Harper's Ferry Cowards
The Thorny Rose: The Americanization Of An Urban, Immigrant, Working Class Regiment In The Civil War. A Social History Of The 39th New York Volunteer Infantry
HARPER'S FERRY COWARDS
At about the same time that the 115th New York sped over the pontoon bridge to the relief of their retreating comrades on Maryland Heights and the Garibaldians were reluctantly pulling back their part of the left flank, the main body of the Army of the Potomac was passing through Frederick, Maryland, fewer than thirty miles away. The right wing of the army had arrived the night before, pushing the Confederate rear guard through the streets of the city in a brisk skirmish. The Confederate Army had been moving through Frederick for the past two days, and the Union men subsequently occupied the same campground used by the rebels. It was here, on September 13, 1862, that a strange incident occurred that could have facilitated an early Union victory in the East. (1)
Company F of the 27th Indiana Infantry had just broken ranks and stacked arms when Private B. W. Mitchell noticed a strange parcel lying upon the ground. It appeared to be three cigars wrapped in paper. How grand! Three cigars for nothing! Tobacco was scarce in the army. It was his lucky day. He stooped to pick up the valuable find, and unrolling the paper, found that it was covered with writing. Reading more carefully, he found, to his amazement, that it was addressed to Confederate General D. H. Hill and comprised a long list of orders. Mitchell immediately went for his sergeant, John Bloss, and the two of them hastened to Division Headquarters. Within one hour, the paper was in the hands of Major General George B. McClellan, a credit to Little Mac's organization of command. (2) McClellan read the order with mounting excitement. In his hand was Special Orders No. 191 from Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia, and it laid out in every detail the plans of the Confederate Army in the ongoing campaign. The fog of war lifted before McClellan's eyes. Here was the key to the war in the East He could not, of course, be too sure that this was not merely a ruse de guerre. Or perhaps some of these orders had been Countermanded by now. After all, the orders were four days old. But he would have to take them at face value. He had little else. If the order was genuine, McClellan was in a unique position. According to this little paper, Confederate Generals Jackson and McLaws were on their way to capture Harper's Ferry and the B& O Railroad. But the other part of the Confederate Army was separated from Jackson and McLaws' contingent by more than the distance between McClellan's army and Harper's Ferry, about twenty miles. (3) Quickly now, he began to write orders putting his tired troops in motion. He ordered his advance to move toward South Mountain and Boonsboro, while General W. B. Franklin was to move at daybreak to the relief of Harper's Ferry. Here McClellan made a fatal error that would fall most heavily on the Harper's Ferry garrison. The night was coming on moonlit and clear, in no way detrimental to a night march. Getting Franklin and his 18,000 men into the passes near Harper's Ferry more expeditiously, even before daybreak, would have offered an unparalleled opportunity. Franklin was a capable commander, but lacking in extra initiative. Moreover, McClellan had not stressed adequately the urgency of his actions in response to this extraordinary opportunity. Still, as McClellan looked up from his desk to find his old friend, General John Gibbon awaiting his attention, he exclaimed with confidence: "Here is a paper with which, if I cannot whip Bobby Lee, I will be willing to go home." (4)
The troops were coming down from Maryland Heights in a steady, orderly flow. The veterans of the Garibaldi Guard expressed their indignation loudly and in many different tongues. Every opportunity to rescue their dignity and military worth from the bad reputation they had gained seemed to be hopeless. The 115th New York was dejected. They had never even made it into the battle before they were called back. Nicholas DeGraff wrote: We have accomplished nothing—we know not how much we have lost or what the situation is we cannot tell." (5) The troops evacuating Maryland Heights were now thrown into the Bolivar Heights line, and fatigue parties immediately went to work strengthening the western works to protect the artillery batteries, still waging a deafening duel with Confederate guns. Captain Maulsby, still defending the railroad bridge at Sandy Hook, sustained a rebel artillery attack there as well. Some of the Confederate shells were already falling near Colonel Miles headquarters on Harper's Ferry's main avenue. (6) Miles ordered two pieces of artillery placed upon the railroad bridge, and their fire stifled the enemy guns. (7)
That evening, a desperate Miles called Captain Charles Russell, trusted commander of the 1st Maryland Cavalry, Russell's Roughs to him. Maryland Heights was abandoned and Miles was desperate. The Colonel asked Russell if he could lead some of the cavalry out of the besieged town. Russell replied that he was willing to try. Miles asked Russell if he could pass through the enemy lines with a few men and "try to reach somebody that had ever heard of the United States Army, or any general of the United States Army, or anybody that knew anything about the United States Army, and report the condition of Harper's Ferry." Russell chose nine men and crept through the Federal pickets, staying close to the river on the Virginia side. He and his men passed through one enemy picket line and then hit the open fields. They crossed the Potomac near Shepherdstown by the mouth of the Antietam River. There they put spurs to their horses and dashed through another Confederate outpost, minie balls zinging around their ears, whipping their mounts to greater swiftness on the byroads to South Mountain. At South Mountain they sidestepped another picket post of seventy rebel infantrymen, slipping through the woods and passing directly over South Mountain to Middletown. There, Russell reported to Union General Jesse Reno, who gave him a fresh horse and directed him to McClellan. At approximately 9 A.M. Russell reached McClellan after a night of hair-raising narrow escapes all within enemy lines. Russell told McClellan that the Harper's Ferry garrison could survive only forty-eight hours without relief, that Maryland Heights had been evacuated. McClellan sent a messenger to urge General Franklin forward faster and asked Russell if he thought he could get back to Miles with a message. Russell replied that he did not think he could. McClellan then ordered Russell a breakfast and sent him on to Franklin. When Russell reached Franklin's army, it was nearly 3 P.M., September 14, and Franklin was hotly engaged with the Confederate Army at Crampton's Gap. (8)
The night of the evacuation of Maryland Heights, the Union men gazed wearily and apprehensively at the "beleaguering campfires" of the enemy, "stretching in a semi-circle from the Shenandoah to the Potomac." (9) They were surrounded. They knew where tomorrow's attack would come and who would do it. Stonewall Jackson's infantry had been amassed in front of the Bolivar Heights line since the previous day. On the Union right stood the Garibaldians and Colonel D'Utassy's First Brigade including the 111th and 115th New York and Phillips' and Von Sehlen's Artillery batteries. (10) Men could peer across the Shenandoah River and see Confederate soldiers, busily occupied, apparently emplacing artillery batteries on the Virginia side. (11) Some of the troopers from the 12th Illinois Cavalry also noticed Confederate signalling to various points surrounding the Ferry. They were ordered that night to remain wide-awake, as if deep sleep was for anyone a serious possibility. (12)
At about 8 A.M. the next morning, a Sunday, a Union 20-pounder Parrott gun went into action against the rebels across the Potomac in an attempt to disrupt their work and dislodge them from their position. The fire was effective and the enemy gunners did not respond. Next Von Sehlen's and McGrath's guns took aim at Maryland Heights, where the rebels had supposedly erected two guns. (13) At first the Confederate batteries did not reply, and some Union men wondered if they were really there or if they had retreated. (14) The Union batteries kept up a probing, intermittent fire until Colonel Miles sent word to them not to waste their ammunition if they could not see the enemy. (15)
Around 10 or 11 A.M. Colonel D'Utassy approached Miles. The day before, D'Utassy had cornered Miles even as Maryland Heights was evacuated and begged him to allow D'Utassy to take his Brigade or even the Garibaldians themselves and retake the Heights. D'Utassy was positive that he could hold the position. Miles replied to D'Utassy, "Well, we must see; I will first see Colonel Ford and hear why he abandoned it." But afterwards, D'Utassy was refused. Now he repeated the proposition. Frustrated, Miles exclaimed: "Damn it; they have spiked the guns; it is of no use," and rode off. But D'Utassy was determined to act on his own initiative to at least bring down the guns abandoned there by the fleeing Federals. Accordingly, he took two companies of Garibaldians and two companies of the 65th Illinois and recrossed the Potomac to Maryland Heights. Moving with great caution, his troops made their way up the mountain path. One company of skirmishers took the advance to feel for traces of the enemy. They found no rebel troops at all and could see none anywhere near the former Union position. They fired two shots in all. And this was twenty-four hours after Maryland Heights had been evacuated! Moreover, four Union guns remained, unclaimed by the Confederates. Two had been driven through with spikes to render them useless. But the other two had only nails driven into them that could be easily removed. So D'Utassy and his men brought all four cannons down the mountain unmolested. He then pleaded with Miles to permit him to use the good guns to strengthen his own position on the Bolivar Heights line, but was positively refused. D'Utassy was generous in a later assessment of Miles' behavior: "I must say that my impression was that he considered the case so forlorn from the moment of the evacuation of Maryland Heights that he did not urge things on as he did on former occasions." (16)
Shortly after noon, Confederate guns opened up on the Union position. On the Union left, the major of the 9th Vermont remarked somewhat facetiously, " Good God! It's their guns!" In an instant, the bivouac of the Union left wing became "an overturned beehive. Artillery, infantry and cavalry were mixed in an absurd melee, at which one could not help laughing." (17) But the laughter was cut short as a round fell in one of the company streets of the 9th Vermont The Vermonters were ordered to fall in, march over the crest of the hill, and lie down. They moved, thusly, from one hill to another as the rebels altered their aim and shells burst all around them. On the Union right, men of D'Utassy's brigade were patting themselves on the back because the shells from the rebel positions on Loudoun Heights could not reach them, when the true significance of keeping Maryland Heights in Union hands dawned on them, or rather, dropped on them. Confederate batteries somewhere on Maryland Heights began taking square aim on Bolivar Heights, the shell and report reaching D'Utassy's men at the same time, while the white, circular puffs of smoke "rose gracefully in the air." Shells were now falling and bursting continually, all along the Union line. (18)
The 12th Illinois Cavalry was just sitting down to dinner when the first round hit squarely in their camp. Although it did not burst, it created quite a stir. Men scrambled for cover and horses reared and whinnied in alarm. The next shell burst and "covered several of the boys with dirt and dust" Just as they may have doubted the seriousness of this new game, all hell broke loose. The next shell meant business. It too burst, killing a horse. The men didn't wait for orders. They dropped everything, many leaving their horses behind; some carried their weapons, some did not; everyone dashed madly for any kind of cover, effective or not, from this rain of terror. Musician Winthrop G. Allen wrote that "all ran for the trenches for dear life, the shells faling thick and fast, whiz, bounce, burst and blubber." (19)
Near the Garibaldians, at the north end of Bolivar Heights, a caisson took a direct hit and blew sky-high. From the opposite end of the line, the 126th New York saw its "beautiful, cylindrical column of white smoke, sixty or seventy feet high." (20)
By mid-afternoon the Confederates were firing upon the Union men from five different directions: two artillery positions on Loudoun Heights, one each on Maryland Heights, the Shepherdstown Road and the Charlestown Turnpike. (21) Shot and shell were falling everywhere, the cliffs turning Harper's Ferry into a gigantic, horrifying echo chamber of constant rumbling, reverberation and destruction. Houses and shops burst apart in violent eruptions. St John's Episcopal Church, on the hill overlooking the main street of the Ferry, was almost completely demolished. Its aisles had served as a Union hospital and the sick and wounded were removed in the nick of time. (22) ST. Peter's Catholic Church, on the other hand, fewer than thirty paces away on the same hill, sustained minimal damage.
As the bombardment culminated, four companies of the Guard were sent to reconnoiter on the extreme right of the Union line. Amidst the cataclysm, they had crept out, their skirmishers in the advance. In less than an hour, they ran into a large force of rebel cavalrymen and a spirited duel ensued. The Confederate batteries shelled the Europeans' skirmish line out of the woods, turning tree branches and rocks into deadly projectiles, and forcing them to withdraw. Fresh skirmishers reinforced them and the men stood in the heavy shade of the forest waiting for another attack. Colonel D'Utassy had hurried out to join his men and kept them in order in the woods. Whenever mere was any firing, he remained there to encourage them. The Garibaldians lost four killed and fifteen wounded in the woods. (23)
Meanwhile the extreme Union left prepared to meet an assault launched by Confederate infantry under General A. P. Hill. Hill's orders from Jackson were to move along the Shenandoah River, turn the Union flank and enter Harper's Ferry. (24) The collision took place about nightfall with the rebels driving forward with deadly and spirited resolve. The detonations of the artillery continued to roar forth like an angry and insatiable beast, and the Southrons charged upon the Union artillery batteries on the left. In the smoky and thundering mass confusion of combat, some of the Vermonters lost contact with the extreme left of their line when they "deployed down the side of a bluff overhanging the railroad and the river." Before the separated men realized it, they found themselves less than a weak stone's throw from the advancing Confederate line. Creeping down a slope to the river bank, and they groped their way back to the new line that had formed during the assault. In a very short time, however, the rebel assault was repulsed with considerable gory loss to the Southern side, proving that, given half a chance, even the greenhorn Union men could do their duty. It had been the heaviest infantry fight of the siege. (25)
Diminishing actions in the deepening shadows of evening on the Union right found D'Utassy's brigade repelling one rebel cavalry dash after another. Positioning themselves behind the crest of a hill, the men lay down on their arms to await the morning. Within a mile and a half of the Union defenses, the rebel line waited. Union gunners had only thirty-six artillery rounds left. (26)
At the height of the rebel assault, a ploy was being enacted back down Camp Hill that would bring some glory to the humiliation and chagrin of the Harper's Ferry debacle. The cavalry was determined to cut its way out of the Ferry. After a brief argument with Colonel Miles in which the cavalry chieftains persevered, the 8th New York, 12th Illinois, 7th Rhode Island and two companies of the 1st Maryland prepared to break out of the stranglehold or die trying. Major Corliss of the Rhode Islanders addressed the horsemen, telling them that "anyone not wishing to go could stay behind, for by the next night we should all be in Pennsylvania, Richmond, or hell." (27)
The 12th Illinois Cavalry was raring to go. Like the Garibaldians, whose whole military career seemed to be one retreat after another, the Illinois men had "quit one besieged place only to fall into another" and had had enough. After the day's bombardment one of their number noted that "the boys all declare that they had rather face 'double geared thunder and lightning' than those shells." Promising to stand by each others' side come hell or high water, they saddled their horses, and waited for the command. (28) Captain S. C. Means, an independent cavalry commander invited any of his men to go and many agreed. But Means was going for sure. A Virginian, he feared that if the Confederates took him prisoner, he'd be hanged from the nearest tree. (29)
Under the cover of pitch darkness, with the 8th New York Cavalry's Colonel Benjamin "Old Grimes" Davis in the lead, the cavalry went forward across the pontoon bridge in a long column of twos. (30) At the end of the bridge, they turned left, passing between the canal and the bluff, then turned right into the woods. (31) After that, it was one stroke of luck after another. The advance ran into a line of Mississippi pickets, who retreated down the road, thinking perhaps that McClellan's army was on their tail whole hog. (32) The Union troopers kept up an exhausting pace, galloping most of the time, trotting at other times, "passing up several steep eminences" in the mountainous terrain. If there was a brief halt, the horsemen would fall into momentary sleep, awakening abruptly to continue the relentless trek.(33) The desperate pace continued through the night At one point, they met up with rebel cavalrymen who fired a few shots and withdrew, unable to believe that there could be Yankee horsemen in the middle of Confederate Army lines. (34) At another, Confederate bivouac fires were less than a mile away and they could hear the sounds of men and creaking wagons. (35) At 3 A.M. they were halfway between Hagerstown, Maryland and Williamsport, in the midst of 20,000 rebels, when, unbelievably, opportunity struck. (36) There before them were the wagon trains of Longstreet's command. Immediately the first two regiments boldly charged the train and after a short struggle took at least sixty-five wagons of goods and ammunition. The Confederate guard retreated, having been completely surprised and baffled, leaving close to 100 prisoners. In the wagons, Union troopers found "every conceivable missile" plus chains, spikes and horseshoes. (37) By now it was daylight, and the adventurous horsemen were darting for the Pennsylvania line with their booty. (38) At noon, they entered Greencastle, Pennsylvania and Company C of Coles' Battalion carried the captured train to Chambersburg. (39) In both places the Harper's Ferry daredevils were treated like royalty. Men in the 8th New York feasted on fresh bread and butter, apple butter, milk and buttermilk, served up by the ladies of Greencastle. (40) Coles' Battalion was ordered to Frederick City, passing over the battlefields of Crampton's Gap and South Mountain, conflicts that had threatened McLaws' rear even as he attacked Maryland Heights. Coles was made Provost Marshall of the city of Frederick. (41) The 8th New York was ordered to Antietam on the 17th and helped to rally green troops. (42) Major General George McClellan would call the escape of the cavalry from Harper's Ferry the "only redeeming feature of the Harper's Ferry debacle." (43)
Monday morning September 15 dawned grimly on the troops of Harper's Ferry, all thrown now, upon the Bolivar Heights line. To the men on the base of that little triangle of land between two ancient rivers, "all seemed arranged for the accommodation of the assailants instead of the security of the assailed." (44)
The renewed bombardment and daybreak opened hand in hand, making the sun a vile curse to the blue-clad soldiers. Now the Confederates bombed the Union line from seven different directions. (45) They were drastically overcompensating for the faulty aim of the old, unreliable smoothbores and for ammunition that tended to burst prematurely far short of the enemy ranks. Again the mountains belched and rumbled, echoed and boomed, the bellows bouncing off the cliffs and resounding seemingly to eternity and back. According to one officer of the 126th New York, "the flash, the whistling shriek and the explosion came all at once," giving the troops no time to think about where to run. Two shells fell in succession in the streets of the 126th's Company B, mangling fatally seven men and wounding various others. In Company H a ball removed the head of the Second Lieutenant Another shell killed a man outright in Company D and wounded another. (46) Still, combined casualties were relatively low from the bombardment, but the intention of the Confederates was to compel surrender by making Bolivar Heights a living hell.
DeGraff of the 115th New York immediately thought about the cave he had explored a few days before. His regiment lay down beneath the crest of another hill to await orders while they listened to the "whiz and bang of bursting shells" and "laughed at the ridiculous evolutions" of the shot. (47)
The 9th Vermont lay in line on their stomachs in a freshly plowed field of red earth, "a conspicuous line of blue on red as seen from above". There was no alternative cover except for trees in a nearby orchard, none of which were greater than an inch in circumference. What ensued came closest to slapstick than anything thus far. The men would sit still, waiting for the enemy to get their range. When the rebels zeroed in on them, Colonel Stannard would order his men to "doublequick as far to the front as possible and drop flat" Then they would wait again, doublequick to the rear, wait, doublequick to the front, over and over again, back and forth. (48)
But still the beleaguered garrison held out hope. For a new sound had begun to mingle with the sounds of rebel cannonade, the sound of distant firing from the direction of South Mountain, a sound that might mean that Federal troops were pushing forward to their rescue. And many distinctly heard the sound of signal guns (49). Ironically, here in the tumultuous midst of envelopment and annihilation, the stereotype of militaristic Teutons contributed to morale. A rumor ran up and down the Union lines that Franz Sigel and his Germans were coming to the rescue. "Sigel is coming! Sigel is coming!" was the cry. Colonel D'Utassy rode up and down the First Brigade lines invoking spirit in his men. As shells whistled and shrieked, he told them to get ready for action. They would use the cold steel of the bayonet, as they had done at Cross Keys, to cut their way out. The 115th New Yorkers remembered D'Utassy, "the gallant little Hungarian," and how he encouraged them, "Keep up coot courage, and keep your powder dry, mine fine fellows," he said. Cheer after cheer followed him down the line. D'Utassy, in the midst of defeat, was finally in his glory. In this campaign, he had done nothing wrong, and would be remembered by the first American-born soldiers under his command with fondness and admiration. (50)
At 8 P.M. long range ammunition for the Union cannon was almost completely gone. For many batteries, what remained was primarily canister, effective only against infantry at short range. Colonel Miles, who had been everywhere at once that morning, encouraging the troops, directing the artillery, called the Brigade Commanders together. He felt he had no choice but to surrender, when the bombardment stopped, a coup de main would inevitably follow. The Confederates could already be plainly seen amassing for the final attack. Needless carnage would take place. Raw troops—and the majority of men at Harper's Ferry were exceedingly raw--simply could not handle it Miles turned to D'Utassy, who had just filed in with Colonel Ford and General White, "Well, my boy, we meet again under unpleasant circumstances...we don't know what to do...we must surrender." D'Utassy was aghast. "What! Surrender?" he asked. "Yes, sir," replied Miles, "what do you want to do?" "Cut our way through," D'Utassy answered as though it were obvious. Miles blew up, "Poh! Bosh! Nonsense! today it is too late." D'Utassy reminded Miles that he had suggested the same thing yesterday. Miles then turned to the others present, Trimble and White. Trimble agreed with Miles, but when Miles turned to White, White replied, "Hear Colonel D'Utassy's opinion." D'Utassy reiterated, "You know it- I will never surrender as long as I have a shot." Miles burst into curses. He insisted that D'Utassy send for Von Sehlen and Phillips, his own artillery commanders, who confessed that they had between them only four rounds of long-range ammunition. D'Utassy had no choice now but to go along with the others at the same time insisting strenuously upon honorable surrender terms: "The very least we must have is for the officers to have the honors of war and to retain their sidearms, and the men must be saved the disgrace of passing through the enemy lines." General White promised that and more. D'Utassy then returned to his brigade and ordered his artillerymen to spike their guns, his men to unscrew the nipples from their weapons, and if possible, to take off the locks. (51)
Undoubtedly D'Utassy, who wished so much to salvage the reputation of himself and his troops, took the surrender the hardest The night before, so intent had he been for his troops to have more shot at bravery, that he had issued this order:
Commanders of regiments and batteries will prepare cooked rations for their men, and fill all canteens with water tonight We are entirely surrounded. The only hope we have is in conquering the enemy. Let our watchword and rallying cry, then, be "Victory or Death!" Regiments will be ready to fall in promptly at 4 A.M. tomorrow, as we shall in all probability be attacked at daybreak. (52)
He had told the officers in his brigade that he would refuse to capitulate: "I will not surrender, we will fight until the last, and if everybody will surrender, I will always be against it." Now he must face his men with the bitter news of another reverse for the army of their adopted land. (53)
Like the hands of bidders at an auction, white flags began going up along the Union line, clutching reluctantly at the price of surrender. The rank and file soldiers reacted with disbelief and incredulity. When a drum major relayed the news to the 115th New York that they had been surrendered, he was ridiculed. (54) It was only when Colonel D'Utassy came riding down the lines, slowly, dejected, with tears streaming down his face, that they believed it The Hungarian approached Colonel Sammons and said: "Colonel Miles has surrendered de place, and you will blease march your regiment on de color line and stack arms." The 115th proceeded to act in the manner of indignation typical of most troops that day. One lieutenant "dashed his sword to atoms against a stone" exclaiming that "no rebels wold ever pollute his blade with their touch." Rifles, sabers, and pistols were hidden or rendered useless. The artillery begged to spike all their guns, rather than let them fall into the hands of traitors. (55) Captain McGrath of the 5th New York Heavy Artillery burst into tears, lamenting: "Boys, we have got no country now." (56) Captain Thompson of the 111th New York, confounded, remarked that his comrades had all been expecting the order to attack when news of the surrender arrived: "I have never seen 10,000 men all terribly angry in my life but this once," he said. The 111th did "every ugly thing it dared" to resist the results of surrender. (57)
The ultimate humiliation to various regiments would be the loss of the regimental colors to the enemy. Many of these flags had been prepared and presented by daughters, sisters, wives and mothers of the regiment and their cultural symbolism went far beyond the ceremonial. Most troops had taken solemn, patriotic vows to defend the colors or die trying. The colors were the symbol of their honor and masculinity, so it was natural that they thought of their colors when they faced surrender. By the same token, the Confederates took Union colors to send back home as souvenirs of their victory. The men of the 12th New York State Militia were among the unlucky who lost their standards to the enemy, but other regiments saved theirs in various ways. (58) The 115th New York stripped the flagpole, secreted the colors, wrapped old rags around the pole and replaced the oilcloth cover. The rebels took the pole and never noticed. (59)
The 32nd Ohio's colorbearer wrapped their flag around his body under his clothing. (60) The 126th New York destroyed their colors rather than let them be defiled. They tore the fabric into pieces and divided or scattered the fragments. (61) Colonel D'Utassy hid the Garibaldians' colors, including the sacred one that Garibaldi had placed upon the battlements of the Roman Republic, in his private trunks, where, unless the rebels were totally ruthless and dishonorable, they would be safe from scrutiny." (62)
Meanwhile, a drama was being enacted at the far left of the Union line that would obscure from history the true motivations and reasoning of commander Miles in his mismanagement and surrender of the Harper's Ferry defenses. When Captain Rigby of the artillery was informed of the surrender, he became furious with rage, refused to give the command to his gunners to cease fire and kept "pounding to the last." (63) Partially in response to this continuing resistance, and partially due to the silvery fog that still obscured portions of the Union line and, thus, the white flags from the Confederate gunners, the secessionists renewed a furious cannonade against the surrendered garrison. (64) Colonel Miles sped to various places on the line, searching for areas where no white flag was displayed, in order to order one raised and get the surrendered troops out of danger. He implored Captain Phillips of Co. D of the 126th New York to wave something white. Phillips refused, saying: "For God's sake, Colonel. Don't surrender us. Don't you hear the signal guns? Our forces are near us. Let us cut our way out and join them." Miles was scornful. It was impossible. "They will blow us out of this in half an hour." He then, apparently, repeated the order, for Phillips was heard to protest: "I will do nothing of the kind. I never played the coward's act and I shall not commence it this morning." Aghast, Miles inquired: "Do you know to whom you are talking?" Phillips replied, bitterly: "I suppose I am talking to Colonel Miles; I know I am talking to a damned traitor." (65) Miles turned on his heel, walked away, mounted his horse and rode off.
More than forty years later a Harper's Ferry resident who claimed to have been with Phillips' battery described to friends what happened next. Phillips shouted an order to his gunner: "Gun number three--half-a-second fuse shell!"-then- "Gunner number three! See that man? pointing at Miles whose back was directly toward them-- "That man on the horse? You fix that man! Miss your mark and you die in your boots.!" The shell whizzed by, exploding directly under Miles' horse, killing the horse and a fragment horribly mangling both right and left calfs, tearing huge chunks of flesh away. The old soldier muttered: "My God! I am hit," and fell senseless to the ground, blood spurting from his legs. (66) Captain Phillips was heard to say: "Good," as he walked away. Lieutenant Binney, Miles' aide-de-camp, tied a handkerchief above Miles' knee and shouted for assistance. Those standing near replied that it would be difficult to get anyone to help the reviled Miles, the man who had gotten them into this predicament. Finally, Captain Lee of the 126th New York came forward. But as he and Binney raised Miles in a blanket, Lee himself was mortally wounded by a shell fragment that ripped away most of his thigh. Lieutenant Barras, Adjutant of the 126th, took Miles hand, and they carried him to an ambulance.
