Sunday, July 17, 2005

Civil War Memoir: Lyman A. Dietrick, 140th New York Volunteers

The following is from Grand Army of the Republic ~ Department of New York ~ Personal War Sketches of the Members of Charles P. Sprout Post No. 76, of Lockport

Sprout who was with the New York 28th Infantry was killed in Action at Cedar Mountain, Virginia on August 9, 1862

Lyman A. Dietrick
Born Niagara, New York
Company “A”, 140th New York Volunteers
5th New York Volunteers

The first battle in which I was engaged was Bristow Station, Va., after which I participated in the following engagements…Rappahannock, Culpepper, Bethesda Church, Cedarville, Gettysburg, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Wilderness, Hatchers Run, Mine Run, Warren’s Great Raid, Weldon Rail Road, Petersburg, Laurel Hill Warrenton Junction, Richmond and Appomattox.

The most important events of my service were carrying a secret dispatch from General R. B. Ayres of the 5th Corps to Brigadier General Winthrop who was cut off from us at Weldon Railroad, Va., I had to make a detour of 20 miles to get around the rear of the enemy’s forces. Rode incessantly 23 hours, through rain and sleet, over fields and through woods, delivering the dispatch just in time to save General Winthrop’s brigade from capture. Was halted 3 times by the Rebel outposts, but escaped by having a fleet horse.

Just before the battle of Spottsylvania, I was placed on Vidette post with orders to remain till daylight and return. On returning found 10th N.Y. Cavalry outpost a mile in my rear. During the night our entire Army had retreated and it took me two days to find my Regiment. General R. B. Hayes, afterward, President of the U.S. called me to his tent to report. He expressed great surprise and pleasure that I had been able to escape and join the Army.

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