When one of the newly organized battalions of the Regular Brigade of the Army of the Potomac reported to Colonel Buchanan, he said to its commander: "Sir, your men look like volunteers!" The reply was—"That is just what they are." The veteran martinet rejoined, "I will make them Regulars"—and that is what he did.
This little dialogue gives the history, in brief, of the nine infantry regiments added to the Army in 1861. Nearly all the officers were appointed from civil life; the men were specially enlisted for their regiments and, generally, for designated companies by their company officers.
The War Department tried to assign as many experienced officers and as many old soldiers as possible to the new organizations, with the intent that they should act as organizers and instructors. It was hoped that enough could be assigned to leaven the mass and thus make the new regiments reasonably efficient in a short time. But out of eight West Point graduates sent to the 14th Infantry, only three went with the regiment to the field; the others were assigned to other duties; four as brigadier-generals of volunteers.
All the new organizations had about the same experience. The volunteer element was predominant, but by precept, example and environment they soon acquired the traditions and spirit of the old Army without losing the zeal, enthusiasm and resource of the volunteer soldier.
In one of the first battles of the Rebellion, an old officer watched one of the new regiments as it went forward, under a withering fire, with a cheer. The veteran smiled grimly, and said, "They act like mustangs, but they fight like men."
The 14th Infantry was organized under the President's proclamation of May 4, 1861, which was confirmed by an act of Congress Of July 29th of the same year. Twice before a regiment designated as 14th Infantry had been organized in our Service. The first in the War of 1812. Besides its field officers, it had its full complement of captains, first, second and third lieutenants, its ensigns, surgeons and surgeon's mates; most of these officers were commissioned from Maryland.
Its first colonel was Wm. H. Winder, who having been appointed a brigadier-general in March, 1813, was succeeded by Col. Charles G. Boerstler, who had been the first lieutenant-colonel.
The regiment in whole or in part was in the engagements at Fort Niagara, Frenchman Creek, the capture of Fort George, at Beaver Dams, Chrystler's Fields, De Cole Mill, Chippewa and Cook's Mills.
The roster of this original 14th Infantry will be given in an addenda, but there was one officer who fought under its banner, who deserves more than passing notice. Among the young ensigns of the regiment was one John A. Dix. He fought gallantly through the second war with Great Britain and did not resign from the Army until 1828. While the Mexican War was being carried on, he was a United States Senator from the State of New York. An attempt was made to have the grade of lieutenant-general established so that President Polk could appoint a political favorite to the command of the Army over General Winfield Scott. It was by the exertions of General Dix, that this partisan scheme was frustrated and that the hero of Lundy's Lane and Chippewa received the command of the Army which invaded Mexico from Vera Cruz. Fifteen years later the ex-ensign of the 14th Infantry was a member of the reconstructed cabinet of James Buchanan as Secretary of the Treasury. Just before the secession of Louisiana, information came to the Capitol, that the fire-eaters of New Orleans were threatening to pull down the National flag from over the Custom House. An answer was flashed back which thrilled the country like a bugle call. "If any man attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot," (signed) John A. Dix. The lessons learned by the young subaltern of 1812 were not forgotten by the grey haired statesman of 1861.*
The 14th Infantry was again organized in April, 1847, under an act of Congress, passed and approved the preceding February.
The colonel was Wm. Trousdale of Tennessee. The lieutenant-colonel, Paul O. Hebert of Louisiana, a graduate of the Military Academy and a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. The major of the regiment, was Charles Wickliff.
With three exceptions the officers of the regiment were appointed from Louisiana and Tennessee.
As the organization of the regiment was not completed until the 9th of April, it did not join General Scott's column in time to take part in the siege of Vera Cruz or the battle of Cerro Gordo, but joined the main army at Puebla early in June, 1847. it was assigned to Cadwallader's Brigade of Pillow's Division. Their brigade consisted of the Voltigeurs, the 11th and 14th Infantry.
They took a conspicuous part in the battle of Contreras on the 19th and 20th of August. On the 19th with their brigade they held the village of Contreras from daylight until dark under the fire of Valencia's entire division, the most thorough baptism of fire new troops ever received. That night they marched through a break in the Mexican line and up a ravine that led them directly in rear of the Mexican position. When the charge was made in the morning the battle lasted seventeen minutes and the pursuit four hours. A pleasant little episode for the 14th was the repulse of a charge of lancers. From Contreras, Pillow's division hastened over to support Worth in his attack on Churubusco. The 14th participated in no less than four attacks that day. It fought also at Molino del Rey, at Chapultepec, and the storm-
*It is interesting to note, that his father, Timothy Dix, was made the lieutenant-colonel of the 14th Infantry in 1813, and that his son, Chas. T. Dix, was commissioned as a lieutenant of the new 14th in the War of the Rebellion.
ing of the San Cosmo gate. The engineer officer who indicated to the 14th its line of attack at Contreras was Lieutenant Beauregard; a battery they supported for a time at Chapultepec was commanded by Lieut. Thomas J. Jackson; the engineer officer who led the way over the San Cosmo causeway was Capt. Robert E. Lee, and the officer who marched with them in command of a platoon of sappers and miners to the San Cosmo gate was Lt. Geo. B. McClellan.
"There's a divinity that shapes our ends.
Rough hew them how we will."
The colonel, lieutenant-colonel and five other officers of the Fourteenth were breveted for conspicuous gallantry in the battles in the valley of Mexico.
On the 29th of July, 1848, this splendid regiment was disbanded, and its battle-stained banners laid away in dust and darkness. After the call for 75,000 volunteers in 1861, the Chief Magistrate deemed it expedient also to increase the strength of the Regular Army. To meet the question of reorganization, a board was appointed by the President, consisting of the Hon. S. P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury; Maj. Irvin McDowell, Assistant Adjutant-General; and Capt. William B. Franklin of the Engineers. The military members proposed a three-battalion organization of eight companies each for the infantry regiments. They recommended an addition of one regiment of artillery, one of cavalry and nine of infantry. This would have given 57 battalions for the last named branch of the Service.
Mr. Chase concurred, but Congress, in passing the act of July 29, only made the three-battalion scheme to apply to the nine new regiments. It must be understood that as to the general war policy of his administration, Mr. Lincoln of course consulted his Cabinet, but advised freely with General Scott, Adjutant-General Thomas, and as Mr. Welles has it in his memoirs, "a young man named Meigs."
The organization of the 14th Infantry followed promptly the President's proclamation. The headquarters of the regiment was fixed at Fort Trumbull, Conn., and the first order, temporarily assigning officers appointed to date May 14th to companies, was issued on the 8th of July, 1861. This order was signed by Lieut.-Col. John F. Reynolds, who organized the new regiment and was its first commander.
The colonel, Chas. P. Stone, had already been made a brigadier general of volunteers, and was serving at the time in General Patterson's army. He never joined the regiment until the fall of 1864, and then only for one day.
General Stone had served as a lieutenant of ordnance in the Mexican War. He resigned in 1856. In the trying period preceding the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, he was very active and zealous in organizing an improved command for the defense of Washington. He was a refined, scholarly gentleman and an accomplished officer. But he was "too full of the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way;" so it happened that he was probably more harshly dealt with than any officer who ever held a commission in our Army.
Lieutenant-Colonel Reynolds was a veteran who had been in the Service
since 1841. He had served in the Florida and Mexican wars, and was destined to a soldier's death, commanding an army corps on the field of Gettysburg. No better man could have been found to bind together the heterogeneous elements of which a new regiment was compounded.
He selected for his adjutant Lieut. Edwin F. Townsend (now colonel of the 12th Infantry) a West Point graduate who had resigned and gone into civil pursuits, but who had again accepted a lieutenant's commission when the War broke out; a position by no means commensurate with his merits, but which he accepted from purely patriotic impulses.
General George Sykes, the senior major, did not report, but Major G. R. Giddings and Major William Williams reported promptly and were assigned to the 2d and 3d battalions respectively.
As fast as the captains and lieutenants came they were assigned to recruiting stations, generally in the New England States and New York.
The first recruiting order was issued at Fort Trumbull, July 10, 1861.
