Military Resource Center


The Otsego Republican.


The 152nd N. Y. Vols.

AURORA, Neb., Oct. 25, 1895.

  While reading an account of the joint reunion of the 121st N. Y. Vols. and the 152d N. Y. Vols. the thought struck me of giving an article to


  They followed us so closely, were recruited from the same counties, and so many in the one regiment were personally acquainted with members of the other that a tie existed between the two stronger than was customary.

  The first adjutant of the 121st N. Y. Vols., Alonzo Ferguson, remained at Camp Schuyler and organized the 152d regiment. He was first made Lieutenant Colonel and at an early date was made Colonel of the regiment.

  Captain Kidder of company I, 121st N, Y. Vols., had a brother named George in the 152d. A brave, true soldier, who had won his commission as a lieutenant, but was killed before muster in.

  Shanghai Foster, a tall recruit from East Worcester, will, no doubt, be remembered by the older residents of that village. His real name was Smith Foster, but from his long legs be received the nickname of , "Shanghai." He measured about six feet six inches, and was known as the infant in the 152d regiment.

  Stephen Holden, who practiced law in East Worcester for several years after the war, I think was a Captain in the 152d.

  Hiram Mereness, William L. Quail, Dave Sullivan, E. C. Voorhees, William Albert, A. 0. Phillips and Frank McCormack were also from the town of Worcester.


was made adjutant of the regiment, and I cannot pass his name without a short digression. He came from the 152d to the 121st N. Y. Vols. as a Captain in April, 1863. Although his company was "C" and mine was "I," his tent stood next to ours. How many comrades can remember how we were stationed in line? A, F, D, I, C, H, E, K, G, B. There was a reason for all this, but who can tell what the reason was? The senior captain had the post of honor on the right. The second captain the next responsible position, the left. The third in rank took the color company, the right center. Company D took the center of the right wing and so on, the senior officers taking the most vital points in the command. All this was at the organization of the regiment which was rarely changed, although the seniority of officers were different at an early date when battles were plenty.

  It took but one interview with Captain Campbell to learn that he was one of those men that


  An intellect of high grade, an education the best that wealth could give, in pedigree coming from one of the noblest families in Otsego County, he far surpassed in many respects any other officer we had in the regiment, not excepting our gallant Emory Upton. Col. Upton's education was strictly military, and in that line he was unexcelled by any. Captain Campbell's education was a liberal one on all lines, but with a specialty for none. When he left college a trip was taken to foreign lands and there, with German students, he oft would test in sharp encounter the relative merits of the American and German systems of education.

  Once upon a time came


  Homer, Virgil, many of the classics were rehearsed by Campbell, while the German students would meet him with verse in their own native tongue. About to retire from the contest the "Mother Goose Melodies" fortunately came to his mind, and before his store was exhausted, his foreign adversaries fled the field.

  He spent a fortune in foreign lands and upon his return the war was breaking forth. That prodigy in military drill and discipline from whom President Lincoln expected so much had been shot down in cold blood at Alexandria, Va.


were being organized to avenge his death on Southern soil, and the name of Cleaveland J. Campbell was among the first enrolled in that organization as a private. - Often has he told me of his first experience. Volunteers were called for one day and he was the first to respond, expecting an opportunity to distinguish himself in some deed of bravery. Judge of his surprise and disgust when he was handed a spade and given the work of digging the regimental sinks in rear of the company grounds. He did not volunteer the second time.


  But little time had elapsed after he became a Captain with us before a staff officer was wanted at division headquarters. A Judge Advocate to prosecute charges against all offenders who violated the rules and regulations that governed the armies of the United States, and also to advise the commanding General on points of law. The division was canvassed and Captain C. J. Campbell considered the most competent of those who were recommended. He was summoned to appear at the division headquarters. An introduction to the General commanding came next in order. Upon entering the tent of the commanding officer Captain Campbell noticed the sideboard which was well filled with all things needed to make life happy.


asked was this: "What is the first duty of a staff officer?"

  "To know how to mix a cocktail was the prompt reply."

    "Correct. You may consider yourself on duty at these headquarters at once."

