John Hone 2nd Co Mass Sharpshooters 3 Letters Sept 62-dec 63 Manassas Retreat
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John Hone 2nd Co Mass Sharpshooters 3 Letters Sept 62-dec 63 Manassas Retreat:
Residence Saugus MA; an 18 year-old Teamster.Enlisted on 9/10/1861 as a Private.On 10/5/1861 he mustered into MA 2nd Sharpshooters He was Mustered Out on 10/17/1864 at Boston, Corpl
SECOND COMPANY MASSACHUSETTS
Attached to the Twenty-Second Regiment
Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry THREE YEARS
The 2d Company Sharpshooters was organized at Lynnfield, Mass., in September, 1861. When the 1st Company, known as the "Andrew Sharpshooters", left for the seat of war, Sept. 2, 1861, there were left at Lynnfield a number of recruits in excess of the one hundred to which the 1st Company was limited, and these recruits formed the nucleus of the 2d Company.Raised to full strength the members of the 2d Company were mustered into the service on various dates, mostly during the month of September. Commanded by Captain Lewis E. Wentworth of Salem the company left the State Oct. 8, attached to the 22d Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf., with which command it was identified through practically its entire term of service, its history forming a part of the history of that regiment.Proceeding to Washington in the fall of 1861, it remained with the 22d Regt. until spring, then accompanied it to the Peninsula. It was present at the siege of Yorktown in April, 1862, and accompanied the Army of the Potomac in its advance to the front of Richmond. On the morning of the battle of Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862, the Sharpshooters under Lieut. Stiles had been detailed to guard the baggage train, hence in this most severe action of the 22d Regt. the Sharpshooters were not engaged.At Malvern Hill, July 1, they were in action with few casualties, but lost their knapsacks in which were the bullet moulds and patch cutters which went with their telescope rifles. In the latter part of the same month, under great protest, the Sharpshooters exchanged their telescope rifles for regulation Sharp's rifles which they carried through the remainder of their term of service.After returning from the Peninsula in August, 1862, the Sharpshooters accompanied the 22d Regt. through the 2d Bull Run and Antietam campaigns, suffering no loss. Immediately after the battle of Antietam they were engaged near Blackford's Ford on the Potomac, covering the advance and retreat of the troops which crossed in pursuit of the enemy.At Fredericksburg, Dec. 31, 1862, they participated in the assault on Marye's Heights, losing seven men wounded, two of them mortally. After this engagement they went into winter quarters near Potomac Creek. The company participated in the Chancellorsville campaign early in May, 1863, losing one man killed by a shell. At Gettysburg, July 2, it was in action near the Devil's Den on the Union left losing three officers wounded.It served with the 22d through the late summer and fall of 1863 along the line of the Rappahannock and in the Mine Run campaign, then spent the winter in camp near Beverly Ford.In the spring of 1864 the Sharpshooters entered upon the Wilderness campaign being engaged on the Orange pike at the Wilderness, May 5, and on the Jones and Spindle farms near Spottsylvania, May 8 and 10. On this part of the battlefield known as Laurel Hill, this being the name applied to the Jones farm, they lost 6 men killed and 4 more severely wounded, their heaviest toll of casualties in any engagement.They were engaged with loss at Totopotomoy, May 30, at Bethesda Church, June 3, and at Shady Grove Church Road, June 5.The company proceeded to the Petersburg front with the 22d Regt. and shared its fortunes until October 3, 1864, when orders came to return to Massachusetts. On the 5th the company embarked for Washington, there entraining for Boston where it arrived October 10, and one week later was mustered out of the service. The recruits and re-enlisted men were transferred to the 32d Regiment.Source:Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors & Marines in the Civil War
