Showing posts with label Casualty Lists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Casualty Lists. Show all posts

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Diary of Private Daniel L. Ambrose: Tuesday, April 8, 1862

Oh! what a terrible scene does Shiloh's field present this morning. It is a scene of death; its victims lay everywhere. The blood of about thirteen thousand warriors has been shed here in the last two days. My God! what a sacrifice, what a flow of blood. But liberty has claimed it for an emancipated mind, and may it water well the great tree of universal freedom, and cause it to extend its branches fosteringly over a struggling people. In these two days of battle the Seventh sustained a heavy loss. The following are the casualties: 

Major R. Rowett, wounded. 

Company A. — Captain Samuel G. Ward, killed; private Alden Bates, killed. 

Company B. — Captain Hector Perrin, wounded; private Charles Newton, killed; Michael O'Keep, killed. 

Company C. — Sergeant George Mitchell, killed; Samuel Wilson, wounded. 

Company D. — Private Andrew McKinnon, killed. 

Company E. — Private Edmund Keve, wounded. 

Company F. — Killed; private Isaac Britton. Mortally Wounded ; privates John Jackson, Chas. P. Laing, John P. Hale. Wounded ; Wallace Partridge, John Dell, James Harrington, Hugh H. Porter, John Larkin, James Close. 

Company G. — Private John Gibland, killed; Captain Henry W. Allen, wounded ; private George Harris, wounded. 

Company H. — Lieutenant Leo Wash. Myres, killed ; private John H. Duff, killed ; private Ernst H. Myres, wounded; private Charles Ward, wounded; Sergeant Laban Wheeler, wounded; private James Walker, wounded; private Geo. W. Fletcher, wounded; private Carol Hurt, wounded; private Thomas Taylor, wounded; private Charlie Halbert; wounded; private Elam Mills, wounded. 

Company I. — Corporal Seth Hamilton, killed ; private John Bollyjack, killed ; private James Craven, killed; private James Lacy, killed; Sergeant Charles M. Fellows, wounded; private James Crowley, wounded; private John Johnson, wounded; private George Marsh, wounded; private Wm. S. Rogers ; wounded; private Michael Toner, wounded; private George Vesey, wounded; private George W. Byron, wounded; private Marcus McKinnis, wounded; private Daniel J. Baker, wounded. 

Company K. — Private John Nixon, killed; private Charles P. Huffman, wounded; private Jacob Howe, wounded ; Sergeant J. B. Sanders, wounded ; Sergeant Wm. C. Gillson, wounded; private John M. Anderson, wounded; private Thos. J. R. Grant, wounded; private Green B. Johnson, wounded; private George Reiner, wounded; private Joseph White, wounded. Total killed, 14; total wonnded, 43; sum total of casualities, 57. 

Glorious record! Proud names! Yes, proud as any that will ever embellish our national escutcheon. Departed souls, as courageous as history can boast of. From Shiloh's dark wilderness, no nobler, no braver spirit took its flight into the skies than the spirit of Captain Ward, of Company A. He fell mortally wounded in the fiercest of the battle Sunday evening, while at the head of his company, cheering his men on to deeds of valor. Some of his company stop to carry him from the field; but while glory is beaming in the dying warrior's eye, he says to his gallant men: “There goes the flag; it will need all its noble defenders to hold it up in the terrible battle that is raging so fiercely. Boys, it is trembling now! Lay me down to die; leave me and follow the old Seventh's silken folds, and tell the boys of Company A, that ere the sun's light is hid from this field, their Captain will be no more; that I will be silently sleeping in death. Tell them to remember Captain Ward, and keep the old flag in the wind.” 

Fainting he falls; his features lose their glow; his eyes are closed forever to the light. Alone, he died—died in his glory. Noble sacrifices may be offered in this war for the Union, but no nobler sacrifice, no grander type of a man, of a soldier, will ever be offered than has been offered in Captain Samuel G. Ward, of Company A. Captain Ward was among the first to hearken to the first call of the President in April, 1861. From a private in Company A, he was promoted by Colonel Cook to Sergeant Major of the regiment. At the end of the three months' service, Sergeant Major Ward was unanimously chosen Captain of Company A, in which position he served faithfully until liberty claimed him as a sacrifice on Shiloh's field, April 6th, 1862. Every one saw in him the elements of a rising officer; a star that was already shining, the light of which would have been seen afar had not the wild tempest blown it out so early. Though he passed away in youth's hopeful morning, ere his aspirations were reached, immortality's royal messenger will take up his name, and while soft winds chant a requiem around his grave, will say of him: “Here sleeps Captain Ward, whom liberty claimed in its great struggle on Shiloh's plain. He lived, he died, for country, home, and flag.” 

