The feeling of the two armies now seems to be that the rebels can protect themselves only by strong intrenchments, whilst our army is not only confident of protecting itself without intrenchments, but that it can beat and drive the enemy wherever and whenever he can be found without this protection.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.
(*35) COLD HARBOR, VA., June 6, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL D. HUNTER
Commanding Dept. W. Va.
General Sheridan leaves here to-morrow morning, with instructions to proceed to Charlottesville, Va., and to commence there the destruction of the Va. Cen. R. R., destroying this way as much as possible. The complete destruction of this road and of the canal on James River is of great importance to us. According to the instructions I sent to General Halleck for your guidance, you were to proceed to Lynchburg and commence there. It would be of great value to us to get possession of Lynchburg for a single day. But that point is of so much importance to the enemy, that in attempting to get it such resistance may be met as to defeat your getting onto the road or canal at all. I see, in looking over the letter to General Halleck on the subject of your instructions, that it rather indicates that your route should be from Staunton via Charlottesville. If you have so understood it, you will be doing just what I want. The direction I would now give is, that if this letter reaches you in the valley between Staunton and Lynchburg, you immediately turn east by the most practicable road. From thence move eastward along the line of the road, destroying it completely and thoroughly, until you join General Sheridan. After the work laid out for General Sheridan and yourself is thoroughly done, proceed to join the Army of the Potomac by the route laid out in General Sheridan's instructions.
If any portion of your force, especially your cavalry, is needed back in your Department, you are authorized to send it back.
If on receipt of this you should be near to Lynchburg and deem it practicable to detach a cavalry force to destroy the canal. Lose no opportunity to destroy the canal.
U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.
(*36) FROM A STATEMENT OF LOSSES COMPILED IN THE ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE.
FIELD OF ACTION AND DATE. KILLED. WOUNDED. MISSING. AGGREGATE.
Wilderness, May 5th to 7th 2,261 8,785 2,902 13,948 Spottsylvania, May 8th to 21st 2,271 9,360 1,970 13,601 North Anna, May 23d to 27th 186 792 165 1,143 Totopotomoy, May 27th to 31st 99 358 52 509 Cold Harbor, May 31st to June 12th 1,769 6,752 1,537 10,058 Total ................ 6,586 26,047 6,626 39,259
(*37) CITY POINT, VA., June 17, 1864. 11 A.M.
MAJOR-GEN. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.
* * * * * * *
The enemy in their endeavor to reinforce Petersburg abandoned their intrenchments in front of Bermuda Hundred. They no doubt expected troops from north of the James River to take their place before we discovered it. General Butler took advantage of this and moved a force at once upon the railroad and plank road between Richmond and Petersburg, which I hope to retain possession of.
Too much credit cannot be given to the troops and their commanders for the energy and fortitude displayed during the last five days. Day and night has been all the same, no delays being allowed on any account.
U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.
(*38) CITY POINT, VA., July 24, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Commanding, etc.
The engineer officers who made a survey of the front from Bermuda Hundred report against the probability of success from an attack there. The chances they think will be better on Burnside's front. If this is attempted it will be necessary to concentrate all the force possible at the point in the enemy's line we expect to penetrate. All officers should be fully impressed with the absolute necessity of pushing entirely beyond the enemy's present line, if they should succeed in penetrating it, and of getting back to their present line promptly if they should not succeed in breaking through.
To the right and left of the point of assault all the artillery possible should be brought to play upon the enemy in front during the assault. Their lines would be sufficient for the support of the artillery, and all the reserves could be brought on the flanks of their commands nearest to the point of assault, ready to follow in if successful. The field artillery and infantry held in the lines during the first assault should be in readiness to move at a moment's notice either to their front or to follow the main assault, as they should receive orders. One thing, however, should be impressed on corps commanders. If they see the enemy giving away on their front or moving from it to reinforce a heavily assaulted portion of their line, they should take advantage of such knowledge and act promptly without waiting for orders from army commanders. General Ord can co-operate with his corps in this movement, and about five thousand troops from Bermuda Hundred can be sent to reinforce you or can be used to threaten an assault between the Appomattox and James rivers, as may be deemed best.
This should be done by Tuesday morning, if done at all. If not attempted, we will then start at the date indicated to destroy the railroad as far as Hicksford at least, and to Weldon if possible.
* * * * * * *
Whether we send an expedition on the road or assault at Petersburg, Burnside's mine will be blown up....
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.
(*39) See letter, August 5th, Appendix.
(*40) See Appendix, letters of Oct. 11th.
(*41) CITY POINT, VA., December 2,1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville Tenn.
If Hood is permitted to remain quietly about Nashville, you will lose all the road back to Chattanooga and possibly have to abandon the line of the Tennessee. Should he attack you it is all well, but if he does not you should attack him before he fortifies. Arm and put in the trenches your quartermaster employees, citizens, etc.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.
CITY POINT, VA., December 2, 1864.—1.30 P.M.
MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.
With your citizen employees armed, you can move out of Nashville with all your army and force the enemy to retire or fight upon ground of your own choosing. After the repulse of Hood at Franklin, it looks to me that instead of falling back to Nashville we should have taken the offensive against the enemy where he was. At this distance, however, I may err as to the best method of dealing with the enemy. You will now suffer incalculable injury upon your railroads if Hood is not speedily disposed of. Put forth therefore every possible exertion to attain this end. Should you get him to retreating give him no peace.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.
CITY POINT, VA., December 5, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.
Is there not danger of Forrest moving down the Cumberland to where he can cross it? It seems to me whilst you should be getting up your cavalry as rapidly as possible to look after Forrest, Hood should be attacked where he is. Time strengthens him in all possibility as much as it does you.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.
CITY POINT, VA., December 6, 1864—4 P.M.
MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.
Attack Hood at once and wait no longer for a remnant of your cavalry. There is great danger of delay resulting in a campaign back to the Ohio River.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.
CITY POINT, VA., December 8, 1864.—8.30 P.M.
MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.
Your dispatch of yesterday received. It looks to me evident the enemy are trying to cross the Cumberland River, and are scattered. Why not attack at once? By all means avoid the contingency of a foot race to see which, you or Hood, can beat to the Ohio. If you think necessary call on the governors of States to send a force into Louisville to meet the enemy if he should cross the river. You clearly never should cross except in rear of the enemy. Now is one of the finest opportunities ever presented of destroying one of the three armies of the enemy. If destroyed he never can replace it. Use the means at your command, and you can do this and cause a rejoicing that will resound from one end of the land to the other.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.
CITY POINT, VA., December 11, 1864.—4 P.M.
MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.
If you delay attack longer the mortifying spectacle will be witnessed of a rebel army moving for the Ohio River, and you will be forced to act, accepting such weather as you find. Let there be no further delay. Hood cannot even stand a drawn battle so far from his supplies of ordnance stores. If he retreats and you follow, he must lose his material and much of his army. I am in hopes of receiving a dispatch from you to-day announcing that you have moved. Delay no longer for weather or reinforcements.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 15, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.
I was just on my way to Nashville, but receiving a dispatch from Van Duzer detailing your splendid success of to-day, I shall go no further. Push the enemy now and give him no rest until he is entirely destroyed. Your army will cheerfully suffer many privations to break up Hood's army and render it useless for future operations. Do not stop for trains or supplies, but take them from the country as the enemy have done. Much is now expected.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.
(*42) See orders to Major-General Meade, Ord, and Sheridan, March 24th, Appendix.
(*43) See Appendix.
(*44) NOTE.—The fac-simile of the terms of Lee's surrender inserted at this place, was copied from the original document furnished the publishers through the courtesy of General Ely S. Parker, Military Secretary on General Grant's staff at the time of the surrender.
Three pages of paper were prepared in General Grant's manifold order book on which he wrote the terms, and the interlineations and erasures were added by General Parker at the suggestion of General Grant. After such alteration it was handed to General Lee, who put on his glasses, read it, and handed it back to General Grant. The original was then transcribed by General Parker upon official headed paper and a copy furnished General Lee.
The fac-simile herewith shows the color of the paper of the original document and all interlineations and erasures.
There is a popular error to the effect that Generals Grant and Lee each signed the articles of surrender. The document in the form of a letter was signed only by General Grant, in the parlor of McLean's house while General Lee was sitting in the room, and General Lee immediately wrote a letter accepting the terms and handed it to General Grant.
MEMOIRS OF GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN
By William T. Sherman
GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN
HIS COMRADES IN ARMS,
VOLUNTEERS AND REGULARS.
Nearly ten years have passed since the close of the civil war in America, and yet no satisfactory history thereof is accessible to the public; nor should any be attempted until the Government has published, and placed within the reach of students, the abundant materials that are buried in the War Department at Washington. These are in process of compilation; but, at the rate of progress for the past ten years, it is probable that a new century will come before they are published and circulated, with full indexes to enable the historian to make a judicious selection of materials.
What is now offered is not designed as a history of the war, or even as a complete account of all the incidents in which the writer bore a part, but merely his recollection of events, corrected by a reference to his own memoranda, which may assist the future historian when he comes to describe the whole, and account for the motives and reasons which influenced some of the actors in the grand drama of war.
