Monthly Archives: August 2009


Orpheus C. Kerr says: “Patriotism, my boy, is a very beautiful thing. The surgeon of a Western regiment has analyzed a very nice case of it, and says it is peculiar to the hemisphere. He says it first breaks out in the mouth, and from thence extends to the heart, causing the heart to swell. He says it goes on raging until it reaches the pocket, when it suddenly disappears, leaving the patient very constitutional and conservative.”

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A lieutenant, whom debts compelled to leave his fatherland and service, succeeded in being admitted to the late President Lincoln, and, by reason of his commendable and winning deportment and intelligent appearance, was promised a lieutenant’s commission in a cavalry regiment. He was so enraptured with his success, that he deemed it a duty to inform the President that he belonged to one of the oldest noble houses in Germany. “O, never mind that,” said Mr. Lincoln; “you will not find that to be an obstacle to your advancement.”

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One of the Rhode Island boys out on picket near Yorktown, Va., found himself in close proximity to one of the enemy’s pickets, and, after exchanging a few shots without availing anything, they mutually agreed to cease and go to dinner. “What regiment do you belong to?” asked our inquisitive Yankee friend of his neighbor. “The Seventeenth Georgia” was the response; ” and what regiment do you belong to?” asked Secesh. “The one Hundred and Fifth Rhode Island,” answered our Yankee friend. Secesh gave a long, low whistle, and –evaporated.

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The famous Sixty-ninth Irish regiment, sixteen hundred strong, who had so much of the hard digging to perform, claimed the honor of a share in the hard fighting, and led the van of Tyler’s attack, followed by the Seventy-ninth (Highlanders) and Thirteenth New York and Second Wisconsin.

It was a brave sight–that rush of the Sixty-ninth into the death-struggle! With such cheers as those which won the battles in the Peninsula with a quick step at first, and then a double quick and at last a run they dashed forward, and along the edge of the extended forest. Coats and knapsacks were thrown to either side, that nothing might impede their work; but we knew that no guns would slip from the hands of those determined fellows, even if dying agonies were needed to close them with a firmer grasp. As the line swept along, Meagher galloped towards the head, crying, “Come on, boys! you’ve got your chance at last!”

Colonel Bartow’s horse had been shot from under him. It was observed that the forces with which his movement was to be supported had not come up. But it was enough that he had been ordered to storm the battery; so, placing himself at the head of the Seventh Regiment, he again led the charge, this time on foot, and gallantly encouraging his men as they rushed on. The first discharge from the enemy’s guns killed the regimental color-bearer. Bartow immediately seized the flag, and again putting himself in the front, dashed on, flag in hand, his voice ringing clear over the battle-fields, and saying, “On, my boys! we will die rather than yield or retreat.” And on the brave boys did go, and faster flew the enemy’s bullets. The fire was awful. Not less than four thousand muskets were pouring their fatal contents upon them, while the battery itself was dealing death on every side.

The gallant Eighth regiment, which had already passed through the distressing ordeal, again rallied, determined to stand by their chivalrie Colonel to the last. The more furious the fire, the quicker bacame the advancing step of the two regiments. At last, and just when they were nearing the goal of their hopes, and almost in the arms of victory, the brave and noble Bartow was shot down, the ball striking him in the left breast, just above the heart. Colonel Bartow died soon after he was borne from the field. His last words, as repeated to me, were “They have killed me, my brave boys, but never give up the ship–we’ll whip them yet.” And so we did!

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