Monday, November 19, 2012


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Captain J. W. Hervey was born in New Bedford, Mass., February 2, 1838. He was educated in the schools of his native city. Passing through the grammar and high school, he fitted for college at the Friends Acad emy, and in 1856 entered Yale, where he remained until 1860. Before he went to the war, he was employed in the Mechanics Bank, and was a member of the Home Guard during the first year of the war. Enlisting as a private in Company A of the Forty-first Massachusetts Infantry Volunteers, August 23, 1862, he was mustered as First Lieutenant, August 31, 1862 ; commissioned Captain, February 8, 1863, and was honor ably discharged March 5, 1864, on surgeon s certificate of disability. Captain 1 ; Hervey was seriously injured while on picket in Louisiana.

After the war, he held a position in the Mechanics National Bank, for many years. He is now agent for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wis.


THE Forty-first boys got up a concert one evening. Wishing the use of a piano, half a dozen of us, one rainy day, called at a house in the city, and asked permission of the lady of the house to use the piano.  She said she had strong objections. The boys said I must be spokesman ; so I asked her what they were.

Well," she said, spitefully, " you Yankees won t allow my daughter to sing our national songs, and I am not willing that you should sing yours in my house."

Said I : " The sentiments of the songs we sing are such as you are in duty bound to respect."

In reply, she said: "Our songs are as dear to us as yours are to you."

I said You have no right to have any national songs."

" My heart," says she is with the Confederacy. I love it. I am all bound up in it ; and why should I not be ? for my brother fell at Murfreesboro, and my husband is still in the field."

I told her I pitied her, and that she was an unfortunate woman to be so bound up in such an unrighteous Confederacy ; but that we did not come there to discuss those matters. We assured her we were gentlemen ; that we intended her, or her property, no harm.

" Well," says she, " if you will come in, I can t help it, for I am a defenceless, unarmed woman." And, turning abruptly, she left us.

THE following letter, written by Captain Hervey, will be read with much interest by many comrades of the regiment. It throws much light on the kind of service the regiment was called upon to render during the fall of
1862 and 63 :

Dec. ist, 1863.

MY DEAR WIFE This first day of December, and more particularly the 3Oth ult, will always be remembered as among the saddest of our experience as soldiers. Again had the wires been cut, and a force of thirty men, under command of Lieutenant Twitchell, had been sent to repair the difficulty. On the day of their return, the Colonel, fearing they might meet with trouble, ordered a detail of fifty men, under command of Captain Muzzey and Lieutenants W. A. Gove and Geo.W. Howland, to proceed toward Baton Rouge, to meet them. About two miles from the fortifications, an ambuscade had been carefully planned for the Baton Rouge squad ; but as luck would have it, the relieving force fell into it.  Now, see how nicely they had planned it. They had cut the wires, a few miles below, knowing that the force from Baton Rouge would be delayed till nearly dark in repairing it. The force sent out at i o clock, P.M., had divided into three squads. Lieutenant Gove had the advance ; Captain Muzzey the main force, and Lieutenant Howland the rear guard.

The latter was sent around by the right following a Cut-off. The others proceeded along the Baton Rouge road, and, when about half a mile belowPlains Store,the advance guard received a volley from a force of 150 rebels in ambush. The vol ley was accompanied by unearthly yells, which frightened the horses, rendering them quite unmanageable. This occurred in a bend of the road, and the advance at the time was concealed from the rest of the force. Hearing the volley, the main body galloped forward, but saw neither the advance (who had scattered to the woods), nor the rebels ; and the first intimation they had of a concealed force was another volley. Captain Muzzey tried to rally his men ; but as the rebs now rushed out of the woods in overwhelming numbers, and endeavored to surround them (who numbered scarcely thirty men), they took to the woods, when the corps fell in with Lieutenant Howland, who was coming to its assistance with all haste. He had but seven men. We lost two killed, and three mortally wounded; (and these latter have since died;) one Lieutenant wounded and taken prisoner, to gether with four privates. Several were wounded, but not seriously. I lost two from my company Private Charles R. Booth and Charles B. Douglass. Company C also lost two killed, one of whom was a New Bedford boy  Franklyn Nye enlisted by J. F. Vinal.

I am pained to inform you of the death of Chas. A. Lucas, formerly a Sergeant in Company A. I had forwarded his discharge papers, but he died before they could avail him. It is a sad day for me ; but such is War. God grant a speedy termination of the strife Poor Gove, a prisoner ! He was shot, and his horse, stumbling, threw him and stunned him, and he was easily captured.

It is now Monday, the 7th of December. As I write, a flag of truce has been to Jackson The party found Lieutenant Gove comfortable. Every attention was shown him, and, upon his word of honor that he would not attempt to escape, he was allowed the freedom of the town.

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