REGIMENTS WITH BAGGAGE ABOARD
THE MAPLE LEAF
By D.K. Ryberg
Three Federal regiments had personal baggage aboard the steamship Maple Leaf when she was sunk by a Confederate mine off Mandarin Point in the
The formation of the 112th
New York Volunteers began at a war meeting in
During the summer of 1862, thousands of bounty dollars were raised through direct contribution and tax levy at enthusiastic war meetings in the principal
The quota of 1,806 enlistment's was easily attained and a total of 1,009 men were placed in the 112th Regiment and the remainder assigned to the 154th New York Infantry, representing
In September 1862, the regiment was organized in Jamestown at a place called Camp Brown, so named in honor of Colonel James M. Brown, a native of Jamestown who was killed at the Battle of Fair Oaks in early 1862, while in command of the 100th New York Infantry.
Command of the 112th was
first offered to Major William 0. Stevens of the 72nd
In addition to silken colors for the regiment, other presentations of engraved swords and sidearms were made to the officers and the men. Company A was presented with a fine, white bull terrier dog from Mr. H.F. Cunningham. The Journal reported that: The Company had taken it under their especial charge, and carried it with them to the scene of the conflict The men christened the dog Mack, perhaps in honor of General McClellan, who was popular with the men.
The 112th had little or no
time while at
Drake objected strenuously to this piece mealing of his regiment and made the mistake of complaining directly to New York Governor Edwin D. Morgan. This complaint, and avoiding military channels, only earned Drake a severe reprimand from General Peck. The men from the 1 12th sent to serve with Captain Phineas A. Davis' 7th Battery, Massachusetts Light Artillery, found service there much more to their liking than digging rifle pits and entrenchments in the infantry.
For much of its service in 1862 and 1863, the 112th was part of Brigadier General Robert S. Foster's brigade, which successively served in the 4th, 7th and 18th Army Corps. After October 1863, the brigade was at various times in the 10th, 18th and 24th Corps. These movements were typical of the War Department as regiments entered or left the armies due to expiring terms of service, declining numerical strength or difficulties in meeting tactical or strategic requirements in the field. After the war, veterans of the 112th preferred to be identified with the 10th Corps.
The composition of the brigades to which the 112th belonged varied considerably during the regiment's three-year period of service. Its history, however, is most closely associated with the 13th Indiana Infantry, under Colonel Cyrus J. Dobbs, and the 169th New York Infantry, commanded by Colonel John McConihe and later by Colonel Alonzo Alden. Records also show that the 3rd New York Infantry, the 117th New York Infantry and the 9th Maine Infantry regiments were also brigaded with the 112th at various times.
The 112th encountered its
first action near
More men were lost to
disease during the siege of
After a brief but
uneventful campaign south of Richmond as part of General John A. Dix's effort
to break up General Robert B. Lee's communications with Richmond during the
invasion of Pennsylvania, the 112th returned to Portsmouth, Virginia, on July
17, 1863, and left from there bound for Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, on
August 3. Six companies under Lieutenant Colonel Elial F. Carpenter embarked on
the steamer Escort. The balance left on August 4 with Drake on the
steamer Convoy. Drake's ship, containing camp and garrison equipment
plus 80 tons of ammunition, encountered a heavy gale, took on water, and was
forced to return to
Drake's contingent was transferred to an other steamer and the 112th had its first experience with the steamship Maple Leaf. Later, it would have yet another encounter with the ship. But this time, Chaplain Hyde, wrote in his regimental history: We parted from the Convoy with regret for, though a small boat, the Captain and officers were gentle men and disposed to make our journey as pleasant as possible. Apparently, this was not the case on the Maple Leaf As Hyde recounts, On board the Maple Leaf, the only object,from Captain down to deckhands, seemed to be to make money out of the necessities of the regiment.
