Saturday, April 26, 2014

William D. Pender.

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William D. Pender. Born in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, February 6, 1834. Appointed from North Carolina July 22, 1862, to rank from June 3, 1862; confirmed September 30, 1862 ; promoted to be Major General, Provisional Army, May 27, 1863. Died of wounds, at Gettysburg, July 13, 1863.

No. 348. Report of Brigadier General William D. Pender,

C. S. Army, commanding Sixth Brigade, of the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, and Frazier's Farm [Nelson's Farm, or Glendale].  RICHMOND, VA., July 16, 1862.  

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, as a part of the Light Division of the Army, I left my camp near Friend's house, on the Chickahominy, Wednesday afternoon, June 25, with my brigade, and marched to a point near the crossing of the Chickahominy, on the Meadow Bridge road, where I joined the division.  Upon resuming the march next day my brigade was placed fifth in order, so that after crossing late in the afternoon I was ordered to cross the field direct for Mechanicsville to meet the brigades in front that were making the march by the road. Soon after leaving the Meadow Bridge road one or two pieces of artillery were opened upon us from a wood directly above Mechanicsville. I at once deployed into line of battle, bringing up one section of Andrews' battery. My line was then advanced and the enemy's artillery soon withdrew.

Here, owing to my imperfect knowledge of the roads and partial misleading of the guide, my left regiment went too far to the left, and consequently did not join the brigade until late at night, for while it was coming up after being sent for it was ordered by some one to support another brigade; and I would here mention it was reported to me as behaving well under a very murderous fire, to which it was soon exposed, losing about 200 men. This was the Sixteenth North Carolina, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John S. McElroy.

Upon reaching Mechanicsville I was ordered by you to support General Field. I at once made my dispositions to do so, but soon found that by taking the direction General Field was going [it] left his right much exposed to a heavy fire of artillery, which was playing at the same time on Pegram's battery with great effect. This artillery was obliquely to the right and lower down Beaver Dam Creek than I saw any troops going. I at once changed the direction of two of my regiments, so as to bring them to the right of this artillery, and succeeded in getting within 150 or 200 yards of it before we were opened upon, but when they did open upon us it was destructive, and the obstacles so great in front, the creek and mill-dam, that after the Thirty-eighth North Carolina had reached these obstacles, and within less than 100 yards of the enemy's rifle pits, they had to fall back. This regiment here advanced boldly and maintained its ground well. The Thirty-fourth North Carolina-the other regiment that had been led by me to the right-had made too much of a detour, and did not come up until the Thirty-eight had been repulsed. After bringing it up I sent it farther to the right, to make as much diversion as possible in that direction.

General Ripley at this time came up with his brigade, advancing over part of the same ground which had been passed by the Thirty-eighth North Carolina, directly in front of the mill. The Thirty-fourth North Carolina advanced to the creek and there maintained its position until after dark, when I had it withdrawn, so that with this and General Ripley with part of his brigade we held the extreme right of our position until about daylight next morning, when I was relieved. General Ripley had been relieved before.

Other brigades came up during the night. The Twenty-second North Carolina, which had followed to support General Field, when getting to the creek near him, came suddenly upon a regiment of the enemy, just across the run, and after some little parley opened fire, driving the enemy quickly away, but found it impossible to cross. The loss of this regiment here was also very heavy; among others its brave colonel [Conner] received a severe wound in the leg.  I should state, while relating the incidents of this day's fight, that Colonel Hoke [Thirty-eighth North Carolina] was also wounded and had to leave the field. The adjutant of the Thirty-eighth was wounded also, but nobly maintained his position until after dark.  At daylight on Friday morning I had changed my position in obedience to your orders, bringing my brigade directly in front of the mill on Beaver Dam Creek. About this time the enemy seemed to make a faint attack upon the troops on my right, when those brigades moved forward, and I moved mine forward also until they had gained the creek, getting in the bed of it. Here our line was halted until a general concert of action could be had, by which their attention might be diverted to the extreme right from in the immediate front. At  this time I brought up a section from each of three batteries I found in the plain in the rear; one of these was from the Donaldsonville Artillery, under Lieutenant V. Maurin, who shelled them with spirit and effect, his men being exposed to a galling fire from the enemy's sharpshooters, not 200 yards off in the rifle pits. The section of Andrews' Maryland Battery was under Lieutenant William F. Dement, who also did fine service. Captain Andrews, as usual, was present, chafing for a fight. I do not know to whose battery the other section belonged.

