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Title: History of the 159th Regiment, N.Y.S.V.
Author: Duffy, Edward, 1830?-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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HISTORY

OF THE

159TH REGIMENT, N.Y.S.V.



COMPILED FROM THE DIARY OF

LIEUT. EDWARD DUFFY



NEW YORK
1890



ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY COPIES
REPRINTED FROM
"HUDSON GAZETTE"
1865

No. 115



HISTORY

OF THE

159TH REGIMENT, N.Y.S.V.


During the latter part of October, 1862, negotiations were made by
which the 167th Regiment, Colonel HOMER A. NELSON, in Camp at Hudson,
was consolidated with the 159th Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel EDWARD L.
MOLINEUX, in camp at Brooklyn. The consolidated Regiment was
designated the 159th, Colonel NELSON retaining command. The Regiment
left "Camp-Kelly," Hudson, on the 30th day of October, proceeded on
board the steamer Connecticut, arrived in New York next morning, and
marched to Park Barracks. Remained there until November 1st, when we
were mustered, into the United States service by Lieutenant R.B.
Smith, U.S.A. Left Park Barracks and marched to Castle Garden; from
there proceeded by steamboat to Staten Island, and went into Camp at
New Dorp. Next day pitched our tents and had things very comfortable.

Colonel Nelson having been elected to Congress from his District,
Lieutenant Colonel E.L. Molineux was appointed Colonel, and took
command of the Regiment, which he virtually had from the first.

November 24th the Regiment broke Camp and was placed on board U.S.
steam transport Northern Light, pier No. 3, North River, and remained
at the wharf until December 2d, when we hauled into the stream. Early
on the morning of the 4th weighed anchor, and the 159th Regiment put
to sea. On the 13th we reached Ship Island, in the Gulf of Mexico,
having enjoyed a tolerable good passage for the season of the year,
being more fortunate than other ships of the expedition, some of them
having suffered considerable from rough weather off Cape Hatteras.

December 14th reached New Orleans, and anchored in the stream over
night.--The following day pursued our course up the river to Baton
Rouge, and arrived there on the 17th. The enemy, learning of our
approach in force, concluded to evacuate, while our monitors gave them
a parting salute, and the same day the Stars and Stripes were hoisted
to the breeze from the Capitol, amid the shouts and cheers of the
gratified soldiers.

Now the work began of making thorough soldiers of men, the greater
portion of whom never used fire arms before, at least not in the
manner required by the service. Squad, Company, Battalion, and Brigade
drill, with any quantity of discipline considered essential to fit
men for the campaigning and hardships visible in the distance, were
gone through with.

Perhaps few in the volunteer service, none of whom could boast of very
much practical experience, were better adapted than Colonel Molineux
for this severe task; very quick, energetic, ambitious to do his own
duty and to keep every man in his command busy, was the true secret of
his success as a disciplinarian.

For nearly three months the men were kept steadily under instruction,
and became quite proficient in the use of the musket, and all the
essential discipline to make an effective army.

On the 13th of March, 1863, broke camp, and the army moved up to the
rear of Port Hudson. Colonel Molineux having command of a provisional
Brigade with Nims' Massachusetts Battery, went up the Clinton Road,
while the main army proceeded down the Port Hudson Road about eighteen
miles, skirmishing the Rebels the whole way, driving their pickets
and scouts as they advanced.

At this time Port Hudson was strongly manned, there being from 23,000
to 25,000 men in that natural stronghold. Manoeuvred about this
quarter until the 20th, when we again joined the main body of the army
on the Port Hudson Road, returning to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

This movement was made to attract the attention of the enemy, and
enable Admiral Farragut's boats to proceed up the river past the fort
that here impeded his passage. This was a bold but brilliantly
successful move, that only an "iron Farragut" could have accomplished.
This blind enabled General Banks to more successfully pursue his
future designs, as the enemy had been led to suppose by the formidable
movements around Port Hudson that a general attack was to be made at
once to reduce the place. Subsequent events exhibited the picture in a
different light.

From the 20th to the 28th of March we were kept in readiness to move
at a moment's notice. Finally, the suspense was removed and we
proceeded on board the transport ship Laurel Hill, to Donaldsonville,
La., where we landed in a drizzling rain, about 10 o'clock, P.M., with
mother earth for a couch and the broad, moist sky for a canopy. Active
campaigning was now fairly inaugurated.

On the 31st of March the troops moved for Thibodeaux, La. The 159th
was detailed in charge of supplies and Regimental property, and
proceeded by boat up the Bayou Lafourche, arriving at Thibodeaux April
1st. On the 3d we moved to the Railroad Station at Terra Bone, taking
the cars for Bayou Bueff, where we arrived on the 4th. Remained here
until the 9th. Arrived at Brasher City, La., on the 11th, in company
with the 13th Connecticut, 26th Maine, and a detachment of Cavalry.
Boarded river steamer Laurel Hill, and proceeded up Berwick Bay, into
Grand Lake, accompanied by Grover's Division, numbering about 8,000
men. Had with us three small gun-boats, moving cautiously. Reached the
Bend without disaster, the gun-boats shelling the woods and covering
the landing of the troops, which took place on the morning of the
13th. Skirmishing lines were thrown out immediately. The Lake is three
or four miles wide at this place, and is called Shell Bend. Having all
ashore and everything in good order, the enemy in sight, we retired
for the rest we needed, little realizing the hard fight before us. Lay
in skirmish line all night. A few of our men were wounded.

