THE ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-NINTH--THE THIRTY SECOND --THE ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY -THIRD -- THE SIXTY- FOURTH--THE EIGHTY-SIXTH--THE EIGHTY-NINTH--SIXTEENTH HEAVY ARTILLERY, ETC.
THE ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-NINTH REGIMENT
The Rebellion had dragged its slow length along until 1864, and although the Union arms had been successful in many engagements, and various important points had been secured , nevertheless the North met with many disastrous campaigns, and was still stinging with the disastrous results of the Bull Run battles, when it was decided buy President Lincoln to call a heavy force into the field, and to no longer remain upon the defensive, but wage an aggressive campaign.
It was at this time when the novelty of “ye military” had lost its charm, and soldier life meant, instead of reviews and dress parade, weary marches and the deadly battle-field with its attendant horrors., that the 179th was organized.
On the 8th of February, 1864, an order was given by Edwin M. Stanton, then Secretary of War, to Major William M. Gregg, of Elmira, authorizing him to raise a regiment for the service from the western part of the State. Ex-Governor Seymour, at that time governor of this State, indorsed the order, accompanied with the authority to Major Gregg to name the other officers of his regiment. Simultaneously with the order issued to Major Gregg, authority was given to Colonel Barney , of New York, to raise a regiment, which should be known as the 180th. He began recruiting, but succeeded in raising only one company, which was subsequently assigned to the 179th.
Gregg, having served as major in the “old 23d,” and being popular, energetic, and influential citizens, rapidly filled his regiment, and , May 10, four companies were mustered into the service, and sent too the front under the command of Lieutenant- Colonel Franklin B. Doty.
Two additional companies, with Major J. Barnett Sloan, were mustered and sent forward May 17, and joined the command under Lieutenant-Colonel Doty, then with the Ninth Army Corps at City Point. September 5, Gregg joined the command with four additional companies, whereupon the organization of the 179th was perfected, and he was mustered as colonel.
It is justly sue in this connection to state that Colonel Gregg gave his personal attention to the raising of the regiment, freely giving both time and money in organizing and perfecting it for the service.
The following were the field, staff, and line officers, as mustered in ,viz: Colonel, William M. Gregg; Lieutenant-Colonel, Franklin B. Doty; Major, J. Barnett Sloan; Adjutant, George Cook; Quartermaster, Nathaniel P.T. Finch; Surgeon, Joseph W. Robinson;* Assistant Surgeon, William C. Bailey; Chaplain Edwin A. Taft.
Company A.--Captain, Albert A. Terrill; First Lieutenant, George Cook; Second Lieutenant, James E. Farr
Company B.--Captain, Robert F. Stewart; First Lieutenant, George W. Cook; Second Lieutenant, James Booker
Company C.-- Captain , John Barton; First Lieutenant, John Prentiss; Second Lieutenant, Nathaniel P.T. Finch;
Company D.--Captain, William Bird Jr.; First Lieutenant, Baker L. Saxton; Second Lieutenant, Jeffrey Amherst Wisner
Company E.-- Captain, Daniel Blatchford; First Lieutenant, L.J. Ottend; Second Lieutenant, John Hoy
Company F.-- Captain, Albert T. Farwell; First Lieutenant, D.A. Bradley; Second Lieutenant, Giles H. Holden
Company G.-- Captain, James H. Day; First Lieutenant, William J. Hemstreet; Second Lieutenant, Henry J. Messing
Company H.-- Captain, Giles H. Holden; First Lieutenant, Fitz E. Culver; Second Lieutenant, S. G. Musgrave
Company I.-- Captain, E. C. Bowen; First Lieutenant, Davis C. Marshall; Second Lieutenant, Wm. B. Kinney
Company K.-- Captain, Moses B. Van Benschoten; First Lieutenant, Robert Hooper; Second Lieutenant, William C. Foster
*Dr. Joseph w. Robinson, of Hornellsville, N.Y., was commissioned as assistant surgeon of the 82d Regiment of New York Volunteers March 1, 1862. March 10 he joined the regiment at Winchester, Va., and served with it until September1, when he was promoted to be surgeon of the 141st New York Volunteer Regiment. He served until December, 1863( when he resigned on account of the serious illness of his father ), and during that time held the positions of brigade and division surgeon in Cowdin’s brigade and in Gordon’s division. He was commissioned as surgeon of the 179th Regiment in May, 1864, and served with that command until its final muster-out in 1865.During his service with the 82d he was taken prisoner, on the battlefield at White Oak Swamp, in June, 1862. He was also honorably mentioned in the official dispatches of Generals Gorman and Seigwick, for field service at the battle of Fair Oaks.
