Volume XXXXII · 1991-1992
The Story of My Life by Horace McGuire
--EDITED AND ANNOTATED BY RICHARD W. KAEUPER
From Early Childhood to 1862
To write a brief autobiography is not at all of my desires but the often expressed wish of my daughter and the grandchildren. I make this preliminary remark because I am now nearing my 70th birthday. I remember how old men love to recount the incidents of their early life and I do not wish to be included in that category.
I was born in Sauna, New York, a suburb of Syracuse, and now a part of that city. I was almost a Christmas gift to our family when I came. If I had delayed my arrival but two days, I would then have been such a gift. As it was I arrived December 23, 1842. I was the second son; my brother James was born in 1839. My father, Thomas McGuire, was born in 1812 in Galway, Ireland and came to America as a mere lad. He became acquainted with my mother in Chenango County, N.Y. at the little village of Oxford. He was 24 and she but 16. But they were married in 1836. Thus she was but 19 when James was born and but 22 when I came upon the scene. Her name was Andelutia Odell and through her mother's family of the Allens was a direct descendant of Joseph Allen who in April 1775 went with his comrades from Pomfret[,] Conn. to the relief of Boston in the Lexington Alarm.
There were five children in our family, three boys and two girls and named in the order of their birth: James, Horace, William, Andelutia, Eliza. The last boy being born in 1849. I alone survive. None left children surviving except my brother William.
My father being carried away by the intensity of the then prevailing "Gold Fever" went to California in 1850 leaving his wife and four little children. We had then moved into Syracuse and was living in a small house of our own on James St. This property was mortgaged to Dennis McCarthy for $250 and the proceeds used to pay the expenses of my father's journey to the gold fields. He went by way of the Isthmus of Panama crossing with others on foot and through the jungle trails and finally went into the mines near Placerville, California. He was not successful. He did send home, so my mother told me, one small remittance and we never heard of him alive thereafter. It was several years afterwards that my mother received an authentic account of his death from a public administrator, together with two or three hundred dollars, the balance of his estate after its settlement by the public administrator. Both James and I were taken from school and set to work to supply food for the family. I was thus about ten years of age when I left the Syracuse public schools and as a lad worked in a printing office in that city.1 I must have gone to work in 1851 as I remember an incident in that year and while I was carrying my route of daily papers. James was entered [?] as a clerk in a dry goods store and as my mother was somewhat musical she had a few pupils in music so that what little she was able to earn and the small wages of James and myself kept the family together.
Mr. Dennis McCarthy, it was claimed by my mother, was a partner with my father in the California enterprise, McCarthy furnishing the $250 and my father agreeing to divide the profits of the venture with him, and McCarthy taking the mortgage as security only. Be that as it may, Mr. McCarthy did foreclose his mortgage and the sheriff put us and our belongings into the street. Mr. McCarthy subsequently became Mayor of Syracuse and, strange enough, his son Dennis was with me during two years on the State Board of Charities and forgetting all of the past as to our fathers we became and now are very good friends.
Prior to 1851 Congress had passed the so-called "Fugitive Slave Law" and by its provisions a fugitive slave could be apprehended in any Northem State and without a trial by jury could and must be remanded at once to the custody of his master.2
A notable historic event occurred in Oct. 1851 in Syracuse, N.Y. and it is known in history as the "Jerry Rescue."3 This colored young man had escaped from his master and was working his way towards Canada, the only land of freedom open to him. He was caught in Syracuse and I witnessed the officers chasing him through the streets and into the public place near the Erie Canal used as a wood yard. The farmers brought in their loads of wood and were permitted to stand in this public place until they sold their load. As I remember it we could get good four foot beech or maple for about one dollar a cord. It was in the afternoon and as a lad of 9 years I had started out from the office to deliver to the subscribers the daily edition of the paper. I saw Jerry as he dodged in and around the loads of wood with the constables in hot pursuit. I saw them catch him and take him to the lock-up in the Wheaton Block. What makes of this event an historic one, was the fact that the Abolitionists, led on by Mr. Wheaton who kept as I recollect a hardware store in his office block and who that night opened his store that his abolition friends could get a supply of crowbars with which they broke down the doors and in defiance of law rescued Jerry and ran him off to the Canadian border. Much was made of this lawlessness both in Congress and out of it and I do not recollect whether or not the rescuers were punished.
I do not recall just why my mother took her little flock and moved to Binghamton. It was soon after the foreclosure of the mortgage and I imagine her mortification had much to do with it.
Of course it would be much better to write of myself as an exceptionally good boy during my few years in Syracuse but candor compels me to relate a couple of instances which I recall of my waywardness. It was the night before the 4th of July and the boys did dearly love to build a bonfire if only the materials could be found. I don't think I was the leader and yet perhaps I was but we did find a big pile of empty orange and lemon boxes in the rear of a store on Salina Street. The night was dark and it was before the days of gas-lit or electric lighted streets. What we boys did not know when we set on to capture the empty boxes was that the alley in [the] rear was a cul-de-sac; that it extended only a little way in from the street with no opening at the end of the alley and the lemon boxes were in the extreme end of the alley. There was a dozen of us and as we came out to the street, each carrying a box, a miserable constable or two demanded that we should halt and then each was required to replace the box while the constables guarded the entrance and then they took us by twos and locked us up in the station house as common thieves. What a wailing there was as the whole crowd of us were locked up in a single cell. How we begged to be let out and what promises we made. After an hour or so of this incarceration the very floor of our cell being wet with our tears, we were liberated and told to cut it for home. No boy ever ran home faster than I did as it was long past midnight and the strapping I received on my arrival home at the hands of an anxious mother was a relief even after leaving the prison cell. I could take you to Syracuse today and point out the very spot where we reluctantly left the lemon boxes.
The other incident which stands out in my memory was the time I ran away from home. Why I did so I cannot recall. It is true I had been whipped by my mother and also by my school teacher but I do not now think more frequently than I deserved no matter howl felt about it at the time. I had run away from school and, with some other boys was in swimming in Onondaga Lake. A man driving a small herd of cattle had stopped to cook and eat his noonday meal while his cattle grazed in a nearby pasture. Us boys gathered about the man and listened to his tales of adventure and the upshot of it was he induced me to follow with him. With only scant clothing I was led away by this scoundrel and assisted him in driving his cattle westward and at night slept in a barn on the hay. I remained with him on the road for three days, passing the Montezuma Marshes 4 in our western travel until we reached his home near Savannah, N.Y. It was a miserable home and I literally did sleep with the pigs. He gave me no clothing as he had promised. He gave me little to eat and did however cut me unmercifully with his long whip. Footsore and ragged I escaped and found refuge on a canal boat going east and reached Syracuse after about a week's absence. Of course I have never forgotten the expression on my mother's face when the bad runaway boy was found by her in the morning fast asleep in the outhouse. She was kind to me and washed me and cried over her boy and his waywardness. She predicted a life in prison or some other reformatory for me arid was grieved that she saw no evidence of reform in me. I think I did reform in some degree after that as I do not recall any other times when I was so wicked and unkind to a most devoted mother.
I worked in a printing office in Binghamton and I well remember some of my duties. I must be at the office at 6:30 A.M., make the fire in the big wood stove, sprinkle the floor and then sweep up the office. Then run of errands until the paper was ready to go to press about 2 P.M. It was printed on a large Washington River hand press. I rolled the type with an ink roller before each impression and the daily edition did not exceed a few hundred copies. The Chenango River runs through Binghamton and my last duty was to deliver the papers to the subscribers on one side of the river while another boy delivered on the other side of the river. One of my subscribers was the Hon. Daniel M. Dickson [sic], a man of great distinction in Congress. Shall I ever forget his kindness in giving to me a $5 gold piece for my carriers address on New Years Day.5 My brother James worked in a dry goods store in Binghamton and the little family was kept together by my mother's efforts and the slight wages of James and myself. Some friend of my mother offered her inducement to return to Elmira, N.Y. where we went after but a few years in Binghamton. Again I worked in the office of the Elmira Advertiser and James in a dry goods store and mother did earn considerable money with her music. Something happened in Elmira. I don't recall what it was but I was out of work but did find work in a little printing office in Horseheads. I recall my mother walking part of the way with me to Horseheads.
I recall our affectionate parting in the roadway, she returning to Elmira and I on to my work. This job as the printers used to call it lasted but a short time. In the meantime I had become quite proficient in type setting and tramped on to Canandaigua, N.Y. where I got a job on the Ontario Repository. I also secured a job for James in a dry goods store and mother once more moved the balance of the flock and our little belongings to Canandaigua. The village was then as now a small one and the wages earned were meager and no opportunity was furnished for mother to earn anything, so on we all tramped once more to Rochester and took a small house at No. 11 James Street. This must have been in the Spring of 1857 and I was in my 15th year of age. My first work was in a little printing office on Main St. opposite Reynolds Arcade. Frederick Douglass, the noted ex-slave and colored orator owned and edited the little paper. I think it was called the Liberator.6 The press work was done in the adjoining office of the Rochester Democrat which was afterwards consolidated with the Rochester Chronicle making the paper now known as the Democrat and Chronicle. Frederick Douglass and his two sons, both black men, and myself constituted the office force. His daughter Rosa, a very black but quite an intelligent young woman7 helped us each week with the edition of this weekly paper. The paper was of course devoted to the abolition cause and such well known abolitionists as Amy Post,8 the mother of Jacob Post, the druggist, and Samuel D. Porter9 the father of Mrs. Charles F. Pond and others were frequent visitors in the office when the affairs of the "Underground Railroad" were discussed in my hearing. I saw many runaway slaves cared for and carefully hid from the constables anxious to arrest them under the Fugitive Slave Law. In some instances large rewards were offered by the former masters and these rewards were an additional incentive to the constables to apprehend the poor runaways. They were usually brought in at night and hid in cellars and in barns under a covering of hay and fed and clothed by their Abolition friends and under cover of night, sent on by trusted men with horses and waggons [sic] to the next station of the Underground Railroad. 10
I was present at an interview in 1858 between Frederick Douglass and John Brown held at the office and recall that Mr. Douglass tried to dissuade Mr. Brown from his contemplated invasion of Virginia. 11 Truly John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave and his soul went marching on. As I stood beside his grave in the Adirondack Mountains this summer my mind went back on the past 54 years and the scene in the little printing office between these two noted men came up before me as though it were but yesterday. I worked a short time in the counting room of the Rochester Democrat then owned by Alvah Strong. 12 There I formed the acquaintance of Henry Strong and Lyman L. Stone. Mr. Stone afterwards went into business with Mr. Gibbons in manufacturing pianos under the firm name of Gibbons and Stone. Both of these young men worked in the counting room of the Democrat at that time. My next employment was in the job room of the Union and Advertiser. Isaac Butts was Editor, Joseph Curtis was the financial man in the counting room and John E. Morey was the practical printer.
Both James and myself were now earning good wages for those times and under the wonderful economy of my mother the family was maintained in a most respectable manner. Of our early neighbors, I recall those of Mr. Searl who became a noted architect and Mr. Lansing who lived opposite us. The Court Stenographer Dick Lansing and his brother were our boyhood friends. No. 11 Public School was then on the corner of James and Chestnut Street and I regularly attended the night school there. At that time a particularly rough set of fellows known as the Weigh Lock gang because they lived near the weigh lock on the Erie Canal, attended this night school. I remember a big fellow they called "Chippey" Conley. He was the terror of the school and its teachers. I had become somewhat infatuated with Miss Messenger, one of our teachers and she had confided to me as I walked home with her one night that unless she was able to maintain order and discipline in our room she would more than likely loose [sic] her situation. That she needed the salary so much and could I help her to maintain order.13 I was not large or muscular and could do little but look on when the Weigh Gang set out to "rough-house" our school room, which they did about twice a week. I thought out the plan of getting this big Chippy Conley on my side and then go at it and if necessary clean out the whole gang. I did persuade him and we agreed that I should try and knock down one or two of the gang the next time they refused to keep order at Miss Messenger's request. The night came when the gang started to throw books around and to make a general row and I got up and said that things had got to stop.(Appendix 1) That I wanted to improve my time at school if they did not. One of the gang sat near the front and I had stepped out in front of Miss Messenger's desk facing the crowd. This fellow for answer to my reasonable appeal fired a book at me which I dodged and it came near hitting Miss Messenger. Quick as a flash I grabbed him by the collar and jerked him out and over the seat and onto the floor. Two or three of the gang jumped up and ran at me in a second of time but before they could hurt me very much Chippy had knocked them right and left and assisted me in throwing the fellow who "fired" the book at me out into the street. Then Conley and I simply told the gang that the first one that attempted to kick up a row in Miss Messenger's room would be thrown out head first. There was no further trouble that Winter and the boys did good work under Miss Messenger's faithful teaching. She considered it no hardship to remain long after hours to explain to us any of the lessons which seemed so difficult. In those days they made much of declamation and the prize I received for the best declamation is the Sargent's Standard Speller now in my library upon the front cover of which is a printed account of the affair and the awarding of the prize to me by the Committee.
I am now to enter upon an account of the three events in my life which seemed of great importance. I refer to my conversion to Christ and my uniting with the Central Presbyterian Church in 1860, my entry into the Free Academy or High School as it was then called in the same year, 1860, and my enlistment in the Volunteer Service of the United States Army in 1862.
Our family life in Rochester was broken up in the Fall of 1858 and I regret to say much of it was on account of the stubbornness of my brother James who now refused to give all his wages for the common good. I was as I have said working in the job department of the Union and Advertiser. I had obtained a job for Willie, as we called him in the same office feeding a rotary press. You can perhaps imagine my surprise when my mother decided to cease her quarrel with James and taking our little sister Eliza went to her own people near Scranton, Pa. James left us and we knew not of his whereabouts. For many years I blamed my mother because she gave up the fight to keep the family together but as years went on I became convinced it was impossible to do otherwise. The earning capacity of myself and William was inadequate and one thing after another was being surreptitously sold from our household effects to piece out the weekly necessities of food. I have omitted to mention that my little sister Andelutia had died in early childhood and is buried in Syracuse. With James gone from the nest there was still four mouths, my mother, Eliza, William and myself. Mother fairly put it up to us, that is William and myself and we decided to stick together and remain in Rochester and continue in our employment in the printing office. You can imagine that was a very heart-breaking separation. For a while both William and I remained with our Uncle Horace who lived on Heil St. in the city. Both Uncle Horace and my Aunt Hannah were very kind to us but he had met with financial losses, had a large family and it soon became apparent that although his heart was willing, he owed a duty to his own children rather than to those of his sister. Then again, he was much opposed to my mother's going away. He even accused her of cowardice. But go she did and we were left alone. That is William and I. My cousin Marietta Lettington had lived in our family and was like a sister to us boys. We finally found a boarding place with Miss Bowman in the building now standing on the corner of Main Street and Plymouth Avenue, then known as Sophia St. William was a frail boy but I was strong and by sawing and splitting a cord of wood a week and carrying it up a long pair of stairs I was able to reduce the price of the board of William and myself to a minimum. Then Miss Bowman, a dear soul, gave up the boarding house to Dr. Hamilton and his wife. She was the mother of Mrs. Arthur Lutchford. She took us boys in and the wood cutting continued. No mother could have been kinder to us boys than was Mrs. Hamilton. The Dr. was a quack and made great pretentions [sic] and sat at the head of the table with great dignity but poor Mrs. Hamilton and her children with William and myself did all the work and waited upon this shiftless but worshipped old quack of a doctor whom no one employed even for a sick cat. That utter ruin should befall the Hamiltons was inevitable. They had no idea of the ratio between expenses and income. But their creditors did have such a vivid idea about such things that at last they were in utter financial ruin. The pompous Dr. could not understand the miserable conduct of their creditors but ruin did come. Young Arthur Lutchford was a devoted lover of Mary Hamilton and he advised us, for I was considered as of the family, to give up the struggle. Their household stuff was sold and our home broken up. It was our custom to go to Uncle Horace's every Sunday for dinner. There were some revival meetings being held in Central Church and Nettie Lettington and I were led to attend them.14My Uncle Horace was something of a skeptic and rather laughed at the idea of Nettie and I being interested in the revival meetings. Lula was then a baby. One Sunday at dinner my Uncle Horace in a derisive tone said, "I suppose we ought to say grace now that we have two Christians with us!" He asked me to do so. Nettie, who sat beside me burst into tears and besought me not to be ashamed of Jesus. I asserted my love for Christ and in a trembling voice accepted the challenge of the skeptical uncle and asked God's blessing on the family and the food.15 That was in the Spring of 1860. I think Nettie and I united with the church at the April communion. Dr. Frank E. Ellinwood was the minister and he proved a real friend to me as I shall show hereafter. It was Dr. Ellinwood who ventured to give me instructions evenings although I was still working in the printing office. From the very first he had selected me to be educated for the Christian ministry. He gave me many hours of kind advice and instructions and so inspired me with the possibilities that I was preparing to quit the office and set out upon the work of educating myself for the Christian ministry. To that end, during the long summer of 1860, Dr. Ellinwood sponsored me for admission to the High School in the Fall. 16 Of course I was unable to pass any admission examination. My long service as a printer gave me an advantage over some other boys, but I was wholly deficient in "book learning." Early in the summer I had taken Mr. John E. Morey into my confidence and had told him how much Dr. Ellinwood wanted me to enter the High School in the following September and quit the office. Mr. Morey appreciated me as a rapid typesetter. In those days Mr. Morey was said to have been the most skillful type setter in the city and I was a close second. In a solid page of small pica lower case there were 1,300 ems and 1,000 ems an hour was considered very rapid work, but both Mr. Morey and myself had on at least one occasion set up a page of 1,300 ems an hour for several successive hours.
