Sanderson, William Harley
Age: 18, credited to Brandon, VTVITALS
Birth: 04/11/1844, Brandon, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Pine Hill Cemetery, Brandon, VT
Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.
The National Tribune, Washington, DC,
Thursday, March 28, 1907
The 60th Ohio
Editor National Tribune
I was very much surprised to learn at this late date that the 60th Ohio had been mustered out of the U.S. service without honor. There were no better men anywhere than those who constituted the 60th Ohio. My own regiment [and] the 32d Ohio served in the same brigade with the 60th and I knew them well. Unfortunately, we were all included in that disgraceful surrender at Harper's Ferry, Va., on Sept 15 1862.
After being paroled we were sent to Chicago. The understanding at the time was that we were to go up into Minnesota to quell an Indian uprising as according to the terms of parole we could not take up arms against the Confederacy until exchanged. However we only got as far as Chicago.
Upon arrival we were marched to the Cook County Fair Grounds adjoining Camp Douglass and near a lot of slaughter houses from which odors arose of a sickening character. The weather was cold and wet and pools of water stood everywhere about the grounds. On one side were rows of stables which had been used during the Worlds Horse Fair the season previous. These stables had no floors and many had water standing therein with accompanying stable refuse. We were halted in front of them and to our consternation, informed that they were our quarters. A respectable farmer would not have put his hogs in such a place but soldiers must obey orders. We had a pretty bad time In this place. We were given hay for our beds which we had to put on the damp ground. The weather continued cold and wet and many sickened and died. No attention was paid to requisitions for lumber to make the stable more habitable and so, finally a raid was made on the grand stand of the race course. After a time more lumber was furnished and rough bunks were built.
The rebel prisoners at Camp Douglass fared better than we. Rations were inadequate, and of poor quality. Talk about embalmed beef, the soldiers at Tanita in 1898 had a regular feast compared with us. No passes were allowed for a while to say nothing of furloughs. Rats mice and vermin took possession of everything then to add to the situation an attempt was made to place arms in our hands contrary to the terms of parole. Things were so bad that in about six weeks the regiments were moved into Camp Douglas adjoining, but the rats and mice were still plentiful there. Is it any wonder then, that the men became disheartened and sick? Many deserted and went to their homes and officers resigned their commissions and returned to civil life. Hon E. B. Sherman of Chicago, now a prominent attorney with one of those who would not stand the treatment any longer so resigned his commission in the 9th Vt. He can testify to the truth of all I have said.
As to the 60th Ohio, they were composed of as good men as any regiment in the service. Their time had about expired, and, of course, they were in somewhat of a chaotic state so to alleviate the situation and allowed the men to re-enlist after their exchange they were mustered out. Can anyone call this without honor? I think not. Scores of men from all the regiments at Camp Douglass later on after the exchange were transferred at their own request to the Regular Army. Anything to get out of the dirty vermin infested camp was the one thought of the men. The men of all the regiments, including the 60th Ohio, were good men and true, and did valiant service till the close of the war. As to the Brownsville affair, I have nothing to say but the history of the 60th Ohio and Camp Douglass is no comparison or criterion. Let us preserve the integrity and honor of the soldiers of 61.
Wm H Sanderson, Co C 9th Vt, and Cos I and C, 2d U. S. Dayton O.
Contributed by John Harris, William's 2nd Great Grandson.