Henry F. W. Little.

The Seventh Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion online

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the nature of an individual enterprise, was by man}' con-
sidered doubtful.

The State authorities were asked merely to pay to those
enlisting in this regiment, the ten dollars bounty which
they paid to all others, and which they readily agreed to
do. The rendezvous of the recruits was established at
Manchester, circulars were at once issued, and notwith-
standing the competition of other organizations, by the
4th of November eight hundred men had arrived in

The lirst company to arrive at the rendezvous was a
company from Manchester, called the "Third Abbott
Guards," — afterwards Company D, — which, under the
command of William C. Knowlton, went into camp on the
i6th of October, with sixty-five men, and was soon fol-
lowed by others. The camp was situated at the then
north end of Elm street, upon a large plateau, which was
owned by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, and
which had been reserved for fair grounds, race-co.urse,
etc. At the southeast corner of the field was situated a
beautiful spring of pure water, which was never forgotten
by the men who, in after months and years, had occasion
to quench their thirst from the quagmires and everglades
of the extreme South.

A line of sentries was established around the camp,
which was enlarged from time to time as the arrival of re-
cruits and portions of companies required. Each squad
or detachment, as it came into camp, was under the com-
mand of the person who had acted as recruiting oflicer,
and the whole camp was under the general supervision of
Col. Joseph C. Abbott. Squad drill and guard dut}'^ were

New Hampshire Volunteers. 3

about all that occupied our attention at this time. A brass
field-piece, belonging to the State, was placed upon the
grounds for the purpose of firing a morning and evening
gun, which was attended to by William C. Knowlton.
The only company at first having muskets was the Third
Abbott Guards, and they had only about thirty, which
were some old muskets in the possession of the City of
Manchester, and were loaned to this company by the city
government who held Lieutenant Knowlton personally re-
sponsible for their safe return. These muskets were of
the old antediluvian style — flint-locks altered over to
percussion-tubes — and there was not a bayonet in the lot ;
but the}' served their purpose well, both on guard and
drill, until the complete organization of the regiment,
when they were returned to the city, along with the old
brass field-piece.

At the south end of this large field was encamped the
First N. H. Light Battery at the time our first company
went into camp, but they were ordered to Washington,
D. C, on the ist of November, and that portion of the
ground was immediately occupied by recruits for the
Eighth Regiment, which was about being organized.

Company D, otherwise known as the Third i\bbott
Guards, was recruited by James M. Chase and William
C. Knowlton at Manchester and vi'cinit}', and by Charles
Hooper at Great Falls and vicinity : it was the first to
arrive in camp and was mustered into the United States
service November 6, 1861, the third in rank and fifth in
line, which is the color company, with three officers and
ninety-eight men. The comnnssioned officers were, —
Captain, James M. Chase ; First Lieutenant, William C.
Knowlton ; Second Lieutenant, Charles Hooper.

Company G was recruited^ at Pittsfield and adjoining
towns by Henr\^ B. Leavitt and Joseph E. Clifford,
in New Durham and vicinity by Penuel C. Ham, and a

4 History of the Seventh Regiment

squad from the vicinity of Ossipee recruited by John
Brown, with a squad from Manchester. The squad from
Pittsfield came into camp October i8, and in a few days
were followed by the squad from New Durham and vicin-
ity and the Manchester contingent, and were mustered into
the United States service with ninety-eight enlisted men
and three officers, November 23, 1861, and took the posi-
tion of seventh in rank or ninth in line. The officers of
this company were, — Captain, Henry B. Leavitt ; First
Lieutenant, Penuel C. Ham ; Second Lieutenant, Joseph
E. Cliftord.

Company A was recruited in Manchester and vicinity
by J. F. Cotton, G. P. Mason, and V. H. Cate, and ar-
rived in camp October 19, with sixty men, and squads
from East Washington, Lancaster, and Strafford uniting
with them, the company quota w^as filled, and the}^ were
mustered into the United States service October 29, 1861.
This company was the first in rank and first in line. The
commissioned officers were, — Captain, Jonathan F. Cotton ;
First Lieutenant, Granville P. Mason ; Second Lieutenant,
Virgil H. Cate.

