89th New York Infantry Regiment's Civil War Newspaper Clippings
From the 89th Regiment.
[Correspondence of the Delaware Express.]
Camp of the 89th N. Y. V., Folly Island, S. C.,
August 3d, 1863.
July 29th we embarked on board the steamer "Adelaide" at Portsmouth, Va., en route for Charleston. July 31st, out of sight of land, water pretty rough, and a good share of the boys pretty sea sick, "settling up their accounts with Neptune!" August 1st, arrived off Morris Island, where we had to stay until evening for high tide to cross the bar. Two of our gunboats were busy throwing shot and shell at Fort Wagner. We could see the dirt fly in all directions as they struck. Fort Sumter and Charleston we could also see. At about 7 on the 1st we landed at this place.
Last night there was very heavy firing from four batteries, with what success we have not yet learned. Our men are busy planting new batteries of heavy siege guns, and otherwise getting ready for the grand assault, which I understand is to come off before long, though of course it is not known positively. Our men have been in Fort Wagner two or three times and spiked its guns, but could not hold it, as Fort Sumter completely commands it. But our land batteries and the Iron clads I think will bring the Rebels from Sumter and place Charleston in our hands, as everything looks favorable. All of the troops have perfect confidence in General Gillmore and his ability to take the place.
The new Iron Sides and three or four Monitors were all the Iron Clads that I could see; but we may have more for aught that I know. A large transport has just come in loaded with troops.
This is a miserable place, more so, if anything, than Hatteras. The heat is almost unbearable, and water very poor; but if we can get Charleston, all of these inconveniences will be borne without a murmur.
R. E. Bowne.
Extracts from private letters written by Capt. C. W. Bart, 89th regiment:—
PARADISE CREEK, Va., July 29th, A. M. —
We have just received orders to move, and as we are going out to sea we can but suppose that we are bound for Charleston to reinforce Gilmore. We are little loth to move, as we have got matters nicely arranged for comfort, expecting we would remain here some time, but as the first duty of a soldier is to obey orders, we can but do so without complaint.
The following was written later the same day, on board steamer Adelaide, Hampton Roads:—"I have just received our orders, which state that we will proceed to Morris Island, Charleston, and report to Gen. Gilmore, commanding at that place. So, of course, we will soon see fighting again, and I expect of a desperate character, too."
THE 89th Regiment N. Y. V., have gone to Charleston, S. C.
DEATH OF THOMAS A. BARBER.—Another of our brave Oxford boys, a well beloved and cherished member of the 89th Regiment, has been called to the better land. He was wounded last December at Fredericksburg, yet remained at his post until January, when Capt. Roome had him taken to the Hospital for medical treatment, but vain were all efforts to cure him, and eight weeks ago he came home to linger a patient sufferer, with loved ones around him, finally to close his eyes in death.—Those who have shared the same duties, fought by his side, and been as brother soldiers, partakers of his joys and sorrows, will learn with regret that he has gone from among them, to return no more.
"Tread lightly, tread lightly, disturb not his sleep,
From his pains he's released, tho' friends o'er him weep;
Speak softly, speak softly, for he whom we love
Has gone to the regions of glory above."
Companion, beloved thy memory shall twine
As close round our heart, as some evergreen vine;
For sweetly and gently, thou sank to thy rest,
A spirit by Deity called to the blest.
PROMOTED.—DR. SQUIRES, formerly of this village, and who went out as Surgeon of the 89th N. Y. V., Col. Fairchild, has been promoted to the position of Medical Director of a division. Dr. S. has proved himself a capable, and efficient Surgon [sic].
EIGHTY-NINTH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS.
Colonel Harrison S. Fairchild is a native of New York and has had considerable military experience as Colonel of the Fifty-fourth Militia regiment, of Rochester. He is about forty-five years of age, and was a member of the New York State Military Board of Inquiry.
Lieutenant Colonel Jacob C. Robie, who has been virtually in command of the regiment, owing to the absence of the Colonel, is a native of New Hampshire, and about fifty years of age. He has held the position of Colonel of three different regiments in New York, and has been connected with the military some twenty years. He resides in Binghamton, where he has been connected with the administration of the city government, and has two sons, officers in the United States Navy—one Chief Engineer on the Mohican, and the other on board the Saginaw, in Chinese waters. He was recently engaged in business in Binghamton, and, though the regiment was raised by his almost individual efforts, he magnanimously resigned its command to Colonel Fairchild.
Captain C. W. Burt was a short time in the rebel army. He owns some property in Missouri, and on going to look after it when the war broke out was seized and impressed into Price's forces, but took the first opportunity to desert.
Of the line officers several have served with the three months volunteers.
Another Death in the 89th.
August 13th, 1863.
EDITOR REPUBLICAN: Again we are called upon to chronicle the death of one of our 89th boys. Warren E. Bird of Capt. Judd's company, died at the Balfour General Hospital, Sunday Evening. Mr. Bird was one of my men that returned from the late Peninsula campaign, completely worn out, and about the time the Regiment was ordered to Charleston he was taken with the fever and brought to the hospital here; of all his companions, only one, a brother, could be with him in his sickness and followed his remains to the grave. A warm hearted, social man, he made friends wherever he went and his loss will be felt by all.
Of the 97 men that Capt. Judd brought out with him, he cannot have more than 32 with him now. The bravery and good name of the Reg., avails them nothing as far as recruits are concerned, for the regiment never has received a man. Men from where the Regiment had a right to expect aid have been too busy with political schemes to give a moments thought about filling up the thinned ranks of the 89th, and now the prospect is that between the policy of your Governor and the Examining Board, it will be six months before the Regiment will get its 632 conscripts required to fill it up; in the mean time what there is left of the old Regiment must do the duty of a full Regiment.
Frank S. Smith.
Communicated to the Standard.
Letter from Suffolk.
A Loyal Soldier to Northern Rebel Sympathisers.
SUFFOLK, June, 1863.
We are having a quiet time. Generals Hill, Longstreet & Co. have left, for what part we can only conjecture,—probably the Rappahannock. The 89th regiment and 16th N. Y. Battery are still here. There is little variation in the monotony of camp-life, when not fighting. So you know about how I am spending my time. There is no present prospect of a fight for this Brigade. There are rumors that we are to be sent to join Hooker. I hope 'tis true.
