Alfred Davenport.

Camp and field life of the Fifth New York volunteer infantry. (Duryee zouaves.) online

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" Feeble and trembling poor Frank toed to write his nama.
"Tha left hand foil upon the bed and he cou'd not a:ge the poor brave man t
any more oKenion."







i 8349

Davenport, Alfred.

Camp aiul field life of the Fifth Now York volunteer
infantrv. (Durvoc zouaves.) Bv iMfred Davenport,
New York, Dick and Fitzgerald, 1879.

485 p. front (port.) pi. 19*"".

another copy.

1. U. S. — Hist. —Civil war — Recriment.-il histories — N, Y. inf. — >5th.
2. New York infantry. Sth regt.. 1S61-1863. I. Title.



Library of Congress ^n r> ' CAa3523.5.5th


Copyright, 1879,






Fort Suintor— The Attack— The Evacuation— Tho President's Pmc-
l:»ia:ition— Letter by thfi Secretary of War— Governor Morimn'

Proclamatiou— Call of the Adjutant-General, State of New York. .




Organization- Fort Schuyler— First Experiences— Our Quarters —
The Men of the Eegiuiont— Sunday at the Fort -The First Gun
from Fort Sclmyler- A Police Deserter— Tlie Ranks Filled— Tak-
ing' tlie Oath— Fla^ Presentation— Color StTireant— Strildng onr
Tents— Reception in New York — Moonlight Departure — Arrival
at Fortress Monroe— Deserted Yillage—Our First Bivouac — Hamp-
ton Bri.lge Burned 23



Ki'ipi'.t rick's First Raid— An Alarm at Midn^irht— A Photograph of
<':uiii. I-ife— Battalion Drill— Kilpatrick's First Adventure— Cap-
tain llirani Duryea— Lieutenant Jacob Durvi'e- Several Expedi-
tions— Sund-.y Servicc-Onr Clmplain— Lieutenant-Colonel \Yarren
— Atijntant Hainblin— The Location— A Storm— Oil" Duty— Fox
Hill Expedition — Lientenant-Colone) Warren's Report — Corre-
Bpundiuce of the New York Ti>,its Si

ClIAl'TFrx IV.

VAC. Hr.TllEL.

? in 1 .y Evening Orders— Our Conirailcr-A Loyal Nvgro— Captain
ivilpi'riik's Ad\-ance — A Virginia Prisoner— A Fatal Mistake —


'\.t !r'>

4 Contents.

Bi^ Bethel— A Wounded Comrade— A Soldier's Tribtite— Death
of Lieutenant Grehle— Honorable Mention — A Naval Commander
— Correspondence of the New York Tribune — Flag of Truce 40



Fortress Monroe— Incidents of Camp Life — Drummed Oat — Any
Port in a Storm — Serious Accident — How to Find a Horse — Con-
traband Wit— A Graceful Digu:er— Mrs. Kilpatrick— Notes from
the Journal— On Guard by Moonli<j;ht— lints in the Wood?- A
"Fez" Stolen by Mosquitoes — A Comet — How 'wn Spent Inde-
pendence Day — Our Postponed Celebration — A Fairj- Scene — Do-
nations — Discharges and Recruits — A New Flag— Beautifying the
Camp— Losing Blood— A Lost Sentiuel— Reports of the Battle of
Bull Run— Embarking for Baltimore 74



Arrival at Baltimore — Camp at Federal Hill— Zouavps at Large —
Penalties for Pastimes — Making a Camp— Visitors— A Baltimore
Journal Si^eaks — Running Guard — "Joe " Knott — CIranfres in the
Regini.-^nt— A Revolt Subdued— The Guard-house and its Advent-
ures—An Ilhiminatiim— A Cliargo— Fort-buildioii— Reliel Recruits
Disapp<<inted— Our Bathing Ground— The Battle at (he Pump —
Camp Ballads of the Fiftii— Colonel Duryee Promotod— An Un-
successful Trip— Changes in the Regiment — Progress of the Fort
— How the Days were Spent— Captain Hambliii's Departure —
Regimental Dugs — A Loyal NewfoundLmd— Zouave Song by a
DrumiiKT B«jy— Maggie Mitchell— Blowing Out the Lights— A
Drum Major's Joke— An Expedition— Building the Barraets —
Thanksgiving Day— An Elopeu ent 91



