137th Regiment Infantry
Historical Sketch by Surgeon John M. Farrington
(Source: New York at Gettysburg, page 936-950
Published by the State of New York 1902)

(Ed Note: Reader be aware, this is long)

This regiment was organized at Binghamton, N. Y., from recruits enlisted in the Twenty-fourth senatorial district. Four companies were raised in Broome, three in Tioga, and three in Tompkins counties. The regiment was mustered into the United States service September 25, 1862, and left for the seat of war two days afterwards. Capt. David Ireland, of the Fifteenth United States Infantry, who was recruiting in Binghamton, was appointed colonel of the regiment, and Koert S. Van Voorhees, of Ithaca, received the appointment of lieutenant colonel. David Ireland brought to the command such knowledge and experience of military service that by his drill and discipline the regiment rapidly came to the front as one of the most efficient in the service Lieutenant Colonel Van Voorhees had the advantage of several years' service in the New York State Militia, and was an able and accomplished officer. The regiment contained a noble body of men, of splendid physical appearance, most of whom had been reared in the rural districts.

But little need be said of the departure of the regiment from Binghamton, for similar scenes were at that time occurring in many cities and villages of the state, as the boys in blue marched from their camps of organization to the railroads for transportation to the seat of war. These were the times that tried not only men's souls, but with more severity still those of the gentler sex. Deep seated below the cheers and applause which were given to these brave soldier volunteers as they marched through the streets, there was, in many instances, the most profound anguish; for there had been many a sad scene at the homes of these enlisted boys and men when the hour came in which to say good-bye.

The regiment went by special train to Washington via Elmira, Williamsport and Baltimore. We were compelled to ride in freight and on open platform cars; but unlike many other regiments did not lose a man by accident on the route. On reaching Washington we were ordered to Camp Chase, on the opposite side of the Potomac, but before reaching the Long Bridge the order was countermanded, and the regiment was sent to Frederick, Md., by rail.

We remember this locality as our first encampment. It was in a pasture field about half a mile from the city. Every church and most of the public buildings were at that time filled with the wounded brought from the battlefield of Antietam, the fight there having occurred just twelve days previous to our arrival at Frederick. On October 4th we moved to Pleasant Valley, near Maryland Heights, and on the 29th to Harper's Ferry, where we took the Charlestown Pike to Bolivar Heights, about two miles distant, and went into camp. We remained here until the loth of December, 1862. We were not far from the enemy's lines, and for the first time our men did picket duty in the face of the enemy, and some of our boys straying beyond the picket line were captured by Confederate cavalry scouts. While in Pleasant Valley our regiment was assigned to the Twelfth Army Corps, Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum commanding. Our division was the Second, under command of Brig. Gen. John W. Geary. Our brigade, composed of five New York regiments, the Sixtieth, Seventy-eighth, One hundred and second, One hundred and thirty-sevenths and One hundred and forty-ninth, was commanded by Brig. Gen. George S. Greene.

On November 9th we made our first reconnaissance into the enemy's lines, with our division, to Charlestown, Va. General Geary being in command. The troops were much interested in the town because of its notoriety as the place of trial and execution of John Brown. As the regiment was marching by, the writer rode his horse into the Court House, up to the judge's stand, and out at the other front door, much to the amusement of the boys, but also to the unexpressed indignation of the residents, who regarded the act as one of desecration to their hall of justice.

While the troops were halted in the main street of Charlestown another new experience was encountered by our regiment. Some Rebel cavalry had been discovered by our advance, and General Geary ordered the battery to shell the woods to which they had retreated; while the cannon were firing, an orderly came riding rapidly down the line, giving the order "Load." Some of us will never forget how the sound of that order, given for the first time under such circumstances, stirred our emotions. We marched about four miles beyond Charlestown, driving the Confederates before us. Judging from the appearance of their recently vacated camps their numbers were few. Having accomplished the object of our expedition we returned to camp, taking with us some prisoners, contraband and beef cattle.

The site of our camp at Bolivar had been continuously occupied by Union or Confederate troops from the very beginning of the war. The result was that the soil, saturated with the germs of disease, made our camp a pestilential one. Soon we were visited with a grave and extensive epidemic of typhoid fever, and our regimental sick list increased rapidly until it reached 200. It became necessary to send the most severe cases to the general hospital at Harper's Ferry, where, on one day, four of our men died from this disease. During the last four weeks of our stay at Bolivar Heights there were nearly 400 cases of typhoid fever, and scarcely a day passed without a death in camp.

