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Edward Stanley Abbot.

Second Lieutenant 17th United States Infantry, November 10, 1862; first Lieutenant, April 27, 1863; died July 8, 1863, of wounds received at Gettysburg, Pa., July 2.

Edward Stanley Abbot was born at Boston, October 22, 1841, and was the son of Joseph Hale and Fanny Ellingwood (Larcom) Abbot. He was fitted for college partly at the Boston Latin School, the private Latin School of E. S. Dixwell, Esq., and Phillips Exeter Academy, and partly by an older brother. He entered Harvard College in July, 1860, after passing an excellent examination. In September, 1861, he was absent from College a short time on account of his health, and soon after his recovery began to devote his whole time to military study, with the design of becoming an officer in the Regular service. He closed his connections with the College in March, 1862, and went to the Military School at Norwich, Vermont, where he stayed about four months. On July 1, 1862, he enlisted at Fort Preble, Portland, in the Seventeenth Infantry, United States Army, having previously declined to accept a commission in the Volunteer service, because he chose to take what he deemed the shortest road to a commission in the Regular service. The absence of his brother, now Brevet Major-General Henry L. Abbot, then an engineer officer on General McClellan's staff in the Peninsula, had occasioned some delay in obtaining the commission he wished for. He therefore took this manly way to earn one for himself, under a promise from Lieutenant-Colonel J. Durrell Greene, of the Seventeenth Infantry, that, if he showed himself fit for a commission, he should be recommended to the War Department to receive one. ‘In four months and ten days I was enabled,’ he says in a note-book, ‘to regain the position of a gentleman, which I had voluntarily resigned;—a few days? an infinity of time!’ [406]

He once remarked to a friend, in reference to this period of his life, that he thought nothing but the music of the band and the magnificent ocean view down Portland Harbor had enabled him to endure it. On the 11th of November, 1862, he received the commission of Second Lieutenant, and, at his own request, was at once assigned to duty with a company of the battalion then in the field with the Army of the Potomac. Early in December, 1862, he left his home for the last time, taking on a party of recruits, about fifty in number. Though the only officer with the party, and himself so young, he carried the entire number through Boston, New York, and Washington without the loss of a single man. For this service, an unusual one, he received much commendation at the time from his superiors. He became First Lieutenant on April 27, 1863.

He never came home again; and indeed, during his whole military career, he was absent from duty only three days, which he spent in the defences of Washington on a visit to General Abbot, whom he had not seen for two years. He rejoined his company in the Chancellorsville campaign, having walked twenty miles in one night to overtake them before the battle, in which his regiment took gallant part, and lost one man in every ten. He shared in the terrible forced marches by which the army reached Gettysburg,—unsurpassed, if they have been equalled, during the whole war. His regiment reached the battle-ground on Thursday morning at dawn, and was stationed on Little Round Top, near the extreme left of our line.

The attack of the Rebels began about four in the afternoon. Early in the fight, while leading his men in a charge down a hill across a marsh and wall and up a little slope, Stanley was struck in the right breast by a minie — ball. The shoulder-strap on the light blouse he wore had worked forward, and the ball, just stripping off some of its gold-lace, passed through the right lung and lodged near the spine. He fell senseless to the ground, and for some hours was unconscious. He was at once borne to the rear, though not [407] expected to survive long. He afterwards rallied, however, and lived until about noon of July the 8th, when he died in the field hospital of the Second Division of the Fifth Army Corps. His regiment lost fearfully in this battle, fourteen out of the nineteen officers who were there present being wounded.

The Class-Book, in a sketch intended, when it was written, for Stanley's classmates only, contains the following narrative of his last days.

On Tuesday forenoon, 7th July, I was sitting in my office in Boston, when I received the following telegram from Baltimore, the last words I ever received from my brother: “ Wounded in the breast. Doctor says not mortal. I am at corps hospital, near Gettysburg. Expect to be in Baltimore in a few days. E. Stanley Abbot.” I started at once, by the next train, to take care of him; but, though using the utmost possible speed, I could not, so impeded was communication, reach Gettysburg until Friday, the 10th, two days after his death. A brother officer, who lay by his side until he died, told me that Stanley, when he first became conscious, sat up, and spoke in a full, natural tone. He lay in a hospital tent on some straw. The tent was pitched in a grove on a hill, around the foot of which a beautiful brook flowed. On Tuesday morning, when the surgeon, Dr. Billings, of the Regular service, came in, Stanley asked the Doctor to feel his pulse, and desired to know if he was feverish, since the pulsations were at one time strong and quick and then slow and feeble. Dr. Billings, a most excellent surgeon and a very prompt and straightforward man, felt of the pulse, and then, looking Stanley in the eye, slowly answered, “ No, Mr. Abbot, there is no fever there. You are bleeding internally. You never will see to-morrow's sunset.” Captain Walcott, the officer at his side, who related these circumstances to me, says that he then looked at Stanley, to see the effect of these words. But Stanley was entirely calm. Presently he said, with a smile, “That is rather hard, is n't it? but it's all right; and I thought as much ever since I was hit.” Dr. Billings asked him if he had any messages to leave for his friends. Stanley said he would tell Walcott everything; saying, too, that I should come on there, and that everything was to be given to me. Dr. Billings then left him.

As Stanley lay without speaking, Captain Walcott, who is a deeply religious man, spoke to him, and inquired if Stanley had [408] any messages to leave with him. Stanley replied, “No.” Walcott continued, “Have you a father and mother living?” “Yes.” “Are they church-going people?” “ Yes.” “ Then,” said Walcott, “if your mother knew how you are, she would wish you to pray.” Stanley turned his face toward his comrade, very quietly, and then answered slowly, “ That point was settled with me long ago.” He did not talk much, but lay quite still. The officers who were there told me they never saw any one more quiet and free from agitation. His right arm was disabled, so that he probably could not write. He was among comparative strangers, and no word so transmitted would have been much for him to say or for us to receive. He knew it was too late to say he loved us, if we did not know that before. He rightly chose rather to trust to our understanding how he felt, without attempting to put his feelings into words, than to lay his heart bare before those who knew him so little, and whose own troubles were enough for them to endure. And so life slowly passed away. He lived long enough to understand that he died in victory, and that his blood was not lost. He spoke pleasantly to those about him, and to the last took a kindly interest in their welfare. On Wednesday morning, about eleven o'clock, when he was very near his end, and probably had lost distinct knowledge where he was, some of the other wounded officers were speaking of being carried to Baltimore by private conveyance, and, when Walcott proposed that they should all do so, Stanley spoke up clearly, and said,—they were his last words,— “Walcott, I'll go with you.” Soon after he died without a struggle, and his warfare was over.

The condition of things at Gettysburg after the battle beggars description. One fact alone is enough to indicate it. For five days after my arrival, I could not obtain, in any way, a coffin in which to bring his body home. At last I succeeded, by a happy chance; and hiring two men, a horse and a wagon, I started about two o'clock for the camp hospital. It was situated about five miles from the town, off the Baltimore pike, on the cross-road, at the white church. It was a dull, rainy, very warm afternoon, and on every side was the mark of dreadful devastation. Surgeon Billings, who was in charge of the field hospital, a mere collection of huts, sent a soldier to guide me to my brother's grave. It was on a hillside, just on the outskirts of the grove in which the camp was pitched. The brook rolled round its foot in the little valley, while in the distance was Round Top, and the swelling landscape peculiar to that portion of Pennsylvania,—a family of hills, stretching far [409] and near, with groves dotting their sides and summits. Here was the spot which, ten days before a lonely farm, was now populous with the dead.

My brother's grave was marked carefully with a wooden headboard, made from a box cover, and bearing his name, rank, and day of death. It was so suitable a place for a soldier to sleep, that I was reluctant to remove the body for any purpose. But the spot was part of a private farm; and as removal must come, I thought it best to take the body home, and lay it with the dust of his kindred. When my companions had scraped the little and light earth away, there he was wrapped in his gray blanket, in so natural a posture, as I had seen him lie a hundred times in sleep, that it seemed as if he must awake at a word.

Two soldiers of the Eleventh Infantry, the companion regiment of the Seventeenth, had followed me to the spot,—one a boy hardly as old as Stanley, the other a man of forty. As the body was lifted from the grave, this boy of his own accord sprang forward, and gently taking the head, assisted in laying the body on the ground without disturbing it, a thing not pleasant to do, for the earth had received and held it for a week. I told them to uncover the face. They did so, and I recognized the features, though there was nothing pleasant in the sight. I then bade them replace the folds of the gray blanket, his most appropriate shroud, and lay the body in the coffin. They did so; but again the boy stepped forward, and of his own motion carefully adjusted the folds as they were before. When we turned to go, I spoke to the boy and his companion. They said they knew Stanley, and knowing I had come for his body, they had left the camp to help me, because they had liked Stanley. “Yes,” added the boy, “he was a strict officer, but the men all liked him. He was always kind to them.” That was his funeral sermon. And, by a pleasant coincidence, as one of the men remarked to me on our way back, the sun shone out during the ten minutes we were at the grave, the only time it had appeared for forty-eight hours.

His body now rests in the family burial-place in the churchyard at Beverly,—a pleasant place among the trees on a sloping hill, where one can see the sea in the distance, and at times hear the waves upon the beach,—a spot he had often admired in former times, and such as he would himself have chosen. It was a lovely summer afternoon at sunset when his friends gathered at the grave to leave the body in its last resting-place. The sky was full of sunshine [410] and white fleecy clouds. The earth was green after a storm, and the distant sea blue as the heavens above; and it was impossible to resist the cheerful consolation which even Nature seemed to give. Rev. James Reed, my old schoolfellow and college chum, who had known Stanley from the day he was a little child, spoke the last words at his grave; and so the short story of his life was ended.

I have designedly dwelt upon the pleasant things which then and now threw around the death of my brother an atmosphere almost of happiness, and certainly of peace. He had lived faithful, and he died in his duty. He is safe forever. He never will be less good, less true-hearted, less loving than we knew him; and life is well over when it is a good life well ended.

