CAPTAIN J. CHURCH HATCH
Was born in Groton, Tompkins county, N. Y., May eleventh, 1834. His grandfather on his father's side served in the Revolutionary war, and three of his father's brothers in the war of 1812. The only brother of Captain Hatch enlisted in the Second Illinois Cavalry in 1861, was captured at Fort Donelson in the spring of 1862, and died of starvation and rebel cruelty, at Macon, Georgia, September first, 1862. The Captain was married in 1855, to Miss Stilson, of Dryden. His occupation, previous to his enlistment, was farming.
He enlisted as a private in Company C, October twelfth, 1861, but was appointed Sergeant on the twenty-fifth of the same month, and promoted to Second Lieutenant October sixteenth, 1862, and to First Lieutenant February seventh, 1863.
He was in command of his company from November eleventh, 1862, and was recommended for promotion to a Captaincy June twenty-fifth, 1863, by Major A. J. Grover, commanding the Regiment, and repeatedly during the fall and winter by both Major Young and Lieutenant-Colonel Cook, but Captain Hatch is a true, out-spoken patriot, and the people of the State of New York in the dark days of 1862, placed in the executive chair that bitter partizan, Horatio Seymour, and owing to a letter sent by some of the PRETENDED democratic FRIENDS of the Captain to “Governor SAYMOUR,” signed by one H. M. Ball, of McLean, he was induced to "spare the feelings of the great democratic party of McLean, and withhold his commission." Thus to please this noble band of "PATRIOTS," the commission was withheld until January twenty-sixth, 1864, the Lieutenant manfully doing his duty at the front, wondering why his recommendation was not heeded, and all unmindful of the treachery at home, which thus insiduously and cowardly deprived him of his deserved promotion.
He was engaged in all the battles and skirmishes in which the Regiment participated from the fifth of September, 1862, to the twentieth of October, 1864, except Mine Run. He was in the following battles and skirmishes :South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Laurel Hill, Spottsylvania, North Anna, (or Jericho Ford), Coal Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Poplar Grove.
At the Weldon Railroad he captured the battle-flag of the Twenty fifth South Carolina Regiment, nearly losing his life. The flag was left in a cornfield twenty or twenty-five rods in front of the breastworks. He was bringing in the flag, with fifteen or twenty rebels, when he imprudently raised the color and was mistaken for a rebel. The Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania, on the right of the Seventy-sixth, prepared to open fire, which was prevented by one of the Seventy-sixth calling out that it was Captain Hatch with prisoners. He was, for this brave act, mentioned in the report of the Brigade commander, (see page 309). He was discharged by reason of expiration of time, October twentieth, 1864, and returned to his farm in McLean, N. Y.
The preceding biography is from the 1867 Regimental History by A.P. Smith.
From Col. Cook's report on Weldon Railroad: "Capt. J. C. Hatch, of Company G, jumped over the works as the enemy retired and brought in the colors of the Twenty-fifth South Carolina (rebel) Regiment. "
Born in Groton, married son of Virgil and Caroline (Little), farmer; in battles of South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, died in Groton. (obituary, personal communication from Betty Auten)
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