A battalion of the 179th , Lieutenant-Colonel Doty in command, entered the field just in time to share the severe service of the last great campaign of the Army of the Potomac against Richmond.
The regiment next participated in the battle in front of Petersburg, June 17. This was a severe contest and the 179th was in the thickest of the fight, losing more than one-third its number in killed and wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Doty, Captains Robert F. Stewart and William Bird and Sergeant Hathaway Musgrave were wounded, and Major J. Barnett Sloan * and Captain Daniel Blatchford killed. Captain John Barton was promoted to major July 5, and was in command of the regiment in the battle at Weldon Railroad, and soon after, in the famous mine explosion, where it lost many officers and men. Among the officers killed were Major Barton, Captain Allen T. Farwell, and Lieutenant B>C. Saxton.+ August 8, Captain Albert Terrell was promoted to major, and commanded the battalion until the return of Colonel Doty, August 18.
*Major Sloan was a patriotic and gallant soldier. When an imperiled country called for volunteers in 1861,to strike at the hideous head of Rebellion , he promptly responded , and enlisted in the 31st Regiment., with the rank of first lieutenant. He was soon after promoted to the rank of captain, by General McClellan, for his gallantry in suppressing a mutiny in the regiment, the general remarking, “Lieutenant, you were born to be a soldier. I see that you have but one bar upon your shoulder; you are worthy to wear two.” Soon after a captain’s commission was sent to him by order of the general. He was ever found at his post of duty, and participated in all engagements of the regiment. He was at the siege of Yorktown, battles of West Point, Gaines’ Mills, Savage Station, Fair Oaks, and second Fredericksburg. He was mustered out of the service in 1863, but his patriotism would not allow to remain quietly at home when his country needed brave men, and under the call of 1864 he again stepped to the front and as mentioned above , joined the 179th, and was promoted to major. He was leading the regiment in the charge in front of Petersburg when he received the fatal bullet. He was a gallant soldier and genial companion.
+ It will be seen that a portion of the 179th participated in a series of engagements before its organization was perfected, and prior to the muster -in of Colonel Gregg.
Next the 179th was engaged in the series of battles and skirmishes which followed the mine explosion. At Poplar Grove Church a sharp battle was fought and Acting Adjutant James W. Booker was wounded, and subsequently died in hospital at Washington. Soon after this engagement the regiment went into fortified camp, and lost some men while extending the line of works.
About this time the Ninth Corps, to which the 179th belonged, changed positions with the Fifth Corps, and were placed in front of Petersburg, near Jerusalem Plank Road, and here they remained until the grand forward movement of the Army of the Potomac.
On the night of April 1, Colonel Gregg was notified that a forward movement of the entire army would be made on the following morning and received orders to move at ten o’clock that night with his command in front of Fort Alexander Hays, with empty guns, for an intended assault on the enemy’s works in front of Petersburg. At midnight, everything being in readiness, the line officers received a signal from Colonel Gregg, and the column moved noiselessly forward. As the intrepid soldiers neared the enemy’s works they heard the rebel pickets’ announcement,” Twelve-o’clock! All is well!” little thinking of the desperate onslaught soon to follow.
Precisely at twelve o’clock the charge was made. They rushed upon the enemy’s works, driving them from the first line of intrenchments, and capturing as many prisoners as the regiment has men. In this assault Lieutenant Musgrave, in advance of the line, captured about thirty prisoners with a force of only ten or fifteen men. After moving about half a mile the 179th was fired upon by the Union forces, through mistake, and forced into the intrenchments from which the enemy had just been driven.
The enemy now being thoroughly aware of the movements of the charging party, brought a battery to bear upon them, but failing to get the proper range, the shells had no effect.
At two o’clock orders were received to repair to Fort Sedgewick ( formerly known as “Fort Hell”), preparatory to making a charge on Fort Mahone, commonly known as “Fort Damnation.”
