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Augustus Barker.

Second Lieutenant 5th New York Cavalry, October 3, 186; first Lieutenant May 3, 1862; Captain, October 24, 1862; died near Kelly's Ford, Va., September 18, 1863, of wounds received from guerillas, September 17.

Augustus Barker was born in Albany, New York, April 24, 1842. He was the son of William Hazard and Jeannette (James) Barker. His grandfather on the paternal side was Jacob Barker of New Orleans, Louisiana. His mother, who died soon after his birth, was the daughter of the late William James of Albany. He attended a variety of schools,—at Albany, Sing-Sing, and Geneva, in New York; at New Haven, Connecticut; and finally at Exeter, New Hampshire, where he was a pupil of the Academy. In July, 1859, he entered the Freshman Class of Harvard University.

In College he was genial, frank, and popular. His college life, however, closed with the second term of the Sophomore year, and he soon after entered the volunteer cavalry service of New York as a private in the Harris Light Cavalry, afterwards known as the Fifth New York Cavalry, Colonel De Forrest. His first commission as Second Lieutenant of Company L bore date October 31, 1861; his commission as First Lieutenant, May 3, 1862; and his commission as Captain, October 24, 1862. His regiment passed much of its early career in camp near Annapolis, Maryland, under the command of Brigadier-General Hatch, United States Volunteers, ‘a very energetic and agreeable man,’ as Barker wrote, ‘who superintends in person, and instructs and suggests when he sees the officers at a loss.’ Although convinced of the necessity of drilling and disciplining the men for active service, Barker was soon weary of the monotony of camp life; for in a letter to his sister, under date of March 17, 1862, he said:— [358]

I wish that we could move immediately from here, as this fearful monotony is becoming wearisome,—anything but this passive warfare. I did not come here to wait and wear myself out with vain hopes of a speedy departure. I came here to learn to be a soldier, and then to practise; and as we have become quite efficient in this particular arm of the service, we are daily in expectation of orders to march. . . . . To-day or to-morrow I would gladly go to fight, either to distinguish myself or die. It destroys my disposition to read of victories, day by day, on all sides of us, and not be able to share in any of them. It is too bad. Never mind. I will be in a battle, if practicable in the least degree, or never go home.

The regiment was afterwards joined to the corps of General Banks, and was actively engaged in his disastrous Virginia campaign. While at Winchester, in April, Lieutenant Barker was ordered with a small body of picked men to escort General Rosecrans, of whom he speaks in the warmest terms, in a letter of May 2, 1862:—

I found General Rosecrans a man full of sympathy, amiability, and yet thoroughly strict in everything he did or ordered; and so definite was he in all details, that I had no hesitation in the performance of my duty, knowing if I acted rightly I should receive his praise, and if I erred through inattention or negligence I should receive his severest rebuke. He appeared to delight in youthful company, throwing off all restraint and that military stiffness which is so apt to paralyze the free actions and thoughts of a young fellow; but he is such a man that he won my affections so much that I felt and even wished that danger might have threatened, so I could have shown my feeling towards him by my ardor and sincerity in averting it. . . . . Besides the invaluable instruction I have received from him in person, his official business so required his presence here and there and everywhere, that I gained quite an idea of the country between Harper's Ferry and Woodstock (which was then the advanced Headquarters), a distance of sixty-two miles. My idea of scenery hitherto has been governed entirely by the region of the Catskills and Berkshire County; but never have I seen so beautiful and peaceful a scene, at the same time grand and extensive, as the Valley of the Shenandoah presented. Forever our home on the Hudson, and our haunt in the hills of Berkshire, may be silent when the recollections of Central Virginia occur.

Very soon after the Virginia campaign, about the 1st of [359] August, 1862, Lieutenant Barker was taken ill with typhoid fever, but before yielding to the disease, he had, in a severe skirmish near Culpeper Court-House, taken three prisoners single-handed and brought them in. He succeeded in getting to within a mile of Culpeper Court-House, more than a day's ride from where he started. There he was obliged to alight, being unable to proceed any farther. Having had a trooper detailed to escort him and assist him, he was placed under a tree by the roadside and was left alone; his companion spending a whole day in the effort, at last successful, to find him a conveyance to the Alexandria railway, whither he had been ordered. His father, hearing of his illness (but not until ten or twelve days after), proceeded at once to Alexandria, and found him in an extremely low condition, so much so that his surgeon had no hopes of his recovery. His father, however, took the responsibility of removing him to Washington, and to his great joy and happiness saw him begin to rally at once, convalescing so rapidly that in a fortnight he could set out for the North. He went by low stages to Lenox, Massachusetts, suffering no drawback. His health was rapidly restored, and he rejoined his regiment in the same year, November 16, 1862, at Fort Scott, Virginia, near Washington.

On the 9th of March, 1863, Captain Barker was taken prisoner with Brigadier-General E. H. Stoughton, they having. been surprised in their-beds at midnight by Mosby, near Fairfax Court-House. The General and his staff were betrayed into the hands of the Philistines by Miss Antonia J. Ford,—‘Honorary Aid-de-Camp’ to the Rebel General Stuart; she had planned the capture with Rebel officers. When near Centreville, on his way to Richmond, Captain Barker made a desperate effort to escape. He was on a strange horse, without saddle, and surrounded by fifteen or twenty Rebel cavalrymen; but, watching his opportunity, he suddenly wheeled,—in the effort unhorsing several of the enemy,—succeeded in getting clear of the guard, and dashed off, the Rebels in full pursuit; a dozen or more shots were [360] fired at him without effect, but coming suddenly upon a formidable ditch, the horse bolted and threw him over his head, without serious injury. The Rebels were upon him in a moment, and knowing that it was useless to resist, he surrendered.

A graphic description of this daring attempt, and of the subsequent demeanor of Captain Barker in prison, can fortunately be given in the words of his companion in the misadventure, General Stoughton.

Early in the month of March, 1863, before the gray dawn of day had replaced the darkness gathered during a stormy, cold, and gusty night of rain and sleet, I found myself riding side by side with a young man through the thick pine woods of Virginia, our horses floundering in the mud caused by the recent rains. We were surrounded by several Rebel soldiers, each carrying his pistol in his hand, cocked and ready for use should we attempt to escape; but in spite of this vigilance he managed to communicate to me his name, and his intention to escape as we neared Centreville, rouse the garrison there, and liberate his fellow-prisoners. I reminded him of the peril of the attempt under the circumstances, to which he paid little heed, seeming only anxious as to the horse's capacity to leap the stream which then separated us from Centreville, running only a few rods to our left, and parallel to our course of march. It was now the gray of the morning, and suddenly he dashed from my side directly toward the stream. Almost instantly the report of several pistols broke the stillness of the morning air, and Barker fell forward on his horse's neck, the horse still plunging toward the stream, on reaching which he raised himself on his hind legs as if to make a spring to clear it, when, suddenly turning short to the left, Barker fell to the ground, as we all supposed at the time mortally wounded, in this most intrepid attempt to release his fellow-prisoners from captivity. Such was my first acquaintance with Augustus Barker, and so much was I pleased with him, that the next day, when I was paroled and permitted to leave the other prisoners, to become the guest of General Fitz-Hugh Lee, I asked that he might accompany me, which request was granted. Afterwards, in Libby Prison, under the most depressing circumstances, he displayed the rarest qualities; his buoyant spirits and good cheer never deserted him. He was, I may say, a great pet with all the prisoners, cheering the downcast and encouraging the anxious and low-spirited. He was a [361] child in spirits, and eminently a man in action. His frank, joyous, and patient bearing was envied and admired by all.

I slept under the same blanket with him during his entire imprisonment, and I recollect very well that one morning, as upwards of sixty officers from the Western army were turned into our room, —which already literally swarmed with about one hundred and eighty inmates,—having been stripped of their blankets and overcoats by General Bragg, by whom they had been captured, Barker was the first to relieve their wants so far as lay in his power, and commenced by dividing his own blankets among them. His extreme generosity was, without consciousness or ostentation, made apparent in almost every act of his daily existence.

A harsh or unkind word I never heard him use to any one, and his careful attention to those stricken down by disease in prison bespoke the most gentle and thoughtful nature.

The beauties of his disposition, and his daily acts of kindness during an acquaintance of several months, had endeared him to me quite beyond my power of expression. I heard him repeatedly assert that he would never again be captured alien, and he indulged in great anxiety lest his friends should attribute fault to him for his capture; that was the only thought that ever seemed to affect his spirits. I never saw him after our release from captivity, but I learned of that brave, generous baby's untimely death with great sorrow.

After two months of imprisonment, Captain Barker was, on the 6th of May, exchanged, and ordered to Annapolis, where he rejoined his regiment on the 27th of the same month. He was engaged in many severe fights and constantly in skirmishes, and his regiment particularly distinguished itself at the battle of Gettysburg, under General Kilpatrick. He went into the fray with thirty-two men, and came out with only three, the others being either killed, wounded, or missing. A minie — ball passed through his blanket, his horse was killed, and a round-shot struck the ground within a few feet of him, almost burying him with earth; but he escaped without a scratch.