The first company was organized and put into camp on the 17th of August. It was under the command of Captain Samuel Ross, a veteran, who had joined the Army as a private in 1837. A second company was soon organized and assigned to Captain Jonathan Hager. A battalion was organized, mustered and inspected on August 31st, and Lieut. W. R. Smedberg announced as adjutant.
So far the organization had run smoothly, but the regiment now met its first serious loss. Its lieutenant-colonel was made a brigadier-general of volunteers, and its adjutant was promoted to a captaincy in the 16th Infantry.
Major Giddings, who assumed command, was a son of the Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, the abolition leader of Ohio. Captains J. D. O'Connell and David B. McKibbin, officers of experience, reported in time to take up the good work. Of the civil appointees one, Coppinger, had seen service abroad, having been an officer of Papal Chasseurs. The other officers had little or no antecedent military training, but they were, with few exceptions, men of such quick apprehension, zeal and untiring application, that they learned their duties within a short time.
Among the men who first enlisted there were a number of well-trained soldiers; some of them had served in the old regiments of our Army and others in some of the European armies. Many of these men won commissions, and they all did much by precept and example to encourage the raw recruits. Indeed their influence was invaluable, as they not only taught the new men how to take care of themselves, but to make light of hardships.
Some educated gentlemen enlisted for commissions and won them soon. The men who won advancement in this honorable way were Lieutenants Perry, Peck, Choisy, C. G. Smedberg, J. K. Clay, Vernon and Browning.
So rapidly was the regiment recruited that eight companies and the band were organized and sent by the middle of October to Perryville, Md., where they went into Camp Stone, so-called, after their first colonel.
The battalion first organized was designated the Second, as General Sykes, the senior major, had been assigned to the command of the 1st Bat-
talion, but had not reported. As Major Giddings, the proper commandant of the 2d Battalion, was kept back at Fort Trumbull in command of the regiment, the command of the battalion sent to Perryville devolved on the senior captain, J. D. O'Connell—universally known in the Army as "Paddy." He had served in the old 2d Infantry from 1852 to 1861.
The 14th Infantry owes a lasting debt of gratitude to this noble man. He did more than any other officer to instruct it and to instill into it principles of patriotism, self-sacrifice and devotion. Captain O'Connell was not "brilliant," he was better than that, for in the best sense of the word he was a good man. He was single-minded and artless, diligent, faithful and self-denying. With him the interests of the men came first, the officers second and his own last.
The health of the command was not good at Camp Stone. This was attributed to bad water and a lack of fresh vegetables.
Sergeants Henton, Bellows and Loosley were promoted to lieutenants. Their advancement was a stimulus to others. On Dec. 18th the headquarters of the regiment was established at Camp Stone, Major Giddings in command, bringing Lieutenant Schuyler and King as adjutant and quartermaster. One company of the 3d Battalion joined soon after. The rest of the winter was devoted to drills and instruction.
On March 7th, 1862, Camp Stone was abandoned and the regiment proceeded under orders, first to Washington and thence to Fairfax, Va., where they joined the Regular Brigade under General Sykes, in the Army of the Potomac, on March 13th. Two days before the Confederate army had fallen back to the south of the Rappahannock and on the day the 14th reported for duty in the field, the President authorized the Peninsula Campaign. Thus it happened that in a few days the Regulars marched back to Alexandria, Va., and made their preparations to embark on transports for Newport News. Major Giddings, with headquarters, went back to Fort Trumbull. On March 27th nine companies under the command of Captain O'Connell embarked on a steamer at Alexandria and on the 29th debarked at Hampton, Va. From thence they marched with the rest of the brigade and went into a camp near Yorktown, Va., April 4th.
The regiment then formed a part of what was called the "Infantry Reserve Brigade," which was made up of the 2d, 3d, 4th, 6th, and parts of the 10th, 17th, the 11th, 12th, 14th Infantry, and the 5th New York—Colonel Warren's regiment, whose warriors were known from their Zouave dress as the "Red-legged Devils." The history of the brigade for the next month was that they worked in the trenches at Yorktown.
The 14th had now fallen under their senior major, but in his capacity of brigade commander. It would have been hard to find a better officer in the Arm than General Sykes; a Southerner by birth, he was so thoroughly and simply a soldier, that he knew little of politics and cared less. His indifference to all civil matters was a subject of surprise to the civilian appointees who served with him.
He was unsympathetic and methodical, a man of details, diligent and untiring, but never hurried, never flurried; one of the coolest men in dan-
ger or confusion that we had in the whole Army. He enforced discipline like a machine and had apparently no more sentiment than a gun-stock.
On the 30th of April, in compliance with an order from the War Department, Cos. "A," "B," "C," "D," "F" and "H," 2d Battalion, and Cos. "E" and "H" of the 3d Battalion, were transferred to and designated as the 1st Battalion ; all retaining their letter designations except "G," of the 3d, which became "G" of the 1st; "C" of the 3d became "C" of the 2d, and was attached as a supernumerary company.
On May the 8th the Confederates evacuated Yorktown, and for the next six weeks the history of the regiment was as uneventful as if it had remained at Perryville. It took no part in the battle of Williamsburg, but marched slowly up the Peninsula with the Army of the Potomac.
About the 17th of May, when the command was in camp at Cumberland, the Reserve Brigade, with the addition of the 10th N. Y. Vols., was formed into a division under Sykes, which with a division of volunteer infantry under Morell, constituted the 5th Provisional Corps under Maj.-Gen. Fitz John Porter.
The 1st Brigade of the Regular Division was under Lieut.-Col. Robert C. Buchanan, 4th Infantry, with Capt. Robert N. Scott as A. A. General, and Lieutenants Van Rensselaer and Powell as aides-de-camp.
The brigade was made up of the 3d Infantry, Captain Wilkins, the 4th Infantry, Captain Collins, the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry, Major H. B. Clitz, and the nine companies of the 14th Infantry, Captain O'Connell.
The 2d Brigade was under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Chapman, and was made up of the 2d, 6th, 10th, 17th and 11th Infantry and Warren's Brigade of his own, the 5th New York, and Colonel Bendix's 10th New York.
Sykes' Division took no part in General Porter's fight at Hanover, against Branch, or in the battle of Fair Oaks, but remained quietly in camp, 26th May until the 26th of June. For two years the history of the regiment will correspond closely with that of the brigade.
No better account of the battle of Gaines' Mill can be given than is given in the Official Report No. 146, War of the Rebellion Records, S. 1. Vol. xi., p. 2, p. 369.
HEADQUARTERS 1ST BATT. 14TH INFT.
CAMP NEAR JAMES RIVER, VA.,
July 4, 1862.
SIR—In compliance with instructions, headquarters of the brigade, I have the honor to submit the following report:
June 27.-Ordered across the creek near Gaines' Mill, and engaged the enemy about eleven o'clock, A. M., which continued till dark. The greater part of the day the battalion occupied the right of the 12th Infantry. I was directed to throw back the two right companies to protect the right flank.
With this formation I succeeded in driving the enemy clear from the field, following them up to the woods where they suffered severely.
I then retired to the crest of the hill, about 200 yards from the woods in front, and saw that the 3d Infantry was posted on the edge of the woods on my right flank, leaving some distance between its left and my right. Here a severe fire was poured in on my right flank from the woods, which caused me to change front and drive them from
that position. Again the enemy renewed their fire in my front, when I changed front and completely routed them, clearing them from the pine shrubbery in front of my position. I then returned to the crest of the hill, and finding the 12th and 3d Infantry had retired, that the enemy's infantry could not be seen, and that their artillery had a true range of the battalion with their shells, I retired also and took my position on the right of the 12th Infantry near the woods, just below the house near Edwards' battery.
From this point the battalion received a severe fire from the woods, which was turned by the battalion, slowly retiring in good order to the lane vigorously re near the house referred to, where it took up and held a position until the troops were drawn from the field. During this engagement five officers,—Captain McIntosh, Lieutenants Sinclair, McElhone, Lyon and Hoover—were wounded, the last three badly. Eighteen enlisted men were killed, 113 wounded, and 12 missing. The list of killed is probably greater than here stated. The officers and men behaved well. At night crossed the Chickahominy and encamped on the ground that had been occupied by the general headquarters near Savage Station.
