SIR,—Although, by its varied services in War and in Peace, the Regular Army of the United States has exerted, during the past century, no small influence upon the development of the country, no record of these services has appeared in a compact and accessible form. Many isolated facts and references are scattered through the annual reports of the Secretary of War, Congressional Documents, War Records, etc., but, so wide is the dispersion, that it is believed the official history of their own organizations can be but imperfectly known to many officers.
With a view to supplying, to a certain extent, this deficiency, the Military Service Institution proposes to undertake the publication, in its journal, of a series of Historical Sketches of the Regiments, Staff Corps, and Staff Departments of the Army. Each record will be separately headed and the pages will be electrotyped, so that when completed the sketches can be reprinted and bound in one volume; each Headquarters, Post Library, and Officer of the Army can thus be supplied at little cost, with what can hardly fail to be a valuable work of reference.
The Publication Committee requests your co-operation in its attempt to obtain accurate and trustworthy data for the record of your Regiment. They may be secured, if you approve of the plan, by your selecting and designating an officer willing to undertake the work, and placing him in communication with the Secretary of the Institution, who will furnish every assistance in his power.
Each sketch should contain a brief account of the origin and circumstances attending the establishment of the organization, the dates of important changes and events, list of battles, names of commanding officers, together with particular mention of brilliant actions, distinguished individuals, and especially of publications (stating edition and page) where such records may be found more fully detailed. Each sketch should be limited to about 6,500 words.
RESOLVED, That the work of supervising the production, editing and arranging for serial publication of material for the "Historical Sketches of the Army of the U.S." (begun in No. 45 of this Journal) shall be entrusted to a Special Committee of two members of the Institution to be designated by the Chairman of the Publication Committee; said special committee to be governed by the provisions of the Circular of November 10, 1889, to Commanding Officers, covering the aggregate number of words for the entire work, and to report progress from time to time.
The Chair announces the following "Special Committee on Historical Sketches":
Gen. THEO. F. RODENBOUGH, U. S. Army,
Major WILLIAM L. HASKIN, First Artillery.
In glancing over the article on The First Regiment of Infantry, on page 407, I notice a few errors.
The First Infantry battalion did not form a part of the "third" brigade, which was Deitzler's, but the First Brigade, Sturgis'. The company, attached to the battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Henry Clay Wood, was composed of recruits for the Mounted Riflemen and First and Second Dragoons. If it is the wish to be strictly accurate, and more in detail, the battalion deployed into line of battle with a strength of 291 men. Cos. B, C, and D, 1st Infantry, numbered 225 men, and had 11 men killed, and 2 officers and 30 men wounded. The company of Rifle and Dragoon recruits numbered 66 men, and had 9 men killed and 1 officer and 24 men wounded. The conflict lasted six and a half hours, etc. Captains Plummer, Gilbert, and Huston, and Lieutenant Wood were mentioned for conspicuous gallantry and highly meritorious conduct from the beginning to the close of the battle; Plummer, Gilbert and Lieutenant Wood being wounded.
I desire to invite attention to an error in the "Historical Sketch of the 7th Infantry," where it says: "At ten o'clock, on the following morning, General
Howard arrived with part of his command, and thus saved from entire annihilation the remainder of the regiment." (Battle of the Big Hole.)
Any officer who had the honor to be present on that occasion knows that General Howard did not arrive until twenty-four hours later than he is represented as appearing on the field; and, creditable as were his efforts to reach the command, it was surgeons, not fighting men, that were needed.
General Howard himself, page 609, Volume I. Report of the Secretary of War, 1877, says: "I was intensely anxious for Gibbon's command till I came in sight of it between nine and ten the next day. (Aug. 11th.) His wagons were near his fortified camp, his men were bathing and washing their clothes at the creek, and the horses grazing quietly in the bottom. There was no sign of an enemy in the vicinity."
General Howard's picture of peace and confidence shows that General Gibbon and his command were not saved from "entire annihilation," but securely resting on a battle-field where they had suffered a greater per centum of loss than that of the Light Brigade at Balaklava, and from which they had driven the enemy after inflicting upon him a loss in killed and mortally wounded, numbering more than Gibbon led into the fight.
As Colonel Anderson, in his historical sketch of the 14th Infantry, does not advert to the combat which took place at the Peach Orchard, Gettysburg, July 4th, and in which his regiment took part—a combat that was continued, later, as " picket-firing "—a few pertinent facts may not come amiss.