The Eastern Shore— Objects of the Expedition— A Proclamation by
General DiK — "Marching Along!" — A Surprised Zouave — Rebel
Spirit and Rebel Spirits — A Soldiers' Reunion — Rebel Visitors
Sin<riTi:r th.' Star S[ianirleil Bainicr— Return of the E-q^clition—
Results— A Sociable I'aride - H.d)cl Fla- i:rvtr>rd— Rcci-uitin-—
Oi<ei.hiir the Barnicks— "Fort Federal Hill "-Srcoud Vrar of the
War— Our SurLceon — A Surgical Duelist— Kuiituiiir the Guard —
"The Zouave House"- A Mtuieal Masked Battery— Flag Prescn-



tation by the Ladies of South Baltiiuore — Address by Johu Willis,
Esq.— Colonel Warren's Keiay— A Grand Ball at JleaJquarters—
Fort Marshall— Washiuirtoii'.s Birthaay— An Indii,'nant Zouave-
Grand City Ball— A Military Execution— Attack Threatened- The
Merrimac— Change of Ba-e— Ho for Fortress Monroe I— Farewell
to Baltimore -Our Farewell Entertaionieut— Relieved by the Third
New York— Falling' into Line— March through Baltimore— Excit-
ing- Scenes— Farewell Song 125



The Trip to Virginia— Scene at Hampton Roads— Changes— Camp
Misery— Beep at Big Bethel— Prime Ratiims for Six— New Yoik
Tiinei Correspondent— General McClellan's Report— Canip Scott-
Corduroy and Ditch -Hcadcjuarters- California Jack -The Fonrtli
Michigan- Fir^t Death by Sickness— General McClellan's Head-
quarters—An Officer's Letter— Letter from a Private— Fire and
Fun in the Dark— A Strategic Pig— Siege Preparations— Battery
No. 1— General Barry's Letter— Camp Warren— After tlie Battle-
Camp Buchanan— A Promise of Battle— IStarch in the Shadows—
:^lagniticer.t Spectacle— A Night View of the Camp at Panuinkey
River— Skies and a Dripping Army— Review by Hon.
Wm. H. Seward— Deserted Territory— Ne;iring the Whitollousc
— Stragglers- "Dr." Warren and his "Pills"— The Sick List—
The Colonel's Order and a Donkey's Reply , ]54



Pamunkey Bridge— Crossing the Bridge— Killed at his Binhplace—
The Rebels Retire— Rebel Communieation Broken— An Astonished
Negro— A Descendant of Patrick Ilonry— i^eturn to Camp— Han-
over Court-house— Captain Griirui's Brazen Pet— After the Battle
—Burying the Dead— Result — A Raid and a Capture— A Recon-
noissauce— Back to Old Church— What we Fought for at Hanover
—The Chiekahomin.v— New Bridge— A Donation of Flour— A
Speculati..n in Doughinits— Sal Eratus and what She Did-A Pair
'-■f Shoes— Sk'cjuii.j: u.ulcr Arms— General McClellan's Address to
the Army— (ieih 1 ;,1 S\ kes' Speech— Picket at New 15ridgc— Re\ lew
by General Prim— Masking a Battery at Night— Stuart's Cavalrj -
Oil a Raid


6 Contetits.

■■■^' '''■-' \ '. ■• CHAPTER X.


