Transcribed from Civil War era newspaper articles from the New Castle Courant. Spellings (or misspellings of names) left as originally printed in the article.
Lawrence Guards - Company B [roster]
Those who write to soldiers should direct as as follows:
"Private _____ ______, __th Regt. (Col ____'s,) Co. __, Capt. ____, at Camp Scott, York, Pa. Postmaster forward after the Regiment."
In such case the letters will go from Colonel to the Captain, and at once to the men. Do not forget that Col. Campbell's is the Twelfth Regiment, in which the Lawrence Guards are placed.
MORE FROM LAWRENCE.
Another fine company from Lawrence County, under Capt. M'Cready, of New Wilmington, left this place by canal boat yesterday morning. This makes the fourth company on a call for two. We are getting used to parting scenes in Lawrence County; but every time, there is something occurring to move the stoutest heart to tears. We noticed a scene yesterday morning, not to be forgotten soon. A husband and father stood upon the boat with a sweet little girl in his arms, and the wife and mother stood on the wharf. - The little pratler could have no idea why her father was leaving home; but instinctively she clung to him, and with her little arms around his neck, many fervent kisses were exchanged, while hot tears, sent up from a strong heart, fell upon the angel cheeks. It was a sight to move all hearts to sympathy, as that father bent forward to resign the little one to its mother's arms and then drew back for another last, parting embrace, as though he could not tear her from his heart. Twice did he essay to give the little one up, and twice drew back, and when at last he did consign it to its mothers care he turned round and his strong frame trembled with emotion. Ah! there are partings the outside world knows nothing of. Words are tame things to express the emotions caused by such a scene. God protect them all, and bring them back to their loved ones.
As our two companies were on their way to Harrisburg, the Mayor of Allegheny met them at the Pittsburgh Depot, and presented Capt. O'Brien with a beautiful sword.
A few days later, at Camp Simmons, Harrisburg, Mrs. Clark, of this county, presented to her son Walter, First Lieutenant of Capt. O'Brien's company, a fine sword. Wm. M. Francis delivered the sword with a neat and appropriate speech. When mothers put the weapons of war in the hands of their sons, we may look for good fighting.
CAMP CASEY, Near Washington,
August 21st, 1861
Dear Courant: Deeming that a line or two regarding the "bold soger boys" who left Lawrence county for the seat of war, would be acceptable to your readers I have addressed myself to that duty this evening. As you will probably learn, before this reaches you, we were armed and equipped at Harrisburg on Tuesday last and on Wednesday morning, at 7 o'clock, we bade farewell to Camp Curtin, and to Harrisburg; our destination, Washington. We took the railroad, via Baltimore, at which place we arrived at about 4 o'clock, P. M. We changed cars here, walking, as near as we could guess, one and a half miles to the train which transported us to Washington. As we passed through the city, Capt. McCune, who was appointed Colonel of the day, halted the regiment in front of the Eutaw House, and called for Col. (now General) Corcoran, who was stopping there, to appear, that the boys might obtain a sight of that gallant hero, and allow them to show him some slight evidence of their appreciation for his noble services, and of the high esteem in which he is held by Pennsylvanians. General Corcoran made his appearance on the balcony of the hotel, and immediately was greeted by three such rousing cheers as only our boys can give. He then proceeded to address the men in a few remarks which though brief, you may be assured were strictly to the point. As soon as he was through, he retired, and three more thundering cheers went up m the heart of that celebrated city uttered by Pennsylvania throats, and we marched on. At every corner, and along every street, we received many demonstrations of loyalty. The greatest peculiarity of the place which we observed, was the great number of colored gentry it seemed to us that at least one-half, if not more of the inhabitants of that city were colored. This feature of the place drew from our boys the universal remark, "What a place for niggers." Arrived at the station, we again haulted and the regiment was provided with supper, by Uncle Sam, of course. Just a nightfall, we started for Washington, where we arrived at midnight, and were quartered in a large building convenient to the station, and in the morning were provided with breakfast. While waiting for breakfast, many of us took the advantage of running up the Capitol building, only a short distance off, to endeavor to obtain a glimpse of that edifice. We were amply paid for our pains, though we did no more than get a mere glimpse of the huge architectural pile, in which we, as Americans, have a considerable interest - Breakfast over, we took up our brief march for our present location, four miles west of Washington, and across the celebrated Potomac. The march was one of about seven miles, three of them through the city of "magnificent distances." As we passed through, we were the observed of all observers. One man asked where we were from? Capt. Shaw answered, "From Pennsylvania." "Good Lord" said the man, "are there any more to come from there?" The question was elicited,, most probably, by the fact that very many of the regiments which had passed through during the preceeding week were Pennsylvania regiments. We are encamped just back of Arlington Heights, and only about a mile and a half from Munson's Hill, which is in plain view.
