By LIEUT. C. C. HEWITT, 19TH U. S. INFANTRY.
The Nineteenth Infantry was organized in conformity with the President's proclamation of May 4, 1861, and the officers were assigned to the regiment in pursuance of General Order No. 33, A. G. O., dated June 18, 1861, and revised by G. O. No. 65 of the same series. One colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, three majors, sixteen captains, twenty-two first lieutenants and two second lieutenants, were named as the officers of the regiment. Seven of them were officers of the regular service, and were transferred to the Nineteenth with an advancement of one grade; ten were from the volunteers; twenty-six from civil life and two,—second lieutenants,—from the ranks of the regular service.
Major (Brevet Lt.-Col.) Edward R. S. Canby, 10th Infantry, was appointed colonel, and the headquarters of the regiment were established at Indianapolis, Indiana, where Lieut.-Col. Edward A. King issued his first general order, dated July 10, 1861, assuming command of the regiment. First Lieutenant Egbert Phelps was designated as acting adjutant and First Lieutenant Edward Moale was appointed quartermaster. Colonel King also issued orders establishing recruiting rendezvous in eleven different cities in Indiana, and one in Cincinnati, Ohio, and an officer was designated to take charge of each. The senior major,—Stephen D. Carpenter,—reported for duty August 7, and was assigned to the command of the recruits.
Company A, 1st Battalion, was organized August 24, and at the end of August the regiment consisted of one organized company and 76 unassigned recruits. The first duty it was called upon to perform was on the 1st, when the Governor of Indiana called upon the commanding officer for assistance in preserving peace in the city of Indianapolis. The unassigned officers were ordered to report to Major Carpenter and he was ordered, with Company A and the unassigned recruits to the circle. Their presence seems to have been all that was required to preserve order. While they remained at Indianapolis the unassigned officers and recruits were often put on duty guarding prisoners and escorting them to different northern prisons.
Company B, First Battalion, was organized in September, and in October Companies A and B were ordered to report to General Sherman in Kentucky, and were attached temporarily to the First Battalion of the 15th Infantry. Company C was organized in November and Company D in December, 1861.
On the 1st of January, 1862, 1st Lieutenant W. W. Gilbert was appointed adjutant of the regiment, and in February orders were issued designating Companies A, B, C and D (organized), and E, F, G and H (unorganized), as the First Battalion of the regiment, and Major Carpenter was assigned to
the command. Companies C and D, under command of Major Carpenter were ordered to proceed to Louisville, Ky., and report to Gen. Buell.
Company E was organized March 15, 1862, and one week later left Indianapolis for Nashville, Tenn. It participated in the battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862, with companies A, B, C and D, under the command of Major .Carpenter. The loss in this battle was 37 killed and wounded. Capt. Fessenden and Lieutenant Lyster were wounded. Major Carpenter was complimented for his gallant conduct in this engagement by his brigade commander—General Rousseau.
Company F was organized in April and sent to Pittsburg Landing, Tenn.
Companies G and H were organized in May and these two companies completed the organization of the First Battalion, but instead of joining the battalion they were ordered by telegraph, the day that H was organized, to proceed to Washington, D. C., which city was in danger of being captured, and to which point all available troops were being hurried. These companies participated in the various manoeuvres of the Army of the Potomac, marching and countermarching, embarking and disembarking, and had a varied existence; but being orphans, were used for guarding ammunition trains and for provost-guard duty. Company G was present at the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, but was not engaged.
Colonel King and Major Carpenter wrote letters in vain to the War Department asking to have these companies transferred to Tennessee to join their proper battalion, or, if it were not practicable to send them to their own battalion, to have them assigned to duty with some regular battalion in the Army of the Potomac, where they might receive proper instruction and drill. In September Company H was detailed for duty as a bodyguard to General McClellan, and in October Company G was assigned to duty with the 1st Battalion of the 17th Infantry in the regular brigade of Sykes' Division.
Lieutenant-Colonel King having been made colonel of the 68th Indiana Volunteers, went into the field with that regiment, leaving the headquarters of the 19th Infantry without a head, as Colonel Canby had been made a brigadier-general of volunteers, and was in command in New Mexico. In November the headquarters were ordered from Indianapolis to Fort Wayne, Mich., but were not destined to remain long at the latter place, for Major Carpenter, now being the senior officer on duty with the regiment, applied to the War Department to be furnished with the colors, and renewed the request which he had made several times when Col. King was commanding, to have the band join the First Battalion in the field. Late in the fall this request was finally granted, but before the band reached the battalion the gallant commander of the 19th had given up his life at the battle of Murfreesboro.
