Samuel Sergeant Newbury (1835 - 1864)

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Birthplace: Indianapolis, IN, USA
Death: Died in VA, USA
Cause of death: killed by Confederate soldiers during the Battle of Weldon Rairoad
Managed by: Nancy Adams
Last Updated:

About Samuel Sergeant Newbury

Colonel Samuel Newbury of the 12th Infantry, USA, practiced law, and during the American Civil War fought in several battles. He was killed at the Battle of Weldon Railroad in August of 1864, south of Petersburg, Virginia, the site of the prolonged siege (June 15, 1864 – April 3, 1865) that led to the fall of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, and the subsequent surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in April of 1865. The Battle of Weldon Railroad, also known as The Battle of Globe Tavern, took place August 18-21, 1864.

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Samuel was born in 1835, at Indianapolis, Indiana. There had been 15-20 families living there in 1820. In 1835 the population of Indianapolis was 1,683.

Jeanette Sergeant Ames Rice, in her 1883 memoir, Tales That Have the Rime of Age, wrote that preceding the death of Margaret Sergeant (Keeler), Samuel's grandmother, on October 31, 1837, "Samuel, a little boy of three, had slept with and was very fond of her. The next morning after her death he stole into her room unnoticed, and when I found him, was trying to climb up and lie down by her side. When I gently took him away, he said 'I want to lie down by Grandma.' Dear little boy! Methinks the Grandma he so much loved met his freed spirit when he gave up his life from a rebel bullet long years after."

Samuel studied law, and at his uncle in Detroit, where his sister Frances lived with her husband John Judson Bagley, and their children.

Samuel enlisted in the US army during the American Civil War, fought in several battles, and died in August of 1864, at the Battle of Weldon Railroad, south of Petersburg, Virginia. Petersburg was the site of the prolonged siege (June 15, 1864 – April 3, 1865) that led to the fall of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, and the subsequent surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The Battle of Weldon Railroad, also known as The Battle of Globe Tavern, took place August 18-21, 1864.

Twenty-nine years old, Samuel was captain of the 12th Infantry, USA, and at the time of his death, was acting as colonel of his regiment.

Confederate troops captured Samuel during the battle. When the tide of the fighting turned, rather than take him with them, the enemy summarily shot, and left Samuel mortally wounded. He was captain of the 12th infantry USA, and at the time of his death was acting as colonel of his regiment.

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Name: Samuel Sergeant Newbury Enlistment Date: 14 May 1861 Rank at enlistment: 1st Lieut State Served: Regular Army Survived the War?: No Service Record: Commissioned an officer in the Regular Army 12th Infantry Regiment on 14 May 1861. Promoted to Full Captain on 21 Jul 1862. Promoted to Brevet Major on 18 Aug 1864. Mustered out [died] on 19 Aug 1864 at Weldon Railroad, VA.

Sources: Index to Compiled Military Service Records Heitman: Register of United States Army 1789-1903 Official Records of the War of Rebellion

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[Following is an account of the battle downloaded 2010 from www.craterroad.com/weldonrr.html]

Grant had just returned to City Point from a trip up north, where he had organized the Union forces confronting the corps Lee had sent into the Shenandoah Valley in June. General Sheridan, a Grant favorite, had been placed in command there and was getting organized.

To buy him some time, and to prevent Lee from sending more against Sheridan, Grant ordered another expedition to Deep Bottom on August 14. Four days of fighting proved no more conclusive than the first Deep Bottom operation. But Lee had once again reacted by transferring troops from Petersburg to Richmond, so Grant believed that an opportunity now existed to wreck the Weldon Railroad. Early on the morning of August 18, he sent the Fifth Corps, commanded by Major General G. K. Warren, out to do the job.

Weldon Railroad

"The men gave out fearfully in the sun," Warren reported, but his four divisions of nearly 20,000 men — reached the railroad near Globe Tavern around 11:00 a.m. The Federal general detailed two divisions to move a short distance toward Petersburg along the Halifax Road for security, while other troops began to tear up the tracks.

The Globe Tavern on the Weldon Railroad

With Lee gone to the North side, responsibility for defending Petersburg lay with General Beauregard. Confederate scouts delivered the faulty intelligence that only a small enemy force was involved, so Beauregard told Lt. General A. P. Hill to send two infantry brigades to evict the interlopers.

The two brigades, moving south along Halifax Road, struck Warren's two security divisions at 3:00 p.m. A couple of Yankee brigades that had advanced ahead of the rest were caught off guard and routed, but the remaining units came up in good order, forcing the Rebels to pull back. Beauregard had scored a tactical success but failed in his strategic objective to drive the enemy away. That he would make another attempt to do so was a forgone conclusion. In the prophetic words of a Massachusetts officer, "It is touching a tiger's cubs to get on that road!"

