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13th Vermont Infantry
Biographical and Historical of Co. K
Thirteenth Regiment Vermont Volunteers
Civil War 1861-1865
Dedicated in loving memory of our brave comrade
Corporal William Church, slain in battle at Gettysburg, Pa., July 3rd, 1863.
There is no greater honor than to die
in defense of home and country.
The writer of this article volunteered August 20, 1862, to apply on the quota of the town of Swanton. The total number enlisted men remaining after medical examination and election of company officers was 110; Captain L. D. Clark and Sergeant Orloff Whitney having been promoted at the organization of the regiment to major and Adjutant respectively, left a total of 108. Of this number 3 were officers. This company arrived in Brattleboro, Vt., on September 29, 1862, to be mustered into the United States Army. It was at once ascertained that some of the companies did not have the required number of men and some had more; hence transfers were made that all the companies might be made up to the regular compliment before muster in. Eleven were transferred from Company K into other companies, mostly to Company H. After deducting two more, who left on account of homesickness, or other reasons, ninety-five men and three officers totaled ninety-eight, and this was the number mustered in October 10, 1862 and started for Washington, D. C., reaching there without further loss or accident.
My acquaintance with the members of this company was limited to Stephen F. Brown, of Swanton, a schoolmate at Bakersfield Academy in the fall of 1860, and Jeremiah H. Searl, of St. Albans. Brown and myself had volunteered in September, 1861, expecting to go in Company B, 1st Vt. Cavalry, but did not succeed in becoming soldiers at that time. We were not satisfied and determined to try again. And when the call of August 4th, 1862 for 300,000 more was made we at once agreed to volunteer under this call and to go into the same company. stephen F. was designated as one of the recruiting officers of his native town, Swanton. Brown signed at the head of his roll, and many others followed. And at this time my acquaintance with those who volunteered into what was after called Company K commenced, with the exception of course of S. F. Brown and Jeremiah Searl. And from the first day that we assembled at that picturesque and quaint old village in Highgate, and took up our temporary residence at that then antiquated and yet quite conspicuous (owing to its location) hostelry presided over by Landlord Frank Johnson, to the day we were mustered in and out at Brattleboro, Vt., did I mingle almost daily with this important, and in some respects, quite famous company, soon becoming very well acquainted with all that belonged to it. The peculiar characteristics of each, their fitness for soldiers, their conduct in the camp, on the march and in battle. The loosening of obligations of civil life and home influences were occasionally apparent, and perhaps under some extreme and pressing circumstances entirely forgotten.
The hitherto most upright and best of fellows as soon as they left home and became soldiers seemed to think their relations and obligations were entirely changed, and acted accordingly. Not that they did anything very bad, but were now living under a military code, and belonged to Uncle Sam's army, and were entitled to to those things that would not have been even thought of at home. It is not my purpose in this article to mention all the little foraging expeditions for hens, pigs, potatoes (sweet and Irish), honey, milking cows, etc., etc., for it would not be hardly right, for we were much the same as other companies in our regiment, though it is true that Company K had one or two, perhaps more, who had the credit of being champions in finding things out among the natives, who were regarded as rebels that answered nicely as dessert after feasting on salt beef, pork and beans and hard tack. I thought then, and still am of the same opinion, that nearly all of those native families that lived between the outer picket lines of the two armies were in fact in full sympathy with the Southern cause, though they earnestly proclaimed to be for the Union. We were never able to find among these families only old men and cripples, now and then a darkey, and women folks of the household. The rest were either in hiding, or were in the Confederate army, and we had reason to believe some were of Mosby's command, that made things interesting for us on their forays, night or day, most any time, when opportunity was favorable. I am reminded, my comrades, that I too, was of Company K, and am very jealous of the reputation of my associates in this Company, and therefore call to mind what J. D. Rockefeller once said:
"There is so much bad in the best of us;
There is so much good in the most of us;
It hardly behooves any of us
To talk about the rest of us."
and yet I am expected to give an impartial historical sketch of my comrades of Company K, that will meet with approval of the survivors, and in so doing may disclose some incident that my comrades participated in, and were connected with, while in the service.