On the 16th of September, 1863, the regiment having moved from Hartwood Church, Virginia, and crossed to the southern side of the Rappahannock, Captain Barker was left behind [362] in charge of three hundred men, picketing the river, and on the 17th while on the march to join his regiment, as he was riding with a single man some distance in front of the column, he was fired upon by guerillas concealed in an adjoining wood. Two balls took effect,—one in the right side and the other in the left breast,—each inflicting a mortal wound. He was immediately carried to the house of Mr. Harris Freeman, near Mount Holly Church, about one mile from Kelly's Ford. From this gentleman and his family the dying soldier received the most tender attentions. Everything in their power was done to alleviate his sufferings; but he survived his wounds only twelve hours, dying on the 18th of September, 1863, in the twenty-second year of his age. His body was taken to Albany, where it was buried with military honors from St. Peter's Church, October 10, 1863.


Winthrop Perkins Boynton.

Second Lieutenant 55th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), July 8, 1863; first Lieutenant, November 21, 1863; Captain, November 23, 1864; killed at Honey Hill, S. C., November 30, 1864.

the subject of this sketch was born in Boston, August 29, 1841. His parents were Perkins and Mary Anne (Simonds) Boynton. After two years spent at the Endicott School in Boston, he was sent to the public Latin School, of which Francis Gardner, Esq. was principal. There he remained for six years, finishing his course in 1858, and having then no intention of going to college. In school he was not remarkable for any great brilliancy or especial endowments, but for steady fidelity to his duty.

In the early part of the year 1859, having conceived the idea of entering college, he returned to his studies, under the instruction of Mr. Edwin H. Abbot, and in July, 1859, was admitted to the Freshman Class.

In college he displayed the same characteristics as at school. While faithful to his work, he was not ambitious of distinguished honor, and contented himself with a respectable position in point of scholarship. His taste for natural history and the natural sciences was shown by his choice of studies, and was also frequently exhibited in his letters home from the army. He was distinguished for his strength and powers of endurance, was an active gymnast, and very fond of boating and other athletic sports. He was extremely reserved, contenting himself with a few intimate friends, and not seeking the acquaintance of a large number of his Class, so that to most of them he was comparatively unknown; but by those who knew him best he was loved and respected. In 1857, when he was in his seventeenth year, he united himself with the Bowdoin Square Baptist Church, and was ever faithful to the obligations under which this relation placed him. His pastor says of him:— [364]

He was an earnest, ardent disciple of the Master, taking an active part in the meetings of the church, especially among his young friends. During the four years of his college course he kept his place in the meetings, faithfully discharging his duties. In the Sabbath school he bore an active part, and greatly endeared himself to the superintendent, scholars, and teachers. . . . . He was decided in his character, manly in the expression of his views, uncompromising in his religious convictions, unswerving in his principles of integrity and honor.

The testimony of his college chum so accords with what has been said that it is well to quote it-

He was reserved and of few words, so that few knew him thoroughly at College. But he was remarkable for stern moral purity, unswerving truthfulness, and deep religious faith, and was highly esteemed by all . . . . He was almost the type of a wholly developed man, an unusually strong and healthy frame, great mechanical ingenuity, discreet judgment, a taste cultivated by communion with the best books,. . . . warm sympathies for others, high manly motives in his heart, and a constant sense of the love and presence of God; and all these without a spark of the consciousness that he displayed them.

As his college course drew towards its close, he seems to have felt some doubts as to his proper vocation. That the war had lasted for two years was a source of great anxiety to his mind. At this time the experiment of forming regiments of colored soldiers had been much talked of, and was under trial. A few extracts from his letters at this time will best show the state of his feelings. His friend Crane (afterwards his Captain in the service, and always his intimate friend) was then in the nine months service, having left College to enlist in the Forty-fourth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. To him he wrote, under date of February, 1863, that he had no idea what he should do after Class-day; but under date of May 19th he said, after speaking of his devotion to rowing and gymnastics, with reference to his great purpose:—

My darling project of late has been to get a commission in a negro regiment. I fear that will prove but a mere dream. Commissions go by favor, or by that which makes the mare go; and, so [365] far as I can learn, it will be of little, or no avail to apply to the Governor in my own name.

Soon after this the Forty-fourth Regiment returned home, and Crane received a commission in the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts, a colored regiment then encamped at Readville. Meanwhile Boynton had made an application for a commission, which had been disregarded. At this time he was zealously studying tactics, and seeking to acquire a knowledge of military matters. One day when visiting Captain Crane at Readville, he offered to remain and assist in drilling the men, thinking thereby to add to his own knowledge and to increase his chances of subsequently securing the much-desired commission for himself. The offer was accepted, and he remained at the camp for several days, making himself many friends both among the officers and men. In consequence of his success and the earnestness which he displayed, Colonel Hallowell offered to use his influence to procure him a commission in the regiment, and on the 8th of July, 1863, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant. His cherished desire was accomplished, and he was now in a position for which he was peculiarly qualified, and where, to use his own words, he was in his right element. His decided opinions in regard to the principles involved in the war, his sympathy with the negro race, his strength and power of endurance, his determination and self-control, and his strong religious principles, fitted him for the discharge of his duties, and combined to make him one of the most energetic and conscientious officers of the regiment. He always retained the good — will of his men, and was particularly successful in arresting the tendency to mutiny which the soldiers at one time manifested, when they had been deprived for many months of their pay, in consequence of the action of Congress. In this matter his sympathy was entirely with them, and in his letters he frequently praises the spirit and persistency with which they demanded their rights, and their performance of their duty under so great discouragement, and speaks with indignation of those who withheld their dues. But he felt that the discipline of the service must be maintained, and was as [366] strict in enforcing it as he was strong in his feeling for their wrongs.

From the time that he received his commission his history is identical with that of his regiment. He was usually at Headquarters, seldom on detached service. Active campaigning agreed with his constitution, and many months after leaving home he was mentioned as the only officer whose name had not been on the sick-list. So many officers had been detached that the service of the others was particularly severe; and as his health was always good, he seems to have had his full share, or even more. He left home as Lieutenant in the company of his friend Captain Crane, and for many months they were inseparable. During his whole term of service, in all of which he never received a leave of absence, he wrote home cheerful letters,—in some of them displaying a humor and keen wit which few knew him to possess.

On leaving Boston his regiment went to Newbern, North Carolina, where it remained for a few days. It was then sent to take part in the attack on Charleston, and encamped on Folly Island, where he accompanied it. He there passed most of his remaining life, with the exception of a few months spent in an expedition to Florida, and a few when with his company he garrisoned Long Island, South Carolina.

His descriptions of his life were very graphic and interesting, and he always seemed perfectly contented and happy. He wrote in one of his earliest letters to his college chum:—

Your description of all you enjoyed during your vacation for a moment made me feel half sad, for it reminded me that I might have experienced similar pleasures if I had chosen . . . . Yet I would not change places with you for the world. I did not take the step I took without seriously weighing the matter from every point of view, and that step I have never regretted for an instant. You have mentioned the chosen pursuits of many old friends, but there is not one with whom I could be tempted to exchange. I could not, during the war, feel the minutest particle of interest in any of those pursuits.

And in another letter written nearly a year later, and within about four months of the close of his life, he says:— [367]

I believe the army to be a first-rate school, which very often ruins its pupils; but if they can sustain the training, they come out with greatly increased self-confidence, knowledge of men, power of self-government, and very many of those qualities which go so far to make up a real man.

In speaking of his army life he regrets the loss of Sunday and of religious worship. In one of his letters he says: ‘I have not heard a sermon nor attended a religious meeting of any kind for three months.’ In another, written some time after: ‘Religion does not flourish on this soil, and Sabbaths are unknown in our brigade. Each Sunday is for the men a day of cleaning up and beginning anew.’ He follows this with quite a graphic account of the ‘Sunday inspection.’

Soon after arriving at Folly Island he had been placed third in the order for promotion on the list of Second Lieutenants; and in a letter written January 21, 1864, he speaks of having been recently promoted First Lieutenant (November 21, 1863), and then says, ‘I find no trouble in making myself at home in camp, and enjoy the life there perfectly.’ In the same letter he says, referring to his regiment:—

I admire the spirit which these men show. They have evidently enlisted on principle, and, moreover, being so nearly akin to the Fifty-fourth, they are eager to emulate their example. I have not the least doubt that they will fight to the 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 [368] of youth. . . . . . We landed at Jacksonville, Monday, and bivouacked in town. . . . . Next morning we marched eight miles, to Camp Finnigan, and the day following marched eight miles back again. Good thing that, for it taught us to make our packs as light as possible. One's eyes are wonderfully opened by a march with knapsacks to the fact that man needs but little here below.

