116th New York Infantry Regiment's Civil War Newspaper Clippings
LETTER FROM LIEUT. JOHN R. DOBBINS.—
We give the following interesting letter from Lieut. Dobbins to his parents, with much pleasure. It is a clear and graphic description of the fight in which the 116th New York took so gallant a part. Lieut. Dobbins is the Acting Adjutant of the regiment, which will account for his being on a horse during the fight:
BATTLE GROUND NEAR FORT HUDSON,
May 22d, 1863.
MY DEAR PARENTS: "We have met the enemy, and they are ours." We left Baton Rouge at sunrise on the 20th instant, and arrived here yesterday morning. Our advance was checked about a mile below, by a masked battery of the rebels, but after an hour's severe fighting, we drove them from their position. After moving on a short distance, we filed into a field, and rested until an order came to fall in. An artillery fight began between our forces and those of the enemy about 2 P. M., and lasted until 3 P. M., when the 116th New York and 49th Massachusetts were ordered to the left, to drive the enemy from their position. We had gone about a mile through the woods, when we came to a small open field, entirely surrounded by thick woods. Scarcely had our regiment cleared the woods, when a heavy fire was opened on us from the opposite woods. The Major quickly got our boys into line, and returned the fire; but this kind of fighting did not suit us, so we ceased firing, fixed bayonets, and charged across the field. General Augur saw the charge, and said he never saw a better one. But I must close, in order to get this off today. We lost nine killed, and about fifty wounded. We have buried nearly thirty rebels, and are still at it. I can't say exactly how many prisoners were taken; I should think near seventy. I took four myself during a second charge. Our friends are all sound. I went through the whole fight on my horse, and was not hurt, but my horse was wounded through the leg.
Capt. John Higgins, of this village has been promoted to be Major of the 116th Reg't N. Y. Vols.
LIEUT. DOBBINS RETURNED HOME—We are happy to announce the safe arrival home, this morning, of Lieut. John R. Dobbins, of the 116th Regiment N. Y. Volunteers. He left New Orleans on the 15th inst., on board the steamer Cromwell, in company with Lieut.-Col. Barnard, arriving in New York yesterday. Col. Barnard remained over at Albany. Lieut. Dobbins brings home with him the tattered and battle-scarred banner of the Regiment. He is, we are sorry to add, in a feeble state of health.
On Saturday, Col. Edward P. Chapin of the 116th N. Y. Volunteers, who was killed in the recent attack on Port Hudson, was buried at Waterloo, Seneca Co., N. Y.
Col. Chapin.—The suggestion made by one of the city papers recently, to remove the body of the late Col. E. P. Chapin to this city, and to erect over the remains of the gallant officer a fitting monument is, we are pleased to know, likely to be carried into effect, as the friends of the deceased have taken the matter in hand. We trust there will be no unnecessary delay, and that the honors proposed to be paid to the dead may be commensurate with his services, his sacrifice and his worth from doing so.
Personal.—Lieut. John R. Dobbins, of the 116th N. Y. Vols., arrived in the city yesterday morning. He left New Orleans on the 15th inst., and was accompanied in his journey, as far as Albany, by Lieut. Col. Barnard, who has resigned on account of ill health. Lieut. Dobbins brought the flag of the Regiment with him. Its tattered glory is eloquent evidence of the deeds and dangers of the gallant men who have fought beneath its folds. Lieut. Dobbins is, we regret to say, in feeble health, but we trust the bracing home air will speedily restore his strength.
116TH REG'T. N. Y. Vols.—We are requested to say that the money on the second allotment of the 116th Regiment, has been received at the Erie
County Savings Bank, and the persons to whom money has been allotted are requested to apply at once at the Bank.
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTEENTH NEW YORK.
Corporal Harvey M. Crawford, Co. K, ankle.
Sergeant John H. Tingman, Co. A. leg.
Lewis Hill, Co D, hand.
Silas H. Arnold, Co. H, chin and left arm.
Corporal Philip Leehman, Co. E, foot.
Joseph Brutcher, Co. E, thigh.
Wm. Putnam, Co. I, knee.
PERSONAL.—Lieut. Colonel John Higgins of the 11th Regiment N. Y. Vols., arrived home on sick leave, Thursday night. He has suffered severely from a complication of complaints, but hopes for an early recovering.
ARRIVED.—The remains of Capt. __ W... tle of the 116th regiment arrived here Thursday morning, and were received at the depot by six members of Eagle Hose Co. No. _, who acted as pall hearers. They were ... the vault of St. Paul's church. ... will take place from that church ... noon.
FROM THE 116TH.—... the 116th Regiment, states that ... Washington
on the 13th inst., ... was in pursuit of the rebel r... who were ineffectually chased a distance of 48 miles. The 116th is in the 19th Army Corps, commanded by General Emory. The Brigade of which it forms a part, is under command of Col. Beal. When the letter was written the Regiment momentarily expected to be ordered to City Point.
—A letter published in an afternoon contemporary on Saturday, and signed by every officer of the 116th Regiment, strongly urges the promotion of Col. George M. Love to a Brigadier-Generalship. The signers takes position against the promotion of Col. Dandy, on the ground that he is not a Buffalo man, and therefore ought not to receive, as such, the appointment of a Brigadier General, especially while there are those born and reared here who fully deserve the position. The gallant services rendered by Col. Love from the time he joined the 21st Regiment as a private, up to the present, are briefly enumerated, and the declaration made that as, acting Brigadier General, he possesses the full confidence and esteem of General Weitzel. The letter concludes with the statement that it was written without the knowledge of Col. Love.
The promotion of Col. Love would be hailed with general approbation and pleasure here. The universal sentiment is that no one is more worthy of the "stars" than he, and while we do not desire to disparage the claims of others, we cannot refrain from giving it as our opinion that he stands among the very first in merit, and has strong claims to the position his brother officers unanimously ask for him.
THE 116TH.—An officer of the 116th, writing from Donaldsonville, July 16th, to friends in this city, says: "Our regiment lost 23 wounded, 6 killed and 20 missing, most of the latter being prisoners. Co. G lost only 2 wounded. I believe Corp. Wm. H. Scheu and private Wm. Gager. The first, shot in the arm and shoulder, I think slightly; the latter, shot in right side, flesh wound. All wounded were sent right away."
Col. E. P. Chapin, of the One Hundred and Sixteenth New York regiment, who fell in the same battle with Col. Paine, entered the service as a Captain of the Forty-fourth regiment. Subsequently he was promoted to the Lieutenant Colonelcy, and when the One Hundred and Sixteenth was organized was appointed its commander.—He was a resident of Buffalo.
COL. CHAPIN—A SUGGESTION.—In view of the facts that Col. Chapin was for ten years a resident of this city; that he was a practicing lawyer here and Assistant District Attorney of the County when he entered the service; that he raised a company here for the 44th Regiment which he commanded; that the 116th Regiment of which he was Colonel when killed is a Buffalo Regiment; that many of his relatives and hosts of friends reside in this city, we suggest that our citizens request of his mother, who resides at Waterloo, permission to burry him in Forest Lawn Cemetery and to erect a monument to his memory. We have no intimation that such a request would be granted; but it would be a generous and sympathic [sic] act to make it. The means would, we doubt not, be cheerfully furnished. It is a singular fact that Col. Chapin was severely wounded at the Battle of Hanover Court House on the 27th of May, 1862, and that he was killed on the 27th of May 1863.
A company of 116 substitutes procured by the citizen of Buffalo, arrived here Saturday morning. We are informed that some were shot while attempting to escape, on their way hither, but cannot vouch for the truth of the rumor.
A substitute made a successful escapade from No. 3 barracks Saturday morning; another attempting the same feat was brought to by a bullet.
FROM THE 116TH.—The following is an extract from a letter written by an officer of the 116th in relation to the recent fight at Donaldsonville:
"Monday, the 13th, the regiment was ordered to the front, about 3 miles, for the purpose of taking a new position. The fight was brought on by a Col. Morgan, in Groove's Division, across the bayou, and contrary to orders. The consequence was that the troops were not prepared and had to fall back. The loss of the regiment was 26 killed and wounded—among the former Capt. Tuttle. The regiment behaved splendidly, but were ... by superior numbers."
THE 116TH IN ANOTHER BATTLE.—A letter was received, yesterday, announcing that our 116th and several other regiments, attacked the rebels at
Dolandsonville, Louisiana, on the 13th instant, and through the proverbial cowardice of the 47th and 49th nine months Massachusetts Regiments, were repulsed. The letter also contains the mournful announcement ... Capt. David W. Tuttle, of Co. C, was killed, and Lieutenant J. R. Dobbins, wounded. We cannot believe this sad news without confirmation, and shall anxiously look for intelligence, which will, probably, reach us to-day, to confirm or confute these most unwelcome tidings.
A SOLDIER'S FUNERAL.—The funeral of James M. Young, late of Col. Sammons' regiment, was a solemn and affecting service.—The deceased was the son of the late Harvey Young, of this village, a man who, though he died early is still remembered for amiability and general good character. He was a member of the press, and was engaged for a long time in an office at Fonda. At the call for volunteers he laid down the composing stick and took up the musket, which he carried until stricken down by disease. Providentially his life was spared until his return home, but he came back on a stretcher and so exhausted as hardly to be able even to speak. In a few days he breathed his last, comforted by the thought that he was among friends. The funeral was attended by a large concourse. The Rev. Mr. Marshall officiated, and the remains of the unfortunate youth were buried with appropriate honors.
"The tired soldier, bold and brave, He will never, never march again."
FROM THE 116TH REGIMENT.—We are permitted to publish the following extract from a letter recently received by a gentleman of this city from the 116th Regiment:
"The reputation of the 116th N. Y. S. Y. is hardly equalled [sic] in this Department. The 162d and 174th were consolidated the other day; when they started, they each numbered just about the same as the 116th; after the consolidation they only beat us about 140 men, and we have lost in action three times as many as both put together. Dr. Hutchins is now detached from the regiment, and serving on Gen. Emory's staff as Chief Surgeon of 1st Division, 19th Army Corps."
The facts mentioned in this extract speak loudly in favor of the care and caution exercised by Dr. Hutchins, in examining and passing the men for the 116th, and vindicate his action. We remember that he was severely censured by some persons for refusing to pass various men who desired to enlist in it, but the result shows that his course was right, and was adapted to secure the highest possible state of efficiency in the regiment.
FROM THE 116TH REGIMENT.—The Commercial learns from a private letter that the 116th has been taken from the 1st Brigade and placed in the 3d, of which Colonel George M. Love now has command. The selection of our gallant young townsman to command a brigade which numbers eight colonels who rank him, certainly pays a high compliment to his bravery and efficiency. The letter adds: "as nearly as I can learn we are to be a Marine Corps, that is, we are to take care of the river from Vicksburg to Donaldsonville. Transports are to be with us, and, when necessary, we embark. This will make it light work for the summer."
THE BAYONET CHARGE OF THE 116TH—GALLANT CONDUCT OF MAJOR LOVE.—The New Orleans Era of May 26th gives the fallowing account of the part taken by the 116th regiment in the battle of Port Hudson. The magnificent bravery displayed by Major Love marks him as a hero among the many heroes that our city has sent forth to the defense of the Union. Major Love's friends, and he has a host of them, feel indeed proud of his glorious conduct, and were he at home he would find their hearty congratulations more overpowering than the charges of the traitors:
The 116th New York regiment, Major Geo M. Love commanding, was engaged in a desperate encounter. Miles' Legion of rebel infantry, some four hundred strong, came upon them at the rear of the opening. At close quarters the two forces for some time fired into each other, killing and wounding the men rapidly.
A BAYONET CHARGE.
After the 116th had fired twenty rounds, it was ordered to charge bayonets. It was a thrilling sight to see that long row of bristling steel come swiftly, yet steadily, out from the forest, and speed quickly toward the foe, as they poured back a galling fire. The enemy could not stand against it, but fell back, leaving many dead and wounded to be trampled under foot. At the head of the regiment, protected by none other than a merciful Providence, rode the Major in command, with uplifted and waving sword, cheering the men on, while a perfect storm of bullets whizzed like a hive of bees, around his head. His charge inspired the men with unequaled coolness and intrepidity, and gave the 116th a victory.
Two more charges were made before the enemy was driven from the field. It was during the first, however, that the greatest loss occurred.
After the rebels were repulsed in front, they attempted a flank movement on the left. They were promptly checked by a steady fire, which again drove them back, and they did not return again.
"The brigade drew down a fire upon Col. Chapin and staff during the action and a ponderous shell struck in front of the Colonel's horse and exploded. A piece shattered the right knee of Lieutenant Joseph Tucker, of the staff, so that his leg had to be amputated above the knee. Another piece flew by Col. Chapin's head, partially stunning him, but doing no serious injury.
THE 116th IN THE BATTLE AT PORT HUDSON.
The New Orleans Era of May 26th, contains the following allusions to the conduct of the 116th regiment in the battle at Port Hudson:—
The 116th N. Y. regiment, Maj. Geo. M. Love commanding, was engaged in a desperate encounter. Miles's Legion of rebel infantry, some four hundred strong, came upon them at the rear of the opening. At close quarters the two forces for some time fired into each other, killing and wounding the men rapidly.
A BAYONET CHARGE.
After the 116th had fired twenty rounds, it was ordered to charge bayonets. It was a thrilling sight to see that long row of bristling steel come swiftly, yet steadily, out from the forest, and speed quickly toward the foe, as they poured back a galling fire. The enemy could not stand against it, but fell back, leaving many dead and wounded to be trampled under foot. At the head of the regiment, protected by none other than a merciful Providence, rode the Major in command, with uplifted and waving sword cheering the men on, while a perfect storm of bullets whizzed like a hive of bees around his bead. His charge inspired the men with unequalled coolness and intrepidity, and gave the 116th a victory.
Two more charges were made before the enemy was driven from the field. It was during the first, however, that the greatest loss occurred.
After the rebels were repulsed in front, they attempted a flank movement on the left. They were promptly checked by a steady fire, which again drove them back, and they did not return again.
The Brigade flag drew down a fire upon Colonel Chapin and staff during the action, and a ponderous shell struck in front of the Colonel's horse and exploded. A piece shattered the right knee of Lieut. Joseph Tucker, of the staff so that his leg had to be amputated above the knee. Another piece flew by Colonel Chapin's head, partially stunning him, but doing no serious injury.
Saturday Evening, September 5, 1863.
LOCAL & MISCELLANEOUS.
From the 116th Regiment.
The following extracts are from a letter from an officer of the 116th Regiment N. Y. V., dated Baton Rouge Aug. 22, 1863:
"We have been doing nothing at all here for August, as a regiment, but the various details and changes in one way and another, have drawn very heavily on the regiment, so that yesterday there was not a man left in camp.
"Fatigue parties, together with the detail for patrol guard and picket duty, took all we had, we having some 400 for duty, not counting one company absent. We have a hand at last—one that promises to be a good one. A leader from the 31st Mass. (Major Bach's Regiment), is to be discharged from service, but to remain with us. * * *
"We were inspected by Capt. Baker, one of Gen. Franklin's staff, who has been with the General ever since he was a Colonel. The Captain is a graduate of West Point, and has inspected over 85 regiments in the army of the Potomac, and he showed his report to Col. Love the other day, in which he says: 'In military bearing, appearance of arms and equipments, perfection in the manual of drill, etc, it far exceeded any regiment he had ever inspected.' So you see the conscripts have got to come up to a high military standing to belong to this regiment. * * *
"Last evening, or rather in the afternoon, was the first funeral with military honors we have had. Poor Elisha Cottier, brother to our former Lieut. Colonel, died after over two months' illness of fever succeeded by diarrhoea. His resignation had been sent forward some time ago, but no answer till the night before his death, when it came, accepted. He was a man and officer always to be thought of by his companions; his loss always to be remembered with sorrow. He was one always jovial, laughing and good-hearted, no matter how dark times appeared to others. Our total loss in officers died of disease is only two; killed in action five, viz: 1 Colonel, 1 Captain, 3 Lieutenants. Enlisted men killed in action 243. I don't remember the exact number died of disease, but it is small in proportion to other regiments.
"I was talking with an agent for Hall's plantation, a mile or two below here. Hall lives in Europe—has for many years—and employed Pierce to run his plantation, at a salary of $3,000 per year, and found—no expenses whatever, nor estimating his chances in the market, which are not to be overlooked. Pierce had for the five years before the rebellion handed over to Hall—the smallest amount in any one of those five years, $39,000, the greatest, $52,000, clear of all expenses. The cost of a negro was $28 and some cents per month. I don't wonder no exertions were ever made for improvements in any way, nor that they never were in favor of freeing the slaves."
TRIBUTE TO WM. G. DYKEMAN, LATE OF THE 116TH REGT. N. Y. VOLS.—At a meeting of "C" Co. 74th Regiment N. Y. N. G., held at the Arsenal on Thursday evening, the 11th inst., the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Whereas our late associate and companion, Wm. G. Dykeman, fell at the recent battle at Port Hudson while gallantly fighting for our country's integrity, therefore
Resolved, Thai we deplore the untimely death, and deplore the loss of our young friend and comrade, whose noble qualities have endeared him to us: that our country has lost one of its bravest defenders, and the bereaved family a noble son and brother. And that while realizing the utter inefficiency of human condolence, yet knowing how gladly the broken heart leans on sympathy, and how greatly communion of feeling alleviates the intensity of grief and mitigates the poignancy of sorrow, we tender to the bereaved family and relatives our sincere sympathy in this time of their and our bereavement, and express the hope that this deep sorrow may be somewhat deprived of its bitterness by the knowledge of "how our noble Willie fell."
Resolved, That we will ever cherish the memory of Willie Dykeman; and as a token of respect for the gallant young soldier who was so recently one of one of our number, and who so willingly gave his life to his country, the headquarters of this company be draped in mourning and a copy of these resolutions be furnished to the bereaved family, and to each of the city papers for publication.
GEO. A. TORRANCE, Prest.
Wm. McGean, Sec’y, pro tem.
RETURN OF THE BUFFALO TIGERS.—The Buffalo Tigers returned from the funeral of Col. Chapin at Waterloo, on Saturday evening, arriving on the Auburn road soon after 9 o'clock. The whole company expressed themselves highly pleased with their reception by the people of Waterloo. The company was in command of Capt. Wardwell and Lieuts. Husted and Coit.
The funeral services are said to have been very solemn and impressive. The following were the pall-bearers on the occasion, who accompanied the Tigers from Buffalo: Col. Wm. F. Rogers; Lieut. Col. C. W. Steinberg; Lieut. Col. H. G. Thomas, late of the 21st Regiment N. Y. V.; Capt. Gardiner, do.; Lieut. Col. H. C. Blanchard, late of the 78th Regiment; Lieut. Col. W. G. Seely, of the 74th Regiment.
They were met at the depot by a delegation from the Blues, in citizens' dress, under Lieut. Waydell, and escorted to the residence of His Honor, the Mayor, before which the band played several beautiful pieces. The Mayor was absent from home at the time, but the compliment of the serenade was duly recognized and acknowledged in his behalf by Ald. Palmer. The company then returned to Congress Hall, broke ranks, and, on invitation of the Blues, "partook" of appropriate refreshment for the inner man. Cheers were freely exchanged by the representatives of the two companies, and the best of feeling prevailed on all sides. The Tigers left for home in the early train yesterday morning. They numbered about forty men, and were accompanied by a band, and several friends, military gentlemen and civilians. The Tigers are an independent military organization, similar to the Union Blues of this city, and are composed of some of the finest young men of Buffalo. They present a fine, soldierly appearance, and are evidently well drilled in the tactics pertaining to the school of the company. We hope we shall soon have the pleasure of seeing them in our streets again, under more favorable auspices.
FROM THE 116th.—Captains Gowans and Grey, of the 116th Regiment, arrived home in company with the 49th Massachusetts regiment yesterday. They will be warmly welcomed by everybody. Both have done noble service with the regiment, and have richly earned the joy and recreation of a furlough.
FROM THE ONE HUNDRETH AND SIXTEETH.—The following extracts from a letter from Maj. John Mappa Sizer will be read with interest: HEADQUARTERS 116TH REGT., N. Y. V.
IN THE FIELD NEAR VERMILLIONVILLE, LA.,
Nov. 11, 1863.
You see we are where we have been before, but how long we shall remain here no one has any idea, nor which way we shall go next. We all know of Gen. Banks' success in landing on the Texas coast, and that our trip this way was to draw all the rebel attention possible up northwest; at least that is what has been accomplished, so far. Now, whether we shall remain for the winter at or near New Orleans, or winter in Texas, going there on transports, or by road over into the State, is the question. The latter seems an absurdity, as the reason is so far advanced that the roads would be impassible. Possibly we stay at New Orleans, twenty-three miles from here. Boats come up from Berwick, on the Bayou there; whereas all stores of any kind have to be brought up here in wagons.
We reached here from above Opelousa, Nov. 2d, stopping at Carrion Crow Bayou over night. Out of the nine days we have been here—that is near Vermillion—only two have the regiment spent in bivouac. We were ordered on picket duty the day after our arrival, and were relieved the day following, and about 12.30 A. M. received orders to be ready with one day's rations to march at 1.45 A. M. Reached Carrion Crow Bayou at broad daylight. We found out, from those of Gen. Washburn's corps who had remained up there, that an attack had been made upon Gen. Burbridge's Brigade, who now bivouaced alone, some two and a half miles on the prairie, near where we had previously had the skirmish, of which I wrote. The balance of the corps lay at the Bayou. About 11 A. M. the attack with cavalry was made on Gen. Burbridge's front, while the enemy sent forces around in the rear, and so completely surprised our men, that some 545 were taken prisoners, 40 killed and over 100 wounded. The enemy lost only 60, taken prisoners, but many more than we in killed and wounded—how many we could not find out.
Gen. Washburne telegraphed to Gen. Franklin: "The enemy attacked Burbridge, drove him out of camp—reinforcements sent up, and enemy fled until"—which sentence ended on account of the wire being cut somewhere along the route; and as an attack was expected the morning we reached there, Gen. Franklin meant to have enough there. We bivouaced over night, and returned the following day.
OBITUARY.—Died on the 21st ult., slain on the battle field near Port Hudson, La., fighting for his country, JAMES WALLACE GERMAIN, a christian soldier boy, son of the Rey. R. I. Germain, of North Buffalo, a member of the brave 116th Regiment N. Y S. V., in his twentieth year.
Few young men had a better right, from education, intellect, character and social position, to claim rank in the service than the deceased. But he loved his country, and she needed help. Waiving, therefore, selfish considerations, he enlisted as a private. Such acts, not uncommon to the honor of the country be it said, we have often thought, evince the highest public virtue—the most exalted patriotism. He who, in these times, is lured to the service, or held there, by position or pay, may be patriotic, but his patriotism is sadly mixed with baser elements. He is like the golden image which the King of Babylon saw, with its legs of brass and feet of iron and clay.
