-->
Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!
PhotoAlbum 2nd R.I. Volunteer Infantry, Co.D, Photo Album
WELCOME TO THE CARTES DE VISITE ALBUM OF THE

SECOND RHODE ISLAND VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Co.D

~PAGE ONE~

MORE UNIT INFO AND PHOTOS ON PAGE 2

THE REGIMENT OF ELISHA HUNT RHODES
HONORING THE FIRST RHODE ISLAND SOLDIERS TO RESPOND TO ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S CALL TO DEFEND THE NATION
Rhode Island's Own, "Elisha Hunt Rhodes" Part Three


LCarr&Rhodes FredArnold" SgtGleason

Levi Carr, Elisha Rhodes, Frederick Arnold & Charles Gleason.

As boys they enlisted to fight for Mr. Lincoln. Arnold & Rhodes would return home as men, 4 1/2 years later.

Elisha, The Young Adventurer

CrplRhodes In emergincy repspnse to President Abraham Lincoln's call for 75,000 three month volunteers to put down large scale acts of treason and insurrection due to armed and open rebellion of the southern states against the United States, Rhode Island Governor William Sprague issued a second order for the imediate muster of the Second Regiment, Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry, to join the Rhode Island Brigade under Burnside in Washington as a 3 year enlisted unit of Rhode Island Volunteers. Eventually the 2nd R.I. Volunteers would be Commanded by young Elisha Hunt Rhodes, who four years later would be aged well beyond his years by the stress and riggors of the Civil War, would bring the regiment home to a great victory celebration and the love and admiration of all Rhode Islanders.

Elisha Hunt Rhodes, son of Elisha H. and Eliza A. Rhodes, was born in Pawtuxet Rhode Island on March 21, 1842. At age 14 he went to school at a business academy in Providence until his father was reported lost at sea commanding the schooner Worcester. He spent a short time working in a counting-room in Providence until the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1861, as a private, he was among the first to enlist in the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry, being formed by Col. John Slocum and Major Sullivan Ballou. Due to his clerical skills, Rhodes was promoted to the rank of Corporal shortly after his enlistment and put on staff under the unit Adjutant.

Elisha Hunt Rhodes - Becomes an Officer and a Gentleman;
But War Was Not What Everyone Expected


Elisha see's war for the first time.

He was with the 2nd Rhode Island, which led the R.I. Brigade as Col. Slocum halted the march to form a line of battle at First Bull Run . During the battle Rhodes was near Col. Slocum as he climbed over a fence attempting to lead the 2nd in a charge on the Rebels and at the moment Slocum was shot in the back of his head a top the fence and fell to the ground. Rhodes and private Thomas Parker carried Slocum to a house to the left of their battle line to the care of Chaplin Jameson and surgeon Wheaton who pronounced their commander dead. After the disaster at 1st Bull Run, Rhodes was promoted to sergeant and assigned to the staff of Major General D.C. Buell. When Buell was transferred west Rhodes was re-assigned as a clerk to the 2nd R.I. Infantry Adjutant’s staff. He was on staff with his regiment through every battle from McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign to Grants attack at Cold Harbor in the summer of 1864.

From the winter of 1862 to the spring of 1864, Elisha witnessed war with with no conclution due to setback after setback. One by one, second Rhode Island mess tent chairs were vacant for many of the officers and enlisted men he started out with in the Spring of 1861. Somehow the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers survived the battles of the Peninsula Campaign, 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellosville, Gettysburg and Mine Run. When President Abraham Lincon brought General Ulysess Grant east to take command in the spring of 1864, Elisha and his comrades knew right away that Grant was determined to take the fight to the enemy and bring an end to the war. At the time, no one knew for sure what that really meant. From May to August, from the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, to Petersburg, they would find out.


Elisha Hunt Rhodes Received 3 Combat Field Promotions for Meritorious Actions: Lieutenant, Captain and Major
"War Was Not What Everyone Expected"


The young leader shows what he can do

Rhodes was among the men of the 2nd who re-enlisted at Cold Harbor as most of the enlistments of the Regiment ran out and men were sent home. Rhodes received a battlefield commission as Lieutenant and led Company D from Cold Harbor to Petersburg. Rhodes was promoted by General Frank Wheaton to the rank of Captain on May 5, 1864 and participated in the destruction of the Weldon Rail Road and the Battle of Ream’s Station. The 2nd R.I. was attached to the 6th Corps, 1st Division, 3rd Brigade and sent to Harpersferry under general Sheridan to stop the raids from the Shenandoah Valley by Rebel General Jubal Early that threatened Washington. In July Capt. Rhodes was ordered to take his company to reconnoiter the Union flank to watch for the approach of Rebel General Jubal Early’s army near Leesburg and Clark’s Gap. From the Union attack on Early’s rebels on September 17th to the Battle of Fisher’s Hill that broke the Confederate Cause in the Valley in mid November, Capt. Rhodes and his men were engaged in every encounter with the enemy. During this time Rhodes was Breveted a Major for distinguished gallantry meritorious actions.

