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The National tribune. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1877-1917, September 10, 1881, Image 1

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NEW SERIES. Vol. I., No. 4.
A (Jalhint Affair Hon the Vermonter.. Crowd the I:im.
A Tonrhint; Tiiridcnt m-fli of Prhate Scott.
"God IMoss President Lincoln."
By P. D. IF. For Tin: National Tr.iiurxr:.
Having read with much interest the article "In
Front of Yorktown," published in Tin-: National
Tribune of August 27th, I send the following
as my remembrance of the tight near Lee's Mills
on the lGth of April. 18G2, referred to therein :
I was an eye-witness to the engagement, which
took place on the farm of Mrs. Garrow, whose
house had been burned by order of General Ma
gnifier. The chimneys at each end of the build
ing were still standing.
The Warwick River ran through this farm, and
its Tight bank was occupied and fortified by the
rebels. Just in front of their works they had
dammed the rher with a breast, say four or five
feet wide and twenty-five or thirty yards long.
This breast was the onlv means of crossing the
,.: ,T... 1..-v-l ....l i - ..:i...l,l 1... ., w rvf 4Hr rtrtTIr. mwimI ir 4lio Tn,,.lSnc T -"! 1,
.i, uirBUW) ..m. , ;. v . aS,. tery be ordered to fire ihe national salute on w Vi f" I T . """ L,Itm echo from Fort Pillow, are sc
vuu..u -..., ....-,- v .. ., ,,. .,x uut. tll0 ground, at lorktown. this battery, it ap- , ; .' unworthy of his uniform to
tJafii-i 1iio virlmilif itwl -flirt tm-oi -n'-ri of lnoct .,.... inf nf wnnm T fitrVprl rmpfifYn5- nimnvontlv Toil
, . . ;-- ...lt pears, was organized by the iew lork Fro- " ....v.....,.., ;J "4" the pick of the army could
lu inic-ui iu.-1m. mi- uuiiri auuc mc u.un- nc Convention. Januarv G. 117C. and AW- ,w i'i' "'- " " l" " '" " , . . ArllfmA , . ,
breast was in some places five feet deep. Below it
where the shallow water spread over much
ground, excavations had been dug, pit-falls, I
might properly term them, so that men attempt
ing to cross there while walking or running in
the shoal places would suddenly plump into one
of these holes and go clear out of sight.
After a vigorous shelling of the rebel works by
Mott's battery, four companies of the Third Ver
mont charged gallantly across the dam under
cover of twenty pieces of light artillery, under
command of Captain (now General Ay res. who
was the senior artillery officer present. The in
fantrv commenced to fall soon after entering the
water, but advanced bravely through a perfect
shower of minie balls and grape and canister
until they had gained a footing on dry land.
They succeeded in driving the Fifteenth North
11UUI LUC 1J1U-J1U2, UU.4. .13 IKC HTUtlS V VT1 C UU11 '
reinforced by the Seventh and Eighth Georgia and
part of the Second Louisiana regiments, our Spar
tan band was compelled to retire, after gallantly
holding its position for nearly or quite an hour
During this time. howeer, four or five com
panies of the Sixth and about an equal number
of the Fourth Vermont had been sent to their
assistance, but the original force of the rebels had
been much increased, and their artillery and in
fantry had opened such a terrible cross-fire on
our brave Green Mountain boys, that they were
compelled to retire, bringing with them many of
the wounded.
It is too late, I suppose, to find fault, but it
has always seemed strange to me why the First
and Third brigade were not ordered across. They
were there in line of battle ready and willing.
In connection with this fight I would mention
that among the killed on that day was Private
"William Scott, Co. K.. Third Vermont Volunteers, '
whose fate made a deep impression, not only upon
the mind of his immediate comrades, but of all I
others throughout the army who chanced to hear
his sad story told. The following are the facts
of his case as now remembered, after the lapse of j
twenty years: Shortly after the Union army sat
down before Yorktown, young Scott, a mere boy, I
had been found sleeping upon his post. For this
violation of the Articles of War he was tried by
-ourt-martial and condemned to be shot. His
case attracted considerable attention, as it was
the first of its kind which had arisen, and the
commanding general was disposed to make an
-example of the unfortunate soldier, that others
might be deterred from committing a similar
olTene. There were some mitigating circum
stances to be found. chiefly in his extreme youth,
and the fact of hi having been on guard the night
previous, or at least it wa so understood. and
thee were made known to Mr. Lincoln.