* * * * *
July 1. —Participated in the battle fought near that camp (Malvern Hill) having 1 man killed, 11 wounded and 1 missing. At night the 1st Brigade, which was in advance, formed the rear guard, and held the position while the troops were withdrawn, and covered the movement of the army to the rear.
Ju1y 3.—Moved to this camp.
At the battle of the 1st the battalion arrived just in time to engage a regiment of the enemy, which was completely routed. The officers and men behaved well. Captain McKibbin, the second in command, was everywhere his presence was required. The conduct on both the above occasions is much to be admired. The company officers in their places behaved in like manner. Lieutenant W—— absented himself from the battalion on the evening of the 1st and did not join until near the present camp and could not satisfactorily account to me for his absence from the battalion.
I am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
(Signed) J. D. O'CONNELL,
Captain 14th Infantry, Commanding Battalion.
Adjutant 4th Infantry, A. A. A. G., First Brigade Sykes' Division.
P. S.—At the battle of July 1, the battalion took 11 prisoners, who were disposed of as directed by the division commander.
Colonel Buchanan in his report of the seven days says: "The two old regiments, the 3d and 4th, maintained their previous reputation, and the new battalions, the 12th and 14th, earned one for themselves." He complimented by name Captains O'Connell and McKibbin, as did also General Sykes.
In his report of the battle of Malvern, Sykes speaks with especial commendation of three well directed vollies which the 14th Infantry poured into a Confederate brigade, charging near the close of the battle, from the extreme right. This brigade is believed to have been Wright's of Huger's Division, and the regiment which suffered most from the fire was the "Louisiana Tigers."
The amended returns as we now have them, show that the loss of the regiment for the seven days was, killed, wounded and missing 255, including Lieutenant Hoover, who died of wounds received at Gaines' Mill. This was the heaviest loss in the division.
The loss of the brigade was 567. But for this a bloody retribution was exacted. The brigades of G. B. Anderson and Garland are known to have been the opponents of Buchanan's Brigade at Gaines' Mill. Their official loss is reported for the first named, 863, for the second, 844. About half of this loss was sustained at Gaines' Mill, and the remainder at Malvern.
Wright's Brigade lost 666 men at Malvern, and the "Tigers" alone lost 167 men. The 12th and 14th had a little side issue the evening before Malvern, which is known officially as Turkey Bend, Company C, 2d Battalion, taking 12 prisoners. After Gaines' Mill, Major Clitz and Captain Stanhope were left on the field severely wounded. After our withdrawal they reported that they were visited by a number of old army officers who had gone South: Hill, Anderson, Whiting, Stewart, and Jackson himself. All spoke with admiration of the firmness of the Regulars, and all expressed sympathy and offered assistance, except Whiting, who was born in Maine.
At Harrison's Landing the 2d Battalion joined July 5th. The companies reporting were A, B, D, E, F, G and H, under Captains Coppinger, Thatcher, Durkee, O'Beirne, Lawrence, Locke and Watson. Company C, under Lieutenant Broadhead, was already there.
The regiment left Harrison's Landing August 13th, and proceeded to Aquia Creek, marching thence with the 5th Corps to Warrenton, Va., where it joined the Army of Northern Va., under General Pope, the 27th of August. On the 30th of August, the two battalions of the 14th, in the 1st Brigade, 2d Division of the 5th Corps, took a conspicuous part in the battle of Manassas—"Second Bull Run." The reports are too full and the description of the battle too complicated to be quoted. General Sykes, speaking of the attack made about four o'clock, in what was called the turning movement from the right, says: "Butterfield's attack was gallantly made and gallantly maintained until his troops were torn to pieces. My first brigade, under Buchanan, moved to his aid, relieved him, and became furiously engaged."
The following is an extract from Colonel Buchanan's report:
"As soon as notified that I was unmasked by Butterfield, I advanced the two battalions of the 14th into and through the woods to his support, and held them there until after the brigade was entirely withdrawn, when my whole column was ordered to the rear. While in the woods we were under a most incessant fire of all arms, but my officers and men behaved admirably. Here it was that Captain O'Connell of the 14th Infantry was wounded in the knee while commanding the 1st Battalion, and Capt. D. B. McKibbin, 14th Infantry, in the ear, while commanding the 2d Battalion."
After the failure of this attack and the enemy had begun their counterattack, the first brunt of which fell upon Warren's Brigade, the rest of the division was moved by the Henry House Hill, on which, a little more than a year before, had raged the fiercest fighting in the First Bull Run.
The following is an extract also from Colonel Buchanan's report:
"About 6 P. M. I was ordered to take the battalions of the 12th and 14th to the woods to our left and front to support Meade's Brigade, then severely pressed by the enemy; and almost immediately after placing these troops in position, I observed that the 3d and 4th had also been ordered up.
"I found the enemy in very strong force in the woods, and during the heat of a very severe engagement discovered that he was flanking me with large masses of troops. I immediately commenced to gain ground to my left so as to meet his movements, and held him in check for nearly an hour. But at length I found the contest too unequal; my command was being cut to pieces; the ammunition of the men nearly expended and the enemy's masses vastly outnumbering my force. I was forced to give the order to retire.
"This was done in most excellent order, the men marching steadily and slowly and I resumed my position on the plateau.
"Shortly after I was ordered to retire with my brigade to Centreville, which I did, and reached the point at 10 o'clock at night, having the entire brigade with me in good order and having left but few stragglers behind."
During this fight the rebels in the woods displayed the National colors. Captain O'Connell rode forward to ascertain whether they were in the hands of friends or foes, when he was fired on, again wounded, and his horse killed. The two lines not even forty yards apart fired into each other by vollies. This desperate fighting was maintained for an hour. The front attacks were constantly repulsed, but as the battle was hopelessly lost. the division was slowly withdrawn to Centreville.
The officers of the 14th present in the battle were as follows:
Capt. J. D. O'Connell (wounded), Dr. Forwood, Captains Brown, Ilges, Watson, Smedberg, King and Burbank; Lieutenants Broadhead, Walker, Sinclair, Collins and Henton, Loosley (Adjt.), and Krause (Q. M.).
Captain D. B. McKibbin, Comdg.
Captains Coppinger (wounded), Thatcher, Locke (wounded), Durkee, Douglass, Lawrence, Overton; Lieutenants Wharton (wounded), Porter, Vanderslice, (Adjt.), and Downey, (Q. M.)
The loss of the 1st Battalion in killed, wounded and missing out of 482 present, was 129, and of the 2d Battalion 48 out of 313 for duty. One officer of the 1st and four of the 2d were wounded. The officers of both battalions were commended in the highest terms for their coolness and bravery.
O'Connell and McKibbin were praised in all reports for their efficiency, and Major C. S. Lovell, who was three years after to become the colonel of the 14th Infantry, was particularly mentioned in General Sykes' report for his conduct.
The Confederate brigades of Toombs, G. T. Anderson and Cadmus Wilcox, are now known to have been engaged against Buchanan's and Lovell's; their loss was heavy.
From Centreville the Regular Division marched back to Hall's Hill near the Chain Bridge, over the Potomac.
There the 2d Battalion of the 12th Infantry, with two companies of the
8th, under the command of Captain Anderson, which had been campaigning with Banks' Corps of Pope's army reported and were assigned to the 1st Brigade.
From Washington the Division marched slowly to Fredericksburg, Md., and from thence to South Mountain, when it was held in reserve and was for a time under shell fire.
Early on the morning of the 15th, it marched over the crest of the hill covered with the killed and wounded of the battle of the preceding day, and thence to the Stone Bridge over the Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg.
Richardson's Division, which had preceded Sykes', formed to the right of the road and the Regular Division, after turning the head of the column to the left, came on right into line under a lively artillery fire, thus forming line of battle with Buchanan's right resting on the Sharpsburg road.
In the battle of Antietam the battalions in the 1st Brigade were commanded by captains, as follows: The 3d, Wilkins; the 4th, Dryer; the 1st battalion of the 12th, Blunt; the battalions of the 8th and 12th, Anderson; the 1st of the 14th, Harvey Brown; and the 2d by D. B. McKibbin.