James will be remembered by those who knew him, for the sprightliness of his character. "To do as he would be done by," seemed the rule of his every-day life. He was just, and kind, and loving, in all his ways.
The last words he addressed to his parents, on the eve of battle, may tend to soothe the sorrows of those who loved him: "I put my trust in God, who doeth all things well." The memory of the young christian soldier, who voluntarily bared his breast to shield his country's life, and died with such words upon his lips, no eulogy can brighten.
To his afflicted parents we can offer no consolation.—They may find it where, alas! so many, these dreadful days, must assuage their sorrows, in the innocency of life and self-sacrificing patriotism of their noble boy. To them his memory will be sad. But there will be joy even in its sadness. Their son was indeed a treasure. He is a treasure still.
LIEUT. COLONEL ROBERT COTTIER.—It was sometime since announced that Lieut. Colonel Robert Cottier, of the 116th Regiment, had resigned—for what cause was not stated. The impression prevailed that his resignation had taken effect before the fight of the 27th, and that he was not in that bloody engagement, in which the 116th won imperishable honor. This we are happy in being able to contradict, as we do on the authority of a private letter from an officer on Col. Chapin's staff. The letter says that Lieut. Colonel Cottier "led the regiment through the battle of the 27th, and fought like a tiger." The regiment are anxious for him to recall his resignation and take the command.
*** We have received the New Orleans Era of May 8th from Wm. H. SAWDY formerly of Caton, who is in the 116th N. Y. Volunteers, at Baton Rouge. Mr. S. is full of patriotism and seems to be very happy at the chance of fighting the rebels.
Obituary.—In the Express, Friday morning, in the announcement of the killed of the 116th, Co. D, near Port Hudson, James W. Glannan is reported. The name intended is James Wallace Germain. Allow me, who knew him well, in behalf of his afflicted father, the Rev. R. T. Germain, to say a few words of the heroic boy, who offered himself for his country on that bloody field. A boy, in. his nineteenth year, a clerk in a mercantile house in Buffalo, when soldiers were so much needed, he enlisted in the 116th.
How he deported himself—how he was esteemed in his company—in his regiment, his father received the gratifying evidence some few weeks since, in a letter from his Captain, Higgins, inclosing a formal recommendation of him for a Lieutenancy, signed by Major Love, Captain Higgins, Captain Wadsworth and Col. Chapin.
Capt. Higgins saying, "I send you a recommendation from some of the officers of the regiment. I could get a great many more, but think these will be sufficient."
Allow me, just further to record, as indicative of his character. On the evening of the 19th, the regiment having received orders to march next morning, he says in a note to his mother, "I put my trust in God, who doeth all things well."
The last written words of the heroic, the good, the godly boy.
BUFFALO OFFICERS KILLED AND WOUNDED.
—Intelligence has been received from Port Hudson that Col. Chapin of the 116th, Buffalo regiment, was killed on the 37th of May at Port Hudson, and that Major Love of the same regiment was wounded.
Promotions in the 116th Regiment.—
We learn from private correspondence that the Governor has made the following appointments and promotions in the 116th Regiment:
Major George M. Love to be Colonel from 27th May 1862, vice Chapin killed.
Captain Albert J. Barnard, Co. B, to be Lieut. Colonel, vice Cottier resigned.
Captain John Higgins, Co. D, to be Major, vice Love promoted.
First Lieut. William H. Seymour, serving on staff of General Augur, to be Captain Co. D, vice Higgins promoted.
First Lieut. William H. Gray, Co. F, to be Captain Co. B, vice Barnard promoted.
Second Lieut. John R. Dobbins, Co. B, to be First Lieutenant.
The above we believe to be correct as far as it goes.
A CARD.—The "Buffalo Tigers" take this method of conveying their thanks to the invited guests who accompanied them to Waterloo, on the occasion of the funeral of the late lamented Col. Chapin. Also to their friends who so generously contributed towards defraying the necessary expenses attending the trip. They desire to acknowledge their obligation to the citizens of Waterloo one and all, and especially to the ladies, whose hospitality and kindness will long be remembered by the Company. And they assure the "Union Blues" of Rochester that their courtesy was appreciated, and promise to reciprocate should an occasion offer.
LEWIS M. EVANS, President.
CHAS. G. ROOT, Secretary.
BUFFALO, June 17th, 1863.
FROM PORT HUDSON.—We are permitted to make the following extracts from a letter written by an officer of the 116th, dated Before Port Hudson, June 16th:
"The forces again made an assault day before yesterday but this time principally on the right, under Gen. Grover, while our brigade were skirmishing on our front, to draw the enemy's attention. I had command of five companies, while Capt Higgins had the other five as reserve, but they were also afterwards sent out. Gen. Paine commanding, leading division on the right, led the way, and being with his skirmishers, of course was among the first wounded, though I believe not very badly. Time, however, was lost in transferring the command to senior colonel, besides nine month's men, whose time is out in the course of a week or two, are none for the field. Well, we failed to enter, and held our own, then. One company, I believe of the 4th Wisconsin, were captured, besides forty-two wounded. Our wounded were not very badly, this time. Deserters come in every day, from five to one hundred, telling various stories, of course, but it seems to be a general opinion among our commanders, that the rebels are short of ammunition, as they never fired anything but muskets on the day of the attack. We are now doing pretty hard duty,—that is, a large portion night duty."
THE 115th, we hear, is suffering a good deal from sickness. Their service has been quite severe at Port Royal, but it is stated they will soon be sent over to St. Helena Island to rest. The following deaths from typhoid fever have occurred: June 5th, Private Ira Washburn, of company F. June 6th, Musician James M. Dean, Jr., company A. June 11th, Corporal Reuben Wright, of company E.
From the 116th Regiment.
BATON ROUGE, April 24th, 1863.
A victory is won, and a decisive one too, and the 116th was not engaged in it. The boys like anything but the quiet garrison duty here in Baton Rouge, where the very air is excited with rumors of fighting, secret expeditions, &c., around them. When, regularly in the evening, the distant cannonade near Port Hudson is heard here, the boys cry: "Why don't they allow us to pitch in to them? Why have we to stay here when the other regiments are fighting? We want to fight too." This is the main subject of all the talk in the 116th.
There is only Gen. AUGUR'S Division here in garrison, consisting of some 9 months' regiments, some nigger regiments, and the 116th. I don't know, if there is any other 3 years regiment in this Division. The boys don't consider the 9 months men as equal to them, and speak always in a very slighting way about them; but have nothing to say of the colored soldiers, who are as good, yes better, than many whites. Concerning this battle, I can't tell you anything certain about it. I heard that the Divisions of Generals WEITZEL and EMORY won this battle in the western part of Louisiana, taking by the way some 3000 prisoners, and so on. The health of the regiment is not very good. Fevers, and especially diarrhae, are prevailing to a considerable extent. The very hot days, the cool nights and the unhealthiness of the place, connected with drinking too much water, produces this bad effect. I hope it will be better afterwards. Lieut. FRED. SOMNER is discharged, and on his way home. The next time more. Yours truly, H. H.
THE FUNERAL OF COL. CHAPIN.—On Saturday, the funeral of Col. Edward P. Chapin, of the 116th N. Y. Regiment, who was killed in the attack on Port Hudson, was held at the residence of his father, the Rev. Ephriam Chapin, of Waterloo. On the early morning train from Buffalo was a military company called the Buffalo Tigers, who were on their way to the funeral. The company numbered about fifty. They were all dressed in uniform and made a fine appearance. Col. Chapin formerly practised [sic] law in Buffalo, and while there entered this organization, which went so far to pay their respects to the memory of their loved and departed commander.
FUNERAL OF COL. CHAPIN.—The funeral of Col. Edward P. Chapin, of the 116th, will take place this afternoon at one o'clock, at Waterloo, in this State, the residence of his parents. Forty members of the Tigers, of which company the deceased was formerly a member, accompanied by the Union Cornet Band, and by the following officers who are to act as pall bearers, left this morning at five o'clock to attend the funeral. Col. Wm. F. Rogers, Lieut.-Cols. C. W. Sternberg, H. G. Thomas, M. C. Blanchard, W. G. Seeley, Capt. Robert P. Gardner. It is intended to add two other bearers from some of the field officers of Rochester.
DEATH OF COL. CHAPIN,—MAJOR LOVE WOUNDED.—The following letter, which we are permitted to publish, gives us the first intimation of the death of Col. Chapin of the 116th Buffalo Regiment. We read the news ourselves, and give it to our readers, with a sorrow which will not admit of words. All who knew the gallant commander of our brave regiment, knew him only to love him, and thousands of hearts will throb heavily to-day when the announcement of his death is read. He was the very personification of a noble manhood, a brave soldier, a true gentleman. The record of his valorous deeds, the story of his life, remain to be written. His military career has been such a one as his friends and his country may be proud of. We shall not attempt to do his memory justice now, and can only give the fatal letter which announces his glorious but untimely death. The following is the communication which tells the sad story:
HEADQUARTERS BATON ROUGE,
May 28, 1863.
MRS. MARIA LOVE: By request of your son George, I write these few lines to acquaint you of the fact of his having received a very slight wound at the battle of Port Hudson yesterday. He was struck on the shoulder, the ball glancing from the shoulder blade and passing upwards out of his body. He is doing very well indeed, and is able to walk about quite comfortably. He will probably arrive here (Baton Rouge) to-day, and you may rest assured he will receive the very best of attention. We all rejoice that it is no worse and that our gallant Major will soon be with us again.
Our poor Colonel (Chapin) was killed yesterday, and his remains are now here and will be taken to New Orleans this morning, there to be shipped to his home in the North. He died a glorious death; another victim added to the already long list of heroes that have sacrificed their lives in the good cause. Hoping that your next letter from this section of the country will be from the Major.
I am respectfully, yours,
J. B. WEBER. A. A. A. G.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser.
Monday Evening, June 15, 1863.
LOCAL & MISCELLANEOUS.
THE FUNERAL OF COL. CHAPIN.—The Buffalo Tigers, Capt. William T. Wardwell, left at 5 o'clock on Saturday morning, to attend the funeral of the late Col. E. P. Chapin, at Waterloo, Seneca Co., and returned at 9 o'clock yesterday morning. The Company numbered forty muskets, and were attended by the Union Cornet Band.
Col. Rogers, Lieut.-Col. Sternberg, Lieut.-Col. Thomas and Capt. Gardner, late of the 21st Regt., Lieut.-Col. Seely, of the 74th N. Y. N. G., and Lieut.-Col. Blanchard, late of the 78th N. Y. Vol., attended as bearers. E. L Baker, J. R. Blodgett, Capt Doyle, of the 21st, and several others of our citizens joined the party, the two former leading the music of the funeral services.
Arriving in Watertown at 10 o'clock the Company was met and cordially received by a large delegation of citizens, and escorted to the Eagle Hotel. Remaining there until about half-past twelve, the Company formed and marched to the residence of Rev. Mr. Chapin, father of the deceased, where they received the corpse and accompanied it to the Presbyterian Church. The services were conducted by Rev. Dr. Gridley, who delivered a most beautiful and touching discourse, referring in appropriate and eloquent terms to the life, services and character of the gallant dead. The church was completely filled, and many went away unable to obtain admittance. The arrangements for the funeral were under the charge of Mr. Genung, through whose efforts the whole affair was conducted in the most perfect manner.
At the conclusion of the ceremonies, the procession was re-formed, several hundred citizens joining the line, and took up its march, headed by the Cornet Band, for the place of interment, about three-quarters of a mile from the church; the solemn strains of the dead march floating out upon the still air in sweet yet sorrowful cadence. The coffin was lowered to its place, the "farewell shot" rung out, and the earth was placed on the remains of the soldier who had given up his life, in the bloom of his youth and manhood, an offering on the altar of his country.
Returning to the Eagle Hotel, the Tigers sat down to a bountiful repast, most beautifully spread by the host of the Eagle, Mr. J. Miller. The visitors speak in the highest terms of praise of the efforts of this gentlemen to render the brief stay of his guests a pleasant one. The Company also express their obligations to Dr. Wells for the kindness and courtesy so handsomely extended them.
Leaving Waterloo at half-past 7 o'clock, the Company arrived in Rochester at half past 10, and were met at the depot by a delegation of the Rochester Blues, under the command of Lieut. Weydell, who escorted them to the residence of His Honor the Mayor, whom they proposed to serenade. The compliment was acknowledged by Ald. Palmer, the Mayor being absent, who thanked them for the courtesy. Thence they were escorted to Congress Hall by the Blues, where appropriate compliments were passed. The Tigers are loud in their praise of the kindness extended to them by their Rochester friends, and express much anxiety for an opportunity to repay it.
The Tigers themselves are entitled to all praise for the manner in which they acquitted themselves of a solemn duty towards a deceased comrade. We hear but one expression in relation to it—that of appreciation and commendation.
Local, Literary and Miscellaneous.
BUFFALO, MONDAY, JUNE 15, 1863.
FUNERAL OF COL. CHAPIN.—The funeral of Col. E. P. Chapin, 116th N. Y. Vols. took place at Waterloo on Saturday afternoon, at one o'clock. Forty members of the Buffalo "Tigers," of which organization the deceased was one of the original members, the Union Cornet Band, and Col. Wm. F. Rogers, Lieut. Cols. C. W. Sternberg and. H. G. Thomas, and Captain Robert P. Gardner, formerly of the 21st regiment, Lieut. Col. M. C. Blanchard of the 78th Regiment, and Lieut. Col. W. G. Seeley, of the 74th Regiment N. Y. N. G. attended the funeral, the Tigers acting as escort, and the officers named as pallbearers
The citizens of Waterloo turned out en masse to attend the funeral of the gallant and lamented officer, and the demonstration was one of the most sadly impressive and imposing that ever took place in that part of the State. The general expression of grief at the loss of, and respect for the memory of Col. Chapin, was a touching tribute to his worth, evidencing that where he was best known he was, if possible, most honored.
After the funeral services the "Tigers" and attendant officers were entertained with the most unbounded hospitality by the fair ladies and citizens of Waterloo, who spared no effort generosity could suggest to demonstrate their heartfelt appreciation of the honorable respect their hero townsman had received from his friends and associates in his Buffalo home.
When the time for the departure of the escort arrived, they were attended to the cars by hundreds of their new made friends, who waved them adieus as long as the train which bore them on their homeward journey remained in sight.
The party reached Rochester at 10 o'clock Saturday evening, where they remained all night. During their sojourn they serenaded his honor Mayor Bradstreet and other prominent citizens. They arrived home at half past nine o'clock this morning. Our citizens are under obligations to the "Tigers" for having at no small expense and inconvenience paid a last fitting tribute of respect to one whose career has been as honorable to us as beneficial to the interests of our country.
DEATH OF COL. CHAPIN—MAJOR LOVE WOUNDED.—We are permitted to publish the following letter, containing the sad announcement of the death of Col. E. P. Chapin, and the unwelcome intelligence of the wounding of Major George M. Love. The gallant Major has not, like his noble brother-in-arms, fallen a victim to rebel bullets, and will undoubtedly be soon again in the field.
HEADQUARTERS BATON ROUGE,
May 28, 1863.
MRS. MARIA LOVE:—By request of your son George, I will write these few lines to acquaint yon of the fact of his having received a very slight wound at the battle of Port Hudson yesterday. He was struck on the shoulder, the ball glancing from the shoulder-blade and passing upwards out of his body. He is doing very well indeed, and is able to walk about quite comfortably. He will probably arrive here (Baton Rouge) to-day, and you may rest assured he will receive the very best of attention.
We all rejoice that it is no worse, and that our gallant Major will soon be with us again. Our poor Colonel, (Chapin) was killed yesterday, and his remains are now here, and will be taken to New Orleans this evening, there to be shipped to his home in the North. He died a glorious death, another victim added to the already long list of heroes that have sacrificed their lives in the good cause.
Hoping that your next letter from this section of the country will be from the Major, I am Respectfully yours,
J. B.WEBBER, A, A. A. G.
There has been no sacrifice this community has been called upon to make, in this sanguinary struggle for national existence, that will cause more general and sincere regret than the death of Col. Chapin. His military career had been such as to justify the hope that he would have won the highest distinction in the field, and although the high anticipations his friends had formed for his future have been sadly dimmed by the shadow of an early though glorious death, it is a mournful satisfaction to know that he lived long enough to render his country able service, and to die as he desired to do, in her defence.
We are unacquainted with Col. Chapin's early history previous to the time he took up his residence in this city, and we received the announcement of his death at too late an hour to enable us to obtain any information with reference thereto. After practicing here for some time, with excellent success for a young man, by his ability and industry he so highly recommended himself to F. J. Fithian, Esq., the successful Republican candidate for District Attorney in 1860, that he received from that gentleman the appointment of Assistant District Attorney, a position he filled with credit to himself and benefit to the public interest till, in obedience to the dictates of his patriotic soul, he laid down the pen to take up the sword.
Col. Chapin's entrance into the military service was in connection with the Ellsworth (44th N. Y. V.) Regiment, formed during the summer following the outbreak of the war. In consequence of the active interest which he took in the memorable enterprise of raising that regiment, as a representative of the entire State, and in honor of the lamented Ellsworth, Erie county, obtained the distinction of contributing to it a full company, and the first one organized for the regiment.
That this gratifying result ... almost solely to the zeal and energy of Edward ... is not too much too say. Made Captain of ... ...ny, raised under his auspices, the seniority ... commission soon afterwards placed him in the authority of the regiment. In this position he took a distinguished part in the battle of Hanover Court House, where he was severely wounded, and compelled to return home for several weeks. While home, he received promotion to the Lieut. Colonelcy, but did not accept it, having in the meantime been selected by our citizens as a proper man to ... and a new regiment which ... resolved to ... The same energy which ... created for ... of the finest companies ... sent to the field, ... bent itself to the task of bringing a regiment into existence, and with speedy success. The 116th was formed, and on the 6th of September, of last year, Col. Chapin left Buffalo at its head,—never, alas, to return to us again. His regiment was ordered to join Gen. Banks at New York, and sailed with the famous expedition of last winter, about which such mystery long prevailed. Its destination (that of the 116th) proved to be Baton Rouge, and there it has since been stationed, until the recent movement against Port Hudson. For several months past Col. Chapin had been detached from his regiment and acting Brigadier-General. There can be no doubt that, had his life been spared, he would ere long have been confirmed in the high rank which he thus filled practically at the time of his death.
DEATH OF CAPT. TUTTLE.—We have been handed the following letter from Col. Love, of the 116th, announcing the death of Capt. Tuttle:
BATON ROGUE, LA., July 15th, 1863.
D. N. Tuttle, Esq., Buffalo, N. Y.—M Dear Sir—It becomes my painful duty to communicate to you the death of your son David, Captain of Co. C, of my regiment. He fell July 13th, at Donaldsonville, while gallantly bringing off from the field a piece of artillery, which had been left by the men who had charge of it. His loss will be severely felt, not only by his company but by the ...
David, although at times sick and unfit for duty, has when able performed his duties with alacrity and willingness, and to the entire satisfaction of his superior officers, and was a brave soldier. Regimental business rendered it necessary for me to visit this place, so I brought the body here. The body goes from here to New Orleans in charge of Lieut. E. J. Cornell. The shipping of the body home is done on my responsibility, and I hope it will be acceptable to your wishes. I should be pleased to hear from you after the receipt of David's body.
GEO. M. LOVE,
Colonel Commanding 116th Regt. N. Y. S. V.
IN MEMORY OF CAPT. TUTTLE.--Eagle Hose Company, on Tuesday, adopted the following in memory of their deceased comrade Capt. David W. Tuttle of the 116th Regiment N. Y. V., who died an heroic death upon the field of battle near Donaldsonville, La., on the 13th instant.
Be it resolved, That inasmuch as the life our of esteemed brother has been laid among the sacrifices upon the altar of his country and ours, a part of the price to be paid for its redemption from treason, our country is by this made dearer to us, and we cherish it more for his lamented sake.
That inasmuch as he has fallen among the innumerable victims of a foul and infamous rebellion, his memory inspires in us new hatred of that monstrous crime, and in his name we dedicate ourselves anew its enemies irreconcileable [sic].
That if there can be consolation for the loss of such a friend and such a companion, we find it in the glorious manner of his death, and in the glorious name that he leaves, a proud inscription upon our rolls.
That we commend this proud reflection to his bereaved parents and mourning kindred, whose affliction we can well understand.
That in the death of Capt. David W. Tuttle, the company has lost one of its warmest friends, whose greatest pride seemed to be in doing his duty.
That the company will attend the funeral of our deceased brother, and that the apparatus of the company be draped in mourning.
That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the family of the deceased, and that the same be published in the city papers.
FROM THE 116TH.—We glean the following from letters received in the city from this Regiment within the last three days. On the 9th inst., they entered Fort Hudson under Capt. Higgins. Gen. Banks having learned that the rebels under Magruder, some 10,000 strong, were advancing to the relief of Port Hudson, and were in considerable force at Donaldsonville, on the west bank of the river below Baton Rouge, started an expedition the evening of the 9th very quietly by river for Donaldsonville. The 116th being a part of the expedition. In passing Baton Rouge in the night, where Col. Love, Adjutant Dobbins, Lieut. Gray, and others, were wounded or sick in hospital, the band of the 116th struck up a well known favorite air, which aroused the brave Colonel from his slumbers. He could not stand it longer, but ordering his horse, mounted, was joined by Adjutant Dobbins, also on horse, and soon the two were on board a passing steamer and off for the field wherever it was to be found. The steamer being a fast one, arrived at Donaldsonville ahead of the fleet. What was the surprise of the Regiment when they saw their brave leader "on hand" again. The Rebels abandoned their works and fell back into the country, out of the reach of the gunboats. The 116th N. Y., 48th and 49th Massachusetts were advanced on a recognoisance, and when about 3 1/2 miles out were suddenly met by the enemy in force, emerging from an immense cornfield. The 48th and 49th Massachusetts fled, leaving the 116th subject to a heavy cross fire, which they stood for a while, and finally were ordered to fall back, which they did, in good order, suffering of course severely in the meantime. The rebels immediately sent in a flag of truce and gave permission to remove the dead and wounded within their lines, which was done in a heavy rain storm. Next morning, the 14th, there was not a rebel to be seen within ten miles of Donaldsonville. Col. Love was not able to take an active part in the fight. Capt. Tuttle, of Co. C, was killed. Adjutant Jno. R. Dobbins was injured by being thrown from his horse, was picked up and placed upon a caisson, from which he again fell, being too weak and faint to keep his position. They managed to get him into Donaldsonville however, and on the 15th, both he and Col. Love were again in the hospital at Baton Rouge, doing well.
The wounded were all removed to Baton Rouge. Capt. Cornell left Baton Rouge on the 15th, with the remains of the brave and lamented Capt. Tuttle, for New Orleans.
We hope to be able to give a full list of the killed and wounded in our next issue.
Letter from the 116th—Intercepted Love Epistle.
CAMP NIAGARA, Baton Rouge. La., May 7, 1863.
