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The Seventh Regiment of RI Volunteers in the Civil War, 1862 - 1865
by William P. Hopkins, Snow & Farmham Printers, Providence, RI, 1903
A LETTER FROM ONE OF JOHN MORGAN'S MEN.
KNOXVILLE, TENN., Dec. the 9th, 1862.
'My own Dear wife:
I have just learned a moment since that I could write a letter to you by John Morgan who is going to Ky. I have but five moments to write. I have been very sick and have been on the roadside, and to be sick away from home and away from you my dear wife is awful. I have been in bed five weeks but am now well, and I think will soon weigh two hundred if I keep on. Buford's Brigade is broken up and we are all thrown out of office. I am delighted. I would not accept an office under him again for one hundred thousand dollars a month. All of his men and officers deserted him but seven hundred and fifty. We left Kentucky with two thousand or more. I am going to Georgia somewhere near Macon to spend the winter, if you can ever get a chance write to me at Macon and I will get the letter. I have written one hundred letters to you and have never heard a word by letter or word from Kentucky since I left home. I have made about two thousand dollars trading horses and selling them. I would not wish anything nicer than to be attached to a cavalry brigade and trade with the greenhorns. Oh, Lord, my wife, how I long to see you and I see no chance for us to meet for a long time to come. How I long to hear and read a long letter from your own dear hand. I would give my ears to see you all to-day. God bless the dear children, don't let my little Florin forget me. It distresses me to think that she will forget me. How are the Federals treating you all? an infernal set. Z---- W.--- will do you more harm than all the Federal army -- an infernal scoundrel. Dr. Craig and Sons have been with me. I believe he is going with Tully, horse trading. What ever became of Daniel, Jim, Henry and Darastus? did any of them go home? the other boys are happy as larks. Collect all those notes I left you, by law if no other way. Tell Dodd Helm to sell all my stock if there is any of it left; pay my debts and rent the land out and you stay at the house and reserve as much of the grounds as you wish; have all the clover fields ploughed up except the one between old Hamet's house and the one the other side of her house; you can rent the others out to be put in hemp or corn.
I am reminded by Maj. Morgan to stop. I start to Georgia on Thursday. I shall join Breckenridge or Hanson in the spring. I'll get a good office.
Give my love to Ma and all my dear children. Kiss them all and may God Bless you my wife, my own dear precious wife. May God protect you forever.
I am your husband, forever,
W---- F. J -----.'
WILLIAM A. ABBOTT. William A. Abbott, son of James and Asenath Bennett Abbott, was born in Hampton, Conn., Feb. 6, 1827. He had three brothers and four sisters.
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"HARTFORD ALEXANDER. Hartford Alexander was the youngest child of Welcome and Alpha Staples Alexander. The family resided at Diamond Hill, Cumberland, R.I. He had four sisters, Mary, wife of Barton Clarke, of southern Rhode Island; Abbie, wife of Mr. Farr, of Franklin, Mass.; Almy, wife of Mr. Sunderland, also of Franklin; and Ruth; also three brothers, Smith A., of Company G, Third Rhode Island Cavalry, who died of diarrhea at New Orleans, La., Sept. 30, 1864; Whipple, of Company E, Fifth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, who was mustered out at the expiration of his term of service, dying long years after at Rockland, Scituate, R.I.; and Welcome. After the father's death the mother married George Hawkins. As the family was very large, Hartford lived at different times with several residents of the town. When he enlisted his home was with Ellis Follett. The old people of that region speak of him as a good natured boy, full of life, without bad habits, unusually kind to animals as well as to people, and never know to shirk a duty. He rendered himself comspicuous for his bravery at Fredericksburg, and was killed at Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864. His savings he bequeathed to his sister Abbie.
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EDWARD T. ALLEN. Captain Edward Tracy Allen, eldest of three sons of Edwin Allen, a manufacturer of wood printing type, was born in Windham, Conn., Nov. 1, 1838. One brother is Hon. Edwin R. Allen, late lieutenant-governor of Rhode Island and earlier a first lieutenant of the Seventh, the other is Charles N. Allen, a manufacturer in Connecticut, and formerly acting assistant engineer United States Navy. On his father's side he descended from Col. Ebenezer Tracy, of Connecticut, and on his mother's from Col. Joseph Noyes, of the Rhode Island militia, both of whom participated in the Revolutionary War. His early education was obtained in the district schools of his town and finished at Hall's Academy, Ellington, Conn. At the age of eighteen he entered the store of S. Robinson & Son, Wakefield, R.I., and continued there until he entered the service.
At the outbreak of the Rebellion Mr. Allen joined the Narragansett Guards, a battalion organized in that village by Col. Isaac P. Rodman, afterward Colonel of the Fourth Rhode Island and brigadier-general United States Volunteers. The first company of Guards with the latter gentleman as captain was accepted as Company E, Second Rhode Island Volunteers. The former remained with the second company of the Guards as first sergeant and materially assisted Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold in the maintenance of the organization. The second call for 300,000 three years' men brought out the balance of the battalion, and Allen was deputized as recruiting officer at Wakefield. When it had enrolled one hundred and four men under command of Capt. R. G. Rodman, First Lieutenant G. N. Durfee, and Second Lieutenant E. T. Allen, it reported at Camp Bliss near Providence, Aug. 16, 1862, and was accepted as Company G. At Falmouth, Va., he was taken ill, and granted sick leave, but rejoined the regiment at the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13th. Jan. 7, 1863, he was commissioned first lieutenant and assigned to the command of Company A in the absence of Captain Leavens (wounded). Timid in disposition Lieutenant Allen asked to be assigned to a company having a captain in command, but Colonel Bliss declined to accede to the request, so with redoubled energy he betook himself to the study of the army regulations and tactics that he might be the better prepared for the responsibilities resting upon him. At this time he frequently found himself in charge of the picket line on the north bank of the Rappahannock. From Newport News he reported to Major Tobey, at Lexington, Ky., with two companies. While encamped near Richmond, Ky., he was commissioned captain of the same company (A) to date from May 14, 1863. Their stay at these two places as well as at Crab Orchard and Richmond was thoroughly enjoyed by the entire regiment, and it correspondingly improved in drill and discipline.
The Vicksburg campaign especially to and from Jackson was a severe one for officers and men, but Captain Allen and Lieutenant Merrill endured it well, being on duty every day. At this time the former was fortunate in the possession of a stout negro boy who attached himself to him at Lexington. When the regiment returned to Kentucky this boy Willis went to Rhode Island, enlisted in a colored regiment and died at New Orleans in the service. Yet the captain was so debilitated by his experiences he narrowly escaped drowning subsequently in Licking River at Covington, Ky., being rescued by the united efforts of Lieut. G. B. Perkins and Corp R. C. Phillips. Dr. Corey labored with him two hours to restore him to life and duty.
August, 1863, found Captain Allen again at Lexington. One Sunday morning he was ordered to impress two hundred negroes for work on the United States Military Railroad at Nicholasville. Many were picked up around town, but the larger portion were captured by surrounding a colored church and taking in the men as they fled out from service while the women and children were permitted to pass on.
Later he was detailed to the staff of Col. W. S. King commanding the post. In this capacity, with a detachment of Michigan cavalry he participated for three days and nights in the pursuit of John Morgan, capturing some of his command. On another occasion, he was order to clean out some of Morgan's command near Cynthiana, Ky., which was effectively done.
Captain Allen rejoined his regiment at Point Isabel (or Burnside) and accompanied it to Annapolis, and on the advance to Petersburg. During the latter movement he was always at the front and for duty, at times having as many as four companies under his command. Though his hat and clothing were cut more than once by bullets, he escaped injury until June 18, 1864, when he was wounded in the left leg before Petersburg. He was conveyed to the Armory Square Hospital, Washington, D. C., whence he was honorably discharged for resulting disability August 29th.
The next decade he spent in New Haven, Conn., for a third of which time, at least, he was connected with a machinery manufacturing company, and in such a manner as to frequently necessitate visiting the Provinces. The year 1866 was spent, however, in California. April 30 1867, he married Elizabeth Clarke, daughter of Col. Geo. W. and Ann Frances Cady Sheldon, of Wakefield, R.I. No children were vouchsafed them, but in July he informally adopted those of Mrs. Allen's sister Emma, who died Oct. 12, 1886, leaving twin daughters Emma S. and Anna C., only two days old, and a son, George W., born June 8, 1885. Their father, William Allen Kenyon, died Dec. 16, 1887, at Wakefield.
In 1875 he established a wholesale hardware and fire-arms business, which has grown to a foremost position, and in which he still continues. He is a member of George H. Thomas Post, No. 2, Grand Army of the Republic, at San Francisco, and of the California Commandery of the Loyal Legion.