I trust a perusal of these pages will prove interesting to the survivors, who have manifested so often their intense love of the "cause" which moved a nation to vindicate its own authority; and, equally so, to the rising generation, who therefrom may learn that a country and government such as ours are worth fighting for, and dying for, if need be.
If successful in this, I shall feel amply repaid for departing from the usage of military men, who seldom attempt to publish their own deeds, but rest content with simply contributing by their acts to the honor and glory of their country.
WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, General
St. Louis, Missouri, January 21, 1875.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
Another ten years have passed since I ventured to publish my Memoirs, and, being once more at leisure, I have revised them in the light of the many criticisms public and private.
My habit has been to note in pencil the suggestions of critics, and to examine the substance of their differences; for critics must differ from the author, to manifest their superiority.
Where I have found material error I have corrected; and I have added two chapters, one at the beginning, another at the end, both of the most general character, and an appendix.
I wish my friends and enemies to understand that I disclaim the character of historian, but assume to be a witness on the stand before the great tribunal of history, to assist some future Napier, Alison, or Hume to comprehend the feelings and thoughts of the actors in the grand conflicts of the recent past, and thereby to lessen his labors in the compilation necessary for the future benefit of mankind.
In this free country every man is at perfect liberty to publish his own thoughts and impressions, and any witness who may differ from me should publish his own version of facts in the truthful narration of which he is interested. I am publishing my own memoirs, not theirs, and we all know that no three honest witnesses of a simple brawl can agree on all the details. How much more likely will be the difference in a great battle covering a vast space of broken ground, when each division, brigade, regiment, and even company, naturally and honestly believes that it was the focus of the whole affair! Each of them won the battle. None ever lost. That was the fate of the old man who unhappily commanded.
In this edition I give the best maps which I believe have ever been prepared, compiled by General O. M. Poe, from personal knowledge and official surveys, and what I chiefly aim to establish is the true cause of the results which are already known to the whole world; and it may be a relief to many to know that I shall publish no other, but, like the player at cards, will "stand;" not that I have accomplished perfection, but because I can do no better with the cards in hand. Of omissions there are plenty, but of wilful perversion of facts, none.
In the preface to the first edition, in 1875, I used these words: "Nearly ten years have passed since the close of the civil war in America, and yet no satisfactory history thereof is accessible to the public; nor should any be attempted until the Government has published, and placed within the reach of students, the abundant materials that are buried in the War Department at Washington. These are in process of compilation; but, at the rate of progress for the past ten years, it is probable that a new century will come before they are published and circulated, with full indexes to enable the historian to make a judicious selection of materials"
Another decade is past, and I am in possession of all these publications, my last being Volume XI, Part 3, Series 1, the last date in which is August 30, 1862. I am afraid that if I assume again the character of prophet, I must extend the time deep into the next century, and pray meanwhile that the official records of the war, Union and Confederate, may approach completion before the "next war," or rather that we, as a people, may be spared another war until the last one is officially recorded. Meantime the rising generation must be content with memoirs and histories compiled from the best sources available.
In this sense I offer mine as to the events of which I was an eye-witness and participant, or for which I was responsible.
WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, General (retired).
St. Louis, Missouri, March 30, 1885.
MEMOIRS OF GENERAL WILLIAM T. SHERMAN.
FROM 1820 TO THE MEXICAN WAR.
According to Cothren, in his "History of Ancient Woodbury, Connecticut," the Sherman family came from Dedham, Essex County, England. The first recorded name is of Edmond Sherman, with his three sons, Edmond, Samuel, and John, who were at Boston before 1636; and farther it is distinctly recorded that Hon. Samuel Sherman, Rev. John, his brother, and Captain John, his first cousin, arrived from Dedham, Essex County, England, in 1634. Samuel afterward married Sarah Mitchell, who had come (in the same ship) from England, and finally settled at Stratford, Connecticut. The other two (Johns) located at Watertown, Massachusetts.
From Captain John Sherman are descended Roger Sherman, the signer of the Declaration of Independence, Hon. William M. Evarts, the Messrs. Hoar, of Massachusetts, and many others of national fame. Our own family are descended from the Hon. Samuel Sherman and his son; the Rev. John, who was born in 1650-'51; then another John, born in 1687; then Judge Daniel, born in 1721; then Taylor Sherman, our grandfather, who was born in 1758. Taylor Sherman was a lawyer and judge in Norwalk, Connecticut, where he resided until his death, May 4, 1815; leaving a widow, Betsey Stoddard Sherman, and three children, Charles R. (our father), Daniel, and Betsey.
When the State of Connecticut, in 1786, ceded to the United States her claim to the western part of her public domain, as defined by her Royal Charter, she reserved a large district in what is now northern Ohio, a portion of which (five hundred thousand acres) composed the "Fire-Land District," which was set apart to indemnify the parties who had lost property in Connecticut by the raids of Generals Arnold, Tryon, and others during the latter part of the Revolutionary War.
Our grandfather, Judge Taylor Sherman, was one of the commissioners appointed by the State of Connecticut to quiet the Indian title, and to survey and subdivide this Fire-Land District, which includes the present counties of Huron and Erie. In his capacity as commissioner he made several trips to Ohio in the early part of this century, and it is supposed that he then contracted the disease which proved fatal. For his labor and losses he received a title to two sections of land, which fact was probably the prime cause of the migration of our family to the West. My father received a good education, and was admitted to the bar at Norwalk, Connecticut, where, in 1810, he, at twenty years of age, married Mary Hoyt, also of Norwalk, and at once migrated to Ohio, leaving his wife (my mother) for a time. His first purpose was to settle at Zanesville, Ohio, but he finally chose Lancaster, Fairfield County, where he at once engaged in the practice of his profession. In 1811 he returned to Norwalk, where, meantime, was born Charles Taylor Sherman, the eldest of the family, who with his mother was carried to Ohio on horseback.
Judge Taylor Sherman's family remained in Norwalk till 1815, when his death led to the emigration of the remainder of the family, viz., of Uncle Daniel Sherman, who settled at Monroeville, Ohio, as a farmer, where he lived and died quite recently, leaving children and grandchildren; and an aunt, Betsey, who married Judge Parker, of Mansfield, and died in 1851, leaving children and grandchildren; also Grandmother Elizabeth Stoddard Sherman, who resided with her daughter, Mrs. Betsey Parker, in Mansfield until her death, August 1,1848.
Thus my father, Charles R. Sherman, became finally established at Lancaster, Ohio, as a lawyer, with his own family in the year 1811, and continued there till the time of his death, in 1829. I have no doubt that he was in the first instance attracted to Lancaster by the natural beauty of its scenery, and the charms of its already established society. He continued in the practice of his profession, which in those days was no sinecure, for the ordinary circuit was made on horseback, and embraced Marietta, Cincinnati, and Detroit. Hardly was the family established there when the War of 1812 caused great alarm and distress in all Ohio. The English captured Detroit and the shores of Lake Erie down to the Maumee River; while the Indians still occupied the greater part of the State. Nearly every man had to be somewhat of a soldier, but I think my father was only a commissary; still, he seems to have caught a fancy for the great chief of the Shawnees, "Tecumseh."
Perry's victory on Lake Erie was the turning-point of the Western campaign, and General Harrison's victory over the British and Indians at the river Thames in Canada ended the war in the West, and restored peace and tranquillity to the exposed settlers of Ohio. My father at once resumed his practice at the bar, and was soon recognized as an able and successful lawyer. When, in 1816, my brother James was born, he insisted on engrafting the Indian name "Tecumseh" on the usual family list. My mother had already named her first son after her own brother Charles; and insisted on the second son taking the name of her other brother James, and when I came along, on the 8th of February, 1820, mother having no more brothers, my father succeeded in his original purpose, and named me William Tecumseh.
The family rapidly increased till it embraced six boys and five girls, all of whom attained maturity and married; of these six are still living.
In the year 1821 a vacancy occurred in the Supreme Court of Ohio, and I find this petition:
Somerset, Ohio, July 6, 1821.
May it please your Excellency:
We ask leave to recommend to your Excellency's favorable notice Charles R. Sherman, Esq., of Lancaster, as a man possessing in an eminent degree those qualifications so much to be desired in a Judge of the Supreme Court.
From a long acquaintance with Mr. Sherman, we are happy to be able to state to your Excellency that our minds are led to the conclusion that that gentleman possesses a disposition noble and generous, a mind discriminating, comprehensive, and combining a heart pure, benevolent and humane. Manners dignified, mild, and complaisant, and a firmness not to be shaken and of unquestioned integrity.
But Mr. Sherman's character cannot be unknown to your Excellency, and on that acquaintance without further comment we might safely rest his pretensions.
We think we hazard little in assuring your Excellency that his appointment would give almost universal satisfaction to the citizens of Perry County.
With great consideration, we have the honor to be
Your Excellency's most obedient humble servants, CHARLES A. HOOD, GEORGE TREAT, PETER DITTOR, P. ODLIN, J. B. ORTEN, T. BECKWITH, WILLIAM P. DORST, JOHN MURRAY, JACOB MOINS, B. EATON, DANIEL GRIGGS, HENRY DITTOE, NICHOLAS McCARTY.
His Excellency ETHAN A. BROWN, Governor of Ohio, Columbus.
He was soon after appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court, and served in that capacity to the day of his death.
