Webster, Ellery H.
Age: 19, credited to Irasburg, VTVITALS
Birth: 01/17/1843, Irasburg, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Welcome O. Brown Cemetery, Barton, VT
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and other veterans who may be buried there.
Ellery H. Webster
LAMOILLE NEWDEALER: October, 31, 1862
FROM THE ELEVENTH REGIMENT
The following letter which we copy from the Orleans Independent Standard, was written by Ellery H. Webster, a young man who helped us to give to the public the first numbers of the Newsdealer, and who had before and has since been employed by the Standard office
Captain Rice is pretty generally known as a teacher of band music. He was leader of the band that went out with the 5th. On being discharged from the service he was sent to Orleans County to recruit a company for the 11, and was and was chosen captain.
DEAR BOSS:---Since I wrote you before, we the "Allen Guards", have shifted our location from Fort Lincoln to Ft. Bunker Hill, about two miles northwest, between Fort Saratoga and Taunton. The regiments have been divided into seven parts, changed from infantry to heavy Artillery, and stationed one or two companies in a place, on the line of forts on this, the eastern side of Washington City. Fort Bunker Hill is situated on a beautifully elevated rise of ground, and affords a splendid view of the surrounding hills, swamps and patches of fallen trees, fell criss cross shape, or any way to get them out of range of the cannon in the forts, for it ma be necessary some day to use them to play " shoot the target" on the side hill beyond, but I trust for no other purpose in this war. For soon this black rebellious reptile, which has so long been quirling around the liberty-pole, on which hangs our proud banner, will receive a terrible stab between the ribs, with a bayonet tempered by the fires of our Northern lights, which will send him and his rotten and never recognized government off the American platform into the " last ditch" of misery. But I was going to tell you something about Fort Bunker Hill. The fort is now in command of a Co. of 112th Pennsylvania regiment. But they have had orders to " take up their bed and walk" to some other fort, which will leave the whole concern in the command of Capt. Rice. It is some 200 feet in length, and 70 wide; has 8 32-pound guns, one 24-pounder, one howitzer, and two small mortars. From its walls one can see the flags at Fort Lincoln, Saratoga, Slemmer and Taunton. It is a strongly built fort and has a very commanding position against any and everything excepting fleas, which climb in, in some unseen and secluded spot, and get into the bomb-proof, and are an everlasting nuisance to sleep there, the hours they do not walk their beat. The bite however, is so small that we do not feel the effects of it until next day, when a nutmeg grater would be a very handy thing for the boys to scratch themselves with. Taunton is a larger fort with seventeen guns; two 24-pound rifled parrot, and four 10-pound rifled brass pieces, the rest being 28 pound smooth bores.
Day before yesterday, just at dark, Capt. Rice had orders to report the next day at 1 o'clock, at Fort Massachusetts, with 50 men, armed and equipped, and with knapsacks and tents. Where we were going from there, or what we were going to do was a secret to us. The next at at 1, according to the order, we started. By this time the camp stories were numerous. We were going to making roads; we were going to work on a fort; going to digging rifle pits; going to Harper's Ferry, and were going to reinforce mcClellan. Each man had his own story to tell.
When we got along to Fort Taunton and were carelessly marching at rout step, we saw a horseman coming over a hill, some 20 rods ahead. The captain's quick eye caught his shoulder straps, and saw that it was a Major General. We were drawn up in a line, and came to a " present arms" on a double and twisted quick. He came up, saluted us, and took a branch road to the left, and passed on. We did not know then who it was, but found out afterwards that it was Gen. Banks. We then resumed our march. It was one of the hottest days we have had since we have been here; so warm a day is seldom experienced in Vermont. When we had gone a mile further we were glad to sit down beside the road and wait for the baggage wagon to come up, when we threw on our knapsacks as though, the one that got it on first was the best fellow. Half a mile further took us to another road and opposite Fort Massachusetts, where we halted, and after waiting for the first regiment of Maine cavalry to pass on our way to Harper's Ferry, turned into a field on the left, and pitched our tents. Today we are digging rifle pits.