I will now say something of the last three years of his life, and quote a little from notes found among his papers and from letters. His cherished plan from boyhood up was to become an author. I now have many manuscripts of his,—stories, plays, songs, and the like,—and it may be that among them there is something worth preservation. For this purpose he went to College, carefully guarding from almost every one his secret. This was his ulterior design in entering the Regular Army. In February, 1862, he writes:—

After the war ends, supposing I survive it, I should be stationed in some fort, probably, which would give me ample time to prosecute my plans in writing. I should have a settled support outside of literature (an inestimable blessing to a litterateur), and should be admirably placed to get a good knowledge of character and affairs, so necessary to a writer in these days . . . . . My objects remain the same, and I shall always pursue them while I live; but the means of obtaining those objects I wish to seek in a different way from the one I had marked out for myself. I must be a man, and fight this war through. That is the immediate duty; but that accomplished,—as a few years at furthest must see it accomplished,—and I can honorably take up once more the plans I have temporarily abandoned. It will be too late to return to college; and the army is the only place for me . . . . . When I shall have saved enough to support me, then I will resign, and give my whole time to my beloved plans, which in the mean time I shall not have been compelled wholly to neglect. May I have such a fate before me, if I live! Such a one as Winthrop, if, more happy, I should die!


In December, he writes again:—

I certainly believe that I have a talent for writing. I actually think that, if I live to be thirty-five, I shall have written the greatest and noblest novel that ever was written. And yet I submit that it is an open question as yet whether I am an ass or not. If I write the book, I simply appreciated myself. If I fail to do so, why, I will be content with a pair of long ears instead of a laurel crown., I think that is fair, so I won't begin to call myself names yet. . . . . I have satisfied my personal ambition completely. I am a gentleman in station, with a sufficient income to keep the wolf from the door. That is all I wanted for myself. I don't care for rank or money, or anything of the sort. I will be a good officer, and as long as this war continues I will use every power God has given me to make God's cause triumphant; but still all this is the preface to my real work,—is simply putting coal into the engine. If I am really going to do a great work in the world; if, in fine, I am to be a worker in God's vineyard, I must do my work by writing. I know this, am sure of it. If I live and don't accomplish it, I shall have buried my talent.

And once more he writes:—

Alas! what a contemptible thing is enthusiasm to one who does not sympathize in its object! I hope my enthusiasm is wiser and more manly; but, then one can have more impartial judges than one's self. O for a measure to measure things by! What would I not give to know whether I am an ass or a genius, a coward or a hero, a scoundrel or a saint! Ah, Mynheer, the Country Parson, would smile at that last sentence. I seem to hear from his half-sneering, half-pitying lips, “My dear fellow, please steer between Scylla and Charybdis.” A fig for such philosophy! It is a priceless happiness to aim at the highest mark, and never dream of missing it. To be sure, if we fail, like the archers that strove for the hand of the Fairy Princess, death is the penalty. Well, who would not run the risk of hell for a simple chance of heaven? Every one but a craven. Down with mediocrity and its laudators. It is better to live a day than to vegetate a century. Enthusiasm, ambition, conflict, and victory,—these make life. All the rest are but the wearisome ceremonies of the soul's funeral.

These words I quote from his private papers, seen by no eye but his own while he lived. They are enthusiastic, for [412] they are written by one quite young. They were visions in the air, for the wisdom of Divine Providence had allotted to him that which he speaks of as ‘the greater happiness.’ I have copied these words because they show what was the secret of his life, and because his ambition was a generous and noble one, of which no one need be ashamed. He practically trained himself for an author's work, as is shown by a little incident of which he told me in almost the last conversation we ever had. While he was in the Freshman year, a former friend had fallen into temptation, and embezzled fifty dollars from his employer. In despair, he told Stanley. Stanley at once, without saying anything of his design, wrote some stories, sold them, got the fifty dollars, and gave them to the boy. He mentioned this casually to me as a piece of Quixotry, which had caused some neglect in his college duties, for which I had blamed him at the time. What his future would have been, we may not say. I speak of these things to show what were his day-dreams, before his short and active life of manly duty ended.

At Cambridge he was of a reserved disposition, and lived much alone. He was poor, and was dependent upon aid which he trusted to repay in the future. Such a position often engenders some bitterness even in a true spirit of independence. He would not accept aid, except on the condition of being allowed to repay it afterwards. Still, being unable to do all which he liked to do, he chose rather to withdraw from companionship than to enter it on any terms which he thought would not suit this spirit. And if in his desire to stand alone there was something of the unripeness of youth, time would have mellowed the fruit.

He was thoroughly alive to the elements of romance in a soldier's life, as appears in the two following passages from his private notes:—

On Christmas night (1862) I crept into my bed, and floated off into the fairy-land of dreams and fancies, until sleep threw its spell over me, as is my boyish and absurd wont. But suddenly my waking dreams seemed almost to haunt my slumbers. The softest music [413] sounded through the stillness of midnight; and it was long before I could persuade myself that the strains were real, and not imaginings. The band of the Second Infantry was playing Christmas anthems in the midst of the sleeping army. The dreamy music, soft and low as a mother's prayer, floated over the camp, and stole like a benediction into the half-unconscious ears of the rude soldiery around. First it was a dead march; then a beautiful variation on “ Gentle Annie,” and last, “Do they miss me at home?” The effect was unequalled by anything I ever heard, except that wonderful death chant which breaks in upon and hushes the mad drinkers of the poisoned wine in “ Lucrezia Borgia.” That is the beauty of a soldier's life. There are such touches of purest romance, occasionally breaking through the dull prose and bitter suffering. It is, after all, the only profession which rises above the commonplace. In it beauty and effect are studied and arrived at; and the most delicate refinement and heroism are necessary to the true soldier. It is that which is so charming, I believe, in the profession, that which renders it a fit place for a dreamer and a writer.

In the second passage he describes a contrivance for comfort in the winter.

To-day we have had a squad of men at work in our tent. We have dug a cellar about two feet down in the ground, and have scraped a deep hole in one corner, with an opening outside the tent for a fireplace and chimney. The arrangement is a great success. We have more room; and then, too, it is a pleasure, for it is a novelty, ποικιλον τε καὶ εὐδαιμονία one remembers. It is not a bad thing to be a troglodyte. It is attacking the very citadel of death and terror to live in a grave and build a fire at one end! According to Bayard Taylor, I shall take the most luxurious repose possible tonight. He somewhere sillily remarks: “There is no rest more grateful than that we take on the turf or sand, save the rest below it.” To be sure, I do not put much confidence in what he says, for I can testify that a very mean straw mattress even is far preferable to the bare earth. Faith! there is little to choose between that and a grave. Indeed, the one is uncommonly apt to lead to the other. But, dear me, what a jumble of demi-puns. Well, mother Earth and daddy Clouds have been hard at work all day turning Virginia into a mortar-bed, and the army will have to stay in camp awhile, if it does not wish to get stuck in the mud.


I could wish to say something of the tenderness of affection with which he loved his friends, and to quote something from those words which were a last precious legacy to the friend to whom they were sent, and to whom he says that he understands him so well that ‘I don't know how, it seems as if I were you somehow.’ But over that part of his loving nature and his true, manly heart we will drop the veil.

In the short year of his military life he lived a lifetime. Experience shows that the war has made men go upward fast or downward fast; but the progress was fast. Stanley grew into maturity. His letters read like those of a man of middle age; and with this growth came a child-like simplicity and gentle trustfulness which it is now inexpressibly pleasant to recall.

In the middle of August his valise came home. It contains one unfinished letter to that friend to whom his heart had always been open. Although written some months before his death, it contains his last words; and none could be more touching. He thus quietly speaks of his religious faith, that ‘point which had been settled long ago’:—

When the lesson of submission has been so completely learned that regretful thoughts never steal into our hearts, why should we live longer? Is not our appointed work accomplished then? Yes, I think I believe that now. I think I understand that submission is the only real virtue. I have often puzzled my head to get at some unselfish motive for being good, and now I am quite sure that I recognize what religion taught——long ago. I have not got to the point from which——started long years ago by the same road that led——thither. Mine has been longer and dustier and more perplexing. I have groped thither through Heaven only knows how much of darkness and doubt, and scepticism almost. But I am quite certain that we are journeying now upon the same track,—— hundreds of miles ahead and yet wonderfully near me too.——is Great Heart, I think, who has come back to show me the way. . . . . We must remember the beautiful saying of Massillon: “On n'est pas digne d'aimer la verite quand on peut aimer quelque chose plus qu'elle.”


Fitzhugh Birney.

First Lieutenant 23d Penn. Vols. (Infantry), November 29, 1861; Captain and A. A. G. (U. S. Vols.), August I, 1862; Major, September 15, 1863; died at Washington, D. C., June 17, 1864, of disease contracted in the service.

Fitzhugh Birney was the youngest son of James G. Birney, the distinguished Kentuckian, who, born and bred a slaveholder, emancipated his slaves in 1835, and, in the distribution of his father's estate, took the negroes for his portion, that he might set them also free. When a young man he had been Attorney-General of Alabama. His ability, virtue, and sacrifices made him the candidate of the Liberty Party for the Presidency, in 1844.

By a first marriage with a relative of General McDowell, Mr. Birney had five sons and one daughter. In 1841, he married Elizabeth P. Fitzhugh, a daughter of the New York branch of an old Maryland family. Fitzhugh Birney was born at Saginaw, Michigan, January 9, 1842. The following April his parents removed to Bay City, near the mouth of the sluggish Saginaw River.

In 1842, the site of the town had been cleared of pine forests, but the only buildings yet erected were the warehouse, the hotel, and the bank. In the hotel Mr. Birney and his family temporarily lodged. In the bank he had an office and a Sunday school. The settlement was much visited by the Ojibway Indians, with whom the boy became a favorite. The first words he learned to speak were in the Indian tongue.

Fitzhugh was an athletic and adventurous child. He could not remember when he began to swim. Once, before he was five years old, having pushed out on the river in a sail-boat with two little companions, he was discovered at the helm, assuring them that there was no danger, and promising to take them ashore if they would ‘stop crying.’ At seven, he skated by moonlight from Saginaw to Bay City, a distance of twelve miles. [416]

At four he had learned to read well. From five to eight he was taught by an excellent New England teacher, Miss Berry of Belfast, Me. In September, 1851, he was placed in Theodore D. Weld's family school at Belleville, New Jersey, where he remained until, in 1854, Mr. Weld removed to Eagleswood, Perth Amboy. Hither Mr. Birney came, and here he lived until his death in the fall of 1857. During these invalid years Fitzhugh was a nurse to him, as tender and gentle as a girl.

He was a thorough and ambitious student. He unconsciously exerted over his mates a powerful personal influence which they were glad to feel and acknowledge. If others rivalled him in some feats of the play-ground and gymnasium, none excelled in so many, none threw over all sports such a fascination as he. In his seventeenth year he had the happiness to save the life of a school-girl too adventurous in learning to swim. She had sunk once; the tide was running rapidly to the sea. Without taking off hat, coat, or shoes, Fitzhugh, who had watched her from the pier, plunged in, seized her as she rose, and supported her till help came.

Among his companions at this school was one afterwards known as General Llewellyn F. Haskell, whose rapid promotion was the reward of equal talent, valor, and good fortune. Another was that brave Quaker, Captain Hallock Mann, whose gallant rescue of General Kilpatrick at Aldie Gap, Virginia, was one of the memorable deeds of the war. Kilpatrick was in the hands of the enemy. Mann, seeing his men hesitate, shouted, ‘Are you heroes or cowards? Follow me! Charge!’ and, without looking back, dashed into the fight. His troop, fired by the example, rallied, dispersed the Confederates, and carried him, severely wounded, with the General, from the field. Captain Mann was killed in a subsequent battle.

In the spring of 1859, a wrestling-match with his young friend Mann brought on bleeding at the lungs, which obliged Fitzhugh to abandon his purpose of entering college that year. The following July he sailed for Europe, arriving there shortly [417] after the peace of Villafranca. The Continent was in a ferment; and he was sufficiently well informed to take an excited interest in the questions of the time. From a balcony on the Boulevard, looking down the Rue de la Paix, he saw the triumphal entry into Paris of the Emperor and the army of Italy. ‘I suppose war is a great evil,’ he said, ‘but it is so splendid that I am half sorry we can never have one at home.’

A week later he was in Chamouni in Savoy. On the Mer de Glace, his party came to a place where two large masses of ice, sloping towards each other, left between them a dangerous crevasse. An Englishman, named Haskin, went from the upper edge of one of these inclined planes, intending to cross it obliquely and join his friends on an ice-mound at the end of the opening. He was beginning to slide helplessly towards destruction, when Fitzhugh ran upon him from the elevation with an impetus sufficient to carry both along the edge of the abyss to a place of safety beyond it. Of course the story was told in Chamouni. Prince Humbert of Italy, a youth of about the same age, then visiting the Valley, sent an aid with his compliments; and during his stay Fitzhugh was annoyed by the curiosity of travellers.

He was in Berlin at the time of John Brown's attack on Harper's Ferry. He was fascinated by the generosity of the deed, but shocked by the fatal miscalculation which seemed almost to clothe it with the attributes of crime. ‘You condemn, then, the enterprise, my son,’ said the American Minister to him, ‘while you justify John Brown.’ In the third year of the war, he wrote, ‘I have passed over the scene of John Brown's adventurous raid. He was our leader, after all. We shall finish his work, and that “perturbed spirit” may rest in peace.’

He remained at Berlin three months, studying German and music. His health seemed re-established; he was the best skater on the ponds of Thiergarten. Once, after he had performed an evolution of peculiar grace and dexterity, the crown-princess, Victoria of Prussia, witnessing the sport from her carriage, gave with her own hands the signal of applause. [418] He was at Rome during the Carnival; in Paris, at Easter. He landed at Boston in July, 1860, and a few days afterwards entered Harvard College without conditions.

Few allusions to public affairs, occur in his letters from Cambridge during the first term. Two days after the attack on Fort Sumter, he wrote, ‘If the South is in earnest, I shall be in the fight.’ But he was ill,—‘tired of being sick every spring with a cold.’ His letters to his mother are now devoted by almost alternate sentences to his health and the war.

‘A very little study affects my head. Boston is splendidly excited. What a horrible war,—fathers against sons, brothers against brothers! Yet the grass in the College yard is green and the buds are coming out.’

April 20.

We have ninety signatures to a petition to the Faculty for a drill-club in our Class. If the Faculty refuse, we shall appeal to the Governor!

April 26.

Thank you for the Union badge and the violets. All the students may belong to the club by getting permission of their parents and signing an agreement to obey all the rules. My cough hangs on as coughs will.

April 28.

Last evening Governor Andrew sent a message to President Felton, that, having no company ready to guard the Arsenal here, he wished the students to take charge of it. The boating fever has abated; everything is fight now. Yesterday was the anniversary of the day when Washington first drew his sword as commander of the American Army. An immense war meeting was held under the Washington elm. Governor Banks spoke, a band played; a regiment which goes off Tuesday paraded. I shall probably pay you a short visit—till I am better.

He was quite feeble during the most of the summer, but in August grew rapidly stronger. On the 17th of August, at the house of his uncle, Gerritt Smith, in Peterborough, New York, he received a letter from his brother David, who said, ‘I am now Colonel of the regiment called “Birney's Zouaves.” If you can get your mother's permission, you [419] may go with me as Lieutenant.’ On the envelope is written in pencil, ‘Would you give me leave to go if I were intent on it?’ ‘Yes,’ is the answer in his mother's hand, ‘if you were well.’

At the end of August, Fitzhugh, now a Sophomore, rejoined his Class. October 27, he wrote:—

I have the war-fever again. That fight at Edward's Ferry!— in it six from Harvard that I knew, or knew of, were wounded or taken prisoners. And I am not strong! I might get along in a cavalry regiment. The riding would do me good. What if I did not get along? I should have done what I could.

To another:—

I must go to the war. My father sacrificed all for freedom. My brothers are already in the field. . Am I not dishonoring my name and the cause with which it is identified?

These reflections weighed on his spirits. His physician shut up his books, recommending some active out-of-door employment. November 28, he wrote from Camp Graham, near Washington: ‘I am now First Lieutenant, Company A, Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel David B. Birney.’

He was soon detached from the regiment for signal duty. ‘On the battle-field,’ he wrote, ‘our position is dangerous. But the greater the danger, the better the service.’ He acted on the signal corps seven months, and was considered ‘one of its three most able and accurate officers.’

A friend once found him on the Chickahominy, with two attendants, far from any Union force. In this position, very dangerous but favorable for watching the enemy's movements, he had been several days. A hostile scouting party might have come upon him at any time; but the advantages, he thought, overbalanced the risk, and he stayed.

In February he had an attack of cough and fever, during which he wrote: ‘I do not like to think of the country. Its situation saddens me. The war is the price of slavery. I hope it will prove to be the price of liberty.’ He returned to duty towards the middle of March, but shortly [420] fell sick again, and was nursed by his mother till near the end of April. On the 12th of May he was on the steamer City of Richmond, at Yorktown, bound for West Point and General McClellan. On the 21st of May he wrote: ‘Eight miles from Richmond! in shirt-sleeves, trying to catch the breeze; tanned quite brown; not now the pale, thin, sick boy you nursed so tenderly. General Stoneman and I have seen Richmond from the balloon.’ May 23. ‘To-day, at the crossing of the Chickahominy, at last I was under fire, and do not think I showed fear.’

In the midst of the seven days battle at Richmond, Lieu tenant Birney found time to write to his mother: ‘The nearest shot to me passed under my arm, cutting the body and sleeve of my coat and shirt. I was in the hottest of the fire at Mechanicsville. The fight is still going on. If anything happens to me, let it console you that I am doing my duty in a just cause. You will not be the only sad one.’ General William Birney gives a picture of him in this battle: ‘In the afternoon of the disastrous affair of Gaines's Hill, as my regiment was marching into the fight, I met Fitzhugh. “Ah, brother will,” he cried, “we have the Rebels this time!” “What makes you think so?” said I, “it looks the other way to me.” “They say so at Headquarters,” he answered, “and I know they are in high spirits about it. They say we shall bag at least ten thousand.” In a few hours the Rebels had bagged many of us, myself among the number.’

Colonel David B. Birney having become Brigadier-General, Lieutenant Birney wrote, ‘I hope soon to be brother's Aid.’ August 1, 1862, he was commissioned as ‘Assistant Adjutant-General of the second brigade, of Kearney's division, with the rank of Captain.’ He added to the duties of this position those of Aid in the field. ‘His delivery of orders under fire was clear, concise, and correct.’

In the second battle of Bull Run, Captain Birney's collarbone was broken by the falling of his horse. This was the only hurt he received in two years and a half of dangerous service, during which he participated in more than twenty engagements. [421]

After the battle of Fredericksburg he wrote:—

You at home must suffer more from anxiety than we do from cold, exposure, and battle. It was hard for you to know that so fierce a fight was raging, and that we three were in the hottest of it. You ask me how I felt. There is intense excitement as the tide of battle ebbs and flows. If one's own party are advancing, there is a glow of exultation; if retreating, a passion to turn the enemy back. 'T was so the other day when Meade's Pennsylvania Reserves, to which we were support, advanced in a long, magnificent line of battle, as if on parade. All was quiet when they started, but in an instant the roar of cannon and the rattle of musketry were deafening. Twenty minutes it lasted. Then from the woods directly in front of us came out a shattered mass of troops in perfect disorder. It seems to me that I could have died a hundred deaths to turn the scale. . . . . One of our colonels well describes our position that day, “ The Rebels were in the boxes and we in the pit.” It was a Roman amphitheatre, and we were the poor beasts exposed on the arena.

April 28, 1863.

We expect a great battle all around Fredericksburg. Should I fall, remember the cause I am fighting for, and forget your grief in consoling others. God will protect me. Your beautiful flowers will be in my pocket.

May 5.

In the field, Chancellorsville. I am safe. My horse Prince was shot in the leg. He threw me off, vanished in the war-cloud, and I have not seen him since.

So you wondered what the same moon shone on that night by the Rappahannock. On the Third Army Corps, cut off from the rest of the army, massed on the field, its lines of battle facing both ways, to the front and to the rear; pickets all around us, for we knew not whence the attack might come; our brigade lying behind the batteries as support in case of attack; the other two brigades moving silently forwards into the black woods. A stillness like that of the grave! Suddenly a crash of musketry all along the line, and the fierce opening of cannon! This was half an hour before midnight. In fifteen minutes all was over, and the bright, beautiful moon shone on the piles of the dead and dying.

May 14.

Although the General is my brother, I must praise him. I have tried to do my duty for his sake. Saturday night, after we had made the night attack in which Stonewall Jackson was killed [422] and Kearney avenged, he had no blankets. I got him one, and we lay down together and slept. It was pleasant for us both to be there unharmed. The next day I was sitting by his side on horseback, when a shell exploded close to us. A piece passing under my arm struck him a severe blow on the belt.

July 5, he wrote from Gettysburg:—

Yesterday our band played the national airs amid the shouts of a victorious army.

The promotion of his brother David to the rank of Major-General was followed by the promotion of Captain Birney. His commission as Assistant Adjutant-General, with the rank of Major, is dated September 15, 1863.

