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be hung for treason. The most of them greeted the gen-
eral very cordially, but occasionally there was one whose
rebel spirit was still strong within him, and would answer
his salutation with a scowl, and turn his back upon him.
From Burksville the regiment returned by short marches
to Manchester, opposite to Richmond, passing through
Petersburg on its way. The men gave themselves up to
joy and frolic on the way, and discipline was very much re-
laxed. The poor liberated contraband contributed more
than his share to the amusement of the troops. Tossing
him up in blankets, and blowing him up by mined cracker-
boxes, when he came into the camp for food, were the daily
sport of the men, but they always rewarded him well after-
wards for the entertainment.

The regiment remained at Manchester two or three days,
and visited the stronghold of the Confederacy, the objective
point of three immense armies, and to capture which had
cost the country hundreds of thousands of men and an in-
credible amount of treasure. Libby prison, Castle Thunder,
and Belle Isle were objects of interest and places of histor-
ical celebrity.

The notorious Dick Turner, shut up in the dungeon-cell
under Libby, and fed on bread and water until his complex-
ion became bleached and eyes watery, had frequent calls
from some of his old acquaintances, whose relative conditions
were now reversed. He was very cautious in coming to the
door of his cell when called for by his former victims ; some
of them had endeavored to retaliate upon him part of the
punishment he had inflicted upon them. In the month of
May the regiment marched from Richmond to the southern
defenses of Washington. On its way from Appomattox
Court-House it was joined by Lieutenant-Colonel Harney,
Colonel Miller, and Adjutant Lyman, who had been liber-
ated from the rebel prisons by the march of General Sher-
man from Savannah north ; also by Lieutenant-Colonel Coey,
who had partially recovered from the frightful wound received
at Dabney's Mills ; and Captain Wybourn, who lost a leg
at the same place. The regiment was then mustered out of
the United States service, June 7, 1865, and started on its
way for the north a day or two after. At Baltimore it was
assigned two or three box-cars, fitted up with seats con-
structed out of rough boards loosely put together, affording
insufficient room and no possibility of reclining for sleep in
the night, on their long journey home. The cars were ex-
cessively dirty, having been used formerly for a miscellaneous
kind of transportation. The men became indignant at their
treatment by the railroad company, which was receiving sufii-
cient compensation from the government to afford them first-
class passage. They were to go by Harrisburg and Elmira.
A demand was made by Colonel Miller for better cars, on
the superintendent of the road, which was refused ; he then
demanded more cars, so that the men could ride more com-
fortably ; that also was refused. The men could no longer
be restrained. They forcibly took possession of two more
cars and attached them to the train. A riot was with dif-
ficulty prevented. There were one or two other regiments
in the same predicament.

The regiment was two days and nights going from Bal-
timore to Elmira. It was switched off on a side-track for



the passage of every passenger and freight train that came
along, as if it contained cattle or swine instead of the brave
defenders of the country, who had bravely fought in a
hundred battles.

The railroad company had been pampered throughout
the war by the government. It unfortunately was managed
by corrupt politicians and lobbyists, who did not scruple to
profit by the misfortunes of the country and the blood of
its brave defenders.

When the regiment arrived at Elmira it was warmly
greeted by the citizens of the place, and the irritation caused
by its treatment at the hands of the Pennsylvania road
soon subsided. The Erie railroad, contrary to the practice
of the Pennsylvania road, fitted out an elegant special train
to take the regiment to Ithaca. The weary men reposed
on the luxurious seats of the cars, an enjoyment no one
could fully appreciate who had not passed through weary
marshes and bivoucks in rain and mud, oflen disturbed by
the enemy's cannon, during nearly three years. ' At Ithaca
it was transferred to an elegant boat on Seneca lake, and
enjoyed a luxurious ride upon its clear waters, bordered
with abrupt banks, crowned with trees which were reflected
in the pellucid depths of the lake. It was a beautiful
clear day. The surrounding country, diversified with wood-
land and growing field, with farm-houses nestled in em-
bowering shades, presented a picture of peace and happiness
that the men had been a long time strangers to. Arriving
at Geneva, the regiment was again met by a deputation of
grateful citizens, who had made elaborate preparations for
its reception.