Lieutenant Leo Washington Myres, of Company H, died as the warriors die-nobly. He stood manfully while the bolts of war around him rattled, but he is a silent sleeper now. Amid shooting flames and curling smoke, he bravely sacrificed his life—sacrificed it as one of the martyrs of freedom. Being among the first to rush to the standard when arch treason first lifted its mad head, he was elected Second Lieutenant of Company H, and at the end of the three months' service, he was unanimously chosen First Lieutenant, in which capacity he valiantly served until his life was sealed at Shiloh, April 6th, 1862. 

In the wild storm that swept over that field, no truer patriot soldier was borne down than Lieutenant Myres. As a lover of liberty he followed the flag southward and stood beneath its folds where the gulf winds blew across the plains of Mexico. With Taylor and Scott, he fought for it there. With Wallace he died for it down by the Tennesssee. Oh ! how can it be that stars that gave such brilliant light should go out so soon. The providences of God are indeed mysterious. 

But all died in their glory. Sergeant Mitchell, company C, Corporal Seth Hamilton, company I, privates Alden Bates, company A, John H. Duff, company H, Charles Newton, Company B, Andrew McKennon, company D, Isaac Britton, company F, John Gibland, company G, Corporal J. Nixon, company K, and many others, died crowned with laurels as bright as the midnight stars. Though they carried the musket, we will ascribe no less praise to them, for heroes they proved themselves to be. From Thermopylæ to Shiloh, the world has never produced grander types of gallantry than has been produced in these private soldiers, who fell on this battle-field. Of all the fallen of the Seventh who went down in Shiloh's two days of battle, I can only say of them as Mark Anthony said of Julias Cæsar, “Their lives were grand; the elements so mixed in them that all the world might stand up and say, they were men; they were heroes; they were soldiers.” 

While on the battle-field, Sergeant S. F. Flint, Company I, writes: 

Soft fall the dews of midnight and morning, 
O’er the green hills where slumber the brave, 
Fall on each nameless and desolate grave; 
And soft be the song of the slow flowing river, 
As it pours by the shores they have hallowed forever. 

In peace and off duty the soldier is sleeping, 
No more will he wake at the shrill reveille, 
As it rings through the vales of the old Tennessee; 
But the wail of the wind, and the roll of the river, 
As it thrills o'er the hills his requiem forever, 

Oh! the homes in their own northern prairies and valleys, 
More lonely and dark than those desolate graves, 
O! the wailings that answer the winds and the waves ; 
O! the tears that will flow like the fall of the river, 
As it swells through the dells where they slumber forever. 

But lift up the old flag they died in defending, 
And swear by each nameless but glorious grave, 
That hallowed with triumph its free folds shall wave 
O'er the hills and the vales and the bright flowing river, 
O'er the whole lovely land of our fathers forever. 

We will now pass to yonder hospital steamer. The Seventh's wounded lay here; among the noble company lies the gallant Captain Hector Perrin, wounded badly in the thigh. Though a son of France, he loved freedom, and being one from the school of La Fayette, he fought bravely on Shiloh's field. Among this company we find heroes, all of whom have shown and yet show that they have in them the element of steel. Patiently and silently they endure their suffering. Who ever witnessed such fortitude ? The world will fail in its annals of blood to exhibit grander types. Some have lost a leg, others have frightful wounds in the face; but these are their patents of nobility. Dr. Hamilton, our popular Assistant Surgeon, as ever, has a care for the unfortunate ones. He is now, with his usual promptness, preparing to send them north. Some of them will never return again; but may a grateful people open wide to them their generous hearts, and leave them not to drift through the world in storm. Returning we mingle with the living. Of the noble survivors we can only say of them, they did well; they played their part as nobly as the most gallant warriors have ever done on any battle-field. In these two days of battle Major Rowett, who is now in his tent slightly wounded, but prostrated upon his cot, worn out by excessive toil, proved himself worthy the leadership of brave men. Where danger most threatened, there he was always found. None moved amid the carnage with a more dashing force. Full of fire and life, with a reckless contempt for danger, he stemmed the wild storm. He was wounded twice and had his horse shot but nothing could check him. At the head of his regiment he was always found, and it is conceded by those who knew, that no regimental commander handled his command on Shiloh's field better than Major Rowett handled the Seventh, At no time was the regiment driven into confusion, though many times its line was broken, but each time was reformed promptly, and be it said to the credit of the regiment, not a prisoner was taken in consequence of straggling. Captain Monroe, acting Major, has won the encomiums of all. Fight and battle seem to be his element. He carries with him triumph and glory. Enthusiastic as are all the brave, his voice was ever heard cheering the men and telling them never to let the flag go down. Captains Lawyer, Hunter, Estabrook, Church, Lieutenants Ring, Smith, Roberts, Ellis, Sullivan, Sweeny and Ahern were ever foremost in the battle and ever found encouraging their men, bidding them to stand firm for the flag and freedom. The color bearer, Sergeant Coles Barney, of company H, won for himself the admiration of his officers and comrades, for the gallant manner in which he bore his banner through the wild tempest. 

