Henry F. W. Little.

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

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bv citizens. General SchoHeld made arrangements to
exchange ten thousand, and appealed to the Sanitary
Commission and others North to prepare for them.

We now witnessed one of the most pitiful sights which
it was our lot to look upon during the whole war, as those
prisoners, mere shadows and skeletons, came hobbling
along we lervently thanked God that we had escaped
their hardships and privations. Xot one of them, was
completeh' clothed. x\ few had on the top of what was
once a pair of shoes : others had their feet wound with
rags, while man\' were ba.refooted. A few had on a
small part of a pair of pants, and a blouse, many were
withou.t hats or caps, but they all seemed happy to get
once more into "God's country," as they expressed it.
That thev felt a sense of relief and safety as they passed
under the old Hag, for which the\' had endured so much,
was apparent to all spectators. So enfeebled and reduced
was their condition, that, tor several weeks following their
arrival inside our lines, the death-rate was fearful.

Our chaplain, tiie Re\'. Joseph C Emerson, wh.o came
from Fisher\-ille, now Penacook, N. H., and who had
been continually with us until his capture at New Market
Heights, \'a., on the 29th of September, 1864, was ex-
changed and returned to the regiment January 14, 1S65,
while we were near Foil Fisher, and on the 20th of the
same month, he was mustered out of the service, llis
treatment during captivit\" had so atlected his health that

New Hampshire Volunteers. 417

he found it an utter impossibility to further follow the for-
tunes of the regiment. He was a good man, and at the
commencement of the war was a Methodist clerg3'man.
The men all loved him as a good, honest man ; faithfully
he performed the duties of chaplain and postmaster in the
regiment, at times having in his charge large sums of
money, which our soldiers were sending to their families
and relatives at home. After the close of the rebellion he
settled in Florida, where he was the presiding elder of the
East Florida district. A few years later he was drowned
by the capsizing of his skitf', while crossing the St. John's

February 24, the adjutant was sent, by General Abbott,
outside the lines under a flag of truce, with dispatches for
Major-General Hoke, of the rebel army. He met the
rebel vidette on the railroad, about two and one half miles
out; saw Lieutenant Butler of the Second S. C. Cavalry,
who was very courteous and desired to talk very much.
Returned to camp all right. General Abbott was appointed
commissioner for the purpose of exchanging ten thousand
prisoners. Colonel Hatch was the rebel commissioner
who came in to see General Abbott regarding the
exxhange of prisoners. On the 25th, it was rainy and dis-
agreeable. One hundred men were detailed for fatigue
duty to construct earthworks. On the 26th, it was also
rainy. Major Durgin, Captain Dennison, and fifty men
were detailed as a guard in Wilmington. On the 27th, the
detail for picket was three ofiicers and one hundred and
twenty-five men ; on the 28th, the regim.ent was mustered
by Colonel Rollins.

On March i, many of the officers and men went out to
the railroad bridge to meet a body of one thousand paroled
Union officers. On the 2d, the whole brigade was ordered
to Wilmington, and at once broke camp and proceeded on
our march over wet and muddy roads, arriving at our


4i8 History of the Seventh Regiment

destination abont noon, and went into camp at the north
end of the city. We found the Twenty-third Army Corps
encamped about the cit}- and being paid. The Fifth Ten-
nessee was encamped near our left. The men found a
place where they could buy soft bread — the tirst they had
seen since leaving Virginia.

A portion of our brigade was at once detailed for pro-
vost duty, and the several duties which had devolved upon
the Twenty-third Corps were assumed by Terry's troops.

On the afternoon of the 4th, all of the men of the Seventh
who were in camp and not on dut}', numbering about one
hundred, were detailed with Captain Paul Whipple, of
Company K, to go on a tour of picket duty across Cape
Fear River, two miles west of our camp. They relieved
a detachment of the Twenty-third Army Corps who had
fixed up quarters in splendid style, expecting to remain
for a long time. One of the comrades who was on the
detail describes the quarters as follows :

"We found good shanties built of boards, with floors
laid, and bunks for four in each, and all we had to do was
to put our shelter tents on for a roof to make the thing
complete. I had better quarters than I had before seen
during my service. My shanty was furnished with a
small mahogany centre-table, three cane-seated chairs,
one office chair, numerous kettles to cook with, and straw
to sleep upon. The living was equally good, of which
the following bill of fare is a sample :

"Yesterday for breakfast and dinner we had sausages
and sweet potatoes, cider apple-sauce, hard-tack, butter,
and coffee. To-day we had baked beans for breakfast ;
for dinner, beef's liver and heart with sweet potatoes.
We expect to have lamb and chicken to-morrow."

