NP: December 23, 1864 The Bedford Inquirer: 110th PA, Thanksgiving at Fort Sedgwick, November, 1864

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in December 1864

CAMP NEAR PETERSBURG, Va.,
November 28, 1864.

MR. EDITOR:

SamuelBSchwartz110thPA

Samuel B. Schwartz, the author of this letter, from the pages of the Morrisons Cover (earlier Martinsburg) Herald, date unknown. (Provided by 110th PA researcher Kyle Waite)

Permit me through your valuable columns to inform the people of Bedford County that there yet remains a small band known as Company C, 110th Reg[imen]t. P[ennsylvania].V[olunteers].

We have participated in all the battles fought during this summer’s campaign. Many of our brave boys fell, while nobly defending the Stars and Stripes.

Owing to the severity of the campaign, we were unable to furnish the readers of your paper with the desired information, yet if it will be acceptable we will try and do better in the future.1

Since the last demonstration on the left, which took place on the 27th day of October [1864]2, we were moved to our old position, occupying that position of the line known as Fort Hell [Fort Sedgwick, along the Jerusalem Plank Road]. Yesterday [November 27, 1864], (Sunday) artillery dueling and mortar shelling was kept up all day. One shell passed through the Adjutant’s bombproof, turning everything topsy-turvy, wounding the Sergeant-Major, (Henry Miller) and Hospital Steward (Benj. L. Hewitt).3

Our line and that of the enemy are but fifteen hundred yards apart at this point. The picket lines are very close in some places. During the day the pickets exchange compliments, but so soon as night sets in, firing commences and is kept up briskly until day dawns, when it entirely ceases until evening again. The party that gets relieved first bids the other good evening and returns to camp.

A word on our Thanksgiving dinner, which we received on the 25th ult[imo] [November 25, 1864].4 It consisted of mince pies, cakes, roast turkey, boiled ham, corn beef, lemons, apples and peach butter.

For twenty-eight men we drew 2 turkeys, 3 mince pies, 12 ginger crackers, 1 pound of corn beef, 1 pound of boiled ham, 3 pecks of apples, 5 pints peach butter and one lemon, for which we join in returning our sincere thanks to those who were kind enough to contribute them. It made us a good dinner besides impressing our minds with the fact, that although far from home and all that is dear, we are not entirely forgotten.

Our quarters are comfortable, although they are under the ground. It would be much pleasanter to live out in tents in a peaceable country, but in our present condition we are content with this mode of living.

I will furnish you with a correct roll of our company. Those marked A are absent, wounded and sick.

1st Lieut., Charles Copelin, A.

1st Sgt., James C. Hamilton.

2nd Sgt., Samuel Kinley.

3rd Sgt., Thomas G. Livingston.

4th Sgt., David C. Lane, Provost Guard.

5th Sgt., Simon B. Stonerook, A.

1st Corp., Samuel B. Schwartz.

2d Corp., Benjamin Shoemaker.

3d Corp., John W. Plummer.

PRIVATES.

Ainsworth, James A.                       Kelly, G.P., Sharpshooter.

Atwell, John A.                                 Kean, William.

Border, Andrew                               Lang, James, Prisoner.

Bulger, Levi, Prisoner.                    Leer, William, A.

Beegle, John A.                                Lanxman, John

Brumbaugh, F.M, A.                       Monihan, James, A.

Bard, George W., A.                       Miminger, Jacob, A.

Coble, John, A.                                 McCoy, James

Chilcoat, Hillery, A.                         Murray, Samuel

Chilcoat, Isaac, A.                            Olinger, George

Copelin, Isaiah                                 Powley, Henry

Chamberlin, Whitney P.                Plaster, William, Blacksmith.

Divelly, John, Prisoner.                   Shimer, W. H., Provost Guard.

Fockler, Samuel                               Shoemaker, Austin, Prisoner.

Garrett, John C., Prisoner              Swaney, Samuel J.

Gailey, Joseph                                  Swaney, William A.

Garrett, Albert T., A                        Swaney, D.R.P.

Hartman, John P., Prisoner           Sutton, John A., Carpenter.

Holsinger, Josiah, Prisoner            Smith, Samuel H., A

Householder, Moses                      Sper, Wm. H.

Harwood, Richard, Prov. Grd.      Schroder, Chas., Musician

Householder, Jacob                       Wilt, Silas D., A

Irwin, James                                     Woodcock, Clark, A

Irwin, Jarrett, A                                Wallace, Samuel G., A

Kelly, David

[1st Corporal] S[amuel]. B. S[chwartz].5,6

SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Roy Gustrowsky.

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18641223BedfordPAInquirerP1C6CoC110thPANov28

Source/Notes:

  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: Oh, how I wish this regiment had a detailed summary of the summer portion of the Siege of Petersburg like this incredibly detailed one from the 55th Pennsylvania in the same paper.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: This was the October 27, 1864 Battle of Boydton Plank Road or Burgess Mill, fought during the Sixth Offensive. For a good book on this battle, checkout Hampton Newsome’s Richmond Must Fall: The Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, October 1864
  3. SOPO Editor’s Note: I found corroborating evidence of this artillery duel in the Official Records, XLII, Pt. 3, page 720. Newly minted Second Corps commander Andrew A. Humphreys writes: “I have been delayed in reporting, by absence from headquarters and some business, that the firing to-day was begun by the enemy and was directed at some men of the Third Division under punishment. The reply led to their opening several batteries, whose fire was answered.” So you have you have the date, approximate time, location, and troops who were eyewitnesses. So men being punished in the Union lines attracted the attention of Confederate batteries, who lobbed some shells there way, and caused the Union artillery to return fire!
  4. SOPO Editor’s Note: Thanksgiving Day, 1864 was on Thursday, November 24.  It looks like the 110th Pennsylvania may have been needed on the holiday itself and received their dinner a day late.
  5. SOPO Editor’s Note: A quick glance at the roster above shows that Corporal Schwartz is the only possible candidate to have written this letter.  The other man with S. B. S. for his initials was absent.
  6. “No Title.” The Bedford Inquirer (Bedford, PA), November 28, 1864, p.1, c.6.

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