Companies D and H were detailed for provost duty in town, and Captain Crane and I were Assistant Provost-Marshals for two days . . . . Friday morning we started for the front, marching through magnificent open pine woods, and bivouacked at night between two swamps, I commanding the picket. Next morning we marched eighteen miles and reached Barber's. In the afternoon heard a fierce battle going on in our front, and marched towards it as fast as possible. Company H was detailed to guard a blockhouse and an enormous railroad-bridge. . . . . Next morning news came that the enemy were in hot pursuit of our routed forces, and our picket was ordered to come in as quickly as possible. We were then a mile and a quarter from camp, and on approaching it found the army retreating in two columns, our regiment bringing up the rear of that on the right. . . . . That day (Sunday) we retreated in good order to Baldwin, stayed an hour or two, and at nightfall started again and travelled thirteen miles more,—twenty-five in all. . . . . Halted at midnight, and bivouacked in the woods. Were we tired and footsore? Did we (Will and I) have a good supper of fried pork and coffee? Did we then turn in, snapping our fingers at all fear of Johnny, and go to sleep to be awakened by daylight, which seemed to tread on the heels of twelve o'clock? All this we did and more. We started again at sunrise. . . . . The retreat, though made in excellent order, . . . . was a disgraceful affair, because entirely unnecessary. . . . . This week we have been employed moving our camp from one place to another, and fortifying the town, which is now completely encircled by rifle-pits and several small forts. Reinforcements have also arrived, and there are troops enough here to defend the town against fifty thousand Rebels (I think).

In another letter written somewhat later, but during the same expedition, he alludes to some invidious distinctions made between the white and black regiments, as follows:—

An order has been issued by the commander of the post, that white and colored men are not to attend church together. I wonder [369] he had not issued a general order specifying what shade of complexion and texture of hair a man must have to enter the kingdom of Heaven.

Soon after, with his regiment, he returned to Folly Island. In the latter part of May, 1864, he was sick for two weeks or more with pneumonia, the first time that he was ever on the sick-list. He had himself put on the list for active duty, however, before fairly recovering, because there was only a small number of officers present with the regiment, and he wished to do his share of duty. He went out also with a fatigue party for two days, during the whole of which time there was a severe rain. But so strong was his constitution, that, strange as it may seem, no ill effects resulted from this exposure.

On the 3d of July he was engaged with his regiment in the capture of a battery on James Island. In this engagement several officers were wounded, among them Captain Goodwin of Company D; and Boynton was now detached and placed in command of this company, where he remained till his death.

In the latter part of September, 1864, he was detailed with his company, at his own request, to form part of the garrison of Long Island, and wrote thence, under date of October 12th:—

I have been here twenty days. The island is thickly wooded with pines, live-oak, palmetto, persimmon-trees, and many others. It is surrounded by marshes like those described in the first article of the last Atlantic . . . . . The delineations of a night in this Southern climate are very correct. A score of little points attracted my attention as being parts also of my own experience,—the large and high soaring fireflies, the rabbits leaping the narrow footpath, the oozy, treacherous marshes, and the piers and picket (or picquet) posts . . . . The writer is evidently no stranger among the sights and sounds of this Southern coast.

He was commissioned Captain, November 23, 1864; but before learning his promotion he fell in the battle of Honey Hill, November 30th, at the head of his company. He fell, struck in the side, but, rising again, led his men on. Waving his sword and shouting encouragement to them, he was hit in [370] the neck, and fell again. The line was repulsed, and his body was never recovered.

A writer in the Boston Daily Advertiser for December 4, 1865, under date of Charleston, November 25th, gives the following account of the battle:—

Your readers may remember that Major-General Foster despatched General Hatch with some four thousand men, in November last, to cut the Charleston and Savannah Railroad, and offer another objective point to Sherman, then coming from Atlanta shoreward. The expedition landed at Boyd's Neck, on Broad River, and marched inland eight miles, encountering the enemy (about two thousand two hundred strong) . . . . at Honey Hill, on the Grahamsville Road. In the fight which ensued, miserable generalship won us as rare a defeat as the whole war has witnessed, we losing over twelve hundred men to the Rebels' forty. The Massachusetts Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth infantry were engaged. . . . . My object in revisiting the field was to discover, if possible, and mark the graves of Captain Crane and Lieutenant Boynton of the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts, both killed in the action of November 30th, and said to have been honorably buried by the Rebels. We found the woods and swamp in which the fight occurred overgrown with weeds and bushes. Bits of clothing, scattered bones of men and horses, and all the debris of a battle-field, however, would have indicated, even to a civilian, that there had been a severe struggle upon the ground. . . . . We crossed the little sluggish brook which had been our limit of advance in the fight, and ascended an abrupt slope to the substantial fieldwork which crowned it. Standing upon the embankment, and looking down at the stream and its dead fringe of thickly-set swamp-trees, only broken by the narrow opening of the road, we could not wonder that a concentrated fire of musketry and artillery, at hardly a hundred yards' range, swept back the gallant soldiers who advanced to so hopeless a charge. The narrowing of the road, bordered as it was by pools of water and slashed trees, broke the double column, in which the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts charged twice, into a crowded and confused mass, a marked target for the Rebel fire, which mowed down the front ranks, and rendered advance physically and morally impossible . . . . Captain Crane, who was acting as aid to Colonel Hartwell, fell in the stream, horse and rider being instantly killed by canister. Lieutenant Boynton, hit in the leg by a musket-ball, fell, rose again, staggered forward, and was killed by a discharge of canister, falling a second [371] time upon his face in the water. The road was piled crosswise with wounded and slain. Marks of shot far up the trees were evidence of the wildness of part of the Rebel fire, which alone saved the regiment from utter annihilation. According to the stories of deserters, and (since the cessation of hostilities) of participants in the battle, the men were all buried on the side of the stream farthest from the intrenchments, and the officers, or at least Captain Crane, who was a Freemason, in separate graves on higher ground, still farther from the water. Upon search we found the trench in which the men had been interred. A narrow drain at the side of the road had apparently been widened, and the bodies thrown in and covered with a foot or so of mould. The earth seemed as if freshly turned, but was sunken from the effects of rain and drainage. We could find no other place of burial, nor indeed could we hope for success in our search unless aided by one of the burial party, for the weeds had grown up in the woods and at the wayside, all the ranker for their baptism of blood.

Colonel Hartwell (Fifty-fifth Massachusetts) thus describes these two officers .of his regiment, who died together, and whose memoirs here appear in close proximity.

They fell by the side of “men of African descent,” brave and true as steel, who knew well the worth to their cause of earnest and educated gentlemen like Crane and Boynton. Crane obtained the position in the regiment for his classmate and near friend Boynton. All through the fatiguing siege of Wagner and the incessant labors and difficulties of the regiment in the Department of the South, these two men were always at work, and always so cheerfully and so efficiently that I became greatly attached to them, and mourn their loss to the regiment and to the service. They were alike in being particularly refined and gentlemanly in their manners and tastes, and in doing everything with great care and precision. I remember how clean and well-dressed they looked on the day of the action, and how calmly and intelligently they behaved.


Henry French Brown.

Private 2d New Hampshire Vols. (Infantry), September 5, 1862; died at Boston, March 3, 1863, of disease contracted in the service.

Henry French Brown was born in Dedham, Massachusetts, in March, 1840. Nothing is known of his parentage or childhood, but on the 5th of January, 1850, at the age of ten years, he was admitted into the ‘Farm School for Indigent Boys,’ in Boston Harbor. He was then an orphan, and was admitted on application of an elder brother.

He remained there for three years, during which time he sustained a good character, and was one of the best scholars in the school. When twelve years of age he wrote a school composition which attracted the attention of the well-known Boston philanthropist, Deacon Grant, who caused it to be printed for distribution among the pupils of the school. In 1860, a little pamphlet was published, entitled ‘A Brief Notice of the Five Browns, Graduates of the Boys' Asylum and Farm School; all bearing the Name of Brown and all from different Families.’ Five lines of this pamphlet are devoted to Henry French Brown, and he is described as ‘a good scholar, more fond of books than play.’

He was discharged from the Farm School on the 18th of May, 1853, and went to New York with his former teacher, Mr. John A. Lamprey, to be employed in an insurance office. This did not last long, for some reason, and he was then taken by another teacher, Mr. Eben Sperry French, who removed him to his own home at North Hampton, New Hampshire, and made him a member of Exeter Academy. He entered the Academy at the age of fourteen, August 23, 1854, and remained there until his admission to the Sophomore Class at Cambridge, in 1860. Of his standing in the Academy the following statement is given by the principal, Gideon L. Soule, Esq.:— [373]

He remained in the Academy till he was well prepared to enter the Sophomore Class at Harvard. He was a chubby, fair-faced boy, looking younger than he was, healthy and always cheerful, and apparently happy. His good-natured wit and humor were a never-failing cause of merriment among his fellows. He was always distinguished in the school; but I can hardly say whether most by his good natural powers, by his laziness, or by his waywardness. He could lead his class when he chose to do so, but his application was intermittent. Sometimes it was a gratification to hear him recite. I remember his recitations in Cicero's Laelius as particularly discriminating and elegant. So in his compositions he was always distinguished. If the theme had a practical bearing, especially affording room for his playful satire, he treated it in a manner very remarkable for one of his years and advantages. He never used others' thoughts, but wrote like one of broad experience. I became very much interested in him, and he gave me a great deal of trouble.

