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Title: An Artilleryman's Diary

Author: Jenkin Lloyd Jones

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AN ARTILLERYMAN'S DIARY


Jenkin Lloyd Jones

Wisconsin History Commission: Original Papers, No. 8

AN ARTILLERYMAN'S DIARY

BY JENKIN LLOYD JONES
Private Sixth Wisconsin Battery

WISCONSIN HISTORY COMMISSION

FEBRUARY, 1914


TWENTY-FIVE HUNDRED COPIES PRINTED


Copyright, 1914
The Wisconsin History Commission
(in behalf of the State of Wisconsin)


Opinions or errors of fact on the part of the respective authors of the Commission's publications (whether Reprints or Original Narratives) have not been modified or corrected by the Commission. For all statements, of whatever character, the Author alone is responsible.


DEMOCRAT PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTER


[Pg v]

Contents

[Pg vii]

Illustrations

[Pg ix]

Wisconsin History Commission

(Organized under the provisions of Chapter 298, Laws of 1905, as amended by Chapter 378, Laws of 1907, Chapter 445, Laws of 1909, Chapter 628, Laws of 1911, and Chapter 772, Section 64, Laws of 1913)

FRANCIS E. McGOVERN

Governor of Wisconsin

CHARLES E. ESTABROOK

Representing Department of Wisconsin, Grand Army of the Republic

MILO M. QUAIFE

Superintendent of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin

CARL RUSSELL FISH

Professor of American History in the University of Wisconsin

MATTHEW S. DUDGEON

Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission


Chairman, Commissioner Estabrook

Secretary and Editor, Carl Russell Fish

Committee on Publications, Commissioners Dudgeon and Fish


[Pg xi]

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

Whatever value this publication may have, lies in the fact that it offers a typical case—a small cross section of the army that freed the slave and saved the Union.

The Editor of the Commission's publications has asked me to state briefly something about myself. I am one of the multitude of "hyphenated" Americans, born across the water but reared under the flag. I am a Cambro-American, proud of both designations, and with abundant heart, loyalty, and perhaps too much head pride in both. Introduced to this world in Llandyssul, Cardiganshire, Wales, November 14, 1843, I celebrated my first anniversary by landing at Castle Garden, in New York City. My parents were sturdy "come-outers" who, after the manner called "heresy", even among Protestants, worshipped the God of their fathers. They came from what in orthodox parlance was known as the "Smwtyn Du" the heretical "black-spot" in Wales. I am the third Jenkin Jones to preach that liberal interpretation of Christianity generally known as Unitarianism. The first Jenkin Jones preached his first heretical sermon in his mother's garden way back in 1726, ninety-three years before Channing preached his Baltimore sermon (1819), from which latter event American Unitarianism generally dates its beginning.

My father was a prosperous hatter-farmer—making hats for the local markets during the winter months, tilling his little ten-acre farm during the summer time. My parents were lured to America by the democracy here promised. In our family, freedom was a word to conjure by. Hoping for larger privileges for the growing family of children, they brought them to the New World, the world of many intellectual as well as material advantages. The long sea voyage of six weeks in [Pg xii]a sailing vessel, interrupted by a dismantling storm which compelled the ship to return for repairs after two weeks sailing, brought them into the teeth of winter, too late in the season to reach their objective point in the West. So the journey was suspended and the first winter spent in a Welsh settlement near Steuben, New York.

May, 1845, found us in the then territory of Wisconsin. The broad, fertile, and hospitable open prairie country in southern Wisconsin was visited and shunned as a desert land, "a country so poor that it would not grow a horse-switch." And so, three "forties" of government land were entered in the heavy woods of Rock River valley, forty miles west of Milwaukee, midway between Oconomowoc and Watertown, which then were pioneer villages. The land was bought at $1.20 an acre, then were purchased a yoke of oxen and two cows; and when these were paid for, there remained one gold sovereign ($5) to start life with—father, mother, and six children.

Trees were felled for the log house which for the first six months was roofed with basswood bark, for the shingles had not only to be made, but the art of making them had to be acquired. In this log house were spent the first twelve remembered years of my life. In it four more children were born. In the log school-house, built in the middle of the road because it was built before the road was there—we had arrived before the surveyor—I learned to speak, read, and love the English language. My first teacher was a Cambro-American who could by her bi-lingual accomplishment ease the way of the little Welsh immigrant children into English. I think I can remember crying when the teacher would speak to me in the then unintelligible English.

In 1856, my thirteenth year, the family began to realize that they had chosen a hard place in which to make a home. The battle would have been a grim one, with the tall trees and their stumps, the "hardhead" boulders, the marshes, the mosquitoes, and the semi-annual attack of ague, had it not been lightened [Pg xiii]with the blind hopes and the inspirations that bring to frontier lives the consolations and encouragements of the pioneer. So the home in Ixonia, that had welcomed the coming of the first plank-road and witnessed the approach of the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad as far as Oconomowoc, was sold, and in 1855 we moved to a farm of 400 acres in Sauk County.

The next year this was reached by the old Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad and the village of Spring Green was established, adjoining the farm. Here I worked on the farm in the summer time, and during the winter time grew with the growing village school in Spring Green. During the spring term of school, in 1861, the boys were organized into the Spring Green Guards. "Billy" Hamilton, a clerk in George Pound's store, was excused by his employer during the noon hour and the recesses, to come over to drill us. The tresses, black or golden, were sacrificed. Our hair was "shingled" and we wore cadet caps. Of course the boys had been stirred when they heard of the humiliation preceding the inauguration of Lincoln, of the firing on Sumter; and in the autumn all of the Spring Green Guards who were ripe enough heard and heeded the call of Father Abraham. Captain "Billy" Hamilton went out as sergeant in the 6th Wisconsin Battery, and four years later came back as colonel at the head of the 36th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.

I was too young to go out in 1861. I cannot say that I panted for the fray. I dreaded the coming of the dire moment when conscience, not the government, would deliver me into a service that had no charm for me. Another winter's schooling in the Spring Green Academy, another sowing and harvest time, then leaving unstacked the hay that I had mown, and in the shocks the oats that I had cradled, I obeyed this "stern daughter of the voice of God"—to use Wordsworth's phrase—and turned my face to the South. I joined my old comrades of the Spring Green Guards in the 6th Wisconsin Battery, nine months or so after their first enlistment.

[Pg xiv]

I was a "mother's boy", and with the exception of three months' district schooling at an aunt's house in Watertown, when a little lad, had never been away from home over night. I had not then and have not since, owned a firearm of any description. As I approach my three-score-and-ten, I can say that I have never sighted a gun, or pulled the trigger on anything smaller than a cannon, and that only when ordered.

It seems necessary for me to state further, that throughout the three years of camp life, as through all the succeeding years, I have been a total abstainer from all forms of liquor and tobacco. The strictures throughout the Diary concerning the over-use of intoxicants were written from this standpoint, and perhaps were over stated. At least truth requires that I should at this distance testify that the bulk of the Union Army, so largely made up of boys, was of stern stuff, with their lives rooted in seriousness and committed to sobriety, as the subsequent careers of those who were allowed to return amply prove. Many things set forth in this Diary were necessarily untrue to fact, but there is nothing but what was true to the thought and feeling of the writer at the time. The simplicity of the narrative and the lapse of time, will, I hope, take all the barbs out of any random shafts that may have been fired by a battery boy.

The monotonous story of this battery boy is told in long metre in the Diary here published. The only remarkable thing about the record is, that it exists and is still available fifty years after the writing. Of course every soldier lad started to keep a diary. Very few persisted to the end; rare is the private who did not outlast his own diary. And then again, the vicissitudes of the camp, the hopeless carelessness of the American people to contemporary history, have carried to oblivion most of such records. These ten little memorandum books would doubtless have suffered a like fate, were it not for the vigilance of the home folk, to whose care the successive volumes were promptly consigned. And then many [Pg xv]years after, there was the loving, unsolicited persistency of a faithful amanuensis, who, unbeknown to me, in the "cracks of time," patiently and faithfully transcribed the entire story, which was fast becoming illegible in the original camp- and battle-stained little books, to the clear, typewritten sheets which made them available to the Wisconsin History Commission. To Miss Minnie Burroughs, now Mrs. Herbert Turner of Berkeley, California, belongs therefore the basic credit for this publication.

Further acknowledgment is due to the Editor of the Commission, and to several of his able assistants on the editorial staff of the Wisconsin Historical Society. They have with great painstaking verified every word of the transcription with my original gnarled manuscript, have corrected (so far as possible by the official rolls) the names of the persons whom I have mentioned in the Diary, have read the proof, and in general have put the book through the press. This has involved an amount of labor which under the circumstances I could not have given, and without which the publication would have been inexcusable. It is the Editor's intelligent hand also that furnished most of the geographical date-lines, the paragraphing, the folio headings, the sub-heads, and the countless other editorial embellishments so essential to a presentable publication. * * * Technical work of this sort is entirely lost on the reader, of course, but it is profoundly appreciated by at least the present grateful author.

The post-bellum story of this journalizing private of the 6th Wisconsin Battery does not belong in this book. Should anyone be curious to connect the soldier in uniform with the militant citizen, who, with more pacific weapons, has continued his contentions for freedom, justice, and union, let the following suffice. There was a year's work on the new farm in Iowa County; then a winter of teaching the common school at Arena, Wisconsin, with ninety children, ranging from [Pg xvi]the little German child grappling with her English A. B. C.'s, to students in algebra and geometry. During one year there was an honest attempt to accept the path apparently laid out for me—that of an honest, hard-working farmer. And then the hunger for books, the blind push on thought lines, the half-unrecognized leadings towards another career, broke beyond control, and I left the farm. Then came four years' study at the Theological Seminary at Meadville, Pennsylvania; a pastorate of a year at Winnetka, Illinois; nearly ten years of similar work at Janesville, Wisconsin, and lastly a thirty-two years' ministry in All Souls Church, Chicago, which I organized and in which I continue to work. For the last eight years I have been head resident of the Abraham Lincoln Centre, which I founded and which I still direct. For thirty-two years I have been Editor of Unity, a weekly independent religious magazine, devoted to "Freedom, Fellowship, and Character in Religion."

In 1890 I secured possession of a tract of land which was once the site of the prosperous early Wisconsin village of Helena, on the banks of the Wisconsin River in Iowa County, where in 1863 ex-Governor C. C. Washburn and C. C. Woodman, two young men, founded a shot-making manufactory. The old shot tower gave name to the summer encampment known as Tower Hill, where, in connection with the little farm adjoining, I have found vacation rest and renewal for the last twenty years.

Two graves have touched me with peculiar tenderness, and suggest the unwritten and too often cruelly-neglected pathos in the life of the immigrant pioneer, much of which I have seen, a part of which I have been. A little sister, two years my senior, a fair blossom, wilted on the journey and the little body was left in a roadside grave in Utica, New York. I was too young to remember her, but through all the succeeding years that unmarked and unvisited grave has left a hallowed touch of tenderness in the home, and given to the missing one [Pg xvii]a potency perhaps greater than abides with the unburied that remain.

Scarce a year had elapsed after the arrival in the "big woods" when the fatherly uncle, the bachelor-partner whose name I bear, fell before the relentless attack of fever—so easily controlled now, but so fatal then. He died in a saw-mill at Oconomowoc, and the first grave in the settlement was hollowed by the hands of his brother at the foot of a great tree in the deep forest. The father and brother, who was "priest unto his own household," read and prayed and woke the forest echoes with his own voice, as he sang a sustaining old Welsh hymn. Perhaps this devout tradition lying back of my memory has had much to do with what faithfulness may have characterized the services of the private whose Diary is here recorded, and the ministry whose career was bargained for, to a degree that cannot be estimated in the sombre forest and the tented field.

Perhaps another word may be pardoned. On the way to Camp Randall, the tears which had scarcely dried from the heart-break that followed a mother's last embrace, started afresh at the sight of the dome of the old University building at Madison. For the months preceding the enlistment, the struggle had been not choosing between home and camp. No! not even between danger and safety, life and death, but what seemed the final choice between a country to save and an education to acquire. For in the dim haze of the farmer boy's horoscope, the University outline was shaping itself. In choosing his country's cause it seemed to him that he was relinquishing forever the hope of the education of which he dreamed. Forty-seven years after the campus was dimmed with his tears, the University of Wisconsin invested this private of the 6th Wisconsin Battery with the degree of LL. D.

A great thing was done for humanity in America, between 1861 and 1865. If it could not have been done otherwise, it was worth all it cost. And if this same dire predicament were [Pg xviii]to come again, I would do my past all over again. But Oh! it was such a wrong way of doing the right thing! May the clumsy sentences of a boy's diary, so lacking in perspective, so inadequate in expression, contribute a few sentences to the Gospel of Peace.

Jenkin Lloyd Jones

Tower Hill, Wisconsin, September 9, 1913.


[Pg 1]

The Diary of an Artillery Private

A Journal of daily events during my campaign in the war to crush the rebellion in 1861. If in the battle I may fall, or die away from the withering hand of disease in the hospital, this favor may I ask, to send this and what may accompany it to my aged parents. Addressed to R. Ll. Jones, Lone Rock, Richland Co.


First Impressions

Spring Green, Wis., Thursday, Aug. 14, 1862. I enlisted under Lieutenant Fancher for the 6th Battery, Wisconsin Artillery.


Madison, Wis., Monday, Aug. 25. I bade good-bye to friends, relatives and companions most dear, and at 8 o'clock embarked for Madison to begin my soldier's life. Arrived at camp at 12 M. and slept my first night on the lap of mother earth with Uncle Sam's blanket for a coverlid and a few rough boards raised about four feet in the center for a roof. I laid down; my eyelids were heavy and demanded sleep but the mind wandered and the stars shone bright and it was long ere sleep threw her curtain over the scene.


Madison, Tuesday, Aug. 26. I got partially rested by my short sleep, but I was awake long ere the rising of the sun. I awoke to a different scene to which had hitherto been my lot. Instead of the lowing of cattle and the bleating of sheep, was the rattle of the drum and the "hooray" of the volunteers. [Pg 2]To-day we were examined by the surgeon and went up-town for the purpose of drawing our bounty money, but the press of business was too large, and we were put off till the next day. In the evening I had to bid good-bye to my brother John, who had accompanied me to camp. It was a difficult task—my constant companion in labor, my adviser and counsel in everything. I had to part. It seemed as if I was like a ship on sea without a compass, without other safeguard than my own firmness and weight.


Madison, Wednesday, Aug. 27. I had to pass through the regular scramble-game for my rations, and drew the bounty in the afternoon, went around town and bought my outfit, ready to leave.


Enroute, Thursday, Aug. 28. To-day we were informed that we were to be sent on in the evening. I wrote my first letter home and in the evening we started for "Dixie" at 10 P. M. It was dark and we could not see anything to attract our attention so our minds had free scope to wander home to loved ones, and it was a saddening thought that we were to leave all of these, to meet at best a very uncertain fate. We passed on to Milton where our car was uncoupled and taken up by the Janesville R. R., and off we rocked for another four or five hours' ride, half asleep, and by this time somewhat fatigued. At Janesville we changed cars for Chicago, it being about 1 A. M.


Enroute, Friday, Aug. 29. The day dawned just in time to see the suburbs (Chicago). We being about five miles from town received a magnificent view of the Western metropolis. The immense clouds of smoke issuing from the massive stacks of manufacture, and the countless rigging of the vessels lying at the dock were great sights to my country eyes. We arrived at the end of the line at 6:30 A. M. We were immediately formed in line, and forward march to the depot of the I[llinois] [Pg 3]C[entral] R. R. about a mile distant. We were no sooner there than the shrill whistle told us we were again on a ride of three hundred and sixty-five miles to Cairo, without intermission. We crossed an arm of Lake Michigan having a fine view of the lake. Of our travel across the almost boundless prairies of Illinois I will not try to describe, but suffice it to say, we arrived at Cairo at 4 A. M.


Cairo, Ill., Saturday, Aug. 30. We were astir early to catch the first sight of the far-famed city of Cairo (Ill.), and certainly an unhappy surprise we found it; the combined medley of filth and disorder, the streets rough, the sidewalks torn and tattered, rendering it dangerous to travel, lest they should throw one headlong to the ditch.


Rienzi, Miss., Tuesday, Sept. 2. We went out in the morning to drill on the field but did not see much into the wild scampering way. I wrote to Sp[ring] Gr[een]. Had no time to write home before mail went out. Was drilled on foot by Corporal Sweet in the evening.


1862 Camp Routine

Rienzi, Wednesday, Sept. 3. Woke by the bugle at 3:30 A. M.; went out to roll call and drill. The weather fine. Washed shirt and stockings for first time. Wrote home. Drilled by Syl. Sweet in the evening on the gun. The enemy skirmished our pickets, wounded three; our horses were harnessed ready. I felt a little flushed.


Rienzi, Thursday, Sept. 4. Acted as No. 6 on drill to-day. Made a galloping time of it. Did my first sweeping. Saw the first nigger dance; watered horses in the evening; fell in with clothes on.


Rienzi, Friday, Sept. 5. Went out as No. 6. Was a little unwell. Infantry preparing to move. Bad news from the Potomac.


[Pg 4]

Rienzi, Saturday, Sept. 6. Went through the usual routine of drill and camp life. Received my first mail since my arrival, consisting of two letters and a [Milwaukee] Sentinel. Changed mess. The 2nd Missouri Infantry left. Wagons moving, fires burning all night.


Rienzi, Sunday, Sept. 7. Arose to the sound of the bugle at 3 A. M. Prepared for a general inspection, but Captain, apprehending a move, did not call us out. Drew good bunks from the old camp of 2nd Missouri. After roll call at 9 P. M. I went to bed hoping to have a good night's rest, but I was doomed to disappointment, for ere two hours had elapsed, we were awakened by Corporal Dixon telling us to pack up all our clothing and be in readiness to march. We of course obeyed and waited for further orders, when about midnight, "Strike your tents" was given. This done, the mules began driving in, loading was commenced, the horses harnessed, and by one o'clock all was ready to march. That which could not be taken was piled up ready for the march, but the order did not come, so we were obliged to pick our place and lay down for a short and uneasy sleep.


Rienzi, Monday, Sept. 8. To-day was spent in anxious waiting. I stood guard for the first time while we were momentarily expecting orders to leave; slept in the open air.


Rienzi, Tuesday, Sept. 9. Another day dawned without any orders. Some of the boys pitched their tents. I went out foraging in the afternoon.


Rienzi, Wednesday, Sept. 10. This was another day of idle waiting; most of the boys slept in tents last night, and it was supposed we would have to stay here. I went out foraging in the morning.


Rienzi, Thursday, Sept. 11. I answered the summons of the reveille, but I did not feel very well; had an attack of the [Pg 5]ague but got over it by dinner. Nothing to break the monotony of camp life. Reinforced by one regiment of infantry.


Rienzi, Friday, Sept. 12. Spent the morning as usual in suspense of leaving, but finally the orders came to send all the baggage train to Clear Creek, a distance of ten miles to the west, and that we were to be stationed as an out-post. Detailed to go a-foraging, brought in two loads of corn from the south. The 1st Section were ordered out to the front. Had the first rain storm in the evening, and ere the morning I had a regular old shake of the ague.


Rienzi, Saturday, Sept. 13. The 3rd Section, Lieutenant Hood, went out in front and the first fell back to its old grounds. Foraging party brought in two loads of corn, three neat cattle, one sheep, twelve geese, seven hens, two or three bushels of sweet potatoes.


1862 Strategic Moves

Rienzi, Sunday, Sept. 14. Was begun with another of the "strategic moves". We were told to hitch up with the greatest speed—all our baggage, knapsacks, etc. were put in a wagon, nothing was left to encumber us from a rapid and a desperate fight [in] which we were expected to share. The 3rd Section, two regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, started at 3 A. M. But all rumors of the enemy's presence proved false, and after lying in the shade, horses hitched, for an hour, we returned, unharnessed and lay quiet all day. The 3rd Section returned at 4 P. M. without seeing any enemy.


Rienzi, Monday, Sept. 15. To-day we began business in the old way. We had to sweep up for the first time in a week. I stood guard for the second time.


Rienzi, Tuesday, Sept. 16. We were aroused this morning with the same story of march and ordered to cook three days' rations and be ready to march at 1 P. M., but did not go and all quieted down again. The 3rd Section went out in the afternoon [Pg 6]and stationed itself at bastion No. 5 at 9 P. M. Dispatches were brought around to the effect that McClellan had captured the rebel army of Virginia including General Lee. Nothing could induce us to restrain our joy but the fear of its being false.


Rienzi, Wednesday, Sept. 17. Was begun by a heavy shower of rain at about 9 A. M. I joined the foraging party and we started on the Corinth road. We had scarcely started before it began to rain and a perfect torrent poured until we returned, pretty well drenched. The rest of the day was spent inside of the tent as the rain continued nearly all day.


Rienzi, Thursday, Sept. 18. We awoke in a wet bed, it having rained very hard the latter part of the night. We received orders to march for Jacinto at 3 A. M. but countermanded before doing any harm save the usual harnessing up by the drivers about 9 A. M. The prisoners captured at Danville, twenty-three in number, including two captains, were marched to headquarters.


Rienzi, Friday, Sept. 19. On roll call the Captain told us that Burnside had captured the whole of Longstreet's command at Harpers Ferry after their first capturing the place and the whole army under Colonel Miles. Three cheers were given with a spirit. No mail. Went after berries in the afternoon.


Rienzi, Saturday, Sept. 20. There was nothing to break the monotony of camp life. Wrote two letters. Washed clothes. In the evening news of another battle at Iuka. They cleaned Price out and chased him four miles; 400 killed on both sides.


Rienzi, Sunday, Sept. 21. Was another repetition of that a week ago only on a little larger scale. The horses were harnessed at 1 A. M. and we went out on the Ripley road three quarters of a mile, laid there half an hour waiting for the enemy, then filed left on our drilling ground, drilled half an hour, then came home and unharnessed. Received new gun-carriages [Pg 7]and caissons in the afternoon. Report of another great battle at Iuka in which 1000 of our men were killed in twenty-five minutes. Colonel Murphy of the 8th put under arrest for withdrawing his men. Stood guard duty.


Rienzi, Monday, Sept. 22. To-day I felt very weak, there was no local pain, but a general debility.


Rienzi, Tuesday, Sept. 23. To-day I felt but a little better, got some milk and corn bread. With the secesh [women] had an encounter before I left.


1862 Battle of Corinth

Corinth, Miss., Sunday, Oct. 5. As it is seen from the last date, I have not written any for some time and I must write of the past from memory. Not getting any better, I went to the Company hospital on September 24 and there was treated for fever of which I had but a very slight touch. On the morning of October 1 every man that could not join his platoon was to be sent to Corinth as the Battery was going to move, so I and four others were put in the ambulance and driven to the depot, but the cars did not come till 2 P. M. When they came, they loaded all the commissary stores in the rooms. E. R. Hungerford and myself were lucky enough to get into the box car. We got to Corinth in about two hours, and after waiting an hour we were taken in a mule wagon to the Seminary Hospital situated on a hill about one mile and a half from Corinth.

We were put in a comfortable tent and lay there unmolested until the 3rd, when early in the morning heavy firing was heard and continued all day. We learned that the cannon had been attacked by the rebels consisting of Price, Breckinridge, Van Dorn and one other commander. In the afternoon we had to move down under the hill, we being right in the range of the guns should they open fire in that direction at night. We were ordered to have everything packed so as to leave at a moment's notice. At about 12 o'clock at night we were ordered [Pg 8]out on the road, while the tents were struck and cots piled. Presently the teams began driving in and loading men and cots. At last our turn came, but not until the rebs had opened fire on the town with three guns throwing shells. We had to pass under the fire. The shells whistled over our heads in every direction, while off went the mules as fast as they could trot. It certainly was a rough ride. They drove us through town and left us on the east of it about 1/2 mile. By this time it was nearly daylight and the guns used by the rebs throwing shells were taken. About 9 o'clock the engagement became general. The noise of the musketry, occasionally broken in upon by the loud peal of artillery, made it truly terrific. The fight lasted about three hours, when the rebs were obliged to skedaddle.

All of this time we had heard nothing from the Battery. We supposed that it had been engaged, when at 12 o'clock Dr. Miller came around and told us that the Battery had been engaged that morning, and had been taken and retaken, but he could not give us a list of the casualties. We heard nothing more from the Battery until to-day, G. M. Spencer came with a list of casualties. He informed us that the sick and wounded were gathered in a company hospital about a quarter of a mile to the south. We remained in the general hospital until


Corinth, Tuesday, Oct. 7. The doctor came to take our names to be sent to a Northern hospital as they had no room for us [in the general hospital]. I asked permission to join the Company hospital, which was granted, so in the afternoon we joined our comrades; found the wounded all in good spirits.


Corinth, Saturday, Oct. 11. The Battery returned from its chase after the retreating rebs, of a week in length. In the evening the Captain and Sergeant Simpson rode into our camp, the Battery being in camp two and one half miles out.


Corinth, Sunday, Oct. 12. To-day it was a little warmer, the rain of the last two days having cleared. My anxiety to [Pg 9]visit the Battery was such that I was induced to start out on foot in order to see them. The walk was rather fatiguing as it was rather warm, but we found them at last on a ridge in a shady grove. But it did not look much like the camp of the 6th Battery, as they had no tents pitched and were quartered in brush bivouacs or under tarpaulins; I found them all well but somewhat reduced by the march. I remained with them for an hour, then retraced my steps alone through the solitary woods. I enjoyed pleasant thoughts of the good times to come. I reached camp by sunset well pleased with my walk and not as fatigued as I expected.


Corinth, Monday, Oct. 13. The troops on the outskirts of the town were all moved in, among which were the 6th Battery. They passed our encampment at about 8 A. M.; their designation was unknown but supposed not to be far. Quartermaster-Sergeant Simpson brought new clothing to camp in the afternoon. I drew one jacket, pair of pants and a hat.


Corinth, Tuesday, Oct. 14. Having learned the locality of our Battery, it being encamped on the south side of the town, the wounded men were removed to the general hospital, and the sick were taken to the Battery, with the exception of N. B. Hood and Byron Babcock.


Corinth, Thursday, Oct. 16. I joined my Platoon, went into tent with E. W. Evans and T. J. Hungerford as before. Owing to my weakness I was not put on full duty immediately, being excused from mounted drill, etc.


1862 Memorials for the Dead

Corinth, Friday, Oct. 17. Resolutions relative to those who fell in battle on the 4th inst. were offered by H. S. Keene and unanimously adopted by the camp on roll call P. M.


Corinth, Saturday, Oct. 18. Roll call in the evening. —— made an explanation as to his whereabouts on the day of battle, [Pg 10]and the orderly read a certificate from the commander of the 11th Ohio Battery, corroborating his statement.


Corinth, Sunday, Oct. 19. To-day we were told the sad news of the death of one of our number, John Haskins, who died during the night of chronic diarrhea. We had an inspection at 9 A. M. and in the afternoon we paid the last tribute of respect which one man can pay to another, to the remains of our comrade, Haskins. He was buried by the side of the brave five that fell in the battle of Corinth.


Corinth, Monday, Oct. 20. To-day we had to police the entire camp ground as it was reported that General Rosecrans was going to inspect camp. The ground was shoveled and swept over, but no Rosecrans came.


Corinth, Tuesday, Oct. 21. Finished policing around the guns. In the afternoon after the Company was formed for drill, as Orderly Hayward was returning after reporting to the Captain, his horse stumbled, falling on him, spraining his right ankle and fracturing the cap bone.


Corinth, Wednesday, Oct. 22. While on drill in the afternoon, I, in attempting to mount, lost my balance and fell, the hind wheel of the caisson running over my left ankle, luckily without any dislocation. After drill I was taken to the hospital, my foot being very painful during the night.


Corinth, Thursday, Oct. 23. The weather turned very windy and cold, water freezing in the night 1/4 inch in thickness.


Corinth, Friday, Oct. 24. My foot was a little easier. Dr. Arnold of the 12th Wisconsin Battery dressing it and keeping it cool by water. The weather still cold.


Corinth, Saturday, Oct. 25. We were moved from the tent this morning to an old deserted house a quarter of a mile from [Pg 11]camp. In the afternoon it snowed and by night the earth was clothed in white.


Corinth, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. The troops were engaged in fortifying. All the buildings on the outskirts were torn down regardless of worth and hauled away by the troops to build stables, barracks, etc.


Corinth, Saturday, Nov. 1. Orders were given to Battery to cook three days' rations in their haversacks and three days' in the wagons, all ready to march on the following morning.


1862 Hospital Cases

Corinth, Sunday, Nov. 2. I walked up to the Battery, the farthest I had walked since my lameness. Saw the boys off; they left their tents standing, their knapsacks etc. under charge of Lieutenant Simpson, and those unfit for the march. The inmates of the hospital were taken to the general hospital under Dr. Arnold, nine in number, viz: Orderly J. G. S. Hayward (fractured ankle), Corporal G. B. Jones (chronic diarrhea; waiting for discharge); W. W. Wyman (waiting for discharge); G. W. Benedict (diarrhea); E. W. Evans (fever); David Evans (convalescent); Alex. Ray (convalescent); E. R. Hungerford (chronic diarrhea); Jenk. L. Jones (bruised ankle), remained in the hospital until


Corinth, Sunday, Nov. 9. Learning that the Battery had gone to camp at Grand Junction, Tenn., Sergeant Hamilton was sent back to bring forward the baggage, etc., etc. and was to start by train in the morning. E. W. Evans, David Evans and myself procured a dismissal from the hospital and bade good-bye to our comrades (who were all doing well except E. R. Hungerford, who was very low) at 6:30 A. M. and reported at the depot. We found the boys and baggage on the platform, but owing to the rush of troops we could not get off to-day. We laid around all day, exchanged our tents, drew some quartermaster stores.


[Pg 12]

Corinth, Monday, Nov. 10. We were again disappointed, the train leaving us behind and nothing to do but wait another twenty-four hours. In the afternoon E. W. Evans and I went to the hospital where we learned that our comrade E. R. Hungerford had died at about 2 P. M. Sunday, and was to be buried in the evening.


Corinth, Tuesday, Nov. 11. Lay on the platform all day, and at night we were furnished a car to load our baggage. We loaded it by 12 P. M.


Grand Junction, Tenn., Wednesday, Nov. 12. It having rained during the night, the dust was converted to mud. Ate a breakfast of cold beef and bread, filled our canteens with water, when we scrambled on top the freight cars in order to procure transportation. It was raining, and when the train was in motion the smoke and cinders were torturing. Arrived at Jackson at 1 P. M. Waited an hour for dinner, then took Mississippi Central R. R. for Grand Junction. Remained at Medon Station till 6 P. M. when G. M. Spencer and I spread our blankets and laid down; awoke at Grand Junction at 3 A. M.


Grand Junction, Thursday, Nov. 13. Lieutenant Simpson went in search of the Battery early and left us to unload and guard the baggage. The teams arrived from the Battery 3 P. M. We loaded and started out about three miles and encamped where the team that left Corinth on the 8th had bivouacked for the night.


Davis Mills, Miss., Friday, Nov. 14. Reached the Battery about 10 A. M., it being situated one mile south of Davis Mills in an open field; church and cemetery hard by.


Davis Mills, Saturday, Nov. 15. Heard from home. Received two letters, from John and Thomas, which eased my anxiety. Listened to the first sermon [in camp].


[Pg 13]

Davis Mills, Sunday, Nov. 16. 10 A. M. we had a general inspection by U. S. Grant and General Quinby of the 3rd Division.


1862 On the March

La Grange, Tenn., Monday, Nov. 17. Awoke to hear the rain pattering briskly on the Sibley [tent] above me. We were called out, and with expectations to march, we drew three days' rations in our haversacks. 8 A. M. the rain cleared off and the column of infantry began to move by on the road leading to Holly Springs. At 9 A. M. we fell in rear of column. We marched west about three quarters of a mile, then turned north toward La Grange; travelled through very pretty country. We halted at Wolf River to water our horses, fill our canteens and ate a dinner of hard crackers and sugar. Ascended a steep hill, half a mile in length, on the top of which was situated La Grange, when we turned westward and travelled until 7 P. M. Encamped on a hill. Killed a beef for supper.


Moscow, Tenn., Tuesday, Nov. 18. Up at 4 A. M., cooked our breakfast and again on the road by 6 o'clock, and after a four hours' march through a broken country, well cleared, persimmons plenty, we arrived at Moscow, where we went into camp for the time. Rode to water through a town completely deserted, no trace of a citizen. I, as could be expected, was bothered on the march by my foot and could not have kept up, were it not for S. E. Sweet, who allowed me to ride his colt part of the time.


Moscow, Wednesday, Nov. 19. To-day, ordered to pack our knapsacks, mark them preparatory to turning them over, and take them to be stored until we were to be permanently camped.


Moscow, Thursday, Nov. 20. Mail arrived to-day. Received two letters; weather rather cold. Went foraging in the morning; returned with fresh pork, beans, corn and fodder in plenty.


[Pg 14]

Moscow, Friday, Nov. 21. Weather cold and frosty. 2 P. M. bugle sounded the assembly, "Fall in", when we were given orders to prepare to march immediately. The horses were harnessed, everything packed ready for further orders which after an hour waiting, came, to unharness. It proved to be an alarm caused by a party of guerrillas making a dash upon our foraging train, capturing some seventy mules, then skedaddling before the escort could come up.


Moscow, Saturday, Nov. 22. Griffith Thomas, E. W. Evans and myself went to the spring in woods, washed our clothes and returned by one o'clock. Weather warm and pleasant during the day but very cold nights.


Moscow, Sunday, Nov. 23. Laid in tent all day. Mail arrived in the afternoon. Received two very welcome letters from home and Thomas L.


Moscow, Monday, Nov. 24. I felt rather unwell, having had a lusty old shake with the ague. In the night went to the doctor, had four pills and an excuse from duty. Foraging party brought in twenty-five bushels sweet potatoes, four hogs, a hive of honey and two loads of corn.


Moscow, Tuesday, Nov. 25. Orders were sent to Captain to have two best non-commissioned officers to report at Colonel Powell's headquarters by 8 A. M. Sergt. A. J. Hood and Corporal Hauxhurst were sent, acting as orderlies. Tent moved back. The whole camp policed. 2 o'clock the howitzers (3rd and 5th pieces) were ordered out on picket duty without caissons, one extra horse.


Moscow, Wednesday, Nov. 26. Cold and chilly. Troubled with diarrhea; felt rather bad.


Moscow, Thursday, Nov. 27. Our boys returned in the afternoon having been out to Collierville, eighteen miles distant, [Pg 15]burned a bridge, came upon a party of rebs, capturing three. Weather cold and clear. Health improving.


1862 Facing the Enemy

Moscow, Friday, Nov. 28. Awoke before daylight with orders to prepare to march. All was ready by 6:30 A. M. Started at about 7:30, fell in rear of the column and marched toward Holly Springs; traveled all day with the exception of the necessary halts in the train. Passed through Early Grove 4 P. M., Hudsonville 7 P. M. Traveled until 9 P. M. Encamped near Coldwater River for the night. The country was all woodland except the cleared plantations; after dark the air was illumined, the raging fire caused by the dry leaves and fences, running for miles, it being set out by the advance. Came into park in a grove, made a "shebang" of shakes and laid down about 11:30 P. M.


Holly Springs, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 29. The bugle's notes awoke me in the same position as that I fell asleep in three hours before. Prepared for march and started with the sun, in advance of the artillery; passed through Holly Springs about 11 A. M.; passed through the streets where twenty-four hours before the last of the rebels skedaddled. Holly Springs passed my expectations in size and beauty, being the largest place I have seen in Secession.

We traveled on in a southward course towards Waterford. General Hamilton and troupe passed us about 4 miles beyond Holly Springs. Two miles farther on we heard two guns discharged and heard rumors of a battle ahead. On the brow of a hill we were shown the grounds where the cavalry were engaged in the morning with the Rebs' pickets, killing a Michigan boy and three Rebs. Ascended the hill which overlooked Waterford, consisting of a mill and a small creek, branch of Coldwater River. Here the enemy opened fire on our troops in the morning with two pieces which were taken. We forded the stream about 5 P. M., went into camp on the banks, got some flour from the mills (ground by the secesh for supper), and laid down [Pg 16]under the gun on soil twenty-four hours ago occupied by Rebs, seven miles south of Holly Springs.


Lumpkin's Mill, Miss., Sunday, Nov. 30. This was a dark and sultry morning, and about 8 A. M. while sitting upon the ground, I felt the earth shake a kind of a dull roll, which was felt by many. Firing with siege guns was commenced at about nine o'clock and kept up briskly through most of the day. While listening to the firing, expecting momentarily to be called upon, the orders came to hitch up, get two days' rations in haversacks, and ready to march in half an hour. 11 A. M. At this time L. N. Keeler rode up for one man to go foraging. Sergeant Hamilton detailed me. We started with two teams and three men, Bowman, Leffart and myself. We went to the northeast one and one fourth miles, crossed the railroad, found our corn in an old log barn. We had to turn around before loading in order to be ready to leave in case of necessity, as the pickets close by were expecting an attack. We loaded our corn got three quarters of a barrel of salt from the smoke house and returned in a hurry. Found the Battery still there, unharnessed and cooled down. The firing gradually ceased, and by night was heard no more. We went to bed without knowing anything of the result in the front.

P. S. This place represented as Waterford proved to be called Lumpkin's Mill.


Lumpkin's Mill, Monday, Dec. 1. Awoke to find it a muddy morning, it having rained very hard in the night, blowing the fifth tent to the ground. Our tent leaked considerably. Laid quiet all day. No firing heard. Evie went foraging, gone nearly all day. In the evening ordered to have two days' rations ready to march at sunrise.


Enroute, Tuesday, Dec. 2. Advanced about five miles, starting at about 8 o'clock, marched south, leaving Waterford on our left. Halted some three hours on the road, it [Pg 17]raining continually. We were passed by General Hamilton and staff, also General Grant and suite. Came into camp at 4 P. M. some three miles from the Tallahatchie in open field near large mansion used as Quinby's headquarters. Stretched our tarpaulin and slept sound.


Enroute, Wednesday, Dec. 3. A sunny and bright day, dried up the mud and made things cheerful. Hitched up at 8 A. M., stayed harnessed until 3 P. M. We then moved out to the river and went to camp in sight of the rebels' fortifications. Some of the boys crossed the river while watering [horses]. Pitched our tents.


Enroute, Thursday, Dec. 4. We remained quiet all day. Rained in the evening. Pitched Quartermaster's tent. Felt symptoms of the ague, felt rather bad.


1862 Taking Prisoners

Enroute, Friday, Dec. 5. Took up the line of march through mud and rain early. In the morning the rain that was continually falling made the road almost unpassable for the artillery. Crossed the Tallahatchie with difficulty, passed fortifications which might have given us much trouble to pass had they been held by their builders. Met thirty prisoners. Halted at Abbeville about two hours at noon, then pushed on. Night overtook the train while crossing a lagoon [Herrington's Creek], which was very difficult. Stood in the road till 8 P. M., when finding it impossible to cross, we came into park on the roadside in an old cornfield, slept on the tarpaulin, no shelter.


Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Dec. 6. Awoke with an unpleasant feeling, a racking pain in back and head. Started out early, the road having frozen hard enough to bear footmen, marched without much difficulty. Reached Oxford by noon. Neat place, two-thirds the size of Holly Springs; compared favorably with it in building but not in situation. Went into camp on the southern limits, saw some 700 prisoners marched in from the [Pg 18]advance. Price still ahead. One darky reported him almost to hell.


Oxford, Sunday, Dec. 7. Nothing new. Laid in camp. Many rumors afloat of Richmond taken, Bragg defeated, etc. Health improving.


Oxford, Monday, Dec. 8. A lazy day for the Battery. Nothing transpired to excite the drowsiness of the soldier. Received a paper of the 3rd containing the President's Proclamation.


Oxford, Tuesday, Dec. 9. Warm and pleasant, Quinby's Division inspected by U. S. Grant and suite. Troubled with diarrhea.


Oxford, Wednesday, Dec. 10. Warm and pleasant. Health improving. Diarrhea checked by abstaining from all eatables except hard crackers. All teams sent foraging. 3rd Platoon had 1 hog, 2 geese.


Oxford, Thursday, Dec. 11. Rumors of march. Logan's Division left to-day. Troops passing in the afternoon. Had standing gun drill. Ordered to have five roll calls in a day. Order No. 1 from Colonel Marsh, 20th Illinois, post commander of Oxford, read.


Near Oxford, Friday, Dec. 12. Orders given at roll call in the morning to be ready to march at 7 A. M. 3 days' rations. Took up the line of march back towards town much to the dissatisfaction of all, which was relieved by turning south and once more on the track of old Price, travelled six miles, then went into park. Took a team to drive, the center team on the gun formerly driven by A. Dearborn.


Near Oxford, Saturday, Dec. 13. All quiet. Foraging party started out at 6 A. M. Gone all day. They report a poor country, with much more loyalty apparently than could be expected. Citizens refuse to take Confederate scrip as heretofore, many exhibiting a white flag on their dwellings upon which was inscribed [Pg 19]"Union". Received letters from John from Jefferson, Wis.


1862 Negro Cooks

Near Oxford, Sunday, Dec. 14. A day of excitement which came near ending in a serious affair, caused by certain members of the 1st Missouri Regular Battery assailing the colored cooks as they were going after water. After dinner as Anthony [the colored cook] was passing by, he was assaulted and abused. He appealed to the boys, when a rush was made, and in an instant a crowd was gathered consisting of the 6th and 12th Wisconsin and 11th Ohio against the Regulars, armed with clubs, revolvers, knives and axes. The officers interposed, which closed it with but a few bloody noses and several knock downs. Warm and heavy.


Near Oxford, Monday, Dec. 15. It rained nearly all day, making it very muddy, hard for our horses. No mail for two days.


Near Oxford, Tuesday, Dec. 16. Pleasant and sunny. Health never better. Lost my needle book, very sorry. Received three days' mail; had two papers and a letter from home.


Near Oxford, Wednesday, Dec. 17. The day was spent in the common routine of camp duties; drill in the afternoon by infantry and artillery, presenting a lively scene. Received a [Madison] State Journal from T. L. Jones.


Near Oxford, Thursday, Dec. 18. Warm and pleasant. Health excellent. Dr. Miller returned from Wisconsin in the afternoon, much to the satisfaction of all. After roll call in the evening, he appeared before the Company and made a speech, after which three cheers were given to him. Seventy-five loads of cotton brought into headquarters.


Near Oxford, Friday, Dec. 19. Bright and sunny. The delightful weather succeeded in enticing most of the boys from their well worn decks and cribbage boards, bringing them out in [Pg 20]ball playing, pitching quoits, etc. Tallied for an interesting game of base ball.


Near Oxford, Saturday, Dec. 20. Weather still warm. Several of the boys went to Oxford in the afternoon with Captain. Returned with eight new horses, also with the report that the Rebs were in possession of Holly Springs with 5,000 cavalry. Had taken several prisoners, one of whom was Colonel Murphy, 8th Wisconsin; fears also were entertained that the paymasters had been captured with their capital.


Oxford, Sunday, Dec. 21. Reveille earlier than usual; orders to hold in readiness to march, such orders being anticipated. 7 A. M. the whole Division took up the line of march back toward Oxford. Hitched up. The caisson fell in the train, but the pieces with the 59th Indiana, Colonel Alexander, were left for a rear guard. The Division passed by 9 A. M. but as the train could not take all of the commissary stores and cotton at headquarters, we had to lay there all day hitched up, waiting for the trains to return from Oxford. They arrived at 4 P. M., loaded, and started back as soon as possible. We were ordered to hitch up, as we could hear the drums beat for roll call on the right of us; supposed to be Logan's Division. We fell in rear of 59th about 8 P. M., leaving the place all quiet, the Rebs making slight demonstrations upon the infantry during the day notwithstanding. Pushed silently along towards Oxford, proceeded toward our old camping ground. Brought into line by Lieutenant Clark on the right of the road in the flat. Captain Dillon went up to the old camp. The caisson drivers being already on the start, after pitching their tents and again striking, we passed up the hill again, on the top of which, countermanded again, unhitched and left the horses at the bottom. Laid down at 1 A. M.


Oxford, Monday, Dec. 22. Awakened by Sergeant Hamilton, while the stars were yet bright, with orders to feed. I, unsatisfied [Pg 21]with the short sleep, again laid down till daylight, until the orders to water aroused me. Hitched up, drank a cup of coffee, ate hard bread. The blankets were ordered off the guns and put in the wagon. Expectations of a fight somewhere, but I know not where. The troops were moving out all night.

Evening. At 9 A. M. the troops that had been called out in the night returned to their old camp with the intelligence that it was a false alarm of the enemy advancing upon Oxford. 12 M. we unhitched, unharnessed and pitched our tents.


Enroute, Tuesday, Dec. 23. Struck our tents and took up the line of march northwards at 8 A. M. Followed the same road as that which we came in on, passed through Abbeville at noon, recrossed the Tallahatchie at night, coming into camp on the same ground as on the 2nd inst. To-day we passed the 23rd Wisconsin Regiment, many of the boys met old acquaintances; reported occupation of Jackson, Tenn., by the enemy.


Lumpkin's Mill, Wednesday, Dec. 24. A day of fasting to Quinby's Division, the rations having run out yesterday and none having arrived. I ate parched corn and drank coffee. Marched to Lumpkin's Mill, went into camp 1 P. M. Drew rations in the evening. A heifer found.


1862 Christmas

Lumpkin's Mill, Thursday, Dec. 25. Christmas! Christmas! resounded through the camp this morning; everyone turning the gay reminiscence of the past in their minds and hoping again to enjoy. Laid quiet during the day. Ate a Christmas dinner of dumplings and unleavened bread. The howitzers ordered to prepare to march, going in charge of a provision train to Memphis. Troubled with bad cold.


Tallaloosa, Miss., Friday, Dec. 26. Aroused early to prepare to march. High wind, appearance of a storm. We were hitched up with the rest of the Battery by 7 A. M., when it began to rain heavy. The howitzers, under charge of Lieutenant Clark, with [Pg 22]two Parrott guns of the Regulars, two howitzers of the 11th Ohio, started out with four teams on the guns, two on the limbers of the caissons, the hind wheels having been sent to Holly Springs the night before. We passed on towards Memphis with the infantry of Quinby's Division paddling on the best they could; marched on through very rough country till 4 P. M. Came into park at Tallaloosa, a God and man forsaken place. Rained nearly all day. Supped on confiscated chickens, geese and fresh pork.


Byhalia, Miss., Saturday, Dec. 27. Rained nearly all day. Hitched up in the morning. The other sections took the road, but as we were to be the rear guard, and the roads were so bad that teams could not all come on for some time, we again unharnessed, laid in a good supply of disloyal pork and beef and a few rebel chickens. 3 P. M. again hitched up and fell in the rear of the train. It had cleared up and the roads considerably improved. We were enabled to travel at very good time. Travelled till 10 P. M. Came into camp at Byhalia, Marshall County, Miss., having travelled about ten miles on a most beautiful evening. A woman drew a pistol on one of our boys, driving him from the yard.


Near Memphis, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 28. Slept out-doors. Awoke at 5 A. M. A beautiful morning. Byhalia, unlike Tallaloosa, was a bright and lively little village, with a large school house, church, lodge room, with a scientific laboratory, out of which the boys jay-hawked numerous books, writing utensils, etc. etc. Picked up two horses and two mules. The owner of the horses came and pleaded hard, but could receive no other satisfaction than a receipt from Lieutenant Clark. He was reported to be a rank Secesh, as well as everybody else.

1862 Brush with Guerrillas

We started with the 1st Brigade in rear of the train at 9 A. M. Twenty-eight miles from Memphis, passed a house where a woman stood in the yard, bravely holding the Stars and Stripes in her hand (to protect her chickens I suppose). Marched along [Pg 23]quietly; nothing of importance save the appropriation of considerable molasses along the road until half an hour of sundown when a small party of guerrillas dashed up in our rear, discharging some fifteen or twenty pieces, then legging it before their fire could be returned. We halted, the cannoneers sprang to their posts, got their equipments, when the 48th Indiana formed their line. But it was all over with. They were gone, and we started on. Two of the balls took effect, wounding two boys of the 48th Indiana in the arms. An assistant adjutant general and surgeon [who] had wandered a little from the train, were taken also by a few of Jackson's cavalry, divested of their accoutrements and horses, then paroled.

7 P. M. Drew up three-fourths of an hour to feed our horses, then started on, travelled till 10 P. M. Came into camp seven miles from Memphis.


Memphis, Monday, Dec. 29. We passed into Memphis as fast as the necessary detentions would permit, through a very beautiful country and handsome buildings. Passed through the town at about sundown, came into park alongside of the other sections on the south of the town. Watered our horses at the wharves about one and one half miles north, passing through the town. Memphis presented a more lively appearance than I expected under the present circumstances.


Memphis, Tuesday, Dec. 30. Awakened by the morning gun at the fort; fell in for roll call, Sergeant Hamilton acting orderly. Saw a Memphis Bulletin of the 30th, the first newspaper since that bearing the date of the 12th. Watered my horses, then rode into the fort with Colburn. Met Milton Campbell of the 23rd Wisconsin Regiment. The Regiment had gone down the river, leaving twenty-nine convalescents behind. The boys were furnished with a pass to go to town, others taking leg bail, by night. Several heavy heads. Drew six days' rations.


Germantown, Tenn., Wednesday, Dec. 31. The train took up the line of march back. Our Section being in the center started [Pg 24]at 9 A. M., passing through town up Main Street. It was an amusing sight, nearly two-thirds of the soldiers were drunk, having run Memphis as they pleased almost for the last twenty-four hours. We followed the Memphis and Charleston R. R. Came into park at Germantown at dark, having travelled fifteen miles. Partook of a soldier's supper, made our bed neath the starry canopy of heaven, and laid down, ending the year as we began it, by sleeping. Thus endeth the year 1862.


La Fayette, Tenn., Thursday, Jan. 1, 1863. New Year's morning truly, but hard to realize. There was no cordial face of a sister or blooming face of a brother to greet me with a "Happy New Year," no stocking ransacked for a Santa Claus present. But I was soon aroused from my reverie by the blunt order from Lieutenant Clark "Feed your horses and rub them off well." So I returned to a soldier's duties. Took up the line of march early, passed through Collierville 1 P. M. 4 P. M. met Captain Dillon and Lieutenant Hood, who told us the Battery was waiting for us at LaFayette, two miles ahead. We joined them by 5 P. M. leaving the train of hard-tack to take care of itself. The train coming up to the station, we watered our horses in the Wolf River.


Near Germantown, Friday, Jan. 2. To-day we expected to rest at least and made arrangements accordingly, but as the Company were on their horses to go to water, the orders came to march at 10 A. M., so we were obliged to water our horses double quick, and hitched up in all haste. Retraced our track the day before, arrived at Germantown by sundown, but pushed on six.... Went to bed 11 P. M.


Buntyn Station, Tenn., Saturday, Jan. 3. Awoke to find ourselves snugly lying in from two to three inches of water, it having rained very hard, the water coming in under the tent while most of the others lay out doors completely soaked. [Pg 25]Hitched and took to the road with the hope that we were to go to Memphis, nine miles distant. As Quinby's Division was detailed to guard the railroad, the troops were strung all along. We went to within five miles of town, then taking a position on the track with the 48th Indiana at a station called Buntyn Station, Colonel Alexander as acting brigadier general. Received stringent orders not to molest anything, rails included. Put up harness, racks, etc. preparatory for a stay.


1863 In Winter Camp

Buntyn Station, Sunday, Jan. 4. A busy day for the boys of the 6th Battery, as they were in expectation of staying in the place for some time. Harness racks, feed troughs, shebangs, tables, etc. were put up from lumber carried some forty rods, where it had been stored with the intention of building. The tents were floored mostly. S. E. Sweet, Sampson Beaver, E. W. Evans and myself built a house 6 by 8, 2 ft. high lower end, with a fireplace in the side. Stood guard. Very pleasant evening.


Buntyn Station, Monday, Jan. 5. Sabres were brightened for inspection at 2 P. M. Order read from General Hamilton stating that Van Dorn was concentrating at Pontotoc for another raid on this railroad, and ordered that stockades be built along the road, and that we be on the alert. No parole to be taken from any cavalry force. The raid to be resisted while there was a musket and cartridge left. 4 P. M. mail came in, a sack full, the first for nearly 20 days. Oh! the welcome it received. Heard from father, brother and four sisters. Welcome! welcome! indeed. 1st piece planted on the track pointing south.


Buntyn Station, Tuesday, Jan. 6. Rained in the night. Rec'd some more mail. Horses inspected by Lieutenants Clark, Hood and Simpson. Weather fine. Health not quite as good. Troubled with dumb ague.


Buntyn Station, Wednesday, Jan. 7. A pleasant day but cold. All of our sabres were turned over, Lieutenant Simpson [Pg 26]taking them to Memphis, also all the worthless horses. Our former orderly, J. G. S. Hayward, bade us good-bye in the morning; left for the North with G. W. Giles and John Campbell, all of which had been discharged. Infantry building breastworks. Van Dorn reported to be at Byhalia. Pickets doubled. Anticipation of an attack. Slept with our clothes on. E. P. Dixon, T. J. Hungerford and Mikolay Dziewanowski sent out as scouts in the night.


Buntyn Station, Thursday, Jan. 8. News reached us of a glorious victory at Murfreesboro by General Rosecrans. Rec'd hay for horses. E. Morrill formerly of Sauk City, now of 23rd Wisconsin Regiment stayed with us.


Buntyn Station, Friday, Jan. 9. Rather damp and cold. Infantry still felling trees and fortifying. Paymaster on the line paying off the troops, giving them two months' wages. Scouts sent out several times a day. Weather damp. Health impaired somewhat. Troubled with diarrhea. No news from Vicksburg.


Buntyn Station, Saturday, Jan. 10. Warm and pleasant. Orders to hold ourselves in readiness to march at a moment's warning. Went out with Evans to forage. Got some sweet potatoes from a citizen. Drew soft bread at the quartermaster's taken from Memphis. Sad news from Vicksburg. Sherman's forces withdrawn to Napoleon. Health better. Drilled on the piece.


Buntyn Station, Sunday, Jan. 11. Warm and rainy. Received a letter from home dated the 2nd. Went out to exercise the horses in the morning. Went on the once famous Memphis race course, passed twice around and returned. Several races. Those who were present at the August muster, signed the payroll to be paid to-morrow, two months' wages.


Buntyn Station, Monday, Jan. 12. The scouts Sunday were driven back, or rather, hearing the noise of advancing troopers, [Pg 27]they withdrew, and this morning, 3:30 A. M. sixteen men, were mounted and sent out under charge of Sergeant Hauxhurst. They scoured the country for nine miles south and returned without seeing any armed person, but reported that they had been seen. They returned at about 11 A. M. Men were detailed to fell trees on the right to protect our flank. Rec'd four papers from home.


Buntyn Station, Tuesday, Jan. 13. Cloudy and appearance of rain. The health in general is not very well, several troubled with ague, etc., supposed to be owing to the water which is very bad, being taken out of an artificial pond. Stood guard. Rained very heavy in the night.


Buntyn Station, Wednesday, Jan 14. This morning, while it was yet dark, Sergeant Hamilton came to our door, calling upon Evans to harness and hitch up team. I being on guard, coupled the horses, stood until 8 o'clock, when they were unhitched and unharnessed. Marched from 2 o'clock. Roll call. After [marched] to the headquarters of the 48th Indiana to be paid off, the boys having two months' pay. I received none. Raining heavy all day. Five months in the service of Uncle Sam.


1863 A Cold Night

Buntyn Station, Thursday, Jan. 15. The rain of the day before has turned into snow during the night, and I awoke to find the ground all white, my head imbedded in a snow drift. Looked out to see the 4th Platoon boys crawling out from under the snow, their tent having given way under the weight and rolled aside. It was a little the hardest sight seen during my campaign, but there was no murmur, all were jovial and contented. We had to take the horses, who were trembling at the rack, out to exercise to the race course, against a blinding storm of snow from the west. In the afternoon it stopped snowing, leaving about a foot deep on the ground. Many of the boys gone to Memphis.


[Pg 28]

Buntyn Station, Friday, Jan. 16. Clear though cold morning. S. Beaver, S. E. Sweet, E. W. Evans, T. J. Hungerford and myself, having a permit from Captain, started for Memphis at 8 in the morning, going afoot on the railroad. Travelled briskly until within two miles of town, when we were halted by a guard, with orders not to pass any officer or private of Quinby's Division without a pass signed by officer commanding, but suggested that we had been in the service long enough to know how to pass a guard. Taking the hint we turned back about fifteen rods, then going through the snow around a field, passed in to town undisturbed. Stayed in town some four hours, went to the gallery, had my likeness taken. Spent money. Returned by the evening roll call better off than most of the boys, as we were able to walk straight as we had taken no liquor. Considerable tired nevertheless.


Buntyn Station, Saturday, Jan. 17. Was spent in resting from the tramp to town. Sunny but raw, did not take much of the snow off. Rebuilt our chimney.


Buntyn Station, Sunday, Jan. 18. Most of the snow made its disappearance to-day. Cloudy in the afternoon. Health very good. Anxious for mail. Rec'd none since the 13th.


Buntyn Station, Monday, Jan. 19. Rainy and disagreeable. Logan's Division passed on the R. R. going towards Memphis. Rec'd three letters, four newspapers.


Buntyn Station, Tuesday, Jan. 20. Still rainy and muddy. Orderly Jenawein gone to town. Sergeant Hauxhurst acting. Health good.


Buntyn Station, Wednesday, Jan. 21. One day without any rain, which dried up underfoot somewhat. Health excellent. On guard. No news from below.


