Frederick Tomlinson Peet.

Civil war letters and documents of Frederick Tomlinson Peet online

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the Independence of the United States.

^ibraham Qincotn
itideon rre/tes

Secretary of the Navy.

Registered No. ~A'ine.
if he lowest number of same date takes rank.

nm. X J . ■^Atoran


Col Berdan will write William
Headquarters Army of the Potomac
11 AM Hours, - Min. July 2 1862.
My dear Uncle,

It is my sad duty to have to inform you
that your gallant boy, Frederick, was seri-
ously wounded on Monday afternoon while
protecting the passage of "White Oak
Swamp." His Col speaks of his modesty
& his courage in the highest terms. He
held the post of honor and while bravely
defending it, fell with his face toward the
enemy. His comrades rushed to his assist-
ance, but he begged them not to remain.
He told his Sergeant "not to mind about
him" — The enemy are always kind to our
wounded, and I trust your brave boy is
now a prisoner in their hands— I will use
every effort to aid him— In the rapidity of


our movements, I have not yet been able
to get any further news of him— We are
full of heart, and although the enemy out-
number us, will go to Richmond in spite of
everything— I pray God with my whole
heart that you may receive good news from
your Son—

Your aff Nephew

E. H Wright.

Camp— On James River 3d, July 1862
My dear Friend—

I am compelled to write in great haste
and therefore to be abrupt in announcing
bad news. Your brother Fred was
wounded in the fight on Monday last and
like many of our wounded in this rapid
retreat was left in the hospital to fall a
prisoner into the rebels hands. I cannot


say that there is not great danger that his
wound was mortal, a musket hall entered
at the shoulder and lodged in his lungs.
He believed himself that he could live but
a few hours, and the doctor said that very
likely he might not live a day while he con-
sidered it not impossible that he might re-
cover, but he would have to lose his arm.
Had I been without any responsibility of a
company and the duty of bringing them
safely as possible through great danger I
would have remained with Fred— As it
was I had to take a short and sad leave of
him, but two of the Company voluntarily
staid with him expecting to be taken pris-
oners but unwilling to leave him without
friends. I had them detailed as hospital
nurses so that they might remain with him
and our other wounded and be themselves
kindly treated. Fred was convinced that


his wound was mortal— though it was less
painful than many gun shot wounds, it
made breathing very difficult. He could
not speak without increased suffering— He
had no important message to send home he
said except to tell his mother that he
thought of her when he was in action, that
she was always in his mind during the fight
and that he died in the faith of Christ. I
wish I could encourage you to hope that he
might recover but I fear his own forebod-
ings were too well founded and that he is
no more alive. I loved him very dearly,
and feel this blow grievously. He was a
brave frank noble fellow, everybody liked
him, the Company would do more for his
pleasure than for that of any of their offi-
cers and were affectionately attached to
him. He bore himself bravely and with
coolness and encouraged others to stand


up bravely in the action when bullets were
pouring in like a hail storm. My Com-
pany suffered badly in the fight. I know
of seven wounded some of them prisoners
and others missing probably killed or else
wounded and in the enemy's hands. With
the tenderest sympathy for yourself and
poor Fred's afflicted parents I am your
affectionate friend

Geo. G. Hastings.
William Peet Esq.

Miller's brother is well and unhurt —
When I get time I will write again and tell
you of the action in which Fred received
his wound— At the hospital when I left
him everything was done that could be to
relieve his suffering.


Headquarters Co. H. 1st Reg. U. S.

Camp at Harrison's Pt Va 5 July 1862

In obedience to the order of the general
Commanding requiring reports from com-
manding officers in this division of the sev-
eral actions at the Allen's Farm, Savage
Station, Nelson's Farm & Malverton, (?)
I have the honor to report —

