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  #1  
Old 10-31-2012, 11:45 PM
malden malden is offline
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Private Davis: One soldier's Civil War experience

I haven't posted here in a while, even though I read the SDMB almost every day. I thought this would be a good way to de-lurk.

In this thread, I will be posting a chronology of Private John Davis, a relative of mine, who enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Civil War. After this initial post containing background information, I will post various events in his life, 150 years to the day after they occurred. (Hopefully, the mods will not mind me bumping my own thread.) The thread will follow his travels and experiences in the war. I'll be posting whatever information I can find until the story comes to an end next summer.

So, here goes:

One hundred and fifty years ago, in the fall of 1862, John Davis, of the town of Melrose, Massachusetts, was 25 years of age, and single. He was the second of nine children of Edmund and Mary Davis. In his youth he had worked as a teamster, but he later found work as a shoemaker, like his father. The war, though distant, was having its impact on John's family. His younger brother Edmund, 23, had enlisted in the Army the previous year. In June of 1862 Edmund had been promoted to Corporal, and soon thereafter was captured in battle in the Peninsula campaign in Virginia. On August 5 he had been exchanged, but his family in Melrose may not yet have been aware of any of this. Edmund had not been a healthy man even before going off to war, so his condition was no doubt a source of worry for the family. John's brother Charles, 20, was serving a three-year enlistment as a private in the 8th Maine Regiment. His brother Loami, who may have been only 15 that summer (the 1855 census lists him as 8 years old), had joined the 33rd Massachusetts Regiment and left the state on August 14.

The nine months' men.

On August 4, 1862, President Lincoln called for 300,000 additional troops to serve in suppressing the Rebellion. The quota was apportioned by state, with 19,080 to come from Massachusetts. Of those, 79 were to be drawn from the town of Melrose. At a town meeting, Melrose citizens voted to pay a bounty of $150 to each Melrose man who enlisted for nine months' service. With the help of a series of rallies complete with speeches and musical entertainment, the quota was met. John Davis and his brother James, 17, were among the enlistees. This made the Davis family the only one in town to send five of its sons to war.

As these events were unfolding in Melrose, the Army was gathering a new regiment in Readville, twenty miles to the south. Colonel Isaac Burrell organized the Forty-Second Regiment using a few companies of soldiers from an older regiment, and adding to them the quotas from several towns, including Melrose. By September, John and his brother James were both encamped under canvas tents as privates in Company G. The men of the Forty-Second passed their time with the usual camp duties and were blessed with fine weather and opportunities to take leave in nearby Boston. Rations provided to the troops were described as adequate, but this did not stop them from occasionally foraging for chickens and other delicacies from nearby farmhouses. Day in and day out, the soldiers of the Forty-Second Regiment drilled, paraded, and whiled away their time as best they could. As October 1862 drew to a close, they awaited orders to move.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:21 AM
RandMcnally RandMcnally is offline
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Hopefully you can keep this going, as I am interested.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:12 AM
JpnDude JpnDude is offline
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This sounds fascinating.... I'll keep coming back for more reading. Thanks malden.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:04 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Malden, I am subscribing. Just a suggestion for we non US people- could you please indicate which Army? It is probably obvious to Americans but to me I don't know which side (and it is interesting to me).
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2012, 08:59 AM
malden malden is offline
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Cicero-- It's the U.S. Army, i.e., the North, not the Confederate Army, which was the southern/rebel side.

Glad to see there's some interest. More posts will be coming soon. The regiment is sort of in a waiting mode at the moment.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2012, 12:25 AM
malden malden is offline
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Wednesday, November 5, 1862

Relocation.

The regiment has struck camp and moved into a nearby barracks, which at first looked like an improvement over the tents they have been sleeping in. However, the new barracks were found to be filthy, and the men had to clean the barracks to the satisfaction of Dr. Cummings, the camp surgeon. The barracks were recently vacated by another regiment that was sent to North Carolina. Rumors are circulating that the Forty-Second will soon be sent there as well, but no orders have come.