November 30, he sent a pencilled note from Mine Run: ‘We assault the enemy's works at eight A. M. We are to charge up an open slope half a mile long.’ December 3. ‘Back at Brandy Station. No defeat, but disgraceful failure.’

On Christmas-day, 1863, Major Birney married Laura, youngest daughter of the late Jacob Strattan, of Philadelphia, —a lady with whom he became acquainted when both were pupils at Eagleswood. It is harder for him ‘now to be away from home than it ever has been before,’ but he will ‘stay till the good work is done.’

In April he says:—

Since my marriage life seems to me doubly precious and doubly uncertain. I need more than ever true Christian resignation to bear with composure whatever lot. I glory in being the soldier of a noble cause. If it is God's will that I fall,—well, I do not complain.

From Chancellorsville, May 4, he writes: ‘With what humiliation we left this place a year ago to-day! The graves are very many. Violets do what they can to cheer the desolation.’

Through the spring of 1864 he suffered from cold and cough; towards the end of May it became evident that he was breaking down. The General's confidence in him invited constant over-exertion. He was too sensitive to accept the proffered assistance of his friends. He positively refused to go on [423] the sick-list, ‘when so many able-bodied men were shirking their duty.’ He ‘determined to stay with the old red diamond’ (the division badge) ‘till it reached Richmond, or die on the road.’ The last two days of May he suffered severely from want of sleep, coughing violently whenever he lay down. Unwillingly he allowed his tent-mate to hold him in his arms that he might rest. All this time, studiously concealing his condition as far as possible, he performed his official labors. June 2, he wrote to his wife, ‘I shall, perhaps, have to give up duty for a day or two. Nothing but a spasmodic cough.’ It was pneumonia. June 5 he wrote, on board the steamer, ‘Here I am on my way to you,—not wounded. I shall rest a day in Washington, at Duddington.’ (Duddington is the old Carroll mansion, still inhabited by members of the Carroll family, cousins of Major Birney's mother.) He reached Duddington on the 6th of June. Though very sick and travel-worn, he wrote with his own hand the telegraphic messages that summoned his wife and mother to his side. He bore his physical sufferings with cheerfulness and patience, and looked forward with resignation to the end; but he showed a soldier's sensitiveness at dying of disease. The day he died he said to a wounded cousin, ‘I wish I had that bullet through my body.’ Once he asked, musingly, ‘Who will care for mother now?’ An hour after his death came the invitation to attend the exercises of his Class-day at Cambridge. It was the 17th of June, 1864,—the anniversary of the battle of Bunker's Hill.

Fitzhugh Birney was an uncommonly handsome man, tall, athletic, and apparently robust, but unable to endure long-continued hardship and exposure. He was an excellent horseman and a passionate hunter. He never got lost; his knowledge of place was instinctive and unerring, like an Indian's. Courage, truthfulness, and generosity, which distinguished his boyhood, were yet more conspicuous ornaments of his brief manhood. He was always helping others; but others rarely found it possible to help him. The gentleness of his manners veiled from most observers the singular decision of his character. [424] He was little influenced by the opinions of others; but, having formed his own, he adhered to them without obtrusion or argument. Genial in temper, fond of society and mirth, he maintained strictly temperate habits. When the circle of his friends was hilarious with wine and revel, this boy with the beardless chin and the steady, brown eyes, the gayest of the company, was never flushed. Genuine self-respect and principles deeply implanted kept him pure amid the extraordinary temptations to which his beauty, kindness, and universal popularity exposed him. Of one thus richly endowed with bright faculties and instinctive virtues, which were still further recommended by the charm of fine demeanor, the impartial judgment becomes spontaneous praise.

He was buried by his father's side at Hampton, the old homestead of the Fitzhughs, near Geneseo, Livingston County, New York. A posthumous daughter, born in November, bears his name.

Of the five sons of James G. Birney living at the outbreak of the war, four entered the Union Army, of whom three died in the service. Noblesse oblige.

Major-General David B. Birney, long commander of the famous Kearney's division of the Third Corps, promoted to the command of the Tenth Corps, won a battle, October 7, 1864, and died eleven days after, in Philadelphia.

Brigadier-General William Birney, as Inspector-General of Colored Troops in Maryland and at Washington, sent seven thousand into the field. He served with distinction in Florida, and was in Virginia, commanding the Third Division, Twenty-fifth Corps, at the time of the surrender of Lee.

Lieutenant Dion Birney died of exposure in the Peninsular campaign of 1862.

By his father, Fitzhugh Birney was first-cousin of the Confederate General Humphrey Marshall; by his mother, a more distant relative of the Confederate General Fitzhugh Lee.


Edward Chapin;

Private 15th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), August 6, 1862; Sergeant; died at Baltimore, Md., August I, 1863, of wounds received at Gettysburg, Pa., July 2.

Edward Chapin, son of Nicholas Baylis and Margaret (Fletcher) Chapin, was born at White Pigeon, Michigan, May 15, 1841. He was the youngest son in a family of four sons and four daughters. His father and mother were both born in Worcester County, Massachusetts, —his father in the town of Sutton, and his mother in Northbridge; and his ancestors on his father's side, for seven generations, were natives of Massachusetts, and directly descended from Deacon Samuel Chapin, who came from England about the year 1640.

His parents removed to Michigan in September, 1831; and at White Pigeon in that State his father died the 6th of July, 1845. In September of the same year his widowed mother, with her two youngest sons, returned to her father's home at Whitinsville, in the town of Northbridge. The next summer Edward Chapin began to attend the district school in Whitinsville; and he completed his preparation for college at the academies in Plympton and Andover, Massachusetts. In September, 1860, he was admitted to the Freshman Class of Harvard University.

In July, 1862, at the end of his Sophomore year, he went home for the college vacation. Soon after, at the close of the Peninsular campaign, came a call for more men, to fill up our armies. Chapin determined to enter the service, and accordingly enlisted as a private in the Fifteenth Massachusetts Volunteers.

On August 6, 1862, he wrote in his diary:—

I have this day solemnly sworn to bear true and faithful allegiance to the United States, and to assist in maintaining its laws against all its enemies. I am now in the service and under the pay [426] of “Uncle Sam,” as a private in Company H, Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment. After bidding good by to the dear ones at home, Ira Parkis, Henry Ainsworth, and I came up to. Worcester and were sworn into the service of the United States.

In this same company were three cousins of Chapin's, from Whitinsville,—Samuel, James, and George Fletcher, three brothers, who are several times mentioned in this sketch in the extracts from Chapin's diary and letters. On the 13th of August the recruits left Camp Cameron in Cambridge, to join their respective regiments in the field. On the 14th they arrived in New York, and on the 15th were embarked on board the steamship Catawba for Fortress Monroe, where they arrived next day.

Here the news came that McClellan had evacuated Harrison's Landing. Accordingly the recruits remained at Camp Hamilton, near the fort, till the 24th, when they marched to Newport News, where the recruits for the Fifteenth joined that regiment, and were distributed into their respective companies. On the 23d the regiment was embarked on board the transport Mississippi, and it arrived at Alexandria on the 28th. Soon afterwards the recruits received their arms and equipments, and the Fifteenth Regiment marched to the neighborhood of Fairfax.

The Rebels were now advancing with a strong force into Maryland, and our army was ordered into that State to meet them. The Fifteenth Massachusetts crossed the Potomac by the Chain Bridge, and, by rapid marches, arrived in time to take part in the battle of Antietam. Chapin gives in his diary, under date of September 17, his experience in that battle.

We were called at half past 2, A. M., and ordered to be ready to move at daybreak; but it was seven o'clock before we left camp. We forded the Antietam Creek, and crossed the fields in the direction of the enemy. Our artillery kept up a continual firing from the opposite side of the creek, and were replied to by the enemy. We halted beside a fence, and by the left flank and over was the work of a minute. At this place the Rebels threw some shells among our generals; one of the recruits, Shoules, was killed instantly. [427] Double-quick, and we were soon ahead of this piece of ground. It was very hard travelling over ploughed ground, and that, together with the exertion of keeping in line, tired me very much. The shells continued to follow us, and it was very evident that the Rebs could see all our movements from where they stood. We passed by a stone house and barn which were used as a hospital, and entered the woods. Here the broken guns, the dead and dying of our men, showed plainly that the battle had raged but a short time before.

In front of these woods was an open field where the Rebels had formed their line of battle. In this lot the enemy lay thickly. It seemed as though every third man must have fallen before the aim of our men. We passed over this line, and I suppose my heart was hardened by the excitement; for I could look upon them with the utmost indifference. We obliqued to the right, and soon saw a body of our troops lying in the edge of the woods, who received a volley as we came in sight. We marched into the woods in great disorder; and before we had time to form a line of battle, the bullets flew like hailstones, and many a brave comrade laid down his arms and went to a soldier's reward. I saw Murphy as he died; Hayden lay beside him, and a third was at my feet. I loaded and fired as fast as I could, but aimed at something every time; for I was not so excited but that I knew all that was going on, and realized my situation. We were on a rise in the ground, on a ledge of rocks, in full view of the enemy, who lay below us in a cornfield. They fired in deadly volleys, and the bullets flew thick and fast. Georgy [his cousin, George Fletcher, mentioned above] was struck and slightly wounded in the first fire, in the lip; another ball passed through his breast-coat-pocket. One ball struck my gun and tore the wood as I was putting on a cap, but passed by without touching me. We remained in this place for three quarters of an hour, the officers said, though certainly it did not seem more than fifteen minutes, when we had orders to cease firing. Just at this time a ball passed through Jimmy [his cousin, James Fletcher], just between the eyes, killing him instantly. He had stood there, bearing up bravely and doing his duty nobly during the whole fight; and then, just as he had almost finished his work, he died. Sam and Georgy stepped up to him, but seeing that he was gone they left him. I saw him just before he fell and just after, but did not see him fall. I stood the third from him back and to the left of Ed Tanner; Sam Batcheler fell near by, and Ike Marshall was also left there. The Rebels flanked us, and made it absolutely necessary for [428] us to retire. I did not see many of the boys, and tried to keep with one or two, but when I got back to a house used as a hospital I lost sight of them all. As we were falling back it seemed as though the balls flew thicker than before; but perhaps I noticed them more. I gave nearly all my water to a man wounded through the lungs, and oh, how eagerly he grasped my canteen as I knelt down by his side!