That on Sunday 29th June as soon as our
line of battle was formed at Allen's Farm I
reported in person to the general com-
manding, who ordered me to deploy my
company in such manner as to command
by an enfilading fire the road from the
Chickahominy I deployed my company ac-
cordingly where the road entered the field
occupied by our troops about 300 yards to
the right & rear of our line of battle. No


enemy appearing in sight in that direction,
hut information being brought me that our
Cavalry Scouts had been fired upon about
three quarters of a mile further down the
road I advanced my men as skirmishers
through the woods on the left of the road
about three quarters of a mile to an open
field, and took a position in the edge of the
woods bordering on the field, which posi-
tion commanded the road & enabled me to
observe any movement of the rebels from
the direction of the Ghickahominy— Com-
munication between me and our main body
was maintained by cavalry pickets posted
at intervals— I observed only some two or
three parties of armed men of three or four
each in the edge of the woods on the oppo-
site side of the field, but saw no organized
body of the enemy nor was any hostile
demonstration made from that quarter. 1


sent report of these facts to the general
commanding, who ordered me to remain
in the position I then occupied. I did so
during the entire action. When our troops
had all withdrawn from the field I assem-
bled my skirmishers & overtook the rear
of the column on the road to Savage Sta-
tion. Then I reported with my command
to the general commanding, who ordered
us to remain where we were until further
orders. Receiving no further orders we
had no part in the action which took place
there— From that time I had no orders ex-
cept to march my command with Gen.
Caldwell's Brigade. I kept that position
in the column of march through White
Oak Swamp & formed in line of Battle
with it on the right of 61st N. Y. on Mon-
day 30th June in support of our batteries
and remained in line with them until the


brigade went into action at Nelson's farm
on the evening of that day. I reported to
Col. Barlow, commanding the 61st N. Y.
who requested me to keep my company on
the right of his regiment, which I did and
took my command into action with that
Regiment placing myself under Col. Bar-
low's orders. His report of that action
will render it unnecessary for me to speak
of the part which my command bore in it,
but I cannot forbear to state that my men
stood nobly in the open field with the 61st
under a terrific fire of musketry from an
enemy concealed in the woods, evidently
far outnumbering our own force then im-
mediately engaged— The conduct of my
men was fully satisfactory to me. Lieu-
tenant Peet of my company entered eagerly
into the battle & conducted himself with
great bravery & perfect coolness— He fell


wounded while encouraging & cheering on
our men— I report the following casualties.

Killed. None
Wounded. 2nd Lt. Fredk T. Peet, Jr.
Sergt. John I. Slifer in the

shoulder & wrist
Private John Valleau in the

Private James Lawson in the

Private Woodward Hudson, in

the head
Corporal Edwin Lynde, in the

hip slightly

Private Richard Boyd in the

head slightly

Of the wounded the Lt. (if he survives)

the Sergt. & the two first named privates

are probably prisoners, being left in the


hospital near the field— The three last
named privates were brought safely within
our lines.

Prisoners, Private Edward J. Car-
mick & Private Martin
V. Nichols
These having taken Lt. Peet to the hos-
pital were detailed for duty there during
the night by the Surgeon in charge to take
care of the wounded & have probably fal-
len into the enemy's hands.

Missing Private Henry Bartless
Wounded 1 Lieut.
1 Sergt.
1 Gorpl.

4 privates 7

Prisoners privates 2

Missing — 1

Total loss 10


In the action at Malverton (?) on the 1st
Inst, my command was not engaged.
I am sir very respectfully

Your obedient servt
Geo. G. Hastings
Gapt 1st U. S. Sharpshooters
Gompy H.
To Lt. Draper, A. D. G. &

Acting Asst adjt genl.


Head Quarters Army of the Potomac
Camp near Harrisons Landing, Va.
July 9. 1862.
Special Orders)
No. 198 j


5 The following named officers, having
tendered their resignations, are honorably
discharged from the Military service of the
United States :

2nd. Lieut. F. T. Peet. 1st. Regt. Ber-
dans Sharpshooters.


By Command of Major General McClellan
(signed) S. Williams

Asst. Adjt. General.

Head Quarters, 5th (Provi) Corps.
Camp near Harrisons Landing, July 9, 1862

(signed) Fred. T. Locke.

Asst. Adjt. Genl.

Head. Qrs. Morell's Division July 10, 1862
Official R. T. Auchmuty

Asst. Adjt. General

NOTE— 1 had my Commission as Ud Lt U S Marine Corps-
dated June 14, 62 — and served in the army until wounded &
taken to Richmond, after exchange A: recovery went on duty
at Washington in les ttarim V. T. PEET.


Head-Quarters, Army of the Potomac,

July 11th 1862.