Battle of Gaines' J/7f?— Anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Ilill—
Then and No\y— Freedora asjainst Slavery— Sanit.iry Condition of
the Regiment— Picket Duty— A Sabbath Journal— Death of Ser-
geant Reynolds— Seven Days' Retreat— Fifth Corps Engaged-
Battle of Gaines' Mill— Death of Captain Partriil<xe— Color Serireant
Berrian— A Charge in the Woods— A Rebel Tric-k- The Field at
Night— Losees— Testimony of the Otlicers — Otlicial Reports — Con-
federate Report*— Incidents — William McDowell— " Dave " Burns
— ^Walter S. Colby— Francis Spellman — Sad Separa,tions — Colonel
Warreu's Report — General Sykes' Report 198



White Oak Swamp — Charles City Cross-roads- General Kearney —
Malvern Hill— A Desperate St rnggle— Rebel Repulse— Retreat
from Malveni Hill— The Rain and the Rnads— An Incident— A
Life Solved by a Stratagem — Report of Lieiitoi>ant-Coloncl H. Dur-
yea — Letter from Surgeon Jo^^eph S. Smith— Harrison's Landing
—The Camping-Grouud— Want of Water— A ReviLW hy IVesideut
Lincoln — Moving our Camii — Reviewed by General JleClellan —
Resignation of Captain Cambrelling— Changes— Health of the
Anny — Hospital Grounds — A Death by Poison — Improved Diet —
A Rebel Salute— Death in a Tent— Pine Woods Experience —
Knapsacks Forwarded— A Niirht March — Crossing the Chieka-
hominy— Xegro Messenger Shot— Soldier llor-i>itality Refused-
Newport News— The March to Manassas Junction— On the Bat-
Ue-field 240

",, . . ;/ . CHAPTER XII.


Tlie Field- Distribution of Forces— The Hcur>' Jlouse— Position of
the Fifth— Generals Jackson and Lon^-street- Tlio Fifth EuLMcred
—Fearful Slaughter— Allison, the Coh.r-Bearer, Killed- Annihila-
tion of oarCoIorCompany— Bald Ridu-e— TheTcxan,'*— " Don't let
them take my Hag!" — Over^jowering numbei-s -" Let there be
no F'.It.-rincr in this Line!*'— A Zininve Tarj.vt'd - A Rmt— A
TcrriMe Sc-ne— Tiie Ri-mnant of our Pa>giriiei,t-Aftcr liie R.tile
— Coluuel Warren's Ri'port— (.enei-.i; Pope's Report— Personal
Sketches and Incidents— SpcUman— Chambers— McDowell— Wil-
fion — Ilager — Saphtr — llimianity — Stonewall Jjick^on — James

Contents. 7

Catboy. a Strange Coinciilence— A Rifle Shot- James Pattf rson—
Pollurd's Testimony — Bullwinkle— Sturges?— Tyndall— Strachan
—Huntsman— A Walk among the- Graves— Faulk's Lett'T— Con-
federate Testimony— Mareh to Fairfax— McD.nvell's Brother-
General McCIcllau'o Retiira to the Command— Near Frederick
City..*. 269



The Confederate Successes — Virginia verms Tl>e. Cotton States— The
Battle of Antietani- Tlie Enemy Retires— General McClellan's Re-
port—Crossing the Potomac— B-ittle of Shepardstown— Tenth
New York Ivegiment Transferred — Scarcity of Supplies — A Mixed
Unifi>rm — Penalties of Old Clothes — A Bread Speculation — A
Whisky Smuggle— A Drill Challenge Accepted— Crossing at Har-
per's Ferry — Colonel O'Bonrke, of the 140th New York- Snicker's
Gap— Warreuton- A Scees.-ioni^t Town — Farewell Review hy Gen-
eral McClellan— General Burnside in Command— Tlie l46th New
York— Warrenton Junction- Spotted Tavern The Henry House

• —Resignation of Colonel Hiram Duryea— Changes in the Rf,d-
nient— Before the Battle 310

-•• •••■ CHAPTER XIV.