At early dawn of the 14th of April, the lines advanced without
breakfast, marching about a mile and a half. The enemy was strongly
posted in a wood at a bend in the Bayou. Covered by the gun-boats, the
25th and 13th Connecticut and 26th Maine, commanded by Colonel Birge,
were skirmishing briskly in front. Colonel Molineux was ordered to
take his Regiment, the 159th, and advance and charge the woods.

We advanced in good style over a plowed cane-field in line, passing
over the 26th Maine, who were lying down. Passed the skirmish line of
the 25th Connecticut, who were under cover of the cane on our right.
Several of our men fell in the advance. Reached within pistol shot of
the fence and wood where the enemy was concealed. Scarcely one could
be seen while they poured a most effective fire on us, but we steadily
advanced 'till ordered to lay down. At this time the men were nearly
exhausted, marching at double quick over rough ground with heavy
knapsacks; it took a little time to catch fresh wind and unburthen
ourselves of our heavy load. We could not have stopped at a more
uncomfortable place, for the enemy gave it to us hot and sweet, while
we did not have a chance to see them. They came out of the wood
through the cane to the rear of our right flank, and right on top of
us. We no doubt would have layed there 'till every man of us was shot
had not the order come to fall back to the left. Several of our men
were taken prisoners, the enemy rushing upon us while rising up from
our position, and poured a most deadly fire into us with fearful
effect. The 91st N.Y.S. Volunteers coming down to our aid, the rebels
skedaddled, but not without some loss and a number taken prisoners.

Col. Molineux was severely wounded in the mouth, Lieut-Col. Draper and
Adjutant Lathrop were killed; the Colonel, Lieut-Colonel and Adjutant
were nobly doing their duty in the advance, leading their men. No
officers could have done better or been more brave. They were picked
out by the enemy's sharpshooters posted in the trees near by.

The victory was ours, though the Regiment paid dearly for this, their
maiden fight. Second Lieutenant Lockwood, of Company G, was killed
while nobly leading his Company. Lieutenants Plunket and Price were
mortally wounded. Lieutenant Manley, of Company A, was killed, and
Lieutenant Tieman and Captain Petit were slightly wounded. Our total
killed, wounded and missing amounted to 112, viz: 6 officers, 23 men
killed; 2 officers, 69 men wounded, and 12 men prisoners. Major Burt,
who was on General Grover's staff, now assumed command of the
Regiment.

The 91st N.Y.S. Volunteers were to have advanced with us on the right,
but misunderstanding the order, they failed to advance, causing us to
be flanked and receive a heavy enfilading fire by which we suffered so
much.

Our Division was to fall on the rear of the enemy, when they were
driven from their entrenched position, at Bislin, south of Franklin.
The strong resistance at Irish Bend was to make good their escape,
which they effected at the loss of a large number of prisoners.

April 15th, marched up Teche 18-½ miles, the main column, under
General Banks, in advance. Arrived at New Iberia, where Mills and
Ashton, of Company K, who were taken prisoners at Irish Bend, joined
the Regiment, the enemy having paroled them.

Arrived at Vermillion Bayou, and finding the bridges burned, had to
reconstruct them. The Regiment was now detailed to collect cattle
through the prairie and drive them to Berwick City. We collected about
three thousand head.

A detachment of the Regiment left us to gather up cotton and other
property laying about loose. Arrived safely at Berwick City, and
returned in charge of a wagon train which we left at Opolosus, and
reported to the Division Commander at Barrie's Landing, on the Teche,
eight miles from Opolosus.

May 5th broke camp and marched to Little Washington, La., and from
there to Wells' Plantation, where we went into camp. Left Welles' Farm
and marched to Simsport, a distance of eighty miles, where we arrived
on the 18th, and crossed the Mississippi, landing at Boyou Sara, on
the night of the 21st.

The 24th day of May brought us close to the enemy's outer works in
front of Port Hudson, after marching the distance of eight hundred
miles from the 28th day of March to the 24th day of May.

Our position now placed us under a heavy fire and shelling from the
fort. The enemy well knowing the Road we were obliged to advance on,
poured an accurate fire upon our line. But few casualties occurred,
although some narrow and hair-breadth escapes happened.

