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´╗┐Title: Personal Recollections of the War of 1861 - As Private, Sergeant and Lieutenant in the Sixty-First Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry
Author: Fuller, Charles Augustus
Language: English
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As Private, Sergeant and Lieutenant in the Sixty-First Regiment,
New York Volunteer Infantry



Prepared from data found in letters, written at the time from the field
to the people at home.

[Illustration: Charles A. Fuller

Late of the 61st N. Y. V. Inf.]

News Job Printing House, Sherburne, N. Y.


March 1st, 1861, I started for Cleveland, Ohio, to enter the law office
of Boardman & Ingersoll as a law student. I was in that city at the time
of the inauguration of President Lincoln.

After Sumpter was fired on I was anxious to enlist and go to the front
with the "Cleveland Grays," but trouble with my eyes induced me to
postpone my enlistment. After the President issued his call for 300,000
additional troops, I learned that Lieut. K. Oscar Broady, a recent
graduate of Madison University, who had seen some military service in
Sweden, his native country, was raising a Company for the War, in which
many Hamilton and Sherburne men were enrolled. Isaac Plumb, one of my
most-thought-of friends, was in the number; there were others--Edgar
Willey, Israel O. Foote, Fred Ames, and more whose names I do not now
recall. I decided to wait no longer, but seek the enemy with the men of
this Company.

I left Cleveland Sept. 5th, 1861, and reached Utica Saturday afternoon
in time to find that the stage down the valley had gone, and I must
remain there until Monday morning, or use some other means of locomotion
southward to Sherburne. The question I asked myself was, "Why not test
your leg gear NOW, and see what you can do as a foot-man?" I answered
"All right," and started out, though it was well into the afternoon.
That evening I reached Oriskany Falls, a distance of about 20 miles. I
camped for the night at the hotel, but was up the next morning before
the hotel people. I left the price of the lodging on the bar, and
started south. It was about 24 miles to Sherburne, which I reached
about noon. I supplied the commissary department from houses along the

My father and mother had no hint that I had left Cleveland. When I
entered the house my mother said, "Why, Charlie Fuller, you've come home
to go to war." She was the daughter of a man who was in the
Revolutionary Army when but sixteen years of age, and she had always
been proud of the fact, and she was, I am sure, gratified that she had a
boy desirous of imitating the example of her deceased father.

On my way through Hamilton, I had left word what I was there for, and I
was assured that Lieut. Coultis would soon be down to enroll me.

The next day he was on hand; he had, I believe, been in a militia
company; at all events, he appeared in the toggery of a militia officer.
He said he was authorized and prepared to "swear me in." I told him I
was ready for business, and then and there took the oath. I tried to
feel easy and appear unconcerned (whether or not I succeeded to outward
appearance I can not say) but I know that inside there was more or less
of a lump to swallow, for, to some extent, I realized that it was _not_
a picnic.

I was home for a week, in which time four men joined me. They were Lewis
R. Foote, Porter E. Whitney, Newel Hill and Albert H. Simmons. To show
what war does, the following summary is a fair sample--Foote, wounded at
Fair Oaks, discharged; Whitney, several times wounded, lastly in the
Wilderness Campaign, 1864, transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps;
Hill, discharged early for physical disability; Simmons, detailed to
Commissary Dept., discharged on account of physical disability; Fuller,
discharged on account of wounds.

Monday, Sept. 16th, 1861, our squad of five left Sherburne for Hamilton.
We were there until Thursday, when we started for Staten Island, the
headquarters of the forming regiment. Coultis had about thirty men. We
reached the rendezvous about 11 o'clock Friday and received a warm
welcome from old friends on the ground.

This forming regiment was located on ground within the present enclosure
of Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island. Spencer W. Cone had the Colonel's
Commission, and his regiment had the fancy name of "Clinton Guards,"
whether in honor of George, or DeWitt, I do not know, and perhaps Cone

The explanation of Broady's connection with Cone's regiment,
undoubtedly, is this: The father of Spencer W. Cone was a Baptist Doctor
of Divinity, of Baltimore, Md. Probably he was known to, and a friend of
the managers of Madison University. Quite likely it was assumed that so
good a man as Cone. D. D., would have a son of ability and piety, well
calculated to lead his men to victory, or, if to death, the death of the
righteous; and, so, I assume, it was regarded as a fortunate
circumstance that the young men who had been connected with Madison
University were to go into this man's regiment.

Mr. Cone was one of those (what Simeon Cameron is alleged to have
characterized a writer) "damned literary fellers." He had been a
contributor to the New York Mercury, and other periodicals. He had a
penetrating and quite powerful voice, and displayed in his person some
of the pomp and circumstance of war, and, to the novices in his camp, he
was for a time regarded as a "big injun." Events proved this to be
unfounded and, before the regiment really met the enemy, he ceased to be
the Colonel. At this time one Manning wore the uniform of
Lieutenant-Colonel, and one Lynch that of Major.

A quarrel was worked up among the officers, and, it was said, that Cone
proposed to leave it to the line officers whether he should continue as
Colonel, or step aside for another. The vote was taken and Cone was
loser. Then he refused to abide by the result. He was ordered to leave
camp and refused. Hands were laid on him to compel his withdrawal, he
resisted with oaths and froth and a show of fight; but he was overcome
by superior force and exported from the camp. I think Maj. Lynch assumed
command. After a few days the camp was moved a number of miles to a
place called Silver Lake. This move was on Saturday.

The next morning some of the officers were informed that Cone was on the
road to this new camp with authority to take command and to place in
arrest all of the officers who had aided in his displacement. There was
a great scampering on the part of these officers, and soon they were
conspicuous by their absence. In a little while the valiant Cone
appeared on the color line, and ordered the men to turn out; his order
was obeyed. Then he showed authority for taking command of the regiment,
and he offered to pardon all who had been in the movement against him,
if they would return and promise to be good in the future. The
skedadling officers got the word, came back, were forgiven, and resumed
their places; that was the last the regiment knew of Manning and Lynch.

The Monday following the regiment moved back to its old quarters near
the fort, and remained there till ordered to Washington. In this
unfortunate fiasco the regiment lost about two hundred men by desertion,
from which depletion it never recovered. When ordered to the seat of
war, I think there were not much above 700 men, and the regiment never
saw the time when it had full ranks--that fact alone accounts for its
not being in the list of those that lost two hundred in battle. I
believe the number killed in action, or who died in a short time from
battle wounds, was 193, or seven short of the number. When brigaded, my
recollection is, that it was at least one hundred and fifty men short of
the number of any other regiment. It had the same number of officers
that the other regiments had, and, with them, the loss in killed
equalled, I believe, the losses in the 5th New Hampshire, which has the
distinction of having lost the most men killed in action of any infantry
regiment on the Union side in the War of the Rebellion.

Francis C. Barlow was appointed Lieut-Col. in place of Manning, and
Capt. Massett was promoted to Major. In each case a good exchange.
Barlow did not appear for duty at Staten Island and was not generally
known to the regiment until it went into Camp at Kendall Green in
Washington, D. C.

Saturday, Nov, 9th, 1861, orders were issued to break camp. The men's
knapsacks were loaded down with things necessary and things that _could_
be dispensed with, (which were thrown away when real campaigning was
entered upon.) No doubt an average knapsack at this time would weigh
from twenty-five pounds and upwards. The regiment left its formation
camp for the front about seven hundred strong. We took a steamer and
landed at Perth Amboy. There we took cars for Washington, reaching
Philadelphia during the night, and were at once marched to a citizens
lunch barracks, where the regiment at one time was substantially fed.
From an early date in the War the patriotic citizens of Philadelphia did
this to every regiment that passed through the city. New York and
Philadelphia differ in many ways. In 1861, and during the following
years of the War, there was an antipodal difference between these cities
in their regard for and treatment of the Union Soldiers. In Philadelphia
the troops were, in going out, you might almost say, banqueted, and when
the wounded began to come back from the front great hospitals were run
by the voluntary services of the best women in the city. I had personal
experience in each of these ways showing appreciation of the work of the
soldier. I have never heard anyone accuse New Yorkers of making any
systematic effort to cheer the boys on as they went out, or care for
them as they came back wrecked by disease or torn by the missiles of the
enemy. The city of New York is entirely too practical to be diverted by
patriotic sentiment, if, as a municipality, it has any.

About 8 a. m., Sunday, we left the city of Brotherly Love and reached
Washington at 9 p. m. The regiment was marched into a large building
capable of housing a thousand men, called the "Soldiers' Rest," located
at the terminus of the Baltimore & Ohio R. R. Monday, Nov. 11th, the
regiment was marched into an open field not far from the Capitol and to
the right of it as the city is entered. This field was called Kendall
Green. For years it has been solidly built upon.

Lieut.-Col. Barlow in this camp first made himself known to the
regiment. He was not at first sight an impressive looking officer. He
was of medium height, of slight build, with a pallid countenance, and a
weakish drawling voice. In his movements there was an appearance of
loose jointedness and an absence of prim stiffness. At once schools and
drills were established for commissioned and non-commissioned officers
and rumor credited Barlow with their establishment. Discipline became
stricter: the duties of the soldier were better explained, and the men
sensibly improved. There was no doubt to whom is due the credit for the
change. In a short time there was a feeling in the air that the strength
of the regiment lay in the person of the Lieut.-Colonel. Francis C.
Barlow was a great soldier. He was, in my judgment, fully equal for a
corps commander. He knew the details of his business; he had the
military instinct; and he was fearless. At first, from his exacting
requirements and severity he was quite disliked, if not well hated; but,
as time went on, and it was seen that he knew more than any other man,
or set of men, in the regiment--that he knew how to work his men to the
best advantage, and would see that they had what the regulations
prescribed, and, that, when danger was at hand, he was at the head
_leading_ them, this animosity was turned into confidence and

Thursday, Nov. 28th, the regiment broke camp at Kendall Green and
started with overloaded knapsacks for Alexandria, by the road, some
eight or ten miles distant. The Potomac was crossed on Long Bridge, the
road ran by the partly built Washington Monument. The march was a hard
one, largely on account of the men being loaded like pack peddlers.

At Alexandria the regiment took cars and was run out a distance of six
or seven miles on the Orange & Alexandria railroad to a point called
Springfield Station. This was a place consisting of an old wood-colored
house. The men were ordered out, and, as the tents were not expected up
that night, preparations were at once begun to make brush huts for
bivouacing. Some time had been spent and the work nearly done when the
long roll began to beat. The men at once took their places behind their
stacked arms. Col. Cone was rushing about in a highly excited manner,
holding a revolver in one hand and his bridle reins in the other,
resolved, no doubt, to die bravely, if need be. There was not a round of
ammunition in the regiment. I never learned that there was a show of the
enemy. Perhaps it became known at headquarters that we had no loading
for our guns. At all events, a train was sent out to take us back to
Alexandria. We got back without accident, and spent the night in the
round house.

The next day we marched out on the turnpike running near the railroad
about three miles, and made a camp called Camp California. It was at the
foot of the hill on which Ft. Worth was built. If I am not mistaken, our
regiment, which had been numbered the 61st, was the first one on the
ground of the brigade that was to be here formed. In a short time the
others arrived and were as follows: 5th New Hampshire, 4th Rhode Island,
81st Pennsylvania, each of them having a larger membership than ours.
Brigade General O. O. Howard was assigned to the brigade, which was No.
1 in Sumner's Division. Corps were not yet formed.

Besides guard mountings and dress parades, five or six hours a day were
consumed in company, regimental and brigade drills. The men were worked
hard, and, by this time it was generally understood that learning to be
a soldier was no loafing business.

The first time we saw Nelson A. Miles was in this camp. He then was a
fine looking young man on the staff of Gen. Howard.

As the Fall weather came on the men generally took colds that were of
the coughing kind; the full strength of cough music was heard at night,
when other sounds were hushed. Then, seemingly, every man tuned it up
with his own peculiar sort and tone of cough. The concert surpassed in
volume that coming from a large frog swamp in the flush of the season.
Many became down sick and were sent to hospital. Those who stood the
exposure gradually toughened and became proof against such sickness.

One night after tattoo the long roll began to beat. Officers and men
hurriedly dressed, snatched their arms and accoutrements and formed in
the company streets. As soon as a company was ready it started for the
color line, and, as soon as the regiment was formed, it started on a
brisk walk towards the front, or in the direction of our pickets. When
once fairly under way the order was to "step out," and finally, to
"double quick." We went in the direction of Edson's Hill, where our
picket reserves were stationed. It was a distance of several miles and
was travelled in a short time. It proved to be a sham alarm, and was got
up to see how we would perform if it were a genuine affair. For one, I
made that midnight march expecting to meet the enemy.

As we were going up the hill where the camp fire of the picket reserves
were burning, I heard what I took to be a powerful human groan; I said
to myself "this, indeed, is bloody, brutal war," and I was, as best I
could, nerving myself to face the enemy and do my duty in the deadly
fray. We reached the top of the hill in safety, and there, sitting and
sprawling around their camp fires, were our men wholly unconcerned. I
determined to know what there was concerning the wounded man whose groan
I had heard and I went back where I had heard the sound of pain and
found a six-mule team. In going by it had been unobserved. I concluded
on this discovery that the outcry of my wounded man was nothing more
than the grunting and braying of an ass, and I was relieved.

About the first of January, 1862, orders were issued for the detail of
recruiting parties from every regiment to go to the States for the
purpose of getting new men to make good the losses in the field. For
this purpose, from the 61st N. Y., Lieut. Wm. H. McIntyre of Co. C was
named to command the party. With him were Lieut. Blowers, Co. F,
Corporal Jenks and myself of Co. C, and two or three other men whose
names I have forgotten. We left camp Monday, Jan. 21st, 1862. We
reported to Maj. Sprague, U. S. A., at Albany. He granted us a few days
furlough and we all visited our homes.

Our recruiting headquarters were at, or near, 480 Broadway, New York. No
bounties were offered, and, while we all did our best, the result was
nearly a failure. Not more than a dozen good men were secured. Our party
was heartily sick of the job and sincerely desired to be returned to the

About the 1st of April a movement was made by the Army of the Potomac.
At this time army corps had been formed. I think Sumner's, the Second
Corps, had but two divisions. The First, Richardson's in which was
Howard's brigade; Meagher's, or the Irish brigade, and French's; the
Second was commanded by Sedgwick. I believe the corps, division and
brigade commanders were as good as any in the army of the Potomac. The
first move of the army was on to Centerville, and the Bull Run
battlefield. The enemy fell back. Then McClellan changed his base to the
peninsula between the York and James rivers.

April 15th, 1862, the recruiting office was closed and our party started
for the regiment. We stopped at Fortress Monroe and procured rations.
From there took a steamer up the river about 20 miles to Shipping Point.
We found our regiment some miles further to the front.

When we reached camp we received a soldier's welcome from the boys. They
showed what a few weeks of exposure would do for the outside of a man;
skin and clothes; they were tanned, ragged and lousy.

As we were back from the entrenchments some distance, our efforts were
mainly directed to building corduroy roads.

Sunday, May 4th, orders came to pack and be ready to move at once. Soon
it was reported that Yorktown had been evacuated. We did not get into
motion, finally, until the 5th, and then went out but a short distance,
when a halt was made until about dark when we again started and went
through the rebel defenses. It had rained some during the day and this
Virginia mud was a difficult thing to stand on, especially if the
standing was on an incline. A slow and laborious march was continued
until midnight, or past. When we halted many of the men had fallen out
on the march, but came up in the morning. After breakfast a short
distance was made; then a halt was ordered; then came the news that
Williamsburg had been taken, and the enemy were retreating up the
peninsula. The Second Corps, or our division of it, returned to Yorktown
and went into camp the next day, which was Wednesday. We remained in
this camp until the next Sunday, when we took transports up the York
river to West Point, at which place we unshipped Monday, May 12th, and
went into camp. I remember that this locality was pleasanter than the
country about Shipping Point and in front of Yorktown.

A division of our men had a brush with the enemy here a few days before
our arrival. Quite a number of our men were so sick at this place that
they were sent back to Yorktown, and one, at least, of the number died.
I refer to Charles Smith, a genial, good man.

Thursday, May 15th, reveille beat at 2 a. m., and we marched at 4 a. m.
At first it was fine marching, but towards noon a drenching rain set in,
and in a short time we were wet to the skin. We made fourteen miles. We
went into camp in a piece of woods. While here quite a number of the men
were taken with a sudden dizziness, and would fall while drilling. The
first orderly of my company was William H. Spencer. He was promoted to
First Lieutenant of Deming's Company, and later on to the Captaincy of
Brooks's Company. His promotion advanced my best friend, Isaac Plumb,
Jr., to first sergeant. For some weeks he had been suffering from a low
fever, and Arthur Haskell was acting orderly. In this camp he was taken
with this strange disease and sent back, and I was made acting orderly,
in which office I acted until after the battle of Fair Oaks.

Sunday, the 18th, we again started and marched five miles and went into
camp. By this time the men had become somewhat familiar with Gen I. B.
Richardson, their division commander. He was a large, heavy, powerful
man, a West Pointer, and commanded, I think, the Second Michigan at Bull
Run. He put on no military style: generally he was clothed in a
private's blouse, which, if I remember correctly, did not have on
shoulder straps. His speech, when not aroused, was slow and drawling; he
did not appear to care for salutes and the men began to regard him as
one of them; he had their confidence and affection, and they willingly
followed him. As our regiment was marching this day, he was along side
of it, and a newspaper man who had some previous acquaintance with him,
remarked: "If you have got as good a division as you had regiment at
Bull Run, it will make some dead rebels before long." The general
smiled and drawled out, "I guess they'll do."

Monday, the 19th, we marched about five miles and camped, it was said,
near New Kent Court House. There is a little church on a hill not far
from this camp, and the story was current that Washington was connected
with some affair that took place there, I have forgotten what it was.
This camp was but a short distance from White House, where, it was said,
the Confederate General, Lee, had large possessions.

Wednesday, the 21st, we marched at 6 a. m., and made ten miles and went
into camp on the York and Richmond Railroad, about eighteen miles from
Richmond. Saturday, the 24th, we marched in the direction of Cold
Harbor, a point, rather than a place, and about seven miles from
Richmond. Indications multiplied that before long the two great armies
would lock horns, and prove which was the best man of the two.

On the 26th, Porter, with a part of the fifth corps, had a brush at
Hanover Court House. Our people took quite a number of prisoners, and,
on their way back, passed by our camp. They gave us to understand there
were a sufficiency left back to do up the business for us.

Wednesday, the 28th, the 61st was taken out in the vicinity of Fair
Oaks, as a guard to an engineer, who was mapping out the roads. They
came in sight of rebel camps, and were treated to a few harmless shells.
I was not with the regiment, being in charge of the camp guard.

On the afternoon of May 31st, heavy cannonading was heard on our left,
across the Chickahomeny river. For a week, or more, the men had been
constantly under arms, so to speak. Three day's rations were kept in the
haversacks; arms and ammunition were frequently inspected; orders were
given warning the men to be in their places and prepared to move at a
moment's notice; so, when the first sound of battle was heard, the men,
almost of their own accord, formed on the color line, equipped for a
march, where ever it might be to. In a few minutes aides were going from
division to brigade, and from brigade to regimental headquarters, and
soon the regiments had their orders to march.

For some days before there had been heavy rains which had raised the
Chickahomeny river from a low, sluggish stream into a broad, deep, swift
running river. As soon as the army got into its then position; by which
it was divided by the river, several bridges were built to more
effectually reunite the army. The Second Corps had two such bridges,
Richardson's being some distance below Sedgwick's. Each division was
started for its own bridge. Richardson's was two feet under water; the
leading brigade forded through on this bridge, waist deep in the water.
Our brigade was ordered to cross on Sedgwick's bridge. It was floored
with small logs laid side by side on log stringers. This bridge seemed
to be resting on the water and as we marched over it some of the logs
would roll and dip in a manner to shake confidence in its stability, but
we crossed on it all right.

I remember seeing a brass gun stuck in the mud on the other side, and
the men working to release it. All of this time the sound of battle was
ringing in our ears, and its volume indicated that it was one of

This change of bridges delayed the first division. Sedgwick got up in
time to take a hand in the fight of May 31st, but it was after dark and
not far from 9 o'clock when our division stacked arms. Some of our men
went over the battle field that night and helped care for the wounded.
My duties as acting orderly required my constant presence with the
company. All was painfully quiet; we did not so much as hear a sound
from a wounded man.

The next morning at four o'clock, the men were quietly ordered up. No
fires were allowed, so the breakfast was moistened with cold water.
After eating, the companies were equalized, and after furnishing a
detail to some of the other companies, Company C had forty-one men,
indicating that there were four hundred and ten muskets present for duty
in the regiment. We were on a part of the battlefield of the day before,
and there was considerable of the debris of the battle lying about. The
brigade--Howard's--was closed in mass by regiments, the 61st on the
left. The waiting for a battle to open is always a trying time for
troops. When a movement, or action, is under way the dread leaves. So
now, while we were standing with arms in hand watching for the first
sign, and straining to catch the first sound we were an anxious

After a while a section of Pettit's battery was placed at a corner of
the field we were in, and by the woods, presently a few shots were
fired--possibly as a signal--then came a scattering musketry fire, then
a volley on the right of the line, then a rapid increase, and soon the
most tremendous infantry fire I ever heard. There was no cannonading,
but it was the fearful crash of musketry, where thousands of guns on
each side were getting in their work as rapidly and viciously as
possible. Orders were now received for the advance of our brigade, and
the regiments started out on the double quick. Action of any kind,
though it took us towards the enemy, was welcomed. In a short time the
railroad was reached, and the 61st was deployed along the track. I
cannot assert of my own knowledge, but presume the other regiments of
the brigade were in line of battle on this track.

At this point the railroad ran through a piece of woods, and we, though
facing occasional bullets from the enemy, could see but a short distance
ahead of us. While in this place waiting further orders, Col. Barlow,
himself, went forward into the woods to learn more of the situation.

From the stray bullets coming over some of our men were hit. It came to
the mind of one, or a few ingenious men in the ranks, that a recumbent
posture would conduce to safety, and he, or they, at once took it. This
hint was taken up by others, and in a very short time every man was flat
on his belly. Presently the Colonel appeared, and, perhaps, looked twice
for his regiment he had left standing. He at once roared out, "Who
ordered you to lie down? Get up at once." And every man was on his feet.
Then the order came, "Forward, guide center. March!" and we entered the

At this point the timber was quite heavy; there was considerable small
growth, and under foot it was swampy. It was impossible to maintain a
good line. In such an advance the naturally courageous will press
forward, and the naturally timid will hang back, and the officers and
file closers have their hands full to urge up the laggards.

In my place as orderly I was directly behind Lieut. Wm. H. McIntyre,
commanding my company. Next to me, on the left, was Corporal Willey, an
old friend from my town. As we were working our way to the front he
spoke to me, and said, "Charley, am I hurt much?" I looked up and saw
the blood running down the side of his face, and that a part of his ear
had been shot away. I said, "No, nothing but a part of your ear is
gone," and we pressed forward.