Camp music.

One of the more popular regular visitors to the Readville encampment was Giovanni Mariani and his band. Mariani had been the drum major of "Gilmore's Band," and famous in Boston before the war. In 1862 Patrick Gilmore had finished his tour of duty in the Army and was appointed by the Governor to reorganize the state's military bands. Gilmore was notable for, among other things, writing the famous Civil War song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:35 PM
malden malden is offline
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Thursday, November 6, 1862

Political infighting, and a vote.

The Forty-Second Regiment was assembled from a few companies from an older regiment and then supplemented by new recruits from the town quotas. At times, companies were rotated out of the unit to make room for other companies or to build one unit or another to fighting strength. This periodic shuffling of officers and enlisted men led to some infighting in the Forty-Second. For all of the nine months’ units from Massachusetts, the positions of Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, and Major were chosen by the vote of the line officers. Lieutenant-Colonel Perkins and Major Beach, officers of an old regiment that formed the nucleus of the Forty-Second, found their positions of power diluted by the addition of new recruits. It is possible that Lt. Col. Perkins saw his opportunity to unseat Colonel Burrell beginning to fade. The unit’s sergeant-major described Perkins and Beach as jealous and unhelpful in completing formation of the regiment.

Just like today’s election, this election of officers had its swing voters positioned between the two opposing sides. Officers from three of the town quota companies had a meeting prior to the vote and decided which way they would direct their vote, thus deciding the outcome.

On the afternoon of November 6, 1862, the vote was held at headquarters with all officers present. For Colonel, Isaac Burrell defeated Perkins 28-2. For Lieutenant Colonel, Captain Joseph Stedman won out over Perkins, Beach, and other candidates. For Major, Captain F.G. Stiles defeated Beach and one other candidate. Thus, the two complaining officers from the old regiment were shut out of the top leadership of the Forty-Second.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:59 PM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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I'm keeping up Malden. Thanks.

(Voting for a senior military position seems a bit weird).
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2012, 05:33 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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I subscribed earlier today but figured I should let you know I'm reading too. Keep it coming!!
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:43 PM
Zebra Zebra is offline
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Post more please.
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2012, 03:49 PM
malden malden is offline
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Friday afternoon, November 7, 1862

Been snowing for a while this afternoon, and the winds are picking up. Might be in for a miserable night.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:26 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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whoops

Last edited by congodwarf; 11-07-2012 at 05:27 PM..
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2012, 05:26 PM
chacoguy chacoguy is offline
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This is a really cool idea.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:40 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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I have to ask (and I am utterly fascinated by all things Civil War): how in the world are you getting such accurate and seemingly almost daily information on the goings-on of your distant relatives during this time? Does your family have a large cache of letters and diaries that you are drawing upon to tell your story? If so, it's remarkable that so much of your family history has been preserved in such a way. My Grandma had a letter in a trunk in her bedroom from her grandfather that served in the Union that we discovered after her death. But that was just one letter!

Anyway...count me as a highly interested reader.
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2012, 12:16 AM
malden malden is offline
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FoieGras-- my main source is a regimental history written by the regiment's sergeant-major in the 1880s. I also have a book produced by the town of Melrose right after the war that documents the town's war activities and lists where each Melrose resident served and what battles they participated in.

Friday evening, November 7, 1862.

A nor'easter is bearing down on New England. Ten inches of snow. It's freezing in the barracks tonight since the troops don't have any stoves.

P.S., Wednesday, November 7, 2012.

