Thursday, July 21, 2016

Interactive panoramas: First Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861

Click here for my interactive battlefield panoramas from Antietam, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, Harris Farm, Manassas, Malvern Hill, Salem Church and Spotsylvania Courthouse and elsewhere.

Monument to  Stonewall Jackson at Bull Run. Read John Hennessy's take on his nickname.
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In late April, more than 50 other Civil War aficionados and I had the great fortune to tour the First Bull Run battlefield with two experts, John Hennessy of the National Park Service and my fellow Pittsburgher Harry Smeltzer. John's recently updated book on First Manassas (also known as Bull Run) and Harry's fabulous blog/digital history project are premier sources on the first major battle of the war, fought July 21, 1861, 155 years ago today. Here are five interactive panoramas I shot that day, a small slice of our nine-hour trek of the battlefield (click at upper right for full-screen experience): 

STONE BRIDGE LOOKING WEST

    Warrenton Turnpike crossed at Stone Bridge, which was destroyed during the war.
                                                           
"It was an appalling hour. The shot whistled and tore through trees and bones. The ground became literally paved with the fallen. Yet the remnant stood composed and unquailing, carefully loading, steadily aiming, unerringly firing, and then quietly looking to see the effect of their shots. Mere boys fought like veterans — unexcited, save with that stern "white heat," flameless exhilaration, that battle gives to brave spirits.

"After eight or ten rounds the regiment appeared annihilated. The order was reluctantly given to cease firing and retire. The stubborn fellows gave no heed. It was repeated. Still no obedience. The battle spirit was up. Again it was given. Three volleys had been fired after the first command. At length they retired, walking and fighting. Owing to the density of the growth, a part of the regiment were separated from the colors. The other part formed in an open field behind the thicket. The retreat continued over ground alternately wood and field. At every open spot they would reform, pour a volley into the pursuing enemy and again retire."

-- Confederate soldier on fighting near the Stone Bridge early on July 21

MATTHEWS HILL LOOKING TOWARD STONE HOUSE, HENRY HILL

        71st N.Y., 1st and 2nd Rhode Island soldiers were among troops that fought here.

"I cannot here relate all the scenes I saw, the horrible wounds inflicted, and all the incidents of this most shameful and unnecessary battle – for which the troops feel they were sacrificed by the stupidity of their generals. Suffice it to say our men fought bravely; and I can only account for the panic with which they were seized by the facts that the teamsters took fright and drove their wagons pell mell through them, and that many of the regiments had totally incompetent field and company officers – many of  whom acted cowardly – and the most of whom didn’t know what to do."


-- Colonel John Ellis, a volunteer in the 71st New York


HENRY HILL LOOKING TOWARD MATTHEWS HILL

                          Confederate troops under Jackson, artillery were positioned here.

"The contest that ensued was terrific. Jackson ordered me to go from battery to battery and see that the guns were properly aimed and the fuses cut the right length. This was the work of but a few minutes. On returning to the left of the line of guns, I stopped to ask General Jackson’s permission to rejoin my battery. The fight was just then hot enough to make him feel well. His eyes fairly blazed. He had a way of throwing up his left hand with the open palm toward the person he was addressing. And as he told me to go, he made this gesture. The air was full of flying missiles, and as he spoke he jerked down his hand, and I saw that blood was streaming from it. I exclaimed,  'General, you are wounded?' He replied, as he drew a handkerchief from his breast-pocket, and began to bind it up, 'Only a scratch — a mere scratch,' and galloped away along his line."

-- Confederate General John Imboden on fighting at Henry Hill


WHERE JACKSON'S WOUND WAS TREATED


                                             Site of major Confederate field hospital.

"On his way to the rear, the wound pained him so much that he stopped at the first hospital he came to, and the surgeon there proposed to cut the finger off; but while the Doctor looked for his instruments, and for a moment turned his back, the General silently mounted his horse, rode off, and soon afterwards found me. I was busily engaged with the wounded, but when I saw him coming, I left them, and asked him if he was seriously hurt. 'No,' he answered, 'not half as badly as many here, and I will wait.' And he forthwith sat down on the bank of a little stream near by, and positively declined any assistance until  'his turn came!' ”


-- Dr. Hunter McGuire on Stonewall Jackson's wound at First Battle of Bull Run


WHERE JEFFERSON DAVIS MET JACKSON AFTER BATTLE


                                                     Near Holkum's Branch of Bull Run.  

 "Give me ten thousand men and I shall take Washington City tomorrow.”

-- Stonewall Jackson to Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

The Rebels, however, were too disorganized to follow up on their great victory at Bull Run.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Amazing 2nd Rhode Island soldier photos and a Bull Run death

2nd Rhode Island Corporal Francis Ronien (left) stands with brothers 
James and John Newell, who were privates in the regiment, in a camp in Virginia.
 (Providence, R.I., Public Library)
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Just days before the first major battle of the Civil War, three soldiers in Company F of the 2nd Rhode Island posed outdoors for a photographer in the employ of Mathew Brady. In an image taken at the regiment's camp at Centreville, Va., Francis Ronien, the bayonet of the musket he held towering above him, stood next to brothers James and John Newell of Smithfield.

In a little more than a year, the lives of each of these young men would be dramatically altered.

At the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861, Corporal Ronien "was struck by a shell," according to another officer in the regiment, "which took off his leg between the knee & hip." He died a short time later, perhaps at a makeshift field hospital at Sudley Church or somewhere nearby.  "He was a promising soldier," a regimental history noted, "and fell with his captain bravely fighting." The 25-year-old machinist from Pawtucket left behind a wife named Mary and two sons, a 1-year-old named Francis and an infant, James Henry.

Wounded and captured at Bull Run, Private John Newell wouldn't be released from a Rebel prison until May 1862. For brother James, the war ended when he deserted at Harrison's Landing in Virginia on Aug. 8, 1862.

Two years ago, the fabulous image of Ronien and the Newell brothers surfaced when a librarian at the Providence (R.I.) Public Library discovered it in a plastic bin of donated items that included five other terrific, informal photographs of Company F soldiers.  Each of the images was taken by a Brady photographer at the regiment's Centreville camp.

"I came across a folder of photographs that piqued my interest," Kate Wells wrote on the library's blog. "Sometimes when you work in an archive you find a little trove and then you're down the rabbit hole, so to speak.  I just couldn't get the men in these images out of my head and so I decided to do some research."

