George Perkins.

A summer in Maryland and Virginia; or, Campaigning with the 149th Ohio volunteer infantry, a sketch of events connected with the service of the regiment in Maryland and the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia online

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Or Campaigning with the 149th Ohio
Volunteer Infantry

A Sketch of Events Connected with the Service of

the Regiment in Maryland and the

Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Written by

George Perkins, a member of Company A, at the
earnest request of his Comrades of the Regiment.





The Scholl Printing Company
Chillicollie, Ohio

.-. ;//


In preparing this sketch of the 149th Regi-
ment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the author has
depended upon the memory of events that made
a lasting impression upon a young mind. He
does not claim to have written a full history of
this service, that is stored in the memories and
experiences of the different members of the Regi-
ment. He does claim, however, that the main
facts and movements of the Regiment and the
other bodies of troops associated with it in the
field, are accurate.

The writer was fortunate in making a record
of dates and incidents, soon after his return,
which record has been invaluable in the prepar-
ation of this sketch.

If the little booklet will be interesting to my
comrades, or of any value in a historical way, I
shall feel amply repaid for the labor in prepar-
ing it.

George Perkins


This book is dedicated to the memory of
our beloved Colonel Allison L. Brown. A brave
soldier, a Christian gentleman, and a good friend
of every member of his Regiment. He died as
he had lived, in the good esteem of the commun-
ity, and the love of his comrades.
"Peace to his ashes."

Col. Allison L. Brown

(from a war time photograph)
Enlisted as a private in Co. C 73d 0. V. L,
promoted to Sergeant ; resigned for promotion ;
recruited a company for the 89th 0. V. I.; com-
missioned Captain of Co. D 89th O. V. I.; re-
signed on account of ill health. Elected Colonel
of* the 2d Ross County Militia Regiment, after-
ward the 27th Regiment, Ohio National Guard.
Commissioned Colonel of the 149th 0. V. I. ;
elected Stale Senator in 1875, served four years;
re-elected in IS?!). Died October 2Gth, 187!).
"Colonel Ally."

Captain W. W. Peabody

Captain of Company A 149th 0. V. L;
commander of the garrison of Fort No. 1, Balti-
more, Md. ; Major on the staff of Brigadier Gen-
eral John C. Kenley, commanding the Indepen-
dent Brigade of the Eighth Army Corps.
Our Captain "Billy"
Died October 14th, 1910



Organization of the Hundred Days Service — 13

149th Ordered to Baltimore, Md 16

At Fort No. 1 17

Gen. Early's Invasion of Maryland 18

Battle of Monocaey 19

Edward's Ferry 25

Cattle in the Corn 25

Night March to Washington 26

Negro Cabin in Vale 27

The Negroes 28

Wreck of the Sutler 31

Mosby's Attack at Berry ville, Va 34

Return to Camp Dennison 38

My Capture and Prison. Wm. McCommon__ 39

Note by George Perkins 45

Memories of our Service, Major Rozell 46

Incident in Unwritten History, Lt. McKee 48

Personal Experiences in Prison,

W. R. Browning 51

Incidents 61

Conclusion 65

Roster 69

The winter of 1863-4 on the banks of the
Rapidan was passed in preparation by both
Grant and Lee's armies for that wrestle of gi-
ants that was to begin in May in the wilderness
and end at Appomattox in the following April.

In the southwest Sherman had won Mission-
ary Ridge and Chicamauga and was getting
ready for his Atlanta campaign, and a great
force was doing garrison duty at various points.
General Grant told the President that if he
could have thirty thousand new men to relieve
the veterans, he could capture Richmond and
push the war to an end during the summer. This
was a difficult proposition on account of resist-
ance to the draft, and the vigorous activity of
the Knights of the Golden Circle and the cop-
perheads in the North.

President Lincoln, however, acting on the
suggestion, called to Washington for conference
the loyal Governors of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois
and Iowa. At this meeting Governor John
Brough of Ohio said he would furnish thirty
thousand men to serve for one hundred days.
Governor Morton of Indiana promised twenty-
five thousand. Governor Yates of Illinois twen-
ty thousand, and Stone of Iowa, ten thousand.
Governor Brough returned to Ohio, and at once
began active work.