Company C was largely recruited in Lebanon and vi-
cinity under Jerome B. House, who came into camp Oc-
tober 20, with sixty men, where, uniting with a squad
which had been recruited by Jesse E. George from Plais-
tow and towns in that vicinity, the requisite number of men
were obtained, and the company was mustered into the
United States service November 15, 1861. The com-
missioned officers were, — Captain, Jesse E. George;
First Lieutenant, Jerome B. House; Second Lieutenant,
Samuel Williams ; and when the regiment received orders
to go to the front the company roll contained the names of
one hundred and one officer^s and men, and took rank as
sixth company or second in line.

Company B was recruited in the City of Nashua and

New Hampshire Volunteers. 5

surrounding towns by Orlando Lawrence and Ezra Davis,
in the towns of Kingston, Plaistow, and vicinity by
David B. Currier, and by George W. Taylor, who brought
in a squad from Salem and vicinity. The squad from
Nashua arrived in camp October 24, the squad from Plais-
tow arrived the next day, and Company B w^as formed ;
as soon as the men under George W. Taylor arrived,
the company being full w^as mustered into the United
States service November 1,1861, with three officers and
ninety-eight enlisted men. The commissioned officers
were, — Captain, Orlando Lawrence ; First Lieutenant,
David B. Currier; Second Lieutenant, Ezra Davis. This
company was second in rank and took position as tenth in
line, or left of the regiment.

Company K was recruited in Manchester and vicinity
by Warren E. F. Brown, who went into camp November i,
with forty men, where he was joined by Leander W.
Fogg with a squad from Dover, and by William A. Hill
with a squad from Portsmouth and surrounding towns.

This companv was mustered into the United States serv-
ice December 11, 1861, and ranked as the eighth company
and took the position of sixth in line, or left centre com-
pany. At the time of muster the company had upon its
rolls ninety-eight enlisted men and three officers, although
at one time while in camp there were one hundred and ten
names on the roll, but the extra men were transferred to
till other companies, or were thrown out at time of muster
for various causes. The commissioned officers were, —
Captain, Warren E. F. Brown ; First Lieutenant, Leander
W. Fogg ; Second Lieutenant, William A. Hill.

Company E was recruited in the towns of Fisherville
(now Penacook), Canterbury, Boscawen, Webster, and
the City of Concord, with headquarters at Fisherville, by
Jeremiah S. Durgin, Timothy Dow, and Henry W. Baker,
and arrived in camp November 4, with ninet3'-eight

6 History of the Seventh Regiment

officers and men. The locomotive which was to take the
train conveying the company from Fisherville to Concord
on their way to camp was disabled by an accident, and
the men were obliged to march to Concord, where they
were furnished transportation. Upon their arrival at
the rendezvous in Manchester, it was found that tents for
the company had not arrived and they were marched
down to the City Hall, where they were quartered for the
night, and the next day returned to camp and pitched
their tents which had in the meantime arrived.

The company was mustered into the United States serv-
ice November 7, 1861, and when the orders to proceed to
the front were issued, they left the State with three com-
missioned officers and ninetv-eight enlisted men. The
commissioned officers of the company were, — Captain,
Jeremiah S. Durgin ; First Lieutenant, Timothy Dow;
Second Lieutenant, Henry W. Baker. This company
ranked the fifth and had the seventh position in line.

Company F was recruited by Augustus W. Rollins,
Oliver M. Clark, and William F. Thayer in the City of
Dover and in the towns of Gonic and Durham, and by
Frank G. Wentworth in the towns of Rollinsford, Strat-
ham, Rye, Greenland, and Newmarket, and a few men
were enlisted from the State of Maine. Both squads, num-
bering sixty-five and thirty-six men respectively, came into
camp November 5, and were mustered into the United
States service November 7, with one hundred and one
officers and men on the roll, and were fourth in rank, or
the third company from the right of the line. The com-
missioned officers of this company were, — Captain,
Augustus W. Rollins ; First Lieutenant, Oliver M. Clark ;
Second Lieutenant, Frank G. Wentworth.

Company H was largely recruited in Hollis and adjoin-
ing towns by Nathan M. Ames and John H. Worcester,
who came into camp November 5, with forty-two men.