Brown's college career did not open very successfully, and he remained at Harvard but one term. He afterwards taught school for a time, and finally enlisted in the Second New Hampshire Volunteers, as one of the quota of the town of Stratham, being mustered into the service September 5, 1862. He is said to have been taken ill at Washington and to have died of fever at the house of a brother in South Boston. It is certain that his death occurred from disease, somewhere within the limits of the city, on the 3d of March, 1863.


William Dwight Crane.

Private 44th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), August 11, 1862; first Lieutenant 55th Mass. Vols., June 7, 1863; Captain, June 19, 1863; killed at Honey Hill, S. C., November 30, 1864.

William Dwight Crane was born in East Boston, Massachusetts, November 29, 1840. He was the son of Phineas Miller Crane, M. D., a native of Canton, Massachusetts, and Susan Hooker Dwight, daughter of Seth Dwight, a merchant of Utica, New York, and one of the earliest settlers of the place.

His grandfather on his father's side was Elijah Crane of Canton, for several years Major-General of the militia forces of Massachusetts, and also Grand-Master of the Grand Masonic Lodge of the State. General Crane was a man of strict integrity and uncommon firmness of will. His grandson William, though he had never seen him, had conceived a great admiration for his character, and frequently expressed the wish that he might prove himself worthy of such an ancestor; a wish afterwards fulfilled in a manner little anticipated.

He was admitted at an unusually early age to the Lyman Grammar School, and afterwards spent three years at the English High School in Boston. In his conduct at these schools he was exemplary, and in scholarship always successful. He became gradually so fond of study, that, although originally destined for a business life, he finally resolved to spend two years in the public Latin School, to fit himself for college. He entered the Freshman Class at Cambridge in July, 1859.

Before this time he had devoted a good deal of attention to music, vocal and instrumental, occupying such leisure as he could command at home in practising on the piano-forte. In the spring of 1857 he began to play the organ of the East Boston Unitarian Society, and to give lessons in piano-forte playing. His labors as an organist and teacher he continued until the [375] period of his enlistment in the Forty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment; and at that time was esteemed a fine performer on both instruments, as well as a conscientious and successful teacher. Having thirteen pupils in music, to whom he gave one lesson each per week, he was obliged to be very industrious at Cambridge and very economical of his time in East Boston, to keep both his college standing and his professional engagements. So desirous was he, however, of paying the expenses of his education by his own exertions, that he made the most of every hour, and not only ranked well as a scholar, but also succeeded in his financial enterprise.

His college chum, John T. Hassam, thus writes of him:—

His recitations at once showed his fine abilities. His marks for Greek and Latin were very high, while in mathematics few equalled him. He was one of the best mathematical scholars in the Class, and enjoyed the somewhat dangerous honor of being invariably called upon by the tutor in the recitation-room to solve the problems which proved too difficult for most of us. During the Freshman year he devoted himself a great deal to gymnastics, and was a prominent member of the base-ball and cricket clubs. His musical taste led him likewise to take much interest in the class for singing. He was one of the members of the Temperance Society connected with the University, of which he was successively Secretary, Vice-President, and President. During the Sophomore year botany and chemistry were included in the course of instruction, and into these studies Crane entered with enthusiasm. Few of the students under the instruction of Professors Gray and Cooke made such rapid progress in these departments. He also attended the lectures of Professor Agassiz on Comparative Zoology, and gave much time to the French and Spanish languages. He entered heartily into all the innocent relaxations of college life. When a military company was formed among the students, he showed great alacrity in joining it, and was conspicuous for punctual attendance at drills, and for eagerness to perfect himself in tactics.

He had become a member of the Uuitarian Church at East Boston, in company with eight of his young companions, on New-Year's day, 1860. At the time of his enlistment in the army he was not only organist to the society, and teacher in the Sunday school, but also librarian of the parish, and [376] Secretary of the Mutual-Improvement Club; and his departure caused a gap which it was found very difficult to fill. When the war broke out he was a member of the Harvard Cadets, whose services were tendered to the Governor. Their going into the service was, however, opposed by the Faculty, and the offer was not accepted. A year later, however, Crane, with ten or a dozen other young men from East Boston, enlisted in Company D, Forty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. This was on the 11th of August. Daily drills were had in Boylston Hall and on Boston Common until Friday, August 29. At that time the military ardor of the people was so great, that most of the stores closed at two P. M., and the entire populace turned out to witness drills upon the Common or parades through the streets. The Forty-fourth went into camp at Readville on the 29th of August, and began at once the regular routine of camp life. The men were mustered into the service of the United States on the 12th of September, and left Battery Wharf for Beaufort, North Carolina, on board the transport Merrimac, Thursday, October 23.

Beaufort was reached Sunday, October 26, and the regiment immediately proceeded by rail to Newbern, North Carolina, ninety miles up the Neuse River, and thence by transports to Washington, North Carolina. Private Crane participated in the campaign against the Wilmington Railroad, in November, the objective point of which was Tarborough. The forced marches and unusual hardships of this expedition proved a severe trial to the young soldier, but served rather to enhance than abate his enthusiasm. On Wednesday, November 12, the Forty-fourth returned to camp at Newbern. On Friday, December 5th, he was detailed for special service in the ‘contraband’ branch of the Quartermaster's Department at Newbern, and was also selected 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 [377] 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 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 that, if negroes were allowed a fair trial with other soldiers, they would prove themselves worthy of the trust. While acting as clerk in the Quartermaster's Department at Newbern, he was continually brought in contact with colored men and their families, most of whom had been slaves before the occupation of the place by Union troops; and in letters to various friends, as well as in private conversation, he had repeatedly expressed faith in their military capacities.

He was commissioned on the 7th of June, 1863, First Lieutenant, and on June 19th Captain, of Company H, Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, and at once entered enthusiastically upon the work of preparing his men for the field. [378] He occupied every hour of his time in regular and extra drills, and, for six weeks previous to their departure for Newbern, labored incessantly to bring them into a soldierly condition.

In this endeavor he met with perfect success, and the appearance of his company was most creditable alike to him and to the men. The record of events subjoined, most of them subsequent to those already narrated, has been kindly furnished for these pages by Captain Charles C. Soule, one of Captain Crane's former playfellows in East Boston, and like himself a graduate of Harvard College, a member of the Forty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and an officer in the Fifty-fifth; and by Brevet Brigadier-General Alfred S. Hartwell, under whose command Captain Crane served to the moment of his death. Captain Soule's account is as follows:—

Some months after graduation, in 1862, I enlisted in the Forty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, and found there my old friend Crane, a private in Company D. During our nine months campaigns we saw little of each other, as he was for some time a clerk in the Freedman's Bureau at Newbern, and our companies were for a long time separated. On returning to Boston, however, at the expiration of our term of service, we both entered the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers. He was first commissioned as a Lieutenant, but gained his captaincy before muster-in, by hard work and soldierly aptitude. We were barracked together in July, 1863, and from that time until his death were rarely separated. It was a pleasure to be with and watch him, square, sturdy, fresh, and handsome soldier that he was, through the desert heats of Folly Island, the toilsome fatigue of the trenches before Wagner, the malarious picket details on marsh and sand-hill, the fervid drills upon the sea-beach, the sickness and weariness of the autumn of 1863, the mingled rest and activity of the succeeding winter, and the toilsome Florida marches of February, 1864. Here we were separated for two months, to meet again in May, when he recounted in glowing terms his adventures at Pilatka, among the orange-groves and flowers of Central Florida.

With the regiment, sullen, turbulent, and mutinous at the neglect of government to give them their just pay, we returned to our [379] former position on Folly Island, taking new ground near the fortifications at Stono Inlet. Here we erected comfortable tents, and solaced ourselves in the intervals of drill and duty with frequent games of chess and such vocal music as we could muster. Captain Crane was the best chess-player of the regiment, and his sweet, clear voice made him a cherished member of our little glee-club.

In July, 1864, we had our first brush as a regiment, on James Island, where we charged and captured a small field battery. I well remember the Captain's appearance as he came up to me after the charge, glowing with exercise and exultation, and the weary expression of his face later in the day, when he had but just come in from a terrible tour of skirmish duty in the open field, under a torrid July sun. He had nearly received a sun-stroke, and, careless of the enemy's shell, lay down on the top of the bushy bank behind which we were sheltered, and slept quietly for two hours. On our final retreat from the island, several days afterward, he returned to the command of Fort Delafield, and we to our old camp near by. He was selected to act as Judge-Advocate of a court-martial, and satisfied his superior officers so well in that position, that he was fast rising to places of high trust. On his table could always be found the standard works in tactics of all arms, in strategy, or in military jurisprudence.

Just before Thanksgiving, in 1864, I visited my parents, then living on St. Helena Island, South Carolina. As an old friend he accompanied me, and during our brief stay on the plantation won the esteem and affection of all whom he met, by his courteous manners, his cheerful temper, and his musical tastes. When about to return, we were startled to hear of a new expedition in progress, and found our regiment at Hilton Head. Captain Crane's company, however, had been left in garrison at Folly Island, and, dreading lest he should be ordered back, he volunteered to act upon the staff of Colonel Hartwell, commanding the brigade of which the Fifty-fifth formed a part. To his great glee he obtained an appointment as acting aid and chief of staff, and we parted at Hilton Head; he with vigor and spirit forwarding the embarkation of the brigade, I on the way to join my company.

