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From Camp Curtin – News from the Tioga Boys
Camp Curtin
Harrisburg, June 14, 1861

Yesterday was the anniversary of the birthday of one of America’s noblest sons, the Gen. Winfield Scott is doubtless, today, the most popular man in the nation. It would have been strange if no notice had been taken of an anniversary at this time so interesting, and yet so sad; so interesting because each successive year but adds another year to be gratefully remembered by “countless thousands yet unborn,” and sad, because we know that his race is nearly run. Seventy-five years! There are few in that number, since his maturity, which cannot be pointed at by General Scott, as years in which he has not accomplished some good for his country. History will reward him. All the companies in camp, [to the number of 42] turned out on parade in the afternoon, to do him honor, in their only way. A salute was fired from the cannon captured by the gallant General at Cerra Gordo, [which was presented to the State by Gen. Patterson] and appropriate remarks were made to the different forces, by speakers selected for the occasion. Capt. Sherwood, of our company, spoke for Campbell’s Light Artillery, Niles’ Company and his own. His speech was characteristic of himself, eloquent, and full of spice. Considering that it was purely an extempore effort, it was full of merit, and pleased every one present, worth pleasing. It would be as impossible for him to make a speech without pleasing everybody around him as it would be for soldiers to go to war without uniforms. At the conclusion of his remarks, he said in substance, that he hoped when we return from the battlefield, we might all return to the home circle, not “unloved, unhonored and unsung;” having done our whole duty, honorably, fearlessly, and courageously, we might return to our families with an approving conscience. His remarks excited much merriment and applause, and a few ladies who were present, waved their handkerchiefs in token of approval of the sentiments so well expressed. The Captain then proposed “three times three” for Gen. Scott, and they were given with a hearty good will, after which the several companies were marched to their quarters.

Col. Kane’s Regiment was formed yesterday, but without Capt. Sherwood’s Company. I wrote you last week what Kane had the impudence to ask of the commissioned officers of the companies, and that all of them “shut their eyes and went it blind” but Sherwood. Matters are not cleared up satisfactorily, and the company refused, after taking a vote, to go into the regiment, and the consequence is, the companies are divided. Tioga County has lost her individuality, you may say, but Kane would give Tioga nothing, and I trust that her independence, at least a part of it, is yet maintained. She presents more men, by at least a hundred, than any county that furnished men for the regiment, and instead of having three of the best offices, she has nothing. Whether the people of the County will tamely submit to this new insult, remains to be seen; but I am certain they will sustain Sherwood in his course.

We shall now go into Col. Ricketts’ Regiment, and it will, without douby, be the finest regiment in the Reserve Corps. Col. Ricketts is just from West Point. He is considered the best officer on the ground, and he is certainly the finest looking.

A man named Ritter, was last week drummed out of camp, for striking an officer. He had been kept five days previously on bread and water. He attempted to commit suicide by drowning soon after being disgraced, but failed. The Telegraph of yesterday, contained the announcement that his dead body had been found suspended from the limbs of a tree in an adjoining county. He was thought to have been insane.

You will excuse me for again presenting the rolls of our companies for publication; but there has been so many changes; that I deem it but a simple act of justice to those who remain, as well as those who did not choose to serve their country for “three years or during the war,” that their names may be put on record:

Captain – Julius Sherwood
1st Lieutenant – M.N. Allen
2nd Lieutenant – John W. Rose
Sergeants – James Carle; R.M. Pratt; A.A. Sendor; S.S. Rockwell
Corporals – Geo. W. Merrick; H.J. Ramsdell; R.B. Webb; Chas. H. Maxwell
Musicians – John Hinman; Wm. Wisner

E.R. Asherton
Caleb Babb
M.L. Bacon
John Ballard
J.M. Bickel
P.H. Blanchard
L.J. Bragg
Patrick Brown
Charles Cone
Thomas Conway
Josiah Coolidge
James Cowden
Ira P. Curran
Orvil V. Crance
Wallace Codney
Arnold Dickinson
Simon Durlacher
John Doyle
Calvin Ely
Thomas L. Emmick
Frank A. Fester
Harrison C. Gustin
John Giberd
John Gibney
George H. Goethiuse
James Hazlett
George Harst
D.B. Holliday
A.L. Husselton
S.S. Ives
B.P. Ives
H. Jay
John D. Jones
Henry Kimball
H.C. Keeney
Luther J. Keeney
Jeremiah Love
S.J. Losinger
Abram Lyon
Frank Longbothom
James Moore
T.K. McClure
Jerry O’Connell
K. Palmer
Harry F. Peet
Oscar J. Phillips
Joseph E. Ramsdell
Hubert Ripley
Wm. Sands
Silas R. Seimans
James E. Statts
Jacob Shieffelin
Michael Smith
John Sullivan
William D. VanHorn
Adelbert Vermilyea
S.P. Stacy
Jeremiah Jennings
Charles Yahn
William Margraff
----- Warren
George Grinnell


Captain – Alanson E. Niles
1st Lieutenant – Lucius Truman
2nd Lieutenant – Samuel A. Mack
Sergeants – George W. Sears; George E. Derby; George A. Ludlair [?]; William Taylor
Corporals – Gilbert R. Christenut; Benjamin B. Potter; Jonathan V. Morgan; Robert Kelsey
Musicians – Caleb Graves; Peter Spanogle

Thomas L. Anderson
Edwin R. Allen
Bela Borden
Alfred G. Bardwell
Daniel Basso
William S. Boatman
John J. Bassett
Orsamus P. Borden
Samuel W. Campbell
Washington Campbell
Lorenzo Catlin
James A. Christenat
Daniel Corbin
Stevison Campbell
Barsilla K. Dewey
John English
William English
Lemuel Foss
Caleb Fenton
Horace Grow
George Honke
Samuel Huck
John C. Horn
Melvin H. Horton
George W. Kriner
Andrew J. Kriner
James C. Kriner
William Morison
Amos Metzgar
John W. Mathers
Parish Mosier
Woster Mandeville
James McCabe
Wallace Moore
Thomas Martin
Henry H. McCarty
William M. Morgan
Stephen Nott
James M. Patterson
William S. Pitts
Edwin Royce
Edwin Roughton
Henry C. Roland
Henry J. Rote
Gustavus Sweet
Charles K. Sweet
Joel Starkweather
Abisha Sheeler
Jacob  Snyder
Aaron B. Torpy
Abel B. Warriner
James N. Warriner
Andrew J. Waters
James M. West
Philetus A. West
Cyrus D. Wetmore
Peter D. Walbridge
William Walters
Joseph E. Rumsey
Julius Eichboltz
John Weidley
John S. Vogan
John C. Potts
Peter Roshwerler

