Civil War Newspaper Clippings

Only a few days ago a portion of the Metropolitan cavalry, about one hundred and fifty, were captured by the enemy within two miles of Gen. Banks's headquarters. They were taken without a gun being fired or a sabre

Captain Julius P. Merklein, Co. C, arm and breast. 
Peter Wike, Co. A, arm.
Joseph Cooney, Co. C. arm.
Wm. Rollins, Co. A, leg.
James Thompson, Co. A, leg.
Charles Nigg. Co. B, thigh.
Alfred Woodruff. Co. L, hand.
James E. Jacobus, Co C, hand.
Suren G. Enol, Co. A, leg.
John Murphy, Co. A, killed.
Lieutenant Geo. Vanname, missing.
Michael gaynan, Co. C, arm.
John Grinnell, Co. C.
Wm. Stokes, Co. A.
Corporal Anthony Richley, Co. M.

Death of Capt. Wm. E. Bristol.
At a meeting of this company, held as above, the announcement was made of the death at Brashear City, of Capt. Bristol, in hospital, June 4th, and it was Resolved, That in the early death of our bebeloved friend and associate, Capt. William E. Bristol, of the Metropolitan Cavalry, a member of the Union Blues, and the first taken by death from our ranks since our organization, we fully realize the great loss we have sustained, and sincerely mourn the departure of him who has yielded up his life in the service of his country, and whose name, now written upon the enduring roll of our patriot martyrs, shall henceforth live in our hearts and memories, to remind us individually of the Christian graces, the rare virtues, the genial friendship and the self-sacrificing patriotism which eminently distinguished him whose untimely death demands the tribute of our sincerest sorrow.
When, in the hour of peril, his country called him to her defence against the hosts of treason which assailed her, although fully conscious of the nature of the sacrifice demanded of him in severing the ties which bound him to loving kindred and devoted friends, yet, believing that duty demanded this at his hands, he went forth from all that was dearest in life to his heart, to serve, to suffer, and, if need be, to die in defence of rights and privileges which he thoroughly appreciated, with a firm, unwavering trust in the God whom he served, and who sustained him in every emergency and brought him off victorious even in that last earthly conflict which death wages against mortality.
They who mourn the loss of a beloved son and brother, and we who cherish the remembrance of his friendship, may take to our hearts the consolation that, by a singularly consistent Christian life, in which he ever exemplified the beauty and attractiveness of a Godly walk and conversation, he had prepared himself for that summons which he met without fear or faltering, and this alone can mitigate the grief of the bereaved, and reconcile them to the thought that, in that trying hour, far from his happy home, deprived of the presence and tender ministrations of kindred and friends, there was then—

"No voice, well known through many a day,
To speak the last, the parting word,
Which, when all other sounds decay,
Is still like distant music heard.
That tender farewell on the shore
Of this rude world, when all is o'er
Which cheers the spirit, ere its bark
Puts off into the unknown dark."

The members of this company sincerely sympathize with the afflicted relatives and friends of the deceased, in this sad event, which deprives them of one whose place in their affections can never be filled on earth, earnestly commending them to the mercy and love of God, in this sorrowful dispensation of His providence, while they rejoice with them in the comforting assurance that the departed had made his calling and election sure, and rests in...