How about the draft? I am anxious it should commence. I want those miserable Rebel sympathizers who as yet have done nothing but talk of this "unholy war," and pray and whine about "peace," to shoulder the musket, and help us conquer a peace. Perhaps their consciences will not allow them to fight against their dear brethren of the South." Then let them join the rebel ranks,—they will do us less harm than they are now doing. Now that the 27th have returned, the soft peace-men of Binghamton had better be very peaceable,—for the boys have been too earnest in this matter to listen patiently to peace-whiners. Southern brethren indeed! I wonder if Northern secesh ever think who their dear brethren of the South are. If they count as brethren the proud aristocrats—the fordlings, the chivalry,—they are as much mistaken as the lunatic at Utica who thinks she is sister of Queen Victoria. The northern laborer would find his dear brethren among border ruffians and poor, white trash—the most ignorant, degraded whites to be found anywhere. I only wish the Copper-peace men could be introduced to their relatives here, and have an opportunity of taking place beside them in the ranks, and of doing something for the dear, labor-degrading, man-crushing, woman-polluting, baby-stealing institution.
From the first, I have felt far the Northern secesh the greatest contempt. But there is one class of Southern sympathizers in dear old Binghamton, for whom I have other feelings, and it would be difficult to describe them. They are some of my former schoolmates, who are enjoying the pleasures and comforts of home, and the benefits of free schools as much as if there was no war in the land. They can work in the morning to earn books and clothes, and go from the shop to the school room; and the labor of the morning is deemed as honorable as the exercises of the school. A number of us have left home and school, and are fighting to maintain the dignity of labor, to protect free schools, and to extend them all over the States.
That any who remain at home should withhold from us their sympathy, and give it to an Oligarchy who would degrade labor and laborers,— who would annihilate free schools, and degrade those same students to a level with slaves,—passes my comprehension. It is positively painful. Well, well, we shall see what we shall see. They are obtaining one kind of an education, and I another. They may define liberty in the class, but I am getting at its root. And the more I understand the causes of this war, and what I am fighting for, the more am I proud of being a soldier.
* * * MELL.
A letter from C. F. Titus, of Co. D, 89th regiment, N. Y. V., dated at Camp Geldy's Point, Va., June 4th, to the Rochester Democrat, says: "Thinking a few items from the old 89th would not come amiss, and as we have arrived where we shall probably stay for a few weeks, I will give you a short sketch of what we are doing and where we are at present. Our camp is about two and a half miles from Portsmouth, on the same side of the river. We have been here about two weeks, at work most of the time building a fort, which is to command the mouth of the Dismal Swamp canal, where it enters the Elizabeth river. We are on a splendid camp ground, have tents which are raised from the ground on posts about 3 feet. There is a good place in the Elizabeth close by, for bathing purposes, and in the hottest days the men can find shelter and a cool breeze on the banks under the tall bushy oaks which line the shore."
From the 89th Regt.
EDITOR OF TIMES.—I am requested by the members of the 89th N. Y. S. Vols. to send you the following Resolutions for publication. We are now encamped five miles from Portsmouth, Va., on the bank of Elizabeth River. It is one of the most pleasant camp grounds we ever occupied, and I think the pleasantest place in Virginia. How truely [sic] we appreciate the rest we are now having, although we have to work seven hours each day, on fortifications, yet it is not like constant marching, and fighting. Our leisure hours are spent to the best of our advantages for the good of our country. P.
At a meeting of the officer's of the 89th N. Y. V., called for the purpose of expressing their views on the important question now agitating the public mind, Col. T. L. England was called to the chair, Lieut. Morris was appointed Sec'y. Capts. James Hazley, Frank Burt, and R. P. Cormack, were appointed a Committee to draft resolutions expressing the sense of the meeting. Patriotic speeches were made by the officers, and the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, Certain evil disposed persons and violent partisan politicians taking advantage of the military arrest of the Hon. C. L. Vallandigham, are endeavoring by vituperation and misrepresentation to impress, and influence the public mind with the idea that an attempt is being made by the authorities both civil and military to invade the rights of free speech, and whereas such a course has positive tendency to weaken the hands of the Government in a military sense by distracting public sentiment, and to strengthen the enemy by leading them to believe the North is divided on the great questions of the day, and whereas, we believe it to be the duty of every loyal man to counteract so far as it may be in his power the effects of these pernicious efforts; therefore, be it
Resolved, That we view with apprehension of serious alarm and feelings of profound astonishment the late demonstrations in the city of New York, said to have arisen from the course pursued by the Government in the arrest, conviction and punishment of the Hon. C. L. Vallandigham of Ohio.
Resolved, That we condemn in unqualified terms the means adopted and the language used to inflame the public mind against the regularly constituted authorities because of said arrest.
Resolved, That his arrest was simply a military necessity, and fully justifiable under the circumstances.
Resolved, That we, as officers, and soldiers unqualifiedly and unreservedly, in this as in all things, pledge ourselves to sustain the President in his honest efforts to crush out treason and rebellion.
Resolved, That we note with feelings of real pleasure the absence from these highly inflammatory meetings of the party leaders whose words and actions go so far as to make up the sentiments of the nation.
Resolved, That the language used and the implied threat against the Federal Administration contained in Gov. Seymour's letter to the Albany meeting, was unnecessary, uncalled for, and unpatriotic.
Resolved, That the material interests of the Nation demand a prompt enforcement of the Conscription act, and that resistance to the provisions of said act by the citizens of any loyal State is, in our opinion, disgraceful and disloyal; and should meet with immediate and condign punishment.
T. L. ENGLAND, Pres't.
A. MORRIS, Sec'y.
Suffolk, Va., May 28, 1863.
THE GALLANT 89TH.—Now is the time for drafted men to choose which regiment they prefer to serve with, and where can they find a regiment whose record shows more gallant and daring deeds than our brave 89th.
Capt. James Hazley has been detailed to receive and take charge of those who choose to unite their fortunes with these veterans of a dozen battles. Capt. Hazley's headquarters are at Elmira, and when a drafted man reports himself at the Depot he has only to signify what regiment he wishes to be attached to, and those preferring the 89th will be immediately turned over to Capt. H. who will see that everything is done to make them comfortable. The Captain informs us that the regiment is still at Suffolk, and that in a sanitary point of view it never was in better condition. It is evident that the hard earned reputation of the 89th as a first class fighting regiment is not destined to suffer so long as the present esprit de corps exists.
Extracts from private letters written by Capt. C. W. Burt, 89th regiment:—
PARADISE CREEK, Va., July 29th, A. M.—
We have just received orders to move, and as we are going out to sea we can but suppose that we are bound for Charleston to reinforce Gilmore. We are little loth to move as we have got matters nicely arranged for comfort, expecting we would remain here some time, but as the first duty of a soldier is to obey orders, we can but do so without complaint.
The following was written later the same day, on board steamer Adelaide, Hampton Roads:—"I have just received our orders, which state that we will proceed to Morris Island, Charleston, and report to Gen. Gilmore, commanding at that place. So, of course, we will soon see fighting again, and I expect of a desperate character, too."
