site logo

Patrick Scally An Honest Deserter From The Confederate Service

The following statement is interesting as showing how a poor, ignorant,

drunken man was hurried off with Gilmor and Bradley T. Johnson, in July,

'64, when they retreated from north of Baltimore.

I feel sure the whiskey was paid for by Judge Grason, or Mr. Cockey, or

some of the other disloyals spoken of in Mr. Kremer's and my own former

reports. They undoubtedly gave him the horse, also:

Baltimore, Md.,

Dec. 23, 1864.

Statement of Patrick Scally:

"I was born in Ireland. I lived in Texas, Baltimore County,

for five years before I went South; my father and mother live

there. I am a laborer.

I went South on the tenth of last July, that is, I joined

Gilmor's command at Texas. I joined Company C, Second Maryland

Battalion. They gave me a horse, carbine and sabre. The

second day after I joined them I was in the fight in front of

Washington, but did not like the fighting much.

I was drunk when I joined them and didn't know what I was


I deserted from them on the 1st day of August between Hancock

and Cumberland, and went to work for a farmer named McLean, a

good Union man; he didn't know that I was a deserter. I worked

for him about two weeks. I then went to Cumberland, and then

went to Pittsburg and there worked for Wood, Matthews & Co.,

nearly four months. I was afraid, while at work for Mr.

McLean, that the Rebels would catch me and shoot me.

I didn't report at Pittsburg because I didn't know there was

any necessity for so doing; the people in Pittsburg did not

know that I had been with the Rebels. I was only with the

Rebels three weeks, they never gave me a uniform; they once

paid me ten dollars in Confederate money.

I was sworn into the Rebel service the same day that I

enlisted, while I was drunk. I wore the same citizens clothes

that I wore from home, while with the Rebels. I would have

deserted the next morning after I joined them if I could, but

could not get any chance.

I left Pittsburg last Sunday night, got home to Texas

yesterday evening. My father told me I would have to come

here and take the oath and if I did not I would be arrested as

a spy. I knew I had to give myself up before. I came in town

this morning and gave myself up.

I cannot read or write. I have heard the newspapers read, but

not often. I never heard of the President's Proclamation,

don't know what it is."




Below is a sketch of the fortifications bounding Richmond on the east

and north. The information came to me from Dr. A's brother, who had just

arrived from Richmond. The source of information being so reliable, a

copy was made and forwarded to General Grant. The date of its

transmission I have not.

* * * * *

When General Grant made the assault on Richmond, on the east and north,

on Sept. 26, 1864, the colored troops under General Birney encountered

this ditch.

I quote from reports:

"On Sep. 28th a movement was made by General Grant on the

North of the James. It was predicated on the belief that only

a small force of the enemy occupied the works on the North

side of the river."

"General Birney was ordered by a rapid movement at daylight,

to capture the enemy's work in front of Deep Bottom, and gain

possession of the New Market road leading to Richmond."

"Two Regiments only, of the Colored Division, reached one of

the Rebel forts, where they found a ditch ten feet wide and

eight feet deep between them and the parapet.

More than a hundred of these brave fellows jumped into the

ditch and assisted some of their comrades to mount the parapet

by allowing them to climb up on their shoulders, about a dozen

succeeded in mounting the parapet by this means. But this

force which had bravely pushed on, was far too small to

capture the fort, and was, therefore, compelled to retire,

leaving their comrades in the ditch of the fort.

But these were unable to make good their escape, as it would

have been certain death to leave the ditch and return to the

troops, and were afterwards compelled to surrender.

About 800 men were lost in this assault in killed, wounded,

and prisoners."

I regret not having the date upon which my information was forwarded to

General Grant, but it evidently was not in his hand by September 28th.