My dear Cousin

I wrote you by yesterday's mail in refer-
ence to brave Fred — This morning I was
ordered out to meet a flag of truce from
the enemy — It was borne by Lieut Wood
of the Confederate Navy, a son of my old
friend Dr Wood of the Army — From him
I could learn nothing of Fred, but I sent
word to Col Chilton, Dora's Uncle, and
aide to Major Genl Lee of the rebels, giv-
ing him a description of Fred and asking
that some news might be sent to us of him.
Lieut Wood assured me that all means
should be used to find out the whereabouts
of Fred — If I should receive a reply, I
shall not fail, my dear Cousin, to inform
you of its import at the earliest possible


With love to all at Brooklyn, I am
Your aff Cousin

Edward H. Wright.


Gamp near Harrison's Landing, Va.
16 July 1862.
My Dear Sir—

I cannot refrain from writing you a few
words of sympathy in the loss of your
brother and my dear friend & comrade.

Familiar as we are here, with such
events, yet nothing has impressed me
more, since my own brother's death, than
the fact of his probable end. Not only do
I lose a constant companion & daily tent-
mate & mess-mate, but in your brother's
physique, in his unusual health and
strength during all our hardships, there
was nothing to suggest the idea of bodily
harm, much less of death—

And I cannot yet give him up. If any
constitution could be hardy enough to resist
the effects of so dangerous a wound, his
would certainly seem to be.


But if he is indeed gone,— we— who saw
how he never neglected his morning &
evening prayer and reading of scripture —
who knew his uniform kindliness and in-
genuous frankness of heart as well as his
devotion to principle — (which was most
marked) — we can fully believe that he is
gone to the land where there is no war, no
anguish, no mourning, but always rest and

Personally I was strongly attached to
your brother— We occupied the same tent
together for many months and had no dif-
ferences — we seemed to suit each other — I
always found him generous. Often has he
taken my place on duty when I had been
detailed for some regular service, on my
desiring to devote my time to some other
business or to social pleasures —

It is gratifying to me, as it will be to you


to know that on this occasion as on all
others on which he has been under tire
before the enemy, your brother behaved
like a true and gallant soldier and leader of

Your family has made its sacrifice —
given its best blood to the cause of Lib-
erty. Mine can deeply, sincerely sympa-
thise with yours. May you feel, after the
first great pang is over, that which we felt
on a similar occasion,— a pride in having
given a life to your country—

With kindest regards to the parents &
family of my dear comrade, believe me
Most sincerely your friend—

W. W. Winthrop— 1st Lieut.

Go. H. U S. Sharpshooters.

The two young men of the Company left
with your Brother were Martin V. Nichols
(care Aaron Nichols, Willsborough, Essex


Co. New York) and Edward J. Carmick,
(care Capt. Stephen Carmick, Lakeland,
Suffolk Co. L. I.)— two of the most faith-
ful soldiers and reliable men in the Com-
pany- w. w. w.

Your Brother's Carpet Bag, containing
all his effects, has been this day delivered
to Agent, Adams' Express, addressed to
you. The Agent would give no receipt.

w. w. w.

Head Quarters Army of Potomac
July 19, 1862
My dear Cousin—

You have doubtless heard that our brave
Fred is alive— Yesterday, through the
kindness of Col Chilton of Gen Lee's staff,
Fred was sent off among the first of the
wounded from Richmond and is now on
board of the Louisiana off this place— I


shall go out and see him to day— I congrat-
ulate you all on our brave boy's escape,
may he soon recover and be able to enter
service in his new corps. Lt. Col Sweit-
zer, who had charge of the wounded, says
Fred looks quite bright and is moving
about— You will soon see him, and under
your devoted care his recovery must be
rapid— I join with you all in grateful
thanks to God for his safety. Not even
you are more proud of him than I am, for
he has behaved splendidly, and always had
his face toward the enemy —

I ought to have known better than to
have believed Dr. Coit's story — I never
knew a parson that if danger was near was
not frightened out of his wits— I met this
man on Wednesday morning, just after I
saw Col Berdan & wrote you. He stated
positively that "Fred had died in the hos-


pital after great suffering." I felt it my
duty to tell you of what I believed to be
the truth—

I send you copy of Col Ghiltons note —

July 16. 62
Just received your memorandum re-
specting Lt F. T. Peet — Had I known of
his condition before, kindnesses shown by
your Father and Mother to Miss Mason,
would have induced me before leaving
the field to have ministered to his wants —
As it is, I have engaged Surgeon Cullen,
employed in removing the paroled
wounded & sick, to look him up to day,
and send him off with the first — The Dr
recollects his name as among the wounded.
Temporary sickness deters me from giving
personal attention to this matter.