In the great battle of September 17th, the Regular Division was held in reserve and in support of the reserve artillery until about two o'clock in the afternoon, when Capt. Hiram Dryer was ordered to cross the Antietam creek with the 2d and 10th, the 4th, 12th and 14th Infantry.
These regiments supported Tidball's batteries, and about sundown advanced and easily drove back the enemy into the village of Sharpsburg. Captain Dryer did not feel authorized to go further without orders, and applied for permission to press his attack. It appears from official reports that General Pleasanton also advised an advance. General Sykes told the writer after the war that it was on this occasion that General Fitz John Porter reminded General McClellan that his corps was the last reserve of the last Army of the Republic. It is needless of course to speculate on what might have been, but this can be said, that the Regular Division was that day in its best condition.
Captain Dryer rode into the rebel lines and saw that there were but two regiments and a battery left in the centre. That night there was gnashing of teeth in the Regular camp. A few days after the battle, a division forded the Potomac River and made a demonstration, which led to a partial engagement, which was called the action of Leetown. The 14th was in the fight and had a number of men wounded. For nearly six weeks after the battle our division remained in camp refitting, drilling, and doing picket duty. It marched with McClellan's forward movement, and at Snicker's Gap, under Captain O'Connell, who rejoined a few days before, had a very sad experience. A reconnoissance was ordered from the Gap to a ford on the Shenandoah by a force made up of a troop of Massachusetts cavalry, the 6th, 7th and both battalions of the 14th Infantry. The enemy was met in small force and easily driven across the river. But on the opposite bank there was a strong force of the three arms. It was not the intention to seriously engage this force, but only to develop its strength. Unfortunately Captain O'Connell received an order to advance even after a heavy fire of
artillery had been opened. He knew, as did all his regiment, that somebody had blundered, but on they went like the Light Brigade.
Both battalions advanced in line of battle to the banks of the river under a terrific fire, and when ordered to retire, they marched back as coolly as from a parade. Five enlisted men were killed, and Lieutenant Perry and twenty-six were wounded. Dr. Forwood, on this as on many other occasions, showed the utmost zeal, skill and devotion. Poor Paddy O'Connell said after the fight was over, the tears running down his seared and weather beaten face: "I would take the 14th to the gates of h ell, but I would like to have a chance to whip the devil when I got there." From Snicker's Gap we marched to Warrenton Junction, where McClellan was relieved. The regiment marched with its proper command to Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg. In the battle of December 13th it passed through a very trying ordeal. With the rest of the Regular Division it went to the front in the dusk of the evening, between Hanover Street and the plank road. About midnight we occupied the front line some 150 yards from the crest of the hill held by the Confederate line.
This position was kept for twenty-four hours under a galling fire which could not be effectively returned. On the morning of the 16th, Buchanan's brigade covered the retreat of the Army over the river, Captain O'Connell commanding the 1st Battalion; Captain Overton was the ranking officer of the 2d Battalion but Captain Thatcher was placed in command. The officers present with the regiment on this occasion were Captain O'Connell, commanding regiment, Captain Keyes acting field officer. 1st Battalion: Co. A, Lieut. Henton; Co. B, Lieut. Walker; Co. C, Lieuts. Collins and Doebler; Co. D, Lieut. Bellows; Co. E, Capt. Burbank; Co. F, Capt. Smedberg and Lieut. Sinclair; Co. G, Lieut. Broadhead; Co. H, Lieut. Moroney; adjutant, Lieut. Loosley; asst. surgeon, Dr. Bacon. 2d Battalion: Capt. Overton, A. F. O.; Capt. Thatcher, A. F. O., commanding battalion; Cos. A and H, Lieut. Bainbridge; Cos. B and C, Capt. Watson; Co. F, Lieut. Porter; Co. E, Lieut. McKibbin; Co. G, Capt. Locke; Co. D, Lieut. Douglas; adjutant, Lieut. Vanderslice; asst. surgeon, Dr. Jaquett.
After Fredericksburg, the regiment remained in camp about one and a half miles back of Falmouth until the following May, with the exception of the episode known as the Mud March—a futile attempt to cross the Rappahannock, January 12th, 1863.
Our winter camp at Falmouth was a very memorable one to all of the Regulars, for it was there we became best acquainted with each other. But the members of the 1st Brigade became particularly well acquainted with "Old Buck," as Colonel Buchanan was playfully called. It was then and there that he first had a good chance at us. He soon took us in hand and we began to find out what discipline was, what army papers were, and, as he cheerfully assured us, that the regulations were not made for brigadier generals. But alas for army jesting, the veteran discovered before the end of his career, that even a hero of three wars could be forced to retire under the regulations sorely against his will.
During the winter we had no end of fatigue and picket duty, drills and recitation. By way of diversion, there was poker-play at night and horse
racing, steeple chasing, and shooting matches by day. We had also singing clubs, and grotesque societies. These were the last days of commissary whiskey, and the good fellows of Sykes' division are not likely to forget one celebration in Snip Snyder's commissary tent, which brought the division commander around about 2 o'clock one night with the inquiry: "Gentlemen, what is the occasion of this sudden outburst of inebriety?"
But as Fighting Joe Hooker had been put in command, we knew that the "general" would be sounded in our camp early in the spring. It came the last week in April.
Before this, many changes had been made. General Meade had been placed in command of the 5th Corps, General Warren had been placed on the headquarters staff, Colonel Buchanan had been relieved and General Ayres had assumed command of our brigade.
Captain O'Connell had gone on recruiting service and Captain Hager had assumed command of the regiment in the field. On the first of March, 1863, there was a consolidation of companies in the Regular Division, and two battalions of the 14th were reduced to one battalion of eight companies, A, B, D, E, F and G of the 1st, and F and G of the 2d.
The officers were Captains Hager, Brown, Thatcher, Norton, Ilges, Coppinger, Lawrence, Clay, McCall and Lieuts. Downey, McKibbin, Weir, Tom Collins, Sinclair, Miller, Foote, Porter, Vernon, McClintock and Douglas; Captain Joe Locke was on the brigade staff. Camp was broken for the Chancellorsville campaign April 27th; we crossed Ely's Ford of the Rapidan on the night of the 29th, the men, stripping to the buff, wading through with shouts and laughter. On the morning of the 1st of May the Regular Division marched down the Fredericksburg pike, to meet McLaws' division coming up. The second brigade, then much reduced in numbers, was in advance as skirmishers. The 12th and 14th marched after them in line of battle to the right and left of the road. We soon met the enemy and drove them before us for more than a mile with a perfect rush. The men were full of fight and moved with alacrity. In the first rush a whole company was captured. We were halted in line near the cross-roads, leading to Banks' Ford. But, alas, we were ordered back. Then there was heard cursing and grumbling from the Regulars, not at being ordered into danger, but at being ordered out. All knew too well that again somebody had blundered. In the dusk of the evening we were placed in a new position facing the woods beyond the plank road. Here a brigade of the enemy ran on us, I think by mere chance. The 5th New York (the Red Legs), had a sharp fight, but the rest of us only fired a few volleys which sent our opponents to the right-about. While this was going on I heard a chaplain shouting out behind us: "Give 'em Hell, boys; give 'em Hell, and the Lord have mercy on their souls."
But, alas, how terribly is the comedy and tragedy of war intermingled.
With almost the last volley of the fight gallant young Temple, the darling of the 17th, was killed. Then Jerry McKibbin, a brave and generous man, dashed into the line and carried Temple's body out on his horse. It was buried that night at the foot of a tall, solitary pine, while Weed's Battery,
that stood near, sent shell after shell into the enemy's lines. The whole scene reminded us all of the funeral of Sir John Moore.
When the 11th Corps broke, two days after, we were hurried over at the double to take the right of the line, but we had a mere skirmish. The regiment lost one officer (Overton) wounded, five enlisted men killed and six wounded. Major Giddings arrived just after the battle and assumed command. After the Army of the Potomac returned to the north of the Rappahannock, foiled but not defeated, the Regular Division resumed its old camps. We had sustained but little loss from the enemy, but our ranks were severely depleted from other causes. The loss from desertion was very great and most discouraging, and we were getting but few recruits to makeup for our losses. The 14th had lost as many as seventy-two in a single month. The total in the year was four hundred and thirty-one.