My memory extends back to about 1827, and I recall him, returning home on horseback, when all the boys used to run and contend for the privilege of riding his horse from the front door back to the stable. On one occasion, I was the first, and being mounted rode to the stable; but "Old Dick" was impatient because the stable-door was not opened promptly, so he started for the barn of our neighbor Mr. King; there, also, no one was in waiting to open the gate, and, after a reasonable time, "Dick" started back for home somewhat in a hurry, and threw me among a pile of stones, in front of preacher Wright's house, where I was picked up apparently a dead boy; but my time was not yet, and I recovered, though the scars remain to this day.
The year 1829 was a sad one to our family. We were then ten children, my eldest brother Charles absent at the State University, Athens, Ohio; my next brother, James, in a store at Cincinnati; and the rest were at home, at school. Father was away on the circuit. One day Jane Sturgeon came to the school, called us out, and when we reached home all was lamentation: news had come that father was ill unto death, at Lebanon, a hundred miles away. Mother started at once, by coach, but met the news of his death about Washington, and returned home. He had ridden on horseback from Cincinnati to Lebanon to hold court, during a hot day in June. On the next day he took his seat on the bench, opened court in the forenoon, but in the afternoon, after recess, was seized with a severe chill and had to adjourn the court. The best medical aid was called in, and for three days with apparent success, but the fever then assumed a more dangerous type, and he gradually yielded to it, dying on the sixth day, viz., June 24, 1829.
My brother James had been summoned from Cincinnati, and was present at his bedside, as was also Henry Stoddard, Esq., of Dayton, Ohio, our cousin. Mr. Stoddard once told me that the cause of my father's death was cholera; but at that time, 1829, there was no Asiatic cholera in the United States, and the family, attributed his death to exposure to the hot sun of June, and a consequent fever, "typhoid."
From the resolutions of the bench, bar, and public generally, now in my possession, his death was universally deplored; more especially by his neighbors in Lancaster, and by the Society of Freemasons, of which he was the High-Priest of Arch Chapter No. 11.
His death left the family very poor, but friends rose up with proffers of generous care and assistance; for all the neighbors knew that mother could not maintain so large a family without help. My eldest brother, Charles, had nearly completed his education at the university at Athens, and concluded to go to his uncle, Judge Parker, at Mansfield, Ohio, to study law. My eldest sister, Elizabeth, soon after married William J. Reese, Esq.; James was already in a store at Cincinnati; and, with the exception of the three youngest children, the rest of us were scattered. I fell to the charge of the Hon. Thomas Ewing, who took me to his family, and ever after treated me as his own son.
I continued at the Academy in Lancaster, which was the best in the place; indeed, as good a school as any in Ohio. We studied all the common branches of knowledge, including Latin, Greek, and French. At first the school was kept by Mr. Parsons; he was succeeded by Mr. Brown, and he by two brothers, Samuel and Mark How. These were all excellent teachers, and we made good progress, first at the old academy and afterward at a new school-house, built by Samuel How, in the orchard of Hugh Boyle, Esq.
Time passed with us as with boys generally. Mr. Ewing was in the United States Senate, and I was notified to prepare for West Point, of which institution we had little knowledge, except that it was very strict, and that the army was its natural consequence. In 1834 I was large for my age, and the construction of canals was the rage in Ohio. A canal was projected to connect with the great Ohio Canal at Carroll (eight miles above Lancaster), down the valley of the Hock Hocking to Athens (forty-four miles), and thence to the Ohio River by slack water.
Preacher Carpenter, of Lancaster, was appointed to make the preliminary surveys, and selected the necessary working party out of the boys of the town. From our school were chosen _Wilson, Emanuel Geisy, William King, and myself. Geisy and I were the rod-men. We worked during that fall and next spring, marking two experimental lines, and for our work we each received a silver half-dollar for each day's actual work, the first money any of us had ever earned.
In June, 1835, one of our school-fellows, William Irvin, was appointed a cadet to West Point, and, as it required sixteen years of age for admission, I had to wait another year. During the autumn of 1835 and spring of 1836 I devoted myself chiefly to mathematics and French, which were known to be the chief requisites for admission to West Point.
Some time in the spring of 1836 I received through Mr. Ewing, then at Washington, from the Secretary of War, Mr. Poinsett, the letter of appointment as a cadet, with a list of the articles of clothing necessary to be taken along, all of which were liberally provided by Mrs. Ewing; and with orders to report to Mr. Ewing, at Washington, by a certain date, I left Lancaster about the 20th of May in the stage-coach for Zanesville. There we transferred to the coaches of the Great National Road, the highway of travel from the West to the East. The stages generally travelled in gangs of from one to six coaches, each drawn by four good horses, carrying nine passengers inside and three or four outside.
In about three days, travelling day and night, we reached Frederick, Maryland. There we were told that we could take rail-cars to Baltimore, and thence to Washington; but there was also a two-horse hack ready to start for Washington direct. Not having full faith in the novel and dangerous railroad, I stuck to the coach, and in the night reached Gadsby's Hotel in Washington City.
The next morning I hunted up Mr. Ewing, and found him boarding with a mess of Senators at Mrs. Hill's, corner of Third and C Streets, and transferred my trunk to the same place. I spent a week in Washington, and think I saw more of the place in that time than I ever have since in the many years of residence there. General Jackson was President, and was at the zenith of his fame. I recall looking at him a full hour, one morning, through the wood railing on Pennsylvania Avenue, as he paced up and down the gravel walk on the north front of the White House. He wore a cap and an overcoat so full that his form seemed smaller than I had expected. I also recall the appearance of Postmaster-General Amos Kendall, of Vice-President Van Buren, Messrs. Calhoun, Webster, Clay, Cass, Silas Wright, etc.
In due time I took my departure for West Point with Cadets Belt and Bronaugh. These were appointed cadets as from Ohio, although neither had ever seen that State. But in those days there were fewer applicants from Ohio than now, and near the close of the term the vacancies unasked for were usually filled from applicants on the spot. Neither of these parties, however, graduated, so the State of Ohio lost nothing. We went to Baltimore by rail, there took a boat up to Havre de Grace, then the rail to Wilmington, Delaware, and up the Delaware in a boat to Philadelphia. I staid over in Philadelphia one day at the old Mansion House, to visit the family of my brother-in-law, Mr. Reese. I found his father a fine sample of the old merchant gentleman, in a good house in Arch Street, with his accomplished daughters, who had been to Ohio, and whom I had seen there. From Philadelphia we took boat to Bordentown, rail to Amboy, and boat again to New York City, stopping at the American Hotel. I staid a week in New York City, visiting my uncle, Charles Hoyt, at his beautiful place on Brooklyn Heights, and my uncle James, then living in White Street. My friend William Scott was there, the young husband of my cousin, Louise Hoyt; a neatly-dressed young fellow, who looked on me as an untamed animal just caught in the far West—"fit food for gunpowder," and good for nothing else.
About June 12th I embarked in the steamer Cornelius Vanderbilt for West Point; registered in the office of Lieutenant C. F. Smith, Adjutant of the Military Academy, as a new cadet of the class of 1836, and at once became installed as the "plebe" of my fellow-townsman, William Irvin, then entering his Third Class.
Colonel R. E. De Russy was Superintendent; Major John Fowle, Sixth United States Infantry, Commandant. The principal Professors were: Mahan, Engineering; Bartlett, Natural Philosophy; Bailey, Chemistry; Church, Mathematics; Weir, Drawing; and Berard, French.
The routine of military training and of instruction was then fully established, and has remained almost the same ever since. To give a mere outline would swell this to an inconvenient size, and I therefore merely state that I went through the regular course of four years, graduating in June, 1840, number six in a class of forty-three. These forty-three were all that remained of more than one hundred which originally constituted the class. At the Academy I was not considered a good soldier, for at no time was I selected for any office, but remained a private throughout the whole four years. Then, as now, neatness in dress and form, with a strict conformity to the rules, were the qualifications required for office, and I suppose I was found not to excel in any of these. In studies I always held a respectable reputation with the professors, and generally ranked among the best, especially in drawing, chemistry, mathematics, and natural philosophy. My average demerits, per annum, were about one hundred and fifty, which. reduced my final class standing from number four to six.
In June, 1840, after the final examination, the class graduated and we received our diplomas. Meantime, Major Delafield, United States Engineers, had become Superintendent; Major C. F. Smith, Commandant of Cadets; but the corps of professors and assistants remained almost unchanged during our whole term. We were all granted the usual furlough of three months, and parted for our homes, there to await assignment to our respective corps and regiments. In due season I was appointed and commissioned second-lieutenant, Third Artillery, and ordered to report at Governor's Island, New York Harbor, at the end of September. I spent my furlough mostly at Lancaster and Mansfield, Ohio; toward the close of September returned to New York, reported to Major Justin Dimock, commanding the recruiting rendezvous at Governor's Island, and was assigned to command a company of recruits preparing for service in Florida. Early in October this company was detailed, as one of four, to embark in a sailing-vessel for Savannah, Georgia, under command of Captain and Brevet Major Penrose. We embarked and sailed, reaching Savannah about the middle of October, where we transferred to a small steamer and proceeded by the inland route to St. Augustine, Florida. We reached St. Augustine at the same time with the Eighth Infantry, commanded by Colonel and Brevet Brigadier-General William J. Worth. At that time General Zachary Taylor was in chief command in Florida, and had his headquarters at Tampa Bay. My regiment, the Third Artillery, occupied the posts along the Atlantic coast of Florida, from St. Augustine south to Key Biscayne, and my own company, A, was at Fort Pierce, Indian River. At St. Augustine I was detached from the company of recruits, which was designed for the Second Infantry, and was ordered to join my proper company at Fort Pierce. Colonel William Gates commanded the regiment, with Lieutenant William Austine Brown as adjutant of the regiment. Lieutenant Bragg commanded the post of St. Augustine with his own company, E, and G (Garner's), then commanded by Lieutenant Judd. In, a few days I embarked in the little steamer William Gaston down the coast, stopping one day at New Smyrna, held by John R. Vinton's company (B), with which was serving Lieutenant William H. Shover.