This being a charter ship,
the captain was not constrained from charging the soldiers for boiling water
for coffee and the officers for food at prices comparable to those charged in
expensive restaurants in
The 112th reached Hilton
Earlier, in July before the
arrival of the 112th, Brigadier General Truman Seymour led an attack with two
Major General Quincy Adams
Gillmore, the divisional commander, had completed his em placement of siege
As part of the effort to
With time on their hands,
the soldiers of the 112th spent hours combing the beaches of
In January 1864, troop
The 112th disembarked at
Corporal Manhattan Pickett
of Company B wrote home to his parents in
Private Charles C. Lewis,
Company E, from
The steamer Maple Leaf arrived at Jacksonville from Folly Island on March 30, 1864, with Captain Nahum S. Scott and sixty men of Company C of the 112th. Before the freight and baggage of the regiment could be removed, the Maple Leaf was ordered to Palatka, about 70 miles up the St. Johns River, with a detachment of cavalry and l0 men of the 112th to guard the regiment's property. On the return trip, the steamer struck a mine and sank quickly in 20 feet of water. Four lives were lost. Regimental records, tents, camp gear and personal property settled to the bottom of the St. Johns River. Many of the officers who departed Folly Island were left with only the uniforms they were wearing at Jacksonville.
When the regiment left Jacksonville on April 20, and for years to come, it was generally agreed that the brief interlude in Florida was the most enjoyable period of their service. Certainly, the health of the men had improved and the fever-ridden camps of Suffolk and Folly Island were but unpleasant memories.
With Ulysses S. Grant's appointment as Lieutenant General of the Armies in March 1864, the strategy of the war underwent dramatic change. Effort was now to be concentrated on destroying the Army of Northern Virginia. Capturing Richmond had become secondary to rendering General Lee's army incapable of carrying on the war
Commencing in April, the larger part of the forces in the Department of the South, constituting the 10th Corps under General Gillmore, were transferred back to the Virginia area. Scattered troops of the 112th were gathered up and transported by steamer to Gloucester Point, Virginia. In May, the 2nd Brigade was placed in the Army of the James, comprising the 10th Corps under Gillmore and the 18th Corps under General W.F. Smith. General Benjamin F. Butler was in overall command of the army.
Due to Butler's inept leadership, the Army of the James was held in check by Confederate forces under General Pierre G.T. Beauregard throughout the summer campaign against Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, in 1864. While still at Gloucester Point in early May, General Ames succeeded General Vogdes as 3rd Division commander and Colonel Drake was assigned command of the 2nd Brigade. For reasons that are not clear, Drake did not receive promotion to brigadier general, a rank he was qualified for and one he well deserved.
In the spring of 1864, leadership of the 112th fell to Lieutenant Colonel Carpenter, who had returned to Virginia after several months of recruiting in Chautauqua County. During a Confederate attack on General Charles A. Heckman's brigade at Drewry's Bluff on May 16, 1864, Carpenter was severely wounded and he died two days later. Heckman himself was captured and taken to Charleston, South Carolina.
In a letter to his wife, dated May 17, from Bermuda Hundred, Josiah Elwell, Company F of the 112th, wrote: There was awful slaughter on both sides, they told of counting 25 and 30 on a rod square. It was a merical (sic) that the 112th regiment was not cut to pieces for when Col. Carpenter was shot the men was in four ranks in the road and it was very foggy as they could not see a man two rods and the rebs lay in ambush for them. The 18th Corps, with the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, was detached to reinforce the Army of the Potomac at the end of May, and on June 1, 1864, the regiment landed at White House on the Pamunkey River.
From there, the brigade marched to Cold Harbor, Virginia, where, on June 2, 1864, the 112th was involved in the bloodiest battle of its entire period of service. Grant ordered an assault against Confederate positions, carefully situated in irregular patterns, enabling enfilading fire to be placed on the attacker. Ordered to move his brigade forward, Drake, waving his sword and exposing himself to frontal fire, was struck through the bowel and removed to the field hospital. Suffering greatly, he lingered through the night and died the following morning.