Scott's mother, too, is reported to have made a
personal appeal to the President for tin- lifr of
her son. The result wa.stlr.it a pardon was granted,
and reached camp just baiely in time tosa'.e him
from undergoing the sentence of the court.
Young Scott was completely oercome by the
.glad :-.ews, and expressed hi gratitude to the
friends who had advocated his caue. and espe
cially to Mr. Lincoln, who had stretched out the
pardoning power so graeiouly in his behalf. Xot
long afterwards only a few days came the at
tack on Lee's Mills described above. Scott, with
!.:. rades of the Third Vermont, was one of
to cross the fatal dam. and among those
1 cio-e up to the enemy. It was reported
.it h spoke only once after being shot, and then
fciat.dy said:
'li;;more; but what a volume of meaning in
.- ' ! rt prayer thus uttered in the agonies of
..m "God ble.s. President Lincoln" were the
Jy v. rds uttered, but had it been vouchsafed
ii t speak further. Scott would have doubtless
Uti "for he has s:ied me from shame, and
i ed me to die the honorable and glorious
,tb fa soldier facing the foe." (
1 was present a few days after the battle, when i
i r.pw of i'ti r,x,r.i,.....A,.
. -'j) " i" viMiiciiciaic juny, came ;
the dam-breast under a flag of truce, and !
requested permission to carry to us our dead, as
they were very offenshe, and it Avas impossible
to bring them while our sharp-shooters -kept such
vigilant watch on the fort aud rifle-pits -where
they lay.
The request was complied with, and fence-rails
were brought into requisition as stretcheis. The
rebels would not permit our men to go across,
but brought over to us thirrv-one or thirty-two
of our dead. Among these was Scott, and al
though the corpses were so black as almost to
defy recognition, the boys identified him, arid cut
off as mementoes, first his buttons, and then locks
of his hair. The bodies were loaded on army
wagons, and taken off for burial.
This engagement, though of comparative insig
nificance, was really a bold and daring affair, and
reflects great credit gh the gallant Yermonters
who were engaged therein.
Major Asa Bird Gardner, J. A., U. S. Army, has
written to Colonel Corbiu giving an interesting
history of Battery F, Fourth Artillery. Captain
and Brevet Major J. B. Campbell, and repeat
ing his previous recommendation that this bat
ander Hamilton appointed its first captain.
March 14. It served with distinguished credit
in the battles of -Long Island and "White Plains,
and in the retreat through the Jersevs formed
part of the rear-guard, and had a sharp artil
lery duel acros the Raritan River at New Bruns
wick with the advance division of the British,
then under Earl Cornwallis. It was subsequently
at Trenton and Princeton, and in January, 1777,
went into winter quarters at Morristown, N. J.
The conduct of this company had particularly
attracted General Washington's attention, and
on the lt of March. 1777. he nromoted
Camain Hamilton to be lieutenant-colonel and
A. D. C. on his staff, then a distinct office.
Lieutenant John Doughty was then promoted
to be captain and subsequently major by brevet,
and the comnanv transferred to the Continental
"main" army under General Washington, and
at Brandywine, Germantown. Valley Forge (in
camp), Monmouth, Springfield, and siege of
Yorktown. When the rest of the Continental
Army was discharged it was specially and alone J
retained in service at West Point, under Major '
J. Doughty, who, when other companies of artil
lery were raised, was on the "20th of October,
17S6, promoted to be major of the artillery bat
talion, and First Lieutenant Bradford became ,
its captain. Bradford was killed in St. Clair's (
defeat in 1789. Since then the company has on
three separate occasions been subjected to incor- '
poration. Nevertheless it has continued a living
unit of artillery organization, and has preserved
its rnntiimirv for 105 vears. :mfl i! irmpli flip i
oldest organization in the Arm v. and the onlv I
one of Revolutionary origin.
