CIVIL WAR RECOLLECTIONS OF THE TWELFTH INFANTRY

By
BRIGADIER-GENERAL T. M. ANDERSON, U.S. ARMY,
FORMERLY CAPTAIN TWELFTH INFANTRY

Capt. Thomas McArthur Anderson - 12th U.S. Infantry
WHEN the Twelfth Regular Infantry was organized under the Act of May 4, 1861, William B. Franklin was a captain of engineers in charge of public grounds and buildings in Washington City. When the names of the colonels of the nine additional infantry regiments were announced, his name appeared as colonel of the Twelfth. As his personal official duties threw him in close relations with the President and the Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, he had the best possible opportunity to select officers for his regiment from the regular establishment or from among newly commissioned officers from civil life. When I joined the regiment there was a report current that General Franklin and Mr. Cameron had in consultation selected the first lot of officers assigned to the organization. General Franklin is said to have expressed his preference for "clubable" men, possibly on Caesar's theory that fops made the best fighters. Be that as it may, the officers first assigned were nearly all college graduates, men of social standing and presumably clubable. Naturally, the policy of the colonels of the new three-battalion regiments was to get as many graduates of the West Point Military Academy for their respective commands as possible. The colonel of the Twelfth secured two officers who had been at the Academy with him. Henry B. Clitz was assigned as senior major, and M. M. Blunt as senior captain. He applied for several others. Two declined to leave their old regiments even to secure a higher grade in what they called the mustang contingent. Their excuse was that the new organizations would probably be mustered out, like the ten provisional regiments attached to the Regular Army in the Mexican War. Two of these officers, after they lost their volunteer commissions in the Civil War, came back to the regular service in lower grades. If they had accepted commissions in the mustangs, they would have ranked all civil appointments. As the Secretary of War and the colonel of the regiment were Pennsylvanians, very naturally a number of officers were selected from their State. Besides the colonel himself and his brother, Walter Franklin, there were Hulings, Sergeant, Parker, Hayes, Burnett, Egbert, Evan Miles and Van Valzah; a fine lot of officers they proved to be, and an honor to the Keystone State.

As the lieutenant-colonel, two of the majors and the senior captain were New Yorkers, that State was well represented. Daniel Butterfield was lieutenant-colonel, H. B. Clitz and Richard Smith majors. Among the captains were Bartlett, Rathbone, Winthrop and King, and among the lieutenants were Morgan, whose father was then Governor of the State; Van Rensselaer, Sartell Pentice, Coster, Heckscher, Harry Smith and Pond. Illinois had two representatives, Capt. Joab Wilkinson and Lieut. E. M. Coates. The Putnam brothers were from Minnesota. Old Tom Dunn, a Mexican War veteran, was from Indiana. Wilkinson was another remainder of the same war. This reputed descendant of General Wilkinson, the associate of Aaron Burr in his filibuster schemes, never joined.

Ohio was represented by Major Bruen, Capts. T. M. Anderson and P. W. Stanhope. This recital is only important because the plan of recruiting was to send the captains with the first lieutenants to their own States to recruit their respective companies. As an incentive to zeal and energy in the performance of this work, it was given out that the officers filling the first eight companies should be assigned to the first battalion.

It so happened that the writer of this reminiscence served in the campaign of 1861 with the cavalry and did not report to the headquarters of the Twelfth Infantry at Fort Hamilton until the latter part of October. Then he had to report to Col. Martin Burke, who had entered the army as a lieutenant in 1820. The old veteran was sitting in his office in dressing gown and slippers and with an officer-of-the-day's sash across his breast. He had temporarily taken the place of that official while he went to lunch. When I reported he said at once, "I know your Uncle Bob," meaning Major Anderson, of Sumter. "Yes, sir, I served with him for nearly forty years. He is a good man, almost too good. He disapproved of drunkenness so much he swapped off all the Irish in his company for Dutchmen; but after the Mexican War he said he often wished he had back his good-natured, hard-fighting Paddies."

