Newspaper Page Text
WAR BEPMTMLiiT UBBAKY
Washington, D. C,
JUN1 0 1896
"cr rave ftv Win wlw to tiontc tt ImttTc, unit for lite uitlaiu atmX Dvntajs."
ESTABLISHED 1S77-jStEW SERIES.
WASHINGTON, D. 0., THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 1896.
VOL. XY-NO. 35-WHOLE tfO. 774.
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CAPTAIN IN THE
S WINTER Ap
proached, the im
came pouring into
California dusty '
i 'ii ,i I
ana worn wun urerr
'2,000 niilesof weary
travel across the
plains and mount
ains. Those who
arrived in October
and November re
sUSf still behind them,
with oxen perish
ing, and short of food. Appeals were
made for help, and Gen. Smith resolved
to attempt relief. Maj. Rucker, who had
come across with Pike Graham's Bat
talion of Dragoons, had exchanged with
Maj. Fitzgerald, of the Quartermaster's
Department, and was detailed to conduct
this relief. Gen. Smith ordered him to
be supplied with $100,000 out of the
civil fund, subject to his control, and
with this to purchase at Sacramento flour,
bacon, etc, and to hire men and mules
to send out and meet the immigrants.
Maj. Rucker fulfilled this duty perfectly,
sending out pack-trains loaded with food
by the many routes by which the immi
grants were known to be approaching,
went out himself with one of these trains,
and remained in the mountains until
the last immigrant had got in. No
doubt this expedition saved many a life
.which has since been most useful to
the country. I remained at Sacra
mento a good part of the Fall of 1849,
recognizing among the immigrants marry
of my old personal friends John C.
Fall, "William King, Sam Stambaugh,
Hugh Ewing, Hampton Denmau, etc.
I got Rucker to give these last two em
ployment along with the train -for tbe
relief of the immigrants. They had
proposed to begin a ranch on my land
on the Cosumncs, but afterward changed
their minds and went out with Rucker.
While I was at Sacramento Gen.
Smith had gone on his contemplated
trip to Oregon, and promised that he
would be back in December, when he
would send me home with dispatches.
Accordingly, as the "Winter and rainy
season was at hand, I went to San Fran
cisco, and spent some time at the Pre
Eidio, waiting patiently for Gen. Smith's
return. About Christmas a vessel
arrived from Oregon with the dispatches,
and an order for me to deliver them in
person to Gen. Winfield Scott, in New
York City. Gen. Smith had sent them
down, remaining in Oregon for a time.
Of course I was all ready, and others of
our fcet were going home by the same
conveyance, vjz., Rucker, Ord, A J.
smith, some under orders and the others
"Wanting to see ray old friends in
Monterey, J arranged Jor my passage in
the steamer of Jan. 1, 1850, paying
$600 for passage to New York, and
went down to Monterey by land, Rucker
accompanying me. The weather was
unusually rairij-, and all the plain about
Santa Clara was under water; but we
reached Monterey in time. I again was
welcomed by my friends, Dona Augus
tiafc, Alanuclita, and the family, and it
was resolved that I should take two of
the boys home with me and put them at
Georgetown College for education, viz.,
Antonio and Poriirio, 13 and 11 years
old. The dona gave me a bag of gold
dust to pay for their passage and to de
posit at the college. On the 2d day
of January punctually appeared the
steamer Oregon. We were all won on
board and oil' for home. At that lime
the steamers touched at San Diego,
Acapulco, and Panama. Our passage
down the coast was unusually pleasant.
Arrived at Panama, we hired mules
and rode across to Gorgona, on
thc Cniees River, where we hired
a boat and paddled down to the
mouth of the river, off which lay the
tleamer Crescent City. It usually took
our days to cross the isthmus, every
passenger taking care of himself, and it
was really funny to watch the efforts of
women and men Unaccustomed to mules.
l Puhlihhcd by permission of D. Applolon & Co.,
pulriMiure of the PcrDOnul MciuoJnj of Gcii. V. T.
t', A. Jr
59 ItSz U
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en by Himself
TO THE EAST
1 1U i f 1 o Li f vl 1 1 lul
DURING PRESIDENT TAYLOR'S ADMINISTRATION.
