“Died of fever at Young's Point
, Miss.,” reminds one of the campaigns in the bayous and poisonous swamps, with the men falling in scores before a foe more deadly and remorseless than the bullet.
“Executed on sentence of G. C. M.; shot to death by musketry;” and one recalls the incidents of the most trying of all scenes, a military execution.
“Killed on picket, September 15, 1863, on the Rappahannock
,” suggests the star-lit river, the lonely vidette, an echoing shot, and a man dying alone in the darkness.
And so it goes.
There are no war stories that; can equal the story of the muster-out-roll.
And then, there are facts recorded in them which are curious and interesting.
Occasionally the sad record is brightened with something akin to humor; and, there is much, at times, which is readable.
The following extracts, taken at random, may give an idea of what one runs across in examining these old records.
They are copied from the muster-out rolls, manuscript and printed, while some are from the rolls appended to regimental histories.
If at times the sad and the ridiculous are too closely intermingled, it is because the story runs that way, reflecting truly the peculiarly intermingled scenes of army life.
Extracts from: muster-out-rolls
Tenth New York Cavalry, Company D:--“Lt. Wm. J. Rabb
; killed at Brandy Station
, by a sabre-thrust through the body while lying under his horse; he would not surrender.”
Thirty-seventh Wisconsin, Company C:--“Sergeant William H. Green
; recommended for promotion for gallantry in action, Petersburg, Va.
, June 17, 1864, where he was wounded in both legs, after receiving which he crawled from the field, dragging his colors with his teeth; died July 17, 1864, of wounds.”
Twenty-fifth Wisconsin, Company B:--“Capt. W. H. Bennett
; wounded and prisoner, July 22, 1864; leg amputated three times; died August 10, 1864 at Macon, Ga.
, of wounds.”
First New Jersey, Company A:---“Jordan Silvers; killed on picket near Alexandria, Va.
, October 15, 1861.”
Fifth New Hampshire, Company G:--“John Velon
; shot for desertion near Petersburg, Va.
, October 28, 1864.”
Fifth Wisconsin, Company A:--“Francis Lee
; first man of regiment to reach enemy's works in assault on Petersburg
, April 2, 1865.”
One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois, Company A:--“Lorenzo Brown
; kicked to death by a mule at Somerset, Ky.
, April 23, 1864.”
Sixty-fifth Ohio, Company H:--“Corporal Adam Glasgow
; discharged May 27, 1865, on surgeon's certificate; both feet frozen while en route from Wilmington, N. C.
, to Annapolis, Md.
; an exchanged prisoner of war.”
Twenty-first Massachusetts, Company E:1
--“Sergeant Thomas Plunkett
; lost both arms while carrying regimental U. S. flag at Fredericksburg
; discharged May 9, 1863.”
Twenty-first Massachusetts, Company C:2
--“Sergeant Elbridge C. Barr
; killed at Fredericksburg
while carrying the State
Twenity-first Massachusetts, Company A:3
--“Sergeant Joseph H. Collins
; died Jan. 3, 1863, of wounds received at Fredericksburg
while carrying the colors.”
Seventh Wisconsin, Company H:--“Jefferson Coates
; wounded at South Mountain
; loss of both eyes; brevetted Captain
, with medal of honor for gallantry at Gettysburg
Forty-sixth Pennsylvania, Company D:--“Charles D. Fuller
detected as being a female; discharged, date unknown.”