There's a nor'easter in Boston tonight, too. Stay warm, New England Dopers!
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  #16  
Old 11-12-2012, 09:33 PM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Malden, I'll be travelling so computer time will be limited. No reply doesn't mean I am not catching up when I have the chance.
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  #17  
Old 11-13-2012, 10:02 AM
malden malden is offline
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Well, Cicero (and whoever else is following), one of the things that will become apparent in this thread is that even in wartime, a lot of soldiers spent a good deal of time doing things other than combat, i.e, traveling, waiting and drilling. The Forty-Second is still awaiting orders while encamped in the snow in Readville. Next update will be in a few days.
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  #18  
Old 11-13-2012, 04:40 PM
Oslo Ostragoth Oslo Ostragoth is offline
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Terrific idea! I'm looking forward to reading the installments in "real time".
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  #19  
Old 11-19-2012, 03:33 PM
malden malden is offline
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Orders

Orders have been drafted for Colonel Burrell and the Forty-Second Regiment to report to General John Gray Foster, commander of the "Department of North Carolina," which was the term used for the parts of the rebel state of North Carolina that had been retaken by Union forces. At the same time, the Fifty-First Regiment, encamped nearby, was assigned to General Nathaniel Banks of the Department of the Gulf.

The two colonels met sometime in mid-November to discuss their orders, and requested a meeting with Massachusetts adjutant General William Schouler. General Schouler was in charge of administering recruitment and organization of regiments called from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts-- a position frought with political peril and opportunity.
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  #20  
Old 11-19-2012, 04:51 PM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Came here to read the latest episodes.
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  #21  
Old 11-20-2012, 07:48 AM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
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I somehow missed this when it was first posted - very cool!
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  #22  
Old 11-21-2012, 09:30 AM
malden malden is offline
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Friday morning, November 21, 1862

Quote:
Originally Posted by malden View Post
The two colonels met sometime in mid-November to discuss their orders, and requested a meeting with Massachusetts adjutant General William Schouler. General Schouler was in charge of administering recruitment and organization of regiments called from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts-- a position frought with political peril and opportunity.
I don't know what went on at this meeting, but there has been a change in plans. Apparently the two colonels (Burrell of the 42nd and Sprague of the 51st) requested permission to swap orders. Col. Sprague had previously served under General Foster, and wished to do so again, and Col. Burrell preferred to serve under General Banks.

The original orders for North Carolina were destroyed, and new orders issued: The Forty-Second was to report to General Banks in New York. Banks, a former governor of Massachusetts, was in the process of assembling a force to take with him as he assumed command of the Department of the Gulf.

And so, the fate of these two regiments hinged on this unusual request and exchange of orders. The men of the Forty-Second are now striking camp and preparing to leave for New York.
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  #23  
Old 11-21-2012, 12:49 PM
malden malden is offline
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Friday, 1 p.m.

It's raining hard this afternoon, and the troops just left Readville on the Boston and Providence Railroad.

Quote:
A trip through the cars while en route from Readville
Camp showed the men to be in rather a sober state of
mind. Nothing gloomy about them, but very thoughtful.
The car containing the field, staff and line officers, had the
appearance of a silent prayer meeting. The colonel was
quite meditative. Parting with wife and children was no
easy matter to a man of his noble disposition. Many men
had been married only a few weeks or months, and to
them the enforced separation was keenly felt. As the
day was rainy a very limited number of friends were
present in camp to say good-by, and affecting parting
incidents were not so many as they otherwise would have
been. All homesick feelings passed away when the regi-
ment reached Groton, and each man was himself again.
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  #24  
Old 11-21-2012, 01:53 PM
Maserschmidt Maserschmidt is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malden View Post
It's raining hard this afternoon, and the troops just left Readville on the Boston and Providence Railroad.
Well I'll be. I pass the Readville stop twice every weekday...I won't look at it the same again.

These posts are great btw.
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  #25  
Old 11-21-2012, 11:29 PM
malden malden is offline
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Friday evening: Arrival in Groton

The train carrying the Forty-Second Regiment arrived at the port of Groton, Connecticut late on November 21. The men were marched directly to the steamship Commodore, owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt and used as a military transport during the war.

Due to lingering rain and fog, the Commodore did not get underway until about 2 a.m. on Saturday, November 22.