Buntyn Station, Thursday, Jan. 22. Sunny and warm. All quiet in camp. Exercised the horses on the course. Weighed 140 pounds. Read Parson Brownlow's book in the evening.


[Pg 29]

Buntyn Station, Friday, Jan. 23. Spent the day in darning stockings. Listened to Brownlow read in tent. But when night came there was a scene at once ludicrous and deplorable. Music was started in the 4th Platoon tent; Parker with his fiddle, Bill Bailey with the banjo, Day's tambourine. Byness with the bones, and Goodman's clarinet. But Quartermaster had brought some bottled whiskey into camp and it broke up in a drunken row. * * * Deplorable, deplorable sight. Rec'd a letter from Thomas and a Milwaukee Sentinel of the 18th, mailed on the 20th inst.


Buntyn Station, Saturday, Jan. 24. Rainy and dark all day. Health good. Battery in general dull from the effects of last night's carousal.

Price of army clothing, Oct. 1862.

Hats, naked$1.68
Cord and tassel.15
Eagle.14
Cross Cannons.03
Jacket5.55
Trousers4.60
Woolen shirts1.46
Woolen drawers.95
Stockings.32
Sewed boots3.25
Pegged boots2.87
Overcoat11.50
Woolen Blanket3.60
Lined sack coats3.14
Canteen.44
Knapsack2.14
Haversack, glazed.56
Rubber pouch2.90

1863 Home Letters

Buntyn Station, Sunday, Jan. 25. Sunny in the morning, but clouded over by afternoon and rained heavy while out on exercise; got beautifully wet. Received the N. Y. Tribune from John, mailed 18th. Letter from Mary, Jen and James (his first letter). May he be permitted to live a useful and intelligent life to comfort my aged parents. Prospect of their once more finding a home in Dodge Hollow, Iowa County. May they live to see their children once more gathered in the old homestead.


[Pg 30]

Buntyn Station, Monday, Jan. 26. Rain, rain, rain. Turned cold towards night. Health not very good on account of the damp. Ague and rheumatism.


Buntyn Station, Tuesday, Jan. 27. Cold this morning. Came out sunny.


Buntyn Station, Wednesday, Jan. 28. Cold and clear. Froze hard in the night. Went down to the 59th Indiana where there was a gallery. Took my likeness for $1.00. Carriages washed clean for painting.


Buntyn Station, Thursday, Jan. 29. Warm and pleasant. Stood guard. Health good. No mail.


Buntyn Station, Friday, Jan. 30. 4th Brigade of this Division passed toward Memphis. Harnessed up in the afternoon in order to see if the harnesses were in marching order. Indication of rain.


Buntyn Station, Saturday, Jan. 31. Sunny in the A. M. but clouded over and there came a heavy spring shower. Rained nearly all night. Health good.


1863 Sunday in Camp

Buntyn Station, Sunday, Feb. 1. It is Sunday, but hard to realize it. The same routine is gone through as upon the other days, the cards shuffled with equal liveliness, the game of ball with the same noise. And I lay in my tent never realizing that this is the Sunday that I used to spend at home with such stillness, when the horses stayed in the stable unhitched, all work laid aside. Ah, well I remember the first Sunday spent in the army, how I used to recoil as I heard the boisterous oaths and reckless sport of the soldiers as they were returning to their comrades on that clear Sunday morning from Columbus to Corinth. It was just five months ago to-day, and am I really so much changed? Can it be that I am so much more vicious and wicked than then, that I heed not the Sabbath? God forbid. [Pg 31]But what does company have to do? Almost everything. I flatter myself that it is not so very wicked. It cannot be.

In the evening I went to Griffith's "shebang" and listened to sacred music. It sounded as of old. "I'm a Pilgrim", "There is a Happy Land" etc. But a soldier is a soldier, and the "Dixie" and "Gay and Happy" were promiscuously mixed. Weather warm and sunny. Heard that the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry were at Memphis.


Buntyn Station, Monday, Feb. 2. Cold, and toward the evening windy. S. Beaver went down town in search of his brother wounded at Arkansas Post, but returned without finding him. Gone up the river.


Buntyn Station, Tuesday, Feb. 3. Very cold for this latitude, having frozen water one-quarter of an inch in thickness. Detailed to go with the teams down town. Got there by 10 A. M. Loaded four teams with hay, having to take it out of a barge. Heavy work. After they were loaded, Griffith and myself went around to do a little business. Meantime, the teams started, thus obliging us to walk home. Came into camp by 6 P. M. The 93rd Indiana Volunteers came to the station by rail and pitched their tents alongside of the 48th.


Buntyn Station, Wednesday, Feb. 4. Cold and clear as a bell. Exercised our horses for two hours under Sergeant Runyan. A. Goodman with two others of the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry made us a visit, they being encamped within the limits of the town. Turned warm in the afternoon, and turned into snow which fell heavy till dark.


Buntyn Station, Thursday, Feb. 5. About three inches of snow. Quite cold all day. E. W. E. went to town; was called on to guard S. Sanger for discharging a revolver. Very cold.


Buntyn Station, Friday, Feb. 6. Temperature what they would call quite sharp, but indicative of a fine day. Most of [Pg 32]the snow disappeared during the day. Health excellent. Spelling school in the evening at G. Thomas's shanty.


Buntyn Station, Saturday, Feb. 7. Quite cold in the morning. The frosty air rather keen in our well ventilated house, but a brisk fire soon made us comfortable. 4th Minnesota Infantry and the 12th Wisconsin Battery passed by toward Memphis. We are to go in the morning.


Memphis, Sunday, Feb. 8. Warm and cloudy day. Reveille at one hour before daylight. Prepared to march, and started at 7 A. M., the 48th going on the railroad, and we took the south road. The roads were very muddy, the frequent frosts had made them soft, and we had very hard work to get along with the balky horses that we had. Came into camp at 12 M. about a mile southeast of town on a hill covered with trees, very handsome. Busy in building racks and "shebangs". All the lumber under guard.


Memphis, Monday, Feb. 9. Hitched up the team and got a load of bricks and boards from a burned building one and one-quarter miles from camp. Weather very sultry, warm, indications of rain. Signed the pay roll for September and October.


Memphis, Tuesday, Feb. 10. A fine spring rain fell nearly all day, nevertheless we covered our shanty and built our chimney.


Memphis, Wednesday, Feb. 11. Warm and sunny. Ball playing and building shanties the order of the day. We completed ours. It consists of an excavation of one foot, then walled two feet with rails and logs, and banked; covered with a double roof, a brick chimney in one end, and door in the other, with the floor boarded. Such is our house.


Memphis, Thursday, Feb. 12. Slept in a wet bed, our door being open, a storm coming up of rain, wind and thunder. [Pg 33]Health worse than it has been for two months. Diarrhea and pain in bowels.


Memphis, Friday, Feb. 13. A bright, sunny day. Everything looked cheerful. Standing gun drill. Milton Campbell, 23rd Regiment, made us a visit from the hospital. Health better.


Memphis, Saturday, Feb. 14. Six months in the service. Another rainy day. Signed the pay rolls again, the first ones being objectionable and returned.


Memphis, Sunday, Feb. 15. Warm and pleasant. Health good. Two horses and three mules stolen last night. Guards doubled.


Memphis, Monday, Feb. 16. Was called on guard last night, second relief. While on the last relief, the sounds of the drum and bugle were heard upon all sides. A foraging expedition to be sent out, one section of the 12th Wisconsin to accompany, but when the bugle sounded most of the men refused to fall in, as there were some sixty of the recruits of last August, these having been by neglect not mustered in the U. S. service, hence a remonstrance was sent to General Quinby. Meantime the men refused to do duty.

1863 Sight Seeing

After watering horses, G. Thomas, E. W. Evans and myself visited the Elmwood cemetery half a mile distant. It contains forty acres and is certainly a beautiful "City of the Dead", handsomely divided off by evergreen shrubbery, with the spacious vaults of solid marble. From the white obelisk to the little lambs at the heads of once sparkling innocent babes, all was beautiful. But on one side were four hands busily piling up the rounded graves in close compact. They held the bodies of the unfortunate soldiers, averaging twelve a day. On the other side were the like victims of the Confederate States of America.


[Pg 34]

Memphis, Tuesday, Feb. 17. Wet and cloudy. A dismal and dreary day for me. Kept inside nearly all day. Burnt up all my letters which by this time had accumulated, so as to encroach too much on the room of my crowded valise. It was a difficult task. They seemed to be a connecting link between me and the dear ones. I read the anxious words over, and then with a sigh consigned them to the flames. Burnt up 17 of T. L.'s, 18 of J. L.'s, 11 of M. L.'s and 15 from Albion.


Memphis, Wednesday, Feb. 18. Raw and windy. Health not very good.


Memphis, Thursday, Feb. 19. Warm and dry, though windy. Suffering with a very bad cold. Captain Dillon read an order from J. B. McPherson, commanding 17th Army Corps, relative to going to Vicksburg. Patriotism raised the spirit of the boys fifty per cent. Played ball in the afternoon.


Memphis, Friday, Feb. 20. Health better but very sore throat. Beautiful day.


Memphis, Saturday, Feb. 21. Rain and thunder all day. Health not very good. Sore throat.


Memphis, Sunday, Feb. 22. Cold. Froze the mud in the morning. Excused from duty, being on the sick list. Cold.


Memphis, Monday, Feb. 23. Very pleasant. Health little better. The long looked for "to-morrow" at last arrived and the paymaster paid us off. Rec'd $13.80. $20.00 sent per allotment, being up to Oct. 31, 1862.


Memphis, Tuesday, Feb. 24. Very pleasant spring day. Boys busy settling their accounts. Captain H. Dillon started home on a furlough. Lieutenant Simpson also went with a discharge.


Memphis, Wednesday, Feb. 25. Rained in torrents all last night and to-day, with thunder and lightning. Health better. No mail from above since Saturday.


[Pg 35]

Memphis, Thursday, Feb. 26. Cleared off a little but drizzled part of the day. Received a needle case from home, a loving tribute from sister Mary. No mail down the river.


Memphis, Friday, Feb. 27. Pleasant day. Oiled our harness in the afternoon. Troubled with diarrhea severely. Rec'd a letter from home, they being in great anxiety about me, as my letters did not arrive at their destination. Poor mother. I have thought much of you since reading it, and may I spare no pains keeping you easy, is my prayer.


Memphis, Saturday, Feb. 28. The last of February, consequently mustered for pay at 9 A. M. by Lieutenant S. F. Clark. Then opened ranks and inspected by Lieutenants Clark, Hood and Simpson, the latter being reinstated. Ordered to prepare for an inspection to-morrow.


Up and Down the Mississippi and Yazoo

1863 Embarking on the Transports

Memphis, Sunday, March 1. To-day we were ordered to prepare for an inspection by Major Maurice, chief of artillery, but instead of that came marching. We broke up camp at 9 A. M. and marched with the whole of Quinby's Division into Memphis. There was a busy scene. Infantry and artillery and baggage and wagons, all in a rush embarking on the transports. 6th and 12th Wisconsin Batteries were ordered on the "Robert Campbell Jr." but we could not get out on first Section, it being too crowded. The 2nd and 3rd Sections with the battery and forage wagons were pushed in front of the "Tecumseh" and there guarded for the night.


Memphis, Monday, March 2. Cloudy in the morning but cleared off sunny. Failed to get the carriages on in the forenoon. After dinner four men of each platoon were left to load the pieces, while the boat dropped down to load with coal. [Pg 36]Felt rather weak; troubled with diarrhea which had rendered me rather weak. Got forage on board for horses.


On the Mississippi, Tuesday, March 3. Raw and cold on the boat. Laid at the wharf all the forenoon, waiting for the word. 2 P. M. the fleet "tied loose" and headed down stream, the "Campbell" being fourth in the procession. It was an interesting spectacle, fourteen boats all laden with troops and munition and ammunition of war, leaving the clayey bluffs of Memphis on one side, and the blackened ruins of Hopefield on the other to plan the final destruction of all that harbor the enemies of our country. But notwithstanding, it was a sad thought to me as I looked to the distant North, where there are anxious hearts for me, and I was still going farther, and I may never again return. The river was very high, nothing but water in sight, the willows putting on their garb of green. The "Campbell" soon took the lead and arrived at Helena by 9 P. M. ninety miles distant. Tied up till 2:30 A. M.


1863 Racing on the Mississippi

Grand Lake Landing, Ark., Wednesday, March 4. When we again started, the air was very raw and cold. Hailed at the mouth of White River by a gunboat and we had to come to and report at 9 A. M. Passed Napoleon at 11 A. M. which was nearly inundated. In the afternoon a race took place between the "Campbell" and the "Louisiana" which came up, and after about half an hour took the lead. 5 P. M. the fleet landed at Grand Lake Landing, eighteen miles above Providence. We immediately commenced unloading; got everything off except the horses. They were harnessed, but were again unharnessed. Slept on the boat.


Grand Lake Landing, Thursday, March 5. Up early; got the horses; then got the carriages off the "Tecumseh" which was rather tough work. Came into park right by the levee and stretched our picket rope and put up the tarpaulin. Very wet all around. On guard. Health very good.


[Pg 37]

Grand Lake Landing, Friday, March 6. Cloudy and windy. General Quinby went down on the "Superior" to Providence, returned in the evening. In the afternoon David Evans and myself went down stream on the levee, bareback about three miles, where the engineers were at work digging out the levee. Took a drink in Louisiana and returned to camp with no better impression of the sunny South.


On the Mississippi, Saturday, March 7. Ordered to reembark at early dawn. Arose at 4 o'clock but did not get loaded till in the afternoon on the same boats as before. Severe rainstorm and wind last night. Very muddy. Part of the day the sun shone very bright. Health good. 2:30 P. M. the fleet once more "swung loose" and headed up stream. The "Campbell" was aground, so had to be towed out by the "Gladiator" and "John H. Dickey"; after she got afloat we lashed to the former to get some coal. As night advanced we kept slowly going, and by night were the fourth in line.


On the Mississippi, Sunday, March 8. The boat had been steadily plowing her way up the turbid water of the Mississippi. Rained very heavy, got a wet bed to sleep on. Very foggy all day; passed the "Von Phal", being next to the flagship "Superior". Passed the Yazoo Pass, 2. P. M.

4 P. M.—We have landed on the Arkansas side three miles below Helena, where the troops were ordered ashore to cook and for recreation. The flag ship went up to Helena, and returned with a good quantity of mail.


On the Mississippi, Monday, March 9. Went up to Helena after coal, took on board 400 boxes; while there the boys were busy in buying a supply of soft bread and other rarities. Many of the boys found acquaintances in the 29th Wisconsin Infantry and the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry which were encamped. General Quinby went down on the "Pocahontas" in the afternoon to Yazoo Pass.


[Pg 38]

On the Mississippi, Tuesday, March 10. Arose with but poor rest, it having rained all night, and lying on deck with the tarpaulin but poorly arranged. Got very wet. Rained steadily all day. Amused myself best I could reading what I could in the crowded cabin filled with the tobacco fumes, and boisterous with card players. 4 P. M. mail arrived. Rec'd a letter from J. L. and T. L. and three papers. All well. Brother James lame by accident, poor fellow, but thanks to kind Providence, he is under the nursing of a devoted mother and tender sisters. Priceless boon.


Near Helena, Ark., Wednesday, March 11. Sunny and fine weather. Instead of moving came the order to disembark, and by noon the whole of Quinby's Division was on the sand bar of about two acres in one solid mass. It was with difficulty that we got our battery in position and tarpaulin put up.


Near Helena, Thursday, March 12. Fine weather. Washed my clothes in the forenoon. In the afternoon joined in the funeral procession of a member of Co. G., 72nd Illinois. Laid him in the swamp and left him in the cheerless spot, a soldier's grave. Many of the boys in spite of high water, went out foraging and brought in fresh pork and beef in plenty.


Near Helena, Friday, March 13. Health good. Fine weather. Drew thirty days' forage for horses, per order. 1st Brigade embarking, loading in the night. Stood guard.


Near Helena, Saturday, March 14. Health not very good. Seven months ago I enlisted in the service of the U. S. Then I hoped that by this time a different phase of the matter could be seen. But alas, it very dark ahead, yet I do not despond, neither have I regretted my enlistment. I can only do the best I can, and be satisfied. A hard tug is before me. May God grant me health and courage to do my duty.


Near Helena, Sunday, March 15. Warm day. Ross's 8th Division landed a little below from Memphis. 1st Brigade and [Pg 39]2nd Battery left for the Pass yesterday. Received papers of the 13th—Bulletin [Memphis].


Near Helena, Monday, March 16. A fine spring day. Still troubled with diarrhea. All monotonous in camp. Spent most of the day patching. Vaccinated by George Fisher, hospital steward.


Near Helena, Tuesday, March 17. Very warm, a forerunner of the burning heat to come. Mail arrived. Heard from home. Oh! welcome letters.


Near Helena, Wednesday, March 18. Very warm. Felt a little better. Nothing very interesting.


Near Helena, Thursday, March 19. Exercised and washed my horses. Health in camp poor. Eighteen on the sick list.


Near Helena, Friday, March 20. The marine fleet of Colonel Ellet passed down the river, consisting of the "Autocrat", "Diana", "Baltic", "Alone", and the "E. H. Fairchild" with iron-clad ram. Boats gathering; expecting to embark soon. 11th Wisconsin Infantry landed below here.


1863 Atlantic Monthly in Camp

Near Helena, Saturday, March 21. Sergeant Hauxhurst, C. Campbell and Shockley sent North to the hospital. Capt. H. Dillon arrived in the evening, bringing many presents to the boys. I received a pair of stockings knit by my dear mother, and the Atlantic Monthly of June 2. Rec'd mail in the night.


Near Helena, Sunday, March 22. Cloudy and indications of rain. Infantry embarked. Ordered to be ready to go on at 12 M. but the boats did not come. Drizzled rain nearly all day. Health none the best. Diarrhea very bad. Water rising very fast.


On Moon Lake, Monday, March 23. Reveille at 4 A. M. At dawn we commenced embarking, the left Section under Lieutenant Hood on the "Armada," center Section under Simpson [Pg 40]on the "Jesse K. Bell." First piece on the "White Rose." Second piece on the "Rose Hamilton." Rained heavy all day. 2 P. M. we swung off, I being on the "Jesse Bell." Laid off till 4 P. M. when we entered the Pass, the fourth boat of the fleet. At the mouth it was about five rods wide. The water shot through at a wild rate. The wheel was reversed to check the speed of the boat. On we went, through the woods and short turns until we reached Moon Lake, where it widened. The Lake is about three miles long, half a mile wide, where we had smooth sailing until dark, when we tied up near an old negro hut. On the north side a squad of cavalry encamped close by. A member of the 93rd Illinois (which is on board with us) was buried near the shore. Made our bed under the wheels of the pieces, the boat being so crowded; had but poor rest. Slept as close as "three in the bed and two in the middle."


On Yazoo Pass, Tuesday, March 24. Started at 7 A. M. and kept moving slowly all day from one tree to the other, backing up nearly as often as going ahead, often being obliged to tie in order to give room for those ahead. A limb broke down our left smokestack close to the hurricane decking notwithstanding they were cut off nearly to the half before starting. Jack-staff broke twice. All the light-work of the pilot house brushed off.

5 P. M. passed the foundered boat "Jenny Lind" sunk over the first deck. She ran on shore and all the goods saved. There were a few soldiers belonging to the 43rd Indiana with her.

6 P. M. ran afoul, so that we were obliged to tie up for the night in sight of another wreck a few rods ahead. People may read of this Pass in time to come, but they will never know what it is until they see it.


On Yazoo Pass, Wednesday, March 25. Awakened by the bell which indicated that we were about to start. Curiosity soon [Pg 41]found me on deck after a good night's sleep. A beautiful morning. The "Steam Nigger" was set to work trying to extricate us, and after an hour's tug we swung loose. Passed the wreck of "Luella" a small screw propeller. She was nearly all under water. Barrels and boxes of commissary stores all around, floating.

9 A. M. passed a plantation with inhabitants, the first seen since we started. A neat log house and spring in door-yard reminded me of the home of my childhood

"How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollections present them to view."

Evening. Saw considerable dry land to-day on the right. Passed some plantations, apparently wealthy. Colonel Putnam sent a detail out in the yawl at 3 P. M. Brought in seven sheep, also in the evening brought in a good beef. Gave a piece to the Battery boys. Tied up near the plantation of the rebel General Elkhorn who had been paroled. Only twelve miles from Helena by road yet. Six to Coldwater. Heavy picket thrown out.


1863 On the Yazoo

On Yazoo Pass, Thursday, March 26. A fine day. Health poor. Nausea and diarrhea very bad. Advanced very slowly to-day, the current being swifter than before, so that we are just tossed from tree to tree. Obliged to use the capstan continually. A limb took off one of the escape pipes, another entered the cook room on the second floor. It is with great trouble the men can save themselves from falling limbs. One fell on two boys which came very near proving serious. Passed at 2 P. M. by the "Hamilton Belle", dispatch boat.


On the Coldwater, Friday, March 27. Started early on our tedious journey, being only four miles from where we stopped night before. Passed by the packet "Wenona," had some mail aboard, could not get it. Health still very bad, diarrhea, poor appetite. Got some biscuit (light) from the cook, but could not eat much. Could I but get a good draught [Pg 42]of milk and good graham bread of Sister Mary, methinks I would soon feel well. Better for my case than the opium pills, which is all the doctor would give me. Felt rather homesick. Cloudy, some rain. Entered Coldwater at 3 P. M. Little better scenery.


On the Coldwater, Saturday, March 28. Met six boats from below. Report General Quinby's headquarters 190 miles at the mouth of Tallahatchie. Boats badly seamed.


On the Coldwater, Sunday, March 29. Cold, disagreeable. Sleet and rain part of the time. Health much better. Tied up near shore. Got our horses off across the "White Rose"; gave them good exercise. Stretched a picket, left them for the night. A solitary tent with two cases of smallpox was to be seen, left by the Louisiana fleet. Wrote home.


On the Yazoo, Monday, March 30. Awakened by one of the boys telling that the boats had started and left my team ashore, with five others, and the Lieut., Runyan, Dixon and Ed Hayes. The boat was anxious to lead out, hence the haste. 10 A. M. obliged to tie up and repair. A limb disabled the wheel. Passed by the rest of the fleet. 5 P. M. entered the Tallahatchie, Gunboat No. 5 lying at the mouth. Got my letter on the "Alone". Tied up near a saw mill, which was soon in a blaze. Rain and some snow. Strange.


On the Yazoo, Tuesday, March 31. Fair day. Started early but advanced very slowly, doing much damage to the boat, notwithstanding the stream being better. Very unskillful management. Broke the engines 3 P. M. Had to stop for repairs, where we laid till next morning. Got our guns in position for action. Music and dancing in the evening on the "forecastle". Man died in the cabin.


On the Yazoo, Wednesday, April 1. Made good headway to-day with but little stoppage. 12 M. landed to take on those [Pg 43]left behind and some forage left by the fleet, which had left about two hours before. Buried the corpse and started on. Passed some beautiful plantations with plenty of hogs and cattle, which naturally made our mouths water. Passed the "Pike" at sundown, in a sinking condition. Foraging parties brought in fresh meat in plenty. After tying up, cannonading heard at night. Had a slight attack of ague.


1863 Burning Property

On the Yazoo, Thursday, April 2. Very fine. Good country and fine sailing. 12 M. a miscreant fired into the boat and wounded a member of the 93rd severely, the ball entering his left breast. The boat rounded to and tied up, and in an instant the whole regiment was in confusion, running for their arms, etc., etc. Skirmishers were sent out, while Colonel Putnam went with a force in a yawl in search, but returned in an hour; failed to find him, but brought along the man of the house that harbored him as prisoner, after reducing his house to ashes. Nearly all the boats were fired into in a similar manner.

5 P. M. came up to the boats and tied up for the night, staging run out and the horses taken off and exercised. It was at a large plantation of several hundred acres. I rode the Lieutenant's horse. Foraging parties out in all directions, and chickens, hogs, beef, onions etc. poured in. Several negro villages were set on fire, also the cotton gins, corn-cribs, within reach. The whole air was bright at night with the fire.


On the Yazoo, Friday, April 3. Fine day. Arrived at the headquarters by 11 A. M. Disembarked, came into camp by night in an open field. O. Eillinstine drowned. Body not found. Two and one half miles from Fort Greenwood which is occupied by rebel forces.


On the Yazoo, Saturday, April 4. Fine day. Boys busy bathing, washing, changing etc. in general, which was very necessary after thirteen days confinement. 10 A. M. crossed the [Pg 44]river to the 28th Wisconsin Regiment, Ross's Division. Found an old acquaintance John Williams of Ixonia. First Section went to the front in view of the fort, threw in a few shells and returned. 7 P. M. ordered to harness up as soon as possible with no unnecessary noise, which was soon done, and in half an hour the center Section, much to their dissatisfaction, were reloading on the "Jesse K. Bell." All loaded by midnight, and each one shifted the best he could for a short rest. Evie rather unwell.


On the Yazoo, Sunday, April 5. Although late, arose very sleepy to feed my team. 7 A. M. we started up stream with the rest of the fleet in their proper places. The day was beautiful and we travelled very fast, guns all ready for action. I enjoyed the scenery much, the air so soft and balmy, all nature seemed to be at rest. The darkies on shore in their Sunday suits met us with waving of rags and hats under their arms, and once in a while a timid woman also, more from policy than principle I suppose. 1 A. M. another shot was given us near the same place as before, which was promptly returned by half the regiment. Most shot at random to show their good-will. No one hurt on board. The ball passed near the pilot house. 5 P. M. tied up to take on fuel from the fence. Went ashore to cook.


On the Yazoo, Monday, April 6. Started early and troubled with but little hindrance, made good headway. Tied up at night near a pretty mansion with an air of luxury. As the boat struck shore a rush was made for land, and they made for the door-yard, but they were halted by the Colonel who put a guard to prevent their coming in, and put the anxious ones to work carrying rails. Health good.


On the Coldwater, Tuesday, April 7. Warm and pleasant. Entered mouth of Coldwater 8 A. M. Travelled well till towards evening. The channel grew more crooked and difficult.

[Pg 45]

4 P. M. landed to take on rails, then went on. Tied up in a low swampy cane-brake. Water much lower than when descending. An occasional darky to be seen with mule and plow at work in the field, but in most cases the darky had "hung up the shovel and the hoe." Music and dancing in the evening. Washed.

P. S. I write this at the still hour of midnight, all is quiet and their minds far away from here in the happy land of dreams. No sound save the tiresome tramp of the poor pent-up brutes which have not laid down since we embarked. What a time for thought. Two hours yet of guard.


On Yazoo Pass, Wednesday, April 8. Entered the Pass 7 A. M. Passed the wreck "Luella" 4 P. M., the "Jenny Lind" having been removed. Landed at 3 P. M. at Reb. General Elkhorn's for rails. Mosquitoes made their appearance in the evening.


1863 Cleaning Up

On Moon Lake, Thursday, April 9. Warm day. Entered Moon Lake 7 A. M. and at 9 A. M. we were once more landed on the sand bar from whence we started 18 days ago. Accomplished nothing. What and where next? "Armada" and "White Rose" are the only boats here beside our own. All the horsemen came ashore in order to clean up.


Near Helena, Friday, April 10. Received a large mail. Boats all came from the Pass, the two iron-clads bringing up the rear. The boats went up to Helena to take on coal, nearly all of them. Health good. G. R. Jones quite sick. Sat up with him part of the evening, an attack of pleurisy.


Near Helena, Saturday, April 11. All busy in writing home and to those left behind. Although we may be tanned and roughened by hardships and exposures, the memories of those behind are still uppermost, and although otherwise hardened, that is untarnished. Reloaded all the horses, etc. Rainy.


Near Helena, Sunday, April 12. A fine day. Expected to leave, but instead we took our horses off. Troops going down [Pg 46]the river nearly all day, about twenty transports loaded. Took a ride in the afternoon, enjoyed it much, though all alone. On guard in the night. Quite cold.


On the Mississippi, Monday, April 13. Got all on board once more and at 12 A. M. started up to Helena, unloaded the cotton taken in the Pass, and returned to find the boats all gone except the "Tempest" (commissary boat) and at about 3 P. M., we started down the river. Detained most of the night in extricating the "Duke of Argyle."


Providence, La., Tuesday, April 14. Cold and rainy all day, making it rather disagreeable. Spent the day in our quarters over the horses. Read the Covenant, mused and slept most of the day. At about 9 P. M. we neared what appeared like a city with its hundreds of lamps, but proved to be Providence with the lighted steamboats tied close.


Millikens Bend, La., Wednesday, April 15. A warm pleasant day. Awoke to get hay from a barge, then strolled around to see Providence, which was a neat village with several fine buildings, but most of the main part of the town is inundated by the pass cut through the levee, connecting the river to Lake Providence, about 80 rods long. And where used to be the street, now is the bed of a rushing torrent. Found the 6th Division (McArthur's) encamped here. McPherson's headquarters also here. Took on 600 boxes of coal and at 2:30 P. M. started on our way down the river, being the last of the fleet. Wrote a hurried letter home. 5 P. M. we arrived at Millikens Bend, the shore lined with steamboats, the troops embarking as fast as possible. Got a part of our battery off.


Millikens Bend, Thursday, April 16. As soon as practical brought into park behind the levee in an open field; very pretty grounds but no trees, and before noon the field was covered with the tents of Quinby's Division. Signed the payroll in the afternoon. Met Charley Finn and Wm. Jones of the 23rd. who [Pg 47]were left in the convalescent camp; the Regiment gone to Richmond, La., three days. All the mule teams of the Division ordered to take provisions and ammunition to them. Weather very fine. Troubled with toothache very much. Health otherwise good.


1863 Contrabands

Millikens Bend, Friday, April 17. Were ordered to prepare for general inspection at 9 A. M. Got off from guard in time to mount my team. Formed three lines on the plain in front, viz: 1st line, 3rd Brigade; 2nd line, 3 batteries of artillery; 3rd line, 1st Brigade. (2nd Brigade not yet arrived from above). Were inspected by Adjutant General Thomas of Washington and Colonel Sanborn (commanding Division in sickness of Quinby) and staff. After inspection the troops were brought in a solid square when General Thomas was introduced by General Grant, and spoke of the policy of the administration in regard to the contrabands, which was received with cheers; followed by Colonel Sanborn and lieutenant colonel of the 72nd Volunteers.

Went to the convalescent camp of the 23rd, found Hugh Hughes very low in body and mind. Returned just in time to receive my pay up to the first of March, $13.00 here, $40.00 per allotment. Heard soon the tremendous roar of artillery. Heard last night seven gunboats and two or three transports run the blockade at Vicksburg, burning one transport. Hospital cleared off as fast as possible, expecting to get some wounded in soon. Great activity all around. 2nd Brigade arrived at night.


Millikens Bend, Saturday, April 18. Cloudy—indications of rain. Boys busy expressing their money home, paying debts and some investing in chuck-luck. Had battery drill in the afternoon of two hours.


Millikens Bend, Sunday, April 19. Had severe storm of wind and rain last night, which gave us a wet bed. Had special muster at 9 A. M. Detailed to go after rations in the tempest. Exercised horses in the afternoon.


[Pg 48]

Millikens Bend, Monday, April 20. Drill two hours in the forenoon. Got sick and went to the tent before finishing. Nausea and vomiting. Very warm.


Millikens Bend, Tuesday, April 21. Fine day. Six transports preparing to run the blockade at Vicksburg. Volunteers called for from this Division to move them. Many anxious to go. Quite an excitement. Received mail.


Millikens Bend, Wednesday, April 22. Heavy rain all night, making it very muddy to drill. Standing gun drill in the afternoon. 4th Brigade of 3rd Division inspected on the drill ground and addressed by Governor Yates of Illinois, inspiring and encouraging.


Millikens Bend, Thursday, April 23. Very warm. Ordered to prepare for park inspection at 8 A. M. Stood waiting until 9, when we went out to drill. No inspection. Standing gun drill P. M. 11th Ohio Battery and 1st Missouri left to-day. Boats ran the blockade last night.


Millikens Bend, Friday, April 24. Very warm. Drill in morning and afternoon. Sergt. J. B. Jackson and P. Walport, heroes of Corinth, returned to the Battery. Preparations to leave to-morrow.


Encircling Vicksburg

Richmond, La., Saturday, April 25. Awoke early and at 6 A. M. we filed off after the 5th [Iowa]. Travelled up the levee about two miles, then turned to the west and passed through level country. Very pretty, the roads lined with growing hedges of creeping roses, etc. which were in full bloom, filling the air with their fragrance. And the flower gardens were truly beautiful, notwithstanding their former admirers were engaged in a far different object.

After travelling about five miles we entered a heavy timber, [Pg 49]the road running beside a bayou, through which we continued except when in cleared openings all day. The day was excessively warm, equal to a harvest time in Wisconsin. The men were all soft after nearly two months' packing on the boat, and notwithstanding they were often rested, the infantry fell back very many. At about 2 P. M. we crossed the bayou (which is very deep) on a pontoon of pine boards, and came into camp at Richmond, having come twelve miles. Many of the footsore and weary did not arrive until late. On guard. I need all the rest possible for to-morrow, but no grumbling, do the best I can.


1863 A Night March

Near Richmond, Sunday, April 26. The Battery were awake at 2 A. M., while I was on post, having had but four short hours of sleep. The horses were harnessed immediately and we started at about 3:30 which gave us a good start before sunrise. Not quite as warm as yesterday. Marched through apparently very old country and productive. 11 A. M. went into park at Holmes's Plantation, eight miles from Richmond. Unharnessed. Put up the tarpaulins. Got some fresh meat and water. At 1 o'clock the order came to be ready to march at 4 P. M. Logan's Division marched by. Marched until sundown when we went to park at another plantation just in time to prepare for a storm. Rained heavily all night. Heavy firing heard in the night via Vicksburg.


Near Richmond, Monday, April 27. Started out at 6 A. M. went about twenty rods, when General Logan rode up and by some means induced the officer to turn back; we unharnessed and turned our horses out to grass. Heavy rain came up and continued. Very disagreeable all day. No shelter. The day seemed very, very long, but night at last came to relieve us, and we went to bed in negro shanties.


Near Richmond, Tuesday, April 28. Took up the march at 6 A. M. The rain of almost twenty-four hours had rendered [Pg 50]it muddy beyond description. We had seen deeper mud in Mississippi last fall, but none so hard as this to travel; the soil being of a bluish clay, was made into wax, the wheels clogging so as to hide all traces of spoke or felloe. The 2nd piece wheel was locked by the mud and slid along. Slowly we worked our way on, often straining our horses to their utmost. Ambulances, wagons, etc. stuck all along. Rested one hour and watered horses at 11 A. M. Came into park at 2 P. M. on rebel General Fisk's ground, who was killed at Murfreesboro. Unhitched and swam horses to wash them, and fed them freely on rebel corn, having made about four miles. Supped on fresh beef and hard-tack, and laid down in the open air.


Near Richmond, Wednesday, April 29. Awakened at 2 A. M. with orders to march before daylight. Everything ready accordingly, but did not start until an hour after sunrise. Crossed the bayou about two miles from where we started on a rude pontoon built across a barge. Marched through a thick wooded bottom three miles, then recrossed the bayou on a similar bridge. Open country once more. Encamped early within two miles of where we crossed the river. Teams sent back after forage and rations. Very tired. Gnats very bad.


Near Grand Gulf, Miss., Thursday, April 30. Bugle sounded in broad daylight, which led the boys to conclude that we were not to leave early, so they lay quiet, but were soon aroused by Captain Dillon coming in and telling us to hurry up, we would have to be on the road in less than forty minutes; and in three minutes we were all in ranks to the sound of the bugle. Ordered to have three days' rations in haversacks and prepare to fight. Hitched up. Mustered for pay in the saddle and then started out. Passed two steamboats where they used to take on troops, but we marched on about thirteen miles and encamped within hearing of the guns of Grand Gulf. Four miles off, heavy firing all the afternoon. Our gunboats attacked them silencing all their guns except three which they [Pg 51]were obliged to leave. Such is the report. Travelled through beautiful country which was all in full growth. Corn three feet high. Blackberries and strawberries ripe. Peaches as large as a plum. Looking like a July day in Wisconsin.


1863 Good Food and Fighting

Near Grand Gulf, Friday, May 1. Awoke early to be soon on the march; travelled down the levee four miles, when we embarked on the "Silverwave" at Hard Times Landing. Seven gunboats and four transports crossing troops as fast as possible in sight of the bastions of Grand Gulf. Landed two miles below, and by 11 A. M. were on the march toward Port Gibson. The flat of Louisiana was relieved by the broken surface of Mississippi. Steep hills, and obliged to lock [the gun wheels] often. Marched very fast, only one mule team along. Heard firing all the afternoon in the advance. Encamped at sundown after travelling twelve miles. Mississippi furnished plenty of sweet potatoes, fresh pork, chickens, etc. All tired. Went to bed early.


Near Port Gibson, Miss., Saturday, May 2. Awoke at 2 A. M. In the saddle at 3:30, and moved on. By sunrise we were on the ground of yesterday's action. They met the enemy and drove them for five miles, disputing every inch. Captured many prisoners and took one battery. The dead were yet unburied in many instances, one lay on the roadside with the upper part of his head taken off by a cannon ball. Many were wounded, as they took the advantage of the unevenness of the country to attack us by surprise. Passed the 1st Wisconsin Battery, which had done good execution the day before. Finally we passed the brush hospitals along the road and marched unmolested to Port Gibson. Enemy left two bridges burned behind them.

Unhitched, watered and fed. Rested ourselves about two hours, when we again started, crossed the stream over which was a chain bridge, crossed on a rough pontoon of slabs which [Pg 52]nearly sank under water under the artillery. General Grant, careworn and nearly covered with dust, sat on the bank watching the progress of his advancing army. Marched through at double quick until very late, when the infantry laid down in the road, and we turned to the right in the field for three hours' and a half sleep, out of which we had to feed, water, etc. Laid down without any supper and slept. Oh how sweet, but very short. Nine miles from Port Gibson.


Near Black River, Sunday, May 3. Arose at 2 A. M. and as soon as practicable hitched up with one day's shelled corn in our bags. Did not leave until sunrise. Crossed a small stream on a chain-suspended bridge which the rebs had set afire, but was saved. Our way was disputed about a mile on by a rebel battery which threw shells at the advance, which formed line and moved on. At 10 A. M. the skirmishers were hotly engaged and sent back for a howitzer. The third (with which I was connected) piece moved out on a trot, took a position by direction of Colonel Powell within 200 yards of their sharpshooters, who were firing briskly in a thick wood. Opened on them with canister, which soon had the desired effect of "drying them up there." Advanced to the left a few rods and opened fire on a log house where the sharpshooters were working. Threw three shells, then retired to await orders, having shot ten rounds in all, four spherical case, three canister, three percussion shells. The litter-bearers report a rebel captain killed in front of the piece by canister cutting him nearly in two. In the meantime the 1st and 5th pieces took position on the right to prevent three pieces of artillery from taking position. Advanced about two miles when their pieces opened fire with shells on us. The howitzers went forward but were ordered back by Chief of Artillery, and two ten-pound Parrotts instead. A brisk firing on both sides for ten or fifteen minutes. The 1st Brigade in line on right, 2nd on left, when they pulled up stake and we marched without molestation within a [Pg 53]mile of Black River; went into park. All very tired and needed rest. Passed about seventy-five prisoners during the day, many more being taken by Logan on the left. Pickets firing often during the night, once with artillery.


1863 Earthworks

Near Black River, Monday, May 4. Harnessed and hitched, but soon received orders to unhitch and get fodder enough to feed all day. Firing with artillery across the river occasionally during the day. Earthworks thrown up on this side of the bayou, the rebels being on a neck of land between that and the Black River, said to have received reinforcement.


Near Black River, Tuesday, May 5. A fine day. Health good. Lay quiet all the morning until 2 P. M. Orders came to hitch up a howitzer and a rifle piece; first and third pieces made ready and fell in with 5th and 10th Iowa Infantry and four companies of cavalry on a reconnoitering expedition. Colonel Boomer in charge. Waited three quarters of an hour at the river to finish the bridge, when the cavalry crossed and started on, the bridge consisting of three flat-boats tied together endways, which reached across. Passed through a half mile of very swampy bottom, then came into an open country with fine plantations. Marched briskly on the road to Vicksburg, about four miles, then rested. General McPherson passed to the front and returned in about an hour, ordering us to retrace our steps as soon as possible as there was much need of us there and the roads were bad. Returned on full trot and came into camp a little after dark.


Near Black River, Wednesday, May 6. Remained quiet. Foraging parties sent out bringing plenty of corn, fresh meat and many other things, taken from the deserted houses of fleeing chivalry. Mail arrived. Rec'd two letters from home dated 18th and 26th ult. Pontoon train of eighteen wagons passed to the right.


[Pg 54]

Near Black River, Thursday, May 7. 1st Brigade and Battery M. relieved General Logan's on the river. His Division marched to the right, moved across the road into the shade.


Near Black River, Friday, May 8. Although in the land of cotton and alligators, awoke after a cold night's rest under three blankets. The nights very cold and chilly. The days in the other extreme. Assistant Quartermaster Hamilton arrived with the baggage wagons and forge. Cloudy, indicative of rain. Steele's Division came in the afternoon and relieved the 1st Brigade at the river. General Steele's headquarters on the opposite side of the road from here. His troops were old and tried veterans of Missouri, Iowa, and Ohio.


Near Rocky Spring, Miss., Saturday, May 9. Reveille called us to receive orders to march at sunrise, which took but little time. Took the road leading to the right, travelled through a rough, broken, yellow clay; very hilly roads, many of the hills covered with crabby pines. Very dusty and warm; passed through Rocky Spring at 10 A. M. which consisted of a store and ware-house buildings. Came into camp at 3 P. M. in a poorly cultivated country. Plenty of fresh mutton, turkeys, chickens, etc. brought in by forage forthwith.


Near Raymond, Miss., Sunday, May 10. Awoke, harnessed and fed horses at 3 o'clock A. M. 7 A. M. unharnessed and grazed our horses for an hour. Lay in the shade until noon, when we hurriedly harnessed, leaving our dinner half cooked, and marched over very dusty and sultry roads. Poor country, covered with pine poles. Halted at Utica two hours and watered horses, let the cavalry pass. This is a lively looking place of two dozen houses, with frowning damsels in the windows and doors. May poles still standing. They did not expect the Yankees so soon. Took the road toward Raymond, eighteen miles distant. At sundown came into camp in thick oak brush. [Pg 55]All our cooking utensils in the mule wagons. "By order" obliged to go to bed without our supper save hard crackers.


1863 At the Front

Near Raymond, Monday, May 11. Harnessed and fed at 3 o'clock, it being a standing order from Grant that all troops be under arms at that hour and remain so for one hour. At sunrise we started out in the road and laid by our horses until noon, waiting to move on. Logan's Division passed by. At last moved on about a mile and went to park. Came to action front [position known as "action" in tactics—ready for open fire if necessary], stretched tarpaulins. Forage wagons sent out when there came an orderly at full speed with orders to march immediately. All hands were busy in a moment, but before half the horses were harnessed there came another, and the order was countermanded and all was quiet again. I was on guard. Went on at 1 o'clock in the night, to listen to the bugles and watch the rising fires of the drowsy army just aroused from dreams of better and happier times to come.


Raymond, Tuesday, May 12. Awoke at the usual hour, hitched up at daylight and took up the line of march. Travelled slowly, stopping frequently until about 12 M. When we neared the firing, the report of which we could hear all day, we were ordered forward at double quick for two miles, and formed in line of battle immediately under the brow of the hill. But the work was done by Logan's Division. The firing gradually ceased and at 4 P. M. all was calm and still after the leaden storm, and the heroes were allowed to recite the startling events of the morning. They commenced driving the enemy at sunrise and about 10 A. M. they met them in superior force. The 1st Brigade suffered the worst. The 20th Ill. and 31st Iowa losing more men than in the five previous engagements, Shiloh and Corinth included. Many were severely wounded. Took about 50 or sixty prisoners.

6 P. M. we limbered to the front and marched into Raymond at double quick. It was dark before we got in, and the dust [Pg 56]was so thick that I could not see the lead-rider. The howitzers were posted on the entrance of the Jackson road in the public square, and stood picket. The horses which had been all day without water or feed, obliged to stand in the harness hitched up. Drivers lying by their teams.


New Clinton, Miss., Wednesday, May 13. Awoke from my bare bed on the rocky pavement to find the sun high and bright, shining in my face, a thing not known for a long time. Unharnessed and fed the poor, weary horses. Two interesting Creoles and black wenches treated us with a breakfast of corn dodgers, confiscated molasses. 7 A. M. the Division moved out on the Clinton road, second battery in column; advanced as fast as practicable, being obliged to reconnoiter and feel our way. Infantry formed in line twice. At 4 P. M. we entered Clinton, a respectable looking station on the Vicksburg road. Went into park two miles from town, eight miles from Jackson. To-morrow we are to move on to the attack, great advance in three columns. Hot work ahead and many may fall. May I be able to discharge my duty.


1863 In Battle

Jackson, Miss., Thursday, May 14. Considerable rain during the night and indications of more. Moved on without much hindrance about four miles, when we came upon them in force, the rain falling in torrents. The infantry went forward and formed in line, a rebel battery throwing shells from the right at them. 1st and 2nd Brigades on the right, 3rd on the left. Batteries moved forward leaving the caissons behind. The 1st Missouri Battery took a position on the right and was hotly engaged with the enemy's guns for half an hour.

Meanwhile we were waiting in the road in range of their shells, which were flying over us and dropping either side, but luckily none took effect. The enemy's infantry in line in front doing sharp work, when the whole line of infantry prepared to make a charge, 1st Section ordered out to support them. They unslung their knapsacks and went in with a shout, [Pg 57]when the crash of musketry was terrific, volley after volley, the bullets flying thick around, all lying as close to the ground as practicable, when the cry "They run! They run!" was heard and after them they went in all directions. We were ordered forward and we did go at double quick across the charging ground. Dead rebels—and many of them lay there wounded and bleeding. The infantry followed them up the hill, then fell back and we came into battery, when Captain Dillon said, "6th Wisconsin Battery, I am here—open fire on them". And we did. The six pieces went off almost simultaneously, and we were enveloped in a cloud of powder smoke, then another, until nearly all the shells were gone, when we ceased firing, and they were gone. Cheer after cheer went up from the infantry as McPherson went galloping by. I never before could see how men could cheer on the battlefield, but I never felt more like it in my life. Such is victory.

At 2 o'clock we moved forward, the infantry in line and the artillery in column on the road. As we advanced, a man came from the right, where we could see that Sherman had sharp work to-day, reporting that he had entered Jackson and taken 5000 prisoners. It could hardly be credited, but at last we were convinced of it as we entered their ineffective earthworks with their pieces, caissons, etc. left uninjured; they had left everything, Sherman's shells having scared them out of the capital of one of the strongest states of the Union. If there ever was a jubilant army, Grant's army at Jackson was that night. The papers of the morning were found, which said that the Yankee vandals never would pollute Jackson. The force we met were direct from Charleston, S. C.—Eastern troops; but a wounded man told us they soon found out they were not fighting New York troops. Went into park in the suburbs of the town back of their breastworks. Lieutenant Simpson went down-town foraging. Ordered to cook three days' rations.


[Pg 58]

Near Clinton, Friday, May 15. Awoke to prepare to march at 6 A. M., cooks having been up nearly all night baking the flour and meal. Retraced our steps back, leaving one of Sherman's divisions to guard the place and we were to go and partake in more stirring scenes. Passed through Clinton in the afternoon and encamped at sundown four miles beyond.


Near Clinton, Saturday, May 16. Started at 7 A. M. Heavy firing in front, and at 10 A. M. we came up to the scene of action. They were engaged by Osterhaus's, Hovey's and Logan's Divisions. We were immediately called forward and took a position on a knoll where we had a good view. They were in thick timber. Logan's Division managed to get on their right flank, driving them with rapidity, but at the same time they were driving the line on the left and came near penetrating our center, many of our men having used all their ammunition, and the amount of stragglers falling back without order becoming dangerous. It was a dangerous moment. All eyes were anxiously looking, almost trembling, for the result; but at last there comes Colonel Holmes with his Brigade on double quick, which soon checked their progress, and the artillery were brought into position, McAllister's 24-pounder howitzers on the left, with Quinby's on the right and center. The infantry fell back at double quick as we opened fire on them, shelling the woods—38 pieces in all, belching away in fearful rapidity. Kept it up for one hour. When we ceased firing, they had left and all was still. The fight continued about five hours, the musketry having been exceedingly hot. We took seventeen pieces of artillery and about 2,000 prisoners.

After the battle intelligence reached us that Vicksburg was occupied by our forces, and that the troops of that place had met us in force with the hope of saving Jackson, which was met with cheer after cheer, although it was almost too good to believe. We marched after them, and going across the battlefield it was a sickening sight, many of the regiments having [Pg 59]been literally cut to pieces. For four miles the road was scattered with dead rebels and caissons etc. Came into camp at 11 P. M. and soon dropped asleep after a clear victory. We suffered no loss save one man wounded by a premature discharge of piece.


Near Clinton, Sunday, May 17. 8 A. M. We are packed up ready for orders to move. Cannonading is heard briskly at times. Captain Williams's 1st U. S. Battery of heavy siege guns drawn by oxen and mules are passing. The enemy reported to have crossed the river and posted themselves behind cotton bales. Some of the troops have been furnished with hard-tack, but we have not seen any yet. While waiting, we have received mail up to May 3. All well. 9 A. M. moved out through the thickly packed trains about four miles, then lay in the shade until 5 P. M. went into park in an orchard. Gen. McClernand has driven the enemy across the bridge at the railroad, capturing a brigade of prisoners.


Near Black River, Monday, May 18. Crossed the Black River on bridge built of cotton during the previous night, and marched through a cypress swamp for two miles without any roads. Other troops concentrating from other points as they are crossing in many places. Went in camp very late, after which obliged to ride three or four miles in search of water. Very tired.


The Siege of Vicksburg

1863 Before Vicksburg

Before Vicksburg, Miss., Tuesday, May 19. We are lying in the reserve of the battle line before Vicksburg, having been pushed forward at double quick. General Grant gave them till 11 A. M. to surrender, but they did not avail of it. Firing is going on with Parrott pieces in front but not very brisk. 1 P. M. The 1st Section (Rifled) have gone to the left with [Pg 60]Lieutenant Clark. The other pieces were brought into action in front, and laying in the reserve. Brisk cannonading all around with sharp musketry at times—McArthur has taken a fort and guns. Sherman drove them about a mile on the right. McClernand holds his own on the left. Both wings said to have joined the Mississippi. Pontoon train passed to the right in great hurry at 4 P. M. to be thrown toward the Yazoo.

Darkness closed hostilities and we limbered up and passed to the front about a mile, and planted our battery on a hill, very steep and high, doubling teams to go up. Relieved the 11th Ohio who had been engaged all day against a fort, using up all their ammunition. Cannoneers silently set to work levelling off a position; the horses unhitched and tied under a gin house. We lay down on the bare, rough ground, clothes all on, but it prevented not our sleeping.


Before Vicksburg, Wednesday, May 20. Long before day we were silently aroused (cold and stiff, chilled through by the dampness of the night) to find a line of arms at "stack" and a squad of men busily engaged in front. They were the pioneer corps, which had been at work nearly all night digging a position for the pieces in the hillside. Hitched up our horses as soon and as still as possible, and waited for the coming day with nothing to eat whatever.

1863 Shot and Shell

At sunrise our skirmishers advanced toward their line and soon commenced their "popping". We found ourselves in plain view and range of a strong looking fort. Within half a mile of us we could see the cannoneers around the guns. They seemed to have no anxiety to commence, and batteries were brought into position at every available point, but as Bolton's Battery was coming in on the left, they opened and the shell went flying over our heads. We responded with two shots, when we were ordered to cease firing until ordered to the contrary. The pioneers busy at work throwing up a bastion, which was occupied by two siege guns, 30-pounders, which [Pg 61]came up this morning. A steady firing was kept up all day by most of the batteries, but as we could not fire without raking our skirmishers, we had to lie on the dusty hillside in the white clay, only to "duck" close to mother earth as the shells came flying. A solid shot rolled at our feet, harmless. We fired about twelve rounds, other pieces about the same. The first Section in the same position as occupied yesterday, to our left, used up all its ammunition. Our sharp-shooters advanced under cover of the hill within 50 yards of the fort, and managed to keep the cannoneers down nearly all the time. DeGolyer advanced with his Battery to the next hill. Night came on and firing ceased. Camp fires lit, and at 9 o'clock we were relieved by the 12th Wisconsin.


Before Vicksburg, Thursday, May 21. Last night we fell back near the place occupied day before yesterday in the reserve line. Unharnessed and tied to the wheel. Laid down in the corn field and slept sweetly till 9 A. M. Harnessed and fed our horses. Our haversacks were empty and no grain in the quartermasters' department. Our last meal was brought us yesterday by our cook, which in fact was a small portion. But we kept as good cheer as possible. One of our men managed to find about a half bushel of coarse meal (for which we paid a dollar) and a beef killed, which with a good cup of corncob coffee made us a good breakfast, and all were satisfied. Unharnessed; drew two days' rations hard crackers, rare things. Lay still all day. A slight sprinkle of rain settled the awful dust.

Firing kept up steadily from early dawn until dark, not fast, though still bombarding the fort. A flag of truce sent in by Pemberton, offering possession of the city if allowed to pass out with side-arms, which Grant respectfully declined, as a complete chain from one river to the other is thrown around them, Hurlbut coming up with 40,000 fresh troops, also Banks. Communication opened from Young's Point with Haynes Bluff, [Pg 62]so as to make it an easier matter to obtain provisions. Steele reported to have reached the town on the right, but compelled to fall back to his entrenchment by superior force.


Before Vicksburg, Friday, May 22. First Section of caissons have gone to the landing for ammunition. Howitzers ordered out. 8 A. M. Advanced to the line of caissons, when we were ordered to prepare to support a grand charge to be made at 10 o'clock all along the line. Two of McAllister's 24-pounder howitzers to go with us. The limbers were stripped No.'s 5 and 7, to have charge of canister in haversack. It was a warm place to go, and we anticipated hot work. At the hour the infantry advanced. Most of the enemy's guns had been silenced for the time by the unceasing cannonading kept up from all points for an hour before the charge, but when they came up to the front of the fort they met the infantry in force, and then a terrible struggle ensued until darkness put an end to the scene. Both parties stubbornly held their own. Our line was right under their fort with the flag stuck on the corner and neither party could remove it. On the knoll by the siege guns was a sight truly sublime and terrible. For miles to the left the field of conflict could be seen extending to McClernand's Corps, artillery smoke rolling in volumes from the brow of the ridge a quarter of a mile to the fortifications, and the sharp crack and puff of the musketry immediately under them. At sundown our line was obliged to fall back for the night. Doubtless many a poor fellow lay on the field groaning from pain. 8 P. M. ordered to return to our camp and report to the same place at half past five in the morning. First Section still in their old position, having been actively engaged all day.


1863 Entrenching

Before Vicksburg, Saturday, May 23. 8 A. M. We are lying in the road as yesterday, but little fighting yet except with artillery. Rumor says that pioneers are undermining the forts to blow them up. A gentle shower has fallen which has lightened the air and settled the dust, "God-sent" for the poor [Pg 63]wounded, of which there are a great many. While writing, the ambulance is waiting for the remains of Colonel Dollins of the 81st Illinois and Colonel Boomer, commander of the 3rd Brigade, both of whom fell yesterday, gallant officers and accomplished gentlemen. 12 M. Cannoneers ordered to the front with entrenching tools, and in an hour the pieces followed into a secreted position on the brow of a steep and rugged hill. A stockade dug for the pieces, into which they were drawn by hand. Limbers put under cover of the hill, and the horses unhitched and tied to the trees. The guns commanded the right. A slow fire was opened which was kept up till dark, of shell and shrapnel, mostly to keep the rebel sharp-shooters back. Drew rations of coffee, ham and hard bread which gave us a supper of good cheer and light hearts.

Fixed our beds under the brow of the hill just out of reach of the little deadly missiles that went whistling over our heads every once in a while in volleys. But we were in unusually good spirits, cracking jokes 'neath the bright silver moon. No sooner had we begun to travel in the "land of Nod", when the 3rd Platoon was ordered to turn out, quick and still, hitch up and pull out. It is expected that the rebs will try to cut their way out to-night and we want to be ready. In fifteen minutes we were on the road, moving back toward our old place; unhitched and lay down again with orders to be ready at half past three A. M. Thus we ended another day before Vicksburg.


Before Vicksburg, Sunday, May 24. Up and ready as ordered, but with the sun we unharnessed, watered and fed, then lay quiet all day. Washed and changed clothes, and Oh! what a relief. Truly water is a boon. Grant seems to be willing to allow the inhabitants of Vicksburg the Sunday for devotion. There has been but very little fighting to-day, little artillery firing. 4th Division passed in from Haynes Bluff for Warrenton.

[Pg 64]

Received a good mail which gladdened all our hearts. Oh! blessed white-winged messenger, how my mind has been occupied all day by sweet thoughts and hopes inspired by thy visits! Letters up to the 10th. Wrote a short and hurried letter home. Learned through the State Journal that a friend and former teacher, E. C. Hungerford, had fallen in the fight on the Rappahannock. It is another severe blow to his brother Tommy. How many, many more will this cruel war require to satisfy its victims. Wounded passing all day in ambulances to the river. Sergt. J. B. Jackson and L. N. Keeler gone. Sick.


