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Perry's Saints The Fighting Parson's Regiment in the War of the Rebellion

Perry's Saints
The Fighting Parson's Regiment in the War of the Rebellion
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Title: Perry's Saints The Fighting Parson's Regiment in the War of the Rebellion
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Perry's Saints, by James Moses Nichols

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Title: Perry's Saints

The Fighting Parson's Regiment in the War of the Rebellion

Author: James Moses Nichols

Release Date: December 17, 2018 [eBook #58480]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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James M Nichols

PERRY'S SAINTS

OR

THE FIGHTING PARSON'S REGIMENT IN THEWAR OF THE REBELLION

BY

JAMES M. NICHOLS

BOSTON

D. LOTHROP AND COMPANY

32 Franklin Street

Copyright, 1885, by

D. Lothrop and Company.

Electrotyped by

C.J. Peters & Son, Boston.

MEMORIAL SKETCH OF THE AUTHOR.

To the rising generation the war of the rebellion already seems morelike a romance than a reality. One by one the active participants inthat momentous period of the nation's history are passing away. In afew years there will not be a veteran left to tell the story of his ownexperience on field and in camp. Hardly had the writer of the followingpages completed and revised his work, and placed the copy in the handsof the publishers, when he, too, was summoned to join the great armybeyond. That he had a touch of the rare quality which we call heroism,as well as fervent patriotism, is sufficient reason why the readershould know something more about him than is disclosed in the faithfuland comprehensive record of his army life contained in this volume.

James M. Nichols was born in Haverhill, Mass., in 1835. His earlyeducation was received in the public schools of his native town,and he prepared for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. Hegraduated at Williams College in 1857, having been a fellow-studentwith President James A. Garfield. The storming of Fort Sumter firedhis heart with patriotism, and he was soon among his own townsmenactively engaged in enlisting a company which was at once consolidatedin another organization. He then went to New York, and was commissionedas a lieutenant in the 48th regiment, but afterwards rose to the rankof captain. During his three years of service Colonel Nichols wassecond to none in that famous regiment in thorough devotion to duty andin the display of soldierly qualities. On several occasions he was incommand of the regiment, and led it through many a fiery ordeal withcourage and ability. In recognition of these services he was brevettedsuccessively major, lieutenant-colonel, and colonel. In private lifeMr. Nichols was frank, manly, impulsive, sympathetic, and an earnestChristian. To these qualities were added musical gifts and a rare powerin conversation, which made him a delightful companion; while to thosewho knew him best, his thorough genuineness, and the nobility of anature which scorned everything narrow and mean, made him the trustedand beloved friend. He died suddenly, July 1, 1886, from the effects ofdisease contracted in the service. He was tenderly borne to his lastresting-place by comrades from the Grand Army of the Republic, and hehas left behind as the inalienable possession of his sons the legacy ofa pure, upright, and useful life.

PREFACE.

The following narrative is, for the most part, a transcript fromjournals kept by the writer during his three years and more of servicein the army of the Union. Facts, experiences, and observations, werenoted down from day to day, whether we were in camp, in garrison, orin the field, and are given to the public in the hope not only ofaffording pleasure to those who have never shared in such experiences,but of correcting erroneous impressions in regard to the real lifeof the soldier. Those who served in the army, I feel assured, willrecognize the truthfulness of the picture of army life.

James M. Nichols,
Brev.-Col. U.S. Vols.

Haverhill, Mass.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Causes of the War.

13
CHAPTER II.

Colonel Perry. Formation and character of the regiment. LutherB. Wyman, Esq.

19
CHAPTER III.

Camp Wyman. Incidents of camp life. Lieutenant Elfwing.Fte Champtre. Departure for seat of war. List of officers.In camp near Washington. Off for Annapolis. General Butlerin Maryland. Attitude of Governor Hicks. Waiting at Annapolis.Colonel Perry's last sermon. Journey to New York. Returnof contrabands. Departure for Fortress Monroe.

