ITEMS PUBLISHED IN THE “WELLSVILLE UNION” CONCERNING THE NATIONAL GUARD AND THEIR HUNDRED DAYS SERVICE INCLUDING CORRESPONDENCE OF PVT. GEORGE J. LUCKEY, CO. I, 143RD O.N.G.
The Wellsville Union April 14, 1864
Volunteer Militia Ordered Out
By the annexed telegraphic order to Lt. Col. Vodrey from Adjutant General Cowan it will be seen that the volunteer militia has been ordered to prepare “for the field” by the second day of May.
“Columbus April 11, 1864
To Lt. Col. Vodrey, East Liverpool 18th Battalion National Guards.
Report by telegraph immediately how many men you can muster for the field on the second day of May.
B.R. Cowan, Adj. General
It is supposed that they will relieve the United States soldiers who are on duty in this state and that they will be sent to the front. The above is but one of the many steps taken to put all the force in the field possible. General Grant is determined to march against the enemy with a force sufficient to crush all opposition.
Our gallant armies will no longer be defeated because the enemy proved double their strength when they meet. The whole spring operations of Gen. Grant goes to show that he is determined to put the success of his armies in the coming terrible contest beyond peradventure.
On yesterday Captain Brunt’s company was drilling at East Liverpool preparatory to taking the field. The Captain and his company are no Fourth of July soldiers whose highest aim is to appear well and fire powder where there is no danger but are preparing to obey the order with a spirit, energy and willingness that shows that they are determined to do their whole duty in this, the hour of their country’s need.
The Wellsville Union
April 21, 1864
Lt. Brunt of Co. A was elected Captain of said company On Monday the 14th. Captain Brunt is the right man in the right place and Co. A may well be proud of her commanding officer.
The Wellsville Union
April 28, 1864
The poll books of the late election of officers in Co. A, 18th Battalion National Guards have been returned to Lt. Col. Vodrey and the election declared void on account of it being held under the old rather than the new law. Lt. Brunt, who was elected Captain, will undoubtedly be promoted to that position at an election for captain of the company to be held at J. B. Ferrall’s office on next Saturday commencing at one o’clock and closing at 5 in the evening by order of Lt. Col. William Vodrey. The election of Mr. John Straughn as Major of the battalion and of Rev. a.M. Todd as Captain of the New Lisbon Company were also void.
The following is a list of the officers of Co. A as they appeared on Monday at drill
William Brunt 1st Lieutenant
J. N. Taylor 2nd Lieutenan1:
J. D. Ferrall 1st Sergeant
A.B. Allen 2nd Sergeant
B. C. Simms 3rd Sergeant
James Leigh 4th Sergeant
Melcher H. Endley 5th Sergeant
G J. Luckey 1st Corporal
J. Woolmaker 2nd Corporal
H. Ashbaugh 3rd Corporal
Ephriam Gaston 4th Corporal
J. Weibel 5th Corporal
Thomas Betteridge 6th Corporal
T. F. Anderson 7th Corporal
H. Johnson 8th Corporal
The field officers of the battalion are:
Lt. Col. William Vodrey
Sgt. Major Robert Logan
The Wellsville Union
The National Guards
Our town on Monday last presented very much the appearance that it did on the leaving of the troops for three years service at the beginning of the war. A company from East Liverpool, Captain Brunt, and one from Madison Township, Captain George, under command ofLt. Col. Vodrey, 18th Battalion O.V.M. took the cars at this place for Alliance where the battalion will rendezvous preparatory to going to their field service.
They are a set of fine looking men went off cheerfully and in good spirits determined to do their duty wherever they may be sent. Notwithstanding that calling them into service at the present time is very hard on many of them. In many cases no one is left to cultivate their farms. In East Liverpool the Mayor, Recorder, Marshall, two attorneys, Rev. Hastings, the Superintendent of the schools and several of the
proprietors of potteries are members of the company, also, a Justice ofthe Peace, Constable and Township Recorder of Liverpool Township. As they left many a friend wished them Godspeed and a safe return.
This step is one of many important ones taken by the government to concentrate all its war-tried veterans for the terrible conflicts in the coming campaign. General Grant is determined that victory shall perch upon our banners and that our flag shall wave in triumph on every field.
