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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2024 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:33 pm
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Location: Old Northwest (Michigan)
Fellow Sharpshooters;

Major George Hastings learned of Lt. Col. Casper Trepp’s death at Mine Run while serving in the Judge Advocate General’s department in Washington DC. He had served the 1st USSS until wounded in action at Chancellorsville. After recovering from his wound, Hastings briefly returned to the regiment before being ordered to Washington to assume legal duties at JAG. In this excerpt he is writing to his girlfriend, Lillie Ulum.

Washington Dec 12th ‘63
 
… It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and the ugly bullet which made poor Trepp’s little ones orphans and robbed the service of a true and gallant soldier, may raise me one step nearer a Brigadier.  In French’s blundering accidental fight on the 27th and in the skirmishing at Mine River on the 28th, I learn that the losses in my regiment amounted to near sixty killed & wounded.  Lt. Col. Trepp was shot through the head while leading the Regt. in a successful assault on the enemy’s rifle pits at Mine Run.  His loss is indeed a ‘tremendous blow” to the Regt, as Weston writes me, and we have no one who can fill his place as he filled it.   Neither Trepp nor myself were at all popular with the Regt, but now that they have lost him they do his memory full justice, and my absence has led them to appreciate what little merit I may have as a commander….I shall not apply however to be relieved from my present duty, though I should be quite satisfied with an order sending me back to the Regt….I did not apply to be sent here, and so shall not ask to be sent back, but leave it to the War Dept to decide whether I shall spend the next few months here or in winter quarters on the Rapidan.”
 

Major Hastings would not return to the Sharpshooters. In March, 1864, Major Charles Mattocks of the 17th Maine Infantry was ordered by General Birney to assume command of the 1st USSS. In less than two months, Major Mattocks would be captured while managing the USSS skirmish line at the Wilderness.

Many thanks to John Carey for sending me the collection of George Hastings’ letters.

Major Hastings original letter can be viewed here:
https://mohistory.org/collections/item/D01959?fullscreen=1&view=scroll

Bill Skillman
Michigan Companies
Berdan Sharpshooters Survivors Association


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