Page 32: Letter to the Editor, Wartime Correspondence, April 13, 1862, by Roundhead member J.S.G.
Page 34: Poem by C. E. Lutton (possibly Cornelius Lutton of Co. F) about the death and mourning of "Mary", presumably a wife or child. (Webauthor's note: the only thing that doesn't make sense is the date and location of where the poem was written, North English, Iowa?, July 13, 1863. This would have been the time that the Roundheads were in the Vicksburg, MS area.)
BEAUFORT S.C., April 13th, 1862.
MR. E. S. DURBAN. – I wish to inform the friends at home that we of the 100th Reg’t are in a proper condition for active service – have splendid health, with buoyant spirits, and feel confident that an equal number of rebels before us would soon show some of their expertness for which they are noted. The weather is beautiful, gardens are becoming picturesque with diversified flowers, blooming and reminding us of home. The southern people take great pains in trying to raise flowers, and they have brought their parterres to a nice degree of perfection. They however will be deprived of their beauty for some time yet, for their foolishness in bringing on the war.
On the 10th the Col. Received orders from Gen. Stevens to put his regiment in complete readiness to move on the 11th ult, to take two days cooked rations along, and the indispensable baggage of the Regiment. The order of the Gen. did not state where we were to go and you might imagine the different surmises of the men. Some would have it that we were going to Fernandina Florida, others that we were going to Tybee Island which lies South west of Fort Pulaski, but neither of theses places was the one. It appears the General anticipated an order from the General commanding this District, to make an advance on the main land to the Charleston and Savannah R. R. and in that manner cut off the retreat when they were defeated, at Savannah, for it was known that an attack upon Fort Pulaski was to be made on the 10th and also to prevent reinforcements from coming to the assistance of the rebels from Charleston. On the morning of the 10th all was bustle, confusion, hurry, preparing to start on a journey with the intention of being absence 18 days, if such an absence were necessary, all ammunition of the Regiment was taken and each man carried 40 rounds in his cartridge box; knapsacks were to be carried by the men, their two days provisions and the accoutrements belonging to him which would make a load not less than 50 lbs and probably more. Reveille was beaten in the morning at 5 o’clock, and at 6 breakfast was to be eaten, at 7 the things were all to be ready which was accomplished before that time, and at 8 o’clock the Regiment was in line of battle with the Colonel at its head. In rank their were 782 men and in rank of file closers there were at least 50 serjeants making 832 and when we count the corporals and Commissioned officers the regiment would number about 900 men out of 975 which is about the total; those who ere let were on detached duty or sick and could not go; I was in the ranks with an old fusee and 40 rounds passed in review in front of Gens quarters and filed around his quarters and back on the shell road leading to the Ferry. The General, his aids, and the Asst. Adjt. General (his son) were along 4 miles out. We halted in a beautiful field and it soon became apparent that we were going to make this a permanent halt at least for this expedition, until we would start for home again. We all stacked arms and commenced cutting small forks and holes for the purpose of putting up tents with the gun blankets which the Government of Pennsylvania was so condecendingly liberal as to appropriate the Roundheads. There were eyelet holes in the blankets so that they could be fastened together and each mess could in a short time put up a tent, temporary at least. We soon found that the holes in the blankets were about as rotten as the Southern Confederacy as it is called, and would not stand the blows it would, have to get, but we we got them up at last and it was truly a romantic appearance which it presented to the beholder, I was fortunate enough to have a couple of pies in my haversacks, and cakes to keep me from the punishment of eating hard crackers, so I I fared very well. The cooks had two days coffee and a cup of that at dinner and supper was not by any means offensive. – Night came on and with it all was quiet, as far as advancing was concerned, we lay down in our little tents which would remind one of the Esquimaux or Indian tents, beneath me lay my oil cloth blanket and overcoat, over was the blankets of my mess mate and my own there we lay like horses with our hoes on for we did not know but what we might be called to arms in the night with our knapsack under our heads for a pillow under such propitions circumstance who could not sleep if they were sleepy. During the tenth, commencing at 8 o’clock in the morning and continuing at intervals through the day and in fact might as some of the men told me for I did not hear it, there was heavy cannoning at Fort Pulaski. On the morning of the 11th early it was resumed and continued unceasingly until 2 o’ clock p.m. which was a permanent stopping as we have since learned for at or about that time the Fort was surrendered with all the men in it numbering about 250, the highest rank being Major. On the 9th there was a flag of truce from General Benham army went to the fort and asked for the surrender of it but they very injudiciously declined, saying they would die first, this alternative they were at perfect liberty to choose but it appears as a breach I the Fort opposite the magazine was about to be made, they concluded to lengthen out their days a little more and surrendered the Fort, which is a severe blow at the monster serpent rebellion.
On the morning of 12th at 7 o’clock the “General” was found and our tents were “struck” knapsacks repacked, wagons reloaded, and we were in line of battle ready for a trip back to our old camps. The command “to the right flank by file left march!” again brought us in line, and the head of the column filed in the direction o Beaufort. The weight of some of the knapsack was a little more than some of the ignorant and spare minded were willing to carry and not unfrequently we would see a Negro contraband 2 and 3, and one fellow more strong than wise, carried on his head 4 heavy knapsacks and one on his back. It is truly astonishing to see some of the blacks with loads on their heads which a common white man would refuse to carry any way. The man who carried the 4 on his head was actually black in the face when he got to camp. The regiment got back to camp about 6 o’clock a. m. the object more fully stated was to get the men used to getting ready for a march and and also in anticipation of an order of marching from the commanding Gen. at Hilton Head. If the order had come we were ready and were equally willing to go in advance and operate against the enemy. But it seems that other policies exist with the commandants and may be a feint – and then a fall of the glorious Charleston – possession of Sumper, the tottering of rebellion – for it has a meger chance of escape its fall and then our return to the “Gal we left behind us.
After the Bull Run defeat I know that the saddest bird a season finds to sing that season has arrived in all its placid and benignant beauty casting a penumbra upon all past reverses and will open up a glorious future the martial glory of which there has been no comparison. In the interim pray ye all that such may be the case.
J. H. S.
PAGE 34 – This could be CORNELIUS LUTTON OF CO. F)
For the Courant.
Thy seat is vacant now, Mary,
Where oft you eat before,
Thy prattle heard no more Mary,
Around our cottage door.
The smile upon your brow Mary,
That shone so sweetly bright,
Is di_ed in death’s dark pail, Mary,
That robes thy form in night.
The red has left your cheek Mary,
Instead is pearly white;
Thy form that used to meet me here,
Rests in the graves cold night,
Thy tiny voice at morn Mary,
Is silent now and still;
We wept when thou wert laid to rest,
Upon the verdant hill.
We’re lonely as we stray Mary,
Upon thy playing ground;
Sadly we mourn thy loss Mary,
The cottage hearth around.
The tears bedews our cheeks Mary,
Our bosoms are forlorn;
Yet thou returnest not Mary,
Until the rising more.
A long farewell, my dear Mary,
And we shall meet again,
Upon the golden _re_te Mary,
Of New Jerusalem
Where tears and sighs come not Mary,
And friends shall part no more,
There Angel bands will welcome us
On Canaan’s happy shore.
C. W. LUTTON.
Composed at North English, Iowa, July 13th, 1863.
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