Page 43: Rev. R. Audley Browne's May 1862 visit and report to New Castle newspaper regarding activities in South Carolina.
Page 44: Correspondence--Sept. 6, 1862 letter from Thomas McKee to his parents; Battle account of the Battle of Ox Hill (Chantilly) from Rev. R. Audley Browne; Death Announcement--Lt. David McCreary; Letter from letter from Capt. D.M. Cubbison to his father June 25, 1862.
Rev. R. Audley Browne.
This gentleman reached New Castle on Thursday evening last, on a visit. He left Port Royal on Saturday the 3d inst. Mr. Browne will remain here until about the first of June when he will return. – He looks much healthier than when he left New Castle and reports the health of the regiment generally good. He also brings the sad intelligence of the death of Lieut. James L. Banks, of Capt. Cline’s company. He died on Saturday morning last after a few hours sickness – inflammation of the bowels. We truly sympathize with his family in this their sad bereavement.
Thomas J. M’Kee has kindly permitted us to publish the following private letter from his son in the Roundhead Regiment. It will be interesting to most of our readers. It is dated:
WASHINGTON, D. C., Sept. 6, 1862.
Dear Parents – I take this opportunity to let you know, that I am in good health; although pretty well run down. Since I penned my last at Warrenton Junction, we have seen a few things. The next day, early, we took the road to Warrenton; but, before going far, received orders to retrace our steps, which we did in mighty quick time, and then took the road leading to Manassas in as quick time. We saw wagons burned by the way side. In the afternoon we were the advance guard and at sundown had to deploy as skirmishers, to scour the woods near our camp, which was near a beautiful church. The next morning I saw Uncle David Stewart, accidentally, he was hearty and well. At Manassas were the remains of partly demolished trains still burning, and the dead bodies of secesh lying unburied. Only imagine our anxiety – our feelings were wrought up to the highest pitch – each man seemed eager for the contest. The next day – Friday – after camping all night at Bull Run, we marched forward and about 10 o’clock, P. M. were in the front. Four companies of our regiment were sent forward to keep the sharp shooters from picking of the cannoneers in which we were successful. We were lying between our fire and that of the enemy – our guns were silenced full fifteen minutes before we left our post, and in leaving I could not find my knapsack, some one having taking it, and so I lost all I had in it. – In the evening our regiment was in a shop engagement in a piece of woods, in which the General had his horse killed, and the Colonel had himself and horse wounded. Wounded of company F. Lieut. D. Patton, in head, arm and thigh, not dangerous; R. J. Graham, third finger of right hand shot off; George Morrow in foot slightly; John Elder in thigh slight; Samuel Stunkard, in the head, severely. On Saturday we supported a battery all day and retreated in good order all night after being almost surrounded.
The rebels were whipped; but for that traitor on our left – M’Dowell – he deserves to be shot. On Sabbath we lay in the front till night to sustain our battery in case of an attack, when we were relieved by the Reserve and Bucktails. On Monday we marched through Centreville and halted a few hour hours for dinner, and then marched on through fields and byroads until evening when our cavalry and the rebel cavalry exchanged a few shots. – Our infantry formed into two lines in front of the artillery, and five companies of our regiment were sent forward to drive in the rebel pickets; however, but few of them got leave to go, as most of them were shot. The fight was fierce and stubborn for some time when we drove the rebels about one and one-fourth of a mile. Our brave and noble General I. I. Stevens was shot in the head and instantly killed.
Wounded of Company F, S. C. M’Creary, in calf of leg; J. A. Carr, in elbow and leg. Mr. Permar will hand you the bullet which lodged in my haversack amongst my grub on Monday when driving the pickets – it tore up things in my provision bag considerably; but, I was not injured. It rained terribly during the fight on Monday. The piece in the papers stating that Stevens’ division fell back, &c. is utterly false. On Tuesday we reached Alexandria and on Thursday night Washington.
Thomas M’Conaghey has arrived and says that T. W. M’Creary is nearly well, and that W. T. Painter is worse. We regret to learn this morning (Sept. 6,) officially that Lieut. David S. M’Creary is dead – he died on the 31st of August at Newport News. William M. Watson, son of A. J. Watson, is wounded.
I do not care for shot and shell; but, keep me clear of grape, canister and minie balls – they have no respect to persons. My love to all Your affectionate son, &c.
[From the Pittsburg Chronicle.]
From the Roundhead Regiment.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 1862.