Offered are 3 civil war soldier’s letters written by John Hone, of the 2nd company of the Massachusetts volunteer sharpshooters. He writes to mrs Amos Prince in Danvers Center, Mass.The 1st letter is date lined Hall Hill, VA Sept 5, 1862. He writes “Aunt Hannah…It is week weeks since I left Boston. I arrived here last night….Instead of finding a thousand men in the regiment as when I left it six months, there is only about 150 men able to do duty. I was told by one of the men that when they arrived here Wed after the retreat from Manassas that they stacked arms with 112 men. This unit is now commanded by orderly sgt Upton. It is the largest co in the regiment, having in all 30 men. He writes about several men in his unit, Howlett, kidder, powers…Capt Wentworth was coming back to take command of this company. If he does I think he will not meet with a very pleasant reception. The men in the regiment have no knapsacks or clothes, except what they have got on their backs. Some I have seen with nothing but his pants and blouses on. . The rebels yesterday drove our pickets in about 2 miles, but before any of our regiments could get to them they had left. None of our men were hurt. He then closes his letter2nd letter is datelined Camp Gov/near Falmouth Va May 13, 1863. It begins “aunt Hannah, I am tired and sore footed. Since I wrote last, we have marched a good many miles (90) fought a hard battle, gained nothing but once more retreated to this camp from which we have three times unsuccessfully attempted to leave.. We were the 1st brigade upon the battlefield, and the last to leave it. In the retreat we were the rear guard of the army. We were not in the hottest of the fighting, though. We were used as skirmishers or picket, or scouting about from one place to another. We had 2 of this company killed by shells ( the rebs don’t seem to care where their shells drop. I think that gen hooker has some good plans laid, but the 11th corp broke and run and gave the rebs possession of the plank road which caused our retreat. I think the loss of the rebs must have been greater then ours. We took a great many prisoners. (one of them says to me,( you ain’t such bad men as I thought you were)….they seem to be as tired of this war as we are, and long for the close, though they think it will last as long as Abe Lincoln is president. We have to carry 8 days rations besides our tents and clothing, which is no very small load to carry through mud, ford rivers, climb hills and double quick every other mile with drunken officers on horses to lead off. He thinks they will move again soon, and some of the soldiers will run off. He signs off I want you to burn them (letters) as soon as read, and you will please your nephew (thankfully she didn’t) Jone H hone.3rd and final letter is datelined Camp 22 Mass regt near Beverly Ford Va. Dec 11th 1863. “Aunt Hannah, . The weather is cold and stormy. We had quite a hail storm. We have had orders to build log houses for winter quarters, but I don’t expect we’ll stop here very long. I suppose you have heard all about the late movements of this army. I see by the papers that the people back home are dissatisfied by this army because we fell back with out engaging the enemy… If we had charged the works that we were 1st ordered to they would be very few of us left to have told the tail. When we advanced across the Rapidan, the rebel cavalry attacked our wagon train and burn and destroyed some 20 wagon loads of grain besides taking away 60 or 70 mules and horses and 20 or 30 prisoners. This regiment being the last in the division we were ordered back to drive the rebels from the wagons.. we had a few shots at them before they left, killing 2 and wounding some others, which they carried away with them… The wagon guard was taken prisoner… we had no rations… Thanksgiving
day we marched all day. For my dinner I had a few pieces of hard tack…. The government now offers us large bounties for us to reenlist …last night our sutler arrived with a lot of goods. He had some whiskey which the boys have got and now there is 20 or more of them jolly drunk.. more content about officers from your nephew John H Hone.3 excellent letters, all with battle content from John H Hone, of the 22 Mass sharpshooters.The covers are all present, but the stamps have been cut out.
member APS-life member, Manuscript Society, USPCS
John Hone 2nd Co Mass Sharpshooters 3 Letters Sept 62-dec 63 Manassas Retreat:
Springfield Feb.23,1862 Civilian Letter "heartfelt Content"
March 7, 1862 Letter Written To Board Of Exemptions" To Be Exempted From Service
Letter Written To Maj. General Montgomery C. Meigs Sept. 30 1865
Great Patriotic Letter No Date & Unsigned"our Country"super Content
May 25,1865 Norfolk"patriotic Letter Head" Heartfelt Content
Interesting & Witty Letter Lack Of Rain To His Failure To Have His Soul Saved