The old man slipped in and out of consciousness, sometimes mentioning names for commendation for fear he would die before giving his officers their due. The words he uttered in delirium were related to the New York Times correspondent at Harper's Ferry by Lieutenant Barras and were recorded in the paper. As suggested by the journalist, his words do suggest that Miles was innocent of treason and that he felt incapable of dealing with the events unfolding around him. (67) At various times in his mental wanderings, Miles cried, "Oh, where is General McClellan? Why don't he come forward and save us?" "Major, is our artillery at work?" "I have done my duty and can die like a soldier." "Don't let my staff leave me! Goon! Goon!" "I wish I could be every place at once." "Stop them!" Every now and then he would call to his men to stand where they were, and often he would call for his wife who, of course, could not join him. Again he implored: "Captain, we are hard pressed, but my orders are to hold on to the last; my ammunition is gone-where is our army?" His mind drifted to September 13: "Darn Colonel Ford-he has lost the Heights--Oh, must I surrender?" And, as if in answer to Ford's insistent desperate requests for more artillery: "All right-all right-all right-give them every shell, every shell." And finally: "I am an old soldier. General White will not forget me at headquarters." (68)
It was now up to General Julius White to negotiate the surrender terms. Jackson had placed A.P. Hill, whose troops had sustained the greatest fighting in the Second Manasses campaign, in charge of the surrender. Hill took General White to confer with Jackson, and the contrast between the two generals has often been reported in memoirs. White was superbly outfitted in immaculate blue uniform, shiny brass buttons, dress sword and sash, and pure white gloves, while Jackson, in his simple way, wore a dingy coat with all but one button missing (having given them away to Martinsburg ladies as souvenirs). White felt compelled to apologize for his own suave appearance next to the seedy looking Confederates. Legend has it that Jackson awaited White under a tree, slipping put of sleepy reverie to address him. Hill announced: "General Julius White of the United States Army." Jackson murmured a word of courtesy and seemed ready to fall asleep again when Hill interposed: "He has come to arrange terms of surrender." This, allegedly, aroused Jackson to a trifle more alertness and, raising his head with difficulty he said: "The surrender must be unconditional, General. Every indulgence can be granted afterwards." (69)
Back on Bolivar Heights, an act of final resistance was taking place in the ranks of the 9th Vermont Upon hearing of the definitude of the surrender, Colonel Stannard "swore a bitter oath" that his men would "not be sacrificed without one bold struggle for our honor and our liberty." He marched his troops by the left flank through a hidden ravine to the Shenandoah, into town, and to the pontoon bridge, to attempt a dash for freedom. Even if the 9th had to make a suicidal stand near the river, McClellan's men might observe or hear the fight through the mountain pass and hasten to the rescue of the trapped garrison. But the Confederate occupying force was in the Union camps even before Stannard could make it to the river. Two aides, one from White and one from Hill, galloped down to stop them, warning Stannard that if he did not bring his regiment back to be surrendered, reprisals would surely be meted out against the remaining Federals. An argument erupted, and one observer described "the hot, panting eager regiment at the halt, the excited group around the colors," the men and officers slipping over to the water's edge and silently committing their weapons to the river's depths, all of this activity in the midst of the "quaint, old street, old mill, willowy banked canal and sycamore trees." Stannard, agreeing not to make other men suffer for the needs of his dishonored men, finally gave in. Some felt it to be the only mistake of his career. Maryland was only five minutes away--and with it--freedom. (70)
The surrendered troops of Bolivar Heights had now returned to their camps to stack arms and prepare for the parole process. The rebel troops, so long hungry, so long deprived, so long barefooted, probably the worst off they would be in four years of war, had a heyday at the expense of the prisoners. Commissary and quartermaster store were immediately seized. Although the terms of surrender forbade the confiscation of personal property, many Confederate officers could not bear to deprive their beggarly soldiers of what lay before them for the taking. First to go were the horses. To Union officers it seemed that "every rebel strove to be mounted." Their beautiful war stallions and chargers disappeared as soon as they turned their backs. Colonel Sammons almost lost his coal black horse to a rebel plunderer, but he pulled his pistol on the man and threatened to kill him if he didn't let his horse go. The Southerner complied, but that same night the horse disappeared from the stables. (71)
Personal luxuries were taken at gunpoint, tents looted. The Federal troops were shocked and offended by the look and smell of Jackson's foot cavalry. The New York Times correspondent wrote: "I had heard much of the decayed appearance of the rebel soldiers, but such a looking crowd! Ireland in her worst straits could present no parallel, and yet they glory in their shame!" (72) Jed Hotchkiss, Jackson's famed topographer, wrote: "...our soldiers are as dirty as the ground itself and are nearly of the same color. The enemy looked at them in amazement." (73) Benjamin Thompson of the 111th New York noted ironically of the veterans who cordoned off and guarded his men: "They are not to be blamed for being very lousy and extremely dirty, as they have not had their clothes off for six weeks!" (74)
Finally, Stonewall Jackson himself came riding through the camps. The Union captives looked at the living legend in awe and curiosity. The Times correspondent reported: "He was dressed in the coarsest kind of homespun, seedy and dirty at that; he wore an old hat which any Northern beggar would consider an insult to have offered him, and in his general appearance was in no respect to be distinguished from the mongrel, barefooted crew who follow his fortunes." (75)
Folklore tells us that many Federal soldiers broke out in cheers as Jackson rode among them, saluting in courtesy to his prisoners. One Union man shouted: "Boys, he's not much for looks, but if we'd had him, we wouldn't have been caught in this trap."( 76) That about summed it up.
The 9th Vermonters, dragging themselves dejectedly back up to their camp, found their belongings being pilfered by the foul-smelling Southrons. As Jackson neared the area, Lieutenant Quimby of Co. E accosted him: "Are you Stonewall Jackson?" "Yes, I am General Jackson." Quimby continued patiently: "Then did you not agree to protect us under the terms of the surrender?" Jackson answered: "Yes." Quimby could hold it in no longer: "Then, by God, sir, I want you to drive those damned lousy thieves of yours out of my camp and stop them from robbing my men!" His soldiers shrank back in terror at the possible consequences of this outburst against Jackson. But the General, regaining his characteristic sense of moral rectitude after allowing his deprived troops a brief moment of succor, assented quietly: "This is all wrong, Lieutenant, and I will see it stopped." (77)
At one point Jackson's infrequent sense of humor came forth dryly. Having made his way down into the town, he was standing on the pontoon bridge when a breathless courier plunged to a stop beside him, repeating hysterically that McClellan was within a mile's march with a huge army and that General Lee was falling back on Sharpsburg. Jackson, who was conversing with a Federal officer, ignored the man, who became more and more agitated. Finally the General turned around and inquired calmly: "Has General McClellan any baggage train or drove of cattle?" Somewhat flustered, the courier replied that McClellan had thousands of cattle. Jackson concluded: "Well, you can go. My men can whip any army that is followed by a flock of cattle." (78)
The great tragedy and the most afflicting scenes to take place in the gloom and humiliation of the Harper's Ferry surrender were made even more heart-rending because similar scenes occurred whenever the Union forces suffered a reverse on slaveholding soil. During the Union's period of control in the vicinity of the two rivers, a great number of Southern slaves had flocked to its ranks with freedom ringing in their souls. They begged to be servants, albeit free servants, to various Federal officers, so that their places with the "liberators" would be permanent and their protection assured against the wrath of their former masters. When Harper's Ferry fell, the slaveholders, and even wily pretenders looking to get themselves a free slave or two, swept into town, and lined the streets and the pontoon bridge to claim their "property". Many had ugly bullwhips with them, and no one doubted the fate of the recaptured runaway. Men, women and children who had held freedom in their hands for so short a time were wrenched back into the abyss of slavery. Dreams were shattered, hopes swept away. The regimental historian of the 126th New York, from that progressive county in western New York that had given refuge to so many fugitives, wrote about the "anguish, the speechless misery of those who lost in a moment the hope of their lifetimes and almost their faith in a just God." It was "a scene never to be forgotten." (79)
Some Union officers helped their African-American charges to escape. Captain Phillips and Lieutenant Richardson of the 126th New York, sensing the trials ahead the day previous to the surrender, gave one man named Jim a musket, ammunition, and other necessities and sent him on his way to sneak out of the surrounded place and preserve his liberty. By Monday morning Jim was well around Maryland Heights. He had discarded the musket because it impeded him, was fired upon once, but made it to the Union lines. (80) Many free men at Harper's Ferry also fell victim to vicious slaveholders who claimed that a general "clearing out of this paradise of niggers must be made." Some of the hapless Africans were not taken without resistance. One huge Georgian slaveowner made the mistake of attempting to claim and carry off a slave who had attached himself to an officer of the Garibaldi Guard. The Southerner was the victim of a violent tongue-lashing, whether in English or some foreign language is not in the record. He went off without his victim. (81)
In the ranks of the 9th Vermont, a particularly droll scene took place that comrades remembered later as somewhat amusing, although the victim may have disagreed. One of their number happened to be a French Canadian of a very dark complexion and with curly black hair. As the Virginia slaveholders scrutinized the ranks for their missing chattels, one reached forward and seized the astonished Vermonter and attempted to haul him off. Whereupon, allowing all his pent-up antagonisms to take sway, the Canadian drew back, and let the Virginian have it, knocking him stiff and cold. (82)
Part of the red tape of formal surrender and parole was the copying of muster rolls by company clerks for purposes of exchange of prisoners. The Confederates, hard-pressed, could not spare the time or the personnel to convey 12,000 prisoners to points South and Southern prisons. So they were forced to rely upon a "gentleman's agreement" of warfare, implemented by an oath that effectively neutralized captured troops until they could be duly exchanged, whether or not they were kept within the captor's lines. (83) By 6 P.M. the laborious duplication of the rolls had been generally completed, and the troops were ready for official parole. The Garibaldians and the rest of the First Brigade formed on the color line by company with their officers to the front. But when the rebel officer in charge, General L. O'B. Branch, attempted to collect the muster list from the first company of Garibaldians, a controversy broke out. Branch turned to D'Utassy and remarked: "I suppose, Colonel, you understand the parole as I do, viz., that you and your men understand you are not to go into a camp of instruction or drill until such time as you may be exchanged." D'Utassy, with a look of consternation, vehemently protested: "No, sir. I understand nothing of the kind. Such an understanding would not be correct. Suppose my government wanted to use this paroled force against the Indians of the Northwest, who are, like you, in a state of insurrection, would you, sir, consider that as a violation of our parole?" Not expecting this outburst, much less such reasoning, Branch replied uncertainly: "Well, no, I do not think I would." D'Utassy continued: "Then, sir, in the present state of our forces here surrendered, some of whom are green troops, it might be necessary to keep them in a camp of instruction." D'Utassy completed his argument with a debater's coup de pace: "I must, therefore, sir, decline accepting a parole for my men on the condition now imposed by you, which I am positive was not intended at the time the articles of capitulation were drawn up."
