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Letter of James M. Williams

Annapolis Junction, Sep 3, 1862.

Dear Friend,

As I am not very well and do not have to go on duty to day. I will try and tell you something about camp life. I enlisted on the 11 day of August at Binghamton, stayed there until August 30. And then we started for the south. And after riding in the cars three days and three nights, and haveing nothing to eat but dry bread and a little beef that had been boiled a week or longer, we arrived at Annapolis Junction, where we pitched our tents…We are in Rebbledom now, only twenty miles from Washington and about the same distance from Bulls run. They are having some hard fighting not far from Washington every day. We don't know how long before we shall have to fight. There are about 600 guerillas within three or four miles of here that we expect will attack us in a few days. Let them come. We are ready for them. We will try and do them justice if they do come…after riding in the cars for three days and three nights and having nothing to eat but dry bread and a little beef that had been boiled a week or longer we arrived at Annapolis Junction where we pitched our tents and put up for the night…Our bill of fare consists of potatoes and boiled beef without any salt, and a very little of that, and have to eat it with our fingers and jacknives. We have no plates or knives or forks. It is hard to be a soldier…“

Alexandria Gazette, September 6, 1862

There is no camp of instruction at Annapolis Junction further than the 109th New York Regiment of Volunteers there, with tents pitched, &c.


Buffalo Express, September 15, 1862

Letters from the Army.


DEAR EXPRESS: The drums are beating “retreat,” something, I think, we have had quite too much of, so, instead of going to bed, I propose a letter. About this time Sunday anxious citizens of Buffalo are thronging our old office - I think I see Bill W - in my old chair - to inquire about the “situation” in Maryland. I presume you know more about it than I do, at any rate, I hope so. I know enough only to keep my horse picketed close to my tent.

Rumor has it that Stonewall Jackson has crossed the Potomac with 500, 5,000, or 50,000 men, or any other indefinite number, that MCCLELLAN or somebody also has gone up to bag him, or, perhaps only, “drive him to the wall;” and that they are fighting to-day somewhere near Frederick. Moreover, the New York Herald has it that the plan of the rebels is to attack this railroad at Savage Factory, (where there is no railroad within four miles,) meaning, I presume, Savage Switch, which is one and a half miles from here, and is guarded by a detachment of our men. This point also is spoken of as an object of attack. Furthermore, when the Washington train reached here to-night, the passengers were all eager to know whether the Relay House was yet taken by the redoubtable Stonewall, as if it were a sure thing that he was to take it, take Baltimore, take us and do all the other takings and holdings conceivable. There is, I believe, so much of certainty in all this gossip STONEWALL JACKSON is on this side of the Potomac, and he could not do more mischief than by cutting this railroad, even if only temporarily, but a cavalry raid. Hence, there is some reason to suppose that he means us.

The closeness of the corner in which our regiment is thus placed has done us good. We have large and lively pickets out, and are as hard at work as possible in learning the topography of this surrounding country. To this end, Col. Tracy has been extremely active, and I have shared some of his excursions, both in scouting and in posting outlying pickets. To-day, the programme has been a scout up toward the front.


About then I went to sleep too tired with the scout to write any longer. We rode out on the pleasant Sunday morning, passing our detachments at Savage Switch and at Laurel, and from the latter point struck off some seven miles up the “Brookville Road.” As […] the hills across Potomac were visible and as another we had a splendid view for twenty miles up toward Frederic, where fighting was said to be going on. From our furthest distance we returned by way of the Columbia turnpike, famous before railroad days, reaching camp before sundown, after a ride of twenty-odd miles. On our route, we saw some of the people. Square, outspoken […] men were the exceptions. Most were cautious. STONEWALL JACKSON is so near that all the sneaks are changing their politics, or rather holding them in readiness to charge. But I found one man who gave us important information and who is anxious to help us.

On our return to camp we found the Washington train just in, and the passengers to be in a […] to know whether the rebels held the Relay House, the capture of that point being the pleasant rumor that prevailed at Washington. If true, we were isolated from the North. Further gossip had it that we, the green 109th, were to be attacked, and there was certainly a decent probability that a cavalry raid might stir us up. The reconnaissances of previous days were at once reduced […] field maps, the points studied, and our battle camps put in readiness for a stout resistance, that done, or my share of it, your humble correspondent wrote himself to sleep […] the beginning of this letter. But all the time there was an anxiety about the unknown […] to the Northeast, and this morning I was sent off with Capt. H. - to map it out […] got away early and went off to a point some five miles from Ellicott's Mills and […] withing the region said last night to be […]tated by the rebels. All was quiet, and making a long detour home, stopping for dinner at a thrifty farmers, we came to camp about […] P. M. The result is, that we have now the country well mapped out for a region of six by eight miles, lying north and west of us, and know all the feasible routes of approach.

To-night the full moon is looking down so peacefully upon us, that it is hard to realize the conflict, the guns of which we have heard even here. God help Maryland if the war […] upon it. It is only here and there a good State at best but it will be a waste country and a wilderness after two armies have had a campaign up its soil. Sometime or other I must give you my notions of its people and their peculiarities. In the interval, content yourselves with the idea that it was a masterly piece of strategy to allow STONEWALL JACKSON to invade the loyal States; if you don't exactly see it stick to it anyhow. Above all, don't insult the infirmities of age, of the weaknesses of younger years, by criticizing Generals. But in your prayers at night you may privately suggest what a good thing it would be if we had more STONEWALL and less strategy on our side.


Buffalo Weekly Express, September 16, 1862

Letters from the Army. —


Dear Express:—The Army Regulations have a certain disagreeable paragraph about criticism of military events, to which I defer. Otherwise I might ventilate my own ideas about who left Thoroughfare Gap open, and made it a sad certainty that we are now just where we were & year ago, nothing gained and all the old dangers revived. But I have all along had a theory that God was over all, and that when we come to make this a. righteous war—not incidentally, accidentally and sneakingly a righteous war—but positively, affirmatively and of foregone purpose a war for liberty and the breaking of the chains of bondage—we shall get along better in the suppression of the rebellion. It is all very pretty to talk about the restoration of “the old Union,” but Southern Statesmen and Generals: who are proving themselves good reasoners now-a-days, say that that is impossible. I accept their logic in a certain sense. We can have the Old Union—God bless it!— geographically. We can have it under the Old Constitution and the Old Flag. But never under the old subordinate conditions.

Let us see. Suppose that we reconstruct the Union “without any infraction of the guaranteed rights of the States”—a phrase which, being translated, means with slavery carefully coddled, protected and wet-nursed. What have we? A union of North and South like the union of two cats tied by the tail and slung over a clothes-line! A union of sections with different systems of labor; one an oligarchy, the other a democracy, one road, continental, diffusive in its political theories, the other narrow, localized, and always denying the right of the majority to rule. That is the “Union as it was.” And the Union as it would be, under this shortsighted scheme of statesmanship, would have added to these old and already terribly efficient causes of civil war, the hates, revenges and gloomy memories of a hundred battle-fields. If I am an Abolitionist—and I am—it is because I am a devoted Union man, and want a Union that will last.

All of which has nothing to do with this camp, except that I have given above, pretty accurately, our regimental theory of the war. To turn the pen from this discussion to narrative. We arrived with our regiment at Baltimore on Sunday the 31st, and occupied the B. & O. R. R. passenger depot for the afternoon and night, getting our grub at the Union Relief Rooms, which fed over 6,000 soldiers that day, and doing our sleeping around loose. Next morning we came on here and were turned out to grass in a big pasture to shift for ourselves. Fortunately we had tents and got them up, mostly, before the heavy thunder storm of Monday night, in which Gen, KEARNEY fell in battle, and in which I fell off a bridge into a swollen brook.

Since then we have been rapidly growing in military grace. Nearly all our officers take hold and work with zeal and energy, and we were doing splendidly, fitting up our camp, learning the routine, drilling and working, until Wednesday night, when we got orders to send five companies up the railroad to guard against possible raids on the bridges, which would interrupt this great national thoroughfare. I went with the detachment, which was again divided into three grand guards, and found the Major, myself and two companies landed at a strange station to post pickets. We did if according to our own theories, and as I have since studied it up, very well; bivouacked our men in the road; travelled promiscuously out on the different routes; turned out a couple of dogs from an old and not sweet-scented provision storeroom and then turned in ourselves. Next morning we took a look and found ourselves at Laurel, as pretty a West w York-y looking place as you could ask. It has machine shops; factories, large stores, good taverns, handsome houses, and ail those other evidences of that decent and thrifty wealth that comes from industry and is so easily distinguished from wealth by inheritance, which is always seedy, or solemn and pompous.

Next day I returned to the camp on foot, and have been having a good time generally. Ia spite of the fact that we have just passed through that period of no rations which all new regiments and new,camps must endure, you can hardly find a more contented lot of men. I anticipate a good deal of home-sickness, but it has hardly shown itself yet. When our men had gone 24 hours without food, they jocularly selected the fattest of their number to die by the bayonet and furnish food for the rest. With a good many causes of discontent, a cheerfulness has pervaded all hands, and there are very few whom the life does not please. It is a busy one, full of labor. The machinery by which we eat, steep and keep warm and dry, is itself a grand novelty and amusement to most,and occupies all the spare hours. This I vary with a daily ride to see my assistants, who are stationed with the outlying guard; or with a scout around the country with the Colonel. To-morrow we contemplate a gallop toward Poolesville, which is some twenty miles from us, and Ly which route we may expect attack, if any. We are making maps and getting the topography posted-up for a campaign in Maryland—which, God forbid!

I wish you could took in upon us. “The flies of my tent are wide open, the moonlight illuminates the canvass street, and the air is full of music, laugh and song. Speaking of songs, some ladies and gentlemen in Baltimore, make up a choir and sing in the Union Relief Rooms. Sunday night they were very quietly listened to by the soldiers at table, until they started “Old John Brown,” when the whole multitude roiled into the chorus, I heard them singing it again at 14. M. Only think of it! “Old John Brown” canonized in Baltimore! H.


Trumansburg News, September 19, 1862

SWORD PRESENTATION.—The citizens of this place purchased a sword to be presented to Lieut. Austin who recently left here for the seat of war with the One Hundred and Ninth regiment. The sword did not arrive in season for the presentation to take place here, and it was therefore made through H. D. Barto, Esq. The following correspondence will explain itself:

TRUMANSBURG, N.Y , Aug. 26, 1862.

Lieut. Wm. Austin:

MY DEAR SIR: I am commissioned by the citizens of Trumansburg to the pleasing duty of delivering you a sword and belt suitable to your rank, which is herewith transmitted you.

It is a tribute from your friends and neighbors to your energy in triumphing over all obstacles, and your patriotism in offering your life for your country.

Your friends have no fear that the beautiful weapon will ever be drawn except against the foes of our country's peace, and to sustain the Union under that glorious, Constitution which has made us all, hitherto so free and happy.

Hoping you will return home after the war is ended with honors,

I am very truly yours,

September 14, 1862.

Henry D. Barto, Esq.,
DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your letter of the 26th ultimo, together with the sword and belt accompanying the same. Permit me, through, you, to acknowledge my sincere obligations to the good citizens of Trumansburg for so splendid and munificent a gift, and to say that it shall only be drawn in defense of that Constitution and those laws under which we have so long and so happily lived. I have simply attempted to discharge my individual duty to my country, and for whatever success has attended my efforts I am indebted to those same “friends and neighbors” who have so generously armed me for the conflict and furnished the men, rather than to my own exertions. The remembrance, of the sacrifices they have made and are still making in this struggle, and the fact that to a certain extent their honor is in my keeping, will redouble my attempts to be worthy of them wherever we may go, and whatever duty may require us to do. Hoping that the “flag” for which we fight will soon wave in triumph over each and every of the rebellious States—that their erring citizens will return to their allegiance to the Union, and that the warrior sons of our own free Northland will be restored to their once happy homes, I remain,
Your obedient servant,
Lieut. Co. G, 109th Reg. N. Y. S. V.


Buffalo Weekly Express, September 23, 1862

BUFFALO, MONDAY, SEPT. 22, 1862. Letters from the Army.


Dear Express:—After one whole quiet day in camp, I had the good luck yesterday to be sent off on a general quest for news, with authority to go where I pleased, and return as soon as convenient. Taking with me a Corporal who has some reputation as a pathfinder, I left camp at noon, dined at Savage with one of our detached companies and at Laurel struck off to the West toward the main body of our army. Passing up the road on a route I travelled last Sunday, and which had been picketed by rebels the night before, I reached at Mechanicsyille, some 18 miles from home, the rear-guard of BURNSIDE'S and HOOKER'S Division. The road was crowded with baggage wagons, rear-guards and stragglers. Mingling in the throng we pushed our way northward, now scrambling up high banks to avoid the crush of wagons, now riding down or up a brook to find a ford where bridges were closely packed, blinded with dust and weary with the long ride, the sun went down and left us, still in the thick of the train, in darkness. Their campfires blazed out gloriously in the woods and fields by the road side, where brigades were encamped. The easily handled shelter tent was already up, the men were cooking their suppers, and everybody but myself seemed to have some place to go, some camp to welcome them, some canvass-roof to offer shelter. In such circumstances my memory runs to hymns, and I thought of the pretty verse:

Here in the body pent,
Absent afar I roam,
Yet nightly pitch my moving tent
A day's march nearer home.