<facing page: portraits of Capt. Edward T. Allen and Lieut. Edwin R. Allen>
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EDWIN R. ALLEN. First Lieutenant Edwin Robinson Allen, son of Edwin and Ruth Babcock Noyes Allen, was born in Windham, Conn., Nov. 26, 1840. His education was obtained at the select and public schools of that town and at Eagleswood, N.J. In September, 1856, he entered the store of his uncle, the late Charles Noyes, at Hopkinton, R.I., as clerk, and remained there in that capacity until he enlisted as a private in Company A, Aug. 7, 1862, and was mustered as such September 4th. He was regularly promoted to be corporal; sergeant Feb. 25, 1863, and sergeant major, the last by order dated Feb. 28, 1864, to rank from Jan. 1, 1864. October 21st he was commissioned, and on the 26th mustered as first lieutenant Company A, the command of which he assumed in January, 1865, and retained until his muster out June 9th. He had, however, been appointed second lieutenant in the same company July 25, 1864, but was not mustered. He participated in all the regiment's engagements save that at Jackson, Miss., when he was on detached service in the adjutant-general's department at division headquarters. On leaving the army he returned to the store he had left, which he has owned and managed since 1879. In 1867 he was elected town clerk of Hopkinton, and still retains that office. He represented the town in the State Senate four years, commencing with 1889, and held the position of lieutenant-governor in 1894, 1895, and 1896. His conceded ability and integrity place him in confidential relations with the residents of his town. His long familiarity with affairs, and his efficiency in all matters coming before probate courts, have caused his advice to be frequently sought in the drafting of important documents and in the transfer and settlement of estates. He married Jan. 1, 1868, Mary Elizabeth, daughter of George Kenyon and Martha Elizabeth Babcock Thayer, who has presented him with two sons, George Edward Allen, of Hope Valley, RIi., and Frederick Carleton Allen, A.M., a lawyer in Boston, Mass.
Governor Allen united with the First Baptist Church of Hopkinton, April 4, 1858. He was chosen its clerk Feb. 1, 1862, and has held that office continuously to date. He is a trustee of the Westerly Savings Bank and the Washington National Bank, both of Westerly, R.I., and a member of Hancock Post, Grand Army of the Republic, of Pawcatuck, Conn.
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EMORY J. ARNOLD. Corporal Emory Jackson Arnold, son of the late Emory C. Arnold, was born in Balton, Tolland County, Conn., Nov. 30, 1831. His parents removed to Woonsocket, R.I., in 1834. There he attended the public schools until he became fourteen, when he commenced to learn the butcher's business, working for his father until he became of age. Then he went West and was employed by a large wholesale beef house. Returning home in 1856 he later went to New York City, and secured employment in the Center Meat Market. Oct. 18, 1857, he turned his face southward, and entered into the butchering business on his own account at Lexington, N.C.; but politics ran too high in that section, so in 1860 he deemed it wise to return to Rhode Island. Soon after, he received an appointment as a county official, in the discharge of which duties he continued until he enlisted in the Seventh. He says: 'I was made corporal of Company E while on the march to Falmouth, November, 1862. The Sunday we were at White Sulphur Springs I went over where they were butchering to buy a liver, but there were all engaged. I told the chief butcher if I could have a liver I would dress one beef for him. I did dress three or four, received the liver and two dollars and was pleased. That afternoon I was ordered to General Nagle's headquarters when I was placed in charge of the cattle of the First Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Army Corps, and also in charge of the butchering. When we went to Kentucky I was ordered to the quartermaster's department, First Division, Ninth Army Corps, as forage master, which position I retained through Kentucky and Mississippi, up to Tennessee and to Knoxville. When we returned to the Army of the Potomac in April, 1864, I was ordered to resume my old duties as herder and butcher, wherein I continued until our muster out. From the time we commenced our march to the Wilderness until our arrival at Petersburg, I averaged thirty steers killed every night for the men in our brigade. Sometimes I had three hundred on hand to drive through the country. When a long run was before me I would place myself before them on horseback and call. I had three very tame ones that would follow my horse and my voice. These led the whole herd, and thus I had them completely under my control. I lost very few, but picked up fifty. I never worked so hard as at that time, as I traveled all day and butchered all night. I once lost six good steers in a small stream of water about a mile from Vicksburg. They ran down into the water to drink and became fast in a quagmire. I had to shoot them. Next day they had sunk out of sight.'
Mr. Arnold was one of the first men appointed to the police force when Woonsocket became a city in 1867. Ten years later he started a meat market on the site of the present Union Block in that city. Afterward he was employed in other markets there. In October, 1898, he was engaged as inspector and foreman of the meat department at the Soldiers Home, Togus, Me. There he died June 19, 1899, having been confined to his bed but three weeks, though he had been ailing for many years. His wife, Jane Logee, had died in 1885. A daughter, Gertrude E., who had taught in the high and other public schools of Woonsocket, ministered to him in his last hours. He also left a son, George H., who is in the West, two sisters, Mrs. H. E. Thayer, of Woonsocket, and Mrs. M. M. Clark, of Boston, also a brother, Nathan B., of Franklin. His funeral was held at the Friends Meeting House, Union Village, June 21, 1899, under the direction of Woonsocket Lodge, No. 10, I. O. O. F., of which he was a member. He had also been a member of Smith Post, Grand Army of the Republic.
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Job ARNOLD. Lieutenant-Colonel Job Arnold, youngest son of Stephen G. and Mary Angell Arnold, was born in Smithfield, R.I., Jan. 18, 1827. His parents soon removed, however, to Providence, where he received the ordinary education of that day at the First District School. When thirteen he went to New York City, where four years were spent in his brother's dry goods store. Then he returned to Providence, and, after learning the trade of jeweler and engraver, he pursued it until the breaking out of the war in 1861, though making his home, at least for the latter part of June, in Smithfield, as he was especially interested in horticulture and agriculture, and hoped the time would come when he could devote his entire life to their pursuit. On April 17th, he enlisted in Capt. William W. Brown's company of the First Regiment Rhode Island Detached Militia, but after its arrival at Washington he was assigned to Capt. Francis Wayland Goddard's company of carbineers. Intrepidity and coolness on the skirmish line at Bull Run attracted the attention and elicited the admiration alike of officers and comrades. He was mustered out with the regiment Aug. 2, 1861.
Mr. Arnold was commissioned captain of Company E, Fifth Regiment Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, and, as such, participated in the Burnside expedition, including the battles of Roanoke Island and Newbern, and the Siege of Fort Macon.
Upon the resignation of Major John Wright, Aug. 25, 1862, Captain Arnold assumed command of the Fifth. By his untiring efforts he brought the regiment to a remarkable degree of efficiency in drill and discipline. He was in command of his regiment at the battles of Rawl's Mill, Kingston, Whitehall, and Goldsboro, and received the commendation of his brigade commander, Col. Thomas G. Stevenson, who afterwards commanded a division in the Ninth Army Corps, and was killed at the battle of the Wilderness.
It is related that one night at Batchelder's Creek our outer pickets were driven in . Captain Arnold suggested that the tattoo be beaten in several placed and the cars kept running, that the enemy might think the Unionists were receiving reinforcements. The ruse succeeded admirably, and is believed to be the chief reason of his withdrawal from certain positions then occupied.
On Jan. 7, 1863, for gallant services, Captain Arnold was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Fifth, but March 2d was transferred to the Seventh. At that time an attack on Newbern seemed imminent and it was with deepest regret the line and rank and file, learned of his decision to accept the proferred position. Unwillingness to stand in the way of a worthy fellow officer, was the consideration that determined his acquiescence, an exhibition of amiability that unquestionably cost him, eventually, his life. Says a letter of that date from the Fifth Regiment, 'At once it was determined by the officers and men that Colonel Arnold should not be allowed to depart from among them without first presenting him with some testimonial of the universal love and respect felt for him by both officers and men. For this purpose the line officers of the regiment procured an elegant sash and fine field glass. The men with fine instinct, happily decided upon a testimonial which, not only showed how sincere and unanimous was their regard for the noble-minded and unselfish gentleman, but how surely they knew they were presenting him with something money could not buy, and which he would ever after treasure with that just pride which only men like him could feel. The idea had only to be mentioned to the ment to be adopted and acted upon at once. To this end an engrossed memorial was prepared and signed by every non-commissioned officer and private then with the regiment.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, March 17th, the men marched to the parade ground and formed in hollow square. Colonel Arnold was brought out and took his station with the field and staff and company officers in the centre. Sergeant Conger, bearing the testimonial, then stepped forward and said: 'Colonel Arnold, it has fallen to my lot to have the honor of presenting the popular feeling of this regiment as expressed in this paper unanimously signed by the non-commissioned officers and privates, which I am requested to read to you. We have thought it best to present it in this form that in after years when this strife is over, you may look upon it when amid your family circle, and be cheered with the thought that your exertion and your patriotism were appreciated by those under your command. You have ever been to us a father and we are loth to part with you. But in parting let us mutually put our trust in Him who is able to say to the angry storm of war: 'Peace, be still.' When our flag shall wave in peace from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Lakes to the Gulf, may we all be spared to return to our beloved State, there to enjoy with our families and friends the fruits of our sacrifices and toils.'