We moved forward soon after, crossing the run and mill-race with great difficulty. The Thirty-fourth North Carolina, Colonel Richard H. Riddick, was the first to gain the enemy's works, but they had a few moments before left under cover of their rifle pits. I should here mention that a part of Andrews' battery was engaged the evening before assisting Pegram's battery. After crossing the creek we marched down the Chickahominy, not meeting the enemy until we reached Gaines' Mill, who opposed the right brigades of the division. I here brought up two sections of Andrews' battery, under Lieutenants Dement and Dabney, who shelled the enemy with considerable effect. We again moved forward, crossing at Gaines' Mill. Soon I was ordered by you to pass to the right and throw out skirmishers, and, if possible, surround the enemy, who were lower down the stream. We drove them off, but they retired upon their main body. Here again a portion of Andrews' battery was brought into play, with the desire to draw fire from the enemy's artillery and to show us its locality, but failed to do so. Through the misconception of an order by Colonel Riddick his regiment had not come up, and I found myself weak and asked for support. General Archer was sent forward, and I ordered to support General Branch farther up the road.

I found Colonel Riddick at the forks of the road near Cold Harbor, and my brigade was at once ordered into action. I formed into line of battle and moved into the wood to the right of the right-hand road, finding only the enemy and a fragment of one of our regiments. We were soon hotly engaged, and drove the enemy slowly before us for about 250 yards. My brigade had started in weak, and suffered heavily here, and seeing fresh regiments of the enemy coming up constantly, I sent my aide, Lieutenant Young, to ask for support. Two of my regiments, Sixteenth and Twenty-second North Carolina, had gained the crest of open ground, getting into the enemy's camp, but, finding themselves flanked, fell back, which caused those on the left, who were not so far advanced, to fall back also. About this time Colonel C. C. Lee, Thirty-seventh North Carolina, who had been sent to our support, came up. My men were rallied and pushed forward again, but did not advance far before they fell back, and I think I do but justice to my men to say that they did not commence it. The enemy were continually bringing up fresh troops, and succeeded in driving us from the wood.

My men here fought nobly, and maintained their ground with great stubbornness. The left were subject to enfilade fire from musket and cannon.

It was now nearly night, and here ended the part taken by my brigade, except so far as Lieutenant Young, my aide, was concerned, for he, not being satisfied with fighting as long as his general, went back, and remained principally with General Ewell until the battle was closed. I would here state that Lieutenant Young acted both on this day and the day previous with the most heroic bravery and coolness. Words fail me in expressing my admiration of his conduct through the whole of the Chickahominy battles. I here lost Colonel Green, my volunteer aide, which was irreparable. He was an accomplished officer, and won the highest praise for his noble conduct. He was a noble man lost on that glorious day. Lieutenant Hinsdale, my acting assistant adjutant-general. was also of great service and deserves the highest praise.

Before going further I must particularize a little. Lieutenant Colonel J. S. McElroy, commanding Sixteenth: Lieutenant Colonel R. H. Gray and Major C. C. Cole, Twenty-second, acted with great and judgment, leading their regiments forward promptly and with determination, not halting for a moment until the y found the enemy in their rear. Colonel Riddick was here wounded, leaving his regiment without a Field officer.

Up to this I had lost my volunteer aide, killed; my three colonels, wounded; also three adjutants, wounded, and Lieutenant Young, slightly wounded on the side of the head.