The 179th was selected to lead the charge, supported by the whole division. It was a critical moment. Old army officers considered that everything now depended upon the success of this charge. Lee was now making his last grand stand, and if defeated now the backbone of the Rebellion was crushed.
All being in readiness, the gallant 179th dashed upon the rebel works. It was one of the most brilliant charges of the war, and the entire command lost heavily.
“When can their glory fade?
Oh, the wild charges they made!”
It was a terrible onslaught, and Colonel Gregg, while gallantly leading the charge, at the head of his command, was wounded and carried off the field, and reported as dead. When Colonel Gregg fell, Lieutenant- Colonel Doty assumed command, and was soon after mortally wounded , and died on the following day. He was a brave and efficient officer, and his loss was keenly felt.#
# Lieutenant-Colonel Doty had a brilliant record in connection with the 23d Regiment, participating in the battles of Rappahannock Station, Sulphur Springs, Gainesville, Groveton, second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg, to which honorable record is to be added the battles of the Army of the Potomac in front of Petersburg, with the 179th, from June17, 1864, until his death. A granite monument, appropriately inscribed, was erected by the officers and men of the 179th Regiment over his remains, which were interred at Hornellsville, N.Y., his former home.
From here Lee telegraphed Davis that he was repulsed at every point. The regiment now under command of Captain Bowen, followed the army to Burkeville, and participated in the closing scenes of the Rebellion.
Many of the officers of the 179th were in the old 23d, in which Colonel Gregg served as major, and H.C. Hoffman colonel, and were well qualified for their respective rank, in consequence of having been disciplined one of the bravest of soldiers as well as best disciplinarians in the service.
The 179th had the example of a brave and efficient commander, one who never shrank from duty in the hour of danger. Colonel Gregg was ever found sharing the fortunes of his regiment, whether upon weary marches or in front of rebel bullets. His coolness and bravery in the terrible charge mentioned above attracted the attention of the commanding general, and he was “brevetted brigadier-general for gallant conduct on the field in the assault in the enemy’s lines in the front of Petersburg, April 2,1864.”
April 2, 1865, the color-sergent, Charles E. Hogan, was shot dead while planting the regimental colors upon the rebel Fort Mahone.
The 179th was to a great extent a continuation of the 23d Regiment, many of its officers and men having served two years with that command. The list of casualties in the 179th was very heavy, particularly in wounded, in the latter regard suffering as severely as any regiment in the service. Its loses by death, caused by disease and bullet, are shown in the appended “ roll of honor;” but the vast array of wounded it is impossible now to obtain, although some idea of their extent may be gathered from the roster of the companies of this regiment given with the soldiers’ record of the town of Elmira.
The regiment was paid off and discharged June 23, 1865.
The following is a list of the killed, and of those who died of disease or wounds, in the 179th Regiment New York Volunteers. Taken from the muster-out rolls in the office of the Adjutant-General at Albany.
Field and Staff.
Lieutenant-Colonel Franklin B. Doty, died of wounds, April 5,1865
Major Barnett Sloan, killed June 17,1864
Major John Barton, died of wounds, July 31,0864
Marshall N. Phillips, died of wounds, June 20, 1864
Edwin Fowler, died of wounds, June 17,1864
Henry Kingsley, died June 24,1864
Stephen De Kay, died of wounds, July 29,1864
Jacob Brown, died July 26,1864
Charles A. Gallup, died July 29,1864
David Leonard, died of wounds, July, 1864
John Slocum, died July 22, 1864
Gottlob Stein, killed June 30,1864
Jacob Leonard, died September 16,1864
William T. Wise, died Oct. 9, 1864
David H. Sheppard, died Nov. 14,1864
Timothy W. Buckland, died while a prisoner of war; date not known.