The memorial, duly signed, was then read and presented to the colonel. It was as follows:
'Camp Anthony, Fifth Regt., R. I. V.
Newbern, N.C., March 17, 1863.
Sir: It is with feelings of deepest regret, we learn that you are to be taken from us and transferred to another regiment. We cannot allow this opportunity to pass without unitedly expressing to you our best wishes for you [your?] future success and welfare. While reviewing your past, we cannot recall the first unkind word or dishonorable act. You have been loyal to the government and your command. You have never asked us to go where you were not willing to lead, and have always shared with us the fatigues of the march and the dangers of battle. In parting allow us as Rhode Island soldiers to pledge with you anew our entire devotion to our country's cause, and, through all the fortunes of war, in whatever positions we may be placed, our firm resolve to stand firm for the right until this unholy Rebellion shall be crushed, and every aider, abettor or apologist of treason shall wither beneath the consuming scorn and contempt of a free and enlightened people.'
With an emotion which showed how fully he appreciated the feeling which dictated the preparation of this unsought and unsolicited evidence of the love and regard of the assembled men he briefly thanked them for it in the following fitting reply:
'Comrades of the Fifth Rhode Island: I cannot find words with which to express to you my heartfelt thanks for this touching and beautiful testimony of your confidence and affection. I shall prize it, not only for the kindly feeling manifested for me, but for the high and noble patriotism herein expressed which does credit to you all. This is the proudest day of my life. I shall treasure this document as a souvenir to be kept as long as life shall last. I am glad to know that, though a year and a quarter of hardship and danger has passed, you are still animated by the same motives of patriotism as when we left the shores of dear New England. Let us continue to strive to do our whole duty until peace shall reign. Soon after our arrival at Newbern, I told you the time was not far distant when every man would be proud to own himself as one of the Fifth Rhode Island. That time came long ago. To-day you stand second to none among your country's defenders. I can bear willing testimony to the cheerful and soldier-like manner in which you have performed all duties and borne all fatigues, and to your undaunted courage on the battlefield. It is a source of sincere gratitude to me that I leave you in such good hands. I have every confidence that your future will be alike honorable to country, to state and to yourselves. A few more hours and I shall bid you farewell, dear friends, and in parting I wish you good health and strength to continue to the end of this Rebellion and a glad return to home and friends. And, my friends, if in the future you sometimes think of him who loved this regiment, remember if he failed in the performance of his whole duty it was a failure of the head and not of the heart.'
The statement is here ventured that the entire history of that war cannot parallel this instance of an officer long in command of a regiment engaged in march, siege, and battle, always enforcing strict discipline and exacting implicit obedience to orders, and yet doing it with such singleness of purpose and uprightness of conduct as to win such an expression of esteem from every enlisted man under his command.
In the evening Captain Belger and the officers of Battery F, together with the field and staff of the Fifth, assembled to formally present their testimonials to Colonel Arnold. The presentation was made by Capt. William W. Douglas (now an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island), in a neat and felicitious speech. It was a complete surprise to the colonel, who was too much overcome to make more than a brief reply. Colonel Tew was then called out, and, in an eloquent and feeling speech, stated that when Colonel Arnold received his appointment as lieutenant-colonel, he had asked the authorities at home to commission Major Tew as lieutenant-colonel and make himself major. This change was not made, but the speaker referred to the manliness and unselfishness which promted the action, and then stepping forward took Colonel Arnold's hand saying: 'Colonel, as you go out you bear with you our prayers and our best wishes, and if in the vicissitudes of the campaign we meet not here, may we be present to answer to our names at the great roll-call in the day of the resurrection.'
In the summer of 1863 Colonel Arnold participated with the Ninth Corps in the Mississippi campaign, which, though short, was arduous, and prostrated thousands of men and officers. When his own health broke down from its exposures and labors, only eighty men were left in the Seventh Regiment fit for duty. He hoped to return to the service, but being of delicate organization, the disease which has fastened itself upon him could not be shaken off, so at length he was honorably discharged on account of physical disability May 28th, 1864.
After reaching home not once did he leave his room for five long months. Later, at intervals, by dint of utmost care, he was enabled to attend to some business. Yet he suffered much though always hopeful, cheerful and thoughtful of others even when confined to his room, and gradually wasting away. He was a singularly pure, brave, and good man, spotless amidst the vices of camps, steadfast in action and duty, loyal in every position of trust and responsibility.
Captain (now Judge) Douglas has well said of him: 'He was a soldier of perfect courage and endurance, an officer whose rare judgment made him a leader among his compeers, whose firmness and gentleness won the respect and affection of his subordinates, and whose military skill and promptness secured the confidence of his commanders, a patriot who willingly accepted a lingering and painful illness, and a premature death as the result of his services to his country; a friend who was ever regardless of self in the service of those he loved, a man of cheerful temper, amiable heart and unsullied purity of life.'
Colonel Arnold married, June 16, 1864, Anna Maria, daughter of Job and Sarah J. Angell. He died December 28, 1869, leaving a widow and one child. His remains now rest in the North Burial Ground.
BENJAMIN K. AUSTIN. Benjamin Kenyon Austin, son of Stephen and Sarah Kenyon Austin, was born in Hopkinton, R.I. He was a farmer by occupation, and never married. He was shot while participating in a charge at Spottsylvania Court House, May 12, 1864, the bullet passing entirely through his body from his left shoulder to the right waist, traversing the lung. A brother survives, John S. Austin, of Westerly, R.I., and three sisters, Mrs. Calvin Lewis, of New London, Conn.; Mrs. Charles E. Merritt, of Ashaway, R.I., and Mrs. David Johnson, of the same village.
WANTON G. AUSTIN. Wanton G. Austin was the son of George and Patience Austin. He died on the Steamer 'David Tatum', Aug. 10, 1863. The post commander of Goodrich Landing, La., promised to give his remains a proper soldier's burial.
OLIVER L. AYERS. Oliver L. Ayers was born at Foxboro, Mass., Feb. 3, 1831. He knows nothing concerning his relatives save his mother, whom he can just remember. She died when he was about five years of age. She gave him to an old farmer with whom he remained until he was sixteen. Then he went to work for a poultry dealer in which business he has continued most of the subsequent time. When the Rebellion broke out he was residing in Tiverton, R.I. May 18, 1864, he was wounded in the hand at Spottsylvania and sent to Fredericksburg, Va., whence he was soon forwarded to the Abinton Hospital, Philadelphia. In December he was ordered to his regiment, but on reaching Alexandria was directed to report at the Harwood Hospital, Washington, where he was transferred to the Invalid Corps. He was mustered out June 23, 1865. He resided in 1901 at Little Compton, R.I., and was unmarried.
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JACOB BABBITT. Major Jacob Babbitt, only son of Jacob and Bathsheba B. Babbitt, was born in Bristol, R.I., May 9, 1809. His education was chiefly obtained at the then famous military academy taught by Capt. Alden Partidge at Middletown, Conn., and at Norwich, Vt. Soon after his return from the mililtary academy, he married Oct. 7, 1826, Abby Eliza, only daughter of Dr. Lemuel W. Briggs, and thereafter for several years engaged in agriculture. This he eventually abandoned in order to succeed to his father's business as a West Indian merchant, and, subsequently, became largely interested in the manufacture of cotton goods. The first mill in his native town was erected through his own and his father's enterprise. It was subsequently destroyed by fire, but rebuilt by his persistent efforts. He was also a large owner in the second of the two original mills of the town which in later days shared the fate of the first. He alone caused it to arise likewise from its ashes, and he put in full activity. The Rebellion closed its doors, and made a failure of what soon would have been a financial success.