A special train was soon got in readin&ss to take the regi-
ment on another stage on its journey home. It arrived in
Syracuse in the night, its place of rendezvous. It then
went into encampment, and remained several days awaiting
its final muster-out and disbandment as a regimental organ-
ization. July 7, the regiment was mustered out of the
State service, and returned to Oswego. It was there greeted
with firing of cannon and other demonstrations of joy. An
elaborate collation was in readiness at one of the public
halls of the city, graced with a profusion of beautiful flowers.
The fair daughters served the bronzed and '■ battle-scarred
veterans" the delicacies of the groaning tables, who with
modest demeanor accepted the proffered service with un-
feigned embarrassment. They were much more accustomed
to storming batteries than meeting the glances of the fair
sex. Out of the eight hundred and thirty-seven enlisted
men who had left Oswego September 27, 1862, only one
hundred and forty-seven had returned; several of them
were crippled or maimed for life. Its ranks had been filled
several times during the war. The recruits, what were left
of them at the time of the muster-out of the regiment in
Washington, were transferred to other regiments. There
were on the muster-rolls of the regiment nearly two thousand
three hundred men.

This history would not be complete without a brief men-
tion of Mrs. R. H. Spencer.

Mrs. Spencer pos-sessed the true missionary spirit, with
superabundant energy for its constant employment. The
war furnished an excellent field for its exercise. She set



HISTORY OF OSWEGO COUNTY, NEW YORK.



109



out with the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment
New York Volunteers, as matron and nurse in the hospital
department. She persuaded her husband, R. H. Spencer,
to enlist in the ranks. He was mostly occupied with her
as hospital attendant. They remained with the regiment,
in the defenses of Washington, until it was ordered to the
front, at Falmouth. They were left behind to care for the
sick who were left in the hospitals in Washington.

January 12, 1863, they joined the regiment at Belle
Plain. The sick at that time were suffering very much
from the want of delicacies of diet and comforts of bedding,
which could not be obtained from the purveyor's stores at
Aquia Creek.

The frequency of desertions, and smuggling contraband
stores into the army, had necessitated stringent regulations
in all communications to and from the front.

Mrs. Spencer gathered a large amount of stores from the
Sanitary and Christian Commissions.

It was necessary to apply to Colonel Rucker, the head of
the transportation bureau in Washington, for transportation.
He was a terror to the inexperienced regimental quarter-
masters. Bluff and rude in manner by nature, the want
of knowledge of the official forms and red tape in transact-
ing the business of the department by regimental quarter-
masters, and the many blunders and impositions practiced
upon him, often drove him into a paroxysm of passion.

Mrs. Spencer applied to him for transportation for her
stores to Aquia Creek. She was very curtly told she could
not have it ; nothing daunted, she then called on the secre-
tary of war, and made known her mission.

The secretary of war gave her an order on Colonel Rucker
to give her transportation on the ne.xt boat going to Aquia
Creek. She gave Colonel Rucker the order, and asked him
if that was satisfiictory. He grutHy said, " Yes ; take the
boat and run it !"

Her appearance with the needed supplies was like the
advent of a ministering angel to the sick, languishing in
the hospitals.

She accompanied the troops on the Gettysburg campaign,
carrying with her, on her horse, her bedding, cooking uten-
sils, and a supply of clothing, besides supplies for the sick.