I had decided to pull out of the crowd at the first cross-road, seek the nearest cornfield to forage my horses, and, building a fire, to bivouac and sup on green corn. With this view I found my road and was making inquiries of some straggler, when a voice sang out, “Is that Dr. H.?” allowed it was. and “struck ile,” for my friend who at a long interval of time recognized my voice in the darkness, was none other than Quartermaster CLINTON, of the good old 21st. Queerly enough my voice was recognized a second time that same night.

In half an hour I spurred my horse around the tail of an ambulance in the camp of the 21st, and into the midst of a supper-eating party sitting on the grass and going in on hard bread, cold ham and coffee. By the light of a candle which seemed to have acquired a habit of standing alone without support, were Drs. WILCOY, PETERS AND STRONG, while a moment later came Col. ROGERS, Capts. VALLIER and GARDNER, and Lieuts. SRERNBERG and ADAMS. What a contrast to the cheerless and lonely bivouac I had expected, was it to be greeted with all the warmth of old friendship and sit down to supper, gossip and horse-laughs. The grass seemed soft, the cloudy heavens above looked kindly. But there was a sadness, too, about it. Where was WASHBURNE, HAYWARD, and others? Since I had heard from the 21st it had been in action, and its ranks were lessened by 12 killed and 180 wounded. The time for the hitherto fortunate regiment had come and found it ready. There is not a question that the 2ist fought not only well, but-with steady, disciplined, heroic valor. It did honor to the city of its origin. And what better use can 6 life, however rich in value, be put to than to tie for such a cause. When you look at the fact that all the field officers present wee hit, though only Major Thomas seriously, you know that the regiment was well fought.

What a long gossip we had that night on the Maryland hill side, and Surgeon W. talked me to sleep after we went to bed in the cock-loft of a two story ambulance! But fatigue does its-work and I had only one nap. lasting till revielle. After breakfast, just as the regiment was falling in to march, I bade them adieu, with the comrade feeling of uncertain hope that ail might meet again—God bless the 21st! I had another two miles season with the baggage wagons, and then striking off to the eastward, came out after a gallop of eight miles to the Baltimore and Frederick turnpike. Down that to Ellicott's Mills, dinner then, and so home made a ride of thirty miles, during which I passed the Carroll Manor, and a stately old farm of 10, 000 acres it is.

There is a strange charm about army life. The real soldier is a happy man. Reckless of storm or exposure, and making a jest of all mishaps, counting his life as something assigned to his country, steadfast in duty, and beyond that throwing off all care and responsibility upon his superior officers, he wags along under his knapsack, always contented. Such is the tone of most of the vast army now gathered within the narrow limits of Maryland. Constantly changing its scene of action, defeat has not broken its courage. and its most ardent hope is now for another dash at Stonewall Jackson, How much fangs upon the next week! If what seems to be the campaign can be carried out, if JACKSON can be intercepted, north of the Potomac and cut to pieces in Pennsylvania who cares what railroads he may in the meantime interrupt? or what one or two important towns he may capture? Jackson broken now, and then the great army of which we are but a drop in the bucket can sweep down to the South, and make “On ward to Richmond” a reality. Hope on Hope ever, and Fight on, Fight ever. H.

Letters from the Army.


DEAR EXPRESS:—Bah! what a night it is! Dreary, chill, with a mizzling rain from the northeast. Everything is humid. My clothes are damp, the earth-floor of my tent ditto, the paper on which I write is limp with moisture, and the wretched sheepskin on which the drummer is at this moment beating “Taps,” sounds as if somebody had squirted water into the air-hole. I have been on a grand promenade through camp, healing its infirmities. One fellow, who is quick in acquiring phrases, says he has “a right smart misery in the guts.”

Soldier-chaps, of brief experience, have a way of telling what they came to war for. Each man has his own ideas of what is the chief end of a soldier. Some think that they came here to fight, and not to guard a “doddarned railroad.” Others believe in the efficacy of drill, and want to learn the manual and the evolutions before they face the foe. Nobody, however, can see the fun in our present condition, in which our regiment is cut up into six detachments, with so much picket and patrol duty that we have no drill, and so much separation that we hardly know whether we belong to a regiment or to a mob. In such a state of things, there is “right smart of misery” at headquarters, to which, as to a common centre, all the grumbling tends. Out in the subordinate camps there is some fun, A detachment of one or two companies chooses a pleasant camp by the river side, and lead a regular gipsy life. They cultivate the acquaintance of the people in the neighborhood, get invitations to dinner, make bargains for milk, eggs, butter and peaches, and live like lords. It is now more than a week since all uneasiness as to our own position was dispelled, and “all is quiet along the lines.”

The rebel raid into Maryland has two sides to it. The programme at Richmond included arising in Maryland, riots and civil war in Baltimore, vast accessions to the numbers, ammunition and supplies of their armies, and the capture of Harrisburg at least, if not Philadelphia, So late as the 13th, the Richmond Enquirer laid down the distances and the best route to Philadelphia, and spoke of Jackson as on his way thither. In all these main essentials of success the invasion has been a failure. In conversation with the milk-and water secessionists of Maryland during the troubled times, I could see that they were more scared than gratified at the prospect of making Maryland the battle-field. They have the secession fever in a very mild way here. “Their sympathies are with the South,” but they want somebody else to do the fighting and make the sacrifices necessary to the redemption of ” My Maryland” from the “ LINCOLN Tyranny.” If not wise as serpents, they are harmless as doves.

On the other hand, the rebel account of the raid will be something like this: They crossed the Potomac with a moderate force, unopposed. They overrun the most fertile parts of the State, and when menaced by a superior force left Gen. LEE to amuse MCCLELLAN in the Catoctin mountains, while Stonewall Jackson proceeded to accomplish the original object of the expedition, the capture of Harper's Ferry from the rear. How far from the actual fact is such a statement?

Granting its truth, I am still gratified with the whole affair. Maryland is now irrevocably for the Union. The idea of terror that at any moment the secession element might rise in this State and cut off the North from the Federal Capital,is now extinguished. The traitors here have neither the numbers, the courage nor the organization to do serious harm. This is a solid gain, a permanent good, discouraging to the South and full of hope for the Union.

Furthermore, the capture of Harper’s Ferry is not a lasing calamity. If, as we hope, HEINNTZELMAN and SIGHL—names untarnished in this most destructive war to reputations—are on the Virginia side of the Potomac, prepared to meet Jackson and LEE as they fly before the hosts of MCCLELLAN, then indeed we are on the eye of a lasting and decisive success. It is not impolitic now to count somewhat on the deficient resources of the rebels. Starvation stares them in the face, and if the war can only be pushed vigorously before their corn crop is available, there is everything to hope. The recent energy of the rebels has, to some extent been inspired by desperation. It was now or never with them. They came confounded near making it now, but they have gained almost nothing by recent foragings. Maryland is like any other-slave State. It takes all they can raise to feed their niggers and provide for stealage, which is an enormous item among slaves. So there was not very much for them (the rebels) to get in this State, and that little was lesened by the desire to commit no acts of pillage while acting the role of “liberators.” H.


Ithaca Journal and Advertiser, October 1, 1862

Muster Roll of Company G, 109th Regiment.

We are indebted to the Trumansburg News for the following:

HEADQUARTERS 109TH Regiment, N. Y. S. V.,

To the Editors of the News:

Agreeable to your request I hand you a list of officers and privates of company G, recruited in the towns of Lansing, Ulysses, and Enfield, Tompkins county.

The company numbered when mustered in, one hundered and one rank and file, and I am happy to report ninetyeight on duty, two being sick in the hospital.

Company G has been on picket duty most of the time since we have been guarding the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. Just at present we are with our regiment. I would add, that yesterday our Colonel paid us the compliment of being the best drilled company in the regiment.

Lieut. Waterfield has been promoted to the Colonel's staff, which position he fills most creditably as an officer.

Our First Lieutenant, although not a native of Tompkins county, is every inch a soldier, he having served in the U. S. Service nearly seven years, and is considered one of the best drilled officers in the regiment.

The boys are all enjoying excellent health and spirits (not ardent), and are “spilin' for a fight.”

Captain, Company G, 109th Regiment.

A. W. Knettles, Captain.
M. Kelly, 1st Lieutenant; Wm. Austin, 2d Lieutenant.
Henry Hutchings, 1st Sergeant; John M. Fish, 2d do.; Andrew J. Labar, 3d do.; Edward Clough, 4th do., Justine Loomis, 5th do.
Philip Kresge, 1st Corporal; Wm. H. Raymond, 2d do.; Cephas Harvey, 3d do.; Wm. L. Osman, 4th do.; Ansel P. Coddington, 5th do.; James R. Bowen, 6th do.; DeWitt Treman, 7th do.; Wm. Mack, 8th do.
Jared Nivison, 1st Musician; Hiram Sawyer, 2d do.
Leroy Gibbs, Wagoner.
Stanley Stewart, Artificer.

PRIVATES. Thomas R Austin John C Allen George C Babcock C. Brockaway John Burns Charles Brown D Barnard A Bowyer C Baker A Bagley A Beadle J Bertholomew D B Boyce Charles Cole Merritt Comfort Philander S Cronk Philo G Colmean John W Day O K Dean D B Durling Sanford Davis Wm. N Evans S W Evans Julius Ervey F C Farrington Wm. Frazer Wm. Fish J C Fish W E Fish Lewis H Frazer Thomas R Galloup J W Goodwin S Gleason James Hunn A Hauser A W Hill G Q Hurlbut M Hurlbut James E Hall Daniel Hagin Henry Hitchcock Seluh Holden J Irish John A Inman S K Knapp S Lindsley J Lambert James S Lyke Hiram Leonard H C Lashier Martin Murphy Daniel Mack, jr G D Moreland A Moreland Charles Morgan E Oakley W E Price George M Page C Personius S Personius J H Quick G Raymond Wm. Renaud Ed. B. Smith J Shoemaker D J Thomas S C Thorp A A Updike A M Updike R Updike E C Van Kirk Wm. Van Order Wm. Van Master Joel Wood Geo. H Whitlock Wm. H Warring John H Warner M Weaver John A Williams


Buffalo Morning Express and Illustrated Buffalo Express, October 11, 1862

Letters from the Army.

Sunday, Oct 5, 1862.

DEAR EXPRESS: Do you know what comfort is? If not, just look into my tent this evening. The air is chill without, yet withal cheerful, invigorating and pleasant under the light of a moon nearly full. Inside a glorious fire is glowing in my under ground fire place, lighting up my canvass dwelling and giving it a home-like warmth. In the lower half of the two-story bedstead that occupies one third of its available space, “Waddilove,” my comrade and chum, lies peacefully sleeping. The upper story, or berth, awaits my somnolency. From ten camps around come a multitude of noises. A passing regiment is uproariously cheering, and our men, who have the same salutation from five to twenty passing regiments a day, reply with a vigor which does infinite credit to their patriotism and their wind. From all the company streets come the hum of conversation, the ringing laugh, or the explosive grunt of trombone practices,—for be it known we have a brass band in our regiment, on our own hook, and without government aid.

And that is all. Except that we are growing as a regiment, that our men gain every day in soldierly feeling, discipline and appearance, we are utterly without incident, and “story! I have none, sir!” To gain something all the time, to know that we are well fed, orderly, neat, and constantly improving in all that makes the soldier, is a great deal for us; but very little to write newspaper letters about.

Yet on the other hand, any man that has no news after a week of silence is an unobservant specimen of humanity. I have after all something to say, having just “closed the case” in an inquest I have been holding on the Maryland farmer as a representative man. I know him and his class like a book. Let me describe him. First


When your camp is in the neighborhood of his house, he sends you presents of peaches, of pies, and of worm-eaten apples. He cultivates your acquaintance and allows his niggers to sell you milk;—and then, in a little while, he put in his bill for all his presents, and asks you a damnable price therefor. And when he charges you with gallons of milk where you had quarts, and you, with Yankee meanness, remonstrate, he coolly assumes that you shall pay for all he sends by his nigger, and not for the moiety thereof which you receive. And then, when you tell him to go where he is not due until he departs this life, he comes down several pegs, and calls it a misunderstanding. Second, HE IS HOSPITABLE.

You ride up, hungry as a wolf, to his gate. There is no tavern for miles. He informs you with a princely and baronial air, that he has entertained thousands and never took a picayune from any man; that no one was ever turned from his door, and says, “Gentlemen, wont you light?” You go in; he gives you good coffee, greasy ham and water-logged potatoes, (he is usually just out of butter,) and when, like a Northern mudsill, you offer him pay, he says, “No sir; I can always give a gentleman & meal without pay; that's for the women or the niggers; I never take no pay myself.” And so you pay the women or the niggers double price for a poor meal, and he takes the money away from them as soon as your back is turned. Thirdly,


You pitch your camp in his neighborhood. He has a straw stack, half thistles and the rest weeds. You are in a hurry; the quartermaster is busy, he wont sell anything, and you take what you want, he suggesting that as the easiest course, and calling goodnaturedly while your men go off with the straw. The next day, he goes to Baltimore, tells his own story to General Wool, and you get a reprimand for pillaging. Consequence is, our Maryland farmer gets $20 a ton for four times as much straw as he ever had. This he thinks better (for him) than honest price for an honest weight.