32
CHAPTER IV.

At Fortress Monroe. General Viele's talk. Weary waiting. Offat last. Order of sailing. Storm. Horrors of the voyage. Vesselslost. Off Port Royal. Tatnall's Mosquito fleet. Bombardmentof Hilton Head and Bay Point by navy. Surrender.Captain Drayton. Landing of troops. First camp on Confederatesoil. Foraging. Negroes' account of bombardment.Inspection and review. The sutler. Thanksgiving.

48
CHAPTER V.

Expedition to Port Royal Ferry. Progress up Broad River.Colonel Perry acting brigadier-general. The rebel yell heardfor the first time. The regiment's first baptism of fire. Theold horse. Night on the field. Return to Hilton Head. Objectof the expedition. Presentation of flag to the regiment. Offfor Dawfuskie. Southern homes. Preparatory work by MajorBeard and others. Building batteries on Jones and BirdIslands. Mud and malaria. Reconnoissances and midnightwanderings.

73
CHAPTER VI.

Planting batteries on Tybee Island. General Gilmore. Listeningfor the opening gun. Bombardment of Fort Pulaski. Watchingthe contest from Dawfuskie. Surrender of the fort. Itsappearance after the bombardment.

94
CHAPTER VII.

Camp life at Dawfuskie. Scheelings and his "leetle tog." Highliving. Effects of malaria. Discussing the situation. Emancipationorder of General Hunter. Lincoln the emancipator. JohnC. Calhoun and nullification. Ordered to Pulaski. JamesIsland expedition. A sad failure. Shouting service of thenegroes.

100
CHAPTER VIII.

The wreck of the sutler's schooner. Its consequences. Thedeath of Colonel Perry. His character. Action of officers.Sent to New York. Lieutenant-Colonel Barton promoted.Detailed on recruiting service. General Mitchell commanderof the department. Expedition to Bluffton. Blockade-runnerEmma. Confederate ironclad. Back with the regiment. Itscondition. Bluffton again visited. Ravages of war.

112
CHAPTER IX.
Expedition to Coosawhatchie. Landing at Dawson's plantation.March to Coosawhatchie. Ambuscade. Firing onConfederate train. Confederate prisoners. Destruction oftrack. Retreat. Peril of Lieutenant Corwin. LieutenantBranding wounded. Pocataligo expedition a failure. Perilousvoyage back to Pulaski. Confederate weapons. Yellow fever.Death of General Mitchell. His character. Review ofCoosawhatchie. 124
CHAPTER X.

At Fort Pulaski. Changes at Dawfuskie. Amusements. Thepride and taste of the soldiers in fitting up their quarters.Mosquitoes and other pests. Thanksgiving celebration. Incidentsof garrison life. Flag of truce. Confederate ironclad.New Year's Day. Mr. Logan's account of the condition ofthings in Savannah. Prices of provisions, etc. Resignationand departure of Chaplain Strickland. Inspector-General Townsend'sand Colonel Green's opinion of the regiment. Flag oftruce. Interesting interview with Adjutant-General Gordonand Lieutenant Styles, of the Confederate army. Formationof negro regiments. Our theatre. Building a steam launch.Deserters. Capture of blockade-runner. Effect of garrisonlife on the regiment. Capture of Confederate ironclad Atlanta.

132
CHAPTER XI.

Good-by to Fort Pulaski. At St. Helena Island, under GeneralStrong. Billinghurst and Regua battery. Folly Island.Masked batteries. Attack on Morris Island. Killed andwounded of the regiment. Captain Lent. Capture of Confederatebatteries. Building batteries. Hot work and littlerest. Completion of batteries. Assault on Wagner. Badlymanaged. Terrible losses. General Strong. Negro soldiers.Their effect upon the Confederates. After the assault. Theshelling by the Confederates. Incident.

157
CHAPTER XII.

Back to the regiment. Off for St. Augustine. The duties ofprovost-marshal. The quaint old city. Its pleasant people.Two months of rest. Lieutenant Ingraham. Back to HiltonHead. The regiment reunited. Visit to Morris Island. CaptainEaton. Fort Wagner and its reminders. Lieutenant-ColonelGreen.