DEATH OF SURGEON SMITH &C.
[LETTER FROM QR. MASTER C. H. WEBSTER.]
Suffolk, Va., Sunday, May 3.
My dear friend Dr. Smith was shot this morning, and I fear he is mortally wounded. Oh, my God! how I feel for him and his dear family, and he was shot by a drunken major, one whom he had, through kindness gone to visit. The facts are these: This major has been for some days suffering from delerium tremens, and had requested the Dr. to attend him. The Doctor had called several times. On Friday the doctor did not call, and on Saturday he called but found the door locked, but this morning he sent for the doctor again. He went, and on entering the room he said good morning, Major, did you want to see me? He said yes, do you want to see me? and at the same time pulling a revolver from under the clothes and firing at the Doctor. He tried to knock the pistol aside, but the ball entered a little to the left of his hand and passed through the bowels. The doctor thinks he fired a second time. Mrs. Smith was sent for this morning, but if the wound is as bad as it is supposed, she will not see him alive. Poor fellow, he is a good christian man and can meet his fate; but his poor wife and family. I have just left his bedside, and he thinks he cannot live: I will stay with him all I can.
This news is bad enough, but I have more. Our Division, with two or three other regiments, made an advance this morning, crossed the Seine and attacked the enemy, but with what success we cannot yet tell, though we have suffered dreadfully again. (Oh ! what a way to spend the Sabbath.) My hands have been bloody all this day at the Hospital. The 89th have lost some eight or tem men wounded, some mortally; at least so many have been brought in up to this time, (6 o'clock p. m.) more coming all the time. One officer wounded, Lieut. Epps, Co. I. The 103d have lost fearfully in killed and wounded. Col. Reynolds is killed and several officers wounded, some mortally. They came upon the Rebs. in rifle pits and trees, as usual. (I will write again to-morrow if I can find time. I am quite well, never in better health, but feel sad enough. Tell Preston immediately of Dr. Smith's injury. Perhaps he will come with Mrs. S.
C. H. Webster.
[Correspondence of the Delaware Express.]
THE 89th REGIMENT N. Y. S. V.
Its Engagements thus far on the Battle-field.
BY ROBERT E. BOWNE, OF COMPANY I.
CAMP OF THE 89th REGIMENT, N. Y. V.,
Near Suffolk, Va., May 17, 1863.
Although you have from time to time published accounts of the battles participated in by our Regiment, perhaps a brief recapitulation of them in one article might not be uninteresting.
We have been in seven battles, and battles too, most of them, in which War in all its terrible aspects has been experienced to the utmost extent. I am sure no one familiar with the part our Regiment has played in these engagements will dispute me when I say that the 89th Regiment N. Y. V. has on every occasion discharged its whole duty, faithfully and fearlessly; every man in it feels proud of his connection with the 89th. And I would here say, that the noble stand taken in defence of the Government in its efforts to crush the Rebellion by the veteran Statesman, DANIEL S. DICKENSON, causes us all to glory in the name of our Regiment—"THE DICKENSON GUARDS."
And our own company, (Company I,) has reflected no disgrace on Delhi, where the company was organized by our now gallant Lieut. Col. ENGLAND. DO you remember how the semi-secession growlers ridiculed the idea of the "tape and bobbin boy" coming from behind the counter and commanding a military company in War? Well, what do they think now of the "tape and bobbin boy?" The honors that this day are attached to his name, for unsurpassed gallantry and superior military qualifications are second to few if any in the service. No company from Delaware County, with a single exception, has seen more service than ours; and I am quite sure none have experienced more severely the horrors of War But to our Battles:
THE BATTLE OF CAMDEN, N. C.
On the 13th or 14th of April, 1862, when on Roanoke Island, N. C, we received orders to cook three days' rations, take 60 rounds of cartridges, and be ready to leave at an hour's notice. We remained in anxious expectation until the morning of the 18th, when steamers and transports began to arrive from Newbern, and we received orders to march to the point in light marching order and embark, which we did, the 9th N. Y. Y. and 6th N. H. V accompanying us; while two large transports were going up the sound with the 21st Mass. Vols. and 51st Pa. Y. All were under command of Gen. Reno. We got under weigh at 6 in the evening, and landed about 12 o'clock, nearly opposite Elizabeth City. About 2 in the morning we took up our line of march and had not got over half a mile before the sharp crack of rifles told us that our advance guard were engaged in driving in the Rebels pickets. We marched steadily on until about 8 in the morning, when we halted about 15 minutes for breakfast. When the bugle sounded to fall in, we again commenced our march; the day was oppressively hot, and with a cartridge box, 60 rounds of ammunition, belt, bayonet, gun, haversack with three days' rations, canteen and blanket over our shoulders, it was anything but pleasant, I assure you; the roads were dry and dusty, consequently we were very thirsty, and water was in great demand and very hard to get. We marched very fast and did not stop to rest but a minute or two at a time and very seldom at that. We marched 35 miles, and arrived on the battle ground about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The 21st Mass. Vols. and 51st Pa. V. were already engaged, having come round by a much shorter road than we had taken. (The guide that led us took us by the longest route, so as to give the rebels time to prepare for us. I understand that he was afterwards shot for doing it; but do not know whether it is so or not.) We filed off to the right in a piece of woods, and formed in line preparatory to attacking the enemy. The 9th N. Y. V. now charged on them and were repulsed with considerable loss in killed and wounded. We now received orders to advance, which we did, marching through the woods by the right flank until we got to the open space, when we fixed bayonets and charged on them, when they, "thinking discretion the better part of valor," skedaddled in fine style, assisted by a volley from the 6th N. H. V. We now fell back out of the woods, stacked arms and broke ranks. Before going into the fight we were ordered to leave our blankets and haversacks in a pile, and after the battle was over on going to look for them we found them—minus. The object of this expedition was to destroy a land lock on the Curretuck Canal; but the Rebels saved us the trouble. From prisoners afterward taken and brought to Roanoke, we learned that they were in such a fright that they retreated to Norfolk, (then in their hands,) supposing Burnside to be after them with 20 thousand men; they destroyed the lock as they went, so as to prevent our gunboats from following them up. We would have followed them up, but after an exciting battle, preceded by a march of 35 miles under a scorching sun, you can imagine whether we were tired or not.
