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shooter. May 10, about noon, the regiment was engaged,
■ and was relieved when out of ammunition. About five p.m.
was again brought into action and remained until after dark ;
was driven back by the burning woods; loss in killed and
wounded considerable. May 11 the regiment lay in the
rifle-pits under a heavy cannonading of shot and shell, and
a constant fire from sharpshooters. May 12, five A.M., the
regiment went into the skirmish-line without its breakfast,
charged through a dense thicket up a hill to the enemy's
breastworks, and were repulsed. The regiment then went
about five miles to the left, to engage in one of the most
determined and fiercely-contested battles of the war. At
4.30 A.M. General Hancock with the Second corps stormed
a salient angle of the enemy's works, and carried it, cap-
turing twelve thousand of the enemy. He pursued the
enemy to the second line of works ; having partially lost the
organization of the corps, he was forced to retire to the first
line, which, by the aid of reinforcements, he was able to
hold. The whole rebel army was nearly demoralized and
routed by this onset, and was only saved by the personal
example and bravery of General Lee. He caught up a
standard and placed himself in front of his routed and de-
moralized troops, rallied them, and in person commenced
to lead them back to the charge. His officers and men,
inspirited by his example, first forced him to the rear, then
chai-ged upon General Hancock, and drove him back to the



HISTORY OF OSWEGO COUNTY, NEW YORK.



fii-st line. In course of the day General Lee made five
desperate attacks upon this line, but was repulsed each time
with great slaughter.

Here was the most remarkable fighting of the war. Part
of the Fifth corps was moved up in the evening to assist
in holding the position. Every man was given two hundred
and fifty rounds of Ciirtridges, and was ordered to keep up
a constant fusilade towards the enemy throughout the night ;
by so doing they kept down the enemy's fire. No living
thing could withstand such a constant stream of bullets.
In the morning there was no enemy in sight in front, and
their dead lay in heaps behind their breastworks, mostly
shot through the head. The trees within musket-range
were killed, and one tree eighteen inches in diameter was
cut clean in two by bullets. May 11, the brave General
Rice, commander of the Second brigade, when in front of his
coniniaiid, had his thigh-bone shattered by a bullet from a
rebel sharpshooter, and died that evening after an amputa-
tion, from loss of blood. When breathing his last, he made
a request to have his face turned towards the enemy.
Lieutenant-Colonel Harney was slightly wounded that after-
noon in leading a charge on the enemy's works. In with-
drawing the First division of the Fifth corps to aid in
holding the position gained by the Second corps, the Fifth
corps' hospitals were necessarily uncovered.

All the wounded that could be easily moved were re-
moved to a place of safety during the night, but about two
thousand were abandoned and captured by the enemy's
cavalry. Among them were several ofiSeers and men be-
longing to the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment.
They were rescued by the Federal cavalry three days after-
wards, but, from the want of care and proper nourishment,
many of them died who would otherwise have recovered.
In the night of the 13th the regiment experienced the
most fatiguing march of the war. It had been raining
steadily during several days, and the mud was deep. The
corps moved twelve miles to the left, through thickets,
swamps, and ravines.

During several days General Grant had been gradually
moving his army to the left to get around the enemy's
right, but he was met by a corresponding movement by
General Lee. In these series of battles the regiment had
sufiered greatly in killed and wounded and from sickness.

The following were killed or fatally wounded in the bat-
tles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania, JLiy 5, 1865 :

Company A, Arnold Brown, Benoni Baker, David Bird,
George Bull, William Backus, Job G. Campbell, Abram I.
White, John E. Peer, May 8 ; Drisdon Founier, wounded
May 5, died August 16.

Company B, May 5, Bently H. Throop; Simon Barbo,
May 12. May 5, wounded, Eugene Burlingame, died July
2, 186-1. May 5, William CuUen, Allen S. Vorce.

Company C, May 5, Ransom Guinness, Albert Eaton.

Company D, Thomas Murphey, corporal. May 8 ; Wil-
liam Horsford, May 12 ; John 0. Hadley.

Company E, Burr B. Lathrop, May 5 ; William Caster,
May 5 ; Roland T. Rogers, May 10 ; Charles Brownell.

Company F, James Brown, first lieutenant, died July
1, 1864, from wounds received May 10, 1864, at Spottsyl-



Company G, May 5, William S. Herrick; May 5, Wil-
liam Harrison ; May 5, Albert June ; George W. Sncll,
May 10.