EDITORS COMMERCIAL:—As I thought a fee words from the 116th would not be out of place, I drop you a few lines. We are still doing guard and picket duty in and around the city. The regiment is in its usual health. Through the management of our esteemed Surgeon, we have as yet lost but few of our comrades. Sultry weather is just coming upon us, some days the thermometer ranging as high as 90. The dull monotony of camp life and picket duty forms our principal labor. The war in this department progresses slowly with occasionally a victory. Perhaps if the Conscript Act does not produce a counter rebellion in the North, something may be done to save our glorious Republic yet. We will hope for the best. We can submit patiently yet awhile longer if it will be the means of saving the Union.
Who knows what the God of Freedom and Divine liberty has in store for us. "The darkest hour is just before day," it is said. Perhaps this may be our ease. If we should meet with a series of victories about this time, it would change the aspect of things materially. It is evident that some great event will disclose itself ere long, that will tell one way or the other.
Enclosed I send you a love letter, which I obtained of the 7th Illinois cavalry, of whose successful raid from Tennessee to Baton Rouge in 16 days, you of course have had an account. They captured two trains of cars, one of which was a mail train. This letter I thought too good to keep, as it shows in what light the gentler sex of Dixie regard us "Yanks," as they term us. She has not yet learned "to love her enemies." The bouquet spoken of, I did not obtain. It was simply an evergreen twig, with a rosebud attached.
O. B. JOHNSON, Co. A.
THE LOVE LETTER.
AT HOME, March 26th, '63.
MY DEARLY BELOVED BILLIE—
As evening is fast passing and twilight shades are beginning to spread their sad canopy over our troubled home, I can but express to you the deep, deep sorrow which now pervades my breast. Scarce a week has elapsed since I beheld my dear brother depart for the gloomy field of battle. Oh! my grief is uncontrollable, as you must know what an exalted place be holds in my heart. If I could cherish the fond hope of meeting him in Heaven, the stroke would not be so heavy. He was not a Christian at home, and now how many allurements are hourly thrown across his pathway! every vice which can be devised by man. God of Mercy, guide and protect my noble brother. I am not yet aware of their destination, but think perhaps at the Fort below Alexandria. It is rumored, and very probable true, that Gen. BANKS was forced to attack us, and also compelled to accept a good thrashing. Is it no good news? FRANK ALLEN wrote to his lady, and confirms the above—so Mr. HATCHER has been telling me. Your kind and affectionate note by Mr. TOWNSEND was received a week or two since with unbounded delight, and indeed was MOST CORDIALLY greeted, particularly as it came in the hour of trouble.
You were denied a furlough. How is it possible for such partiality to be exhibited? I know you applied early enough; then why refuse you? Oh! I have now despaired of ever meeting you, my BILLIE, whose noble figure is ever present to my heart, and whose loving smile can be seen through past years. Can I, MUST I reconcile myself to such a fate as I imagine will be mine. Still, Hope whispers sweet words of comfort, and says we'll meet again. Spring has at last come, arrayed in all its glory, and many appear gay, though such persons I deem heartless: for who can truly feel merry at this period?
The prevailing opinion is that peace will soon be established between the two nations. I am unable to discover any grounds for such until LINCOLN'S administration is completed, though I would rather my prediction were false than otherwise. No good will be experienced by our foes for bringing so much distress upon us. Common sense should have taught them the utter impossibility of forcing this self-willed people to unite themselves with such a degraded race. God can never prosper the black crimes they are daily committing. When such deeds rush upon my memory, I could, without a
a feeling of remorse, see the last one of them "blotted out" from existence.
Everything is dull and lonely now; all of our best men have left old Desoto, and we live quite a secluded life. I am sorry to mention that Sabine Parish has never furnished her number of volunteers, and at present the River Swamp is the home of many conscripts who are pilfering and stealing from the unprotected females.— Yes those whose husbands and sons have gone to fight, and if necessary diein defending their homes. Such an awful state of affairs; if I lived in that portion of Louisiana, I would be certain to disown my residence. Several are attempting to bring everything right, in which I have no doubt they will succeed.
Dearest Billie you must "try again" to obtain a furlough if a short time, for I would be happy to converse with you only an hour. I will leave home in a few weeks for Texas to spend sometime with darling Maggie, my true and tried friend. I received a letter from her this evening, she has lost a kind affectionate mother, one whom I loved dearly, and who professed to return it deeply.
Your sister, and indeed all your relatives were well when I last heard from them—which was yesterday. I have several other letters to write so my own beloved one farewell, with a prayer for your speedy return,
I am still, your own,
P. S. My Billie, I am contended in your love which I know is true. I would not envy a queen now, though I possess neither beauty, learning rare, nothing only a true loving heart, which is wholly your own. Yet none other would I be Since thou lovest me, Yours,
Accept this bouquet as a token of love and remembrance all with the emblems, which are as follows: Arborvitoe, unchanging; Flowering Almond, Hope; Rose-bud, Beauty ever new; Snow-drop, I am no summer friend.
BUFFALO COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER.
Friday Evening, June 5, 1863.
LOCAL & MISCELLANEOUS.
LETTER FROM CAPT. JOHN M. SIZER.—The following letter, written by Capt. John M. Sizer, formerly of this city, and now of the 116th, descriptive of the recent gallant fight, in which the regiment participated, will be read with more than usual interest by our citizens:
BIVOUAC NEAR PORT HUDSON, May 22, 1863.
All safe, dearest father and mother, though we had a good fight of an hour and a half yesterday. We started from Baton Rouge on the morning of the 20th and marched out about thirteen miles, and bivouaced [sic] on a most beautiful plain. After a good clean wash I went to bed. We started on the next morning and marched about five miles, when a rebel battery, stationed on a bridge, opened and ours answered. After some half hour's firing our forces advanced only about half a mile and there prepared to spend the night. We were just cutting our poles for the ponchos when a rebel battery again opened on our advance. We fell in, went over to the left, and while marching by the flank they opened on the 48th Mass., who turned and ran. Lieut. Nial, just after, said "Captain, they are flanking us." I immediately sent a Sergeant of Co. E to the Major, who never received the notice, as Gen. Auger was in advance, and I had just sent the Sergt. when, bang, they came. The men dropped in the road and begin firing lively for about five minutes, when the Major rides directly in front, ordering to cease firing and charge. Charge it was, and missing were the enemy.—We went through the first skirt of woods, halted and blazed away. As soon as the men came up, the Major in front and mounted, again led us in for another quarter of a mile, when the rebel battery, driven to the rear, opened again, but too high. We lay there some time, and when nothing appeared to fire at, we lay quiet. Gen. Auger rode up and said everything a General could say for us.—Co. C was sent out to bring in the rebel wounded of which there was quite a number, as well as prisoners. I had but one in my company (and some 60 were engaged) who shirked at all. Two were wounded. Capt. Barnard sits beside me, writing home, as I am doing. Lieut. Dobbins, Acting Adjutant, never even dismounted during the engagement.
But one commissioned officer of the regiment was wounded—2d Lieut. of Co. E, one of Col. Chapin's Aids, detailed a few days since. He received a bad wound in the leg. As the Major and Color Sergeant were in front, Orderly Weber was not in the rear, halloing and yelling to the men behind to come on, and on they did come.
We returned to the place where they first opened on us and bivouaced for the night. After a good quart of coffee and a hard tack, I went up to see Col. Chapin, though it was late and I tired.
THE 116TH IN ANOTHER FIGHT—CAPT. D. W. TUTTLE KILLED.—The Demokrat publishes an interesting correspondence from the 116th regiment, bearing date as late as the 14th inst. It appears that on the evening of the 9th, two days after the fall of Port Hudson, the regiment, with several others, and accompanied by some gunboats, embarked from its camp at Baton Rouge, to go to Donaldsonville. Gen. Weitzel had crossed the river before this with a force, intending to cut off the enemy's retreat. Information had been received that Magruder was at Donaldsonville with 10,000 men, designed for the relief of Port Hudson. On the 13th instant, between 12 and 1 o'clock, the regiment was ordered to land in front of the enemy, and a sharp fight was soon in progress. That portion of the enemy encountered by the brave 116th was soon forced to give way, but, just at this time, two Massachusetts regiments engaged in another part of the field shamefully took to flight. The enemy then wheeled back upon the Buffalo boys, and subjected them to a deadly cross fire, under which they were forced to retire. The loss of the regiment is only partially given. The gallant Capt. D. W. Tuttle, we are pained to say, is reported killed, and Adjutant J. R. Dobbins wounded. No other commissioned officers are among the fallen. The loss in Company H is as follows:
Sergeant Edwin Berry (acting Sergeant Major) killed.
Private Joseph Roff. killed.
Corporal Rupprecht, severely wounded in right thigh.
Private Wm. Lathrop, severely wounded—left knee shattered.
Private Chas. Behlender, severely wounded in right arm.
A number of the wounded are at Baton Rouge and doing well. Before the fight the regiment could muster 460 to 480 men for active service. Two men had died and twenty-two been wounded since the 27th of May. Major Love had not quite recovered from his wound, and several other officers were sick at Baton Rouge.
The news of Captain Tuttle's death will be received with the deepest sorrow in this city. He was a model of a young American soldier. Joining the 21st Regiment as a private, he rapidly won advancement as well, as the respect of his officers and comrades. When the organization of the 116th was begun, he was home on account of sickness, but nevertheless a captaincy was immediately tendered him. He did as much as any man to raise the regiment, and he has been with it in all its toils and dangers from the day of its organization to the day of his death. No braver man ever led a company; no truer soldier and patriot ever gave his life for his country. Captain Tuttle was a member of Eagle Hose 2. He was the son of Mr. D. N. Tuttle, of this city, and, we learn, only twenty-three years of age.
From the 116th Regiment.
Camp N..., Baton Rouge, La.,
... 8, 1863.
Dear Express—The ... full of agitation and busy preparations are being made for some undivulged purpose. Since the arrival of the two Illinois cavalry regiments from Gen. Grant's army, startling events follow one after the other in rapid succession and it seems that important work is to be done in a short time in this department. First, the arrival of those gallant Western boys created a good deal of sensation. They came into town Saturday afternoon, the 2d of May, having come from La Grange, Tennessee, cutting their way through the enemy's country more than five hundred miles, always surrounded by a formidable number of Southerners, sometimes defeating them, and sometimes avoiding a superior force by a circuitous route. They fought in more than 20 skirmishes, captured over 1,500 prisoners, whom they paroled, destroyed over 30 miles of railroad track, intercepted five big trains loaded with ammunition, which they destroyed, and seized five secesh mail bags.
Their last encounter they had about nine miles from here on the Port Hudson road. Late in the night they fell in with & considerable force of rebels quietly encamped, and thinking on anything else but an attack. First they captured the few pickets, and then made a furious attack upon the middle of the camp. The southern chivalry, aroused from their sweet repose, skedaddled in utter stupefaction, with fluttering shirts, into the adjacent swamps, leaving behind even their pantaloons. The brave Illinoisians [sic] captured some cannon, all their arms, ammunition, tents, provisions, in short, all.
I have heard that they will be ready in a few days to cross the Mississippi and then go back to Grant's army. The secesh letters shown to me by some of the boys, are full of complaints and lamentations about the hard times, stating that flour cost about $150 a barrel, bacon and pork from 75 cents to $1 a pound, and so on. They all cry for peace, and bread; and I am sure the most formidable enemy to rebeldom is General Starvation. Their last resources, via Texas and Red River, are lost, and the end of this deadly struggle is nearer than many suppose.
For some days the gunboats have been preparing for action. Yesterday night they left with the mortar boats, and at this moment the air rings with the heaviest cannonading [sic] I ever heard. Without interruption the firing is going on so brisk, that I presume both parties must be in a very close engagement. I have heard that five monitors have passed the bar of the Mississippi, and are steaming up the river, to participate in the fight. I hope that Port Hudson's fate is sealed, and that the stars and stripes will soon float over its breastworks.
Lieut. Sommer returned to Buffalo about a month ago. About 17 days ago Charles Schattze, one of the recruits brought here by Lt. Sommer, died in his tent. He was found dead in the morning. A few days ago we were visited by some gentlemen from Buffalo, now officers of new regiments of colored soldiers. In a very short time I hope to be able to send you more news and better. VOLUNTEER.
LETTER FROM THE 116TH—THE LATE FIGHT AT PORT HUDSON—LIST OF KILLED AND WOUNDED.—We are permitted to publish the following interesting private letter from the 116th, giving an account of the gallant performances of our noble regiment in the late battle at Port Hudson, and furnishing a list of the casualties sustained:
CAMP ON PLAIN STOKE BATTLE FIELD,
NEAR PORT HUDSON, May 23.
I am glad to be still enjoying good health. Our brigade has had a severe fight: but thanks to Him who rules all, I was not harmed, nor was any of our friends. Our regiment was compelled to stand the brunt of the battle; at about 3 o'clock P. M. Thursday, May 22, we arrived and bivouacked about half a mile from here. All at once heavy firing was heard between our advanced batteries and the rebels. Colonel Chapin received orders to have his brigade advance and help to scour the woods. We advanced left in front, which brought our regiment last into action, having advanced some distance, and when we were near the woods, all of a sudden the enemy poured a volley into us, causing the 48th Mass. to break and run. We stood firm, fired upon the rebels, and we received an order to charge bayonet: this was quickly done. We charged three times; at each time the rebels skedaddled. Fred. Hellrigel is well, and fought like a tiger; he took, daring the action, one prisoner. Rupprecht is also well. Old Tim Flannagan was in his glory during the fight. As for my part, I was sent to bring up the. ammunition wagons, and so was not near the fight. We have received the greatest of praise from Gen. Augur, for our courage and energy. Major Love was the king officer; he led the charge, and taking the flag in one hand, asked the men to follow. Our Banner Sergeant is a trump—he carried the flag and the men followed. Our flag has one rebel bullet hole. The rebels we engaged were called the Miles Legion, about 1,200 strong, with a masked battery. We routed them entirely. I tell you our regiment is a good and a brave one.
The following is a list of our killed and wounded:
Company A—Privates Conrad Schamel, Francis D. Ingersoll, and W m. White, killed; Ord. Sergt. Samuel Leonard, Sergt. Levi Oatman, Corp. Robt. B. Foote, Privates Nathan Swift, Lobiske Prevett, Mortimer Williams, Norman Carr, Andus Wolf and John Roberts, wounded; Drummer E. B. Carr, wounded mortally.
Company B and C—None hurt.
Company D—Sergt, James M. Forbes, privates A. S. Gram and Jamas W. Giannam, killed; Sergt. John M. Carter, Corp. Wm. Holden, and private Phillip Schoemaker, wounded—since died.
Company E—Second Lieut. Chas. Borusky, privates Wm. Page, James O. Keif, and George Funk, wounded—since died. George Moyer, missing (this is the man Widrich had trouble with).
Company F—Corp. Ira Horton, privates Geo. Anwuerter, Osias Brindley, Jacob Schieferle, Alex. Hammond, Fredk Hoveland, Joseph Rockwood, Charles Sherman and Daniel Wright, wounded.
Co. G—Private Winel, wounded, since died; Corp'l John Myers, wounded, (brother to Dan Myers.)
Co. H. (Ruprechts company.)—Private A. Chamberlin, killed; private Gustavus Riedel, wounded; corporal Anson Kinney wounded; private Peter Nash, wounded, since died; private Louis Klein, wounded; private Peter Krauskopf, wounded; private Charles Rehlander, wounded; private F. Richard, wounded; private H. Priess, wounded.
Co. I.—Corporal Sanford Thomas, killed; private Geo. W. Blanchard, killed; private Luke Pierson, wounded; private Martin Drumb wounded; private John Smith wounded; private Ira J. Pratt wounded; private Jared Hewitt wounded; private Wm. Putnam wounded; private Andrew Berger wounded. Co. K.—Corporal Frank Judson wounded, since died; privates W. E. Ames, Wendell Tice wounded.
Our wounded are doing finely, and the only one dangerously wounded is Lieut. Borusky, of Co. E., a bullet cut his throat. The rebels laid thick over the field, and I tell you it is the worst sight you can imagine. This has been the first time that our regiment has been in battle, and I tell you it was a bloody one. We fought over an hour. It was one sheet of flame. Our wounded and dead were all brought in, and the dead were buried in one trench lying side by side. The rebels lost five times as many as we did.
We brought in the rebel wounded. Yesterday the rebels asked four hours' time to bury their wounded; this was granted, and so far there has been no further firing. We took 45 prisoners; most of them came in and were glad to get free. One old Frenchman raised his hat and shouted "Vive la Republique Union." Dear Libby, I hope never to see such a bloody fight again. This morning news was received that Gen. Grant had taken Jackson, Miss., destroying everything and routing Gen. Johnson's army; capturing 61 pieces of artillery. Also that Gen. Banks was within 5 miles of us, and Gen. Grover within 3 miles. Upon Col. Chapin's reading his dispatch, he received hearty cheers from the glorious 116th. I am in possession of several rebel swords and pistols. Col. Chapin had a narrow escape. One shell from the rebel battery exploded, taking off his Aid's leg at the knee. A piece of the shell struck the Col. on the tip of the knee, causing him to bleed but still doing no further damage; this was indeed a narrow escape. Captain Wuertz and Quartermaster Goslin are sick with fever and have gone back to Baton Rouge. Goslin has the typhoid fever. This puts me in charge of our stores, &c. It is a big job, but I can do the buis, as Mrs. Miller says, and I hope you will be glad to hear of my safety, and I hope you are as well off and healthy as I am. The rebels are poorly armed. Their swords are old and shabby and mended, and their guns are miserable old muskets and cannot compete with our rifles. M. D.
THE DAILY COURIER.
FRIDAY MORNING, JUNE 6, 1863.
THE CASUALTIES IN THE 116TH REGIMENT.
CAMP PLAIN, BATTLE-FIELD, NEAR
PORT HUDSON, MAY 23, 1863.
DR. JULIUS F. MINER:
Dear Sir:—Our regiment has been engaged with the enemy, and has whipped him severely. Two Massachusetts regiments ran away, but ours charged them bravely three times, killed fifty, wounded one hundred, and took seventy-five prisoners. Among the killed is Lieut. Colonel Commanding Bram, of Miles' Legion, from New Orleans and amoung [sic] the wounded is their Major. The Legion was the best at Port Hudson. In the third charge, which was made in a grave-yard, we killed thirty of them. I have been in the fight, and. thank God, got out of it without being hurt. The casualties in our regiment you will find in the inclosed [sic]. The regiment is in good spirits, and ready for the coming light, which will most likely begin to-morrow. Our wounded are all sent to Baton Rouge. The following is as correct a list as I have been able to make. One or two others have been hurt a little, but are in camp and do their duty. I must close, as they are beginning to fight again.
LIST OF CASUALTIES.
COMPANY A—Captain Wadsworth.
Private Francis Ingersoll, from North Evans, in stomach; died on battle-field.
Private Conrad Schamel, East Hamburgh, in head; died on battle-field.
Private W. W. White, North Evans, through bowels; died on the 22d of May.
Corporal Robert Fort, Hamburgh, amputated index and middle finger of left hand, index of right.
Sergeant L. S. Oatman, Evans Centre, spent ball in breast—slightly.
Sergeant Samuel Leonard, East Hamburg, left forearm—flesh wound.
Private L. C. Trevett, East Hamburgh, right thigh flesh wound.
Private Nathaniel H. Swift, East Hamburgh, both thighs—flesh wound.
Private A. ___, ...burgh, left fore-arm.
Private John ____, ...h, brick shot in face.
Private Norman ____, brick shot in left leg—slightly.
Fifer E. V. Carr, Evans, wounded in head—dangerously.
Private Andreas Wolf, Hamburgh, forearm and breast—dangerously.
COMPANY B AND C.
None wounded or killed.
Private Augustus L. Gram, Pt. Colburn, C. W., in breast; died on battle-field.
Sergeant James M. Forbs, Black Rock, through stomach; died on battle-field.
Private James W. Germain, Buffalo, through stomach; died on battle-field.
Private Philip Shoemaker, Buffalo, in bowels; died on the 22d of May.
Sergeant J. M. Carter, Baltimore, left foot—slightly.
Private W. Holten, Buffalo, left elbow.
Lieut. Chas. Brorusky, Collins Center, in neck, dangerously.
Private James O'Keefe, Erie City, Pa., left arm and shoulder.
Private George Fink, Buffalo, in shoulder.
Private William Page, Buffalo, in back slightly.
Private George Major, Buffalo, missing, supposed to have deserted.
Private Ozias Brindley, Boston, right foot.
Private George Awater, Collins Center, struck by a spent ball on temple.
Private Daniel Wright, Concord, left foot.
Private Ira C Horton, Boston, left lung, dangerously.
Private J A Rockwood, Boston, in foot.
Private Alex Hammond, Boston, in foot.
Private Fred Hoverland, Springville, shoulder.
Private Jacob Shiverly, Concord, fingers of left hand amputated.
Private Chas Sherman, Cattaraugus, arm slightly.
Private Henry Wynell, Buffalo, in breast and bowels.
Private John Meyers, Buffalo, right elbow.
Private A Chamberlain, East Aurora, shot in stomach, died on the battle field.
Private Gustavus Riddle, Canada West, breast, died on the battle field.
Private Peter Marsh, Buffalo, in groins.
Private Lewis Klin, Buffalo, in left arm slightly.
Private Peter Krauskopf, Buffalo, cheek slightly.
Private C Rehlander, Buffalo, left arm.
Private F Richard, East Seneca, right arm seriously.
Private Aaron Kinne, Millport, Wayne Co., shoulder.
Private George Blanchard, Hamburgh, in bowels; died on battle-field.
Corporal Sanford Thomas, Holland, in head; died on battle-field.
Private Jerred Hewett, Marilla, in left hand by shell, slightly.
Private W. Putman, Marilla, in hand slightly.
Private Martin Drum, Buffalo, in ankle.
Private Ira Pratt, Holland, in right side, dangerously.
Private Luke Pierson, Springbrook, in left thigh, dangerously.
Private John Smith, Buffalo, spent ball in breast, slightly.
Private Franklin Judson, Brant, in bowels; died evening of 22d May.
Private Alonzo Ames, North Evans, in neck, slightly.
Private Wendel Tice, Evans, in left hand, slightly.
ADDITIONAL FROM THE 116TH REGIMENT.
CAMP OP THE 116TH REGIMENT ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE, IN FRONT OF THE BREASTWORKS AT PORT HUDSON.
May 22d, 1863.
DEAR JAMES:—Having returned thanks to the great God for bringing me safe through the fiery ordeal of yesterday, I will now let you know that I am all right and received not so much as a scratch in the bloody fight. We left Baton Rouge a few days ago, to re-inforce Dudley's Brigade, and as soon as we arrived an advance was made. Chapin's Brigade being composed of good material was, of course, assigned the post of honor. At about 4 P. M. the 116th was ordered to the left to attend to the cause of alarm in that quarter. Shot and shell rained thick at that point, and we took a narrow road fringed on each side with thin foliage. The rebels perceived our movements and made a move toward our rear to cut us off o r flank us.
