Thursday, July 28, 2011

Liteutenant Colonel James C. Rice.

 Numbers 135. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel James C Rice, Forty-fourth New York Infantry of the battles of Gaines' Mill and Malvern Hill.
Third Brigade, General Butterfield Commanding, July 4, 1862.
CAPTAIN: As field officer of the day for the 27th day of June last I have the honor to report that at daybreak the brigade the brigade was under arms and in motion toward the field selected as the position of defense against the expected attack of the enemy. The natural character of this position of defense is as extended field of high rolling ground, skirted in front and on the right by a thin copse of woods and a small creek running through a deep ravine. On the left a meadow extends along the banks of the Chickahominy as far as the eye can reach, while the rear is protected by the same river, with the low, marshy ground and the dense growth of forest through which it runs. The ground in front of this position, and which was taken by the enemy as his line of attack, is high and rolling, overlooking the meadow and frequently furrowed by deep ravines and sluggish streams. Over these ravines and streams our forces had previously thrown strong timbered bridges, to gain easy access to those which had been built across the Chickahominy.
As early as 8 o'clock in the morning the reserve, of which our brigade formed a part, had taken its position, while the main force and rear guard were gradually and joining it. The general had assigned to the pioneers of the brigade the duty of destroying three bridge lying between the house of Dr. Gaines and the line of our defenses as soon as the rear guard had passed, and ordered me to take command of the same, and see that the work should be effectually and faithfully accomplished, so as to check the advance of the enemy's artillery. In obedience with this order I at once examined the construction of the bridges, and determined upon the most expeditious manner in which they could be destroyed. Having prepared everything for the speedy destruction of these bridges I rode forward to the rear guard, which was now vigorously pressed by the enemy, leaving the pioneers, with axes and spades in their hands, under the command of Sergeant-Major Kydd, of the Sixteenth Michigan Volunteers, ready to commence the cutting away of the same as soon as I should conduct the rear of the guard safely across. Although the enemy was in sight, he seemed to have mistaken the course taken by our forces, and pressed considerably beyond Dr. Gaines' house, on the main road, before he truly apprehended our position. This fortunate circumstance enabled me to conduct the last of our artillery safely across the bridges, to effectually destroy them, and to securely fall back with the pioneers.
In successfully performing this duty I was greatly assisted by Orderly-Sergeant Grannis, of Company H, Forty-fourth New York Volunteers, and Sergeant-Major Kydd, of the Sixteenth Michigan Volunteers. I would especially commend the conduct of these two non-commissioned officers to the favorable notice of the general. Nor would I forget to speak in terms of admiration of the good order in which the rear guard fell back, and especially of the invaluable services of Captain Robertson, commanding a battery of United States flying artillery, which covered the retreat.
The bridges having been destroyed between the rear guard and the enemy, I reported the fact to the general, who immediately ordered me to superintend the felling of the trees in front of his brigade as an abatis, and the construction of a dam on our extreme left across the stream, to more effectually obstruct the approach of the enemy. The Forty-fourth New York Volunteers, holding the extreme left of the line, had thrown up a temporary earthwork of considerable strength by order of the general, in addition to the other defenses he had ordered for the protection of the brigade. These speedily-thrown defenses eventually saved the left of the line from entire annihilation. Scarcely had these obstructions been thrown up before the line of skirmishers in front of the brigade gave evidence of the approach of the enemy. For nearly two hours, while the enemy was moving his troops into position on our center and right, the skirmishers and sharpshooters of the brigade held in check the right of the enemy's forces, and frequently compelled entire regiments to fall back under cover of the woods to escape their deadly fire. The effectiveness of this line of skirmishers and sharpshooters in front of our masked forces deserves especially notice. They not only constantly reported to the general the movements and disposition of the enemy's forces, but continually thinned his ranks by their unerring fire. I would commend to the favorable notice of the general the commanders of the skirmishers, who so often during the day feel gave their lives to promptly inform him of the movements of the enemy. The names of these officers, belonging to the Forty-fourth New York Volunteers are Captain Larrabee. Lieutenants Gaskell, Kelly, Webber, Becker, and Orderly-Sergeant Grannis.
I would also most favorably mention in this connection the name of Acting Adjutant Lieutenant E. A. Nash, who was with the skirmishers in front most of the day and constantly communicating the various changer in position taken by the enemy. Nor would I forget to mention here the most gallant conduct of Major Barnum, of the Twelfth New York Volunteers, who constantly exposed his life to gain information as to the position of the enemy during the day. This gallant officer now sleeps in death. He fell mortally wounded at the head of his regiment on the 1st instant. His last word were, "My wife, my boy, my country's flag." The thousand streams of the Peninsula are red with the best blood of the North, but none are crimsoned with purer and nobler than that which flowed from his heart-a heart entirely devoted to his country. I would also most favorably mention the gallant con duct of Major Ernest Von Vegesack, aide-de-camp, Major Welch, and Captain Hoyt, whose services during the day were invaluable to the general commanding.
