Monday, December 04, 2006

Greene and the "galvanized yankees," II

from Thomas L. Livermore, Days and Events
(Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1920).
[327] Captain H. G. O. Weymouth, lately a captain in the 19th Massachusetts Volunteers, was sent up by General Butler, who now assumed command of our district in his "Department of Virginia and North Carolina," to join this regiment which I was forming. He came on a promise of higher rank than he formerly held, I think, but was to take a company at first. Captain Weymouth had lost one leg at Fredericksburg, and of course could not do duty as a company officer, which he neither was inclined to do under the circumstances. I took Captain W. into my tent in the regiment, and allowed him to aid me as came agreeable to him, waiting for his position to be defined, for he had not even a commission as captain. It was not long before Major C. A. R. Dimon, from a regiment in the Department of the Gulf, came with orders from General Butler to assume command of the regiment. Up to this time there had been an understanding that General Marston intended to make Captain Patterson, of the 2d New Hampshire Volunteers, and myself the colonel and lieutenant-colonel of this regiment, and I was afterwards informed that I was to have been colonel, but when General Butler got command of General Marston he at once determined to have his say about the matter. Accordingly Major Dimon informed us that one Colonel Greene, formerly of the 14th Massachusetts Volunteers, was to be colonel, he was to be lieutenant-colonel, and I was to be major, and shortly a commission as major reached me; which I declined on account of my belief that the regiment would never take the field against the rebels, for the reason that any of its members who fell into their hands would be treated as deserters. So having given up command to Major Dimon on his arrival, I, upon declining the commission, resumed command of my company. Colonel Dimon and Weymouth partook of meals sent from our mess and we remained friendly. [328] Colonel Greene never joined the regiment. Colonel Dimon was, as he has informed me, not aware of any especial friendliness toward him on the part of General Butler, but having been taken from the 30th Massachusetts to be major of a Texas or Louisiana regiment raised by General Butler, had commended himself by his conduct as such to the latter, probably. I suppose that General Butler perhaps wished to snub General Marston in thus overriding him, but perhaps commissioned me as a peace offering at poor Weymouth's expense. However, the latter took the commission I refused. I have often congratulated myself that I was not offered the commission of colonel, for this great promotion would have been very tempting, and once having accepted it I should have lost all chance to participate in succeeding campaigns against the rebels. Old General Marston, when I met him after declining the commission, appeared to be much gratified and said I had done well to decline it.

This regiment was recruited to ten companies and afterwards was sent to North Carolina, where desertions became so numerous that it was sent into the Territories to fight Indians, where it remained until long after the war. Colonel Greene went out of it, and Lieutenant-Colonel Dimon was made colonel and finally was brevetted brigadier-general.

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