At this point, the regiment consisted of nine field officers, five non-commissioned staff, and ten companies, each with three officers and between 79 and 96 enlisted men. A few men had been discharged for medical reasons during the encampment at Readville, and a few had deserted or had been discharged for other reasons. Private John Davis and his brother James were both in Company G, under Capt. Alfred Proctor and Lieutenants Albert Proctor and Thaddeus Newcomb. Twenty-eight of the 99 men and officers in Company G were recruits from the town of Melrose. (A couple of these were not Melrose residents, but had been recruited in that town for whatever reason.)

Unlike the somber train ride, the journey by steamship to New York was boisterous. The regiment's sergeant-major recalled "singing, dancing, card playing, and cutting up pranks of various sorts" on board the ship. Many on board stayed up all night.

Each man was issued rations sufficient for three meals, but many of these inexperienced troops found themselves unable to budget their supply to last that long.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:03 PM
malden malden is offline
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The Commodore arrived in New York this afternoon, putting to shore in Williamsburg, which would later become part of Brooklyn. Upon leaving the Commodore, the men, tired and hungry, formed ranks on South Second Street. (This appears to be present-day Wythe Avenue south of Grand Avenue-- many of the streets have been renamed.)

Local citizens provided the troops with coffee, bread, cheese, and other food. By 8:00 the men were on their way to their billet at the Union Race Course in East New York, a ten-mile march. (I am pretty sure this is the old Union Course in present day Woodhaven, Queens.) It did not take long for the urban scene to give way to a more rural setting, with total darkness and muddy roads prevailing. Into this darkness the nine hundred men of the Forty-Second marched, grumbling all the way.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:46 PM
malden malden is offline
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On their first night in New York, the men of the Forty-Second Regiment found the Union Race Course full to overflowing with over four thousand troops, and no ground to spare for newcomers. They backtracked to a nearby stable belonging to noted horse trainer Hiram Woodruff. There, the men found whatever shelter they could in horse stalls and henhouses.

The second day, the troops were better supplied, and managed to put up tents containing improvised wood stoves for warmth. Here they remained for the rest of November.

Writing of the regiment's experiences after the war, the sergeant-major reports that there were two difficulties during their time at this post. First, the rations were too few and barely edible, even by Army standards. Apparently, someone had contracted with the Army to provide cooked rations at a fixed price per ration, resulting in nausea-inducing meals that were intolerable to most of the troops. It was reported that when the commissary caught on fire, no one would lift a finger to help until it was learned that the post hospital was in the same building.

The second trouble involved officers taking too many leaves of absence, with or without permission, to visit New York or be off-post for other reasons. Many times, orders were received from headquarters with no officers present to receive them, and the non-commissioned officers had to fill in. Also, since officers had to sign off on any furloughs for enlisted men, it was nearly impossible for the men to get them-- this led to about forty cases a day of enlisted men imitating their officers by taking unauthorized leave. Whether or not John Davis or his brother took such "French leave," I do not know.

On December 1, 1862, 150 years ago today, a shipment arrived at camp from Boston containing a complete set of band instruments. A 16-piece band was assembled from the rank and file.
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  #28  
Old 12-02-2012, 08:15 AM
MTRG MTRG is offline
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Thank for the tread. you are doing a great job!

Keep it up
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  #29  
Old 12-02-2012, 08:29 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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If I were, say, a history teacher for a smarter-than-average class of 12th graders, this would be required reading. Thank you.

ETA: The "real-time" effect is what makes this unique for me. You mentioned this -- its makes the sitting-around-and-waiting, etc. feel real. Slightly analogous to when networks show the broadcasts from 9/11/2001 or 11/22/1963 "in real time," but even better.

Last edited by JKellyMap; 12-02-2012 at 08:31 AM..
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  #30  
Old 12-02-2012, 12:53 PM
malden malden is offline
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Tuesday, December 2, 1862: Orders

Around noon on December 2, Colonel Burrell received orders from General Banks, newly appointed commander of the Department of the Gulf, to proceed immediately to Brooklyn and board ships that would be waiting there. The men struck camp and prepared to move out. The regiment was marching westward into Brooklyn by three o'clock in the afternoon.