On the 25th of May, skirmishing all day. Result, four of our men
killed. At noon our men were relieved from picket, and the Regiment
ordered to the right of our Division. A general movement was made
along the lines, and our Regiment was selected to attack a portion of
the enemy's works, and storm it. The 25th Connecticut Volunteers was
consolidated with us, commanded by Major Burt. It was necessary to
make a circuitous route three miles through the woods to the right, to
reach the position to be attacked, exposed the whole way to a
continued and terrific fire of shot and shell; but our boys
unflinchingly pressed on through ravines, over felled trees, and all
sorts of intricacies natural and artificial. The final assault was to
be made upon an almost perpendicular slope. "Forward!" was the word,
and persistently we advanced, reaching just under and near the
parapet, but the fire was like hail; the Color Bearer was shot dead
and the color staff shot from his hands, but it was again secured and
brought off. We lay in this position for some hours unable to advance
or retreat; it seemed almost impossible for one to escape under such
a fire. A number of our men remained in this position until after
dark, when the firing ceased. Shortly after midnight, the enemy
supposing we still lay close to their works, sallied out and poured a
heavy volley into the position from which we had been very prudently
removed but a short time previous. We captured one Captain and eight
sharpshooters in ambush outside the works; this was but little, yet it
furnished some satisfaction for our loss. This was in advance of any
previous attack, several of which were made during the day. Our loss
on this eventful day was 21 men killed and 38 wounded. From this time
until June 14th we were almost continually in the rifle pits.

June 14th was selected for a general assault. The advance stormers,
led by the gallant Colonel PAINE, of the 4th Wisconsin Volunteers, who
had been acting Brigadier General for some time previous, pressed on
under the most severe fire. A number succeeded in penetrating the
enemy's works, but owing to the obstructions we were obliged to pass
over, the advance could not be supported with the necessary rapidity
for the success of the scheme. Colonel Paine being severely wounded
early in the action, materially injured the success of the enterprise.
The wounded Colonel lay in such a position that he could not be
removed until after dark; several attempts were made but the parties
were either killed or wounded in their noble efforts. It was in this
engagement that the gallant Colonel COWLES, of the 128th, lost his
life while leading his men to the assault.

Shortly after midnight we left the pits where we had been for several
days, to join the column of attack coming up at daylight, having to
defile through the woods several miles. General Grover's Division
supported the advance. The 159th advanced under a severe fire through
a ravine and over obstructed ground to a commanding position, a knoll
overlooking the enemy's works; here we lay in position until between
three and four o'clock, P.M., the enemy firing a continuous volley
over our heads. No thanks to them that our craniums escaped. It was
contemplated to make a second assault, and we were ordered to the
left, some distance over clear and exposed ground to join the forces
in waiting for this purpose. We remained here until after dark, and
the firing having ceased, further attempts were deferred, and we moved
back to the position we gained in the morning, and were set to work
fortifying, but were soon relieved by colored entrenchers, and
returned to our quarters in the woods, which we reached in the small
hours of the morning, greatly fatigued. Our loss on this occasion was
not severe; 12 men wounded.

To reduce the place was the work assigned, and it must be
accomplished. General Banks issued an order on the 15th of June,
congratulating the troops for their behavior and close investment of
the stronghold, and calling for 1,000 Volunteers from the forces to
form a storming column or "a forlorn hope." Soon more than the
required number were on hand, and formed into two Battalions, to be
commanded by General Birge. It did not become necessary to make this
assault. General Gardner hearing of the fall of Vicksburg, capitulated
on the 8th of July.

Every thing being satisfactorily arranged, our forces, preceded by the
storming party, entered the fortification and filed past 6,000 brave
but discomfited "Gray Backs;" freedom's emblem, the Stars and Stripes,
was soon hoisted, saluted by a discharge from the guns which had so
recently belched forth death against our lines.

On the 11th of July we proceeded down the river to Donaldsonville on
board the steamer Iberville. The enemy a few nights prior to the
surrender, made a desperate attack on a small garrison in the fort at
this place, but were repulsed with severe loss. The garrison numbered
not more than four hundred; more than three hundred of the enemy were
seriously wounded. The enemy was posted just behind the town;
batteries were placed along the levee at numerous places; several
boats had been destroyed, and the transportation of supplies was
getting quite precarious, but the surrender of Port Hudson put a stop
to their amusement. We landed at night, slept on our arms, and woke up
in the morning close to the enemy's pickets.

On the 14th a Brigade commanded by Colonel Morgan, of the 90th N.Y.
Volunteers, advanced upon the Bayou about four miles, driving the
enemy before him. The 159th was on his right flank doing picket duty,
and the Company I belonged to was on the outside post in command of
Captain William H. Sliter. Colonel Morgan came up to us and ordered
us to go with him. The Captain told him he _would not leave his post_,
a most important one, that the whole Brigade depended upon.

On the fifteenth the enemy made a stand under cover of a thick wood,
protected by heavy artillery. Finding our forces not very formidable,
the enemy advanced in force on our left flank, taking a number of
prisoners. Reinforcements at this time came up, and the enemy fell
back west of the Atchafalya River.

July 16th the 159th was detailed to guard wagon trains on the west
side of the Mississippi. Arrived at Carrolton, where we were allowed
to rest, remaining until the last of August, when we were sent to
Thibodeaux, La., _via_ Algiers.

September 1st, reached Thibodeaux. General Birge was in command of the
District of Lafourche. Our Regiment, with the 13th Connecticut, was
detailed to do provost and picket duty, while the other troops were
distributed over the District.

