In compiling a History of the 121st Regiment of New York Volunteers, the writer feels handicapped by two facts: He is not an original member of the regiment, but was transferred from the 16th N. Y. in the spring of 1863; and after his transfer, he did not serve in the regiment, having previously been detailed for clerical duty in the office of the Adjutant General
of the Brigade.
Consequently he never had that close personal relation with the members of the regiment that would give to his writing the intimate character of a fellow soldier.
On the other hand, however, his position gave him the advantage of a close observer; for all the orders from the higher authorities and all the reports of the brigade and regimental commanders passed under his hand, and he was able to estimate more fully the character of the services rendered, and the estimation in which those services were held by the superior officers.
The several sources from which this history is compiled are: the records of the regiment, the reports of regimental and brigade commanders, the diaries of several members of the regiment, and several books already published covering the same events.
Of these the diary of Colonel Clinton Beckwith
, notes by Lieut. J. H. Smith
, the chapters in the History of Otsego County
, prepared by Colonel J. W. Cronkite
, the letters of Chaplain John R. Adams
and the diary of Lieutenant Woodcock
have been especially useful.
's diary is as it professes to be, the “story of his own ”