No small portion of Mr. Babbitt's time was devoted to public affairs. He was active in the formation of the King Philip Fire Company, and for many years its foreman. He was also firewarden for a long time. The system of water supply by pipes and hydrants connected with the forcepumps of the mills was largely due to his labors. He was instrumental in the organization of the Bristol gas works. Upon the resignation of his father he became president of the Commercial Bank. Both those positions he held until death. As vestryman of St. Michael's Church, and trustee of the new Juniper Hill Cemetery, he proved himself useful. The town frequently sent him to the State legislature. His recreation was yachting. In politics he was a Jacksonian Democrat. His loyalty to constituted authority was strong and abiding, and when, in 1842, members of his own party proved recreant to their duty as law-abiding citizens, he went to the field, shoulder to shoulder with his political antagonists, with no thought but to maintain and vindicate the majesty of the government. Again, as delegate of his party at Charleston and Baltimore, in 1860, he with others used every effort to check the rebellious tendency of the Southern members, and, when this proved of no avail, and our national existence was placed in jeopardy, he counted his life not too dear a price to pay to maintain the supremacy of the constitution. In his last letter came the words: 'Should it be my lot to fall, know that it was in defense of our beloved Constitution.'
As a result of early training Mr. Babbitt's interest in military matters never flagged. In June, 1829, he was made inspector of the First Brigade of State Militia, and his thorough knowledge of tactics was often made serviceable in the drill-room of the Bristol Artillerty. As soon after the outbreak of the Rebellion as business permitted, though far beyond the age at which military duty is exacted, he entered the field as major of the Tenth Rhode Island Volunteers, a three months' regiment, with which he served from June 9, 1862, until September 1st, when he was commissioned to the same rank in the Seventh. At Fredericksburg, when the men were lying on the ground protected by a ridge less than three feet high, and a regiment less advanced was firing over their heads, Colonel Bliss received orders to make one more attempt on the entrenchments in their front. The major at one started to the rear to request that its firing be discontinued, when a ball passed in at one shoulder and out under the arm inflicting what was not deemed to be a serious wound, but age and subsequent exposure proved to much for him, and he died at Mansion House Hospital, Alexandria, Va., Dec. 23, 1862, leaving a widow and five children: Rev. Benjamin Bosworth, Edward Spalding, Sarah Scott, wife of Luther A. Martin, M.D., May Abby, afterward wife of Commander Samuel Dana Greene, United States Navy, and Julia Emily. The funeral occurred Jan. 1, 1863, at St. Michael's Church, with full military and civic honors.
GEORGE T. BACHELDER. Sergeant George T. Bachelder was born in North Providence, R.I., Jan. 10, 1836. His home was in Smithfield when he enlisted, but he was employed at Centerdale where he has resided since his muster out. He was not especially interested in military matters nor in any particular regiment, but the patriotic soldier fever struck him at the time the Seventh was forming, and he became a member, a step he never regretted, though twice wounded, at Fredericksburg Dec. 13, 1862, and at Spottsylvania Court House May 18, 1864.
GILBERT M. BARBER. Gilbert M. Barber, eldest son of Jared and Sally Kenyon Barber, was born in Hopkinton, R.I., July 27, 1815. He was a farmer by occupation. Aug. 28, 1836, he married Dency Young. Nine children were born to them, of whom but one son and two daughters survive. In April, 1902, he suffered from a paralytic shock that rendered him almost helpless, but he has recovered his powers to a considerable extent. Himself and wife reside with their second daughter, Mrs. Roxy P. Kenyon, at Hope Valley, R.I. He is one of the oldest if not the oldest surviving veteran of the Seventh. Besides his brother, Jesse, who was killed by his side, another, Mathew Stillman Barber, born June 2, 1817, entered the service in the Twelfth Rhode Island, whence he was mustered out July 27, 1863.
JESSE W. BARBER. Jesse Wilbur Barber, youngest child of Jared and Sally Kenyon Barber, was born Feb. 19, 1833, at Hopkinton, R.I. They resided on a farm distant about one mile from Wyoming, earlier known as Brand's Iron Works. The house is still standing with the letter T cut upon its chimney and the date of its construction, 1709. He received a common school education and then taught school. Later he learned the carpenter's trade and made that his occupation. He married Mary Ann Lewis to whom were born three children, Angus A. Barber, of Westerly; Mrs. Alonzo P. Kenyon, of Ashaway, and Mrs. Henry Steadman, of Westerly. He fell at Fredericksburg. His bother Gilbert says: 'He stood beside me when he was killed; fragments of his head were sprinkled upon me when the shot struck him. After the battle, at night we went upon the field and tried to find his body, but were not sure of any that we discovered. We could not recognize it in the darkness, and did not dare to light a match least the enemy should see it.' His wife was already dead, so the children were left to the care of his mother, they being respectively six, four and one. Very soon and successively they were put out to live, so they saw their grandmother but seldom, and remember nothing concerning their parents.
JOHN N. BARBER. Sergeant John Nelson Barber, was the son of George Barber, of Hopkinton, R.I. He was a farmer by occupation, and died in 1898 in his native town where he always resided. His life was passed under the influence and teachings of the Seventh Day Baptists, of which denomination he was a worthy member. He was a good soldier and an honest man. His wife was Julia, daughter of Gardiner Burdick, a well known resident of Hopkinton. Four children survive him, two sons and two daughters.
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WILLIAM H. BARSTOW. Sergeant William H. Barstow was born at Haverhill, Grafton County, N.H., May 18, 1837. In 1853 he went to Boston and learned the mason's trade, After following it a few years he became discontented and took up photography, purchasing a traveling saloon and taking to the road. At length he drifted into Providence, R.I., and was located on Westminster Street when the rebels fired on Sumter. Long years after he wrote; 'Of course I took the war fever with the rest of the boys, though it did not develop so rapidly as it might have done if I had not had another affair in hand to which I will refer later. Still the feeling kept growing within me that as an ablebodied man and a loyal citizen I ought to shoulder a musket and do my part toward sustaining the government; so when one morning in June, 1862, as I was on the way to my place of business, a friend accosted me and said in an off-hand way: 'Let's enlist!' I accepted the proposition instantly, and in less than an hour was a member of the Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers. Up to this time my only experience with a gun had been in shooting grey squirrels in the New Hampshire woods, but I was not averse to hunting another kind of grey coat, and went into Camp Bliss with all the enthusiasm of a raw recruit.
The thought next uppermost in my mind was how to effect another sort of union fully as important to my happiness as the union of the states. Under Captain Eddy the discipline was so strict that it was almost impossible to get a leave of absence for any purpose whatsoever, so, on the morning that we broke camp (Sept. 10, 1862,), I was married to a young lady. The ceremony was performed by the regimental chaplain in the colonel's tent in the presence of most of the officers of the regiment, their wives and their daughters. I left with the regiment for the South. Thereafter the history of the fighting old Seventh is my history, for I participated in every battle in which the regiment was engaged, coming out of them all with several narrow escapes but no serious injuries. At Cold Harbor I had my closest call; a bullet struck my waistbelt buckle, glanced, and ploughed a flesh wound through my side. This knocked me out for a while, but I had the satisfaction of recovering quickly and continuing through the whole three years of my service without putting my foot in an ambulance or spending a night in the hospital. At the muster out I took up my occupation of a brick-mason which I had followed before I had become a photographer; have continued at it ever since, and now, at the age of fifty-nine, am quite hale and hearty, have an outlook of prosperity before me, and most agreeable recollections of the days when I wore the blue and fought the glorious fight for the honor of the flag and the integrity of the Union.'
Sergeant Barstow died Sept. 12, 1899, after an illness of ten weeks at his residence, corner of Adams and Templeton Streets, New Dorchester, Mass. He was a member of Dahlgren Post, No. 42, Grand Army of the Republic, of South Boston. His remains were interred in Pocasset Cemetery, Olneyville, R.I. Mrs. Barstow's maiden name was Margaret Bryant. She was a native of Providence, but was Mrs. Whelden at the time of her marriage to the sergeant. She died Feb. 20, 1898, leaving a son and a daughter by her first husband.
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GUSTAVUS D. BATES. Captain Gustavus David Bates, fifth child of Welcome and Jemima Grow Bates, was born in Thompson, Conn., Oct. 2, 1839. His mother was second cousin to Hon. Galusha A. Grow, of Pennsylvania, whilom speaker of the National House of Representatives. At the age of seven years he became a mill operative and was thus employed until he was thirteen. Though but sparingly received the benefit of the common school of his native town, at sixteen he became a school teacher in Burrillville, R.I., remaining there two terms. The following year he taught for an equal period at North Grosvenordale, Conn. Later he entered a factory store at Grosvenordale, Conn.
After two unsuccessful attempts to enlist in that state, he came to Providence and was enrolled in Company E, of the Seventh, in July, 1862. Ere long he was promoted to corporal and then third sergeant, being mustered as such September 6th. He was then appointed first lieutenant, and later commissioned second lieutenant of Company E, March 1, 1863, as well as first lieutenant, Company K, May 23d. October 14th, he was discharged for disability, but was reappointed November 14th, and promoted to be captain of Company E, July 25, 1864. Having become well-nigh disabled by exposure and a wound he resigned and was honorable discharged November 2d.