At the end of a week the detail again returned to camp.

On the 5th, the Twenty-third Corps moved from the city
to the outskirts. Our men now had considerable leisure

New Hampshire Volunteers.


time, and devoted a large share of it to getting passes,
which were given to the men quite freely, and strolling
about the city, frequently attending the theatre in the even-
ing and making acquaintances among the inhabitants.
But go wherever we might, a military guard or patrol was
ever present to preserve order and discipline, but this did
not deter the men from having a good time and enjoying
themselves hugely. On the 14th, a mass meeting was
held by the Union people of the city to discuss the situa-
tion ; on the same date a large number of refugees came
in Irom Fayetteville. On the 15th, a large quantity of
commissary stores passed through the citv en route for
Sherman's army. On the 17th, three hundred wounded
men from Sherman's army arrived in the city.

On the 19th, the regiment had dress parade, and had
orders to continue them. In the forenoon many of the
men availed themselves of the opportunity to attend
church, and obtained passes to do so. It had been a long
time since we had enjoyed the privilege of attending
divine services in a church or " meeting-house," and it
seemed like "home once more" to have the chance to
attend church, and see women and children, and hear the
singing of sacred music b}' the choir ; and it seemed so
homelike to go into houses inhabited by families, and to
see citizens walkincr in the streets.

Another large lot of Union refugees came in from Sher-
man's army on the 22d and 23d, and Goldsboro was
reported captured. On the 24th, firing was heard up the
river, and on the morning of the 25th, the city became
wildly excited over a large fire which was discovered at
the corner of Market and Front streets. On this date two
steamers laden with exxhanged prisoners left Wilmington
for the North, and on the 26th, another steamer departed
with our own sick and wounded soldiers for Northern

420 History of the Seventh Regiment

A part of the Thirteenth Corps of Sherman's army
arrived from Hihon Head, S. C, on the 27th, and at once
left for the interior. On the evening of the 28th, Doctor
Buzzell, the surgeon of the Third New Hampshire, died
of disease. The loss was deeply felt, as he was well
known throuorhout the whole brigade.

A War Department order, No. 49, dated the 27th,
placed all troops in North Carolina not belonging to
corps in General Sherman's army, under command of
Maj. Gen. A. H. Terry, to constitute the Tenth Army
Corps. This corps had lost its identity when merged
with other troops to make up the Twenty-fourth Army
Corps. This order revived the old Tenth Army Corps,
which had long been the pride of Gillmore, Birney, and

During the month of March the following commissions
were issued in the Seventh New Hampshire :

Col. Joseph C. x\bbott, to be brigadier-general U. S.
Volunteers, by brevet, for gallant services at the capture
of Fort Fisher, N. C, to date from January 15, 1865 ;
Lieut. Col. Augustus W. Rollins, to be colonel U. S.
Volunteers, by brevet, for gallant and meritorious conduct
at the storming of Fort Fisher, N. C, to date from March
13, 1865 ; First Lieut, and Adjt. John Green, to be cap-
tain U. S. Volunteers, by brevet, for gallant and meritori-
ous conduct at the storming of Fort Fisher, N. C, to date
from March 13, 1865 ; Sergt. Eri Poor, Jr., of Company
A, to be first lieutenant in same company, to date from
March I, 1865 ; but for some reason Sergeant Poor
declined to be mustered, and was afterwards promoted to
first sergeant of his company, which position he held until
the muster-out of the regiment. Sergt. James S. French,
of Company H, was promoted to tirst lieutenant of same
company, to date from March 7, 1865. Second Lieut.
George Roberts, of Company F, who had been severely

New Hampshire Volunteers.


wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Olustee, Fla.,
was exchancred March i, and came back to the regiment
at North East Ferrv while we were in North Carolina,
having been about a year in rebel prisons. He had in the
mean time been promoted to the captaincy of his company,
F, but having suffered severely during his captivity, the
state of his health forbade further active service, and con-
sequently he was mustered out of service March 12. His
commission as captain was dated December 22, 1864.
On the 27th, First Lieut. Heber J. Davis, of Company B,
who will be well remembered as a former sergeant in
Company K, and who had been severely wounded on two
different occasions, was honorablv discharged on account
of wounds.