None of us had seen much of the world, and hardly had even been out of sight (before enlistment) of the green hills and fertile valleys of our beloved state. Nearly all of us were horny handed farmer's sons, mere boys, mostly between the ages of fifteen and twenty-two, a few older, and John Chappel, the oldest of our company, and in the regiment, was fifty-three.
Since the firing on Fort Sumter in April, 1861 we had heard much and learned something about war and some of us had brothers and fathers who had volunteered, and therefore intensely interested and knew what we were doing when we volunteered, though soldier life, the camp, the march, the battle, the killed and wounded, the dreaded hospital, the prison pens, were visions now to us, and yet we expected too soon that these visions would surely become realities. The average age of this company was twenty-three, Yankee born, mostly, and from the best families, active, healthy and strong, good height, good sized, good natured and good looking, happy and jolly always, generous and kind, brave and courageous, many devoted Christians who wore their religion as they did their uniforms, where it could be seen and read by all. None were cowards as I am aware of, only a little timid at first in battle. Indeed we were a happy family, and like brothers, ever anxious for the welfare and happiness of each other, and as such we joined the army at Washington, D. C., in October, 1862.
Between about the 20th of August and the 10th of September, possibly some before and a few after, the boys who joined Company K volunteered, and the towns from which they came, Swanton, Highgate, Franklin, alburg, North Hero and Grand Isle were saved the humiliation of a draft, with the exception of Grand Isle, which furnished one drafted man and a number of substitutes for Company K. These towns were duly notified that those who had enrolled under the call of August 4th were to meet at Highgate on September 11th to organize a company, elect officers, and commence to drill, etc., etc.
There had been more or less talk among a few, as to officers to be chosen, but on the whole, but little thought or consideration had been given the question of officers. September 11th, 1862, was a most delightful day, and during the forenoon a large number had arrived and the park in front of Landlord Johnson's hotel was literally covered with boys and men, women and children, to witness the important event of the day, election of company officers.
There were present 126 volunteers, selectmen from the several towns, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, wives and sweethearts, relatives and friends of those that had enlisted, numbering as many more, all anxious and curious to see and hear, for nothing of the kind had occurred in this quiet village before. None were officers yet, and all stood on a level and all were very cordial and greeted each other like old friends. We met, the most of us, for the first time, but after a little freely mingled in a friendly way, and soon knew each other, and began to talk about war, battles, and the election of officers. It was soon ascertained that quite a number were willing to serve as officers, and a good many were well qualified, but were were to have only a captain and two lieutenants, and there could not be commissioned offices enough to go around, and some must be satisfied with non-commissioned positions.
The writer of this article, as before stated, was a total stranger to all, but his friends Brown and Searl therefore looked on, listened, and took but little part in the preliminaries for election. I was generally understood that Highgate, Swanton and Franklin should have the commissioned officers, namely, Captain, first and second lieutenants, and that Captain L. D. Clark who had served as captain of Company A, 1st Vt. Regiment for three months, and because of experience, age, valor and other qualities ought to be made captain, and the majority rather acquiesced in this view, and in fact he was a man of good presence and military bearing.
There was good material from other towns for Captain, and they were quite willing to furnish it. From Franklin there were Orloff Whitney and Edward Hibbard and Carmi L. Marsh, three of their equal and fitness was not to be found among the assembled recruits from any of the other towns, but the Franklin boys were quite modest and did not urge any one for captain, and said would be satisfied with a lieutenant's position, and would agree among themselves who they would name as their choice.