In due season we arrived off the bar of Indian River and anchored. A whale-boat came off with a crew of four men, steered by a character of some note, known as the Pilot Ashlock. I transferred self and baggage to this boat, and, with the mails, was carried through the surf over the bar, into the mouth of Indian River Inlet. It was then dark; we transferred to a smaller boat, and the same crew pulled us up through a channel in the middle of Mangrove Islands, the roosting-place of thousands of pelicans and birds that rose in clouds and circled above our heads. The water below was alive with fish, whose course through it could be seen by the phosphoric wake; and Ashlock told me many a tale of the Indian war then in progress, and of his adventures in hunting and fishing, which he described as the best in the world. About two miles from the bar, we emerged into the lagoon, a broad expanse of shallow water that lies parallel with the coast, separated from it by a narrow strip of sand, backed by a continuous series of islands and promontories, covered with a dense growth of mangrove and saw-palmetto. Pulling across this lagoon, in about three more miles we approached the lights of Fort Pierce. Reaching a small wharf, we landed, and were met by the officers of the post, Lieutenants George Taylor and Edward J. Steptoe, and Assistant-Surgeon James Simons. Taking the mail-bag, we walked up a steep sand-bluff on which the fort was situated, and across the parade-ground to the officers' quarters. These were six or seven log-houses, thatched with palmetto-leaves, built on high posts, with a porch in front, facing the water. The men's quarters were also of logs forming the two sides of a rectangle, open toward the water; the intervals and flanks were closed with log stockades. I was assigned to one of these rooms, and at once began service with my company, A, then commanded by Lieutenant Taylor.
The season was hardly yet come for active operations against the Indians, so that the officers were naturally attracted to Ashlock, who was the best fisherman I ever saw. He soon initiated us into the mysteries of shark-spearing, trolling for red-fish, and taking the sheep's-head and mullet. These abounded so that we could at any time catch an unlimited quantity at pleasure. The companies also owned nets for catching green turtles. These nets had meshes about a foot square, were set across channels in the lagoon, the ends secured to stakes driven into the mad, the lower line sunk with lead or stone weights and the upper line floated with cork. We usually visited these nets twice a day, and found from one to six green turtles entangled in the meshes. Disengaging them, they were carried to pens, made with stakes stuck in the mud, where they were fed with mangrove-leaves, and our cooks had at all times an ample supply of the best of green turtles. They were so cheap and common that the soldiers regarded it as an imposition when compelled to eat green turtle steaks, instead of poor Florida beef, or the usual barrelled mess-pork. I do not recall in my whole experience a spot on earth where fish, oysters, and green turtles so abound as at Fort Pierce, Florida.
In November, Major Childs arrived with Lieutenant Van Vliet and a detachment of recruits to fill our two companies, and preparations were at once begun for active operations in the field. At that time the Indians in the Peninsula of Florida were scattered, and the war consisted in hunting up and securing the small fragments, to be sent to join the others of their tribe of Seminoles already established in the Indian Territory west of Arkansas. Our expeditions were mostly made in boats in the lagoons extending from the "Haul-over," near two hundred miles above the fort, down to Jupiter Inlet, about fifty miles below, and in the many streams which emptied therein. Many such expeditions were made during that winter, with more or less success, in which we succeeded in picking up small parties of men, women, and children. On one occasion, near the "Haul-over," when I was not present, the expedition was more successful. It struck a party of nearly fifty Indians, killed several warriors, and captured others. In this expedition my classmate, lieutenant Van Vliet, who was an excellent shot, killed a warrior who was running at full speed among trees, and one of the sergeants of our company (Broderick) was said to have dispatched three warriors, and it was reported that he took the scalp of one and brought it in to the fort as a trophy. Broderick was so elated that, on reaching the post, he had to celebrate his victory by a big drunk.
There was at the time a poor, weakly soldier of our company whose wife cooked for our mess. She was somewhat of a flirt, and rather fond of admiration. Sergeant Broderick was attracted to her, and hung around the mess-house more than the husband fancied; so he reported the matter to Lieutenant Taylor, who reproved Broderick for his behavior. A few days afterward the husband again appealed to his commanding officer (Taylor), who exclaimed: "Haven't you got a musket? Can't you defend your own family?" Very soon after a shot was heard down by the mess-house, and it transpired that the husband had actually shot Broderick, inflicting a wound which proved mortal. The law and army regulations required that the man should be sent to the nearest civil court, which was at St. Augustine; accordingly, the prisoner and necessary witnesses were sent up by the next monthly steamer. Among the latter were lieutenant Taylor and the pilot Ashlock.
After they had been gone about a month, the sentinel on the roof-top of our quarters reported the smoke of a steamer approaching the bar, and, as I was acting quartermaster, I took a boat and pulled down to get the mail. I reached the log-but in which the pilots lived, and saw them start with their boat across the bar, board the steamer, and then return. Ashlock was at his old post at the steering-oar, with two ladies, who soon came to the landing, having passed through a very heavy surf, and I was presented to one as Mrs. Ashlock, and the other as her sister, a very pretty little Minorcan girl of about fourteen years of age. Mrs. Ashlock herself was probably eighteen or twenty years old, and a very handsome woman. I was hurriedly informed that the murder trial was in progress at St. Augustine; that Ashlock had given his testimony, and had availed himself of the chance to take a wife to share with him the solitude of his desolate hut on the beach at Indian River. He had brought ashore his wife, her sister, and their chests, with the mail, and had orders to return immediately to the steamer (Gaston or Harney) to bring ashore some soldiers belonging to another company, E (Braggs), which had been ordered from St. Augustine to Fort Pierce. Ashlock left his wife and her sister standing on the beach near the pilot-hut, and started back with his whale-boat across the bar. I also took the mail and started up to the fort, and had hardly reached the wharf when I observed another boat following me. As soon as this reached the wharf the men reported that Ashlock and all his crew, with the exception of one man, had been drowned a few minutes after I had left the beach. They said his surf-boat had reached the steamer, had taken on board a load of soldiers, some eight or ten, and had started back through the surf, when on the bar a heavy breaker upset the boat, and all were lost except the boy who pulled the bow-oar, who clung to the rope or painter, hauled himself to the upset boat, held on, drifted with it outside the breakers, and was finally beached near a mile down the coast. They reported also that the steamer had got up anchor, run in as close to the bar as she could, paused awhile, and then had started down the coast.
I instantly took a fresh crew of soldiers and returned to the bar; there sat poor Mrs. Ashlock on her chest of clothes, a weeping widow, who had seen her husband perish amid sharks and waves; she clung to the hope that the steamer had picked him up, but, strange to say, he could not swim, although he had been employed on the water all his life.
Her sister was more demonstrative, and wailed as one lost to all hope and life. She appealed to us all to do miracles to save the struggling men in the waves, though two hours had already passed, and to have gone out then among those heavy breakers, with an inexperienced crew, would have been worse than suicide. All I could do was to reorganize the guard at the beach, take the two desolate females up to the fort, and give them the use of my own quarters. Very soon their anguish was quieted, and they began to look, for the return of their steamer with Ashlock and his rescued crew. The next day I went again to the beach with Lieutenant Ord, and we found that one or two bodies had been washed ashore, torn all to pieces by the sharks, which literally swarmed the inlet at every new tide. In a few days the weather moderated, and the steamer returned from the south, but the surf was so high that she anchored a mile off. I went out myself, in the whale or surf boat, over that terrible bar with a crew of soldiers, boarded the steamer, and learned that none other of Ashlock's crew except the one before mentioned had been saved; but, on the contrary, the captain of the steamer had sent one of his own boats to their rescue, which was likewise upset in the surf, and, out of the three men in her, one had drifted back outside the breakers, clinging to the upturned boat, and was picked up. This sad and fatal catastrophe made us all afraid of that bar, and in returning to the shore I adopted the more prudent course of beaching the boat below the inlet, which insured us a good ducking, but was attended with less risk to life.
I had to return to the fort and bear to Mrs. Ashlock the absolute truth, that her husband was lost forever.