About 5 o'clock the rain commenced pouring down, and having no blankets or overcoats, we were soon drenched to the skin. But we laid down and were soon in the land of dreams.—About 10 o'clock at night we were awakened and fell into line and commenced to march back to the boats, the rain making the roads one mass of mud; but we waded through and arrived at the boats about 7 in the morning, having taken the shorter route back, which was only 15 miles. You can imagine how we all felt when we got there—nothing to eat, wet through and covered with mud from head to heels, having marched 50 miles in 27 hours, fought the battle and whipped the Rebels, which we thought a pretty big thing. Our regiment lost in wounded three, one mortally.—We arrived at camp on Roanoke Island about 12 on the night of the 20th, well satisfied with the result. After the battle was fought, and we had returned to Roanoke Island, General Burnside ordered that we should inscribe on our Regimental Colors—"CAMDEN, APRIL 19, 1862."
This was our first battle; our second was at
SOUTH MOUNTAIN, MD.
This occurred Sept. 14th, 1862. Here we were also tired and jaded out, having marched from Frederick city to the battle field, a distance of 13 miles. It was about 6 o'clock when we arrived on the field, and had not got into line when the Rebels with a yell like some old woman having her corns stepped upon, charged upon us, and although not prepared for them we did not run, but received them with a shower of leaden messengers which slightly cooled their ardor. We had a battery at the front, which was on the top of the mountain, and they seeing the brigade that we had relieved going down the hill, thought it would be an easy thing to capture our battery, but they were somewhat mistaken.
I went over the ground the next morning, and it was literally strewn with their dead.—None of our brigade had a hand in firing except our regiment, we being on the left at that time, and the Zouaves on the right, the 103d in the center; while a whole Rebel brigade was opposed to us, as we learned from one of their wounded prisoners. He said that a person could not hold his hand up without having one of his fingers hit, so close was our fire; he was lying on the ground when he was struck. He was a North Carolinian, and it was a North Carolina brigade that charged on us. Our regiment lost in killed and wounded, 25 men; we took about 80 prisoners, and 225 muskets from them.
At South Mountain, General RENO, commanding our corps at that time, was killed; he was a splendid officer and his death was a great loss to us. He was accidentally shot by one of our own men, from a Massachusetts Regiment.—
Our third Battle was
fought on the 17th of September 1862, and was the hardest battle for us that we have yet been in, having lost in killed, wounded and missing, 190, just one half of the number that went into the battle. On the night of the 16th we were ordered to take position in a corn-field (near the bridge that our 2d division charged and took on the 7th; and close on to the rebel pickets,) early in the morning. Our pickets opened on their sharpshooters, which soon drew the fire of their battery on us. The shells came in thick and fast, and they had such good range on us that we had to fall back out of it, in doing which, we lost quite a number wounded, two or three mortally. John White, of Delhi, in our company, was wounded by a piece of shell, severely, but not mortally. In the afternoon the general engagement was brought on; we lay in rear of one of our batteries, our company being thrown out as skirmishers, and the shell, grape, cannister and rail road iron from the rebels came hissing and shrieking over and around us, coming so near as to throw dirt into our faces. This could not be endured, and our brigade was ordered to charge them out. We sprang to our feet and with a cheer fixed bayonets and charged upon them, getting into the very outskirts of the village of Sharpsburg, the Rebels stubbornly disputing every inch of the ground. It was at this time that Hooker and Sumner drove them back from the right and center; and these coming upon us overwhelming numbers, we knew that we could not hold our ground against such odds. Burnside sent to McClellan for reinforcements, but they were not to be had, although Porter's corps of 15,000 was in reserve, and had not yet been engaged. We were now pressed hot and heavy, their batteries pouring into our already thinned ranks, murderous volleys of cannister and grape, while to our right and left could be seen column after column of the enemy pouring in upon us. It was at this time that Gen. Rodman, commanding our division, cried out, "change front to the rear, men, the enemy is outflanking us." He had hardly got the words out of his mouth when he was mortally wounded. The bullets now came in upon us from right to left, their artillery pouring in its deadly discharges of cannister and grape, our men falling thick and fast around us, and we were compelled to fall back, which we did, bringing our colors and everything but our killed and wounded with us. We fell back to a hollow near the bridge where we made a stand, and held it.
But that which was a regiment when we went in was terribly cut to pieces now. We were in line of battle all next day, but except the firing of pickets, nothing was done but to keep ready for the enemy in the event of their attacking us. But they had got enough of us. We were on duty from the night of the 16th to that of the 18th, when we were relieved and crossed the creek (Antietam) where we lay until the next morning. We were then put in advance and again moved forward, over the battle field, which was covered with dead. But we did not again see the Rebels. They had fallen back across the Potomac into Virginia, crossing at the Shepardstown Ford.
We went into camp near the Antietam; from there on to Pleasant Valley, where we had a good rest after our wearisome march through Maryland, having fought two hard battles beating the enemy badly in both.
The casualties of our company at the battle of Antietam were
John White, Delhi, severely wounded.
Patrick Hughs, Delhi, severely wounded.
Stephen E. Wood, Walton, wounded in the arm.
Corporal (since promoted to sergeant [sic]) Alexis Jones, Masonville.
George B. Gray, Walton, taken prisoner.
The regiment lost 160 men, half the number that went into the battle. Our Colors went down six times, and as often were picked up again. Both the Color Sergeants were killed, and all the Color Corporals except one, were killed or wounded. The blood of one of the Sergeants is still on our banner; or rather what used to be called a banner; it does not look much like one now, being all torn to shreds. It cost $850, and was presented to us by Hon.
DANIEL S. DICKINSON. We also captured a Rebel flag from a South Carolina Regiment.
OUR FOURTH BATTLE
was on the north side of the Rappahannock, opposite Fredericksburg, on the 11th of December, 1862. On the night of the 10th we were called up at 10 o'clock and marched down to the river to support the engineers in laying our Pontoons for the army to cross. The night was bitter cold, but we had to lay there; between 3 and 4 o'clock the rebels fired their signal guns, and at daybreak the bridge was about half finished, when the Rebel Sharp Shooters, posted behind stone walls, in houses, &c., opened on the engineers, which was instantly replied to by us. Our batteries now opened on them and the engineers again advanced to their work, and were again driven back; this was kept up between them and us, they firing into the bridge layers, and we instantly replying to them, until about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when General Burnside came down and held a few minutes communication with Col. Fairchild, when the left wing, with a few volunteers from the right crossed in boats. At this time we had 143 cannon on our side, ...ying upon them, and as we lay directly under them, you can guess what a noise there was. Our men crossed in boats, charged up the bank, and the result was the taking of 64 prisoners from the 17th Mississippi regiment, and the occupation of the city. The rest of our regiment now crossed in boats, and the engineers soon had the bridge completed. We occupied the houses that night and remained in them until the morning of the 13th. In this battle we lost 25 killed and wounded. The volunteers selected from our company to cross were, G. W. Hitchcock, Delhi; W. J. Gilbert, Delhi; Wm. Stott, Washington, D. C.; W. S. law, Hamden.