Company K, Franklin N. Hamlin, first lieutenant, died
of wounds received May 5, 1864 ; Joseph Walker, May 5 ;
Joseph Ballard, Silas E. Parsons, Daniel Vanderwalker,
William Whitehead, Abram M. Wiburn, Michael Walken-
block.

May 21 the Fifth corps marched to Guineas' station, on
the Fredericksburg and Richmond railroad. Continued
the march on the 22d, and reached the North Anna river
at four P.M. on the 24th at Jericho ford. The banks of
the stream were precipitous, and at places rising up perpen-
dicularly thirty or forty feet. The crossing was at a dis-
used ford. The road leading down the banks had been
washed out by rains, and had to be graded. The First
division, commanded by General Cutler, crossed over in
advance, fording the stream, before the pontoon bridge was
laid. The general carelessly gave permission to his division
to mass and get coffee, at the same time posting a few
pickets. General WaiTen coming up a few minutes after,
seeing from the opposite side of the stream the precarious
condition of the division, sent a peremptory command to
General Cutler to get his division into line of battle at
once, and get it in readiness to receive an attack from the
enemy. One brigade had time to form and advance a few
paces in a pine wood, when it was greeted with a deafening
roar of musketry. It came out disorganized, and fled pre-
cipitately down the banks of the stream. A host of non-
combatants, — chaplains, servants with pack animals, stretcher
bearers, hospital attendants, and surgeons, — who had crossed
over with the division, took fright, and fled, giving the
appearance of a stampede. In the mean time, the enemy
had commenced an artillery duel with four Federal bat-
teries stationed on the bluffs on the north side of the river,
the shells passing over the heads of the frightened non-
combatants, adding terror to their fright. The Second
brigade, commanded by Colonel Hofmaiin, was formed
into line, stood firm, and was in readiness to receive the
enemy. A battery, commanded by Captain Mink, formerly
a Black river boatman, a brave artillery officer, came over
at the critical moment ; he posted his battery on an eleva-
tion to the right of the Second brigade, at the same time
sending a request to Colonel Hofmann to reserve fire, and
give him the first chance at the rebels. He had loaded
his guns to the muzzle with canister. The enemy came
swarming out of the woods within short range of the bat-
tery, when it was discharged in their midst. They recoiled,
and fled panic-stricken. The battle was soon renewed.
The enemy was finally repulsed with a loss of one thousand
prisoners. The Fifth corps lost three hundred and fifty
killed and wounded. A second Ball's Bluff disaster was
only prevented by the timely arrival of General Warren on
the north bank of the stream, and the opportune arrival of
Captain Mink at the critical moment on the field of battle.
He had been wounded, and carried a crutch with him at
the time.

During the battle General Warren came over and up-
braided General Cutler, an old man, in forcible but not
over-polite terms for his carelessness. In the mean time,



HISTOEY OF OSWEGO COUNTY, NEW YORK.



General Hancock, with tlie Second corps, had effected a
crossing four or five miles below, and General Wright, with
the Sixth corps, afterwards crossed above.

In the morning, May 24, the One Hundred and Forty-
seventh Regiment was deployed as skirmishers in the ad-
vance. About forty of the affrighted rebels were captured.
They had not recovered from the demoralization caused by
the battle of yesterday. They appeared to be veiy willing
prisoners. In the morning of the 25th the regiment was
again deployed on the skirmish-line, and advanced towards
Hanover junction, to the southeast about two miles; had
severe fighting; the country flat and densely wooded at
places ; loss in killed and wounded considerable. May 26
it seemed evident that not much progress was to be made
towards Richmond in this direction. The enemy still held
the south bank of the stream between the Fifth corps and
General Hancock, and were strongly posted in our front.
In the night the corps was withdrawn to the north bank of
the stream, and started for Hanover town on the Pamun-
key. Arrived at Hanover town on the 28th. There met
General Sheridan's cavalry on its return from a raid on the
defenses of Richmond. It had met the cavalry of the
enemy, under the rebel general, Stuart, about four miles from
Richmond, and fought a severe battle, in which General
Stuart was killed. About one thousand of the wounded
cavalry were left in hospital at Hanover town. May 30
the regiment was engaged in the battle of Bethesda Church,
in which a large number of wounded prisoners fell into our
hands. May 31 , lay in the trenches in front of the defenses of
Richmond. Heavy cannonading was heard in themorningon
the right, and in the afternoon on the left, but no fighting in
front. June 2, attacked by the enemy about five P.M. ; fell
back and changed front to meet the enemy, and drove them
back ; loss considerable. There was heavy firing to the
right during the day, which continued along in the night.
June 3, battle of Cold Harbor. Commenced throwing up
breastworks about daylight ; they were not finished when
the battle opened with great fury ; several were wounded,
but none seriously. The heaviest fighting was on the right
and left. The Ninety-fifth New York suffered severely.
Lieutenant-Colonel Pye was mortally wounded.