May 5, 1864 (continued)
Liverpool Gone to War
The call of the Governor for the “National Guards” takes the Mayor, Recorder, three councilmen, three members of the Board of Education, the three Village school examiners and two Justices of the Peace.
It also takes two of the township trustees, but not only does the officials suffer, but the professional gents also come in for a share, it taking the only lawyer in the place, the principal of the Union School, and a minister of the gospel.
‘”Beat that who can.”
The Wellsville Union
May 12, 1864
Governor Brough in a speech at Camp Dennison to the National Guards, uses the following language clearly showing that they are intended to leave the state:
“The National Guard of Ohio State service may have objected to going out of the state on the ground that the Guards were designed for state service. What state service? It is the defense of the state against all threatened invasion, its protection.
The Rebels are not going to come here to fight you on your own ground; you cannot select the place; you cannot invite them here to whip them you must approach and meet them on their own soil, then give them something to attend to at home and if you do this, they will not molest you here. They must not cross; you must cross over and meet them first before thy get here. The best way to defend the state is to draw a cord around it away out along the Rebel lines and resist any attempt to invade. Did not the Indiana troops last summer follow Morgan into Ohio? And would they not have followed him into Pennsylvania had it been necessary to capture his command?
We are not simply state troops for defense, but for something more important than that, the Constitution and the country which is our only safeguard and protection in peace and in war (Applause).”
The Wellsville Union
June 2, 1864
We received a letter from Mr. George Luckey of the Liverpool company of National Guards too late for publication this week. It will appear in our next.
The regiment is in good spirits, enjoying themselves well in their new profession of arms. The address of the company is Co. I, 143rd Regiment O.N.G., Washington, D.C., % Colonel Vodrey.
(NOTE: No letter appeared in the June 9th issue.)
The Wellsville Union
Tuesday -June 16, 1864
Correspondence of the Union.
From the 143rd Regiment O.N.G.
Fort Totten, June 5th , 1864
Mr. Editor: -Another week has slowly flitted by, carrying in its train the last days of departed Spring; but the blooming flowers put forth as sweet perfumes, the birds sing as merrily, and the balmy air is as fragrant as though Spring had not given place to sultry Summer.
Nature never presented a more beautiful sight than is here unfolded to our view; upon one side is a beautiful valley, with fields of waiving grain, and blooming orchards, dotted over with splendid mansions, the habitations of the wealthy and refined; on the other is the broad bosom of the Potomac, on whose placid waters continually float the grim monsters of war, and upon whose banks stands the proud capital of our glorious nation, separating these two beautiful landscape views is the elevated ridge which constitutes the defences of Washington City. Along this ridge as far as the eye can reach, to the right and left, can be seen the proud emblem of our nationality floating gracefully to the breeze over huge fortifications, grim looking and black with the implements of war. One single view of this lovely scene will amply repay the soldier for the sacrifices he makes in leaving home and friends to join in the defence of his country.
A VISIT TO HAREWOOD HOSPITAL
On the 29th ult. I visited, in company with Capt. Brunt and Lieut. Morley; the Harewood Hospital located between our quarters and the Capitol; in this institution there are over twelve hundred wounded soldiers, mostly from the scene of the late battles. It was a sad scene to behold-there lay the suffering heroes, away from home and friends, with no sympathetic hearts to beat in unison with their own; no delicate hand of a wife, sister or mother to cool the fever parched brow, to support the aching head, or fan the sultry air into a gentle breeze. Kind indeed were those who ministered to their many wants; comfortable, neat and clean were the bunks upon which they lay, and beautiful indeed was the drapery which nature hung around this camp of suffering patriots, yet, their absence from home and friends makes their situation look dreary and comfortless to the passing stranger. All that the nation and a grateful people can do to alleviate the sufferings of these unfortunate victims of war is being done. The ablest medical talent of the country is being employed in their behalf; kind and gentle nurses are continually passing from couch, ministering to the wants of all. The buildings and tents forming this Hospital are pleasantly located in the edge of a beautiful grove, and are regularly laid off. At the head of each couch is a small card, giving the name of the soldier who occupies it, and the Co. and Reg’t to which he belongs, the day on which he was wounded and the nature of his wound; also, the name of one of his near relatives or friends to whom to write, if he should be suddenly called to his long home. Few persons have any knowledge of the complete and adequate provision which the government has made for those who are unfortunate enough to be known as “sick and wounded soldiers.”