I have just been looking over Fort Massachusetts. Eight weeks ago it was a small fort with only seven guns; but since Stonwall Jackson has made his great threats of coming in here, with his little drove of confederate black boys, and annihilating the whole Northern army, an addition has been in progress, and is now nearly completed, 200 feet long and 100 wide; it has already mounted 11 heavy pieces,, 3 of which are rifled parrot guns. This part is called Fort Lafayette. When it is finished it will be a splendid fort, and one too, that old uncle Stonewall will have to eat several puddings before he can take.
October 10: We finished digging rifle pits yesterday, and today are making government road. The boys are getting pretty well acquainted with the pick and shovel. We were in hopes that when we finished our ditches between Bunker Hill and Taunton, that we had got done digging; but it is like working hard all day, then going out to play dig cellar by the moonlight, but we enlisted to work, and ought not to complain if we do have to pick up chips, then throw them down and pick them up again. It will keep us from demoralization, if nothing more..
This noon we received three days more rations When they are demolished, unless we have further orders, we expect to go back to camp, where we will probably stay this winter. We do not find much here for excitement. One week ago tonight I was on guard, had just left my beat, and had comfortably laid down in the bomb-proof, when a little Dutch sergeant came in, in hot haste, as excited as a bob-tailed bull in fly time, and with a voice like a stuttering nigger, told us to get up every man, with his gun, " queek, queek, queek!" Of course we thought the devil, or something else, was to pay. Corporal Buxton, who was corporal degard, got us together ( only six of our co.) as soon as possible; the guards of the other company, ( the 112th Penn. Reg.) were ready as soon as we were, and we double-quicked it about a hundred rods, to a" managery", as Dave Leet calls it, ---- a place where they sell beer----surrounded it, took three prisoners who. "alas" had taken too much lager, and put them in the guard house. The next morning Lieut. Morse took several men, went to the house and seized five barrels of beer, brought it up to camp, and poured it on the ground. Some of the boys said, " twas too bad", for they wanted a suck at the bung. The Lieut. Knew his duty, said they couldn't even lap the outside of the barrel.
October 11. --- As I did not get a chance to send this yesterday, I will add a little postscript in relation to Capt. Rice. While we are here with the parts of six other companies, he had them all under command, to see to, and to look after,, which he does in the best possible manner, and without a single exception, to the entire satisfaction of every soldier. This morning was an exceedingly wet one, and the Capt. Had orders from Lieut. Col. Benton, and from Capt. Fuller, who is boss of the job, not to work his men in the rain. In the afternoon, during a severe storm he ordered his men in. On his return he met Major Saddler, of the 112th Penn.Reg., who is in no way connected with the "bossification" of the road, much less the ordering of any officer of the Vt. 11th, who in an insulting manner asked him what business he had to take his men in then. The Captain answered him promptly that he had orders to do so; and what was more, common sense told him the men ought not to work in such a storm; where upon the Major boiled over, and made some threats upon the Captain.
Captain Rice has been, and ever will be respected by every officer in the regiment, as one brother respects another. He has the fullest confidence of every soldier in the company. He is to them like a father to his children. When they are sick he does not rest until he sees them made comfortable. He spends a great deal of money for their welfare; why should they not respect him?
Lamoille Newsdealer: FEB. 26, 1863
FROM THE 11TH REGIMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. FEB. 19, 1863
MR.EDITOR: To kill time, I now take my pen to let you know as to the weather. We have been having quite a long spell of it. It has been extraordinary. Since the proclamation came into effect, it has been rather inclined to be "shady, " especially if a darkey happens to be passing, his ebony-colored cheek reflecting upon his high, glossy collar, casts a vail of darkness round about. But not withstanding all this, we have had a great many "Indian Summer, " which lasts a few days, and then passeth away and is no more for a while. From the time we left "Old New England", until the end of the year 1862, it was pretty much all sunshine. Since then, a mixture of moonshine, to enable the dark man of bondage to flee unto the mountains, and shout for Freedom, Union, and Proclamation.
