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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The treatment of prisoners during the war between the States. (search)
with one exception, found them all suffering like myself from exhausting diarrhea, induced by the poisonous water. In his narrative of prison life at Elmira, after speaking in. high terms of the kindly feeling towards the prisoners shown by Major Colt, the commandant of the prison, Mr. Keiley writes as follows: In the executive duties of his office, Major Colt was assisted by fifteen or twenty officers, and as many non-commissioned officers, chiefly of the militia or the veteran reservesMajor Colt was assisted by fifteen or twenty officers, and as many non-commissioned officers, chiefly of the militia or the veteran reserves. Among them were some characters which are worth a paragraph. There was a long-nosed, long-faced, long-jawed, long-bearded, long-bodied, long-legged, endless-footed, and long-skirted curiosity, yclept Captain Peck, ostensibly engaged in taking charge of certain companies of rebs, but really employed in turning a penny by huckstering the various products of prisoners' skill — an occupation very profitable to Peck, but generally unsatisfactory, in a pecuniary way, to the rebs. Many of them h
these weapons, generally fowling-pieces, squirrel-rifles, etc., were very poor in quality, even when put in order. The reports and inspection returns make it evident that, during most of the autumn of 1861, fully one-half of General Johnston's troops were unarmed, and whole brigades remained without weapons for months. Terry's Texas Rangers, one of the best-equipped and most efficient regiments at the front, report, October 30th, twenty varieties of fire-arms in their hands-shot-guns and Colt's navy six-shooters being most numerous. Other regimental reports show a similar state of things. This one circumstance, with the resulting confusion and diversity in ammunition, will indicate to any soldier a fruitful source of inefficiency and confusion. The Government could not arm its troops, because of the inability of its agents to procure sufficient serviceable arms in the markets of Europe. They were there before the agents of the North, but good arms were not for sale to any c
tairs. I knocked at the door of Smidt's room: his companion answered me, and I entered. He was surprised, but glad to see me. My remark, that I had heard him state his intention to stay at P----s all night, when in the tavern, and thought I'd follow suit, intending to go on and join my regiment in the morning, was quite satisfactory. After smoking and partaking of some brandy I had with me, we talked for a long time on the subject of arms and accoutrements. He had a magnificent pair of Colt's navy revolvers, and it was my ambition to effect his capture without bloodshed. I handed over for inspection an Adams's self-cocker, (unloaded,) and he pushed across the table his loaded weapons. I fingered them coolly for several minutes, and with apparent thoughtlessness cocked them both. Then suddenly presented them at his head, informed him who I was, and commanded him to dress immediately and follow me; resistance is useless, I remarked: the house is surrounded. Deadly pale and alm
mp just before the Gettysburg Campaign, I sent it, with some other effects, northward. I remember another filterer, somewhat simpler. It consisted of the same kind of mouth-piece, with rubber tubing attached to a small conical piece of pumice-stone, through which the water was filtered. Neither of these was ever of any practical value. I have spoken of the rapid improvements made in arms. This improvement extended to all classes of fire-arms alike. Revolvers were no exception, and Colt's revolver, which monopolized the field for some time, was soon crowded in the race by Smith and Wesson, Remington, and others. Thousands of them were sold monthly, and the newly fledged soldier who did not possess a revolver, either by his own purchase, or as a present from solicitous relatives, or admiring friends, or enthusiastic business associates, was something of a curiosity. Of course a present of this kind necessitated an outfit of special ammunition, and such was at once procured
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., The defense of Fort Henry. (search)
tion drew me to the Columbiad, which I found spiked with its own priming wire, completely disabled for the day at least. The Federal commander, observing the silence of these two heavy guns, renewed his advance with increased precision of fire. Two of the 32-pounders were struck almost at the same instant, and the flying fragments of the shattered guns and bursted shells disabled every man at the two guns. His rifle shot and shell penetrated the earth-works as readily as a ball from a navy Colt would pierce a pine board, and soon so disabled other guns as to leave us but four capable of being served. General Tilghman now consulted with Major Gilmer and myself as to the situation, and the decision was that further resistance would only entail a useless loss of life. He therefore ordered me to strike the colors, now a dangerous as well as a painful duty. The flag-mast, which had been the center of fire, had been struck many times; the top-mast hung so far out of the perpendicula
