Part 16 out of 44
King William Artillery.
Jeff Davis "
2d Richmond Howitzers.
3d " "
Salem Flying Artillery.
COL R. L.WALKER'S DIVISION.
Norfolk Light "
Mclntosh 's Battalion.
2d Rockbridge Artillery.
(a) COL. W. R. Aylett was in command Aug. 29th, and probably at
(b) Inspection report of this division shows that it also
contained Benning's and Gregg's Brigades. (c) Commanded by
Colonel P. D. Bowles.
(d) Only two brigadier-generals reported for duty; names not
Organization of the Army of the Valley District.
(e) Constituting York's Brigade.
(f) In Ramseur's Division.
(g) Evan's Brigade, Colonel E. N. Atkinson commanding, and
containing 12th Georgia Battalion.
(h) The Virginia regiments constituted Terry's Brigade, Gordon's
(i) Grimes' Brigade.
(k) Cook's "
(l) Returns report but one general officer present for duty;
name not indicated.
(m) Colonel Joseph M. Jayne, commanding.
(n) Colonel Thomas J. Simmons, commanding. (o) Four
brigadier-generals reported present for duty; names not
(p) On face of returns appears to have consisted of Hampton's,
Fitz-Lee's, and W. H. F. Lee's Division, and Dearing's Brigade.
*But one general officer reported present for duty in the
artillery, and Alexander's name not on the original.
(*28) HEADQUARTERS ARMIES U. S.,
May II, 1864.--3 P.M.
Commanding Army of the Potomac.
Move three divisions of the 2d corps by the rear of the 5th and
6th corps, under cover of night, so as to join the 9th corps in
a vigorous assault on the enemy at four o'clock A.M. to-morrow.
will send one or two staff officers over to-night to stay with
Burnside, and impress him with the importance of a prompt and
vigorous attack. Warren and Wright should hold their corps as
close to the enemy as possible, to take advantage of any
diversion caused by this attack, and to push in if any
opportunity presents itself. There is but little doubt in my
mind that the assault last evening would have proved entirely
successful if it had commenced one hour earlier and had been
heartily entered into by Mott's division and the 9th corps.
U. S. GRANT,
(*29) HEADQUARTERS, ARMIES U. S.,
May 11, 1864.-4 P.M.
MAJOR-GENERAL A. E. BURNSIDE,
Commanding 9th Army Corps.
Major-General Hancock has been ordered to move his corps under
cover of night to join you in a vigorous attack against the
enemy at 4 o'clock A.M. to-morrow. You will move against the
enemy with your entire force promptly and with all possible
vigor at precisely 4 o'clock A.M. to-morrow the 12th inst. Let
your preparations for this attack be conducted with the utmost
secrecy and veiled entirely from the enemy.
I send two of my staff officers, Colonels Comstock and Babcock,
in whom I have great confidence and who are acquainted with the
direction the attack is to be made from here, to remain with you
and General Hancock with instructions to render you every
assistance in their power. Generals Warren and Wright will hold
their corps as close to the enemy as possible, to take advantage
of any diversion caused by yours and Hancock's attack, and will
push in their whole force if any opportunity presents itself.
U. S. GRANT,
(*30) HEADQUARTERS ARMIES U. S.,
May 12, 1864, 6.30 P.M.
Washington, D. C.
The eighth day of the battle closes, leaving between three and
four thousand prisoners in our hands for the day's work,
including two general officers, and over thirty pieces of
artillery. The enemy are obstinate, and seem to have found the
last ditch. We have lost no organizations, not even that of a
company, whilst we have destroyed and captured one division
(Johnson's), one brigade (Doles'), and one regiment entire from
U. S. GRANT,
(*31) SPOTTSYLVANIA C. H., May 13, 1864.
HON E. M. STANTON, SECRETARY OF WAR,
Washington, D. C.
I beg leave to recommend the following promotions be made for
gallant and distinguished services in the last eight days'
battles, to wit: Brigadier-General H. G. Wright and
Brigadier-General John Gibbon to be Major-Generals; Colonel S.
S. Carroll, 8th Ohio Volunteers Colonel E. Upton, 121st New York
Volunteers; Colonel William McCandless, 2d Pennsylvania Reserves,
to be Brigadier-Generals. I would also recommend Major-General W.
S. Hancock for Brigadier-General in the regular army. His
services and qualifications are eminently deserving of this
recognition. In making these recommendations I do not wish the
claims of General G. M. Dodge for promotion forgotten, but
recommend his name to be sent in at the same time. I would also
ask to have General Wright assigned to the command of the Sixth
Army Corps. I would further ask the confirmation of General
Humphreys to the rank of Major-General.
General Meade has more than met my most sanguine expectations.
He and Sherman are the fittest officers for large commands I
have come in contact with. If their services can be rewarded by
promotion to the rank of Major-Generals in the regular army the
honor would be worthily bestowed, and I would feel personally
gratified. I would not like to see one of these promotions at
this time without seeing both.
U. S. GRANT,
(*32) QUARLES' MILLS, VA., May 26, 1864.
Washington, D. C.
The relative position of the two armies is now as follows: Lee's
right rests on a swamp east of the Richmond and Fredericksburg
road and south of the North Anna, his centre on the river at Ox
Ford, and his left at Little River with the crossings of Little
River guarded as far up as we have gone. Hancock with his corps
and one division of the 9th corps crossed at Chesterfield Ford
and covers the right wing of Lee's army. One division of the 9th
corps is on the north bank of the Anna at Ox Ford, with bridges
above and below at points nearest to it where both banks are
held by us, so that it could reinforce either wing of our army
with equal facility. The 5th and 6th corps with one division of
the 9th corps run from the south bank of the Anna from a short
distance above Ox Ford to Little River, and parallel with and
near to the enemy.