Lieutenant Neal of our company was the first to give the alarm, and as quick as thought our men came to a front and lay down behind a little slough, just in time to evade a deadly rally. Right in our front was a splendid little clearing, and at the opposite side and in our immediate front was a light copse of woods, and in these woods the rebels were ensconced.
Our boys saw at a glance how they were situated. The order was given to fire and it was such firing as was never done by any regiment before. Our men loaded and fired so fast that one would be led to believe a whole brigade was at it. We charged through the woods, over the clearing and many of our men fell; but onward rushed the 116th, cheering and yelling like so many wild men. Major Love, God bless him, has made himself immortal. He waved his hat to our men, placed himself by the colors and cheered our boys to follow.
Gen. Chapin had a narrow escape. A shell took the leg off one of his aid-de-camps and spattered the blood all over the General's face and clothes in such a manner that we thought, for a while, he was shot. His horse made a sudden plunge when the shell burst in their midst, and reared his head so violently as to strike the General a heavy blow in the face.
Our loss is not yet estimated, but I think the killed and wounded will reach over forty. Capt. Sizer is all right. We only lost one officer in Lieut. Bouroskey, of Co. E. He is severely wounded through the neck. I fear he will not live. A private in our company, by the name of Henry Winell, has died of his wounds. Corporal John Myers, of our company, is also wounded in the elbow, not very dangerously.
T. J. LANAHAN,
Lieut. Co. G, 116th Rcg't.
Letter from Capt. Barnard, of the 116th Regiment.
IN THE FIELD,
Near Port Hudson, May 28th, 1863.
DEAR MOTHER: Here I am, seated on a log, with pencil in hand, to let you know how we all are this morning. We had an awful, awful, fight yesterday. Last Sunday morning we marched from our first battle-field to this place, our brigade in advance. As soon as the column reached this point, my company was thrown forward to skirmish the woods in front. After advancing about three quarters of a mile, I came upon the enemy's pickets, whom I drove in to their fortifications; they proved to be the outer works of Port Hudson. After taking a good look at them, to get their position, I fell back a little and then reported to Colonel Chapin. The last line has been, ever since, our picket line. The artillery has kept up a fire ever since, but the infantry has not been engaged, except yesterday. Yesterday morning I was awakened just after daylight by heavy guns, that had been mounted during the night; and very soon Col. Chapin came along the road ordering the troops to be ready to fall in, as all the artillery was to open in fifteen minutes. At the same time he ordered Major Love to have two companies fall in and report to him, at the picket line, for skirmishing. Captain Sizer and myself were ordered out. This was before breakfast. Captain S. was deployed to the right and my company to the left of the road that we were on, which leads straight into the Fort. We drove the rebs. into the works, and crept close enough to pick off their gunners. In this way we silenced two guns, while the whole or our artillery was banging away, trying to make a breach or dismount the guns. While this was going on our brigade was being massed in the woods behind us for an assault on the works. This was an awful undertaking, but was General Banks' plan. The men had to cross a slashing nearly half a mile wide before reaching the works, and were all tired out before they got much over half way. The rebs. had a splendid range across here, and poured in the grape and cannister [sic] like rain. I cannot describe this here, for the want of paper; and I have just been relieved, having kept my line of skirmishers a through the fight and acted as an outer picket during the night.
Colonel Chapin led the advance, and was wounded through the hand, and in a few moments was shot through the head. He died instantly. Major Love was wounded in the right shoulder, is doing nicely, and has gone to Baton Rouge. Leut. Grey is wounded in left leg, just below the knee, and outside of the bone. He is doing nicely, and will soon be on duty again. He leaves for Baton Rouge this morning. Lieut. John Dobbins is all right. He went through without a scratch.
The assault was too great an undertaking and our men had to fall back again to my line. Our loss, in killed, wounded and missing, from the 116th is 97, I lost four. We had but two officers wounded besides the ones mentioned; Lieut. Morgan, Company I, and Lieut. Jones, Company H. Jones cannot live through the day. I am all right, though very tired, for we are out burying the dead. In haste,
Letter from the 116th.
The following letter should have appeared in last week's Herald, but we were obliged to omit it for want of room.
CAMP NEAR PORT HUDSON,
DEAR ONES AT HOME: I will now give you a brief account of the struggles we have encountered from the time we left Baton Rouge. The first day we marched twelve miles, encamped for the night. The next day we marched five miles, then came in contact with Miles' Legion, had a little brush which lasted nine hours, and succeeded in driving them at the point of the bayonet at double quick. By Gen. Auger our regiment are accredited with having done the heavier part of the work. We remained on the battle field two days, then took up the line of march to within two miles of Port Hudson, and there formed in line of battle. We stood two hours prepared for action when the order was given to "rest." For two days more we reposed on our arms, our batteries meantime pouring into Port Hudson a continuous storm of leaden hail. On the 27th Col. Chapin asked permission of Augur to storm Port Hudson, saying that with his brigade and two more regiments he could carry it by storm. He tried—failed—and fell. We went in with about six hundred and fifty men, and came out with not far from two hundred and fifty. Oh, it was awful to eyes unused to such sights; could you have heard the grape and canister as it went whizzing through the air you would have wondered that any came forth alive. The havoc was terrible—we were mowed down like grass before the reaper; a perfect slaughter—never shall I forget the sight. Our Colonel killed, and our Major wounded. Our Lieut.-Col. has resigned and leaves us to-day.—I did not get a scratch. After the battle I assisted in aiding the wounded—held the leg of one poor fellow while the surgeon was performing amputation. He died before we got him from the ground. Legs and arms were piled in heaps by the operating stand. I helped carry and bury the dead, a sad office; the mangled, bleeding and lifeless form of a brother soldier is a sickening sight. We had buried nearly all of the enemy who fell on our first day's fight before the rebels came with a flag of truce to perform the office themselves.
Maj. Love commanded on the occasion of our first brush with the rebels, and a braver man never drew a sabre. He led the advance in gallant style without any seeming care for self—exposing himself more than was absolutely necessary. Capt. Stanbro and Lieut. Gray are gallant officers. Lieut. Gray drew his revolver and continued to fire during the entire engagement. He is a devil to fight. When in pursuit of the rebels a comrade and myself came upon two rebels lying behind a large tree; we each took our prisoner, put him under guard, and continued our fighting. Here is a blade of grass I plucked after falling into line of battle on the 27. Deck, I took it cool throughout.—This paper, as you perceive, is somewhat "siled," but you will readily pardon the dirty hands of your rebel fighter, Stubb.
Camp Outside Port Hudson,
May 30, '63.
I intended to have written a day or two ago, but had no heart to do so, and even now it is with much sorrow that I sit down to write. I will give you an account of our doings since I last wrote. We lay in position on the battle-field of the 21st until Sunday morning, when we moved down to our present position, about a mile in rear of Port Hudson. The batteries accompanying us were placed in position and opened on the rebel works that afternoon, which was answered with spirit by them. Monday, the batteries were silent, but heavy volleys of musketry were heard on our right late in the afternoon and evening, evidently the rebels trying to escape. We lay all night expecting an attack on our position, but it did not come. Tuesday, the men were informed that the Commanding General had determined to carry the enemy's works by assault, and volunteers were asked to form a storming party to carry fascires to fill the ditch outside the walls, that the troops could enter. The requisite number immediately volunteered, Lieut. Gray, Sergt. J. G. Dayton, Corporal J. D. Barker, Privates D. Crosby and T. B. Norris going from our company.—Wednesday morning, the artillery opened a terrific fire on the works which was kept up all the forenoon. The rebels returned it briskly for an hour or two, but gradually ceased until only an occasional shot was fired. Towards noon our brigade was moved up into the woods fronting the works ready for the charge, when the enemy's guns were completely silenced by our batteries. About two o'clock the word was passed along the line to "Charge," and the troops advanced rapidly from the woods. Our regiment led the charge. The distance from the woods to the breastworks was about half a mile, and a thick slashing at that. As soon as the regiment emerged from the woods it was greeted with a shower of grape and cannister [sic] from the fort, but it did not stop. Onward it pressed, followed by the rest of the brigade. Col. Chapin led the charge shouting for the men to follow. This they did as fast as possible, but it was slow work getting through the slashing, and the terrible discharges from the rebel guns mowed down the men by scores. Those unhurt pressed forward until they were close enough to pick off the rebel gunners and silence the terrible fire. But the infantry behind the breastworks kept up a galling fire, and it was impossible for a man to reach the ditch. Col. Chapin was shot dead, and the order to fall back was given. This was slowly done by the men, they bringing in their wounded comrades at the same time. The rebels allowed them to do so without firing upon them, showing they have a little humanity left.
It was a terrible day's work for our brigade. The officers suffered badly; Col. Chapin was killed, also Lieut.-Col. O'Brien, of the 48th Mass. Col. Bartlett, of the 49th, was badly wounded. Maj. Love and another Major whose name I have not learned were also wounded. Capt. Stanbro came out unscathed, but Lieut. Gray was shot in the leg. The loss in our reg't is probadly [sic] not far from 100. Of our company I will send a full list of injured.
We fell back to our old position at night and still occupy it. The siege of Port Hudson gradually progresses, and no doubt is entertained but we shall capture it, but our boys feel very much disheartened by Wednesday's defeat. And is it a wonder? Of our bravest officers many are gone, and also our comrades. The friends at home may feel assured that all that could be done to ensure success by the regiment was done. The conduct of all under the terrible fire to which it was exposed, is spoken of in terms of admiration by all.
LIST OF WOUNDED.
Lieut. Grey, left leg, slightly.
Sergt. Doty, side, badly.
Dan'l Bond, both legs, slightly.
Theo. Norris, head, badly.
David Crosby, arm, slightly.
Edwin Pingrey, lingers shot off.
Charles Sherman, side, badly.
Marshall Davis, missing.
Hundreds of marvellous [sic] escapes might be recorded, but it is unnecessary. Very few came out without some proof of what they passed through.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser.
Thursday Evening, June 4, 1863.
LOCAL & MISCELLANEOUS.
THE LOSSES OF THE 116TH REGIMENT IN THE RECENT BATTLE.—We are indebted to Major W. G. Seely for the following list of killed and wounded of the 116th [Buffalo] Regiment, in the fight at Bayou Sara, near Port Hudson, La., on the 21st ult. The list was forwarded by Lieut. Col. Robert Cottier, and may therefore be relied upon as correct:
Private Conrad Schamel, killed.
Private Francis D. Ingersoll, "
Private Wm. White, "
Sergt. Samuel Leonhard, wounded.
Sergt. Leroy Oatman, "
Corporal Robert B. Foote, "
Private Nathaniel Swift, "
Private Lobiske Prevett, "
Private Mortimer Williams, "
Private Norman Carr, "
Private Andres Wolf, "
Private John Roberts, "
Drummer E. B. Carr, "
Sergt. James M. Forces, killed.
Private A. L. Gram, "
Private Philipp Shoemaker, wounded, since died.
Private James W. German, " "
Sergt. John M. Carter, "
Corporal William Holden, "
2d Lieut. Charles Borusky, wounded.
Private George Funk, "
Private William Page, "
Private James O'Kief, "
Private George Mager, missing.
Corporal Ira Horton, wounded.
Private George Huwaerter, "
Private Osias Brindley, "
Private Jacob Chiefferie, "
Private Alexander Hamond, "
Private Fredric Hoverland, "
Private Joseph Rockwood, "
Private Charles Sherman, "
Private Daniel Wright, "
Private Henry W_nel wounded, since died.
Corporal John Myers, wounded.
Private Ash Chamberlain, killed.
Private Gustavus Riedel, "
Corporal Anson Kinney, wounded.
Private Peter Wash, "
Private Louis Klein, "
Private Peter Krauskopf, "
Private Charles Rehlander, "
Private F. Richard, "
Private H. Priess, "
Corporal Sanford Thomas, killed.
Private Geo. W. Blanchard, "
Private Luke Pierson, wounded.
Private Martin Drumb, "
Private John Smith, "
Private Ira J. Pratt, "
Private Jared Hewitt, "
Private William Putnam, "
Private Andrew Berger, "
Corporal Frank Judson, dead.
Private A. E. Ames, "
Private Wendell Tice, "
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser.
Wednesday Evening, June 10, 1863.
LOCAL & MISCELLANEOUS.
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTEENTH REGIMENT.—
List of casualities [sic] in the 116th Regt., N. Y. V., at the storming of Port Hudson, May 27, 1863:
FIELD AND STAFF.
Colonel E P Chapin, Colonel Commanding 1st Brigade, killed.
George M Love, Major, wounded.
Private Henry White, killed.
Sergt. C H Grant, wounded.
Corp E Smith, "
Corp N F Smith, "
Corp J H Dingman, "
Private Wm Ross, "
Private Wm H Sawdy, "
Private Edward Barry, "
Private C Stressing, "
Private H S Bults, "
Private Ephr Wooderson, "
Private H Colkins, "
Private C Paine, "
Private T Husesy, "
Private G Herr, "
Private J Farrel, "
Private J White, "
Color Sergt Burton L Kern, killed.
Private Stephen Cable, "
Sergt James S Little, wounded.
Private Wm Kroll, "
Private Hellriegel, killed.
Private Charles Riald, "
Private Louis Mail, "
Sergt Harry H Enders, wounded.
Sergt Wm Tibbits, "
Corp Lewis A Gilbert, "
Corp Samuel Young, "
Corp James Loflamooy, "
Private Wm H Bump, "
Private John Egloff, "
Private Henry M Grimes, "
Private Frederick Joslyn, "
Private Robert Taggart, "
Private George Sheperd, killed.
Private Philipp Kies, "
Corp John Bale, wounded.
Corp Raymond McGowan, "
Corp Charles Chittenden, "
Private E E Fustin, "
Private E C Bacon, "
Private Wm W McCumber, "
Private Wm H Pardy, "
Private Owen Chilcot, "
Private James McNalley, "
Jacob Boyer, "
Corp Charles Glazer, killed.
Corp Chrisman Sils, wounded.
Private Joseph Brietcher, "
Private John Hennasy, "
Color Corp Philip Lehman, "
Private George Mann, "
Private McGilvery Bolald, "
Private Jacob Kenker, "
Private Thomas Griffiths, killed.
Private Loyd Price, missing.
1st Lt Wm H Gray, wounded.
Sergt Joseph Doly, "
Private Daniel H Bond, "
Private David Crosby, "
Private Theodore B Norris, "
Private Edwin Pingrey, "
Private Charles W Sherman, "
Private Marshal Davis, "
Color Corp Olef W Stadin, "
Private Felis Weingardner, "
Private Sebastian Brenner, wounded since died.
1st Lt David Jones, wounded.
1st Sergt J Woehnert, "
Corporal C Smith, "
Private James Cameron, "
Private J Maloney, "
Private Joseph Tigh, "
Corp Wm Dykeman, killed.
Corp Payson Morrow, "
2d Lieut Wm J Morgan, wounded.
Sergt V Fuller, killed.
Private J Banner, "
Private Robert Hill, "
1st Sergt R M Hair, wounded.
Sergt J S Griswold, "
Corp N N Cole, "
Private R L Johnson, "
Private C Strong, "
Private C Thayer, "
Private J Witcher, "
Private Wm Hilbronn, "
Corporal Sherman, "
Corp Pason, "
Sergt Conger, "
Private Miltors, "
Private David Wisinger, "
Private Daniel Crawford, "
Private Charles Bramilier, "
Private H W Eng, "
Private George Freeman, "
Private Charles Iback, "
Private Peter Refel, "
Private Theodore Slater, "
Signed,) Lieut. JOHN R. DOBBINS,
The Losses of Company E, 116th Regiment.
DONALDSONVILLE, La., July 17, 1863.
EDITORS COURIER,—Gentlemen—The following is a complete statement of the casualties in Co. E, 116th Reg't N.Y.S. V., in the four battles in which the Regiment has been engaged since the investment of Port Hudson. As the regiment is still doing active service in the field, and as facilities for writing cannot conveniently be had, I cannot at present communicate by letter with the relatives of my company. You will therefore greatly oblige them and me by publishing the annexed statement:—
LIST OF WOUNDED IN THE BATTLES OF PLAINS STOR
Second Lieutenant Charles Boruskey, in neck, since died.
Privates George Funk, shoulder, since recovered.
" James O'Keefe " “ "
" Jacob Rinker, leg, doing well.
LIST OF KILLED AND WOUNDED IN THE ASSAULT OF MAY 27.
Corporal Charles Glazer.
Privates Thomas Griffiths,
" Lloyd Price (missing) supposed to be killed.
Corporal Silas Chrisman, in finger.
Private Chas. Bretcher, nature of wound unknown, is doing well.
Privates John Hennessy, shoulder, since recovered.
" Phillip Leghman, wrist, " "
" Donald McGillvery, body, is doing well.
" George Mann, foot, " "
LIST OF KILLED, WOUNDED AND MISSING IN BATTLE NEAR DONALDSONVILLE, JULY 13th.
Private Cornelius Sullivan.
Sergt. John McElvane, in leg slightly.
Privates Frederick Barch " "
" Ernst Obermier, arm "
Privates Joseph Klieber,
" John Britting,
" George Geunther.
DIED BY DISEASE IN HOSPITAL.
Privates Wm. Brenchly,
" Henry C. Miller.
I have been informed that the men reported missing in the above statement were taken prisoners, and paroled thirty-five miles from the scene of action. We expect all the missing men to return to-morrow. Respectfully your friend, RICHARD C. KINNEY,
Capt. Co. E, 116th N. Y. V.
BATON ROUGE, La., J u ly 17, 1863.
FRIEND PRATT.—SIR:—I thought I would send you a few lines to past [sic] away time, and let you know what I think of the South. Well, sir I think that it is the finest country I ever was in if it was not for the people, but society is the worst I ever saw, not more than half civilized, men and women curse and swear without exception or but a very few, and why should it not be so, when they are trying to keep so many in ignorance; there is not a school-house in all this country, that I have passed through, only in the cities, and those the poor cannot send their children too, for they are not able. I have started a school since I was wounded, two hours in the morning for the poor white children, while their fathers are in the rebel army and their
mothers can neither read or write and they are willing that their little ones should go to school, and in the afternoon from two until four for the black children trying to learn to read, I had a great day yesterday on the forenoon and afternoon, I had some visitors it was the Provost Marshal, Post Judge and General Auger. Brig. Gen. Auger is a good soldier and a gentleman and he spoke to the children in the forenoon and afternoon. So you see all of our officers are not Copperheads. Some of them think that the blacks are human and will do to take care of themselves if they can have a chance. One thing is sure, they will fight and the rebels know it by this time and how they swear, to think that the negro is begining [sic] to know that he is not a beast but a man, and not kept in bondage any longer and now they must go to work for themselves here. We have about five thousand prisoners, and such a forlorn set I never saw, they are so thin from being shut up in Port Hudson for eight weeks and nothing but corn beef at half rations to eat that they will not make a shadow. You ought to have seen them eat the hard bread and pork and drink coffee, on the ninth, the next day after the surrender. They told me that they had not tasted a drop of coffee for the last eight months, and they were glad to get home and I think that they will not go back in the army again to fight for the rebels, and some of them will enlist in the Union army, and fight against their deceivers. Give my regards to all who may ask for me and tell them I shall yet come to Caton, and then they can see me and say what they wish to and do what they can. I must close now and go to bed for the taps are sounding and the lights out.
Yours in Union now and forever.
WM. H. SAWDY, 116TH N. Y. V.
Letter from the Army of Gen. Banks.
CAMP AT DONALDSONVILLE, LA.,
July 17, 1863.
EDITORS COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER: Some time has now elapsed since my last communication to you, owing partly to the fact that nothing has transpired worthy of mention, and partly because, since the fall of Port Hudson, I have had no time to write you. To begin, then, where I left off, which was, if I remember right, an account of our attack on June 14th. Nothing in the way of another attempt to storm the works was done, although a storming party of 1,000 men, composed of volunteers from every regiment, was called for and soon organized into three battalions, the whole under command of Colonel Birge, 13th Connecticut volunteers. This looked very much like another attack, and all felt confident that success would this time be ours. Twenty-nine of the brave fellows from the 116th were found willing to risk their lives again, knowing that very few, if any, would live to see the inside of Port Hudson. A kind Providence decreed that the place should fall without the loss of any of them; but their names should be known and remembered. Our forces were far from being idle during all the time from June 14th to July 8th. Battery after battery was erected, and upon our right great progress had been made towards undermining their works; but while we had been quietly closing in on them, they had been gradually eating up all their corn and meat, so that they did actually eat mule meat. Some, even, were willing we should understand they had eaten rats. At any rate, there can be no doubt that they were reduced to almost the last extremity. Well, on the morning of the 8th of July, about one o'clock, a parley was sounded on our front, and Colonel Paine, commanding our brigade, at once sent out to see what it was. He found a flag of truce, with a message for General Banks. It was at once forwarded to headquarters, and soon an answer was returned, which evidently was not exactly the thing, as not long was it before the rebs. sent out another. Of course we knew nothing about all this, as sleep prevented nearly all from even hearing the bugle sound, and those who were awake could only surmise what was up. However, in the morning all soon found out that General Gardner had agreed to surrender, and that three commissioners from our side were to meet three from their side and arrange the articles of capitulation. This occupied nearly all day (the 8th), and towards night a number of regiments, the best in the Department, were selected to enter and occupy the place in the morning; and I am happy to say that the 116th and 2d Louisiana volunteers were selected from our division by General Augur himself.
That night all slept soundly, something most of us had not done for weeks, and awoke ready to perform the most pleasing duty which had yet been imposed upon us. Some little delay was experienced, but about 9 o'clock the column was put in motion, and soon entered without opposition a place which twice we had attempted to enter, but without success. I could not help thinking how much pleasure it would have given our much lamented Col. Chapin to have ridden into this rebel stronghold. But I am sure he was enabled to look down from On High, and am I wrong in supposing that he rejoiced with us in our final victory?
But to resume: Gen. Gardner had his forces drawn up in line, and as our column took position near them, gave the command "ground arms," which your readers should understand is to lay the musket flat on the ground, there to be left for the victors. I should have stated that as Gen. Gardner surrendered the place formally to Gen. Andrews, (Banks' chief of staff), he handed him his sword, which he (Andrews) at once returned to him, in view of the noble defense he had made; and then the glorious Stars and Stripes were hung to the breeze amid the cheers of thousands and the booming of a national salute which was being fired by battery "G," 5th U. S. Artillery. A guard was at once established around the prisoners, and all along the lines you could have seen groups of our men engaged in conversation with the rebs., trading canteens and such other trinkets as they had. Here we expected to remain long enough to see something of the place, and had such been the case I might have given you a better description of it. The bluff upon which the river batteries are erected is, I should think, 150 feet high, and being right in a bend of the river, they command the approach to it from both above and below; and how Farragut ever passed the place without losing all his ships is a wonder to me. The fortifications in the rear extend from the river below the village to the river above, and are nearly seven miles in extent, and although not as extensive works as we expected to find, still, by reason of the ravines and the slashing in front of them, are very strong indeed. All along the inside of the works are holes dug into the earth, into which the rebs. betook themselves whenever our shells got too hot for them.