After landing at Boyd's Neck, and while marching up to the miserable failure of November 30th, Captain Crane rode along, as we were halted by the roadside, listening to the first shots in the advance, and made a few entries in his note-book, where he said all the events of our campaign should be minutely recorded. An [380] hour or so afterward we were marched in column across a field of burning grass, and halted for nearly another hour upon a rise of ground, under the direct rays of a burning sun. During this pause Captain Crane and myself sought what shade we could under a dwarf pine-bush and beneath our handkerchiefs, and looked at some photographs of friends at home. He was in good spirits, and said that he was hopeful of our success. At the order to move forward we separated, never to meet again. The regiment went up the road at double-quick, became entangled in the woods, and while three companies, of which mine was one, became engaged on the right, the main body, headed by Colonel Hartwell and Captain Crane (on horseback), charged directly through the narrow gorge of the road toward the enemy's batteries. The charge of three hundred men, cramped and broken by the narrowness of the path, exposed to canister at close range from seven guns, and in the focus of an infantry fire from over a thousand rifles, was utterly vain, and those men who escaped death fell back into the woods, leaving the brook which filtered across the road piled with slain, among whom was the gallant Captain. I have heard that he was instantly killed by a shot through the head, and attracted the attention of the Rebels, who held the field after the battle, by his fine, handsome face and touching attitude. He was honorably buried,—so we learn from participants in the battle,—both out of respect for his bravery and because of his being a newly made Freemason. In a recent search over the battle-field, however, I was unable to find any separate graves. In probity, singular purity of life and conversation, in upright manliness and military talent, I know of no young man who could surpass the brave soldier who thus met death and an unmarked grave, not in victory, but in defeat. It was a sad loss to us who remained. The men of his company almost idolized him.

Brevet Brigadier-General A. S. Hartwell thus describes the same occurrence:—

In November, 1865, he took a few days of rest, to spend Thanksgiving with some friends at Port Royal. On his return he found his regiment at Hilton Head starting upon an expedition, but his company left behind at Fort Delafield on Folly Island. He volunteered to go in any position where his services were needed, and was assigned to my staff as aid. While going up Broad River in a dense fog, with no pilot and with uncertainty whether the vessel [381] was approaching the enemy's land batteries or not, he urgently requested to be allowed to land with a small force sent ashore to reconnoitre, but was refused, as his services were likely to be more needed when the entire command were landed.

The troops landed at Boyd's Neck, and marched out on the morning of November 30, 1865, to the disastrous field of Honey Hill. Captain Crane rode at the head of the column, dressed, as I recollect, with his usual neatness and precision, and appearing to be in a very serene and cheerful mood at the prospect of hard fighting. Just as the command got under fire I remember giving him an order to carry to Major Nutt of his own regiment. The fire was rather severe at the time, and the formal military salute with which he received that last order was noticeable. Shortly afterwards he fell, shot in the head, directly in front of the enemy's battery, cheering and urging on the men, he himself being on horseback. His gallantry was conspicuous to the enemy, who gave his body an honorable burial. Colonel Colcock, commanding a portion of the enemy's force in that action, says that he saw his body about three hundred yards from their guns after the battle, and that he was struck by his beautiful appearance, and ordered a party to bury the remains. Thus fell this true Christian gentleman and soldier. No purer offering has been laid on the altar of freedom.


Horace Sargent Dunn.

Second Lieutenant 22d Mass. Vols. (Infantry), October 1; 1861; died at New York, May 22, 1862, of disease contracted in the service.

Horace Sargent Dunn was the son of James Cutler and Sophia (Paine) Dunn, of Boston, Massachusetts. He was born in Williamstown, Vermont, at the residence of his maternal grandfather, the Hon. Elijah Paine, on the 12th of June, 1842. Much of his early years was spent among the green hills of Vermont. At the age of twelve years he entered the Boston Latin School where for five tears he pursued his studies diligently. Gentle and unselfish in his nature, truthful and conscientious, he was a general favorite both at home and at school. The resolutions passed by the Everett Literary Association of the Latin School, after his decease, testify the esteem in which he was held by his associates.

His summer vacations were usually devoted to pedestrian excursions, with a few of his youthful friends, in the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont. These served to invigorate his constitution, and prepare him for the fatigue and privations of a soldier's life. As the time for his leaving the Latin School drew near, he expressed an earnest desire that his friends should apply for his admission at the Military Academy at West Point, but as this scheme was opposed by his parents, he yielded a cheerful acquiescence to their wishes, and entered Harvard College in July, 1859. There he pursued his studies for two years, and received the approbation of his teachers; there also he formed many warm friendships, and engaged zealously in the athletic exercises of the Gymnasium and the Boat-Club. At the outbreak of the Rebellion his desire for a military life returned, and after the disastrous battle of Bull Run, and the earnest call for soldiers, he again appealed to his parents for permission [383] to offer his services to his country, and they did not feel at liberty to withhold their consent.

In October, 1861, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Twenty-second Massachusetts Volunteers, which was then raising by Senator Wilson. He left Boston with the regiment, and proceeded to Washington, where his captain was transferred to General Butler's department in Louisiana, and his first lieutenant placed on General Porter's staff. He was thus left in command of his company, and being the only commissioned officer, his duties were exceedingly arduous. For three months he devoted himself to them so faithfully that, although stationed within seven miles of Washington, where some of his immediate family were spending a part of the winter, he visited the city only twice, and then in the performance of his official duties.

Early in the spring of 1862 the Army of the Potomac was suddenly transferred to the Peninsula, in front of Yorktown, which place it was hoped might easily be captured, and thereby an easy road opened to Richmond. But the country and army were doomed to disappointment. After a series of delays it was determined to begin a regular siege. While stationed on the Potomac Lieutenant Dunn had borne cheerfully the fatigues and dangers of a soldier's life, and had enjoyed uninterrupted health; but now his regiment was in front of the enemy's works, and so near that the men were compelled to lie flat in the daytime and to work in the trenches in the night. The situation was peculiarly unhealthy, and in a few weeks more than half his company were ill with the typhoid fever. About the 5th of May, 1862, he was himself violently attacked with that disease, and immediately sent to New York, and placed in the New York Hospital, where he received every attention which the most skilful physicians and kind friends could bestow. But the disease had taken too strong a hold of his robust frame for human skill to avail. A few moments before his death he called his nurse to his bedside, and pointing to Heaven with an exclamation of great joy, gently went to his rest. [384]

His most intimate army companion wrote thus of him:—

Having been his military associate for the first four months of his service in this campaign, and living alone with him in daily companionship in the circumscribed limits allotted to soldiers when serving in the field, I had the best opportunity to observe and to form a correct judgment of those qualities, the possession of which in him commanded my respect, admiration, and esteem.

Correct in his habits, conscientious and just in his dealings with all,—adding to the advantages of his education a natural ability, a good, clear common sense, and the thoughts and judgment of a man far beyond his years,—cool, kind-hearted, and brave,—genial and cheerful in his companionship, considerate of the faults of his associates,—I do not feel that my partiality has over-estimated Horace Sargent Dunn.


Samuel Shelton Gould.

Private 13th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), September, 1862; killed at Antietam, Md., September 17, 1862.

Samuel Shelton Gould was born in Boston, January 1, 1843. His parents were Samuel L. Gould, at that time master of the Winthrop School, Boston, and Frances A. (Shelton) Gould. He was educated in the Boston schools till the twelfth year of his age, passing two years in the Latin School. His parents then removed to Dorchester, and he finished his preparatory course at the Roxbury Latin School.

He entered College when he was fifteen years old, in 1858, and remained there one year, after which, for reasons of his own, but with the consent of his parents, he left College and went to sea as a common sailor in the Peabody, a vessel engaged at that time in the Australian trade. His journal, which he kept regularly and minutely during all his voyages, records a growing dissatisfaction with the hard work and poor fare which he then supposed to be unusual, especially as the old sailors kept even pace with his grumbling, and he had not yet learned that that was their trade. He was dissatisfied, too, with the drudgery that was imposed on him there, and the slight opportunity that he had of learning anything of the more difficult parts of the work; and these things, together with his desire to lengthen this episode, and see more of the world, which he would not probably do if he made the return voyage, led him to leave the Peabody; and within a few days he shipped again, in the Commonwealth, an American vessel bound for Callao. He carried out with him from Boston several Latin and Greek text-books, and other books for reading and study, intending to use them in his spare hours, so as to reenter College on his return with as little delay as possible. And during the passage to Melbourne, strange as it may seem in view of all his disadvantages, he really did devote his spare time to this occupation. [386]

On the Commonwealth he found the work harder and the fare worse. In sailor phrase, it was an ‘all-hands ship,’ instead of ‘watch and watch ’; that is, all hands were required to be on deck during the day. This left him only a half-hour out of the hour allowed for dinner, and a half-hour in the dogwatch; and of this short time a good part had to be given to the care of his clothes, etc. But even then he found time to keep up his familiarity with the languages and begin the study of natural philosophy. In spite of the hard and continued work on this vessel, it was pleasanter to him than the mean tasks imposed upon him on the Peabody, since he had shipped as ordinary seaman, and had thus more opportunity to learn and do the more intricate parts of the work.