At thirty minutes past 12 o'clock in the afternoon the enemy commenced along our entire line a most determined attack. On the left of the line he was constantly repulsed till 6 o'clock in the afternoon, when an entire brigade of his forces charged upon our lines, broke through the left of the forces on our right, and vigorously attacked the right flank of our brigade. Thus sever pressed on the right and in front by a superior force, the Eighty-third Pennsylvania and the Twelfth New York, which supported it, were obliged to fall back. They were now quickly rallied by the general commanding, who ordered at once the Sixteenth Michigan to their support. Here, animated by the immediate presence and encouraging words of the general, these regiments sustained for a few moments a most murderous fire. Not far from this point of time Colonel McLane, of the Eighty-third Pennsylvania, gallantly fell at the head of his regiment, the noblest soldier of us all-fell honored, loved, mourned by us all. Here, too, fell Major Naghel and many other gallant officers of the same regiment, who freely gave their lives for their country. They all sleep well. Their names are immortal.
At this time the enemy had turned the right of our entire line of battle and the center was falling back, when the commanding officer of the Forty-fourth New York Volunteers with the left wing of the regiment commenced to retreat, and at length to fly toward the Chickahominy. I was in command of the right wing, and as soon as I saw the conduct of the left wing I was fired with indignation and anger, for not a moment before the entire regiment had assured the general, who had visited it under a terrible fire and animated it to deeds of valor by cheering words, that he might depend upon its constancy. With such feelings I at once ordered the right wing to stand firm, and overtook the left before it had reached the river. I halted the columns, seized the colors, rallied the battalion with the assistance of Captain Conner, and in line of battle led it back under a murderous fire to its original position. I regret to report the commanding officer of the regiment and Captain Walsh, of Company e, fled across the river at this time, and did not join their regiment till the next day at 11 o'clock a. m. Scarcely had the regiment been reformed and advanced to its original position before the enemy was closing fast upon our rear and right in overpowering numbers and pouring into our ranks a most deadly fire. The regiment was at once ordered to leap over the earthwork and our its fire into the ranks of the enemy, now closing in upon us from the rear and right. At the same time the enemy had pushed forward a regiment not more than 100 yards to our front, now our rear.
The Eighty-third Pennsylvania and Sixteenth Michigan had quickly changed front to meet the attack of this regiment.
Information was now brought to me by our skirmishers that this regiment desired to lay down its arm and surrender. This information as to the desire of this to surrender, in addition to the fact that our skirmishers had already taken 20 prisoners and were just bringing in 10 others from this very regiment induced me to send out Captain Conner, a trusty officer, to ascertain the facts. At the same time I was impressed with the apprehension that the reason why this regiment so long withheld its fire arose from the fact that it had mistaken us from the opposite direction of our fire for its friends. This apprehension soon proved true. in the mean time the Eighty-third Pennsylvania and the Sixteenth Michigan, not being able to stand the deadly fire of the enemy from the right and rear, joined the Forty-fourth New York.
Now the enemy was drawing nearer around us, but still we poured into his advancing ranks a terrible fire. At this moment Major Von Vegesack, aide-de-camp, informed me that the general had ordered him to bring off from the field the remaining regiments of the order to retreat. I at once sorrowfully beheld the utter hopelessness of the unequal contest and ordered a retreat. The column had scarcely passed by the right flank from the rear of the earthworks and filed into the ravine running for short distance in the direction of the river before the regiment of the enemy in our rear discovered its mistake and opened upon us a severe fire, while along the entire right upon the crest of the hill the enemy poured into our ranks from both musketry and artillery a sheet of iron and lead. Still the column pressed forward across the long meadow, its ranks becoming thinner and thinner, till at length through marsh through and swamp and tangled under wood, dense and almost impassable, amid falling trees and bursting shells, it reached the river, and plunging in, waded to the opposite bank. In this retreat not less than 100 of this fragment of the brigade were either killed or wounded. Having crossed the river, I formed the fragments of the brigade in line and commenced the march toward the headquarters of General McClellan. When opposite the headquarters of General Smith his assistant adjutant-general informed me that the general desired the troops under my command to support him against an expected attack of the enemy during the night, and expected attack of the enemy during the night, and desired that I should place the same in rifle pits to the left of the for this purpose. I promptly obeyed the order, although the command was exhausted and without food or ammunition. General Smith at once ordered rations and ammunition to be served out in abundance to the command, and soon made its wet and weary soldiers comfortable and cheerful by his soldier-like kindness.
My command, well quartered and supplied with food, I started at 11 o'clock at night, and walked with Captain Campbell, of the Eighty-third Pennsylvania, to the headquarters of General McClellan, to report to the general commanding the brigade, when I received orders to bring up my command to that place, which I did on the morning of the 28th ultimo, and reported the same to the general. The Forty-forth New York lost in this battle 5 killed, 22 wounded, and 29 missing. Most of the missing were killed or wounded in the retreat and remained in the hands of the enemy. Captains Van Derlip and McRoberts and Lieutenants Gaskell and Becker were wounded in this battle.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JAMES C. RICE,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Battle of Fort Fisher.

