<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> W. R. Brooks Was Soldierlike

Return to the Main Page

FROM THE 161ST REGIMENT.Headquarters 161st Regt. N.Y.S.V.,Donaldsonville, July 16th, 1863.

(Taken from the Hornellsville Tribune dated August 6, 1863.)

Eds. Tribune:- The 161st has just come out of the hottest contested battles, for the number engaged, that has been fought in the 19th army corps. Our loss has been severe, but God only knows why we escaped as well as we did, or, in fact, were not entirely extinguished as a regiment. The most of your readers have doubtless heard ere this of the casualties and hardships of the 161st before Port Hudson.- We were rejoiced to hear of the Fall of Vicksburg, also at the surrender of Port Hudson to our much beloved Gen. Banks, and were flattering ourselves that our fighting was done, and we could once more see our beloved State, when orders come fro the 161st to be in line at 3 o'clock next morning, and march to a boat at some point on the river to ship forDonaldsonville, some 55 miles below Baton Rouge, where the rebels had made their appearance in considerable force, and some six miles below that point had planted a battery which annoyed our boats in passing up and down the river. We, however, had the pleasure of marching through Port Hudson. A description of which you will get much more explicit than I can give, for we had but little time to examine the place.We left Port Hudson about 8 o'clock that evening, and landed at the place we now occupy, about 10 o'clock, A.M., of the 10th. On the way down we were fired into by rebel infantry, and one man, Sergeant Kerney, Co. G, was severely wounded in the thigh.On Saturday, the 11th, we made a small reonnoissance in force down the Bayou Lafourche, drove in the enemy's pickets, had some fun, and came back to our camp in good spirits.At 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon, the Regiment fell into line and commenced to march down the Bayou. We were joined by the 30th mass. and 174th N.Y. infantry, and a small squadron of cavalry. The cavalry lead the way as skirmishers, and the 161st the advance in column. this was the purpose of finding the position and strength of the rebel's I suppose. We exchanged shots with the rebels as they retreated. We advanced in this way about 6 miles and encamped. At this place we fared sumptuously on fat pigs, chickens, new potatoes, tomatos, ripe figs.Soon after dinner on the 13th we were attacked on the night and center by a heavy force of mounted men and three pieces of artillery coming upon us like a hurricane. For some reason Col. Morgan, commanding a brigade on the opposite sideof the Bayou from us, allowed the enemy to come upon our flanks, and we suffered much from the fire across the Bayou.We had a battery to support, and rebels on the right, left and front to contend with, but held our position with coolness until ordered by the General to retire slowly and fetch off the battery which we did although the fire upon us was most terribly murderous.Below is a list of casualties in this engagement. Killed Private Otis Walker, Co. C.; Corporal Samuel Robinson,Co. H; Private Horace Sibley, Co. H; Sergeant E. W. Thacher,Co. K; Private Erastus Booth, Co. K; Private Adelbert Wilcox,Co. K.WoundedCo. A.- Color Corporal Clinton Wilcox, through face, serious.Co. B.- 1st Lieut. Wm. H. Clark, contusion; Sergeant Wm. Hibbard, flesh wound in both thighs; Corporal B. J. Beals, flesh wound in right thigh; Private G. W. Brown through the head, mortal.Co. C.- Sergeant L. Edgar Fitch, bayonet wound in left foot, slight; Corporal Jas. Maher, flesh wound in abdomen, slight; Corporal S. A. Johnson, right hip, serious; Privates Frank Lettermar, in the neck, slight; Hiram Francisco, flesh wound in hip, slight; Robert Murray, contusion; Hiram Clark, bruise of right arm and side; A. Squires, left shoulder, seriously; J. Kyrk, right thigh; Private Joseph Seymour, missing.Co. - 1st Lieut. J.M. Cadmun, through the face, seriously; 1st Sergeant O.H. Smith, in both arms; 2nd Sergeant L. Losey, through the neck and left shoulder seriously; 5th Sergeant Bradford Sanford, flesh wound in nose; Privates Luman Philley, in right leg; Jas. F. Borden, in left shoulder, seriously; D. G. Bryant, flesh wound in both buttock; Geo. F. Blakesly, contusion, right arm; O.C. Boorman, contusion left arm. Missing- A.O. Gennings.Co. E- Corporal Geo. W. Edgett, left shoulder; Corporal Henry Smith, in arm; Privates LeRoy Broderick, in left side; Geo. N. Dates, in nose. Missing- Privates G. W. Johnson, L. Redner, and Jas. Abbott.Co. F.- Privates Stephen S. Reed, in head and shoulder; Wm. T. Davison, in head; R. Herog in thigh.Co. G.- Sergeant Thos. McCullough, in right thigh; Privates Andrew Sullivan, in left arm; Patrick E. Brown, in left foot; Austin O'Melia, in right leg; Missing - Private Wm. Slagel.Co. H.- Corporal Franklin Waight, in head; Roswell Miller, in left thumb; Calvin Dibble, in hand. Private John Rose, missing.Co. I.- Not in the engagement. Doing provost duty in Baton Rouge;

Co. K.- Sergeant W. R. Sliter, in left thigh; Sergeant Watson, severely in leg; Privates H. H. Storrs, in left hip; Wm. Weaver, missing; Hiram Gridley, Prisoner.

I would say for the information of the friends in Hornellsville, of Wm. R. BROOKS, that he did his duty soldierlike and came out unharmed.

Also Morgan Mara stood to his post and kept in line in the hottest fire. Madison Collier, that all the Rebs in Dixie can't scare, stood and loaded, and fired, and laughed and said, "come on, Rebs, Mat wants to see you." Otis Smith, of Bath, first Sergeant of Co. D, fought bravely, and had both arms above the wrist pierced with a minnie ball, and retired with great reluctance from the field. It was supposed he would have to lose one arm, but one of the company has just arrived from Baton Rouge, and says the doctor says he can save both. He feels well and walks about the camp.Quarter-Master Brown came out, but lost two baggage wagons and I lost all my baggage. Major Strawn stood the balls without trembling while under the hottest fire. he is cool in battle. He has resigned, and you will see him no doubt among you, soon.

Lieu. L.D. Hathaway.