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charge of convalescents in Maryland, with whom he rejoined the regiment, April 8th, before Yorktown. Suddenly Yorktown was evacuated, and the army poured through, May 4th, to its first battle-field at Williamsburg, Hooker's division moving to the left against Fort Magruder. Colonel Dwight, considering Lieutenant Stevens's wound still painful and dangerous, detailed him to come on with the regimental train. This becoming stalled in the mud, he, hearing the first guns on the morning of the 5th, resigned his charge to a non-commissioned officer, and in the mud, the rain, the dark early morning, struggled to the field on his wounded foot, a distance of seventeen miles. And not alone, for by encouragement and authority he turned stragglers from different regiments, and collected and organized them as he pushed forward. He says simply, I felt I was needed, and that it would cheer my men to see me there. A sense of God's care decided me, not recklessness of danger. About one o'clock
besieged, cut off from all help. For a considerable part of this time we were on half rations, six hard-tack and a small piece of salt pork constituting our daily fare. All this time we were almost sleepless, as the force of the place was so small that we were constantly on guard or digging. On the night of April 13th, the steamer Escort, with the Fifth Rhode Island Regiment on board, ran the blockade, reinforcing with some four hundred men, and bringing provisions and ammunition. On the 15th, General Foster ran the blockade on the same steamer, and reached Newbern, and started a relieving force immediately. The Rebels hearing of it, withdrew from Washington on the following day. We reached Newbern April 23d. The regiment did provost duty in Newbern from April 25th until the day of its leaving Newbern, June 6th. It arrived at Boston, and received a hearty welcome, June 10th; went into camp at Readville, June 15th, and was mustered out of the service June 18, 1863. I was muster
iety and college life from his numerous Cambridge visitors. June was spent at his home in Lawrence, following the progress of the war and enjoying the quiet of his home. With convalescence, early in July, began the irresistible anxiety to return. After the news from Richmond I shall rejoin my regiment at the earliest moment, he wrote; and in spite of the warnings of surgeons, and the advice of his regimental commander, he returned upon the 9th of July, arriving at Harrison's Landing on the 18th. He had barely time for a few minutes with his brother, then going North upon recruiting service, and wrote sadly of the company ranks thinned to seventeen. But his letters soon ceased. It was not a fortnight before he was himself fever-struck. He lay sick in his camp for a week, where he wrote his last few lines, still hopeful, and on August 7th he entered the hospital at the Landing. A glimpse of his last days was given through the account of Dr. S. Sargent of Lawrence, also confined
February 10th (search for this): chapter 31
derable distance, the bridge over the Neuse destroyed, and the telegraph wires cut. After a hard march we reached Newbern, marching nearly seventy miles in three days. We remained in Newbern until February 1, 1863; we then went to Plymouth, North Carolina, on the Roanoke River. We marched out from Plymouth on a provision-destroying expedition, marching all night, making nearly thirty miles, destroying a lot of pork and bacon. This was called the ham-fat expedition. We reached Newbern, February 10th. On March 14th, the anniversary of the capture of Newbern, the Rebels made an attack on the place, but finding it too strong they retired. General Foster, expecting them to attack Washington, North Carolina, immediately sent the Forty-fourth Massachusetts to reinforce the Twenty-seventh, then stationed at Washington. The Rebels did not make their appearance for two weeks after our arrival. General Foster arrived at Washington, March 30th, and immediately sent out a scouting party, wh
February 28th (search for this): chapter 31
death, the more because they expect nothing but the worst treatment from the Rebs. I admire, too, the manner in which they stick together in the pay matter. They have not taken a cent yet, and will not until the United States pays them as it does white soldiers. About the 14th of February, 1864, his regiment was sent on an expedition to Florida, and participated in the battle of Olustee, where it covered the retreat of our defeated forces. Of this expedition he wrote under date of February 28th:— Just two weeks ago to-day we left South Carolina, and ceased, forever and a day, I trust, to be foolish islanders. We broke camp at daylight, . . . . and embarked at noon . . . . for the State of Florida. We had a delightful voyage, and I dreamed (by day) of De Soto and Ponce de Leon, and the romantic search for the fountain of youth. . . . . . We landed at Jacksonville, Monday, and bivouacked in town. . . . . Next morning we marched eight miles, to Camp Finnigan, and the day