From Harrisburg
Items of Camp Life
Wellsboro Agitator 19 June 1861 Page 04

On the 24th of April last, this deponent left the village of W., with a heart pretty considerably swelled by patriotism, and in company with some 200 patriotic individuals, similarly afflicted. We were just bound to see it out – oh yes, the stars and stripes had been insulted, the brave old flag had been trampled on; it was time to act; we acted – acted with a heartfelt earnestness, and an honesty of purpose, that some of us will find hard to get up again. We managed to get into Camp Curtin, by God’s grace, and by grace of the gods, we are in Camp Curtin still. Nevertheless the world does move, and also there is a slight movement among the powers that be, in a military direction. After some six weeks of most vexatious uncertainty, there is a prospect that we will be formed into a regiment, today it is reported. – If so, it will be the “Wild Cat Regiment” of Col. Kane, which is the next to be formed. The next moves after that is the question. For one, I confess I would like to see the regiment well drilled here being brought into action, where honor and life might depend on being able to form in battle array, with certainty and celerity. Of course the boys are impatient to move in some direction, but if we are to be drilled in a “camp of instruction” as the law provides, I know of no better place than this. I just conversed with a soldier from Camp Scott, [Carlisle, PA] and he gave a pretty hard account of it – said the soldiers were made to drill eight hours a day, and got hard fare at that; a part of which may be true. At all events, we are used well here, and the citizens of Harrisburg are kind to us. Let us take the good the gods provide, and possess our souls in patience. We have seen enough I should imagine, to cool any one of a feverish hurry, and we shall see more. – We have seen bodies of brave men, anxious, impatient to go on, held back on one frivolous pretext or another, because somebody had a cousin or brother-in-law who was eager to put himself at the head of a regiment, not for patriotism, but to wipe out past political mistakes, and put himself in good shape on the record for future political operations, and – you see!
We have seen men, rank secessionists, until the last quarter of the eleventh hour, take a sudden union fever, and go in for a company of volunteers, provided, that the said penitent should have the first place at the head of the company, with reserved regimental privileges to be therein after provided for. Good, give them the scriptural and patriotic penny, though the eleventh hour was three quarters gone. There are men today drilling companies of Union-loving patriots, who are doing so with bitterness at their hearts, and who would be with Jeff Davis at heart, if not in person, only that they deem him doomed to fail. As to the peculation and rascality in high places, which is too apparent to be hidden, we will settle that along with some other little running accounts, when the war is over and we have time. At present, I will only stop to compliment the Legislature on their exceeding economy in spending the people’s time and the people’s money in debating the momentous question of raising the pay of such of the people at choose to present their breasts for bullet marks, to the tremendous sum of fifteen dollars per month! The Eastern States pay volunteers from twenty to twenty-five dollars per month besides clothes and rations. A Michigan regiment was here a few days since; they each had a present of twenty dollars before leaving Detroit, a good uniform given them by the State, and get a hundred dollars each on their return from the war. Commend up to Old Pennsylvania, the Keystone State, second to but one State in the chivalric matter of repudiation, and to none in the beggarly manner with which she treats her troops!
The boys are all well, and anxious to move on, and by the time we are uniformed and armed, I shall begin to be a little uneasy myself; at present I am. Day before yesterday, there was a man drummed out of camp, and I attended the performance. It looked a little tough and he took it to heart – tried to drown himself after it was over, but was prevented, and the ladies of Harrisburg gave him a suit of clothes and some money. His offence was striking an officer. – He did not look as mean as one who was drummed out a short time since, for stealing a comrade’s money.
There is fun, too, in Camp Curtin, as you would admit, could you be here from sundown until tattoo, which beats at half past ten. Such a hullaballpolas four companies of volunteers can kick up, when they have nothing to do but lie on their backs and attend to it, is a caution to a regiment of insane tomcats. I get tired of it at times, but the ghost of melancholy could not help laughing at the comical caterwauling and grotesque performances. Mickey [“Kite” knows who Mickey is,] doesn’t like the noise over and above well, but there’s no use trying to quell it by authority, until after tattoo; so Mickey adds to the general racket by inflicting indiscriminate doggerel on the whole crowd, to the tune of “Larry O. “Gaff,” and something after this style:

Oh there’s whiskey ‘tis certain, all over Camp Curtin,
In elegant bottles, wid niver a flaw;
A’most every body, has plinty of toddy,
Hid round in the corners, down under the sthraw!

Oh, the Guard they turn out, wid a terrible rout,
Wid their guns on their shoulders, they make a great show;
But the Wild Cats make fun o’ them, divil a wan a them,
Finds out at all where the whiskey does go!

June 14, 1861 --------- a Local Lodger
From Camp Hamilton
The Battle at Big Bethel
Wellsboro Agitator 19 June 1861 page 04

The following letter from an Elkland Boy to his parents, will be read with interest.
Head Quarters, 3d Regiment, Camp Hamilton, near Fortress Monro, June 11, 1861
Dear Parents: I seat myself to write you a few lines, to let you know how I get along. You may be somewhat surprised to hear that I have been in a battle. Since I wrote you on Sunday morning, my company was detailed to go on a scouting expedition – we went and bot back at night, somewhat weary after a day’s march. We went to bed about half past 9 o’clock, and before we had got to sleep we heard the gun and the tattoo of the drum beat to arms. We formed in line and were told that we were to leave the camp to attack the enemy, and ordered to put on our overcoats and haversacks, to carry three days rations. We were busy in running around and getting ready to march, and at 12 o’clock, midnight, all ready and started. We marched about 2 miles and then ferried across the river. Our dress is enough to tire one out, if nothing else, on the march that we had that night and Monday. Woolen shirts and drawers, thick woolen pants and coat, and an overcoat that will weight five pounds at least. Our haversacks full of rations weighs about 30 lbs. A good load marching in common time, but we had to march on quick time, about half the way, and the rest of the way double quick – that is – on a run, carrying that load, besides our guns and ammunition.
When about half way to the point we were going to attack, we were ourselves attacked by a regiment, called the United States Regulars, supposing us to be enemies. One of our men was killed and one or two wounded. Their shot were well ranged, but were aimed too high, or a good may would have been killed. They were concealed in the bush, and all we had to do was to retreat as well as we could, in the confusion for our ranks were broken and a good many were frightened, in the darkness and suddenness of the charge, most of us gave them a round or two before leaving, and then retreated in as good order as we could. This was before we arrived at the battle ground called “Bethel Church.” We were immediately drawn up in line of battle, preparatory to making the attack. One regiment of Zouaves, one from Troy, NY, and our own regiment were to take the lead and open the fight. We had two pieces of cannon. These were placed in line and the fire commenced. The Zouaves were the first to commence, by going through the woods and taking them in flank. Our own regiment was to advance in front. We were not long in waiting, as the order was given to forward and we marched to within not more than 200 yards of the enemy’s breast work. The enemy had a great advantage over us by having a strong breast work in front, and a deep ravine and woods on the other side.  By this time word came to us that the enemy were advancing through this ravine to open fire on us. The company’s were detailed from our regiment to go and see if that was the fact. – It proved too true – they had gone hardly 75 yards when a volley was heard, but fortune favored us and no one was hurt. The Lieutenant of our company wanted to go and bring the boys back, but Col. Townsend [that is the Col. Of our regiment] said it was his own business to go and off he galloped right in front of the enemy’s breast work, while the balls came thick and fast about his head. He sat there as cool as if in his own parlor.
One Zouave that happened to be in front of our regiment, was behind an apple tree picking off the rebels, one by one, whit his own musket – he saved our Colonel’s life. One rebel in a tree had his gun aimed at the Colonel, but too late, as the Zouave’s musket lightened the tree of its burden and materially damaged his breathing apparatus. He is one that was taken prisoner by the Indians when young, and was with them twelve years – he fights wholly on his own hook, and does a good business at it too. He killed a good many that day. While the Colonel was in front, and the balls flying thick about him, he gave the order for the rest of the regiment to forward, and you ought to have hears the yell from the 600 soldiers in rank, as they moved to face the enemy. One man from my own company was severely wounded, but we hope not mortally; not many of the Regiment were killed or wounded. The rebels were being reinforced all the time, and our Colonel deemed it advisable to sound a retreat, as it was impossible for us to conquer them under the circumstances, as we only had about twenty rounds of cartridges, and the cannon only two. The position of the enemy was much stronger than we expected at the commencement although we were reinforced by two or three regiments; our own regiment was completely exhausted, having eaten nothing since Sunday night at eight o’clock. On our retreat, some of the men did give out entirely, and had to stop by the roadside and come on at will. – I stood it like a Major, but was some tired I assure you, but it is said we will never have a harder day’s work to do, and I hope it may be true. The report came to us this morning that the place had been taken, but it is a mistake, we have got to try them again, we expect this week. They have seen a lot of 30 and 35 pound cannon, and are enlarging the entrenchment’s to make everything certain. A scouting party is being made up, and is going to Hampton; thinking that spies are gathered there, as our pickets saw some last night, and it is supposed that the village of Hampton, will tonight, be in ashes.
I have now been under the fire of the enemy, and know somewhat the feelings of a soldier, as he is brought up to face the “music.” When we were first attacked in the morning, I had kind of queer feelings I will admit, but I was not afraid in the least. Fear seemed to leave as soon as we approached the danger. – We did some honest shooting into the ranks of our enemy; feeling that is was to defend the glorious old Stars and Stripes that floated so gaily over us.
----Henry Nash 


From the Wildcats
Cumberland, July 13, 1861
Wellsboro Agitator 17 July 1861

The boys of the Kane Rifle Regiment and the 5th infantry, have moved on in the direction of Romney. We had 100 scouts out yesterday who reached within 4 miles of that place and camped in an old grist mill where we heard of them; they were near a superior force of well armed troops, but I have not heard that they had anything like a brush. – They serve to make communication safe and easy for the Union men, one of whom came into camp last night with a dispatch, and this morning at 3 o’clock we got the order to strike tents and fall in, which the boys did with a will – acting like a pack of crazy Wildcats as they are. In vain I assured them they were certain to be whipped, that their affectionate wives and mothers would hereafter know them only as defunct Wildcats, that the old Springfield muskets were sure to burst and safe to miss fire – it was of no use; they piled on to the cars in a heavy rain and went off in such a storm of yells and hurrahs as you never heard, leaving the small Orderly behind as a stump candidate for hospital treatment. I undertook to go along. I got on a pair of boots [for the first time in six weeks] borrowed a musket, took 10 rounds of ball cartridge, to Hawkie to carry my knapsack to the cars, and started in charge of the baggage. It was no go; I stood guard in the rain for some two hours, but my foot got so painful I was forced to back out, get the boot off, and let the boys go on without me. I hardly think they will get into anything like hot work, though they may have a skirmish near Romney; the people here are sure the boys will have a short night at that place; I think the folds here are more scared than hurt; they are always sure there is about to be a fight, or that Cumberland is about to be burned – events which do not take place according to the program mapped out by their fears. The Secessionists do not stand well; they run before the Federal troops everywhere – not that they are cowards, but they have no heart in the business, and very many are in arms under actual compulsion waiting a chance to desert, and bound to run rather than kill or be killed by their friends. Such men are as much help to us where they are as any other place.