A while back I received a letter from Ted Stone, in which he told me of his work and he states in part;

Dennis, On page 417 of the Official Orders is the names of Union soldiers that were recommended for the Medal of Honor but never received them. The recommendation order was lost, then found, and lost again. I hired a researcher who found the order. I have sent a copy to Congressman Bill Owens office in NY as well as all the evidence I have .They have forwarded the info to the Dept. of the Army for review. I check back with them from time to time to see how they are progressing.

I have placed the report of the battle here. After reading the report and you find that you would like to know more about his work or have a question he can be reach him at the following.

Numbers 11. Report of Brigadier General Adelbert Ames, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.

Fort Fisher, N. C. January 16, 1865.

I have the honor to submit the following report of the late movements and operations of this division:

On the right of the 2nd the division, which had just returned to its camp from a demonstration against this point, received orders to prepare for a second expedition. It left camp on the 3rd, and embarked on ocean transports at Bermuda Hundred between the hours of 7 and 9 p. m. on the 4th instant.

The transport fleet sailed from Fortress Monroe on the morning of the 6th, and the troops disembarked some four miles north of Fort Fisher on the 13th instant.

At 3 p. m. on the 15th we stormed Fort Fisher. Byt. Brigadier General N. M. Curtis' brigade (the First) made a lodgment on the northwest angle of the fort. I immediately ordered up Colonel g. Pennypacker's brigade (the Second). The enemy was at once driven from behind the palisading extending from the fort to the river, and about one-third of the work, its northwest angle, occupied by us. I then ordered up Colonel Bell's brigade (the Third), and moved it forward against and in rear of the sea-face of the work, the ground being much obstructed by the ruins of the barracks, lumber, and other rubbish. The enemy, being protected by traverses, and taking advantage of the cover afforded by magazines, &c., checked our advance. Fighting of a most obstinate character continued till after dark, during which time we made considerable advancement on the left and captured about 400 prisoners. About 8 p. m. Colonel Abbott, with his brigade, completed the occupation of the face of the work extending from the ocean to the river. A general advance was now made, and the for occupied without opposition.

The conduct of the officers and men of this division was most gallant. Aided by the fire of the navy, and an attacking column of sailors and marines along the sea beach, we wee able to pass over the open ground in front of the fort through the gaps in the palisading in the ditch made by the naval fire, and finally to carry the work.

Where the name of every officer and man engaged in this desperate conflict should be submitted, I shall at present only be able to give a few of those most conspicuous. It is to be hoped they all may be properly rewarded.

Byt. Brigadier General N. M. Curtis, commanding First Brigade, was prominent throughout the day for his bravery, coolness, and judgment. His services cannot be over-estimated. He fell a short time before dark seriously wounded in the head by a canister-shot.

Colonel G. Pennypacker, commanding Second Brigade, was seriously wounded while planting his colors on the third traverse of the work. This officer was surpassed by none, and hid absence during the day most deeply felt and seriously regretted.