Well, before three o'clock we were ordered aboard a transport, and with the balance of Gen. Augurs division started for Donaldsonville, leaving the place where for over six weeks we have lain in the sun, and in the rain, all waiting for the accomplishment of one grand object. What we have suffered you at home can not know, but all are now happy in knowing that our efforts have been successful. The siege has been far from a bloodless one, and all of us, as we look back, drop a tear when we think of some noble fellow who has been called here to lay down his life for his country. But but thank God it has not been in vain. The number of prisoners, I have only my own estimate to give you, as I have seen no official notice. I should say we captured between 5,000 and 6,000 men, and about fifty pieces of artillery, with a large amount of small arms and some Quartermaster stores. And now of our future movements. We managed to get aboard our Transport that night, and with the balance of Augurs division landed at Donaldsonville on the morning of the 10th inst., and were just in time to save Fort Butler, as the rebels were in considerable force only a few miles up the Bayou La Fourche. There we remained quietly resting ourselves until the morning of the 13th inst., when Dudley's Brigade having advanced about five miles up the Bayou Road, and some considerable firing being heard in that direction, our brigade was ordered to his support. We started, having with us the 1st Maine battery. The firing when we arrived was very light, and as we had orders to bivouac there, we little anticipated much of a fight. And now that you may understand our forces and their position, let me state that on our side of the Bayou, in advance was Dudley's brigade, with both the 1st Maine and 6th Massachusetts batteries; some distance in his rear was our brigade, as his support. On the other side of the Bayou I only know of one brigade, "Morgan's," but understand there were more troops there. All the fore part of the day a light fire from the enemy was heard, and seemed to be responded to by our boys, with rather more vigor. About 1 o'clock they opened upon us with a very heavy fire and were held splendidly at bay by the advance until it was deemed advisable to retire.
Before this, however, our brigade was ordered forward, and formed in a lane at right-angles with the bayou where we found a ditch, which covered our men almost entirely, while it did not prevent our seeing the enemy. As soon as we started to get into this position, we saw plainly the brigade on the other side of the bayou, slowly inarching to the rear. Col. Morgan, their commander, saying that he was flanked by a force of 4,000 rebels. To this all attribute our defeat, as his retreat enabled the rebels to fire into our line from the levee on the other side, making it a matter of impossibility for us to remain long. Morgan has been placed in arrest, which shows clearly where those in authority place the responsibility.
But to return. We had hardly got in position in the lane, when the battery in our ... the rear, and as they reached the lane where we were in line, planted two of their guns; in battery just to the left of our line on the road but as it became evident (at least those belonging to the battery thought it so,) that we could not hold our position, they limbered one piece to the rear, but owing to a lack of horses belonging to the other, they called on Capt. Tuttle of our regiment for assistance in getting it off. And here he lost his life. Responding at once to the call, he took a portion of his men, and while getting this gun out of the way, was shot dead, the bullet entering his head, no doubt killing him instantly. He was a perfect soldier, and highly esteemed by all, both officers and men. He will be remembered in Buffalo, as the Captain of the Spaulding Guards. Since the war broke out he has been almost all the time in the service of his country, having been in the 21st New York Volunteers before entering this.
These guns had hardly been taken out of the way before Dudley's Brigade came to the rear, but in good order, and, passing our line, formed again in our rear. And now the Greybacks begin to show themselves, and it is hard work for our boys to hold their fire until the rebels are right into them. They wait until so many show themselves as to make it impossible to wait longer, and then such a volley as our noble fellows pour into them would do you good to hear. The rebels are thunderstruck, and their advance is stopped, but the retreat of the brigade on the other side of the bayou has enabled the enemy to get a flank fire on our line, and gradually we fall back, stopping at short intervals.
It was a repulse, but not owing to a lack of fighting qualities in our troops, but because Colonel Morgan, getting excited, imagined himself flanked, and going at once to the rear, lost the day to us. Colonel Paine is confident that notwithstanding this flank fire, we could have held the line we had against twice the number of rebels; but others thought not, and therefore ordered us back. No troops could have behaved better than did ours, and to lose a victory in this manner was a bitter pill for us, I tell you. The loss in the 116th, as near as I can learn, is 1 officer and 4 privates killed; wounded, 1 officer and 22 men; missing—supposed to have been taken prisoners—21 men; total, 2 officers and 47 men.
The officer wounded was Lieut. Clark, on Col. Paine's staff. He was struck in the side by a piece of shell or bullet, but, luckily, it was so far spent as not to enter; it only gave him a severe blow. He is not off duty, I believe, and therefore can not be hurt very badly. Thus ended another engagement, in which the 116th has done itself credit. We were under the command of our Acting Lieut. Col. Higgins, and are all anxious to see him get the position; and the same may be said of Major Sizer, and, of course, Colonel Love. The health of the regiment is good, and all seem to enjoy life as well as could be expected under the circumstances, especially when we hear of the entire rout of Lee's army and other good news. But I must put an end to this.
Yours, C. C. L.
FROM THE 116TH NEW YORK.
A Rochester Boy in the Battle of Donaldsonville—Terrific Fighting—Heroic Stand of the 116th—They Save the Artillery and Retire on Good Order.
[The following is from an interesting letter written by a member of the 116th N. Y., (recruited in Buffalo,) to his sister in this city.]
Donaldsonville, La., July 24th, 1883.
DEAR S. * * * On the evening of the day of the surrender of Port Hudson, which, as you are doubtless aware, was taken possession of by our troops on the 9th of July, we were marched on board a number of river transports and immediately commenced steaming down the river. Next morning found us under the shelter of the fort at this place, which was invested by a strong force under Gens. Magruder and Taylor. In about an hour our army was safely on shore and in battle line under Gen. Dudley and Acting Brigadier Payne, of the 2d La., Gen. Weitzel, who we understood had command of the expedition, not having yet arrived. About an hour before our arrival the Rebs had sent in a flag demanding the surrender of the place. We answered it by immediately marching out to give them battle, but there was to be no fighting that day, for on our approach they fell back, and our jaded troops not being in a condition to pure, implanted our cannon on the ground occupied by the enemy in the morning and calmly awaited events.
Our cavalry scouts soon ascertained that they were in full retreat, so we returned to the place that was once a village and pitched our shelter tents. Nothing of importance occurred until the 13th, when Gen. Dudley discovered the enemy in force about five miles in our rear, They had been largely reinforced from the Texan border, and now stood their ground, evidently intending to give us battle. Our brigade (Payne's) went to Dudley's support, when the ball was opened, about two o'clock in the afternoon, by a furious cannonade of the enemy's lines from our artillery. The battle raged with great violence until sundown, the roar of artillery and the rattle of musketry being at times nearly deafening; but the enemy was our vastly superior in number, and our equal in valor, our right under Gen. Dudley having repulsed two or three impetuous charges, were at length compelled to fall back and the orders came to us to retreat also. (Our Regiment, the 116th N. Y., and the 2d La., were on the extreme left.) But we were so absorbed in the exciting game that either the order was not heard or not understood and we came near being all killed or captured. The enemy having rupulsed [sic] our right and centre came down upon us like an avalanche, completely overlapping our left and turning our flank, but dearly did they pay for it; and many, very many of their proud Texan rangers there bit the dust.
As they approached to within easy speaking distance of our firm unwavering lines, they called to us to surrender. We were all loaded, and we answered them by a tremendous volley discharged in their very faces, which so staggered and checked their advancing columns that they wavered and reeled to and fro as one intoxicated. "There," shouted the Louisiana boys, "that's our style!" and we fell back slowly, loading as we went facing about occasionally to give them a volley. Up to this time our loss was but trifling, but our battery was about to fall into the enemy's hands. The horses had nearly all been killed or disabled or the men had fled to the rear. Capt. Tuttle of our Company, now called to our boys to follow him, which they did, and after a spirited contest in which the gallant Captain and a number of his men were killed, succeeded in cutting loose and dragging off all the guns but one. If the artillerymen had stood by their guns, we should certainly have charged and perhaps repulsed them, at any rate they should have had a taste of Buffalo steel.—(the 116th is from Buffalo.) Gen. Dudley was now in full retreat and we had no alternative but to follow on and by checking the enemy's advance protect his rear. We arrived safely within range of the fort and the gunboats and again formed in battle line, where we still remain. The next day the enemy's loss was severe, and they skedaddled in the direction or Brashear City, where rumor says they met Gen. Augur with a large force and were scattered to the four winds. This State (Louisiana) is now clear of armed rebels, and I think we may look forward to a season of repose during the approaching heats of August.
The sun is broiling hot and we suffer greatly from wearing our woolen clothing, but our health is very good. We are quite jubilant over the rebel victories in the North, and the prospect of a speedy termination of the war.
This place is of considerable strategic importance. The rebels attacked the fort two or three days before our arrival, while the gunboats were all up the river. It was occupied by but two companies of soldiers, but they were heroes and nobly defended the place; but the rebels had got inside the works and were fighting hand to hand with the little garrison, when a couple of gunboats hove in sight, and took a very one-sided view of the matter. The rebs skedaddled and the place was saved. Of the once beautiful village of Donaldsonville nothing remains but the blackened chimneys. Everything is consumed, even to the garden fences. I inquired of a contraband how the village came to be destroyed, "Ob, sah," said he, "de rebbels got behind de buildins to fight, and your folks had to shell em out."
Affectionately yours, E. M.
THE 116TH REGIMENT.—We do not think we could furnish anything to our city readers, just now, of more interest than the particulars of the recent fight at Port Hudson, in which the 116th played so brave a part, and we therefore make copious extracts from the account given by the New Orleans Era, of the 26th ult., as follows:
THE LAST STRUGGLE.
Before the firing on the Bayou Sara road had ceased while I stood with note-book in hand, watching the progress of events there, a sharp hiss and a yell from a wounded man attracted my attention in another direction. The rebels were coming in on the left flank. Certain proof that a battery had opened there soon came along over the trees in the shape of a solid shot. Striking the ground, it ricochetted [sic] among the soldiers, who cried out, "catch it, catch it.'' One poor fellow actually put out both hands, thinking he could catch a bounding cannon ball. He found his error when the ball struck him on the skull, and knocked him flat on the earth. The 116th New York Regiment, Major Geo. M. Love commanding, as Lieut. Col. Cottier was field officer of the day, had already been sent out in the direction whence the firing came. The 49th Massachusetts Regiment, Col. Wm. F. Bartlett, and the 48th Massachusetts, Col. Eben F. Stone, were also there before the attack commenced, all of them having been sent there by Gen. Augur, who expected a demonstration from that direction. The 116th Regiment had orders to capture a battery supposed to be there.
Capt. Godfrey's and Capt. Yeaton's companies of cavalry had been out on the Port Hudson road for a distance of a mile and a-half, when they discovered an ambuscade of infantry and artillery. Lieut. Morse, of Capt. Godfrey's company, was very near it, when he saw a piece of artillery drawn out of the woods. He had barely turned, when a shell came buzzing over his head, and, regaining the company—having one wounded—the whole party returned at a walk, remaining under fire all the way. One horse was killed. The man wounded has had three horses shot under him within ten days. The rebel cavalry attempted a charge, but when Capt. Godfrey ordered an about face to his men, the rebels turned back.
Capt. Yeaton's company being ordered to flank the rebel battery, was dismounted, but they did not succeed in flanking it.
A regiment of rebel infantry came up the road to flank Capt. Godfrey as he was returning, but they arrived there just as he got by.
The situation of affairs soon became most exciting.—One section of Battery G, 5th United States, was posted in the road. The 48th Massachusetts was posted, left in front, on the right and left of the road. The 116th New York, further to the left, was also left in front, while the 49th Massachusetts was near at hand. The section of artillery, under Lieut. H. L. Beck, had been engaged with the rebel artillery for about half an hour, when an attempt was made to flank it. The rebels came through the woods about four hundred strong, and steadily advanced until within musket range of our infantry. Then a sharp fire was commenced on both sides by the infantry, and the section of artillery withdrawn, narrowly escaping capture.
Two men at the guns were mortally wounded, and two horses were killed. One man, named Patrick Mahoney, was taken prisoner.
The 116th N. Y. was in the most exposed position. It was to the rear of an opening skirted by a thick growth of forest wood, interspersed with a few small trees. A graveyard was situated in the opening. A beautiful monument surmounted a small eminence in the inclosure sic], and near this one piece of the rebel artillery was planted.
The rebel infantry came across this opening in a broken mass, firing rapidly as they advanced.
AN EXCITING MOMENT.
Just as one part of the force was closing in upon the 116th, keeping up a sharp fire, suddenly another portion of it opened upon the 48th Mass., where they were concealed in the woods. The enemy were not more than 50 feet distant, and the surprise was complete. They broke and ran back to the road.
If, however, the 48th impaired the chances of success at one time, the remainder of the first brigade turned the scale. Notwithstanding the 49th Mass. had to break to let the 48th men through, it held its ground throughout the fight. Col. Bartlett, who has only one leg, having lost the other at Yorktown, left the hospital where he had been confined by sickness, and was conveyed to the field in a carriage, that he might command his regiment during the action. Although a very young man, his conduct was worthy of a veteran, and worthy of the most honorable mention.
The 116th N. Y., Maj. Geo. M. Love, commanding, was engaged in a desperate encounter. Mile's Legion of rebel infantry, some four hundred strong, came upon them at the rear of the opening. At close quarters the two forces for some time fired into each other, killing and wounding the men rapidly.
A BAYONET CHARGE.
After the 116th had fired twenty rounds, it was ordered to charge bayonents [sic]. It was a thrilling sight to see that long row of bristling bayonets come swiftly, yet steadily, out from the forest, and speed quickly towards the foe, as they poured back a gaping fire. The enemy could not stand against it, but fell back, leaving many dead and wounded to be trampled under foot. At the head of the regiment, protected by none other than a merciful Providence, rode the Major in command, with uplifted and waving sword, cheering the men on, while a perfect storm of bullets whizzed like a hive of bees around his head. His courage inspired the men with unequalled coolness and intrepidity, and gave the 116th the victory.
Two more charges were made before the enemy were driven from the field. It was during the first, however, that the greatest loss occurred.
After the rebels were repulsed in front they attempted a flank movement on the left. They were promptly checked by a steady fire, which again drove them back, and they did not return again.
This engagement was the last of any consequence during the day.
Over sixty prisoners were captured from the rebels, and their loss in killed and wounded nearly doubled our own. There were several commissioned officers among the prisoners.
The 116th New York was formerly commanded by Col. Chapin, now acting Brigadier.
The 21st Main regiment, Colonel Johnson, was posted to the left and rear of the 116th. This regiment had been placed in reserve, but hearing the firing, and anticipating orders, it was so enthusiastic for a fight that, to the surprise of Col. Chapin, it came marching up to the field, and persisted in remaining there during the action.
The brigade flag drew down a fire upon Col. Chapin and staff during the action, and a ponderous shell struck in front of the Colonel's horse and exploded. A piece shattered the right knee of Lieutenant Joseph Tucker, of the staff, so that his leg had to be amputated above the knee. Another piece flew by Colonel Chapin's head, partially stunning him, but doing no serious injury.
AN ATTACK IN THE REAR.
Hardly had the firing slackened by the Port Hudson road, when Lieutenant Loring, of General Dudley's staff, was sent to the rear with some prisoners, having a cavalry escort. Upon nearing the hospital, which was a small house half a mile to the rear, he found that a force of rebel cavalry and artillery had taken position there in readiness to make an attack. Securing the reinforcements of a section of artillery and a detachment of the Illinois cavalry, the force moved cautiously towards the enemy in hopes of surprising them. But when within carbine range they were discoverad [sic], and a sharp firing ensued. For three quarters of an hour a rapid discharge of musketry and artillery was kept up, when the enemy beat a hasty retreat through the woods.
During the engagement all communication was cut off between the hospital and the front.
This ended the day's fighting, which had lasted, with only an occasional lull, for nine hours.
The rebels were whipped at every point.
THE FIGHT AT PORT HUDSON.
FULL ACCOUNT OF THE SECOND GENERAL ENGAGEMENT.
SPLENDID COURAGE OF OUR MEN.
THE ENEMY BEATEN AT EVERY POINT.
BAYONET CHARGE BY THE 116TH NEW YORK (BUFFALO) REGIMENT.
THE ENEMY LEAVES HIS DEAD AND WOUNDED ON THE FIELD.
COMPLETE LIST OF CASUALTIES 0N OUR SIDE.
We published yesterday the first despatch of the New Orleans Era correspondent. The following is a continuation of his account:
PORT HUDSON PLAINS, May 23.
To the Editor of the New Orleans Era:
My first despatch closed with the account of the first general engagement on ... ..st inst. Having been to the rear of the battle, at the hospital, during the engagement, I had no opportunity of hearing the orders of Gen. Augur until a lull occurred in the storm.
The wounded brought into the hospital kept me well informed of the progress of events up to that time. There was only one point of observation that could have been had during the action, and that was with our artillery.
Wishing to collect items rather than to be the subject of one myself, I contented myself with a less conspicuous position. The wounded displayed a most noble spirit, as they were brought into the hospital. It was not their mangled limbs and physical pain which troubled them so much as the thought that they could no longer be in the field to fight the enemy.
One poor fellow was brought in with a ball in his shoulder. He said he would not care a straw for his wound if it had not spoiled him for the rest of the fight. He swore by all that was good and great he would be in at the fall of Port Hudson in spite of all the doctors in the army. One spoke for all.
As soon as the heavy firing ceased, I went at once to headquarters to find out what the prospect was for the rest of the day. This was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Gen. Augur and staff had dismounted, and were standing under a clump of trees at the junction of the Port Hudson and Bayou Sara roads. Gen. Dudley and staff were in the field opposite, giving orders for the men to make themselves comfortable for the night.
The cavalry were scouting on both sides at a short distance from the junction. I took occasion to examine the effect of the shot and shell upon the store and dwelling house which stood on the right of the Bayou Sara road at the junction.
The store house was a two story building, having a drug store in the lower story, and a Masonic Hall in the upper one. A solid shot from one of our guns, which passed through the lower part of the storehouse, had left a large hole, around which, on the outside, the building was bespattered with blood. Inside the store was found a man disemboweled by the shot, and another man, torn in pieces by a shell, lay in the woods near by. The first one, it is supposed, was killed on the outside of the house by the shot, and was carried inside by some friend.
A solid shot burst open the door of the Masonic Hall, and admitted profane and wondering eyes to explore the arcana of the mystic fraternity. Hastily leaving the storehouse, I went to the dwelling near by. The trees about the house—some of them a foot in diameter—had been cut down and their foliage scattered by the shot and shell. One shot struck a piano, which doubtless has often charmed Rebel ears with the air of the "Bonnie Blue Flag," but this time it was unmistakably "Hail Columbia." The whole scene within the house indicated that housekeeping had been broken up there in true war style.
AT IT AGAIN.
The firing had been discontinued for about half an hour; sections of artillery had been posted at the junction commanding the two roads, and orders were being given for bivouacking, when whizz came a shell down the Bayou Sara road, and struck in the trees a little way to the rear of where Gen. Augur was standing. The cavalry pickets came in at the same time, announcing that Rebel artillery, supported by infantry and cavalry, were posted at a short distance up the Bayou Sara road. In about two minutes unmistakable evidence of that fact came ripping through the trees and whirling up the dirt on every side. At the first intimation of the enemy's presence, General Augur commenced transmitting his orders for the disposal of his artillery and infantry, and the scene of quiet which prevailed a few moments before, was changed into one of the liveliest activity.
The men sprang to the musket stacks, the cannoneers rushed to their guns, and almost by magic everybody was at his post, ready for orders. Gen. Dudley's brigade was posted so as to have complete command of the rail road. Sections of the 2d Vermont and 5th United States artillery were stationed on the road commanding the Rebel position, upon which they at once opened fire.
The firing on both sides for a few minutes was rapid, but Capt. Holcomb, of the 2d Vermont, soon commenced one of the most terrific cannonades which a single battery could possibly carry on. Shell and spherical case were poured forth so fast that sometimes two or three discharges would be made at once, keeping up a deafening roar and blinding smoke about the battery. Every one of his guns fired about sixty rounds at the enemy. Two men of this battery were slightly wounded in the fight.
The 174th New York regiment, Lieut. Col. B. F. Gott, commanding, holding the extreme left of Gen. Dudley's brigade, was deployed in the woods on the left of the road. The shell flew thickly into the woods near the men, but no one was injured. A piece of one of the shell went through the regimental colors.
The 2d Louisiana regiment, during a part of the engagement, supported the batteries. The 16lst New York regiment, Col. Harrover, was also a part of the supporting force. Four companies of this regiment were sent to the right, through the woods, to work their way cautiously up and flank the Rebel battery on the right, and pick off the gunners. The Rebels retreated, however, before the detachment reached them. The only casualty in this regiment was one man wounded by the accidental discharge of a gun held by a man in the rear, whose piece caught in a vine while creeping through the dense thicket. This engagement lasted about an hour, when the fire of Captain Holcomb's battery became too hot for the enemy, one Rebel gun had been disabled, several of their men and artillery horses had been killed, and they were compelled to retreat. Two horses belonging to the Vermont battery were killed. The men stood bravely at their posts—as artillerists would say—without winking.
THE EYES OF THE ARMY.
The "eyes of the army," as Gen. Rosecrans terms the cavalry, were everywhere on the alert, and always in time to warn the main force of any danger.
Two companies of Illinois cavalry were sent out on the Bayou Sara road, where they found a force of infantry, which gradually fell back to the rail road. There they were reinforced by the Star Battery, and opened a fire upon our cavalry, which retreated, fighting every inch of the ground, giving time for a messenger to reach Gen. Augur, who had a section of artillery posted in the road to receive them. The engagement which followed has just been described.
THE LAST STRUGGLE.
Before the firing on the Bayou Sara road had ceased, while I stood with note-book in hand, watching the progress of events there, a sharp hiss and a yell from a wounded man attracted my attention in another direction. The Rebels were coming in on the left flank. Certain proof that a battery had opened there, soon came along over the trees in the shape of a solid shot. Striking the ground, it ricocheted along among the soldiers, who cried out, "catch it, catch it." One poor fellow actually put out both hands, thinking he could catch a bounding cannon ball. He found his error when the ball struck him on the skull and knocked him flat on the earth.
The 116th New York Regiment, Major Geo. M. Love commanding, as Lieut. Col. Colter was field officer of the day, had already been sent out in the direction whence the firing came. The 49th Massachusetts regiment, Col. Wm. F. Bartlett, and the 48th Massachusetts, Col. Eben F. Stone, were also there before the attack commenced, all of them having been sent there by Gen. Augur, who expected a demonstration from that direction. The 116th regiment had orders to capture a battery supposed to be there.