Meantime her sister had entirely recovered her equilibrium, and being the guest of the officers, who were extremely courteous to her, she did not lament so loudly the calamity that saved them a long life of banishment on the beach of Indian River. By the first opportunity they were sent back to St. Augustine, the possessors of all of Ashlock's worldly goods and effects, consisting of a good rifle, several cast-nets, hand-lines, etc., etc., besides some three hundred dollars in money, which was due him by the quartermaster for his services as pilot. I afterward saw these ladies at St. Augustine, and years afterward the younger one came to Charleston, South Carolina, the wife of the somewhat famous Captain Thistle, agent for the United States for live-oak in Florida, who was noted as the first of the troublesome class of inventors of modern artillery. He was the inventor of a gun that "did not recoil at all," or "if anything it recoiled a little forward."
One day, in the summer of 1841, the sentinel on the housetop at Fort Pierce called out, "Indians! Indians!" Everybody sprang to his gun, the companies formed promptly on the parade-ground, and soon were reported as approaching the post, from the pine-woods in rear, four Indians on horseback. They rode straight up to the gateway, dismounted, and came in. They were conducted by the officer of the day to the commanding officer, Major Childs, who sat on the porch in front of his own room. After the usual pause, one of them, a black man named Joe, who spoke English, said they had been sent in by Coacoochee (Wild Cat), one of the most noted of the Seminole chiefs, to see the big chief of the post. He gradually unwrapped a piece of paper, which was passed over to Major Childs, who read it, and it was in the nature of a "Safe Guard" for "Wild Cat" to come into Fort Pierce to receive provisions and assistance while collecting his tribe, with the purpose of emigrating to their reservation west of Arkansas. The paper was signed by General Worth, who had succeeded General Taylor, at Tampa Bay, in command of all the troops in Florida. Major Childs inquired, "Where is Coacoochee?" and was answered, "Close by," when Joe explained that he had been sent in by his chief to see if the paper was all right. Major Childs said it was "all right," and that Coacoochee ought to come in himself. Joe offered to go out and bring him in, when Major Childs ordered me to take eight or ten mounted men and go out to escort him in. Detailing ten men to saddle up, and taking Joe and one Indian boy along on their own ponies, I started out under their guidance.
We continued to ride five or six miles, when I began to suspect treachery, of which I had heard so much in former years, and had been specially cautioned against by the older officers; but Joe always answered, "Only a little way." At last we approached one of those close hammocks, so well known in Florida, standing like an island in the interminable pine-forest, with a pond of water near it. On its edge I noticed a few Indians loitering, which Joe pointed out as the place. Apprehensive of treachery, I halted the guard, gave orders to the sergeant to watch me closely, and rode forward alone with the two Indian guides. As we neared the hammock, about a dozen Indian warriors rose up and waited for us. When in their midst I inquired for the chief, Coacoochee. He approached my horse and, slapping his breast, said, "Me Coacoochee." He was a very handsome young Indian warrior, not more than twenty-five years old, but in his then dress could hardly be distinguished from the rest. I then explained to him, through Joe, that I had been sent by my "chief" to escort him into the fort. He wanted me to get down and "talk" I told him that I had no "talk" in me, but that, on his reaching the post, he could talk as much as he pleased with the "big chief," Major Childs. They all seemed to be indifferent, and in no hurry; and I noticed that all their guns were leaning against a tree. I beckoned to the sergeant, who advanced rapidly with his escort, and told him to secure the rifles, which he proceeded to do. Coacoochee pretended to be very angry, but I explained to him that his warriors were tired and mine were not, and that the soldiers would carry the guns on their horses. I told him I would provide him a horse to ride, and the sooner he was ready the better for all. He then stripped, washed himself in the pond, and began to dress in all his Indian finery, which consisted of buckskin leggins, moccasins, and several shirts. He then began to put on vests, one after another, and one of them had the marks of a bullet, just above the pocket, with the stain of blood. In the pocket was a one-dollar Tallahassee Bank note, and the rascal had the impudence to ask me to give him silver coin for that dollar. He had evidently killed the wearer, and was disappointed because the pocket contained a paper dollar instead of one in silver. In due time he was dressed with turban and ostrich-feathers, and mounted the horse reserved for him, and thus we rode back together to Fort Pierce. Major Childs and all the officers received him on the porch, and there we had a regular "talk." Coacoochee "was tired of the war." "His people were scattered and it would take a 'moon' to collect them for emigration," and he "wanted rations for that time," etc., etc.
All this was agreed to, and a month was allowed for him to get ready with his whole band (numbering some one hundred and fifty or one hundred and sixty) to migrate. The "talk" then ceased, and Coacoochee and his envoys proceeded to get regularly drunk, which was easily done by the agency of commissary whiskey. They staid at Fort Pierce daring the night, and the next day departed. Several times during the month there came into the post two or more of these same Indians, always to beg for something to eat or drink, and after a full month Coacoochee and about twenty of his warriors came in with several ponies, but with none of their women or children. Major Childs had not from the beginning the least faith in his sincerity; had made up his mind to seize the whole party and compel them to emigrate. He arranged for the usual council, and instructed Lieutenant Taylor to invite Coacoochee and his uncle (who was held to be a principal chief) to his room to take some good brandy, instead of the common commissary whiskey. At a signal agreed on I was to go to the quarters of Company A, to dispatch the first-sergeant and another man to Lieutenant Taylor's room, there to seize the two chiefs and secure them; and with the company I was to enter Major Childs's room and secure the remainder of the party. Meantime Lieutenant Van Vliet was ordered to go to the quarters of his company, F, and at the same signal to march rapidly to the rear of the officers' quarters, so as to catch any who might attempt to escape by the open windows to the rear.
All resulted exactly as prearranged, and in a few minutes the whole party was in irons. At first they claimed that we had acted treacherously, but very soon they admitted that for a month Coacoochee had been quietly removing his women and children toward Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades; and that this visit to our post was to have been their last. It so happened that almost at the instant of our seizing these Indians a vessel arrived off the bar with reenforcements from St. Augustine. These were brought up to Fort Pierce, and we marched that night and next day rapidly, some fifty miles, to Lake Okeechobee, in hopes to capture the balance of the tribe, especially the families, but they had taken the alarm and escaped. Coacoochee and his warriors were sent by Major Childs in a schooner to New Orleans en route to their reservation, but General Worth recalled them to Tampa Bay, and by sending out Coacoochee himself the women and children came in voluntarily, and then all were shipped to their destination. This was a heavy loss to the Seminoles, but there still remained in the Peninsula a few hundred warriors with their families scattered into very small parcels, who were concealed in the most inaccessible hammocks and swamps. These had no difficulty in finding plenty of food anywhere and everywhere. Deer and wild turkey were abundant, and as for fish there was no end to them. Indeed, Florida was the Indian's paradise, was of little value to us, and it was a great pity to remove the Seminoles at all, for we could have collected there all the Choctaws, Creeks, Cherokees, and Chickasaws, in addition to the Seminoles. They would have thrived in the Peninsula, whereas they now occupy lands that are very valuable, which are coveted by their white neighbors on all sides, while the Peninsula, of Florida still remains with a population less than should make a good State.
During that and preceding years General W. S. Harney had penetrated and crossed through the Everglades, capturing and hanging Chekika and his band, and had brought in many prisoners, who were also shipped West. We at Fort Pierce made several other excursions to Jupiter, Lake Worth, Lauderdale, and into the Everglades, picking up here and there a family, so that it was absurd any longer to call it a "war." These excursions, however, possessed to us a peculiar charm, for the fragrance of the air, the abundance of game and fish, and just enough of adventure, gave to life a relish. I had just returned to Lauderdale from one of these scouts with Lieutenants Rankin, Ord, George H. Thomas, Field, Van Vliet, and others, when I received notice of my promotion to be first lieutenant of Company G, which occurred November 30, 1841, and I was ordered to return to Fort Pierce, turn over the public property for which I was accountable to Lieutenant H. S. Burton, and then to join my new company at St. Augustine.
I reached St. Augustine before Christmas, and was assigned to command a detachment of twenty men stationed at Picolata, on the St. John's River, eighteen miles distant. At St. Augustine were still the headquarters of the regiment, Colonel William Gates, with Company E, Lieutenant Bragg, and Company G, Lieutenant H. B. Judd. The only buildings at Picolata were the one occupied by my detachment, which had been built for a hospital, and the dwelling of a family named Williams, with whom I boarded. On the other hand, St. Augustine had many pleasant families, among whom was prominent that of United States Judge Bronson. I was half my time in St. Augustine or on the road, and remember the old place with pleasure. In February we received orders transferring the whole regiment to the Gulf posts, and our company, G, was ordered to escort Colonel Gates and his family across to the Suwanee River, en route for Pensacola. The company, with the colonel and his family, reached Picolata (where my detachment joined), and we embarked in a steamboat for Pilatka. Here Lieutenant Judd discovered that he had forgotten something and had to return to St. Augustine, so that I commanded the company on the march, having with me Second-Lieutenant George B. Ayres. Our first march was to Fort Russell, then Micanopy, Wacahoota, and Wacasassee, all which posts were garrisoned by the Second or Seventh Infantry. At Wacasassee we met General Worth and his staff, en route for Pilatka. Lieutenant Judd overtook us about the Suwanee, where we embarked on a small boat for Cedar Keys, and there took a larger one for Pensacola, where the colonel and his family landed, and our company proceeded on in the same vessel to our post—Fort Morgan, Mobile Point.
