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again, a little more distinct, which con- articles in the JOURNAL have brought me vinced me that a train was approaching from old associates is one from Bro. Frank from the west. We were standing on a W. Raymond, an old “Erie" man.
As an high embankment at the foot of a grade. engineer in military service during the Once more the whistle sounded, plainer entire war period, Brother Raymond had than before, and I shook my sleeping part- an eventful career. ner and asked: “Are your red lights Brother Raymond went into the Erie burning?” He replied: “I guess so." I shops at Elmira as an apprentice in 1856, said: “Better be sure about it, for I think under Master Mechanic Bruce Goodell. a train is coming.” While he was trying In 1860 he was put on the road as fireman to arouse the brakeman and inquiring as for a short term, when he was promoted to to the condition of the lights, I heard the engineer. At the breaking out of the war rumble of the wheels and a signal for he was running between Susquehanna and brakes. Without further consideration, I Hornellsville. Answering an advertisement made a flying leap from the side door of for engineers and machinists for governthe caboose down to the forty-foot fill and ment service, he and Theodore Mumford against the fence. Simultaneous with my went to Washington and entered the milimovement there was a crash overhead, and tary service on the roads in Virginia. In three flat cars were piled up against and 1862, three trains with their crews were over our caboose. When the crash was captured by the Confederates six miles over, Sullivan and his crew came tunibling south of Manassas Junction. The engidown the bank, and last of all my poor neers were John Federly, Ed Johnson and fireman, who had just awakened and was the subject of this sketch. They were pain a terrible state of mind because no one roled at Culpepper and released. Brother had warned him of his danger. There Raymond was transfi rred to Nashville, have been critical times in my life when if June 3, 1863, and ran on that division until I had stopped to explain to others what the close of the war. was about to happen, I might possibly An agent of the New Orleans & Mobile have earned a complimentary obituary. Railroad having bought a lot of engines But, then, who would have written up and cars from the government at Nashthese notes? Luckily, no great damage ville, Brother Raymond, B. W. Custer, was done. A couple of hours' work John Headley, Tim Galvin, C. C. Jarvis cleared the little wreck. The red lights and Wesley Charles were engaged to were put in first-class order and again we deliver the equipment at New Orleans. slumbered. A post twelve miles back had Headley died at New Orleans of yellow feared an attack, and had sent to us for fever. Raymond and Custer, after runsome of our troops. Some of our cavalry ning there for eighteen months, went to was sent to the threatened point.
the Pennsylvania Central. After several As we passed through the little village years' service on that road and the Louisof Greenville, I noticed among the stores ville & Nashville road, my adventurous and shops on the front street, near the comrade drifted to New Mexico and Ari. railroad, a little, low cabin, with one door zona, and since 1880 has been mining and one window. Over the door was the in that desolate region, being at present sign, “A. Johnson, Tailor.” The little superintendent of the Empire State Gold shop was closed. Its proprietor had gone Company. to another field of action. He had become Besides the names mentioned above, Military Governor of Tennessee, Vice- Brother Raymond mentions the names of President of the United States, and in a Ben Smith, The. Livingston, Wm. Russell, few weeks, by the act of an assassin, was Pat McGowan, Ad. Hayes, Pete Lemaroux to be called to preside over the destinies of and Mart Gwin, which I wish to add to the the greatest republic on earth.
roll already recorded in previous articles.
I am tempted to give the substance of Among the interesting letters that my Brother Raymond's letter a wider publicity
than was intended by its author, because I their gruesome task. The entire force of know it will interest many of our old con- the motive power department, including temporaries who doubtless still survive. Colonel Maginnis and his staff, were await
Brother Raymond was an active partici- ing the arrival of Shafer and his burial pant in the campaign against Hood, and squad; and the barkeepers at the favorite mentions the interesting circumstance that resort near the depot were kept busy a day Colonel Duncan Hood, a son of the dis- and a night handing out drinks and cigars tinguished Confederate leader, is at pres- at the expense of the victims. ent superintendent of the Gladstone mine,
D. J. BROWN. not far from Brother Raymond's location. Brother Raymond enjoys intimate social One of the Old War Veteran Engineers. relations with Colonel Hood, who, he says,
NEWARK, N. J., Jan. 5, 1903. is a graduate of West Point, and as com
EDITOR JOURNAL: Being one of the mander of a regiment in the Spanish
veteran war engineers, I was pleased to American War made a fine record.