Before Vicksburg, Monday, May 25. Awoke and harnessed at the usual hour. With the sun we unharnessed and watered. 9 A. M. the four pieces ordered out on the road the same place they had been for a part of the last four days. Lay there till 1 P. M. Third and sixth pieces ordered to their old position of the 23rd inst. Fourth and fifth back to camp. Double quicked it out there as we were exposed to the fire of the sharp-shooters. Part of the day they were exceedingly busy. Took our position, unhitched our horses, threw a few shells at them slowly until 3 P. M. A flag of truce was reported to have come out of the breastwork. It was met by General Logan. A parley was held for an hour and a half when it retired. A cessation of hostilities was agreed upon till 8:30 P. M. (to bury the dead). Both parties came out of their entrenchments, conversed, changed papers, etc. I was within forty yards of the fort, where the sharp-shooters had dexterously hidden themselves.


Before Vicksburg, Tuesday, May 26. Returned to camp last night after dark. This morning moved up a mile and a half to the left, put up harness racks, stretched picket in a beautiful orchard laden with fruit, which although not ripe we gathered and used for sauce. Mortar boats busy throwing shells all day; not much artillery firing from this side. Sergt. S. [Pg 65]Hauxhurst returned from Memphis. Telegraph line put up from the landing to the several headquarters.


1863 Midnight Alarm

Before Vicksburg, Wednesday, May 27. Called out a little past midnight; hitched up with haste and moved out, took a position on the right the best we could and in the road. The gunners were ordered to have spikes ready so as to be able to spike their pieces if obliged to abandon them. They expected am attempt to break through the lines. Put on my overcoat, lay down at the head of my team, halter in hand, and did not awake till broad daylight, within dangerous proximity to Jack's feet, but he would not hurt his rider while asleep. Returned to camp, the scare being over. Lay quiet all day, a heavy bombardment kept up all day. The sharp-shooters busy picking off our cannoneers. Most of the convalescents left at Millikens Bend returned to-day. 11th Ohio Battery gone to Sulphur Springs with brigade of infantry.


Before Vicksburg, Thursday, May 28. Windy and cloudy. Spent the day in eating mulberries, writing and sleeping. Mail came. Brisk cannonading in the evening. Mortars working all day.


Before Vicksburg, Friday, May 29. The day was opened with a general cannonading all along the line for thirty minutes, with as much rapidity as possible. It was a sublime and terrible scene, the powder smoke gathering in a dark heavy cloud overhead, with the shells exploding with a continual flash over their forts, and now and then a mortar (shell) high in air could be seen. A gentle rain fell in the afternoon. Received twenty-five new horses from the landing. A repetition at sundown of the morning's work, then all was quiet. Wrote to John.


Before Vicksburg, Saturday, May 30. Warm and dull. Nothing to do and nothing to read so lay down and slept most of the day. Awake at 10 o'clock at night with orders to hitch [Pg 66]up, and at quarter to eleven o'clock the pieces and limbers started to the left and front, down through the valley, past sutler shops and baggage wagons, then up a steep bluff, where it required five teams to haul the pieces up; then passed through the advance line of artillery and through a passage dug in the hill, hiding us from view for about six rods, then down into an abrupt ravine. The cannoneers obliged to hold back with prolongs to keep it [the piece] from running down unmanageable.

We were soon at the bottom of the ravine. On the top of the hill the pieces were to be planted. It was 3 A. M. when the artillery on each side and behind us opened a hot cannonading over our heads, grazing the top of the hill so close that we dared not go in position, and we lay at the bottom while they whistled and screeched over our heads. The fiery track of the fuze-shell could easily be tracked through the dark, and the roar of pieces as they echoed was deafening for half an hour, when we put our pieces in position, took the limber under the hill and unhitched.


Before Vicksburg, Sunday, May 31. Awoke by the side of my team when the sun was high. Went up the hill to see the pieces, but was timely warned by a "whist" by my ear to keep low, as we were within 300 yards of the enemy's fort, and at the first indication of a man's head a leaden messenger was sent to him, and safety only existed in keeping out of sight by lying low. Nelson brought our breakfast from camp. Unharnessed our horses and went to water back to our old watering place, exposed to the fire of the sharp-shooters. One of our horses was struck in the neck.

Very warm. Built a shade and lay down to sweat and sleep. At 3 P. M. the rebs opened a fire with a piece of artillery which was returned by a dozen. One of the 10th Iowa killed in rifle pit by our piece.


[Pg 67]

Before Vicksburg, Monday, June 1. Cannoneers up nearly all night. Advanced our pieces eight yards to the front so as to get better range. Went to water horses, stopped in camp to feed hay in the forenoon and afternoon. At dusk started out with both limbers after ammunition. Went about two miles to Quinby's headquarters. Filled them from magazines and returned by 10 P. M.


Before Vicksburg, Tuesday, June 2. Fired at intervals all day. At night fired thirty minutes without ceasing. Caisson limber after ammunition in the evening. Up till midnight helping on the bastion. The heat very oppressive.


Before Vicksburg, Wednesday, June 3. Nothing of importance until about 3 P. M. when the enemy opened with artillery all along the line, which soon brought the cannoneers to their post, and rapid firing of twenty minutes convinced them that they had better quit. The shells flew very thick for a few minutes. One 24-pounder dropped into the second piece's bastion, taking out the eye of Fred Baker, the first man wounded by rebs. Received mail.


1863 Dodging Sharp-shooters

Before Vicksburg, Thursday, June 4. But little fighting done to-day with the exception of sharp-shooting. Sultry and heavy. Battery drew clothing. I got a rubber poncho.


Before Vicksburg, Friday, June 5. Fine day. Not very warm. Ordered to fire once every five minutes during the day. Went with the gun-limber to the magazine at noon. Fired twenty rounds in the evening. Occasional firing all night.


Before Vicksburg, Saturday, June 6. But little firing during the day. While watering horses I rode about two miles into the country, filled my haversack with ripe, juicy plums. Thought I'd like to take them home to Mary and have a shortcake. But no—wait awhile. I'll take them to camp and make some for supper, in hopes for something nicer in the future.


[Pg 68]

Before Vicksburg, Sunday, June 7. Matters even here within hearing of the enemy's voices are settling into a dull monotony. The crack of the sharp-shooters fails to make an impression on the accustomed ear, and the occasional roll of cannon is as a mother's lullaby to drop us to sleep. Happily knapsacks at last arrived from Millikens Bend. The volume of Atlantic Monthlies sent me by Brother Thomas gave me much pleasure in perusing.


Before Vicksburg, Monday, June 8. Unusually quiet during the day, our ammunition being scarce, none at the arsenal, and we used it sparingly for fear of an emergency. George Spencer, David Evans and myself remodelled our shelving, which, for want of something else is this: a shelf dug in the hillside, two feet deep above and long enough to lie down, covered with a double roof of cane-thatch. And this is what we call our home. Yes, it is filled with the dear ones here in mind if not in body.


Before Vicksburg, Tuesday, June 9. A sharp engagement took place on our right last night which almost approached a battle. General Logan was advancing a cotton cased car under the enemy's feet with the intention of running up in this a battery into the rebels' works. He had been working on it for several nights and was progressing fine, but slow, as he had to dig by the sharp-shooters. Kept the rebs down by discharging frequent volleys in the dark, but last night they returned it with much zeal, and threw rockets over their works which accomplished its aim and burned the cotton to the ground. Our artillery soon made things quiet. The caisson gone to the landing this morning for ammunition. Geo. took his team for the 6th Wisconsin.

I am here all alone to-day, a thing unusual. For awhile I found ample company in reading the Monthlies, but my mind wanders way back to dear Wisconsin, and a strange feeling of [Pg 69]lonesomeness comes over me as I lie here in this, what now looks like the hermit's retreat.


1863 June Weather

Before Vicksburg, Wednesday, June 10. A heavy rain storm came on early and continued all day. The dusty valley was converted into a bed of a wild rushing stream. Kept middling dry until evening, when we went to help bring a limber down the hill, it being too slippery for the horses. Got thoroughly drenched and slept in wet blankets and on the wet ground, but it is all the same for soldiers. What would folks at home think? It is well they are ignorant of it.


Before Vicksburg, Thursday, June 11. Pleasant day. The air light and balmy. Dust settled by the rain of yesterday. Very steady and heavy cannonading all day. A nine-inch gun was brought into position on our right to-day and busily engaged in battering down the rebel wall. Its huge missiles would bury deep in the earth, then explode, tearing up many trees.


Before Vicksburg, Friday, June 12. Watered and grazed my team while I picked a can full of blackberries, made a luxury for dinner. Called on guard at 1 P. M.—third relief. Visited by Sergt. J. Savage of the 23rd Wisconsin. Stayed nearly all the afternoon. Pleasant chat. Rebels opened fire at about 4 P. M. with a mortar, throwing three or four shells over us. Found to my sorrow that my needle book and Testament had dropped through my side pocket where I always carried them. Too bad, for they were gifts of two noble helpers, a mother and sister. I will much miss them.


Before Vicksburg, Saturday, June 13. A spirited day on both sides. Mortar from the secesh playing all day, the shells passing over our heads, two exploding over us, but did no damage. At 2 P. M. fell back to the foot of the hill to allow the rear batteries a freer play to shell the woods where the mortar was supposed to be. Kept it up for one hour. The long [Pg 70]looked for Lieutenant Fancher returned after nearly a year's absence. Caused no excitement.


Before Vicksburg, Sunday, June 14. Watered and grazed horses and picked berries. Did not return to camp until after dinner. Sharp cannonading all day. The rebels opened with several pieces of artillery on the left, firing with zeal. Signed the pay-rolls in the afternoon. Received a letter from home. Had not heard from me since the 6th ult. Great anxiety for me. Could I but acquaint them of my condition, what a relief it would be.


Before Vicksburg, Monday, June 15. Awoke to hear the rebel shells breaking the timber of the opposite hill, as they rushed by, they having opened with a piece of light artillery on the extreme right over their fort, throwing solid shot; kept it up all day, and occasionally a "whistling Jim" gave life to the cannonading that was not manifested when it was all one sided. Two more large guns mounted on the right. Battery wagon and forge moved over.


Before Vicksburg, Tuesday, June 16. Nothing of importance transpired during the day. Capt. B. W. Telfair of the 20th visited the Battery in the evening. Our howitzer was elevated mortar fashion by letting the trail into the ground. The metallic fuze bored out and a paper fuze of longer time inserted. The charge of powder diminished to about five ounces, and they were tossed over and above the mortar, doing good effect.


Before Vicksburg, Wednesday, June 17. David Evans obtained permission from Captain to go in search of his brother to the 20th Iowa and myself to accompany him. As soon as breakfast was over we mounted our horses and started down through the hollow to the left, and after six miles travelling through a continual string of bayonets and tents, we found them [20th Iowa] with the 20th Wisconsin, direct from the [Pg 71]Army of the Frontier, encamped with the low white dog tents. He found his brother. Joyful meeting of course.

After two hours' stay we started back. Called at the 23rd Wisconsin to see friends and arrived in camp by 3 o'clock, after having been within three-quarters of a mile to the extreme left of the line. The line on the left we found much weaker than here. No battery planted as yet in formidable position. A 120-pounder opened this morning, dismounting one piece as we watered. Called at the Battery hospital to see D. J. Davis who was a little better. Mortar firing continuing; we replied with a will. Not much damage done, I think.


1863 "Whistling Jim"

Before Vicksburg, Thursday, June 18. Very warm. Grazing forbidden henceforth, therefore did not get our complement of blackberries. Grant, evidently thinking that there was ammunition enough thrown away, issued orders not to fire unless fired upon, consequently all was quiet except when "whistling Jim" came over, when all the pieces returned the compliment with a volley. Received letters from home and Helena. Little anxious about us; received mine of the 24th ult.


Before Vicksburg, Friday, June 19. Very warm. But by keeping quiet as much as possible not very oppressive. The enemy fired more to-day than any day since we came here—the mortars once every thirty minutes, and profiting by our example, they threw shells from light pieces, which bursted directly overhead. No damages yet. Preparations being made for a general shelling in the morning. Two hundred rounds of ammunition to each piece. Put my shade over horses in the evening.


Before Vicksburg, Saturday, June 20. Awakened this morning by lively reveille from the muzzle of the 9-inch columbiads which opened at 9 A. M., followed by the 30-pound Parrott, then light battery, and a continued crash from all points for six hours, when, at 10 A. M. firing ceased. Whether the stronghold [Pg 72]was weakened or not by the process is not known. Our piece alone threw two hundred rounds. The two regiments of infantry were posted in the rear during the fighting. Logan's men on the enemy's works digging. Three horses wounded and one negro in the evening from sharp-shooters.


Before Vicksburg, Sunday, June 21. Pleasant day. Not much artillery firing, but sharp musketry. 3 horses wounded. Called on guard in the afternoon; guarding five platoon drivers for grazing without permission; they were put on extra duty. Paid off to the 1st of May. The officer forgot his allotment roll. Received full pay here. Expressed $20.00 home.


Before Vicksburg, Monday, June 22. Quiet, dull day. Very little firing by artillery. Ammunition scarce. Eben Davis of 20th Iowa visited us in the afternoon. Report says fighting on Black River with Johnston. Ambulance gone back. 3rd Brigade of our Division under marching orders. Wrote two letters which occupied most of my time.


Before Vicksburg, Tuesday, June 23. Reveille at 5 A. M. Drivers fall in for roll call, then stable call. No horses to be taken from the picket rope except at water call. Pioneer Corps put up a brush screen to hide us from the view of the sharp-shooters, who of late became not only annoying but dangerous. Heavy wind and rain in the evening.


Before Vicksburg, Wednesday, June 24. Cloudy and indications of rain. Heavy firing on the left was heard last night. Cannoneers called to their posts and equipments on. The rebels charged with two brigades on a rifle pit, in which the 12th Wisconsin was stationed. They allowed them to approach within a few rods of the pit, then poured in deadly volleys; with the third [volley] they broke for their works, the 12th after them, going [up] the heights. If they had had any support they might have entered. David Evans's horse wounded.


[Pg 73]

1863 The Mine

Before Vicksburg, Thursday, June 25. Our curiosity was awakened this morning by an order to each piece to deposit all their slow-matches at Captain's tent, we knew not for what purpose. But we soon learned that it was to convey fire to the blast placed under the big fort to our right (in Logan's line). A drift 37 feet deep was run under it with chambers parallel to the fort. In this was deposited —— lbs. of powder (by the trusty negro). Orders were given to the several sergeants to have the cannoneers at their posts at 2 P. M. at which time the fort was "to be blown up" and a general cannonading to be immediately opened.

As the hour approached, all hands were anxiously waiting, each desirous of witnessing the result. It was dull and very oppressive; all nature seemed drooping, and ominous silence prevailed on both sides; not a flutter of air, not a word was spoken, and you could hear naught but your own silent breath. All at once a dead heavy roll, a hundred shouts, and you could see nothing but a black cloud of dirt and powder smoke, throwing the earth 30 or 40 feet in the air, and about half of the wall rolled over the ditch as if turned by a ponderous plow. Instantaneous with this was the crack of a hundred cannon, as if they were all pulled off by one lanyard, and a furious cannonading answered, while the infantry advancing with a yell that none but soldiers can give, rushed up the breastworks, and a galling fire ensued between the rebs at the bottom and at the top. Our men tried hard to dislodge them and take possession of the fort, but it was too much. They lay on the ground until night, elevating their guns above their heads to shoot, while some obtained concealed positions, firing while those below were loading for them. A stand of colors was brought up and planted. Hand grenades were tossed back and forth with great briskness. Some were digging for a piece of artillery, an engagement in which valor and courage are signalized.


[Pg 74]

Before Vicksburg, Friday, June 26. Our men still claim their side of the fort, nothing daunted by the stubbornness of yesterday. An active engagement was continued during the night by grenades, all the surplus shells of smooth bores taken to be used for such. The 5th Platoon driver turned in with us this morning to dig a well to water the horses, which we completed by 4 P. M., 15 feet deep, width 30 inches. At evening I received my weekly letters.


Before Vicksburg, Saturday, June 27. Rather sore from yesterday's fatigue. The hot sun pouring his fiery arrows down with such force as almost to overcome us. Rebs threw many 20-pound shells (Parrott) into this hole or building, but they were uncharged, which took away much of their terror. They were aimed at the disputed fort (which they look at as much ours as theirs, I should judge). They also opened fire with a heavy siege gun this morning, but were soon quieted. The 12th Wisconsin Battery blowed up a limber while silencing it.


Before Vicksburg, Sunday, June 28. A Sunday is with us, but no one finds any reminder of it as he looks about him. The same routine is gone through with, and were it not for my memoranda I would not know it. When I compare this with the Sunday at home, when all work is laid aside, sister and brother that during the week have been absent, are at home, all there, the quiet lunch for supper—all, all crowd upon my memory, and I long for the time when I can again enjoy them, and the vacuity in my heart be filled, and even to-day I can imagine I can see that gathering, and I know that Mother's anxious heart looks upon my vacant seat and wonders if her boy is yet spared. More than once the tears have gushed to my eyes (I hope it is no cowardice) as I think of her emaciated form in that old arm chair. Would it be any consolation to her to know that her son is thinking of her, that he has not forgotten?


[Pg 75]

Before Vicksburg, Monday, June 29. Came off of guard to assist my messmate in enlarging our shelter so as to be cooler, and put up bunks of cane, which is a good deal more comfortable. The health of the Battery is on the decline, I am sorry to state. Seven or eight cases in hospital; Griff down with boils. D. J. Davis and W. Hamilton shaking with the ague. My own health is not too good, troubled with diarrhea more or less continually. I am daily falling off.


Before Vicksburg, Tuesday, June 30. Two siege guns, 32-pounders, brought in last night to be mounted on the left and front of us, but the carriages did not fit. Eight teams were sent to the landing for others. Captain Dillon received the appointment of Chief of Artillery vice Sands. Drivers called out 9 A. M. We policed the valley in the hot sun (a whim of red tape). Mustered for pay at 5 P. M. by Captain Dillon.


Before Vicksburg, Wednesday, July 1. Nothing of importance during the day, with the exception of another attempt at blowing up the fort. The shock I felt while writing in my "shebang". A large volume was thrown inside making a much wider gap than before. Siege guns played on it for some time, but there was no reckless advance as before. Two rebs, one negro, and a hound were blown over to the Yankees, the former dead, the latter unhurt.


1863 Visiting in Camp

Before Vicksburg, Thursday, July 2. Hearing that William Jones of the 23rd was wounded, I obtained permission of Lieutenant Clark, commanding Battery, to go and visit him. G. R. Jones and myself found him in the Division hospital with his leg amputated above the knee, wounded on the 30th ult. by a chance musket ball. Looked well under the circumstances. Called upon J. Savage before returning. Rebs showed a line in front of us in the afternoon. Several shots exchanged.


Before Vicksburg, Friday, July 3. 9 A. M. A flag of truce appeared opposite Smith's Division, accompanied by General [Pg 76]Bowen and Colonel Montgomery, who were taken to Grant's headquarters, blindfolded. 12 M. General Pemberton met U. S. Grant under a large tree on the road to Vicksburg, to our right, with their staff on the outside of their respective works. The parley was continued until dark, when they withdrew. Orders issued not to fire until further orders. A strange day to us, so quiet and calm.

But a gloom was cast on the 6th Battery notwithstanding the hopeful indications of the truce. After the flag had appeared on the left and firing had ceased on both sides, and the men carelessly exposed themselves to view, a miscreant, yes, a brute in human form, took advantage of the opportunity to deprive one at least of his life, now, when unguarded, when under other circumstances he would have failed. Alvah B. Page, gunner of the second piece, was shot in the left ear, while sitting on the piece, instantly killing a noble life and good soldier, much loved and respected by all, and one of the best shots in the Battery. Many a time had he planted his missiles where they carried terror to the enemy's heart. His last words were the hopeful ones "I guess they are gone up". He lived to sight the last gun fired at the enemy's stronghold. A siege gun was to be given him the very morning he was buried in a soldier's grave, 2 P. M.


Before Vicksburg, Saturday, July 4. The National Birthday, and we awoke to welcome it under favorable auspices. All was quiet and still and we could hardly convince ourselves but that we were transformed to the quiet home of Wisconsin and were ready to take a part in the grand celebration. The truce was still held. Butternuts leisurely lounging along their breastworks, our men the same, still we knew not what the result would be at the national salute fired with blank cartridge.

1863 The Surrender

9 A. M. orders came stating that at 10 A. M. the enemy were to march out, stack arms on the outside of their works and return as prisoners of war. What glorious news—the men all [Pg 77]in ecstasy too great for cheers. At the appointed hour white rags were stuck all along their line, which were hailed with cheers from one end of the line to the other. Commanding officers and staff rode out first, making the formal surrender, after which all the troops formed in line and marched out, colors flying, stacked their arms, equipments and colors, marching back under their officers. Commissioned officers were allowed to retain their side-arms. In the meantime our bands, which had been silent for so long, struck up "Hail Columbia" etc., which affected the troops as an electric shock, and they saluted with deafening cheers. As the last of the rebs went in, General Grant and staff with body-guards, entered the tent. Guards were stationed on breastworks and the surrendered prisoners permitted to run at large.

So Vicksburg, the pet of the Confederacy has fallen, and that too, on the most glorious day of the whole year, and long to be remembered by the soldier boy who spent his Fourth there. He was happy, but still he turned with longing eyes and wishful heart to the North. There was a void there, a vacancy which triumphs and which military victory could not fill, his home, never forgotten. I ended my Fourth on guard, hopefully.


Vicksburg, Sunday, July 5. We were momentarily expecting marching orders, while I wrote two letters, but at last we were told to prepare to march at 4 P. M., and at the appointed hour all was packed up, horses hitched up and ready. We entered Vicksburg in front of Carr's original line, and after many halts among the broken ravines, amongst butternuts swarming on every side, we came into battery of five yards intervals in a little knoll, after dark.


[Pg 78]

A Well-Earned Rest

Vicksburg, Monday, July 6. To-day we lay waiting all day for orders to hitch up to go into permanent park, but for some reason or other they did not come, and we were exposed to the burning sun all day, but well amused, strolling over the scarred surface of Vicksburg, plowed everywhere by raking shot and bursting shell, exploring the extensive caves inhabited by the citizens during the siege, but now deserted, and they once more were not afraid to walk in God's sunlight. Received mail.


Vicksburg, Tuesday, July 7. As we did not move to-day, we spent the day amongst the prisoners who are by far the most numerous. Never has such lenity been shown to prisoners of war before. They are allowed to go anywhere within the lines and guard, their officers riding out in full regimentals, sash and swords, with orderlies. And groups of both parties are seen on every hand talking the matter over in a friendly way. A much better effect will result from this than if they were strict and kept them under guard. It opens their eyes to facts that before they were ignorant of, and many will be induced never again to raise arms against the stars and stripes. A brisk trade is going on. They sell their scrip for ten cents on the dollar. Canteens traded, coffee etc. given them freely. The best good feelings prevail. All are anxious to go home, where they will stay if possible.


Vicksburg, Wednesday, July 8. No immediate prospect of moving. Boys busy putting up tents, shades, etc. I strolled among the Alabams on the right. Got a "fly" fixed for which we had use. Found some of the greenest specimens of humanity I think, in the universe, their ignorance being little less than that of the slave they despise, with as imperfect a dialect. They "reckoned as how you 'uns all would be a heap wus to [Pg 79]we 'uns all". They wished they could come back to the old Union again.


Vicksburg, Thursday, July 9. The work of paroling the prisoners goes on as fast as possible. Many of the Western rebs crossed the river to-day, and many of the Mississippi and Louisiana are ready to leave in the morning. Their officers have given up the hope of taking them into parole camp. They all go to their homes, and will carry discontent and repentance to many a hearthstone. Wells were sunk to-day in the hollow, giving cool water, but not very pure. Rebs had been here for a year drinking brackish water, everyone is that lazy.


Vicksburg, Friday, July 10. Everybody busy preparing permanent quarters. Tarpaulins spread over picket rope. Water the horses in the river twice a day, passing through the center of Vicksburg. It is planted on very rough ground, very scattering with the exception of the first streets. Notwithstanding the lay of the country, it is made beautiful by shrubbery and shade trees which are liberally and beautifully planted along the street.


1863 Drinking in Camp

Vicksburg, Saturday, July 11. Very warm and dull. Officers all drunk. In the evening 1st Brigade band serenaded Captain Dillon, after which they were seated, treated and played and played and drank. Songs were sung and beautiful music played, but the demon of the bowl prevailed, the leader of the band soon became unable to go farther, and a scene befitting a groggery ensued. All seemed to have lost all respect for best principles. Too bad. These men left home with great pretensions of temperance; even now it would be difficult to convince those left behind otherwise; but whiskey is used by our officers more freely than water, and that too is what they draw for the men mostly. Many a dark thing behind the curtain in this world.

[Pg 80]

Troubled with toothache all day and at night Dr. Brady took it out at the third hitch. Oh!


Vicksburg, Sunday, July 12. Inspection of clothing at 9 A. M. the first of the kind since we left Memphis, after which McPherson's General Order No. 20 was read; also official information of the surrender of Port Hudson on the 7th inst. and our victory in the East, which of course put a hopeful aspect on affairs. Received a large mail. Signed pay-rolls 6 P. M.


Vicksburg, Monday, July 13. Heavy rain last night. Cloudy and stormy all day to-day. Policed off all the grounds under the Battery. Evie and myself went about two miles, to the right in the afternoon on horseback, got cane enough for bunks. Prisoners all marched out to-day except the sick; Colonel Sanborn, inspecting officer, taking all contraband articles from them.


Vicksburg, Tuesday, July 14. All is quiet and still, everybody fixed up comfortably, and an old Welsh farmer's oven built, so we have soft bread, a great luxury. Trains run regularly to Big Black, taking troops and provisions. Third Brigade of our Division gone back to the rear. A few prisoners came in with the evening train. All is life on the river, crowded with boats, the town swarming with sutlers.


Vicksburg, Wednesday, July 15. All quiet and sleepy. Very warm. No mail or news.


Vicksburg, Thursday, July 16. Now that we are fixed up and the officers over their big spree (generally speaking) we broke up camp and went into park about two miles to the right on a pretty slope. The battery parked, the tents were put in its rear regularly by sections. All the shades, bunks etc. were hauled over from the old camp, which was accomplished by night, and put up.


[Pg 81]

1863 Bathing

Vicksburg, Friday, July 17. Was on detail all day, putting up stable and hauling brush. Many hands made light work, but it was hard to stand the sun. Bathed in the Mississippi while watering horses, and returned to camp to receive two goodly letters from home, and T. L.


Vicksburg, Saturday, July 18. Watered and sent team to camp. I remained with others to unload hay from barge, but could not get any. Walked back to camp by dinner time, and received pay up to first of July.


Vicksburg, Sunday, July 19. At reveille the gun teams of the third, fourth and sixth Platoons were ordered to harness up, and we started out with Lieutenant Clark before breakfast to haul in rebel guns from the line destined for Helena, Arkansas. Rode all along the line to the left, seven or eight miles, left two 30-pound Parrotts, four 10-pound Dahlgrens, two 12-pound howitzers, two rifles (James). Did not get back to camp till noon. Hungry and exhausted in the hot sun and dust.


Vicksburg, Monday, July 20. Sergts. J. M. Hood and W. W. Runyan; Corps. Sam Beaver, Charles Neefe and S. A. Ferris; privates J. Neefe and J. L. Bennett started home on a thirty day furlough. It caused many a longing wish in the hearts of us all for the day when we should follow to stay for good. Had a Battery inspection by Lieutenants Clark and Simpson. A. M. a general invoice of all government property taken. Bathed in the Mississippi in the evening. Mail arrived. None for me.


Vicksburg, Tuesday, July 21. Very warm. Considerable sickness. The Battery is much reduced in numbers, there being but two or three cannoneers to a platoon, which makes it heavy on the detail.


Vicksburg, Wednesday, July 22. Teams and men gathering rebel pieces and caissons. Company cook started to-day, and [Pg 82]all the Battery to be in one mess, much to the dissatisfaction of the boys. No mail.


Vicksburg, Thursday, July 23. Hot and monotonous. Evie troubled with diarrhea for several days, very sick in the afternoon.


Vicksburg, Friday, July 24. General Herron's command returned from their expedition to Yazoo City, having cleared the rebs out gloriously. They captured several thousand bales of cotton and negroes innumerable. The flat by the river as we go to water is covered with women and children of all hues and sizes, a grotesque scene, the men having been pressed into the service.

Eben Davis of the 20th Iowa visited us—was with us all the morning and took dinner with us. Evie some better. Heard the news of William Jones's death.


Vicksburg, Saturday, July 25. Troops returning from Jackson, their expedition having been crowned with success. Notwithstanding the warm weather they marched in good order and high spirits.


Vicksburg, Sunday, July 26. Several of our boys attended divine service at the M. E. Church. Very warm and oppressive. Indications of rain, much needed to settle the choking dust. Health is very good so far in spite of wind and weather. Received mail.


Vicksburg, Monday, July 27. A severe rain storm visited us last night preceded by a heavy wind which prostrated nearly half of the huts, leaving the occupants to the mercy of the elements. Received a letter from home but one week old; the latest yet received. Northern papers of the 22nd inst.; good news from all quarters. "Oh! the good time's a-coming". On guard. Troubled with a gathering on my right forefinger. Very painful.


[Pg 83]

Vicksburg, Tuesday, July 28. Very warm and oppressive. Suffered severely from my finger. I am afraid I am going to have a felon on it. Did not take care of my team. Battery M, 1st Missouri returned from their Jackson expedition, forty on the sick list, being obliged to use their mule drivers to park their battery.


Vicksburg, Wednesday, July 29. Had but little sleep last night on account of my finger and very painful all day. Showed it to our doctor who wanted to lance it, but had no knife.


Vicksburg, Thursday, July 30. Finger a little easier. Slept while I kept it in water. No mail. Very monotonous, especially when suffering. Visited by Sergeant Savage, 23rd Wisconsin, he going home on a furlough.


Vicksburg, Friday, July 31. The Company is rife with grumbling and discontent, owing to the Company cook operations; sour and heavy bread and other rations uncooked, a barrel of the "infernal liquid" having been drawn at headquarters. A shameful free use of it. Orderly too drunk for duty.


1863 Camp Surgery

Vicksburg, Saturday, Aug. 1. Took a large core out of the swelling on my finger. It does not pain me any more. A citizen took in a cartload of peaches to-day, and upon order of Lieutenant Clark sold them to the boys. They were the first I ate this season. If he would but come daily it would be healthier. Cloudy all day. At night visited by a big storm of wind and rain. Went to bed early with a very heavy fever and rheumatic pain in all my bones. No mail for four days. Strict orders down town. None admitted without pass from Provost Marshal.


Vicksburg, Sunday, Aug. 2. Awoke with a dumpish feeling. Corporal Dziewanowski went with a squad to church. Evie and myself spent the morning in reading the Testament, every other [Pg 84]chapter. Read Acts. In the afternoon I was taken with a sudden and severe attack of diarrhea accompanied with fever and headache. Felt very bad. Wrote a short letter home notwithstanding.


Vicksburg, Monday, Aug. 3. Had a very heavy fever all night. In the morning the fever subsided, and a cold clammy sweat followed. Reported at the sick call. The doctor prescribed three large doses of morphine and quinine, with two blue pills. Took the first dose, caused vomiting, did not take any more. Felt very sick all day. Could eat nothing. Bathed and put wet applications to head.


Vicksburg, Tuesday, Aug. 4. Felt much better, but have no appetite. Griff brought me a dish of arrowroot which I ate. I think I am out of danger of a fever, so I will not go to sick call. Received six days' mail.


Vicksburg, Wednesday, Aug. 5. Felt much better to-day, with good appetite, had I anything fit to eat. Lieutenants Hood and Simpson have gone home on a furlough. Dr. Miller returned, giving us a speech in the evening.


Vicksburg, Thursday, Aug. 6. Health still improving. Corporal Sweet went outside the lines with five men and a team after peaches. Brought in several bushels. Had quite a treat for supper in the shape of bread and milk, which Evie obtained from a private house in town, the first milk I have had since I left home. "It was good".


Vicksburg, Friday, Aug. 7. Very warm in the forenoon, cloudy in the afternoon, ended in rain and wind. Felt much like the ague. Mail.


Vicksburg, Saturday, Aug. 8. A very hot monotonous day. Felt well. Lay in my tent all day reading Parton's Life of Aaron Burr, a man of many faults but large brain. Finished it, very interesting throughout. At morning and evening, the [Pg 85]volleys over the graves of the departed are growing more numerous. I heard four to-day, all from the infantry regiments.


Vicksburg, Sunday, Aug. 9. Spent the day pleasantly, reading aloud most of the time Covenant and Enquirer. David Wallace very sick in camp, not expected to live. Bathed in pond in the evening.


Vicksburg, Monday, Aug. 10. Took my team this morning and reported at roll call, having been off duty thirteen days. 10 A. M. Coulter Campbell died in the hospital, the first death of the season, a strong, healthy man. A burying party went over at 4 P. M. to consign his earthly remains to their last abode. His death had but little effect in camp, so estranged is the soldier's mind. But some hearts have been wounded and are bleeding that have been patiently waiting his return for many hours, never to be realized in this world.


Vicksburg, Tuesday, Aug. 11. Warm—yes, hot. Lay in camp with no excitement; notwithstanding I whiled the hours away without much trouble with plenty of papers and captured books to read.


Vicksburg, Wednesday, Aug. 12. Received mail. I got two letters from home bearing date of July 12th and August 2nd, the first being detained at Memphis. What a source of comfort these weekly messengers from home are to me. How anxiously I wait for the week to roll around so as to be the recipient.


1863 "Wild, Jovial Scuffle"

Vicksburg, Thursday, Aug. 13. Boys in good spirits, those of them that are blessed with health. At twilight they had a general gathering in our street, and held a wild, jovial scuffle of an hour, such as none but soldiers can partake in or enjoy. An eye witness would call it foolishness, but it is well that they spend it innocently rather than in some worse game. "It is all in three years" they say. Very true.


[Pg 86]

Vicksburg, Friday, Aug. 14. The anniversary of my military life. One year ago to-day I took the oath to serve faithfully Uncle Sam. What my hopes and fears were then were far from being true. I have passed a year of hardship and danger from home and kindred. Instead of returning home in half the time with peace triumphant, I am away down here, and I expect nothing else but to serve another year—God willing. It is a bigger and more tedious job than I anticipated, but I am not disheartened, I will do my duty as near as possible.


Vicksburg, Saturday, Aug. 15. Evie and I did our washing before breakfast. Swam my horse in the pond this morning with fifty others. Good fun. David Evans and myself rode over to the hospital in the afternoon; most of the boys doing well with the exception of G. R. Jones. He is very low, weak and emaciated. I am afraid he will not live long. Poor boy, he is very anxious to go home. After supper sent by Sergeant Dixon in search of my off horse, having strayed while I was sick. Had a pleasant ride over the hills and through gorges, but no event.


Vicksburg, Sunday, Aug. 16. Weather very warm and heavy. Health—not sick, not well. Feel dull—a headache. Completed Sparks's Biographies of Gen. Chas. Lee and Joseph Reed. Read also a sermon of H. W. Beecher in the Independent. Wrote home. 4 P. M. we were suddenly startled by a loud peal of thunder, others followed, and in ten minutes the sky so clear and blue, was enshrouded with black frowning clouds and a heavy storm of wind with heavy rain followed. It rained nearly all night. A Southern storm comes unexpectedly and leaves the same.


Vicksburg, Monday, Aug. 17. On detail after hay. Got out fifteen bales of new hay from the "Laurel Hill." Heavy work. Returned by dinner time. Cloudy and rainy in the evening. Why don't the mail come!


[Pg 87]

Vicksburg, Tuesday, Aug. 18. On guard, first relief. A heavy rain fell during the afternoon and nearly all night. Much like fall weather in Wisconsin. Rather disagreeable on foot. Kept dry by the aid of rubber. Mail arrived, with a good amount for "Jenk".


Vicksburg, Wednesday, Aug. 19. Health tolerable. Went to see the sick boys. They were disheartened in hopes of obtaining furloughs. Rained and thundered in the afternoon.


1863 Furloughs

Vicksburg, Thursday, Aug. 20. Medical Director examining patients—granted sick furloughs to all the applicants, twenty-nine in number; some of them were in much need of them, others "played off" so as to go home. The time of the last furloughs has run out, but not any of them seen yet. 1 P. M. a terrible explosion has occurred on the levee. The "City of Madison" loading up with ammunition for below was blown to fragments. Nearly 200 lives were lost, and much damage done to the "Ed. Walsh" lying alongside her. It was a sickening scene, human bodies torn and burned into shreds thrown high in air. Many bodies not found. Colonel Powell, chief of artillery on McPherson's staff, and Lieutenant MacMurray, Battery M, reported to be on board the fated boat.


Vicksburg, Friday, Aug. 21. Lieutenant Fancher started home, his resignation having been accepted. He was very low. Another awful hot and sultry day, with rainy, foggy nights. Several troubled with ague. Prepared a mess of mushrooms for supper.


Vicksburg, Saturday, Aug. 22. Health good, but severe headache and bad digestion. Butter all gone, no more to be found. I don't feel much disposed to eat "sow belly"; had grape sauce bottled and charged.


Vicksburg, Sunday, Aug. 23. The warmest day of the season, I think. My shirt was wet with sweat while lying on my [Pg 88]bunk. Very quiet and one could almost imagine the calm of a Sabbath day was spread around as of times past. Felt rather lonesome, mused away most of the day in a waking dream, thinking of home and by-gone days. Mail arrived—none for me. Wrote to T. L. All looking for the return of the furloughed men. They are six days behind.


Vicksburg, Monday, Aug. 24. Health very good to-day. Very warm and dull until it was broken at noon by the intelligence that "the furloughs were coming", and sure enough, they did come direct from home. Everybody rushed out to meet them, anxious to speak to one that was from home. "Did you see any of our folks?" "Have you got anything for me?", etc. were heaped upon them. Many of the boys were the recipients of packages from their folks, but I was not one of the lucky ones.


Vicksburg, Tuesday, Aug. 25. This morning twenty-seven men started home on sick furloughs, some that were in great need of it, others who were "a little sick" so as to go home. The remainder of the day "furlough" was the theme, and many were a "leetle" homesick. On guard. Third relief. Day wound up with a fight.


Vicksburg, Wednesday, Aug. 26. The time passed very pleasantly while on post last night, but it was very chilly. Slept cold under two blankets, while to-day it is very warm. Bad weather for ague. Feel much like it all day. Headache.


Vicksburg, Thursday, Aug. 27. Did not get up for roll call. Did not feel well. Headache and rheumatism quite bad in limbs. Feverish all day. Cleared off in the afternoon, fine and pleasant in the evening.


1863 Box From Home

Vicksburg, Friday, Aug. 28. Felt pretty well. Fine day. Just before dinner I was informed that there was a box for me at the express office. I immediately obtained the necessary papers [Pg 89]from Lieutenant Clark; George Spencer and myself hitched up the team and started down. Found it "a good large one", but just as I got in the wagon it commenced raining, and did rain all the way back, giving us as good a wetting as ever a soldier had. Found my tent nearly immersed in water, a large stream running between our bunks and the rain pouring in from above. Obliged to lay the box away for two hours before the storm abated so as to open it—was Job ever tempted so? But at last it stopped and we found lots of good things, butter, cake, dried fruit, cheese, etc. Much obliged to you.


Vicksburg, Saturday, Aug. 29. Mail arrived. Received a letter. John enclosed the receipt of box from express office. Express one day before mail. Nineteen furloughed men left for home on the "J. C. Swan". On detail in the afternoon for foraging. Loaded 166 sacks of oats and 21 bales of hay after dark, when we returned rather tired.


Vicksburg, Sunday, Aug. 30. Calm and quiet day. Spent the day in writing home and perusing Covenants received from home. D. J. D. quite sick. Slept with him during the night. Administered medicine.


Vicksburg, Monday, Aug. 31. Very cold last night. Slept uncomfortable. Got up before daylight and cleaned out my stable. 9 A. M. we had mounted inspection and muster for pay. The old harness was stiff and scattered, in poor condition for active service, as were also some of the horses (or at least so is my old gray charger, a secesh horse farm bred). Warm during the day. D. J. D. a little better.


Vicksburg, Tuesday, Sept. 1. Did our washing before breakfast, Evie doing the rubbing and I built fire and "toted" suds. Lieutenants Hood and Simpson returned. One year ago to-day I joined the Battery at Rienzi, a raw recruit. Little did I think that in one year I would be away down here in Vicksburg. On the contrary I hoped long ere this to be quietly at [Pg 90]home with peace o'er all the land. Where will I be one year from to-day—God knows.


Vicksburg, Wednesday, Sept. 2. On guard, third relief. As I did not go on until 12 M., E. W. E. and myself took a ride along the line to Fort Hill, which is about three miles distant, and took another look at the ditches, holes, abatis, and bastions, from behind which many savage little balls were hurled at us two months ago, but now they are empty and grass grown. Uncle Sam is fixing up all the important forts with gabions. Fort Hill entirely built over, very pretty. Returned through the hollows. Two letters from home awaiting me.


Vicksburg, Thursday, Sept. 3. Was not relieved from guard this morning until 9 A. M., having stood an hour over time. (Orderly slept too near whiskey keg I guess). Suffering from severe cold. Rev. Mr. Fancher and Miss Calkins arrived here in the afternoon in search of son and father, both of which were happily disappointed, as they had gone home before they arrived. Mr. Fancher addressed us at evening roll call, after which three Badger cheers were given him.


Vicksburg, Friday, Sept. 4. Lieutenant Clark left on leave of absence with Miss Calkins and Mr. Fancher, leaving Lieutenant Hood in command of Battery. William Hamilton taken sick with fever and gone to the hospital to-day. D. J. D. quite sick.


Vicksburg, Saturday, Sept. 5. Fine day. Health very good. Feel first rate to-day. We have fine times of it. We bought lots of potatoes and onions with butter, sauce, etc. and we live good for soldiers. Headquarters serenaded in the evening by 3rd Brigade band—Avery leader.


Vicksburg, Sunday, Sept. 6. Warm and monotonous during the day. Felt unwell. Mail arrived in the evening. None for me.


[Pg 91]

1863 Beyond the Lines

Vicksburg, Monday, Sept. 7. To break the monotony of camp, Evie and myself obtained permission to go outside the lines. We mounted our steeds and passed through a port hole in the line to evade the guards, as we had no pass. We rode out about three miles before we saw a house.

House No. 1, stopped to get a drink; three women, no men around. She had lost four cows and wanted to know who stole them, suspected a one legged nigger, she "would be dagged if she wouldn't cut off his other leg."

House No. 2. We were looking for horses, examined one tied at the door. The old woman came out haggling, excited, claiming protection by her papers. We told her it was all right and rode on, leaving her to hate the Yankees.

House No. 3. Two fine looking young ladies there. Inquired for milk to drink. A little black girl brought us some buttermilk—good, tasted like home. Gave the blushing Confederate miss a quarter and left.

House No. 4. Examined a negro, pretending him to be a suspicious character, but finally concluded he was all right. Found plenty of nice tomatoes in the old secesh camp growing wild. Picked lots of muskatines and grapes, and returned via old position. Arrived in camp 3 P. M. tired but well pleased with our adventure. Company had received marching orders.


Vicksburg, Tuesday, Sept. 8. Preparing to march. There are but four pieces going, ten days' rations supposed to be enough. Oiling harness, etc. On guard. Music by the fiddlers in the evening, who were not much disposed to put their lights out at taps. Orderly Jenawein dictates, which resulted in quite a row. Lieutenant Hood finally succeeded in getting things dark, but the minstrels kept on with their fun till midnight, quite sprung, some of them, by whiskey.


Vicksburg, Wednesday, Sept. 9. —— and —— drunk and noisy. Lieutenant Hood endeavored to arrest ——, but he ran away. Corporal Neefe chased him over the hills awhile and [Pg 92]returned, when King, corporal of the guard, with three men, tried it, but with no better success. They then returned to camp. When —— thought pursuit was abandoned, he returned, when three guards with sabres arrested him, but he got away, putting them at defiance, running over the hills yelling like a maniac. Lieutenant Hood now mounted the guards, and after a good deal of running and more excitement, he halted from exhaustion and attacked the guards, Proctor and Richardson. At this time quite a mob of —— sympathizers made for the guards and interfered, but were finally subdued, and in the afternoon Hood took ——, —— and —— to the Provost Marshal, and they are to-night locked up in jail. Army regulations read at roll call.


Vicksburg, Thursday, Sept. 10. Very warm and quiet during the day. All ready and awaiting marching orders. J —— taken to the Provost Marshal as being concerned in yesterday's riot. Mail arrived, brought the sad news of the death of Alice, Evie's sister. After supper call, while eating quietly in the dusk, a hurried order came to hitch up, and was executed with more haste. Our piece was not going, and I knew not in what capacity I was to go, but it was evident there was nobody to tell me just then. And not wishing to be left, I hurriedly packed my blankets and started with the column; nearly everything lying around, such was the haste. We marched briskly until we reached the levee street, when we halted, made a counter march and returned to camp.


At Work Again

Vicksburg, Friday, Sept. 11. Reveille at the usual time, breakfast, after which proceeded to move; hitched quietly and leisurely. I was ordered to pick my team out of the Platoon and harness it as extra team, which gave me an opportunity to take my valise along with me. Griff took my butter keg and [Pg 93]dried apples. Left my overcoat with E. W. E., knapsack in charge of G. M. Spencer and Piper, who are to stay behind. Proceeded to the levee and loaded on to the "Illinois", a large freight boat; guns put in position on the forecastle, the horses in the stern unharnessed. All was stowed away tuck by 9 A. M. Infantry loading on teams and mules all the remainder of the day, filling up the lower deck so as to be impassable. Made our bed on the boiler deck and slept.


1863 Toiling Up the Mississippi

On the Mississippi, Saturday, Sept. 12. Early the "muskets" appeared on the shore and filed on board, the 18th Wisconsin, 4th Minnesota and 63rd Illinois took their quarters on this boat. At 11:30 A. M. the fleet of the 7th Division put out, headed up stream in the following order:

"Emerald"Flagship
"Illinois"}1st Brigade
"Kentucky"
"John J. Roe"}2nd Brigade
"Clara Bell"
"Adriatic"}3rd Brigade
"Kenset"

Advanced very slowly, the river being very low. Passed Millikens Bend, deserted and grass grown in appearance, at 4 P. M. Landed at sundown on an island to take on fuel. A lot of negroes at work for government chopping cord wood. All hands got off for fun. Bathed in the river and went to bed.


On the Mississippi, Sunday, Sept. 13. Boat left the wood-yard at 10 o'clock last night, but lay on a sand bar most of the night. Slowly and carefully, like a thing of life, our palace picked her way up through bold sand bars. Motion was imperceptible and the banks but one monotonous belt of cotton-wood with here and there a chimney which we suppose is where some enterprising secesh is going to build. Struck shore at Providence 11 A. M. Many of the boys, supposing her stay to be [Pg 94]more permanent, jumped ashore and put off, but the bell soon called them back, and a race for the boat ensued, but some were too late. The boat had swung off leaving them to the mercy of gunboats or guerrillas, there being no troops after these.

3 P. M. met "Gladiator" going down. Lashed to her, took on passenger and two hogshead of ice. Spent the day lying on deck amidst the muskets, haversacks, blankets and men. Deprived of the pleasure of writing home as usual.


On the Mississippi, Monday, Sept. 14. 'Tis evening, and I am seated on the guard of the boat all alone, with no noise save the heavy breathing of the steam horse. The sun has just set in the stern of the boat like a ball of fire, throwing its long rays over the waters, giving it the appearance of a golden pathway. The soldiers are all mute, gazing out on the glorious scene, save here and there a group indulging in a quiet game of cards. All day the boat has kept on its slow but steady headway, passed Napoleon at 9 A. M. and yet we are many miles from Helena. You will not wonder then that I have been day dreaming. Behind us lies the parched city of Vicksburg, for which we underwent many weeks of weary toil to capture, after which two short months of rest. And now we are off again, we know not where, but we know it is for war, marching, fatigues, battles and perhaps wounds and suffering, and that, while the anxious heart of an invalid mother, an aged father, sisters and brothers dear, are waiting my return. And I am comparatively alone, and the only happiness I derive is in the indulgence of hope of the realization of the good time coming.


1863 Breaking Loose

Helena, Tuesday, Sept. 15. Awakened to find the boats tied up at Helena, which point we reached at 3:30 A. M. Guards were placed to prevent the boys going ashore; notwithstanding, the boys went and came. At 2 P. M. swung out and after much trouble affected a landing where we could disembark. Got off and into park by sundown. Indications of rain. (I on guard.) [Pg 95]Many of the boys down in the streets raising "ned", breaking into saloons, drunk, etc.


Helena, Wednesday, Sept. 16. A cold, blustering night I had of it last night on guard, threatening clouds passing over with high winds. The boys lying around with no shelter, regardless of the coming storm, as though they slept in the wealthiest mansion. It was a time for melancholy thoughts for me. Day arrived. No rain. Wrote a hasty letter before breakfast.

Orders were received to prepare to march to-morrow morning at 4 as an escort to a large wagon train destined to Little Rock. Our Battery was on the advance in the order of march, but it was countermanded before night. I have very sore feet in the shape of boils, swelling so that I am unable to put on my shoes. I on duty and it does no good to complain but it is unpleasant. Division indulged in a general hallooing at tatoo, half an hour in length—soldiering!


Helena, Thursday, Sept. 17. The long threatened rain storm came and it rained heavy all day. We donned our ponchos and stood and took it. Gathered in groups around camp fires and under trees, passing the time as soldiers pass many days, heavily. 12 M. ordered to hitch up and move camp below town. The order came while we were eating dinner, but in fifteen minutes we were on the move, the infantry after us, colors flying and drums beating. Went into camp about three quarters of a mile below town between the river and the levee, with the infantry right below. It is pretty flat but overgrown with weeds.

The Division is put in close quarters and a chain of guards thrown out with orders not to pass anyone out unless furnished with a pass signed by Brigade commander. We are effectually penned, like so many mules, the first time this Division was ever guarded since we left Corinth. But the 7th Division never had a good name among sutlers and Secesh merchants, and they have not improved here. They have not forgotten our [Pg 96]confinement on the sand bar here last spring, and are anxious to take spite on the place. They patrol the town in large squads with pretending officers, helping themselves to anything or everything they want and march on, putting provost guard at defiance. I say "they" because I always count myself out in such games.


Helena, Friday, Sept. 18. A very cold chilly night. We suffered severely as we had no shelter save what we put up with ponchos. Had mounted drill at 8 A. M. but as I felt quite unwell I did not go out. I have a heavy fever. Went out on detail in the P. M. after wood, as there is none to be had save what we haul about a mile. Infantry stole all of ours last night to keep warm. Drew thirteen wedge tents after dark, which we put up. I was fortunate to get in one of four.


Helena, Saturday, Sept. 19. Still very chilly, the wind being raw from the river. Slept comfortable last night. The train which we were to escort moved this morning with the cavalry, so the object of our expedition is abandoned and we are lying here waiting orders. Mail arrived at tatoo. I received one enclosed in E. W. E.'s but none from home. It has been four weeks since the last I received from home. I am very uneasy. I am afraid all is not well.


Helena, Sunday, Sept. 20. A fine day but cold night. Felt unwell and sad all day. Wrote a letter home but received none. Evie is also unwell. "Mars" arrived with the 9th Wisconsin which disembarked here. The "Thos. E. Tutt" with the 4th Illinois Cavalry passed by to Vicksburg. Had inspection at 9 A. M. Most of the boys were anxious to return to our comfortable quarters at Vicksburg rather than stay in this deserted place.


Helena, Monday, Sept. 21. Harnessed up my team this morning instead of wheel team on five caisson. The first time I ever [Pg 97]drove on the wheel, but got along very well. I killed about two hours. Went on guard as soon as I returned. Felt some better, but very sore. Times very dull and passes away slow. Nothing to read whatever, not even a "Yellow Cover", which is very plenty and juicy.


Helena, Tuesday, Sept. 22. Warm day. Drill as usual at 8 A. M. Watered as soon as we returned. We have to go a mile in column over dusty roads to water twice a day. Very unpleasant, the river bank being too steep to approach it otherwise. Obtained an order from Lieutenant Hood for a bushel of potatoes from Commissary. Got them for $1.00 per bushel. Hard-tack of poor quality is all the rations we receive. All anxiously waiting for mail. A large mail passed by for us to-day.


1863 Fever and Ague

Helena, Wednesday, Sept. 23. Had a shake last night of about two hours in length, followed by very heavy fever, and my head ached severely all day. A small mail was received, but none for me. Sadly disappointed. "Christian Commission" came into our camp this afternoon with wagon full of tracts, "Child's Papers", "Tract Journal", etc. which were distributed "without money and without price". A couple of our boys crossed the river in a dug-out for fresh meat this evening, but were sent back by guerrillas who chased them.


Helena, Thursday, Sept. 24. Health improving. Feel very good to-day. The day was spent in idly waiting for the night, with the exception of meal time which received its due attention. Potatoes cooked by turns, it fell [to] my lot to cook some for breakfast. The rest of the day sitting on the bank of the river watching the hundreds of soldiers in bathing at all hours of the day, following the swell of the steamboats, making an amusing scene. About a dozen dug-outs are flying up and down the stream at all times which were stolen from the negroes on the plantations around.

[Pg 98]

A larger number of boats passed down to-day than any day previous, most of them stern wheelers with but little loads. It gave us fine amusement in trying to read the names at a distance. Much to our dissatisfaction none of them stopped to take us on. Our tents were unceremoniously taken away this P. M. and we are out in the cold.


Helena, Friday, Sept. 25. Awoke to find the rubber over us wet with dew. Breakfast attended to with much zeal, the company cooks cooking coffee and sour meat, while privates and officers all crowded around with skillets, cans, pans, kettles, etc., containing potatoes, onions, crackers, fish, green corn, etc. After breakfast "Boots and Saddles" sounded, and all were soon ready for drill. I rode the center team on the first piece. Gunboats "Chillicothe" and "Eastman" passed down, as also several light draft-boats.


On the Mississippi, Saturday, Sept. 26. Cold night, but kept comfortable in our "shebang" of "ponchos". H. W. Miller and Tommy Goodman returned from home. Went out to drill as usual but soon returned with orders to embark as soon as possible (which were indeed prepared for). Both of my horses were taken from me and put in the teams, while a couple of lame "crowbates" [crow-baits] were given me instead.

By 10 A. M. the 6th and the 12th Battery were all on board the "Julia", a large passenger boat fitted up with great elegance, on her third trip from New Orleans with several furloughed men and families fleeing from the fate of the Confederacy, to seek protection in some Northern state. Among these were two young females taking deck passage, and our mules, horses, wagons etc., were stowed away upon all sides of them. Amidst the oaths of soldiers their situation was truly pitiful. I felt thankful that my sisters are where such trials will not reach them. At 12 M. General Smith with his adjutant came aboard, and at 2 P. M. we started up stream leaving the infantry regiments behind to follow as soon as possible. Although [Pg 99]the lower deck was very crowded we found plenty of room and comfortable quarters above. The boat moved very fast and we go very pleasantly. Night is closing in. I will lie down, hoping that when we get to Memphis I will get some mail, as it has been a great while since I received any.


Memphis, Sunday, Sept. 27. Awoke to find us tied up at the wharf of Memphis with the "roustabouts" unloading the artillery as soon as possible, having arrived here at 4 A. M. The boat hands unloaded all the things without any assistance from us. Went to shore, cooked and ate our breakfast and then harnessed my team. Found George Benedict and H. Wheeler, B. Tutin and Wm. Dowden on board the "Eclipse" bound for Vicksburg to join the Battery, but they were glad to find us here. Moved up on the tableland. Came into "battery" where we stood two long hours in the sun waiting, but at last we moved out, passed through the streets of Memphis enveloped in a cloud of dust.

1863 Rumors

Seven months ago, a bright Sabbath morning, we marched through the same street to undertake a big job which we successfully achieved. 12 M. came into park on a very pretty knoll with fine shade trees a mile above town, the Wolf River a quarter of a mile to the front of us, 12th Battery to our left, and the 15th Army Corps came in late in the evening to our rear. Unharnessed and of course we were at home, no tents to bother with. What care we with God's canopy spread over us and it don't rain. Our destination is believed to be Rosecrans's Army, take the rail to Corinth and thence by land. Osterhaus's Division of 15th Army Corps is also coming. The flagship "Sultana" has arrived, at least so says dame rumor, and it is highly probable.


Memphis, Monday, Sept. 28. Laid quiet all day with no shelter, very pleasant. Water our horses in Wolf River about a mile up stream, the bank not admitting other places. There [Pg 100]is much speculation as to the future, the 16th Army Corps is under marching orders, and it is believed by many that we stay to hold the post. In fear of which the citizens have petitioned that we be sent off. They don't like us.


Memphis, Tuesday, Sept. 29. Hot and sultry, road very dusty. Expecting our things from Vicksburg. Lieutenant Clark arrived from Wisconsin with his wife. He has taken boarding at a citizen's house close by. The anxiously looked for letter from home came at last, the downward mail having stopped here. Written by Ellen dated the 20th inst. Relieved my anxiety much, notwithstanding it brought the news of Margaret's and Orren's sickness.