Major Carpenter was a brave, gallant and efficient officer, and his untimely death surely deprived him of a brilliant future. In December he made a final appeal to the War Department to have Companies G and H transferred from the Army of the Potomac to his battalion. His letter was manly, soldierly and pathetic. He called attention to his long service and to his depleted battalion of scarcely two hundred men. In support of his
argument for having a larger battalion he said:—" It is not unreasonable to suppose that my battalion in battle may be ordered to support a battery as it was at Shiloh, and be met by a battalion or regiment numbering eight hundred or a thousand men; * * the result would be certain disgrace." Just two weeks later the regular brigade of which the battalion of the 19th Infantry formed a part, was engaged in the battle of Murfreesboro supporting batteries. The contest was in the pines the first day. The enemy was in overwhelming numbers, and it was while struggling to hold his battalion against great odds, that Major Carpenter fell from his horse bleeding from six mortal wounds. His prediction almost came true, except as to the disgrace. The loss of the battalion of six companies was 65 killed and wounded. The loss of the regular brigade was nearly 36 per cent., almost double the loss of the other two brigades of the division.
Eighteen months of service in the field, including a march of over a thousand miles, two battles and a number of skirmishes, had reduced the battalion from 500 to less than 150 men. Four of the officers who had gone out with companies were serving as staff officers with the brigade and division commanders, and one was commanding a volunteer regiment, so that at the battle of Murfreesboro only one major, one captain, two 1st lieutenants and four 2d lieutenants were serving with the battalion.
After Major Carpenter was killed on the first day, Captain J. B. Mulligan assumed command of the battalion and handled it very skilfully, but he scarcely had time to write a report of the battle and an obituary of the late commander before captains, zealous commanders, began to spring up like mushrooms from the ground, and in a few weeks no less than six of them had assumed command of the battalion of six companies; but the duration of command of the senior one was short, for Major Dawson, who up to this time had been in the North, joined and assumed command.
Early in 1863 the band from Fort Wayne, and Companies G and H from the Army of the Potomac, had joined the headquarters in the field. The final request of Major Carpenter had been complied with, but he had not lived to see his labors rewarded. Company A, 2d Battalion, had also been organized and had joined the First Battalion at Murfreesboro.
On the 19th and 20th September the 1st Battalion, with Company A of the 2d, aggregating 14 officers and 185 men and commanded by Major Dawson, was engaged in the battle of Chickamauga. The first day, September 19th, Major Dawson was wounded, and 66 non-commissioned officers and privates were killed and wounded. Captain E. L. Smith, a gallant and accomplished officer, succeeded Major Dawson and commanded the regiment until he was captured. At the end of the second day's battle a 2d lieutenant was found in command, reporting four officers and 51 men for duty. Lieutenants Fogarty and Miller had been killed; Captain Cummings and Lieut. Ayres wounded, and Captains Cummings, Smith, Hart and Pearce and Lieutenants Causten, Bickham and Gageby had been taken prisoners.
Colonel King was killed in this battle, September 20th, while serving as colonel of the 68th Indiana Volunteers, but at the time of his death was commanding a division. A short time before this he had been promoted to be colonel of the 6th Infantry.
During the Chattanooga-Ringgold campaign and at the battle of Missionary Ridge, the 19th Infantry was a mere detachment and was commanded by a captain. The losses of the regular battalions had been so great that two and three companies had to be consolidated for drill; and in the fall the 19th Battalion was found in camp at Chattanooga, consolidated with the 16th Infantry, under the command of Captain R. E. A. Crofton, and designated as a "Detachment of the 16th and 19th Infantry." The band had lost nearly all of its property and instruments during its year in the field, and on December 1st, pursuant to orders from the War Department, set out for headquarters at Fort Wayne, Mich.
In the year 1863 there was almost a complete change in field officers. DeLancey Floyd-Jones had become lieutenant-colonel; Major Dawson had been promoted to the 15th Infantry; and Capt. J. H. Potter of the 7th to be major of the 19th in his place. Pinckney Lugenbeel had been promoted major vice Carpenter, and Charles C. Gilbert major vice Willard, killed July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg.
