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		77
                       On James Island.

[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
him by the hair of his head and succeeded in taking
him prisoner, thus returning a former obligation.
Gage was in confinement at Richmond, Va., for
some months, and had only been exchanged very
recently.
     The bravery of Capt. Hitchcock of the 7th Con-
necticut, is worthy of mention.  Though severely
wounded by a musket ball in the leg, he refused to 
quit the field, seized a musket from one of his men
and used it most effectually until compelled by loss
of blood to retire.  While borne off a grape-shot
struck him between the eyes, killing him instantly.
His body was left on the field and buried by the
rebels.
      Capt. Church of the 8th Michigan fell upon the
Rebel parapet.  Though an invalid, afflicted with
water on the knee, he was always ready for duty,
and foremost in action.  Compelled at length by
sickness, he had made an application of leave of
absence, but withdrew it at once on being in-
formed of the proposed expedition.  He was killed
at the head of his company while cheering it on.
Capt. Fenton of the same regiment emulated his ex-
ample, quitting a sick bed to lead his men.

                          ------*------

            Sword-Presentation to Gen. Stevens.
Correspondence of the N.Y. Tribune.
                                    Camp on James Island, S.C.,
                            Gen. Steven s Division, June 22, 1862.

There occurred here, this afternoon, on of those
incidents, ordinarily trite enough in army life, but on
this occasion especially interesting in consequence of
the mutual relations, past and present, of those con-
cerned   the presentation of a sword to Brigadier-
Gen. Stevens by the non-commissioned officers and
privates of the 79th N.Y., Highland Guard, and of
a pair of spurs by the drum-corps of the same regi-
ment.  Once their Colonel, before his merit had raised
him to his present rank, Gen. Stevens was appointed
over men temporarily demoralized by disaster and
loss at Bull Run, at a period when dissension and
mutiny were rife in their ranks, men irritated and
jealous at a presumed violation of their legal right
to elect their own officers.  All this the General s
shrewdness, courage and moderation, effectually
abolished, while his kindness converted what had
been something like distrust and hatred into lasting
affection and respect.  Under his command, the regi-
ment won back its forfeited colors and reputation.
But the addresses on either side tell their own story.
The men being drawn up in line in front of our
camp, at 2   p.m., private David Ross read as fol-
lows (from a handsomely engrossed copy, containing
a central photograph of the General) giving expres-
sion to the sentiments conveyed with appropriate-
ness and feeling:
                                            Beaufort, S.C., April, 1862.
   Brig.-Gen. Isa[ac] [I.] Stevens   Sir: An unani-
mous feeling of gratitude and respect pervading the non-com-
issioned officers and privates of the 79th Regiment, Highland
Guard, New-York State Militia, and wishing to give their feel-
ing an honorable and appropriate expression, we have deter-
mined to-day to present for your acceptance this sword, feel-
ing assured that by you it will be worthily worn, and never
drawn but in defense of human rights and their political
guaranties.  Your recent connection with us as our Colonel,
as our friend, as our counselor, has fitted us in a peculiar
manner to judge of and appreciate your virtues in each of
these capacities.  Coming among us at a critical period in our

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
history as a regiment, when our fair fame was eclipsed and
demoralization was fast hurrying us to the vortex of anarchy,
you listened to the story of our wrongs, tempered our de-
cisions against the erring ones with the high attribute of
mercy, and bade us hope.  We did hope, and ere long we
found ourselves recuperated, and in Camp Advance.  There
our confidence in you was perfected, and our esteem became
affection when it was announced that your distinguished mili-
tary services had brought you brighter and greener laurels; we
were glad and proud; but sorrow deep and profound, pervaded
our ranks when it was made known that your services were
demanded in another sphere, and that we must separate.  The
exclamation of  Tak us wi ye !  which greeted you upon that
day s parade, was heartfelt and sincere, and your intervention
in our behalf has enabled us to preserve our connection, if not
as close, not the less fondly.
    That your valuable and beneficent life may long be spared to
the service and to mankind, and that the blessing of God may
rest upon you and upon your family.  Is the sincere prayer of
the non-commissioned officers and privates of the 
                         SEVENTY-NINTH HIGHLAND GUARD.