422 History of the Seventh Regiment


A PORTION OF Sherman's army arrives from hilton






















On the 2d of April, 1865, there was another arrival
of a portion of Sherman's army from Hilton Head, and,
like the previous portion, it at once pushed out into the

New Hampshire Volunteers. 423

country. On the 4th, we were paid for four months,
although the government was owing us for six. On the
6th, we received the news of the fall of Richmond, and
everyone was jubilant. On the 7th, orders were issued to
be ready to move with three days' rations, but this order
was countermanded on the 8th. On the 9th, Capt. Paul
Whipple and Lieut. George F. Robie were sent with a
detail of seventy-three men to guard the railroad above a
place called North East Ferry. During this day a salute
of two hundred guns was fired from Fort Fisher to cele-
brate the fall of Richmond. On the 14th, General Scho-
field directed that a salute of one hundred guns be hred —
rebel guns and rebel ammunition — in honor of the resto-
ration of the stars and stripes over Fort Sumter, and on
this day we learned of Lee's surrender. On the i8th, we
learned of the assassination of our beloved president, Abra-
ham Lincoln, at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D. C,
which cast a gloom over all the troops ; and it was not safe
for anyone to express their approbation of the deed to a
Northern soldier. On the 21st, the citizens of Wilming-
ton held a public meeting to express their sympathy and
sorrow over the death of the president. On the 22d, the
troops were again elated by receiving news of the fall of
Mobile. On the 28th, General Sherman passed through
Wilmington on his way to Charleston, and there was a
great rush to see the hero of the " March to the Sea."
On the 30th, the regiment was mustered for pay and for
one instalment of bounty for the re-enlisted men. An
order issued by the War Department, No. 58, during the
month of April, required that all company funds exceed-
ing the sum of $100, should be turned over to the Subsist-
ence Department, but whether this was to be forfeited to
the United States or was merely placed for safe keeping
we could not learn. An order was also issued directing
all bureaus of the War Department to reduce expenses.

424 History of the Seventh Regiment

The regiment was engaged on duty in the city and on
picket duty at ditierent stations along the lines of railroad,
and the details were sometimes quite heavy, but the duties
were not severe. The pickets established along the line
of the railroads were merely as a safeguard to the
trains running between Wilmington, Goldsboro, and other
points. Mav 2, the regiment exchanged their Spencer
carbines for Springfield rifled muskets.

May 4, almost everything in the property line, of little
or no real value, was condemned by an officer especially
charged with that duty. About the 7th of May, Maj.
H. L. Grant, of the Sixth Conn. Volunteers, was ap-
pointed provost marshal of Wilmington, and Capt. George
F. McCabe, of Company C, Seventh New Hampshire,
was appointed assistant provost marshal : one hundred
and twenty-five men from the different regiments of our
brigade were detailed as provost guard, and remained on
that duty until relieved by the colored troops on June 7,
previous to our departure for Goldsboro.

On the 8th, Chief Justice Chase arrived in Wilmington,
and was received at the wharf by a detail from the provost
guard, who acted as a guard of honor.

On the 15th, we learned that we were in the '• Depart-
ment of North Carolina, Army of the Ohio." On the
25th, General Schofield promulgated a War Department
order, that troops ready to be mustered out in the Depart-
ment of North Carolina rendezvous at New Berne and
Wilmington, and instructions were issued that muster-out
rolls and all other papers and records be boxed up and
placed in command of an officer, who shall attend the
boxes to the place of discharge at state rendezvous, and
there deliver them to the mustering officer of that place.
At 4 o'clock p. M. on this day. General Hawley reviewed
the regiment.

