|34th USCT or 2nd South Carolina History
St. Augustine Members
Organized at Beaufort and Hilton Head, SC, May 22, 1863. Attached to Districts of Hilton Head and
Beaufort, SC, 10th Army Corps, Department of the South, to July 1863. 2nd Brigade, Morris Island, SC,
10th Corps, to August, 1863. 4th Brigade, Morris Island, SC, 10th Corps, to November, 1863. 3rd
Brigade, Morris Island, SC, 10th Corps, to January, 1864. Montgomery's Brigade, District of Hilton Head,
SC, to February, 1864.
SERVICE -- Duty at Hilton Head, SC, to March, 1863. Expedition to Jacksonville, FL, March 6- 10.
Occupation of Jacksonville during March 10-31. Operations about Jacksonville during March 23-31.
Evacuation of Jacksonville on March 31. At Beaufort, SC until July. Raid on Combahee River on June 2.
Expedition to James Island, SC, during July 7-17. Engagement at Grimball's Landing on July 16. Operations
on Morris Island against Forts Wagner and Gregg during July 18 - September 7. Operations against Fort
Sumter and Charleston, SC, during September 7, 1863 - January 29, 186. Moved to Hilton Head, SC, then
to Jacksonville, FL, during February 5-7. Designation of Regiment changed to 34th Infantry Regiment, USCT
on February 8, 1864.
Provost duty at Jacksonville, Fla., till March 30, 1864. Moved to Palatka, Fla., March 30-31, and to
Picolata, April 12. Ordered to Folly Island, S.C., April 13, thence to Morris Island, S.C. and duty there,
operating against Charleston till May 20. Moved to St. Augustine, Fla., May 20, thence to Tyree Island, S.
C., May 22. Expedition to Ashepoo River, May 26. Moved to Hilton Head, S.C., Jun 30. Expedition to
James Island, S.C., July 1-10.
Near Winter's Point, July 3. King's Creek, July 3. Actions on James Island, July 3 and 9-10. Burden's
Causway, July 9. Return to Jacksonville, Fla., July 31. Expedition to Enterprise, August 2-5. Raid on Florida
Railroad, August 15-18. Action at Gainsville, August 17. Duty at Jacksonville, Palatka and Magnolia Springs,
Fla., till November 25. Expedition to Boyd's Neck, S.C., November 28-30.
Battle at Honey Hill, S.C., November 30. Expedition to Devaux's Neck, December 6. Moved to Hilton
Head, S.C., thence to Jacksonville, Fla., January, 1865. Duty at Jacksonville till February, 1866. Mustered
out February 28, 1866.
William W. Marple
B. Ryder Corwin
Augustus A. Hoit - originally Captain of Co. G. 8th Marines promoted by General Saxton
John M. Adams (Co. F) - promoted from 1st Lieut, Co A, 8th Maine by General Saxton.
Wm. Lee Apthorp
Charles H. Barnes
George W. Brush
Oliver E. Bryant
James M. Carver
John G. Hamel
Oliver B. Holden
Henry M. Jordan
Alva A. Knight
Levi H. Markley
John W Selvage
Thomas N. Thompson
George A. Drew
David M. Hammond
Charles A. Northrop
Andrew P. Rogers
Samuel P. Ryan
John J. Stuart
Henry B. Tinkham
Isaac R. Adams
Henry K Cady
William R. Eliott
Silas P. Hubbard
George F. Miller
Daniel D. Hanson
Thomas R. Clements
Arthur W. Greenleaf
Charles G. Polk
Homer H. Moore
George C. Charles
Robert W. Perry
John B. Welch
William B. Dickey - promoted from Quartermaster Sergeant 8th Maine to Quartermaster by Gen. Saxton.
John F. Robertson
Methodology - Soldiers included in this roll are one in which I could identify the soldier saying that they were from St.
Augustine or a pension record identified them as from St. Augustine. Unfortunately for most of these men before the war
they were slaves and because of this their movements are difficult to track. If you were to include men who lived in St.
Augustine at one time or another before the war you have a significant increase. In this regiment Liberty Billings made a
trip to St. Augustine from Beaufort where he recruited about 100 soldiers for the 33rd only 29 are listed in the 33rd from
his recruitment trip. The three regiments of the 33rd, 34th and the 21st USCT are regiments where St. Augustine can be
found, but the whole story is still not know. Note in this regiments list the amount of men that were picked up by Col.
Montgomery in Key West.
Sgt. William Hancock - Age 32, 5'6", mulatto brown black St Augustine FL laborer, March 15, 1863 Jacksonville Col
Montgomery, promoted to Sgt August 12th 1863 Bounty and Arrears Payment
Sgt William Williams - (Killed in Action) Age 23, 5'9" light, black, black St Augustine Fl drayman Feb 13 1863 Key West
Col Mongtomery 3 yrs, drowned in Ashepoo river, May 26, 1864
Sgt Frank Salina - Age 24, 5'7" lt mulatto black black St Augustine Fla laborer Feb 11 1863 Key West Col Montgomery 3
yrs, Appointed Sergeant August 12, 1863.
