Memoir of Samuel Tate Hammontree
Company E 23rd Georgia
in 1861 at Jasper Ga., Under Cap. Sam Tate. Marched on foot to Big Shanty camping along the road at night laying on ground.
Drilled at Big Shanty three months under Col. Best and Tom Hutcherson. From here was sent to Augusta and then to Richmond
Va., here under General Winder was sent on to M.C. Griden, Yorktown, transferred from there to Chicamauga, had first battle
.. Fought at Seven
Pines, Petersburg and all above Richmond, was in the Wilderness battles, fought at Sharpsburg, again at Richmond and South
Mo. on Sim. Petersburg, Manassas, from here was rushed to Ocean Pond, in Florida. From Ocean Pond was sent back to Bentonville
N.C. where we were forced to surrender.
... Many small skirmishes
in Ga., we had, I have not fought Sherman. Took twenty five pieces after Sherman went through Ga., which was not mentioned.
Some of the things I can most distinctly remember were, my brother Steve, not yet Sixteen, was killed at Sharpsburg.
... I received the
last 9000 Quaker destriction of Gen. Grant at Petersburg were in trying to blow up the Rebel Army. He blew a hole perhaps
fifty feet deep and his soldiers, hurriedly and anxiously, charged too fast and the falling debris fell on them killing hundreds
... I still remember
the big dinner we had at Athens before leaving for Richmond. I was close to Stonewall Jackson when he fell. Captured night
he fell told later. His death cast a gloom over that was hard to endure.
... One of the fondest
memories I have of active warfare was at Ocean Pond in Florida. Here the Yanks had the negroes in front urging them on with
drawn bayonets. We routed them, seizing several pieces of artillery, seizing a shining brass piece Iron and threw my legs
over it and yelled for joy, then agony for it had been shot so much that it was hot and the skin on my leg was burned crisp.
... The most terrible
days I had were at Chancellorsville. Here we had gonw three days without food and I, with many more were captured and marched
swiftly to Washington. Many fell out on this trip. When we got there, they gave us three crackers and a small piece of beef
for the first meal. I was kept a prisoner here three days and then sent to Fort Delaware where prisoners were exchanged, I
was sent to Fortress Monroe. I stayed sixty days at Fort Sumter, S.C.
... I helped pick
up pieces of Gen Colquitt’s body and arranged them. Myself with the help of a small boy named, Tom Everhart, carried
Lieut. Forster’s body and buried it.
... I had measles
at Big Shanty and our medicine was plenty of Rye Whiskey. My worst exposure was at Cedar Mountain and the Wilderness. I fought
all day along the Potomac River and we had to wade it three times in one night when our clothes would freeze in a moment after
we were out. We must have many hardships and tiresome marching around Harpers Ferry. I can still see Capt. Ferguson wading
out the rivers when he gave a man a dollar to carry him over and the man fell with him.
... I was one of
many to view the U.S. flag as it rose out of the water at Norfolk, which we all should have known, was a warning to quit.
... Turned loose
at Bentonville N.C. Rode, walked to Gainesville Ga., rode with Sam Tate (Henry Edwards with me), to Tate Ga., spent night
with Tate, next day walked home.
... Helped, and
the only man who helped, General R.E. Lee move his telescope on top of Malvern Hill, Va., with bullits falling all around
4 years of war.
March 25th, 1980
Civil War Records Section
Georgia Department of Archives and History
Enclosed is a copy of the memoirs of my great-great-grandfather,
Samuel tate Hammontree, Tate’s Guards, Company E, 23rd Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry. The memoir was apparently
typed up by the Pickens County War Rosters commision and given to my family years later.