Captain Howgate's bondsmen are making
anxious inquiries for him in all directions, and '
yill doubtless surrender him to the authorities
as soon as thev can secure his arrest. Captain -
Howate left here the next day after his release
0n bail, on the pretext that he had urgent nrhate
interests requiring his attention in New York,
and said that he would return within a day or
two. Since then his bondsmen have heard noth
ing of him. What makes the matter worse for
the hitter is that, through the negligence of How
gate's attorney, an indemnity bond executed by
the accused officer was not recorded until after
the Government had attached hisreal and personal
property in the civil suit brought against him, so
that the bondsmen, in the eent of Ifowgate's
escape, will have to lose ?40,000 for which they
hold themselves liable in the event of his failure
to appear to answer the criminal charge.'' How
gate is supposed to have gone to Canada, to inter
view Ycnnor, probabh .
Ordnance Notes No. KM, now in preparation,
will contain the report of First Lieutenant E. L.
Zalinski, Fifth United States Artillery, of his ex
perieneesa! Creedinoreand at the Xaf ional Armory
at Springfield. Mass., in perfecting his method for
determining wind allowances. The deductions
which Lieutenant Zalinski makes from his expe
riments in this direction are about as follows:
The tiring has been improved immensely, both
as to direction and range. At Fort Monroe, where
practice wa had with heavy guns, the number of
targets destroyed exemplify this. The range used
was about :,000 yards. Heretofore the target
used was ten inch square, kept afloat by an an
chored raft of barrels. To hit and destroy one of
these targets in a whole seaon was considered
remarkable. But this year, to fully exemplify
the new method, upon a raft bearing a simple
scantling, a flag a as nailed, making the target a
barely visible point. The womi shot destroyed !
it. and within two days two other similar targets '
were hit and destroyed. This was by direct hits, '
not by shells. The firing was with eight-inch ,
converted rifles, hundred-pounder Parrot Is, and
!ii : i .1 ,., ;..i ,.,wir.i, l...,.-..
nueeii-uicu aim nn-iuvu .-muuiii hiv;.-.
each, the target was hit.
hilisV.nsttitjul-a&?ignKVto-tlie Seeon&regi.2 I?. LUigitfid, than Forts Steadman, Haskell, and Sedg- '
, Colonel John Lamb. The company Avas . ' ' . , . , wick, which lie within sight to the north ami f
thmilirh nil tMP mOVPTllMlts ftf rllP wtli, Mijaau. , iu I ,t " 1U.IUU1 lilt I1WJ1 rm,nwl j-,,,,,. ftf pni4 ,;,,. nnt fnil '
w. , -..,... w ..-..
Forts Steadman. Haskell, and Sedg;vie)c Jlon the. A li
near To-Day The Explosion of the 3in.
Hatchers Run and Foe -Fork.
es. M.. in Philadelphia Times. $
America's Sebastopol, which V make bold to
call this place of prolonged siege.seems to me t
be a sort of Richmond on a sinall scale. The
streets and stores of this pretty little city on the
Appomattox are much like those of the proud
beauty on the James: the nooks and crannies of
the one suggest those of the other, and there is
that in the air here whereby the stranger recog
nizes the Yirginia capital in miniature. In Rich
mond, however, there may be felt the snap and
dash of a lively new South, while at this ancient
point of trade there is a hint of Dixie, not alto
gether unadulterated, but still pleasantly suggest
xe of the land of "cinnamon seed and sandy
bottom." Though the iowti is surrounded by
the ruins of numerous forts, arid though manv
matter of battle-fields. Very likely it is because
they have them at their doors, and it is the old
story of the weather prophet who is not without
success save in his own country It wouldn't be
at all wonderful if St. Peter had ceased to admire
the golden hinges of hi big gate, and no doubt
the devil fails to appreciate the interesting section
over which he presides.
:: Where'll I find the Crater?" T asked, coming
out from the built-up part of the town and emerg
ing upon Jerusalem plank-road.
"Feth, an' am fhinkin' ye'll be after gettin' yer
"nun av the crathur beyant there in Jimmv
O'XaiFs saloon,'' replied my interiocutor, pointing
to a sign whereon Old Rye.' XX Ale." and
things of that kind blazingly figured.