Corporal William Sanders - (Killed in Action) Age 22 5'2" black black black St Augustine Fl laborer, Feb 12, 1863 Key
West, Col Montgomery 3 years, killed while on expedition up Askepoo River May 26, 1864 Appointed Corpl March 29 1864
Corporal Charles Willimer - Age 18 5'2" mulatto black black St Augustine Fl laborer Feb 10 1863 Key West Col
Mongtomery promoted to Corpl July 18th 1864
Martin Blake - Age 18 5' 8" black black black St Augustine Florida laborer March 15 1863 Jacksonville Col Montgomery
Edmond Gilbert - Age 24, 5 ft 8in, mulatto black, black, 02/15/1863, Key West, Col Montgomery, laborer
William (S)Landers 22 5'2" black black black St Augustine FL laborer Feb 12, 1863 Key West Col Montgomery
George Washington - Age 24 5'4" black black black St Augustine FL Laborer Feb 10 1867 Col Montgomery
Samuel Welters - Age 21, 5'6" black black black St Augustine FL Laborer Feb 3 1863 Key West Col Montgomery
transferred to Co H 34th USCI
Charles Williams - Age 16 5'6" light brown brown St Augustine FL Laborer Feb 10 1863 Col Montgomery
Sgt George Garvin - Age 45, 6' Mulatto black black St Augustine Florida, carpenter Feb 12 1863 Key West Col
Montgomery, 3 years promoted to Hospital Steward of 34th USCI June 11th 1863 per Regimental Order No 5
Marriage License, Baptism Certificate Felicia Garvin, Baptism Certificate Eliza Emma Garvin, Francis Xavier Garvin,
George Frederic Garvin, Commission as Hospital Steward
Samuel Gabriel - Age 25, 5'6" black black black St Augustine FL Laborer Feb 151863 Key West Col Montgomery
Edmond Gilbert - Age 24, 5'8" mulatto, black, black, Feb 15, 1863, Key West by Col. Montgomery, Laborer.
1st Sergeant John Bulmer - Age 29, 6' mulatto black black St Augustine Fl Carpenter 11 Feb 1863 Key West by Col
Montgomery, 3 years, appointed Sergeant March 3 1863 to rank as such from enrollment Promoted to be 1st Sergt May
26th 1864. Discharged February 28, 1866. b. Jul 12 1833 d. Jan 25 1885. buried in Freedmen's Cemetery, Jacksonvile
Fl. (Marriage License)
Sergeant Thomas Darling - (Bronze Medal - for siege of Morris Island) (Darley) Age 34, 5'6" black black black St
Augustine Fl laborer 12 Feb 1863 Key West Col Montgomery 3 years, appointed corporal April 7th 1834 to rank as such
from enrollment, promoted to Sergeant Jan 3 1864, Bronze Medal presented by Maj Gen Q A Gillmore for gallant and
meritorious conduct" during the siege of Morris Island.
Sergeant Joseph Stevens - Age 23, 5'6" mulatto light dark St Augustine Fl Carpenter 12th Feb 1863 Key West Col
Montgomery 3 years, Appointed Sergeant March 3 1863 to rank as such from enrollment Reduced to the ranks July 24
1864 for absence from camp without leave. Promoted to Corporal Nov 1st 1864. Bounty Payment and Arrrears,
Corporal George Addison - Age 41, 5'7" mulatto black black St Augustine Fl carpenter 12 Feb 1863 Key West Col
Montgomery 3 years, appointed Corporal April 25th 1863 reduced Jan 2 1864 by order of Lt Col W W Marple Comd Reg
"for getting drunk"
Sergeant Masseline Alvve (Albrus) Albvers (Alvres) - Age 28, 5'5" black, black, black St Augustine Fl carpenter 11 Feb
1863 Key West Col Montgomery, 3 years, appointed corporal, April 7, 1863, tor rank from enrollment promoted to be a
Sergeant Aug 1st 1864.
James Williams - Age 20, 5'10" Mulatto black black St Augustine Florida Laborer 12 Feb 1863 in Key West by Col
Montgomery, 3 years
Adam Fairshaw -(died in service) 28, 5'5" black black black St Augustine FL Laborer 12 Feb 1863 Col Montgomery Key
West 3 years died in Regt Hosp Morris Island SC Sept 24th 1863 of dropsy
Jesse Self - Age 36, 5'10" black black black Baltimore Md Laborer 1st March 1864 Jacksonville Capt Carver 3 years. Died
August 21, 1904 buried in St. Augustine National Cemetery.
Sergeant Andrew Cryer - Age 20, 5'3" black black black St Augustine Fl laborer 15th Feb 1863 Key West Col Montgomery
3 years, transferred to Co F for promotion April 25th 1863 by order of Col James Montgomery - Appointed Sergt Feb 15
1863, Reduced to the ranks Jan 25 1864
Marshal Edwards - Age 16 5'4" black hazel black Florida farmer 8 April 64 St Augustine FL by Sergeant Givens 3 years
Ruben Garnet - Age 19 5'3" dark dark dark No Car Servant 14 April 64 St Augustine by Sergeant Givvens 3 years
William Roberts - Age 18 5'4 1/2" dark dark dark No Ca farmer 12 April 64 St Augustine by Sergeant Gouers
Jacob Steward - Age 18 5'6" Black black Black Ladies Island S Carolina Boatman April 10 Beauford SC Col Bryant 3
years. Died March 4, 1925 buried St. Augustine National Cemetery. Bounty Claim
John C. Pachall
Benjamin Lee- Age 18 5'5" yellow, dark dark St Augustine Fl Waiter Oct 25 1863 Beaufort SC Capt Bryant 3 yrs. Died
March 4, 1925, buried in St. Augustine National Cemetery.
John Avery -Age 24, 5'7" black black black St Augustine FL laborer May 25 1865 Jacksonville Lt Knight
William Johnson - Age 17, 5'8" black black black St Augustine Fl laborer, May 2, 1865 in Jacksonville by Knight
Sgt Lucas William - Age 23 5'6" black black black Beaufort North Carolina farmer 10 Feb 64 St Augustine Capt Davis was
enrolled as a Sergt.
