eaten, then I clearly owed it to myself to eat its value as soon
as possible. It was not till months afterward that the un-
362 NINTH NEW YORK HEAVY ARTILLERY.
natural craving for food wore away. To anticipate a little,
when I reached borne my appetite was at high-water mark, and
1 became the great wonder of the neighborhood. I could not
wait for breakfast before beginning to eat; a luncheon in the
forenoon was always necessary; my dinner was a hearty one,
and there had to be a filling in time long before supper, and
after that usually final meal, I found it desirable to take a
parting mouthful before retiring. Chinking, so to speak, was
had constantly in the way of pop-corn and apples. 1 lived
through it; many didn't.
After we had time to attend to the demands of hunger, our
very careful supervisors ordered us to the bath-house, where
we were stripped of every rag of apparel and subjected to a
most thorough scrubbing with hot water and soap. The cast-
oft' clothing was piled up like a small hill outside of the build-
ing. In my haste and happiness to get rid of my old piison
iriiiiuders, I failed to take from my pocket the remainder of
the money that my comrade, Hchiffer, had loaned me. When
my loss occurred to me it was too late to remedy it, for a long
and diligent search among the filthy cast-off rags availed me
nothing. In a pile of several thousand United States garments
he would be a wise man who could recognize his own breeches.
At the instigation of Schiffer, I remained a few days at the
college barracks to assist, but I found that my long lack of
familiarity with the pen had served to make me almost a child
again, so I was of little use in the office. I was too weak for the
room where clothing was dealt out. Besides, I knew that away
up north a family was wondering where the oldest boy was,
and the tugs at my heart-strings were stronger than I could
resist. I might linger here to tell of the fun that those who
were regularly detached had at their quarters; of the quaint
and (|neer tricl;s they played; of the surroundings of the bar-
racks; but these items would not have sufficient bearing on my
story. I managed to see something of the city, famous in our
national annals. I sat in the very room where Washington
stood when he resigned his commission as commander of the
Revolutionary armies, and I crawled to the very top of the
State lloiise. T actually went u]) on hands and knees, because
my legs failed me in the stair-climbing business.
Concluding that my duty called me home at the earliest mo-
ment possible, I asked for a transferral to parole camp. This
PRISONEKS OF WAR. 363
was located some three or four miles west of the city and had
accommodations for several thousand men. Eatinp; and talk-
ing over late hardships, along with the comparing of notes
with men from other prisons, formed our chief occupation here.
My furlough and my departure come speedily, and happily I
make my way to Baltimore, and thence by the Northern Cen-
tral railroad I journey homeward. The only incident of this
trip worthy of mention, is the stopping for dinner in Williams-
port, Penn. There was a great throng at the restaurant, and
before I could get to the table the bell rang for us to go aboard
the cars. What was I to do? I had paid my dollar and a half
— dinners cost something in those days — and had not had a
mouthful. My old haversack was at my side. It would hold
everything but coffee. I resolved to put it to the test. Accord-
ingly I made my way to the table regardless of ceremony, and
procured a cup of coffee, which I drank at once. Then, opening
the wide mouth of my haversack, I tumbled in everything that
I could reach. Bread, meat of all descriptions, vegetables as I
could find them, till the well-tilled interior of the bag reminded
me that I must have my money's worth. This was not done ou
the sly, I'll assure you, for I was the observed of all observers,
receiving from them hearty cheers while I was filling up. The
supply was ample for me even, clear up to my reaching home.
It was on this trip that a fellow passenger indulged in the
profanity alluded to in a former paper, over a piece of my
ration preserved from Danville.
Reaching Elmira late at night, and having to leave early in
the niorniug, I enter a saloon and solicit the privilege of spread-
ing my blanket on the floor for a few hours, a favor readily
granted. This is no hardship for me, since I am used to a bed
on the floor. The unceasing din of noisy drinkers does not
disturb me in the least. At the proper hour I took the train
for Watkins, and went by boat to Geneva on the old Xew York
Central railroad. As I wandered over the boat I was not a
little pleased to find it the very one in which I had journeyed
southward a year before. I knew it, for written on the smoke-
stack was my own name, placed there, boy-like, by myself. 1
felt as if I had found an old friend.
The great throbbing engine can not bear me swiftly enough,
now that I am on my homewai'd way. Eastward we fly,
through Syracuse, Rome, Utica, till finally I am deposited in
364 NINTH NEW YORK HEAVY ARTILLERY.
Herkimer, whence I am to make my trip by foot to Middleville,
six miles furtlier north. Mj entire way is along the bank of the
West Canada creek, whose waters some miles above form the
famous Trenton Falls, but I am not just now aesthetically in-
clined. I am going home as fast as my strength will admit.