Soon we came upon the 52nd N. Y., I think of French's Brigade, lying on
the ground in line of battle. I suppose they had exhausted their
ammunition and were waiting for our appearance. We passed over them, and
advanced a few rods, when the order was given to halt. Then strenuous
efforts were made by our officers to get the men up in the ranks and to
dress the line; while this was going on no firing was had on either
side. I did not see a rebel, and did not think one was within musket
shot. Lieut. McIntyre stood in the Captain's place, and I immediately
behind him in the place of first sergeant. Suddenly a tremendous volley
was fired by the enemy at short range, which was very destructive.
McIntyre sank down with a deathly pallor on his countenance. He said,
"I'm killed." I stooped down and said, "Lieutenant, do you think you are
mortally wounded?" He replied, "Yes, tell them I'm killed." He never
spoke again.

A corporal in the next company was shot through the head and fell on to
McIntyre's body. I drew up my gun, fired, and then threw myself down
behind these two bodies of my friends, loaded my gun, raised up and
fired it. This process I repeated until the firing ceased. It was a
ghastly barricade, but there was no time for the display of fine
feelings. The call was to defeat the enemy with as little loss to
ourselves as possible.

I cannot say how long this firing continued, but the time did come when
our shots were not replied to, and it was evident we had a clear front.
While the firing was in progress I saw a sight that in all of my
subsequent experiences was not equalled in shockingness. Sanford Brooks,
a stalwart man of my company, and from my town, was shot through the
head. The bullet entered at the side and just behind the eyes, and went
through in such a manner as to throw the eyes fairly out of their
sockets. The wound did not produce instant death, but destroyed his
reason. The blow did not fell him to the ground--he stood upright with
his gun clinched in one hand, his sightless eyes bulged out of his head,
and he staggering about bereft of reason. He lived for a day or two,
talking constantly of camp life, and the things that were on his mind
before this fatal shot.

After the firing had ceased, orders were given to get together and
change position. I did not know that Second Lieutenant Coultis was
wounded, and called for him. I was informed that he had been wounded
early in the battle and had gone to the rear. This left me in command of
the company, and I gathered up the fragments and marched them off.

Illustrating the liability of false information and impressions to stand
for facts, is the belief entertained by Gen. O. O. Howard, that Lieut.
McIntyre helped him off the field when he was wounded in this battle.
Some years ago the General wrote an interesting series of articles for
the _National Tribune_ concerning his campaigns. In describing the
battle of Fair Oaks, he stated where he was when he received the wound
that necessitated the amputation of his right arm. In the course of his
statement he said that Lieut. McIntyre helped him off the field. This I
knew beyond peradventure to be a mistake, and I wrote the _Tribune_ an
account of the matter so far as McIntyre was concerned, and said my
object in so doing was to help put some man in the right who might claim
that he had done this service for Gen. Howard.

(In June, 1897, the class of 1894 of Colgate University set up a tablet
in the library building in memory and in honor of the sons of the
University who had fallen in the war of 1861. Gen. Howard was hired to
be present and deliver an address on the occasion. In it he referred to
McIntyre and said, after telling how he was aided by McIntyre at Fair
Oaks, "He gave his life for me." I was present and heard him make this
statement. I took the trouble to write him a full statement of the
affair and tried to convince him that he was wholly mistaken in
supposing that McIntyre aided him personally that day. In reply I
received a short letter to the effect that he so well knew every
officer in the 61st that it could not be possible that he was mistaken.
I showed this letter to a number of our officers, who knew nearly as
well as I do that Gen. Howard is wrong, in fact. I need not add, that
without exception they agree with my recollection of the matter.
Probably no event of consequence will ever hinge on the truth or error
of my statement of this matter.)

Doubtless, as in other human affairs, every person has experiences in
battle peculiar to himself and his individual temperament. In this first
real meeting of the enemy, my own, imperfectly described, were as
follows: As soon as the first volley was fired all dread and sense of
personal danger was gone, the death of the two men, one in front and the
other to the right of me produced no shock of horror. I seemed to regard
it as the to-be-expected thing, and, as I have above said, I loaded and
fired my gun from behind their dead bodies as unconcerned as though it
had been in a sham battle. I now remember, that when the firing ceased,
I was unaware of the strain and excitement I had been under, until we
were ordered to move, when I found that I was in a tremble all over.

The Confederates had planned wisely, but they failed in working their
combination, and were, I believe, fairly beaten. Before this battle,
Col. Barlow was rated highly for his _military scholarship_, after the
battle he was recognized by his superior officers as _one of the bravest
of the brave_.

In this battle the regiment lost over twenty-five per cent. of the
number present, including the Lieut.-Col., two captains and several
lieutenants. (Fox's "Regimental Losses" makes the number 110).

Later in the day word came to me that a wounded man wanted to see me. I
went back a few rods and there found my personal friend and townsman,
Edgar J. Willey--the man who had lost a part of his ear before we became
engaged. He had been hit several times, but the one mortal wound was
through his lungs. Every breath he drew was an effort, and the inhaled
air in part went out of the wound with a sickening sound. As I came up
to him he smiled and held out his hand. I expressed deep sorrow for his
condition, but he said it was all right, he had no regrets. He told me
that he could live but a little while, and requested me to write to his
people and say that he hoped they would not mourn for him. His bible
was opened and lying on his breast. He lived for a day or two, and was
buried on the field where he fell fighting, like the brave soldier he

After the battle the sun came out with southern vengeance. We left our
tents and camp equipage at our late camp, and, to make the situation
more comfortable, and to guard against sun stroke, the men began to put
up bough huts, and before night we were tolerably protected.

The army was in a state of expectancy, wondering whether the enemy would
make a fresh attack, or whether we would press forward and follow up
what had been gained. If we had known better, as we came to, the halting
(not to say cowardly) make up of the commanding general, we would have
taken it for granted that we were to sit down and intrench and wait the
pleasure of the enemy for a change in the situation.

There was no serious attack for several weeks. The lines were formed and
fortified; breast works, with a ditch in front, were built, with here
and there a small fort, or redoubt, in which a part of the field
artillery was placed.

Picket duty came about twice a week. The lines were near together; and
the men were ugly. No chance was missed on either side for firing at a
man in sight, and every day more or less were killed or wounded, on the

To guard against surprise, the men were aroused and called out by 3:30
a. m., and took their places behind the works, guns in hand, and there
stood till sunrise.

As our camp was in the Chickahomany swamp, the water generally was bad,
and soon made itself felt in the health of the men. Hot coffee was
served to the men as they stood in line, and later, rations of whiskey
were issued to dilute the water with.

So long as there is a trace left of this line of breastworks, the exact
location of the camp of the 61st can be fixed, as it was just in rear of
the line, and half of the regiment was on one side of the railroad track
and the other half on the other.

Stonewall Jackson was on his way to aid Lee. On June 26th he appeared,
and the Confederate attack opened on our right at Mechanicsville.

Friday evening, the 27th, a part of our division was sent to Porter's
aid. He commanded the right wing of the army.

Saturday, the 28th, orders were received for all sick to be sent to the
hospital, and for all extra baggage to be turned into the quartermaster.
At about 10 a. m. we struck tents and marched down the line to the left,
and went to work throwing up rifle pits at right angles with the line of
works. This, was, I suppose, in anticipation of the enemy getting
possession of the redoubt to the right and raking the line. After a
little this was abandoned and we went into the woods in the rear. There
we cleared the ground so that a line of battle could be formed. We
remained in this position till after dark, when we returned to the old
camp ground behind the works. We simply lay on the ground with
accoutrements on ready to act in a moment. All night long baggage and
artillery trains were rumbling to the rear. The great siege guns that
were mounted at this point were loaded on cars and their carriages

By this time there was no doubt in our minds that McClellan's proud
advance had come to a halt, in fact, that the pendulum was swinging the
other way. About daylight Sunday morning, the 29th, our division began
moving up the railroad track away from Richmond and in search for
another base. We soon came to the commissary depot of the army. Here
were piled millions of dollars' worth of supplies--hundreds of thousands
of rations were to be cremated, the torch had been applied to the mass
and the work of destruction was well under way. Some of our men slid out
of the ranks and went to this stock of stores and helped themselves to
whatever they saw that they wanted. They came back with their rubber
blankets loaded with sugar; which they divided among their comrades.

After some maneuvering, our brigade was formed in a piece of woods, and
we fought what was called the Battle of Peach Orchard. The only loss we
sustained here was from the enemy's artillery. Their advance was stayed
sufficiently for our retreating troops, and trains to get by; then our
corps fell back to Savage Station, where we again formed line of battle
and awaited the approach of the enemy. Before dark a determined attack
was made. It was handsomely repulsed.

It has been stated that at this place Gen. Heintzelman, commanding the
third corps, told Sumner that the orders were to fall back; thar Sumner
protested, and insisted that the Army of the Potomac should retreat no
further, but, on the contrary, should attack the Confederates; that
Heintzelman finally had to tell the old man that, having delivered the
orders, he could act on his own responsibility, as for himself he would
fall back as directed; and that Sumner replied he supposed he would have
to follow, but he had not been brought up to retreat from a victorious

Those who are ready with reasons for faults and failures in the affairs
of mankind, may now lay it to Providence the selection of McClellan as
commander of the Army of the Potomac, on the ground that a brave and
competent general would have defeated the rebels too soon, and
reconstruction would not have been as thorough as it was in the end,
owing to the more complete exhaustion of the Confederates. For myself, I
have no opinions on such deep subjects. I simply know his selection as a
fighting commander was a terrible blunder.

We remained at Savage Station till about 9 p. m., when the retreat
movement through White Oak Swamp began. It was very dark. It had rained
sufficiently to make the roads very slippery, and, in addition to their
being filled with infantry, there was the artillery, and hundreds of
baggage wagons to be got over this piece of road before daylight. Owing
to the condition of the soil, almost everyone had frequent falls. The
column moved at a snail's pace, probably on an average of not over a
mile an hour. We were on our feet all night, crossing the corduroy
bridge that spanned the stream at the further side of the swamp as
daylight began to show in the East. The ground beyond the swamp was a
bluff some 20 or 30 feet above it, and on the brow of it our guns were
placed later in the day. Back of the bluff was a large, open field,
which was literally packed with artillery and baggage wagons. We were
marched into position and allowed to lie down. For one, I was so nearly
exhausted that I got onto the ground without taking off my knapsack, and
at once went off into sleep. About 8 a. m. we were called up and made
our breakfast. At this time the baggage wagons were getting out as fast
as possible.

About 11 a. m. our pickets reported the advance of the enemy, and in a
short time two or three of their batteries opened a lively fire. There
were then, perhaps a hundred wagons in this open field. The shelling had
a quickening effect in clearing it of all teams permitted to go to the

Our batteries were quickly placed in position and returned the fire. A
portion of my brigade, including my regiment, was placed in support of
this artillery. While the cannonading was going on, Colonel Barlow was
sitting on his old bay horse near to the guns, observing the situation
as cooly as if it had been a sham battle. We lost at this place a number
of men. This artillery fight lasted I should say for an hour, then
tapered off. We still lay behind the guns, and in support of them until
near sundown. Then the retreat was resumed. I think the 61st N. Y. was
among the last to leave the position.

It was a scorchingly hot day. The sun was never brighter. No air
stirred, but the light soil, powdered into fine dust, rose up in clouds
that made the march a hardship. For a time we moved slowly, hearing
cannon in the distance. Presently, for some reason, the order came to
"Step out," which meant quicker time and longer strides; and a little
later the order was to "double quick." Pretty soon we passed squads of
cavalry posted along the road, that didn't seem to be doing anything in
particular. In those days the cavalry was not what it came to be under

Further on we came to fragments of infantry that showed they had been
where war was in practice. Many wounded were about, and disabled
artillery was numerous. Before us was a piece of heavy woods; just
before entering it on the right, was a long, story-and-a-half building,
that was I think, but I am not certain, a tavern. About this building
were many wounded--very likely it was in use as a hospital.

The regiment entered the woods on the double quick. The road was arched
over head by the meeting of the outstretching limbs. As darkness was
coming on, it looked like entering a tunnel. Men, singly and in squads,
were making their way to the rear, some sound and whole, but many with
wounds. As we met these men we were greeted with statements, prophecy
and advice. I remember hearing, "This is a tough one." "You'll catch
hell, if you go in there!" "You'd better dump those knapsacks, you'll
not want them at the front!" I had made up my mind to that effect, and
was putting my hand back to unhook the knapsack strap when Isaac Plumb
came up to me and asked what I was going to do. I replied that I was
going into the fight without incumbrances. I was impressed with the
belief that we were to have a desperate struggle, and, I think, I never
felt more like it than I did at this time. I pitched the knapsack to one
side, and Plumb did likewise.

I think our regiment had on the field about two hundred men divided for
working purposes into four companies. One of these field companies of
some fifty men, under Captains Mount and Broady, were not with us. They
had been detached and sent off on some special work, so that Barlow had,
I judge, one hundred and fifty men. The first company was commanded by
Captain Wm. H. Spencer. He was when he enlisted in Broady's company, a
student in the freshman class of Madison University. He was appointed
orderly sergeant of Company C., and retained that place until his
promotion to a lieutenancy in Deming's Company I. On the death of
Captain Brooks he was made captain of Company G. He was one of the best
officers in the regiment. I was at the head of the regiment as we were
now advancing along this wooded road. Suddenly the head of a column came
in sight and very near to us, and at once the head files of this
regiment sent a volley into our regiment. The effect was to make the
61st fall back on itself, so to speak. Col. Barlow was some ways down
the line, and there was imminent danger of a stampede on our part for a
few seconds. Some of us near enough to the head of the column to take in
the situation, enlightened the other regiment and our men, as to the
facts, and we passed one another without further damage. I do not know
that anyone was hurt by this unfortunate fire, but there were a number
of close calls. I remember that one man had his canteen shot away, and
others bullets through their clothing.

The further we advanced the clearer came the sound of battle. As we were
thus pressing on, I well remember Capt. Spencer saying, as he grimly set
his teeth, "Men, we will sell our lives as dearly as possible!" I
believe every man of us regarded it as a desperate adventure.

Further on we came to a cleared field of considerable size, in which
there were, I believe, one or two small, old buildings, perhaps negro
houses. Just before reaching the open field we turned off to the right
and came in on the right hand side of the field, and lay down behind the
rail fence. While in this situation, a general officer came up and had a
talk with Barlow. From what I heard at the time and have since read, I
am of the opinion it was Gen. Kearney. I heard him say, "Colonel, you
will place your men across that road, and hold it at all cost." Barlow
replied, "General, you know I have but few men." "Yes," he said, "but
they are good ones." The general, whoever he was, then went off. Barlow
at once ordered the men up, and to advance. The fence was passed, then a
right wheel made, an advance of some rods, and we were near to the edge
of the field and directly across the road. The order was given to lie
down. Shortly after this was executed, a voice came out of the woods in
front of us, and very near by. It was too dark to see anything, but our
ears took in every word of the question asked, "What regiment is that?"
At once an Irishman replied, "Sixty-first New York." Then came the
command, "Lay down your arms, or I'll blow every one of you to hell."
That sentence was scarcely out of his mouth, when Barlow roared, "Up and
at them, men."

The command was instantly obeyed. We got in the first volley, and it was
doubtless effective. Some of our wounded left on the ground and captured
next day, reported, when we next saw them, that there was a large number
of dead rebels close up to the line of our field.

As soon as our volley had been delivered the men of their own accord
dropped back a rod or two, lined up and went steadily at work. As I have
suggested, it was too dark to see anything within the woods, and, if the
enemy could see anything of us, it was just a line.

Our fire was at once returned. As soon as our empty muskets could be
loaded the men would take a quick aim at a flash in the woods and let
drive. The enemy did the same. In no battle that I was in, did the
bullets sing about my head as they did here. No doubt this came from the
aim drawn on the flash of my musket. This steady, rapid firing continued
till it ceased from the woods, and we concluded that we were victors.

Barlow then directed that the sound men take to the rear those alive,
but wounded so that they could not help themselves. A sergeant by the
name of Marshall, as I now remember, was badly wounded through the
thigh. Another man and I attempted to carry him back. I found that my
gun was an obstruction and I laid it down, thinking I could come back
and find it, or some other. We carried our comrade to the rear, where
quite a number were placed, among them Capt. E. M. Deming, who was
suffering from a broken leg. We were close friends, having been together
in the winter of '60 and '61 in the Academic Department of Madison
University. I stopped to have a little talk with him, believing that
there was to be no more fighting that night.

Presently my attention was called to the fact that there was a fresh
lining up of men where we had just fought. It was not so dark but that
the outline of a body of men could be distinguished in the open. At once
the firing from both sides was resumed as brisk as ever. Later on I
learned that a part of the 81st Pa. had come to our aid.

I was not long in sensing that my position was not military. Some of my
regiment must be in that line, and I was some rods to the rear, and
without a gun. I did not propose to go hunting for a lost gun in that
darkness and under fire. In looking about, I discovered a gun standing
against a tree. I took it, saw that it was loaded, and then conceived
the notion that I might make a flank attack on the rebels by myself. The
line of battle on each side was but a few rods in length. Where I stood
the trees were not thick, and I was a little to the right of the firing.
I made an advance movement that brought me nearly up to the line of our
men, but, as I said, to their right. I decided that Providence had
favored me in providing a good-sized stump just beyond and in the line I
proposed to fire. I brought my gun to an "aim," waited for a flash from
a Confederate gun, and pulled the trigger. About as soon as could be,
after the flash of my fire, came quite a volley of bullets singing
around my head, from the enemy's line. I moved closer to my stump for
more complete protection, when to my dismay, I found it to be only a
body of tall grass. I did no more firing from that position, but fell
back in good order.

The fighting soon ceased and our men retired and took position in the
road in the woods, but near to the open field. We lay down on our arms.
After a while the enemy came up where their wounded were, and we could
hear them call out the regiments to which they belonged as they were
picked up. Finally matters quieted down and most of us went to sleep.

At the time we called this the battle of Charles City Cross Roads. I
think the accepted name at present is Glendale. This position had been
during the day desperately attacked by the Confederates and heroically
defended by the Federals. If the enemy had succeeded in their purpose
they would have cut off a large section of our army and captured
property of great value. In my account of the fight written at the time
to my people I said, "Barlow got us together in line and found that a
good deal more than half of the men were gone, and pretty much all of
the officers. Captains Deming, Spencer and Moore lost legs, and Angell
was wounded. Lieut. Crawford and Adjutant Gregory were wounded. Col.
Barlow and Lieuts. Keech and Morrison were the only officers with us,
and some of these had very close calls, all of them had bullet holes in
their clothing. Barlow's horse was killed and Keech's scabbard was
battered up with one or more bullets. But forty men were together
unharmed at the end of the contest."

That my account of this fight may not stand alone as a stubborn and
desperate one, I will quote from the account of it as found in
Appleton's Annual of 1862. While it may be obnoxious to the charge of
gushiness, to those who were in this fight, by daylight, or in the
night, I think scarcely anything can appear exaggerated. It is as

"The advance of the Confederate force was actively resumed early in the
morning. Generals D. H. Hill, Whiting and Ewell, under the command of
General Jackson, crossed the Chickahominy by the grapevine bridge, and
followed the Federal retreat by the Williamsburg and Savage Station
road. Generals Longstreet, A. P. Hill, Huger and Magruder took the
Charles City road with the intention of cutting off the retreat of the
Federal forces. At the White Oak Swamp the left wing under General
Jackson came up with the Federal force under Generals Franklin and
Sumner, about 11 a. m. They had crossed the stream and burned the bridge
behind them. An artillery fire was opened on both sides, which continued
with great severity and destruction until night. The result of this
battle was to prevent the further advance of the enemy in this
direction, which was the single line of road over which trains had

"Late, on the same day, a battle was fought between the forces of Gen.
Heintzelman and the main force of the enemy, which attempted to advance
by the Charles City road to cut off the retreat. This force was led by
Generals Longstreet, A. P. Hill and Huger. The former, however, being
called away, the command devolved on Gen. Hill. As the masses advanced
upon the Federal batteries of heavy guns, they were received with such a
destructive fire of artillery and musketry as threw them into disorder.
Gen. Lee sent all his disposable troops to the rescue, but the Federal
fire was so terrible as to disconsert the coolest veterans. Whole ranks
of the Confederate troops were hurled to the ground. Says an actor in
the conflict: 'The thunder of cannon, the cracking of musketry from
thousands of combatants, mingled with the screams of the wounded and
dying, were terrific to the ear and to the imagination.'

"The conflict thus continued within a narrow space for hours, and not a
foot of ground was won by the Confederates.

"Night was close at hand. The Federal lines were strengthened and the
confidence of the Confederates began to falter. The losses of his
exhausted and wornout troops in attempting to storm the batteries were
terrible. Orders were given to Gen. Jackson to cover the retreat in case
the army should have to fall back, and directions were sent to Richmond
to get all the public property ready for removal. The Federal forces,
perceiving the confusion, began step by step to press forward. The
posture of affairs at this time is thus related by a Confederate
officer: 'The enemy, noticing our confusion, now advanced, with the cry,
'Onward to Richmond!' Many old soldiers who had served in distant
Missouri and on the plains of Arkansas, wept in the bitterness of their
souls like children. Of what avail had it been to us that our best blood
had flowed for six long days? Of what avail all our unceasing and
exhaustless endurance? Everything, everything seemed lost, and a general
depression came over all our hearts. Batteries dashed past in headlong
flight; ammunition, hospital and supply wagons rushed along, and swept
the troops away with them from the battlefield. In vain was the most
frantic exertion, entreaty and self sacrifice of the staff officers! The
troops had lost their foot-hold, and all was over with the Southern

"In this moment of desperation Gen. A. P Hill came up with a few
regiments he had managed to rally, but the enemy was continually
pressing nearer and nearer! Louder and louder their shouts and the
watchword, "On to Richmond!" could be heard. Cavalry officers sprang
from their saddles and rushed into the ranks of the infantry regiments
now deprived of their proper officers. Gen. Hill seized the standard of
the 4th North Carolina regiment, which he had formerly commanded and
shouted to the soldiers, "If you will not follow me, I will perish
alone!" Upon this a number of officers dashed forward to cover their
beloved general with their bodies; the soldiers hastily rallied, and the
cry, 'Lead on, Hill; head your old North Carolina boys!' rose over the

"And now Hill charged forward with this mass he had thus worked up to
the wildest enthusiasm. The enemy halted when they saw these columns,
in flight a moment before, now advancing to the attack, and Hill burst
upon his late pursuers like a famished lion.

"A fearful hand to hand conflict now ensued, for there was no time to
load and fire. The ferocity with which this conflict was waged was
incredible. It was useless to beg the exasperated men for quarter; there
was no moderation, no pity, no compassion in that bloody work of bayonet
and knife. The son sank dying at his father's feet; the father forgot
that he had a child--a dying child; the brother did not see that a
brother was expiring a few paces from him; the friend heard not the last
groan of a friend; all natural ties were dissolved; only one feeling, of
thirst, panted in every bosom--REVENGE.

"Here it was that the son of Maj. Peyton, but fifteen years of age,
called to his father for help. A ball had shattered both his legs. 'When
we have beaten the enemy then I will help you,' answered Peyton, 'I have
other sons to lead to glory. Forward!' But the column had advanced only
a few paces further when the Major himself fell to the earth a corpse.
Prodigies of valor were here performed on both sides. History will ask
in vain for braver soldiers than those who here fought and fell. But of
the demoniac fury of both parties one at a distance can form no idea.

"Even the wounded, despairing of succor, collecting their last energies
of life, plunged their knives into the bosoms of foemen who lay near
them still breathing.

