"Who is this that looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army with banners?"

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 25, 1862. By boat from New Haven to Fort Monmouth via New York City.

"My Dear Sister, I am on board the "Elm City" about halfway between New Haven and N.Y. We are to land at Jersey City and that is the most we know. Whether we will proceed immediately to Washington or stop there awhile we do not know. [W]e  ... came  on board about six this morning." ~ Joseph Spafford, 1st Lieutenant, Company E, Letter of October 26, 2012

"We arrived [at New Haven] about 11 o'clock and so soon after as we could we embarked on board the steamer Continental for New York. It was a splendid night. The Sound was as smooth as a looking glass and the boat was as steady as though planted on terra firma. We reached New York and landed on the dock and were furnished with breakfast consisting of soup, bread and coffee." ~ Hezron G. Day, Company C, Letter of October 28, 1862

"We arrived at New Haven about 10 o’clock Friday evening and shifted from the cars to the Streamer Continental. Starting from N[ew]H[aven], we arrived in New York City at 8 o’clock Saturday morning. The troops were fed on the wharf, the field and staff at the Astor House, while I took breakfast with Isaac at a restaurant nearby."   ~  Lt. Col. Charles Cummings, Letter No. 1, October 28, 1862 

"Arrived at New Haven at 10:00 P.M. and embarked on board the “Continental” for New York, at 2 A.M.  The weather was warm and pleasant–the “Sound” very smooth, presenting only its glassy side to us as we glided through its watery base.  At New York we were furnished a breakfast by the New England relief Association, a soldier’s benevolent society, supported, I understand, by the New England States."   ~ E. D. Keyes, 1st Lieutenant, Company H. writing as "Duane" to the Bellows Falls Times, published November 7, 1862

" New York , October 27, 1862
"Friend Swain:—Perhaps the thousands of dear ones left behind, may be pleased to hear a voice sent backward from the gallant 16th, on its outward march from the hills and vales of the Green Mountain State to the bloody fields of Virginia.  The Regiment, the last of Vermont’s quota, arrived in this city, onboard of the Continental, at 8 A.M. Saturday under command of Colonel Veazey, and departed at 11 A.M. by the Delaware and Raritan Route, for Washington.  

"A gayer company of “bould sojer boys” it has not been my fortune to see pass through here en route for the war.  The Boys were all in the best of spirits and the most perfect confidence and good feeling seemed to exist between the officers and men.  

"They left here on board of two boats, and as the boat carrying the first detachment was about to leave, the talented and sweet voiced Drum Major of the Regiment, G.M. Clark,* stood upon the upper deck and sang a patriotic song to the admiring crowd upon the wharf.  He was “assisted” in the chorus by the Falstaffian drummer, [of the Springfield Co.—Ed.] who was reported by his comrades to have knocked one of the heads out of his drum in order that he might use it as a trunk!

"Many of the Regiment had friends in New York, who came to bid them welcome and God-speed.  Several ladies were present to greet friends or relatives among the Boys, some of whom received, perhaps, their last kiss from Beauty’s lips.  Father Abraham grant that they may live to receive many more such!  Regrets were expressed by both soldiers and civilians that the Regiment could not remain over until Monday; but orders were imperative, and go it must, as go it did with high hopes and happy hearts to restore the unity of this distracted land.  Some hearts that beat high that day will nevermore bound at the sight of their native hills.  God grant that their blood be not shed in vain." ~ "H. W." to the Bellows Falls Times, published October 31, 1862.

"We were then transferred to two small steamers and were transported down the bay by Staten Island to Port Monmouth, NJ, 20 miles from the city. Our intentions of going to Philadelphia by the Camden and Amboy RR was changed as two regiment, one from NY the other from Maine were on that road. The ride down the bay was remarkably fair, the water being smooth as a pond and 
the weather pleasant. On board the officers were gratuitously furnished with a lunch of cold ham, bread, butter, cheese and apple pie. At Port M, where we arrived at noon. We remained on board the vessels, not a house being in sight (nothing but Neversink Hills in view aside from the railroad which ends in the water/ until after twelve at night, when in the darkness we transferred our men, baggage, and horses to the cars, a dark and irksome job. The occasion of this delay was an accident on the road that day."  ~  Lt. Col. Charles Cummings, Letter No. 1, October 28, 1862 

"We were taken from New York across the Raritan Bay in the steamers Saminend and Alice Price.  The latter was formerly used as a transport to Gen. Burnside’s flagship.  Many thanks are due the proprietors of this route for the nice dinner furnished the officers, and the nice fruit distributed to the soldiers during the passage.  After the repast, short speeches by our worthy Colonel and others were made, and a vote of thanks was rendered by the Chaplin of the Regiment.  On our passage from New York to Fort Monmouth, which is about twenty miles due south, we passed Forts Thompson, Clinton and Lafayette; the latter, situated on an island to the left as we passed down the bay, contains the rebel prisoners of which we have heard so much.  We also passed a steamer from Fortress Monroe, having on board sick and wounded soldiers." ~ E. D. Keyes, 1st Lieutenant, Company H. writing as "Duane" to the Bellows Falls Times, published November 7, 1862

"We were again pushed on to ferry boats and embarked for Monmouth Port. Arriving there we found that there was no car in readiness for us and then for eight mortal hours we waited until we began to think: Uncle Sam had got through wanting us, but they came at last and received us; and a relief it was indeed for we were so crowded on board the boat that we could not lie down to sleep without piling up at least seventeen deep." Hezron G. Day, Company C, Letter of October 28, 1862

*George M. Clark "enlisted as a fifer in Co. "C" of the 16th Reg't Vt. Vols. and served enthusiastically, encouraging other friends to enlist. His genial nature and interesting social qualities soon made him a favorite in camp. He was soon made Sergeant, then Drum Major, Second Lieutenant and detailed as Provost Marshal on the staff of Gen. Stannard." 

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