Jake McKeaver died March 31, 1890 buried in St. Augustine National Cemetery.
Corporal John Robinson died March 27, 1890 buried in St. Augustine National Cemetery
Miles Hancock - buried on the grounds of the Mission of Nombre de Dios
Major B Ryder Corwin - Was a 1st Lieutenant in the 48th New York. He was a First Lieutenant from Aug 21, 1861 through
May 22, 1863 when he was commissioned a Major in the 34th USCT
Captain George Washington Brush the ninth child of John R. and Elizabeth Brush, was born at West Hills, Oct. 4, 1842.
He attended the district school, and helped with the farm work until fourteen years old, when he went to the town
academy. When nearly seventeen he went to Brooklyn and found employment in a dry goods store, where he had plenty
of hard work and $2.00 per week. Two years later, in the summer of 1861, he was the first to enlist from his native town in
the 48th Regiment, New York Volunteers, and with his brother, John, joined the Army of the Potomac and later went with
Sherman's expedition to Port Royal. With his regiment he participated in the engagements at Port Royal Ferry, Hilton
Head Island, and Pocotaligo, in South Carolina, and the siege of Fort Pulaski, Ga.
In June, 1863, he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the Second South Carolina Volunteers, afterward known
as the 34th United States Colored Troops. He took part in the battles of James Island, Fort Wagner, Grahamsville, and
the sieges of Fort Sumter and Charleston and many minor engagements in the Department of the South.
Captain Brush served as recruiting officer of Florida and as provost marshal, on the staff of Colonel Noble, commanding
the brigade at Magnolia Springs.
In March, 1865, he came north for the first time since enlisting and on the 30th was married to Alice Adeliza Bowers, of
Brooklyn, to whom he had been attached for several years. At the expiration of his leave of absence he returned to Florida
and in October of the same year, his wife sailed on the steamship "D. H. Mount" for Jacksonville. A terrific storm occurred
and the ship was wrecked, with all on board, off Cape Hatteras, on the 22nd, and was never seen or heard from after that
In December, 1865, having resigned on account of impaired health, he returned to Brooklyn.
The next year, with recovered health, he began the study of dentistry, preliminary to the study of medicine. He practiced
dentistry for some years and in 1876 graduated from the Long Island College Hospital and began the practice of
medicine, later being appointed surgeon and clinical teacher of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital, assistant
surgeon of the 13th Regiment, N. Y. S. National Guard, consulting surgeon of the Bedford Dispensary and Hospital and
consulting physician of the Bushwick Hospital.
In 1868 he married Maria Annette Bowers (see Bowers family), a younger sister of his first wife, and in 1873 their only
child, Herbert Bowers (9) Brush, was born. Before going to the war, George W. (8) had joined the Methodist church, but
soon after his return he joined Plymouth (Henry Ward Beecher's) Church, and was for over twenty-five years an active
member, having served as deacon, assistant superintendent and superintendent of the Sunday school. After removing to
a distant part of the city, the family joined the Central Congregational Church, where he was also deacon and
superintendent of the Bible School.
In 1893 Dr. Brush took an active part in the political campaign which resulted in the overthrow of a corrupt Democratic
"ring" and the election of a Republican mayor. The next year he received (unsolicited) the Republican nomination to the
State Assembly and was duly elected. The following year he was elected to the State Senate for a term of three years,
serving as chairman of the Committee on Public Health and member of the "Cities" and "Military Affairs" committees. The
four years of legislative work were strenuous ones. In the session of 1895 he introduced thirty-seven bills, twenty-two of
which became laws. Conspicuous among these was one in the interests of morality and for the protection of
womanhood, increasing the "age of consent" from sixteen to eighteen years. During the three years' service in the Senate
he introduced one hundred and three bills, of which sixty-eight became laws. The most of these were charter
amendments providing for improvements in the city. Among them was one for establishing the Brooklyn Disciplinary
Training School for Boys, the object being to take incipient criminals under thirteen years of age and place them in an
institution where they could be educated and given manual training under proper influences and finally placed in good
homes. Senator Brush also introduced and pushed to final passage the bill which provided for the crossing
Captain Minor Hawks - Born January 8, 1845 he was educated in Bradford Schools. Minor at 17 enlisted in a Rhode
Island cavalry regiment and was wounded and discharged. He reenlisted in the 21st Regt. U. S. C. T. as a hospital
stewart, promoted to lieutenant and caption in the 34th USCT where he served to the end of the war. He married Dora
George and had the following children: Ralph, Mertie Clara, Rhodora, Miner and Helen Esther. He was the nephew of
John Milton Hawks of the 33rd USCT. He was discharged March 12, 1866. Died June 22, 1884 in Bradford New
Lieut Alva A. Knight was born in Huntington, Mass on May 6, 1835. He graduated from Amherst College in 1862 and
Princeton University. He practiced law in the State of Florida. He was commissioned first lieutenant on May 27, 1863 and
served in the 34th USCT. He died in 1923.
