Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

and true, went down in the mighty conflict in which they were engaged. We may speak of the ravages of time, of the herculean deeds of past ages, associating great and memorable achievements with the march of years and centuries, but the heroic deeds of the brave men who fell upon these fields and the valor of those who survived the shock of battle, will ever mark an epoch in the nation's history worthy the memory of ages.

In midsummer of 1862, word came to my northern home that in the city of Philadelphia there was being organized a regiment to be known as the "Anderson Cavalry." Upon the receipt of this information I went to the "City of Brotherly Love," and on the 17th day of August, 1862, enlisted in this famous regiment and was immediately sent to Carlisle, Pa., where upon the 22d day of August, 1862, I was mustered into the United States service with the regiment, for the period of three years, at Camp Alabama, by Captain D. Hastings of the United States Army. We were immediately placed under the instructions of competent drill masters, sergeants of the regular army, the benefit of whose discipline we received for two months. Before the expiration of this time, however, or the completion of the regimental organization, for not more than one-fourth of the officers, either commissioned or non-commissioned, had yet been appointed, we were summoned to meet the foe on the sacred soil of our native State.

During this invasion the regiment made a tour down the Cumberland Valley, passing through the towns of Newville and Shippensburg to Chambersburg. Here we shouldered the musket as infantry and marched to Greencastle. It now became a military necessity to press into service all the horses possible, and in a short time two hundred of the regiment were mounted, presenting a bold front and holding the enemy in check until re-enforcements, the emergency men, arrived from Harrisburg. At the battle of Antietam one of the regiment was killed, and our brave and gallant Colonel William J. Palmer, taken prisoner while on an important mission absent from his regiment and exposed to personal danger. During this battle, with a small scouting party, I marched to Williamsport, on the Potomac River, as it was thought the rebels would attempt a crossing at Dam No. 10. This supposition proved a reality, for we had no sooner reached the river than heavy cannonading was heard from the Virginia side, protecting their advance while crossing the Potomac. We hastily rode back to Hagerstown and informed Major General Reynolds, commanding the Pennsylvania militia, that the enemy were effecting a crossing near Williamsport. An advance was ordered and a line of battle formed, consisting mostly of militia. The rebels retreated, making good their escape up the Shenandoah Valley toward Richmond.

The campaign having ended, we returned to Carlisle the latter part of September and resumed our duties at Camp Alabama.

The pleasurable things enjoyed all through this campaign were apple butter, peaches and many other good things to eat which this rich and luxurious valley of the Cumberland produced in great abundance. Within our belts and blouses we stowed away a peck at a time of the peaches for

use while on the march. Having got there first, we took them instead of the "Johnnies.”

About the 1st of November the regiment left Carlisle to join the Army of the Cumberland in Tennessee, and we arrived in Louisville, Kentucky, about the middle of the month. We were immediately armed, mounted and equipped. Here we remained one month, drilling and acquainting ourselves with the new order of things.

Among the many amusing incidents, I relate the “raw recruit” trying to ride on horseback, both horse and rider being green in the service. The horse would plunge and try to throw his rider; the latter, forgetting his spurs, clung tight to the horse, embedding the sharp points in the animal's sides, which furiousy charged across the drill-field, never stopping until the rider was dislodged from his back and lay sprawling on the ground.

It was here that I stuffed with hard-tack, salt and pepper my first goose; sat up all night to boil her tender, then, after a stew down in the kettle, what a feast for the "mess" was that, my countrymen!

The first week in December following we commenced our long and fatiguing march to Nashville, Tennessee. Time will not permit me to refer to the many interesting occurrences which transpired during this tedious journey. While encamped at Bowling Green, Kentucky, details from each company were sent out to scour the country in search of the rebel chieftain, John Morgan. This was done during a furious and chilling rain storm, not at all enjoyed by the then inexperienced regiment. We finally arrived at Nashville the latter part of December, in time to participate in the battle of Stone River, where many of our men and both of our majors were killed. During the winter of 1863, Colonel Palmer returned from captivity and rejoined the regiment, and the organization was then thoroughly completed and put on a war footing.

And now, comrades, gathered as we are on this memorable spot, where the blood of patriots was spilled that a nation might live, let us resolve anew our allegiance to our country's flag, and say:

"Thou, too, sail cn, oh Ship of State,
Sail on, oh Union, strong and great,
While all the hopes of future years
Are hanging breathless on thy fate.
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge, in what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope.
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
'Tis of the wave and not the rock;
'Tis but the flapping of the sail,
and not a rent made by the gale.
In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea.
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee, -are all with thee."