Such is the style of the Maryland farmer. Shiftless beyond measure in his agriculture, high-sounding in his notions of hospitality, contemptuous of money, he will gut you or any other man in a business transaction. A Connecticut clock-pedlar would lose his eye teeth in dealing with him. I have seen all sorts of them; dined to-day with a man who has six hundred acres of land, and am willing to bet something that he will sooner or later make Captain H. pay for the dinner to which he very cordially invited us both. I dont know that I blame them much. They dont know enough to get an honest living. Their farms are worn out and profitless, their niggers are not worth enough to quarrel about now-adays, for there is no market South to sell them to, and beyond that they have no source of income. The war enriches them and they make the most of it. Half of them were “secession in sentiment” a little while ago, just as the First Ward is “democratic in sentiment,” without knowing why. Now, they are good enough Union men, The war came just near enough to them to learn them what it would be to have a visit from their “Southern brethren” in force. It would cost too much, and money is considerable of an institution in the high-toned and chivalric State of Maryland.

Dont let me be unjust. I know men here who in the dark days a few weeks ago hailed my shoulder-straps as the signal of brotherhood, whose houses were open to our visits, whose warmest words and most hearty thanks came out freely for the soldiers of the Union. Such as these there are enough of, especially in Baltimore, Frederic and Montgomery counties, to hold Maryland firm by the flag in spite of all the seedy aristocrats I have tried to describe in this letter. H.

P. S. October 6. Had a hard black frost last night.


Union (NY) Union News, October 16, 1862


Special Correspondent of the “News.”



MY DEAR SIR: I have a few moments (or rather take a few which belong to old mother sleep) to myself, and will use them in the pleasing, as well as the happy occupation, in redeeming the pledge which I gave you the evening before I left the quiet and peaceful village of Union, with all its pleasing and happy associations, perhaps for ever. I just begin to realize, how many obligations I am under to the good and generous people of Union. I had met our Chaplain, Rev. Albert Wyatt, once before I left Broome county, but was not acquainted with him until he reached this place, which he did some three weeks ago; since which I have found him a very gentlemanly and social companion, whose talents are of a high order. By his untiring devotion to the wants of the men of this Regiment, has proved himself to be just what a Chaplain should, a noble high-minded Christian; who feels and realizes the responsibilities of his position, and has the moral courage to discharge his whole duty.

I was at Baltimore the other day - stopped at the “Eutaw House” - the building itself is a very find one, and it is called a first class hotel, and it may be, but the manner in which it is kept will not compare within one hundred per cent to the American Hotel in Binghamton.

A few weeks ago, I had occasion to pass over the road from Williamsport to Harrisburg, and the sight that met my eyes at every Depot was truly grand. It was a whole patriotic people rising up as one man, and rushing to the capitol of their State, in obedience to the call of their patriotic Governor. I heard one man say, as he held up an old musket, “this piece fell from my grand-father's hands on 'Bunker Hill,' and my father used it at Plattsburgh in the war of 1812, and it is yet good for the first Rebel that dare set his foot upon the soil of Pennsylvania.” It is truly wonderful to see how sincerely the people of Pennsylvania love Governor Curtin. None but a good man could get such a hold upon the affections of his people.

Col. Tracy and his Regiment is neither cut up nor captured, but very pleasantly encamped in a large field near the depot at this place - nearly all well and happy - not one of them homesick. As I become acquainted with the officers of this Regiment, I am more convinced each day, that I have great reason to be thankful, first all the Officers of the 109th are kind hearted gentlemen.

It is quite enough to say, that the health of the soldiers are well cared for, when I announce the fact, that Dr. Sandford Hunt, of Buffalo, is at the head of the Medical Department of this Regiment. His fine natural abilities have been well cultivated by close application, while his very mature is impregnable to any thing selfish. He will give up his own bed any time rather than see a soldier suffer - he is all a Regimental Surgeon should be - a gentleman, and if it be my misfortune to be sick, I want to fall in no better hands than Dr. Hunts.

Although Col. Tracy was not a military man when he entered the service, neither was he a Lawyer when he first entered upon the study of that profession, but his industry soon placed him at the head of the bar of Tioga County, and if he lives and moves on in the military line as he has thus far, will soon hold a commanding position in the military affairs of this country. His officers and soldiers love and respect him, because he treats them as men. It may be that “profanity and intemperance” are indispensible qualifications for a great and well drilled Colonel, but the soldiers of the 109th Regiment have been, as yet, unable to see it in that light, notwithstanding all they have read.

I do not believe there is a man in this Regiment who would get drunk or even drink liquor, if Col. Tracy should ask him not to. We have a battallion drill each forenoon, at which time military men frequently visit the Regiment, for the purposes of inspection. The Colonel, in the presence of the men, handles his Regiment with the same coolness he would a case before a jury. I have heard it said quite often by these military visitors, that Col. Tracy will soon have the best drilled Volunteer Regiment in the service.

Lieut. Col. Catlin is here and chafing awfully to get a chance to […] his sword with any rebel who will venture to cross his path; he hates a rebel with a perfect hatred, and if he meets one, there will be a union which death along will soon divide.

While P. B. Stilson is Major all over, he loves camp life with all the excitement, and has a good word of encouragement for all. The men think a great deal of the Major, and well they should; he is a friend to every one and does all in his power to make their lives pleasant. But if the Regiment should take a vote upon the question “who was made on purpose for Captain I” E. L. Lewis, of Binghamton, would get a unanimous vote. Works does not tire him, while he laughs at all the privations of the Camp. I really think he would be willing to march six days without eating, provided he could have the privilege of fighting the rebels on the seventh, instead of reclining.

Lieut M. B. Robbins, Sergeant N. W. Chandler, in fact, all the boys from Union, are doing themselves a great deal of credit; they are well liked in their Companies and Regiment.

There may be a great deal of Union enlistment in this State, but as the boys […] I do not believe there is a true Union man […]


Binghamton(NY) Broome Republican, October 22, 1862


SANDY HOOK, Oct. 11, 1862.

FRIEND STUART:—Being obliged to wait over here for a train to leave for Washington, I thought best to drop you a few lines informing you of my travels through the different camps of the Union army. I first went to Annapolis Junction to visit the 109th N. Y. Regiment; Col. Tracy commanding not only the Regiment, but a Brigade-he having received the appointment while I was there. He is now in Gen. Banks' Corps de Armes. Col. Tracy makes a splendid officer, well liked by his officers and men. I heard him complimented by an officer of the regular army who stated that he learned his duties quicker than any man he ever say, and that be was a fine officer and that the Regiment went through with their drills like old veterans. I saw them out on dress parade - they were clean and their guns bright, they were neatly dressed and equipped, all of which is necessary to make a regiment appear well, and they performed their evolutions and marches equal to old veterans. I think Binghampton ought to be proud of her sons, as she has turned out some of the finest regiments of the State. This regiment has been removed to Beltsville, a Station about nine miles below the Junction and about eighteen miles from Washington, doing guard duty. The Colonel of the other regiments report to him at that place.

On Wednesday I left the Junction…


Binghamton(NY) Broome Republican, October 22, 1862

VIGILANCE OF GEN. WOOL.—Col. Tracy, commanding a brigade at Beltsville, some 12 miles from this city on the railroad to Annapolis Junction, was surprised by a telegram from Gen. Wool at Baltimore, saying: “Keep well on your guard, and be prepared to prevent any raid on the railroad by the enemy. Keep your troops well in hand.” Col. Tracy telegraphed to Maj. Gen. Banks a request for cavalry, adding that he did not know the apprehended point of danger. Gen. Banks delicately intimated to Gen. Wool that Col. Tracy was not under his command —N. Y. Tribune.

The numerous friends of Col. Tracy will be glad to learn, that he is acting as Brigadier General. Gen, Wool and other army officers, have repeatedly complimented the Col. for his quick insight into military matters,and the thorough discipline of his regiment, which ranks among the very best of the new volunteers. We doubt whether a higher compliment has been paid to any officer since the war commenced, than this appointment of one who has been but two months in the service, to such a prominent and responsible position; and we are sure no compliment has been more worthily bestowed.

We have seen a letter from Lieut. E. R. Jones, of the 109th regiment, dated Beltsville, Md., Oct, 10, in which he gives a very interesting account of their removal to that place. He writes that the regiment is in good health and the boys in excellent spirits and that Col. Tracy as we have stated before, is now acting Brigadier-General and has full charge of the Road from Annapolis Junction to Washington, The 109th is now in Gen. Banks' Division.


Fayette County Herald, November 6, 1862

From Capt. Robinson's Cavalry.

COLESVILLE, MD. Oct 21st 1862.

ED. HERALD. Twelive miles North of Washington City, at the small village bearing the above name, consisting of a grocery, hotel, three dwellings and a stable, you will find the head-quarters of the first Squadron Ohio cavalry.

We are here under Col. Tracy, of the 109th New York regiment, infantry, whose head-quarters is at Beltsville, six miles East of us, on the Washington City Branch of the Baltimore & Ohio R. R.


Letter of J. C. Bull, for sale at:

November the 13th 1862

Dear Friends,

I will try to pen an answer to your worthy letter received a few days since which I can assure you was welcomely received. And if my letters are worthy to be answered, I can improve my leisure moments, for I cannot say they extend to hours. Then answering yours. But I must stop to strike tents. That done, I will continue. I still remain well and far as ever from the Field of Battle, but are in hopes by the removal of McClellan, there will be something done.

I have returned from company drill which we are doing all the time or spending our time in vain labor. I will tell you how our time is spent: at six a.m. roll call and squad drill until eight, then breakfast at nine, our tents are taken down at ten, company drill which lasts till 12, then dinner. At two, battalion drill. We go about one mile from camp for that. It lasts until four. Our tents are then put up and dress parade till six and roll call at nine p.m. The effects we see by going through the hospital.

The weather has been pleasant excepting one or two days the latter part of last week. The snow fell six inches. Our cloth tents were poor substitute to shield us from the cold. Until noon we contrived with 25 cents worth of iron to dig a hole in the corner of the tent to warm the tent and cook also.

How did the election turn out? I have heard several different stories about it. Would not be surprised by the Republicans leaving that the Democrats have elected their Gov. W.

Is the underground road in running order? There is a noble chance for passengers to leave here. There are several in our camp. Besides, several have been sent north as to war. There is nothing concerning it. There is quite an excitement in camp and all are waiting impatiently the effect in the change of generals of which many are pleased. But we hope it is a providential change.

You must excuse me for this time it is nearly time for battalion drill, so good bye with love to all. Write soon.

From your friend,

J. C. Bull

No doubt you heard things done in a hurry is not half done. I wrote your letter and as you will see, commenced one to Gideon Wright. And doing things in a hurry, put it with Elbridges’ letter for you and before I had discovered the mistake, the mail had gone. But knowing that you are acquainted with my many mistakes, it does not embarrass me as much as it might. Excuse blots, mistakes, and poor writing.

Yours truly,
J.C. Bull

Union (NY) News, November 20, 1862


Army Correspondent of the “News.”

Beltsville, Head Quarters,
Railway Brigade, 109th Reg.,
Co. H., Nov. 8th, 1865. [1862]

DEAR NEWS: As I am sitting here in my seven by nine, thinking of home and the many friends connected with that dear old place, amount the number is the News, which is received with great delight by all, and equally sought for by them and are greatly disappointed if it does not arrive on time. Our Reg't is still at Beltsville doing guard duty on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which takes only three Companies out at a time. Whither me may stay here all winter or not I cannot say. Probably you are aware that Gen. Banks, under whose command we are placed, is fitting out an expedition to send to Texas. It is reported, and which comes from good authorities, that we are to go with it. As for myself, if we are to move, I would as soon or rather go there than on the Potomac. We have a pleasant Camp and well laid out, the prevailing neatness, from the officers quarters to the furtherest cook house, is remarked by all who visit our Camp, either officially or as visitors, and which contributes much to the health of our men. Our Regimental and Company streets are neatly laid out and well graded, all of which is owing to the energies of our Col. who does everything to make our Camp a pleasant and healthy one, […] in enforcing strict military laws, and improving the Regiment in drill. I can say without any hesitation, that our Regiment is not behind any that have been in the field no longer than we. It is truly surpassing to see the efficiently which he has brought the Regiment up to in so short a time. The men complained bitterly at first that he should be so strict. Military laws was something they were not used to, and it came very hard for them to habituate themselves to it, but they now see the necessity of it in order to make them good soldiers, without which, a Regiment can never prosper. They daily get more used to it, and are praising the Colonel in the highest manner for the privileges he allows them. I can say with a great deal of pride, that we have a splendid set of officers. The Col. is rapidly becoming well acquainted with military life and drill, and bids fair to become one of the best in the army. This is well proved by his promotion, as that of acting Brigadier General, is a testimony that he is appreciated at Head Quarters. Also the Lieut. Col. who is not behind, and will make his mark. The Adjutant is around every time, and makes an excellent officer, and well spoken of by all. The other officers are all gentlemen in every sense of the word, and thought a great of by their men.

I noticed an article which was wrote by one of the 137, who complained bitterly of the manner in which they were used by their officers. I am happy to inform you that we have no such treatment. Our men conduct themselves in a gentleman like manner, which is remarked of by the people, and those who visit our camp. We have no quarreling or fighting, and all passes off finely. Day before yesterday we were reminded of winter by the fall of 5 or 6 inches of snow, but this morning old Sol shed forth her glorious rays, and Mr. Snow had to disperse, which left it very unpleasant under foot. The health of our Regiment I am sorry to say is not very good. I believe Company H reports 11 in the Hospital, and 13 in quarters. I presume the remainder of the Companies are the same, or more. We have comfortable quarters for sick, which consists of a dwelling house and a small church, both of which are full of all the good things we are furnished with. We have a splendid band which makes it more pleasant for us, as they discouse the National air, and especially sweet home, it remines us of our dear homes and friends, which we left behind us, with all the enjoyments that home can afford, to go and battle for liberty and right. A soldiers life is not as desirable a job as I might wish. We never can realize the real comfort and enjoyment we are surrounded with, until we are separated from them. It is all for our country, and we must sacrifice everything but what we have our rights.