  He filled the position assigned him well until the call came for officers for the colored service. He went before Gen. Casey's examining board and the members found one who in all things except the art of war knew more than did the examiners. Gen. Casey himself said: "This officer must take command of the 23d U. S. C. T.," which was then being organized at Camp Casey near Washington. This regiment was the pride of Gen. Casey, and Captain Campbell was his ideal of a commanding officer.

  The 23d U. S. C. Troops was brought up to a high state of discipline, and Col. Cleaveland J. Campbell was proud of the position he had gained. He had a high regard for his lineage, and could he but win a star he would die happy. His brother, Douglass Campbell, had raised two companies for the 121st N. Y. Vols., but became dissatisfied and resigned, it was sad because he was not made a Major in the regiment.


to win glory on the battlefield, and Cleaveland J. had both.


at the battle of the Mine. A shell exploded near him after the charge was ordered. Not injured by the shell, the concussion alone proved fatal. His comrades mourned for his untimely death. - His fellow townsmen have erected a beautiful monument in commemoration of the soldier on the public square at Cherry Valley, New York. In 1869 the writer gave a last lingering farewell to the shaft that records his death. Among the comrades who died during the great rebellion none has a dearer remembrance with me than that of Gen. Cleaveland J. Campbell, once adjutant of the 152d N. Y. Vols.


The Otsego Republican.


The 152nd N. Y. Vols.

AURORA, Neb., Nov. 15, 1895.

  This regiment left Camp Schuyler Oct. 21st, 1862, reached Washington, Oct. 29th, crossed chain bridge and pitched tents at Camp Marcy, on the Virginia side of the Potomac River. For about three months they enjoyed the life of the soldier without being in danger. Some hard work building breastworks taught them lessons of value for the future, when the spade was of much worth in making ramparts to protect the command from rebel bullets. Cassey's tactics, of course, were studied by the officers, and the men were taught the manual of arms as well as company and battalion drill. Lots of fun was also had in the way of evening gatherings where singing, dancing and story telling made happiness reign supreme. Sanford Babcock was mail carrier, and his return from headquarters was always received with joy. The same as with the 121st, home sickness prevailed during the first months of army life.

  The greatest scare experienced was when the rebels captured Dumfries toward the last of December. Not a member of the regiment who was present will ever forget that cold wintry night when the long roll sounded and all were quickly under arms.

  In February, 1863, the regiment recrossed the Potomac and headquarters were established at Carroll Hill, while the regiment was on duty as hospital guard and at the central guard house. This duty was not as pleasant as when at Camp Marcy. Several of the command had the measles while here. The rain and snow also assisted in making the sojourn unpleasant. But all this was heaven by the side of what came at a later date.

  In April the regiment was sent by steamer to Suffolk, Va., and here they received the first idea of what war really was. Gen. Longstreet was beseiging the city. The weather was rainy, the soil sandy, and underlying the surface was a brackish water not fit to drink. Malarial fever came and the hospital was soon filled. Under arms night and day, an occasional skirmish but no heavy battles made the time pass very interesting, but not particularly enlarging to the death list, as but few were killed.

  In May the regiment was detailed to tear up the track of the Norfolk and Petersburg R. R., twenty miles of which was turned bottom side up in grand shape.

  The campaigning on the Blackwater will always be remembered by the 152d N. Y. Vols. Fevers and diarrhea kept the sick list tip to the maximum, and all were pleased when on June the 19th the regiment went to Norfolk and thence by steamer to Yorktown.

  The grand success of the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg in July made everybody happy, but the New York riots called the 152d regiment to that city in place of to the front, where all desired to go. About the middle of July the regiment reached the metropolis, where Gov. Seymour's "friends" were making things a little lively for good square Union people.


had been burned. The New York Tribune building had been partially destroyed and only saved from utter destruction by heroic fighting of a detachment of police who knew their duty and dared perform it.


of the 155th New York Vols. had been detached from his command and was trampled to death by the devilish mob. A battery of Napoleon guns had been trained on the rioters about the time the 152d regiment marched up Broadway to Mulberry Street. This had convinced the mob that the troops, now steadily arriving, meant business, and warlike demonstrations were less frequent.


are an important element where troops are in camp, and here was the poorest show for grub that the regiment ever had. Col. Ferguson kicked up a little racket and as a result better rations were afterward obtained.