New Hampshire Volunteers. 7

They were escorted by the Hollis fire company, which had
procured a new uniform for the occasion, and were accom-
panied by the BrookHne brass band, which was provided
b}' the " fire Laddies " ; after reporting, they marched to the
cit}', dined at a hotel, and returning to camp in the after-
noon, buih their cook-house and pitched their tents. Thev
were joined in a few da3's by Alvah K. Potter, with a
squad from Concord and vicinity, and by quite a number
from Ossipee and vicinity, and the compan}' was mustered
into the United States service November 12, 1861, and
took rank as the ninth company and was the fourth com-
pany in line. The commissioned ofiicers were, — Captain,
Nathan M. Ames; First Lieutenant, Alvah K. Potter;
Second Lieutenant, John H. Worcester.

Company I was recruited by Joseph Fresclil and
Charles Cain in Manchester and vicinit}-, and came into
camp November 19, with forty men, was there joined
by a squad from Dover brought in by Perle}- B. Biwant
and a squad from Ossipee, and the company was mus-
tered into the United States service December i_(., 1861,
having on the rolls tiiree officers and ninety-eight enlisted
men. This company was the tenth in rank and took po-
sition as the eighth company in line. The commissioned
officers were, — Captain, Joseph Freschl ; First Lieuten-
ant, Charles Cain ; Second Lieutenant, Perley B. Bryant.

The rendezvous of the Seventh Regiment was named
" Camp Hale," in honor of Plon. John P. Hale, who was
then a United States Senator from New Hampshire, and
who had interested himself in the formation of the regi-
ment. There is not a living representative of that old
camp but vividly remembers the many pleasant times en-
joyed in that place. The tents furnished us were Sibley's,
— of the tripod style, — accommodating trom eighteen to
twenty men each. Nearly ever}' tent squad had some
particular name for their canvas home. The one in which

8 History of the Seventh Regiment

the writer of this was encamped in Company D, was
named "Bummers' Retreat." Another in the same com-
pany was named " Hardscrabble," in memory of the man-
ner in which its inmates went for "grub" at breakfast,
dinner, and supper calls ; one in an adjoining com-
pany was named " Old Gospel Shop," from the frequency
of the prayer meetings held under its canvas ; and an-
other, over in Company H, was named " Music Temple,"
because it sported a famous quartette. Nearly every
squad had its musicians and clowns, consequently we had
everything to make times lively.

As the weather crew cooler, and the nights became
sharp and frosty, we procured small sheet-iron stoves,
which were placed in the centre of the tent, inside the tri-
pod at the base of the centre-pole, and as we could procure
plenty of fuel, the atmosphere inside our tents was quite
comfortable, and was a striking contrast with the frequently
cold, raw, disagreeable weather experienced outside.
Each company also erected cook- sheds, and hired old
cook-stoves from stove dealers in town, making the ar-
rangements for cooking the rations for the regiment ver}-
good, and as the different squads and bodies of recruits
came in they were assigned to the different company quar-
ters, until it began to look as though we might be ordered
south before the winter weather became too severe.

It was the understanding from the outset between Gen.
Joseph C. Abbott and Gov. Nathaniel S. Berry and
his council that such officers only would be com-
missioned as were designated by General Abbott ; and
provisional commissions were accordingly issued to re-
cruiting officers, General Abbott waiving the posidon as
colonel only on condition that it should be given to some
graduate of West Point. The colonelcy was accordingly
bestowed upon First Lieut. Haldimand S. Putnam, of the
United States Topographical Engineers of the Regular
Army, who was considered the ablest soldier commissioned


New Hampshire Volunteers. 9

from New Hampshire. He graduated from West Point in
1857, at the age of twenty-one, with high honors, and was
at once assigned to the highest branch of the army service.
At the breakincj out of hostiHties he was twice sent south
with verbal messages by Lieut. Gen. Winfield Scott, and
was afterwards appointed to a responsible position on the
staff of General McDowell, and distinguished himself at
the first battle of Bull Run.

Colonel Putnam arrived and assumed command on the
26th of October, and from that time until the regiment left
for the front on the 14th of January, 1862, he devoted him-
self laboriously to the instruction and drill of both officers
and men. No part of this labor was superficially done.
The minutest details received attention, and the thorough
foundation of military knowledge then instilled into the
minds of the officers and men, proved of immense value in
the after history of the regiment.

