H. Clay (Henry Clay) Trumbull.

The knightly soldier : a biography of Major Henry Ward Camp, Tenth Conn. Vols. online

. (page 1 of 21)
Online LibraryH. Clay (Henry Clay) TrumbullThe knightly soldier : a biography of Major Henry Ward Camp, Tenth Conn. Vols. → online text (page 1 of 21)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES



3 3433 07952702 8






m







H^







':^S^



TKG



/




^y^^L/ ^' C^y^



THE



Knightly Soldier:



A BIOGRAPHY



Major Henry Ward Camp,



TENTH CONN. VOLS.



BY

CHAPLAIN H. CLAY TRUMBULL.



SIXTH EDITION, REVISED.



BOSTON:
NOYES, HOLMES & CO.

No. 117 WASHINGTON STREET.
187I.



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by

NICHOLS & NOYES,

In the Clerk's OfBce of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.



W^'"






^. -■ r



'■et %







€*




s



Ster^ty^edSy C. J. Peie^df Son, Boston.



Press of Rand, Avery, ^ Frye.



TO THE PARENTS,

TO WHOSE FAITH AND FAITHFULNESS

HENRY WARD CAMP

OWED THE QUALITIES OF A " KNIGHTLY SOLDIER,"

THIS

TRIBUTE TO HIS MEMORY

IS DEDICATED

BY HIS FRIEND.




This book is not an attempt to prove that Henry
Camp was brave, nccomi^lished, and upright in all
the .course of his beautiful hfe here, or that he was
fully prepared for the future to which God so early
called him. It simply shows him as he was, group-
ing the memorial sketches of those who knew him
best in the various relations of student, soldier, and
Christian; with copious extracts from his own let-
ters, written in all the freedom of family correspond-
ence.

It was undertaken in behalf of his home friends,
college-mates, and army comrades, who are sure to
prize whatever concerns his record, or honors his
memory. Yet, it is believed, it will have special
value to many who, without knowing him, were his
campaign associates in the Carolinas and Virginia,
and who here find narrated the more striking inci-
dents of their own army experience. Nor can any
reader fail to admire his glowing details of personal



VI PREFACE.

adventure, and his graphic descrijition of events na-
tional in scope and of historic significance.

One thing demands explanation. The relations
between the compiler and the subject of this volume
were of j^eculiar and rarest intimacy. The two
w^ere, during the years chiefly considered in this
record, united in w^ell-nigh perfect oneness. To
have left out all the references to Henry Camp's
friend, of whom almost every j^age in his later writ-
ings made mention, would have been impossible
without destroying the fullness and coherence of
the narrative, and distorting the jjicture of army
life to the eyes of those familiar with the seldom-
equalled attachment of the friends to each other.
Very much of this nature was stricken from the
record, — all indeed that could be with seeming
proj^riety. It is hoped that what remains will be
ascribed to the aifectionate partiality of him who
has fallen, and not to any want of good taste on the
part of one who was loved by and wdio mourns him.

H. C. T.
Richmond, Va., April 21, 1865.




CHAPTER I.

CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOLDAYS.

Komance of the War with Rehellion — Henry Camp's Parentage and
Boyhood — His Sensitive Conscience — Responsibility for Baby
Sister — Cliild Sermons — Infant Sabbath School — High-school
Experiences — S. M. Capron's Tribute — Passes Examination for
College — A Year at Home — Enters Yale — Professes Christ —
Letter from Rev. Dr. Bushnell 13



CHAPTER II.

COLLEGE LIFE.



Boating — University Races of 1850 — Reflex Influence of a Hard
Struggle — A Ring won and worn — Yale and Harvard Oarsmen
in the Army — Chaplain TwichelPs Sketch of the Worcester
Regatta — Testimony of College Comrades — An Unbelieving
Classmate led to Christ — Contribution from E. G. Holden . 23



CHAPTER III.

TEACHER — LAW-STUDENT — SOLDIER.