  Gov. Seymour also had some "friends" in Schenectady who desired that the draft should be conducted in strict conformity to the Constitution, and


  In August the 152d went up for a few days, having a picnic all the time and no particular danger. Now, comrades of the 152d, tell the truth; wasn't that just a jolly good time? Thence back to New York City and camping in the midst of the "plug uglies" of the old sixth ward, while the second attempt to enforce the draft was made the season of pleasure was continued. The regiment now had the


and attended the places of amusement whenever inclined, and the same jolly good times were known as while up at Schenectady. But


while here. New York City is the centre of all kinds of speculation and cussedness. To-day Wall Street is working the United States Treasury. Then, the speculators were tampering with the United States soldier. The County of New York paid three hundred dollars for a volunteer. If a broker could get one for a hundred dollars there was two hundred dollars profit. And if he could be helped to desert and re-enlist under another name, two hundred dollars more could be realized.


perhaps lost a few by desertion who doubled up on the bounty deal. But, as a general thing, the men of the regiment were true to the flag they had sworn to support.

  The regiment in September moved to Castle Garden, and were detailed for duty all over the city and also in the City of Brooklyn. This was not very hard duty and, in fact, discounted the battlefields of 1864 at least a hundred per cent, In October a


and the regiment was ordered to pack up and


which was done in short order.

The middle of October found the regiment once more in Old Virginia ready for business. Their comrades of the 121st N. Y. Vols. had already been baptized in blood at Salem Church and passed over the battlefields of Crampton Gap, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg. Now the 152d were to take their place in the grand old army that had always met the


of the great rebellion.

  The regiment was assigned, to the 1st brigade, 2d division of the 2d corps &endash;"Hancock's corps, the General who, in my opinion, stands next to Sheridan in the list of heroes of the civil war. Hard, hard work was now before them, and, although the death list did not reach the figures of the 121st, the regiment saw many a hardfought battle before their muster out.

  The last of October the men saw the first deserter shot and also a teamster drummed out of camp for selling whiskey to the soldiers. This was a very good introduction to the discipline at the front, and the boys of the 152d learned some valuable lessons. In the November campaign when the "Onesters"


at Rappahannock Station, the 152d Vols. had no fighting to do, the 2d corps not being engaged.

  On the Mine Run campaign of November 30th no fighting was done, but much privation was endured, as the cold was severe, which makes an active campaign decidedly unpleasant. This was a campaign when Gen. Warren showed his greatest failing, viz:


  Had Phil. Sheridan been in command of the 2d corps Nov. 30th, 1863, Mine Run would have been a battlefield long to have been remembered, and the 152d N. Y. Vols. would have had a much larger death loss at the final wind up of the rebellion. Well do the "Onesters" remember that day, as we lay in a piece of woods on the extreme right awaiting the signal of Warren's guns. Uncle John Sedgewick, with twenty thousand men, were ready to make things awful warm for all that were in his front whenever the signal gun was fired. The old 2d brigade of the 6th corps, that I have said so much about, was in the front line, and the 121st N. Y. Vols. had the right, the post of honor.


the commander of the 2d corps, was absent, from a wound received at Gettysburg, and Warren was temporarily in command of the left wing of the army on that occasion. Well, we had no fight, and the army fell back to our old camping grounds, the 152d locating their quarters in a grand old oak forest, about five miles from the Rapidan River.

  The winter of 1863-4 was rather pleasant for the whole army.


furnished literature, many extras in the way of clothing and rations were received in boxes from home, entertainments were gotten up by the members of each regiment, brigade drills and also company and regimental exercises were regularly observed, and although the happiness was not unalloyed, the days were those of pleasantness. Spring came, and the army was reorganized in March.

  The 152d N. Y. Vols. Were brigaded with the 69th, 71st and 72d Pennsylvania regiments. This was the old Philadelphia brigade that had met Pickett's Virginians in a hand-to-hand conflict at Gettysburg. If a fight was entered into now it meant business. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock returned and assumed command of the corps; this also gave assurance of bloody battles if the occasion ever offered.


and Lieut. Col. Thompson had been promoted to that rank. Many other of the original officers had either died or resigned, and the regiment had undergone a thorough weeding, preparing them well for the bloody campaigns that were soon to come.