Thankfully, the last names of many of the soldiers were recorded in blue ink under each image.  A note found with the images indicated the photos were taken on July 17-18, 1861, days before Bull Run.

Ronien is the only identified soldier in these images who died during the Civil War.

From left, George Wood, George Kidder and Theodore Jenks.
From left, Robert Robertson, Francis Osgood, Smith Salisbury, David Douglass. 
Others in background are unknown.
Image includes Robert Johnstone, Joseph or Lewis Barnes, William Worger,
 Peter Taylor, Samuel Newman and Albert L. Smith.
PHOTO 1: From left: Thomas Potter, John Manning, William Frazier and David Douglass.
PHOTO 2:  From left, Charles Godfrey, Benjamin Hughes and Jonathan Davidson.
Writing from a conscript camp in Connecticut, Captain William Sears of the 2nd Rhode Island
noted how Francis Ronien died at Bull Run. (fold3.com via National Archives)


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Soldier snapshot: POW at Spotsylvania, died at Andersonville

A close-up of a marker for Ferdinand Crossman in South Sutton Cemetery in Sutton, Mass.
Memorial marker for Crossman, who's actually buried in Andersonville National Cemetery.
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During a recent visit to a cemetery in Sutton, Mass., this marker, near several toppled and crumbling tombstones, caught my eye. "Erected to his memory by his wife. Addie," read the words near the bottom of the gray slab of slate. Only 30 years old, Ferdinand Crossman, a private in the Massachusetts Sharpshooters, died of "disease of the bowels" at the notorious prisoner-of-war camp at Andersonville and actually lies buried there in Plot No. 5150.

Perhaps unable to travel to Georgia to visit Ferdinand's grave, Addie and her children, Sarah and George, found solace by honoring his memory in the cemetery in Sutton. Here's Crossman's story from the History of Sutton, Massachusetts, published in 1878:
"Ferdinand J. F. Crossman, son of Martin L. and Experience, was brought up by his grandmother Crossman, on this place. He enlisted at Cambridge, Aug. 19, 1862, in Andrew's first company of sharp-shooters, and went into camp at Cambridge. He left camp for Washington Dec. 1st, where he remained but a short time.  
"He was in the first battle of Fredericksburg, Dec. 11, 1862. He was stationed at Falmouth during the winter, and was again in the battle of Fredericksburg June 11, 1863. During this battle a ball passed through his hat, and one of his fingers was shattered by a bullet. Lysander Martin, a young man of great promise, enlisted with him, and was at this time by his side. They occupied an advanced position behind some fallen trees, or stumps, and were firing through small apertures, and took turns in watching the firing of the enemy.  
"Ferdinand retreated just over a knoll to have his finger attended to, but soon returned to find his companion prostrated on the ground, having been wounded by a ball which entered his cheek, knocking out several teeth, and came out at the back of the neck. A general retreat was now ordered, and the wounded who were able marched off the field, and others were huddled into wagons and carried off, Martin among these, who died of his wound the nineteenth. At Gettysburg, Crossman was in the battle from July first to the fourth, and from this field was sent to Harper's Ferry.  
"He spent the winter in the hospital at Washington, D. C. , taking care of the sick and wounded. In the spring, May 3, 1864, he rejoined the army, and was in the battle of the Wilderness from the fifth to the seventh. At the battle of Spotsylvania Court House he was taken prisoner, carried to Columbia, from thence to Andersonville, where he died Aug. 8, 1864."
In 1866, Addie Crossman married a Civil War veteran named Frederick Burr, with whom she had another child. She died in Kansas in 1892

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

A freak accident claims a 20th New York private

Fold3.com via National Archives, Washington (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE.)
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Of the hundreds of thousands of Civil War deaths, the majority were caused by disease. For every three soldiers who died because of wounds caused by gunshot or other means in combat, it is estimated that five soldiers died from typhoid fever, dysentery, malaria or other illnesses. A small fraction of deaths came in freak circumstances -- train accidents, lightning strikes and even by falling tree limbs.

And then there's the case of George Rahlfs, a private in the 20th New York, a largely German regiment recruited primarily from New York City. On Nov. 22, 1861, the 25-year-old soldier was leaning against his musket at the funeral of a comrade when the weapon accidentally discharged, sending a bullet through his brain and killing him. In a document found in Rahlfs' "widow's" pension file, George's commanding officers noted the cause of death.

Married for less than a year, Rahlfs left behind a widow, Magdelene, and an infant son named Henry.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Desperation on Culp's Hill: A 60th New York private's story

George Grant, who was severely wounded at Gettysburg, and his wife, Antoinette. 
(Courtesy: Leon Burnap)
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It's always a pleasure to shine a light on Civil War soldiers whose stories have been pushed deep into the shadows of history. In his debut on my blog, Gettysburg licensed battlefield guide Britt Isenberg presents this account of  60th New York Private George Grant, whose world was dramatically changed on Culp's Hill on the night of July 2, 1863. Isenberg is honored to be what he calls the "temporary keeper" of  Grant's XII Corps badge, which is part of his Civil War collection.



By Britt Isenberg

Britt Isenberg
George Grant was born on June 28, 1841, in the small town of Norfolk, N.Y., about 10 miles south of the Canadian border. Like many other young men from his area of Upstate New York, he spent his early years learning how to farm along the Raquette River. When the Civil War began in 1861, Grant, whose occupation was listed as a laborer, did not rush to the recruiting office. But after the Union army's disastrous defeat at Bull Run in July 1861, it became clear the war was not going to be decided quickly or without high cost.

Citizens such as George Grant were needed for a higher calling.

On Sept. 11, 1861, Grant and about 40 other men from the Norfolk area traveled 10 miles west to Madrid, N.Y., to enlist to fight for the Union in Captain Orson M. Foote’s Company G, 60th New York Volunteer Infantry. Only 20, the blue-eyed Grant signed three years of his life away.  But how could he and his friends resist?  This was the chance for the adventure of a lifetime.

Company G initially went to Ogdensburg, where it rendezvoused with the other companies and began training at Camp Wheeler.  Also proudly known as the 1st Saint Lawrence Regiment, the 60th New York officially mustered into Federal service on Oct. 30, 1861. By November, George and his comrades were on their way to Washington, where they spent the rest of the year and the first months of 1862 on guard duty under the command of 60-year-old Colonel George Sears Greene. Although Greene was promoted to brigadier general in April 1862, the strong bond between him and the soldiers of the 60th New York had been cemented.