"The success of Gen. Hill enabled other generals to once more lead their
disorganized troops back to the fight, and the contest was renewed along
the whole line, and kept up until deep into the night; for everything
depended upon our keeping the enemy at bay, counting too, upon their
exhaustion at last, until fresh troops could arrive to reinforce us. At
length, about half past ten in the evening, the divisions of Magruder,
Wise and Holmes, came up and deployed to the front of our army."

As I have suggested, the foregoing quotation is a somewhat florid
account of desperate, prolonged fighting.

The following account of the 61st's fight at Glendale is taken from the
_Portland Daily Press_. It is the narration of a leading actor in the
battle, and was given at the annual meeting of the Maine Commandery of
the Loyal Legion held at Riverton, May 3d, 1899.

"This paper will deal chiefly with my personal experiences as subaltern
and Captain in the Sixty-first N. Y. Volunteers during the first and
last days of June, 1862, in the Peninsular Campaign, Virginia.

"Omitting the narrative of the regiment's participation in the battles
of Fair Oaks, Peach Orchard, Savage Station and White Oak Swamp, we come
to the battle in which the writer received the wound which crippled him
for life.

"As we drew near to the battlefield of Glendale, we came to a place
which tried the courage of us all. I shall never forget that scene. The
road ran through an open field which was dotted here and there with dead
and wounded men. There were all the grim tokens of the rear of a
desperate battle, straggling men, cannon without horses and with broken
carriages, battle smoke in the air, and the sound of a gun which was out
of sight in front accompanied by the howl of grape shot. We halted here
a few moments to give the stragglers time to come up, and to give all a
chance to breathe after our exhausting march. Besides the men that were
lying around us wounded, others were coming out of the woods in front
limping and bleeding. They greeted us with such cheering assurances as
"You'll get enough in there," "Better throw away them knapsacks, you
won't want 'em in there."

"Before us there was a dark forest of great hemlocks, and I can see yet
the lurid light of the setting sun through the trees and the powder
smoke; and I remember that the question came into my mind, "I wonder if
I shall ever see another setting sun." I did not, of course, give any
outward sign of such thoughts. I had enough to do to inspire my men with
courage, telling them we must sell our lives at a high price. But I have
heard some of the regiment, who went through many subsequent battles,
say that that was the dismalest battle they ever saw.

"Down into the narrow road, through the dark hemlocks we passed. It was
full of powder smoke, which with the dark foilage, shut out most of the
daylight that remained. There was a solitary gun away off on our right,
whose occasional boom sounded like a knell.

"We came out of the woods on the right side of a clear field where a
portion of the afternoon battle had raged, and lay down by the side of
the road, conscious that we were in a ticklish place. There was
occasional firing over us into the field, and once in a while a bullet
dropped near us. But this soon ceased and the battlefield, as a whole,
was quiet, and I began to hope that the battle was over. But our colonel
was of another mind. He had reported for orders to Gen. Robinson of
Kearney's division. The twilight was deepening and the stars were out,
when the order came, "Get up men, STEADY NOW, FORWARD, March!" Every man
sprang to his feet. Quickly we were over the fence with bayonets at a
charge, and when we were well in the field the regiment made a half
right wheel towards a piece of woods on the other side. I was neither
depressed nor elated, but it was a relief to be in motion with my
company. I was simply in the line of duty, responsible for myself and my
company. I remember how finely the regiment marched across that field
through the shadows and the smoke to unknown horrors beyond. We advanced
to within two or three rods of the woods and lay down. It was too dark
by this time for us to see whether the woods were occupied or not, but
after a brief interval we learned all about it. While we were all on the
qui vive, wondering what would come next, a voice broke forth from the
woods clear and distinct, "What regiment is that?" Every heart stood
still. Who would answer? And what would he say? To my astonishment and
dismay one of our men piped out, "Sixty-first New York." Then came the
blustering reply, "Lay down your arms, or I'll blow you all to hell."
Instantly we were on our feet, and by the time the orator in the woods
had finished speaking his little piece our men had poured in a volley
before they were ready for us. This must have seriously damaged them,
for their return volley was lighter than I expected. There was nothing
for us to do however, but to fall back a few rods, loading and firing.
We soon halted however, and settled down to the grim game of give and
take in the growing darkness. The flashes of their muskets were all that
our men had to guide their aim. It was dismal business. Our line grew
thinner, and I noticed that my company was melting away before me.
Anxious to hurt somebody I drew my revolver and emptied one barrel into
the woods, but then considered that I might want the rest for closer
work before we got through, and put it up again. Soon I felt a smarting
pain in my left knee and sat down a few paces apart to see what made it.
Finding it only a buckshot I hastened back to my company, but it took
that buckshot wound six weeks to heal. It seems to me now as if I had
not been back with my company more than a minute when crash came a blow
on my right leg, just above the knee, like the blow of a huge club.
There was no mistaking that. I dropped because I had to, and I lay flat
on my back so as to avoid other bullets, and waited for further
developments. Those were solemn moments for me, and yet not so terrible
as one might suppose. They were not at all dreadful. I was just waiting
to see if I was going to die from loss of blood, not knowing but an
artery was severed. I distinctly remember thinking that I would hardly
turn my hand over for the choice, whether to rise presently to a new
heavenly home, or to struggle back through unknown sufferings to my old
earthly home. But after a few moments the instinctive desire to live in
the body prevailed. I saw that I was not going to bleed to death, so I
called a couple of men to carry me back to the road away from the firing
line. In doing this, one of them put his arms under my knees, and the
pain in the wound soon became so frightful that I begged them to lay me
down and let me die. They carried me to the road however, a short
distance, and there left me.

"So there I lay on my back, looking up to the quiet stars and listening
to the combat which was still going on. This is a narrative of personal
experiences and feelings, designed for family use, and so it is in order
for me to tell how I felt as I lay there. It might be expected that I
should say that I was longing to be back in the fight impatient to be
leading my brave men up to the muzzles of the enemy's muskets. But if I
were to say so I would lie. As I lay there, I was not all smitten by a
fit of the heroics nor anything of that kind. I was tired, almost
exhausted by the exertion and excitement of the day, two days in fact.
And it felt fine to just lie still there and rest. As long as I kept
still my wound did not pain me much. I hated bullets and had no appetite
for glory or promotion, and it was a relief to lie there out of range of
the detestable mines. Moreover, I had full confidence that my men would
give a good account of themselves, whether I was with them or not. There
was satisfaction too, in feeling that I was through, that I had kept in
the line of duty until I was shot and disabled, and that I had given to
my country all that she asked of me in the shooting line of endeavor,
and could now take up life again on a new basis. To be sure there were
some chances against my getting safe home again, but I had a cheerful
confidence that I should be able to pull through somehow. I have often
been amused while thinking of my feelings as I lay there across the
middle of the road. The prevailing sensation was one of relief. I was no
cow-boy or rough-rider. I was just an ordinary patriot and student,
ready to bleed and die if need be for my country, but never spoiling for
a fight. And I know that many of my bravest comrades were made of the
same stuff.

"My greatest want just then was water, and that I couldn't get it until a
rebel supplied me next morning. Even when our regiment came back to the
road where I lay, or what was left of it, no one could get a drop for
me. Colonel Barlow came to me after the fighting was over, and showed
all the tenderness of a brother, letting me see a side of his nature
that I had never known anything about before. He deplored the fact that
there was no way by which he could have me carried off and kept within
our lines. And so, after having me moved to the side of the road, and
after my friends had come and talked with me and bade me good-bye, that
splendid little regiment marched away about two o'clock in the morning,
and left me to reach home, nearly dead, after about twenty-four days, by
the way of Libby prison.

"The Sixty-first New York left about one-third of their number dead or
wounded on that field, including six out of its nine officers, of whom
three lost one leg each, and one of them died in Libby prison. Only a
month of fighting and its numbers were reduced from 432 to about 150.

"Dropping now the personal narrative, let us in the briefest sketch,
follow that plucky little regiment under its peerless commanders.

"See them the very next day at Malvern Hill, again enduring the pounding
of artillery until nearly night, and again in open field engaging the
enemy under cover of the woods until they had fired 90 rounds per man
and were all ready to charge with bayonets if required.

"See them at Antietam, with the ranks replenished from the hospital and
recruiting offices, under the cool and skilful leading of their colonel,
getting advantage of a whole rebel brigade where there was a deep cut in
the road, and, after slaughtering many of them, actually capturing about
three hundred prisoners, more than they themselves numbered. There they
lost their intrepid colonel, Barlow, by a desperate wound and subsequent

"But he was succeeded by a soldier equally brave and gallant, Lieut.
Colonel Nelson A. Miles, who in the battle of Fredericksburg led them to
the useless slaughter at the foot of Marye's Heights, until a bloody
wound in his neck spared the regiment a desperate attempt to get a
little nearer than other regiments to the invincible lines of the enemy.

"See them at Chancellorsville, with Miles again leading in a brilliant
fight on the skirmish line.

"See the devoted little company in the Wheat Field at Gettysburg, hardly
a company all told now--only 93--baring their breasts to the storm of
Confederate bullets and leaving 62 of their number, two-thirds, among
the killed and wounded.

"Nearly a year later, after 600 recruits had made it nearly a new
regiment, see it keeping up its old reputation for hard fighting in the
Wilderness campaign, losing 36 at Corbin's Bridge and 13 at Po River,
and then at the famous Bloody Angle at Spottsylvania, having a place of
honor and peril in one of the two leading brigades which scaled the
rebel works and took between three and four thousand prisoners. Then see
them at Cold Harbor sacrificing 22 of their number in a bloody repulse
in that useless slaughter.

"In the siege of Petersburg see them in repeated engagements. At Ream's
Station, when one regiment after another of recruits gave way, Walker
tells us that Gen. Miles, commanding a division, 'calling up a portion
of his own old regiment the Sixty-first New York which still remained
firm, threw it across the breastworks, at right angles, and commenced to
fight his way back, leading the regiment in person. Only a few score of
men--perhaps 200 in all--stood by him; but with these he made ground,
step by step, until he had retaken Dauchey's battery, and had recaptured
a considerable portion of the line, actually driving the enemy into the
railroad cut.'

"At last at Farmsville, only a day before the end of the struggle, this
regiment sealed its devotion to the flag by the loss of four killed,
including one captain, and twelve wounded.

"In the round up of Lee's army culminating at Appomatax, two divisions
of the corps were commanded by Sixty-first men. Barlow commanded one and
Miles the other, and between them they fought the last infantry battle
of the Army of the Potomac."

"In Colonel Fox's admirable analysis of the Regimental Losses during the
Civil war, he shows that the Sixty-first New York came very near having
a place among the forty-five regiments that lost over two hundred men,
killed or mortally wounded in action during the war. Its actual loss was
193, including 16 officers. He says: 'The Sixty-first had the good
fortune and honor to be commanded by men who proved to be among the
ablest soldiers of the war. They made brilliant records as colonels of
this regiment, and, being promoted, achieved a national reputation as
division generals. The Sixty-first saw an unusual amount of active
service and hard fighting. It served through the war in a division that
was commanded successively by Generals Richardson, (killed at Antietam),
Hancock, Caldwell, Barlow and Miles, and any regiment that followed the
fortunes of these men was sure to find plenty of bloody work cut out
for it."

In the place we were marched to we lay down. Very soon the fifty men
under Captains Broady and Mount, who had been detached, joined the forty
or so of us making all told a fighting force of from ninety to one
hundred men. Most, if not all the men, except those on guard, went to

About two o'clock a. m. of July 1st, we were quietly awakened and
cautioned to make no noise. The order to move was whispered and we
started silently.

A good part of our way was over a road through the woods. No artillery
or wagon trains were in the way, and we shoved along at a good pace.
Most of the canteens were empty before the last battle, and now the men
were suffering for water nearly as much as it was possible for them to.
I do not know of any of our troops following us, and it is my belief
that we were the last of the Army of the Potomac to go over this road,
as we were, the following December to cross the pontoon bridge at

I suppose we made a march of from three to five miles, when we came into
open country, not far from three o'clock a. m. The light was just
beginning to show in the East. We did not know the locality or the name
of the place if it had one. We saw that a part of our army at least was
massed here. Later on we came to know that it was Malvern Hill, where a
great battle was soon to be fought. I am glad we did not know it before
it came. In our ignorance, we assumed that now the fighting was over for
a time, and we would be given a chance to recuperate after the strain of
the past week. As soon as arms were stacked details for water gathered
the dry canteens and went in search of the much needed fluid. Those who
could, stretched out on Mother Earth for another nap.

As soon as the sun was up the men stirred themselves, made coffee and
ate such food as they had in their haversacks--hard bread, and boiled
salt pork, or beef. At such times the soldier's menu is not elaborate,
and he is satisfied if there is enough of it to prevent the pangs of

We were occupying an open field with other troops of our corps, without
protection from the broiling sun. The intense heat was not as bad as a
battle, but some of our men were used up by it. I think it must have
been in the neighborhood of 10 a. m. when some of our men spoke out:
'There's the reb's planting a battery.' Every eye was turned in the
direction indicated. It was plain to be seen that artillery was being
placed, but, at the distance, I could not distinguish the uniforms, and
I declared that they were our men. My wisdom did not have long to
maintain itself, for in a short time shells were dropping in on us in a
way no friend would shoot.

Now preparations were rapidly going on for a great battle--the last of
an historic series. Ammunition was being distributed to the infantry,
boxes of cartridges were brought to us and opened while we were standing
this shelling. Capt. Broady superintended the distribution. Every man
filled his cartouch, and then Broady made us take from forty to sixty
rounds in the haversacks. He declared as he went up and down the lines,
when some of the men grumbled at the quantity, 'Men, you may be glad to
have them before you get more.' After a while our batteries silenced the
guns that had been making it disagreeable for us.

While we were in this place a matter transpired that has left an
unfading impression on my mind. A member of our regiment, who had been
much of the time detailed, and had acted as hostler for some of the
field officers, but was now with his company, came up to Colonel Barlow
with a woe-begone countenance and told him that he was sick and not able
to be in the ranks, and said that the doctor thought he ought to be
permitted to go to the rear. No doubt Barlow had noted the use this man
had been put to, and, where he believed a soldier was managing to escape
danger and find a soft place, he always endeavored to make it as
unpleasant for that man as possible. The Colonel was not in an amiable
frame of mind. He was on foot, old "Billy" had been killed the night
before, and he felt like having a dialogue with someone. He asked this
man some questions which satisfied him he was a coward. His wrath broke
out vehemently. He cursed and swore at him and called him a variety of
unpleasant and detestable things and then he began to punch him with
his fist wherever he could hit. Finally he partly turned him around, and
gave him a hearty kick in the stern and said: "Damn you, get away from
here! You're not fit to be with my brave men." The fellow departed as
fast as his short legs would carry him. I knew of no other man
presenting an excuse or asking for leave of absence that day. I believe
every man of us preferred to meet the rebels rather than the vocal scorn
and denunciation of Barlow. I believe he did not know what personal,
bodily fear was, and he had no consideration for a coward.

I met Barlow in New York in LaFayette Post Room, at the time Sixty-first
Regimental association was formed. I made this remark to him: "I never
went into a battle without an effort of my will, and always expected to
be wounded or killed." He said in his quiet way, "I never felt so, I
never had an impression that I was to be hurt." In the address at
Hamilton, N. Y., in 1897, before referred to, Gen. Howard said that Gen.
Barlow was one the bravest and coolest men he ever saw in battle.

After a while our brigade was moved forward and about half way up a rise
of ground--it was hardly a hill--at the top of which were an old house
and barn. We were ordered to lie down in support of a battery in front
that was doing a lively business. I remember that before getting down I
spread my rubber blanket to lie on. The fragments of the exploded shells
came showering down upon and about us, presently a chunk large enough to
have laid me out a harmless corpse came tearing through my blanket, but
in a spot not covered by my body. Every now and then along the
supporting line a man was knocked out. It was at this time that Ralph
Haskell, a Hamilton boy, and another lying beside him had their brains
knocked out by these shell fragments. They were but a few feet from me
and I saw the whole bloody business.

About this time a remarkable freak was perpetrated on the body of Capt.
Broady. He was standing, when in an instant he was thrown to the ground
with great force, and he lay there quivering as if life were the same as
extinct. Col. Barlow saw him fall and ordered his body taken to the
rear. This was done by a number of men, who remained by the body to
observe the passing of the last breath, when to their surprise the
captain opened his eyes and, with his slightly Swedish brogue, inquired
if he was much hurt. The men replied, "Why yes, you're all knocked to
pieces." The captain wiggled about some and then asked, "How do you know
men, do you see the blood run?" They had to answer "No." By this time
his consciousness had fully returned. He directed the men to help him
onto his feet and soon came back with his old-fashioned nippy gait.
Barlow had regarded him as ticketed for the "happy hunting ground" and
when he saw him walking back to the line, he was quite surprised. He
looked him over for a moment, and then said to his regiment, "Men, give
Capt. Broady three cheers, he's a brave man." This we did with a will.
When we got to a place where an examination could be had, it was found
that Broady had been so struck by a piece of shell that it went through
his overcoat, and then rotated in such a manner as to cut the tails off
from his dress coat, so that, after we got to Harrison's Landing the
captain went about dressed in that frock coat with the skirts cut off.
In other words he was supporting a jacket.

Shortly after this episode we were ordered forward up the slope to the
level ground and where the before mentioned old house and barn were. We
again lay down. The enemy were shelling these buildings at a terrific
rate, the rattle and crash of the shells into that woodwork made the
hair fairly stand on end. As we first lay down, it was found best to
have the men face about. This was done without getting up and
countermarching, but by facing around and bringing the rear into the
front rank. The officers crawled back as best they could, and the
sergeants did the same. I was making my way to the rear when one of the
officers turned up his head and said to me, "Where in the devil are you
trying to get to?" The tone indicated that he thought I was trying to
sneak off. This made me mad, and I snarled out, "I'm trying to get into
my place. If you think I'm afraid, I'll go to the front as far as you
dare to!" Within the following year this officer came to know me well,
and had, I believe, confidence that I would not seek to avoid a place
of danger.

After a time this artillery attack on our position ceased, and we were
ordered forward to the brow of the hill on the other side. Here we had
planted the greatest continuous row of cannon I ever saw set for work in
a battle. I would not be surprised to have it said by authority that
fifty of them crowned the brow of this elevation. Our position was
immediately on the right flank of this line of guns.

The Seventh New York, a German regiment, was formed on the left of the
Sixty-first N. Y., and in the rear of the artillery as a support. This
German regiment joined our brigade after the battle of Fair Oaks. It
came to us from Fortress Monroe, about one thousand strong under Col.
VanShack. He had, I believe, served in the German army and was a fine
appearing officer, but a full blooded German organization was not, in
this country in those days, on a par with "Yankee" troops. A sprinkling
of Dutchmen was all right. We had in the Sixty-first Germans and
Dutchmen, who were the peers as soldiers, of any in the regiment, but
this Seventh regiment when it went into action jabbered and talked Dutch
to exceed in volubility any female sewing society ever assembled. As
they came up and got into position the volume of jabber almost overcame
the rattle of musketry and the roar of artillery. I am certain their
conduct did not favorably impress our men. If the German Emperor's army
is not made of grimmer stuff than I saw exhibited in pure German
regiments in our army, I would not fear the result in matching them with
Americans from the North or the South.

It was said, and I suppose it was so, that in front of us was Magruder
and the story was current that he had served his men with gun-powder and
whiskey. Many stories are on the wind at such times that are no nearer
the truth than lies. I do not believe the rank and file very often had
their courage braced up with whiskey.

The battle of Malvern Hill was a splendid fight for our side, and I
firmly believe if we had been commanded by a brave and confident man
like Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Thomas or by some of the corps commanders
of the Potomac Army, Gen. Lee might have been pushed at least into the
defences of Richmond. But McClellan was on the James protecting the gun
boats, and composing a scolding letter to the president--probably.

From our position on the brow of the hill, it was open ground for a
distance and gently sloped off to the woods. Time after time the enemy
formed for the purpose of making a charge on us, but no sooner did they
appear than this immense line of artillery opened fire, which no troops
in the world could withstand. In aid of the artillery fire, the infantry
posted so as to have a chance, poured in volley after volley. Col.
Barlow practiced here that which I never saw before or after in
battle--volley firing by ranks. Then he changed it to firing by files
and then to firing at will which is as often as you please. This
tremendous storm of missiles held the confederates at bay. They did in a
feeble way reply to our fire, and we lost in killed and a large number
wounded. At times our firing was so rapid that the gun barrels became
heated to the point that they could not be grasped and the men held
their guns by the sling strap. I had some personal experiences in this
battle that were unique in my service. Our muskets were the Enfield
rifle, an English gun, much like the Springfield. They were, of course,
muzzle loaders, breech loaders then were the exception. The Minnie
bullet had no device for cleaning out the barrel, and after a dozen
shots it would become foul, and often it was difficult to ram the bullet
home. After I had fired my gun a number of times, in attempting to load,
the bullet lodged half way down. I made desperate efforts to send it
home but to no purpose. I found a stone large enough to pound on the end
of the ramrod, but the only effect seemed to be to set it the snugger.
It was the wrong place to hesitate in. I capped the tube, drew up the
gun and pulled the trigger expecting an explosion. The kick was strong
but I did not discover any damage to the gun--doubtless the barrel was
injured. I picked up another gun left by some dead or wounded man and
resumed my work. After exhausting the cartridges in my cartridge box, I
had my hand in my haversack for a fresh package, when I felt myself
severely hurt in the arm. The sensation was, it seemed to me, as if a
red hot rod had been run over it. I supposed I was badly damaged and
brought up my arm so as to examine it in the growing darkness. I found
that a bullet had taken the skin off from my wrist, a piece as large as
a cent, and only to the depth to allow the blood to slowly ooze through.
The momentary hurt of this slight flesh, or skin wound was more severe
than I experienced a year later when the bones of my leg and arm were
shot through. The next day on the march to Harrison's Landing, where we
halted long enough for lunch, I discovered that this bullet had gone
through my haversack, cutting off a piece of the rim of my tin plate,
and, in its passage had journeyed through my bags of coffee and sugar
and had compounded them considerably.

In this fight George Joyce of Co. C was seriously wounded through the
arm, so that he was obliged to go to the hospital. He was a singular
person--small in stature, illiterate, and until he became known for what
he was, regarded by all as a braggadocio. I do not remember that his
remarkable qualities were observed until the night before at Glendale.
It was during the second attack, while I was off on my flank movement,
that Barlow ordered the men further forward. A man spoke out, "We will
follow the colors." Joyce had them, or took them as a volunteer--as he
was but a private--went to the front with them, jabbed the staff into
the ground and said, "There's your colors! Come up to them!" and the men
obeyed. For this act Barlow complimented Joyce, and then and there
promoted him to an orderly sergeancy in another company. I shall mention
Joyce again, when he next appeared with the regiment at Fredericksburg.

The fighting was prolonged until late into the evening, and the usual
amount of ammunition taken into the battle was exhausted before we left
the field. I remember Barlow's saying, "If the enemy make another
attack, we will meet them with the cold steel."

Gradually things quieted, and about 12 o'clock we fell back a few rods
and lay down on our arms. We were not disturbed till daylight, when we
could see that the retreat movement was still in progress.