The Otsego Republican.


The 152nd N. Y. Vols.

AURORA, Neb., Jan 9, 1896.

  There were many desperate charges in front of Petersburg, but this was the first one.

  When Gen. Grant was ready to cross the James River from Cold Harbor, he ordered Gen. Butler, who, with the Army of the James, was intrenched near Bermuda Hundred, to advance on the earthworks in front of Petersburg. These works were then held by the local militia, composed of old men and young boys. Had it been Gen. Sheridan in place of Butler the city would have been captured within twenty-four hours after the order was received. - Among all the commanders in the Union army. Sheridan best appreciated the value of "pushing things." Rapid movements and hard blows characterized his every campaign. Butler was too slow, and when the Army of the Potomac arrived they found the breastworks filled with the same veteran troops that they had been fighting in the Wilderness, at Spotsylvania and at Cold Harbor. But the old second corps had to


all the same, and the 1st brigade of Gibbon's division was strictly in it. It has been said that the 18th of June saw more Union soldiers killed on the smallest piece of ground than any day of the war. I saw the field afterward when six hundred bodies were counted so near together that it looked as if they had been carried there for burial.

  All night long and the next day ambulances were hard at work carrying the severely wounded to City Point from whence they were sent by boat to northern hospitals. Having no success in front, the next move was in another direction, and the second and sixth corps with Wilson and Katz's cavalry went for


  The cavalry struck the road and did considerable damage, but the infantry, after striking the railroad, struck a rebel corps under A. P. Hill, and the 152d Vols. had the pleasure of meeting Mahone's brigade of Virginians, the same that the colored troops met a few weeks later at the battle of the Mine. I think this was the worst day the regiment ever saw on the battlefield. The skirmish line under Captain Hensler was captured, and when the rebel line reached the regiment things got awfully mixed. The firing was so rapid and the confusion so great that every man used his own judgment, some going in one direction and some in another. Captain Burt, who was in command, reached the plank road with the flag and rallied the remnant of the regiment in as good shape as could be expected under the circumstances. Much better than did several other regiments which were totally broken up and captured with their colors. The Confederates captured about twenty-five hundred of the 2d corps and several hundred more from the 6th corps in this engagement. The 152d lost forty-nine men and four officers. Captain Hensler, Captain Gilbert and Lieutenant Campbell were taken prisoners. The regiment for the next three weeks was kept steadily at work night and day building breastworks, cutting down timber, making abattis and clearing out roads. I say "night and day," but don't mean, by this that each man was continually on duty. In the army everything goes by details. The men are divided into squads or companies and then when one works the other squad rests. - Perhaps three squads working two hours on and four hours off was the favorite method. This is the way it was with the guards and pickets as a general thing, but I have seen half the men under arms all the time night after night when in dangerous proximity to an enemy. Although there was


while thus employed, most of the boys would have preferred the front line, and time passed slowly for want of an enemy to face.

  Sometimes a few fish could be caught from the Blackwater River, the head waters of which were in this vicinity. Although there were many swamps, sickness did not prevail, as while the regiment was in the lowlands near Suffolk the year before. Neither drills, parades or reviews cut much of a figure at this time, but on the fourth of July, Captain Burt, who was yet in command of the regiment, ordered a dress parade to see in what condition the troops were. But very few white gloves were seen and perhaps some of the shoes were not in the best condition for such an occasion, and more than all the rest,


could be found. It is said that Capt. Burt, who, I imagine, was an officer to be relied upon, on discovering the situation, in a very nice little address, by verbal order made each one present a member of the color guard, and gave them strict injunctions to look well to the standards he gave to their safe keeping. The 152d N. Y. Vols. had seen mighty rough usage and had less fighting strength in those days than the 121st N. Y. Vols. ever had.

