Blair County PAGenWeb


Blair County PAGenWeb





Blair County Newspaper Articles

News, obituaries, birth, marriage and death notices, by date.


Items from The Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa.,

Thursday, October 30, 1862


The other day a little Frenchman, just arrived, who had been taking English lessons, on the voyage, from a fellow passenger, complained much of the difficulty of our grammar, especially the irregular verbs. For instance, says he, "Ze verb to go. Did you ever see one such verb?" And with the utmost gravity he read from a sheet of paper: I go; Thou departest; He clears out; we cut stick; Ye or you make track; They absquatulate. "Mon Dieu! What disregular verbs you have in your language!"


Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, October 30, 1862, page 1


Our Army Correspondence.


Sandy Hook, Oct. 13, 1862.


DEAR TRIBUNE: - I should have written you ere this, but nothing has transpired with us that would be of general interest to your readers. And even at this hour I doubt whether I can communicate anything special or interesting. We have not seen your welcome sheet for two or three weeks, and are getting rather rusty in "Local News." Please send a copy regularly hereafter, and charge same to subscriber. News have been scarce with us since our unfortunate and lamented companion, "Brevier," wrote you, with the exception of the events of the 17th ult., which, I see by the last Tribune we received, you have given your readers from personal observation, having yourself visited the ever-to-be-remembered field of Antietam. I can add nothing to your able description of that scene.


The 125th is still encamped on Maryland Heights, and rumor, always on the float, says they will quarter there for the winter. But it is only rumor, no official notice of the fact having, as yet, been given. They will have a cool time of it, if they do quarter there. The hill is very steep and high, and though covered with timber when we first camped there, is now strewn with felled trees. Companies have been detailed for two weeks to cut the timber down. It wears a different aspect from what it did when Miles surrendered it.


Companies D and G are detached from the 125th, to assist Capt. J. Read, Commissary at this station, to unload and store army provisions, from the cars of the Baltimore and Ohio R. R. This road is now doing a very heavy business, both in the Freight and Passenger line. All the Government stores from Washington to Frederick, Sandy Hook and Harper's Ferry, (at which places there are stations for the distribution of provisions) are carried over this road, and the Passenger trains are every day crowded to overflowing.


Sandy Hook is on the Baltimore and Ohio R. R. about two miles from Harper's Ferry, and is within a stone's throw of the Potomac. It is a small village, very irregularly built, and not very cleanly in appearance. However, it is a more desirable place to camp than Maryland Heights, as water in abundance is close at hand, which is an item of considerable importance to one who has to do his own washing and cooking. Then we are closer to provisions, which are not furnished by Uncle Sam, which we can buy. The place is under martial law, of course, and Capt. J. Kinsler, of Co. F. 29th P. V., is Provost Marshal, and keeps very good order in the place. Groups of rebels, who have been either sick, wounded or prisoners, here apply for passes or transportation every day. They talk and laugh with our boys like friends, instead of enemies.


Our company, with one or two exceptions, is well, but the health of the Regiment is not so good, as visitors who come to see us, inform us. Three are reported to have died on the 21st. - Samuel Henchy, of Co. A.; Leonard Mabis, of Co. K.; and another in Co. I, whose name I have not heard. Mabis, it is said, fell into a spring, about a foot deep, and drowned. It is supposed he was out of his mind at the time. Chills and fever are very prevalent and appears to be the epidemic with which all are inflicted.


Lieut. Alex. Marshall and privates Lewis Minehart, Jno. Walton and Joseph Robertson, who had been absent, wounded, for some time after the 17th ult., have returned, and are doing well, the former having now command of our company. The last news we had of our absent wounded they were all doing well, but are pretty well scattered over the country. They are all anxious to rejoin us, and will do so as soon as they are able. Our Captain is at Mechanicsburg, and was at last accounts, doing well, and anxiously awaiting the time when he will be able to take charge of his company. We all hope it will be soon, for a better, more kind, and braver officer is not to be found. Few Captains have the welfare of their companies more at heart than he. Sergt. E. L. Russ is at Harrisburg, and I presume you hear from him oftener than we do.


