The 9th New York's "Hawkin's Zouaves" assault the Confederate batteries on Roanoke Island
Harpers Weekly, March 1, 1862
An existing military club-the New York Zouaves-formed the nucleus for the Ninth New York Volunteer Infantry, lead by Colonel Rush C. Hawkins from 1861 to 1863. Throughout its two-year existence the Ninth saw action mainly along the Carolina coast with the exception of Antietam and Fredricksburg. The Ninth saw hard campaigning and won a reputation as a fighting regiment. In June 1861 the regiment was sent to Newport News, Virginia, where a skirmish took place on 5 July. Their first active service was two months later as part of an army-navy expedition against the North Carolina coastal forts. On the August 28 the Ninth helped seize Fort Clark as well as Fort Hattras, cutting off the sea channel through which the Confederate supplies had been transported inland. In February 1862 the regiment accompanied Major General Ambrose Burnside against enemy works on Roanoke Island, participating in an offensive that overwhelmed a force under Brigadier General Henry Wise. Later Hawkins' Zouaves saw action near Elizabeth City and South Mills, before being transferred to garrison duty Norfolk and then back to Newport News. The other skirmishes took place in Hatteras, North Carolina on August 28 and 29th 1861, Camden, North Carolina on 19 April 1862, Rainbow Banks, North Carolina on 9 July 1862 and South Mountain, Maryland on 7 September 1862. The majority of these engagements involved nocturnal marches, leading to skirmishes as they battled for control of the Southern coastline and forts. Of the Ninth's decorum and record during their coastal campaigns Matthew Graham surmised, "Its record we can be proud of…. It perils were both by land and water…. Defeat never befell it. Its experience was a succession of honorable victories."1
During its numerous war campaigns, the New York Ninth had developed a unique relationship with the 3rd Georgia. In 1861 they first meet near the jungles of the Dismal Swamp in North Carolina. The 3rd Georgia under the command of Colonel Wright were involved in this battle. The Battle at Antietam marked their third encounter with this regiment, and according to Zouave John E. Whitney, the 9th got the upper hand "in each engagement defeating it badly, and capturing a number of its men."2
In his thorough account of the Ninth's activities, the official historian of the regiment, Lieutenant Matthew Graham of Company A, devotes a chapter to the blue and gray reunions that occurred between the 9th New York and the 3rd Georgia in The Ninth Regiment New York Volunteers (Hawkins' Zouaves): Being a History of the Regiment and Veteran Association From 1860 to 1900 [p. 464-492]:
The regiments [9th and 3rd] were afterward in contact at South Mills or Sawyer 's Lane, South Mountain, Antietam and part at least of the Third at Suffolk so that the name "third Georgia," became in a measure like a household word in the Ninth. After the was ended and peace restored some of the survivors of the Ninth whose business took them occasionally into Southern States-Georgia more particularly-endeavored to find members of the Third Georgia, with whom they would like to compare notes on the "late unpleasantness," and talk over the "old heroic days." Former members of the respective regiment did occasionally meet, and informal invitations were extended in a general way from one the other, to meet one or the others of regimental associations at their annual reunions. Mr. Richard H. Jackson, a survivor of the Ninth, finally put himself in communication with the Third Georgia Survivor's Association, which led to a correspondence between said officers and those of the Hawkins' Zoauves Association, and a formal invitation from the former to the latter, to attend their annual reunion, to be held at Fort Valley, Ga., on July 31st and August 1st, 1889. The invitation was extended by the Third Georgia Survivor's Association at their annual meeting assembled, the motion being carried unanimously amidst great enthusiasm. The reading of the correspondence which led up to it was received with hearty cheers by the survivors present. One of them shouted "Thought we had killed them all at Sharpsburg, sorry we killed any of that kind!" another said "Let us run the reunion until we can telegraph and have some of them down."
[p.466] The correspondence between the two officers of the two associations, together with the invitation, was received and read at the annual meeting of the Hawkins' Zouaves Association, April 19, 1889, together with the following letter transmitting the same:
The Survivors' Association, 3rd Georgia Veterans, Madison, GA., July 24, 1888
Mr. J.C.J. Langbein, New York City.
Dear Sir:---In behalf of the Association, most cordially do I second the enclosed invitation to attend the reunion. Come if possible. Taste the sweets of peace with us in partaking in a Georgia Barbecue. That is what "Banquet" means, as stated in the invitation card. We were foes-Let us be friends.