Under General Greene as their brigade commander, Grant and his comrades in the 60th New York joined Franz Sigel’s division in the Shenandoah Valley. They were present at the Battle of Cedar Mountain on Aug. 9, 1862, with Nathaniel Banks’ army but were not engaged.
George Sears Greene
After the Union army's defeat near Culpeper, Va., the 60th New York was sent in mid-August to Fauquier White Sulphur Springs, Va., (or White Sulphur Springs) to recuperate from the ravages of typhus that had swept through its ranks "like the plague," according to a regimental historian. In the early days of August, the 60th New York spent most of its time burying fallen comrades, mostly victims of disease -- the biggest killer of the war. In July and August, Private Grant’s service record showed he was among those "absent sick in hospital."

Interestingly, while the regiment recovered at the springs, photographer Timothy O’Sullivan’s team arrived and captured images of  60th New York soldiers. One photo shows the regiment’s officers while another shows enlisted men, including Private Grant, who appears at far left of the back row. In that haunting image, emaciated men show effects of the terrible wave of contagion.

The springs were considered by many to be a sort of paradise in the those awful days, but James Gale, the regimental surgeon, wrote on Aug. 17:
“The sickness in our regiment is on the increase, both in number of cases and severity.  It was ardently hoped that the rest and conveniences afforded at this place would have a beneficial effect on the spirits of the men, and perhaps tend to a more speedy recovery.  Thus far this anticipation has been disappointed…” 
Dozens of soldiers in the regiment died that August, but Grant was not one of them.

60th New York soldiers  in their camp near White Sulphur Springs, Va. (now West Virginia)
(Library of Congress collection)
An enlargement of the 60th New York camp image shows George Grant.
The recovery period for the 60th New York was cut short by military developments just to the east. General Pope’s Army of Virginia collided with Confederates for the second time near Manassas Junction.  Although the New Yorkers were near the field of battle, their sickly condition kept them out of the hail of bullets and artillery fire. Apparently recovered from typhoid, Grant was present for duty in September, according to his service records, just in time for the next test at Antietam.  On the morning of Sept. 17, the 60th New York advanced across the Hagerstown Pike and into the West Woods; Grant escaped unscathed but 22 other soldiers in the regiment were killed.

After Antietam, the regiment moved to Harpers Ferry before it rejoined the Army of the Potomac in December.  The 60th New York did not participate in the Yankees' disaster at Fredericksburg, spending the winter encamped along the Rappahannock River.  In January, Major General Joseph Hooker took command of the Army of the Potomac, implementing a number of new regulations that helped boost soldiers' morale, including creation of a corps symbol system.  Part of the XXII Corps, the 60th New York adopted the five-pointed star as its symbol. The early part of the year was spent in idle recuperation, but with warmer weather just ahead, the promise of more fighting ominously loomed.

George Grant's XII Corps badge. (Author's collection)
The next big test for the regiment was in May 1863 at Chancellorsville.  Fighting with the XII Corps, the 60th New York suffered 66 casualties.  Ill and away from camp convalescing, Grant missed the fight but apparently recovered fairly quickly, because he was back on the rolls in June.  It was probably during this convalescent period (or maybe even before) that Grant had a XII Corps badge stamped out of brass.  Whether he did this himself or someone did it for him is not known, but his company, regiment and name were inscribed on the front of the badge. Like so many other soldiers, Grant clearly was proud of his affiliation with the 60th New York and XII Corps.

In June, the regiment marched northward with the Army of the Potomac. On some days, forced marches were under a scorching sun, and it was no easy task just to make it to Littlestown, Pa., by June 30. The 60th New York continued its march along the Baltimore Pike on July 1, arriving at a hamlet called Two Taverns, only five miles from Gettysburg. Booming of artillery could be heard just up the road. Because of delays by their corps commander, Major General Henry Slocum, the New Yorkers did not arrive on the field until late in the day. That night they bivouacked on the north shoulder of Little Round Top, and early on the morning of July 2, the 60th New York moved to the right end of the Union line, taking a position on Culp's Hill at about 6 a.m.

Colonel Abel Godard, commanding the 60th New York, recalled the regiment took position “connecting with the right of the First Army Corps, where my command threw up intrenchments, by order of General Greene, in person commanding (the) Third Brigade.  The men of the regiment worked with a will until about 9 a.m., by that time completing the intrenchments, which commanded on the left and center of the regiment the brow of a precipitous hill, and on the right extending to low ground.”

While a detachment of seven officers and 170 soldiers under Lieutenant Colonel John Redington fanned out in front of the division line as skirmishers beyond Rock Creek. others in the regiment were given permission to rest behind the works. It is not known to which party Private Grant was a part. By 4 p.m., a severe cannonade rocked the ground as Confederate guns on Benner’s Hill attempted to destroy Federal positions on Cemetery Hill, provoking an incessant barrage in which Union artillery easily bettered their opponents.  At about 7 p.m., Redington’s skirmishers hurriedly raced up the hill and into the breastworks with the rest of the regiment.  More than 4,000 Confederates of Major General Edward Johnson’s division were moving toward Culp’s Hill. Nearly the entire XII Corps, with the exception of Greene’s 1,400 men (including the 60th New York), had been withdrawn to the other end of the line to halt the Confederate sledgehammer that was scattering parts of the Union left.

60th New York monument on Culp's Hill.
To the front of the New Yorkers, muzzle flashes exploded through the woods.  Colonel Godard ordered the men to return the fire and, from behind their breastworks, they delivered a withering fire that after only moments blunted the Confederates' advance.  "After the opening of the infantry fire, an order was received from Gen. Greene that I must hold the works under all circumstances,” Godard recalled. The slope immediately in front of their works was steep, certainly aiding their defense, and enemy troops moved slowly and could not push farther.

To the right of the 60th New York, the noise of battle continued to crescendo, and it kept pouring fire into darkness and the hidden foe somewhere out beyond its works below. Acrid smoke and the inky blackness made the situation dreadful for the soldiers on both sides.  Casualties suffered in the chaos of that nighttime attack were much lighter for the New Yorkers than for the Confederates attempting to attack up the slope.

In the bloody assault, Grant was one of those unlucky few soldiers in the 60th New York who suffered a severe wound. A bullet shattered his left elbow, making any further use of his arm impossible.  It is difficult to ascertain with any certainty what happened to Grant after he was wounded. If he were taken to the XII Corps field hospital, he would have ended up at the George Bushman Farm on the west side of Rock Creek. What is clear is that, according to his service record, his left arm was amputated above the elbow by a “flap operation.”  Many thoughts must have swirled through the 22-year-old soldier's mind.

