Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day: Not All Came Home

30th Mass Flag, courtesy 30thMass.blogspot
Patrick Tighe, Private, Co. F, 30th Mass Volunteer Infantry
           by Walter Hickey

            This letter was located in a pension application filed under the name of Patrick Tighe. The 'usual' content of such a file consists of statements of the soldier's wounds accompanied by witness depositions and surgeon's certificates supporting the degree of disability incurred.  It is a rare occurrence to have a letter written to the family included among those papers, but it is exactly such a letter which provides a first person, eyewitness account of the Civil War from the viewpoint of the individual soldier and his concerns for his family back home.

Note: Some punctuation has been added

                                                                                    Baton  Rouge, Louisiana
                                                                                                August 14th, 1862
Dear Sister,
                        I received your letter and was much vexed to hear of Mothers death, hoping she is better off.  I am sorry I was not at home to see her.  We have been here about 4 months.  It is a nice place.  We went to Vixburg, and had to lay in a Swampy place.  The Regiment was nearly destroyed – all sick with fever & ague.  A great many died, but they are getting better now.  I was nearly dead Myself, but am well now.  We had a awful battle on the 5th of August the Rebels attacked us at 5 o'clock in the Morning.  We fought them until they ran away.  We killed and wounded 1500 men.  Our loss was 250 men, Officers and all.  We are going to fight tomorrow again as they have 20,000 men.  We have only 8000 but have more Artillery than them.  The sick and wounded was sent to New Orleans.  Little John Scully is dead from Swamp Fever, and Jimmy O'Neil from Consumption.  Peter Kerrigan, John Tully, and a lot of Lowells was sick in the hospital before the fight and sent to
 N. Orleans.  We have not been paid yet owing to the fighting and sickness.  There is 78 dollars due on the first Sept. & when I get my my [sic] pay I will send it to you.  Mind and take case of Maggy My little sister, above all things.  Give my kind regards & love to Ann & Bridgett.  If I live, I will send you all my pay dirtly [directly] I get it so that you may be comfortable.  Mind and take care of yourselves and when you get my money make yourselves comfortable.  Mind take care.  Maggy, I think we shall soon be back.

                        I am My dear Sisters –
                        Ann, Bridgett & Maggy
                        Your Aff't. Brother
                        Patrick Tigh

            Lord Have Mercy on My Mothers Soul

Eighteen men from Lowell died in service with Co. F in 1862 & 1863
All but one died from disease.
John A. Burns, Corp., 20; 12-5-1862 @ New Orleans, LA
John Cody, Pvt., 24; 9-19-1862 @ Carrollton, LA
Dennis Crowley, Pvt. 42; 11-8-1862 @ New Orleans, LA
Timothy A. Crowley, Capt., 30; 10-5-1862 @ New Orleans, LA
John Dolahory, Pvt; 11-7-1862; @ New Orleans, LA
Bernard Heslan, Pvt; 21; 7-28-1862 @ New Orleans
Jeremiah McCarthy, Pvt.; 18; 10-7-1862 @ New Orleans
Hugh McGuire, Pvt; 30; 9-1-1862 @ New Orleans, LA
James Moran, Pvt; 39; 10-23-1862 @ New Orleans
John Moran, Pvt; 21; 11-26-1863 @ Baton Rouge, LA
James Murtagh, Pvt; 34; 12-22-1862 @ New Orleans, LA
Andrew Oates, Pvt; 19; 3-5-1863  New Orleans
Dennis O'Neil; Pvt; 34; 7-15-1862 @ Baton Rouge, LA*
John Scully, Pvt; 38; 7-29-1862 @ Baton Rouge, LA
Charles Shannon, Pvt; 28; Killed 10-19-1864 @Cedar Creek, VA
James Shaughnessey, Pvt; 35; 9-13-1862 @ Carrollton, LA
Patrick Tighe, Pvt; 18; 7-21-1863 @ Baton Rouge, LA
James Young, Pvt; 38; 11-2-1862 @Carrollton, LA

*  Tighe's letter mentions “Jimmy” O'Neil as having died of consumption, but only Dennis is listed in Mass. Soldiers, Sailors, & Marines of the Civil War, Vol. III

Sunday, May 15, 2016

It's a Beautiful day in the Neighbourhood (not!)

It's a Beautiful day in the Neighbourhood (not!)
With apology to Mr. Rogers

(An entry from Walter Hickey)

Nineteenth century Lowell newspapers are a wonderful, oft under-used course of Life in Lowell.  Most news items are exceedingly brief, yielding few details.  This is especially true of the daily reportage of the criminal sessions of the Lowell Police Court.  Often even these little tidbits are not only informative but also quite humorous due to the creative expressions of the reporter/editor/publisher.  Occasionally, an event is reported which could not be summarized in one or two lines, and a column entry results.

Today's find is one such.
Daily Evening Advertiser, 12 March 1856

Police Court
                                                                                      Wednesday, March 12
            Yesterday, about 6 o'clock, p.m., the police were called to quiet a body of people on Salem street, who were enjoying themselves by bruising each others' countenances.    Quite a number of the participants were arrested and brought into Court this morning, and their cases disposed of in the following order:
            Timothy Shay, the bully of the crowd who sported a most beautiful black eye, was “tight” on the occasion, for which he was fined $3 and costs.  On a complaint of assault upon Michael Sullivan and wife, he was found guilty, and bound over in the sum of $200 for his appearance before the C.C.P. in June.  He was also arraigned on a charge of assaulting one Dennis Haggerty; bound over in $100 to appear as above.

            A complaint against John Sullivan, for drunkeness, was read, but it appeared that the name  of the person arrested was Daniel Shay, so the complaint was quashed.

            John Sullivan, on a charge of resisting the police officers in the discharge of their duties was fined $3.

            Daniel Shay was in the row yesterday morning and was charged with drunkeness, for which offense he was sentenced to pay a fine of $2 and costs.

            Patrick and John Ryan, and Richard Sparks, charged with an assault upon Deputy Sheriff Folsom, were ordered to recognize severally in $200 for their appearance to-morrow, at 10 o'clock.  They procured the required bonds. [see below]

(next case)
Michael Lyons was put on trial for the larceny of a note of $30, the property of Margaret Carney.  It appeared from the evidence that Lyons called upon the woman (Carney) to pay $10 on the note, which amount was then due, and took the same to endorse the amount paid.  But instead of doing this, he pockets both note and money and leaves the premises.  He was ordered to give sureties in the sum of $200 for his appearance on Saturday next at 10 o'clock.

(next case)
John H. Shedd, who has served an apprenticeship to the State in Charleston (State Prison) was arraigned on a charge of breaking and entering a saloon on Merrimack st, and bound over to the C.C.P. in Concord in June next.

SYMPTONS OF A ROW  A row and the consequence attending it.

Deputy Sheriff Folsom served a writ upon Patrick Ryan, and attached his goods in his store on Suffolk street.  Ryan did not like the idea of losing his foothold, and with the assistance of some of his friends succeeded in routing the Sheriff and his assistants.  Folsom dispatched a messenger for a posse of police, who arrived in due time, and restored quiet. 
            After the police had left the scene of action, the row commenced in good earnest, and a second messenger was dispatched to the police office for means of preventing a riot, which was very apparent.  Officers Rand, Fuller, Crowley and Plaisted were sent, and succeeded in arresting three of the parties, Patrick Ryan, John Ryan, and Richard Sparks. 

The examination of the parties will take place tomorrow.

[And thus endeth a not-so-quiet day in the neighbourhood]

Note: C.C.P. = Court of Common Pleas (today's superior Court)