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THE POTOMAC—CAMPAIGN AND REGIMENTAL.
Major-general Hunter—Then And Now—The 8th Cayalry—General Farns* Worth—General Gamble—Col. Clendenin—General Beyeridge—Major MeDill—The Chaplains—The 12th Cayalry—Col. Voss—Col. Davis—Barker's Dragoons—The. 23d Infantry—General Mulligan—The 39th Infantry—Col. Osborn—Lieut.-colonel Mann—The Sturgis Rifles.
MAJOR-GENERAL DAVID HUNTER has been conspicuous in the earlier campaigns of our army. His birth-place was the District of Columbia. In 1822 he graduated at West Point, and was appointed Second Lieutenant in the infantry, his commission dating July 1, 1822. He was then twenty years of age. He early became identified with Illinois, being placed in command of Fort Dearborn, Chicago, in 1830, where he remained about one year, marrying, meanwhile, Miss Kinzie, "daughter of the first permanent resident of the city." He was regularly promoted 1st Lieutenant of Dragoons, and in 1832 was made Captain of Dragoons, and twice crossed the plains to the Rocky Mountains. In 1836 he resigned his commission and entered business. In 1842 he re-entered the army as paymaster with the rank of Major, which he held when the war began. He was made Colonel of the 3d Regiment U. S. Cavalry, and came prominently into notice at the first battle of Bull Rnn. He was placed in command in the 2d division, and while leading his command was, early in the action, severely wounded. On the 13th of August, 1861, he was commissioned Major-General of volunteers, and in November following superseded General Fremont in command of the Department of Missouri. His failure to push Price to the wall on assuming command, has subjected him to criticism. Subsequently, General Hunter commanded the Department of Kansas
GENERAL HUNTER. 549
with headquarters at Fort Leavenworth. General Halleck sent him the following dispatch recognizing his services at an hour of need. "To you, more than any other man out of this department, are we indebted for our success at Fort Donelson. In my strait for troops to reinforce General Grant, I applied to you. You responded nobly placing your forces at my disposal. This enabled us to win the victory. Accept my hearty thanks."
In March, 1862, he took command of the Department of the South, comprising South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, with headquarters at Hilton Head. The problem of slavery and the war had been early forced upon his attention. He was born amid slavery, and was of the stock of Virginia Hunters, and had been educated in all the conservative teachings of West Point, yet he soon saw that the way to peace was over the grave of slavery, and that never could the country receive the olive branch except from the hands of Victory and Freedom. Undeterred by the experience of his predecessor in Missouri, on the 9th of May, 1862, General Hunter issued a proclamation declaring free all the slaves of rebels within his department. The President, reserving to himself the right to determine the time for such a measure and the responsibility of taking it, revoked the order on the 19th of the same month.
A portion of General Hunter's troops met a severe check at the battle of James Island, where General Benham made an attack, in disobedience of orders from his superior.
General Hunter saw very soon that men of color should not only be made free by military authority, but also enlisted, uniformed, armed and permitted to stand as soldiers of the Union, and so believing he organized negro regiments in his department. For this he and General Phillips were outlawed. As the General-in-Chief of the Confederate armies has recommended the arming of slaves, the Legislature of proud Old Virginia has ordered her Senators to vote for such a law, and the rebel Congress has enacted it. The order of outlawery is here produced as an ancient landmark of the earlier and more knightly days of the "New Nation."
"War Department, Adjutant And Inspector-general's Office,)
Richmond, August 21, 1862. J"
"General Orders, Aro. 60.
"Whereas, Major-General Hunter, recently in command of the enemy's forces on the coast of South Carolina, and Brigadier-General Phillips, a military commander of the enemy in the State of Louisiana, have organized negro slaves for military service against their masters, citizens of this Confederacy:
"And, Whereas, The Government of the United States has refused to answer an inquiry whether said conduct of its officers meets its sanction, and has thus left to this government no other means of repressing said crimes and outrages than by the adoption of such measures of retaliation as shall serve to prevent their repetition:
"Ordered, That Major-General Hunter and Brigadier-General Phillips be no longer held and treated as public enemies of the Confederate States, but as outlaws; and that in the event of the capture of either of them, or that of any other commissioned officer employed in drilling, organizing, or instructing slaves, with a view to their armed service in this war, he shall not be regarded as a prisoner of war, but held in close confinement for execution as a felon, at such time and place as the President may order.
"By order, S. Cooper,
"Adjutant and Inspector-General."
Subsequently, General Hunter, in a letter to Dr. Tyng gave his reasons as a soldier for the employment of blacks. In that letter he said:
"But in presence of one great evil, which has so long brooded over our country, the intelligence of a large portion of our people would seemed paralyzed and helpless. Their moral nerves lie torpid under its benumbing shadow. Its breath has been the pestilence of the political atmosphere in which our statesmen have been nurtured, and never, I fear, until its beak is dripping with the best blood of the country, and its talons tangled in her vitals, will the free masses of the loyal States be fully aroused to the necessity of abating the abomination at whatever cost and by whatever agencies.
