Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 181 of 192)
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they kept up a constant fight with the enemy in front for two hours,
when a large force, afterwards ascertained to bo a brigade, entered the
field they had left, and deployed in such a manner as to approach
them both in front and flunk. To save themselves from being taken
prisoners the order was given to fall back towards the centre of the
line, which was on the Williamsburg road, half a mile distant. While
moving in that direction the centre gave way, and was being forced
down the road. To meet this they were obliged to change direction,
piissiug through a thick wood, and slashing, gaining open ground
half a mile in the rear of the first line of rifle-pits, which they had
entered, and continued the fight until the day closed, the enemy in
possession of the battle-field, including the camp, with all the tents,
the personal baggage, and extra clothing of tho men and officers."

After this tlie regiment saw much hard service in Vir-
ginia and the Caroliuas. While in camp near Northwest
Landing, Va., in the latter part of 1863, a beautiful flag
was presented to them by Mrs. C. E. Ingersoll, of Lee,
Oneida Co., N. Y., the old b;mner having been returned to
the citizens of Oswego scarred with battle, and no longer
fit for use.

At the expiration of tho term of service tho original
members, except veterans, were mustei-ed out, and the vet-
erans and recruits retained in service, and assigned to the
First Brigade, First Division, Eighteenth Corp.?, Army of
the James. During April and May, 1864, the regiment
was almost constantly engaged in skirmish or battle. At
Drury's Bluff, June 16, 1864, it carried itself so gallantly
that it was complimented by both Generals Butler and Gill-
more. It had lost in the engagement of June 2 over 70
men killed and wounded. At Cold Harbor it suffered ter-
ribly. Captains W. W. Ballard, of Company I, and James
Martin, of Company K, were killed, and five other captains
■wounded. The regiment in this engagement lost 13 offi-
cers ; " the color-guard was completely annihilated, and
one-half of those who went out to battle in the morning at
night lay on the field, wounded or killed." The remaining
members of the regiment were after this battle consolidated
into four companies. At Petersburg they covered them-
selves with glory ; at Fort Harrison (Chapin's Farm) they
were the first to plant their banner on the enemy's works.
They here captured several pieces of artillery, a battle-flag,
and a large number of prisoners. Nine officers and many
privates were either killed or wounded in this action. Cap-
tain Eix, Lieutenants Tuttle and Nethway were killed, and
■Captain Fish and Lieutenants Dolbier and Porter mortally
wounded. Lieutenant Amos Copeland was wounded, and
was soon after killed in a railway accident, while en route
home. The second day of this battle the regiment cap-
tured two battle- flags and a large number of prisoners. It
lost in two days 100 killed and wounded, including nine
officers. In recognition of its gallant services it was pre-
sented by the War Department with a stand of colors bear-
ing the inscriptions Yorktown, Seven Piues, Savage Station,
81



Malvern Hill, Winton, Violet Station, Kingsland Creek,
Drury's Bluff, May 13, 15, 16; Cold Harbor, June 1, 2,
and 3; Petersburg, June 15, 16, and 24, and July 9 and
30 ; Fort Harrison (Chapin's Farm), September 29 and
30 ; Fair Oaks C2d), October 27, 1864.

On the 5th of November, 1864, the regiment was
ordered to New York, where it remained during the pres-
idential election, and returned to its camp near Richmond.
It was the first infantry regiment to enter the rebel capital.
It was mustered out in August, 1865, in accordance with
orders from the War Department.

NINETY-THIRD INFANTRY.

This regiment was organized at Albany, N. Y., for three
years. The companies composing it were raised principally
in the counties of Albany, Alleghany, Rensselaer, Warren,
and Washington, although Company B was partly raised
in Oneida County. The regiment was mustered in from
October, 1861, to January, 1862. At the expiration of
its terin of service the original members, except veterans,
were mustered out, and the veterans and recruits were re-
tained in service until June 29, 1865, when they were
mustered out, in accordance with orders from the War
Department. The 93d was engaged in the following bat-
tles, viz. : Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fredericksburg, Chan-
cellorsville, Antietam, Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Spottsyl-
vania, North Anna, Tolopotomy, Petersburg, Strawberry
Plains, Deep Bottom, Poplar Spring Church, and Boydtou
Road.

