Personal Experiences in the Civil War

Oct 16, 2012 by

Personal Experiences in the Civil War by Frederick Tomlinson Peet was first published in 1905 in a limited edition of fifty copies.  If you are a Civil War history buff, this book is a must-have for your library.

from the book:

“One day I was officer of the guard over the house and family of Dr. Gaines, a fierce rebel, who lived there with his wife. He had a fine vegetable garden. General McClellan gave him a guard to protect him and his belongings from our soldiers. The old doctor was very pompous, and would hardly deign to speak to any of the officers, but I heard that some one in his house had been signaling to the enemy, and I placed a sentry under his window, with orders to shoot the first man who attempted it again ; so he had no use for me. And when, in the morning, I saw our Chaplain coming from the house eating some soft bread, I asked Dr. Gaines if I could get some for myself, as I had had nothing but hardtack for months. He replied, with great dignity, that he knew nothing about such things, that Mrs. Gaines must be applied to.

Mrs. Gaines was more agreeable, and gave me a treat in the shape of some rolls and good butter. Old Gaines told us he would dig up the bodies and legs of our soldiers buried in his garden, and throw them in the Chickahominy, after our departure. We heard that he later entertained the Confederate officers with the wine which we had guarded for him, a large stock of which was stored in his cellar. Our regiment was at this time scattered over the army, and our company was ordered, May 31st, to General Sumner’s Corps, on the south side of the river. Here we were on picket most of the time. I remember one day placing a picket at the nearest permanent picket point to Richmond, seven miles away. June 9th. General ” Jebb” (J. E. B.) Stuart made his celebrated raid around our army. Passing our right wing, he got well to the rear, destroyed our stores at White House, tore up railroads, passed behind us, and finally escaped into Richmond by passing our left flank. We had all the cavalry out, but he was too quick for us. ”

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