The 12th we spent in traversing the city, and getting what we wanted to eat, &c., of which there was an abundance. The houses were plugged full of round shot and shell, and looked like anything but a place of safety.
On a review some few days after that battle, by Gens. Sumner and Wilcox, Major Gen. Sumner complimented us very highly. Riding along the lines until he come to our Regiment he asked Gen. Getty what Regiment it was; he was answered, "the 89th N. Y." Gen. S. then drew up his horse, facing our Colors and motioning for our drums to cease beating, he took off his hat and said: "I wish to compliment this Regiment for their gallant conduct down at the Pontoon Bridge on the 11th of this month. I heard of its gallant conduct at the time, and was very highly pleased. It was an honor to yourselves, an honor to our Country, and an honor to the whole Army."
Our fifth engagement was the
BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG,
fought on the 13th day of December, 1862. On the morning of the 13th our brigade was marched to the river under the cover of which we remained until between 4 and 5 in the afternoon, listening to the terrible battle that was raging but a short distance from us. Between 4 and 5 in the afternoon we were ordered up, arrived on the field about dusk and formed in line of battle. First was placed two new regiments in advance, then the 103d N. Y. V., and ours behind them, to charge them on to the Rebels, who were posted behind a stone wall that we were to take. After advancing a short distance we received a volley, and the first thing we saw was the "bounty men" coming pell-mell through our ranks. Every minute a shell would come shrieking over our heads, and our ranks were completely broken up; we were of course compelled to fall back, which we did, behind the shelter of the rail road. Had it been our old brigade that charged, (the 9th, 103d and 89th Regiments N. Y. V.) I think that we would have taken the wall; but at a fearful loss. The new regiments however broke and run through our ranks on receiving the first volley, breaking us up and compelling us to fall back. In this engagement our regiment lost in killed, wounded and missing, 8 or 10.—John Munn, of Hamden, of our company was taken prisoner. We fell back to the city on Saturday night, where we lay in line all day Sunday and Monday. On Monday night we were ordered out to the front as reserve picket, and about 10 o'clock fell back across the river and went into our old camp again, where we lay until our corps were ordered to Newport News. We had orders to cross, but the mud prevented it. At Newport News, our division was detached from the corps and sent to Suffolk, Va., where we now are, hoping soon to receive orders to rejoin our old comrades of the 9th Corps at Kentucky.
Our sixth set-to with the enemy was the
TAKING OF THE REBEL BATTERY ON THE NANSEMOND.
This was on the afternoon of the 16th of April. Fifty volunteers were called on—fifteen from our company—to cross the river and burn a house that the Rebel Sharp-Shooters were using as a cover to pick our gunners from off the gun-boats. Our men crossed and came upon the rebel pickets, who fired upon them and then retreated. Our men, finding the force too strong for them, re-crossed the river and returned to camp.
On the night of the 17th we were ordered down to the river, with the 13th Indiana, but again found the enemy in too strong force for us, and we returned without accomplishing any thing. On the afternoon of the 19th the regiment was again ordered to the river, and with four companies of the 8th Conn. Volunteers were put on board the gun-boat "Stepping-Stones," and landed below the rebel battery. As quick as the boat touched, our men sprang on shore arid charged on the work, and took it. With it we captured five pieces of splendid Artillery, a large amount of ammunition, and 113 prisoners, from Virginia and Alabama. We lay in the works all night, not knowing but that at any moment we might be attacked; and morning, I assure you, was hailed with delight. About 10 o'clock we were relieved by the 117th N. Y. V., and returned to camp well satisfied with our adventure. Our Regiment lost two killed, and some four or five wounded—two mortally.
The guns and ammunition that we took in the above engagement are estimated to be worth at least $40,000 to the Government.
The following complimentary Order was subsequently received by our Regiment from the Commanding General:
HEAD-QUARTERS, 3d Division, 9th Army Corps,
Near Suffolk, Va., April 21, 1863.
Lieut. Col. ENGLAND:
COLONEL—The General Commanding desires me to convey to you and the officers and men of your command, his hearty congratulations and thanks for the success and gallantry in the affair of the 19th instant.
(Signed) Brig. Gen. GEORGE W. GETTY.
R. MCKECHNIE, Acting Asst, Adjutant General.
SOUTH QUAY ROAD.
This—our 7th and up to this time our last battle—occurred on Sunday, May 3d, 1863. On the morning of that day we marched to Suffolk, and remained in the streets until the planking was laid on the bridge across the Nansemond; when that was accomplished we fell in and were counted off as skirmishers: we then crossed the river, the 103d N. Y. V. taking the lead, our regiment coming next.
We had not gone over a quarter of a mile when we saw the rebels falling in to deploy and give us a warm reception. We skirmished through an orchard and got to the rail fence skirting it, where we lay receiving and returning shots, until about 12 o'clock, when we were ordered to advance and occupy the woods, which we did, the rebels retreating, taking their wounded with them; at about 9 o'clock at night we re-crossed the river, and returned to camp.
The casualties of Company I were:
Lieut. Eppes, of Meredith, shot in the lower part of t h e neck. Recovering.
John Thompson, Delhi, shot through the arm. Recovering.
John Davidson, Platner's Brook, Delhi, shot through the abdomen. Recovery very doubtful.
The regiment lost but eight or ten altogether. About 100 wounded and dead Rebels were found in a church about a mile from us, indicating that all of our firing was not lost.
Since the Rebels retreated, Capt. Burt, of our Regiment, has been out to see the enemy's works; he reports them to have been very strong; and had it not been for Hooker crossing the Rappahannock, thus drawing them away from here, they would no doubt have made a desperate effort to siege us out from here, as one of their ablest Generals, Longstreet, was in command, assisted by Hill.
THE RESIGNATION OF COL. WEBER.—
The resignation of Col. John B. Weber was a surprise to us, and we were at a loss to account for it, although, from our knowledge of the Colonel's character and career, we were satisfied there were good and sufficient reasons for the step. We learned from him yesterday the facts in the case, and they certainly fully justify, and may be said to have compelled his resignation.
When general Banks started on his famous Red River Expedition, he took with him nearly all the colored troops of the 2d Brigade, then under command of Colonel Weber, leaving only a hundred to each regiment. He promised, in compensation, to recruit the regiments up to the maximum with slaves he anticipated securing during the campaign. Instead, however, of procuring more colored soldiers, he lost many he took with him, and Col. Weber found himself in command of a mere handful of men, without the remotest hope of restoring the 89th to anything like efficiency. Learning positively from an officer of General Banks' Staff that the depleted regiment of the Brigade were to be consolidated, and knowing that he would be discharged, he anticipated his fate by tendering his resignation.