Major Willard had never served with the regiment. He was appointed a major in the 19th while a captain in the 8th Infantry, to date February 19, 1862, and all his war service was with the Army of the Potomac, first as commander of the provost guard, and later as colonel of the 125th N. Y. Volunteers. He was commanding the 3d Brigade, 3d Division, 2d Corps when he was killed near Plum Creek. Fort Willard, a redoubt on the Potomac, was named in orders from the War, Department, "after, George L. Willard, Major 19th Infantry."
The beginning of the year 1864 found the regiment without a single field officer for duty either in the field or at regimental headquarters, but on March 7th, Major Lugenbeel reported at Fort Wayne and assumed command of the regiment. The battalion was in camp near Chattanooga, under the command of a captain, where it remained until February 22d, when it started out with its brigade and division on a reconnoissance, supporting the cavalry, and marched towards Ringgold, Georgia. The marching was in presence of the enemy and skirmishing was kept up constantly. On the 28th, Lieutenant Robert Ayres, the battalion adjutant, while posting pickets at Taylor's Ridge, was captured by the enemy's cavalry. On March 13th the battalion was engaged, in the battle of Resaca, Georgia, and on the 28th in the battle of New Hope Church, near Dallas, Ga. The companies had now become so much reduced, that Captain Mooney, the battalion commander, organized the battalion into four companies, making A, B and E the first company; D, second company; C and F, third company; G and H, and A, 2d Battalion, fourth company. Previous to this consolidation in the field Company D had been reorganized at regimental headquarters with 63 enlisted men, and Captain Lewis Wilson had been assigned to the command of it.
On the 1st of June, 1864, the battalion was at Kenesaw Mountain under the command of Captain Egbert Phelps, and a few days later an advance was made and the regiment took part, in the battles of Kenesaw Mountain, Neal Dow Station, Peach Tree Creek, and finally, on July 22, took a position on the railroad within two miles of Atlanta and built breastworks. The
long campaign before reaching Atlanta, and the battles in front of Atlanta, had reduced the battalion so much that the enlisted strength present for duty at the, end of August was only 336. On September 1, the battalion took part in the battle of Jonesboro, and on October 1, it went into camp at Lookout Mountain, where it remained during the winter, with an enlisted strength present of 510.
During the month of February, 1865, Fort Wayne, Mich., Companies B and C, 2d Battalion, were organized, and in March, Company A, 2d Battalion, was reorganized, and Captain W. W. Gilbert was assigned to command it. Captain Gilbert was also ordered to conduct Companies B and C, 2d Battalion, from Fort Wayne to the 1st Battalion in the field.
On April 3, 1865, Lieut.-Col. Floyd-Jones assumed command of the regiment, and Major Lugenbeel proceeded to Lookout Mountain and assumed command of the 1st and 2d Battalions.
Company B, 1st Battalion, was reorganized in April and shortly afterwards was ordered to the field, as was also Company A, 2d Battalion. Company A, 3d Battalion, was organized May 16, and Lieut. L. T. Morris was assigned to it.
In August, 1865, the battalion marched from Lookout Mountain to Chattanooga, and from that point was transferred by rail to Augusta, Ga. During the month of October, Companies D and E, 2d Battalion were organized and sent from Fort Wayne to Augusta, and on the 11th of October the headquarters of the regiment and Company A, 3d Battalion, were transferred from Fort Wayne to Newport Barracks, Ky.
In November, Company F, 2d Battalion, was organized and shortly after was sent to Little Rock, Ark., to report to General Reynolds. Companies C and B were organized in December.
In the early part of 1866 the 1st Battalion and part of the Second proceeded from Augusta, Ga., to Little Rock, Ark. The small-pox broke out on the way and a great many of the men became frightened and deserted before reaching their destination. Upon arriving at Little Rock, two companies of the 2d Battalion took station there and the remaining companies proceeded to Camden and the southern part of the State of Arkansas, and entered upon the unpleasant reconstruction duty. The headquarters and a part of the 1st Battalion remained at Little Rock, and the balance of it went to Fort Smith and the Indian Territory frontier.
Companies D and E, 3d Battalion, were organized at Newport, Kentucky.
In February, Company F, 2d Battalion, and Companies A, B,C and D, 3d Battalion, went from Newport to Little Rock, and the headquarters of the 1st Battalion from Little Rock to Fort Gibson, I. T. Majors Gilbert and Potter having reported at headquarters were assigned to the command of the 2d and 3d Battalions respectively. This was the first time since the organization of the regiment that more than one major had been on duty with it, yet with the exception of the colonel, all the field officers had changed since first assignment. In March, Colonel Floyd-Jones was ordered from Newport to Little Rock with regimental headquarters.
