusoe would have been particularly appropriate.
C. H. VAN WYCK.
A meeting of the sons of Orange and Sullivan will be held at the Astor House this evening, at eight o'clock, to conclude the arrangements for the reception of the Tenth Legion, Colonel Van Wyck. This regiment has seen a great amount of service with the Army of the Potomac and should be well received.
ARRIVAL OF THE FIFTY-SIXTH REGIMENT.
The Tenth legion—so called from the old Tenth Congressional district in this state—Colonel Van Wyck commanding, reached this city last night, in the steamer Fulton, from South Carolina. This regiment has re-enlisted with great unanimity. They number nearly 430 enlisted men. Their friends in this city can visit them to-day. They leave to-morrow by the Erie Railroad for their homes in Orange and Sullivan counties.
We have the annexed account of a very agreeable affair in which the Xth Legion bore a prominent part, in a copy of the Free South, which some friend sends us from Beaufort, S. C.—The occasion, we doubt not was one long to be remembered by the participants in the feast, and contrasted in so striking a manner, with their ordinary employments and style of living, that it must have afforded supreme enjoyment:
From the Free South.
THE TENTH LEGION DINNER.
BEAUFORT, S. C,. Sept. 2,1863.
MR. EDITOR: On the afternoon of Tuesday last, a very pleasant entertainment was given by the officers of the 56th N. Y. S. V., better known as the "Tenth Legion," to the officers of its neighbor, the 115th N. Y. Vols. And several other military gentlemen attached to other regiments and commands.
The day was fine, and all the surroundings delightful. In the grove at the camp grounds of the 56th N. Y. V. was spread a sumptuous table, to which the company sat down at 5 P. M. After partaking of the feast of good things the literary entertainments of the occasion began. Col. Van Wyck read a letter from Gen. Saxton, regretting his inability to attend at the festive board. Col. Van Wyck then proposed the health of Gen. Saxton, which was eloquently replied to by his A. A. G., Capt. Taylor, who concluded by proposing the 56th N. Y. V.; may its future career be as successful and glorious as its past has been,"; responded to by Lieut. J. F. Shafer, Q. M. of the 56th. Capt. Milton of the 56th, proposed, "the negro as a soldier, and not as a slave;" Col. Higginson, of the 1st S. C. Vols., responded, and developed the truth suggested in the toast with powerful and stirring eloquence. In concluding, he proposed, "Col. Van Wyck, may he continue to investigate until he shall have investigated the interior of Charleston." Col. Van Wyck replied in a speech of moving pathos and power, and concluded by expressing the unalterable determination that pervades every true patriot's heart to prosecute the war until the Union shall be fully restored.
Dr. Van Etten proposed, “the 55th Pennsylvania Volunteers,”; which was responded to by Col. White, Lieut.-Col. Wheeler of the 56th N. Y. V. proposed, “the American banner, in our boyhood it protected us, and, by the grace of god, we’ll protect it in our manhood.” DR. Van Etten also proposed, “Gen. Gillmore,” which was enthusiastically received. Other sentiments were proposed and responded to, which your correspondent fails to remember, Captains Walrath, Smith, and Quarter Master McMartin, and Chaplain Clemens, of the 115th N. Y. V., Lieut. Ramsey of the 1st Regular Battery, and Rev. Messrs. French and Bingham, of the Christian Commission, made brief and interesting remarks.
We all arose from the table after nightfall much cheered in mind and body by the generous mental and physical repast afforded us. This mingling together in free social and festive intercourse of members of different regiments is productive of the happiest results. The pleasing entertainment of Tuesday, was instrumental in forming many acquaintances and friendships which will last long after this war for the Union shall have successfully closed.
Under date of the 11th inst., Quartermaster Shafer writes as follows to the Times: (Nov. 26, 1863)
" The report brought us by the New York morning papers of November 4th, in regard to the election in our state, was the theme of universal rejoicing in the camps hereabouts. We hope that our county and district have sustained the Union ticket, but fear that the contrary is the fact.
" On Monday morning last our regiment was relieved from duty at the outposts, and returned to camp at this place. It passed twenty-two days on the border, and was relieved by the First South Carolina Vol.
" Last Monday evening two hundred and forty-one drafted men from New York reached our regiment, and have been incorporated into it. They are, however, mainly substitutes for drafted men, many of whom have seen service in the field. They seem to be a well disposed class of men, and hail from all parts of New York. But few are from our district. It is suppposed [sic] that when a sufficient time has been allowed to discipline these men, we will be ordered to Morris Island.
