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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1846. (search)
marked honor from his superior officers. While stationed at Fortress Monroe and at Newport News he was quite constantly employed as Judge-Advocate. Early in the year 1862 General Mansfield placed him upon his staff. This position he resigned in June of that year, when his regiment was ordered up the Peninsula, and it was made certain that his general was still to remain behind at Newport News. In Kentucky, he served on the staff of Colonel Pierce, Acting Brigadier-General; and at the time ofas convinced me. God forgive me if I hesitate or falter now. . . . . May you, too, feel this freshness of heart and soul, this renewed vigor, with which this mountain air and scenery have inspired me. And so he went over into Kentucky, and, in June, to Vicksburg. The manner of his death was characteristic. When the troops in July went on to the capital of Mississippi, Lieutenant Ripley, on account of an injury to his leg, was left behind, —in the wilderness, as he said,—with one man to t
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1847. (search)
ed to, so that the last moments of the dying might be as comfortable as possible. There was a cheerfulness and kindness in the performance of his duty which brought many an expression of gratitude from those in the greatest agony. The month of June was passed in and about Fair Oaks, in weather very unfavorable to health. Diarrhoea, scurvy, and malarial diseases, induced by the weather and exposure, prostrated the whole army. During this period the sick report of the Twentieth Massachusettthe names of two hundred and twenty-one men,—more than one half of the regiment,—who were affected by the above diseases. How arduous must have been the duties of the Assistant Surgeon during this time can well be conceived. Toward the last of June the Army of the Potomac began its perilous march in retreat to the James River. The Second Corps, of which the Massachusetts Twentieth was a part, constituted the rear guard, and upon it devolved the task of fighting all day and marching all nigh
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1852. (search)
chmond during the night, sought, on the morning of June 1st, to retrieve their fortunes in renewed attack; but failing to penetrate the Union line, after a fierce and long struggle, they returned discomfited to their defensive works. The month of June was passed in the usual manner, of an investing army, watching and waiting for the moment of assault. Major Revere shared with his regiment during this period the arduous labors of an advanced line,—being half the time within range of the enemy'sce as Inspector-General of the Second Corps. He was now appointed Colonel of his old regiment, the Twentieth Massachusetts, and in May, 1863, reported at Falmouth, Virginia, on the north bank of the Rappahannock, as commander of the regiment. In June following, Lee led his army down the Valley of the Shenandoah, to repeat his exploit of the previous year,— an invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania. The Army of the Potomac therefore broke camp, and moved north also, keeping the Blue Ridge betw
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1854. (search)
, and would not think of trying it, were it not for a muddled and twisted idea that somehow or other this fight was going to be one in which decent men ought to engage for the sake of humanity,—I use the word in its ordinary sense. It seems to me that within a year the slavery question will again take a prominent place, and that many cases will arise in which we may get fearfully in the wrong if we put our cause wholly in the hands of fighting men and foreign legions. About the middle of June, Lowell received his commission (dated May 14, 1861), as Captain in the Third (afterwards numbered Sixth) Regiment of United States Cavalry; and he was engaged, during the summer, in recruiting in different parts of the country. Warren, Ohio, August 5. You seem to feel worse about the Bull Run defeat than I do. To me the most discouraging part of the whole is the way in which company officers have too many of them behaved since the affair,— skulking about Washington, at Willard's
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1857. (search)
ecember, 1862. Nothing but his indomitable pluck enabled him, in his debilitated condition, to stand the fatigues of this long march. The Twenty-fourth left Newbern, with other portions of the Eighteenth Corps, for South Carolina, in January, 1863, when General Hunter undertook operations against Charleston in conjunction with the fleet under the late Admiral Dupont. The land forces, however, effected little, and the great naval contest of the 7th of April ended unsuccessfully for us. In June, General Gillmore relieved General Hunter, and soon afterwards he commenced the series of operations by which he captured Fort Wagner and silenced Fort Sumter. Folly Island was first seized, and then a landing effected on Morris Island, at the northern extremity of which was Fort Wagner. Some of Lieutenant Perkins's letters written at this time, besides giving an excellent picture of what was going on, show unconsciously how bravely he was bearing up against debility and sickness, and how fa