The Thirty-fourth, Colonel Riddick, lost in this short fight between 20 and 30 in killed.  Sunday were crossed the Chickahominy, marching down the south side of the river.

Meeting the enemy again on Monday evening, my brigade, after being in direct range of the enemy's shell for some time, was ordered forward, and went in rear went in rear of Kershaw's brigade-at least his men were coming out from my front as we went in. Reaching the farther side of the field, on the right, at the junction of the Long Bridge and Darbytown roads, we came in contact with the enemy once more. Here, just as my brigade was getting under fire, a regiment of the enemy bore down at double-quick in our front, passing from right to left, apparently not seeing us. When in our front, about 75 yards off, our men fired a volley into them and scattered them in every direction. In our front was a fine battery of rifle pieces that had been abandoned, but they were apparently trying to regain it, as we had quite a skirmish near it. They continued to make efforts here to flank us. They had quite a for upon my right, which was several times pushed forward.

General Field, I have since learned, was a long way in front, but the enemy were in considerable force between us, if I am to judge from the stand they made. At this position I left a few men to hold the flank and pushed forward the rest well into the woods, and but for the untimely failure of ammunition would have captured many prisoners. They were in considerable disorder, but were still too strong to be attacked with what few men I had, most of whom were without ammunition. We here soon forced a battery, which had opened upon our right, to limber up and leave. They evidently, from what I saw and from what I heard from prisoners, had a strong force within a few hundred yards of these batteries.

Dark coming on, I withdrew my men to the edge woods, holding our ground and the batteries taken, I had but a handful of men, but succeeded in getting two other regiments I found near (of General Field's brigade, which he had withdrawn), posting them so as to hold the front, while I held the right flank. I subsequently led forward one of these regiments, and ordered it to move in such a direction as to flank a force which seemed to be hotly engaging a part of our troops on the left of the road.

After making these arrangements I found that General Archer was on the right flank and on my right. This ended the fighting of my brigade in the late operations before Richmond, for, although ordered into action next evening, we did not get in, owing to the lateness of the lateness of the hour, the thickness of the wood, and my ignorance of the relative position of our forces.

My aide, Lieutenant Young, had two horses shot under him in this engagement, and then took the colors of one of the regiments, leading it promptly and well to the front. Lieutenant-Colonels McElroy and Gray-the latter assisted by Major Cole-displayed their usual boldness in leading their regiments to the front.

The Thirty-eighty North Carolina here, as on Thursday, behaved well. I would mention that the Thirty-fourth North Carolina on Friday behaved with great credit under a heavy and murderous cross-fire, and here let me mention that Lieutenant Shotwell, Thirty-fourth North Carolina, cannot be spoken off too highly for his gallant conduct; for he was not satisfied to take the colors, [but] seized the color-bearer and rushed him to the front, thus encouraging the regiment to move forward at a very critical moment. There are numerous instances of noble conduct by members of my command, but space would fail to mention all, and I will leave the result of their efforts to show how most of them did.

I am forced to say that we had too many cases of shameful and disgraceful desertions of their colors.

Here I would mention the loss on Thursday of a most competent and gallant officer, Major W. N. Bronaugh, of the Second Arkansas Battalion. With his death ceased the battalion, as far as was concerned its usefulness on the field.

My total loss in killed and wounded was about 800. The brigade left camp on the evening of the 25th with between 2,300 and 2,400, including Andrews' battery, thus showing a loss of one-third of my entire command.

Andrew's battery behaved on all occasions with conspicuous coolness and bravery. Their loss was, however, slight.

The service has lost for a time, if not permanently, and invaluable and accomplished officer in Colonel James Conner, Twenty-second North Carolina. Colonels Hoke and Riddick-the former wounded on Thursday, the latter on Friday-were great losses to me.