Pretty early in the forenoon Of July 4th, the First Regular Brigade, under Gen. H. Day, was ordered to the front, to "feel" the enemy: leaving the position occupied during the 3d, in rear of the Little Round Top, by the road leading to the Orchard, the column, just before reaching the Wheat Field, was deflected to the right to secure the shelter of the woods; reaching the outer end of the woods the brigade was formed in two lines—the first, composed of the 3d, 4th and 6th Infantry, commanded by Captain (now colonel) Bootes, and the second, composed of the 12th and 14th Infantry, I think, by Major Giddings, and, covered by Captain Thatcher's Co. of the 14th, advanced in this order toward the Emmittsburg Turnpike—the skirmishers penetrating the Peach Orchard, the first line halting at its edge, and the second, in the open space intervening.
Stray bullets had been falling amongst the troops before leaving the woods --One wounding Lieutenant Crowley, 4th Infantry-and as soon as the skirmishers emerged from its shelter, a brisk exchange of fire began, which was kept up for about an hour, after halting; men detached from the flank companies of the 6th and 14th, meanwhile replying to the fire from the left, opened by covering parties of the enemy, ensconced behind stone walls and small redan shaped shelters made of stones and fence rails.
About 11 o'clock, finding the lines exposed to enfilading artillery, the brigade was ordered to retire which it did under fire from a rebel battery posted
near the Fairfield road, and which was answered by the Federal battery on Little Round Top—this being the last artillery firing at Gettysburg. Almost reaching its original position, the column faced about and proceeded to establish a "picket line"—really a line of skirmishers in groups—along the edge of the woods to the left of the Wheat Field, through the "Devil's Den," and along the open crest of Plum Creek, between the two Round Tops. As soon as the rain, which had been falling in torrents, ceased, picket firing began, which lasted till after dark, the 14th Infantry, if not the last, certainly among the last, who fired upon the enemy at Gettysburg.
During the night of the 4th the last Confederates left, and early on the morning of the 5th a skirmish line was advanced—Benedict's Company of the 4th, and Company "I," 6th Infantry, being part of the force from the "Devil's Den" to a point beyond the Emmittsburg Turnpike, and near the Fairfield road, a force of Confederate cavalry and artillery being reported in sight on the latter road.
|1790-1795.||War with Northwest Indians, Miamis, Wyandots, Delawares, Pottawatomies, Shawnees, Chippewas and Ottawas, September 1790, to August 1795.|
|1791-1794.||Whiskey Insurrection in Pennsylvania.|
|1806.||Sabine Expedition, Louisiana.|
|1811-1813.||War with Northwest Indians, November, 1811, to October, 1813.|
|1812.||Seminole disturbances, Florida.|
|1812-1815.||War with Great Britain, June 18, 1812, to February 17, 1815.|
|1813-1814.||Creek Indian War, Alabama.|
|1817-1818.||Seminole or Florida War, November 20, 1817, to October 31, 1818.|
|1823.||Campaign against Blackfeet and Arickaree Indians, Upper Missouri, River.|
|1827.||Le Fèvre Indian War, or Winnebago Expedition, Wisconsin (no fighting), June to September, 1827.|
|1832.||Black Hawk War, April 26, to September 21, 1832.|
|1835-1842.||Seminole or Florida War, December 28, 1835, to August 14, 1842.|
|1836-1837.||Creek disturbances in Alabama, May 5, 1836, to September 30, 1837.|
|1836-1837.||Southwestern Frontier (Sabine) disturbances Louisiana and Arkansas (no fighting), April, 1836, to June, 1837.|
|1836-1839.||Cherokee disturbances and removal.|
|1838-1839.||New York, Aroostook and Canada (Patriot War) Frontier disturbances (no fighting.)|
|1846-1848.||Mexican War, April 24, 1846, to May 30, 1848.|
|1846-1847.||New Mexico Expedition, June 30, 1846, to February 13, 1848.|
|1848.||Cayuse War, Oregon, Oregon Volunteers.|
|1849-1861.||Navajo troubles, New Mexico.|
|1849-1861.||Continuous disturbances with Comanches, Cheyenne, Lipan, and Kickapoo Indians in Texas.|
|1850.||Pitt River Expedition, California, April 28, to September 13, 1850.|
|1851-1852.||Yuma Expedition, California, December, 1851, to April, 1852.|
|1851-1856.||Rogue River, Yakima, and Klikitat Indian Wars in Oregon and Washington.|
|1855.||Winnas Expedition against Snake Indians, Oregon, May 24, to September 8, 1855.|
|1855.||Sioux Expedition, Nebraska Territory, June to October, 1855.|