This fort had not been occupied by troops for many years, was very dirty, and we found little or no stores there. Major Ogden, of the engineers, occupied a house outside the fort. I was quartermaster and commissary, and, taking advantage of one of the engineer schooners engaged in bringing materials for the fort, I went up to Mobile city, and, through the agency of Messrs. Deshon, Taylor, and Myers, merchants, procured all essentials for the troops, and returned to the post. In the course of a week or ten days arrived another company, H, commanded by Lieutenant James Ketchum, with Lieutenants Rankin and Sewall L. Fish, and an assistant surgeon (Wells.) Ketchum became the commanding officer, and Lieutenant Rankin quartermaster. We proceeded to put the post in as good order as possible; had regular guard-mounting and parades, but little drill. We found magnificent fishing with the seine on the outer beach, and sometimes in a single haul we would take ten or fifteen barrels of the best kind of fish, embracing pompinos, red-fish, snappers, etc.
We remained there till June, when the regiment was ordered to exchange from the Gulf posts to those on the Atlantic, extending from Savannah to North Carolina. The brig Wetumpka was chartered, and our company (G) embarked and sailed to Pensacola, where we took on board another company (D) (Burke's), commanded by Lieutenant H. S. Burton, with Colonel Gates, the regimental headquarters, and some families. From Pensacola we sailed for Charleston, South Carolina. The weather was hot, the winds light, and we made a long passage but at last reached Charleston Harbor, disembarked, and took post in Fort Moultrie.
Soon after two other companies arrived, Bragg's (B) and Keyes's (K). The two former companies were already quartered inside of Fort Moultrie, and these latter were placed in gun-sheds, outside, which were altered into barracks. We remained at Fort Moultrie nearly five years, until the Mexican War scattered us forever. Our life there was of strict garrison duty, with plenty of leisure for hunting and social entertainments. We soon formed many and most pleasant acquaintances in the city of Charleston; and it so happened that many of the families resided at Sullivan's Island in the summer season, where we could reciprocate the hospitalities extended to us in the winter.
During the summer of 1843, having been continuously on duty for three years, I applied for and received a leave of absence for three months, which I spent mostly in Ohio. In November I started to return to my post at Charleston by way of New Orleans; took the stage to Chillicothe, Ohio, November 16th, having Henry Stanberry, Esq., and wife, as travelling companions, We continued by stage. next day to Portsmouth, Ohio.
At Portsmouth Mr. Stanberry took a boat up the river, and I one down to Cincinnati. There I found my brothers Lampson and Hoyt employed in the "Gazette" printing-office, and spent much time with them and Charles Anderson, Esq., visiting his brother Larz, Mr. Longworth, some of his artist friends, and especially Miss Sallie Carneal, then quite a belle, and noted for her fine voice,
On the 20th I took passage on the steamboat Manhattan for St. Louis; reached Louisville, where Dr. Conrad, of the army, joined me, and in the Manhattan we continued on to St. Louis, with a mixed crowd. We reached the Mississippi at Cairo the 23d, and St. Louis, Friday, November 24, 1843. At St. Louis we called on Colonel S. W. Kearney and Major Cooper, his adjutant-general, and found my classmate, Lieutenant McNutt, of the ordnance, stationed at the arsenal; also Mr. Deas, an artist, and Pacificus Ord, who was studying law. I spent a week at St. Louis, visiting the arsenal, Jefferson Barracks, and most places of interest, and then became impressed with its great future. It then contained about forty thousand people, and my notes describe thirty-six good steamboats receiving and discharging cargo at the levee.
I took passage December 4th in the steamer John Aull for New Orleans. As we passed Cairo the snow was falling, and the country was wintery and devoid of verdure. Gradually, however, as we proceeded south, the green color came; grass and trees showed the change of latitude, and when in the course of a week we had reached New Orleans, the roses were in full bloom, the sugar-cane just ripe, and a tropical air prevalent. We reached New Orleans December 11, 1843, where I spent about a week visiting the barracks, then occupied by the Seventh Infantry; the theatres, hotels, and all the usual places of interest of that day.
On the 16th of December I continued on to Mobile in the steamer Fashion by way of Lake Pontchartrain; saw there most of my personal friends, Mr. and Mrs. Bull, Judge Bragg and his brother Dunbar, Deshon, Taylor, and Myers, etc., and on the 19th of December took passage in the steamboat Bourbon for Montgomery, Alabama, by way of the Alabama River. We reached Montgomery at noon, December 23d, and took cars at 1 p. m. for Franklin, forty miles, which we reached at 7 p. m., thence stages for Griffin, Georgia, via La Grange and Greenville. This took the whole night of the 23d and the day of the 24th. At Griffin we took cars for Macon, and thence to Savannah, which we reached Christmas-night, finding Lieutenants Ridgley and Ketchum at tea, where we were soon joined by Rankin and Beckwith.
On the 26th I took the boat for Charleston, reaching my post, and reported for duty Wednesday morning, December 27, 1843.
I had hardly got back to my post when, on the 21st of January, 1844, I received from Lieutenant R. P. Hammond, at Marietta, Georgia, an intimation that Colonel Churchill, Inspector-General of the Army, had applied for me to assist him in taking depositions in upper Georgia and Alabama; concerning certain losses by volunteers in Florida of horses and equipments by reason of the failure of the United States to provide sufficient forage, and for which Congress had made an appropriation. On the 4th of February the order came from the Adjutant-General in Washington for me to proceed to Marietta, Georgia, and report to Inspector-General Churchill. I was delayed till the 14th of February by reason of being on a court-martial, when I was duly relieved and started by rail to Augusta, Georgia, and as far as Madison, where I took the mail-coach, reaching Marietta on the 17th. There I reported for duty to Colonel Churchill, who was already engaged on his work, assisted by Lieutenant R. P. Hammond, Third Artillery, and a citizen named Stockton. The colonel had his family with him, consisting of Mrs. Churchill, Mary, now Mrs. Professor Baird, and Charles Churchill, then a boy of about fifteen years of age.
We all lived in a tavern, and had an office convenient. The duty consisted in taking individual depositions of the officers and men who had composed two regiments and a battalion of mounted volunteers that had served in Florida. An oath was administered to each man by Colonel Churchill, who then turned the claimant over to one of us to take down and record his deposition according to certain forms, which enabled them to be consolidated and tabulated. We remained in Marietta about six weeks, during which time I repeatedly rode to Kenesaw Mountain, and over the very ground where afterward, in 1864, we had some hard battles.
After closing our business at Marietta the colonel ordered us to transfer our operations to Bellefonte, Alabama. As he proposed to take his family and party by the stage, Hammond lent me his riding-horse, which I rode to Allatoona and the Etowah River. Hearing of certain large Indian mounds near the way, I turned to one side to visit them, stopping a couple of days with Colonel Lewis Tumlin, on whose plantation these mounds were. We struck up such an acquaintance that we corresponded for some years, and as I passed his plantation during the war, in 1864, I inquired for him, but he was not at home. From Tumlin's I rode to Rome, and by way of Wills Valley over Sand Mountain and the Raccoon Range to the Tennessee River at Bellefonte, Alabama. We all assembled there in March, and continued our work for nearly two months, when, having completed the business, Colonel Churchill, with his family, went North by way of Nashville; Hammond, Stockton, and I returning South on horseback, by Rome, Allatoona, Marietta, Atlanta, and Madison, Georgia. Stockton stopped at Marietta, where he resided. Hammond took the cars at Madison, and I rode alone to Augusta, Georgia, where I left the horse and returned to Charleston and Fort Moultrie by rail.
Thus by a mere accident I was enabled to traverse on horseback the very ground where in after-years I had to conduct vast armies and fight great battles. That the knowledge thus acquired was of infinite use to me, and consequently to the Government, I have always felt and stated.
During the autumn of 1844, a difficulty arose among the officers of Company B, Third Artillery (John R. Yinton's), garrisoning Augusta Arsenal, and I was sent up from Fort Moultrie as a sort of peace-maker. After staying there some months, certain transfers of officers were made, which reconciled the difficulty, and I returned to my post, Fort Moultrie. During that winter, 1844-'45, I was visiting at the plantation of Mr. Poyas, on the east branch of the Cooper, about fifty miles from Fort Moultrie, hunting deer with his son James, and Lieutenant John F. Reynolds, Third Artillery. We had taken our stands, and a deer came out of the swamp near that of Mr. James Poyas, who fired, broke the leg of the deer, which turned back into the swamp and came out again above mine. I could follow his course by the cry of the hounds, which were in close pursuit. Hastily mounting my horse, I struck across the pine-woods to head the deer off, and when at full career my horse leaped a fallen log and his fore-foot caught one of those hard, unyielding pineknots that brought him with violence to the ground. I got up as quick as possible, and found my right arm out of place at the shoulder, caused by the weight of the double-barrelled gun.
Seeing Reynolds at some distance, I called out lustily and brought him to me. He soon mended the bridle and saddle, which had been broken by the fall, helped me on my horse, and we followed the coarse of the hounds. At first my arm did not pain me much, but it soon began to ache so that it was almost unendurable. In about three miles we came to a negro hut, where I got off and rested till Reynolds could overtake Poyas and bring him back. They came at last, but by that time the arm was so swollen and painful that I could not ride. They rigged up an old gig belonging to the negro, in which I was carried six miles to the plantation of Mr. Poyas, Sr. A neighboring physician was sent for, who tried the usual methods of setting the arm, but without success; each time making the operation more painful. At last he sent off, got a set of double pulleys and cords, with which he succeeded in extending the muscles and in getting the bone into place. I then returned to Fort Moultrie, but being disabled, applied for a short leave and went North.