Yours very cordially,
W.A. Wiley, Asst. Secretary
The communication was received with cheers and amid great enthusiasm the invitation was accepted; resolutions expressing the kindly feelings entertained by the Ninth New York for their old foes were passed, and the Secretary directed to forward the same to the officers of the 3rd Georgia Association, and committees appointed with power to make all necessary arrangements for the trips to Georgia the July following. Everything being completed, the delegation to attend the Georgia reunion left New York by steamer and arrived at Savannah, July 30, 1889, where they were met by a committee of the 3rd Georgia Survivors, headed by Secretary A.A. Winn of the Association. Other committees [p. 467] both military and civic also called upon them to welcome them to the soil of Georgia. The speeches delivered were brimful of fraternity, patriotism and kind wishes and the delegation was literally overwhelmed with invitations to partake of the hospitality of the citizens and of various organizations represented by the committees. Extended notices of the arrival o the ex-Zouaves, their object in coming to Georgia, etc., with sketches of the war services of both regiments-flattering to both-were published in the press of Savannah, Macon, Madison, Fort Valley, Atlanta, and other towns throughout the State, all of them filled with expressions of fraternal greetings and cordial good will, and in every instance breathing a spirit of earnest patriotism.
Short excursions to nearby points of interest, organized and occupied by the citizens of Savannah, occupied every moment of the time the delegation was in the city. At Macon, on the way to Fort Valley, there was a repetition of the friendly reception received at Savannah.
Upon arriving at Fort valley the 3rd Georgia Survivors were drawn up in a body at the depot to receive them. These were supported by a great crowd of citizens, and the welcome extended was flattering in the extreme. A salute of thirteen guns was fired, and an informal [p. 468] reception held amidst great enthusiasm and excitement, cheers and hand-shaking, when they all proceeded to the grand-stand where the formal reception was held. The Macon Telegraph of August 1, 1889, published the following from its Fort Valley correspondent:
"Fort Valley July 31st-The people here are wild with enthusiasm over the reunion of the 3rd Georgia Regiment, which opened formally to-day under the most favorable and pleasing circumstances. Fort Valley is proud of the opportunity of doing honor to herself in honoring the grand old 3rd Georgia Regiment, and a delegation of the 9th New York Volunteers-Hawkins' Zouaves-of New York., whose coming so far from home for the sole purpose of meeting fraternally, a former foe in one of their regimental reunions, evidences a spirit of magnanimity and manhood worthy of the highest admiration, and upon whom it has been most lavishly bestowed by the men of the 3rd Georgia Regiment and citizens of Fort valley. Upon the arrival of the new Yorkers, on the 11:30 train this morning, thirteen rounds were fired in their honor by orders from Colonel Claiborn Snead, Colonel of the 3rd Georgia. They received an old-time Georgia welcome and one which they will never fail to appreciate, or which they will ever forget. After the reception a column was formed on Main Street, headed by Card's Band, and the regiment together with their guests, marched to the grand stand, where the address of welcome was most eloquently and touchingly delivered by Mayor A.C. Riley, who formally turned over to Fort Valley's guests a quit claim deed to the town and keys to the guard-house."
During the course of Mayor Riley's remarks he said: "Survivors of the Ninth New York veterans of the Hawkins' Zouaves, we give you a cordial welcome. We are glad that you were volunteers. Your presence does more to cement the bonds of love and fellowship than all words of eloquence of all the politicians and philanthropists. It is an honor to your [p. 469] own grand State, t our common country, to yourselves, and is a living monument to the civilization and Christianity of the nineteenth century. If you were not brave men you would not be here to-day. You could not look these old veterans in the eye if you had not met them with unfaltering courage on the field of battle. We congratulate you-the Blue and the Gray-that God has lengthened out your lives to see this day."
After the formal response to the Mayor's greeting had been made by the representative from the 3rd Georgia, Judge Langbein, the Secretary of the Hawkins' Zouaves Association, asked permission to read the following telegraph:
New York, July 1st, 1889
To J.C. Langbein:--Boys at home send greetings to absentees. All Hail, Third Georgia! Once foes-now friends. Hawkins' Zouaves Association
This was received with wild enthusiasm by the Georgians, and a hip, hip hurrah! At the regular business meeting of the 3rd Georgia Survivors, which followed the receptions, these resolutions were adopted:
Whereas, The Hawkins' Zouaves have sent to this, our annual reunion, a delegation to meet with us as friends.
Resolved, That as a manifestation of out appreciation of their friendship, as a testimonial of our lasting friendship fro them, we hereby set apart a page on the minutes of our Association on which shall be entered the names of the delegates.
Resolved, That we hereby tender to the Hawkins' Zouaves, and send them this committee , our grateful greetings of their friendship and fraternal union forever.