The 112th Regiment sustained 39 killed, 16 mortally wounded, and 121 others wounded in varying degrees. In the other regiments of the 2nd Brigade, the 169th New York took 94 casualties; the 9th Maine, 62; and the 13th Indiana, 11. Colonel John McConihe of the 169th was killed and Lieutenant Colonel Alonzo Alden was badly wounded. Later, Grant admitted that the attack should not have been ordered.
With Major John F. Smith promoted to lieu tenant colonel, the 112th returned to Bermuda Hundred on the James River. With still an other reorganization on June 15, the 112th, 142nd New York, 117th New York and the 3rd New York regiments became part of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division of the 10th Corps. On June 14, the division was moving into position on the Petersburg, Virginia, front between the 9th Corps and the 18th Corps. General William F. Smith's hesitation in not attacking Petersburg promptly with the 18th Corps at a time when General Lee had not fully defended it probably protracted the war many months.
The armies then settled down into the siege of Petersburg. Of the siege, Chaplain Hyde states that, "Service was tedious, perilous and exhausting." In the trenches, water was scarce and there was no opportunity for cleanliness. Sharpshooters on both sides made bodily exposure extremely dangerous, and changes of guard positions were only made at night with the assistance of light from artillery flashes. Hyde also stated that in July, the Sanitary Commission sent food, and the 112th received two cabbages per company at one time. An other time, two lemons and three small onions were distributed to each company.
A spectacular but disastrous event occurred on July 30, 1864, on the Petersburg line. Former coal miners from Pennsylvania, men of the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry, tunneled 511 feet under the Confederate lines, and in the early morning hours detonated 8,000 pounds of black powder. Initially disorganized, the Confederates under the command of General William Mahone, quickly recovered, killed many Union soldiers in the crater, and sent the remainder reeling back into their own lines. The 112th struggled to stem the flood of panic-stricken troops.
Throughout August and most of September, the brigade remained in position before Petersburg. On September 24, 1864, under the command of General Foster, the division was withdrawn and transported to positions near Deep Bottom across the James River. Grant's intention was to relieve the pressure on Peters burg by moving against Richmond itself.
On the same day, with the 3rd U.S. Colored Regiment deployed in the forward position as skirmishers, the division attacked New Market Heights, Virginia. With the 112th and 3rd New York in the advanced line, the strong redoubts of Fort Gilmer and Fort Harrison were taken. In the battle, known in the regimental history as Chaffin's Farm, the 112th lost 67 men. Major Ephraim A. Ludwick from Forestville, New York, was wounded twice in the right arm, necessitating its amputation.
The Jamestown Journal reported that during the battle at Chaffin's Farm: The color-guard suffered very severely. Sergeant Ellis (Alfred 0. Ellis, Company G) fell from sun stroke and everyone of the guard was either killed or wounded. As the colors fell from one hand, another was extended to grasp them. Sergeant Brazee (Sergeant-Major Frank Brazee), caught the colors after they had repeatedly fallen from the hands of the wounded and planted them on the enemy's works. The tattered flag, pierced by bullets and its staff broken, is being pre pared to send to Jamestown. Glorious old flag, it has traveled the length of our seacoast from New York to Florida, and the men who have fought beneath its folds have been true to their banner in every action.
On October 26, 1864, the brigade struck tents and crossed New Market Road, marching in the direction of Richmond. Strong Rebel resistance near the Darbytown Road brought the advance to a halt, and a sharp engagement resulted in 300 casualties to the brigade. Lieu tenant George W. Edmonds from Chautauqua, New York, who was placed in charge of the skirmishers, was shot through the head and killed instantly. He was among 15 casualties taken by the 112th.
In November, with national elections near, there was fear in Washington, D.C. that a civil disorder in New York City, similar to the draft riots in the summer of 1863, might occur as a result of strong sentiment against the continuing bloodshed. A force under General Benjamin F. Butler, including the 112th and 13th Indiana, was sent to Staten Island to thwart such an occurrence. The anticipated trouble did not materialize, but friends and relatives from Chautauqua County enjoyed visits with the soldiers. The regimental history reported that there were some desertions.