To my surprise Mr. Morey at once fell in with my plans. He knew Mr. Daniel E. Holbrook, the Superintendent of Schools and also Professor Webster, the principal of the high school and through Mr. Morey and Dr. Ellinwood it was arranged I should enter in September without examination. Mr. Morey arguing for me that if I could not keep up with the class I should be dropped and returned to my work in the Union office. Mr Morey also agreed that I should be paid 20 cents an hour for all work I did in the office after school and Saturdays. Dr. Ellinwood securing for me a home with Mr. Eben Carr, the sexton of the Central Church and in consideration of my helping him at the church in sweeping and dusting and building furnace fires and, what will seem strange to my grandchildren, in tolling the bell. The latter duty was by no means a play spell. The first and second bells before each service required a climb up into the high bell tower and a strong tug at the big bell rope.
That Fall of 1860 is important in my life as being the time I actually entered the Rochester High School as a student. What an entrance was that! Graduated from a printing office and small night school, I was to take my place with the young men and young women graduated from the highest grade in the public schools. Could I stay there? That was the question before me and a problem I alone must struggle to solve.
The whole country was aroused that Fall of 1860 by the birth of the new Republican party and the nomination by it of Abraham Lincoln for President of the United States. The new party had as its chief object the absolute restriction of the slave territory and the exclusion of slavery from the vast territories of the United States in the west now fast filling up with emigrants from Europe as well as the removal to the territories of many anti-slavery men from the east.
I'm not writing a political history and only refer to the above fact as being coincident to my breaking away from ignorance and in the freedom of an educated mind.
The preparatory course in the high school for college entrance consisted of three years work. Latin, Greek, mathematics, and civil government were four required studies in each of which the student must pass a satisfactory examination to enter the University of Rochester.
As I sit at my desk writing this page my mind runs back to that first six months in the High School and the long nights of hard study I was obliged to do in order to get my feet upon anything like a good standing in my class. I recall how I did gradually make a foot hold and that too with the problem before me of putting in as many hours at the office as possible during the week as the 20 cents per hour was badly needed to meet the requirements for books and clothing and have some help for my brother William. My home at Mr. Carr's was everything that a boy could wish and dear Mrs. Carr was a mother indeed to me.
My bright red hair, my blue eyes and fair complexion and a native wit made for me many friends and some admirers among the girls. Among the first I was attracted to [was] the quiet little Alice Kingsbury. Her brother Andrew sang quite well and I also had a little gift in that direction and as Alice could play the piano and sang a sweet soprano, their house became a very delightful place for me to visit. Alice was in my classes in the High School and was a member of our Young Peoples' Society in the Central Church. After meetings, as they lived on Tremont Street and I on the next Street, Adams Street, I usually walked home with Alice and Andrew from church.
I finished my first year in the High School from September, 1860 to June, 1861 and at its close stood well up with the best in the class. Prof. Ira Clark had the Latin and Greek. He was also a lawyer and had a little office in Reynolds Arcade. He was a very kind and lovable man. Rather stern in his general demeanor before his classes, but there grew up between us quite a strong friendship. Encouraged by Prof. Clark and Dr. Ellinwood I took up the task of hard study during the long summer vacation of 1861 with the hope of entering the 3rd in graduating class in September 1861. To say that I worked very hard that long hot summer would be putting it very mildly indeed. Without charge Prof. Clark heard at his little law office my recitation in Latin and Greek as did the dear Professor Webster in his little law office my recitation in mathematics. Oh! how hard were the mathematics. I never had what might be called a mathematical mind. But I could force myself to learn the lessons required and did so.
Remember that the question of food and clothes was always before me and I must work to earn money as well as to try and cut out a year in the preparatory High School class. And how I did work! I did enter the graduating class in September, 1861 and remember that James Breck Perkins17 was one of that class and one of its very best scholars.
My mother had now been in Pennsylvania since the Winter of 1858. She married her 2nd Cousin Ethan A. Warren on May 25th, 1859. He was a widower with several children grown up and was much older than my mother. He was a man of some means and owned and operated what was known as "Warren's Grist Mill" on his own land where he had a good water power. He furnished a good home for my mother and Eliza until his death. Eliza died and was buried but neither William or I was able to go to the funeral.
Then two children, both girls, [were] born to my mother after her marriage to Mr. Warren. Both died leaving no descendants.
The second year in the High School was very hard for me at the beginning but by dint of hard work I soon was able to keep up with the graduating class in which I was now fully entered and before Spring I was well at the head of it.
The City of Rochester at that time gave to the two highest in standing at the High School, after a competitive examination, scholarships in the Rochester University. I had my eyes on one of these. James Perkins was quite sure of one but there were several of us after the other. I felt I needed it and simply must have it. I look back upon that day of competitive examination, part oral and part written, and recall that I went in the room after having received a kind word from Prof. Clark with a determination not to get rattled and to do my level best to win. The result was that the scholarships were awarded to Perkins and myself.
This brings me to the Spring or early Summer of 1862. In those days the entrance examinations for the Fall term of the university were held in June. I had been examined and received and my scholarship from the city entitled me to four years tuition free. I was entered in the Class of 1866 with such fellows as Dr. Ely, 18 George Raines, John Fahy and others.
Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated. The war between the north and south was on in all its fury. Fort Sumter had been surrendered to the enemy and our forces had met defeat at Bull Run.
The excitement in the north was very great. President Lincoln had called for 300,000 volunteers and these were apportioned among the several northern states. Every church pulpit was a recruiting station. Days of fasting and prayer were observed. Business seemed almost suspended as the young men left the shops and stores to volunteer to put down the rebellion. War meetings as they were called were held almost every day and night and patriotic speeches delivered and young men called upon to volunteer. Even the envelopes used through the mails had flaps printed upon them with such words as "The Union must and shall be preserved."19 No sacrifice was considered too great. If a young man was inclined to volunteer the citizens came forward with all kinds of help to straighten out his affairs so he could go. Did he have a father ill and dependent on him; provision was made by the Citizens' Committee to care for the family during his absence.
I will relate a single instance to show the feeling which prevailed in July, 1862. There was a "War Meeting" being held in the round park on Plymouth Avenue near Edinburgh Street. It was in the afternoon and Mr. George C. Buell was presiding. 20 Johnny Wheeler as he was known lived on Adams Street and was the owner of a hack and a pair of black horses. He supported himself and wife by his hack and horses. He drove up to this war meeting and sitting on his hack listened to the speakers. When the call was made for volunteers, Johnny shouted from his hack seat, "I'd volunteer if I could get rid of this hack and team. I've no one to take them off my hands."
The hack and team was not worth to exceed a thousand dollars but right then and there Mr. Buell acting as auctioneer, and Johnny still seated on the box of his hack and team was struck off to the highest bidder for $1,800 cash. Johnny jumped off the seat, delivered the team to the purchaser, and signed the roll of volunteers. He was assigned to the Mack's battery then being recruited and was in my section of the battery after my enlistment as I shall now proceed to detail.
My Experience in the Civil War
The war excitement increased during July, 1862 and it became evident that every young man who could must enlist. At that time tents were erected in front of the old courthouse and each tent was a recruiting station. The 140th New York of 1,000 men was being formed. The ranks of the 108th was being filled up. Several cavalry companies were being organized as was also Mack's Rifle Battery. There was a gunsmith named Billinghurst 21who had a shop on the corner of Main St. where the Union Clothing Company Building now stands. He had acquired quite a local reputation as the maker of fine rifles. He had invented what was called the Billinghurst Gun.22 It consisted of 24 rifles mounted on a carriage. It was so arranged that the cartridges being inserted in the rear part -- The 24 rifles could be discharged at once. The barrels could be raised and lowered and could also be spread out in fan shape at the muzzles. It could be loaded and fired with remarkable rapidity and it was claimed that in proper hands the Billinghurst Gun could destroy the whole rebel army in short order.23 Even the military authorities at Washington were impressed with the value of the new gun and the government had given Billinghurst an order for six of them. A.G. Mack 24 was an Assistant Overseer in the Monroe County Penitentiary25 and was also a friend of Billinghurst. Mack conceived the idea of recruiting a company to man the new guns and at once set about it. The idea was quite attractive and the new guns did appeal to many of us as a most effective instrument of war. Thus came into existence Mack's Rifle Battery. At that date I was 19½ years and Willie was but 17½ or a little over 17. Under the law no person under 18 could enlist without the consent of the parent or guardian. Even if I should decide to enlist I would not do so and leave William behind. We had through much suffering and hardship become welded together and must remain inseparable. Then again there was all my effort for my college course. My free scholarship in the University and the hopes of Dr.Ellinwood and others that I should enter the ministry. The Central Church and its Sabbath School was very loyal and Dr. Ellinwood especially so. On consultation with him he felt sure the war would not last long and readily consented that I should enlist if I felt called upon to do so. I went with several other freshmen to call upon Dr. Martin B. Anderson, the President of the University of Rochester.26 He was a most loyal citizen and his voice was heard in the pulpit and on the platform almost every night urging the holding up of the hands of President Lincoln in his efforts to subdue the rebellion of the Southern states. Dr. Anderson told us boys that in his opinion the war could not last six months and if we felt called upon to enlist to do so and if we came home alive the University would in some way make up our time lost.
At this time, July and August, 1862, I was still living with Mr. Carr and I think Mrs. Carr had also taken William in also. He was still working in the Union office. The Carrs had an only child, Henry, a fine manly fellow and about my age. Our near neighbor was Henry Wray, the grandfather of Will Wray. There were several children in the Wray family, but Henry, Jr. was about my age and thus it came about that Henry Wray, Henry Carr, Will McGuire and myself decided upon enlistment. Henry Carr preferred the cavalry but Henry Wray and William and I were attracted by the Billinghurst Gun and preferred that rifle battery.27 George P. Draper, the father of the present George Draper, was assisting Captain Mack in preparing the necessary papers for his company and he it was who made out a petition for brother Will to sign asking the [?] for the appointment of a guardian and as he was over 14 he could choose his own guardian. Of course brother Will selected me as his guardian and I qualified as such and then signed the consent that Draper had made out consenting that William enlist in the military service of the United States for a term of three years or during the war. That is no longer than three years but a shorter term if the war should cease. Draper made all of these papers and if a boy not 20 could legally become the guardian of his brother, 17, it was Draper's business to know it. I signed any old thing I was asked to sign without any evil intent and without knowledge of crime. Then we three boys, Wray and the two McGuires joined the rifle battery subject to a physical examination by the army surgeon, Dr. Backus. That is we simply signed the role [sic] in the tent in front of the court house and was sent with a ticket to Dr. Backus' office on State Street for examination. His rooms were crowded but our turn came at last. Henry Wray was at once rejected on account of a weakness of his lungs. William and I were accepted and we found Henry seated on the stairs outside the office crying at his ill luck in not being able to go with us. He was a delicate young fellow but did live to bring up a large family of children and to leave to them a good business and best of all a good name. This enlistment was August 25, 1862. I don't think I had ever shot a gun and I am morally certain brother William had an equal amount of knowledge on that subject. I mention this because it was afterwards stated that A. G. Mack and Billinghurst had led the government officers to believe that each man enlisted in the new rifle battery was an expert with the rifle.
The perfecting of the Billinghurst Guns was delayed although the maker had agreed the six guns should be ready on September 1st, 1862. Our company was fully completed. A.G. Mack was appointed Captain. George G. Mumford and George S. Curtis 1st Lieutenants. Archibald McConnell and George P. Davis, 2nd Lieutenants. We were sent to Camp Porter28 which was a vacant field now fully built up with houses opposite and north of the Oak Hill Country Club. Here we began camp life living in wooden barracks and eating our beans and drinking our coffee at the long mess table provided for each of the many other companies there. The 140th left us in Camp Porter and went to the front. The recruits for the 108th also left us in camp. Still the Billinghurst Guns did not show up. Every day with a model we drilled and practiced at loading and firing and finally as the days went by we were left in Camp Porter as its only company. It was getting towards the latter part of November and there was some snow that year in November, and still our guns did not come.
I must relate an incident of my Camp Porter life. There was a big German in our company named William Schultz. He was 6 feet, 3, and a giant. One evening we were sitting by the fire in our barracks in Camp Porter and Schultz was telling of his carrying 200 lbs. of rye in the old country and how easy he could do so. Someone offered to bet the big Dutchman 10 cents he could not carry Hoddie (meaning myself) across the parade ground. He said for 25 cents he could carry Hoddie to the Four Corners in Rochester and where Powers Block now stands. It was cold and there was much snow on the ground and the night was dark but he took Hoddie on his back and trudged off with him to earn that 25 cents. One condition was I was not to be put down during the trip. Some of the boys followed on and although suffering with the cold I begged to be let down and would willingly pay double the 25 cents yet the big giant held me fast nor did he release his hold upon my legs until he had put me down more dead than alive at the four corners.
There was a class of young men in Central Church Sunday School and the average attendance was 40. During the first year and one half of the war the record shows that 38 of these men had enlisted and gone to the front. Over 130 enlisted from the church and Sunday School. Many, very many men never lived to come home. Both Andrew Kingsbury and Henry Carr were killed, the body of the former was never found and it was supposed his body was burned in the fire which caught in the woods after the Battle of the Wilderness.
It so happens I was writing this page on September 19, 1912 and it is just 50 years ago today that the 140th recruited up to 1,000 men marched down State Street to take cars at the New York Central Station. What a send-off they did receive. The side tracks were filled with people and while the good-byes were hearty and genuine one could see that most of the women were in tears. Today they are celebrating this 50th anniversary and the survivors of that 1,000 men marched down State Street as they did 50 years ago but there were only 160 men surviving and 42 able to march. This regiment had 502 killed and 170 die in Rebel Prisons.