  The teachings of Col. Upton always bore fruit with the "Onesters." If there had only been a platoon left under the command of a corporal, they would have been given the right of the front line when the next charge was ordered. They lost but few prisoners; the death roll is what decimated their ranks. This is the reason why the 152d, although a good regiment, never could be classed with the three hundred fighting regiments. The number


did not reach the standard required.


was the least number that the regiments called the "fighting regiments" counted when the war was ended, while the greatest loss was two hundred and ninety-five. The 121st could count two hundred and twenty six on this list, while the 152d only numbered sixty-nine. More were taken prisoners in the 152d than in the 121st, and perhaps more recovered from their wounds. But the last of June the 2d corps was badly used up. Companies had dwindled to platoons, regiments were weak and brigades were often in command of majors. A grand consolidation was made and when completed the 1st and 2d brigades were only one with Gen. Webb as brigade commander. Gen. Owen had been lost in the shuffle in the neighborhood of Cold Harbor, but no one knew why.

  This generation does not realize what was passed through in those days. Just think of it,


of the best specimens of physical manhood of the Northern States stricken from the field of active duty in sixty days. Rough, wasn't it? and yet to-day every pensioner for disabilities received in such times as that is considered a fraud unless he can prove himself an honest man. Thanks to a Democratic administration.


The Otsego Republican.


The 51st New York Volunteers.

AURORA, Neb., Jan. 31, 1896.

  Having taken the 121st and 152d N. Y. Vols. as well as the old 2d brigade, 1st division, 6th corps, to a safe point for future reference, this article will refer to the "Shepard Rifles," one of the best regiments that was mustered into the U. S. service during the great rebellion.

  A conversation with a very intelligent lady from Wilmington, North Carolina, who knew the whole State as well as does the writer of these articles, brought from memory's depths the material that is now given as a reminiscence.


was the topic that brought to mind the death of Lieut. George D. Allen, who was killed near that point in the expedition of Burnside in 1862. He was a brother of Chester G. Allen, well known to the citizens of Cooperstown as a man far above the average in musical talent and in all things that pertain to a liberal education.

  In the summer of 1861 a


was held in the little village of Westford, in Otsego County. Some young men residing on the hills of the adjacent town of Worcester, from idle curiosity attended this meeting. Among the speakers was the Lieut. Allen who met his fate as is mentioned above. His words were full of patriotic devotion to our country and ended by pledging his life to maintain the integrity of the Union. In one short year his pledge was redeemed and his life's blood was spilled on southern soil. Another lieutenant in the 51st N. Y. Vols. Was


of Worcester, who afterward became a surgeon in the regiment. He was a brother of Doctor George Leonard of East Worcester, who was one of the principal physicians in that part of the country for many years preceding the war. Another connecting link between the writer and the 51st N. Y. Vols. was their first colonel,


of New York City, the first division commander of the colored troops in the Army of the Potomac, and through whose recommendation Col. Delevan Bates was made a Brevet Brigadier General of Volunteers. - And still another link was there connecting the writer with this regiment. The


the shield with cannon and anchor crossed thereon, is as precious to me as to the regiment that proudly won the emblem in the desperate charge across the stone bridge at Antietam, a deed of valor unsurpassed by the advance of Napoleon at the bridge of Lodl.

  In the early part of the war full regiments could not be raised in the country, and headquarters were opened in one of the large cities and recruits solicited from all over the State. Prominent young men with military aspirations would then open recruiting offices where they were well known, and when appearing at the head office with a fair number of followers generally received a commission as one of the company officers.

  The headquarters of the 51st regiment was in New York City, while the surrounding counties extending as far as Otsego furnished a goodly number of the rank and file.


of Governor Morgan's staff, presented the regiment with an elegant banner, and for this reason the command sometimes went by the name of "Shepard's Rifles."

  The regiment was mustered into the service in October, 1861, and their first battle was Roanoke Island in February, 1862. The expedition from Annapolis to the North Carolina coast was a rough one, especially as the vessels rounded Cape Hatteras. This is a dangerous point even in fair weather, but in a storm which this expedition was unfortunate enough to encounter, the consequences were dreadful, and the loss more severe than in the battle that followed for the possession of Roanoke Island. The troops landed easily enough, but the advance to where the rebel fortifications were was a great deal more complicated than was the advance of Grant's army in the Wilderness, for, in addition to the dense thicket and underbrush, it was low, swampy ground, which is decidedly unpleasant to traverse with an enemy in front. But the enemy's works were carried in good shape and the


Captain Wright planting the first Union flag on the rebel ramparts.