Another reorganization in November 1864 resulted in a merger of the 10th Corps and the 18th Corps, and the creation of two new corps the 24th and the 25th. The 2nd Division, with the 112th, was transferred to the 24th Corps and Brigadier General Adelbert Ames was given command. General E.O.C. Ord was named to command the Corps, while Butler remained in command of the army.
Instead of being returned to Elmira, New York, for reconstitution of the regiment - which had dwindled considerably - after returning to Virginia from New York the 112th was placed on board the steamer Charles Thomas, which sailed with a large fleet for the Wilmington, North Carolina, area. By the morning of December 24, 1864, the fleet was anchored off the southeastern tip of North Carolina, facing Fort Fisher. The objective was to capture the fort through a combination of naval and land operations, and to close Wilmington, the last major port available to the Confederates.
The initial assault on Fort Fisher in December was preceded by a day-long bombardment from Admiral David D. Porter's warships and the detonation of a powder ship containing 2l 5 tons of black powder placed near the fort. The explosion of the powdership, somewhat reminiscent of the Petersburg mine explosion, proved to be completely ineffective. The combined attack was a failure and Grant removed Butler from command in January 1865, thereby ending an undistinguished military career.
The 24th Corps was placed under the command of Major General Alfred H. Terry, who led the second expedition against Fort Fisher. On January 15, Colonel Newton M. Curtis' 1st Brigade, along with the 112th, 117th, and 142nd New York regiments, prepared to lead the assault against Fort Fisher from the southern end of the peninsula, while sailors were deployed to attack from the sea on the eastern side. Following the six-hour bombardment, the combined forces succeeded in entering the fort and overwhelming the defenders.
On January 17, after the fall of the fort, a 112th soldier wrote home, saying, "I guess Johnny Bull will have to give up trade with the C.S.A. via Wilmington."
Because of his performance at Fort Fisher, General Terry was breveted major general and given command of the 10th Corps. The Corps was then attached to the Provisional Corps as a part of General John M. Schofield's Army of the Ohio. General Schofield, who had successfully campaigned in Tennessee against General Hood, was transferred to assume command of Union forces in the Department of North Carolina in anticipation of joining with Major General William T. Sherman's army after the fall of Atlanta.
On the night of January 21, Rebel forces withdrew from Wilmington, and the next day the 1st Brigade entered the city. The soldiers were surprised at the absence of the usual taunts and insults they had become used to when entering a captured Southern town or city. The black population was, of course, overjoyed to see them.
According to a soldier's letter in The Jamestown Journal: The most deplorable sight I ever witnessed was the long procession of our prisoners of war which passed through Wilmington yesterday. They had been sent here for exchange before our forces Occupied this place. Many of them could not walk, and they were brought down the river in boats. Others were barefoot, ragged, and bareheaded. They all tell the story of hardship, starvation, and cruelty, which we have so often heard. The large and spacious buildings evacuated by the rich secesh are, by General Schofield's order, converted into hospitals for these poor, suffering prisoners.
The 112th soldiers were overjoyed to greet Lieutenant Samuel P. Hedges, who had been missing since May 16, 1864, when taken prisoner at Drewry's Bluff, Virginia. Hedges was among the prisoners freed at Wilmington. With him was Captain Benjamin G. Casler of the 154th New York, who had enrolled at Jamestown, New York, and was subsequently taken prisoner on July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg. In March 1865, the brigade began a series of long marches on its way to Goldsboro, North to Carolina. These marches were interrupted by or frequent skirmishes with fleeing Rebel forces. Most of the time the heavy spring rains turned the roads into quagmires, and the swampy terrain made marching almost impossible. Near Kenansville, North Carolina, the brigade made its first contact with Sherman's Army, a detachment of Brigadier General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick's cavalry division.
Near a place called Cox's Bridge, the 112th took its last battle casualties. In a sharp skirmish with remnants of General Joseph Wheeler's cavalry, three Union soldiers were taken prisoner.
