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John G. B. Adams, Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Chapter 6: battles of Fairfax Court house, Flint Hill and Antietam. (search)
r bedding, or in any way molest private property. The idea of General McClellan seemed to be to carry on the war without hurting any one's feelings, but once in a while we broke over. One night Corporal Phelan and Jack Robinson discovered hens at a neighboring farm-house, and finding the house not guarded took their muskets and went on duty. The people were much pleased to be so well protected. While Phelan entertained the family Jack went on duty outside to protect the hens. Soon a squawking was heard, and Corporal Phelan grasped his musket and rushed to reinforce Jack. They secured three good hens, and forgot to go back to the house, but reported to camp. When they arrived I discovered that they had plunder, and called them before me. With downcast eyes they l told the story of their shame and begged for mercy. As an officer I must do my duty, and they must be punished. I ordered them to cook one of the three hens and deliver it to me. With sad hearts they obeyed the order.
John G. B. Adams, Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Chapter 8: battles of Chancellorsville, Thoroughfare Gap and Gettysburg.--wounded at Gettysburg and ordered home. (search)
met; we saw them falling back and the enemy advancing. Lieut. Sherman Robinson and I were lying side by side watching the battle. Some one must go and help them, Jack, said Robinson. At that moment a staff officer rode up to Colonel Devereaux, and then we heard the familiar command, Attention, 19th! We are in for it, said Robiors when a regiment on our left broke; with other officers I rushed to rally them, and was returning to my place in line when I went down. I heard an officer say, Jack is down, before I really knew that I was shot. I could not rise, and Sergeant Smith and Private Collopee came to me. Put him on my back, Smith, said the latter, auld die, when he rushed back to the regiment with the information. In a short time Lieut. Mose Shackley appeared before me with one of his company named Younger. Jack, old boy, they say you are going to die, and I thought you would like a canteen of coffee before you passed up your check, said Mose. What are you lying on? he a
John G. B. Adams, Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Chapter 9: regiment ordered home.--receptions.--my first call upon Governor Andrew.--return to the front. (search)
nt to the regiment, which was camped near Stevensburg, Va. I waited until after January 1 for my discharge, but it did not come, and my wound was so bad that the surgeon ordered me home. Colonel Rice was in command of the regiment, Colonel Devereaux being in command of the Philadelphia brigade. I called on Colonel Devereaux, who was very indignant to learn that I had been discharged; he said he would see about it, and I knew that meant something. One day the colonel sent for me and said, Jack, I have a letter from Governor Andrew asking that the regiment re-enlist for three years more or until the end of the war; do you think they will do it? My answer was, I don't know; there are not many left to re-enlist. He said, I wish you would go to your old company, A, and talk with them, and I consented. The regiment was encamped on a side hill in shelter tents, and the weather was cold and rainy. I went to Company A; the mud in the company street was ankle deep and everything was as
John G. B. Adams, Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Chapter 10: battles of the Wilderness, Todd's Tavern and Laurel Hill.--Engagement at the Bloody Angle. (search)
ned with the regiment. The charges against him had been placed on file on condition that he serve faithfully to the end of the war. While he had promised to do this, he did not intend to, and was only kept in battle at the Wilderness by fear of death from the officers. On the 18th he deserted while under fire, was captured the 19th, tried by drum-head court-martial the 20th, and ordered to be shot at 7 A. M. on the 21st. Early in the morning of that day Adjutant Curtis came to me and said, Jack, you are detailed to take charge of the shooting of Starbird. I was not pleased with the order, and Captain Mumford, who was ever ready to do a kind act for a friend, exchanged duty with me, I going on picket for him. The detail consisted of eight men from our regiment. Their muskets were loaded by Captain Mumford, seven with ball cartridges, one with a blank. Starbird was seated on his coffin, blindfolded. The order was given to fire. Six shots struck him near the heart; the other muske
John G. B. Adams, Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Chapter 11: battles at Totopotomoy Creek and cold Harbor. (search)
e in the rear seemed to be in a hurry. We could hear the rebels reorganizing their men, and knew that we should be unable to resist the charge, as we were only a skirmish line. I lay on the works by the side of Captain Hincks. Both of us had muskets, and resolved to make the best fight possible. The rebels came in over the works at our left, at the same time advancing in front. We waited until the skirmish line came so near that we could get a good shot. Captain Hincks said, What is it, Jack; Richmond or legs? I said, Legs. We covered our man, fired and fell back. The rebels came on in force; we retreated until we came to a brook, and standing in the water used the bank for a breast-work, and held them until re-enforcements came up. A more angry set of men than we were never wore Union blue. We had done a brilliant thing, had captured and held a line of works for two hours against heavy odds, and could have been supported in fifteen minutes as well as not. As we were fall
John G. B. Adams, Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Chapter 12: experiences in rebel prisons,--Libby, Macon. (search)
relieving us of our hats, belts and other personal property as we went. Captain Hume had been a prisoner before and thought he understood the rules of civilized warfare. A rebel officer demanded my belt. Captain Hume said, Don't give it to him, Jack. Private property is to be respected, and all he has a right to claim is your sword. But the rebel was not so far advanced as this in his study of the articles of war, and turning on Hume, with his revolver and a volley of oaths, made him give uly insulting us. After a while he became quiet and was nearly asleep. One of the officers near touched me, and motioning to keep still, drew up his feet, straightened out, and the fellow went flying off the top of the car. Turning to me he said, Jack, didn't something drop? I said I thought so, but guessed it wasn't best to stop the train to find out, and we never learned whether he landed or not. We arrived at Augusta, Ga., on Sunday, and were marched to the park. Here citizens visited u
John G. B. Adams, Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Chapter 16: the capture and return to Columbia. (search)
died without it. I was always blessed with friends, and am indebted to many old comrades for favors. Frank and I had slept (or tried to) on the ground, without shelter, for two weeks. One day Capt. Louis R. Fortescue of the signal corps said, Jack, I believe we can make room for you and Frank in our shebang. He was with a party of officers of the 18th Pennsylvania cavalry, and they said by packing snugly we could come in. It was snug quarters, but neither they nor we growled. My ham fat one cake in ten for the privilege, but it was a hard job unless it was well greased, as the cakes would stick. It was soon known that I had the fat, because when we cooked we greased the griddle with a rag soaked in ham fat. Outsiders would say, Jack, lend me your grease, but I had an eye to business, and would ask, How many cakes will you give me? We fixed the tariff at one cake in ten, so that when we had plenty of business for the griddle and greaser our mess fared well. We were very di
John G. B. Adams, Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Chapter 17: the exchange and return north. (search)
e. On the 4th we got under way. It was the second inauguration of President Lincoln, and all the ships were gaily decked with flags. We passed out over the bar. The ship was crowded; my berth was on the floor between decks. I find the last entry in my diary is, Oh, how sick I am! I did not come on deck for four days, and suffered more than I can tell. The sea broke over the ship, and the water came down the hatchway. A western officer, suffering near, aroused me by exclaiming, My God! Jack, there is a board off somewhere; don't you see the water coming in? I didn't care if they were all off. We arrived at Annapolis and quartered in the several hotels. The following day we received two months pay. I bought a good uniform of a Jew for seventy-five dollars. It was a nice blue when I first put it on, but before I arrived home it was as brown as a butternut. We ate from six to ten meals a day for a week, then received thirty days furlough and came home to friends who had almos