But all were brave, and all fought valiantly. They marched in blood, and threw themselves against arch treason until the Union's proud banner waved upon a triumphant field. At times it was fearfully dark, and the flag seemed to droop, but our noble men stood around it, and while blood was ebbing, they formed a defense of steel backed by hearts that never faltered. And thus defended, their flag, the pride of the mighty millions, shed glorious light around the noble men of the Seventh. 

Large parties are now at work burying the dead of both armies. Shiloh will be one vast grave-yard, but it will be destitute of marble slabs. Hundreds of Union soldiers will sleep here, and in the years to come, the patriot pilgrims will tread the earth above them, and know not that beneath sleeps Shiloh's martyrs. But should they chance to see some graves that are arched, so that they can be recognized as the graves of the lone soldiers, they will not know whether the sleepers fought for or against the old flag, and the friends of the loved and lost will not know upon which graves to throw their flowers or drop their tears, 

SOURCES: Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, p. 57-65

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Diary of Private Daniel L. Ambrose: Monday, February 17, 1862

This morning the boys in blue are everywhere in and around Fort Donelson, scattered among the boys in gray, rehearsing the scenes they have witnessed, and the trials through which they have passed. Although the Seventh was in the thickest of the battle, as their riddled colors show, their loss is comparatively small. The casualties in the two days' battle around Fort Donelson are as follows:

Company A.— Thomas Crayon, wounded.
Company B.— Private Thomas J. Parish, wounded in left hand; private Edmond P. Mann, wounded.
Company C. — John Brint, wounded in thigh.
Company D. — First Lieutenant James Munn, wounded in face.
Company F. — John Dell, wounded; Rosewell C. Staples, wounded.
Company G. — Jno. H. Dougherty, wounded in arm.
Company H. — Private John D. Turner, wounded in head.
Company I. — Captain Noah E. Mendell, killed; Ole Porter, killed; Corporal William Boring, wounded, leg amputated.
Company K. — John W. Hopper, killed by cannon shot; Corporal Thomas Kirby, wounded severely; Corporal Wallace Smith, wounded slightly; John Rhodes, wounded severely; Julius Wolf, wounded slightly: Dilivan D. Daniels, wounded severely; Winfry Mitchell, wounded slightly; Charles Huffman, wounded severely, leg amputated; Jacob Hoen, wounded slightly. Sum total of casualties, 20.

