James H. (James Hadden) Smith.

History of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

. (page 33 of 125)
Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 33 of 125)
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under both calls, and no provision is made by the
County for bounties beyond the present regiment,
that we recommend an immediate meeting of the
Board of Supervisors of the County to consider the
propriety of offering adequate bounties to secure
the remaining men needed without a draft."

The quotas of the different towns under the call
of August 4th were the same as those under that
of July 2d.

August 22, 1862, the Board of Supervisors met
at the suggestion of the war committee and
authorized the County Treasurer to borrow a sum
sufficient to pay a bounty of $50 to every volun-
teer who had enlisted since July 2, 1862, or who
should thereafter enlist, provided he had not
already received any bounty from the county, and
that he enlisted under such circumstances as to be
credited to this county in case of a draft. They
also directed an application to the Legislature for
a law authorizing the issue of bonds to the amount
thus borrowed and expended for bounties, such
bonds to be payable in ten annual installments.
They further resolved " that the county ought and
is able to raise the whole number called for on
both quotas by volunteering, thus avoiding the in-
convenience and disgrace of a draft," and " that
the war committee to this end be requested to
take immediate steps for the organization of a
Duchess County Regiment of volunteers for the
war," and " pledging themselves to spare no exer-
tions to form and fill such regiment."

Pursuant to this action the executive war com-
mittee that night dispatched Alfred B. Smith, of
Poughkeepsie, one of the general committee, to
Albany, to obtain permission from the Governor
to raise a Duchess county regiment, with camp at

August 26, i862j the war committee, which met
in Poughkeepsie the previous day, selected Hon.
John H. Ketcham, of Dover, for Colonel of the
Duchess county regiment, Alfred B. Smith, of
Poughkeepsie, for Major, George R. Gaylord, for
Quartermaster, and William Thompson, for Adju-
tant. This action was personally communicated
by Major Smith to the Governor and was ratified
by hirti.

Permission was immediately given to Joseph H.
Cogswell, Robert McConnell, Henry A. Gilder-
sleeve, William R. Woodin, Andris Brant, John
Green, Edward Wickes, Edward Crummy, Benja-
min S. Broas and John S. Schofield to recruit for
the new regiment, and those gentlemen subse-
quently became captains of their respective com-
panies, designated in the order named from A to
K. They were assisted by those who afterwards
became Lieutenants of the several companies.

* We are indebted largely for the data from which the history of the
I soth regiment is prepared, to Gen. A. B. Smith, of Poughkeepsie, who
was officially connected with the regiment during the period of its



The executive branch of the war committee
arranged for war meetings to be held as follows:
at Bull's Head, (Noxon's,) August 30th; at. Clin-
ton Hollow and Pawling Station, Sept. ist; at
Washington Hollow and Ameniaville, Sept. 2d ; at
South Dover and Pleasant Valley, Sept. 3d; at
Beekmanville and Upper Red Hook, Sept. 4th;
at Millerton and Freedom Plains, Sept. sth; at
Storraville, Hyde Park and Rhinebeck village,
Sept. 6th; at Matteawan and Bangall, Sept. Sth; at
LaFayetteville and Channingville, Sept. 9th. The
following named gentlemen were designated to
address the meetings : Hon. James Emott, Hon.
H. E. Davies, Hon. G. Dean, Hon. John Thomp-
son, Hon. A. Wager, Charles Wheaton, G. W.
Sterling, William Eno, B. J. Lossing, Hon. H. A.
Nelson, Rev. G. W. Lord, Rev. G. F. Kettell,
Rev. J. Scarborough, Rev. L. H. King, Wra. S.
Eno, A. B. Smith, G. H. Swift and A. Anthony.

