‘Emery’s sad fate’

‘Emery’s sad fate’

Ockerbloom, John N

Yours D.W. Emery 1st Lieut Co. F 3 ME Regt” is written in period ink on the back of this CDV, which bears a Bell & Brother, 480 Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., backmark.

Daniel Emery enlisted in the 3rd Maine Volunteer Infantry as a private in Co. F at its organization in June 1861. He was promoted until obtaining the rank of first lieutenant on August 19, 1862.

The 3rd was organized in Augusta, Maine, in June, 1861, and was made up largely of northern lumbermen. Up until Chancellorsville it had participated in most battles of the III Corps, Army of the Potomac, to which it belonged, including the First Bull Run, Peninsula Campaign, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, and Fredericksburg.

Due to its experience and willingness to fight hard, the 3rd was called on to support vital operations at the Battle of Chancellorsville. This brought them under severe fire, with many officers and men killed and wounded in battle there. Emery was among them.

Emery’s company commander, Captain William C. Morgan, later shot dead at North Anna, Virginia, when the 3rd’s major, detailed the battle in letters dated May 7 and May 9, 1863. “It was signing a death warrant of half of our force,” he wrote. “I lost Lt. Emery & 8 men in my company. Emery badly wounded & Martin Judkins is among the missing…. Regt lost nearly half the men…but fought like tigers.” Later he bemoaned “my hard task of telling the folks of Emery’s sad fate. He was taken to a field hospital & the rebels shelled the building & half the wounded inside the house were burned up.” The 3rd Maine At Chancellorsville

After the battle, Brigadier General J.H. Hobart Ward, commander of the Second Brigade, First Division, III Corps, to which the 3rd belonged, reported that “in consequence of the disaster on the right, our communication with the main body and the commander-in-chief was cut off. The body thus left to force their way through the enemy included Major General Sickles and General Birney, commanding division, two batteries of artillery, and the whole division. The enemy now occupied the Plank road nearly to the Chancellor house.

“It was now determined by the corps and division commanders that an effort should be made to open communication with the main body without delay. With my brigade I was directed to attack the enemy in flank, and push my way through, if practicable, to the Plank road.”

The 3rd led the attack and, in the moonlit woods, stumbled into the 28th North Carolina. In the fighting that followed, the regiment was forced back, with the loss of some men and one other object.

Reported Captain Niven Clark, Co. E, 28th North Carolina: “I have the honor to report that our company, on the 3d instant, before day, after the repulse of the famous charge of the enemy on our lines, captured 1 officer (who told the man detailed to carry off the prisoners that he belonged to General Hays’ staff) 1 lieutenant, 4 or 5 privates, the color sergeant, and the standard of the Third Regiment Maine Volunteers.”

Copyright Military Images Sep/Oct 2001

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