With other interesting reminiscences, Brother Raymond relates the following amusing incident: The battle of Nashville being fought quite near the city, there were many visitors to the battlefield when the enemy had retired. Among these was a party of locomotive engineers, one of them being the eccentric Lafe Shafer. As might have been expected on a battlefield so a large city, the clothing of many of the dead had been searched, probably in most cases more for souvenirs than for valuables. A mounted officer seeing the group of railroad men, and supposing them to be ghouls, rode up to them and demanded to know the object of their presence. Lafe, of course, acted as spokesman, and in his queer, off-hand way gave the officer what proved to be an unsatisfactory explanation. The officer declared with an oath that they were there to rob the dead, and added, “I will put you at better work.” And calling a sergeant, who was in charge of the burial squad, he ordered him to take charge of
Member of Div. 157. the party, supply them with shovels and read the letters from Brothers Brown and set them to burying the dead. One of the Courtenay. As I was located at Huntsville, engineers, who had been separated from Ala., I also took part in the Hood raid. the others, seeing that his comrades were When the advance of Hood's army apin trouble, made good his escape and lost proached Decatur there was quite a battle no time in getting into town and reporting fought between them and the Union forces the situation to Colonel Maginnis. The stationed there. I had taken General colonel was so delighted at getting a joke Granger and staff to Decatur and lay with on Shafer that he declined to take any my engine on the north bank of the Tensteps for their release. But Major Stevens, nessee River, the railroad bridge having the superintendent, learning of the matter, been destroyed previously. A pontoon communicated with the commander of the bridge which had been thrown across the post, and the men were soon relieved of river was the only crossing for soldiers and
W. Y. ROHRBACH,
teams. General Granger had his headquar- fort, south of the city, where breastworks ters a few rods from where my engine were being thrown up, and as a reward for lay. I had a good view of part of the their curiosity were put under guard, given fight; saw a colored regiment charge a a pick or shovel, and put to work. Guards patch of woods where a Confederate were scouring the city and all idle men battery was located and making it quite being taken out and put to work. I was hot for our small fort at Decatur. The fortunate to see them before they saw me, colored troops could not stand the recep
and crawled into the firebox of a distion they got, so they retreated on the mautled locomotive boiler, remaining there double-quick, leaving some of their com- until dark. rades dead and wounded on the field.
After the fight curiosity again led many That night we returned to Huntsville and to visit the battlefield, where they were found shop men taking all the machinery pressed into service to bury the dead. I out of railroad shops, loading it on cars, saw horses taken from carriages or wherand shipping it to places of safety. One of ever they were found on the streets of the the machinists loaded a jackass on the city, it did not matter whose they were, tender of a dead engine, and in that way and pressed into government service. took him to Nashville. The next day I Mike Lipman, whose circus was in Nashtook a train of supplies and machinery to ville at the time, had his performing Stevenson. On our arrival there we were horses taken and put into government ordered to return light to Huntsville for service until after the Nashville fight. A another train. We had orders to pass number of engines had been sent to Louistrains at different points, the last two at ville, Ky., and after the fight ten of us Scottsboro. One train came in due time; were ordered to take each an engine to the other failed to show up. About 11:00 Bowling Green, Ky., with Frank Scofield, A. M. the crew came along, having footed assistant train dispatcher at Nashville, in it all the way from Huntsville. This was charge of the lot. After lying at Bowling the crew that Brother Courtenay never Green one week we received orders, about heard of. After holding a council of war 8 P. M., to fire up and take our engines to we returned to Stevenson, and on our ar- Louisville. Of course, we expected Hood rival the engineer was put under arrest to be close after us. We lay at Louisville and kept a prisoner for a short time and several weeks, and then returned to Nashthen discharged. The engine they left off ville with our engines. I went back to track at Huntsville was No. 36, which Huntsville, remaining there until March, Brother Brown found at Decatur Junction 1865, when I returned to my home in after the retreat of Hood. They had her Pennsylvania. well warmed up, the lagging being all I would like to hear from all of the old burned off.
boys, especially my old room-mate, Charles After a short rest at Stevenson, I was Reed, of Corning, N. Y., who could give ordered out and coupled onto a train of us a thrilling account of his experiences soldiers. There were twenty trains, mine with guerrillas on the Edgefield and Kenbeing the nineteenth. I think it was the tucky road, among the scrub oaks at the Twentieth Corps. Our first stopping-place top of Baker Hill. I would like to see a was Cowan Station, just north and at the reunion of the surviving war engineers, foot of Cumberland Mountain, where we including all who served under either blue lay for about ten bours and were then or- or gray. I am sure, in this reunion, we dered to move for Nashville, arriving there would have the hearty support and coat 6 P. M., about thirty-six hours after operation of the boys, many of whom are leaving Stevenson. We arrived at Nash- now successful and influential business ville ahead of Hood, remaining there until men, such as J. Y. Smith, who was master after the fight.
mechanic at Alexandria, Va., during the Curiosity led quite a number of the en- war, and who expressed to me several gineers and firemen to go out back of the years ago the same sentiments here given
Our worthy president, Theodore Roosevelt, who is a member of the Firemen's Brotherhood, would no doubt join in welcoming the brothers of the right side of the cab to the Capital city.
Before closing I want to say a few words about the officials of the transportation and machinery departments. I do not think there ever was a road in this country to run so many trains with as few wrecks as were had on the military railroad. I do not remember a single head-on collision between Nashville and Chattanooga, including around the Horn, making a distance of 312 miles the year I ran there. The machinery departments were under firstclass mechanics and engines were kept in excellent condition, and the conductors and engineers would compare favorably with those on any first-class road of today, and as they represented many different roads from Maine to the extreme West, it is certainly a compliment which they all deserve.
W. Y. ROHRBACH,
Mississippi. Since the war we have had many a chat relative to war-time experiences while at Chattanooga and other places.