Henry A. Corter, died March 29, 1865
Anthony Tobias, died while a prisoner of was; date not known
Hiram H. Sturdevant, died of wounds, April 22, 1865
Daniel J. Owens, died Dec. 31,1864
Moses Brown, died Jan. 19,1865
Ward Burdick, died Apr. 5, 1865
Second Lieutenant James B. Bowker, died of wounds, Oct.17,1864
Charles Sickler, killed June 17,1864
Daniel O. Ormsley, died of wounds, June 24, 1864
George W. Jonier, died Aug. 23, 1864
Paulding Vincent, died Aug. 4, 1864
James H. Brown, died of wounds, June 29,1864
Samuel Hemingway, died of wounds, July 17, 1864
Israel R. Graves, died of wounds, Aug. 27, 1864
William T. Clark, died Aug. 18, 1864
Henry Chubb, died Sept, 7, 1864
Henry Soles, died Aug. 18, 1864
Peter O. Freer, died June 22,1864
Daniel J. Kenney, died Jan. 2, 1865
Homer D. Alcott, died Sept. 4,1864
Smith Q. McMaster, killed April 2, 1865
Thomas C. Chapman, died Jan. 12, 1865
Samuel H. Dane, died Feb.1,1865
David H. Jime, died March 17,1865
George H. Hickey, died July 24, 1864
Asahal Tobias, died of wounds, April 2, 1865
Martin Van Buren, died July 13, 1864
Ezra Lee Edmonds, killed June 17, 1864
Edwin M. Livermore, killed June 17, 1864
John McManus, died of wounds, June 19, 1864
William Doharty, died July 29, 1864
John Brown, died of wounds, Aug. 7, 1864
Silas W. Spraker, died July 12,1864
Clark Lord, died Nov. 7, 1864
Clarence Ames, killed April 2, 1865
Daniel Rowley, killed July 30, 1864
Emmons Morgan, died Sept. 2, 1864
Daniel C. smith, executed for desertion, Dec. 10, 1864
Edward Roe, executed for desertion, Dec. 10, 1864
First Lieutenant Baker L. Saxton, killed July 30, 1864
Oscar Fisk, killed July 2, 1864
Lucius J. Kinnon, died June 25, 1864
Filmore Horth, died , date not known
George M. Gregory, died Oct. 31, 1864
Edwin J. Williamson, died Dec. 5, 1864
Alexander McEckin, died Dec. 21, 1864
Darius Bryant, died Aug.1, 1864
Edson A. Andrews, died while a prisoner of war; date not known
Howland Washburn, died while a prisoner of war; date not known
William Halliday, killed April 2, 1865
Franklin M. Wilkins, died of wounds, April 13, 1865
Daniel Gaff, died of wounds, April 11, 1865
John D. Arnold, died May 10, 1865
Patrick Breen,(2d) killed June 17, 1864
Charles Clements, killed Nov. 16, 1864
Nathaniel Chaffee, died Jan. 24, 1865
John Hancock, killed June 17, 1864
Charles E. Hogan, killed April 2, 1865
Stephen W. Lee, died Sept.16, 1864
George L. Madison, died Feb.16,1865
George F. Morgan, killed June 17, 1864
Abraham Vallenschamp., died Nov. 12,1864
Isaiah Wiley, killed June 17,1864
Thomas L. Thomas, killed June 17, 1864
Captain Daniel Blachford, killed June 17, 1864
John H. Carley, died of wounds, June 17, 1864
George Green, died; date not known
Francis M. Canfield, died Aug. 3, 1864
Tuthle Dense, died; date not known
Thomas Dannaby, died; date not known
Abraham O. Gray, died Aug. 15, 1864
Andrew Hurd, died of wounds, Aug. 14, 1864
Charles E. Releyea, died Oct. 15, 1864
Michael Shanahan, died; date not known
Timothy Shaw, died March 22, 1864
Robert Thompson, died Sept. 24,1864
George B. White, died; date not known
Frederick Winangle, died; date not known
Captain T. Farwell, killed July 30, 1864
John Bailey, died of wounds, Aug. 24, 1864
Parmer R. Avery, died Sept. 12, 1864
Adam Becker, died Oct. 6, 1864
Henry Hanson, died Dec. 16, 1864
Solomon Leonard, Jr., died of wounds, Aug. 24, 1864
James Lundy, died Sept. 11, 1864
Henry Miller, died Dec. 8, 1864
George W. Burlew, died Nov. 24, 1864
Edgar Cornell, died Nov. 5, 1864
George Proper, died of wounds, April 2, 1864
Collins S. Twichell, died Nov. 26, 1864
John Patterson, died Oct. 24, 1864
Charles S. Baker, died Oct. 31, 1864
Oliver Bradley, died Nov. 10, 1864
Jacob M. Owens, died of wounds, Nov. 4, 1864
Christopher P. Pratt, Jr., died Nov. 24, 1864
George H. Parsons, died Dec.1, 1864
Alonza Pettiss, died Dec. 10, 1864
Hurlburt Reed, died while a prisoner of war; Feb.1, 1865