Finally we took our turn in the march. We had not gone far when one of
the men came to me and said that our flag was back where we had rested
after the fight, and he asked if he had better go back for it. I said to
him, "By all means get the flag!" He did as requested, and that same
bunting waved on a good many hard fought fields afterward. I do not
know, but presume that this flag was finally replaced by another. It
was, even then, much delapidated, and at Antietam it was mercilessly
pierced and torn. The road we finally reached, for Harrison's Landing
soon entered a narrow place between two bluffs. Two or three columns
were using the road and when they came to this sort of gorge it became
almost a jam. I remember hearing a few guns fired at this time, and the
effect on the men was to cause them to crowd faster to the rear. At the
time it came to my mind with painful force, "If the rebels should attack
us with a brave, fresh division, they would stampede us." From what I
have since read, I think each army considered itself whipped and was
glad to get into a place of safety!

At all events, we were not further molested in our march to Harrison's
Landing. We reached the place about noon and went into camp. The James
River, from ten miles below Richmond down to Bermuda Hundred, is about
as tortuous as a river ever runs. At that point it widens out, a
distance of from one to two miles; much of that space is, of course,
shallow water.

The next day the enemy run down a battery or two, on the south side of
the river, and gave us a lively shelling. Our division general,
Richardson, wanted to change the location of some of us, and became very
impatient at the slow movements of the men. He roared out: "_Make haste,
men! make haste! every minute is an hour!_" and the men hustled at a
livelier gait.

Richardson steadily grew in the esteem of his men. The story had got
noised about that while we lay in camp just before Fair Oaks, a loafer
about his headquarters addressed insulting language to a woman who was
employed in doing certain domestic work and who followed up the army.
The general heard the vile talk of the fellow from his tent. He hastily
made his appearance, and, in words expressed his disapproval of such
conduct, and, in acts he kicked the offender a number of times with such
power as to raise him at every kick a number of feet into the air, and
then sent him to his regiment. That offence was not again committed at
those headquarters.

In a few days the army was in position at Harrison's Landing. The James
at this point bends in slightly on the North bank and is very wide. A
line of breastworks was thrown up surrounding the encampment. I presume
the place was made secure against any attack from the enemy. As
McClellan was an engineer officer, he was, doubtless, good for
entrenchments, if for nothing else.

On the Fourth of July President Lincoln came to us and we were reviewed
by him and the commander of the army. Mr. Lincoln was dressed in black
clothes and wore a silk hat. That hat on the top of his six feet four
made him a very tall man. Recently the newspapers have published a story
purporting to have been told by Gen. Lew Wallace, to this effect: He was
one day at the White House. It was just after the Army of the Potomac
had got to its new base. The president was so obviously sad and cast
down that the general ventured to remark upon it. The president took him
across the room where no one could hear what he said and there told him
that in an hour he was to start for the Army of the Potomac to prevent
its commander from surrendering it to Lee. While I think McClellan was a
fearful incompetent, I am slow to believe, if the above ever took place,
that Mr. Lincoln had good grounds for his belief. In those early years
of the war, no doubt, much was reported that, later, would not be
listened to. Whatever may have been the moving cause, the president was
with us that day, and we cheered his presence to the echo.

During the weeks we were here encamped, we went to the James for
occasional bathing, but we did not have facilities for washing our
clothes in boiling water. The result was that we were all well stocked
with body lice. The men generally were diligent in picking off and
destroying the lives of these little animals by pressure between the
thumb nails. The slaughter of all in view one day, left enough back in
concealment so that the next day's hunt was always rewarded by abundant

The only time I was excused from duty while in the service on account of
sickness was while we were in camp here. One day I took a company of
sick to the doctor. I staid by till he had passed out the last dose. We
had three remedies, one of which would hit any possible case. They were
opium pills, castor oil and quinine. The pills cured all bowel troubles;
castor oil lubricated and opened up the internal functions, and quinine
cured everything else. I remarked to the doctor that I would rather like
to experience the sensation of being excused from duty and placed on the
sick list for one day. Nothing in particular was doing, so the obliging
surgeon said, "All right, you may go to your quarters sick and be
excused from duty for one day." I am now glad to say, that was the first
and last time I was ever so favored.

In this camp I was subjected to discipline by Col. Barlow. The evening
before, on dress parade, I was named to take charge of a police detail
from the Sixty-first, which was to report at brigade headquarters the
next morning at five o'clock. I had slept but little during the night.
Toward morning I fell into a drowse, and was awakened out of it by the
reveille. I hurried out of my tent and was getting my detail together,
hoping that the colonel would not notice my tardiness. I got to the
place of rendezvous the first of any one in the brigade, and had to wait
for an hour before a start was made. Our party worked through the
forenoon, picking up all litter, looking after sinks, burying dead
animals and doing whatever came in view to make our section of the
country sanitary and look tidy. This performed we returned to our
respective regiments. Having dismissed my detail, I was going to my tent
when Sergeant Major Greig sang out, "Sergeant Fuller, the colonel says
you may consider yourself under arrest, and you will confine yourself to
your tent." I knew of course the reason for this. I stayed within for a
couple of days, and then wrote a statement of the case and got a drummer
to take it to the colonel. It came right back with an endorsement that
if I had any communication to make, it could be done through the
regular channel. I then sent the paper to Lieut. Keech and he forwarded
it to the colonel. In a few moments I received from him a line that I
was relieved from arrest and could resume my duties. These disciplinary
matters were needful to keep the men up to their duties, and the
organization instructed, and in working order.

One evening Barlow took the regiment and started for the front. We
passed our intrenchments, and, it was said, we marched in the direction
of Malvern Hill. We advanced a number of miles, discovered no enemy and
returned to camp before morning.

About the eighth of August signs appeared that a change was coming. The
siege guns were withdrawn and shipped, as were the heavier camp equipage
and extra baggage. Aug. 16th about noon we broke camp and moved out, we
did not know where to, nor where for. It proved to be a march down the
peninsula. The first day out we made but about four miles, and halted
near a corn field. The corn was fit for roasting and the men had a
feast. I suppose the strict rules of McClellan's army, probably, were
violated as there was some foraging done.

August 17th we made twelve miles, and passed Charles City Court House.
Inexcusable vandalism was here committed. The books and records of the
county seat were scattered about in profusion. Many documents two
hundred years old were passed about, and there were those with
Washington's signature. We crossed the Chickahomony, I was told, near
its junction with the James, on a pontoon bridge, I should think
one-eighth of a mile in length. It was the longest stretch of bridge of
the kind I ever saw.

The road we took on this march was not the one by which we went up, on
our way to the Richmond we did not see until about three years after.
The country does not vary much from prairie level. The soil is light,
with no stone in it to speak of. In a dry time, with considerable travel
it powders up so that in going through it the dust rises in almost solid
columns. A good part of the Potomac army, horse, artillery, foot and
baggage trains, had preceded us. This made the dust as deep as it could
be. Much of the road was through forests. I well remember this march
from the dust experience. It exceeded anything I ever heard of. We would
march for long distances when a man could not see his file leader--the
dust so filled the air as to prevent seeing. Of course, the men had to
breath this air. The nostrils would become plugged with the dust so
moistened as to make slugs. Every now and then the men would fire them
out of their noses almost as forcibly as a boy snaps a marble from his
fingers. I remember having serious forbodings that taking in such
quantities of road dirt would cause lasting injury. I do not know that
my apprehensions of evil from this cause were ever realized. I suppose
the dust that got into the lungs worked out in some way.

Aug. 19th we passed through Williamsburg, the site of William's and
Mary's College and the capital of the colony in the days when Patrick
Henry told the House of Delegates that, "Caesar had his Brutus, Charles
the First his Cromwell, and George the third--might profit by their
example." At this time the place was very delapidated. As I remember
there was but one good looking house. The place had been well fortified
against our approach as we were going up in May.

Aug. 20th we reached Yorktown and went into camp on the same piece of
ground we had used about three months before. Those three months had
wrought great changes in our circumstances as a regiment and an army.
"We had met the enemy" and he was NOT ours. After stacking arms I
wandered around and in so doing came across a quantity of split peas,
which doubtless had been left by our army on the upward march. With
others I concluded to try a change of diet and prepare a banquet for
mastication that evening. I took enough of the peas to cook my quart cup
full, and patiently sat by the camp fire through the evening looking
after the cooking. It was quite late when they were boiled tender. I was
hungry from the waiting, they touched the spot in the way of relishing,
and, in a brief time the bottom of that old quart cup was bare. The
prevailing complaint with the men was diarrhoea, and I was one of the
prevalents, so to speak. This was not hygenic food for such a case, and,
without further words, I was not very well the remainder of the night.
The weather had been hot for that latitude. The next morning it was
like the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar--several times hotter than it had
been. I felt more like being petted by a nurse than to shoulder my traps
and tramp. I could hardly stand, but to go was a necessity. We made that
day a march of twenty miles, I think. Not being able to step out
squarely, but rather drag and shuffle along, I began to chafe badly,
which made the marching very painful. I kept up with the boys till
towards the close of day and about a mile from where camp was made, when
I grew dizzy. I saw all sorts of colors. I staggered out one side and
went down like a bundle of old clothes. I lay there in semi-consciousness,
until the rear guard came along, when I was accosted with the question,
"What are you here for?" I said I couldn't go another step. "Well, but
you must. Come, get up, or we'll prick you." I made the effort under
this pressure, and did work my way over that mile to where the regiment
had stacked arms. This was the first and only time I ever failed to be
present with the regiment when it stacked arms and I was with it.

On this occasion whiskey had been issued. The first time since it had
been given us when stationed behind the breastworks at Fair Oaks. Some
one of my friends had saved for me my ration and it was a big one. I
should think there was nearly a tumbler full of it, and it was the
rankest, rottenest whiskey I ever saw, smelled or tasted. My legs were
raw and bloody from the chafing, and I was sick all over. I divided my
whiskey into two equal parts, one half I used on the raw flesh, and it
took hold like live coals. This done I nerved myself to drink the
balance, and, by an effort, kept it down. I rolled up in my blanket,
went to sleep, and so remained till roll call next morning. When I
stirred I was somewhat sore and stiff, but was essentially well, and
made that day's march as easily as I ever did. During this day's march
we had one of the hardest showers I was ever out in. In a short time
every rag on the men was drenched. Shortly after the sun came out and
before halting the heat of the sun and bodies had dried everyone, and we
felt as though we had been washed and ironed--thoroughly laundered. This
day's march brought us to Newport News, where shipping was at anchor to
transport us somewhere.

We took a steamer which headed for the Potomac. During the time since we
left Harrison's Landing Lee had cut across the country and was making it
warm for Gen. Pope in the Shenandoah. The army of the Potomac, in place
of following in the rear of Lee, made its slow way down the peninsula,
and then shipped up the Chesapeak and Potomac, unloading at Aquia Creek,
Alexandria, etc.

On the 27th of August, at about two p. m., our steamer stopped at Aquia
Creek landing. We went ashore and marched inland some five or six miles
and went into camp. Here we heard artillery firing. No doubt from some
one of the numerous conflicts Pope was then having.

About ten p. m. orders were given to "fall in." We returned to the
Landing, took our steamer, and proceeded up the river to Alexandria.
Here we again went ashore, and were marched out to the grounds of Camp
California, the same spot we had wintered on. We remained in this camp
till about 6. p. m. of the 29th of August, when we marched and went into
camp near Arlington. Here we remained till about three p. m. next day,
when hurried orders were received to march with nothing but guns and
ammunition. Our shelter tents were left standing, and our blankets in
them, but the men had hungered and thirsted too much within the last six
months to leave haversacks and canteens. It may be that this order to
take nothing but our arms and cartridges had got distorted in
transmission from headquarters, as it would seem that no general officer
would start men out without food and water. At all events, the men knew
enough to disobey such an order.

Heavy firing was going on in the direction of Centreville, some twenty
miles away. We had not drawn shoes since setting out on the peninsula
campaign, and the soles of our shoes were worn almost through. This road
to Centreville was full of small round stones and they were hard on our
feet. We stepped out on a rapid march and made very few halts till we
were within sight of the heights of Centerville. Then the column was
halted, and the weary men lay down in the road where they were halted,
and went to sleep.

Early in the morning we were aroused and met an endless stream of men
hurrying to the rear. These were of Pope's army who the day before had
fought the battle of Second Bull Run. It has always been a mystery to me
why old Sumner and his second corps were not in the fight. Surely from
the time we landed at Aquia Creek on the 27th, there was abundant time
to have gone to Pope. In place of doing that we were lounging around for
about three precious days. Gen. Porter may have been wrongfully
convicted of disobedience to Pope's orders. Gen. Grant came to be of
that opinion, but I have never seen anything to make me doubt that the,
so to speak, McClellan officers were so disgruntled at the practical
retirement of their "beloved chief" that they gave no cordial support to
Gen. Pope. I never supposed that Edwin V. Sumner was one of them, and I
have always believed that he was ever ready TO FIGHT for the Union,
whoever commanded.

We pushed out beyond the old fortified line held by the enemy the winter
before, and there the Second corps was deployed in line of battle. This
morning there was a steady rain that drenched us. When night came there
were no blankets, and it was cold and the ground soaked. The men lay
down together as closely as they could pack themselves, but it was an
uncomfortable night. Under such hardships men become impatient and
reckless, and prefer a fight to the discomfort. We occupied this ground
next day. Towards night a very hard rain came down, which gave us
another rinsing. We moved back a piece where there were large fresh
brush piles. These we fired and, while they lasted we had comfortable
warmth. Then we lay down on the wet ground and courted sleep. About 9 p.
m. orders were passed along to get up and move. We were all night in
making a very few miles.

The next morning we learned that we were near Chantilla, where the night
before we had a brush with the enemy in which we sustained a serious
loss in the death of Gen. Philip Kearney. He was one of the men that had
won the reputation of loving the terrors of battle. He had lost an arm
in Mexico, but single handed he would go into a fight, as an eater would
go to a banquet. Kearney was a grandson of Judge Watts, who owned land
and had a house in the town of Sherburne, and, in his boyhood days,
Kearney spent some time here with his grandfather.

We lay in the vicinity of Fairfax Court House through the day. Towards
evening we marched to Hall's Hill, not far from Chain Bridge. On the way
we got a few shells from the enemy, which hastened our footsteps.

Sept. 3rd, we crossed Chain Bridge and marched about five miles to
Tanleytown, where we remained until Sept. 5th. At this place our tents,
knapsacks and blankets came to us, and were received with thanks.
Campaigning in August and September in Virginia without shelter and
blankets was a hardship. Such exposure uses up men as speedily as
fighting. While in this camp the men lived "sumptously every day." It
was but five miles from Washington, and the pie and cake vendors were
out in sufficient numbers to supply all demands.

On the 5th we were marched about nine miles and camped near Rockville, a
flourishing village in Maryland. Our company was placed on picket. The
next morning I discovered a cow near by, and persuaded her to allow me
to borrow my old quart cup full of her milk. As I drank it I vowed, if
ever I got home, I would make a specialty of drinking fresh milk as long
as I relished it.

Sept. 6th we marched beyond Rockville about six miles and formed in line
of battle. Batteries were posted and, so far as we knew, there was to be
a fight, but it blew over. Such "scares" are of frequent occurance in a
soldier's experience. We remained in this place until the 9th, then
marched about six miles and camped. After all was quiet some of my
friends went out, and late returned with a supply of potatoes and
"garden sass." On the 10th a march of four miles was made. On the 11th
five miles, and we camped at a small place called Clarksvill. Here our
company was detailed as provost guard. We remained at this place through
the day. Someone purchased or TOOK a duck. We had a most delicious meal
in the shape of a stew. Potatoes, onions and such like, were boiled with
it, until the whole substance was a tender mush. I know that after that
meal the feasters were almost too full for utterance.

At this time the little Sixty-first regiment was commanded by Colonel
Barlow and Lieut. Col. Miles. For field purposes the regiment was
divided into three companies. First, the company commanded by Capt.
Angel and Lieut. Keech, in which was my Company C. (Capt. Broady was at
this time away on sick leave.) Second company was commanded by Capt.
Walter H. Maze and the third by Capt. Geo. D. H. Watts. There were about
35 men to the company. In other words, there were but one hundred and
five muskets for all of these officers to direct. I have often remarked
on what I deemed to be a very idiotic policy pursued by the authorities
of the State of New York at this time, and I have believed that Gov.
Morgan was equally to blame with Seymour. What I refer to is this. When
troops were to be furnished by the State of New York, these governors
would, as I understand it, organize new regiments of raw men, when there
were scores of veteran organizations in the field with the rank and file
greatly depleted. The Sixty-first was not the only skeleton New York
regiment in the field. This regiment always had enough officers to have
commanded in battle five hundred men, and, by experience in battle, they
had come to know how to handle them. It would have been an immense
saving to have filled up and made these weak regiments strong by sending
to them from rendezvous camps recruits by the fifties. The new men would
have rapidly taken up and learned their duties in the field from contact
with the men who had learned what they knew from actual service. Then,
the officers in these old regiments had got weeded out. The cowards and
weaklings had, generally, been discharged, and their places filled by
SOLDIERS who had come from the ranks. I was never informed why this
common sense plan was not adopted. I imagine that the powers were not so
much for the good of the cause, as to make themselves strong politically
throughout the state from the appointment of a great number of officers.
In state politics it was as powerful as in national politics to have the
appointment of a horde of civil and military officers. If a governor was
influenced by such considerations and understood how detrimental to the
country such a course was, morally he was a traitor, and ought to
suffer the odium of treason committed. Some of the states had the wisdom
and the patriotism to adopt the plan of keeping the regiments at the
front filled up. It was a crying shame to allow Frances C. Barlow to
command a regiment carrying but a little over one hundred muskets.
Someone should have seen to it that the Sixty-first should never have
been long with less than five hundred men in the ranks.

On the tenth we marched ten miles, passing through Hyattstown. On
Saturday, the 13th, we marched through one of the finest towns I had
seen in the South--Frederick, Md. We camped on the further side of the
town. Sunday we hoped would be a day of rest. In the morning a field of
ripe potatoes was discovered close by, and notwithstanding McClellan's
savage order against taking anything, in a short time that field had
upon it, almost a man to a hill of potatoes. It did not take long to dig
that field. Our anticipations of a day of rest, with a vegetable diet,
were disappointed. The bugles sounded "Strike tents," and we were soon
on our way on the road over South Mountain.

At this time fortune favored "Little Mac." Gen. Lee's plan of campaign
fell into his hands, and he was fully informed as to the purposes of the
Confederates. Some generals would have made good use of this important
knowledge, but it did the Union commander but little good. This general
order of Lee directed one of his corps to take Harper's Ferry. I think
the common sense of most people would have said, "Now you concentrate
your army and fight and destroy Lee's two-thirds, before he can
concentrate." If that would have been good strategy, McClellan did not
use it.

We had an uphill march out of Frederick. Having gained the crest of the
first range of hills, we halted, and our regiment was deployed on a
picket line. While lying about waiting for something to turn up, we
discovered a farm house to the front, and sent several of the men to see
what could be purchased for the table. In a short time they returned
with milk and soft bread. Porter E. Whitney of my company was one of
them, and he expressed his contempt for their simplicity in not charging
more than they did for the amount furnished.

While we were preparing to cook our foraged potatoes and eat the
provision from the farm house, we noticed the movement of troops in line
of battle moving up the mountain side ahead of us. Batteries went into
position and opened fire, then our men would make a rush, and take and
hold an advance position. Then the artillery would follow, and shell the
enemy from the advanced position. We had a fair view of this battle of
South Mountain, which was regarded as a brilliant affair. It was fought
I believe, under the immediate direction of General Reno, who was here
killed. While we were thus safely viewing this battle, and watching the
potatoes boil, Lieut. Keech made a remark that amused me, and has
remained fresh in my memory. We were just ready to squat around the camp
fire and lay to, when he said, "Well boys, we'll have one more belly
full anyway." Just about as he finished that sentence, the order came
"fall in and march." I took my cup of boiled potatoes and carried them
in it until we halted at the foot of the mountain about 9 o'clock in the
evening, when I ate them in the dark, rolled up in my blanket and went
sweetly to sleep.

Monday, the 14th, we were up in good season, and started up the
mountain. We advanced in line of battle and frequently halted for the
skirmishers to advance, but we met with no opposition, and soon were on
the top of the ridge. We passed several field hospital stations, where
operations had been performed, and where had been left numerous legs and
arms that had been amputated. These sights are not refreshing to
advancing troops--they make them think too much of what is likely to
happen to any one of them. As we were about to go down the other side of
the mountain, a battery of our flying artillery went by on a canter, and
we followed after them on the "double quick." Having got down to level
ground we soon passed through Boonsborough. Our brigade was in advance
this day, and we were close on the rear of the enemy and saw the last of
him go over the hill ahead of us. At the time we did not know that we
were on the banks of the--to be--celebrated Antietam. We followed the
Boonsborough road nearly to the river. At this point the shore on our
side was lined by a ridge twenty to thirty feet in height. We turned to
the right and deployed part way down the rise of ground back from the
river. At first our light artillery took position in front of us on the
crest of the hill. By the next day these light guns were replaced by
twenty pounders. Most of the time we were in this place artillery firing
was going on between these guns and those of the enemy bearing on them.
But little damage was done to us as the shells of the enemy went over
us. About midnight of this Monday we were aroused and directed to march
with our arms, and to leave everything else but our canteens, and to be
careful to make no noise.

Lieut. Col. Nelson A. Miles commanded the expedition. We went through
the fields to the left of the Boonsborough road, then aimed for the
river. When we came to the bank which was high and steep, we worked our
way down to the level of the road, entered it and crossed the bridge,
which was a single arched stone bridge. We then carefully advanced some
distance along the road, met nothing, turned back and made our way into
camp. At the time the boys were confident the enemy had again gone on.

Tuesday, the 16th, we remained in the same place. There was much firing
by the heavy battery in front of us, which was well replied to. A rebel
shell went through the body of Col. Miles's horse. After dark we were
moved to the right and near by the ford, which we crossed the next

The morning of the 17th opened somewhat hazy. By 8 o'clock the artillery
firing was heavy and Hooker was making his attack on the right. From
where we stood we saw the effect of the artillery. Buildings were set on
fire by our shells, and the air was full from their broken fragments.
While we were in this place a rumor started down the line that we had
been detailed as body guard to McClellan. This comforting statement did
not last long, as, in a little while we were ordered to move. We forded
the river, which in places was a foot deep. On the other side we halted,
took off our shoes and stockings, wrung the loose water out of them, and
put them on again. I cannot, of course, give the direction of our march.
Col. Barlow had under his command, besides his own regiment, the
Sixty-fourth New York, which had about two hundred men--giving him a
force of about three hundred and fifty.

I remember in making our advance through the fields we came to a
depression through which the bullets were flying briskly. It was not a
wide piece and we passed it with lively steps. Now in front of us the
ground rose gradually into quite a hill, and rather to our right the
Irish brigade was deployed and was engaged. We moved up a ways and
formed in line of battle. Where I came a solitary tree was near by.
Quite a way to the front and to our left was a good sized tree heavily
leaved. Out of that tree soon came rifle shots and our men were
beginning to show wounds. Capt. Angell, who was a very good officer had
told his friends that he knew he would be killed in this fight. I was
within a few feet of him when he dropped with a bullet through his head.
Barlow called out for half a dozen good marksmen to clean out that tree.
Among the number to respond to this call was W. H. Brookins of company
G. The boys fired rapidly into the tree and in a brief time two
Confederate gentlemen dropped to the ground, whether dead or alive I do
not know, but we had no more trouble from that source.

