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Age: 36, credited to Enosburgh, VT
Unit(s): 1st VT INF, USV
Service: comn Adjutant, 1st VT INF, 4/26/61 (4/26/61), m/o 8/15/61; comn CPT and AAG, USV, 8/3/61, d/svc 6/9/62 [College: UVM 46]
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 05/21/1825, Enosburgh, VT
Burial: Stevens Ferry Cemetery, Enosburgh, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Tom Ledoux
Findagrave Memorial #: 21407588
Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Not Found
College?: UVM 46
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)
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Stevens Ferry Cemetery, Enosburgh, VT
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THE CALEDONIAN: JUNE 28, 1861
AN INTERESTING NARRATIVE
The following interesting account of the Battle of Great Bethel we take from a letter of Adjutant Hiram Stevens of the Vermont Regiment, which appeared in a recent number of the St. Albans Messenger:
CAMP BUTLER, NEWPORT NEWS, VA.
JUNE 11, 1861,---MIDNIGHT.
At one o'clock this morning a column of 2500 men marched from this place towards Bethel, with two 15-pound guns. Our column was to unite at the junction of the road from Hampton to Bethel, with three regiments of New York troops from Hampton, and advance and attack together. Half of the regiment went---companies 2,4,6,,8, and 10. I was not ordered out, but was determined to go, without the leave of Col. Phelps, and did so, for which I may be degraded and have to resign my commission and come home. Fifer Bellows I took with me, and an independent volunteer, not under orders. I took the post of danger----viz: The head of the column, and sometimes eight or ten rods in advance with runaway Adjutant Walker also, of the Massachusetts 4th regiment. We reached the junction before daylight, nine miles distant, and had gone but a few rods towards Bethel, when my foot struck what I thought was a canteen, by the rattling sound of the water. On examination it proved to be a New York one, theirs being covered with felt, and peculiar to the New York troops. This was a discovery, and proved the New York column to be ahead of us. At the junction orders had been given to leave one gun and four companies as a rear guard, which was done, and on we went. We had proceeded about a mile when the rattle of musketry and roar of cannon induced us to believe our rear guard was attacked, and double-quick to the rear of our column went, to sustain the rear guard. Being in front, by changing direction, I was in the rear.---Just as we halted to start to the rear on hearing firing, a rebel scoundrel came out of a house and deliberately fired his gun at us---the ball passed so close to me I heard it whiz---on the way going through the shirt and pants, and just grazing the skin of Orderly Sergeant Sweet of the Woodstock company. The rascal was secured and is a prisoner, and what was done by way of stern entertainment to one of the F.F.V's you will hear if I ever live to return. I, then, as the firing to the rear had ceased, with revolver in hand, accompanied by Fifer, approached the fellow's house. Having some expectation of an ounce of lead being deposited in my tall body without asking permission. By this time all our troops were out of sight in the woods, by a turn in the road, and I was alone with Fifer, when some negroes came from behind the house, having less fear of two men than two thousand. On inquiry, the slaves told me that Adjutant Whiting, whom we had just taken prisoner,, was the owner of that, that he belonged to the secession army, and that no white folks were in the house, all having left.---without the ceremony of ringing. I entered and surveyed the premises, and I found the most elegantly furnished house. I took a hasty survey in search of arms, but finding none, I left the house and started to overtake our column. On reaching the bend in the road, I took a survey to the rear, to see what I might see, and discovered a single soldier coming toward me, and waited for him to come up. I found it was Clark of the Bradford company. Before he reached me, I observed a horse coming toward me at full speed. On reaching the house he turned in, which induced me to think him a secessionist. I ordered Clark to cover him with his rifle, and revolver in hand, ordered him to dismount and surrender. He cried out, "who are you?", answer, "Vermont" "Then raise your piece Vermont; I am Col. Duryea of the Zouaves", and so it was. His gay looking red boys just then appeared turning the corner of the road, coming toward us. He asked the cause of the firing at the rear, and whose premises we were in. I told him he knew the first as well as I did, but as to the last could give him full information. That house belongs to our Adjutant Whiting, who, who, just before had sent a bullet whizzing by me, and shot one of my boys, and that my greatest pleasure would be to burn the rascal's house in payment.
"Your wish will be granted at once," said the Colonel. I am ordered by Gen. Butler to burn every house whose owner or occupant fires upon our troops, Burn it". He leaped from his horse, and I upon the steps, and by that time the Zouaves were with me. I ordered them to try the door with the butts of their guns. Down went the door and in went we. A well packed traveling bag lay upon a mahogany table. I tore it open in hopes of finding a revolver, but did not. The first thing I took was a white linen coat. I laid it on the table, and Col. Duryea put a lighted match to it. Other clothing was added to the pile, and soon we had a rousing fire. Before leaving I went into the large parlor, in the right wing of the house; it was perfectly splendid. A large room with a tapestry carpet, a nice piano, a fine library of miscellaneous books, rich sofas, elegant chairs, with superior needlework wrought bottoms, what-not's in the corners, loaded with articles of luxury, taste and and refinement, and upon a mahogany center-table lay a Bible and lady's portrait. The last two articles I took, and now have in my possession. I also took a decanter of most excellent old brandy from a mahogany side-board, and left the burning house.
By this time the Zouave regiment had come up. I joined them, and in a short time came up with our rear guard, and saw a sight, the like of which never to see again. --- viz: nine of Col. Townsends's Albany regiment stretched upon the floor of a house, where they had just been carried, and eight of them mortally wounded by our own men. OH! The sight was dreadful. I cried like a boy, and so did many others. I immediately thought of my decanter of brandy, took a tin cup from a soldier, and poured into it my brandy and filled it ( the cup) with water from a canteen, and from one poor boy to another I passed and poured into their pale and quivering lips the invigorating fluid, and with my hand, wiped the sweat-drops of death from their foreheads‘! How grateful the poor fellows looked at me and saw, by my uniform, that the usually stern officer and commander had become to them the kind and tender-hearted woman, by doing for them woman's holy duties.
One strong fellow, wounded in the head, and bloody as a butcher's floor, soon rallied and was able to converse with me. I asked him if he knew the poor fellows around him. He said "yes," and pointing to one he said, "that man stood at my side --- he was my section man --- I saw his gun fly out of his hands, being struck by a grape-shot, and in a moment after we both tumbled to the ground together." I went out and picked up an Enfield rifle, nearly cut in two by a ball, said he, "This is my gun." I saw its owner die, and brought the gun back to our camp, and have it in my possession.
Submitted by Deanna French.
In St. Albans, at the residence of his brother, June 9th, 1862, Capt. Hiram Stevens. He was Adjutant of the First Vt., and just before the time of enlistment expired, was appointed Assistant Adjutant General, and assigned to Gen. Wool's staff.
Source: Rutland Daily Herald, June 21, 1862
Capt. Hiram Stevens of Enosburg, assistant adjutant general U.S. army, died at home on the 9th, aged 37 years. He was a graduate of the university of Vermont in 1846, studied law but practiced farming, and served with so much ability and zeal as adjutant of the 1st Vermont regiment, in the three months' campaign, that he was promoted to the regular army. He caught the small pox at Fortress Monroe and has gradually declined since February.
Source: St. Johnsbury Caledonian, June 20, 1862
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.