New Hampshire Volunteers. 425

By General Order No. 79, of the War Department,
issued during tlie month of May, it was directed that the
resignations of general, field, and staff officers be received
until the 15th, and after that date the adjutant-general to
begin mustering out those unemployed or not needed.
During this month all recruiting was ordered stopped,
expenses were ordered to be reduced, and preparations
were made to greatly reduce the army in the field. The
only commission issued to the Seventh Regiment during
May was to Commissary Sergt. James M. Seavey, of the
non-commissioned staff, who was promoted to first lieuten-
ant in Company A, to date from May i, 1865.

On the ist of June, lists were ordered to be made of all
men whose term of service would expire before September
30, 1865, and an order was issued to at once muster out
all men who had enlisted in 1862.

The Hon. Gideon Welles, secretary of the navy, arrived
at Wilmington on the 2d, and received marked attention
from both the army and nav}'.

On the 3d, our brigade was placed under heavy march-
ing orders, and on the afternoon of the 4th, the Third
New Hampshire started for Goldsboro. Our regiment
was ordered to strike tents, and all our compan}- and reg-
imental baggage was loaded aboard steamers, in readiness
to proceed to Smithville at the mouth of Cape Fear
River. On the morning of the 5th, the Seventh New
Hampshire started for Smithville, colored troops having
arrived in Wilmington for the purpose of relieving our
brigade. On the 6th, the Seventh Connecticut followed
us to Smithville, and on the 7th, the Sixth Connecticut
arrived, leaving the city of Wilmington wholly in charge
of the colored troops.

On the 8th of June, the three regiments of our brigade
stationed at Smithville received orders to proceed to
Goldsboro, and the next day were conveyed to Wilming-

426 History of the Seventh Regiment

ton by steamer. At daylight on the loth, our regiment
went aboard cars which were to take us to Goldsboro.
This was the first opportunity for transportation by rail
which had been accorded the regiment during our service
in the South. The coaches were not elegant, as most of
them were platform cars, but it was a tar easier and more
comfortable way of getting to our destination. We arrived
at Goldsboro about i o'clock p. :\i., and found it to be a very
pleasant town, situated about eighty miles from Wilming-
ton, at the junction of four railroads. The streets were
regularly laid out, the dwelling-houses looked pleasant
and neat, and were mostly constructed of wood and well
shaded with trees. The location was health3s but the
sanitary condition of the town was very poor at the time
of our arrival there.

We found the Third New Hampshire had arrived some
days previously, and with the Seventh came the rest of
our brigade, the Sixth and Seventh Connecticut, and once
more General Abbott's brigade was all together.

The tents of our regimental camp w^ere pitched around
the court house, the building itself being occupied by the
line officers as quarters, while the tents of the field officers
were in front of the court house and on the opposite side
of the street. The men might have been perfectly con-
tented here, but their anxiety to get home predominated.
Everything at this post was favorable for us — good rations,
the best of water, and light duty, and the country around
abounded in blackberries, which could be had for the
picking. But alas for poor human nature ! Our " subs"
and weaker men could not stand the prosperity offered,
and on the 14th, a considerable quantity of whiskey was
stolen, and a wild time was the result.

It seems that a platform car, on which, among other
stores, was a barrel of whiske^^, had broken loose from a
train about a mile out on the railroad toward New Berne,

New Hampshire Volunteers. 427

and come to a standstill on the track : some of the men
in the Sixth Conn. Volunteers discovered it, and getting
under the car bored a hole up through the car and whiskey
barrel. The result was thj\t all lovers of the ardent were
soon supplied with a full canteen free of cost. The indis-
cretions committed by the more worthless portion of our
men, caused the regiment, later on, to be ordered out
about two miles from the city.

Our 1862 recruits were mustered out at 10.30 a. m. on
the 20th, with their discharges dated the 26th. Scarcely a
third of the original number were present with the regi-
ment, some of them having been killed and others mus-
tered out previously on account of wounds, while others
had suffered and died in rebel prisons. It is worthy of
note that a better class of men than the recruits we received
in 1862, never went into the service, and a perusal of our
regimental roster will show the reader how exceedingly
well and how faithfully these recruits served their coun-
try, and fullilled their enlistment contract with the United

On the 25th of May, they bade us farewell, and took the
I o'clock p. M. train for the muster-out camp at New Berne,
N. C, where they arrived at 4 o'clock p. m., the same