NINETY-SEVENTH INFANTRY, NEW YORK STATE VOL-
UNTEERS.*

The 97th Regiment, New York Volunteers, was organ-
ized in Boonville [Oneida Co., N. Y.], under an authoriza-
tion dated Sept. 13, 1861, and while forming was known
as the Conkling Rifles. The companies were mainly raised
as follows : Companies A and C in Boonville ; B in Lewis
County ; D and F in Salisbury ; E in Prospect and vicin-
ity ; G in Herkimer County ; H in Utica and Lowville ;
I in Little Falls ; and K in Rome. It was mustered into
service at Boonville, Feb. 18, 1862, left Boonville March
12, received its arms at New York, and arrived at Wash-
ington on the 20th of March. After a brief sojourn on
Kalorama Heights, it was ordered to garrison Fort Cor-
coran and the works adjacent, until the formation of Dur-
y^a's Brigade, when it was ordered to Cloud's Mills and
became identified with that organization. In the fall of
1863 it received large accessions from conscripts and sub-
stitutes, and early in 1864 nearly one hundred and fifty of
its men re-enlisted.

April 16, 1862, General Dury^a took command of a
brigade formed of the 97th, 104th, and 105th New York,
12th Virginia, and 88lh and 107th Pennsylvania Regi-
ments, at Cloud's Mills, about two miles from Alexandria,
on the Little River Turnpike. The 12th Virginia and
88th Pennsylvania were a few days after transferred ; but
the other four remaineti without change during the period

■■History of Dary6a's Brigade, by F. B. Hough, M.D., surgeon

of snh.



642



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



that General Dury^a continued in command. The change
of climate and exposure in tents had caused considerable
sickness, and the regimental hospitals were filled with sick ;
but as the spring advanced the wholesome regulations and
strict discipline of the camp, with careful attention to its
sanitary condition, restored the command to a high degree
of health. This camp of instruction received the name of
Camp Reliance, and was laid out with great care. The
tents issued for privates were of the A pattern, and from
the adjacent camps of the Army of the Potomac, which
were left with the tents standing, an additional supply
was obtained to meet every suggestion of comfort. The
immediate neighborhood of Camp Reliance had been occu-
pied during the preceding winter by Sumner's Division,
and every vestige of fencing or other sources of fuel had
been consumed, leaving an open country, with here and
there a lone family, or more frequently the ruins or foun-
dations of a homestead burnt, or its materials carried off to
be used in camp. The command spent three weeks in this
locality, drilling and becoming familiar with field evolu-
tions. The brigade was actively engaged after Banks'
campaign against, and retreat before, Stonewall Jackson, in
May, 1862, and on the 1st of June was assigned to Gen-
eral Ricketts' Division, in which connection it remained
until after the battle of Antietam. June 26, 1862, the
Army of Virginia was organized, and placed under com-
mand of Major-General John Pope. Ricketts' Division
was assigned a place in the Third Corps, in the First Brig-
ade of which was the 97th. The regiment was commanded
through the summer of 1862 by Lieutenant-Colonel J. P.
SpofFord, on account of the illness and absence of Colonel
C. Wheelock. Just previous to the battles of South Moun-
tain and Antietam, Lieutenant^Colonel Spofibrd also left on
account of sickness, and was relieved by Major C. North-
rup, who commanded at these two battles. The first battle
in which the brigade was engaged was Culpepper, Va., near
Cedar Mountain, Aug. 9, 1862. In the engagement at
Rappahannock Station, August 23, John Schneider, private
in Company H, lost an arm, and Sergeant J. H. Smith,
Company E, was bruised in the side. After participating
in the fight at Thoroughfare Gap, the brigade took an
active part in the second Bull Run battle, Aug. 30, 1862,
and in this the 97th sustained the following casualties:
7 men killed, 42 wounded, and 61 missing (mostly pris-
oners). At South Mountain, Sept. 14, 1862, the regi-
ment lost 2 men killed. At Antietam the 97th suffered
severely, losing 21 men killed on the field, and over 40
wounded. Dury^a's Brigade was reorganized after the
battle of Antietam, and became a part of the First Corps,
to which the Third Corps had been changed. The Third
Brigade was organized, including the 83d New York (9th
N. Y. S. M.), 97th New York, 11th and 88th Pennsyl-
vania, and 13th Massachusetts, and was placed under the
command of Brigadier-General Nelson Taylor. General
Dury^a, during his absence on furlough, had been super-
seded in command by a junior officer, and the matter was
never righted. The general resigned Jan. 5, 1863, after
having led his men through seven battles. He was a gen-
eral favorite with the men of the brigade, and all regretted
that he should have been so unjustly treated.