The brigade camped briefly at Faison's Station, North Carolina, on April 4, 1865, before moving on to Raleigh. At Faison's Station, the regiment lost its beloved surgeon, Charles E. Washburn of Fredonia, New York, who had contracted typhoid fever while at Wilmington. Then, at Raleigh, on April 15, the soldiers received the news of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The news cast a pall of gloom over the entire army.
In early June 1865, recruits who had recently joined the 112th were transferred to the 3rd New York Infantry. On June 13, the 112th New York Infantry Regiment was mustered out of the service at Raleigh, North Carolina, while under the command of Colonel Ludwick. Not having fully completed its three-year enlistment, the 112th had served honorably and bravely through many strenuous campaigns. It sustained a total of 636 casualties, including 128 killed or mortally wounded in battle; 269 wounded and recovered; 177 died from disease and other causes; and 22 enlisted men died while being held as prisoners of war. Not being part of the Army of the Potomac or the Army of the Tennessee, the 112th did not participate in the Grand Review held in Washington, D.C., May 22-24, 1865. Instead, the men started for home. In late June, after several days traveling by boat and train from Raleigh. the 112th arrived in Buffalo, New York. The men dispersed and lost little time in returning to their homes and families in Chautauqua County.
13th INDIANA REGIMENT
INFANTRY: ORGANIZED IN INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA
13th Indiana Infantry.
Among the several regiments brigaded with the I12th New York during the Civil War, the 13th Indiana is probably the most closely identified with it. Organized at Indianapolis on June 19, 1861, to serve three years, the three-year men not re-enlisted were mustered out in the field on June 19, 1864. Composed of recruits and veterans, the I3th remained in service until September 5, 1865, when it was finally mustered out by the War Department. Jeremiah C. Sullivan was in command of the regiment until April 30, 1862, at which time he was promoted to brigadier general. Robert S. Foster joined the regiment in June 1861, as major, and he was promoted successively to lieutenant colonel and colonel. On June 10, 1863, Foster was promoted to brigadier general in the 10th Corps. Cyrus J. Dobbs also commanded the 13th Indiana and is frequently mentioned in the regimental history of the 112th. Apparently, the 13th was a highly regarded regiment by the various brigade commanders under whom it served. Chaplain Hyde records no criticism and only high praise of its behavior in action alongside the 112th. While some three-year men of the 13th Indiana left for home in June 1864, the remaining men were consolidated into two companies and armed with Spencer repeating rifles to serve as sharpshooters. At Fort Fisher, sixty sharpshooters from the 13th Indiana provided covering fire while Union soldiers made their final assault.
169th New York Infantry.
Known as The Troy Regiment, the 169th was organized at Troy, New York, and New York City in September and October 1862 to serve three years. The regiment left New York State on October 9, 1862, and its men were mustered out at Raleigh, North Carolina, on June 19, 1865. The regiment was raised by Colonel Clarence Bud, who commanded it from October 8, 1862, to February 13, 1864, when he was discharged because of a disability. John McConihe, who was 28 years old, replaced Bud as regimental commander and he was killed on June 1, 1864 at Cold Harbor, Virginia. Colonel McConihe was breveted brigadier general of volunteers on the day on which he was killed. Alonzo Alden was mustered in as a major in the 169th New York Regiment on September 20, 1863, and he was promoted to lieutenant colonel on April 12, 1864. Alden was wounded at Cold Harbor on June 1, and he became colonel of the regiment on November 9, 1864. Alden was breveted brigadier general effective January 15, 1865. The 169th lost six officers and 67 men killed in action; one officer and 58 enlisted men were wounded in action; three officers and 150 enlisted men died from disease and other causes, while 35 men died while being held as prisoners of war. When the powder magazine exploded at Fort Fisher after its capture, two officers and 26 enlisted men of the 169th New York were killed.
9th Maine Infantry.