Sunday, July 14 – Last night among the regular daily batch of rumors, was one that our boys had been fired on some eight miles above here by a large force stationed on the side of a ravine. Another rumor told of a battle fought somewhere in Virginia and a victory over the rebels, who, the rumor said, lost 2,000 men killed and wounded. There was no truth in the first rumor and quite likely none in the second. I am getting to be like “Tommy Cadlin;” “I don’t believe in nothink.” Why should I? Haven’t I too been behind the curtain and seen the wires? Don’t I know that Punch is not a real flesh and blood monster, and that both he and his spouse Judy are gotten up of coarse pasteboard and cheap paint? That even the convent oval “sassengers” where with Punch delighted the crowd are not good to ear, but only a succession of deceptive links, born of illusory rage for the confusion of the gaping multitude. Eheu! Is not wisdom a very blessing?

Later – The news of the battle in Virginia seems to be confirmed; you will hear the truth of it long ere we shall. News is slow to get here. The bridges are all burnt, wires cut, and anything else injured that could help rain a prosperous community. In short a system of unprincipled -------- has prevailed along the line of the Baltimore and Ohio RR that could disgrace a tribe of Camanches. Union men and Rebels alike suffer – the former must, perhaps, Uncle Abe seems inclined to force secession with an extensive pod auger; five hundred million is a great deal of money. Secession is kill.

Wellsboro Agitator 1861 September 25 page 4
From the Tioga Boys
Camp Union, MD – Sept. 15th, 1861
Friend Agitator – “Old Sol” has mounted the meridian, and is pouring his burning rays down upon the inhabited fields which surround Pleasant Hill, as I seat myself upon the ground behind my little tent, to commune through the columns of your paper, with our friends in “Old Tioga,” and to enjoy this quiet but sultry Sabbath day. Quiet, yes ‘tis quiet to us, but it would be a tumult in Old Tioga. Gen. McClellan’s orders are being executed, and for the first time since we have been in the army, we have found that the Sabbath is a day of rest as much for the soldier as any other man.
But little of importance has transpired during the past week. We are still living under marching orders, with three days’ rations constantly on hand, ready to move at a moment’s warning. The men are getting very uneasy, and are anxious for more active service; not but what we have exercise enough, but they are now ready to fight.
We are at the present time spending about four hours a day in the skirmish drill, executing our movements at the sound of the bugle, with Col. Kane for our teacher. This is a very useful and splendid exercise, but ‘tis no fun for a lazy man.
A man by the name of Metzger from Stony Fork, in Capt. Niles’ Co., was shot through the leg this morning by the accidental discharge of a pistol; the ball also drew the blood on the leg of another man who was standing near by. Orders were immediately given for all pistols and revolvers to be taken from the soldiers.
The prisoners from the NY 19th, who have been in our custody for the past month, have all returned to the service, except 24, and they have been sentenced to go to the coast of Florida and work out their time [two years.] They start tomorrow morning, via Washington, in the charge of a squad of Co. Biddle’s men. The only reason, now, they have for not returning to the service, is they do not like their officers. They say they are ready and willing to fight for their country, if they can fight under officers in whom they can depend. I am aware that we have very many officers who are unfit to command an army, or even a company, and why should it be otherwise? Thousands of them never knew how to shoulder arms until after the thunders of Sumter started them from their fields and workshops in the North.
There are now in this vicinity not far from twenty thousand men, besides there is one connected chain from Harper’s Ferry to Washington.
Yesterday there was a soldier shot about two miles from our camp by a citizen. I have not learned the particulars, only that he is not a member of our Regiment. He is not yet dead, and I was informed by Surgeon Humphrey but a short time since, that there was a prospect of his recovery.
The general health of the soldiers in this section of the country is good. Our camps are all on high ground where the water is clear and soft. -------------- Col. Crocket
Wellsboro Agitator 22 30 October 30
From the Tioga Boys
Camp Pierpont, Va., Oct. 22, 1861
Friend Agitator – In times like these it is hard to keep pace with the circumstances which surround us. Every hour startling rumors are afloat and thrilling scenes are told. We lie down at night with our guns by our sides to rest our weary limbs upon the cold ground, but the Angel of sleep has scarcely time to sow the invisible seed of slumber over these tented hills and valleys before the loud report of a few rifles startle the sentinel standing upon the watch-tower of the nation, and the long roll is sounded and thousands upon thousands of half sleeping soldiers spring to arms, and are ready at a moment’s warning to march to victory or the grave.
I had intended to give the readers of the Agitator this week a history of our camp life, but matters of deeper importance are before me, and I must talk of them. Many of your readers will remember that a few weeks ago I had occasion to speak of the old Jew who had been acting as our Sutler, and who had taken our letters to the office. As we had but stamps in camp, we were obliged to give him the money, which in most cases he kept, and left out letters for our friends to pay. He was immediately sent adrift, but from time to time he has made his appearance among us with a few Yankee notions for sale. He was closely watched as a thief, and suspected as a spy, when last Thursday night he was taken prisoner by our pickets, while making his way with the pickets of the rebels towards our camps. He is a spy and has acted as such since we left Sandy Hook, but he is now in the hand of the Provost guard, where I trust he will stay until death overtakes him. There is no doubt but what our camps are every day visited by those distinguished rebels who are constantly conveying all our movements to their own friends. And as the two armies are situated, it is almost impossible to keep them out, for we are now so close that our pickets often exchange shots and sometimes hold friendly conversation with each other.
It would be amusing to our friends at home if they could see how the boys spend these lonely moonlight nights; no matter how hard the day’s work has been, the banjo, violin, tucker sticks must be used, and then some one in a loud voice will cry out “Fall in for a dance,” when in a few moments these little tents will gingle with music, songs, and the tread of hundreds of feet as their old mud smashers come down upon the green turf. – This is kept up until the tattoo warns them that it is time to retire. They then return to their humble couch upon the ground, wet or dry, just as the weather happens to be, to crack jokes, sing songs, and talk of olden times until one by one they fall into the hands of Morpheous to dream of the danger of war and the loved ones at home.
Last Saturday morning about half past three we were ordered out for a march. We lost no time in getting ready, and just at the break of day we were again on the road and loaded as usual. Our train consisted of five regiments with Colonel Campbell’s artillery. We had marched but about two miles when we were ordered to halt, and Capt. Holland’s men deployed as skirmishers on the right side of the road. It was our business to deploy out five paces from each other and march in sight of the road to keep any party of scouters from firing into our men. I took my place in front and was followed by an old Englishman over fifty years old, and weighing over 200 pounds, well known in our regiment by the name of Uncle Johnny, [John Hawe from Elkland] he had been sick a number of days but when there was a prospect of a fight Uncle Johnny was the last man to stay behind. We had traveled but a few hundred yards before obstacles almost insurmountable presented themselves before us. We ran into a piece of woods which our men had cut and slashed down to prevent the cavalry of the enemy from approaching us only by the road, where our cannons could mow them down. This continued for about a mile, with the brush so deep and thick that it was impossible much of the way to see the third man in front of us, and there we crawled and tried to run every moment, watching like an old hunter for his game; sometimes running through laurels high and thick were drenching with water, for a gentle rain was falling; sometimes meeting deep cuts in the side of the mountain filled with logs and brush with water murmuring beneath – then clambering up rocks so steep and rough that it would puzzle a mountain goat, then wading through small creeks and brier patches until we were drawn off for some other company to take our place. But this was the worst that we had to contend with, as it was the dividing line between the two chains of pickets. We marched until about noon when one of the advance guard came back at the top of his speed and informed us that there were horsemen ahead. We were immediately drawn up on line of battle and waited in almost breathless anxiety for orders to advance, but the enemy proved to be only a company of pickets who ran like scared sheep, so we marched on. We continued our journey in this way driving the enemy before us until we had passed Drainsville, on the Ledsburg turnpike about three miles, when we marched in the field and encamped, as we little fish supposed, for the night. Here many of the boys had a fine supper on roasted chickens which cost them 25 cents each. Many of them also bought of the lady of the house Southern Shinplasters to send home to their friends. They are a poor looking thing and on very bad paper.
We had just got things well arranged for the night, when orders were given for us to start. This was a hard one, for we were all very tired, but it was the orders from Gen. McClellan, and it must be obeyed. I soon learned that our move was only to blind the eyes of the enemy.
We went back about three miles, and slept in the woods upon the leaves. Sunday morning we were busily engaged roasting turkeys, [wild, of course,] which the boys had caught, when we were informed that we would be wanted to march in a short time. Five companies of our Regiment were ordered out under Col. Kane, on a reconnoitering trip, in the direction of Fairfax Court House.  We had marched but a short distance, when we were informed that there were horsemen ahead, we were soon ready to meet them, but as usual, they fled. We traveled in this way for some time, driving their pickets before us, until we came to the Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad, where we met a large number of the Louisiana Tiger Zouaves, who had long been a terror to the country; but the Northern Wildcats put them to flight, killing five, without any loss on our side. The firing which lasted only a few minutes, was sharp, and showed how cool our men were, for they took as deliberate aim as though they were shooting turkeys. The last man that fell from his horse, was shot about three-fourths of a mile, supposed to be done by Fried Hyler, of Westfield, Pa., belonging to Company A. The ball took him in the eye. That is what I call good shooting, to plunk out a rebel’s eye three-fourths of a mile. His sword was marked U.S., which shows that it had been stolen from Uncle Sam.
When the bullets began to whistle around their heads, they fled in such hot haste, that they left their hoe-cake on the fire, which our men captures. From that point, we turned our footsteps towards our camp, having accomplished the object of our mission.
We had proceeded but a short distance, when there was more firing ahead. I instantly plunged through the thicket to try and get a shot, but I was too late, for they were our to sight. Here no one was killed, and we again marched on, until we came to an old grist mill, about three miles from our camp. There we were again halted and drawn up on line of battle, but no shots were fired. We might have killed a good lot of them, but we took them to be our friends, until it was to late. It was now night, and we were three miles from camp, in the woods, and surrounded by rebels on every side, with nothing but a Negro for our guide. – We marched on about one mile farther, when we were again brought to a stand by the sharp cracking of a few rifles just in front of us, with the balls clipping through the leaves above our heads. Capt. McDonald was in front, he discharged his pistol and ordered his men to fire; they did no, but no one was hurt. This was fortunate, for they proved to be our men. Wm. G. Seely, of Brookfield, informed me that he had good aim at one not more than five rods off, but his gun snapped; this seems to have been controlled by a higher power that that of man. This was the last difficulty we met with that night.
We arrived in camp about nine o’clock, and found it in a state of great excitement, for our own pickets who had fired into us, reported that a large army was advancing upon them. Cannons were planted, and cavalry mounted, but they were rejoiced to find their advancing foe, the Buck-tails.
Long after I had retired to bed upon my bunk of leaves, when all around was still, and the pale moon was sailing through the quiet Heavens, shedding her light through the golden forest leaves, and I looked back upon the dangers of the day, both seen and unseen, I thanked God that we were all once more safe, and guarded by our own friends, while we rested from the toils of the day. The next day we marched back to this camp, having been gone three days and marched about fifty-six miles.
We found orders for us to be again ready to start this morning; but the rain which has continued the most of the day, is the only reason why I have had time to rest, and inform our friends at home that we still live. There is a great movement in contemplation, and I expect that we shall leave in the morning, but nothing positive.
---- Col. Crocket. 
Camp Pierpont, Oct. 27, 1861
Editor of the Agitator – Dear Sir, -- This is one of the finest Autumnal days that I have seen for a long time. The sun pours down its genial rays, which seems to give new life to everything around us; but there is a cool breeze stirring, that reminds us all of the coming winter.
I am sitting by a haystack that is nearly fed out, which the “S---sh” [through their kindness] left for us, and I am surrounded by everything that would animate the spirit of people not accustomed to such scenes. On every side, thousands of tents rear their white heads above the surface of the earth, and in the center of every group, the Stars and Stripes proudly float in defiance of the traitors, that are not very far distant; while on three or four different elevations, is stationed the artillery, commanded by Col. Campbell, who is one of the bravest men we have. Often he approaches some of the pieces, sights across them in the direction of the enemy, and then offers curses, because they dare not come within reach of his bull dogs; but this is not all – while we are surrounded with implements of destruction, we are also surrounded with scenes of pleasure. Yesterday, there was a grand review here, the bands played handsomely, and the soldiers made a fine appearance. It lasted about six hours, when it broke up, and we had to go on drill. – This morning, we was out on inspection which lasted about two hours, and then broke up; tomorrow, we expect to go out on review with our Regiment, and I think, when the Bucktails go out, they will make a fine appearance, for we have officers that delight in seeing their soldiers appear better than others – if they can, the first. Our Colonel [C.J. Biddle] is one of the finest men that ever took command of a regiment. Our Lieutenant Colonel [Kane] is a man who can whip a band of Indians in the wood – has been to Salt Lake to fight the Mormons, and is now with us fighting for that liberty that you all enjoy. Our Major is a man of but little experience, but a gentleman in every respect; and we have officers here, I have no doubt you are acquainted with. Capt. Holland, of Lawrenceville, Co. A – Capt. Niles of Wellsboro, Co. E. – Capt. McDonald, of Tioga, Co. G and Surgeon Humphrey of Elkland, all four whom I have much respect. Besides those, the Bucktail Regiment is made up mostly of men from the “back-woods-country,” that have been accustomed to chasing the deer, elk, bear, and all kinds of animals that abound in the forest, and I think they can march farther in a day, carry more on their backs, and eat more hard crackers than any other regiment in the service; but as for their fighting, I will not say anything about that, but I hope that if they ever get into a fight they will win a name that will be an honor to the “Old Keystone State,” and to the “Banner Country,” also. We all have many hardships to encounter, and a desperate enemy too, but we hope soon to drive those vile traitors out of their strong places, tear down their rattlesnake flag, and put in its place the emblem of our glorious Union. ---------------- Bucktail