And I well remember the old buttermilk tank, as it was called, on Raccoon Mountain; and high Whiteside Bridge, so many times destroyed and rebuilt during the war. The last trip I made for the government was just as peace was declared, when I was ordered to take three engines home to the East Tennessee & Georgia Railway. I had to take them over the Whiteside Bridge which,
A Veteran Engineer in War and Peace.
DENVER, COL., Jan. 4, 1903. EDITOR JOURNAL: On reading the January JOURNAL, I was both surprised and pleased to see the letter, “One of the Veteran War Engineers," signed by my old "pard,” Brother Courtenay. (Excuse the term pard, but old veteran war engineers know that it has real fellowship in it.) Brother Courtenay was one of my old associates. I was in the government service
BRO. LW. CLARK, from June, 1863, until the close of the
Member of Div. 186. war in 1865. At that time my headquarters were at Nashville, Tenn., and I visited I think, was two hundred and fifty feet Div. —, which was then located in Nash- high, and built by the army with pine ville. I worked under the following officers poles braced one section on top of another. of the mechanical department: Robert I had two firemen with me, one to open Benjamin, general master mechanic; John switches and the other to fire. But when McGinnis, master niechanic; John Walch, we came to this bridge, I confess I was engine dispatcher. I. Hoyt and D. Hoyt quite nervous and very much in doubt were the timekeepers, and the run was in about riding over it on the engines and any direction the army called for transpor- finally concluded not to do so, ordering tation.
my fireman ahead to the opposite side of I remember well Pop Hobbs, as we called the bridge to catch the engines when they him. He was on the Erie Railway with got over. It was a little up grade, and I me away back in the fifties before the war, started them with what I thought was just and before he migrated to the Ohio and enough steam to carry them over and took
a position on the ground with my eye on And if they are living I would be very glad the rail to watch the result. As the to hear from my old fireman, Charley engines moved slowly over this rickety Clark, whose father and mother lived in looking structure the track settled until I Akron, O. (he is a namesake, but no relacould just see the axle of the truck under tion); and Jim Plant, who was my partner the tender of the last engine, and I was one engine, and Silas George, my glad I was not aboard. But they went partner on another. The engines were over safely, and my fireman stopped them double-crewed, and these two Brothers and waited for me to make the trip afoot. and I ran the same engine.
We had to take all kinds of chances My address is number 4123 Colfax aveduring those war times and were not ex- nue, Denver, Col. I am nearly seventypected to show the white feather, no matter three years old. I was promoted engineer what was required of us. On one trip with on February 6, 1852, and joined Div. 12, at an engine and train between Laverne and Fort Wayne, in 1863, and the insurance in Smyrna, on the Nashville & Northwestern 1868. I am now a member of Div. 186, (now the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Denver, but have been unable to run an Louis) road, we ran through a band of engine for the past eight years. I have, about seventy of Morgan's men who, of however, stood the test of membership in course, gave us their particular attention both the B. of L. E. and the insurance, and made it decidedly uncomfortable and and now I would be delighted to feel the unsafe for a time. We had no guard on touch of fellowship with my old comthe train and we knew what it was to be panions of those stirring times when to run caught, so I can assure you there was no an engine meant a serious strain upon the consideration of condition of track and I
I shall be glad to hear from any made the engine do her best. The bullets one of the old veteran war engineers who whizzed all about, one entering the cab and may still be with us. knocking off the steam gauge, and when
Fraternally yours, we arrived at Nashville I found forty-seven
L. W. CLARK, Div. 186. bullet holes and dents in the tender. I think Brother Courtenay will remember
Eldorado Springs, Mo. me by this incident, and the fact that an engineer in one of the other three crews
NEVADA, Mo., Dec., 1902. was shot through the lungs and kept in EDITOR JOURNAL: I inclose you a pictthe hospital for a long time. But I think ure taken by Mr. McGlynn, of the passenhe got well, and if he is living I would like ger department of the M., K. & T., who very much to hear from him. Brother kindly sent me a copy. Having never Courtenay will also remember the powder seen anything in the JOURNAL from this train, with Charley Coffee as engineer, “neck o' the woods,” and thinking perwhich blew up on the Nashville & North- haps you would like something from the western, when the trees were blown off “Katy,” I decided to forward it to you for close to the ground, the cars reduced to the benefit of the JOURNAL. kindling wood, and forcing engineer Coffee The picture represents the crew of the down against the fire door of the engine train and the station agent at Eldorado and nearly killing him. But strange as it Springs, Mo. Their names, reading from may seem to those who saw the awful force left to right, are as follows: J. A. Pierceof the explosion, except for the loss of an all, fireman; C. 0. Slager, brakeman; siteye Brother Coffee got to be quite well ting on truck, your humble servant, J. W. again.
Jennings, of Div. 179; Harry McPherson, I could write enough to make quite a station agent; P. V. Tugman, conductor, book relative to the difficulties and dangers and John Urquhard, brakeman. of the service as a war engineer, but my The lower picture is the train with the greater wish is to get in touch with my old fireman at the window and myself in gangassociates and acquaintances of that period. way of engine.