Colonel Molineux was appointed on General Franklin's Staff on the 24th
of September. We remained at this position until March 18th, 1864.
Quiet prevailed during our advent here, only a few night alarms
occuring, causing the long roll to beat and the men to turn out, but
they amounted to nothing serious.

January 1st, 1864, Lieutenant-Colonel Burt took command of the
Regiment at Thibodeaux, Colonel Molineux was relieved from duty on
General Franklin's Staff, and assigned to command the Lafourche
District, in place of General Birge, relieved on furlough.

On the 7th, Lieutenant-Colonel Burt resigned his Commission, on
Surgeon's certificate, and was honorably discharged, and the command
devolved on the senior officer, Captain Hart. His reign, however, was
short. Major Gaul, who was on detached service at Albany, N.Y., was
appointed Lieutenant-Colonel, _vice_ Burt, and Captain Waltermire made
Major. This arrangement was highly satisfactory to the whole Regiment.

February 25th, Lieutenant-Colonel Gaul reported for duty and took
command of the Regiment.

A new Company of 64 enlisted men arrived from Hudson, N.Y., under
command of Captain James S. Reynolds, First Lieutenant E. Spencer
Elmer, and Second Lieutenant Peter R. Van Deusen. Old Company G was
broken up, the men distributed through the Regiment, and the new
Company installed in their place.

On the 19th of March we broke camp for the spring campaign, having
been here nearly seven months. On the 21st took cars for New Orleans.
Arrived at Algiers on the 24th. Embarked on board the James Battel and
arrived at Alexandria, La., via. Red River, on the 27th of March.

Marched to west side of the river to Pineville while the dam was being
built to enable the gunboats to pass down the river. Colonel Molineux
was relieved from command of a recruiting party which he had been in
charge of, called the "Louisiana Scouts," but the Regiment nick-named
them the "Jay-hawkers." The gunboats having safely passed the dam, the
army commenced moving back on the Mississippi.

May 11th, the 159th with some artillery and cavalry, were placed in
charge of Alexandria and defences, under Colonel Molineux, and
remained there while General Banks moved on Shreveport.

The engagements of Grandecore, Sabine Cross Road and Cane river,
occurred while we were here. General Banks not being able to keep up
his supplies, as the gunboats could not pass up in consequence of the
rapid falling of the river, was obliged to fall back.

On the 16th, while passing through Marksville, the enemy made
considerable show of resistance. The union forces deployed in line,
making a grand and imposing appearance, extending for several miles
over an almost level plain. The artillery on both sides belched forth
for some hours. The casualties were light, and the enemy driven back.
This is called the "Battle of Mansura."

On the 19th, reached Simsport; this was our second advent here.

The enemy continually harrassed us from the time we left Alexandria,
from across the rivers and Bayous, and on our flanks and rear, but
accomplished but little damage.

Crossed the river on the steamer Cumberland, and reached Morganzi,
La., on the 22d. This terminated the "Red River Expedition" of 1864.

June 19th, General Grover's Division proceeded up the river as far as
Fort Adams, and scoured the banks on either side for guerillas, who
were numerous, firing into all boats passing on the river. Captured a
few prisoners and returned. July 2d, Lieutenant-Colonel Gaul resigned,
on account of disease contracted in the campaign, and Major Waltermire
was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel.

July 3d, took steamer Lancaster, and arrived at Algiers, opposite New
Orleans, at 6 P.M., July 4th.

July 17th, went on board the U.S. Transport Cahawba. At 12 o'clock
that night moved down the river and arrived at the Rip Raps and
Fortress Monroe, on the 24th. Received water, and on the 25th
proceeded up the James river, arriving at Bermuda Hundreds at 5 P.M.
Move up to the entrenched position, and were kept continually moving
about while there.

August 1st, went on board the steamer Winona, and arrive at
Washington, D.C., the next day. Put baggage on cars for Harpers Ferry,
but orders countermanded before we got off. Marched through Washington
to Tenallytown. Remained there until the 14th, when we started to
join General Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, through Snicker's Gap.
Crossed Chain Bridge and encamped at Owl Run, Va., that night. Arrived
at Leesburgh on the 17th; passed through Hamilton, and within four
miles of Snicker's Gap. Here a dispatch notified us that the enemy was
hurrying to cut us off at the gap. This notice was timely, and saved
us a serious disaster. Immediately moved on, forded the Shenandoah
river, marched nearly all night, and reached Sheridan's forces on the
morning of the 18th, having marched about forty miles the previous day
and night.

Fighting had been going on in that vicinity for some time before we
arrived. Were ordered to throw up temporary breast-works, which was
quickly accomplished.

Early in the morning of the 21st, heavy artillery firing was heard on
our right. The 6th and 8th Corps were engaged in a heavy battle that
day, and late in the afternoon our Division was moved to the right of
the 6th Corps and in front of Charlestown. In this engagement the loss
was heavy on both sides.

General Sheridan then drew his forces back to the rear of the defences
of Harper's Ferry, at Halltown, the 19th Corps covering the movement.
Our Regiment was put on picket duty behind Bolliver Heights, and a
constant picket firing was kept up on both sides.