In the meantime the fight of the Irish brigade had come to be very hot.
They were in our plain sight and we could see them drop and their line
thin out. The flags would go down but be caught up, and down again they
would go. This we saw repeated in each regiment a number of times. While
this was going on, Gen. Meagher called out to Barlow, "Colonel! For
God's sake come and help me!" Barlow replied that he was awaiting
orders, and would come to him as soon as he could. The musketry fire in
front of us had now mostly ceased, in consequence of the destruction of
the Irish brigade. Finally, orders to advance came to us, and we went
forward with a rush, Barlow in the lead, with his sword in the air. We
crossed a fence, and came up a little to the left of the ground just
occupied by the Irishmen. Our appearance renewed the fire of the enemy.

As we got a view of the situation it was seen that the rebels were in a
sunken road, having sides about four feet in height; this formed for
them a natural barricade. Barlow, with the eye of a military genius
(which he was) at once solved the problem. Instead of halting his men
where Meagher had, he rushed forward half the distance to the rebel
line, halted and at once opened fire. We were so near to the enemy,
that, when they showed their heads to fire, they were liable to be
knocked over. It did not take them long to discover this, and for the
most part, they hugged the hither bank of this sunken road. Barlow
discovered that by moving his men to the left and a little forward he
could rake the position of the Confederates. This he did, and our firing
was resumed with vigor. The result was terrible to the enemy. They could
do us little harm, and we were shooting them like sheep in a pen. If a
bullet missed the mark at the first it was liable to strike the further
bank, and angle back, and take them secondarily, so to speak. In a few
minutes white rags were hoisted along the rebel line. The officers
ordered "cease firing," but the men were slow of hearing, and it was
necessary for the officers to get in front of the men and throw up their

Finally the firing ceased, then Barlow ordered the men forward. They
advanced on a run, and when they came to the bank of the sunken road,
they jumped the rebels to the rear. Those able to move were glad to get
out of this pit of destruction. Over three hundred were taken, who were
able to march to the rear.

The dead and wounded were a horrible sight to behold. This sunken road,
named by some writers "The Bloody Lane," was a good many rods long, and,
for most of the way, there were enough dead and badly wounded to touch
one another as they lay side by side. As we found them in some cases,
they were two and three deep. Perhaps a wounded man at the bottom, and a
corpse or two piled over him. We at once took hold and straightened out
matters the best we could, and made our foes as comfortable as the means
at hand afforded--that is, we laid them so that they were only one deep,
and we gave them drink from our canteens. After some time spent in this
way, a body of the enemy was discovered deployed to our right. Barlow at
once formed the command nearly at right angles to the position we had
just held, and advanced us. We passed a fence, and soon opened fire on
this new force. In the meantime the enemy had placed a part of a battery
in position that began to rake our line with canister. Charges of this
deadly stuff went in front and in the rear of our line. Some of those
discharges, if they had happened to go a little further to the front or
the rear, would have destroyed our two little regiments. Such close
calls often happen in battle. We held our ground, and after a while the
rebels fled from the field. One of them was considerably in the rear of
his comrades and as he was exerting himself to get out of harms way, our
men concentrated a fire on him. He was on plowed ground, and we could
see the dirt fly up in front, and rear, and on each side of him as he
was legging it. He was escaping wonderfully, and I felt as though he was
entitled to succeed. I called out to our men and entreated them not to
fire at him again, but without avail. The shooting went on, and, just
before he was out of range, down he went, killed perhaps, possibly

About this time Col. Barlow was dangerously wounded from a canister
shot, and Miles took charge of our affairs. The firing had again
quieted. He directed me to take two men and go forward, part way through
the corn field in front, and watch and report any appearance of the
enemy. If I am not mistaken, I took Porter E. Whitney and George Jacobs
of my company. We went forward half way through the corn field, which
was for the most part trampled down. We arranged the broken stalks so as
to be partially concealed. After a time to our front and right, and on
the brow of a considerable rise of ground, a body of officers appeared
on horseback, and with glasses took observations. We discussed the
propriety of aiming at these Confederates and giving them a volley. I
finally concluded it was best not to take this responsibility, as it
might bring on an attack that we were not ready for. In a short time
these men disappeared. I sent back one of the men to report what we had
seen. Very soon he came back with the word to join the regiment.
Longstreet in his book entitled "From Bull Run to Appomatox," speaks of
looking the field over about this time and from near this location, so,
I judge, it was he and his staff that we had such a plain view of.

Our command under Miles, was, about 5 p. m., drawn back and established
just in rear of where we made our first fight. Our Division General,
Richardson, was this day mortally wounded. He had the entire confidence
of his men, as a brave and skillful soldier, and his taking off was
deeply lamented. Barlow was supposed to be mortally wounded, but he
recovered, and in a few months came back a brigadier, and was given a
brigade in Howard's Eleventh Corps.

Gen. Hancock was assigned to our division. By this time he had won the
reputation of being a hard fighter, and this he justly held through the
remainder of the war.

In this battle I had a hand in an amusing incident that is worth
recording. There was in Company A, a little Irishman about 40 years of
age by the name of Barney Rogers. This man had been recruited by our New
York party the spring before. He did not write, and, knowing me from the
first, had come to me to do his correspondence. When we started to take
the place of the Irish brigade, I noticed that Barney appeared to be
holding up his pants, but I made no inquiry as to the reason for his so
doing. When we took our first position in advance of where the Irishmen
had fought, and began firing, Barney had to use both hands, and his
predicament was at once revealed. He had held up his pants by a strap
around his waist without suspenders. This strap had given out, and that
accounted for his holding up performance. When he began loading and
firing he had to "let go" and leave the pants to follow the law of
gravitation. Soon his ankles were swathed with these low down breeches,
and he was effectually teddered. I was here and there, doing my duty as
a sergeant. I had not noticed Barney's predicament till he called to me
in a tone of urgency and said, "Charley, cut the damned things off!" I
took in the situation in an instant, and in less time than I can write
it, jerked out my large knife, opened it, grabbed the waistband, made a
pass or two, and one leg was free, I said, "You can kick the other leg
out." He made a few passes, and from the top of his stockings up his
legs were bare. A good breeze was blowing sufficient to take away the
smoke from our guns, and sufficient to flap his unconfined shirt tail. I
remember calling Ike Plumb's attention to it and our having a good
laugh over it. Barney continued his fighting, and was with the men in
the grand charge that captured the rebels in the sunken road. He was
also in his place in the second attack we made. While the firing was at
the hottest I heard a man cry out, and I looked just in time to see
Barney throw his gun, and start off on his hands and one leg--the other
leg held up. The last I ever saw of him he was pawing off in that
fashion. I suspected that in some way he had got a shot in the foot.
Years after this occurance, I wrote a series of articles for THE
SHERBURNE NEWS, and in one of them gave this account. As soon as the
paper was out, my comrade, Porter E. Whitney came into my office. He was
in this battle and, I supposed, he knew about this affair. He had read
the account, and I said to him, "Of course, you remember it?" To my
chagrin, he replied, "That is the first I ever heard of it!" I said to
him, "That will leave me in a fine situation, people will ask you if you
remember the Barney Rogers incident, and you will say, "No," and the
enquirers will conclude that I have been telling a "Jim Tanner yarn."
"Well," he replied, "I can't remember what I never before heard of."

Some days after this, Whitney came to me and asked if I knew Barney
Rogers's address. I said, "No." He told me it was in the roster lately
published by the regimental association. I found it and at once wrote to
the address, and briefly inquired if he was the little Barney Rogers
that I cut the breeches off from at Antietam. In a few days I got a
letter from Barney written by his son, in which was the statement, "I am
he." It went on to say that he was hit under the big toe by a bullet
that had probably gone into the ground, struck a stone and glanced up,
taking him as indicated. He said that he went off the field in the way I
have described, until he was out of danger, and then hopped along as
best he could. Finally, a soldier from a Connecticut regiment met him,
who had an extra pair of pants, which he gave to Barney. He got inside
of them as speedily as possible, and then waited for an ambulance, when
he was taken to a hospital, and finally discharged.

In this battle our flag was shot through a good many times and the
staff had a bullet go through its center just above the hands of Sergt.
Hugh Montgomery, who was carrying it.

All through the 18th we remained in position, hugging the ground. The
picket lines of the two armies were near together, and were blazing away
at one another on every opportunity. Our line of battle was so near to
the picket line that anyone showing himself would be fired on. One of my
company, Julius C. Kelsey of Smyrna, was killed while on this duty. The
Sixty-first lost in killed and wounded about one-third of its number,
and so was again reduced to the size of a full company.

Some one discovered on the 19th for "Little Mac," the "Young Napolean"
that the enemy had, during the night, fallen back and crossed the
Potomac at Shepardstown. If the commander of the Army of the Potomac had
been a brave and competent general, he would have disposed of Lee at
this time. As I have before stated, McClellan knew while we were at
Frederick that Lee was to divide his army, sending a third of it to take
Harpers Ferry. He ought to have known when we overtook Lee at Sharpsburg
that he had but part of his army there, and he ought, with his entire
force, to have made a rushing attack at once. In place of that, he
dawdled for two days, giving Lee all the time he wanted to take Harpers
Ferry from the old, incompetent Miles, and to unite his army to fight
him. There was good brave fighting at Antietam, but it was by piece
meal--a division or corps here and a division or corps somewhere else.
The best work done that day by Caldwell's brigade, was by the Fifth New
Hampshire under its able colonel, Edward Cross, and by the Sixty-first
and Sixty-fourth New York under Col. Barlow. In support of this
statement all authorities agree. McClellan in his report says, "The
brigade of Gen. Caldwell, with determined gallantry, pushed the enemy
back opposite the left and center of this (French's) division, but,
sheltered in the sunken road, they still held our forces on the right of
Caldwell in check. Col. Barlow commanding the Sixty-first and
Sixty-fourth New York regiments, advanced the regiments on the left,
taking the line in the sunken road in flank, and compelled them to
surrender, capturing over three hundred prisoners and three stands of
colors. * * * Another column of the enemy, advancing under shelter of a
stone wall and cornfield, pressed down on the right of the division; but
Col. Barlow again advanced the Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth New York
against these troops, and, with the attack of Kimball's brigade on the
right, drove them from this position. Our troops on the left of this
part of the line having driven the enemy far back, they, with reinforced
numbers, made a determined attack directly in front. To meet this Col.
Barlow brought his two regiments to their position in line, and drove
the enemy through the cornfield into the orchard beyond, under a heavy
fire of musketry and a fire of canister from two field pieces in the
orchard and a battery farther to the right, throwing shell and case
shot." Vol. 19, Series 1, Off. Records, pages 60-61.

Palfrey, in "The Antietam and Fredericksburg," at page 100, says, "Col.
Barlow particularly distinguished himself in these operations of
Richardson's division. He had under his charge the two right regiments
of Caldwell's brigade, the Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth New York. As
Caldwell's line was forcing its way forward, he saw a chance and
improved it. Changing front forward, he captured some three hundred
prisoners in the sunken road to his right, with two colors. He gained
this advantage by obtaining an enflading fire on the Confederates in the
road, and it seems to have been owing entirely to his own quickness of
perception and promptness of action, and not to the orders of any
superior officer. He was also favorably mentioned for his action in
helping to repel another attempt of the lines to flank Caldwell on his
right, and also for contributing largely to the success of the advance,
which finally gave the Federals possession of Piper's House."

Walker in history of the Second Corps at page 114 says "As the line
presses onward toward Piper's, Barlow, commanding the consolidated
Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth New York, sees, and at once seizes a
tactical opportunity. Changing front forward at the right moment and on
the right spot he takes in flank a body of the enemy in the sunken road,
pours a deadly volley down their line and puts them to flight,
capturing three hundred prisoners with two flags. A determined struggle
follows: the enemy even assume the aggressive against Caldwell's center,
but are beaten off by the quick and resolute action of Barlow, who falls
desperately wounded."

Longstreet in his Bull Run to Appamatox, at page 266, says, "The best
tactical moves at Antietam were made by Generals McLaws, A. P. Hill,
Gibbon, and Patrick (Confederate) and Colonels Barlow and Cross
(Union)." At page 252 he refers to Barlow as the "aggressive spirit of
Richardson's right column."

Gen. Caldwell in his report, says, "The brigade advanced steadily over
the crest of the hill behind which the enemy were posted, receiving and
returning a heavy fire. We broke the line of the enemy along our entire
front, except on the extreme right. Here there was a deep road, forming
a natural rifle pit, in which the enemy had posted himself, and from
which he fired on our advancing line. After the enemy opposed to my left
and center had broken and fled through the cornfield, Col. Barlow by a
skillfull change of front, partially enveloped the enemy on his right,
and, after a destructive inflading fire, compelled them to surrender.
About 300 men and eight commissioned officers, among them an aid to Gen.
Stuart, were here taken prisoners by Col. Barlow * * * * * On the right,
Col. Barlow, finding no enemy in his immediate front, saw a considerable
force moving around his right. Moving by the right-oblique to a hill
about three hundred yards distant, he opened a severe fire upon them,
when they broke and fled. Thus both attempts to turn our flanks had been
foiled by the skill and quickness of Colonels Barlow and Cross, and the
determined bravery of the men * * * * I cannot forbear to mention in
terms of highest praise the part taken by Col. Barlow of the Sixty-first
New York volunteers. Whatever praise is due to the most distinguished
bravery, the utmost coolness and quickness of perception, the greatest
promptitude and skill in handling troops under fire, is justly due to
him. It is but simple justice to say that he proved himself fully equal
to every emergency, and I have no doubt that he would discharge the
duties of a much higher command with honor to himself and benefit to the

Barlow's own report is as follows:

General Hospital, Keedysville, Md., Sept. 22, 1862.

Captain: I have the honor to make the following report of the
Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth New York volunteers in the battle of Sept.
17th inst. Both these regiments were under my command on that day, and
had been for some time previous. On going into action our brigade was
formed on the left of the Irish brigade. We remained about fifteen
minutes under the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters which my
sharpshooters returned with effect. I lost then Capt. Angell and one or
two men killed. By order of the staff officer of Gen. Richardson, we
then moved to the right, in front, and formed behind the crest of the
hill, and bravely engaged the enemy and fired destructively. With the
assistance of the fire of the regiments on our right and left, we broke
the enemy on our front, who fled in disorder through a cornfield,
suffering severely from the fire of our and the Irish brigade, my
regiments being on the right of the brigade. The portion of the enemy's
line which was not broken, then remained lying in a deep road, well
protected from a fire in their front. Our position giving us peculiar
advantages for attacking in flank this part of the enemy's line, my
regiments advanced and obtained an enflading fire upon the enemy in the
aforesaid road. Seeing the uselessness of further resistance, the enemy
in accordance with our demands threw down their arms, came in in large
numbers and surrendered. Upwards of three hundred prisoners thus taken
by my regiments were sent to the rear with a guard of my regiment, under
charge of Lieut. Alvard of Gen. Caldwell's staff. On this occasion my
own regiment, the Sixty-first New York, took two of the enemy's battle
flags, which have been forwarded to Corps headquarters. A third flag was
captured by the Sixty-fourth New York, which was lost by the subsequent
shooting of the captor when away from his regiment.

"After these events, my regiments, with the rest of our line, advanced
into the cornfield, through which the enemy had fled, beyond the deep
road above referred to. No enemy appeared in this field. Our troops were
joined together without much order--several regiments in front of
others, and none in my neighborhood having very favorable opportunities
to use their fire. Seeing quite a body of the enemy moving briskly to
the right of our line, at no great distance, to attack us on the flank,
my regiment changed front and moved to the crest of a hill on our right
flank, occupying the only position where I found we could use our fire
to advantage. This was to the right of the Fifty-second New York of Col.
Brook's brigade. We engaged several regiments of the enemy with effect,
some being posted on the edge of a cornfield behind a stone wall
surmounted by a fence; others were posted still farther to the right, on
the edge of the cornfield. The enemy at length retreated quite
precipitately under the fire of the troops on our side, together with
another body of Federal troops, which attacked the enemy in turn on
their flank and rear. I am unable to state who these last named troops
were. On retiring from this position, the enemy renewed their attack on
our old front. My regiments again changed front, and advanced into the
cornfield, which we had left, to assist in repelling the flank attack of
the enemy just mentioned. Beyond this cornfield was an orchard, in which
the enemy had artillery (two pieces to the best of my knowledge.) From
these pieces, and from others still farther to our right, they had been
pouring a destructive fire of shell, grape and spherical case shot
during the above mentioned engagement of our infantry.

"After thus forming our line on the right of the Fifty-seventh New York
of Col. Brooke's brigade, I was wounded in the groin by a ball from a
spherical case shot, and know nothing of what subsequently occurred. My
own regiment, the Sixty-first New York, behaved with the same fortitude
and heroism, and showed the same perfect discipline and obedience to
orders under trying circumstances for which I have before commended
them, and which causes me to think of them with the deepest affection
and admiration. The Sixty-fourth behaved steadily and bravely. Of the
officers in my own regiment, I commend to special notice for bravery,
coolness, and every soldierly quality in action, Capt. Walter H. Maze,
Co. A; First Lieut. Willard Keech, Co. G; Second Lieut. Theo. N. Greig,
Co. C; Second Lieut. F. W. Grannis, Co. B; Lieut. Col. Nelson A. Miles
has been distinguished for his admirable conduct in many battles. The
voice of everyone who saw him in this action will commend better than I
can his courage, his quickness, his skill in seeing favorable positions
and the power of his determined spirit in leading on and inspiring the
men. I have the honor to be, Captain, your very obedient servant,

  Col. 61st. N. Y. Vols. and Comdg., 64th N. Y. Vols.
  Capt. George H. Caldwell,
    Capt. and Asst. Adj. Gen., Caldwell's Brigade.

The report of General Miles is as follows:

Headquarters Sixty-first Regt. New York Vols.

Camp near Sharpsburg, Sept. 19, 1862.

"I have the honor to transmit the following report: On the 17th inst.,
about 9 o'clock the Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth N. Y. Vol., under
command of Col. Barlow, were ordered to form on the left of the Irish
brigade while they were engaging the enemy. We remained there about
twenty minutes, during which time we lost one captain and several men.
We were then ordered to move by the right flank in rear of the Irish
brigade until we came to their right. Here we came to the front, and
moved up and over the hill under a heavy fire of musketry and a cross
fire of artillery. We found the enemy lying in a road or ditch just
under the brow of the hill. The regiment, however, steadily moved up and
over the hill in the most determined manner and spirit, breaking the
center of the enemy's line and killing or wounding nearly all that left
the ditch to make their escape through the cornfield. Then we improved
the advantage we had gained by changing front forward on first company,
thereby flanking the rest of their line. The Colonel gave the command,
"Cease firing," when I called out to them to surrender. They at once
threw down their arms and came in. I think by this movement we captured
two hundred and seventy-five or three hundred prisoners. I detailed one
company to guard them and turned them over to Lieut. Alvord, with two
stand of colors.

The enemy were then out of sight in the front, but were discovered
moving around our right. The Colonel then gave the order "Right
shoulder, shift arms," and moved to the right oblique to another hill
about 300 yards distant, and commenced firing to the right upon the
enemy. He fired about twenty rounds here, when the enemy's line broke
in perfect disorder, and ran in every direction. About this time a sharp
musketry fire commenced on our left, or old front, it being evident they
were advancing another line through the cornfield. As we were of no more
use in our present position, we went to the assistance of the other
regiments of our brigade. We had so much changed the front that we moved
by the left flank and filed left, connecting our left on the right of
the Seventieth New York, and moved again down through the cornfield. We
then pressed forward, driving the enemy before us, until the order was
given to halt. I immediately deployed skirmishers forward through the
field to an orchard. While moving through the cornfield, the enemy
opened fire with grape and canister from two brass guns on our front,
and shell from a battery on our right. It was by this fire that Col.
Barlow fell, dangerously wounded. He was struck by a small piece of
shell in the face, and a grape-shot in the groin. Thus far he had
handled the two regiments in the most brave and skillful manner. As we
had advanced further than the other regiments on our right and left, I
was ordered to let the skirmishers remain and form in the open field on
a line with Col. Brooks's regiment, which position we held until
relieved by one of that brigade, when I marched them to the left of the
line, and formed on a line with the Eighty-first Penn., and was not
engaged again during the day.

I cannot speak in too high terms of the coolness and brave spirit with
which both officers and men fought on that day. Col. Barlow on this, as
on other occasions, displayed qualities for handling troops under fire
which are not often met. Capt. Maze, Lieut. W. Keech, Lieut. Grannis and
Lieut. T. W. Greig were noticed as behaving in the most excellent
manner--also Dr. Tompkins, who followed the regiment upon the field and
rendered prompt assistance to the wounded.

  Nelson A. Miles, Lieut. Col. comdg. Sixty-first
  and Sixty-fourth New York Vols."

Gen. Meagher's report of the operations of the Irish brigade does not
place his men any nearer the enemy than they were when they were
relieved by Barlow with the Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth New York.

In 1897 Capt. Lee Nutting of the Sixty-first N. Y., published an article
in the New York "Sun," in which he modestly related the doings of
Barlow's command at Antietam. His article called out the following:

To the Editor of the Sun--Sir:

"Without any disparagement of the Sixty-first New York comrades in our
own Red Trefoil Division, allow me to suggest to your enthusiastic
correspondent "L. N." that "there were others." Nor was the First
Minnesota superimminently distinguished except at Gettysburg. It was
usually on provost duty. Gen. Walker had his preferences, but others of
higher rank did not always agree with him. Sumner, Hancock, Richardson,
Caldwell, Humphreys, and Smyth thought the Irish brigade did pretty
well. Their showing is quite respectable in Fox's "300 Fighting
Regiments." So did the enemy, and the opinion of the London Times
correspondent from Fredericksburg is quoted in the history studied in
our public schools (in Barnes's), while their charge at Antietam was
specially mentioned by McClellan.

"By the way, the flags "captured" there by Barlow had already been
marched over, with a lot of dead rebels, by the Eighty-eighth New York,
who were too busy fighting to stop to pick them up. Miles was always a
glorious fellow. Barlow did not like us, and once, under a mistake,
joyfully exclaimed, "That d----d Irish brigade has broken at last!" to
be corrected by Col. Smyth of the Sixty-ninth, who told him they had
captured the enemy's works and he had come for further orders. (Signed)
Irish Brigade.

The above makes quite a spicy newspaper article, but it does not read
like history, and it IS NOT history. Where and on what occasion did
Francis C. Barlow ever manifest "joy" that the Irish, or any Union
brigade "broke" when engaging the enemy! To my mind the statement is the
equivalent of charging treason to one of the bravest fighters in the
Union armies. And, according to this defender of the reputation of the
Irish brigade, Barlow was thus filled with joy over what he believed to
be the defeat of the Irish brigade "because he didn't like us." The
above yarn is too idiotic to need replying to. No sane person can
believe a word of it. Except as every advance of troops may be said to
be a "charge" the Irish brigade made no "charge" at Antietam, and
McClellan in his report, dated Aug. 4th, 1863, covering the Antietam
campaign, does not refer to any "charge" made by the Irish brigade in
that battle. In this report (page 59, Series 1, Vol. 19) he says,
"Meagher's brigade, advancing steadily, soon became engaged with the
enemy posted to the left and in front of Roulett's house. It continued
to advance under a heavy fire nearly to the crest of the hill
overlooking Piper's house, the enemy being posted in a continuation of
the sunken road and cornfield before referred to. Here the brave Irish
brigade opened upon the enemy a terrific musketry fire. All of Gen.
Sumner's corps was now engaged--Gen. Sedgwick on the right, Gen. French
in the center, and Gen. Richardson on the left. The Irish brigade
sustained its well earned reputation. After suffering terribly in
officers and men, and strewing the ground with their enemies as they
drove them back, their ammunition nearly exhausted, and their commander,
Gen. Meagher, disabled from the fall of his horse shot under him, this
brigade was ordered to give place to Gen. Caldwell's."