Early war time photograph,
Lt. Elisha Hunt Rhodes wearing his R.I. Junior Officer's Dress frock coat.
Elisha Hunt Rhodes - Promoted to Colonel;
In Command of the 2nd R.I. Volunteer Infantry on February 1, 1865


Elisha and the 2nd, reported by the Providence Journal

On December 1, 1864, the 6th Corps and the 2nd R.I. were sent to Washington then on to City Point near Richmond to reinforce Grant, still laying siege to Petersburg. By January 1, 1865, Rhodes and his men were back entrenched along the Weldon rail Road line deep in Virginia. On February 1, 1865, Rhodes received another promotion to the rank of Lt. Colonel, in command of the 2nd R.I. On April 1st Lt. Col. Rhodes led the 2nd in an assault on the Rebel works in from of the Union held Fort Fisher.

After observing the battle a correspondent from the Providence Journal interviewed Rhodes and wired his paper: The Second Rhode Island formed in line with the 6th Corps, in front of Fort Fisher, under a severe fire from the enemy’s skirmishers. Rhodes remarked, “Just before light, we were ordered to advance, which we did, and captured the works. Our regiment started in the second line of attack, but before reaching the enemy, we were in front, and were the first to plant the flag on the Rebel works”. The reporter went on to write, “Lieutenant-Colonel Rhodes was the first to mount the parapet.” Rhodes and the 2nd pursued the Rebels to Hatcher’s Run until their advance was halted by darkness. For this action, Rhodes was Breveted full Colonel for bravery and gallant conduct.

 

ColRhodes
Col. Elisha Hunt Rhodes, Elisha In Command
On April 6, 1865, General Sheridan, with his cavalry under Wesley Merrit and George Armstrong Custer, as well as the 6th Corps and the 2nd R.I. attacked the enemy at Sailors Creek, as Lee’s battered army moved west towards the cover of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains in flight from Richmond and Petersburg. A major portion of Lee’s army under General Richard Ewell was captured after a savage fight that took the lives of two of the closest comrades of Elisha Rhodes, who enlisted with him in Providence back in 1861; Captains Charles W. Gleason and William H. Perry. Elisha was devastated and went in to a deep depression due to the senseless loss of his two friends just 3 days before the surrender of Lee at Appomattox Court House at the McLean House on April 9th. After Lee’s surrender the 2nd was sent to guard Grant’s flank against the approach of Rebel General Joe Johnston’s army moving west in North Carolina hoping to link up with Lee. After capturing a Rebel force at Danville near the border of Central Virginia and North Carolana, the 2nd performed provost duties until it was relieved and sent to Washington. Then the 2nd was returned to Rhode Island under Elisha Rhodes who was commissioned full Colonel by R.I. Governor Smith for gallant services during the war. Upon their return to Providence the 2nd was greeted and welcomed home by a jubilant gathering of Rhode Islanders at the Providence Train Station. At Providence City Hall Elisha and the 2nd were soluted by the State Militia and entertained and lavishly fed in the city square.

ColRhodes&Staff


THE FAREWELL ADDRESS OF COLONEL ELISHA HUNT RHODES TO HIS MEN OF THE 2nd RI VOLUNTEER INFANTRY

War Time Photo to the left: Seated in chair on left, Col. E.H. Rhodes, seated right, Capt. James Bowen, Standing left to right; Capt. Geo. Easterbrooks, Capt. David Small, Lt. Elisha Arnold, Lt. Frank Halliday, Capt. Stephen Thurber, Capt. Charles Gleason, Capt. John Jeffreys, Cpl. Maurice O'Hern (Color Bearer), Lt. Benjamin West, Lt. Jeremiah Tourgee, Lt. Robert Small & Lt. James McKay.
On The Steps Of Providence City Hall, To his teary eyed veterans of the 2nd Rhode Island, he said:

“Comrades ! The time has come for us to part, after serving together for over four years. Before bidding you farewell, I wish to express my gratitude to you all for your uniform kindness to me, and your attention to duty. Nobly have you served your country, gallantly have you followed our battle scarred flags through the fiercest of the fight. You have never allowed the good name of our State to suffer, but have added to its historic fame. You may well be proud of the part that you have taken in preserving the Union. Your Commanding Officer will ever be proud to say that he served through the Rebellion in the Second Rhode Island Volunteers, and will remember with pleasure the brave men who so nobly supported him during the time that he had Command. We are now to commence a new career. We are to become citizens. Show the Nation that you can be good citizens as well as gallant soldiers. Be true to God, your country and yourselves. Farewell !"

GARRhodes

THE GAR & MOLLUS

 

A veteran of America's holocaust:

After the war Elisha also belonged to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and served as Post Commander of Slocum Post No. 10. He was twice in succession elected R.I. Department GAR Commander and was elected National GAR Senior Vice Commander-In-Chief. He was active in the Massachusetts MOLLUS State Commandery of Civil War Officer Veterans and served as Adjutant General of the R.I. State Guard-"Militia" under R.I. Governor Ambrose E. Burnside, his former Commander of the Rhode Island Brigade when Rhodes enlisted with his 3 friends back in April 1861.  