  My regiment was stationed on this island for several months in 1865, assisting in the work of reconstruction, and this battle ground I presume is more familiar to me than to those who participated in the engagement of February 8th, 1862. - And for the benefit of school children I will say that the outlines of the fort built by the expedition sent over from England under Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587, were shown me by an old settler. Large trees had grown up within the outlines, which could be distinctly traced. The only question with me was whether these landmarks were not of some other event, but he insisted that they were genuine relics of the first settlement of the country.

  Well, from Roanoke Island the Burnside expedition went to Newberne, where they had a very severe engagement, and the 5lst New York lost more men than any other regiment that took part in the fight. It was here that Lieut. George D. Allen gave up his life. In the felled timber on the left of the railroad track several miles south of the city of Newberne is where this event occurred.

  This brief notice of Lieut. Allen's death will no doubt be read by many of the older inhabitants of Westford, Worcester, Decatur, Middlefield, Maryland, Cherry Valley and Cooperstown who will say: "Geo. D. Allen? Yes, we remember him well as one of Otsego's brightest young men. Too bad, too bad that his young life should have been thus wiped out." And yet to the survivors of that awful war, his comrades, scarcely a thought is given, although many of them are now in need of the necessities of life, their condition developing from the opportunities for advancement in financial and business relations having been thrown aside that their country might be saved in her deadly peril.

  The next heavy battle of this regiment was


in October, 1862, where, with the 51st Pennsylvania, they carried the stone bridge across the Antietam Creek, 87 of their number being struck with rebel lead. That was an occasion never to be forgotten by those who were engaged in the desperate conflict. The "Onesters," although not actively engaged in this battle, helped bury the dead, and know well the horrors of that bloody field.


  Gen. Burnside, the old 9tb corps commander, now in command of the Army of the Potomac, ordered an assault on Mary's Heights and his favorite division took the lead. Shepard's Rifles lost six color bearers and eighty men. How was that for business? Dr. Wm. H. Leonard was surgeon of the regiment at that time. Such results could only have come through the fiercest of combats long maintained. The doctor can write with force and elegance, and nothing would be of more interest to me than a description of this battle from his pen.

  After Fredericksburg, the 9th corps, to which the 51st Now York always belonged, went West. Of their experience at Knoxville and Vicksburg I know but little. But I do know that when they returned to the Army of the Potomac in May, 1864, the colored division, under command of Gen. Ferrero, the original Colonel of the 51st N. Y. Vols., was made a part of the 9th corps and shared their destinies for almost a year.


the 5lst took an active part. In the Wilderness was left 79 comrades, at Spotsylvania 43, at Bethesda Church 17, at the Battle of the Mine 33, siege of Petersburg 98. All this meant good officers and brave men. But in the grand summing by the bloody standard of those


the 51st N. Y. Vols., although they served a year longer than the 121st N. Y. Vols., the graves of those killed in battle do not count as many. The "Onesters" number 226 killed or mortally wounded, while the 51st call only count 202, although their records showing 107 dying of disease and accident, and 69 dying in Confederate prisons would make the total death rate far in excess of ours during their term of service.

  This standard of rating regiments by the number killed or mortally wounded on the battlefield, is, I will admit, an arbitrary and perhaps a harsh one, but no one can deny that where the most killed were found was where the bullets flew the thickest and where the combat raged the fiercest.


The Otsego Republican.


AURORA, Neb., March 10, 1896.


  Since my last article, our daughter, Daisy Bates, aged sixteen, has passed through a severe sickness, and as the disease was typhoid fever in dangerous form, the treatment is mentioned as the information given may be of value to others.


was practiced on the invalid. Tablets every half hour were given during the day and capsules every hour during the night, each tablet and capsule being followed by a copious draugbt of milk. The fifteenth day the fever was broken, but medicine was given and great care taken in diet for three weeks longer.

  The ingredients in the tablets were podophyllum, calomel, guiacil carbonate, menthol and sucalyptol. The capsules were the same, omitting the podophyllum and the calomel. The results of the treatment met the highest expectations of the attending physician.