"This is written, not politically, but according to my profession in the military sense. Looking forward, there looms up a possibility (only too possible) of a peace which shall be nothing but an armistice, with every advantage secured to the Rebellion. Nothing can give us permanent peace but a successful prosecution of the war, with every weapon and energy at our command, to its logical and legitimate conclusion. The fomenting cause of the Rebellion must be abated; the ax must be laid to the root of the upas tree which has rained down such bitter fruit upon our country, before anything like a permanent peace can be justly hoped.
EIGHTH CAVALRY. 551
"Already I see signs in many influential quarters, heretofore opposed to my views in favor of arming the blacks, of a change x of sentiment. Our recent disasters before Richmond have served to illuminate many minds."
Subsequently to being relieved of the Department of the South, General Hunter commanded in the Shenandoah valley, has been President of an important military commission and has rendered other important services to the country.
THE EIGHTH ILLINOIS CAVALRY.
The following is the original roster of the regiment:
Colonel, John F. Farnsworth; Lieutenant-Colonel, William Gamble; Majos, David R. Clendenin; Adjutant, Robert T. Sill; Adjutant 1st Batallion Campbell, W. Waite; Adjutant 2d Battalion, Edmund Gilford; Adjutant 3d Battalion, John Tifield; Quartermaster, Bradley L. Chamberlain; Surgeon, Abner Hard; Assistant Surgeon, Samuel K. Crawford; Chaplain, Lucius C. Matlack.
Co. A—Captain, Patrick G. Jennings; 1st Lieutenant, Bryant Beach; 2d Lieutenant, Nelson L. Blanchard.
Co. B—Captain, Lorenzo H. Whitney; 1st Lieutenant, John G. Smith; 2d Lieutenant, Jacob M. Liglen.
Co. C—Captain, Alpheus Clark; 1st Lieutenant, Daniel D. Lincoln; 2d Lieutenant, John C. Mitchell.
Co. D—Captain, Jacob S. Gerhart; 1st Lieutenant, Henry I. Hotopp; 2d Lieutenant, Carlos H. Verbeck.
Co. E—Captain, Elisha S. Kelly; 1st Lieutenant, Benjamin L. Flagg; 2d Lieutenant, Woodbury M. Taylor.
Co. F—Captain, Reuben Cleveland; 1st Lieutenant, Edward S. Smith; 2d Lieutenant, Alvin P. Granger.
Co. G—Captain, William H. Medill; 1st Lieutenant, George A. Forsyth; 2d Lieutenant, Dennis J. Hynes.
Co. H—Captain, Rufus M. Hooker; 1st Lieutenant, Charles Harrison; 2d Lieutenant, John M. Southworth.
Co. I—Captain, Hiram L, Rapelge; 1st Lieutenant, William H. Sheldon; 2d Lieutenant, John Cool.
Co. K—Captain, Elon J. Farnsworth; 1st Lieutenant, George W. Flagg; 2d Lieutenant, DariuQ Sullivan.
Co. L—Captain, Daniel Dustin; 1st Lieutenant, Amasa E. Dana; 2d Lieutenant, John M. Waite.
Co. M—Captain, John Austin; 1st Lieutenant, Andrew J. Martin; 2d Lieutenant, Ji hn F. Austin.
There is no regiment of which Illinoisans have more frequently spoken with pride than the 8th Cavalry. It comprised much of the elite of the Northwest; young men of education and position, and they have borne their battle-flag from the Fox to the Chickahominy without disgrace.
The regiment was organized at St. CHarles under the Hon. John F. Farnsworth, on the 18th of September, 1861. In October it proceeded to Washington. December, 15th it left Washington for Alexandria and was assigned to General Sumner's division, and constituted a portion of General Richardson's force which went to the Rappahannock in February, 1862. It was kept scouting on this line until General McClellan's army had been embarked for the Peninsula, when it took transports for Shippings Point, at the mouth of York River, where it was debarked May 1st and 2d and joined in pursuit of the retreating rebel force from Yorktown to Williamsburg, where the men saw the first heavy fighting, of which, though under fire, they were spectators rather than active participants. They were among the first to enter Williamsburg, and to carry into it the "old flag." Here one battalion under command of Major John L. Beveridge was sent on a reconnoissance to Jamestown. After leaving Williamsburg, one squadron was detached as escort to General Keyes, commander of 4th corps, and the rest under their gallant Colonel reported to General Stoneman, and were assigned the perilous honor of leading the advance in McClellan's march on Richmond. On the Chickahominy it held a large picket line and skirmished more with the enemy than any other regiment, and more than once was complimented by Generals McClellan and Stoneman. It participated in all the battles of that remarkable campaign and covered in the retreat to Harrison's Landing. In the "seven days' fights" Captain R. M. Hooker, Co. H, was the first man killed. He fell, when the enemy attacked the pickets on the extreme right, but his brave men fought on. The remainder of the regiment came up to reinforce the pickets, and the 8th alone stood against the rebel infantry, for five hours of bloody battle. At Mechanicsville it was hotly engaged. At Gaines Hill it was placed to keep the infantry stragglers in place, and to rally the broken fragments of regiments, which they did in such manner as to secure official approval. ExGovernor Wood was visiting the regiment at this time, and was