The 9th Maine Infantry was organized at Augusta, Maine, on September 22, 1861, to serve three years. The original members, except veterans who re-enlisted, were mustered out of service on September 27, 1864. The regiment, composed of recruits and veterans, remained in service until July 13, 1865. The 9th Maine had four commanders. They were Colonel Horatio Bisbee, who resigned his command on March 19, 1863; Colonel Rishworth Rich, who resigned his command on May 27, 1863; Colonel Sabine Emery, who resigned his command on May 25, 1864; and Colonel G. Fred Granger, who received the brevet of brigadier general on June 12, 1865. The regiment participated with the 112th New York in many battles, in Cold Harbor, Deep Bottom, Fort Gilmer and Petersburg, Virginia, and Wilmington, North Carolina.
117th New York Infantry.
The 117th New York Infantry was orga nized at Rome, New York, and it was mustered into service on August 16, 1862, for three years of service. It was mustered out under the command of Colonel Rufus Daggett on June 8, 1865, by the order of the War Department. The 117th was known as The Fourth Oneida Regiment. Colonel William R. Pease, formerly a captain with the 7th U.S. Infantry, was appointed colonel of the regiment on July 19, 1862. Pease was discharged because of a disability on August 27, 1863. Alvin White served as colonel of the regiment from that date until July 18, 1864, and Daggett served in that capacity from July 19, 1864, to June 8, 1865. The 117th New York lost five officers and 75 enlisted men killed in battle; three officers and 54 enlisted men died of wounds; 17 officers and 274 enlisted men were wounded but recovered; two officers and 47 enlisted men were recorded as missing; and 21 enlisted men died while they were in Confederate prison camps.
ONE HUNDRED AND
SIXTY NINTH ORGANIZED
Fort Ann F
Fort Edward D
New York D
Poestenkill A, C
Sandy Hill D
TROY A, B, C, E, G H, I, K
The service record of the 117th New York closely parallels that of the 112th New York; and, interestingly enough, the number and composition of its casualty list is very similar to that of the 112th, with the exception of Cold Harbor.
3rd New York Infantry
The 3rd New York Infantry, known as the Albany Regiment, was organized at Albany, New York, and it was mustered in on May 14, 1861, for two years service. After being mustered out, the 3rd New York was reorganized in May 1863 as a three-year regiment. It was finally mustered out by order of the War De partment on August 28, 1865. On June 13, 1865, the men of the 112th New York who were not discharged with their own regiment were transferred to the 3rd New York. The 3rd New York's original commander, Colonel Frederick Townsend, resigned on June 26, 1861, to be appointed a major in the 18th U.S. Infantry. Townsend was succeeded by Samuel L. Alford. Colonel Alford was dismissed from the service on June 14, 1864, but this action was subsequently revoked and he received an honorable discharge. John E. Mulford was colonel of the regiment from April 9, 1865, until June 30, 1866, and he was breveted brigadier general from July 4, 1865. The 3rd New York lost 24 men killed in action; one officer and 14 enlisted men were wounded in action; nine officers and 162 en listed men were wounded but recovered; and one officer and 16 men were recorded as missing. The majority of the regiment's casualties occurred during the operations against Peters burg and Richmond in the summer of 1864.
115th New York Infantry.