In September and in uniform I was initiated into the Psi Upsilon fraternity.29 At last in early December of 1862 the Billinghurst Guns (not 6 but 4) were ready and we were ordered to go off, not knowing whither we were to go to except that we were to take cars to New York City. There was 150 of us and we had been mustered into the United States Army as the 18th N.Y. Battery, known as Mack's Rifle Battery. This Mack had a way of advertising himself and always had his name attached to the company.
We received a good send-off and there were those who used their handkerchiefs in bidding William and I good-bye. We had neither father or mother or brother or sister to grieve at our departure but Nettie Lettington and the family did cry over us. I remember how I took the baby Lula in my arms and kissed her good-bye.
No sleeping cars or even day coaches for departing soldiers in those days. The ordinary box freight cars with boards nailed across from side to side and a few boards at the side doors was our means of transportation and it took us part of two days and all of two nights to get to New York City. We slept on the floor of the cars and were fed at proper intervals along the route by patriotic men and women at the railroad stations. There was no 42nd Street Station in New York City at that time but our train kept on down the bank of the Hudson and into the City on grade through 11th Avenue where the freight is now discharged. We marched over to Broadway and went into camp in tents in a little park where the Park office and other government buildings now stand. It was about opposite the old Astor House which at the time was one of the principal hotels of the city. At that time this park had many fine trees growing in it and it was under these trees we pitched our tents.30 We remained here but a few days and then were marched down to South Ferry and over to Brooklyn and thence out to the race course in the suburbs then of the city.31 It was known as the "Fashion Course." Here we went into real camp. A small "A" tent was assigned to six men. By dint of close packing and spoon fashion we could squeeze into the little tent. Some straw on the ground and our rubber & wollen [sic] blankets furnished our bed. It was simply impossible. Six men could not sleep in such cramped quarters and some of us sat up the most of the night by the camp fire with our blankets around us. In a day or two we received an additional supply of tents and four men to a tent was much better.
If my memory serves me correctly it was about the 1st of December, 1862 when we were were ordered to break camp and again march into Brooklyn and down to the South Ferry where we were transported by a large ferry boat to the steamship Illinois then lying at anchor in the lower New York Bay. This so-called steamship had side paddles and should have been sent to the junk heap but I imagine the owners made a fine sum in chartering her for government use. She was fitted out with bunks down deep to her very bottom. The only way to get to your bunk if it was in the bottom deck was by going down a ladder on the inside of the hold. We found the 61st Massachusetts infantry in possession of the best of the boat's accommodations. There was 1,000 of them and Colonel Greenleaf was in command of the regiment. After the war he came to Rochester and went into business with Mr. Sargent under the name of Sargent and Greenleaf, Manufacturers of the Yale and Sargent Locks.
Captain Mack stormed and fumed but no use we simply had to take such bunks in the very bottom of the craft as had not already been taken. Then we put out to sea.32 Think of it! Twelve hundred besides the crew on a vessel wholly unseaworthy and capable of carrying not to exceed 500 besides crew.
That was not all. The deck was piled high with bags of oats and bales of hay. Were we horses and mules that such stuff should accompany us? Colonel Greenleaf was given a sealed envelope upon which he was instructed not to open it until we had been 24 hours at sea. The captain of the vessel had in the meantime been directed to set his course after leaving New York Harbor for Norfolk, Virginia and after 24 hours at sea to take his direction from Colonel Greenleaf.
The reason for these precautions was that the north was full of rebel spies and sympathizers and it was important to keep our destination a perfect secret until we were well out to sea. No wireless in those days and if our secret departure was kept our destination could not be ascertained until we actually put into port somewhere.
We had a smooth sea and a pleasant but cold day for our departure and at noon of the next day great was the anxiety to learn of our destination. We were sure it was Norfolk, Virginia or Charleston, South Carolina. Then it was given out that we were to go to Ship Island. Where in the world was Ship Island, anyway was on every tongue. We soon found out it was a little island in the Gulf of Mexico, not far from Mobile.33 It would take a volume to describe the 17 days of that voyage. The kind hand of God preserved us from a watery grave and the prayers of our loved ones for our safety was surely answered. For nearly a week, off Cape Hatteras we stood head on against a fierce storm and angry sea.34 All of the deck load of hay and oats was cast overboard. It was impossible to cook anything in the rude galley on deck. Simply hardtack and water. At last the water gave out and a guard was placed at the barrel where the hot condensed steam furnished a little water. The guard would permit us but half a cup full each and then we were lucky if even that remained in the cup until cool enough to drink owing to the pitching and tossing of the vessel. A few of us had camped out on the upper deck with our blankets and refused to go down into the stuffy hold upon the floor of which was much evidence of seasickness on the part of those occupying berths. We had to fight to keep our little spot near the smokestack. It was hard to get enough water but some of us worked it on the mild-mannered Second Lieutenant in charge of the water barrel. Lieutenant Archie McConnell of our battery had his nice uniform coat folded up under his blanket on the upper deck and as the commissioned officers were permitted to fill a canteen at the water barrel without question, one of us put on his coat and went to the rain barrel with a canteen. It was fun to see those Massachusetts enlisted men stand back in order that this officer (?) could fill his canteen. The thing worked so well that several of our fellows used Archie's uniform coat, that of a Second Lieutenant of artillery, to fill our canteens. As I lay there I inwardly vowed if I ever put my foot on dry land again I would walk all the way home along the Atlantic coast rather than return by ship.
It was a great relief after many days that we came in sight of the Florida coast. Then around past Key West and up into the Gulf towards Ship Island. Here we found a large number of vessels all loaded with troops. They were awaiting our late arrival and it appears there were several other boats which were later than the Illinois. So we were kept on Ship Island nearly a week.35
An amusing incident occurred here. Of course having been so long stuck up in the ship many were anxious to have a bath in the beautiful salt sea and to stretch out on the sandy beach of the island. Permission was given to many, and as we were at anchor we went ashore in small boats. It was delightfully warm and after a bath some of the boys lay down in the warm sand and covered themselves with it. Soon there was a general commotion. It appears the fellows were being literally eaten alive with sand fleas. I was most fortunate not to be able to get off in the first boats and by the time I was ashore and had my bath I was apprised of the fleas and did not go near the dry hot sand. Here we found literally millions of sea gull eggs. The boys did cook and eat some of the fresh ones but my stomach was not quite ready to try that experiment.
The tardy vessels came in one after another and soon we learned we belonged to General Bank's [sic]36 division and were destined for New Orleans to relieve General Butler 37 who was in command of the city. All of the territory north of the city was practically in the hands of the enemy. We were known as "Bank's [sic] Expeditionary Corps," or the 19th Army Corps. Guarded on each side by the gunboats of Admiral Farragut 38 we steamed into and up the Mississippi River. Shall I ever forget how we drank the cool but muddy waters of the river after we had entered it. It was in January, 1863, 40 and the river brought with it from the north its cool water. To our great disappointment we did not stop at New Orleans but steamed passed [sic] the city and on up, stopping first at Donaldsonville. Here the gunboats found a force of the enemy and after shelling them a while a force from the transports was put ashore to hold the place. Here we got the first shots from the enemy and as we were helpless and had no guns on board for use our transports withdrew under their fire while the gunboats of Farragut soon put the rebels to flight.41 It's about 150 miles up river from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.
Here we found the enemy in full force. The city was shelled by Farragut its beautiful state house destroyed.42 It is and was the capital of Louisiana. Several regiments of infantry were put ashore below the city and marched up to its attack aided by the heavy fire from the gunboats. After quite a battle the enemy was routed and driven out of the city and we took possession. Our boat, the Illinois, was in sight of the fighting but our troops took no part in it. 43
I think it was at Baton Rouge that our Billinghurst Guns proved a failure. We had a chance to use them against the enemy in rear of the city but after firing them a few times it was impossible to load them. The mechanism got hot and simply would not work.44 We did not remain long at Baton Rouge 45 but were ordered back to New Orleans and never saw the Billinghurst Guns again. One of them is now in the curiosity shop in the Norfolk Navy Yard.
We went into camp in Annunciation Park in New Orleans and were supplied with large 20-lb. Parrot[t] Rifles and our full complement of Black Horses and were known thereafter as Mack's Black Horse Battery.46 Here our drilling with the heavy guns began in earnest. Here also under the guise of maintaining discipline Captain Mack perpetrated upon some of the boys his work house methods. 47 There was a ten-foot iron fence around the park and it was no unusual sight to see two or three boys of our company tied up by their thumbs to this iron fence, just standing on tiptoe. The pain was excruciating and some of the men who had been so punished declared they would shoot Captain Mack in our first battle. Mack took a great dislike to me because I said such punishments were inhuman. I was a sergeant and he did not dare to command me to tie a man up because he knew I would refuse his command and suffer reduction to the ranks. He knew he needed me as a sergeant. I could drill the company better than he could and often explained at his request difficult movements.
My memory fails me in locating our movements between January, 1863 and April, 1863. I am of the impression we went up to Baton Rouge again and it was with Banks' troop when Farragut ran the rebel batteries at Port Hudson. We must have been in that little army which attacked Port Hudson in the rear to distract their attention while the Admiral and his fleet went by their forts.48
I do recall that we were assigned to General Weitzel's brigade and afterwards to General Grover's command and set out for the Teche Country mobilizing at or near Brasher City. The object being to open the Atchafalaya River from Brasher [Brashear] to the Red River and thus have a river route around Port Hudson. The Teche Country was in the hands of the rebel General Dick Taylor 49 and it was estimated he had 12,000 men. The estimate was too high.50 We had but 4,500 men. The cavalry and artillery went by land and the infantry by boats as far up the Teche as they could go and until we were confronted by the rebel Fort Bisland near Pattersonville. The rebels thought this fort was impregnable. It was flanked by Grand Lake on one side and an impassible swamp on the other. It was of earth and could only be approached from the front. This fort was fifteen miles below [?]. Here we had a bitter fight indeed. I had charge of two of our guns well in front and kept (Appendix 2) them hot as we sent the shell into the enemy. Many of our horses were killed and several of our men killed and others severely wounded. It was during this engagement that Cal Bascome[?], one of my gunners, sent the shell ripping through the sugar house which the rebs had filled with sharpshooters. It took but a few moments to demolish it and stop that picking off of our own men and horses by their sharpshooters. It took us most of two days to capture Fort Bisland but of course other guns came up to the front to take our places after our guns became too hot to fire safely and our ammunition was exhausted. After the close of the fighting on the first day I remember William and I were rolled up together on the ground under one of our guns and had forgotten we had had nothing to eat but a cup of coffee and a few hardtacks since before daylight in the morning. I had a bit of uncooked salt pork and Will had a few hardtack so we sat up and devoured it and then tried to get to sleep. At daylight the rebel batteries were at us again before we had a chance to get anything to eat. We had them cleaned out by noon of the second day and in full retreat and after taking the fort we rested the balance of the day and filled up our stomachs with food and our waggons [sic] with ammunition. This was about April 10th, 1863. Then we followed the retreating rebels until they made another determined stand at Vermillion Bayou. During this battle our six guns had a good position on the right and I know our fire was most accurate and destructive to the enemy. Again Dick Taylor and his rebs retreated and we after them in hot pursuit. On the 17th of April, 1863, after a hard day of fighting and advancing I was seated on the ground with William and several others and was engaged in cleaning my revolver. I did not know it was loaded. One of the boys said "Hod, point that thing the other way." Just then the trigger slipped in my finger and the bullet went through my left foot. It was a bad wound, and in that hot and dirty place it looked as though I must loose [sic] the foot by amputation. I begged the doctors not to cut it off. They bundled me into an ambulance and sent me with others of the wounded back to Brasher City and thence to the University Hospital in New Orleans where I was admitted April 23, 1863. I was three months in the hospital and I have Dr. Biegler to thank that my foot was not amputated.51 I rejoined the battery at Baton Rouge July 17, 1863 still on crutches. The company had lost many men from illness and some killed and wounded and I found that Captain Mack had gone home to recruit men to fill up the company. Lieutenant Curtis52 was in command and I was at once assigned to duty as acting First Sergeant.
July 1863 was the turning point in the Civil War. Grant had taken Vicksburg July 4, 1863. Banks had taken Port Hudson July 8, 1863 and General Meade with the Army of the Potomac had defeated General Lee at Gettysburg. The latter being undoubtedly the decisive battle of the war.
And now was accomplished what the government had long sought: that is the control of the Mississippi. This was deemed one of the chief factors in starving out the rebel army. Every port on the Atlantic Coast was blockaded and it was important to keep in Texas the great herds of cattle being sent east. Then it was also important to keep Dick Taylor's army in Texas. By control of the river, the Confederacy was cut in two pieces, east and west of the Mississippi.
The holding of Baton Rouge was a part of the plan and for the next six months the battery became a part of the garrison. It was by no means an idle duty. The country east of us was overrun with rebel cavalry and frequent dashes were made upon our men and supplies near the river. Our outposts were frequently fired upon and our pickets killed. We dreaded a night attack by more cavalry and many nights that summer we stood at our guns all night long. Our fortifications extended from the river north of the city, around it, and to the river south of it. We did not have a large force and our battery was frequently rushed from one point to another to withstand the dashing rebel cavalry.53
The 19th Army Corps did not have many great battles, but that it was of great assistance to the Army of the Potomac as well as General Grant at Vicksburg and afterwards General Sherman in his march to the sea is generally conceded. Our 19th Army Corps did keep Dick Taylor's army west of the river and he was unable to reinforce Lee at Richmond. We did keep the army of 20,000 men in and around Mobile so busy they did not dare spare a man to reinforce Lee or to intercept Sherman. We diverted from the rebels to our own army the great herds of cattle west of the river and destroyed great quantities of cotton in bales which the Southern Confederacy had pledged to certain English merchants as security for the sale of the Confederate bonds.54
I wore a felt slipper on my left foot and learned to mount on the other side of the horse and when once mounted I got along as well as the best of them. Lieutenant Curtis was a gentleman and we got along finely together. He was an excellent executive officer but had no voice for the drill ground and this duty he seemed glad to assign to me.
We had lots of fun also during that time. We had a very good male quartet and I sang the base [sic] . We gave a concert and netted $64.00. I umpired a game of baseball between a nine from our own battery and one from the 156th N.Y. and sad to say our boys were defeated by the score of 5 to 29. It was in October that a small force was sent south to Plaqumine [Plaquemine] and it was at this place I was left for dead but thanks to Mama Douglas I was kept alive.55 (Appendix III)
As the government had decided to enlist the slaves as soldiers many white men were wanted to drill them and educate them in the arts of war. It was first proposed to call these colored soldiers the "Corpse d'Afrique" [sic] and the 1st Regiment was being recruited in and about New Orleans. (Appendix IV)
On the 5th of January 1864 I left Baton Rouge and went to New Orleans for examination as a commissioned officer of the Corps d'Afrique. The fact is that I dreaded the return of Captain Mack, our hatred of each other was mutual and there was no chance for promotion for me as long as he was Captain of the battery.56
I passed a satisfactory examination and in it was recommended by the Board of Examiners as qualified for 1st Lieutenant. I was on the 18th of January 1864 discharged from the 18th New York Battery and commissioned as 1st Lieutenant, 1st regiment Corps d'Afrique.
I was at once assigned to duty as commander of a small post of 40 men on the New Orleans, Jackson, and Mississippi River Railroad and on the banks of Lake Ponchartrain.57
The rebel sympathizers in New Orleans did anything to get supplies through our lines to their friends and part of our duty was to arrest the men engaged in this traffic and confiscate their goods. I remained at this duty until February or early March and then returned to rejoin my regiment which was being recruited at the Two Buildings in the French part of New Orleans.