There was finally a sort of an understanding between Highgate and Swanton that Captain Clark of Highgate should be elected captain, and when the question as who should have the honors had been arranged and agreed upon by the managers (which took a good while) a man appeared on the piazza of the hotel, waved a flag to call attention and then said, "All is ready forward your votes for captain." All the boys started at once, for it was now mid-afternoon and all had been waiting a long time, but we went pell mell, helter skelter, ballots in hand, for we had been liberally supplied with them, each crowding and pushing to get his vote in first, very much after the manner of voting at town meetings in those days. The votes were quickly cast and counted, and Captain Clark was chosen by a handsome majority, and declared by the officer in charge duly elected captain, whereupon all commenced to cheer and clap their hands. Soon Captain Clark appeared, and the speech he made I shall never forget. It was eloquent and patriotic.
I had never heard him before and was deeply impressed, and thought him quite remarkable, and just the man to lead us in battle. In a few moments announcement was made to forward votes for first lieutenant, and away we went again, ballots in hand, but not so well agreed, and there was considerable excitement and anxiety, for Captain Clark's friends who had kept quiet until he was elected, were now more out-spoken in their preferences, and it was not so certain as to the result, but the count gave my friend Brown a good majority and he was declared elected first lieutenant.
In short order we were told to forward our votes for second lieutenant, the vote was cast and counted quickly, and Carmi L. Marsh of Franklin, was the unanimous choice for second lieutenant. THe clans of Franklin especially East Franklin, were jubilant and content because of so complimentary endorsement of their candidate for second lieutenant. Both Brown and Marsh made nice little speeches, and thanks the boys for the honor, and promised to do their best.
The facts are that the boys did not have much to do about this election, and still they were generally well pleased and satisfied. It was really pretty much all arranged by the leading citizens and selectmen of the several towns there represented, before we commenced to vote, and the boys were given the great privilege of ratifying the selections made for us. (the third house, as is said, fixed it up). Some resented this way and thought that those who were to go should have had more say as to choice of leaders. A few were disappointed, but said not a word, and all joined in hearty congratulations to those who had been so highly honored.
I doubt very much if the history of any other company of our regiment furnished a more harmonious choice of company officers than Company K.
On the whole the first meeting of the boys was full of good will and cheer, and pleasure and satisfaction to all, for on this day commenced many an acquaintance that grew into warm friendship, and the indissoluble ties of comradeship which in after years ripened into that relation, akin to that which existed between David and Jonathan of old, and now with more than forty-five years intervening since that first meeting, there is not to be found on earth any such abiding friendship among men as found among the survivors of Company K.
The day was well nigh spent, and we were informed that the officers elect had been considering the question of appointment of non-commissioned officers, (sergeants and corporals) but would not be able to report until after medical examination. We were also told that arrangements had been made with Landlord Johnson to feed and keep all who wished to remain, but if any wanted to go home, would be given a furlough until the 16th, on which day all must be present for medical examination. We soon found that a furlough involved simply our word of honor, and promise to return. Most of us returned to our homes, realizing now that we were organized into a company of soldiers, and soon would be on the way to take an active part in the suppression of the Rebellion.
The papers were teeming now with ominous news concerning General McClellan's Peninsular Campaign, its failure and losses, General Pope's battle of Second Bull Run, and the invasion by General Lee with his mighty army flushed with victory into Maryland to capture Washington, and the urgent calls for troops to hasten on to defend the capital city of the nation.
Such depressing news as such a time, and when only just organized was food for thought and meditation, and anxious solicitude for the cause of the Union. We sincerely believed in a few days, that we should be on the way to Washington to take an active part with the army of the Potomac. We were ready for the life of a soldier, and its consequences had been fully considered before we volunteered, such at least was the case with nearly all.
Tuesday, September 16th was a lovely day, and the boys were all on hand for medical examination. As a rule we were a little timid and anxious, for we knew not how rigid the examination would be, or how many of us would be rejected.