A CAMP POST OFFICE
At 5 0’clock in the evening our company mail arrives, and when our Chaplain with his well filled pouch of letters and papers is seen approaching in the distance every foot is turned toward the headquarters, and with eager eyes and listening ears they crowd around to catch the name of him who is fortunate enough to receive tidings from home. How his countenance beams with joy and his eyes sparkle with delight as he reaches forth to receive the silent message from home; how hastily he takes off the wrapper, and quickly scans every page, until he reads “all well”. It is then rudely folded and carried to quarters until time is afforded for a more careful perusal; but how different is the appearance of him who receives no intelligence from loved ones at home, dejected and sorrowful, he slowly wends his way to quarters; a thousand thoughts fill his uneasy mind, as he ponders slowly over the words “no letter” what a field of study for a student of human nature.
A few days ago some mischief, not having the fear of man before his eyes, perpetrated a huge joke on some of his more sober companions; having procured a number ofold speeches, he enclosed them in envelopes and addressed them to different members of Company I; as a consequence there was a very large mail on that day, and nearly every man received a prize, but you can readily imagine the row that occurred when the hoax was discovered, and the “innocent” covy on whom suspicion fell was compelled for a time to keep a respectable distance from his outraged victims.
OFF FOR THE FRONT
The 150th Reg’t O.N.G., formerly quartered at Fort Bunker Hill, near our present quarters, received marching orders for the front last night, and will leave today and in my next I will try and give you some items of interest about the Capital.
Yours, GEO. J. LUCKEY.
The Wellsville Union
Thursday -June 23, 1864
CORRESPONDENCE OF THE WELLSVILLE UNION FROM THE 143RD REGIMENT O.N.G. WHITE HOUSE, JUNE 10TH, 1864
Mr. Editor: -We arrived this morning and as Grant had changed his base of supplies_ we were not landed but ordered to go up the James to reinforce Butler. Our regiment is in fine spirits and “spilin” for a fight. We were three days coming around from Washington. GEO. J. LUCKEY.
POINT OF ROCKS, JUNE 13, 1864
MR. EDITOR: -Dear Sir: On Saturday night it was rumored that the 150th Reg. O.N.G. had been ordered to the front, and refused to respond to the call, and that the 143d would be asked to go in their stead; the events of Monday proved the truthfulness of the rumor, for early in the morning we were ordered to pack traps, and hold ourselves in readiness to march at any moment; not a word of dissatisfaction was spoken by any but with a merry good humor everything was put in readiness for the march, but not until the next morning at 2 o’clock did we receive the order to “Forward march,” and as Gen. Scott would say, we prepared a “hasty plate of sup,” and took up our line of march for the Capital, where we arrived at 6 A.M. and embarked on the transport Joe Hooker, with orders to report at the White House. The weather was beautiful; the river almost without a ruffle, and the natural scenery on either side unsurpassed. At dark we cast anchor a few miles from the mouth of the Potomac, opposite a place called “Piny Point.” The country here begins to wear the garb of desolation; scarcely a human habitation is to be seen. At daybreak on Wednesday we weighed anchor, and pushed out into the broad Chesapeake; a brisk gale was blowing, which caused our bark to rock to such an extent as to disturb the equanimity of our stomachs, and make many to “heave Jonah.” At 2 P.M. we entered the York River, and sailed leisurely up until nightfall, when we again cast anchor a few miles below West Point, an insignificant place at the junction of the Pamunkey and Matapony Rivers. One significant feature about this entire country is the fact, that though the oldest settled country in America, yet you never see a town or village on the banks of any of the rivers that flow through this ancient dominion; even Yorktown, whose revolutionary fame stands out so prominent in American history, contains scarcely a dozen houses; and but one single-story frame building marks the spot known as West Point. At daylight we again set sail up the Pamunkey, and arrived at the White House about noon, June 10th. +
One view of this busy mart made us realize that we were near the seat of war; transports lined the shore for as far as the eye could reach; every road was filled with wagons and ambulances; bodies of troops marching to and fro; squads of cavalry flying in “hot haste” along the dusty beach; the booming of cannon pealing over the marshy plain, told us in unmistakable terms of the work of death that was just beyond us. While we were here, some 200 rebel officers and almost 1700 privates, were shipped to Pt. Lookout, in Maryland; they were brought in from the front that evening previous; they were a hard looking set of “covies,” there being no two of them dressed alike, and some of them (it might very properly be said), were not dressed at all; yet we were told that they were the best dressed “rebs” that had arrived at that point. -Here I also met Mrs.Farnam, a lady of high moral worth who came out at the beginning of the war, with a Vermont regiment, with whom she has remained ever since, ministering to the wants of the sick and wounded. At the time J met her, she was assisting in helping the wounded up to the “State of Maine”, a hospital boat in the employ of the government. -She wore pants and bloomers made of Kentucky jean, kip [illegible] and a straw hat; the soldiers all bore testimony to her ability, physical endurance and moral worth; declaring that she could render more service to the wounded than any twenty male nurses in the army. The sights we have beheld of the wounded and dying was well calculated to make the citizen soldier dread the deadly conflict: a recital of their sufferings would only harrow up your feelings, and sicken the writer, I will therefore desist from drawing any picture of this horrible scene.