It was an old song to us, and the trip
across was easy and interesting. In due
time Ave -were rowed off to the Crescent
Cit', rolling back and forth in the swell,
nnc we scrambled abroad by a ' Jacob's
rArnr, fmm tlio cfnvn Sntno nf flin
ladder" from the stern. Some of the
women had to be hoisted aboard by
lowering a tub from the end of a boom ;
fun to us who looked on, but awkward
enough to the poor women, especially to
a very fat one, who attracted much
notice. Gen. Fremont, wife and child
(Lillie) were passengers with us down
from San Francisco ; but Mrs. Fremont
not being well, they remained over one
trip at Panama.
Senator Gwin was one of our passen
gers, and went through to New York.
"We reached New York about the close
of January, after a safe and pleasant
trip. Our party, composed of Ord, A.
J. Smith, and Rucker, with the two boys,
Antonio and Porfirio, put up at Del
monico's, on Bowling Green; and, as
soon as we had cleaned up somewhat, I
took a carriage, went to Gen. Scott's
office in Ninth street, delivered my dis
patches, was ordered to dine with him
next da and then went forth to hunt
up my old friends and relations, the
Scotts, Hoyts, etc.
On reaching New York, most of us
had rough soldier's clothing, but we
soon got a new outfit, and I dined with
Gen. Scott's family, Mrs. Scott being
present, and also their son-in-law and
daughter (Col. and Airs. H. L. Scott).
The General questioned me pretty closely
in regard to things on the Pacific Coost,
especially the politics, and startled me
with the assertion that "our country was
on the eve of a terrible civil war." He
interested me by the anecdotes of my
old Army comrades in iris recent battles
around the Citj' of Mexico, and I felt
deeply the fact that our country had
passed through a foreign war, that my
comrades had fought great battles, and
yet 1 had not heard a hostile shot. Of
course, 1 thought it the last and only
chance in nry da', and that my career
as a soldier was at an end. After some
four or five days spent in New York, I
was, by an order of Gen. Scott, sent to
Washington, to lay before the .Secretary
of War (Crawford, of Georgia) the dis
patches which I had brought from Cali
fornia. On reaching Washington I
found that Mr. Ewing was Secretary of
the Interior, and 1 at once became a
member of his family. The family oc
cupied the house of Mr. Blair, on Penn
sylvania avenue, directly in front of the
War Department. I immediately re
paired to the War Department, and
placed my dispatches in the hands of
Air. Crawford, who questioned me some
what about California, but seemed little
interested in the subject, except so far
as it related to slavery and the routes
through Texas. I then went to call on
the President at the White House. I
found Maj. Bliss, who had been my
teacher in mathematics at West Point,
and was then Gen. Taylor's son-in-law
and Private Secretary. He took me
into the 'room, now usod by the Presi
dent's Private Secretaries, where Presi
dent Taylor was. I had never seen him
before, though I had served under him
in Florida in 1840-41, and was most
agreeably surprised at his fine personal
appearance, and his pleasant, easy man
ners, lie received me with great kind
ness, told me that Col. Mason had men
tioned my name with praise, and that
he would be pleased to do me any act
of favor. "We were with him nearly
an hour, talking about California gen
erally, and of his personal friends, Per
sifer Smith, Riley, Can by, and others.
Although Gen. Scott was generally re
garded by the Army as the most accom
plished soldier of the Mexican war, yet
Gen. Taylor had that blunt, honest, and
stern character that endeared him to the
masses of the people and made him
President. Bliss, too, had gained a
large fame by his marked skill and
intelligence as an Adjutant-General and
military adviser. His manner was very
unmilitary, and in his talk he stam
mered and hesitated, so as to make an
unfavorable impression on a stranger;
but he was wonderfully accurate and
-yrfEaw IIK ' .ak
skillful with his pen, and his orders and
letters form a model of military pre
cision and clearness
CHAPTER IV. .