Dr. Hiram F. Stevens, of St. Albans, had been appointed and was present, ready to discharge the duty assigned him. He looked and appeared like a kind hearted gentlemen of the old school and came with a well earned reputation in St. Albans, where he was born and was a prominent citizen and physician. He assured us no one would be harmed, and no occasion to be frightened. We were taken one by one, into the parlor of the hotel, and given such an examination as was required to ascertain our probable fitness for soldiers. This took all day for there were 126 for examination. THe manner of examination was novel and some blushed, when asked to strip to the skin. The doctor was full of fun and joked as he carefully handled and looked us over, taking from three to five minutes in each case. Only a few were rejected, thirteen out of one hundred and twenty-six. Some of the rejected were much disappointed, and other consoled them with the remark, "no danger of being drafted now." The selectmen of the several towns were present on this occasion, and deeply interested, for unless enough of their enlisted men passed the examination, they would be obliged to find others to fill up their quota under the call, (and that very quickly), for appearances indicated we should leave the state for the front very soon. most of the boys returned to their homes for the night, others remained at the hotel. Just before separation Captain Clark expressed his regrets that any had been found to be physically disqualified for the army, and was very sorry to part with any who had enlisted into his company, also gave notice that he would announce on Friday the appointment of the non-commissioned officers, that the medical examination being over, the selections could be made and that the officers would look the situation over, and do the best they could to please every one, and was very sorry that the regulations did not permit the appointment of more officers, believing from his acquaintance, though brief, that nearly all would make first class sergeants and corporals, and was grieved to think that some must be disappointed, also said that we must now commence military drill, that there were some in the company who had seen service and would give instructions in marching until sergeants and corporal s were appointed, and to be on hand at 9 o'clock the next morning.
All were on hand at the appointed hour and were lined up in front of the hotel for instruction. Not one looked like a soldier except Captain Clark, and he had on the uniform that he wore when he was captain of Company A, 1st Regiment Vt. Volunteers, three months' men.
The captain undertook to form us in a straight line, but after repeated trials gave it up; it was our first effort, we stood facing the same way, and side by side, but the line was more like rail fences we found at Camp Carusi, that disappeared so quickly after we arrived there. He finally divided us into squads of some twenty in each and placed us in charge of Black, Whitney, Smith, Church and Sisco, and they took us out on the Common to receive our first military lessons.
It was my good luck to be in the squad of Geo. G. Blake, later elected captain, and who had served three months as sergeant in Company A, 1st Vt. Regiment in the spring and summer of 1861. He took us up opposite of the village cemetery where stood a good stretch of fence and placed us up against it, and in this way formed a pretty good line, placing the tallest at the head of the line and then asked us to count twos. This was Greek to us. None in this squad knew what to do, but were told and did it then all right, and he, Blake, said "Now when I say aright face number one will turn one-quarter way round to the right standing in the same places, No. 2 will, when they turn take one step to the right and forward so as to be online with No. 1 man, forming double or two ranks;" this was a long order and all were ignorant, but apt and eager to learn. This we practised for some time, and had it not been for the cemetery fence nearby, the line would have been anything but straight. We could see now the reason by placed along the side of the fence.
After a little the order was given "right dress." No one moved, but were told what to do and how, and soon had that. Then came instruction how to march and keep step, stepping off with left foot first then the right, and so we started down the road. Sergeant Blake marking time by saying, "Left, right, left, right," and keeping watch to see if all were doing as told. this was the first lesson, and it lasted about two hours. It was hot and the boys began to look red in the face and wanted to rest. It was about noon, and down to the hotel we all went to dinner, well satisfied with the first lesson necessary to fit us for soldiers.
As I recall to mind that the first lesson, I wonder that we ever became proficient in military tactics and so quickly. Company K was one of the best drilled companies in the line, and on dress parade was always prompt, lining up into position in good style.
Friday the 19th was a day of considerable interest for all who were on hand to heard the announcement of non-commissioned officers of the company, promised for that day. We were all lined up in front of the hotel, and an order was read in military style, as follows:
Headquarters, Highgate Company, Johnson's Hotel, Highgate, Vt. General Order No. 1.