How would he ever work the farm again? 

Would he ever be able to have a family of his own?

What purpose was there to life now?

George Grant's agony lasted for days.

A captured Texan described what he saw at the Bushman Farm:
“The surgeons, with sleeves rolled up and blood to the elbows, were continually employed in amputating limbs.  The red, human blood ran in streams from under the operating tables, and huge piles of arms and legs, withered and horrible to behold, were mute evidences of the fierceness of the strife… And then the dead are laid out in long rows, with their naked faces turned up to the sun, their cloths stiff with the dried blood, and their features retaining in death the agony and pain which they died with…”
Grant survived the ordeal and was transferred on July 22 to the first general hospital in United States military history, Camp Letterman along the York Road.  Assistant surgeon Henry A. May of the 145th New York reported on July 28 that Grant’s condition was good and “simple dressings” were applied. He also noted the patient “walks around the grounds” and his diet was “generous.” Grant’s condition continued to improve and on Sept. 14, May wrote that the stump had “cicatrized [healed by scarring] through its whole extent.”  Well enough to travel, Grant was transferred on Sept. 16 to Mower General Hospital in Philadelphia to continue his recovery.  He remained there until Dec. 3, 1863, when he was discharged after he was disqualified for service in the Invalid Corps because he only had one arm.

 .
In 1907, Grant (fourth from left, back row) attended the dedication in Gettysburg of a
monument to brigade commander George Greene, the hero of Culp's Hill. 
(Courtesy: Leon Burnap)

After he left the Union army, Grant returned to Norfolk, N.Y., but little is known about his post-war years. He married Antoinette M. Couch, fathering daughters Grace and Dora Eliza, both of whom he outlived. In 1907, George traveled to Gettysburg for the dedication of the portrait monument to his brigade commander, George Sears Greene.  As he and other comrades stood by the newly unveiled monument to their heroic commander, a number of prominent former Union officers stood with them, including notorious General Daniel Sickles. Also in attendance was General Alexander Webb, who noted during his speech the presence of the veterans who fought under Greene 44 years earlier:
“It seems to me as I look in the faces of the men who fought under General George S. Greene, that if the artist had asked where to obtain the inspiration to produce such a heroic representation of the grand old General I would have told him to study the character of the men Greene led.  You, by your continued, persistent and gallant exhibition of the highest and noblest characteristics of the Union soldier, made Culp’s Hill one of the main features of the battle of Gettysburg.”
For Grant, 65 years old and much less a physical specimen than he once was, the experience must have been surreal. The dramatic epicenter of his life’s journey was once again brought to life.  Even with the passage of time, those individual moments filled with adventure, struggle, pain, loss and hope were surely conjured in some form as he stood there with his comrades and their families on the ground where he was wounded in the summer of 1863.

On May 26, 1914, George Grant died, and the 72-year-old veteran was laid to rest with his daughters at Raymondville Cemetery in Saint Lawrence County, N.Y.  Eight simple words appear on his gray marker: "A Lover of Home, A Friend, A Patriot.” Thirteen years later, Antoinette died and was buried next to them.

George Grant's marker in Raymondville Cemetery in Saint Lawrence County, N.Y.
(Courtesy: Leon Burnap)

Friday, July 01, 2016

A death at Gettysburg: '... Covered up with a little dirt'

The 7th Wisconsin routed the Rebels in McPherson's Woods (background) before it was
forced to hastily retreat. (Library of  Congress)
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During the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, Private Silas Pease of the 7th Wisconsin was killed instantly by a gunshot through the head, probably during the regiment's attack in McPherson's Woods. Because the regiment was forced to hastily retreat, Pease's body was left on the field and his commanding officer was unsure if he had been buried by the enemy. "Probably he was covered up with a little dirt, as that is the way they generally bury our dead," Lieutenant William Gildersleeve wrote in a letter to Pease's friend or relative nearly a month after the battle.

While examining pension records on fold3.com today, 153 years to the day after Pease's death, I found Gildersleeve's letter about the 7th Wisconsin private, whom he described as "somewhat eccentric" but a "genial companion." If Silas Pease's remains were recovered, his final resting place may be in Gettysburg National Cemetery in an unknown grave.

(fold3.com via National Archives)


Camp of the 7th Regiment, Wis. Vol.
Washington Junction, Va.

G.F. Duren

Dear Sir:

Your favour of the 22nd inst. came to hand last night & I hasten to answer your inquiries. Silas Pease was killed about 4 o'clock PM on Wednesday, July 1st. He was shot in the head and died instantly. Soon after we were driven from the field and had to leave our dead & wounded in the hands of the enemy. His tent mate informs me he had between seventy & eighty dollars in his pocket, which the enemy got or was buried with him. I cannot vouch for his being buried. Probably he was covered up with a little dirt, as that is the way they generally bury our dead. I did not know that he was killed until after the battle. He was on the left & I on the right of the company.

I do not think that his body can be found or the place of his final rest. He has just 2 months pay due him for which he was mustered for & his friends will get it in due time through the proper channels, no other effects. He lost all with his brave & noble life. A patriot & a brave soldier, missed by his comrads in arms & friends at home. Although somewhat eccentric he was a genial companion. Give his friends ...


(fold3.com via National Archives)

... this testimony of our regrets of his untimely end. Many fell on that event full day and Silas was one that gave his life in putting down this rebellion. Peace to the memory of our noble boys.

If I can do anything further for you or Silas's friends it will afford me pleasure so to do.