The following anonymous letter was received by Lieut. P. S. Trees, on the 17th inst., and caused indignation and distrust in a great many of our boys. It is well known that our boys did their whole duty on the 17th of September, and to be charged with cowardice, or slinking the fight under pretence, is not to be taken so easily at this time. They did their duty nobly and should receive praise, instead of such false accusations as are contained in the following letter. But I give you the letter verbatim et literatim:


ALTOONA, ___ ___


Co. D. 125th P. V: - As we have been visited by several of your company, and among the rest ___ ___. But his visit was not very acceptable, for he left a very bad name for the company that left this place. As I felt interested in the company, I thought it prudent to let you or them know what the report is here. In the first place, when he came up, he acted very bad, for he told so many different stories about his being wounded. When he came through Mill Creek he had both his hands tied up, and told there that he was run over by a horse, and that it kicked him, and stove his breast in, and broke both his wrists, &c., &c. He told in this place that the way he was hurt was, he had a gun that he took from a dead rebel, that shot six loads at once, and just as he was going to shoot the gun, it was struck by a ball, and broke in two and crippled him. And further, he said that as you were drawing near the ground where the fight was, and when you were about 100 yards from the rebels, ___ ___ (of our company) fainted and gave out, and said he was sick; and he (the visitor) raised a great report about it. I had never thought that of ___, from what slight acquaintance I had with him, I thought he would act the man in all cases. And further, he said ___ (also of our Co.) gave out as you were going into battle, and he said he had to coax hard to get him to go in. He said he stopped two or three times going in, and he said he coaxed very hard to get him in. As I am not acquainted with ___ I cannot of myself say anything of him, but, by the talk of the people, he bears a good name here, and I think it bad to ruin a good name. From what I hear I think you have made a poor selection.


Your friend, A. L. T.
Please read to the company.


Will the writer of the above please send his name to the same address, as by so doing he will relieve our minds of a doubt or suspicion which exists there. It may all be as "A. L. T." reports, and, again "A. L. T." may be an enemy of "the visitor," and seeks, in this way, to injure him. We do not say it is the case, but how are we to know? By sending his name, he will, perhaps, remove this idea, and his letter shall be read to the company. It has not been made public yet, as it would not do to make an accusation without being able to substantiate it. If he so desires, his name shall not be used, only to satisfy the mind of the person he addressed, that he is a reliable man, and we will attend to the rest. We hope he will grant our request, as we are deeply interested in the matter.


But we must stop scribbling. Any items of importance that may transpire hereafter, dear "Tribune," will be communicated as soon as possible.


Yours truly, BOURGEOIS.


Through the kindness of the recipient we are permitted to take the following extracts from a letter written on the 18th inst., by a member of the Anderson Troop, now with Gen. Buell's army. It is dated in camp near Crab Orchard, Ky. In speaking of the late battle in that vicinity the writer says:


"You have, ere this, read different accounts of our proceedings since we left Louisville on this last expedition. I have seen few papers since we left Louisville, and only one since the battle of chaplin Hills, near Perrysville, and that was the Louisville Journal of the 14th inst. That paper's account of the battle was mainly correct. I will not attempt a description, but in general terms I can say that it was one of the bloodiest and most desperate struggles that has taken place in this department, if not in the country. The barren hills and almost entire absence of water for man or beast, for miles around, within our lines, made it a place of intense suffering for our army, especially those who stood in line of battle all day (and the weather hot and dry for the season) fighting a desperate enemy who had almost all the water fit for use. There stood one wing of our army receiving the deadly fire of an overwhelming force, but gallantly they stood (with few exceptions) returning the fire with equally deadly effect, as the battle field but too plainly indicated, when the smoke had cleared away.


Here I am proud to say that the 79th Penna. Regt. Col. Hambright, nobly distinguished itself for bravery and coolness. I have it from a disinterested witness that the 79th stood in line of battle, never wavering, as though on dress parade. Even those slightly wounded stood up in line. Another person told me that when their ammunition was exhausted they stood in line until they were supplied, and my informant says the dead rebels in front of their lines attest to the coolness and steadiness of their fire. Col. Hambright and his well disciplined regiment will stand out as a bright contrast to some of the raw troops who broke rank and run. The loss of the 79th in killed, wounded and missing is about 250.


