E T Leaves Home

E T Leaves Home

So, E T signed up on April 15th, but that did not mean that he and the SLI would be going out right away.  The President’s call was in effect, but it was up to the Governor of the state, in this case, Republican John Andrew, as to which regiments would be filling the state’s quota.

And the decision was in, the regiments being called up were the Third, the Fourth, the Sixth and the Eighth. The Salem Light Infantry was company A of the Seventh Regiment, and hence not slated to go. But there were certain factors in play behind the scenes.  The governor had been a guest of the Salem Company at an exhibition in the beginning of the month, and was impressed.  And Captain Devereux wanted his company to go, if it had the honor of being the “right-flank company of skirmishers,” the “point of the spear” in today’s parlance.  And the Eighth regiment was undermanned.
Besides this the governor was also stewing over another decision – who to send out as the brigadier general in charge of the Massachusetts troops. He really did not want to send the most obvious choice Benjamin F Butler. It was a trust issue. In the last election Butler, a Democrat, had supported the Breckinridge faction of that party, the very ones who were now pointing their weapons at Lincoln in Washington DC.
In Salem, through the 16th and 17th, time was spent in preparations and awaiting the governor’s decision. And the order came on the 17th, the Governor acceded to the Captain and that is how the SLI went out as Company J of the 8th regiment MVM, the brigade under the overall command of Brig. Gen. Benjamin F Butler. On that same evening, E T and 29 other recruits were voted into the company.
The next morning, the 18th, the SLI was mobbed by well-wishers at the armory. From there they had to push their way through the crowd to the train station, giving a “seven cheer” to one and all. (The “seven cheer” like the Rangers’ “Hooah” went like this. A count from one to seven, followed by the words “Tiger,” then “Zouave,” and then the object of their cheer).
And the first movement was to Boston where all the companies of the 8th were to rendezvous.

E T Sighting

E T Sighting


I had found George A Thompson. His unit, company H was a part of the Fifth Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia (or MVM for short). Company H was also known as the Salem Guard.
According to his roster, George had enlisted 4/19/1861, a week after Sumter had been fired upon, and was mustered in on May 1 (more things to look up for understanding). And was listed as a casualty 7/21, the Battle of Bull Run (or First Bull Run, so as not to be confused with Second Bull Run).
But there was no Edward T Osgood. Not in company H, nor in any other companies of the Massachusetts Fifth regiment.
Another search finally turned up ET in the 23rd Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (MVI). On their roster he was listed as the fourth sergeant in Company A. But nowhere does it mention that the 23rd was at First Bull Run, in fact the date of his enlistment was given as August 21, 1861, a month after that battle. So, again there seemed to be no connection to Thompson.
As a first step, I looked up a listing for a regimental history of the 23rd, found it, and as my local library did not have a copy, I ordered it from the InterLibraryLoan department.
And waited.
Meanwhile I could wonder about some of the other clues from this roster entry.
Like exactly what was a “Cordr”?