Abe Lincoln

HISTORY OF THE
Thirty-Seventh Regt. U.S.C. Infantry

ORGANIZATION IN THE WINTER OF 1863 and '64 TO THE PRESENT TIME WITH LIST OF NAMES OF ALL OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN WHO HAVE EVER BELONGED TO THE REGIMENT, AND REMARKS ATTACHED TO EACH NAME, NOTING ALL CHANGES, SUCH AS PROMOTIONS, TRANSFERS, DISCHARGES, DEATHS, ETC.

BREVET BRIG. GEN. NATHAN GOFF, JR. COMMANDING

PHILADELPHIA: KING & BAIRD, PRINTERS, No. 607 SAMSON ST. 1866

CONTENTS

PART 1 (Below)
PREFACE ..................................................................................................... 9
ORGANIZATION ...................................................................................... 13
Regimental, Field and Staff
Non-Commissioned Staff
BATTLES IN WHICH THE REGIMENT WAS ENGAGED ................ 24

PART 2 -- Company A
History of .................................................................................................... 25
Commissioned Officers .............................................................................. 26
Non-Commissioned Officers ...................................................................... 26
Privates ....................................................................................................... 28

PART 3 -- Company B
History of .................................................................................................... 38
Commissioned Officers .............................................................................. 39
Non-Commissioned Officers ...................................................................... 40
Privates ....................................................................................................... 43


PART 4 -- Company C
History of .................................................................................................... 50
Commissioned Officers .............................................................................. 51
Non-Commissioned Officers ...................................................................... 52
Privates ....................................................................................................... 53


PART 5 -- Company D
History of .................................................................................................... 62
Commissioned Officers .............................................................................. 62
Non-Commissioned Officers ...................................................................... 63
Privates ....................................................................................................... 64

PART 6 -- Company E
History of .................................................................................................... 72
Commissioned Officers .............................................................................. 73
Non-Commissioned Officers ...................................................................... 74
Privates ....................................................................................................... 75

PART 7 -- Company F
History of .................................................................................................... 83
Commissioned Officers .............................................................................. 84
Non-Commissioned Officers ...................................................................... 85
Privates ....................................................................................................... 86


PART 8 -- Company G
History of .................................................................................................... 92
Commissioned Officers .............................................................................. 92
Non-Commissioned Officers ...................................................................... 94
Privates ....................................................................................................... 95


PART 9 -- Company H
History of .................................................................................................. 102
Commissioned Officers ............................................................................ 102
Non-Commissioned Officers .................................................................... 103
Privates ..................................................................................................... 105


PART 10 -- Company I
History of .................................................................................................. 111
Commissioned Officers ............................................................................ 111
Non-Commissioned Officers .................................................................... 114
Privates ..................................................................................................... 115


PART 11 -- Company K
History of .................................................................................................. 125
Commissioned Officers ............................................................................ 126
Non-Commissioned Officers .................................................................... 126
Privates ..................................................................................................... 128

PREFACE

Headquarters
37th Regiment United States Colored Infantry,
Smithville, North Carolina,
July 1, 1866

To the Officers and Enlisted Men of the 37th United States Colored Infantry:

Knowing the deep interest felt in the history of the regiment by every member who has shared its services, its dangers, and hardships, and is thereby entitled to a portion of its well-earned merits, I have endeavored to collect the prominent incidents of its history and organization.

You will find the following pages to contain a brief sketch of the organizing, arming, and equipping of the regiment; a summary of its services from the time it entered the United States service to the present date; also, the name, rank, and date of appointment of each officer, the name and rank of each enlisted man, (the latter arranged in Companies, and each Company prefaced by a short sketch of its organization,) with remarks also appended to the names of both officers and men, noting all changes that have taken place in the whole regiment.

The object, however, in preparing this work was not to write a history of the regiment, nor to enter into a detailed account of its operations, but simply to furnish a brief summary of its services, with any other data that might be interesting to its members. It is, however, not supposed that this work will elicit any interest from the public at large, as it is a strictly local work, only intended for the members, and their friends and families, of this particular regiment, to serve as a remembrance to both officers and soldiers of the most eventful period of their lives, and to preserve this book in their families for future reference as sacred to the days when they were soldiers fighting for the best government on the face of the earth, and striving to maintain the liberty and equality of all.

Hoping that this work may give satisfaction to all the members of the regiment, and feeling under deep obligations to both officers and men for their kind assistance in getting up this work, which I hope at least may not be devoid of some interest and do justice to all,

I have the honor to remain Very respectfully, A.H. Stein, Publisher

ORGANIZATION THIRTY-SEVENTH REGT. U. S. C. INFANTRY BREVET BRIG. GEN. NATHAN GOFF, Jr., COMMANDING

Companies A, B, C, D and E of this regiment were organized at Norfolk, Virginia, during the winter of 1863 and '64, by Lieutenant Colonel CHAMBERLAIN. To this efficient officer and strict disciplinarian much credit is due, for the ability and perseverance lie displayed during the organization of the regiment, having many obstacles in his way to contend against, the most formidable being the strong prejudice against Negro soldiers. This feeling was happily soon banished, for our ablest generals and statesmen were not slow to perceive the importance and necessity of arming the Freedmen, thus giving them a chance to strike a blow for their own liberty, which they have done manfully, and, by their bravery and soldierly conduct, have not only helped win their freedom, but also the glorious privilege of a representation in the army and navy of the country, which honor they probably never would have had, if they had not shown themselves worthy of it. Everyone knows what an important and brilliant part the colored men took during the late war, and it is often remarked by Southern people, now since it is all over, that if they had only armed the negroes and allowed them to fight for the South, they would have gained their independence, and slavery would probably have existed in the Southern States for many years to come--perhaps for centuries.