This interesting conversation was broken by the entry of a young man from the wild and wayward West. He had also come to report. Evidently he had formed his opinion of the army from studying Charles O'Malley and "Tom Burke of Ours." His hair hung low on his shoulders, he had a revolver and a bowie-knife strapped to his belt. In one hand he held a carpet bag and in the other a demijohn. On sight of this phenomenon old Martin's mood changed.

"Young man," he said, "lay down your ordnance and subsistence." Then he shouted, "Orderly!" The orderly came promptly. "Orderly," he said, "take this officer to the barber shop and tell the barber to give this-this officer's hair a military cut."

After this episode I sought the headquarters of the Twelfth, which I found in a near-by casemate. I was agreeably surprised to find, thanks to my short cavalry service, I was the second ranking captain. Most of the officers were on recruiting service, but those who were present were, as I remember, Major Clitz, Captains Sergeant, Dallas and Wister, and Lieutenants Walter Franklin, Van Rensselaer, Stacy, a tall auburn-haired youth named Tracy. Bernard P. Mimmack had just been made regimental adjutant. This party formed a regimental mess. It was dignified and proper. Compared to the mess we had in the field it seemed a bit formal.

Major Clitz assigned Samuel Newbury, of Detroit, to me as a first lieutenant, and it was arranged that I should recruit in Ohio and Lieutenant Newbury in Wisconsin. We were assured by the commandant that we were to raise a company together. I enlisted 105 men in Ohio and could have as readily filled a battalion had not Major Clitz assigned twenty of my men and a number of Newbury's recruits to the first battalion. I protested most vigorously against this injustice, as it put Lieutenant Newbury and myself in the disagreeable position of breaking faith with our men, as we had assured them that they should serve together. Lieutenant Newbury enlisted over 200 men, largely through the influence of Col. James Jackson, who enlisted as a private, with a prospect of promotion. Capt. Thomas S. Dunn also recruited his own company in Indiana. It thus seemed that the Western officers of the regiment were the most successful recruiting officers in their home localities.

Major Clitz excused his action by saying that the officers who were given Eastern stations could not get men. Someone explained that they were too blamed clubable. The Western officers went around from town to town ringing bells, beating drums and making speeches. We had to do this, as the volunteers had adopted this method. In the spring of 1862, when the First battalion was organized, the promise that the first companies filled should constitute it was ignored. The excuse was made that it would not have been proper to have all the senior captains in one battalion. This seemed reasonable enough, yet when the Second Battalion was organized its three senior captains ranked the second captain of the First Battalion. The only objection made by the officers assigned to the Second Battalion was that as recruiting officers they had enlisted by far the larger proportion of the regimental recruits.

When Major Clitz took the First Battalion to the field, early in May, 1862, I was ordered to close my recruiting in Ohio and bring my men to Fort Hamilton. On reporting about the 20th of May, I found there Captains Mayer, Dallas, Quimby and Pennington. I was the senior officer of the regiment present. Within a few days urgent orders came to organize and equip a battalion. While we were accomplishing this purpose a final order came from the War Department directing two companies of the Eighth Infantry, under Captain Pitcher, and the Second Battalion of the Twelfth, or so much of it as was organized, to start at once to join the Army of the Potomac at or near Yorktown, Va.

I was assigned to Company A, Captain Dallas to Company B, Captain Quimby to Company E and Captain Pennington to Company F. The lieutenants available for duty were Harry C. Egbert, David D. Van Valzah, John S. Campbell and Benjamin R. Perkins. Lieutenant Egbert was made battalion adjutant. Captain Mayer was left at Fort Hamilton with Lieutenant Mimmack to command the detachments of recruits left there.

Captain Mayer was a pronounced Israelite and not altogether without guile. He had no aptitude for soldiering and soon got on detached duty. While on duty subsequently at Alexandria, Va., he gave the New York Herald a map and description of the forts around Washington. The work was beautifully done, but when Secretary Stanton learned that Captain Mayer had done it, it lead to his undoing.

Captain Quimby was a shipwright from Portland, Me. He was a brave, energetic, and in many ways a very useful officer. He was not strong in drill and discipline, but there was nothing in the way of work he would not attempt. He ran our mess in the field most successfully.