I bid you adieu, and retire to rest on the soft side of a board.

Respectfully yours, “W.”


Trumansburg News, November 28, 1862


November 16th, 1862.


Yours of the 6th instant came to hand in due time and you may be assured that I was glad to hear from you. I don't see why you can't write oftener. If you could only see us crowd around the sergeant when he brings up the letters from the train as if passes, and see the smiling faces of those who have been fortunate enough to receive “good news from.home,” as they go skipping, away to their tents, with spirits light and buoyant with the pleasure which is before them of perusing the lines penned by the hand of some loved one far away, and then turn and see those who have not been so fortunate, with sorrowful faces, their every look and movement indicating disappointment, their spirits seeming weighed down, as they go moping to their tents to hide their grief, or to console themselves by hearing others read some portions of their letters; I say, if you could but see all this, you would write a letter every day I am certain.

You speak of home. No, “there is no place like home.” But when that home is threatened to be made desolate by the hand of traitors who are attempting to destroy the Government which protects it, then it becomes the duty of every man who is fit to wear the name of a man to leave that home, its comforts and joys, and all else that he loves, no matter how dearly, and fly to her rescue, and none but cowards will stay at home in such a crisis. I love my home and those I have left behind as dearly as any one can, and would, of all things, like best to-be with you, yet I do not regret for a moment having stepped into the ranks to fight for the maintenance of the laws, the Union, the Constitution, and the cause of humanity. And should I fall in the contest, either by the bullet or disease, be assured that I have given my life to perpetuate these sacred institutions and the principles involved therein, and it should be the especial care of every American citizen to watch with a jealous eye and see to it that they are handed down to future generations unsullied as they have received them. And to give one's life, if needed, in such a cause, will be of greater benefit to future generations than it could be in any other way in which it might be disposed of.

But suppose we should return home well and sound (as most of us will do), would any of us ever, regret the little privations and hardships we have had to undergo, and the little time we have deprived ourselves of home and friends (although it now seems a long time) to stand by our country in the time of her greatest need? Ask that question in this camp, and you would hear such a shout of “ No!” as you, never heard before. No, home and friends will be all the dearer to us, for we will know their value better, and can prove our love for them by our sacrifices for them.

You also express your pleasure at our being so comfortably situated and well provided for. Think not that we are unmindful of the favors we have received in this respect, and we are truly thankful for it. Full well do we know that we are having the,easiest part to play just at present, and wish that this was all of war. But the sad tales of those who have been in the foremost ranks of many a hard fought battle tell us that this is not all. And while we are thus grateful for the comfortable position we have been allowed to occupy, yet there is not a man among us who is not ready and willing to march forward at a moment's warning and take our places in the front by the side of those veterans who have won honors which will last as long as time lasts, and go through, if need be, with all the toil, hardships, and privations that they have endured.

Again, you speak of working for the sick and wounded soldiers. That is the most noble, patriotic, and praiseworthy way in which you can be employed. Who on earth has a better right to the sympathy and labor of those that stay at home than those who have gone forth from that home to fight the battles of their country, and have felt the cold lead or burnished steel piercing their flesh and shattering their homes, or have been attacked by that more malignant enemy; disease?

But I will wot weary your patience longer. I will answer some of your questions and then close.
Your affectionate brother.


Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, December 10, 1862


November 16th, 1862.


Yours of the 6th instant came to hand in due time and you may be assured that I was glad to hear from you. I don't see why you can't write oftener. If you could only see us crowd around the sergeant when he brings up the letters from the train as if passes, and see the smiling faces of those who have been fortunate enough to receive “good news from.home,” as they go skipping, away to their tents, with spirits light and buoyant with the pleasure which is before them of perusing the lines penned by the hand of some loved one far away, and then turn and see those who have not been so fortunate, with sorrowful faces, their every look and movement indicating disappointment, their spirits seeming weighed down, as they go moping to their tents to hide their grief, or to console themselves by hearing others read some portions of their letters; I say, if you could but see all this, you would write a letter every day I am certain.

You speak of home. No, “there is no place like home.” But when that home is threatened to be made desolate by the hand of traitors who are attempting to destroy the Government which protects it, then it becomes the duty of every man who is fit to wear the name of a man to leave that home, its comforts and joys, and all else that he loves, no matter how dearly, and fly to her rescue, and none but cowards will stay at home in such a crisis. I love my home and those I have left behind as dearly as any one can, and would, of all things, like best to-be with you, yet I do not regret for a moment having stepped into the ranks to fight for the maintenance of the laws, the Union, the Constitution, and the cause of humanity. And should I fall in the contest, either by the bullet or disease, be assured that I have given my life to perpetuate these sacred institutions and the principles involved therein, and it should be the especial care of every American citizen to watch with a jealous eye and see to it that they are handed down to future generations unsullied as they have received them. And to give one's life, if needed, in such a cause, will be of greater benefit to future generations than it could be in any other way in which it might be disposed of.

But suppose we should return home well and sound (as most of us will do), would any of us ever, regret the little privations and hardships we have had to undergo, and the little time we have deprived ourselves of home and friends (although it now seems a long time) to stand by our country in the time of her greatest need? Ask that question in this camp, and you would hear such a shout of “ No!” as you, never heard before. No, home and friends will be all the dearer to us, for we will know their value better, and can prove our love for them by our sacrifices for them.

You also express your pleasure at our being so comfortably situated and well provided for. Think not that we are unmindful of the favors we have received in this respect, and we are truly thankful for it. Full well do we know that we are having the,easiest part to play just at present, and wish that this was all of war. But the sad tales of those who have been in the foremost ranks of many a hard fought battle tell us that this is not all. And while we are thus grateful for the comfortable position we have been allowed to occupy, yet there is not a man among us who is not ready and willing to march forward at a moment's warning and take our places in the front by the side of those veterans who have won honors which will last as long as time lasts, and go through, if need be, with all the toil, hardships, and privations that they have endured.

Again, you speak of working for the sick and wounded soldiers. That is the most noble, patriotic, and praiseworthy way in which you can be employed. Who on earth has a better right to the sympathy and labor of those that stay at home than those who have gone forth from that home to fight the battles of their country, and have felt the cold lead or burnished steel piercing their flesh and shattering their homes, or have been attacked by that more malignant enemy; disease?

But I will wot weary your patience longer. I will answer some of your questions and then close.
Your affectionate brother.


Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, December 17, 1862


Scaggs Station, Nov. 28th, 1862.

FRIEND STUART: As Co. E, 109th Regt. N. Y. S. V. is emphatically a Binghamton Co., it strikes me that a letter from us would prove acceptable to your numerous and intelligent readers. It was my intention to occasionally correspond with you and through you with the citizens of our beautiful village, when I accepted what appeared and still appears to me a great privilege, to rush to arms to save from utter ruin the best government that ever had or may have an existence on this planet. You may think that I use the privilege out of place, as the position was easily obtained - in fact when a bounty was offered sharpening our perceptions, enabling us to see our right, our imperative duty to sustain this, the government of our own choice, in which while sustaining we sustain ourselves. And although I was aware, as far as a civilian could be of the vast sacrifices our country bade us lay upon her altar, yet with the mighty consequences hanging on results - the mighty conflict pending, between light and darkness, the great problem of the ages is now being solved, whether right or wrong shall triumph, if this our young and vigorous republic possess in itself the elements of strength sufficient to withstand internal treachery. Believing as I do, that civilized humanity is waiting awe struck, trembling for the summing up of issues, it appears to me palpably plain, that to array ourselves on the side of right in such a contest, is a privilege of the first water, the acceptance of which out and will encircle the names of all participants in a wreath of glory.

Those of us in Co. E, and this term us, includes the whole Co., who are not now undergoing the trials and vicissitudes incidental to camp life, have at least one sustaining prop, and that is the self congratulation every one receives who runs nor falters in the path of duty. that duty, bidding us leave our homes, our peaceful firesides, the joys that cluster round domestic life, remaining unplucked and withering on their boughs. Yet it seems to us, the better way, that they should rather be ungathered for a season, than have their roots left earthless, and the soil made barren which the fathers fructified.

We think we have almost arrived at the same condition of things which called forth the celebrated saying of the Roman Father Gods; “can a free born people long dispute which of the two to choose, slavery or death,” and I do not think there is a member of Co. E who would not lengthen out the echo of that deathless sentence uttered by the immortal patriot Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty or give me death!”

Are there any of our young or middle aged men remaining in Binghamton who would retire into themselves and ask this question? Could we retain our manhood? Would not shame blacken our inner visage did we without a stern resistance, involving death, repel to the utmost of our ability, the surging swell despotic that would drown our liberties and leave us naked on the pointed roofs of slavery. If there are any, tell them for us, to doff the name American. Give them a name, who can, we plead a lack of language. Doubtless in this conflict of the ages, we may incur what to the superficial may appear disaster.

Many, how many homes will drink the bitter cup of sorrow. Our nation may be clothed in sackcloth, and the tuneless wail of misery murmur in our streets. Yet if the end is finally attained, the vast experiment demonstrated to a waiting world, if a free and intelligent people are capable of self government, although the price of proof may possibly be large, we could not in the range of reason, find a treasury more safe than in this crisis to deposit all our wealth - our wealth, material and intellectual. It would be but the dictate of an enlightened wisdom for every son of America to sell his present personal safety, mortgage his happiness, and place his merely selfish interest on deposit for the public weal. He must give up his soft feather bed; his comfortably heated dwellings - not to enumerate - we must give up a thousand and one domestic felicities that we may secure to ourselves and our children an inheritance worth having.

How could our children read without a withering pang, a sinking sense of feebleness chained down to insult. Thrust hopelessly into the sunless shade of poverty, because their fathers were insolvent - because they lacked the needed bullion of true manhood. Before we would see this monster rebellion - this nest of traitorous vipers prove a success, stinging to death our young republic, no bribe however large, no threat however strong, not all the enginery of foul fed despotism must strangle in our souls; a living purpose resting on the very granite in our natures, to resist all inroads our attempts to crush the life from freedom, or destroy those liberties bequeathed us by our fathers.

And you may rest assured that the 109th Regiment, Col. Tracy commanding, are preparing themselves to enter a leaden veto against all further trespass on our institutions, purposing to punch the puncheans of Rosewater with our bayonets, that has to freely been sprinkled on the most unholy rebellion. We think that the kid skins with which the rebels have been handled so tenderly, vividly remind us of the saying of Poor Richard, “that a cat in mittens catches no mice.” Hence we throw the soiled kid-skins to the moles and hats and meet them with the naked steel and whizzing bullet.

Although our Regiment may have been placed adverse to becoming what in military parlance is termed a well drilled regiment seeing we have been assigned to the somewhat responsible position as guard of the Washington branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, yet, although our regiment has been cut up into companies, through the indomitable energy of our field, and the praiseworthy exertions of our company officers, the 109th will compare advantageously with any other raised under the call for the first 300,000.

We went directly to Annapolis Junction after bidding adieu to Binghamton, pitched our tents in a splendid level field -seemingly designed as a first class school-ground for raw recruits; our company streets in short notice presenting a neat and orderly appearance. At the Junction we received our arms and acoutrements and were initiated into the school of the soldier. Being apt scholars we had received our first lessons in the school of the […], our Captain expressing himself highly pleased with our progress, telling us it was his determination to make Co. E. the model company. Let me whisper, the other companies will have to be right smart I reckon, to follow in our track. Such was the disposition of affairs when we received orders to march at 5 minutes notice.

The rush and bustle of preparation over, we formed in our street amid a volley of questions - where - where are we going, our destination kept a profound secret until Gen. Surmise showered them forth a different answer to every question, one not the most ridiculous, that our sudden movement was no less an undertaking than the capture of Stonewall Jackson. We were marched to the depot, where we entered cars waiting to receive us - we entered in total darkness - after waiting some little time we started on our seemingly strategical enterprise. We moved onward at rather a slow pace, the rattle of the cars scarcely interrupting conversation, when it was amusing to listen to the deeds heroic about to have an early birth. The flow of spirit ardent, but not intoxicating, was indeed buoyant, and although we could not see each other faces, the voices had a merry cheerful ring, telling conclusively that the desire of all present was to enter active service and be led at once against the vile despoliers of our country's peace.