A distinct difference of attitude separated General Warren from Grant. Warren thought only of defending his position. "I think. . . it would be safe to trust me to hold on to the railroad," he assured army headquarters on the morning of August 19. Twelve hours earlier, Grant gave expression to his aggressive intent when he informed Meade, "Tell Warren if the enemy comes out and attacks him in the morning, not to hesitate . . .but to follow him up to the last."

The Confederates were not idle this morning either. Another sortie was necessary, so a five-brigade attack force was organized. Two of the brigades would again move down Halifax Road, while the remaining three would hit the right flank of Warrens line. It took all morning and most of the afternoon to get these troops into position, but when the flanking force, commanded by General Mahone, struck at Warrens right flank at about 5:00 p.m., it overran a portion of the Federal line in a sharp little fight. Private Bernard remembered it as, "the warmest place (we) were ever in, being subjected to fire from the front, right flank, & rear all at the same time." It was worse for the Yankees, two Pennsylvania regiments were scooped up early in the fight, and when the two Southern brigades coming along the Halifax Road joined in, Warren's entire position seemed in jeopardy.

Once more, however, the Confederates attacked too late in the day with too little. And as the Rebel operation began to lose momentum, Union reinforcements arrived on the scene. [This might be the moment when Samuel Newbury was killed.] Beauregard's men again retired into Petersburg after dark. They had whipped the enemy, but the Union flag still flew over Globe Tavern.

Both sides scrambled to secure the advantage on August 20. Warren now had two Ninth Corps divisions to augment his battered corps. He was a genius at defensive fighting and kept his men busy throughout the day improving their position and tightening his defensive perimeter. He was able to accomplish these tasks because no attack came from Petersburg. It took Beauregard longer than imagined possible to put together a corps sized battle group, and it was dark before everything was ready.

Beauregard's attack on August 21 was a reverse image of the August 19 action. Another force pushed down along the Halifax Road, while this time the second group wheeled around seeking Warren's left flank. But unlike August 19, however, the Federal General and his men were prepared for the Rebel lines, "Fire Low!" Warren urged his troops. "Low! Low!" The Confederates attacked fiercely but were replused at every point. Robert E. Lee appeared on the field as the last attacking wave ebbed back, too late to affect the outcome.

The Federal lodgement on the Weldon Railroad was quickly made part of the larger trench system. Union casualties were about 4,300 to 2,300 Confederates. Lee had lost one of his few remaining supply lines and now had only a single rail route and a roundabout road system to keep his men fed. It was a serious stategic setback. Petersburg was becoming far more difficult to defend, but its fate was linked to Richmond's, and the Confederate capital had to be held.

Now that he controlled the Weldon Railroad near Petersburg, Grant was determined, as he said, "to thoroughly destroy it as far south as possible." With both the Fifth and Ninth Corps busy fortifying around Globe Tavern, Grant looked for troops to do the wrecking job. He settled on Hancock's Second Corps, just returned from the second Deep Bottom expedition. It was an opportunistic selection that would have tragic consequences. The Second Corps was seriously worn out by its recent fighting north of the James. Nevertheless, by midday, August 22, the first of Hancock's units were moving southward along the tracks, tearing them up as they went.

At first Lee thought it was possible only to harass this force with his cavalry, but a report from able Major General Wade Hampton suggested that the Federal raiders were isolated and vulnerable to attack. Lee pondered the risks and finally agreed. Late in the afternoon of August 24, eight infantry brigades moved out of town on a southwest course. Once clear of the Globe Tavern lines, these soldiers pressed east to link up with Hampton's two cavalry divisions. The combined force was commanded by A. P. Hill.

On August 25 this battle group caught Hancock's two divisions curled up in a kidney-shaped earthwork near Reams Station, about five miles below Globe Tavern. The Union forces beat back the first Confederate assaults, but then panic took hold of several of Hancock's regiments due to the Confederates attack, and the position began to collapse. Private Bernard never forgot the sight as he approached the enemy earthworks of seeing "hundreds of Yankees, most of whom were coming in as prisoners, whilst the remainder were moving up the ditch and getting away." For a while everything was chaos, until finally the battered Federals regrouped long enough to retreat. The day ended in a complete Southern victory, with Union losses of about 2,600 to Hill's 720.

Hancock, who felt that his men had received inadequate support from the rest of the army, was bitter. "We ought to have whipped them," he said. Confederate morale received a big boost. "I never saw men so much elated by any fight," declared a North Carolina man.