On arriving at Callao, he found that the crew had been shipped under false pretences, and that the ship was bound for the Chincha Island for guano,—a place to which sailors will never go if it can be avoided, as the work is of the most repulsive kind. He therefore went aft with a shipmate to procure his discharge from the captain. Failing in this, he demanded to see the American consul at the port. This, too, was refused with an oath, and high words passed between the captain and him. The captain finally struck him, and with the assistance of the second mate beat him badly. This determined him to leave the ship at all hazards, which he did that night. After a stay of a few days at Callao, he shipped again as ordinary seaman on the Rival, a Boston vessel, bound for Cork. The first twenty-five days of this passage were pleasant. But by that time they had arrived in the vicinity of Cape Horn, and the rough weather began for which that region is proverbial. This lasted about twenty days, and as its commencement found him without proper clothing, he suffered unusually. The work, too, was incessant and severe; but he had the satisfaction of knowing that it was none of it unnecessary, and he had pleasant relations with the officers, in remarkable contrast with his experience on the Commonwealth. When fairly in pleasant weather again, he took up his studies and reading, necessarily intermitted during the passage [387] round the Cape. A leaf from his journal will show what he was doing in that respect.

Tuesday, June 26h. —Forenoon below; finished the first volume of Macaulay's England. I am glad to say that, in spite of the contrary predictions of my friends before I left home, I have not as yet neglected my reading and study, though my time has been much more limited than I expected, and consequently I have not accomplished nearly all that I could wish. Greek and Latin I have kept at with a constancy of which, under all the circumstances,—hard work and scarcity of rest,—I think I may be justly proud. I find that I have lost none of my ability to read them easily, but from the want of grammars I feel that my knowledge of them is not nearly so exact as it once was. The Holy Bible,—the reading of which has been a daily duty and pleasure to me,—John Foster, De Quincey, Macaulay, Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Dickens have formed my leisure reading, if that time which I have stolen from my sleep can be called leisure. I can fairly say that they have been my greatest pleasure ever since I left home. I hope that a year's time, and possibly less, will see me again so situated that the bulk of my time, and not the spare minutes only, may be given up to them. I have been like the mother in Tom Hood's “Lost child,” who did not know the love she felt for her child till she lost it. I only hope that I may not, like her, forget it as soon as I find it.

July 7, 1860.—Relaxed my rule to-day, and neither studied nor did any other useful thing, but enjoyed my pipe and dolce far niente, reading “ Verdant Green,” &c., the first instance of the kind aboard the Rival; I thought that I was entitled to a single holiday.

July 10.—Did not continue my Latin this P. M., having finished Cicero de Amicitia; yesterday, but spent the afternoon in my bunk reading Herschel's Astronomy.

July 11.—Read my regular four pages of Demosthenes this A. M.

July 27.—Have dropped Latin and Greek for a while, having got hold of Bowditch's Navigator.

I have given prominence to this fact, because it well illustrates his perseverance and his real love for study, that he should pursue it so persistently under circumstances so unfavorable. It is needless to say that he did not neglect other duties for this, because that would be impossible aboard ship. It was not mere reading that he performed, but hard study. Nor [388] could this occupation have been always an absolute pleasure in such surroundings, but must frequently have been done for its future rewards alone. It will be noticed, too, that he speaks of his pleasure in reading the Bible; and he frequently but modestly alludes to his regard for religious observances and moral requirements, showing a firmness and solidity of character rare in one so young and so unfavorably situated.

From Cork he sailed directly for New Orleans, and there took passage in a coasting schooner for home. He narrowly escaped shipwreck and death in one of the most violent storms ever experienced on our coast, off Hatteras in March, 1861, but reached home in safety in April, after an absence of nearly two years.

It was now his desire to re-enter college in the Class next below that which he had left; and he had therefore the studies of the Sophomore year to make up. For the next three months he therefore gave himself up to that work, and in July, 1861, re-entered College in the Junior Class. During his absence his character seems to have gained much in manliness and stability, and there are very few who work harder than he did during the following year, with little .thought of immediate honors and an earnest sense of duty.

Meantime the war was in progress, with varying results, but constantly assuming such proportions, and bringing into view principles so important, as to press upon all our young men the question of personal duty in regard to it. Samuel Gould was one of the last to shirk such a question as this. He gradually arrived at the conviction that, if at any time the call for men should become particularly urgent, it was his duty to answer it and go. And once during the year that time seemed to have come, when Banks's retreat in the Valley seemed to expose Washington. The Fourth Battalion offered its services to the goverment, and a college company was raised for it, which he joined. But its services were declined, and he returned to his studies.

But in a very short time came the call for additional men and the great war-meetings of 1862. Now, indeed, the time [389] had come. He at once enlisted in the Thirteenth Massachusetts; and during the time before he was sent into the field, he attended and addressed several of the war-meetings in Cambridge and Boston, where the force of his example and the fire of his words were inspiring. He did not seek glory, for he enlisted in the ranks; his object was work, for he joined a regiment already stationed in the hardest part of the field,—the great battle-ground of the war. And he refused all entreaties to enter other regiments, saying repeatedly that he must be where the most work was to be done.

Within a fortnight of the time that he joined his regiment, it went into the battle of Antietam. He had no musket and was consequently detailed with the stretcher-bearers. Before many minutes, however, he picked up a musket and joined his company at the front, and very soon fell, shot through the heart. His remains were brought home and buried from his father's house in Cambridge. At prayers, on the day of his funeral, the President announced that the Senior Class would be excused for the day to attend the funeral of their classmate; and the entire Class, without exception, walked in mournful procession behind his remains. Dr. . Peabody assisted in the funeral ceremonies.

The Gazette of Sunday morning, September 28, 1862, says:—

Among the fallen at the battle of Antietam was Samuel Shelton Gould, of the Senior Class, Harvard College, a young man of fine promise. Some three weeks since we heard him address a meeting at the Meionaon, and a more earnest appeal we never listened to. He addressed himself particularly to the more respectable young men, who were holding back from enlistment, he feared, on the ground of not wanting to mingle with the common classes, saying, that if such were their motives, “they were not fit to have their names borne on that immortal roll of honor, the list of killed and wounded.” Impatient for service, he would not wait to join a new regiment, and in two weeks after joining the Thirteenth, his name took its place in the situation he coveted.

In an oration before the Cambridge High School Association by Mr. George H. Whittemore, he said:— [390]

As I thought on the agony concentrated in the walls of Mount Auburn Chapel, that day we followed him to the grave,—a stricken father and mother, a wounded cousin slowly succeeding the body of his companion in the fight, the representatives of four related families, to a member of each of which that battle brought death or painful wounds,—as I regarded the whole scene (one of hundreds in the land), my heart cried out for a consummation worthy of the costliness of the struggle.


Edward Lewis Stevens.

Private 44th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), September 12, 1862-June 18, 1863; Second Lieutenant 54th Mass. Vols. January 31, 1864; first Lieutenant, December 16, 1864; killed at Boykin's Mills, near Camden, S. C., April 18, 1865.

Edward Lewis Stevens was born in Boston, Massachusetts, September 30, 1842. His father, Silas Stevens, at the time resided in Boston, but afterwards removed to Brighton. His mother was Jane, eleventh child of Nathan Smith, who fought in the battle of Lexington. She was descended from Thomas Smith, who settled at Watertown in 1635.

Stevens was fitted for Harvard University in the public schools of Brighton, and entered the Freshman Class in 1859. He left College, however, at the end of the Junior year, to join the Forty-fourth Massachusetts (Colonel F. L. Lee), a nine months regiment. He returned at the expiration of his service, in time to study for and receive his degree, and to write in the Class-Book his autobiography, of which the principal part here follows:—

During the vacation of the summer of 1862, I enlisted as a private in Company E, Forty-fourth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. For a long time previous to enlisting I had felt it a duty to be doing something to save my country in this terrible civil war. The captain of my company was Spencer W. Richardson of Boston. I went into camp at Readville, Massachusetts, August 29, 1862; was mustered into the service of the United States, September 12th. The regiment left camp October 22d, for Newbern, North Carolina, arriving on Sunday, A. M., October 26th. I was with the regiment in every march, bivouac, and skirmish. The regiment had been in North Carolina but four days before General Foster began what is called the Tarborough march. We went to Washington, North Carolina, on the steamer George S. Collins. From Washington we marched towards Tarborough. I was in the skirmish at Roll's Mills, November 2d. We entered Williamston, [392] November 3d; Hamilton, November 4th. We pushed on towards Tarborough by rapid marches, hoping to surprise the enemy; but on the morning of November 6th, General Foster, hearing that the enemy were in force at Tarborough, decided to retreat. His men were very much exhausted, his provisions almost gone, his force inadequate. He prudently withdrew to Plymouth, North Carolina. We left this place for Newbern on transports, November 11th. For a month we were in camp on the banks of the Neuse River.

