Monday, March 24, 2014

He 'kicked me several times in the Privates' (part one)

Dave Nelson and Dave Morin, buddies from the 5th New Hampshire re-enactors, regularly share with me their finds concerning the 5th and other regiments. As an attachment to a recent email, they passed along scans of the following papers regarding a Major Crafts (it’s misspelled in the papers), an officer in the 5th.

After many years of reading letters and records about New Hampshire regiments, especially the 5th, I’ve developed enough familiarity with their context to put most of them in perspective. Today I thought I’d simply post transcripts of the papers. In subsequent posts I’ll follow up with what I make of them.    

Bull Ring, City pt. Nov 9th, 1864

Capt Korhler


I wish to complain of the brutal treatment I received this evening from Major Krafts of the 5th New Hampshire Regt. On being recognized by him in the Bull Ring. He asked me if I knew him. When I answered civilly that I did, whereupon he struck me repeatedly in the face and about the Head with his closed fists & kicked me several times in the Privates.

I then asked him what that was for when he repeated the assault using abusive language & threatening to have a dozen Bullets put into me. All this in the presence of the Lieutenant of the Guard & many others who can be brought to prove this.

Also when outside the gate of the Bull Ring he repeated the assault strikin me in the Face & attempting to kick me in the Privates & using threatening language to the effect that he wanted to put a number of Bullets into me.

He has also shamefully ill-used me whilst in the regiment at the Front which was the reason of my leaving the regiment as I had no chance at all for my life, being bucked and gagged while the shells were bursting within a few feet of me & in sight of the Enemys Sharpshooters.

I am ready & willing to take a solemn Oath to The truth of this statement & can produce any number of witnesses to that part of it which took place inside the Bull Ring & at the gate of it.

I am Sir

Your Obed Servt
Henry Pitchenger

Office of the Provost Marshal,
Armies operating against Richmond
City Point, Va.
November 10th  1864

Maj. Gen. W.S. Hancock
Commdg. 2d Corps

I enclose, herewith, a “statement” which speaks for itself, and a copy of charges preferred, this day against Major Krafts, 5th New Hampshire Vols.

It appears that the major applied at my office, last evening, for permission to see some of his men in barracks. The permit was given, with the result as stated, – only the facts are very much worse. The Surgeon and other officers here being witnesses, as well as men, would it not be advisable to have him tried before a Court now in session here? I will have Bvt. Brig. Gen. Collis added to it, as President. The officer of the guard is to be tried here for permitting the outrage, and allowing him to leave without arrest.

The Major is not yet in arrest. Will you order it?

Please drop me a note, by messenger, or telegraph.

I have the honor to be, General,

Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
M.R. Patrick
Provost Marshal General

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