December 2nd General Geary took the division out again. On this occasion we penetrated the enemy's country as far as Winchester, being five days on the trip. The details of this expedition would, if reported, be interesting but want of space forbids their inse down here. One incident the writer will be pardoned for publishing, as he was one of the chivalrous party. On leaving Winchester he overheard General Geary say to General Greene, "Let the men have fresh meat." The writer reasoned that if they had fresh meat it must needs be captured, and, spying a cow in the streets as we were marching out, he tried to drive the animal to the head of our line; but "bossy" was not disposed to join the Union Army, and so with head and tail erect she " bolted," and had not reinforcements arrived she would have escaped capture. But Major Willoughby and Chaplain Washburn, were also mounted, recognizing the benevolent design of the surgeon galloped to his aid. The, cow surrendered. The prisoner was escorted to the head of the regiment, where the boys, being experienced cow-drivers, took her in charge. But, alas! the power of example was too well illustrated; for after that every cow &long the side of the road was driven from her inclosure and added to the number until a respectable drove was secured. Yet even then all would have gone on well had not General Greene, unfortunately for us, ridden back along the line and discovered the horned recruits to his command. The general was a "West Pointer" and a severe disciplinarian. Mortified and indignant at our action he ordered the animals liberated, much to the regret of the troy', who already were enjoying beefsteak in anticipation. We lost the game but had the name, for the lieutenant colonel, who was quite a wag, wrote home to his good wife; "Life in the army is very demoralizing, for I have seen this very day a Methodist class leader, a Presbyterian deacon and a Baptist preacher steal a cow." And the next issue of the Richmond Inquirer announced that "Border Ruffian Geary has been to Winchester and teas stolen the poor widow's last cow."

The regiment went to Bolivar Heights, November 1st 1,000 strong; it marched from there, December 10th with 650 pale, jaundiced, and enfeebled men We left 110 men in camp who were too feeble to march, and who were transferred from there to general hospital after the regiment had left. The remaining survivors of the regiment were absent, sick in hospital, or had been discharged from the service direct from the general hospital So depressing had been the influence of our pestilential camp that there was scarcely a well man in the regiment; but on the march, with better surroundings, the health of the regiment rapidly- improved.

We marched with the entire Twelfth Corps through Loudoun Valley, Leesburg, Gum Springs, Fairfax Court House, and on to Dumfries. We were within twenty-five miles of Fredericksburg, whence we had heard the roll of artillery the day previous from the battle then in progress. Early in the morning of the 17th we received order. to be ready to march at a moment'' notice, expecting that we were to advance as a reserve for General Burnside; but it was noon when the order came to move. Then it was to countermarch; and it began to be evident to us that the battle of Fredericksburg had not resulted in a Union victory We marched to near Fairfax Station, where we made Our amp on the 19th The First Brigade of our division was left at Dumfries to hold the town The march to and from Dumfries to Fairfax Station was made through the deepest of mud; the wagons mired, and the animals becoming exhausted, balked. Our journey was very slow, and we were bespattered with mud from head to foot.

On the 27th we received orders to move, and marched at 9 p. m. The night was as dark and the teams were much delayed. We learned that the enemy had attacked the brigade left at Dumfries in such force that Colonel Candy had called {or reinforcements, and that we were being sent to his relief. We crossed the Occoquan River on the 28th and after marching some three or four miles beyond, halted for dinner. While the troops were resting General Slocum with his body guard rode by. The general halted a moment and passed some words with Colonel Ireland, who was in the rear of our line of march. As the general passed the regiment our boys all arose and gave him three rousing cheers, which, of course, brought off his hat. He was in full dress uniform, and thus & shining mark for the enemy, who, as subsequent events proved, was much nearer than we supposed, for in a few minutes we heard the crack of rifles, and the general and his staff came galloping back, pursued by Rebel cavalry upon whom they had suddenly ant unexpectedly ridden. Instantly the order, " Forward double quick" was given, and the men of our regiment, which was in the advance, jumped upon their feet, slung their knapsacks, capping their pieces as they ran, and, under the command of Colonel Ireland, went splendidly into line, and hurriedly through the woods in the direction in which the enemy's cavalry had retreated. At the same time our artillery was pieced in position and served with promptness and rapidity. Afterwards we learned that the force which had been in our front was a small detachment of a large cavalry force under the command of Stuart and Fitzhugh Lee wins, failing in their attack on Dumfries, were now making one of their characteristic raids. About an hour before meeting us they had encountered and overpowered a small force of the Second and Seventeenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. They crossed the Orange and Alexandria Railroad after leaving us, and captured the telegraph operator at Bealeton Station, and played the "dickens" generally ally with the wires, sending and receiving dispatches from Washington and elsewhere, after which they cut the wires and attempted to go to Fairfax Court House, hut were repulsed by the Vermont regiments stationed there.

We arrived in camp near Fairfax Station, December 30th, and remained there until January 19, 1863 The promptness, coolness, and efficiency of the One hundred and thirty-seventh regiment on the 28th, gave it a reputation that was never afterwards impaired, but enhanced by further service on more important occasions as its subsequent history will show. We left camp at 4 p. m. on the 19th; our regiment being rear guard was the last to move, Our course was towards Dumfries, and the second night out we were nearly drowned by a downpour of rain from which it we' impossible for us to protect ourselves fully and marching in the rain the next day' just filled our cup of woe.