Of course I should have gone to a stable and hired a convey-
ance, but again I overrated my powers of endurance. I had
walked this same road repeatedly before, and why not now!
I had progressed only a little way when it became painfully
apparent that I could not hold out. Accordingly I called at
the next house and asked the farmer if I could hire him to carry
me to Middleville. This he consented to do fora dollar and a half.
Snugly ensconced in a sleigh with plenty of buffalo robes about
me, I made the remainder of the journey comfortably.
Beaching the village, I dismiss my driver as soon as I arrive
in sight of the lighted windows in the parsonage. It is more
than a year since I saw the interior of that house, and eight
months since I have heard from any of its occupants. What
changes may not have taken place in that interval! Is it any
wonder that I do not wish any outsider to witness the meet-
ing? The curtains are down, so I get no revelation as I ap-
proach. Drawing the cape of my overcoat above my head I
advance to the door and knock. Soon a step approaches. I
think it that of my father. The door opens and father stands
before me. The soldier coat for a moment confuses him, but
it is for a moment only, for he speedily exclaims, "Why, my
son,*' and grasps me warmly by the hand. By this time I
have entered the room, where mother takes me to her heart as
only a mother can. My sister disputes with her the possession
of my head and shoulders, a seven year-old brother is hugging
for dear life the lower part of my body; but through all this
I am sensible there is something lacking. My anxlou.s look is
detected. My eyes have indicated what my tongue dare not
utter. My brotjier, just in his teens, is missing. Mother, whose
hair has silvered rapidly during my absence, says, "You are
looking for Mort." This was and is the home name of Morti-
mer, the playmate of my boyhood. "He is not at home now.
He has secured a place to work in Auburn." What a sigh of
relief I drew, for 1 feared that the vacancy indicated that the
boy at home had succumbed to that which his soldier brother
had escaped. A telegram speedily summons him, and ere many
PRISONERS OF WAR. 365
hours tJie family is reunited. Of the comparing of notes, of the
battles fought over, of the rejoicings that home was found,
why take your time to tell? They are in the lives and experi-
ences of every listener who went to the war and then came
back to his home again.
Perhaps, however, I shall never have a better opportunity to
say a word about those who saw the home side of the war.
We who went down to the strife, carried the guns, and as we
thought then endured all the hardships, knew nothing of the
terrible anxiety of those whom we left behind us. The great
majority of the rank and file were irresponsible boys who were
fairly happy when their stomachs were full and the marches
were not too long. Of what a father's sensations might be I
had not the slightest notion till long after the din was over.
The older men of our comrades did not receive from us the
consideration that I now think was their due. They were fre-
quently laughed at as blue and gloomy, when all of us would
have been just the same had we had equal responsibilities. But
young and old we had the consolation of action. The march,
the bivouac, the fight, all these served to distract the mind
and prevent its dwelling on thoughts which brought heaviness.
Not so in the home. There a never wanting sense of loneliness
abode. The one absent in body was ever present in mind.
The danger to which he was exposed was, if possible, magnified
till the anxious soul fairly consumed itself in its ceaseless vigils.
Every report of new movements at the seat of war brought
with it the wonder whether the dear one would be endangered,
and of these contemplated movements those at home knew
vastly more than did we ourselves, who were actors in the
drama. How the papers were read! The popular newspaper
era in this country may be said to date from the days of the
war, when the correspondent learned what the people wanted
for news. Was there a battle! With what feverish haste the
paper was devoured, dreading, fearing, lest the name dearest
of all may appear among the fatalities.
A father enters the home with a copy of the Xeic York Herald
in his trembling hand. The wife and mother who had watched
for his return knows that he brings sad news. The corps to
which their boy belongs they know has been designated for a
perilous task, and this paper tells the story of the fight and of
the casualties. The father can not trust himself to speak, but
366 NINTH NEW TORK HEAVY ARTILLERY.
he points to one name among the missing, and then betakes
himself to his closet for prayer, his refuge in every hour of dis-
tress. The mother reads the name of her first born as not
accounted for, and what boots all the rest? Patriot though she
is to her heart's core, she can not help the question, "Is the
purchase worth the price?" With what diligence must she
pursue her household duties to prevent the weight of her ca-
lamity crushing her. Anon, she searches for the father, and
finds him with his Bible in hand looking for comforting pas-
sages. His hands tremble as he turns the leaves of the well-read
book, and here and there he finds words that to him afford
comfort. He has preached from these to many a congregation
when their dead were brought home to them, and now he must
face the dread possibility. Will his faith shriuk? I think
not. Through those eyes a long line of patriotic ancestry is
looking, and though the sacrifice were thrice as great there
would be no faltering with him. But such tests bring their
inevitable results in premature age. Many a boy left his par-
ents with not a token of advancing years visible in them, and
after a few months' absence returned to find wrinkles and gray
hairs making sad inroads on his parents' faces. During the fur-
lough following my imprisonment, it was my pleasure to sit
at the table of certain aged relatives who had for sundry rea-
sons always possessed an unusual regard for me. Said the
gentleman, "We have never sat at this board, during all the
months of your being with the rebels, without wishing you
might have some of the food before us; and we have never
knelt at the family altar without bearing you in our prayers
to the throne of the Heavenly Grace." Behind the most of us,
who imperiled health and life, there were just such prayers
constantly ascending, and whatever our own lives, we were not
sorry that this praying contingent was ceaseless in Its activity.