The Roundhead regiment and other regiments of Stevens division, encamped yesterday on Seventh street, at the foot of the hill. That is, what remained of them so camped. Among the casualties in the regiment, the result of the battle of the 29th, beyond Bull Run, are the deaths of Captains Brown and Templeton and Lieut. E. R. Spence, with a wound to Capt. Van Gorder endangering his left arm and probably his life. The whole casualties of that day were 167, most of whom were certainly either killed or wounded, and some of whom were necessarily left on the field as the result of our defeat and retreat to Centreville on the evening of next day, Saturday, 30th. A flag of truce has since visited the battle field of Bull Run; but as I have just returned from Ox Hill, where the battle of Monday, the 1st, was fought, I have received no special intelligence of the result. No doubt you and the public are already apprised of it.
Late on Monday evening, Reno’s, Stevens’ and Kearney’s divisions encountered the enemy on what is called the “Ox Hill” road, three-quarters of a mile to the left of the Washington turnpike, and about three miles this side of Centreville. There is no doubt our being marched to that point was the result of certain information of the enemy being there in force, designing to cut off our communications or capture our wagon trains; and our defeat of him that evening no doubt materially aided the speedy and safe withdrawal of our stores and forces from Centreville. The first announcement of the presence of the enemy whom we sought was the sharp crack of musketry. I was with Colonel Leasure’s brigade (in his absence, the result of a wound on the 29th, under Lt. Colonel Leckey’s command,) which was speedily formed in line of battle, and advanced against the enemy, the bullets whizzing over our heads and cutting the leaves off the trees.
The enemy seemed to fall back as we advanced; but the firing became more general. Gen. Stevens called on me to attend his son (his Adjutant and Aid) off the field. He had been wounded in the arm and hip. On my return I met our wounded being carried back, and learned that General Stevens himself was killed. Our regiment and the 46th New York, which had been recalled, were reformed, and supported until the end of the fight an advanced battery connected with the command of Gen. Kearney. Fresh brigades now pressed on and drove the enemy back, till at last his fire was completely silenced. During the earlier part of the battle a drenching rain had thoroughly wet every man’s clothing, and the ground was saturated with moisture. The night was very dark. The fight was bloody and desperate. The 101st New York, especially, suffered severely; also the 21st Massachusetts. The enemy had no artillery engaged in the action.
Finding near morning that the army were evacuating the battle field, and falling back with our whole force towards Washington; also that our wounded must be left behind at this point with such force of surgeons and assistants as were willing to fall into the hands of the enemy. I remained, with four surgeons and a score of nurses. We obtained permission on Wednesday to withdraw, (our wounded and nurses being paroled,) and about 75 of us left on Thursday evening, on the arrival of our ambulances with a flag of truce, reaching Alexandria yesterday before day. Our whole number of wounded at that point was about 150 or 160 – 38 of whom had died.
We were permitted to visit the battle field on Wednesday, and counted 56 of our dead on the hard, beaten ground where they fought and fell. The party with the flag of truce, accompanying the ambulances, would bury them. Our hospital force was not sufficient to do so. – Never have I had such painful experiences as those connected with our ministrations among those wounded and dying men. Our hospital stores and even our supply of food was not sufficient, and the number of our over worked surgeons and attendants too small, those suffering men following our movements with earnest eyes, or the cry – “Doctor, doctor, doctor,” or “chaplain,” or even “water, water, water,” filling our ears. Nor did I ever so fully feel before how welcome was the grave, where “the weary are at rest.”
The day after the battle, about noon, the First Virginia cavalry, Col. Tiernan Brian, and the Fifteenth Georgia established their quarters at the hospital. We were soon engaged in kindly and courteous intercourse with yesterday’s foe, except when politics were thrust in. They had no provisions, and we, therefore, received none from them, but were in every other way possible, treated with courtesy. Our Post Office as usual in Washington, D. C. I send you a list of the killed and wounded in the 100th in the action at Ox Hill. I presume you have received lists of the action of the 29th through other channels;
100TH PA. – BATTLE OF OX HILL, SEP. 1
Mortally wounded – Nathan Offut, Co. E, dead; Daniel Donivan, Co. I, dead; W. F. Grant, Co. D, dead.
Killed – James Scrogs, Co. I; Oliver Elliot, Co. M.
Missing - _______ Studebacker, Co. ___.
Wounded – Levi F. Sprague, Co. H, glancing wounds in arm and leg, balls extracted; Edwin Foster, Co. E, gash in right leg; Clarke McCreary, Co. F, flesh wound, calf; Daniel Kane, Co. G, lower abdomen, hopeful case; John Scott, co. D, broken arm and flesh wound in hip; John Best, Co. I, flesh wound in arm; T. J. Powell, Co. D, lower abdomen, hopeful case; Wm. Abraham, co. M, ball through the cheek extracted from roof of mouth; James Carr, Co F, glancing flesh wounds on his hip bone and knee; John Ream, Co. B, eye shot out, doing well; Shimp Stickels, Co. C, leg broken below knee, and amputated; Wm. M. Watson, Co. H, bullet wound in hip, doing well; Captain Cornelius, co. C; Lieut. Ross, Co. H.
