From Geneva Gazette 27 May 1864

Letter From the 148th N. Y. Volunteers

Camp Near Petersburgh, VA
May 17, 1864

Friend Parker:

The 148th have at last smelled gunpowder, and knowing how many rumors are in circulation about it at home, I, to relieve the anxiety of our friends and families, have made out a brief report of our fight, together with a list of the killed and wounded.  We left our camp Thursday, the 12th, with two days rations, and with light marching orders went to the front.  We found the enemy about 10 o'clock, our skirmishers had a fight with them which lasted about three hours, when our lines charged and drove them back about a mile.  We then took up our position for the night and Co's. D and K of our Reg't, with others of the Brigade, were detailed for picket duty, we took our position and held it until morning, when we advanced, being deployed as skirmishers, and finding our rebels, we drove them out of the woods into their rifle pits and from their rifle pits into a fort which they had built on a small hill. Shielding ourselves by keeping behind stumps and trees, we advanced to within 250 yards of their works and held our our position until about 10 o'clock A. M., when we were relieved.  We were so close that we could pick their gunners off when they attempted to fire their guns.  A line of breastworks was thrown up in the rear of the rear of the skirmishers and here we lay until Monday morning, when the rebels, having received heavy reinforcements, attacked us and succeeded in turning our right flank, when we were obliged to fall back; and Monday night found us in our old camp.

Yours truly,
Acting Orderly Sergt.

From Geneva Gazette 10 June 1864

We are shown a letter from FERRIS SCOTT, Chaplin of the 148th Reg't, dated at Gain's Mills, Va, June 5th.  From it we learn of the death of two of our esteemed fellow townsman, Wm. C. Tyler and R. F. Scott.  The letter was shown us just before going to press, yet with the permission of Mrs. Scott, we make the following extract:

"We have lost in killed and wounded nearly 130 men.  I have not as yet been able to make out a complete list, but as soon as I can I will do so and forward it.  McNaughton and Capt. Gage are "all right" this (Sunday) morning; but Wm. C. Tyler was instantly killed on Friday morning by the bursting of a shell.  He was in our hospital at the time, struck a tree near him, burst, a piece hit him square in the breast and killed him instantly.  He did not so much as move or groan.  He was buried near the spot and his grave is marked.

On the same day towards night, Lieut. R. F. Scott received what was considered only a slight wound in the back of the neck, by the bursting of one of our own shells.  He was brought off the field on a stretcher, his wound dressed, and he was sent to the corps hospital.  In the morning of yesterday (Saturday) I learned that he was dead.  I went to the hospital and it was true -- he died soon after midnight.  I found a cousin of his from the 126th Regiment with him, and quite a number of officers and men from that and our own regiment.  We dug a grave and buried him in a christianlike manner.  It is impossible to send any one home now.  Lieut. Scott was highly esteemed by all who knew him in the army.  He was one of our very best officers, and his loss will be severely felt.  I have messed and slept with him for a whole year, and he seemed to me almost like a brother.  But he has fallen.  It is sad to think he was killed by one of our own shots, but such are the accidents of war."

Return to Ontario County Homepage

Copyright © 2003-05, Ontario County NYGenWeb and each contributor and author of materials herein. All rights reserved.