Our battling was that home in the broadest and deepest
sense might exist in all this fair land; that no nominal owner
might separate the father from his children, a wife from her
husband. Our fight was a winning one, and with the end of
our fighting was the end of the glaring and flaunting lie that
one man could hold and enslave his fellow man. Henceforth
the flag that we had followed was to float over a race of free
men, free to come and go, free to make and hold, what I have
tried to i)icture here, a Home.
VETERAN ASSOCIATION. 367
Veteran Association of the Ninth Heavy Artillery.
For more than twontjtivf years aimiial fjatlierinsfs of the
survivors of the regimeut have been had. It is claimed that the
association had its birth in a camp pitched at Briscoe's Cove,
on the soutliern shore of Great Sodus bay, August 26, 27 and 28,
Tliis meeting had been decided upon at a preliminary run-
together of certain veterans of the regiment held in Lyons
March 4th, 1874. Of this preparatory meeting Lieutenant L.
C. Comstock of Auburn was the secretary.
The camp itself was a great success, and is to this day referred
to as a time to be remembered. So successful was it that an
enlargement of its scope was determined upon, and the Wayne
and Cayuga Veterans' Association was formed, which for many
yeais held its assemblies on the shores of the bay. It is not too
much to state that no similar gatherings in the Empire State
have been more successful than those drawn to this beautiful
portion of New York. They have commanded speakers from
all parts of the country, and have grown to be affairs looked
forward to at each recurring summer.
The reunions of the Ninth became a small part of the day's
doings, and were held at some designated hour in an assigned
tent, the same course being observed with other regiments
from this section of the state. While the passing hour was de-
lightful, it did not quite measure up to what the veterans
tliought the occasion demanded, and each year tliere was a de-
maud for a reunion elsewhere where the regiment should be
the chief consideration, and this desired end eventually came
Records are preserved of the gathering in the tent at the
county camp of 1888, more or less full. In that year Captain
George W. Brinkerhoff of Company A presided, and J. S. Roys
of I) Company was secretary. Remarks were made by Captain
Chauncey Fish of B; G. D. Fox of A; Lieutenant C. D. Lent
of H; L. B. Rice of B; Lieutenant Lewis Barton of D; A. S.
Roe of A; H. P. Howard of H; Frank Tallman of E; Thomas
Hilliard of D, and others. Officers for the ensuing year in-
cluded: President, Lieutenant C. D. Lent of Wallington, and
368 NINTH NEW YORK HEAVY ARTILLERY.
Secretary, J. S. Roys of Lyons. This meeting was held August
14, at 4 P. M.
In 1889 the meeting came August 15, at 4 P. M., with the
ofiBcers elected the preceding year. Those elected for 1890 were
B. L. Avery of Auburn, president, and Frank Tallman, also of
Auburn, secretary. Interesting addresses were made by Chap-
lain S. T. Devoe, L. B. Rice, Captain Fish, and others. The
drift of sentiment was decidedly in favor of a reunion on some
autumnal day where the regiment might have the time to itself.
In accordance with the expressed wish, the next gathering of
the regiment was in Auburn, and the list of annual gatherings
was begun, kept up regularly, except in 1892. The date was very
fittingly the 19th of October, the 25th anniversary of the regi-
ment's greatest battle. An address of welcome was given by
General William H. Seward, which has been highly prized in
the intervening years, it having been printed by vote of the
survivors present. The oflScers elected at the summer gather-
ing held over.
In 1890, October 17th, in the armory of Auburn, the veterans
gathered again, and were welcomed by Mayor Wheeler, and
were responded for by General Seward. The Rev. R«uben Bur-
ton, former lieutenant in Company B, gave the address. Col-
onel Anson S. Wood was elected president, and Frank Tallman
was continued as secretarj-, an office which he has continued to
fill to date. There is little doubt that the success of the asso-
ciation is due in no small degree to his unflagging zeal in trying
to reach all surviving members of the regiment. Those who
cherish the memories of their service in war-times owe very
much to him.
October 2()th, 1891, saw the reunion held in Lyons, Wayne
county, and was presided over by President A. S. Wood, who
was re-elected for the following year. On account of the G. A.