Col. Weber has been a brave and valuable officer; one possessing ability and merit sufficient to rise to the "Eagle" from the rank of private; and it is a subject for regret that the country is deprived of his services, but he retires with a bright and unblemished name.
Letter from Sergt. John C. Kirtland, Co. A, 89th Regiment, N. Y. V.
NORTH END FOLLY ISLAND, S. C.,
November 19, 1863.
MR. JOHN B. LOOK, SIR:—Thinking it wound not be uninteresting to the numerous friends of the members of Co. A, 89th N. Y. Vols., raised in Schuyler County, I thought I would send you a list of those who have been honorably discharged from wounds received in action, disability, and other causes; also the number deceased from this Company since its organization, which, I think, will show that the company has brought no discredit upon the County to which it belongs. Its first Captain (Coryell) was promoted to Lieut. Colonel for his ability and good conduct in the battlefield. Both Lieutenants Pratt and Cahill, being wounded, received a higher grade. The Company is, at present, commanded by Capt. R. P. Cormack, and is stationed on Folly Island, South Carolina. I think I do the Company but simple justice when I say, that the small number remaining, as well as those who have been discharged and deceased, have ever done their duty to their country, and have often been commended for their soldierly qualifications.
They look anxiously forward to the time when their term of service expires, as three years' absence from home makes one cherish its fond endearments.
The following is the list:
Sergt John H Jessup, of Havana
" John H Elyea, Altay
Corpl Coe O Coleman, Montour
Private Albert K Bennett, Havana
“ Benj H Burke, Havana
“ William H Merrick, Hector
" James Holden, Dundee
" Oliver Hovencamp, Odessa
" William S Van Gelder, Monterey
" Charles A Coryell, Havana
" Wm H Miller, Monterey
" Wm J Nixon, Perry City
" A Cary, Trumansburg
" Wm B Smith, do
" Wm A Compton, Bradford
" Alfred W Soule, Searsburg
" Benj Wicks, Altay
" C D Earnest, Wayne
" George Harris, Searsburg
" Munson Strong, North Reading
" George W Thompson, Monterey
" Wlliam Tailby, Trumansburg
Sergt Wm H Wick, of Havana
Corpl John W Pixley, Belvidere
Private Emery Merritt, Susquehanna, Pa
do Joseph S Doane, Monterey
do Gilbert Proper, Searsburg
do Thaddeus W Lane, do
do Aaron S Patrick, Farmer
do Patrick Sullivan, Elmira
do Nathaniel I Forest, Havana
do Henry R Francisco. Cayutaville
do Andrew W Kelly, Wyalusing, Pa
do Isreal S Taylor. Wayne
do George W Dudley, Havana
do Charles Mc Laughlin, Havana
do David N Knapp, North Hector
do Samuel Wasson, Watkins
do Isaac W Swallow, Tyrone
do Alanson Clark, Mecklenburg
do Martin Feely, Havana
do Delos Letts, Trumansburg
do Jodn Donohue, Jacksonville
Very respectfully, Sir
Your Obedient Serv't
JOHN C. KIRKLAND.
From the Eighty-Ninth.— Lieut. Dobie, of the 80th N. Y. Volunteers, (Col. Fairchild's regiment,) returned home last evening on leave of absence for twenty days. He was badly wounded on the morning of June 19th, while within our lines, a ball from the rifle of a rebel sharpshooter striking him just below the left ear, and passed out at the back of t h e neck, but is doing well. He has been in Chespeake Hospital, Hampton, ever since.
THE EIGHTY-NINTH.—The 89th N. Y. Volunteers, ( Col. Fairchild ), were at Yorktown on the 23d inst., having just reached that place from Folly Island, S. C. The boys are doubtless glad to get back, even to Old Virginia.
Testimonal [sic] to a Retiring Officer.
Correspondence of the Democrat and American.
89TH REGT. N. Y. STATE VOLUNTEERS,
FOLLY ISLAND, S. C, Jan. 31.
Capt. Frank Burt, Co. K, this regiment, having resigned his commission, a meeting of the officers present was held, and presented him with the following testimonial:
" We the undersigned, officers of t h e 89th Regt. N. Y. Vols., cannot part with our brother officer, Capt. Frank Burt, without testifying to the high esteem in which he has been held by us as a brave soldier, a faithful and generous comrade, and for his uniform gentlemanly deportment.
" It is with the deepest regret that the link between us is now broken. Our earnest wish, however, is that in whatever sphere in life he may hereafter move, whether military or civil, he may always be upheld by those noble and upright principles which have hitherto characterized him, and that all his undertakings may be crowned with success." (Signed,)
T. L. ENGLAND, Lieut. Col. Com.
H. C. ROOME, Capt. Co. E.
R. P. CORMACK, Capt. Co. A.
F. BURGHARDT, 1st Lieut. and A. Adjt.
F. W. TREMAIN, 1st Lieut. and A. Q. M.
W. H. HARRIS, 1st Lieut. Co. E.
W. T. EDDY, 1st Lieut. Co. C.
H. H. EPPS , 1st Lieut. Co. I.
WM. DOBIE, 2d Lieut. Co. D.
J. B. RUSSELL, 2d Lieut. Co. G.
G. H. BALDWIN, 2d Lieut. Co. F.
THOS. GROODY, 2d Lieut. Co. B.
WM. DUSENBURY, 2d Lieut. Co. C.
A. G. LUMSDEN,
1st Serg. Co. D, and Regimental Clerk.
William D. Letts, of Co. A., 89th Reg't from Trumansburg; Ransom Frost, Co. G., from Windsor; Peter Hunt, of Co. B., and George C. Durfee, of Co. H., from Binghamton, all of the 89th Reg't. died during the month of October.
THE RECEPTION.--The citizens of Binghampton [sic] gave the 89th a most glorious reception this afternoon. They arrived on the 3 30 train from the east, and were met by the Fire Department and several thousand of our citizens, who escorted the noble patriots to the Exchange, where a formal reception took place. Hon. RANSOM BALCOM made a few eloquent and appropriate remarks, which were received with enthusiastic cheers by the vast multitude present. MR. STEWART of the Republican, and Capt, SHIPMAN also made a few remarks. The Binghampton [sic] Band furnished the music for the occasion, and astonished every one with the proficiency they had made since their organization. They played as well as any old band in the Southern Tier The arrival of the 89th was not known until published in the Times last evening, and the preparations for the reception was necessarily very limited. The soldiers bore themselves with the steady, unfaltering tread which becomes a regiment which has won its reputation under fire. The stalwart forms, bronzed features and noble bearing of these veterans attracted universal admiration—Binghampton [sic] Times.
