The grave of Major Lewis Martin. . .
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Curtis Clay Pollock
1st Lieutenant, Company G
48th Pennsylvania Volunteers
Like Lewis Martin, Curtis C. Pollock was a First Defender. He entered the army as a private in the Washington Artillerists when he was just eighteen years of age. In the summer of 1861, Pollock enlisted to serve "for three years, or the war," as a corporal in Company G, 48th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Like Martin, Pollock was fearless in battle, and soon rose to the rank of 1st lieutenant. During his years in the army, Pollock wrote hundreds of letters to his family in Pottsville. (These letters are also stored at Carlisle, and, like Martin's are a treasure for anyone wanting to learn more about the life of a Civil War soldier). Never afraid to lead from the front, Pollock escaped some of the war's most savage fighting unscathed until, in June 1864, he was struck by a shell fragment while charging the Confederate fortifications outside of Petersburg. Transported to the Georgetown Hospital, Pollock appeared to be recovering. But then "lockjaw," or tetanus, set in. . .and he passed away ten days after receiving his wound. His last letter home was written on June 12:
Near Coal Harbor about
10 miles from Richmond
My Dear Ma
I rec’d your letter of the 21st yesterday and was much pleased to hear from home again. I think I received all the letters you write and hope you get all mine. I write to you almost every few days. Though at present there is very little to write about. I do not get away from the Regt.- and can find out nothing about what is going on. Frank Farquhar was here yesterday he is Chief Engineer of the 18th A.C. and is a Capt. now. He looks very well. I am sorry to hear Margie is getting along so poorly. I have not written to her for some time, but our opportunities for writing are such that she ought not expect it. I have nothing more to write about We have been lieing in reserve in rear of the line of Rifle pits-and have nothing to do. Our baggage has been taken to White House Landing and stored on board of boats. The teams I guess are to be loaded with supplies for the Corps. We have enough to eat such as it is Hard Bread, Coffee & Fresh Beef. We managed to get a ham the other day which was quite a luxury.
Hoping you are all well
I remain Your Affec. Son
On July 6, Lieutenant Thomas Bohannon of the 48th wrote to Curtis's father:
This morning I turned over your sons valise to the Agt of the Sanitary Committee. He promised me he would deliver it to the Express Office at Washington, D.C. It is in safe hands and I hope you will receive it in good order. I would have forwarded it before the present time but the difficulty was that there has not been any Express Office established here as yet.
I was very much surprised in hearing of Lieuts death. The morning he arrived at City Point from the battle field he sent the ambulance driver to inform me of his accident. My quarters are ½ mile from City Point. I went immediately to see my particular friend as I must say he was a favorite young man in the Regt and a brave soldier.
On my arrival at City Point the Ambulance Corps was preparing to have him carried on board the boat to be sent to Washington. I took him by the hand and asked him if his wound was dangerous. He seemed to think not and appeared to be very much pleased that his wound was not more serious. As soon as he was placed in a bunk on board the steam boat, I sat down and spoke to him a few minutes. He then requested me to get him his valise but at that time I was not able to get the valise as I had placed all the baggage belonging to officers of the Regt on board a barge at the White House to be sent around to City Point by water. The barge had not arrived at the time.
I bid the poor fellow good bye but not thinking at the time nor him either that it was our last fairwell with each other. I hope he has gone to a happy home. I must come to a close by sending my kindest regards.
Bohannon was not the only member of the 48th to write to the Pollock family. On August 1, the regiment's quartermaster sergeant, Henry Krebs, penned the following letter, which was written in response to the family's request to have Curtis's personal belongings sent home.
Lieut. Bohannan having a press of business he has requested me to answer for him your letter asking for information concerning Curtis’ valise and other effects. Enclosed you will find the address (obtained from the Agent of the Sanitary Commission at City Point) to which the valise was sent, which I trust will enable you to get it, if it has not yet reached you.
Serg’t Jones, (now Lieut) of Company “G” thinks that his pistol must be in the valise.
Serg’t Aumen (now Lieut) Company “G” was near Curtis when he was wounded and assisted him from the field. He states that he was quite cheerful and in good spirits, though he suffered considerable pain. One of the his first expressions was “Wasn’t that a splendid charge ?”
After he had walked some distance he said he felt faint and sank to the ground ere Lieut. A. could catch him. He soon revived and walked assisted by Lieut. A. to the Field Hospital.
A few hours after he was taken in an ambulance to City Point. Lieut. Bohannan met him on the road. He spoke cheerfully and requested him to send his baggage home. He seemed to think his wound was slight, and that he was very fortunate in escaping so well, without the loss of a limb as there were many around him. Two hours ride brought him to City Point, where there was boat in readiness to receive the wounded and as soon as she was loaded she started for Washington.
The baggage of our Corps was sent by water from White House and only arrived the day he left or it could have been sent with him. There is an overcoat with the Company baggage which was just discovered a day or two since. Lieut. Bohannan will see Major Bosbyshell about it, and if it is Curtis’ will send it by express.
The writer of this will see Lieut. Aumen and see if he has any additional particulars, he will, no doubt, be pleased to give them.
All the members of the Company and of the Regiment unite in the highest praise of his bravery and courage in battle as well as his example as a friend and companion. His death and that of Lieut. Jackson has cause a deep feeling of gloom and sadness to pervade Company “G” which will not easily be dispelled. They will live long in the memories of those who knew them to love and respect them.
Trusting that the condolence of a friend and former member of Company “G” is not here out of place, I beg to subscribe myself.
Very Respectively Yours,
The remains of Curtis Pollock were ultimately interred in Pottsville's Charles Baber Cemetery, where, sad to say, it has become a popular target for vandals.