The organization of the companies of the 2d and 3d Battalions was continued during the spring and summer of 1866, and before July 1st the regi-
ment had its complement of three battalions with eight companies each, aggregating nearly two thousand men.
The three-battalion organization of the 19th was short lived, for the regiment had scarcely been completed when the act of Congress approved July 28, 1866, did away with the battalion organization for infantry and made a regiment out of each battalion by simply adding a colonel, a lieutenant-colonel, and two companies to each battalion. Under the provisions of this law the 1st Battalion became the 19th Infantry, the 2d Battalion the 28th Infantry, and the 3d Battalion the 37th Infantry. Colonel Canby, who had never joined the regiment, was made a brigadier-general, and S. K. Dawson, formerly major of the 19th, now became the colonel. Lieut.-Col. Floyd-Jones and Major Lugenbeel remained in the regiment in their respective grades. The band became one of the fifteen post bands authorized by law, and remained at Little Rock. The headquarters and Companies I and K moved to Fort Gibson, I. T., but in March, 1867, the headquarters moved to Fort Smith, and later in the year most of the companies of the regiment were assembled at Fort Smith and vicinity.
The regiment remained at Fort Smith during the year 1868, and until consolidation began in 1869. Section 2 of the appropriation bill of that year enacted "that there shall be no new commissions, no promotions, and no enlistments in any infantry regiment until the total number of infantry regiments is reduced to twenty-five," and the Secretary of War was directed to consolidate the infantry regiments. The 28th, which was formerly the 2d Battalion of the 19th, was consolidated with the 19th, and Colonel C. H. Smith, who was colonel of the 28th, became colonel of the 19th upon the consolidation. The separation of the two battalions had been more in name than in fact. Both regiments served in the sub-district of the Arkansas, commanded by Colonel Smith.
After consolidation the regiment was still kept on reconstruction duty in Arkansas and Louisiana, and companies and detachments were sent to the most remote districts for the purpose of assisting in reëstablishing the civil government. The regiment had most trying duties to perform, and it was admitted that the work was exceptionally well done; and owing to the excellent judgment of the colonel commanding the regiment and sub-district, and his clear interpretation of what was the intention of Congress, the State of Arkansas was the first one readmitted under the reconstruction laws.
Early in the year 1870 the regiment was moved to Louisiana with headquarters at Jefferson Barracks, and from January to May Colonel Smith was detached from his regiment and placed in command of the Department of Louisiana, according to his brevet rank of major-general.
The Act of Congress approved July 15, 1870, caused many changes in the regiment, and Colonel Smith was a member of the Board of Officers convened under Section II of that Act.
During the summer of this year the yellow fever broke out in New Orleans and the headquarters and the companies stationed in New Orleans moved to Ship Island, where they remained till November, when they were ordered to New Orleans to preserve the peace during the election.
Colonel Smith returned from Washington in January, 1871, and while
the regiment remained in Louisiana he had command of all the troops assembled in the vicinity of New Orleans. In January, 1872, all the companies of the regiment were again summoned to New Orleans and kept busy during the month preserving order and preventing mob violence.
During the year 1873 Companies G and I were stationed at Shreveport, La., and went through the yellow fever epidemics which scourged all that section of country.
In June, 1874, the regiment was transferred to the Department of the Missouri. The headquarters and two companies went to Fort Lyon, Colorado, and the other companies to the Indian Territory and Kansas.
In the spring of this year the Indians of the Indian Territory went on the war path. The regiment arrived in the Department too late to enter into the active campaign, but the companies of Camp Supply and Fort Dodge were kept on the road most of the time escorting supply trains to the troops in the field under the command of General Miles. Companies A and K were engaged in guarding the railroad and in scouting in central Kansas, and in January, 1875, a detachment of Company K, while returning to Fort Wallace, Kansas, after a successful pursuit and capture of Indians, was caught in a blizzard and had great difficulty in reaching the post.
In the following April, Lieutenant Hewitt and a detachment of Company K were with Troop H, 6th Cavalry, when, in an engagement on Sappa Creek, Kansas, a whole band of Indians was exterminated.
