Henry F. W. Little.

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

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Lane, with hundreds of others who fell in that assault,
was buried by the Confederates in an unknown grave.

Lieutenant Lane was a Christian gentleman, a brave
and efficient officer, and his loss was mourned by the sur-
viving officers and men of the regiment.

His widow resides in Lebanon, N. H.

Lieut. Henry F. W. Little.

Lieutenant Little was born in Manchester, N. H., June
27, 1842, and was the elder of two children. His father
was Henry F. Little, a contractor and builder, who was
one of the early settlers of Manchester, having removed

New Hampshire Volunteers. 523

from Claremont, N. H., to Amoskeag, in 1836. -His
mother was Mary W. (Fletcher) Little, a native of the
town of Cornish, N. H., one of the oldest families of that

Lieutenant Little received his education in the public
schools of his native city, attending the grammar and
high schools, and, at the breaking out of the War of the
Rebellion, was sticking type on the " Daily American,"
one of the dailies at that time published in that city, in
which otfice, in the capacity of typo was Martin A.
Haynes, who, after serving in the army, was later a mem-
ber of congress from New Hampshire ; the foreman at
that time was O. C. Moore, who was afterwards a mem-
ber of congress from that district, and the proprietor of
the paper, Simeon D. Farnsworth, was, a little later on,
a paymaster in the army, with the rank of major.

His first experience in military matters and drill began
when quite young, first drilling with the fire engine com-
panies and acting in tiie capacity of ''torch boy," and
when Abraham Lincoln was nominated for the presidency
he assisted in the organization of the "Lincoln Guards,"
a company belonging to the State militia, and commanded
by William C. Knowlton, who was afterwards an officer
in the Seventh New Hampshire. The "Lincoln Guards"
were soon changed to the "Abbott Guards," and named
after Gen. J. C. Abbott, who was then adjutant-general
of the State of New Hampshire ; and in the fall of i860,
all companies of the State militia were ordered into an
encampment at Nashua, N. H., and young Little's tirst
station on guard duty was at the tent of Adjt. Gen. J. C.
Abbott, afterwards colonel of the Seventh. At this muster
Lieutenant Little met many men who afterwards served in
the Seventh Regiment, and he remembers particularly the
Hollis Phalanx, of which Nathan M. Ames was first lieu-
tenant, and who was afterwards captain of Company H,

524 History of the Seventh Regiment

of the Seventh ; many of the men composing the Hollis
Phalanx afterwards went into the service with Captain

When Gen. J. C. Abbott received permission to raise a
regiment, Lieutenant Little at once enlisted and was sent
out recruiting in Mason and Brookline ; October 16, the
company which was being organized by Captain Chase
and Lieut. W. C. Knowlton, having some fort}^ or fifty
men at its rendezvous, was ordered into camp just north
of the cit}', and was the first compau}' on the ground,
and commenced the encampment of the Seventh Regi-
ment. He was at once selected by Captain Chase as
company clerk, and all the original rolls and books of
Company D are in his handwriting.

When Company D was mustered into the service Novem-
ber 6, 1861, he was mustered as a corporal, and was the
first on the list: March 28, 1862, he was promoted to a
sergeantcy, this being the first promotion of the kind in
the regiment; April 27, 1862, he was detailed as acting
sergeant-maior, which place he filled for about nine

Eight days after the hard-fought battle of Olustee, Fla.,
he re-enlisted for another term of three years in Compan}'
D, of the Sevenih Regiment, and was the first man in the
compan}' to re-enlist, eighteen men following him. After
enjoying a thirty days' furlough he returned to the
regiment with the veterans, and took an active part in
everything that occurred. The regiment having been
transferred to Virginia, the veterans upon returning from
their furlough found themselves in the Arm}' of the James.

He remained constantly on dut}- with the regiment dur-
ing the summer of 1864, and at the battle of Laurel Hill,
October 7, 1864, he was awarded a medal of honor for
meritorious conduct, and was promoted to first lieutenant
in the same order, dated October 11, 1864. from depart-

New Hampshire Volunteers. 525

ment headquarters. He received a commission as second
lieutenant ot' Company E, Seventh New Hampshire, to
date from October 28, 1864, He had already been pro-
moted to a iirst lieutenant of the Fourth U. S. Colored
Troops, to date from October 11, 1S64, and January i
was promoted to first lieutenant and adjutant of the
Twenty-ninth U. S. Colored Troops, and remained in the
service until the collapse of the Confederacy, receiving
brevets of captain and major.