  The disease itself brought to mind


in October, 1863. Do comrades of the 121st New York Vols. remember the condition of the regiment when Colonel Upton assumed command on the 23d of that month? The sick list was extremely large, and why should it not be?

  Take a thousand men always accustomed to the comforts of a good home and give them a blanket each and a shelter tent and tell them to look out for themselves. It took time to learn the hygiene of the camp, and bowel complaints, rheumatism, lung ailments and fevers did good work among our regiment at an early date. The typhoid fever struck me, and now in my daughter's illness I could live over every symptom that was mine to undergo at that time.

  When Col. Upton came to the tent in which I lay, he gave me a friendly word of greeting, to which no reply was made - all I wanted was the privilege of not being annoyed. "Just let me alone; I want nothing only quiet and rest." He turned to the surgeon who was with him. "Take this lieutenant to the hospital at once; it is a severe attack of fever," were the instructions given. With others I was taken to the division hospital and in a few days when the army crossed the Potomac River we were sent to Hagerstown. And here I first became acquainted with the


  The bloody battle of Antietam had been fought near by in the September previous, and tens of thousands of wounded, both Union and rebel soldiers, were placed in every available place for treatment as rapidly as the same could be given. Maryland was divided, and the ladies were ready, some to care for the Southern Soldiers, while others were eagerly paying attention to those who were followers of the stars and stripes.

  And behold, it came to pass that on the second morning after the invalids from the sixth corps were placed in a large academy near the city of Hagerstown, a detail of Union women, practical workers in the original Woman's Relief Corps came to our relief.


were found in a small sleeping room, with no care, no medicines, in fact, nothing to give them assurance that their next removal would not be to the dead house on the other side of the grounds. Two ladies came to our door with a basket containing refreshments which, however, we were not in condition to partake of in quantities however small. A hurried consultation was held, and the ladies departed only to return a half hour later with an ambulance to which the two lieutenants were taken and then driven speedily to the home of Mrs. Maxwell where a couple of beds in her parlor received the disease-stricken soldiers, and the family physician was soon prescribing suitable medicines for the sufferers. It was


but it did its work well, and in four weeks I rejoined my regiment near White Oak Church in Virginia.

  The W. R. C. mentioned here was not the Relief Corps of to-day, neither was it the forerunner of this noble organization, although it was in deed and in truth a band of noble, patriotic women.

  "The Woman's Central Association of Relief," organized at an early date in war times in the city of New York, was the beginning of woman's work on a national basis. This organization took the responsibility of forwarding supplies to the armies in the field and to hospitals as the same came from societies and State organizations through the North. It was gradually merged into the


whose agents were seen on every battlefield of any magnitude and in every hospital during the last years of the war.

  The Christian Commission was also assisted materially by this work of Northern women, and many a time has old Father Adams distributed literature to every member of the old regiment, received from the organization above mentioned.

  At the close of the war thousands and tens of thousands of disabled veterans unable to provide the necessities of life by manual labor were seen in all the Northern States. The Grand Army of the Republic was soon organized and assistance given to worthy comrades as far as the finances of the order would permit. And then came their glorious auxiliary,


But few know the magnitude of the work they have done. First as local organizations, second as State organizations and later as a National organization; in numbers they have only been excelled by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, while in character, importance and amount of work done as expressed in dollars and cents, they proudly lead the column.

  The following statistics as given at the Louisville Convention, Sept. 12th; 1895, show the work of that year alone:

Number of members .................................................


Number of disabled veterans assisted during the year ...........


Moneys expended in individual relief ..............................

$64,969 29

Moneys turned over to Post of the G.A.R. during the year .....

$31,167 20

Relief other than moneys ............................................

$69,789 00

Army nurses and W. R. C. Home ..................................

$ 7,400 00

Memorial Day .........................................................

$13,803 00

To decorate graves in Southern cemeteries ........................

$668 20

Pension work and National Headquarters .........................

    $406 00

Total amount expended in year ending Sept , 1895 for relief ...

$188,386 00

   Total relief since National organization in 1883 ..............

$1,201,890 19

Will take up the 121st N, Y. Vols. in my next.


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© 1998-2003 by John G. Saint, Ted & Carole Miller