There was a slight murmur of disappointment perceptible in Co. E, on finding after a two miles ride that we were detailed simply as pickets. The guards were posted and the balance of our company bivouacked that night in an old barrack at Savage Switch, many however, preferring to stretch themselves on the bosom of mother earth, suspicious that some of the old residents might form a very disagreeable union with their body cloths, which in the end would have resulted in an itching to dissolve the compact, we again pitched our tents on the right bank of the Potuxent river. Said river is a small sluggish, muddy stream, spanned at this point by a substantial iron bridge at an elevation of from 30 to 35 feet. This was an important position to protect, perhaps the most likely to be attacked between the two cities, hence the necessity for a powerful guard. We established our camp, named it camp Lewis, in honor of the Captain, he being appointed Commandant of post, Co. E and Co. H forming the detachment; remained here about four weeks. Let me relate a little incident which occured before we left Camp Lewis illustrative of the material which enters into the composition of Co. E. One night, whether by accident or otherwise, we heard echoing in the stillness of the night, our camps hours before having retired to their “pallets of straw,” the signal to arms! In less than three minutes our Co. was in line, rifles loaded, bayonets fixed and not only ready but eager for the fray. Our Captain, in a few brief sentences, exhorted us to calmness, intrepid coolness, to take deliberate aim, fire low, and be certain to give the first volley; if there was no more than five hundred in the attacking force, we were to consider ourselves the stronger party, and on no account to retreat without commandment, and then he said we will only retire and blaze away from behind the trees. We waited in rain for the appearance of secesh; we were dismissed to sleep on our arms. Next morning at roll call we received payment in full for our disturbed slumbers by receiving from our Captain, what is dear to every soldier, the consciously deserved plaudits of worthy deeds. We were again ordered to Annapolis Junction where we entered the school of the batallion and soon attained a proficiency that called forth encomiums from veterans who had seen service, declaring us equal to regiments instated twelve months previous. Remaining no over two weeks at the Junction, the whole regiment were ordered to Beltsville 13 miles north of Washington. It was our first march and was on one of those boiling warm days and the roads were exceedingly dusty, so much so that marching by platoon, at platoon distance, the first was comparatively masked in a cloud of dust from the second.

By easy stages we arrived at Beltsville about sundown; being somewhat fatigued we spread out our blanket and without an effort sunk peacefully into the arms of somnus. On the morning we left the Junction our company was formed in line and had marched to our parade ground, when a heavy accident covered, as with a pall, the otherwise bouyant spirits of our company. Notice came that our loved Captain had met with an unlooked for misfortune from one of those whiffling little revolvers, (may it never bark again) the ball grazing the bone of his right leg, between the knee and ankle. Heroicly he endured the extraction of the envious missile, but nature asserting her prerogative, demanded that our Captain must remain behind, and as afflictions never come single, our first Lieut., M. B. Robbins, was engaged in a hand to hand combat with the demon dysentery, consequently unable to replace Capt. Lewis. Even then we were not utterly forsaken, our second Lieut. R. McChristain, found himself in exclusive command of Co. E, which circumstance stirred into action a mine of latent power, which, when in operation, excited a rare combination of faculties, eminently qualifying him for a successful commander and that when occasion offers, he will prove himself the right man in the right place.

Co. E remained one night in Beltsville. Before breakfast we were ordered to Scaggs station,10 miles north of Washington. Shortly after we were joined by our Captain and first Lieut., our Captain returning to his home in Binghamton; the whole Co., with revolvers at a discount, praying for his speedy return. Many were almost disconsolate at parting with our Captain, but I only reiterate the oft repeated expressions of company E, when I record that under the efficient military regimine, the tireless studies, the strict discipline, the almost ceaseless drill, (nights excepted) of Lieut. Robbins, we have maintained our reputation as the company of the 109th.

I perceive that my communication is getting rather lengthy; one other item and I close. The other day Lieut. Robbins, after a brisk drill of three hours, before breaking ranks told us we would drill no more that day; we would devote the afternoon to a thorough clean as there would be a general inspection on the morrow. A generous rivalry was inaugurated who would have the cleanest gun, the brightest buttons, the best packed knapsack, &c., a rumor being somehow circulated that we might have a visit from head-quarters. At the hour appointed we formed in our company street, every man in full uniform, and I do not think a company could appear in better shape. Inspection over, we marched to our parade ground, again formed in line, parallel with the Rail Road, receiving the command parade rest. Shortly after a train of cars sped along, stopped, and our Captain made his appearance. We made rather an awkward movement of present arms, the joy at again seeing our Captain rendering second in our minds every other consideration. He approached, every one receiving a warm shake of the hand; when we gave three rousing cheers and a tiger, which made the welkin ring. We then escorted him to his quarters where our first Lieut. informed us of the innocent device practiced to […] us as agreeably, asking the pardon of all present. It was responded to by a spontaneous burst of hipp hipp hurrrh! for Lieut. Robbins, after which arms port! break ranks! Co. E. felt happy.



Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, December 19, 1862


CAMP OF 109TH REGT., N. Y. S. V.
Beltsville, M. D., Dec. 1, 1862

FRIEND STUART: I do not aspire to be an army correspondent but seeing a place in the Binghamton Democrat, written by a Mr. Rover, of the 137th N. Y. Regt., I thought it deserved an answer to let that worthy correspondent know that we resent such base and unjustifiable treatment. It is true, we have not moved as often as they, for he says they have picked the […] from, and put in order five camps, while we have only four, that is this company, and other companies have moved as often and rigged as many encampments if not more. We have not moved our entire Regiment but once wince we arrived at Annapolis Junction, and then we only went to Beltsville, M. D., a distance of about twelve miles; but there have been companies continually on the move, and to sum it all up they have moved once more than we; and that is a big thing to brag about, but we can't see it; nor have we been on the eve of so great a battle as they, when they made their perilous reconnaisance through Charlestown, Va., and by the way, I think they took more pigs and poultry than prisoners; and the statement of our going from Binghamton to Annapolis Junction, and remaining there very since, is certainly false, as I can easily prove, if proof is necessary. And now I do not know, as we are to blame because we are here, for we are ready and willing to go wherever our authorities see fit to send us. We came here to serve our country in its present critical situation, and wherever we can do the most good we are willing to go, and it if is to stay here, I don't know as it need excite his jealousy, and furthermore I think it is none of his business. He says if the Government ever thinks us of account enough to put on the march, we will learn to respect a soldier though his cap and shoes are dirty. Whether we are considered of any account or not will plainly be seen by being placed in care of so important a post as guarding this railroad where such vast proportions of the supplies which go to maintain our army are daily passing through; and as for learning to respect a soldier that lesson has already been learned, for we feel none but the purest respect for the soldiers of the 137th; nor do we wish to feel any other, and if we ever shall be called upon to go into battle, we certainly shall do our best, though of course we cannot reasonably expect to rival the gallant 137th; and that pitiable wretch, as he is pleased to call him, who wrote a letter for the Times, thinks he had better keep his pity for himself, and we certainly think he stands the most in need of it. To close he says his ammunition has about played out. Well any one who reads his letter would naturally come to the conclusion that his ammunition had played out as well as his brains. Yours truly,



Trumansburg News, December 19, 1862


December 9th, 1862.


Winter is fairly upon us now. Last Friday it snowed several inches, and the most of it lies upon the ground yet. The days are pleasant and quite warm for this time of year, but the nights are very cold. Last Saturday might some of the people here say was the coldest they have seen in several years. During the two last nights of last week it froze ice in the creek thick enough to bear my weight, and by this time it must be two or three inches thick. Had I my skates here I might have a pleasant time even way down here in Maryland. I thought when we got down here we would be in a warmer climate, but I see but little difference, except during the middle of the day, from the climate of New York. It thaws some every day but not as much as it freezes nights. But in spite of the snow and cold we are very comfortably situated in our canvas houses. Our fire keeps the tent plenty warm. We have fifteen blankets in our tent, so you can reasonably suppose we do not suffer much nights, Whenever it rains or the wind blows cold up there, you need not think of us as poor soldiers shivering over our fires, but as soldiers almost as happy and as comfortably situated as though by our own cheerful firesides at home. And last, but not least, we are living well, which alone you know will make most men happy. We have beefsteak from two to three tines a day. Last night we had mush and milk for supper which you may know tasted good to us. We hare to pay about two cents a pound for meal and six cents a quart for milk. We have a table in our tent and we cook out own rations and eat just as though at home.

Last Saturday Elder Bacon was in camp but as I was on duty out of camp did not have much chance to talk with him. We tried to persuade him to stay and preach for us the next day but he could not. If you come down here this winter, and I pray heaven you will, you must be prepared to preach for us. We do not have preaching more than once a month, so when we do have it it seems doubly good. Thanksgiving our Chaplain came down and preached for us, but unfortunately I was not well enough to to attend. Rev. Mr. Day, of Jacksonville, also preached to us when he was here.

I have been to Washington three times since we came south, and they have been most interesting visits to me. The first time I visited the Capitol and Smithsonian Institute; the second, the Capitol again, the White House, the Treasury Department, and the Patent Office, and the last time, the Smithsonian Institute and Capitol again, so I have been through all the large public buildings. The Institute contains the National Museum and picture gallery.

Here I saw nearly every kind of mammals, birds, eggs, fishes, reptiles, stones, shells, etc., besides idols, presents to the Government from various nations, relics of ancient times, Egyptian mummies, etc. I saw also the clothes worn by Dr. Kane, in the Arctic regions. In the picture gallery there are about two hundred paintings, but they are mostly of Indian scenes and celebrated chiefs In the center of the room is a statue of the Dying Gladiator—a splendid piece of work. The posture and expression of the statue is so true to life that its very sadness almost brings the tears. In the Patent Office I saw models of almost every kind; but the most interesting to me were the relics of Washington. I saw his sword, camp dishes, writing desk, the clothes he wore when he resigned his commission, etc. As I look upon these relics of the Father of his Country who drew his sword in defense of American liberty, I felt my heart and hand nerved anew to the contest before us. When my mind goes back to the Revolution in which our forefathers fought for seven long years, enduring sufferings compared to which our own are as nothing, I feel ashamed that we cannot endure for two years, a war to maintain the liberties they secured.

Evening.—Our Captain has just returned from Washington, and says he does not think we will stay here the week out, * * I do not know where we will go, but I think down in front. I hope so for I enlisted to fight, and am ready any time. The report does not seem to dampen the spirits of the boys in the least. I can hear the voice of song as I am writing. If we go I hope they will put us in the front ranks. I think the One Hundred and Ninth will give a good account of itself in battle. * *
Yours Truly, D, TREMAN.


Union (NY) News, December 26, 1862


Army Correspondent of the “News.”

HEAD-QUARTERS, Annapolis Junction,
Md. 109th Reg't N. Y. S. V. Dec. 15, '62


As it is a very pleasant morning, and every thing in a prosperous condition about here, and all in good cheer for that happy land of carrion, as the soldiers cal it, I thought I would write to you. As for myself, I feel rejoiced to find myself feeling as well as I am this morning. All the trouble with me at present is my lungs are very weak and my speech is not any better. I am in hopes that it will be all right after a little, and I can fill my vacant place in the ranks and go forward with the boys, and be able to do my duty at every call. They cant say that I ever shrunk from duty when I was well. I am in the hospital yet. I was in hopes that I should be with my Company by the time I wrote to you again, but I find myself still on the sick list. The report of this morning of the number of sick in the Hospital that is under treatment, is fifty. There is not any that is dangerously sick - mostly of colds and jaundice - not many fever cases at present. Our Regiment, as a general thing, is very healthy, so called by the Doctors. We can't expect any thing else, where there is so many men together. It requires a man of strong constitution and good health to be a good soldier, one that can walk right up to the task, fodder or no fodder - that's what's the matter of the horse, not going off growling like a dog with a sore head, because he happens to find hard tack and bacon, instead of soft bread and fresh beef and nick-nacks; for such things we can't always have as we could at home, and we must not expect it. These foolish notions we must throw aside, for Uncle Sam can't afford to furnish such things for he has got too many boys, and that would make him hang down his head, and pinch those green backs closer than he does now. I have not seen one in so long, that I have almost forgot how they look. He had better come around before a great while, or I shall forget entirely. Please ask some of the noble and patriotic young men of Union if they can parse hard tack and bacon, if they can, I can get them a position as a Brigadier brindle. Probably they will not dare to leave the good old town of Union long enough to get a good position in the army, to help fight for their country, and that noble flag that has waved over them for many years - that blessed old flag that our forefathers fought and bled for! Can they stay at home and see it fall and be trampled in the dust, and be contented as though nothing had happened and nothing for them to do? I can't say that they would, but I think they like home far better. But never mind, they may have it to think of hereafter, if we should lose the true red, white and blue, but I hope not, for that glorious old flag must not fall and be trampled in the dust by them black hearted villains of the South, who would drench the last drop of blood that flows from the heart of a true American, and many a brave soldier has laid down his life for his country, and thousands have already fallen victim to those bloody villains. I will leave this subject and go to Annapolis Junction, and see how the boys are getting along, for you will want to know of course.

Monday evening - I found the boys all enjoying good health, with the exception of David Miller, he met with a very bad accident a short time ago. He and one of the boys was standing on a round plank of wood talking, and it rolled from under them, and he fell back and the other fell across his leg, and broke it half way below the knee. He is doing well at present. I was glad to find the boys all felling so well and enjoying such good health. They are getting as fat and rugged as bears. I don't think there is one who has repented that he enlisted to fight for his country, and the majority of them would rather go in the field to fight, than to stay and guard the railroad, at least they talk so. But I […] to come to the point of leaving, it would be like leaving homes. I think they would find the fare entirely different from what they expected, it would not be hard tack and bacon, but hard shells and bullets. They have got to have the railroad guarded, and we may as well do it as any one. The citizens along the railroad where we guard say, that we are the most peaceable Regiment that ever has been left to guard the railroad since this rebellion broke out. They complain of other Regiments plundering and stealing every thing they could get their hands on, and the largest and most influential men around here are trying their best to keep ours to guard the road. You see that we have a good name here if we didn't at home; so you see that soldiering don't make thieves of us.

I will close for this time by saying, that I hope the rebellion will soon come to a close, and we may all live to get home safe, and fill these vacant places in the family circle that we left, and those sad countenances and bright faces may glisten with joy once more.

Yours with respect, I. E. G.