December 11th, we began the Goldsborough expedition, undertaken for the purpose of destroying the railroad between Goldsborough and Wilmington. December 14, 1862, I was in the battle of Kinston; December 16th, in the battle of White Hall, where the regiment suffered severe loss. December 17th, we reached the railroad, which was destroyed for a considerable 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, 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 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, [393] 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 mustered out of the service just in time to be present at Cambridge on Class-day. During the autumn of 1863 I studied, and made up the studies of Senior year, passing my examinations the last of October. I received my degree January, 1864. On November 12, 1863, I commenced business in the store of Messrs. Sabin and Page, 92 and 94 Milk Street, Boston, in the saddlery hardware business, where I continued until March 15, 1864. I then left, in consequence of being commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. I leave Massachusetts to join my regiment, now stationed in Florida, in a few days. My plans for the future are very unsettled. I shall probably remain in the army, if life and health are spared to me, until the war is over. Heaven only knows what is before me. Whatever is before me, I hope never to disgrace the Class to which I am proud to belong, or the State which sends me to fight for the nation's life and freedom.

The career of Lieutenant Stevens, after he joined the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, is identical with that of the regiment. He was killed at the battle of Boykin's Mills, April 18, 1865, near Camden, South Carolina, during an expedition to Camden under Brigadier-General Potter, which left Georgetown, April 5, 1865. The Fifty-fourth was ordered to cross Swift's Creek, about eight miles from Camden, at a point to the right of the road, in order to flank the enemy, (who were opposite the head of the column,) and, after considerable opposition, succeeded in crossing at Boykin's Mills, ten miles from the creek. The enemy vigorously resisted the movement, but began to fall back on the appearance of a piece of artillery, and five companies of the Fifty-fourth charged across [394] the stream, when the Rebels fled. Lieutenant Stevens fell in the action, and was buried on the spot.

In the words of the obituary drawn up by his fellow officers:—

He fell so near the enemy's works, that it was not deemed right to order any one forward to recover the body; but men promptly presented themselves, on a call for volunteers for that duty. The body was recovered, and buried near the spot where he fell. Lieutenant Stevens's death caused a more than ordinary sense of grief among his brother officers. He was respected and beloved by every one in the regiment. His simplicity and frankness of disposition, his social and generous temper, combined with strong principles and an earnest devotion to what he believed just and right, made up an unusually pure and noble character. With perfect simplicity and modesty, he united firm convictions and an unhesitating openness in avowing them. As an officer, he was efficient and faithful in the performance of his duties in camp, and fearless and daring in action; and though he disliked the military profession, and longed for peace and a return home, he had no thought of leaving the service until the success of the cause was decided. His comrades lament the loss of a brave soldier and a true friend and gentleman.


Gorham Phillips Stevens.

Second Lieutenant 70th New York Vols. (Infantry), January 2, 1862; first Lieutenant, May 5, 1862; died at Harrison's Landing, Va., August 12, 1862, of disease contracted in the service.

Gorham Phillips Stevens was born at North Andover, Massachusetts, December 7, 1841. He was the son of William and Elizabeth Barnard (Phillips) Stevens; and the younger brother of Colonel William O. Stevens, whose biography appears earlier in this work. His name unites those of families prominent in Eastern Massachusetts, and his birthplace was in the district where the influence of his mother's family has been specially felt in such institutions as, the Andover Seminary and Phillips Academy. In October,. 1849, his father removed to Lawrence, where he still resides. There Gorham passed through the successive stages of the public schools. While in the Grammar School he commanded for three years a military company of twenty boys, most of whom were older than himself, and every one of whom ultimately took part in the war for the Union. He entered Phillips Academy in 1857, in his sixteenth year. His career there was like the college career that followed it, quiet and genial, yet active, and showing much maturity, finding its freest expression in the debating societies and in the verses he wrote. It is worth while to quote one passage on ‘Free and Slave Labor,’ written at fifteen:—

May these tides never meet, the one so black
It poisons all it meets upon its track;
The other crystal, from the throne of God,
Pure as the stream brought forth by Moses' rod.
But as it is, let us our duty do,
Although our opportunities be few,
And let us labor that our feeling then
Shall be “ content on earth, good — will to men.”

Dr. S. H. Taylor, principal of Phillips Academy, thus described the character of this young pupil:— [396]

He at once gave evidence of superior talents, a well-balanced mind, and sound judgment. While his mind did not act as rapidly as that of some others, it had unusual symmetry, breadth, and grasp. He did not study for rank, but for the mastery of the subjects which came before him; hence his knowledge of these was often broader and more thorough than that of many whose recitations were prepared merely for the class-room. As might be expected, therefore, when he left the Academy, he had more discipline and more ability to investigate subjects than is usual with students at his stage of education. He excelled as a writer, and was for a time one of the editors of the literary paper conducted by the students of the Academy He was likewise president of the literary society.

He was remarkable for purity and simplicity of character, as well as for high moral principle. In his intercourse with his teachers he was a model pupil, securing their entire confidence by a manly and courteous deportment. He had, too, the love and respect of all his fellow-students.

His classmates testify that he left behind him the impression of joyousness and purity, with great facility in debate and an especial taste for all the social exercises of the Academy. In College (which he entered in 1859), the same tastes and associations remained; he took great interest in the literary societies. He was once unanimously elected President of the Institute of 1770,—though he declined the post, —and once delivered its annual poem. The following extract will show the earnest spirit of this composition:—

For I believe that each with zeal
     May build a broad and solid way,
To summits which his hopes reveal,
     By the endeavor of to-day.
Would I might show in proper light
     How much there is that ought to woo
Our minds to truth, our hearts to right,
     In these fair scenes we travel through.

In College he was a faithful though not a brilliant student. He had always looked forward to the profession of the law, and all his studies tended to prepare him for that. The study of Cicero's pleadings, so tiresome to many, he heartily enjoyed; and his favorite reading was in such works as [397] Brougham's Statesmen, Campbell's Chancellors, Sheil's Irish Bar, Burke, Clay, and Webster. In the Presidential election of 1860 he showed an interest in public affairs which was made more intense during the last Sophomore term by the actual commencement of civil war. He then took an active part in College drill and in guard duty.

In July, 1861, he had been unanimously elected the first editor of the Harvard Magazine for his Junior year; and his last vacation was spent in preparation for his duties, and in a pleasant service with other students in making surveys upon Concord River. This stay near Concord made him many friends, prolonged his vacation and furnished him with a bright reminiscence, as its graphic record in the Harvard Magazine of October, 1861, will show. But after his return to Cambridge his interest, in the war grew more intense, and when a commission was offered in the New York Excelsior Brigade, in which his brother was Major, his decision was taken at once to engage in the military service. On the day of his departure he received a sword from his Class. He writes at this time:—

I consider it not only a duty, but a privilege, to throw my aptness for arms and my determination to be useful into the more pressing duties of the day. Besides, I shall not regret, if at the end of the year I can say that I too have sacrificed something in the great struggle.

What this sacrifice was can be best shown by these few words of Professor Child: ‘In my eleven years as Professor, I have scarcely known half a dozen that gave equal hope of intellectual excellence, few that seemed so likely to grow in a healthy way.’ And the spirit in which he made it is best shown in his last verses, written in October, 1861:—

Tell us not of our reverses, for to us they seem to be
But as irritable pebbles thrown against a raging sea;
And as ocean waves sweep backward to return with grander swell,
So the tide of human freedom shall sweep over these as well;
Till the nations listening vainly for a vaunting that is gone,
Hear alone the rising chorus of the ‘mudsills’ marching on;
Till the class that built the nation from their energy and skill,
Shall be free to mould its progress by the edict of their will.


The regiment he was to join was the Seventieth New York, or first regiment of the Excelsior Brigade, attached to Hooker's division, then on the Maryland side of the Lower Potomac, and under the command of Colonel William Dwight of Boston. Leaving Boston, December 23, 1861, he awaited his colonel at the camp of his brother's regiment,—the Third Excelsior, —upon whose arrival he was commissioned Second Lieutenant of Company C, January 2, 1862. He writes:—

I supposed I should have to be Acting Lieutenant for a while, but the Colonel said he wanted to put some energy into this company, and so I am regularly installed. My company is composed of stalwart Michiganders, recruited in Paw Paw, Michigan,—large, fine fellows, full of fight, the left flank company, and the best target company in the regiment.

Then follows the busy winter, of which he wrote:—

I have felt here, as I have in other places, that no part of my experience will be worthless; and especially, I think, the study which is part of an officer's duties will be such discipline, that instead of breaking up my habits of reading and study, the war will confirm and systematize them. I think the course of military study will tend to make me a careful student of law.

Thoughts of his student and home life continually attended him. He writes:—

I like to sit here, or lie awake, thinking when you get certain of my letters, and where you all read them, and I often forget the abominations of this mud-hole in thinking of home.

The simple strength of his character appears in his immediate power of command. His Colonel's testimony is:—

He was youthful in appearance, even for his years, and without experience in the world, but his character was formed on the best and firmest principles. The dignity with which he bore himself to both officers and soldiers soon won him respect, while his clear intellect and intuitive sense of justice kept him free from mistakes.