Colonel L. Bell, commanding Third Brigade, was mortally wounded while crossing the bridge in advance of the palisading. He was an able and efficient officer; one not easily replaced.

I here submit the names of the regimental commanders, and in connection with the brigade commanders is the credit due them for the heroes conduct of their men:

Regimental commanders First Brigade: One hundred and forty-second New York Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel A. M. Barley; One hundred and seventeenth New York Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel F. X. Meyer; One hundred and twelfth New York Volunteers, Colonel J. F. Smith; Third New York Volunteers, Lieutenant E. A. Behan. Second Brigade: Forty-eighth New York Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel W. B. Coan; Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel J. S. Littell; Forty-seventh New York Volunteers, Captain J. M. McDonald; Two hundred and third Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel J. W. Moore; Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, First Lieutenant J. Wainwright.* Third Brigade: One hundred and sixty-ninth New York Volunteers, Colonel Alonzo Alden; Thirteenth Indiana Volunteers, Lieutenant col. S. M. Zent; Fourth New Hamsphire Volunteers, Captain J. H. Roberts; One hundred and fifteenth New York Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel N. J. Johnson.

Colonel J. W. Moore, Two hundred and third Pennsylvania Volunteers, behaved with the most distinguished gallantry. He was killed while passing the second traverse of the fort, in advance of his regiment, waving his colors. Few equaled, none surpassed this brave officer.

Page 417. Lieutenant Colonel S. M. Zent, in command of the Thirteenth Indiana, with his own regiment and a detachment of volunteers from the First Brigade, numbering in all 100 men, deployed within 200 or 300 yards of the fort, and by their fire materially aided our advance.

Major J. H. Lawrence, Thirteenth Indiana Volunteers, and Lieutenant Colonel J. A. Colvin, One hundred and sixty-ninth New York Volunteers, also behaved in the most gallant manner, and rendered efficient service in collecting and organizing the troops which had become separated from their commands in the charge, and in leading them to positions where important advantages were gained. Captain G. W. Huckins, Fourth New Hamsphire Volunteers, and First Lieutenant J. Kinigs, Seventh U. S. Colored Troops, aides on the staff of Colonel L. Bell, commanding Third Brigade, were untiring in their labors, and rendered valuable services in the absence of my staff officers, who had been stricken down in the early part of the engagement.

Privates Alric Chapin, James Spring, Company G, One hundred and forty-second, and D. C. Hotchkiss, Company A, O. R. Kingsland, Company D, One hundred and twelfth New York Volunteers, volunteered to approach to a point considerably in advance of our skirmish line, which they did do, and by this strip valuable information with reference to the ditch was gained. Privates James Cadman (wounded), William Cabe, Company B; George Hoyt, S. R. Porteous, Company C; D. H. Morgan, Edward Petrie, Company E; E. H. Cooper, Company G (wounded); Silas Baker, Company H (missing); George Merell, William J. McDuff, Company I; Z. C. Neahr*, Bruce Anderson, Company K, One hundred and forty-second New York Volunteers, volunteered to advance with the head of the column and cut down the palisading.

Copies of the reports of the brigade commanders will be forwarded. In them will be found lists of officers and men who particularly distinguished themselves. It is recommended that medals be bestowed upon all enlisted men mentioned.

To my staff officers am I particularly indebted for their zeal and gallantry throughout the day. They were constantly passing to and from, and exposed to the hottest fire. I would respectfully recommend that they be brevetted for their services: Captain Charles A. Carleton, assistant adjutant-general; Captain A. G. Lawrence, acting aide-de-camp; Captain H. C. Lockwood, aide-de-camp; Captain R. W. Dawson, acting assistant inspector-general; Captain J. S. Mathews, provost-marshal; Captain B. B. Keeler, mustering officer.

Captain Lawrence was the first man through the palisading, and while extending his land to receive a guidon which he intended to place on the parapet of the work, a shell exploded near him, taking off his left arm and seriously injuring his throat. He was afterward shot in the right arm. For his services on this occasion, as well as those on a former one, I most earnestly urge his promotion. Captain Dowson was disabled by a wound in the left arm. To Captain Lockwood, General Whiting and Colonel Lamb surrendered, with the garrison at Fort Buchanan.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Front Street Of Dodge City Kansas.