"He don't mean that crater: some other crater
chimed in a small boy: "It
means the big
liquid herself:" and as I drove on I left the bov
telling the citizen how Burnside had wasted his
tons of powder.
Passing along the Jerusalem road for more than
a mile I came to a road 1-hat branched off into a
field of peanut plants. At the side of the gate
way was the sign :
At the end of the field road, a few hundred
yards from the sign, I saw a large, roundish bank
of red earth topped by shrubs and small trees.
Near by is a two-story frame house in which
lives T. R. Griffith, the owner of the farm and
the guardian of the historic hole. Mr. Griffith
led me up the side of the crater, explaining as
he brushed the weed from the path that for
self-protection he was obliged to charge a fee, as
. otherwise ins visitors, alter tne recKiess manner
' of Sunday sight-seers, would trample down his
cotton and kill his corn.
The lan(1 within half a mile in every direction
is clear of woods, and at this time is checkered by
fields of corn, cotton, and peanuts and patches
Sround that are fallow. Looking to the north
)C fields slope downward, and so with the strip
t0 Tnc east, but passing a ravine the slope is up-
ward to the Federal line. To the west and south
is rising ground, with the city cemetery on the
ridge and the city itself beyond. The crater now7
like an abandoned reservoir, of uneven
banks and irregular bottom, overgrown with
clumps of briars and bushes. It is one hundred ,
and sixty feet long, sixty feet wide, and twenty- i
fie feet deep. The earth is brown, with red
blotches, being clay sub-soil. The parapet of the '
fort remains and serves as the rim and border of '
the pit. Pine, peach, apple, and ailanthus trees,
together with grapevines, blackberry bushes, and
fruitless briars, grow thickly in the hollows,
which look as if a herd of wild boars with bun- i
dred-horse-power snouts had rooted them out a
dozen years ago. Extending from the north
eastern corner of the crater in a straight line
down hill to the ravine, two hundred yards away, (
is a sunken, narrow, ditch-like sink in the earth. ;
This is the surface line of the tunnel dug by
Schuylkill county soldiers, who had been brought J
np in mines and who wormed their way from the
ravine until they scored thousands of pounds of
powder jnt under this spot. As I sit in the
crotch of a peach tree and look at the points of
the field, now little changed from the day when
it was the scene of a wonderful episode in war,
the picture comes vividly up.
It is not yet sunrise, and the defenders are
asleep among the traverses and under the guns
of the fort.
and what a thing of mould and force infernal is
now let loose. Tf is as though a young volcano,
held in nature's mystery underground, has burst
its bonds. The crust is rent by the up-coming
bolt and fire flashes through broken clods of
earth that fly to mid-air two hundred i'eet above.
Sand, stones, guns, men, everything within reach
of the blast, are blown skyward. A brass piece
that weighs a ton is sent whirling over the para-
pet for a hundred yards. Young Chandler, who
an instant before lept beneath the gun, is hurled
so high and so far that his bruised bodv falls
within the Union lines. Men die in the air, never
knowing in what unwonted and in what sul
phurous guise death has enwrapped itself. An
swering to the quake that is felt as far as Rich
mond and that shakes the steeples at Norfolk, a
hundred miles away, come the roll and roar of
Grant's artillery. In redan and redoubt LeeV
men are benumbed and shrink lest the old mole
has toothed his blind path under other forts, and
lest instantly now ether death-bolts shall start up
from the depths. Lee's batteries to the right and
left are deserted: the outburst lias broken his
line, and into it a wedge that may end the war
in a week can now be driven. The mine itself
is a wonder. It does its work with the swift
flight of an electric streak that zig-zags across a
bank of clouds in summer time, rendering the
thunderous acclaim of its own success. !