Teaches at East Hartford — War-clouds — Letter to Arrogant
Southerner — Commences Study of Law — Self-denial in not



vni CONTENTS.



enlisting on First Call — Joins City Guard — Funeral of Gon. Lyon
— Commissioned iu Tenth Conn. — Farewell Speech at Asylum-
Hill Sabbath School — Joins Regiment at Annapolis — Open-air
Prayer Meeting — Camp Varieties — Foster's Brigade — The
Burnside Expedition — First Sabbath at Sea — Trials on the
*' Swash " — " City of New York" wrecked — A Fair Face and a
Brave Heart 43



CHAPTER IV.

ROANOKE AND NEWBERNE.

A-dvance up Pamlico Sound — The Night before the Fight — Battle
of Roanoke Island — The First Wounded — On Special Duty —
Crj'ing a Cry out — Again on Transports — Kerosene Water —
Energetic Cockroaches — Courage in Dark Days — Always knight-
ly—Sunset at Sea — Poetry — Landing at Slocum's Creek — The
Battle of Newberne — Victory — The City entered — Guard Duty
— Sympathy with Enlisted Men— Picket Life — An Alarm— Bold
Scouting — Love of Home — Volunteering for Special Service —
Living and Dying to a Purpose 56



CHAPTER V.

CAMP-LIFE AND CAMPAIGNING.

Incidents among the Contrabands — Fugitives at the Picket-line —
" Dey sell Ebry One " — Pet Deviltry of the South — Praying for
Liberty — Fighting for Government — Proficiency iu Stealing —
Letters on Personal Religion to a Classmate — In Hospital —
Rumors of a Move — New Brigade — Capt. Vicars's Memoir —
Longings for a Chum — Promotion — The Adjutant's First " Con-
solidated "—A New Chaplain — The Two Friends — Forty-fourth
Mass. Regiment — Tarboro' Scout — Evening Skirmish at Little
Creek — Halt at Williamston — Song from the Jack Tars — Pa-
triotism thawed out — Foraging — Home Relics protected — A
Southern Swamp — John Brown Chorus — Wayside Prayer —
FirstVisitHome — Goldsboro' Raid — A New Disappointment —
Fredericksburg Failure



CONTENTS. IX

CHAPTER VI.

THE FIRST CHARLESTON EXPEDITION.

New Expedition — Sail to Port Royal — Camp at St. Helena — Bat-
talion Drill — Sabbath-school Teacliing — Oriental Scenery — The
Twins — Wine and Cards — Seabrook Island — Exciting Debark-
ation and Advance — A Skirmish — Camping in the Rain — Scout-
ing—First Attack on Charleston — Chating at Inaction — Out-
post Life — Was the Behemoth a Mosquito ? — Prayer-meeting in
the Woods — Another Separation — Loneliness — Work for Christ

— Collegc-matea — Excursions — Beauties of the Seabrook Place

— Gen. Stevenson's Reconnoissance ^ Under Fire — Dodging Bul-
lets—Artillery Duel— Enjoyable Excitement of Danger — Com.
Rodgers — Court Martial 112

CHAPTER VII.

JAMES ISLAND AND FORT WAGNER.

A New Campaign— Chowder Party — Orders for a Move — Prayer-
meeting on Shipboard — Landing at James Island — Watching
Distant Battle — An Evening Advance — Bewilderment on the
Picket-line — More Mosquitoes — A Morning Nap — Advantages
of a Short March to the Battle-field — Second Battle of James
Island — Attack on the " Pawnee " — Taking to the Woods — Capt.
Rockwell's Battery — Col. Shaw's (54th Mass.) Regiment — To
Morris Island — Grand Bombardment — Second Assault on Wag-
ner — Night Battle-scene — Gen. Gilhnore — Stopping Stragglers

— A Wail of Agony — Defeat — Morning after the Battle — Flag
of Truce — Visit to tlie Field — Treachery — The Friends are Pris-
oners — Fort Sumter — Charleston Jail 137



CHAPTER VIII.

CHARLESTON AND COLUMBIA — PRISON LIFE AND'
ESCAPE.