In conclusion, I would mention Mr. Goldman, and independent, with the Thirty-eight North Carolina, who acted with the most conspicuous bravery and courage, also great capacity, He should be rewarded. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General Sixth Brigade, Light Division

Part of a report by General James H. Lane, July 1, 1863.
Battle of Gettysburg.
Page 2, Major O. N. Brown, of the Thirty-seventh, executed the order very handsomely, driving the enemy's skirmishers, and occupying the road along our entire front. With the exception of the gallantry displayed by our skirmishers, nothing of interest occurred in my command on the 2d. After a portion of the army on our right (I supposed they were some of Anderson's troops) had driven the enemy some distance, General Pender rode from the left of my line to the right of his division. About sunset, I was informed by Captain [William] Norwood, of General Thomas' staff, that General Pender had been wounded and that I must take command of the division, and advance, if I saw a good opportunity for doing so. At that time the firing on the right was very desultory, the heavy fighting having ended.
Part of a report by Major Joseph A. Engelhard.
November 4, 1863.
Page 3, Major-General Anderson's division upon the enemy's left, Major-General Pender, having ridden to the extreme right of his command, to advance his division should the opportunity offer, received a severe wound in the leg from a fragment of a shell, which subsequently proved fatal. Seldom has the service suffered more in the loss of one man than it did when this valuable officer fell. Gallant, skillful, energetic, this young commander had won a reputation surpassed only by the success and ability of his services. The commanding general in the preliminary report of this battle, already published, forcibly expresses the sentiments of all who knew General Pender and who had watched his career as soldier.

Frederick A. Habersham, Georgia Hussars.

Georgia Hussars.

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Roll of the Georgia Hussars mustered in Confederate service at Savannah, May ,31, 1861 (camping that afternoon at "Fair Lawn" at the foot of Gaston street, between Price and East Broad) and proceeding next day to "Red Bluff," Warsaw river, Skidaway Island, where the camp was established. Company mustered out of service June 30, 1861.

Frederick A. Habersham.

At Fort Pulaski, January. 1861, as First Sergeant of the Hussars, and during the thirty day- duty on Skidaway  Island, June, 1861. Appointed Second Lieutenant Pulaski Guards (vice Fraser, promoted First Lieutenant). Promoted First Lieutenant. Killed at Marye s Heights, near Fredericksburg, Va., May 4, 1863. With the firm of Robert Habersham & Co.

Authors note.  If you would like to learn more about him and his family take this link.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

David A. Davis Kills Jack Davis, Ohio.

From the history of Perry County, Ohio.

The Killing of Jack Davis.  

The killing of Jack Davis, at Shawnee, occurred January ist, 1879, under the following circumstances, as disclosed at the trial: It appeared that David A. Davis, a Welshman by birth, and coal miner by occupation, kept a disreputable house. He was a married man, but his wife had, for some cause, gone off and left him. All parties connected with the tragedy had been drinking freely, as it was New Year's Day and nobody at work. After dark, probably about nine o'clock, Jack Davis and other persons visited the house of David A. Davis, and asked to be admitted.

They were informed by the inmates that their company was not wanted and told to go away. After some parleying they tried to force the doors of the house, or hammered loudly against them, when David A. Davis snatched up a gun, tired through the window, shooting Jack Davis in the head and killing him instantly. He was also a Welshman, having a wife and one child, and stood comparatively well in the community among those who knew him.

His sudden death, under the circumstances, caused intense excitement, and there was, at tirst, strong talk of lynching David A. Davis, if he could be found ; but he had made his escape. He, however, subsequently came back and gave himself up. He had a preliminary  examination and was committed to jail. He was indicted by the grand jury for murder in the first degree. The trial was a long and tedious one, and of much interest. The Jury rendered a verdict of Manslaughter, and Judge Wright sentenced the prisoner to the Penitentiary for a term of four years.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

United States Ram Switzerland.

Report of Colonel Charles Rivers Ellet, U. S. Army, commanding U. S. steam ram Switzerland.