Branch, bewildered and confused at D'Utassy's superb stalling tactic, sent a note to A. P. Hill with the question. Hill agreed with Branch. The troops could not be drilled or instructed until exchanged. D'Utassy, still belligerent and believing himself correct, replied that he would rather bear the disgrace of going to Richmond than accept the parole under those circumstances. What followed was D'Utassy's last act of passive resistance and final attempt to salvage some dignity for him and his men out of the disgraceful affair of Harper's Ferry. Disregarding the fact that the men were not paroled, he ordered the First Brigade to prepare to march at dawn. The paroled troops were to march to Annapolis where they would be conveyed to Northern prison camps until duly exchanged. At 6 A.M. Tuesday, September 16, the First Brigade marched through the town of Harper's Ferry for the last time and to the pontoon bridge. Lieutenant Charles Bacon handed the duplicate muster roll to General A. P. Hill himself. Hill inquired whether the troops were paroled. Bacon didn't say yes or no, but gave an evasive answer which Hill was too busy to note. This business had to be speedily enacted. Hill and his troops were desperately needed in Lee's ongoing invasion, and the divided rebel army was on extremely dangerous ground. Thus, Hill did not think to look into the matter, did not expect dissension, and gave the brigade the necessary pass through rebel lines. D'Utassy and his men immediately crossed the river, having a pulled a good one on the rebels. (84)
The greatest victory for Stonewall Jackson in the capture of Harper's Ferry came not from the military maneuvers involved but rather from the acquisition of supplies, ordinance, commissary, and quartermaster stores, especially on the eve of battle and in the middle of an invasion. Beginning his dispatch to the Confederate Assistant Adjutant General with thanks to God for another crowning success, as was his custom, Jackson listed the spoils of the garrison: 11,000 troops with their small arms, 73 artillery pieces and 200 wagons with a "large amount of camp and garrison equipage." (85)
Confederate propaganda needed as many "brilliant successes" (as Jackson named this one) as they could muster to strengthen Southern morale, but it is fair to say that Southern victory often rode along on Union mistakes rather than the superiority of strategy. Moreover, what was not noted in the report was that a large portion of the small arms--rifles, pistols, revolvers, etc. had been rendered useless by sabotage. In addition, a number of artillery pieces had been spike or otherwise incapacitated. Food stores, however, were in good supply, and in addition to feeding their own starved soldiers, the Confederates issued two days rations to the paroled Federals.
Jackson had to move out of Harper's Ferry in extreme haste in order to effect juncture with Lee's Army, already pushed off its course toward the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland. Ironically, the battle in progress at South Mountain and the signal guns of Franklin near Crampton's Gap, heard so clearly all the morning of the 15th by the trapped garrison, did mean, in effect, that Harper's Ferry was indeed already relieved by the Army of the Potomac. General Franklin, fearful of Confederate numbers in front of him, continued to threaten McLaws' rear on Maryland Heights, and the Battle of Crampton's Gap was the result. Instead of obeying McClellan's command to hasten to the relief of Harper's Ferry, Franklin paused, giving Jackson just enough time to effect its capture. After the war, McLaws insisted that Franklin had ample time, even as late as the morning of September 15, to save Harper's Ferry, or at least, by his proximity, to induce more liberal terms for the surrendered troops. In fact, when the white flag was raised on the outer Union works, the raising did not signify surrender, but rather a truce to ask for terms. Up until 11 A.M. nothing positive in terms of surrender had been negotiated. Complete agreement, followed by a raising of the white flag over the town itself, did not occur until noon. Franklin's advance, in some places, was only a mile and a half in McLaws' rear. That was why, when D'Utassy climbed Maryland Heights to save the guns, he found no rebels there. If Franklin's signal guns had fired in a straight airline the distance of three miles, and he had continued to advance, the demonstrations would have shown that McClellan was indeed near, and Miles would have known for sure to hold the fort. (86/) Even more widespread passive resistance such as that perpetuated by Colonel D'Utassy, might have delayed the proceedings enough to buy more time. In fact McLaws and Anderson were delayed in their march to join Lee and fight the Battle of Antietam Creek because paroled Union men were clogging the pontoon bridge and the roads at the foot of Maryland Heights. (87)
And the fact that A.P. Hill's troops did not arrive on the Antietam Battlefield until almost too late in the game, itself had much to do with making the Sharpsburg battle a stalemate and ending the Confederate invasion by forcing Lee back into Virginia. When Harper's Ferry had not been taken, as planned, by September 12, Lee seriously considered calling off the invasion.
The blame was ultimately cast upon McClellan, who, according to General-in-Chief Halleck, moved only six miles a day. McLaws declared after the war:
I think that enough has been taken form the Records of the War of the Rebellion, to show that the campaign of 1862 really hinged on Harper's Ferry; that General Miles, by holding on to the town, as he was most positively ordered to do, gave the opportunity to McClellan to engage General Lee's forces in detail, each separate force with a vastly superior one, and that McClellan failed to avail himself of it, although he had been made aware of the scattered condition of Lee's Army by finding a copy of Special Orders No. 191. (88)
Confederate General James "Old Pete" Longstreet, who had opposed the dangerous division of Lee's Army to begin with, suggested: "If he [McClellan] had attacked and captured McLaws, it would have been hard for him [Lee] to have effectively reorganized his army." (89)
J. H. Stine in his History of the Army of the Potomac wrote that McClellan had missed the "golden opportunity to place his name by the side of Napoleon." (90) The Compte de Paris (Louis Philippe Albert d'Orleans), the Bourbon prince who was an aide-de-camp on McClellan's staff, classified Harper's Ferry as the Union counterpart of Fort Donelson where Simon Bolivar Buckner unconditionally surrendered a garrison of similar size to U.S. Grant, a disaster much more damaging to the Confederate Army in the West than to the Union Army in the East. But through Harper's Ferry's surrender, though McClellan was only hours away, the Union Army was robbed of the "only opportunity...of inflicting an irreparable defeat upon Lee's army." (91)
For the Garibaldi Guard, Harper's Ferry was significantly the first major campaign in which they were apart from the German Division and its unsavory reputation. Separation from the German Division also prevented the Garibaldians, with their much smaller ranks, from becoming ethnic scapegoats for the Harper's Ferry defeat, and targets for ethnic barbs. It was the first major engagement in which they were considered the senior veteran troops on the field. In deference to their veteran status and their reputation as being hard fighters despite the internal difficulties of the regiment, they were given the toughest tasks, from dangerous reconnaissance to defending siege guns to anchoring the Union line, all of which they carried out with courage and exactitude.
At Harper's Ferry their Colonel successfully commanded a brigade and attracted to himself an immense amount of positive attention. D'Utassy stood out as a courageous and experienced soldier whose fortitude under the strain of envelopment was unmatched. In Miles' meeting with his officers to discuss surrender, General Julius White even deferred to D'Utassy to state the case against surrender, a position with which he agreed. When accusations began to fly and commissions were set up to study the disaster, nearly all agreed that D'Utassy's conduct had been exemplary, despite the final result. General Daniel Tyler, the commander at Annapolis, summarized the general approbation. D'Utassy "was too good a soldier to have compromised himself at Harper's Ferry." (92)
At about 9 A.M. as Colonel Dixon Miles lay on his deathbed, and local citizens began climbing Maryland Heights for the grim job of burying the dead, the surrendered Union troops of the Harper's Ferry garrison began the long march east As soon as they were clear of the rebel lines, the 32nd Ohio pulled their colors out from where they had been hidden, and unfurled them to the skies, much to the dismay of some who feared trouble should the Southerners reappear. Marching all day, the men went into bivouac three miles west of Frederick for the night. Here they heard that Colonel Miles, "which to us was good news" according to DeGraff of the 115th New York. (93)
Discipline was a problem from the first Because they were prisoners-of-war until exchanged, the men assumed that their officers no longer had any authority. They believed that they were responsible only to Jackson, whose prisoners they were, and to the Confederate cartel. Edward Hastings Ripley, an officer in the 9th Vermont, found it unpleasant to "take care of the boys." He had to be especially severe, for they were "inclined to be impudent." They were what they were--young soldiers freed from the war, like schoolboys freed from school, on a lark. Still, Ripley's regiment had no more than twenty stragglers, "while every other regiment is sprawled from here to Baltimore." The problem with stragglers was dealt with by placing every captain in the rear of his company. If any soldier strayed into a house or private garden without permission, the soldier lost $5 from his upcoming pay. If the officer did not report it, he would be cashiered. Two captains were arrested for being absent a half-hour when they went looking for dinner. Ripley took no chances of being penalized, even lying down in the ranks at a halt. (94)
The Confederates permitted the prisoners' mule teams to haul their rations as well as the sick and wounded. In the camp of the 111th New York, these teams were parked in among the men. Exhausted after marching twenty-two miles in one day, and after a light supper of biscuits (hardtack) and coffee, most of the men fell into a deep sleep. About midnight, however, someone began shouting at the top of his voice: "Whoa! Whoa!" Awakening soldiers took up the cry and soon it seemed as it 10,000 voices were screaming, "Whoa! Whoa!" and men were "tearing out in the pitchy darkness." Captain Benjamin Thompson of the 111th New York called for his regiment to fall in. There was no response. So he and a sergeant gathered some twigs and leaves and built a fire to find out what was going on and where everyone was. Thompson wrote: "It was great fun to see our brave boys climbing down out of the trees." Thompson and the sergeant teased the men mercilessly until one retorted with what could also have been a comment on the whole campaign: "Well, I never enlisted to be run over by a mule." (95)
The next morning, the troops were on the march again, passing scenes of fighting from several days before. Dead horses, horse hides, the intestines of cows, and even a dead Black man lay unburied alongside the road. Three quarters of a mile away, the Union men could see three or four dead Confederates. In blowing up a bridge over the Monocacy River they had killed some of their own men, whose corpses still lay unburied. (96)
One of the men of the 115th New York managed to abduct some farmer's hog along the way. While he entrusted the furiously grunting creature to comrades, "Bill Nutt" took off to ask a farmer for salt to season and preserve the meat. He found a farmhouse and sat waiting for the farmer to return. The farmer soon loped up with the Lieutenant Colonel in tow. Nutt heard the officer promising the farmer that if he caught whoever stole the farmer's hog, he would make him pay in one way or another. Well, old Bill didn't tell the farmer what he wanted the salt for, but having procured it, strode back to his camp, undoubtedly with a smug expression on his face. That night he and his comrades enjoyed a secret feast. (97)
The night of September 17th the Union men occupied the same ground on which Lee's Confederates had camped a week before. What they didn't know was that the Confederates had left behind a division of regulars to impede their prisoners-body lice, "enough to keep [the Federal prisoners] active [scratching] for a week or more," according to a New Yorker. Clouds had been gathering throughout the afternoon, and at 9 P.M. the sky broke forth with drenching torrents. DeGraff of the 115th New York, with a few of his comrades, took refuge in a barn, that they found already crammed with troops. Besides the bam and the lice, they all had one thing in common-sore and blistered feet. (98)