The 97th Regiment colors have been preserved, and have
inscribed upon them the following list of engagements in
which the regiment participated, viz. : Cedar Mountain,
Rappahannock, Thoroughfare Gap, second Bull Run, Chan-
tilly. South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chan-
cellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, Raccoon Ford, Wilder-
ness, Laurel Hill, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Tolopotomy,
Bethesda Church, White Oak Swamp, Petersburg, Weldon
Railroad, Hicksford, Hatcher's Run, Quaker Road, White
Oak Road, Five Foiks, Appomattox Court-House, and Lee's
Surrender. It acquitted itself nobly throughout its entire
service, and suffered severely from the casualties of war. It
was mustered out July 18, 1865, in accordance with orders
from the War Department.

" Charles Wheelock, colonel of the 97th Kegiment, was horn in
Claremont, N. H., Dec. 14, 1812, and removed in early life to Boon-
ville, N. y., where he became engaged in business as a farmer and
dealer in produce. After rendering assistance in raising some of the
companies of early volunteers enlisted in his vicinity, he received
authorization, on the 23d of September (1861), for establishing a
branch camp at Boonville, at which plaoe the 97th Regiment was
formed. Its organization was completed on the 18th of February,
1862. He conducted the regiment to Washington, and directed its
movements until the advance from Warrenton, late in July, when
sickness prevented him from further service, and be did not return
to duty until October. He was the senior colonel of the brigade at
the time of its reorganization in November."*

He was finally brevetted brigadier-general United States
Volunteers, and died Jan. 21, 1865.

" Richard Jones, captain Company E, 97th Regiment, was born in
Anglesea, North Wales, and emigrated with his father, John Jone?,
to Russia, N. Y., in 1832. He was engaged in business at Prospect,
Oneida Co., at the beginning of the war, and in the fall of 1861
raised a comjiany composed largely of Welsh, of which he became
captain. He served with the regiment until wounded in the arm at
Bull Run. He was taken to Washington, where his wound proved
fatal on the 6th of September (1862). His remains were taken home
to Prospect for burial. "f

"Louis Dallarmi, second lieutenant of Company H, 97th Regi-
ment, was born at Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, Aug. 25, 1818. In 1834
he entered the Bavarian service as a private, and served eighteen
years, during which period he rose to the rank of lieutenant. At its
close he received excellent testimonials of good conduct. For some
months he was engaged in the Scbleswig-Holstein campaign. In
July, 185.5, he was married at Stuttgart to Miss Catharine Knoller,
and from that city he removed to AVhite Lake, on the northern borders
of Oneida Co., N. Y., where he engaged in business till the present war
(Rebellion). He assisted in recruiting a company of Germans, which
entered the 97th Regiment as Company H. His superior military
attainments would have given him a higher rank had his acquaint-
ance with the English language justiSed. He was regarded as the best-
drilled line-officer of the regiment, and on the evening before the
battle of Antietam was placed by General Dury^a in temporary com-
mand of two or three companies consolidated for this occasion. The
captain of his company was then absent, and the first lieutenant had
just before been suspended from command. While marching into
battle at the bead of his company he was instantly killed." if

The officers and members of the 97th organized a " so-
cial union," March 12, 1867, and annual reunions have
since been held in different places in Oneida, Lewis, and
Herkimer Counties. The present officers (April 9, 1878)
are: President, Franklin B. Hough, M.D., of Lowville,
Lewis Co. ; Vice-President, Isaac Hall, of Leyden, Lewis
Co. ; Recording Secretary, Calvin V. Graves, of Boonville,
Oneida Co. ; Corresponding Secretary, A. H. Van Deusen,



' Hough's History of Brigade.



t Ibid.



% Hough.



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



643



of Albany ; Treasurer, G. M. Palmer, of Rome. The last
annual reunion was held at Boonvillo, March 12, 1878,
and was a most enjoyable affair. A reception was held in
Hayes' Hall by the ladies of the village, and " all went
merry as a marriage-bell." All honor to the surviving
patriots, and a tear of gratitude and regret for the fallen I

ONE HUNDRED AND PiaST INFANTRY.

This regiment was organized at Hancock, N. Y., to serve
three years, and was mustered in from Sept. 2, 1861, to
Feb. 28, 18G2. Parts of Companies B and E were from
Oneida County, and the balance of the regiment was raised
in the counties of Delaware, New York, and Onondaga.
On the 24th of December, 1862, the regiment was consol-
idated with the 37th New York Volunteers, and its officers
mustered out of service. The battles of the force were
Seven Pines, Peach Orchard, Savage Station, Chickahominy,
White Oak Swamp, Charles City Cross-Roads, Malvern
Hill, Groveton, second Bull Run, Chantilly, Fredericks-
burg. The 37th Regiment was mustered out, June 22,
1863, by reason of the expiration of its term of service.