On the 24th, our Regiment, with the 22d Iowa and 11th Indiana, under
command of Colonel McCauly, advanced on the skirmish line to
reconnoiter the enemy. Drove them back some distance, advancing in
good style under a heavy fire, and maintained our position until
ordered to retire. We were under a heavy artillery fire for about two
hours, and our Regiment lost one officer and twelve men.

Two officers and sixty picked men were selected to join others to
advance for the purpose of bringing on an engagement, but news came
that the enemy had retired. The cavalry followed them, and occupied
Charlestown.

A grand advance was ordered, and on the 3d of September we started off
with four days' rations in our haversacks.

Advanced to near Berryville, where heavy artillery firing was heard in
front, soon followed by musketry, gradually growing more rapid. The
enemy had gained a slight advantage on the left of the 8th Corps. The
19th Corps moved quickly to their support, when the enemy fell back,
but firing continued until after dark.

On the morning of the 5th, three lines of rude breastworks were thrown
up in double quick time--hand, feet, bayonets, tin cups, old shoes,
every thing was brought into requisition to accomplish the work, which
was completed during a heavy rain.

On the 6th, the enemy fell back to the Opequan Creek.

On the 7th our Regiment proceeded to the Opequan, reconnoitered the
enemy, and returned the same day after accomplishing our objects.

On the 11th captured the 8th South Carolina Regiment, with all its
officers.

September 17th, General Grant made a short visit to "Little Phil,"
which was set down as indicating hard work ahead, in which supposition
we were not disappointed.

At 1 o'clock, A.M., on the 19th, a general movement of the whole army
began. Skirmishing towards Opequan Creek became more and more brisk,
till it assumed all the proportions of a fierce battle, lasting the
whole of the day. Alternately the opposing forces were repulsed in
turn, either side contesting for the superiority with the most dogged
persistency. Only the ability and determination of the gallant "Little
Phil." could have secured success. We had 5 men killed, 4 officers and
36 men wounded, and 1 officer and 20 men taken prisoners.

The enemy was closely followed up to Fisher's Hill, behind Strausburg,
a well fortified and naturally strong position.--Gaining the point we
desired on the 22d, it was determined to force the enemy up the
valley, and occupy this stronghold.

The 6th Corps was thrown around to the left and rear of the enemy by
the base of the mountain; this movement took almost all day. The 8th
Corps was on the left, and the 19th in the centre. When the 6th Corps
reached sufficiently near, a grand movement was made, our boys forcing
the centre. This action took the enemy by surprise and they retreated
up the valley in tall style. About a thousand were not able to carry
out their intentions, and it devolved on us to pilot them to the rear.

The chase was kept up all night, and we reached Woodstock the next
morning. We suffered no loss on this occasion. It was indeed a cheap
victory. We captured a number of horses and wagons, artillery, and any
quantity of small arms, which our Regiment was detailed to take charge
of and convey to Winchester, with the prisoners.

We left Woodstock at five P.M., and delivered the property and
prisoners at Winchester, and on the 25th started for the front again,
in charge of a supply train.

On the 27th, at three P.M., arrived at the front at Harrisonburg,
having marched over one hundred miles in less than four days.

On the 30th, the 6th and 19th Corps advanced to Mount Crawford, the
enemy showing some disposition to interrupt the Cavalry. Nothing
serious being discovered, we fell back to Harrisonburg. Remained here
until October 6th, when we moved back to New Market, and on the 9th
arrived at Woodstock. Marched 'till 9 A.M., arriving a short distance
south of Fisher's Hill. The enemy finding us falling back, closely
followed after. We were thrown into line on either side of the road,
ready for what might occur. A little skirmishing with the rear guard
was the only demonstration, and at four P.M. we were back in front of
Fisher's Hill, our old position. On the 9th, General Rosier, with his
artillery and cavalry, hovered about our rear, being closely watched
by our cavalry. He came a little too near, however, and our cavalry
dashed at him and captured seven or eight guns and a number of
prisoners.

On the 11th of October, marched back to the north side of Cedar Creek,
which we commenced fortifying. The enemy brought heavy Batteries and
shelled the 8th Corps camp on the left. The trains were sent to the
rear, and the troops placed in line ready for action, but the enemy
appeared to be reconnoitering, and fell back to Fisher's Hill.

All remained quiet until the morning of the 19th of October. Early
had received large reinforcements from Richmond, and now made a last
desperate effort to redeem his lost laurels in the valley. It was a
well executed and daring move, and for a time promised success. He
moved his men during the night around our left flank by the base of
the Blue Ridge, in single file, many not even carrying their canteens,
fearful that the least noise would be made. In this manner they
succeeded in reaching Middletown, a mile and a half in the rear of our
breastworks; before daylight a feint was made on our right to attract
our attention in that quarter; a short time after a volley or two of
musketry was heard on our left, the enemy dashing on the 8th Corps in
desperate fury, completely surprising them. So sudden was the attack
that many were captured before they had time to leave their tents or
seize their muskets. On pressed the successful mass, shouting and
yelling in the wildest manner.

