[blocks in formation]



Battle of Manassas. August 10 to September 6, 1862


[blocks in formation]


T a meeting of the regimental association of the Thir-

teenth Massachusetts Volunteers, Dec. 13, 1892, the writer was, by a unanimous vote, appointed historian of the regiment. However unequal to the performance of such a task one might feel nearly thirty years after the war, he could not disregard an honor so flatteringly expressed.

In the preparation of this work I have attempted to give an accurate statement of the regiment's whereabouts on each day of its three years' service, with such details of its daily experience as would convey a truthful picture of army life as it appeared to the rank and file.

The opinions and judgments expressed are believed to be those shared by a majority of the regiment during its service. As we were no wiser than the rest of mankind at eighteen to twenty years of age, some of the statements may seem very crude in the light of present information. What we thought at the time, about events in which we took part, is of more value to the future historian than what we may now think about the same events or persons.

Elaborate accounts of campaigns have been omitted as not coming within the sphere of a regimental history. In those instances where an explanation seemed necessary for a proper understanding of our movements, I have quoted from books


which are generally accepted as authority, in preference to statements of my own.

The material placed at my disposal is as follows: The diaries of Lieut. William R. Warner, Samuel D. Webster, Lieut. Edward F. Rollins, Lieut. Robert B. Henderson, and Sergeant William M. Coombs. None of the diaries covered all the time, but those of Messrs. Warner, Webster, and Rollins were the most complete ; those of Messrs. Henderson and Coombs included the Mine Run and Wilderness campaigns. Col. Charles H. Hovey made copies of such parts of all his letters as related to our movements during his presence with the regiment. The regimental books, papers, and maps were turned over to me by Col. Samuel H. Leonard. The “War Records” which are in progress of publication by the government have been of great service in settling disputed points. I have derived information from other comrades, whom I have met from time to time, chief among whom is Sergeant Jeremiah P. Blake. In addition to the material furnished me by Lieutenant Rollins, I cheerfully acknowledge the valuable assistance I have received from him in other ways.

At the adjutant-general's office I have received every courtesy and privilege I could wish. I have personally compared the name of every man in the regiment with the record

possession of the State. Where the difference was trivial I have adhered to the regimental book; in cases where there has been a considerable difference I have made careful inquiries before accepting either statement. As an additional safeguard against error I have submitted the record of each company to one or more members thereof for examination before


« VorigeDoorgaan »