These officers were removed with the regiment on Monday night, and I did not see them. Their wounds are severe but not dangerous. All the above wounded are in hospitals either in Washington or Alexandria, and are doing well.
Yours truly, R. A. BROWNE.
P. S. – We yesterday received our back mails. None have been allowed to reach us till now since we left Fredericksburg, on the 13th ult. Our correspondents will now know when their letters reached, and why they have not been answered.
Yours, &c.. R. A. B.
On Tuesday evening, August 31, 1862, of Typhoid fever, at the residence of Miss Chase at Newport News, Va. Lieut. David s. M’Creary, son of Mr. John M’Creary of Hickory township, in this county.
All who had any knowledge of Lieutenant M’Creary, in this section knew his worth, and although our personal friend and country’s defender has passed to the grave, it is a source of gratitude to read the letters from those who attended him in his last sickness. The Hospital Chaplain, Rev. W. W. Meech, in announcing his death to his father says in a letter dated September 1st.
Your son Lieut. David S. McCreary has been a long time sick at this hospital, I have often conversed with him during the time, and was always well satisfied with his expressions of hope and Christian trust. I learn from others that he was a faithful and brave defender of his country. But he sleeps his last sleep, he has fought his last battle, no sound can awake him to glory again, “till the last trumpet of the arch angel and the trump of God shall call the sleeping dead to arise. Commending you and all his friends, and those who were so peculiarly connected by his marriage on the eve of his departure for the scene of war, to God and the word of his grace which is able to build you up, and give you an inheritance among the sanctified.
The following interesting letter is from Capt. D. M. Cubbison, on James Island, South Carolina, to his father in New Castle. It was not intended for publication, but his father has kindly permitted us to lay it before our readers. It is dated
JAMES ISLAND, S. C.,
June 25, 1862.
Dear Father – I have been very busy all day fixing up my tent and getting ready to go into the jewelry business on James Island. We moved our camp yesterday about one mile out on the island to a place much better for a camp than the other. Your letter of the 6th came to hand day before yesterday, and I am glad to learn that all are well and getting along well. I would have answered sooner, but I have not had time. I wrote a letter to mother just after I landed here, and a few days afterward I was detailed as one of the band to go back to Beaufort for our tents and knapsacks. On may way I wrote you a letter from Hilton Head. While I was at Beaufort, our brigade got cut up dreadfully, or, as it is called here, a wholesale slaughter by Gen. Benham, who is now under arrest and on his way to New York. I wish to God they would hang him. I’ll try and tell you all about it. The battle took place on Monday morning, June 16th. On the night of the 15th our boys got orders to march at one o’clock that night. The idea was to take the fort by surprise, so our brigade marched out to within two miles of the fort. They laid there till just at daybreak, waiting on Gen. Wright’s brigade but it did not come. So our boys were ordered to take the fort with cold steel, not one gun to be loaded. (Just think of it.) Then our boys had to double quick it for two miles. The 8th Michigan first, 79th New York next, and ours next. In the first place the double quick almost killed the boys, it takes a good runner to run two miles, and then think of carrying a gun, haversack, canteens, blankets and forty rounds of cartridges, and in such a warm country as South Carolina. Our boys dropped down exhausted, and what was left made the charge, and gallantly it was done; but the force was not large enough, not half of our regiment being in the fight. Our boys were on the ramparts of the fort and were driven back, but they rallied again – made another charge – gained the ramparts but again they were repulsed, there not being enough of them to follow up the advantage gained. The rebels shot shell, grape and canister, glass bottles and everything you could imagine. Never did men fight more bravely, but Gen. Wright did not come in time and our boys were repulsed. They came off the filed in the best of order, every one says they looked as if they had just been on drill, they marching to a tune on the bugle. The fight continued about two hours, and by eight o’clock in the morning the fight was all over. The loss on our side was very heavy. I cannot find out just now what was our exact loss, but it was between five and six hundred killed, wounded and missing. Gen. Wright also lost some men, he having a fight on his way to us, that being the cause of his detention.
The 8th Mich. Lost the heaviest. Our regiment lost as follows:
2d Lieut. J. Morrow, Co. I.
Sagrt. J. H. Merrck, Co. M.
Cor. J. S. Patterson, Co. F.
P. Harrison, Co. M.
Geo Whitstone, Co. H.
Cor. J. S. Watson, Co. C.
Cor. Wm. Anderson, Co. C.