Although the 115th New York Infantry, known as the Iron Hearted Regiment, was never brigaded nor directly involved with the 112th New York, it played an important role in the Florida operations of Brigadier General Truman Seymour, particularly in the Battle of Olustee, which was fought on February 20, 1864. The 115th also participated in the sec ond assault on Fort Eisher and lost heavily in that engagement. The 115th was organized at Fonda, New York, and it was mustered into the service on August 20, 1 862, for three years service. It was mustered out on June 17, 1865. Colonel Simeon Sammons recruited the regiment and he was in command until his discharge because of a disability on November 19, 1864. Colonel Sammons had been wounded in action on February 20, 1864 at Olustee and again at Petersburg on July 30, 1864. Nathan F. Johnson, who served as lieutenant colonel of the regiment from April 15, 1864 was given command as colonel on April 29, 1865. The 115th suffered heavy casualties during its term of service, particularly at Olustee. Altogether, five officers and 77 enlisted men were killed in action; two officers and 55 enlisted men died of wounds received in ac tion; and 21 officers and 449 men were wounded but recovered. Recorded as missing were 39 officers and 1037 enlisted men, most of whom were taken prisoner in September 1862 at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Most of them were later paroled. The 115th was part of the expedition sent to gain a firm foothold in Florida and possibly capture the state's capital, Tallahassee. The regiment sailed from Hilton Head, South Carolina, and reached the St. Johns River bar on February 7, 1864. James H. Clark, the regimental historian, stated that, Asfor up as Jacksonville, the river is crooked and muddy while the banks glisten with pure white banks of sand, appearing in the distance as great banks of snow. The Confederate garrison at Jacksonville, which was lightly held, was taken by surprise and occupied with little loss of life on either side. Union forces proceeded on February 8 to attack the Rebel Camp Finegan, a distance of 12 miles from Jacksonville, and this was done with little bloodshed. Clark states that: The rebel camp was filled with fot turkeys, chickens, ducks, and geese; and as soon as the al-ms were stacked, the order to charge hen- coops was given and the soldiers soon swept away all poultry before them until the feathers flew in all directions. More than feathers flew as the Union troops marching west from Jacksonville finally came against resolute Confederate soldiers who had carefully chosen Olustee as the place to stop the Yankees. The bloody Battle of Olustee was fought at a railroad station of the Florida, Atlantic and Gulf Railroad, between a force of 5500 Confederate soldiers under the command of General Pierre G.T. Beauregard, General Joseph Finegan and Colonel Alfred H. Colquitt. The 5000 Federal soldiers were commanded by Brigaidier General Truman Seymour.
The 115th, situated on the right of the Union line of battle, held against a determined Confederate counter-attack. However, the 8th U.S. Colored Infantry and the 7th New Hampshire Infantry broke and fell back in disorder. In a subsequent charge, the 115th New York and the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry were repulsed and forced back to their old positions after desperate fighting. General Seymour complimented the 115th, saying, "The 115th New York was the best regiment I ever saw under fire." Seymour's Division, however, lost 1861 men and the battle was thereafter referred to as Seymour's Slaughter.
Among the military leaders taking part in the 1864 campaign in North Florida were the following:
Quincy Adams Gilimore. Quincy Adams Gillmore, a descendant of the two American presidents, played a significant role in the campaign events in Florida as the commander of the 10th Corps and the Department of the South from June 12, 1863, to May 1, 1864. Gillmore, who returned to Jacksonville following the Civil War to help build the St. Johns River jetties, was graduated first in his class at West Point in 1849. In the summer of 1863, his forces attempted to recapture Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor by land operations on Morris Island and the subsequent bombardment of the fort from that location. In May 1 864, his corps was transferred to the Army of the James under General Benjamin F. Butler. In July of that year, Gillmore commanded two divisions of the 19th Corps in the defense of Washington, D.C. General Gillmore was severely injured in a fall from his horse during General Jubal A. Early's operations against Washington that summer. Gillmore died in Brooklyn, New York, on April 7, 1888.
Adelbert Ames was graduated fifth in the class of 1861 from West Point. A few weeks following his graduation, Ames participated in the First Battle of Bull Run, and for his conspicuous action in the battle he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. At various times, General Ames commanded brigades and divisions the 10th Corps, the 18th Corps and the 24th Corps, organizations to which the 112th New York and the regiments with which it was brigaded belonged. During the Siege of Petersburg, Ames had been a divisional commander. Later, as commander of the 2nd Division, 24th Corps (Ames' Division of Terry's Provisional Corps), he participated in the first and second expeditions against Fort Fisher. In 1870, Ames married one of Butler's daughters. His post-war career in politics, like some of the other military commanders who entered politics, was not nearly as successful as were his military exploits. General Ames died in Florida at age 98 on April 13, 1933. At the time of his death, he was the last surviving Civil War general on either side of that conflict.
