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units:5th_new_york_state_militia_sources [2019/06/05 11:01]
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units:5th_new_york_state_militia_sources [2019/06/05 11:12] (current)
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 +//Evening Star//, May 13, 1861
 +
 +LOCAL NEWS.
 +
 +AFFAIRS AT THE RELAY HOUSE ALONG THE ROAD. The Encampments-- The Centrifugal Gun-— Other Trophies — Flag Presentation— Accidents and Incidents.—-Going out on a trip to the House yesterday we found four companies of the Second New Jersey regiment at Beltsville, where they have been stationed for the last week, killing time the best way they can, and quite unmolested by the redoubtable "​Vansville Rangers."​ At Annapolis Junction was the advance guard, 400 strong, of the Twentieth (Ulster county) New York regiment, which, on last night, relieved the Fifth New York regiment from duty on the Annapolis road. They were licking their chops over an arrival of fresh beef to vary their salt junk fare, and as they had not then (noon) breakfasted were posing to save time by throwing breakfast and dinner into one. The Twentieth had a novel coffee-mill in operation—i. e., a sackfull of burnt coffee horsed upon a log and mauled with clubs until adequately pulverized. The Twentieth regiment left Annapolis at 2 o'​clock on Saturday. The regiment numbers some 830 men under Col. Geo. W. Pratt. The regiment is made up of solid men, and what is quite as much to the purpose, has more than an average number of good marksmen in its membership. They left the Thirteenth New York regiment and the New York artillery at Annapolis.
 +
 +Nearing the Relay House the white tents(116 in number) of the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment encampment stick out quite prominently against the sky, perched as they are upon the apex of the commanding bluff at this (western) end of the viaduct. From the eastern face of this bluff two brass barkers (6-pounders) show their teeth from the openings of an earthwork, and are placed so as to rake the bridge and the railroad beyond, in the direction of Baltimore, for perhaps a mile. In throwing up this work the Massachusetts boys had another capital opportunity of showing their many-sided capabilities,​ as the task required not only some hard digging, but a big Job of tree-felling to get range for the guns. The whole work was effected, however, in a few hours' time. Upon the summit of the hill are two 6-pounders, to be used where emergency may require.
 +
 +Across the Patapsco, and in a position to command the Baltimore and Ohio road in the direction of Ellicott'​s Mills, are the other two guns of the six belonging to the Boston Light Artillery. They are protected by a sort of sand battery—a superstructure of railroad sleepers, banked with sand and topped with sand bags. This artillery company is of well trained material, having been in existence since 1851, numbers 106 men, and has along 83 serviceable horses brought from Boston.
 +
 +The New York Eighth Regiment are encamped on the west side of the Patapsco, not far distant from the encampment of the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment.
 +
 +On Saturday night the troops at the Relay slept with one eye open in consequence of rumors of an attack, and during the night some gun firing in the direction of the Eighth Regiment encampment brought the Massachusetts Sixth swarming from their tents like so many bees. The affair proved to be nothing more serious than a little random firing at a troublesome dog.
 +
 +The steam gun captured at Ellicott'​s Mills, on its way to Harper'​s Ferry, is one of the lions of the Massachusetts camp. It is an odd-looking concern, bearing not a single indication to the unpracticed eye of its murderous purpose. Through the intelligent aid of Capt. Pickering, who seems to know what's what about most sorts of machinery, we obtained some sort of a notion how the thing was worked. The whole concern, which weighs perhaps five tons, is mounted on wheels. Externally, it has the appearance of a small two horse power engine at one end, and at the other runs off into a sharp nose, not unlike an end of the Winan'​s cigar steamer. This nose, however, which is merely the sheath to protect the machine and its operatives, is constructed of 1 1/2 inch iron; and the expectation of the inventor was, apparently, that balls aimed at it would glance off harmlessly. In the opinion of those conversant with such matters, a Minie ball would penetrate this sheath, while a 6-pound ball would of course knock the whole thing into a cocked hat. This pointed sheath or covering 1s divided nearly its whole length by a slit three inches in width, affording an opening for the discharges of the gun. With this mouthlike slit dividing the sheath into ponderous jaws, and stretching from ear to ear, the affair has the look of some devilish shark-nosed sea monster. Peering in at this opening not much is to be seen beyond a few cog-wheels and a bit of mild looking cylinder, which, however, is the mouthpiece of the centrifugal wheel, which, revolving at the tremendous rate of 350 times per minute, flings out a three-ounce ball at each revolution.
 +
 +The Massachusetts folks think the machine does not amount to much, its unwieldiness being a fatal objection. If placed to command a narrow passage. it might, however, do good service. Capt. Pickering says they will give it a trial to-day, anyhow, to test its merits. The report that the machine was boxed up or disguised in any way when seized is untrue. The scouts of the U. S. forces having ascertained that it was on its way to Ellicott'​s Mills, a detachment was sent up from the relay House to intercept it; and Captain Hear, of Gen. Butler'​s staff, who was in advance of the detachment, found the gun in charge of two drivers of the mule team and two persons in a buggy. Capt Hear, drawing his pistols, demanded the surrender of the gun, which was acceded to by the drivers. One of the persons in the buggy, however, leaped down and demanded by what authority the arrest was made. Capt H. responded, "By the same authority by which I now arrest you," and seized his man, who turned out to be a Mr Bradford, of Baltimore. The other party in the buggy made good his escape. Bradford admitted that the purpose was to send the gun to Harper'​s Ferry. He and the mule drivers were sent to Annapolis as prisoners, but the latter have since been released.
 +
 +The Massachusett'​s camp has some other trophies. Yesterday morning a detachment of the Sixth Regiment, under Capt Sawtelle, intercepted a quantity of military cloth, &c.,at Elysville, above Ellicott'​s Mills, which had been sent by turnpike from Baltimore, on its way to the Virginia army. In this lot were about 5,000 yards of the style of cloth called Virginia homespun, and accompanying it was a specimen military overcoat of the same material, the buttons of which bore the Virginia coat of arms. The motto Sic Semper Tyrannis, &c. A quantity of military blankets were also seized in this lot. In the same tent where this secession overcoat is suspended we noticed the blood-stained and bullet-pierced coat worn by young Whitney, of this Regiment, who was killed in Baltimore.
 +
 +By the way, there was a flag presentation at this camp on Saturday, the donors being the Ranter'​s American Club, of the Eighth Ward, Baltimore, who came to the camp in omnibuses. Lieutenant Dunning, of Company K, of Boston introduced them, in a neat little speech. to Maj Watson, who replied in telling style in behalf of the regiment saying, amongst other things, that Baltimore presented her rough and her smooth side to the Sixth Regiment, and this was the pleasant side.
 +
 +He hoped this more agreeable style of acquaintanceship might be extended.
 +
 + 
 +{{ :​5th_nysm:​evening_star_mon_may_13_1861.jpg?​linkonly|}}
  
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-{{:{{ :​5th_nysm:​evening_star_mon_may_13_1861.jpg?​400 |img}} 
-<​caption>​evening_star_mon_may_13_1861</​caption>​ 
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units/5th_new_york_state_militia_sources.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/05 11:12 by admin