Pine, Orange Steadman
Age: 18, credited to Williston, VTVITALS
Birth: 10/13/1845, Williston, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: Pine, SteadmanDESCENDANTS
Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul, MN
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and other veterans who may be buried there.
Oran Steadman Pine, M. D., has conducted a representative medical practice since 1870, the year in which he was graduated from Bellevue Hospital Medical College, and is now, engaged in medical attendance upon his old comrades at the Soldiers' Home. His life has been one of greatest activity from his youth, when he enlisted in the army of the Union and served throughout the war. He then pursued his professional studies for a number of years and thereafter engaged in the practice of medicine up to the present time. Now, in his sixty-seventh year, he is occupying the important post of chief-surgeon of the Soldiers' Home at Minnehaha.
Born in Underhill, Vermont, October 13, 1845, Dr. Pine is the son of Joseph and Perline (Dike) Pine. The former was born in Williston, Vermont, in 1820, and passed his life engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was a Republican in politics and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as was also his good wife. He died in 1910, after reaching the venerable age of ninety years. The mother of Dr. Pine was a daughter of Reverend Orange Dike, a Freewill Baptist clergyman of the state of Vermont, well known in that state in his time. Mrs. Pine was born in 1822 and her death occurred in 1900, when she was in her seventy-eighth year of life. Both were worthy and estimable people, occupying high places in the esteem and regard of their fellow townspeople and enjoying a wide circle of friends in their home district. With reference to the genealogical history of the house of Pine, the greatgreat-grandfather of the subject was "Pena," an Italian who immigrated from his native land to the United States in the latter part of the sixteenth century. The name eventually assumed its present torm, owing to the English version of the word differing so radically from the Italian form. Joseph Pine, the father of Oran Steadman Pine, was the son of Andrew and Lois (Randall) Pine, and was born in Vermont, in 1820. His mother was a sister of Judge Phineas Randall, of New York, the father of Governor Alexander Randall, of the state of Wisconsin, and of Judge Edwin Randall, of Jacksonville, Florida, all three being men of considerable note and prominence in their time.
As a youth in his native village Oran Steadman Pine received fairly good educational advantages for that period. He attended the common schools of Stowe, Vermont, and later a two year academic course at Morrisville, Vermont, immediately thereafter teaching school two winter seasons. In his eighteenth year he entered the service of Dr. Perry E. Irish in New York City, and in the same year enlisted in the Union army as a member of Company K of the Fourteenth Brooklyn Regiment, serving therein until the regiment was mustered out just previous to the battle of Cold Harbor. He was then assigned to Company I of the Fifth New York Infantry (Duryea's Zouaves) and on the second of June, 1864, was captured during a charge at the battle of Cold Harbor. In an article of much interest, entitled "How I was Bottled and Unbottled," written by Dr. Pine, he gives a detailed account of some of his experiences in the army, dealing especially with his capture and escape and the part he played in the capture of Camp Vance near Morganton, North Carolina, on June 28, 1864, while under command of Colonel George W. Kirk. So replete is this article with fact and it so teems with interest that it is thought expedient to reproduce it in full in these pages:
At the battle of Cold Harbor, June 2, 1864, during a charge and by a flank movement of the enemy, I was one of the fourteen of my regiment to be captured, marched to Richmond and lodged in Libby prison. Our beds were on a level with the floor, and our meals, consisting of a strip of bacon, a piece of corn bread and a dish of pea or bean soup, daily, was considered much better than that served at the "Hotel" at Andersonville. So when after a two weeks' sojourn, a cattle train load of us were started southward, four of my regiment (myself included) entered into a conspiracy to escape and "save carfare." When we reached Charlotte, North Carolina, on the evening of June 18, 1864, we were taken from the train and put under guard near the railroad crossing in the open field during a severe rainstorm which lasted the greater part of the night. We had all loaned our blankets and surplus clo'thing to our Confederate brothers in the field, as they said they needed them more than we did, and, having no fires, or wood to make them, we concluded to stand together in the mud until morning. This we did in very close ranks. When our picnic breakfast had been served squads were sent to an adjoining grove, fires were built, and our appreciation of southern hospitality somewhat increased. The four conspirators held a caucus and decided that we would endeavor to run the guards that night. Our plan was for each to make his escape alone at different points and meet in the morning by a large tree which was plainly visible to all in the forest about a half a mile distant. About two-thirty o'clock, while a group of comrades were seated about a couple of logs with some fagots burning between them, near the corner of the camp, which was indicated by a large tree, I observed quite often both guards going from the corner at the same