Our regiment numbers nine hundred and fifty men, and, as a correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, "Is an uncommonly fine looking body of men throughout." We don't know, as yet, who are to be our field officers.
But this letter is already too long, and I must close. For the present, until we are thoroughly organized, our friends should direct their letters to the 134th Regt. Pa. Vol., Washington, D. C. Care of Capt. ____.
Capt. Ed. O'Brien and Capt. Wm. H. Shaw, left New Castle on Thursday morning with full companies of volunteers for Harrisburg, and on Friday afternoon, Capt. M'Cune, of Harlansburg, left here with another company for the same destination. The fourth company, Captain M'Cready's of New Wilmington, was prevented from going in consequence of a telegram from Mr. Blanchard at Harrisburg. Lawrence county is patriotic and scorns the idea of having one of her sons drafted in the service of the United States - ask at her hands volunteers and they are at hand. The parting ceremonies of the companies were solemn and interesting; but we have neither the time or room to particularize.
Muster Roll of the New Wilmington Volunteer Company.
Muster Roll, Capt. O'Brien's Company.
Muster Roll of Capt. Wm. H. Shaw's Infantry Company.
CAMP CURTIN, Aug. 10, 1862
List of the members of the "Durban Mess," composed of members of Captain Shaw's Co. from Lawrence county.
CAMP WARD, SATURDAY
SEPTEMBER 6TH 1862
DEAR DURBAN Having a leasurehour this afternoon, I thought a little talk with our numerous friends through your columns would not be amiss. Before giving you any news concerning the 134th allow me to correct one or two errors, which I inadvertently made in my first letter. First in justice to the citizens of Baltimore, we would say that the supper with which we were provided when we passed through that place, was not prepared by the government as was stated, but by the soldiers Relief Association of Baltimore. We deem this word of explanation to be necessary, for the citizens of Baltimore have a great under taking on hand when they provide all the soldiers who pass through with entertainment, and not a jot or title of the credit due them should be detracted from them. - Second, we stated that we were encamped back of Arlington Heights and only one and a half miles from Munson's Hill; we heard every one say so, but in fact we were some five or six miles from that noted Hill, and just about on the Arlington Hights. You would have no idea, without being here, how difficult it is for us to ascertain the distances between different places. Since my first letter, we have moved twice. First we were ordered to pack up and be ready to march in an hour. We did son, and were marched down the Potomac to within a mile and a half of Alexandria. We lay there three or four days and were then ordered to march again, when we were moved some five miles westward of Alexandria and we are now encamped close to Fort Ward, which Fort we were brought here to support. We are now engaged throwing up breastworks, though we do not apprehend any immediate attack, nor in fact do we apprehend any at all, though we understand that information of a private character had been forwarded to New Castle to excite the fear of our friends. We beg leave to inform them that they need have no fears for our safety at present for the enemy is at a considerable distance from us, with Union forces between us and them. In regard to army movements, and war news, generally you know more than we do, for our facilities for obtaining accurate information, are not very great. - The Roundhead Regiment was encamped two or three days this week, within a mile of us. You may be sure the two regiments were not long in visiting each other. It was very painful to walk among them and miss so many familiar faces. You know doubtless ere this, that many of their officers are lost to them for the present, either killed wounded or prisoners. They had been on the march for twenty-one days, had passed through several hard fights and were almost completely worn out. They have moved, from their stopping place, and all we know of them is that they went in the direction of Washington. Chaplain Brown is a prisoner, but he will doubtless be parolled and will stay with our wounded who are in the hands of the rebels.
The health of our regiment is very good no more of the men are unwell than perhaps would be in the same number were they at home. The organization of the 1 has been affected Col. T. M. Quay, Lieutenant Colonel Edward O'Brian, Maj. John M. Thompson, Adjutant John Kelly, Sergent Major George Perviance The three latter are from Butler county Drum Major James M'Conahey of New Castle.
Company A. Capt. Wm. H. Shaw, Lawrence County; Co. B. Capt. James M'Cune Lawrence County; Co. C. Capt. C. E. Anderson. Butler County. Co. D. Capt. W. D. Clark, Lawrence County. Co. E, J. A. Vere, Butler County. Co. F. Capt. W. O. Breckinridge, Butler County - Co. G Capt. Riddle Butler County Co. H. Capt. M'Cready. Lawrence County Co. I. Capt. John Hague. Beaver County. Co. K. Capt. Edwin Lyon.