MISSOURI, LOUISIANA, AND CALIFORNIA.
Having returned from California in
Januarj', 1850, with dispatches for the
War Department, and having delivered
them in person first to Gen. Scott in New
York City, and afterward to the Secre
tary of "War (Crawford) in Washington
City, I applied for and received a leave
of absence for six months. I first
visited my mother, then living at Mans
field, O., and returned to Washington,
where, on the 1st day of May, 1850,
I was married to Aiiss Ellen "Bovle !
Ewing, daughter of the Hon. Thomas I
Ewing, Secretary of the Interior. The
marriage ceremony was attended by a
large and distinguished company, cm
bracing Daniel Webster, Henry Clay,
T. H. Benton, President Taylor, and all
his Cabinet. This occurred at the house
of Air. Ewing, the same now owned and
occupied by Air. F. P. Blair, sr., on
Pennsylvania avenue, opposite the War
Department. We made a ueddincr-tour .'
to Baltimore, iSew lork, Niagara, and 1
Ohio, and returned to Washington by
the 1st of July. Gen. Taylor partici
pated in the celebration of the Fourth
of July, a very hot day, by hearing a
long speech from the Hon. Henry S.
Foote, at the base of the Washington
Monument Returning from the cele
bration much heated and fatigued, he
partook too freely of his favorite- iced
milk with cherries, and during thatnigjit
was seized with a severe eolier which
by morning had quite prostrated him.
It was said that he sent for liis son-in-law,
Surgeon Wood, United States
Army, stationed in Baltimore, and
declined medical assistance from any
body else. Air. Ewing visited him
several times, and was manifestly uneasy
and anxious, as was also his son-in-law,
Maj. Bliss, then of the A i my, and his
Confidential Secretary. He rapidly grew
worse, and died in about four days.
At that time there was a high state of
political feeling pervading the country,
on account of the questions growing out
of life new Territories just acquired from
Mexico by the war. Congress was in
session, and Gen. Taylor's sudden death
evidently created great alarm. I was
present in the Senate gallery, and saw
the. oath of oflice administered to the
Vice-President, Mr. Fillmore, a man of
splendid physical proportions and com
manding appeal ance; but on the faces
of Senators and people could easily be
read the feelings of doubt and uncer
tainty that prevailed. All knew that a
change in the Cabinet and general
policy was likely to result, but at the
time it was supposed that Mr. Fillmore,
whose home was in Buffalo, would be
less liberal than Gen. Taylor to the
politicians of the Soifth, who feared, or
pretended to fear, a crusade against
slavery ; or, as was the political cry of
the day, that slavery would be pro
hibited in the Territories, and in the
places exclusively tinder the jurisdiction
of the United States. Events, however,
proved the contrary.
I ATTENDED GEN. TAYLOR'S FUNERAL
as a sort of Aid-de-Camp, at the request
of the Adjutant-6t6ueral of the Army,
Roger Jones, whose brother, a militia
General, commanded the escort, com
posed of militia and some Regulars.
Among the Regulars I recall the names
of Capts. John Sedgwick and W. F.
Hardly was Gen. Taylor decently
buried in the Congressional Cemetery
when the political Etrugglc recom
menced, and it became manifest that
Air. Fillmore favored the general com
promise then known as Henry Clay's
" Omnibus Bill," and that a general
change of Cabinet would at once occur.
Webster was to succeed Mr. Clayton as
Secretary of State," Corwin to succeed
Air. Meredith as Secretary of the
Treasury, and A. II. II. Stuart to
succeed Air. Ewing as Secretary of
the Interior. Air. Ewing, however, was
immediately appointed by the Gov
ernor of the Stale-' to succeed Corwin
in the Senate. These changes made it
necessary for Air., Ewing to discontinue
house-keeping, add Mr. Corwin took his
house and furnitilrc "off his hands. I es
corted the family out to their home in
Lancaster, O. ; but, before this had oc
curred, sonic most interesting debates
iook piacc in tlio senate, wnrcn 1 leu
i?rl' atlemM and heard Clay, Benton,
, oUs Km of AIabsin,a Dayton, and
uiu many rear orators or mat uay. lur.
