Monday, October 29, 2012

Charles D. Sandford, 27th. Massachusetts

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Capt. Charles D. Sandford.

Charles Durand Sandford, son of our first chaplain, Rev. Miles Sandford, was born in Pontiac, Mich., March 20, 1840, from which place he moved successively to Detroit, Chicago, Boston and North Adams. He was fitted for college by his mother, and graduated at Williams College in 1858, at eighteen years of age, and three years later from Albany Law University. Fired by the national insult at Fort Sumter, he returned to North Adams, and enlisted A, company, his name heading the list. He was commissioned first lieutenant Oct. 16, 1861, and promoted captain Dec. 7, 1861, in Company H From first to last he was intrepid, zealous, intelligent and discreet, and his acts a heritage of lustre and fame to the regiment. Capt. Sandford was present in every action of the regiment until his death, save the siege of Little Washington, at which time he was at Plymouth. He had several engagements with the enemy with forces under his special command, notably: Gum Swamp, June 28, 1862; Core Creek, Sept. 30, 1862 ; and Rocky Hock Creek, March 23, 1863, in all of which engagements he signally defeated the enemy. He was judge advocate during the summer and fall of 1862, and provost marshal of New Berne from June to November, 1863, when, by his own request, he was relieved, that he might share with his men their hardships, dangers and victories.

On account of our exposed situation, Capt. Sandford was accorded the position of honor at the right of the regirment, before Drewry's Bluff, May 15, 1864, and during the attack of the 16th magnetized his men with his invincible spirit. For an hour he stood with them, using his revolver, until, as the enemy charged the last time, he shouted, "Stand to the rack, boys; don't flinch!" when a Minie ball pierced his forehead, traversed his brain, and escaped near the centre of the back of his head. He fell across the rifle of one of his men just in the act of firing, and came heavily to the ground upon his face. He was a worthy son of his Alma Mater, of indomitable energy, finished and comprehensive scholarship, manliness and docility of character, magnanimity and sympathy of heart. With a wonderful memory, his knowledge of fact and detail made him an enoyclopedia of reference, rarely in error. His whole hearted consecration to his country only increased his love for literature, which was insatiable. Capt. Sandford was a Christian, too, of unostentatious, retiring piety, yet of such firm convictions as to give him decision of character and purpose. The North Adams Post No. 79, Grand Army of
the Republic, has the honor to bear his name.

Pages from the 27th., regimental history.

Companies D and H of the Twenty-Seventh Mass. Regiment, left Camp Warner for outpost duty at Bachelor's Creek, the 21st inst. At one o'clock a.m., the 28th of  July, they left the creek under command of Capt. C. D. Sandford, accompanied by a detachment of cavalry, to surprise the enemy's "cavalry outpost'' at " Gum Swamp." One of the enemy's videttes was discovered about daylight, who, failing to discharge his carbine, hastily retreated to warn his camp, followed by Capt. Sandford's force at doublequick. The viditte had barely time to give the alarm, before our men were upon them, delivering a volley into them as they retreated towards Kinston. This volley frightened the horses which were tethered near by, so that many broke loose and escaped. They secured twenty horses, with the entire camp equipage, stores and arms, beside nine prisoners who were run down in the open field by our men.  Beside these, the enemy lost two killed and two wounded, while our companies escaped without a casualty.

On the 23d, an expedition consisting of Companies F, I and K, Twenty-Fifth Mass., and Company H, Twenty- Seventh Mass. Regiments, started for Wingfield to assist Lieut. James J. McLane of the First North Carolina Union Regiment, who had been attacked by the Forty-Second North Carolina and a Virginia regiment. On their arrival at Wingfield they learned of the defeat of the enemy, and also that the gunboats had prevented a part of the rebels from crossing the river, and that these were now in the vicinity of Rocky Hoc Creek. Our force landed at Holly's Landing, five miles below Wingfield, at daj'light the 24th. Capt. Sandford pressed rapidly forward, reaching Rocky Hoc Creek at eight o'clock. Capt. Denny of the Twenty-Fifth Mass., being in command, ordered Capt. Sandford to cross the creek, after doing which, our men advanced a short distance, and developed the enemy in a heavy thicket. Company H engaged them sharply, but was driven back to the gunboats, when the " Perry" and two guns on the " Faron " opened on the enemy. Reinforced by Capt. Foss's company of the Twenty-Fifth, Capt. Sandford recharged the enemy, capturing one officer, with one of their killed and eighteen of their wounded, all of the Forty-Second North Carolina.

April 30th Capt. Sandford, with volunteers from the Twenty-Seventh and Twenty-Fifth Mass. Regiments, under command of Capt. Flusser of the navy, went up the Roanoke to Hyman's Landing, to capture a post of the enemy. Mr. Hyman was brought out in his night dress, but was ignorant of any rebel post iu that vicinity, until the probing of Capt. Flusser's sword reminded him that there was one near a small house three miles distant. Capt. Sandford at once marched to the point indicated, and captured twelve cavalrymen with horses and equipments.

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