Prison Sensations — The Friends separated — Gloomy Forebodings
— Removal to Columbia — Affectionate Letter — Re-union — Pris-
on Occupations —" De Mates" — Thought ruled out — Chaplain



CONTENTS.

released — Sabbath-evening Reflections— Columbia and Hartford

— Longings for Liberty — Flan of Escape — liaggage — Parched
Corn — I-ay Figures — Moments of Waiting — Capt. Chamberlain

— Ivanhoe in the Kitciien — Corporal "Bull Head" — Capt. Senn

— Nervous Work — Out and Off — Joy in Freedom — Trestle
Walking — Refreshing Sleep — Fear of Detection — A Long Way
Round — Rain and Darkness — Spectral Ox-team — Blind Guide-
posts— A Wet Lodging — The Lazy Farmer — Kindness to Ani-
mals—Fire on the Hillside— Freshet — A Lost Day— Terror
to Small Boys — A December Bath — Cheerless Wakenings —
Sabbath of Hope — An Unwelcome Attendant — Discovered —
Prisoners once more — Child's Opinion of Yankees — Politics —
Soldiers' Graves — A Well-laden Table well cleared — Gathering
Broom-straw — Soft Pillow — Tied to the Saddle — Slip 'twixt the
cup and the lip — Chesterville— Yankee Menagerie — McDon-
nell the Brute — Attempted Conversion -Worth of a Good Moth-
er — Whittling— Lost Brother — Pepper wash after a Flogging —
Genuine Rebels — Again in Columbia — Close Confinement — Sat-
isfaction in Effort — Box from Home ..... li



CHAPTER IX.

LIBBY PRISON — HOME -CAMP PAROLE.

The Tenth Regiment — Fears lest it should Fight — No Rest in •
Prison— Exchange Rumors — Clouds — Egg-gatherers of the Ork-
neys — New Escape Plans — Tunneling — Discovery — Removal
to Richmond — Ride through Rebeldom — A Night at Petersburg

— $300 for a Hack — Life at the Libby — Rations — Cooking —
Opening Boxes — Dead Lights — Gloom — Boat up I — Reading
the List — Hamp or Camp — Sensations of Freedom — Stewart
Nos.l and 2 — Leaving the Libby — Sick Privates— The Old Flag

— The Regiment leaves St. Augustine — Meeting of the Friends

— Annapolis — Privileges of Freedom 207



CHAPTER X.

CAMPAIGNING WITH THE ARMY OF THE JAMES.

The Tenth Moves to the Front — Unselfish Anxiety— Exchanged —
A Hasty Leave — Work of the Regiment — Joyful Re-union —



CONTENTS. XI



Ride to the Front — Disaster — Search for a Corps — Glad Greet-
ing—Covering a Retreat — Flying Artillery— Calculating an
Aim — A Long Campaign — A Good Correspondent — Love of
Home — From Prayer to Fighting — Picket Skirmish — A Night
of Peril — Explosive Bullets — Volleys better than Sharp-shoot-
ing—Bermuda Hundred — Major Trumbull's Battery — Dread of
Inaction — Cold Harbor — Picket Duty — Danger on the Vidette
Line — Sociable Pickets — Nig-ht Evacuation — Listening — Ex-
citing Advance — Capture of Prisoners — Howlett's Redoubt —
Naval Gunnery — The White Flag — Another Retreat Covered —
Letter-writing under Difficulties — Severe Shelling — Moment of
Expectation — Under-estimated Descriptive Powers . . 220



CHAPTER XI.

DEEP BOTTOM — STRAWBERRY PLAINS — DEEP RUN.

The James crossed — Establishing Pickets by Night — Columbia
Acquaintances — Another Shelling — Hot Days — Stormy Nights

— Narrow Escape — Uniform Cheerfulness — Strawberry Plains

— In Reserve — Dangers of the Rear — Exposed Picket-line —
Anxious Night — Second Corps Advance — A Check — Brave
Commander — Successful Flanking — Indian Warfare — Military
Execution — A Week's Hard Fighting — Falling Back — Casual-
ties in the Tenth Conn.- Night Marching and Countermarch-
ing 249



CHAPTER XII.

IN THE PETERSBURG TRENCHES.

