Monday, August 06, 2012

Alexander Beach, New Jersey.

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Alexander Beach, Jr., enlisted May 30th, 1861, as a private in Company K, Second New Jersey Volunteers ; was commissioned Second Lieutenant, Company B, Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, August 16th, 1862; First Lieutenant, March 6th, 1863; Adjutant, August 26th, 1863; Captain, Company I, June 13th, 1865 ; wounded at Chancellorsville, May 4, 1863.  Adjutant Beach was, under all circumstances, a thorough and reliable officer, and during his term of service, by his upright and manly bearing as a soldier, he commanded? the respect and -confidence of his superior officers. He received special mention for his gallant behavior at the battle of Locust Grove. He now resides in Newark, N. J.

The wounding of Alexander Beach.

The next day (the 5th) the rebel sharpshooters kept up an annoying fire, and several men of the Eleventh were wounded, among them Lieutenant Beach. When Beach was struck, one of Berdan's Sharpshooters asked " if that fellow hit any one." When told that Beach was struck, he replied : " I have my eye on the "Son-of- ." The next instant there was a report, and the " reb " came tumbling out of a tree. During the 4th and 5th, besides Lieutenant Beach, twenty-three men were wounded. Had the regiment remained in position at the edge of the wood during the entire artillery fire it would have been almost annihilated.

Lieutenant Beach, who was wounded at Chancellorsville, relates the following interesting incident, which occurred on his way to Washington :

" I was wounded early in the morning of the last day of the fight, and was put in an ambulance with a wounded Confederate belonging to an Alabama regiment. We were driven to the steamer at Aquia Creek to be transported to Washington. The Confederate was laid on a cot next to mine on the upper deck.  Before we left the dock, President Lincoln telegraphed he was coming down to look after the wounded, and the vessel was detained until he arrived. As he came on our deck, grasping the hand and speaking a word of comfort to every one, the Alabamian asked me who it was coming. I told him it was President Lincoln. He then asked me if the President would speak to him. I replied I thought so. When the President came to his cot, he took his hand and asked about his comfort and if his wound had been dressed, and showed as much interest in his welfare as he did in any of our own soldiers. When he left, the Confederate was in tears and was completely overcome by the kindly interest of the man against whose authority he was fighting. He said he hoped to live to return to his home and tell his people how the great heart of Abraham Lincoln had gone out toward him a " rebel."


Britt Isenberg said...

Thank you very much for sharing this story! I have an original signed image from Beach and stumbled across your great post. I was just curious if you'd be willing to share where you found this great story, or if I'd be able to cite your blog to share the story. Thanks so much!

Dennis Segelquist said...

Britt, that info came from ( History of the Eleventh New Jersey Infantry ), by Thomas D. Marbaker, publ. 1898.It can be found and read on line.