time. I passed the word around that I intended to escape at the next favorable opportunity and asked the cooperation of the boys at the fire to attract the guards' attention when the attempt was made. At about three o'clock I saw my chance and flitted past the big tree into the darkness. At the same time one of the boys at the fire, whose name I never learned, jumped up, swinging a large poker, and, separating the logs so that the fagots were dropped and the sparks flew into the air, sprang upon one of the logs and crowed like a genuine twenty-pound Brahma rooster—and the deed was done. My absence was not noticed by the guards and I was making my way in a southeasterly direction to the railroad track south of the crossing. I bore too much to my left, for I suddenly was halted by a sentinel who was guarding a pile of cotton, which I had intended to avoid by passing more southerly between him and the camp line. However, I softly took to my heels and for some reason was not followed. I thought afterwards that the sentinel believed himself mistaken, or that the noise he heard was that of a razorback hog in his night prowlings. When I had proceeded south far enough to believe myself out of hearing, I crossed the track, going southeast toward the big tree spoken of as our rendezvous. My entire possessions were a pair of trousers, a blouse, a pair of shoes and stockings, a shirt, cap and a tin cup. The morning was near at hand, the faintest signs being visible in the east. I heard a cow bell at a distance through the woods, and my earliest instincts in life were at once aroused. I decided that if the cow were willing I would interview her with my tin cup, with the result that she divded her treasures between me and her owner. I have often thought that that cow and Captain Castle's army mule were alike in one particular. Either would give service to or kick a Union soldier as willingly as a Confederate. The sun was clear in the east as I came to the big tree, only to find no comrades there to greet me; but down at the camp all was activity. A train stood on the track and our boys were loaded on like cattle and started on their journey to Andersonville prison. But three, besides myself, of the fourteen captured at Cold Harbor ever returned.
I was indeed alone in the enemy's country and my only way of escape was to flee to the northwest towards the mountains. I followed the general course of the railroad, crossing the northwest corner of Gaston county to Lincolntown, through Catawba county and on to Morganton, the county seat of Burke county, about eighty miles from Charlotte, traveling this distance and reaching a ford on the Catawba river on the evening of the 22d, having covered about forty miles during the day and night of the 20th. Resting in the woods during the daytime of the 21st, I proceeded in the evening and my night's travel brought me to a place called Connolly's Springs. Here again I took to the brush and waited the approach of night. I broke cover about four P. M. of the 22d, and having learned that there was a conscript camp a few miles from Morganton and having decided that it was safer to leave the railroad line running west to Marion, I must cross the Catawba river. I also learned that the bridge across the river was guarded by the forces at Camp Vance, but that a ford was available about a mile below the bridge. I reached the ford just at dark of the 22d, and, though a good swimmer, decided to wait for daylight. With the coming of morning, I forded the river, holding my clothes above my head. I found the water four or five feet deep in some places, and was thankful I had not made the attempt in the night. About 3 o'clock on the afternoon of the 20th, my first day of travel I found in a lonely cabin (where I stopped to rest and try and get something to eat) an old lady who had formerly lived in New York, and who was hiding an only son in the woods from the conscripting officers. When I made bold to tell her I was an escaped Union soldier she took me in her arms and said "God bless you! I will divide with you," and she took an old flour sack, cut and made it smaller for a haversack, and gave me some boiled eggs and bacon with some corn pones she had just made for her own boy to take to him in the brush. This served me well for two days, for she could only spare a little. I had eaten the last while camping at the ford, so when I got across the river I must needs meet some friendly cow or a cabin of colored folks. I was nearing the foot hills of the Blue Ridge, which, when crossed, would bring me into Tennessee, so, as the country was being scoured by conscription officers and Home Guards, I must be strictly on my guard or recapture would be my inevitable lot. I traveled on and about a mile from the ford I espied a plantation house with some darky quarters near by, and I thought it safe so early in the morning to go to the cook-house and get something to eat. When I opened the door I found in a bed two soldier boys from the camp before mentioned. Luckily they believed my story that I was a paroled Confederate prisoner from Camp Chase, Ohio, on the way to my home near Table Rock, so I was given a good breakfast and sent on my way rejoicing, but trembling from my narrow escape.
During the day of the 23d I traveled in by-paths, avoiding the main highways, and as night approached I was in a quandary as to how I was to cross the Iron Range of the Blue Ridge Mountains with no knowledge of the passes or mountain roads, but again a guiding hand came to my relief, as in the case of so many poor prisoners seeking to escape, in the form of the colored man.