In April 186458 I was complimented by being appointed under orders of Genl Banks headquarters one of three officers to aid in the conscription of the blacks for military service. I had the big river steamer Sallie Robinson59and made excursions up and down the river taking the black men from the plantations and forcing them into the service. We would stop at a plantation. I would send out 40 or 50 armed men and surround a plantation and round up every colored man on the place. Run them like sheep up the gangplank and onto the boat. Then they were stripped and physically examined by the doctors on board and those fit for service were at once clothed in blue uniforms and kept on board; the others were sent ashore. There were certain exceptions. We did not take body servants if the masters were not in the Confederate Army. We did not take skilled workmen such as engineers of sugar houses or assistant overseers. This duty kept me rather busy until the Fall of 1864. During the excitement over the reelection of President Lincoln we voted by mail.
In the meantime with the aid of Dr. Biegler I had obtained William's discharge from the battery and he was engaged in the Quartermaster's Department. It was this Quartermaster Gen Meigs who so believed in Biegler and his homeopathy that he had the Dr. as the head of a fine hospital for the employees (non-soldiers) of his department.
On one of my excursions with the Sallie Robinson we went as far north as Baton Rouge and saw the battery and I confess I did lord it a little as a few of the boys came down to my boat and partook of a fine lunch at my hands.
During this summer the old Corps d'Afrique was abandoned and I became an officer of the 7th U.S. Colored Artillery (Heavy). Then again we were consolidated into the 10th U.S. Colored Artillery and many of the officers were cut out and some were promoted. I was of the latter class and now September 26, 1864 was commissioned as Captain of Company G with a full complement of men at the Two Buildings in New Orleans.60
We did guard duty in and about New Orleans and if I do say it, Company G was as well drilled and presented as fine an appearance as any company white or black in the 19th Army Corps.
Derrick Brown, an old school teacher, drilled brother William on the educational side and I on the military side and we were all rejoiced when he did pass the examination as 2nd Lieutenant and I was able to have him assigned to a vacancy in my Company G.
It was the day after Christmas of 1864 that with other troops my company was ordered on board the steamer Clyde and we steamed out of the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico, not knowing whither we were destined.
It appears the authorities thought this was a favorable opportunity to capture Mobile, Alabama. A force was to be sent from Baton Rouge south by land to cut off railroad communications with Mobile and endeavor to get rear of the city. In order to have a base of supplies, Pascagoula on the Gulf and west of Mobile was selected. Our next destination, therefore, was Pascagoula. We were to capture this small port and march inland, there to be met by the advancing cavalry from the north. I don't think we had to exceed 2,000 men in our little army when with the aid of a gunboat we captured and took Pascagoula. For several miles in rear was a cypress forest and marshy ground and over this we were obliged to build corduroy roads. That is cut down the trees and make a road over which we could transport our field artillery and supply waggons. We had no cavalry. The company was armed as infantry with old fashioned Springfield muzzle loading rifles. After getting over this marsh and up on rather level dry land we halted and threw up temporary breastworks, intending to hold our position until our cavalry should have cut their way through to the rebel country and come down to meet us. We had scarcely got our position fortified when there appeared in our front a body of the enemy with a large force of cavalry. They outnumbered us two to one but had no field artillery. For two days we fought them off. And yet no signs of our reinforcements from the north. Here was the first time Company G was in real action and I was proud of my colored men. As I walked back and forth behind my men encouraging them to stand fast and fire straight on our left there appeared several hundred more cavalry coming down straight at us with their rebel yell. That was the moment which really tried men's souls. (Appendix V) With fixed bayonets we stood reserving our fire from close range. When they had reached to within about 1,000 yards of us to our great joy our artillery opened a cross fire upon them. It was a terrific fire for a short interval and as the grapeshot and shell from our field artillery actually mowed their horses down, they broke and retreated leaving their dead and wounded on the field in front of us. It was evident to the powers in control that we could not hold Pascagoula and something had happened to cut off our cavalry from the north. Then commenced our retreat, hoping to be able to reembark at Pascagoula. We had lost many men, both killed and wounded. At night we would build big campfires, giving the appearance of a larger force than we really had and then under cover of the night, retreat towards the Gulf. Fight the enemy back all day and retreat at night was our only hope. The expedition was a complete failure. We did succeed in regaining our transports which we boarded while our navy shelled over our heads, the rebels pursuing us. Nineteen days had elapsed from the time of our arrival in Pascagoula until our departure again for New Orleans. It appears that through the rebel sympathizers in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Pascagoula our movements were made known to the enemy at Mobile and the advance of our cavalry from the north effectively cut off by the burning of bridges over swollen rivers.
We arrived back in New Orleans about the 25th of January, 1865.
An incident occurred on this Pascagoula retreat which I must relate. The First Sergeant of Company G was a giant of 6 foot 4 and black as the night. His name was James Akens. One night I walked by his side over the rough corduroy road. He carried his gun, his blankets, haversack, canteen, and a good supply of cartridges. He also insisted upon carrying my blankets and my sword and still found an arm for me to lean upon. He declared and I think truthfully that for over an hour that night I slept soundly and still kept up my steady step, lifting my feet with even but rather high treads. He said the Captain slept and snored quite loud.
The year 1864 just closing had been an important one in the history of the Civil War. On Christmas Day of 1864 General Sherman telegraphed to President Lincoln presenting to him the city of Savannah, Georgia which he had that day taken with a vast amount of stores.
Thus was the Confederacy cut in twain by Sherman's victorious march to the sea.
I'm not writing a history of the Civil War. My grandchildren can buy for a few dollars a much better and more accurate one than I could write. It's my personal movements in which my family are interested and thus I proceed with those movements.
January 20th, 1865 I went with Company G to Brasher City and took command of that post. There were four companies of colored troops and the 26th New York Battery of Light Artillery. This company was recruited late in the war at Batavia, New York.
There was no fighting here and our principal duty was to hold the fort, prevent supplies entering Texas and keep the railroad to New Orleans open from the frequent attacks upon its bridges by the rebel squads roaming through the country.
Just a word about the letters from home. How welcome they were. I had a few correspondents besides the regular letters I received from my mother.
Alice Kingsbury and I had agreed by mail that if I lived to get home we should be married. Alice's father had died and she was teaching in Number 3 School on Tremont Street.
Lee had surrendered to Grant on April 9th and President Lincoln was assassinated by Wilkes Booth [sic] on April 14th.
Now the Civil War was over but my services seemed to be needed for some time at least.
On May 6, 1865 I left for home on a leave of absence for 30 days. I was told at Headquarters that the 10th Heavy as we were called would be needed in service for some time to come. I disliked the idea of resigning my commission but very much wanted to visit home to see my sweetheart as well as my mother.
What a nice time I had during that leave of absence. I was able to have my 30 days extended an additional 20 so that I did not really get back to my Company at Brasher City until June 20th.
Alice Kingsbury and I went through the usual performances of lovers. And as far as my limited means would admit I blew myself on horses and buggies out of school hours. I even had it so bad that in my brilliant new uniform of a Captain of Artillery I was a frequent visitor at (School) Number Three and was greatly admired by the children. I went down to Scranton, Pennsylvania and spent a few days with my mother and then returned to take up my work.
Now all of the volunteer regiments had returned home and the garrison duty devolved upon the regular army and the U. S. Colored Troops.
In a certain sense, therefore, I belonged to the regular Army of the United States.
At the close of the war there was no civil government in the south. Then came the period of Reconstruction and the problem of getting the colored men to go back to the plantation and get in a crop or starve. Then there was the question of the adjustment of wages between the returned rebel soldiers to their plantations and the former slaves.
Until a civil government was established this work devolved upon the commanding officer of a district. My territory covered many miles up the Teche and towards New Orleans as far as Donaldsonville.61
On the 30th of July, 1865 we had a celebration of brother William's 21st birthday and we blew it off in fine shape.
On the 16th of September, 1865 I was honored by a call by Carl Schurz who was I believe in President Johnson's cabinet and was out inspecting actual conditions as to Reconstruction.62 He complimented me on the progress I had made in establishing peace and order and in my being able to have so many colored people actually at work.63
In December of 1865 and while yet in command at Brasher City I had a severe illness which seemed likely to prove fatal. The fever as it was called got hold of me for the first time. The boys said I came near going out one night but with good care I was up again and in command before Christmas.
In January 1866 with my command I dismantled Brasher City shipping to New Orleans the guns and other ordnance stores amounting in value and which was charged to me to over half a million dollars.64
In March, 1866 65 we had moved to Port Hudson and began the work of dismantling that fortification. It was no small task to dismount those big 42 and 32 pounders and get them down the very steep embankment and safely on steamboats for New Orleans.
I still had command of four companies and my officers and men had become very expert in the proper handling of big guns.
Another sad duty was to stake out the military graveyard and preserve a permanent record of the hundreds buried there.
When this work was accomplished I was ordered with my companies to take possession and command of Fort Pike in the Gulf of Mexico and which guards the entrance from the gulf into Lake Ponchartrain.66
Many colored regiments were being disbanded and the soldiers importuned to return to work. Thus the companies at Fort Polk were disbanded or mustered out, to use a better expression as soon as I arrived with my men to relieve them.
Of course we thought every day would bring the order to muster out the 10th but they seemed to hang on to us until the very last. That sweet girl on Tremont Street in Rochester thought her lover would never come.
Our duties at Fort Polk were not arduous and the white officers had a fine building inside the fort with the commander's quarters and we enjoyed our summer after the hard work of dismantling two very large fortifications.
At last the day came and we boys could go home. This we did via the Mississippi River and Cairo, Illinois.
I arrived home September 22nd, 1866 and was married to Alice Kingsbury by Rev. S. M. Campbell of Central Church September 24, 1866. Four years and a month of continuous service. It did not sound like the six months of Dr. Anderson in 1862. What a change that four years had wrought. So many strange faces and so many of my old comrades in school days had died or been killed during the war. My dear friend Dr. Ellinwood had been elected Secretary of the Foreign Board and had left the city with his family.
Our wedding was a simple one, but few outside the immediate family being present. Alice and I went for a week to visit mother in Pennsylvania and then returned. We took up our home with Mrs. Kingsbury and Charlie who was a mere lad.
Then commenced another struggle for some kind of financial foothold. To this point William and I had a common fund of our savings. We had sent this little money home to Mr. William Alling to care for and he was faithful to the trust. As I was now a married man we thought best to divide our fund which we did and from that date each of us brothers set out in his own way to earn a living.
Four days before my marriage on September 20th 1866 by act of Congress I was made a Brevet Major and the commission signed by President Andrew Johnson which is now hanging in my office says it was for "faithful and meritorious service during the war."
After Return from the Civil War to the Present Time
Several opportunities for business were investigated by me during that fall of 1866. Alice and I had taken over the household affairs at 40 Tremont Street and relieved Mrs. Kingsbury of financial responsibility. The price for everything was very high owing to our depreciated currency. A silver dollar and our greenbacks were not worth over 50 cents on the dollar of gold. We paid as high as one dollar a pound for butter. Twenty dollars a barrel for flour. Sugar 18 cents a pound and meat almost beyond our means. The fear of losing my little savings in a business venture led me to apply to the Express office for a job at setting type for the daily edition.67 I was successful and at once went to work, abandoning all further efforts for a business opening. We were very happy that Winter. I started out every morning with my dinner pail well stocked and went to work in the office at 7:00 A.M. I worked by the piece and if we had sufficient copy for all the men at the cases we could do very well as the price was 20 cents a thousand. By dint of careful economy on the part of Alice and her mother we lived well and in the Spring we owed no man a cent and had a net saving of $75.00. Think of that, and coal $16.00 a ton. We did not lack for amusements. The Central Church Singing School at least one night a week took both of us out for a pleasant evening. We had a course ticket for the lecture course at the Mechanics Institute - a most entertaining and popular course filling the old Corinthian Hall about three times a month.68 Then again we were both faithful in our attendance at the prayer meeting of the Young People's Society every Tuesday evening and quite regular in attendance at choir rehearsal every Saturday night.
In the Spring of 1867 I went into a partnership with George Underhill who kept the grocery on the corner of Tremont Street and Plymouth Avenue. The firm was Underhill and McGuire. We worked hard and while we had our living from the store at the end of two years I was glad to retire and receive my endorsed note for my original investment.
Then a year with Henry Crippen of Warsaw, New York in the produce business on Front Street next door to Barnard's Paint Store. This was not successful and at the close of the year I was able to retire with my investment only a little diminished.
I find I have skipped over the birth of our daughter Grace. It was a still and quiet August morning, the 6th of August, 1867 that she came to us and was such a joy.
I was a little discouraged in my business ventures after Crippen and McGuire quit business on Front Street and Colonel Moffett, our neighbor, obtained for me an appointment under Colonel Emerson, the U.S. Collector of the Port of Genesee. This duty was for two summers only. I was stationed at Charlotte where I went every morning and returned on the train. The duties consisted in counting railroad ties imported from Canada by chalking each on the end as I counted them in the piles after having been unloaded from the schooners. Also weighing barley imported and on the arrival of passengers by boat to examine their baggage. I was paid I think about $125.00 a month.
In the Fall of 1870 Captain Moffett was the Republican candidate for County Clerk and I became very active in his behalf. I even loaned him $1,000.00 during his canvas. He was elected and took office January 1, 1871. He appointed me as a deputy in his office and I was also appointed a deputy sheriff in attendance upon the courts. During his term of three years I became very efficient as a searcher of titles and also very familiar with the courts as clerk. During these three years I studied at home, became interested in astronomy with Professor Swift, 69 also joined the Rochester Microscopical Society but above all my duties as Superintendent of Central Church Sunday School led me to become a faithful student of the Bible. I became a trustee of Central Church and also the first President of the Rochester Y.M.C.A. I also took a course at the Chautauqua Circle.70 In all this I was aided and encouraged by my dear wife. Our second child Alice May came to us on January 28th, 1872. In the Fall of 1873 Colonel Moffett was defeated for nomination by Edward A. Frost 71 and at the election in summer, John A. [i.e., H.] Wilson, the Democratic candidate, was elected by [a] 185 majority. I did not know Mr. Wilson, but his wife's sister had worked as a recorder in our office during Moffett's three years. Miss Dixon had been promoted to a searching clerk through my influence and under my instructions and so Mary, as we called this nice old maid, became fond of me. Of course all of us Republican deputies began packing our trunks to make room for the Democratic deputies coming in July 1, 1874. I had been looking about but nothing had presented itself for my occupation. It was about a week before Christmas of 1873 when I was requested by Mary very confidentially to go over to Mr. Bates' office in the Powers Block and meet her brother-in-law, Mr. Wilson, the incoming County Clerk. This I did and to my great astonishment he told me he had decided to appoint me his deputy and that I was to have practical charge of the office and especially the cash receipts. The Clerk in those days had all the fees and paid his own employees.
During the next three years I was indeed the County Clerk. Mr. Wilson came to the office for a few minutes each morning. I turned over to him the cash of the day before[,] less expense account. I was not confined to any specific duty and had an abundance of time at my disposal during office hours. Under the instruction of Dr. Cotton Crittenden, the present day lawyer, I took up the study of the law. I passed a successful examination part oral and part written, Mr. Edward Harris being one of the three examiners appointed at the opening of each General Term. I was admitted to the bar April 18th of 1876 while still a deputy under Mr. Wilson and did foreclose a few mortgages for Austin Brewster during that year. Mr. Brewster was one of the Central Church trustees and liked me very much.