In looking over the list we notice that company K, the gallant Captain Hunter's company, sustained nearly half the loss in the regiment. Noble old Carlinville company, under its brave leader, made a fearful swing on these fortified hills. We will add no more; their list of casualties speaks for itself. It tells the story more plainly than pen can write it. Though our loss is light, we miss those who have fallen, and those who have been wounded. Among the most distinguished who fell in these wintry days of battle before Fort Donelson will ever appear the name of the brave Captain Noah E. Mendell, of company I. In view of the accident that befell him near Fort Henry, his friends remonstrated with him, and besought him to remain at the rear, but when the order was given “Forward to Fort Donelson," he determined not to be thwarted by anything. Evading the surgeon, who forbade his going, alleging, as was the case, that he was unfit for duty, he pressed on, saying to his gallant First Lieutenant, Edward S. Johnson: “Ed, you take command of the company; I will follow you as long as I have strength.” When he heard the drums beating, and the loud huzzas away on those hills, his heart beat high, and its silent language was, men tell me not to stay; I will go where that old flag goes to-day. Being unable from the injuries received near Fort Henry, to buckle his sword belt around his waist, he buckled it around his neck and followed close in the rear of his company, cheering his men and telling them to stand by their brave, youthful leader, Lieutenant Johnson, who was then commanding the company. But how soon are his hopes dashed down. A whizzing grape comes crashing through the woods and singles him as its victim, entering his head just beneath the right ear, coming out immediately through the center of his left. His death was instantaneous, and he fell with his sword still above his head, with his face lit up with the smile of triumph—a glorious death and such as all brave and patriotic soldiers like him would wish to die—face to face with the enemies of his country. Captain Mendell was born in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, November 4th, 1837, and consequently was in his twenty-fifth year at the time of his death, February 13th, 1862. When the call was made for three months' volunteers he was among the first to offer his services, together with a majority of Captain John Cook's (State Militia) company, denominated the Springfield Zouave Grays, of which he was long a respected member. Upon Captain Cook's promotion to Colonel, Mendell rose to Second Lieutenant, in which capacity he served during the three months' service, at the close of which he was unanimously chosen Captain for the three years' service. He was the only brother of Captain G. H. Mendell, of the United States Topographical Engineers, professor at West Point, whom, with a loving father and sister, he leaves to mourn his early death. He is silently sleeping now. May he sleep well, and may the noble men of his company, should they in coming years pass his grave, tread lightly there and shed a silent tear to his memory; and may every soldier of the Seventh do likewise, remembering that there sleeps the gallant Captain Noah E. Mendell, the first brave soldier of the Seventh who fell in the war for the Union, and the first in Grant's army who fell a victim upon the Union altar before the battlements of Fort Donelson.

Preparations are now being made to send his remains home to be buried in the Springfield cemetery. As a martyr, we give him to the loyal people of Springfield, and the Seventh, especially his noble company, appeals to them in the language of the poetess:

Lay him where the clover blooms,
Let the gallant soldier rest
Where the twilight dews will fall
On his youthful breast.

Lay him where the evening sun
Gives to him her parting ray;
Where the violet droops her head
At the closing day.

Lay him where the midnight star
Sheds o'er him her gentle light;
Where the wood bird's plaintive strain
Serenades the night.

Lay him where the stars and stripes
Will o'er him ever wave';
Where no foe can touch the realm,
For which he died to save.

Lay him where bright angel wings
Will guard his happy sleep ;
Until the Saviour's voice shall call,
May their faithful vigil keep.

Company D has lost for a time their loved and brave-hearted Lieutenant Munn. True to the flag and its fostered principles, he fought valiantly until wounded, when he was compelled to leave the field. We remember when he went bleeding from the hill, when we were making the assault on Saturday evening. He was foremost in the fray, fighting bravely until the battle was waning, when one of the deadly messengers selected him as its prey, inflicting a frightful wound in his face. Heroic soldier! We fear he will battle no more in the cause of human right.

The wounded are now being sent north, and while there, may they receive from the loyal people tokens of gratitude, that will make them feel glad that they stood on the banks of the Cumberland, when the winter winds blew, and when the battle king made his deadly march, causing shot and shell to make a dirge-like music where they stood. We cannot pass without alluding to the noble ones who passed through the battle untouched; who bore the flag through tempest and storm and planted its staff firmly in the ramparts. But how can we distinguish any when all were brave; when all stood so nobly during those fierce hours of battle?

Lieutenant Colonel A. J. Babcock deserves the praise of all. Cool and calm as a placid brook, with a heart that prompted to daring deeds, he led his men through the terrible storm, and as they followed him there was power felt on those hills. He displayed a tact and skill in handling the regiment, forming it at one time under a galling fire, which elicited the commendation of the General commanding. We will not soon forget how often his voice rang out in inspiring tones, and how the Seventh went surging on with him, and how her flag was ofttimes seen, reflecting its light where smoke and red-hot flame belched forth from brazen fronts.