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1858. (search)
ents of the winter of 1860-61 occupied much of his thoughts. He regarded with warm indignation the expedients proposed to save the Union by the sacrifice of liberty, and seeing a more excellent way, began to drill diligently that he might be ready to do his part. When Sumter fell, his brother Charles went straight to Washington, and applied for a lieutenancy in an artillery regiment. James Lowell conferred with his cousin William Putnam, who was also then studying at the Law School, and in June they began enlisting men for a company of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, to be commanded by Mr. Schmitt, the German instructor in the college. When they had raised eighty-five men, and the officers were ready to be commissioned, orders were given to transfer this company to the Twentieth Regiment. Almost all the men refused to join the Twentieth, and therefore the work of recruiting had to be done over again. The time at which this regiment was raised was unfavorable for enlisting,
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1859. (search)
n his capacity as an officer, and that he never in the least lost his popularity, nor did he retain it by compromising his dignity. There were numerous delays before the company could be accepted by government; and it was not until the last of June that Captain How was ordered with his command to Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, where he ranked as senior officer in the Fourteenth Massachusetts Volunteers. He conducted himself with marked ability; but after the arrival of the Colonel to take commction the regiment suffered but little. The battle-field was not so deadly as the camp and picket duty to which they returned. Even the powerful frame of Vincent could not withstand the poisoning air of the swamps, and towards the latter part of June he was sick almost beyond hope of recovery. He was removed to the tent of a friend living at Army Headquarters, where there were more of the necessaries and comforts of life. He had not been there a day, however, when the camp at Gaines's Mill
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1861. (search)
all have a stronger government, and possibly a country washed of slavery. In his new career of action he neither forgot nor was forgotten by his college friends. They still remember (in the felicitous words of a classmate) his genial and neverfailing humor, his quick and grasping intellect, his ready decision, and his modest but firm independence of thought and action, which all combined to form a character of unusual strength and beauty, winning alike love and respect. He returned in June to graduate with his Class. Many of them were about to enter the army, and he desired above all things to be one of these. His mind was filled with the one thought of serving his country, and nothing prevented him from enlisting at this time but the dissuasions of his mother. He returned to Burlington in July, 1861, and remained there till the autumn of 1862; but not a letter was written during this time that did not show his ardor unabated, his earnest longing to engage in the struggle f
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1862. (search)
rienced officer; we have a beautiful place for a camp, on bluffs on the bank of York River, and the views are fine in all directions. The morning after we arrived here, the birds were singing, and everything looked as bright and fresh as a day in June. May, 1863. There is much that is discouraging in our conduct of the war, to be sure; but however great the evils of divided counsels and incompetent commanders, magnified by our impatience for the end, our cause is worthy of all the sacri one of these. And when, later, the Army of the Potomac went to the Peninsula, and there came the reports of its battles, he was ashamed to meet the eyes which in the winter had so often assured him that his presence was a source of pleasure. In June he was ordered to Fort Preble, and assigned to the command of a full company. There he worked hard for two months. The ease and rapidity with which he acquired a knowledge of the duties pertaining to his position were remarkable, and he was equal
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1864. (search)
tate to you plainly, and as well as I am able to by writing, the circumstances under which I have taken this step in your absence, and the various motives from which I have acted. It is very hard to do this satisfactorily and completely without a personal interview, which, for a thousand reasons, I hope may take place before long. On the 10 of August I left Fayal to return home. I had heard no news later than that of the long-continued and fiercely-contested battles of the last week in June, which resulted in a change in the position of our army before Richmond, and the adoption of a new base of operations, which, as it then seemed to me, was likely to result in the speedy capture of the Rebel capital and downfall of the Rebellion. During our homeward voyage we all felt certain that these joyous tidings would greet our ears as we again set foot upon our native shore. You, who witnessed the gradual change from victory to defeat, can scarcely imagine the sudden revulsion of our