I was out in the evening and all night after the battle with Surgeon Murray, Medical Director, assisting in having the sufferers brought off the field to temporary hospitals in houses, barns, and places of safety, for then we expected a general engagement to open next morning. It was a beautiful moonlight night, but oh! it was a night dark with gloomy apprehensions for the morrow. All night did the gallant Rousseau watch the movements of the enemy and dispose the remnant of his forces accordingly, retiring to higher and more commanding positions. It was owing to the retiring of our lines that three of the Anderson Troop were taken prisoners that night. They were sent with despatches to Gen. McCook and proceeded to where his head-quarters had been during the day and there found themselves in the hands of the enemy. They were dismounted, disarmed and marched some 20 miles on foot and paroled.


The next morning was bright and clear and everybody expected to hear the ball open early, but no sound of hostile cannon was heard. It was said they asked an armistice to bury their dead, but by noon it was discovered that while some were burying the dead the main body of the army was leaving as fast as possible towards Harrodsburg and Danville. No doubt they had been going all night and morning. They were pursued by our cavalry and a number of prisoners picked up and at Harrodsburg near 2,000 of their sick and wounded fell into our hands. Thus far they managed to haul them (about ten miles) and along the road were strewn their dead - the wounded that died on the way were tumbled out by the roadside and left for us to bury. But the dead feel no more pain, and we had so many of our own wounded to attend to that their dead lay three or four days without burial. It was hard but we could not help it.


It was distressing to witness the intense suffering of our wounded for several days after the battle. Almost every necessary comfort was wanting until we got them moved to hospitals in Perrysville. We have halted here for a few days while some of our army is still pursuing Bragg. Our headquarters will likely not go any further on this road but take another route. This is a poor section of country for man or beast to live in, and I hope we may get to a better place soon.


Our company (Anderson Troop) is reduced to about 25 men for active duty, and they are worked almost beyond endurance - on duty night and day. From what we can learn, the boys who have been at home all summer playing off sick - having their furloughs extended from time to time - are now generally to be commissioned officers of the new regiments, while those who have been here all the time, bearing the burden and heat of the day, are overlooked. Our men here complain bitterly at such treatment.


An INCIDENT OF THE BATTLE FIELD. - During the week of battles in front of Washington Gen. Bayard went forward, under a flag of truce, to meet and confer with his old comrade in arms, the now famous J. E. B. Stuart, of the rebel cavalry. Less than two years ago Jeb was first lieutenant and Bayard second lieutenant in the same company; but Jeb. is now a major-general and Bayard a brigadier. During the interview a wounded Union soldier, lying near was groaning, and asked for water. "Here Jeb," said Bayard - old time recollections making him familiar, as he tossed his bridle to the rebel officer - "hold my horse a minute, will you, till I fetch that poor fellow some water." Jeb. held the bridle. Bayard went to a stream and brought the wounded man some water. As Bayard mounted his horse, Jeb. remarked that he had not for some time "played orderly to a Union general." The business upon which they met was soon arranged, and the old friends parted - a fight, which had ceased while they were engaged talking, recommencing with great fury on both sides the moment each got back to his own ranks.


Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, October 30, 1862, page 2


ACCIDENT. - On Monday evening last, the ledge of rocks which projected over the railroad track, just below the horse-shoe, at Kittanning Point, fell down upon the track and was run into by the first through freight train Eastward, causing a considerable wreck of cars and killing a brakeman named Joseph Watson. The Engineer of the train had his wrist sprained and the conductor his ankle injured - neither seriously. We did not learn whether Watson was married or single. He had but recently obtained the situation, and the trip which proved his last was only the first or second he had made on the road.




On the 23d inst., by Rev. C. L. Ehrenfield, Mr. John M. Garret, to Miss Annie M. Sisler, both of Altoona.


In this place, on the 26th inst., by Rev. A. H. Sembower, Mr. David P. Ball, to Miss Magdalene Kesser.


Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, October 30, 1862, page 3




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