Tenth Legion. (Nov. 2, 1861)
The organization of the above regiment, known as the Fifty-sixth, from New York was raised under the direction of Congressman Van Wyck, of the Tenth District, comprising the counties of Sullivan and Orange. They are complete, and will take their departure for the seat of war the coming week. The sons of Sullivan and Orange, residing in our city, are making arrangements to receive them, and at the same time present them with a splendid stand of colors. The colors are manufactured by Messrs. Tiffany & Co., of Broadway—who have supplied nearly all the regiments which have received colors—and are a splendid specimen of artistic skill. They number eight in all, there being one regimental flag, with the coat-of-arms of the United States and the State in a shield, joined, supported on each side by a view, one side being the headquarters of Washington at Newburgh, the other a noted saw-mill and stream conspicuous in the county. The remaining regimental color is a splendid embroidered flag of silk, with an embroidered union and "Fifty-sixth Regiment, Tenth Legion" in the stripes. There is an artillery flag, four by five feet; a cavalry, three by four feet, and two regimental guidons. The entire work is a credit to this celebrated house, and a worthy gift to the regiment. Lieut. Col. Ellis of this regiment, we learn, has been ordered to Washington by General McClellan to take command of a battery. The legion will be duly received on their arrival in our city.
Arrival of the Tenth Legion.
This celebrated command arrived in our city on Thursday from Newburgh, being under the command of Colonel Pierre E. Van Wyck, Representative from the Tenth Congressional District. The command numbered 1,453 in all, being composed of ten line companies, one cavalry, one artillery and one sharpshooter corps. They were received and escorted by about three hundred of the natives of Orange and Ulster, residing in our city, to the Everett House, where they were entertained to breakfast, the rank and file having been marched to the Park Barracks for breakfast. After breakfast, a presentation of flags was made by Mr. John C. Dimmick, in behalf of the natives of Orange and Ulster residing in our city. The colors were manufactured by Messrs. Tiffany & Company of Broadway, and consisted of one regimental color, one national flag, one artillery, two cavalry, one light corps color, and two guidons. They are a splendid specimen of workmanship, and reflect great credit on the manufacturers as well as upon the Sons of Orange and Ulster, whose gift they were. The Legion has been in organization, under the personal energy and direction of Colonel Van Wyck, about three months. The material is good and hardy, able to cope with the labors of a campaign. They attracted considerable attention as they passed through our city, evidencing an intent to protect the old flag. The regiment departed for Washington in the 8 P.M. train.
Goshen, Thursday Morning, Jan. 28, 1864.
ON PICKET, SEABROOK, S. C.
January 13th, 1864.
Is it natural for a man to indulge in the illusions of Hope? I believe it is, and the experience of the Tenth Legion bears me out in this belief. For several months we have been in the hope of being ordered into active service and leaving this hum-drum, holiday-soldier town; of Beaufort. Illusions they have proved, as all our hopes have been signally disappointed. But we can claim an improvement now, on the life we led during the past five or six months. On Monday last our regiment was sent out on picket to this place, ten or eleven miles from Beaufort. If we cannot meet the enemy, and have a fair stand up fight, we have at least the satisfaction of looking at them, on the other side of the river.
Although much cannot be said in favor of picket duty under any circumstances, our duty here is far from unpleasant, and we were well pleased at receiving the order to go out for twenty days, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Wheeler. Our lines are in plain sight of the enemy, and at some posts not more than two hundred yards distant. At Port Royal Ferry the men stand so near the rebels that a conversation can be carried on in an ordinary tone of voice, and you can easily imagine that the treat is indulged by the boys, to the fullest extent. Picket firing, (which, at the best, is only one degree removed from murder) is positively prohibited on both sides, and the men are thus enabled to stand in sight of the enemy, without fear of consequences.—
Truly it is a friendly way of carrying on a war.
Another of those little incidents that serve to relieve a soldiers life of much of its harshness, came off in our Camp at Beaufort, on the evening of the 23rd of December, On that occasion the officers of the Regiment assembled at the Hospital, and made their beloved Lieut. Colonel, John J. Wheeler, the recipient of an elegant testimonial of their regard in the form of a superb gold watch.
The inside of the case bore the following inscription, elegantly engraved:
LIEUT. COLONEL JOHN J. WHEELER,
BY THE OFFICERS OF THE 56th N. Y. S. V.
As a token of their regard for him as an able officer, brave an honorable man, and a highly esteemed friend.
Following the above were the names of the officers presenting the testimonial, handsomely engraved.