R. encampment in Washington the coming year, it was decided
to skip the annual meeting, though a very large number of
the veterans came together in the Capital.
In 1893, October 19th, again the men came to Lyons for their
annual handshake and story-telling. They elected John Kevand
of Weedsport president, and named his home-town as the next
place of meeting.
At the Weedsport meeting, October 19th, 1894, the subject of
a history of the regiment was considered, and it was voted to
VETERAN ASSOCIATION. 369
invite Alfred S. Roe of Worcester, Mass., formerly of A Com-
pany, to prepare such history, he having on this occasion read
an account of the regiment's part in the Battle of Monocacy.
Colonel Anson S. Wood was elected president, and Clyde was
assigned as place of meeting.
The Clyde gathering, October 18th, 1895, was large and en-
thusiastic, with addresses from the president, Hon. Charles T.
Saxtou, and others. Major George W. Brinkerhoff was chosen
president, with Wolcott as the next assembly place.
Wolcott people did themselves proud in their reception, and
congratulatory remarks were made by different speakers, civil
and military. The date was September 17th, 1896, pretty near
the Winchester date, but not quite. It was voted to meet in
Buffalo Aug. 24th, on account of the G. A. E. encampment
there in 1897. H. W. Vishion of Company M, a resident of
Buffalo, was made president.
The Buffalo assembly drew together men who had not
before gathered at the reunions, along with the many who
are always on hand. Though way beyond the precincts
specially devoted to the Ninth, the meeting was an excellent
one. W. V. Walker, Company L, was elected president, and
Moravia, his home, was nominated for the next reunion.
The day selected for 1898 was September 16th, and the clans
repaired to the good old Cayuga village with its quaint Ger-
man name. All enjoyed the trip and made A. W. Vanderbilt
of Newark, Wayne county, the coming president, and named
his village as the place, the date to be October 19th, 1899, and
with the permission of Providence the gathering will take place
at that time and place.
Secretary Tallman, with his accustomed care, has retained
the number of those attending the reunions, and the following
is the statement: 1889, 313; 1890, 22.5; 1891, 164; 1893, 207;
1894, 218; 1895, 254; 1896, 210; 1897, 287; 1898, 143. The time
is rapidly approaching when the attendance must fall off meas-
urably, for many are nearing an age when distance does not
The democratic character of the assemblies has given them a
great popularity. The women friends of the veterans are al-
ways welcomed, and they are among the most interested listen-
ers of the proceedings, which are usually of a reminiscent char-
acter. The citizens of the towns where the reunions are held
370 NINTH NEW XORK HEAVY AETILLEEY.
have, as a rule, thrown open their homes and hearts and given _
the warmest reception possible. To the younger and rising I
generation these gatherings have been excellent object lessons,
keeping fresh in mind the sacrifices made that they might enjoy
the blessings of liberty.
When the line is formed and the old "boys" with whitening
locks and aging forms follow their drummers of long ago, it is
a sight to arouse the admiration and emulation of younger men,
and who can tell how wide-reaching the lesson may be? Usu-
ally, General Seward is present, and he leads his men as he did
of old, though no one bears a weapon heavier than a cane.
As far as known the following list includes the names of all surviv-
ing members of the regiment with their post ofiBce addresses.
Brigadier General William H. Seward, Auburn, N. Y.
Colonel James W. Snyder, Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Brevet Lieutenant Colonel William Wood, Westbury, N. Y.
Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Anson S. Wood, Wolcott, N. Y.
Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Sullivan B. Lamoreaux, Cleveland,
Major William Riley Wasson. Dublin, Texas.
Surgeon Dwight S. Chamberlain, Lyons, N. Y.
Assistant Surgeon Byron Dewitt, Oswego, N. Y.
Quartermaster Henry P. Knowles, Palmyra, N. Y.
Quartermaster John W. Rice, Auburn, N. Y.
Adjutant W. DeW. Pringle, Hastings, Minn.
Adjutant Vincent A. Kenyon, Dresserville, N. Y.
Chaplain Stephen T. Devoe. Wolcott, N. Y.
Sergeant Major John E. Dean, Newark, Ohio.
Hospital Steward John F. Failing, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Allen, G. W., Callispell, Montana.
Arne, William, Alpena, South Dakota.
Ayler, Jacob, Corning, N. Y.
Bancroft, Samuel E., Westbury, N. Y.
Barber, William, Red Creek, N. Y.
Barber, George, Red Creek, N. Y.
Barnett, Harrison, Early Bird, Florida.
Becker. Jeremiah. Quincv, Mich.
Bigelow, N. v.. North Wolcott, N. Y.
Billings, John, Sodus Point, N. Y.
Blanchard, C. W., Victorv, N. Y.
Brinkerhoff, Capt. G. W.,"R