COMMERCIAL TIMES. Oswego, Tuesday Evening, April 26. 
Pleasant Hill, April 11, 1864.
To the Editor of the Oswego Commercial Times:
We have had a severe engagement with the enemy, lasting two days, and some of the hardest fighting in this Department. On the 6th instant we left Nachitoches en route for Shrevesport, but on the 7th our cavalry attacked the rebels and drove them about sixteen miles beyond Pleasant Hill, when they suddenly came upon a large force of them; Gen. Ransom's, Division followed promptly behind the cavalry and attacked at once. Early in the engagement Gen. Ransom was shot in the right knee, which somewhat disheartened his men, and caused them to hesitate. In the mean time Col. Lucas, of the 14th N. Y. Cavalry made a charge on the rebels through a dense mass of woods on the left of the field into a strong force of rebel cavalry, from which he was forced to retire after losing a large number of men. Nims' battery of six pieces played on the enemy with great effect, mowing them down in rows with a rain of grape and canister; but our Cavalry was overpowered and retreated in haste through the ranks of Gen. Ransom's Division, causing a panic in the infantry, and they broke and ran. Nims' battery continued to play until the rebels were within five rods when they were compelled to retire with considerable loss of men and horses. 
Not expecting a general engagement, the supply train of the cavalry division had been allowed to follow close in the rear, and only halted a fourth of a mile back of the battle ground. When the retreat commenced this train so blocked up the way that it threw the whole force into a panic. The artillery consisted of the Chicago Mercantile, and Nims' batteries, each with six pieces, Batteries F and G, 1st U. S. Artillery, each six pieces, and the Chicago Muskeeto battery, four pieces. All but five of these pieces were captured, although two were retaken the next day. Gen. Ransom's Division fought bravely, but they were soon overpowered. Gen. Franklin and staff, as also the writer, were in the hottest of the fight, where the balls seemed to come thick as hailstones. Gen. Franklin had two, horses shot under him during the engagement.
About five o'clock p. M., the 19th army corps, one division of it commanded by Brig. Gen. Emory, came up on the double quick, and at once entered into the engagement. They fought like tigers, checking the enemy, not undertaking to regain the lost ground, but covering the retreat.
On the 8th instant we all collected together again. Two columns were formed across a space of open ground about one-eighth of a mile in width, occupying the western slope of Pleasant Hill as our battle ground. The detachments of the 16th and 17th corps under command of Brig.-Gen. Smith formed in full position about 11 o'clock A. M., with his full command of Artillery and infantry, and occupied this ground, the cavalry and artillery ranged on either side. The artillery of the 13th and 19th corps was hid in ambush, entirely concealed from the enemy.
The engagement commenced about 3 P. M. and lasted till 7, and such fighting was never witnessed on this continent before. The enemy advanced eight columns deep, with cavalry and infantry, the cavalry in the front. About 800 yards from our troops the rebel cavalry started on a charge, and when within 100 yards they opened to each side with the intention of flanking our force, the rebel infantry advancing on the double quick, and filling the opening made by their cavalry. Our first line delivered their fire, retreated a few paces upon the second, according to previous arrangement, when the artillery opened with grape and canister, and both lines and the cavalry fired and charged together. Oh both sides the killed and wounded were literally heaped up on one another. The rebels made seven charges and were repulsed every time with severe loss, when they finally commenced a nasty retreat. We retook two cannon, and captured two flags and over 700 prisoners. On the second day at night we buried our dead and removed the wounded. The first battle was at Sabine Cross Road, and the second at Pleasant Hill, eighteen miles from there. We are 300 miles from New Orleans. 
The official report gives the number of killed, wounded and missing in the 1st division of the 19th corps, and the 3d and 4th divisions of the 13th corps, at 1,977.—We lost twenty-one pieces of artillery, twelve wagons, and 150,000 rounds of cartridges. SPRINGHEEL.