The presentation address was made by Dr. Van Etten, and was worthy of the man and the occasion. The Doctor alluded, in eloquent language, to Col. Wheeler's career as an officer, and to the noble manner in which he stood by us since we left our camp at Newburgh, and entered upon active service. Although laboring under severe bodily infirmities at the time, and in very ill health, stood faithfully by his command in the fatal Peninsula campaign, and shared its toils and dangers both on the march and battle-field. He entered the service as Captain of the Company raised in Goshen and adjoining towns, and rendered his command second to none in the Regiment. As an officer his abilities are superior, and as a man he is respected and beloved by all that know him. In August 1862 he was promoted to the Majority of his regiment, and in October of the same year appointed Lieut. Colonel, vice Decker, resigned. To his unwearying exertions, and fine military talent, the Tenth Legion was indebted for its recovery from the demoralizing effects of the Peninsula campaign, and the fine standard in drill and discipline which it afterwards attained. In February 1863, while he was still in command, this regiment was selected as one of the four best in the Department of the South, and assigned to Gen. Stevenson, who was appointed to lead an important movement, then in contemplation.
At the conclusion of Doctor Van Etten's remarks, Col. Wheeler rose, and in a brief but eloquent response, thanked the officers for the token of their good will which he held in his hand.
It is a source of great regret to us that after having borne the heat and burden of the day, and stood by us for two years and five months, sharing our hardships and dangers, Colonel Wheeler should be compelled, at the eleventh hour to leave us. But so it is. On account of unpleasant circumstances, to which I do not deem it proper to refer at present, he has concluded to accept a position on the Staff of Major Gen. Slocum, as provost Marshal, with his present rank. The position was tendered to the Colonel before, but he invariably declined to accept it until the present time. In case the application of Gen. Slocum is refused by the War Department, he will immediately tender his resignation. His loss will be keenly felt by us, both on account of his military abilities and social qualities.
Since you heard from me last, we received a valuable addition to our Regiment in the person of Doctor Hardenburgh, who received the appointment of Assistant Surgeon, vice Turner, appointed Surgeon of the 103d N. Y. S. V. Doctor H. is a graduate of the Albany Medical College and his abilities as a Surgeon are of a first-rate order.—He studied medicine, and became a physician, out of pure love of the profession, not because he cared to adopt it as a profession. He has already taken a place in the affections of the officers and men by the side of Dr. Van Etten.
The President's Proclamation of Amnesty meets with general approval among the soldiers, and they are almost unanimous in the desire to re elect him to the Presedential [sic] chair. In his good sense and pure patriotism, they place the most implicit confidence.
New Year's day, the Anniversary of the Proclamation of Emancipation was observed by the colored people of this Department in a becoming manner.—Early in the day, every avenue to the town of Beaufort was crownded [sic] with the Freedmen, decked out in Holiday attire. Some came in carts, drawn along by the South Carolina horses not much larger than Shetland Ponies, while others came on foot. Several Steamboats arrived, bringing colored soldiers, and the people from the neighboring islands. At 11 o’clock, the procession was formed on Saxton Avenue, and marched, with music playing, and colors streaming, to Camp Shaw, (1st S. C. Vols.) where the exercises opened with a prayer by the Rev. Mr. Hall, a colored missionary among the Freedmen. After the opening prayer, the children of the Public Schools sang a hymn in fine style, moving the heart of every listener.
The Proclamation of Freedom was then read by Gilbert Pillsbury, and Gen. Saxton's New Year's greeting by Mr. Tomlinson, the Superintendent of Government land on St. Helena Island.
The Freedmen then presented Gen. Saxton with an elegant sword, through the Rev. James Lynch. The accompanying remarks were very complimentary to the General, referring to his exertions in behalf of the colored men, and the unvarying kindness and love he has evinced towards them.
Gen. Saxton acknowledged the receipt of the gift in an appropriate address. I give you a few extracts from his speech:
" This weapon suits me well, and I will ever be proud to wear it. I thank you sincerely for this token of your good will and affection, and for the kind words you have spoken in presenting it. It gives me the assurance that my humble efforts in your behalf are appreciated * * * I accept this beautiful sword, the gift of FREEDMEN, and with a solemn determination to wear it in your cause—the cause of Freedom, until every slave is made free as you are to-day; until the President's Emancipation Proclamation shall have become a living reality throughout the length and breadth of our land; until the glad shout shall ascend from every cabin in the Sunny South, "We are free" with no discordant note to mar the grand chorus of liberty, or one heart poor enough to do honor to the hideous ghastly monster called Slavery, which has cursed your race so long and bitterly. On this Happy New Year's day, rejoice and be exceedingly glad for its days are numbered. It has been weighed in the scales of justice and truth, and found wanting. If some of its barbarisms still linger to show where it has been, in the fair sunlight of liberty which has drawn upon us, they shall all disappear, for it is written in letters of living light, on the portals of the future, “You are forever free.” * * *
Soldiers, you are in arms, fighting for all that is dear to a man in life—liberty and manhood, for yourselves and your race. As you value your future in this world, that which is to come, it behooves you to stand fast by the old flag—your only hope for its success. If it is trailed in the dust in dishonor, there is nothing in the future for you, but endless toil and slavery. As a friend, let me tell you to stand fast and firm, whether you receive ten dollars a month or nothing.
