Newspaper articles of the 112th New York Infantry  transcribed by Hal Bellerud  Olympia, Wa

FREDONIA CENSOR

July, 1862

 

A Bounty To Volunteers---Soldiers were never offered more liberal pay than those who now enlist in the volunteer force.  The private receives his regular pay of $13 per month, $100 bounty from the General Government, and those from this State will now receive a special bounty of $50 under the arrangement just decided upon by Gov. Morgan---Besides this, $2 is given for every volunteer.  This goes to the volunteer if he enlists of his own accord.  This makes the aggregate pay of a private as follows per year:

Regular monthly pay................$156.00

Government bounty.................$100.00

Special State bounty..................$  50.00

Enlistment pay...........................$    2.00

                                                     __________

        Total for one year..............$308.00

This gives, beside rations, clothing, etc., monthly wages of $25.66.  In all probability, if the enlistment's are kept up briskly, the war will end within the year.  As a pecuniary matter merely, can one man in ten do better than to enlist?

 

Recruiting in the County---Our information concerning the progress of recruiting in the county is not very complete, but from what we have received, we judge that the prospects for the new regiment are most favorable---The time is peculiarly unfavorable for obtaining volunteers in an agricultural community, but nevertheless the people are coming up to the work with an unlooked for zeal and enthusiasm.  Some towns in the county are slow to realize the necessities of the case, and have not evinced that energy which characterizes the majority, but these will be shamed into action when they see how other towns have outstripped them in raising their quota.

 

Demand For The State Bounty---Col. Bliss, Paymaster General, paid out in the first three days after he opened his office, ten thousand dollars for bounties.  About one-half of this was paid to recruits for regiments in the field.  The other half went to recruits for six of the new regiments.  HE expects to pay out thirty thousand dollars this week.  The check for bounty has been and will be, in all cases, sent the same day the evidence of muster is furnished.  Albany Journal 

 

Cattaraugus Co. is all alive, holding recruiting meetings in every town and promising to have its four companies in camp within two weeks. 

 

Time, in this war is every thing.  Three Hundred Thousand men placed in the field in one month may be of more value than three times that number if delayed two months.  The rebels have their troops already raised by conscription and are in a position to act while we are recruiting.  "Delays are dangerous".

 

A Good Idea For Other Places---A large number of the young ladies of New-Albany, Ind., have proposed to act as clerks and salesmen for the young men of that place who will enlist, and give them half salaries while gone, and surrender their positions to them on their return. 

 

Chemung Co. is the first in the State to announce its quota as full.  Good for Chemung. 

 

The Monroe Co. Regiment has 600 men enrolled and will be full in ten days.

 

 

 

WAR MEETING !

 

IN POMFRET !

 

A War Meeting will be held, pursuant to adjournment, at CONCERT HALL, on Saturday Evening, August 2, at 7:30 o'clock, for the purpose of hearing the report of the committee appointed at the previous meeting, and transacting such other business as may be necessary to facilitate recruiting.  A general attendance is requested.  Dated Fredonia, July 29, 1862.

 

John F. Smith Esq., of Jamestown, is to take command of the company now raising for the new regiment in Ellicot and vicinity.  A good selection. 

 

Cattaraugus Co.----The towns of Cattaraugus Co. have mostly held war meetings and we have advices that recruiting is going on at a rate that will place their four companies very soon in the field.  War committees have been appointed in every town to help forward enlistment's.

 

Pomfret War Meeting---A meeting of the citizens of Pomfret was held at Concert Hall on Saturday evening has the purpose of assisting in the raising of recruits for the war.  The call for the men has obtained but a limited circulation but the Hall was nearly filled by an earnest and enthusiastic audience.  An appropriate prayer was offered by Rev. A. Wheelock.  Stirring speeches were made by Messrs. F.A. Redington, S. Right, and Dr. C. Washburn.  A singing club which was in attendance sung many patriotic songs in excellent style and the military band of Company A fired the ardor of the people with the notes of the spirit-stirring fife and drum.  During the day and evening the recruiting went on briskly and at the end of the meeting, Lieut. Chaddock read off those then comprising sixteen who had placed themselves in their country's service whose names were greeted by the crowd with rousing cheers.

 

August 6, 1862

 

Pomfret--The quota assigned to this town under the new call was 43.  Of this number, Lieut. Chaddock was enabled yesterday to report 22 names enrolled, or one-half of the levy, all of which were procured in less than five days from the time of receiving his authorization as a recruiting officer.  The men did not go into camp at Jamestown yesterday, in consequence of information that the arrangements are not yet perfected for their reception.  Another week will required for this purpose.

 

The frequent rains of the past two or three weeks have brought forward the grass crop finely, and there will be a large harvest of hay.  Some pieces are estimated a three tons to the acre.  The corn crops are coming on finely, though late.  Oats are looking well, and all kinds of fruit promise a great abundance.  The common red cherries have been so abundant that they could not be given away.  Peaches will form a part of the luxuries of the season, the vines are burdened with grapes, the apple trees are profuse with fruit. 