178
CHAPTER XIII.

Relations between the 47th and 48th regiments. Re-enlistmentof veterans. Court-martial. Departure of veterans on furlough.Expedition to Florida. Battle of Olustee. A greatblunder. Heavy losses. Admirable conduct of the troops.Dr. Defendorf. The retreat. Return of veterans. SergeantThompson. At Palatka. Expedition into the country. Dunn'sCreek. Its marvellous beauty. Ludicrous scenes. Good-byto Palatka. At Gloucester Point, Va. A happy change.Shelter tents. General Grant. Army of the James underButler. General Terry.

188
CHAPTER XIV.

Bermuda Hundred. Company E as skirmishers. Battle ofChester Heights. Couldn't resist the temptation. CompanyE fighting on its own account. Bad predicament. Company Edid nobly. More fighting. In sight of Richmond. Confederatesharpshooters cleaned out. Battle of Drury's Bluff.Company E again in a bad spot. Wonderful examples ofdiscipline and soldierly conduct. General Terry to the rescue.Retreat. Back to old quarters. Captain Lock wood.

205
CHAPTER XV.

Assigned to 6th corps. On the way to the Army of the Potomac.A dreadful march. At Cold Harbor. Trying situation.Assume command. A gallant charge. Grand success. Severelosses. Driven back. Lack of support. Incidents of the battle.The demoralized general. Further account of Cold Harbor.Occupying the Confederate line. A sad picture of war.An uncomfortable situation. Relieved. Close work. Changeof base. Grand but perilous movement of the army. The oldchurch at Jamestown.

222
CHAPTER XVI.

Back to Bermuda Hundred. A running fight. Destructionof railroad. Kindness of Major Young and General Terry.Ordered to charge. A happy escape. President Lincolnand General Butler. Ordered to attack Confederate line.Recalled. Captain Fee and others killed. Picket-lines atPetersburg. Sanitary and Christian Commissions. Mine explosion.Our losses. Major Swartwout. Effects of malaria.

241
CHAPTER XVII.

On duty at the front. Strange sickness. General Grant underfire. Captain D'Arcy. Battle of Strawberry Plains. Splendidbehavior of the regiment. Lieutenants Tantum and Searspicked off by Confederate sharpshooters. Other losses. Theexcited officer. Hurried retreat. Captain Taylor. The greetingof General Terry. A night's rest. On picket duty. Sadcondition of the regiment. Expiration of term of enlistment.Disaffection. Severe duty. Artillery attack on Petersburg.Out of the service.

254
CHAPTER XVIII.

Discharge of old members of the regiment. Attack at Chapin'sfarm. Partial success. Condition of the South. New recruits.In winter-quarters. Thanksgiving Day. Resignation of ColonelBarton. His long and faithful service. Tenth and Eighteenthcorps united. Expedition against Fort Fisher. Second expeditione and capture of thefort. An important event. Other successes. March to Wilmington.Pursuit of the Confederates. Their surrender ofUnion prisoners. Their condition. On the march to joinSherman's army. Sherman's grand march to the sea-coast,and its results. Grant's operations ending in surrender ofLee and his army. With Sherman's army on the march forJohnston. Announcement of surrender of General Lee. Continuedpursuit of Johnston. Lincoln's assassination. Its effecton the army. Surrender of Johnston.

264
CHAPTER XIX.

A general review. Change in condition of the regiment. Barrettas provost-marshal. Delicate question. Colonel Coan.Gradual disbandment of the army. Discharge of the 48th.Some personal explanations.

289
CHAPTER XX.

Special references to some of the officers of the regiment. Remarksupon prominent questions before the country. Finis.

295

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


Fort Sumter.
The Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon.
Fortress Monroe.
Map of a Portion of "Sea Islands," showing "PortRoyal."
Plan of the Battle at Port Royal Harbor.
Fort Walker.
Fort Beauregard.
Drayton's

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