On reaching the dismal town of old Dumfries we found ourselves in even a worse plight than we were on our former visit there. We entered Dumfries on the 21st, and the following day were ordered on, notwithstanding the feet that the mud we' so deep in some places that the teams and the wagons were almost submerged. But the orders from the commanding general were that the wagons must go through, even should it be necessary to throw out everything the, contained. These orders were literally obeyed. Never before did the writer witness such shouting at, and lashing of teams as took place that day. The men were compelled to wade through the mud, and succeeded in making but five miles of progress. On the ,4th we reached Stafford Court House where General Sigel had his headquarters; but his corps, the Eleventh, had received marching orders at the same time that we did, and had gone, most of them, to join Burnside. The next morning our brigade alone received marching orders, the main body of the corps remaining at Stafford Court House, where General Slocum established his headquarters, After marching about seven miles we came suddenly in sight of the Potomac River and the mouth of Aquia Creek. We encamped on a hillside just south of the railroad, which ran from Aquia Creek Landing to Falmouth opposite Fredericksburg. This railroad conveyed all of the supplies to the Army of the Potomac February 7th we moved to a new camp about half a mile further south on the banks of the Potomac. This camp was put in excellent order for winter quarters. Log huts with fire-places and berths were constructed, making the quarters quite homelike Just before moving to this camp we received our first visit from the paymaster, who paid us, however, only to October 31st.

April 10th we marched to Stafford Court House, and, with the Army of the Potomac, were reviewed by President Lincoln The President was accompanied by Mrs. Lincoln. who rode in a carriage, and by one of his sons, who rode on a small pony After the review the President to ok the cars at Brooke's Station for the Landing, and from there a steamer for Washington, midst the screeching of steam whistles, ringing of{ bells, etc. The visit of the President foreshadowed a forward movement; for the next day, at 9 a m., we heard the roar of artillery and the rattle of musketry at the front, both of which increased in volume for some time. Then a courier rode rapidly to our brigade headquarters, and we were ordered under arms and ready to move at a moment 's notice. At last the firing ceased, but we were kept in readiness to move until 4 p. m., when we were dismissed. On the 14th we received orders to move. The troops of the entire army had been provided with eight days' ratio" and eighty rounds of cartridges. We expected to move on the morning of the 15th but the rain came down in torrents and in consequence we did not move, Soon after this we received white stars cut, out of flannel to wear upon our hats or caps. The star was the badge of the Twelfth Corps, and the color designated the Second Division, that of the First being red. On the 25th the surgeon received orders to send all that were unable to march to the corps hospital The next day we broke camp, and stopped for the night six and one-half miles northwest of Stafford Court House.

On the 29th we crossed the Rappahannock River at Kelly's Ford on a pontoon bridge laid by the Fiftieth New York Engineers, and on Thursday, April 30th, reached Chancellorsville, where we lay for A time in a wood of small growth trees. Here we sorted fire-to cook some fresh beef, but as soon as the smoke arose the enemy sent shells whizzing and bursting down in our midst We promptly changed our bill of fare, put out our fire, and many of us made a discovery that raw beef, well seaweed, is very grateful to the taste of a hungry man. The movements of the regiment the three days following may be described by quoting briefly from the reports of the commanding officers.

General Geary stated chat, "The conduct of Greene's Brigade, May 18th was admirable Although exposed for quite a length of time to the fire of the enemy, where they could neither shelter nor defend themselves, nor return the assault, they bore themselves with the calmness and discipline of veterans." General Greene says officially: "The One hundred and thirty-seventh New York, commanded by Colonel Ireland displayed great coolness and good discipline in all its movements."

On Friday we accompanied the brigade on a reconnaissance, and returned to the position formerly occupied by us. At 10 p. m. we received orders to throw up a small breastwork and cover the front with abattis flay 2nd received orders to move out, but subsequently the order was countermanded, and we returned to our former position, where we remained until Sunday morning May 3d We lay in the trenches for some time under a heavy fire of shot and shell, and then had orders to march out by left flank which we obeyed. During the time the regiment was under fire, the officers and men obeyed all orders promptly, and manifested much coolness and bravery One man caught a shell, the fuse of which was on fire, and threw it over the breastworks. The loss of the regiment in the battle of Chancellorsville was 3 killed, 17 wounded, and 36 missing,­the latter supposed to have been captured by the enemy. Some of the missing were known to have been wounded.