The 8th Corps, badly demoralized, poured back on the rear of the 19th
Corps, closely pursued by the enemy. Our Division was going out to
reconnoiter, and were in line, but from their position could do but
little, the enemy being in our rear, so that not a shot could be fired
without danger to our own men. The 1st Division, 19th Corps, was sent
to support the 8th Corps early in the morning, and suffered severely,
meeting the first onslaught of the enemy. Our Division (the 2d) took
position in front of the breastworks, but being of no service there,
we filed to the right and fell back to the rear where we could be
re-formed and occupy a position in front of the enemy.

The enemy steadily pressed us back four or five miles. Matters began
to look blue, when the dashing "Little Phil" came up as fast as his
noble black steed could carry him, leaving his attendants far in the
rear. The noise of the battle had reached him at Winchester early in
the morning. The appearance of Sheridan immediately instilled new
vigor, energy and determination into the men. He passed along the
whole line amid the most marked enthusiasm, telling the men they would
quarter in their old camp again that night.

The broken lines were speedily re-formed, the General passing along
hat in hand, encouraging the men. This was sufficient, and from this
dates the last advent of Early in the valley.

It was now our turn. The enemy charged us, and for the first time were
repulsed. We pressed on determined to win. The success of the morning
turned to a most irretrievable and disastrous defeat to the enemy.
They were completely routed, suffering a terrible slaughter.
Twenty-four guns captured in the morning were retaken, besides a large
number of prisoners, and most of the enemy's artillery, numbering over
fifty pieces. Our Regiment took 16 officers and 34 men as prisoners,
in this engagement. We lost Captain Richmond, one of the best
officers in the Regiment, and a brave, noble fellow. He was shot in
the afternoon, when success began to turn on our side. None braver
paid the penalty of death for his country. We had 2 privates killed,
10 wounded, and 5 taken prisoners.

The cavalry pressed the beaten foe until horse flesh could do no more,
taking a large number of prisoners and all sorts of war implements and
materials. Thus was this long day spent in fighting and running,
advancing and retreating, now one side victorious, then the other,
when finally success crowned our efforts.

Major Hart, of our Regiment, on General Grover's Staff, was wounded
and taken by the Rebels. He was not attended to in time, and lost so
much blood as to cause his death.

On the 20th, the forces moved about three miles up the valley,
overlooking Strausburg, the cavalry continuing the pursuit to
Harrisonburg, capturing more artillery and wagons. On the 21st moved
back to our old position on Cedar Creek.

From this time until the 1st of January, 1865, the men were engaged in
erecting breastworks, preparing Winter quarters, frequently moving and
occasionally skirmishing with the enemy along the lines.

The 24th of November was observed in camp as Thanksgiving Day, and all
duties were stopped that could be dispensed with. Thanks to our kind
friends at home, we were provided with a bountiful feast of turkeys,
chickens, pies and other luxuries, and if they could have witnessed
the satisfaction of the men on that occasion, it would have been ample
reward for their generosity.

January 6th, 1865, moved to Harper's Ferry. Arrived in Baltimore next
morning and quartered in Barracks on Carrol Hill. On the 11th Colonel
Waltermire took command of the Regiment, and we embarked on board the
steamer Sua-Noda, for Savannah. General Grover and Staff, the 128th
N.Y.S. Volunteers and the 24th Iowa were on the same vessel.

On the 18th cast anchor in Warsaw Sound, eight miles from Savannah;
and on the 20th the Regiment went up to the city on river boats, and
were quartered in the Central Railroad Depot.

On the 26th were moved out to the fortifications, on the West side of
the town.

February 1st, fresh bread was issued with our rations, which was a
luxury to the boys so long kept on "hard tack." February 19th, fired a
rousing salute on hearing of the occupation of Charleston by the Union
forces. On the 22d, celebrated Washington's Birth-day in a becoming
manner.

March 9th, were ordered on board the Tug boat U.S. Grant, which
conveyed us to Hilton Head, where we went into Barracks.

On the 15th, were taken on board U.S. Transport New York, a splendid
new ship, and arrived at Charleston, S.C., at one A.M., on the 16th.
On the 17th took on board the 52d Pennsylvania, a detachment of the
54th New York, and the 28th Iowa, in all about 1,600 men. Weighed
anchor on the 18th at ten and a half o'clock A.M., and moved down the
harbor. This gave us an excellent opportunity to see the dilapidated
city and its approaches, fortifications and defences; the latter of
which were exceedingly formidable, and might be considered impregnable
from the water side.

March 19th, anchored off Fort Fisher, at nine o'clock A.M., when we
received orders to report at Morehead City, N.C. Reached that port on
the 20th, landed on the 21st, and awaited orders.

April 5th, intelligence reached us of the evacuation of Richmond and
Petersburg, which caused great rejoicing throughout the camp. This was
followed by the more encouraging news of Lee's surrender on the 9th.
While these great victories were being celebrated, the sad
intelligence of the assassination of President Lincoln reached camp,
and cast a deep sadness over those who had been jubilant but the hour
before.