During this 1876, Alice and I taking Grace and Selden Brown and his sister and Andrew Semple and Christiana his sister went to Philadelphia to the World's Fair for a week. We had a good time and little 9-year-old Grace enjoyed it every moment.
During this year Walter Hubbell72 was a clerk in Mr. [George F.] Danforth's office and I met him nearly every day in the County Clerk's office and in Court. He had then been admitted and hoped to leave Mr. Danforth and start out for himself July 1, 1877. He it was who suggested we start a little office together, and this we did, in a back room on the third floor of Powers Block. Mr. Wilson retired as County Clerk December 31, 1876 and I also. He had paid me well and in addition gave me a fine gold watch for my Christmas of 1876.
The two young lawyers with simple desks, a few chairs and very few books opened out for business. How well I remember how Walt and I perspired over the writing out of the complaints in a promissory note given me by a friend named Phillips to collect. This was in the days before stenographers or law blanks. Hubbell and I helped each other. I think my books will show that I earned over all the expenses the first year over $1,500.
I was not highly esteemed by some of the members of the bar. I had a good business which excited their envy and I would not permit delays which excited their enmity. Then I had not come through the college and law school and law office preparatory periods. I ignored all this and worked hard and studied my cases and my business grew. Charlie Kingsbury had given up Cornell on account of his health and became a clerk in my office. He was finally admitted. Selden Brown came to me and was a valuable clerk. I had regretted the loss of my college course but in a measure had acquired some little education since 1866 when I returned from the Civil War. I was greatly surprised one day to receive the following letter dated:73
July 1, 1881
University of Rochester
Horace McGuire, Esq.
My dear Sir: I remember distinctly the time you left Rochester to go into the
Army. Since then I have watched your course with interest and satisfaction.
I feel great pleasure therefore in recommending you as a Candidate for the
When the next General Catalogue is printed your name can be put with your
old class (1866) or remain where it is as you shall choose.
M. B. Anderson
This was a great joy to me and I received in due time from the University my permanent Certificate of Graduation. This came into my life at a time when I was greatly depressed over the death of our darling Grace. She left us January 21, 1882. and it was our first great grief. She went with her father and mother to a prayer meeting on Wednesday night. During service she whispered to me her feet were very cold. I had her put them in my arctics but when we got home she had a high fever. She died Sunday morning next being a great sufferer from peritonitis. She was a very lovable child. Exceedingly bright in her studies and a favorite in our neighborhood. I kept at that time a horse and had a nice top buggy. The horse was kind and gentle and Grace would often after school hitch up the horse and drive down and sit in the buggy looking up at my office in Powers Block which was on the State Street side. She would take the old ladies in our neighborhood out for little drives. At 14 she was quite developed and had the appearance of a girl 15 or 16. She was quick in her movements, very jolly in her way of telling an amusing story and in many respects a most charming girl and also a devout Christian.
Mr. Hubbell and I continued together but not as partners. We had moved into larger offices on the State Street side and had employed a stenographer jointly, each having our separate young men clerks.
In 1887 the Wilder Block was complete and the Central Bank established. Samuel Wilder and Arthur Lutchford, President, and Cashier respectively of the new bank had selected me as its attorney but insisted I must quit Powers Block and move into the new building. I could have two rooms, pay for one and the bank pay for the other. Then it was I left Mr. Hubbell. We had been together for eleven years and each had prospered.
It was in May, 1891 that a young man fresh from college came to our office as a clerk. Tall and thin he was, that young man was Hiram R. Wood.74 Mr. Hubbell had moved over from Powers Block shortly before this and the firm of Hubbell and McGuire was formed on an equal basis.
This partnership continued for about seven years on until 1898, when Hiram after a short period of practice for himself became my partner in business under the firm name of McGuire and Wood.
It was during the summer of 1895 that the delightful party of five had our trip to Europe.75 Alice and I and May76 with Carrie Holyland left for New York City to take the Etruria and at the last moment found that Hiram could join us. This made the five. We divided all expense by five, I paying 3/5. May was 23, had been two years at Wellesley College and before we came home from Europe that summer of 1895 Hiram had captured the prize of his life. They were married in the January following: 1896, and as I have stated only two years afterwards, the son-in-law became the law partner.
I have omitted to mention that after our return from the army we learned that our brother James was a prosperous merchant in Buffalo, New York. I visited him on several occasions but our brotherly interest in each other could not be revived. His wife was an estimable woman and informed me by telegraph of the death of my brother.
The law firm of McGuire and Wood prospered and retained much of the business of the old firm.
In December of 1904 I was invited to an interview in New York City by the newly elected Attorney General of New York, Julius M. Mayer.77 He was anxious I should become one of his deputies at Albany. It was with much misgivings I finally accepted and took office January 1, 1905. My two years as Deputy Attorney General were very pleasant years so far as the business of the legal department of the state was concerned. It was at a loss financially as my expenses were high and the salary inadequate; still the experience was very valuable. From the very first Mr. Mayer gave all of the others in the office to understand that in his absence I was to be the chief and no important opinion of the office was to go out without my permission. I formed the intimate acquaintance of Governor Higgins 78 and was often at his house for dinner. Here I met distinguished men from all parts of the state and my acquaintance was greatly extended. I argued nearly all of the cases in the Court of Appeals; one day I argued five cases in that court. April 17, 1905 I was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States at Washington. On behalf of the State I argued or assisted in arguing nine important cases in that, the greatest court in the world. Among the cases of greatest importance was the People of the State vs. Metropolitan Street Railroad. This with other cases argued together involved the Constitutionality of the Special Franchise Tax of our State. If the State had been unsuccessful it would have been a loss of many millions of dollars annually. Then the Constitutionality of the State Transfer Act. In that case we were opposed by such eminent lawyers as Judge Dillon,79 John G. Johnson of Philadelphia 80 and Mr. Milburn. 81 In the Special Franchise Tax cases by such men as Elihu H. Root 82 and Mr. Collin 83 and Mr. Guthrie.84 During the latter part of 1906 by the resignation of Mr. [James G.] Graham I became First Deputy Attorney General. Mr. Mayer was defeated for reelection and I retired with him December 31, 1906. He gave me a beautiful letter in acknowledgement of my services which I appreciated very highly and annex hereto [page 56].85
During all of 1906 a great shadow came over my life. My dear wife became the subject of an incurable disease. Everything was done except to use the surgeon's knife to stop the cancerous growth. I'm thankful she did not suffer much acute pain until the very last. Her Christian spirit was wonderful as she prepared every detail before her departure. She left us on the morning of August 6th, 1906, a happy release from a poor sick body into the resurrection body of those made perfect by the blood of the lamb.
My brother William, after a severe illness, died in November, 1902. To the very last the brotherly love so strongly cemented through much of trial, hardship and struggle and through all our lives, continued. He was less fortunate in a business way and it was my great pleasure to take him to Europe in the Spring of 1902 with a hope that the sea voyage would improve his health. We were gone a month, going out and returning on the same ship. It was the 20 days on shipboard and days ashore we were after. What a good time we brothers had for that month. He was ill and it was with much anxiety I finally got him home and into his room in his own house on Harvard Street, from which he never departed alive.
I have neglected to mention the death of my mother in [ ].86 She sent for me to be at her bedside in Dalton, Pennsylvania, just a short distance from Scranton. I was with her nearly a week, the most of the time she was unconscious. Brother Will came down at the last and we buried our mother in the little church yard near her old home near Warren's Mill.
Within two years after the death of my wife my beautiful home on Oxford Street was broken up and the property sold. It seemed advisable that my future home should be with my own daughter and her four delightful children.87 They had sold their home in the city and had built a beautiful home in the country. Into this home we all removed in May, 1908 and our country life began. I began to take a real interest in the farm life. My health had failed somewhat and as my income was sufficient I decided to comply with the desire of both May and Hiram to quit all active business. I withdrew from the firm of McGuire and Wood January 1, 1911. What with my Winters in the south and my care of the farm in summer I have a very pleasant life.
One morning in June, 1908 I was greatly surprised to read in the morning paper that Governor Hughes had nominated me and the Senate had at once confirmed the nomination as a member of the State Board of Charities of the State of New York for the 7th Judicial District of the State. Just who was responsible for my appointment I have never learned. My term of office will expire in June, 1914. My duties are not arduous and the office is purely honorary, that is, there is no salary attached thereto. I meet with the other Commissioners about once in each month either in New York City or Albany and I have greatly enjoyed the work and the society of the distinguished men on the Board.
I am also a member of the State Probation Commission. The statute provides that a member of the State Board of Charities shall be a member of the Probation Commission and each year thus far my associates have elected me to represent the Board on the Probation Commission.
I think I ought to say a word about my pleasant Winter vacations. Commencing with the Winter of 1907-8 May and I with the two children went to Columbia, South Carolina. I played golf for the first time that Winter with Eugene Satterlee. Then in the Winter of 1908-9 May and Remsen and I returned to Columbia and May was so sick with the grippe. The Winter of 1909-10 May and Sally were with me at Hampton Terrace, Augusta, Georgia. The Winter of 1910-11 I was [at] Bellaire, Florida. Had a delightful time and returned for the Winter of 1911-12. Stayed at Bellaire during January and February and moved for March and with my tonsilitis to DeLand, Florida. Had a good time at DeLand with my old friend Henry A. Strong and wife and Martin Bristol and his niece.
And now just a word about the several societies to which I belong.
First in importance is my long continued Eldership in the Central Church. I am now one of the oldest members of the session. Then come
Yonnondio Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons
Hamilton Chapter Royal Arch Masons
Monroe Commandery Knights Templar
Damascus Temple, Nobles of the Shrine
Sons of the American Revolution
American Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
Rochester Bar Association
American Geographical Society
Rochester Historical Society
Rochester Whist Club
Oak Hill Country Club
[McGuire appended to the Autobiography his farewell letter from Attorney General Mayer.]
State of New York
Attorney General's Office
December 22, 1906
Hon. Horace McGuire
Wilder Building, Rochester, N.Y.
My dear Major: -
When you left here yesterday, I could not quite say all I wished to, because is [it] is so much more difficult to say than to write.
Meeting as strangers two years ago, it seems hardly possible that two men could become such close and frank friends. I look back during these two years at all the trials that you have undergone88 and I wonder that you have had the physical and mental fortitude to meet them so bravely.
Your ripe experience, your common sense, your natural instinct for legal propositions and your devotion to me have all contributed, in a very large way, towards what I believe to have been a successful administration, tested from the standpoint of judges, lawyers and conservative men.
The head of every office receives the praise and the blame; he is the official arbiter of purposes and policies. Frequently those who serve under him get very little appreciation for hard work done. However, I hope it will be comfort to you to know that, in addition to the satisfaction of your own conscience, you have my very earnest understanding and appreciation of the splendid services that you have rendered to the State, and of your loyal devotion to me and the best interests of this office.
I hope that you will take life reasonably easy and enjoy to the fullest degree the growth of your grandchildren, realizing all the time that these two years have made for you many true friends, and not the least of these,
Julius M. Mayer
Even at this early stage Horace McGuire displays the qualities of energy and bravery, informed by an uncompromising set of moral standards, that would serve him throughout his life. In his early years he most often showed these qualities in a quiet and steady determination to do his duty and help his struggling family. Occasionally, as in Miss Messenger's schoolroom, he took direct steps to correct a wrong, even at the risk of physical injury.
During the war years he more than once showed this willingness to act resolutely, as his conscience dictated. While his unit was drilling in New Orleans, for example, he provoked his commanding officer's hatred by opposing the man's inhuman methods of securing discipline in the ranks. McGuire was never awed by mere rank. To his Diary he confides a characteristic story of his independence and determination; in September of 1863, he drew up his first official report as ranking sergeant in his company, with the following results:
I made out my first morning report this morning and in about an houre it came back with the following words on the back, "respectfully returned for correction by order of Col. commanding the post[ .]" I readily see my error and sent another but that also was sent back[.] I looked it over and see that it was right and went to headquarters myself. I showed them their error this time.
In Forged in Battle, 101, Joseph T. Glatthaar notes how difficult many new officers found this sort of paperwork. He cites one officer who complained that he had to spend four days of constant work to prepare muster rolls, returns of clothing and camp and garrison equipage for his men.
Commanding officers other than the hated Captain Mack clearly realized McGuire's potential. At the close of the war, Robert F. Atkins, the post commander at Brashear City, recognized the generous measure of steadiness and good judgment in McGuire, as the following dispatch, sent June 25, 1865, to Brigadier-General R. A. Cameron, the commander of the La Fourche District of Louisiana, makes clear:
The citizens of Franklin are afraid to retire to their beds. Stores are broken into and ransacked nightly. Last evening two pistol bullets were fired through the house of Mrs. Hayes. One grazed her elbow, the other passed within two inches of her head. Some forty of the members of Bailie Vinson's company of scouts are the ringleaders, led by Bailie Vinson, who has sworn to kill everybody whoever favored the Yankees. Vinson and Lieutenant Bidell are the head of the gang. Some of the citizens have gone up to New Iberia to get assistance. Mayor Tucker says unless a provost-marshal and guard are sent them the citizens will have to leave the place. Vinson's men have all of their revolvers and many of their guns. It requires a good man for provost-marshal. I think Capt. J. Horace McGuire is just the man - gentlemanly and determined. Please answer as soon as convenient what I shall do. (ORA I, 48, pt II, 991.)
Although this specific recommendation cannot be followed to its conclusion in existing official records, McGuire does note in his Autobiography for this period that "My territory covered many miles up the Teche and towards New Orleans as far as Donaldsonville," an area that would include the trouble spot at Franklin. Moreover, he notes in his Diary that Col. Atkins, the post commander who had recommended him, left for Washington, Louisiana only a few days later; McGuire seems, in short, to have been placed in charge of the post at Brashear City on Atkins' recommendation. In that role he shortly thereafter won the praise of the visiting dignitary Carl Schurz for the "peace and order" he had secured.
On at least one occasion he had to secure the peace in a face-to-face encounter. A drunken civilian stopped him on the street early in the next year (1866) and insisted on buying him a drink. When McGuire refused, the man threatened to blow off the top of his head with a revolver, if only restraining friends would release him. McGuire calmly told them to let the man free and then flattened him with a single blow. On the day following he accepted the apology of the civilian, now doubly sobered (Letter to Alice Kingsbury, 28 January, 1866).
McGuire was all of twenty-four years old when he received the compliments of Atkins and Carl Schurz. Forty years later, after he had built a respected career in the law and had served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of New York, Julius Mayer, the Attorney General, praised him in terms that seem strikingly familiar; his letter, written in December of 1906, on McGuire's departure after two years in office, recalls the trials undergone and expresses "wonder that you have had the physical and mental fortitude to meet them so bravely" (full text above).
The great objective for Federal forces in this theater of the war was to gain control of the entire Mississippi River. The stakes were high; success meant cutting off a sizable western chunk of the Confederacy with all of its resources, and also restoring the traditional outlet for shipping out the produce of what we would today term midwestern states. Two major bastions at Vicksburg and Port Hudson, however, still defied Union arms in the spring of 1863. The campaign in which McGuire fought attempted to sidestep the Port Hudson barrier by a flanking movement through the network of rivers and bayous west of the Mississippi.
In fact, the Federals had tentatively probed this line of march once before; in January of 1863, General Weitzel, acting on Banks' orders, had moved along the Teche with naval support until he came up against Confederate fortifications known as Fort Bisland to the west of Brashear City. He attempted no assault, but reported that the route was possible.