Camp Hale, near Washington – October 30, 1861
After a protracted silence, I embrace the present opportunity to write you a few lines. Knowing the interest and solicitude, the people of Tioga take in the bold lads who did not hesitate to shoulder the musket in defense of their homes and firesides, word to them from the campfire, will not be unwelcomed.
I suppose you have already been informed that we have left Camp Curtin, and are now in the great “Metropolis” of the free States.
Speaking of Camp Curtin, I have a word or two to say of Capt. Tarbutton, and Lieut. Ball, our drill masters. To their good treatment, and kind attention, we are much indebted and thankful for the same. Their instructions have not been in vain, but tell nobly with the boys.
Our old friend, Mr. Jacob Hyatt of Harrisburg, has our sincere thanks, not only for his kind and fatherly conduct toward us last spring, but for the many favors bestowed upon us at our recent arrival at Camp Curtin. A true patriot and benefactor of the soldiers, can never be forgotten. One incident I will here mention which occurred the night before we left Camp Curtin. In the afternoon at dress parade, we received marching orders – the boys were all in a humor for going to town, but is was impossible for them to get a pass. About half-past eight they gathered near the Guard House, some sixty of the Charleston Rangers. In a few moments, I saw coming what we all supposed to be the New Relief; on they came, relieving post after post, and in less time than I can write it, they cleared the fence and were in full run for Harrisburg. “Sold by Thunder!” was the only ejaculation uttered by the amazed --------, as he turned and watched them leaving on “double-quick,” after relieving some dozen green ones. They returned, however, in the morning, with squalling chickens, and their canteens filled with warm milk.
We are stationed in Camp near and opposite Bladensburg. Company G, the Charleston Rangers, are all with the exception of one or two, enjoying good health and in excellent spirits, and every day preparing themselves to try their skill and courage with the “Chivalry of the South,” and the “disciples of Benedict Arnold.” Tioga may well feel proud of her representatives in the 45th Regiment, under the superintendence of a brave and skillful officer like Col. Thomas Welch.
Captain Whitney, as may will be supposed, is very highly esteemed by the boys, for the careful and just administration of his command.
Our first Lieut., William T. Fitzgerald, an experienced soldier, fresh from the battlefields on the “Sunny South,” is held in as high estimation by the Charleston Rangers, as ever Napoleon was by his “Old Guards.” He is also well drilled in the exercise of the pen, as well as of the sword.
Our second Lieut., John J. Rees is, as we have always known him to be a free-hearted and well-disposed son of “Old Tioga.” In the selection of commissioned and non-commissioned officers the company is well satisfied.
Our rations are both good and wholesome, and we have an elegant sufficiency of every thing needful to the wants of a soldier.
They have boasted in the South that one rebel is a match for four “Union-living Yankees,” but if the boys go into them as they do into Uncle Sam’s beef, there won’t be a Corporal’s squad left to tell the tale.
One thing I am sorry to say – R.B. Terry of Charleston, deserted us at Camp Curtin. We are willing to give to all such patriots, a pass, “double quick,” to where they --------.
Our old friend, the “Great ---------------“ is still with us, and enlivens the camp with his melodious strains.
We regret that Mr. Ensworth’s health would not permit him to accompany us, and that he is still sick at Mansfield, unable to reach home.
The boys unanimously join in sending their best respects to their friends at the old homestead. --------- R.G.R.