[p. 470] A copy of these was delivered to the delegation to be presented to the Hawkins' Zouaves Association at the next meeting.
A reception and ball was tendered to the visiting Zouaves that evening, at one of the leading hotels. The ball was held at the hotel, but the reception extended to every place where a member of the visiting delegation presented himself. Every house was an open one to them and they were received as old friends by all.
On the next day a formal and official welcome to the Zouaves alone was tendered, and speeches were made by several prominent Georgians, members of the 3rd Georgia, and others, Colonel Snead, Capt. J.W. Matthews, C.B. Barrow, John W. Lindsey and others, all spoke eloquently in reference to the era of peace, good will and fraternity, which was so practically illustrated by the presence of their old-time foes, now mingling among them as friends.
Joseph M. Richards, of the 9th New York, replied on behalf of his comrades, in an earnest, patriotic and soul-searching speech, closing in the following words:
"Fewer and still fewer, as the years roll on, will be the trembling hands that will scatter the fragrance of the spring. Fainter and more faint [p. 471] will the voice grow that once answered with a cheer the word of command, until at last eternal silence and peace shall rest over the two great armies whose volleys once shook a continent. Only a few days ago, as we count time, the flowers which were strewn by the gray-haired father and mother, by wife and by child, upon the graves of the Blue and Gray alike, were symbols not only of the sacrifices of those who slept there, and tributes to their bravery, but they were significant of the peace which has diffused as with sunshine this entire land, and of that brotherly feeling which has taken possession of the soldiers' hearts, significant of the determination that there shall be but one nation; significant, also, of the fact that there has been and is still growing a wider area of brotherhood and good feeling among the soldiers of both armies, and a conscious sense that in honoring the grave of the other as well as our own, we are paying a deserved tribute to the courage of the American soldier.
"Mr. John Ruskin tells us, in one of his essays, of the possible changes that may be wrought from a handful of dust which may be gathered up from the streets or highways, or from the valleys slopes or mountain tops; that in that handful of dust are clay and sand and soot and water. Give it time enough, [p. 472] and the clay becomes a sapphire, reflecting rays as blue as the dome of heaven yonder; the sand becomes an opal, the soot a diamond, and the drop of water a blazing star of snow, so wonderful is the chemistry of nature, with its laws of co-operation. Comrades, the dust of our heroes lies along the roadside and highways, in the valley and the thicket in the hidden ravine: it lies along the mountain tops and the riverside. Spirit of our heroes! Wherever you lie, the ages are thine, and the economy thereof is God's. His chemistry never fails, and your dust and your ashes-whether they lie in nameless graves or stone-marked plots-are being wrought upon in the laboratory of the ages, and are the foundation stones-opal, sapphire, diamond-of this vast country, reaching from ocean to ocean, and from gulf to lake."
Comrade Richards' address was followed by impromptu remarks by other Zouaves, among them Walter L. Thompson and Robert H. Alberts. Judge Langbein read a communication which had just been received from New York, as follows:
New York, July 31st, 1889
J.C. Julies Langbein:--
Peace and good will from those of the Hawkins' Zouaves Association who remain behind, to the 3rd Georgia.
The Hawkins' Zouaves association, composed of survivors of the Ninth New York Volunteers, at a meeting held at their headquarters, of the July 16th, 1889, unanimously resolved, that we hereby empower those of our comrades who attend the reunion of the 3rd Georgia [p. 473] Survivors' Association at Fort Valley, Ga., July 31st and August 1st, to cordially and fraternally invite them to the next reunion of our Association on April 19th, 1890.
J.C.J. Langbein, Sec'y.
Walter L. Thompson, Chairman Ex. Com.
The Fort Valley Enterprise, which devoted almost an entire edition to recounting the proceedings of the reunion, thus speaks of this detail of the reception:
"The Judge also read an extract from a sermon delivered by Rev. Clark Wright (one of the survivors of the Ninth, to the Hawkins' Zouaves at their memorial service last May and published in the Westchester (N.Y.) Times, full of noble sentiments toward southern soldiers, and especially toward the 3rd Georgia, which the Zouaves met in several battles.) He also read a letter of great cordiality addressed to Commodore Dexter, commending him for his praiseworthy efforts to bring about a meeting between these tow commands. He also presented the regiment with a souvenir from Mrs. Johnson (handed to him when was boarding the steamer for Savannah), being stone taken from a wall at Antietam, in which Federal and Confederate bullets are imbedded. But the tide of enthusiasm, which at this point was well-nigh lapping at the highest dike, burst over all restraint when Judge Langbein brought forth a shield of immortelles of blue and gray, bearing across its face the words '9th Ninth New York Volunteers to 3rd Georgia Regiment-Peace and Goodwill.' This was presented in eloquent words and was a charge in this contention of fraternal feeling which made the veterans of the 3rd Georgia waver, and when the judge concluded, the Colonel of the old Third, seeing that he was about to lose the day, rushed in the Commodore-the great standby who never flinched in his times of trial-to recover the lost ground, which he did eloquently and in well chosen words."