An enthusiastic war meeting was held at Upper
Red Hook August 23d, and was ably and elo-
quently addressed by Rev. G. L. Piatt, Rev. J. G.
Johnson, A. L. Martin, Z. Weeks and E. Staats.
As a result of this meeting fourteen recruits were

September 3, 1862, Mayor James Bowne issued
the following proclamation : —

"By request of many citizens, and in view of
the importance of unity of action in promoting
enlistments, I, James Bowne, Mayor of the City
of Poughkeepsie, request that all places of busi-
ness be closed each afternoon of the present week,
at 4 o'clock, and that the people use all efforts to
promote enlistments, and also to meet the ex-
igencies of the times."

War meetings were held in the city hall each
evening during the succeeding week, and a free in-
terchange of sentiments on public affairs was had.
The meeting of Saturday evening was composed
of Poughkeepsie's most intelligent citizens. The
hall was crowded. Alderman Shaw presided. Mr.
■Lossing, by invitation, addressed the meeting in a
powerful and manly speech, showing the true rela-
tion of slavery to the then existing troubles of the

At a meeting of the ladies in Poughkeepsie,
Sept. 8, 1862, it was resolved to raise a fund to
provide a stand of colors for the Duchess county
regiment, and such necessary articles of comfort as
were not furnished by the government, also that an
appeal be made to the ladies throughout the county
in this behalf, " so that concert of spirit and action
should give encouragement and comfort to this
regiment." A committee was appointed, consisting

of the following named ladies : Mrs. S. Barculo,
Mrs. J. Emott, Mrs. Wm. Schram, Mrs. W. S.
Morgan, Mrs. W. H. Crosby, Mrs. J. Winslow,
Mrs. B. J. Lossing, Mrs. T. L. Davies and Mrs.
John Thompson. Mrs. Charles H. Ru'ggles was
appointed Secretary, and Miss Sarah M. Carpenter,

Sept. 8, 1862, Mayor Bowne issued the follow-
ing proclamation : —

" I would reccommend and request that all places
of business be closed during the present week at
6 p. M., and that every citizen make an extraordi-
nary effort to increase our enlistments, that the
Duchess County Regiment may be filled up and
mustered into the service as soon as possible, which
the exigency of the times and the state of the
country demands, and would also recommend the
war meetings be continued every night this week, at
seven o'clock, at the City Hall."

A great war meeting was held at Poughkeepsie
Sept. 17th, and was addressed by Gen. Corcoran.
A platform was erected on Market street, on the
east side of the court house, and to this, after being
driven through the principal streets in an open
barouche, escorted by Capt. McConnell's company
and the Poughkeepsie cornet band, he was accom-
panied by Hon. Judge Daly, John Savage, Lieuts.
Wm. J. Kane and John Tracy, Jr., Father O'Reilly,
Chaplain of the 69th Regiment, and Lieut. Col.
Smith, of the Phoenix Regiment. James Bowne
was chosen President ; Charles Swift, Charles
Murphy, E. Q. Eldridge, Wm. Gregg, George
Wilkinson, Charles Doran, J. F. Barnard, Patrick
McAvery, Charles Wheaton, George Innis, William
Paulding, Thomas Coffin, Edward Post, George
Lockwood, Wm. Hill, John Brooks, Adam Caire
and Sidney Fowler, Vice-Presidents ; and John M.
Flood, James Mulrein, Wm. Harlow and John
Burns, Secretaries.

• The first installment of men for the new regi-
ment, consisting of sixteen recruits from Beekman,
in charge of Capt. Underwood, arrived in Pough-
keepsie August 27, 1862. Hyde Park was the first
town to fill her quota under the two calls, for early
in September she had accomplished this and had a
surplus of four.* Union Vale accomplished the
task with almost equal expedition— by the 9th of
that month ; and at the same date Capt. Cogswell
had mustered in eighty-three men, and received his
commission as commandant of Co. A.f

The regiment, during its formation, was quartered
at " Camp Duchess," on a portion of the county
farm, at the head of Mansion street, where bar-

* Poughkeepsie Eagle, Sept. 8, i86j.
+ Ibid, Sept. 9, 1861.