From 1865 to 1875 Captain Bates was traveling salesman for two Boston houses. In 1876 he assumed the management of the New York City office of George B. Cluett, Bros. & Co., whose factories were at Troy, N.Y. In 1884 he removed to Putnam, Conn., where he established with the late John S. Lindsey, the Connecticut Clothing Company, with a branch at Southbridge, Mass. In March, 1891, he sold the former, and, in the fall of 1892, the latter. At present he is a member of the firm of Daniels & Bates, in the coal business at Putnam, Conn.
He takes special pride in his Grand Army of the Republic affiliations, and has been on the staff of seven different commanders-in-chief. He was a charter member of Ward Post, No. 10, of Worcester, Mass., commander of A. G. Warner Post, No. 54, of Putnam, Conn., in 1892, and the department commander of Connecticut in 1897. For the first time in the history of the order every post in that department was visitied during his administration. He has also served as department inspector. Twice has he been elected president of the Woodstock Agricultural Fair, and twice of the Putnam Agricultural Fair. His Republican friends honored him with a seat in the Connecticut legislature in 1887 and 1888, when he served as chairman of the Committee on Cities and Boroughs. He was also a delegate during the latter year to the National Convention in Chicago, that nominated Benjamin Harrison for president. In 1899 he was elected first selectman of Putnam without knowing he was to be candidate.
Captain Bates married June 17, 1867, Ellen A., daughter of Benjamin F. and Laura Holbrook Hutchins of Putnam, from whom he was separated by death, May 1, 1897, after having lived most pleasantly with her nearly thirty years. Dec. 22, 1898, he married Cora W., daughter of Albert E. and Luella Hutchins Johnson, of Southbridge, Mass., by whom he has one daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, born Aug. 13, 1901.
<facing page: portrait of G. D. Bates>
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RALPH BEAUMONT. Ralph Beaumont, son of John and Mary Beaumont, was born in Holmfirth, Yorkshire, England, April 7, 1844. They came to this country when he was four years old, and settled in Dudley, Worcester County, Mass., where they resided at the time of his enlistment. He then was working at shoe manufacturing, which occupation he resumed upon his return to civil life. In 1866 he went to Utica, N.Y., where, in December, 1868, he married Sarah Jane Frear, a native of that city. They have four children, Mattie C., Grace M., Herbert A., and S. Lua. Until 1880 he worked at his trade; then he drifted into journalism. Starting out as the labor correspondent of the 'Elmira Sunday Telegram' at Washington, D.C., he has always been a prominent figure in the ranks of organized labor, assisting in the establishment of the Knights of Labor, of which for years he was one of the national officers. In politics he has been a third party man. In 1878 he ran for Congress in the Twenty-ninth New York district, receiving 8,500 votes in a three-cornered fight, out of 32,000. In 1894 he ran for delegate to Congress in Oklahoma Territory as a People's Party candidate, receiving 16,000 votes in a three-cornered fight, but the successful candidate polled 20,000. At that time he was publishing 'The Oklahoma State' at Oklahoma City, in that territory. He is accounted one of the best platform speakers in the country upon labor and economic questions, and has spoken in nearly every state and territory in the Union. At the present time he is the publisher of the New Castle, Pa., 'Weekly Tribune', which is the official organ of the Trades and Labor Council of New Castle and Sharon, Pa.
JONATHAN S. BELCHER. Orderly Sergeant Jonathan Smith Belcher, son of Gideon and Eunice Belcher, was born on a farm at South Kingstown, R.I., Feb. 3, 1835. He was a lineal descendant of Governor Belcher, who presided over the affairs of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1681. The family removed at an early date to a manufacturing village in Warwick, where Jonathan received the rudiments of an education which he completed at the age of fifteen in Stanton Belden's Academy at Fruit Hill. He then devoted his attention to manufactures with which he was busied at the time of his enlistment. He married Catherine, daughter of Joseph and Eunice Greene, who presented him with five children, all of whom were reported dead in 1896. Having attained the rank of orderly sergeant he was honorably discharged at Point Burnside, Ky., Jan. 15, 1864, to accept a second lieutenant's commission in Company I, Fourteenth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, officially known as the Eleventh United States Heavy Artillery (Colored). With that command he served in Louisiana until it was mustered out Oct. 2, 1865. Returning to his native state he tarried there for a year and then went to the Granite Mills, Ga., to engage in manufacturing. A year later he proceeded to New Orleans, La., where, subsequently, he fell a victim to yellow fever.
<facing page: portrait of Ralph Beaumont>
GEORGE W. BENNETT. Sergeant George W. Bennett was a member of Company K until Jan. 15, 1864, when he was transferred to the Veteran Corps. After his discharge there-from he took up his abode in Indianapolis, Ind.
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LYMAN M. BENNETT. Captain Lyman Martin Bennett, second son of Asahel A. and Lucy Brightman Bennett, was born in Natick, R.I., March 19, 1837. The family subsequently resided at Crompton and Phenix. As soon as he was old enough he commenced attending the public schools and remained in them until he was ten years of age. In the fall of 1849 his mother died from the effects of poison administered through mistake by the family physician, leaving four children. Early in the ensuing summer his father married Miss Hannah Kingsby, who proved to be a great help to him in the care of his children and an industrious and capable partner.
Young Bennett enlisted in the United States Army at the recruiting office on North Main Street, Providence, R.I., on March 17, 1851, for a period of five years. Ere long he was sent to the school at Fort Wood on Bedloe's Island, where he found some eighty young boys like himself who had enlisted to supply the field music for the army. In due time he was assigned to Company A, Eighth Infantry, then stationed in Texas, leaving New York, March 4, 1853, the day upon which Franklin Pierce was inaugurated president. The trip occupied twenty-one days and was conducted by Capt. Larkin Smith of Company A, later assistant quartermaster general and chief of tax in kind bureau of rebeldom.
Gen. George E. Pickett (Confederate States Army) was, at that time, lieutenant and brevet captain in the same regiment, and Zenas R. Bliss was transferred from the Fifth Regiment to Company A, and signed Bennett's discharge papers March 17, 1856.
After visiting all his friends at Phenix, he entered the employ of David Babcock, a contractor in Levalley, Lamphear & Co.'s Machine Works, in that village. In the spring of 1857 he obtained work at the Indian Orchard Mills, near Springfield, Mass., but the next year he returned home and attended school well-nigh to July. The last of that month finding him out of employment, he repaired to New York, and again enlisted as musician in the regular army. He remained at Fort Columbus until January, 1859, when he was detailed to Company K, Third Artillery, and sent with a squad of recruits to the Artillery School at Fortress Monroe, Va. His officers were Capt. E. O. C. Ord, with Lieutenants Churchill, Morgan, and Sinclair. The first became major-general of volunteers, the third, Grant's commissary general at Lee's surrender, and the last a colonel of volunteers. At the time of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, six companies under command of Captain Ord were ordered thither and were marching up the now famous Pratt Street in Baltimore, when they received orders to proceed no farther, as Col. Robert E. Lee with the marines and others had captured Brown and his party. They went over to Fort McHenry where they tarried for night and a day, and then returned to Old Point Comfort.
A short time prior to the execution of John Brown, the same six companies were ordered to Harper's Ferry to protect the government works there, and to relieve the Virginia militia which moved on to Charlestown to prevent his rescue. At this time Bennett was a warrant officer in Company K. Excitement was running high. Telegrams were often received from the border states of the North, stating that abolition parties were organizing to rescue him. He writes: 'I remember distinctly the evening the wife of John Brown came on to visit her husband. I was in command of the picket guard at Hall's Rifle Works, at Harper's Ferry, located on the banks of the Shenandoah River. An escort of Virginia cavalry passed down to the ferry with a covered cab to meet and receive Mrs. Brown and escort her to Charlestown, some eight or ten miles up the valley. When they returned it was challenging time, but not dark. The sentinel on the bridge of the rifle works challenged them as they returned and called for the commander of the picket to interview the party. I advanced to the commander of the escort and demanded the countersign. He gave me their countersign, which was in force that day at Charlestown, "Washington", as I now recollect. It was not the same that we had as regular soldiers. It being far from dark and recognizing them as the same escort that had passed down a short time before, I, in this particular case, violated the regulations and let them pass on. But it instantly occurred to me how easy it would have been for me, with a squadron of determined men, to have rescued John Brown on that night from his merciless foe, having their countersign. Fate otherwise decreed. After the execution we returned to Fort Monroe.' Bennett remained in the Artillery School until June, 1860, when he obtained a furlough, and, while absent, having previously applied, was discharged from the service through the influence of Congressmen Brayton of Rhode Island, and Chaffee and Delano of Massachusetts. He then went to Springfield, Mass., and tarried at the home of his elder brother.