Capt. Godfrey's and Capt. Yeaton's companies of cavalry had been out on the Port Hudson road for a distance of a mile and a half, when they discovered an ambuscade of infantry and artillery. Lieut. Morse, of Capt Godfrey's company, was very near it, when he saw a piece of artillery drawn out of the woods. He had barely turned, when a shell came buzzing over his head, and, regaining the company—having one wounded—the whole party returned at a walk, remaining under fire all the way. One horse was killed. The man wounded has had three horses shot under him within ten days.
The Rebel cavalry attempted a charge, but when Capt Godfrey ordered an about face to his men, the Rebels turned back.
Capt. Yeaton's company being ordered to flank the Rebel battery, was dismounted, but they did not succeed in flanking it.
A regiment of Rebel infantry came up to the road to flank Capt. Godfrey as he was returning, but they arrived there just as he got by.
The situation of affairs soon became most exciting. One section of battery G, 5th United States, was posted in the road. The 48th Massachusetts was posted, left in front, on the right and left of the road. The 116th New York further to the left, was also left in front, while the 49th Massachusetts was near at hand. The section of artillery under Lieut. H. L. Beck, had been engaged with the Rebel artillery for about half an hour, when an attempt was made to flank it. The Rebels came through the woods about four hundred strong and steadily advanced until within musket range of our infantry. Then a sharp fire was commenced on both sides by the infantry, and the section of artillery withdrawn, narrowly escaping capture.
Two men at the guns were mortally wounded, and two horses were killed. One man, named Patrick Mahoney, was taken prisoner.
The 116th New York regiment was in the most exposed postion [sic]. It was to the rear of an opening skirted by a thick growth of forest wood, interspersed with a few small trees. A graveyard was situated in the opening. A beautiful monument surmounted a small eminence in the inclosure [sic], and near this one piece of the Rebel artillery was planted.
The Rebel infantry came across this opening in a broken mass, firing rapidly as they advanced.
AN EXCITING MOMENT.
Just as one part of the force was closing in upon the 116th, keeping up a sharp fire, suddenly another portion of it opened upon the 48th Massachusetts, where they were concealed in the woods. The enemy was not more than fifty feet distant, and the surprise was complete. They broke and ran back to the road.
If, however, the 48th impaired the chances of success at one time, the remainder of the first brigade turned the scale. Notwithstanding the 49th Massachusetts regiment had to break to let the 48th men through, it held its ground throughout the fight. Col. Bartlett, who has only one leg, having lost the other at Yorktown, left the hospital where he had been confined by sickness, and was conveyed to the field in a carriage, that he might command his regiment during the action. Although a very young man, his conduct was worthy of a veteran, and worthy of the most honorable mention.
The 116th New York regiment, Maj. George M. Love commanding, was engaged in a desperate encounter. Miles's Legion of Rebel infantry, some four hundred strong, came upon them at the rear of the opening. At close quarters the two forces for some time fired into each other, killing and wounding the men rapidly.
A BAYONET CHARGE.
After the 116th had fired twenty rounds, it was ordered to charge bayonets. It was a thrilling sight to see that long row of bristling steel come swiftly, yet steadily, out from the forest, and speed quickly towards the foe, as they poured back a galling fire. The enemy could not stand against it, but fell back, leaving many dead and wounded to be trampled under foot. At the head of the regiment, protected by none other than a merciful Providence, rode the Major in command, with uplifted and waving sword, cheering the men on while a perfect storm of bullets whizzed like a hive of bees around his head. His courage inspired the men with unequaled coolness and intrepidity, and gave the 116th the victory.
Two more charges were made before the enemy were driven from the field. It was during the first, however, that the greatest loss occurred.
After the Rebels were repulsed in front they attempted a flank movement on the left. They were promptly checked by a steady fire, which again drove them back, and they did not return again.
This engagement was the last of any consequence during the day.
Over sixty prisoners were captured from the Rebels, and their loss in killed and wounded nearly doubled our own. There were several commissioned officers among the prisoners.
The 116th New York was formerly commanded by Col. Chapin, now acting Brigadier.
The 21st Maine regiment, Col. Johnson, was posted to the left and rear of the 116th. This regiment had been placed in reserve, but nearing the firing, and anticipating orders, was so enthusiastic for a fight that, to the surprise of Col. Chapin, it came marching up to field, and persisted in remaining there during the action.
The Brigade flag drew down a fire upon Col. Chapin and staff during the action, and a ponderous shell struck in front of the Colonel's horse and exploded. A piece shattered the right knee of Lieut. Joseph Tucker of the staff, so that his leg had to be amputated above the knee. Another piece flew by Col. Chapin's head, partially stunning him, but doing no serious injury.
AN ATTACK IN THE REAR.
Hardly had the firing slackened by the Port Hudson road, when Lieut. Loring, of Gen. Dudley's staff, was sent to the rear with some prisoners, having a cavalry escort. Upon nearing the hospital, which was a small house half a mile to the rear, he found that a force of Rebel cavalry and artillery had taken position there in readiness to make an attack. Securing the reinforcement of a section of artillery and a detachment of the Illinois cavalry, the force moved cautiously towards the enemy in hopes of surprising them. But when within carbine range they were discovered, and a sharp firing ensued. For three-quarters of an hour a rapid discharge of musketry and artillery was kept up, when the enemy beat a hasty retreat through the woods.
During the engagement all communication was cut off between the hospital and the front. This ended the day's fighting, which had lasted, with only an occasional lull, for nine hours.
The Rebels were whipped at every point.
Their dead and wounded left on the field greatly exceeded ours in number. Our troops bivouacked for the night on the battle field. At midnight Gen. Gardner sent in a flag of truce, asking permission to bury the dead and carry the wounded off the field, of which our troops held possession.
Thousands of incidents were occurring during the day, such as never had their like, but one deserves particular mention.
Private R. H. Wilcox, of Company C, 49th Massachusetts regiment, had a Minie ball pass through his cap-box, belt and blouse, and finally bury itself in a testament, which covered his heart. The ball stopped at the 31st verse of the 21st chapter St. Luke, which reads thus: "So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand." I gave no credit to the story until I saw box, belt, blouse and testament, and found Mr. Wilcox with a pain in his left side, where the divine word had made a most forcible impression.
There is space for only one more incident, and I will close:—
Sergeant James Nolan, of Co. I, 48th Massachusetts, was wounded in the head and taken prisoner. The Rebels were about to shoot him, when one of the officers said, "Don't shoot him, he doesn't run like a Yankee." He then asked Nolan what country he was. "An Irishman, sir," was the reply. "I thought so," he said; "you certainly tight like one."
LIST OF THE KILLED AND WOUNDED.
The following is a complete list of the casualties on our side:—
One Hundred and Sixteenth New York.
F. D. Ingersoll, Henry Winell,
C. Scammel, Gustave Riddle,
W. W. White, A. H. Chamberlain,
Sergt. James Forbes, Joseph Weeks,
Louis Gram, Corp. Sanford Thomas,
James Germain, Geo. W. Blanchard.
Bernard DeChamp, Edmund E. Barnard,
Jaques Roy, Benj. Crowell.
Fifth United States Artillery, Battery G.
Orderly Sergeant Fred. O'Donnell.
One Hundred and Sixteenth New York.
A. Hammond, foot, sli. J. Smith, slight.
C. Sherman, arm. Ira. J. Pratt, side, bad.
Cor. I. Horton, mortal. J. A. Rockwood, slight.
J. Chieferly, fingers. Jared Hughitt, hand.
Cor. J. Myers, elbow. L. Klein, arm, slight.
A. E. Ames, neck, sli. An. Berger, arm, slight.
Wend. Tice,.hand, sli. John S. Roberts, slight.
Wm. Page, hand, sli. Serg. L. S.Oatman, sp.bal.
Serg. J. M. Carter, foot. Peter Kraus Kopf, face.
Cor. Wm. Holden, arm. Henry Pries, lip, slight.
F. Hoverland, sh'lder. G. A. Atwater, face.
D. Wright, heel. Wm. Putnam, hand.
L. C. Trevett, leg. Fred. Richards, arm.
N. J. Swift. A. Kinney, neck, bad.
Cor. F. M. Judson, bo'els. 2d Lt. Vorusky, mortal.
L. Pearson, legs, bad. Serg. S. Leonard, arm.
O. Brindley, foot, sli. Martin Dunub, ankle.
Ph. Schumaker, bo'els. Andros Wolfe, bad.
Frank Carr, head. Jas. O'Keefe, slight.
Norm. Carr, knee, sli. A. M. Williams, arm.
A. Gottschalk, slight. Cor. Robt. B. Foote, 3
Peter Nash, groin, bad. fingers shot off.
Total—43 wounded in the 116th,
Lt. Col. Everett, leg. Pablo Velasco.
Geo. Baker, slight. A. Rivette.
Jacob Brill, slight. Wm. Hornsby,
Henry Haengen. John Moas, mortal.
John Ettinger. Albert Bechmann, leg.
Delzir Mervaux. Total—11 wounded.
C. Rogers, inj. internal. Cor. J. D. Little, wrist.
Samuel Perkins, head. St. Jas. Nolan, head.
M. Mahoney, run over. S. E. Brown, sp't ball.
Edw. L. Rogers, head. Total—8 wounded.
John H. Walton, head.
Several were missing, but some were seen making for Baton Rouge.
Thomas Green, battery G, 5th U. S. Artillery.
E. Miller, battery G, 5th U. S. Artillery, slight.
W. S. Clark, bat. G, 5th U. S. Art., leg amp.
John A. Finney, Co. D, 6th Ill. Cav., foot.
1st Lt. F. M. Norcross, Co. D, 30th Mass., foot.
N. Wentworth, 30th Mass., st'p'd on by horse.
James Blatchford, Co. K, 30th Mass., head.
E. V. Huse, Co. D, 30th Mass., flesh w'd in leg.
J. B. Norwood, Co. K, 30th Mass., head.
Frank Sebastian, 2d Vermont Battery, head.
David Sweenier, 2d Vermont Battery, heel.
Joseph Hopfler, Godfrey's Cavalry, thigh.
Robert A. Green, Co. A, 49th Mass., ankle.
Lieut. Joseph Tucker, of Chapin's Staff, Co. D,
49th Mass., right leg amputated.
John B. Space, Co. A, 49th Mass., leg.
S. Kettles, Co. I, 49th Mass., hand.
Thos. Douglas, 18th New York Battery, hand.
W. A. Bush, Co. K, 161st, leg badly.
This makes the entire casualties on our side 19 killed and 80 wounded.
But a few are missing. Hora...
LETTER TO COL. CHAPIN'S MOTHER.—The following letter was written by Gen. Auger to the mother of Col. E. P. Chapin, of Buffalo, the writer not being aware that his (Col. Chapin's) father was living:
HEADQUARTERS 1ST DIV. 19TH ARMY COPS,
BEFORE PORT HUDSON June 4, 1863.
MY DEAR MADAM: Before this reaches its destination, you will have heard of the death of your gallant son, Col. E. P. Chapin, of the 116th Regiment N. Y. Volunteers. He was killed on the 27th inst., while bravely leading his brigade to an assault upon the enemy's works at Port Hudson.
Your son had endeared himself to all—to the officers and men under him by his kindness and constant attention to their wants, and by his unremitting care to make them efficient—to his Generals, by his prompt and untiring attention to his duties, and constant readiness for action; and his loss will be sincerely regretted.
The manner of his death was all that the most enthusiastic soldier could desire—at the head of brave brigade, leading them in a most gallant assault upon the enemy's works.
For myself, and his brave companions in arms, I tender to you our most respectful sympathy in this, your great grief, and beg to be permitted to mingle with yours our tears and regrets for the loss of our comrade, the gallant soldier and gentleman.
I am, Madam,
Your obedient servant,
C. C. AUGUR,
Major General Commanding.
From the 116th Regiment.
CAMP BEFORE PORT HUDSON,
June 24, 1863.
EDITORS COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER:
I am considerably riled this afternoon, and in consequence of this, and of the fact that no movements have been made since my last, I shall write you a very different letter from any of my previous ones.
I have just seen a late N. Y. Herald, and in it I see that Vallandigham has been nominated for Governor of Ohio. Is it because he is a rebel? I am at a loss to understand. Now, there are thousands of young men in the army, who have left splendid chances of success in life—who have left home and friends, and for what? To put down this rebellion. When we see men, who can as well leave their homes as we—whose lives are no more dear to them than ours, not only refusing to endanger their precious lives, but putting every obstacle in the way of our Government that they can—when we see this, what do you suppose we think? I can tell you what I think, and it is, that there is altogether too much freedom in our country.—We have heard a great deal of Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of the Press, and in times of peace, it will all do well enough; but in times of war, when the very existence of this Freedom is at stake, can we not submit to its curtailment in some measure, in order that we may not lose it entirely?
What do you suppose we in the army have done? We have submitted to the loss of this freedom of speech entirely. Not a word of praise or censure of the acts of our superiors is permitted—and this, too, in addition to the loss of every comfort of life. Cannot these "stay-at-homes" submit to anything? Must they be permitted to growl at this, or grumble at that—to find fault with everything that our government does? I hope not, Mr. Editor; and I trust that should this man Vallandigham ever return to Ohio, he may imprisoned, to say the least, and I don't know but a little hemp, used in an approved manner, might have a good effect.
Another thing that has excited my ire, is to see, quite often, in such papers as we get, that "such a man attacked an enrolling officer while in the discharge of his duty." What do you propose to do with such miscreants—men who were "unable to enlist," but who would, as soon as their country really needed them, fly to arms at once—men who delight to honor a poor returned soldier, and who would share their last crust of bread with him. I tell you, I should like to be Provost Marshal of old Erie County, and have the pleasure of sending to the support of our army the broken-winded, weak-kneed citizens of our glorious country, who can vote, and talk, and wonder that our armies are not more successful, but who prefer "attacking an enrolling officer" to helping us to be successful, by attacking such places as Port Hudson, Mr. Editor, their time is coming. So sure as the sun rises, just so sure are we of ultimately conquering these rebels, and then—and then, what will be the place assigned these "brawling fault-finders?
I know—you know; and if they don't know, they will then. I know, and could give the names of men, old and young, in Buffalo, who, unless they change their "tactics," will ever regret that they were born. What an unenviable reputation has always been that of a "tory." What a name of reproach; and think you that "copperhead" will be any the more desirable? I think not; and rather than suffer the reproach that will surely attach to all such as in any way interfere in this war, I would prefer to die tomorrow.
I would not have your readers think that I approve every act that our Executive does, for I know that to "err is human," and therefore do not expect everything to prove a success, or all his acts to be without a fault. When these fault-finders will show me a more honest, or more well-intentioned man than Abraham Lincoln, or will agree to furnish him with better advisors than now surround him, I will willingly acknowledge it. Until that time, let them spend their energy in supporting, instead of annoying those in authority—in assisting, instead of assaulting enrolling officers; and if drafted, willingly shoulder their muskets, and pay us a visit. Then their continued boasting of "support" will really amount to something.
Having now relieved myself of my wrath, I acknowledge that I feel much better. As I have intimated, everything since our attack of the 14th inst., has remained as quiet as could be expected, when two armies are so near each other as ours are. We are, nevertheless, at work, digging trenches, mounting guns and on the right, I understand, they are mining the works. Another storming party is now organizing, and, before long, we shall try our hand again. We are now confident of success, and I hope and trust our confidence is not misplaced.
I entirely omitted in my former communications to make any mention of the flag presented to our regiment when we left Buffalo. In the fight of the 21st, one single bullet had the courage to enter its sacred folds. On the 27th many more dared to do so, and before it was brought from the field, a shell struck it, tearing it to pieces. This has not destroyed its value to us, for we shall carry what remains of it with a great deal of pride.
I now desire to say a word in reference to our late color-bearer, Sergeant Kern. Few men are born with more courageous hearts than beat within the breast of poor Kern. In the fights of the 21st and 27th, no man was more conspicuous than he, in bravely carrying the flag of his country. He succeeded in getting as near the works as almost any other one, when he was singled out by some human devil, and sent to his long home. If he has friends, and they see this, let me assure them that he fell as they would wish him to, with his face to the foe, and with one single purpose, and that was, to plant upon the walls of Port Hudson, that dearly loved emblem of Liberty, the "Star Spangled Banner."
As events transpire, and the spirit moves, I shall take the liberty of addressing you again.
Yours, &c., C. C. L.
FROM THE 116RS.--We have received the following from an occasional correspondent, who is known to many in our midst and from whom we shall always be pleased to hear. As anything and everything relating to the doings and experiences of our several bands of heroes who are doing their country service and our city honor by their trials and privations on the "tented field," are sought for and perused with eager avidity, we are sure this will be read with more than ordinary interest:
CAMP OF 116TH, N. Y. V., NEW IBERIA, LA.,
December 26, 1863.
EDS. COMMERCIAL:—It is now some time since I have permitted myself the pleasure of writing you, for a reason which you well know and which it would hardly be prudent for me to mention, inasmuch as I desire to remain in coy.
Nothing of importance has transpired since my last communication, which, if I remember aright, was from Donaldsonville. Of our Sabine Pass expedition, and its glorious results, you have no doubt been made acquainted, and from such stray Commercials as find their way here, I see you have been kept posted in regard to our march Texas-wards, so I will spare you any reflections which might relate to it, and fill my sheet with that which pertains solely to our regiment.
Many, very many changes have taken place among our officers since our Port Hudson experience, most of which your readers are doubtless aware of. We have been deprived of Col. Love's services during this and the Sabine Pass Expedition, which would have been much more severely felt had we not found our new Major, Sizer, a trump in every particular; prompt and energetic, he is quick to see and ready to perform any duty whatever. His tasks have been very arduous during all this time, and I think too much praise cannot be awarded him.
A week ago tonight we were all very much surprised at the arrival from the North of Lieut. Col. Higgins, and Lieut. Clark, both of whom, if we are to judge from their appearance, were well treated while with you. You are no doubt aware of the object of their visit North, and, I presume, equally so of their success. We had hoped to extend the right hand of fellowship to some 300 of our old Buffalo friends, but Uncle Sam has decided otherwise, and we must make a virtue of necessity and submit with as good a grace as may be.
Perhaps you would like to know how strong in numbers the regiment is at present, and the number is so large in comparison with regiments all around us, that I am only too happy to inform you. The number now borne on our rolls I am unable to give you exactly, but think it not far from 600, and the number reported for duty every day, including Co. "F" on duty at Corps Headquarters, is about 480. This we consider a very good show indeed, as the 174th N. Y. V., in our Brigade, I should judge from their Dress Parades, could hardly muster 150 men for duty. The health of the regiment is excellent, and I am sure were we only of the number of those regiments which, having served two years are permitted to re-enlist as veteran volunteers nearly all would do so at once. The fact is, Messrs. Editors, we are soldiers now, and although we often think of loved ones at home, are much better contented with our lot than we ever expected to be.
Well, yesterday was Christmas, that dear old holiday so dear to us all, and as it dawned upon our camp, I could not keep my thoughts from wandering to old Buffalo, and picturing the scenes of happiness and joy which I knew so well were being enacted in many happy homes, nor did I wish to interrupt my thoughts, for I love to dream of home and all its endearments, and always find myself a better man from their effects.
Many of our friends were wishing, I have no doubt, that a portion of their bounty could be spread for their soldier boys, and we wish it might have been, but knowing how impossible it would be, we thank them kindly, and "take the wish for the deed." However, the officers of our regiment, thinking, I presume, that Christmas came but once a year, determined, in council assembled, to have a "dinner." Accordingly, two or three large tents were put up facing one another, which, when all were thrown into one, made a large hall of perhaps 100 feet in length. A long table was built through nearly its entire length, and the whole interior decorated in the most approved style. A number of mottoes were painted and displayed around the walls, among which were, "Plain Store;" our first fight, "Port Hudson;" and last, but not least, "Remember Chapin."
A most bountiful supply of the good things of earth, consisting of turkeys, ducks, chickens, and a fine roast pig, graced the table.
At its head, as President, was seen the beaming countenance of Capt. James S. McGowan, supported on his right by Col. Love and Major Sizer, and on his left by Lieut.-Col. Higgins and Dr. Hutchins. After ample justice had been done to the edibles, the cloth was removed (as you at home would say, but inasmuch as our cloth consisted of shelter tents, it was hardly considered necessary), Capt. Ferris announced the first regular toast—
Our Country—May this bright constellation of stars never be dimmed or broken.
Which was responded to by Capt. McGowan in a neat speech. Next came—
The President of the United States.
To which Col. Love responded. Then—
Or Army and Navy—was given, and Lieut. Jacob C. Newton replied.
Our Friends at Home—were next toasted, in response to which Lieut. Geo. N. Brown answered. And then followed—
To the memory of Brig.-Gen. Edward P. Chapin—May it ever be cherished by the officers and men of the 116th.
To which Lieut. Orton S. Clark replied. Lieut. Wm. J. Morgan responded to the last regular toast, which was—
To our gallant Colonel, Geo. M. Love—May he soon see stars.
Intermingled with all this were songs by our silver-voiced Lieut. Woehnert, and music by our band, etc. The evening passed away most pleasantly, and all were perfectly satisfied with our success.
We have remained here now over six weeks and all feel anxious for a move of some kind, and from all we can learn, our anxiety will, in all probability, soon be gratified, as orders are expected before many days to move to Franklin, some 30 miles nearer New Orleans, from which place you wall next hear from me. In the meantime, allow me to remain
Yours, etc., C. C. L.
From the One Hundred and Sixteenth Regiment.
AN APPEAL TO OUR CITIZENS, FOR JUSTICE TO A BUFFALO BOY.
It gives us great pleasure to publish the following touching appeal signed by all the officers of our gallant One Hundred and Sixteenth Regiment, except Capt. Carpenter who is on duty at Elmira, N. Y. There is a melancholy significance in the smallness of their number. Battles and disease have made sad havoc among our brave boys, and their services and sacrifices have given them a right to call upon us for justice. The veterans feel that they have not been treated with equality of consideration, in regard to their officers or recruits, by "the folks at home."
They are fearful that the hearts of our citizens are not large enough to embrace all their defenders in the field, and it is natural that they should turn their eyes back to us with a feeling, almost amounting to jealousy, toward any stranger who shall come between them and us, in that loving remembrance and reward, which they so much crave.
We have had reason to be very proud of our brave soldiers, and we believe that the generous action of our citizens will be found adequate to that pride, and the rare deservings of all, whether they be on the Potomac, in front of Charleston, or in the far Southwest. Comparisons, or preferences are odious at all times, but especially when exercised toward our own sons; and a generous chivalry will prompt us to an exact equality of treatment toward an adopted son. Holding ourselves entirely aloof from that portion of the following appeal which may be construed as invidious to Col. Dandy, we commend it, and the subject it urges, to the prompt consideration, and action of our citizens;
CAMP "EMORY," FRANKLIN, LA.
March 2 1864.