ONE HnNDRED AND SEVENTEENTH NEW YORK VOLUN-
TEER INFANTRY.

On the first day of July, 1862, in response to a letter
bearing the signatures of eighteen loyal Governors, Presi-
dent Lincoln issued a call for three hundred thousand vol-
unteers to assist those already in the field in putting down
the Rebellion, and terminating more speedily the great
civil war, which for fifteen months had been devastating
the land and rendering desolate many homes within the
borders of the Republic. As yet the results of the war
were not extremely favorable to the Union arms, and Fort
Sumter, Bull Run, and the Peninsular — Richmond — cam-
paign were dark pages in the history of the mighty struggle
to keep the nation united. The day following the call of
the President, Governor Edwin D. Morgan, of New York,
issued a proclamation containing the following eloquent and
earnest language :

'* This appeal is to the State of New York : it is to each citizen.
Let it couie to every fireside. Let the glorious example of the Revo-
lutionary period he our emulation. Let each feel that the common-
wealth now counts upon his individual strength and influence to meet
the demands of the government.

" The period has come when all must aid. New York has not thus
far stood back. Ready, and more than willing, she has met every
summons to duty. Let not her history be falsified, nor her position
lowered."

Three days after this appeal, on the 5th of July, a cir-
cular was issued from the adjutant-general's ofiice, directing
the division of the State into regimental districts, corre-
sponding to the senatorial divisions, with a rendezvous camp
in each. To Hon. Horatio Seymour was addressed the
letter appointing the committee for this (the nineteenth)
district. The duty of the committee was to use every effort
to organize a regiment of volunteers under the President's
call, and it was also authorized to insure every person who
recruited a company a position as captain, providing at the
same time liberal bounties for enlisted men.

The following gentlemen composed the committee for this
district, viz. : Hon. Horatio Seymour, chairman ; Hon. F.



Kernan, Hon. William H. Ferry, Judge William J. Bacon,
and Charles Doolittle, Esq., of Utica; Hon. B. N. Hunt-
ington and C. Comstock, of Rome; Luther Guiteau, of
Trenton ; and 0. S. Williams, of Clinton. They were in-
structed to forward, with their nomination of a regimental
commander, the names of a few prominent and active
citizens in different parts of the district, which would be
added to the list. Accordingly the committee was increased
by the appointment of Hon. Samuel Campbell, of Whites-
town ; D. B. Goodwin, of Waterville ; D. J. Millard, of
Paris ; T. D. Penfield, of Camden ; and David T. Jenkins,
of Vernon. July 14, 1862, the committee held its first
meeting at Bagg's Hotel, in Utica, and completed its or-
ganization by electing Charles Doolittle, Esq., secretary.
On the same occasion, William R. Pease was recommended
as colonel of the regiment in prospect. This selection was
eminently proper and satisfactory. Colonel Pease was a
native of Utica and a graduate of the military academy,
and was at the time a member of the regular service, sta-
tioned at Utica as mustering and disbursing officer for Cen-
tral New York. An interview was held with him at this
session of the war committee, and on being informed of his
election the position was accepted, the stated conditions
being mutually satisfactory, and he reported at Albany for
his commission. Although chosen commander of the new
regiment July 21, he was not relieved from his previous
duties until the 31st of the same month, and on the 1st of
August and thereafter his entire time was devoted to organ-
izing the regiment. He labored actively and earnestly, and
the body of men recruited and organized was known for
the time as the " 4th Oneida." With the appointment of
other necessary officers — adjutant, quartermaster, and sur-
geon — the progress was more rapid. Each company was
to contain, officers and privates, 83 minimum and 101
maximum. On the approval of the regimental commander,
the Governor issued certificates of authorization to individ-
uals, allowing them to enlist or enroll men for the regiment
and entitling them to receive commissions as second lieu-
tenants on the presentation of not less than 30 men, who
should pass muster, to first lieutenants' commissions for no
fewer than 40 men, and to captains' commissions for 83
men or over. The first person authorized to recruit a com-
pany was John M. Walcott. On the completion of ten
companies of the minimum standard, of an aggregate of
844 officers and men, they were to be formed into a regi-
ment, the maximum standard being 1024.