I went back, trying to find our men, but not seeing any except Dunn, I went back to the house that we passed in the morning and got some water, and I never found any that tasted better than at that moment. I then found Dixon and a few of the boys; but none knew where the regiment lay. We went back towards the battle-field, and after some inquiries we found the brigade; there were thirteen of the company present of sixty-three who had gone out with us in the morning. . . . . We went in with five hundred and seventy-four men, and now number two hundred and fifty. Four commissioned officers were killed and five wounded.

Soon after the battle of Antietam the Fifteenth Regiment moved with our army towards the Potomac, and forded the river near Harper's Ferry. The army remained in camp at or near Bolivar Heights till about the middle of November, when it moved to Falmouth, opposite to Fredericksburg, and there went into camp. In the first Fredericksburg battle Chapin's regiment was in the reserve. The Fifteenth Massachusetts at that time was in the Second Division, Second Corps; General Hancock commanding the corps, and General Gibbon the division. The regiment crossed over the river on the first day (December 11), late in the afternoon, and passed the night under the river's bank. Early the next morning it advanced without opposition into the city of Fredericksburg, and during the following night was out on picket duty. In a letter to his cousin, dated December 19, 1852, he thus narrates the further part taken by his regiment in the battle:—

About half past 8 (in the morning of December 13th), heavy firing, both musketry and artillery, began on the left of the line, and the battle had in reality commenced. The Fifteenth fell in and was rapidly marched to the scene of action, about two o'clock, P. M. As [429] we were passing through one of the streets, crash came a shell through a building a few feet in front, and bursting killed the doctor and one of our company, severely wounding others. Another compliment of the same sort was paid us a few minutes after, and we started double-quick for the battle-field. The Major was soon after wounded, and we took up our position behind a hill as a reserve. During all this time the firing had been terrific; and as we saw regiment after regiment advance over the hill behind which we lay, and some of them come falling back in disorder, not being able to stand the murderous fire of the enemy, our hearts almost failed us. Twice the Eighteenth Massachusetts made a charge upon their works, and twice were driven back, cut almost to pieces. Thus the battle raged until about five o'clock, when we saw a long column of men coming into the fight. Cheer after cheer went up, and they advanced boldly over the hill, and we surely thought that the day would then be ours. The firing then became, if possible, more terrible than before, and to our dismay the troops came falling back; some of them without hats, guns, or anything else. Then the Fifteenth advanced to the second line, and on the plain where the battle had raged. Darkness came on, and the battle ceased. As we filed into line and lay down, we received a volley; but it was too high, and but few were injured. We lay out on picket again that night until one o'clock. I shall long remember those hours. They did seem long, as men wounded and dying called for help when we could not assist them.

At some time during the winter or spring of 1863, Chapin became Orderly Sergeant of his company, of which his cousin, Samuel Fletcher (mentioned above) was then First Lieutenant. During the winter and following spring our army remained in camp near Falmouth, until the battle of Chancellorsville, in which the regiment was again in the reserve. The army remained in the camp opposite Fredericksburg until the enemy, in June, 1863, began their movement north into Maryland, when our forces left their camp, and by long and sultry marches, by way of Dumfries and Fairfax Station, advanced into Maryland, and finally met and conquered the Rebels at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In this battle Chapin received the wounds which eventually proved mortal. [430]

He was wounded as the Fifteenth Regiment, driven in by the superior force of the enemy, was retreating across an open field. The first shot brought him to the ground, and while lying on the field he was shot twice again,—once in the left thigh and a second time in the right knee. He lay on the field of battle from the afternoon of July 2d, when he was first wounded, till Sunday, the 5th, when he was removed to Newton University Hospital, Baltimore. July 8th he wrote to his mother from the hospital at Baltimore, informing her that he had been wounded and was then in the hospital. This letter is here given almost entire, as it is so characteristic of the man, showing as it does his courage and cheerfulness, and that tender regard and love for his widowed mother which leads him to under-estimate the danger of his wounds lest she should be unduly anxious for his safety. The letter is written with a pencil, and the characters are so faint as to be almost illegible. It was with the greatest difficulty that he could write at all; he could not sit up, neither could he draw up his limbs to rest his paper upon, and he could only write a few lines at a time.

Baltimore, July 8, 1863.

my dear mother,—We left Union Town the 1st of July, and reached Gettysburg about nine P. M. Early Thursday morning we marched to the battle-field, and lay in line till afternoon. A little before three P. M., the batteries on both sides opened, and the Fifteenth then took its position farther in front and behind a fence. Here we lay for about an hour and a half, listening to and watching the fight going on to the left. About five o'clock our skirmishers were driven in. The Second New York Regiment, on our left, was flanked by the Rebels, and fell back. The Fifteenth followed them, and then the men began to fall. We had to cross an open, level plain about three hundred yards wide before reaching any place of shelter. While crossing this the enemy were advancing and pouring into us a heavy fire. I fell just about ten yards from the wall, on the back of the field; the enemy passed over me, but very few of them returned. While lying there the bullets came from every direction, and the wonder is that I was not killed. The first ball struck me in the right knee and brought me [431] to the ground. As I lay there, another struck me again in the right knee and passed out at the same place as the first one. A spherical-case shot entered my left thigh and hip about an inch and a half from the joint, and I had it cut out and now have it in my possession. I am too tired to write much more. I cannot tell you of my journey to this hospital. Suffice it to say that I only reached this place last night, the 7th. Of course I have suffered some in the mean time. My wounds are doing finely, and I shall soon be able to walk with crutches. I was fortunate in not having any bones broken. There is nothing dangerous in my wounds; so do not be anxious about me. I have received every kindness and attention since I came into this city, and you may rest assured I am in good hands. The Lieutenant [Lieutenant Fletcher] was wounded at the same time I was,—shot through the head. The doctor said he could not live; but when I last saw him, day before yesterday, he was looking much better, and I am confident he will, with good care, recover. At all events his old love of fun has not left him, for he made my sides ache with laughing.

Glorious news from Vicksburg, is n't it? Much love to all. Send your letter as this letter is headed. Have n't heard from any one since the 19th of June.

Ever your affectionate son,


His wounds, though severe, were not considered dangerous at first, and were not so reported by the surgeons. But towards the end of July his case became very critical, and his friends, learning of his failing strength, hastened to be with him. At this time it was thought that to save his life amputation of the right leg must be made. Amputation accordingly took place, but he survived the operation but a few hours, dying the next morning, August 1, 1863.

His mother and brother were with him during the last two days of his life, and in this brief interview were cheered by his unshaken trust in the Saviour, and his assurances that he felt not the least regret that he had given himself to his country. His funeral took place from the house of his grandfather (Samuel Fletcher, Esq.), in Whitinsville, from whose dwelling two other grandsons who fell in battle within that year had been borne to their graves, while two others were there yet suffering from wounds received in battle. [432]

Any sketch of Edward Chapin which omitted to notice his religious character would be essentially incomplete. He early became a professed disciple of Christ, and to the end of his life he proved the genuineness and sincerity of his belief by his consistent Christian walk and conversation. In the hour of death his faith and hope did not fail him. A friend, writing of his last hours, says:—

He met death, not only with entire resignation, but apparently with triumph. A few hours before his departure he engaged in audible prayer, which was listened to with deep emotion by the hospital attendants and the wounded men about him. He prayed for the surgeons of the hospital, for the nurses, for the sick and suffering men, for the soldiers in the army, for his country that it might be delivered from its dangers, and for himself that he might be fully prepared for the change before him.

In person he was of medium height, strongly built, with broad shoulders and full chest. His features were regular; his hair and eyes were light; his mouth well shaped, with his lips firmly shutting; his whole face indicating a firm and resolute character. Chapin was modest and unassuming in his manners, and perhaps somewhat reserved in his demeanor towards strangers, but thoroughly manly and independent in spirit. He usually held a high rank in his Class, whether in College or at the Academy; but he was a careful and thorough scholar, rather than a showy one. As a soldier he was resolute, patient, and faithful; thoroughly convinced of the justice of the cause for which he fought, and unwavering in his confidence in its success.


Francis Welch Crowninshield.

Second Lieutenant 2d Mass. Vols. (Infantry), December 25, 1861; first Lieutenant, August 10, 1862; Captain, March 30, 1863; mustered out, July 14, 1865; died May 21, 1866, of disease contracted in the service.

Francis Welch Crowninshield was born in Boston, May 12, 1843, the son of Edward Augustus and Caroline Maria (Welch) Crowninshield. Never a robust child, he yet was not absolutely delicate, though brought near death in boyhood by two successive fevers. In 1856 he accompanied his father, who was at this time rather an invalid, to Europe,— having for the three years previous attended the public Latin School in Boston. They passed one winter at Pau, and another on the island of Madeira, returning home in 1858. Frank immediately resumed his studies at the Latin School, remaining there until July, 1860, when he entered Harvard College as a member of the Freshman Class.

Previous to this he had thrice broken an arm and once a leg; but these accidents, like the fevers already mentioned, had not affected his general health. At this time he was tall and slender, with small and delicate features, a fair complexion, and dark blue eyes. He was not muscular, but he was the possessor of great nervous strength. Whatever he did, he did with his whole soul, seeming to forget himself in what he had undertaken; and it was only when that was accomplished that he appreciated his own exertions. He was of enthusiastic temperament; and this distinguishing trait in his character, so often and so fully displayed in his army life, was very noticeable in his short college career. His enthusiasm was not seen, but rather felt; it did not show itself in hasty action, but rather furnished strength for protracted effort. He was not a student, for he was not fond of study; his temperament was too ardent; he was too eager for action to be content with quiet reading and reflection. His college life, however, was very pleasant, [434] and he made many warm friends during the short year he spent in Cambridge. Among these was George Washington, a grand-nephew of the first President, and, curiously enough, also born on the 22d of February.

As the winter vacation of 1861 drew nigh, the Southerners in the Class, feeling that it was very doubtful whether they should return to Cambridge in the spring, gave a farewell supper to a few of their Northern friends. During the evening both Crowninshield and Washington replied to a toast expressive of the hope that all the party would meet again, to continue their college life as pleasantly as they had begun it. The evening passed agreeably, and the friends separated,—these two to meet again, but under widely different circumstances. A year after this, Crowninshield, having been detailed to bring in the wounded after the first battle at Winchester, was walking through the hospital, when he heard a feeble voice say, ‘Crownie,’ ‘Crownie.’ He stopped, and recognized his college friend. Washington had been shot through the lungs, and, being too weak to talk, could only press the hand of his friend. His release was speedily obtained, and he was sent home to his mother. Nothing has been heard from him since, but there is every reason to believe that he died, soon after, of his wound.