racks were erected in the forepart of September*.
Owing to the great demand on it at that time the
government was temporarily unable to supply-
blankets for the members of the new regiment,
who were rapidly gathering in the city, and Quar-
termaster Gaylord made a requisition on the citi-
zens for several hundreds of that necessary article.
Sept. loth, Mrs. James Winslow presented the
regiment with a fine garrison flag to adorn the staff
in front of their quarters at Camp Duchess ; and
about the middle of that month the Rev. T. E.
Vassar, who had had the pastoral charge of the
Baptist Church of Amenia for five or six years,
accepted the appointment of Chaplain of the regi-
ment. Charles G. Bartlett, who had been chosen
to fill the office of Lieut. Colonel, arrived at the regi-
mental camp and entered upon his duties the latter
part of September.

On the 26th of September, 780 men had been
mustered at Camp Duchess, and thirty others had
been examined and accepted by the Surgeon. Six
companies were filled to the minimum standard.
At that time Amenia, Dover, Hyde Park, North
East, Pawling, Rhinebeck, Union Vale and Wash-
ington had filled their quota. All the rest of the
towns were more or less behind, some of them very
much so. Recruiting at this period, however, was
much more brisk than previously, and the regiment
rapidly filled up, having 975 men mustered Oct. 8.
Greater attention was given to the drilling of the
men, and the camp of the regiment began to pre-
sent quite a mihtary aspect. When on dress
parade and during battalion drill every afternoon
the regiment presented a fine and soldierly appear-
ance. Many persons, including a liberal sprinkling
of ladies, daily witnessed their evolutions. Oct. 8,
1862, a stand of colors was presented to the regi-

The field, staff and line oflicers of the regiment
as organized were : —

Field and Staff Officers. — Colonel, John H.
Ketcham, Dover ; Lieut. Colonel, Charles G.
Bartlett, West Point; Major, Alfred B. Smith,
Poughkeepsie ; Adjutant, WiUiam Thompson,
Poughkeepsie ; Quartermaster, George R. Gay-
lord, Poughkeepsie ; Surgeon, C. N. Campbell,
Stanford; ist Asst. Surgeon, Stephen G. Cook,

; 2d Asst. Surgeon, Henry Pearce, Amenia ;

Chaplain, Rev. Thomas E. Vassar, Amenia.

Nbn - Commissioned Staff Officers. — Sergeant
Major, Cyrus S. Roberts, Poughkeepsie ; Quarter-
master Sergeant, Henry C. Smith, Poughkeepsie ;
Commissary Sergeant, John M. Case, Dover';

Ordnance Sergeant, James WilUams, ; Hospital

Steward, Frank Gildersleeve, Clinton ; Drum
Major, Hubbard F. Roberts, Stanford.

Line Officers. — Company A — Captain, Joseph
H. Cogswell; ist Lieut., Henry Gridley ; 2d Lieut,
James P. Mabbett. Company B— Captain, Rob-
ert McConnell ; ist Lieut., Albert Johnson ; 2d
Lieut., Robert C. Tripp. Company C— Captain,
H. A. Gildersleeve; ist Lieut., Edgar P. Welling ;
2d Lieut., Rowland Marshall. Company D —
Captain, Wm. P. Woodin ; ist Lieut., Robert G.
Mooney; 2d Lieut., Frank Mallory. Company
E— Captain, Andris Brant ; ist Lieut., Obed
Wheeler ; 2d Lieut., Perry Chapman. Company
F— Captain, John L. Green ; ist Lieut., S. V. R.
Cruger ; 2d Lieut., Polhemus Rowman. Company
G — Captain, E. A. Wickes ; ist Lieut, Dewitt C.
Underwood ; 2d Lieut., John Sweet. Company
H— Captain, Piatt M. Thome ; ist Lieut., Wm.
S. VanKeuren ; 2d Lieut., Charles J. Gaylord.
Company I — Captain, Benjamin S. Broas ; ist
Lieut., Richard Titus ; 2d Lieut., David R. Sleight.
Company K — Captain, John S. Scofield; ist
Lieut, Michael P. Corcoran ; 2d Lieut., Wade H.