Wellsboro Agitator 1861 November 06 page 3
From the Tioga Boys
Camp Pierpont, VA, Oct. 28, 1861
Friend Agitator – It seemed almost impossible when I last wrote, that another week could pass away without a general engagement between the two armies which now stand face to face upon the banks of the Potomac; but such is the case, and as our movements depend upon the circumstances which surround us, it is not in our power to tell when or where a blow will be struck.
The heavy rain which fell last Friday, raised the Potomac so that it was impossible for Gen. Banks to cross with sufficient force to strike an effectual blow upon Leesburg or any of the enemy’s strong holds, and for that reason, no advance has been made. I know the anxious millions of the North are eagerly watching to see these two contending armies meet, and rebellion crushed out at once; but let them be patient, and remember that 500,000 men must be armed, clothed and disciplined, before they are prepared for battle; and to accomplish all this requires time and labor – and let them also remember, that 200,000 or our soldiers have crossed the Potomac, and are slowly but surely advancing onward towards the gulf. Our cause is in the hands of those in whom we can trust, and we are willing to let them pilot this “Ship of State” through the storm which is now bursting upon us. Upon our movements, depend the destinies of America and the cause of freedom throughout the civilized world; and it is necessary that we move with care.
There was a grand review here last Saturday and another this forenoon. The one Saturday was Gen. Smith’s division, before McClellan, and the one today, was the Pa. R.C.V., under McCall. That on Saturday, under McClellan, was grand. There were 12,000 on the field, and as they went their rounds, it was a splendid sight. I stood upon an elevation where I could look down upon them as they marched by their young chieftain, and as regiment after regiment passed with their bayonets glistening in the sunlight, and band after band struck up some old national air, I could see the eagle eyes of that noble hero sparkle with delight, which spoke in language too plain to be misunderstood, that it was an army in whom he could risk the safety of our country.
Gen. McClellan is a man about 5 feet 6 inches in height, weighing about 180 lbs. He has light brown hair, with a heavy mustache, and short whiskers under his chin. He is as straight as an Indian, well proportioned, with an eye large and fiery. His motions are easy and quick; his head resembles very much, in shape, that of Napoleon – he is a man that knows his own business. He rode a little iron gray full of life, and knew every motion of his rider. He was dressed very plane, and wore a long, green sash around his waist.
When the review was over, and the infantry, artillery and cavalry had all gone to their different encampments, he sealed his approval, then burying his spurs deep in the sides of his fiery steed, he went dashing from the field, followed by his Staff, and I went slowly back to my little tent, with a stronger determination than ever to live and fight for my country, of die in her cause.
The one, today, under Gen. McCall, was also grand, but as I was in the ranks, I had not the opportunity of seeing, that I had before. There were 15 regiments on the field - all well dressed, well armed and equipped. I think they are as well drilled as those of any other State, and when they fight, they will fight to win, or die on the field.
There is to be what is called a grand review tomorrow, before McClellan, Scott and Old Abe; I will give you that in my next.
One would think, to see the destruction of property in this section of the country, that a destroying flood had passed over the land; but it is different from the one, which lately passed through our Northern valleys. For them, after the water has dried up, a little gold and hard work will make all right again; but here it is not so, there will be ruined plantations, and desolate homes, lonely grave yards, and the embattlements of war, “long after its thunders are hushed in peace.”
I have frequently seen accounts of the scarcity of very many articles of food in the South, but have often thought, that perhaps it was exaggerated, until experience has taught me that it is true. Our last trip, one week ago, was through a country which showed a sad, deplorable state of affairs. We went further into the enemies’ land than any Northern army had been, and all that we saw, showed that the home had been plundered to supply the wants of a hungry army. There was no salt, no tea, no coffee, no meat, no candles, no matches, nor flour to be found. There was but very little butter and corn meal, for those who were left behind. The only ones that still remain, are those too old to walk – the lame and the blind. We traveled three days, and did not see a young man, during the whole time that was able to carry a gun. The most of the homes were deserted, and the buildings fast going to destruction. Every thing looked melancholy and forsaken, and as we traveled from point to point, I could find no language so appropriate to express my thoughts, as that which fell from the lips of one in whose veins curdled the dark Ethiopian blood, when he said,

“Is this the land our fathers loved?
The freedom which they toiled to win?
Is this the earth whereon they moved?
Are these the graves they slumber in?”---------------Col. Crocket

Wa18611120p3- Bucktails
Wellsboro Agitator  1861 November 12 page 3
From the Bucktails
Camp Pierpont, VA – Nov. 10, 1861
Friend Agitator – ‘Tis a warm and pleasant Sunday afternoon – the usual Sunday morning inspection has been gone through with, and I have wandered away from the camp, to enjoy an hour in the stillness of the forest, and to commune with your anxious readers. These grand old forests which but a few short weeks ago, sheltered us when weary, from the hot rays of the sun, are now fast being robbed of their golden uniforms – everything looks ripe with age.
The past week has been rather stormy, which makes our camp somewhat unpleasant, but all pains are taken by our officers and men, to keep warm and dry.
Our morning reports show less sickness in the camp now, then there has been in sometime.
There will be a number of our Tioga boys discharged this week, on account of their health, I will give you their names next week. Lieut. Mack, leaves the hospital today, and joins his company; he has been confined there some three weeks – he looked rather slim for a soldier, but is improving fast.
Our regiment will be paid off Monday and Tuesday. It is rumored that we will then leave this part of the country – whereto, we know not – perhaps a trip down the Gulf Stream; nothing would please us more.
There is quite a contrast between being a soldier in the North, and in the South. We have a plenty of good, warm blankets, clothes and tents, and are fighting for a country, able and willing to get more, when these are gone. Our monthly pay, is in eagles and half eagles, bright from the mint, but it is not so with those in the Southern army, for according to all accounts, they are in many places in a suffering condition, without blankets, without suitable clothing, and many cases, without tents to shield them from the storms. Their monthly pay is old ---- plasters that are not worth a match to burn them up; but even this is far better than the cause in which they are engaged. We are fighting for that which is dearer than life itself – liberty. They are contending for slavery, and to tear down the best form of government that ever was constructed by the wisdom of man. But hark: The voice of prayer now falls upon my ear. While I have been writing this, a few paying men have come within a few yard of me, and have knelt down upon the wet ground, and are calling upon God who controls the armies of the earth, to prosper their dear ones at home, and save this glorious Union from the mad ambition of those who seek to destroy it.
Last Thursday afternoon, the 7th Maine Regiment, passed our camp, to a point a short distance beyond. Quite a number of them had rather too much of the –-- be joyful in their upper stories, but all passed off quietly until about 10 o’clock in the evening, when the sharp crack of a rifle startled the camp, another, and another followed. Lieut. Harrower, who was officer of the guard, instantly sent Capt. Boardman to arrest whoever it might be. They soon found the intruder standing by a fire which he had made by the roadside. About this time, an object went flying through the heavens, directly over our camp, which sounded like the squalling of two cats fighting. He [the man by the fire] was as tight as a brick, and had fired two shots at a man driving an ambulance with a coffin in it, and then shot his ramrod over our camp, and was trying to load again with his fingers, when he was taken and confined in the guard house for the night. He said he was a picket, and had got special orders from Gen. McClellan to shoot every man that passed.
The main topics of the camp for the past week have been Fremont and the fleet. All regret that Fremont has left the army. He has more friends in this division than any other General, except McClellan.
We have watched with great interest, for the last few days, to hear some tidings from our fleet. One hour we hear that the storm has sunk it to the bottom of the deep – the next, that Charleston is taken, and Sumter is ours – the next, that they are still fighting at Port Royal, and the next, that it is still moving onward, and is destined for some point along the gulf. Nothing would please this army so much, as to know that Charleston, that den of vipers, was in ashes, and the Stars and Stripes once more waving over Sumter. South Carolina is the mother of tories and traitors, and has caused this nation trouble enough; and nothing would suit me more than to see her soil once more as barren as it was when nothing but the smoke of the red man’s wigwam curled among the forest oaks, and the owls hooted among their branches. --------- Col. Crocket