In Sight of Fredericksburg— The Pontoon— The Burning Citj-— The
Position — Across the River— ^Marye's Hill— A Description by the
Philadelphia T(//.'>— The Attack— Tli^ Enemy's Batteries— The
Slaughter Path— French's Division— Hooker's Charge— Howard
at the Front— Humphrej.s' Division— Sykes' Division— The Dead
and Wounded- Warrei's Brigade- The Briuiule of Death— The
Compte (le Paris— The Fifth in a Garden— Our Regulars Severely
Placed— The Gloom Pall— Forlorn Hope — Strateey — Intreneh-
ments at Night— Covering the Retreat— The T.ast Man Crossed-
The Pontoon Lifted- lueidents — Henry House- General Sykes'
Order 33S



The New Tear— The Situation— Death of Captain C.irtwriirht— Mor-

liiiry-Desertions-i'he Di-l-yal I^n-.-s ..f the .W.rth— The S,:l-
'ii. !■-• S- nlimenl-AM Army of Water-Carrier-^ -'liie Mud Mare!i—
lle-igiiation of General Burnside — Guueral Ho^iker in Command —
Picketed in Ice— A Death in Hospital- A Suicide— General War-

i .-/.,-
' ^-•/':"


Z Contents.

ren Promoted — A Deserted Mansion— Provost Guard— Death of
Nicholas Floyt— Better Sapplies— A Square Meal— Cavalrjr Skir-
mish—St. Patrick's Day in the Ninth Massa-chusetts— Cavalry
Fight— A Spy — A Smoky Chimney — A Crippled Shoemaker ou
"Jeff" Davis— Annihilating the Men of the South— A Review —
Hybernating under Ground- Ei.-ter — Review by President 'Lin-
coln — The Two Tears' Men — Growling — Review by Generals Tog-
liardi and Meade— An Exploded Shell— The Time Fixed— Kelly's
Ford— Ely's Ford— Approaching Fredericksburg— Battle of Chau-
cellorsville — Eighth Pennsylvania Cavahy — The Eueray Repulsed
— Jackson's Attack ou Howard — Sickles — Slocura — Fieuch — Chan-
cellor House Burnt — Woods on Fire — The Two Years' Men Re-
lieved — Parting with Old Comrades — Aquia Creek — Hospitality of
the '21st New York — Washington— Baltimore — Philadelithia — Jer-
sey City — New York — Our Reception — New York Times — The
Fourth Regiment— Mustered Out— In the Battle of Life 36L


Cisxialtics .S99

Statistics . . . .' 41 S

Biographies of Officers 423

Names of Otlicers 475

Colonel Robert C. Buchanan, U. S. A 4S.5

Lieutenant-Colouel William Chapman, U. S. A. 4So




Orange, Dec. 5, 1S77.
Alfred Davenport, Esq., New York :

My Dear Sir : — Yours of the 4th is received. I am very glad
to learn that you are engaged upon the histon,- of the 5th New
York. The gallant services of that admirable regiment on so
manv fields certainly merit being handed down, and form no un-
important portion of the history of the war. The pride and in-
terest I have always felt in the regiment, since it first came under
my command, will make }our work dearly gratifying to me.

' ' " In haste, very truly yours,

■ Geo. B. McClellan.

' '/^- ■■. - ' '' New York, y^jz/z/ary 26, 187S,

Alfred Davenport, Esq. :

Dear Sir: — I have received your note of the 14th inst. in-
forming mc that you have undertaken the work of preserving the
record of the 5th New York Infantr}', and am greatly pleased to
U-arn of your undertaking. Though my connection with the
regiment was brief, extending only from .April to July, 1S61, I
\y.\w. always preserved the kindest memories of my friends and
'■"r;-.radcs of the Fifth, and felt pride in knowing that I had been
a Mv inbcr of so gallant and distinguished an organization.

I know of no regiment that had a better record for courage,
gallanir)'. discipline, and faithful service throughout the war, and

10 Letters.

the men and officers well desen-e to have a complete and correct
record of their deeds presen'ed to their country.

I shall await the publication of the work with great interest,
and will much enjoy its perusal.

Remain, etc.,

H. E. Davies, Jr.,
Late Maj. -Gen. U.S. Vols.

Fort Brown, Texas, April 15, 1S78.
Mr. a. Davenport, New York :

Dear Sir: — An absence of more than two months from this
Post must be my excuse for not having sooner answered vour
letter. I am very sorry that 1 can not send you the " order " you
wish. It should be among the records of the 2d Division, 5th
Army Corps, but they, as you are aware, did not go VNith me
when I succeeded General Meade in command of the corps. It
is barely possible that General Warren, U. S. Engineer, now at
Newport, Rhode Island, might furnish you with it.