Lieutenant Perkins was our "ancient mariner." His father, owned a lot of New Bedford whalers and Perkins had been at sea practically all his life. He had applied for a lieutenancy in the Navy and was made a first lieutenant in the Twelfth Infantry. He knew nothing about military service or any kind of land service, but he was as near fearless as men ever are. The child-like faith with which he obeyed orders, while it was refreshing, was also at times alarming, for he never appreciated the old saw about discretion being the better part of valor.

When we received our marching orders I had to select a battalion adjutant. Fortunately I had another choice. At that time Harry C. Egbert seemed to me not much older than a boy. He had a youthful look and manner, yet there was something about him which inspired confidence. When I told him he would have to act as adjutant he protested that he knew nothing of the duties of the position. I told him I knew he did not, but that in the life-and-death business we were in we had to do the best we could. He looked very serious and answered, "I will do my best." From that time on he did his duty faithfully, bravely and earnestly, until, thirty-seven years after, he fell mortally wounded in battle in the Philippines. It seemed a strange coincidence that I should have been the first officer to whom he reported, and the last.

At the time we were ordered to the front the Eighth Infantry was in camp at Fort Hamilton. All of its companies, with two exceptions, were on parole. Fortunately there were four of its officers who were not with the regiment when it was surrendered to the Confederates in Texas. These officers, as I remember, were Capt. Thomas G. Pitcher and Lieuts. John N. Andrews, generally known as "Charity," Henry B. Noble and Snyder.

Before we left Fort Hamilton we heard of Stonewall Jackson's campaign in the Valley. When we reached Baltimore we were ordered to report at Harper's Ferry. This was a sore disappointment, as we had hoped to join the Regular Division in the Army of the Potomac.

I voluntarily offered to report to Captain Pitcher if he would assume command of both battalions. He consented to do so, and from that on the command was known as the Battalion of the Eighth and Twelfth. We reported to Gen. Rufus Saxton at Harper's Ferry, Va., I think on May 25th, and were assigned to the volunteer brigade of General Slough, made up of new regiments without a day's experience in the field. Our first order was to fortify Bolivar Heights. I was directed to run a line across the brow of the hill. The First Delaware refused to work, but when a few rebel shells exploded in their front they went to work with amusing energy. We occupied this position several days, keeping up a noisy but harmless artillery duel with the enemy. Then there was a report that Jackson was about to attack us with an overwhelming force, and that Gen. Dick Taylor, a son of old Zack, was to lead the attack. Jackson's victories over Banks, Shields and Fremont had produced such a demoralizing effect that our force of five or six thousand men were withdrawn from Bolivar Heights to what was called the City Heights. Jackson, to cover the transfer of his army from the Shenandoah to Richmond, sent Bradley Johnson to make a mere demonstration against us, with a couple of small regiments and a four-gun battery. On the night of May 30th he made a demonstration by opening fire from Bolivar Heights, which we had abandoned. Then followed the most absurd opera bouffe battle of the war. Our troops were kept in line all night, and time and again the whole line would open fire on nothing at all. A battery of Dahlgren guns on Maryland Heights sent their shells over our heads to explode high in the air. The enemy's fire having ceased, I was sent out with a scouting party about 3 o'clock in the morning. It was very dark in the valley between the hills and we suddenly ran into a small scouting party of the enemy. We killed one man and the rest disappeared in the darkness. The few shots we exchanged caused our lines to open a magnificent charivari. Fortunately the balls flew high and none of our detachment were hurt. With the first peep of day we went over Bolivar Heights and found them abandoned. Soon we met some intelligent contrabands, who informed us that the Johnnies had gone up the Charlestown Road about midnight. Returning to camp, I was ordered to put my company on a Baltimore & Ohio R. R. train and go over to Martinsburg and open communication with General Banks. When we reached Martinsburg we found some men of the signal corps, and through them announced to General Banks our victory of the night before and that the enemy were retreating up the Valley. Then by signal he directed us to announce to General Saxton that he would assume the offensive and advance at once. Returning to Harper's Ferry we found our camp abandoned. In our absence General Sigel had come and assumed command and had at once ordered an advance. As neither tentage nor subsistence had been left for us, we had to make a night march and overtake our command.