To make a direct attack from either wing would cause a slaughter
of our men that even success would not justify. To turn the
enemy by his right, between the two Annas is impossible on
account of the swamp upon which his right rests. To turn him by
the left leaves Little River, New Found River and South Anna
River, all of them streams presenting considerable obstacles to
the movement of our army, to be crossed. I have determined
therefore to turn the enemy's right by crossing at or near
Hanover Town. This crosses all three streams at once, and
leaves us still where we can draw supplies.
During the last night the teams and artillery not in position,
belonging to the right wing of our army, and one division of
that wing were quietly withdrawn to the north bank of the river
and moved down to the rear of the left. As soon as it is dark
this division with most of the cavalry will commence a forced
march for Hanover Town to seize and hold the crossings. The
balance of the right wing will withdraw at the same hour, and
follow as rapidly as possible. The left wing will also withdraw
from the south bank of the river to-night and follow in rear of
the right wing. Lee's army is really whipped. The prisoners we
now take show it, and the action of his army shows it
unmistakably. A battle with them outside of intrenchments
cannot be had. Our men feel that they have gained the MORALE
over the enemy, and attack him with confidence. I may be
mistaken, but I feel that our success over Lee's army is already
assured. The promptness and rapidity with which you have
forwarded reinforcements has contributed largely to the feeling
of confidence inspired in our men, and to break down that of the
We are destroying all the rails we can on the Central and
Fredericksburg roads. I want to leave a gap on the roads north
of Richmond so big that to get a single track they will have to
import rail from elsewhere. Even if a crossing is not effected
at Hanover Town it will probably be necessary for us to move on
down the Pamunkey until a crossing is effected. I think it
advisable therefore to change our base of supplies from Port
Royal to the White House. I wish you would direct this change
at once, and also direct Smith to put the railroad bridge there
in condition for crossing troops and artillery and leave men to
U. S. GRANT,
(*33) NEAR COLD HARBOR, June 3, 1864, 7 A.M.
Commanding A. P.
The moment it becomes certain that an assault cannot succeed,
suspend the offensive; but when one does succeed, push it
vigorously and if necessary pile in troops at the successful
point from wherever they can be taken. I shall go to where you
are in the course of an hour.
U. S. GRANT,
(*34) COLD HARBOR, June 5,1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Chief of Staff of the Army, Washington,
A full survey of all the ground satisfies me that it would be
impracticable to hold a line north-east of Richmond that would
protect the Fredericksburg Railroad to enable us to use that
road for supplying the army. To do so would give us a long
vulnerable line of road to protect, exhausting much of our
strength to guard it, and would leave open to the enemy all of
his lines of communication on the south side of the James. My
idea from the start has been to beat Lee's army if possible
north of Richmond; then after destroying his lines of
communication on the north side of the James River to transfer
the army to the south side and besiege Lee in Richmond, or
follow him south if he should retreat.
I now find, after over thirty days of trial, the enemy deems it
of the first importance to run no risks with the armies they now
have. They act purely on the defensive behind breastworks, or
feebly on the offensive immediately in front of them, and where
in case of repulse they can instantly retire behind them.
Without a greater sacrifice of human life than I am willing to
make all cannot be accomplished that I had designed outside of
the city. I have therefore resolved upon the following plan:
I will continue to hold substantially the ground now occupied by
the Army of the Potomac, taking advantage of any favorable
circumstance that may present itself until the cavalry can be
sent west to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad from about
Beaver Dam for some twenty-five or thirty miles west. When this
is effected I will move the army to the south side of the James
River, either by crossing the Chickahominy and marching near to
City Point, or by going to the mouth of the Chickahominy on
north side and crossing there. To provide for this last and
most possible contingency, several ferry-boats of the largest
class ought to be immediately provided.
Once on the south side of the James River, I can cut off all
sources of supply to the enemy except what is furnished by the
canal. If Hunter succeeds in reaching Lynchburg, that will be
lost to him also. Should Hunter not succeed, I will still make
the effort to destroy the canal by sending cavalry up the south
side of the river with a pontoon train to cross wherever they
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,
(*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,
(*36) FROM A STATEMENT OF LOSSES COMPILED IN THE
FIELD OF ACTION AND DATE. | KILLED. | WOUNDED. | MISSING. |
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.
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
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,
(*38) CITY POINT, VA., July 24, 1864.
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
* * * * * * *
Whether we send an expedition on the road or assault at
Petersburg, Burnside's mine will be blown up....
U. S. GRANT,
(*39) See letter, August 5th, Appendix.
(*40) See Appendix, letters of Oct. 11th.
(*41) CITY POINT, VA., December 2,1864.
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,
CITY POINT, VA., December 2, 1864.--1.30 P.M.
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
U. S. GRANT,
CITY POINT, VA., December 5, 1864.
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,
CITY POINT, VA., December 6, 1864--4 P.M.
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,
CITY POINT, VA., December 8, 1864.--8.30 P.M.
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,
CITY POINT, VA., December 11, 1864.--4 P.M.
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
U. S. GRANT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 15, 1864.
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
U. S. GRANT,
(*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
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,
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,
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
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
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
The family rapidly increased till it embraced six boys and five
girls, all of whom attained maturity and married; of these six are
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
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,
J. B. ORTEN,
WILLIAM P. DORST,
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
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
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
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
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. Aahlock 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
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
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 during 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
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
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
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,
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
insersection 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
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
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 aftercabin, 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
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
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