Commodore Dexter's speech was brimful of fraternal greetings, sentiments of good will and patriotic utterances, many references being made to incidents which occurred during periods the two regiments were facing each other as foes and brought the public part of the reception to a close in a storm of enthusiasm [p. 474] in which the rebel yell and Yankee cheer were again blended.
The return trip of the Zoauves was attended with the same enthusiasm which had marked their journey to Fort valley; the people of Macon and Savannah extending every attention possible, making their stay among them all too short.
At the annual meeting of the Hawkins' Zouaves Association, held at 136 Fifth Ave., New York, on September 30th, 1889, Comrade Richards, on behalf of the visit, and the kind of reception accorded them by the survivors of the 3rd Georgia, and the treatment received at the hands of the veterans and their people, which aroused the greatest enthusiasm among the members present.
A committee of seven was appointed to prepare and forward to the 3rd Georgia Survivors a resolution expressive of the feelings of the Association at the kind of hospitality with which they had received the delegation, and to extend a cordial invitation to the members of that Association to attend the reunion of the Hawkins' Zouaves on the 19th of the April following.
The committee presented the following, which was unanimously adopted:
[p. 475] Resolved, That the reception of this Association bearing our token of "Peace and Good will" to the Survivors' Association of the 3rd Georgia Regiment, at their reunion in July and August last, as described in the report of our delegation, was marked by so warm a hospitality and brotherly attention, that it is meet that an expression of our heartfelt appreciation and grateful acknowledgement be made therefor.
Resolved, That it is our sincere desire to have the opportunity by a return visit from our friends to express also to them at our homes the warm attachment which animates the hearts of the survivors of the old 9th New York Volunteers toward their oft-repeated foe in battle and friends in peace, the survivors of the old 3rd Georgia Regiment, and that we extend to them a hearty invitation to be with us at our next reunion, to held in this city on the 19th day of April 1890, and that a copy of these resolutions be spread on our minutes, and a copy be forwarded to the Survivors' Association, of the 3rd Georgia Regiment, with the urgent request that as many as can will be with us on the 19th of April next.
(Signed) JOHN HASSELL, CHARLES CURIE,
HOSEPH H. STINER, JOHN T. MILLER,
SAMUEL L. MARSH, JAMES DUFFY,
JOHN B. PANNES, President, Hawkins' Zoauves Association.
J.C. Julius Langbein, Secretary.
These were forwarded to W.A. Wiley, Secretary of the 3rd Georgia Survivors' Association, on February 20th, 1890, but as the Association did not hold a meeting until the annual reunion the July following, no action could be taken until then, when the following answer was received:
SAVANNAH, Ga., September 10, 1890.
Judus J.C. Julius Langbein, Secretary,
Hawkins' Zouaves Association New York
Dear Sir:--At the annual reunion of the survivors of the 3rd Georgia Regiment, held at Irvington, Ga., on the 30th and 31st of July 1890, the following resolutions were adopted by a rising vote, three cheers, and the famous "Tiger." Very truly yours,
A.A. Winn, Secretary.
Resolved, That the kindly expression of fraternal feelings shown by the 9th New York Volunteers (Hawkins' Zouaves, at their annual business meeting, held in the City of New York September 30th, 1889, for the Survivors' association, 3rd Georgia Regiment, be, and the same are hereby reciprocated individually and collectively. Resolved, That we accept with heartfelt thanks the Hawkins' Zouaves kind invitation to be present with them at their reunion, April 19, 1891, and we urgently request our Association to see that a delegation attend said meeting.
Resolved, That the 3rd Georgia Survivors in reunion assembled, send greeting and kindly remembrance to the Hawkins' Zouaves, their foes in battle-their friends in peace.
Resolved, further, That our secretary furnish to the Ninth New York Volunteers (Hawkins' Zouaves), a copy of these resolutions.
CLAIBORNE SNEAD. President of the 3rd Georgia Veterans, Augusta, Ga.
A.A. WINN, secretary, Savannah, Ga.
WALTER A WILEY, Asst. Sec'y, Madison, Ga.