 

August 13, 1862

 

The New Regiment--The company of Capt. Scott, from Forestville, which was to go into camp yesterday, will make the sixth company of the new regiment.  The regiment is now very nearly full, and two or three days will suffice to fill all vacancies-- The uniforms were received on Friday last. 

 

August 20, 1862

 

The 112th N.Y---This is the No. assigned to the new Regiment in this County.  It is expected to march on the 26th of August, but the proposed change in its composition may case the postponement of its movement. 

 

The Journal says that a deserter named Ed Bain was arrested in that village recently.  He has deserted not less than three times, and will now doubtless be shot.  The Government is finding out the necessity of taking the most summary measures with deserters. 

 

ONLY THREE MORE DAYS!---Only three more days after this remain for our people to fill their quotas before bounties cease and drafting commences.  Do they realize this fact?  Every man should be a recruiting officer til the quota is filled, that the draft may be avoided. 

 

August 27, 1862

 

The 112th--This regiment is under orders to leave Camp Brown today.  Its probable destination is Washington.  The regiment will contain eleven companies or about 1150 rank and file.  Two more companies, recruited in this county, which were the last mustered into the service, are to be incorporated into the Cattaraugus Regiment. 

 

September  12, 1862

 

Departure of the 112th Regiment---This Inf. Regiment left for Washington about 8 o'clock on Friday evening last.  The ceremonies attending the departure were the most inspiring of anything ever witnessed in this village.  The 112th was escorted to the depot by the Cattarugus Regiment, the whole body of troops nearly 2000 in number reaching while marching by platoons from the hills south of the village up Main street.  The field officers were is uniform and mounted, presenting a fine appearance, the whole preceded by the Jamestown Brass Band and several Military Bands.  The 112th marched through the village, the boys filling their canteens on Third Street and returning by First Street to the Cars.

  A vast crowd covered the hills and house tops and may tearful eyes were visible among the soldiers and their friends.  The parting scenes were even more heartrending and tender than those witnessed when Company B left as then nobody realized the terrible conflict in which they were to engage.  None of the soldiers or the rests of them seemed to think they were going forth to 1 death in every forty, many never to return.  But those parting scenes may not be told.  They are too sacred.  Yet we cannot think it wise or proper for friends to flock around our departing soldiers and harrow up their feelings in that hour of departure by tears and sobs and adieus.  But the crowd lingered.  Night came and darkness shut out the view of surrounding objects and still no one left.  We verily believe that tearful, weeping throng would have kept their places till daylight, if the Regiment had remained.  The preparations were at last all made.  The last thread of Red Tape was cut, and amid the wild hurrahs of the crowd and the thunder of cannon, the train of twenty eight cars drawn by two locomotives moved off and were soon bearing from our sight forever many a loved one.  May God bless our brave boys. 

  Many of our citizens accompanied the regiment to Salumanen returning towards morning.  The sleeping echoes of night were awaked along the route by our field pieces which accompanied the train.  People gathered at every station and cheered the departing braves. 

  Before the Regiment left the Camp it was formed into a hollow square and a stand of regimental colors was presented by Maj. Reese for the State.  The presentation speech was made by Hon. R.F. Marvin in his admirable style.  This was responded to on behalf of the Regiment by Col. J.C. Drake in a few eloquent and appropriate remarks, the whole Regiment pledging themselves never to desert their colors. 

  The Cattaraugus Regiment under the command of Col. A. G. Rice, as escort, acquitted themselves finely and made a splendid appearance.  The ceremonies were imposing and well arranged, and all passed off without accident.  The 112th, we learn, went direct to Washington by way of Elmira and Hamburg.

 

September 14, 1862

 

JOURNEY OF THE 112TH REGIMENT--Steamer Champion--We took from Elmira the Williamsport road, which goes into Pa. about six miles from that place.  All along, the people came out to greet us.  As far as we could see a house, we saw flags waving at us.  About 25 miles fro Elmira we came to Troy, a very beautiful place, about the size of Forestville, but a very different looking place.  Most of the buildings are brick, and presented a very clean and tasty appearance.  We entered the mountains soon after we left Troy.  I have often read of the beauty of these, but could not form any idea of them.  ---The valley, through which the road runs, is not more than 80 rods wide (quarter mile), on an average, and runs along close to the foot of one ridge.  Then on the right is a strip of very fertile land, about 80 rods wide, (that is, on an average, for in some places it is very narrow and again very wide.)

   Most of these mountains are covered with a pine and spruce forest.  Some of these trees are large, but most are shrubs fro 20 to 80 feet high.  Some of these mountains are perpendicular rocks of limestone.  I thought I had see rocks before.  Imagine to yourself a rock three or four hundred feet high, perfectly square on the face, and you will have some idea of what I saw, coming down the valley.  These mountains contain also coal and iron.  Every mile or so there comes into this main channel other smaller ones; through these come in small creeks, most of which are dry now, but in the spring and fall they are considerable streams.