On April 23d he issned general order No. 12
calling the National Guard of Ohio into active
service for one hundred days, unless sooner dis-
charged, to rendezvous on Monday, May 2d,

page thirteen

and to report on that day the number of men
present for duty. This call was responded to
with alacrity, reports coming in showing thirty-
two thousand present. The 27th Regiment of
Ross County reported five hundred and ninety-
six men.

This Regiment had been organized under a
law passed in 1863, forming the Militia into
volunteer Companies and Regiments. The 27th
was enrolled with the following roster of officers :
Colonel, Allison L. Brown; Lt. Col., James H.
Haynes; Major, Ebenezer Rozelle; Adjutant,
Robert Larrimore ; Quartermaster, D. C. Ander-

The North had suffered an enormous drain
upon her resources, had seen her men sent home
from the front, suffering from disease and
wounds, pitiful survivors of battles in which
thousands had gone down to death. The ro-
mance and glamor of war had gone, the horror
of it remained. There was scarcely a family in
the North who did not suffer sorrow that cannot
be described, hardly a fireside that did not
mourn for a husband or lover, brother or friend,
who went forth with pride, never to return.
Under such circumstances the men of the hun-
dred days service, knowing just what to expect,
hastily arranged their affairs, and from the
stores, work-shops and farms, flocked to the de-
fence of their country in the hour of its direst

On Wednesday, May 4th, the 27th Regiment
O. N. G. reported at Camp Dennison. It was a
cold, disagreeable day. Snow fell that after-
noon, a day on which men would rather have
remained by their own fireside, but a firm deter-
mination of duty urged them on.

It was found necessary now to have a recon-
struction of the Regiments and Battalions. The

page fourteen

eight companies of the 27th were by consolida-
tion reduced to seven. Three companies of the
55th Battalion from Clinton County were added,
making ten companies. By orders, the Lieut.
Colonel and Adjutant were relieved, and re-
turned to their homes. The Regiment entered
the United States service as the 149th Ohio
Volunteer Infantry.

In the organization of the National Guard,
it was generally understood that it was for state
service only. The call for active service came at
a time when to go entailed great personal sacri-
fice of business interests on the part of its mem-
bers. Farmers with scarcity of help, turned
over their work to their wives, who in this time
of emergency proved themselves helpmeets in-
deed, carrying the business of the season thru.
A few of the members of the Guard were dis-
contented, and by the help of Southern sympa-
thizers, endeavored to fan this sentiment into a
flame, and to induce the men to refuse to enter
the service. However, to the credit of the men,
after an address, delivered by Governor Brough
at Camp Dennison, only one Company of the
Guard refused to go, and they were promptly
and dishonorably mustered out. The officers of
the 149th 0. V. I. as re-organized were as fol-
lows : Colonel, Allison L. Brown ; Lieut, Col-
onel, Owen West ; Major, E. Rozelle ; Adjutant,
T. Q. Hildebrant; Q. M., D. C. Anderson; Sur-
geon, W. A. Brown ; Assistant Surgeon, B. F.
Miesse ; Chaplain, W. Morris. Non-commis-
sioned staff : Sgt. Major, George L. Wolfe ;
Quartermaster Sgt., Austin H. Brown ; Commis-
sary Sgt., Edward F. Beall; Hospital Steward,
James F. Sproat.

From May 4th until the 11th the Regiment
remained at Camp Dennison, during which time
they were uniformed, armed and equipped, and

page fifteen

mustered into the United States service. On the
night of May 11th orders came for the Regiment
to report to Gen. Lew Wallace at Baltimore, Md.,
going by way of Columbus and Pittsburg. We
started at midnight, being crowded into box cars,
without a seat or bed except the floor. We rode
in this manner for three days and four nights.
Thursday noon found us still south of Xenia,
and did not reach Pittsburg until Friday even-
ing. There the Regiment was handsomely re-
ceived. We marched to a hall where a bounti-
ful supper was provided for us by the loyal
ladies of that city. That supper to the tired,
hungry soldiers was an event long to be remem-
bered. The good people of Pittsburg fed every
Regiment that passed through, going or return-
ing. Early the next morning we passed Altoona,
Pa., and the great " Horse Shoe Bend." At this
point one of the brakes on our car dropped to
the track as we were descending the steep moun-
tain grade ; we could hear it ' ' bump, bump, ' ' on
the track, but luckily it held, or the history of
the 149th would have ended then and there.
Nothing could have prevented the train rolling
over the mountain side.