In late March and early April General Banks set in motion his plans for a two-pronged Teche campaign; he and Weitzel, coming from New Orleans, would lead troops up from the Gulf, while General Grover, coming down the Mississippi from Baton Rouge and marching south and west from Donaidsonville, would strike Confederate lines from the rear. (Plans and reports in ORA 15, 240-242, 292-400. See the discussion of this campaign in John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, 212-241.) As it developed, Banks reached Fort Bisland on April 11, several days before Grover could get into position; although he opened an attack on the works he wanted to delay a general assault until he could count on Grover's aid. The Confederates resisted as long as they could and then evacuated on the night of April 13/14, in order to avoid being caught in the trap.
While it lasted, the battle was, as John D. Winters explains, largely an artillery action:
A composite picture of the battle of Bisland, or Bethel's Place, is one of intense artillery action and short forward movements by the infantry. On both sides of the Teche the infantry forces advanced slowly over the rows of sugar cane, trying at all times to keep their lines straight. When the Confederate fire became too intense, the men were ordered to lie down. The dry drainage ditches served best as cover, and the infantry spent most of the day in these many ditches watching the artillery show. The sides of the ditches were lined with blackberry bushes and while waiting for orders to advance the troops ate berries. Screeching shells sailed overhead. Rifles cracked and their bullets went whizzing and zipping through the air. The din of battle continued without letup all day. The artillery did the fighting, while the infantry did little more than support its batteries. (Civil War in Louisiana, 225.)
McGuire was clearly in the thick of it. Union reports mention Mack's Eighteenth New York Battery prominently and invariably with high praise. Bank's Chief of Artillery, Brig. Gen. Richard Arnold, noted that
[t]he Eighteenth New York Battery, under Captain Mack, was first posted in the right center, but was subsequently moved to the front and attached to Paine's Brigade at the request of General Emory. In this last position it performed most admirable service, and delivered its fire with astonishing accuracy and effect under a galling, direct, and cross-fire from the enemy, silencing the battery in its front in a very short time. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon this command in this their first engagement. (ORA 15, 320.)
Col. Halbert E. Paine, mentioned in Arnold's report, feared that his troops would be subjected to a crossfire from a Confederate gunboat, the Diana, appearing ominously out of a dense fog, and from a battery located across the Teche. He was at first unable to get the artillery support he needed, "but at length," he noted with relief in his report, "Captain Mack reported to me with two sections of his splendid Black Horse Battery of 20-pounder Parrotts." The guns were unlimbered and put into action just in time. 'As soon as Captain Mack arrived," Paine reported, "his guns were posted on my right, in and near the bayou road, and opened fire on the Diana, the enemy's works, the light batteries, and also the battery on the opposite side of the bayou. The rapidity, precision, and effect of his fire were most admirable." (ORA 15, 340.) General Emory noted that at a later stage "Mack's battery was. . . restocked with ammunition and ordered to an advanced position where it took part in the engagement with the same marked effect, dismounting one of the enemy's guns across the bayou and killing the horses of his battery so that that the enemy had to pull it off by hand." When the Confederates finally began to withdraw, Emory turned again to the Eighteenth New York: "Mack's battery was sent for by me and arrived in time to shell the enemy's rear." (ORA 15, 331.)
In fact, it seems unlikely that the Federal guns could have found much of a target. The Confederates skillfully evacuated their fortifications, slipped out of the Union trap, and eluded their pursuers. The fight at Vermilion Bayou, mentioned by McGuire, kept the Federals from crossing and engaging the fleeing rebels. The bridge was in flames and could not be saved while the Confederates kept up a hot rifle fire from the opposite bank.
That night McGuire's accident while cleaning his revolver took him out of the action.
The campaign could scarcely be considered a success, since Banks had to go on to a regular siege of Port Hudson parallel to Grant's better known siege of Vicksburg, and it has won little attention in general Civil War histories. McGuire's point of view was, of course, that of the man on the battlefield: he had directed his artillery pieces bravely and accurately under a hail of enemy fire; the Union army had attacked and the enemy had retreated; it was a victory. Moreover, he knew of the satisfying and related naval victory won by Federal gunboats on neighboring Grand Lake. The famous Queen of the West, a riverboat that had been transformed into a Union ram and gunboat, but then had been captured by the Confederates, was destroyed on April 14 by a small Federal squadron. He included mention of this victory in a letter to William Alling in which he recalls the major events of the war that had come within his purview.
Yet the sights and sounds of the campaign on the Teche made an impression on McGuire that might better be termed reflective than exalted. In this letter written to Alling after his release from the New Orleans hospital, sober reflections on this first experience of actual fighting appear prominently. He recalls,
[the] occupation of Brashear City, Destruction of the Queen of the West in Grand Lake, crossing Berwick's Bay in the night and the driving of a rebel army for 2 days fighting them three days upon their own ground behind entrenchments; the sights upon the Battle Field, the dead and wounded gathered for interment and surgical attendance by the pale light of the moon, the final defeat of the Enemy and the chase for nearly 200 miles when I met with an accident which will make a cripple of me for life, three months of Hospital life and its influence on my physical as well as my mental condition, All these things come up before me as I sit here today, and I must say that with all my soul I feel that life is but a fliting [sic] show, and we are common actors, if we act well our part we receive applause but are forgotten the next day.
Of course the present volume stands in witness to a longer memory, even if the particulars of the campaign he had just undergone are lost to all but the most ardent specialists.
Most of the war years for McGuire, as for most soldiers in most wars, were filled not with the mixed terror and fearful elation of combat, but with the tedium of drill and subservience, the efforts to survive endless guard duty, poor living conditions and worse fare. What techniques for coping did he devise?
Some hours McGuire devoted determinedly to study. Of one night, for instance, he records in his Diary: "I studied the binomial formula until 10 o'clock and finally mastered it."
Many more hours McGuire filled with reading, reminding us how literate a population was represented in the armies of the Civil War. He mentions a number of novels, but is "partial" to Charles Dickens; like so many correspondents of that age, he can compare himself to Mister Micawber, waiting for something to turn up - in his case news of when he can finally leave the army and come home to Alice. In their correspondence Horace and Alice play literary critics, debating the merits of several characters in Dickens' Our Mutual Friend.
Less solitary hours went into games. He played baseball, chess, and euchre; he enjoyed the competition of horseracing.
In company with so many Civil War soldiers he had his photograph taken, twice. The result of one of these sittings appears in this volume.
Once he became an officer his opportunities outdistanced those of most soldiers, however, and he took full advantage. While stationed along the railway outside New Orleans, for example, he sometimes found time to go hunting with his brother Willie. While stationed in New Orleans he frequented the theater.
He seems to have qualified as an able singer himself. Serenading the inhabitants of Plaquemine, Louisiana, while briefly stationed there, brought him a welcome reward the next morning of hot biscuits and preserved dates. A few days later, perhaps encouraged by this success, McGuire reported in his Diary (6 December, 1863):
About the 15th it was proposed to start a minstrel band[,] the performers to be chosen from the different reg[iment]s at this post and I was put in as manager of the concern[.] We at once went to work. . . .
They found a suitable hall on Main Street and first performed on Christmas Eve to an "overflowing house." Such popular acclaim produced a repeat performance on Christmas Day and twice after that. The first performance alone yielded the amateur musicians sixty-four dollars beyond expenses. Music clearly added an important dimension to his life; in a letter to Alice Kingsbury, written in April of 1866, he asserted that however troubled their married finances might be, their home would always have a piano, "because without music we should be poor indeed."
McGuire's youthful yearning for romance acted as a magnet drawing him into the life of the city while he was stationed in New Orleans. He writes into his Diary notices of the parties that he attended and confides that he often walked where he could catch sight of some particular beauty who had caught his eye. In what he terms "the most amorous evening of his life" he and another officer flirted with the wife of an unnamed officer in a New York regiment; his only later regret was that he lost his fraternity pin in the process.
McGuire was fascinated with the very idea of flirtation, and fascinated as well by the very foreign quality and the moral as well as mortal sense of danger which New Orleans projected. At the same time he felt restrained (as many soldiers obviously were not) by strong principles. This heady mixture of danger, sin, and moral disapproval appears most clearly when McGuire experienced an unforgettable evening on the town in April of 1864. His Diary narrative is worth reproducing in full:
in order to appreciate the next thing I relate I must describe the locality. I am stationed in what is called French Town. Canal St. runs from the Mississippi river East through the city and above Canal st all is like New York City- but below it will be found the counterpart of Havana or Paris[.] Every sign is in French[.] Every st. is a french st such as the Rue d'Amor and of course the great majority of the people are either French, Spanish, Italian or Creole. They have manners and customs of their own peculiar notion and one great thing is that Sunday commences Saturday at Sundown and ends at Sundown on Sunday. In that Sunday night all the Theatres, Opera houses, Dance Houses, Lager Beer Gardens and Cafes generally are full of a french crowd talking loud and fast and drinking faster and it is supposable that these people care but very little for the Union cause and care more for the rebel.
But to return to my subject, I strolled out on this pleasant Sunday night with the atmosphere as mild as a fourth of July at Home and was smoking my cigarette (by the way that style of smoking is all the way and fashion here) when my attention was attracted by hearing a full band playing nothing more nor less than the Old Rochester Schottise. I was bound to see the sights and so all alone in I went [.] I made sure that my revolver was with me which little article all officers carry with them. The admission was three tickets (15 cents), after pressing through a little garden filled with roses in full bloom and the magnolia trees fast putting forth their beautiful and fragrant blossoms, I came to the scene of the festivities[.] [I]n the center of this garden was a round building familliarly known in the north as a summer house. Here they were dancing, men women and children[.] [N]ear one of the side doors was a bar at which liquor was dispensed at five cents per drink. But these women were the very lowest kind only coming to this place to pick up someone to go home with them and nine chances to one if you were not robbed and murdered before morning if foolish enough to go home with them. The police officer showed me several whose husbands were in the confederate army and they were leading this kind of a life. I shall say nothing of the men for as I was there I might run myself down on a level with the beast. After seeing what was to be seen Gardner and myself went home.
In general alcohol was only an occasional lubricant to McGuire's social life. After a taxing and successful hunt for smugglers through the network of rivers and bayous near New Orleans, for example, McGuire and "the boys" celebrated with twelve bottles of claret (Diary, 16 February, 1864). He notes with obvious shock and disapproval, however, when he comes upon a general in Banks' headquarters who is obviously incapacitated by drink (Diary, 29 May, 1864). McGuire likewise soon gave limited space in his life to that other nineteenth-century demon, tobacco, restricting himself to his pipe or the fashionable cigarettes he mentioned above; on May 1, 1864, he triumphantly announced in his Diary that he has given up chewing tobacco, and has already thrown all his "stock in hand" into the gutter with the observation that the habit "if it did not degenerate surely did not enlighten" him. His pipe, however, was too good a friend to lose. In a letter written to Alice Kingsbury in January of 1866, for example, he proudly tells her he has given up chewing tobacco since last September (suggesting some slippage between May and September!), but admits that he smokes his pipe constantly. His chief prop, though, came from a southern custom he describes in the same letter: strong coffee taken in bed and without milk as the first step of the day. He is convinced it keeps off the malaria that rises from the ground.
The innocence of the jokes and hijinks will strike any reader. While in Brashear after the close of hostilities, for example, McGuire and his friends allowed the local ladies to think that the Yankee officers would soon be withdrawn; the result, fully intended, was a lavish and much-enjoyed going away party (with the hope of a repeat performance when the actual departure was announced). McGuire told Alice (letter of 11 January, 1866) the fair sex was ready to have him whipped when they discovered the fraud. Alice herself was fooled when "Hod" promised her that his next communication would be a truly long letter. When she opened the envelope she found a letter nearly three feet long in fact, the sheets fastened one to the next (Letter of 20 January, 1866).
The sheer amount of travel McGuire experienced courtesy of the Union army might seem to qualify as part of the enjoyable side of his experiences. At times this was true. Like so many young Americans of his era, McGuire's previous life had exposed him to a small section of his state only. Suddenly he found himself traveling to New York City and from there sailing down the Atlantic coast, through the Gulf of Mexico, and up the Mississippi, past New Orleans to Baton Rouge. While guarding the New Orleans, Jackson and Mississippi Railroad along the shores of Lake Ponchartrain, he traveled constantly up and down the line on a handcar, a personal love of activity and innate curiosity here surely redoubling any official sense of watchfulness. "I need not tell you," he recalled in a later letter to Alice, "I encountered new experiences every day... ."(25 August, 1865).
Yet the travel could be harrowing or even downright dangerous. He tells quite clearly that the New York trip was made in roughly boarded-up boxcars. The steamship that took him south was creaky and cavernous, ill-equipped to handle the basic needs of its cargo of soldiers; when it ploughed into the stormy waters off the infamous Cape Hatteras, McGuire wished only for dry land.
Even a later passage up the Mississippi was only separated from fatality by luck. On the steamer R. J. Lockwood, moving with his command from Brashear to Port Hudson in March of 1866, McGuire soon discovered the captain was racing his boat upriver against the Lady Gay. If he could make good time, the captain informed McGuire, he could make several thousand dollars and then would not have to run the Lockwood so hard in the future. To the logical fear McGuire expressed about the strain on the boilers the captain gave unconvincing assurances; he weakened his case further by urging McGuire not to allow his men to gather all on one side of the boat (a practice which, though the captain did not explain outright, might tip the frail vessel and dangerously shift the water distribution in the boilers). Finally the captain made his own fears obvious by his sudden departure from a central position on the hurricane deck to a much safer position at the very bow of the boat, near the jackstaff. Realizing the captain himself was worried over the chance of a boiler explosion, McGuire gathered up brother Willie and made for the jackstaff himself. He kept up a rambling conversation with the captain, as an excuse to sit at that point, until the boat docked at Port Hudson and was then the first person to set foot on terra firma. Not long afterwards the Lockwood, continuing her upriver trip under her nervous but driven captain, blew to smithereens near Memphis (Letter of 7 May, 1866).
Art Books, Journals, & MoreAppendix IV: ". . . the government had decided to enlist the slaves as soldiers."
The complex and fascinating process by which the Federal government took the step of enlisting black Americans as soldiers and sailors has only gradually come into sharp scholarly focus. The central role of black soldiers in Horace McGuire's civil war career requires at least a few words on that large topic here, especially as it relates to the area of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast in which McGuire served. (See the accounts in Dudley Taylor Cornish, The Sable Arm, Hondon B. Hargrove, Black Union Soldiers in the Civil War, Joseph T. Glatthaar,Forged in Battle, The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers).
As the debate over recruitment of blacks progressed, one pan of the balance swayed under heavy weights of doubt: ideas that blacks were somehow at once too docile to make soldiers and yet uncontrollably savage beasts, racially inferior; fears that American society was not ready for blacks in uniform and that the political cost of trying the experiment would drain away essential support for the successful prosecution of the war, especially in the border states. Into the opposite balance pan went the insatiable need for more Union troops, a belief that blacks could fight for their freedom, the growing sense that the war was, in fact, being fought for freedom as well as union. The balance arm slowly tilted as this second set of weights accumulated.
Although the Federal navy had always included black sailors in its crews, the early moves to recruit black soldiers by General James H. Lane in Kansas, General David Hunter in South Carolina, and General Benjamin Butler in Louisiana were not officially sanctioned and were less than successful.
The thousands of blacks who came into Federal lines were more often used as laborers than as soldiers. This situation began to change by the spring of 1863.
The organization which would shape McGuire's experience - and one significant part of the overall shift in the policy of recruitment - came from a second effort in Louisiana under General Nathaniel Banks, a former governor of Massachusetts. In May and June of 1863, Banks announced the formation of an army corps of black soldiers, a Corps d'Afrique (using the French military terminology so fashionable at the time), composed partly of troops already being raised by others, but largely recruited from the sizable population of available male slaves. Unlike his predecessor, Banks would insist that these men be led by white officers.