So his humorous account of the ‘panic with which I first stood behind my platoon,’ is followed soon by ‘I think I have control aver my men now. I see I can do good here. They [399] are getting used to my voice, and have confidence in me.’ He used every power and device to promote their ‘comfort and efficiency.’ After obtaining books and newspapers for them from friends, he writes, ‘I have gained completely the affections and confidence of the company by just such schemes as this, and now I think I could get them to do anything.’ And in the same spirit of mutual confidence, he describes with pride the superior skill of his backwoodsmen in various ways, his care for them, and his watch over their morale. His life among his brother officers was very pure. He 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 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 [400] 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 he found his brigade, and joined it in an unavailing struggle against superior numbers. ‘Unable to act with the regiment to any considerable extent,’ his Colonel writes, ‘with his rallied force he rendered service beyond his rank and expectation.’ He was soon wounded above the left knee, ‘but he did not permit his second wound to drive him from the field which the first had not prevented his reaching.’

After leading his comrades from the tangled abatis, he learned that a battery on the left was in danger, dismantled, mud-bound, and unsupported. Soon he had collected, by the impulse of his words and bearing, in spite of his wounds, man by man, squad by squad, two or three hundred men scattered from various regiments. This ‘little army’ he posted in support, threw out skirmishers, formed his line of defence, held his centre firmly, and resisted every effort of the enemy. ‘O how long the hours were!’ he said. ‘I never knew before what it was to “watch and wait.” ’ But no help came save scattered troops, among whom finally came Lieutenant-Colonel Wells of the First Massachusetts, to whom Stevens offered his little force, and hurried for new supplies of cartridges. The little band was saved by Kearney's force, at half past 4 P. M.; and in the reaction he was first sensible of his exhaustion and wounds, and was then carried to the hospital. Such was the scene in which his whole life seemed to culminate. Lieutenant-Colonel Wells, in delight at his disposition of his force, which he afterwards described as ‘worthy a major-general,’ warmly recommended his promotion, and a commission as First Lieutenant was sent him, to date May 5, 1862.

The following is the narrative of this transaction, as [401] given by Rev. Mr. Twichell, Chaplain of the Second Excelsior:—

As nearly as I can recall the words of Colonel Wells, they were as follows. Hooker's division, to which they both then belonged, led the attack, and became hotly engaged in the woods directly in front of Fort Magruder, the principal work of the enemy at Williamsburg. There for several hours Hooker held his own against large odds, expecting help every minute, till a full third of his command was killed or wounded, and his ammunition began to give out. The enemy perceiving our fire slacken, made a sudden onset that broke our line and forced it back in confusion. The troops were new; this was their first battle to most of them, and for a little while it looked as badly as could be for our side. No reinforcements were at hand; Kearney's division was coming, but not yet near enough to do any good. The Rebels seemed bent on pushing their advantage to the utmost; they came on yelling and shouting “Bull Run,” and it was the general feeling that for that day and field it was all up with us. To crown all, it now appeared that our artillery—three batteries, I think–was so sunk in the mud as to be almost inextricable, especially as a great many of the horses had been shot, and that it must be lost unless the enemy could be checked and considerable time gained. A few of the most experienced and bravest officers determined to accomplish this if possible, and so set about rallying the men and forming a new line,—a most difficult and perilous undertaking, for the fire was very hot, and the men discouraged by a long, fruitless fight. It was while engaged in making this attempt that Colonel Wells first noticed Lieutenant Stevens. “ I saw a fine-looking young fellow,” so his narration ran, “standing with his face the right way, the very picture of pluck and resolution, his whole manner showing that he utterly disdained to give it up so; and it was an inspiring thing to see and hear him stopping the retreat.” Then the Colonel would jump up from his seat, and with much voice and action show how the Lieutenant did it. For some time they worked side by side together, too intensely occupied to exchange even a salutation, but the Colonel's admiration of the brave youth increased every minute. When, at length, however, the new line was formed, he went up to him and said, “ Excuse me, but I would like to know who you are!” “Stevens,” he answered, “ of the First Excelsior; don't you think we can hold them here?” Just then, while speaking with him, the Colonel noticed that one of his legs was drenched with blood, and exclaimed, [402] “You are wounded! Why don't you go and find a surgeon?” “That's nothing,” he answered, as if impatient that it should be mentioned. “Any how, I shall not leave here till this artillery is safe.” Nor did he. A fierce fight followed, but they succeeded in checking the enemy and saved both the artillery and the day; for Kearney came up at last, and who could stand before the “onearmed Jerseyman,” as he called himself on that occasion, and Joe Hooker, at once? . . . .

If I remember rightly, Colonel Wells went to see the Lieutenant when the battle was over, and assured him still further of his pride and interest in him; but I am quite sure that he saw him no more than two or three times afterward, for his (the Lieutenant's) wound kept him several weeks from the field, and he returned to the army on the James after the seven days battles had gloriously ended the inglorious first siege of Richmond, only to sicken and die; and sad enough it was that he should thus fall, who had so well deserved a soldier's death.

But the Colonel did not forget him, and, as I have said, often paid the tribute to his memory of telling how splendidly he did at Williamsburg; and I have no doubt he continued to do so till he met his own fate, two years and more afterwards.

Lieutenant Stevens never gave to his family any description of the remarkable part played by him in the battle of Williamsburg; but while confined by his wound, he had a visit from a schoolmate,—Mr. E. M. Boynton, now of Grand Rapids, Michigan,—and described the affair to him. The narrative was afterward written down by this friend, and the following extracts are taken from it:—

Wherever I saw a squad of men without command, or unemployed, I went to them. Some of them would reply, when asked to help save the cannon, “ It's no use; to go in there is only murder.” “I have used forty rounds, and have n't a cartridge left.” “ But,” said I, “we must not let the Rebs get the battery. They don't like cold steel. Fix bayonets and follow me.” . . . .

The enemy surrounded our forest covert on three sides and sought in vain to penetrate. By frequently changing the position and moving of the little army of the defence, we frequently captured skirmishers from the enemy, and deceived them as to our numbers, by their apparent renewal as well as by stubbornness in resistance, or apparent boldness to attack. The Rebel fire was frequently [403] terrible, a leaden tempest so encircling as to make trees but little protection; while the crashing missiles of Fort Magruder endangered other limbs than those of forest-trees. The hours seemed long. I felt the meaning of “watch and wait.” In vain I strained my eyes through the dim smoke-wreathed aisles of the forest to see the reinforcing battalion whom we knew must be beating wearily through the mud to aid us and save the day. No reinforcements came except fragmentary squads of broken regiments, who served to fill up the depletions. When going after recruits I found a stray Colonel,—Lieutenant-Colonel Wells of the First Massachusetts. He had been separated from his men, and gladly accepted my invitation to take charge of “my little army” while I went over to “Will's regiment,” and obtained some more cartridges, which greatly encouraged the men. . . . . I was several times within a few yards of the enemy, whose line of fire flashed in our very faces. But they never got fully into our covert or discovered our weakness of numbers, except as prisoners; and those prisoners, several times trying to aid and inform their fighting brethren, were knocked down with clubbed muskets.

Carried to Fortress Monroe, he found his own way to Boston a week later, upon his mattress. May was passed at the house of his uncle at Boston, where with equal zest he would speak of his own experiences, or hear those of society 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 [404] the account of Dr. S. Sargent of Lawrence, also confined at the hospital:—

There was no murmuring or repining. He mentioned his home and friends with much feeling and fondness; but there seemed a doubt that he should ever see them again. He wished me to remember him in love to them all, and kiss his dear mother for him. It was very consoling to witness his devotion to his country, and Christian resignation. I pressed a fervent kiss on his emaciated lips, and left, never to see him more. This was truly a painful parting. It was very trying to leave the noble-hearted young officer and true patriot to die in a strange land, without a single friend to smooth his dying pillow.

He died on the 12th of August, five days before the entire abandonment of the Peninsula. He had returned from home with its fresh memories upon him, to die alone. His Captain says: ‘During his sickness his mind was calm and peaceful. He showed the utmost fortitude; and I know his last moments must have been peaceful and happy, and enjoying a full love of his Saviour.’ His remains reached Boston upon the 17th. They were followed to the grave upon the 21st, in the cemetery at North Andover, where they rest near his birthplace.

The following testimony to his merits was given by Colonel William Dwight, Jr., his regimental commander:—

Lieutenant Stevens was dear to me. I recognized him as one of the very best officers of my regiment, while his character as a man endeared him to all connected with him. Though he died by disease, instead of at the hands of the enemy, and, as he would have preferred, face to face with the foe, his name will ever be remembered, by those who knew him, for the distinguished services he rendered on the field of Williamsburg. Those services were beyond his rank and station, and were appreciated beyond his regiment, and through the whole division, which contended so resolutely and suffered so severely on that day.

His short life yielded results which, so far as they went, were worthy of its early promise, and remain as fit memorials of that spirit which nerved the slight figure and lighted the open, earnest features we knew so well.

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