The summer of 1958, was a exciting year for me and my brother as are grandparents were taken us on a trip to Cololrado. On the way we stopped at Dodge City I remember being so excited I was going to see some real cowboys. Being only 12, and watching to many westerns on TV, I was really expecting to see real cowboys. After we arrived I soon learns that there were no real cowboys and this famous front street was just another tourist trap. This however did not take away my fascinating to the old buildings which stayed with me till this day.

This page is a photo gallery of the front street of Dodge City, it well cover the years of 1870-1895, you well see the changes as the years passes by. On the front of many of the stores you well be able to read the names of the store and the owners. I well tell you about some of them and some of the happenings around them. After reading this page you my want to learn more about the stories and the men behind them. The best book that I found and always thaen notes from it, it's called; Great Gunfighters of the Kansas Cowtowns, 1867-1886. By Nyle H. Miller & Joseph W. Snell.

Inportant note. These photos may not be in any order, after each note there will be a link that will give you a full screen view of the photo once the photo opens push on it.

This black and white picture shows a group of men in the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas. Lo Warren is the bartender.  Picture taken in 1886.

This picture shows an exterior view of the Drug Store on the northwest corner of 2nd and Front Street in Dodge City, Kansas. Several men are seen posing for the photograph in front of the store, and a boy is partially visible behind the post on the left. The man on the right of the group is Dr. T. L. McCarty, identified as the first doctor in Dodge City.  If you would like to learn more about Thomas L. McCarty take this link to a page I did on him.

A view of men and children on the sidewalk in front of the Drover's Store and J. Muellers Shop.  Taken in 1874.

Picture of Front Street showing Hoover & McDonald Wholesale Dealers, O.K. Clothing Store, and Billiards, Dodge City, Kansas. F.C. Zimmermann is standing by the rail in front of Hoover & McDonald.

A picture showing the exterior of Frederick C. Zimmerman's hardware store located on Front Street in Dodge City, Kansas. The store's sign advertised guns, pistols, ammunition, hardware, tin ware, and the repair of guns and pistols. Some of the people in the photograph are identified as (right to left)Mrs. George Rose; Clarissa Zimmerman, Frederick and Matilda Zimmerman's daughter, in the baby carriage; Mrs. Matilda Zimmerman; Arthur Zimmerman, Frederick and Matilda Zimmerman's son; and Frederick C. Zimmerman.  If you would like to learn more on Frederick C. Zimmerman take this link to a page I did on him.

This picture is a street scene in Dodge City, in Ford County, depicts three of the town's buildings. The building on the left was the first dance hall in Dodge City, owned by a man named Jones. The second building was a grocery and general store owned by George O. Smith and J. B. Edwards, and the third building, also a general store, was owned by a man named Wolf. Also visible are a crowd of men standing in the street, and two horse-drawn wagons loaded with buffalo hides.  This picture was taken in 1872.  I could find no references to the men stated.

This one of the most famous pictures of Dodge City it can be found in most books on Dodge City.  This picture is believed to be taken between 1880 & 1885.

This is the same scene but taken from a different direction.  This picture is believe to be taken between 1870 & 1880.

Now I'm not here to give you a history lesson on Dodge City I'm here only to peek your interest so you will do your own researc on the town and those that lived there. In the pictures above you will note that there are some names on the builtings. I could not find information on all the names but here are the ones I was able to find a little on.

George M.Hoover, was born 1843, his wife's namewas Margaret, he was a dealer of wholesale liguor and owned a saloon with a (?) Cook, called the Alamo, which opened it's doors on June 1, 1877.

One of the happenings here happen on April 9, 1879, when Jack Wagner shot Marshal Edward Masterson who after being shot walked over to the Alamo walked through the doors and fall dead. Mr. Hoover would be elected Mayor on April 7, 1884, he was also a representative in the Kansas Legislature.

J. ( John ), Mueller, born 1841, his wife's name was Caroline, he was a Stock raiser and Shoemaker.

The names of Dover, McDonald and Sheek I was unable to any information on.

There were many saloons in Dodge City, the most famous one was that of the Long Branch over the year there were many owners the likes of; Frank Warren, (?) Harris and Chalkey McCarty Beeson. I know there were others but I was unable to find them.

One of the happenings at the Long Branch happened in April of 1878, when Marshal H. T. McCarty was shot and killed. another was the killing of Levi Richarson by Frank Loving.

The most famous owners of the Long Branch was that of Luke Short, who was a gambler and all around bad man, who at one time was Mayor of Dodge City. He is most famous for being the cause of the Dodge War.