Chautauqua County Historical Society - Member Activities - Chautauqua County - New York - USA
Chautauqua County, New York, USA
Fred Barger - seated
Mortimer Laverne Tyler - standing
49th New York Volunteer Infantry
FRED C. BARGER
Vice-President Chautauqua County Society of New York City, 1904 to 1908. Born in Westfield, NY, 1842. Served in United States Army, 1861-1864; Sergeant and Lieutenant 49th Reg't NY Vols.; lost right hand in battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December, 1862; Inspector on staff of Assistant Provost Marshal General, U. S., in New York City, 1863-1864; Brevet Major NY Vols.; Postmaster at Westfield, NY, 1865; Major and Assistant Commanding General of Ordnance, State of New York, 1866 to 1869!; Companion Military Order of the Loyal Legion, New York Commandery. President New York Mercantile Exchange, 1900 and 1901; Commander Lafayette Post No. 140, Department of New York, Grand Army of the Republic, 1906 and 1910; Trustee Lafayette Post, 1907 to date. Married Mollie A. Robbins, of Westfield, NY, in 1867. Engaged in Produce Commission business in New York City, 1876 to date, now at 158 Franklin Street.-Residence, 2040 Seventh Avenue, New York.
Camp Griffin, Virginia
February 17, 1862
[Text transposed from letter above.]
Camp Griffin Va
February 17th 1862
My dear Sister,
I received your letter in good time but as I wrote to father the next day I thought I would hold on a day or two. This is a wet rainy miserable kind of a day for us soger boys. it has rained all day. the ground is frozen and it continues to freeze - we have a little snow in some places. we do not drill today for a wonder it is the first day we have "postponed on account of the weather" but we are drilling in the Bayonet exercise and I know that we ought to improve all of our time. Colonel Bidwell says that when we learn that we will be complete as he thinks we understand the rest of the drills. To day we have an addition of one Regiment to our Brigade the 77th New York they are about 95 (951?) strong and look like a good Regiment. they have been on the Road since 8 o'clock this morning but have carried no knapsacks or Blankets. they had 108 wogons each drawn by six mules and brought even the boards which they had to tent floors - which is against special orders. we were only allowed 20 wagons and only had our tents and camp equipage carried. each man had to carry his knapsack and blanket. Lieut. Stevens (probably 1st Lieutenant Phineas Steven) does not feel very bright to day. was quite sick last night but is better today. I don't know whether he would care about my reporting him sick but you must not say that he is.
I do not hear from George yet. I have written to him and sent him a paper. Do you ever get papers from me. I have sent 3 or 4 . and send one to father with this. let me know if it is received. So the girls have got the skating fever have they and Neit (?) Carlisle is a proficient you say. give her my best respects and tell her I believe I could catch her in going 40 rods. I have written to her once about two months ago bt never heard from her. I have just read Dr. Spencer's letter in the Republican of the 12" inst (?). it is a "big thing" and I can see it. I guess H. J. Bliss will say no more about the Stoneman Cavalry not being in the Field. his views in regard to the 49th are my sentiments exactly. John has done a bully thing the first time. did he ever write one before?
[vertically in crease:] I wish you would send me some stamps
If so I never saw it Tell mother that I can't see the photograph she said she would send. I should like one of you as you spoke of getting and if Melvin can take good ones they are as cheap as you can get them in New York. after pay-day I want to get a picture taken full length without my overcoat. I should like some in my jacket with my belts and sword. I am still in the Company doing all kinds of duty and sometimes that of orderly and the other [45 csgs?] together. I expect to go on Picquit (picket) again about tomorrow - but don't know yet. they just make me skedaddle. I can promise you but I am young and tough and hearty and can stand it - I guess we will all be home by July or August - what do the folks north say about it - please write soon
[vertically on side of letter:] I received the Com Ad (?) from father. do so more (?)
added was a page 5:
I wish you would send me a paper of needles course enough to carry linen thread. small needles are of no know of use to me here. also a hank (?) of course black linen thread. I would also like another pair of light buckskin gloves like the ones Geo. sent me as some miserable --- has stolen those - they were first sole (?) ones which in addition to the knife I spoke of to father and some Butter (if possible) completes my list of wants for the present - hoping that you can send some or all of these things
I am as ever
Your aff brother
Camp Griffin, Virginia
March 9, 1862
[Text transposed from letter above.]