In the fall of 1878, the Indians of Dull Knife's band broke away from the agency in the Indian Territory and attempted to make their way north to the Sioux and Cheyennes in Dakota. Lieut.-Col. Lewis, 19th Infantry, who was then commanding Fort Dodge, Kansas, organized a force to intercept them. The Indians succeeded in crossing the Arkansas River west of Fort Dodge, and Colonel Lewis, with four troops of the 4th Cavalry, Company G, and detachments of Companies D and F, 19th infantry, with Captain Bradford and Lieutenant Gardener, went in pursuit. The Indians were overtaken after a two days' march, and in an engagement which took place Colonel Lewis received a wound which severed his femoral artery and from which he died the next day. In the death of Colonel Lewis the regiment met with an irreparable loss. He possessed in a remarkable degree the most valuable traits of a model soldier. He commanded with sternness, but was always just and was honored and respected by all the officers and men who knew him.
In October, 1879, Company G, mounted, was ordered to New Mexico to take the field against a hostile tribe of Indians, and participated in the campaigns under Colonel Hatch, 9th Cavalry, and Colonel Buell, 15th Infantry. Colonel Buell, in relieving this company from duty with his command, complimented Captain Bradford and Lieut. Gardener in orders.
Companies A, C, D, E, F and I participated in the campaign on the Uncompagre in Colorado, under Colonel Mackenzie, 4th Cavalry, in 1879 and 1880.
In the fall of 1881 the regiment was transferred to the Department of Texas. The colonel; major, headquarters and Companies B, C, D, E, G and
K, took station at Fort Brown, November 7th. The lieutenant-colonel and Companies H and I went to Fort Ringgold and Companies A and F to Fort McIntosh.
Early in the summer of 1882 rumors were afloat that yellow fever existed in the city of Matamoras, Mexico, which is on the Rio Grande, just opposite Fort Brown and Brownsville. The doctors of the two cities were divided in their opinions. Some claimed from the first appearance of the disease that it was yellow fever, but the greater number claimed that it was not. Brownsville did not quarantine against Matamoras till August, and then the fever had already crossed the river and was in Texas.
How to protect the troops now became a serious problem. It was at first proposed to move them up the river, but the State quarantine would not permit it. The saddest part to contemplate was that the women and children would have to share the lot of the soldiers. The recollections of Shreveport and Memphis made stout hearts grow weak. No little anxiety and excitement existed in the command and just at this time the regimental commander received an order to go to Newport, Ky., on a court-martial. He was well aware of the imminent peril of his command and telegraphed the fact to the War Department, but was only relieved from the detail after making a second urgent request. The request was granted and it was a great relief to the garrison.
Steps were immediately taken to get the command out of the post as there were several cases of fever in it. There was not tentage for the whole command, and Captain Witherell volunteered to remain in the post with his company (C). This company and troop I, 8th Cavalry,—Captain Hennisee's,—remained in the garrison. The headquarters, band, and five companies moved about fourteen miles down the river and went into camp, where they remained till fall, without a single case of fever.
In the garrison every precaution was taken to keep the infected away from the non-infected. There were not many cases among the soldiers in barracks, the greater number occurring among the families and civil employés of the post. Captain Witherell's family was the first one invaded. His son and only child died, also his servant. He and his wife both had the fever, but recovered. Captain Lyster's family all had it except Mrs. Lyster. W. C. Gorgas, the assistant to the post surgeon, had a severe case, but Lieutenant T. M. Wenie, 19th Infantry, was the only officer who fell a victim.
The high water of the Rio Grande, overflowing its banks, made an island of the post. The post cemetery had to be reached by boat, and the water was so near the surface that the graves would fill while being dug, and it was necessary to put stones on the coffins to hold them down. The ground was so soft that often the neighboring coffins would roll in on the grave diggers. It was a long and weary summer to the garrison of Fort Brown, and the coming of flies, followed by frost, was heralded with delight.
In December the headquarters and all the companies, except G, of the Fort Brown garrison, moved to Fort Clark, Texas.
In May, 1890, the regiment moved from Texas to the Division of the Atlantic, and took the stations on the Lakes.
The 19th Infantry is the only regiment in the Army which has not changed its colonel since consolidation in 1869.
In the year 1886 Captain Lyster was promoted to be major of the 6th Infantry. He was the last officer to leave the regiment of all those who were commissioned in it in 1861. The only other officers now in active service who were originally commissioned in the regiment are Colonel Edward Moale, Major J. H. Gilman and Major Louis T. Morris.
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