It was always Lieutenant Little's fortune to be with his
company or regiment, whether on a skirmish line or in
an assault ; he was always on good terms with those
around him, and among his best and life-long friends are
those made during his army life.

After the w'ar he settled in Manchester, N. H., and
was prominently connected with the Grand Army of the
Republic for some years ; he is a member of the L O. O. F.,
and. of the Masonic Fraternity, and served his city in the
State legislature ; for some 3'ears he has held the office of
milk inspector, and for three years was captain of the
Manchester War Veterans, an independent company com-
posed of soldiers of the rebellion ; tor many years he has
been secretary of the Seventh New Hampshire Veteran
Association, and is the historian of that regiment.

Hospital Steward William G. Brown.

William Gerrish Brown, son of Surgeon William W.
Brown, was born August 17, 1841, in Chester, N. H. ;
when about five years old his father removed to Man-
chester, N. H., where William was educated in the public
schools and afterwards spent two years at Phillips Exeter
Academy, preparing for Dartmouth College. He left the
academy at Exeter to enlist in the Seventh Regiment, in
1861, and was appointed hospital steward, to date from

526 History of the Seventh Regiment

December 14, 1861 : he suffered much from impaired
health during the last year of his service, but served out
his enlistment and was discharged with the three years'
men, December 22, 1864. He died on July 11, 1865.

Sergt. William J. Harding.

Sergt. William James Harding was born in Cleeve,
Somerset, Eng., November 28, 1840, and was the son of
William and Elizabeth M. Harding. He received his
education in the public (or national) schools at and near
his birthplace, by private tutors, by his father, and at
Columbia College, New York, from the law school of
which he was graduated with the degree of LL. B.,
class of 1872. During his early schoolboy days he re-
sided at the rural homes of his parents, his paternal
grandparents, and at the home of a paternal uncle, until
about sixteen 3'ears of age.

In 1863, he came to Montreal, Can., and from tl"/;ere
came to Concord, N. H., where he at once enlisted as a
private in Company A, Seventh N. H. Volunteers, Octe-
ber 14, 1863, joining the regiment at Morris Island, S. C.
He had previousl}^ served as a gunner in the First Glouces-
ter Artillery Volunteers, Battery D, in England. He
showed such proficiency on duty that, on May 30, 1864,
he was promoted to corporal; December 22. 1864, he
was promoted to sergeant; and March 7, 1865, he was
commissioned first lieutenant and adjutant of the Thirty-
eighth U.S. Colored Troops, of which regiment Robert
M. Hall, formerly second lieutenant of Batter}' M, First
U. S. Artillery, was colonel.

This promotion to a commission was on account of good
conduct and proficiency in his duties. April 9, 1866,
he was promoted to captain in the same regiment ot
colored troops, and was honorably discharged March 18,

New Hampshire Volunteers. 527

Upon his muster out of service he took up his residence
in New York city, where he entered upon the study of
law. His military training had, however, created a fond-
ness for tactics, and he again enlisted as a private in Com-
pany B, Twenty-second Regiment New York State
National Guards, July 14, 1867 ; he w'as promoted to
adjutant of the same regiment October 7, 1869; to captain
of the same regiment January 7, 1873 ; was promoted to
lieutenant-colonel February 8, 1886 ; to assistant inspector-
general, with the rank of colonel, January 25, 1892 ; and
on January i, 1895, he was retired from the office which
he had held lor three years, and was at the same time
presented with the State Decoration (a gold medal), for
twenty-five years' long and faithful service.

While in the Seventh New Hampshire, Colonel Hard-
ing was for a time on detached duty at corps headquarters,
and after the capture of Richmond, Va., while in the
colored troops, he served on the Mexican frontier with
General Sheridan's Expeditionary Corps until his muster
out of service, and for nearly a year he was acting assistant
inspector-general and acting assistant adjutant-general of
the First Division (Gen. Giles A. Smith), Twenty-fifth
Army Corps.

He took part in all the engagements in which the
Seventh participated, from the time he joined the regi-
ment until the storming of Fort Fisher, at which time he
was on detached duty.

While a member of the National Guard of New York,
his thorough knowledge of tactics and organization gained
for him many admiring friends ; he was the author of,
and compiled, a number of books relating to drill orders
and other subjects of military importance, and on all mili-
tary matters he was an acknowledged authority.