U. S. Ram Switzerland.
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U. S. STEAM RAM SWITZERLAND, Below Vicksburg, March 25, 1863.  GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you that, in compliance with your obstructions, I started before daybreak this morning, with the rams Switzerland and Lancaster, to pass the Vicksburg batteries. The short time which I was allowed for preparations, and the necessity of taking in large quantities of stores and provisions, delayed our departure until it was nearly light. The wind was extremely unfavorable, and, notwithstanding the caution with which the boats put out into the middle of the stream, the puff of their escape-pipes could be heard with fatal distinctness below.

The flashing of the enemy's signal lights from battery to battery as we neared the city showed me that concealment was useless. The morning, too, was beginning to break and I saw that, if we were to pass at all, it was to be done at once. I ordered my pilots to give the Switzerland full headway, and we went round the point under 160 men pounds of steam. The rebels opened fire at once, but the first fifteen or twenty shots were badly aimed. As we got nearer to the guns, however, the fire became both accurate and rapid. Shot after shot struck my boat, tearing everything to pieces before them. A few hundred yards behind us the Lancaster, under command of Lieutenant Colonel John A. Ellet, still steamed steadily down, but I could see the splinters fly from her at every discharge. When about three quarters of a mile below the point, and full in front of the enemy's heaviest guns, a 10-inch shell plunged through the boiler deck of the Switzerland and into her center boiler.

The explosion of steam which ensued was very severe, and was welcomed by the traitors with shouts of exultation. The engines stopped at once, and even the pilot house was filled to suffocation with the hot steam, but the pilots stood to their posts like men, and, by my order, kept her out in the stream, when she floated down with the current. The enemy relaxed their fire, and the steam had scarcely cleared away from the Switzerland when I saw the Lancaster blown up. She commenced to sink rapidly, and in a few moments went down, bow foremost. I ordered the crew of the Switzerland into as secure a position as possible, and floated past the remaining batteries without any loss of life or material damage to the boat.

A few moments after your arrival on board with Adjutant-General Crandall, and when opposite the mouth of the canal, Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet came alongside in a yawl, having rowed down to us through a fire of grape and shell, to offer us any assistance in his power. He had previously set ashore his own crew and wounded men and fired the upper works of his boat. When out of range, the Switzerland was met by the Albatross and towed into shore. I cannot conclude this report without referring to the heroic conduct of the officers and crew of the Switzerland. No fear or lack of discipline was exhibited by any person on board, and although we were within a pistol-shot of shore, not a man attempted to desert the boat or to leave his post without orders.

Among those who especially distinguished themselves by their resolution and courage were Major John W. Lawrence, Pilot Alexander McKay, Lieutenant Edward C. Ellet, and third  Engineer Granville Roberts. This is the second  time that the three last named officers have passed the batteries at Vicksburg. The damage to the Switzerland's boilers is considerable, but will be repaired in a few days by the machinists now on board; her engines and hull are in good condition. Her loss comprises only 3 negroes badly scalded; 1 man on the Lancaster was drowned, another severely scalded, and Pilot T. W. L. Kitson lost a foot. The very limited loss of life on both boats is due to the extremely small number of men who were selected to run the boats through. The remainder of the crews were sent across by land.

I inclose Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet's report of the Lancaster. Very respectfully, CHARLES RIVERS ELLET,  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lieutenant EZEKIEL K. SCHWARTZ, Illinois.

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EZEKIEL K. SCHWARTZ, First Lieutenant, was born in Lewistown, Pa., December 9, 1838. He was educated in the public schools at that place, and in the Lewistown Academy. He removed to Illinois in April, 1859, and taught school in Macon and Shelby Counties. He enlisted in Shelby County as a private in Company B in August, 1862. He was soon made a corporal, and on March 26, 1863, was promoted to be second lieutenant, and on May 11, 1865, was promoted to first lieutenant.