Memphis, Wednesday, Sept. 30. The threatening clouds of yesterday evening resulted in a heavy rain commencing about midnight, raining all night, and by daylight we were glad to get up from our wet blankets, as the rubbers, stretched against the fence, did but partially keep out the rain. After breakfast I was detailed to go down town after forage and rations. The rain fell thick and fast. Got down there; the requisitions being wrong, Quartermaster had to come back, and we were obliged to wait on the street till 4 P. M. When he came we drew ten days' rations, eighty loaves of bread at the post commissary. Reached camp by night, wet to the hide with no place dry or warm to go to. The 12th Battery being a little more active than our officers, drew their tents and they kindly divided with us. We had nine wedge tents. Moved our wet blankets in one of them and spread on the wet ground. Still raining. Lieutenants —— and —— on a grand drunk last night, fought with brickbats, etc. Were they privates, they would be tied up. Shame! Shame!


Memphis, Thursday, Oct. 1. The rain fell all night. This morning it is blustering and chilly. Arose shivering from our wet bed and put on our dripping clothes and huddled around [Pg 101]the fires waiting for the sun to warm us. This is not pleasant work, but the infantry suffered much worse than we did, many of them having nothing but a poncho along with them. 10 A. M. the king of day came forth in all his sultry glory and soon righted matters. Drew twenty new tents. Received mail, morning papers, etc. Looks like civilization a little now.


Memphis, Friday, Oct. 2. A fine sunny day. Six furloughed men returned, also Frederick Baker who was wounded at Vicksburg. He has lost the sight in one eye. Mr. Lester brought me a package of letters, papers and a pair of boots, all of which is very acceptable, but most of all he has been to my home, seen and heard them all, and says they are all in a hopeful condition. Most of the Division baggage arrived from Vicksburg, ours not yet arrived.


1863 A Scare

Memphis, Saturday, Oct. 3. Raw and windy morning. Assembly was sounded at 8 A. M. and an order read to us from General Smith to hold ourselves in readiness to move at a moment's warning. No officers or men allowed to leave camp. Ammunition to be inspected, etc. A scare is up, the pickets were attacked last night and driven in. A story is told here that Johnston with 15,000 was on the Tallahatchie night before last moving on Memphis, all of which is not impossible, but highly improbable. Heavy picket thrown out which will not let us go to water to Wolf River.

P. M. The 3rd Brigade is moving all the baggage, loading on the cars. The men go aboard early to-morrow morning. Destination said to be Corinth. "Sunny South" arrived 5 P. M. with our things from below; too late to move them up to-night. Tatoo in camp rolled with the big drums to-night.


Memphis, Sunday, Oct. 4. To-day is the anniversary of that terrible day when our Battery lost their guns at Corinth, and it is not forgotten. The baggage was brought up as early as possible but in miserable condition, most of the clothing destroyed [Pg 102]by water, having been stowed away in the hold of the boat which sprung a leak, and stood in two feet of water. Three sets of harness missing or torn too badly for use, and several horses lost. Two of the horses were found in the camp of the 7th Wisconsin Battery. Harnessed up at 7 A. M. and an invoice taken of the missing articles; the result reported to headquarters. The 1st Brigade are moving their baggage on to the cars. We expect to go soon. I am ready, but many of the boys are in poor condition to move. Many of the boys drunk last night.


En Route to Chattanooga

Memphis, Monday, Oct. 5. I was on guard last night. It was very cold, a heavy frost. Reveille was sounded in the infantry camp before dawn and at 5 A. M. they moved out; also the 12th Wisconsin Battery. Our quartermaster drew three sets of artillery harness, whips, curry combs and leather buckets. Water call in the afternoon, after which hitched up as soon as possible, struck tents and moved toward the depot of the Memphis and Charleston road. Came into battery on the planked floor which we found between the depots of about an acre in area. Unhitched and stretched the picket ropes. Amused ourselves rolling cannon balls, good fun for soldiers. Made our beds down in the open air, but dry floor.


1863 Memphis To Corinth

Corinth, Tuesday, Oct. 6. Had but a very poor night's sleep, having a terrible toothache all night, in fact the last three or four days—a decayed back tooth. If my teeth will decay as fast next year, as last, I will have to go home toothless. The cooks were called up at 3:30 A. M. and reveille at 4. Fed, harnessed, ate breakfast and immediately loaded the guns, wagons, etc. on the open cars. The horses put in the box cars with the harness on. By 8 o'clock we were all loaded, when to our surprise Captain Dillon made his appearance, having come in [Pg 103]by the boat last night. 9 A. M. we started in two trains, infantry on top the box cars and the artillery boys stowed away on their carriages. At the same time it commenced raining and it continued all day.

Passed by Buntyn Station without stopping, but we saw where we lived during the month of January last, but our shebangs were gone.

Raleigh—we stopped here for wood and water. We recognized this as the place where we stopped the night before we reached Buntyn Station and we lay in the rain. All the road to Germantown was familiar to us. Stopped here fifteen minutes.

Collierville was our next stopping place, a large cavalry force being stationed here. One of our mules dropped off here and we passed on and left him.

Lafayette—as familiar as ever. We halted here nearly three hours. Four long trains passed us. The switch was too short so we were obliged to run up and down every train. The 66th Indiana were stationed and reported guerrillas very troublesome. The road is patrolled the whole length every two hours by cavalry, each patrol having six miles of a beat. Two reb lieutenants were in the depot, caught yesterday cutting the telegraph wires. They look like flashy desperadoes.

Started on at 1 P. M. Ran very fast thirty-seven miles from Memphis. Stockades and block houses are to be seen all along the line, some large enough to hold a regiment, but most of them are left vacant.

We passed through Moscow without stopping. The place looks decidedly better than it did when we were here before, all the dirty wood-colored houses having been burned down and the whole policed nicely.

Halted at La Grange a few minutes. This is the pleasantest place on the whole line, very elegant mansions here, several stores running and a large body of troops.

[Pg 104]

Grand Junction—forty-three miles from Memphis and forty-five miles from here to Corinth. The Mississippi Central crosses here. The last ten miles of the R. R. were very crooked. The three trains were coupled together part of the way, and they crawled like a serpent, ran very slow. Our train laid here two hours to steam and oil up, and it was dark before it started, but when once under headway it endeavored to make up for lost time, and it plunged into the darkness around curves and through cuts at a fearful rate in the condition the road was in. The carriages on the cars were loose, and they flew back and forth and were in great danger of being thrown off, which would be a fatal catastrophe.

Our next halt was at a small station twenty-nine miles from Corinth called Porter's Creek. Took wood and water. Talked with a member of the 118th Illinois who were stationed here. He said they had seen no trace of civilization for six months. All they did was to hunt guerrillas who were very thick and very wicked.

Pocahontas—fourteen miles from Corinth. We stopped here thirty minutes. Several buildings to be seen. Tatoo sounded while here. We were now all fatigued, sleepy, hungry and cold, the rain having fallen all day, and it was quite chilly. There was no room to lie down and I sat on the foot-board of the limber and bracing myself, went to sleep, but it was broken. I dreamt of a warm room and a comfortable bed (tantalizing dream that). I was next conscious at Corinth, where we halted, but we supposed we were going right along. I crawled under the caisson and fell asleep with no covering save my overcoat and poncho. Woke up at midnight chilled through. Found us still at Corinth and fires lit on the roadside. I sat up for about half an hour and warmed, when big drops of rain commenced falling. I sought shelter under a warehouse stoop and laid down between two infantry men in a space nine inches by five feet, with my rubber over my head and slept.


[Pg 105]

1863 A Good Camp

Glendale, Miss., Wednesday, Oct. 7. When next I opened my eyes it was daylight and I felt thankful for it. I was cold and numb with a bad headache. I got up, doubled up my poncho and found that I had escaped a very heavy shower. The train stood on the east side of the town in a deep cut. Fires were blazing all along the track, and I soon was by one. Met my bedfellow Evie. He had slept down-town, but was wetter than I. Had we known we were to stay here all night, we would have spread our blankets and slept comfortably. The train backed up on the side track, and I got some water and a handful of unground coffee, which I boiled. We had soft bread drawn in Memphis, which made up my breakfast. It was 8 A. M. before we started out. The track was full of curves up and down. Ran out seven miles and stopped at what is called Glendale. The only building, a shed one story high, is graced with the name of "Saw and Grist Mill". On the left hand side is the "Yates's Sharpshooters", and 1st Alabama Cavalry in neat barracks, encircled by a stockade. They have been stationed here nearly a year. On the right are the newly erected tents of the 7th Division and the part of our Battery having come through last night were unloaded and waiting for us. The horses were taken off, having been thirty hours without food and drink. Of course they looked very bad. My team was taken off last night. The Battery was taken into park by noon on a high knoll, but covered with oak brush. Unhitched and watered. By that time the welcome sound of the bugle called us to meat and coffee, and after dinner sufficient room was grubbed out to stretch a picket-rope and tie our horses. Tents were pitched in the thicket of oak and pine so that one could not see his neighbor. Gathered pine twigs enough to make a fine bed and I laid down to rest in this. A "lodge in some vast wilderness". A very pretty clear brook runs close by under the hill with several beautiful springs. Fences lay around so we have good wood and water. What more does a soldier want?


[Pg 106]

Glendale, Thursday, Oct. 8. Cold night, but a beautiful day. As we have no prospect of getting hay, we took our horses out to graze this morning. Grazed in an old field on the road to Clear Creek where government cattle are kept. The grass was dry and withered so the horses did not relish it much. Lieutenant Hood and his citizen brother Wilson went to town and on their return were fired into by a squad of guerrillas.


Glendale, Friday, Oct. 9. Captain Dillon came into headquarters this morning. Also Mrs. Lieut. S. F. Clark. And she has gone into the tent I suppose to enjoy camp life. Grubbed out all the bushes under the Battery and below our quarters, which makes a field of nearly two acres opened by the 6th Battery. Drew clothing in the afternoon. Grazed to the north, passing by the camp of the 1st Alabama Cavalry, 1300 strong, consisting mostly of refugees from the rebel army, many of whom have their wives and children along. Notwithstanding, they are doing valuable service scouting. The train on its return is daily loaded with refugees from the interior. Anticipating the presence of an army, they are leaving bag and baggage, trusting to the tender mercies of Uncle Sam. Mail arrived. I received two letters of the 27th.


Glendale, Saturday, Oct. 10. A very fine day and my health is very good with the exception of a slight cold. Enjoyed myself pleasantly in this rural retreat. I like the wilds of nature better than a mock at civilization by the hand of slavery, such as we everywhere meet. Grazed our horses in the woods to-day. Middling good grass. Our horses are on half rations of grain, which after so much confinement and fasting on boat and cars, look very bad.


Glendale, Sunday, Oct. 11. Fine day, cold night. Last night Griff slept with us. Breakfast of coffee, hard-tack and sow belly, as we are now reduced to the strict army-rations, but we have apple sauce and it goes good. Company and knapsack inspection [Pg 107]at 8 A. M. by Lieutenants Clark and Hood. Forage train was sent out this morning, two of our teams went out with eight men. Returned late in the afternoon with two loads of poor corn, having been out eight miles towards Burnsville where the 3rd Brigade is stationed. Report the country scoured of all forage by Osterhaus's Division which has gone ahead. There is a report in camp General Sherman and staff have been taken prisoners at Lafayette by 15,000 cavalry who made a dash on the train in which they rode. It comes by telegraph from Corinth but not creditable. On guard, third relief.


1863 Agricultural Possibilities

Glendale, Monday, Oct. 12. Very pleasant day and health good. Went to graze at 10 A. M., returned at 12. We grazed in the middle of the wood. The grass is dry and withered, but better than nothing. One from Wisconsin would be surprised to find the season so far advanced, if he were to come here. The corn is yellow and the leaves are sear and dead, and everything looks much later than it usually does in Wisconsin. But the change here is slower and it gradually falls into a healthy old age, while there everything is green in the evening and next morning blighted by the bitter frost. With proper culture in intelligent hands, vegetation of all kinds can be brought to a higher degree of perfection here than there. But instead of finding extensive fields waving with clover and rich with beauty, we find but small worn-out patches with deadened trees, standing as a monument of the enterprising race that has so long inhabited these parts—ignorance and slavery.


Glendale, Tuesday, Oct. 13. Cloudy, with occasional showers and distant thunder. A large division forage train took the road to the north. In moving they go in charge of staff officers and heavy escort of infantry. The cavalry is very busy. A large squad left this morning on different roads, while some go and come all day. The report of the Sherman capture is contradicted but no particulars of the raid, which evidently designed it. A small mail arrived with Wisconsin dates of the [Pg 108]6th, but I was disappointed. Spent the day patching and putting pocket in my blouse vice the old one worn out. Capital workman I. To-day was election day for Ohio, Iowa and Indiana, and the troops from these states voted. To-day the fate of Vallandigham is sealed, I trust, and those who would henceforth seek him will find him in the grave.


Glendale, Wednesday, Oct. 14. A wet morning, raining heavily. Fed seven ears of corn to team this morning, brought in yesterday by forage team. Rained in the forenoon so that we did not graze, but it cleared off at noon, and as we had no feed, we grazed two hours in the woods and gave three pints of shelled corn to the team for supper. It is strange how they live upon such fare. They are getting very poor. Train arrived from Memphis this afternoon with paymaster but they say that we will not be paid.


Glendale, Thursday, Oct. 15. Rained nearly all night, but cleared off this morning and it was a very pleasant day. No feed for horses. Grazed them in a dry field for two hours. Train came in this afternoon with a little grain and hay for our Division. We drew half rations for five days. A large mail came in on same train. Eight letters for our Platoon, six of which were for Evans and myself, two of which bore dates of September 7. Where the deuce have they been? But one was a long letter from Sister Ellen of the 4th inst. How it stirred up my feelings. It seems as though I was once more restored to the peaceful paths of life after laying here in the wilderness for over a week without a word from anywhere save from the soldier boys. Evie had anxiously waited for a letter as his family were in a critical condition. He was growing pale and sick. But when the letters came with cheerful news, he looked like a new man.


1863 Review

Glendale, Friday, Oct. 16. A very fine day, rather warm midday. Health never better, weight 140 pounds which is six [Pg 109]pounds better than on September 30 at Memphis. Grazed as usual. After returning I washed a pair of pants at the spring. After dinner received orders to prepare for inspection, each man to appear in his best. 1:30 P. M. "Boots and Saddles" sounded and we soon were ready to move with boots blackened (those that could afford it), coats brushed, and the old 6th looked middling fine after all the dust of the war it has gone through for two years. The only drawback was the horses which looked terrible. Had the bones sticking out so as to almost cut the harness. Moved out under command of Lieutenant Clark, accompanied by his wife, who rode by his side, but she was evidently a little scared. Passed by the cavalry troops with the 12th Battery behind us. The two Batteries came into "Action Front", when Captain Dillon with several of the staff rode up and down on inspection, after which they took a position in front with the beautiful flag of the 12th Battery posted, and we passed in review in column of sections at walk, then mounted cannoneers, and passed on trot. We then resumed our "Action Front", after which Captain Dillon took command with his usual zeal, put us through on the double quick for nearly two hours. Returned to camp quite tired. To-morrow we move.


Burnsville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 17. As instructed at last night's roll call, reveille was sounded before daylight with orders to prepare to march at 8 A. M., and also to take our pay before we started. The paymaster soon arrived, and as soon as possible counted the $26. By breakfast he was through and at the due time we were on the road. We marched in center of 1st Brigade bound eastward, the column short and roads good. We had but few halts. The road lay through an uncultivated country poorly timbered with oak and pine, and hilly in latter end. Arrived at Burnsville by 12 M. marched through the town (a small village) with bands playing and colors flying. 3rd Brigade stationed here. Went into camp a mile north of R. R. on Yellow River, with tops of high hills and bluffs to be [Pg 110]seen in the distance. Pitched tents, put up racks. Lieutenant Simpson went to Corinth.


Burnsville, Sunday, Oct. 18. Was on guard last night, and the way it rained while on guard at night relief was enough to drown one inexperienced. 2nd Division, 15th Army Corps, commanded by Gen. G. A. Smith, passed by at 9 A. M., also Major General Blair, who is in command of Corps at present. Also a large wagon train with 5th I [Illinois?] Cavalry as escort. Ordered to have 200 rounds of ammunition in chest, 300 now in train, and 30 days' rations. Mother very ill.


Iuka, Miss., Monday, Oct. 19. Ordered to march at 9 A. M., but as the Division train moved in the center and we were in the rear, we did not get started till 1 P. M. The bottom on each side of Yellow River was very wet, the bridges bad, so there was considerable delay in starting, but after we started we marched very fast and had few halts. The soil was a light sandy loam, poorly timbered, rather hilly. Halted at 4 P. M. The big drum taken forward in the wagon, and we walked through Iuka with the 1st Brigade Band playing lively airs. Found the 2nd Division posted here, the 1st commanded by General Osterhaus, having left this morning. Iuka is, or was, a very pleasant town, larger than Corinth, celebrated for its medicinal springs, two of which are enclosed very tastefully in a beautiful grove of young oaks. Went into camp south of town in a large field with the whole Division quartered in their tents before us. Osterhaus's Division having left in the morning leaving boards, bunks, etc., we were soon in comfortable quarters. Retired early but were awakened at 9 P. M. to report at roll call, an order having been sent to report all absentees. The Division, as usual, pillaging down-town. Nearly $3000 worth of goods having been stolen, the outlaws being in the shape of a regiment led by a Major "straps and colors" etc. Luckily the artillery boys were all in camp.


[Pg 111]

1863 Thoughtless Boys

Iuka, Tuesday, Oct. 20. Cloudy and windy morning. Health very good. Prepared to march in morning, but did not move. Cleared off very pleasantly. Wrote a letter to Albion. Had beefsteak for dinner, having paid 10 cents per pound. The water we got from a pearly spring but heavily tainted with mineral so as to be very unpalatable. Much talk about the disgraceful affair of last night. Happened to be done by members of the 2nd Division mostly, and it is supposed that General Smith will assess the damage from the pay of all absentees at last night's roll call. It will be no more than just. I think that our Division is getting to be the worst in the Department. Everything is left unmolested by other troops, but when we come along, jayhawking and pillaging is the order of the day. It is done by unscrupulous young men or boys rather, having been removed from all restraint of society and parents, led into extravagant use of money by the spendthrift, finding $13 per month too short, they resort to this means to make "a raise". It is certainly too bad to think that one would so far forget his home and family as to shock them with their deportment, did they but know. Lieutenant Simpson returned on 2 P. M. train with supply of nose bags, halters, ammunition, etc. but no horses, which are the most needed.


Camp on Bear Creek, Ala., Wednesday, Oct. 21. Rainy morning. Ready to move at 10 A. M., but as large wagon train was to go ahead of us and the roads were slippery, we did not start till noon, all this time being in a turmoil. I sat in my saddle with my head protruding through the rubber, moodily wondering if we would ever start. Marched in the center of the Division about four miles from Iuka. Struck a range of hills, and our road lay through narrow and crooked valleys, much of the way being gravelly. Passed very pretty spring brooks, crossed the R. R. about the state line. A squad of engineers stationed there. Struck Bear Creek 4 P. M., which is a beautiful stream four rods wide and fordable where crossed; [Pg 112]runs swift over a pebbly bed. Came into camp on the east side in a valley two miles wide, high ridges on either side, the Battery in a cultivated field, the tents in a belt of timber. Cooked our supper, which was of flour and fresh beef and pancakes. Heavy cannonading heard in front, supposed to be ten miles distant. Cogswell's 1st Chicago Independent Battery attached to our Division, four guns, James new pattern, good looking lot of men and horses. Lay down in a damp bed to take our first night's sleep in "Alabam."


Camp on Bear Creek, Thursday, Oct. 22. The 3rd Brigade came up this morning bright and early. The train stuck in the mud, so they did not come through last night. Did not move. Wrote a letter home this morning. Washed a shirt and pair of socks in the P. M. Information received at headquarters that a battery of six 12-pound light guns had been shipped for us to Vicksburg, also one for the 12th Battery. Efforts are being made to send an officer after them; hope they will succeed. I gather news from the front that Osterhaus, who is in the advance, encountered Roddey's command, they coming up in federal uniform, killing Colonel W. M. Torrence, 30th Iowa and several others after which they skedaddled. This was the firing heard last night. Batteries were opened on them. Forrest is reported at Tuscumbia, strongly fortified, determined to retard our progress. J. W. Jenawein was to-day made second lieutenant, and Joseph Hood 6th sergeant orderly instead. Mail arrived 9 P. M.


1863 Cold in the South

Dickson Station, Ala., Friday, Oct. 23. Reveille before daylight. Raining very heavy. Orders to march at 7 A. M. We were on the advance of the column, and an order came to hitch up and strike tents before the cooks had breakfast started. The rain was very cold and my fingers were numb before I got my team harnessed and hitched. It was very disagreeable work. "Stand to Horse" was sounded before we were fairly hitched [Pg 113]up, and we started out on a trot to pass the regiments as we were behindhand. The road was muddy and rough, the horses all trembling from cold, and the drivers with wet clothes and cold hands, shivering and wishing they could go to the stove and warm—(that is, in Wisconsin). But we moved on lively passing over several ridges, then the valley widened into a very pretty cultivated country. Our road lay along the railroad, the track of which was badly destroyed. All the trestle work burned, and a fire built at the end of each rail crooking it so as to destroy it. The column halted at Dickson Station, a tiny depot building with a fine farming country on each side and extensive buildings. The fence was torn down, and we came into battery in a field of clover. A large fire of rails was started, and we warmed while the General looked for camping ground and water. In half an hour Dillon's orderly came back and we moved to the right half a mile, and came into camp nearly on the bluffs, unharnessed, tied our horses to the trees and stuck up our tents in the mud, but found boards to floor it and plenty of rye straw to lie on. We built a fire in front of it, and got partly warmed by 1 P. M. I was soon called on guard and I suffered very much from the cold.


Dickson Station, Saturday, Oct. 24. A clear but cold night, but with the aid of a blazing fire I spent the hours quickly. To-day it is cloudy and cold. A cold day South is far more disagreeable than in Wisconsin. It is always accompanied with rain, consequently very damp, and the wind pierces through the body although it does not freeze. Two teams with Sergeant Hood started for Iuka early. We are about three miles from the front. The smoke of Osterhaus's Division is clearly seen. Blair's on this side of it. They have laid here several days, but we find plenty of forage. Two beeves were brought in by our Platoon and Evans and Blake went and dug out a sweet potato patch for the twenty-fourth time. Succeeded in finding a fine mess. Corn is brought in by teams. Artillery firing could be [Pg 114]heard in front this morning; result I have not heard. Four of the 4th Brigade captured by guile.


Dickson Station, Sunday, Oct. 25. A very pleasant day and quietly spent. Firing heard in the front with artillery about noon. Enemy reported to be fortifying and on the advance. Our Division ordered to be ready to move to the front at any moment. Teams returned from Iuka at 9 A. M., Billy Hamilton having started at 2 A. M. this morning. Looks very badly and discouraged. Drew clothing. I drew a pair of pants. Wrote to T. L. None received. Two loads of corn brought in.


Dickson Station, Monday, Oct. 26. Long before reveille I was awake listening to heavy roar of artillery in the front, which at times was quite rapid. Can't be more than three miles away. The 56th Illinois and 18th Wisconsin went out at midnight with orders to report to Osterhaus at 3 A. M. The firing gradually ceased but could be heard occasionally during the day. General order No. 63 from W. T. Sherman was read to us this morning at 9 A. M. A very able and just order for the government of troops on the march and in camp. Four of the furloughed men returned. Large forage trains sent out and returned plentifully laden with the good things of the Confederacy. Health and spirits of the boys very good and all is lively about camp.


Dickson Station, Tuesday, Oct. 27. A fine day. In good spirits. Drill call sounded at 9 A. M. We hitched up and had battery drill for two hours under Lieutenant Clark. The drilling was rather poor, many blunders. Clark is not as good a drillmaster as Dillon, not enough vivacity and life. 12th Battery was out also. All quiet in front, men working on the R. R. opposite here. Expect the cars up soon. After dinner E. W. E., B. F. Blake and myself went into the woods after walnuts. Found them in plenty about a mile out, cracked all we could eat and returned with two bags full, with blackened fingers [Pg 115]and plenty of fun. "Special Artillery Order No. 1" from Captain Dillon was read to us at evening roll call by Orderly Sergeant Hood in regard to Confederate clothing, none of which is allowed to be worn.


1863 Camp Amusements

Dickson Station, Wednesday, Oct. 28. A beautiful day. Three teams sent out after forage. E. W. E. went on detail. Our camp was lively during the day, the boys having bought a pair of boxing gloves, and they were continuously in use. After retreat squads were gathered around the camp fire telling tales of the past and talking of pleasant anticipations to come. It was a beautiful balmy evening and the night was far spent before I betook myself to sleep, but to-morrow we march.


Chickasaw, Ala., Thursday, Oct. 29. We were called up long before daylight, the stars brightly shining, and all was indicative of an early move, camp fires blazing brightly in all directions, baggage wagons a-moving and orderlies flying back and forth, but our place was in the rear to-day, so we took our time. Piled all the corn my horses could eat before them, cleaned them, then shelled my nose-bags full for the march. By that time—had a splendid breakfast ready of fresh meat, sweet potatoes and fried crackers. Harnessed and hitched up by seven; was on the road by 7 A. M., but as the Division train was to go ahead of us, we were delayed considerable before we got under way. Frequent and heavy booms of cannonading could be plainly heard to the east, with a distant roll of musketry, and we knew not but we were going into a fight. But we took a road leading directly north, crossing the railroad. We marched slow, frequent halts in the fore part of the day. Our course was northwest through poor country, hilly, timbered with scrub oak and pine, the road crooked and very stony. Passed but few houses and these of the poor rickety-log kind such as a well to do farmer would not put his horse in. Clearings small, filled with stones and stumps, but generally very good corn [Pg 116]growing, and occasionally a patch of sweet potatoes which suffered from the hands of thoughtless soldiers; but I could not think of laying hands on the small stock of the poor half-clad old women and children we saw. Halted at noon and fed, putting on our nose-bags without unhitching. The water along the road was beautiful pearly springs and pebbly brooks on every side, which was enticing to look at. (Who would ask for better beverage than this?) Reached Chickasaw—a small deserted place on the Tennessee River, by 5 P. M.; found the other brigades here. The advance arrived a little after noon, but have not yet unharnessed as they expect to cross the river. We unharnessed and fed. Stuck up our tents as it looked like rain, but we were told we would have to cross to-night. A mile below is Eastport, Miss., where a good boat is busy at work crossing over the 4th Division. Health and spirit good, but would like to get mail.


Chickasaw, Friday, Oct. 30. Were not called out last night as expected, and this morning it is raining very heavy and the day was spent very disagreeably; cold, wet and muddy. The gunboats did not cross all of the 4th Division till 9 A. M., when it ran up here from Eastport and commenced putting the 2nd Brigade over, the teams and wagons on a barge, and men on board the boat. Cogswell's Battery moved out at dusk, but did not get across until late in the night. The troops on the other side were in a pitiful condition, no tents or shelter and apparently but few rails. The 2nd Division in command of Morgan L. Smith came in late in the afternoon. I rode out about a mile and a half after feed for horses. Brought back a bunch of fodder and a pumpkin. Mail arrived. Rec'd a letter from John written the 21st. Mother gaining. Six cases of smallpox in the Division.


Waterloo, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 31. The rain has cleared off and it is a fine and clear morning but rather cold. Mustered [Pg 117]by Lieutenant S. F. Clark for pay for the months of September and October, after which we marched up to go across on the transports (stern wheels). Came up the river three miles under escort of the gunboats, loaded with commissary stores. Did not get to the ferry till 4 P. M. The guns and wagons were loaded on a barge and sent across by the "Anglo Saxon." The horses sent down stream to be taken across by the "Masonic Gem", but it was so small that it took three trips to get across. I got over on the second trip. We were landed half a mile above the guns and we galloped across the other bank. It was dark before I got to the Battery (it was in a large field of corn). Fed my horses all they could eat, having had nothing since morning, and filled their nosebags. Mail arrived. By that time I found Evie with a fine supper of coffee, sweet potatoes and raw ham (which we bought of the commissary, 3 cts. per lb.) with hard crackers for dessert. Obliged to wait for the other horses until 9 P. M. After awhile we moved out three miles to camp, came into camp and got into bed by 11:30 P. M. in a negro shanty. Two companies of 4th U. S. Cavalry arrived from Huntsville, Ala. with dispatches to Sherman.


1863 A Friendly Country

Waterloo, Sunday, Nov. 1. I was called on guard at 3 A. M. and reveille was sounded at 5, so I got but little sleep. We expected to move, and prepared after breakfast, but as we did not go, I got my portfolio and wrote two letters. The citizens were quite communicative, squads of young ladies and old men walking through the camp. It is a small, insignificant looking place, country stores, houses, etc. known as Waterloo. Foragers doing a good business. The 3rd Brigade came down and went into camp 11 A. M. 3 P. M. while we were all taking it easy, "Boots and Saddles" was sounded, and we were told to hitch up as quickly as possible. In fifteen minutes we were on the road, tents in the wagons and everything ready. Double quicked it for nearly a mile, to get into our proper place. Marched very fast with no stoppages except rests given two or [Pg 118]three times, thirty minutes in length. Marched through bluffy and steep country, the road winding. Did not come into camp until 9 P. M. Our road lay for the last three miles through a deep gorge with very high hills on both sides. Fires were built to guard us from the ditches. After we stopped I was obliged to sit up an hour waiting for the wagons, so as to feed my horses. Very sleepy and tired. Went to bed in open air and slept sound till reveille.


1863 Capture and Parole

Florence, Ala., Monday, Nov. 2. Reveille sounded at 5 A. M. this morning, and at 6 we were on the road. We marched by brigades. The 2nd is a day's march ahead and the 3rd behind. In this way all the necessary delays in marching along are avoided. The Division train generally moves with us. The first five miles was rocky and stony with plenty of beautiful springs, but after that the country was more level, of red clayey soil. We passed some fine fields but a large portion of it is in its wild state waiting for the hand of enterprise and industry to convert it into productive fields of wealth. Halted at Cypress Mills half an hour at 3 o'clock. Watered our horses in creek of same mill. A good water power here which used to move a large cotton factory owned by the furious rebel John Morgan. The factories were burned last May by Colonel —— as they were manufacturing for the C. S. A. The people here were represented to be all Union people. Squads of factory girls were strung along the road, some of them good looking, others passable. An old woman did good business selling milk at 5 cts. a drink. Many of them wore Union badges and inquired for the Alabama Cavalry. This was three miles from Florence and we reached it by 4 P. M. Went into camp on the outskirts of the town. A beautiful college located here, three stories high, of brick, and built after the manner of ancient castles. Tuscumbia is on the other side of the Tennessee River. A branch R. R. five miles long formerly connected the two places. Rebs represented to be at Tuscumbia in force and to [Pg 119]shoot every blue "breech" they see on this side. R. Randolph captured by rebs and paroled. He was detailed to go with forage train in the evening, strayed off, and was gobbled up by a couple of cavalry. Paroled and sent back. He arrived in camp after night completely worn out. His parole was not properly drawn, and will not be respected by our authorities. 2nd Brigade moved out at 5, after drawing five days' rations from Division teams. We have forty-seven miles to go in the next two days.


En route, Tuesday, Nov. 3. Called out at 3 A. M., and I thought it was no more than ten as I was very sleepy. At 5 A. M. we moved out, marched through the sleeping town with drum and fife playing, colors flying. Florence like most southern towns, is built with due regard to elegance and comfort, roomy sidewalks with spacious door yards filled with fine shrubbery and trees. Took a northerly course and marched twenty miles with no unnecessary delays and very fast. The infantry many of them falling back long before night; frequent rests were given of about twenty minutes in length. Crossed Shoal Creek at 10 A. M. A fine bridge over it built on stone piers and carefully enclosed, the stream about 100 yards wide, shallow but very swift, over a rocky bed. Passed some very fine country, but mostly inhabited by the poorer class and cultivated by white labor. Saw but very little cotton growing, and that of an inferior quality. Foraging done on a large scale by our boys. Sweet potatoes and chickens in plenty. Division commissary getting up beef cattle as we march. Came into camp near a very pretty creek with high rocky banks, the name of which I did not learn, at 1 P. M. As soon as we came in sight of camp, the infantry went out in squads in search of meat, with guns. The woods were full of hogs, and it soon sounded like heavy skirmishing, General Smith riding in great fury back and forth, endeavoring to punish the guilty parties and put a stop to it. He tied up several men by the limbs all [Pg 120]night, but the boys got their hogs. He is getting unpopular very fast with his men. J. Wolf, S. Beaver and M. Dziewanowski detailed in the morning to go with E. W. E. in search of horses. They returned late, having found forty mules in all but no horses. We got twenty of them for the Battery and they will be put in the teams instead of the broken down horses.

This was election day for Wisconsin. The polls were opened by a commissioned officer about half an hour of sundown, and the electors soon deposited their votes with no fuss or talk as is usual on such occasions, more weighty matters being on hand. Lewis led Palmer (for governor).


1863 A Poor Country

En route, Wednesday, Nov. 4. Reveille sounded at 3 A. M. and the sleepy camp was soon ready to march. Started at 5. It was a dense, foggy morning and the red glare of innumerable camp fires lit up the infantry in heavy columns, giving the surroundings of the camp a wild and terrible aspect. We moved out moodily, the stars lighting us on our way for nearly three miles and a half before daylight appeared. The road was rough and covered with pebbles which made it very bad for the horses. One of mine being barefooted is somewhat lame. 10 A. M. We came up on to the camp of the 2nd Brigade at Rogersville, the town half a mile to the left of us. The 4th Division had just returned, having found the bridge over Elk River destroyed. Then it moved out on another road leading north, which gives twenty miles more travel I understand. We halted for three hours, unhitched and unharnessed, cleaned off our horses and fed them. The 2nd Brigade moved out soon after we came in. The 3rd Brigade came up at 12 M. At 1 P. M. we again took the road and an easy march of six miles took us to camp on a good creek, an old fashioned breast-wheel grist mill close by, the name I did not learn. The first five miles was a flat timbered country, uncultivated, but when we came towards the creek it broke up in hills and rocks where poor folks [Pg 121]lived and picked up a scanty living. As soon as we approached camp, guns were heard in every direction, more than last night. Several bullets flew directly over camp, but fortunately nobody was hurt. Officers of the day and staff officers galloped in every direction endeavoring to stop it. A camp guard was thrown around the infantry with orders to keep all men from going in who had guns. But General Smith had commenced too late to stop this Division from foraging. The guards sat down and always looked the wrong way, and meat in plenty was brought. Our mess had laid in a supply early in the morning: six chickens, a beef and a goose was our stock for eight men. Mail received late in the evening but I received "nary" one.


Gilbertsboro, Ala., Thursday, Nov. 5. Thanks to the corporal of the guard we did not get up till nearly 4 A. M. this morning, as he slept and did not wake the orderly at the proper time. But we had to hurry up to start at 5 A. M. which was a good while before daylight. Left the 3rd Brigade behind. They were just having reveille. A cloudy morning. Marched six miles through a flat country heavily timbered, with excellent soil, but entirely uncultivated. It lies in the hands of speculators. When we neared Sugar Creek it became bluffy and rocky, which was all fenced and cultivated by poor folks. Came up to the 2nd Brigade here and we halted three hours to allow them to get out of the way. We went to a neighboring corn crib, and shelled nose bags full of corn. Commenced raining very heavily. At 1 P. M. we hitched and started out. The rain fell in torrents but the boys were as merry as ever and forgot the wet in singing. Halting, the infantry built a bridge across the stream with rails. Marched very lively over a hilly road but rich valley. The clay, which in dry weather made good roads, was soon converted into bottomless mud. Came into camp at sundown at Gilbertsboro, Limestone County, Alabama. A very rich plantation here surrounded by very high [Pg 122]hills. A large amount of fodder and hay was stored away in the surrounding houses which were soon emptied by the boys and fed to the horses or made for beds. Hungarian grass and millet was the most of it. Division commissary issued out plenty of fresh meat for the boys and there was not much shooting. This evening thirty barrels of whiskey was found buried by the 48th Indiana close to camp, so there were several drunken men in camp.


Camp on Richland Creek, Tenn., Friday, Nov. 6. Got up at 3 A. M. Moved out at 5 A. M. A clear cold morning, the roads very muddy. We soon struck a range of hills which we rode over. They were of solid rock broken off in ledges, very hard to travel with artillery, especially with the wheel horses. For six miles it was a continual stony bed, very steep hills and rocky declivities. Eight miles on we struck the Nashville and Decatur R. R. at Prospect. Followed it north for two miles through a very fertile valley well laden with corn. I got a handkerchief full of Irish potatoes from under a farm house, satisfied the negro for them, the master not at home. The track was in good running condition, built of "T" rails bolted together at the ends and the filling is of crushed stone. Turned east, leaving the R. R. to our left. Climbed a very high hill or mountain, a mile long, stopped an hour for dinner on the top. The wheel was locked for over a hundred yards going down, over the roughest road man ever travelled. Struck Richland Creek at the bottom, a stream as large as Big Black Muddy, unlike all other streams of this country. Followed it up stream for two miles, a fine stone wall built along the other side of the road, three feet at the bottom, two feet on top, and five feet high, of quarried limestone, inside of which was a beautiful cornfield. I got a feed for my team out of it. Forded the creek below Tom Brown's Mill. The regiment halted, stacked arms, took off shoes, stockings and pants, then waded in it. It was a rare sight, several hundred men walking through at once, bare [Pg 123]legged, their unmentionables thrown over shoulder and musket high in the air. The water was waist deep and quite cold. To any but soldiers it would be a serious necessity. They took it very as a lark, each one vieing with the other to make the more noise by the way of singing, hooting, plunging, etc. Came into camp on the bank of the creek in a pretty grove half an hour of sundown. 2nd Brigade here ahead of us. Y—— tied to the gun all day with two feet of rope, for mutinous conduct and offering violence to officer.


1863 A Rich Country

Near Fayetteville, Tenn., Saturday, Nov. 7. 2nd Brigade started at 6 A. M. We followed at 8 A. M. struck a macadamized road a mile from camp which we followed five miles. The road runs from ——, a beautiful road high and dry. Extensive fields of corn on all sides. Most wealthy country we have seen. Elegant houses of frame and brick. Left the road a quarter of a mile from Elkton and struck north along hilly ridges, very stony and rough. Came into camp at 5 P. M. on a high point, five miles from Fayetteville in Lincoln County. Drew fresh meat from commissary, but we had no salt to cook, no salt in the Division. The timber to-day was mostly beach, grew very tall and large, beautiful timber loaded with nuts, and we ate many. Sugar cane of sorghum kind raised on a small scale by nearly all, I suppose to supply the deficiency occasioned by the Confederacy. Small wooden mills. Vertical rollers used to press it. Slept in the open air, not thinking it worth while to put up tent.


Fayetteville, Sunday, Nov. 8. A chilly cold night. Froze half an inch of ice on water, but we slept warm. Moved out early. Had a very long and steep hill to climb. Several of the teams failed, but ours came out all right. My off horse was put on the wheel in place of the one there, whose shoulder had been worn raw. Marched weary and slow through a hilly country. Most of the valleys were all under cultivation and very [Pg 124]full of excellent corn, but a small proportion of it husked. I think the corn crop here will far exceed the best of Wisconsin's in number and quality. It is perfectly sound and untouched by frost. The road was very winding but not as rough as before. Came into camp two miles from Fayetteville before sundown, with materials for a good supper and plenty of corn for horses. 2nd Brigade camped here, and the 3rd Brigade came up late.


Fayetteville, Monday, Nov. 9. I laid in camp all day. 2nd Division came up on another road. One day's rations of crackers issued to us. The infantry regiments are entirely out. Mills were worked all day grinding cornmeal. Lieutenant Amsden of the 12th Battery went out with squad of Battery boys to pick up horses by order of Captain Dillon. Returned late at night with twenty mules and ten or twelve horses, but mostly too young for team purposes. We got one very pretty horse for our Platoon. They report abundance of all good things off from the road where "Yankee" vandals have not reached, with no end to come. No wonder that the rebs are making a desperate effort for the recapture of this country. We are in their very granary and without it they cannot live. A report is rife that Thomas has evacuated Chattanooga, but I trust it is not so. I would write, but there is no communication open yet.


1863 Hard Going

Camp in Oak Barrens, Tenn., Tuesday, Nov. 10. Prepared for an early march. Moved at 9 A. M. as we had to wait for the 2nd Brigade to move ahead. Passed through town, which is an old fashioned place of quite a size. Looks as though it was the same twenty years ago. Of course it was perfectly dead, no sign of trade or purchase of any kind. Crossed Elk River two miles from the town on the best bridge I ever saw. It is built of solid stone all hewed, five arches, with a foot path on top of each side wall. It is but a single track erected in 1861. Poor [Pg 125]country! After we left the river valley, nearly deserted fields lie idle. About noon we entered the Oak Barrens, so called from its sterility. It is a perfectly flat tract of land with a yellow clay soil. Oak openings, no underbrush, the oak not very large. It lies lower than the surrounding country and covered with pond holes which we rendered bottomless with a little travel, the wheels cut down so. No houses or fields to be seen. Went into camp in the first field we saw for five miles, and that was deserted. 4th Platoon wheel horse fell dead to-night before it came to camp. He was the biggest and best horse of the Battery, supposed to be overdone. Train of cars passed out on the Fayetteville branch loaded with crackers for our camp. It was escorted by two regiments of Slocum's Corps, the New York and Pennsylvania regiments. Mail received. I got letter from home of the 25th ult., so we are once more approaching the Union lines. No news or paper seen save wild camp rumors which are conflicting. No corn to feed our horses to-night. I am on guard.


Winchester, Tenn., Wednesday, Nov. 11. Called up at 4 A. M. Harnessed before daylight. The horses covered with frost. Cold work for bare hands. Started as soon as daylight; about seven miles more of barrens without a house or trace of civilization. Slough holes very often, the pioneer corps bridging many of them while we waded through the others. Four or five horses gave out before we got through. Three left behind. Came out of there by noon on higher ground, well settled, but not very productive. Citizens look decidedly Secesh. Passed Salem at 2 P. M., two overshot waterwheels and a tower. Came into camp within two miles of Winchester at sundown. We are within our own lines. The Army of the Cumberland has a force stationed here, among which is the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. Drew one day's rations of crackers.


Winchester, Thursday, Nov. 12. Lay in camp all day. 3rd Brigade came up early. The weather very raw and blustering. [Pg 126]Forage trains went out seven miles and returned loaded with good corn. Wrote two letters but no mail came in. To-morrow we are to start across the mountains. If half of what is said of it be true, we will have hard times to cross it with our teams. The cavalry say we will not be able to cross it in two days. 1st Brigade of Stanley's Cavalry Division is here. Winchester is the county seat of Franklin County and a good business town as large as Fayetteville. Mr. Lester brought Nashville papers of to-day into camp, the first we have seen since the 22nd of last month.


Camp on the mountains, Friday, Nov. 13. Broke camp at Winchester before daylight and moved out in advance of the other brigades. Crossed the R. R. south of Decherd and kept along the track southeast until we reached Cowan Station, when we travelled toward the hills. Halted half an hour to strip the chest of all knapsacks, the cannoneers being obliged to carry everything after the style of infantry. At about half past twelve o'clock we mounted and started up the mountain. The foot was covered with white large stones smooth as ice. Both of my horses fell the first pull, but soon gathered and we made the ascent in about two hours. The road was very stony and most of the horses poorly shod, very steep in places, but we made it without an accident or a balk, although four of our teams had a span of mules in. The General and staff were very much scared, it is said, and thought it not safe to ride up so they dismounted, lamenting our fate, but our horses did it all right. The road followed the summit which was perfectly level, rather sandy. Passed two or three houses inhabited, but I know not how. Came into camp; old camping ground, first rebel and then federal. Had but one load of corn for to-night and to-morrow morning, so we had but eight ears to a horse. Drew two little crackers in the morning which was all we had till the wagons came up late at night, and we were a set of very hungry boys. Sow belly and hard-tack went as good as the best [Pg 127]of suppers at home. Camp as merry as ever, singing and cracking jokes by the bright camp fires, although we were weak in the center.


1863 Over the Mountains

Sweden's Cove, Tenn., Saturday, Nov. 14. Reveille sounded at 5 A. M. A very dark and cloudy morning, not a star to be seen or ray of daylight. Fed our hard-worked horses a scant feed of twelve ears of corn to a team, cleaned them off and harnessed. Coffee and crackers for breakfast. 2nd Brigade stationed in front. Followed the 2nd. Camped at the foot of the hill last night. Commenced to rain very heavy as we hitched up and it continued until noon, with loud peals of thunder and vivid lightning. The road ran along the summit for about five miles which was very muddy and hard to travel. Commenced the descent about 1 P. M. which was not as laborious but far more dangerous. The cavalry that crossed let the wagons down by rope, but we locked wheels, and about two miles brought us to the bottom, very stony and steeper than the other side. So we were over Raccoon Mountain of the Cumberland Range, considerably higher than Point Judith, and we crossed in the lowest point. We were now in a narrow valley not a mile wide, all under cultivation, but now idle, called "Sweden's Cove". The first trace of civilization that met the soldier eye was a hog, the next a corn crib. Due attention paid to both, the cannoneers charged on the pigs and the drivers filled their nose bags. Camped at the headwaters of Battle Creek. Health of all good and spirits also.


Camp near Bridgeport, Ala., Sunday, Nov. 15. Moved out in park this morning. Kept along the bank of Battle Creek under the sunlit brink of the mountain. 10 A. M. the Tennessee River appeared before us and we entered the Sequatchie Valley. Followed it down stream. This was the ford that Bragg retreated over, and where Rosecrans's small Division were picked off from across the river. Extensive fortification [Pg 128]erected here but vacant. Telegraph line up here which communicates with Chattanooga. The valley is narrow but apparently fertile. Neat houses here, but the fences all gone and fields open. After passing through a very bad swamp we came into "Camp Proper." At this point it is a mile and a half from what is called Bridgeport. Good water, no rails. Put up harness racks, tents in line, etc. Drew oats for the horses to-night, but scant. A large mail arrived and to see the eagerness with which all pressed around the pile would have convinced everyone that although roughened by usage and inured to hardship, and mayhap contracted that which is not befitting, yet their hearts are filled with the love of home and friends. I was jubilant over the receipt of three letters, one from my ever faithful correspondent John, the other from my sister Ellen and the rest from an old schoolmate.


Bridgeport, Monday, Nov. 16. A beautiful sunny morning. Did not get up till broad daylight, which was a strange thing. The first thing attended to, now that we were in hopes of a few days' rest, was changing and washing. I changed throughout, and Evie and myself passed to the creek with ax, fire buckets, etc. My washing consisted of a pair pants, shirt, two pairs of socks and towels. Quite a washer-woman. After dinner Cousin Griffith, E. W. E. and myself took a ride down town. I mounted Rodney and off we went. We failed to find a building but found Bridgeport, which is certainly a city of tents. All of it is in tents. Sutler's stores and bakeries are plenty, but so crowded by the soldiers that it was impossible to get a hearing anywhere. I tried hard to get a pie, but there were hundreds pressing in for the same, and I gave it up as a bad job. Bought a blank book and started back to a large tent upon a hill with the sign "Army Hotel" which furnished meals for 75 cents.


A Group of Comrades in 6th Wisconsin Battery

The Charleston and Memphis Road crosses the river here, but the bridge was destroyed by General Mitchel a year ago, and not yet completed. A day force is at work on it and teams [Pg 129]are hauling timber in all directions. It is a patent truss-bridge like those across the Wisconsin, the R. R. on top and wagon road below it. A pontoon bridge is stretched across below it until the bridge is finished. The cars go no further than here, which is the nearest point to Chattanooga, twenty-eight miles by R. R. and forty by land. All supplies are hauled to camp, long way yet, by mule teams and two small steamboats. A large number of artillery horses have been sent back to be fed. Horses and mules look much worse than ours after the march. The 11th and 12th Army Corps under General Hooker are across the river from here, which makes a total of three corps within supporting distance of Chattanooga. Heavy artillery firing could be heard this morning from that vicinity. Stevenson nine miles west of here.


1863 Boys From Home

Bridgeport, Tuesday, Nov. 17. In camp. Warm and pleasant morning. No feed for horses. W. Hayes, Ed. Hayes, J. Ide, H. and D. Wallace returned from furlough, having followed us up to Iuka, then being obliged to return and go up the river by the way of Nashville. They came up on the cars this morning with plump and rosy cheeks. The boys greeted them with enthusiasm going to meet them from afar off. They were from HOME. Orders received at headquarters to send a commissioned officer and non-commissioned or private out on recruiting service. Of course much eagerness was manifested as to who should go. Many applications made I understood, but Lieutenant Hood and Sergeant Hamilton are the elected ones. I understand a like detail is to be made from each Company, but I doubt if they will bring back as many as go. The 4th Division crossed the river to-day. It is reported that we follow in the morning, leaving all wagons behind. Carriages were greased ready for the start. Wrote letters to brother Thomas and sister Mary. Am very anxious to hear from home. Ere this the draft has passed and I know not but the only stay and comfort of my aged and invalid parents is rudely torn from [Pg 130]them. If such is the case, and I here in front of the enemy with my destiny unknown, I fear it will bring their gray hairs to the grave. God forbid! If he but be spared I will be satisfied, although I know not but that I have another year to serve after the Battery is mustered out. It is hard for me to think of the years going in this manner, when I had fondly hoped a part at least would be spent in the schoolroom, but I believe it is not lost. He that followeth his duty need not worry. His reward is certain, and it is truly a noble cause in which we are engaged. From the front I have heard nothing. It is reported that the rebs are withdrawing but I do not credit it.

We started one month ago to-day. Twenty of these days were on the road; 240 miles have been travelled. We have been transferred from the Army of the Tennessee to the Army of the Cumberland, and all of our record from this on will be with them.


Sequatchie Valley, Ala., Wednesday, Nov. 18. Reveille sounded before dawn and we were ordered to prepare to march, but they knew not at what hour. All baggage that could be spared was ordered to be left with camp guard. The knapsacks were to be left, but as the cannoneers did not feel disposed to lose all of them as at Vicksburg, they all strapped them on their backs to "tote 'em". Failed to draw but one load of forage, so a vacant wagon was left and the knapsacks packed in, much to the satisfaction of all. Hitched up at 6 A. M. Marched on to the hill where the infantry were encamped. The 2nd and 3rd Brigades had started, leaving tents standing. We were in the rear and compelled to lie in the road until 2 P. M. In the meantime a large mail was distributed. I received four letters, all from home, which of course were very acceptable. Moved down to the river where our Division had been crossing all day on the pontoon. No more than four wagons allowed on at a time, hence a tedious job. 4 P. M. we moved on to it. It consists [Pg 131]of a firm scow boat anchored every sixteen feet and stringers laid across, over which were laid twelve-foot plank. It was narrow and shaky, but a tight rein and careful driving brought us over all safe. Had to cross two of them, an island occupied by Hooker's men in the middle of the river. Men busy at work on R. R. bridge, but not near finished. Came to a halt two miles from the river and lay there over an hour to wait for the train to cross. Large fires were built and the infantry cooked their coffee in their little cans. It was quite dark before the bugle sounded and we marched on at a brisk rate till 9 P. M. Our road lay through the Sequatchie Valley, which was pretty well under cultivation, watered by a large stream coming out of the solid rock a few yards above us, one spring furnishing water enough to run a flouring mill. A large cave was close by, which is reported to be a curiosity, thirteen miles long, out of which saltpetre is dug, but I could not visit it. Unhitched our weary and hungry horses having had nothing but two quarts of corn all day, and but a scant feed last night. Made our bed in the open air and piled in supperless.


1863 Under Lookout

Lookout Mountain, Tenn., Thursday, Nov. 19. Reveille woke us at 4 A. M. Slept cold. A heavy frost covers the ground this morning. Marched before the cooks got breakfast ready, so we had to take dry grub. Took the Chattanooga road and marched leisurely down, coming to the end of the valley; the mountains and the river coming together. Our road lay along the bank, and the R. R. several hundred feet above us, sometimes running over a precipice and then over stilty-like bridges. An engine ran by us here. We next left the river and soon entered the hills, winding through the valleys and crossing stony points, which was very slow and laborious as our horses were jaded out and hard to keep up. A few inhabitants were seen but they could not find much to live on. 4th Corps stationed through the valley as guards, each squad already located in neat "shebangs". Passed Sand Mountain at noon, a force being [Pg 132]stationed upon it, the very high bridge having been destroyed near by and not yet commenced to be built. The R. R. is in bad condition and will require a good deal of labor before it will be rebuilt. A large part of it is laid with wooden rails, an iron plate fastened on top. Coal abounds in the hills. We passed a large bed of nitre, out of which saltpetre was manufactured for Confederate States' use.

Came in sight of Lookout Ridge about 4 P. M., and at sundown we were directly under the enemy's line, their picket fires burning brightly not more than half a mile off. Did they but have the artillery they could soon shell us out. The roads are very bad, filled with slough holes some of which were bridged. 8 P. M. halted nearly an hour to allow the pioneer corps to repair the roads. Most of the boys made coffee. Hard-tack very scarce. I had none since dinner. After the roads were fixed we moved out and marched about four miles right under the point of the guns which could not be brought to bear on us. We passed by Joe Hooker's headquarters. It was a very beautiful evening, bright moonlight, and pleasant marching. Came into camp at 11:30 P. M., our horses having nearly given out. When the wagons came up we fed horses and drew crackers, but I was not as hungry as sleepy, so I laid down in the open air with Point Lookout frowning in full view, on which is a battery of heavy guns that at any moment could hurl terror to our Corps.


With Grant at Chattanooga

1863 A Night March

Camp in the pocket opposite Chattanooga, Friday, Nov. 20. Scarcely had we closed our eyes to rest, before we were aroused again. Many of the boys had not laid down. It was half past one o'clock in the morning. We were ordered to hitch up in great haste. The rebs were crossing the Tennessee River at some point, and we were to intercept them. Nothing but a [Pg 133]prospect of fight would have aroused the sleepy and tired soldiers as quick, and 2 A. M. we moved out, all wagons, battery wagon and forge left behind. It was clear and cold and I was chilled through by my sudden rising from a warm bed. We gradually disappeared from Point Lookout where the rebs' signal lights were dimly burning. The road was mostly corduroyed and very good, but some places not finished very badly cut. 1st caisson got stuck and it took nearly half an hour to extricate. The cannoneers in mud and slush above their knees. While they were getting out, the other boys took hold and completed the bridge.

As it drew near morning it became darker. Crossed the river on pontoon two miles from where we started. It started right under the rock and it was quite difficult to make the landing with six horses. 3rd Brigade's camp was on the bank. They had just started. Head of column took the road towards Chattanooga and obliged to come back as we left it to the right. 2nd caisson lost the road in the dark, ran against a stump and capsized. It took some time to extricate the horses and right it. It was loaded with percussion shells, but luckily none exploded. Infantry got the start of us and we drove very fast. Daylight found us travelling east through a very pretty valley formerly used as a camp. No infantry in sight. As smoke was seen in a pocket to the right, Lieutenant Clark halted, and sent to see if it was not our Brigade, which we found to be the case. We entered it, found the 3rd Brigade closely quartered. Went into park and ordered to remain quiet and orderly. Cooked an early breakfast, although we had travelled eight miles beside the other exploits. Wagons came up at 9 A. M. and we fed the last of our forage, four quarts of oats to a team.

The boys were soon scattered around making up for lost sleep, but I thought I would see our position, so I climbed the bluff to the right of us. Chattanooga could be seen very plain right opposite, near the other side of the river. To the right of it [Pg 134]was Lookout, towering high above all others, with the puffs of powder smoke vomited occasionally from their Parrott. To the left I could see smoky Mission Ridge crossed with reb encampments. Those with glasses could discern long wagon trains and pack mules climbing up Lookout. I returned well-paid for my labor, although I afterwards understood it was forbidden. We are effectually hidden. Guards are placed over all houses to prevent anyone leaving. A pontoon train is passing. Heavy rain in afternoon. Put up tents and went to bed early.


Near Chattanooga, Saturday, Nov. 21. Awoke to find it had been raining very heavy all night. Our ditch overflowed and the water flowed into the tent under the bed wetting the blankets, making sleeping a troublesome matter anywhere. I got up, wrung my blankets and watched the rain. After breakfast harnessed our horses. As we have no feed they look very bad, indeed nearly all the halter stails on the rope were eaten off last night. I got a set of chain ones from the Battery wagon. Company cooks played out and rations issued to platoons. Boys all hail it gladly.

10 A. M. Two teams went to Chattanooga after forage. E. W. E. went on detail. Tried to write a letter, but it is so very cold that I made but little progress.

3 P. M. A circular has just been received from General Sherman to hold ourselves in readiness to march at any moment. Three days' cooked rations and one blanket is all that is to be taken along, the ambulances to follow to the river and there await orders. The enemy have been playing from Lookout all day and it is told that sharp musketry is going on, but that general engagement will probably not come off until we cross the river, which it is said we will do to-night if the rain will not sweep off our pontoon. The crisis is fast approaching and it cannot be long ere we meet in deadly contest; of the final result I have but little doubt. I am confident in the ability of those contesting for the right. But alas! many must of necessity [Pg 135]close their eyes in death. It is not for me to ask whom or when, but to trust to Him that noticeth the fall of a sparrow, and endeavor to do my duty. I pray that strength may be given me to meet my fate with courage.

8 P. M. It is night. The teams have returned without any feed. They met M. L. Smith's Division on the bridge and they could not cross. Three sacks of grain was got at Division headquarters which gave us a small feed. Wagon went to draw rations at the commissary but could not get any. I have written a letter home and will now lie down and sleep with an easy mind until called upon. I am ready when the word comes.