But it is in the driving of the wedge that the
gain becomes loss. What thus far has been an
immense success now turns to that which is worse i
than a failure. What is needed is that the wedge i
shall be driven with Grant's best sledge hammer
promptly home. A mass of boasting black men,
whose battle-cry of "No quarter!" comes as an '
Mit under a leader
accomplish what only
hope to do. A whole
x . w -i.n.i. ... i.lliUI W l'"" JiilMOtJl
frt lii.rkti" liT-tic!rkl f
into the breach. Lee's artillery is again manned
and hotly begins to work. Poor devils of black
men from shouting "No quarter,'' now shriek
wild prayers for pity. Boasting becomes beseech- '
ing. The miserable wretches are bavoneted bv
friends and ohot down by the foe. Without head
or order the entrapped victims huddle close about
the gap in the ground, seeking shelter behind
heaps of uptorn earth, and even shielding them
selves vainly with the bodies of dead comrades. '
The crater is a death-trap. From many batteries,
where lurid
come through shrouds of
smoke, shot and shell are hailed incessantly, and
what was a spot of triumph is now a slaughter
pen a place of torn earth, soaked in
The Crater is the main object of interest on the
; lines of fortifications, and it is more frequently
beyond Fort Steadman, and the outlines of the
latter are just as distinctly marked. All the
traverses have been removed, and all the cov- '
ered ways destroyed, for Fort Hell, as the armies ',
nicknamed the Steadman redoubt, is now a gar- '
den wherein truck is raised for the Petersburg
market. A farm-house has been erected in the
enclosure, and 0. P. Hare now peacefully dwells
where Gordon and havoc once swept along. Fort
Haskell is in better preservation than any other
of the Federal redoubts. Pine trees grow in and
around the enclosure, and both the inner and
outer works with a little use of the shovel could '
be made as formidable as in the days of death.
Many of the oaks in the vicinity contain bullets,
nor is it unusual to pick up rusty reminders of ,
battle anywhere along the line from that point
southward to Fort Sedgwick. Only half of that
famous place of strength now remains. It was
built across the Jerusalem road on two planta-
tions. The part on Mr. Griger's farm was long ;
ago leveled, and is now in corn, but the half on
the east side of the road still stands. Mahone's
Fort Damnation shows many remnants. Fort
Davis is in good condition and Fort R'"ee has '
suffered little from the wear and tea.
In this way the curious visitor might foi.
lines of defense and contravallation down to
Wherever the land was cultivated before the
war the works have been leveled, but where the
lines passed through woods the works are very
much as they were when abandoned. In the
high and rolling lands the woods contain white
oak. red oak, poplar, and hickory, but in the
light, sandy soil grow pines, ash, elm, and button
wood. At points where a link in the chain of
fortifications is missing the line may be traced
by the color of the sub-soil. Where the land is
tilled most of the shells and bits of lead have
been picked up. yet every rain washes out minie
balls and grape on all the farms between the lines.
There is a delightful thing about Petersburg
that never before has been mentioned in print.
The city is bordered in its suburbs by a long belt
of peach trees which, in the spring, turn myriad
white blossoms out to the sun, and thus give a
beautiful girdle to the place once trussed with
bands sf iron and cordons of steel. In that long
and weary year of watchfulness the Southern
soldiers were glad to get fruit, and the best things
that came to them from the Carolinas were
peaches, whereof the pink flesh was sweeter than
honey-dew. The kernels were dropped upon th"
battle-ground; the army tramped sorely on to
Appomattox: winter came again, and then from
the trenches sprang fruit trees that have flour
ished to this day. Down in the sunny South
there is a kind of peach that shows a white bud;
elsewhere the blossom is touched with pink. All
1 i
other peach trees around Petersburg have the I
pink flower, and the battle-field peach thus keeps
its mark and proud distinction. So now, starting
from the river at the north, Lee's line may be
traced for six miles or more bv the far-reaching
orchard planted in blood.
The proportion of Irish soldiers in the P.ritish
service is 22 to 23 in ll).
A iciHTnl I'prNiii-.' in the Apache Country Fightinc in
Arizona .Soldiers and Citizens Killed Our
Little A rim Doinir Its Leu'I Rest.