The following appointments area hereby made: Sidney S. Morey, First Sergeant; James Halloway, Second Sergeant; George G. Blake, Third Sergeant; Levi Smith, Fourth Sergeant; Orloff Whitney, Fifth Sergeant; Sumner H. Jennison First Corporal; William Church, Second Corporal; Martin H. Hicks, Third Corporal; Edgar F. Sisco, fourth Corporal; Harland P. Bullard, Fifth Corporal; Hiram S. Smith, Sixth Corporal; Melvin D. Corey, Seventh Corporal; William P. Olmstead, Eighth Corporal; Edward A. Hibbard, Ninth Corporal; Cornelius T. Frink, Tenth Corporal." This announcement disappointed a few, and surprised more, but the majority was satisfied and were in no sense candidates and did not care. I never knew just why two more corporals were appointed than we were entitled to, but so it was. Hibbard and Frink were at the bottom of the list, so had to surrender and take their places as high privates and wait for the future.
The most of us remained at Highgate drilling daily until the 26th. In the mean time orders had been received, giving notice of the organization of the regiment at Montpelier on the 24th of September. The commissioned officers of Company K responded to this call, and were present and took an active part in selecting the field officers. Captain Clark of Company K was there and had seen service, was ripe in years, and his general appearance was quit striking, and gave a very favorable impression.
After arrival at Montpelier, looking over the situation, it was found that the election of Francis Voltaire Randall was conceded and for Lieutenant Colonel and Major a number of candidates were talked of, and the officers of Highgate company with Whitney and others of our company, who went down to watch the proceedings decide3d to try and elect Captain Clark as Major. Lieutenant Stephen F. Brown was quite an aggressive wire puller, and Marsh and Whitney were not slow, and Captain Clark understood the ways of the world ans was a shrewd man,a nd on finding out the situation at once made friends with the Montpelier and Barre Company, suggesting to them they bring forward A. C. Brown, the then Captain of the Montpelier Company, as a candidate for Lieutenant Colonel, pledging their assistance. It was agreed to, after they had gathered for election and arrangements were at once made for bringing A. C. Brown for Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain Clark as Major, and it worked like a charm and they were duly elected.
Sergeant Orloff H. Whitney was also made Adjutant of the regiment, which was quite a compliment to this company. These changes left a vacancy in our company of a captain and sergeant, and that was the next question that stirred up our boys considerably, and there was no end of talk and differences of opinion, as to who was best fitted to fill the position of Captain mae vacant by Captain Clark promoted to Major, in fact every man of our company was now siding up and counting noses for the contents.
Some of us who had heard about the military rule of promotion took it for granted that First Lieutenant Stephen F. Brown would be advanced to the captaincy, and Lieutenant Carmi L. Marsh, First Lieutenant, and First Sergeant Sidney S. Morey advanced to Second Lieutenant, and so on, but we were soon informed that a contest would be made for the position of Captain by Third Sergeant George G. Blake, of Swanton, and he had seen service as Sergeant in the First Vt. Regiment three months, and had many friends among the boys whom he had been drilling for some days, besides influential friends outside, who were active in his support.
The writer who had now become somewhat acquainted with Sergeant Blake and many of the others of our company realized at once that he would be a strong candidate against Lieutenant Brown, and as a friend of Brown, and working for his promotion, expressed fears and gave reasons to Lieutenant Brown for them, but Brown confident as ever and remarking that Orderly Sergeant Morey would like to be elected Second Lieutenant, and he had many friends in the company from Swanton and Highgate, who were anxious for his promotion and Carmi L. Marsh's friends, too, would stand by him because they wanted him advanced to First Lieutenant, and he had seen the boys and was sure that it would be all right, and that my fears were groundless.