Fort Crawford, VA, Nov. 6, 1861
Friend Agitator – Having by this time had a taste of military life, and as it is raining just now and so muddy that I cannot find anything else to do, I will attempt to write a short letter to let you and the people of West Liberty know how we are progressing on the road to military glory. I left Liberty about the eighth of September, with a patriotic fit on me, and landed in Camp Ruff, Norristown, Philadelphia, all safe and sound, where I stayed two days and then went to the Arsenal and “took the vowel: which made me one of Uncle Sams’ boys, in the shape of a mounted Rifle Ranger, [but we have not got the rifles yet] and after staying in Camp Ruff long enough to get “broke in” on hard crackers and salt bacon, we started, niggers and all, for the “land of Dixie.” We were drawn up in line, and “about face,” nearly twenty times, when at last came the order to “present butcher-knives,” [being the only weapon we had,] then “forward march.” As we marched down to the depot, the people gathered round us to bid farewell to the departing soldiers, especially the colored population. At last we reached the depot, and got on board the cars, and were soon moving forward towards the city of Baltimore, where we landed about 7 o’clock the next morning. We marched through the city to the Washington depot in good order, except, that about one-third of the men left the ranks to get their canteens filled and there we were treated with a “hunk” of bread and a piece of ham, with coffee, which we swallowed in “double quick”, and then boarded the train that was to carry us to the Capital of this great Nation, and was soon moving at a “snail’s trot” over the rails; the train being a cattle train, afforded us a grand view of the country, which I will say nothing about in this letter. We reached Washington about sundown, and marched into the soldier’s retreat, after being again drawn up in line ten times, and about-face twenty times more. ‘Till we began to swear sufficient to sink the Southern Confederacy. We got another “hunk” of bread and a piece of horse beef, with more coffee, which we stowed away in craws, and then lay down on the floor in the spit to sleep ‘till morning. The boys all put up their knives and made up their minds to have a good night’s rest – they rested well enough, until midnight, when a locomotive gave a shrill whistle which aroused the “brave butcher-knife Rangers” from their dreams, and caused them to fly about in all directions, supposing it to be the “s---shers.” Some ran out and knocked down the sentries that were stationed at the doors – some climbed the posts in the center of the building, and some have not stopped running yet. One old Irishman ran out against the bank, falling head long, but luckily he was not much hurt; he scrambled up in quick time, uttering – “its all humbug, be jabers, there is no s---sh here.” We soon found out what is was, and the boys came back to lay down again, swearing never to run again as long as they had a knife in the regiment, and we were again soon wrapt in slumber and did not wake up ‘till the sun was shining as bright as a gold dollar in my pocket, [but I didn’t happen to have any.] After eating breakfast, which was on the same plan of our supper, we started for camp. We marched up Pennsylvania Avenue, and halted in front of the White House; Old Abe came out, took off his stove-pipe, made a polite bow, scraped his left foot, and made us a patriotic speech, winding up by saying “that he placed great confidence in us, and thought that we would make good soldiers, and that we looked as if we could run as fast as Jeff Davis could.” We felt highly complimented, presented butcher knives, and gave three cheers for the Union, and then marched to camp. We were not long in pitching tents, and were soon settled down and quite at home again.
We had some narrow escaped while in camp. One of the guard fired two shots at his shadow one moon-light night, and another shot a stray horse for refusing to stop and give the counter sign. We stayed there under marching orders for about two weeks, when at last we saddled up and marched to this place, which we reached all safe and sound – have got our tents pitched, so we are getting along comfortable enough on hard crackers and pork, as usual, and I think when the rebels find that Charman’s butcher knife Rangers, are on this side of the river, they will throw down their arms and disperse. We will use our knives to the best of our ability if attacked by the “sesesh,” and the citizens of the vicinity and West Liberty, can look for the war being brought to a speedy close.
I have nothing more that would be interesting to the reader of the Agitator, except that we sleep close to a den of wolves who came from big Pine Creek. There are three of them, and they rejoice in the names of George, Andy and Mikel; they are good looking animals and will make very good war dogs, with a little training.
The boys are all well, and panting for a fight. ------- Brose

Wellsboro Agitator 1861 November 20 page 3


Camp Cameron, Nov. 8, 1861
Friend Agitator – Wishing to have our company represented through your paper, and thinking that no responsible person will take the trouble, I seat myself on a pile of straw in a cloth tent, only 7 feet square, where six of us “live,” or rather, “stay,” to let the people of Tioga know how well their County is represented in this company – also to let them know our situation.
A small squad of us came down here on the 14th of October, under the supervision of Eld. Drake, who was recruiting for Capt. Lynch and Lieut. Dartt'’ Command, and after drilling under the instructions of the above named Lieut., about two weeks, and seeing our Captain but two or three times, and when we did, - “well you know people will drink sometimes” – so the boys petitioned to the Governor, saying, “that they could not consent to serve under Capt. Lynch, and wished to have B.S. Dartt, appointed in his place, as they appreciated him, as a gentleman and a scholar; also, S.E. Hillier, 1st, and C.L. Greene, 2n Lieutenant, who are well-spoken of by everybody here.” The Governor sceeded to our requests, and they are duly installed in their respective offices.
Our camp is pleasantly situated on a sloping piece of ground near the Harrisburg and Philadelphia R.R., two miles from Harrisburg – is surrounded by large, handsome farms, carried on by dutch people, and slick farmers, they are too. They house their cattle in large, handsome buildings, made for that purpose; but they, themselves, live in small – I say barns – for they are not large enough [generally speaking] to stable a span of horses, let alone stabling half a dozen young ones; for they look as if they were stall-fed, and never curried. But I am straying from my subject.
Our Camp is as regularly laid out in squares – main and cross streets, as the city of Philadelphia. Each company occupies a street by themselves, which they have to keep clean and tidy, by sweeping every morning before breakfast, when the weather will permit. Our company occupies the third street fronting to the Rail Road, and consists of eighty-nine men, all robust, hearty fellows. The Inspector of the camp, says we are a good looking set of fellows, nearly all of a Height and that when we come into action, he will expect a great deal from us. He also says that we keep our streets the cleanest of any company on the ground – I hope our good looks have not deceived him, and that we shall always be found doing our duty, knowing, as we do, that God will protect and reward us in so doing.
Our company was organized and mustered in last Saturday, but everything did not go as we privates expected, [and, in fact, it never does.] Instead of electing the non-commissioned officers, as they generally do, our Captain appointed them, which is probably the better way, as it stops all strife for penny offices. 
Our Regiment is about full, and will be closed the first of next week, when we will get our arms and horses, as they are now ready and waiting for us. We are pretty well drilled in the marches on foot, and can soon teach our horses to “count time.”
Our boys are all well here, but no doubt the conflict between love and duty in some cases, must be terrible, and many a love-lorn swain keeps step to the tune of “the girl I left behind me,” with a sad and heaving heart.

War and love has many cares –
War shed blood, and love sheds tears.

I will give you the names of our officers, and the place they occupy:
Captain – B.S. Dartt
First Lieutenent – J.E. Hiller
Second Lieutenant – C.L. Greeno
First Sergeant – C.H. Vandusen
2nd Sergeant – J.P. Wilcox
3d Sergeant – C.C. Herman
4th Sergeant – H.D. Calkins
5th Sergeant – S.Q. Foster
First Corporal - M.S. Robinson
2d Corporal – D.M. Rose
3d Corporal – A. Weeker
4th Corporal – J.D. Becker
5th Corporal – L. Eighmy
6th Corporal – A.J.B. Dartt
7th Corporal – J. Ruggles
Names of the privates in the Company from Tioga County – 28 in all:
Chas. H. Vandusen
J.P. Wilcox
H.D. Calkins
D.M. Rose
A.J.B. Dartt
J.D. Ruggles
G.W. Ayers
A.C. Cleveland
Robt. Calhoone
Chas. Clark
Rosel Gile
T.S. Gillet
Philander Hall
C.H. Hartell
W.V. Lovell
H.B. Morrison
F.S. Morgan
M.H. McCollum
C.M. Rumsey
Wm. Waters
Merit Woodard
P.D. Rumsey
C.D. Warner
Augustus Waters
L.M. Sperry
Noah Wheeler
J.S. Howe
James Howe
---------------Written by R.C.