You are fighting for that which is of more value than money. Stand firm, whether your hopes brighten or darken, whether your cause prosper or seemingly decline. It is God's holy warfare we are waging. Stand firm, and never ground your arms until the Union is restored, and your race is free. Then lay them down in peace, and I will place this sword among my jewels."
After a few other speeches, a sword was presented to Col. Higginson by some of his friends in Beaufort. The Colonel's response was brief, but like all his speeches, eloquent and to the point.
The ceremonies were closed with a prayer by the Rev. Mr. Wayland, and the colored people adjourned to a Southern Barbecue, close by.
On Wednesday last, the second execution for desertion that has taken place in this Department, came off on the parade ground, near the town.—There, in the presence of the Regiments of this Post, and a crowd of outsiders drawn thither by a morbid curiosity, Joseph Strobels, alias James Murphy, a private in the 55th Pa., was shot to death by musketry. The offence had become so common among the conscripts and substitutes that an example was needed, and Strobels case being the most aggravated, he suffered the penalty of his crime. This man deserted, and attempted to go over to the enemy, but was arrested and delivered to the authorities by some negroes that he hired to conduct him to the main-land.
The weather is charming at present, although we have had several "cold snaps.” It may seem strange to our denizens of the freezy North, but I assure you that I picked a full blown Rose off a bush in an exposed garden, on the first day of January, 1864.
Our town has been a scene of a number of weddings, parties and balls, within the last month, several of which it was my pleasure to attend. Doctor Hayden, the Medical Purveyor of the Post, gave a party on the eve of Dec. 28th, which was an era in our life. The walls were elegantly decorated with wreaths composed of Magnolia, Orange and Holly leaves, and flowers peculiar to this region, the name of which I have forgotten. In the centre of every wreath there hung a cluster of ripe Oranges, clinging to the limb, just as they were taken from the tree. The decorations, with the brilliant dresses, and showy uniforms, formed a scene of surpassing beauty—one that shut out entirely the grim realities of war.
Many of our men feel willing to re-enlist as Veteran Volunteers, provided they can select the branch of the service they desire to enter and enlist under certain officers. Should permission to that effect be granted, I promise that Company D. will re-enlist almost to a man, as Light Artillery or Cavalry, and if Colonel Wheeler could be induced to remain, I believe they would be willing to stay as Infantry. Col. W., was their old Captain, and still possesses their entire confidence and affection. Out of over five hundred of the old men left in the Regiment, I believe three hundred would re-enlist under the circumstances referred to.
And now I have given you all the news that I think would prove interesting. If, anything occurs to relieve the dull routine of our life, you may expect to hear from me again before many weeks. Yours most sincerely, IKE.
Goshen, Thursday Morning, Mar. 24, 1864.
RETURN OF THE TENTH LEGION.
Reception in New-York City.
The re-enlisted veterans of the Tenth Legion, number over 400, arrived at New York from Port Royal on Sunday. On Tuesday they were received by the Society of the Sons of Orange and Sullivan with especial honors. The Regiment, headed by Dodsworth's Band, marched up Broadway to the Seventh Regiment Armory, when the war-worn colors of the Regiment were returned for safe-keeping to the Sons, who presented them to the Regiment on its first departure to the field. Col. Van Wyck delivered the speech on returning the colors, recommending greater activity and energy in the carrying on of the war, and was replied to by the Rev. Dr. Bell, who received the same on behalf of the Sons. A collation was then served up, after which the regiment returned to the Park Barracks via Astor Place and Broadway, and there broke ranks. The reception was a neat affair, and was attended by a large number of ladies.
Goshen, Thursday Morning, Dec. 15, 1864.
The 56th Regiment in Battle.
This Regiment, or a major part of them, were among the forces under Gen. Foster, which left Hilton Head, South Carolina on the 29th ult. to co-operate, as is supposed with Gen. Sherman, on his approach to the Atlantic coast. At a point on the Charleston and Savannah Railroad, near Grahamsville, the forces of Gen. Foster were met by a strong rebel force, and a battle ensued.—
We have the following reported casualties in the 56th regiment.