The 150th was mustered into the service on
Saturday, the nth of October, and left Pough-
keepsie the same day on the steamer Oregon for
Jersey City.

A fine brass band was organized and well sus-
tained during the whole period of the regiment's
service. The regiment took with it to the scene of
its arduous duties many tokens of love and friend-
ship from those who bade them God-speed. Sept
17th, Capt Robert McConnell was presented with
an elegant sword, sash, belt and pistol, by William
Harlow, in behalf of a number of friends, at the
house of James McGeein, 221 Main street, Pough-
keepsie. Oct. ist, Lieuts. Henry Gridley and
James Mabbett, of Co. A, were presented with
swords by the Amenia boys of the company, at the
Gregory House. The presentations were made by
Dr. J. C. Payne and Rev. T. E. Vassar, Chaplain
of the regiment, after which the company partook
of a splendid supper furnished by Mr. Gregory, the
proprietor of that house. Oct 2d, the friends of
Lieut. Robert G. Mooney met at the sheriff's
office, and through H. W. Shaw made a like pre-
sentation to him. On the sth of that month, the
friends of Capt. Joseph H. Cogswell, of Co. A,
presented him with a handsome sword and appur-
tenances, at the Congregational church. The gift
was from his friends among the members of that
society, and the presentation was made by Rev.Mr.
Tyler at the usual hour of service on Sunday even-
ing. Capt. Cogswell repHed in a most excellent
address. Oct 7th, a splendid sword, sash, belt and
pistols were presented at the high school, in Church
street, to Major A. B. Smith, by the children of the
pubhc schools, in which that gentleman still takes



a deep interest. The presentation was made by
Mr. George W. McLellan, in a brief speech, which
was responded to by Major Smith. Addresses
were also made by Revs. Messrs. Chandler and
Wheeler. On the evening of the same day, the
young ladies of Mr. Rice's school presented a
sword, sash, etc., to Capt. E. A. Wickes, at the in-
stitute. The exercises were very interesting and
quite a number of citizens were present to witness
and take part in them. Oct. loth, Capt. Gilder-
sleeve was presented with " a most splendid sword,
sash, belt and pistol," the latter at the Poughkeep-
sie Female Seminary, through the Rev. D. G.
Wright, by the ladies of that institution, and the
" sword and appurtenances," by H. W. Shaw and
others. Just before the regiment broke camp at
Poughkeepsie, Lieut. Dewitt C. Underwood was
presented with an elegant sword, sash, belt and
pistol by his uncle. Captain Charles Underwood ;
and the same day, as the regiment was preparing
to leave camp, a bible agent visited them and
presented a New Testament to each man not sup-
plied with that or a Bible. They were accepted
with many thanks by all except two.

The regiment was accompanied by many of its
friends to Jersey City, where it arrived at 4 o'clock
on Sunday morning, disembarked at noon, and
marched to the railroad station. As the Oregon
reached a point opposite 31st street. New York,
James McGrath, a private in Capt. Brant's com-
pany, fell overboard and was drowned. At 3
o'clock six companies, under Lieut. Col. Bartlett, left
for Baltimore, and at 5 o'clock the remaining four,
with arms and ammunition for the regiment, left
with Col. Ketcham. The regiment was fed most
sumptuously at the "Cooper shop," in Phila-
delphia about midnight by the ladies of that pa-
triotic city, and on Monday arrived in Baltimore,
where arms were distributed to the men. That
night was spent under the open depot of the Balti-
more & Ohio Railroad, and the regiment suffered
severely from the intense cold, the officers being
destitute of both overcoats and blankets, that part
of the train containing the baggage not having ar-
rived. The next day, the r 4th, it went into quarters
in shelter tents at Camp Millington, on the Carroll
estate, in the western part of Baltimore, adjacent
to the camp of the 128th, which was then absent
on a trip to Gettysburg, but returned on the 15th.
A snow storm on the night of Wednesday covered
the ground nearly six inches deep. The regiment
.was furnished the next day with wall and A tents
and the camp made comfortable.