Now, I say from personal observation that the Irish brigade was never
farther in advance than the position it occupied when it was relieved by
the Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth N. Y., that the Irish brigade did not,
up to the time it was so relieved, pass over any ground that had been
occupied by the enemy and on which they had left any of their battle
flags. The battle flags captured by the Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth New
York were taken from the sunken road. No one ever heard me say a word in
derogation of the bravery of the Irish brigade. It was manifested at
Antietam, and on a score of other battlefields. The glorious history of
the second corps could not be written with its deeds left out. The Irish
brigade stood in its tracks and took its terrible punishment at Antietam
as heroically as did anything of Wellington's at Waterloo. Having said
all this, the fact remains the brigade was NOT tactically well placed.
Had it advanced to where the Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth later went, it
would have done much greater execution, and with smaller loss to
itself. The action of Barlow at Antietam proved beyond question his
exceptional military ability.

On my way home after Gettysburg, I spent one night in the Citizens'
hospital in Philadelphia. My cot was next to a Pennsylvanian's, who had
lost a leg at Chancellorsville. When he learned I was of Barlow's
regiment, he told me that about the finest sight he ever saw on the
battlefield was seeing Barlow lead his command into action at Antietam.
He was where he had a full view of the display. The regiments were in
line of battle, and he, with sabre in hand, was ahead of the line. Such
is the plain fact, as all who were there can testify.

On the 19th of September, Gen. McClellan was informed that during the
night Lee had pulled out, and placed the Potomac between him and us. The
Army of Northern Virginia crossed the river at Shepardstown. Thus ended
their proud invasion of Northern States.

We remained in our position for a number of days, burying the dead,
picking up the fragments, and getting ourselves together. The after view
of a battle field is a horrible sight--wreck, ruin and devastation are
on all sides; fences removed, buildings more or less torn and
demolished, wagons smashed, arms scattered about, artillery disabled,
horses and mules piled up and swollen almost beyond recognition. All
this shows the havoc of battle, but the sight that appals is the human
dead. Dead, dying, and wounded in various ways. The spectator must
callous his heart, or, if fairly human, he will be overwhelmed. There
were places on this battlefield where the ground was literally strewn
with those "beyond the fighting," swollen, grimy, unnatural, in all
sorts of situations and positions. On the fence next to the cornfield,
and just beyond the sunken road, were a number of Confederates hanging
over the top rail, shot dead while trying to pass it. There they hung,
like bundles of old clothes over a line.

"Gen. McClellan reported that he lost on the 16th and 17th 2,010 killed,
9,416 wounded and 1,043 missing--a total of 12,469. * * * * * McClellan
reported that 2,700 of the Confederate dead were counted and buried by
his officers, and that a portion had been previously buried by their
comrades." (The Antietam and Fredericksburg, Palfry, page 127.)
Doubtless the killed, wounded and missing of the two armies would
aggregate 25,000. The Second corps was the heaviest loser on the Union
side, its casualties amounting to 5,138. (Walker 120)

On the 22d of September the army moved, the Second corps headed for
Harpers Ferry, a distance of ten or twelve miles. We forded the Potomac
just above the destroyed railroad bridge, and came to land opposite the
ruins of the United States Armory. We went through the town and formed
camp on Bolivar Heights. The time spent at this place was the soft kind
of soldering. Supplies were abundant. Drill, guard, picket and police
duties were light, and we all had a thoroughly good time. The scenery
hereabouts is grand. Maryland, London and Bolivar Heights come together,
and from the tops of their heights to the river level is hundreds of
feet. The passes worn by the Shenandoah and Potomac are through the
solid rock and the gorges are very deep and rugged.

Our picket line was a mile or two out toward Charlestown. While on one
of these picketing details, while the first relief was on, Frank Garland
suggested that, if possible, we slip through the line, go to the front
and see if we couldn't pick up something good to eat. We succeeded in
passing the pickets and pointed for a farm house a half mile ahead. For
a time no one responded to our knocks and helloes. At last a plump, red
cheeked modest girl, of perhaps sixteen, appeared. We enquired for
apples and told her if she would fill our haversacks, we would be glad
to pay for them. She took them and soon returned with them filled with
eatable apples. We paid her the price charged and started back. We
admitted to one another that it was not a prudent act and would go hard
with us if we should be picked up. On our way back Garland glanced to
the left, and said, "There's reb cavalry!" I looked, and there, perhaps
an eighth of a mile away, was a squad of horsemen, coming on a canter
toward us. We were near a substantial rail fence on the right, and for
it we sprang with all our powers. We went over it like circus
performers, and put in our best strides for our line. I think it was
Garland that first discovered that the "men on horseback" were negro
farm hands. They had seen our lively retreat and accurately interpreted
the cause, and they were with their mouths open as wide as their jaws
would admit, haw-hawing near the point of splitting. On this discovery
we slowed down, and sauntered toward our picket line as unconcerned as
possible, but the pickets had seen the performance, and at first had
been misled as we were. As we came in we proposed to go straight to the
reserve where the detail from our regiment was. The officer in charge
refused this and sent us under a guard of two men and a corporal to
headquarters. We steered the corporal to the shelter tent of Capt. Bull
and explained the situation to him. He took it in, and, with a large
assumption of military dignity, informed the guard that he would relieve
them of any further duty in the matter, and they could go back to the
front. Garland and I were glad to divide our apples with Bull and the
others who knew of our adventure. It was one of the worst scares I had
in the service, and cured me of any attempt at foraging outside the

Gen. Walker says, "The only episode which interrupted the pleasant
monotone of rest and equipment, after the fatigues of the Manassas and
Antietam campaigns, was a reconnaissance conducted by Gen. Hancock with
the first division Oct. 16th down the valley to Charlestown, with the
view to discovering whether the enemy were there in force." We met a
battery supported by cavalry, which fell back as we advanced. The
captain of this battery was B. H. Smith, Jr. and was wounded. We found
him in a house at Charlestown with a foot amputated. We spent the night
in Charlestown, and while there many of the boys visited the tree where
John Brown had his taking off Dec. 2, 1859.

On the 25th of October, I wrote a letter home from which I quote, "The
whole regiment cannot turn out over 50 or 60 charter members. I will
give you a list of Co. "C," which left Hamilton but little over one year
ago full of hope and great expectation. Today we have present Capt.
Broady, broken in mind and body by hardship and disease; Serg. Isaac
Plumb, well and in good spirits; Serg. C. A. Fuller, ditto; Serg. D. W.
Skinner, suffering from old wound, and who will be discharged; Portner
E. Whitney, pioneer, good soldier; George Jacobs, private, cooking for
the company; Junius Gaskell, sick most of the time; Charles Richards,
paroled prisoner, sees no duty; Freeman Allen has a bad leg; Rufus
Rundell, in quartermaster's department--always has been; John Boardman,
drummer. Where are the other 80? Some 10 or 11 killed, three times that
number wounded, 10 dead of disease, 8 or 10 discharged, and the
remainder sick in hospitals. Ike and myself are the only ones of that
ninety odd, who have been in every engagement with the regiment, and he
was not carrying a gun at Fair Oaks. Lieut. Keech is the only line
officer who has been in all the regiment's battles. This may seem
incredible, but it is nevertheless true--some would miss this battle and
some that, and so, but one has missed none."

On the 29th of October, 1862, our army broke camp and moved in the
direction of Warrenton, which place we reached on the 11th of November.
In making this march the Sixty-first skirmished over the mountains at
Snecker's Gap, driving back a body of cavalry that was observing, if not
holding this position. From the ridge of the mountain we had a view that
in my judgment could not be equaled in Europe.

While the army was at Warrenton the order came removing McClellan and
appointing Burnside. For one I was glad of any change--it seemed to be
that no one could be more inefficient than McClellan. I remember so
expressing myself which was not a popular notion. One old Irishman of
Co. A, turned on me in hot anger, and asked, "Why do you say that? What
do you know about war, you little damned pie eater!"

In a few days we started out and reached Falmouth, a hamlet nearly
opposite Fredericksburg on the Rappahannock river on the 17th of
November. There were but a handful of rebels on the other side of the
river. There was no attempt to ford it, and we went into camp, while
Lee's army soon concentrated about Fredericksburg. Our camp was located
in the woods, which we partially cleared, converting the timber into
walls for our huts, which we covered with our shelter tent canvass. In a
few days we had comfortable quarters. Part of the time the weather was
quite cold. Snow was on the ground, and the brook that ran near by was
more or less covered with ice. I remember going down to this brook one
Sunday morning with Portner E. Whitney. We took off our clothing and had
a bath in that ice cold water. We were in this camp for several weeks,
and in it had first rate good times. Near to us was a Pennsylvania
regiment, (I forget the number) in which a "revival of religion"
prevailed. Meetings were held continuously and it was reported that many
were converted. I think this regiment suffered severely in the great
slaughter of the 13th of December.

Quite early in December indications multiplied that a movement was
contemplated. Three days rations were ordered to be kept constantly in
the haversacks. Charles Lowell, our hospital steward, told me that the
surgeons had received orders to put in good condition the operating
instruments, and frequent inspections made sure that enough ammunition
was in the boxes.

On Thursday, Dec. 11th, at 4 a. m., reveille beat, after roll call the
men were told that they must be ready to break camp on short notice. At
6 a. m. the regiment formed on the color line, ready to move. While we
were thus waiting, I was smoking my briarwood pipe, and, at what I
supposed was the end of the smoke, I threw out the ashes and put the
pipe in my breeches pocket. In a short time I was conscious of a change
of temperature in that locality, and hastily brought to view the pocket
and pipe. Doubtless some of the fire remained in the bowl, which got out
and set fire to that part of my clothing. I had no trouble in
extinguishing this ignition, but the pocket was gone and my leg had a
raw spot.

At this time the Army of the Potomac was organized in three grand
divisions as follows: Right Grand Division, Sumner's, embracing the
Second and Ninth corps; Center Grand Division, Hooker's, Third and Fifth
corps; Left Grand Division, Sixth and First corps. Gen. D. N. Couch
commanded the Second corps; Hancock the First Division, and Caldwell the
First brigade of the corps.

While in this camp that we were about to leave I had the honor to be the
object to which a brief utterance was directed by Gen. Hancock. I was
then a sergeant, and had been ordered to brigade headquarters with a
squad of men for guard duty. On the day in question, Gen. Sumner
reviewed his Grand Division. After the guard had got to its place, one
of Caldwell's staff came to me and said, "When the general comes along
you will fall in your guard and present arms." I had some eight or ten
men with me, and told those not on duty to be on hand to fall in when so
ordered. Presently I heard a horse coming down the road on a sharp
gallop, and soon saw that it was Gen. Hancock with a single orderly.
Evidently he was not on the lookout for a little guard to salute him,
but I fell in the men as briskly as possible. The general noticed what I
was doing, and had to wait a moment for the guard to present arms, which
it did all right. Hancock returned the compliment, and then said to me,
"If you want to salute, sir! you must be a 'damned sight quicker' than
this!" If I had dared to, I would have answered, "Don't you worry
yourself, Winfield Scotty, I don't want to salute you, and wouldn't now,
if I had not been ordered to."

Of course I kept my mouth shut. It would have been bad policy to have
expressed my sentiments.

As I have stated, shortly after 6 a. m. our column started. We made a
roundabout march of a few miles and finally halted, under cover of high
ground, nearly opposite the city of Fredericksburg. All this day a
furious cannonade was maintained by our side, and from big guns mounted
on the crest back of the river. The effort was to clean the enemy out
from the neighborhood of the river bank, so that we could lay our
pontoon bridges. This was not successful, and in the attempt to do this
work our men were picked off, so that it was found to be impracticable.
At length the Seventh Mich. and the 89th N. Y. were rushed into the
pontoon boats and rowed and poled over. Once on the other shore they
drove away the sharpshooters, and the bridge at our front was then laid.
We remained that night on the Falmouth side of the river. The next
forenoon the Second corps crossed the river. Our division was marched
along the side of the river, to the lower end of the city, and then we
stacked arms.

Some of our men inspected the near by houses on their own motion, and
from one they brought out a jar of fresh tried lard. I had a chance at
it and spread it on my hard tack, as I would butter at home. I have had
my share of good butter and love it, but I never tasted bread greasing
equal to that new lard.

Towards night we were marched back to the site of the railroad bridge,
and billited in the grist mill near said bridge. One of our men procured
a duck, I was let into the mess, and in some way we cooked and disposed
of it before rolling up in our blankets for a good night's rest. We
turned out early the next morning, (the disastrous 13th) and after
breakfast, lead by Col. Miles, we went through the city to the last
street. Here our little regiment was deployed as a sort of picket line.
To the front half or three-quarters of a mile ran the top of a line of
hills, parallel to our street. Not so much as the crack of a pistol had
broken the silence of the morning. We lounged about, viewed from between
the houses the supposed location of the enemy, went into the houses next
to where we were posted, and helped ourselves. Not a soldier in gray was
to be seen, save here and there a sentry watching from the top of their
earth works. One of our boys was inspecting the contents of the house of
a doctor, I forget his name. Presently he called to me and inquired if I
didn't want some books. I said "Yes." He tossed me from the window a
fine volume of Byron's poems, and the two volumes of Dr. Kane's Arctic
Explorations. I sat on the curbing looking over this plunder, when, all
at once, a number of big guns went off, and very soon thereafter shot
and shell came thundering through the houses, across our street, and
into the houses behind us. I hurriedly dropped my spoils, and made quick
tracks for the other side of the street, where there was, perhaps,
better protection. This artillery outburst was due to the appearance of
our troops, moving out of the city and towards the strong position of
the enemy.

In a few minutes Col. Miles assembled the Sixty-first and marched it
back into the next street, where we stood in line ready for the word
"Go!" In this position nothing could be seen, but the shots and shells
of our adversaries came thick and dangerously near, though none were to
my knowledge effective. While we were here I noticed one of our
recruits, a German, who was literally unnerved by fear. His countenance
was distorted by terror, and he was shaking in every limb. I think it
was impossible for him to march. I do not remember ever seeing him after
that time. For myself I confess that I never exerted more will power to
make my legs move in the right direction than just here. Without
pretending to have military judgment, as I viewed the intrenched
position of the Confederates, I said to myself, "we will fail to carry
those heights."

At length the order came to move, and the head of our column started for
the street that led to Marye's Hill. Turning into it we advanced
rapidly. My recollection is, that as the road leaves the city, it makes
a slight curve, and as we came to that spot the whole view was opened up
to us. I know the road was littered with some dead, and cast off
blankets and knapsacks. For a ways the road slightly descends, and then
you come to a considerable stream of some sort, it may be a waste weir,
from the Falmouth dam. This stream was bridged, and a part, if not all,
of the flooring of it had been removed. I remember we, partially at
least, crossed on the stringers. At this point the enemy concentrated a
hot artillery fire. I think the Sixty-first got over without much
damage, but the head of the regiment following took in several shells
that caused heavy loss. We pressed forward to a point part way up the
hill to the front, when the order was given "On the right, by file into
line!" This deployed us in line of battle to the left of the road we had
been advancing on. The rise of ground was sufficient to protect us from
the enemy, while we were thus forming. Hancock rode his horse up and
down the line between us and the foe.

While we stood here, one of the ghastly sights of war was almost under
my feet. A soldier lay nearly where I ought to have stood. A shell had
gone through his body, and in its passage had set fire to his clothing,
and there his corpse lay slowly cooking. There was no time to do

At least one line of battle had preceded us, and, I suppose, had been
used up. Now the order came for us to advance, which we did, probably in
brigade line of battle. I cannot say how many regiments there were in
it. I know we advanced till within musket range of the rebel rifle pits,
when we were halted and ordered to lie down. We did not fire, but the
enemy did from their pits and they picked off some of our men. After a
short time we were ordered to stand up. I then noticed that sergeant
Israel O. Foote of my company was lying on the ground wounded, and
evidently in pain. Our column was right faced and put in motion. We
advanced parallel to the rebel line, and under their fire. We soon came
to the road. Here there was a house or two, and the building, or
buildings, had some soldiers in it, or them. We crossed the road--the
Sixty-first under Miles did--and brought up in a yard or garden patch
that had a high tight board fence on two sides of it. Here we were
directed to lie down. The fence hid the enemy from our sight, but the
distance to their nearest line of rifle pits was short. Occasional
projectiles from cannon and muskets came our way, so that most of us
were willing to hug the ground.

George Joyce of Co. C was with the regiment, just returned from hospital
partially recovered from a wound received at Malvern Hill. Joyce was a
unique character, small of stature, illiterate, an adroit forager, and,
if you didn't know him, you might take him for a mere braggadocio. But
such was not the case. He was destitute of fear, or, if he ever
experienced the sensation, he overcame it. At Glendale the Colonel
ordered the line forward. A soldier said "We will follow the colors."
Joyce was a private, and how he happened to have them I do not know, but
he did, and he marched forward, brought the staff down with a bang and
said, "There's your colors, come up to them!" The line moved up, and
Barlow made him orderly sergeant of (I think) Co. F then and there.
Joyce was back with a stiff arm, so that he could not carry a gun, but
while most of us were hugging the ground, he stood up and worked his
jaw. He said, "Lie low boys. I'll let you know if anything happens." And
so he was on the watch. Presently a solid shot came his way. It passed
so near his foot, that, while it made no visible abrasion, his foot
began to swell so that he had to cut his boot off, and he had to hobble

It was said at the time that Col. Miles, satisfied that the only thing
to do to amount to anything, was to make a rush and take this first
picket line, had sent back his conclusion, and requested permission to
charge the line with his regiment. About this time an accommodating
rebel bullet cut his throat, letting out a liberal quantity of fresh
bright blood. This so put him _hors de combat_ that he had to leave the
field, somewhat to the longevity account of the Sixty-firsters there
present. So we continued in this lowly attitude till after Hooker's men
made another vain assault over the ground we had occupied. Then, toward
sundown, we were withdrawn, and marched back into the city, and took up
our quarters for the night in the same grist mill we occupied the night

So far as we could see, nothing was done the next day, Sunday. But
little, if any, fighting was had on Monday. After dark Monday evening
our regiment, under command, I think of Capt. Kettle, was marched back
as far to the front as we had occupied Saturday, but to the right. Here
we were placed in rifle pits that would hold half a dozen each. There
was a space of eight or ten feet between each pit. Here we were very
close to the enemy--we could hear their movements, and they ours. I
should think it was as late as 3 o'clock a. m. of Tuesday when we were
withdrawn, and silently made our way to the city, and through it, and to
the pontoon bridge we crossed the Friday before. We were nearly the last
to cross. Shortly afterward the bridge was taken up, and the
Rappahannock again flowed between the hostile camps.

In this battle the only original members of Co. C present with the
company were Sergt. I. O. Foote, killed; Geo. Jacobs and myself. Isaac
Plumb had been commissioned and transferred to another company and
Whitney was with the pioneers.

We marched directly to our old camp. We found things as we left them,
and we proceeded, as far as we could with what was on hand, to restore
the camp to the condition it was in before we broke it on the 12th.
Many of the men had disposed of shelter tents and blankets during the
worthless movement, so that some of the huts had no covering. The next
day Gen. Sumner rode up to our camp and had some talk with the men. He
asked why some of the huts were not covered with canvass. We said, "We
dumped them when we went into the fight." He replied, "You should have
stuck to your tents and blankets!" This was the last time I saw the old
man. He left the army in January, 1863, and died in bed about three
months later at his home in Syracuse, N. Y. He was a great Corps

Burnside's next _fiasco_ was called his "stuck in the mud" campaign. In
this case he was to cross the river to the right about where Hooker did
four months later. In this movement the centre and left broke camp while
Sumner's Grand Division remained to take care of the enemy's right at
Fredericksburg. A terrible storm ended the movement almost before it was
begun, and we remained comfortable in camp.

Shortly after this Burnside resigned, and Gen. Joseph Hooker was
appointed Commander of the Army of the Potomac. Hooker had been named
"Fighting Joe Hooker." As a rule I think, the men were pleased with the

On the 13th of February, 1863, the 61st and the 64th broke camp and
moved a few miles to the left, and went into the camp lately occupied by
the 27th New Jersey, a regiment of Burnside's old corps, which went with
him when he left the Army of the Potomac. The Grand Division formation
was abandoned when Hooker took command, and the former corps
organization re-adopted. Our new camp was delightfully situated. It
fronted about twenty rods back from the edge of the high bluff, which
was, perhaps, eighty rods back from the edge of the river. We were
below, but in plain view of Fredericksburg. The New Jerseyites had made
for themselves better quarters than I had ever occupied, and we "entered
into their labors." I never enjoyed soldiering more than during the
weeks we were in this place. Much of the time the weather was good, and
we drilled, did picket duty, and got in readiness for the next grapple.

On the 21st of February I received notice that I had been commissioned
Second Lieutenant of Co. C. It was at the time, next to nothing in the
field. It did not have over two privates in the ranks, with a sergeant,
a drummer and a pioneer. In place of creating new regiments, when the
last call was filled, the men should have been sent to the old regiments
in the field.

On the 16th of March I was officer of the day for our camp, and, of
course, was up and about at all hours of that day and the next night.
During the forepart of this service nothing occurred to make it in any
way notable, so far as I was concerned, but about 3 o'clock in the
morning of the next day, I heard, a considerable distance to the right,
a yelling and cheering, and a general "whoopering up" that I couldn't
account for. I hurried to Col. Miles's tent and reported. He directed me
to send out a couple of men to find out. In due time they came back and
reported that the Irish Brigade were celebrating "St. Patrick's Day in
the Morning." The boys with the green flag had a great day of it, in
which several barrels of commissary were made dry.

On the 14th of April I wrote home that, probably, the Army would move in
a few days. Eight days rations were distributed to the men--five were to
be stored in the knapsacks and three in the haversacks. Extra baggage
was packed and sent to the rear.

On this day Lieut. Plumb started for home on a ten days leave of
absence. He returned and was in his place before the movement came. It
was over a year since I had seen home and I had an application in for a
like leave, but the situation prevented its issue until after the next
great defeat. The 29th of April we broke camp and were ready to join our
brigade at a moment's notice. We did not start till early the next day.
During these hours I had a bilious attack, and was sick enough to die,
but the tents were all down, and there was no chance to baby me. I
groaned and grunted till about the time the regiment started, and then
_I had_ to move or be left behind. I well remember how I staggered in my
attempt to march, but I kept at it, and before night was pretty well. I
had a number of such experiences, so that, I conclude, if the screws
were more frequently put to people in civil life, there would be many
cases of like cures.

We advanced but a few miles and camped. The next day we spent some time
in making corduroy road, and advanced but a few miles. April 30th we
advanced to the vicinity of the river (Rappahannock) and stacked arms in
a piece of woods. If I remember correctly it was here and then that our
corps badges were issued. Ours was the trefoil, and our division's red.
The colors for all corps were: first division, red; second division,
white; third division, blue. Couch was in command of the second Corps.
Hancock was still our division general, and Caldwell our brigade
general. In this place I saw Hancock and Caldwell ride by. Hancock was
mad about something, and he was shaking his fist under Caldwell's nose,
and God-daming him at the top of his capacity. Hancock was a brave and
capable general, but he was demonstratively passionate, and vilely
abusive with his tongue. Junius Gaskell of my Company was for months his
private orderly, and he saw the polish and the rough of him. Gaskell has
told me that he would get mad at his own brother, who was assistant
adjutant general of the division, and blaspheme at him and call him the
conventional name a man uses, when he wants to say a mean thing of the
other fellow based on the alleged status of his mother.