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[Source for the following account: downloaded 2010 from Encyclopedia of Virginia at http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Weldon_Railroad_Battle_of_the]

The Battle of the Weldon Railroad (or Globe Tavern) was fought August 18–21, 1864, and provided the key element of Union general-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant's fourth offensive during the Petersburg Campaign of the American Civil War (1861–1865). This Union victory resulted in the permanent capture of one of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's most important supply lines. On August 18, the Union Fifth Corps of the Army of the Potomac seized a portion of the vital railroad that connected Petersburg with Wilmington, North Carolina, at a point three miles south of Petersburg. A determined Confederate counterattack the following day battered but did not break the Union troops' hold on the tracks, and a second Confederate assault on August 21 failed miserably.

Background

More information

In the summer of 1864, Confederate forces under Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early occupied the Shenandoah Valley and threatened Washington, D.C. Grant, the Union's new general in chief, detached one corps of the Army of the Potomac to join other Union troops opposing Early, all under the command of Major General Philip H. Sheridan. In order to prevent Lee from sending Early more troops from the Army of Northern Virginia, Grant ordered his Second Corps and elements of the Army of the James across the James River in mid-August to attack Lee's defenses east of Richmond.

Grant scarcely believed that this offensive would reduce the Confederate capital, but it might draw enough of Lee's army north of the James to allow a simultaneous push toward the Petersburg (Weldon) Railroad to succeed. Events unfolded as Grant predicted. The attacks north of the James August 14–16, styled the Second Deep Bottom operations, foundered, but they did prompt Lee to recall reinforcements sent to the Valley and transfer a portion of his forces north of the James from the Petersburg trenches. This set the stage for Grant's thrust toward the Petersburg (Weldon) Railroad.

The Battle

Title: Battle of Weldon Railroad, August 18-21, 1864

Source: Hal Jespersen

More information

Major General Gouverneur K. Warren led his Fifth Corps west from the Union lines located south of Petersburg on a steamy August 18. His lead division reached the railroad around Globe Tavern about nine o'clock in the morning and began to destroy the tracks, opposed only by a weak body of cavalry. General P. G. T. Beauregard, the ranking Confederate officer at Petersburg while Lee directed affairs north of the James, sent three infantry brigades early in the afternoon to dislodge Warren. The Confederate attacks halted Warren's advance up the railroad but did not drive him away.

Title: Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren

Source: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

More information

Warren deployed his entire corps to cover the railroad, leaving a gap between his right flank and the established Union lines to the east. Into that gap on August 19 plunged three Confederate brigades led by Major General William Mahone, while more Confederates pressed Warren's front. Mahone smashed one Fifth Corps division and pressed the next one in line until reinforcements from the Union Ninth Corps halted Mahone's progress. The Confederates captured more than 2,500 enemy soldiers on August 19 and killed or wounded nearly four hundred more, but their victory fell short of recovering the critical railroad.

Confederate generals Beauregard and A. P. Hill immediately laid plans to accomplish that goal. They spent August 20 preparing their offensive, providing Warren the opportunity to adopt a strong defensive posture. The Confederate assaults on the morning of August 21 met with disaster. A South Carolina brigade, led by Brigadier General Johnson Hagood, unwittingly stumbled into a cul-de-sac of fire, losing more than half of its men. The fighting ended by noon with a Confederate withdrawal to the Petersburg defenses.

The Aftermath

Grant hoped Warren would exploit his victory, but the Fifth Corps commander seemed content to hold his ground. Warren had inflicted between 1,600 and 2,300 casualties during the three days of fighting while absorbing 4,279 of his own, two-thirds of them prisoners.

Union troops quickly fortified the gap between the railroad and their old lines. Grant's efforts to expand destruction of the tracks to the south ended with defeat at the Battle of Reams Station on August 25, but Union troops would control the Petersburg (Weldon) Railroad for the remainder of the campaign. Lee now had no choice but to offload his supplies from North Carolina at the Stony Creek station, eighteen miles south of Petersburg, and transfer them by wagon to Dinwiddie Court House and then up the Boydton Plank Road into Petersburg. This new, less-efficient supply line became the target of Grant's fifth offensive at Petersburg in September.