She often assisted the men, when exhausted on the weary
marches, by carrying for them their coats and blankets,
which they would have otherwise abandoned on the way,
and then suffered from the want of them in the twilight
dews, chilly nights, and drenching rains. Nearly the entire
hospital department and medical staff of the First corps
was captured in the first day's battle of Gettysburg, and
there was great lack of medical officers and hospital attend-
ants to care for the wounded during the following two days'
battle. Amidst great confusion, and not wholly free from
danger from hostile shells, Mrs. Spencer, assisted by her
husband, got over the fire her camp kettles, and took from
her haversacks, hanging to her saddle-bow, coffee and
canned extract of beef, and was soon ministering to the
wants of the wounded, by giving to them fragrant coffee
and delicious soup. She was always cool and brave in time
of danger, and never shrank from going to the relief of the
wounded when her services were the most needed. In the
trenches before Petersburg, when no one could go to the



front without incurring imminent risk from the enemy's
sharpshooters and stray bullets, she frequently conveyed to
the weary, famishing men delicacies, of which they were
sadly in need. After the terrible battles of the Wilderness
and Spott.sylvania, the wounded were conveyed in ambu-
lances and lumbering baggage- wagons, over rough roads,
miny weary miles, by Fredericksburg to Bjlle Plain ; there
they were put upon hospital transports and taken to W:tsh-
ington.

At Belle Plain, tlie wounded, weary, famished, and tor-
tured by festering wounds, were greeted by their old friend,
Mrs. Spencer, who had, as usu:il, comj to their relief in
time of their greatest need. It had been raining several
days. She spent several days, standing ankle-deep in the
tenacious Virginia mud, making coffee and soup, till thou-
sands were served. Thousands were removed from the
ambulances and baggage-wagons and placed upon the hill-
sides, without shelter from the pouring rain. They were
made cheerful by her ministering care, and forgot their own
sufferings in their anxiety for her own comfort, and danger
in taking cold. As the Army of the Potomac advanced
towards Richmond new communications were opened, by
Port Royal, White House, and City Point. She, at each
successive point, repeated her ministering care to the
wounded and afflicted. The remainder of her deeds of
heroism and mercy are duly recorded in " Woman's Work
in the Civil War."

The following members of the regiment died in rebel
prisons during the war :

Company A, Thomas Barnes, October 4, 18(]4; Theo-
dore Elliott, September 16, 1864; Moses Shaw, September
10, 1864 ; Miles Morgan, September 1, 1864 ; Wm. Camp-
bell, Augu.st 31, 1864; Orrin Kimberly, July 13, 1864;
John Green, August 26, 1864 ; Robert Hyde, September
14, 1864.

pompany B, Joseph P. Clyens, August 17, 1864 ; Jacob
F. Goodbred, August 28, 1864 ; Gilbert Sherwood, August
4, 1864; George Walling, August 22, 1864; Francis G.
Defendorf, July 13, 1864;^ Matthew Devine, July 12, 1864 ;
John Garner, July 22, 1864.

Company C, Peter Douglass, October 5, 1864 ; Lorenzo
W. Horton, Morgan L. Allen, Jr.

Company D, Henry Broder, August 26, 1864; James
C. Eldred, July 19, 1864 ; Edgar A. Stratton, October 10,
1864; Wm. Cline, September 25, 1864; Theo. W. H.
Hawley, October 11, 1864.

Company E, John Chambers, August 29, 1864 ; Reuben
Ellis, August 24, 1864 ; Wm. Haggerty, August 26, 1864 ;
Theo. Smith, August 24, 1864 ; Ezra C. Jones, October
12, 1864; James Kenny, September 10, 1864; David
Smiley, October 9, 1864 ; Jehiel Weed, at Salisbury, North
Carolina, November 29, 1864 ; George Yerdon, at Salis-
bury, North Carolina, November 29, 1864.

Company F, Leonard A. Freeman, date and place un-
known ; Burr B. Lathrop, Florence, South Carolina; Fred-
erick Shultz, August 23, 1864, at Andersonville, Georgia ;
Wm. 0. Daniels, sergeant, November, 1864, at Rich-
mond, Virginia; Ansel Gannon, September 12, 1864, at
Andersonville, Georgia ; Charles S. Little, September 20,
1864; A. B. Randall, September 2(t, 1864; Michael



HISTORY OF OSWEGO COUNTY, NEW YORK.