ADDRESS OF PRIVATE JOHN TWEEDALE.

MOLONEL BETTS and Comrades:-When a soldier receives orders he is.

not expected to talk back:

"Their's not to reason why,

Their's but to do and die." At present I am under orders of the colonel to say something, and I must therefore obey.

It has always been a matter of regret to me that I did not continue with the regiment during all of its campaigns after Stone River; at the same time it is better to be alive and thus be able to regret, than to be filling a grave in a national cemetery as might have been the case had I continued with the regiment instead of going on duty with Generals Rosecrans and Thomas. What has been we know, what might have been we cannot tell ---So I am glad to be here to-day.

Lieutenant Conaway has referred to many things which very vividly recall the past. His oration invited reminiscences from others, and I am thus reminded of an interesting incident relative to the capture of our Colonel. During Mr. Cleveland's first administration a gentleman came into my office at the War Department and asked for his record in the secret service during the war. He said he wanted it in connection with an application he had made for an appointment in the consular service. Careful search of the records developed the fact that he had been confined in Fort Delaware by direction of Secretary Stanton on a charge of betraying Colonel Palmer into the hands of the enemy during the battle of Antietam; but no further information was afforded.

I told him that the records were quite unsatisfactory as to his record, and asked him for further information. He then went into his record somewhat in detail, stating that he had been confined at Fort Delaware, and that subsequently he had been released by Secretary Stanton and paid for his services by the disbursing clerk of the War Department. With this clue I was enabled to obtain his full record. It appears that he and Colonel Palmer came down to one of the fords of the Potomac River and crossed over into Virginia. They went to a farmhouse to stay over night, and while there some rebel cavalry came to the house. Colonel Palmer, appreciating the danger, advised his companion to leave at once and make his way back across the Potomac into our lines, for, if found together, they would certainly be detected, as they could not possibly tell the same story in all its details. He accordingly made his way back to the Potomac River, took a boat which he found there and recrossed. While crossing, he was fired upon by the enemy's pickets, but was unharmed and arrived safely within our lines. As he returned so soon, General MCClellan suspected that he had betrayed Colonel Palmer, and so informed

Secretary Stanton, by whom he was ordered to be confined at Fort Delaware, where he refused to make any statement. So, as soon as Colonel Palmer was released from Libby Prison and exchanged in February, 1863, he wrote to Secretary Stanton stating that his life was no doubt saved by the refusal of this man (I cannot recall his name) to say anything about his adventures, for, if he had done so, it would have been published in the papers and immediately sent to Richmond by sympathizers, and Colonel Palmer's fate would thus have been sealed.

The story of Colonel Palmer's capture and imprisonment was published in Harper's Magazine for June, 1867, under the title: "A General's Story." I know you will be glad to hear this supplemental statement.

As I am to accept the Pennsylvania monuments next Monday, at Orchard Knob, on behalf of the government, I will reserve until that time any further remarks which otherwise would be appropriate on this occasion.

The exercises closed with the singing of the hymn “America,” and taps sounded by Comrade Murdoch, after which the members and friends attending were grouped and photographed.

HISTORICAL SKETCH OF REGIMENT *

In the early part of August, 1862, William J. Palmer received authority

was subsequently extended to recruit a full regiment. Recruiting offices were opened in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other parts of the State, and before the end of the month, nearly a thousand men were in the camp of rendezvous at Carlisle, and mustered into the service of the United States. A company, known as the Anderson Troop, had been previously recruited by Captain Palmer, to serve as body guard to General Anderson. It was understood that the new regiment, which he was authorized to recruit, should be employed on similar duty. Accordingly, especial care was taken to obtain a select body, and in its ranks were young men from some of the wealthiest and most influential families in

companies, and with the aid of officers from the Regular Cavalry stationed at Carlisle, the drill of the regiment was vigorously prosecuted.

Early in September, the enemy, fresh from his triumphs at Bull Run, began to cross the Potomac in force. The regiment was, accordingly,

picked men, with three days' rations, and thirty-six rounds of ammunition per man, were ordered to the front. Proceeding by rail to Green

*Extract from Bates' History of Pennsylvania Volunteers.

[graphic][merged small]
« ElőzőTovább »