From The Twenty-Third.
Packs Ferry, Va., June 7th, 1862.
To The Editor Of The Sentinel.
As the friends of the 23d, have probably read by this time that we got ourselves in trouble, some time ago, and are somewhat anxious about us, I will try and detail some of the particulars of the affair.
Information was gained a day or two after our arrival at Princeton, that the enemy had evacuated Giles Court House, or Parrisburg, as it is called, and had left a considerable amount of company and other stores ungraded, behind them, supposing probably, that our small force should be cautious and not advance, but give them time to move them at their leisure. Two companies of the 23d, a squad of cavalry, were immediately pushed forward, they found that they were entirely unexpected. They took possession of the town, stores, and the liberty of a Major and Col. of militia, with a few other prisoners, and with less than 250 men went gravely to work. The 30th in the meantime arriving at Princeton—we started on the 7th ult., and joined the detachment at Giles the same evening. Things looked very dubious, and scouts reported the enemy with three regiments, only eleven miles ahead, and of course if we obtained no reinforcements, we would to leave as soon as they found our weakness. Well, reinforcements did not come, we were too far ahead, and on the morning of the 10th, the enemy drove in our pickets, and our Colonel made preparations to retreat.
Two companies, of which B, had the honor of being one, were sent to the front to feel, of their skirmishers, the rest of the regiment was drawn up in order of battle in the rear, and our capture wagons were quickly filled with what stores we could get into them, and started on the road to the rear.
In a short time, Sperry’s boys commenced to work, and the enemy to come in sight. Our two companies did not fall back until a battery of howitzers had commenced to play in them, which made their rail defense very untenable—they fell back in good order. Only, one of them was hit, although they, for some time took the whole of the enemy’s fire. As company B, was leaving town, a man named H. C. Tenney, from Geneva, I think, was killed. He was a young man and we were all very much attached to him, and company B, will miss him a long time. From the time the two companies came up to us, we commenced falling back, taking position by company and division behind every fence, or other place of cover, and slowly moving back. Thus we fought for five hours, making a distance of seven miles, when ceased to pursue, doubtless fearing we would get reinforcements, and commenced fortifying a place called the Narrows. We halted two miles from them and were joined in the afternoon by the 30th. We now felt quite safe, and bivouacked for the night. The next day we fell back to the mouth of East river and camped, where we staid until the 17th, and then were called to Princeton to join Gen. Cox. If all retreats were conducted as well as ours, they would not be very sad affairs. The enemy acknowledge a loss of 30 killed and 45 wounded, and with their accustomed style put our loss at 300 in killed and wounded. Our actual loss was one killed, seven or eight slightly wounded, and four taken prisoners.
Our men took everything cool, and seemed to be in no hurry in their firing, taking steady aim and loading as carefully as if the mark was squirrels instead of human beings.
The boys are in good spirits, and are good soldiers. Companies B and G are at this place guarding a ferry in company with some of the 11th. We are camped on the bank of the river, and when it don’t rain, (which it does offen) have quite pleasant times.
We are paid off again, and wish some of you would come and take our money to our friends at home.
This article was published in the “Ashtabula Sentinel”
Jefferson, Ashtabula County, Ohio 25 June 1862
Page 5 Column 1 & 2
The newspaper is on microfilm at the Ashtabula Public Library.
This is part of a series on the Civil War in Ashtabula County as was reported in the Ashtabula Sentinel.