Immediately after Colonel Putnam's arrival, guard
mounting and the instructions to sentries was quite mate-
rialh' changed, and a strict military discipline at once
commenced. No man could now go outside the lines
without a pass. Before, everybody went out about as
they pleased, and, when wanted, a patrol was sent to the
city to gather them in. Heretofore, men had been in the
habit of bringing in liquor in bottles and flasks in their
pockets, or openly. Now they had to resort to strategy
of all sorts to get even a drop inside the guards. Conse-
quently many would go out with their cartridge-boxes on,
and in the city would have a square tin box made so as to
just fit the inside of the cartridge-box, with a stopper on
one corner. They would get it filled with liquor, and for
a time succeeded in passing it in. But after a while the
officers of the guard searched those cartridge-boxes, grow-
ing suspicious on account of the large number which were
constantly worn back and lorth by those who procured

lo History of the Seventh Regiment

Then each company had their beans for breakfast Sun-
day mornings baked at the bakehouses in the city. A de-
tail from each company would be made and provided
with passes to carry the beans, which had been prepared
by the company cooks and put into mess kettles, down to
the bakehouses Saturday nights. The details would pro-
cure their bottles, get them tilled, and leave them in the
bakeshop until morning, at which time they returned early
for their beans. Then they would sink the bottles to the
bottom of the bean kettles and get them safely inside the
lines. This method of smuggling was never wholly broken
up, although it might have been to some extent.

There was one old fellow, whom many of us will re-
member, who had what everyone supposed was an old-
fashioned six-shooter, — of the pepperbox style, — but
which we afterwards found was only a whiskey flask.
Others made large walking sticks, and had false heads
with a tin tube sunk the entire length of the stick, which
would sometimes hold a quart or more.

Some of the men would get a mess kettle and a cook's
pass to go to the spring for water, which was in a ravine
just southeast of the camp, and outside of the lines.
Upon arriving at the spring the}^ would hide the kettle, go
to the cit}', get their tiasks tilled, and returning, go to the
spring for their kettle, till it with water, sink the flasks in
it, and return to the cook-house. But in time all these
ditierent ways of smuggling were spied out, and a sentry
was placed at the spring.

Besides the rations furnished by the United States Gov-
ernment, we had large packages of pies, cakes, chicken,
and corned beef, contributed occasionally by friends.
When any of the men got a turlough home for a few days,
they were sure to come back loaded with provisions ; and
then the bakeshops in the city sent up their teams two or
three times each day, except Sundays. Theretbre we

New Hampshire Volunteers. ii

had not yet felt obliged to contine ourselves wholly to army

At. an early date a few of the men of the different com-
panies displayed quite an aptitude for foraging, and it
was not an uncommon occurrence to see fresh supplies
marching into camp in charge of one of the boys. One
notorious character in particular, in our regiment at that
time, was Charles Swain, of Company D, who came up
from the cit}' one day with a stout stick upon his shoulder,
from which was suspended nearly a half bushel of fine
sausages. Where he captured them we never knew, in
fact, never cared to ask, for lie supplied the boys liberally
with them.

Again, at another time, it was by some means found
out that a certain captain had replenished his larder with
a bountiful supply of fresh sausages and a nice ham.
Alonzo C. Hoyt, a young private of Compan}' D, who
was one of the best men in the regiment, furnished the
company to which he belonged a splendid early break-
fast, while the captain if he had any at all that morning,
must have had good neighbors or friends. But discretion
being the better part of valor, the case was never inquired
into or pushed. Such occurrences were quite frequent
among the different squads, and it became almost a neces-
sity for the occupants of each tent to constantly have some
one upon the lookout for their property, and this precaution
extended even to the tents of the officers.

As winter approached we found our stoves quite useful
when the weather was severe and frosty, for we were
obliged to keep a fire in our tents nearh' every night,
which led to the accidental burning of many of our canvas

Where a tent for some reason was crowded, some of
the men would sometimes accidentally kick over the stove
in the endeavor to move tlieir feet while asleep, and the

12 History of the Seventh Regiment

straw with which the floor was covered would take fire at
once. Often at night we would be awakened by the cry
of " Fire ! " from the ever vigilant sentry, and get out just
in time to see a tent ablaze, and the occupants hardly
awakened and out before it would be a total wreck, often
losing their equipments, clothing, and arms, and some-
times personally escaping in a very scanty costume.

At one time while out on battalion drill, one of the tents
in Company F was burned, the fire lasting but a few min-
utes, but wholly destroying all the clothing and personal
property belonging to each member of the squad who had
been occupying it, and the destruction w^as so rapid that
the company cooks, who were at the cook-house, but a
few rods away, were not able to reach it in time to save
anything. Occasionally we witnessed a fire over in the
Eighth Regiment which was south of our camp.

