Friday, May 21, 2010

Blog Press messes with my formatting, so I wanted to see what it would do to a traditionally formatted poem... HERE GOES NOTHIN' !!!

Matthew 5:13 (New International Version)

13 "You are the salt of the earth,
but if the salt loses its saltiness,
how can it be made salty again?"


Song of my Seasoning:

Oh salt of earth
That gave me birth
And taught my mind to see;

You have returned
Unto the sod
And left me out at sea!

Although I yearn
To meet my God
I ache to hear your voice!

And when at last
It comes to pass
I hope I have the choice;

To sit with you
And reminisce
To speak of days gone bye!

Before we came
To this abyss
When You were young and spry!

You held my hands
We walked along
I rode your shoulders high!

Oh salt of earth
I sing your song
Beneath the azure sky!

Oh salt of earth
I sing your song
And softly wave goodbye....



- Posted using BlogPress
from my iPad.

Making heads for tails....

I have been trying to sort out the differing and contradicting information having to do with how James Gilmour and his Comrade Francis Perry came to enlist and make their way to Washington. Depending on the report, newspaper article or the dates on James' letters there appears to be a number of anomalies that I will now try to sort out in an order that makes chronological sense to me.
First: On Sunday, April 12, 1861 after decades of growing strife between North and South The Confederate Army opened fire on the Federal Army at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor South Carolina. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later on April 13th.

Sargent Hart reattaches the Flag.
According to the Official Unit Roster of the 2nd NYSM/82nd Infantry available on the New York Military Museums website James Gilmour and Francis Perry enlisted on April 17th,at New York City to serve 3 years.
On Saturday April 20th, 1861 a "Mass Meeting" was held in Union Square, New York in protest of the taking of Fort Sumpter sponsored by the New York City Camber of Commerce in support of the Union. The news of the attack on the Sixth Massachusetts in Baltimore, reached the city causing alarm over the city's Seventh Regiment on its way to Baltimore.

First Blood -- The Sixth Massachusetts Regiment 
fighting their way through Baltimore, April 19, 1861.
As the time for the meeting drew nearer, merchants closed their shops and encouraged attendance at the meeting. Union Square was packed with 100,000-200,000 citizens wearing symbols of the national flag. Even the actual flag that was flown at Fort Sumter was there tacked to a tree by Metropolitan Police Officer Sargent Hart (much the same as he did at Fort Sumter after the original mast had been shot away by the Confederates.) He had been sent to Fort Sumter to collect and escort Mrs. Anderson; the wife of the commanding officer Major Robert Anderson.

Buildings and houses flew the national flag and red, white, blue bunting hung from every window. They were five speaker stands and the crowd cheered the appearance of Major Robert Anderson, Captains Abner Doubleday, J.G. Foster, Lieutenant Hall and Surgeon Samuel W. Crawford and the garrison of Fort Sumter, who had arrived on the steamer Baltic on Thursday, April 18th, from Charleston, South Carolina. The square was flooded with people and the overflow spilled out into other parts of the city. (1)

The "Union" Mass Meeting held in Union Square, 
New York on the 20th of April. (1861)

I am going to assume with some sense of certainty that James and Francis were present at this meeting as well as James' brother Robert Gilmour and his Wife Mary (Pollock) Gilmour. They lived and worked only blocks away and I think it is reasonable to surmise as much.
Many men at the time belonged to Fire Companies and Militias for Social reasons much like they do today. Thier first Captain Capt. Thomas M. Reid was commissioned on May 21st 1858 with rank from April 21st 1858.

By Thursday April 25th, 1861; James and Francis were ready and waiting to go with the Militia to defend Washington from the Secesh.

This is the inscription in the front-piece
of the Bible James Gilmour 
carried with him until his death in the Peninsula Campaign. 
"His Sister Mary" was his sister in-law Mary Pollock Gilmour.

James Gilmour's Bible from the family archives of the author.
The 2nd Regiment Militia failing to be ordered to the front under the first call, organized in New York City as a regiment of volunteers in the rear of Thompson's Market which appears to have served as their Armory.

I believe that James James Gilmour and Francis/Frank Perry worked in some capacity at Tompkins Market. (Tompkins Market is the building on the right hand side of the picture flying the Stars and Strips.) I surmise from a letter sent to them by their coworkers as a congratulatory "Testimownial" after the Battle of Bull Run signed by the men that they had previously worked with. ...but I will get to that in a later posting sometime next week.
From a Newspaper Article (source unsighted) posted on the New York State Military Museums Website:


The Second regiment, New York State Militia, Colonel Tompkins, paraded yesterday, previous to their encampment on the Battery today. The special order announcing the parade provided that the officers and members of the regiment should assemble in their respective company drill rooms yesterday morning, at nine o'clock, for regimental drill, the field and staff officers mounted, to report to the Colonel in the Armory at the same time; and the commandants, with their companies, together with the non-commissioned staff and drum corps, to report to the Adjutant, at Tompkins square, at a later hour—all to be there at ten o'clock A. M. The officers reported to the Colonel in accordance with the requirements of the special order; but, in consequence of the unfavorable condition of the weather, the regimental parade was postponed until the afternoon. At one o'clock P. M. the regiment, by companies, proceeded in front of the armory, in Seventh street, to Tompkins square, where the line was formed. The men appeared in fatigue dress, without knapsacks or overcoats. A large crowd collected around the square, and witnessed, apparently with unusual interest, every movement of the regiment. Several showers fell during the course of the afternoon, on account of which various field maneuvres were dispensed with--so that the entire tactics embraced in a full regimental drill were not completed. After executing a number of evolutions, the regimental line was formed inside the square, and the battalion took up the line of march. Preceded by a pioneer corps, five in number, came the twenty drummers, in their scarlet coats, followed by the engineer corps, numbering twenty-five members, under command of Captain Sage and Lieutenant Vanderpoel, bearing a beautiful banner, which had been presented to them on the previous evening. Next marched the howitzer corps, also numbering twenty-five, with some of their guns, followed by the staff and field officers and men, in all to the number of a thousand. In this order the regiment marched through St. Mark's place to and up Broadway to Fourteenth street, to Fifth avenue, down to Eighth street, and thence back to the armory. All along the line of march the regiment, completely uniformed and equipped, and manifesting unmistakeable evidences of the incessant labors of the officers in its discipline, elicited universal admiration. After returning to the armory, where the regiment is quartered, and where certain orders were issued for the morrow, the line was dismissed. The following is the special order concerning the encampment on the Battery to-day:—

NEW YORK, May 1, 1861.

Pursuant to directions from the Commander-in-Chief, the Second regiment New York State Militia, under the command of Colonel Tompkins, is hereby directed to go into camp upon the Battery, relieving the Fifty-fifth regiment, and will remain in camp until further orders from headquarters. The Second regiment will relieve the Fifty-fifth at three o'clock P. M. tomorrow.

By order of Major General Charles W. Sandford.
GEORGE W. MORELL, Division Inspector.

At Camp on the Battery.
On Saturday, May 18th, 1861; the Second New York State Militia paraded out of Battery Park, and boarded the Jersey City Ferry. From there they proceeded by train to Camden New Jersey via the Camden/Amboy Railway. Having arrived at the Camdon/Amboy Station the Regiment disembarked and marched a short distance to the Delaware River Ferry. The Ferry then took them across the Delaware to the City of Philadelphia, where they were docked at the foot of Washington Avenue, and Marched across the city to a waiting train on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. To the best of my knowledge the Philadelphia Union Volunteer Saloon was not as yet open to receive and relieve regiments in transit at this time.

Once on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad they proceed to Baltimore and proceeded through that city without incident. There they boarded B&O Train bound for Washington.
The Following is an excerpt from a letter from James Gilmour to his brother Robert Gilmour and his wife Mary:

Wasington May 23rd 1861 [Thursday]
Dear Brother and Sister I now
write to let you know
how I have faired since I left~
we arived in Phila~ at 8 o clock on monday night [May 20th]
and marched to the B and O R.R. Depot
where we left for Baltimore. we arived there
all safe at 8 o clock tuesday morning [May 21st] and
formed at the R.R. Depot. and marched
through the City where we were recieved
with hearty chearing from the foundry
Boys and a few of the citycens but the greater
part of them looked dagers at us but there
was no hissing at all we were there about
3 hours marching through the streets and
then left for wastning* where we arived
at 12 oclock p.m. we wer quartered in
Pa's. Ave. corner of 4th St. We are all well
and in good spirits.

As you can see according to James' Official Muster Record, 
he Enlisted in on May 21st upon his arrival in Washington, 
sometime after 12 p.m.; as a Private in Company B.

A carte de visite of Mary (Pollock) Gilmour 
from the family archives of the author.

A carte de visite of Robert Gilmour, Brother of James Gilmour; 
from the family archives of the author.
I possess no image of James Gilmour in my archives; I do however for my own sake go by this image I found of an anonymous Federal Recruit:

He is similar in features and stature to Robert Gilmour and many of the men in my family. In desperation I glommed it from an old book some years back. I believe it was a Time/Life book but I' not sure... at one time I thought that I might someday come across an image of him in a box somewhere, but alas that has yet to come to pass. Unless some miracle happens this will have to do. Maybe it's him, maybe it's not. Either way, I like to think it is. It solves a little bit of the mystery.


Friday, May 21st, 149 years to the day
James Gilmour was mustered in at
Washington D.C. as a Private.

*Except where otherwise noted images were downloaded from the New York Public Library Online Digital Collection.
(1) some source material is based on: "Union Defense Committee New York City's Repsonse to the Civil War" by William O'Neill at

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.