Editors Commercial Advertiser;
Having noticed in a copy of your valuable journal, a few days since, some resolutions adopted by the Buffalo Board of Trade, calling the attention of those in authority to Col. Geo. B. Dandy of the 100th N. Y. V., and praying for his nomination as a Brigadier-General, we must respectfully ask the attention of the people of Buffalo to the following appeal, feeling assured that their sense of justice will acquit us of doing anything more than our duty to one for whom we have the highest regard.
We of course know nothing of Col. Dandy's fitness for the position sought for him by the Board of Trade, nor do we deem it necessary that we should. One thing we do know, he is not a Buffalo man, and therefore ought not to receive as such the appointment of a Brigadier-General, especially while there are those equally as fit for the position, to say the least, as he is, and who were born and reared in old Buffalo, and whose every interest is identified with it and its future prosperity.
What honor will it be to Buffalo, Messrs. Editors, that Colonel Dandy, a non-resident, and in no wise connected with our city, receives his commission as a Brigadier-General? We look at this thing from another stand-point. We ask the citizens of Buffalo if it is right that George M. Love, a Buffalo-boy, a soldier, every inch of him, who led the 116th into its first battle, and to whom, with our honored dead, (Col. Chapin), belongs the credit of its present high standing in this department, as one of the best drilled, best disciplined regiments here, should be overlooked?
He entered the ranks as a private in the 21st New York volunteers; was made first sergeant of Company D; then Sergeant-Major, which position he held until promoted to a first lieutenancy in Company A, 44th New York volunteers; subsequently he received the appointment of captain in the same company and regiment, and with them was engaged in the Peninsula campaign, and in the seven days battles. On the organization of the 116th he was commissioned as a Major, and his labors in perfecting us in drill and discipline, while we were unskilled in the art of war, and so much needed them, were second only to those of the lamented Chapin.
When Colonel Chapin was placed in command of our brigade, circumstances which it is unnecessary to mention, devolved the whole responsibility of the regiment on Colonel Love. Of his military ability, we in the regiment have had ample proof. His bravery in the hour of battle, at Plain Store and Port Hudson, has been shown to us in such a manner as to give all, both officers and men, the utmost confidence in him.
The fortunes of war, on the fatal 27th day of May, 1863, deprived us forever of our gallant Colonel Chapin; hut in George M. Love we have found a worthy successor. He was placed in command of our brigade July 24, 1863, which command he has ever since held; and during our last march through this country he led the advance with his brigade, and no officer in General Weitzel's Division possessed so entirely his confidence and esteem as Colonel Love.
It may seem out of place in the eyes of some of the good people of Buffalo for us to offer our opinion unasked on such a question. We know that we are "only soldiers," and as such are deemed, by some at least, as having surrendered all our rights as citizens, and thus lost our right to even vote in your elections. But, Messrs. Editors, we know Col. Love. We know of no man in the 116th but would follow him any where, and we have had evidence of his being perfectly willing to lead. Knowing this, when we see influential citizens of Buffalo pressing forward the name of a man in no way a Buffalonian, we presume thus to express our opinion, trusting that it will not only be read, but heeded and acted upon.
In conclusion we desire your readers to know that this appeal has been written, and is now sent to you for publication without either the knowedge [sic] or consent of Col. Love, simply as a mark of the esteem in which he is held by us, with an earnest desire that justice may be done him.
JOHN HIGGINS, Lieut.-Col. 116th N. Y. V.
JNO. M. SIZER, Major 116th N. Y. V.
W. T. FERRIS, Captain Co. K.
W. H. GRAY, Captain Co. B.
ORTON S. CLARK, 1st Lieut. Co. A.
WM. J. MORGAN, 1st Lieut. Co. I.
C. B. HUTCHINS, Surgeon 116th N. Y. V.
RICHARD C. KINNEY, Captain Co. E.
JAMES S. McGOWAN, Captain Co. G.
E. W. SEYMOUR, Captain Co: D.
JOHN COVENTRY, Assistant Surgeon.
JOHN C. HEAL, 1st Lieut. and Acting Adjt.
GEO. N. BROWN. 1st Lieut. Co. C.
JOHN G. WOEHNERT, 1st Lieut. Co. H.
HENRY A. C. SWARTZ, 2d Lieut. Co. E.
G. H. SHEPARD, 2d Lieut. Co. K.
JOHN H. ROHAN, 1st Lieut. Co. D.
J. C. NEWTON, 2d Lieut. Co. A.
G. W. MILLER, 2d Lieut. Co. D.
ANOTHER LETTER FROM THE 116TH.—The following letter, written by an officer of the regiment gives some further particulars in relation to the part taken by the 116th, in the recent battles in Louisiana:
GRAND ECORE LANDING, La.,
April 12, 1864.
We left Natchitochcs, April 5th, on the Texas road, which leads to Sherveport. Every thing went as quiet as usual until the 8th. On the night of the 7th we camped at Pleasant Hill, a small village 35 miles from Natchitoches. Our cavalry, under Gen. Lee, had a skirmish with the rebels there, and drove them 8 or 10 miles, with but slight loss. On the 8th, our cavalry in the advance skirmished all the way with the rebels, and our boys advancing very slow. After marching about 8 miles our division halted and went into bivouac. The position of our forces was this: The Cavalry Division 12 miles in front of us at the village of Mansfield, and the 13th Corps (3d and 4th Divisions) 8 miles in our front, 16th Corps 12 miles in our rear. Between 4 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon we were ordered to fall in with two days' rations, and march to the front.
We marched 8 miles without rest and double-quicked part of the way. We formed line at Sabine Crossroads, 4 miles from the village of Mansfield. As we were forming line the 13th Corps (what remained of them) and the cavalry were falling back in the utmost confusion. Our Brigade was drawn up behind a rail fence; in from of us was an open field, and beyond that a large wood. The road running through the open field and into the woods beyond.
In a few moments the rebels appeared from the woods in our front and charged the line, but were gallantly repulsed and driven back. They next attacked our right flank. Our regiment had the right of our line, and for a few moments it looked rather blue, but our right wing swung around so as to form a new line at right angles with our first line, and gave the rebels such a fire that they had to fall back. They then charged with cavalry and infantry on our front, but were again repulsed, and night put an end to the battle.
It was a sad day for us. The 13th Corps were almost annihilated before our Division came up. The fight began at Mansfield. The rebels attacked our cavalry and the 13th Corps with overwhelming numbers, driving them back, capturing 22 pieces of artillery and the cavalry train, consisting of 150 wagons. Our Division saved the train of the 13th Corps, and in fact saved the whole army from defeat and capture. The loss in our Division was small, but the 13th Corps and the cavalry lost very heavily. Gen. Ransom, commanding 13th Corps, was badly wounded, and Major General Franklin has 2 horses shot under him.
The rebels charged desperately right up to our line. Our regiment took a rebel Lieutenant and one private prisoners. It was nearly dark, and they charged so far that they could not get back again. At 12 o'clock at night we were ordered to retreat. We fell back sixteen miles to Pleasant Hill where we found the 16th corps, or rather a portion of them—arriving there about eight o'clock in the morning.
When our division arrived at Pleasant Hill, on the morning of the 9th, we were ordered to form in line. Our forces were drawn up in a good position, and we waited anxiously for the rebels to attack, feeling confident that we could whip them if they should dare to attack us. About five o'clock in the afternoon the ball commenced. The rebels opened on us with artillery and charged our whole line.
Our regiment was on the extreme right of our line, and the rebels tried to flank us as they did the day before, but did not succeed. We were behind a low breastwork of logs and rails, so that our men could load and fire without exposing themselves much to the fire of the enemy—the first time, I think, that our regiment ever were favored with a good position. The enemy charged us repeatedly, and were every time repulsed, until nine o'clock, when they withdrew, and the firing ceased.
The loss in our regiment was small in both engagements—about 35 killed, wounded and missing, as near as I can learn. My company lost 5 wounded and 1 missing (supposed to have been taken prisoner after the last fight.)
At two o'clock on the morning of the 10th we fell back twenty miles; resumed the march the next day, arriving here the night of the 11th.
In six days our regiment marched 104 miles and fought two battles. Since March 15th up to April 11th we have marched 360 miles.
On the 9th over 500 prisoners were taken and one rebel flag. None of the boys from East Hamburg were hurt in either fight.
I do not know how heavily our army lost; but, as near as I can learn, the 18th corps was almost cut to pieces the first day; and the opinion seems to be that on the 8th we lost between 4,000 and 5,000 men, and about 1,000 or 1,200 on the 9th.
The enemy must have lost very heavily on the 9th, as they were the attacking party, and we had a good position. I think they must have lost at least two to our one the last day.
FROM THE 116TH REGIMENT.—The Springville Chronicle of Saturday has two letters from the 116th. The latest letter contains some interesting particulars which we reproduce for the gratification of those having friends and relatives in the regiment:
BIVOUAC AT GRAND ECORE, La.,
On the Red River, half way between Alexandria and Shreveport, April 13th, 1864.
When I last wrote you we were at Alexandria. We left there on the 28th. Nothing of importance transpired after we left there until we arrived at Natchitoches. There we stayed two days recruiting our supply train, etc. We left there the 6th; the 13th corps had the advance; the 7th they arrived at Pleasant Hill, where they had a light battle, which resulted in a complete rout of the enemy. On the 8th the march was resumed: the 13th corps marched 17 miles, where the rebels again attacked them, as they had received heavy reinforcements; there had been skirmishing all day, but about 3 P. M. the Rebs made a charge on our men and drove them back. The 19th corps was seven miles behind the 13th, and was ordered to the front, where we reached about 4 1/2 o'clock P. M. Our band played for the regiment to march up until we were within a few rods of where line of battle was formed The rebels had driven our men about two miles, and were capturing men and wagons and artillery, and were about to gobble the whole corps. As soon as the 13th were through our lines, we opened upon the rebels and gave them a warm reception, and held our ground till dark. There was heavy firing on both sides until dark, though only cavalry and infantry were engaged after the 19th came up. The rebels captured some 20 pieces of artillery and a great portion of the 13th's wagon train, and a large number of prisoners. The men lay on their arms in line of battle until 12 P. M., when we received orders to fall back immediately to Pleasant Hill, which was fifteen miles distant, and the place from whence we started that morning.
We arrived at Pleasant Hill at 9 A. M. on the 9th, and immediately formed in line of battle, as the rebels were following close in our rear. We lay in line of battle all day. Skirmishing commenced at 11 A.M., and continued very brisk until 4 P. M., when the rebels made another attack. I forgot to say that when we arrived at Pleasant Hill the 16th corps reinforced us, and they formed a line in front of the 19th; the 13th was held in reserve. A heavy battle ensued, as the field was large and a large force was engaged. Artillery was used on both sides for some time. The 16th corps held their line for a while, then the rebels began to drive them. They fell back slowly to our line, which was about fifty rods in the rear. Our corps was ready, and as soon as the rebels advanced in sight opened on them, which checked their advance. Our regiment and brigade occupied the extreme right of the line. The enemy made several charges along the lines, but were repulsed each time by the terrible fire they received. They also attempted to flank us on the right and left, but without success. We took a large number of prisoners at one of the charges which they made on the left. The firing ceased at dark, and we threw out. a line of skirmishers and found that the rebels had fallen back. The loss in our regiment in killed and wounded in both day's battles is 37. Co. F was with Maj. Gen. Franklin's wagon train, consequently were not in any engagement.
The men lay today with their belts on ready to march at a moment's notice. The names of the two battles are Plum Orchard and Pleasant Hill. In the battle of the,9th, Col. Benedict, who had command of the 3d Brigade, was killed, and as Major Sizer was on Gen. Emory's Staff, as Inspector of the 1st Division, Emory gave him command of the 3d Brigade, which was on the extreme left. Major Sizer made the charge in which so many prisoners were taken.
From the One Hundred and Sixteenth Regiment.
LETTER FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.
The following excellent letter from our special correspondent has been unaccountably delayed, but at will not have lost its interest to our readers:
BIVOUAC 116th N. Y. V.,
GRAND ECORE, La., April 17, 1864.
MESSRS. EDITORS:—My last letter was written from Franklin, which by reference to your map, you will find is "many a weary mile" from this place. The inference then is, that we have been on the move, a fact which sore feet and a general willingness to acknowledge myself about used up, gives me no desire to deny, and presuming that an account of our march, with such incidents as time will permit me to give, as well as the story of two battles in which we have been engaged, would interest your many readers, I will to the best of my ability give it.
For some time previous to the 15th of March, it became evident to all that a movement of some kind was decided upon, and many were the speculations as to where we were going. &c., &c., questions which it was as utterly useless for us to ask, as it would have been to seek to pry into the future, but soldiers will talk, however well they may know it to be useless. Soon after the inauguration of Gov. Hahn on the 4th of March, at New Orleans, the cavalry which for months had been organizing there, was ordered up to Franklin, and with it the 13th army corps, or a portion of it. These, with our Division (1st) of the 19th Army Corps, composed our force until we reached Alexandria, where we found the 16th Army Corps.—Our force consisted of cavalry, 9,000, two divisions of the 13th Army Corps, 5,000, 1st division, 19th Army Corps, 7,000. Total 21,000 men. The cavalry was commanded by Brig. Gen. Lee, and was composed in a great measure of mounted infantry, which is or has so far proved worse than none at all, having spoiled good infantry regiments, who had earned a reputation as such, and made, to say the best, but indifferent cavalry. The 13th Corps, or the two small divisions which accompanied us, were under the command of Brig. Gen, Ransom, while our division was commanded by Brig. Gen. Emory, the whole being directed by Major Gen. Franklin. As I wrote you in my last, Brig. Gen. Dwight had been assigned to the command of our brigade, but owing to either sickness or a preference for a steamboat ride to a march of 180 miles, he did not make his appearance until we reached Alexandria, thus leaving Col. Love in command.
All things then being in readiness, at seven o'clock on the morning of March 15th we left behind us our beautiful camp at Franklin, from which, however, none of the ornaments had been taken. It was with mingled feelings of sadness that we were forced to leave so pleasant a place, and gladness that excitement of some kind was without doubt in store for us, a feeling which, strange as it may seem, even the dangers which we knew would attend our way, could not prevent the soldier from experiencing. We started on a spring campaign of no mean magnitude. A daily march of from fourteen to twenty miles for five days brought us to Washington, which, like New Iberia and Oppelousas, through which we passed, seemed only to exist in name. Here we struck the Bayou Caurtaurler, and remained one day to rest and have a general clean up. It was improved, I can assure you, and was of much benefit to the men. The next morning, bright and early, we were on the move again, but owing to a heavy rain during the night we found t rather difficult to proceed, our wagon train being troubled very much with the heavy condition of the roads. Two days' severe marching brought us to Holmesville, a place on the Upper Bayou Bocuff, which we would have been unable to discover had it not been for some old niggers who informed us that we were at Holmesville, there being but about a dozen houses. Another day's march brought us to the village of Cheeneyville, a place of much larger size than most which we had passed, although its size would hardly entitle it to a name with you at home. For two or three days back our march had been through the most magnificent country that I ever saw. It is rather more rolling than that in the more southern part of the State, and exceedingly fertile. Sugar and cotton have been the crops raised here mostly, although since the war began immense quantities of corn have been raised. Many and many a field of six hundred and eight hundred acres, all in one enclosure, and under cultivation, were to be seen, and a number of from fifteen hundred to two thousand acres, were occasionally met with. On all these were sugar houses, fitted up in the most approved style, with machinery, very extensive and costly, and which you will almost invariably find came from some Northern foundry. In all of them were hundreds of hogsheads of the very finest sugar, which our rather unexpected advance had given the owners no time to remove. As a matter of course, it ought to pay tribute to Uncle Sam, and our boys, thinking it might escape, levied upon it and generally succeeded in getting enough for all their immediate wants.
All along our route we had passed the smouldering ruins of buildings which the old darkies around informed us had contained cotton, and which Gen. Dick Taylor, who we knew was in our front, had burned as he retreated. The amount so destroyed we have no means of knowing, but it must have been immense, and I should suppose would injure their cause among the people more than it possibly could were it to fall into our hands.
After leaving Washington, we found all the planters gone, and upon enquiry found that they had collected their slaves, and, leaving such as were too old or too young to be of much use, had driven the balance before them into Texas, knowing that were they to remain on their plantations none would be left after our advent in their midst.
Between Holmesville and Cheeneyville we passed the plantation upon which Solomon Northrup was twelve years a slave. It is owned by a Mr. Epps; the same, if I remember right, who owned it when Northrup was here. I saw two or three old darkies who knew Solomon "right well," and who averred that Sol. was a "right smart niggah," &c., &c.
But to resume our march: We started from Cheeneyville at 6 A. M., and that day's march and the one following, placed our weary feet in Alexandria, a place of considerable size, on the Red River, and before the war of a good deal of importance in a commercial point of view. Its condition now is, like all Southern cities, terrible to look upon. No business is done there; stores all closed; houses seem almost uninhabited; the streets almost entirely deserted, and all the result of this "cruel war."
You people at the North know nothing as yet of the evils of this war, and my prayer is that you may not. Your cities and villages are still busy with the hum of trade; your people are free from any care regarding the advance of the enemy on your cities; your children are still permitted to attend your schools unmolested, and, except in the hearts of some father or mother who cannot forget their sons who are, perhaps, in scenes of danger, your city is as in times of peace. So may God grant it may continue!
On our arrival here Gen. Dwight assumed command of the brigade, thus relieving Col. Love, who for eight commanded the 1st, brigade. our Lieuts.
Goslin and Clark, long time been on his staff. our force of officers, and, exception of Major Sizer and Dr. on General Emory's staff, gives officers back. We had now marched miles in ten days, through a. well watered country, but during some of the time rain had rendered the roads almost impassable, while the dust at other times was almost suffocating. A rumor that we were to remain a few days in Alexandria was cheering to us all, especially as the pleasant faces of the ever welcome paymasters informed us that we were to receive some of Uncle Sam's greenbacks, the need of which had been felt by both officers and men. The 26th and 27th were spent in camp at Alexandria, and on the morning of the 28th we were once more advanced. A new country opened to us, as until now no force of ours, except a small one under Gen. Weitzel a year ago, had ever penetrated it. We found it very different from that we had already seen, it being very hilly, and some stones, the first we had met with since coming to this Department, greeted our eyes.
On the 29th we entered the great Piney woods, through which we picked our way for two long and weary days, and after three days more of severe marching, during which time we crossed the Cane River, a stream of considerable size, twice, we arrived at "Natchitoches," the oldest town in the state, and one in which we found more handsome dwellings than in any other one which I have ever visited. It is some 80 miles from Alexandria and about the same distance from Shreveport, and only 50 miles from Texas in a direct westerly line. We had now advanced 240 miles, right into the heart of the enemy's country, and except the capture of Fort De Russey by the 16th Army Corps, we had seen no rebels. It is Therefore no wonder that we began to consider ourselves too strong for them to resist, and to expect no resistance to our advance; but not many more days were to pass by without teaching us our error in a manner that could not, and I may say did not fail to show us our weakness.
I should have informed you that on our arrival at Alexandria we found detachments from the 16th and 17th Army Corps, numbering some 10,000 men, under the command of Brig. Gen. A. J. Smith, who had come down from Vicksburg on transports, to the mouth of Red River, and who had gallantly captured Fort De Russey, before our arrival.
Our forces there on leaving Alexandria may be stated as follows, and also that we marched in the order in which they are mentioned: cavalry, 9,000; 13th corps, 5,000; 19th corps, 7,000; 16th and 17th corps, 10,000. Total 31,000 men.
With this number of good efficient men, well handled, and the different corps or parts of corps kept within supporting distance, success might, and all of us feel confident would have crowned our efforts. But miles were allowed to intervene between these different corps, thus giving the enemy a fair opportunity to whip us by detail.
We remained at Natchitoches the 3d, 4th and 5th of April, and on the 6th got once more under way. On the 7th we camped on Pleasant Hill; on the 8th marched eight miles beyond, and having received orders, our Division (or all of the 19th corps who are here) went into bivouac. We had hardly got nicely settled down, when orders came for us to move to the support of the cavalry and 13th corps who were engaged with a large force of the enemy, some eight miles in advance of us.—We were soon ready, and in an hour and a half had made the eight miles, and found ourselves just in time, the cavalry were rushing to the rear in great disorder, and as we filed to the right to take up our position behind a rail fence on the crest of a hill, they dashed through our regiment, cutting it right in two. They soon got out of our way, and we, with the balance of the Division, were placed in good position, and soon the rebels could be seen advancing in line upon us. This was about 4 o'clock P. M., and from that time until dark our volleys were well delivered, driving them back. Our regiment was upon the extreme right of the line, and soon a line of grey backs was seen advancing on our right flank. These of course must be driven from us, or the day was lost. In order to accomplish this, three companies of our regiment were thrown to the right and rear, and thus we defended not only our front but our flank. Darkness soon put an end to the fighting, and we remained under arms until 12 midnight, when we started for Pleasant Hill, where you will please remember the 10th and 17th corps were, they not having advanced any farther. This was some 16 miles in our rear. We reached there about 7 o'clock in the morning, weary, foot-sore and short of rations. Hardly had we got there before the rebel cavalry dashed in on our rear guard. They were handsomely repulsed, and we at once were placed in position to receive them. They however made no attack until 2 o'clock P. M., when the ball was opened right lively, and kept up until dark. I never wish to hear such musketry as I listened to that afternoon.
We had only our division (7,000) and the 16th and 17th corps (10,000), 17,000 in all, while they had a force of at least 25,000. The ground was contested, every inch of it, and at one time I expected that they would make prisoners of us all. They evidently thought they had us entirely surrounded, but our men fought desperately, and drove them back, with a terrible loss on their side, and no mean one on our own.
Our regiment was once more on the extreme right of the line, and again they attempted to flank us, but we once more succeeded in defeating their object. Your 116th never fought better. They held, on both occasions, the ground upon which they first formed, and did as good execution as ever was done. On both occasions we were under a very severe fire, and why our loss is so very small I am unable to say; but, in both fights, we lost but 3 killed and 28 wounded. Most of those wounded are very slight. For this we are all thankful. That we fairly whipped them in this last engagement no one can doubt.
Again we were forced—this time on account of rations—to fall back, which, I suppose, gives them the victory. We accordingly fell back to this place.
What our entire loss is I cannot inform you exactly. The first day we lost 150 wagons, loaded with all kinds of stores, 23 pieces of artillery, and the loss of our corps (the 19th) and the 13th is 2,524 killed, wounded and missing, Cavalry 532 killed, wounded and missing.
I have done. You will hear that General Banks has fallen back, for prudential reasons, no doubt, but that he has not been defeated; and, whatever others may think, I am of the opinion that he has been. At any rate, the above is a correct statement of the whole affair. Come to your own conclusions, and believe me,
Yours, C. C. L.
From the One Hundred and Sixteenth.
CAMP "EMORY,," FRANKLIN, LA.
Feb. 26, 1864.