Sargt. Jas. M’Cascie, Co. C.
J. Leary, Co. C.
Thos. Eba, Co. M.
D. Meridith, Co. M.
Jno. T. M’Caslin, Co.E.
Jas. A. Parker, Co. E.
Aug. Reed, Co. E.
1st Lieut. J. H. Gilliland, Co. K, slightly. He was hit in three places.
1st Lieut. J. Blair, Co. I, very slightly.
Sargt. J. Elliott, Co. b, slightly.
Sargt. H. H. Robinson, Co. I, dangerously.
Corp. A. Cleland, Co. C, slightly.
Corp. Wm. Harlan, Co. E, slightly.
Hugh Wilson, Co. C dangerously.
J. C. Moore, Co. C, slightly.
T. M. Miles, Co. C, slightly.
H. Dilliman, Co. C slightly.
C. Joseph, Co. B, dangerously.
Robt E. Reed Co. B, dangerously.
N. A. Sewall, Co. B, slightly.
Thos. Williams, Co. M, dangerously; they say he can’t live.
Wm. Claffy, Co. A, slightly.
C. S. Stansbury, Co. H, dangerously.
Wm. R. Somers, Co. H, prisoner; the only one taken.
Dan. Harpst, Co. F, slightly.
Robt. Davis, Co. I, slightly.
Cor. H. Book, Co. E, slightly.
J. S. Barber, Co. E, slightly.
J. S. Dick, Co. E, slightly.
S. George, Co. E, slightly.
J. B. Shaner, Co. E, slightly.
Thos. Gorman, Co. K, dangerously; has since died.
S. B. Campbell, Co. G, slightly.
G. W. Washbaugh, Co. G, slightly.
Corp. N. Offit, Co. E, slightly.
Geo. Montgomery, Co. E, slightly.
Geo. Maxwell, Co. E, slightly.
Fred Baudler, Co. C, slightly.
J. E. Walton, Co. C, slightly.
Corp. Evin Morris, Co. K, slightly.
Total 15 killed, 31 wounded and one prisoner, in all 47 men. I heard from the wounded to-day; they are all doing well except one or two, most of them being able to run around. They are all at Hilton Head, in the general hospital. – Well father, the whole affair was a terrible thing. I don’t know what ought to be done with old Benham; he made fun of the fight after it was over; it is a pity he was not hung in Virginia. Gneral Stevens, (God bless him, if there ever was a soldier, he is one) done all he could to get Benham not to attack the fort in that way, but it was of no use. Stevens wanted to shell the fort for four hours and then charge on it, but Benham would not listen to it. All the other generals agreed with Stevens. That night on going out with his men, Stevens wept like a child; he told Col. Leasure that it was awful to take men out to be cut to pieces as they would be, he said they were bound to be cut to pieces. The night after the battle, Stevens did not sleep a wink; one of his clerks told me so; he is the man that ought to have been in command here, and I hope and pray he will have. But the bravest of the brave on the day of the battle, was Jeff Justice, our Quartermaster, now acting Brigade Quartermaster. He volunteered as an aid to General Stevens, and was an aid indeed, being everywhere in the field in the thickest of the fight. – You can hear every one speak of him, and to use General Stevens’ words “My God, that’s the bravest man I ever saw; we do not know his worth.” His horse was completely done out and he has not used him since. Hurrah for Jeff. Everything is quiet here now, our men being engaged in throwing up works and planting heavy siege guns, the same ones that were used in taking Fort Pulaski. Yesterday the 79th New York Regiment presented General Stevens with a sword worth $624.00, and the drummer boys presented him with a pair of spurs worth $25.00. The sword is the prettiest one I ever saw. Stevens used to be the Colonel of the 79th. We got paid off to-day. All the boys are getting along well, with five or six in the hospitals, none bad, as they stand it very well. Col. Leasure is acting Brigadier General. Capt. Moore has been sick for some time. But he is going round now; he will be all O. K. in a day or two. – You still seem to think that the war will be over soon, and that we will be home in one year form the time we started, but I think differently. I do not expect to be home for six or nine months yet. I do not want to discourage you, but it looks so to me, but perhaps you get to know more about it than I do. Trust to luck, and your heart will be easy if it is in the right place. You need not send me any more New York or Philadelphia papers, as they are always behind time when they get here. We get papers direct from New York. Send me New Castle papers, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper and Harper’s weekly. Nothing more. Give my respects to all, my friends, and love to mother, &c.
From you son, MILT.
P. S. – All is quiet at James Island. The list of killed, wounded and missing is correct. We received two letters from Capt. Cline yesterday, by flag of truce. All the boys with him are well and in good spirits.
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