   Through this narrow valley we rode without any steam at the rate of twenty miles an hour.  It is down grade all the way to Williamsport.  We arrived at the latter place about three o'clock in the afternoon.  There we found one of the most beautiful places in America.  It is situated on the Susquehanna, and contains about 5,000 inhabitants.  Most of the house are brick, and the cornices painted white gives a splendid appearance to the town.  As we were about to get off to bathe and fill our canteens, imagine our surprise when we were met by the ladies with coffee, milk, pies, cakes and fruits of all kinds, to give us; they would not take pay, but willingly fed every body.  All had enough to eat and drink.  The little boys would take our canteens and fill them with ice-water while we washed ourselves; the water was set in tubs in front of the houses.  It paid us well to get dirty, hungry, and tired, to have such a treat from entire strangers.  A more generous and noble people does not live, than these same Pennsylvanians.  The town was pretty, the ladies handsome, and, in fact, everything was beautiful.  We left there with many regrets; the hour we spent there was truly a delightful one.  As we passed out, the ladies waved us on, and the old men said, "God bless you."  But where were the young men?  The mourning weeds of some told a sad story of brothers slain, the tearful eyes of theirs showed they, too, had brothers on the field of strife, and were glad to see us going to help them crush the traitors in the dust. 

   From Williamsport we took the Harrisburg road, which led down the Susquehanna; we did not lose sight of it for ten miles of our journey to the latter place.  The land south of Williamsport lay on a rolling surface.  On the left side there were no large hills, but on the right of the river the mountains still continued.  I have heard travelers praise the beautiful rivers, and almost go into ecstasies over them, but never could sympathize with them, but if ever I wanted to clap my hands with delight, it was when I saw the place where the east and west branches unite with another large stream, forming a broad bay of perfectly calm water.  At this pint is a bluff 200 feet high, and on the top are two old buildings, which look like some old castles I have read about in old tales.  One of them was leaning over about 25 degrees, up among the trees, on the brow of the precipice.  At Sunbury, where the rivers joined, we stopped some time.  It was dark when we left.  As we came down the river in the bright moon-light, it looked like a thread of silver, as the novelists say.  The road lay through a hilly country.  After we left Harrisburg everything looked beautiful, especially the camps.  Most of the way from Harrisburg, the bridges on the railroad for thirty miles before we got to Baltimore, were guarded.  We arrived at Baltimore at sunrise, and that rebellious city was as still as night.  The first thing that struck me was the Washington Monument; I could see that above every thing else. ---It was a good time for contemplation, as we marched down the same street where the 6th Massachusetts were massacred.--We marched down the entire street and took breakfast at the expense of the Union Relief Association, and a good one it was too.  We then took the cars and were soon on our way to Washington, and arrived there about noon.  We stayed in the city over night.  I went up to the Capitol and looked it over; they are now rebuilding it, taking off the stone steps and pu tting on marble ones, also putting in a new cornice.  We left the city about noon.  The Potomac is a beautiful river.  All along we saw forts.  I also had a view of Mount Vernon just at sunset; it stands on a hill not far from the river, surrounded by a fine grove.  We anchored for the night about 25 miles below the capital. 

 

September 15, 1862

 

We entered the Chesapeake about 2 o'clock P.M. and anchored in front and under the guns of Fortress Monroe.  I tell you, it is a splendid place.  We supposed we should stop there, but the Colonel went ashore and reported to Gen. Dix, who ordered him to proceed to this point.  The Colonel remonstrated, but the General said, :They are from Chautauqua County, I will risk them."  So we remained on board that night, and next morning sailed for Norfolk, and took the cars from there to Suffolk.  Norfolk is quite a place, but show the same marks of decay and thriftlessness that all the southern cities do that I have seen.---Two-thirds of the inhabitants are blacks, and are contrabands.  They helped unload our boat cheerfully and quickly.  A great number run away from their masters, and to the question "are you well?" the answer comes "I hopes I is".  All seem to be willing to work.  The climate is warm, but we have a sea breeze, which cools the air and renders it very pleasant.  We arrived at this place and got to our campground just at dark.  When we were ready to eat our suppers, an order came from Gen. Ferry, the commander here, to hold ourselves in readiness to meet the enemy at any time.  We slept on our arms that night, heard firing at intervals, but it proved nothing but guerrillas.

   We have the Enfield rifle.

   There are about 6,000 or 7,000 troops in camp, and 4,000 more are expected today, also one battery of artillery.  The place is defended with masked batteries, also quite a number of light artillery. 

   I would like to see you all, but it can not be as long as this cursed rebellion lasts.  Since I have enlisted I hate the rebels more than ever.  I fear I have greatly taxed your patience, I have so much I would like to say, but time and space forbids.    J.M.P.

 

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