The second camp occupied by the regiment in
Baltimore was Camp Belger, situated near the
residence of Judge Bond, in the vicinity of Druid
Hill Park. Here they built commodious winter
quarters, the barracks forming three sides of a
rectangle. The main building was about 500 feet
long, the two wings about 200 feet each.

The regiment was retained in Baltimore during
the winter and spring, and, in company with the
15 ist, was engaged in guarding hospitals and stores.
The government had fitted up as hospitals the
large hotels and the residences of some of the lead-
ing rebels in that city, and in these were our
wounded and convalescent soldiers from the cam-
paign of the previous year. These duties were of
the most trying kind. The regiment, being separ-
ated into small detachments, and in contact with
the large rebel element«of that city, quite a number
were induced to desert. Some of these afterwards
returned and voluntarilyreported that they received
larger bounties for deserting than for enlisting.

Only once while performing these duties did
they break camp. Dec. 29, 1862, they, in company
with one other regiment and a battery, were sent
up the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, to the cross-
ing of the Monocacy, three miles from Point of
Rocks and a like distance south of Frederick
City, Md., to intercept a rebel force reported to be
raiding into Maryland to gather grain stored there.
They returned from this expedition Jan. 2, 1863.
The regiment was brigaded and attached to the
8th army corps, first under command of Gen. Wool,
and afterwards of Gen. Robert C. Schenck, Dur-
ing the Confederate sortie to the Susq"uehanna in
the summer of 1863, it was engaged in barricading
the streets of Baltimore and incidental duties.
June 25, 1863, it broke camp, and in company
with two Maryland regiments, under command of
Gen. Lockwood of the regular army marched
through Poplar Springs and Monocacy to a hill
north of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the
Monocacy River, which overlooked the entire val-
ley through which the army of the Potomac was
marching, having accomplished a distance of
thirty-nine miles in two days. Here the regiment
encamped. The men were very footsore and glad
to exchange fine boots for army shoes, which were
issued to them on Sunday, which was a veritable
day of rest.

June 29, 1863, the 150th was ordered to join
the 1 2th corps, commanded by Gen. ' Slocum,
which it reached on the 2d of July, after a march
of forty-six miles, through Frederick City and Bruce-



ville to Gettysburg, the last seven miles being
made by a forced march in two and one-half hours,
without blankets or knapsacks. It arrived on the
field of Gettysburg between 4 and 5 a. m., and was
assigned to the 2d brigade, ist division, of the 12th
corps. It was held in reserve till the afternoon of
that day, when, with the first division of its corps,
it was marched to the support of Gen. Sickles, who
had injudiciously posted his forces in an untenable
position and was forced back with the loss of half
his troops to the position originally designed for
him by Gen. Meade. The 150th did not have
occasion to fire a gun. It returned during the
night to the position of the 1 2th corps, on the ex-
treme right of the national line, at the barb of the
hook formed by Cemetery Ridge, on the crest of
which from Gulp's Hill to Round Top Meade's
army was posted. While the . contest for the pos-
session of Little Round Top was in progress,
Ewell, who had discovered that Gulp's Hill was
weakly defended, from the withdrawal of troops
from Slocum's command to the left of the line,
made a vigorous attack late in the afternoon and
succeeded in getting a foothold within the exterior
intrenchments, but was dislodged at the point of
the bayonet early the 'next morning. This was the
first fight in which the regiment " engaged. The
casualties were 8 killed and 25 wounded. Some
200 of the rebels surrendered to it.