At the same time official sanction and direction for the recruitment of blacks began to issue from Washington. General Lorenzo Thomas was sent into the Mississippi Valley to supervise (and to try to popularize) the new recruitment policy; a Bureau for Colored Troops appeared; rules for examining boards for the white officers who would lead black troops appeared.
Joseph Glatthaar, the scholar who has most closely studied the relationship between white officers and black troops, raises the possibility that this process of examination produced a body of officers superior to those in similar ranks in white units. Existing records show that at least 9000 men applied to be examined, that nearly 4000 actually took the examination, and that only 60 percent of these candidates were passed. Those who succeeded had survived a four-hour oral exam on such subjects as tactics, army regulations, general military knowledge, arithmetic, history, and geography. (Forged in Battle, 37-54.) McGuire recorded his experience in his Diary (9 January, 1864):
I was examined by Captain Crosby and Captain Hamlin[,] the former in Artillery[,] the latter in general education. The examination lasted 4 hours[,] at the expiration of which time I had not failed in a single question.
As Glatthaar emphasizes, however, the hard part was still before the men who passed, whether they came up from the ranks or from civilian life:
Soldiers and civilians found it difficult to leave old friends and enter an organization with few or no friends, serving alongside a different race, about which they had heard all sorts of prejudicial stories, in the face of opposition by many in their own army and the threat of death if captured by the enemy. (Forged in Battle, 56.)
The motivation which sent these men before the examination boards must obviously have varied from one candidate to the next; in addition to any general belief in the recruitment of black soldiers for this war, these officers, Glatthaar suggests, often had "experienced a weakening of the bonds to their original unit" through some experience such as hospitalization, capture, or detached service. He also notes cases of dissatisfaction with their old commander. (Forged in Battle, 41.) These comments, of course, catch McGuire's case precisely.
The only explanation McGuire offers in his Autobiography or in his Diary is the obvious mutual dislike between himself and Captain Mack. Yet we can also take note of the timing: just three months after his absence from his battery McGuire first heard of the opportunity for white enlisted men to become officers of black companies; just three months after that he has applied for a position himself. Moreover, we may also speculate that McGuire did not fully share the racial prejudice so common in the soldiers of the Union army. As a boy in Syracuse he had witnessed a slave beaten and carried off after an unsuccessful bid for freedom; in writing about the subsequent "Jerry Rescue" McGuire termed the Fugitive Slave Law "odious" and commented positively on anti-slavery leaders. ("Two Episodes of Anti-Slavery Days," Publications of the Rochester Historical Society IV .) He had worked for Frederick Douglass in his newspaper in Rochester, and had become familiar with local links in the underground railroad. In Plaquemine, during the war, he had been saved from life-threatening illness, and possibly from the danger of capture by the enemy, by a "Mama Douglas," who is remembered in family tradition (kindly conveyed to me by Remsen Wood, McGuire's grandson) as a black woman who nursed him and hid him in her cabin loft. After the war, though he denounced John Brown as "a misguided enthusiast," he welcomed the "extermination of the evil" of slavery brought about by Union arms and welcomed the advance of "a race of black men, whose fathers and mothers had been slaves," but who were "now being educated into good citizenship, occupying positions of trust and professional responsibility, and owning and tilling the very soil formerly drenched with blood." ("Two Episodes of Anti-Slavery Days.") These experiences and opinions at least suggest that his decision to serve as an officer of black troops may have been influenced by friendships with black Americans and informed by some sympathy for their cause. McGuire later wrote to Alice Kingsbury (25 August, 1865) that "For some time the subject of Negro Soldiery had attracted my attention." Once he had become an officer of black troops, his positive relations with his men, so evident in the James Akens story, which McGuire tells proudly during his account of the Pascagoula raid of January 1865, adds strength to this suggestion.
Such an interpretation of McGuire's motivation and attitudes is not vitiated by the distressing account of his recruitment of blacks from the decks of the Sallie Robinson. Much black enlistment was, of course, completely voluntary. But sadly, forced recruitment of just the sort described so graphically in the Autobiography was a common practice from the beginning. The earliest enthusiasts for black soldiers in Kansas and South Carolina had brought them to the Union cause at gunpoint whenever the understandable reluctance of former slaves to deal with white men slowed the flow of recruits. Tactics did not always change when the recruitment became Federal policy. "The War Department," Glatthaar writes, "had to adopt an aggressive program to bring blacks into military service, and it rested the responsibility for this primarily upon the shoulders of the officers who were going to command them." (Forged in Battle, 63.) Officers who failed to find their quota of recruits might be denied a commission. This system appears clearly in McGuire's writings; although he was in charge of twenty men guarding the railroad outside of New Orleans in early January, 1864, he could not himself get on the muster roll (which was the payroll) until he had found his thirteen recruits (and the Autobiography shows that he found it hard enough even then, given the timeless problem of military red tape). By charging citizens twenty-five cents for every pass he made out, McGuire survived financially. Yet we can easily sense the force of Glatthaar's judgment that "depending on individuals to raise tens of thousands of Southern blacks among a generally hostile populace was a ridiculous approach." (Forged in Battle, 73.)
Many officers who had led black troops faced problems readjusting to civil life in the post-war decades, especially as they found that not everyone at home shared a positive sense of their role. (Forged in Battle, 238-45.) No such problems surface in McGuire's writings, but as his grandson Remsen Wood noted concisely, when asked about this point, in later life McGuire's role in recruiting and leading black soldiers "was always acknowledged but not continually praised."
As McGuire suggests, Mobile, Alabama, was the great prize to win at this time and in this theater of the war. Admiral David G. Farragut had already captured Mobile Bay, a thriving port for blockade runners, on 5 August, 1864, when he "damned the torpedoes," ran past the forts, and disabled the Confederate flotilla. The city itself held out, ringed by entrenchments and guarded by gunboats behind more rows of deadly "torpedoes [mines]."
The expedition which McGuire describes so vividly in his Autobiography apparently originated as a follow-up to a series of broad cavalry sweeps aimed, Edwin C. Bearss has argued, not so much at Mobile itself as at rail lines supplying the army of Confederate General John B. Hood. (See Edwin C. Bearss, Decision in Mississippi, Chapter VIII: cf. Charles L. Sullivan, The Mississippi Gulf Coast: Portrait of a People, 95; Stephen Z. Starr, The Union Cavalry in the Civil War, I, 501-2). After General William T. Sherman had taken Atlanta, Hood, its unsuccessful defender, moved his forces toward Middle Tennessee, hoping to divert Sherman's army from the heartland of the South. His army was supplied by several vital rail lines.
Setting out from Baton Rouge in late November, General John W. Davidson was to lead one of the Union cavalry raids with the object of breaking one of these railroads, the Mobile and Ohio line. Since his troopers would destroy all food and forage within reach on their raid, they could not return to Baton Rouge by the same route. Instead, they would turn south to the Gulf Coast, the protection of the Union navy, and awaiting transports.
The raid did not go as planned. Heavy rains made roads "ribbons of mud" (Bearss) and flooded the banks of streams. Union troopers had to repair bridges and build mile after mile of "corduroy" roads, continuous belts of logs laid across those "ribbons of mud." Moreover, the necessarily slow pace of the Union advance allowed Confederates to concentrate defense forces by rail, ironically underscoring the importance of the railroads that the raiders proved unable to reach, although they came as close as one day's ride from the Mobile and Ohio.
Davidson thus decided on 11 December, "in an icy, blinding rainstorm" (Sullivan), to turn south to the port town of West Pascagoula. The Davidson raid was over by 13 December, when the cavalrymen reached the coast and sighted the waiting ships. The excesses of these Union troopers on this raid are still vividly remembered in the Pascagoula area, as I learned in telephone conversations and correspondence with local historians Charles L. Sullivan and Roger B. Hansen.
Davidson hoped to keep up some initiative. He planned to cross his command over to East Pascagoula "from whence," he wrote, "a series of threats and attacks may be made upon the railroad. (ORA I, 45, pt I, 788; for a letter from his superior countenancing just such a diversion from the area of Pascagoula, see ORA I, 41, pt IV, 863.) Soon the area commander, however, broke up his command in orders issued on 17 December.
Since McGuire connects his own expedition with "advancing cavalry from the north," he apparently has the Davidson raid in mind. Yet the force he joined, apparently led by Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Street, set sail from New Orleans only on 26 December, by which time Davidson's command was safely in West Pascagoula and already scheduled to be parceled out for other work. Thus it seems reasonable to suggest that McGuire's black soldiers were part of a demonstration on Mobile intended to be simply one of those "threats and attacks" that Davidson hoped to carry out himself. Charles Sullivan comes to the same basic conclusion (Mississippi Gulf Coast, 95):
As Davidson evacuated West Pascagoula, another Federal army 3,000 strong landed in East Pascagoula and drove 12 miles inland on the Mobile Road. That battle group fought a few skirmishes and captured a large sawmill on the Escatawpa River, confiscating a million board feet of lumber, together with the mill machinery. Six weeks later that force withdrew as well.
This Union force may have pulled out in piecemeal fashion: McGuire's force was withdrawn, he says, after nineteen days, a fact substantiated by army records that locate the men in New Orleans again at just this time, 13 January. (ORA I, 18, pt I, 508.) The remainder of the force may have left for the Union base at Pensacola, Florida, in late January 1865. (ORA I, 48, pt I, 618, 649.)
Again, as in his narrative of the attack on Fort Bisland, we cannot expect McGuire's perspective to be that of the grand strategist. He gives us instead the intimate view of an officer leading untested troops in a moment of peril that he knows tried their souls.
- Work as a printer would bring needed wages through the early years of McGuire's career. He seems to have developed a genuine interest as well; while stationed in Baton Rouge he sought out the local printing office to have "quite a talk with the proprietor." Diary, 2 October, 1863.
- James McPherson notes that "The operation of this law confirmed the impression that it was rigged in favor of claimants." In the 1850s 322 slaves were returned and only eleven went free. Battle Cry of Freedom, 80.
- McGuire wrote his full recollections and opinions on this incident in "Two Episodes of Anti-Slavery Days,"Publications of the Rochester Historical Society IV (1925).
- Now the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.
- Probably Daniel Stevens Dickinson, who served in the Senate in 1844-51 and later was Attorney General of the State of New York and United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. A "carrier's address" was a graceful message delivered by newsboys to their subscribers at year's end. Like today's calendars, the "addresses" might help prompt an annual tip.
- McGuire here confuses the paper of the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison with that of Douglass, whose paper was actually the North Star, founded in 1847 and soon renamed Frederick Douglass' Paper.
- Although McGuire sounds condescending here, his racial attitudes usually seem moderate for his time. See Appendix IV for a more general discussion of this topic.
- Amy Post was a prominent Quaker and activist in temperance and anti-slavery causes. Blake McKelvey,Rochester: The Water-Power City, 285, 287. The Post Family Papers are preserved in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections of the University of Rochester.
- Blake McKelvey terms Porter "a leading reformer during the forties." Rochester: The Water-Power City, 191.
- Amy Post estimated that as many as 150 slaves a year passed through Rochester on their way to freedom. Blake McKelvey, Rochester: The Water-Power City, 350.
- McGuire discusses this incident in his article, "Two Episodes of Anti-Slavery Days," Publications of the Rochester Historical Society IV (1925).
- McKelvey describes Strong as "a chief pillar of the Baptist Church, and later of the University as well." His paper, the Democrat, took a temperance and anti-slavery stance. He became a prominent conservative Republican. Rochester: The Water-Power City, 191, 352; Rochester: The Flower City, 62. Strong Memorial Hospital is named for his son and daughter-in-law, Henry Alvah and Helen Griffin Strong; Strong Auditorium on the River Campus is named for Henry Alvah Strong.
- The salaries of female schoolteachers were particularly low and the schools had difficulty in retaining good women. Blake McKelvey, Rochester: The Flower City, 151.
- According to family tradition, conveyed by McGuire's grandson Remsen Wood in a memorial deposited with his papers, McGuire was born and baptized a Roman Catholic. Wood heard his grandfather tell that he learned he was Catholic only when his father rushed into the house one day, saying "Get the children dressed. A priest has come to town and we can get them baptized."
- McGuire maintained his strong religious beliefs and practices all his life. A note added to the file of McGuire Papers by Mrs. Clarence (Alice Wood) Wynd, his granddaughter, recalls that in later life he taught a large and popular men's class at Central Presbyterian Church and that while on summer vacations on Lake Conesus he conducted religious services for nearby families. Printed copies of a religious pamphlet and a hymn with words written by McGuire (under the name Oliver Oldman) are included in the file of his papers.
- Originally opened as the High School in 1828, this school went through numerous transformations, becoming the Rochester Seminary, the Rochester Collegiate Institute, and the Free Academy. Tuition charges were apparently a regular feature, at least for the upper grades. Blake McKelvey, Rochester: The Water-Power City, 124, 184, 268-9, 343; Rochester: The Flower City, 83.
- Perkins later represented Monroe County as a U.S. Congressman, 1901-1910.
- Joseph Allen Ely, later a prominent Congregational minister.
- Good examples of these envelopes may be seen among the Carr Papers preserved in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of Rochester, Rush Rhees Library.
- A prominent citizen who later became president of the Y.M.C.A. and contributed to charitable causes. Blake McKelvey, Rochester: The Water-Power City, 278; Rochester: The Quest for Quality, 58.
- William Billinghurst had been in business in Rochester since at least 1843. His shop in 1862 was at the corner of Main and Water streets.
- Like so much of the complex mechanism of war produced by enthusiastic amateur inventors of the age, these multiple-barreled rifle batteries proved to be more devastating on paper than in field use; McGuire and his fellow recruits were soon learning to use replacement 20-pounder Parrott rifles, substantial pieces of field artillery that worked quite well.The Billinghurst gun had 25 rifles, not 24 as McGuire remembered.
- Much wiser after several years of soldiering, McGuire wrote to Alice Kingsbury, 25 August, 1865, "But this like many other views in the first year, were doomed to disappointment. We found an enemy in every way equal to our strength."
- According to a story in the Union and Advertiser, 3 September, 1892, Mack followed the example of his ancestors and volunteered at the outbreak of war. Rejected as physically unfit, he later raised and commanded his own unit. The story claims, incorrectly, that he invented the gun used by his artillery unit. This story credits the purchase of these Billinghurst guns to the Rochester Common Council. Local pride may mix with misinformation in the suggestion that the guns had to be given up when the ship carrying their ammunition was lost on the Florida Keys. Mack was seriously wounded at the siege of Port Hudson, after McGuire had left his command. By the date of this story Mack was evidently noted as a manufacturer of a particular species of fish hook. He died in July of 1897, not long after attending a reunion of his battery, as reported in the Union and Advertiser 22 July, 1897. A committee representing his battery published a Resolution of Respect in this paper on 24 July, 1897.
- This building stood at the intersection of Highland Avenue and South Avenue until 1971.
- Anderson, first president of the University of Rochester, was noted for his oratory. Though he had at first opposed the use of force to halt secession, he became an enthusiastic supporter of a war for the Union after the firing on Fort Sumter. Blake McKelvey, Rochester: The Flower City, 40, 64.
- As he wrote to Alice Kingsbury, "Being novel by nature, I entered a novel organization known as Mack's Rifle Battery. . ." Letter of 25 August, 1865.
- Officially Camp Fitz-John Porter, named for the general whose command included the 13th Regiment. This new camp was located on the west bank of the Genesee River, almost in sight of what later became the Oak Hill Country Club and is today the main campus of the University. Ruth Marsh, "A History of Rochester's Part in the Civil War," Rochester in the Civil War (Publications of the Rochester Historical Society XXII ), 32.