Camp Griffin, VA March 9, 1862
I received yours and mothers letters night before last and was very glad to hear from you. You will see that we are still in Camp Griffin but I do not know how long we shall stay here. Last Thursday at one o'clock in the morning we were formed in line and marched to Erwinsville (?) where we were joined by the 3rd Vermont and about 150 Cavalry then proceeded to Vienna where we arrived about 7 o'clock we then stopped for breakfast as the march of about 10 or 11 miles had given us quite an appetite. We stayed there about an hour and then started on toward Secech. We went about two or three mile from Vienna and our Company were deployed as Skirmishers in front of the whole force we scoured two small pieces of woods and halted on an open field when our Cavalry went on and surrounded two horses that were in sight. There was a few of the Rebels there (Cavalry) but they put spurs to their horses and were soon out of sight. A Bugler belonging to the 2d US Regulars Cavalry chased one fellow that seemed to separate from the rest and went a little too far and the chap turned on him and fired his revolver. The Bugler fired back until the six shots which his revolver contained were gone and then the fellow sent a ball near enough to graze his thumb and make him drop his rovolver and turn his horse and run for home - he lost his cap and Pistol by the means. When the shots were fired we immediately heard drums beat on the right and left and in front of us and distinctly heard the "long roll". So if we did not hurt them we scared them some. Gen Davidson after reconnoitering concluded that they had a pretty strong force there and did not think it expedient to attack them with our two Regiments we had no artillery with us this time. I should not be surprised if we go out there soon with force enough to make an attack but cannot tell. we were called in about 2 o'clock and marched back to Vienna where we stayed about 2 hours - we expected to stay there until the next morning but the General thought it best to come back. he complimented our Company highly on our Skirmishing. I do not think that 30 long miles would more than cover our march that day - we were not much used up on coming into camp at 7 o'clock that night. oh no! - therefore the next day the General took us over to Division Head Quarters and gave us a Brigade Drill - (such as you read of) told Captain Drake to "trot" that Company out and "deploy them as Skirmishers on the right file" to cover the Battalion which was accordingly done although the mud was about a foot deep and the left of the company had to "trot" about half a mile - we had no sooner got there than the order was to "assemble on the right file" and back again - as Gen Davidson was a short time since a Cavalry Major. he may be excusable for thinking that a poor "snoger" [?] can "trot" "gallop" or "run" like a Cavalry horse through the mud day after day. this I think, is his only trouble. he thinks that we should get around as fast as horses and consequently is somewhat disappointed. he compliments our Regiment quite highly - he has ordered that our Co ("G") and Co "K" of our Regiment be drilled five hours a day exclusively in Skirmish drill and target shooting. we are excused from Picket. (Bully for us) Division Central or Camp Guard, Fatigue - or any other duty in order to to perfect ourselves in the Skirmishing - and target practice. we are the best in the Regiment now but can still improve. our co can beat the best shooting. I am getting to be a tolerable good shot myself at two hunred yards I put two shots out of three in the target. (about 18 inches by 30) Yesterday they were shooting 400 yard but I was over to the 21st. where I saw the Sheldon boys - Capt Layton and his wife and some others that I know. I had a very pleasant time. I heard through her from that Mip White (?) that you saw at Mr Page's when you were in Buffalo. This is a great place for Ladies -
I heard from Ed Stevens (?) the same day I got your letter but have not written to him yet as I have no means of paying Postage which is the reason I do not write some other letters.
I have not seen or heard anything of the Skinners. I wrote to Ed the night I got your letter but have not heard from him yet - I think it strange - but he may be waiting to come over. I cannot possible get over there as we are under marching orders all of the time - I think it is settled that we get no pay until the 15th of April which is only two weeks from another pay-day unless they hold off as long as they do on this. I have only got one cent and although I very much dislike to ask for money I should be very glad if you could send me a dollar or so - to Keep up until I get some pay - when I shall send home $20 and I hope more the next time. Please write some - I have nothing new or interesting so I must stop
As ever Your affectionate brother
Send me a paper or two We were farther advanced the other day than any Infantry troops have been since the Battle of Bull Run
Member Page submitted by Dr. David Brown.