My opinion of the 5th New York Volunteers never changed.
I doubt whether it had an equal, certainly no superior among all
the regiments of the Army of the Potomac. Its death-roll and
list of casualties will tell how and where it stood better than any
words of its commanders. / have alu'ays tnavttained it to be
the best volunteer organization J cjcr knew.

Yours very respectfully,
'-■*' •■' ' .- ■ . ■ -:■' George Sykes.

In reply to a letter from the author to General Hooker,
he speaks as follows :

Garden City, L. I., N. Y., June 2, 187S.
Mr. A. Davenport:

.... May each and all long live to enjoy the fruit of
their noble works. You tell me that General Sykes once had


I ).,


Letters. \\

your regiment in his command, and that you have the testimony
of that gifted soldier as to your discipline and conduct. This is
proof, of the most satisfactory character, of the high claims of
your regiment to its soldiership and noble bearing. You could
furnish me with no higher authority in our armv, and this opinion
is cherished, of that officer, by all his associates in arms, not only
in our last war, but also that of the war in Mexico.

Let me say, then, through you, to your regiment, that it is
almost their duty to themselves and to their old commander to
cherish and preserve everj- syllable he ever uttered in their com-

General Sykes never was much of a blower for himself, but
whenever heavy work had to be done he was a perfect whed-Jiorse
in battle or out of it- .

Sincerely yours,

J. Hooker, MaJ.-Gen.

The following communication, by George L. Catlin, Esq.,
United States Consul, La Rochelle, France, was addressed
to the CoMPTE DE Paris :


d'Amerique, 3 Rue Scribe, Paris, v
le lo Mai, 1878 S
Monseigneur le Compte de Paris :

I have the honor to address you in compliance with the request
of Mr. Davenport, of New York, who is engaged in the prepara-
tion of a histoiy of the volunteer regiment from that city, known
as the 5th New York Volunteers (Dur\-ee Zouaves), Both he
i'nd I strved in that command, which, you may remember, was
brig.uied with the regular troops under General Sykes ; and Mr.
liavenport writes me that he is desirous of incorporating in his
vvork a comojlimentary mention of that regiment which he under-
st.THfls you have been somewhere kind enough to make in your
••*'■'■. itni nniiniscences of the Peninsular Campaign in Virginia,
iM c.i-,i: you recall any such mention, I shall esteem it a great
l^avor if you will direct me to where a copy of it can be found.

12 Letters.

Should you, on the other hand, not recall it, I am requested by
Mr. Daveni.ort, the author, to say that a brief note from yourself,
expressive oi your favorable recollection of the 5th New York
Zouaves wonki be received and published as a valuable addition
to the interest '.-f his book.

Feeling- in common with every Union soldier a gratitude for
the service so honorably rendered us by your sympathy and your
sword during the trying days of the Rebellion,

I am, sir, with great respect, very truly yours,

George L. Catlin.

The C'jiiipte de Paris replied to the above note as fol-
lows :

Chateau D'Eu, Seine Inferieure, )
June 13, 1878. S

Sir :— T do not think that I mentioned in any special manner
the 5th Nlv.- York Zouaves in my History of the Civil War in
America ; but this is only because, having so many events to re-
count, I had not space enough to mention singly any organiza-
tion under thai of the, brigade. I remember veh- well the 5th
New York in the Peninsula just after the battle of Williamsburg,
and the soldier-like appearance of this tine body of men. This
appearance struck the best judges, for else the Zouaves would not
have been i^rigaded under General Sykes with the regulars, who
were justly considered as a model for the other troops.

This fa\orabie opinion was fully justified when the regiment
had to go tb.rough the ordeal of the battles on the Chickahominy,
and I well remember, on the evening of the bloody day of Gaines'
Mill, how few, but how proud, were the remnant of the 5th New
York after holding so long their ground, on our right, against
Jackson's attacks.

Believe me, sir, yours truly,

L. P. D'Orieans,

_ ^, Comptc de Paris,

ro Gro. L. Catlin, Esq., Paris.

y.rr' ."■!■' I ;r .