As soon as the above resolutions, with the letters of acceptance which accompanied them, were received the preliminary movements toward making the reunion a success were inaugurated. Inasmuch as the coming event was not only the thirtieth anniversary of the organization of the Ninth New York, but also the anniversary of Sawyer's Lane, or South Mills, as known by the Confederates and Federals respectively and in which these two regiments took the most conspicuous parts and suffered the greatest loss, it was the determination of the veterans of the Ninth to make this occasion an historic one in every respect. It was also their wish and intention to enable their friends from Georgia, [p. 477] most of whom had never before visited New York, to enjoy the pleasure of seeing as many places in and about the city of interest and novelty to them, as it was possible to reach during their short stay, and to make every moment of that stay enjoyable and interesting.
The regular Reception Committee consisted of George F. Betts, Edward Jardine, James R. Whiting, James B. Honer, Richard R. Jackson, George W. Debevoise, Robert H. Alberts, John W. Jacobus, Walter L. Thompson, J.C.J. Langbein, Latham A. Fish, Charles Curie, Joseph M. Richards and Richard H. Morris.
On Sunday evening, April 18th, the delegation of the 3rd Georgia, consisting-ladies included-of seventeen persons, arrived by steamer from Savannah. They were met at the wharf by the committee and others of the Zouaves, and an enthusiastic reception was given them. Carriages were in waiting, and after the first salutations were exchanged they were driven to the Hotel Brunswick, where accommodations were provided for them and where they made their headquarters during their stay in New York. Monday was devoted to sightseeing. Carriages were provided and the visitors, escorted by members of the Ninth, enjoyed a ride in Central park and Riverside Drive, and had an opportunity to visit the [p. 478] Museum of Fine arts and of Natural History, and several other interesting places.
The hour for the reunion was set for six o'clock, at which time all the survivors of the Ninth who could possibly reach New York were present-one hundred and fifteen in all. While the Zouaves and their guests of the Third were enjoying an interval of pleasant social converse, previous to entering the supper room, Major R. J. McWhoter, of the 3rd Georgia, introduced Miss Lizzie Snead, the daughter of Colonel Claiborne Snead, of the Third, and also a daughter of the regiment, who in a very charming and earnest manner and in appropriate, well chosen and complimentary language, presented a handsome silk national flag, which she had made with her own hands, to the Hawkins' Zouaves Association. Her little speech was filled with beautiful sentiments suitable to the occasion, and when she concluded the cheers from the veterans of both regiments almost shook the building. Judge Langbein responded on behalf of the Ninth, in a short but toughing address.
Arrangements had been previously been made for a theater party of ladies for the evening and at the conclusion of Judge Langbein's response, the visiting ladies, accompanied by the wives and daughters of several members of the [p. 479] Hawkins' Zouaves Association, were escorted to the play, where they enjoyed the pleasure of seeing a first-class performance as it is given before a metropolitan audience. The speechmaking was still in full swing when the performance ended and the party returned to the hotel. Seats were being provided for them in the balcony of the banquet room, they were escorted thither and for the remainder of the evening listened to the flow of eloquence and viewed the scene of animation and enthusiasm on the floor. The banquet was served in the ballroom of the hotel, which was handsomely decorated for the occasion, the national flag being used lavishly for that purpose. Conspicuous among the decorations were the tattered and moth eaten flags of the Ninth, which they had carried through the great conflict. When the time for speechmaking had arrived Colonel Hawkins arose, and in an exceedingly happy and pleasant address welcomed both comrades and guests to the gathering.