Capt. Hague and the greater part of his company is from Lawrence county, but Beaver county gets the credit owing to the circumstance that they would not be accepted as a Lawrence county company, and rather than not go out to the war, they resolved to go as a company from Beaver.
Our friends should be here sometime about eating time to observe the contrast between eating here and at home. They would see us rallying from our tents at meal time, with tin plate and cups, marching doublequick to the cook's quarters to receive our coffee, meat, beans or rice, retreating to our tents sitting down where-ever most convenient, tin plate and cup between our knees, hard tack crackers or seabiscuit beside us, and then, "Jim pass me that sugar," "just wait till I get some, will you. Any vinegar boys; let me have some," Come and get it. Branch don't take all that sugar." Meantime Summerville is sitting by himself reading or writing. Summerville you'd better go and get your dinner." Is it dinner time, I guess I will. This is a very meager description of the scenes which are daily enacted, and they can only be appreciated by those who see them. We all enjoy ourselves hugely; especially those who get letters from home, when the mail comes in. Our friends should write often to us for nothing has such a harmonizing effect upon soldiers as plenty of letters from the dear ones at home. It can be equaled only perhaps by the arrival of a box of nice things to eat. Our mess especially can appreciate this fact, for a box came directed to Messers. Leech Marshall and Branch, who generously divided with the rest of the mess. The butter and apples were freely discussed, and gave ample satisfaction from the double fact that they came from home, and that we get no such dainties here.
Hoping that this rambling effusion may not prove unacceptable to your many readers,
I remain yours,
CAMP NEAR SHARPSBURG,
Sunday, October 12, 1862.
Dear Durban: - Our correspondence is not very well connected nor very frequent but information concerning us is conveyed private to so many of your readers, that it seems to us almost unnecessary to correspond with them thro public channels. However a word or two occasionally concerning the 134th, and officers generally would not, we are confident, be rejected by you. Just at present all is not perfectly "quiet along the Potomac." The rebels have made a raid into Pennsylvania and possession of Chambersburg, the particulars of which, of course will reach you before this does. A part of the army is in motion toward that point. Two regiments of our brigade, (Gen Tyler's) the 91st and the 120th P. B., left here last night at midnight for the scene of action, leaving tents and every thing which would incumber their march behind. We know not what may happen, but we are somewhat in expectation of order for our regiment. The news of the late raid of the "rebs" has excited a good deal of interest among the troops. All that we know of the particulars is obtained from rumor, which we long ago discovered is almost entirely unreliable. The health of the regiment generally, which has not been of the best of late, is improving; yet a considerable number of men are in the hospital, both here and in Sharpsburg. Two of Co. A, Mr. Samuel Bowman whom we left at Washington with a sore foot, are still behind. Also C. T. Reed who was left at Frederick, but who, we since learned, was sent to Washington. We hear that they are still unable to rejoin their regiment.
The friends of Mr. James M. Randall, of Co. A, will be pained to learn that after a short illness of typhoid fever, he died in the hospital at Sharpsburg, on the morning of the 10th inst. Efforts were made by Capt. Shaw to have the body sent home, but they failed, and he was decently interred in the church yard in that place. He was esteemed by his messmates and fellow soldiers as an attentive and apt soldier, and his loss, especially as he was the first of Co. a, to fall by the hand of death, was deeply felt. The Company deeply sympathize with his bereaved family and friends.
On the same day on which this melancholy event took place, we received a mail. There is usually nothing important attached to such a circumstance, but when you are informed that but one very small mail had reached us for three weeks, you will understand the importance. It was, of course, very large. Each man received from three to fifteen, and in some cases eighteen or twenty, and one fortune individual received, we heard, twenty-five letters. The boys had almost quit writing until they would get the letters, but since their reception, letter writing has revived.
There is a hospital close to our camp, which was filled with wounded rebel soldiers; but its numbers are sadly thinned. Many of them have died. Their burying ground is only a few rods from our quarters, and every day two or three, are interred in it. Their mode of burial is perhaps rendered absolutely unavoidable by their circumstances, but it is to dig a hole two or three feet deep, wrap the corps in ? lay it in and cover it ____out any ce_e? any whatever. ____re seen some of the effects of war, and the sight is not _ate all agreeable. But we must stop. More anon.
Submitted by Tami McConahy