After marching nearly one hundred miles on two days' rations, the Federals reached Annapolis. There, for the first time in weeks, they received a variety of good food, including coffee, sugar, fresh beef, potatoes, beans, onions, salt, pepper, and even oysters and crabs. Many mended their torn garments and went off for an afternoon of sightseeing. Amongst the biggest attractions were the City Hotel, which was 200 years old, George Washington's Headquarters, and the place where Washington resigned his commission. (99)
The next morning, the troops were "crowded to suffocation" in steamer transports for Baltimore and subjected to the "rolling and pitching" of the boats in rough water, no doubt causing many a trip to the railing after all that uncustomary rich food of the day before. In Baltimore, they boarded trains for Chicago where, it was rumored that they would be armed and sent to fight Indians in Minnesota. (100) The railroad cars were described by one soldier as being plain boxes with rough plank all around. The rations they were issued for the trip "were disgusting." To make matters worse, thirty-five miles outside of Baltimore their troop train collided with a passenger train. Both engines were incapacitated, and several cars were wrecked. When they were finally able to move again, their locomotive rammed into the end of another train. (101)
On September 26, they moved through Altoona, Pennsylvania and stopped at Pittsburg. The "Smoky City" was a dismal sight at first glance with its dense smog and huge smokestacks, but most soldiers passing through agreed that when it came to hospitality, not many patriotic Union cities compared to this one. In a large public building long tables were set to accommodate 1000-1200 soldiers at a time. While the men were eating their fill, the ladies filled their canteens and the band played patriotic music. The extraordinary thing was, whether the troops arrived by day or in the middle of the night made no difference to the Pittsburghers. As long as the men wore blue, they were feted whenever they came through. The men of the 126th New York called it "a glorious record for the iron city." (102)
Some of the boys went to see where the "enormous guns were cast" at Allegheny Arsenal, but soon they were loaded back into freight cars for Chicago, via Cleveland and Toledo. The 126th New York, tired of riding in dark, dusty cars, used hatchets to let the sunlight in. In Indiana, patriotic ladies again served delicacies to the men. "One fellow," reported Ripley of the 9th Vermont, "died an hour before we reached Chicago. He died of the excessive hospitality of the Western people. He killed himself actually by overeating after living on hardtack." (103)
Some of the regiments with the Garibaldians had been in the field only a month to the day from their arrival at Harper's Ferry when they were transported to Camp Douglas, the military prison and recruit training camp between Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago and Lake Michigan. The camp consisted of four hollow squares surrounded by barracks on seventy to eighty acres of land. One portion of the camp was partitioned off to hold rebel prisoners. Each Union regiment was assigned its range of barracks. Besides barracks, the camp included hospitals, sutler stores, guardhouses, stables and headquarters, all heated by pungent coal fires. General Daniel Tyler was in charge of the camp, and part of it became known as Camp Tyler. (104)
The troops quickly discovered that they would not be sent west to fight Indians but would be confined at Camp Douglas until exchanged. They were crestfallen. The conditions in the camp were horrendous, and the filth was appalling. The grounds were windswept and improperly drained, contributing to a permeating swamp-like miasma in the air. Ironically, many of the men were assigned quarters recently occupied by rebel prisoners captured at Fort Donelson, who had left their barracks in an abominable state, a dirtiness that the Northern men had learned to associate with Southerners. They were loaded with graybacks and what the soldiers called the "crawlin' ferlies" and would have been an "unhealthy stable for cattle" much less for human beings. The 126th New York took the situation in hand rather well. They accumulated brushes, brooms, soap, and quicklime, and scraped, swept, scrubbed and whitewashing their barracks. They renovated the cookhouse, and without the help of carts, removed the impurities. They repaired broken bunks, put up new ones, and acquired bed ticks which they filled with fresh prairie hay. Then they all took a bath in the lake, and were ready to move in--almost They were compelled to declare a war of extermination on the occupants of the barracks who would not leave--the rats. It was said that "the peltry of these 'small deer' would have made the fortunes of a Parisian glove manufacturer." But skirmishing against the skittish, scrambling rodents gave the men much needed exercise. Other activities that alleviated the boredom of prison life for the paroled prisoners were ball-playing, boxing, pitching quoits, jumping, wrestling, dancing, and putting out fires that the Ohio and Illinois troops set in the barracks. (105)
Insubordination, mutiny, riots, and various other disorders also broke the monotony of the parolee camp. The men's officers had been sent to Washington under arrest to appear before a court of inquiry into the Harper's Ferry surrender, and the newly assigned officers were unfamiliar to the men. Moreover, the oath most of the men had taken about the terms of parole did forbid military training, and most soldiers took advantage of this to resist drill and camp duty assigned to them to maintain discipline by their new officer designates. Attempts to force arms and duty on the men provoked a rash of incendiarism and the spread of anarchy. The 32nd Ohio, the Garibaldians' sister regiment, was particularly belligerent. They had been forced to ride right through their native state without stopping, and they were convinced that they should have been permitted to remain in Ohio until exchanged. In addition, none of the men had been paid (nor had any of the other troops) for their service before the surrender. When officers attempted to force weapons on the 32nd, the men, "giving the guns a toss, stood them butts up, the bayonets buried in the ground." The officers immediately ordered the Ohioans confined to quarters, but they defied the orders, coming and going as they pleased. Finally, the Regulars were ordered out to coerce them. The 32nd formed in line of combat with brickbats. The time had come for a showdown. The Regulars loaded their weapons with live ammunition and once again ordered the 32nd to its quarters--or else. The 32nd again refused, and stood their ground. The situation grew critical. The two forces stood eyeing each other as the tension mounted. All of a sudden a shout rent the air from the west All heads turned as the "head of a column of troops was seen coming down on the flank of the regulars at doublequick." It was the Garibaldi Guard to the rescue, "determined to take a hand with their old comrades in suppressing the regulars." The Regulars beat a hasty retreat, in good order, of course, as the 39th New York and the 32nd Ohio hooted and groaned at them. It did not end there. Next the authorities endeavored to build a fence around the recalcitrant veterans. An Ohioan wrote: "We observed its erection with some interest, and when completed, it was quickly leveled with the earth in a united rush." (106)
Then the officers in charge embarked upon a new strategy--divide and rule. They assigned the 126th New York to put the fence back up They did so, and it lasted about as long as the first fence. Both the 126th New York and the 9th Vermont were now assigned as guards over the mutineers. (107)
But when a detail of the 9th Vermont reported for this duty, they were threatened with trouble if they remained after nightfall. They dared remain and were assaulted with rocks and rifles filled with pebbles and sand. Their Major was hit three times with rocks, a man in Company K had his leg broken, and several others were injured.
Barracks burning was all the rage. Companies B and C of the 9th Vermont were burned out of their barracks, allegedly by three men of the 115th New York. They lost newly issued winter clothing, received barely four days before. The Army had already held them accountable for clothing and accoutrements plundered by the rebels at Harper's Ferry, and their bill grew longer thanks to their comrades. The 60th Ohio burned at least one row of barracks during their stay at Camp Douglas, not a bad record. But everyone agreed that the destruction of the guardhouse was "a great blessing to us." (108)
When some of the men were finally convinced to start drilling again with their officers taking the consequences if the Confederates should take their camp, many were relieved. This would, at least, drain off some of the men's excess energy and belligerence, and get them back in physical shape. Sergeant Ferguson of Company F, 126th New York, wrote home: "It made us feel like soldiers again." (109) By now the officers present had determined: "Chicago is a bad place to keep discontented troops under loose discipline." (110)
By November another malady hit the camp along with the frigid winter winds of Lake Michigan--sickness. Between October 30 and November 19 the 126th New York had a daily average of sixty men sick in their quarters and forty men in the camp hospitals, plus whatever number had been removed to the city hospitals. (111) By November 2, fifteen men of the 9th Vermont had died of malignant typhoid fever and the epidemic was scarcely over. (112)
And another insidious force was at work weakening the spirit of the men-rampant demoralization. The newspapers were publicizing the details of the Harper's Ferry disaster and pointing the finger of blame directly at the 126th New York. The Illinois recruits training at Camp Douglas tagged the New Yorkers as "Harper's Ferry Cowards" and the tide was soon attached to all the Harper's Ferry parolees. Several physical confrontations and fisticuffs were the result. But the label--deserved or not-had done its malicious work. The men were getting depressed. The men of the 32nd Ohio could stand it no more and began deserting the camp. They would board an eastbound train "in sufficient numbers to defy conductors and train men". Nearly all of them left camp in this manner. (113) Ripley of the 9th Vermont wrote to his brother, also a soldier, "Don't form any opinion at all of the Harper's Ferry affair. The various accounts in the papers are huger lies than I believed could have been concocted." (114) And a sergeant in the 126th New York wrote to his father: "You need not expect me home until I can come honorably, and not afraid to look a man in the face." (115)
Finally, in mid-November, the regiments began to be exchanged. But the blight of Harper's Ferry would only be extinguished for some by blood. The 115th New York ended up at Vicksburg; most of the remaining ex-prisoners would fight at Gettysburg. There the 126th New York would redeem themselves in gore and be cut to pieces, taking horrible losses. There also, their Colonel Sherrill, having recovered enough from his Maryland Heights wounds to return to duty, would be killed instantly. (116) The Garibaldi Guard would be reduced to less than company strength by December of 1863. (117)
As the common soldiers of Harper's Ferry rode the dilapidated box cars to the monotony and humiliation of Camp Douglas, the commanding officers of regiments, brigades, and detachments at Harper's Ferry were called to Washington D.C. to testify before a court of inquiry. The Harper's ferry Military Commission, headed by a detail including Major General David Hunter and Major General George Cadwalader, met pursuant to orders on September 25, less than two weeks after the surrender. The commanders of brigades, D'Utassy, Trimble, Ford and Julius White, were arrested and brought to Washington for their complicity in agreeing to surrender the garrison. The star witness, Colonel Miles, could not appear--he was dead. The Commission compiled some 275 pages of evidence in addition to the reports of the officers. All were reluctant to pass judgement upon the dead, but it was necessary to reconstruct as fully as possible the role of Colonel Dixon Miles in the disaster. Perhaps the most telling testimony came from Colonel D'Utassy who gave it with great reluctance because he felt himself an honorable man, referring to a Latin saying that translated "Of the dead never anything but good." D'Utassy testified:
I think that, during the latter part of the time, Colonel Miles was broken down, in consequence of previous [alcoholic] abuse. I knew him at Harper's Ferry, where he was the strictest model of abstinence. I have studied medicine some little, and I thought that broke him down, as I knew him on former occasions as rather a good drinker. The sudden changing to new habits I think did him much harm. I spoke with him one day on the subject, and said to him, "I believe you will ruin yourself." He said, "I took an oath never to touch a drop, and I have not done it." I believe that sudden abstinence injured him greatly. (118)
D'Utassy, despite his admirable reluctance to implicate other officers, was a central witness in the Commission's study.