He said in part: "Comrades of the Ninth New York, and friends of the 3rd Georgia let us rejoice that we have lived to realize the simple fact of this occasion, an unimportant event in the history of this nation, but one which emphasizes an existing sentiment for a broader [p. 480] nationality and the vanishing of those imaginary lines, which are supposed to mark the boundary of sections. It is also a rare oasis in the great desert of the usual commonplace of modern life and mutuality, we must ever regard it, and the memories it calls forth, as our most precious possession. The middle-aged men here, assembled to celebrate the birthday of a New York regiment, were soldiers in two of the earliest infantry commands to take the field on either side. They represented the two so- called Empire States of respective sections, and how worthily their courage reflected credit upon the communities to which they belonged has already been recorded." Colonel Hawkins then sketched in a rapid and masterfully manner the progress of the war, the many and great changes made in warfare, armaments and fortifications from time to time during the conflict. He related, facetiously, the details of various meetings between the two regiments in, and dwelt on the mutual respect with which each, no doubt, regarded the other, as a result of such interviews, which brought forth rounds of applause, and hearty laughter; continuing he said: "The war went on. One regiment left the service at the expiration of its terms and before the close, the other fought to the end [p. 481] and went down with the battle-scarred colors that had floated over it through those four long years of unheard-of privations and almost superhuman endeavor, never again to rise above the storm of battle or to recognized as a national emblem. But the star of victory that illumined the banner of the conqueror was one of mercy, tempering the pride of the victorious and softening the sadness of defeat. The scarred veterans of a hundred fields rejoiced that peace had come, and longing eyes and quick beating pulse, looked afar off toward the dear ones and the homes they had left when the bugle blast summoned them to danger, and alas, for many, to the path of fame, which lead only to the field of death. A new South has risen from out the ashes of war, more glorious, more national, and better equipped for those victories incident to the arts of peace than ever before. It did not take the men of the South four years to teach us that they knew how to fight, nor has it taken twenty-five years to prove their capacity for labor. The tenacity of purpose they showed upon the field of battle did not forsake them when the dawn of peace smiled upon their shattered banners, but followed to a new sphere of action, and enabled them to achieve new victories. In this spirit we, who are [p. 482] left of the Ninth New York, greet you who are left of the 3rd Georgia. We differ with you as to the principle for which you fought, but we are certain you believed it right, and we know you contended for it like brave men, and in your heroic efforts we rejoice. There is no difference between us now; we are of one nationality, and we are proud of our joint history of courage and heroism which has become the common inheritance of our whole people.
"It becomes a pleasurable duty around which centers a sentimental appreciation of an unique occasion, such as none of those now present are ever likely to witness again, and it is to express the greeting which we so gladly give to the foes of other days-brothers of the same race and friends now. There is the ample, good old Saxon word so dear to all English speaking lips which comes near expressing all we feel, and I am certain that every veteran of the Ninth now present will join with me when I say to the survivors of the 3rd Georgia, 'welcome a thousand times to this, the thirtieth anniversary of its organization.'"
After the applause which greeted the conclusion of Colonel Hawkins' welcome had subsided, Colonel Snead rose to make a reply, and the following is part of what he said: "Colonel Hawkins and friends of the Ninth [p. 483] New York: For your generous welcome we are profoundly grateful. It reaches the heart and touches a responsive cord in the bosoms of men who were your adversaries in time of war, but since have learned to regard you as true and trusted friends in these halcyon days of peace. In this demonstration we take nothing personal to ourselves, for we are but a small delegation from the veteran survivors of a regiment that for four long years traversed in martial array the hills and valleys of old Virginia, and whose history is very dear to us, in that it is crimsoned all over with the blood of fallen comrades. And this tribute is especially gratifying, coming as it does from soldiers whom I have seen, on more than one occasion, march unflinchingly into battle with a sheet of fire blazing in their faces, but whose gallantry far outshone that fire as did the stars of heaven in their brilliancy. We first made your acquaintance near the jungles of the Dismal Swamp, North Carolina, in the earlier days of the war. Then your greeting was so warm that we rejoiced when the interview was over. On two other memorable occasions your persistent attentions to us at close quarters were of such a character as to render our position extremely uncomfortable, but when we parted I am sure it was [p. 484] with mutual respect and with no eager desire to meet soon again. Your regiment from New York, like ours from Georgia, enlisted early in 1861, without any draft upon your part or conscription on ours. Here were Northern boys and Southern boys, with the baptismal dew of youth still fresh upon their brows, who cheerfully went forth to battle in obedience to what each deemed to be his duty. And whether right or wrong, from your standpoint or mine, I care not, for there is the pleasing reflection that each displayed the noblest attitudes of a soldiery that knew so well how to illustrate American valor. Thus united by the ties of friendship and animated lofty patriotism, they can mutually join in the grand acclaim-
A union of rivers and a union of lakes,
A union of land and a union of States,
A union of hearts and a union of hands,
And the flag of our union forever."
The cheering and applause which greeted these remarks were enthusiastic and were again and again and again renewed. The Rev. Clark Wright, to whom was assigned the duty of responding to the toast in honor of the Ninth New York, had a delightful task to perform, and one to which he was fully equal. He said: "A private soldier who carried a gun, who was the least [p. 485] of all the men who surround you to-night, is to tell you what you have already learned in your intercourse with the members of the Hawkins; Zouaves Association of this city, namely, that we are glad to see you, and that we take great pleasure in giving you a most cordial welcome to this the thirtieth anniversary of the Ninth New York Volunteers." He sketched the history of the regiment, in organization and services, in a very interesting manner, at the same time referring, in a way which produced much applause and shouts of laughter, to the meeting which took place between the two regiments during the war and the opinion each had of each other at the time, and concluded as follows: "You my countrymen whether from Georgia or New York, to-night, these the remnant of more than two thousand men, these your comrades gather here to salute you as we bring to mind your faithfulness as soldiers and rejoice with you that our country has passed from the hurricane to the calm, from out of all that crash of which we were a part, to liberty, union, brotherly love and peace."