Immense local bounties were being paid all over the country for men to fill the volunteer regiments, and the Government bounty of $200, which was all that could be given for enlistment in the Regular Army, was no inducement to men who could get from $1000 to $2000. Hundreds of men left us to go and enlist under assumed names elsewhere. Then, of course, many were discharged for disability. At the same time many officers were sent away from us on detached service. Here a short description of the general method of campaigning followed in the later operations of the War may not be out of place.
Each regiment or full battalion had two wagons for the companies and one for headquarters and hospital, unless the command was small, when the third wagon was dispensed with. Officers' messes generally had a sumpter horse or mule of their own that followed the column. In the last year of the War, when mules got scarce and darkies were plenty, these sable strikers often carried the stewpans and provender. In the immediate presence of the enemy shelter tents were used by all. Camps were generally made by regiments in columns of divisions, winter cantonments were larger, cribs were put under the tents, or small log houses made or "dug-outs" were substituted if the camp was on a hill side. Some of the sutlers were very enterprising and had reasonably good stock of staple articles. If all else failed, they generally had whiskey and gin cocktails.
The camp ration was generally coffee and hard tack, beef or bacon, beans and rice.
Unless the march was to be a secret one the "general " was sounded at Corps headquarters and repeated in rapid succession at division, brigade and regimental headquarters, and was succeeded for a few minutes by a pandemonium of shouts, yells, cat calls, barkings and the like. This would be followed by a period of well systematized activity, which caused the most elaborate camps to disappear like a mist.
Tours of picket duty lasted three days when in permanent camp. As a rule Mahan's system of outpost duty was pretty closely followed.
The march to Gettysburg began June 13th, the regiment marching with the Division to Manassas Junction and Leesburg, Va.; crossing the Potomac near Edwards' Ferry, it marched thence through Frederick, Md., to Han-
over, Pa., arriving there on July 1st, to learn that the fighting had begun at Gettysburg.
A night march was made and the command bivouacked within ten miles of the field of battle.
About noon of the second day's battle, the 5th Corps reached the field. It was held in reserve until the disaster to the 3d Corps and the attack on the Round Top. Doubleday gives this account of the fight:
"Then Ayres, who had been at the turning point of so many battles, went in with his fine division of Regulars, commanded by Day and Burbank, officers of courage and long experience in warfare. He struck the enemy in flank who were pursuing Caldwell, and who would have renewed the attack on Little Round Top, doubled them up, and drove them back to the position Caldwell had left. But his line, from the nature of things, was untenable, for a rebel brigade with ample supports had formed on his right rear, so that nothing remained but to face about and fight his way home again. This was accomplished with the tremendous loss of fifty per cent. of his command in killed and wounded."
Major Giddings, in command of the 14th Infantry, reported a loss of 141 officers and men. The amended report of casualties in the War Records gives the loss as 18 men killed, 2 officers wounded (Captain Locke and Lieutenant Douglas), and 108 men wounded and 4 missing; a total of 132. There were present in action 490 men.
A great loss to the regiment was their Lieut-Colonel, Gen. John F. Reynolds, killed in action July 1st, commanding his corps.
After Gettysburg the regiment marched in the 5th Corps to Williamsport, where Lee escaped across the Potomac; then to Berlin, where the Potomac was crossed, and so on to the Rappahannock.
On August 13, the brigade was sent to New York City to maintain order and prevent a recurrence of the draft riots. All actual rioting and resistance to the civil authorities had ceased before its arrival. After remaining a month in camp at Madison Square, the 14th went to the front, going into camp near Culpepper on September 24.
The regiment took part in the so-called Mine Run campaign; during the winter of 1863-64, with the other regiments of the Regular Brigade, it was engaged in guarding the line of the Orange and Alexandria R. R. In this duty it had many conflicts with rebel raiders and bushwhackers.
Any of the latter class caught in an attempt to burn bridges or to destroy the railway, were, under existing orders, hung at sight.
Preceding the campaign of 1864, a number of conscripts were received and distributed. Ours were drafted for us in the District of Columbia. Towards spring a number of convalescents returned from hospitals, and by the end of April, the 14th had one battalion of about 550 men present for duty.
In Grant's Wilderness campaign, the old Regular Division was melted down into one brigade and so weak had the regiments become that three volunteer regiments were added. These were the 140th and 146th New York, and 155th Pennsylvania. The Regular Army was represented by battalions of the 2d, 11th, 12th and 14th Infantry. The battalion of the 14th
under Captain E. McK. Hudson, was made up of A, C, D, G and H of the 1st and Cos. A, B and C, 2d Battalion. Captain Hudson, a graduate of the Military Academy, had served two Years in the 3d Artillery before the War. In his old regiment he was called cool and handsome. He proved a dashing and brave commander for the regiment, and did much during the winter to bring it up to a high state of efficiency.
When camp was broken on the 3d of May the following officers were present: Hudson, Keyes, Miller, Ilges, Burbank, Brady, C. McKibbin, Perry, Sinclair, Toni Collins, Broadhead, John Clay, Krause and Drake DeKay; Coppinger, Smedberg and Choisy were with the division on staff duty. On the morning of May 5th there were 516 enlisted men present to fight.
At an early hour Griffin's Division started from the Lacy House up the Orange plank road with Ayres' Brigade in advance. We had not far to go before we met Jones' Brigade of Johnson's Division of Ewell's Corps. At the point of contact, the 14th Infantry was drawn up across the road in line of battle. The 12th Infantry was in line on the right in heavy timber, and the volunteer regiments forming a second line. The 6th Corps should have been on our right, but was not. The regiment had a cleared field in its front, and the Confederate line was two hundred yards away on the far side of the field. A section of artillery was in the road. Without waiting a moment Hudson ordered and led a charge at the double. The regiments to the right and left could not keep up on account of the tangle of brush they were in. The 12th on the right was soon attacked in front, flank and rear and had a hand to hand fight with Jones' Virginians. The 14th broke the line in their front without firing a shot, but were compelled to retire slowly by Stewart's North Carolina men, who came to reinforce Jones. We all had to fall back until we found a cross road on which we could reform. Then the fight was kept up until night. There was not a more brilliant charge than that made by the 14th, but it paid dearly for the glory of driving the Stonewall division; Hudson, Smedberg and Broadhead were wounded, and Captain Burbank and Lieutenant Tom Collins were killed. Lieutenant Collins' body is believed to have been burnt up in the burning woods; it was never found.
The loss during the month was 240 enlisted men, killed, wounded and missing. On the 6th, the fight was in burning woods and suffocating smoke. On the 8th, after the rest of the 5th Corps moved to Spottsylvania, the 12th and 14th Infantry remained behind with Bartlett's Brigade of our division to hold the right of the line. Patrick's provost guard brought up a large detachment of coffee coolers, who were put in our ranks. After this we had a little private fight of our own with one of Ewell's divisions.
At the battle of Spottsylvania, Lieut. John K. Clay was killed, Captain Keyes mortally, and Lieutenant Sinclair severely wounded; twelve enlisted men were killed and eighty-three wounded in the battle.
The fate of Captain Keyes was inexpressibly sad. He received a terrible gunshot wound just above the heart.
He was taken to a field hospital and laid on a bed of leaves with an officer of the 12th Infantry who had been wounded about the same time. There
was serious apprehension that the hospital and its inmates might fall into the hands of the enemy. So the 12th Infantry officer made a masonic sign to a sanitary commission official, and appealed to him to get him back to Fredericksburg. Keyes, utterly helpless, whispered: "Vouch for me as a Templar." The good Samaritan came and said, "My poor brother, you cannot be moved." Then Keyes whispered, "Tell him I have just been married. I know I cannot live, but I must see her again before I die." The Templar turned away weeping, but soon an ambulance was taking the two officers to the rear. Captain Keyes did see his young bride again—his loving young wife so soon to be a widow.
On May 18th, Capt. D. B. McKibbin reported and assumed command.
The regiment did some good service at the battle of North Anna. The brigade crossed at the Jericho ford and got in some telling work on Cadmus Wilcox's Division, making a return call for their Henry House visit at Manassas.