However, the longest ride must have an
end. Our train pulled into Baltimore at 3
o'clock Sunday morning. As soon as possible
Col. Brown reported to General Wallace, and
the Regiment was assigned to duty at several
points in the city, relieving the 8th N. Y. Heavy
Artillery, Col. Porter commanding. Col. Porter
with his command, two thousand strong, immedi-
ately left for the front, and after six weeks but
seven hundred remained, the Col. and all of his
staff being killed.

Companies A and F 149th were assigned to
Fort No. 1 on the outskirts of Baltimore, Capt,

page sixteen

Wm. W. Peabody of Co. A being appointed
Garrison Commander.

Between the days of May 4 and 16, 35,982
men, composing forty-one Regiments and one
Battalion, were consolidated, organized, mus-
tered, clothed, armed and turned over to the
United States military authorities for assign-
ment. The Guard was composed of the most
substantial men left in the state, men of every
department of trade, and of every profession.
Ohio had at that time sent ten per cent of her
entire population into the army. What a sacri-
fice on the altar of the country was this great
outburst of patriotism.

Companies A and F settled down to routine
garrison duty at Fort No. 1. Cooks were de-
tailed and the men assigned to barracks, Co. A
occupying the first floor and Co. F the second.
The duties of the day after roll call consisted of
dress parade and guard mounting. Guard duty,
was by detail, two hours on, and four hours off
each being held for duty twenty-four hours.
Time was given the men for many trips into the
city, and this part of our service was very pleas-
ant and safe. Many of our friends from Ohio
came to visit us while we were there and brought
money, and good things to eat for the boys.
Four Companies of the Regiment were assigned
to Fort Federal Hill, and Cos. D, K and I at
Headquarters in Baltimore. On May 25th sev-
eral companies were sent to the eastern shore of
Maryland, with Headquarters at Salisbury.
They had orders to quell the rebellion sympathiz-
ers, and to do Provost guard duty at that point,
to guard the telegraph lines and to patrol the
Bay for smugglers. The author's service being
with Company A, he is more conversant with
the movements of the Regiment in which that
Company took part. The memory of it all is

page seventeen

dim. Like a dream in the night, it is misty and
seems to have occurred ages ago. We who were
just boys of from fifteen to eighteen years of
age at that time, are now the aged and broken
veterans, and the youngsters of toda} r look upon
us, just as we used to think of the old Revolu-
tionary soldiers, when Ave were young. But we
were having too good a time in Baltimore for it
to last. The last opportunity we had to go down
town was on the evening of the 4th of July when
there was a grand display of fireworks.

About this time we began to hear rumors of
Gen. Early's invasion of Maryland and Penn-
sylvania, and it was reported that he was march-
ing on toward Baltimore. He came within four
miles of the city and burned the residence of
Governor Bradford. In Baltimore the excite-
ment was intense. The bells of the city on that
Sunday morning called the citizens to man the
Forts, to dig ditches, and throw up earthworks,
instead of the church service, and thousands re-
sponded to the all. Lieutenant Runkle of the
regulars assumed command at Fort No. 1 and
began a rigid drill in heavy artillery, our guns
were manned, loaded with shell and sighted at
prominent houses, groves, etc., that might give
shelter to the enemy. This drill was kept up for
two days and nights, the men sleeping at their
posts, expecting the ball to open at any moment.
But Early withdrew his forces and with haste,
again entered the Shenandoah Valley.

On July 1st General Early received orders
to invade Maryland and advance on Washing-
ton. He began preparations by forcing General
Siege] to retreat to Maryland Heights where he
\\;is cooped up. Early moved by flank, entered
Maryland and advanced to Frederick City. On
the Oth of July the battle of Monocacy was
fought. We at Fort No. 1 began to see some of

page eighteen

our soldiers come in from the battle field, among
them being Assistant Surgeon Miesse and Chap-
lain Morris, who stopped at the Fort and gave
us an account of the battle. Gen. Wallace had
gathered a force of twenty-eight hundred men,
consisting of one Maryland Regiment and the
rest were hundred days men, among them being
the 144th Ohio, and seven companies of the
149th. On the 8th of July a brigade of Ricketts'
Division of the Sixth Corps came up on a train
of cars bound for Harpers Ferry. Wallace in-
formed the Commander "that if he wanted to
get to Harper's Ferry he would have to get the
consent of Jubal Early." He stopped the Brig-
ade and put it in position. During the night
Ricketts came up with his other Brigade. He
wanted to know what Wallace proposed to do,
and was informed that he proposed to fight.
Ricketts laughed and said, "with my division
and your hundred day men you have only about
6,000. Do you expect to whip Early?" "No,"
replied Wallace, "but I propose to make him do
two things, develop his strength and whither he
is bound."