Adj. Robert Wilson Perry, a prosperous business man of Norristown, is the youngest son of Samuel and Isabella
(Wilson) Perry, and was born at Bridgeport, this county, May 22, 1842. He was brought up in Norristown, where he
obtained his elementary education in the public schools. He afterward attended Tremont seminary, under the
instructorship of Rev. Samuel Aaron, for one year, and then entered Dickinson seminary at Williamsport. After graduation
from the latter institution, he engaged in the book and stationery business with his brother, W. G. Perry, in the city of
Philadelphia. About June, 1858, he gave up the stationery business and embarked in the milling business at
Dreshertown, Montgomery county. This continued to be his occupation until the outbreak of the Civil war. On September
12, 1861, Mr. Perry entered the service as a private of Company C, 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers. He was
promoted to corporal January 1, 1862, commissioned second lieutenant of Company H, 34th U. S. C. T., and promoted to
first lieutenant and adjutant of the same regiment June 20, 1864. From August 15, 1863, to November, 1863, he served
as assistant aide-decamp on the staff of Colonel James Montgomery, commanding the fourth brigade, Terry's division,
tenth corps, department of the south. From March, 1865, he was commissioned post adjutant at Jacksonville, Florida, but
resigned that post on May 1 of the same year. During his service he served in the provisional brigade defence of
Washington, D. C., until March, 1862; in the first brigade, third division, fourth corps, Army of the Potomac, until December,
1862 ; second brigade, second division, eighteenth corps, department of North Carolina, until August, 1863; fourth
brigade, Terry's division, tenth corps, department of the South, until November, 1863; third brigade, Terry's division, tenth
corps, department of the South, until February, 1864; third brigade, second division, district of Florida, department of the
South, until April, 1864; fourth separate brigade, district of Florida, tenth corps, department of the South, until May, 1865.
During this period of service, Mr. Perry participated in the siege of Yorktown. Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia,
Bottomsbridge, Savage station, Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, Fort Wagner, Morris' Island, siege of Charleston, Devaux' Neck,
South Carolina, Honey Hill, and a number of others of minor importance. Upon the expiration of his commission, on May
1, 1865, he returned to Philadelphia, where for a short time he resumed the book business. Sometime subsequent to
this he removed to Savannah, Georgia, where he embarked in the general stationery trade and remained until 1867. At
the latter date he returned to Norristown and engaged in the wall paper and painting business. This enterprise
prospered in his hands, and to it he has given the greater part of his attention from that to the present time.
In politics Mr. Perry is an active Republican, and has served three years as councilman from the eighth ward. He is vice
president and one of the directors of Charity hospital, Norristown, and was one of the incorporators, and now vice
president and director of the Consumers Ice company of the same place. In religion Mr. Perry is a Presbyterian, and in
addition to this is connected with a number of well known fraternal organizations", among which are Curtis Lodge No.
239, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Charity Lodge No. 190, Free and Accepted Masons; Norristown Chapter No.
190, Royal Arch Masons; and Hutchinson Commandery No. 32, Knights Templar. He is also connected with the
Improved Order of Heptasophs, and with Zook Post No, n, Grand Army of the Republic.
On August 22, 1867, Mr. Perry was united in marriage with Caroline C. Quarterman, a native of Georgia, and a daughter of
Thomas Quarterman. To Mr. and Mrs. Perry have been born four children, of whom three died in infancy. The only one
who arrived at the age of maturity is Dr. Charles F. Perry, a practicing physician, located at Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Drafting at Port Royal (Port Royal Letters during the Civil War)
May 17. Primus has come home. He deserted a week ago and has been all that time getting
here. He says that he has not drilled but once since he was taken to camp, that he has been sick
all the time, but that he has not been in the hospital. Of course, not being volunteers, there is a
great deal of shamming, and they have to be very strict; in short, they pursue the old masters'
system of believing they lie until it is proved they have spoken the truth, — a most elevating
process! and he had a large blister put on the back of his neck and was kept in his tent. Finally
Captain Hoyt took him to Colonel Montgomery and told him that he thought the man was really
sick and not fit to be kept, but the Colonel was very short with him and said drill was the best
cure for him. Then Primus ran away, and is now in his bed here. Mr. Philbrick has seen him and
says it is impossible to tell whether he is sick or not, but he understands fully the consequences
of desertion, and that Mr. Philbrick and C. cannot employ him again. Mr. Philbrick told him that
he should not inform Second South Carolina Volunteers against him, but that if the officers
asked him if he had come home he should have to tell them that he had. "I know dat, massa, but
I won't stay dere." He understands that we are helpless. He says, and we have learned in other
ways, that all who were drafted have been deserting. One day they brought in fourteen, and the
next day twelve of them had gone, and the next the other two. They can't pretend to get them
back again, and of course the demoralization must be great. It will be very bad for Primus now, if
they do not take him, to live on here an outlaw, working his wife's cotton but not able to resume
his plow or his old position in any way — yet if he is taken again he will never make a good
soldier. The whole thing is wrong from the foundation, and should be given up, and all those who
, did not volunteer sent to their homes — if any are then left in the regiments. Yet I don't see how
that could be done unless Hunter went off, and some other Major General repealed his orders.
The First Outing - Up the St. Johns, Occupation of Jacksonville, Attack on Palatka -
March 1863 (See letter from Abraham Lincoln to General David Hunter)
The first outing of Colonel Montgomery's regiment happened before the regiment was formed.
With his recruits from Key West he joined Col Higginson's 1st South Carolina.
General Saxton's orders
Expedition up the Combahee River, S. C.
On June 2 The Regiment (stationed on St. Helena Island, S. C. went on an expedition up the
Combahee River in South Carolina. They had several skirmishes captured over (785) seven
hundred eighty-five slaves, several horses and destroyed a large amount of rebel property.
On June 7 They went up the Turtle river in Georgia and burned a railroad bridge and fought off
small parties of soldiers. One man was wounded.
On June 11 they went on an expedition up the Aftahaha River in Georgia and shelled rebel
pickets capturing a schooner loaded with 80 bales of short staple cotton and destroyed a large
amount of rice cotton and other valuable property and burned the town.