Company B—Wounded—Andrew K. Lawrence, intestines. Company C—Killed—Thos. Eassie, Wounded—Robert Carr, slightly.—Company F, killed, John Bloomer, Alfred La Fever; Co. G, killed, M. Slater, Clarence Peel, wounded, H. G. Brath, mortally; Co. H, wounded, Jacob Bambour, in foot; Co. I, killed, Sergeant Wm. Robinson, wounded—Lieutenant W. H. Auchmoody, slightly; Sergeant A. C. Bowers, slightly; Jourdon Crissle, severely; Co. I, killed, Alex. Hugo;
Sylvester Jones, wounded; Sergeant Charles Johnson, foot amputated; Martin Griffin, slightly; Co. L, killed, Richard Williams.
THE DAILY JOURNAL.
Newburgh, N. Y.
THURSDAY AFTERNOON, DEC. 15, 1864.
The Fifty-sixth Regiment, N. Y. S. V., has again been in battle. In company with other forces under General Foster, they went out from Hilton Head, to cut the Charleston and Savannah Railroad, on Tuesday, Nov. 29th, and on the following day encountered a Rebel force at a place call Honey Hill, a few miles from Grahamsville, a station on the railroad. The enemy were posted on the hill in a battery. At last accounts our forces held a position on the Savannah road. The movement was doubtless made to attract the attention of the enemy while Sherman approaches that place. We append the following list of killed and wounded: Killed.—Thomas Eassie, Co. C.; John Bloomer,
Co. F.; M. Slater, Clarence Peel, Co. G.; Sergeant Wm. Robinson, I; Alex. Hugo, Sylvester Jones, Co. K.; Richard Williams, Co. L. Wounded.—Andrew K. Lawrence, Co. B, intestines; Robert Carr, Co. E, slightly; Sergeant Sprague, E, slightly; H. G. Brath, Co. G, mortally;
Jacob Bambour, Co. H, in foot; Lieutenant W. H. Auchmoody, Co. I, slightly; Sergeant A. C. Bowers, Co. I, slightly; Jourdan Crissie, Co. I, severely; Sergeant Charles Johnson, Co. K, foot amputated; Martin Griffin, Co. K, slightly.
Correspondence of the Goshen Democrat.
FROM THE SOUTH.
BEAUFORT, S. C, Dec., 16th, 1864.
Editor of the DEMOCRAT:
It may interest your readers to know that Gen. Sherman is investing Savannah. We heard his guns distinctly the night before last, when he attacked and captured Fort McAllister—the same work that our Navy spent so many days in attempting to take over a year ago. I saw a gentleman last night that dined with Sherman yesterday on board the Nemaha. He came off from shore and joined Gen. Foster on board that vessel, and afterwards went on to the flag ship to call on Admiral Dahlgren. His army is in better condition than when they left Atlanta, as they lived principally on chickens, eggs, mutton and beef, as they passed through Georgia. He says they left desolation behind them. When he came to a Plantation where the people burned up their Corn Cribs, rather than let him have it, he quietly burned the Dwelling and all other out-buildings—destroyed Carriages, &c., and led off the animals. A very proper way I think. If people will destroy valuable produce rather than let the "Yanks" have it, I dont [sic] think it is more than justice to destroy every thing else about the Plantation, in order to have the good work completed that they began.
Sherman is in excellent spirits, and says he will make a short stay in Savannah, which by the way, he proposes to take in two or three days—he is in no hurry about it.
I saw some returned prisoners at Morris Island a few days ago—46, all dead. Out of a batch just brought in, that number died within a few hours. Some were marked "Unknow—returned prisoner, died on board U. Transport — Dec. 12th," others had the name and Regt., marked on their blankets. The bodies were perfect skeletons—so light that a man could take them in one hand and carry them. A melancholy picture of Rebel brutality! There is no doubt that they were willfully and deliberately starved to death.—The bodies were placed in coffins, and buried on Morris Island, with military honors.