I started January 25,1845; went to Washington, Baltimore, and Lancaster, Ohio, whence I went to Mansfield, and thence back by Newark to Wheeling, Cumberland, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, whence I sailed back for Charleston on the ship Sullivan, reaching Fort Moultrie March 9, 1845.
About that time (March 1, 1845) Congress had, by a joint resolution, provided for the annexation of Texas, then an independent Republic, subject to certain conditions requiring the acceptance of the Republic of Texas to be final and conclusive. We all expected war as a matter of course. At that time General Zachary Taylor had assembled a couple of regiments of infantry and one of dragoons at Fort Jessup, Louisiana, and had orders to extend military protection to Texas against the Indians, or a "foreign enemy," the moment the terms of annexation were accepted. He received notice of such acceptance July 7th, and forthwith proceeded to remove his troops to Corpus Christi, Texas, where, during the summer and fall of 1845, was assembled that force with which, in the spring of 1846, was begun the Mexican War.
Some time during that summer came to Fort Moultrie orders for sending Company E, Third Artillery, Lieutenant Bragg, to New Orleans, there to receive a battery of field-guns, and thence to the camp of General Taylor at Corpus Christi. This was the first company of our regiment sent to the seat of war, and it embarked on the brig Hayne. This was the only company that left Fort Moultrie till after I was detached for recruiting service on the 1st of May, 1846.
Inasmuch as Charleston afterward became famous, as the spot where began our civil war, a general description of it, as it was in 1846, will not be out of place.
The city lies on a long peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers—a low, level peninsula, of sand. Meeting Street is its Broadway, with King Street, next west and parallel, the street of shops and small stores. These streets are crossed at right angles by many others, of which Broad Street was the principal; and the intersection of Meeting and Broad was the heart of the city, marked by the Guard-House and St. Michael's Episcopal Church. The Custom-House, Post-Office, etc., were at the foot of Broad Street, near the wharves of the Cooper River front. At the extremity of the peninsula was a drive, open to the bay, and faced by some of the handsomest houses of the city, called the "Battery." Looking down the bay on the right, was James Island, an irregular triangle of about seven miles, the whole island in cultivation with sea-island cotton. At the lower end was Fort Johnson, then simply the station of Captain Bowman, United States Engineers, engaged in building Fort Sumter. This fort (Sumter) was erected on an artificial island nearly in mid-channel, made by dumping rocks, mostly brought as ballast in cotton-ships from the North. As the rock reached the surface it was levelled, and made the foundation of Fort Sumter. In 1846 this fort was barely above the water. Still farther out beyond James Island, and separated from it by a wide space of salt marsh with crooked channels, was Morris Island, composed of the sand-dunes thrown up by the wind and the sea, backed with the salt marsh. On this was the lighthouse, but no people.
On the left, looking down the bay from the Battery of Charleston, was, first, Castle Pinckney, a round brick fort, of two tiers of guns, one in embrasure, the other in barbette, built on a marsh island, which was not garrisoned. Farther down the bay a point of the mainland reached the bay, where there was a group of houses, called Mount Pleasant; and at the extremity of the bay, distant six miles, was Sullivan's Island, presenting a smooth sand-beach to the sea, with the line of sand-hills or dunes thrown up by the waves and winds, and the usual backing of marsh and crooked salt-water channels.
At the shoulder of this island was Fort Moultrie, an irregular fort, without ditch or counterscarp, with a brick scarp wall about twelve feet high, which could be scaled anywhere, and this was surmounted by an earth parapet capable of mounting about forty twenty-four and thirty-two pounder smooth-bore iron guns. Inside the fort were three two-story brick barracks, sufficient to quarter the officers and men of two companies of artillery.
At sea was the usual "bar," changing slightly from year to year, but generally the main ship-channel came from the south, parallel to Morris Island, till it was well up to Fort Moultrie, where it curved, passing close to Fort Sumter and up to the wharves of the city, which were built mostly along the Cooper River front.
Charleston was then a proud, aristocratic city, and assumed a leadership in the public opinion of the South far out of proportion to her population, wealth, or commerce. On more than one occasion previously, the inhabitants had almost inaugurated civil war, by their assertion and professed belief that each State had, in the original compact of government, reserved to itself the right to withdraw from the Union at its own option, whenever the people supposed they had sufficient cause. We used to discuss these things at our own mess-tables, vehemently and sometimes quite angrily; but I am sure that I never feared it would go further than it had already gone in the winter of 1832-'33, when the attempt at "nullification" was promptly suppressed by President Jackson's famous declaration, "The Union must and shall be preserved!" and by the judicious management of General Scott.
Still, civil war was to be; and, now that it has come and gone, we can rest secure in the knowledge that as the chief cause, slavery, has been eradicated forever, it is not likely to come again.
EARLY RECOLLECTIONS of CALIFORNIA.
In the spring of 1846 I was a first lieutenant of Company C,1, Third Artillery, stationed at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. The company was commanded by Captain Robert Anderson; Henry B. Judd was the senior first-lieutenant, and I was the junior first-lieutenant, and George B. Ayres the second-lieutenant. Colonel William Gates commanded the post and regiment, with First-Lieutenant William Austine as his adjutant. Two other companies were at the post, viz., Martin Burke's and E. D. Keyes's, and among the officers were T. W. Sherman, Morris Miller, H. B. Field, William Churchill, Joseph Stewart, and Surgeon McLaren.
The country now known as Texas had been recently acquired, and war with Mexico was threatening. One of our companies (Bragg's), with George H. Thomas, John F. Reynolds, and Frank Thomas, had gone the year previous and was at that time with General Taylor's army at Corpus Christi, Texas.
In that year (1846) I received the regular detail for recruiting service, with orders to report to the general superintendent at Governor's Island, New York; and accordingly left Fort Moultrie in the latter part of April, and reported to the superintendent, Colonel R. B. Mason, First Dragoons, at New York, on the 1st day of May. I was assigned to the Pittsburg rendezvous, whither I proceeded and relieved Lieutenant Scott. Early in May I took up my quarters at the St. Charles Hotel, and entered upon the discharge of my duties. There was a regular recruiting-station already established, with a sergeant, corporal, and two or three men, with a citizen physician, Dr. McDowell, to examine the recruits. The threatening war with Mexico made a demand for recruits, and I received authority to open another sub-rendezvous at Zanesville, Ohio, whither I took the sergeant and established him. This was very handy to me, as my home was at Lancaster, Ohio, only thirty-six miles off, so that I was thus enabled to visit my friends there quite often.
In the latter part of May, when at Wheeling, Virginia, on my way back from Zanesville to Pittsburg, I heard the first news of the battle of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, which occurred on the 8th and 9th of May, and, in common with everybody else, felt intensely excited. That I should be on recruiting service, when my comrades were actually fighting, was intolerable, and I hurried on to my post, Pittsburg. At that time the railroad did not extend west of the Alleghanies, and all journeys were made by stage-coaches. In this instance I traveled from Zanesville to Wheeling, thence to Washington (Pennsylvania), and thence to Pittsburg by stage-coach. On reaching Pittsburg I found many private letters; one from Ord, then a first-lieutenant in Company F, Third Artillery, at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, saying that his company had just received orders for California, and asking me to apply for it. Without committing myself to that project, I wrote to the Adjutant-General, R. Jones, at Washington, D. C., asking him to consider me as an applicant for any active service, and saying that I would willingly forego the recruiting detail, which I well knew plenty of others would jump at. Impatient to approach the scene of active operations, without authority (and I suppose wrongfully), I left my corporal in charge of the rendezvous, and took all the recruits I had made, about twenty-five, in a steamboat to Cincinnati, and turned them over to Major N. C. McCrea, commanding at Newport Barracks. I then reported in Cincinnati, to the superintendent of the Western recruiting service, Colonel Fanning, an old officer with one arm, who inquired by what authority I had come away from my post. I argued that I took it for granted he wanted all the recruits he could get to forward to the army at Brownsville, Texas; and did not know but that he might want me to go along. Instead of appreciating my volunteer zeal, he cursed and swore at me for leaving my post without orders, and told me to go back to Pittsburg. I then asked for an order that would entitle me to transportation back, which at first he emphatically refused, but at last he gave the order, and I returned to Pittsburg, all the way by stage, stopping again at Lancaster, where I attended the wedding of my schoolmate Mike Effinger, and also visited my sub-rendezvous at Zanesville. R. S. Ewell, of my class, arrived to open a cavalry rendezvous, but, finding my depot there, he went on to Columbus, Ohio. Tom Jordan afterward was ordered to Zanesville, to take charge of that rendezvous, under the general War Department orders increasing the number of recruiting-stations. I reached Pittsburg late in June, and found the order relieving me from recruiting service, and detailing my classmate H. B. Field to my place. I was assigned to Company F, then under orders for California. By private letters from Lieutenant Ord, I heard that the company had already started from Fort McHenry for Governor's Island, New York Harbor, to take passage for California in a naval transport. I worked all that night, made up my accounts current, and turned over the balance of cash to the citizen physician, Dr. McDowell; and also closed my clothing and property returns, leaving blank receipts with the same gentleman for Field's signature, when he should get there, to be forwarded to the Department at Washington, and the duplicates to me. These I did not receive for more than a year. I remember that I got my orders about 8 p. m. one night, and took passage in the boat for Brownsville, the next morning traveled by stage from Brownsville to Cumberland, Maryland, and thence by cars to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, in a great hurry lest the ship might sail without me. I found Company F at Governor's Island, Captain C. Q. Tompkins in command, Lieutenant E. O. C. Ord senior first-lieutenant, myself junior first-lieutenant, Lucien Loeser and Charles Minor the second-lieutenants.