Lieutenant Schwartz was in the regiment in all its campaigns and battles, excepting a short time in the spring of 1865, when he served as aide-de-camp on the staff of the brigade commander. He is deserving of the highest commendation for his patriotism and courage displayed on the battle-field, and for his faithfulness in all his duties of the several positions occupied by him.

He was mustered out with the regiment in June, 1865, and at once, like a good soldier, returned to the duties of civil life, and engaged in farming, a short distance north of Shelbyville, Ill. He was married December 27, 1866, and resided on the same farm until October 20, 1892, when he removed to Findlay, Ill., where he engaged in general mercantile business, in which he is still employed.

Ezekiel K. Schwartz.

Birth: Dec. 9, 1838, Lewistown, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
Death: Jul. 8, 1909, Illinois.

Burial: Glenwood Cemetery, Shelbyville, Shelby County, Illinois.

Illinois Civil War Detail Report.

Name: SCHWARTZ, EZEKIEL R. Rank: PVT. Company: B. Unit: 115 IL US INF.

Personal Characteristics. Residence: OKAW, SHELBY CO, IL. Age: 23. Height: 5' 7. Hair: DARK. Eyes: HAZEL. Complexion: FAIR. Marital Status: SINGLE. Occupation: SCHOOL TEACHER. Nativity: LEWISTOWN, MIFFLIN CO, PA.

Service Record. Joined When: AUG 13, 1862. Joined Where: SHELBY CO, IL. Period: 3 YRS. Muster In: SEP 13, 1862. Muster In Where: CAMP BUTLER, IL. Remarks: PROMOTED CORPORAL SEP 18, 1862 PROMOTED.2LT & 1LT.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

James S. Daskam, Iowa.

James S. Daskam, postmaster, and dealer in general merchandise, Kendallville; was born in Chemung County, N. Y., in 1841. In 1846 his parents moved to McHenry County, Illinois and engaged at farming; came to this state in 1854 and located in Burr Oak township, and entered a quarter section of government land; he remained with his parents on the home farm until the breaking out of the late war, when he enlisted at Decorah in Co. D, 3d lo. Inf., under Captain Willetts, and served his term of three years and then re-enlisted as a veteran, and participated in several of the important battles during the war He received a severe shot wound in the leg at Shiloh, and afterwards at Atlanta, July 21, 1864, he received a gun-shot wound in the left shoulder, which disabled him. He started to return home, and was obliged to lay up at the hospital at Madison, Wisconsin, and remained there until he received his discharge, May 23, 1865.

He returned to Iowa and farmed two years in this township, and then bought land in Orleans township, and farmed there six years; he then sold it and purchased an interest in the business at this place with Mr. Fifield, whose interest he afterwards bought, and has since conducted the same himself. He owns the building and lot, carries a well selected stock of general merchandise, and has established a good business. He received his appointment as postmaster in 1876 to succeed F. Gr. Hale, and still fills that position.

He was married in 1865 in this township, to Miss Henrietta N. Eddy, and they have five children, Emma, Allyn, John, Alson and Frances. Hiram D. Daskam (brother) enlisted in April, 1861, in Co. D, 3d lo. Inf., under Capt. Willetts; was taken prisoner near Atlanta, Ga., after a three days' fight, and was imprisoned at Andersonville, and experienced all the horrors of that notorious place. He escaped with others from the train when being transferred from there to Florence, by jumping from the cars, but was captured by a picket guard they run on to in attempting to cross the Nortii River.

He was then taken to Wilmington, North Carolina, and from there was started again for Florence, and again succeeded in getting away, but was again recaptured and started for Charlotte, S. C, He again escaped was again recaptured, and on the return to Charlotte once more escaped, this time succeeding in reaching the Union lines. He received his discharge near Washington at the close of the war. He died near Muir, Ionia County, Michigan, in the winter of 1870, from disease contracted through his privations in the army.