If bound for Washington he thought he
could delay him at least twenty-four hours, and
it would take him two more days to get to Wash-
ington, and in that time Grant could get troops
from City Point in time to save the Capitol, but
without that Early would be in Washington
when there was not a man in the entrenchments.
Gen. Ricketts agreed with him, and his division
was placed. Colonel Brown was ordered to the
Stone Bridge over the Monocacy where the Fred-
erick and Baltimore turnpike crosses. His
orders were to hold the bridge at all hazards,
but if pressed too hard the men were to scatter
and save themselves the best they could. The
forces under Wallace numbered 5,500, while

page nineteen

those of Early were 23,000 of the pick of the
Confederate Armies.

Long before daylight on July 9th the 149th
was in position at the bridge. They did not have
to wait long until Early's troops were seen pass-
ing through Frederick, bound for Washington.
Then eame the tug of war. Gen. Wallace de-
ployed his men as skirmishers and attracted the
attention of the enemy, the object being to de-
ceive him as to the numbers opposing him. They
held him in check from daylight until late in the
afternoon. During the last hour the only force
opposing this veteran army of Earlys was the
149th Ohio. At four o'clock in the afternoon
Wallace seeing that his army would be either
captured or annihilated, ordered a retreat of all
but the 149th. This Regiment was to cover the
retreat, and to be sacrificed to save the rest of
the army. This was shown by the orders sent to
Col. Brown, which were as follows:

4 :30 P. M., July 9th, 1864.
Colonel :

Major General Wallace directs me
to say that he directs that you hold
your position to the very last extrem-
ity, and, when nothing more can be
done, that you fall back, and if
pressed, direct your men to disperse
and take care of themselves. This is
to be done when nothing more can be
done to retard the enemy's progress.

E. B. Tyler.

Brig. Gen.
Col. Brown was unaware of the retreat of
the rest of the army and was left alone in ad-
vance of the stone bridge, beating back the re-
peated attacks of the enemy until 5:30. At that
time a farmer living near informed him of Hie

page twenty

retreat of the whole Union army except his Regi-
ment, and that they were a mile and a half away.
So he gave the order to retreat. Adjutant Hilde-
brand was sent with three companies and de-
ployed as skirmishers on the left. They showed
such steadiness that Early stopped to reform his
lines, and behind this thin curtain of skirmish-
ers the Regiment cut its way through and es-
caped to the north and toward Baltimore.

When Col. Brown and his brave little army
overtook General Wallace, the latter was much
affected. He embraced him, the tears starting
from his eyes, and said, "Colonel, I never ex-
pected to see you again. ' '

General Grant in his report says "they
saved Washington." The 149th in this engage-
ment lost 130 men in killed, wounded and pris-
oners. The performance of the hundred days
men was a revelation to the old soldiers, and a
surprise to the enemy. They did not know when
they were whipped. Everywhere their duty was
well performed. On the long forced marches,
sometimes hundreds of miles with insufficient
rations, suffering from thirst, tramping the
dusty roads with blistered feet, it was all done
and suffered by the men cheerfully, and as well
as by the veterans of long service. I heard one
of the men of the 19th Corps say, "We have
served for three years but have never seen cam-
paigning like this." Gen. Tyler in his official
report of the battle of Monocacy says :

"It seldom falls to the lot of vet-
erans to be more tried than was the
Ohio National Guard at the stone
bridge, and none ever carried out try-
ing and hazardous orders better, or
with more determined spirit than did

page twenty-one

the 149th Ohio, and the men associated
with it."