The period of American History commencing with the
choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the
United States, on the first Tuesday of November, i860,
and the immediate adoption by the South Carolina Con-
vention of a resolution repealing the act of admission to
the American Union, and ending with the assassination of
Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, nnist
ever possess a remarkable interest to the student of history ;
and as the events of that period must necessarily leave
influences and conditions, political and social, of an extra-
ordinary character, they must have a greater or less interest
to every citizen. The sword is sheathed, and the dilapidated
fortresses and crumbnng earthworks are deserted and losing
their outhnes, and peace has for many years blessed the
nation that was rocked to its foundations by the upheaval
of a civil war unparalleled in history. It may be expedient
to "let the dead past bury its dead." But the past is jwt
dead ; it lives in the hearts, the thoughts, the affections, the
hopes, the jealousies, the taxations, and the sufferings of
millions. It lives in the memory of the bereaved at the
hearthstones of the people — it lives in the remembrance of
the active men of the time who still animate, influence, or
lead public policy — and it lives in the purposes of whole
communities who, moreover, are resolved that the past shall
'.'( ^ <lic. To the loyal heart which throbbed with devotion
to the country in its peril — to the memories of the men wiio
laid down their lives in its defense — to the survivors of the



14 Preface.

heroic dead — to the young men of the present, the voices
of freedom and humanity utter the injunction, Let the
Past live in the loyal heart forever !

This is the argument of the present vohune. The Fifth
New York Infantry, known as the Durye'e Zouaves, heard
the drum-beat, they responded to the appeal to arms, and
in a i'ifi days were assigned to their post at the front, and
held it for two years, during the whole time for which its
members were enlisted. It has been deemed only an act
of justice to place its record at the side of other similar
contributions to the history of the war, and the effort has
been made by the author to embody the events in which it
took a part, in so complete a form that nothing material to
its chronicles should be omitted. Many of the lesser inci-
dents of camp and tield life are incorporated, as a faithful
picturing of the varied phases of a soldier's life during the

It was hoi)ed by the author, as well as by others, that the
work would be undertaken by some one or more of the able
officers of the regiment, but the active duties of civil life
have prevented them from making even the attempt to col-
lect the materials. Under these circumstances the author,
albeit with great distrust of his ability to execute the work
in a manner worthy of his subject, felt constrained to let no
further time be lost in its preparation. He has availed
himself of all the aids he could command, but is aware that
many interesting incidents and facts are in the possession of
officers and members of the regiment whom he has not been
able to consult. The record, however, is so full as it is now
presented, that no essential link in the nairative has been

It is juoper to make acknowledf^nicnts to Lieutenants Sir.i-
ucl Tiel)0!it, R. M. r.^'.'iK'y, and William H. rckclc ; Cap-
tains \\"i;iia!n II. ChaMii>L'i>, James McConnclI, and Tho.iias
R. Martin ; Adjutant A. S. Marvin, Jr. ; Sergeants C. V. G.


Preface. i 15

Forbes, Robert Strachan, E. AT. Law, and George A.
Mitchell; Corporals James H. Franklin, James R. Murra}-,
and Miron W'inslovv ; Benjamin F. Finley, Joseph Stilwell,
Daniel J. Meagher, James \V. Webb, Mrs. H. C. Vail and
family, Afrs. James H. Lounsberry, Alonzo Ameli ; and
especially to Hons. S. S. Cox, Fernando Wood, ami Lucius
N. Robinson, Mrs. Gordon Winslow, and others, for in-
teresting information.

In the preparation of the work the writer has consulted
and is indebted to L. P. D' Orleans, Compfe de Paris,
" History of the Civil War in America," "Swinton's Army
of the Potomac," A. H. Guernsey, LL.D., " Lossing's His-
tory," Rev. J. S. C. Abbott, "Pollard's Southern History
of the War," Prince de Joinville, Hon. John T. Headley,
Colonel W. Estvan' (Confederate Army), " General McClel-
lan's Reports and Campaigns," "Pope's Reports," "The
Rebellion Record," "Reports of the Committee on the
Conduct of the War," " General W. F. Barry's Report,"

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