An expedition left Hilton Head two or three weeks ago, for the purpose of destroying the Pocataligo Bridge, on the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. The met the enemy two or three times, and had severe fights. The 56th N. Y., was commanded by Lieut-Col. Tyler, and behaved admirably. The conduct of Major Eliphalus Smith, who commanded the portion of the Regt. engaged in the first battle, is very highly commended.—A wounded officer of the Regt. informs us that the conduct of one or two officers of an inferior grade was not so commendable, as, after he had been disabled, and went to the rear, he met one of them at the landing, who had not gone forward with his Company at all. But the general good conduct of both officers and privates overshadows the shortcomings of the very few who did not come up to the mark. I never yet saw a Regiment go into action without leaving a few cowardly stragglers in the rear. The Rebels I believe used smooth-bore guns and round bullets, which accounts for the small list of killed, and large list of "slightly wounded."—We now (Dec. 15th.) occupy a position, and have a Battery of 30 pound Parrotts, that commands the Railroad completely; but we failed to gain the bridge. However, the main object is accomplished, viz., the prevention of re-inforcements [sic] reaching Savannah by Railroad, to operate against Sherman. Co. "D" of the 56th, is in garrison in Fort Strong "Wagner," and of course did not accompany the Regiment on the Expedition.
By the way, the new Surgeon of the 56th, Dr. Geo, H. Fossard, has already won the confidence of his superior officers in the Medical Department. He is very highly spoken of by the Chief Medical Officer, and his abilities as a Surgeon are pronounced superior.—I have no doubt he will prove a worthy successor to Dr. Sol. Van Etten, who was fairly idolized by the men of the Regiment, and highly respected by the Medical Staff. Dr. Fossard was appointed by the Governor of New York, on the recommendation of Surgeon-General Quackenbush, and brings with him over three-years experience as an Assistant Surgeon in the Army of the Potomac.
Dr. Dan. S. Hardenburgh, our Assistant Surgeon, who was also appointed on the recommendation of the Surgeon-General, occupies a "Post of Honor" in the Expedition.—He was ordered by the Chief Medical officer to go on board the Hospital Steamer Cosmopolitan and attend to the wounded. As all operations, amputations, &c, are performed on board that vessel, it was no mean compliment to the abilities of Dr. Hardenburgh, as an Operating Surgeon to be placed in such a position. On the whole, I think the men of the Tenth Legion have reason to congratulate themselves on the qualifications of their Surgeons. May success crown their efforts in the position, as it has in the past. They are both young men—graduates of the Albany Medical College.
All firing on Morris Island ceases about ten days ago, as Sherman's movements rendered it necessary to change the place of Exchange of Prisoners from Savannah to Charleston Harbor. But the second day of the truce, the Sumpter [sic] Sharp Shooters fired at a few of our men on Cumming's Point. Our battery immediately opened a vigorous fire on the Fort. The Rebels afterwards made ample apologies for the breach of etiquette; they stated that the officer in command of Sumter, was unaware of the existence of a truce. Many of our returned prisoners come in with hardly clothing enough on to cover their nakedness, and they were all reduced to skeletons. Our Government should adopt some stern system of retaliation for such outrages on our brave men. It was hard to look upon the bodies marked "Unknown." Unknown, after being starved to death by Rebel fiends! They were carried on board our Transports, too week to utter their names—they died soon after, and were consigned to graves on Morris Island, where they will rest "Unknown" until the last trump shall sound, and they appear before the Great Judge to bear testimony against the vile traitors that tortured and murdered them. How long, oh! God, how long shall such conduct be tolerated by Thee! Rise in thy Majesty, and crush the fiends who are guilty of committing such outrages on humanity. Who dare say it is wrong to burn and devastate rebel territory, when we have before our eyes such evidences of their cruelty and barbarity? We have to deal with devils incarnate—let us treat them as such, and not grant them the privileges due to honorable foes.
The result of the late election was received here with great rejoicings. It proved to the brave men of our army that they have not suffered in vain, and that a patriotic people appreciate their efforts. But the loyal men of the North must not cease their efforts until every Copperhead shall have been brought to the right path—until incipient treason shall have been effectually wiped out.
On the night of Dec. 8th, Morris Island was visited by a tremendous gale, that blew over tents without any regard to rank. A Schooner was driven on the bar, and six out of seven of the crew perished. We could see the poor fellows on board, and after six had started for shore in a boat, one got up on the mast-head to avoid the huge breakers that were rolling over the vessel. Human aid could not reach them, and all perished but one.
I believe I have given you all the items of interest in my possession. I hope to be able to advise you by next Steamer, of Sherman's entrance to Savannah.
THE DAILY JOURNAL.
Newburgh, N. Y.
MONDAY AFTERNOON, DEC. 19, 1864.
The Tenth Legion.