The boys enjoyed themselves in a very pleasant man-
ner in those beautiful autumn days of 1861. Many a
time when off drill a squad would be seen marching
around the camp-ground singing "John Brown," or some
of the good old army songs of those days, and they
would be reinforced bv others as thev marched along;
until half or two thirds of the regiment had joined them,
when the musical swell and cadence of eight hundred
voices would effectively proclaim the happiness of the
crowd. Jolly, happy boys I How the remembrance of
those days was clouded by the events in after months.

Three years ago I visited the site of old Camp Hale,
and as I contemplated the changes that over thirty years of
time had wrought, I could only imagine that I heard the
old familiar noise and bustle around the camp; and as I
stood alone upon our old parade-ground, the faces of those
3^oung comrades seemed fresh before me, and once more
from memory I witnessed our dress parade. As I sadly
turned my steps away I could scarcely realize that four

New Hampshire Volunteers. 13

fifths of those comrades had quietly and silently been mus-
tered out forever, and I wondered how many of the remain-
ing fifth would survive another decade. To-day the site of
old Camp Hale is entirely obliterated, the broad plateau
being thickh^ dotted with the habitations of the people of
a growing and prosperous city. The spring where all the
water for the regiment was procured is still there, but has
long been in disuse, and will soon be a thing of the past
and covered by a fill of twenty feet of earth.

As soon as the regiment had arrived at its maximum
strength the field and staff" were appointed and commis-
sioned as follows : Colonel, Haldimand S. Putnam, of
the regular army, a native of Cornish ; Lieutenant-
Colonel, Joseph C. Abbott, of Manchester ; Major, Daniel
Smith, of Dover; Surgeon, William W. Brown, of Man-
chester ; Chaplain, Joseph C. Emerson, of Fisherville ;
Adjutant, Thomas A. Henderson, of Dover: Qiiartermas-
ter, Andrew H. Young, of Dover: Assistant Surgeon,
Henry Boynton, of Woodstock, Vt. Of the field and staff',
Lieut. Col. Joseph C. Abbott was the first one mustered,
while the last one was Adjt. Thomas A. Henderson.

The non-commissioned staff" was appointed, and con-
sisted of — Sergeant-Mafor, George H. Elliott, of Man-
chester; Qiiarterm aster-Sergeant, George S. Hanson, of
Dover; Commissary Sergeant, Henry G. Lowell, of Man-
chester ; Hospital Steward, William G. Brown, of Man-
chester ; and Principal Musician, Hiram S. Clifibrd, of
Alexandria. These appointments and muster-in as such
were made December 14, 1861, the date of the muster of
the last company of the regiment.

14 History of the Seventh Regiment




The orijanization of the Seventh Reo-iment was now
faii"ly completed, and the officers and men were all mus-
tered in by the 14th of December : the arms and equip-
ments, and the uniforms and clothing had by this time
been issued to all the companies, and on the nth of De-
cember we held our lirst dress parade in full uniform, and
with arms. The clothing for the regiment had been sent
direct from Washington, D. C, and a man by the name
of Seth T. Miliken w^as appointed as store-keeper to care
for it and assist the men of the various companies in get-
ting a fit as nearly perfect as possible. The quartermas-
ter rented a store in the city for the purpose of storing this
clothing, until it could be given out to the men, who were
marched by companies or squads to the store to be uni-

The uniform consisted of "keg hats" of black felt,
trimmed with feathers and brasses, dark blue dress coats,
dark blue trousers, light blue overcoats, dark blue blouses,
and dark blue fatigue caps, the trimmings and chevrons
of light blue, except the dark blue on the overcoats.
The uniform was exactly the same as the regular army
uniform at that time. The arms issued were Enfield rifled
muskets, brass mountings, calibre 57 — with bayonet —
and of English manulacture. The}" were a very little

New Hampshire Volunteers. 15

lighter than the United States Springfield pattern, had all
the steel parts blue-bronzed, and were really a beautiful
arm and presented a natty appearance.

From the outset, every dollar expended for recruiting,
transportation, rations, and outfit, was paid directly by the
United States Government. Thus a regiment complete in
every respect, bearing on its rolls one thousand and four
officers and men, was raised, with no other expense to the

Online LibraryHenry F. W. LittleThe Seventh Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion → online text (page 2 of 52)