Time Line

  • August 2, 1864 - Union general-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant places his cavalry commander, Philip H. Sheridan, in command of Union forces facing Confederate troops under Jubal A. Early in the Shenandoah Valley.
  • August 7, 1864 - Confederate general Robert E. Lee sends reinforcements from the Army of Northern Virginia toward the Shenandoah Valley, prompting Union general Ulysses S. Grant to plan an offensive to halt further detachments.
  • August 12, 1864 - The Union Second Corps marches from Petersburg to City Point. Their movement is part of a campaign designed to prevent Confederate forces from reinforcing Jubal A. Early in the Shenandoah Valley, while also opening an attack on Robert E. Lee's supply line in front of Petersburg.
  • August 13, 1864 - The Union Second Corps boards boats and steams down the James River to deceive Confederates of its intentions; the Union Tenth Corps prepares to cross the river at Deep Bottom. Their movements are part of a campaign designed to prevent Confederate forces from reinforcing Jubal A. Early in the Shenandoah Valley.
  • August 14–16, 1864 - Union forces are defeated at the Second Battle of Deep Bottom on the James River. They are successful, however, in drawing most of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's infantry north of the river and away from entrenchments in front of Petersburg.
  • August 18, 1864, 5:00–9:00 a.m. - Union troops successfully distract Robert E. Lee from reinforcing Jubal A. Early in the Shenandoah by luring him away from entrenchments at Petersburg. This leaves Lee's supply line at Petersburg vulnerable. On this morning, the Union Fifth Corps moves west and wrests the Petersburg (Weldon) Railroad from a small body of Confederate cavalry.
  • August 18, 1864, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. - Having lured Confederates under Robert E. Lee north of the James River and away from their supply line at Petersburg, the Union Fifth Corps moves north along the Petersburg (Weldon) Railroad, destroying tracks and burning ties.
  • August 18, 1864, 3:00–5:00 p.m. - Confederates launch a counterattack against the Union Fifth Corps, which had lured Robert E. Lee's troops north of the James River and away from their Petersburg supply line, the Petersburg (Weldon) Railroad. They manage to stop the Union troops' advance but fail to drive them from the railroad.
  • August 19, 1864 - In previous days, Confederate forces have been lured north of the James River and away from their Petersburg supply line, the Petersburg (Weldon) Railroad. This afternoon, they launch a second counterattack against the Union Fifth Corps' right flank, routing a division and capturing 2,500 soldiers. Union reinforcements halt the Confederate advance.
  • August 20, 1864 - In an attempt to recover the Petersburg (Weldon) Railroad, a critical line of supply to Confederate troops at Petersburg, Confederate generals Pierre G. T. Beauregard and A. P. Hill plan a major assault on Union lines. Union general Gouverneur K. Warren uses the day to strengthen his defenses.
  • August 21, 1864 - Beginning at 9:00 a.m., Confederate forces under the generals Pierre G. T. Beauregard and A. P. Hill attack the Union troops that have taken the critical Petersburg (Weldon) Railroad. By noon the Confederates are repulsed everywhere and fall back to their main line of defense, ending the Battle of the Weldon Railroad.

Further Reading

Horn, John. The Destruction of the Weldon Railroad: Deep Bottom, Globe Tavern, and Reams Station, August 14–15, 1864. Lynchburg, Va.: H. E. Howard, Inc., 1991.

Krick, Robert E. L. "Weldon Railroad August 18–21, 1864." Civil War Magazine 67 (April 1998): 22–27.

Porter, Captain Charles H. "Operations Against the Weldon Railroad, August 18, 19, 21, 1864." Papers of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, 4: 243–66. Boston, The Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, 1906.

Contributed by A. Wilson Greene, who is the president of Pamplin Historical Park & the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier near Petersburg. He is the author of Civil War Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of War (2006) and The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign: Breaking the Backbone of the Rebellion (2008).

APA Citation:

Greene, A. W. (2009, June 22). Battle of the Weldon Railroad. Retrieved June 27, 2010, from Encyclopedia Virginia: http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Weldon_Railroad_Battle_of_the.

MLA Citation:

Greene, A. Wilson. "Battle of the Weldon Railroad." Encyclopedia Virginia. Ed. Brendan Wolfe. 27 Jun. 2010. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. 22 Jun. 2009 <http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Weldon_Railroad_Battle_of_the>.

A Publication of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

In This Entry

  • Background
  • The Battle
  • The Aftermath
  • Time Line
  • Further Reading

Categories

   * Civil War, American (1861–1865)

External Links

   * National Park Service: Weldon Railroad

First published: March 18, 2009 | Last modified: June 22, 2009

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For another account of the battle, see The Union Army, 1861-1865, Frank J. Welcher, Indiana U. Press, 1989, vol. 1, pp. 865-869.

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Following is a transcription of a letter written by Samuel Sergeant (at age 23):

[from] St. Louis, Sept. 13th, 1858

My Dear Father [Rev. Samuel Sergeant]