Since crossing the Pamunkey, General Grant had been
tentatively feeling the enemy's lines. To-day he had
made an assault all along the lines, and was repulsed with
great loss in killed and wounded ; the enemy's loss was
comparatively slight, as they were fighting behind breast-
works. The regiment lay in the trenches till June 6. The
baggage-wagons came up the first time during thirty days.
Oflicers obtained a change of under-clothing for the first
time during that period. The state of that which they had
on, and of the cuticle, can be easily imagined.

In the morning of the 7th, at 3.30, the division moved
to the left ; met the enemy at the West Point and Richmond
railroad. The Second brigade was deployed as skirmishers,
and drove the enemy across the Chickahominy river ; then
encamped in the mud for the night. Picketed the north
bank of the stream till the 12th, the enemy picketing the
other side. The river here is about twenty feet across.
The enemy's pickets wore disposed to be friendly, and de-
sired to trade tobacco for coffee, but were forbidden to do



so by their ofiicers ; but the men did so clandestinely, toss-
ing their exchanges across the river. Six rebels came into
our lines on the night of the 9th. The men fished in the
stream. Moved July 13, and crossed the Chickahominy
in the night. The regiment was detailed as a train-guard,
and moved on the road towards the James river ; arrived
near the river at eleven p.m., and encamped on a fine planta-
tion, the owner of which, with three sons, had joined the
rebel army, one of whom was killed and another wounded
in the battle of the Wilderness. Jane 16, crossed the
James river at Wilson's landing ; marched for Petersburg,
starting about noon ; had a weary and toilsome march of
twenty-six miles in a broiling sun, each man carrying a
blanket, forty rounds of ammunition, and half of a shelter-
tent, making a weight of forty or fifty pounds, and went
into camp at two a.m, June 17, about three miles from Pe-
tersburg. The regiment by this time had become much
enfeebled by constant vigils and long, weary marches in the
heat of a Virginia summer. Since May 5 it had been
almost constantly in the presence of the enemy, and more
than half of the time under fire. It often slept in the
trenches when the enemy's shells were bursting thick and
fast around them as a lullaby.

The losses of the armies in their fierce struggles from
the Wilderness to the James river were never oflScially
published ; probably they were so enormous that the au-
thorities deemed it unwise to appall the country by making
known their magnitude. The whole scene of contest from the
Rapidan to the Chickahominy rivers was one Golgotha. In
many places in the dense thickets the dead were left with-
out sepulture, and their bleaching skeletons were seen upon
the return of some of their comrades after the surrender
at Appomattox Court-House (1865), who passed through
there to revisit the scenes of their former struggles. Gen-
eral Grant had had his losses more than made up by con-
stant reinforcements from the defenses of Washington by
the heavy artillery regiments stationed there. They never
supposed they were to be called into the field, and lacked
the experience and efiicicncy of the veterans who had been
in constant service and had withstood the shock of a hun-
dred battle-fields. They had to withstand the jeers and
gibes of the hardened veterans, who, not always without
malice, greeted them as " Heavies," and said, " It is better
to get accustomed to the use of small guns before attempt-
ing to use big ones," because, as they thought, they had
shrunk from the dangers of the war by seeking a safe
place behind the defenses of Washington. These regi-
ments were from two thousand to two thousand four hun-
dred strong when they came into the field. From sickness,
arising from want of proper seasoning, and casualties in
battle, in a great measure arising from the want of expe-
rience, they were soon reduced to two or three hundred.
They had not yet acquired the " discretion which is the
better part of valor" (not speaking, however, in the Fal-
staflBan sense) of the veteran, coolness and wariness in
battle, which can only be attained by long experience, and
which makes a veteran three times as valuable as a raw
recruit, bravery in both being equal. From nature's most
imperative law, self-preservation, the veteran learns to avoid
all unnecessary danger, and instinctively seizes upon all the



HISTORY OF OSWEGO COUNTY, NEW YORK.