I also visited the remains of what was once known as the White House; two chimneys yet stand to mark this almost sacred spot, as it was within its walls that the immortal Washington wooed and won his better half. Just as we were preparing to leave, my old friend, Rev. John B. Graham, stepped aboard to get a glimpse of Columbiana soldiers; it was truly refreshing to thus meet a familiar face in the desolate country.
At 4 0’clock P.M. we were again off, with orders to report at City Point. At dark we anchored in the Pamunkey, and, throwing pickets out, sent our cook ashore to cook rations for the ensuing day. At sunrise we were streaming down the river as merry a crew as ever boarded a vessel; we reached the bay about noon, and headed off for Fortress Monroe; where we arrived at 4 P. M, and cast anchor in full view of this mammoth structure in the art of war. Stopping here only long enough to take on board a pilot we entered Hampton Roads passing almost a city of monitors and men of war, that with grim and silent looks guarded this important point; to our left could be seen the remains of the Gosport Navy Yard, and the towns of Portsmouth and Norfolk, if towns they may be called; for judging from their size it was only a waste of words to bestow a name upon them. Evening came, and our bark again cast anchor; being now is an enemy’s country, we had to keep a sharp lookout for the wiley foe who had been in the habit of making occasional raids on government transports in this vicinity; so with loaded arms we passed the night in safety, and sailed at early dawn, to complete our journey, which had already been continued too long for our comfort. It was Sabbath, and a more beautiful morning never dawned, and just as the sun loomed up over the hills, we approached the ever memorable settlement of Jamestown; with this place is associated the history of Captain Smith and Pocahontas; here was made the first settlement in the States; here too was landed the first cargo of Africans, upon whose feet were first forged the chains of American slavery, and the curse of God rests now upon the doomed city, for there is nothing left to show the passing traveler the unholy spot save the ivy-grown wall of some ancient church, whose wreck stands hard by the river bank. We passed no other points of interest except Wilson’s and Harrison’s Landing (of which there is nothing left save the name) until we reached City Point, at the mouth of the Appomattox river; I saw nothing hereby which I could give a description of the place, except a few chimneys which marked the spot where once had been the habitation of man; our commanding officer stepped ashore here and reported the l43d all O.K. and we were ordered to land 4 miles up the Appomattox river, at a point known as Point of Rocks, at which place we landed at 4 P.M., Sunday, June 12th.
I will here give a short description of the location of the different points of interest along the line of the army: White House, the base of supplies for the right and centre of Grants’s army, is on the Pamunkey river, 24 miles from Richmond by land, and 35 miles by water.
City Point is on the James river at the mouth of the Appomattox.
Bermuda Hundred, is on the same side of the James, but on the opposite side of the Appomattox from City Point. Our location is a very pleasant one, being on very high ground, one-half mile from the river, and about the same distance from Gen. Butler’s headquarters.
A part of our Regiment, consisting of Co. B, from Columbiana county, and three companies from Coshocton county, together with the field officers, on board the ‘Iowa’ were run into on the bay and disabled; they put back to Washington, and embarked on another boat; they landed here early this morning, in good spirits.
The directions for our Regiment are: Co. I, 143d O.N.G., Bermuda Hundred, via Fortress Monroe; care Capt. Brunt.
Yours, &e., GEO. J. LUCKEY.
The Wellsville Union
Thursday -July 14, 1864
For the Union.