While endeavoring to flank one of several large plantations found in those rich valleys near the head waters of the Catawba, I came suddenly upon two colored boys, eighteen and twenty years of age. They were brothers, and with hoes in hands were sitting on a fence waiting for the supper horn. The following conversation ensued: "Good evenin', Massa; 'spects you's far from home. Is you a soldier from camp?" "Yes, going home on pass to see the folks before going to the front." This answer was made on the impulse of the moment, not having satisfied myself that it was safe to tell the truth. Then the elder boy, who said his name was Andrew, remarked: "I hear dey's draftin' all the young white boys in de country to fight for Jeff Davis; wish de wah was ovah; it makes mighty hard times around heah. Dat Massa Lincoln has freed all de niggahs but de freedom don't come heah yet and we don't 'spect it will." I could see the human longing in their breasts as manifested by this discreet little speech, so I did not hesitate to inform them of the true state of things and to ask their aid in getting my freedom as well as theirs. They were bright boys, above the average, and said: "Ef de ole folks is willin', we'll go with you to Tennessee." So it was arranged that I hide in the brush until the old father should come down the road for the cows, when, if he were alone, I would know the result. True to their word, about dusk, the white headed old negro came along, and my whistle brought him to the brush. He said to me: "De boys want to go wif you to Tennessee and find Mass Linkum's soldiers; me and the ole woman too ole to go but we want dem to be free." And then, as the darkness came on, the darkies came also, bringing fried chicken, bacon, cornbread, a canteen of sorghum, and such other goodies as the faithful Mammy could give them. Then, with the blessing of both parents, we made tracks for Tennessee and liberty. Such a chase as those frightened boys led me that night, wading streams and up those stony mountain roadsl The memory is as vivid after forty-six years as though it were but yesterday. The morning of the 24th found us well on our way, but still many miles from safety. We rested in a rocky cave until nightfall, fearing the approach of hunters or any who might betray us, and well I knew that vengeance would fall heavily upon me if I were caught spiriting slaves from their master.
Past dusk we resumed our journey and the early dawn of the 25th found us on the mountain summit. Looking east, we could see the valley of the Catawba river. The small farms and larger plantation in that beautiful country spread out like a panorama. We descended the western slope, probably eight miles, coming into mountain settlements and better roads. We now felt quite safe, for eastern Tennessee was considered within the scope of Union occupation, although Knoxville was the nearest military post, with out-posts at Strawberry Plains and other railroad points within a radius of twenty miles eastward. About eleven o'clock, while traveling a by-path in a side hill, we saw some soldiers a half mile away, discharging and cleaning their guns. I sent Andrew down to ascertain whether they were Union soldiers or some of Mosby's band. He returned with the news that they were sure enough Lincoln soldiers. At last I had reached the protection of the dear old flagl It proved to be a battalion of the Third North Carolina Mounted Infantry, under the command of Colonel George W. Kirk, a native North Carolinan who had recruited these men from the mountains of North Carolina and eastern Tennessee, together with twenty-five Indians belonging to the Cherokee tribe, about one hundred men in all. Colonel Kirk had been ordered to proceed eastward into southwestern Virginia and destroy some railroad bridges, but when he had reached the point where I met him, he had changed his plans and arranged to have the bridges burned by private parties. He conceived the idea of going into North Carolina, and by a sudden dash liberate the Union prisoners at Salisbury, mount them in the country and escape. He questioned me regarding the conditions at Morganton, where he contemplated striking the railroad, and when he learned from my story that a reserve and conscript camp of three or four hundred men was located near the town for equipping and instruction, he decided to endeavor to capture that camp and destroy the property. He asked if I desired to join in the undertaking. I said "Yes," provided he had some shoes and arms for me. This was quickly arranged, and the colored boys were to go along as porter and orderly for the colonel. It was deemed best to corral the horses belonging to the command west of the mountains and make forced marches by secret trails, and this plan was followed out. We descended into the valley after dark of June 27, marching all night and being observed by no one. We reached Camp Vance at reveille, the morning of the 28th. Cautiously peering over a hill we saw the men assembled for roll call and breakfast. It was arranged that instead of a charge, surrender should be demanded through a flag of truce. Colonel Kirk had a shirt which had once been white. This was torn and the flag attached to two hickory sticks, and a young man, Coburn, by name, on detached service from the First Ohio Heavy Artillery, together with myself, approached the guard, who greeted us with "Hello, Yanksl Come to give your colors up?" After stating that we had a message for the post commander we were admitted to headquarters where Lieutenant Bullock was temporarily in command. He had not arisen, but got up from his bunk at our admission, when I saluted and handed him this order: "Commander Camp Vance: You are requested to surrender this camp unconditionally in five minutes. By order of George W. Kirk, Colonel Commanding the Third North Carolina Mounted Infantry U. S." This was a high sounding order for the leader of a hundred men, indeed. Simultaneously with our entrance into headquarter's cabin, a squad of Indians under Captain William Kirk and twentyfive white men under Colonel Kirk were encircling the camp, and over the hill our fife and drum corps struck up "Yankee Doodle." Lieutenant Bullock came out of his room and said "Those Yankee sons-of-guns are all around us. How many men have you?" "Enough to annihilate this camp in ten minutes" I replied. And after being assured that all would receive honorable treatment, the camp was surrendered without the firing of a gun. The Indians were placed about the camp, the arms of which were stacked, and the ammunition thoroughly guarded before the reserve over the hill was brought into camp and our real number disclosed. And a more disgusted lot of men was never seen when they found that a hundred men had captured more than three times their number without resistence. The great problem was to get out of the country with our prisoners and to prevent the news getting out. The postman and all who approached the camp were taken into custody and arrangements made to prepare rations for our return journey.