We returned to Aquia Creek Landing, where we remained until June 13th, when we broke camp and began the march which terminated in the battle of Gettysburg. The effective strength of the regiment present for cut at that date was but 525; deaths, desertions, discharges for disability, absence at hospital for sickness or wounds, details on detached service paroled prisoners and the resignations of officers had caused this depletion of the regiment so that only little more than half of those that went out with us were present for duty eight month' after our organization. We passed through Stafford Court House, crossed Aquia Creek, and once more greeted old Dumfries. We were then marched to Fairfax Court House in such a hurried manner that nearly one-half of our men fell out from exhaustion and sixteen were so seriously prostrated it became necessary to send them to general hospital at Washington. We left Fairfax Court House on the 17th, and arrived on the 21st at Edwards Ferry, where we bivouacked on the bluff near a, pontoon bridge that was being laid across the Potomac at that point.

Our regiment was the only one assigned to the duty of guarding the bridge. On the 24th the Third Division of the Eleventh corps came up and remained until night, when the remainder of that corps having arrived they commenced crossing the river; but it was nearly noon on the 25th when the last of the corps had passed over. They were followed immediately by the First Corps, which occupied all the afternoon in crossing' On the same day we saw a large cavalry force passing up the Maryland side of the Potomac A second pontoon was thrown over the river, and at 3 a. m., on the 26th we were ordered up and crossed at 5 a. m., accompanying our corps. We took the road leading to Poolesville, but turning to the left did not pass through it The next day we crossed the Monocacy River at its junction with the Potomac. We marched on the tow-path of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which crosses the river by an aqueduct budge. On the 28th we marched on the road leading to Frederick passing through Jefferson, Centreville, and Eagle Mills.

While halted for dinner General Slocum rode by and told Colonel Ireland that we had a new commander; that General Hooker had tendered his resignation, and General Meade had been placed in command. For once it was evident that President Lincoln had disregarded his expressed rule of action "not to swap horses while crossing a stream." On the 30th we crossed the State line into Pennsylvania, and encamped early in the afternoon on the north side of Littlestown.

On the morning of July 1st we marched to a place on the Baltimore and Gettysburg Pike called Two Taverns, and halted for dinner. About 3 p. m. we heard the cannonading in our advance, and received orders to move as rapidly as possible in the direction of the firing. The First Division turned off to the right and moved towards the field of battle on the east of Rock Creek, and about 4:30 p. m. that division confronted Wolf's HiII, which is east of Culp's Hill and on the opposite side of Rock Creek. On reaching the vicinity of Gettysburg our division, the Second, was sent to the left of our army; but before morning we were moved to the right of our line on the west side of Rock Creek, and took a position on the slope of Culp's Hill, facing eastward towards Rock Creek. Here the men threw up earthworks the best they could without intrenching tools, and here they remained until the end of the fight.

The breastworks were completed about noon of the 2d of July. From that time until 4 p. m. the troops which had arrived were resting quietly, and all was as peaceful and serene as though there were no war in the land, when suddenly an artillery duel, the like of which this continent had never known, burst upon us. Probably nearly 1OO cannon were blazing away, and the roar of the explosions, with the shrieking and whizzing of shells, surpassed all possible description. The writer was, at that time, in a position to see all along the centre of our line, where the artillerymen, midst fire and smoke, were loading and firing as rapidly as they could. All the loose elements of the army, sutlers, hostlers, visitors, etc., were scurrying to the rear as fast as their legs or horses could carry them.

General Greene, in his report of the battle on the night of the 2d, says: "The First Division and the First and Second Brigades of the Second Division were ordered from my right, leaving the intrenchments of Kane's Brigade and Williams' Division unoccupied on the withdrawal of those troops. I received orders to occupy the uhole of the intrenchments previously occupied by the Twelfth Army Corps with my brigade. The movement was commenced, and the One hundred and thirty-seventh Regiment on my right was moved into the position vacated by Kane's Brigade. Before any further movement could be made we were attacked on the whole of our front by a large force, a few minutes before 7, and the enemy made four distinct charges, which were effectually resisted. About 8 p. m. the enemy appeared on our right flank in the intrenchments from which Williams' Division had been withdrawn, and attacked the right flank of the One hundred and thirty-seventh New York. Colonel Ireland withdrew his right, throwing back his line perpendicular to the intrenchments in which he had been in position and presenting his front to the enemy in their new position. The officers and men behaved admirably during the whole of the contest. Colonel Ireland was attacked on his flank and rear. He changed his position and maintained his ground with skill and gallantry, his regiment suffering very severely."

Colonel Ireland, in his report of the battle, thus alludes to the officers who were killed: "Captain Gregg with a small squad of men charged with the bayonet the enemy that were harassing us most, and fell mortally wounded, while leading and cheering on his men. Captain Williams I had thanked for his coolness and courage but a short time before he fell. Lieutenant Van Emberg, acting adjutant, was everywhere conspicuous for his bravery, and fell while cheering his men. Lieutenant Hallett fell doing his duty." Our regiment's loss was 40 killed, 87 wounded, and 1O missing. The Confederate force against which our regiment and brigade fought was Johnson's Division of "Stonewall" Jackson's old corps, then commanded by General Ewell.