Calhoun was in his seat, but he was
evidently approaching his end, for he
was pale and feeble in the extreme. I
MR. WnilSTKK's LAST SI'CCCII
on the floor of the Senate, under cir
cumstances that warrant a description.
.It was publicly known that he was to
leave the Seriate and enter the new Cab-
inet of Air. Fillmore, as hi3 Secretary
of State, and thnfr prior to leaving he
was to make a great speech on the
" Omnibus Bill." Resolved to hear it,
I went up to the Capitol on the day
named, an hour or -so earlier than usual.
The' speech was to be delivered in the
old Senate Chamber, now used by the
Supreme Court.. The galleries were
much smaller ,thjin at present, and I
found them full ko overflowing, with a
dense crowd about the door, struggling
to reach the stairs. I could not get
near, and then tried the reporters' gal
lon, but found it equally crowded ; so
I feared I should lose the only possible
opportunity to hear Air. Webster.
I had only a limited personal acquaint-"
ance with any of the Senators, but had
met Air. Corwin quite often at Air.
Ewing's house, and I also knew that he
had been extremely friendly to my
father in his lifetime ; so I ventured to
send in to him my card, " AY. T. S.,
First Lieutenant, 3d Art." lie came
to the door promptly, when I said :
" Mr. Corwin, I believe Air. Webster
is to speak to-day."
His answer was :
" Yes, he has the floor at 1 o'clock."
I then added that I was extremely
anxious to hear him.
" Well," said he, " why don't you go
into the gallery ? "
I explained that it was full, and I
had tried every access, but found all
jammed with people.
" Well," said he, " what do you want
I explained that I would like him to
take me on the floor of the Senate ; that
I had often seen from the gallery per
sons on the floor no better entitled to it
than I. He then asked in hi3 quizzical
" Are you a foreign Embassador ? "
"Arc you the Governor of a State?"
"Are you a member of the other
" Certainly not."
" Have you ever had a vote of thanks
" Well, these are the only privileged
I then told him he knew well enough
who I was, and that if he chose he could
take me in. He then said:
"Have you any impudence?"
I told him, " A rcjisonable amount if
occasion called for it."
"Ho you think you could become so
interested in my conversation as not to
notice the door-keeper?" (pointing to
I told him that there was not the least
doubt of it, if he would tell me one of his
funny stories. He then took my arm,
and led me a turn in the vestible, talk
ing about some indifferent matter, but
all the time directing my looks to his
left hand, toward whrcn he was gestrcu
lating with I113 right; and thus we ap
proached the door-keeper, who began
asking mc, " Foreign Embassador ? Gov
ernor of a State ? Alcmber of Congress ? "
etc.; but I caught Corwin's eye, which
said plainly, " Don't mind him, pay at
tention to me," and in this way Ave
entered thc Semite chamberbv a side--
door. Once in, Corwin said, " Now
you can take care of yourself," and I
thanked him cordially. I found a seat
close behind Air. Webster, and near
Gen. Scott, and heard the whole of the
speech. It was heavy in the extreme,
and I confess that I was disappointed
and tired long before it was finished.
No doubt the speech was full of fact
Island and Cove
and argument, but it had none of the
fire of oratory or intensity of feeling that
marked all of Air. Clay's eflbrts.
To he continued.
A War-TImo To em.
Editor National Tribune: In tho Sum
mer of 1801, I cut from 11 ncwsjmpor a slip con
taining the inclosed poom.
ft is now bail ly worn with time and handling,
am! I wisli to preserve a copy of it. If it is
worthy a plate in your columns plonse put it
there. I think it worthy of preservation, aud
hope that you will. I am not tho author, and
it vru3 piven anonymously in tho pupor from
which 1 obtained it. so J kuow nothing oMts
origin. Alexander Duan, Jacksonville, Fla.
THE TWO SOUTH12KN MOTHERS.
Hcitnl yon net llio din of bnlllp,
Cnmioii'rt rxir, mill mu-ket's ritltle,
Clnili of sword, mid hhrlek of shell,
Victor's shout nnd vanquished yell?