1863 Awaiting Battle

Near Chattanooga, Sunday, Nov. 22. Awoke to find a bright and beautiful morning and the air was as balmy as a May morning in Wisconsin. Did not rain as expected and no indications of it in particular. Preaching announced at 10 A. M. by the Chaplain of the 18th Wisconsin. I thought it was more my duty to write to anxious hearts than attend. Wrote one to sister Hannah and commenced one to brother Thomas, but was called on guard before finishing it. Sherman's chief of artillery went with Captain Dillon to pick out a road for battery.

3 P. M. Before I came off guard we endeavored to pack everything except our blankets and stow them away. Soon ordered to take up our horses, (which were browsing) clean them off and harness up. Our valises were taken off and blankets strapped instead.

5 P. M. Cogswell's Battery started out and we soon followed, 12th in the rear. Lieutenant Hubbard of the 3rd Battery came to camp as we left, and I shook hands with him as I drove by. Professor Silsby is also here with his Heavy Battery direct from the State, but I did not see him. Moved toward the river, passed the pontoon train and halted near the river out of sight of the enemy. Unhitched and unharnessed, and ordered to lie down with no noise, no fires to be built.

It is now eight o'clock and I am on post. I write by the [Pg 136]light of the moon. The Heavy Battery and the 12th are busy at work throwing up earthworks. We are to be thrown across with the first infantry that goes. It is expected by all that it is going to be hot and terrible work. My blood is cold as I contemplate the bloodshed.


Near Chattanooga, Monday, Nov. 23. I had just completed writing last night when an officer rode up (Sherman's staff) and inquired for the commanding officers. The boys were immediately called up, harnessed up and returned to camp. The upper pontoon broke so as to prevent the 4th and 1st Divisions of the Corps from crossing the river, which rendered it necessary to postpone it for twenty-four hours. Arrived at camp and pitched our tents. This morning cloudy and smoky, indications of rain. Ewing's Battery passed towards the river. Eight batteries passed by last night. Had we crossed this morning, they would all have met on the other side, which would be undoubtedly a lively time. Morgan L. Smith was to cross above us and form his line, meeting on Chickamauga Creek, and our left on it. The infantry drew shovels last night and were ordered to take possession of the heights and then fortify. A team sent to headquarters at 7 A. M. to go to Kelly's Bend for forage. One sent yesterday evening. Neither of them yet returned. Completed my letter to Thomas.

3 P. M. Heavy volleys of musketry are heard in the direction of Chattanooga, which is said by a correspondent passing by to be a reconnoitering party to ascertain if they are evacuating, which is supposed to be the case. But I don't credit it.

1863 The "Battle in the Clouds"

5 P. M. A fierce engagement is in progress. Since my last writing the well-timed volleys soon grew into a continual rattle, and the cannonading fell heavy and fast. I climbed the bluff as soon as possible to take a better view. Here I found the summit covered with spectators, and every tree loaded as with grapes. The lines most of the time were enveloped in smoke, and we could not discern which were the gainers. The firing [Pg 137]commenced well on to the right in the rear of Chattanooga, but fast crossed over toward the left. The artillery's roar, reverberating through the valleys and from mountains, made a deep and impressive sound as though the whole country was in convulsion. From Lookout the heaviest guns were fired. The flash could be seen as it vomited its load of destruction twenty-two seconds before the report arrived, and its echo was answered by half a dozen smaller guns from Moccasin Point in quick succession; but it was so much lower I do not think it was of much effect. Two distinct charges were made (I know not by which party) and the musketry fire unceasing, and heavy columns of fresh smoke arose, a pall for those departed to their eternal rest. As I sat upon the brow of that eminence I could think of the many groans that were now uttered on the field of strife, where friend and foe lay as an equal in the gore of their own blood, while many more lay with the ghastliness of death upon their features, that but a few hours before beamed with life and animation, and whose hearts melted with love and hopes in the future. Sad! sad! But it does not stop here. How many hearts will bleed. How many mothers' hearts will be heavy in anguish when the news will reach them of the fate of their offspring and object of their care and love. How little is this realized by the crowd surrounding. Their thoughts are light and trifling; they think not of death or futurity. Removed from all destruction, accustomed to look at death as of minor importance, they feel not the due importance. But such is war. Although a soldier and inured to meet the foe with determination and calmness, I must say, Oh what a cruel and wicked thing is war! A deer ran along the mountain and the attention of the masses was drawn from the conflict and gleefully passed to the animal. This was not in keeping with the state of my mind, and I left and returned to my tent, the musketry having nearly ceased.


[Pg 138]

Mission Ridge, Tenn., Tuesday, Nov. 24. Marched to our position of night before last, unhitched and unharnessed. Laid down till 1 A. M. when we were awakened and ordered to hitch up. No noise allowed to be made. The pontooners marched by on quick time with axes, etc. Cogswell's Battery moved out and took position in the front. We soon followed in breathless silence, entered an open field and followed it up nearly half a mile, when we came upon the column of infantry moving along in close order and very fast. Not a breath could be heard, nothing but the grating of their feet on the gravel was to be heard. Never did a more earnest or thoughtful column move to meet the enemy. The column proceeded to the river, and we went into battery in the field thirty rods from the bank. The infantry were ferried across in the pontoon boats. One division was already across. Contrary to all expectations not a gun was fired, and we could hear nothing from our position of the advancing column. The out-post guard were gobbled up by surprise and sent over on this side. One escaped and carried the alarm that the Yankees were coming, which was not believed. But the officer of the day with seventeen men reconnoitered the grounds, and they too were "taken in out of the wet" and taken across and put in charge of the guard of the 5th Wisconsin Battery, they being stationed in a bastion on the bank. The out-post very innocently told the story that upon hearing a rustle in the brush which he challenged with a "'Halt! Hush you d—— fool you, the Yankees are right here upon us.' The fust thing I knew you 'uns hed me." While our Division was crossing, long trains of pontoons came up there with a long line of snow-white ambulances which caused the anxious question—"Who will be obliged to be borne in these from the field of battle?" Then came the hospital train, a wagon for each regiment in the Division, loaded with stores to establish a Division hospital.

[Pg 139]

1863 Line to Line

6 A. M. Two divisions were safely across and a more beautiful scene I never witnessed. Through the gray dawn a long line of infantry could be seen drawn up on the opposite banks a mile long, while the waters were covered with boats busily going and coming, loaded with men, the regimental colors standing in the center of the boat. The bridge was now covered, boats brought up, anchored in line, and the floor laid without any delay, the 4th Division marching in the boats and the artillery covering the field. Fires were allowed to be built now and we soon had coffee. It commenced raining, as cold and disagreeable as the day could be. A steamboat was due at 4 A. M. to take us across, but did not come till 6:30 A. M. (an old rebel boat, but rebuilt). Taylor's Battery crossed the river first, and as we were not pressed we waited for the bridge to be built. It was very disagreeable, and I felt almost sick; late hours and irregular meals having brought on diarrhea, etc. A large constellation of stars were gathered on the bank, watching the progress of the bridge, among which were Sherman, Blair, W. F. Smith, chief engineer, etc. The line on the other side in one hour had a line of breastworks up and advanced out of sight to form another.

12 M. The bridge completed and we crossed it, being the second battery to do so. The dread of crossing had passed. Halted at a corn crib and the cannoneers got as much corn as they could, but the infantry was formed and advanced in column of division at secure arms, it raining very heavy. This savage-looking column moved forward with caution, crossed a forty-acre lot and halted. The skirmishers went out but not a gun was fired. Advanced again, the batteries were in column of sections. An occasional gun shot, but we advanced until we were directly under Mission Ridge. Not a reb seen and our infantry soon climbed it. Our line formed on the brow when the artillery moved up. Battery D, 1st Missouri was the first up and soon opened fire on them from the right. Our Battery [Pg 140]started for the left. The "smooth bores" were left on the other side of the river for want of horses, and we had four teams on a carriage, but the hill was too steep for us and two more teams were put on the pieces, and caissons left behind. A detail of two hundred men were sent to our aid with axes, the enemy sending shells over us quite thick. 1st piece failed to advance with the horses. Ropes brought forward and it was hauled up by hand, we following with all haste. By this time a very brisk skirmishing was going on right to our left and rear quite close, and General Matthies came down at the head of his Brigade on double quick, the old general on foot, making fine time. Captain Dillon ordered the howitzer section and Cogswell's Battery to the rear in all haste. The extra teams were unhitched and the pieces unlimbered, and with great difficulty we made a left about, the hill being so steep that it shoved our horses down amongst the infantry that were pouring down. But the cannoneers fastened a rope to the axle-tree, and down we went in good earnest. Halted at the R. R. crossing in a complete jam of infantry, artillery and ambulances near General Smith's headquarters, who knew nothing of our movements and demanded by whose orders we came down. A flank movement by General Longstreet was apprehended, and we were to guard it by order of General Sherman. We stood there in the cold damp evening for half an hour, got a feed of shelled corn from an out-house close by, when we moved back into the first field above General Matthies, and came into camp alongside of Cogswell's Battery and the 2nd and 3rd Brigades of our Division. Unhitched but did not unharness. Our rations were entirely out with the exception of coffee and some cornmeal picked up, so we ate hastily of unsifted mush and coffee.

Three drivers from each piece sent after sheaf oats for horses. I was on the detail and we rode back nearly three miles toward the river. Found the oats all gone, but plenty of good tame hay, of which we took as much as possible. Returned to camp [Pg 141]by 9 P. M. I was nearly exhausted from cold and loss of sleep, having been up since 1 A. M. Lay down in cold and wet blankets.


1863 Mission Ridge

Mission Ridge, Wednesday, Nov. 25. Called up before three in the morning to feed. Suffered very much from cold during the night. The blankets stiff with frost over us. Witnessed an almost total eclipse of the moon and again lay down, but no sleep.

6 A. M. McCook's Brigade of Davis's Division formed in line of battle facing to the left and supporting our artillery, should it be necessary. 1st Section (rifles) reported to be well fortified on the ridge.

9 A. M. Not much fighting as yet, the pickets advancing and skirmishing. A reb battery shells directly over and in rear. One shell twelve-pounder time-fuse dropped ahead of our team and was dug up by the boys. A mule team came up and issued one day's rations of hard-tack.

11 A. M. The 2nd and 3rd Brigades went in on double quick followed by the 11th Corps with crescents flying, a fine looking body of men, but are looked on rather suspiciously by our sturdy veterans. They went in and advanced towards the rebels' works on Tunnel Hill, and musketry rattled very severe.

From that time [till] late in the evening a terrible struggle followed, wounded men coming back thick and fast. Our position was such that we could not witness the field and we were not permitted to leave the teams an instant. Our loss is very heavy especially in officers. The struggle on our side was for the occupation of Tunnel Hill and our line advanced up the steep side of the bluff time after time, but were obliged to fall back, the rebels being reinforced all the time, and could pick them off with ease, the lay of the land being such that they succeeded in flanking the 11th Corps, and they fell back in disorder. But they were received by the 2nd and 3rd Brigade of our Division, and soon compelled to retire.

[Pg 142]

More desperate fighting, it is said by those who witnessed, they had never seen. Our line being for hours under the enemy they rolled stones upon us, wounding many. Three companies of the 5th Iowa were taken prisoners, having used up all their ammunition and would not run. Artillery could not be brought to much use, and my feelings as I staid under that hill, listening to the noise and rattle of the fight, mingled with suppressed cheers of charging parties, and the groans of the wounded as they passed in the long trains of ambulances, or the lighter wounded hobbling back afoot with bleeding and mangled limbs, I cannot describe in words. General Matthies was wounded in the head while leading his Brigade on to the charge. I saw him ride to the rear covered with blood. Colonel Putnam of the 93rd Illinois was killed instantly while waving the colors in front of his men, a noble and much loved officer. The 90th Illinois and 73rd Pennsylvania were literally cut to pieces, and their officers all killed or wounded.

The day closed, and the dark mantle of night was spread over the gory fields. We have gained nothing in the shape of ground all day, but their slaughter must be terrible. Thomas and Hooker were at them all day and it is reported gained great advantage. We had to fight the main body of the army. Lookout was taken yesterday, 2500 prisoners and three pieces of artillery. To-morrow if they stand, will be a final and awful test of strength. Sherman, cool and deliberate, is ready for them. Got corn to feed on the battle-field.


Mission Ridge, Thursday, Nov. 26. After we retired last night with horses unharnessed, a courier came in hot haste with the report "The enemy is coming down upon us in double columns". We were ready to give them a warm reception on short notice, but they did not come, and again we laid down, but left the harness on. They will not catch us napping. It was a chilly, cold night and we suffered much from cold bed. But little rest during the night, and at 3 A. M. we were called [Pg 143]up to feed, which was more of a relief than otherwise. But no man grumbled or complained as we thought of our wounded who lay on the field all night with no covering, and weak from the loss of blood. Their groans could be heard by our men all night, and the friends in rebellion would not permit them to carry relief to them or bring them in. The enemy occupied the contested ground. One, who had a brother lying on the field, started with the determination of relieving him or die in the attempt. True to his determination he was shot dead by the inhuman wretches who would not listen to his plea. Their punishment will be great.

1863 Flight of Bragg

A dense fog settled as the morning approached, so that it was impossible to discern objects two rods distant. Troops commenced pouring down the hill early. The 1st Section joined us. At first we thought it was maneuvering for the day's battle, but the truth was soon known. The wounded pelican of the South had flown during the night, and all their boasts and threats of the re-occupation of East Tennessee has ended in a retreat. We were to go on the chase. The 11th Corps swung around on their rear and flanked their line of retreat, while the 15th Corps reached back to the Tennessee River, and crossed Chickamauga Creek on the pontoon. Halted on the bank two hours to give the advance time to cross. Grazed our horses. 10 A. M. we crossed the bridge in rear of the 1st Brigade. The infantry moved more still and quiet than usual. Thus they come but miss their comrades that fell in yesterday's engagement. Our Division lost * * * killed and wounded. A marked change is to be seen in its ranks. Marched lively the rest of the day through the Chickamauga Valley. The troops were entirely out of rations, the infantry many of them having had nothing to eat but parched corn on which they fought for two days and intrenched by night with pick and spade. Halted at 5. P. M. an hour for supper. Shelled corn was got in plenty for horses from Secesh camp, but the boys many of them supped [Pg 144]on corn and coffee. Artillery firing could be heard in the distance which told us that we were upon their rear.

Moved on till 9 P. M. through Chickamauga Station, where large piles of corn were in a blaze. Twelve thousand bushels of corn are said to be burned here, and a large quantity of cornmeal left of which we were lucky enough to get a good supply. The road for miles was white with meal, spilled as they ran. Caisson bodies left and several blown up. Took twenty-one howitzer shells from one of them into our chests. Came into camp in an open field in rear of the 11th Corps. Made our beds in the leaves and slept sweet till morning light.


Graysville, Ga., Friday, Nov. 27. Started at 8 A. M. Our march lay through a poor country, thinly settled, covered with small pine, swampy soil. All along the road evidence could be seen of the haste of the enemy. Wagons, limbers, wheels, harness, etc. left, but all were destroyed. Reached Graysville at 3 P. M. and came into camp on a steep hillside, a lively little R. R. station on Chickamauga Creek, good water power, cabinet works and flouring mill. The latter was kept running by soldiers of the 11th Corps. A range of mountains commenced here, and our advance came upon the rear of the enemy here this morning, capturing a battery commanded by Beauregard's son. It was harnessed up and ready to move. General Thomas manned it with infantry, took it after them. A brisk fight could be heard at Ringgold, five miles distant. Prisoners and deserters came in thick and fast from every direction. They say they are tired of running and being hunted like beasts. Bragg promised victory and gain to them, instead of which they received nothing but a dastardly retreat and shame with empty bellies.

Foragers doing a good business in the shape of geese, chickens, sheep, etc., few hogs. I was sent by Dixon after hay for the horses. Went about two miles south, and returned with a [Pg 145]good bundle, quite tired in carrying it, but horses fared well for it.

Sat up till late cooking "dodgers" for the morrow's march. It looked like rain, so we ditched about our bed, spread our ponchos over and laid down, tired and sleepy, and I felt nearly worn out, but the thought of following a retreating line kept up my strength and spirit.


1863 After Bragg

Near Chattanooga, Saturday, Nov. 28. Reveille aroused the dreaming camp at 3 A. M. It had been raining nearly all night, but we slept dry and well. Feed call. One of my horses missing. Walked up and down the hills and hollows for over an hour in the search. At last found him. I found breakfast ready, consisting of coffee, corn cake and fresh mutton, which I devoured with a keen appetite. 5 A. M. we started. We were to go back, and faced in that direction. We were glad of it, as both we and the horses were too much worn out to follow, and the roads were getting very bad with the rain and lateness of the season. The excitement was much less. We marched with more labor than if following the enemy, but we knew that plenty of others were on their track, and Bragg's forces scattered, he taking three different roads, showing that he did not intend to risk a general engagement with Grant very soon. Raining heavy all day. The roads very bad and we had much trouble to get along with artillery. All of the batteries of the 15th Corps not in marching condition. Returned with the 3rd Division in charge of Captain Dillon, which were five besides our own. Stopped at Chickamauga Station at noon to feed, gathering corn along the railroad where hundreds of bushels had been scattered by the rebs.

Reached the pontoon bridge over Chickamauga half an hour of sundown. After a long delay it was clear and we crossed. Met General Sheridan and his Division followed by two others, going to relieve Burnside. Came to our old camp before the battle, after night. The rain had ceased and it turned very [Pg 146]cold, and the wind whistled as of old Wisconsin. Unhitched, unharnessed, cleaned off my muddy team, and then with a great deal of chattering and shivering, etc. pitched tents, made our bed on the muddy wet ground. Felt very much like eating a good home supper as prepared by Mary, but after waiting a long time it was substituted by a dish of mush and a cup of coffee and thankful for that. Many of the infantry had nothing but parched corn and no tents, no rails to make a fire; rather tough but I suppose it is honest.


Near Chattanooga, Sunday, Nov. 29. Slept very cold, or rather shivered through the night with little sleep. This morning it is still very cold. Froze quite hard last night. Harnessed the team and "snaked" some firewood, banked our tent, etc. Gathered leaves in them so we were a little better prepared for it. Tried to write home, but my fingers were so numb that I gave it up much to my dissatisfaction, as I know they are anxious for my having not written any since the battle.


Near Chattanooga, Monday, Nov. 30. Cold during the night but comfortable at midday. Wrote a letter to John, signed pay rolls in the afternoon. It is expected we will move soon. Hope it is so as our infantry are in a suffering condition, their tents at Bridgeport and their blankets, many of them, lost on the battle-field. They are scattered through the valley seeking shelter from friendly cliffs, drawing comfort from glowing fires, and trusting fate and fortune for rations, as Uncle Sam fails this time. But hope it will not be so long.


1863 The Flag

Near Chattanooga, Tuesday, Dec. 1. Health good and fine appetite for dodgers, which is all we have, minus salt and extras. Warning given in camp to avoid smallpox. Case in the 12th Battery carried out to the woods this morning. Commenced writing to brother Thomas but interrupted to hitch up for review. Most of the mule teams were required to help us out, and moved out "in fine style". Formed line on the extreme [Pg 147]right of the Division under direction of Captain Dillon. He tried to show off a little by ordering a "trot", but came very nearly showing a failure. The men were ragged, dirty and worn out, so were the beasts, but the fine line of stripes and stars looked as beautiful as ever, intermingled with the blue banners. It is a soldier's privilege to look at it as a friend and boon companion, "may it ever wave".

Soon the inspectors came. The first one was Major General Hunter, inspector general, glittering with military pomp and gaudy tassels, etc. I did not like his appearance. He wore a sandy mustache, and looked as though he might be forty-five years old. He was followed by the modest unassuming Grant, dressed in plain blue, no glitter or decorations except the small stars on his deserving shoulders. He looked much poorer and worse than when I last saw him. By his side was General Smith, surly as ever, and General Meigs alongside of the "war dog" Logan, who it is said is now in command of the 15th Corps. The bands sounded the cheers as they passed, which filled the narrow valley with echo. They passed and the line marched to their encampment.


Near Chattanooga, Wednesday, Dec. 2. Horses fed, cleaned, etc. I commenced writing on letter commenced yesterday, but was again disturbed with orders to hitch up as we were to turn the battery over, horses, harness and all to Chattanooga. Very good news, and therefore promptly obeyed. Took the six pieces and caissons, leaving the battery wagon and forge. The town was farther than I expected, about three miles. Crossed the river on the pontoon bridge (simple but invaluable invention, this pontoon), a "flying ferry" running right above it and well used. It is a novel arrangement, in which the boat is crossed by the strength of the current acting against gates let into the water, it being fastened to a tow-head above by forty rods of rope. After some delay we parked the old battery that we had hauled through the mud of Mississippi, across the bayous [Pg 148]of Louisiana and the mountains of Tennessee, and had belched our terror to traitors from Corinth, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hills, Vicksburg and Chattanooga. Although once wrested from our hands for an instant, success always crowned their labors. We left them alongside of a long line of captured napoleons.

The town was under strict military order, and patrols busy picking up all those found without a pass, so I did not have a chance of going around. Had a strong desire to visit Lieutenant J. Silsby's Battery, but I could not. Returned to camp by 5 P. M. Wrote on T. L.'s letter till dark, when we were assembled for pay at the Captain's tent, it being for the months of September and October. Clothing accounts settled. I was $12.86 behind, therefore did not draw but $19.15, better than some who did not draw any. Turned $15 over to J. Lester, to be expressed home, leaving me but two dollars pocket money.


In Winter Quarters

1863 Scant Rations

Enroute, Thursday, Dec. 3. Moved for Bridgeport, Ala., 7 A. M. All the serviceable horses reported to Lieutenant Harlow of the 12th Battery and were put in the teams. E. P. Dixon took "Reb" for a saddle horse, giving me a pony instead, which exempted my team. Emptied my valise into E. W. E.'s knapsack. My blanket on saddle, Evie's blanket in valise, saddle by my side, and we started in rear of 12th Battery. Double quicked it for the first two miles after which we came into muddy roads and moved slow. Walked about seven miles, taking railroad. Had to wait three or four hours for Battery to come up at South Sides coal mines. A steep stony hill ahead of us, and a long wagon train loaded with artillery horses stuck on it. The Battery did not get started until after sundown. The horses were entirely jaded out, no feed and hard work. Nearly every piece stalled and obliged to double teams. [Pg 149]Tired of waiting and standing in the mud, cold and cheerless we pushed on through the brush until we reached the valley below. We unharnessed and tied to the trees our faithful but hungry steeds, scraped our haversacks for the last crumb, after which we laid down all alone and no "grub" for the morrow, but it worried not our lives.


Bridgeport, Friday, Dec. 4. Awoke at dawn, the ground was white with frost and blankets stiff, although we slept warm. The 12th Battery succeeded in getting over some time during the night. "Ned" gone from the tree. I started in search walking brisk for an hour over the hills and high brush to no avail. Found our boys in squads by fires, having suffered severely during the night. Most of them had no blankets. Returned. Evie started and soon returned astride a fine specimen in the shape of a "sorrel crowbait", mane and tail closely shaven and points very prominent; but he could carry the harness, so he would do. No signs of moving with the batteries. We have nothing to eat, and by this time quite hungry, which induced us to push on in an independent squad. Two miles out found "Ned" standing innocently at a fire, held by an infantry man. Of course I traded. Passed the 1st and 2nd Brigade in camp, also the Division headquarters. Found grain on roadside near Whiteside. Halted to let horses eat. Passed by General Smith and Brigade. Captain Dillon halted and spoke gruffly to us, but finally rode on, and we followed after him. Made serious attempts to buy cornbread of citizens or hard-tack from trains going to the front, but failed. Joined by D. J. Davis, E. F. Hayes and W. H. H. Booth. We journeyed on together.

The sun was very warm, the frozen ground converted into mud. I was afoot. Noon came and hunger became more pointed. We halted to rest in sight of a camp, a brigade in winter quarters. "Council of war" held and the following program determined upon. E. W. E. and E. F. Hayes were to [Pg 150]take the horses and go to the above-mentioned camp and procure something to eat regardless of expense, while we went to "Mica Jack Cave" to await their return. Visited this stupendous piece of God's handiwork and proceeded into it as far as daylight would show us the way. A truly impressive scene, solid rock under one's feet, pure crystal water trickling down its walls, streams fell from above on * * * of rock, which by constant trickling were now smooth and symmetrical. On all sides long ranges of leeches were arranged for saltpetre works. The earth out of which it was obtained was brought from the entrance of the cave, the best of it five miles, in large vats at the mouth for boiling it down. At length the boys came, having succeeded to a charm, as they had a box of condemned crackers thrown aside (being mouldy) out of which they filled their haversacks, and which to us tasted sweeter than honey. We ate heartily and thankfully of these musty crackers and water from the cave, after which I felt much stronger.

Seven miles to Bridgeport, which we made easily by 4 P. M. Endeavored to buy our supper, but the hungry boys of the 1st and 2nd Brigades had cleared the town. Waited until after night for the arrival of the rest of the boys, as we hoped they would have rations, but as they did not appear, D. J. D., E. W. E. and myself started in search of camping ground. It was very dark and we wandered across the large flat covered with logs, stumps and rifle pits in search of the camp of the 3rd Division, from one camp fire to another, until at last we found the train loaded with crackers. Dan succeeded in filling his haversack with crackers from behind a wagon. Honest for a hungry man. Built a large fire by a dead tree, made our bed in the leaves, and after eating a few dry crackers, retired for the night, tired and rather lonesome.


Bridgeport, Saturday, Dec. 5. Had a fine night's rest, also a fine breakfast of fried crackers and coffee. Evie borrowed [Pg 151]the pan, I begged the salt, Dan the coffee, after which went up town, gathered waste grain and fed the famished horses. Ate a pie and water. 10 A. M. the batteries came in, having been obliged to leave their ammunition chest behind, and hard work to come at that. Eight of our horses died on the road. The road is lined on all sides with the dead horses and mules, having died of starvation. Went into camp east of town. Tents came in 3 P. M. Full rations for man and beast. Night found us comfortably quartered and "happy as lambs", infantry singing "Rally, boys, rally" etc. They have just passed through a hard trip, no tents, got scant rations, and were half famished by the time they got here, but there was no grumbling or lagging, each marching cheerfully, parching his corn in the ashes, as corn is stuff to keep up strength; but such boys are invincible while on the field, as on the march, alike jolly and contented.


1863 A Quiet Sunday

Bridgeport, Sunday, Dec. 6. A beautiful Sabbath day. Air soft and balmy, camp remarkably quiet and still. Two large mails received, I the happy recipient of eight letters. Spent most of the day in writing a letter commenced the 1st to T. L., such is the difficulty of letter-writing in the army. Felt tired and worn out indeed and slept considerable of the day. Osterhaus's Division came in and went into camp on our left.


Bridgeport, Monday, Dec. 7. Changed, washed, etc. in the forenoon. Wrote home in afternoon. All quiet in and around camp. Various rumors afloat as to our final destination for the winter. Generally supposed we are to open the road to Corinth. Fine weather for this time of the year.


Bridgeport, Tuesday, Dec. 8. A cold rainy day, very disagreeable in camp; naturally thought much of home and its comforts. But we looked forward to the happy time coming when we will be permitted to join the circle on the old hearthstone [Pg 152]and know war no more. May the day soon come. I am not impatient but anxious.


Bridgeport, Wednesday, Dec. 9. Rain ceased, sun appeared and the deep slushy mud soon dried up. After dinner I was detailed to help take horses to turn them over with Lieutenant Simpson. Took thirty-eight horses and three mules, crossed the bridge on to the island, and had to go up stream two miles to the corral. Its presence was manifested by the stench from far off from the carrion of the dead. They filled for acres the woods to a number almost incredible, starved to death. The corral-master was an old-looking man. We found him in an isolated clapboard house with only two or three inhabitants. He must enjoy the life of a hermit. The corral was a field of ten acres containing three thousand to four thousand head of mules and horses, all much pulled down for want of feed. It was sundown before we turned them over. Had three miles of bad road to camp. Walked it through the dark, lost our track several times. Found a good supper of fried beef and biscuit awaiting us. Spent evening in Griff's tent listening to music of flute and vocal as discoursed by Byness, Parker, etc.


Bridgeport, Thursday, Dec. 10. Sun so hot as to be quite warm. Much like a spring day in Wisconsin. Everybody lively and full of fun, troubled with nothing but "nothing to do", which to me is a serious cup. Gambling among the indulging ones quite brisk. Watches and pens raffled for, etc. A chuckluck doing big business was surprised by a guard in Osterhaus's camp this afternoon and the boys taken to the headquarters of the Division under guard. The idleness and monotony of camp is fearfully demoralizing to many, and inevitably leads to the gaming table if indulged in.


Bridgeport, Friday, Dec. 11. A most beautiful and delightful day, and all the boys merry and light-hearted as larks. It was expected last night that we should march to-day, but instead [Pg 153]we policed camp. Our officers are making a sudden effort toward strict discipline so long neglected, that it is properly called "putting on style" now. C—— put on a day's extra duty under guard by order of Captain ——, more to glut vengeance than justice, I am afraid. Men put on extra duty for not attending roll-call.


1863 "Honest Abe"

Bridgeport, Saturday, Dec. 12. A misty morning which broke into rain, which drizzled all day, enough to make it sun-less and disagreeable outside and chilly in tent for want of fire. Read "Honest Abe's" Message, which in my estimation is true and honest, every word. The old Democrats in camp would like to criticize, but can't find much fault. It is hard to put away party prejudices. Small mail arrived, but none for me.


Bridgeport, Sunday, Dec. 13. The heavy rain of yesterday and last night still continued, and in the afternoon it rained much heavier with strong wind which drove it through the tents, rendering everything wet and uncomfortable. Wrote an imperfect letter to Sister Ellen in A. M. The remainder of the day spent in reading Gleason's Companion which I luckily hit on. Comrades in tent playing "poker" all day "for fun". Laid down at night in wet blankets and aching bones.


Bridgeport, Monday, Dec. 14. Woke up last night to find myself "shaking" at double quick. Shook for nearly an hour and a half as hard and fast as ever, after which a burning fever came on and continued all night. Did not get up to roll call, but watered my horses, after which I was called on guard, the 2nd relief, guarding C——. Cold and windy, rain cleared off. Many of the boys raising their tents, walling them with logs, building chimneys, etc. At night C—— was allowed to go to his tent, so I was relieved from guard. The evening seemed very long with nothing to do or read.


Bridgeport, Tuesday, Dec. 15. Quite cold in the morning but sun soon appeared and warmed up the air as well as the [Pg 154]soldiers' heart. Intended to "fix up" our tent but failed to procure team, so we washed in the forenoon, built a fire in the woods, it resounding on all sides with the axes of the soldiers felling trees, etc., as if it was a chopping bee in the backwoods.

P. M. Wrote a letter to sister. Sewed and darned. The day passed quickly and pleasantly. No mail, though much looked for.


Bridgeport, Wednesday, Dec. 16. Reveille at 5 A. M. Breakfast at 6 A. M. Sick call at 8 A. M. Guard mounting 9 A. M. Water call 10 A. M. Dinner and "feed horses" call 12 M. Water call 3 P. M. Retreat and roll-call 5 P. M. Tatoo 9 P. M. Taps at 9:15 P. M. This is the regular undisturbed routine of camp duty, the same to-day as yesterday, the same yesterday as to-morrow. Nothing to jar the well balanced wheel. On she goes with no interruption, and we hope not for relief from this mental bane of monotony until we will be permitted to take off the uniform and don the citizen's coat, and not obliged to listen to bugle or drum. Blake, Evans and Dixon went to the woods this morning and got out logs to raise the tent. After dinner hauled them up with mule team. A "raise" before night having about three feet of a wall, much more roomy than before but colder. Indications of rain. Expected a wetting through the cracks. All the boys have been very busy in the same way.


1863 Building a "shebang"

Bridgeport, Thursday, Dec. 17. Rained very heavy all night with wind which threatened to overthrow the elevated canvas overhead. Slept warm and dry, and after breakfast Schmidt and myself mudded the "shebang", I acting as chief mason, he carrying the mud. Continued raining most all day and all hands stayed in doors most of the time. Cheerless, were we not used to it. Clothing issued. No mail.


Bridgeport, Friday, Dec. 18. Sharp, cold night, the mud of yesterday frozen hard. Evie and myself started to the hills [Pg 155]to quarry stone for a fireplace after breakfast. Worked hard for two hours and gathered a good load. Waited for a team another hour. None came, so we went to camp after dinner. Blake did the chimney, and we had the gratification at night to have a large blazing fire in our room, now comfortable quarters which looked quite home-like. Stories told with fun, laughter, till late at night.


Bridgeport, Saturday, Dec. 19. Still cold and windy. We were apparently as much pinched as though we were in Wisconsin, notwithstanding a great difference to be seen in the climate. The ground has not been frozen to the depth of four inches here yet. Water open most of the time, while there snow and ice is unceasing at this season. 2nd and 4th Divisions reported to be coming in. After evening roll-call the Company formed in hollow square and listened to an order from General McPherson in regard to veterans re-enlisting which caused quite an excitement. Many talk of re-enlisting.


Bridgeport, Sunday, Dec. 20. Considerable frost this morning, but the boys came out in high spirits, full of fun and very noisy. The fireplaces doing good service to keep up spirits, and all have drawn clothing enough to keep warm. We received no mail or papers for three days, the cars having run off the track this side of Nashville. Captain Dillon left for Nashville this P. M. after artillery equipment. Wrote a letter to brother John. Darned stockings, etc. Signed receipt roll for clothing.


Bridgeport, Monday, Dec. 21. Awakened long before daylight by bugles of the Dutch in Osterhaus's camp to rally the men to prepare for marching, and at daylight ours sounded, which brought us out to roll call, the cold morning air giving electricity to horses and boys, unusually lively and noisy. 1st Brigade of our Division marched by with knapsacks, guns. They told us we were to follow soon. They were followed by [Pg 156]Osterhaus's Division, leaving their comfortable quarters that they had been diligently building for the last week. Mail and papers arrived. Order received at evening roll-call from Sherman permanently transferring the 2nd Division, 17th Corps, to the 3rd Division, 15th Corps, which was met with decided dissatisfaction by most of the boys, as we did not like to leave McPherson.

8 P. M. Assembly sounded to give us the expected orders to march at 8 A. M. to-morrow and make ready knapsacks. Packed, etc.


En route, Tuesday, Dec. 22. Reveille called us before daylight. Breakfast over, tents struck by sunrise. All the horses still to be turned over to the 12th Battery with the exception of enough to draw the battery wagons and forges. The harness had to be hauled in the wagons, so all had to carry blankets, and at the appointed time we "fell in" in marching train, three days' rations in haversacks. Blankets rolled up and slung over shoulder. Strict orders against straggling. A beautiful sunny day. We marched in rear of 12th Battery which advanced with difficulty. Camped at 4 P. M. in a grove, very beautiful and close to good water. Cooked suppers, and large fine blazing rail fires built, by which we sat till late.


Stevenson, Ala., Wednesday, Dec. 23. Broke camp at 8 P. M. and marched to Stevenson. Before we arrived at 11:30 A. M. Osterhaus's train, going in cars, went to camp to the left of town and put up tents in a fine open field.


En route, Thursday, Dec. 24. Lay waiting for orders to move till 10 A. M., when it came—"to strike tents" and march out. Marched through town which was once an active place from appearances. Followed the Nashville road for one mile then turned east through a low swampy bottom, and of course progressed very slowly through mud holes and over corduroys, having to halt frequently to allow trains to close up. [Pg 157]Made coffee. Camped at 4 P. M. Pitched our tents at will in a thicket of oak and pine on a side hill. Rails plenty out of which we made large fires and gathered large piles of leaves for "downy beds." The evening was calm and still, the thick growth above giving our camp a picturesque appearance like a mammoth hall. It was Christmas eve, and many were the loving wishes that "we were home". Game of cards whiled away the hours pleasantly to many. I was suffering with a severe toothache. The very thing to relieve it—lay down early and contrasted past scenes with present, trying to pry into the future, until weary nature lulled pain and homesickness, and I slept to dream of home.


1863 Christmas Marching

Bellefonte, Ala., Friday, Dec. 25. Christmas Night. Awoke, not to the chiming voices of happy children as they cried "Wish you Merry Christmas", but to the notes of the bugle calling us to be ready to move. Struck tents at 8 A. M. Roads much better than those we have passed. Marched fast most of the time, having to go much out of the way to avoid swamps or bluffs. Marched quietly along, absorbed in thinking of home, and what they are doing this Christmas Day. Came into camp late at night near the county seat of Jackson County. The buildings burned and gone to ruin. I was very tired and footsore. No crackers for supper, so we made up the Christmas supper on parched corn and coffee. Tooth ached badly, had but little sleep. During the night rained very heavy.


Larkinsville, Ala., Saturday, Dec. 26. Four small crackers (1/3 day's rations) were issued to us this morning for breakfast, reserving the others for the day's march. Struck tents in a drenching rain, and continued all day. We marched along through the mud and rain, part of the roads exceedingly bad, being a low marshy ground covered with water for miles, timbered with large beech trees and green holly. Scottsboro is a very pretty little station five miles from Larkinsville, headquarters [Pg 158]of the 15th Corps. Warning given not to enter houses as smallpox was prevalent, one house had five patients, another a corpse. Reached this place at 4 P. M. wet, footsore, and quite hungry, and had to wait until after night for rations. 3rd Brigade to go in winter quarters. Plenty of cedar rails.


Larkinsville, Sunday, Dec. 27. Rain, rain, all last night, and to-day I was on guard. Stood with toothache and swollen right side of face in no pleasant mood. Felt cross and lonesome. Foragers sent after corn. Returned with plenty of fresh meat, etc. Larkinsville is situated in a very fertile valley, and citizens well disposed and loyal. Forty miles east of Huntsville, twenty-two west of Stevenson and two hundred twenty-six east of Memphis. 3rd Brigade and 12th Battery busy at work hauling stones, timber, etc. for winter quarters.


Larkinsville, Monday, Dec. 28. Rain ceased and sky cleared off. Sun shone down on mud six inches deep on level. Camping ground staked out and tents ordered to be moved into position. Blake gone out after fresh meat. Dixon and Evie started after cedar timber to wall the tent. I snaked them down with horse team. By night we had tent up, four feet red cedar logs with bed of cedar boughs. Rather cold bed. Blake and Snyder [Seiders?] returned with half a porker. Snyder [Seiders?] changed with Schmidt and came into our mess and tent.


Larkinsville, Tuesday, Dec. 29. Warm and pleasant. Long train sent foraging under escort. Snyder sent on detail. Hauled stone from bluff and put up fireplace and chimney, mudded up, etc. Streets of the Battery presenting a lively appearance, men's sleeves rolled up, coats off, rolling stones, chopping, making mud buildings of every fancy and description to suit the proprietors. Soldiers are not lazy when they work for their own immediate interest.

4 P. M. Snyder's [Seiders?] horses led into camp by infantry men loaded with five hogs, twenty-six chickens. Guards took [Pg 159]him to headquarters, but he outgeneraled them by sending off the game which they wanted, therefore he was returned.


Larkinsville, Wednesday, Dec. 30. Cold and cloudy day. I suffered much from neuralgia and toothache, from which I could get no rest. Dressed the two hogs brought yesterday, and salted them. The chickens hung up for New Year's. We drew rations for the tent and cooked at the fireplace, a family of our own. Camp still busy improving. Women and boys in camp trading cornbread off for coffee and salt, etc. with the soldiers. Eight hundred rounds of powder ammunition received by Lieutenant Clark for new battery. Unloaded and stored down town.


Larkinsville, Thursday, Dec. 31. Wet and disagreeable. Rained all night and day. Water running into our houses so as to threaten drowning us out. So we stole lumber enough from a deserted house to build us bunks, E. W. and myself on the upper shelf four feet above, where I laid and tossed from pain until late; the other bunk underneath. Could not sleep and I thought of the closing year that we had commenced two hundred miles west of here on a tedious march from Germantown to Lafayette, and since then travelled many a hundred miles of rebel country, meeting the enemy and winning.


1864 Reenlistment?

Larkinsville, Friday, Jan. 1, 1864. The new year came in very cold with a little snow, the first of the season. Ground frozen several inches in depth. Veteran enlistments began this morning. John Eagion headed the list and was followed by eighteen before breakfast, which continued rapidly through the day accompanied with considerable excitement and hesitation. Thus New Year's day was spent, a striking contrast to those that our minds were continually turning to. A good supper for a soldier, of "chicken fixin" which helped to make us very contented during the long evening.


[Pg 160]

Larkinsville, Saturday, Jan. 2. Continued very cold and freezing. Good fires and comfortable quarters, very essential to keep warm. Captain Dillon arrived from Nashville, reports battery [of new guns] on the way. Enlistment yet the talk. I have serious thoughts upon it. I am confident that it is the best thing for us recruits. Griff, Dan and others in the same way; if one goes, all go. A dance held down town by "Alabam" gals and Yankee soldiers. Running rumor afloat that we are to leave our quarters soon for Huntsville. Don't like it.


Larkinsville, Sunday, Jan. 3. Little warmer to-day. Stormed a little. It is hoped by many that a sufficient number will enlist so as to return to the state and reorganize. Forty-eight on the rolls now, ninety-eight required. Y—— returned to the Battery, having been under guard at headquarters ever since we left Gilbertsboro. Court-martialed and punishment read at evening roll call, the loss of two months' pay for offering violence to superior officers and slandering. Dillon received orders, it is said, to allow Battery to stay where they are if they are comfortably quartered.


Larkinsville, Monday, Jan. 4. Rained heavy all night. Cloudy and misty all day. Many to-day expressed their willingness to re-enlist, if allowed to return to the state and elect their own officers. At evening roll-call Lieutenant Simpson called all those desiring to return to the state under their old officers to step to the front. But none desired to under those conditions, as they desire to choose their own officers. Mail arrived. I received news of the 27th ult. from Brother John. Quite ill, but true to his custom wrote on the last Sunday of the month, having not missed one through the year.


Larkinsville, Tuesday, Jan. 5. Rain of yesterday ceased and it is a soft sunny day, everything calm and quiet in camp, it being the last day allowed for enlisting. But nobody goes forward. 12 M. assembly sounded and a telegraphic dispatch [Pg 161]from the war department stating three-fourths of the actual number present would take the organization home, etc. If Captain Dillon would express his determination to command the Battery, a sufficient number would go in, to go home, as the boys would rather have him with all his faults, than ——, incompetent to command.


Larkinsville, Wednesday, Jan. 6. Cold and freezing. Everything quiet, the theme of the last five days having been dropped since the time expired. At evening roll call marching orders were read to us to leave at 8 A. M. in the morning. All extra baggage, harness, etc. loaded on cars and a detail of twenty men to accompany them. Camp was still at an early hour. All felt bad at being obliged to leave their comfortable quarters, so recently built by hard labor, and face the stern, hard march. None of the quarters were to be destroyed as they were to be occupied by troops coming in to occupy the place.


1864 "Merciless Drivers"

Near Paint Rock River, Ala., Thursday, Jan. 7. Reveille woke us to prepare for the march at 4 A. M. Breakfast cooked and eaten. Tents struck and loaded in due time. I was detailed to stay with the wagons, and did not start for half an hour after Battery left. The roads are frozen and very rough, the weather extremely cold, the air damp and filled with frozen mists, covering our clothes with ice and sleet. The troops marched fast and kept warm, but the train moved slow and tedious, wagons sticking in ruts, mules giving up, lying down in the road; to receive beastly cruelty from merciless drivers, and horrid oaths from impatient wagon masters. Often obliged to put our shoulders to the wheel to get along. Suffered severely from the cold with bare hands.

2 P. M. came upon the officers' wagon on side of the road, axle-tree broken, where we had to stop and take on the load, and it followed in the rear, with a pole for wheel. A little farther on passed the battery wagon and forge, both wheel teams [Pg 162]having given out, and abandoned and waiting for men to be sent back. Passed through Woodville at 4 P. M. Crossed Paint Rock River at dark, having yet three miles to camp through a low wet bottom, timbered thickly with large tall beach, and it grew very dark. Sergeant Runyan drew his wagons one side to wait till morning, but Lieutenant Clark ordered them on.

I reached camp with our wagon at 9 P. M. after much trouble. I never was out in a darker night. Boys were scattered along the road for miles doing the best they could to keep warm and escape the storm, as it began to snow very heavy. Found a bedfellow and joined a squad in an old field where we made shelter between two old corn cribs from the shakes. Built a roaring fire. Received mail, and I was happy to read by the light of the rails of home. Made our beds on the rough frozen ground and slept well till morning.


1864 Sleeping in Cotton

Brownsboro, Ala., Friday, Jan. 8. Arose in good time, while it was broad daylight, and found that one of the party had his hat burned up during the night. An inch of snow on the ground, and it was chillingly cold. But a small portion of the train came up last night, therefore did not move until nearly noon. The roads were slippery and hard to travel. E. W. E. and I took the R. R. After a hard march of ten miles we reached Brownsboro at 4 P. M. on Flint River, the terminus of the R. R. communications as yet. Here we found the boys that had come through on the cars. Cooked our supper by their fires and went in search of shelter for the night. Seven of us in the squad found a cotton patch in the middle of a dense forest with a cotton pen. Built a crib of rails, crammed a foot of cotton into it and covered with the rubbers. The wagon road seen on the opposite side of a range of mountains, and the Brigade had not yet come up. Nigger Henry had kindly taken my blankets on his horse in the morning and was now with the Battery. We could hear the rattle of the wagons coming in from a distance, and as I was in much need of my blankets I started [Pg 163]to meet them, but found they had camped three-quarters of a mile back. Climbed a little hill and the hundreds of fires burned brightly in the distance, whither I turned myself. Wandered through the city of lights some time before I found the Battery, found my blankets, thanked Henry for carrying them, and turned my steps towards my bedfellow in the woods. Taking a bee line, I thought to find them there. I tugged through a dense thicket of briar and underbrush, scratched my face, tearing my clothes, and in water to the tops of my boots most of the time. It was very dark, but still I kept on certain of finding them. Suddenly the light blazed up before me and I found them going to bed at 9 P. M. I was tired out and footsore.


Huntsville, Ala., Saturday, Jan. 9. I felt very good on our "downy" bed, so good that I did not wake up till broad daylight. Rolled up our blankets in great haste and started toward camp, as we were out of rations, but we found the Battery moving and were obliged to "fall in" with an empty stomach, as a reward for our straggling. Flint River was crossed on mule wagons, which were very slow, obliging us to stand on the banks for nearly an hour. It was freezing very hard and all were chilled through. The natives say it was the coldest day known for years. Animals and wagons covered with ice. Cooked coffee on the other side while the remainder of the Brigade crossed. By that time we were ready to follow with our breakfast eaten. Marched very fast through a beautiful country interspersed with a low range of bluffs of the Cumberland Range. Good timber and beautiful water. Sun shone in the afternoon making roads muddy and slippery, very tiresome walking. Met John A. Logan and staff going back afoot from Huntsville.

4 P. M. Coming around the point of the bluff we could see Huntsville in the valley below three miles distant. And weary as I was I could but enjoy the beautiful scenery before me [Pg 164]greatly. The sun shone brightly on the snow-covered roofs of this beautiful town with their tall church spires raising their snow-capped peaks to the heavens as a witness of better and happier days gone by. On either side broad fields with beautiful mansions were spread to view, the whole enclosed by the frost-covered range of low mountains. Marched through the town with colors flying and bands playing, much to the satisfaction of the large crowds of contrabands that flocked at every corner. Came into camp a mile north of the town on Russell Hill. Old quarters here were soon taken possession of by the boys. I was very tired.


Huntsville, Sunday, Jan. 10. Notwithstanding that all were very tired from the fatiguing march of the past three days through severe weather, the camp reverberated with the sound of axe, saw and lumber, erecting quarters for the third time this winter. Teams busy and in great demand hauling lumber and brick, of which there is plenty. Our tent is back with the boys on the R. R.; therefore E. W. E. got a load of lumber and built a hut in accordance with our means, and by night had it up and covered with shakes. Slept in it but it was quite cold.


Huntsville, Monday, Jan. 11. Worked quite hard all day building fireplace. Had to carry much of the brick on our shoulders twenty rods, but we had completed it by night, and had the satisfaction of sitting by the fire in the evening. Draws well.


1864 New Quarters

Huntsville, Tuesday, Jan. 12. Pleasant in the middle of the day, but freezing severely at night. Eight teams sent back to Flint River after the two pieces, also two loads of ammunition. Returned early. Busy most of the time completing "shebang". Very small, but quite cozy for two soldiers. It is 6 ft. by 8 ft., 41/2 ft. high on the side. Door is in front, 18 in. by 30 in., by side of which is chimney—18 in. stack. Bunk in back, 4 ft. [Pg 165]wide. At the foot of it is the writing desk, opposite is hard-tack box for cupboard, etc.


Huntsville, Wednesday, Jan. 13. Wrote letter home. Mail arrived. None for me. Sadly disappointed. Camp is comparatively still. Quarters nearly complete and look well. The boys' tents in one line of sight; tents with non-commissioned officers in rear. Kitchens erected on the left for company cooks. Remainder of men and things came up from the river to-day on railroad cars hauled by mules. Dixon's Company setting up their tent, but we will live alone.


Huntsville, Thursday, Jan. 14. Calm and quite warm. Spent the day in writing and reading novelettes, an effective way of killing time, but very profitless. On duty in the forenoon to haul bricks for section mess shanty.


Huntsville, Friday, Jan. 15. Little rain last night and looks like more. Quite muddy and disagreeable. Another large mail received, among which was one for me from my aged father in his own handwriting and language; gave me much pleasure to peruse. Cousin Griffith quitted the officers' mess this afternoon and came in with us.


Huntsville, Saturday, Jan. 16. Warm and pleasant day. D. J. Davis and myself ordered to report to Dr. Coleman at 9 A. M. He set us to work building a chimney. Finished it by supper time. Camp and men inspected at 10 A. M. by Captain Budlong, A. I. G. and Captain Dillon, chief of artillery, giving orders that after reveille all tents to be swept out and blankets doubled. A ball was announced to be held to-night in town and many of the boys attended, but found to their chagrin that it was a nigger dance. Some returned crestfallen, others enjoyed the joke by "tripping" with the "colored sisters".


[Pg 166]

Huntsville, Sunday, Jan. 17. A pleasant day. Meeting was announced to be had at 2 P. M. in the Presbyterian Church. Obtained permission and went down, but found none, it being held at 6 P. M. Walked over town. Visited the waterworks of the city, which is the largest of the kind South, with the exception of one at Columbia, S. C. A large stream gushes out of the solid rock under the courthouse, which is dammed about four feet and propels a large water wheel which works a powerful force pump that forces water all over the city, furnishing a hydrant at every corner. Pump is enclosed in a neat stone house. Returned to camp for supper and evening roll-call, then we walked back again. The church was very neat and filled with soldiers, but one woman in the audience. Chaplain of 18th Wisconsin officiated, of the Calvinistic school, and but ill agreed with my views, but it seemed good to be once more listening to an earnest speaker and hear the old-fashioned tunes swell in the bass voices that filled the room. Returned to camp, if not better, a more thoughtful man. It was the second sermon I have listened to since leaving home, and in common with all soldiers, I have acquired a careless and light way of passing time.


Huntsville, Monday, Jan. 18. An idle day in camp. Nothing of interest. Griff and myself went to town on pass, made a few purchases. Camp policed. Lieutenant Simpson went to Stevenson. Weather cold. No news or no mail.


Huntsville, Tuesday, Jan. 19. Washing day, which duly occupied the forenoon. Afternoon spent in writing letters, etc. Evening long and spent in listening to old Welsh tunes, hymns and songs sung by Griff and Evie.


1864 "Style"

Huntsville, Wednesday, Jan. 20. Health good. Plenty to eat and nothing to do. Foragers brought in several hogs. D. J. D. gave us a piece of ribs which we roasted before the fire, a fine dinner out of it. —— and —— of our Battery in jail in [Pg 167]town for robbing an old gray-haired negro after dark while on his way home from the camp, where he had been to sell corn-cakes. Special orders from Captain Dillon read to us at retreat. Orders squad and battery drill each day from 9 A. M. to 10 A. M. and from 2 P. M. to 3 P. M.; four roll-calls a day, 6 A. M., 11 A. M., 6 P. M. and 8 P. M. all to appear in full uniform. "Style".


Huntsville, Thursday, Jan. 21. As ordered yesterday, the drill call sounded at 9 A. M. and we fell in. Lieutenant Clark drilled in infantry drill for half an hour, and then had the chief of platoon drill them until the recall was sounded. The same in the afternoon. Rather awkward at first, but it is easier to remember than learn.


Huntsville, Friday, Jan. 22. Arose with a slight cold and swollen face from the inflamed nerve of defective tooth. On fatigue all day, hauling rubbish from front of Battery, till at night I was almost sick from headache and cold. Escaped the drill to-day.


Huntsville, Saturday, Jan. 23. Did not drill to-day. In order to prepare for inspection to-morrow all the old harness overhauled, and all ordnance stores gathered preparatory to be turned over to the ordnance officers. My face much swollen and very sore. Weather is most delightful. The sun shines as soft and warm, birds chirp as lively as they would in Wisconsin in the last of April. Policed all the grounds in the afternoon. Inspector Budlong condemned the harness, and all marked "C". Order from General Smith read at retreat in regard to desertion.


Huntsville, Sunday, Jan. 24. My face much swollen yet and exceedingly painful. Was on guard, 1st relief. The weather was warm and I felt unwell, sick headache and aching limbs, but I stood my guard. Clothing inspection by Captain Dillon [Pg 168]at 9 A. M. He was very particular, found much fault with the service-worn clothes in which we have marched through mud and rain, sleeping on the wet ground, etc. He seemed to have but little sympathy with his privates, but is determined they shall "look well". Most of the boys attended meeting two or three times during the day.


Huntsville, Monday, Jan. 25. A delightful night to stand guard. Mail came in while I was on, 10 P. M. I received one from brother T. L. which I read by the pale light of the moon while walking my silent beat, contrary to military rule, but the moments passed fleeting by, and my mind wandered where it ever flies—to the home of my parents and brothers and sisters dear, and methought that even then could I but know their thoughts, they were wandering in the dreary land for me in the mystical South. Did they see me then walking my beaten path in the still quiet moonlight? Relieved from guard at 5 A. M. and as I felt very weak and sick, went to bed. Did not get up till 9 A. M. Felt much refreshed, a little better. All the Batteries' guard were mounted together and inspected by the officer of the day of the "Battery Corps" with all the paraphernalia of regulars. General Smith is making desperate efforts to bring his headstrong Division to the standard required in description, resorting to means almost tyrannical, but he never can make mere human machines of the intelligent, strong-minded volunteers. They did not leave their homes for holiday pomp and style, but to do their duty in saving their country from ruin. All other objects to them are void of interest and will not be pursued.


Huntsville, Tuesday, Jan. 26. Another beautiful day full of sunlight and comfort, and I am in good trim to enjoy it. Drill call sounded as usual, but instead of drilling we policed about three acres of ground by order of Captain Dillon for two hours in the forenoon, and in the afternoon the brush, paddle and broom were plied with industry hardly ever equalled on [Pg 169]such occasions. Teams sent to Flint River and returned at night with the remaining four guns, and parked in proper positions. Rumor of a rebel cavalry force advancing. Two regiments gone out, others under orders.


1864 Camp Routine

Huntsville, Wednesday, Jan. 27. Reveille sounded at 5:30 A. M. Roll call at 6 A. M. Blankets to be hung out for airing, quarters swept out and surroundings. Clothes to be brushed off and blankets to be doubled up and laid at the head of the bed in time for camp inspection at 9 A. M. by officer of the day, which to-day is Lieutenant Amsden, 12th Battery. Guard mounted at 8 A. M. in front of headquarters by Lieutenant Simpson, acting adjutant for the Battalion. 9 A. M. fell in for drill. Drilled for two hours in company by General * * *. The grounds are getting smoothed off and hard as a floor. 12 M. roll call. Dinner from the section cooks. 2 P. M. another two hours' drill in squads under the chief of pieces.

5 P. M. Formed in for dress parade in rear of the tents, in front of Captain's tent, our Battery on the right, Cogswell's on the left, and 12th in the center. After it was formed by Simpson, Captain took us through battalion drill for half an hour, very strict. When we broke ranks I was quite tired and almost footsore from drilling. Indeed, it gives us little time to ourselves. Cars came in this afternoon for the first time, the whistle of the engine responded to by a hundred cheers by the boys. Cavalry came in, reported the rebels repulsed.


Huntsville, Thursday, Jan. 28. Up bright and early as usual. Breakfast, swept, brushed, washed, combed, etc. ready for the routine of duty, when I was notified that I was on detail to go with the forage train, which was then waiting. Fell in with a long train under quartermaster of 18th Wisconsin. Went on the turnpike to the west, travelled about eight miles through a somewhat winding road, but beautiful country. It was rolling enough to make it varied, with good timber where not cultivated. [Pg 170]Old fields containing 50 to 600 acres lying idle, apparently for three years or more, which was running wild into prairie. The general appearance of the country was much like extensive farming regions. North of them were wealthy Southern plantations, much more attention being paid to grain raising than to cotton. Numerous stacks of wheat were stacked unthreshed, and broad fields of corn unhusked, the land under a medium state of cultivation. I could but think with Northern enterprise and intelligence, with free and willing hands to do the work, what lovely and fruitful farms could be built in such a delightful climate. Obtained plenty of corn on a large plantation which all the whites had left, leaving a large flock of negro women and children unprovided for, and seemed delighted to see us until some of the boys took unallowed privileges of the chicken coop, which they earnestly protested against. Returned to camp at sundown well pleased with my ride of sixteen miles and my observations therein, having also escaped the drill, etc. Camp had again been swept up, ammunition packed in gun limbers. Lieutenant Clark gone to Nashville after horses. Lieutenant Jenawein in command of Battery and appeared to-day with shoulder straps on for the first time. Looks fine and soldier-like.