In the fight at Bethesda Church, the regiment lost six or seven men killed, and Captain McKibbin was taken prisoner, but the regiment gave as good as it got.
On June 2d an attempt was made to withdraw the 9th Corps from the right of line and to march it to Cold Harbor, but the enemy at once rushed over our intrenchments and got in rear of Ayres' Brigade, which, however, changed front and drove them back, but in making this change of front, a few were taken prisoners. No precaution seemed to have been taken to protect his flank, nor did the general staff of the Army see that movements were so co-ordinated as to guard against such surprises. We lost thousands of prisoners and many valuable lives from this method of issuing orders and then trusting to luck that they would be properly and successfully carried out.
Captain Thatcher took command and under him the regiment marched to Petersburg, and was next seriously engaged in the attack on the enemy's intrenchments, on June 18th and 19th, in which we lost one officer wounded and 24 men.*
At the battle of Weldon R. R., August 18th to 19th, Captain Ingraham was in command until on account of sickness he relinquished command to Lieutenant Foote.
On the first day, the brigade under Hayes repulsed a fierce attack of Mahone's Confederate Division.
The loss of the regiment was severe, particularly in officers. Captain O'Beirne and Lieutenant Perry were wounded on staff duty, and Lieutenants Foote and Weir with the regiment, and Lieutenant Brady was missing. That night there was but one officer for duty; four officers of other regiments were attached (Lieutenants White, Jackson, Smith and Driscoll).
The next day the Confederates worked their way through the thick woods and got in rear of the brigade, and the whole line charged to the rear losing many prisoners, but capturing some. The hand to hand fight-
*The regiment advanced as skirmishers on the brigade front. Fort Sedgwick, better known as Fort Hell, was subsequently built on the ground where our skirmishers made their fox pits in front of the Confederate Fort Damnation.
ing in the woods was of the most desperate character. Captain Newburg of the 12th was killed after he was wounded and a prisoner in the hands of the enemy. Sergeant La Belle, one of the color sergeants of the 14th Infantry, saved his color, although he was severely wounded. Sergeant Ovila Cayer of Company A, in saving one of the colors showed such conspicuous valor that he received a medal of honor.
On the 19th Lieut. Chambers McKibbin was wounded and the regiment had no officer of its own for duty. On the 21st the lines were fully re-established and thereafter held. The loss of the regiment was 111 killed, wounded and missing out of 295 present for duty.
The next battle in which the regiment was engaged was on Sept. 30th, 1864, at Poplar Grove Church or Chappel's House, which was fought over the ground on which the National Cemetery near Petersburg is located. The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Sinclair. The 12th Infantry was also commanded by a Lieutenant Winston, who was killed there. This last fight was a victory in which our loss was small, only two killed, and that of the enemy severe. Private Robert Wright of the regiment received a medal of honor for gallantry in the battle. A number of officers soon after reported: Captain McClintock and Lieutenants Krause, Downey, Bellows, Loosley and Browning.
The last battle of the Rebellion in which the regiment took part was the action at Hatcher's Run, to the west of the Petersburg lines, Oct. 27, 1864. For some unaccountable reason the War Department has refused to give the Regular regiments credit for this engagement. Yet the Regular Brigade was there, held in reserve on the bank of the creek within two hundred yards of the firing line, and under fire at Armstrong's Mill Crossing.* The loss of Ayres' Division was 229 men.
Gen. Fred. Winthrop, one of the bravest and most brilliant captains of the 12th Infantry, who had been made colonel of the 5th New York and then a brigadier-general of volunteers, had command of the Brigade. The regiment remained in the field until the first of November, when it was ordered North; First it was sent to Buffalo, N. Y., where it remained until after the presidential election. For a few days the headquarters and the first battalion were located at Fort Wadsworth, from thence they were transferred to Elmira, N. Y., where the warriors made the acquaintance of their new major, Gurden Chapin, who began at once to tighten the reins of discipline.
The headquarters of the regiment were transferred back to Fort Trumbull on the 11th of Jan., 1865, but the first battalion remained at Camp Chemung, near Elmira, under Capt. D. B. McKibbin, until it was transferred to Hart's Island, Feb. 20th. This battalion was placed under the command of Major E. McK. Hudson, ordered to the field in March and arrived at City Point April 4th, and was assigned to duty as one of the Provost Guard of the Army of the Potomac. On the 9th it appears that they proceeded out to Burkesville Junction; from thence joined the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac. They marched with that army to Richmond, Va., and at a grand review of the Army as it marched through the capital of the fallen
*Humphreys "Va. Campaign," p. 302.
Confederacy, the 14th Infantry was given the right of the line by the express order of Major-General Meade, who said to Major Hudson, then commanding it: "The 14th Infantry has always been in front in battle and deserves the honor."
After that the regiment remained in Richmond on provost duty.
The officers of the regiment in the field in April, were Captains Hudson, O'Connell, Brown, Krause, McClintock, Overton and Clay and Lieutenants Browning, Vernon, P. Collins, Porter, Lord, Mills, Choisy and Henton.
The review in Richmond, before General Halleck, marked the termination of the war service of the regiment in the Rebellion. Ten officers, and 158 enlisted men were killed in battle and 206 died of disease or from accidents incident to the Service, making a total of 374 in the War; a heavier loss than was sustained by any regiment in the Service of similar enlisted strength. Compared with all the infantry regiments mustered into the Government service it stands number 47 in aggregate loss; in this number six colored regiments are included, which sustained but a small loss in battle, but a frightful loss by disease. The loss of the 14th from this cause was very small.
There is no mathematical measure of merit. In civilized warfare you cannot kill without taking your chances of being killed, otherwise, war would be butchery not bravery. It is some consolation, however, to know that you have inflicted as great or a greater loss than you have sustained. But in fact both of these tests are fallacious. The men who maintain their discipline when others are shaken, who show fortitude in misfortune when others are discouraged, and bravery and enthusiasm in danger when others are appalled, are the men who deserve honor and renown.
Before passing to the frontier history of the regiment, it seems proper to refer briefly to the records of a few officers who although they belonged to the regiment did not actually serve with it.
A few days after the battle of the Weldon Railroad, General Stone came to regimental headquarters in the field. General Hays had been taken prisoner and the brigade was under the command of a volunteer colonel. General Stone reported as a colonel, having resigned his volunteer commission, but his rank would have given him the command of the brigade. As soon as this was ascertained he was ordered back to Army headquarters on some nominal duty.
Few men were more likeable than our first colonel, and few men had warmer friends. Yet from the first he was doomed to misfortune. After the unfortunate battle of Ball's Bluff, the friends of Colonel and Senator Baker blamed General Stone for mismanagement and to this the more serious charge of disloyalty was added and pressed by Senator Sumner and Governor Andrew of Massachusetts. This allegation seems to have no other foundation than an uncertain story, that General Stone while commanding the line of the Potomac above Poolesville, Maryland, let some negro servants of a rebel family in Leesburg, pass in and out of the lines by his authority. When this statement was referred to him, he indignantly refused to make an explanation to a charge that was really anonymous although urged by a senator and a governor. He was not sustained by General Mc-
Clellan, was put in arrest and sent to Fort Lafayette and afterwards to Fort Hamilton. As is known to all he never could get a trial, or an investigation. With singular inconsistency General McClellan recommended him for a corps commander. Subsequently when he was made chief of staff in the Department of the Gulf, General Banks made himself responsible for his loyalty.
After the Red River expedition General Stone was again made a scapegoat. He was succeeded as colonel by Gen. Gabriel R. Paul, who never reported, as he had lost his sight by a terrible wound received at Gettysburg.
General Sykes, the senior major of the regiment, never reported as such, but commanded it as division and corps commander in many battles. He was a model infantry officer.
Colonel John H. King, who succeeded General Reynolds as lieutenant-colonel, never reported. Major Levi Bootes never served with the 14th Infantry in the field, but he had served up to the date of his promotion as senior captain, commanding the 6th Infantry.
In some way it became known before the order was issued that the 14th Infantry would be designated for a tour of duty on the Pacific Coast.