(signed) R. H. Chilton
Col E. H. Wright



Endorsed on the envelope is the follow-

"Dr. Cullen please oblige R. H. G by
forwarding Lt F. T. Peet. N. Jersey
Troops, amongst the first."

1 will try to see Fred before closing your

2 p m — My dear Cousin — I have just
seen Fred on board the steamer Louisiana,
I find him looking quite bright, full of
heart and courage, Such good natured
pluck as he has is sure to bring a recovery
— I have tried my best to find some nice
things on shore at the Sutlers stores to
send him, but have failed — All I could do
was to send him a jar of black currant jelly
I had — Fred was sitting up, having his
wound dressed by his faithful Sharpshooter
Nichols — Sisters of Mercy were on board,


the most gentle, brave, women I have ever
seen, and as Fred said, "so handsome too"
— Certainly I never expected to see any-
thing so close to angels. They are indefa-
tigable, to them all things are pure, and
you should see the wistful, grateful eyes of
the sick and wounded as these angels of
mercy pass by — I am unable to tell you,
whether Fred will go to Philadelphia or
New York, perhaps to Baltimore — But I
told him on arriving to telegraph you — He
thinks he is strong enough to get home
alone, but it would cheer the brave boy up
to see you as soon as possible — The ball
still remains in his right lung — Let him
have quiet, but always be cheerful with
him, make him contented and happy al-
ways — Let him go to the country soon — If
he goes to Bridgeport I can assure him at
our house, the pleasantest room and the


coolest place on the porch — Dora will de-
vote herself to him I am sure — I would
send a despatch, but we have no telegraph
—Col Berdan has just called— He says he
did his best to have Fred removed, I be-
lieve he did— Fred says it was fortunate he
was not removed, his life might have been
the forfeit —

I write you with a light heart, dear Cou-
sin—We of the "Army of the Potomac"
are full of courage, determined if the
Country and Government will do right by
us, not to return home but by the way of
Richmond — With love to all

Your aff Cousin

Edward H. Wkight.


Carver Hospital Aug 4th 1862
Lieutenant ;

When I saw through the papers, that my
Lieutenant was wounded and a prisoner,
rest assured one of your company felt that
besides losing a good Officer, he had lost a

It was with peculiar satisfaction and
pleasure, that I learned through friends in
New York that you were mercifully
spared to return to your friends at home,
and were recovering, from what all feared,
was to be a fatal wound.

I hope that now you are receiving the
kind attentions of loving friends, and can
have the best medical and surgical aid, you
may soon be blessed with returning health
and strength.

As you will perceive I am still an occu-
pant of the Hospital. I have been advised


to take a discharge, but I have waited, in
hopes that I might get strong enough to re-
join my Regiment. But my health is far
from good and I suppose I must be content
endeavoring to fulfil the duties allotted me

I do not want to get out of the service
until "the last ditch" is found.

I trust you will pardon me for writing to
you when I know not that you are able to
read my letter.

Yours respectfully

Geo. F. Hall.
Lieut. F. T. Peet.

Carver Hospital

Meridian Hill

Washington D. G.


Executive Mansion.

Washington Nov. 5th 1862—

The President, Commander in Chief of
the Army and Navy, desires and enjoins
the orderly observance of the Sabbath by
the Officers and men in the Military and
Naval service. The importance for man
and beast of the prescribed weekly rest,
the sacred rights of Christian Soldiers and
Sailors and a due regard for the Divine
will, demands that Sunday labor in the
Army and Navy be reduced to the Meas-
ure of strict necessity.

The discipline and character of the Na-
tional forces should not suffer, nor the
cause they defend be imperilled by the
profanation of the day or name of the
Most High.

"At this time of public distress" adopt-
ing the words of Washington in 1776,


"men may find enough to do in the service
of God and their Country, without aban-
doning themselves to vice and immorality."

