Horatio Rogers.

Record of the Rhode Island excursion to Gettysburg, October 11-16, 1886 (Volume 2) online

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was a splendid artilleryman, and one of the best shots in the
battery. I remember, the night of our departure from Provi-
dence on the boat train, he and I occupied the same seat, and
as we were hurrying along to our new existence, we sat a
long time in silence. At last, Billy turned to me and said,
" Johnny, this is the going, but what will the returning be ?"
Poor Billy! how 1 missed him in the weary months that fol-
lowed ! Gardiner came to us as a recruit ; I do not remem-
ber at what period, but he had been with us quite a long time.
He was rather peculiar, but a good, quiet, steady man, per-
forming his duty conscientiously, very pious, his Bible being
his constant companion — a man who feared God, and tried to
live up to, and practice his belief, in all the excitement and
temptations of the soldier's life. I would often talk of his
family, whom he was proud of and had the greatest affection
for. He carried a small book besides his Bible, and I ob-
served that he used it tq press flowers in, which did not grow
at home ; and when he wrote to his wife, which was very often,
he would send them to her. Sergeant Straight, of the gun on
which he was killed, was a chum of his, and they tented to-
gether. I heard that they had promised one another, that if
either was killed or wounded, the survivor would, if possible,
come to the fallen one's side. It was Sergeant Straight that
I saw run to the side of Gardiner to hear his dying words. I
could see Gardiner's lips move, as if speaking, but I could not
hear what he said, except the last words, which I heard very
distinctly ; they were, " Glory halleluia !" After the battle
the sergeant told me the rest of the sentence. Gardiner told
him to take his book and Bible, which were in the side of his
l)louse that was not shot away, and send them to his wife, and
tell her that he died happy ; then he shouted the words which
I heard. That was the death of the christian soldier Gar-
diner. One of the men ran and procured an axe and tried to
drive the shell down into the gun in order to fire it, as the
powder was attached to the shell, but to no purpose. Another
shell exploded at the gun, and mortally wounded No. Four,
John Green. As this piece was now useless, we had but three



60 RHODE ISLAND EXCURSION TO GETTYSBURG.

left, and no ammunition. Orders came to retire. The battery
had difficulty to find horses enough to haul off the guns and
caissons. Some had three, some more. One gun, in retiring
from the field, was swept clean of horses by a shell, and had
to be left till the bat<ery got off the field ; and when they came
back for it, it was not to be found. Some other battery,
which had lost a gun, took it. As our officers had neglected
to Tceep the numbers of the guns, it was never found. I un-
derstood that our officers had to pay for it, but the money
was afterwards refunded. Just before the battery retired, I
was crippled, so that I could not go at that time, but I knew
that I would be able to go soon. As I lay on the ground,
watching the relief batteries going into position, suddenly I
saw a regiment, which had l)een lying on the ground near us,
spring up and grasp their guns, which were sticking in the
ground by the bayonets, and run to the front. I gave one
glance in that direction. That one glance was enough for
me, — the Johnnies were charging. Thinking there was no
call for me here, as the battery was away, and recollecting
how I got mixed up in the infantry fight the night before, I
just put after the battery. But, before I got out of hearing,
I heard the hearty cheering of our men, and I knew the field
was won.

I do not remember exactly the number of men we lost
in the two days' fight. I know our loss in killed was eight
men, not including Lieut. Milne, who was killed, or mor-
tally wounded, in Battery A, of the 4th United States. His
death was a loss to us, and a sad loss. One man was taken
prisoner. I think about thirty were wounded, among which
was 1st Lieut. T. Fred. Brown, commanding the battery. Our
captain, John G. Hazard, was cliief of artillery of the corps.
Our loss in horses was very great. One gun was disabled, one
stolen. The battery was condemned as unfit for duty. The
surviving men and horses were jilaced in Battery A, which
battery had fought gallantly and suffered severely. We were
with them two oi' three monilis. Then we leceivcd four guns,
and Battery B was itself again. 1 .shall always remember



RHODE ISLAND EXCURSION TO GETTYSBURG. 61

with gratitude, the kind and considerate treatment of the
officers and men of Battery A towards us poor homeless men
of Battery B, while we were with them.

In conclusion, 1 wish to thank the ladies and gentlemen
Avho have been to the trouble and expense of accompanying
us here, and I bid them welcome to this sacred and historic
spot, the high-water mark of the great rebellion.

Presentation Address by Mil. D. Coit Taylor, who served
AS AN Artificer in Battery B.