The second term of Crowninshield's college life was passing quietly, when Fort Sumter was fired on, and immediately all was excitement in Cambridge as elsewhere. Many of the students determined to go to the war, and Crowninshield was among the number. He left College in June, 1861; and, being just eighteen years old, expressed his determination ‘to fight out the war, provided his life and limbs were spared.’ His course once adopted and stated to his friends, without saying anything more upon the subject (for he was a person of few words, and of very few when speaking about himself), he devoted his whole time and energies to obtaining a commission. He suffered many vexations, and was often disappointed; but was always hopeful, and never relaxed his endeavors. Earnest efforts, combined with patient waiting, at [435] length obtained for him the appointment, which was received in February, 1862, bearing date December 25, 1861. He was immediately mustered into the United States service as Second Lieutenant in the Second Massachusetts, and proceeded to Frederick, Maryland, to join this regiment, which had left Massachusetts in the July preceding.

Soon came the disastrous battle before Winchester, in which several balls passed through Crowninshield's coat and hat; but he seemed unconscious of the fact, and remained cool and collected. His company was slowly covering the retreat, when he was wounded in the leg. Then came the long retreat, the return home, the protracted confinement, and the slow recovery; but he was patient through it all. What he suffered will appear in the following extract from an account of this wound by Dr. J. Mason Warren:—

The case is given somewhat in detail to show to what extent the soldier is exposed, independently of the danger from his wounds. That a young man scarcely nineteen should be able to march thirty-five miles with his regiment, constantly fighting and without food, keep guard all night and engage in a battle lasting four hours the next morning, be wounded, and, while suffering and bleeding, lie thirty-six hours with a man on his swollen limb, and with nothing to sustain him, except on the second day a swallow of whiskey given him by a woman who saw his head hanging out from the ambulance with his pale and fainting face, show how much the human frame will bear when assisted by spirit and determination.

Crowninshield, though not fully recovered from his wound, went through all the hardships of Pope's disastrous campaign, though his regiment was not actively engaged. Before this he had been promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant, his commission bearing date August 10, 1862. Then followed the battle of Antietam, where he was again wounded in the leg. This wound, though severe, healed more readily than the preceding, and after a short furlough he went into winter quarters with the regiment.

He was promoted Captain, March 30, 1863, and passed through the battle of Chancellorsville without a wound, though [436] badly bruised by a spent ball which struck him in the chest. He was next present at the battle of Beverly Ford. At Gettysburg, which soon followed, the regiment was exposed to a very hot fire. In a few moments half his company, and he among the number, were shot down. His wound proved very serious, and he was unable to return to the army until October, when he rejoined the Second Massachusetts in Tennessee.

Early in December following, the question of re-enlistment became a subject of grave consideration to the officers and men of this regiment. Captain Crowninshield's opinion was quickly formed, and he urged the measure with the whole force of his enthusiasm; being, it said, the first officer who addressed the men on the subject. Many of his friends will remember the scene which Beacon Street presented as the Second Massachusetts marched up the street upon its return home on a furlough of thirty days. Probably no one in the regiment had more friends watching for his appearance, and anxious for a recognition from him. But he marched straight forward, turning his head neither to the one side nor to the other, and keeping his eyes to the front. Once only, when he passed the window where he knew his mother was standing, did he suffer his eyes to wander for a second, and to show what he could not then speak.

Crowninshield returned with the regiment to Tennessee, where he was on guard duty until the 1st of May, when the campaign of Atlanta commenced. He was in the actions at Resaca, Cassville, and Dallas, and was subsequently, while on escort duty, shot in the leg by a guerilla, as he was preparing to bathe in Raccoon Creek, after a hard day's march. Then followed another long illness. The hardships of two long years were telling on his constitution, and he did not easily rally from this wound. But his sense of duty was such that even before he had fully recovered he hurried to the West. Prevented by Hood's campaign from joining his regiment, then stationed at Atlanta, he was placed in command of some provisional troops at Chattanooga for a time, but [437] at length joined his regiment at Atlanta early in November, a few days before it set out on the grand march.

We cannot follow him through this campaign. His leg was very painful when he left Atlanta; but, to use his own words, ‘he soon walked it well.’ He participated in all the marches, skirmishes, and battles of the long and glorious march from Atlanta to Savannah, and from Savannah to Raleigh. He took part in Sherman's grand parade at Washington, where he remained for several weeks on provost duty. He returned to Boston in July, 1865, and was mustered out of the service on the 14th of that month. Ten days later he was commissioned as Major, but was never mustered.

He was now once more a civilian, and, in outward appearances, very little changed by his army life. ‘Tall, erect, he was like a lily for grace, and also, perhaps, for delicacy of appearance; and notwithstanding the storms and shocks of war to which he had been exposed, the words of the Psalmist exactly described him still, “Thou hast the dew of thy youth.” ’ Yet the exposure and privations, the numerous and severe wounds to which he had been subjected, the very enthusiasm which had nerved him for every hardship while the emergency lasted, had told severely upon his constitution, and all his friends rejoiced with him in the prospect of rest. Having spent the summer quietly at home, he went abroad in the fall with two of his classmates, and, with the exception of slight attacks of illness, everything passed pleasantly until the middle of the winter, when he had several severe hemorrhages. His friends became alarmed, and sent for his mother, who joined her son at Rome on the 18th of April. There was hope almost to the last, but his shattered constitution could not bear the strain; and, after enduring great suffering without complaint, he died on the 21st of May, 1866, upon the heights of Albano, of enlargement of the heart occasioned by the fatigues and excitement of his army life.


James Neville hedges.

Volunteer A. D. C., staff of Colonel Cradlebaugh (114th Ohio Vols.), commanding brigade, 1862; died at Circleville, Ohio, of disease contracted in the service, February, 1863.

James Neville hedges was born at Circleville, Ohio, October 11, 1843, and was the son of Mr. H. N. Hedges of that town. He entered Harvard College as a Freshman in 1860, and during the two years of his stay made himself exceedingly popular among his classmates. A universal adaptability seemed the most marked trait of his character, and this he showed not merely in his personal relations with his classmates, but also in his literary tastes, which were very varied. He had a great love of general literature and of the modern languages; was a ready writer, and at the end of his Sophomore year was chosen to the somewhat doubtful honor of editing the Harvard Magazine, then approaching its last days. He left College, however, soon after this; and after forming and abandoning a project of entering the navy, he returned to Ohio to seek a commission in the army. This failing, he obtained a position as volunteer aid on the staff of Colonel John Cradlebaugh, whose regiment, the One Hundred and Fourteenth Ohio Volunteers, left the State on the 26th of November, 1862. Having taken part in the battle of Arkansas Post, and in one other engagement, he was obliged by severe illness to go home and recruit. After reaching Circleville, he seemed at first likely to regain his health, but soon suffered a relapse. He died in February, 1863.


Samuel Storrow.

Corporal 44th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), September 20, 1862-June 18, 1863; first Lieutenant 2d Mass. Vols. (Infantry), September 22, 1864; killed at Averysborough (Black Creek), N. C., March 16, 1865.

Samuel Storrow was born in Boston, Massachusetts, July 24, 1843, the youngest son of Charles Storer and Lydia (Jackson) Storrow. From his earliest years he showed great quickness of apprehension and readiness to apply practically whatever he acquired. As he grew older he displayed much manliness of character and a perfect independence of judgment, the free expression of which savored perhaps of forwardness and over-confidence in a boy, but became more and more tempered by modesty as he grew to be a man and came more in contact with others. He entered College in 1860, at the age of seventeen. When the war broke out in the following spring, he took great interest in public affairs, and felt a strong desire to join the army. His wish naturally met with objections from his parents, who considered him much too young for such service. He at once, however, began to read military works, with a view to fit himself for whatever might in the future be required of him.

In the spring of 1862, suffering from an affection of the eyes, which rendered it necessary for him to refrain for a time from their use, he obtained leave of absence from College, and sailed about the 1st of May for Fayal, Azores. This little journey was agreeable and useful. Thrown among entire strangers and left to his own resources, his character was developed, his bodily strength increased; and he returned about the 1st of September, much better fitted either for study and improvement in his College Class, or for that service in the army which he had so greatly desired.

But he found, on his return, that his father was absent in Europe, and that his elder brother, Charles, had just entered [440] the army with a commission as Captain in the Forty-fourth Massachusetts, which regiment was then being filled up for immediate service. He rejoined his Class at Cambridge; but other thoughts than those of quiet study were uppermost in his mind. He wrote immediately to his father to ask his consent to his entering the service. That consent was instantly given, with an assurance of full sanction and approbation, even should he have been impelled to take the decisive steps before the answer could reach him. Such had, indeed, been the case,—his mother having, with unflinching loyalty, assumed the responsibility of the sacrifice; and before he could hear from his father he was mustered in as Corporal in Company H, Forty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, September 20, 1862.

His own letter of October 12, written just before the regiment left Boston for North Carolina, is here given at some length, because it unconsciously narrates the experience of many besides himself. Perhaps nothing has been printed which depicts more clearly the mental struggle through which multitudes of young men were then passing; and it singularly recalls the celebrated passage in Alfred de Vigny's reminiscences, describing the state of mind among the students of Paris during the last days of the Empire.

Boston, October 12, 1862.

my dear father,—Before you arrive here our regiment will have reached Newbern, to enter at once upon active service. I feel, therefore, that it is right and proper for me, before going, to state 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, [441] 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 feelings, on hearing from the pilot who boarded us that the scene of active operations had been shifted from before the enemy's capital to within a few miles of our own; that our troops were being beaten back upon Washington; that six hundred thousand new levies had been called for by proclamation of the President; and that now, fourteen months after the commencement of the war, thousands of armed men were rushing to the defence of the national capital. As soon as I landed I heard of the formation of the Forty-fourth, and C——'s commission. I at once wished to join this; but mother and C——--both opposed it, saying that it was your intention and desire that I should rejoin my Class at once, and expressed themselves so strongly against my enlisting, that on the following Monday I went to Cambridge, and resumed my studies with what zeal I could. During that week we heard that the Rebel forces were pushing forward and northward in every point along our borders, and that the points at which they were now aiming were no longer Washington and Nashville, but Philadelphia and Cincinnati and St. Louis. . . . . The excitement and intensity of feeling, the daily agony of doubt and suspense, is a thing scarcely to be appreciated in full by one who was not here at the time, and who did not pass through it. I assure you, my dear father, I know of nothing in the course of my life which has caused me such deep and serious thought as this trying crisis in the history of our nation. What is the worth of this man's life or of that man's education, if this great and glorious fabric of our Union, raised with such toil and labor by our forefathers, and transmitted to us in value increased tenfold, is to be shattered to pieces by traitorous hands, and allowed to fall crumbling into the dust? If our country and our nationality is to perish, better that we should all perish with it, and not survive to see it a laughing-stock for all posterity to be pointed at as the unsuccessful trial of republicanism. It seems to me the part of a coward to stay at home and allow others to fight my battles and incur dangers for me. What shame, what mortification would it cause me years hence to be obliged to confess that, in the great struggle for our national existence, I stood aloof, an idle spectator, without any peculiar ties to retain me at home, and yet [442] not caring or not daring to do anything in the defence of my country. It was impossible for me to carry on my studies with any degree of interest or of profit to myself. I would read in Tacitus of the destruction and dismemberment of the mighty empire of Rome by internal feuds and civil dissensions, and my mind would be brought to the thought of another nation, equal in magnitude and power to that which issued its decrees—from the seven-hilled city, which was to be saved from a like fate only by the timely aid and support of every one of its sons. I felt that, if I remained at College, I could derive no benefit whatever while my mind was so entirely interested in another quarter. The only reason which could at all deter me from enlisting was your absence. I felt reluctant to take so important a step without your advice and consent; and yet I felt that, had you been here, you would have given me your blessing and bade me go.