The Port Jervis Union has a letter from Surgeon Hardenhurgh, dated the 8th. instant, and containing names of those wounded in the fight which took place on the 5th instant, four miles above Tilefiney Creek, and within half a mile of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. Our forces drove the enemy, who were 5,000 strong and were being constantly re-enforced. Our forces left Hilton Head 7,000 strong. The following is the list of wounded
WOUNDED.—Capt. M. Sears, Co. B, hip slight; Capt. Joseph L. Holmes, Co. G, right arm slight; First-Lieut. S. D. Wheat, Co. H, shin slight; Sergt. E. A. Easton, Co. G, left shoulder; Sergt. Henry A. Jagger, Co. L, thigh flesh; Orderly Sergt. R. S. Schwartz, Co. L, back by fall of tree; Corp. Henry Weed, Co. I, wrist and arm. Privates —Jas. Scott, Co. C, scalp slight; Nathan James, Co. H, left leg; Wm. L. Davenport, Co. G, right foot; Jno. J. E. Harrison, Co. R; N. H. Freeman, Co. C, left leg; David Robinson, Co. I, scalp slight: Alex. C. Hillman, Co. L, scalp slight; Wm. H. Barnheart, Co. L, scalp; Emory S. Van Keyser, Co. B; James Conley, Co. G, left thigh. Jacob Payne, abdomen, since died; Henry Bennet, Co. H, tibia fracture; Jas. H. Frazier, Co. A, left thigh, shell weighing three and a half pounds taken out; Daniel R. Sherman, Co. G, face severely, portion of tipper jaw excised by Surgeon Hardenberg.
The fight was still going on when the letter was written.
Goshen Democrat. Goshen, Thursday Morning, Dec. 22, 1864.
The 56th Regt., N. Y. Vols.
We published last week a partial list of the killed and wounded in this Regiment, in its several engagements recently under Gen. Foster. By later arrivals, we have the following additional reports:
Dec. 2—Sergt. A. C. Rowles, Co. I, ankle, slightly.
Dec. 6—John H. Frazier, thigh, seriously; Capt. M. S. Sears, Co. B, contusion of hip, slightly; J. J. E Houlson, shoulder, seriously. Co. B—Addison Lefere, head slightly; Richard Tarbush, knee, slightly; Emory Van Kusen, jaw, severely. Co. C, James Scott, head, slightly. Co. E, Frederick Alexander, foot slightly; Cornelius Crocker, finger, slightly. Co. F, Wm. Hill foot. Co. G, Robert Carvey, killed; Victor Van Roy, killed; Jacob Paine, killed; Capt. J. S Holmes arm, severely; Sergt. Edward A. Eaton, arm; severely; Daniel R. Sherman, head, severely, Westbrook Davenport, head, severely; W. Tower, leg, slightly; James Cannally, arm, arm, slightly; James A. Goodser, arm, slightly; James Russel, shoulder, slightly; Co. G, John Coppinger, back. Co. H, Lieut. S. D. Wheat, leg, slightly; Capt. A. H. Chittenden, ear, slightly; Corporal, Henry Grabe killed; King Bennett, leg, severely. Co. I, Corporal Henry Weed, hand, slightly; Chas. Cooper, shoulder; Daniel Robinson, forehead; R. Ritch, leg, slightly. Co. K, Rudolph Phinney, ear, slightly; Levi Tower, leg, severely. Co. L, Sergt. H. H. Jagger, leg, severely; W. H. Buckart, neck, severely; A. C. Killam, head, severely.
Dec. 7—Co. A, Corporal Isaac Halstead, killed; Thomas E. Alwood, killed; Daniel Martin, killed; Corporal J. H. F. Milton, wounded in arm, slightly; John H. Mann, finger, slightly; James Murrey, hand, slightly;
Levi Weland, side, severely. Co. B, Charles Merritt, arm slightly; Wm. Utter, breast. Co. C, James Bush, killed. Co. H, Victor Ohmanger, head, severely. Co. K, Geo. Puff, head, severely; Corporal Israel Miller, arm, severely; Jacob Klise, contusion, slightly; Thomas Monhagan, killed; Andrew Mumford, killed.
Dec. 7—Sergt. P. Francisco, killed; Wm. Redman, hip, slightly; Wm. Kneeman, head, slightly.
Dec. 9—Co. A, Michael Dreary, side, severely. Co. B, Charles Ferden, leg, slightly; Miller Young, leg, slightly; James Gibbons, killed. Co. C, Jeremiah Bursley, foot, slightly; Andrew Chandler, foot, slightly. Co.