The first General Order issued by the
Father of his Country after the declaration
of Independence, indicates the spirit in
which our institutions were founded and
should ever be defended :

"The General hopes and trusts that every
Officer and man will endeavor to live and act
as becomes a Christian Soldier, defending the
dearest rights and liberties of his Country. "

Abraham Lincoln.

To the Editor of "The Country"-


Note— Lt. Peet was wounded at the battle of Frazers
Farm June 30th., left behind by the Federals, captured by the
Confederates, taken to Libby Prison; exchanged July 18th
and sent home. Having recovered from his wound he as-
sumed the duties of 2d Lt. in the Marine Corps at Washing-
ton Dec. 8th.

Washington Barrack

Dec 8th 62.
Dear Father

I arrived here Sunday morning at ten A.
M. and now am very comfortably situated
in my new quarters.

Mr. Adams and myself occupy two
rooms. One we use as a sleeping room
which has two beds in it and the other
which is a corner room & quite a large one
is used as a sitting room. I reported myself
to the Col this A M ; he asked after you.

I did not say anything about my being
sent to Bkln as I thought my chances
would be better if I delayed it a few days.

I bought myself a Mattress this after-
noon. I must also have some sheets &
quilts. Can you not send me on some ? as


I dont know anything about buying them.

Adams rigged up a bed for me, but there
was so few clothes on it, that I almost
froze. I caught a little cold also by the
operation. I drew my last Months pay to
day and will send home some this week to
pay for my watch.

It seems to me that the farther South I
go, the colder it becomes, the snow is
deeper here than in Brooklyn and in New
Jersey I saw a party sleighriding.

I cant imagine what else to say except
that my pipe has just begun to color.

Give my love to Mother, Aunty, Rbkah,
Hattie, & George, & Greighton.

I will write soon again. Dont forget the

With much love Your

affectionate Son



Headquarters 1st U. S. S. S.

Gamp near Falmouth Va

22 Dec 1862
Dear Peet—

You will be glad to hear that our Regt
was not among the victims of the great
butchery of the 13th inst. Part of the Di-
vision was in the fight, but we were not or-
dered over the river until the 14th. We
were out on picket on the night of the 15th
and recrossed at daylight next morning
bringing up the rear of the retreat.

The Regt numbers over 490 present,
having been largely recruited. Health of
the men generally good, though they are
suffering from the cold. Col Tripp & I
have a Sibley tent & stove and are quite
comfortable. He & Winthrop & I mess
together subsisting chiefly on soldier's ra-
tions. Col. Berdan has returned and taken


command. So affairs of the Regt are
about as they used to be For your sake I
am glad you are out of this concern.

I see the lying newspapers represent the
army as still having confidence in Burn-
side. They have no confidence in anybody
from the President down— It is unjust to
the troops to represent the fact otherwise—
They are not eager for another fight and
winter quarters would please them better
than anything else.

I suppose you sometimes see Weston
who is at home recruiting.

When you left you owed me a balance of
$15, which if you have not paid you can
leave with my brother or Mr. Little at
7 Wall St.

I should be glad to have a letter from
you— I answer frequent inquiries about
you from your numerous friends here and


in Hancock's (late Richardson's) Division

— With love to William and kind regards

to all your family, I remain

Very truly your friend

Geo. G. Hastings.
Address —

1st U. S. Sharpshooters

1st Division 5th Army Corps

Army of the Potomac

Lieut F. T. Peet Jr

U. S. Marine Corps

Marine Barracks

Washington Dec 26. 62
Dear Sister

I suppose of course you all passed a

Merry Christmas. I am sorry to say that

mine was about as stupid as could be.

Most all day, at least until six P M after

which I called on Molly Wright and left


there at 10 P M. I find that I must wait
until New Years before I give any pres-

Tell Fred & Erick Terry that I will
have to wait for a month or two before I
give them their presents. I think that
Hatties is the only present I can get.

What do you think of the Marine Corps
being consolidated with Army and formed
into the 20th Regulars. If it is done it will
be a disgrace to the country.

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Online LibraryFrederick Tomlinson PeetCivil war letters and documents of Frederick Tomlinson Peet → online text (page 6 of 9)