In accordance w;th these regulations Egbert Bagg, of
Utica, was commissioned quartermaster July 23, 1862, his
being the first commission issued to the regiment. The fol-
lowing day, July 24, a younger citizen of Utica, who had
received a thorough drilling in the local military, was com-
missioned adjutant. This was James M. Latimer, and both
officers entered at once upon the duties of their positions.
July 29, Dr. Edward Loomis, a native and resident of
Westmoreland, who had passed the examining board at
Albany, was commissioned surgeon and ordered to the regi-
ment, where he immediately reported and entered upon his
duties. He had practiced his profession successfully for
more than thirty years in his native town and vicinity, and
represented his district in the State Legislature.



644



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



Up to this date about 200 men had been enrolled, their
medical examination, by consent of the authorities, having
been conducted by Dr. Charles B. Coventry, of Utica. Re-
cruiting was being rapidly carried on throughout the county,
and every means used for completing the regiment at the
earliest possible date. The Governor had issued a circular
address to the supervisors of every town in the State, urging
them to prompt action, and valuable aid in towns was thus
secured. Many gentlemen of ability and influence were
addressing " war-meetings" in every part of the county, and
the spirit of war was at fever-heat. Among the gentlemen
active in tliese efforts were Hon. Francis Kernan, Erastus
Clark, John Snow (of Oneida County), C. H. Doolittle,
Hiram T. Jenkins, General Bruce (of Lenox, Madison Co.),
Hon. A. H. Bailey, Hon. Roscoe Coiikling, Ward Hunt,
Judge Geo. W. Suiith, De Witt C. Grove, ex-Governor
Seymour, Colonel MuQiiade, Judge Wm. J. Bacon, Rev.
M. E. Dunham, C. M. Scholefield, Judge N. A. Foster,
Rev. John Harvey, C. McLane, Judge Root, E. L. Stephens,
L. H. Baboock, Rev. J. T. Crippen, and M. J. Shoecraft
(of Oneida, Madison Co.).

" On tho loth day of August a special meeting of the board of super-
visors WHS held in the court-house in Home, at which measures were
taken to raise ^162,700 on the credit of the county, for the purpose of
paying a bounty of $50 to each voluntfer. The measure was passed
and the sum appropriated, Lorenzo Rouse, of Marsliall, presiding."

The State also paid a bounty of |50, and the national
government advanced ?25 of the $100 due the men at the
end of their service, and $13 (one month's pay), besides $2
to each man as a recruiting fund, making a total of $140
paid to each volunteer befoi-e leaving the county. This had
the effect of rapidly increasing the membership of the or-
ganization.

Early in August the regiment was ordered by the Gov-
ernor to rendezvous at the village of Eome, and accordingly
headquarters were transferred thither from Utica, and a
camp was established at once on a dry and elevated piece of
ground on the western border of the village, about three-
fourths of a mile from its centre, between Dominick and
Liberty Streets. The camp-ground was owned by Enocli
B. Armstrong, and comprised about twenty acres, sur-
rounded by a substantial board fence. The only buildings
on the ground were those then erected for the accommoda-
tion of the regiment, consisting of quarters, kitchens, and
mess-houses, and the quartermaster's department. On the
western and higher portion of the grou\id were tents occu-
pied by the surgeon and adjutant. The camp received the
name of " Camp Huntington," in honor of the prominent
family of that name, whose history was intimately connected
with that of the village. Space does not permit a descrip-
tion of the various scenes and episodes of camp life, but
those who took part will recall thevn vividly to mind with-
out unnecessary mention of them here ; and the citizens of
the beautiful village — now a flourishing city — will recollect
the encampment, the fine body of men therein quartered,
and many pleasant associations of the time.

The companies were filled to the maximum, and mustered
into service in regular order as follows : Co. A, Captain A.
White ; Co. B, Captain Rufus Daggett ; Co. C, Captain F.
X. Myer; Co. D, Captain J. M. Walcott; Co. B,_Captain



L. K. Brown ; Co. F, Captain S. J. Steves ; Co. G, Captain
Charles H. Roys; Co. H, Captain A. R. Stevens; Co. I,
Captain Charles Wheelock ; Co. K, Captain James A. Race.
After their muster as captains, Captain Alvin White was
promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and Captain Rufus Daggett
to major, their positions being filled by First Lieutenants
Brigham and J. P. Stone, who were promoted.

By the 20th of August nearly 1100 men were on hand
available for the field, and so numerous were recruits that
the tide could only be checked by refusing to accept more.
On this date Lieutenant M. C. Caustin, 19th United States
Infantry, mustering officer, arrived at Rome and mustered
into service the entire regiment, every company having at-
tained the maximum number. The organization as com-
pleted was named and numbered the "117th New York
Volunteers." On the day of muster the men received
their bounties. Lieutenant Caustin paying the government



Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 181 of 192)