Tuesday, October 02, 2012

James K. Ewer, Third Massachusetts Cavalry..

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Rev. James K. Ewer, the author of this work, was born in Hyannis, Mass., April 18, 1846. He was educated in the public schools of his native town, and in Boston. At the age of sixteen, he enlisted for three years, or the war, and joined Captain John L. Swift s Roxbury Company, Company C, and was wounded May ist, i864, at Pineyville, La. He was mustered out at Washington, D. C. in July 1865.

After the war he prepared himself for the ministry. He graduated from Colby Academy, N. H., in 1871, and from Newton Theological Seminary in 1874. Was set tled eleven years in Reading, Mass., as pastor of Baptist church; was nine years in Concord, N. H., as pastor of Pleasant Street Baptist Church. While in New Hamp shire he served four years as chaplain of E. E. Sturtevant Post G.A.R., and six years as Department Chaplain. He was also chaplain of the New Hampshire
Legislature two years, and of the New Hampshire National Guards five years.

He was for ten years on the Board of Trustees of Colby Academy, and also of the New Hampshire State Convention. In 1894 he went to Providence, R. I., and became pastor of the Union Baptist Church, remaining eight years.

He settled, May ist, 1902, in Maiden, Mass., where he now resides.
Notes From The third Regimental History.
First Sergeant Nathan G. Smith called private James K. Ewer to the front at company roll call, and presented him with a beautiful silver bugle which had been purchased with money contributed for that purpose. That bugle was prized most highly by the recipient, but was unfortunately lost during the disastrous Red River Campaign.


Early the next morning fighting began. The enemy drew nearer. The men were posted behind a rail fence, near the stream, which protected them somewhat from the enemy s bullets. Said bullets were now flying through the air in close proximity to their heads. Colonel Sargent s headquarters were near an old brick-kiln, and from this advantageous position he directed the move ments of the regiment. The men of the Third took good aim, and sent a well-directed fire into the ranks of the on-coming Confederates. At length the report came to the Colonel that the men s ammunition was exhausted. Buglers Rymill and Ewer, who were near the Colonel, were ordered by Sargent to carry down to the firing line an additional supply. It was a hazardous undertaking. As they passed across the open field they exposed themselves to the fire of the enemy sharpshooters, who lost no time in showing these young enthusiasts how well they could shoot. When once the buglers reached the line, they did not return. The attempt might have cost them their lives.


After The Battle.

I was soon in the hands of the surgeon. I was faint from loss of blood from my wounds, which had been streaming, and which had stained the right side of my pants from top to bottom. " That was a narrow escape," said the doctor as he examined my right thumb and fore-finger. A little more, and you would have lost both. " What is this hole in your jacket?" he inquired. That s where another bullet went through," said I, smiling. On careful examination, it was discovered that the ball had entered the breast of my jacket on the right side, opposite the region of the heart, In its course, it had been diverted by a button on my blouse, which on that day I had worn beneath my jacket. That button saved my life ; for it not only lessened the force of the bullet, but caused it to glance and come out on the other side of the garment without doing me any harm. Had the ball entered an inch higher it undoubtedly would have gone through my left side and pos sibly through my heart.

" Here is another hole through your holster," said the surgeon, as he inspected me more carefully. Now, for the first time, I understood the meaning of that blow on my right hip. Another bullet had actually struck the holster of my revolver. Passing through the leather case, it had struck the barrel of the revolver, then slid down into the bottom of the holster. That revolver, like the button, had saved my life Like the button, it had come between me and death. When the fight began, it was loaded with seven cartridges. These I had discharged at the enemy, and, after emptying the several barrels, had dropped the wea pon into the holster on my right side. The bullet had come at an angle of forty-five degrees, striking squarely against the barrel of the revolver, which arrested its progress at once. Had it not done so, the ball would have gone through my hip, and, without doubt, have caused my death.

I think I shall never outlive the conviction that a kind Providence protected me most singularly on that neverto-be-forgotten May morning, in the year eighteen hun dred and sixty-four.

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