It was under such circumstances as these, that our first colored regiments were organized. Although many of those that availed themselves of the opportunity offered by the Government, and took up arms in the country's hour of danger, saw more and harder service than this regiment, it nevertheless has achieved a military record that every officer and soldier belonging to it may well be proud of.

There might be much said in praise of both officers and men who are and have been connected with this regiment. Some of them have exhibited great military ability, and filled the various positions they were placed in, under the most trying circumstances, with the greatest credit to themselves and to the service, thereby eliciting the highest commendation from the War Department on several occasions. In consequence, this regiment is held in high repute at military headquarters, and has been retained in the service on, that account, being the last and best colored regiment remaining in this Department.

The first five companies, as soon as organized, were ordered to the field, with the First Brigade, Third Division, Eighteenth Army Corps. Companies F and G were mustered and joined the other companies in the month of May, 1864; the regiment at this time was engaged in active campaign duty. Company H was soon after added, and the regiment was ordered to the front of Petersburg, and took an active and conspicuous part in the siege of this city; it was then ordered to the forts at Wilson's and Harrison's Landings, on the James River, where it remained until the 25th of September, when it was ordered to Deep Bottom, Virginia, where it arrived on the 28th of September, 1864, was immediately put into action, and after three days hard fighting completed the reduction and capture of New Market Heights and Fort Harrison, and for distinguished bravery and soldierly conduct at this battle, was honorably mentioned by the Major-General commanding the right wing of the army. Although the regiment lost a great many men it remained upon the field it had won, and successfully resisted the repeated attempts of the enemy to retake the ground. There it completed its organization as a regiment by receiving companies I and K, which were mustered into service on the 28th day of November, 1864.

On the 3d day of December, the regiment was ordered to join in the first expedition against Fort Fisher [NC], under General B. F. BUTLER, where it arrived on the 25th, but was soon ordered back to Virginia, and went into camp at Chapin's [Chaffin's] Farm, December 20th, 1864. On the 3d of January, 1865, this regiment joined the second expedition against Fort Fisher and Wilmington, under Major-General TERRY, and near dark on the 11th disembarked, taking the lead of the forces charged with the important duty of cutting off the land communication between Fort Fisher and the rebel forces in the immediate vicinity. The regiment crossed the Peninsula to Cape Fear River, and entrenched themselves about three miles above the fort. Here it was forced to remain until the surrender of Fort Fisher and the other fortifications at the mouth of the river and General TERRY'S forward movement towards Wilmington, in which it took part, driving the enemy from their entrenchments, and marching steadily onward until February 22d, when, after much fighting, Wilmington was captured. On the same day the regiment fought the enemy at North-East Station, North Carolina. Soon after this engagement it started on the march to Raleigh, forming a junction with General SHERMAN'S army, at Mount Olive, North Carolina, and remained under SHERMAN until after the surrender of General JOHNSTON, when it was ordered to Goldsboro in May, remaining until June, when it was ordered back to Wilmington, to perform provost duty in that city, in which capacity it gave the utmost satisfaction to the citizens, who expressed themselves highly pleased with the soldierly manner in which these troops performed their duty.

On the 25th of November, 1865, Companies H, I and K, commanded by Major Weinman, were ordered to Fort Macon, Roanoke Island and Hatteras; the remaining companies to Smithville, Fort Fisher and Fort Caswell, at the mouth of Cape Fear River; headquarters being at Smithville.

ORGANIZATION
OFFICERS REGIMENTAL, FIELD AND STAFF
Notes of Organization, etc., furnished by Capt. George Willie Singer

Since November, 1864, the regiment has been in command of Brevet Brigadier-General Nathan GOFF, Jr., a veteran soldier, a gentleman, and an efficient officer, filling his position with signal success and ability, esteemed and respected by both officers and men under his command. General GOFF was mustered into the service of the United States as a captain in 1861, in the Second Rhode Island Volunteers, took part in all the battles of the army of the Potomac with his regiment, was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel after serving three years, and mustered out with his regiment in 1864; re-entered the service, and was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of Twenty-second United States Colored Troops; promoted to Colonel, and transferred to the Thirty-seventh United States Colored Troops, in the army of the James; was severely wounded at the battle of Petersburg; Brevetted Brigadier-General United States Volunteers, in February, 1866.