Trainer, September 12, 1864, Andersonville, Georgia;
Waldo Ponchin,' died, after exchanged, at Annapolis ;
Wm. W. Wood, Mnrch 16, 1865, Florence, South Carolina.

Company G, Harvey D. Merritt, August 18, 1864, An-
dersonville, Georgia ; Cornelius Cramb, date unknown ;
George Keiser, September 15, 1864; John Thompson,
date unknown ; Isaac Washington, August 18, 1864; John
Wetherby, December 1, 1864, Salisbury, North Carolina;
John Miller, date unknown; John Rigby, December 10,
1864 ; Garrett S. Ayres, date unknown.

Company H, Sanford Alsavor, died in Florence, South
Carolina; John Granger, July 10, 1864, at Andersonville,
Georgia ; Isaac Gaslin, Richmond, Virginia ; David H.
Johnson, December 29, 1804, after exchanged, at Annap-
olis ; Thomas Wright, May 28, 1864; Samuel Bowen,
July 20, 1864, Andersonville, Georgia; Wesley Brock,
September 18, 1864; James A. Castle, June 10, 1864;
Noah L. Myers, August 7, 1864; James Spoor, July 18,
1864.

Company I, John Dooley, after exchanged, at Annapolis ;
Griggs Holbrook, August 22, 1864 ; Joseph Lemoreux,
August 21, 18'U; Elijah Chappel, October 12, 1864, at
Andersonville; John H. Leach, September 11, 1864.

Company K, Silas B. Taylor, September 29, 1864, An-
dersonville, Georgia ; Jabez E. Spaulding, Company E, date
unknown ; Chas. Jennings, date unknown.



CHAPTER XXVI.

OSWEGO IN THE EEBELLIOW.

The One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment.

The One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment was
authorized by Governor Seymour, upon the personal appli-
cation of Hon. Elias Root, of Oswego. W. G. Robinson
and William I. Preston immediately thereafter held a series
of war-meetings throughout the county, assisted by D. G.
Fort, Cheney Ames, A. B. Getty, Henry Fitzhugh, and
A. Van Dyck. Though Oswego had sent thousands of her
brave sons to the front, and the home ranks were sadly
thinned, the patriotic fire was again kindled, and recruiting
for the fifth Oswego regiment was rapidly pushed forward.
There were over fourteen hundred men recruited for the
regiment from this county, and two hundred from Madison
and Cayuga counties. It was mustered into the service
during the months of August and September, 1864.

The following were the regimental and line oflBcors :

Colonel, Wardwell G. Robinson ; Lieutenant-Colonel,
Wm. P. McKinley ; Major, W. D. Furgeson ; Adjutant,
Howard M. Smith ; Quartermaster, John Dunn, Jr. ; Sur-
geon, Tobias J. Green ; Assistant Surgeon, T. Y. Kinnie ;
Chaplain, Jacob Post.

Line Officers. — Company A, Captain, Joel S. Palmer;
Fir.st Lieutenant, C. P. Strong ; Second Lieutenant, M. L.
Branch.

Company B, Captain, W. S. BI or.se ; First Lieutenant,
J. N. Hoot; Second Lieutenant, C. H. Pavey.



Company C, Captain, J. W. Parkhurst; First Lieu-
tenant, George A. Leonard ; Second Lieutenant, Daniel
Bothwell.

Company D, Captain, S. R. Town ; First Lieutenant,
Augustus Pliilipps ; Second Lieutenant, Joel H. Warn.

Company E, Captain, John Sheridan ; First Lieutenant,
J. M. Francis; Second Lieutenant, J. H. Loomis.