Alfred Worder, died while a prisoner of war, Dec. 30, 1864
Bradford C. Hallett, died while a prisoner of war, Jan. 11, 1865
John F. Drake, died while a prisoner of war, Jan. 5, 1865
Aaron Mosher, killed Sept. 30, 1864
Ira Stoddard, died while a prisoner of war, Dec. 18, 1864
William Ostrander, died April 24, 1865
Daniel B. Carson, died of wounds, April 13, 1865
Ira Evans, killed April 2, 1865
Charles J. Vorhis, killed April 2, 1865
Henry Clay, died May 19, 1865
Isaac Foster, died Oct. 11, 1864
John B. Fisher. Died of wounds, Nov. 3, 1864
George Dinehart, died Nov. 25, 1864
Abner D. Welch, died Dec. 15, 1864
Charles R. Cook, died March 26,1865
Benjamin F. Bailey, killed April 2, 1865
Leonard Demorest, died of wounds, April 20, 1865
THE THIRTY-SECOND REGIMENT -Was organized at East New York to serve for two years.
The companies of which it was composed were raised in the counties of Fulton, Montgomery, New York, Tompkins, and Westchester. It was mustered into the service of the United States May 31, 1861, and mustered out June 9, 1863.
This regiment saw severe service, and participated in many of the most terrible contests of the Rebellion, viz., West Point, Gaines’ Mills, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Crampton Gap, Antietam and Fredericksburg. Jerome Rowe commanded a company from Tompkins.
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-THIRD REGIMENT
This regiment was organized at Monticello, N.Y., to serve for three years. It had two companies from Tompkins County, commanded by Captain Harrison Marvin and John Higgins. It was mustered into the service October 9, 1862, and mustered out July 20, 1865.
Its roll of honor bears the following inscription: Nansemond, Wauhatchie, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Culpepper Farm, Peach-Tree ridge, Atlanta, and Savannah. This regiment has an honorable record, and received many compliments from time to time for its soldierly conduct.
The following is a list of the killed, and also of those who died of disease or wounds, in Companies D. and I, 143rd New York Volunteers:
Luther G. Bunnell, died of wounds, June 26, 1864
John B. Gardner, died Jan. 25, 1863
Charles W. Geust, died Jan. 30, 1863
William Holmes, died July 16, 1863
Jehial Carr, died; no date given
Jefferson Horgin, died July 27, 1863
Amon Loomis, died of wounds, Sept. 3, 1864
Edward Morrison, died Nov. 1, 1863
Edmund Murphy, died railroad accident; no date given
Henry Mix, died July 14, 1864
John P. Peck, died Nov. 20,1863
Dewitt Quick, died Nov. 28, 1864
Samuel M. Reynolds, died Oct. 24,1863
Edward Bloomfield, died Feb. 14, 1864
Peter Bessey, died Feb. 27, 1864
Harrison Conklin, died of wounds, May 19, 1864
Enis Cook, died Dec. 18,1863
James M. Duel, died March 25,1863
Rufus Decker, died Aug. 14, 1864
Henry W. Fitts, died Jan. 11, 1864
Thomas Hortrough, died Dec. 6, 1863
George Harned, died Dept. 28, 1863
Orlando Hemmingway, died Oct. 15, 1863
Albert Kizer, died of wounds, Sept. 1, 1864
Philip Mosher, died Jan. 11, 1863
William A. Morey, died June 25, 1864
Isaac Overacker, died April 4, 1864
Flavell Pattengill, died Dec. 5, 1862
William R. Sherwood, died Nov.4, 1863
Morgan Sherwood,died Nov. 15, 1863
Lawrence D. Smith, killed July 30, 1864
Socrates Scutt, died April 6, 1863
THE SIXTY-FOURTH REGIMENT
This regiment ( formerly the 64th Militia ) was reorganized as a volunteer regiment at Elmira, to serve three years. The companies of which it was composed were raised in the counties of Alleghany, Cattaragus, Chautauqua, Tioga, and Tompkins. It was mustered into the service of the United States from September 7 to December 10, 1861. On the expiration of its term of service the original members--except veterans-- were mustered out, and the regiment, composed of veterans and recruits, retained in service until July 14, 1865, when it was mustered out in accordance with orders from the Was Department.