We joined General Banks' forces at Winchester. From thence we marched to Cedar Creek, where Sheridan subsequently won his historic victory. There we met what was left of Fremont's army, the demoralized brigades of Schenck and Blenker. There Sigel gave us our first brigade drill. Captain Pitcher said that it was the first brigade drill he had ever seen and that he had never had a battalion drill since he left West Point. It seemed there had been no opportunities for battalion drills on the frontier before the Rebellion.

When reports of the Seven Days' Battles on the Peninsula indicated that Jackson's Confederate Division was with Lee's army about Richmond, the troops that had formed Saxton's Division at Harper's Ferry were transferred to General Augur, and the brigade to which we were attached assigned to Brig. Gen. Henry Prince. Orders were issued for General Banks' command to march through the Luray Gap and report to General Pope at Warrenton. By a clerical error our division received the order to go to Little Washington, a small hamlet in the Luray Valley. In attempting this we got separated from our trains and got lost in the hills. In this state of confusion General Augur joined us. Our battalion was ordered to furnish the field music for a review. We had to report that we were beating our calls on an inverted camp kettle. The review was postponed and we marched to Culpeper, gathering up our stragglers on the way. There we fell again under the benign command of Banks. General Pope was at Warrenton organizing his army. We should have waited for him to have gathered the disjectu membrq of his forces. But when General Banks learned that Jackson's advance was at Orange Court House, his amiability gave place to wrath. "The sable raven bellowed for revenge."

At Cedar Mountain our battalion of the Eighth and Twelfth opened the fight as skirmishers, rushing up the hill close to the enemy's line. Our volunteer brigade was behind us in column of regiments. It attempted to deploy in a dense corn-field. The rebel line fired over us and into the corn. This threw our brigade into confusion and they were withdrawn behind a line of batteries to reform. That left us under the rebel fire and the fire of our batteries. We could neither advance nor retreat. The Confederate General Taliaferro, in his report, says we fought in a way that convinced him we were regulars. But we had one great mortification. The reserve of the skirmish line was left under the command of a young captain, a mere youth, who had never been under fire before. He made his reserve lie down in a little hollow. There the Fifth Ohio, under Colonel Patrick, in going to the front, passed over them and called on them to go forward. When the captain declined to do so without orders the volunteers called them cowards. Colonel Patrick reported the circumstance in his report. The captain then went off to get orders, but did not return. The men, left without guidance, came over and joined the left of the line. In the meantime Captains Pitcher and Quimby and Lieutenants Andrews and Noble were wounded. Lieutenants Egbert, Campbell and Snyder were taken prisoners. Captains Pennington and Van Valzah were among the missing. At the end of the battle Captain Anderson and Lieutenant Perkins were the only officers left with the battalion. They held their position until dusk and then fell back until they met General McDowell coming on the field at the head of Rickett's Division. By his direction the battalion formed line across the Culpeper Road, facing the enemy. We stopped the enemies advance by firing the few rounds of cartridges we had left. This gave time for the head of Rickett's line to deploy. This ended the battle, and General McDowell thanked us and sent us back of his line. Soon after we saw General Banks come in from the right without any hat. He had also lost his head, but did not know it.

In my report of the battle I commended Captain Quimby and Lieutenants Noble and Perkins and Sergt. Lawrence Canavan and First Sergt. Emerson Liscomb, recommending the latter for a commission, which was given him. He was wounded and showed great courage in the battle. He was killed forty years after in China.

From the battle-field of Cedar Mountain we changed our base to Culpeper. We made this timely move to prevent the enemy from seeing our backs. After a few days we advanced northward to meet the advance corps of McClellan's army. In this move we first met companies E and F of the Second Battalion coming to join us. The officers with these companies were Capt. Thomas S. Dunn and Lieutenants Newbury, Miles and Wells. Lieutenants Andrews and Van Valzah had rejoined at Culpeper.