The company had been filled up to one hundred privates, twelve non-commissioned officers, and one ordnance sergeant (Layton), making one hundred and thirteen enlisted men and five officers. Dr. James L. Ord had been employed as acting assistant surgeon to accompany the expedition, and Lieutenant H. W. Halleck, of the engineers, was also to go along. The United States store-ship Lexington was then preparing at the Navy-Yard, Brooklyn, to carry us around Cape Horn to California. She was receiving on board the necessary stores for the long voyage, and for service after our arrival there. Lieutenant-Commander Theodorus Bailey was in command of the vessel, Lieutenant William H. Macomb executive officer, and Passed-Midshipmen Muse, Spotts, and J. W. A. Nicholson, were the watch-officers; Wilson purser, and Abernethy surgeon. The latter was caterer of the mess, and we all made an advance of cash for him to lay in the necessary mess-stores. To enable us to prepare for so long a voyage and for an indefinite sojourn in that far-off country, the War Department had authorized us to draw six months' pay in advance, which sum of money we invested in surplus clothing and such other things as seemed to us necessary. At last the ship was ready, and was towed down abreast of Fort Columbus, where we were conveyed on board, and on the 14th of July, 1846, we were towed to sea by a steam-tug, and cast off: Colonel R. B. Mason, still superintendent of the general recruiting service, accompanied us down the bay and out to sea, returning with the tug. A few other friends were of the party, but at last they left us, and we were alone upon the sea, and the sailors were busy with the sails and ropes. The Lexington was an old ship, changed from a sloop-of-war to a store-ship, with an after-cabin, a "ward-room," and "between-decks." In the cabin were Captains Bailey and Tompkins, with whom messed the purser, Wilson. In the ward-room were all the other officers, two in each state-room; and Minor, being an extra lieutenant, had to sleep in a hammock slung in the ward-room. Ord and I roomed together; Halleck and Loeser and the others were scattered about. The men were arranged in bunks "between-decks," one set along the sides of the ship, and another, double tier, amidships. The crew were slung in hammocks well forward. Of these there were about fifty. We at once subdivided the company into four squads, under the four lieutenants of the company, and arranged with the naval officers that our men should serve on deck by squads, after the manner of their watches; that the sailors should do all the work aloft, and the soldiers on deck.
On fair days we drilled our men at the manual, and generally kept them employed as much as possible, giving great attention to the police and cleanliness of their dress and bunks; and so successful were we in this, that, though the voyage lasted nearly two hundred days, every man was able to leave the ship and march up the hill to the fort at Monterey, California, carrying his own knapsack and equipments.
The voyage from New York to Rio Janeiro was without accident or any thing to vary the usual monotony. We soon settled down to the humdrum of a long voyage, reading some, not much; playing games, but never gambling; and chiefly engaged in eating our meals regularly. In crossing the equator we had the usual visit of Neptune and his wife, who, with a large razor and a bucket of soapsuds, came over the sides and shaved some of the greenhorns; but naval etiquette exempted the officers, and Neptune was not permitted to come aft of the mizzen-mast. At last, after sixty days of absolute monotony, the island of Raza, off Rio Janeiro, was descried, and we slowly entered the harbor, passing a fort on our right hand, from which came a hail, in the Portuguese language, from a huge speaking-trumpet, and our officer of the deck answered back in gibberish, according to a well-understood custom of the place. Sugar-loaf Mountain, on the south of the entrance, is very remarkable and well named; is almost conical, with a slight lean. The man-of-war anchorage is about five miles inside the heads, directly in front of the city of Rio Janeiro. Words will not describe the beauty of this perfect harbor, nor the delightful feeling after a long voyage of its fragrant airs, and the entire contrast between all things there and what we had left in New York.
We found the United Staten frigate Columbia anchored there, and after the Lexington was properly moored, nearly all the officers went on shore for sight-seeing and enjoyment. We landed at a wharf opposite which was a famous French restaurant, Farroux, and after ordering supper we all proceeded to the Rua da Ouvador, where most of the shops were, especially those for making feather flowers, as much to see the pretty girls as the flowers which they so skillfully made; thence we went to the theatre, where, besides some opera, we witnessed the audience and saw the Emperor Dom Pedro, and his Empress, the daughter of the King of Sicily. After the theatre, we went back to the restaurant, where we had an excellent supper, with fruits of every variety and excellence, such as we had never seen before, or even knew the names of. Supper being over, we called for the bill, and it was rendered in French, with Brazilian currency. It footed up some twenty-six thousand reis. The figures alarmed us, so we all put on the waiters' plate various coins in gold, which he took to the counter and returned the change, making the total about sixteen dollars. The millreis is about a dollar, but being a paper-money was at a discount, so as only to be worth about fifty-six cents in coin.
The Lexington remained in Rio about a week, during which we visited the Palace, a few miles in the country, also the Botanic Gardens, a place of infinite interest, with its specimens of tropical fruits, spices; etc., etc., and indeed every place of note. The thing I best recall is a visit Halleck and I made to the Corcovado, a high mountain whence the water is conveyed for the supply of the city. We started to take a walk, and passed along the aqueduct, which approaches the city by a aeries of arches; thence up the point of the hill to a place known as the Madre, or fountain, to which all the water that drips from the leaves is conducted by tile gutters, and is carried to the city by an open stone aqueduct.
Here we found Mr. Henry A. Wise, of Virginia, the United States minister to Brazil, and a Dr. Garnett, United States Navy, his intended son-in-law. We had a very interesting conversation, in which Mr. Wise enlarged on the fact that Rio was supplied from the "dews of heaven," for in the dry season the water comes from the mists and fogs which hang around the Corcovado, drips from the leaves of the trees, and is conducted to the Madre fountain by miles of tile gutters. Halleck and I continued our ascent of the mountain, catching from points of the way magnificent views of the scenery round about Rio Janeiro. We reached near the summit what was called the emperor's coffee-plantation, where we saw coffee-berries in their various stages, and the scaffolds on which the berries were dried before being cleaned. The coffee-tree reminded me of the red haw-tree of Ohio, and the berries were somewhat like those of the same tree, two grains of coffee being inclosed in one berry. These were dried and cleaned of the husk by hand or by machinery. A short, steep ascent from this place carried us to the summit, from which is beheld one of the most picturesque views on earth. The Organ Mountains to the west and north, the ocean to the east, the city of Rio with its red-tiled houses at our feet, and the entire harbor like a map spread out, with innumerable bright valleys, make up a landscape that cannot be described by mere words. This spot is universally visited by strangers, and has often been described. After enjoying it immeasurably, we returned to the city by another route, tired but amply repaid by our long walk.
In due time all had been done that was requisite, and the Lexington put to sea and resumed her voyage. In October we approached Cape Horn, the first land descried was Staten Island, white with snow, and the ship seemed to be aiming for the channel to its west, straits of Le Maire, but her course was changed and we passed around to the east. In time we saw Cape Horn; an island rounded like an oven, after which it takes its name (Ornos) oven. Here we experienced very rough weather, buffeting about under storm stay-sails, and spending nearly a month before the wind favored our passage and enabled the course of the ship to be changed for Valparaiso. One day we sailed parallel with a French sloop-of-war, and it was sublime to watch the two ships rising and falling in those long deep swells of the ocean. All the time we were followed by the usual large flocks of Cape-pigeons and albatrosses of every color. The former resembled the common barn-pigeon exactly, but are in fact gulls of beautiful and varied colors, mostly dove-color. We caught many with fishing-lines baited with pork. We also took in the same way many albatrosses. The white ones are very large, and their down is equal to that of the swan. At last Cape Horn and its swelling seas were left behind, and we reached Valparaiso in about sixty days from Rio. We anchored in the open roadstead, and spent there about ten days, visiting all the usual places of interest, its foretop, main-top, mizzen-top, etc. Halleck and Ord went up to Santiago, the capital of Chili, some sixty miles inland, but I did not go. Valparaiso did not impress me favorably at all. Seen from the sea, it looked like a long string of houses along the narrow beach, surmounted with red banks of earth, with little verdure, and no trees at all. Northward the space widened out somewhat, and gave room for a plaza, but the mass of houses in that quarter were poor. We were there in November, corresponding to our early spring, and we enjoyed the large strawberries which abounded. The Independence frigate, Commodore Shubrick, came in while we were there, having overtaken us, bound also for California. We met there also the sloop-of-war levant, from California, and from the officers heard of many of the events that had transpired about the time the navy, under Commodore Sloat, had taken possession of the country.