At the outbreak of the Rebellion, Mr. Bennett was employed in Dr. Segar's drug store on Main Street in that city. In response to the call of President Lincoln for 75,000 volunteers, he drilled the first body of men enlisted for the Tenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers in the basement of their City Hall, and would probably have acompanied them to the field had it not been that he was married on May Day and accompanied his bride on a wedding tour to Palermo, Me. During his absence the regiment was organized and the company officers selected by the men, some of whom reported that a certain young man selected to position circulated the story that the bridegroom did not intend to return. While in Maine, a company was raised by Capt. James P. Jones, a Quaker, from the towns of Palermo and China, for the Twenty-seventh Maine Regiment. He marched his men up in front of the residence of Bennett's mother-in-law, Mrs. Joanna Worthing, called him out and engaged him to instruct the company in military exercise and disipline. The following week at China village where they were quartered, he commenced his labors with an organization, not one of whom knew aught concerning military tactics, but inside of three weeks they developed into a tolerably well-drilled company. It did not go out, however, in the regiment for which it was intended, but in a subsequent one. Its captain became major, was wounded in action, and, before entire recovery, being in Washington at the time of Early's raid, volunteered in another organization to assist in his repulse and was killed at the battle of Fort Stevens. The Society of Friends to which he belonged held several meetings to try and influence him to abandon his intention of going to the war and went so far as to threaten to expel him. But he was a patriot; his country called him and he gave up his life in its defence.
In the spring of 1862 he returned to his father's home in Phenix. Finding the Seventh Regiment was being organized and that his former captain would be in command, he called upon Adjutant-General Mauran, procured the necessary papers and railroad passes for the transportation of recruits, and at once actively engaged in securing them. While thus busied he met Colonel Bliss on the street in Providence soon after his return from service with the Tenth, who advised him to go at once to Camp Bliss, and sent him to General Mauran, with a request to issue an order to that effect. That officer handed him a written order to Capt. Albert C. Eddy, commander of camp, for assignment to duty. He was placed at once in charge of Company F, and, in due time, through the influence of the colonel, he received a captain's commission from Governor William Sprague. As with a solitary exception, all commissions were signed on the 4th of September, the officers drew lots for rank. Chancing to be absent on leave at his father's, his colonel drew for him with the result that he became the junior captain, though the only one that had been connected with the regular army, and that for a period of nearly seven years.
Capain Bennett resigned Jan. 7, 1863, and rejoined his wife at Palermo, Me., though not until he had secured the following document:
Camp near Falmouth, Va., Jan. 18, 1863
'I take pleasure in stating that Capt. Lyman M. Bennett has served in my command since its organization, and that his conduct has been exemplary in every particular, and in the action near Fredericksburg he behaved with great gallantry and coolness, and has received the praises of his superiors for his conduct on that occasion.'
Z. R. Bliss,
Col. 7th R.I. Vols Commanding Brigade
In the spring of that year he returned to Providence and entered the employ of the Providence Tool Company. During his sojourn in that city, however, though it was continued but fifteen months, he worked in several different machine shops, and taught evenings in Schofield's Commercial College. Furthermore, he received an appointment from Gov. James Y. Smith to the Fourteenth Heavy Artillery (colored), which was not accepted on account of the serious objections of his wife. In the summer of 1864 he removed to North Andover, Mass., where he worked for Davis & Thurber, Woolen Machine Manufacturers. Later, in Larence, he was employed at the machine shop on Island Street, at the repair shop of the Atlantic Mills, and of the Pacific Mills also. In August, 1868, he went to West Boylston, and worked in the Beamen Mills. In the spring of 1869 he settled down for five years in the employ of the cotton mills at Shirley Village. Bidding now farewell to Massachusetts, he engaged himself for two years as salesman to a hardware and household furnishing house at Green Bay, Wis. Then an opportunity presented itself to engage in the sawed stave buiness, as contractor with the Standard Oil Company, of Cleveland, O., which he availed himself of for three years.
During the summer of 1879 he worked in a railroad repair shop, during the fall and winter in the Racine Machine Works, and, during the spring and summer of 1880, with J. I. Case & Co., of Racine, manufacturers of agricultural tools and portable steam engines. In the fall of 1880 the Standard Oil Company induced him to go to Hinton, W. Va., and enter into the stave and lumber business. He continued in this ten years. In March, 1892, he removed to Alderson, W. Va., where he abode until April 5, 1895, when he took up his residence in Baltimore, Md., and entered upon life insurance. In February, 1896, he received the state agency of the Guardian Life Insurance Company, of Boston, and established headquarters at No. 210 East Lexington Street.
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JEREMIAH P. BEZELY. Sergeant Jeremiah Penno Bezely, son of Edward and Almira E. King Bezely, was born in Providence, R.I., Aug. 16, 1836. When eight years of age he commenced to work in a mill, and, because of the death of his father, continued in that employment until he was thirteen when he shipped in the merchant marine. He doubled Cape Horn and visited most of the countries and large islands of the South Pacific. Returning safely to his native city he tarried but for a brief space, preferring to apprentice himself for three years to a painter in Chicago, Ill. Free once more he again sought Providence, and, on Oct. 15, 1855, married Abby F. Eddy, of Scituate, R.I., a daughter of Peter and Erispa Eddy, of Sterling, Conn. By her he had three sons and seven daughters; one of the former and two of the latter have passed from earth. Those remaining are Emma L., Olive M., Ida M., Lily N., Jeremiah T., William H. and Maud E. Mr. Bezely himself is now pursuing the house-painting business in Providence. He was wounded in the head at Cold Harbor, and in the right foot at Petersburg. This latter injury, though apparently slight, seriously affected him for years after his muster out. March 1, 1863, he was detailed sergeant of the division headquarters guard, Gen. Samuel D. Sturges commanding, and did not return until May 10, 1864, when the regiment was at Annapolis, Md.
WILLIAM A. BISBEE. Sergeant William Arza Bisbee, son of Arza and Clarissa T. Gould Bisbee, was born in Troy, Mass. The latter died Sept. 14, 1835, leaving one other son, Charles Lyman Bisbee, who subsequently was a member of the Thirteenth Massachusetts Battery, but died June 7, 1864, while on the march from New Orleans to Port Hudson, his remains being interred at Cottonweed Cemetery, White House, La.
ISAAC BLANCHARD, JR. Corporal Isaac Blanchard, Jr., youngest among the four daughters and two sons of Isaac and Isabella Aldrich Blanchard, was born at Slatersville, July 1, 1830. He married Eunice, daughter of Daniel and Emeline Arnold Hill, Oct. 12, 1853. They have five children, Charles DeForest, Randall A., Ruth E., Flora V., and Nelly G. When in front of Petersburg, Sergeant Colvin, of the pioneer corps, was granted a furlough because of ill-health. Corporal Blanchard was placed in charge thereof and retained and, at the head of the regimental pioneers, made himself and the force in his charge decidedly useful both in camp and field. Since then he has been engaged in the ice business. His home is at Wakefield, R.I. He is a member of Hope Lodge, A. F. and A. M., at Wakefield; also of Gibson Lodge, I. O. O. F., at Peacedale, R.I.
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Colonel Zenas Randall BLISS, son of Zenas and Phoebe Waterman Randall Bliss, was born in Johnston, R.I., April 17th, 1835. His early education was obtained chiefly at the University Grammar School in Providence, R.I., then conducted by Messrs. Frieze and Lyon. He was appointed a cadet at West Point, July 1, 1850, and was graduated thence four years later with the rank of brevet second lieutenant. His first duty was to conduct a body of recruits to Texas. There he was attached to the garrison of Fort Duncan for the space of two years. May 4, 1855, he received a commission as second lieutenant in the Eighth Regiment of Infantry. During the Summer of 1856 he did considerable scouting. He was stationed at Fort Davis from 1856 to 1858, at Fort Mason in 1858 and 1859, at Fort Inge and at Fort Clark in 1859, and at Camp Hudson in 1859 and 1860. In 1860 he conducted recruits to Fort Lancaster where he was in command for a short time, when he was transferred to Fort Quitman, where nearly a year passed. Here he was the only commissioned officer present, not even a doctor being allowed him. Neither did he have any one to converse with save his enlisted men. So numerous and so aggressive were the Indians they often fired their arrows at the sentinels on post at the barracks and the corral. The night he arrived there while walking out with the officer he relieved, they met two braves crossing the parade ground.