The response of the "3rd Georgia" was by Hon. John W. Lindsey, one of the survivors, and formally a sergeant in that regiment, who spoke in part as follows: [p. 486] "Fellow countrymen, I deem it honor to stand here and respond to the encomiums pronounced upon the soldiers of the Confederate Army. It is a pleasure for me to greet you as fellow countrymen, for we are sons of a common mother, on whose bosom we lean for protection. We are here to-night true to our allegiance to the Constitution and the laws of the American Union, without any qualifications whatever; to demand nothing but what you are willing to grant us as free Americans: to invite you to join with us and aid us from driving from our vocabulary that most abominable of all words-sectionalism. We are here to renew an acquaintance sought long years ago, under less favorable circumstances, and with you to transmit the spirit of these fraternal greetings to the youth of our land, for we desire to consecrate, not only ourselves but our sons and daughters, to the preservation of the liberty of this Union. We see as you do those columns of blue and gray in the fields of Virginia, who fell fighting for the cause they believed to be the true one. In vindication of that right of our convictions, we discharged our duty as you did. But when you fought your last fight, fired your last volley, and received the command that began your homeward march from Appomattox, [p. 487] you went to be greeted as victors-the voices of a thousand cannon gave you a welcome such as never had been heard before. Thus you returned, and retired to your homes to enjoy all that is sweet and dear to noble manhood basking in the sunshine of grateful people. You forgot that other army which left Appomattox on the same day that you did. Our march southward was not greeted by applause, nor our announcement welcomed by cannon. We bade each other good bye in silence, and shed tears as we departed to our homes, only to see the marks of desolation left by the stern hand of war. What did we do? Sit down and brood in silence? No. We stepped from the very warpath of battle to the works of peace. We walked behind the plow to win a living of our won. Our farms were devastated, our slaves freed, our families scattered, yet we went to work in the sunshine of peace in the same spirit which we had engaged in war. By industry we have wrung from the soil our sustenance. As years have rolled on recuperation has come, and now we have a country to which we are proud to invite you, and to which we do invite you."
The speech and sentiments of Sergeant Lindsey were greeted by enthusiastic applause, which was not subdued until the chairman [p. 488] announced the formal exercises for the evening would close by the recitation of Gen. Charles G. Haplin's poem "Just Eleven." This was given by Major James B. Hornmer in excellent style.
Robert L. Johnson, of the Zouaves, in a voice which his comrades thought had lost non of its sweetness, then sang one of the old songs of the soldier days, when the meeting became an informal camp fire, which continued until a late hour.
Next day enough carriages were provided to accommodate all the guests of the Association, together with the members of the Reception Committee, composed of Messers. Horner, Langbein, Searing, Curie and Miller, who accompanied them, and an extended sight seeing tour was entered upon. This covered as much of the upper portion of Manhattan Island as could be comfortably gone over in a day. On the way up, all places of interest in the east side of Washington Heights and upper part of the island were visited, and the strangers afforded ample time to view the same.
Arriving at Fort George, one of the most beautifully romantic spots on the whole island, and from which a grand panoramic view of the Harlem river and the heights of Westchester [p. 489] may be obtained, the party stopped for luncheon, the West End Hotel having been secured by the committee for their exclusive use for that purpose. The return to the city was by the western roads, from which many fine views of the Hudson and the palisades beyond may be obtained, and which also give the visitors the opportunity to admire the most elegant private residences which are dotted so thickly along the different roads, and the large number of stately buildings, the homes of public and semi-public institutions of the beneficent character, with which that portion of New York is graced.
Sight-seeing was continued almost without interruption during the remainder of the stay of the visitors, with occasional theater parties and luncheons, to break the monotony and give variety. A cordial invitation was received from the proprietor, through Mr. Robert L. Cutler, the erst-time manager of "The Zouave Minstrel and Dramatic Club,"* of Roanoke Island for the members of the association and their guest to visit Harrigan's Theater. This was accepted, with the thanks of comrades, and a large party enjoyed one of Harrigan's inimitable productions. Arrangements had been [p. 490] made with ample facilities for such of the guests as delighted in theatrical entertainments to visit theaters on any evening during their stay.
Comrade John T. Miller and Adolph Libaire escorted parties of the visiting delegation to the Stock and Product Exchanges, thus giving the Georgians and opportunity to observe the antics of the Bulls and the Bears in their native jungles.