In a work published by Col. William F. Fox, entitled "Regimental Losses in tue Civil War," he states in regard to the One hundred and thirty-seventh New York as follows: "This regiment won special honor at Gettysburg, then in Greene's Brigade, which held Culp's Hill during a critical period of that battle against desperate attacks of a vastly superior force. The gallant defence of Culp's Hill by Greene's Brigade, and the terrible execution inflicted by its musketry on the assaulting column of the enemy form one of the most noteworthy incidents of the war."

General Geary reported that 900 of the enemy's dead lying in our front were buried by our troops, and a large number were left unburied, as marching orders were received before the work was completed.

There was a heavy fall of rain on the 5th. The troops received marching orders, and we went as far as Littlestown, where we remained until 4 a. m., on the 7th, when we marched to Walkersville, a distance of twenty-six miles. On the 8th we passed through Frederick, and halted for the night at Jefferson. On the way we passed by a tree from which was hanging by the neck a Rebel spy. He was caught in Buford's cavalry camp, getting information that would enable him to lead a Rebel force to capture our supply train. Abundant evidence of his guilt was found upon him, and he was prornptly executed. His body had been hanging for three days and was enormously bloated, his face presenting a horrid appearance. Our boys, nevertheless, identified him as the fellow that visited our camp at Bolivar as a peddler selling song books, and they were so elated to know that he had at last been detected and his treacherous carecr brought to an end, that they broke forth singing as we marched by, "And everything is lovely and the goose hangs high."

From Jefferson we crossed South Mountain at Crampton's Pass. On the Ioth marched to Rohrersville, on the 11th to Fair Play and Jones's Cross Roads. On the 12th our regiment was sent out as skirmishers, and several batteries were also moved out in the direction from which we heard cannonading on our right. The troops and artillery were astir and moving all night; trees were cut down and breastworks built. At 8 p. m., on the 13th, our line had fallen back behind the intrenchments built by our regiment the day previous. On the 14th received orders to move at 7 a. m., but did not move at all that day. At 1O:30 a. m., Generals Geary and Greene came riding by with the news that General Lee had, during the night, crossed the river with his entire army. On the 15th our whole army was in motion. Our regiment marched fifteen miles and camped at Sandy Hook, and the next morning moved to Pleasant Valley, is where we went into camp about half a mile from our former camp in October, 2 1862 We spent the 16th in preparing pay and muster-rolls, and on the 17th crossed the Potomac to Harper's Ferry. We again entered the Loudoun Va]ley and camped at Hillsboro, where we remained until the 20th. So long a time had elapsed since an opportunity had been afforded us for taking a bath, that we had not only become bronzed by the sun's rays, but begrimed with dirt, while our clothing was both raged and dirty. We improved these few days in camp in a general cleaning up of our persons and garments.

Leaving Hillsboro on the 20th we were constantly on the move until we reached Warrenton Junction the 29th. We left the Junction on the 3Ist and marched from 5 a m. until 6 p. m., when our brigade was detached from the corps, the latter going to Kelly's Ford, while we continued our march southerly. At 9 p. m. we received instructions from General Greene to take our regiment to Kemper's Ford, while the other regiments of the brigade marched on to Ellis's Ford, three mileg farther down the Rappahannock River. We lay down until 2 a. m., August Ist, when we took up our line of march for Kemper's Ford, our camp being back from the river in a piece of woods. Our regiment here had a great amount of picket duty to perform, and a large detail was employed in digging rifle pits down by the river near the ford.* Our camp life at Kemper's Ford was uneventful. The pickets of the Confederates were on the opposite side of the river, and ere long friendly communications were established be tween their piclcets and ours. Newspapers were exchanged, and our boys traded with them coffee for tobacco, until one day they were surprised by a visit from General Geary who, in language more forcible than elegant, forbade our boys fraternizing any more with the "Johnny Rebs" under penalty of severe punishment. On the 15th of September, 1863, we struck tents, drew rations, and at dark moved out of camp on the road, and, marching all night, arrived at Kelly's Ford on the morning of the 16th. After waiting for a pontoon bridge to be laid we crossed the river and marched until 2 p. m. On the 17th we marched at 7 a m., and at noon established camp in the vicinity of Raccoon Ford on the Rapidan.

On the 18th our regiment witnessed for the first time a military execution. Two deserters from our division were shot. The usual formal details were observed, and the sad and terrible scene will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it. On the march to Gettysburg in June, before crossing the Potomac, three deserters from the First Division were executed in the presence of the Twelfth Army Corps, our regiment perhaps alone excepted, we happening to be in the rear that day in the line of march, and these men were exe cuted and buried before our arrival. We saw their new-made graves as we marched by. One of these boys had been pardoned by the President, but the courier intrusted with the reprieve arrived too late, though his horse was covered with foam as he rode up just after the fatal volley had been fired, and handed the order to General Slocum. We have not here space to give the details of this pathetic story, and of the expressed sadness of President Lincoln, when he handed to the grief-stricken and waiting father, the despatch from General Slocum that the pardon arrived a few minutes too late.