The regiment then joined in Meade's dilatory
but fatiguing pursuit of Lee's defeated army, march-
ing and countermarching till August ist, when it
crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, and
supported as skirmishers the cavalry, who drove
the enemy. It re-crossed the river on the 2d, and
on the sth went into camp. During this period
the men were without food and knapsacks for two
days immediately following the battle of Gettys-
burg, the latter having been sent to Westminster
for safe keeping. On the 7th of July, while on the
march, they were cheered by the news of the sur-
render of Vicksburg. On the i ith of that month
they came up with the enemy in intrenched works
and had some skirmishing. On the 17 th, the regi-
ment was changed to the 3d brigade of the same
division, commanded by Gen. Ruger. Much of
the time the march was over muddy roads, and
such were the fatigues, that on the 31st of July
nearly all the officers were sick, only seven being
fit for duty J and this was the condition of a pro-
portionate number of the men.

From the 5th to the 29th of August the regiment
lay in tents and drank bad water. Most of the

men were sick with acclimating fever, and at the
latter date there were 250 cases in the hospital
with typhoid and malarial fever. On the 30th of
August the regiment was removed to elevated
ground and excused from duty on account of the
great amount of sickness. Those who remained
with the regiment recovered; but those who went
to hospitals and had better treatment mostly died,
both officers and men.

The regiment remained in this camp till the i6th
of September, when it crossed the Rappahannock,
marched through Stevensburgh to Raccoon Ford
on the Rapidan, and encamped in woods, on
low swampy ground, eighty rods east of Cedar Run.
It was engaged in picket duty along the Rapidan
till the 24th of September, when it returned through
Stevensburgh to Brandy Station, where, on the 25th,
it received pay for the first time since leaving Bal-

The isoth was now to be transferred to other,
not less trying duties. After his defeat at the bat-
tle of Chickamauga, Sept. 19, 1863, Rosecrans
withdrew the Army of the Cumberland to the de-
fenses of Chattanooga, and was succeeded in the
command by Gen. Thomas. Here Bragg followed
and invested them so closely that they were threat-
ened with starvation, or a disastrous defeat if the
evacuation of the place was attempted. In this
extremity Gen. Grant was assigned to the com-
mand of that army, which was re-enforced by Sher-
man with the Army of the Tennessee, and by
Hooker, with the nth and 12th corps from the
Army of the Potomac. In conformity with this
arrangement the isth left the latter army, and took
the cars at Bealton for Washington on the 27th of
September. Thence it proceeded by rail and
arrived at Stevenson, Ala., Oct. 3d. On the 5th
it moved north to Decherd with the division to
open the line of communication, the rebels having
cut the road in their rear. It returned as far as
Wartrace on the 6th, and rebuilt the railroad bridge
destroyed by the enemy. The regiment was scat-
tered along this road for twenty miles to guard it,
with headquarters at TuUahoma. Here they built
comfortable quarters.

October 23d, the regiment marched through a
cold rain to join the rest of the corps, then near
Lookout Mountain, passing over the mountains
through Decherd to Anderson. The enemy had
again broken the road in their rear, and on the
26th they were ordered back a second time, making
a most fatiguing march over the mountains just
crossed, camping at Cowan on the night of the



26th, and at the old quarters at TuUahoma on the
27th. On the 28th they marched to Normandy,
Tenn., where the headquarters of the regiment
remained during the winter. The regiment was
divided into three detachments, one stationed at
Normandy, another at Duck River, and a third at
the water-tank midway between Normandy and
TuUahoma, to guard the railroad over which were
carried the supplies for the army at Chattanooga,
and along which blockhouses were built for its pro-
tection. The country was infested with guerillas
and Forrest's cavalry were hovering around in all
directions, so that no man was safe out of camp

Foraging parties were sent out at different times
in various directions. In the early part of Feb-
ruary, 1864, such a party was sent into Lincoln
county, twelve miles from TuUahoma. A Lieu-
tenant and three of his men belonging to a Michi-
gan regiment lingered a very short distance behind
their train and were surprised and captured by
guerillas. They were taken at night to the bank of
a stream, their hands tied behind them, and the
three men were shot and their bodies thrown into
it. The officer, who was a good swimmer, jumped

Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 33 of 125)