It is evident throughout the testimony that Miles frequently gave written orders, which he then, almost instantaneously, contradicted with verbal orders. What orders he gave were often vague, leaving much to the personal discretion and interpretation of officers, many of whom were inexperienced in command. Men like Colonel Maulsby of the Maryland Potomac Home Brigade often asked for clarification of Miles' orders and received more contradiction. Thus, Miles' command style created insecurity in those under him. He was not a confidant commander and he did not inspire confidence.
Paul Teetor's work on Harper's Ferry seems to lead positively to the conclusion that Colonel Miles was a traitor. Miles did permit several Confederates to leave the Union lines as paroled prisoners immediately before and during the fighting. One of them returned to Harper's Ferry with the attackers at the head of a cavalry unit. (119) It was Said that Miles did not appreciate the responsibility entrusted to him as commander of the garrison, despite his Regular Army career, and that he did not appreciate his responsibility to his country.
The Commission, by means of General David Hunter's final report, determined that Colonel Miles was unfit for command because he allowed prisoners to go out of his lines straight to the headquarters of the enemy, because he repeatedly disregarded the orders of General Wool and the entreaties of Colonel Ford to fortify Maryland Heights, and because he left Colonel Ford with discretionary power on the Heights when there existed under his command voluntarily (despite his higher rank) "a capable and courageous officer" who might have served a more useful purpose in charge of the important and vital position-General Julius White. (120) It is obvious that Colonel Miles was unfit for command; if we are to believe Colonel D'Utassy and the man's previous record in the military, his problems with substance abuse were central to his behavior in command; about his commission of treason, even scholarly works must be satisfied with contention and conjecture. Perhaps the behavior of the old soldier was the consequence both of his alcoholism and of his misgivings about the side in the fraternal conflict for which he ultimately gave his life.
When it came to Colonel Thomas Ford, however, the Commission decided that he had not made a proper defense of Maryland Heights. They were specifically concerned with the fact that Ford had not designated a proper command chain on the mountaintop and as a result, when the 126th New York panicked after witnessing the horrible wounding of Colonel Sherrill, there were no reliable officers to take charge. That the abandonment was premature was clinched by the fact that not only was there time to spike the guns, but twenty-four hours later, Colonel D'Utassy and his men were able to bring them down with no opposition, having found no occupying troops on the Heights. The Commission, perhaps seeking a scapegoat, concluded that Ford was unfit for command and recommended his disqualification from the service, which was effected.
As for the 126th New York, the Commission found its conduct disgraceful, and recommended the dismissal of Major William Baird, who was reported hiding behind trees and attempting to flee for the rear at every opportunity. The remaining brigade commanders including Colonel D'Utassy, were released from arrest and their conduct vindicated. General Julius White served in the Army of the Ohio until his resignation in November of 1864. He left the service a Major General and later served as minister to Argentina. He was a lawyer and a legislator. (121)
The Garibaldians, having shared the difficulties of Camp Douglas, were exchanged in November and ordered to Washington to be re-armed. (122) Colonel D'Utassy resumed command of a brigade (that included the 39th New York) in the defenses of Washington, with his headquarters at Union Mills, Virginia. His brigade contained depleted regiments averaging no more than 400 men each, and even daily guard duty exhausted the soldiers because they were spread so thinly. Having no cavalry supports, the infantry and artillery had to take up the reconnaissance duties of that branch as well. An epidemic of smallpox and measles broke out in December and sickness prevailed throughout the winter. (123)
The rest of the year and the beginning of the next was a dull anticlimax for the 39th New York. The Garibaldians were melancholy in spirit and scattered incidents of misconduct illustrated their discouragement. In one such incident Private Giovanni Piccioni of Company C broke the arm of his sergeant, Giuseppe Cavrotti, with a piece of iron. He was sentenced to thirty days hard labor with a twelve pound ball attached to his right leg by a chain six feet long, plus a forfeiture of his pay for three months. (124)
In late December an alarm went through the camp due to a Confederate cavalry raid through Dumfries and Fairfax Station. D'Utassy threw out pickets in all directions but they did not make contact with the Southern force. (125)
Throughout early spring, the Garibaldians, their ranks reduced by more than half of their original number, remained in the Department of Washington. They were subject to the strict discipline of General Silas Casey who even provided mess rules and rules on how to wear clothes for his troops. This discipline was implemented by regularity. In March a typical camp day included the following itinerary:
|Police Call||5:45 A.M.|
|Sick Call||6 A.M.|
|Breakfast Call||6:30 A.M.|
|Regimental Guard Mount||8 A.M.|
|Brigade Drill||9 A.M.|
|Squad or Company Drill||9 A.M.|
|Company or Battalion Drill||2 P.M.|
|Dress Parade||5 P.M.|
|Taps||8:30 P.M. (126)|
The men of the 39th New York had skirmish drill in the mornings and bayonet drill on Friday. McClellan's bayonet drill was created not so much with the idea that men would use "bayonet fencing" in combat, but that the motions of "Thrust!" "Recover!" "Lunge!" "Lunge-out" "Guard Against Infantry! Guard" "Guard Against Cavalry! Guard!" and the various parying motions executed with a partner would provide the entertainment of a sport and the physical conditioning necessary to sustain a soldier's life with more ease. For officers there were lessons in swordsmanship as well. The idea of the different drills was to get soldiers used to movements in increasingly larger numbers of men, from squad to company drill (about 100 men), to regimental or battalion drill (1000 or less men), to brigade drill (2000-3000 or fewer men). They also had to act as brigades within divisions, divisions within corps, corps within armies. Within the inferno of battle, this was particularly important, because a wrong movement could create massive visible holes in the line to the enemy's distinct advantage. The line had to move like one gigantic beast, its movements in perfect coordination, for battlefield success. The evolutions of the line are also fascinating to watch, to the eyes of some an artistic and powerful thing to behold and an aesthetically exciting event to witness, especially since every movement is accompanied by martial music. In addition to or instead of the traditional fife and drum corps, some of the ethnic regiments had out-of-the -ordinary bands. The 79th New York Highlanders had bagpipes, perhaps the eeriest and most spine-tingling musical instruments to hear on the battlefield and off. The Garibaldians began with a trumpet corps to sound the calls, but by the time of their stay at Union Mills they had a regular band. Their battle hymn was the "Garibaldi War Song" and it acted as a morale builder in times of stress and on parade. On Saturdays, in the morning, the men had target practice, and the afternoon was spent cleaning arms and policing and tidying the camp in preparation for Sunday morning inspection. (127) Sunday morning also included spiritual inspection with the Reverend Anthony Zyla offering church services.
In April, one regimental order noted the number of dogs present at Guard Mount Drill and Dress Parade, and strictly forbade their presence. Whether or not the dogs heeded the order did not subsequently appear in the daily regimental correspondence. (128)
Footnotes for Chapter 8
1 McClellan's Report, OR I, xix-l, 40-45.
2 Silas Colgrove, "The Finding of Lee's Lost Order," in Robert Underwood Johnson and Clarence Clough Buel, Eds., Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, II (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1956), 603. Private Mitchell was severely wounded at Antietam, a battle that took place when and where it did largely because of his finding of the lost order. He died three days after his discharge from the hospital.
3 James Longstreet, "The Invasion of Maryland," in Battles and Leaders, II.664: Colonel G. F. R. Henderson, Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War, II (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1919), 505; Bruce Catton, Mr. Lincoln's Army (New York: Doubleday, 1962), 216-217. Actually, the Confederate Army was even more scattered than that and several days late in the implementation of the order. But McClellan had no way of knowing this. 4 Catton, 217-223.
5 DeGraff, 38-39.
6 Probably in the old Master Armorer's house.
7 Binney's Report, 537-538.
8 Major Charles H. Russell's Testimony, OR I, xix-1, 720-730.
9 Eisenschiml, 28.
10 The Bolivar Heights line was set up as follows:
THE UNION RIGHT: COLONEL F. G. D'UTASSY
39th N.Y.: Major Hugo Hildebrandt
111th New York: Col. Jesse Segoine
115th New York: Colonel Simeon Sammon Phillips
Battery-Battery M, 2nd Illinois: Capt. John C. Phillips
Von Sehlen's Battery-15th Indiana: Capt. John C. H. von Sehlen
65th Illinois: Col. Daniel Cameron
THE UNION LEFT: SECOND BRIGADE: COLONEL WILLIAM H. TRIMBLE
60th Ohio: Lt. Col. Noah H. Hixon
9th Vermont: Col. George J. Stannard
126th New York: Maj. William H. Baird (Col. Eliakim Sherrill wounded in the previous day's action on Maryland Heights)
Rigby's Indiana Battery: Capt. Silas F. Rigby
EXTREME UNION LEFT: CHARLESTOWN PIKE SOUTHEAST TO SHENANDOAH RIVER;
COL. THOMAS FORD
32nd Ohio: Maj. Sylvester H. Hewitt
3rd Maryland Potomac Home Brigade: Col. William P. Maulsby
section of Rigby's Artillery
9th Vermont reinforcements in late P.M.