Newspaper coverage of the burning of Darien, Georgia (New York Herald, June 18, 1863)
The only activity displayed recently in the department has been by the colored troops, who have
been on the war path again---that is, on raids.
Colonel Montgomery, with his command is down in Georgia, with headquarters on St. Simon's
Island, making little dashes into the country, picking up recruits for his regiment, burning houses,
and destroying things generally. On Friday last he visited and burned Darien, Georgia, leaving it
a mass of ruins. I have not learned any of the particulars of the affair. It is not probable that he
met with much opposition. The coast seems to be generally exposed to incursions of an active
enemy, as the rebels have doubtless removed themselves, their negroes, and a portion of their
movables, some distance back from the coast line, and have left no force in front, except a few
small bands of partisan rangers, who cannot meet even Montgomery with any show of
resistance. Montgomery's force has been considerably reinforced from Beaufort, and is not at
all insignificant now, the rebels may be assured. His raids into Secessia will stir up the rebels
from the lowest depts, and will make his name familiar from one edge of the so-called
confederacy to the other.
On June 26th embarked at St. Simons Island Georgia and arrived at St. Helena Island S. C.
finally on the 28th.
Colonel Higginson Revises His Opinion of Colonel Montgomery (Letters and Journals)
Beaufort, S.C, July 7, 1863
...Montgomery has been a sore disappointment to me and to General Saxton, whit whom he is a
sword's point; I did not desire to be brigaded with him, because he would chafe so much at
being under me and I should have such hard work to coerce him into my notions of civilized
warfare. He had one of his men shot without trial for desertion the other day, and was about to
shoot two others when Dr. Roger's wonderful power of influence made him change his plans. Yet
he is not a harsh or cruel man, but a singular mixture of fanaticism, vanity, and genius.
Colonel Montgomery does a Court Martial (New York Herald, July 7, 1863)
An incident has recently occurred in the Second South Carolina regiment, which will create an
unprecedented commotion among the Gideonite crowd.[Note: this was a term used to describe
the ministers and teachers brought South at the request of General T. W. Sherman.] Col. Wm
Montgomery, with all his radicalism, is no nigger worshipper. He has some peculiar views in
regard to house burning and the destruction of private rebel property; but he has no idea of
being humbugged by the blacks or allowing them any greater license than he would white
soldiers. It is well known that, under the peculiar discipline of the negro philanthropists, many of
the colored troops have been getting intolerably bold, and acquired the idea that they could do
about as they pleased. Desertions have been frequent, and in the First South Carolina a
widespread mutiny has only just been summarily squelched by the shooting, off-hand, of a brace
of mutineers, the sentence of two more by court martial to be shot or hung, and the adoption of a
severe regime towards some of the others. As you have been informed a few weeks since a
soldier from the Third South Carolina Regiment killed a servant of the Depot Commissary,
committing an outright murder, and then succeeded in making his escape, from the provost
guard house. Colonel Montgomery's regiment has suffered some by desertion, but the excellent
discipline and the firmness of the Colonel prevented any more serious troubles. On Saturday a
prominent deserter was caught, and had the impudence to display a mutinous spirit on being
taken into camp. Colonel Jim at once had him tried by drumbeat court martial; he was
convicted, and on Sunday morning was summarily shot in the presence of the regiment. It is
understood that General Gillmore sustains the Colonel; but, if indications can be relied on; the
Beaufort Gideonites are preparing to raise a howl which shall be heard even in Washington.
Those who say, "Great is Sumner, and Saxton is his prophet," will doubtless have for their war
cry, "Down with the infidel traitor, Montgomery!" There is no use in rose coloring the facts, or
trying to cover them up with a flimsy web of negro philanthropy. The blacks were becoming not
only insolent and lawless, but positively dangerous; and Colonel Montgomery has shown great
good sense, as well as admirable military firmness and promptness in his course. If he follows it
out as he intends he will be supported by all people not afflicted with negromania. The sable
soldiers were a good deal impressed by the spectacle of Sunday, and it is doubtful if this
example will not be sufficient without a repetition.
On July 8th they embarked aboard the Steamer Sentinel and arrived at James Island S. C. on
the 16th the left James Island for Morris Island on the 18th. They would stay on Morris Island till
January 1864 when they would be moved to Hilton Head.
A Confederate Report on Deserters
HDQRS. FOURTH BRIGADE, SOUTH CAROLINA MILITIA,
Charleston, August 3, 1863.
Brig. Gen. THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff:
SIR: I beg leave to submit to you, for your consideration, the following extract from a letter just
received from one of Brig. Gen. W. S. Walker's staff, dated McPhersonville, August 2, 1863:
A recent raid was made, by order of General Walker, on Barnwell Island by some of our troops,
under command of Capt. M. J. Kirk. Thirty-one negroes were captured, 4 of whom are men, the
rest women and children. Three of the men had been drafted for the Second South Carolina
Regiment, but had run away; 2 of them were there a week and 1 three weeks. They represent
many of the negroes as being very unwilling to be made soldiers of, but say they are forced to
be, and are even hunted down in the woods and marshes to be taken. Several have been shot
in the effort to take them. They say the Fernandina negroes are active soldiers, and are used
against them. Some of our own negroes volunteer. Most of the negroes are left on the
plantations, and plant provisions under a white superintendent. The task they do is about the
same they did for us. One-half of the produce goes to the Yankees, the rest to the negroes. They
are not clothed or fed by the United States Government. Most of them have, they say, the clothes
their owners gave them, except what they have purchased for themselves. They make a little
money by selling eggs, chickens, watermelons, &c. They represent that many of the negroes
would be very willing to come back to their owners if they could, but that their boats have all been
taken, and they are told if they come to us we will shoot them. Others are perfectly content to
The negroes from the Combahee raid were all carried to Beaufort. The infirm men, women, and
children were left there, and the prime men, without being allowed to go on shore, were carried
to Hilton Head, and from there to Folly Island, to work on the batteries. Most of them objected to
be made soldiers of or work on the entrenchments, but were forced off.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Wilmot G. De Saussure, Brigadier-General, Comdg. Fourth Brig. S.C. Militia.