Major Rowett also deserves the plaudits of all. Enthusiastic, but not rash, he was found where all the brave were found. None but could admire his dashso free, so courageous—as he moved with the regiment on those hills with defiance, facing danger and cheering his men on to victory. Says he, since the battle: “I never felt so happy in all my life as when before that rebel battery the first day; happy because I there discovered that I had a heart to face the cannon's mouth, which I did not feel certain of having until then.” Many of the Seventh can speak likewise; can testify that they feel glad in their hearts that they have been tried and not found wanting. Among the brigade commanders none were more conspicuous when the battle was at its highest than our Colonel, John Cook. Amid the terrible storm that rolled from the cannon's angry front he stood. Though death and carnage followed in its wake, making little streams beneath his feet, he faltered not, but with that veteran soldier and brave general, Smith, he moved until the sun went down and the battle storm was hushed.

SOURCES: Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, p. 36-42

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes: Thursday, May 19, 1864

Meadow Bluff, May 19, 1864

Dearest: — We got safely to this point in our lines, two hours ago, after twenty-one days of constant marching, frequent fighting, and much hardship, and some starvation. This is the most completely successful and by all odds the pleasantest campaign I have ever had. Now it is over I hardly know what I would change in it except to restore life and limbs to the killed and wounded.

My command in battles and on the march behaved to my entire satisfaction. None did, none could have done better. We had a most conspicuous part in the battle at Cloyd's Mountain and were so lucky. You will see the lists of killed and wounded. We brought off two hundred of our wounded in our train and left about one hundred and fifty. But we have good reason to think they will fare well. . . .

We took two cannon which the regiment has got along here by hard work. The Thirty-sixth and Twenty-third are the only regiments which went into the thickest of the fight and never halted or gave back. The Twelfth did well but the "Flatfoots" backed out. The Ninety-first well, but not much exposed. The Ninth Virginia did splendidly and lost heavier than any other. The Potomac Brigade, (Pennsylvania Reserves, etc., etc.,) broke and fled. I had the dismounted men of the Thirty-fourth. They did pretty well. Don't repeat my talk. But it is true, the Twenty-third was the Regiment. The Thirty-sixth I know would have done as well if they had had the same chance. The Twenty-third led and the Thirty-sixth supported them. General Crook is the best general I have ever known.

This campaign in plan and execution has been perfect. We captured ten pieces of artillery, burned the New River Bridge and the culverts and small bridges thirty in number for twenty miles from Dublin to Christiansburg. Captured General Jenkins and three hundred officers and men; killed and wounded three to five hundred and routed utterly his army.*

We shall certainly stay here some days, perhaps some weeks, to refit and get ready for something else. You and the boys are remembered and mentioned constantly.

One spectacle you would have enjoyed. The Rebels contested our approach to the bridge for two or three hours. At last we drove them off and set it on fire. All the troops were marched up to see it — flags and music and cheering. On a lovely afternoon the beautiful heights of New River were covered with our regiments watching the burning bridge. It was a most animating scene.

Our band has been the life of the campaign. The other three bands all broke down early. Ours has kept up and played their best on all occasions. They alone played at the burning of the bridge and today we came into camp to their music.

I have, it is said, Jenkins' spurs, a revolver of the lieutenant-colonel of [the] Rebel Thirty-sixth, a bundle of Roman candles, a common sword, a new Rebel blanket, and other things, I would give the dear boys if they were here. — Love to all.

Affectionately ever
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 461-3

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Elizabeth Adams Lusk to Captain William Thompson Lusk, Saturday, December 20, 1862

New-York, Dec. 20th, 1862,
My own dear, dear Son:

