War Record of Famous Albany Regiment of 1862 - Text

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY

War Record of Famous Albany Regiment of 1862 - Text

This just includes the text up to the death of Michael Henry Barckley



AUGUST 19TH, 1912

ON MONDAY, August 19th, 1912, one hundred surviving veterans of the Seventh Heavy Artillery, New York Volunteers, an Albany regiment that saw hard fighting throughout the Civil war, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its original organization as the 113th Regiment of Infantry, New York Volunteers.

Dr. Alfred B. Huested, treasurer and historian of the veterans, at the banquet held in the evening at Keeler's hotel, read a history which was compiled by him from "facts taken from the letters written on the field by Surgeon James E. Pomfret."

It ran thus:

Comrades and Friends:

Fifty years ago to-day the One Hundred and Thirteenth Regiment of New York State Volunteer Infantry left this city for the seat of war.

A local paper of August 20, 1862, published the following:

Departure of the Albany Regiment.

Until 10 o'clock yesterday morning it was supposed the regiment would not leave before Wednesday, perhaps Thursday afternoon. At that hour, however, orders were issued for the regiment to move at 6 o'clock. With true soldierly alacrity, Colonel Morris. promulgated the order and quietly gave his officers to understand that there must he no delinquency. The "Hendric Hudson" was telegraphed to come down from Troy, and at 3 o'clock was at the dock with two barges to transport the regiment. At 6.45 o'clock the march began, and at 20 minutes past eight every man was on board. The Governor


communicated to Colonel Morris the thanks of the War department (and his own) for the prompt manner in which he had responded to the order to march.

Ten thousand men and women lined the streets through which the regiment passed. No equally intense enthusiasm has marked the departure of any regiment, since the war began, and no finer body of men ever went to the tented field in any country. Major James L. Johnson, of the adjutant general department, had the pleasure of handing their commissions to Colonel Morris and Major Springsteed, while the regiment was passing the Capitol. They will never be dishonored by either of them.

This regiment has been really raised in 20 days, for although recruiting was authorized 10 days previously, it was not until the 18th of July that recruiting was fairly begun. We cannot let this opportunity pass without complimenting the untiring zeal of the several ward committees, and our citizens generally, The committees have not faltered a moment, but have vied with each other in their devotion to the arduous and patriotic work assigned them. Without them Albany would have been disgraced. With them she is honored as the second district in the State to have sent her regiment to the field, and what these committees have nobly begun, they will as nobly finish. Give them 30 days more and every man called for from the county will be voluntarily enrolled in the grand army of the Union. If this time can be given it should be. A draft would mar the noble position which the loyal north now occupies in the eyes of Europe. A million of volunteers in the field to defend the old flag and to preserve the Union would be a spectacle more sublime than the world has ever yet witnessed. The regiment was to be today at Jersey City, presented with an elegant regimental banner ordered by the Governor, and furnished with the


latest Springfield muskets. The banner was presented here in Albany by Governor Morgan to the regiment in front of his house on its way from the barracks to the boat.

Its First Officers.

The following are the officers of the regiment so far as named: Colonel—Lewis 0. Morris. Major—Edward A. Springsteed, Adjutant—Frederick L, Tremain. Quartermaster—E. Willard Smith. Surgeon- Dr. James E. Pomfret. Assistant Surgeons—Blaisdell and Newcomb.

Chaplain--Humphrey L. Calder. 

Sergeant-major—George H. Treadwell.

Quartermaster Sergeant - William Stevens. 

Commissary Sergeant—F. E, Scripture. Hospital Steward—Alfred B. Huested

Line Officers.

Company A—Captain Murphy, First Lieutenant Sickles, Second Lieutenant Reed.

Company B—Captain Jones. First: Lieutenant Kennedy, Second Lieutenant Orr.
Company C—Captain Morris, First Lieutenant Rodgers, Second Lieutenant Bell.
Company D—Captain McCullock, First Lieutenant Schurr, Second Lieutenant Coulson.
Company E—Captain Moore, First Lieutenant Lockrow, Second Lieutenant Mount.
Company F—Captain Bell, First Lieutenant Wright, Second Lieutenant Mullen,
Company G—Captain Shannon, First Lieutenant O'Hare, Second Lieutenant Ball.
Company H—Captain Pruyn, First Lieutenant McEwan, Second Lieutenant Hobbs.
Company I—Captain Maguire, First Lieutenant DuCharme, Second Lieu Lieutenant Pettit.


Company K—Captain Anable, First. Lieutenant Barclay, Second Lieutenant Krank.

In a local paper of August 21, 1862, it was stated:

"The One Hundred and Thirteenth Regiment reached Jersey City yesterday about noon. They were immediately provided with Springfield muskets (the best arm in use) and at 5 o'clock transferred to cars and moved off to Washington, where they have probably arrived ere this. This dispatch is highly creditable to all concerned."