Last Monday was one of the pleasantest days man ever saw. The clouds had departed to obscurity. The sky was clear as Federal Uniforms, the sun shone in all its glory, the ground was nearly as dry as as ever, and everything seemed to say, " pring is coming." The next morning the sky was hid behind great black clouds, which threatened to give us a severe shower of snow, and so they did. Before night the snow was fully one foot deep. Yesterday and last night it rained and took it all away. Such is the weather in the vicinity of the 11th regiment --- changeable and un-changeable, cool, muggy, hot, wet and chilly.
The health of the regiment is not very good. Measles and fever prevail to considerable extent. Co. F., from Orleans County, has fifteen sick with measles; 4 in hospital, viz.; D.D. Whitney, Chauncy Webster, Thomas Thomas Caples, and William Robbins. I am just getting over the typhoid fever. A.W. Howard is sick with bilious fever, in the same room that I was in. Six have died in the regiment since February; Abram LaPlant, Co.D; 3 from Co. E., 1 from Co. I, and 1 from Co. H.. There has been one case of small pox in company K. The boys are waiting for more shin-plasters. The weather is growing cold; and I remain
Co. F., 11th Reg. Vt. Vol's
Submitted by Deanna French.
Orleans County Monitor - July 7, 1909
Ellery H. Webster died at his home on Park Street (Barton, VT) yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock after an illness of nearly ten months, the cause being an abscess under the right arm. This had been troublesome for many years and is probably the result of his prison life during the war and has kept him in bed most of the time since September 1908.
Mr. Webster was 66 years old and was one of a family of 11 children the son of Albert A. Webster who came to Irasburg from Massachusettes in the early days of the settlement of the county. He spent his early days in Irasburg where he received a common school education. He learned the printer's trade from A. A. Earle in the office of the Independant Standard at Irasburg and worked at the trade until the war when he enlisted in Co. F, 11th Vermont, Col. J. M. Warner's regiment. On June 23, 1864 he was captured on the Weldon Railroad with 52 others of his company, endured the horrors of Libby and Andersonville prisons and was one of the six who lived through six months of this southern prison life weighing but 70 pounds when he came out.
After the war he again took up the printer's trade and worked at Winchester, VA for A. M. Crane for some time, also in New Hampshire and Vermont and in 1872 founded the Orleans County Monitor at Barton, conducted the paper for four years and sold it to George H. Blake retaining the job printing business which he conducted for 17 years when this was sold to the Monitor. In Harrison's administration he was appointed postmaster, which position he has held until a few months ago when he resigned, with the exception of the Cleveland administration.
On June 9, 1867 he married Miss Emeline Wright of Newport and four sons have been born to them; Bertie who died in infancy; Elmer E. in the US Customs Service at Quebec; Clarence S. treasurer of the Barton Savings Bank; and Carroll B. postmaster at Barton. His wife also survives him and the following brothers and sister: Joseph N. of Barton, Albert and Charles F. of Irasburg, Lucy E. (Mrs. E. P. Wright) and Pliny L. of Barton, Solon W. of Boston and William A. of Tucson, Arizona.
The funeral will be held from the M. E. church at 2 o'clock tomorrow, Thursday, Rev. W. B. Dukeshire officiating.
Mr. Webster has been an active member of the M. E. church here since joining in November 1887. He was a charter member of the George W. Quimby post G.A.R. of Barton and has been active in the interest of the post ever since. He was a brave soldier, ever ready for duty wherever it called him, and but for his rugged constitution would not have survived the hardships of the rebellion.
In business Mr. Webster was honest and upright, pleasant, kind and courteous to all and gained the respect of all with whom he had to do.
As a writer Mr. Webster had a pleasant style, commanded words of wit, wisdom, and pathos at will and while engaged in this work was highly successful. During the war he wrote several letters to Editor Earle of the Standard, which were highly appreciated by all the readers of the paper. He later wrote an account of his prison life which was published in the Monitor several years ago.
As a citizen Mr. Webster was a model. He ever had the interests of the town and state in mind, contributed to worthy causes, stood for the right and condemned the wrong, was kind, neighborly and considerate of all. He was affectionate in his home and never spoke ill of those outside. Thus passes a useful life, one that has done good in the world, a life one always felt better for having come in contact with and the greatest honor that can be said of anyone may be truthfully said of him, he was a man.
Contributed by Dan Taylor.