From the 143d Regiment O. N. G.
WILSON’S LANDING, July 4. MR. EDITOR: -The 143d Regiment, like the Wandering Jew, is still without a permanent home. Scarcely any point in Eastern Virginia of any importance, save Richmond itself, but what has been visited by this wandering bank of National Guards. Fortress Monroe, White House, City Point, Bermuda Hundred, Point of Rocks and Wilson’s Landing, have all in their turn been visited by us in the short space of two weeks; and in no case have we been permitted to tarry long enough to become acquainted with the locality until we received the unwelcome order to move. If there is anyone thing in a soldier’s life more to be dreaded than actual conflict, it is an order to move. Few people not connected with the army have any idea of the labor to be performed by the common soldier, in moving from point to point; the hurry and bustle of packing up; standing in line with knapsack upon his back, impatiently waiting the order to move; plodding through volumes of rising dust, all the while scorched by an almost tropical sun, and finally packed upon boats with scarcely room to stretch his weary limbs for rest.
My last letter was addressed to you immediately on arriving at Point of Rocks, and hence contained a description of that place. I will therefore give a few items of interest connected with our stay there; probably there is no point of greater importance during the present movements of the Eastern army than this place, it being the great depot for both men and material, from which is supplied the giant army of the East; it is strongly fortified by entrenchments and breastworks, extending in an unbroken line from the James to the Appomatox; the rebel works are just beyond, in some places scarcely 1500 yards distant.
Nearly every morning and evening one or the other contending parties will start up an artillery fight, apparently just for amusement, but the Yankees, on account of the superiority of their guns, soon make it too warm for the “Johnnies,” and they withdraw: the sounding of rebels guns, and the bursting of shells was at first viewed by our boys with some degree of suspicion, but they soon become familiar with their discordant music, and paid but little attention to their visits. Inside the fortifications is the remains of an ancient tree, under whose foliage the brave Captain Smith was condemned to die, but was afterward saved by the interposition of Pocahontas, the daughter of the ruling Chief; here, too, we received our first lesson in pontoon bridge building; commencing on the morning of the 16th, we completed the structure in 15 hours; scarcely had the last plank been laid when the dust covered veterans of a hundred battle fields began to press over this new highway to Richmond, and day and night they thronged this pathway until it appeared to the inexperienced that the whole human family were on the march, seeking a new home.
NEWS IN CAMP.
Though surrounded on every side by transpiring events that are to shape the future destiny of the Republic, if not the world; the very ground on which we stood shaken by the roar of hostile cannon; the noonday sun darkened by clouds of rising smoke that issued from a thousand cannon which lined the surrounding hills; yet we knew no more about the result of each day’s action, than those in the remotest areas of the land, and not until we received the New York papers do we hear any news outside of our own camp.
On Friday, the 17th, we were ordered, in conjunction with the 163d, to report at this point; we left at 2 P.M., and landed here shortly after dark, on our road down the river a little incident occurred, which somewhat excited our crew; the rebs had planted a battery on the river bank, and opened on a boat a few hundred yards in our advance; our engine was immediately reversed and our boat checked before coming within range; about a dozen shots were fired only two of which took effect; at this juncture of the proceedings a gun boat steamed around the bend and aimed a few broadsides at the impertinent Johnnies, which caused an immediate cessation of hostility on their part.
Our present camping ground has, in years gone by, when peace reigned supreme, been the pleasant home of some wealthy planter; the old homestead stands near by the river bank in a beautiful grove surrounded by a dozen cozy cottages, once the habitation of his human chattles, but now tilled by the free black man; his fruitful fields that once yielded an abundant harvest, have been made desolate by the tramp of contending armies. About a week prior to our coming here this place was attacked by Fitz High Lee, but was bravely defended by the negro troops, who drove back treble their number of chivalry, and bravely held the works. About three miles from here is the residence John Tyler, ex-President of the United States, President of the Peace Convention, and member of the rebel Congress; he was one of the principal instruments in dragging Virginia into the vortex of disunion, but dearly has he paid for his erring judgment; in the winter of his years he was dragged to his grave through grief over his life of treason, his family driven from their home, his splendid mansion, rich in all the grandeur that wealth and a refined taste could bestow upon it, left open to the ravages of an unfeeling soldiery. Such are the fruits of this rebellion.
GEO. J. LUCKEY.