The Red River Expedition.
The March from Nachitoehes—Cavalry Fight and Rout of the Enemy—Advance of our Troops—The Enemy in Force at Mansfield—The Battle and Retreat—The Killed—The Corning Cavalry—Repulse and Rout of the Enemy—The Red River.
GRAND ECORE, La., April 14, 1863.
MY DEAR FATHER—Since my last letter events have crowded so fast on each other that I find it difficult to compress an account of them into the limits of a letter. I wrote you of the fight at Crumps' Hill on April 2d, the charge of the 14th New York, the subsequent engagement, and our success. This reconnoissance having determined pretty accurately the strength and position of the enemy at and beyond Pleasant Hill, the whole army marched from Natchitoches on the morning of the 6th, the cavalry division as usual far in advance. 
The work opened at noon on the 7th, beyond Pleasant Hill and about 28 miles from Nachitoches, with a terrific engagement of our cavalry with Green's dismounted men in the pine woods that cover the country beyond Nachitoches. The enemy were routed after two hours hard work and the loss of many fine officers. We pushed them nine miles that night, darkness coming on during a severe conflict against a very strong position with heavy force of all arms. The next morning, the 8th, assisted by a brigade of Sanderson's division, 13th corps, we drove them from their strong point and on for ten miles still through thick woods, two regiments of infantry deployed one on each side of the road, two in column on the road, and cavalry mounted and dismounted on the flanks. Every hill was the scene of a stubborn stand and fierce charge, Gen. Lee himself at the front of the line, and killed and wounded paying for every step we gained. Lieut. Col. Webb, commanding 77th, a noble soldier, fell dead, shot through the head. Gen. Lee commanded the advance. Gen. Stone was present as Chief of Staff of Banks, both constantly in the extreme front, brave, calm, and unmoved by success or check.
The end of this toilsome ten miles work found us near Mansfield approaching a large semicular basin with high hills all around, their crests covered with open timber and low pine, except on the extreme right, where the ground was more depressed and the woods very dense. The enemy on the crest facing us, the centre of the position, was soon shelled out. The place looked dangerous, the necessity of occupying, and the peril of holding it being equally evident to Generals Lee and Stone as well as General Ransoms who was now up with six small regiments of infantry from his command. Nim's battery with two howitzers was advanced to the centre crest, with the infantry for support. Lucas' and Dudley's commands, the only cavalry brigades on the ground, were ordered to hold the right and left. Scarcely was our little force in position, when reconnoisances showed the enemy's whole army along a still higher range of hills extending around our position concealed by words, and his forces massed on the right. The enemy's whole strength now flung itself on Lucas, and from two o'clock till half past three that one small brigade with four howitzers held the rebels at bay. Two companies of my own regiment (D and H) had the extreme right, next the 14th New York, 10th Indiana, 2d Lousiana and 6th Missouri. Finally Ransom with three regiments went to the assistance of Lucas, leaving the centre with three regiments in support of the guns. Ransom's fight was superb, holding the ground and driving the enemy slightly. At 4 o'clock Banks arrived, word arriving at the same time that the head of the infantry column was only two miles off. At 4:40 the enemy finding the right unshaken, suddenly changed their attack to the centre coming on in seven or eight deployed lines one behind the other with troops massed in rear. Nims guns served magnificently, drove them back repeatedly when the supports, pressed on all sides, broke, and in spite of the almost superhuman efforts of Stone and Lee, failed to rally. 
Lieut. Snow, commanding Nims' battery, fell wounded by the side of two guns, which he refused to abandon, although every horse was killed. The other six limbered up and retreated at last, having held the enemy in check for several minutes without any supports. The cavalry of Dudley called in from the left, and Ransom's command from the right, formed line and driving the enemy back several times, were at last obliged to retreat to the edge of the woods, which they held until the arrival of Cameron's division. Everything looked well until a fierce attack on both flanks broke Cameron, and nothing remained but to retreat until Emory was met with his division of the 19th corps. The narrow road becoming blocked with guns and wagons it was difficult to cover; the retreat. The cavalry, almost without ammunition, did well. The two companies of the 18th (Corning Cavalry) are universally admitted to have, at least, equalled anything engaged.—Without a cartridge they held their line, saving several pieces. It made my heart bound to see my own boys do so grandly. Hammond was left dead, and Bacon wounded, and 25 men out of 90 were hit. Gens. Banks, Franklin, Lee and Stone were the last in the retreat. Franklin lost two of his staff—wounded. Near Emory's position the train and artillery were en- tangled, and 18 pieces lost. Our headquarters wagons are all gone, and I had nothing left but what I had about my person. All my papers are gone with rest, commissions, letters and all. At last we gained Emory's position. His division in three lines on a rounded hill awaited the enemy. For two hours they dashed themselves against his lines, and each time went back crippled and dismayed. The right, left and centre of the infantry lines were successively tried, the cavalry, assisted by Robinson's fresh brigade, which joined us during the retreat, watched the flanks. At last the enemy retreated in turn, leaving his wounded on the field. During the night we retreated unmolested to Pleasant Hill, where Smith with two fresh divisions joined us. The necessity of new supplies alone compelled us to move the trains back to this point. Smith's forces and Emory's, under Banks and Franklin, remained at Pleasant Hill. The enemy attacked again in the afternoon of the 8th, but was signally defeated with the loss of six guns and 900 prisoners, and retreated in a rout. Col. Lewis Benedict, of Albany, was killed, charging at the head of his brigade. On the 10th I was ordered to take the steamer Red Chief and carry dispatches to Gen. Smith and Admiral Porter, who had gone up the river towards Shreveport. The Red Chief, the only boat available, was loaded with ammunition. We ran the gauntlet successfully with a loss of only one man wounded, although engaged six times with the enemy on the shore, and having only 55 men aboard. Other boats suffered severely, passing under much more favorable circumstances. We were repeatedly aground, and once a fire broke out on board from the shot of the enemy. It was the most fearful ordeal I ever passed through, and you may imagine how fervently we thanked God when we steamed in sight of Grand Ecore this morning.
The campaign is still in a promising condition, notwithstanding the check at Mansfield, and I think will eventually succeed. 
Capt. Powers, of our regiment, was shot through the stomach on the 4th, at Campte, where a detachment of the 18th did handsomely as usual. He was doing well when I last saw him. Your son, J. T.

… the hope of a blessed immortality.
As a last tribute of respect to the memory of the late Capt. Wm. E. Bristol, the colors of the Union Blues will be draped and the officers will wear mourning on their side arms for thirty days. The Secretary will transmit a copy of the foregoing to the family of the deceased.
E. C. SAGE, Pres't.
ELLIS, Sec'y.

Fourteenth New York Cavalry.
The Fourteenth New York Cavalry, Col. T. R. Mott, now in service at New Orleans, have been recruiting in this city, and three companies will be sent off to the regiment on Monday or Tuesday in charge of Lieut. Col. J. W.