Remained on duty in the city till some time in the early part of March 1863, when we left the city for Baton Rouge and with part of the 19th Corps the General marched in the direction of Port Hudson while Admiral Farragut run by batteries of the Fort with part of his fleet. On the next day after the fleet past the Fort the Army returned to Baton Rouge. About April 1st 1863 the General and Staff went to Brashar City where the army was in camp. An advance of the whole command was immediately ordered and the army moved forward in the direction of Fort Bisland about 10 miles from Brashar City on the Bayou Tisk. Here we found the enemy in heavy force posted behind strong earth works on both sides of the Bayou. Our troops formed in line of battle and advanced on the enemy’s works and fought them until late at night in the morning we found that the Rebels had retreated. Our loss about two hundred, the enemy about the same. We followed the enemy about twenty miles above Alexandria on the Red River when the General countermarched his army and marched down the Red River to Morgansias on the Mississippi River where he crossed over the River to Bayou Sarah, and marched on Port Hudson, which place he attacked with his whole Army May 27th 1863, with a loss of nineteen hundred and ninety five men during the siege of Port Hudson. I was confined most of the time to my tent with a fever and a pain in my side. Surgeon Alexander, Medical Director of the Dept. advised me to go north on June 12th 1863.
At my own request I was relieved from duty as A.D.C. and ordered to report to the Adjt General of the Army at Washington July 2d by special orders from the War Dept. I was ordered to report to Genl Martindale, Mil. Governor Dist. Columbia, for duty on his staff. About Sept 21st I was ordered before the board at Annapolis Md. I was recommended for light duty. Some time in Oct I was again ordered to report to Genl Martindale for duty on his staff by special orders from the War Dept. About the last of Oct I was ordered to take charge of twenty five deserters and deliver them to the Provost Marshal at Cincinnati, Ohio. While in Cincinnati I was taken sick with the Varioloid and sent to Hospital in Covington, Ky. Where I remained until some time in Dec.
I returned to Washington and remained on duty until January 19th ’64, was then ordered to my regt Jany 22d, ordered to report to Genl Pleasonton, Comdg Cavly Corps Army of the Potomac March 1864. While returning from Culpepper to Hd Qrs, Cavly Corps one dark night on jumping a ditch my horse fell down and threw me with such force on the ground that it broke the collar bone of my right shoulder and fractured two ribs of my right side, March 14th ’64. I was ordered to report to the Medical Director of Washington for treatment.
About March 22d I was by special orders from the War Dept Adjutant General’s Office ordered to Providence, R.I. as Mustering and Disbursing Officer. April 21st I was appointed A.C.M. for the State of R.I. and A.A.C.S. for the troops stationed in the state, which duty I have been performing ever since. I have entirely recovered from the effects of the injury of my shoulder. In cold weather I am troubled with the Rheumatism in both of my shoulders.
I am General Very Respectfully
Your Obt Serv’t
Sam’l M. Whitside
1st Lieut. 6 Cavly
The rheumatism apparently didn’t slow Whitside much, as he continued to serve in the cavalry for decades after the war. Among his many accomplishments, he established Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and as a major commanded troops of the 7th U.S. Cavalry at Wounded Knee in 1890. A previous biographical sketch of Whitside with more information on his career can be found here.
Clark B. Hall said:
Great letter, Don.. Thanks much for sharing.
And of course upon the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Brandy Station, you and others visited Brandy Station in June, and the tour led us almost precisely to the location (Green Farm) wherein Lt. Whiteside reported to General Pleasonton at CavCorps HQ.. Plus, the ground in front of St. James Church (where we also visited) was, as you know, 6th Cav HQ.
Whiteside, Ill, by the way, was named for General Samuel Whiteside, a War of 1812 commander. The initial commander of the 8th Illinois Cav at Brandy Station on June 9 was Maj. Alpheus Clark, of Whiteside, Ill–soon mortally wounded in a personal gunfight with the commander of the 6th VA Cav.. Wonder if your resilient Lt. Whiteside is related to the General Whiteside?
G.A.R. Post Alpheus Clark, Morrison, Ill is named after Major Clark.
Bud, good to “see” you! I don’t believe so. Whiteside, captain of mounted rifles volunteers and later a brigadier general according to Heitman, was from Illinois. Samuel Whitside was born in Canada, Ontario if I remember correctly. I know Sam Russell’s researched the family thoroughly, perhaps he’ll weigh in.
Sam Russell said:
No relation between the two, or at best, an as yet undiscovered connection back in Ireland or England that would made them distant cousins. I just posted his official report on capturing a band of Miniconjou Lakota and bringing them to his camp at Wounded Knee…
Clark B. Hall said:
Can’t help but share with you the fact that in the early 70’s I was assigned to the western Dakotas as an FBI Agent and my “territory” included both Wounded Knee and Pine Ridge. I later spent months in both places, successively, when American Indian Movement criminals took over Wounded Knee and later killed two Bureau agents at Oglala, near Pine Ridge. (Leonard Peltier, a Menominee, was the major culprit.)
I have often thought there is no place lonelier in the world than the far western reaches of the Badlands on a winter day in January. Siberia has nothing on the Badlands.
But great cavalry country!
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