The 76th N.Y. at Gettysburg.
By: C. W. Cook, Sergeant Co. G, 76th NY
|Published in the National Tribune May 19, 1887|
Editor National Tribune: Maj. Gen. John C. Robinson, in writing of the First corps and its important services at the battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863 made a number of mistakes. One was in naming the regiments that composed Gen. Cutler's Brigade on that day. He puts the 96th N.Y. where the 76th should have been, as the 96th was not in Cutler's Brigade.
I speak from personal knowledge, as I was there on that day, a member of Co. G, 76th N.Y.
The 76th led the First Corps down from Emmittsburg that morning, and was the first in the fight after the cavalry opened the ball. We were on the extreme right of the line when formed, where we were soon flanked by the enemy and got awfully cut up, losing nearly all our officers and half our men killed and wounded. Maj. A. J. Grover was killed.
We were obliged to fall back, but reformed and went in again, and stayed until the Eleventh Corps fell back and left one flank exposed, causing us again to fall back, this time to the cemetery. I don't like to be left out in the cold, when we did and suffered as much as any other regiment on the field that day. Give us honorable mention with other regiments, and I am satisfied.
C. W. Cook, Sergeant, co. G, 76th N.Y., Janesville, Wis.
Transcribed by B. Conrad Bush, who also transcribed Moses Whitney's defense of Cook's letter.
A DAY AT GETTYSBURG
New Yorker Tells of a Lively and Rather
Published in the National Tribune, April 7, 1898
Editor National Tribune: Having seen nothing of late from my comrades of the 76th N.Y., I will try to stir them up by calling to mind a few incidents connected with the battle of Gettysburg.
On the last day of June, 1863, the 76th N.Y. was mustered for pay by Maj. Grover, commanding, but it being late in the day before the business was completed, and our company being on picket, the certificates for muster were not signed that night by the officer.
Before another sun had set, Maj. Grover, with nearly one third of the men who had answered to their names at this muster, were mustered into the great army from the roll call of which none will be absent.
Maj. Grover was killed early in the action, and Capt. John E. Cook, being ranking officer, took command. Lt. Cahill, of Co. B, fell, and Capt. Story, Lieut.'s Button and Carter, all of Co. B, were wounded. Capt Story died in Gettysburg.
I saw Frank Gay, a tent-mate of mine for two years, fall, struck by a bullet. I stooped to pick him up, when a second shot struck his head and he was past help. I left him and went on after the regiment.
I passed up the hill through the corn, while the bullets were coming after me lively, and the Johnny rebs were calling "Halt, you Yank." There was so much noise there just then that I did not try to hear, and did not halt. There was a wood-pile on top of the hill, and I wanted to find out what was behind it.
I got there and found one of my company, Charley
Hill*, another of my old tent-mates. I asked him if he knew where the rest
of the regiment was?
"Yes," he said; "what is left of them are down there in the woods."
I had been having a little fun with the Johnnies over in the cornfield and been left. I did not know when the regiment started to leave the field.
The 76th went into the fight that morning with 348 men and 27 officers and in half an hour lost two officers killed and 16 wounded, 27 men killed and 124 wounded, making a total in half an hour of 18 officers and 151 privates, or over half the former and nearly half the latter.
Hill and I left the shelter of the wood-pile to hunt up the regiment, and came across Lieut. S.E. Sanders, Co. G, shot through the foot, and unable to get to the rear as fast as he would like. We helped him off the field, carried him to town, and put him in a warehouse beside the railroad track.
After binding up his foot the best I could, I took a canteen and went for some water. I went down- stairs and opened the door to go out. The streets were full of men in gray and butternut. The greeting was: "Hello Yank; whar you'uns goin? I recon yo's our prisoner. Whar'yo' gun?"
I told them my gun was up-stairs, and I was going across the street for some water, pointing to a pump in sight.
"All right," they answered; "be quick about it, and don't try to go any farther."
I got the water, went back into the house, and went to work dressing wounds. Our Surgeon in charge conferred with the rebel Surgeon, and got a number of us prisoners detailed to work in the hospitals.
So I put a white cloth around my arm, as a hospital badge, and went to work taking care of the wounded. We came and went wherever we liked inside the rebel lines, and worked a number of days bringing off wounded from the first day's battlefield.
In the second day's fight we came near being wiped out by our own shells falling onto the first day's field while we were at work there.
When Gen. Lee gave up the job of going to Washington by the way of the Baltimore Pike, he left me in Gettysburg. Any of you who want to know how it was done, ask Sam Sanders, the Lieutenant that was shot through the foot.
Wake up, members of the old 76th and let us hear from you. Fight the old battles over.
C. W. Cook, Sergeant, Co. G, 76th N.Y., Grinnell, Iowa.
Transcribed by B. Conrad Bush
* - "Charley Hill" is Charles
** - "Lieut. S.E. Sanders" is Lieutenant Samuel E. Sanders
By: Charles W. Cook, Co. G, 76th
NY Volunteer Infantry
|Published: National Tribune, March 22, 1900|
The 76th NY was detailed as wagon-guard on June 29, 1863 and marched 30 miles to Emmitsburg. The crossing of fields was made necessary by the blockading of the road by ambulances, ammunition trains, etc., all going in the direction of Gettysburg. An old farmer living about 100 rods from the road, up a private lane, stood a perfect picture of wonder and despair, because he could not persuade the men that "Dare ish no road up dis way." The regiment had turned up the lane for the purpose of taking to the fields to avoid the crowd in the main road, and the old fellow addressed each officer as he came up, with his plaintive plea. Yet on moved that regiment and others, convincing the o'l fellow by the time the movement was completed that there was a very wide road that way.
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