Friday, July 19, 2013

Uncle Pliny

Pliny F. Gammell
A Company
7th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry

Born on 21 Feb 1842 to Samuel Gammel and Achsah Curtis.
Married Lydia Amelia Davis and had 2 children.
Passed away on 10 May 1927.
From a post by my brother (the Old Vermonter) over on Facebook...
In memory and honor of my great great grand uncle, Pliny F. Gammell 7th Reg. NH volunteer infantry. He was wounded 150 years ago, on July 18, 1863 during the assault on Fort Wagner, Morris Island, SC made famous by the 54th Mass. and the movie, Glory. In his words: 
"There has been another moove here, last Saterday night another charge was made on Fort Wagner but with no success. Our Reg. was in the engagement. The first Brigade went up but were defeated. Our Reg. was the first Reg. in the 2nd Brigade. We succeeded in asending the first bank and could not get any further and had to retreat, leaving our dead and wounded on the field. My company has 14 wounded and 5 missing among whom is the gallant Col. Putnam(Haldimand S.) He had 2 wounds, the first in the leg, the second in the head. I was within 8 ft. of him when the first one hit him, he took but little notice but kept urging the boys onward. Lt. Bennett of Co. D was killed by the same shot, it took his left leg nearly off at the thy. I mooved him back a few feet behind a magazine, unbuttoned his cote, took a strap from round him and put it around his leg and gave him some water but he died in a few minutes. I was hit when I first reached the top of the parapet but I stuck it out until we were ordered to retreat and then I helped a wounded man back. The killed and wounded nearly covered the ground. I could make your blod run cold to describe the scenes that I saw. I fired my gun 25 times but whether I hit any one or not I don't know. One thing I know is that they hit me. I do not see how any of us ever got out alive for the grape and canister and bulets were as thick as hale stones but the Lord is on the side of right and will in his own good time bring to them the victory."
These lines are from a letter he wrote to his sister on August 1. The spelling is his as well. Thanks, Uncle Pliny.

Colonel Putnam, Uncle Pliny's C.O. -

Colonel Haldimand Sumner Putnam
Commanding Officer
7th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry

Killed in Action, 18 July 1863
Battery Wagner
27 Years of Age
From Wikipedia:
7th New Hampshire Volunteer Regiment
Active: December 13, 1861 to July 17, 1865

Engagements: Battery Wagner, Drewry's Bluff, Siege of Petersburg
Notable Commanders: Haldimand S. Putnam (KIA), Joseph Carter Abbott (Survived the war, later was a Senator)

The 7th New Hampshire Volunteer Regiment was a Union Army infantry regiment that participated in the American Civil War. It was raised in the New England state of New Hampshire, serving from December 13, 1861, to July 17, 1865.

Because it was in the same brigade as the 7th Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, both regiments were often jointly called the 77th New England.
  • December 13, 1861: The regiment was organized and mustered in at Manchester, New Hampshire.
  • January 14, 1862: The 7th moved to New York City.
  • Until February 13 at White Street Barracks.
  • Orders for Dry Tortugas, Florida, on February 12.
  • Attached to Brannan's Command, District of Florida until June 1862.
  • St. Augustine, Fla., Dept. of the South, to May, 1863.
  • Fernandina, Fla., Dept. of the South, to June, 1863.
  • 1st Brigade, Folly Island, S.C., 10th Corps, Dept. of the South, to July, 1863.
  • 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Morris Island, S.C., 10th Corps, Dept. of the South, to July, 1863.
  • 3rd Brigade, Morris Island, S. C., 10th Corps, Dept. of the South, to November, 1863.
  • 1st Brigade, Morris Island, S.C., 10th Corps, Dept. of the South, to December, 1863.
  • St. Helena Island, S. C., 10th Corps, Dept. of the South, to February, 1864.
  • Hawley's Brigade, Ames' Division, District of Florida, Dept. of the South, to April, 1864.
  • 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 10th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to May, 1864.
  • 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 10th Army Corps, Army of the James, to December, 1864.
  • 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 24th Army Corps, Army of the James, to January, 1865.
  • Abbott's Brigade, Terry's Provisional Corps, North Carolina, to March, 1865.
  • Abbott's Detached Brigade, 10th Army Corps, North Carolina, to July, 1865.
The regiment lost during its term of service 15 officers and 169 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and 1 officer and 241 enlisted men by disease, for a total of 426 fatalities.


  1. Nice post I like this thanks.You wonder if one person in your past hadn't persevered would you even be here.I do all the time.

    1. Thanks.

      That's an excellent point you make. All it would have taken is one person back in the day just saying "to Hell with it" and we wouldn't be here. Something to keep in mind.

  2. Very nice post. I'm always astonished that any survived given the lack of cover and the amazing amounts of lead flying around the old battlefields.


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