I have many times during the past week thought of writing you, but I could not. Disaster, death, and the sickness of distressing fears have kept me quiet, striving for a firm trust and confidence in the mercy of God. My mind has been greatly relieved on your account, by seeing in the Herald that Burns' Division, of which the 79th formed a part, were not under fire, although they rendered important service. Thanks and praise to Him who has, I trust, again brought you safely through the perils of the battlefield. When the news of the repulse, with the dreadful loss on our side, reached New-York, gloom and despondency rested on all who had hearts to feel for anything. The sickening list of dead and wounded have been read over again and again, by mothers and sisters with tears and groans. Fathers sink their heads in anguish, and for all this distress and agony, we have gained nothing. But my dear son, the Nation is now I believe fully aroused, and the awful responsibility of this dreadful slaughter must rest where it belongs. None of our rulers, we hope and believe, will now escape the searching ordeal, and though this thought brings little consolation to the “desolated hearth,” yet for the brave hearts still “battling for their country,” it may bring some cheer. I visited St. Vincent's Hospital yesterday with your Aunt Maria, who is constantly doing good from her abundant means to the sick and wounded soldiers. I talked with one poor fellow who had lost a leg, and was lying weak and pale in bed. He was so uncomplaining, so cheerful, I looked and wondered. He was so glad to get newspapers, he felt anxious about his brothers in the army before Fredericksburg, he had looked over the lists and their names were not there, and so he hoped they were safe. I told him I had my anxieties too, I had a dear son there, but so many days had passed I had courage to hope now. I learnt a lesson by that bedside. I am waiting, watching for letters from you. I feel that good reasons of some kind prevent my hearing. Sam and Wm. Elliott called to see me last Sunday evening, but I was out, which I deeply regretted. Lilly saw them, as they called first at our boarding-house, 24 West 31st Street. I am still on Murray Hill, but am going into my own apartments early next week. Wm. Elliott said he saw in Washington a picture of Gen. Stevens and his staff, and as he was buying one for himself he also bought one for us, which he would soon bring to us. The likeness of you he says is very good. Dr. Elliott has been transferred to the Second Hawkins Zouaves and will be in N. Y., he thinks, two months longer. I presume your Uncle will write you about your proposition to raise money for the Highlanders uniform. He seems to be considering the matter, though he has said little except that it would be well, and might perhaps be done, if you could come on yourself. We do not feel that the Highlanders, although a valiant Regt., have been just or kind to you. We are proud of the deeds of that gallant corps however, and if they do you the justice that is your due, I think your friends would gladly assist them. Nellie is hurrying me so I must close. Charlie Johnson is engaged to Miss Julia White, sister to Dr. Lee's wife.

God bless you, my own dear son. If the prayers of mother and sisters are indeed a shelter, ours have not been in vain. May God guard, guide, be with you everywhere, is my constant cry to Him. Uncle P., Aunt M., Nellie, Thomas, Lilly, all unite in love to you and in gratitude to God for your preservation from danger.

Always my own dear, dear son, your very

Loving Mother.

SOURCE: William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 252-4

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Elizabeth Adams Lusk to Captain William Thompson Lusk, September 16, 1862

Norwich, Sept 16th, 1862.
My own dear Son:

I have very little reason to believe in the probability of your receiving my many letters, yet I continue to write with the bare possibility that they may some of them reach you. Last night came the news of a glorious victory for us, but alas! also came the sad and sickening news that another of our good and able Generals was killed. In the general rejoicing my heart is heavy, for my dear son was in Reno's command when I last heard, and I am looking with fear and dread for the terrible list to come from that battlefield. How my God is trying me, and how merciful he has been to preserve my precious son through so many appalling dangers! My heart was so full of sympathy for Mrs. Stevens. I wrote her a letter a few days ago. I saw that her husband was buried at Newport, and an extract from an address delivered on the occasion impressed me wonderfully. We are all occupied by the same train of thought, deepened in intensity of course with some of us, by the danger our loved ones are in. I received a very kind letter from Horace a few days since, wherein he dwells upon the birth of your reputation; he says at twenty-four you have won honors enough to suffice for a life time. You are not forgotten my own son, my heroic boy. Many hearts are watching, eager for every word from you. The extract from your letter in the N. Y. Post has attracted the attention of many who know you personally, or have heard of you. They say the account is interesting, and written too, by one who observes. . . .

SOURCE: William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 197-8

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Samuel W. Crawford, April 18, 1861

Steamship Baltic,
Thursday, April 18, 1861.

I have the honor to submit to you the following report of killed and wounded during and after the engagement at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on the 12th, 13th and 14th of April, 1861.


April 12, Sergt. Thomas Kernan, Co. E., 1st Art'y. Severely.
April 12, Private James Hays, Co. E, 1st Art'y. Slightly.
April 12, Private Edward Gall way, Co. E, 1 st Art'y. Slightly.
April 12, John Swearer, mechanic, Eng'r Dep't. Severely.


April 14, Killed: Daniel Hough, Private, Co. E, 1st Artillery, while firing salute.


April 14, Edward Gallway, Co. E, mortally wounded; died on April 19.
April 14, John Irwin, Co. E, severely burned on thigh and leg.
April 14, James Fielding, Co. E, severely wounded.
April 14, John Pritchard, Co. E, slightly wounded—face with fire.
April 14, James Harp, Co. E. slightly wounded.