- Although not attending classes, McGuire evidently was still considered a member of the University's Class of '66, and eligible to join a fraternity. The Rochester chapter of the national fraternity Psi Upsilon opened in 1858 and remains active today.
- The novice soldiers at once decided to set out to see the city, "but an old soldier at the gate brought this idea to a sudden halt by the benign influence of a bayonet, and we must sit and look through the bars like convicts. . . ." McGuire comments that this camp, like trouble, was easier to go into than to get out of. Letter to Alice Kingsbury, 25 August, 1865.
- Marching through the principal streets of the city was fine, but the novelty soon wore off, feet and backs began to ache, and cold rain began to fall. Letter to Alice Kingsbury, 25 August, 1865.
- At first the novelty and beauty of sea travel sustained McGuire and his comrades; "our boat glided like a thing of life down the Bay, making out into the Ocean and the pleasant sights of the harbor were being discussed." Letter to Alice Kingsbury, 25 August, 1865.
- One of a chain of islands stretching along the Gulf Coast, providing a protected water passage linking the key ports of New Orleans and Mobile, Ship Island had served as the base for the Federal expedition that captured New Orleans in April of 1862.
- Hatteras was simply living up to its reputation as the setting for horrific Atlantic storms that often sent vessels to the bottom. The famous Monitor would go down in this same region only a few weeks later.
- McGuire comforted himself with a purchase of four loaves of bread and a pound of butter, "and that was a sweet morsel for myself and brother. . . ." Letter to Alice Kingsbury of 25 August, 1865.
- Nathaniel P. Banks, a former governor of Massachusetts, whose political influence may have exceeded his military skill.
- Benjamin E Butler, another Massachusetts politician who became a general with only modest success.
- Commander of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, with responsibility for the lower Mississippi River, Farragut was already the leading Union naval figure, having captured New Orleans, the largest city in the South.
- Readers of Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi will recall passages on the rigors and supposed healthfulness of drinking water, complete with sediment, drawn from the Mississippi River. Many commentaries written by nineteenth-century travelers contain similar testimonials. In a letter to Alice Kingsbury (25 August, 1865), McGuire fondly recalled that "Every sight was new, and the orange orchards threw a delicious perfume around us, and the cool water of the river was drank with great joy."
- The Illinois in fact arrived at New Orleans on 15 December, 1862, as noted in the log of the U.S.S.Richmond, ORN 19, 761.
- Initial naval support came from the large sloop Richmond and the gunboat Albatross. This force under Commander James Alden soon added several additional gunboats in the river, plus the ironclad Essex.
- The capital was destroyed by accidental fire, not by Farragut's shells. See ORN 19, 762-3.
- No doubt the scene was exciting to McGuire, but there was, in fact, no battle. Although the ships took position with their guns loaded with grape, cannister and shrapnel, Alden reported "a landing was effected without difficulty." The log of the Richmond notes that about twenty shells were thrown behind the city as the Union troops disembarked and "the rebels that were in the city took good care of themselves and very quickly skedaddled." ORN 19, 415-18, 763-4. General Cuvier Grover, who commanded the landing, reported, "My infantry did not fire a gun." (ORA I, 15, 191-2.)
- Their failure must have been frustrating to Union commanders, who had already experienced enough trouble getting any artillery support on shore. The infantry had landed under cover of naval guns before their artillery arrived and Commander Alden had to send sailors on shore to work "field batteries," which must have been either the standard naval howitzers or captured Confederate pieces. ORN 19, 762.
- According to the log of the Richmond, the transports all steamed downriver on the night of 23 January.ORN 19, 764.
- He wrote to Alice Kingsbury, 25 August, 1865, "Our Popguns were ordered to be turned in, and we received instead, a splendid Battery of 20 Pounder Parrotts. When our horses arrived, this added new life to the men, and we were again enthusiastic."
- Captain Mack, as McGuire points out earlier, had been the assistant superintendent of the County Penitentiary in Rochester before enlisting.
- Banks' diversionary movement against Port Hudson turned into a fiasco that might well induce failure of memory in any participant writing fifty years later. The green troops set out overburdened with gear (some even wore iron bullet-proof vests) and soon added the fruits of active, if illegal, pillaging. As the march went on and the heat intensified, order virtually disappeared. Except for some brushes with cavalry, the Union troops saw no Confederates and stayed five miles from the enemy fortifications. After Farragut had fought his way past Port Hudson with a part of his fleet to blockade the Red and Mississippi rivers as a source of supply for the Confederate bastions at Port Hudson and Vicksburg, Banks withdrew. The retreat, carried out in a driving rain as dispiriting as the earlier hot and dusty advance, left his troops disgruntled. See the clear account in John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, 214-18.
- Richard Taylor, son of Zachary Taylor, a hero of the war with Mexico.
- Banks' estimates of the enemy opposing him, like McClelland's, were always too high. Taylor may have had 4,000 men in the fortification at Bisland; the Union force in his front may have been three times that number, and the brigade of General Grover was maneuvering behind his lines to cut off his escape. The campaign is described in Winter, Civil War in Louisiana, 222-41. The reports of the several commanders appear in (ORA I, 15, 292-400).
- Recalling this trial later he wrote to Alice Kingsbury (25 August, 1865), "I suffered as much in a short time as any person could endure and still live, and but for the constant attention of Friends, I should have never lived to have written this."
- McGuire's relations with Curtis were the opposite of those with Mack. Curtis would later assist him in going to New Orleans in order to take the examination that made him an officer. Letter of 25 August, 1865, to Alice Kingsbury.
- 1n his Diary (6 September, 1863), McGuire notes the hot and sultry weather and dust three inches deep on the roads. Patrols come in looking like the guerillas (he spells it "gorrillias") they sometimes chased. Not all in the countryside were hostile, however. One patrol brought him a gift of four bushels of sweet potatoes and a gallon of buttermilk from a local planter.
- McGuire's estimate of the importance of holding the line of the Mississippi River and denying the Confederacy supplies of men and material from the trans-Mississippi region is surely justified. His claim that Banks' troops diverted Confederate strength, however, speaks more to Union intent than Banks' actual achievement. Grant wanted a unified strategy; Lincoln agreed, observing that "Those not skinning can hold a leg." Banks proved to be a poor leg-holder. He actually borrowed men from Sherman for his disastrous second Red River campaign and delayed the planned attack on Mobile. See James McPherson,Battle Cry of Freedom, 722-23.
- McGuire was surprised to find that the Mississippi River had carved out the bank at Plaquemine, devouring one entire block the length of the town. Mark Twain would later write tellingly of the surprising shifts of the river in Life on the Mississippi. On "Mama Douglas," see Appendix IV. The Union troops at Plaquemine, expecting an enemy attack, built a small fort for their artillery; McGuire was chosen as signal officer and equipped with signal rockets and flags. Diary, 6 December, 1863.
- Once he was out of the artillery unit, McGuire wrote in his Diary (18 January, 1864), "I thanked God that I was forever out of the clutches of such a man as Captain Mack." A month later his Diary (10 February) records a chance meeting with Mack in the fashionable St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans. "I walked in proudly with my new 1st Lieut. shoulder straps, new and bright and my nicely fitting and new uniform," McGuire wrote. Mack at first failed to recognize him and then pretended to be glad for his success. McGuire, who wrote that he 'was never so proud in my life," felt "I could stand up before the man who had injured me and tell him so and tell him that I thanked God I was out of his power[.] [N]ever did a man get a plainer talking too with so much sarcasm in the language used as did he on that memorable day." Yet he was also proud that "never for a moment did I forget my dignity as an officer."
- McGuire had some tense moments on this duty. While temporarily in command of the post where the railroad line crossed Pass Manchac, which linked Lake Ponchartrain, just north of New Orleans, with Lake Maurepas, to the west, he heard a steamboat approaching rapidly. The heavy guns were trained and readied, but a shot across the bow stopped the steamer and it proved to be friendly. Diary, 23 February, 1864.
- The correct date may be August. The Diary locates McGuire in New Orleans most of the summer; an entry for 5 August states he has received orders to take 40 men and go to the parishes of La Fourche and St. Mary to recruit. He may have been quite busy; the Diary ends at this point.
- The Sallie Robinson had been busy on the river for some time. McGuire may not have remembered, but he passed the ship on his first trip up the Mississippi; the log of the Richmond, the chief naval escort, notes on that trip: "We passed the steamer Sallie Robinson about 4 p.m." ORN 19, 761.
- The first Regiment of Heavy Artillery, Corps d'Afrique, became the 7th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery in April of 1864. (ORA III, 4, 214, 1286.) By the time McGuire becomes captain of Company G, the 7th had become numbered the 10th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery. McGuire notes in his Diary (15 July, 1864) the consolidation of the Corps d'Afrique. He states that the policy of examining officers for continuance led to many resignations.
- Conditions in this area are outlined in a report of Brig. General Robert A. Cameron, forwarded in June of 1865: 'The condition of the country is one of great distress and destitution. The ravages of the caterpillar upon the cotton crop, the merciless seizings of forage and subsistence by the rebels, with the present overflow, leaves many without food, and nearly all in circumstances of distress. The paroled rebel soldiers appear inclined to be quiet, and many are asking to take the oath. The only thing I find in any way embarassing [sic] is the prejudice against the colored soldiers, and a lingering hope still manifest among a few of the wealthy and educated and consequently influential, for the return of slavery. There are some jayhawkers or guerillas, but with a proper disposition of our forces, which I have suggested. . . we can soon hunt them down." (ORA I, 48, pt. II, 901.)
- Although not a member of Johnson's cabinet, Schurz had been sent by President Johnson to tour Southern states and report on conditions there. He later became Secretary of the Interior under President Hayes.
- The passage from slave to free labor in the South was far from smooth. As McGuire's comment suggests, the army was the first Federal agency setting labor policy in the postwar era. The assumption underpinning military policy, Eric Foner notes, was "that the interests of the South, the nation, and the freedmen themselves would be best served by blacks' return to plantation labor." Sometimes the measures taken were so spartan that some critics thought slavery was being continued under new means. See Eric Foner, Reconstruction, 153-175; LaWanda Cox, "The Promise of Land for the Freedman,"Mississippi Valley Historical Review XLV (1959).
- In a letter to Alice Kingsbury he specifies that he has 32 guns to move, each weighing "neigh 8900 lbs and some more than that," plus 3200 rounds of ammunition. By 11 January he had sent off ten railroad carloads of eight tons each and had 28 set to go on the following day. Letters of 5, 11 January, 1866.
- A letter of 3 March, 1866, to Alice states he arrived the day before and was pleased to find he has "gorgeous" quarters.
- He notified Alice of his move while on board the steamer taking him to Ford Pike, 14 May, 1866. "The location is by no means a desirable one, as there is nothing to be seen but the salt sea," he writes. "I have never been there, but they say the quarters are very good."
- Probably the Evening Express, a new Republican daily founded in 1859.
- McGuire is probably thinking of the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Association, which sponsored lectures, debates, and related activities in this period. In 1891 it merged with the Mechanics Institute (founded 1885) to form the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute, a forerunner of today's Rochester Institute of Technology.
- Lewis Swift, who shared his star-gazing with McGuire, was himself a hobbyist who had taught himself astronomy and improvised his own telescopes. In these years he was supporting his avocation by running a hardware business. By 1884 he was an astronomer at the Warner Observatory in Rochester. Ultimately he discovered twelve comets and over 1200 nebulae, published in international scientific journals, and won medals and prizes from prestigious scholarly associations.
- According to a note deposited in the McGuire Papers by Mrs. Clarence (Alice Wood) Wynd, his granddaughter, after his retirement he also took a correspondence course on writing; this, she notes, was at the time when the short stories of O. Henry were becoming popular. He published some of these stories under the gently self-deprecatory name of Oliver Oldman.
- A local nurseryman who helped give Rochester its nickname of Flower City. Blake McKelvey, Rochester: The Flower City, 100, 294.
- Later a prominent Rochester attorney. Hubbell Auditorium on the University's River Campus is named for him.
- The original of this letter is preserved among the McGuire Papers.
- Hiram Remsen Wood, just graduated from the University of Rochester, who later became McGuire's son-in-law and partner. After McGuire's retirement, Wood continued the practice and also served on several local company boards, including Hahnemann Hospital (now Highland Hospital), where he was president of the board of directors. He died in 1920.
- The narrative of this trip, a journal kept by Carrie E. Holyland, is in the McGuire Papers.
- "May" was Alice May, McGuire's second daughter (born 1872) and only surviving child.
- Mayer served as New York State Attorney General from 1905 to 1907; he was later appointed a federal judge for the southern district of the state and a judge of the U.S. circuit court of appeals.
- A Republican businessman and politician, he was governor from 1905-07. He died shortly after leaving office.
- John Forrest Dillon, a corporate lawyer and author of numerous treatises on legal topics.
- A leading corporate lawyer, noted for his prodigious memory. As a student he could commit entire Shakespearean plays to memory.
- John George Milburn. A prominent lawyer in private practice in Buffalo and New York City.
- Later Secretary of War under President McKinley and Secretary of State under President Theodore Roosevelt.
- Frederick Collin. A partner in one of the largest firms in the state outside of New York City. He became an associate judge of the New York Court of Appeals.
- Probably William Dameron Guthrie, a noted constitutional lawyer who argued for corporate interests in many key cases before the Supreme Court during this period.
- Though he does not mention the issue here, McGuire also evidently felt strongly about the prosecution of the "ice trust." Either McGuire or someone close to him attached to the back of his photograph (placed among the leaves of his Autobiography) a clipping from The Post Express of 18 March, 1907, describing his action. According to this newspaper, he had brought complaint against the trust while Deputy Attorney General. When the complaint was not pursued by his successors, McGuire, sure that the complaint was "impregnable," "even went so far as to say that he would try the case to the end without charging the people a cent for his services." Because of "the trust's systematic oppression of the poor of New York city" he thought "it was entitled to no mercy."
- Here McGuire left a blank space, evidently intending to fill in the correct date later.
- Horace, Remsen, Sally, and Alice.
- Mayer may be referring in part to the long illness and death (August 6, 1906) of McGuire's wife, Alice.
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND ABBREVIATIONS
Bearss, Edwin C. Decision in Mississippi: Mississippi's Important Role in the War Between the States. Jackson, Mississippi. 1962.
Cornish, Dudley Taylor. The Sable Arm: Negro Troops in the Union Army, 1861-1865. New York. 1956.
Cox, LaWanda. "The Promise of Land for the Freedmen," Mississippi Valley Historical Review XLV (1959).
Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. New York. 1988.
Glatthaar, Joseph T. Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers. New York. 1990.
Hargrove, Hondon. Black Union Soldiers in the Civil War. Jefferson, North Carolina. 1988.
McGuire, Horace. "Two Episodes of Anti-Slavery Days," Publications of The Rochester Historical Society IV (1925).
McKelvey, Blake. Rochester: The Flower City, 1855-1890. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1949.
____ Rochester: The Quest for Quality, 1890-1925. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1956.
____ Rochester: The Water-Power City, 1812-1854. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1945.
McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. Oxford, 1988.
ORA = War of the Rebellion. . . Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 128 vols. Washington, D.C. 1880-1901.
ORN= Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. 30 vols. Washington, D.C. 1884-1922.
Starr, Stephen Z. The Union Cavalry in the Civil War. 3 vols. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. c. 1979-1985.
Sullivan, Charles L. The Mississippi Gulf Coast: Portrait of a People. Northridge, California. 1985.
Winters, John D. The Civil War in Louisiana. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 1963.
- The register of the McGUire-Wood Family Papers