A trip to West Point was arranged, and the whole delegation, under the escort of Messers. Searing, Horner, and Jackson, visited that historic and interesting place. They were cordially welcomed by the officers of the Military Academy, who entertained them very pleasantly during their stay, and took special pains to make their visit an exceedingly gratifying and memorable one. This visit to historic West Point, combined with the river journey and the grand scenery and noble Hudson, will no doubt long remain a pleasant memory with the participants, both visitors and guests.
On the last day of the stay in New York the ladies of the visiting delegation were entertained at lunch at the Downtown Club by Mr. Latham A. Fish, one of the committee. It was designed to be an affair [p. 491] that would be remembered with pleasure by those in whose honor it was given, and the resources of the establishment were taxed to the utmost in making it eloquent and dainty, even beyond what was usual at that exclusive club. The room was tastefully and handsomely decorated, the tables banked with flowers and elegant souvenir menus, handsomely designed and printed on satin, were provided for the guests.
After nearly a week devoted to entertainment, pleasure and recreation, and during which the members of the Hawkins' Zouaves Association taxed their ingenuity for ways to provide novel and pleasant surprises for their guests, the Georgians-the time allowed for their visit having expired-departed for their homes by the Savannah steamer. A numerous delegation of Zouaves escorted them to the wharf.
A meeting of the Georgians was held on board the ship just before sailing, and a series of resolutions very flattering to the men of the ninth were passed and a copy of the same handed to the Secretary of the Association.
The New York Sun, in its issue of the next day, thus summarizes the visit of the 3rd Georgia: [p. 492] "The Confederate veterans of the 3rd Georgia Survivors' Association have received a hearty welcome in the city. They have fraternized with the Union veterans of the Hawkins' Zoauves. They have been banqueted in the New York style to their hearts' content. They have been taken to various theaters day and night. They have enjoyed the speeches of sundry ready orators, as well as the strains of music, and they have seen the sights of the city and its parks from the open carriages that were at their service. We trust that these Confederate veterans Georgia have had a pleasant time during their several days of their stay in New York."
Thus ended a meeting which probably has no parallel pages in history. Two regiments serving in opposing armies, whose acquaintance began on the battlefield while engaged in deadly strife, sought each other ought after peace had been secured, and in admiration, each for the other, and actuated by an earnest desire to re-establish cordial fraternity between those who had once been foes, met together and announced to the world that there was no lingering animosity in the breasts of either, that the victors had no conditions they wished opposed upon the vanquished, and that the latter fully and without equivocation or reservation, accepted the verdict of the sword and became brothers under one flag with their former foes.
*A small number of Zouaves created an acting club during the Civil War. "With an inordinate amount of free time during service with Burnside's North Carolina expedition in the spring of 1862, a few soldiers with a theatrical bent organized what they called the Zouave Minstrel and Dramatic Club. Tapping into the various talents of the men-from costume design, burlesque (including Richard III and Combastus De Zauasio), writing comedy, and scene painting-they were able to stage musical extravaganzas and comic farces (such as "Box & Cox"), complete with elaborately painted backdrops and stage props.3
Each performance brought huge crowds, and frequently numerous local citizens were turned away. The club performed again while on Roanoke, and members of the regiment generally escorted the island's aristocracy to the plays. With a small admission fee, the Dramatic Club succeeded in not only entertaining the regiment and local populace, but also established a fund for the relief of the wounded members of the Ninth. When constructing the theater, a private box gaily decorated was reserved for either Colonel Hawkins or Lieutenant-Colonel Edgar Kimball. In the spring of 1862 General Burnside, while inspecting the military operations on Roanoke, joined the audience in enthusiastically applauding their efforts at entertainment.4 Later, when the regiment was recalled to Falmouth, Virginia they managed to commandeer space in the boats for their scenery and props, enabling them to continue the performances at their new camp. When the Ninth was forced to evacuate Falmouth, the scenery finally had to be abandoned along with all the theatrical paraphernalia.5"
1 Matthew Graham. The Ninth Regiment New York Volunteers (Hawkins' Zouaves: Being a History of the Regiment and Veteran Association from 1860 to 1900. (New York: 1900) p. 237.
2 Graham. The Ninth Regiment. p. 483; John H.E. Whitney. The Hawkins Zouaves (Ninth N.Y.V.) Their Battles and Marches. (New York: Published by the author, 1866) p. 149.
3 Matthew Graham. The Ninth Regiment. p. 199.
5 Matthew Graham. The Ninth Regiment. p. 126.