|1855.||Yakima Expedition, Washington Territory, October 11, to November 24, 1855.|
|1855-1856.||Cheyenne and Arapahoe troubles.|
|1855-1857.||Seminole or Florida War, December, 1855, to September, 1857.|
|1857.||Gila Expedition, New Mexico, April 16, to September 16, 1857.|
|1857-1858.||Kansas Border troubles.|
|1858.||Expedition against Northern Indians, Washington Territory, July 17, to October 17, 1858.|
|1858.||Puget Sound Expedition, Washington Territory, August 10, to Sept. 23, 1858.|
|1858.||Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and Paloos Indian troubles, Washington Territory.|
|1858.||Navajo Expedition, New Mexico, September 9, to December 25, 1858.|
|1858-1859.||Wichita Expedition, Indian Territory, September 11, 1858, to December, 1859.|
|1859.||Colorado River Expedition, California, February 11, to April 28, 1859.|
|1859.||Pecos Expedition, Texas, April 16, to August 17, 1859.|
|1859.||Antelope Hills Expedition, Texas, June 10, to September 23, 1859.|
|1859.||Bear River Expedition, Utah, June 12, to October 18, 1859.|
|1859-1860.||Cortina troubles on Texas and Mexican border.|
|1860.||Kiowa and Comanche Expedition, Indian Territory, May 8, to October 11, 1860.|
|1860.||Carson Valley Expedition, Utah, May 14, to July 15, 1860.|
|1860-1861.||Navajo Expedition, New Mexico, September 12, 1860, to February 24, 1861.|
|1861-1890.||Apache Indian War and troubles in Arizona and New Mexico.|
|1861-1866.||War of the Rebellion, April 19, 1861, to August 20, 1866. Actual hostilities, however, commenced upon the firing on Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861, and ceased by the surrender of the Confederate forces under General Kirby Smith, May 26, 1865.|
|1862-1867.||Sioux Indian War in Minnesota and Dakota.|
|1863-1869.||War against the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas and Comanche Indians in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Indian Territory.|
|1865-1868.||Indian War in Southern Oregon and Idaho, and Northern California and Nevada.|
|1865-1866.||Fenian Raid, New York. and Canada Border disturbances.|
|1867-1881.||Campaign against Lipan, Kiowa, Kickapoo and Comanche Indians and Mexican Border disturbances.|
|1868-1869.||Canadian River Expedition, New Mexico, November 5, 1868, to February 13, 1869.|
|1871.||Yellowstone Expedition, August 2S, to October 25, 1871.|
|1872-1873.||Modoc Campaign, November, 1872, to June, 1873.|
|1873.||Yellowstone Expedition, Dakota, June 4, to October 4, 1873.|
|1874-1875.||Campaign against Kiowas, Cheyennes, and Comanche Indians, in Indian Territory, August 1, 1874, to February 16, 1875.|
|1874.||Sioux Expedition, Wyoming and Nebraska, February 13, to August 19, 1874.|
|1874.||Black Hills Expedition, Dakota, June 20, to August 30, 1874.|
|1874.||Big Horn Expedition, Wyoming, August 13, to October 10, 1874.|
|1875.||Expedition against Indians in Eastern Nevada, September 7, to 27, 1875.|
|1876.||Powder River Expedition, Wyoming, November 1, to December 31, 1876.|
|1876-1877.||Big Horn and Yellowstone Expedition, Wyoming and Montana, February 17, 1876, to June 13, 1877.|
|1876-1879.||War with Northern Cheyenne and Sioux Indians, in Indian Territory, Kansas, Wyoming, Dakota, Nebraska, and Montana.|
|1877.||Labor strikes in Pennsylvania and Maryland, July to October, 1877.|
|1877.||Nez Percez Campaign, June to October, 1877.|
|1878.||Bannock Campaign, May to September, 1878.|
|1878.||Piute Indian troubles, in Nevada and Idaho.|
|1878.||Ute Expedition, Colorado, April 3, to September 9, 1878.|
|1879-1894.||Disturbances of settlers in Indian and Oklahoma Territories, "Oklahoma Boomers," and the Cherokee strip disturbances.|
|1879-1880.||Ute Indian Campaign in Colorado and Utah, September 21, 1879, to November 8, 1880.|
|1885.||Chinese Miner and Labor troubles in Wyoming, September and October, 1885.|
|1890-1891.||Sioux Indian disturbances in South Dakota, November, 1890, to January, 1891.|
|1891-1893.||Garcia troubles, Texas and Mexican Border disturbances.|
|1892.||Miner disturbances in Idaho, July to November, 1892.|
|1894.||"Industrial Army," "Commonwealers," "Coxeyites," and labor disturbances.|
|1894.||Railroad, Pullman and Labor strikes extending from Illinois to Pacific Coast, June to August, 1894.|
|No. of Com-panies Orga-nized.||Killed and Died of Wounds||Aver-age loss per Com-pany||Died of Disease, Accidents, in Prison, etc.||Total Deaths from all causes.||Average per Company|
a. Served on Pacific Coast during the war.