528 History of the Seventh Regiment

Pliny F. Ga.^imell.

Pliny Fisk Gammell, son of Samuel and Achsah (Cur-
tice) Gammell, was born in Hillsborough, N. H., Feb-
ruary 21, 1842, and that portion of his life up to the time
of his enlistment was spent on his father's farm. He re-
ceived his education from the district schools of his native

In the fall of i86i,he determined to enter the service,
and on October 25 of that year enlisted as a private in
Company A, Seventh New Hampshire, and re-enlisted
February 27, 1864. He was wounded July 18, 1863, in
the second assault on Fort Wagner, on Morris Island,
S. C, and participated in all the engagements of his
regiment and company. He was promoted to corporal
December 17, 1864, and was discharged July 20, 1865,
with the regiment.

Since his return home he has followed the occupation of
machinist, and resides in Lowell, Mass.

John R. Sherw^in.

John R. Sherwin, of Company B, enlisted September
24, 1861, was captured at Olustee, Fla., February 20,
1864, and was released December 30, 1S64. He was dis-
charged April 17, 1865. The following is his account of
his prison life written by himself at the request of the his-
torian :

Fall River, Mass., July 21, 1895.

My Dear Comrade:

Your letter asking me to give a sketch of my prison ex-
perience, from capture to discharge, I received. But I
hardly know what to say, as it was about the same as that
of others. I was captured, with some tvventy-tive others of
our regiment, the next morning after the battle at Olustee,
and sent to Lake City. While there I tried my hand in
making my escape ; in fact, I think I was the lirst one of the

New Hampshire Volunteers. 529

regiment to try and escape, but it was no go at that time.
I received a ball and chain attached to my left leg for my
pains. Comrades Frank Cass, of Company B, and Wil-
liam Ramsey, of Company G, were served the same. I do
not think that an}^ of the boys ever complained of ill-
treatment of the rebels that captured us ; that was to come
after, although I think I was fortunate in a number of
cases. I was one of four cooks, while we were waiting
for Andersonville to be built. In that way I got double
rations, such as it was. We arrived at Andersonville
about March 14 ; at that time there were only a few pris-
oners. A description of Andersonville is not required,
as it is a well known place. I helped clean out the
stream and plank over a small place, so we could wash ;
at that time I received double rations. You see I was
always looking out for something to eat.

About the last of August or the first of September, I,
with others, was sent to Savannah, and then to Charleston,
S. C, where we were confined a short time on the race
course. We were under fire of the truns of Morris Island.
I never thought when we helped build the forte that I was
ever to be shot at by them. But no one was ever hit while
I was there. I think I was there two or three weeks,
when we left for Florence, S. C. ; but the prison was not
completed. When I again tried my luck in escaping I
was successful, but onl}'^ to be recaptured in three days. I
remember the date I was recaptured very well ; it was the
25th of September, just three years to the day that I en-
listed. I made my escape by crawling on my hands and
knees by the guards, and was recaptured by an old man
with dogs and a double barrel shot gun ; he said he would
get thirty dollars a piece — there were three of us — a
good morning's work for him.

After I was back in prison, I began to think of some-
thing to eat, and how to get more than was allowed, and
tbund that by belonging to two ditierent squads I could
draw two rations. I kept it up as long as I dared to ; I
saw a number of men tied up by the thumbs until they
fainted, and made up my mind to go hungry aw^hile
longer. In December they began to parole all sick, and
those that had been in prison the longest. When the rebel


530 History of the Seventh Regiment

doctor asked me when I was captured, I told him it was at
the charge of Fort Wagner. I think it was the only time
telling a lie ever did me any good. I told the recruiting
officer when I enlisted, I was eighteen years old, but was
only sixteen, so you see I got in and out of the army by
telling whoppers. Now, comrade, you can enlarge on
this as much as you wish ; surely there is material enough.
Hoping you can make use of it, I will close. I should be
pleased to have a short account of the meeting at reunion.
My health remains about the same.

I was paroled at Charleston, December 17, discharged
at Concord, April 19, having served three years, seven
months, on one enlistment.

First Sergt. George P. Dow.

First Sergt. George P. Dow, of Company C, was born
in Atkinson, N. H., August 7, 1840, and was the son of
Moses Dow, 2d, of Atkinson. His mother was Sally P.
Hanson, of Haverhill, Mass. His early life was spent on
his father's farm, and in attending the district school dur-
ing the winter months.

