Philip S. Holmes, Private, Residence Stockton, age 27, married, mustered In October 11, 1862. Wounded at Irish Bend, April 14, 1863, company mustered out August 17, 1863.
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Born in Dennisville, Cape May County, New Jersey, March 11th, 1835 At the age of twelve years began to follow the sea ; was in the South American and West India trade; came to Stockton, or as it was then called, South Prospect, Maine, about the year 1853, in the schooner "Northern Eagle," with Captain J F Groce from Norfolk, Virginia. Made six voyages to the Grand Banks, and after returning married Ameline Staples; have had three children, two girls and a boy, (lost one girl when about seven years old) Was in South America when the war broke out ; came home to Stockton and enlisted in the Twenty-Sixth Regiment, Company K, as a private.
I had a fox squirrel caught at the battle of Irish Bend. The " Queen of the West," a rebel gunboat, threw a shot which struck a tree and knocked a nest of young squirrels out ; I got one and put it in my haversack, and I always carried him with me. I had him at Port Hudson and when lying in the trenches in the day time he would go off and be gone for some time but on the firing of a gun he would come back on the run and dive for the old haversack. Before long the squirrel had become so tame that it would go the full length of the regimental line, jumping from shoulder to shoulder of the men, but it always came back and crept into my knapsack to sleep.
In this way it followed me all through my service in the army and when I was wounded at Irish Bend the squirrel was found tucked snugly in the breast of my coat and it refused to leave me even at the- hospital. I brought him home and he was given the full run of the farm and would go off into the woods and fields but always returned at meal times and to sleep. And where did it sleep but in the old haversack which was kept hung up on the corner of the chimney-place, filled with paper.
One day, in cleaning house, Mrs. Holmes neglected to hang the haversack back in its place, and when the squirrel found it was gone it, too, disappeared but was afterwards found snugly tucked in my old knapsack at the bottom of a barrel in a shed and beneath a lot of papers as well. The haversack was returned to its place and the squirrel slept in that the remainder of his life. This wasn't for long, as one day he was missed and never returned. I think some one shot him.