Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Schuylkill Countian, from Ashland fought with the Rebel 1st Louisiana Artillery and was captured at Vicksburg. Pvt. Matthew Farne
Listed below is an interesting story of a Schuylkill Countian, from Ashland who fought with the Rebel 1st Louisiana Artillery and was captured at Vicksburg. Pvt. Matthew Farne.
September 5, 1863
An Irishman Experiences The South
Pottsville Miners Journal
Those who think Jeff Davis Confederacy is a pleasant place to sojourn in, and who vote in the north so as to encourage Jeff, to keep up his first class establishment, will oblige us by listening to the experience of an Irishman, formerly a resident of Schuylkill County. Matthew Farne who lived in Ashland, and went t the South several years since, and when the war broke out was forced into the rebel army, 1st Louisiana Artillery. He was taken prisoner at the surrender of Vicksburg and is now in Camp Morton, Indianapolis, Indiana. He is desirous of taking the oath of allegiance, and application has been made to Governor Curtin to have him released. To show the feelings of an Irishman who has tasted the beauties of Rebel Dom , we quote from a letter from him to his brother in Ashland: “You may rejoice that you have never for a moment borne the galling yoke of Secessionism, or the bondage of worse than Egyptian Slavery, that I with thousands of others have been obliged to carry for the last two years, and we thank the providence of God that we are on the road to the land of freedom, where alone a man can act as a man should act. I do tell you candidly, that I know not one Irishman when required to enter the Union service, but will do so with more energy than if they never knew the misguided cause they have been connected with...”
He has a poor opinion of the Secesh Officers:
“I tell you, and you may believe me, that a more cowardly set of men I never saw than the officers at the siege of Vicksburg, for though we stood the fire, famine, and fatigue for seven weeks, they skulked into their hiding places more than common negroes. Such is the chivalry of the South so much heralded. But when they fight a few more battles like Vicksburg the demoralization of their own army will cripple and crush them.”
Editors Note: The prison camp that Farne was held in:
Camp Morton, an Indianapolis civil war training camp and later a federal prison for captured confederate soldiers, was located in the area now bounded by Talbott Avenue to the west, Central Avenue to the east, Twenty-Second Street to the north, and Nineteenth Street to the south. Samuel Henderson, the first mayor of Indianapolis, originally owned this thirty-six acre tract, which contained scattered hardwood trees of mostly black walnut and oak and at least four good springs. This area became known as Henderson’s or Otis’ Grove. A creek flowed through this property upon which, after it was dredged in 1837, become known as State Ditch. State Ditch was later nicknamed the “Potomac” by the prisoners of Camp Morton. State Ditch is no longer visible as it was made into an underground drain some years after the war.
Farnes Regiment: 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery
Organized 5 Feb 1861 as part of the Louisiana State Army, the 1st Heavy Artillery transferred to Confederate service 13 Mar 1861, with 744 men. Regimental headquarters remained at the New Orleans Barracks while the various companies occupied the forts of the New Orleans defenses.
The Regiment marched out after the surrender of Vicksburg and went into a camp for paroled prisoners. After being exchanged, the Regiment went into service at Mobile, arriving in January of 1864.
The Regiment continued to garrison batteries in the Mobile area until 11 Apr 1865, when they were dismantled and the men evacuated as part of the evacuation of Mobile. When Lieutenant General Richard Taylor's Army surrendered on 8 May 1865, the 1st Heavy Artillery was camped at Cuba Station, Alabama; and the men receivd their paroles as part of Taylor's