Mr. Kraiith : — And now it becomes my pleasant duty, as
a representative of the State and of the battery, to place in
your keeping this granite tablet. And may its summit point
*up to Heaven for generations, its base be watered by the dews
of the returning seasons, the sun light up its sides with its
golden rays, and the tears of angels keep ever green this hal-
lowed spot, made sacred by the blood of heroes of a common
and now united country.

Presentation Address by Lieut. Benj. H. Child, of
Battery A.

Mr. Secretary : — I have the pleasure of presenting co the
Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association, through you,
this beautiful granite memorial of Battery A, First Rhode
Island Light Artillery, for its perpetual care and protection,
knowing, as we do, that it is placed in good and faithful
hands, and that it will be well done.

Response by Secretary Krauth.

Mr. Chairman^ Vete7'ans of Batteries A and B, Ladies and
Gentlevien : — I can add nothing to what I have already said
at the memorial of the Second Rhode Island, as to the i)ur-
poses and desires of the Association I represent, to carefully
guard these monuments. The ground on which we stand is
hallowed and sacred, if there be any ground on the continent



62 RHODE ISLAND EXCURSION TO GETTYSBtRG.

that is SO. It was here that the Confederate chieftain made
the last attempt on Northern soil to restore the waning for-
tunes of his cause. I think that these men of Rhode Island
should esteem it a great good fortune to have been on this
spot at that time, as it was their guns, double-shotted, which
could repel the enemy from this field. It is especially fitting
that Rhode Island should have monuments on this field, since
that ancient commonwealth was the first organized govern-
ment in the world to establish impartial religious toleration.
In conclusion, I assure you that our Association will preserve
these monuments, and all others upon this field, confided to
us, from the hand of the spoiler, and that nothing but the
corroding finger of time shall ever molest or disturb them.

Benediction by Chaplain Webb.

The party then returned by train to the station at Gettys-
burg.

Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, under the
guidance of Col. John B. Bachelder, Superintendent of Tablets
and Legends of the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Associa-
tion, and Government Historian of the Battle of Gettysburg,
who met the excursion at Harrisburg and accompanied it to
its destination, the party visited the various points of interest
on the battlefield, the graphic descrii)tion of Col. Bachelder
adding greatly to their satisfaction.

After dinner, at the Eagle Hotel, on Thursday, that being
the last meal before starting for home, it was unanimously

Voted, Tliat the Rhode Island Excursion to Gettysburg, thor-
oughly appreciating the kindly courtesy of Col. Bachelder in ac-
companying it to its destination, and how much his genial and
instructive presence has contributed to the enjoyment of the occa-
sion, herel)y extend to him its most grateful acknowledgment and
wannest thanks.

At llic siimc rune, n vole gratefully recognizing the sei'vices



RHODE ISLAND EXCURSION TO GETTYSBURG. 63

of the Manager, and Excursion Committee, was likewise jiassed.
In this connection, mention should be made of the following-
gentlemen, to whose courteous attentions the Excursion was
under many obligations, viz. : Osmund H. Briggs, General
Passenger Agent, New York, Providence and Boston R. R. Co.;
Capt. John B. Markley, Travelling Passenger Agent, Pennsyl-
vania R. R. Co. ; John B. Bagley, General Travelling Agent,
Cuml)erland Valley R. R. Co.; William H. Woodward, Super-
intendent, Harrisburg and Gettysburg R. R. Co.; Henry Sing-
ling, Proprietor, and Rufus E. Gulp, Chief Clerk, Eagle Hotel,
Gettysburg ; Simon J. Diller, Proprietor, McClellan House,
Gettysburg ; and John M. Krauth, David Buehler, Col. Charles
H. Buehler, John L. Schick, and William D. Holtzworth, Local
Members of the Board of Trustees of the Gettysburg Battle-
field Memorial Association.

Thursday afternoon came the departure from Gettysburg,
either directly for home or via such points of interest as in-
dividual desire dictated.

At a meeting of the Excursion Committee, held shortly after
the return, the Chairman was api)oiiited a committee to pro-
cure and present to Col. John B. Bachelder, and to the Man-
ager, Gen. E. H. Rhodes, suitable testimonials of the Excur-
sion's appreciation of their services, and accordingly a massive
bronze thermometer and a silver-plated coffee urn, suital)ly
inscribed, were forwarded to the res[)ective parties. The
chairman, Gen. Horatio Rogers, was appointed a committee
to prepare a record of the excursion, and to supervise its
publication.

Thus ended one of the pleasantest and most successful ex-
cursions that ever left Rhode Island.



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Online LibraryHoratio RogersRecord of the Rhode Island excursion to Gettysburg, October 11-16, 1886 (Volume 2) → online text (page 6 of 6)