MESSRS. EDITORS: You and your readers have all, no doubt, heard much of the "sunny south" and its beauties; but owing to evil reports which have from time to time found their way to you, I fear, like myself, you have become rather skeptical about it, and have made up your minds that there is no foundation for such reports, as we cold-blooded northerners have always heard. I confess that I had come to this conclusion myself, and I don't know that I am entirely convinced of my error yet.
Were you here now, or had you been here for the last four or five weeks, I am certain you would have been partially convinced of the truth of the report. We have had during that time, some of the most delightful weather imaginable. Not so warm as to be uncomfortable, but just enough so as to clothe everything in its most beautiful garments, and show to us all the beauties of dame nature.
The nights, too, are so lovely, with a clear, bracing air, which gives new life to all that breathe or feel it, and a round graceful moon, which looks down on this distracted part of our country, and seems to give the lie direct to any who might assert that we were engaged in a cruel war. Even the little "twinkling stars," so small compared with this moon, are quite ready to back her up in whatever she might say. Indeed this has been a most delightful spring, and had our experience of last year been equal to it, we might have full faith in the "Sunny South."
I believe I have already written you in reference to the natural beauties of our "Camp Emory," and now a few lines shall be devoted to the artificial adornments, which have sprung into existence, almost like "Jonas' gourd," in a night. The most attractive, and by far the most appropriate one, is a small earthwork or fortification which Company I has built between the company tents and officers' quarters. It is some twelve or fourteen feet square, with sally-port, curtain and ditch complete, mounts four guns (of what calibre I have been unable to learn,) and is pronounced by all who have seen it as very good specimen of engineering skill, indeed. Next on the left, Company E, under the supervision of their Captain (Kinney), have succeeded in giving us a very good Monitor. I shall not be able to give her dimensions exactly, not knowing her length from stem to stern, her depth of hold or breadth of beam, nor her tonnage; but presume her length to be twelve feet, and am confident she will "hold" all the boys can put into her, as that can't be much. She sports a smoke-stack, a turret in which are four guns, and which, like all well behaved turrets, revolves, and was duly christened, the other night, as the "Faugh-a-ballagh," which, being interpreted (it's Irish), means, "Lave the way." Company G have erected a tower, or, as chess-players would term it, a castle. Resembling, as it does, that article used in the game, its appearance is not very prepossessing just yet, but should we remain here long enough for the grass to grow on its surface, it will make one of the finest ornaments in our camp. This company have also put up a very fine arch over the front of their street, which bears upon it the name "Glen-Gowan," after their Captain, McGowan.
All the other companies have erected ornaments of some kind, some of which are very tasty, and reflect much credit on those who planned and executed them.
This may all seem rather foolish when we reflect that we may, at almost any moment, get orders to leave them all and take up our line of march for parts, perhaps, unknown. But those who think so are very much mistaken. It keeps the mind busy, relieving it of unpleasant thoughts which are apt to crowd upon it at times, and takes the place of the monotony of camp life which none but those who have experienced it can fully appreciate.
A large flag-staff is to-day being prepared, from whose top we hope in a day or two to unfurl the Star Spangled Banner to the breeze.—It will gladden our eyes, be an eye-sore to rebels around us—of which there are a goodly number, both male and female, hereabouts—and show to any who may see it, the site of Camp Emory.
We have always been in the 1st brigade, at least since our advent into this department, and although a simple number amounts to nothing, we have become considerably attached to it, and would have been pleased to have retained it but a reorganization of the forces here has been made and we now find ourselves in the 3rd brigade, 1st division, 19th army corps, commanded by Col, Benedict.
There were two Divisions here, the 1st, commanded by Gen. Emory, and the 3d by Gen. Grover. The latter has been transferred to the command of the forces now at Madisonville, on Lake Pontchartrain, and his division here consolidated with Gen. Emory's, making one good sized division.
Our old brigade has been assigned to Brig. Gen. Dwight, but as he is not here just now, Col. Love still retains command. When he arrives, however, we shall once more have our gallant Colonel to command us; and although on some accounts we would like to see him commanding a Brigade, we shall hail his return with joy, and tell the rebs to "Lave the way" when he leads us.
You would like to know, I presume, when we are to move and where, but I am as ignorant of the time of our departure or the place or our destination, as you are, and with all the rest of the regiment, I am like Micawber, "waiting for something to turn up," and when that something does turn up, you. May hear again from
Yours, C. C. L.
Army Correspondence—From the 116th Regiment.
We have received the following letter from an officer of the 116th, giving many interesting details of the two battles recently fought in Louisiana, which have not heretofore been published: Two bloody rights have been fought in Louisiana, with alternate disaster, and victory to our arms. On the morning of April 8th our forces were situated as follows: Our cavalry division, about 8,000 strong, with some flying artillery, under General Lee, was in the advance, about 8 miles beyond Pleasant Hill and the same distance from Mansfield. Two divisions of the 13th army corps, under Generals Ransom and Cameron, took the advance of the infantry. The 1st division of the 19th army corps, under Generals Franklin and Emory, took up the line of march, about six miles in rear of the 13th corps. General A. J. Smith, commanding the 16th army corps, was about 20 miles from Pleasant Hill. On the morning of the 8th General Banks passed on to the front, and as soon as he arrived, heavy skirmishing commenced. The cavalry advanced steadily, shelling the woods as they passed on, the enemy falling back without much resistance. In sight of Mansfield, however, he made a stand, having here massed his infantry support. Our artillery, consisting in part of Nim's Boston Battery, Chicago Mercantile Battery, Battery G, 1st U. S. Artillery, and some Missouri Mountain Howitzers, opened a terrific fire as the enemy charged with his cavalry, but his infantry support was close at hand, and overwhelming masses were rapidly pushed forward, completely surrounding and capturing 22 pieces of artillery, and routing our whole cavalry force. An enormous train of ammunition and supplies belonging to this division—and which, by the way, has been the cause of much annoyance and delay ever since we left Alexandria—was a rich and easy capture. To us it is a heavy loss, they were entirely new, and contained nearly all our medical stores for the campaign.
At the time of this attack the 13th A. C. were about three miles in the rear, but at once advanced to support. Scarcely had they got in line, when the cavalry, in precipitous haste, broke through them, throwing them into confusion, from which they had not time to recover when the enemy charged upon them with numbers 10 to 1. Another route was the result, and they in turn fled in all directions. To add to the unfortunate position in which this corps was placed, Gen. Ransom was wounded in the thigh, in the very first of the engagement. He was the very soul of his command; a thousand of the enemies bullets could not have inflicted a more fatal blow. The ammunition and supply train of this command was now the enemies. Mark, they knew its whereabouts, and instructions were given to every officers to press on with his men regardless of life and take possession of the prize, and well nigh was the purpose accomplished, but for the timely arrival of the 1st Division of the 19th corps.
About 2 o'clock in the afternoon Gen. Emery was ordered to bivouac in a small clearing about eight miles from where they were afterwards engaged, and where the cavalry were camped the previous night. They had been there scarcely an hour when they were ordered to the front. Soon the booming of cannon and rolling of musketry low with all possible dispatch, and capture them if it were possible. Our very first experience as a regiment nearly two years since, was a trip to Gettysburg after Stuart, who made a great raid about that time, and that little affair gave me but little hope that we should succeed now.
Our corps could not of course reach their destination all at the same time, and the consequence was cur brigade (1st Brigade, 1st Division,) with a part of the Second were all the troops there ready to start after them. The balance of the corps as they arrived were sent to City Point, which accounts for your having seen mention of the presence of the 19th corps in the late fight north of the James River. They have been sent back, and are now here completing the corps.
An account of our march from day to day would hardly be interesting enough to your readers to compensate for the trouble of writing it. I will not, therefore, attempt it, but will simply give a general account of the said march. We started early on the morning of the 14th July, in the direction of Edward's Ferry, and on the 16th forded the Potomac at White's Ford, some distance above the Ferry bivouacing near Leesburg. On the 18th we passed through the Blue Ridge at Snicker's Gap, and found the enemy across the Shenandoah River ready to dispute our crossing. Before our arrival a division had attempted the passage but were driven back, with heavy loss. It belonged to Hunter's corps (8th,) and was not supported as it should have been.
The 19th was spent quietly in bivouac, but early the next morning we moved down to the river, crossed without opposition, and proceeded about a mile beyond, where we remained until about 8 in the evening, when we took the back track, understanding that we were to make a forced march of forty-eight hours, and from that time until 11 the next forenoon, we kept steadily at work. We then bivouaced for the night. At 9 the next morning we were again on the move, and towards night on the 23d crossed the Chain Bridge, and were once more "near Washington," where we remained until the 26th. At 11 A.M., in accordance with orders, we started once more, this time in the direction of Harper's Ferry. After a severe march of four days, we had the pleasure (if you please to call it so) of seeing where poor old John Brown, like many another man, showed the soft spot in his head; and without an exception, I think it is the filthiest, dirtiest place I ever saw. The ruins of the old government buildings burned by the rebels when they captured the place from Colonel Miles, seem to speak words of warning, and stand a monument either to his incapacity or disloyalty.
Again, at 2 P. M., next day, 30th, we moved right back again as far as Frederick City, Md. This is one of the handsomest places I ever remember to have seen. Its streets are paved, wide and, above all, clean. The people are, or appear, perfectly loyal, and were helping the boys to water, etc., as we passed through. It was visited by Early on his raid, and made to pay a tribute of $200,000. Here we remained until Aug. 2d, when we moved to
Monocacy, the place where Gen. Wallace was so badly whipped by Early some five or six weeks since. Evidences of the fight, in the shape of old broken muskets, cartridge boxes, bayonet scabbards etc., were quite numerous, and gave sure evidence of a severe and well-contested field. We rested here until the night of the 4th, and then returned, this time by rail, to Harper's Ferry, or rather to Maryland Heights, which we climbed and remained upon until the morning of the 6th. We then descended from our commanding position, crossed the Potomac and went into our present bivouac, some three miles beyond Harper's Ferry. It is the identical ground occupied by us on the 30th of July, and as we saw no enemy on our march back to Monocacy, we are inclined to consider our present movements very "Potomac-y," and to ask why we might not have remained here instead of tramping around this country in this fearfully hot weather to no purpose whatever.
You people at home will read of our marching from this place to that, and from that back again to this, without for one moment realizing the real meaning of it, and I know of no way to bring them to a realizing sense of it except for them to try the following experiment: Get from some militia friend a musket and set of equipments—the cartridge-box containing at least fifty rounds of cartridges—take a tablecloth or something in place of a soldier's shelter tent, a rubber blanket, and roll up in them a change of under-clothing, and if you think you can, put in a woolen blanket. Tie this up and sling it over one shoulder, then get a small rag and put in it what you think you will need to eat for four days, and start for Attica, Wyoming county, understanding that you must get there before you sleep that night.—Your load will weigh just about seventy-five pounds, and is, with some slight variation, what every soldier carries.
The distance from Buffalo to Attica is, if I remember right, aboutt [sic] twenty-five miles, and this is perhaps rather more than the average daily march, although we did make on our Red river campaign forty miles in about eighteen hours, marching time. In this manner you can all have a taste of real soldiering, if you want to. You should never rest more than ten minutes in every hour, and it might be well to march all night occasionally, and wait until the sun gets out nicely in the morning before you start, for the heat will make it so much more pleasant.
Well, are there any rebs about here? I am unable to tell you, for I presume you know more about it than I do. We seem to be getting ready for a movement down the Valley, and, if so, we shall know soon after we start where they are, I imagine. The health of the regiment is not as good as when we were in the Gulf Department, and I think the feeling is very general among us that we would prefer to be down there. The fact of the matter is, we are entirely played out.—We have now been campaigning since the 15th of last March, excepting the few days we remained at Morgansia, and are about used up. But we live in hopes of a better time coming, and that it may come speedily, we all hope and pray.
I remain, yours, C. C. L.
… told that a desperate conflict was going on, and a step but little short of double-quick was kept up till he arrived at the scene of action.
The whole country is an almost unbroken pine thicket through which troops can only advance in single file, except by the crooked road, which, though it has been travelled [sic] for nearly a hundred yeaas [sic], is in a misera-condition, and so narrow that two wagons can barely pass.
Arriving at a small clearing, called Sabine Cross-roads, and where the 13th corps train was left we were rushed into line of battle on the east side of the clearing. In less than five minutes the enemy appeared on the opposite side. Not aware of our arrival, and catching sight of the train, they rushed in thousands out of the woods, but staggered as volley after volley were steadily poured into them. Their killed and wounded must have been immense. They now tried first to turn and then to flank our right, but in both attempts they were signally repulsed. Darkness at last closed the bloody scene, both armies lying down on their arms within half a mile of each other. The 161st N. Y. was the only regiment in the 1st Division that charged the enemy, consequently their loss was the heaviest. The rebel General Monton was shot in the early part of the action.
At 12 P. M. a retreat was ordered to Pleasant hill, at which place the cavalry and 13th N. C. were directed to re-organize. For want of transportation a great number of our wounded were left in the enemy's hands.
At 10 o'clock on the 9th we reached Pleasant Hill—the Saratoga of Louisiana—the resort of those who can not afford a more expensive summer residence. Here we were reinforced by General Smith with the 16th N. C.
It was now our turn to select our position, and well was it chosen and maintained. The enemy followed up our retreat cautiously, but steadily; and at 4 P. M. another battle was fairly begun, which will mark a shining page in the history of the battles of the Union. Taylor had been reinforced by Price, of Missouri. Couple this fact with his immense success of the previous day, and you can imagine how much enthusiasm the rebels had to fire and urge them on to further victory. All day long an almost uninterrupted fire was kept up on the picket line, but they were now driven in, and a brigade of the enemy charged upon Battery L, U. S. Artillery. One brigade of the 16th corps was supporting this battery, and resisted the first attack, but gave way on the second charge, and 2 of the guns were captured. The enemy now directed his whole force on our left wing, evidently with the intention of turning it and getting in our rear. The 3d Brigade of the 1st Div. of the 19th corps held this position, but gave way and retreated in very bad order. Col. Benedict, of the 162d New York, was commanding the brigade, but fell early in the action. The enemy seeing that he was gaining ground, now rushed furiously forward, but was sternly met by the 1st and 2d Brigades of the 19th corps, and the 4th Division of the 16th corps. All the batteries now opened. A tropical thunderstorm is a calm to such a peal as burst forth, and continued without intermission for at least an hour. Charge after charge was made on both sides, and repulsed in turn. We recaptured the two pieces of Battery L, besides 19 of the pieces we lost yesterday.
Our mistake of yesterday was the enemies mistake of to-day. Yesterday we did not know that Price had formed a junction with Taylor. Taylor was ignorant of the fact that Smith had joined Banks to-day. Some effort was made to turn our right, but the advantage of our position enabled us to hold this, and at the same time remain in comparative security. When night closed upon the scene of carnage we had driven the enemy entirely from the field. Thus ended one of the most obstinately contested battles of the war. The rebel forces consisted principally of Texans, but there were also troops from Arkansas and Misssouri [sic], as well as Louisiana. The 15th Missouri, loyal, met the l5th Missouri, rebel, steel to steel. Owing to the loss of our wagon train on the first day, our supplies and ammunition were all but exhausted. But for this, our course was now to follow up the enemy. They too had nothing upon which to subsist an army, and consequently by 2 o'clock on the morning of the 10th both armies were on the retreat in directly opposite directions. About 500 of our wounded were left at Pleasant Hill for want of ambulances to transport them.
Estimates of our loss differ widely. As near as can be ascertained, ours in killed and wounded in both fights is 1,000; missing—probably all prisoners without wounds—2,000. I can almost vouch for the correctness of these figures.
The enemy admit, through a flag of truce, to having 1,500 killed and wounded. We have taken about 1,000 prisoners. It is rumored to-day (April 16th) that they are to be exchanged.
Comment on the disposition of our forces, or the distances at which they were kept apart, would be improper. At no distant day perhaps, the Committee on the conduct of the war will express an opinion. It is told by prisoners that were taken the second day, that Taylor made a speech to our men the night of the first fight. He said that they would be well treated, but perhaps they would find it hard to grub on their fare after the slick living Uncle Sam gave them, but that he had just made a requisition to Gen. Banks for some commissary supplies, which would be dealt out to them in small quantities as long as they lasted.
We are now under cover of the gunboats at Grand Ecore. Grover has arrived with two brigades, and more troops are daily expected. A messenger has reached here from Steel's command. Every hour the plot thickens. At present we are the party in check. When we get out of it, and how we can do it, will be the subject of my next letter.
LETTER FROM THE 116TH REGIMENT.
The Springville Chronicle publishes interesting letters, received from the 116th Regiment, since the recent battles in Louisiana. The following is an extract from one of them:
We arrived at Pleasant Hill at 9 A.M., on the 9th, and immediately formed in line of battle, as the rebels were following close in our rear. We lay in line of battle all day. Skirmishing commenced at 11 A.M., and continued very brisk until 4 P. M., when the rebels made another attack. I forgot to say that when we arrived at Pleasant Hill the 16th corps reinforced us and they formed a line in front of the 19th; the 13th was held in reserve. A heavy battle ensued, as the field was large and a large force engaged. Artillery was used on both sides for some time. The 16th corps held their line for a while, then the rebels began to drive them. They fell back slowly to our line, which was about fifty rods in the rear. Our corps was ready and as soon as the rebels advanced in sight opened on them, which checked their advance. Our regiment and brigade occupied the extreme right of the line. The enemy made several charges along the lines, but were repulsed each time by the terrible fire they received. They also attempted to flank us on the right and left, but without success. We took a large number of prisoners at one of the charges which the rebels made on the left. The firing ceased at dark, and we threw out a line of skirmishers, and found that the rebels had fallen back. A great many deserters came into our lines last evening; deserters and prisoners amounted that day to nearly two thousand.
The loss in our regiment in killed and wounded, in both day's battle, is 37. Only four or live were killed. The band lost one Charles Lederer, of Co. C. He is missing, and a man of the 13th corps told us that he saw a bandsman that was shot that said he belonged to the 116th Regiment, and that he died before he left him. Sergt. Dingman, of Co. A, was slightly wounded in both legs. Co. K had five wounded. Sergt. Smith, Corp. Crawford, privates Griffith, Butler and Hill, are all slightly wounded. Co. F was with Major General Franklin's wagon train, and consequently were not in any engagement,
FROM NEW ORLEANS.—The following letter from an army officer at New Orleans was received
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT GULF,
NEW ORLEANS, LA., July 5, 1864.
EDITORS COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER:—I take pleasure in giving you the general news of this department which at present is quite plentiful. General Reynolds, late Provost Marshal of this city, has been ordered to take command of the 19th Army Corps, which left Morganza Bend on the 1st of July, by transport and thence to this city. They are now lying on board said boats, which are to carry them to some distant point across water. They have drawn twelve days' rations and it is generally supposed their destination is Fortress Monroe, thence to the army of the Potomac. A Major, who made me a visit today, confirms what I have stated. They all seem very anxious to depart from this torrid clime.
The 116th N. Y. V. were the first to arrive in this place. Col. Love is in command of his regiment. They are in fine condition for a campaign, all eager for a battle under any General that will show them the least sight for victory. Col. Love is well and in the best of spirits; also, all other officers belonging to the regiment. There is not one case of sickness among them. As near as I can ascertain, the soldiers are in better health than they have been since they first stepped upon the soil of Louisiana.
One thing is plain to be seen—each and every one of the "braves" plainly shows that they have been subjected to the torrid sun of the South. Their faces, as well as their actions, represent the true American's. It is supposed they will take their departure within four days. All who have kept themselves posted as to true fighting material regret to have this regiment leave the department. May the honor and glory that has followed this department never cease to accompany it.
Tuesday Evening, August 16, 1864.
From the One Hundred and Sixteenth Regiment.
Correspondence of the Commercial Advertiser.
BIVOUAC 116TH N Y. S. VOL.,
Near Harper's Ferry, Va., Aug. 8, 1864.
MESSRS EDITORS: You and your readers are doubtless aware of our "change of base" from the Louisiana Lowlands, to what we in our disgust have been unable to find a name for. However, should there be any ignorant of the fact, they will please understand that such is the case, and for further particulars enquire within.
The heat had become very intense at Morgansia, where you will remember we were encamped after our Red River tramp; but we needed rest very much, and it matters very little to us where we got it. Alas! for all our desires and hopes. We had hardly got settled in camp before orders were received for the infantry of both the 1st and 2d divisions of our corps to proceed at once to New Orleans. And now what was in store for us? Had "Johnny Reb" threatened the "Cresent [sic] City," and were we needed there, to keep him at a respectful distance? No, that we were confident was not the trouble.
Next, the probability of an attack on Mobile was canvassed, and it was generally conceded that this must be the point we were soon to visit. Some few were sure that we would see Fortress Monroe before we did Mobile, but being in the minority little attention was paid to their ravings, and a few of the wiser heads knew we were going somewhere, and would bet on it. So the matter stood when, on the morning of the 3d of July, we reached New Orleans. Here we found no one any wiser than ourselves, but nearly all were confident that Mobile was the point now. We lay all day, the 3d and 4th, in the city. There was some kind of a celebration in honor our Independence Day, but not much enthusiasm manifested, and, with the exception of an increase of swelled heads, black eyes and broken noses the next morning, it passed about as other days do. On the morning of the 5th we went on board the steamer Mississippi, with the 90th New York Volunteers and 30th Massachusetts Volunteers, in all about 1100 men. We were badly crowded and expected to suffer considerably, especially should we have a rough passage; but the season was favorable for an easy, quick trip, and we must make the best of it. About 2 o'clock P. M. of the 5th we reached the bar, but unfortunately grounded, and were obliged to remain there for thirty-six hours.
We had sealed orders as to our destination, to be opened when the Pilot left us, and to be kept in suspense thirty-six hours simply because we were aground, was not condusive [sic] to good temper by any means. However, early in the morning of the 7th we swung clear, and steamed out, our Pilot left us, and the secret was one no longer. Fortress Monroe was our destination, which implied "Potomac", "Petersburg," "City Point," but more especially "Grant," for we knew wherever he wanted us there we must go.
The idea of leaving our old Department was to some a pleasant one, at least I heard expressions of gladness from more lips than one; but to me there was nothing to please about it. I had become acclimated, had always enjoyed the very best of health, and taking all things into consideration my choice would have been to have remained there. To be sure, our last campaign was not very satisfactory, to any one I know of, without it be Dick Taylor, and the hardships we had to endure were not pleasant to think about, but I very much doubted how we would be bettered in this country of mountains, hills and stones. Our trip proved a remarkably quiet one.
On the 12th we arrived at Fortress Monroe and were ordered to proceed at once to Washington and report to General Halleck chief-of-staff. A sail of some twelve or fifteen hours landed us in the city of "magnificent distances."
We landed on the dock about seven P. M., on the 13th, and lay there until midnight, when orders were received to proceed at once to Tenallytown some seven miles from the city. Here we learned of the raid into Maryland, and of the skirmish at Fort Stevens. We were informed that the 6th corps was already in pursuit of the invaders, and that we were to follow.