PERSONAL.—Col. H. S. Fairchild and Capt. Jeremiah Remington, of the 89th Regiment N. Y. Volunteers, arrived home from Folly Island, on Wednesday evening. Capt. Remington resides in Brighton. Four privates and non-commissioned officers belonging in this city and vicinity came to Rochester with these officers. Other officers and privates are in Broome and Chemung counties. The whole constitute a detail sent home to engage in the recruiting business—the 89th having fallen considerably below its proper standard of strength. We understand that Capt. Remington will open a recruiting office in the city immediately.—Col. Fairchild will probably superintend the operations of the detail.
FROM THE 89TH REGIMENT—LIEUT. VAN INGEN WOUNDED.—Col. Fairchild, of the 89th Regiment, has written a hasty letter to Mrs. Fairchild giving some particulars of the late battles in Maryland in which his regiment was engaged. He says that 40 of his regiment were killed and 130 wounded.
Among the wounded was our young townsman Lt. Gerritt Van Ingen, Acting Adjutant, who suffered the loss of a leg by amputation. He was a gallant young officer and the Colonel speaks of his conduct in terms of the highest praise. The Colonel was in command of a brigade and had not seen Lt. Van Ingen at the time he wrote. As to his condition after amputation we hear nothing. His brother leaves this evening for Maryland to attend him.
Col. Fairchild says that the men of the 89th fought bravely and distinguished themselves in battle. The Rochester company in his Regiment took a stand of colors from a South Carolina Regiment on the field.
Mr. Editor: —The members of Co. C, 89th N. Y. Vols., feeling a deep sense of grief in the death of their friend and comrade in arms, Mr. WILLIS HUMFREY, desire to express their sorrow and sympathy with the bereaved parent, relatives and friends of our deceased brother, through your valued journal. The demise of our esteemed friend and companion-in-arms has thrown the sable mantle of sorrow over us all by whom he was highly esteemed for his bravery and heroism in battle—his untarnished loyalty and devotion to the cause of his periled country, which induced him to leave lucrative positions amidst the endearing society of home and friends to take the field and endure the hardships and privation of the soldier's life. He was endeared to us by a gentle amiability of disposition, and a kind affability of manner, which won the hearts of all with whom he came in contact; his sympathy and condolence were always with the unfortunate and distressed, ever ready to lend a helping hand to the overburdened and needy, he won his way to the affections of all. His many noble traits of character,—the benevolence of his spirit,—the kindness of his manner,—the gentleness of his disposition,—the lofty patriotism of soul—the indomitable perseverance which overcame all obstacles in the accomplishment of his noble purposes, —the pure religious principles which guided him through life, —his calm bravery on the field amid seemingly inevitable death—all conspired to gain for him the love and confidence of his fellow soldiers and companions in the glorious cause of liberty’s perpetuity. —He participated in every battle in which his regiment has been engaged—Camden, South Mountain, Antietam, Snicker’s Gap, White Sulphur Springs, the Rappahannock, Fredericksburg, Storming of West Branch, the Nansemond and the Siege of Wagner. Although wounded in several of them, yet he remained with his regiment and returned to duty ere his wounds were quite healed. Such disinterested heroism indicated the high resolve, the noble impulses, the stern sense of duty to country, the loyalty and devotion of the man—the patriot. Loved in life with the full strength of earnest affection, he is mourned in death with all our heart’s deep sorrow. May he who “tempers the mind to the shorn lamb,” support his aged parents and relatives, in this, their deep affliction.
Farewell, comrade; brother dear, farewell;
The grief that fills our heart,
To think that thou we loved go well,
From thee we now must part.
No more will thy cheering voice be heard,
Mid lurid camp-fires gleaming,
Patriot fire in every word —
With love each feature beaming.
Midst battles most wild commotion,
Thy spirit fearless has been,
The light of thy soul's pure devotion
From thy flashing eyes did beam.
No more thy brave words will enkindle
Our Loyalty's waning fires;
Thy spirit will no more commingle
With our vain worldly desires.
Tho' thou art gone from our sight here below,
Thy virtues ever shall live
In our hearts, to guide us as we go
For thy bright reward to strive.
Thy radiant spirit has fled afar,
To those bright realms of peace,
Mid hosts of Heaven, to be a star
With joys that ne'er shall cease.
Oh that we might soar with thee
From this vain world below,
To that effulvent eternity
Where there's but joy we know.
Thou'lt watch us—guide us from above.
And guard us lest we err.
Till God shall crown us with His love,
And calls us to meet you there.
EDWARD F. HART
Company C, 89th N. Y. Vols
FOLLY ISLAND, S. C., March 1, 1854.
LOCAL AND MISCELLANEOUS.
BUFFALO, SATURDAY, JULY 9, 1864.
PERSONAL—COMPLIMENTARY TO COL. JOHN R. WEBER.—Our gallant and esteemed townsman Col. John B. Weber, and the wife of Lieut-Col. Robert F. Atkins, arrived in the city yesterday from New Orleans. They were fourteen days in making the trip, and the river portion of it was anything but a peaceful and pleasant one. The steamer Empress, which bore their fortunes, was fired upon a dozen times by prowling rebel batteries, and in one instance a cannon shot tore through the bar, smashing glassware and acting decidedly like a Hoosier full of fighting whiskey.
It will be seen from the following action taken by the 89th Regiment, that Col. Weber's resignation of his commission has been accepted. The compliment is paid by men who have seen his merit tried face to face with treason, and the source from which it emanates is conclusive evidence that it is fully deserved:
At a meeting of the officers of the 89th U. S. C. Infantry, held at Camp Buffalo, Port Hudson, La., June 26, 1864, Lieut. Col. Robert F. Atkins in the chair. The following preamble and Resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, We, the officers of the 89th U. S. C. Infantry, have learned with regret of the acceptance of the resignation of Colonel John B. Weber; therefore,
Resolved, That in the resignation of Colonel John B. Weber, we realize the loss of a thorough soldier and a brave officer, one who has taken a great interest in our organization, and who by untiring efforts for our welfare has endeared himself to his command.
Resolved, That in the departure of Colonel John B. Weber, the regiment is not alone the loser of a reliable and efficient officer, but the service of one whose military qualities render him particularly reliable in this branch of it.
Resolved, That whether the remainder of his days be spent in the quiet walks of a civil, or in the more exciting events of a military life, he has our hearfelt [sic] wishes for the same success which has attended his steps heretofore.
