23rd Georgia Infantry

Memior of Samuel Tate Hommontree Company E

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Memoir of Samuel Tate Hammontree
Company E 23rd Georgia Infantry
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... Volunteered 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 being transferred.
.. 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 of them.
... 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 me.
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4 years of war.
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March 25th, 1980
Civil War Records Section
Georgia Department of Archives and History
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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.