Suw you not yon scene of HhtuRUtcr,
Hiimu blood poured out like wntcr?
Northern vnlor.Sotitho n pride,
Stern rcolro on cither side!
Clioerinir on his fliicxiiic; men,
IluliyiiiK to the charge ngnin,
Comes a bullet charged v? I III Kr'ef,
Striked the brave Confederate chicC
Down he falls amid the strife.
Horses trampling out his life:
Scarce can liii retreating force
Find nnd aare his mangled corao-
Homo they bore him to his mother
ire was all she had none other;
Woful mother! who can borrow
Words to paint her frantic sorrow!
As she mourned her slaughtered bravo
Came nod spoke her aged slave;
Came nod spake uilh solem brow:
"Misses, we are oven now I
"I had (en and you had one,
Now, we're even all are gono;
No ono left to bury cither
Slave nnd Mistress mourn togothos.
"Every one of mine you sold
Now your own is stark and cold;
To the ju-tt Avenger bon
ails-'', I forgive you now."
Thus stio spoke, that sable mother.
Shuddering, quailed and wept the other)
Ye! although it tarry loner,
Payment must be made for wrong.
v.se.- --C 0
Formation of Home Guards in
Eastern Part of the State.
EARLY DAYS IN CAMP.
Scouting After Bands of Seces
sionists. FORMING A REGIMENT.
Early Experiences -with the
Redoubtable Gen. Nelson.
BY T. W. rAHSON9, CO. F, 1-iTtt KY. CAV., MT.
many veterans now
livinsr were in Gen.
Nelson's first cam
paign in Eastern
Kentucky in the
Fall of 18G1. It
may be interesting
to read a brief his
tory of what led
up to that cam
paign. The war
history of Eastern
Kentucky has been very much ne
glected by historians and correspond
ents, so I will record as briefly as I can,
to get in the main facts, what happened
here in the year 1861.
Some time in. the Spring of that year,
while both sides were playing the "neu
trality dodge" and preparing for war,
it .was suggested that a company of
guards be organized at Olympian
Springs, a famous watering resort in the
southern portion of Bath County, Ivy.,
and eight miles from Owrngsville, the
The proposition carried, and a good
company was organized without reference
to sides in the war, but for neighborhood
AGAINST UNLAWFUL MOVES
of any kind. War sentiment was
scarcely molded there at that time, ex
cept with a few, though in the main the
feelings of the people were for the
The company was organized by elect
ing Lafayette North, who afterward be
came Lieu tenant-Colonel of the 24th
Ky., as.Captain ; the writer First Lieu
tenant (we had both seen service in the
Alexican war), and John Spencer, a
soldier of 1812, Second Lieutenant.
We met every Saturday afternoon at
the Springs for drill in marching, facing,
of Yerba Buexa.
etc., for we had no arms, and this was
an all-absorbing question with us.
As time ran on and the' war-cloud
seemed to hover darker and darker, we
were more at a loss, but early in the
Summer lion. Garrett Davis, of Paris,
Ivy., went up to "Washington and had an
interview with Lincoln, in which Lincoln
assured him of his desire to hold his
native Slate in the Union on the most
friendly and amicable terms, and offered
to furnish all loyal companies organized
00 muskets to the company, with 40
rounds of ammunition, but no cartridge
boxes. Davis returned home well pleased with
Lincoln and his ofler, and published a
circular letter to the people of Ken
tucky, urging them to stand for the
Union, to organize a3 many companies
as they could, and procure the muskets.
Our company was canvassed closely
as to its sentiments and the guns, and
one Saturday evening we took the vote
on the subject, and all .but two or three
voted for taking the sruns. Ihese two
or three, being of strong Secession pro
clivities, -withdrew from the company,
leaving us no disloyal impediment.
