Guysbert Vandenbroeck Holt
Facts and Events
Guy Holt was "well known among our Base Ball players," according to a 14 Aug 1862 note in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and an 8 July 1862 article in the same paper describes a baseball game played by the 13th Regiment at a lighter moment while in Virginia, in which Holt had got on base.
Civil War Service and Death
At the outset of the Civil War, Guysbert and his older brother Charles volunteered for the Thirteenth Regiment, which was formed of men from Brooklyn. In the regiment's second tour of service in 1862, on picket duty at Suffolk, Virginia, Guysbert (described as "a most estimable young soldier") was shot in the head by accidental friendly fire while his company was returning to camp. He was 21 years old. The following notice appeared in the Brooklyn Daily EagleS3:
- Sad Casualty in the 13th Regiment
- Headquarters 13th Regiment, N.Y.S.N.G.,
Camp Crooke, Suffolk, Va.,
Tuesday, Aug. 12, 1862.
- To the Editor of the Brooklyn Eagle:
- Corporal Guy Holt, Co. E., of this Regiment, was shot this morning about 9 o'clock, as he was returning to camp, from twenty-four hours' duty on Post 2, which is about two miles from here upon the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad. The picket had been relieved by the 25th N.Y.S.N.G. and were marching down the Railroad track to the camp, when the Grand Guard, composed of one company of the 4th N.Y. Volunteers who had been stationed at a house near the line on the Pittsburgh road which had also been relieved, discharged their pieces into the thicket between the two roads. Lieutenant Powell finding the balls whistling all around his guard, ordered them to lie down after the firing had ceased. All rose but poor Holt; upon raising him it was found he had been shot, the ball entered just back and above the left eye and came out on top of the head; a portion of his brains lay on the track. He breathed about an hour but did not speak; was insensible from the moment he was shot. His body is now lying in our Hospital and will be sent home. His death was caused by a gross and careless accident of the Officer in command of the Grand Guard.
- Very truly yours, Robert B. Clark, Colonel of the 13th Reg., N.Y.S.N.G.
Another letter was published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle a few days later from a member of the regiment to his father, which included this:
- A sad and fatal accident occurred this morning, by which we lost one of our comrades in arms. His name is Guy Holt, and he belonged to Company E. He was shot through the head, and died almost instantly. He was well known in the Regiment and highly esteemed, as he was also among his numerous friends in Brooklyn, where he resided. He was on duty yesterday, as picket guard, and was coming down the Railroad to camp this morning, after having been relieved. The grand guard of the Fourth Regiment were at the same time coming down the road or "pike," which runs parallel with the railroad, and separated from it by a narrow belt of timber. The Fourth Regiment guard stopped to discharge their muskets, and very carelessly fired a volley into the woods in the direction of the railroad, in an exact line with our pickets, who were hidden from sight by the trees. Our boys fell to the ground as the shower of bullets whistled past, and one of them, poor Holt, as the sequel shows, fell to rise no more in life. The ball entered his brain through the upper part of his cap, and passed out his left temple. His death has spread a feeling of sadness over the whole regiment, and the news will undoubtedly be painful to his friends in Brooklyn, while it will nearly break the hearts of the members of his bereaved family. His remains will be sent home.
A few days later came this resolutionS4:
- At a special meeting Company E, 13th Regiment, National Guard, S.N.Y., the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:
- Whereas. It has pleased Divine Providence to remove from our midst our beloved brother and fellow soldier, Corporal Gus V. HOLT; be it
- Resolved. That although knowing it to be t he will of Him who doeth all things well, yet we feel that in the death of our companion, Gus V. Holt we have lost a good soldier, kind friend and brother, and the community a true citizen.
- Resolved. that with his brother, Sergeant Chas. J. Holt, and his bereaved parents and friends we do sincerely condole and tender them our most heartfelt sympathies, and pary that He who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, will impart to them that consolation from above which surpasses all others.
- Resolved. That as a soldier he was always at his post, never flinching from his duty; as a comrade he was esteemed and respected by all: as a friend he was beloved and cherished; and be it
- Resolved, That it is with a sensation of profound regret and heartfelt grief that we are called upon to mourn the loss of so valued a comrade.
- Resolved, That as a token of respect for the deceased we wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.
- Resolved, That a copy of the foregoing be presented to the parents of the deceased and published in the leading papers of Brooklyn and New York.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Familysearch.org ancestral file, AFN:R3CS-8S.
see pedigree chart (needs primary sources)
- Townsend, Thomas S. (Thomas Seaman). The honors of the Empire State in the war of the rebellion. (Bethesda, Maryland: University Publications of America, c1992), p. 236.
Thirteenth Regiment.— This is a Brooklyn regiment and left for the war on the 24th of April, 1861. The officers were Col. Abel Smith, Lieut.-Col. Robert B. Clark, Major Willetts, Adjutant Johnson, Chaplain Rev. William Lee. On the 9th of June, Companies A, F, and D, left Annapolis in two steamers and proceeded to Easton, where they attacked the armory. The Confederate General Thomas, in command of the armory, finally demanded to know to whom he should surrender. The answer was: "The demand is made in the name of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, to Abel Smith, Colonel of the Thirteenth Regiment, New York State Militia." The surrender was made, the armory opened and the military stores captured. Soon after the return home of the regiment. Colonel Smith died, October, 1861. He was one of the first to respond to the call of his country, and was commander of the post at Annapolis, while his regiment was there. He was reorganizing his regiment for the war, at the time he met with an accident which caused his death. In the attack on the armory at Easton, Private Ceasar Melsel, a gallant soldier, was killed, and his body was brought home and buried in Greenwood. The 78th and 88d Volunteer Regiments, were largely recruited from the 13th, as was also the 91st ("McClellan Chasseurs").
In 1862 when the regiments of the National Guard were again called upon to go to the front, the Thirteenth went forward the second time, under command of Col. Robert B. Clark, with John B. Woodward as Lieutenant-Colonel, Samuel K. Boyd, Major, and William McKee, Adjutant. The regiment did picket duty at Suffolk during nearly their entire term of service; while in the performance of this duty, Guysbert V. Holt, of Brooklyn--a most estimable young soldier, was shot through the head while he was on his way back to camp. The Thirteenth went out the third time, when Lee invaded the North in 1863, and served most of the time at Fenwick, Perry Co., Pa. During this campaign it was commanded by Col. John B. Woodward.
- Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. (Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States), p. 2, 6th col., 15 Aug 1862.
Sad Casualty in the 13th Regiment (15 Aug 1862, p. 2, 6th col.)
Also: Letter from the 13th Regiment--Life in Camp--The Question of Coming Home--Many of the Boys to Join Spinola's Brigade--The Death of Guy Holt, &c. (19 Aug 1862, p. 2)
- Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. (Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States), p. 3, 18 Aug 1862.