Yours truly
W.H. Gildersleeve
2nd Lieut, Command'g Co. E
7th Regt. Wis. Vol

Sunday, June 26, 2016

How discovery of tiny ID badge led to story of Gettysburg hero

In 1986, relic hunter Richard Clem found this postage stamp-sized, silver 
identification badge for 44th New York  Sergeant Consider H. Willett.
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Longtime relic hunter Richard Clem of Hagerstown, Md., has discovered many amazing Civil War artifacts while scouring fields with his brother, Don, in Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. Here is the story of one of Clem's favorite finds:


By Richard Clem

Richard Clem
Countless acts of great courage during the Battle of Gettysburg never made the pages of history. However, a daring rescue of 97 enemy soldiers, led by Sergeant C. H. Willett of the 44th New York, has been recorded. In November 1986, 123 years after this heroic, life-saving deed, it was the author’s good fortune to discover with a metal detector Willett’s personal identification badge 40 miles south of Gettysburg. Hopefully, the following account will bring recognition to this gallant performance on Little Round Top by this Civil War soldier, now resting in Chicago’s beautiful Oak Woods Cemetery. (1)

The day after Thanksgiving, Nov.  28, 1986, dawned cold and cloudy as my brother Don and I continued our search with metal detectors in a large Civil War campsite near Lappans Crossroads, near Hagerstown, Md. Relics found the previous week were evidence regiments of the III and V Corps, Army of the Potomac, occupied this area in July 1863 during the Confederates' retreat from Gettysburg. During the Civil War, this intersection in Washington County (Md.) was known as Jones Crossroads. By noon, the fur lining of my army parka and hood were more than welcome as a northern wind increased. Perhaps because of the dampness of the ground, the detectors seemed to be working better than normal as pockets were filled with buttons, bullets, knapsack hooks and other Civil War-related artifacts. (2)

Late afternoon on the edge of the campsite, my trusty machine picked up a "positive" signal. From experience, I knew the sharp, clear sound indicated the object was close to the surface. To get a more accurate reading, the ground was leveled off with my insulated boot when a small piece of shiny metal appeared. Picking up the thin piece of metal about the size of a postage stamp, I noticed it was bent in the shape of a triangle. Because of its brightness, it first resembled a piece of folded aluminum, perhaps part of a soft drink can. Fortunately, as the mere junk was about to be discarded, the sun broke through the heavy cloud cover and I noticed something engraved on the inside of the folded metal: "Co. E.” And then it struck me: Could this be a Civil War identification badge?

Now it started to make sense why the small artifact buried for more than a century was still so bright; it was not aluminum as originally thought, but rather solid silver! During the War Between the States, there were no official army dog tags. Purchased by soldiers, these small keepsakes were more of a symbol of patriotism, but also proved invaluable in identifying a dead warrior or marking what would be just another unknown grave. (3)

Wearing an early-war Zouave jacket,
Consider Willett had this image
taken about the time of
his enlistment in October 1862.
(Image courtesy Elizabeth
"Dixie" Welch)
Immediately, I headed toward Don, who was searching just up the ridge, unfolding the thin silver as I walked. Taking full advantage of the evening sun coming over our shoulders, we could read the clear-cut inscription: "Sergt. C. H. Willett, Co. E, 44th Regt., N. Y. S. Vol.”

How did the ID tag get bent? Maybe the attachment hook on the back broke and Willett simply bent and tossed it away. Or it could have been damaged during battle. One thing to be grateful for -- the delicate silver didn’t snap or break when flattened. (4)

Who was Sergeant Willett? What was his full name? Did he survive the war? Where was he buried? Finding answers to these questions became an obsession resulting in  years of research. First, a trip to the library at the Visitors Center at the Gettysburg National Military Park produced a regimental history on the 44th New York Volunteers. Of course, there were some ideas what the "C" in Willett’s first name stood for – names such as Charles, Calvin, Carl or even Clayton surfaced. What a surprise when the regimental was opened and the one name never considered jumped from the page ... “Consider.” Like it or not, there it was in black and white – Sergeant Consider Heath Willett. The origin of that name remains a mystery. (5)



Consider Heath Willett was born Dec. 12, 1840, near Syracuse, Onondaga County, N.Y.  He was the only son of William and Tryphosa Jackson Willett, having dark hair and grey eyes. On Aug. 14, 1862, after graduating from Albany Normal School and with civil war exploding, he enlisted in Company E, 44th Regiment of  the New York Volunteers. (6)

Captain Consider Willett in image
taken on leave from army 
in late 1863 or 1864.
(Richard Clem collection)
The 44th New York was a unique outfit, having been organized to avenge the death of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, the Union’s first martyr. Ellsworth, greatly admired and respected in the North, was shot and killed in Alexandria, Va., after removing a Confederate flag from the roof of the Marshall House. On Oct. 21, 1861, 1,061 members of the 44th New York marched off to war. Following the Confederacy's surrender, only 184 veterans returned to the Empire State.

Unlike most Civil War regiments recruited from local communities and surrounding areas, members of this unit were handpicked by the state. These soldiers were required to meet certain standards: “Good moral character, 5 feet 8 inches in height and not exceeding 30-years-of-age.” The state armed the elite group with the finest military equipment available.

Early in the war, the 44th was issued blue-and-red Zouave uniforms. When the regiment left to join the Army of the Potomac, however, the Zouave uniforms were packed away in exchanged for the standard New York State shell jackets and frock coats. By the end of 1862, the state uniforms were in such ragged condition, the old Zouave threads were pulled from trunks and put back on. (7)

Enlisted as a 1st Sergeant, Willett caught up with his regiment camped in the field following the Battle of Antietam, just southwest of Sharpsburg, Md. At this time -- October 1862 -- the 44th New York was attached to the V Corps, Army of the Potomac, commanded by General George B. McClellan. In the coming winter and spring of 1863, the sergeant from Onondaga County would become well acquainted with warfare during bloody engagements at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. But the ultimate test of the man would come by mid-summer at a small crossroads town in Pennsylvania.

During the first three days of July 1863, the most famous battle of the Civil War was fought on a 25- square mile tract of land surrounding Gettysburg, Pa. The aftermath of the first day’s fighting north and west of town left a landscape covered with bloated forms of blue and gray; two vigilant, defiant armies were in position to continue the bloodletting struggle. (8)

Defended by a force of seasoned veterans, the Union Army of the Potomac’s extreme left flank rested on a rocky knoll called Little Round Top. This was Colonel Strong Vincent’s Brigade of the V Corps, combining regiments of the 20th Maine, 83rd Pennsylvania, 44th New York and 16th Michigan. Around 4:30 p.m. on July 2, only 10 minutes after Vincent had deployed his Federal troops, Confederate infantry of Major General John Bell Hood’s division – Law’s Brigade – launched a furious assault against Little Round Top’s steep, western face. The notorious Rebel yell filled hot, humid air as Southern forces, mostly Texas and Alabama troops, stormed the rugged heights. The boys in blue were mostly concealed behind a natural barrier of enormous boulders. In a matter of minutes, gray granite turned crimson red -- stained with the life-giving substance of the wounded, dead and dying. Vicious, brutal fighting for Little Round Top cost General Hood an arm; Colonel Vincent paid the ultimate price: his life. (9)