would ask, Shall we countenance in our companies by our example those vices which are more dangerous than bullets? In these winter quarters, therefore, he was at once recognized, and intrusted with many a duty beyond his rank. Speaking of his mediation between two regiments, Colonel Dwight says: I had occasion to know his character even thus early, from a special duty which called for all his ability, energy, and judgment, and in which he acquitted himself to my entire satisfaction. In March began the first whispers of the Peninsular campaign. It was preceded by a short march to Dumfries, Virginia, on which he acted as Aid. Later he writes: I would rather feel you were all hoping than fearing for me. I shall be careful, our force is overwhelming, and I am under God's care in all danger. Just previously to his regiment's embarkation, he accidentally wounded himself with his own pistol in his ankle, and was very reluctantly persuaded to remain in charge of convalescents in Maryl
March 13th (search for this): chapter 31
elected to play the organ on Sunday in one of the churches of the town. He remained on detached service about three months, when he was relieved at his own request, and returned to the regiment on Tuesday, the 17th of February, 1863, His position and surroundings as a clerk had been more congenial to him than life in camp, but he rejoined his comrades from the conviction that it was his duty to share with them all the hardships and perils to which they were exposed. On the night of Friday, March 13, a large body of Rebels took position opposite Newbern, and the next morning they opened an artillery fire upon the defences of the town and the barracks of the garrison. They were at once driven back by Union gunboats in the Neuse River, and before night of the 14th retreated into the interior. It was subsequently reported that the Rebel force had marched north to attack the town of Washington, which had been captured by our forces soon after the taking of Newbern. The Forty-fourth
March 14th (search for this): chapter 31
the bridge over the Neuse destroyed, and the telegraph wires cut. After a hard march we reached Newbern, marching nearly seventy miles in three days. We remained in Newbern until February 1, 1863; we then went to Plymouth, North Carolina, on the Roanoke River. We marched out from Plymouth on a provision-destroying expedition, marching all night, making nearly thirty miles, destroying a lot of pork and bacon. This was called the ham-fat expedition. We reached Newbern, February 10th. On March 14th, the anniversary of the capture of Newbern, the Rebels made an attack on the place, but finding it too strong they retired. General Foster, expecting them to attack Washington, North Carolina, immediately sent the Forty-fourth Massachusetts to reinforce the Twenty-seventh, then stationed at Washington. The Rebels did not make their appearance for two weeks after our arrival. General Foster arrived at Washington, March 30th, and immediately sent out a scouting party, who discovered the R
March 22nd (search for this): chapter 31
ed an artillery fire upon the defences of the town and the barracks of the garrison. They were at once driven back by Union gunboats in the Neuse River, and before night of the 14th retreated into the interior. It was subsequently reported that the Rebel force had marched north to attack the town of Washington, which had been captured by our forces soon after the taking of Newbern. The Forty-fourth Massachusetts was despatched by steamer to relieve the garrison, and remained there until March 22d, when the siege was raised. Lieutenant Crane accompanied this expedition, and has left a minute and careful narrative of the siege. When it was decided to recruit a second colored regiment in Massachusetts, commissions were offered to several noncommissioned officers and privates in the Forty-fourth Massachusetts, of whom Crane was one. This was precisely what he had most desired. He was an uncompromising opponent of slavery, a sincere friend to the colored race, and felt confident t
March 30th (search for this): chapter 31
the ham-fat expedition. We reached Newbern, February 10th. On March 14th, the anniversary of the capture of Newbern, the Rebels made an attack on the place, but finding it too strong they retired. General Foster, expecting them to attack Washington, North Carolina, immediately sent the Forty-fourth Massachusetts to reinforce the Twenty-seventh, then stationed at Washington. The Rebels did not make their appearance for two weeks after our arrival. General Foster arrived at Washington, March 30th, and immediately sent out a scouting party, who discovered the Rebels in large force around Washington. The force at Washington was so small that the Rebels expected, on the appearance of a large force, the surrender of the town. They blockaded the river by planting batteries along the shore, where the current of the river was near the shore. For seventeen days we were thus besieged, cut off from all help. For a considerable part of this time we were on half rations, six hard-tack and
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