At the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion, his
patriotism was at once aroused, and as soon as his affairs
could be arranged, he enlisted as a private in Company C,
Seventh N. H. Volunteers, October 14, 1861 ; was pro-
moted to sergeant in 1862 ; and to first sergeant in 1863.
He was discharged, to date December 22, 1864, by reason
of expiration of term of service.

During his service he participated in the battle of Morris
Island, the assault on Fort Wagner, the battle of Olustee,
Fla., the battles of Chester Station, Va., Drury's Bluff,
Hatch's Farm, Deep Run, Spring Hill, New Market
Heights, Laurel Hill, Darbytown Road, and the several
reconnoissances toward Richmond and all the minor
engagements in which the Seventh participated. He
received a congressional medal of honor for gallantry in
the field.

New Hampshire Volunteers. 531

For a time on Morris Island, S. C, he acted as color
sergeant, and at Bermuda Hundred, Va., was detailed for
a time as a sharpshooter. During his service he was
slightly wounded three times, and proudly refers to the
fact that he was never in the hospital a day.

After his return home from the service he purchased
a farm in his native town of Atkinson. He soon after
engaged in mercantile pursuits, and became proprietor of
a country store in Atkinson, making a specialty of gro-
ceries and general merchandise ; he was soon after
appointed postmaster, and has held this position for twenty-
seven years, and still remains in the mercantile business.
His farm is a model one, and he has spared no means to
make it a beautiful home ; it is known by the name of
"■ Fair View."

Stephen D. Smith.

Stephen D. Smith was born in the town of Langdon,
County of Sullivan, N. H., May 29, 1S33, and was the
son of Elias and Matilda (Stiles) Smith; his occupadon
up to the time of his enlistment was that of a farmer.
When the call to arms in 1861 was sounded, his patriot-
ism, perhaps inherited from his father, who served in the
War of 1812, prompted him to go to the defense of his
country. He enlisted as a private in Company C, Seventh
New- Hampshire, September 28, 1861, and served with his
company faithfully until wounded in the assault upon Fort
Wagner, S. C, on the night of Jul}^ 18, 1863; this
resulted in the loss of his left leg, which was amputated
near the hip joint. The following account of his being
wounded and captured and afterwards paroled or ex-
changed, will be found quite interesting. He says :

"I was hit just as I was about to step down into the
ditch in front of the fort, and while yet on the edge of the
bank of the ditch. In falling, I landed at the bottom of

532 History of the Seventh Regiment

the ditch on my back, my left leg being under me and the
left foot being up between my shoulders, the thigh being
badly shattered by a grape shot, and the wound was bleed-
ing tast. Having a piece of strong cord in my pocket, I
very soon tied it tightly around my thigh above the wound,
and the bleeding stopped. I don 't think it was more than
a minute betbre I had the cord tied around my thigh. The
rebel surgeons afterwards said I would have bled to death
in a very short time if I had not used the cord as I did.
The dead and wounded lay so thick in the ditch that I was
obliged to lie across a dead man all night long. The gun
that raked that part of the ditch did fearful work, the
dead and wounded being at this place three or four deep.

"As soon as it began to be light in the morning, the.
rebels mustered up courage enough to look over the fort
and down into the ditch. They saw so many of us that
they thought we were trying to play a Yankee trick upon
them, and that we were there ready to nab or shoot them
when they came out. They threatened to shoot us if we
did not come up onto the fort and give ourselves up. It
took a long time to convince them that we could not get
out or harm them, and that every one they could see was
dead or wounded. I expected every minute that they
would lire on us, as they had so savagely threatened, but
a few of us who were wounded and had strength enough to
speak, told them that we should have got out of that place
loner before that if we could have done so, but that we were
all wounded or dead, and that we considered ourselves their
prisoners. They finally commenced to sneak down where
we were, and at once began to rob us of our blankets,
monev, watches, and everything that they could get.

"As my position was a very uncomtbrtable one, I asked
a rebel if he could not get some one to help him to carry
me up onto the fort. He wanted to know what I would
give him if he did it, and I told him I would give him a

New Hampshire Volunteers. 533

dollar. He said he would do so if he could get someone
to assist. He soon returned with another soldier, and as
I took my wallet out to pay the man, he grabbed it and
said they would take the whole. There were just four dol-
lars in my wallet, together with some few trinkets that I
thought more of than I did of the money. I was mad and
felt like fighting them, but not being in good fighting trim
they had everything their own way : they did have the
decency to carr}- me up onto the fort, but in doing so let
the broken and shattered leg drag along over the dead
bodies which dotted the way. My wounded leg had by
this time got very sore, and mo\-ing me gave me intense
pain, and it really seemed as if I should die before they
got me onto the fort.