Monument (left) dedicated to 44th New York Infantry on Little Round Top. Willett helped
save the lives of 97 Confederates here on July 2, 1863.  (Richard Clem)
Union breastworks on Little Round Top. Big Round Top looms in the background.
(Timothy O'Sullivan/Library of Congress)
Another view of Union breastworks on Little Round Top. 44th New York soldiers helped defend
this area on July 2, 1863. (Alexander Gardner/Library of Congress)
Colonel William C. Oates, commanding the 15th Alabama, remembered his regiment taking extreme losses against the 20th Maine on the south slope of Little Round Top: “My dead and wounded were nearly as great in number as those still on duty. The blood stood in puddles in some places on the rocks; the ground was soaked with the blood of as brave men as ever fell on the red field of battle.” One Union soldier who fought during the bloodbath wrote years later, “I pray God that I may never witness such a scene again.” (10)

Positioned to the immediate right of Colonel Joshua Chamberlain’s 20th Maine were the 83rd Pennsylvania, 44th New York and the 16th Michigan, holding the right flank of the brigade. Scores of Confederates out of ammunition hugged the ground or crawled behind boulders to escape from being accidentally shot in the back by their own men. To prevent needless slaughter, a Federal officer requested volunteers to come forward and remove the battle-weary souls out of harm’s way. Under heavy musket fire, Sergeant Willett was the first to vault the breastworks and start down the hill on the dangerous mission of mercy.  Captain Alfred N. Husted of the 44th described the scene:
Grasping the situation some half-dozen men, led by First Sergeant Willett sprang forward and received the surrender of the ninety Texans who found themselves caught as in a trap. I know that the prisoners numbered at least ninety, for I counted them myself.”
 Another witness, Sergeant E. R. Goodrich of the 44th New York, wrote in his diary:
“Sergt. Willett found a large number of the enemy concealed behind the rocks and a depression in the field, lying prone upon the ground. They were taken by surprise at his appearance among them and he quickly had them in motion and conducted to the rear. From my standpoint I counted 97 prisoners.” (11)
The 97 captured Confederates were led around the large boulders, escorted up and over the summit to security of the east, or back side, of Little Round Top. In an article “Incidents at Gettysburg,” Willett wrote, “Our musketry firing left the dead piled so thick that it was almost impossible to walk over the ground without stepping on the Rebel dead.” Although Willett’s life-saving act was soon forgotten, it would be forever etched in the minds of 97 grateful members of General Hood’s Division. (12)

Captain Willett in an image from
History of the Forty-Fourth Regiment
New York Volunteer Infantry
.
Heavy rain soaked man and beast as the two embattled armies withdrew from the Gettysburg field of battle; one massive sea of humanity, covered with mud and blood, slowly drifted south through southern Pennsylvania and into Maryland. These days of misery and grief found the 44th New York camped near Jones Crossroads in Washington County, where the sergeant’s personalized badge would be discovered 123 years later.

On Aug. 8, 1863, about one month after losing his silver badge,  Consider H. Willett was promoted to captain in command of Company G, 2nd U.S. Colored Troops. During the Civil War, thousands of black soldiers, including former slaves, faithfully served to preserve the Union and liberate their Southern brothers and sisters. (13)

By mid-August, Captain Willett and the 2nd Colored Regiment received orders to report for duty in Florida. Official documents reveal his campaign with the Department of the Gulf continued to magnify an already outstanding military record. However, with sickness and disease producing more casualties than bullets, Captain Willett contracted yellow fever in the swamps of Key West and was admitted to an army hospital at Fort Taylor and placed on a disabled list.

Growing too weak for duty, he was honorably discharged Sept. 12, 1865. By this time, the war was over and so was the military career of Consider Willett. The veteran officer was transported to New York, where he slowly recuperated. In 1866, he was granted an army pension because of physical disability caused by the yellow fever. Knowing he could never perform manual labor, the retired captain studied law at Albany. He graduated from the University of Michigan and was admitted to the New York Bar in April 1866. (14)

On Nov.  5, 1867, Consider Heath Willett married Lois Adelaide Wilder of Ann Arbor, Mich. The newlyweds relocated to Chicago, a city with an exploding population and a great need for qualified lawyers. Here, Lois Willett gave birth to six daughters and two sons – making one wonder just how disabled the captain really was. For several years, Willett served as Cook County attorney and practiced law in Hyde Park, now called the South Side of Chicago. During the Great Chicago Fire, on Oct. 8, 1871, Willett’s law office and library were gutted; however, this man had been held to the fire before. He organized committees to help rebuild the Windy City. (15)



In March 1997, 11 years after finding the Willett ID badge, I received a phone call from Edward H. Lane Jr. of Bedford County, Va. Ed’s father founded the Lane Cedar Chest Co. in 1912. After reading one of my ads placed in a Civil War publication “. . . searching for any information on Consider H. Willett, 44th  N.Y.,” Mr. Lane’s mind drifted to a piece of dining room furniture he had purchased more than 40 years earlier. Pulling the solid cherry buffet from the wall, he was surprised to read marked on the back, “Manufactured by the Consider H. Willett Furniture Company – Louisville, Kentucky.” With Ed’s informative call and the use of a Louisville phone book, I was able to contact Elizabeth "Dixie" Willett Welch and Lois Willett Ross -- granddaughters of Captain Willett -- who lived in Louisville. Elizabeth Welch was the daughter of Consider H. Willett Jr. and Lois Ross (named after her grandmother) was the daughter of William R. Willett, the captain’s older son. (16)

Willett's simple gravestone in Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago.
(Photo: Richard Clem)
Elizabeth recalled going to Chicago as a young girl to visit her aunts. When her Yankee relatives (Captain Willett’s six daughters) discovered their niece came from Kentucky, they jokingly dubbed her "Dixie." The nickname stuck. The Lane connection to Willett’s granddaughters produced images and genealogy of the family that could never have been found in any other source (See notes).

The captain’s youngest son, Consider Willett Jr., left Chicago in 1907 to join forces with his older brother, William Willett, already living in Kentucky. There, the brothers went into partnership in the lumber business. Consider Jr. branched out on his own in 1934, opening the Willett Furniture Co. in Louisville. At peak of production, the company employed 230 workers while gaining national prominence as the largest manufacturer of solid maple and cherry furniture in the world. During World War II, the factory built bunk beds for the U.S. Army. Consider H. Willett Jr., the justly proud son of a Civil War veteran, died in Louisville in 1944 at 54. The company continued production for a period, but it was plagued with financial problems and closed its doors for good in 1964. (17)

Captain Consider H. Willett fought his last battle Oct. 12, 1912. He was 72. A simple, small stone marks the grave beside a beautiful lake in Chicago’s Oak Woods Cemetery. Lois Willett was placed at her husband’s side in Oak Woods in July 1936.