my right and rear by a squadron of Confederate cavalry. This was handsomely met by the reserve under Captain Archibald P. Campbell, of the Second Michigan, who, dismounting a portion of his command, received the enemy with such a volley from his Colt's repeating rifles that the squadron broke and fled in all directions. We were not molested further, and resumed our work, intending to extend the break toward Baldwin, but receiving orders from Elliott to return to Booneville immediately, the meo drive Campbell from his position by a direct attack through an open field. In this they failed, however, for our men, reserving their fire until the enemy came within about thirty yards, then opened on him with such a shower of bullets from our Colt's rifles that it soon became too hot for him, and he was repulsed with considerable loss. Foiled in this move, Chalmers hesitated to attack again in front, but began overlapping both flanks of Campbell's line by force of numbers, compelling Camp
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 5. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The First Maryland cavalry, C. S. A. (search)
alry companies of from 75 to 100 men each. They were composed of the choicest material of the county. In one company there were seventeen members of the Dorsey family; in the other company, eleven members of the same family. The first company organized was named the Howard County Dragoons, commanded by Captain Geo. R. Gaither. Both companies were handsomely uniformed according to United States army regulations, well mounted, and furnished by Governor Hicks with the best cavalry sabres and Colt's revolvers. When the indignation of the citizens of Baltimore burst forth at the appearance, on the 19th of April, 1861, of a Massachusetts regiment marching through her streets to make war on the South, the Howard County Dragoons immediately assembled at Ellicott's Mills, and on the next day marched into the city and placed themselves under the command of General G. H. Steuart. This action, and the subsequent treachery of Governor Hicks, made it necessary, when quiet was seemingly restore
the enemy believing that it was the initiatory movement of a general advance. Such was the panic among the rebel troops that they abandoned wagons, ammunition, arms, tents, and even provisions. Hundreds of rebels, fearing Kilpatrick's men, fled to the right and left to avoid their terrific charges, and subsequently surrendered themselves. One strapping fellow surrendered to a little bugler, who is attached to General Custer's brigade. As he passed down the line, escorting his prisoner, a Colt's revolver in hand, he called out: I say, boys, what do you think of this fellow? This fellow looked as if he felt very mean, and expected he would be shot by his captor every moment for feeling so. All along the road to Williamsport prisoners were captured, and their rearguard was fairly driven into the river. The Fifth Michigan charged into the town, and captured a large number of soldiers, as they were attempting to ford the river. From thirty to fifty of the rebels were drowned while a
was formed in order of battle in the line designated by you for the protection of the corral — subsequently the camp — then being formed. A detail of ten men from each company was set to digging trenches in front of our line, which fronted a little south of east — the Big Mound being directly east. The men remained upon the color-line until the firing commenced on the foot-hill directly in front, where Dr. Weiser was killed. I was then ordered to deploy Captain Banks's company — armed with Colt's rifles — along the foot-hill to the left of the ravine, that opened toward the Big Mound. This done, Major Bradley was ordered with two companies--Captains Gilfillan's and Stevens's — to advance to the support of the first battalion of cavalry, then out on the right of the ravine, where Dr. Weiser was shot. Major Bradley's detachment became engaged along with the cavalry as soon as he reached the top of the first range of hills. I asked to advance to their support with the other f
most desperate fighting, in which Pennington's battery, (company M, Second artillery,) as usual, took a most important part, firing with great rapidity, and making their guns a terror to all massed forces with which the enemy threatened the retiring troops, though at one time they boldly came within a very short distance of the guns, intent upon capturing them. Once across the river, the bridge was held, though some of the men were entirely out of carbine ammunition, and resort was had to Colt's revolvers, in which the officers took a conspicuous part. The enemy, however, succeeded in effecting a crossing some distance to the left, and the brigade fell back fighting to the vicinity of Gainesville, where the troops disappeared in a belt of timber, passing through a line of Sixth corps infantry skirmishers there concealed, whom the enemy, not seeing, made bold to charge, and were repulsed with great loss, the officer leading the charge being among the killed. When General Kilpatr
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