S. W. Crawford,
Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A.

SOURCE:  Samuel Wylie Crawford, The Genesis of the Civil War: The Story of Sumter, 1860-1861, p. 470.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

John L. Motley to Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., November 2, 1862

Vienna, November 2, 1862.

My Dear Holmes: More and more does it become difficult for me to write to you. I am greedier than ever for your letters, but the necessary vapidity of anything I can send to you in return becomes more apparent to me every day. It seems to me that by the time one of my notes makes its way to you in Boston it must have faded into a blank bit of paper. Where there is absolutely nothing in one's surroundings that can interest a friend, the most eloquent thing would seem to be to hold one's tongue. At least, however, I can thank you most warmly for your last letter. You know full well how interested I am in everything you can write, whether of speculation or of narration. Especially am I anxious to hear all that you have to say of Wendell's career. Of course his name among the wounded in the battle of Antietam instantly caught our eyes, and though we felt alarmed and uncomfortable, yet fortunately it was stated in the first intelligence we received that the wound, although in the neck, was not a dangerous one. I could not write to you, however, until I felt assured that he was doing well. I suppose Wendell has gone back to his regiment before this, and God knows whether there has not already been another general engagement in the neighborhood of the Potomac. What a long life of adventure and experience that boy has had in the fifteen months which have elapsed since I saw him, with his Pylades, seated at the Autocrat's breakfast-table in Charles Street!

Mary told me of his meeting with Hallowell, wounded, being brought from the field at the same time with himself, and of both being put together in the same house. We are fortunate in having a very faithful little chronicler in Mary, and she tells us of many interesting and touching incidents that otherwise might never reach us. She has also given us the details of the noble Wilder Dwight's death. It is unnecessary to say how deeply we were moved. I had the pleasure of knowing him well, and I always appreciated his energy, his manliness, and his intelligent, cheerful heroism. I look back upon him now as a kind of heroic type of what a young New-Englander ought to be and was. After all, what was your Chevy Chase to stir blood with like a trumpet? What noble principle, what deathless interest, was there at stake? Nothing but a bloody fight between a set of noble gamekeepers on one side, and of noble poachers on the other! And because they fought well and hacked each other to pieces like devils, they have been heroes for centuries.

Of course you know of Cairnes's book, and of John Mill's article in the “Westminster Review” for October, and of the sustained pluck and intelligence of the two Liberal journals in England, the “Daily News” and the “Star.” As for John Bright, I hope one day to see a statue raised to him in Washington. We must accept our position frankly. We are mudsills beloved of the Radicals. The negro-breeders are aristocrats, and, like Mrs. Jarley, the pride of the nobility and gentry.

Tell me, when you write, something of our State politics. It cannot be that these factionists can do any harm. But it is most mortifying to me that Boston of all the towns in the world should be the last stronghold of the pro-slavery party. I was interested in the conversation which you report:  “How many sons have you sent to the war? How much have you contributed? How much of your life have you put into it?” I hope there are not many who hold themselves quite aloof. For my own part, I am very distant in body, but in spirit I am never absent from the country. I never knew before what love of country meant. I have not been able to do much for the cause. I have no sons to give to the country. In money I have contributed my mite. I hope you will forgive me for mentioning this circumstance. I do so simply that you may know that I have not neglected a sacred duty. In these days in our country of almost fabulous generosity, I am well aware that what I am able to give is the veriest trifle; but as it is possible you might hear that I have done nothing, I take leave to mention this, knowing that you will not misunderstand me. I am not able to do as much as I ought. Your letters are intensely interesting. It isn't my fault if mine are stupid. Mary and Lily join me in sincerest regards to you and yours.

Ever your old friend,
J. L. M.

SOURCE: George William Curtis, editor, The Correspondence of John Lothrop Motley in Two Volumes, Library Edition, Volume 2, p. 291-3

Friday, August 7, 2015

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: May 27, 1864

In all this beautiful sunshine, in the stillness and shade of these long hours on this piazza, all comes back to me about little Joe; it haunts me — that scene in Richmond where all seemed confusion, madness, a bad dream! Here I see that funeral procession as it wound among those tall white monuments, up that hillside, the James River tumbling about below over rocks and around islands; the dominant figure, that poor, old, gray-haired man, standing bareheaded, straight as an arrow, clear against the sky by the open grave of his son. She, the bereft mother, stood back, in her heavy black wrappings, and her tall figure drooped. The flowers, the children, the procession as it moved, comes and goes, but those two dark, sorrow-stricken figures stand; they are before me now!