Before departing, however, Colonel Burrell had an extended argument with the contractor who had provided meals for the regiment during their stay. He refused to sign the receipt acknowledging the number of meals received, arguing that the whole enterprise was a fraud. In the end, however, with time ticking away and seeing the necessity of getting his men to Brooklyn by nightfall, Colonel Burrell agree to sun a receipt for one-third of the number of rations claimed.
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  #31  
Old 12-02-2012, 02:53 PM
etv78 etv78 is offline
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malden-I too find this fascinating. Is this the "Glory" regiment? I'm from the South Shore, in the town I live in now, names of lost residents are on all street signs.
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  #32  
Old 12-02-2012, 04:30 PM
Capt Kirk Capt Kirk is offline
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Just so you know, I did this once before. A guy from England did the story of his Grandfather in WWI this same way 2007/1917 to 2009/1919 he even ended up on the BBC. Subscribing

Thanks

Capt
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  #33  
Old 12-02-2012, 07:56 PM
malden malden is offline
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Tuesday evening, December 2, 1862

For the past few hours, the regiment has been marching into Brooklyn. Near the end of the march, the men were greeted by local residents who came out to welcome them. Later, the sergeatnt-major of the regiment reported that
Quote:
Many requests were made by young ladies to be favored by a letter after taking the field; many little necessaries were given to the men; neatly folded within the packages were found billet-doux, with the name and address of the writer, saying the donor expected to hear again from the recipient. Some of the notes fell into rather queer hands.* So far as can be ascertained, no undue advantage was ever taken by the men of the Forty-Second from this epidemic of nonsense.
* Not that way. Or were they?

The end of the march followed Atlantic Avenue to a ferry landing in the East River. The men marched on the sidewalks to avoid the muddy road. Finally, they arrived at the ferry landing to find that there was only one transport ship available, and even that one was not ready to take on passengers. The men were put up for the night in the New York National Guard armory. Many of them were welcomed into the homes of local residents for dinner.

Meanwhile, across the river in New York, A Massachusetts colonel prepared a supply of coffee and food for the entire regiment at the foot of Canal Street, thinking that the Forty-Second would be leaving from there.

_______________
Thanks for the comments-- nice to know people are following the story.
Capt Kirk-- do you have a link to the thread?
etv78-- No, this isn't the "Glory" regiment-- that was the fifty-fourth, which had not yet been formed at this point. There is a minor connection with this story: one of the lieutenants from Company G of the Forty-Second remained behind in Boston to pick up stragglers and medical cases from the regiment; when that work was done he got a discharge so he could join up with the recruitment effort for the new "Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Colored Volunteers," as it was called.
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  #34  
Old 12-03-2012, 10:44 AM
malden malden is offline
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It was not an entirely quiet night in the Armory. Numerous attempts were made to evade the posted sentinels and get out to explore the city. The sergeant-major wrote later that by "merest accident" he discovered the regimental colors-- state and national flags and banners-- inside a "low groggery" on Atlantic Avenue. Colonel Burrell planned an investigation of the two color-sergeants responsible for the flags.

What the sergeant-major was doing inside the "low groggery" is not detailed in his account.

The food mistakenly prepared for them across the river the night before arrived in Brooklyn on the morning of December 3. Three transport ships-- The Charles Osgood, the Shetucket, and the Saxon-- were ready, but it took all day to round up stragglers. Around dusk, the three crowded ships hauled into the East River. It soon became clear that the ships were overcrowded, with a hundred men on each vessel sleeping on deck. The ships remained in the harbor overnight while Colonel Burrell inquired about obtaining a fourth transport.