Towards sundown we were put in motion, making our way to the river's
edge, and crossed it on a well-laid pontoon. We ate our supper on the
other side of the river, and then advanced a few miles into the country,
and halted for the night along side an open piece of woods, not far from
the Chancellorsville house. We went into this piece of woods to spread
our blankets to bivouac for the night. Our cavalry had been on this
ground before, and they had responded affirmatively to the calls of
nature, so that we soon discovered we were treading on mounds not as
large, but as soft, as the one into which Peter Stuyvesant fell,
according to the narrative of Irving. I remember, after spreading my own
blanket, that my hand dropped down outside of it, and went slap into one
of those mounds. I further remember that I was not the only
Sixty-firster that imprecated in strong Saxon. But there we were, and
there we lay till sunrise. We learned that the day before a lively
skirmish had been fought here, in which one of our Colonels was killed.

Friday, May 1st, about 11 a. m., the artillery became engaged. Before
long the Sixty-first N. Y., and the Hundred and Forty-eight Pennsylvania
were ordered forward, and we went to the front and right of what I
suppose became our line. We worked our way through a piece of scrub pine
that was almost impervious, having passed this obstruction, we were in
open ground, and we advanced, I think, in skirmish line formation. It
was not long before we met Mr. Johnny Reb., and in such force that we
fell back at a lively pace, and worked our way through the scrub I have
spoken of. We emerged into a large open field where there were a good
many troops. By this time the shells of the enemy were making it
interesting for us. Hancock was present, and rushed matters in his
energetic way to get his men deployed where he wanted them. In due time
we were placed in the woods not far from the clearing. We had not more
than got into position when these woods were shelled. We were ordered to
lie down, and the order was well observed. It seemed to me that I was
never under such a raking fire, the noise was fearful, and the amputated
tree limbs came down on us like snow flakes in a Winter's squall. So far
as I know, no one was seriously hurt in this terrifying bombardment.
After it ceased we moved to another position in the woods, stacked arms,
and there spent the night, or till towards morning of the Second,

Before it was fairly light, we were put in motion and a good deal of
time was spent to satisfactorily locate us. As I understand it, we were
placed in sight of, and to the left of the Chancellorsville House. We at
once stacked arms. A line for rifle pits was run out, and one set of men
began to intrench, while another set, with axes, were in front slashing
down the timber--falling it to the front, and tangling it, so that it
was impossible to rapidly work through it. Before night we had seemingly
an impregnable line. It could not have been carried by infantry from the
front. Artillery might have battered down our defences, or infantry
might have turned it, but we hoped that the Confederates would see fit
to attack our line with infantry from the front. Gen. Howard, with the
Eleventh Corps, was on the right of our line. He had been duly notified
during the day that there was a movement of Rebel troops towards his end
of the line. No doubt he was a brave man and believed he could repel any
attack that might be made on him, but where the great issues of a battle
are at stake, a commander has no business to take needless chances, and,
when he can, he should put his men under cover as effectually as may be,
so that he can accomplish his purpose with as little loss of limb and
life as possible. If, as soon as the Eleventh Corps was located they had
gone to work cutting the timber to the front and intrenching, as
Hancock's men did, Jackson would have met a bloody repulse, and
Chancellorsville would have been our victory. Instead of that, his guns
were stacked, his men were lounging about, and absolutely without
protection. (Doubleday's Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, page 26 and
following.) Jackson struck him with a column of 26,000 men about 6 p. m.,
and stampeded his force as if they had been ewe lambs. After reading many
different accounts of this battle, I am fully persuaded that Howard
inexcusably, if not criminally, blundered on this occasion. In regular
course of time the "stampedees," if I may use the word, came across the
country and struck our line. They were entirely in favor of continuing
on, but we protested against it, and told them they would run right into
the rebel lines. Some were still bound to go, when the argument of the
bayonet converted them to our idea, and they camped down in our rear.
Sunday, the 3d, found us in the same place, standing guns in hand behind
our breastworks. The fighting to our right was heavy and continuous.
About 11 a. m. it was evident the Rebels had forced our position. We saw
our men streaming back, in a brief time the enemy had posted artillery
that raked our line. It was no longer tenable, and we were ordered to
fall back on the double quick. As we did so, we were under heavy
artillery fire. We passed near the Chancellor House, which was at the
time, I believe, on fire. We halted about one-fourth of a mile to the
rear, and there formed line of battle in the edge of the woods. While we
were waiting, a number of high class women were located close to us. I
was told at the time they were the occupants of the Chancellor House,
then burning to the ground. I remember writing home and telling my
people that these women were interesting to look at, and that their
features expressed fear and hate. In a little time they were marched
off, and the Sixty-first with a part, if not all of the brigade, were
advanced, I should think, at right angles with the position held by us
for two days. We soon entered a piece of woods and advanced in line of
battle through it. As we came near to the clearing beyond, we saw the
rifle pits of the enemy, and we met at our part of the line quite a
brisk fire, but on the right it was exceedingly severe. One company of
the 148th Pa. lost more than half its men. Then our line fell back to
the place from which we had advanced, and we at once began another set
of entrenchments. In a few hours time we had again defences that we
would have been delighted to see assaulted by our friends, the enemy.

In order to keep us from going to seed the Rebels would occasionally
send over a shell, or solid shot, and they had the true range very well.
I remember while such a practice was under way, and we were on our
bellies back from the breastworks some three rods, so that we might not
be hurt by the top log if it should be hit by a ball or shell, a large
solid shot came hurtling over, just above the top of our works, and
plunged into the ground close to the feet of a sandy-haired Irishman by
the name of Flarity. I think I was looking that way at the moment.
Flarity felt the sweep of the wind as the shot went over him; he raised
up sufficiently to see where it had gone into the ground, and said,
"Whist, ye divil! was yee's _intinded_ for me?" Those who saw the effect
of the shot and heard Flarity had a loud smile.

We were not attacked on Monday, though during the day Lieut-Col. Broady
called the officers around him and informed them in his Swedish brogue,
that it was anticipated that the enemy would charge our position, which
we were to hold as long as there was a man left of us, and that if we
should give way and fall back we would be fired into by our men, who
held a second and third line. This was delightful information, and made
us feel very jolly--"over the left?" but I am satisfied there was not a
man in the crowd that would have gone back if the chance had been
offered. The attack did not come, and during the night we began the
backward march again, which had come to be almost a matter of course.
Hooker had twice as many men as Lee, and the movement seemed to open
encouragingly. While Doubleday and Walker and Alden do not in so many
words say that Hooker was drunk, I think that is the clear inference. If
he was, shooting would be too good for him, he ought to have been burned
at the stake.

Saturday morning, the second day of May, Col. Miles was put in command
of the picket line to our front. His own regiment was not in this
advance line, but was in the first main line behind the works that I
have mentioned. Our Colonel here made a great reputation for himself. I
quote from Swinton, "Amid much that is dastardly at Chancellorsville,
the conduct of this young, but gallant and skillful officer, shines
forth with a brilliant lustre." Walker says of him, "So delighted was
Hancock at the splendid behavior of his skirmish line that, after one
repulse of the enemy, he exclaimed, 'Capt. Parker, ride down and tell
Col. Miles he's worth his weight in gold!'" While Couch, turning to the
Major-Generals who commanded his two divisions, said, in his quiet but
emphatic way, "I tell you what it is, gentlemen, I shall not be
surprised to find myself, some day serving under that young man."
Shortly after he was dangerously wounded through the body. Walker says
(page 240) "Hancock strengthens the skirmish line held by Miles, and
instructs that officer not to yield one foot, except on actual
necessity; and well is that trust discharged. The troops under Miles's
command consist of the 61st, 64th and 66th New York, with detachments
from the 53d Pa, 2d Delaware, and 140th, 145th and 148th Pa. and 27th
Conn." The historian of the Second Corps is in error when he writes that
the 61st was placed on the skirmish line. As I have before stated, it
remained behind the works it built, until the position was enfladed by
the enemy's artillery, and then it, with the rest of that line, fell

He is again in error when he says, (page 244) speaking of the disaster
of the 3d, "Hancock's division was no longer intact. Caldwell, with the
61st, 52d and 57th N. Y., and four companies of the 148th Pa., had, at a
sudden call, marched to the United States Ford road, with a view to the
anticipated breaking through of the enemy from the right and rear."
Unless the movement above described is the one made through the wood, in
which the 148th Pa. suffered so severely.

During Monday night and Tuesday morning we started back, and after
daylight Tuesday, the 5th of May, we "_got back on our side of the
Rappahannock_." Before night we were again on our campground of the
December before.

May 11th I received a fifteen days leave of absence, for which I had
applied before the late movement. Those granted prior to the move had
been but for ten days. Probably the extra five days was in the nature of
a premium for the delay caused by the campaign, and the service in it. I
made the most of this time, and was so feasted at home that I started
back several pounds heavier than when I left. I did not desire to be
away long. At the end of the leave I was anxious to be again with the
boys. At this time I was tenting with Nutting and Collins. Nutting came
down with typhoid fever. He was sent to hospital, and returned in the

While in this camp, June 1st, 1863, the First Brigade of the First
Division, fell in and passed in review by quite a body of officers,
including Hancock, Howard and Barlow. Gen. Howard made appropriate
remarks to the remnants of the 5th N. H., 81st Pa., 64th and 61st N. Y.,
which he commanded in the battle of Fair Oaks that day, the year before.
But a small fraction of the men he commanded that day at 7 a. m. were
present to hear his words. He said we were in this great strife to win,
and we would fight it to a finish, and we applauded his sentiments by
lusty cheers. After this we returned to our quarters. Barlow appeared
and gave us a chance to grasp his hand. I am sure this great soldier
always had a special affection for the men of the 61st N. Y. He had
their entire confidence. Unquestionably they obeyed his orders, first,
perhaps, because they didn't dare do otherwise, and, second, because
they trusted his judgment and ability to perform what he set out to do.

Now everything indicated a move at short notice. Sunday, the 14th of
June, the Confederates shot off their big guns on the heights of
Fredericksburg. I think our people crossed the river on a
reconnaissance. At 8 p. m. the Second Corps moved, marched four miles
and halted for the night. Monday, the 15th, we passed Stafford Court
House. Tuesday, the 16th, the march took us beyond Dumfries' Court
House. This day was excessively hot, and it was stated that quite a
number of the Second Corps died of sunstroke. Lieut. Elmore was stricken
down by it. He lay on the ground almost motionless--was quite out of his
head and talked crazy. He was put into an ambulance, and sent to

Wednesday, the 17th, at the close of the day, we halted at Pope's Run on
the Orange & Alexandria R. R. Thursday, the 18th, no move was made,
except to change camp. In the afternoon of Friday (the 19th) we moved
and halted in the evening at Centreville, the place we had been in about
nine months before. Saturday about noon we left Centreville for
Thoroughfare Gap. We passed over the two Bull Run battlefields, which
were fought about a year apart. On the field of 1861 the dead had been
buried with the least expenditure of labor. I should say the bodies had
been laid close together, and a thin coat of earth thrown over them. As
the bodies decayed, the crust fell in exposing in part the skeletons.
Some of our men extracted teeth from the grinning skulls as they lay
thus exposed to view. On the field of 1862 from one mound a hand stuck
out. The flesh instead of rotting off had dried down, and there it was
like a piece of dirty marble. Such sights are not refreshing to men
going forward in search of a new battlefield. Thoroughfare Gap was
reached during the night. We remained in this place until noon of
Thursday, the 25th, when we moved, the enemy following us up quite
sharply with artillery.

After dark we camped at Gum Spring. It had rained all day. I was placed
in charge of the picket line that night, and visited the posts wet to
the skin. In the morning a young and innocent calf was sporting in the
field we occupied. Some of our wickedest men ended the life of that calf
skinned it, and gave me a chunk. I expected to have an unusually good
meal out of it. No time was found to cook this meat until we halted at
Edward's Ferry on the Potomac, where we expected to spend the night.
Collins and I proposed to have a great meal out of our piece of veal.
Our man "Robert" fried it in the stew pan, which was the half of a
canteen, and brought it on smoking hot. The experiment of trying to eat
it disclosed the fact that it was "deeken veal" and very "_stringy_," I
think the Spanish war soldiers would have called it. We discarded it and
went back to "salt hoss."

That night we crossed the Potomac on a pontoon, and were again in "My
Maryland." The performances this night were such as to justify vocal
daming on the part of a very good Christian. The men were tired, but
they were marched and countermarched, and halted and started, and placed
and unplaced, until it was fair to conclude that someone was drunk. At
last the person directing the column got his bearings and we proceeded.
We were plodding along a road in which there was on the right hand side
a ditch about two feet deep. Having been up and awake all of the night
before, I was fearfully sleepy and hardly able to drag myself along. All
at once I went into this ditch, and struck full length. In its bottom
there was about two inches of mud, thick enough to encase me. By the
time I had pawed out, I could not, if laid out, have been distinguished
from a mud sill; but I was too near gone to speak bad words, and so went
on in silence, weighing five pounds more than before my descent. Before
long we halted and bivouaced for the night. The next morning, the 27th,
our regiment started about 10 o'clock, and was thrown out as an advance
guard to our baggage train. Along the line of this march there were
numerous wild black cherry trees. They were loaded with ripe fruit, and
we ate our fill. I think we covered 25 miles this day, and went into
camp near Frederick City. We were over this same ground less than a year
before, and everything looked as it then did.

Sunday, the 28th, we moved up, and camped just before crossing the
Monocacy. We spent the day very comfortably, and went to bed by rolling
up in our blankets, when an order came to "fall in." This we did of
course, but wished it had been otherwise. We marched about two miles,
and were posted to guard a ford of the Monocacy. We had with us a
section of artillery.

Monday, the 29th, we made a march of over thirty-two miles. We halted
for the night some miles beyond Uniontown, at about 10 p. m. I know I
was so completely tired out, that, as soon as arms were stacked, I
stretched out without unrolling my blankets, and I knew nothing till the
next morning, when I was awakened by the sun shining into my eyes. I
was so stiff that it took some time to get on to my legs, but, after
moving about for a while, I was all right.

Tuesday, the 30th, we remained in camp, many straggled in the march of
the day before, and during this day most of them came up. Wednesday,
July 1st, we started out, none of us knowing for where. We heard no
sound of battle that day. No doubt the lay of the land shut off the
thunder of the guns. A rumor soon became current that a fight was in
progress, and that Gen. Reynolds had been killed. We marched through a
little village, perhaps it was Taneytown. Our signalers were up in the
steeple of a church on the street we were passing through, and their
flags were we-wawing at a great rate. Before long the ambulance
containing the corpse of Reynolds passed us. We halted for the night.
After sundown our brigade, and probably the division, were in line of
battle. As soon as arms were stacked, we went to a rail fence, took down
the rails, brought them to our line, and, before going to bed--i. e.,
spreading our blankets on the ground--we had staked up those rails and
banked earth against them so that they would have served quite a purpose
as breastworks. By this time lines of camp fires were burning as far as
we could see, indicating that the army was massed here, or the ruse was
worked to make the enemy think so.

Thursday, the 2d, we were quietly ordered to turn out. Breakfast was
eaten, the guns and ammunition were inspected, and by six or seven
o'clock we were in motion. On the march I remember we went through a
small piece of open timber, where our doctors were posted, and as we
went by we shook hands with them, and exchanged little pleasantries. I
remember saying to them, "We'll see you again later." I tried to say
this with a jaunty air, but down in my shoes I did not feel a bit
jaunty. I think we all felt that this should be a death grapple, and, if
Lee went further north, it ought to be over the played out ranks of this
army. We continued our march and halted in a large open field to the
left of the village of Gettysburg. Our brigade was massed, and commanded
by Col. Edward E. Cross of the 5th N. H.

We remained in this place during the long hours of the day. There was
no noise, save occasionally slight picket firing, but it was not the
silence of assured quiet. It was the painful waiting before the descent
of the certain cyclone.

Our regiments were so small that, except in the case of the 148th
Pennsylvania, each regiment made a single line. I think the 148th was
divided into two battalions. The 61st had about 90 muskets. While
waiting for something to "turn up" Col. Cross came up, and after a
little said, "Boys, you know what's before you. Give 'em hell!" and some
of us said "We will, Colonel!" After a time "the ball opened" on our
left. A determined attack was made on Sickel's position. He could not
hold it, and re-enforcements were sent to him. I do not remember seeing
the 5th N. H. move away but Col. Broady says it was detached before the
brigade started. I think it was between 5 and 6 o'clock when our orders
came, and we were ready. It was preferable to advance into action,
rather than to wait in expectation of the order to move. The direction
we were to take was to the front and left. There was no time to
countermarch so as to bring the men right in front, so we simply left
faced and started. The 61st, since the withdrawal of the 5th N. H. was
the right regiment. We advanced in this manner, the brigade in a chunk,
until we struck a cross road. In this road we deployed by filing right
and advancing until the regiments were deployed, then we left faced.
This undoubled us, and we stood in line of battle, officers and
sergeants in front of the rear rank in front. In front of us across the
road was a wheatfield, which was bounded by a fence. We were ordered
forward; we scaled the fence and advanced into this wheatfield in line
of battle, as I have stated. Finally we were halted, markers were thrown
out, and we lined up. The 61st N. Y. was the right of our brigade line.
I am not sure what regiment was to our right. It is my recollection that
no regiment was in close contact with us. As soon as the alignment was
perfected, the officers and file closers passed through the ranks and
got in rear of the men. Up to this time not a confederate had been seen
in our front.

At the further edge of this wheatfield there were the remnants of a
stone wall and scattering trees and brush, which made a natural line for
the opposing force to form behind. As soon as I got into my place I kept
my eyes to the front, and in a few seconds I saw first one or two men
come toward us on a run, and throw themselves down behind this partial
stone wall. But a brief time passed when a solid line of men in gray
appeared and placed themselves as had the first comers. At once, and
without any ordering, the firing opened by both sides. It was slightly
descending from where we stood to the position of the enemy. I think
their location was the best, independent of the protection afforded by
the old wall. It was a case of give and take. As a rule our men behaved
splendidly; with a single exception I saw no flinching or dodging. I saw
a certain second lieutenant doubling himself together so as to bring his
head below the line of the heads of the men in front of him. Capt. Keech
saw his posture and came up to him and said, "Stand up! What are you
crouching for?" The fellow replied, "I'm not crouching." Keech replied,
"Yes, you are!" and he hit him across his humped-up back a sharp rap
that made him grunt, and said, "Stand up like a man!" In battle the
tendency is almost universal for the men to work out of a good line into
clumps. The men of natural daring will rather crowd to the front, and
those cast in more timid or retiring molds will almost automatically
edge back and slip in behind. Hence the necessity of not alone
commissioned officers in the rear to keep the men out in two ranks, but
sergeants as well. I think I have stated that there were less than one
hundred men present with the regiment. For the less than ninety muskets
in the ranks we had a number of commissioned officers. More than was
needed. We had officers enough in our regiment in this great battle to
have commanded three hundred men, and it is a standing proof of the
gross ignorance, or the villainy of the New York government that such
was the case. In the early part of the day I remarked to a number of the
men near by that when some one of them was knocked out I was going to
take his musket and get into the firing line. We were in this wheatfield
and the grain stood almost breast high. The Rebs had their slight
protection, but we were in the open, without a thing better than a
wheat straw to catch a Minnie bullet that weighed an ounce. Of course,
our men began to tumble. They lay where they fell, or, if able, started
for the rear. Near to me I saw a man named Daily go down, shot through
the neck. I made a movement to get his gun, but at that moment I was
struck in the shoulder. It did not hurt and the blow simply caused me to
step back. I found that I could not work my arm, but supposed that hurt
was a flesh wound that had temporarily paralyzed it, and that it was not
serious enough to justify my leaving the fighting line. So, I remained
and did what I could in directing the firing. Sometime after this, I
felt a blow on the left leg, and it gave way, so that I knew the bone
was broken. This stroke did not hurt, and I did not fall, but turned
around and made a number of hops to the rear, when my foot caught in the
tangled grain and I went down full length. While lying here entirely
helpless, and hearing those vicious bullets singing over my head, I
suffered from fear. I had, as most men do, got over the dread of battle
after I was once fairly in it, and was enjoying the excitement, but when
I was "done for" as a fighter, and could only lie in that zone of
danger, waiting for other bullets to plow into my body, I confess it was
with the greatest dread. While so lying and dreading, in some way, I
knew that two men were going to the rear. I yelled out to them, "Drag me
back." They heeded the order, or entreaty, and one man grabbed one arm,
and the other man the other arm, and they started back with me between
them, not on any funeral gait, but almost on a run. My right arm was
sound, but the left one was broken at the shoulder joint, and on that
side it was pulling on the cords and meat. I wobbled much as a cut of
wood drawn by two cords would have. These men pulled me back in this
fashion for a number of rods, and until I thought they had pulled me
over a rise of ground like a cradle knoll, when I shouted, "Drop me" and
they dropped, and went on without note or comment. I had a tourniquet in
my haversack, and with my one servicable arm, I worked away till I got
it out, and did the best I could to get it around my leg, for anything I
knew I was bleeding to death, and, if possible, I wanted to check the
flow of blood. I think my effort did not amount to much. After a time
the firing tapered down to occasional shots. Of course, I did not know
who was on top. Certainly no body of our men had fallen back near my
bivouac. In a short time I heard a line of battle advancing from the
rear. As the men came in sight I sang out, "Don't step on me, boys!"
Those in range of me stepped over and on they went, to take their
medicine. I understand they rushed forward and fought the enemy in
advance of the line we occupied. It was not many minutes after these
troops passed me that the rattle of musketry was again heard from that
wheat field. It was kept up for a good while, and then it died down. No
body of our men went back past me.

After a while I was aware that a skirmish line was coming from the
front, and soon discovered that the skirmishers were not clothed in
blue. The officer in command was mounted and rode by within a few feet
of me. I should judge that this line went as far as the road I have
spoken of. Shots were exchanged at about that distance to the rear of
me. This fighting was not severe and a short time after these gentlemen
in gray moved back in the same manner they had advanced, greatly to my
relief. I did not fancy remaining their guest for any length of time.