About ten o'clock an officer who had spent the night in town was seen approaching the rear of the camp and some Indians were dispatched to intercept his retreat, but the officer, observing some unusual commotion in camp and looking through his field glass discovered blue coats about the camp, wheeled his horse and was soon spreading the news. Home guards were assembled, couriers dispatched to Asheville, where was encamped quite a force of Confederate troops, with orders to make tor the pass and intercept our flight. I was detailed to distribute to the poor people of the surrounding country such provisions as they could carry away, as they came flocking into camp as soon as the news reached them. While so engaged an incident occurred showing my changed status through the fortunes of war. Two young men came up to me and said: "Are you not the young fellow who got a good breakfast over the river last week?" I confessed my identity and remarked: "Had you taken me then, I could not take you now."
That night we crossed the river and camped on the plantation of a very rabid rebel who had some fine hams in his smokehouse. The next day was most strenuous. We were bushwhacked from the hill sides and peppered with bird shot from all quarters, while at the head of the column Colonel Kirk was slightly wounded in his right arm. Twenty men were detailed on each flank to capture horses and mules to mount our men, which was done. We reached the mountain pass an hour ahead of the troops sent against us. We had a short, sharp engagement with them the next morning, resulting in the loss of one man killed and another wounded, who was left in a mountain cabin, after which we were not molested.
We reached Knoxville in time to celebrate the 4th of July. The city was illuminated, a speech made by Congressman "Parson Brownlow" in honor of Colonel Kirk and his brave band who brought back two hundred and fifty prisoners of war.
Thus ended one of the most brilliant and daring deeds of the Civil war. Those who desire to verify the capture of Camp Vance will find it in Series 1, Part 1, Volume 39, Official Records of War of the Rebellion, and on page 237 is an interesting account in an official report given by the Confederate captain, C. N. Allen, to Colonel Peter Mallet, commander of conscripts for North Carolina at Raleigh, in which he says, after going into the details of finding the camp in flames and the destruction of property: "On the morning of the 28th inst, ere the sound of reveille hushed in camp, it was resumed by an unknown band, and a squad of men under cover of a flag of truce (the squad was Coburn and myself) proceeded to headquarters and demanded the unconditional surrender of the camp, by order of Colonel Kirk, commanding the Third North Carolina Mounted Volunteers, U. S.; the same notorious tory traitor and vagabond scoundrel who organized those four companies of thieves and tories at Burnsville, North Carolina, last April."
After remaining at Knoxville a few days I was granted a furlough of sixty days as being an escaped prisoner. I rode the horse I captured, which I was allowed to retain, through Kentucky by way of Cumberland Gap and Crab Orchard, where I sold my horse for army use and came north.
Dr. Pine rejoined his regiment in December and took an active part in the winter campaign. He was once more captured while bearing his wounded adjutant from the field during the siege before Petersburg, but was paroled after two days and sent to Camp Parole at Annapolis, Maryland, where he was mustered out in May, 1865. This closed a period of military activity which began in his eighteenth year and ended only with the cessation of hostilities.
Once more entering upon civilian life, Dr. Pine resumed his studies, and in pursuance of a decision reached prior to his war service, entered Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York City, from which splendid old institution he was duly graduated with the class of 1870, receiving his degree of M. D. at that time.