Private Davis, his brother James, and the rest of Company G are on board the Saxon. The Manhattan that the company could see from the ship was a very different place in those days-- the tallest building in the city was Trinity Church, only 16 years old in 1862. There are no bridges across the east river, and much of Manhattan is rural. At this point, Private Davis cannot know that

SPOILER:
A hundred and twelve years hence, he will have seven great-great-grandchildren, and all seven will be natives of Manhattan.
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  #35  
Old 12-03-2012, 01:28 PM
Fool in the Rain Fool in the Rain is offline
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Oooh just found this - I love history and historical accounts, keep 'em coming.

Last edited by Fool in the Rain; 12-03-2012 at 01:29 PM..
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  #36  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:25 AM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malden View Post
I haven't posted here in a while, even though I read the SDMB almost every day. I thought this would be a good way to de-lurk.

In this thread, I will be posting a chronology of Private John Davis, a relative of mine, who enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Civil War. After this initial post containing background information, I will post various events in his life, 150 years to the day after they occurred.
Found this thread through threadspotting. Awesome idea.

Quote:
(Hopefully, the mods will not mind me bumping my own thread.)
As long as you're adding new content, there shouldn't be a problem. Thread bumping is only an issue if it is contentless bumps just to keep on the main page of the forum. Ongoing discussion and posting of new material is fine.


Quote:
This made the Davis family the only one in town to send five of its sons to war.
Interesting observation: that there were five brothers available to be called to war. A lot more common in that day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero
Malden, I am subscribing. Just a suggestion for we non US people- could you please indicate which Army? It is probably obvious to Americans but to me I don't know which side (and it is interesting to me).
Should have been obvious from the line "On August 4, 1862, President Lincoln called for 300,000 additional troops to serve in suppressing the Rebellion."

No worries.
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  #37  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:35 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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I was thinking more upfront about which side but that isn't important.

Also, the five bothers joining the conflict- I am aware of two English families who lost five sons each in the Great War. (Raised as an idea of what sort of thing families endured a century or more ago).

I am glad I am not brave or young enough to be a soldier. Looking forward to the next post Malden.
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  #38  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:42 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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I'm a huge fan of Civil War history; this is a great thread. Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by malden View Post
IWhat the sergeant-major was doing inside the "low groggery" is not detailed in his account.
Wow, is that an authentic Civil-War-era emoticon?
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  #39  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:46 AM
malden malden is offline
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Friday, December 5, 1862

Well, the Colonel got his fourth ship. The Quincy was loaded up with three companies and put to sea last night--the first of the four ships to leave Brooklyn. Companies D, G, and I remained on board the Saxon, which was called the "Headquarters" transport because Col. Burrell and most of his staff were on board. This morning the men on the Saxon are cold and hungry, having subsisted on crackers and water for a day.

At 8 o'clock this morning, the Saxon put to sea. As they departed, the men gave a cheer to a lady standing on the walls of Fort Columbus (map), who waved an American flag as the ship passed. The sea is a little choppy today, and signs indicate some rough weather coming tonight. The Charles Osgood and the Shetucket remain in Brooklyn for now.

The captains of the four transports are under orders to proceed out to sea for 48 hours and then open their sealed orders.
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  #40  
Old 12-05-2012, 01:58 PM
HotDogWater HotDogWater is offline
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malden, count me in as another reader also I'm from MA (at work in Framingham right now, as 150 years ago Private Davis heads out to sea) so I have a localvore's interest as well.
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  #41  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:44 PM
gnoitall gnoitall is online now
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Moderation question

This narrative is neither mundane nor pointless. I never would have found it without the Threadspotting pointer, since I avoid MPSIMS threads generally.

Mods... doesn't this particular thread seem better suited for Cafe Society?

Anyway, simply brilliant, malden. I'm gonna watch this one closely, no matter what subforum it's in.
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  #42  
Old 12-05-2012, 04:38 PM
jayrey jayrey is offline
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Subscribing immediately. This is great! Please keep it up, malden.
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  #43  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:53 PM
Hoopy Frood Hoopy Frood is offline
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Interesting stuff. My SO and her sister published a book containing wartime letters from their ancestor who also fought for the North during the Civil War. It's great to see these things through the writings of those who were there.