General Carr, commanding the troops in the
Apache country, whose death was reported, sends
the following to Major-General McDowell, from
Fort Apache, under date of September 2, 8.30 p.m. :
Pursuant to orders from the commanding-general
dated August 30. to arrest Indian Doctor
Nockay Delklinne as soon as practicable, and a
formal request from agent, dated Llth, to arrest
or kill him, or both, I first hoped to arrest him
when he came to hold his dances and incantations
here, but he did not keep his appointment. I
then sent an Indian scout with a message that I
wanted to see him. Sunday. August 23, 1 received
an evasive answer from him. and next day
marched with Troops D and E. Sixth Cavalry,
and Company A, with scouts, the command num
bering six officers and seventv-nine soldiers and
twenty-three Indian scouts. I reached his vil
lage on the 30th and arrested the medicine man.
to come with me : said he would not try to escape
and there would be no attempt at rescue: but as
we were making camp our own scouts and many
other Indians opened fire upon us and killed Cap
tain Hen tig first, and ran off the animals already
turned out to graze. Medicine man was killed
as soon as they commenced firing, and we drove
them off after a severe fight, in which we lost
Captain Hen tig, who was shot in the back by our
Indian scouts, as he turned to get his gun. Four
privates were killed, one sergeant, and three pri
vates were wounded : two mortally. After bury
ing the dead I returned as rapidly as practicable,
arriving on the 31st. Some of the Indians had
preceded and killed eight men on the road to
Thomas. Next morning they made a demonstra
tion against this post,
in the afternoon, but were repulsed. Our total
loss is : Killed Captain E. C. Hentig, Sixth Cav
alry: seven private of Troop E, Sixth Cavalry;
one privates of Troop E, Sixth Cavalry j privates
of Company D, Twelfth Infantry. Wounded
First Lieutenant C. G. Gordon, Sixth Cavalrv.
in the leg: one sergeant Troop E and one pri
vate Troop D, and forty-five horses and ten
mules killed, wounded, and missing. Tlie com
mand behaved with the utmost coolness and gal
lantry, and encountered danger, hardship, and
fatigue Avith the greatest cheerfulness, in spite of
the sudden and most traitorous nature of the
attack in the midst of camp.
to their arms and defeated the plan of the massa
cre, and subsequently held their post and are
ready for further service. We require fifty-nine
horses and ten pack-mules. The officers here are
Major Cochran, Twelfth Infantry; Captain B.
McGowan, commanding Company D, Twelfth In
fantry: First Lieutenant C. G. Gordon, Sixth
Cavalry, post quartermaster; William Stanton,
commanding Troop E, who moved forward with
the skirmishers and most handsomely cleared
the savages out of the bushy bottom close to the
camp; AV. H. Carter, regimental quartermaster,
Sixth Cavalry, adjutant and commanding Troop
D after Captain Hentig's death ; Second Lieuten
ant Thomas Cruse, commanding Comrjany A,
:,Jn Scouts, and of Howard's command, Troop
, Cavalry: Assistant Surgeon George Mc
. S. A., who, besides skillfully perform
professional duties, used the carbine
e . . ely.
Clark M. Carr, accompanied the expedition and
deserves to have his name mentioned in the dis
patch. There are forty-five civilians here who
are assisting in the defense of the post, and I am
rationing such as require it. I armed four pris
oners, two of whom belong to the Ninth Cavalry.
They fought bravely, and I shall recommend
that their ofi'ense be pardoned. I am confident
that the Indians have been preparing for this
outbreak for six mouths. Cooley, who is here,
says so: also Phipp, whose employee (Cullenx
was killed. There have been only a few Indians,
around the post to-day.
The veterinary surgeon of the Department of
Agriculture who was sent to England in Jsune
last by the United States Commissioner of Agri
culture to investigate the question of pleuro
pneumonia among American cattle landed ins
Great Britain in connection with the Privy
Council, has returned, and reports that upon his.
arrival in London, at his solicitation, an impcy:&
ant meeting of the Privy Council was held., pe
loid president, Earl Spencer, presiding, and ahsu.
the result of the examination and discussion, oC
the subject which there took place has geatly
r.ll l.niimfrk iVmil tllP minflc Cf flo VsiytIJc:1
,,.,..,.. ,- ,
nnflim-iHp.; flip sh-fmir lmure.skiftn thpv K-ul firr-.
, " , . , 1 , . . " , .
merly entertained as to the existence contagi,-
' ous pleuro-pneumonia among the ctrttt at tlu
j West a disease which, it hardly need be- said, m
this country at tins time, only wts. among a
small percentage of the cattle ke-pt in a narrow
strip of country extending along the-eastern sea
board from the neighborhood ojr Ne York City
a short distance southward.

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