The enemy had seized the time when Grant
had depleted the defensive forces of the Capitol,
to endeavor to capture Washington. Early
charged up to the very boundary of the city ex-
pecting to find the rich prize an easy prey, but
the stubborn resistance of the Guard at Mono-
cacy and their vigilance in the forts at Washing-
ton were more than a match for all the vaunted
dash and daring of his veterans, and he was com-
pelled to retire before the raw Militia of the
Buckeye State. This was a source of deep hu-
miliation to the dashing Rebel General which he
never got over to the day of his death. Whether
the hundred days man was on the alert in the
entrenchments of the capital, battling at the
front with the veteran forces of the Confederacy
or skirmishing on the lines of supply with the
wary foe in the rugged passes of the Alleghanies,
they were each in his place doing their duty
manfully toward the great and final victory
which came a few months later.

Lincoln and Grant both said that the ser-
vices of the hundred days men shortened the
war, and, that the President appreciated their
service was shown by his issuing a special card
of thanks, a copy of which was sent to every man
in this service. This was a special favor from
the hand of our great war President, that no
other troops received, and one of which we can
well be proud. It was a tribute to bravery from
the great, noble heart of the kindest soul that
ever lived on earth.

Gen. J. B. Gordon of the Confederate army
whose division was with Early in the fight at
Monocacy, Bays:

"The battle of Monocacy was short, decis-

page twenty-two

ive and bloody. While the two armies were con-
templating each other from the opposite banks,
my division was selected, not to prevent Wallace
from driving us out of Maryland, but to drive
him from our front. My movement was down
the right bank of the Monocacy to a fording
place below, the object being to cross the river,
and then turn upon the Federal stronghold. My
hope and effort were to conceal the movement
from Wallace's watchful eye, until my troops
were over, and then to apprise him of my pres-
ence on his side of the river, by a sudden rush
upon his left flank. But Gen. McClausland's
Cavalry had already attacked a portion of his
troops, and he discovered the movement of my
division before it could drag itself through the
water and up the slippery banks. He at once
changed front, and drew up his lines in strong
position to meet the assault. This movement
presented new difficulties. Instead of finding
the Union forces still facing Early's other divi-
sions beyond the river, giving my isolated com-
mand the immense advantage of a flank attack,
I found myself separated from all the Confeder-
ate infantry, with the bristling front of Wal-
lace's army before me.

"In addition to this I found other troubles
which mitigated against the success of my move-
ment. Across the fields through which we were
to advance, there were strong and high farm
fences which my men must climb while under
fire. Worse still these fields were full of grain
stacks so high and close together that no line of
battle could be maintained while advancing
through them. The movement began, and as my
men reached the first line of high fencing and
began climbing over, they were met by a tempest
of bullets, and many fell at the first volley.
They pressed on and around the grain stacks,

page twenty-three

with no possibility of forming allignment or re-
turning effective fire. The men, deprived of the
support and strength of a compact line, pushed
forward and drove the Federals back to their
second line. The Union troops stood firmly in
this second position, bravely defending the rail-
road and highway to Washington. Between the
two hostile lines there was a narrow ravine,
down which ran a stream of limpid water. In
this ravine the fighting was desperate and a1
close quarters. To and fro the battle swayed
across the little stream, the dead and wounded
on both sides mingling their blood in its waters,
and when the struggle was ended a crimson
current ran toward the river. Nearly one-half
of my men fell there. Wallace's army, after the
most stubborn resistance, was driven in the di-
rection of Baltimore. The Confederate victory
was won at fearful cost, but it was complete, and
the way was opened for Gen. Early's march to

On the 12th day of July Companies A and
P under marching orders, left Fort No. 1 and
Baltimore for Washington City, where we ar-
rived early the next morning. We lay at the
depot until ten o'clock, when we were ordered
to "fall in" and with the balance of the Regi-
ment marched up Pennsylvania Ave., greeted by
the cheers of the crowds who lined the sidewalks
and filled the windows of the buildings. We
marched past the White House and the Treasury
buildings. At the latter we saw President Lin-
coln on the steps waving his high hat as we
marched by. We went over into Georgetown,
where, after a short rest, we joined Hie 19th
Corps in the chase of Early, who, after being
repulsed at Fort Stephens retreated to the Shen-
andoah V;ill

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Online LibraryGeorge PerkinsA summer in Maryland and Virginia; or, Campaigning with the 149th Ohio volunteer infantry, a sketch of events connected with the service of the regiment in Maryland and the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia → online text (page 1 of 9)