Huntsville, Friday, Jan. 29. Drilled Company. Drilled under Jenawein in forenoon and afternoon. Parade at 4:30 P. M. Captain put us through for about thirty minutes on quick time and appeared well pleased with the maneuvering. He is getting very strict. One of the boys on extra duty all day for slight mistake at guard mount this morning. Weather still continues beautiful. Rebel cavalry still reported in the front, very active. Two regiments went out late last night.


Huntsville, Saturday, Jan. 30. Little rain to-day. Very fine, like spring. No drill, and rain prevented parade in the evening. Orders to prepare for knapsack inspection to-morrow [Pg 171]morning 8 A. M. Lieutenant Simpson at morning roll-call told us he was going to furnish us with brush and blacking, and desired all to appear with polished boots and equal our neighbors of the 12th, but could not obtain a second lot. Dr. Coleman sent for D. J. D. and myself, and presented us with a can of condensed milk for building up his chimney. His name ought to be written in letters of gold as one of a thousand, the friend of the private.


1864 Sabbath in Camp

Huntsville, Sunday, Jan. 31. Sunday morning dawned as bright and beautiful as though it was in the spring of the year. Knapsack inspection 8 A. M. by Lieutenants Simpson and Jenawein. 9 A. M. guard mounted and I was on the first relief. Formed in front of headquarters. Opened ranks and underwent a close inspection, after which we were marched to the guard house in front of the Battery. Relieved the old guards, where we were obliged to remain for the next twenty-four hours. Most of the boys attended church at town, but with me the hours wore heavily upon my hands. My comrades amused themselves in boisterous games of cards. Profanity used in a fearful degree, thoughtlessly and heedlessly. I endeavored to write a letter to sister Jane in the afternoon, but met with poor success, and when I was called on to walk my beat in calm twilight I felt relieved, and a thousand pleasant dreams and anticipations crowded upon my memory. Received a letter from brother John written one week ago. He was surrounded by the benign influence of a quiet home and carried with it like feeling to my longing spirit.


Huntsville, Monday, Feb. 1. Very heavy rain last night accompanied with strong wind, and my last turn from three to five was very uncomfortable. Cleared off early and we had a fine day. Excused from drill in forenoon. Dress parade and battery drill at 4 P. M. Put us through on quick time, which was wearisome. Broke ranks to eat a supper of sour, clammy [Pg 172]bread and coffee, which of course caused dissatisfaction among the boys. Mail arrived, but none for me.


Huntsville, Tuesday, Feb. 2. Monotony of camp was broken to-day by cheering down on our left at 12 M. and soon General Smith and staff rode through camp, who was joined by Captain Dillon, and immediately orders were given to march a gun detachment to the guns immediately and fire a salute in honor of the 59th and 48th Indiana, who were about to start for home as veterans. The three Batteries were soon ready, "cocked and primed". Captain Dillon as usual in quite a flurry. Ordered Lieutenant Simpson to his quarters in a passion, then told us the salute was to be commenced on the right, each gun to fire in succession, at the raising of the flag for a signal, "and boys, I want you to give three of the d——st cheers you ever gave between each gun". After a little waiting the heroes marched along in the valley below, headed by the Brigade band. Up goes the flag and a volume of dense white smoke is emitted from the gun on the right, accompanied with the thunder, then another and another, and all have fired in rapid succession, fourteen in all. Our guns were fired for the first time, giving a crack which almost demolished my "tympanum". Act No. 2, cheer after cheer arose from the homeward bound veterans, and by the Batteries hat waving, etc. Well do they deserve the honor, and gladly was it given. Together we have struggled on every field of strife and won. They have the wishes and gratitude of the comrades they leave behind. May they have a happy time of it at home with relations and sweethearts. Retired to parade ground on double quick, and broke ranks full of sunlight. H. S. Keene, chief of artillery clerk, is going with them on furlough. A fortunate man. A shoulder strap for a friend.


Huntsville, Wednesday, Feb. 3. Colder night than we have had for two weeks. Water frozen a quarter of an inch and [Pg 173]obliged to tuck up close to sleep warm. Instead of the usual drill this morning, was general policing, ground to be swept from rear of quarters to behind the guard house, about five acres. Guard house and kitchen whitewashed. A well started. I climbed Russell Hill for evergreen boughs for brooms in company with a couple of others, and managed it so as not to return until nearly recall; that is soldiers' strategy. "Do no more than you can" is the motto.


Huntsville, Thursday, Feb. 4. Cold night but pleasant day. Nothing of importance to mar the general routine of camp life. Had to put in our regular drill under Sergeant Hood. Camp was inspected P. M. by the medical director of the 15th Corps, seeing after the sanitary condition of the troops. A short drill at parade and got through without incurring the displeasure of the commanding officer. Broke ranks to receive an unusually large mail, which was soon dealt out to the eager soldier boys. Some went away light-hearted, others sorely disappointed.


Huntsville, Friday, Feb. 5. Rainy day, consequently no drill. Laid in quarters all day reading papers received from home. No mail, no news. Poor fare makes such days as these hang heavily and moodily, and I found it uncommon hard to keep a cheerful face upon it. All the disagreeable things seemed to be heaped up for my particular benefit. But I did not allow my feelings much sway and amused myself in reading, which always has a charm for me, and went to bed at night with a satisfied but a homesick heart.


1864 Novel Reading

Huntsville, Saturday, Feb. 6. A wet night and muddy morning. On guard—to appear on guard mounting with polished boots, all things accordingly. Spent the hours not on duty reading Ned Buntline's thrilling tale of the times Ella Adams. One hundred horses distributed to the three Batteries by chief of artillery, having received them from [Pg 174]Nashville. We had thirty-two beautiful animals, large and fat. —— and J. Keller returned, the former after five months' confinement in military prison at Vicksburg, the other from hospital, wounded at Champion Hills. They were gladly welcomed.


Huntsville, Sunday, Feb. 7. Rough night for the guard. Rainy and cold. The countersign "Vicksburg" which gave rise to musings which aided in forgetting time. Relieved at 9 A. M. Attended church in company with Griff, E. W. and D. J. D. Service was held in the Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopal churches at the same hour (10 A. M.) Curiosity prompted to attend the latter, an elegant furnished church of unique construction, Gothic style, poorly arranged for sound. The civilians were apparently of the aristocratic class, mostly women, equalling the military in numbers. The white-robed minister was a young intelligent Irishman, I should judge. A good choir with the deep-toned organ opened the service with fitting music, after which prayers were read and ceremonies performed for nearly an hour and a half, which to me was mere mockery of religion, reading their desires to God from an established formula, but careful always to omit the prayer for the President of the U. S. A. It was not worship. Ah no! the heart was cold. It was but Phariseeical affectations. A short sermon on charity was read at the close. Very good, the effect of which was tested by passing the plates which were returned well laden with "soldier greenbacks". The money of that government they will not pray for is very acceptable. I returned to camp, although not pleased with the exercise, yet I trust, benefited. The solemn notes of the organ had awakened feelings that are too apt to lie dormant in the soldier's breast, those that raise the mind above the din of common life, and look to a future of immortality, purity, which all hope to obtain ere long. "Heaven is my home".


[Pg 175]

Huntsville, Monday, Feb. 8. Fine sunny day. Signed payroll in the morning, which was a pleasant duty as the "locker" is getting light. Several articles were stolen from camp lately and a guard was detailed to watch the quarters after night. 3 P. M. assembly sounded and all men forbidden entering their tents, while Lieutenant Jenawein, Sergeant Hauxhurst, and Corporal Neefe searched the quarters. One revolver was recovered in the Battery; 12th Wisconsin Battery, under the same process. Dillon very angry.


Huntsville, Tuesday, Feb. 9. Called on before finishing my breakfast to go foraging with Baker. Two wagons from the Battery fell in with a train of 150 wagons. Drove fast nine miles south where there were one hundred negroes at work for the government, husking. Protected by infantry. Entered a field of 1,000 acres. Corn already jerked. Soon loaded and started back at the head of the train. Arrived in camp by 3 P. M. Unloaded. Not very tired, but exceedingly hungry, having had nothing since morning. Peter Green returned. Mail arrived. None for me.


1864 Discipline

Huntsville, Wednesday, Feb. 10. A pleasant warm day. Nothing of interest in camp to write about. Health and spirits of the boys very good. But the mind chafes under the fetters thrown around it by military discipline and style, which results in a goodly amount of cruelty by many, while the officers too often seek but to irritate such feelings the more. Twelve guards are detailed every day, six of whom are to watch the quarters after taps. No use, and intended only as punishment, which causes the just to suffer, bringing us on every five days instead of seven.


Huntsville, Thursday, Feb. 11. Very cold night. Heavy frost. Owing to the heavy guard details, I was on guard, consequently exempt from other duties. A long and tedious day in the guard house and on post. 3rd Brigade broke up camp [Pg 176]this morning and have gone to Knoxville, it is said, which reminds us that we likely will soon follow. 4th Minnesota is on the Tennessee River at Whitesburg, ten miles south, where preparations are being made to throw a pontoon bridge across. Cavalry ever on the move to and fro. Clothing issued. All compelled to dress up for parade, etc. Caisson, etc. arrived.


Huntsville, Friday, Feb. 12. The caissons that were brought up late last night were dressed in their proper position, completing our park. They are rifle caissons and will have to be remodelled before ammunition can be packed. Several boxes of ordnance stores arrived, but some yet on the road. Cloudy, foggy day with signs of rain. Feel unwell. Feverish, headache, from a slight cold caught on guard. 12th Battery went to town this afternoon to draw their guns. Did not return for parade, which was hastily dismissed.


Huntsville, Saturday, Feb. 13. Nights very cold, day warm and cloudy. Assembly sounded at 8 A. M. with orders to "turn out" and police the park and grounds speedily, as we expected to march to town for pay at 10 A. M. No drill or parade, but we did not get paid off. Camp unusually lively during the day. Ball playing and the boxing gloves in constant use. At night a merry dance went on in the open air with music from the fiddle and bow. Ladies dispensed with from necessity. Mail arrived but none for me.


Huntsville, Sunday, Feb. 14. Raining heavily most of the day. Clothing inspection at 8 A. M. by Lieutenant Simpson, with the reading of Sunday orders. Weather prevented our attending church. 3 P. M. two agents of the Christian Enquirer and Covenant. 3 P. M. two agents of the Christian Commission held divine services under the tree in front of the tent to the members of the 6th and 12th Batteries. The afternoon was disagreeable but a large crowd turned out to listen. Preached [Pg 177]from the parable of the Sower, and advanced ideas that to me were inconsistent and offensive.


Huntsville, Monday, Feb. 15. Raining and disagreeable. On guard again. Five men in guard house for changing off on guard duty. Sixteen guards detailed. Health very good.


Huntsville, Tuesday, Feb. 16. Weather quite cold and windy. Court-martial convened with Dillon for president, to try the case of —— and others. In session all day.


Huntsville, Wednesday, Feb. 17. Weather cold—freezing hard. Seventeen recruits and T. J. Hungerford arrived this afternoon from the State. Thirty-six more expected soon. Two hours' drill as usual in the morning. Parade P. M. Report of the court-martial read at parade by Adjutant Simpson. Honorably acquitted, as they did it by consent of corporal of the guard. Corporal —— arrested for granting such consent.


Huntsville, Thursday, Feb. 18. Camp policed early. 9 A. M. Company marched down town to receive pay for the months of November and December, 1863. Returned at 2 P. M. Camp and park inspected by Captain Budlong, I. G. of the Division.


Huntsville, Friday, Feb. 19. Weather continued raw and cold. On guard. Suffering from a severe cold and the hours passed slowly and heavily. No drill. No mail.


1864 "A Confiscated Fence"

Huntsville, Saturday, Feb. 20. As soon as breakfast was over I hitched a new team and drove out to a confiscated fence, a mile off, for a load of lumber, as the two Hungerfords were desirous of coming in with us, and we must build a larger one [hut]. After we were all loaded, a guard commanded us to unload, but after some talk allowed us to leave in quiet with our lumber. Tore down our "humble cot" and six of us went to work in earnest to erect a more commodious one. Had no tent. Built it entirely of lumber. Had it almost completed by [Pg 178]night. Was quite tired, with a settled cold on my lungs, almost sick.


Huntsville, Sunday, Feb. 21. Weather a little milder. Milton Hungerford and I attended the Methodist church in the forenoon. Service in the Battery in the afternoon by agent of Christian Commission. Mail arrived. Received a long looked for letter from Hannah. Twenty-one days on the road.


Huntsville, Monday, Feb. 22. All the house on foraging detail. T. J. being unwell, was excused, so he stayed at home to take care of family. Train in charge of Lieutenant Jenawein travelled in southwesterly direction fifteen miles. Walked most of the way. Jerked our corn from a five hundred acre field. The 2nd and 3rd Divisions' train out storing corn at Madison Depot. Returned by sundown, awful tired, and with severe sore throat. Evie was mounted and procured four chickens and a hog in exchange for coffee. Also got a mutton for shebang.

A salute of thirty-six guns was fired by the Battery during our absence in honor of Washington's Birthday. Sorry that I was not present. At night a grand ball was to be held by shoulder straps in town, but they failed to find but four ladies to join in their festivities. They ended in a drunken carousal, their maniac yells rending the midnight air. The enlisted men met with better success I understand, and had a gay time. They could not obtain the liquor owing to the restriction on trade. When will such corruption among military men be stopped?


Huntsville, Tuesday, Feb. 23. To-day we were all on guard again, having had but three days' rest. I was third relief. P. Green for misdemeanor (noticed by none but ——) at guard mounting was put under guard, and sentenced to hard labor digging stumps for five days, a piece of cruel despotism and tyranny. Lieutenant Hood returned, having come in charge of [Pg 179]a squad of infantry recruits. Ours were left in Camp Randall. Sergeant Hamilton had a recruiting commission for the 36th Infantry with good show for commission. Throat swollen and very painful. Caused a heavy fever and it was difficult to keep moving on my beat.


Huntsville, Wednesday, Feb. 24. Weather once more very mild and pleasant. Laid in tent all day. Throat pains me severely. Tonsils much swollen. Did not go out to drill, equipments enough having been received, the standing gun drill instead of squad, much more profitable especially for the recruits. A skirmish is reported having occurred at Whitesburg with the 4th Minnesota Infantry and others, killing four, wounding fifteen. Two infantry regiments started to their support. Artillery ordered to be in readiness.


1864 Camp Medicine

Huntsville, Thursday, Feb. 25. Slept but little during the night, deglutition being very painful and throat much swollen. Reported at sick call (the first time since I left Vicksburg) and was excused from duty. Four desperate big powders of quinine, opium, etc. to be taken. Retired to quarters, burned the powders and went to bed with cold water application to throat. Could eat nothing whatsoever all day. Had a raging fever, all throat very painful. Bathed in the evening. Fever a little lower.


Huntsville, Friday, Feb. 26. Felt very much better than yesterday. Could eat a little with pain to-day. Off duty and laid in tent all day, most of the time alone. Boys all on duty, Hungerfords foraging. Carriages washed preparatory to painting. Sergeant Hauxhurst under arrest for refusing to obey Sergeant Hood's orders on drill.


Huntsville, Saturday, Feb. 27. Throat better. Tumor broken. Bad cough yet. Excused from guard, it being my turn. Camp policed. Lieutenant Clark's wife arrived. No parade. [Pg 180]Mail. Carriages all painted over with olive paint. Twelve on the sick roll this morning. Weather exceedingly changeable.


Huntsville, Sunday, Feb. 28. Fine pleasant day. Attended church with Cousin Griffith. Went to the Presbyterian church. A sermon fraught with Southern principles. Services in camp this afternoon by Chaplain of 7th Iowa. P. B. Moss, after a short illness, died very suddenly at 2 P. M. It was wholly unexpected by all, and spread gloom over all the camp.


Huntsville, Monday, Feb. 29. Rained very heavily all night and continued through the day without interruption.

10 A. M. the funeral ceremonies of Moss took place. The procession in charge of Sergeant Hood, his former commander. Sixth piece in the lead followed by the caisson on which the coffin was placed, the hind chests taken off. The Company marched after it in column of detachments, his own Platoon in front, officers in the rear. Mounted in this way the procession marched about two miles passing through town. The roads very bad indeed. Formed hollow square at the grave. Chaplain offered a short prayer before the burial. It was a solemn but tearless scene, comrades paying the last tribute of respect to a fellow soldier, leaving his remains among the honored dead of Huntsville, over whose head no marble slab and carved obelisk was reared in memoriam, but to him a rude head-board was all that told of his resting place. What a consolation to the bereaved mother in Wisconsin to see the place where he lay.

Mustered for January and February pay by Lt. T. R. Hood.


Huntsville, Tuesday, March 1. A dreary, rainy day. Huddled indoors all day. Whiled away the heavy moments as best we could with dominoes, etc. Mail arrived in afternoon with its usual supply of papers and letters, and the evening was quickly passed in reading from the papers aloud. 4th Minnesota returned from Whitesburg. Expected to start for home on furlough but instead received orders to go to Chattanooga.

[Pg 181]

H. S. Keene returned from his furlough of thirty days in Wisconsin.


Huntsville, Wednesday, March 2. A very cold night, the wind whistling through the cracks of our shebang. Slept almost cold. Ground froze hard in the morning. The morning air dry and clear. On guard. Mounted at 9 A. M. Third relief. No one put in guard house. L. Leach, under guard, who has been confined for sixteen days in this miserable noisy hole for a trifling crime, but he stood it with resignation. Obliged to watch him in his slumber during the weary hours of the night. After relieved, lay beside my charge and slept.


Huntsville, Thursday, March 3. A pleasant day. Off duty at 9 A. M. Did not come on till six hours hence according to regulations. A very heavy detail sent foraging with brigade teams, ours being allowed a short rest. Policing in the afternoon. J. M. Hood was to-day appointed orderly sergeant; Corporal Alba Sweet, 6th sergeant, vice Hood promoted; private Malish, corporal, vice Sweet promoted; Sergeant Hauxhurst court-martialed to-day; charges, refusing to obey Sergeant Hood's orders. The result I have not learned. He is able to defend his case I think, able to prove much that the officers don't like.


1864 Negro Schools

Huntsville, Friday, March 4. Evie Evans and myself went to the city on pass. Visited the Christian Commission rooms. Bought stamps. Also went to the colored school under charge of Chaplain of 17th Colored. Had school-teachers, being volunteers from the ranks, teaching the little woolly-heads their "A. B. C.'s". One class of youngsters was taught by a large negro. A class of young ladies was reading in the Second Reader. All seemed attentive and anxious to receive the instruction but poorly imparted to them. Harnesses were opened and distributed to the platoons. I was given one set. No horses.


[Pg 182]

Huntsville, Saturday, March 5. No drill to-day. General policing. Instead old harness being packed in the empty boxes in place of new. Expect to get them off soon. 4th Minnesota started on their homeward bound trip to-day at 12 M. with colors flying, and I dare say hearts fluttering. About sixty were left, as they would not re-enlist. Smallpox quite prevalent. Lieutenant Clark is down with it in an adjoining house. Paddleford was sent off last night to smallpox camp. His case was quite advanced. All broken out.


Huntsville, Sunday, March 6. A most delightful day. On guard. Second relief. —— still under arrest. Knapsack inspection at 8 A. M. as usual. Preaching in camp at 2 P. M. Very good, by member of Christian Commission.


Huntsville, Monday, March 7. A cloudy, dismal morning. Felt gloomy and sad in spirits. After dinner in hopes of driving such feelings away, I took my pen to write to Thomas. While thus engaged, I was interrupted by a loud talking and cheering in front of the tent, which called me out. There I found that the recruits had arrived from Camp Randall, thirty stout and hearty looking men with mouths wide open, gazing at their "to be" comrades. Anyone could see that they were raw recruits, but nearly everyone had friends to receive and congratulate, but I knew no one, but was cheered by the handing of a package to me by a stranger. It was from home. Hardly waiting to go to my tent, I tore it open, found a pair of socks knit by the hands of my mother; she who so often in times gone by has contributed to my comfort and happiness, had again remembered me in her labors, while suffering severely under the ruthless hand of disease. Oh how precious she is to me, and how fondly I will cherish her humble gift. Also a number of the Phrenological Journals bound in with the calico strip as of old—my favorite paper, loaded with valuable reading matter; also a gift from Brother John, a diary such as I [Pg 183]need. The whole so impressed me with the scenes of home and its endearments that I could hardly refrain the tears. When the mail arrived I received four letters—nearly enough for one day.


Huntsville, Tuesday, March 8. Rainy. Appearance of bad weather. Henry Robson taken to smallpox camp, having been sick in camp for nearly a week with varioloid. On duty, hauling wood for the cooks both morning and afternoon. Recruits were drilled by Sergeant Sweet. Reports of several court-martials read at dress parade, of artillery men. —— of our Battery, ten days hard labor after twenty in confinement in guard house. News reached us of a terrible calamity having befallen the homeward bound veterans of the 4th Minnesota. Cars running off the track, killing eighteen soldiers, five or six wounded. Having braved many battles, thus to die on the way to see those whom they loved.


1864 Dance in Camp

Huntsville, Wednesday, March 9. Hitched up four guns and caisson and went out for battery drill under Lieutenant Hood. Horses balky and unused to work, had to unhitch one and returned with but little drill. I rode on lead, third caisson. Standing gun drill and parade in the afternoon. Rainy evening. Privates had a grand ball to-night in Alabama Hotel to try to excel the shoulder-strap fizzle of Feb. 22. I understand they had a grand time. No officers allowed, no one with shoulder straps on. Forty ladies in all. Lieutenant Clark little better with the smallpox.


Huntsville, Thursday, March 10. Had a very stormy night but a fine day. I was on guard P. M., first relief, on horses in the daytime and tents in the evening. Midnight tour very stormy and dark, but managed to pass the time quickly in thinking of all but the present. Drills and parades as usual.


[Pg 184]

Huntsville, Friday, March 11. Felt fresh this morning, notwithstanding the guard duty of last night. At 9 A. M. took a stroll up Russell Hill. Found violets in bloom, picked a bouquet of them with peach and plum blossoms and put them on my desk. Evans out in charge of foraging train, with fifteen men. General Matthies was seen in camp to-day. The last time I saw him was leaving the field of Mission Ridge covered with blood, a sturdy and honest old general, loved by all his command. Congratulatory resolutions read at parade from Congress to Sherman and his men, also an order from John A. Logan to protect fences and houses. All advantages given to the citizens to raise their own subsistence. Boys all jolly. Games of ball on all day and late in the evening.


Huntsville, Saturday, March 12. Very cold night but warm and beautiful day. No drill to-day, it being general policing, which was done in a short time. Games daily in camp, ball, etc. Spent most of the day reading the Phrenological Journals received from home. At night I laid awake long and restless, thinking of home and its endearments. After sleep came I dreamt of mother. T. J. Hungerford quite unwell this evening, heavy fever. Exercised rather too much for his strength in the morning, and his system impaired from previous illness.


1864 War Sermons

Huntsville, Sunday, March 13. A delightful Sabbath morning. T. J. Hungerford very sick, heavy fever and hard breathing. Afraid he is going to have a fever. Bathed him, towels kept around him, and all we can do for him is done gladly. After inspection 8 A. M. attended Sabbath school and meeting at the Methodist Church with Booth and D. Evans. The society was in deep mourning for Mrs. Jordan, principal teacher and superintendent of the Sabbath school, who was killed in the railroad accident of the 5th inst. Fitting resolutions were passed by the school in memoriam. The minister preached from the 35th and 36th verses of the fourth chapter of St. [Pg 185]John, a discourse filled with hell fire and eternal misery, with but little consolation to the many bereaved mothers and sisters present who had lost their all in the Confederate army. Although enemies, I could but feel for their distressing sobs, that were audible all over the room. In the afternoon the day was so cheering that I could not resist the temptation of another walk to town, where in a crowded house of soldiers and citizens I listened to an excellent practical sermon on the ten virgins, wise and foolish.


Huntsville, Monday, March 14. Was one of a detail of twenty men to go foraging with two days' rations in haversacks, blankets and overcoats, etc. Fell in at 8 A. M. to go with brigade teams thirty in number, all to be loaded by artillerymen. A ride of nearly twenty miles in a mule wagon brought us to the corn field at 3 P. M., two men to a wagon. Jerked it from the rows, and in about an hour we started back, crossed Beaver Dam Creek and drove hard till sundown. Crossed at Liberty Point, eleven miles from camp, near a few out-buildings. No rails allowed to be burnt by Lieutenant Eddy in charge. Those that were prepared cooked their coffee in their cans and we all ate. It was very cold and blustering, not in the least enticing to sleep out of doors, but necessity compelled it. Three of us made our beds together and slept quite warm until midnight, when we awoke to find it sprinkling and the wind driving threatening black clouds over us. Not wishing to get soaked, we pulled out, rolled up our blankets, etc. and sought shelter. The storm passed harmlessly over, but we found but little sleep. I rolled in my blanket on the stoop of the dwelling house, where I slept some. Dreamed of being buried in snow drifts and surrounded by ice. Awoke to find it nearly a reality. Benumbed with cold and clogged throat, I sought the fire to wait for the dawn. Long and anxiously did we watch the coming of the morning.


[Pg 186]

Huntsville, Tuesday, March 15. Teamsters and boys up early. Those that were not scared out of bed had a good night's sleep. Felt quite dull and severe cold settled in throat. Went into a citizen's house to procure my breakfast. Had warm biscuit, buttermilk, etc. for 50c, and started with the train. Walked nearly all the way to camp where we arrived at 11 A. M. Found three letters to me bearing date of the 6th, and all the disagreeable was soon forgotten in the joy of the present. Mother much better and in her own room. Sergeant Hauxhurst after a long period of arrest put on duty. His court-martial read at dress parade. His sentence by the court was reduction to the ranks, but was modified by General Matthies to the loss of one month's pay, for previous meritorious conduct as non-commissioned officer. He suffers from a jealous clique.


Huntsville, Wednesday, March 16. A very cold and blustering day. All feel pinched as in January. Tommy Hungerford continues quite ill. Fever has left him, but he suffers from inflammation of the lungs. Confined to his bed all the time, and kept drowsy all the time by noxious drugs. Byron Babcock taken to the post hospital last night and M. Murphy to-day. He is very bad with measles. Hauled wood in the afternoon with D. Wallace and Milton Hungerford, ash-wood from the hill which is needed to keep warm. Bought Atlantic Monthly of J. Lester. Good reading.


1864 The Sick and Dying

Huntsville, Thursday, March 17. Day very fine. Cold night. Heavy frost in the morning. Policed camp in the morning. Inspected in the afternoon by Captains Lee and Dillon. T. J. Hungerford none better. His brother detailed to nurse him and I to take care of Milton's team. Michael Murphy died in post hospital last night at 3 A. M. No mail or papers. Reported capture of the train near Tullahoma with all on board, burning the cars and tearing up the track. Much anxiety is felt, [Pg 187]as Generals Grant and McPherson were expected on it. If they should be captured it certainly would be a calamity.


Huntsville, Friday, March 18. A beautiful day. Sick none the better. Tommy is very low, unable to be up, while he is kept strong by medicine all of the time. 111th Illinois Infantry marched in from Nashville direct from the State, the largest regiment I have seen South, said to be attached to our Division. Matthies is commanding Division. Smith on furlough.

9 A. M. Formed procession and marched to the funeral of Murphy, fourth piece leading the procession. A chaplain officiated at the grave. Received mail in the afternoon. Reports of the guerrilla raid not as hideous as yesterday.


Huntsville, Saturday, March 19. Very cold night. Cloudy day. Appearance of rain. Have not felt well since I was out foraging. A bad cold settled on my lungs, a dull headache. Excused from guard this morning because I took care of team. Tommy very low. I fear he is fast approaching consumption. He has eaten hardly anything for a week. I made some farina gruel this afternoon of which he ate a little. Kept constantly under the effects of medicine, sleepy, mind wandering. All that we can do for him is done willingly, but it is far from being like home.


Huntsville, Sunday, March 20. Awoke with bad cough and sore throat. Attended church at 10 A. M. The Presbyterian Church was crowded to overflowing by citizens, but few soldiers could gain admittance. I was up in the gallery. The funeral sermon of Mrs. Jordan was preached, very effective and eloquent. Jackson Moss and colored Henry were taken to the smallpox camp this afternoon.

Evening. I am notified to be ready to start in the morning on a five days' scout, my team going with the left Section. Drew two days' rations of hard-tack.


[Pg 188]

Huntsville, Monday, March 21. Reveille sounded at 4 A. M. Fed and harnessed before breakfast, and prepared for the march, two days' rations in haversack, three days' in wagon. As soon as it was light, hitched up on the sixth piece, the caisson to be left behind; seven cannoneers. It was very cold, windy morning. Waited until 8 A. M. when the order came to unhitch and unharness, the expedition over, which was gladly obeyed by all except the recruits, they being yet anxious to taste the poetry of war. The day continued very cold and very uncomfortable for the sick, which are daily increasing. T. J. Hungerford continues very low, yet the doctor speaks cheerfully. He was visited by the medical director of the Division to-day. A heavy mail received, of which I received two goodly ones. Corporal Dixon was to-day made sergeant of our Platoon, vice Hamilton promoted. E. W. Evans promoted to corporal to fill vacancy, in which capacity he had been acting for over a year. Sat up with Tommy till 1 A. M., giving him powders every three hours; stimulants, liquors, every two. All alone, a time for sad reflections and longing thoughts.


1864 Welcome Snow

Huntsville, Tuesday, March 22. All were surprised this morning upon looking out to find the ground covered with pure, soft and downy snow, and the air yet thick with the falling feathers. It continued till 9 A. M., leaving eight inches on the ground. To the natives it was looked upon as a strange occurrence in this territory, a phenomenon, but to us from the stern and living North it was as good as a furlough, a sudden transition to old Wisconsin. What a calm serenity it spreads on earth in its pure, spotless white, covering over the disagreeable, the footprints of suffering and wrongs that are so indelibly imprinted everywhere upon the fair but wicked South. What a longing for home it created, as home scenes and accompaniments were brought vividly to the mind's eye. Many were the thoughts of sleigh rides, hills, girls, etc. by those that are to enjoy such. One party I saw as I went to water. They had [Pg 189]rigged up a sled with young mules hitched, and a sonorous cowbell for music. They paraded the streets of Huntsville and were looked upon by the native fair as crazy, but they knew nothing of the fun. But this uncommon visitor was not to last long, and the Southern sun soon made it withdraw slowly but surely.

A bad day for the sick. Tommy very low all day and painful. Evie was on guard, so I sat up with him till one o'clock in the morning, fed him medicine regularly with a cold application to be changed every fifteen minutes. He has not eaten anything for days, save what I have fed him with a spoon. Fed him farina gruel twice through the night with the spoon. Coughs severely. Chas. Hutchinson and J. McCann sick with the same disease.


Huntsville, Wednesday, March 23. Warm day. Snow all gone by night making it very slushy and muddy. T. J. Hungerford apparently a little better, but very weak. Sat up long enough to make his bed and bathe him. Hauled wood in forenoon, drilled in afternoon on gun. No mail. I have a bad cold settled on my lungs. The right lung pains me considerably. Alex Ray taken to smallpox hospital, making five in all. Lieutenant Clark and Paddleford wholly recovered. Captain —— got into a barroom row with a citizen in town this afternoon, for which he was put under arrest, but returned to-night. Hurt his hand.


Huntsville, Thursday, March 24. Weather warm and ground drying. We have a very pleasant ride every morning to the big spring in town to water our horses, and back, about two miles. Have to keep in the ranks, which is not as agreeable as if allowed to go as we pleased. Tommy gaining a little. Through the kindness of one of the boys' lady acquaintances, he was supplied with a rocking chair in which he sat for some [Pg 190]time. A new hospital tent is being put up on the hill right above us for the batteries, where he will be removed soon.


Huntsville, Friday, March 25. Rainy and disagreeable day. Wrote a letter and read most of the day. Feel quite dull and troubled with bad cough. Four more recruits arrived from Wisconsin, having been left behind sick when the others came. Two horses died to-day, which is the same nearly every day. They have a species of distemper, and will die soon unless prevented.


Huntsville, Saturday, March 26. A warm, windy day. No drill or parade. Washed in the morning. Policed camp and park in the afternoon, which took us about two hours. Detail of seventeen went out foraging with Lieutenant Jenawein. Will not return until to-morrow. Orders received to put this Division upon a "field footing" immediately, which is supposed to mean something. The train from Nashville to-day came in by way of Decatur. Major Generals Sherman and McPherson were on board, and are now in town where the headquarters are to be established.


Huntsville, Sunday, March 27. Knapsack inspection 8 A. M. as usual. Complimentary resolutions passed by the Wisconsin Legislature to the soldiers in the field and the heroic dead were read to us, which is much sweeter than Order "No. 6" which we have heard for months. Attended church this forenoon. Text 23rd verse, 35th chapter of St. Matthew.

T. J. Hungerford so far recovered that he was able to go to the hospital tent with the aid of two men. His brother Milton goes with him as nurse. No mail to-day again.


Huntsville, Monday, March 28. To-day again was one full of disagreeableness. Cold rain, windy, so that we could not have a fire without smoking us out. Spent the long hours as best we could, playing dominoes and checkers with Griff and D. [Pg 191]J. D. etc. A very large mail arrived, but unfortunately I was forgotten this time. Dress parade 4 P. M. Complimentary resolutions to veterans received from Congress. I have a very bad cold yet, with a wearisome cough. Bathed and wore wet compresses on chest.


1864 Mother Bickerdyke

Huntsville, Tuesday, March 29. Rained exceedingly heavy during the night, but cleared off in the morning. Continued cool through the day. Our camp was visited to-day by Mother Bickerdyke with four mule teams loaded with good things from the North for the soldiers. Left us three barrels of potatoes, turnips, carrots, etc., one barrel of sourkraut with one of dried applies. Noble woman. I still remember with gratitude the motherly interest she took in my welfare while lying in the hospital at Corinth. Here again she comes with that which she has gathered by her own labor in the North, not leaving it to be wholly absorbed by surgeons, directors and officers, as is too often the case with sanitary goods. She comes along in a mule wagon and delivers it herself to the "good boys" as she terms us, without seeking the officers. She drew a large crowd around her soon. Her glowing, welcoming face, filled with cordiality, had a magnetic influence upon the hearts of all, such a contrast to the haughty, disdainful looks we are accustomed to receive from women in general. May God bless her noble, self-sacrificing spirit, is the soldier's prayer.

Had a most hearty old-fashioned supper of potatoes and onions with gravy, which was better for our grease-laden systems than loads of cathartics. We had about twelve pounds of dried apples for our mess of four. Suddenly this afternoon at 4 P. M. the left Section was ordered to prepare to move. At 5 P. M., the two pieces left under Lieutenant Hood with five days' rations. One of my horses sick so I did not have to go. The other one was taken as extra horse. Lieutenant Clark assumed command of the Battery and took us out to parade—considerably scarred.


[Pg 192]

Huntsville, Wednesday, March 30. A fine day, warm, the vegetable kingdom springing fast. Turned my sick horse out to die this morning. Obtained a pass of Lieutenant Jenawein to go to the city. Called at shoemaker's shop, fixed my boots, and took a ramble through the town to the cemetery, and spent half an hour in meditation among the sacred dead. There lay, side by side, the rich and the poor. Here are coward, patriot and traitor. Truly all earthly passes away and leaves but faint traces behind. Visited an artist's gallery where I saw the most beautiful works of art I ever saw, representing the human form so lifelike that it needed but the speech to appear with life. The room was filled with different scenes, and the cold white marble statuary by them looked cold and expressionless. Returned to camp weary, but well pleased with my morning's work. Dinner was over, but they left a rarity of potatoes, etc.

At dress parade we were looked upon by four Northern ladies, one of whom was Mother Bickerdyke, having ridden up from town in an ambulance. The ranks, which before they came under the soft glances of women, were irregular, steps broken, heads drooping, all carelessness, now closed up and all moved with true military precision. A natural impulse to please took hold of them, I guess. After parade they were conducted through camp examining our quarters, with a pleasant smile and a kind word for all, spreading sunshine as they went and filling the heart with fond recollections and pleasing hopes. All were Northern women upon missions of love, one I understood a Wisconsin one, a young lady of twenty-five, the others elderly.


Huntsville, Thursday, March 31. Dark, cloudy day. Washed in the morning, necessary but unpleasant duty, then staid in the hospital a little in the afternoon while the nurse went riding for exercise. T. J. H. weak but gaining. Herron has a terrible head from erysipelas—hair, eyebrows, all coming out. [Pg 193]Corp. Knapp rode into camp from left Section. They are posted in a fort on the Tennessee River at Whitesburg, fifteen miles distant, watching the enemy on the other side, fortified. Returned with nine men; comfortably quartered in vacant houses. Played ball all of the afternoon.


Huntsville, Friday, April 1. Although the day was wet and rainy the boys played well the part of April fool, and it was one continuous jest all day. The bugler blew the breakfast call half an hour too early, calling out the men in the rain to awaken to the fact that it was April fool, etc. A squad of eight men were sent off at 3 P. M. on horseback to relieve the veterans at Whitesburg so they can return in the morning to be mustered in. Evie went with them so I am all alone. 80th Ohio started home on the 5 P. M. train.


1864 First Theatre

Huntsville, Saturday, April 2. Dry day. No duty to-day except the policing in the afternoon which was soon completed. 63rd Illinois Veteran Volunteers started on their homeward-bound journey this evening. As they marched out to the music of their fine martial band, each heart bounded with animation at the prospect of meeting the familiar faces once more. The 48th and 59th Indiana Volunteers marched into their old camping ground which they had left two months ago for home. They had marched all the way from Nashville in five days, one hundred and thirty miles, footsore and tired with three years of service before them. In company with Griff and D. J. D. visited the theatre, first one I ever saw. Well pleased.


Huntsville, Sunday, April 3. The mail that came in last night was not distributed till this morning. I received three goodly letters. Inspection and reading of order No. 6, at 8 A. M. after which I went to church. Attended the Methodist Sabbath School, took part in the soldiers' class taught by a captain. Listened to a sermon in the elegant Presbyterian church [Pg 194]on atonement; poor and inconsistent. Wrote a letter to brother John in the afternoon.

General McPherson rode through camp this afternoon at 3 P. M., the idol of all soldiers. Had not seen him since we left Vicksburg before. A true gentleman and noble patriot. Teams back from Whitesburg after rations for men.


Huntsville, Monday, April 4. A cloudy, rainy day. Orders given us at 8 A. M. to put our tents in order preparatory to an inspection by medical director. All filth to be removed. Dirty clothes were washed, etc. In the evening the artillery boys listened to a stirring speech on the parade ground by Rev. Collins, chaplain 57th Illinois, a spicy and able speaker. Kept the crowd laughing much of the time, at the same time encouraging and instructing each one in the duty of the hour, and had a good effect. Sold several tracts.


Huntsville, Tuesday, April 5. Did not rain to-day but we had but little sunshine. Watched in the hospital from midnight till 4 A. M. with Andy Herron, suffering from severe attack of erysipelas in the face and head. Changed wet cloths on his face every fifteen minutes. While drilling in company in front of officers' tents, under the order of Sergeant, I and David Evans were taken out of the ranks and Corporal Malish put over us to drill us in front of tents for two hours by order of Captain. He was sitting in front of his tent and said we laughed in the ranks. It being the first time I ever was punished, I was much hurt in feelings, much more so as it was for a crime that I am not aware that I ever committed, and was not observed by any except Captain who was eight or ten rods off. He was out of humor at the company drill and (it being very muddy) as is customary, he must visit his wrath upon somebody. After two hours' marching as culprits before the whole camp, we were dismissed, but I felt no guilt, as my conduct was not improper.


[Pg 195]

1864 Camp Games

Huntsville, Wednesday, April 6. A beautiful sunny day, so warm in midday as to make it uncomfortable with coat on. Policed camp thoroughly in morning, and company drills in the afternoon. Veterans were at last mustered in at 2 P. M. by the mustering officer. Consisted of their taking the oath together, thirty in number, two others being in pest hospital. My horse brought back from the river sick. Keeler bled, rowelled, physicked him. I guess he will be all right to-morrow. Ought to. Played chess most of the day. New thing for me. Fascinating.


Huntsville, Thursday, April 7. A beautiful spring day, grass growing, birds caroling. All nature seems to be putting forth new life. The soldiers with the rest took up the spirit, and the camp was lively with outdoor spirits all day. Horses turned out to picket, but little grass for them, yet I was detailed to watch them in the afternoon, consequently did not drill. Heard from friend Evie, my mate, carried up by one of the boys. He is doing well and enjoying himself. I would like to go out there to him. I don't like to live alone very well. Large mail, but none for me this time.


Huntsville, Friday, April 8. A fine day. Drill as usual. Played ball spare time in the morning. Wrote to brother Thomas in the afternoon. Pleasant task when my mind is tranquil. 48th and detachment of 59th Indiana went out at 4 P. M. to reinforce Whitesburg, it is supposed. Deserters say that the enemy is reinforcing heavily and making preparations to throw a pontoon bridge across the river some dark night. Rumor says John Morgan was in town lately with a load of wood. If so, I don't think our sixteen pieces on Russell Hill looked very encouraging to him. Come on, John, we are ready.


Huntsville, Saturday, April 9. Cloudy and showery. A train of sixty wagons started out for forage for the artillery, a detail of forty men sent from each battery, having but a small [Pg 196]squad in camp. What few there were, on fatigue all the forenoon, husking and overhauling corn pile, rain beating and spoiling it. Policed camp thoroughly in the afternoon and I was sent with two others after load of wood. By night I was quite tired. Received a large mail. I was blessed with two fine ones from Hannah and Thomas. Did me a heap of good.


Huntsville, Sunday, April 10. Beautiful weather. A "big scare" up this morning, expecting the Rebs in from the other side of the river. Orderlies said to be running all night. Early this morning Captain Dillon reported to headquarters for further intelligence, leaving orders to allow nobody to leave camp. Teams from Whitesburg returned after rations. The boys then were kept at their posts all night. Foraging trains came in early half loaded. The roads very bad. Went to town in the afternoon but there was no church. Returned and read Bartlett's Sermon in Covenant, which was much better.


Huntsville, Monday, April 11. Spent the day in the usual way. Two hours' gun drill in the morning, then game of ball; an hour company drill in the afternoon; a game or two of chess, then parade 4 P. M.; reading, writing, the remainder of the time till retreat at 8 P. M. when I made down my cot. In the quiet of alone I lay down, a few yearning thoughts of home, mother, etc. and all is oblivion till reveille calls me forth from the land of nod. A little after noon we were startled by a terrible explosion near the depot. A caisson of the Illinois Battery had exploded while returning from drill, killing six cannoneers instantly and wounding two. A very sad affair. Bodies torn to shreds.


Huntsville, Tuesday, April 12. Clouds and sunshine struggled for supremacy all day, neither having possession long at a time. Drew clothing. I got a new blouse and pants. Brigade guard was mounted together this morning on our parade ground, infantry and artillery, by the 1st Brigade staff [Pg 197]officer, a band of fifes and drums acting as Brigade band in absence of a brass one. All was ordered to be put slick this afternoon again, dishes washed, cooking utensils scoured, etc. The medical director of the camp inspected us at 4 P. M.


1864 Review

Huntsville, Wednesday, April 13. A delightful day for the great review that took place at 2 P. M. of the remnant of the 3rd Division that is left here. We had no horses to take out our Battery, but went as drivers on one of our caissons with the Illinois Battery to fill the place of the one that was "blowed up" Monday. The imposing line was formed on the race course consisting of five regiments of infantry and two batteries. The bands rolled out their cheers as Generals McPherson, Logan and Smith, with their respective staffs, rode down the lines, on gay steeds glittering with their military embellishments. After they rode by, they took a position in front, and we passed in review, artillery in front, in column of sections followed by infantry in divisions. Returned to camp, each impressed with the prospect of a move, which heretofore has always been the result in this army.

Sixteen of Cogswell's Battery veterans left for home this morning. The Nashville and Stevenson R. R. is abandoned, and all the transportation runs through here via Decatur, upwards of ten trains each way. Mail train arrives 9 P. M.


Huntsville, Thursday, April 14. The camps were aroused last night at midnight, ordered to dress and be ready to turn out at a moment's warning. I got up, lit a candle, packed up my knapsack and Evie's. Put everything ready and laid down again. Did not wake till the breakfast call sounded. Found the sun shining pleasantly and "nary" Forrest or Morgan near. I know not the cause of alarm. Some of the boys say they heard artillery firing. The other Batteries hitched up, but as we had no horses I think they intended we should run if they came. We could do little fighting if they came not in our front. [Pg 198]But as we are on the front such alarms are not strange. Evergreens were hauled into camp by detail, and a row of shady pine is planted in front of the tents, adding much to the beauty and comfort of the camp. I have a big tree in front of my "shebang". This does not look like moving, but still there is no reliance upon appearances. Two of our men and Henry returned from pest hospital, recovered from smallpox.


Huntsville, Friday, April 15. The veterans of the 12th Wisconsin Battery left this morning, thirty in number, with their beautiful flags, for the State. Ours would go with them if Lieutenant Jenawein were here, but he is at Whitesburg and will not be up till this evening. He will start with them in the morning. I am on guard, pleasant through the day but dreary during the night. My old chum Evie was up from the river after rations. Staid all night. He is in charge of 3rd Platoon. Orders received to reduce us to four-gun battery.


Huntsville, Saturday, April 16. At 7 A. M. our veterans, thirty-two in number, started on their long anticipated furlough. They were almost beside themselves with pleasant anticipations, as they were greeted with a good-bye that came from the hearts of the comrades they leave behind. I could but think of the time when we should all be permitted to return, with no compulsions to return. Oh, happy day! May it soon come! E. W. E. returned this morning. Left me again alone in my tent. Much excitement prevails as to what will be done with the superfluous men after being reduced to four guns.


1864 Yankee Sermon

Huntsville, Sunday, April 17. A beautiful and holy Sabbath morning. Warmed even the coldest heart to softness and filled the thoughtful mind with piety, though to many imperceptibly. Knapsack inspection at 8 A. M. Afterwards D. J. D., Griff and myself attended Sabbath school taught by a chaplain. The presiding elder of the Methodist church was sick, and to my astonishment the Yankee chaplain was invited to preach, [Pg 199]which he did very fittingly, delivering an excellent sermon from Romans 8th chapter, XV verse. Went down in the afternoon to witness the baptizing at the Methodist church, but we were too late. Visited the new font that is going up, and caught in heavy rain storm before we got back.


Huntsville, Monday, April 18. Rained very heavy all night. Dark heavy clouds hung over us this morning which slowly dispersed as the day advanced. Windy in the evening and chilly, uncommon in this country. 18th Wisconsin Infantry broke camp at the public square and came up on our left. The 17th Iowa relieved them from provost duty. News reached us of the horrible massacre of our troops at Fort Pillow, heart sickening. How long will such things last? Preparations were made to turn the fourth and first pieces over, but we have no horses to draw them.


Huntsville, Tuesday, April 19. Nice day. Very small mail this morning. Anxiously waiting for my weekly letter from home. Three days behind. Health is very good except my eyes bother me considerable. I am afraid they will grow worse with the warm weather. Monthly inspection by Captains —— and —— at 10 A. M. Inspected at our posts, after which our quarters were examined. Every man was required to stand at attention by his bunk and salute them as they came. 'Tis hard to pay respects to unworthy beings, but we must if they have shoulder straps.


Huntsville, Wednesday, April 20. Cogswell's Battery turned their horses over to us late last evening, and this morning broke camp, and go to Nashville by rail to-night for the field. I was given a team once more, a good large span of bays. Two guns, caisson, harness and all equipments pertaining to them were turned over this afternoon. I drove my team down with them leaving us but two guns in our park.

I was rendered half crazy all the forenoon by the greatest of [Pg 200]plagues, the toothache in back tooth. Could not lie, or sit, or talk, eat or drink with it. After dinner Dr. Griswold laid siege to it. After taking a hitch on it and pulling with all his might, showing me a beautiful panorama of stars, it came out and bothered me no more. Heavy cannonading could be heard from 2 to 4 P. M. in the direction of Decatur.


Huntsville, Thursday, April 21. Awoke this morning with eyes heavily sealed and jaw from which the tooth was taken swollen to a mouthful. Felt very well otherwise. Pleasant ride to the spring in the morning. Returned in time to fall in for policing, a big job, very dusty and wind blowing. Did not get through till noon. Artillery firing heard this afternoon, at times very rapidly. Gunboat on Tennessee River it is said. Skirmish in vicinity of Decatur continues.


Huntsville, Friday, April 22. Health very good. Papers bring us very bad news from sea, which had quite a depressing effect upon my spirits. Every reverse retards that anxiously longed for moment when "peace reigneth". The hottest day of the season by several degrees, an impressive forerunner of the fire that will soon be upon us. Signed receipt rolls, would rather it were pay rolls. Sanitary gave us a meal of kraut and onions. Blessed be the donors.


Huntsville, Saturday, April 23. Worked hard all the forenoon hauling the refuse from picket rope, but not to enrich the corn field as of old. Drew twenty-five good new horses direct from Nashville, nearly enough now. The weather was most disagreeable. Warm and sultry wind all day, driving the dust in blinding clouds, finding its way through the many cracks of my bachelor's hall, settling in thick layers of clean dust upon bed, desk and everything, the dust filling my eyes, etc. Awful!


1864 Southern Sermon

Huntsville, Sunday, April 24. Awoke to hear the rain pattering thick and fast on the pine boards overhead. At first [Pg 201]I was dissatisfied with the anticipation of a wet day with mud—very blue, but at the thought of yesterday's dusty ordeal I could but say, "blessed be the rain that clears the atmosphere and makes all nature look more pleasing when it ceases." Cleared off into a most delightful day by 9 A. M., and I listened to a thorough scientific sermon from Dr. Ross upon technical points, existence of evil. His arguments were very concise and binding. Although differing in opinion I received many new ideas. He is one of the leading Southern clergy and formerly a rabid secessionist, and to-day he touched upon the war, but so nicely that it could not displease any of his audience which was composed of the two extremes, viz: Yankee soldiers and secesh women. He sat way up, he said, upon his faith in God, "looking down upon the struggle with as much composure as though they were but the convulsions of so many pigmies—God would do it right". Just found it out I suppose. Two regiments of Osterhaus's Division marched by toward Decatur this morning with no wagons or ambulances. Go to the front.


Huntsville, Monday, April 25. A pleasant growing day. Health very good and "nary" bit discouraged. One year ago to-day we started on the ever memorable campaign from Millikens Bend which resulted in the glorious surrender of Vicksburg. Would to God that we could accomplish another this spring. Willingly would I face the hardships, exposures and dangers to accomplish it. But I try to school myself to patience. I know that the same hero is now at the helm, and we are waiting with breathless suspense to hear his movements, and in conjunction with it we are also under marching orders. All the preliminaries are issued, baggage to be cut down to two teams, everything to be in light trim for the field. Any moment we may pack up, preparatory to which we spent most of the forenoon in harnessing the teams and putting things together, etc. All is new and mixed up.

[Pg 202]

Friend E. W. E. up from the Tennessee River after rations. Obtained permission of Lieutenant Clark to return with him in the morning and relieve D. Hayes. M. Hungerford takes my team. Heavy details of infantry are continually kept at work at the fortification of Huntsville. It will soon be that it can be held by a few men.


Fort Hall, Whitesburg, Ala., Tuesday, April 26. Busied myself this morning to prepare, and after breakfast we started on horseback. The day was delightful, and our road lay through one of the most enchanting valleys I ever travelled through, skirted on each side by a low ridge of the Cumberland Mountains which, dressed in the richest verdure of spring, with the evergreens here and there raising their dark heads among the new green leaves in beautiful contrast. The valley was about five miles wide, all of which had been under long cultivation. Stumps all out, large fields were plowed in the rude Southern style, and large droves of negroes and mules at work planting cotton, a pleasing insight to the domestic life of the South; but the driver's lash and hound were not there. The same large landed estates were apparent here as elsewhere, houses infrequent. I could but picture in my mind's eye the industrious farmer of the North in his neat white house and 160 acres of land scattered over it with school-houses on every corner. Liberal institutions and improved cultivation would make this an earthly paradise.

Reached Whitesburg by 12 M. after one of the pleasantest rides I ever enjoyed. Found the boys all well and in good spirits, very neatly quartered in Fort Hall with one company of infantry with them.

After supper Evie and I went fishing in Tennessee River, dropped our lines and watched the rebels on the opposite side of the river on picket. Breastworks are to be seen but apparently vacant.


[Pg 203]

1864 A Ruined Town

Fort Hall, Wednesday, April 27. Very heavy rain last night. Bright morning. The 56th Illinois stationed here. Were inspected by Colonel Raum, commanding 2nd Brigade. Examined our quarters and fortifications, after which he and the other officers turned in and had a game of wicket ball. Spent most of the day in looking at the used-to-be town, etc. It consists now of four or five churches and as many houses and chimneys; was once a thriving steamboat landing. River here is narrow, running through noiseless on either side. Four families live in one out-house, with about forty wee children, half naked and half starved, all the men in the Confederate army, being the most pitiful objects. Saw one woman 108 years old amongst them, an appalling sight. Two or three other families staying here, seem to be very friendly to soldiers, especially the young ladies.

Bathed in the waters of the Tennessee in the evening, 6 P. M. The anticipated but welcome orders came for us to report to Huntsville in the morning.

8 P. M. when all was still, a sentinel fired his piece on outpost. The reserve fired the alarm and instanter the long roll rattled the well known story of "fall in" which was promptly obeyed. We were out and at our posts. Moved our pieces so as to bear in the proper direction, when the infantry came in on double quick and filed into the pits and defenses. Not a word was spoken, and in less than ten minutes we were all snugly inside waiting for them. Lay still thirty minutes when we were dismissed, and all were as heedless and unconscious of danger as before the alarm. Probably a mule, too obstinate to "halt" was the whole cause. Such are the incidents of an outpost which the soldier soon gets used to and conforms with them with as much complacency as though they were to eat.


Huntsville, Thursday, April 28. Quietly we prepared and at 7 A. M. we pulled out, much to the regret of the 56th Illinois. Artillery always has a great encouragement to infantry. With [Pg 204]its presence they feel safe and strong in any emergency. The boys who had been here since the first, and had worked hard to fortify and build, of course at first felt a little dissatisfied to leave, but they were too good soldiers to allow any such feelings to cloud upon their brows; but cheerfully submit "to the powers that be".

A warm and quick march of twelve miles, brought us to Huntsville by 11 A. M. Found the old camp on Russell Hill much agitated from the numerous and conflicting orders to march received yesterday, one of which was to march at daylight this morning. All the baggage reduced as much as possible, only two wagons allowed to a battery. Nearly everybody is busy at work packing up boxes to be sent home, all containing superfluous clothing. E. W. E., T. J. H., G. T. and myself packed one of a similar nature. I sent my old friendly overcoat that has comforted me for nearly twenty months, and a pair of rebel spurs bought at Vicksburg from a prisoner, and worn all through last fall campaign, now worn out. Eyes very sore to-night after marching, inflamed and red; bathed them tenderly.


Huntsville, Friday, April 29. Hot and sultry day. Health very good with exceptions. Took the box to the express office in the morning; had to obtain a permit from Provost Marshal. The express office was crowded so that I had to wait nearly two hours. Boxes, barrels and bundles—no end to them! The four-gun organization was completed. Men distributed and Sergeant Dixon has charge of second piece, hence I have 3rd Platoon. Drilled Battery two hours in the afternoon on grass plat near depot, pleasant if it was not so warm. Everybody is ready for the speediest word, no more ever inquiring where we are to go, accepting the result as immaterial.


Huntsville, Saturday, April 30. Probabilities of a march greatly lessened. To-day 3rd Division assigned to guard the [Pg 205]line of communication from Stevenson to Decatur, nearly eighty miles of road. The duty will be very heavy for infantry and active for all, if the enemy assume the offensive. 3rd Brigade under General Matthies left this morning on the railroad to Decatur where they will relieve General Dodge's troops. Rainy forenoon. Went after rations to town. Sanitary gave us a mess of vegetables, etc.


Huntsville, Sunday, May 1. On guard as supernumerary, and instead of attending Sabbath school at 9 A. M. as I would wish, I underwent the ceremony of brigade guard mounting, inspection of arms, drums and fifes, etc. for nearly an hour. A very beautiful day. Two brigades of Dodge's command came in this afternoon, one from Athens, the other from Pulaski. They go to join in the forward movement. Gen. John A. Logan left to-day with staff and escort for the front, a gay and dashing cavalcade. May the rebels tremble when they hear his approach.


1864 Real Yankees

Huntsville, Monday, May 2. A cold, windy day for this time of the year. At night a fire was very comfortable. Expect to move camp nearer to town soon so as to shorten the picket line. The left wing of the 16th Corps under Dodge was moving in all day. Stood on the roadside most of the afternoon, the first time we were ever permitted to see a moving column without ourselves forming a part of it. 25th Wisconsin passed. Many of our boys found acquaintances and friends. In the same Brigade was a regiment of Yanks all the way from Jersey, regular blue-blood Yankees. Made a strange appearance in their leggins and yellow tassels. Physically made a poor comparison by the side of our sturdy Western boys.