That night, with no sound but the heavy tramp of his feet overhead, the curtains flapping in the wind, the gas flaring, I was numb, stupid, half-dead with grief and terror. Then came Catherine's Irish howl. Cheap, was that. Where was she when it all happened? Her place was to have been with the child. Who saw him fall? Whom will they kill next of that devoted household?

Read to-day the list of killed and wounded.1 One long column was not enough for South Carolina's dead. I see Mr. Federal Secretary Stanton says he can reenforce Suwarrow Grant at his leisure whenever he calls for more. He has just sent him 25,000 veterans. Old Lincoln says, in his quaint backwoods way, “Keep a-peggin’.” Now we can only peg out. What have we left of men, etc., to meet these “reenforcements as often as reenforcements are called for?” Our fighting men have all gone to the front; only old men and little boys are at home now.

It is impossible to sleep here, because it is so solemn and still. The moonlight shines in my window sad and white, and the soft south wind, literally comes over a bank of violets, lilacs, roses, with orange-blossoms and magnolia flowers.

Mrs. Chesnut was only a year younger than her husband. He is ninety-two or three. She was deaf; but he retains his senses wonderfully for his great age. I have always been an early riser. Formerly I often saw him sauntering slowly down the broad passage from his room to hers, in a flowing flannel dressing-gown when it was winter. In the spring, he was apt to be in shirt-sleeves, with suspenders hanging down his back. He had always a large hair-brush in his hand.

He would take his stand on the rug before the fire in her room, brushing scant locks which were fleecy white. Her maid would be doing hers, which were dead-leaf brown, not a white hair in her head. He had the voice of a stentor, and there he stood roaring his morning compliments. The people who occupied the room above said he fairly shook the window glasses. This pleasant morning greeting ceremony was never omitted.

Her voice was “soft and low” (the oft-quoted). Philadelphia seems to have lost the art of sending forth such voices now. Mrs. Binney, old Mrs. Chesnut's sister, came among us with the same softly modulated, womanly, musical voice. Her clever and beautiful daughters were criard. Judge Han said: “Philadelphia women scream like macaws.” This morning as I passed Mrs. Chesnut's room, the door stood wide open, and I heard a pitiful sound. The old man was kneeling by her empty bedside sobbing bitterly. I fled down the middle walk, anywhere out of reach of what was never meant for me to hear.

1 During the month of May, 1864, important battles had been fought in Virginia, including that of the Wilderness on May 6th-7th, and the series later in that month around Spottsylvania Court House.

SOURCE: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 309-11

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Diary of Judith Brockenbrough McGuire: September 24, 1862

Still no official account of the Sharpsburg fight, and no list of casualties. The Yankee loss in generals very great — they must have fought desperately. Reno, Mansfield, and Miles were killed; others badly wounded. The Yankee papers say that their loss of “field officers is unaccountable;” and add, that but for the wounding of General Hooker, they would have driven us into the Potomac!

SOURCE: Judith W. McGuire, Diary of a Southern Refugee, During the War, p. 157

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Diary of Judith Brockenbrough McGuire: September 2, 1862

Lynchburg. – The papers to-day give glorious news of a victory to our arms on the plains of Manassas, on the 28th, 29th, and 30th. I will give General Lee's telegram:

army Of Northern Virginia,
Groveton, August 30 — 10 P. M.
Via Rapidan.

To President Davis: — This army achieved to-day, on the plains of Manassas, a signal victory over the combined forces of McClellan and Pope. On the 28th and 29th, each wing, under Generals Longstreet and Jackson, repulsed with valour attacks made on them separately. We mourn the loss of our gallant dead in every conflict, yet our gratitude to Almighty God for his mercies rises higher each day. To Him and to the valour of our troops a nation's gratitude is due.

R. E. Lee.

Nothing more to-day — my heart is full. The papers give no news of the dead and wounded. The dreaded black-list yet to come. In the mean time we must let no evil forebodings mar our joy and thankfulness.

SOURCE: Judith W. McGuire, Diary of a Southern Refugee, During the War, p. 150-1