Through Capt. Leouidas Aletcalf, of
Nicholas County, the guns were procured,
and we then began to drill in themantial
of arms. About this time
OTHER COMPANIES WEKE FORMED,
one at Owingsville, of which J. Smith
Hurt, afterwards Colonel of the 24 th
Ky., who had seen serv:ce in the 2d Ky.
at Buena Vista, was Captain ; one at
Bethel, Bath County, Ky., Davidson,
Captain ; one nt "Wyoming, Bath County,
Ky., G. W. Barber, Captain, and one
at Farmers, Bowan County, Ky., Jns.
AL Carey, another Alexican war veteran
Captain. Ihese companies met and
drilled regularly once a week, and'werc
very proficient in company drill.
Arattcrs ran along in this way till
some time in August, when the Govern
ment authorities were ordered to mako
some arrests in Kentucky. John C.
Breckinridge, Wm. S. Preston, and ono
other man, name forgotten, escaped to
Eastern Kentucky and on to Virginia
via Pound Gap in a closed carriage.
Just then the Secessionists began to go
out in squads, companies, and singly.
Breckinridge passed up the old Stato
road through Alt. Sterling on a Satur
That day our company met for drill,
and after due consultation we decided
to go into camp at the Olympian
Springs on " our own hook." H. Gill,
proprietor of the Springs, who was our
Orderly-Sergeant, was strongly in favor
of the move. It was a small beginning,
but we made it, Gill giving us the use
of the cottages for quarters.
Soon after we had decided to savo
the Union with our 60 musket3 the
Military State Board (Gov. Alagoffin
having been deposed from any military
control in the State by reason of hi3 dis
loyalty) made a call for troops for
three months. Our company wa3 re
cruited in a hurry. In a few days thero
came an order changing the time of en-
listment to 12 months. This seemed too
long for some poor men of family, and
they dropped out, but the company was
soon filled again, reorganized, and offi
cered as follows : Capt., Lafayette North ;
First Lieut, John C. Gill; Second
Lieut., "Wilkerson Warren; Orderly
Serg T. "W. Parsons. About this time
Capts. Hurt, Davidson, Barber, and
Carey came into camp with their com
panies, and also Hon. J. B. Griggsbr
and a Air. Campbell, of Winchester,
came to the scene with a commission to
KECRUIT A REGIMENT.
It was arranged that Hurt should bQ
Alajor. He had been given commanfi
of the camp on his first arrival, and was
the active manager of the camp all tha
while. Campbell soon dropped out.
Becruiting wa3 going on briskly.
Alen from the mountains came pouring
in, and we soon had to leave the cottages
and open camp at the church in a beau
tiful pine grove some 400 yards east.
"We were doing some hard duty; squads,
and even battalions, of rebels were pass
ing out to their camps at West Liberty,
Prestonsburg and other places in the
mountains, aud fighting was imminent.
Sometimes reports came that a heavy
force was nigh, and a fight was expected.
We had about 300 of the Lincoln guns,
but through the agency of Maj. Jame3
Sudduth, of Owingsville, procured about;
100 more, a mixed lot of muskets and
Mississippi rifles. But ammunition, waa
scarce, so we resorted to cartridge mak
ing. Julius Miller, a young German
tinner, wa3 furnished powder, lead and
molds and he prepared hundreds of
All this time, we had been promised
pay and clothing. Some poor fellowa
who came into camp in August with, a
Summer suit on had about worn that;
suit out, and now the frosts of October
were upon us and no pay, and we wera
about worn out scouting on foot, watch
ing and doing guard duty ; and every
old soldier knows how often a camp of
fresh recruits is harassed with falso
alarms, and how they wear on a man's
John C. Breckinridge.
nerves and destroy his rest. Beal
fighting can't be worse. To our
great relief one beautiful afternoon, a
gentleman from near Mt. Sterling, 15
miles away, rode into our camp and
gave us the cheering news that the 2jd
Ohio, under Col. Len Harris, was only
a mile or two back on the road, coming
to our relief. It was a sudden joy that
sprang up in our bosoms, and we soon
turned out and marched up the long
hill onto a pine plateau, and formed on
either side of tho road to receiwo them.
When the rear of the regiment ha'd
passed we fell in, and all. went down 0
camp. We were now able to