*From August 7, 1863 until the close of the war and the mustering out of the regiment, the writer is indebted chiefly for all that is hereafter recorded to Rev. Oscar L Severson, Capt Wm. H. Bristol, and to the official records.

We took up the line of march for Bealton Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, on the 24th of September, where on the 28th we were put in ordinary freight cars, with rough boards for seats, and rode to Alexandria, arriving there just before dark. Marching over the Long Bridge to Washington, we remained there about four hours, and then left on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, passing through Harper's Ferry, Martinsburg, Cumberland and Grafton to Bellair, Ohio, where we remained over night. Next morning, boarding the cars, we passed through Columbus, Dayton and Indianapolis to Jeffersonville, Ind. After crossing the Ohio River at Louisville, we took the cars to Nashville, Tenn., arriving October 6th, and remained there until the 22d.

The journey by rail occupied nine days, and was perhaps the greatest movement of a large body of troops from one department to another that was ever made. The soldiers enjoyed it greatly, notwithstanding the unpleasant features of being crowded in box cars and cramped in uncomfortable quarters, for it was a blessed change from the monotony of camp life and the weariness of hard marches. But the most cheering feature of the journey was the cordial and demonstrative greetings given us by the people all along the route, both by day and by night. It was a constant ovation, not of applause alone, but what was more substantial and still better appreciated, the unlimited supply of hot coffee, and all kinds of choice food and fruits. The school children gathered at the station where we were waiting, and sang patriotic songs. It was on the eve of the election in Ohio, and one of the songs that seemed to be a very popular one with them ran thus:

"The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with Vallandigham and up with Johnny Brough."

Leaving Nashville, October 22d, we moved to Bridgeport on the Tennessee River, which we crossed on a pontoon bridge. Marching over a spur of the Cumberland Mountains we entered a narrow valley called Lookout Valley, through which ran the railroad, then in possession of the enemy. Without serious trouble we gained possession of the mountain passes and railroad. We stopped for the night at Shellmound, visited Nick-a-jack Cave, where we captured a few prisoners and destroyed the saltpetre works. We resumed our march around the foot of Raccoon Mountain, and went into camp.

On the 28th we entered Lookout Valley, with the famous Lookout Mountain before us, under whose frowning brow we marched all the afternoon. From the mountain we could see the enemy signal, notifying General Bragg of our approach. At night we made the usual camp fires to prepare a soldier's meal, and gave ourselves over to sleep. The enemy saw our camp fires from the mountain, noticed the long interval between us and the advance forces, and resolved to make a night attack and capture our small brigade.

At midnight our picket at Lookout Creek was surprised and captured, our camp was alarmed by the firing on the picket line, and we were hastily formed in line of battle; but as nothing further occurred, and quiet was restored, we were permitted to lie down on our arms, an order which the men cheerfully obeyed. But before sleep came, the enemy, who had silently approached our camp, guided by our camp fires, poured a terrific volley through our line. In great haste we formed in line of battle under a severe and continuous fire from the enemy, who were in our very camp, and for three hours the battle raged in great fury in the darkness of the night.

General Geary states in his official report that: "The One hundred and thirty-seventh New York on the left fought the overreaching right of the enemy by part of them fighting back to back with the other part;" and that "the Hampton Legion, 1,600 strong, had penetrated to the Kelly's Serry Road, about seventy rods to the left, and while marching by the flank was attacked by two companies of the One hundred and thirty-seventh, under Adjutant Mix, moved around at right angles, and they were thrown in confusion by our sudden assault, and the advantage on our side being followed up, they were hastily driven back, leaving a number of killed and wounded in the woods to the left and rear of our line." Colonel Ireland who was in command of the brigade states that "the conduct of the officers and men of the One hundred and thirty-seventh New York during the action was truly heroic. They took position while under heavy musketry fire, and held that position throughout the engagement. When the enemy attempted to turn their flank not a man wavered, but by steady and well-directed fire drove the enemy back at every attempt they made to charge. Before the close of the action the cartridges were all expended, but by sending to the hospital and cutting the cartridge boxes from the wounded and the dead, they had a supply until the close of the action. When the firing ceased there were but 200 cartridges in the regiment. Of their bravery and good conduct during the engagement I need only mention, that of the whole number killed and wounded in the brigade, 105, 90 were of this regiment; there were none missing."

General Greene having been wounded early in the fight, the command of the brigade devolved upon Colonel Ireland. Lieutenant Colonel Van Voorhees immediately took command of the regiment, soon after which he was wounded; but, notwithstanding, he continued his duties as commander until the close of the action, when Captain Eldredge took command of the regiment.