In 1888 Dr. Pine established an office in St. Paul, which city has represented his professional field since that time. As mentioned in a previous paragraph, Dr. Pine has given over his private practice for the most part, and is devoting his time to the care of his comrades-in-arms at the Soldiers' Home at Minnehaha Falls.
Dr. Pine is professionally identified with various medical societies, among them being the Ramsey County Medical Society, of which he was secretary and treasurer for several years. He is a member of the State and American Medical Societies as well, and for many years previous to his present post was connected in an official capacity with the Minnesota Soldiers' Home as chief or consulting surgeon. He is a member of the Masonic order, in the blue lodge and chapter, and since 1888 has been a member of the People's church of St. Paul. He is at present a progressive Republican in his political convictions, although at one time he was a Bryan Democrat.
On June 1, 1880, Dr. Pine married Miss Irene E. Duncan at Fayette, Iowa. Two children were born to them, both sons. One died at birth and the other lived to reach the age of four months. The mother died in 1886 and was buried with her little ones at Aberdeen, South Dakota. On August 8, 1888, Dr. Pine contracted a second marriage, when Dr. Alcinda J. Auten, a native of Tipton, Iowa, became his wife. No children were born to them, but they have adopted and educated two motherless daughters of Dr. Auten Pine's brother, of whom they feel justly proud. Dr. Auten-Pine is a graduate of the Women's Medical College of Chicago, having been graduated there with the class of 1882. After two years of practice in Ottawa, Illinois, she removed to St. Paul, where she has since been engaged professionally with her husband. She is a member of the American Medical Association and of the State and Ramsey County Medical Societies, in the latter of which she was for some years treasurer. She is a lecturer on social and hygienic topics and a member of the consulting staff for diseases of women at the Minnesota Soldiers' Home, where more than a hundred wives and widows are cared for. She resides with—and cares for her aged mother and daughter Esther at the family home on Lincoln avenue. Upon the appointment of Dr. Pine to his present post the St. Paul practice has devolved wholly upon his wife, and the home life thereby is somewhat disturbed, but he has the pleasure and comfort to be derived from the comradeship of their adopted daughter, Fidelia, and her sister, Alcinda I. Auten, who reside with him at the surgeon's cottage. With reference to the children of their adoption: Fidelia Auten Pine was born at Huron, South Dakota, November 3, 1887. She was graduated at the University of Minnesota in June, 1911, with the degree of B. A., specializing in art. She is now engaged as registrar of the St. Paul Art Institute. Esther Auten Pine was born at Tipton, Iowa. April 20, 1891. She is a graduate of the Academic department of Macalester College, where she specialized in music, and is now engaged in concert work, and is a violin instructor of considerable ability.
In conclusion is reproduced an article from the facile pen of Dr. Pine, entitled "My Rejoicings and Regrets," which reads as follows: "I rejoice at sixty-seven in good health. I rejoice that I have lived during the last half of the nineteenth century and was a unit in the preservation of my country at the time of its greatest peril. I rejoice in its wonderful development during that period in material things, but more in the general uplift of mankind and a tendency toward the brotherhood of man. I rejoice that I looked upon the kindly face of the Great Liberator, Abraham Lincoln, whose character will shine as a beacon star throughout the ages, and stand as an inspiration for all men who aspire to good deeds and righteous conduct. Oh, what a century for conquest, —for great achievements in science and the arts! what discoveries made — what miraculous things done! Absolutely correct reproductions of the human voice by the phonograph; the sending of radiographic messages through space; the conquest of the air by the flying machines; I rejoice that I have lived in this age of progress. I rejoice that in my declining years I am enabled to add something of comfort to the lives of my comrades in the Soldiers' Home and hospital, and in this service I would gladly spend the remainder of my working days.
"My regrets are so numerous I cannot name them all. Who in looking backwards would not make amendments? Who would not expunge from his record his storms of passion and unkind words? Who would not recall heartaches he has unnecessarily inflicted? Who would not help the fallen brother he has allowed to suffer in passing by on the other side? Who would not make better use of his time, that his life might be less a failure, could he live it over again? These, and many others, are my regrets."
Article and 1st photograph: Henry A. Castle, History of St. Paul and Vicinity, (Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1912), iii:1079-1086; 2nd photograph from Hugh J. McGrath, History of the Great Northwest and Its Men of Progress, (The Minneapolis Jounal, 1901), p. 171.