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A blog of Nineteenth Century history, focusing, but not exclusively, on the American Civil War seen through the prism of personal accounts, newspaper stories, administrative records and global history.
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Monday, May 5, 2014

"Cuss the sub"- The Second New Hampshire

Point Lookout, Md. View of Hammond Genl. Hospital & U.S. genl. depot for prisoners of war

A little background on the situation in the Second New Hampshire as they received their "subs" at Point Lookout, Maryland . . .

The Fifth Regiment arrived from New Hampshire on the afternoon of November 13. On the following day they disembarked, and made their camp on the Chesapeake side of the point, just north of the prison camp. The regiment had been recruited up, very largely with that execrable class of substitutes known as "bounty jumpers." A big proportion of these were only awaiting an opportunity to desert, and some got in their work very soon. As early as the 17th, the following entry appears in the writer's diary:
Several of the Fifth Regiment's subs, attempted to get away today. Two boarded a schooner, and gave the negro captain fifty dollars to take them up the river. A gunboat got onto the racket and gave chase, overhauling and bringing back the whole outfit. Another party paddled up the river in a canoe. A mounted party pursued up the beach, but they landed at a point outside the guards and escaped to the woods. To prevent these attempts in the future, the small boats from which we have derived so much pleasure are all taken away. Cuss the subs!"
November 30th, the Second received its first dose of the same material one hundred and seventy-five and on the 19th of December another installment of three hundred and fifty came along. Quite a number had found opportunities to desert while en route. There was a little good material mixed in with these recruits, but it is no credit to New Hampshire that she turned such a mass of rubbish loose into her old veteran regiments. The old men of the Second, the true New Hampshire boys, who for more than two years had faced death fearlessly to make a record which should be the pride of their state for ages, keenly felt the change which had come. For them the "Old Second" of glorious memory and heroic achievements had ceased to exist. This feeling was a serious blow to the veteranizing, or re-enlistment, of the old men, which was invited about this time.
In spite of all precautions, a number of these rascals got away. December 3d, a party made off with a boat in which an officer had come ashore from one of the gunboats. Later, one who had been made a corporal rowed away, sometime between sunset and sunrise, with his entire squad posted at the wharf.

-A history of the Second regiment, New Hampshire volunteer infantry, in the war of the rebellion
Martin A. Haynes 
Lakeport, New Hampshire 1896

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