An amusing incident occurred while the battle was in progress. The supply train was corralled in the rear of our camp; the mules became panic stricken and broke from their fastenings, and made a dash for liberty. The rattle and clatter of their chains, and the noise accompanying their stampede, struck terror into the hearts of the enemy, who in the darkness supposed it was a heavy reinforcement of cavalry, and the " Johnnies " broke and ran for their lives. The quartermaster subsequently in making his report recommended that these brave mules be breveted horses for gallantry and meritorious services on the field in face of the enemy. The One hundred and thirty-seventh Regiment had 15 officers and 353 men present, and of this number 15 men were killed and 3 officers and 72 men were wounded.

Before daylight on the 24th of November, in company with Geary's Division, we marched to Wauhatchie Creek, where a temporary bridge had been constructed over an old mill-dam on which we crossed and began to climb Lookout Mountain. Our regiment was in the first line of battle, and near the centre After the right of the line had reached a point near the palisades on the top of the mountain, we commenced a forward movement, and soon came upon the enemy, and their first volley killed 2 and wounded several of our regiment. We then moved forward as rapidly as possible, which was very difficult on account of the deep ravines, large boulders, brush and briers which obstructed our movements; but we moved faster than the enemy and captured a large number of them as we came to an opening on the side of the mountain.

Near the Craven House we encountered the enemy in larger force, behind breast works, and with two pieces of artillery. Captain Eldredge, who was in command of the regiment at this time, gave the command, "Halt! fix bayonets! charge!" which order was quickly obeyed. Captain Eldredge was the first man to mount the works, followed by the whole regiment. We captured quite a number of prisoners, swept the regimental flags over the captured cannon, passed our prisoners to the rear, and hastened forward to about five rods beyond the Craven House where we found that the enemy had been reinforced, and they arrested our advance. We were relieved in the afternoon by the Seventh Ohio, but remained on the field all night, and the following morning buried our dead. Then, with Hooker's command, we marched through Chattanooga Valley to Missionary Ridge, and took part in its capture. We followed the enemy towards Ringgold, and camped near Peavine Creek.

On the 27th we found the enemy in force on Taylor's Ridge, just back of Ringgold, with artillery in the gap, which was served with destructive force upon our advance. We were ordered to charge across an open field to silence the battery, which we did, but with a loss of 7 men. We remained here but a short time after driving the enemy from this stronghold, and then returned to our camp on Raccoon Mountain. These movements had been a severe test to our endurance. Starting out with three days' rations in cold weather and remaining six days, much of the time under great excitement, when reaction came on we found ourselves badly used up.

Captain Eldredge commanding the regiment states officially: "The men pressing eagerly forward drove the enemy from their breastworks, and some of our men getting so near that after firing their pieces they threw stones at the enemy. Where all did so nobly, it would perhaps be unjust to mention individual instances of bravery, but I cannot refrain from mentioning the names of the color bearers. Jesse A. Brink, Company H; John Barnard, Company D; and George Perkins, Company B, who have so gallantly carried our flag always in advance. When Sergeant Brink fell mortally wounded, Private George Perkins nobly filled his place, and carried the colors until our return to camp."

In April, our corps number was changed from the Twelfth to the Twentieth, the Eleventh Corps having been consolidated with the Twelfth, and General Hooker placed in command of the new corps. Our brigade was strengthened by the addition of the Twenty-ninth and One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania, and an additional division was added to the corps, the Third, commanded by Gen. Daniel Butterfield. Ex-President Harrison, then Colonel Harrison, commanded a brigade in the Third Division.

We left Wauhatchie January 4, 1864, and marched via Kelly's Ferry, Shellmound, and Bridgeport to Stevenson, Ala., arriving there on the 7th, and remained there doing provost duty until May 2, 1864, when we broke camp and started on the Atlanta campaign. On the morning of the 15th we marched towards the enemy's right at Resaca, Ga., and forming in columns of regiments slowly approached his works, being more or less under fire. Our regiment was formed on the right of the Seventy-eighth New York, and was ordered by General Geary to charge and carry a fort in our immediate front. The regiment started, but was ordered to halt by the colonel commanding the brigade. One officer and 5 enlisted men were wounded. The enemy evacuated at night, and on the morning of the 16th we marched to the Connesauga River which was forded, the men stripping for the purpose. At 5 p. m. we reached the Coosawattie River, and were ferried over in two flat-bottomed boats lashed together.