Lieutenant Colonel A. G. CHAMBERLAIN entered the United States service, May, 1861, as Captain Company B, First Massachusetts Volunteers; took part in many hard-fought battles, at one of which, (Fair Oaks, Virginia) June 25th, 1862, he was dangerously wounded in the head, and the country came near losing the services of one of its most noble sons; he however recovered, and once more rejoined his regiment, and was appointed Provost Marshal at Ricker's Island, New York harbor. He was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of Colored Troops in October, 1863, and immediately set about organizing this regiment, in which he served with credit to himself and his country, until June, 1865, when he resigned and returned to private life.

Major James CROFT was mustered into this regiment as Major, February, 1864, and discharged the service in July, 1864.

Major Philip WEINMAN entered the service as a private, United States Regular Service, 1861, and was commissioned Captain Sixth United States Colored Troops, at the organization of that regiment; promoted Major, and transferred to Thirty-seventh United States Colored Troops, January 1, 1865; died of disease at Fort Macon, North Carolina, March 28, 1866. This was a brave officer, and his death was deeply and sincerely mourned by all his fellow-officers and the men in the entire regiment.

Major William A. CUTLER enlisted as a private in Company H, Thirteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, June 24, 1861, Appointed Corporal, November 1, 1862; immediately appointed Sergeant and First Sergeant, April 1, 1863. Appointed Captain of Colored Troops, October 1, 1863, and assigned to Thirty-seventh United States Colored Infantry. Brevetted Major, March 13, 1865. Promoted Major, May 7, 1866. This brave and distinguished officer has taken part in twenty-one battles.

Brevet Major Constantin NITZSCHE. This gallant officer was appointed Captain in 1863, and brevetted Major in 1865. He has seen eight years' service as commissioned officer, in foreign regular service, and is well qualified to fill the position he occupies.

First Lieutenant and Adjutant Calvin MIXTER. Appointed in January, 1864. Discharged the service, December 8,1864.

First Lieutenant and Adjutant George W. SINGER. Promoted Captain. (See History of Company I.)

First Lieutenant and Adjutant John L. RHODES. Appointed Adjutant June 5, 1866. (See History Company A.)

First Lieutenant and Regimental Quartermaster Charles DRAYTON. Enlisted as a private in Thirteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, June 15, 1861. Discharged at expiration of term of service, March 30, 1863. Joined Thirty-seventh United States Colored Troops, January 15, 1864, as Quartermaster-Sergeant; commissioned Second Lieutenant, June 15, 1865, and assigned to Company G for duty. Was soon after detailed as A.A.D.C. and Assistant Provost Marshal District of Wilmington, North Carolina, on staff of Brevet Brigadier-General J.W. AMES. Received the appointment of Post-Quartermaster, Wilmington, September 14, 1865. December 11, 1865, was relieved and appointed Regimental Quartermaster Thirty-seventh United States Colored Troops.

Surgeon Arthur H. COWDRY. Appointed October 1, 1863. Discharged, June, 1865.

Surgeon Daniel W. HARDY. Appointed Assistant Surgeon, January, 1864. Promoted Surgeon of the Regiment for long, faithful and efficient service, August, 1865.

Assistant Surgeon William CRAIG. Appointed July 15, 1865; was formerly Assistant Surgeon Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Assistant Surgeon John P. JONES. Appointed September, 1865, from civil life.

Assistant Surgeon William A. CROUSE. Appointed February, 1864. Discharged for incompetency, July, 1864.

Chaplain William A. GREEN. Appointed October 1, 1863. This is a faithful and conscientious officer, anxious to do good in the position he has been placed; teaching the men not only religion, but also to read and write.


Non-Commissioned Staff

Sergeant-Major John WILLIAMS. Entered the United States service April 15, 1862, at New York City, as a private in the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Colored Volunteers; was promoted Sergeant May 6, 1862, and discharged at the expiration of term of service, August 12, 1863. Re-enlisted in the Thirty-seventh, December 10, 1863, at Newbern, North Carolina; was appointed Sergeant-Major November 16, 1865.

Quartermaster-Sergeant Andrew J. MARSHALL. Enlisted December 26, 1863, at Beaufort, North Carolina. Appointed Sergeant February 1, 1864. Promoted First Sergeant February 14, 1865. Promoted Quartermaster-Sergeant May 1, 1866.

Commissary-Sergeant William B. DAVIS. Appointed August 1, 1866.

BATTLES
(In Which The Regiment Was Engaged)

Second Petersburg - June 27, 1864

New Market Heights - September 27, 1864

Fort Harrison, Va. - September 30, 1864

Fair Oaks, Va. - October 27, 1864

First Fort Fisher Campaign - December 3, 1864

Second Fort Fisher Campaign - January, 1865

Sugar Loaf - February 12, 1865

Near Wilmington, N.C. - February 21, 1865

North-East Station, N.C. - February 22, 1865

Cox's Ferry, N.C. - March 24, 1866 (

See 37th USCI Regimental Service Record)

Copyright 1998

Go to Company A

Return to Regimental Histories Page

Return to NC USCT Home Page