In February 1864 they would move back to Jacksonville In April they would move back to Morris
Island. March 30-31 Palatka. April 12 Picolata, Folly Island then Morris against Charleston May
20, St. Augustine May 20, Typee Island May 22
A Reconnaissance. May 25, 1864
On the morning of the 25th inst., by order of Gen. HATCH, a small force of troops embarked on
board transports at Hilton Head, and proceeded in the direction of Ashepoo River, with a view
of feeling of the enemy's position in that locality. The main portion of the force arrived, without
interruption, at the designated point -- a short distance up Mosquito Creek -- but for some
cause, yet to be investigated by a Board of Inquiry already convened, one of the transports -- the
Edwin Lewis -- instead of joining the other vessels in Mosquito Creek, proceeded directly up the
Ashepoo River. This mistake, blunder or stupidity on the part of the commanding military officer
on board the Edwin Lewis, led to the loss of the steamer Boston.
Capt. F.M. Faircloth, of the Boston, had special instructions to follow the Edwin Lewis, and in
attempting to do so, his vessel ran aground at high tide in Ashepoo River, at a point thirteen
miles above the mouth of Musquito Creek. This occurred at 11 o'clock at night. The Edwin Lewis
still pursued her course up the river for a distance of two miles beyond the grounded steamer,
and it was not until she had thumped over two lines of obstructions, that she was turned back.
On board the Boston were about 300 men, including the officers and crew of the vessel, and
ninety-one horses. The Edwin Lewis, on her return from up the river, discovered the Boston
aground, and made an effort to pull her off, but all to no purpose. The Boston drew 8 feet 4
inches, and that portion of her keel extending from the bow to the foremast, became firmly fixed
in the sand. In this condition she remained during the entire night. From Musquito Creek the
armed transport Plato, followed soon after by the gunboat Dai Ching, went to the assistance of
the grounded steamer. The tide was now on the obb, and, of course, all attempts to more the
Boston proved futile. As soon as daylight broke it was discovered she lay within 1,000 yards of
a rebel battery. A short time thereafter, when a slight fog which enveloped the steamer had
lifted, her close proximity to the battery was made more apparent by the flight and whiz of a 6-
pounder shot, which initiatory shot was succeeded in quick succession by seventy-five or eighty
others. Of the shots fired, seventy took effect on the steamer. The second shot penetrated the
boiler, but the foresight of Capt. Faircloth prompted him at an early hour to open the steam-
valve, and thus prevent casualties by scalding, Gen. Birney, who by this time had arrived at the
scene, on board the transport Croton, now issued orders for means to be taken to save the lives
of the men. Consequently, the Boston's boats were lowered, and engaged in transferring the
soldiers and the crew to other steamers. A large number of the soldiers were forced to leap into
the water and swim to the land, where they remained until the small boats took them off. All of
the soldiers, excepting a number of cavalrymen, belonged to the Thirty-fourth Regiment Colored
Troops, Col. Montgomery; and thirteen of them, unable to swim or unable to gain a solid
foundation in the mud and marsh, were drowned. Of the crew of the Boston, John T. Egert,
fireman, and John Kalh, carpenter, were lost. Numerous other lives would have been lost, had
not Ensign Wm. Nelson, formerly of the Kingfisher, and who volunteered to accompany Capt.
Faircloth, sprang upon the upper deck, and thrown overboard spars, boxes, ropes, and
everything he could lay hands on that would serve to buoy up the human beings in the water.
When nearly all had left, Col. Montgomery went below and fired some bales of hay, for the
purpose of destroying the steamer; but the hay being soaked with water, would not burn. All this
was accomplished under the enemy's fire. An hour later -- 9 A.M. -- Col. Montgomery and Capt.
Faircloth returned to the Boston in a small boat, having first provided themselves with
combustible material from the army and navy vessels, and this time succeeded in thoroughly
firing the steamer. In the meantime, the Dai Ching took a favorable position, and shelled the
rebel battery so vigorously that the latter was finally completely silenced. The only casualty on our
side by the enemy's fire was one man killed while swimming toward the shore. Of the 91 horses
on board the Boston, Capt. FAIRCLOTH estimates that about one-half were killed by the
enemy's shot; the remainder were burned alive. The last man to leave the Boston was Capt.
Faircloth. He was immediately preceded by Col. Montgomery. Capt. Faircloth narrowly escaped
with his life in several instances. The Boston was built in 1850 by Bell & Brown, of New York.
Her machinery was put in by T.F. Secor & Co., of the same City. She was a first-class side-
wheel steamer, and was formerly run on the route between Boston and Portland. Subsequently
she ran between New York and Philadelphia, and at the time the war broke out, she was the first
vessel employed to transport troops -- having taken a New York regiment to Annapolis.
Brig.-Gen. Wm. Birney:
SIR: -- In compliance with your request, I have the honor to state that the following came within
my knowledge during the recent expedition up the Ashepoo River: When we had gone some
distance up the river you stopped the Edwin Lewis, Croton and Plato, and transferred the troops
of the Edwin Lewis to the two latter boats, then ordered on board of my boat -- the Edwin Lewis
-- the pilot of the Plato, named Wm.C. Mandel, instructing him to pilot the Lewis to the steamer
Boardman. After the troops had been transferred from the Boardman to the Lewis, the pilot was
to take the latter vessel to the place designated. When we arrived at the side of the Boardman,
which was aground near the mouth of Ashepoo River, and had relieved her of her troops, Col.