After the disbanding of the volunteer forces many wild characters found their way into the ranks of all the Regular regiments. Some of these men had done good service in the field, but they adopted a theory that as the War was over, discipline would be relaxed and that they should be permitted to have what they were pleased to call "a high old time." Nor was this pleasing theory confined to the ranks; a number of officers came to grief from practices under an epicurean philosophy which the War Department deemed "more honored in the breach than in observance." Thus it happened that the 14th got more than its share of Bacchanalian warriors.
In the last week of July the 2d Battalion left Richmond for New York City, followed in a few days by the 1st. Both assembled at Hart's Island, where they made their preparations for a trip to California via Panama. From the 2d Battalion alone, 221 men deserted in two weeks. They were all reported as bounty jumpers, assigned just before the close of the War.
It sailed from New York City on August 15, 1865, under Major Louis H. Marshall. This officer only reported for duty a few days before, having been on staff duty as colonel, A. D. C., up to the 28th of the preceding July. In passing over the Isthmus, the new men gave proof of their quality, for they proposed to take Aspinwall and Panama, and it was only by the courageous and forcible efforts of the officers, non-com. officers and old soldiers that the unruly element was subdued and the battalion safely embarked on the Pacific side.
Col. Chas. S. Lovell, who had been promoted to the colonelcy of the regiment upon the retirement of General Paul on February 16, 1865, reported for duty at Hart's Island, N. Y. H., August 28, 1865. He was the first full colonel to assume command of the regiment since its reorganization. The organization of the Third Battalion was begun and vigorously
pressed. At the same time the First Battalion was filled up, and on October 16th the field, staff and band of the regiment and four companies of the 1st Battalion, E, F, G and H, under Colonel Lovell, left New York and landed in San Francisco, November 12th, taking station temporarily at the Presidio. Cos. A, B, C and D followed two weeks later.
The Third Battalion, under Major Chapin, followed in November, arriving at San Francisco early in December. Here there was an outburst of turbulent hilarity which manifested itself chiefly in cutting off the pigtails of the Pagans. The battalion was hurried away to Arizona, where the exuberance of the young warriors could find less objectionable play in cutting off the scalp-locks of Apaches. The headquarters of the battalion under Major Chapin was fixed at Goodwin, with companies detached to Crittenden, Lowell, Grant and Bowie.
In October of 1865, the Second Battalion, under Major Marshall, had been sent to the Department of the Columbia, the officers for duty being Captains Ross, Coppinger, O'Beirne and Walker, and Lieutenants Henton, McKibbin, Wharton, Porter, Perry, Collins, Tobey and Kistler. Colonel Lovell soon followed with his regimental staff, Downey and Bainbridge, establishing headquarters at Fort Vancouver, December 8th.
In January of 1866, the 1st Battalion, under Major Hudson, was ordered to Drum Barracks and from thence to Fort Yuma, California, at which post the headquarters of the battalion was established February 6th, Co.'s A, B, C, G and H constituting the infantry garrison, Co.'s E and F having been left at Drum Barracks, and Co. D sent to Date Creek. On the 17th Captain O'Connell succeeded to the command. Subsequently Co. H was sent to Date Creek, and B and D to McDowell. In October the headquarters of the battalion were at Fort Whipple with Captain Krause in command.
The headquarters of the regiment remained at Vancouver Barracks until June, 1866, when it was ordered to San Francisco and thence to Arizona, where it was established September 6, 1866. The band was left at Fort Yuma.
In January, 1867, the headquarters of the regiment was transferred to Camp Lowell, Tucson, Arizona, where January 23, 1867, the provision of the act of Congress of July 28, 1866, altering the battalion organization into a regimental one was carried out and the 1st Battalion of the regiment with two companies subsequently added, became the 14th Infantry.
The 2d Battalion, which had remained in Oregon and Washington, became the 23d Infantry, and the 3d Battalion, which was serving in Arizona, became the 32d Infantry. On the 16th of April the headquarters of the regiment were established at Fort Yuma, in which military Tophet it remained until May, 1869.
Under the reorganization of 1866, the captains were distributed as follows: To the 14th Infantry, Captains Ilges, Smedberg, Krause, Wharton, Weir, Van Derslice, Bainbridge and Vernou. To these were added Captains Hamilton and Davis for the two additional companies.
Captains D. B. McKibbin, Brown, O'Beirne, Downey, Miller, Perry and Fergus, were assigned to the 32d, and Captains Ross, Clay, Coppinger,
Brady, Walker, Sinclair, Henton and Browning were assigned to the 23d Infantry.
Of the field officers the 14th retained Colonel Lovell and Lieutenant-Colonel Wallen; Maj. L. H. Marshall went to the 23d and Major Chapin to the 32d. In January of 1867, the 14th Infantry was distributed at the following stations: Yuma, McDowell, Mojave, Lincoln and Camp in Skull Valley, without question the worst in the country. During this tour of duty nearly every monthly return contains a record of Indian scouts; some months nearly every company would be out. In September, 1868, the distance marched by these scouting parties aggregated 1000 miles, equivalent to double the distance elsewhere. Two companies marched 350 miles in August. The skirmishes rarely rose to the dignity of a battle, but they taxed the courage and skill of the participants to the utmost. One of the commonest entries is that of "mail carriers killed by Indians." Several hundreds of miles of wagon road were made by the regiment, and when the men were in camp they were almost constantly engaged in building barracks and quarters.
In the reorganization of the Army in 1869, the 45th Infantry, one of the Veteran Reserve regiments, was consolidated with the 14th Infantry. In compliance with S. O. No. 17, A. G. O. 1869, the 14th Infantry was transferred to Nashville, Tenn., the headquarters of the 45th Infantry, taking with them the officers, non-commissioned officers and ten men of each company. The other enlisted men were discharged or transferred to other regiments remaining in the Department of Arizona. The consolidation was carried out, the result appearing in the monthly return for July. The field officers assigned to it were Col. C. S. Lovell, Lieut.-Col. Geo. A. Woodward and Maj. M. M. Blunt, Lieutenant McCammon was made adjutant and Lieutenant Steele was retained as quartermaster.
The captains of the reorganized regiments were: Ilges, Krause, Van Derslice, Freudenberg, Trotter, Hamilton, Bainbridge, Carpenter, Burke and Davis. Their stations were Nashville, Humboldt, Chattanooga, Louisville, Jeffersonville, Lebanon and Union, W. Va.
In April, 1870, the regiment was transferred to Fort Randall, Dakota, on account of a threatened Indian war. In August it was transferred to the Department of the Platte, with headquarters at Fort Sedgwick, the regiment and post being under Lieut.-Col. G. A. Woodward. In the following March (1871) the headquarters was transferred to Fort Laramie, Wyo., where General John E. Smith reported and assumed command. Colonel Lovell had been retired December 15, 1870. General Gordon Granger, a colonel unassigned, was assigned to the regiment, vice Lovell, but on the 20th of December General Smith, who had been assigned to the 15th Infantry, was transferred to the 14th, General Granger at the same time being assigned to the 15th Infantry. Colonel Lovell died very soon after his retirement. He was loved and respected by the regiment. He was sincere, courteous and just, a good soldier and a good friend. The new colonel was a very different man. From all accounts of him he knew little and cared less for the traditions of the Service. He was a rough and ready fighter, who had done good service as a volunteer general. He would have led his
regiment into a fight as gaily as into a frolic, but opportunity was never given him.
In February, 1874, Lieutenant L. H. Robinson was killed in an Indian fight near Laramie Peak, while guarding a supply train. In the following August the regiment went to Utah, with headquarters at Fort Douglas. Four companies went on to Fort Cameron under Lieutenant-Colonel Woodward.
While this battalion was at Cameron, the Mormon Bishop John D. Lee was arrested and held there as a prisoner, pending his trial as the leader of the band of Danites (or destroying angels) who perpetrated the Mountain Meadow massacre. After his conviction he had his choice under the laws of Utah, as to whether he should be hung, beheaded, or shot. He chose the latter method of execution. To carry out the rules of poetic as well as moral justice he was taken to the scene of the massacre and shot to death by musketry in March, 1879. A detachment under Lieutenant Patterson was sent down to preserve order. An attempt was made to convert Lee from the error of his ways, while he was confined at Cameron, but he maintained the scriptural doctrine to the last, "that the enemies of God should be exterminated root and branch," and finally met his fate with the equanimity of a martyr.