Union (NY) News, January 15, 1863


We publish the following private letter, which has been handed us. - It manifests the right spirit, and we wish all our young men in the army felt as this young man does. It is dated

SAVAGE STATION, Md., Jan. 1, 1863.

DEAR FATHER, - As it has pleased God to spare your patriotic son to see the light of a bright and beautiful New Years' morning, I, with thankfulness to Him for the preservation of my life, will devote a few moments in addressing a few thoughts to my every happy home.

As I arose just at the brake of day, and walked down to the little Creek which runs gently by our little Camp, I was stuck with the beauty of the morning. The air was very quiet but cold—the dry leaves were hanging motionless on the tall trees, the sun though not yet risen, was casting its bright red streaks on the beautiful blue sky, which was as clear as the noonday sun shining on the ripling waters, presented a beautiful scene, and I could not help thinking, if our now unhappy Country was as clear of traitors as sky was of clouds, what a blessed thing it would be. Then, instead of standing here by this little Creek meditating on the beauties of a rising sun, I would be at home viewing the same glorious sun as it arose above the hills, and spread its light and beauty over a Country in peace and Union.

I feel very thankful that I gave my heart to God before coming to war, and while here, I cannot help thinking of a letter I read some time ago in the Union News, the writer stating that “war and the battlefield was no place for a Christian - that it required the most reckless persons for brave soldiers.” Such language at the time made my heart feel sad for I know such things could not be uttered by a Christian and may God forbid that another should think, much less publish, such sentiments. Would to God all in the army were Christians. O, father,if our soldiers would take as much delight in praising and glorifying God, as they seem to take in blaspheming his holy name, he would be our God, and be so delighted with us as to crows us with victory at all times, and instead of being now where we were when we fired our first gun, we would be in the bright and glorious sunshine of peace and Union. The careless sinner will walk out such a morning as this, and scarcely express the thought of its being even a beautiful morning, and that, perhaps, with an oath, while the faithful Christian will stand and meditate on the beauties of such a morning, with his heart full of gratitude to his God, for the pleasure of viewing the works of his hands, who is God over all. Then when he is ordered to be ready at a moment's notice to march to the already bloody battle-field, the Christian may think of home and those he loves, and would love to mingle with them once more around the fireside of ever happy and welcome home, yet he will become composed and even happy, when he Christ is his friend, which are always the first thoughts of a Christian. But let others feel and publish what they may, I, for one, whether at home surrounded with all the comforts of kind parents, or on the distant battle-field, amid the thundering of cannon, the clash of musketry, or the dying groans of patriotic soldiers, give me a heart that is in Union with Christ— that can commune with Him in faith even on a battle-field before the enemy's deadly weapons; them death will be no terror, but with the bravest of heart, will strive to conquer, with as much love, joy, and faith in his Saviour, as if be were at home, in earth's only Heavenly place, the Sabbath School, and if death should remove him from his hard fought task, there is a peaceful joy and comfort beaming in the hearts of that kind father and ever affectionate mother, those kind brothers and perhaps, an only but ever simple thinking sister, that is unspeakable, for the feel confident he is in that Heavenly Mansion above, where Christ is ever his kind Superintendent.

Where parents may meet their son in joy above,
Brothers and sisters there too may dwell in love;
All taking delight in glorifying God for evermore,
In Union, on that bright and beautiful heavenly shore.


Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, January 16, 1863


Annapolis Junction, Jan. 1st, 1863.

FRIEND STUART: I am a Broome county boy, in the 109th, and perhaps you will have no objection to a few lines from me, particularly as I have a pleasant story to tell. Pleasant to us wayfarers in the wilds of Dixie, but perhaps, in your land of peace and plenty, it will be of little interest. The fact is we, that is Co. H, have had a Happy New Year. True we were not as of old, with the loved home circles, passing the joyous hours in the society of father and mother, and friends, (that means sweethearts, Mr. Editor,) but we had unmistakable evidence that we were not forgotten by them. By the kind generosity of the good friends in Little Meadows and Apalachin, a quantity of provisions was sent to us, sufficient to make a splendid dinner. All the morning we were busy with preparations, and in the fever of anticipation. A little after one o'clock we formed in the street and marched up to the brick houses, where the tables were spread, to the tune of “wait for the wagon” by our brass band. Confidentially, however, Mr. Stuart, I think they meant wait for the dinner. But we did not have to wait long, for we soon reached the house, upon entering which we beheld such an array of eatables as soldiers in Dixie seldom see.

But, Mr. Stuart, you can form no idea of how they looked to us, until you have been initiated into the mysteries of salt meat and hard tack for five or six months. In short metre we were seated at the table, and then - well I will leave the ensuing scene to the imaginations of yourself and readers, knowing that you are more familiar with such things than we soldier boys are. I need not enumerate the various good things on the tables, such as oysters, chickens, turkeys, pies, cakes, coffee, milk, &c. I had almost omitted to say that the Col., Adjt., Q. M., and the wives of the Q. M. and Lieut Jones honored us with their presence.

After the dinner was despatched, we formed in front of the house and listened to some very appropriate remarks by the Adjt. and Quarter Master, which were greeting with hearty cheers by the boys, followed by rousing cheers for the Col. and for the ladies who had so kindly and successfully superintended affairs, and lastly for Capt. Alvord, of whom we are all justly proud. By the way, I don't think another company in the Regiment can boast of […] officers as we. Lieut. Jones, of your place, is beloved by the whole Co. Well, to return to my subject, after cheering the band who had “discoursed unto us elegant music,” we march back to quarters and broke ranks, feeling very grateful to the good friends so far away who had made for us so happy a New Year. Hoping, friend Stuart, that this will be a happy year to yourself and readers, and that the first rays of the rising […] New Year day, may rest upon our land, freed from civil war, and the curse of slavery, I will bid you good night and close. OSCEOLA.


Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, February 11, 1863

Correspondent of the Republican.

Headquarters, 109th Reg't, N. Y. S. V.

MR STUART: Sir: With this I mail a copy of the Baltimore American. It contains an article which may be of use to you as Editor. It is an article on “Day and his constituents,” and shows the true position of another of those cowardly, contemptible things in human form, who call themselves “Peace men” but who, in reality, are the very men who inaugurated, and have done more to prolong this unholy war, than any other class of men.

I am a member of Captain Lewis's Company, (E) which, by the way, we consider the model company of the 109th. Our Captain, certainly, is a model captain.

Should we every be called on to show our fighting qualities, Broome county will have new names to add to her already lengthy list of heroes. I think I but utter the sentiment of our company when I say that we would sooner place our names beside those of our brothers of the 27th and 89th and 137th regiments, who have fallen, battling for right, than to yield an inch to the fiends, who are striking at our homes, our institutions, our country.

It has been said that the 109th regiment has become “fearfully demoralized.” I have seen no such state of demoralization. There are always men in the best regiments, who do not care for themselves or any one else, and the 109th is not an exception to the rule. I will ensure the friends of Company E, that it is not demoralized; on the contrary, so good is its discipline, that we need no guard around our camp.

The health and spirits of the company are excellent.



Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, March 11, 1863


Headquarters 109th Reg., N. Y. V.
Annapolis Junction, Md.
February 25, 1863.

FRIEND STUART: A long and lingering month has passed since I have had the delightful pleasure of writing to a friend. But now that I can muster strength sufficient to “weather the contests,” I will give you a description of our camp and an idea of our doings in “my Maryland.”

Here, we are encamped on a beautiful eminence - surrounded by everything that is beautiful in nature, while the companies stationed at Laurel are mud-bound. The 22d Inst., was the most disagreeable day that I have experienced in my sojourn in the barren State of Maryland. Yesterday the Baltimorians paid as high as fifteen dollars for the use of a sleigh for one hour - “a pretty big thing on runners.” But I sincerely hope this weather will soon give way to a more pleasant streak of sunshine, and give us an opportunity to “drill.”

The sanitary condition of the Regiment is remarkably good. On the 20th inst., there were only twenty-three sick in the regimental Hospital, about fifteen of those will be reported fit for duty within a very short time. On the “Record of Desertions” in this regiment, we find just fifty names, and if they were to return and report for duty, I think that it would have a tendency to clear up the disgrace which now hangs over us, and place it in a good fighting condition, ready for the field.

It really is too bad that a Regiment of one thousand and twenty men, is compelled to remain on this miserable Railroad doing “guard duty,” and basking in the sun - when Governor Seymour has so many “short minded” fellows in New York who are just as competent to lay on this Railroad and draw pay as we are.

At present we are entirely unprepared for a battle, three hundred rebel cavalry would scatter us like a flock of sheep, were they cute enough to steal in upon us, which they could easily accomplish without being molested by our pickets, such is the condition of our regiment that it ought to be placed in the field and there allow us to share the hardships with our brothers who so nobly are defending the “Union and the Constitution.”

[…] than an hour to […] troops to any point along this Railroad, to do just what we would be unprepared, and if prepared, utterly unable to effect were we called upon.

When once this strong and mighty Regiment is in the field, then the pages of history will be as bright and as interesting as those of the 27th or 89th.

I enlisted because I thought it my duty, I came here to assist in crushing out this wicked, wanton and causeless rebellion, to reestablish the Union and protect our hallowed flag, polluted by imbecility and treason.

Though at Annapolis Junction we are quite as unhappy as those on the beautiful banks of the Potomac. We too have left the cheerful friends where with our brother

“Turned the blind-fold here round and round,”

and those places where we shared the simple comforts of a “northern home” I say that we are unhappy and tired of this kind of life, but it is just because it is becoming too monotonous here. Soldiers love adventure and excitement, place us in Virginia where the tangled depths of political wire-pulling and “red tape” cannot reach us, (now that Hooker is at the head of the army), and we will be a happy lot of mortals.

Hooker will not allow himself to be hoodwinked by the craft peace mongers, while he is thrashing the traitorous devils of the south into submission, he will be a match for the d— I and the French clique too after he wipes out the traitors of the South, and hurls their bones in the polluted sands of “secessia.”

Give us more “brain on Horseback” good shoes and trusty rifles, a smaller allowance of Politics. Hang all croaking down-trodden politicians, burn those rattle-headed peace men at the stake, and we will kill, eat and digest in three months, any army that can be brought before us.

This, I believe to be a “war of opinion,” which enlists the very worst passions, it is loth, deplorable and sanguinary, and is becoming vindictive, cruel and terrible. Let us take off our “brass buttons” and “shoulder straps” and go at them with a vengeance, crush it out while we have the power, the will and the way to do it, and let “peace and happiness” reign through the land.

Very respectfully yours,



Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, March 18, 1863


Camp at Laurell, Md.,
February 25th 1863.

Friend Stuart: Thinking a few lines from this portion of the One Hundred and Ninth would prove interesting to your readers, and there being no correspondent from this camp, I will try and give you all the news there is to be found in a camp, so far from active operation.

There are five Companies stationed here under command of Lt. Col. Catlin. We have comfortable quarters constructed of longs and covered with our tents, and the intervening space between the logs is filled with mud. During a rain storm, we are very forcibly reminded by the mud which is continually running down the inside of our chabang, that we are far from the homes and the friends we have left. The weather is very changeable here, we have all kinds in twenty-four hours. At present it is very pleasant, and mother earth is covered with a mantle of snow. In a few hours it will vanish and then comes the everlasting wind which plays so important a part in the drama now being enacted in the United States. There was quite a novelty in camp this morning; it was an antiquated specimen of a sleigh which attracted as much attention as a circus would in B. and many were the jokes cracked at the expense of the sleigh and its inmates; and our thoughts wandered to scenes at home of a similar nature in which were a pair of rosy cheeks and warm robes flying along behind our every faithful horse; it is then that we wish we were back for a short time to enjoy them again. But such thoughts as these idle visions soon are forgotten in the whirl of excitement which attends camp life. A few words about my own Company, which is from Binghamton and vicinity.

We all enjoy good health, and if you could witness the cheerfulness and good humor which prevails in every tent, you would come to the conclusion, that Co. D., was a jovial a set of boys as can be found. We have become quite proficient in company and battallion drills; we are armed with the Springfield rifle, which requires considerable attention to keep clean. we have been complimented by the Colonel a number of times for our soldierly appearance and deportment and for our discipline; and when we are required to meet the enemies of our country on the battle field, new laurels will be added to Broome County.

We patrol the Railroad two miles each way from camp, which requires thirty-two men daily, it is divided into reliefs of four men, who are allowed three hours to patrol the road for four miles.

The Regimental Band is stationed here, and while I am writing, they are discoursing a march; it serves to make all our duties while on drill and elsewhere pleasant. Laurell is a place of about one thousand inhabitants; it contains three churches, a large machine shop, and the Laurell Cotton Mills, both of which are now idle, the effects of secession.

I am glad to hear the protests that are coming in from all quarters of the army against the action of the infamous peace men of the North who are making themselves obnoxious to both Union and Rebeldom. And a party that is obnoxious to the rebels had not better be allowed in the North. We are all wishing for the passage of the Conscription Bill now before Congress, and then some of those who cry so loud for peace will have a chance to make peace at the only place where it can be made, and this is the canon's mouth. A peace that will be as durable as the most fervent heart could wish for.

I would state the to the officers of Co. D., belongs the praise of our discipline; they have labored faithfully to promote the interest of the Company in every respect, and when the time comes for us to mingle in the fray, we will try and repay their efforts with interest to our country and officers.



Union (NY) News, March 26, 1863


Army Correspondent of the “News.”