I could see that in view of his now being left in command of the Company as First Lieutenant and fairly entitled to promotion, and Marsh's friends who were enthusiastic for Brown in order that Marsh might be advanced, and Morey's friends too, were anxious for his advancement, that likely my judgment was a little off and yet I had been daily with the boys since organization September 11th, and had become very well acquainted with most of them, and as soon as we heard the news on the evening of September 24th, that Captain Clark had been elected Major, the boys commenced to talk about who would now be elected captain. Some said Lieutenant Brown and others Sergeant Morey, and a few of the Highgate boys wanted Sergeant Halloway, also quite a respectable number who thought Sergeant Blake would be the better man for captain.
The next day and night and forenoon of the 26th was spent by the respective friends of the several candidates, in an endeavor to arrange combinations, programs that would bring victory to the aspirants for office, and it was a very laudable ambition, for all mentioned were worthy and qualified, and no mistake could be made whoever won out. Naturally my little influence was for Brown, and yet I had in the few days of association with the boys become attached to many, especially Sergeant Morey, halloway, Blake, Lieutenant Marsh, and privates Best, Meigs, Robey, Hicks, Searl, Butterfield, Comstock, HIbbard, Richardson and others and so mingled with all and conversed freely concerning the coming event, which bid fair to be more exciting than our first election.
September 26th was a grand day for election and all were on hand agreeable to notice, cheerful and happy, enthusiastic for election, and confidence could be seen in every face (but before the day was over some were sadder and wiser too). No one seemed to be in a hurry to commence. It was evident that all were not of the same opinion, and time was given to talk the all important subject over, and for an hour or two on the little common in front of the old hotel, was seen squads of boys here and there, earnestly engaged in trying to convince each other as to who should be elected captain. It was urged that Highgate had their man at the first election, when Captain Clark was chosen, and that Franklin had second lieutenant and Sergeant Whitney of Franklin had been made Adjutant of the Regiment and they ought to be satisfied, and Swanton should be accorded the captain. This line of argument was quite effective, but there was trouble about agreeing as to who should have the place. Sergeant Halloway would not consent to be a candidate, for his said Highgate was not entitled to it, and that he was not fit for it anyway. Lieutenant Marsh would not be a candidate against Lieutenant Brown under no circumstances, and that Franklin had been given all they asked, and now had all they were entitled to, and he did not feel competent for the position, which he already held, and did not care to advise anyone how to vote. Major Clark was on hand and took an active interest in the question of the day, and in fact had been authorized to have charge of the election. It was claimed by some that Major Clark favored Sergeant Blake to succeed as captain, and the result justified this claim. The third house or outsiders were considerable in evidence on this election as well as at the first, but of a different composition. it was well toward noon when Orderly Sergeant Morey appeared on the piazza of the hotel and said, "Already, forward your votes for someone for Captain, only those who belong to Highgate company have a right to vote, and no others will be permitted to come into the place where the votes are to be received by those appointed for the purpose, not to hurry or crowd, plenty of time will be given for all to vote." The count showed that Brown, Blake and Morey came out about neck and neck with a few scattering for Sergeant Halloway and Lieutenant Marsh, but no one receiving a majority, another ballot was at once ordered.
It was now quite sure that a number of the boys had on the first ballot given a complimentary vote to their particular friends, with the promise if no choice, to vote for some one else at the next ballot, and the line up was a little different this time. An effort was made to break the slate, but it was too late, the Franklin boys (the most of them) were supporting Sergeant Blake instead of Lieutenant Brown. The Highgate boys were divided between Brown, Morey and Blake, and those from Alburgh, North Hero and Grand Isle were largely favorable to Blake and Morey, and thus matters stood as the second ballot was about to be taken.
The vote was taken and counted, and Sergeant George G. Blake was elected captain by a handsome majority, and the boys cheered and clapped their hands. Sergeant, now Captain Blake, appeared and in his quiet and modest manner thanked the boys for the honor and pledged his best efforts to serve the whole company, and that it would make no difference to him in his relations to the individual members of the company as to whom they voted for, that it would be his aim to treat all alike.