Col. Plaisted again in Command— Move from Deep Bottom — Night-
marching — Waiting at the Pontoon — Cheerless Bivouac — Pe-
tersburg in Sight — Deserted Negro Camp — Burrowing for Quar-
ters ^Dangerous Locality — Mortar-shelling by Night — Deadly
Fascination — Weeks of Peril — Sharpshooting in the Trenches
— The Courageous Coffee-bearer — Ricochet Shot — Presence of
Death — Incidents of Picketing — The Wounded Vidette — Socia-
bility of Enemies — More Sharpshooting — A Miss as good as a
Mile — Rejoicing over Atlanta — Shotted Salutes — Railroad
Target — Longings for Rest — Promotion — Withdrawal from
Trenches — Halt at the Rear 281



XII CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XIII.

LIFE AND DEATH BEFORE RICHMOND.

Petersburg to Deep Bottom — Tedious March — Gloomy Day-dawii

— Battle of Newmarket Heights — Gen. Terry's Approach to
Richmond — Days of Activity and Privation — Laurel-Hill Skir-
mish — Happy Prisoner — Poor Families — Reluctant Rebel — The
Treasured Flag — Old Men leave the Regiment — Flag of Truce-
Wayside Prayer-meeting — Threatened Battle — Signs of a Re-
treat—Gen. Kautz's Flank turned — Crash of Battle — The
wounded Skirmisher — Flying Infantry— Brave Soldiers — Vic-
tory—Even Terms — Seen through the Clouds— New Move —
Out and In again — Last Night of Life —The Death Morning —
Darby town Road — Brilliant Scene — Opening Battle — Prepar-
ing for an Assault — Cheerful among the Desponding — True
Heroism — Good-bye — Deadly Race — The Final Charge — " I do
Believe" — The Death shot — Last Look at the Flag — Left on
the Field — Heartless Foes — Flag of Truce — Recovery of Body

— Generosity . . 2



CHAPTER XIV.



MEMORIAL TRIBUTES.

Body borne Home — Funeral Services — Testimony of Col. Otis — of
Gen. Hawley — of "Daily Post" — of "Evening Press" — Letter
from John Hooker, Esq. — Letter from Gen. Plaisted — Close of
the Record — From the Battle-field to Glory . . . 319



APPENDIX.

Reception of this Memoir — Testimonies to its Accuracy —Yale Com-
memorative Celebration — Dr. Bushnell's Tribute to Maj. Camp-=-
Monument erected by Hartford Citizens.




THE



KNIGHTLY SOLDIER.




CHAPTER I.

CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOLDAYS.

HE short lives of some wlio have fallen on the
field of the new American conflict contained
more of romantic adventure and of heroic daring
than the material of which the novelists and the poets of
our language have wrought their most attractive narratives
during the present century.

Another Cooper could find a Leather Stocking and a
Harvey Birch in almost every camp of our army. Another
Tennyson could sing of exploits of American battalions
which would pale the brilliancy of the charge of the Light
Brigade. Dumas could bring out of the truth from An-
dersonville and the Libby such tales of horror as would
commonplace the ghastliest stories of the French Bastile.

The familiar, every-day home letters of young officers of
culture and of nobleness, who have had widest experience

13



14 THE KNIGHTLY SOLDIER.

in campaigning, and greatest vicissitudes of foitune in this
now-closing war, furnish a variety of description and inci-
dent, possessing permanent interest even to those who have
no special knowledge of the writers. To present such
material from the record of one of whom his brigade-com-
mander said, " Our cause cannot boast a nobler martyr,"
and his colonel, that '* the service has never suffered a
heavier loss in an officer of his grade," is the purpose of
this volume.

HENRY WARD CAMP, son of Rev. Henry B.
Canp and Cornelia L. Baldwin, was born Februaiy 4th,
1839, in Hartford, Conn., where his father — formerly
pastor of the church in N. Branford — then resided as a pro-
fessor in the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb.