HEAD-QUARTERS, CO. “E.,” 109th Reg't
N. Y. S. V., Annapolis Junction,
Md., March 18th, 1863.

FRIEND BENEDICT:— In accordance with my promise to write, though unavoidably neglected, (yet not forgotten,) I have made a flank movement on the duties incidental to camp life, and believing that all will be quiet in my lines for a few hours, I avail myself of this opportunity to give purpose to my promise.

Had I written at an earlier date, my letter would have worn a different aspect, for but a few weeks have passed since I felt implicitly mightily discouraged, and I ask, how could it be otherwise, after reading the eternal, harangue of those poor - miserable - detestable - “peace-men” of our State? I am proud of the name—New Yorker — and am prouder still to know that measures have been taken to put down the party feeling that existed there but a short time since. Why! I thought that the Union men left remaining were few indeed, most of them having “rushed to arms” to assist their beleagued country, and that the amount of pure, loyal atmosphere left to breathe, after holding conversation with or passing by those sol-called ““peacemen,” whose very breath contaminated the air; engendering that most dreadful disease “secession,” more to be dreaded than the bite of the venemous rattlesnake, would be incapable of inflating the lung of Liberty, and thus our free and liberal institutions would die from strangulation.

Thank God, we have seen the same united, determined feeling that we expressed at the outbreak of this rebellion, when thousands of our loyal sons rushed forth to take an active part in its overthrow. The same patriotic impulse, triumphing over party prejudices, The same singleness of purpose to save our Heaven-blessed land from destruction! I had feared that we had a divided North, and that the hearts of the traitors had been made glad. Hope was whispering to them of their final success in their infernal machinations. Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad.” Were we undergoing the maddening process which was to precede our destruction? It seem-ed so! Under the distracting influence of the late elections, the dark spirit of political madness seemed to have been fully aroused, and “rule or ruin” determined upon. God save us from the politicians! Will we ever learn wisdom! This should at least arouse us! That now, while the flames of destruction are threatening to utterly consume the temple of our liberty, these would-be servants are still sacrilegiously, quarrelling and wasting their energies over minor matters in efforts to retain or secure power.

Parties are selfish. All their planning - all their world-be patriotic appeals-may me reduced to the one little word - power. Their final object is gain. To secure success, they leave no means untried; however, unworthy to hood wink the “dear people” whose masters they are, and for whom they care as little as for the Coolies in China.

At this trying period in our National affairs, there should be no divisions - Party camp-fires, should, by common consent, be extinguished, and he who should offer a distracting sentiment, should be frowned into silence. This is no trifling task we have on our hands. The world scarcely seen the equal of this bloody rebellion. To crush it will require every energy we possess. We should have no side issues - no internal quarrels to weaken and disarm us, but, on the contrary, be as our enemies, a unit.

I hope we will rise above party? Throw off the disgraceful shackles which have so long enslaved us. Divest ourselves of the foolish prejudice that under this name is all pure, and vice versa. It is all prejudice, and in an hour of peril like the present, every patriot heart should rise supreme above it, and give his singleness of heart to the noble work of saving the Union.

I perceive that my later is becoming somewhat lengthy, however, I trust that you, at least will not esteem it dry, when the crisis in our loved country is the theme that ought to interest every American.

I have said nothing of myself or circumstances, for I think that self, when compared with the interests of our common country, is as a drop in the bucket; yet, I have determined to do battle for the good old flag; If to save its sacred folds from desecration, even life itself is demanded as the sacrifice.

R. B. M.

P. S. In my next, I may give you an idea our camp, company, regiment, prospects, &c, and I assure you it will be a pleasing task to inform you of the fact, that the “gay and festive” 109th had been visited by their paymaster.

R. B. M.


Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, April 8, 1863

Camp Laurel, MD., March 8.

Mr. Editor: I am sorry that it is not in my power to communicate something of interest relative to the war. And the only thing encouraging, that occurs to the mind, is to use the expression of Artemus War - “that the Government is about to take rigorous measures for the prosecution of the war. And also that Washington is safe. And all is quite along the lines.” But to the point.

Let me enquire of you how those Peace parties prosper among you. Those men who are so highly susceptible of sympathy for the suffering soldiers, and who so highly honor and congratulate them for their bravery and their devotion to their country. How I wish that their conduct toward their country and the soldiers, might demand the same compliment; but in justice to the government, to the soldiers be it known to those men and to all whom it may concern, that their sympathies thus expressed are not received with favor or thankfulness. Neither are we ignorant of the effect which they intend for Secession. Therefore in behalf of the soldiers, tell them for us, that we ignore and repudiate their pity for us in any such form. We ask not for their pity, and if tendered, should not consider it any more genuine than though it came from Jeff. Davis himself. Their sympathies are with him, or they would not be so over anxious that we should stop fighting secession. They may consider that they do us honor by calling their Peace Conventions, but we consider them insults. Not that we prefer the continuation of this war, not that we have long the desire for the society of our families and friends at home, not that we think ourselves braver than other men; but in honor and justice to the heroes who have already fallen upon the battlefield, for the preservation of the Government, through whose veins flowed the best blood of our country, in honor to them we refuse to compromise short of a complete victory. All the favor we ask is that the people professing loyalty, will show it by precept and example, and thus hold up the soldier's hands, and the day will soon be won, and the victory ours.

Let Northern rebels beware how they undertake to barter our rights away, lest there comes upon them a day of retribution. For Secession must and shall be put down, both North and South.

They talk of compromising with Secession after so much of our country's best blood has drenched the soil of Rebellion, and so many patriots have found grave in the domains of Jeffdom; so many fireside been made desolate, so many kindred ties have been broken forever; so many companions whose future hopes have been blasted, and the coming days of life made a burden; so many orphan children whose wails can be heard all over the land, and while suffering humanity still cries for justice, those mean sneaking, cowardly, deceptive demagogues, propose to disgrace our nationality by urging a compromise with rebellion, thus legalizing rebellion to be repeated in coming time and future generations. Let them put their hands upon their mouths, and cry […], and like men grasp their fire-arms and rush to the rescue of their country and the soldiers for whom they would deign make it appear their sympathies are so much stirred.

But my attention has been called to another […] who in the beginning spared no pains to secure to themselves the cloak of Union, the object of which was best known to themselves, and the time, but has revealed itself more plainly as days and months have worn away. I allude to those men who in the beginning of this war cried war the longest and loudest, until they were called upon to do something to carry on the war, and then like the noble peacock that got a glimpse of his uncomely feet, their patriotism met with sudden death, and when true patriots were flocking around the old flag, jealous of its safety and honor, their patriotism has sadly degenerated.

At different times it has shown itself in different ways. In discouraging enlistments and in swindling volunteers out of hard earnings, previous to their enlisting, but their disloyalty shows itself the clearest, when they encourage desertion, and furnish clothes and money for them, thus to cheat and swindle the government out of the money which it has freely donated to all who might become its friends and defenders. And again circumstances have show to the satisfaction of thousands that there is still another set of patriots. A class who are intent upon saving the Union at almost any sacrifice. They did not seem to be in circumstances to go to the war, but were quite willing everybody else should go, and to make the idea more tolerable for those inclined to go, they were not slow to answer, yes to almost any favor requested for the relief of families of volunteers, when they never intended to perform one thing, or redeem one promise, but will spend more time and money to obtain a certificate of exemption from draft, than it would take to keep every promise they made. But I am inclined to thing that the little article which Congress manufactured very recently, known as the Conscript Act, will have a tendency to bring them to time.

Yours truly,
Co. D. 109th Reg., N. Y. S. V.


Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, May 13, 1863


Headquarters, 109th Reg't N. Y. V.,
Anapolis Junction, Md.


It rains! You may see nothing in those two little words to breed disagreeable thoughts, sitting as you do between brick walls, with a good covering over your head, but with the soldier it is different, for the storm does not exempt him from duty. And as he walks his beat, visions of home and home friends, with warm hearts and hands flit through his brain, making all the more disagreeable his task by the contrast. Not that you ever hear him complain, for he does not, but like good soldiers bears it bravely.

The 109th find themselves under rather better circumstances than are many of their comrades in their field, for while many are today shivering in the rain, without a sign of shelter, we are housed in good comfortable barracks, sitting (as I do just now) by a good fire, and enjoying soldiering hugely.

From time to time as your paper finds its way to us - by the way, friend S., it always seems like receiving a visit from some old boyhood friend as we peruse it, which […] to make its weekly visit at my fathers, where it always found a warm reception. I pay from time to time as it makes us a visit now, we notice letters upon the 109th, and elsewhere, proclaiming that we as a regiment, should be placed at the front; and I have heard a word used which sounded like “cowards,” the latter of which I think is unjust. We are members of a regiment of which we feel proud, a regiment which we believe would do good service were they placed where they had a chance, and a regiment of which I believe you will yet hear as doing their duty bravely and manfully, as they have ever done since they left B. True their duty has been light, nothing but guard, but soldiers who do this well will be apt to do well whatever they undertake. I believe the men are willing to move; in fact some of them are anxious, and yet if this is the place for them they will stay, conscious that their country owes them as much honor for so doing as it would were they in the field. Human slaughter is at the present time a terrible necessity, and it was the necessity of the case that brought us here; and should the time come by which we should have a share in the carnage, we will do what we can - for our Country's cause, but we are not over anxious to crowd ourselves into it. But let's change the subject.

The regiment at present are in good health in fact we have grown fat and lazy for the last few months of inactivity, but we shall now get over this as it is getting to be weather so that we can drill, for which we are famous. I believe that to make a letter short is to quit writing, and that is what I wish to do with this. I, like Artemus Ward, “Paws for a reply,” remaining
Yours truly


Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, June 10, 1863


Headquarters 109th Regt. N. Y. S. V.
Annapolis Junction, Md.,
June 4, 1863

FRIEND STUART: This has been a day of rest with us; rest from drill and other duties, and “the boys” are all in excellent spirits. The fact is, the Major (Monell) visited us to day and gave us a new supply of “green backs” an article which is in great demand everywhere, and an article which will make even an editor smile to receive, especially if they come from “[…] subscribes. “The rest” offers an opportunity to write you a few lines, but there is so little of interest transpiring here, at present, that one hardly knows what to write. In may be of interest, however, to know that we are preparing for the “field,” that is we are being drilled in battalion movements.

Companies A, C and D have moved from Laurel to this place, thus giving us a battalion of six companies. Those who know say we drill well. Our Colonel is a good drill master, and a good officer, and will do all he can to prepare us for active service.

I think however, that we never will be fully prepared to do justice to our country, and honor to ourselves and friends until we have drilled more as a whole regiment, for what we are gaining at this place, the other companies along the line are losing. Take us off this Railroad and give us two weeks thorough drill, and we will be prepared to fight, and to win laurels as fair and as lasting as those won by the regiments which have preceded us in the field from our vicinity, and to write us a page in history which shall gladden the hearts of our descendants, by telling them that we were indeed freemen. I cannot but think with many here and at home, that our place is at the front.

The Colonel said, a few days since, in addressing the Battalion, that “the Government paid us well for our services, and that we ought to be ready to do our whole duty.” That sentence contains a world of meaning, if it was the earnest endeavor of every man in the service to crush the rebellion at once, how soon we would be victorious and the hearts of millions made glad by the dawn of natural peace.

It is painful to all, how we, both in the army and the citizens are divided. We should know no political party, no individual leader. The party which sustains the Union as a free and undivided Union, should be our party. The men who are most capable, and most zealous to conquer in Liberty's name, should be our leaders.

There are but two parties in this country, namely, Union, pro and con. We are eight for or against the Union. It is either God or Mammon, and we ought to know which we are serving.

The rebels say the time for compromise has passed, and they are right. They dispise the men who offer compromise. They would not even received the champion of armistice and compromise (Vallandigham) within their lines unless he would take their oath of allegiance. They have staked their all on a Southern Confederacy and will not, dare not retract. It follows then, that there remains nothing for us to do but to fight them to the bitter end.

There is a class of man North who claim that the war is unconstitutional. I think they are not sincere in what they say. It is Constitutional because the constituted authorities have authorized it. They talk of their right as citizens being interfered with, of a state of anarchy and all that. Let them hold their poisonous tongues and they will have no trouble. If they will not keep quiet we should start them on double quick for Dixie where they can, with their very dear friends enjoy the fruits of their iniquity.

The rebels have been able to hold out against us so far, because they have been united. We should, in this particular learn of them, and come us as […] man in the […] of the Government.

Can we stand idly by and see a disappointed political party rob us of our nationality? Is life so dear or peace so sweet? Are we freemen? are we patriots? are we Americans? Are our wives, our homes and the glorious institution of our country of so small value that we can see them wrested from us by dastard traitors? Can we see our glory crowned banner - to sustain the honor of which a Scott, a Washington and a Taylor and many other brave men gave their best energies, and a Clay, Montgomery, Warren, Baker, Reno and a Lyon their heart's blood - trampled under foot by men should should protect it, without burning to strike to the earth the demons who are striving to rob us of all we hold dear.

Our women […] should help us. They wield a mighty influence over man and can do much. They should learn of southern women how to treat men who shirk duty. Let them scorn those poor things who sneak off to Canada and elsewhere to escape the draft. Let them loath even the right of those cowardly, crawling, slimy reptiles denominated “Copperheads.” They are worse than open traitors and deserve the deepest, hottest hell. I am very truly,



Trumansburg News, June 12, 1863

A letter from the One Hundred And Ninth Regiment, received by us, contains the intelligence that George Serrine, of Co. I, deserted some four or five weeks since. The writer adds that deserters and “slinks” are not in the best Repute in the army. He would have to come up this way to learn that only this kind of material can be successfully worked up into “martyrs” We believe Serrine was among those enlisted from Ulysses, but are not sure.