I owe you all an apology for my long silence, but, as I did not wish to speak of a plan which was in my mind and could say nothing of my future without mentioning it thought best to say nothing until something certain was determined. Pat was to write and doubtless has of my departure from Sioux City and destination. You will not case to hear of a safe and pleasant trip down the Missouri. I shall leave St. Louis in a day or two for Baltimore prbably to take passage for San Francisco. But for the Yellow Fever I should have taken the N. orleans route. I have no fears for myself, but know it would multiply your anxiety unnecessarily, and wish to do everything in my power to atone as far as possible for a step which must be to you a bitter dissappointment. I am well aware that you are opposed to this project of mine, but am satisfied that my success depends upon it and will shortly give you the reason. I found everything at Sioux City so "stale flat and unprofitable" as as is fast in the whole of interior Iowa that I bethought myself that something decisive must be done if in the next three years there was to be any reward for my time. Dubuque being just out of the question. [each word in previous sentence underlined.] To start with I see that it is impossible to make a cent above my living in any quarter of the North West. Now I have no intention of leaving the law. Nor is it at all in my propanence[?] to starve in its I can see no place that is at once newly settled and full of business but the Pacific Coast. These two are all that I require. My resolution was therefore made although after much deliberation. I am going to California or to the town [ ] the mouth of Frazer to live permanently and practice law. You will see by the [ ] (N Y) of the 13th that the last steamer brings news of the unabated prosperity and abundance of money in California. All professions are poorly represented there for it is out of the reach of the multitudes of young academicals from the Atlantic Coast. Among the thousands that have landed at Victoria this summer not one lawyer is numbered. And a correspondent mentions that the faster[taste?], speaking at the same time of the fine openings that are opened on the Pac. Coast and especially at that city for good lawyers and doctors.

These reports are of undoubted authority, and will you not allow that for a young man just commencing nothing better can be offered.

Now I pray you, do not picture to yourselves your delicately nurtured offspring up to his knees in water sifting the glitter. For your sake if not for my own I shall carefully husband my strength and guard my health. Probably shall not go near the mines [these last seven words separately underlined] of if at all only for a few weeks. It is not to dig [ ] nor to leave my profession that I go. i could leave the law and make money teaching or in a thousand other ways here[hire?] without going so far. It is that I may be able to make a living and still stick to my business that I choose a home on another shore. I fear you will misconstrue my motives and attribute this move either to a caprice or vagabondism or laziness or a dozen other things. I shall not dispute any one of these but leave it to another year. Rest assured that I have one anxiety and only one and that is to make money for yourself and yours. I cannot live and see myself immobile to render you any assistance. So I will try to accomplish the difficult feat of ksipring[?] a law office open and having at the end of each month some spare cash.

I had determined to go to New Orleans in a skiff alone when Ruin came down and tried to induce me to go over land. I should so have gone, but [ ] [ ] makes[?] to raise the company, so P. yielded to my plan and consented to accompany me. At St. Louis he received a letter from Adrian saying that the W. T. Co. would be unable to pay him so I am obliged reluctantly to go alone. It would have been more pleasant to have a friend with me, but as it has been rendered impossible, I must come back to the old plan and go alone, for my business is with myself alone. At Cairo [Illinois] I shall stay a day or two, and hope for some favorable news of the subsidence of the yellow Fever. if you see by the papers that the mortality continues you may conclude that I have embaced another opportunity that offers and have sailed from Baltimore.

Now, father, i earnestly hope that you will reflect upon this matter orally and take into consideration that it's no break-neck wilderness adventure, but a passage just as regular as from here to N.Y. with all conveniences for traveling that exist in the year 1858, more free from hardship than a trip [to] Sioux City, to a well settled, prosperous state, to a city of commerce, to a region of churches and schools, to a country of wealth and law. Throw away all [ ] [ ] of the early California and all visions of disease and hardship. I shall be better guarded from danger than in Sioux City, far. The stories of destitution in Victoria are sheer nonsense according to the herald correspondents. The regular hotel price of board is only 8 dollars per day. Provisions are according to the last news abundant and cheap. Just strip it of all imaginary terrors, and you have left a regular life in a growing town where business is good and pay down. I sleep in a bed, I shall eat at a table. I shall go to church one day in the week and to the office six. The whole country is about the same and as [ ] certain that I cannot stay with the family. What difference does it make as long as a 3 cent stamp pays for a letter over either route.

I shall probably be near embarkation when you see this, but will telegraph to say that all is safe before starting.

I will write you regularly although it may be a fortnight before another letter reaches you.

Pierre says he will come out in the spring but I do not look for him I have many friends in California and a letter from Sen. Slidell [John Slidell, 1793-1871, US Senator from Louisiana, 1853-61, a Democrat. In the 1845-6 President James Polk sent Slidell to Mexico to negotiate an agreement whereby the Rio Grande would be the southern border of Texas. He also was instructed to offer, among other alternatives, a maximum of $30 million for California by Polk and his administration. Slidell hinted to Polk that the Mexican reluctance to negotiate might require a show of military force by the United States. Under the guidance of General Zachary Taylor, U.S. troops were stationed at the U.S./Mexico border, ready to defend against Mexican attack. The Mexican government rejected Slidell's mission. After Mexican forces attacked at Matamoros the United States declared war on Mexico on May 13, 1846. The war resulted in the annexation of Texas and most of the rest of the western US. In the 1860 campaign Slidell supported Democratic presidential candidate John C. Breckinridge, but remained a pro-Union moderate until Abraham Lincoln's election pushed the Southern states into seceding.] to a gentleman in San Francisco which will aid me in obtaining a hearing. Several others have promised me letters of introduction to await me in San F.