Last edited by Hoopy Frood; 12-05-2012 at 11:53 PM..
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  #44  
Old 12-06-2012, 04:25 PM
twickster twickster is offline
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Mod note

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnoitall View Post
This narrative is neither mundane nor pointless. I never would have found it without the Threadspotting pointer, since I avoid MPSIMS threads generally.

Mods... doesn't this particular thread seem better suited for Cafe Society?

Anyway, simply brilliant, malden. I'm gonna watch this one closely, no matter what subforum it's in.
Despite the words "mundane" and "pointless," many of the threads in this forum are neither -- including, e.g., announcements of births, marriages, and deaths.

I think it's fine where it is, notwithstanding your policy not to read MPSIMS.
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  #45  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:54 AM
malden malden is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Sunday morning, December 7, 1862

Off the coast of Virginia

It has been a rough couple of days at sea, with gale-force winds and high waves. The galley, located between decks, has not been usable; the ship is rolling so much that fat in the pans has been running out onto the stove and setting fire to the deck. After several such incidents, the men-- those who could eat at all in these seas-- were reduced to eating bread and raw salted pork.

Forty-eight hours after departing from Brooklyn, Captain Lavender of the Saxon opened his sealed orders. The four transport captains were to rendezvous at Ship Island, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They were also permitted to stop at Port Royal (South Carolina), Tortuga (Florida Keys), or Key West (Florida), if needed, to refuel or acquire provisions.

____
Thanks for the comments, everyone, esp. JKellyMap for the "threadspotting" nomination. That is a much more catchy title than the one I made up for the thread!
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  #46  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:16 PM
gnoitall gnoitall is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster View Post
Despite the words "mundane" and "pointless," many of the threads in this forum are neither -- including, e.g., announcements of births, marriages, and deaths.

I think it's fine where it is, notwithstanding your policy not to read MPSIMS.
I have the unfortunate tendency towards literal-mindedness, but I can learn if taught. Looks like this episode teaches me not to judge fora by their titles.

Ignorance fought!
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  #47  
Old 12-08-2012, 07:21 PM
malden malden is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Monday, December 8, 1862

The men of Companies D, G, and I awoke to calmer seas this morning; the Saxon passed Cape Hatteras, North Carolina overnight on its way to Ship Island. The calm allowed the men to spend more time on deck.

There was some trouble tonight. Some of the men broke into an ice chest, helped themselves to some fresh beef, and cooked it in the galley. Despite the officers' best efforts, no one seems to know the identity of the thieves. There'll be hell to pay if the Colonel finds out who did it.
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  #48  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:46 PM
malden malden is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Tuesday & Wednesday, Dec. 9-10, 1862

On the morning of the 9th, the thieves of the previous night were identified. A corporal from Company I led the theft; he had the chevrons stripped from his uniform and was put in irons. Two privates serving as cooks were also put in irons for not revealing the names of the thieves.

Yesterday, December 10, the ship passed a pod of whales in the morning. Other than that, the day was uneventful.

This morning the ship is off the coast of South Florida under clear skies.
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  #49  
Old 12-13-2012, 01:33 AM
malden malden is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
OK, playing catch-up here as I have been traveling!

At 6 o'clock on December 11, the Saxon pulled into port at Key West, Florida to take on coal for the remainder of the run to Ship Island. Although Key West was part of the Confederate state of Florida, it had remained in Union hands throughout the war and was the site of a U.S Naval Station and Fort Zachary Taylor. It is not known if the officers and men of Companies D, G, and I were granted leave, but it is doubtful, because they left Key West early on the morning of December 12.
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  #50  
Old 12-13-2012, 02:46 PM
Damuri Ajashi Damuri Ajashi is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
Malden, I am subscribing. Just a suggestion for we non US people- could you please indicate which Army? It is probably obvious to Americans but to me I don't know which side (and it is interesting to me).
How do you subscribe toa thread?
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