At the Battle of Fredericksburg on Dec. 13, 1862, Consider Willett described the action in a letter to one of his former professors in New York:
“Today I am on my knapsack for a seat, on the brick sidewalks on Main Street, Fredericksburg. The batteries are playing around us, and musketry occasionally throws in its voice to make the din of war complete. The boys of Company E crossed the Rappahannock on Saturday at 3 P.M. We were marched directly through town along or near the railroad.”
The correspondence from Fredericksburg ends revealing the cruel reality of war, but a trust and faith in a higher command:
“As we neared the outskirts of town, a destructive fire poured upon us. Many of the 44th fell wounded and our Color Sergeant was killed. We are having a terrible battle here, but have high hopes in the Ruler of all things that we will ultimately succeed. I remain as true and firm in battle as I hope to be in the battle of life. Yours truly, C. H. Willett.” (18)
Following the War Between the States, this hero of Little Round Top remained as true in life as in battle. And now, through the recovery of a small, silver badge lost more than 150 years ago in Maryland, Captain Willett can finally receive credit he so greatly deserves.


Click here for notes and sources for this story.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A father's loss at Antietam: 'The cloud never fully passed away'

Killed at Antietam, 18-year-old Orlando Bacheler was buried in South Sutton Cemetery
 in Sutton, Mass. His first name is misspelled "Olando" on his gravestone.
Decades after Orlando was killed at Antietam, Jonas and Mary Bacheler were buried next to
their son at South Sutton Cemetery.  
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This post is a snapshot of the short life of Private Orlando Bacheler of the 15th Massachusetts. Do you have information that could shed more light on his life, perhaps a newspaper account, letter or photographs? If so, please e-mail me at jbankstx@comcast.net.


Described as "one of the kindest of men," Jonas Bacheler  married late in life, fathering four children with his wife in Sutton, Mass., a small town known for its bountiful orchards.

When the Federal census-taker visited the Bacheler household on July 26, 1860, he listed Jonas as a 56-year-old farmer. The rest of the family consisted of  wife Mary, a 46-year-old daughter of a ship captain, and three children: Emma, 11; Harriet, 8; and Orlando, 16, whose occupation was listed as machinist. Tragedy rocked the Bachelers * in 1848, when toddler Emily died before her second birthday.

Orlando Bacheler, 18, was killed in the
West Woods at Antietam.
(Photo courtesy Susan Harnwell/

15th Massachusetts web site)
Like many young men from south-central Massachusetts, Orlando enlisted in the Union army in 1861, mustering into Company H of the 15th Massachusetts as private on July 12, 1861. Perhaps while the regiment trained in Camp Scott in Worcester, Mass., the Bachelers' eldest child plunked down a couple bucks to have a keepsake image taken as a memento for his parents or a sweetheart. Wearing a new uniform, the slightly-built soldier with the hint of a mustache posed for the image in front of a large U.S. flag backdrop, a superb, patriotic touch by the photographic artist.

A little more than a year later, the teenager was ripped from the Bachelers' lives when he was killed during the 15th Massachusetts' disastrous attack in the West Woods at Antietam. Of the 606 soldiers in the regiment engaged in the battle, 320 were killed or wounded and 24 were missing, a 57 percent loss. "...my company had 62 when we went into battle and when I ordered them back only 9 were left standing," Lieutenant Samuel Fletcher of Orlando's Company H recalled.

Jonas was so crushed by the death of his oldest child on Sept. 17, 1862, that he never fully recovered. "The father went south for the body and returned home with it," a family history noted. "After this he was not quite the same man as before. He was a man of very sympathetic nature and the cloud never fully passed away."

On Jan. 23, 1863, perhaps a little after Jonas returned home with the body of his son, the Southbridge (Mass.) Journal published a poem about Orlando's death. The author is unknown.

THE YOUNG SOLDIER HAS GONE
Composed on the Death of Orlando M. Batcheler *
A Member of the Mass. 15th Regiment who
Fell at the Battle of Antietam.

He has gone! the young soldier has gone to his rest,
Disturb not his last quit sleep;
Tread lightly where rests the cold turf o’er his breast,
Where fond hearts in Anguish oft weep.

Not long did he rest where the Southern pines wave,
Where flowers in rich beauty are dressed,
For near his home they have hallowed a grave,
And have laid his loved form down to rest.

No deep booming cannon can startle him there,
No battle scene fills him with gloom,
No bursting shell harm him as it goes through the air,
For he peacefully sleeps near his home.

Most nobly this soldier boy acted his part,
Not fearing to face the stern foe,
Where the danger grew thick he engaged hand and heart,
Not fearing his courage to show.

But alas when the din of the battle was o’er,
While the forms of the slain were yet warm,
Among those that fell, who fought brave to the last,
They found Orlando’s proud form.

And then, far away the sad message sped,
Til it reached those dear ones in his home,
And there the sad words were in faltering tones read,
Which enshrouded fond hearts in deep gloom.

A father’s proud joy, a mother’s deep love ,
Dear sisters affection so warm,
Were alike chilled at once, while their dear one above
Was freed from the battles fierce storm.

O, happy the thought, although low in the grave,
His loved form does in quiet repose,
Yet we trust his young spirit, our savior could save,
And redeem it from earths chilling woes.

Fond Parents, bereft of your dear only son,
May your hearts know the depth of God’s love;
And sister bereaved, when your life’s work is done,
May you meet your dear brother above.


In death, Jonas and Mary Bacheler were reunited with their son. They are buried next to Orlando and near a massive, old oak in South Sutton Cemetery in Sutton, Mass.

SOURCES

Pearce, Frederick Clifton, Batchelder, Batcheller Geneaology, Press of W.B. Conkey Co., Chicago, 1908

Poem about Bacheler's death accessed from the excellent 15th Massachusetts site by Susan Harnwell.

Samuel Fletcher quote from Chapin Ancestors and Descendants (online), maintained by Deanne Driscoll, via Walking The West Woods blog.

Other spellings of Bacheler appear elsewhere, including Batchelor and Batcheler. I chose the spelling that appears on the gravestones in South Sutton Cemetery.