E, C. F. Rice, neck, contusion; Jacob Kaufman, forearm. Co. F, Everhart Weisheimer, killed; Joseph Dluna, hand, severely; Henry Banks, side slightly; Levi Allen, side, slightly; James Penfield, wrist; Corp. Conrad Dering, hip contusion, slightly. Co. G, John Hinkley, side, severely. Co. H, Corp. Julius Hubble, leg, slightly; James Bell, hip, slightly. Co. I, Sergt. Levi Waters, leg, contusion; S. Archmoody, hand; Geo. Parmone, forehead. Co. K, Robert A. Hall, thigh, severely. Co. I, Corp. Wm. Cook, hand, slightly; P Knoll, ankle, slightly; John Home,
FIFTY-SIXTH N. Y. VOLUNTEERS.
THIS regiment arrived in New-York, Oct. 20th, and remained some days at the Battery Barracks, whence they went to Albany, where they have been paid off and discharged. The Charleston Courier, of Oct. 12th, published the following sketch of the regiment:
" The Fifty-sixth Regiment, New-York Veteran Volunteers, arrived yesterday en route to New-York to be mustered out of service. It was organized in September, 1861, at Newburgh, N. Y., by Brigadier-General, then Colonel, Van Wyck. There were also raised at the same time two light batteries, afterward known as the Seventh and Eighth New-York Independent Batteries. Also two cavalry companies, afterward attached to the First New-York Mounted Rifles. The whole command was known as the Tenth Legion.
" The regiment was engaged in all the battles of the Peninsula under McClellan.
" The present field and staff are: Colonel, Rockwell Tyler; Lieutenant-Colonel, Eliphas Smith; Major, James Du Bois; Surgeon, Ira S. Brader; Adjutant, Henry B. Loomis; Quartermaster, Addison D. Clements. The two latter have been brevetted captains on the staff. The non-commissioned staff are: Sergeant-Major ____ ____; Quartermaster-Sergeant, Noah D. Smith; Chief Musicians, Wm. T. Smith and Newell T. Reynolds."
On Sunday, Oct. 22d, the chaplain, Rev. G. P. Van Wyck, preached his farewell sermon to the regiment. There was a very large attendance of the men, General Van Wyck being present with part of his staff. A good choir from the Spring-street Presbyterian church were present by invitation, and the exercises were interesting and gratifying to all We are favored by the chaplain with a brief sketch of his concluding appeal to the men whom he had so constantly served for two years, and take pleasure in laying it before our readers.
On the following Wednesday evening a quartette club, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Gale, Mrs. Anna De Witt, and Mr. Z. D. Mills, gave a fine musical entertainment, and the editor of THE SOLDIER'S FRIEND made an address of welcome to the "boys in blue."
And to this should be added the following acknowledgment, published by the member of Congress from this District, who is the present Colonel:
" A Card.--On behalf of the officers and soldiers of the tenth legion I thank the ladies of this district, and particularly those of Newburgh, Montgomery, Goshen, and Middletown, for the interest they have manifested and the services rendered; and the ladies of Bloomingburgh and vicinity, for the abundant supply of blankets. Many are still inquiring what more they can do. Hospital stores would be acceptable--lint, bandages, cushions for ....
CAMP OF THE 56TH N. Y. S. V.,
MORRIS ISLAND, S. C., Oct. 1.
We feel a strong anxiety here as to the coming election; and if you at home will do your duty in keeping down the Copperheads, you may rest assured that we in the field will soon put down this unholy Rebellion and bring the war to a speedy and honorable end. One of our boys gives vent to his feelings by putting an article in The Watchman, headed, "What the Soldiers Say." It was received by his own company with universal contempt, and laughed to scorn in his presence. I think he will not venture to express his sentiments again through the press. A ballot was taken of the company to which I belong, which shows a total of the votes cast: Lincoln 85. McClellan 6--giving Lincoln a majority of 79 votes. This will show what the 56th thinks of a "Peace president."
.... fractured limbs, jellies and dried fruits. One thing more: If every loyal family in the counties of Orange and Sullivan will make one pair of woollen [sic] socks, two pair can be readily furnished to every soldier.
" From those who feel the pressure of the times in their business affairs, we should not ask for more; but the many whose homes have not been deprived of the comforts and luxuries of life, we doubt not will take pleasure in rendering other kind offices to those who are sustaining the honor and imperiling life to defend the sovereignty of our flag.
" All articles intended for the regiment, forwarded before or after its departure, can be left at either of the stations on the New-York and Erie Railroad. It is desirable that the name of the donor should accompany every gift, so that a complete list can be made, to be filed, with a copy of the muster-roll of the regiment, at Washington's Headquarters, Newburgh. C. H. VAN WYCK."
Certainly all this tends very much to endear the sexes to each other—Highland soldiers and Highland women—and the war will not end without the return of each to the other with a new value.