Here was a regiment formed and commanded by friends and kinsmen, and surpassing others in the material of which it was composed. If I embraced this opportunity, I should be among friends and equals, instead of being forced to accept as my associates any with whom I might be placed. If I did not make my decision quickly, the chance would be lost; and I knew that if I went, you would agree with mother in much preferring that C——and I should be together in the same regiment. At that time, too, a draft seemed almost certain; and, as several thousand were said to be wanting to complete the quota of Boston, the chance of being drawn was by no means small. I confess that the thought of leaving mother alone while you were away was very unpleasant to me; but, in reality, since I was at Cambridge all the time with the exception of Sunday, she would be left alone very little more; and since we have received the letter in which you say that you sail on the 11th, I feel much more easy about it, as you will arrive a week after our departure.

Poor mother, she has had a hard time during your absence, especially in coming to a decision about me. . . . . Assure her fully of your approval of the course she has taken, and I shall be happy too. . . . . Everybody thinks that she has acted nobly, and that you have reason to be proud of your wife as we have of our mother.

I have tried as well as I can, and I find that it is but poorly, to give you some idea of my feelings on this subject. I feel well satisfied that I have done what, upon careful deliberation, has seemed to me most in accordance with all my duties. I have looked at the matter from every point of view; and if I shall seem to you to have [443] arrived at a wrong conclusion, believe me, it was not from any hasty impulse of the moment, but from the sober dictates of my best judgment. If I have unwittingly made the wrong choice, God forgive me; I did what I thought was for the best.

Ever your affectionate son,

The Forty-fourth Massachusetts was at once ordered to North Carolina, and remained there during its whole term of service. During this period Corporal Storrow wrote constantly to his parents, describing frankly and graphically all chances and mischances. Finding many discomforts in his place in the ranks, he yet never wavered in his expressions of pleasure at being there. Thus, after describing the hardships of a forced march (November 26, 1862), he adds:—

‘I can honestly say that there has never been a moment since my enlistment when I would have accepted a discharge from the service, however honestly obtained. I feel satisfied now with what I have done; and I never could have, had I remained at home.’

Again he writes, December 4, 1862:—

When we parted, I was a free man; now I am not far from a slave, for a soldier comes the nearest to that of anything. However, it is a voluntary servitude; and, though it may be a little irksome at times, it is one never to be regretted for a single moment. The more I see of the hardships of this sort of life, the more I think what a coward I should have been to have stayed at home and suffered another man to take my place.

In another letter, written three days after this, he describes very vividly his emotions at the most critical moment of the advance on Kinston:—

As I saw the glorious stars and stripes of the Tenth Connecticut way ahead, dancing in the sunlight, I felt a sudden thrill shoot through me, a sort of glow in every vein, making me feel that it would be glorious to die, if it were necessary, under that flag. I suppose every soldier has this feeling; and a splendid one it is,—it makes one ready to do or dare anything. It is a sort of mental intoxication. I can appreciate the idolatry of an old soldier for “the old flag” beneath which he has fought, and can understand how easy it would be to protect and uphold it with one's life.


Nearly two months after this he wrote a letter to his father, stating a desire which he had formed for obtaining an appointment in the Military Academy. This project (which ultimately led to nothing) was, perhaps, the only thing which prevented him from accepting a commission which was tendered to him, under Colonel Shaw, in the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts. He thus describes this offer:—

Newbern, North Carolina, February 27, 1862.

While upon compliments, I should not fail to speak of that very great one paid us by Governor Andrew. I refer to his sending to Colonel Lee for some of his warrant officers to take commissions in the Fifty-fourth. I am proud to belong to a regiment of such a composition that officers may be drawn at will from its ranks, and with perfect confidence in their abilities. I don't know what people at home think of making soldiers out of negroes, but I have the most perfect faith in it. You who know negroes—real ones, not barbers, waiters, and the like—only by books, may think them too ignorant and cowardly; but no man of sense, who has had the opportunities we have for judging of their capabilities, can have any doubt upon the subject. I have been very strongly tempted to take a commission in the Fifty-fourth; and but for my last letter, I should probably have done so. I predict a glorious future for the Fifty-fourth, and lots of promotion for the officers who were bold enough first to try the experiment at the risk of failure. One thing is as sure as anything in this changeable world can be, that I shall come back again, if I don't go to West Point. You may make up your minds to that. I could no more stay at home than I could fly. It will be splendid fun to go again as an officer. The roughest things then will seem a great improvement on former times. No man can stay at home now any more than six months ago. There is just as much, nay, far more, need of men now than then; for the volunteering fever has, I fear, abated. This war has got to be fought out to the end, be that two years or twenty distant. Victory must be the result.

The regiment was mustered out of service on the 18th of June, 1863, and the young soldier still felt a great desire to continue in the service. His parents and friends, however, desired that he should rejoin his Class in College, and complete the studies of the Senior year. It was thought that [445] this would better prepare him for usefulness, even if he should ultimately re-enter the army. He consented to this course with some reluctance, but ultimately admitted that it was the better plan. His mind had strengthened, and his love of knowledge had become developed, during his brief military career. He now enjoyed the intellectual companionship which college life offered, and went more into general society. His favorite books were, however, those which treated of military science, and he watched with eager interest the progress of the war.

On graduating, he determined that, unless he joined the army, he would study law. But after full reflection, and acting solely upon his own convictions, he deliberately decided for the army, and applied for a commission in the Second Massachusetts Volunteers (Infantry), a regiment already in the field, among whose officers he had a number of friends, especially his classmate, Captain Francis W. Crowninshield, who had permanently left College for military service, early in the war. In order that no time should be idly spent while waiting for an answer to his application, he entered the office of H. W. Paine, Esq., of Boston, as a law student, informing him, of course, of what he had done, and that, if successful in obtaining a commission, he should accept it at once.

On the 22d of September, 1864, upon nomination by Colonel Cogswell of the Second Massachusetts, and the strong recommendation of his previous commanding officer, Colonel Francis L. Lee of the Forty-fourth, he received his commission as First Lieutenant in the former regiment, and in two or three days set out for Atlanta, Georgia, where his regiment was then stationed. After a series of delays occasioned by the partial destruction of the railroad between Chattanooga and Atlanta, during Hood's march to the North for the purpose of cutting Sherman's communications, he reached his regiment and was mustered in October 25, 1864.

The Second Massachusetts formed part of the Twentieth Army Corps, in the left wing of Sherman's army, which left [446] Atlanta about the middle of November, on its march to the sea. Lieutenant Storrow, in his Captain's absence, commanded his company through the whole campaign, until after the fall of Savannah. His letters, after communication was reopened, gave vivid pictures of the great march.

Argyle's Island, Savannah River, camp Second Massachusetts Infantry, December 18, 1864.
dear mother,—The long-wished — for mail reached us yesterday; there were twenty tons for the whole army, and great was the rejoicing over it. We have been cut off from all communication with God's country, as the North is styled, for six weeks: our only source of information being the Rebel papers, not the most reliable possible. We have had a nice little walk of three hundred miles, straight through the heart of the richest State in the Confederacy, and are now in front of Savannah, with our water base established, and the “cracker line ” open. Atlanta has been evacuated, but the evacuating army left in a different direction from what some people imagined, I won't say hoped, it would. The army has met with but trifling opposition up to the present time, and I think Savannah will be ours soon. . . . . We have lived almost entirely upon the country, and very fat living it was; no end of chickens, ducks, turkeys, beef, pork, sweet potatoes, molasses, honey, flour, and meal. For the last seventy or eighty miles, however, it fell off very much, and for a week before the “cracker line” was opened, we lived on little or nothing; rice, threshed and shucked by ourselves, being the chief of our diet. This caused much joy on receipt of the news of the capture of Fort McAllister in fifteen minutes, by the army, after having defied the utmost attempts of the navy for two years. The greatest defence of Savannah is the belt of swamps with which she is girdled. The gaps of dry land which occur here and there are covered by works. Madam Rumor hath it that the garrison consists of but eight or ten thousand men, mostly raw.

He gives an exceedingly graphic picture of the way in which Sherman's army reduced the destruction of railways almost to a branch of scientific engineering.

camp Second Massachusetts Infantry, near Savannah, December 24, 1864.
That afternoon we struck the Macon and Savannah Railroad at Ten Mile Station, and commenced tearing up track at that place. [447] The next day we went to Davisborough, the Second Division being on the track. The morning of the 28th (November) saw us at work on the railroad. We began at the one hundred and twenty-first mile-post from Savannah, our division alone (about five thousand strong) working, and destroyed seven and a half miles; then, leaving the road, we marched to Spier's Station. The next day was a repetition of this, only, becoming more expert, we destroyed ten miles. There are several ways of destroying track, more or less effectual. The track was the best I have ever seen in the South, the rail being laid on a long sleeper, which rests on ties, and is fastened to them by tree-nails. The quickest way is to form a regiment in single file on one side, all taking hold of the rail; then all lifting together, the whole thing, sleeper, ties, and all, is raised from the road-bed and tipped right over, bottom side upwards. As soon as the left of the regiment have raised their part to a perpendicular position, they rush down and form on the right, and lift, and so on ad libitum. It is very curious to see a track raised and thrown over in this way like a pile of bricks, one part following another rapidly. Then to make the destruction complete, after the track is thrown over thus, you can separate the ties, pile them up and set them on fire, piling the stringer and rail on top, either in one long piece extending from pile to pile, or chopped into lengths. All this we did without any tools but our hatchets, three or four to a company. The engineers followed, and twisted the rails while red-hot. Another way is to simply light fires all along the stringers, which bends and warps the rails considerably. But the neatest of all is to cut levers, and pry one stringer and rail up from the ties, and roll it over alongside of the other, then fire both effectually; the rails, expanding with the heat, have got to bend out of line, as their ends are laid close together. It's hard work, though, to tear up track, and do your ten or twelve miles a day beside. Our regiment, two hundred strong, tore up on the second day about one thousand yards of track, and made twelve miles. The worst part was marching along the burning track. The road ran through an impassable swamp, so that we were brought into unpleasantly close contact with the flame and smoke. At a steam saw-mill on the road was an immense quantity of stringers and bridge timber, all sawed and fitted for use, in readiness, doubtless, to repair any damage done by raiding parties; and this went the way of all things railroady.