May 3d, ordered to report back to General Grover, at Savannah. Break
camp, and embarked on board steamer Star of the South. On the 7th,
after an eventful trip, disembarked at Savannah, and found the City
remarkably improved in appearance since we left it.

May 11th, ordered to proceed to Augusta. Took up our line of march in
a heavy rain storm, and made twelve miles that day through the woods.
Next day we accomplished over twenty miles. On the 14th an Orderly
from General Molineux' Headquarters reached us, to hurry up our march.
The 159th, 128th and 131st N.Y.S. Volunteers in advance of all, to
make Wainsborough and take the cars. Reached Augusta on the 17th,
pretty well used up from fatigue.

June 7th, a general review of all the troops by General Molineux, on
which occasion he issued a congratulatory order to the soldiers,
complimenting them for their excellent discipline, and the services
they had rendered.

Here the Regiment virtually closed its campaign, nothing further of
note occurring up to the present writing, beyond the usual routine of
camp life in the city.



_List of Field, Staff and Line Officers of the 159th Regiment at date
of muster into the United States Service, November 1st., 1862_:

  HOMER A. NELSON, Colonel, discharged.

  EDWARD L. MOLINEUX, Lieutenant-Colonel, promoted to Colonel,
    breveted Brigadier General, discharged.

  GILBERT DRAPER, Major, promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, killed at
    Irish Bend.

  ROBERT LATHROP, Adjutant, killed at Irish Bend.

  CHARLES A. ROBERTSON, Surgeon, discharged.

  WILLIAM Y. PROVOST, First Assistant Surgeon, promoted to Surgeon,
    discharged.

  CALEB C. BRIGGS, Second Assistant Surgeon, promoted to Surgeon.

  MARK D. WILBER, Quarter-Master, discharged.

  EDWARD L. GAUL, Capt. Co. A., promoted to Major and
    Lieutenant-Colonel, discharged.

  EDWARD ATWOOD, First Lieut., discharged.
  WESLEY BRADLEY, Second Lieut., died of fever.

  A.J. DAYTON, Capt. Co. B, discharged.
  HARRY TIEMANN, First Lieut., discharged.
  ALFRED GREENLEAF, Second Lieut., discharged.

  ARIEL M. GAMWELL, Capt. Co. C, discharged.
  CRAWFORD WILLIAMS, First Lieut., discharged.
  EDWARD HUBBEL, Second Lieut., discharged.

  JACOB HATTRY, Capt. Co. D, discharged.
  LAWRENCE LORETTE, First Lieut., discharged.
  JOHN MANLY, Second Lieut., promoted to First Lieut., killed at
    Irish Bend.

  WILLIAM WALTERMIRE, Capt. Co. E, promoted to Major,
    Lieutenant-Colonel and Colonel.
  NATHAN S. POST, First Lieut., discharged.
  ROBERT TRAVER, Second Lieut., discharged.

  ROBERT MCD. HART, Capt. Co. F., promoted to Major, killed.
  WILLIAM BURTIS, First Lieut., discharged.
  GEORGE W. HUSSEY, Second Lieut., promoted to Capt.

  WILLIAM SLITER, Capt. Co. G. discharged.
  CHARLES LEWIS, First Lieut., promoted to Colonel of the 176th
    Regiment.
  BYRON LOCKWOOD, Second Lieut., killed at Irish Bend.

  WELLES O. PETIT, Capt. Co. H, promoted to Major.
  CHARLES C. BAKER, First Lieut., promoted to Captain.
  GEORGE R. HERBERT, Second Lieut., detached.

  EDWARD WARDLE, Capt. Co. I, discharged.
  JOHN W. SHIELDS, First Lieut., discharged.
  JACOB FINGAR, Second Lieut., discharged.

  JOE B. RAMSDEN, Capt. Co. K, discharged.
  WILLIAM PLUNKET, First Lieut., killed at Irish Bend.
  DUNCAN RICHMOND, Second Lieut., promoted to Captain, killed.


_Promoted from the Ranks._

  William F. Tiemann               to Captain
  John H. Charlot                     Quarter-Master
  Edward Tynan                        First Lieutenant
  Barzilla Ransom                       "       "
  Henry M. Howard                       "       "
  Christopher Branch                    "       "
  Alfred Bruce                          "       "
  Lambert Dingman                     First Lieutenant.
  Andrew Rifenburgh                     "      "
  Edward Duffy                          "      "
  E. Parmley Brown                      "      "
  John Day                              "      "
  John A. Tiemann                       "      "
  M.A. Dunham                           "      "
  William Spanburgh                   Second Lieutenant
  Charles P. Price                      "      "
  Herman Smith                          "      "


_List of Battles and Skirmishes in which the Regiment was engaged._

  IRISH BEND, La., April 14th 1863, killed, 6 officers, 23 enlisted
  men; wounded 4 officers, 69 enlisted men; prisoners, 12. Total
  loss--112.

  BEFORE PORT HUDSON, La., May 26th, 1863, killed, 4 enlisted men.