:nlvanlagcs of his position. At the end of every day's
niart-h, however weary he niiglit bo, the veteran would pvo-
tt-ct himself by constructing some kind of breastwork to
guard against surprise. When on the picket- or skirmish -
line, with marvelous quickness, if there was no natural
cover, he would scoop up a little mound of earth to protect
himself from the bullets of his foe. A gopher could not
burrow out of sight sooner than a veteran would conceal
himself from the euem^' by the use of a tin-cup or a bay-
onet.

General Grant had been flanking the enemy from the
Wilderness to the James river, and now endeavored to suc-
ceed by hastily seizing Petersburg before General Lee could
get there to defend the place. It was protected by an elab-
orate fortification built in the early part of the war, encir-
cling the town on the south side of the Appomattox, about
two and a half miles from the suburbs. Generals Han-
cock, Smith, and Burnside, with a large force, crossed the
James river and made a rapid march to surprise the place
on the 16th of June; but the enemy got there about the
same time. The Union forces took the outer works with-
out opposition, and met the enemy midway between the
works and the town. A fierce battle ensued ; neither party
gained advantage. The enemy, to hold their position, com-
menced to build an inner line of works. In the morning
of the 17th the Fifth corps, after the toilsome march of
the day previous, advanced on the enemy and gained a
position, from which it took part in the general assault upon
the enemy's lines which was made the next day. June
18, the Union army endeavored to take the enemy's works
by coup dc main, but was partially repulsed. A position
was gained varying from one hundred to four hundred
yards from the enemy's works. A vigorous use of the
pick and spade was then made, and in a few days a heavy
line of works was built, confronting the enemy's. In the
charge of the 18th the line of battle of the Fifth corps
passed over a broken country, partly wooded, partly open
fields, and crossed diagonally over a deep railroad cut, and
up the steep bank, consequently the line of battle became
very irregular and uneven. The part of the line occupied
by the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment, under
Lieutenant-Colonel Harney, was in the open field ; the line
gave way on each side of the regiment, but a part of an-
other regiment remained with it. They had charged within
a short distance of the enemy's breastworks, and were there
left without support. It was more dangerous to fall back
than to hold the position. Lieutenant-Colonel Harney
ordered the men to lie down behind a low ridge, which
aflbrded partial protection from the enemy's fire. The
enemy opened embrasures in their works in front (the men
could look into the muzzles of the enemy's cannon as they
were run out), and bombarded them with spherical case-
shot, which nearly grazed their backs when they passed
over them. They kept their position through the day in a
broiling sun. The enemy at one time sent out a force on
the flank to capture them. Lieutenant-Colonel Harney
reserved the fire of his command until they came within
point-blank range, and poured a volley into them. They
immediately fled back behind the works.

Some of the men clamored for permission to go to the



rear. The colonel endeavored to convince them that it was
much safer to remain where they Wire; but, finally, to quiet
the complaints of others, gave four or five of them permis-
sion to retire and see what would come of it. They made
the attempt, and were all killed or wounded.

The lieutenant-colonel, like a true soldier, wished to save
the colors, and called for a volunteer to carry them to the
rear. William Sullivan, sergeant Company I, volunteered,
and carried them off', but was severely wounded. He was
soon after promoted second lieutenant for his gallant con-
duct. The regiment remained till after dark, and got off'
safely. The losses in this day's battle in killed and wounded
were very great.

The following were killed in battle, or died in hospitals,
from May 22 to June 19, 186J :

William Upcraft, Company A, killed Juno 1 ; Christian
Field, Company B, killed at North Anna, May 25 ; Patrick
O'Conner, Company B, wounded May 25, died June 14 ;
Orange Beardsley, Company C, killed May 24 ; Henry
Foster, Company C, June 18, at the battle of Petersburg;
Charles Gurnsey, Company C, June 18, at the battle of
Petersburg; Herbert Gilbert, Company C, June 17 ; Philip
Stevens, Company C, June 18 ; John Fitzgeralds, Company
D, killed at battle of Bethesda Church, June 2 ; Sidney
C. Gaylord, second lieutenant Company E, killed June 18;
John L. Bayne, Company E, June 18 ; Lewellen Laird,
Company E, wounded June 18, died June 24 ; David S.
Rice, Company F, June 18 ; Edwin Marshall, Company G,
June 18; John McMurray, Company G, June 19 ; Thomas
Seagraves, Company G, June 19; Wilbcr H. Wentworth,
Company G, June 18; Atwell Winchester, Company H,
June 19; James A. Castle, Company H, June 10; Thos.
I. Wright, Company H, May 28, at Andersonville, Georgia;
John Mitchell, Company I, died from wounds received
June 18 ; John Daly, Company K, June 18 ; Samuel
Morey and John S. Riley, Company K, June 18; Daniel
Sanders, Company K, May 25 ; Franklin B. Woodrufl',
Company K, wounded June 2, died Juno 11.