It is not for me to give a detailed report of its journey to Washington, its assignment to the defences of Washington, its change to the Seventh Regiment, New York Heavy Artillery, and its life there for nearly two years. That is familiar to all of you. It was expected when leaving the city that the regiment would be sent directly to the front, and some were disappointed because of the delay in experiencing active service. On May 15, 1864, the long delayed, and at this time somewhat unexpected, march to the front was begun, reaching Bell Plains on Sunday, where it remained over Monday and Tuesday night marched to Spottsylvania, arriving about midnight or after. Wednesday and Wednesday night were spent in front of the enemy and on Thursday moved to the left of the line, At this place, Spottsylvania, sometimes called Po River, on Thursday, May 19, the first experience of real war was had. Here the regiment lost 9 killed, 60 wounded and 7 missing. This battle began towards night by the rebels making an attack on the fourth division of the Second Corps. Captains McCullock and Morris were killed and Captain Bell wounded,

Again on the March,

On Friday the 20th, 60 rebel dead were buried and two to three hundred prisoners sent to the rear. That night a march began which lasted all night and all day Saturday until dark, with


no time given to cook even coffee. The evening was spent digging trenches and fighting, Sunday the rebels were driven from the railway and the Mattapony river, which was crossed On Monday the 22nd, we marched to the North Anna river where on 23rd we were engaged with the enemy, losing four killed, 24 wounded, and four missing. On the 25th Lieutenant Orr was seriously wounded and died on June 2. on Friday the 27th, all sick and wounded were sent to the rear, indicating a move which began that night, and continued all day Saturday and a good part of that night. A stop for camping brought digging for entrenching, which was Grant's method protecting his men and securing his army from defeat and retreat, if attacked. Sunday the 29th dawned bright and peaceful and as our correspondent expressed it "Today is a day for Sunday to make the heart glad. I can imagine myself home: the breeze just stirs the leaves; the birds are singing sweetly; there is no noise in the streets; the bells peal out their notes of warning. What a contrast! I had to make a good deal of inquiry to satisfy myself that it was Sunday. Long lines of men, miles on miles are coiled and wedged into the space of a few miles, Thousands and tens of thousands of bristling guns, hundreds of cannon, thousands horses and whole towns of hospital and supply trains. Anything but Sunday. And yet to-day thus far (12 noon) not a shot has been fired; we are resting.'

May 30, at night the regiment was ordered to take a line of works from which the enemy had annoyed us all day. The charge was made gallant style, and the works taken, but with serious loss. The records state 24 killed, 71 wounded and 12 missing.

On June 1 our correspondent states, "this is a fierce hot day. There is one good thing, we can have no more long marches unless we are defeated. which does not seem likely,


From this point we shall have to fight our way to Richmond foot by foot. Every hill is contested and every road fought for, but we are steadily advancing. Yesterday we drove the rebels from the roads necessary to hold communication with our base of supplies at West Point. I find the officers see a great change since Grant took command. An order has this moment come to be ready to move, and I just heard one officer say to another, "When shall we go?" The other replied that he did not know, that no one knew now where or when they would move, as they used to. In the battle or skirmish, rather of yesterday, we lost 20 killed and 58 wounded. I very much fear that Scripture has been taken prisoner. His train has come in without him, and no doubt some guerilla has gobbled him and taken him to Richmond in advance of our army,

In Line of Battle.

On the night of June 1 Grant moved to near Gaines' Mills, marching all night. The morning of the 2nd the regiment was in line of battle, but there was very little fighting that day. Early on June 3rd the battle opened fiercely and raged until about 10 o'clock, when it ceased, until about sun down. Then the rebels made an unsuccessful charge on part of our lines. The 7th made a charge on two lines of breastworks, and took them, capturing two brass guns, which they turned on the enemy, but the rebels made a desperate rush and our boys had to come in. It cost us terribly, I can give you no estimate of the number killed. Our regiment must have lost two or three hundred killed and wounded. Colonel Morris said that night, "I am nearly gone up. We have marched all day and fought all night, or marched all night and fought all day, since we joined Grant's army," and once I am very much pained to say (our last battle before this) needlessly. The rest of the line got orders not to go in, The orders did not reach us in time and our brigade alone charged the rebel line, gained and held the position until daylight, only to be ordered back again. It cost us 24 killed and 52 wounded. To-night after a fight which must have cost our army 10,000 killed and wounded (if all the army fought and suffered as we did) each party holds its own ground.

This was the terrible Cold Harbor fight. The record of killed is 76, wounded 248 and missing 116. Early in the morning of June 4 as Colonel Morris was looking at the line, he was shot by a sharpshooter, and at five minutes past 1 he died. For several days there was comparative, quiet for the Seventh regiment. On the 7th a flag of truce was granted, so the dead and wounded between the lines might be buried and succored. The ground had been charged over by both armies for two days and the dead and wounded lay on the field during this tune. Colonel Porter of the Eighth was killed while leading a charge, and he lay in plain sight of his regiment between the lines. Many attempts to bring off his body failed until a rope was procured, and one man rushed out, hid himself behind the body, while attaching the rope, then rushed back and the body was drawn in. Lieutenants McClure and Read were killed on the 3rd, Colonel Morris and Lieutenant Barclay on the 4th, and Lieutenant Evans on the 5th.

This was the period when the two armies. in the vicinity of Cold Harbor and the Tyler House use were lying opposite each other in rifle pits, at distances from each other varying from 30 to 100 yards. The two armies lay this way for about 10 days. and everything appearing above the works was almost sure to be hit.

Note: There is more history, but Barckley was not involved because of his wound and death.

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