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History of Company F, 1st Regiment, R.I. Volunteers, during the Spring and Summer of 1861   By:

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HISTORY OF COMPANY F, 1st REGIMENT, R. I. VOLUNTEERS, During the Spring and Summer of 1861.




In the following pages I have endeavored to present a correct description of the service performed by Company F, 1st Regiment R. I. Volunteers, during the spring and summer of 1861. While many of my comrades who served in that company may differ with me in some of the statements I have made, still I think that all will agree that what I have presented is as correct an account as can be had at this late period of that service. Thirty years is a long time for men to remember the particulars of any event, unless some memoranda of the same is at hand. During that service I endeavored to keep as correct as possible a daily journal of events, and from that journal I have prepared this brief history of the company, and I trust that my comrades who may read this will excuse any inaccuracies that in their opinion may appear; for it is my desire to place before you a correct history of Company F, the first company of volunteers that left Newport on the 17th of April, 1861, for the defence of the Stars and Stripes in the great war of the rebellion.





Early in the month of April, 1861, several of the Southern States having withdrawn from the Union, forts, arsenals and navy yards within the limits of those States were taken possession of by the Confederate forces. On the 12th of April, Fort Sumter, at Charleston, S. C., was fired upon, and after two days' bombardment by the rebels, commanded by General Beauregard, the garrison, comprising seventy United States Regulars, commanded by Major Robert Anderson, surrendered the fort. Meanwhile the National Capital at Washington was in danger, and on the 15th of April Abraham Lincoln issued his proclamation, calling for seventy five thousand troops for the defence of the city of Washington.

Governor Sprague, of Rhode Island, tendered the services of one regiment of Infantry, and one battery of Light Artillery, which being accepted by the Secretary of War, the Governor at once sent a telegram to Colonel George W. Tew, commanding the Newport Artillery company, asking how many men of his command would go to Washington for the defence of the Capital. Colonel Tew replied that he would go, with fifty men. April 16th, Colonel Tew received another telegram from the Governor, directing him to recruit his company to one hundred, and to report at Providence, armed and equipped, upon receipt of orders. At that time the Newport Artillery were as well equipped as any company in the State. They were armed with the latest improved Springfield rifles. They had just purchased, at their own expense, fifty artillery sabres of the latest French pattern. They had likewise, the year preceding, had made to their order new military overcoats, which no other company in the State was at that time provided with. These overcoats and sabres were afterwards purchased of them by the State of Rhode Island, and were used for equipping the 1st Battery.

On April 16th Colonel Tew called a meeting of the company, and after reading the telegrams received from the Governor that day, made a patriotic speech, and was followed by Mayor Cranston, who was present. Colonel Tew then requested those of the company that would volunteer to go to Washington, to step to the front, when thirty three of the thirty nine active members of the company responded. A call was then made for volunteers to fill up the company to the required number of one hundred men, and in a very short time there were more men applied than could be taken.

That evening the company paraded through the streets of the city, to the inspiriting music of a fife and drum, and were dismissed at 10 P. M., to meet again on the receipt of orders from Providence, to be announced by the discharge of three guns on the Mall, and by the ringing of the church bells... Continue reading book >>

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