To the judicious training and Christian faithfulness of
his parents, young Camp was indebted for the preservation
of his rare symmetry of mental and moral character, and
for its full and delightful development. Unusually gentle
and retiring, even for a child, he shunned the boisterous
companionship of city boys, and clung to his home, con-
tented with its quiet occupations and satisfied in its enjoy-
ments. Almost unaided, he learned to read at four
years of age, and, from that time onward, found his chief
enjoyment in books. His love of reading was so great,
that, after he had devoured all the children's books in the
house, he resorted to those far beyond his years. He



BOYHOOD. 15

gained an excellent knowledge of history before taking it
up as a study, and was ever fond of books of travel. Too
close devotion to reading, with too little out-door exercise,
began to affect bis head seriously ; and he was so troubled
by soranambulism that, during his eighth year, he was sent
to Durham to spend some time with his grandfather on a
farm, where books were entirely forbidden him. This rest
to his brain, with the exercise and other advantages of
country life, quite re-established his health ; and, after a few
months, he returned re-invigorated to his home.

One of the earliest observed peculiarities of young
Camp's character was the exquisite sensitiveness of his
conscience. He shrunk from every appearance of evil,
and was oppressed by a fear of doing wrong. When he
was five years old, a sister was born to him. As he first
looked at the baby treasure, with childish joy and wonder-
ment, a shade of thought came over his face, and he went
alone from his mother's room. On his return, his mother
asked him where he had been. '' I've been, mamma," he
said, " to pray to God that I may never hurt the soul of
dear little sister." Although very young to have a con-
sciousness of responsibihty for others, the incident is in
keeping with his whole course in boyhood.

A year later, he exercised himself in writing a little book
of sermons, taking a text, and making on it brief comments
as striking and original as the employment was unique for
a boy of his years. In looking over the manuscript, his



10 THE KNIGHTLY SOLDIER.

good mother observed fi'ec[uent blanks where the name cf
God should appear. Inquirmg the reason of these omis-
sions, Henry informed her that he had feared he was not
feeling just right while he was writing, and, lest he should
take the name of God in vain by using it then, he had left
the blanks in its stead. The strictest letter of the Jewish
law could scarcely exact more reverent use of the inejQTable
name of Jehovah than was demanded by the tender con-
science of this pure-minded boy.

His fear of transo-ressins; induced habits of self-examina-
tion which o-ave him no little discomfort. Recoojnizin^ the
standard of absolute right, his rigid scrutiny of motive and
purpose, with his discriminating review of each outward
act, revealed to him his imperfections of thought or deed ;
and, as a consequence, he sometimes suffered keenly from
unmerited self-reproach. At five years old, he joined the
Sabbath-school infant-class of the Centre Church (Rev.
Dr. Hawes) . His teacher there was Mrs. Roswell Brown,
who has held the same position for a quarter of a century.
AYriting little notes to her, young Camp said in more than
one, with his uniform sensitiveness, " I am sometimes
afraid I shall love you better than I do my mother. I
don't think I do, but I am afraid that I shall. " " Mrs.
Brown," he said, one Sabbath morning, as he took his
place by her side, " I am afraid I did wrong last Sabbath.
While you were talking to us all, I wi'ote my sister Cor-
nelia's name with my finger on the seat. I didn't think it



SCHOOLDAYS. 17

was wrong then ; but I've thought it was, since, and I've
wanted to tell you of it." No misdeed of his during his
foui'-years' stay in that infant-class was greater than the
one thus candidly confessed. His teacher there says of
him, with warmth, " I had nearly four hundred and fifty
children under my care in that room, but never but one
Henry Camp."

Yet, in spite of his quickly-reminding and often-accusing
conscience, Henry Camp was of cheerful temperament, and
richly enjoyed life. His refined sensitiveness made him
only more lovely to others, and he was the light of a happy
home. No laugh was more merry than his, and no one
did more than he to provoke a laugh at every proper tune.

With the exception of a few weeks at the district school,
he studied at home until he was ten years old. In 1849 he
entered the Hartford Public High School, which he attended
for six years. It was there that he first mingled actively
with his fellows. Although he did not seek to lead, he
found himself ahead. His comrades looked up to him.
In the recitation-room, the play-ground, and the gymnasi-
um, he was a pattern. Loving cub-door sports and athletic
exercises, he practised and strengthened his muscular pow-
ers until his form and figure were a type of his compacted
and well-rounded intellectual development.