In 1876 the Sioux War broke out which opened up with the Custer massacre and the repulse of General Crook at the Rose Bud. In June, companies C, B, F and I (Burke, Kennington, Tobey, Murphy, Taylor, Yeatman, Calhoun and Lloyd), were sent to join Crook's column.
At Fetterman they met detachments from the 4th and 9th Infantry. The infantry column was placed under the command of Major Alexander Chambers, 4th Infantry, and hastening to join General Crook on the Little Goose Creek, enabled him to assume the offensive. Their only battle was at Slim Buttes, September 9th, where twenty-seven Indians were killed.
This column marched in three months 1139 miles. It was on the march from the Little Missouri to the Black Hills that the whole column was nearly reduced to starvation. Another company on escort duty marched 377 miles in one month. In November Companies D and G, under Captain Krause, were in (Crook's) the Powder River campaign, and were with McKenzie at the battle of Crazy Woman's Fork, November 26th, coming up with the infantry under General Crook. This column marched 735 miles. The officers present were Krause, Van Derslice, Hasson, Austin and Kimball. In 1877 one company was in the Nez Percé campaign and five under Major Bryant in the Bannock War, but they did not have a battle. Three companies, Trotter's, Krause's and Van Derslice's, were out the next year after the Bannocks.
In 1879 four companies, E, 1, H and K, under Trotter, Carpenter, McConihe and Taylor, and Major Bryant commanding, were hurried down to the scene of the Thornburgh massacre, but arrived too late to get into the battle. But they did have all the hardships and privations of a hard Indian campaign.
In all the Indian campaigns of the regiment, their endurance, patience, vigilance and bravery were tested to the utmost. They suffered from
the most suffocating heat in Arizona and the most intense cold in Wyoming.
The Apaches and the Sioux were formidable enemies, but they dreaded them less than sand storms and snow storms, scarcity of food and bad water. Many men broke down under these trials, who easily endured all the hardships of the Rebellion.
Besides the battles mentioned in the narrative, detachments of the regiment were engaged in the following skirmishes:
February 23, 1866, Captain Walker and Lieut. T. F. Tobey with a detachment of fifteen soldiers of the 14th Infantry and twelve Oregon Volunteers, attacked and defeated a band of Snake Indians on Jordan Creek, Oregon, killing 18 and wounding 2 Indians. One man of the 14th was killed and 1 wounded.
On October 10, 1867, Captain Krause with a detachment of twenty-five men of the regiment attacked a Rancherio, twenty-five miles from Camp Lincoln, defeating the Indians, killing and wounding a number and capturing a lot of arms.
In a fight near Aqua Frio Springs, Arizona, November 13, 1867, Lieut. A. J. Converse and two men of Company C were wounded. Indians repulsed.
April 27, 1867, Lieutenant Western, with a detachment of ten men from Camp Logan, attacked a band of forty-five hostile Indians on Silvies River, fording the river neck deep. The Indians were defeated, 6 killed and a number drowned in trying to escape. Thirty-two horses and large amounts of supplies were taken. Complimented in orders (G. O. No. 32 Department Col. 1867).
Lieutenant Hasson, in the months of September, October, November and December, 1867, in command of detachments from his post, had engagements with the Apaches at Three Buttes, Hualopais Valley, Hitchie Springs and the Willows.
March 25, 1868, Captain Ilges and eight men attacked fifty Indians with stolen cattle at Cottonwood Springs, Arizona. The engagement lasted twenty minutes. Private Logan, Company B, was wounded. One Indian was killed and two wounded.
February 27, 1869, in an attack made by Apaches on a train near Camp Grant, Arizona, two men were severely wounded, but the attack was repulsed.
May 6, 1869, in an attack on a train near Grief Hill, one private of the regiment was killed, but the Indians were so impressed by the operations of breech-loaders, then used on them for the first time, that they regularly stampeded.
In May, 1881, Colonel Smith was retired and was succeeded by Lewis Cass Hunt, who was colonel of the regiment until his death, September 6, 1886.
In August, 1881, the headquarters of the regiment was transferred from Camp Douglass, Utah, to White River, Col., and in May 1883, they were removed to Fort Sidney, Neb., and in July 1884, to Vancouver Barracks, W. T.
In this department the regiment has had only the ordinary routine duty to perform, except the suppression of the anti-Chinese riots in Seattle in November 1885 and February 1886.
In September of this year Colonel Anderson was promoted to the Colonelcy of the regiment vice General Hunt. Lieutenant-Colonel Woodward was promoted to the colonelcy of the 15th Infantry on January 10, 1876. Lieut.-Col. Henry Douglas was promoted in his place on that date; he was promoted colonel of the 10th Infantry, July 1, 1888, and was succeeded by Lieut.-Col. I. D. DeRussy. Major M. M. Blunt was promoted October 4, 1874, lieutenant-colonel of 25th Infantry and was succeeded as major by Major Montgomery Bryant, who held the position until June 1882, When he was succeeded by Major W. F. Drum, who in his turn was promoted December 8, 1886, and was succeeded by Major Charles A. Wikoff, the present major of the regiment.
The regiment has as it stands to-day, twenty officers with war records, not counting those who have since served in Indian wars, nearly all of whom have been wounded in battle. Many of our "comrades and companions" have returned to civil life and are working honorably and successfully in civil pursuits. But the grave has closed over most of our men of '61.
"The brightest have gone before us
The dullest remain behind."
Nevertheless, those who remain, cherish the hope that those who succeed us may be encouraged by this history to do what the men of the 14th Infantry have always tried to do—THEIR DUTY.
ROSTER OF COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, 14TH INFANTRY.
Colonel, THOMAS M. ANDERSON.
Lieutenant-Colonel, I. D. DERussy.
Major, CHARLES A. WIKOFF.
Adjutant, 1st Lieut. R. T. YEATMAN.
Quartermaster, 1st Lieut. J. H. GUSTIN
Captain A. H. BAINBRIDGE, 1st Lieut. G. T. T. PATTERSON, 2d Lieut. W. B. REYNOLDS.
Captain P. HASSON, 1st Lieut. J. MURPHY, 2d Lieut. J. P. O'NEIL.
Captain D. W. BURKE, 1st Lieut. WM. W. McCAMMON, 2d Lieut. E. T. WINSTON.
Captain C. B. WESTERN, 1st Lieut. F. S. CALHOUN, 2d Lieut. H. C. CABELL, JR.
Captain F. E. TROTTER, 1st Lieut. J. A. BUCHANAN, 2d Lieut. F. F. EASTMAN.
Captain T. F. TOBEY, 1st Lieut. C. A. JOHNSON, 2d Lieut. C. H. MARTIN.
Captain C. H. WARRENS, 1st Lieut. W. P. GOODWIN, 2d Lieut. W. A. KIMBALL.
Captain S. McCONIHE, 1st Lieut. S. J. MULHALL, 2d Lieut. W. R. SAMPLE.
Captain G. W. DAVIS, 1st Lieut. F. TAYLOR, 2d Lieut. A. HASBROUCK, JR.
Captain G. S. CARPENTER, 1st Lieut. R. A. LOVELL, 2d Lieut. W. K. JONES.
Letters with valuable information have been received from Generals E. D. Townsend, W. B. Franklin, T. F. Rodenbough, U. S. A.; Lieutenants J. A. Buchanan and Frank Taylor, 14th Infantry; Colonels William R. Smedberg, E. McK. Hudson and J. J. Coppinger; Captains A. H. Bainbridge, 14th Infantry, T. M. K. Smith, 23d Infantry, and Geo. M. Downey, U. S. A., Major P. W. Stanhope, U. S. A.; Captain Chambers McKibbin, 15th Infantry.
I am indebted to the Adjutant of the Regiment, Lieut. R. T. Yeatman, for much diligent research and compilation, also to Captain Tobey and Lieutenant Eastman for assistance, and to the Sergeant-Major and his clerks for intelligent and faithful work.