CHAPTER XXII L

OS'WEGO IN THE KEBELLION.

The One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment— Siege of Peters-
burg—Battles of Weldon Railroad, Pecble's Farm, Uatcher's Run,
Ilickaford, and Dabney's Mills.

Now commenced the most arduous and trying service of
the war, taxing the temper of the men to the utmo.st endur-
ance. The Union army, to make any headway, was com-
pelled to hold on to every foot of ground gained, with a
death-gi-ip. The front of the line occupied by the One
Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment was in an open field,
about two hundred yards from the enemy's breastworks,
which it was expected to build up and defend. No one
could expo.se any part of his person without being hit by
the enemy's sharpshooters. Several of the men were shot
through the head during the first two or three days.
Nothing could be done at first in the daytime, and the men



HISTORY OF OSWEGO COUNTY, NEW YORK.



worked witli a will ia the night for self-preservation. The
sun came down broiling hot in the day, and the men were
without shelter, save what could be got by planting boughs,
obtained from the neighboring woods in the night. The
rear descended to a small stream, then dry ; then ascended
an incline, fully exposed to the rebel sharpshooters ; conse-
quently no reliefs or communications could be got from the
rear, without great risk, in the dnytime. Moreover, on the
right the Ninth corps occupied a salient angle on a hill
within one hundred and twenty-five yards of the enemy's
lines. There was constant skirmishing going on in front
of that corps; the balls, passing over the Ninth corps on the
right flank, descended into the depression in the rear of the
regiment. Many men were killed and wounded when
cooking their food or washing their clothes : there seemed
to be no place of safety, no matter how well, apparently, it
was sheltered. In a few days, by constant labor through
the nights, strong bomb-proofs were built and covered Wiiys
constructed, which afforded complete shelter for the men
behind the works, and a safe access to the rear. By this
time the men were worn out by constant vigils and exposure
to the inclement heat. Nearly every man was sick with
diarrhoea. There were only one hundred and fifty men fit
for duty. The enemy soon procured cohorn mortars, and
silently dropped down shells in the midst of the men when
they supposed they were safe. That was a game that two
could play at. Mortars were procured on our side, and
both parties amused each other by an exchange of compli-
ments, which often had tragic endings. Occasionally, when
a fine opportunity ofi"ered, when more than usual the enemy
were off their guard, a shell would be thrown into their
midst, and playing havoc by a timely explosion (scoring
one for our side), would raise a shout from our men which
would pass all along the line. For a while this game of
ball aS"orded recreation for both parties, but at length a
truce was made against picket-firing and sharpshooting for
amusement, except by the Ninth corps, which kept up a con-
stant fire upon the enemy, for the purpose of concealing
from them the mining of a rebel fort in its front.

The lines, about one mile to the left, approached still
nearer to each other, and the pickef^lines were only a few
paces apart. The fort erected at the left extremity of the
line at this time commanded, by its position on a hill, the
enemy's line. Desperate efforts were made by the enemy
to drive our forces from it, but without avail.

They called it " Fort Hell," by which name it was after-
wards designated. At 4.40 a.m. July 30, the mine in front
of the Ninth corps was exploded, blowing up a rebel fort
with several hundred men ; at the same time the artillery
opened all along the line. The Fifth corps took a very
small part in this engagement. It kept down the enemy's
fire in its immediate front, and awaited orders to join in the
assault afterwards.

The assault was to have been made by the colored troops,
but a short time before the time set for the springing of the
mine the plan of attack was changed, creating some con-
fusion from want of time for preparation and training the
men by the commanders who were to lead the assault.
The explosion had made a crater one hundred and fifty feet
in length by sixty in width, and twenty-five to thirty feet



in depth. The sides were of loose sand, from which pro-
jected huge blocks of clay, making a formidable barrier to



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