The regiment was actively engaged, as shown by the following battle-roll: Yorktown, Fair Oaks, Gaines’ Mills, Savage Station , Peach Orchard, White Oak Swamp, Glendale, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorville, Gettsburg, Bristoe Station, Mine Run, Wilderness, Po River, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Tolopotomy, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom, Reams’ Station.
THE EIGHTY-SIXTH REGIMENT
was organized at Elmira, to serve three years. The companies of which it was composed were raised in the counties of Steuben, Chemung, and Onondaga. It was mustered into the United States service from September 5 to Nov. 25, 1861. On the expiration of its term of service the original members --except veterans-- were mustered out, and the regiment, composed of veteran and recruits, retained in service until Jan. 27, 1865, when it was mustered out in accordance with orders from the War Department.
It participated in the following battles: Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Tolopotomy, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Deep Bottom, Boydton Road.
THE EIGHTY-NINTH REGIMENT
There were a few men in this regiment from Schuyler County. It was mustered into the service Dec. 6, 1861,and at the expiration of its term of service the original members, ---except veterans---were mustered out, and the balance were retained in service until Aug. 3, 1865, when they were mustered out in accordance with orders from the War Department.
The regiment was in the following battles: Suffolk, Camden, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg.
A COMPANY FOR THE SIXTEENTH NEW YORK HEAVY ARTILLERY, RAISED AT ITHACA; SCATTERED AT YORKTOWN.
It is now our lot to record the misfortune of a large company of men, who went out from Tompkins and Tioga Counties to the battle-field, to contests not only with rebels in front, but red-tape in the rear. The former were successfully met, but by the latter and General Butler were denied the officers of their choice, the privilege of fighting, suffering, dying, or returning side by side. Their history is of interest, and we give it as succinctly as possible.
Just after the outbreak of the Rebellion, in 1861, Asa Priest removed with his family from Auburn to Ithaca, and engaged in business. Unable to withstand longer the call of his country or restrain his own desires, he joined with Captain David A. Signor, October, 1863, in the recruiting of a company of cavalry for the 21st Regiment, New York Volunteers, in which he was to have a lieutenancy. The high bounties being offered at this time made the work of recruiting a rapid one, and yielding to the pressing desires of his friends, he withdrew from Signor’s cavalry company, and Dec. 21, 1863, began in Ithaca the enlidtment of a company for the 16th Foster (Heavy) Artillery, New York Volunteers, Colonel J.J. Morrison commanding . This was a regiment which had been raised in New York City, but by the fate of war had its ranks decimated severely.
Hence its lieutenant-colonel, John H. Ammon, was made Government recruiting officer at Auburn, for the purpose of swelling its skeleton numbers.
It was by the desire, authority, and order of the latter officer that the raising of the ill-fated band of which we write was initiated in Ithaca. As fast as men were enlisted they were sent to Owego for examination and from thence to the rendezvous at Elmira for muster and from thence, in squads , to Yorktown, Pa., to join their regiment.
Having obtained his complement of men, Captain Priest obtained a certificate of this fact from Provost Marshal A. C. Kattell, of Owego, and Major A.S. Diven, of Elmira, superintendent of the volunteer recruiting service, went to Albany, and upon examination of his papers by Governor Seymour, he directed the immediate issuance of an order for the muster-in of officers, as follows: Asa Priest, as captain; Sextus B. Landon, as first, and William J. Carns as second lieutenants. Hastening to Elmira, and presenting his order to Captain L.L. Livingston (3d Artillery, U.S.A.), mustering and disbursing officer, with the indorsement of Major Diven, asking immediate compliance, Captain Livingston peremptorily declined to make the muster, claiming its impossibility, as nine-tenths of the men, together with Landon and Carns, were at Yorktown. With a muster “in the field” as the only recourse, he started; left Elmira for the “front”March 4, 1864, with the last squad of his own men, and in command of 800 recruits for other regiments. Upon his arrival at Gloucester Point, Va., on the 20th, and delivering his large consignment of soldier material as instructed, he turned his attention to his own company. He found the 16th Regiment long before filled to repletion: his own recruit’s a heterodox portion of the thousands of the surplus recruits awaiting assignment, who, uncared for, were being lodged like swine, fed like cattle, and dying daily upon the river-docks of smallpox, dysentery, home-sickness, and melancholy.