" Here I was obliged to lie on the hot sand all day in the
rays of a blazing sun, and words will not describe ade-
quately the suffering endured that day. I would have
given all the money in the world, had I possessed it, for
just one drink of good cold water. The following night I
was carried, with others, over to the City of Charleston,
arriving there about midnight. My wounded limb was by
this time so badly swollen that it seemed like taking my
life to move me from the fort to the boat and from the boat
to the wharf; from the wharf we w^ere placed in an old
dump cart and conveyed up to the building used for a hos-
pital, which must have been a mile or more.

"The next day, Monday, the rebel surgeons amputated
my leg close up to my body and placed me back on the
floor with a little handful of straw under my head for a
pillow. They did not even put so much as a piece of
cloth for bandage upon the stump, and never dressed it
while I was one of their guests. In less than twentv-four
hours the stump was alive with maggots and remained so
until the next Sunday, when I w-as exchanged. We had
not been washed and cleaned, nor our wounds dressed

534 History of the Seventh Regiment

since our capture ; consequently we were completely cov-
ered with vermin, maggots, dirt, and blood. The first
food we received, or nourishment of any kind, was on
Tuesda}^ the 21st of July, when an Irish woman came in
with an apron full of small pieces of bread, a portion of it
beinsi made from flour and the rest from corn meal. She
gave each of us a small piece, which was very dry eating,
without water, tea, or coffee, to wash it down, but we were
so hungry that we managed to get outside of the bread,
which looked ever so much like pieces that had been
gathered from some table where a more elaborate meal
had been served, and those were the remnants. The next
day, Wednesday, we received a small portion of corn
coffee and a very small piece of meat ; after this our bill
of fare did not vary much until our exchange.

"On Sunday, the 27th, one hundred and five of us, who
had been wounded, and as filthy and dirty looking men
as it is possible to imagine, were taken down the harbor
on a steamer, and were there exchanged for one hundred
and five rebels who had been brought up from the hospital
at Hilton Head ; they were clad in clean white shirts and
good clean clothes, showing a marked contrast in the
appearance of the two bodies of men. After we were put
onto the United States hospital boat we were cleaned up
and felt like new beings in a new world. We were taken
to McDougal General Hospital, at Fort Schuyler, N. Y.,
where, with good care and good nursing, a portion of us
pulled through and recovered ; but about a month after,
the chaplain told us that sixty out of that one hundred and
five in our lot, that were exchanged with us, had died.

"These one hundred and five were all badly wounded,
and, having no care and the wounds not being dressed for
so long a time, the men were very much weakened from
the loss of blood, and those who were not blessed with
strong constitutions could not rally.

New Hampshire Volunteers. 535

"This was the way our Union prisoners were treated b}^
rebels who professed Christianity and claimed to be

Comrade Smith had two brothers in Company C,
Alonzo A. Smith, who was mustered out with the three
year's men at the expiration of his term of enlistment, and
James M. Smith, who was captured near Laurel Hill,Va.,
August I, 1864, and died of starvation in Salisbury
Prison, N. C.

Sergt. Robert O. Farrand.

Sergt. Robert O. Farrand was born in Dunkinfield, Eng-
land, and was a resident of Fisherville (now Penacook)
at the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion, and at
the age of twenty-one enlisted, October 29, 1861, as a pri-
vate in Company E, Seventh N. H. Volunteers, and was
appointed corporal and mustered in as such when his com-
pany was mustered into the United States service, Novem-
ber 7, 1861. He was wounded July 18, 1863, in the
assault on Fort Wagner, S. C. ; was promoted to sergeant
November 28, 1863 ; and was severely wounded and cap-
tured at the battle of Olustee, Fla., February 20, 1864, his
wound resulting in total blindness the moment it was
received. Later he was paroled and exchanged, and
was discharged from the service, to date June 23, 1865.

He will be more readily remembered by the original
members of the regiment from the fact that with Sergt.

Online LibraryHenry F. W. LittleThe Seventh Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion → online text (page 41 of 52)