The men thus discharged, who w^ere to be sent to Con-
cord, N. H., from our brigade, consisted of twenty-nine
men from the Third New Hampshire and thirty men from
the Seventh New Hampshire. Adjt. Lemuel N. Jack-
man, of the Third N. H. Volunteers, was detailed by Maj.
Gen. J. D. Cox to conduct these discharged men to New

They remained in camp at New Berne until the 27th,
when they were sent by rail to Moorehead City, N. C,
reaching there about sunset, at once went aboard the
steamer " Starlight," a very slow tub of a boat, and the


History of the Seventh Rechmext

next moniinjj; at 4 o'clock put to sea. The weather was
liot and still. The\- reached Fortress Monroe. \^a.. at
noon on the 29th : at 5 o'clock v. M. left for New York,
where thev arrived and anchored at quarantme at 2.30
A. M. on the morninL;" of Juh- i. and at 7 o'clock a. .m.
landed at pier Xci. 11. in the City of New York. Here
thev were marched to the Ixittery and waited until 4.30
o'clock p. M., when the\" went aboard the Sound steamer
" Citv of Boston " : a half-hour later left for New London,
Conn., where thev arrived early the next morning", and at
once took the cars for Worcester, Mass.. where the}'
arrived at 6 o'clock, Sunda\' morniuL:!;. July 2. They
went to the Soldiers" Home where they were well ted
and cared for during the da}' by the good people of that
cit\'. and on the morning of the 3d took the 6.30 train tor
Concord. N. H., reaching there at nocm.

With the Fifth Regiment of N. H. \'olunteers. they
marched to the state house, then to the American House,
where thev were furnished an excellent dinner. They
then reported at Camp Rendez\"ous and got passes to go
home — for the next dav was the Fourth of July, and, ot
course, e\'er\'bod\' went home to celebrate that da}' among
their families and friends. The passes were granted to
Julv 7, when the men reported back to camp at Concord,
were paid in full and receix'ed their discharge from the
service of the United States, after having faithfully per-
formed their part in the restoration of the Union, which
the\' had so solemnh" promised to do three vears before.

On the 30th of June, the regiment was mustered for pa}'
and for an instalnient of bount\' for those who had \'eter-

General Order No. 114, from the War Department,
dated the 5th, perniitted discharged soldiers to retain their
knapsacks, ha\'ersacks, and canteens without charge.

During the month of June. Augustus L. Litchtield. ot
Companv F, was promoted to be sergeant-major, to date

New Hampshire Volunteers. 429

from June 15, and Thomas Bush, of Company I, was pro-
moted to be commissary-sergeant, to date from June 15.

As the morning of the ist day of July dawned upon our
camp we knew we were surely getting near the end of our
military life. General Abbott, who had been granted
leave of absence to bury his wife, returned on the 5th, and
assumed command of the brigade. On the 6th, w-e were
ordered to appear on battalion drill twice each day ; to
these drills the men did not take kindly. The hours tor
these drills were trom 5 to 6 a. m., and from 5.30 to 6.30
p. M. On the 8th, an order was read at dress parade,
stating the order in which the various regiments were to
be mustered out. On the loth, work was commenced on
the muster-out rolls ; the necessar\' papers were made out
for turning over to the quartermaster's department, all ord-
nance, camp and garrison equipage, except that w^iich
each man carried, and after long and tiresome labor the
rolls were completed, examined, and approved.

On the 19th, we had our last battalion drill, and on the
20th, the regiment was formally mustered out of service,
and the war service of the gallant old Seventh New
Hampshire was ended. It was a great day with us, and
will linger long in memory. We shall never forget the
date, and after our muster-out the regiment formed on
dress parade, which was held for the last time in " Dixie."

On Saturday, the 22d, the regiment broke camp for
the last time, at 2 o'clock p. m., and started by rail for
Raleigh, N. C, where we arrived at 5 o'clock p. m. and
bivouacked tor the night. Probably most of the survivors
of the regiment will remember some of the " larks" in
which some of them took a conspicuous part at this place.
As we were entering the city, with the train moving very
slowly, someone noticed a small grocery on one of the

Online LibraryHenry F. W. LittleThe Seventh Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion → online text (page 33 of 52)