Now, do cease to vex yourself with fears, which can have no foundation. I am going to work in a common sense way in a common sense business, without a particle of romance influencing me as far as I can read myself.

I judge that you take somewhat the same view from finding no letters for me in St. Louis. probably you did not receive Pat's letter in time. Please write me in S. F.

A college friend who comes to Cal. in the spring will bring my trunk. You will not doubt me when I tell you as often before that nothing can stand before the comfort of you all, with me and that I shall never cease to love with my whole soul, and strive for with all my energy those who are so closely bound to me by the ties of benefits received and affection freely bestowed.

Yours,

Sam

Source: The original letter, six pages handwritten in ink, is in the possession of Michael R. Delahunt, and is here transcribed by him. (2011).

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Following is a transcription of a letter written by Samuel Sergeant:

[from] Detroit, October 4, 1858

Well Father [Rev. Samuel Sergeant]

There is the date fresh from my palm. That [smitchen?] of a letter did the business for me. I could get along with the homeopathic scraps of advice that you had previously administered; but couldn't stand such a dose as that last one. I don't like to call it an emetic but it certainly has made me "throw up" my project [to go to California]. You didn't dilute that a particle. I can jump a three board gate or ride an unbroken horse over a ten foot ditch or go over Mount Washington on my birth-day, or go around the Horn in a season when one would be more apt to attain to a plenty of the Horn than to horn of plenty, but as for driving through such an epistle as that.— O. Connell said he could drive a coach and four through any act of parliament that the King lords & commons ever had, or could have framed. [Daniel O'Connell, 1775-1847, was an Irish political leader who campaigned for Catholic Emancipation — the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years — and repeal of the Act of Union which combined Ireland and Great Britain.]

But if the soul of O'Connell some antedated metempsychosis had entered this tenement of my mortal clay, he couldn't have got his head and shoulders through that same epistolary admonition. I am having it framed and hung up, that when-ever the California fever seizes me I may look upon it and be persuaded, look upon it as the children of Israel did on the brazen serpent in the wilderness. (No reflection meant upon your serpentine formation of letter nor upon Iowa as the wilderness.)

I went down town and before night [unintelligible word, stayed?] with Lockwood and Clarke (HK) at $100 per year and shall proceed upon Mr. Adams' [Austin Adams, Sam's brother-in-law, his sister Mary's husband] recommended plan of working up from the bottom as a little nigger does with a hogshead [barrel] of sugar, though I apprehend in sweetness of the path & cetera the analogy must fail.

Now please don't say any thing about my [unitelligible word, whesing?] or [unitelligible word, whithin? whittin?], nor the lesson on which I stay. I know it is fickle to stop here but all don't or can't know why I did it, & I wouldn't want them to if they could. J. S. Newbury [referring to John Stoughton Newberry, no relation to the Newbury family] is the best admiralty lawyer in the city. There are about 80 cases a month on adm. docket. He has 26 this month. He is a perfect Newbury and gives me much encouragement and valuable advice. There are not seventy lawyers in the city of Detroit. The business is about 4 times that of Dubuque which has about 60, and about 150 times that of Sioux City which has 23. It is altogether the best place that I have found.

I shall probably get the secretaryship of the Portage Mining Company with a salary of $400.

John is a sort of [unintelligible word] of [unintelligible word]. Dornlas the owner of most of the stock. Carpenter or Lockwood are directors. Lockwood Pres't. If I get into anything that will pay 5 or 6 — hundred. We will all know to D. [Detroit?] in the spring. Within the year I can work up into something anyhow. Don't write to Clarke or Newbury or anyone about me. John and I can keep the end up.

I sent the money to Peck or Hillman [Millman?] Sept 30th. It took just 15 cents more money than I had but John gave me 20 cents to make it out, so that I made five cents by the operation. I am trying to sell the balance of my through ticket. It is good forever or until ridden on, and the price has been raised since I bought it.

