Monday, September 21, 2009

He Was A Messenger

In the beginning I thought it would be interesting to do a page on Messengers, but I soon found that a messenger could be anyone. There were professional messengers in the public sector and messengers in the military offices out side the war zones. But in the battle zones the messenger was who ever was available at the time, unless it was a real special order, then a special carrier would be called on, one that could be trusted. The messenger duty was a dangers one and many were either killed or wounded in the line of duty. Many battles were lost or almost lost, because a messenger didn’t make it to his destination. I also found will researching this that not many messengers names was ever stated in a report. For this reason the information here is very short.

1. 1834, Abel Griggs, was an orderly sergeant in the marine corps; that while holding this office he has been employed as a messenger to the commandant and staff of that corps.
Note. There is a report on this about a page lone, if would like to read ir write me and I will be glad to see that you recive one.

2. In 1789, Cornelius Maxwell, asked to be employed as attendant on the Senate, was appointed one of it’s messengers. In 1797, he was James Mathers, assistant who was the doorkeeper of the House of Representatives at the time. In 1795, James Mathers, Doorkeeper, three dollars per day, and to Cornelius Maxwell, Assistant Doorkeeper, two dollars a day, as compensation for their respective attendance during this special session of the Senate, over and above their stated allowance. Cornelius Maxwell died in 1798.

3. 1852, Samuel Mickum, praying to be allowed an increase of salary for the time he was chief messenger in the Navy Department.

4. James Wilkinson (1757-1825), the son of a Maryland planter, had obtained a captain's commission in the Continental Army in 1776 and risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel the following year. He served as Gen. Horatio Gates' adjutant general during the Saratoga campaign and was the messenger who delivered official news of Gates' victory to Congress, thereby gaining the recognition that led Congress to appoint him brigadier general in November 1777 and secretary to the Board of War in January 1778. Wilkinson's promotion to such high rank for so slight a cause was highly resented in the army and led him to resign his commission early in March 1778. Later in the month he also resigned as secretary of the Board of War owing to his inability to get along with board president Horatio Gates, who never forgave Wilkinson for inadvertently revealing the contents of the celebrated letter to Gates from Gen. Thomas Conlvay.

5. Lieutenant STEPHEN M. WELD, was of a Virginia regiment under the command of General Pope.

Washington, D. C., October 15, 1861.

Brigadier General A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report in the case of Alfred Nettleton confined in the city jail here since the 11th of September ultimo on a charge of being in correspondence with the rebels that he states to one of my operatives detailed to examine him in prison that he is thirty-nine years of age; that he was born in Middle Haddam, Conn. ; that he has two children staying with his father in Hartford County; that he was a messenger in the Navy Department, Bureau of Construction, during the last Administration; that the resigned April 20 fearing he would be removed and went home to his friends where he remained until the fore part of September when he returned here and was arrested on the 11th of the month; that complaint was made by one John Hammond, a huckster in the Northern Liberty Market; that he was always a strong Democrat while Hammond claimed to be for Lincoln; that he never communicated any information to the rebels and that nothing could be further from his intentions; that he claims to be a Union man and is willing to take the oath of allegiance.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Dist. of Upper Arkansas, Fort Riley, Kans.

Fort Larned, Kans., June 12, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to report that messengers arrived at this post yesterday from Lieutenant Hennion, Second Colorado Cavalry, in command of escort of twenty men to Shrewsbury & Co. 's mule train of corn from Leavenworth, informing me that he was in corral near Pawnee Rock, sixteen miles east of this place, and engaged with upward of 100 Indians who had made an attack upon the train. In two hours and forty minutes after the messengers left Lieutenant Hennion I arrived at the train with 150 mounted men, and found that Lieutenant Hennion had dispersed the Indians without loss of any of his escort or animals, but had not sufficient force to pursue them. An ox train of eleven wagons loaded with commissary stores for Fort Union was on the lower road eight miles lower down the river than where the attack was made on Lieutenant Hennion, and without an escort.

When the Indians left they went in the direction of this train. I immediately dispatched Captain Walker, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, with about seventy-five men to the relief of this train, which was reported corralled when last seen by some of Lieutenant Hennion's party. Upon Captain Walker's arrival he found the train and stock all safe, with the exception of one wagon, which was nearly half a mile in the rear when the Indians were first discovered, and not having time to close up, the drive was compelled to abandon his team and make his escape as best he could to the corral. The only casualty was one man wounded in the arm. The Indians sacked the wagon, which was loaded with desiccated potatoes, vinegar, and pepper. Killed two of the oxen before leaving the wagon and drove four across the river. The Indians showed themselves to Captain Walker upon the bluff, three-quarters of a mile distant, upon the opposite side of the river, which is unusually high and cannot be forded and only crossed by swimming.

Two messengers, Corporal Hicks and Private Huestis, Company K, Second Colorado Cavalry, arrived at this post on the evening of the 10th instant from Fort Zarah with dispatches from district headquarters, and left at 9 a. m. on the morning of the 11th (yesterday) with return dispatches. On my way out to the relief of Lieutenant Hennion, Huestis' body was found lying near the road four miles this side of Ash Creek, scalped, stripped, and otherwise mutilated. Near the crossing of Ash Creek Corporal Hicks' body was found in the road, stripped, his head, feet, and hands entirely severed, and his body mutilated in a most shocking and barbarous manner.

It appears that the Indians laid in wait, concealed in the bed of the creek, and succeeded in killing Corporal Hicks immediately, and Huestis, more fortunate for the moment, made his escape and fled for the post, but was overtaken and killed after a chase of four miles. He is said to have been mounted on one of the fleetest horses in the regiment, and was an expert rider. Two messengers for Fort Dodge on the evening of the 19th were driven back by a party of eleven Indians, as will be seen by my report of yesterday, a copy of which I forward; also tri-monthly report for June 10, the originals having been lost by messengers. The number of troops reported at this post is too meager to protect the stock, do the garrison duty, and leave any for raiding purposes. The great amount of stock collected in the immediate neighborhood by the accumulation of trains outward bound awaiting escort keeps the grass short, which compels the cavalry to herd their stock a long distance from the post, making it both inconvenient and insecure, and which requires all the spare troops to protect.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Post.

Note. I believe the Corporal was George M. Hicks, as it’s hard to tell as there were 9, Hicks in this company, The privet was Samuel J. Huestis.

49 WALL STREET, NEW YORK CITY, October 12, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I understand that Mr. William J. Walker, of the city of Washington, D. C., was arrested some weeks since and now is confined in said city under suspicion of disloyalty to the Government. Permit me to say that in the summer and fall of 1853 I occupied a house on the east side of Twelfth street, just above F street, said city, and in conesquence became acquainted with Mrs. Oceana Walker who occupied (and still occupies) the house immediately adjoining on the north. I ere long discovered that Mrs. Walker was in very reduced circumstances and had a considerable family of children on her hands without means of support. Both Mrs. Smith and myself were lad to take a deep interest in her case and ultimately went to Postmaster-General Campbell (under President Pierce's Administration) and made a strong appeal to him in favor of her son, William J., and thus got him appointed a messenger in the General Post-Office at a salary of $600 or $700 per year, which office he held for a considerable period but ultimately resigned it in favor of his brother who holds it to this day.

No comments: