Monday, March 31, 2008

54th Regiment - 1864 - Part II

Here are the articles for July and August 1864 concerning Rochester, NY's 54th Infantry Regiment found in the Union & Advertiser. The Regiment was Federalized in July and sent to the Prisoner of War Camp in Elmira, NY as a guard unit. The Regiment was mustered out of the Union Army in November.

Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 2, 1864, p. 2

FLAG FOR THE 54TH—Col. Clark received this morning a regimental flag for the 54th from the State Quartermaster's Department. The new uniforms for the regiment have not arrived. Had they been received in time as expected, there would have been an early parade of the regiment on the 4th.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 2, 1864, p. 2

"OLD THIRTEENTH"—There will be a meeting of the members of this Regiment this (Saturday) evening at 7 o'clock precisely, at their drill room, to make arrangements for the body of Col. W. W. Bates, which is expected to arrive at 8 o'clock this evening.

By order of
C. S. Benjamin, Pres't

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 6, 1864, p. 2

CALL FOR MILITIA—The Federal government having called for 12,000 militia from this State it is supposed that the 54th Reg, of this city will be wanted. There was a report in town that the regiment had been called for.—The report is premature we think, yet it is not unlikely that the regiment may be wanted. Col. Clark left the city last night and we do not hear that anything has been received from him from Albany this morning. No telegraphic orders for the militia have been received.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 7, 1864, p. 2

THE STATE MILITARY—No call has yet been made upon this locality for State troops. Col. Clark of the 54th, has not been called upon by way of inquiry or otherwise. It is not quite clear that the President in his note to the Governor, intended to do more than have the troops in readiness to go if the rebels should make a serious raid into Pennsylvania and Maryland. Five or six hundred men might, no doubt, be sent down in the ranks of the 54th Regiment if their services should be required.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 9, 1864, p. 2

THE VILLAGE MILITIA—Our Metropolitan friends are evidently pretty ignorant of the state of the military organizations of the small "villages" throughout New York. What will the 54th say to the following from the N. Y. Express:

Notwithstanding the new militia law, which was enacted under Governor Morgan, and which provides for the thorough organization of our State Militia forces, we do not believe there are at present more than 25,000 organized militia in the entire State, the greater part of which belongs to New York City and Brooklyn.—The flourishing cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Oswego, Albany, Troy and numerous others have no military organizations which can be relied upon in the present and other emergencies—when the Federal Government desires to employ our militia to expel the Rebels from Maryland and Pennsylvania. These cities have all large populations, so have several western counties of the State, which could easily organize their militia brigades and take some of the burdens now entirely resting on our city militia, on their own shoulders.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 11, 1864, p. 2

THE CALL FOR THE MILITIA—As yet, Col. Clark has no orders to call out the 54th regiment for government service. Reports of orders to Elmira and other places are unfounded, though such may yet be received.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 12, 1864, p. 2

THE GRAY'S BATTERY—The attention of young men who desire to enroll themselves in the State militia, is invited to a notice in our columns from the Rochester Union Grays Light Artillery. There are two batteries in which a few more men will be taken.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 12, 1864, p. 2

THE 54TH REGIMENT—The companies of the 54th Regiment are recruiting their ranks to the maximum number, one hundred men to each company. The regimental armory is now open all the time, and recruits are coming in quite freely. What service the regiment is to be called to perform is not known.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 13, 1864, p. 2

MILITARY ORDERS—On the third page of this paper will be found general orders No. 14 from the Adjutant General. Pursuant to this Gen. Williams has issued the following order:

HEADQUARTERS, 25TH BRIGADE
7TH DIVISION, N. Y. S. N. G.
ROCHESTER, July 13, 1864


Orders No. 9:

In pursuance of General Orders No. 14 from the Adjutant General's Office, Commandants of Regiments and Batallions [sic] in this Brigade will hold their commands in readiness for immediate service.

By Order of Brig. Gen. John Williams
Geo. Hyland, Jr., Brigade Inspector

General Order No. 14, is given on the third page.

Under the above order the several regiments are to be in readiness to answer any call that may be made for their services. The 54th is fast filling up and can now turn out about six hundred men. The regiment may be ordered into the federal service and day for special duty.—Those who join will probably escape the draft as they will be in the service already.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 13, 1864, p. 3

Proclamation and Order from
Gov. Seymour

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PATRIOTIC APPEAL TO THE PEOPLE
AND ORDER TO THE MILITIA TO
HOLD ITSELF IN READINESS

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PROCLAMATION
STATE OF NEW YORK
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT
ALBANY, July 12th, 1864


On the 8th instant I ordered that the several Military companies be increased to the maximum numbers. I now appeal to the People of New York to carry out this order by joining the National Guard, or by such other measures as will give that organization the numbers required by law. Unless this is done at once I cannot respond to the call now made by the President of the United States.

The National Constitution declares that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free State. If we had heeded this truth we should not have been exposed to invasion, to the disgrace of riots, and the hazards of still greater calamities. The negligence and false economy which led us to disregard this warning have been fearfully punished. The cost of arming and equipping the National Guard would have been trifling compared with the amount which new York must now pay as its quota of the expense of driving back the armies which now threaten the National Capital.

Let us be warned by the errors of the past. I implore all citizens to lay aside passion and prejudice, and to unite in carrying out the law clearly demanded by the honor, the interest, the safety of the State and nation. In many parts of New York this duty has been utterly neglected, and the burthen of answering calls for the militia has been thrown upon a few sections of the State.

In this time of civil war we are perplexed with many questions which are beyond the grasp of any mind. We see them from different standpoints, and reach conflicting conclusions. It is only ignorance and bigotry which will make these differences and views occasions far controversies and reproach. However we may differ upon other points, there should be no conflict of opinion as to the duties we owe to the State and National Governments. These are clearly set forth in the Constitution of our country, in the following terms:

ART. 6. Sub-division 2. This Constitution and the Laws of the United States, which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made under the authorities of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land, and the Judges of every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution and laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

ART. 3. Sec. 2. Provides, For the purpose of defining the limits of the authority of the General Government: "The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States and the treaties made under their authority."

ART. 10 of the amendments declares: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Every good citizen will yield an equal respect and obedience to each of these provisions.—When either of them are disregarded our country will be overwhelmed with anarchy and confusion. I exhort all not to allow their passions, their prejudices and suspicions to increase the dangers that overhang us. Let us cordially unite in measures essential to the preservation of the National unity, the power of the State, the peace and good order of Society. Foremost among them is the organization of those liable to duty without respect to creed or political opinions, into local military companies. In order to meet the Constitutional demands of the General Government, to secure the enforcement of the laws of the State, and afford security to the lives and homes of our citizens, this must be done at once.

HORATIO SEYMOUR

MILITIA TO BE HELD IN READINESS FOR IMMEDIATE SERVICE


GEN'L HEADQUARTERS, STATE OF NEW YORK
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE
ALBANY, July 12, 1864


General Orders No. 14

The commandants of all the Regiments of the National Guard of this State, are hereby ordered to hold their commands in readiness for immediate service.
The Major Generals commanding Divisions, and the several Brigadier Generals of the State, will see that this order is at once promulgated throughout their Division and Brigade Districts.

By order of the Commander in Chief.

Isaac Vanderpor
Engineer-in Chief and A. A. A. G.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 15, 1864, p. 2

Call for the 54th Regiment
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Col. Clark of the 54th Regiment N. Y. N. G., received a call for his regiment at a late hour last night to go to Elmira and guard the Rebel prisoners held in that place. It is proposed to take four regiments, including the 54th, for this special duty. Asst. Provost Marshal Diven gives his word that the regiments called shall perform this duty and no other. The men are to be sworn into the U. S. service for six months, and will receive the same pay as other soldiers, but no government bounty. They will also be exempt from the draft. Every man who goes out in the 54th will count as half a man on the quota of the district. It is therefore presumed that the county will pay half bounties to those men.

The companies of the 54th will at once fill up and make ready to go to Elmira. Col. Clark called a meeting of the officers for this morning. Brig. Gen. Williams was present and stated to the officers what was expected of them and what they might do in filling up their several companies.

There is no doubt but in a week the regiment will be full and ready to go to Elmira.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 16, 1864, p. 2

THE 54TH REGIMENT—The companies of this regiment are now filling up with the expectation of going into the federal service for six months to guard rebel prisoners at Elmira. Thus far the only assurance the regiment has that it will perform special duty, comes from Assistant Provost Marshal Gen. Diven. The regiment ought to have something direct from the War Department, as the promises of Mr. Diven may be repudiated at headquarters. If it is intended to take the regiment to the field, let that be understood at once and no deception practiced. Mr. Diven can get from the War Department an order as to this regiment as he may desire.

The Supervisors Committee has voted to pay $50 bounty to each man in the 54th. A special meeting of the Board is to be called for Tuesday to consider this and other subjects relating to volunteers for the army.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 18, 1864, p. 2

A DRAFT SOUGHT—A committee of three captains of the 54th Regiment went to Albany last night and it is understood that their mission is to request Governor Seymour to make a draft in Rochester to fill up the 54th Militia. And the Committee are to further to urge the Governor to stipulate that the 54th shall be assigned to special duty at Elmira for six months. It is not likely that their mission will be successful. If the regiment is filled by a draft or otherwise, it will have to be mustered into the Federal service if it performs the duty proposed, and if the men are to get pay from the federal Treasury. In such an event the Governor will have nothing further to do with the regiment.

The pay to the privates will be $16 per month. Are the men willing to leave business for that sum? Would it not be better to wait till there is a call for men before proceeding to urge a draft to fill up the 54th? The pay of the officers may be such as will make them desirous of six months service at Elmira, but that of privates will not be an equivalent for their services.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 20, 1864, p. 2

The 54th Regiment Ordered to Elmira for Special Service
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The 54th has at length been ordered to Elmira forthwith, as will be seen by the following order addressed to Col. Clark:

ALBANY, July 19, 1864
Special Orders No. 186.

The 54th Regiment National Guard of the State of New York will proceed immediately to Elmira, N. Y., where the commanding officer will report to Major A. S. Diven, Acting Assistant Provost Marshal General and Superintendent of the Volunteer Recruiting Service, for one hundred days' service.

Requisition for the necessary clothing, &c., will be made on Brigadier General S. V. Talcott, Quartermaster General at No. 51 Walker street, New York City, and for arms and accouterments on Brigadier General James A. Farrell, Commissary General State Arsenal, New York City.

By order of the Commander-in-Chief
John T. Sprague
Adjutant General

The large arrivals of rebel prisoners at Elmira has made this order necessary. The citizens of Elmira have been called out to do guard duty the past week it is said.
Major Lee has an order to muster the men of the 54th into the United States service at once—or as soon as ready.

Col. Clark will be here to-morrow morning. There will be a meeting of the officers of the 54th to-night. It will depend upon circumstances about the speedy filling up of the regiment. There are now about 500 men. It is understood, without any question, that the regiment will be retained for special service and not sent to the front—as some of the hundred day men of the West have been—it will be easy to fill up the ranks.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 21, 1864, p. 2

ARMORY—ROCHESTER LIGHT GUARD—ROCHESTER, July 21, 1864.—Persons wishing to volunteer in the Light Guard for 100 day service in the 54th regiment, may place their names in the hands of any officer or member of the Company, or present themselves at the headquarters of the company this evening.

The regular muster takes place this evening and all persons liable to duty with this Company are requested to be present.

C. J. Fredenburg,
Captain, Commanding Co. C, 54th Reg't.
Jno. E. Flint, Orderly

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 22, 1864, p. 2

MEETING OF SUPERVISORS—The Board of Supervisors of this county met in special session this morning to consider the bounty question. A resolution was offered that it is the sense of the Board that it is expedient to pay bounties for men to fill up the pending call for troops. An amendment was offered that the bounty should be $300. The resolution and amendment were laid on the table and a committee was appointed to recommend to the Board some action in the matter. The Board then took a recess and the committee will probably report this afternoon.

The question of peace is now being agitated, and the Administration has the subject under consideration. Is it wise for the Supervisors to offer bounties that will add largely to the debt of this county while the negotiations are going on? If the movement for peace which has been initiated is made in good faith by both parties, peace will certainly follow. Monroe county can as well afford to wait the result of these negotiations as any other county. Let the Supervisors consider the subject well in this light before taking hasty action. Just now men are very scarce and wages high. By and by there will be less demand and recruits may be obtained at lower rates.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 22, 1864, p. 2

THE 54TH REGIMENT—It is understood that the uniforms and arms of the 54th Regiment will not arrive here in time to enable the regiment to go to Elmira this week. Some of the companies are making active efforts to fill up and are doing well.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 23, 1864, p. 2

THE 54TH AND ITS DUTY AT ELMIRA—The Federal government is making Elmira a depot or prison for the safe keeping of rebel captives. To retain them in safe custody a strong guard is required. Not having this at hand the Federal government has asked for State Militia, and Gov. Seymour—always ready to obey such a call no matter how much he may be insulted by the men who make it—has ordered the 54th from this city to go and perform guard duty for one hundred days , or rather he has ordered them into the Federal service for that period, supposing that they are to perform that duty; but they are just as liable to be sent to the front and put into the breaches as any other men who enlist. If this order was to lessen the burden of the draft upon our county, then we should desire to see the loss of the 54th filled. But such is not to be the effect. Fry has announced that the hundred days men will not be exempted from the draft, but if drawn, the hundred days will form a part of their time of service under the call. To offset this slight advantage the man on special service will be so situated that he cannot well procure a substitute or make arrangements for long absence from home. Taking all things into account, the less men taken to Elmira in the 54th the better for this district. Just so much effective labor will be taken from home [ ] number to be supplied on the call will not be reduced in the least. The going out of the 54th to Elmira is a gratuity and nothing else. Have we the men to spare in this way at the time when it seems difficult to fill the quota? The Governor had better call for companies and thus divide the burthen over the State. The truth is, the Governor has been urged to give the order for the 54th under the belief that it was to assist us in filling our quota, or rather that it would lessen the number to be drafted. The mistake is now apparent. Those who desire to strengthen the fighting part of the army will desire to have as few as possible go into the 54th for this duty at Elmira.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 23, 1864, p. 2

THE SUPERVISORS AND THE BOUNTY—At the afternoon meeting yesterday the committee made a report advising that $200 bounty be paid to each man who enlists for a year, and that the $300 be paid for three years men as before.

Messrs. McFarlin, Connolly and others urged the payment of $300 to one year men, but their proposition was rejected and the report of the committee adopted.
The military committee was authorized to do as they thought best in respect to recruiting negroes at the South for the quota of this county.

The question being raised as to what the 54th Regiment is to do at Elmira, the Board concluded to make another day and consider the subject this morning.

The offer of $100 additional bounty to a recruit to serve two years at the end of the first for which he will receive $200, is thought to be rather ludicrous. Though if a man expects to be killed or used up for the service the first year he may as well enlist for three years and get the additional bounty. Others may think the war will end in a year and so enlist for three.

The Board met this morning. Col. Bissell was heard on the negro question. He expressed boubts about any considerable number of negro recruits being obtained in the Southwest. A number of persons applied to be appointed agents to go the Mississippi country and enlist negroes.

The matter of supplying the Penitentiary with water from the river was considered but no action taken.

A proposition was made to pay recruiting agents $100 for each one year man procured. This caused discussion, and without final action the Board adjourned at 2 p. m.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 25, 1864, p. 2

THE 54TH REGIMENT—An order has been received for this Regiment to go to Elmira to-morrow, as troops are much needed there to guard rebel prisoners. The uniforms of the regiment have arrived, and the arms will no doubt be ready in time. Col. Clark is not here, and we have no positive information as to what is to be done with the regiment. It may go to-morrow to Elmira and it may not. Knowing nothing we can say nothing positively.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 26, 1864, p. 2

NEGRO SOLDIERS BETTER THAN WHITE — The Republican press has been sounding the praises of negro soldiers for a long time, and loses no opportunity to make it appear that they are superior to the white soldiers, in courage, in endurance and in military skill. Having established this beyond question as they think, the negro loving editors have now undertaken to show that the negroes are the only reliable soldiers the Federal government has. The white soldiers not only lack in courage, power of enduring fatigue and that intelligence requisite to any emergency in battle, but they are not trustworthy. They cannot be relied upon for guard duty say these editors.

The Rochester Democrat, now controlled by a Massachusetts abolitionist, has properly taken the lead in advertising negro superiority. It announces this morning that the Veteran Reserve Corps in Elmira have been so corrupted that they cannot be trusted as guards. Recruits and substitutes are constantly deserting through their connivance. Negro recruits have been employed in the place of the veterans to guard white men and the Democrat says that they have been found entirely reliable.

This being the state of facts, why do the Federal officials at Elmira accept the services of the 54th regiment composed entirely of white men? Why does not the Democrat advise the government to pick up a few score of negroes in this city and elsewhere to do this guard duty instead of the 54th? If white men "cannot be trusted" and "the black men are entirely reliable," then why employ the first when the last can be had so readily?

What an age is this in which we live! All popular theories and notions are turned topsy turvy in the twinkling of an eye, and men accept a belief the reverse of what they have been taught for a lifetime, and which has been confirmed by the observation of intelligent men for ages. The negro, whether seen by the explorer in the African wilds, or in contact with the whites in enlightened communities, is represented as low in intellect and having a predominance of the animal over the moral faculties. Thieving and lying have been regarded as negro attributes, when speaking of the race as a whole. Lo, behold in 1864 it is publicly proclaimed that white men cannot be trusted and blacks are alone reliable! What next?

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 26, 1864, p. 2

THE 54TH REGIMENT—PICKING UP THE MEN WITH A GUARD. — It has been talked to-day that the 54th was to leave for Elmira at once, but how that is we cannot say, not having found anyone in authority. Col. Clark is absent at the east on important private business. When he returns we hope to be able to hear something definite as to what is to be done with the regiment.
We noticed in the streets this morning a patrol guard, going from place to place taking men who belong to the regiment. It is inferred by this action that every member of the regiment will be found, if in the city, and taken to Elmira, peaceably if they can, but forcibly if they must. Major Lee is ready to muster the men into the U. S. service, and they are, we suppose, bound to go in and serve.

This forcible action comes quite unexpected to many. If they do not like it they have only to blame those who sought the order for duty from the Governor. They expected to escape the draft by going to Elmira, and were anxious to be ordered to that place. The order came, and now they find that do not escape the draft, but must go where they are ordered, and take the risk of a draft. There is not much probability that the regiment will go to Elmira to-day.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 27, 1864, p. 2

Departure of the Fifty-fourth Regiment

The Fifty-fourth Regiment, N.Y.N.G., left for Elmira this noon under the order from the Governor to guard the Rebel prisoners at that place. The men were sworn into the Federal service for one hundred days and are as much Federal soldiers as any in the service.

There were eleven companies represented, including the Dragoons, and in all were about four hundred men. There are some two hundred men absent who could not be found. Many were brought in under guard, but others contrived to elude arrest.
The regiment is under command of Captain Sellinger, the senior captain. Col. Clark is absent and the Lieutenant Colonel and Major resigned some time since. Col. Clark will be here in a day or two, and will go to Elmira and assume command of the regiment.

The hour of departure was fixed for ten o'clock, but as is usual in such cases, there was some delay. The regiment turned out with Newman's Band, and marched through some central streets, and then went to the Erie Railway depot, and were there put into a special train of seven cars.

A vast multitude appeared in Exchange street about the Armory, and at the Depot. There was quite as much excitement as attended the departure of a volunteer regiment for the seat of war. And quite as many women and children lamenting in tears in groans the departure of fathers, husbands and brothers. Some of the Spectators were disposed to make light of the tribulation of these people. They may take a different view of the case. There is no certainty that the 54th may not be ordered to the front at any time. At the best it will be absent one hundred days, the men are on a nominal salary, while the families of some will need their support. This excursion of the 54th may yet prove something more than a holiday movement. The soldiers left in good spirits and we hope nothing may occur to make them feel less light hearted than they do to-day.

The regiment will probably reach Elmira this evening and will, it is presumed, be put at once upon guard duty, attending to the three thousand or more filthy rebels confined in Barracks there.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 27, 1864, p. 2

COL. EASTMAN NOT THE DEMOCRAT — Our contemporary says it was Col. Eastman commanded at Elmira who said white men were not to be trusted as guards and that negroes were the most reliable. We know that the Democrat pretends to speak upon the authority of Col. E. but we have seen nothing from that officer avowing any such idea. The Democrat was anxious to put the statement into circulation even upon the authority of Col. Eastman, because it put the negro up and put the white soldiers down. Will our contemporary tell us when and where Col. Eastman made the declaration attributed to him?

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 28, 1864, p. 2

THE 54TH AT ELMIRA — The 54th Regiment arrived at Elmira at ten last night, without accident. The regiment marched to the barracks assigned to it, and reported to the commandant of the post. The men were to at once enter upon duty as guards to the Rebel prisoners, and ere this they are no doubt walking their paths as sentries. They will find the duty tedious and monotonous in the extreme.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 29, 1864, p. 2

THE ONE HUNDRED DAY MEN EXEMPT — As the thing now stands the men who have enlisted for a hundred days are exempt from the draft. Gov. Seymour sent Gen. Sanford to Washington to demand this as a right, and it now appears that the War Department has granted the request.

The members of the Fifty-fourth who are at Elmira, or who may go there to serve for the hundred days, will be exempt from the draft. Had this been positively announced before the regiment left it would have gone one thousand strong. It was understood that the reverse was the order of the War Department up to yesterday, hence the reluctance of the men of the Fifty-fourth to go to Elmira.

The Democrat is evidently provoked that such a decision should be given. It finds fault with the Department. It will be pleased by and by when it hears that the Fifty-fourth has been ordered to the front to go into battle. The desire for blood-letting in our home regiments will then be gratified.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 29, 1864, p. 3

KILLED AND WOUNDED SOLDIERS OF THE RECENT RR. COLLISION IN PENNSYLVANIA— The following is the official report to the War Department of guards and prisoners of war killed and wounded by the collision on the route between New York and Elmira: Fourteen of the guard killed; three wounded—since dead; Sixteen wounded — total, thirty-three killed and wounded. Forty prisoners of war killed; eight wounded—since dead; ninety-three wounded—total, one hundred and forty-one killed and wounded of the prisoners of war. Total, guard and prisoners of war killed and wounded, one hundred and seventy-four.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 1, 1864, p. 2

THE 54TH UNDER A NEGRO GUARD— The story was told on Saturday that the 54th regiment from this city at Elmira, was under a negro guard. Those who heard it without an explanation, might infer that there was trouble or insubordination in the ranks. The story, so far as the guard is concerned, is true; but it is easily explained without discredit to the 54th.

When the regiment reached Elmira it was marched in the night to barracks assigned for the time being. Those barracks were then under a negro guard, and remained so while the 54th was there. The men of the regiment were not at once called for guard duty, even for their own barracks. They are now guarding the prisoners.

It was remarked by those who saw the 54th leave Rochester and have seen it in Elmira, that the behavior of the men was highly creditable in all respects. The people of Elmira expressed themselves pleased to see such a body of respectable young men brought to their city to do guard duty for the place. The regiment is composed of respectable men, and we have no fear but it will acquit itself well of the trust confided to it. We have no fear that the military commandant at Elmira will have to substitute negroes for our men because they cannot be trusted.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 2, 1864, p. 2

Court Martial Ordered

There are some two hundred or more members of the 54th Regiment now in the city, it is understood, who have not responded to the order to go to Elmira. They are liable to arrest and trial for delinquency, and it becomes the duty of the Brigade Commander to order for such a court-martial, which he has done in the following order:

Headquarters 25th Brigade
7th Division N.Y.S.N.G.
Rochester, Aug. 1, 1864

Orders No. 12:

A Regimental Court-Martial will convene at the Headquarters of the 54th Regiment N.Y.S.N.G. on the 25th day of August, 1864, at 10 o'clock A.M., for the trial of delinquents, and such other business may come before it. Detail for the Court, Capt. Warner Westcott, 54th Regiment, N.Y.S.N.G.
By order of
Brig. Gen. John Williams
Geo. Hyland, Jr., Brigade Inspector

[This order was subsequently posted in the classified ad section of the Union & Advertiser on Aug. 6, 10, 15, 22 and 25.]

—The question is daily put, "can a member of the 54th, or any other regiment of State militia, be compelled to enter the service of the United States and take the oath administered by the mustering officer?"

From inquiry made we are satisfied that he cannot be compelled to take the oath; but he may be compelled to go to Elmira and serve with his regiment there under the order of the Governor. If he does not swear into the Federal service his name will not go upon the pay rolls and he will get no pay for service.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 2, 1864, p. 2

AFFAIRS AT ELMIRA—Reports are current that there is trouble at Elmira and that the rebel prisoners are uneasy. As near as we can get at the fact from those that were at Elmira yesterday, there is no danger of an outbreak. On Sunday a rebel prisoner went over the line marked out as the bounds of his prison and was shot by a negro guard. The man was not fatally injured. The negro says he challenged the prisoner before he fired. There was not much excitement following this affair; but as a precaution the 54th Reg. was ordered under arms that night.

The guard is small at Elmira in proportion to the number of prisoners there, and the prisoners increase by arrivals faster than the guard.

The 54th Regiment is on duty now. The men lack essential things, we are told, in consequence of having no properly qualified Quartermaster. As it is essential to preserve the health of the men, this matter should not be neglected. The food will be plain, of course, but it should be properly prepared before it is eaten. We are told that some trouble has arisen in the distribution of rations, and the difficulty arose in the Quartermaster's Department. This will all be made right soon. The Regimental Quartermaster is in Rochester, and who acts as his substitute we are not advised.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 2, 1864, p. 2

GRAYS' BATTERY ORDERED TO ELMIRA— Last evening a dispatch came to Gen. Williams from the Assistant Adjutant General at Albany, stating that the Governor directs him to send the Grays' Artillery to Elmira at once. Major Lewis, who commands the artillery, issued an order for Batteries A and B to appear at the Armory at nine o'clock this morning to go to Elmira for special State service. A few of the men appeared this morning and went to Elmira. Others are preparing to leave this evening. Probably sixty or eighty men will be sent down.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 3, 1864, p. 1

Under the "All Sorts of Paragraphs" section


—The Lancaster Evening Express states that "ex-President James Buchanan is a member of a company of one hundred days' men raised in this city, and is now encamped with his comrades at Camp Cadwalader, in Philadelphia." Will not some of the "Sons of Washington" hereabouts who are out of the draft, follow the example of the ex-President and enlist for one hundred days? Let them come forward and fill up the 54th to its maximum number, and follow the "boys" to Elmira. Sixteen dollars a month, clothes, medical attendance and rations! As there will not be much for a fight, the only sacrifice to be made will be a pecuniary one, which of course they are too patriotic to hesitate about. And then perhaps a little plain living would do them some good. "Who's agoin'?"

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 4, 1864, p. 2

THE TROUBLE AT ELMIRA—The Elmira Advertiser of yesterday has the following in reference to the shooting of a rebel prisoner. It will be seen by those who read the Democrat's version of the affair that the reports bear no resemblance. The Elmira paper ought to be best informed. It says:

We are informed that quite a serious disturbance occurred at Barracks No. 3, Sunday night. It is reported that a plot was concocted among some of them to make a raid on the guard-house and capture a lot of shovels and picks, with which they hoped to demolish the fence and set themselves free. The denouement of the plot was arranged to take place at 11 o'clock in the evening, but it was discovered and revealed by the inside patrols.

After proper means had been taken to crush the attempt, several of the rebel prisoners were detected prowling around and one approached a guard in the vicinity of the pond back of the barrack, and on being warned back four times, of which he took no heed, the guard fired upon him, the ball hitting him in the side and passing around the chest, was extracted from the opposite side. The wound was a severs one, but the man will probably recover. He said he was only glad "he was not killed," congratulating himself considerably upon a knowledge of the fact. The "rebs" will not probably find our authorities "napping." If they see fit to try their hands again it may be to their personal sorrow.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 4, 1864, p. 3

Three Regiments of State Militia to be Sent to Elmira

No Truth in Reported Outbreat


NEW YORK, Aug. 2.—Governor Seymour has ordered the 56th, 77th, and 99th Regiments State Militia to report to Gen. Dix, to be sent to Elmira, there being an outbreak among the rebel prisoners at that place. The 77th and 99th were to start to-night.

ELMIRA, Aug. 2.—The report that the rebel prisoners here are in revolt, is unfounded. They were never quieter than at present.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 5, 1864, p. 2

RECRUITING FOR THE 54TH.—Lieut. Rosenthal of the Dragoons has returned from Elmira with orders to recruit for the 54th. The following orders have been issued by Capt. Sellinger, commandant of the Regiment:

REGIMENTAL ORDERS, 54TH REGIMENT
N.Y.N.G., ROCHESTER, AUG. 5., 1864

All members of the 54th Regiment are hereby ordered to report to the Regimental Armory.
By order,
Capt. L. Sellinger
Com'dt 54th Regt., N.Y.N.G.
Arnt Rosenthal, Lieut. 54th Regt. N.Y.N.G.

Volunteers and substitutes will be received at the Dragoons quarters, Regimental Armory, by Lieut. Rosenthal.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 5, 1864, p. 2

FROM ELMIRA—All is said to be quiet at Elmira. The Advertiser of yesterday says there are 1,300 effective men to guard the prisoners and more are soon to arrive. Five regiments are expected. The Grays Battery from Rochester, with 66 men and four pieces, arrived on Wednesday.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 6, 1864, p. 2

TO DELINQUENTS OF THE 54TH REGIMENT—The attention of all members of the 54th Regiment who have not responded to the call to go to Elmira is invited to the order of Lt. Rosenthal, who is sent here on special duty to look after them. He invites them to report to him and go to Elmira, or to send substitutes. They can by serving one hundred days at an easy duty avoid the draft, if it takes place within that period; and if it does not take place within that time it will hardly take place at all. Those men who profess so much loyalty ought not to hang back now when there is an easy way to show their patriotism.

Guarding rebels is the most important duty that our soldiers are now called upon to perform. They may as well stand guard over them at Elmira as around Richmond and on the borders of Pennsylvania and Maryland. We mention this to show that the service of the 54th is one not to be despised. Those members who do not come forward will be arrested and examined before a court-martial now ordered, and the penalty there will be more severs than the cost of a substitute.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 6, 1864, p. 2

DEPARTURE OF SUBSTITUTES—The rush to the Provost Marshal's office yesterday resulted in the acceptance of 20 substitutes, who were forthwith sent to Elmira under a strong guard.

Some eight or ten who were offered were rejected. Provost Marshal Hart will not keep substitutes here a great while after they are accepted. If they escape from the service it must be after they are delivered at Elmira.

The rush is not so great to-day. A few are coming in. Already about 130 men have been enlisted to apply on the quota of this county. The work drags slowly. The high prices paid elsewhere makes it difficult to procure men here.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 6, 1864, p. 2

From Camp Chemung

Elmira, Aug. 4, 1864
FRIEND C.: Our Battalion left the "Flour City" and the "loved ones at home" in a rain storm, and arrived here in a rain storm about 4½ o'clock P.M. We took up our line of march for "Barracks No. 1" immediately after reporting to Col. Eastman, the commandant of the post, who by the way, is a perfect gentleman in every particular, and is emphatically the "right man in the right place." I must say, thus far, we have received nothing but kindness from all in or out of command hereabouts. Capt. Lowe, of Gen. Diven's Dept., is a perfect gentleman as is also the Quartermaster and the Chief of the Commissary Dept. The rations are good and wholesome and plenty of it. The men are all well satisfied with what they get.

I visited this P.M. Capt. Chemung, and found our own noble 54th Regt. Out in line for battalion drill, and I tell you the truth when I say it, that I really feel proud to be a citizen of Rochester and represented by such a noble body of men. Those that have staid at home have missed it! The duty is light and it is a good school for the "citizen soldier." Capt. Sellinger, if not a Colonel, ought to be, for he handles his regiment, or the 54th, most splendidly. The wheelings made this afternoon by the companies in column were second to none, and reminds me of the time when Col. Fairchild was the father of the regiment. But more hereafter.

The negro is here in all his glory! Cuffee claims that he is on the upper rail now. He does the guard duty at the "barracks," and also at the camp where the "rebels" are confined, inside the enclosure. The negroes do it well and are just fitted to do that duty—the drudgery of camps. One of our boys was sitting out, looking at the guard when he passed, and espying the plate of his body belt read "U.S.," (us) and looking up at him, says: "Why, how do you do, us?" The darkie, grinning, said, "Why my name are not 'us'." He said: "De Lord, we is on de upper rail dis time."

"Put a negro where you will,
He'll be a negro still,"

is an old and true saying.

To-morrow the battalion is to pitch tents near those of the 54th, on a gentle rising of ground, to be called "Camp Moore," in honor of Ald. D. D. T. Moore of your city. The location of the camp is beautiful, the scenery surrounding it being delightful.
We have since our arrival an accession of three regiments of Militia from New York and Brooklyn—the 99th, 77th and 56th—making an aggregate of between 600 and 700 men, and in no way to be compared with our regiment, and in fact do not reflect much credit on the great cities which furnish all (?) the militia for duty.

We see many familiar faces here from Rochester, which reminds one of home. The headquarters of our military, when down town, is at the "City Hotel," kept by mine host Bush, a man who caters well and largely for the benefit of hosts of visitors and friends who congregate at the "City Hotel." Those who intend visiting this little city and stopping within, will find him always at his post with a genial smile of welcome for the weary traveler.

I understand two "rebs" have died at camp within the last two days. The "reb" who was shot a few days since by the guard is likely to recover from his wound.

A "buss" is run to camp every hour by the "City Hotel;" so our friends by stopping there will have no difficulty in getting conveyance to our headquarters and that of the Regiment.
MORE ANON.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 8, 1864, p. 2

THE 54TH AT ELMIRA—We have intelligence from Elmira that everything is quiet there. The 54th Regiment is comfortably quartered there, and the men are in good spirits. Capt. Schoen came home on furlough, to remain a day or two and arrange his business so as to remain with his company. He represents the 54th as well cared for. It is desirable that the ranks of the regiment should be filled up by the absentees and new recruits. Lt. Rosenthal is here actively engaged in the duty assigned him, to receive and forward members of the regiment, and such as desire to become members. His office is in the Arcade, at Armitage's, over the Arcade house, where all are requested to report immediately.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 9, 1864, p. 2

MEMBERS OF THE 54TH ATTEND!—Lieut. Rosenthal, who is here under orders to send forward all members of the 54th to Elmira, is attending to his duties promptly and sends by every train squads of men assigned him. He is active and efficient and intends to faithfully perform the duty assigned him. He is friendly to the members of the 54th, and desires to make the matter as easy as possible for all. He therefore urges those who are delinquent to report to him at once for duty. The court-martial will sit in a few days, when all delinquents will be reported and subjected to a heavy penalty for neglect of duty. Lieut. Rosenthal would prefer that there should be no names to report to that court—that all should respond before its sitting and escape the penalties. The duty at Elmira is pleasant and the men engaged will avoid the draft if it should take place while they are there.

A Sergeant and six men arrived this morning from Elmira with orders to report to Lieut. Rosenthal for duty. They are to assist him in executing the orders with which he had been entrusted. Members of the 54th in Rochester, walk up to the Captain's office at once and report yourselves!

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 11, 1864, p. 2

HO FOR ELMIRA!—Lieut. Rosenthal is sending forward men for the 54th to Elmira by every train. Reports from Elmira represent the soldiers there are very comfortably situated, and many who declined to go at first are now ready to take their places. Those who cannot are sending substitutes. Lieut. Rosenthal calls upon all members of the 54th who are home to report at once and go to their companies or furnish men to go. The ranks of the 54th must be filled up immediately. There is now but a brief period before court-martial will convene, and all delinquents will then be arraigned and may be fined heavily and imprisoned.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 12, 1864, p. 2

MATTERS AT ELMIRA—Lieut. Geo. Fraunberger, of the Grays, has returned from Elmira to remain four days, with orders to pick up stragglers from the Battery and send them forward. Lieut. F. represents all things quiet at Elmira, and the Rochester troops in good quarters and comfortable. The Grays have orders for one hundred days duty in the State service, and there has been no order to muster them into the U.S. service. They want more men to fill up the corps.

The 54th is in excellent condition, and the regiment stands high in the estimation of all at Elmira. The guard duty is admirably performed by this regiment, and all runs smoothly.

There are about eight thousand rebel prisoners now in the yard, and more coming up daily. They are mostly able-bodied men, evidently of good families at the South. They are orderly and respectful in their deportment, but most decided in their adherence to Southern principles. The discipline of the camp is very rigid, and there is no intercourse between the prisoners and the public. Few civilians can even get a peep over the high fence at the mass, much less within speaking distance. An enterprising Yankee who has ground near the camp, is building an observatory from which people can look into the enclosure by paying a fee. He intends to keep in this tower a powerful glass, by the aid of which visitors can see the vermin which are said to be so plenty upon the bodies of the prisoners.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 12, 1864, p. 2

ELECTION IN THE 54TH REGIMENT—Brig. Gen. Williams has been to Elmira and held an election in the 54th Regiment to fill vacancies in the corps of Field Officers. Capt. Sellinger was chosen Lt. Colonel and Capt. Westcott Major. These gentlemen were the senior Captains of the regiment, and entitled to the promotion they have received. Lt. Col. Sellinger has been in command of the regiment since it left the city, and has shown himself fully qualified for the duty.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 16, 1864, p. 2

THE 58TH REGIMENT—Ed. Union and Advertiser: The 58th Regiment National Guards, Col. R. P. Wisner, commanding, from the Second Assembly District of Livingston county, left Mount Morris on Thursday last for duty at Elmira, numbering about 300 men. They received reinforcements en route of companies from Springwater and Dansville at Wayland Station, and companies from Nunda, Portage and Ossian at Corning, which constituted a full regiment.—The alacrity and promptness with which this large number of men responded to the order is a reproof to those base falsehoods and discouraging influences of the Republican press of the county.

So it is everywhere when a Democrat leads and orders to fall into the ranks and forward march, he is willingly obeyed with confidence, leaving Abolitionists to sneer, snarl, scoff, talk, whine, and finally to repent and lament. The ex-Editor of the Livingston Republican, and ex-County Clerk, Gallant Retreater, ex-Editor Rochester Democrat and present Collector of Internal Revenue (salary $10,000 per year), was visiting the old paths and scenes of his early triumphs. He saw the enthusiasm of this regiment with dismay and astonishment. Arriving at Avon he seized an early copy of the Rochester Democrat for consolation; but it afforded no relief. It was cold coffee and a poor breakfast on a sour stomach.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 17, 1864, p. 2

A MAN IN A BARREL—One of the men of the 54th Regiment failing to obtain leave of absence to come home, took leave without further ceremony and came here. After being absent two or three days, he returned to camp. He was, by an order of the Commandant , subjected to a queer punishment, though one well known to the army. A barrel, with a hole cut through the top, so as to let his head through, was put over his body, and holes were cut in the sides, thro' which his arms might protrude. In this ludicrous situation the soldier was marched for an hour or more, causing considerable merriment to spectators. The punishment is a mild one, touching the pride of the man merely. He does not suffer any physical pain in consequence of carrying this barrel.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 17, 1864, p. 2

MEMBERS OF THE 54TH REGIMENT—Lieut. Rosenthal has gathered up and sent to Elmira a large number of the members of the 54th who did not go with the Regiment. There are still some who do not appear and give an account of themselves. The time for them to report will soon close and they will be returned to court-martial to be dealt with according to military law. The punishment, if convicted of absence, there will be fine and imprisonment, and it would probably be best for all concerned to report at once. Lieut. Rosenthal has his office in the Arcade over the Arcade House, and will be happy to see all delinquent members of his Regiment there at once.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 17, 1864, p. 2

From Elmira
Camp Chemung, Elmira, N.Y.


Aug. 15th, 1864

Since my last, we have had quite a large accession of prisoners and also troops for guard duty. The 102nd Regiment N.Y., 58th Mount Morris, Col. Wisner, and Col. Abbott of Erie Co.—numbering in all about 500—rank and file—these regiments are mere skeletons, still they have not forgotten to appoint a full number of field, line and staff officers. We recognize among the officers of the 58th our old friend, Capt. John Vernam, of the Mt. Morris Blues, whom we had the pleasure of meeting in camp years ago,—Col. Abbott's Regiment arrived without arms, and but partially uniformed, so also did the 58th Col. Wisner.

On the 12th, eight hundred and fifty rebels arrived under guard from "Point Lookout." They are large men—much larger and show a better development than our own. We were at the cars on their arrival, and heard the ladies of this city express much sympathy for the ragged and forlorn look of the "rebs," for which the all-loyal (Rep.) press of this city has taken them to task, and used language and expressions toward them (the fair sex) which shows the meanness to which the party press will stoop to accomplish their ends. Shame on them! A man or editor who will prostitute the columns of his paper in this way should be denounced by every lover of the "Constitution and the Union." These ladies who were loud in the expression of sympathy may to-day have near and dear relatives within the confines of a rebel prison, and who undoubtedly are this moment receiving slight tokens from the fair daughters of the once happy "sunny south." Indeed we heard one lady remark that she now had a husband and two brothers in the Federal army, and if taken prisoners, she hoped they would be used, and that sympathy given them that she was now willing to extend to their enemies. But Republican editors and Republican politicians don't see it in that light. Their whole object seems to be a continuance of the present war and flow of blood so long as they can make money out of it—when the time comes that they cannot do this they will be ready to cry ot for peace—no matter how degrading or dishonorable that peace may be to the North.

On the 14th 200 more prisoners arrived—making the total amount now within the enclosure from 8,000 to 9,000. Their first call is for tobacco, and numerous are the devices they invent to communicate with the outside world. No one is admitted within the enclosure, save the guard and the officers on duty, thereat.

Gen'l Williams arrived in camp on the 10th, to preside at the election ordered for field officers of the 54th—occasioned by the resignation of Lt.-Col. Miller and Major Thompson. On his arrival to the camp, the "Grays"—ever ready—fired the salute the rank required, though the General appeared in citizens' dress.

The line officers elected as Lt.-Col., and Major, Senior Captains L. Sellinger, of the "Union Guards" and W. Westcott, of Co. "F." This is a selection "fit to be made," and shows the good sense of the officers in grading up men who have proved themselves meritorious officers of the line, and giving every assurance that they will prove equally efficient in the field. The election has given general satisfaction to the whole Regiment, both rank and file. The Regiment (54th) are, as they have been since their stay here, winning "golden opinions" for themselves, as soldiers and gentlemen,—shirking no duty imposed them by the rigid discipline, and the rules and regulations of the regular army. They are as good and dutiful soldiers, as they are respectable and worthy citizens of the "Flour City;" nothing is lost to the credit of the city by her representative men in the 54th.

The Grays have lost none of that reputation for discipline which was handed down to them by the lamented father of the corps—General Swan. And I can assure you that nothing will be done by the present members which will reflect discredit upon the memory of him whom we loved to honor and respect. Every duty is done cheerfully and without a murmur. The "Veterans" are here represented by their "children" who they need not be ashamed of, who will be glad on any and every occasion to welcome them to their quarters in the tented-field—they will loose none of the former reputation gained by them in years past. "The latch string is out."

The members of the Regiment and Battery are generally in good health, no sickness in camp save that incident to camp life—such as dysentery, &c. Friends at home need not worry—the men will not suffer from neglect while we have such attentive Surgeons with us as Drs. Briggs and Rider—every attention and want of the sick is anticipated by them. Long will their kindness be remembered by all in Camp Chemung.

In the "Veterans" stationed here—the officers and members of the "16th Veteran Reserves"—are doing all in their power to teach us our duty—and the minutiae of camp life is easily learned and maintained. The officers are all gentlemen, from the Colonel commanding down.

Let our friends anticipating a visit hers, bear in mind to stop at the "City Hotel," from which place they will find a "buss" in waiting to convey them to and from the "camp."
MORE ANON.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 17, 1864, p. 2

BAND FOR THE FIFTY-FOURTH—Captain Newman's celebrated Cornet Band, attached to the 54th Regiment, will leave to-morrow for Elmira, to remain with the regiment the remainder of its hundred days of service. The members of the band will draw pay and rations like other soldiers. The 54th, with their band, will be the military attraction at Elmira.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 18, 1864, p. 2

THE SYMPATHY QUESTION—The Democrat can't be reconciled to the course of ladies at Elmira who manifested sympathy for rebel prisoners. In its heartless tone toward those who are powerless—the fallen foe—it but displays the spirit that has actuated its party all through the war, and has wrought untold suffering upon many brave Union soldiers who were unfortunately made prisoners by the rebels. Kindness to the prisoners we have will beget the like for ours who are in Southern prisons, and from this a better feeling would result to all concerned. And here is the secret of the whole matter. The Republican press do not desire a return of good feeling lest it reconcile the people of the two sections and induce them to continue under our government. Anything that may tend toward good feeling might lead to an end of the war, and that would not suit the men who are profiting by its continuance. However much it may displease the Democrat and all other crats who are so bitter and bloodthirsty, we shall continue to say and do what we can to lessen the hardships incident to life in our prisons, hoping that such a course will work good to our poor soldiers at the South, as well as promote the object which every true friend of the Union ought to have in view, the restoration of harmony and good feeling between the North and South. That is our platform, and our opponents, whosoever they may be, may make the most of it. We would that one rebel prisoner who goes home to the South—if an exchange is made before the close of the war—might carry with him such remembrances of kindness on the part of our people, as would make him and his friends regard us as brethren rather than enemies. We cannot have a restored Union except by a restoration of good feeling between the people of both sections.

If this application of the doctrine, which is one of the fundamental principles of Christianity, offends any one class more than another, it will probably be the abolitionist clergy, like Dr. Robinson. It will shock the greatly to hear that any body, male or female, has expressed pity for rebel prisoners, or hoped that they would be treated kindly and taught to regard us, if they would, as their friends, rather than their foes. But we cannot help this. We have no expectation of pleasing this class of clergymen while they smell if blood. They cannot be satisfied in their hate without sanguinary effusions.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 19, 1864, p. 2

LEFT FOR ELMIRA—A party of forty or more members of the 54th Reg't, and Grays Battery, left last evening for Elmira by the Erie cars. Newman's Band was with the party, also Lt.-Col. Sellinger, who had been here a few days on leave. There was quite a gathering of friends at the Depot to see the party leave, and there were leave-takings as affectionate and painful as if the soldiers were going directly to the front, to enter the trenches and deal with the foe.

Lt. Rosenthal was at hand with the transportation and other papers, to get these men safely under way to Elmira. He is sending squads along almost daily. There are still one hundred or more of this regiment absent from duty, who have not reported. The Court Martial to set next week will have plenty to do in considering the cases presented.

— Our citizens will miss Capt. Newman's Band this fall. It was out on Wednesday night serenading, and "its last appearance" here for the present, on that occasion. Lt. Rosenthal took the Band to serenade Gen. Williams, Col. Clark, Major Lee, Lt.-Col. Sellinger, and Provost-Marshal Hart. Those gentlemen who were at home, opened their doors and did the hospitable—those who were absent certainly appreciated the compliment.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 22, 1864, p. 1

Prisoners at Elmira

A correspondent of a Brooklyn paper, writing from Elmira, thus speaks of the food supplied to the prisoners of war:

"The prisoners are fed quite as well as our own men. They receive but two meals, but those two are quite equal to our three. This I know, as I have seen it with my own eyes. Nearly all their cooks, bakers, and waiters are of their own number, and the rebel sergeants keep the men to rights. During meals a guard of one man each is stationed at the doors, to keep out "flankers;" that is, the fellows wish to "hook" a ration that does not belong to them. If a rebel sergeant catches one at it, he calls the guard to take the offending rebel to the guard-house. Rebel sergeants call the rolls morning and evening, and the rebel drummers and fifers play the different "calls." Rebels light the lamps around the high fence, and rebels sweep the grass-covered camp ground.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 22, 1864, p. 2

Sympathy for Rebel Prisoners

EDITOR UNION AND ADVERTISER:—I regret exceedingly to see such apathy for rebel prisoners displayed by men who ought to give good example—who ought to advise humanely. Gentlemen, you should do to others as you would that others should do to you. You should love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, pray for them that persecute and calumniate you, saith the Lord. You, gentlemen at Elmira and elsewhere, who are so much annoyed by us poor, tender-hearted women meeting each arrival of rebel prisoners at the cars, beg respectfully to inform you that we fear you not; our tears are our own, and can be shed as spontaneously as we please, or, as you rudely call it, "slobbering." You would control our feelings, or sentiments, yes, our very thoughts, if it were in your power. You wish to be thought patriotic; and what, I ask, have you done to prove that? You wish to abolish slavery and give everybody liberty. S do I. But you do not want to give liberty of speech, liberty of feeling, liberty of shedding tears, when our suffering fellow beings present themselves to view. Shame on those who would talk so! Shame on men who would act so! But all are not men who wear the human form. Gentlemen, have you sons or brothers in the army? Imagine they are in prison down South, and the Southern ladies shed tears of sympathy and condole with them in their miserable situation—speak words of kindness to them, and if possible, alleviate their sufferings? What think you then? Had they not better remain at home than come there "slobbering," as you rudely call it? Blush, gentlemen, if there's a blush in you! "Better remain at home instead of going to each arrival of cars with rebel prisoners to watch us poor women, who have hearts to shed tears, and spontaneously, too." A true, noble-hearted woman, who is capable of feeling for her enemy, is surely capable of feeling for her friend in misery. Gentlemen, you need not trouble yourselves about women feeling this way or that way about rebel prisoners. We claim a right to feel just as we feel, and, gentlemen, you cannot control us in this respect. If I have a chance to treat rebel prisoners kindly, I shall do so without fear or dread, entertaining the buoyant hope that if my husband or sons fall into rebel hands they will be as kindly treated as they were before in Richmond.

A SOLDIER'S WIFE AND A SOLDIER'S MOTHER
August 19, 1864.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 23, 1864, p. 2

FOR ELMIRA—Lieutenant Rosenthal of the 54th, who has been here a few days on detached duty, has orders to close his office and report at Elmira forthwith. He will probably leave to-morrow morning by the early train. Lieutenant R. came home to look up the stragglers of the 54th, and has found and sent forward a great many. The time is at hand for the court martial to sit for the trail of those who keep out of the way. There is no further need of an officer here to invite delinquents to respond. So, Lt. Rosenthal closes up and goes back. He will, however, take as report to him to-day. This is the last day most positively.

Lieut. R. has performed his duties well and made them his whole thought since he has been here. He has been prompt in his duty but has endeavored to make the call as easy as he could for the men who are called from business to serve the government.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 23, 1864, p. 2

GRAYS' BATTERY—Those who desire to join the Grays' Battery now on duty in the State service at Elmira, should apply by to-morrow morning to Lieut. Parmalle at the Armory of the 54th Regiment, when transportation will be furnished them and all they require to get into the service.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 27, 1864, p. 3

The Ten Thousand Rebel Prisoners at Elmira

The railings and representations of fanatic letters and the Abolitionist press, whose aim all through this war has been to so engender feelings of hatred and detestation between the masses of the North and South, have impressed many people with the idea that the men who are fighting us are fiends incarnate—defiers of both God and man, rendered callous and almost barbarous by the influences of the peculiar institution of their section. Now there are ten thousand of these men congregated in a prison at Elmira, but a few hours' ride from this city, guarded in part by our own militia. Many of our own citizens have visited the prison camp, and from all we have heard the same story—that the rebel prisoners are not only well behaved but actually give evidence of a standard of morality and religious fervor that is astonishing in view of the character that has been painted of them. We might rehearse numerous statements that have been made to us regarding these prisoners, but prefer to give the following from the special correspondence of a journal which is authority among the most radical—the Evening Post:

Special Correspondence of the New York Evening Post

Elmira, Aug. 17, 1864

I send you some additional facts of interest in relation to the rebel prisoners confined here.

The Rebels Playing Our National Airs

Among the amusements of the rebels is music. They have obtained some drums and fifes, and when drawn up in line for roll call are permitted to use their instruments for their own amusement. It is, perhaps, needless to say that they do not play rebel tunes. There is, it is understood, no order against such a proceeding; but the prisoners know that to make secession music would not be proper; therefore they play negro melodies. These furnish most of the music; but our national airs, almost without exception, are given by the rebel performers.

Preaching to the Rebels

Divine service is held in the rebel camp every Sunday. This is by request of the prisoners; and they choose the clergymen who are to officiate. Though they must confine their choice to loyal men they have not indicated their desire to hear any man of even questionable patriotism. They have heard Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Congregational and Baptist ministers, besides others, and sometimes two clergymen preach on one Sunday. It is a curious fact that the rebels have twice chosen the Rev. Thos. Beecher to address them—a gentleman whose loyalty is as intense as his brother, Henry Ward. Each of the ministers preaching has generally one or two thousand hearers—as many as can, conveniently gather around him and hear his words distinctly—and the rebels listen with the closest attention. It is understood that national subjects are not generally discussed.

The prisoners sing the hymns read by the clergymen during the Sabbath-day services. For instance, a hymn is read and sung to the tune of One Hundred, two lines at a time, the rebels uniting their voices and singing with spirit, and their own officers joining.

The Prisoners Praying

There are prayer-meetings among the rebels every night; often extra meetings are held in the afternoon. These are usually among the Methodist rebels, [whose churches are being abolitionized under orders from the federal War Department and at the expense of the whole people!—Ed. U. & A.] They assemble on the green, kneeling; and as many attend as can hear the words of those who pray. They also tell their experiences; and sometimes the gatherings partake of the nature of class meetings; but they are usually for prayers exclusively. They do not pray for Jeff. Davis.

Many separate circles for prayer are formed at the same time. The persons attending number generally from one hundred to five hundred or a thousand.

The demand of the prisoners for religious and other books is constant. The officers say there are more calls for Bibles and prayer books than for all other kinds of reading together. The devotional spirit of the rebels is supposed to be strengthened by their confinement.

The rebels are now exceedingly quiet and well behaved; and the facts as to the number of men actually required to manage them, would, if published, occasion general surprise. J.M.

These ten thousand rebels, it is fair to assume, are an average specimen of the people whom the represent; and this is the people, six millions in number, whom the abolition philanthropists and hypocritical pietists of the North would fain teach us to hate, to subjugate, to anaihilate, in a mad crusade looking to the "freedom" of three millions of negroes! This is the people—not "boys and old men" as Gen. Seymour represents, but good physical specimens of the race with scarcely with any under twenty or over forty-five, as we are assured by a Republican physician who has spent several days at Elmira—this is the people whom our "rulers" presume to say must not only sue us for peace but before doing so fall on their knees in abject submission to "the abandonment of slavery!" Let those who are infatuated with the notion that this people, our brothers, our peers, will ever submit to such degrading terms—that they will ever, though we were ten times their number, permit any pause that does not embrace a full recognition of equality under the written bond of the constitution, or that is not tempered with a forgiving and fraternal spirit, make a visit to Elmira, and if permission can be obtained mingle with the ten thousand. They will there learn more in one short hour of the living material of the rebellion than they could glean in a life time by reading the Tribunes and listening to the Beechers of the day.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 29, 1864, p. 2

Some of the copperhead women who have joined in the disgusting exhibitions of slobbering sympathy for rebel prisoners on their arrival here, has taken the trouble to write a letter to the Rochester Union slobbering some more about our comments on their conduct.—[Elmira Advertiser]

The lady who wrote the communication referred to by the Advertiser is a resident of this city, and is just what she signs herself, the "wife and mother of a Union soldier." She has a husband and a son in the Federal army. And we have now a proposition to make to the Elmira Advertiser, "or any other man;" and it is this: we will wager $100 against a like sum put up by the Advertiser or its backers, that the lady who wrote the communication is what she claims to be—the $200 to go to her benefit as a needy soldiers wife and mother, and we will furnish proof conclusive or forfeit the $100. And we will wager another hundred that the editor aforesaid dare not tell the lady that she is a copperhead. Either wager may be taken separately. Now let us see what answer the Advertiser will make. If he believed what he said when he wrote the sentence above quoted he will back it up. If he does not he will back down and sneak out.

So the Democrat this morning says:

Hereabouts it is not believed that the letter was written by a woman at all, or that it came from Elmira.

To the Democrat or anybody "hereabout" the above bet is open, and we will produce such proof as will satisfy any fair-minded member of the Lincoln party that we state is true. Now "put up or dry up."

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 29, 1864, p. 2

THE 54TH AT ELMIRA—The Elmira Gazette alluded to the 54th and Newman's Band as follows:

The Band of the 54th Regiment, N.G.N.Y.S., went out on Wednesday evening and discoursed most pleasant music to out citizens. They called at the residence of Major Diven, after they visited the Brainard House and serenaded Col. Eastman. The particular occasion of the turnout of the Band was the arrival of their Col.—Chas. H. Clark—who has just taken command of his regiment since they arrived here. The 54th is one of the best regiments we have in Elmira, and they are making troops of friends during their stay here. Long may it wave.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 29, 1864, p. 2

PROMOTIONS IN THE 54TH—Vacancies have recently been in part filled in the 54th at Elmira.Elmira

Ald. Warren resigned the first Lieutenancy of the Dragoons and second Lieutenant Rosenthal was promoted to the place. Sergeant J. Van Voorhis was made second lieutenant.

Capt. Sellinger having been made Lieutenant Colonel, Lieutenant Baetzel was made captain of Co. D., and second Lieutenant M. Sellinger was made first Lieutenant and Thomas Ruff, second do.

Captain Westcott, of Co. F., having been made Major, Lieutenant Sawtelle was made Captain, second Lieutenant Robins was made first Lieutenant, and F. Chaffey, second Lieutenant.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: August 30, 1864, p. 2

CO. H 54TH REGIMENT—Among the elections which recently took place in the 54th Regiment was one in Co. H. Lieut. Alfred E. Hoyt was elected Captain in place of W. T. Kennedy, resigned. James Hazen was chosen Second Lieutenant to fill a vacancy.

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