Oct. 17, 1860, he was promoted to be a first lieutenant in the Eighth Infantry. Up to this time being one of the junior officers and unmarried, he was almost constantly on the warpath, but from the time he went to Fort Lancaster, until he was placed on the retired list with the exception of a very few months, he was entrusted with an independent command. Upon the alleged secession of Texas, General Twiggs turned over all goverment property within its borders to that body politic. Lieutenant Bliss was ordered to take only such commissary stores as were necessary to supply the wants of his men until he should reach San Antonio, 650 miles distant, and ammunition sufficient to protest themselves from the savages. As they seldom attacked so large a force, ten rounds seemed an ample supply. As nothing had been said about destroying the remainder, he carefully secured and locked all the buildings and started on his march towards civilization. He had proceeded on his way some two days, when he received an order directing him to return and wait the arrival of other troups coming in from the west. Once again at his post he found everything as it had been left. Though the tracks of the Indians were all around, they feared to touch aught lest they should fall into some trap. At length Colonel Reeve appeared with the garrisons he had gathered up, which gave him a total force of some 450 men. The march coastwise was now resumed. The colonel had thought to make a forced march when within striking distance of San Antonio, seize its arsenal by night, and thus make himself master of the situation, but fifteen miles out he met a regiment of cavalry, a regiment of infantry, a battery of six pieces of artillery and an independent company of 100 men, all sharpshooters. Its commander ordered Colonel Reeve to surrender. He replied that of course he could not think of yeilding to any mere show of force, but if he could be permitted to satisfy himself that they were in a position to enforce the demand he would submit. The privilege was accorded and Lieutenant Bliss was sent to inspect the insurgent force. He found the artillery chests filled with a proper assortment of ammunition in excellent condition, the catridge boxes of both infantry, cavalry and riflemen loaded to their utmost capacity, arms of all kinds in perfect order and the appearance and conversation of the men indicative of business. He found in the ranks one gentleman with whom he had frequently gone hunting, and whom he always had found to be an unerring shot. The two agreed that if there should be a fight they would not fire at each other. When the lieutenant returned and reported to his superior, he was at once convinced it would be sheerest folly to undertake with next to no ammunition to combat a force four times as large and fully equipped, therefore he capitulated. This was early in May, 1861.
Lieutenant Bliss was made captain in the Eighth Infantry, May 14, 1861, though he remained a prisoner of war in San Antonio until early in February, 1862. Such bitterness of feeling existed in that city, the officers were allowed to retain their side arms and wear their revolvers to protect themselves from bodily harm. For a long time a personal friend kept a swift horse, bridle, and saddle, where he could put his hands on it at any time that he might escape if he could, should emergency arise. They were finally sent to Richmond, Ca., where they were quartered in the negro jail.
April 5, 1862, Captain Bliss was exchanged, and May 26th was commissioned colonel of the Tenth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, with which he served in the defenses ofWashington, until August 6th. He was then transferred to the command of theSeventh Rhode Island. On the march from Pleasant Valley, Md., to Falmouth, Va., he was engged in a skirmish near White Sulphur Springs. Participating in the Rappahannock Campaign, December, 1862, to March, 1863, he was engaged in the battle of Fredericksburg. He was at once recommeded for promotion to brigadier-general of volunteers by all his superiors, for 'gallantry and skillful handling of his regiment under fire'. Although this was not complied with, he was brevetted major in the regular army for gallant and meritorious service on that field, and received a Congressional medal for most distinguished gallantry. He accompanied the Ninth corps to Kentucky in March, 1863, and to Visksburg in the ensuing June and July as well as to Jackson, Mississippi, which was reoccupied on the 17th of the latter month. Here he was again recommended, the first in the corps, for promotion in the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers, and the recommendation was approved and his immediate appointment asked for by U. S. Grant. After the return of the Ninth Corps to the Department of the Ohio, August, 1863, he was in command of Lexington, Ky., from October to December, and of the District of Middle Tennessee from January to March, 1864, when he was for a third time recommended for promtion to the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers by all his supporters, but with no more result than upon previous occasions. It was subsequently ascertained that some wiseacres in Washington had decided that no promotion should be given any officer who surrendered, just as if a subaltern was in any sense responsible for the acts of his regimental commander. Only another illustration of that unreason so often exhibited by those from whom the sovereign people has a right to expect better things. Be it noted, however, he was entrusted with all the responsibilities and enjoyed all the authority pertaining to the position which he had fairly earned, though for the discharge thereof he was reimbursed merely according to the rank actually held.
Returning with the Ninth Corps to Virginia in March, 1864, he was placed in charge of the depot of supplies at Alexandria during the month of April. When the final movement towards Richmond was inaugurated he was assigned to the charge of the First Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Corps, and thus engaged in the battle of the Wilderness, May 5-6th. Because of the gallant and meritorious services there rendered, he was made brevet lieutenant-colonel in the regular army to date from May 7th. He was injured at the Spottsylvania battles May 9-12th, which necessitated absence on sick leave May 13th to July 1st. During July and August he was in command of the same brigade, and thus participated in the Mine assault July 30th. From August to October he was again absent on sick leave. When able to discharge its duties he was detailed as president of a board of examination, with which he was connected until June, 1865. On the 28th day of that month he was mustered out of his volunteer rank, and, of course, fell back to the inferior dignity, responsibilities and emoluments of an infantry captain.
From July 13, 1865, to March 2, 1866, he was engaged in recruiting service. He was in command of a company during most of March at Baltimore, Md., most of April at Skuylkill Arsenal, Pa., and most of May at Fort Porter, N.Y. >From June 7th to August 13th he had charge of the District of Chester S.C., and was Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands. In recognition of the fact that he served longer in the field during the War of the Rebellion than any other officer of his regiment, he was again detached on reruiting service from September 6th for one year. Aug. 6th, 1867, he was promoted to be major of the Thirty-ninth Infantry and placed in command of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, La., from Feb. 4, 1868, to February, 1869. March 15, 1869, he was transferred to the Twenty-fifth Infantry, but was in charge of Ship Island, Miss., from February to April of that year, of Jackson Barracks, La., during the month of April, of Ship Island again until August, of Jackson Barracks a second time until December, and of Ship Island for a third and last time to April, 1870. From there he went a second time to Forts Jackson and St. Philip, where he remained until July. Frontier duty was resumed after a nearly ten years' respite on the 5th of that month at Fort Duncan, Texas, where he remained in command until April 5, 1872. Fort Stockton required his supervision May 20 to March 17, 1873, and Fort Davis with its regimental grrison March 21, 1873, to April 13, 1874. From there he tood a batch of prisoners to Austin which occupied the time until May 12th, when he received a leave of absence which he enjoyed until March 24, 11875. His next duty was the command of Fort Bliss, april 5, 1875, to April 4, 1876, followed by that of Fort Davis April 14th to December 1st of the same year; Fort Bliss again from the 13th to January, 1877, and Fort Davis once more to April 2, 1877. Next he was to be found member of Board of Examination of Horses at San Antonio until July, whence he was returned to frontier duty at Fort Clark until February 28, 1878. All the above posts are situated in Texas.
After a seven months' vacation, October 2d he was placed over David's Island Depot, N.Y., where he remained until Oct. 6, 1880, being promoted meanwhile (March 4, 1879) to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the Nineteenth Infantry. Thence he was transferred to the command of Fort Hays, Kan., which he retained until Oct. 30, 1881. Thence he was ordered to Fort Ringgold, Tex., where he was obliged to ask for sick leave March 8, 1882. Not until November 7th, was he able to resume the responsibilities of his rank when he was placed in charge of Fort Duncan, Texas. Next from Aug. 31, 1883, to June 3, 1886, he was in charge of Fort Clarke, Texas, save during a leave of absence extending from April 11 to November 22, 1885. Having been commissioned colonel of the Twenty-fourth Infantry April, 1886, as soon as relieved he repaired to Fort Supply, I.T., and commanded that post as well as his regiment until Sept. 16, 1877, when he was obliged to avail himself to another sick leave for six months. March 24, 1888, he resumed command of his regiment at Fort Bayard, N.M., and continued therein until his appointment as brigadier-general United States Army, April 25, 1895, when he was entrusted with the Department of Texas. May 14, 1897, he was promoted to the rank of major-general, but eight days thereafter at his own request having rendered service fully forty-seven years, he was placed upon the retired list and established his home at Washington, D.C. There he died Jan. 1, 1900. His remains were interred at the Arlington National Military Cemetery. He held membership in the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, in the Society of Indian Wars, in the Society of the Army of the Potomac, and in the Society of the Ninth Army Corps. Colonel Bliss married Oct. 22, 1863, Martha Nancy, daughter of Godfrey and Almira Thomas Work, of Providence, R.I., who survives him with two children, Alice Ingoldsby Bliss, residing with her mother at the national capital, and Zenas Work Bliss, a resident of Cranston, R.I.
Colonel Bliss enjoyed the entire confidence of the rank and file of the Seventh Regiment, and of the Tenth as well, because his justice, watch care, and professional skill were evident to all.