General Truman Seymour was graduated from West Point in 1846 and he participated in the Mexican War and the Second Seminole War. He was promoted to brigadier general in April 1862, and in that year led commands in the Peninsular Campaign, Second Bull Run, South Mountain and Antietam. Seymour was transferred to the Charleston area in November 1862, and he led the unsuccessful attack on Fort Wagner in July 1863. During the assault, Seymour was badly wounded and he did not return to duty until October 1863. In December, he was placed in command of the 10th Corps and the Military District of Florida. His forces were decisively defeated at the Battle of Olustee on February 20, 1964. Seymour retumed to the Army of the Potomac and he was taken prisoner at the Wilderness in May 1864. He was exchanged in August of that year. General Seymour then commanded a division of the 6th Corps in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign and at the Siege of Petersburg. General Seymour lived in Florence, Italy, after his retirement from the Army in 1876. He died on October 30, 1891.
Robert S. Foster.
Robert Sanford Foster was born on January 27, 1834. As a young man he worked in his uncle's store in Indianapolis, Indiana, until the outbreak of the Civil War. Foster enlisted as a captain, 11th Indiana Infantry on April 22, 1861, and he transferred to the 13th Indiana as a major in June 1861. He was named lieutenant colonel of the 13th in October 1861 and colonel of the regiment in April 1862. During General Gillmore's siege operations against Charleston, South Carolina, in the autumn and winter of 1863, Foster commanded the 1st Brigade, 10th Corps, on Folly Island. The brigade was sent to Florida for a brief period and then returned to Virginia, where Foster was named Gillmore's chief of staff in the Army of the James. Foster then led commands at the Petersburg front, first a brigade and then a division of the 10th Corps. Foster was breveted major general in March 1865, and he resigned from the Army on September 25, 1865, after having served on the military commission that tried the Lincoln conspirators. He returned to Indianapolis and entered public life. He died there on March 3, 1903.
Joseph Finegan, brigadier general in the Confederate Army, was a native of Ireland. He migrated to Florida as a young man. Einegan's business and law practice in Jacksonville was interrupted by his appointment as a brigadier general in April 1862. Finegan commanded the Department of Middle and Eastern Florida. Without formal military education, Finegan successfully commanded Confederate forces at the Battle of Olustee and subsequently he commanded a brigade of Florida regiments in Virginia. His brigade saw action at the Battle of Cold Harbor and during the Siege of Peters burg. Finegan returned to Florida in March 1865, and after the war he entered politics and pursued private business interests. He died on October 29, 1883, and he is buried in the Old City Cemetery in Jacksonville.
Israel Vogdes was born on August 4, 1816, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and he was graduated from West Point in 1837. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was a captain in the 1st U.S. Artillery. Then he rapidly rose to the rank of major. Vogdes was taken prisoner at Fort Pickens in Florida in October 1861, and he was not exchanged until August 1862. After his re lease, Vogdes was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on November 29, 1862. He was given command of forces in the 10th Corps on the northern end on Folly Island in August 1863. General Vogdes commanded forces in the 10th Corps in the Military District of Florida in early 1864. He finished the war as commander of the defenses of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia. He retired from the Army on January 2, 1881, as colonel of the 1st U.S. Artillery. He lived in New York City until his death on December 7, 1889.
Clark, James H. The Iron Hearted Regiment, A History of the New York Volunteers. Albany, New York: J. Munsell, 1866.
Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army. Volume 1. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1903.
Hyde, William L. History of the 112th Regiment, New York Volunteers. Fredonia, New York: McKinstry and Company, 1866.
Letters and documents in the collection of D.K. Ryberg, Westfield, New York.
Phisterer, Frederick. New York in the War of the Rebellion. Albany, New York: J.B. Lyon and Company, 1912.
Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue: Lives of Union Commanders. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1964.
Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1959.
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