At the crossing of the Rappahannock we found Captain Pennington. Here we took part in combat with Stuart's cavalry. We were sent across a pontoon bridge to recover some arms abandoned by a picket guard on that side of the river. From this time began a series of tiresome marches and countermarches. First we were marched up to Waterloo Bridge; this was apparently with the idea of heading off Jackson. When this was found impracticable we were rushed back to the lower fords with the apparent purpose of crossing and crushing Longstreet's corps. This took us back to Bristoe Station. High water prevented our crossing, and then we were marched west to Fayetteville. From there our whole corps marched to Warrenton to find that Ewell had cut our line of communication, so for several days we were on short rations. At Bristoe Station, at a partly burned bridge, we found a large train of freight cars loaded with army stores, which we were ordered to burn. We ran one car across the bridge and offered to run them all across by hand, but the order was repeated, so that we had to burn property of great value. As this was before the Battle of Manassas was decided, it was evident that someone in authority had no faith in our success.

For two days we heard a distant cannonade; then we made a night march to Buckland Mills, and while the battle was raging we marched to Chantilly and were in the night battle there without taking an active part, although under fire.

As the army fell back to Alexandria we covered the retreat, supporting the Fourth and Sixth Maine Batteries. This was a very hard service, as we were tired out by night marches. Then for the first time in a month we drew full rations. The next day I sent Lieutenant Andrews to General McClellan's headquarters to see if we could not be transferred to the Regular Division in the Army of the Potomac. To our great delight he soon returned with an order transferring us to the First Brigade, Second Division, Fifth Army Corps.

The volunteer brigade we were in was made up of the 109th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, I49th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, 3d Maryland Volunteer Infantry and the 102d New York Volunteer Infantry. A Colonel Schavdecker, of Erie, Pa., commanded the brigade, as General Prince had been taken prisoner at Cedar Mountain. We had gotten along very well with our volunteer comrades but thought our association would be more pleasant with the regulars.

We lost no time in marching over to Hall's Hill at the Virginia end of the Chain Bridge, where the Fifth Corps were in camp. I first reported to Gen. George Sykes, the division commander. He did not seem to be much impressed with our warriors, but looked attentively at Lieut. Ben Perkins' train of nine wagons, two ambulances and a buggy. When he learned that he had absorbed this wagon train in General Pope's masterly maneuvers, he directed him to turn in all except two wagons to the division quartermaster. I next reported with the Eighth and Twelfth to Lieut.-Col. Robert Buchanan, the brigade commander. When this majestic martinet cast his critical eye over us he remarked, "You look like a set of volunteers." I could only say, "That is what we are, Colonel Buchanan." He replied, "I will make regulars of you." And this he proceeded to do in a way more vigorous than pleasant, but we must give him due credit for doing so. The officers of the new regiments were ignorant of the first principles of military art, of army regulations and customs of service.

In the camp at Hall's Hill we found the first battalion of our regiment. The officers with it were Captains Blunt, Sergeant, Wister and Winthrop, and Lieutenants Stacey, Drouillard, Tracey, Evans, Netterville and Pond. In our new brigade we found the Third Infantry under Capt. John Wilkins, the Fourth, under Capt. Hiram Dryer, the First Battalion of the Fourteenth, under Capt. John O'Connel, and the Second, under Capt. Harvey Brown. There were other officers we met in this camp with whom we were destined to have intimate relations. Among others I may mention Freedley, Penrose, Kent, Page, Dangerfield Parker, Maloney, Powell, George Randall, John C. Bates, Keyes, Thatcher, Ilges, Coppinger, Smedberg and O'Beirne. Lieutenant Van Rensselaer was General Sykes' aide, and Lieutenant Powell was brigade adjutant-general. Lieutenant Andrews was acting adjutant of our battalion, and Lieutenant Perkins was quartermaster and commissary. As Ben neither gave nor asked receipts, he subsequently had some correspondence on the subject with the Second Auditor. Captain Dallas, whose presence was somewhat intermittent, reported here and was assigned to Company B, Lieutenant Newbury to Company C, Captain Dunn to Company D and Lieutenant Wells to Company E, in place of Captain Quimby, absent wounded; Lieutenant Morgan to Company F, vice Pennington. As to Capt. Martin Mayer we had no information.