Bayley, and, I think, Col. Montgomery, came on board the Lewis. Col. Montgomery wished to
change pilots, placing my pilot on board the Boston, and a navy pilot on board the Lewis. I told
him in the presence of Col. Bayley that Gen. Birney had sent a pilot with me who knew the
channel, and who had orders to take the troops up. I then asked my own pilot, Mr. Savage, what
had become of the pilot Gen. Birney had placed on my boat. "He has left us," said he. "and
gone on board the Boardman, saying that the General had ordered him to pilot that vessel." I
then asked Savage how we were to find the place at which the troops were to be taken. He
replied: "I don't know; I never was on an expedition that the pilot was not told where he was
going. I know the way up Ashepoo River, but it is six years since I have been over it I can find the
place, if they will only name it." All this was said in the presence of Col. Bayley and Col.
Montgomery. Col. Bayley, commanding the troops on the Lewis, then told me he was ready to
go, and gave me orders to proceed up the river. I took a hawser from the Boardman to pull her
off, and succeeded in getting her to her anchor, when she was afloat. The Captain of the
Boardman then said, "Let go our hawser and I will follow the Boston up." We started up the
river, watching every bend, in order to keep in the channel and discover the fleet. Col. Bayley
was in the pilot-house, I think, all of the time, and did not at any time tell me where I was to stop
the vessel or land the troops, until we had been up the river and passed the obstructions -- near
which we were bailed -- for a distance of about a mile. It was then the Colonel ordered me to
turn and go back to the Boston. On reaching the Boston, we found her aground. Col.
Montgomery came on board the Lewis, and Col. Bayley for the first time, exhibited a chart, and
said our place of destination was at a point where there was a sharp curve in the river. Then
Pilot Savage said. "It must be in Mosquito Creek." On the Colonel asking him if he knew where
it was, he answered "Yes; we must be ten miles above it." After an unsuccessful effort to float
the Boston, we went to the mouth of Musquito Creek, and there discovered the fleet. Capt.
Young, of your staff, then ordered me to take him on board, and go down he river to report to
you, as you had proceeded in that direction, to ascertain positively if the Lewis and Boston had
gone up. We met you, and received your orders to disembark the troops at once, return to the
assistance of the Boston, take her troops and horses on board, and use every precaution in
approaching her. We came within a mile of the Boston, grounded, backed off, and fell down to
where the Plato was aground -- a short distance below. There we took on board, troops that had
already gone to the Plato, also other troops that came down the river and through the marsh on
our left. Very respecfully submitted, your obedient servant, C.M. Hancock,
Captain steamer Edwin Lewis.
Hd. Qrs. 34th USCT
Near Boyd's Neck, SC
Dec. 5 1864
The Dept of the South is out on another Expedition, not Johns Island this time , but the Main
Land - We Landed from our transports at Boyd's Neck a point 20 miles up Broad River -
opposite Whale Island.
We left Hilton Head at 2 O'clock A.M. Monday Morning - the 29th inst.- and steamed up Broad
River - but the Fog was so thick - and night so dark that the Boats got Scattered I think full one
half of them were aground. Instead of landing at Daylight, as anticipated - The Boat's that were
not aground or lost in the small rivers - were back to Hilton Head.
The second effort was made at once - by dark of Monday The troops had effected a safe
landing - I was on Steamer Delaware with my own & Col. Beecher's Regt. - having the largest
Boat, we were the last to disembark when we did disembark (about dark Monday) the other
forces had pushed out some 3 or 4 miles to-ward the Rail Road - Genl Hatch was in Command
It seems that he failed for some cause to follow the Directions of his Guides - some say he left
them back at the landing. At any rate he got lost and marched a number of unnecessary miles
consequently failed to strike the R.R. the afternoon of his landing. The Attack was made about
10 A. M. Tuesday. The fight lasted until 4 P.M. without any intermission. We found the Enemy
some three Miles from his works - he made a good fight but gradually fell back to take Shelter in
his formidable works near the R.R.
Now I will tell you what part the 34th took in the operations of the day. I was ordered to take
position at a cross road and hold it - Two (2) Howitzers and a Co. of Marines were sent to me. It
was an important position - about 10 A.M. Monday - the enemy made an attack on me but was
repulsed with considerable loss - He did not know that I had Artillery - and when he got quite
close to my lines both pieces were opened with a volley of musketry - That commenced and
ended the fight - At 12 noon Genl Foster sent me orders to advance on the Coosawhatche
Road - a road opposite from the one taken by Genl Hatch and his force - I was to advance 5
miles - to Bee's Creek (near the R.R. at Grahamville) I advanced two (2) miles on the Road -
when I came upon a formidable Earth works - with long lines of Rifle Pits - Two companies of
Rebel Cavalry with two light pieces of Artillery were found there. The Enemy fell back quickly as I
advanced - occasionally exchanging shots with the skirmishing line - 3 miles was yet to pass to
find Bee's Creek I was to hold a cross road near this Creek and prevent reinforcements from
passing from Charleston to the Battlefield - On reaching the Road I left the Main force (with the
Artillery) and advanced one mile with the Skirmish line - Major Anderson Fosters chief of staff at
this time came up - I informed him that my position was one that could not be held with so little a
force - that I was confident the enemy was beyond the Creek with a large force He replied that
he thought their was no force or works near us, - Major come with me and we will settle the
questions at once - I at once ordered the skirmish line to advance and the Major & myself rode
up to the advance line of our skirmishers.