A close-up of Bacheler's gravestone.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Brothers' lives tragically intersect at Battle of Fredericksburg

Historical markers note the Union army's crossing of Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg, Va,
      Upper Crossing: Union army engineers built pontoon bridges here on Dec. 11, 1862.
                   Another interactive panorama of Upper Crossing at Fredericksburg.

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This post is a snapshot of the lives of Samuel and Moses Little, brothers from New England who served in the Union army. Do you have information that could shed more light on their lives, perhaps a newspaper account, letter or photographs? If so, please e-mail me at jbankstx@comcast.net.


For Samuel Little, the youngest of the six brothers from Newbury, Mass., life was difficult almost from the start. His father was described as an inadequate provider, so the family was "wholly dependent for support upon the industry and energy of a most excellent mother." Poor Mrs. Little died when Samuel was only eight months old, leaving the brothers and presumably their father to rely on the "cold charity of the world."

Somehow, Little overcame those unfortunate circumstances.

When he was 10, Samuel went to live with, and work for, a farmer, and by the time he was 16, he had learned the house painting trade. When he was only 18, Samuel went into business for himself as a painter in Brookline, Mass., before he moved to Claremont, N.H. There, in 1849, he married a woman named Mary Gould and began a partnership in the house painting business with his older brother, Joseph, until the war broke out in 1861.

On Sept. 27, 1861, Samuel enlisted in the 5th New Hampshire as a private, accepting a meager $10 state bounty, and later was appointed sergeant in Company G. A month earlier, his 38-year-old brother Moses, a shoemaker from West Newbury, Mass., had joined the 19th Massachusetts as a private.

A little more than a year later, the brothers' lives would tragically intersect at a Virginia town that had a close connection to George Washington.

At Antietam on Sept. 17, 1862, Samuel, who had been promoted to lieutenant that August for "bravery and meritorious conduct" during the Seven Days' battles, suffered a severe thigh wound near Bloody Lane. Sent home on furlough to Claremont to recuperate, Samuel ignored orders from his doctor and began a trip south on Dec. 8 to re-join the "Fighting Fifth" near Fredericksburg, Va., where a long-expected battle loomed.

View of Upper Crossing, where Moses Little was killed while helping build a pontoon bridge.
Union engineers and soldiers under fire during the building of a pontoon bridge at
 Fredericksburg on Dec. 11, 1862.  It's unclear whether this sketch is of  the Upper Crossing. 
Visit the Mysteries & Conundrums blog for a detailed exploration.
(Alfred Waud/Library of Congress)
Hours before dawn on Dec. 11, 1862, Union engineers began the laborious and dangerous task of building a pontoon bridge across the 250-yard-wide Rappahannock River to facilitate the crossing for thousands of soldiers in the Army of the Potomac. (Pontoon bridges also were constructed downriver at the Middle Crossing and two miles southeast of Fredericksburg.) A thick fog hovered, temporarily obscuring the bridge-builders, and the temperature dipped into the 20s, Across the Rappahannock in Fredericksburg, Confederate soldiers from Florida and Mississippi kept a watchful eye.

Colonel Edward Cross (above)
 tried to talk Samuel Little out
of fighting at Fredericksburg,
according to one account.
"We remained undisturbed until the morning of December when we were ordered to the banks of the Rappahannock opposite Fredericksburg," a 19th Massachusetts soldier recalled. "Here we found a pontoon bridge partially laid, and the engineers doing their best to complete it. Our batteries were posted on the hills in rear of our line, and were vigorously shelling the city, but the rebel sharpshooters were posted in cellars and rifle pits on the other side and would pick off the engineers as fast as they showed themselves at work."

Among the casualties was Moses Little, a married father of two young children, who was shot and killed as he aided the bridge builders. Only a day earlier, his youngest child, Carrie, had turned 2.

It's unknown when the news of his brother's death reached Samuel, who, according to one account, arrived in Fredericksburg an hour before the massive battle began on Dec. 13, 1862. "...Colonel Edward E. Cross and other officers seeing the feeble state Lieut Little was in tried to dissuade him from going into the battle," a history of Claremont noted,  "but he persisted."

After 5th New Hampshire Captain Jacob W. Keller of Claremont was severely wounded during one of the futile charges on Marye's Heights beyond town, Little, still weak from his Antietam wound, took command of his company. In the bloody chaos, Samuel was shot in the left calf and shoulder -- one of 186 casualties among 249 in the regiment. "The Boys look down hearted enough, I tell you," a 5th New Hampshire soldier wrote to his mother in Claremont days after the battle. "I wish they would let us come home now there is so few of us. Lieut. [Samuel B.] Little was all cut up – hit in 3 places."

The bullet that struck Little in the shoulder could not be removed by surgeons, and he died on Christmas Eve at the Lacy House across the river in Falmouth, Va. **

Hundreds gathered in the Claremont town hall for a funeral service for Samuel, whose remains had been returned home, undoubtedly a great comfort to his wife, Mary. Shortly after the war began, that same hall was packed with enthusiastic supporters of the Union cause. "Claremont," a town historian later wrote, "was all on fire to do her share toward putting down the Rebellion."

 A  "most appropriate and impressive sermon" was given by Little's friend, Reverend Carlos Marston.  "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth," he preached, quoting from the 14th chapter and 13th verse of Revelations. "Yea saith the Spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them."

After the service, Samuel body was borne to a nearby Pleasant Street Cemetery and laid to rest. There is no known record whether Moses' remains were also buried in New England. His final resting place may be among the 12,770 unknown Union dead in Fredericksburg National Cemetery.

Lacy House, also known as Chatham Manor, where Lieutenant Samuel Little died on Dec. 24, 1862.
(Timothy O'Sullivan/Library of Congress collection)
** Some accounts note Samuel Little died on Dec. 23, 1862.

SOURCES:

Moses Little widow's pension records, National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D.C.

Samuel Little's widow's pension records, NARS

History of the Nineteenth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 1861-1865, The Salem Press Co., Salem, Mass., 1906

Waite, Otis F.R., History of the Town of Claremont, N.H., for a Period of One Hundred and Thirty Years, John B. Clarke Co., Manchester, N.H., 1895

Waite, Otis F.R., Claremont, War History, April, 1861 to April, 1865, McFarland & Jenls Printers, Concord, N.H., 1868


Do you know of other brothers who died in service of the Union or Confederacy during the Civil War? If so, email me at jbankstx@comcast.net.