The men rejoiced at the arrival, for they were despondent and unable to comprehend their situation, as, forsooth, were their superiors.
Finding the upbraidal of Colonel Morrison unavailing for excessive zeal in causing the gathering of double the number of recruits available, the captain next endeavored to secure their assignment and muster complete into some one of the other regiments; but while they had suffered depletion, and men were needed in most of them, yet he found it impossible to obtain any consolidation of skeleton companies, so as to make room for his own as a whole company. Officers were abundant and their influence at Washington and field-headquarters older and stronger.
Then it was that he determined as his men were gradually being drawn by handfuls, with others of the surplus ones, into old organizations, to endeavor to secure full assignments to the 111th Regiment of Infantry through the influence of Colonel C.D. MacDougall, an old friend, who had great influence with Secretary Seward. General Butler, learning of this attempt to withdraw troops from his division,resented it., and made overtures towards incarcerating Captain Priest in Fortress Monroe, upon a frivolous pretext; but the latter learning his danger, made his way from Butler’s headquarters to Washington, although in uniform and without the pass which had been so arrogantly denied him. He stole his passage on a boat loaded with rebel prisoners as one of the officers in charge, and without detection reached the capital intent upon his mission.
He combined the friendly and powerful influence of officers and civilians to accomplish his ends at the War Department. But they stormed to no effect. Repulse met every approach, and finally, convinced that General Butler ruled both his military and the War Department with a hand of iron, after weeks of effort and the exhaustion of every device and argument known to them, they retired from the uneven struggle with red tape and circumlocation set up as barriers, behind which to conceal the dictum of the hero of New Orleans. Captain Priest, defeated at every point, finally returned, armed with passes, to the front, to find his men scattered like leaves; some singly, others, more fortunate, in groups. He found them in the hospitals at Worcester, Va., and in cook-houses at Harper’s Ferry. Landon and Carns, long since dispirited, had returned to their homes at Slaterville, N>Y., and still live there. Captain Priest removed, in 1868, from Ithaca to Auburn,N.Y.., where he still resides.
It is impossible to glean from the records the organizations to which all the men were finally transferred, or which of them laid sown their lives that their country might exist. Let us hope and believe that the majority of them are now enjoying the fruits of the peace, which they essayed to aid in winning, in the stores and workshops and on the waving lands of bountiful Tompkins and Tioga.
There were also a few men from Schuyler in the 3d, 5th, and 15th Infantry, 14th Artillery, and the 21st and 19th Cavalry. From Chemung, in the 3d and 15th Infantry, 1st, 5th, 14th,and 16th Artillery. From Tioga in the 3d, 5th, 15th, 26th Infantry, 14th Artillery, and 1st Cavalry. From Tompkins in the 9th, 6th, 3d, and 16th Artillery, and 15th and 21st Cavalry.
Our military history is closed. We have faithfully traced the history of the various regiments, and it has been our honest endeavor to place before the people of Tioga, Chemung, Tompkins, and Schuyler Counties a truthful record of their gallant sons who risked their lives in defense of their country. We have sought to deal with all, and give deserved credit to each and every regiment. While the history is a record of many of the severest battles of the war, it is not in any particular overdrawn; it is “ a plain, unvarnished tale.” It has been impossible to sketch many individual acts of heroism, but these were not wanting.
Tioga, Chemung, Tompkins, and Schuyler may justly point with pride to the record of their soldiery, as no section of our country acted a more prominent or honorable role in the great tragedy.
Thirteen years have now elapsed since the close of the Rebellion, and we find our country a united and prosperous people. Sectional strife is rapidly passing away, and the same hand strews flowers alike on the graves of the Blue and the Gray.
“No more shall the war-cry sever,
Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever
When they laurel the graves of our dead!
“Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgement-day;
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray.”