b. Six co's. organized by Oct. 1861. Date of organization of small co's. not known, but all seem to have been organized before the end of the war.
c. Organization of 1st Battalion, completed by October, 1861. Organization of 2d Battalion completed by September, 1862.
d. Organization of 1st Battalion completed in 1861. The other two battalions do not seem to have been organized until after the war.
e. 1st Battalion organized before November, 1861. 2d Battalion organized before December, 1861. 3d Battalion organization seems to have been completed by April, 1862.
f. 1st Battalion organized in 1861. 2d Battalion organized before July, 1862. 3d Battalion (four companies) organized early in 1864.
g. Three battalions--all organized.
h. 1st Battalion organization completed in spring 1862. 2d Battalion only partially organized (two cos.).
i. 1st Battalion organization completed in spring of 1861. 2d Battalion organization completed in summer of 1861. 3d Battalion organization completed in spring of 1862.
j. 1st Battalion organization completed in spring of 1862. 2d Battalion (three companies) partially organized in spring of 1865.
The order for the abandonment of the post was issued by Major Lynde about eight o'clock P.M., on the evening of July 26th, 1861, and was in terms as follows: "In accordance with the orders of the Department Commander, this post will be abandoned this evening." Many of the officers and their families were at supper when they received the order.
They got up from their tables, leaving nearly everything in their houses. Only one or two wagons were allowed each company for officers and men. The laundresses and their children were concentrated in a few wagons at the head of the train. The terms of the order left it beyond the power of the senior officers to dispute it. The command started about one A.M., following the road along the Rio Grande to Las Cruces, and thence easterly to the Organ Mountains, about twenty miles distant, San Augustine Springs being at the foot of the easterly slope, possibly three or four miles from the crest.
Shortly after sunrise, the heat became so oppressive that many of the men fell out of the ranks exhausted. The water in their canteens was soon used up, and the mesquite bushes afforded no protection from the frightful heat. By eleven o'clock there was practically no organized command.
The writer, with I Company, had charge of the train, and succeeded in getting the loaded wagons more than half-way up the mountain. Major Lynde's wagons and those used by the laundresses, being light, got to the Springs early in the afternoon. The mules hauling the loaded wagons, being utterly used up, were unhooked and sent forward to water. I got about a hundred canteens, with which I went forward in an old buggy. Having filled them, I returned and gave them to the half-dazed men stumbling on their way to the Springs.
When I arrived, about half a mile from the crest of the mountain, the head of the mounted Texas force appeared.
I turned back down the mountain with the horses at a run, and found about ten men of my company who had already aligned themselves with the other companies. My recollection is that there were ninety men of the regiment in line. There would have been no question of their resisting to the last man, except that back of them, huddled around the Springs, there were thirty or forty officers' and soldiers' wives and children, who would have been nearly all killed or wounded at the first volley from the Texas forces, so short was the range.
The whole responsibility rested upon Major Lynde for getting the command into the position which made resistance almost impossible. Those in the ranks encumbered by the women and children, the remainder scattered for miles lying dazed on the ground or struggling along the road, all overcome by the terrific heat, were captured by the Texans as they advanced. Space will not allow for more details, nor for any mention of the troops of the Rifle Regiment under command of Captain Alfred Gibbs. The surrender was not due to any want of skill, nerve or discipline on the part of the officers or men of the Seventh Infantry, except their commander; nor was there any time that the second in command, Captain Joseph H. Potter, could have intervened to have arrested Major Lynde up to the time that the surrender was practically complete.
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