| || Notes for HIGHLAND SHAW WARNER:|
Highland enlisted in the Volunteer Union Army on May 13, 1861 as a Private. He fought in the Civil War from May 13, 1861 until May 25, 1863.
He was involved in the battle of"Fair Oaks" or "Seven Pines" on May 30, 1862 outside of Richmond Virginia.His great-grandson, Richard B. Warner, Jr., has the original letter that Highland wrote to his mother Sarah describing this battle.
Following is his letter:
Mrs. Sarah Warner
Kent County, Michigan
Camp near Richmond, VA.
Fair Oaks or seven Pines
June 17th 1862
I have just received this afternoon another letter from you dated June 10th.I received one a few days ago & answered it yesterday; it was dated June 2nd.It is evening now & I am writing by candlelight in my little tent.I dont know as I can write much tonight, but I thought that I would try & write a little so that you might know that I am all wright yet.My health is first rate now & I enjoy myself pertty well considering all the circumstances.We have a great deal of rain here this Spring which makes it quite unpleasant some of the time & rather bad for movement of the army; we have not had any more regular battle since the last of May & first of June that our Regiment or brigade has been in, but we are preparing for it every day, but how soon the great decisive battle will be I dont know: but perhaps the day is not far distant when we will march tryumphantly into Richmond the Confederate Capitol; when that is taken I think the rebels will have to give up; & the rebellion crushed forever, as Richmond is their only hope of salvation now; but we expect that they will fight desperately to save their Capitol; but if they loose that they mite as well give up the ghost for the U.S. troops have got every other place of importance in our possession now; we have the whole length of the Miss. River now & pretty much of the whole of the Atlantic Coast.
I suppose you have heard about all the news before this time by the papers of the particulars of the battle that we was in here at Fair Oaks; or Seven Pines as it is sometimes called.I dont know as I wrote much about it in my last letters; so I will write a little about it in this.
Wal the battle began about noon the 31st of May & Gen. Casey's division was camped at the front and was attacked first by the rebels with overwhelming numbers & was driven back out of their camp with great loss; Our Regiment & brigade was lying back about a mile & we was sent in after the rebels had got possession of Gen. Casey's camps & the ground this side; then our regt. the 3rd, was ordered up double quick to meet the enemy in front.
The rebels had then got possession of a piece of woods & slashings & was conceiled from our view until we had got within ten rods of them when they opened a deadly volley of musketry upon us & we had to form our line of battle under a tremendius fire from the enemy; & a great many of our men fell before our line was formed which was done in a hurry & then we pored in the deadly volleys into them.Although they had the advantage of us by being formed in the woods & slashing & giting the first fire; but we soon gave them all they wanted.It was said by some prisoners that we took that our regt (the 3rd) stood the fireing of a whole brigade of the enemy five regts strong; for nearly an hour when the 5th regt. & 2nd Mich. & Ny 37th come up to help us, the rest of our brigade; but our regt. had got the rebels started back on the retreat before any aid came to our relief, and when the rest of this brigade come up we made the rebels fly what did not lay down to bite the dust.Our brigade drove the rebels clear back beyond Gen. Cassey's camps.
I will give you a discription of our regt. & brigade & division so that you will understand when I speak of it or how situated.The commanding Generals have changed since we was on the upper Potomac.Our brigade is under the command of Gen. Berry; that is the 2nd, 3rd, & 5th Mich. & NY 37th regts which forms our brigade; called Berry's brigade; and this brigade is in Gen. Kearney's division; a division is formed of several brigades; now when you hear of Kearney's division & Berry's brigade a doing anything in battle you may consider that the 3rd is doing their part.This brigade has won a great name in the fight of the late battle on account of their gallant bravery manifested in the great battle.
The first of June the enemy renewed the attack & Generals Richardsons & Sumners divisions repulsed them & drove them back covering the ground with their dead.It is reported that the enemy attacked us with about eighty thousand and was whipped by four or five of small divisions of McClellans army.Thare was a rebel General prisoner taken, said that there was men enough started from Richmond to eat up all the forces that we had this side of the Chickhomany river; he was asked why they didnot do it; but said he, the devil himself could not do it; he said he never saw men fight so desperately as we did; he said that the Mich. men was perfect tigers.
I cant write any more this time for the mail is ready to go out now.
From your Son
He also participated in the "Seven Days' Battle" commanded by George B. McClellan, June 25 to July 1, 1862.
Highland was also involved in the battle of "Second Bull Run" on August 30, 1862 in which General Philip Kearney was killed.
Near Leesburg, Virginia on November 1, 1862, Highland was stricken with severe rheumatism and chronic diarrhea due to the poor conditions in battle and was sent to the hospital in Baltimore, Maryland where he stayed until his discharge for medical reasons on May 25, 1863.
Highland became steadily worse, was unable to do any physical work and received a pension from the U.S. Army.
He married Mary Smith on October 12, 1864 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.They lived on the family farm in Algoma Township, Kent County, just North of Grand Rapids.
At the time of their marriage, Highland was 29 and Mary was 17.
Highland died July 14, 1885 at Ravenna, Muskegan County, Michigan.
Highlands wife Mary then married William Smith on December 9, 1885 at Fremont, Michigan.The last known address of Mary was in Conklin, Ottawa County, Michigan in July 21, 1890.
Mary's younger children, James, John, Willard and Chauncey Warner were still at home when Highland passed away.
She received a widow's pension for her children because of Highlands's disability, which he suffered due to his service in the Civil War.