Company F, Captain, Wm. Dickinson ; First Lieutenant,
I. W. Darrow ; Second Lieutenant, S. H. Brown.

Company G, Captain, J. T. Outerson ; First Lieutenant,
J. H. Grant; Second Lieutenant, T. W. Smith.

Company H, Captain, H. W. Ramsey ; First Lieutenant,
G. W. Woodin ; Second Lieutenant, T. M. Watkins.

Company I, Captain, George Wetulore ; First Lieutenant,
E. F. Morris ; Second Lieutenant, John H. Gilman.

Company K, Captain, S. Scriber; First Lieutenant, M. G.
McCoon ; Second Lieutenant, Jerome H. Coe.

The regiment left Elmira for the front in September,
1864. They arrived at Washington, embarked for City
Point, and subsequently went into camp about two miles
distant from Bermuda Hundred.

September 27, orders were received to move to Wilson's
landing, known as Fort Pocahontas. The regiment embarked
aboard the " Thomas Powell," and at four o'clock p.m.
arrived at the fort. On the following day one hundred
and twelve men were detached for picket duty, and two
companies sent to Harrison's Landing. September 29, the
regiment embarked for Harri.son's Landing. Here they
found comfortable quarters within sight of City Point, and
Colonel Robinson, being the ranking officer, became post
commandant. November 8, Rev. Jacob Post was selected
as chaplain. The regiment remained here during the term
of service, and although not participating in any severe
conflicts, they performed the duties assigned them faith-
fully.

To place before the reader a history of the entire regi-
ment, it will be necessary to follow the four companies,
A, B, D, and F, as these companies were forwarded from
Elmira before the remainder of the regiment, and rejoined
it only a short time previously to its discharge.

The four companies mentioned above, under command of
Major Furgeson, left Elmira September 14, 1864, and .soon
after arrived in Washington, where they remained until
September 23, when they took up the line of march for
Winchester, Virginia. At Harper's Ferry they halted four
days, and left for Harrisburg as a guard for a provision
train. They joined the army of General Sheridan, and
were with him during the celebrated raid through the Shen-
andoah valley. In three days they marched one hundred
and four miles on the track of the rebel General Early,
burning and destroying property. During this long and
tedious march they daily exchanged shots with Mosby's
guerrillas, and at Fisher's Hill the army participated in a
sharp engagement. They subsequently were ordered to
Martinsburg. Here they remained two days, and were
again ordered up the valley, and encamped at Cedar creek.
Early on the morning of the 19th of October, 1864, while a
greater portion of the men were sleeping, an orderly dashed
into camp with orders from General Wright, the corps
commander, to fall into line of battle immediately. With



HISTORY OF OSWEGO COUNTY, NEW YORK.



nil alacritj' truly commendable, tliey struck tents and ad-
vanced, when they were immediately attacked by the enemy,
and the memorable battle of Cedar Creek commenced.

The battle raged until night put an end to the contest.
It was a severe engagement, and thrice were they driven from
their ground, and as often regained it. At the close of the
conflict they encamped on the ground that they had lefl in
the morning, but not all of those brave men who responded
so promptly to the call returned to the old camp. Sixteen
sealed their devotion to their country with their life's blood.
Lieutenant Philipps among the number. In addition to
the killed, there were forty wounded. General Early was
defeated, and the Union forces captured five thousand
prisoners, sixty-two pieces of artillery, besides a large quan-
tity of small arms. In this engagement the cavalry was
under the command of the lamented Custer. This was the
first engagement in which these companies were under fire,
but they behaved like veterans, and won many encomiums
of praise for their prompt action and bravery. Through
the inexcusable fliult of some one, no tents were issued to
these companies until the battle of Cedar Creek. Adjutant-
General Andrew J. Smith, of General Seymour's staff,
presented the officers with a wagon-cover, and this was the
only tent in the command.