War Veteran Elisha, the GAR & MOLLUS
In the GAR, Rhodes belonged to R.I. GAR Slocum Post No. 10

In the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS), ex-Union Officer Elisha Rhodes belonged to the Massachusetts MOLLUS State Commandery. His MOLLUS ID Number was: 09476


GARCard

FOR MEMBERSHIP DETAILS AND INFORMATION ABOUT THE RI REENACTORS ASSOC., 2nd RI VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Co>D, BATTERY A, 1st REGIMENT RI LIGHT ARTILLERY OR FIRST RI INFANTRY, R.I.D.M. CONTACT:

Lt. Gregory H. Payne

12 Tucker Hollow Rd. N. Scituate, R.I. 02857
(401) 647-9698

or e-mail

Crpl. Bill Hooper

R.I. Volunteers Civil War Re-enactor Assoc.

You can contact Robert Howe for further details about membership in the Rhode Island Reenactors Association, 2nd R.I. Volunteer Infantry, Co.D. You can also contact Gregg Mierka, Webmaster, for membership in the Battery A, 1st Regiment R.I. Light Artillery & the 1st Regiment, R.I. Volunteer Infantry Unit Associations, as well as membership in the R.I. Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Civil War Museum, Library & Research Center. Gregg can also provide information about membership in R.I. Civil War Hereditary organizations, such as RI SUVCW Elisha Dyer Camp 7 and RI MOLLUS, which the R.I. Reenactors Association, and the R.I. GAR Museum support.

For more information about the 2nd R.I. Co.D Cartes De Visite Album Page email Gregg A. Mierka Webmaster

This Page was researched, written & Web-designed by Gregg A. Mierka

Sources: Memoirs of Rhode Island Officers, 1868; RI GAR Encampment Proceedings 1868-1876; All For The Union, by Robert Hunt Rhodes, 1985; and Union Blue, by Robert G. Carroon, 2001

For information about these books, contact R.H. Rhodes HERE

and R.G. Carroon HERE

To get information about the Ken Burns PBS series, The Civil War, click HERE at Florentine Films.

Thank You Brothers Bob & Jerry
©All Rights Reserved 2001, 2003


CARRYING ON THE MEMORY OF THE OLD FELLOWS IN BLUE

LEST WE FORGET

Click HERE to go to ~Page Two~ of the 2nd Rhode Island Co.D Cartes De Visite Album; A "Flash Media Presentation" And "Tribute" To Elisha's Comrades In Arms.

You are visitor number


We wish to thank Keith G. Harrison, Past National SUVCW Commander-in-Chief and, current National SUVCW and MOLLUS Webmaster, as well as all the artists/musicians for the use of their music on all the pages in our site. A special thanks also to Keith Laurent for arranging and playing Jay Ungar's Ashokan Farewell ©1983 by Swinging Door Music-BMI Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Thanks also to Robert Hunt Rhodes for allowing us to use some of his material about his ancestor, Elisha Hunt Rhodes and to Ken Burns for featuring E.H. Rhodes and our State's Civil War History in his PBS series on The Civil War. And a special thanks to Edwin Bearrs, Brian Pohanka, Jeff Sharra and Ron Maxwell for their support for Rhode Island Civil War History and raising the American conscience about the triumphs and tragidies of the Great War of the Rebellion 1861 to 1865.


GO TO THE R.I. MOLLUS WAR PAPERS OF ELISHA HUNT RHODES (THE FIRST CAMPAIGN OF THE 2nd R. I. INFANTRY) HERE

RETURN TO THE MAN R.I. VOLUNTEERS CIVIL WAR REENACTOR ASSOC. HOME PAGE HERE

RETURN TO THE MAIN R.I. GAR CIVIL WAR MUSEUM HOME PAGE HERE

RETURN TO THE BATTERY A, 1ST REGIMENT R.I. LIGHT ARTILLERY HOME PAGE HERE

RETURN TO THE FIRST R. I. VOLUNTEER INFANTRY PAGE HERE

RETURN TO THE R.I. SUVCW ELISHA DYER CAMP No.7 DIRECTORY PAGE, HERE

RETURN TO THE R.I. ASUVCW, ELISHA DYER AUXILIARY No.2 HOME PAGE, HERE

RETURN TO THE R.I. STATE COMMANDERY, MILITARY ORDER OF THE LOYAL LEGION OF THE UNITED STATES (RI MOLLUS) HOME PAGE, HERE

RETURN TO THE CRANSTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY-SPRAGUE MUSEUM PAGE, HERE

RETURN TO THE R.I. RHODE ISLAND CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE HOME PAGEHERE


Thank you for visiting our page at Angelfire. Please come back and visit again!