I wish my trunk were here, and I hope Pat. has found some means of sending it this fall. It will save my buying shirts etc. In that case I can send you $20 New Years. Keep up good heart. A year or two from now we will look back at these days and laugh. If possible I would not engage in any business unless it win something which would be of certain pay from the start and which could be thrown up at any time. Don't think of moving to Wyoming. Try and get along by selling or by not paying for a year or possibly less. Probably by spring we can get things arranged. Hang to that house is my advice. it is worth more to have a house over your head this winter than to pay off $13,000 of debts by a scratch of the pen and if Bissell is sensible, he will see why you insist; unless he is willing to let you owe him for the ---t [rent?] That will make no difference for it would be equivalent to borrowing that money to pay [unintelligible word, same as the last one: rent?] with which would be disaster[?] enough. You had better give undivided attention to husbanding a few scraps to him on and securing Adams for of course all that he falls short will have to be made up out of money that I am able to lay by during the next five or ten years, and shall certainly need it all for other purposes. It is important to pay some other debts it is true but compared with these two all other endeavors are after trivial results. First found shelter and raiment and honor afterward. Honor demands nothing until these are satisfied and then let honor administer on the estate as well as it knows how; but it would be poor driving to let a false honor take the reins and crack her whip, while all of you are on the brink.

I often think of Eg.[Egbert, his brother] when I walk down to this broad clear clean banked river, or see the sails sweeping the sky. There [are] sometimes over fifty sail of ships or schooners in sight at once standing up or down the strait. I like Detroit and Detroit has got to like me. John and Frank [John Judson Bagley and his wife Frances Bagley (Newbury), Sam's sister] have a fine acquaintance here. Fred is doing fine, and John good things. Chandler offered him a check for a considerable sum if he would move over into the next round [?] and run for state senator.

Judge [James M.] Edmunds [1810-d] of Ypsilanti is in Detroit, Chairman of Republican State Committee. Remembers you perfectly, and assured to entertain a great regard for you.

John, Frank, and Kittie [Catherine Robb (Newbury), Sam's sister] are at church. My foot will not go into a boot yet, is rather worse. I poisoned it with [unintelligible word] in the Little Sioux. It seems very obstinate. I wear slippers. Basset of Allegan [town in Michigan] has become an atheist. [William and Mary E. (Sirrine) Bassett married in Allegan, MI, Oct. 9, 1861.] (I saw John Ely yesterday.) Be careful therefore and don't be too communicative of your sentiments on such subjects to Mr. B.

Give my love to Mary and Mother and assure Nettie of my [unintelligible word] regard. Tell Eg [Egbert] to keep his eye on the [gun?], and keep both handles of the family wheelbarrow even, or some of us will spill. Without the slightest feeling of discouragement on [bluinis?] I am happy to sign myself, Your son Sam

[post script:] John [Bagley, brother-in-law, his sister Frances's husband] is just home from church and has read my letter and says it is good [unintelligible word or two]. He makes the same observation on [sawing?] [a? at?] [hour? home?] [set?] the family this winter. [signed] S. S. N.

[Note #1: Edmunds, James M.; was born in Niagara County, New York, August 23, 1810; received a common school and academic education; from 1826 until 1831 was a school teacher; removed to Michigan and became a merchant at Ypsilanti; was for ten years an Inspector of Schools, holding also a number of other local positions; in 1839 was elected to the State Senate; in 1846 to the Lower House; in 1847 was the Whig candidate for Governor, but not elected; was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1851; in 1853 removed to Detroit and entered extensively into the lumber business; from 1857 to 1861 was Comptroller of Detroit, which office he resigned to become the Commissioner of the General Land Office in Washington; resigning that position in 1866 was chosen Postmaster of the United States Senate, which position he resigned in 1869, to accept the office of Postmaster of Washington City; from 1855 to 1861 was Chairman of the Republican State Central Committee of Michigan; President of the Michigan Soldiers' Relief Association in Washington City, from its first organization in 1861; was also President of the National Council of the Union League of America from its organization in 1862 to 1869, when he, retired from the position. {Source: Biographical annals of the civil government of the United States: from original and official sources. 1887. By Charles Lanman, Joseph M. Morrison, page 154}]

[Note #2: Re: J.S. Newbury / John Stoughton Newberry [there is mention of him in an article about] Brown, Henry B[illings] In 1861 Mr. Brown was appointed Deputy U.S. Marshall and the next year he was made U.S. District Attorney at Detroit, which position he held until 1868.... When his term expired in 1871, Judge Brown returned to the private practice of law in Detroit, forming a partnership with J. S. Newberry and Ashley Pond. A catalogue of the law collection at New York University - Google Books Result Julius J. Marke - 1999 - 1372 pages books.google.com/ John Stoughton Newberry was the author of Reports of admiralty cases: argued and adjudged in the district courts of the United States, for the District of Michigan, Northern District of Ohio, Southern District of Ohio, Western District of Pennsylvania, Northern District of Illinois, District of Missouri, and Eastern District of Louisiana, from 1842 to 1857, published by Banks & Bros. in 1885]

Source: The original letter, eight pages handwritten in ink, is (2011) in the possession of Michael R. Delahunt, and is here transcribed by MRD.