They subsequently were ordered to Winchester, where a
long line of works was thrown up, called " Camp Kussell."
Here the companies remained about four weeks, when they
returned to Harrison's Landing, and joined the remainder
of the regiment. The entire command remained here several
months, and, in addition to their other duties, bestowed
much labor upon their camp, in beautifying and rendering
it comfortable. It was said to be one of the finest in the
army. While at the Landing, Colonel Robinson was post
commandant, and Major Furge.son acting provost-marshal
and post inspector. June 30, 1865, Colonel Robinson re-
ceived orders from JlajorGeneral Hartsuff directing that
the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth be marched out of the
breastworks preparatory to embarkation. The order was
promptly obeyed, and the embarkation commenced. Com-
panies A, B, D, I, and F, under command of Major Fur-
geson, shipped aboard the steamer " North Point," and the
remainder of the regiment on the " Robert Morris." July
1, the entire command reached Baltimore, and after march-
ing to the " Soldiers' Rest," where dinner was served, they
took the cars for Elmira, New York, where they arrived at
four o'clock on the following day. The regiment subsequently
went to Syracuse, where they were paid off and mustered
out.



CHAPTER XXVIL

OS'WEGO IN THE REBELLIOlir.



The Twelfth Regiment of Cavalry : " Third Ira I
RegimeDt Light Artillery.



i Guard"— First



The Twelfth Regiment of Cavalry, otherwise known as
the " Third Ira Harris Guard," was organized at New York
city to serve three years. The companies of which it was



composed were raised in the counties of New York, Colum-
bia, Albany, Rensselaer, Clinton, Franklin, Oswego, Onon-
daga, and Erie. It was mustered into the United States
service from November 10, 1862, to September 25, 1863.

Two companies were raised in this county, and were com-
manded by Captains Cyrus and Simeon Church. Aft«r the
formation of the regiment they encamped at Camp Wash-
ington, on Stat«n Island, where they remained until March,
1SG3. The colonel, James W. Savage, was on General
Fremont's staff, and when the latter was relieved he came
to New York and was tendered the command of the regi-
ment. He served during the entire terra of service, and
at the close of the war emigrated to the far west, and is
now a member of the judiciary of Omaha.

March 8, 1863, the regiment broke camp and embarked
for Newbern, North Carolina, and remained there during the
war. While stationed here the regiment participated in a
scries of raids into the enemy's country, the most important
one being the advance on Tarboro', which was made by eight
hundred men for the purpose of destroying a rebel gun-
boat, stores, etc., at that place. They destroyed the Wel-
don railroad, and on approaching Tarboro' found the enemy
in force, and immediately charged them with portions of the
Oswego companies, A and B. It was a sharp contest, and
Captain Cyrus Church, while gallantly leading the charge
at the head of his company, was in.stantly killed, eleven
bullets entering his body. Lieutenant Hubbard was
wounded and taken prisoner, and was subsequently killed,
in Slarch, 1865, in the advance on Goldsborough. Ephraim
Mosier, second lieutenant of Company A, was taken prisoner,
and died at Charleston. In this charge the two companies
lost twenty men.

A detachment of this regiment was sent to Plymouth
and also one to Little Wiishington. The Plymouth detach-
ment performed general scouting duty, and was in the bat-
tle of Plymouth, fought April 20, 1864, when the Federal
forces were defeated by the Confederate General Hooke,
and the two companies of this regiment composing the de-
tachment were taken prisoner. In this contest Captain A.
Cooper was in command, and was among the number cap-
tured. Eighty-five men were sent as prisoners of war to
Andersonville, and nearly all perished in that hellish pen
lorded over by the notorious Wirz, who was subse(|uently
executed. The detachment sent to Little Washingt^m also
did scouting duty, and were very instrumental in breaking
up and routing the rebel General Mosby's celebrated gang
of guerrillas. The Twelfth performed substiintial service
for the government, and no portion of the regiment did
better service during their two years of life on the tented
field than the Oswego companies. The prison-pen and the



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