  PORT HUDSON, La., _first assault_, May 27th, 1863, killed, 21
  enlisted men; wounded, 38. Total loss--59.

  PORT HUDSON, _second assault_, June 14th, 1863, wounded, 12 enlisted
  men.

  MANSURA, La., May 16th, 1864. No casualties.

  HALLTOWN, Va., August 24th, 1864, killed, 1 enlisted man; wounded, 1
  officer, 10 enlisted men; prisoners, 1 enlisted man. Total loss--13.

  BERRYVILLE, September 3d, 1864, killed, 1 enlisted man; wounded, 2
  enlisted men. Total loss--3.

  OPEQUAN, Va., September 19th, 1864, killed, 5 enlisted men; wounded,
  4 officers, 56 enlisted men; prisoners, 1 officer, 20 enlisted men.
  Total loss--86.

  FISHER'S HILL, Va., September 22d, 1864. No casualties.

  CEDAR CREEK, Va., October 19th, 1864, killed, 2 officers, 2 enlisted
  men; wounded, 1 officer, 10 enlisted men; prisoners, 5. Total
  loss--20.


_General Officers under whom the Regiment served during the war._

  Generals Banks, Grover, Auger, Reynolds, Emory, Birge, Sherman,
  Schofield, Terry, Gilmore, Thomas, Sheridan, Steedman, Wright,
  Canby, Birney, Molineux, and King.


_List of Cities and Towns the Regiment has visited in the line of
military service._

  LOUISIANA--Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville, Carrollton, New Orleans,
  Algiers, Terra Bone, Thiladuex, Brashar City, Bayou Bueff, Berwick
  City, Franklin, New Iberie, Vermillionville, Washington, Bears
  Landing, Opolosus, Chaneyville, Simsport, Bayou Sara, Port Hudson,
  Clinton, Alexandria, Pineville, Patersonville, Mansura,
  Williamsport, Morganza, Point Coupee, Teunice Bend, and Jefferson.

  VIRGINIA--Bermuda Hundred, Leesburgh, Snickerville, Castle Burough,
  Berryville, Charlestown, Halltown, Harper's Ferry, Winchester,
  Kernstown, Newtown, Middletown, Strasburgh, Edenborough, Newmarket,
  Mount Jackson, Harrisonburgh, Mount Crawford, Centerville,
  Stephenson Station, and Burseville.

  GEORGIA--Savannah, Alexandria, Waynesborough, Allen, Green, Bashaw,
  and Augusta.

  DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA--Washington, Georgetown, and Tenallaytown.

  NORTH CAROLINA--Willmington, and Morehead City.

  SOUTH CAROLINA--Hilton Head, and Charleston.

  MISSISSIPPI--Fort Adams.

  MARYLAND--Baltimore.


_River Transportation during the War._

  NAME OF BOAT          FROM               TO

                        1863.
  St. Mary           Baton Rouge        Donaldsonville.
  Empire Parish      Donaldsonville     Thibadaux.
  Laurel Hill        Brasher City       Irish Bend.
  Empire Parish      Symsport           Bayou Sara.
  Laurel Hill        Port Hudson        Donaldsonville.
  Gen. Banks         Carrollton         Algiers.

                        1864.
  James Bartlet      Algiers            Alexandria.
  Ohio Belle         Morganza           Fort Adams.
  Lancaster No. 3    Morganza           New Orleans.
  Wynonah            Bermuda Hundred    Washington.

                        1865.
  Clifton            Warsaw River       Savannah.
  U.S. Grant         Savannah           Hilton Head.
  H.M. Wells         U.S.T. New York    Morehead City.


_Sea Voyages of the Regiment during the War._

  NAME OF BOAT           FROM              TO

                          1862.
  Northern Light       New York         Baton Rouge.

                          1864.
  Cohola               New Orleans      Bermuda Hund.

                          1865.
  Suwo-Noda            Baltimore        Savannah.
  New York             Hilton Head      Morehead City.
  Star of the South    Morehead City    Savannah.


_List of Field, Staff and Line Officers now in command of the
Regiment._

_Colonel_--WILLIAM WALTERMIRE.
_Major_--WELLS O. PETIT.
_Acting Adjutant_--GEORGE B. STALEY.
_Surgeon_--CALEB C. BRIGGS.
_Acting Quarter-Master_--E. SPENCER ELMER.

_Company_ A.--Capt. WILLIAM F. TIEMANN.
     "    B.--First Lieut. JOHN DAY.
     "    C.--First Lieut. BARZILLA RANSOM.
     "    D.--First Lieut. E. PARMLEY BROWN.
     "    E.--First Lieut. ANDREW RIFENBURGH.
     "    F.--Capt. GEORGE W. HUSSEY.
     "    G.--Capt. JAMES S. REYNOLDS.
     "    H.-- ---- --------
     "    I.--First Lieut. EDWARD TYNAN.
     "    K.--First Lieut. E. SPENCER ELMER.



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    | Typographical errors corrected in text:                   |
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    |          'back to the position'                           |
    | Page 21: Carrolton replaced with Carrollton               |
    | Page 40: Charletson replaced with Charleston              |
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