James Ross, a lad of the Drum corps, then ad-
vanced, and, in terms equally brief and simple,
stated that his comrades had united in the purchase
and presentation to Gen. Stevens of a pair of spurs,
not as a needed incentive to the performance of his
duty, but to replace instruments actually worn out in
the discharge of it.  To both addresses the General
replied with evident emotion, speaking extempore to
the following effect:

     FELLOW SOLIDERS OF THE HIGHLAND GUARD: I have no
words to express my gratitude for this unexpected and unmer-
ited mark of your confidence and affection.  We came together
not only at a critical period of your own history as a regiment,
but at a critical period of our beloved country s history, when
its armies had been stricken down, and dismay and discourageme-
ment spread over the length and breadth of the land.  It was
the time for the true and the strong to come to the work, and by a
firm stand in our country s cause, again to make hope and
faith spring up in the hearts of men.  Yon recollect we moved
from our camp of  Hope  on the beautiful hights in rear of
Washington to the Camp of the  Advance  on the Potomac.
Then I spoke to you words of encouragement, and together
in the glorious light of day we won back our colors.  We had
soon become acquainted.  As your Colonel I ever found you
brave and true.
     The pathos of your address, its living expressions, touch
me.  When I was ordered South, and rode through your
ranks to say farewell, and saw the tear glisten in very manly
eye, and heard the words,  Tak us wi ye,  from every lip, I
thought we cannot part, so on reaching Annapolis I said to
our late respected and able commander, Gen. Sherman,
 Send for the Highlanders.  They want to come, and you
can depend upon them.  He sent for you.  Here you have
been, and here you are to-day.  Have you not always done
well?  Who ever finds the Highlanders behind?  I know not
which feeling of my heart is strongest in regard to you, my
pride or my affection.  Your firm step, your manly counte-
nances, cold steel for your enemies, and the open hand and
heart for your friends.  Such are you, beloved comrades.  In
the late sad, glorious fight, where were were you?  Laggards,
or seeking the front on the double quick to succor your friends,
the 8th Michigan, led by your gallant Lieutenant Colonel,
there, David Morrison?  You gained that front and parapet,
and some of your noblest and your best there found a soldier s
grave.  It was indeed a sad but glorious field.  Not a laggard  
not a fugitive   all the regiments in line   all by their colors
and in order of battle, but many dead and wounded men.  I
am profoundly affected by the circumstance that you have
seized such an occasion to show your regard for me.  Yes, be-
loved comrades, we are ready to expose and, it needs be, to
lay down our lives for our country.  We will keep steadily to
the work till this sad, terrible war is ended, and peace smiles
again upon the land.
    My friends, I shall endeavor to be deserving of your mag-
nificent testimonial of respect and affection.  I accept it not
as my right, but as your free gift I accept it most gratefully.
God willing, that sword shall ever be borne by me in defense
of my country s rights, and in the cause of God and humanity.
The spurs, too, from my friends of the drum corps, the boys
who scour the battle-field and bring off the dead and wounded
men, I will wear, in memory of your mission, and perhaps
some day they may urge the fleet steed to your relief and
assistance.
    Friends, the thistly of your native land has stung our
enemies, and been and omen of hope to our friends.  It has
been planted here, and glorious properties has it shown in
this Palmetto soil.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty: page eighty-seven
Description:Newspaper clipping reporting on the presentation of a sword to General Isaac I. Stevens by the 79th New York Infantry Regiment.
Date:1862-06-22
Subject:Battle of Bull Run, First (Va.); Church, Captain; Civil War; Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 7th; Fenton, Captain; Gage; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hitchcock, Captain; James Island (S.C.); Journalism; Michigan Infantry Regiment, 8th; Military; Morrison, David; New York Infantry Regiment, 79th; New York tribune.; Ross, David; Ross, James; Stevens, Isaac Ingalls
Coverage (City/State):Beaufort, South Carolina; Richmond, Virginia
Scan Date:2010-09-10

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty
Description:Includes Gunn's descriptions of his experiences as a war correspondent for ""The New York Tribune"" at Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, especially Hilton Head, Port Royal, St. Augustine, Key West, and the end of his experiences with the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsular Campaign when he had to leave camp due to illness.
Subject:African Americans; Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Civil War; Diseases; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Marches (U.S. Army); Medical care (U.S. Army); Military; Military camp life; Peninsular Campaign (Va.); Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Port Royal, South Carolina; Hilton Head, South Carolina; Key West, Florida; St. Augustine, Florida; Virginia
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2010 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.