Our next camp was at Silver Springs with the Army of the Potomac, marching to meet Lee in Maryland. At South Mountain we were under fire but held in reserve. The Twenty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry was immediately in our front. I asked a young commissary-sergeant of the Twenty-third who was in command of his regiment. He told me Major Hayes. As he was an old acquaintance I rode forward and spoke to him. As the commissary sergeant was William McKinley, within two, minutes I spoke to two men who subsequently became Presidents of the United States.

On the afternoon of the 16th of September, while we approached the battle-field of Antietam, some negroes were digging post-holes to the left of the road. When the enemy opened an artillery fire on us these discolored Americans tried to hide in the holes. When, however, some of their shells struck the ground near by and threw showers of dirt over them, they popped out of their holes and sprinted across the field, rolling over whenever a shell exploded. This performance amused our men so, that they seemed to lose all sense of fear. Our brigade marched on and formed line of battle to the left of Sharpsburg with the right resting below the stone bridge. Just before daybreak on the 17th the First Battalion crossed the bridge and took open order just beyond. Later in the day the Fourth and the Fourteenth went over, and this force moved up to the crest of the hill in front of Sharpsburg. Pleasanton's cavalry crossed over and formed to the right of the bridge. The Third Infantry and the battalion of the Eighth and Twelfth were held in support of the artillery, which was firing on the enemy from our side of the creek. In the afternoon I was directed to detail two men to assist in working the guns. As old Martin Burke had insisted oil training our men in artillery drill, they were able to give most efficient assistance.

Near sundown all the rebel force in the center of their line except two regiments and a battery, had been sent down to resist Burnside's advance. Captain Dryer sent a note stating this fact and asked for orders. At that time General McClellan was consulting with Gen. Fitz-John Porter and General Sykes immediately in our front. I saw the note delivered to General McClellan. General Sykes told me after the war that General McClellan, after reading the note, seemed inclined to order forward the reserves to break Lee's center, but that General Porter reminded him that he commanded the last reserve of the last Army of the Republic. The order was not given and the golden opportunity to win a great victory was lost. There never was a better opening for an effective infantry advance and a brilliant cavalry charge.

We were next under fire at Snicker's Gap. The Fourteenth Infantry lost heavily in a reconnaissance and the Twelfth went forward to cover their withdrawal. We were present at the review of the army at Warrenton Junction when McClellan was relieved and Burnside assumed command. The officers who served on the Peninsula regretted to see McClellan leave. The Second Battalion was indifferent. Antietam had not impressed us with his ability. I forgot to mention that the two companies of the Eighth Infantry which had served with us under Banks were transferred to the headquarter guard after the Battle of Antietam.

When we reached Falmouth, on the Rappahannock opposite Fredericksburg, we were in advance of the army. We found Sigel there with the Eleventh Corps. We could have improvised a bride and easily crossed, as there was only one Confederate brigade on the other side.