Among the first that walked up to Captain Blake was Lieutenant Brown, who like a true man and loyal soldier, (and he was that from head to foot), and congratulated him on being elected captain, and that he not only cheerfully acquiesced, but having served as sergeant in Company A, First Vt. Regiment (the same company his father was a member of) and had had experience was by far the better fitted for the position than any other man of the company.
Sergeant Morey came forward and in shaking hands said that while he had supported Brown, had not the slightest objection or feeling against him, and was pleased to congratulate him on his success, and at once tendered his resignation as orderly sergeant, if Captain Blake had anyone else he desired to put in his place. No one seemed to feel bad, for all recognized it a most suitable choice.
If Marsh had not been quite so modest about being promoted to first lieutenant, and Morey's friends could have been convinced that the only chance for him was to support Brown on the first ballot, then advance Marsh, the company would have been officered Stephen F. Brown, Captain; Carmi L. Marsh, First Lieutenant and Sidney S. Morey, Second Lieutenant. But in the light of to-day the writer is of the opinion that all of the survivors of Company K sincerely believe that no mistake was made when Sergeant Blake was chosen Captain.
The vacancies in the list of sergeants by reason of Sergeant Blake's and Whitney's promotion to captain and adjutant, were filled by appointing Merritt Manzer third sergeant and promoting First Corporal Sumner H. Jennison to fifth sergeant. Jackson Chadwick, the especial friend of Lieutenant Marsh was appointed first corporal to take the place of Corporal Jennison.
The election was over and Captain Blake gave all permission to go home, but to be back Monday for we were liable to be ordered to Brattleboro for muster into United States service at any hour, and then the most of us went to our homes, to say good-by to our friends for the last time before leaving the state.
Either at the close of this day or on the following, which was Saturday, Captain Blake received orders from headquarters to start with his company on Monday morning for Brattleboro. We were now scattered and at our respective homes, and special messengers were sent out to be at Swanton Monday morning September 29th in season to take the cares for Brattleboro on the early morning train. Nearly all arrived in time. The writer met the train at St. Albans, having come over from Egypt in the town of Fairfield that morning, twelve miles away. We were the furthest north, and therefore took the cars first.
Company G, the Bakersfield Company we met at St. Albans, and the Winooski, Colchester and Essex company and Burlington company at Essex Junction,and the Richmond Company at Richmond, and the Morristown and Waitsfield companies at Waterbury, and the East Montpelier company and Montpelier company and other companies at Montpelier Junction.
It was a long, heavy train, moved slow, and did not arrive until late in the afternoon. I am not certain that all of the companies of this regiment rode into Brattleboro on the same train, but if two, one followed the other arriving at the same time.
On our arrival at Brattleboro, we were received by Colonel Blunt with his regiment, the 12th, and escorted to the camp ground called Camp Lincoln, where the 12th regiment had been for some days. We were assigned to some wooden buildings long and low called barracks, prepared for the purpose, and in these we took up our temporary residence, and right glad were all that found a place to rest for the night, for all were hungry and tired. We were now for the first time, together as a regiment, and from now on must be considered from new surroundings and associations, and as a part of the 13th regiment.
I will now leave for the present further comment on the general history of my company and speak of the individual members of Company K, hoping to revive in the memory of the survivors, incidents connected with our comrades of forth-five years ago when boys, camping and tramping, marching and fighting, as soldiers and patriots, for the preservation of the Union.
The implacable foe of man, time, unrelentless as ever has severed the brittle thread of life and many, yes, a majority of our company comrades of those eventful days have passed over the turbulent river and joined the silent majority where too soon those who remain must follow.
I am apprehensive unless some mention is made here by name of those who belonged to this company, some one may be forgotten. Those who have prepared sketches of themselves and their comrades that served in this company will not need additional comment in this article, and should such be not further spoken of here, the reason will be because elsewhere in our book of history, ample mention is made.
(Ralph Orson Sturtevant)
Source: Sturtevant, Ralph Orson. "Pictorial History: Thirteenth Vermont Volunteers, War of 1861-1865." Privately published, 1910.