In ten seconds the Air was full of Shrapnell and Grape & Canister thrown by the enemy from their
front near the side of the road -
The Major's horse took its rider rappidly from all danger - The skirmisher were ordered back My
horse was struck and badly hurt. I had none killed - 6 of the Men were badly wounded, two mortal
all were brought from the field The Major did not stop until he had reached Genl Foster's Hd.
Qrs. at the landing some 6 miles to the rear - At 10 o'clock that night I received an order from
Genl Foster to Fall back at once and hold the position held by me in the morning - awaiting there
for further orders from Genl Hatch - I reached the position about midnight and found Genl Hatch
with his whole force His fight was over & his forces defeated ------
Things were in great confusion that night - The Next morning - the good friend the Spade was
brought into use & we now hold the position. I was sent early in the morning of the Battle to hold -
it is three miles from the Landing - a good position - We hear nothing from Sherman - Heavy
fireing is to-day heard in the direction of Savannah. He is expected in that Quarter. We will hold
our position here until Sherman come up Supplies are here for him -
Do not fail to send me the things I wrote to you for - Willard will take care of them and send them
at once to me
W W Marple
Congressional Medal of Honor
April 11, 1895.
Hon. Daniel S. Lamont,
Secretary of War.
Dear Sir: I have the honor to request that the Congressional Medal of Honor, conferred for volun-
tary acts of conspicuous gallantry during the War of the Rebellion, be awarded to Second
Lieutenant George W. Brush (afterward captain), 34th U. S. C. T., and of which I was at the time
of the occurrence lieutenant-colonel. Captain Brush now resides at No. 2 Spencer place,
Brooklyn, New York. The service rendered by Lieutenant Brush is set forth in my affidavit, hereto
Very respectfully yours,
W. W. Marple,
Late Colonel 34th U. S. C. T.
Brevet Brig. General.
From statements which I received directly from Colonel James Montgomery, and from
information obtained at the time from other sources, I know that on the 24th day of May, 1864,
Lieutenant George W. Brush, of the 34th United States Colored Troops, rescued and saved the
lives of some four hundred of his comrades from the steamer Boston, aground in the Ashepoo
River, South Carolina.
This heroic act on the part of Lieutenant Brush and the four brave soldiers from the Fourth
Massachusetts Cavalry, who volunteered to accompany him in his perilous work, is the more
deserving of praise for the reason that this officer was a long distance from the steamer; he
could not receive orders from his superior officers—procuring the only boat that was available,
under a most destructive fire from a rebel battery on the river bank, made repeated trips to the
wrecked steamer, until all on board were safely landed.
W. W. Marple,
Late Colonel 34th U. S. C.'T.
Brevet Brig. General.
Duly sworn to April 9th, 1895.
Subject: Medal of Honor, 464,275.
January 21, 1897
Dr. George W. Brush,
Late Capt. 34th U. S. Colored Troops, No. 2 Spencer Place, Brooklyn, N. Y. "Sir: I have the
honor to inform you that, by direction of the President, and in accordance with the act of
Congress approved March 3, 1863, providing for the presentation of medals of honor to such
officers, non-commissioned officers and privates as have most distinguished themselves in
action, the Assistant Secretary of War has awarded you a medal of honor for conspicuous
gallantry in action on the Ashepoo River, South Carolina, May 24, 1864.
In making the award the Assistant Secretary used the following language:
This officer voluntarily commanded a boat crew which went to the rescue of a large number of
Union soldiers on board the stranded steamer Boston, and with great gallantry succeeded in
conveying them to shore, being exposed during the entire time to a heavy fire from a rebel
The medal has been forwarded to you to-day by registered mail. Upon the receipt of it please
advise this office thereof.
F. C. Ainsworth
Colonel U. S. Army
Chief, Record and Pension Office
Albany, N. Y.
Jan. 26th, 1897.
Col. F. C. Ainsworth, U. S. Army,
Washington, D. C.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of Jan. 21st, 1897,
stating that by the direction of the President, the Assistant Secretary of War had awarded me a
medal of honor
In July 1864 they would be back in Beaufort, S. C. In August 1864 they would be moved up the
St. Johns River to Magnolia, Fla. through October. In November they were moved to Devaux's
Neck South Carolina through January 1865. On July 1 Company B would sail with the
expedition to North Edisto River and land at White Point. They skirmished all morning with Co. B
in the advance. 2 men were wounded. On July 9 Company B would be on John's Island where
one man was wounded in fighting that took place from daylight till 9 am.
In February they were sent to Charleston South Carolina except companies I and K who were
sent to Hilton Head. In March 1865 back to Jacksonville Florida. In April 1865 companies A and
B were sent to Fernandina. In May Company F and I were sent to Baldwin Florida. July
Company F was sent to Fort Reed Florida. In August Company K was split off and sent to
Yellow Bluff Florida. By October 1865 the Regiment was split all over the State of Florida:
Gainsville, Ocala, Newmansville, Lake City, Cedar Keys, Palatka, Fort Reed, and Jacksonville.
On the 1st of November Company A was stationed at Ocala, Florida on the 22d of November
company A went on board the Steamer "Silver Springs:" for Jacksonville and arrived there on
November 25th. In November Co C and I finally arrives in St. Augustine. The units will stay in
place until Feb 1866 when they will move to Jacksonville.
"It is always best to take for granted that
your opponent is at least as smart as you
Col. James Montgomery