In the Fredericksburg campaign General Butterfield, our lieutenant-colonel, was in command of the Fifth Corps, but was relieved soon after by General Meade. Our colonel, General Franklin, commanded the Right Grand Division of the army. Before the battle we were in camp at Stafford Court House. On December 10th our battalion was sent out on three days' picket duty, but came in and joined the brigade just before it crossed the upper pontoon bridge. At sundown we took our place in line of battle on the slope of Marye's Heights within 150 Yards of the rebel line. The Fourth Infantry was on our right and the Fourteenth on our left. The officers of the battalion present were Captain Anderson, in command, Captain Dallas with Company B, Captain Dunn with Company D, Lieutenant Perkins with Company G, Lieutenant Wells with Company A, Lieutenant Van Valzah with Company C, and Lieutenant Tracey with Company E. Lieutenant Burnett was regimental quartermaster, Lieutenant Egbert was battalion adjutant, Dr. S. D. Grant was contract surgeon, and Jerry McKibben was sutler, and always at the front. We held a very dangerous and uncomfortable position until nine o'clock the next night, when we were withdrawn into the town. The night before the withdrawal of our army to the north bank of the river, the Fourth Infantry and the Second Battalion of the Twelfth were put in a line of rifle pits in the Martha Washington cemetery. At daylight the next morning the enemy opened a lively fire upon us, which we returned with spirit. This continued until a blinding rain enabled us to withdraw and cross the upper bridge about 10 o'clock, our battalion being the last to cross. Captain Newbury, who had been temporarily detached, returned to us after the battle. Lieutenants Prentice and Hoyer also reported at this time. Lieutenants Bootes, Campbell and Hoyer soon after resigned. After the battle we remained in camp near Falmouth, with the interruption of the mud march, until we took part in the Battle of Chancellorsville. In this interval we had inspections, reviews and company and battalion drills, but no brigade drills or target practice. I was put in charge of a working party of 2000 men to construct block-houses and field-works along the line of the railroad from Aquia Creek to Falmouth.

In the spring of 1863 Brigadier-General Ayres relieved Colonel Buchanan of the command of our brigade. We broke camp at Falmouth on April 27th and crossed the Rappahannock on the 29th. On May 1st our brigade marched in advance down the Fredericksburg Road and met the advance of the enemy coming up. In a brisk skirmish we drove them before us for about a mile, when, to our intense disgust, we were ordered to retreat. General Warren, General Hooker's chief of staff, was with us at the time and directed General Sykes to hold his position until he could ascertain why the order was given. But the order was repeated and we had to fall back to a position near Chancellorsville house. I was slightly wounded but did not have to leave the field. Late in the afternoon of the 2d, as I remember, we double-quicked from the left of our line to the right to take the place of the routed Eleventh Corps. Our battalion led the way, under General Sykes' personal direction. We took open order beyond the Ely's Ford Road, and checked the enemy's advance. Fortunately they stopped to plunder Howard's camp, which gave our corps time to form line of battle. We lay on the ground in open order all night. The next day we entrenched the line of the Ely's Ford Road, and on the 6th we crossed the Rappahannock at the United States Ford and returned to our old camping ground at Falmouth.

The injury I received in the Chancellorsville battle proving more serious than our medical officer anticipated, I was given a sick leave June 1st, and upon the expiration of the leave was placed on detached service and did not return to the regiment until some time in February, 1864.

I found the regiment in camp at Kettle Run, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and relieved Captain Dallas, who was in command. He left on detached duty. Captains Rathbone and Newbury remained in Washington.

I think on the last of April Major L. B. Bruen assumed command and I was designated by order as an acting field-officer. We broke camp about May 2d and began the Wilderness campaign. The organized companies of the First Battalion present were A, B, C, D and G, and of the Second Battalion were Companies A, C, D, F and H. In the first day's battle in the Wilderness, May 5th, Captain Dunn was wounded and Lieutenants Van Valzah and Netterville were taken prisoners. In the Laurel Hill fight the Twelfth and Fourteenth Infantry formed part of a detached brigade. I believe it was on that occasion that General Bubb was made color-sergeant and subsequently recommended for promotion.

In the Battle of Spottsylvania, on May 12th, Major Bruen and Captains Anderson and King were wounded and sent to the rear. Captain Anderson received his brevets as major and lieutenant-colonel for the two battles in which he was wounded. After the expiration of a-six months' sick leave he was put on duty on the staff of Maj.-Gen. Joseph Hooker.

After being relieved from staff duty he joined and assumed command of the regiment at Richmond, Va., July 4, 1865.

The First and Second Battalions of the regiment, sixteen companies, were then in camp at Jackson Barracks, just west of Richmond, near the James River. This camp we designated Camp Winthrop, and it was so called until the Twelfth was relieved by the Eleventh Infantry in the spring of 1866.

Last Updated on 3/29/04


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