23rd Regiment N.C.T. Winter 1862-63 "Montgomery Volunteers"

23rd Regiment N.C.T. Winter 1862-63
Montgomery Volunteers

Fayetteville Observer, February, 1863

For the Observer

Camp near Union Mills, Virginia
Company C, 23rd Regiment N.C. Volunteers
January 26, 1862

Messrs. Editors:

I send you a list of the deaths in Company C, Montgomery Volunteers, 
with some remarks and a request that you publish.

We left Troy on the 6th June last, numbering all told 100, and arrived at 
Garysburg on the 11th, where we remained until the 2nd August.  While 
here, the measles prevailed to a great extent not only in our company but 
the whole camp.  There were sixty odd cases in our company.  John C. 
Teal, who had the measles, took pneumonia as he was recovering and 
died on the 20th July.  He left a wife and two little children to mourn his 

William H. Andrews, who had measles also, went home on sick furlough 
and died at his father’s, on the 16th August of fever, leaving a large family 
and friends and relatives at home and in his company to shed the tear of 
orrow over the young and patriotic boy of 16 years.  

On the 2nd of August, we left Garysburg for Manassas, in company with 
Captains Webb and Farris, and arrived at Petersburg that evening.  We 
were told the way out to a beautiful and shady grove where there was plenty 
of good cool water and that there would be a supper prepared for us in a 
short time.  This was all very acceptable particularly the water and shade, 
for the August sun was extremely hot.

On arriving at the place designated we found a beautiful grove, with good 
water and a long table, which was soon covered with the substantial food 
of life.  The men were marched to the table where they did eat and were full.

Though this supper was good, plentiful and thankfully received, yet it was 
nothing compared to the dinner given us in Greensboro’ last June.  God 
bless the ladies of Greensboro’.  They will ever be remembered and cared 
for by us.

About 10:00 we left for Richmond and arrived at the depot at that place about 
12:00.  Here we were truly in the dark as to where we should lodge the 
balance of the night.  It was not long before we learned there was a large 
empty tobacco house close by that had been used on similar occasions.  
We were marched in and remained until the next morning.

On the 7th August, we succeeded in getting transportation for Manassas 
and on the next morning started.  But during the six days stay, several of 
our men had got sick and had to be left.  One who was left, Harris Y. Futrel, 
died on the 29th August of fever.  He had been faithful in performing his 
duties as a soldier up to the time he took sick.

We arrived at Manassas on the night of the 8th August about 10:00 or 11:00.  
Next morning we marched out two miles east to Camp Wigfall, where we 
joined our regiment for the first time, having been left at Garysburg on account 
of the measles.  This was a very pretty location, well watered and had all the 
appearances of being healthy.  But we did not enjoy us long; on the 23rd the 
regiment moved east eight miles to Camp Ellis, where good water was scarce 
and the ground was too low for health.  At this camp we had a good deal of 
sickness and lost three men.

Thomas White, a good soldier and a kind hearted young man, died on 2nd 
September of diphtheria.

W.C. Robinson, a young man ready and willing at all times to do his duty, who 
had the love and confidence of his brother soldiers, died on the 26th September 
of fever.

N.T. hall, who had married after volunteering and just before starting in defense 
of his country, died on the 29th September of fever.

On the 22nd, the regiment left Camp Ellis and went three miles towards Occoquaw, 
where it stayed about two weeks and then went north one or two miles and stayed 
only two days.  Then north, some three of four miles, or about one mile from 
Fairfax Station, on the roads towards Fairfax Court House, where it remained up 
to the night of the 15th October, the time of our retreat.  About this time our sick 
were sent back to Manassas and from there to different hospitals where some 
of them have died.

E.D. Hall died at Richmond on the 2nd November of fever.

Daniel P. Leach died at Charlottesville on the 1st December of pneumonia.  He 
was a recruit of the 9th September.  He had come all the way from Louisiana to 
join our company.  He was born and raised in Moore.  He died before learning 
much of the life of a soldier, but not before making friends in the company.

Since we have been at this camp we have only lost one so far as we know.  L.H. 
Wallace died at Manassas on the 12th inst., of fever.  Wallace had been a true 
and faithful man in the camp and has left his brother soldiers to mourn his loss.

We now have several off at hospitals very sick but have not received an official 
notice of any other deaths.

This is a trying time for men out here.  We have a hard time on picket.  It is bad 
enough in camp, but nothing compared to going on picket.  Since we have been 
here we have been in the advance infantry and had to go out on picket duty.  And 
sometimes we have gone in advance of the cavalry on picket.  One time we stood 
face to face in full view of the enemy 48 hours, in three days and nights our company 
held posts on picket in full view of the enemy.  This was about one mile north east 
of Mason’s Hill and about the 10th September.

This in time of peace would be a desirable place to live at.  The location is beautiful.  
There was then a tolerably good house upon it, and some very fine corn just 
beginning to mature.  It overlooks all that Potomac country, Arlington Heights, 
Washington City, and as far down as below Alexandria.  We could see the capitol in 
Washington City and the very roof that sheltered Lincoln’s head, with a flag fluttering 
in the breeze over it.  And many flags in other parts of the city.  At Alexandria we 
could see houses and flags also, and the boats passing up and down the river.  All 
this we looked upon with the eagerness of half starved men, not for something to eat, 
for we had that, but for the time and move to fight.  We wanted to take down those 
flags, they looked too daring, and we were spoiling for a fight.

I said we went out on picket, regiment relieving regiment every 24 hours, holding 
points by companies.  The first 24 hours we were out, the Yankees were firing by 
squads at some of the companies all the time.  But the distance was too great, 
for they did no damage.  One of our men exploded a cap at one who was crawling 
up to shoot him.  I guess if that gun had fired there would have been one Yankee less.

We have not yet gone into our winter quarters and the probability is we will not soon.  
It is true we are at work putting up cabins, but the inclemency of the weather, the
great scarcity of building timber, and the extent of the mud, will retard the progress 
too long for us to be much benefited.  The most of us are in cabins here, such as 
they are. They are not good.

A few days ago this was the muddiest country I ever saw.  It was almost impossible 
to get about.  And it would be just as bad now if it would thaw out a little.  We have 
a light snow or hail every few days.  The weather is now fair for the first time in eight 
or ten days.

We are trying to put up our winter quarters on the side of Bull Run towards and in a 
few miles of Manassas.  Wind high and cold, cold, cold.

C.J. Cochran, Captain
Company C
23rd Regiment N.C. Troops

Transcribed by Christine Spencer February 2008

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