ALBERT A. BOLLES. First Lieutenant Albert Allen Bolles, son of Taber and Susan Shurtleff Bolles, was born at New Bedford, Mass., Aug. 12, 1833. He was a marble worker by trade. In November, 1853, in that same city, he married Abbie Ann Harding, who survived him with two daughters. He enlisted in Company D, Aug. 14, 1862; was mustered in September 4th as corporal, soon made a sergeant and promoted to be second lieutenant March 1, 1863. March 20th he was assigned to Company F. May 18, 1864, was slightly wounded in the foot at Spottsylvania. July 31st he was promoted to first lieutenant, reported on special duty as member of a general court-martial at division headquarters from January, 1865, to April, on the second of which month he was seriously wounded in the throat before Petersburg (see History under that date), and died therefrom April 7th at the City Point Hospital.
DECATUR M. BOYDEN. Sergeant Decatur Morey Boyden, son of William C. and Emily Morey Boyden, was born near Chestnut Hill, Smithfield, Aug. 31, 1840. He was the fourth of a family of eight children. Aug. 2, 1862, he married Frances Louisa Poland. They had three children, a son, since deceased, and two daughters. Mr. Boyden was a woolen finisher by trade and labored chiefly for the Harris Woolen Company at Woonsocket, and for the Blackstone, Mass., Mills. He first enlisted in Company E, of the Fourth Rhode Island, but lost a finger and therefore was discharged March 10, 1862. He enlisted in the Seventh July 26, 1862. He was slightly wounded at Fredericksbug and again severely in the side at the Wilderness, because of which he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps Sept. 30, 1864. He was admitted to the Chelsea Soldiers' Home June 11, 1896. Mrs. Boyden resides in Somerville, Mass.
JOHN B. BRANIGAN. John Bernard Branigan, son of John and Margaret Branigan, was born in County Down, Ireland, May 1, 1843. He came to America with his parents when he was but two years of age. They took up their abode in Providence. The subject of our sketch attended the public schools of that city in his youth. After leaving school he went to Burrillville, where he worked on a farm until his enlistment in the Seventh, July 30, 1862. He participated in all the engagements in which his regiment took part until after it left Mississippi, when he was taken sick at Cincinnati, Ohio, and sent to the hospital. From there he was transferred to the Portsmouth Grove Hospital, R.I. After regaining his health, he rejoined his regiment, but was soon afterwards detailed to detective duty under Colonel Baker, chief of detectives, whose headquarters were at Bedlow Island, N.Y. He was engaged in this service until he was mustered out June 9, 1865.
After returning home he resumed his occupation as a farmer at Burrillville, and remained there two years, and then went to Providence and engaged in the teaminng business until he was compelled to relinquish it in consequence of ill-health. After a year's rest he went to work for the Continental Steamboat Company, serving in different capapcities that company for seventeen years.
He married July 20, 1865, Avis L. Trim, daughter of Horace and Avis Trim, of Burrillville. By this union he had nine children, John H., William S., Emily M., Avis L., Benjamin F., George F., Eugene, and William Burnside. His wife died Sept. 25, 1889. He married again Nov. 8, 1898, Elizabeth S., daughter of Hugh and Jane S. Johnston. By her he has one child, Hugh S. Mr. Branigan is a member of Prescott Post, No. 1, Grand Army of the Republic, and Hope Lodge, No. 4, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
ALBERT G. BROWN. Albert Greene Brown was a brother of Joshua Franklin Brown, but was born in North Kingstown. After the latter's death the former suffered much from sickness until he died in camp at Newport News, Va., Feb. 27, 1863. They were farmer boys and knew but little of the outside world. Evidently the change was too much for them. Their remains were brought home and interred in the family lot on the south side of their father's farm. He was living in June, 1900, aged eighty-seven, and the mother, also, aged eighty-one.
JOHN D. BROWN. John D. Brown, son of Dexter and Maria Sheldon Brown, was born in North Providence, Feb. 8, 1833. He had a brother and two sisters, also subsequently two half brothers and two half sisters. His boyhood was spent with his grandfather in Scituate. He married Sarah Greene Dec. 5, 1858. He served honorably until Oct. 10, 1863, when he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps. Originially he was a farmer, but after his muster out he engaged in blacksmithing and carpentering. He resides in Providence.
JOSEPH R. C. BROWN. Sergeant Joseph R. C. Brown, son of John Warner and Mary Whaley Brown, was born at Harris (or Harrisville as it was formerly styled), Coventry, April 19, 1829. He married Lydia Arnold Higgins, Dec. 25, 1854. His occupation was slasher tender in a cotton mill. At the outbreak of the Rebellion he resided at 'Philip Allen's', now Enfield, Smithfield. Previous to that time he had been interested in the question, and when hostilities commenced he remarked: 'If this war resolves itself into a struggle to free the negro, I will go and do my share of the fighting.' In the spring of 1862 he became convinced that the conflict was a fight against slavery and he kept his word. He has resided for many years at Jewett City, Conn. He is an invalid, suffering greatly from sciatica.
JOSHUA F. BROWN. Joshua Franklin Brown, son of Ebenezer and Almy Green Brown, was born in the town of East Greenwich March 6, 1841. He died of typhoid fever at a hospital in Washington, D.C., Oct. 5, 1862.
DEXTER L. BROWNELL. Second Lieutenant Dexter Low Brownell, son of Stephen Fish and Mary White Brownell, was born in that portion of Smithfield now included in the limits of North Smithfield, R.I., Oct. 6, 1831. His education was obtained at the Smithfield Academy, Union Village, and Stanton Belden's Academy, at Fruit Hill. From 1849 to 1856 he was clerk in the Merchants Bank, but then, though first teller, was obliged to resign on account of his health. A winter in Minnesota, however, effected a complete restoration. Returning home he spent his time on the ancestral acres until he enlisted in the Seventh, 'purely from patriotic motives'. He was at once made orderly sergeant of Company H, and, May 23, 1863, was commissioned to Company E. He was not ill a day nor was he wounded, though he had several narrow escapes at Fredericksburg and in the Jackson campaign. He resigned April 20, 1864. When the reigment went in to Kentucky, Col William S. King, of Massachusetts, commander of the military post at Lexington, Ky., detained him and Dr. Sprague for service, respectively, as adjutant and surgeon to the post. They rejoined their regiment on its return en route for Vicksburg.
Once more in Rhode Island, Mr. Brownell went to the wool shop of Edward Harris, in Woonsocket, to learn how to sort wool preparatory to entering into business as a wool broker, which he did about 1866. In 1872 he entered upon the manufacture of woolens at Warren, Mass., which he continued about six years. Since then he has resided in Providence, R.I.
In the month of October, 1866, Mr. Brownell married in Boston, Mass., Elizabeth Buffum, daughter of Seba and Mary Arnold Carpenter, who presented him with four children, to wit, Arthur Buffum, electrician to the Herreshoff Company, Bristol, but residing at home; Herbert Carpenter, the proprietor of a dairy farm in East Providence; Walter Dexter, a lawyer in Providence, and Mary Arnold, an architect, also in Providence. All are graduates of Brown University.
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THOMAS S. BROWNELL. First Lieutenant Thomas S. Brownell was born in Newport, R.I., June 29, 1839. He attended school until the age of fourteen, when he commenced to learn the tinsmith's trade, which he pursued until the outbreak of the Rebellion. At that time he was a member of the Newport Artillery Company, and accordingly was enrolled in Company F, First Regiment Rhode Island Detached Militia, thereby participating in Bull Run. In the summer of 1862 he raised a company of three-year men which became Company I of this regiment, and for which he received a first lieutenant's commission. When Adjutant Page was seriously wounded at Fredericksburg Lieutenant Brownell was ordered to fill the vacancy, which he did most acceptably until he was obliged to resign from physical disability Jan. 11, 1863. For more than a year he was unable to perform any kind of labor, but at length he commenced anew to work at his trade. He rates his life as a monotonous one barring his army experience.
WILLIAM R. BURGESS. First Sergeant William Riley Burgess, youngest child of Zadoe and Mary Gorton Burgess, was born at Pontiac Feb. 2, 1830. At the age of eighteen he entered Amos C. Barstow's Stove Foundry at Providence, to learn the moulder's trade. Later he went to St. Louis where the war found him. With an intimate shopmate, Jonathan Linton, he came East and both for a short time were employed in the Builders Iron Foundry, Providence, but they eventually enlisted in Company F. He was commissioned second lieutenant March 28, 1865, but was never mustered as such. After his return, with S. C. Collyer and W. L. Preston he became a member of the firm of S. Fifield & Co., manufacturers of stoves and hollow wares at Pawtucket. He died at Attleboro, Mass., July 25, 1883.
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