As the Rebs went back, a nice looking young fellow, small of stature,
with bright black eyes, whose face was smutted up with powder and smoke,
came along where I lay. My sword was on the ground beside me. He picked
it up, and said, "Give me that scabbard!" I said "Johnny, you will have
to excuse me, as my arm is broken and I can't unbuckle my belt." He made
no comment, but went off with my sword. Then matters quieted down, and
there was no sound to be heard in that vicinity, except the groanings of
the wounded. As long as I lay perfectly quiet, I was not in much pain,
but if I attempted to stir the pain was severe. I had heard that wounded
men always suffered from thirst, but I was not specially thirsty, and I
wondered at it. I did not have any desire to groan, and take on, as many
about me were doing. So I wondered if I were really badly hurt, and if I
could groan, if I wanted to. I determined to try it, and drew in a good
breath, and let out a full grown-man groan. I was satisfied with the
result and then kept quiet. This action on my part will read like the
performance of a simpleton, and I would not record it, but for the fact
that it was the freak and experience of one man, helpless on the
battlefield. These personal experiences are, of course, less often
written about than are the general movements of troops in battle

After a time I was satisfied our people were establishing a picket line
some ways to my rear. I succeeded in securing the attention of a
sergeant. He told me the number of his regiment, which was a new
Pennsylvania regiment. I told him I wanted to get back out of this
debatable belt of land between the skirmish lines. He said he would go
and see his officer. In a little while he came back with a Lieutenant.
He was a good hearted man, and commiserated my condition, and inquired
what he could do for me. I told him my present anxiety was to get to the
rear of our skirmish line--that where I then lay was likely to be fought
over again, and any little thing would, at least, set the pickets firing
at one another. I told him I thought if he and the sergeant would make a
chair of their hands, as children often do, they could carry me between
them. With difficulty they got me up, and their hands under me, and
started, but the broken leg hung down, and caught in the trampled wheat,
and I told them I couldn't go it. Then the Lieutenant said he could
carry me on his back. I noticed that he had braced up with commissary,
and his legs were not wholly reliable, but I thought he could manage me
as a pack. So he squatted, and the sergeant helped get me on his back
with my arm around his neck. Then he attempted to raise me up, but my
weight and the tanglefoot were too much, and we all went down in a heap
together, I under. As soon as I could express myself in words, I told
the men, if they would straighten me out and cover me up with my
blanket, I would excuse them with thanks for their kind intentions. This
they did, and left me with no one in sight. It now grew dark rapidly and
soon there was as little light as at any time that night. I was wide
awake, and my thoughts went on excursions the wide world around.

I think it must have been about midnight--for hours I had heard no sound
but the groanings of the men lying on the field about me. All at once I
heard a voice. It came from the mouth of Phil Comfort, a private of Co.
A. Phil had always been one of the incorrigibles. He would get drunk,
and brawl, and fight on the slightest provocation, but he also had the
credit of doing much for the wounded of the regiment. I do not know what
Phil's business was, out there between the picket lines at midnight of
that day. I suspect he may have been there for the purpose of
accommodating any corpse that was desirous of being relieved of any
valuables he was possessed of, fearing they might be buried in an
unmarked grave with his dead body. I never asked Phil about the orders,
or from whom they came, that sent him into hailing distance of my place
of repose, but I made haste to call Phil up to me. He responded to my
call, and in a moment was staring down on me in the starlight. He said,
"Why, Lieutenant that's you, aint it!" I admitted the allegation, and
said I wanted to get out of here. He replied that he would go for a man
and stretcher, and return as soon as possible, and off he went. Before
long he was back with man and stretcher, and after much working they got
me loaded and started for a point at which the ambulances were
assembling. I was set down in the dooryard of a house built of hewed
logs, whitewashed. In 1866 I visited the battlefield and this house was
standing. I think it has since been removed and a frame house put up on
its site.

After an hour's waiting, I was loaded into an ambulance without taking
me from my stretcher. This was fortunate for me, as I kept it until it
was swapped for a new one two weeks later. The stretcher kept me from
the ground, and was an important factor in my recovery. A man was placed
beside me shot through the body. He was in an agony of pain, and it was
impossible for him to restrain his groans. When the ambulance started,
it went anywhere but in a good road, and as it bumped over logs and
boulders, my broken leg would thresh about like the mauler of a flail. I
found it necessary to keep it in place by putting the other one over it.
At last we stopped and were unloaded. It was still dark, but in due
time light broke in the East, and a little later I could roll my head
and take in some of the surroundings. Most of the wounded of the
regiment had been gathered at this place, and we made by far the largest
part of it. Many of the men were so hurt that they could move about, and
they all came and made me an early morning call. After a time two of our
regimental doctors appeared. They cut open my trousers leg, found where
the bullet went in, and, I think, put a strip of adhesive plaster over
the wound, and they did the same with the shoulder. It was clear to my
mind that the leg, at least, must come off. I expressed my opinion and
said, I thought it would be better to do it at once, than to wait till
inflammation set in. At my earnest request they promised me that they
would see to it that I should be among the first operated on.

While in this place my life long friend and companion, Lieut. Isaac
Plumb, came to me. We had been side by side since the organization of
the regiment, and, until now, neither of us had been badly hurt. He told
me that he saw me as I went down, and sang out "Uncle Fuller, that's
good for sixty days." He said I made up quite a face, as if it hurt.
Shortly afterward he said he had a remarkable experience. He was struck
and knocked down, and he supposed a bullet had gone through him, and he
was done for. He said he clapped his hands over the place of the
supposed wound and held on tight, with the thought that conscious
existence might be a little prolonged. He expected to feel life ebbing,
but he retained consciousness, and, after a while, lifted his hands,
expecting to see an eruption of blood, but he did not. He began to move
his body with no bad results, and, finally, got onto his feet, resumed
his place and left the field with his men. He did not discover what had
happened till he prepared to bunk down for the night, when he unbuckled
his sword belt he discovered a strange formation in his vest pocket. In
it he had a bunch of small keys on a ring. A Minnie bullet had struck
his belt plate square and had glanced so as to go under the plate into
his vest pocket, where it met the bunch of keys. There was enough force
and resistance to bed the bullet into the ring and the key heads, and
there the keys stood out held in place by the embedded bullet. He was
able to send this relic of that great battle home, and his mother has it
now among her choicest mementos.

After a time the division operating table was set up in the edge of a
piece of timber not very far away. I was on the watch, expecting every
minute to be taken out, but I waited and waited and no one came for me.
I became quite impatient at this delay. I saw one after another brought
on, carried up, and taken away, and I was not called for. This aroused
my stock of impatience, of which, I naturally always had quite enough.
At last I asked my friend Porter E. Whitney and another man to take me
down to the table. I made up my mind, if the mountain did not go to
Mahomet, the next best thing was for the prophet to go to the mountain.
The men set me down as nearly under the noses of the doctors as could
be, and, if something hadn't happened, I presume in a few minutes that
heretofore good left leg would have made one of the fast growing pile;
but about that interesting moment for me, the enemy began to drop shells
that exploded in and about the locality. It was not a fit place to
pursue surgical operations. The doctors knew it, so they hastily
gathered up their knives and saws, and moved to a place where those
projectiles did not drop. The two friends who had taken me there, picked
up my stretcher and started for a like place. We had to move several
times before the greatest artillery duel of the War began. When that
opened we were out of range of it, but we could not hide from the
tremble of the ground--the surface of the earth at that place shook and
quivered from the terrible concussion of the artillery. The roar was
enough to deafen one, and inspire the dread that no one would be left
alive and unhurt. Generally however, the noise is a considerable part of
such a bombardment. Probably comparatively slight damage was done by it,
until our artillery opened on the advancing lines of Pickett's men.

During the day friends occasionally poured water on my wounds, which,
doubtless, kept the swelling down.

Pickett was defeated. Grant, Sherman, Sheridan or Thomas, if in command
at the time, would have plunged the fresh Sixth Corps on to the rear of
Lee's routed men, and effectively crushed him. Meade was new to the
place and preferred a respectable certainty to possible disaster. Things
quieted down, and that night,

  "Mr. Lee who had come to see
  What he could do about going through,
  The North, turned South."

The boys who were toting me came to a stone house with a wide piazza
clear around it. I was laid on the floor of it, which made a hard bed. I
ached in every bone, but there was nothing to do but "grin and bear it."
After a while Frank Garland of Co. G was brought and laid on the floor
near me. He could raise upon his elbow, but his breathing was painful to
hear. A bullet had gone through his lungs and every time they filled a
portion of the air went through the wound with a ghastly sound. I said
to him, "Are you badly wounded, Frank?" He replied, "Oh, yes!"

I had eaten nothing since the morning of the day before, and was faint.
Some of our drummer boys found a bin of ground oats, and they made a
gruel that tasted good, and I made quite a meal of it. That evening
about 10 o'clock, an ambulance came for me, and I was taken to the
ground selected for the 2d Corps hospital. It was another rough ride
across lots. Once there I was taken out of my stretcher, the one Phil
Comfort took me off the field on, and taken at once to the operating
table. A napkin was formed into a tunnel shape, a liberal supply of
chloroform poured into it and the thing placed over my nose and mouth. I
was told to take in long breaths. To me it seemed a long time before the
effect came, probably it was a short time, but at last my head seemed to
grow big and spin around. At this stage I remember a doctor had his
fingers in the wound in the shoulder and said to the others "Here is a
fine chance for a resection." I did not know what that meant, but
learned afterwards. When I came to myself, I looked down far enough to
see a quantity of bandage wound about a stump of a leg eight inches
long. My shoulder was bound up, but otherwise not operated on. Failure
to resect may have been due to the great amount of work pressing upon
the surgeons. They were worked as many hours continuously as they could
stand, and still many a man had to be neglected. I was taken off the
table and put back on my stretcher, which was set down in a wall tent,
this tent was as full as it well could be of amputated cases. For the
most part the men bore their suffering without a groan. Among the number
was a young Confederate officer, that had lost an arm. He probably felt
that he was a good way from home, and he "took on," bemoaning his fate
as a cripple and a sufferer. He wore out the patience of every other man
in the tent. At last I yelled out to him to shut up, or I would get up
and kick him out doors. My bark was effective, we heard no more from
him. All of us were amputates, or seriously wounded. During the night a
doctor came, and gave every man a dose of morphine, which produced a
happy state of mind and body. As I was taken from the table one of my
doctors said, "Fuller, you may drink all of the whiskey you can get, and

The day of the 4th we had a drenching rain. Some men out lying in low
places and who could not move were, it was said, drowned. On the whole,
I presume the rain was a benefit to the wounded.

It took a number of days for the large hospital tents to be put up. All
of the sound part of the army that could be spared followed up the
enemy. Of course, it took a large number of soldiers detailed for the
purpose, to partially care for the thousands of wounded from each army.
The surgeons were continuously engaged upon new cases that had received
no attention. Those of us that had been treated knew this, and we found
no fault at what otherwise would have been terrible neglect. I think it
was six days after my amputation before a doctor could be found to look
at my stump. The night before I had been made very nervous by crawley
feelings on that side of me, just where I could not tell. It is, I
think, the rule with amputations, that the patient cannot from the
feeling put his hand on the place of amputation. It takes a good while
for the nerves to realize where "the end" is. They were made to carry
the news to the brain from the extremities, and, until the new
arrangement has become somewhat acquainted with the change, these lines
of communication are doing duty for parts of the body not there. My bad
feelings were not at the end of the stump, but down in the foot and
ankle, where there were constant beats, and pulls and cramps. I think
this is the foundation for the many fairy stories to the effect that an
amputated leg or arm buried gave the owner of it great pain, as if
something pressed on it, or it was cramped in its box, and when it was
opened up there was found a stone between the fingers, or the cover
jammed upon the foot, and that when the cause of discomfort was removed
then the stump of the arm or leg was easy. As in the various phases of
faith cure, the imagination has a powerful effect. So it has in these
cases. It is never that there is a real feeling connected between the
severed part and the body, but the belief in it creates a supposed

It was the good fortune of our tent that a civilian surgeon from Ohio
visiting the field came along and offered his services to any of us that
wanted him to do for us. I told him how I had felt through the night,
and I would be glad to have him dress my stump. He took the bandages off
and found that there were a large number of full grown maggots in the
wound. This discovery for the moment was horrifying to me. I concluded
if all the other things did not take me off the skippers would, but the
good doctor assured me that the wigglers didn't amount to much in that
place, and he would soon fix them. He diluted some turpentine, took a
quantity of it in his mouth and squirted it into the wound, and over the
stump. It did the business for the intruders, and I had no more trouble
of that sort.

The morning of the 4th of July Capt. Keech came to me and said he was to
have a short leave of absence on account of the wound he received in the
neck, which came near effectually cutting it. He wanted to know what
word he should convey to my people. I said tell them I am doing as well
as one can under the circumstance. He replied, "Don't you want them to
come down here?" I said, "No!" "They can do no good here, and will be in
the way." When he got to New York he wired to Sherburne: "Garland
mortally wounded. Fuller dangerously wounded. Plumb all right." That
night my father started for Unadilla Forks to see Dr. King, his
brother-in-law. The doctor was one of the best surgeons in Otsego Co. My
father told him he wanted him to go to Gettysburg and look after me.
They were in Utica the next morning ready for the first train East. From
a newsboy they got a _Herald_, which gave a long list of New York
casualties. Finally they struck "Lieut. C. A. Fuller, Co. C. 61st N. Y.,
leg _and arm amputated_." The doctor said, "If that is true there is not
much chance for Charley, but we will go on and bring him home alive or
dead." And so they went on.

All this is very tame and personal, and, in many ways, I know can be of
but small interest. There is this to be said of it: It shows what was
going on in thousands of families the land over--North and South--and it
is the kind of matter that does not get into books on war subjects. The
reality of war is largely obscured by descriptions that tell of
movements and maneuvers of armies, of the attack and repulse, of the
victory and defeat, and then pass on to new operations. All of this
leaves out of sight the fellows stretched out with holes through them,
or with legs and arms off.

At Baltimore my father had to turn back on account of acute illness.
From New York my father and Uncle were accompanied by my cousin Edward
Snyder. He was a grand man. He had tried several times to enter the
service, but was rejected. For years he had been in the employ of the
American Express Co. and knew how to push his way through a crowd. The
jam was so great to get to the battlefield, and the transportation so
inadequate, they might have been delayed several days, but for the
steering qualifications of Snyder. He elbowed and managed in such a way
that he and the doctor got onto an open flat bottomed car headed for
Gettysburg the same day. On their arrival it was no small job to find
me, but a half day's search and inquiry brought them to my tent, a large
hospital tent holding some sixteen men, everyone of whom had, I
believed, sustained an amputation. They had found the Chaplain of the
64th New York, a thoroughly good man, qualified for the office, as many
chaplains were not. This Chaplain had been of great service since the
battle; his work in behalf of the men was tireless. Earlier in the day
he had talked with me, trying to brace me up and make me hopeful. I
remember saying to him, "If I were where I could have the best of care,
I might pull through, but that is impossible." I knew that my chances
were few and scant. About noon he came to me and said, "Fuller, can you
stand some good news?" I said, "Yes, if ever I could I can now." He
said, "Some one has come to see you?" I asked, "Is it Dr. King?" He
said, "Yes." I looked to the other side of the tent, and there in the
doorway stood my uncle, and just behind him Edward Snyder. The doctor
was short and thick and Snyder was tall and thin, so I had a view of
both of their faces at once. It was a sight so photographed in my memory
that it is as fresh to-day as when it was taken. The doctor remained at
the field hospital for about ten days. During that time he took charge
of about a dozen amputated cases, and while he was rather squatty for an
Angel, the men regarded him as one of mercy. By the end of ten days from
his coming the doctor told me that I was making no progress and ought to
be moved where I could get better air. He got permission for my removal
into the village. Two men carried me on a stretcher. When the doctor
left the boys he had been caring for, there were few dry eyes on their
faces. I was taken to the house of Mr. Carson, cashier of one of the
banks. On the approach of Lee's army, Mr. Carson had taken the cash and
valuables to Philadelphia. At this time every house in town was at the
service of any wounded, or their friends. When I was deposited at his
house, Mr. Carson was in Philadelphia to get and return the bank's
property, but Mrs. Carson was there, and, if I had been a near relative,
she could not have done more to make my stay tolerable. As an instance
of the romance in war the following occurred. Mrs. Carson's brother was
an officer in a Maine battery. He was in the first day's engagement and
was quite badly wounded. He managed to get to his sister's house, I
believe he was not disturbed by the Rebels, and left for his home the
day before I came.

After a few days in the village, consent was obtained for me to start
for home. We were on the way for about a week, and everywhere on the
route the greatest kindness was shown save in one instance. That was at
the Albany station, and with the New York Central's employees. It was
necessary to put my stretcher with me on it into the baggage car. I was
set down by the side of the car, asking that it be done. By the
treatment I got from the men in charge, one would take them to be a gang
of copperheads. Seeing that they were going to refuse me admission to
the car, I began to call them off in no gentle manner. My billingsgate
caused a crowd to gather. I informed the trainmen and the people
assembled that if I could have a squad of my regiment there for a very
few minutes, I would go in that car, or that train would be a wreck. I
soon had the sympathy of the lookers on, and some of them suggested that
I would go into that car, or it might not be necessary for me to have
any of the 61st there to make things interesting. The disobliging
servants of the road did not care to have more of a demonstration, and
the door was shoved open, and, in no gracious manner, I was put on
board, and started for Utica. I think those New York Central loafers
would have left me there to have fly-blowed had they not feared the
temper of the crowd. It was a painful surprise to me to meet such
indifference, if not hostility, in Central New York, when I had just
experienced such helpful kindness in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and even
in New York, a place that usually cares for nothing and no one, except
commercially. From Utica I was taken in an ambulance to Unadilla Forks,
N. Y.

At the end of a week my shoulder was operated on, and three inches of
the humerus taken out from the shoulder joint down. The operation was
performed by Dr. King, and was an excellent one. A week after that
operation, an incision was made into the stump and the bullet that broke
the leg was taken out. That it was in the stump was, of course, a
surprise, and when the surgeons of my regiment were informed what had
been done, they claimed to be much surprised, and said that they traced
out the bullet that they amputated for, and that the bullet extracted by
Dr. King must have been a second one. I have always had the impression
that I was hit in the leg lower down, and before the one came that broke
the leg, but of that I am not certain.

With two such wounds as I had, and one poisoned for six weeks with a
Minnie bullet, it was a slow process to recover, but I made steady
progress with, of course, occasional pull backs.

I think it was in September, 1863, and after I reached my home, that
George Jacobs, a sergeant in my company of New Berlin, called on me.
George was _one_ of the best soldiers in the regiment. In a fight no one
could be better. He was home on a ten days furlough. Of course, the best
in the land was free to him, and he was feasted by parents and friends.
As he was about ready to start back, he was taken violently sick with a
stomach trouble and died in a few hours.

In December, 1863, I was ordered to report at a hospital at Annapolis,
Md. I started alone with one crutch, and my arm in a sling. At Albany I
stopped over night with my cousin Stewart Campbell, and well remember
that evening reading in the _Atlantic Monthly_ that wonderful story, "A
Man Without a Country," by Edward Everett Hale. It made a deep
impression on my mind and it confirmed the sentiment I had cherished
that it was well worth hardship, wounds, loss of limbs, or life even, to
have a hand in preserving in its integrity such a country as ours. I
reached Annapolis all right. In about a week I was ordered to
Washington, and mustered out. This ended my connection with one of the
best regiments in the service in the War of the Rebellion. I do not say
this, I think, unadvisedly, nor from a mistaken sense of the quality of
the rank and file of the regiment, but rather from the character of the
commanding officers of the regiment while under Barlow and Miles. Each
of them officers whose equal it was hard to find. They were men of
dauntless courage and rare military judgment, who LED their men into
battle, and under them if a soldier wanted to slink, as a rule, he
deemed it safer to face the enemy than to let either one of them suspect
he was slinking.

I have now told my story as a soldier, and the purpose of this pamphlet
is ended. In conclusion I want to register my admiration for the war
power of a country. It is a splendid employment to be in the Army, or
Navy of one's country! The office of the War Power is to maintain order
and right at home, and defend the flag from foreign aggression. It is
not the first and main business of the soldier to kill anyone; he is put
in motion only after peacable means for righteousness have failed. Then
he comes forward and says to the obstructor and the enemy of right:
"Desist, surrender, give way!" and it is only after refusal and a show
of hostile force that the soldier shoots his gun, and when he shoots he
prefers to wound, disable and capture, rather than to kill.

Of course, we all ought to encourage the avoidance of war, and the
promotion of peace, but the wise ruler, while so doing, will have an
adequate army to make it certain that he cannot be overborne by
evil-minded persons, and the enemies of his government. Mankind must be
dealt with as it is, and not on a fanciful, theoretical basis.

Really the Army is the strong arm of the executive part of the
governmental machinery. The sheriff and constable may be resisted and
fail; the posse comitatus they call to their aid may prove inadequate,
and then there is nothing to look to but the Army.

If I had a son 18 years of age, I would not feel bad to see him enrolled
for a three years enlistment in the United States Army, or Navy. I would
expect he would be discharged at the end of the term improved by the
discipline. The wearer of the uniform ought to be honored by the people
and accorded as broad a place in society as if he were a member of what
is termed "one of the learned professions." The treatment accorded our
soldiers and sailors by some rich, ill-bred snobs in this country is to
their lasting disgrace, and it is to be hoped that such stupid idiots
may live to see the day when they will bitterly repent their fool

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

The use of quotation marks in the original does not conform
to modern standards, and many quotations were left unclosed.
Quotation marks were left as they appear in the original book.

The following misprints have been corrected:
  "Isreal" corrected to "Israel" (page 5)
  "Hamiltom" corrected to "Hamilton" (page 6)
  "Calfornia" corrected to "California" (page 11)
  "isssued" corrected to "issued" (page 12)
  "million's" corrected to "millions" (page 22)
  "Heintzleman" corrected to "Heintzelman" (page 23)
  "company" corrected to "Company" (page 25)
  "sitution" corrected to "situation" (page 25)
  "amunition" corrected to "ammunition" (page 30)
  "appetiate" corrected to "appetite" (page 35)
  "asociation" corrected to "association" (page 40)
  "supprise" corrected to "surprise" (page 41)
  "Sweedish" corrected to "Swedish" (page 41)
  "sergents" corrected to "sergeants" (page 41)
  "journed" corrected to "journeyed" (page 44)
  "in in" corrected to "in" (page 44)
  "eneny" corrected to "enemy" (page 48)
  "seige" corrected to "siege" (page 48)
  "moistend" corrected to "moistened" (page 49)
  "lamost" corrected to "almost" (page 51)
  "barrow" corrected to "borrow" (page 53)
  "company" corrected to "Company" (page 54)
  "amutated" corrected to "amputated" (page 56)
  "agian" corrected to "again" (page 60)
  "company" corrected to "Company" (page 61)
  "waa" corrected to "was" (page 62)
  "Anteitam" corrected to "Antietam" (page 62)
  "opportuity" corrected to "opportunity" (page 63)
  "siezes" corrected to "seizes" (page 64)
  "acinto action" corrected to "action" (page 66)
  "bridage" corrected to "brigade" (page 66)
  "dispargement" corrected to "disparagement" (page 70)
  "Gettysbusg" corrected to "Gettysburg" (page 70)
  "Symth" corrected to "Smyth" (page 70)
  "heorically" corrected to "heroically" (page 71)
  "Boliver" corrected to "Bolivar" (page 73)
  "couln't" corrected to "couldn't" (page 73)
  "interruped" corrected to "interrupted" (page 74)
  "reconnoissance" corrected to "reconnaissance" (page 74)
  "Junuis" corrected to "Junius" (page 75)
  "calvary" corrected to "cavalry" (page 75)
  "poonton" corrected to "pontoon" (page 77)
  "striken" corrected to "stricken" (page 90)
  "chunck" corrected to "chunk" (page 93)
  "swaped" corrected to "swapped" (page 98)
  "resistence" corrected to "resistance" (page 99)
  "quiet" corrected to "quite" (page 100)
  "Anapolis" corrected to "Annapolis" (page 107)

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Personal Recollections of the War of 1861 - As Private, Sergeant and Lieutenant in the Sixty-First Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry" ***

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