WA18611211p4-Camp Pierpont
Wellsboro Agitator. Dec 11, 1861 page 4

Appearance of the country – Its desolation – A trail of skill – Holland’s Company, first best – Co. E. not in the ring – Col. Biddle, resigns – What his regiment think of him

Camp Pierpont, Va., Nov. 28, 1861
Knowing how eager the friends at home are to receive the smallest item of news from the Tioga boys, I will venture to trespass upon their patience and good nature, that is, with your permission. We are at present encamped in a beautiful meadow near a small town called Langleys, and are surrounded by the encampments of the Regiments composing the Pennsylvania R.C.V. The present appearance of the country, I imagine, would somewhat astonish the “secesh” in habitants who formerly occupied this section of Uncle Sam’s farm. One might ride for miles and never see a fence rail, they [the rails] having been split into firewood to cook the invaders’ meals. Whole acres of timberland, and groves of shade trees have been sacrificed, and have fallen before the keen axe and sturdy arm of the North man. Fine, young orchards have been ruthlessly leveled with the ground, to make room for the reviews of the troops of the Union.
The boys of this company [Niles’] are in fine spirits, and are waiting to try their metal with the boasted chivalry of the South. Our regiment had a trail of skill with the rifle today, and as far as I have seen, Company A, under Capt. Holland of Tioga, made the first best shot. Our Company [E] being on guard, have had no chance, as yet but hope to come pretty close to the center, if not to bear off the palm as the best shots in the Buck-tail Regiment.
I am writing in the midst of a general gloom, which has fallen upon the Kane Rifle Regiment, in consequence of the rumored resignation of our Colonel, Chas. J. Biddle, who has been elected to Congress. He stated in a letter in today’s Philadelphia Enquirer, addressed, to his constituents, that it was his intention to resign his commission in the army, and represent them in the Congress, about to assemble at Washington. To say that we would miss him would but do him justice. He is a thorough soldier, an accomplished gentleman, a man whose good qualities have endeared him to all who have come in contact with him; and I may say that there is not one man who has been under his command since we started from Harrisburg, but what is willing to fight under him at any odds whatever. I believe Col. Biddle to be the only man who could have taken this regiment, so successfully drilled and gained the confidence and esteem of the men under his command, and in saying this, I but express the sentiments of every man in the regiment. As one of our boys expressed it today: “A boy at the age of ten years, might better lose his father and mother, and be thrown penniless upon the world than we to lose our little Colonel.” Give us Biddle, and we will meet the enemy anywhere and at any time, with full confidence of success.
--- Soger Boy

Wellsboro Agitator 08January 1862
From Port Royal
Capt. Niles Company
Otter Island, Dec. 13, 1861
Dear Friend Wellsboro – I have safely landed in Dixie’s Land, where Negroes, cotton, mosquitoes and bullfrogs are the principal productions of the land. We have had several skirmishes with the mosquitoes, which generally attack in the evening. We have been wounded dreadfully, but glad to say not fatally and no lives lost. The rebels are all minus. They flee before us as “chaff before the wind,” and well they may, for we are bloody fellows. I guess they were warned of our coming, by the bullfrogs, which, by the way, are very knowing creatures we found them crying, “go it, go it, go it,” when we came here, and still they keep up the song of “go it, go it,” or if you are the master, “show it, show it.” We are not very easily frightened, and they must not think to bluff us off in this way. We left Fortress Monroe one week ago today, and had a delightful trip. I wish I could describe it to you, grand beyond description. If Government was one to give me anything but my clothing. I should think I was well paid for my time. We set sail on Friday and arrived at Port Royal on Sunday evening. Monday morning we had a peep at Fort Beauregard and Fort Walker. – About 10 o’clock we left for Otter Island, which is forty miles from Port Royal and twenty from Charleston – here we found a small Fort, which the Rebels had abandoned, with two cannon unfit for use. We have five large guns in the fort, and experienced artillerymen, etc., to manage them. The rebels left in double quick time, leaving behind them cattle, sheep, quantities of sweet potatoes, and other things too numerous to mention. Of course we shall take care of these things, they thinking their houses would be of no used to us, burned them. There was about 200 Negroes on the Island when we got here, and have been coming ever since. 14 came to shore this morning, from Charleston, in small boats, said they have been on the sea three days. Our Captain and twenty men went out on a scouting expedition this morning, with orders to return at 4 o’clock. It is now after 9 o’clock, and we are all feeling anxious about their safety. I have been shoveling sand from the magazine that the rebels had fired. There was a large quantity of powder in the Fort, but fortunately for us, the slow match failed to do its work. Our tents are upon the seashore; the water comes up within two feet of us. It is now after eleven o’clock and the Captain and boys are all with us safe and sound. They brought in ten sheep, one beef creature, forty or fifty bushels of potatoes, several rolls of lemon, lots of oranges, peanuts and oysters by the bushel, and a large bookcase full of valuable books, one hundred bushels of corn; and upon the whole, we are having what is called a good old time – plenty to eat, drink and wear, and plenty of good reading.
----- John Rice.

Wellsboro Agitator January 08, 1862 page 4
The Battle of Drainsville
From Holland’s Company
Buck-Tail City, VA, Dec. 22, 1861