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Following is a letter from Rev. Samuel Newbury to his wife Mary Ann.

Detroit, Mich., Sat. May 19, 1860

My Dear Mary Ann

I feel inclined to employ my lonesome moments this forenoon in commencing a letter to you I have finish and mail it next Monday or this day. I have not yet left the house since I came not feeling as well as usual and it is cold and rainy without. I shall try to go down into the city this afternoon. We expect John home today. Frances was much tired out by her journey and the calls and excitements at Jackson but she feels much better this morning. The children are as happy as larks and give their mother no trouble. Emma is thin, quick, guardian and helper. Franny has another very good girl in the kitchen. Saml is busy and I should should think steadily increasing his business and yet I should not be surprised if he yet went to Chicago. This question will be settled however within a few weeks. I hope and think that he will remain here, but he thinks he can make more money at Chicago, says he shall not go there until that is made certain. If however any arrangements are made here for Egbert, he will probably decide to stay here or at least that would affect his determination somewhat.

Frances of course opposes all projects for Saml's going to Chicago. Told him yesterday, if he want, she would go too. I wrote a postscript in Saml's letter to you yesterday and enclosed your two dollars which I hope you have received. I shall expect to receive a letter from home by Monday. Good bye till Monday.

Monday May 21. The Sabbath is past. Saml and I attended Dr. Duffield's church yesterday morning. Rain in the evening prevents my going out. It rains hard all night. Hope you have some rain at Dubuque. I have been quite unwell since I have been here so that I have not been out at all. My [ ] trouble [ ] terribly night and day. I feel a little more comfortable to day. As to my future course I am wholly at sea and more in doubt than ever.Saml opposes outright my going to Ohio and John opposes my having anything to do with the [agevry?]. He thinks it all "pop cock." I am wholly undecided what to do. Hope the question will be settled this week. Saml wants us to take a trip up to Lake Superior for my health on a fire [srap? not sloop]. But I am too anxious about home [or how?] to do any such thing at present, unless I have [or hall] some money to [ ] home. I shall however try and see that you are kept in market money. Saml has quite an increase of business lately last week that will soon yield him some money. I hope you will write me every day or two and keep me posted as to all matters at home. I shall remain here for several days yet. How long I can not tell.

Monday, Detroit, May 28,/60 My Dear Mary Ann Your very welcome letter of the 25 inst was received this morning. I was much relieved to hear from home, had begun to be nervous not hearing last week. I expect to leave here Cleveland tomorrow evening. enclosed I send you five dollars (5$) for Mary Woodbury, the balance of the fifteen dollars I had of her. Ten dollars I sent back to her from Duluth[?] by Egbert, which he of course gave her. i also enclose two dollars for yourself. Saml and I attended Rev. Mr. Hogarth's church yesterday morning and evening. He is a fine preacher, the best in the city. He reminds me of Rev. Trowbridge. Rev. Hogarth inquired particularly after Bro. Trobridge, and wished to be remembered to him. Saml is very popular here. His business is steadily increasing. Lockwood & Clark this morning put some new business into his hands, had him appointed receiver of the assets of a firm that failed. It gives no money now, but will when the matter is finally settled. Saml has nearly abandoned all idea of going to Chicago. Franny wrote you last week. She and the children are quite well. John is full of politics, is terribly disappointed that Seward was not nominated instead of Lincoln.

Saml received this morning a very long and interesting letter from Robb, or rather from "Pat" as his signature was. Ch. J. Eire[?] advanced Saml fifteen dollars on the Kirtland[?] note as he holds the security of Kirtland[?] in his hands, seven dollars of which is enclosed in this letter, the balance for my own expenses to Ohio. I wish Egbert to give special attention to the practice of reading, writing. Have him read alone every letter mind from every source till he can read readily any handwriting. Let him spend hours in this practice every day. And I wish him to devote at least one hour each day to writing so as to be able to write a good business hand. Then two things vis: writing and reading writing are absolutely indispensable to his obtaining a clerkship of any volume. A plan will soon be obtained for him, but John says it will depend on his writing and his ability to read writing readily. Please hand the enclosed line to Mr. Allamy[?] without delay.

From your affectionate husband, Saml. Newbury

P.S. I will write soon after reaching Cleveland. Much love to the children. Mr. Story, whom you knew in Jackson just called and wished me to remember him to Mrs. Newbury. S. N.

Source: The original letter, eight pages handwritten in ink, is (2011) in the possession of Michael R. Delahunt, and is here transcribed by MRD.

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Col. Samuel Newbury (USA)'s Timeline

1835
1835
Indianapolis, IN, USA
1864
August 19, 1864
Age 29
VA, USA