The Baltimore Sun, July 2, 1863

ARREST OF A SUPPOSED SPY NEAR ANNAPOLIS JUNCTION. Charles W. Ryder was taken up near Annapolis Junction, by one of the scouts of the 109th New York, on Tuesday, and sent by the Colonel commanding to Provost Marshal Todd, who committed him to the Old Capitol. Ryder was dressed in the United States infantry uniform, and represented himself to be from New York. He has been following the army for some time, it appears, and could give no reason for so doing. His conflicting and unsatisfactory accounts of himself caused suspicion. - Wash. Star.


Union (NY) News, July 2, 1863


Army Correspondence, of the News.”

Head Quarters Co. E.
109th Reg't N. Y. S. V.,

FRIEND BENEDICT: Since my arrival in camp, May 15, nothing of interest has transpired to drive away the dull monotony till the 4th inst, when Major J. L. L. Morrell (the right man in the right place) Assistant Paymaster U. S. A. arrived to make the sad happy, and the joyous enthusiastic by paying them their hard-earned wages. The regiment is now paid in full to May 1st.

We have been under something of an excitement for the past week, expecting a visit from the “rebs.” All are anxious to “take a chance in.” Col. Tracy has been untiring in his endeavors to build block houses and rifle pits for the defence of the Rail Road bridges between this point and Bladensburgh. they will soon be completed and should the rebs see fit to give us a call, they will meet with a warm reception from the 109th.

I am glad that a raid has been made into the loyal States, and have only to regret that they dare to no farther. It would be a capital joke if they could reach Albany and “gobble in” some of their bretheren in the Capital of the Empire State. Were it not for the fact that the truly loyal would suffer, I would pray for it.

Thank heaven the 109th was raised under the jurisdiction of a loyal man - EDWIN D. MORGAN, I say I am glad that the raid has been made, and so I am. It has a a good effect. It opens the eyes of the sleepers of the North to a full realization of the horrors of this rebellion.

I have often been asked “what are you fighting for ?” and my answer invariably, has been a good hearty laugh at the fools that asked it, for it is a fool indeed that does not know. Why we are fighting the battles of FREEDOM, not the freedom of the negro, as many of the extreamists would make us believe (for the negro in _as quiescent in this struggle, as the clay in the hands of the potter) but we are demonstrating in characters of blood that a great and free people are capable of sustaining a government of their own choice, leaving to their children, and their childrens' children the blessings radiating from a free and glorious democracy.

Although the struggle is one that requires almost superhuman efforts, yet I believe that we of the North, who have tasted the blessings of Liberty are equal to the emergency, let it cost what it may. The fiercer the struggle the more will it enhance in value of those great blessing we seek to secure.

Let the vile copperheads hiss, and hiss on, methinks twill end in hissing, for I can almost discover in the impudent raid a divine interference designed to leave copperheads in the North and South minus tooth and poison bag; creeping, sneaking, crawling skeletons for “by the gods they must diet on the venom of their own spleen.”

The sanitary conditions of the regiment is excellent. We have a new Surgeon, Dr. Churchill, of Owego, but Dr. Wm E Johnson of Waverly is the man. He is an accomplished scholar, and a gentleman - ever ready to attend to the wants of the sick, and does it in a quiet pleasant manner, that makes the soldier feel that he is well cared for, and not thought a dog. Dr. J., should wear a double breasted coat - a gold leaf on his shoulders which he would wear with honor to himself, and profit to the regiment, then all would be pleased and say amen.


Alexandria Gazette, July 15, 1863

The Baltimore American furnishes the annexed information respecting the damage sustained by the Washington and Baltimore Railroad by the heavy rains which fell in the course of Sunday night:

“At the Hanover Junction on the line of the Baltimore and Washington Railroad, the heavy stone culverts and about twenty feet of the track were washed away by the swollen current. The bridge crossing the Patuxent river at Laurel Station, was also washed away, together with the stone abutments; it was about sixty feet in length and regarded as a substantial structure. On the north side of the embankment at Laurel was a block house of good size, in which a number of soldiers of the 109th New. York volunteers had taken quarters, The rapidly rolling flood soon undermined its foundation and carried it off. Of those who were inside five are reported drowned. Several miles of the turnpike road in the vicinity of Laurel were overflowed with water to the depth of four feet, and all travel was of course suspended. Vegetation in this region has no doubt suffered, to say nothing of fences swept off.”

The destruction of property in and around Bladensburg, Md., is very heavy. The whole of the lower part of the place and the surrounding fields were submerged; the streets were from six to eight feet under water, which penetrated into houses, filling the lower stories. Boats had to be used to get the citizens to a place of security. About four thousand dollars worth of ship timber lying there was all swept away. Large quantities of hay, as also much live stock, the property of Hon. Chas. Calvert, were swept away.


The Baltimore Sun, July 15, 1863

There was only one soldier taken down with the bridge at Laurel on Monday morning, though there were several others on it at the time. The unfortunate man was named Jeremiah Reid, of Co. K, 109th New York regiment. He went down under the stone and earth of the bridge.


Bloomville (NY) Mirror, September 1, 1863


Friend Champ-Being a resident of old Delaware, I thought it would be well to let the people of my old County know that they have at least one defender in the 109th Regiment.

We started from the pleasant little town of Binghamton one year ago the 30th of this month, and on the 1st of Sept. (two days later) we arrived safely at Annapolis Junction, where we have been ever since, guarding the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. We did not expect then to stay here until this time, but on the contrary, to perform some more arduous duty, before the enemy at Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, or some other prominent place where we could have had a chance to have shown either our cowardice or bravery. It is not our fault that we are not down to Charleston to-day. If we could have our say about it, we would be there before to-morrow night. But as we cannot, we must be content to stay here a little longer and abide our time.


Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, September 2, 1863

A VISIT TO THE 109TH REGIMENT, COL. TRACY, HON. G. W. HOTCHKISS &C. We take the following from the Owego Times:

We learn from Col. N. W. Davis, who has recently visited the 109th regiment commanded by Col. Tracy, that it is in fine condition, but few of their number sick, that the very best of feelings are cherished by the officers towards the rank and file, and by them towards their officers. The Regiment is under fine discipline, the men in the Regiment all conducting themselves with the greatest propriety; nothing like disorderly conduct could be seen anywhere. The men were all gentlemanly and courteous, and a finer appearing lot of men he seldom every saw. That the officers as well as the soldiers seemed to vie with each other in military knowledge and discipline. He said it would not be an invidious distinction nor a disparagement to any other officer to say that Lieut. W. Bosh had become an able and efficient officer and was gaining great credit for himself and was an honor to the Regiment. He is the youngest officer of the Regiment.

Hon. Giles W. Hotchkins was at Col. tracy's quarters on the evening of the 12th of August, inst. The Regimental Band gave him a serenade and the Regiment accompanied it. Col. Tracy introduced Mr. H. to the Regiment who cheered him heartily. Mr. H. then addressed them for about half an hour in a speech that did credit both to his head and heart. It was a speech full of patriotism and love of country, and called forth the greatest enthusiasm from the soldiers. Col. Tracy was called for by the regiment, who addressed them for about fifteen minutes. His remarks were replete with sentiments that were calculated to impress upon all their duty to their country. The meeting wound up with three hearty cheers for the President, the Constitution and the Union.


Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, September 16, 1863

THE 109TH REGIMENT. A correspondent of the Waverly Advocate says some sensible things:

Annapolis Junction, Md,
Aug. 27, 1863.

Editors Advocate:

If memory serves me right, it is just one year to-day since the 109th Regiment was mustered into the service of the United States. The time has passed rapidly by, and we can hardly bring ourselves to think that our Regiment has passed twelve months in the service, during which time there have been many battles fought, even within hearing of our camp, and we have not, as yet, seen a Rebel. We have lived in Maryland to see two crops taken from the same soil; how much longer we may be permitted to remain in our present position no person can conjecture. It is a soldier's duty to always obey orders, and obey without a murmur. If the 109th is to remain where it now is, for a year to come as it is for the year past, well and good; but if ordered forward the friends at home may rest assured, that there is not an able bodied man amongst us who will not shoulder his musket, sling his knapsack, and be ready to tramp for 'Dixie,' dinging his proud hurrah as he marches forward to the music of “Old John Brown.” The duty we are doing we have had orders to do - that is sufficient for us to know. When ordered elsewhere, we shall go and ask no questions.

Our Adjutant, Lieut. P. W. Hopkins, returned this evening from Elmira with recruits to fill our Regiment. They are a robust healthy looking set of men, and we hope will prove an agreeable accession to our Regiment. We are sorry that no more of our friends, who were so fortunate as to draw prize tickets in Uncle Sam's great lottery are among the number that grace our Regiment. In looking through the crowd we could recognize but one face we had seen before, and he a boy but sixteen years of age - a substitute of course for some persons, who, though pretending to be a supporter of the government which affords him protection, condems the administration which having the power, will enforce it so make him fight to defend himself. The boy who came in is to be pitied; he knows now what he must under-go. The man for who he came is to be despised.

Soldiers in the army have but little sympathy with or kindly feeling toward northern men, who, having friends and relatives in the army will contribute money to pay exemption fees of men who are not able to pay their own, if they wish to help the man personally, why not pay the amount to his family to make them comfortable during his absence, and let him go to help quiet our great troubles? But no! they cry out against the government, against the Administration, against the continuance of the war, the raising of men and the raising of necessary means for carrying on the war, at the same time will unwittingly increase their taxes against which they cry, by preventing men from joining the army in our Government's need. It is men our government most needs, men it must and will have. If they can be had constitutionally, the soldier goes for having them unconstitutionally. He only stops to ask the question, is the Rebellion constitutional? was it commenced constitutionally? has it been carried on constitutionally? and says let's put it down either with or without a constitution; and then talk constitution afterwards.

Excuse me Messrs. Editors, I have spun this out much longer than I intended when I commenced. Company I usually well, Capt. is gone to camp meeting, hope it will be of […] to him. Yours, &c.

O. B.


Union (NY) News, October 15, 1863

Written for the “Union News.”


LAUREL, Oct. 6th, 1863.

A western soldier in Grant's army, writes home a spirited letter against the peace—at any price—men. He closes thus:

“We don't propose to give up the contest, whatever may be the action of the craven at home. If the Government don't want to fight it out, we will take the job off its bands and do it up alone, for to live under a divided, and constantly divided, patched up and pusillanimous system, we will not!

We were not born of such stuff as those weak-kneed gentry, and we will give them such an exhibition of an outraged host of freedom-loving patriots, as will make them see stars, all the stars of all the States, free forever, with a central power so strong, that all the powers of darkness can never draw one bright orb away from the glorious constellation.

“We are fighting for the freedom of man, that old, old cause of justice and orb, for which the grand old heroes of all ages have fought and gone down, like grand stars, leaning on the mountain tops of death, a light which makes them lovely. We emulate their virtues, their examples before us, and their blood shall not have been shed in vain. We know the cost and will pay the price. Let treasure be expended without stint. Let blood flow like water, till the rebel boat on their knees shall sue for peace, or the horrid crew be swept in confusion from their goodly heritage, no more to tread, with traitorous feet, this promised land of freedom. Fathers, brothers at home, give us your blessing, backed with an honest patriotism, that will knock the breath out of every craven that mutters peace.

Mothers, daughters, sisters and wives give us your prayers and your sympathies, practical sympathies, that will point with the finger of scorn and contempt at any rebel conciliator or compromiser, and if there is no true manhood, no honest virtue left in the men, let the women of the North, that noble Sartan race, who loves the heroes of our battles, create a public opinion in which no traitor can breathe. Do this and not long will you wait to clasp once more to your heart of hearts your soldier husband, brother, lover or friend. Through the thick gloom of the present the day is breaking, and the full orbed sun of a victorious peace will soon rise ever a new born nation, born in the full light and blessing of universal freedom, purified and ennobled by the terrible ordeal, and bounding onward in a glorious career, fulfilling the hopes of humanity, the wonder and admiration of the world”

Reader, the above is my motto. And we are ready to take it off the hands of the Government to-morrow, if they choose. Reader, please to remember the above, and keep it in your heart We want the aid of our friends, to help us on in the struggle, and we will most surely gain the and the flag, the emblem of our country, will float over this entire land of the free and the brave. S. D. G.


Binghamton (NY) Broome Republican, October 21, 1863


Mason's Island, Oct. 13th, '63.

FRIEND STUART: - The 109th has, at last received the long looked for, and by some long hoped for, and others long dreaded, marching orders.

We are now on Mason's Island, just opposite Georgetown, D. C. Our duty here is to guard conscripts, and some say to take them to the Army of the Potomac. It is uncertain how long we will stay here; some thing that we will go back to Annapolis Junction again to do guard duty there, but I think it more than probable that we will be brigaded and sent to the front soon. We have been a favored regiment, and ought now to be willing to yield to some other regiment, which has been less favored.

We have done nobly as a railroad guard, and I feel sure that the Regiment will fill, with equal honor, any position which may be assigned it.

Two companies (G and K) remain on the R. R. to guard it.

All letters for the Regiment should be addressed to Washington D. C.

There is no truth to the rumor that we are going to Texas; at least we know nothing of it here.



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