Friend Agitator – Amid the excitement of the camp, and amid the clash of arms, and the groans of the dying still ringing in my ears, I seat myself by a good, warm fire, to give the readers of the Agitator the history of today that will be recorded among the most glorious of the campaign of 1861. Last Friday morning we started from our camp about 5 o’clock with one day’s rations, for a forage and reconnoitering trip, in and around Drainsville, which is 12 miles from our camp. The morning was a lovely one, but the weather was much colder in the afternoon. Our company consisted of Gen. Ord’s Brigade, four pieces of Campbell’s battery under the command of Capt. Easton, the First Pa. Regiment, and our Regiment. Of course, our regiment took the lead, and when we had advanced as far as Difficult Creek, Capt. Niles deployed as skirmishers on the left side of the road, Capt. McDonald on the right, while Capt. Holland went in front as advance guards, with the rest following in the rear. We advanced in this way until within about two miles of Drainsville, when Capt. Holland was sent out on the left for artillery guard, with the rest of the regiment in front. We advanced in this manner until within sight of Drainsville, when a large party of rebel cavalry was discovered leaving the town on double quick. – The artillery and cavalry then drew up for fight, on a high point, while Capt. Holland was again sent in front to guard the road and a piece of woods on the right. This was just noon – we staid there about one half hour, straining our eyes watching small parties of rebels about two miles beyond town. This was a continued plan, for them to run and draw us on after them, while their main body of about 5,000 fell back to attack us in the rear, but they had the wrong boys to fool with, for just as they were making their way in behind us, a few Buck-tails under the command of Capt. Niles stood in the way, and the sharp crack of their rifles brought our whole train to a “right about face;” at this moment the artillery went at lightning speed, with their heavy cars rattling over the paved street, followed by the cavalry and infantry, to obtain possession of a high hill, about 500 yards to the rear. This they did in good time, but not before three or four shells from the rebel artillery came whistling over our heads. The ball had then fairly opened, and it was a different one from any we had ever before seen. During this time Captain Niles’ company was nearly surrounded by a regiment of infantry and cavalry, and were fighting their way out like tigers. As Company E fell back to join the rest of the regiment under the command of Colonel Kane, the rebels thinking that the Buck-tails were an easy prey, rushed forward with deafening cheers to show us the shortest cut to Bull Run; but they were barking up the wrong gum tree, for no sooner had the Tioga boys found that they were backed by six other Buck-tail companies, than they made a stand that struck terror through the rebel ranks. About this time our guns opened upon them a volley of grape shot and shell, which sent death and destruction over the field. Out men then made a charge upon them, equal to any old and well-drilled soldiers. It was called the gallant Buck-tail charge, - they were now within 100 yards of each other, and for over one long hour they fought like Napoleon’s old Imperial Guard, bound not to give an inch, but take a yard. It was then and there that the gallant Captain Niles was struck with a ball in the right side, and fell bleeding to the ground. A few moments before he was shot, he took a gun from the hands of one of his wounded men and rushed in front and fought like a hero; and when he was shot, he ordered Lieut. Mack not to mind him, but look to the men; he was, however, immediately taken to the Hospital, and well cared for.
During all this time, our company and company G under Capt. McDonald, were back for reserve, and to guard the road to Drainsville, expecting every few moments to see a regiment of cavalry dashing in upon us; but I can find no language to express the feelings of our two companies, as we saw our dead and wounded comrades brought in and were not permitted to fly to their rescue. I saw tears stand in eyes that knew not what it was to weep, as they begged of their officers to let them join their friends in the fight. Lieut. Harrower, once sent to Gen. Ord, asking permission to re-enforce the Buck-tails, but received the stern reply: “No sir, the Buck-tails are all right, I want you where you are.” That was an hour which I shall never forget; it was on continual roar of artillery and musketry, without any intermission; and when our guns had silenced their battery, and their ranks broke, and men terror stricken, began to flee before the Buck-tails they had long wanted to face, our men rushed forward with one deafening cheer which echoes and re-echoed among the hills and groves, above the rear of artillery and the clash of arms, and as they fell back through the deep thicket, they were closely followed by our men, and I do think they would have chased them through Manassas, if Gen. Ord had not called them off.
Better commanding was never done – the rebels fired very bad, mostly over. They [the rebels] were no cowards, but they fought as well as men could, under such a flag as they carry; but they were completely whipped in a fair fight, in which they had the advantage on the start, and in the ground.
I do not think there is a coward in our regiment, every officer acted the part of a man. Capt. Holland and McDonald were perfectly cool and aching to join in the fight, and there was no post more dangerous and responsible than the one they held.
It is not necessary for me to mention the bravery of Lieut. Mack, for the manner in which he fought after his heroic Captain was taken from the field, speaks for itself.
The number of men engaged in the fight was not far from 3,000 on our side, and 4,000 on the side of the rebels. The 6th, 9th, 10th, and ours, were engaged in the fight, a part of the 9th regiment fought well, also Capt. Carl’s company in the 6th. Capt. Carl is a true soldier, and his men did nobly.
List of killed and wounded in our regiment. I will only give the names of those living in our county. Company E – Killed – George Cook; wounded – Capt. A.E. Niles, in the right side, badly, but not mortally; Sergeant George Ludlo, in the right breast; Barzile Deroy, in the head; Edwin Orshurn, in the forehead with a buck shot; Parish Mosure, with a buck shot in the ear; Samuel Campbell, a slight hit on the nose – just got a smell; Benj. B. Potter, slightly on the right shoulder with a piece of a shell. The total number killed in our regiment, 3; number wounded, 27. The total number killed on our side, 10; number wounded, not far from 70; number of rebels killed as near as we can ascertain, 200. I see that the papers put it less, but one of our Captains counted 170; others found more in other spots. This can’t be far from right. It is impossible to give the exact number wounded, but I will put it at a much less ratio than ours, according to the number killed, and it cannot be less than 300; making their loss killed and wounded, 500. We took 8 prisoners that were not wounded, besides a large number of wounded.
I passed over the battlefield after the fight had ceased, and what a sight met my gaze! The ground was strewn with the dead and the dying, but I will not attempt to describe it, for you will only sicken at the scene. I saw trees that our cannon balls had cut down, over one foot in diameter – 8 dead horses lay in one pile – broken wagons and mangled piles of humanity lay heaped together; but I will turn from this horrid subject, for I have already said more than you will want.
One regiment that we had to encounter, was the same Louisiana Tigers that we met just two months ago at Hunter’s Mills. One of the prisoners that we took, says that they left Centerville that morning about 3 o'clock, with a determination it they met us to kill or take us, or die on the field. They also say that Johnson followed them out about three miles, and then told them that he had often heard them boast how they would like to meet the Northern Buck-tails once more, and he hoped that they would now have a trial, but in the name of all they held dear on earth, to show them no mercy. They did meet us, and if one can judge by the number they left on the field, the guns, knapsacks, haversacks and blankets which were scattered for miles, that they will not want another meal of Buck-tails. I think the Kentucky rifles were the best marksmen they had; they had a good gun.
Just as darkness began to veil the battlefield, we fired one grand salute, and started back to our camp, where we arrived about 10 o’clock, tired and hungry. We traveled that day twenty-five miles, besides all the fighting and other work, which made a pretty good day’s job. – Our men brought in about 150 guns, and 70 wagon loads of forage.
No man can doubt but what this is one of the most complete victories that we have had in this part of Virginia. I think another will follow long before your readers get this.
Col. Kane was wounded slightly in the face; no one can doubt his bravery.
I sent home a rebel overcoat by George Potter, stained with rebel blood, the darkest kind, right from South Carolina. I thought, perhaps, it would be a curiosity in “Old Tioga,” and might serve to sharpen the fighting temper of the “stay-at-home rangers.”
------Col. Crocket.

P.S. – There are other things I would mention if I had time. The man who was killed in Company E, [George Cook], was buried this afternoon, with all the honors of war due to his rank. Our whole regiment followed in the train. This is the first Tioga boy that has been killed in battle, and as I saw him lowered down into the soil of the “old Dominion,” to sleep forever in an enemy’s land, away from kindred and friends, where no kind mother or affectionate sister could drop a farewell tear, I thought of the language of the poet when he said:

“If there be on this earthly sphere,
A boon, an offering Heaven holds dear,
‘Tis the last libation that liberty draws,
From the heart that bleeds and breaks in her cause.”
----- Col. Crocket.

Wellsboro Agitator January 08, 1862
From Holland’s Company
Camp Bucktail, Dec. 28, 1861
This has been a beautiful Sabbath day, and our old parade ground has presented another splendid scene. The Pa. Reserve Corps passed in review this afternoon, before Gov. Curtin, Cameron Grow, Bayard Taylor, and our own Generals. Everything passed off in good order. And after we had all passed in review, Ord’s brigade, or all those that took part in the Drainsville fight, was formed in line of battle, to listen to a short but eloquent speech from the Governor. He spoke in glowing terms of our first and last great fight – our coolness and our courage. He told us how the great heart of the old Keystone State, beat with anxiety when the wires brought the news that the Reserve Corps was engaged in deadly strife with the enemies of our Country and Liberty – and how their longing hearts were relieved when, at midnight, the glad tidings came that victory had crowned our banner. He said he would have the word “Drainsville” inscribed upon our banners. He reminded us of what we were six months ago, “Then,” said he, “You were but raw recruits, but now you pass before me with a martial tread, equal to any regular soldiers.” When the Governor finished his remarks, cheer after cheer went up from the enthusiastic crowd, which made the heavens jingle, and then all returned to their homes, with a stronger determination than ever, to die an honorable death upon the battle field, or see this grand old Union once more restored to is former standing among the nations of the earth.
Our camp, during the past week, has been full of life and excitement, though the weather has been quite cold, yet, groups of soldiers would gather around their camp fires, and relate the incidents of the fight, the dangers they passed through, the first feelings when the balls began to buzz by their ears, and the prospects of another battle. I see that many of the papers give the rebel loss much less than I did in my last letter, but from their own reports, and all the facts which I can gather, I must still say that their loss, kill and wounded, cannot be one man less than 500. The Richmond papers acknowledge a loss of over 400 killed, wounded and missing, besides many that were slightly wounded. They also acknowledge the loss of 1 Colonel, 1 Lieut. Colonel, 1 Major, 8 Captains, and 1 Lieutenant. Wounded – one Col., 1 Major, 11 Captains and Lieutenants, and 25 horses. And I know from the trails of blood which led from that dead covered field back into the deep woods that this cannot be too great. The same paper also says, that they only fell back about a mile, and then again formed in line of battle, to await our approach, but that we know to be a lie, for our men followed them farther than that, and our whole company saw them more than two miles off, and still going at the top of their speed. They also say that they had only about 500 engaged in the fight, and we had 13,000, which is another lie, for we had only about 2,500 which took part in the fight, but I presume they thought that they had met the whole Northern army. Their wounded prisoners now in our hospital, say that they have no desire to go back, for they are as well off as they were before. It is reported that the rebels came back two or three days after the fight and buried 164 of their own men and one Buck-tail, this may be so, for Lewis McGraff, of Co. E, is missing, and it is not known whether he is dead or taken prisoner. Our wounded men are all doing well. Col. Kane is in Washington. His would on the right cheek was not bad. Capt. Niles bears his pains like and old Roman. His health is improving. It is reports that there is a large body of rebels in Drainsville, it so, you may look for another fight soon, for there will be not backing down on our side. If there is another fight in that place, it will be one equal to any that has yet been fought, for in five hours we can get to that little sunken hole 50,000 men, and soldiers that know no defeat.
Our regiment is still without a Colonel. No one can tell how much we miss Colonel Biddle. We never knew his worth, as a Col., until we were deprived of him. Our regiment is now in the care of Capt. Taylor, who is now doing a fair business with us. He is a brother of Bayard Taylor, and will, in time become a noble officer.
It is now nearly midnight, and as our company has to go out on picket early in the morning, I will close by wishing you a Happy New Year, hoping that when another New Year rolls around, this rebellion will be wiped out forever, and all will be peace, and old John Bull will cease to growl, and the hundreds of thousands who are now far away from their joys, exposed to danger and death, will be surrounded by the dear ones they have left behind, in their own pleasant homes.
---- Col. Crocket.
See More Letters at 1862 page
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 25 February 2011
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice
Page typed and submitted by Pat NEWELL Smith