On the 25th we started at 7:15 a. m., and after marching about five miles the head of the column became engaged with the enemy. Three of our companies were sent out as skirmishers. We advanced to within a short distance of the enemy's works, and were ordered to lie down as we were being heavily shelled, losing 8 men, wounded. On the 15th of June, marched about a mile, and formed in line of battle. Our regiment was in the second line, and on the right of the One hundred and forty-ninth New York. We advanced slowly, keeping in supporting distance of the first line. Going forward about a mile over steep hills and deep ravines, mostly covered with woods, we approached within a short distance of the enemy's fortifications when we were marched by the right flank and became the front line, where a spirited skirmish was going on. Our regiment lost I killed and 14 wounded. On the 16th we lay in breastworks which were built before daylight, skirmishing all day, losing 1 killed and 6 wounded. On the 17th the enemy having evacuated during the night, we started at 5 a. m., marched into their works and made coffee. At 11 a. m. moved forward a short distance, reaching cleared land and formed in line of battle, and while taking our position I man was killed and another wounded. On the 21st we were sent out on a reconnaissance with the One hundred and forty-ninth, advancing about one-fourth of a mile beyond the line of works; we lost 2, wounded. On the 22d moved forward with the One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania, and occupied the hill held by the enemy the previous day, losing I man killed, I officer and 2 enlisted men wounded. On the 27th, formed in line of battle and advanced our breastworks one-fourth of a mile, and took a position under fire; 1 officer slightly, and 1 man severely wounded. Remained here until June 30th, when we were mustered for pay.

On the morning of July 5th, advanced in a southerly direction, halting at 5 p. m. At this point the boys by climbing trees obtained their first glimpse of Atlanta. At 11 a. m., reached Peach Tree Creek. On the 20th we were aroused by a terrific attack of the enemy. We immediately fell in, and while marching by the right flank to form on the right of the One hundred and forty-ninth we came almost directly upon the enemy's line of battle, and received a galling fire while in that position. The regiment, however, held its ground well, but the right wing being in a deep ravine, the position for fighting was not available. Consequently. the regiment fell back about 300 yards and reformed, joined the brigade, and assisted to build temporary breastworks, and this line we held until the conclusion of the battle. Loss, 8 killed, 19 wounded, and 3 missing. On the 21st, we buried our dead. The following day, the enemy having fallen back from his line of works, we marched to within two miles of Atlanta, and halted at 11 a. m. On the 23d marched to the left of the Second Division, and occupied this position until the 27th, when our line being advanced nearer the enemy we moved in the front line, our regiment relieving the troops of the Third Division. We remained in this position furnishing 3 commissioned officers and about 80 enlisted men for picket and fatigue duty until September 2d, at 5 p. m., when we received orders to move forward towards Atlanta, which had been evacuated by the Confederates during the day. About midnight we marched into Atlanta with flying colors, band and drum corps playing, thus ending a tedious campaign of four months, during which time we had marched about 300 miles; our total loss was 79. Officers wounded, 2; men killed, 12; wounded, 62; missing, 3. Colonel Ireland, who commanded the brigade from the time of the wounding of General Greene at the battle of Wauhatchie, was stricken down by disease and died in Atlanta, September 10, 1864, just one week after the occupation of the city by our forces. His body was sent North, and buried in Spring Forest Cemetery at Binghamton, N. Y.

The regiment left Atlanta on the 15th of November, 1864, with Sherman's army, and on that day commenced its historic March to the Sea. The march was an uneventful one, being remarkable for its interesting experiences in foraging rather than in fighting. On reaching the Georgia Central Railroad near Sandersville, the regiment assisted in the novel work of tearing up the track, in heating and twisting the rails, and in otherwise destroying the rail- road property. The division arrived in front of the city of Savannah on the 11th of December, and laid siege to the place. Here we received our first mail since leaving Atlanta. The city was evacuated by the enemy on the 21st and the White Star Division, to which the One hundred and thirty-seventh belonged, entered the city and took formal possession. General Geary made a very complimentary address to our brigade on this occasion, to which Col. Henry A. Barnum, who had succeeded Colonel Ireland in his command, made a happy response. During this campaign the regiment lost 1 killed, 8 wounded, and 4 missing. While at Savannah, a company of recruits which had enlisted for one year's service, joined the regiment and were designated as Company L.

Leaving Savannah, January 27,1865, the regiment, under command of Major Eldredge, moved with the corps on the Carolina campaign, marching northward, arriving at Goldsboro, N. C., on March 25th. During this march the corps forded many rivers and waded through swamps; made long, fatiguing marches in all kinds of weather; foraged on the country; skirmished at times with the enemy; destroyed railroads at various places, and experienced al] the hardships incidental to an active campaign in an enemy's country. The corps was present in the meantime and partially engaged at the battles of Averasborough and Bentonville, in North Carolina .

After encamping two weeks at Goldsboro we resumed our northward and homeward march, passing through Appomattox, Richmond, and the battlefields of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Chancellorsville. At the latter place a detail was made to bury our comrades who fell there in May, 1863, and whose bones were found bleaching where they fell.

Crossing the Rappahannock at United States Ford, and passing through our old camp grounds at Fairfax Station, we arrived at Alexandria on May 19th. On the 24th we marched in the Grand Review at Washington, the final pageant of the war. The regiment was mustered out June 9, 1865, when its long and honorable service was brought to a close, and the scarred and sunbrowned veterans returned to the quiet pursuits of civil life.

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