S. M. Capron, one of his high-school teachers, says of
him, " There was a charm about him even then, which
attracted all who knew him. I never had a pupil who



18 THE KNIGHTLY SOLDIER.

possessed a purer character, or more compleiely won the
respect and even admiration of his teachers. He despised
every thing mean, every thing vulgar ; and his generosity
and manliness in his intercourse with other boys made him
a general favorite among them. He was remarkably
truthful also, and this, never from a fear of consecjuences,
but with a spontaneity which showed that truth was at the
foundation of his character. As a scholar he was very
faithful, accurate, and prompt in his recitations ; especially
copious and rich in his choice of words ; of superior talent
as a writer. No one stood above him in bis classes ; and
he took some prizes, while in the school, for English composi-
tion and other exercises. But it was chiefly his uncom-
mon nobleness of character which made him conspicuous
then, as in later years."

In the summer of 1855, Camp passed examination for
admission to Yale, and connected himself with the Brothers'
Society. But as he was yet only sixteen, and had been so
long in seldom intermitted study, his judicious parents
strongly advised his waiting another year before entering
on his collegiate course. The disappointment to him was
severe, yet he yielded gracefully, as always, to the judgment
of his parents, and for a twelvemonth occupied himself in
out-door exercise, in attention to pencil-sketching, and in
the study of French and German. He joined the fresh-
man class of Yale, in September, 1856. Then commenced
his life away from the home he had so dearly loved, and in



CONVERSION. 19

the possession of which he had been so favored. Then,
fii'st, he was obho;ed to forego tlie privilege of speaking in
all freedom of the experiences of each day to those whose
sympathy and affection were not to be doubted.

Perhaps it was the missing of home confidences, with the
accruing sense of personal loneliness in a crowd of compar-
ative strangers, that, soon after he entered college, caused
thoughts to centre, as never before, on his need of fellow-
ship with a loving and sympathizing Saviour, who alone
could fully underetand him. He had long been a prayer-
ful, reverent worshipper of God, approaching him in con-
scious need, in reliance on the one Mediator ; and his life
had for years given delightful evidence of the power of
grace in his inner being : but not until now did he make
open profession of faith in Jesus as his Saviour. Just
when his heart was transformed into Christ's image by the
power of the Spirit is known only to the Omniscient one.
During his spring vacation, in May, 1857, he connected
himself with the North Congregational Church at Hartford,
of which the Rev. Dr. Bushnell was pastor. That pastor's
counsel he had often sought, and to him he had confided
his doubts and fears. Of Henry Camp as an inquirer
concerning divine truth, and as he showed himself before
and later, his good pastor writes thus in glowing
eulogy : —



20 TIW KNIGHTLY SOLDIER.

LETTER FROM TUE REV. DR. BUSHXELL.

HAUTFORD, Nov. 7,1864,

Rev. H. C. Trumbull.

My dear Sir, — I most deeply regret that I cannot do
more to help you in your difficult but laudable endeavor
to prepare a memorial of our young friend, Major Camp.
It is my great misfortune that I do not remember facts and
conversations so as to be able to report them. I only remem-
ber impressions, or resulting estimates and opinions; and
these will give you little help in the sketching or living pre-
sentation of a character.

It was my privilege to know this young patriot and sol-
dier from his childhood up. The freslily vigorous, wonderfully
lustrous, unsoiled look he bore in his childhood, made it con-
sciously a kind of pleasure to pass him, or catch the sight of
his face in the street. I do not recall ever having had such
an impression, or one so captivating for its moral beauty,
from any other child. And it was just as great a satisfaction
to see him grow as it was to sec him. I used to watch the
progress of his lengthening form as I passed him, saying in-
wardly still, " Well, thank God, it is the beautiful childhood
that is growing, and not he that is outgrowing his childhood."

The noble man-soul was evident enough in the child,
and when it was bodied forth in his tall, massive, especially
manly person, it was scarcely more so. Indeed, the real
man of the child was never bodied forth, and never could


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Online LibraryH. Clay (Henry Clay) TrumbullThe knightly soldier : a biography of Major Henry Ward Camp, Tenth Conn. Vols. → online text (page 1 of 21)