Resolved, That we, as officers of the 89th U. S. C. Infantry, will use our best endeavors to sustain the reputation the regiment has acquired under his command, and to preserve its colors from all stains of dishonor.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be presented to Colonel John B. Weber and published in the Buffalo Morning Express.
Lt. Col. ROBT. F. ATKINS,
JNO. T. COVINGTON, Secy. 1st Lieut.
BLACK AND WHITE SOLDIERS.
Scathing Rebuke of the Editor of the Telegraph by Chenago Boys in the Old 89th Regiment.
[Correspondence of the Chenango Union.]
HEAD QUARTERS 89TH REG. N. Y. VOLS.,
Near PETERSBURG, Va., Aug. 14, 1864.)
Editor of the CHENANGO UNION:
In reading an article in the Chenango Telegraph of August 10th, 1864, we were never more surprised than to learn that the editor should try to vindicate his favorite, pet soldiers, "the niggers," from the charge of cowardice, by publishing unmitigated, disparaging falsehoods against the white soldiers of this army—soldiers who have stood privations and hardships that the editor of the Telegraph knows nothing about, for months, fighting and marching nearly all the time, charging fortifications to-day, and then long marches to-morrow, through rain, mud or dust, as the case might be; and after having endured all this without a murmur or word of complaint, to have an editor, one who professes to be the particular friend of the soldiers, come out in an editorial and plainly say our fighting qualities are not as good as those of "the niggers," and that "the niggers"' held their ground in the attack on Petersburg until the white soldiers ran, is a little too much. The statement is absolutely false, and the editor of the Telegraph cannot find an officer or soldier in this army, from Gen. GRANT down, who saw or was engaged in the attack, who will say that the white troops run before "the niggers" did, or that they run at all.—They held their ground until they had orders from the proper authority to fall back, which they did in good order, and not "pell-mell," throwing away their guns and equipments, and everything else that would impede their wild flight, as the niggers did.
My pen is inadequate to express the contempt of the soldiers in reading the article referred to, and we all agree in saying that its author is too mean and contemptible to be considered white; and in the event the niggers should ever be "colonized," he should be one of the number, in order that he may enjoy the society of his beloved sable friends, without fear of molestation from the contemptible and cowardly class who were unfortunate enough to be born with white skins.
We have never seen the niggers fight but twice. On the 18th of June a nigger regiment was ordered to support ours in a charge, and to keep within forty yards of us; but as soon as they got where the fire was any way hot, they broke and run in disorder, and could not be rallied and brought to the proper place. Our regiment (the cowardly white) charged until we were ordered to stop, losing about 60 men, besides our Lieut.-Colonel. We then halted under the enemy's fire and dug pits with our cups and bayonets, and held them until we were relieved by other white troops. We were ordered to fall back three times before the relief came; but our Colonel said he could hold his ground with much less sacrifice than to fall back, and have to charge again when sufficient white troops should come up. We therefore held it, and it is held yet. There is but one opinion with the soldiers of this army about the niggers, and that is that they are cowards, and a disgrace to the uniform they wear, and the soldiers you find that uphold them are the ones that are always to the rear with them.
The above are our sentiments of the editor or editors of the Chenango Telegraph, and of nigger soldiers in general.
1st Sergeant A. L. SACKETT.
Sergeant A. L. PARCELL,
Corporal D. P. DAILEY,
“ S. F. BALCOM,
“ S. S. STEVENS, JR.
Private J. A.WOOD,
“ J. H. FIGARY,
“ S. R. WILBUR,
“ J. BENEDICT,
“ O. L. FOSTER,
“ GEO. SHEPARD,
“ JOHN REED,
“ W. Y. CLINTON, JR.,
“ L. G. LINDSEY,
“ S. MANWARRING,
“ J. W.WEBB,
“ WM. ANDREWS,
“ M. EVANS,
“ P. STOCKWELL,
“ C. ALBERT.
Members of Co. E, 89th Reg. N. Y. Vols.
HEADQUARTERS 2D DIV., 18TH A. C.,
NEAR BERMUDA HUNDREDS, VA.,
Sept. 30th, 1864.
Mr. C. G. Fairman—Dear Sir:—For some time past, the masterly inactivity maintained along the lines here and in front of Petersburg, has prevented me from finding material enough for a letter to you, but at the last the spell of inactivity is broken and now as I, with the thunder of artillery and the ceaseless rattle of musketry come booming fearfully from across the James, and also from the extreme left beyond the Weldon road a great battle or rather two great battles are in progress, one on the extreme right at Deep Bottom, the other on the extreme left, where Gen. Grant is endeavoring to swing around Petersburg and occupy the Dansville road, and report says that he has been eminently successful. Our lines extending now across the Dansville road. The fighting is still going on, the enemy seemingly determined to regain possession of the road, but our forces hold their grip of the road yet and but little fears are entertained of their being driven from it. Reports from that direction are very meagre and of course not wholly reliable. All last night, however, till daylight this morning, the war of artillery and musketry in that direction was incessant and seemed to be a great deal farther advanced to the left than heretofore. We have not learned as yet anything of the casualties or incidents of the fight. The struggle seems to be prolonged as well as desperate, for even now, as I write, near the end of the second day, the sound of carnage is still heard.
On the extreme right, at Deep Bottom, the 18th and 10th corps attacked the enemy and fought desperately all the forenoon of yesterday, capturing four forts, about twenty pieces of heavy siege artillery and about eleven hundred prisoners. The fighting was very severe, the enemy contesting stubbornly for every inch of ground. Some splendid charges were made by the second division. In the earlier part of the day we lost heavily.—Among the casualties is Brig. Gen. Burnharn, commanding first division killed, also Major Anderson of the 2d Pa. Heavy Artillery.—Major General Ord commanding corps was wounded in the foot, but after getting the wound dressed returned to the front yesterday evening. Gen. Heckman who was captured at Drury's Bluff last May and recently exchanged, now commanding our (2d) Division, was temporarily in command of the corps after Gen. Ord was wounded. The 10th corps part of the time supporting the 18th, their casualties were comparatively light. We have not learned any particulars of the engagement as yet beyond flying rumors, that may be either correct or false. I learn from Lieut. Baldwin of the 89th who has arrived wounded from the front that the 89th without a support charged a rebel fort, but were repulsed with heavy loss in killed, wounded and prisoners. Among the killed is color sergeant White. After he fell the State color banner, presented by Hon. Daniel S. Dickinson, was captured. Capt. Roome and Lieuts. Goody and Epps were also captured, together with a large number of men. As the mail now closes I must necessarily close.
G. H. Humfry, Serg,t 89th N. Y. V.