125th New York in reserve: Col. George L. Willard
CAMP HILL INTRENCHMENTS BETWEEN THE TOWN AND BOLIVAR HEIGHTS: COL. W. G. WARD
Co. A, 5th New York
Heavy Artillery: Capt. John H. Graham
Potts Ohio Battery-4 guns: Capt. Benjamin F. Potts
12th New York State Militia: Col. Ward
BRIDGES: INDEPENDENT COMMANDS
1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade (8 cos.): Col. Maulsby
Potts Artillery (Section)
87th Ohio Infantry: Col. Henry H. Banning
From White's Report, OR I, xix-1, 526-527; Battles and Leaders, II, 618.
12 Pratt, 563.
13 Binney Report, 538.
14 DeGraff, 40.
15 Binney Report, 538.
16 D'Utassy Testimony, 596-598.
17 Eisenschiml, 30-31.
18 DeGraff, 41-42.
19 Pratt, 563-564.
20 Willson, 79.
21 Major Henry B. McIlvaine's Report. OR I. xix-1, 547.
22 Pratt, 566.
23 D'Utassy's Testimony, 596; Hildebrandt's Testimony, 602.
24 Major-General T. J. Jackson's Report, OR I. xix-1, 954.
25 Eisenschiml, 30.
26 McIlvaine's Report, 548.
27 William H. Nichols HI, "Reminiscences of the Siege of Harper's Ferry," Paper read by a veteran of the 7th Rhode Island Cavalry before a G.A.R. post meeting. Unpaged in my xerox copy. (Salem, Massachusetts: Salem Book and Job Printers, 1886).
28 Pratt, 563-564.
29 Captain S. C. Means Testimony, OR I. xix-1, 752.
30 Thomas Bell, "At Harper's Ferry: September 14, 1862: How the Cavalry Escaped out of the Toils...", Civil War Times Illustrated Collection in Carlisle Barracks (Pa.) Military History Institute, 12. Bell was in the 8th New York Cavalry.
31 Lieutenant Colonel Hasbrouck Davis' Testimony, OR I, xix-1, 629.
32 Bell, 12.
33 H. Davis' Testimony, 629.
34 William McIlhenny, Cole's Cavalry Battalion, Civil War Times Illustrated Collection in Carlisle Barracks (Pa.) Military History Institute, 12.
35 Bell, 13.
36 Pratt, 565.
37 Nichols, unpaged.
38 McIlhenny, unpaged.
39 McIlhenny, unpaged; Bell, 13.
40 Bell, 14.
4l McIlhenny, unpaged.
42 McIlhenny, unpaged.
43 Nichols, unpaged.
44 Willson, 83.
45 Binney's Report, 539.
46 Willson, 83.
47 DeGraff, 43, 45.
48 Eisenschiml, 31.
49 The signal corps was the army's means of visual and aural communication particularly when telegraph lines were cut. Blank cannon blasts, semaphores, etc. were used to make contact with besieged forces such as that at Harper's Ferry.
50 DeGraff, 19-20.
51 White's Report, 528; Binney's Report, 539; D'Utassy's Testimony, 598-599.
52 D'Utassy's order in Colonel Simeon Sammon's Testimony, 628.
53 Hildebrandt's Testimony, 605-606.
54 DeGraff, 45.
55 Clark, 19-20.
56 New York Times, September 18, 1862.
57 Thompson, 22.
58 New York Times, September 18, 1862.
59 DeGraff, 47.
60 Hays, E. Z., Ed., History of the 32nd Regiment Ohio Veteran Volunteers (Columbus. Ohio: Cott and Evans, 1896), 33.
61 New York Times, September 18, 1862.
62 D'Utassy Testimony, 599; Hildebrandt, Testimony, 606.
63 Eisenschiml, 31.
64 William Woods Hassler, A.P. Hill: Lee's Forgotten General (Richmond: Garrett and Masie, 1957), 186.
65 Willson, 84-85.
66 New York Times, September 18, 1862; See also, Appendix XIII, Copy of a letter written by Celeste B. Newcomer to her parents in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, May 28, 1906, in A.L. Sullivan, Harper's Ferry Study, Harper's Ferry National Monument Inactive File, HI 8, 1962.
67 Ibid.; Miles' actions at Harper's Ferry, his fickle commands, his contradictions, and his earlier history of substance abuse lead this writer to believe that Miles was a severe alcoholic, acting as alcoholics often do in a crisis.
68 New York Times September 18, 1862; Binney's Report, 539.
69 Hassler, 101; This manner of greeting a fellow officer does not seem like Jackson at all, leading this writer to believe that, like the " headquarters/hindquarters" story, it is more fiction than fact. Jackson's personal habits in the field may have been slovenly, but his manners were not The surrender terms, on the other hand, were part of Jackson's military style.
70 Eisenschiml, 32-33.
71 Clark, 23.
72 New York Times, September 18, 1862.
73 Archie P. McDonald, Ed., Make Me A Map of the Valley (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1973), 82.
74 Thompson, 23.
75 New York Times, September 18, 1862.
76 Allan Nevins, The War For the Union, II (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1960), 219.
77 Eisenschiml, 33.
78 John Esten Cooke, Stonewall Jackson (New York: G. W. Dellingham, 1866), 326.
79 Willson, 88.
80 Ibid., 88-89.
81 New York Times, September 18, 1862.
82 Eisenschiml, 34.
83 William Best Hesseltine, Civil War Prisons: A Study in War Psvchology (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1930), 106-107; The same situation had existed at Fort Donelson in February 1862 when General Ulysses S. Grant similarly captured a garrison of 12,000 Confederate troops. Many of the Donelson prisoners were conveyed to Northern prisons, but some, who were not supposed to fight for the Confederacy again until duly exchanged, showed up at Vicksburg, an occurrence that Grant protested throughout the war.
84 Harper's Ferry Military Commission, Appendix 1, Lieutenant Charles Graham Bacon's Report, OR I, xix-1, 552-553.
85 Dispatch of Jackson to Col. R. H. Chilton, OR I, xix-1, 951.
86 J. H. Stine, History of the Army of the Potomac (Washington D.C.: Gibson Books, 1893), 181-182.
87 Shelby Foote, The Civil War: A Narrative, I (New York: Random House, 1958), 692.
88 Ibid., 183.
89 Ibid., 181.
90 Ibid., 160.
91 Compte de Paris, History of the Civil War in America, II (Philadelphia: Joseph H. Coates, 1876), 330.
92 Letter from General Daniel Tyler. OR I. xix-1, 552.
93 Binney's Report, OR I. xix-1, 540; Dispatch from William C. Hall to Captain Eckert, Sept. 18, 1862, OR-I, xix-2, 325; Hays, 34; DeGraff, 49, 51.
94 Eisenschiml, 37.
95 Thompson, 24.
96 DeGraff, 21, 23.
98 Ibid.; Thompson, 24.
99 DeGraff, 51, 53.
100 Willson, 102; This Minnesota Sioux uprising was finally put down by the Army and Lincoln ordered a mass execution of its leaders. A visitor to the camp of the Sioux Chieftain, Little Crow, present during the struggle, was given a rare opportunity to view bluecoat "justice" at work. The whites would later call him Sitting Bull.
101 Willson, 104-105. 102 Ibid., 105-106; Hays, 35.
103 Willson, 106; Eisenschiml, 111.
104 Willson, 111-112.
105 Ibid., 107, 112, 118.
106 Hays, 35-36.
107 Willson, 119.
108 Eisenschiml, 55, 58.
109 Willson, 114.
110 Eisenschiml, 45.
111 Willson, 107.
112 Eisenschiml, 50.
113 Hays, 37.
114 Eisenschiml, 46.
115 Willson, 118.
116 Caroline Cowles Richards, Village Life in America (Williamstown, Mass.: Corner House Publishers, 1972), 152-153.
117 Regimental Record Books of the 39th New York Volunteer Infantry, National Archives, Washington D.C.
118 #203, Record of the Harper's Ferry Military Commission, OR I, xix-1, 549-803; D'Utassy Testimony, 600.
119 Colonel William G. Ward's Testimony, OR I, xix-1, 731.
120 Final Report of the Harper's Ferry Military Commission OR-I, xix-1, 799- 800.
121 Ibid., 798-799; Arthur L. Sullivan, "Harper's Ferry in the Civil War, 1862," (Harper's Ferry Research Project, HF-94B, June 1961), 113.
122 W. Hoffman, Commissary General of Prisoners, to Daniel Tyler at Camp Douglas, OR-II, iv, 720.
123 D'Utassy's Report on raid on Dumfries and Fairfax Station, Union Mills, Va. to Silas Casey, Dec. 30, 1862, OR-I, xxi, 715-716.
124 General Orders #30, Court Martial Record, Union Mills, Virginia, December 19, 1862, D'Utassy Papers, NYSHS.
125 D'Utassy Report, Dumfries Raid, OR-I, xxi, 715-716.
126 General Orders #24, Time Table for Month of March, Regimental Order Book of the 39th New York State Volunteer Infantry (Washington D.C.: National Archives.)
127 Regimental order #136, April 26, 1863, 39th New York Regimental Order Book. (Washington D.C.: National Archives.).
128 Perhaps the dogs thought it was Guard Dog Drill. Regimental Order, Headquarters Third Brigade, April 17th, 1863, Regimental Order Book.
Copyright by Catherine Catalfamo, 1989