At Savannah he was detailed for staff duty on application [448] of his regimental commander, who had just been brevetted as Brigadier-General. The order was dated January 16, 1865, and he acted as Aid to General Cogswell during the march across North Carolina, and until his career ended. In the last letter he ever wrote, four days before his death, he gave some sketches of this final march.

Headquarters, 3D brigade, 3D division, 20TH Army Corps, Two miles West of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Sunday, March 12, 1865.

dear ones,—We've struck daylight at last, and a mail goes in half an hour; pleasant words to greet our ears after two months isolation from the world. Well, we've just walked through and into the little State of South Carolina, and I don't think she will ever pass another ordinance of secession. But my time is short, and I must n't waste it in crowing. First of all, everybody that I know of is well and hearty, and best and heartiest of all am I. Second, we got here last night, making a burst of twenty-five miles to do it. It was n't until just now, though, that we heard that a gunboat had come up, and that communications were opened. We had heard from deserters that Schofield had come up from Wilmington, and were a little disappointed at not finding him here. Our bummers captured the town, driving the Johnnies across the river. This was yesterday morning; and as I understand it, the gunboat did not arrive till to-day. This campaign has been harder in every respect than the last. We have marched farther, had many more swamps and rivers to cross,—many of the latter very large, —had much more trouble with regard to subsistence, and, above all, the weather has been much more unfavorable. We have had fourteen wet days, and at one time it rained steadily for nearly a week. Of course at such times we could advance no faster than we could lay corduroy, making sometimes two, sometimes ten miles a day. But old Tecumseh has come to time at last. The four corps of our army were concentrated here all on the same day, without jostling or delay. This army is a cheap thing for the government: it boards itself. We have n't had five days rations since we started.

The circumstances of his death are perhaps best described in the following letter from the officer on whose staff he served. [449]

Headquarters, 3D brigade, 3D division, 20TH Army Corps, Goldsborough, North Carolina, March 24, 1865.
To Hon. Charles S. Storrow.

dear Sir,—I regret that I am obliged to inform you of the sad loss that has fallen upon you and your family in the death of your son, Samuel Storrow, First Lieutenant Second Massachusetts Infantry, and personal Aid to myself.

Mr. Storrow died of wounds received in action, March 16, 1865, about twenty miles from Fayetteville, North Carolina.

My brigade had been engaged with the enemy at that place nearly all day, and at about four o'clock, P. M., Mr. Storrow was wounded while carrying an order to the left of the brigade, and died in about fifteen or twenty minutes afterwards.

I did not see him after he left me with his orders until that evening, when I went to his remains at the hospital.

He received two wounds, one in the leg, the other in the arm, neither of them fracturing the bone. . . . . He was not insensible when first wounded, and he had the coolness and self-possession to send word to me that he was wounded, that he had carried out my instructions, and also sent me the information that I had wished for. Immediately after that, as reported, he fell fast away, and in a few moments died. . . .

The fact that he was a brave, faithful, intelligent, and most promising young officer, together with the fact that he died nobly in a just cause, may, in part, console you in your great loss. Allow me to claim in part this loss as my own, for neither in my old regiment nor in my present command can I replace him. He joined my regiment in Atlanta in October. I was pleased with him at once, and can say that in all my experience I never saw a new and young officer take hold of his work so well. In my own mind I selected him at once for the place which I afterwards asked him to accept. He became eminently popular in this brigade; and not until after I had lost him did I fully realize of how much actual service he was to myself and my command.

Let me offer to yourself and family my deep feeling of sympathy in this loss to ourselves and to our country. . . .

William Cogswell, Brevet Brigadier-General United States Volunteers.

Lieutenant Storrow was buried near the battle-field, beside Captain Grafton of his regiment, who was killed in the same engagement, and whose memoir is also contained in this [450] volume. In the following winter his remains were recovered, and reinterred (January 6, 1866) in the family tomb at Mount Auburn.

There were many to whom it seemed peculiarly mournful that a young man whose career had shown such traits of consistent nobleness should thus fall at the very end of the great national struggle, when a few weeks more of service might have brought him safely home. Perhaps, however, the parents who had so promptly devoted him to the nation's cause may have felt this peculiar circumstance less than those who viewed it from a greater distance. As there was nothing else for them to regret in the career of their son, so they could hardly find a special source of sorrow in this. They knew that, as there was a first victim in the great contest, so there must be a last; and to those called upon to make for their country a sacrifice so vast, it could make but little difference whether it came early or late. The offering being once consecrated, God might claim it in his own good time.


Anson Grandcelo Thurston.

Private 6th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), August 31, 1862; died at Franklin, Va, May 17, 1863, of wounds received at Carrsville, May 15.

Anson Grandcelo Thurston was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, August 5, 1841. He was the son of Joel Miller Thurston and of Sophia, daughter of Mr. Richard Bean, of Brentwood, New Hampshire. After the birth of this son the family removed from Lowell to Belfast, Maine, the father's birthplace, then to Pelham, New Hampshire, and finally returned to Lowell. At the High School in that city Anson was fitted for college, sustaining in that school an excellent reputation.

He entered Harvard College as a Freshman in 1860. On joining the Class he was a stranger to almost all his associates, but soon became a great favorite with all. He was soon recognized as one of the wits of the Class, and as such was deputed to act as chairman of the committee on ‘mock parts.’ His personal appearance was nevertheless quiet, sober, and striking; and one would hardly have imagined at first sight what a genial spirit lay hid within.

He remained in College until the end of his Sophomore year, when he enlisted (August 31, 1862) as a private in the Sixth Massachusetts, Colonel Follansbee, the first nine months regiment. He shared the fortunes of this organization until his death. In a letter received from him dated March 21, 1863, in which he spoke of certain rumors which were then prevalent, that his regiment would soon move forward, he said, ‘I know it will be bloody work,’ but continued by expressing his earnest conviction that he should come off unharmed.

In the battle of Carrsville, near Hebron Church, Virginia, on the afternoon of the 15th of May, 1863, he was wounded in the hip and thigh. He was then on the skirmish line, and [452] remained on the field until nine P. M.,--nearly six hours. He was then taken to a deserted house in Franklin, at that time in possession of the Rebels. His father, who had fought in the same regiment, remained with him on the field, and fell into the hands of the Rebels at the same time. Anson lived till seven o'clock, P. M., on the 17th of the month, having no medical attendance till the last few hours. He retained his senses to the end, saying to his father, but a little before his death, ‘Father, I am going.’ Immediately upon the son's death, the father was hurried away to Richmond, and was granted no consolation save the promise that his son's body should receive becoming burial in a graveyard which was just in sight of the house in which he died.

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Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (2)
Saginaw (Michigan, United States) (2)
Northbridge (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
New Bern (North Carolina, United States) (2)
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Lowell (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Headquarters (New Jersey, United States) (2)
Harper's Ferry (West Virginia, United States) (2)
Fayetteville (North Carolina, United States) (2)
Fayal (Portugal) (2)
Falmouth, Va. (Virginia, United States) (2)
Chancellorsville (Virginia, United States) (2)
Carrsville (Virginia, United States) (2)
Belfast, Me. (Maine, United States) (2)
Bay City (Michigan, United States) (2)
Yorktown (Virginia, United States) (1)
Worcester County (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Worcester (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Washington (United States) (1)
Union Town (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
Tecumseh (Michigan, United States) (1)
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (1)
Sequatchie College (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Savoy (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Saginaw (Michigan, United States) (1)
Resaca (Georgia, United States) (1)
Quaker (Missouri, United States) (1)
Preussen (1)
Portland Harbor (Maine, United States) (1)
Plympton (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Peterboro (New Hampshire, United States) (1)
Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
Pelham (New Hampshire, United States) (1)
Norwich, Vt. (Vermont, United States) (1)
New England (United States) (1)
Mount Auburn (Ohio, United States) (1)
Mine Run (Virginia, United States) (1)
Michigan (Michigan, United States) (1)
Kinston (North Carolina, United States) (1)
Headquarters (Kentucky, United States) (1)
Hampton (Virginia, United States) (1)
Goldsboro (North Carolina, United States) (1)
Geneseo (New York, United States) (1)
Frederick, Md. (Maryland, United States) (1)
Fortress Monroe (Virginia, United States) (1)
Fort Preble (Maine, United States) (1)
Fort McAllister (Georgia, United States) (1)
Fairfax, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)
Edgefield (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Dumfries, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)
Davisboro (Georgia, United States) (1)
Dallas, Ga. (Georgia, United States) (1)
Brentwood, N. H. (New Hampshire, United States) (1)
Brandy Station (Virginia, United States) (1)
Boston (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Black Creek, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)
Belleville, N. J. (New Jersey, United States) (1)
Andover (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Amboy (New Jersey, United States) (1)
Alabama (Alabama, United States) (1)

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December 4th, 1862 AD (1)
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November 11th, 1862 AD (1)
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October 12th, 1862 AD (1)
August 1st, 1862 AD (1)
July 1st, 1862 AD (1)
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February 27th, 1862 AD (1)
November 29th, 1861 AD (1)
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1861 AD (1)
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1859 AD (1)
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December 19th, 1852 AD (1)
September, 1851 AD (1)
July 6th, 1845 AD (1)
1844 AD (1)
October 11th, 1843 AD (1)
July 24th, 1843 AD (1)
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January 9th, 1842 AD (1)
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October 22nd, 1841 AD (1)
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1835 AD (1)
September, 1831 AD (1)
1640 AD (1)
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