... asked all who were willing to go with him to step ten paces to the front ...

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capt orlando t bliss on left.jpg

Captain Orlando T. Bliss of Co. H and Co. F, 2nd New York Heavy Artillery Regiment and
Sergeant William H. Ormiston of Co. H and Co. M, 2nd New York Heavy Artillery Regiment, in uniform with 6th Corps badges


Source
Looking over an old muster-out roll, but to the man who was a part of the organization, who knew its history from beginning to end and can read between the lines, so to speak, the story told is doubly interesting and in many respects a sad one. Such a reader is carried back to the war and is enabled to vividly recall its thrilling scenes.

He knows who were the best soldiers, who stood in the front rank, who led in the assaults. Like wise he knows who were the skulkers and cowards, for it was an impossibility for a soldier to hide his weaknesses from his comrades…..

“George H. Ormiston, taken prisoner at Reams Station, Aug. 25, 1864; died en route north April 9, 1865.” And one shudders as he thinks of the thousands that were literally starved to death in Andersonville and other southern prison pens.

“Second Lieut. O. T. Bliss promoted to first lieutenant and transferred to Co. F,” recalls one of the bravest of the brave who enlisted as a bugler, exchanged his trumpet for a gun at [Second] Bull Run, was captured and later passed through all the various grades of rank from corporal to brevet major.


(in earlier section)
The enemy were encountered at Hatcher’s Run and it was desired to dislodge a confederate battery that was masked in some woods on the opposite side of the stream. A staff officer rode down in front of our regiment and asked Maj. Hulser if he could furnish men to cross the stream and charge the battery. The major called for volunteers and the first man to respond was Capt. Orlando T. Bliss of Co. F, a former Carthage boy who with the missiles flying thick and fast stepped out in front of his company and asked all who were willing to go with him to step ten paces to the front, and when every man of the company lined up with their captain the 2nd heavy applauded the act with a hearty cheer……

It seemed a hazardous undertaking but the men did not falter as they waded into the icy cold water which was up to the armpits of most of them and in many places there were deep holes, so that not a few had to swim, but once across the stream they made a rush for the battery and the rebel artillerists took to their heels.

The suffering of the soldiers was great that night, as it was bitter cold and the clothing of those who forded the stream would have frozen on them only that the men built fires and stood around them.

Drum Taps in Dixie: Memories of a Drummer Boy, 1861-1865
 

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View attachment 358487
Captain Orlando T. Bliss of Co. H and Co. F, 2nd New York Heavy Artillery Regiment and
Sergeant William H. Ormiston of Co. H and Co. M, 2nd New York Heavy Artillery Regiment, in uniform with 6th Corps badges


Source
Looking over an old muster-out roll, but to the man who was a part of the organization, who knew its history from beginning to end and can read between the lines, so to speak, the story told is doubly interesting and in many respects a sad one. Such a reader is carried back to the war and is enabled to vividly recall its thrilling scenes.

He knows who were the best soldiers, who stood in the front rank, who led in the assaults. Like wise he knows who were the skulkers and cowards, for it was an impossibility for a soldier to hide his weaknesses from his comrades…..

“George H. Ormiston, taken prisoner at Reams Station, Aug. 25, 1864; died en route north April 9, 1865.” And one shudders as he thinks of the thousands that were literally starved to death in Andersonville and other southern prison pens.

“Second Lieut. O. T. Bliss promoted to first lieutenant and transferred to Co. F,” recalls one of the bravest of the brave who enlisted as a bugler, exchanged his trumpet for a gun at [Second] Bull Run, was captured and later passed through all the various grades of rank from corporal to brevet major.


(in earlier section)
The enemy were encountered at Hatcher’s Run and it was desired to dislodge a confederate battery that was masked in some woods on the opposite side of the stream. A staff officer rode down in front of our regiment and asked Maj. Hulser if he could furnish men to cross the stream and charge the battery. The major called for volunteers and the first man to respond was Capt. Orlando T. Bliss of Co. F, a former Carthage boy who with the missiles flying thick and fast stepped out in front of his company and asked all who were willing to go with him to step ten paces to the front, and when every man of the company lined up with their captain the 2nd heavy applauded the act with a hearty cheer……

It seemed a hazardous undertaking but the men did not falter as they waded into the icy cold water which was up to the armpits of most of them and in many places there were deep holes, so that not a few had to swim, but once across the stream they made a rush for the battery and the rebel artillerists took to their heels.

The suffering of the soldiers was great that night, as it was bitter cold and the clothing of those who forded the stream would have frozen on them only that the men built fires and stood around them.

Drum Taps in Dixie: Memories of a Drummer Boy, 1861-1865
Elmira’s death rate was nearly as high as Andersonville. It was definitely not good to be prisoner in any prison in the civil war.
 
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