Huntsville, Tuesday, May 3. Infantry broke up camp early this morning and went into camp nearer to town. After dinner we hitched up and packed up leaving our old camp under guard, where we have spent nearly four months. Came into [Pg 206]battery near the depot on the race course, a large open green, very pretty for summer quarters, but rather low for wet weather. 48th and 59th Indiana camped on our right, 12th Battery on left. Teams hauling down lumber, etc. for quarters.


Huntsville, Wednesday, May 4. All hands worked nimbly and willingly to-day to make themselves comfortable. Tents raised one foot from ground with ample means for ventilation. Fixed ours up in the forenoon. Made four single bunks occupied by Sergeant Dixon, Corporals Beaver and Evans, and myself. Detailed to help move the hospital in the afternoon. Contains five patients, two convalescing, one a recruit very low. At night I sought my cot quite tired, the weather being exceedingly warm.


Huntsville, Thursday, May 5. On guard, second relief. Our camp is very nicely located. A pretty brook runs in front of the Battery which the boys have dammed up to make deep enough for a pleasant bath. Water to cook and drink is hauled from the "big spring". The almost ceaseless rattle of trains keeps us wide awake as yet. Upwards of forty trains passed to-day, the whistle disturbing our slumbers at every hour of the night. 4th Minnesota Veteran Volunteers returned from home. Health very good.


Huntsville, Friday, May 6. A warm and active day for all. Guard house put up. Harness racks, a shade over the horses of brush and evergreens, oven, cook house, and mess tables to be built, bringing all on duty. Was put on duty with but four hours of rest from guard. Have been on detail for five days in rotation, but it is not hard work that we have to do, and many hands make light work. 4th Minnesota returned from home on evening train, relieves 17th Iowa. Too busy to be lonesome.


Huntsville, Saturday, May 7. A warm day but not oppressive. Sent on detail with Corporal Knapp outside picket lines [Pg 207]after poles and brush to protect horses from the sun. Passed the infantry picket and cavalry videttes three miles from camp. While out on the hills, in the thicket, a party of guerrillas fired into our cavalry, wounding a captain about half a mile from here. Two were taken in citizen's clothes. The prevailing idea is that they will be shot. I cannot hope so, although it would be but just retribution for the massacre of Fort Pillow.


1864 Negro Religion

Huntsville, Sunday, May 8. On guard detail again. Would rather it was on some other day, as I wished to attend meeting. Was orderly of the day, easier than on post. Had to stay round headquarters during the day. Grazed horses in the afternoon near a negro meeting, which I attended. After an earnest discourse from an old gray-haired negro, and a prayer which would compare favorably with many a white man's, several of the sisters "got happy", which was truly amusing, and I could but laugh, although I should not have. Their exercise was composed mostly of chanting scraps of every hymn they ever heard, in a gay, dancing tune style, with all jerks and hops for variations. Poor ignorant souls. They greedily grasp at the most mysterious dogmas, as their judgment and reasoning faculties have never been developed or cultivated.


Huntsville, Monday, May 9. Went early in quest of mail but did not get any. Relieved at 8 A. M. Off duty till 12 M. when the assembly sounded and a detail of forty-two men, two corporals and one sergeant under Lieutenant Hood were sent to Captain McBride's to work on the fort. Heavy details were there from all the batteries, cavalry and infantry. There is much work yet to be done on it. The hill being so rocky, very tedious work. Worked half the time, the 12th Battery relieving us every thirty minutes. Forrest reported moving on this place, hence the haste to complete the works.


Huntsville, Tuesday, May 10. 6 A. M. detail of fifty men to report at the fort, taking all the men in camp except the [Pg 208]guards, leaving the non-commissioned officers to groom the horses. Marched up through a heavy rain which continued all day. Laid idle till 10 A. M. for want of tools. All the negroes in town pressed in and put to work. Twenty of us detailed with Corporal Ferris to load a train with 3 by 8 stuff for gun platforms, to obtain which we had to tear down an old machine shop. Returned and unloaded by noon.

All the details marched up in line to McBride's headquarters, where whiskey rations were freely issued to all that wanted, many of the most greedy drinking in several different details. After this issue the Captain mounted a table and read a dispatch from Sherman by telegraph, of glorious news from Grant. Whips Lee and in full pursuit. Butler in Petersburg within ten miles of Richmond. The news and whiskey brought forth thundering acclamations from the soldiers. After stating the importance of the immediate completion of the works, we were dismissed for dinner and started home. Deplorable sight. The intemperate indulgence by those but little used to the poison, caused a large portion of them to be beastly drunk, and our march through town was filled with demoniac yells, tumbling in the mud and mire. I felt ashamed to be seen in the crowd. Such mistaken kindness tends to demoralize the army as well as to increase the hatred of our enemy. Many of the boys had to be carried to their tents, and were unable to return to their work in the afternoon. Rained heavy all the afternoon. Worked hard. At night a terrible thunder storm deluged our camp, water standing in one of the tents eighteen inches deep. Our floor was all afloat, and we had to climb into our bunks to keep dry. Dry land could not be seen. Much noise and fun in order to forget the disagreeable in the humorous.


Huntsville, Wednesday, May 11. Exceedingly cold morning, more like March than May. Started early to the fort, worked hard in the forenoon loading wagons with dirt to be hauled on to the wall. After dinner helped lay foundation for heavy [Pg 209]guns. Much anxiety prevails in regard to Grant. In the East it is confidently hoped by some that he will capture Richmond, but I dare not hope, it is too big a job to be accomplished so soon. Sherman is at work, but no news. Forrest does not seem to come.


1864 All at Work

Huntsville, Thursday, May 12. All army followers, sutlers, correspondents, etc. were ordered out this morning to work on fortifications by Colonel Alexander, a tough pull for them, but justifiable and highly acceptable to the soldiers. They left their homes to avoid conscription and rob the soldier of his hard-earned money. Let them dig alongside the but slightly darker complected baker and hotel waiter. I was on guard, which this time, is a day of rest, very acceptable. I was quite tired, almost sick. An exciting report arrived that Butler was in Richmond, received 11 A. M. But little credence placed on it, though.


Huntsville, Friday, May 13. A cold, chilly night. On guard. The hours passed tedious to me, as I felt quite unwell. Did not go to work on the fort to-day. In the afternoon, ditched around the stable. 14th Illinois Regiment, the advance of the 17th Corps, arrived this morning from Athens. Report the whole Corps falling under General Blair. General Crocker in town. Three trains of wounded passed North last night and this morning. Good news from Sherman. McPherson in their rear. Reports dubious from Grant. Forrest accidentally ran against the 17th Corps on his way here, and lost all his artillery. Guess he won't bother us any more.


Huntsville, Saturday, May 14. Worked hard on fort all day, it fast approaching completion. Rifle pits are being dug completely around it, enfilading all the principal streets of the town. All the contrabands out. One volunteer citizen has been at work three days, honorable exception. Another sprig of chivalry working with the negroes under guard for saying that no "d——n [Pg 210]Yankee could make him work". Yankee bayonet did it though. Reports of struggle fierce and wild still reach us from Grant. Highly successful but the slaughter is terrible. One year ago to-day we entered the haughty capital of Mississippi after deadly fight.


Huntsville, Sunday, May 15. Quiet, tranquil Sabbath day. For once I was not on guard Sunday, so I attended Sabbath school at 9 A. M. A very interesting class, with the soldiers taught by an intelligent Northern man connected with the quartermaster's department. Waited till sermon, 10:30 A. M. Listened to a miserable, inconsistent discourse from an itinerant Methodist preacher, a violent rebel apparently at that. In the evening took a stroll through the town to admire the beautiful blooming grounds and yards. Visited the Calhoun yard, where the pest house is now kept. Saw specimens of that vegetable curiosity called the "century plant", about four feet high, with large fluffy leaves like petals, with little sign of life.


Huntsville, Monday, May 16. On guard, first relief. All very quiet. No detail sent to the fort to-day. Nearly done except inside blasting rocks, etc. A band of twenty men arrived from Brodhead, Wisconsin, last evening to be assigned to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 15th Army Corps. Early in the evening they opened in front of 12th Battery headquarters, formed in a circle, and in the gentle twilight played numerous airs, patriotic and melancholy; the sweetest of all, "Home Sweet Home". The green was covered with soldiers, lying at full length, dreamily enjoying the sweet music, forgetful of all the past, in blissful forgetfulness of all things real. The instruments were of German silver, making a very good appearance. May they serve us with such a treat often.


1864 Expecting Forrest

Madison Station, Ala., Tuesday, May 17. 9 A. M. the long train of empty cars on their way to Nashville. Packed up in great haste with the report that Madison Station was in the [Pg 211]hands of the rebels, ten miles distant from here. The long rolls were immediately sounded in infantry camp. Orderlies hastened with orders. First Section in moving order in ten minutes. Soon both Batteries hitched up. 12th Battery went up to the fort. We waited for orders. Impression prevailed that it was the onset of Forrest for Huntsville. 11 A. M. the 59th Indiana went out on the open cars towards the Station in high spirits and deafening cheers. 18th Wisconsin called from Whitesburg and two companies of 10th Missouri from Flint River.

4 P. M. our Battery ordered aboard train, three days' rations, one blanket. Raining very heavy ever since noon. Guns were put in flat cars, horses in freight cars, and at 5 P. M. we started under Colonel Alexander. As the train left the depot, loud cheers arose from the soldier boys. Returned by the waving of handkerchiefs from windows. At dusk we halted at the smouldering ruins of Madison Depot, burned down and occupied by stragglers of the 13th Illinois. The 59th and four companies of 13th followed the raiders towards the river. Rain fell in torrents while we hurriedly unloaded. Got in moving condition at 9 P. M. and started. Very dark. I was left with forage that was to go back to Huntsville on train. Expecting to return to camp soon, I allowed E. W. E. to take my blanket, but after they left, 10 P. M., was told the train would not return till morning. Closed the car and lay on the wet sacks with only a rubber over me. On guard night before. Quite sleepy.


Madison Station, Wednesday, May 18. Awoke before daylight, numb with cold. Sought the fire around the ruins. I found the 59th Indiana lying sleeping, having returned at 1 A. M. after travelling twenty-six miles since they started through the rain, and no rations or rest. Skirmished with them two miles, driving them on to the river, but as they had no artillery they had to return. Alexander lost the road, consequently [Pg 212]did not meet them. Picked up my breakfast from scraps of hard-tack scattered.

Train went on to Nashville and had to unload the forage. The rebel forces that came in yesterday, under command of Patterson, crossed the river in the night and surprised the post, having them almost surrounded before they were aware of their presence. They estimated fifteen hundred mounted men, four pieces of artillery. The Regiment precipitately made for the woods to escape. Lost everything, clothing, etc. and knapsacks. The affair was no credit to the officers and men of the 13th Illinois. Their time was out on the 24th inst., expecting to go home daily. About thirty of them are now on their way to Southern prisons.

10 A. M. Alexander returned with the troops, having been on a wild goose chase. Marched all night nearly, to find the bird safe. The raiders made good their escape across the Tennessee after having taken four mule teams and wagons, twenty to forty prisoners, a lot of good clothes, "Yankee blue", supply of blankets, and killing two or three, one sick man shot after surrender, with a loss of sixty-four in our hands. Took his killed and wounded with him. On the other side they fired a salute of defiance.

12 M. Battery started by land for Huntsville. Infantry and the artillery came on train. Arrived at Huntsville 5 P. M., being gone twenty-four hours. Marched thirty-eight miles. Tired and sleepy. All hands enjoyed a hearty supper and a good night's rest.


Huntsville, Thursday, May 19. A day of quiet rest to all that would. Sultry and cloudy. Health is good, but felt dull. Eyes pain me considerable. Advance of the 17th Corps, 4th Division, arrived and camped near our old camp on Russell Hill. Corps is to rendezvous here, reorganizing before they take the field. No train expected from Nashville for two days. A bridge is to be repaired, an unwelcome occurrence in these exciting [Pg 213]times when all are breathlessly waiting for news. Five companies, 59th Indiana, went to relieve the 13th Illinois to go home. Expiration of term.


Huntsville, Friday, May 20. On guard, third relief. Gave the day up willingly for its duties by lying low all the time not on post, which was rather monotonous. No papers or mail. Large party went out on pass this afternoon with Sergeant Hauxhurst to visit friends in 14th, 17th, and 33rd Wisconsin Regiments.


1864 A Camp Pond

Huntsville, Saturday, May 21. Mail distributed, giving me three fat letters which did me much good. Good news from Sherman. Boys busy in the afternoon damming up the creek in front of camp to make swimming pond. Had a refreshing bath in the evening.


Huntsville, Sunday, May 22. Inspection 8 A. M. Attended Sabbath school. Soldiers' class large and interesting. Before returned to camp, listened to an eloquent and scientific discourse by Dr. Ross, Presbyterian Church. Wrote letters in the afternoon. Very warm. Traded sugar for milk. Made a fine bread pudding for dinner, great rarity for soldiers. A train of thirty cars loaded with "grey backs" captured by Sherman passed North; very dirty and filthy-looking clothes.


Huntsville, Monday, May 23. Very warm, sultry day. Performed the pleasant task of signing pay roll, expect a month's soon. Change getting low on all sides. Heavy columns of troops arrived all day. Leggett's Division, 17th Army Corps expect to reorganize ere leaving for the front. I anticipate that we will soon be relieved to join our Corps in the front with gallant Sherman, who is doing much. Expects to be in Atlanta by the first of June. Terrible uncertainty hangs over Grant. A heavy mail arrived this evening. I received two good ones from T. L. and E. L. 63rd Illinois returned from veteran furlough.


[Pg 214]

Huntsville, Tuesday, May 24. Our quiet camp is very busy to-day by the bustle occasioned by the presence of the 17th Corps. Wagons driving in hot haste, drums beating, bugles blowing, etc. The boys as of old are doing steep jay-hawking, breaking into gardens, cheating sutlers, etc. A long march has invariably a demoralizing effect upon troops. Guards stationed on every corner. Blair has ordered our Division to the front. Smith telegraphed to Sherman for orders. Paid off 4 P. M., $52.00. The rest of the day was spent very busily, settling debts and crossing out old scores, trading, etc.


Huntsville, Wednesday, May 25. The 17th Corps took up the line of march early this morning but did not get under way, all of it till 11 A. M. They go back towards Decatur, supposed to cross the river for Rome. As they marched out with bands playing and colors flying, it was a grand sight, and to any man an incentive to patriotism to watch the firm, measured step of thousands of brave men, marching cheerfully to the hardest of deaths, many miles away from home and its endearments. As they march through this traitor land, do not their hearts beat quick as they think of those behind. Would that they could but behold the cheerful and willing countenances of those they love this morning as they left Huntsville to seek the foes of this country. Wisconsin, my beloved State, has many interests centered in the 17th Corps, six regiments true and brave. Their moving eased our minds as the probabilities of our moving thereby lessened.

The guards that were posted at every corner were relieved, and the by this time quiet 3rd Division allowed to go at will and come when they pleased. They carry themselves as honorable men with but few exceptions. On guard, first relief, after returned. At 10 A. M. went up town. Sat for half a dozen photographs.


1864 Allotments Home

Huntsville, Thursday, May 26. Felt quite unwell. Have a very severe cold and bad headache. Expressed $40.00 home in [Pg 215]J. Lester's package. Battery drill of two hours this morning, first since we reached this camp. Long list on extra duty this afternoon for absence at roll call, etc. The looseness in which things were allowed to run in camp for the last week will now be overbalanced by unscrupulous severity. Good news from Grant read anxiously 9 P. M. from the only paper received in camp.


Huntsville, Friday, May 27. Suffer a severe cold. Dull, cloudy day. Lay in my bunk most of the day. Expressed $40.00 of my money home per J. Lester to-day. Went to town afternoon, received my photos.


Huntsville, Saturday, May 28. A hot day. On detail to go outside pickets after wood. Reported in town 8 A. M. to go with division train. Train did not go, waited to see brigade guard. Loaded with forage and returned to camp. Drew two new mule teams to draw battery wagon and forge. Glorious news from Grant—within a day's march of Richmond.


Huntsville, Sunday, May 29. A calm, quiet, Sabbath day. Company inspection 8 A. M. 9 A. M. had to go on post. Could not go to church, but enjoyed myself well. Wrote home in the afternoon. Camp very quiet, boys mostly gone out. My musings were undisturbed. In the evening a bevy of staff officers visited camp, but were so beastly drunk as to be unable to carry themselves with propriety, racing their horses after negroes, etc. Their conduct would be disgraceful to a private. One of the staff officers of Sherman among them. Such are the examples our superior officers set before us. Can we expect anything but demoralization?


Huntsville, Monday, May 30. A very warm day. Mail train did not come in last night. The camp is anxious for news. 12th Battery veterans arrived 11 A. M. in gay colors. Expect ours daily. 13th Indiana Cavalry equipped as infantry, without horses, arrived from Nashville, and gone to relieve our Division [Pg 216]at Madison Station. More expected soon when we will go to the front.


Huntsville, Tuesday, May 31. Went out on drill this morning on the outskirts of town under Lieutenant Clark two hours. When we returned to camp we found our veterans direct from home. The reunion was very cordial, and to see faces that had been to Wisconsin, brought us nearer to the absent ones. The remainder of the day was happily spent in asking and answering questions, with incidents and anecdotes. Visited Christian Commission rooms in the evening, borrowed Jessie Fremont's Story of the Guard, and read it with interest. No news from the contending foes.


Huntsville, Wednesday, June 1. No drill. General policing. Veterans were assigned to platoons, giving about thirty-six men to a platoon and three corporals. Very crowded. Seven men in our tent and mess. On guard as supernumerary. Lieutenant Clark left on evening train for Louisville with his wife, she going North in expectation of our moving.


Huntsville, Thursday, June 2. A warm sultry day. Did not go out drilling. No mail, but big news from Sherman. Feel dumpish.


Huntsville, Friday, June 3. Cloudy, rained most of the day. Three regiments of the 2nd Brigade came in and went into camp on their old grounds. The railroad is now guarded from Stevenson to Flint River by new troops, dismounted cavalry.


Huntsville, Saturday, June 4. Very wet, most of the day. Damp, drizzly day. On detail in the forenoon, hauled water. Hon. John Y. Smith, former state historian of Wisconsin, is supplying us with records of the 6th Wisconsin Battery. Filled out my certificate of membership. Sent it home.


[Pg 217]

Huntsville, Sunday, June 5. Company inspection at 8 A. M. Lieutenant Hood and four of the boys as escort went to Whitesburg on a visit. Did not feel well this morning, vomiting and headache, rather dyspeptic, must be more careful as to diet. Fine wheaten bread and meat improper diet, but it is all we can have.

1864 Camp Conversions

E. W. E. and myself took a most pleasant walk to the graveyard. Walked among the dead of the time that knew peace and tranquility, and others whose lives had been wrecked by the cruel hand of war. The towering marble erected by loving hands marked the resting place of one, while the rude pine slab denoted where the other lay far away from his native home and kindred. Did not attend service during the day, but attended the army church with Cousin Griffith. Listened to an excellent and liberal sermon from post chaplain, urging the importance of cultivating religious principles, none other is genuine. Six soldiers were baptized after service and the sacrament administered to a large circle of soldiers. There were none others present. Reached camp by 10 P. M. Found a long interesting letter from brother John awaiting me.


Huntsville, Monday, June 6. Very warm day. Went out drilling in the morning. Lieutenant Clark maneuvered us in the streets, coming into battery on the square, crowding citizens, and making ourselves generally ridiculous. 80th Ohio returned to Scottsboro.


Huntsville, Tuesday, June 7. Showery again to-day. Camp is still afloat with a loose report of moving in some indefinite time to some indefinite place. To-day Louisiana and the lower Mississippi is the theme. On guard, second relief. Health better. A squad of eight men under Sergeant Dixon went as an escort to a picnic party composed of "shoulder straps" and Southern ladies, to Bird Spring, six miles distant. Returned 6 P. M. Had a good dinner, champagne in plenty and dancing. Enjoyed themselves well although they went as menials.


[Pg 218]

Huntsville, Wednesday, June 8. Exceedingly heavy rain, completely inundating our camp, which lies in a poor locality for wet weather. Several of the boys attacked with ague, and more will follow if this weather continues.


Huntsville, Thursday, June 9. Detailed to go after clothing this morning. Returned by 11 A. M. Clothing issued in afternoon. Still showery and cloudy. As seen by general order, General Logan is assigned to the command of all the railroad line from Nashville to Stevenson, which relieves Smith from his line.


Huntsville, Friday, June 10. Abraham Lincoln nominated for the presidency by the Baltimore convention, and Andy Johnson for vice-president which gives satisfaction to the large majority in the army. Hurrah for Old Abe.

Drilled under Lieutenant Hood. Condemned horses turned over. Drew rations, "hard-tack" instead of flour. What does it mean? "Grant Negro Minstrels" set up in town, many boys visited.


Huntsville, Saturday, June 11. Health very good. Eyes troublesome. Times dull. Weather wet and muddy. News of several desperate engagements reach us but none decisive, except Hunter in the Shenandoah Valley. A regiment of 100-day men passed this morning to Decatur, Alabama. Had a rich dish of raspberries for dinner, earliest of the season.


Huntsville, Sunday, June 12. Inspection of transportation at 6 A. M. by Division quartermaster. Mounted artillery inspection by Captain Dillon 9 A. M. I was not required to fill detachment, therefore attended church. Listened to Dr. Ross, a peculiar discourse on "What is Man". A train containing three hundred prisoners passed North this afternoon under guard of 15th Indiana. Orderly arrived from Logan, reports him wounded twice, but still commanding, the bravest of the [Pg 219]brave, in the very front, sleeves rolled up as usual. Attended evening service at post chapel with Cousin Griff. Good sermon, but did want a good letter waiting my return as last Sunday.


Huntsville, Monday, June 13. Cloudy! Rainy! Muddy! Are we never more to have sunshine? I would wish that some of this would fall on the parched cornfields of Wisconsin. But still it is very nice here, keeps the air cool and is God-sent to our poor wounded in the front. Received a keg of butter from our homes, i. e., Griff, Evie, D. J. D., Bailey and myself. Butter very acceptable and quite an addition to our unwholesome fare. On guard, first relief. Stringent orders in regard to skulking, etc. read to us this evening from Sherman. Took a long and pleasant walk with G. M. S. in the morning.


Huntsville, Tuesday, June 14. A sunny day without rain at last. Signed receipt rolls for clothing. All the wounded and sick sent North from the hospitals here. The long-expected order was at last issued this afternoon. "Hold ourselves in readiness to march at any time." After four days' waiting I [received] my letter.


1864 Soldier Brides

Huntsville, Wednesday, June 15. Weather fine. Health very good. Weight 138. Mounted monthly inspection by Captains Budlong and Dillon at 10 A. M. Green peas for dinner. Myself sick. Division concentrating at this place. 63rd Illinois arrived at 4 P. M. Two soldiers, 2nd Brigade, married to girls they found at Scottsboro.


Huntsville, Thursday, June 16. Pleasant day. All quiet. 10th Minnesota arrived by rail 9 A. M. 3rd Brigade marched in from Decatur 3 P. M. Roddey made a dash upon the place before they were barely out of sight, driving the 100-day men inside their works, and the Brigade of Dodge's Corps had to go back and drive them off. General hospital is being moved, [Pg 220]patients sent North and the stores and goods farther south. Visited the pest hospital in the evening, where two of our boys are lying. Had quite a homelike appearance compared with that I laid in at Corinth, more clean, having soft beds and good treatment.


Huntsville, Friday, June 17. All well and quiet. Very hot. Spent most of the day reading Pollok's Course of Time. Received Covenant and Enquirer in the evening. Took a long walk in the soft twilight all alone, enjoyed myself very much. Drew new horses, eight of them.


Huntsville, Saturday, June 18. On guard, easy but disagreeable. 18th Wisconsin arrived from Whitesburg 10 A. M. The old and tried Division is once more together. The infantry pickets were relieved in evening. The time is at hand when they will have to leave.


Huntsville, Sunday, June 19. Relieved from guard 9 A. M. Staid in camp all day reading papers received by mail. Four hundred rebel prisoners passed through on their way North. One train staid at the depot most of the afternoon. They were the same men that we dug out of Vicksburg last summer. Plucky as ever. They will not repent until utter ruin overtakes them. Citizens and soldiers flocked around to see the sights. Some ladies tremblingly inquired for friends and relations, others pressing forward anxious to bestow a smile upon those whom they sympathized with.


Huntsville, Monday, June 20. Quite warm. Health very good in camp. Seven patients in hospital, recruits, one dangerous. Johnson, raving with fever all night. Drilled from 7 to 9 A. M. Rode out to graze in a fruitful orchard. Marching orders once more received, "Move Wednesday morning."


Huntsville, Tuesday, June 21. Rained all day. Everybody is quiet but busy, preparing for the morrow, packing knapsacks [Pg 221]writing letters, etc. Upwards of one hundred fifty letters left the Battery to-day. Enoch Johnson died at 10 A. M. This young man leaves a wife and child to mourn his loss, whom but a few months ago he left in the prime of life to do service for his country. Alas! they will see his manly form no more in this world. His disease was congestive chills and typhoid fever. Was one of the detachment that late in the evening followed the corpse to the grave. Silently, without a word of prayer, we buried him in a rude coffin, and without a thought hardly, hastened back to camp to prepare for the morrow. It is now dark and I go to an early rest in my homelike bunk for the last time.


On to Atlanta

Brownsboro, Wednesday, June 22. Reveille sounded at 2:30 A. M. and quietly we broke camp and marched at 5 A. M. with but one regiment ahead of us in the column. Marched through town in fine style, and soon beautiful and dreamy Huntsville was placed among the past. Roads heavy, weather warm. Marched slow, and reached Brownsboro by 12 M. Went into camp and rested the remainder of the day. Boys full of life and hilarity. The dread of starting (and of parting with some) is over and sutlers tremble. Bathed in the clear waters of the Flint in the evening.


1864 Fast Marching

Camp on Paint Rock River, Thursday, June 23. Aroused at 3 A. M. but as we were in the rear of the column, did not move out till 6 A. M. Marched fast, but obliged to halt frequently to let the 2nd Brigade train get out of the way. Our road lay along the railroad, the same that we travelled last winter, but nature's changes were so great that we could hardly recognize the dismal beech swamp, once a dread to cross. But now the deep foliage afforded a welcome protection from the [Pg 222]burning rays of the sun. Camped on Paint Rock 4 P. M. Found our advance having their supper. There was hardly any straggling. Walked all through and feel first rate. Bathed in the evening. Retired early. Disappointed in not receiving mail.


Scottsboro, Ala., Friday, June 24. Started out in advance with the 3rd Brigade at 4 A. M. after hasty preparation and half-swallowed breakfast. The Brigade men in the advance for the first time, and they pulled out in good earnest to show what they could do. The sun came out in all its fierceness, but on we plodded over rocky hills and through shady glens, greedily snatching cooling draughts as it gushed out from the rocks in plenty. Reached Larkinsville by 11 A. M., a distance of fifteen miles, with but three short rests, very fast, getting my toes all blistered. Halted an hour here for dinner. I bathed my feet in cold spring water and felt better. Started again for Scottsboro which we reached by 3 P. M. Part of the road being very bad, waited for the pioneers to repair it. No straggling allowed at all. All stand it well. I am very tired. Marching isn't fun this hot! hotter! hottest! weather. Twenty miles, big day.


Camp on the road, Saturday, June 25. The bugle notes aroused us at 2 A. M. Reluctantly we arose from our sweet slumbers to answer to our names, the failure of which would put us on guard the next night. 2nd Brigade failed to come up with the rear last night, consequently we were in the advance, and while the stars were yet bright we started. The sun came out, if anything, hotter than yesterday. In the middle of the day halted frequently to rest. Passed through Bellefonte. Many of the infantry gave out. Came into camp on the bank of a creek three miles from Stevenson at 1 P. M.

1864 Straggling

I am very tired, but feel not as sore as last night. The remainder of the day was spent in resting at full length under [Pg 223]the trees, all extra appendages removed, cooking and eating supper, and bathing weary limbs, etc. I was put on guard at 7 P. M. R—— remained back at Huntsville when we left and did not come up till this morning. Was tied to the gun and marched behind it all day. Is to be tied up for nine days, for three days' straggling.


Camp on Mud Creek, Ala., Sunday, June 26. Our weary limbs were allowed to rest undisturbed this morning till daylight. Found it hard work to stand guard last night. Did not march as expected. Washed my shirt and socks in the stream, going without any while they dried. The day was well used by us all in writing letters and resting, but to our disappointment no mail came and no papers seen. 2nd Brigade came up before dinner. Expect to take the cars at 2 P. M. Platoon messes organized. Four of our boys came in from Stevenson, having marched ahead yesterday. They will be tied up as stragglers.


Camp on Mud Creek, Monday, June 27. Lay in our bivouac all day awaiting transportation by rail to take us to the front. 3rd Brigade and 12th Battery started at noon. Weather very oppressive. B. F. Runyan was sunstruck this afternoon. Raved all last night in greatest agony. Will be sent North to-morrow if he survives. Five of our boys and negro Anthony tied to the wheels all day to-day for straggling. "The way of the transgressor is hard". Wrote a letter to folks, waiting with all anxiety for our evening mail, but it did not come.


Camp on Mud Creek, Tuesday, June 28. The threatening thunderstorm of last night unfortunately passed away without cooling us and settling the dust. Our spirits were revived this morning by securing last night's mail. I received one from Hannah with her familiar countenance, a precious gift. Our back mail has gone to Big Shanty. Day passed off heavily. No reading matter and all shady places were monopolized by card [Pg 224]players, etc. I amused myself with checkers most of the day. No late papers in camp. 2nd Brigade gone on cars. Leave wagons behind.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, June 29. Nothing important transpired during the forenoon. Late papers brought into camp. A great treat. After dinner "Boots and Saddles" was sounded and in thirty minutes we moved out towards Stevenson. One of the caisson drivers sick. I had to take his team. Proceeded to load upon the cars as soon as possible. The track was crowded and it was difficult to load the horses, which were unharnessed. At about 5 P. M. the train started, amid the cheering of the troops and music by the 1st Brigade band from the piazza of the Soldiers' Home. Leave all the wagons to come through by land. At Bridgeport three long trains from the front passed us, and it was dark before we crossed the Tennessee River bridge. I rode on top [of the] freight, and in spite of myself slept most of the time, while we dashed on through the darkness, over precipices, around curves, etc. in danger of being rolled off. To prevent which locked arms with the comrade on the other side. Was awake while we passed under the majestic wall of Lookout, the Tennessee beneath us, a very beautiful scene. Arrived at Chattanooga at 11 P. M. Slept on cars till morning.


Kingston, Ga., Thursday, June 30. Arose to find ourselves enveloped by cars and engines. Chattanooga is thriving under the military. Buildings are going up, roads repaired, etc. and an immense amount of stores are kept at this place. After breakfast and morning papers read, we were mustered for pay. Inspected at 8 A. M. Two [extra] engines attached, and with difficulty we reached the tunnel. Passed through it when extra engines left us, and we rode on some time, very fast, but often obliged to halt, trains blockading us in front.

1864 The Friendly Poor

Road very lightly guarded. Engineers' camps frequently seen [Pg 225]in the dense forest, busy at work getting out timber for bridges, etc. Steam mills running, etc. Country very thinly settled and poor land covered with pine shrubs. Tunnel Hill, a small town totally deserted in a mountain gorge, could be seen, Johnston's winter quarters. Passed through a tunnel three-quarters of a mile long here, nearly suffocating us with fire and smoke. Dalton, next important place, found deserted and crumbling to ruins. Looks old, no new buildings. Disappointed at its appearance. Resaca on Oostanaula River, the strongest fortified position on the line, all cut up in rifle pits and forts, and large enclosure of graves tells of the fearful struggle it required to take it. The railroad bridge was a curiosity, made of round timber without bolt and rod, all wood. Calhoun we reached 4 P. M., the prettiest place on the line, neat houses, pretty yards and inhabited. At the tank we were met by battalion of secesh ladies with blackberries, huckle-berries, pies, milk, etc. to sell. Adairsville next station. A few houses. Women cheered us and boys returned a hearty response. Wheat and oats growing all along the road mostly harvested, but poor crop. Have seen more small grain to-day than I have since I left Wisconsin. Mostly poor people live here. Reached Kingston by dark. Went to the depot 11 P. M., and had to unload the horses and water them.


Kingston, Friday, July 1. Unloaded leisurely in forenoon. Went out a mile to graze horses. Headquarters arrived 2 P. M. and ordered us into camp. Harnessed up. Camped on the bank of Etowah River, a ridiculously small creek to be called a river. Received a portion of our back mail. I only received one. This was once a pretty station but now deserted. Strongly fortified position. Garrisoned by 3rd Cavalry Division. Expect to be relieved by our Division. Did not get around to write home to-day. Bathed in river at night. Caught in a terrible rain. Soaked to the skin.


[Pg 226]

Kingston, Saturday, July 2. Rained very heavy all night and nearly all day. Dried my clothes and my knapsack, and commenced writing a letter. Finished by night. Three regiments, 2nd Brigade, left last night, back to Calhoun and Macon to guard railroad. Two regiments of 3rd Brigade, left this afternoon, to be stationed on the Rome railroad, eighteen miles long. This infantry is going to guard road. Rumor says artillery goes to this point. A long train of wounded from the front, among whom was A. Silsby shot in arm and hip severely. Is full of pluck. Was with him a long time. No letters by mail for the Battery. How provoking!


Kingston, Sunday, July 3. Moved position this morning a few rods. Unharnessed and went to work to build quarters, when we again hitched up and moved on to a hill one-fourth mile from town, overlooking it, and strongly fortified. This new camp was vacated this morning by the 10th Wisconsin Battery belonging to Cavalry Division. 48th Indiana Infantry stationed right behind for support. All hands busy erecting shelters from the hot sun. Spencer and D. Evans joined with E. W. E. and myself and built a cozy little "shebang". Went out grazing three miles this afternoon, into a splendid clover field. Blackberries in all abundance. D. Evans and I picked three quarts, a rich supper.


Kingston, Monday, July 4. 'Tis Independence Day but there is nothing unusual to remind us of it. Yet it is not forgotten. We remember with enthusiasm how gloriously it was spent one year ago in beholding our country's enemy succumb to our Chieftain Grant, and we know the time will come when all traitors will meet a like fate. The train from the front tells us that Sherman's headquarters are on the summit of Kenesaw Mountain. If true, good news enough. Hurrah for Sherman and our Union!

Went out grazing both forenoon and afternoon alone, three hours each time; while out picked blackberries. Brought in as [Pg 227]many as mess could eat, very rich and nice. Camp policed by cannoneers, which makes it look very much better. It is a pleasant spot, high and airy, broad view before us.

1864 "Home Sweet Home"

It is dusk, everything is dreary and still, I write alone. Below is Kingston, wholly deserted, no sign of life except a few wandering soldiers. The band at Brigade headquarters has been playing "America" and is now giving "Home Sweet Home" in touching strains that go to the hearts of all the rough and quiet listeners. How did they spend to-day at home? Would that I could but have one glance. I feel that their uppermost thought is "Where is Jenkin to-night." He too is thinking of you. It is well with him, but longs to hear from home. It is three weeks since the last mail reached him. The day is spent as all others are spent. He has nothing to read or amuse himself with here, and he will go to bed early to enjoy sweet slumbers and pleasant dreams.


Kingston, Tuesday, July 5. A hot day. Evie took out my team to graze this morning. While gone three large armsful of mail was distributed to the Batteries and greedily seized by the mail-hungry Badgers. I received three good letters from home. After dinner took out horses and brought in fresh supply of berries. Found another big batch of mail for us. Two were for me. Our back mail is all up now and all are satisfied. What a manifest difference is to be seen to-night compared with last night. All is life and hilarity, songs sung, jokes cracked till late in the night.


Kingston, Wednesday, July 6. Up early, groomed my team before roll call. Drew forage for them this morning, first time for two days. 8 A. M. went to graze in an oat field. Heavy crop all headed. It seems almost wicked to allow animals to destroy it, but it was sowed for Confederate purposes and the owner is with the fleeing "Johnnies". Every shady nook, stump and stone occupied by somebody. Writing to-day, answered [Pg 228]the heap received yesterday. The guns put in position on the works. Harness racks erected, brush shade put over caisson and racks. Everything indicates that we are to stay for awhile.


Kingston, Thursday, July 7. The day was exceedingly warm. Grazed only once to-day. Drew rations. No sugar to be had. Just the time we need it with blackberries. Waiting all day for train from North. Rebels took a train last night near Dalton and mail. Afraid they got my letter. The citizen that led the guerrillas in (for they are nothing else) was unceremoniously hung by the citizens of the place. Camp is full of rumors. Atlanta is taken several times during each day. One thing is certain, they are dogged. From Kenesaw Mountain train after train of prisoners go to the rear.


Kingston, Friday, July 8. Went to graze in a different direction this morning, being warned by citizen that guerrillas were prowling around to pick up our horses where we went before. Disappointed when I returned in not finding any mail. Day was very, very hot. Camp is in just the place for such weather, cool air always. Took a walk to town in the evening with D. Evans. Talked with prisoners.


Kingston, Saturday, July 9. Drew sugar last night, as could be known by the large number anxious to ride out grazing so as to get berries. E. W. E. went out with us. Picked two gallons. No mail or news.


Kingston, Sunday, July 10. Company inspection at 6 A. M. Grazed 7 A. M. Met wagon train moving in, they had had pleasant journey. Returned to camp by 10:30 A. M. with our dishes full of the rich blackberries. They are our staple diet. Hard-tack and "sow belly" dessert. No mail to-day again. No news. Reading matter very limited, the effect of which is very apparent. Three or four squads to be seen gambling at one time [Pg 229]in camp, notwithstanding it is the Sabbath day. I have never known more open gambling in the Battery. The only checking influence is withdrawn when the letters cease to come from home, parents, sisters and brothers.


1864 Letters From Home

Kingston, Monday, July 11. Evie took my team out to graze. Spencer and I built, lower in park, shebang with table, etc. Boys hard at work putting up houses, sheds. 4 P. M. on detail hauling brush for sheds. Orders received to march 3 A. M. in the morning. All work on quarters ceased in an instant, our dreams of cool shade and easy time gone in a moment. Hurriedly washed dirty shirt in the stream, and prepared for the moving. Received a letter this evening. Health good. Expect to go to the front.


Cartersville, Ga., Tuesday, July 12. Reveille sounded in the small hours of the night, and with the first rays of the morn we descended the hill and were on the way. After more delay we started, seven regiments, two batteries and division train. Most of the 2nd and 3rd Brigades left behind on the roads. Marched steady and fast. Passed through Cassville at 10 A. M., a very pretty country town hid away among the hills. Four mills on the road. A large college used as general hospital by rebs here. Ascended to the observatory, had a splendid view. A large library filled with books going to waste. As we marched, country improved. Land more arable, much less stony. Passed most excellent corn fields, although they received no care or protection. Marched through Cartersville 3 P. M., a place of some pretensions in time of peace, occupied by the cavalrymen relieved at Kingston. Camped a mile below in a pretty grove, a good ways from water. Slept in an old house that threatened to demolish us by tumbling over.


Etowah Bridge, Ga., Wednesday, July 13. Up early. Moved 6 A. M. 4th Minnesota, 18th Wisconsin, 80th Ohio and 12th Battery moved on to Allatoona, four miles further on. We [Pg 230]went into a fort on a steep cliff or point on the Etowah River and commanding the railroad bridge seventy feet high, erected by Sherman's Construction Corps. Found everything ready for us, a luck we never before met with, strong fortifications already built, good and neat shebangs, horse-sheds for most of the horses made of lumber, stalls and mangers all ready, and in a few minutes we were as much at home as though we had worked a week. The scenery here is romantic and I hope we may stay here for a time at least. Bathed in the river early evening. Pretty stream.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, July 14. All still and dull, the monotony of camp settled down upon us very soon, a few new shebangs and fixing up around quarters. No mail or news found us in this wild mountainous locality. Country people very ignorant.


1864 Blackberry Hunt

Etowah Bridge, Friday, July 15. Grazed in forenoon. Detail and three wagons sent out after oats. Harvested it and brought it to camp. Fed to horses in evening. Found plenty four miles down the river. Brought back piles of apples. No break in the monotony of camp. Evans obtained pass for himself and eight men to go outside pickets to pick blackberries. Spencer, Evans, D. Wallace, Hayes and myself started one morning, followed the secesh railroad running up south side of river to iron works. Walked about five miles, saw a large flouring mill and rolling mills, two of the largest water powers I ever saw, all the works completely destroyed.

Crossed over mountains, through gorges, till at last found blackberries with no ending. Eyes could not wish for more. Surrounded by the wildest of hills, but little trace of civilization. We picked our dishes full. I picked nine quarts in about two hours. Awful warm, sweat more than I ever did in August field. Reached camp but little before retreat. Tired and loaded down with berries. Our mess at night ate nearly [Pg 231]one-half bushel of berries. Ate till nearly sick. Whew! what a country.


Etowah Bridge, Saturday, July 16. Had a long ride on south bank of river to graze. Stopped in a beautiful field of "red top". Wagons out hauling grass into camp. Yankees running an old McCormick reaper as mower with mule teams, doing big business. Weather very, very hot. Felt nearly exhausted when we reached camp, but a healthy reaction took place upon finding a big "foolscap" letter, all from home, also the likeness of sister Margaret and her two little boys. Sweet little ones. It brought to memory the time I was with you, and how I delighted to ride you upon my knee.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, July 17. Another quiet, still, hot Sabbath day, the dullness of camp life felt in all its might. Could not drive it away, but by writing letters. Inspection 6 A. M. Grazed afterwards. Did not return till noon. Boys loaded with apples, berries, etc.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, July 18. All well. Morning passed off in usual way. Grazing, etc. Great scarcity of news. For variety we went out on blackberry hunt in the afternoon with Corporal Evans. Went five miles, picked dishes full. Visited the ruins of rolling mills, called on several secesh women, returned by sundown, had a gay time and good supper.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, July 19. The usual routine of duty unbroken. Our camp and position inspected by Major of Artillery, General Steedman's Chief, who set us to policing after supper. Slicked up in general. Bathed in Etowah in the evening. Brigade band visited us, and discoursed beautiful music under the pale, soft light of the moon. A long train of wagons, consisting of Sherman's supernumerary teams left at Chattanooga at the beginning of campaign, passed to the front. Convalescents rejoining their regiments by every train.


[Pg 232]

Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, July 20. Cool day. Health good, but weigh twelve pounds less than at Huntsville. Warm weather thins me out. Dixon and Evie started early this morning on horseback to catch fish in the numerous traps along the river. Returned by dinner with "nary" a fish. A drove of 2,000 beef cattle driven by to the front by convalescents. Monthly issue of clothing made. Drew flour rations. Reports are prevalent of the capture of Atlanta. Hope it is so. Good bath in mill-dam in the evening.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, July 21. Very cold day. Grazed as usual. Returned to find all my tent mates gone berrying. Washed my dirty clothing after dinner. A very heavy thunder storm came up, 4 P. M. Deluged everything in my bunk and soaked everybody in our shanty, a laughable time of it, though rather wet. The berry party had returned, and we ate while it rained, having a jolly time. Late in the evening a bouncing big mail arrived, nearly all served. I received one, from T. L. and family's photograph. Very lifelike and acceptable.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, July 22. A pleasant day. Wrote in the forenoon. Reading matter very scarce yet. About 10 A. M. a report was brought into camp by Elston from headquarters dispatched by General Smith from the front, that our troops entered city of Atlanta between 2 and 3 A. M. this morning. Sundry attempts were made to raise a cheer with but a feeble result. Past experience has taught us to beware of disappointments, and the thought of many slain was saddening.


1864 Death of McPherson

Etowah Bridge, Saturday, July 23. Charlie Pickard took his team to-day, thereby relieving me once more from driver's duty. Went out on detail in the morning after lumber for cook's shanty. Returned by noon. Heard the sad news that Maj. Gen. J. B. McPherson was killed by the enemy this morning, [Pg 233]which spread gloom over all, yet we could not believe it as we looked at the flag at Brigade headquarters still floating from the top of its pole. But alas! it lowers and stops at half mast and droops mournfully in sad significance. Ah yes, it is too true.

Our beloved leader has offered up his life—a martyr to freedom. In his death the Army of Tennessee has lost a gallant commander, the cause of freedom a true and earnest supporter, humanity a noble Christian gentleman, and the private soldier one of his truest and warmest friends. Never did I see such a gloom cast upon our camp. Every face wore a sad and mournful appearance. One would hardly think the rough unfeeling soldier would undergo such a change. But to one that had seen the enthusiasm that his beaming face created in the bosoms of the men on the bloody fields of Jackson, Champion Hills and Vicksburg, knows too well the place he has taken in our hearts. Sleep, noble leader. We have often watched thee in the thickest of the fight, and honored thy heroism. We will cherish thy memory while breath remains. May we all emulate his example. 3 P. M. a train from the front brought the earthly remains of him and Gen. Giles A. Smith, the dashing brigade commander in the 2nd Division, 15th Corps. Had monthly inspection 9 A. M. by Captains Dillon and Budlong.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, July 24. All very still and dull in camp after morning inspection. Anxiously listening for intelligence from the front. From the last reliable information we received last night, Atlanta was not ours, terrible efforts being made by General Hood, commanding rebel forces to retake his lost position. Heavy cannonading could be heard for an hour this morning, supposed to be in front.

2 P. M. While writing home, the long roll was sounded, and the infantry fell in with arms, and we were ordered to be ready for fight. The cavalry seen galloping over the hills. Waited half an hour, when the men returned to their quarters, the [Pg 234]scare being over. Proved to be a squad of guerrillas, estimated at 150, which rushed upon one of our picket posts west of town, capturing it and then skedaddled. No mail came in. Track reported torn up. If they come and fool around here much, they may get hurt. General Kilpatrick's headquarters in town. Two of his cavalry brigades here, and one of ours. In the evening Griff and I took a walk to town, the first time I have been in it since arrived. Old fashioned and dilapidated.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, July 25. Had a very cold night. Suffered for want of bed clothes notwithstanding the days are very hot. Great anxiety felt for reliable news from the front. Chattanooga Gazette reports capture of Atlanta. Trains from the front deny it. Received two mails. Latest came in 4 P. M. I received three letters.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, July 26. Not so cold last night. Cool day. I spent it very quietly. Great dearth of reading matter. Health very good. All the boys drew soft bread, quite a rarity. Hard-tack getting wearisome.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, July 27. Cloudy day, showery in the evening. Health very good. On guard, the first time for a month. The moments passed slowly while on post, and I was almost lonesome. 1st Ohio and 5th Kentucky Infantry passed through on their way home this evening. They go right from the front line of battle to homes that are awaiting them. But a few of them left to represent the 1,000 that started. Report Sherman surrounding Atlanta on all sides, expected to be engaged to-day. Major General Steedman and staff gone to the front. No mail received.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, July 28. Dull, drowsy and dreamy. Nothing in camp but speculations on the affairs in front and the future in general. A few have hopes of peace from the Peace Commissioners in Canada, but fear it is delusive.


[Pg 235]

Etowah Bridge, Friday, July 29. A very hot day. Hauled load after load of water in the morning, afterwards went to town with E. F. H. to spend the day. Saw General Kilpatrick, a young officer. Fighting Joe Hooker sent to the rear with his staff on a "dinky". They go to Washington. Hope they'll give him a chance to work.


1864 A Friendly Family

Etowah Bridge, Saturday, July 30. After breakfast, waited to go with Corporal Knapp and O. J. Burnham out after berries. E. F. Hayes and I followed with pails. Walked about five miles to the romantic country seat of Old Cooper. By 9 A. M. we had dishes full of the luscious fruit, upon which we have feasted for the last month. Visited at a house inhabited by an old couple called Williams, formerly of N. C. Very social and friendly, apparently open-hearted and honest, but ignorant, as was shown by the old man asking if Minnesota was a state. A pretty young lady treated us to a drink of good buttermilk which tasted home-like. And we started back. Jerked a load of roasting-corn out of a corn field and returned to camp by 1 P. M. exhausted by the heat which was very severe. Had green corn for dinner and felt better. Thus the time passes.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, July 31. A calm, quiet Sabbath day. No excitement or news. Spent the day as I do all others, reading and writing, etc. Much gambling going on amongst a certain portion of the boys to-day as usual.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Aug. 1. On guard, second relief. Health good. Everything passed off smoothly with the exception of no papers came. By order of General Sherman none to be sold this side of the front, his policy being "those that fight shall read". Right, and we cannot grumble, but hope they will furnish enough for both soon.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Aug. 2. Rainy forenoon. Hot, sultry in the afternoon. We are once more effectually chained [Pg 236]in camp by General Smith. No passes to be allowed save those approved by him. Yet we can go out grazing, etc. Had blackberry pies and green corn. Signed pay rolls, a pleasant task in view of the pleasing anticipations of greenbacks. Paper blockade still continues. 80th Ohio headed back from Acworth to Resaca to relieve 10th Missouri. Going out of service, time expired.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Aug. 3. Kilpatrick's Cavalry, two brigades of which were camped below town, moved out early this morning for the front with their division train. Cavalry makes a big display, and it took them till nearly noon to get under way, occupying as much road as a corps of infantry would. 93rd Illinois also moved by to relieve 18th Wisconsin at Allatoona, to allow them to take their veteran furlough, so long and patiently waited for. Sixteen picked mule-teams from the Division went to Sherman's headquarters. Rode out grazing this morning. Brought in a bag of peaches. Had sauce and pies, very good. Lucky enough to buy a paper upon the train to-night. Good news from Grant. Commenced his old game of blowing up as at Vicksburg.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Aug. 4. The 63rd Illinois broke camp at the foot of the hill and moved into town as provost guards. This forenoon sultry. Sergeant Dixon took team outside lines after lumber. In the afternoon we went to work to tear down our single bunks and put up some double bunks on one side. Made cupboard, etc. More comfortable and snug. Bathed in the evening. All merry way into the night before we could sober down enough to go to sleep. Light-hearted and unconcerned about all things. Such is a soldier if he lives.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Aug. 5. A pleasant day. On guard, third relief. After waiting all day, paymaster came about 4 P. M. and in a few minutes our greenbacks were counted out [Pg 237]for the months of May and July, sixteen dollars per month for the first time.


1864 Merit and Favoritism

Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Aug. 6. Very pleasant time. On guard last night and this morning. Relieved at 9 A. M. Days busy settling up, paying, dunning, changing, etc. I have no such work to do. Sergt. Alba Sweet, veteran, ordered to Kingston to take charge of a section of artillery. His men to be detailed from infantry, he to drill and organize, the position of a lieutenant. A good boy and a true soldier, best drill master in the Battery. D. L. C. a recruit, detailed as clerk to headquarters, which caused a little surprise among some of the old soldiers, but he was a brother Mason.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Aug. 7. Very heavy rains last night, river raised two feet this morning in a very few hours. Company inspection at 7 A. M. Took sick man's team to graze. Wrote letters in the afternoon. Very warm.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Aug. 8. A pleasant day of clouds and sunshine in pleasing variety. Cannoneers called out this morning for standing gun drill. I went out with a team. Two wagons sent out in brigade train for forage ten miles. Returned by 3 P. M. Two negroes came in this morning from McCook's disaster on the Macon Railroad, having been eight days in the woods, subsisting upon blackberries, peaches, etc. Having tasted freedom once, they will not succumb to the degradation of slavery again. P. G. a big reckless dare devil, who had been tied up the last five days for persisting in doing as he pleased, was released, and a tender youth, unaccustomed to the hard buffeting of a heartless world, tied instead for trespassing upon the dignity of our stable sergeant.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Aug. 9. Rainy day. Drilled one hour on gun this morning. Issued clothing for the month. I drew a hat in which to brave the storms of another campaign [Pg 238](maybe). Infantry had regimental inspection in the afternoon. No news. Heavy artillery, caissons and carriages going to the front in large numbers.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Aug. 10. On guard, second relief. Two men under arrest again. Such cases getting frequent. Rainy afternoon. No mail nor papers. All healthy, corn and peaches in plenty.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Aug. 11. Slept most of the afternoon after coming off guard. Trains of wounded came from the front, one of them stopped on switch. Had a long talk with the wounded. They belong to the Army of Tennessee. Severely wounded on the 22nd ult., the day our loved leader fell, of whom they speak most feelingly. Cheerful, in hopes of seeing home soon. One little drummer boy lost his right arm. Helped him out of the car. Young and beautiful, crippled for life, yet very light-hearted, buoyed up by knowing that he lost it in a good cause. Rumor that we are soon to go to the front.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Aug. 12. A pleasant day. Health good. Spirits ditto. 9 A. M. the lead of McCook's Cavalry Brigade hove in sight. Went into camp near town, composed of the remnants of four regiments, one of which is the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, a large number of which are still in the woods or captured after the recent disaster on the Macon Road. It is supposed by many that they will relieve us. They have been constantly on the move since last April, and are in need of rest and clothing. Casper and others of the Battery got up a dance this evening down town, which attracted most of the gay young men (and old men). They did not come home till daylight. A secondary affair I guess.


Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Aug. 13. A very quiet, warm day. No news of interest. No mail. A feeble effort is being made upon the part of some of my comrades in the Battery [Pg 239]($400 men) to get out of the service of the old Battery, agreeable to promise at the time of enlistment. H. S. K. written to ex-Lieutenant Fancher for certificate to that effect. But I doubt not the effort will be fruitless. A large corps of employees from New York City at work on the railroad here, repairing track, etc. Etowah branch taken up. Ties and rails sent to the front. Battery passing on evening train.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Aug. 14. Inspection of men, knapsacks, haversacks and canteens this morning. On guard, easy work. Very hot and sultry. Wrote home as usual. Negro Anthony, the faithful old cook that has followed us for two years, preached on the parade ground this morning. He had a large audience and spoke for nearly an hour in his illiterate brogue, the burden of his words were quotations. Though improperly done, was evidence of a wonderful memory. Rebs reported fighting at Dalton. Demanded surrender. Captured large number of cattle at Adairsville. 5th Ohio Cavalry and 59th Indiana went up the river early this morning in order to be ready to fight.


1864 Communications Threatened

Etowah Bridge, Monday, Aug. 15. Cannoneers called out this morning at 3 A. M. Stood by their guns till daylight. Some anxiety felt as to affairs at Dalton and vicinity. Wheeler's Cavalry is in the vicinity, reported on all sides, nothing reliable. 59th Indiana recalled last night. Returned by 10 P. M. No trains going either way. Two trains of wounded came up yesterday, were unloaded at Cartersville. One of trains sent to Kingston to carry reinforcements; other back to the fort. Infantry under arms all day. First piece under Lieutenant Jenawein ordered 2 P. M. to report at Division headquarters. 3 o'clock a train loaded with infantry (homeward bound) came up from the front. Will reinforce our troops at Dalton if necessary. 5 P. M. 93rd Illinois arrived on train from Allatoona, stopped here, took on the 48th. General Smith going back with seven regiments.


[Pg 240]

Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Aug. 16. A heavy uncertainty rested upon the camp all day, no trains from either way. Headquarters expecting an attack at this place momentarily. First piece is in town there awaiting the foe. About 3 P. M. an orderly dashed into camp reporting sixteen regiments of the enemy crossing the river three miles below, but they did not come. Sherman sent 300 muskets back this evening to arm convalescents, etc. Seven hundred head of cattle (the remainder of the drove that the rebs captured at Adairsville) stopped on the flat over night. It is supposed that the rebs will try to destroy the railroad bridge if possible. Notwithstanding war Lieutenant Clark and squad of armed men went out to peach orchard ten miles and returned with a big load of delicious ones. Packed my knapsack preparatory to going South if necessary. Doubtful.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Aug. 17. Night passed undisturbed with us, but all was activity at Cartersville nearly all night. Wagon trains loaded, standing hitched up ready to move any moment. On fatigue duty this morning. Went out after two loads of corn fodder, returned by 11 A. M. The day was spent with anxious glances for the train from the North, but none arrived. Although nothing formidable presents itself to us, a feeling of weakness fills the mind when the single thread that connects us with home and supplies is broken. Wheeler is reported to have been repulsed at Dalton with heavy loss, and General Smith is following, but Gen. S. D. Lee is supposed to be moving north towards this line with a heavy force of infantry, estimated from ten thousand to thirty thousand. Ditches, works were cleared out this evening. There are muskets at Brigade headquarters. If we should be pinched the extra men would be supplied with them.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Aug. 18. Very quiet night, followed by as quiet a day. Mail train reported to be coming in [Pg 241]at 10 A. M., anxiously looked for to-day, but it did not come. Rebels seem to be leaving us. We hear nothing of them to-day. All we want is news and mail. I feel as though I was 2,000 miles farther away from home this week than last.

1864 Alarm Passes

4 P. M. Startled by the shrill toot of the engine, followed by a prolonged yell that would do honor to pandemonium, and we knew the 3rd Division is coming home. 48th and 93rd returned without firing a gun, chased the rebels across the Oostanaula River. Reported to be 3,000 strong, going towards East Tennessee.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Aug. 19. We passed a quiet night and a pleasant day. Infantry was up most of the night felling trees and building an abatis on the other side of river. Five hundred cavalry reported in vicinity. Would not let horses out to graze. Went on guard at 9 A. M. Road expected to be repaired so trains pass by night. Several trains passed about sundown. Anxiously looking for mail. A small package at last arrived, but to my disappointment there was none for me.


Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Aug. 20. We were up in time to see an expedition start down the river, consisting of 900 cavalry and three regiments of infantry. They laid under arms all night, and were going to ascertain if there was any force in this vicinity. Infantry returned in six hours. Cavalry went. Lieutenant Clark went out scouting with armed squad. Twenty-six guerrillas and conscripters are all he can hear of. Brigade of troops from Rome arrived yesterday but returned immediately not needed. Went to town after being relieved from guard. Back mail gone to the front.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Aug. 21. A very wet and rainy day. Kept all hands in doors as much as possible. Washed off the hill, raising the river very fast. Two small packages of mail received, but none for me. Wrote home. Uncle Lester received a new supply of reading matter, monthlies, etc. Very welcome. [Pg 242]Bathed in the evening. Captain White, A. A. G. of the Division, died to-day, the most loved of all Smith's staff, a bright and promising young man.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Aug. 22. To-day has been a dull, quiet day. Health good. No news. Got a lot of peaches, very nice. Heavy mail came in to-night. I received two, very welcome.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Aug. 23. On guard, supernumerary. Very hot day. Health good. Back mail found us at last, about a bushel of it distributed 8 A. M. This afternoon went down town to attend Captain White's funeral at 4 P. M. Most of the officers in the Division out in full regimentals. One hundred and fifty infantry as escort. Formed lines in front part of headquarters. Eight captains as pall bearers. Coffin carried down the ranks enshrouded by a large national flag. Troops at present arms. Body placed in an ambulance, 1st Brigade band playing a sweet but mournful dirge. Procession started, viz:

1st, Chaplain in plain black uniform.
2nd, Band playing with muffled drums.
3rd, Infantry escort in four sections at reverse arms.
4th, Ambulance with coffin.
5th, Officers, lowest first, Smith and McCook in the rear.

The grave situated on a knoll neath large oaks. Infantry formed line, rested on arms, while the Chaplain read a chapter and offered an impressive prayer. All the Masonic brethren dropped a twig of evergreen when the volleys were fired. Benediction pronounced, and we returned on quick time, leaving a true soldier, who is at rest.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Aug. 24. Health very good but the day very hot. Day passed pleasantly reading, etc. 59th Indiana left last night towards Chattanooga, leaving us very weak at present. No citizens allowed inside lines.


[Pg 243]

Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Aug. 25. Oh, to-day it is very warm. We can scarcely muster energy enough to move. Wrote a short letter to T. L. Drove off condemned mules to the river. No mail. Wm. Stewart and Andy Wentworth missing. Fears are entertained about their safety.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Aug. 26. All the morning quiet in these parts. Rebels very troublesome between Allatoona and Acworth, cutting up the track, creating scares, etc. Efforts were made to hear of or find the lost boys to-day but to no avail. The last heard of them they were in a peach orchard, while the horses were grazing, where they were undoubtedly gobbled. I fear they will be brutally murdered.


Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Aug. 27. Very warm. Went to town in the morning. All were agreeably surprised by the return of our old comrade and companion T. J. Hungerford from Nashville. Looks well and hearty. Comes to be mustered out with those he served with. 1st Platoon went into permanent quarters in a machine shop building in town. Mail in the evening.


1864 Venturesome Foragers

Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Aug. 28. Health very good. Usual inspection at 7 A. M. On guard, third relief. Very hot in the middle of the day. Sergeant Dixon with a squad of ten men went out on pass. Returned 4 P. M. with a sack of ripe grapes from the vineyard, and a lot of butter, for which we traded our coffee rations. Drink cold water altogether. Came off guard at 9 P. M. to find two long letters from home which did me much good to read, but was surprised to find them in great alarm over my reported illness in Spring Green. All humbug. Why will they not rely upon my own letters? Sister Hannah off to Albion again. Ellen teaching, Jenn with the boys going to school. How different are my duties from those of Thomas.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Aug. 29. A very warm day. Health good. Old man Gordon, the oldest in camp, dangerously sick. [Pg 244]Day spent very quietly. E. W. E. and I took a walk to town after sundown, saw the mail train run off the track, switch left open. Loaded with substitutes. Several jumped off and broke their legs, setting the guards in great commotion to keep them together.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Aug. 30. Very hot. Suffered from a cold. Felt quite unwell in the afternoon, feverish and headache. Cousin Griff quite sick, looks bad, can eat nothing. Felt very bad that I could do nothing for him. A letter was brought to picket post this morning by a lady from our lost boys, stating that they were prisoners in humane hands, going southward. A gymnasium pole was put up this day. All hands required to go over it. Force used if persuasion failed, causing much fun and good exercise. Mis-sent mail arrived. I received one dated July 27.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Aug. 31. Awoke refreshed this morning but suffered from severe pain over right eye all day. On detail in the forenoon. Griff continues quite sick, unable to sit up. Made him some toast for breakfast, but he could not eat much. Mustered for pay and inspection at 12 M. The last muster of the kind for many of the boys, over which they were quite jubilant. 1st Battalion of 1st Cavalry mustered out of service to-day. John Colburn, a one-year recruit, substitute for Senator Wilkinson, arrived from Wisconsin. Sergt. Alba S. Sweet down on a visit from Kingston, looks well. Railroad reported broken between Chattanooga and Nashville. No mail. Felt lonesome and sad to-night. It is not often I feel as gloomy.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Sept. 1. Cold night, rested well. On guard, third relief. Pain over my eye continues very bad. Griff is improving. Sergeant Hood went out with a squad on pass. When they returned, several of them were too drunk to take care of themselves, having obtained whiskey at Allatoona. Too bad. Forage train went out this morning.

[Pg 245]

While scouting, about 3 P. M. one of General Smith's body-guards, riding a little in the advance, was shot dead by some cowardly bushwhackers, stripped of all valuables, boots and hat, leaving the corpse in the road, taking two other prisoners. It was the last day the poor fellow had to serve, expecting soon to start for his home in St. Louis. He was one of the brave men that once composed Fremont's body-guard. His loved ones will wait for his coming in vain. The escort started out in the evening with full determination to avenge the death of their comrade, if possible. No mail. Wheeler is still in possession of Nashville Railroad at Tullahoma. Captain Dillon acting chief of artillery on General Logan's staff. —— court-martialed by Division court for old offence at Jackson.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Sept. 2. A hot and dull day. David Evans and myself visited the picket post this morning with our coffee, rations and liquor to trade with the female rebs that come with produce, guards not admitting them inside the lines any more. Tried to get some butter, but in vain, there being too many purchasers, who were returning as we went. No mail or papers. "Old Wheeler" still holds the road near Nashville. Rumors are afloat of the capture of Atlanta. General Sherman's army, not known where it is.


Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Sept. 3. A hot, sultry morning. Severe storm of wind and rain in the afternoon, threatening to tear our quarters to pieces. Everything wet and damp. Sherman is fighting Hood southwest of Atlanta. 20th Army Corps is in possession of that coveted stronghold.


1864 Atlanta is Ours

Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Sept. 4. Inspection as usual at 7 A. M. 8 A. M. made glad by the arrival of Uncle Lester with bag full of mail and papers. Received none of the former, but the news is glorious. Atlanta is ours. Sherman routed his foe. Fort Morgan surrendered with prisoners. Wheeler retreating. Hurrah! I say. Discouraging enough to the cowardly party [Pg 246]that has just nominated G. B. McClellan for president at Chicago.

W. A. Gordon, one of the oldest members of the Battery, died at noon in camp after a short but severe illness. He left a large family last winter who will miss their kind father and protector.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Sept. 5. This morning at 8 A. M. we buried the remains of Mr. Gordon, the coffin borne on a caisson followed by martial band of 48th Infantry playing the dead march. His remains were consigned to their last habitation on a pretty knoll neath large oaks, without a tear or a sigh. He was left, the band playing a lively march as if to drown all thought of the dead. Another poor soldier "off duty". The sound of the reveille will awaken him to duty no more. May his ashes rest in peace in a traitor's land.

On guard, second relief. Cloudy, but little rain. No mail. Two long, empty trains passed to the front, supposed to go for prisoners.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Sept. 6. My health is very good. Weather very oppressive. Little rain during the afternoon. No trains from the North. Rations being hauled to Atlanta from Marietta to subsist the army on.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Sept. 7. Very chilly night. Continued cold all the morning. A heavy train passed to the rear loaded with prisoners. They will lay over at Chattanooga, the Nashville Road not open yet. Seems strange to go without mail so long. All the news from Sherman makes his victory more complete. Captain Dillon returned from the front.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Sept. 8. One detail sent out after two loads of corn, cut it in the field. Five hundred more prisoners passed North. Trains run regular from Chattanooga, carrying supplies of which there is enough to feed the army [Pg 247]for several months yet. Horses can live off the country, but rather scarce picking for us.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Sept. 9. Three years ago to-day the first men enlisted for the 6th Wisconsin Battery, a day never to be forgotten by many. Rumors of marching soon are once more afloat. 4th Corps to guard the line. It is said we are to join 15th Army Corps in camp, five miles south of Atlanta to rest one month.


1864 Army Clothing

Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Sept. 10. Drew clothing, the price of which is advanced considerable. Notwithstanding the old boys lay in a good supply. Uncle Sam gives it cheaper than New York merchants. Brigade band visited us in the evening, discoursed beautiful music for about an hour, when a still sweeter thing arrived—mail—lots of it. Seized with avidity and devoured greedily after a week's fasting. Received three from home. Found them in great anxiety on my account. Making strenuous efforts to escape the draft, which overhangs them like a dark cloud. Went to sleep with the happy conclusion that I was better off than any of them after all.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Sept. 11. Inspection 7 A. M. after which, —— as prisoner, was marched under guard to the left of the Company, while Lieutenant Clark read the proceedings of the court-martial by which he was tried on the 1st inst. and approved by General Smith. The old charge of mutiny, committed over a year ago at Vicksburg, was brought against him, for which he was confined in military prison for five months, until released by the generous McPherson. Several other frivolous charges, on all of which found guilty with one exception. Sentence—forfeit all pay and balance to become due him, confined at hard labor in some military prison for two years, after which to be dishonorably discharged. We were all saddened at the unexpected severity of the sentence of our comrade. He was immediately taken to town, where he will be taken to Nashville. [Pg 248]G——'s is one of those rough, unyielding, profane natures, capable of much more good than the world credits them for. Officers always placing themselves against him with an iron rule, while with different treatment he might have been a pliable and good soldier, but as it was, frequently in trouble, under guard. It was the first time I ever saw his reckless spirit subdued. As he left his old comrades, large tears of anguish rolled down his cheeks, and I could but shudder at the gathering cloud upon his brow. What terrible resolutions might be formed under that tumultuous breast. How necessary it is that the officers should understand the science of the human mind. Until then such cases will occur. Much of the day was spent sympathizing with him, etc. I wrote home. No mail.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Sept. 12. Very quiet and pleasant day. On detail to load forage. Harness oiled in the afternoon. Most of the mail taken to the front. Politics the theme of the day. Considerable discussion. The friends of the U. S. are like angel visits "few and far between" but wonderfully in earnest.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Sept. 13. Sultry day. Health very good. On guard, third relief. Mail arrived late in the evening bringing me five letters with the good news that my dear brothers were exempt from the draft, which made me feel perfectly happy and the hours passed pleasantly on post.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Sept. 14. Spent the day very pleasantly looking over the large pile of papers received in mail last night. Bathed in the evening. The musical ones of our Company have put up a small tent where every evening they congregate and produce a large amount of noise, if not music. Fiddle, banjo, tambourine, triangle and bones used with a will. They had a "gander dance" to-night on gun platform till very late, seemed to enjoy it capitally.


[Pg 249]

Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Sept. 15. Health, spirits and weather very good. A train of forty wagons with a heavy cavalry escort went to Stilesboro, a guerrilla hole, two miles down the river. Returned loaded with cotton. Rebs burning it as fast as possible. This will amply pay for the mules they captured on the 13th inst. Went to town in the evening with Griff.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Sept. 16. Last night was very cold, freezing a little this morning. Hot enough in midday. No news or excitement. No prospects of marching very suddenly now. The "'61 boys" are rather apprehensive that their papers will not come around in time to leave on the 20th. Interesting congratulatory order from General Logan read to us at retreat to the 15th Army Corps saying that they fear not the enemy, but punish and defeat him.


1864 Politics in Camp

Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Sept. 17. On guard, third relief. Mail received 8 A. M. Got a letter from Cousin John, wounded, lying in New York Harbor. Doing well, full of pluck and patriotism. A sharp spice of politics was thrown in to-day. "Macs" [supporters of McClellan for president] growing fewer, several on the fence. Policed camp in the evening.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Sept. 18. Rainy night, and continued cloudy through the day. Contracted a bad cold while on post last night. Received two letters from John and Hannah in the evening. Caused a sad train of thought to come in my mind, and could not sleep, long after all was hushed in camp.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Sept. 19. Fine day. Health not very good. On fatigue in the morning. Teams go out in division train, bringing in corn. Our horses will now have to live off the country for awhile. Another request to be relieved was sent to General Howard's headquarters to-day by Lieutenant [Pg 250]Clark, the former supposed to have been pigeon-holed somewhere. John Rogers started home on sick furlough.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Sept. 20. Drew hard-tack again. Orders received to prepare pay rolls. 6th Battery minstrels made their first appearance in public this evening. The troupe was taken to the old hall in town where the 1st Platoon is. Curiosity prompted me to go and see what they could do, so I fell in with a large squad of the Battery boys. Found the room well filled, a large stage erected, an old tent-fly for curtain, red horse blankets for scenery. Troupe consisted of eight players, and Corporal Dziewanowski manager. They appeared blackened and dressed in imposing style. They sang, played and danced with desperate efforts at the nigger, but their songs were stale old jokes, still the execution not bad. They need more originality; however, they did well for "green 'uns" and it pleased soldiers.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Sept. 21. An old-fashioned rainy day, thick and heavy, did patter on our roof all day, gathering in wild torrents rushing down the hillsides. On guard, third relief. Signed pay rolls before breakfast.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Sept. 22. Wet and dreary, but little life manifested till 3 P. M. when the news came that order releasing the old boys was at headquarters. Received with a cheer and everybody moving. Lieutenant Clark busy taking names preparatory to turning the Battery over.


A Group of Officers in 6th Wisconsin Battery.

Etowah Bridge, Friday, Sept. 23. At morning roll call Lieutenant Simpson announced the new appointment of non-commissioned officers, viz:

1st Sergeant, Alba Sweet, a moral man, deserving.
Quarter-Master Sergeant, S. E. Sweet, also good appointment.
1st Gun Sergeant, Fred Malish, will make strict disciplinarian.
2nd Gun Sergeant, H. P. James, very pleasant, easy fellow.
3rd Gun Sergeant, M. Dziewanowski, a favorite of the boys.
[Pg 251]4th Gun Sergeant, L. N. Keeler.
Corporals, D. Goodwin, C. Hutchinson, Frank Parish, D. Stewart, John Eagion, A. Ray, J. W. Proctor and Ed. K. Hill.
Landen and Spencer, artificers.

The appointments were duly criticized during the day. No great objection raised against except ——, his previous conduct "changing around the officers", seeking position, and overbearing spirit has created much dislike for him. Headquarters are filled with rebel prisoners.


1864 A Lonesome Parting

Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Sept. 24. Another rainy, disagreeable day. The public property of the Battery is now turned over to Simpson and everything is ready to start for home, only waiting for transportation. Captain Dillon came to camp at noon. He takes command of the old Company on their way home. Capt. G. J. * * * relieved him as chief of artillery. Monthly inspection by Division inspector at 1 P. M. He found the camp rather upside down, after which a champion game of base-ball was played on the flat between the non-veterans and veterans. The non-veterans came off victorious by 11 points in 61. The day passed sadly for me at thought of parting with my loved companions.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Sept. 25. The boys expected to get off early this morning, but the Rebs burned a train near Big Shanty last night, obstructing the road so no train could come up.

12 M. Capt. Zickerick of the 12th Battery came up from Allatoona with about thirty of his boys to bid good-bye to the old 6th boys, and reported a train due in an hour. The wagons were loaded with their baggage, and they immediately started for town. Now came the leave-taking with many. I with others had to bid adieux to our old messmates, beside whom we had marched through many a rough campaign, slept under the same blankets, eaten from the same plate, stood together on many a bloody battle-field, watched and nursed each other [Pg 252]while sick. How close had our lives twined together in less than three years' service. Many a stout heart that had met death with a calm brow, could now hardly choke down the bitter tears, yet they were no cowards, but throbs of a manly heart. They return but a small band of those who started. Many of them have bleached their bones in Southern clime, and thirty-two of them are brave veterans staying behind to complete the work they enlisted for. Friends at home, you can little realize the trial they underwent to-day in bidding good-bye to their original comrades. You should not call their anxiety for their phototypes, autographs or anything as a remembrance foolish. I walked with friend Evie to train, intending to see him off, but the train did not come, and I too had to say good-bye. It was the hardest task I have performed since tearing myself from the arms of a dear mother on the threshold of my old home in Wisconsin. But I took their kind "Take care of yourself" and turned my back. I must say a few tears did fall, but not from any regret at staying behind. I return to camp cheerfully to do my duty. But oh, it did look very lonesome.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Sept. 26. Everything was so very still this morning that I did not wake up till roll call, and then there were but very few to be seen, only thirty-four for duty, which will be very heavy. Worked hard all day cleaning the stables. Boys have not left yet, as no train came from the front. Griff and I were down with them this evening for a while.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Sept. 27. Was happy to learn that the boys got off last night. On water detail this morning, then went and stayed with R. L. Booth in the hospital, who is very sick. His brother had to leave him, did not know whether he could live an hour or not as he was very low. Cousin Griff and Dan Davis both put into the same platoon as myself and stay in the same shebang, making a very cozy little circle.


[Pg 253]

Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Sept. 28. On guard, second relief. Everything so very quiet that it was very lonesome. Lieutenant Simpson is steadily but firmly tightening the reins, and instituting strict discipline. Guards instructed to walk their beats. If caught seated to be punished. Only ten minutes allowed to turn out at reveille. Heavy details at work all day cleaning out stables, etc. Camp policed. Griff left us to cook in hospital. Railroad again severed somewhere. Our Brigade ordered to erect winter quarters. Long train sent out for lumber ten miles down the river. Our teams went along.


1864 Watching Hood

Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Sept. 29. Damp and disagreeable to stand guard last night. Felt dull, ate no breakfast. Went to picket post this morning, bought a quart of buttermilk, 25 cts. per quart, which with bread at 15 cents per loaf, I made a homelike dinner. Took our team to graze in the afternoon. Found Chattanooga papers of to-day in camp on return, but nothing from the North. Hood's whole army reported to be on their way north to sever Sherman's communications, which seems very probable, as several trains heavily laden with soldiers passed north. Another lumber train out.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Sept. 30. Rained all night but cleared off this morning. D. J. D. and myself washed our clothes out and did other woman's work. Grazed in the afternoon, taking a guard's team out. Detailed to go after corn. While horses eat, three of us filled a wagon in a pocket three miles from camp. Troops still going to the rear. Wild rumors afloat as to Hood's movements and whereabouts. No mail yet.


Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Oct. 1. Company mess instituted this morning instead of platoon. Uncle Henderson, cook, two negro assistants. Drew soft bread for supper, which was duly appreciated after grinding hard-tack for fifteen days. Troops still going to the rear, while we are kept in blissful ignorance of all passing events by the non-arrival of Northern trains. I [Pg 254]sometimes wish old Wheeler was dead, so I could get my mail. On guard.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Oct. 2. After a rough tour of guard last night in rain with thunder and lightning, I feel somewhat drowsy to-day, and am a little impatient for mail and news. G. M. S. received a few Chattanooga papers from Lester, also a note saying they were at Chattanooga on the 30th. I expect they are getting impatient by this time. Wrote to John as usual but have little hopes of it reaching him for some time. Raids! Raids! again. No up-train from Atlanta. Road torn up at Marietta and Big Shanty.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Oct. 3. Rode Sweet's horse out this morning to get muscadines. Caught in an awful shower, got thoroughly drenched. Storms are very frequent and come with more vehemence here than any place I have ever seen. The last two weeks past heavy rains every twenty-four hours, deluging camp, sweeping down the hillsides, raising the rippling Etowah into a turbid torrent, even leaping its banks and carrying everything in its way like an infuriated monster. A large body of earth and rock fell from the side of the railroad cut in this hill, filling the track. Fifty men of the 48th at work most all night clearing it out. Our lower bastion also fell in, in consequence of the heavy rains.


1864 Preparing for Attack

Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Oct. 4. Heavy rain last night again. Three teams and twelve men out foraging in division train. On guard. Detailed to take a team out after guard mounting. We are completely isolated from all other forces. Only one engine and four cars on this piece of the road. The enemy is on this side of Big Shanty, successfully holding his own and moving up the track, tearing things as they go. We have good reasons to expect them here soon. They will find us weak in number, but strong in heart, ready to punish traitors any time. 63rd Illinois [Pg 255]gone to Kingston to meet a force reported to be moving on that place.

This is the second anniversary of that bloody day at Corinth, when so many of the 6th Battery bit the dust while gallantly doing their duty. Is this remnant of that band soon to pass through a like ordeal? I pray not, but they will be true to their memory if called upon.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Oct. 5. 8 A. M. heavy cannonading has been distinctly heard in the vicinity of Allatoona for an hour, telling us that they are coming. Simpson had the drivers harness up to get their horses straight. Cavalry scouts gone out. Camp is very quiet, but all are in earnest. While I write, guard mounting is going on as deliberately as ever. Many of those that go out on out-post to-day may never return.

Evening. This has been a busy day for us all. Terrific fighting has been going on at Allatoona all day. Occasional shots are still heard. Brevet General Raum, commanding Division, and Captain Zickerick, chief of artillery, started to go into the pass early this morning, but were intercepted by rebel pickets and narrowly escaped capture. Captain Zickerick immediately came into the fort and vigorous measures were taken for defense. Deeming the lower bastions where the third and fourth pieces were stationed a poor position, the range being very limited, he immediately sent for pioneer corps. Shacks and headquarters shanty were torn down, and a half-moon work was erected with sand bags on the brow of the hill with three embrasures commanding all the south and east. While Captain McBride and his pioneers were hard at work on the new work, the Battery boys worked hard fixing up the embrasures on the old work, raising it with sand bags, etc. Not knowing what moment the enemy would appear, detachments were numbered off and everything ready for action. 59th Indiana Infantry was up in the afternoon, erecting benches around the work so as to sharp-shoot over the parapet. About sundown the works were so far completed [Pg 256]as to be used if necessary, and the guns and caissons of the left Section were hauled up by ropes, the whole Company taking hold as gay and gleeful as if they were preparing for a 4th of July celebration. Our kind-hearted Chief of Artillery was with us all day, coat off, hard at work, often with shovel in hand, displaying at once a sympathetic heart and skill as a military officer. He left us late in the evening with instructions to do the best we could, he would be with us right away if he heard firing. My number is 6, to deal out ammunition.

We have heard nothing from the fight. General Corse is commanding at Allatoona, having reached there about midnight last evening with the 7th and 27th Illinois and 38th Indiana as reinforcements; more to come from Rome, Georgia. Another train with three regiments steamed carefully into the pass at 7 P. M., leaving them in their supposed rear near the woodshed. Played an interesting game of four-handed chess by candle light before retiring.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Oct. 6. Reveille sounded at 4 A. M. but nothing unusual transpired. Couriers from Allatoona report the enemy whipped and retreating. Pioneer corps came up early to work, but the rain fell in such torrents that they left their tools and went to camp.

1864 A Hard Fight

This afternoon Captain Zickerick returned from Allatoona, bringing us authentic reports of the yesterday's battle. The enemy was about 5,000 strong, being French's Division of Lee's Corps. Our force, all told, 1,500. So confident of success were they that a flag of truce was sent in in the morning demanding our surrender in five minutes to prevent the unnecessary spilling of blood. But the gritty little general, who was bored by rebel bullets at Mission Ridge last winter, couldn't see it. He replied that he was prepared to commence "the unnecessary spilling of blood" at once. And the ball opened. Three distinct times did they charge the works where the 12th Wisconsin Battery was stationed, but in vain. Every time they were [Pg 257]forced back with terrible loss. One time they forced the 93rd Illinois from a small work, but the 12th Battery turned their guns on them, double shotted with canister, obliging them to abandon it at a terrible loss. They opened on us with eight pieces of artillery, doing no damage, when our guns played on them so close that the cannoneers had to be kept at their post with fixed bayonets. They made desperate efforts to take the large amount of commissary stores kept there. Many of them pinched with hunger, brought the boxes of hard-tack to fill their haversacks while under a murderous fire. They were accompanied by 300 empty wagons to haul off the hard-tack, but the tack they got was not very welcome, and a little before sundown the whole company broke, and retreated toward Dallas, a defeated army, leaving their dead and wounded in our hands, about 2,000. But many of our own brave men lost their lives. The 93rd Illinois alone lost 80. Three companies of the 18th Wisconsin, stationed in a block house, were surrounded early in the morning, but held their own in spite of artillery and musketry until 5 P. M., when the besiegers, failing every other way, built a fire all around it, telling them to come out or suffocate by smoke. All these brave men fell prisoners, but not until sixty men lay dead around to attest to the valor of the eighty-four within. General Corse was wounded in the face, and all of his staff killed or wounded. Colonel Tourtellotte of 4th Minnesota and many others. The 12th Battery won great laurels, losing more men than ever before. Lieutenant Amsden wounded, appeared to be fatal. Four killed and two others wounded fatally. Fifteen wounded slightly. All their horses nearly gone. They were the best in the Corps too. Our total loss was 722 men. Had the reinforcements come up at noon, which they would, had not the train run off the track, a large portion of them would have been captured. The main charging column of the rebels was the famous Missouri Brigade that fought them before at Iuka, Corinth, Champion Hills, and occupied Fort Hill during the siege of Vicksburg. Many of them came into our lines, tired [Pg 258]at last of war. I don't think there has been more desperate fighting done this year than yesterday at Allatoona.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Oct. 7. Called up early to go a-foraging. Swallowed a hasty breakfast and started while it was yet dark, but did not start from Cartersville till 9 A. M. The train consisted of about ninety wagons. After the usual amount of halting, crowding and swearing, by mule drivers and wagon masters, we started west, three armed men to a wagon. Traveled ten miles through much more beautiful country than I expected to find in the Etowah Valley. Saw some palatial mansions with beautiful surroundings. Here our advance saw, or thought they did, "them guerrillas" and they dared not go any farther. Turned out into a field of about four hundred acres, but the corn was very scarce, not having had any care, and choked with weeds. We succeeded in getting half loads. Many returned empty.

Reached camp by 5 P. M. Boys had been at work all day on fort. The Etowah River higher than it has been since we have been here. This morning a large field of driftwood came down, threatening to sweep off the railroad bridge. Displaced several boats and the track sagged about two feet in the center. Pioneers at work all day keeping off the float-wood. Several of our boys went up to Allatoona yesterday. Returned to-day, having been engaged in dressing wounds, etc. all night. They bring the usual accounts of suffering that follows every battle. Many of the wounded lay out in the cold rain of yesterday. A train loaded with them for Rome, lays at the end of the bridge, failing to cross. The wounded are being transferred to cars on this side by means of ambulances. They must suffer terribly to-night.


Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Oct. 8. Last night was very cold, slept uncomfortable. How the poor, half-naked wounded in the box cars at the foot of the hill could stand it is more than I [Pg 259]know. Lay here till 1 P. M., when they were taken to town by land. No engine around. I am on guard. All hands hard at work. It is slow work digging in rocky formation. Pioneers at work taking out the drift in the river to try and save the bridge. Two hundred fifty men of the Construction Corps tarried this evening to repair the bridge. They come from Resaca. That bridge is nearly all out, broken by rafts, supposed to be started by the rebels. No mail.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Oct. 9. It is the Sabbath day, but one cannot realize it in the busy whirl of duty. Came off guard at 7 A. M. All the rest of the day worked very hard with all the rest. Everything else is neglected. The day being decidedly cool, a big job was accomplished. Never did men work more cheerfully. Buglers, corporals and sergeants down to mule drivers turn out of their own free will and work.

Some hopes were entertained that we would receive mail to-night, but none came. Played a game of chess by candle light, and now I will retire to my hard but inviting couch.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Oct. 10. Hailed the coming day with gladness this morning as it was so very cold we suffered from it. More like Wisconsin than Georgia. Found the infantry under arms since 3 A. M. and another "scare" prevailing. Fell out to work at 7, pioneers helping us. Ordnance train came up from town this morning and deposited their stores inside of the fort, filling our magazines with artillery ammunition; 90 boxes of three inch rifle; 40 12-pounder guns; 150 boxes of infantry ammunition, guns, sabres and other stores piled up inside the works covered with tarpaulins. A sergeant and seven men with them as guards, to guard our guns also, which lightens our duty greatly. Only three guards on duty.

1864 General Sherman

General Sherman in Cartersville since this morning. The 23rd Army Corps marching through all day, almost on a double quick. His whole army is making a retrograde movement except [Pg 260]the 20th Army Corps which is in Atlanta, fortifying it so as to hold it against Hood's whole army, if necessary. He (Hood) is now north of the Chattahoochee River threatening some northern point. It is confidently expected that he will soon have reason to repent of his rashness. The troops are somewhat disappointed in being obliged to take the field so soon after the capture of Atlanta. In the evening I walked to town with Ed. Hayes. Saw the great but unassuming genius that holds in his hands the fate of the noble Army of the West. He appeared in a brown study, constantly walking with his hands in his pockets, more like a farmer than a general. The Etowah bridge completed by sundown. Disappointed by the non-arrival of mail.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Oct. 11. This morning as we awoke the bugles of the 4th and 14th Army Corps resounded through the hills, and the plain in front of our camp was covered with camp fires, looking "as of old". They had marched nearly all night, many of them very hungry. Opened ten boxes of surplus hard-tack for those that came after them during the night. They again filed out 6 A. M., many of them without a wink of sleep. Advance of the old 15th Army Corps came in sight 8 A. M. having marched ten miles before breakfast. Moving very rapidly. Pioneers digging rifle pits. Battery boys worked on the old embrasure till 3 P. M., when the assembly sounded and orders given to hitch up and prepare to move immediately. Somewhat surprised we hastily made the necessary preparations, stood harnessed up half an hour, when the order was countermanded and estimate sent in of horses necessary to move the Battery. Commenced writing to John but was interrupted by the arrival of a heavy mail. I received but one.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Oct. 12. A very beautiful day. Worked the forenoon on the embrasures. Policed camp after dinner. Marching excitement has somewhat abated, but I expect to march before a great while. The troops are all passed [Pg 261]now, but the trains and beef cattle pass all day. Artillery firing heard in the direction of Rome.


1864 Night Work

Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Oct. 13. Last night about midnight the whole camp was aroused. I was out in a hurry thinking the Johnnies were coming, but was somewhat disappointed upon finding the ordnance officer there ready to put a 1,000 rounds of musket ammunition on my shoulders to carry down the hill. Here a train was waiting to take it to Resaca, where a collision was expected between the two armies. We had to carry 100 boxes infantry, 15 boxes cavalry, and 20 of 12-pounder ammunition, which was done very quietly in about half an hour. I carried six loads, by which time I was very tired, a little the hardest work I have ever done. Went to bed again, did not get up till late. My left shoulder pains me considerable from last night's fatigue. Pleasant day. Health very good. Very big mail. I received five.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Oct. 14. A warm day and I felt first rate. Policed camp and prepared for inspection at 2 P. M. by Inspector General of the Division and Chief of Artillery, which came off in good style. Made a good appearance generally. Still a great uncertainty hangs over Sherman and his army.


Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Oct. 15. Called out at 4 A. M. to go a-foraging. Went out on the Canton road about fifteen miles, through broken country such as middle Georgia affords. Only about one-tenth of this area tillable land. Loaded up in small pockets. Our wagon capsized so we barely got off with half a load. On our way back the rebs hung in our rear, but did not molest us. Reached camp 9 P. M., hungry as a wolf. Found our shebangs all torn down and new quarters started.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Oct. 16. Another Sunday. Spent very busy in putting up quarters which are put in one line. Wedge tents raised on a wall fifteen inches high lengthened out to [Pg 262]twelve feet. By night we had them completed mostly. I am very tired.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Oct. 17. Volunteered to go out with Sergeant Dziewanowski and twenty men, eight of them armed with muskets issued by the ordnance sergeant for the occasion, to the rolling mills for brick, stone, etc. Teams returned immediately, but the mounted men rode over the country till late in the evening. I stayed and took a home-like dinner with Grandma Williams for fifty cents.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Oct. 18. Three teams and six men gone a-foraging with two days' rations. They go up into Cherokee County. Our horses have nothing, only what is foraged for them and grazing once a day, but the grass is getting dry. McCook's Cavalry that have laid here for several weeks, broke camp this morning and marched northward. Worked this forenoon. In the afternoon wrote to my old comrade E. W. E., but there is no prospect of it reaching him soon. Weather beautiful.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Oct. 19. Day passed very quietly. Our quarters are all done except chimneys. Principal work done was playing chess and eating walnuts, which is the only game I indulge in at present. We have wild rumors that Hood has split his army, two corps retreating. One going north. Sherman following both, but nothing definite. Kilpatrick's wagon-train and convalescents reached here to-day. His headquarters are at Stilesboro, fifteen miles west. Took a pleasant walk to town with Griff after retreat. Enjoyed myself well. But there is an aching void in my heart, which cannot be filled without news from home.


1864 Camp Rumors

Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Oct. 20. To-day is ration day and we begin to feel the effects of the blockade. Only half rations of everything except hard-tack. No salt. Heavy trains of supplies are being taken north every day from Allatoona. The [Pg 263]winds, I guess, waft the tidings of noble Morton's election in Indiana with 4,000 majority to us. Hope it is true. The Indiana soldiers in camp here seem highly elated. Band played till after midnight last night.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Oct. 21. After dinner our Platoon harnessed up three teams to a wagon to go after brick for chimneys. Before starting Dan Goodwin brought a big mail from town in which were seven for me. Hailed a lot of stationery sent by Evie. Read my letters on my way after brick. Went about three miles from camp. When we returned found Lieutenant Simpson and fifteen of the boys gone to Nashville for horses to fill up the Battery. Marching rumors again afloat. All convalescents not able to march ordered to Chattanooga. Dan went out of our tent, five out of the Platoon, leaving me a team to take care of until they return.


Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Oct. 22. A council was held this morning to know whether we should put up our chimney or wait to see whether we would leave. Decided to do all we could for our comfort, and let marching take care of itself. By night we had the satisfaction of sitting by a fire and knowing that the chimney smoked out of the right end.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Oct. 23. The forenoon was occupied by grazing horses, etc. The afternoon, in writing. The prevailing topic is marching, when and where. It is supposed we will join our Corps. Logan's headquarters reported at Cedar Mountain in northern Alabama. Details are still at work on the defenses. Double lines of palisades are set on the crown of the hill. The timber all felled on the mountains in our rear. Park at Brigade headquarters made a strong artillery position. We can now successfully resist ten times our number.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Oct. 24. Was on detail to go on a two days' foraging expedition but Charlie Pickard took my [Pg 264]place, and both were better suited. Wrote to John in the afternoon. No mail or news whatever. We are fast becoming accustomed to this state of things.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Oct. 25. On guard to-day. Drew half rations of everything except hard-tack. Had no corn for horses. Took out sacks as we went grazing. Husked some in a field where a woman swore in a terrible manner, made a desperate onslaught on us with words, but I got some corn. Forage train returned into camp 4 P. M. Charley brought in two ducks, and a lot of sweet potatoes.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Oct. 26. A windy, cloudy day, indications of rain. When we came in from grazing, found mail awaiting us. Received a good home letter. Several through trains from Chattanooga passed to the front last night. Late this evening a portion of the 48th Indiana started for Resaca by rail. Rebs tearing up the tracks again.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Oct. 27. Rained all night and cloudy through the day. Grazed forenoon as usual. Wrote to sister Hannah in the afternoon. A small mail received. None for me.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Oct. 28. Weather is most beautiful. Health excellent. Plenty to eat and not too much to do. Consequently the day passed off very pleasantly, playing chess and reading papers about a month old, but new to us. Notified at retreat to prepare to go foraging to-morrow morning.


Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Oct. 29. Rolled out early, fifteen of us going foraging to load fourteen wagons from division train, all going for corn for the battery regiments at Cartersville. 6 A. M. an escort of seventy armed infantry came along and all unarmed men turned back, including Battery detail. None of us sorry. Arrived in camp in the afternoon, and built corn crib. We have the satisfaction of knowing that our "cracker line" is [Pg 265]once more in running order. Trains have been passing every half hour through the day. An unexpected order was very quietly received 5 P. M. from Major Stolbrand, Corps chief of artillery, ordering us to turn over our horses, guns and necessary equipments to the 12th Battery, take their guns in exchange, and hold ourselves in readiness to report at Chattanooga immediately.


Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Oct. 30. A very beautiful Sabbath spent in the usual commonplace way. Grazed in the forenoon. The afternoon occupied in writing to Brother John. Walked to town in the evening. No mail or news, although trains are passing in great numbers.


1864 The "Nigger Question"

Etowah Bridge, Monday, Oct. 31. Weather still continues enchanting. All quiet. Expecting the 12th Battery down after our horses. Invoices taken of ammunition, cannoneers and equipments, preparatory to being turned over. Mustered for pay at 12 M. Four months' wages now due us. We hope we will receive it soon. In the evening a general discussion took place on the "nigger question", politics, etc. All agree on "Old Abe" for president. Further than that we cannot go. I was in it on the start and was getting earnest. When everybody began talking together, I pulled in my teams and retired.


Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Nov. 1. In the forenoon we went out grazing about two miles to a clover patch. In the afternoon on detail for beef. 12th Battery took twenty-three of our best horses and six sets of harness. They bring their guns down to-morrow. A large mail came to camp 4 P. M. I received five good letters, doing me much good, one of them from my old messmate Evie. He is now enjoying the sweets of private life "ad libitum". The forage train that started out yesterday morning not heard from yet. Fears entertained of their safety. Three of our wagons with it.


[Pg 266]

Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Nov. 2. A very severe night. Rained and stormed continually. The day not much better. Should have stayed in doors, if I was not on guard, which is not at all pleasant. Lieutenant Simpson and boys returned from Nashville, failed to obtain any horses. Had a rather hard trip throughout. Nothing new. Much speculation as to our destination.

9 P. M. the forage trains came in, and all rumors as to being captured a canard. Ordnance taken off, much of it.


Etowah Bridge, Thursday, Nov. 3. Another very cold raw day. 12th Battery took six more horses. Lieutenant Jenawein detailed on duty with the 12th Battery. Boxes made to pack up the harness.


Etowah Bridge, Friday, Nov. 4. Sergeant Sweet returned to the Battery this morning and resumed his duties as orderly. Weather continues very cold and disagreeable. All we can do is to keep warm. All the loose stores belonging to the Company boxed up to-day. The remainder of the Division is making preparations for a severe campaign, only two wagons to a regiment. We may be lucky in being counted out after all. It is expected that the columns will move through the Confederacy and emerge on the other side, and rest on the Atlantic coast. I would like to be with them. The sights and satisfaction would amply repay the fatigue and hardships.


Etowah Bridge, Saturday, Nov. 5. A pleasant day once more. Camp somewhat astir this morning from the fact that Lieutenant Simpson read dispatch from Stolbrand last night directing him to go to Marietta and draw horses if possible to enable us to take the field, but it was again countermanded before any harm was done. He went to Allatoona in the afternoon to inspect their guns. Trains pass in plenty but no mail. Infantry turn over all their wagons but one to-day. Drew rations for those in hospital. It is to be broken up.


[Pg 267]

Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Nov. 6. Cold, disagreeable and rainy. Ordered to prepare for inspection, but were visited by the paymaster before it came off, a welcome visitor too. Paid us for July and August. Tickets were circulated this afternoon for the election next Tuesday, none for Iowa County. I wrote off such, and wrote a letter to John.


Etowah Bridge, Monday, Nov. 7. A fine day. Health good. Received letter from home. On duty in the afternoon. No news. Trains passing in great numbers, taking stores to the front. Artillery and wagons, etc. to the rear. Walked to town in the evening. Met Mother Bickerdyke on the hospital train going North after supplies. Shook hands with her and had a motherly chat. Noble soul. Thy memory will remain bright when that of traitors and rebels lies mouldering in oblivion. Thy smiling face is a cordial to the lonely soldier, better to the aching heart than money or medicine.


1864 A Vote for Lincoln

Etowah Bridge, Tuesday, Nov. 8. To-day is the day granted Americans to exercise their highest rights as members of a republican government, the right of suffrage, each man having a voice in the choice of his ruler. And thanks to the just laws of Wisconsin, this right is not withheld from us while far away from home battling for the right. And the issue is understood in all its momentous importance. Shall this Union be preserved, the war prosecuted to a successful end, with honest Abraham at our head, or shall we resign our object after such a sacrifice already offered to the faction that seek to place McClellan in office. After duly qualifying the judges, Lieutenants Simpson and Jenawein and 1st Sergeant Sweet, and clerks G. Dalrymple and Q. M. Sergeant Sweet, the polls were opened at 9 A. M. and voting was soon over with. I cast my first ballot, a straight through Union ticket. I am seven days too young, but I voted with a clear conscience, thinking I had earned my right. 2 P. M. the polls were closed and votes [Pg 268]counted, giving the glorious result of seventy-five for Lincoln with "nary one" for "little Mac". This made me feel proud of the command to which I belong. It shows the true principles. On guard. Weather raining. 14th Army Corps marched in from Kingston. Camped 2 P. M. to allow the men a chance to vote.


Etowah Bridge, Wednesday, Nov. 9. Misty and damp night. Caught a bad cold on guard. 12th Battery took guns to town this morning, leaving them there for us, and took ours off in exchange. All our harness is boxed up. The infantry have struck tents, turned them over and expect to start on the morrow. 14th Corps lay quiet all day. Trains are being loaded with camp and garrison equipage, contrabands and refugees. From all appearances this line is to be abandoned, and Sherman is about to strike a telling blow upon the Confederacy. My knapsack is packed and I await orders.


Watching Hood

1864 A Busy War Town

Enroute, Thursday, Nov. 10. A bright and beautiful day. On detail after rations in the morning. Cartersville presenting a very busy appearance, filled with teams. Our troops turning camp and garrison equipage over to be sent. Refugees of every age, color and description are on every corner. Now that a general abandonment of the line is apprehended all are anxious to avoid further misery in the Confederacy. Returned to camp to eat a hearty dinner, and then broke camp and went to town. Did not get loaded till 9 P. M. Everything put up in the smallest space. After we had filled our corner, several families of negroes and refugees stowed themselves away. Horses sent by land in charge of Sergeant Keeler.


Chattanooga, Friday, Nov. 11. Spent the night in broken slumbers stowed away in the smallest imaginable space under [Pg 269]a caisson, very cold. Daylight found us near Dalton. Stopped an hour to await trains. Several more families of refugees stowed their baggage away under our carriages. Boys procured whiskey on Simpson's order, several becoming gloriously tight. 11 A. M. ran into another train, throwing one car off the tracks and frightening several women. Lots of the boys jumped off, slightly injured, but not seriously. The road along here has evidences of Hood's depredations, for miles bent rails, etc.

2 P. M. we entered the "Hawk's Nest", Chattanooga, busy as ever. Mule teams and refugees so thick we could hardly move. Here we stopped, having no orders to go farther. Simpson telegraphed to Major Stolbrand. Had we the orders we would have gone to Nashville 5 P. M. but as it was we must lay over. Met four recruits at Ringgold, took them along. Two of them brothers to our 1st Sergeant and Quartermaster, four of them together now.


Whiteside, Tenn., Saturday, Nov. 12. Another night spent in our narrow bed, but slept comfortable. Staid in town till 1 P. M. Strolled over the town which showed evidence on every side of the great scale upon which this war is conducted. A wagon bridge has been built across the Tennessee here, near where we were hid from Bragg about a year ago, a beautiful and expensive piece of mechanism.

D. J. D. and myself visited our old teacher, Professor, now Lieutenant Silsby. Found him looking well and on duty as officer of the day. His regimentals became him well. He received us cordially, but we could not stay long. Ah, what different circumstances did we now meet, to those which existed three years ago. The book and slate are laid aside, and alas! almost forgotten, the bugle and sabre followed instead.

One o'clock we started on a heavily-loaded train, four more following. Rounded the august point of Lookout in great haste, when we had about ten miles of up-grade. Our engine was too weak for the load, often like an overloaded team refused to [Pg 270]try and stopped still, most of the time going no faster than we would go afoot. Reached Whiteside 4 P. M. where we had to lie over till morning, a train ahead of us having run off the track on the bridge over Running Waters, one hundred thirty feet high. A passenger car and hospital car were saved as by a miracle from going over into the abyss. The sight of a car loaded with men and women leaning over the terrible gulf was terrible. Working train sent for from Chattanooga to repair damages. Whiteside was a small station in a mountain gorge, garrisoned by the sturdy Scandinavians of the 15th Wisconsin. Two companies of them being stationed in a block house on top of the highest peak to be seen. They occupy a decidedly airy situation. Suffered considerably from the cold.


En route, Sunday, Nov. 13. Griff and I made our bed in the open air, and slept as of old while on the march, warm and cozy though our blankets in the morning were stiff with frost. Had to wait till noon for the wreckers to get the track in repair, when we started on our way rejoicing, as it was very cold. Passed through Bridgeport without stopping. Waited at Stevenson thirty minutes, when we took the Nashville Railroad, 112 miles long. This route being new to me, consequently more interesting. The first thirty miles was through a low swampy country with but few traces of civilization. A few station houses, lightly garrisoned, until we neared the Cumberland Range, which we had to cross. Here on a sidetrack we found small coal-burning engines ready to help us over, small driving wheels but capable of great power. Coupled on behind us with vigorous puffs and dense clouds of coal smoke. It propelled us up a grade of two hundred feet to a mile, through cuts in the solid rock fifty feet high, now running along a narrow shelf hewed in the side of an ancient slope with a deep ca˝on below us and the eternal rocks above us. Finally we entered the tunnel, three-fourths of a mile long, drilled in solid rock. Three ventilating shafts run down from above. We could see nothing, [Pg 271]the hot smoky air tending to warm our chilled systems. Daylight found us on the west side of the mountain, having passed over one of the greatest pieces of internal improvement I have ever seen, North or South. Darkness was fast approaching, and we once more crawled into our den to seek rest and warmth in broken slumbers, regretting that it was not yet daylight so I could see the remainder of the line which was wrenched from traitors' hands by the gallant Rosecrans.


Nashville, Tenn., Monday, Nov. 14. Morning found us on a sidetrack in Nashville, which we reached 4 A. M. Most of the boys were soon off in town, and as every one's pockets were well filled, the morning was spent feeding at saloons, restaurants, etc., too many indulging too freely in the debasing cup. As we expected to unload soon, I did not leave till after dinner, when I with Griff strolled through town, seeing sights. Nashville is a busy business mart. Mounted the dome of the state capitol. The scene from it is most picturesque, nearly three hundred feet above the silverlike Cumberland, which winds nearly around the city. This is spread over a large tract of ground, five miles long from north to south.

4 P. M. We were drawn up to a platform and by night we were unloaded. Made our beds down as best we could, and retired neath a frowning sky which I fear will drench us before morning.


1864 Stringent Orders

Nashville, Tuesday, Nov. 15. It was not yet midnight when the rains fell, and the winds blew. By 2 A. M. I was thoroughly soaked so I had to get up and the police admitted us into the depot. Read from Scott's Ivanhoe till morning by gaslight, rain still falling in torrents. After breakfast six post teams came to take us to camp, Cogswell's horses to take our battery. About noon we were left in an open field on a pretty knoll two miles west of town, with instructions not to touch board, rail or tree under penalty of court-martial. Here we [Pg 272]were this cold morning in a muddy field with nothing to strike a light or hardly stake a tent. This was decidedly tough for "old sogers" who had been used to draw comfort from blazing rail heaps in times like this. But they say it is loyal Tennessee, and property must be respected. Very well. But they should provide something for our comfort, if we are privates. We stretched our tents, got a cold grub, no fire to cook coffee. Late in the evening Sergeant Malish came with two loads of cord wood. We drew it at the rate of 1/6 cord to a man per month.


Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 16. Slept warm in our wedge tents. One of the batteries that camped here, gone up the Cumberland River with two weeks' rations to get out lumber for quarters. We would have gone had we had a commissioned officer to take charge of us. On detail this morning. Carried a load of halters to town to draw mules but the "something" failed as usual, and I had to carry back my load. Found mail in camp, a goodly share for me which added greatly to my comfort. Tried to write a hastily written letter home, but my fingers were cold and stiff. Drew soft bread.


Nashville, Thursday, Nov. 17. Another cold, wet day. On guard. Rain fell incessantly. My shoes being bad, feet wet all day. Sergeant Keeler and boys that were left to bring horses up arrived. Turned over the plugs at Chattanooga. —— left the Battery at Whiteside. Went on to Huntsville to visit his friends there. Returned and was immediately put under arrest. Will probably be court-martialed. Batteries were still being brought up, some 165 batteries camped here belonging to the Army of Tennessee. Major Powell in charge. Detail out this afternoon staking out the ground to align the batteries.


1864 Unnecessary Hardships

Nashville, Friday, Nov. 18. Lay abed this morning as long as possible. Last night was a miserable night to stand guard. [Pg 273]Cold rain fell very heavily all the time I was out, feet perfectly wet, in consequence of which I caught a large amount of cold. Settled in my head in the shape of catarrh. To-day was not an exception to the general rule, so of course it rained in doors as well as out, mud unfathomable on all sides, and we spent the day in the most comical manner. Cheerfulness like a bright angel, made us forget the disagreeable, and we sung (or rather bawled), read, talked, laughed and scuffled by turns with an occasional recess "to rake shoulder straps" in general. And I don't think it is misplaced. Here we are in Nashville where an abundance of everything is to be had. Thousands of feet of government lumber lying in the pile, thousands more of employees at work daily in getting out more, besides hundreds of vacant houses crumbling to ruin untenanted and unowned, which we would soon be able to convert into comfortable quarters. But no, the officers will not permit it, and here we are left to the inclemencies of the wet season, on the wet ground, wood to warm our chilled limbs even refused us. I trust that my patriotism is now as bright as ever, and I am willing and ready to undergo any hardships for the sake of my bleeding and torn country, but this is unnecessary and too much. They (the officers) are cozily quartered with some private family, toast their feet and drink their wines without ever a thought of us, who are engaged in a common cause with them. The world will do homage to them, the future historian may paint in glowing pictures their career, but the private soldier that bears uncomplainingly these abuses, and seeks naught but to do his duty, deserves as rich a reward; aye, and the God of Justice will reward each according to his merit.

Received a mail which was duly appreciated.


Nashville, Saturday, Nov. 19. I have no change to record in weather or otherwise. In the afternoon the guns were moved by the adjutant of the Brigade into proper intervals, bringing [Pg 274]ours into a low, muddy ravine. Our quarters will have to go in the rear, but we await a pleasant day.


Nashville, Sunday, Nov. 20. Happy to inform you, dear Journal, that it did not rain a great deal to-day, but no ray of sunshine appeared to warm our tents or dry our clothes. The Major seems to be very partial to us, for yesterday he called for a detail to put up headquarters tents. To-day again he has fifteen men hauling stone, etc. to build chimneys. I wish he would like some other Battery as well. In the evening a few scarlet tints could be seen on the western horizon, and our prophets predict a pleasant day to-morrow. I sincerely hope it will be so. Received a few papers by mail, no letters.


Nashville, Monday, Nov. 21. This morning was bright and clear, but sunshine still forbidden us. Griff, G. M. S. and myself, wishing to make a few purchases, obtained permission to go to town. Griff and I sat for photo pictures, and sent them to Beniczky, New York, for photos.

Commenced snowing 10 A. M. but the wind blew it all away. Kept growing colder and colder. Returned to camp 2 P. M. Found the boys in a shivering condition. Managed to keep comfortable by means of an iron skillet filled with coals. Banked our tent up as close as possible, and prepared for a severe night. Captain Hood arrived and takes command of the Battery. His presence is unnoticed.


Nashville, Tuesday, Nov. 22. Last night was a very severe night. Many suffered severely from cold. We slept tolerably warm with the exception of feet. Ground is all hard. Water frozen four inches thick. The day passed, such a day as that which makes people draw close around the family stove, in the warm rooms of our houses. 'Tis not strange then that every means of warmth was resorted to. Many a fellow lay wrapped up in his blankets all day, while we were huddled around our skillet of coals, replenished as often as practicable from the few [Pg 275]heaps of fire out doors (the wood being very scarce). Dan on guard. Clothing arrived. I drew a pair of boots. Boys went strong on overcoats. I would draw one if there was one to be had. Many of them bought sheet iron stoves in town, paying from six to ten dollars. We must get one to-morrow if possible. Strict orders issued to us from Major * * * headed Camp Barry. None allowed to go to town without his pass. Four roll calls a day.


Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 23. Some warmer to-day and groups could be seen about noon sunning themselves outside. Dan and Griff went to town early, and returned with a small sheet iron stove, about the size of an inverted camp kettle, $5.00 worth. But it is a prodigy of comfort. In ten minutes we had it blazing and the tent so warm as to be uncomfortable. About dusk a cedar rail mysteriously found its way into our tent, and was speedily converted into wood, nobody knows how, of course.


1864 Feeding an Army

Nashville, Thursday, Nov. 24. A still cold night, froze very hard this morning. I think it is ten degrees below zero. Boys skating on ponds, like old times. Detailed early to go after beef. Had to go and obtain post team, then to the slaughter yard located on the Cumberland River. When we reached it we found there was a string of wagons twenty rods long ahead of us, and we had to wait our turn, which did not come before 3 P. M. and we had a good chance to see the magnitude of the work carried on here daily. About one hundred eighty two butchers at work all the time, fifty-four beeves killed before 12 M. An animal would be knocked down and nearly skinned before he was dead, it being weighed out as fast as killed. One hundred thousand rations issued by the government daily. Reached camp in time to eat a good supper and to find no mail for me.

An opportunity offered Griff and me to attend the theatre where the celebrated Alice Kingsbury (Maggie Mitchell) played [Pg 276]the part of "Cricket" in the drama called Fanchon. To me it was highly interesting to observe how near art could approach nature. Stage scenery was almost life-like, the grassy woods, shady woodland and bubbling brook, all seemed more real than I could believe possible. As for Alice, she was the principal actress for three hours, and well did she play her part as a poor befriended orphan and an accomplished lady. Anger, sorrow and love depicted with great truthfulness.


Nashville, Friday, Nov. 25. A very nice day. On guard once more. Battery C, 1st Missouri, struck their tents right in front of ours this afternoon. We cannot move camp to its proper place, because there are other batteries in the way. Was happy to meet Knapp and Burnham, once worthy members of the old 6th, in camp direct from Wisconsin. They came to work for the government. The greeting was like meeting family relatives.


Nashville, Saturday, Nov. 26. Ah! it rains again. Continued to do so nearly all day, but by means of our stove and good cheer we passed the day very pleasantly, writing and reading. 3 P. M. mail arrived. None for me. Milton received notice that his folks at home had sent him a Thanksgiving dinner per express. He obtained permission to go to town, and see if it had arrived. I went along. Roads very muddy, but we found it not. To-night a certain number of cedar rails found their way into our stove very mysteriously. Of course it was honest.


Nashville, Sunday, Nov. 27. Very wet but did not rain much. Griff, Milt and myself went to church, not acquainted with any one. Curiosity led us into the Catholic Church, it being the first time I was ever in such, and the mode of worshipping struck me very forcibly.

Returned to camp to find tent struck and moved behind the guns. Worked in the evening, the remainder of the Sabbath day, ditching camp, etc. By night we were in shape, and camp [Pg 277]is in very pretty shape, each platoon in line, sections facing, but the ground is very low for wet weather. What a vast difference between this, and the Sunday they have spent at home. Are we, the privates, held accountable for this disregard for the holy Sabbath day?


Nashville, Monday, Nov. 28. A pleasant day. Company turned out this morning. Carried down the army's boxes and wood to our new camp. Hard work, but it dispensed with three guards. Wrote letter in the afternoon and commenced reading Jane Eyre. A beautiful silk flag was to be hoisted in our camp that we have bought by subscription for $75.00. May its folds ever wave over us in victory. Hood with 30,000 rebels reported moving on this place, and Thomas is below him. Gen. A. J. Smith is in town. His command, 16th Army Corps, is arriving from Missouri.


Nashville, Tuesday, Nov. 29. An unpleasant day. Camp very quiet, the usual number going to town on their passes. Camp policed and looks nice. Detail gone out to fix up camp of the 10th Ohio. This is a good omen, as their men will likely bring us lumber to pay for it. Captain Hood was mustered this morning, now is in command of Battery, with straps on. Read all the forenoon and wrote to sister Ellen. Mail came in and I received one from Jane, E. C., and John; papers from T. L. What kind of a being would I be were it not for these heavenly messengers from home. It is they that give courage in danger, cheerfulness in camp, and happy dreams which I expect to-night.


1864 Awaiting Hood

Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 30. 8 A. M. In position awaiting Hood. Unexpectedly were ordered last night at 7 P. M. to pack up blankets and knapsacks, ready to move at a moment's warning. Playfully did we proceed to obey, thinking we would not move, only a "scare as usual". But immediately we were ordered to strike tents and a host of mules with their dusky drivers came, and we thought it was big enough to move us this [Pg 278]time. The other batteries were under similar orders. The long-eared animals were fastened on. Our tents and "dear little stoves" were piled up, and with but little delay we pulled up and started toward town, the first battery out of Camp Barry.

Marched through town via muddy streets and dark alleys, till finally we halted about a mile and a half north of town facing northwest with a wide open plain before us, having come about five miles. Here we came into line and our uncouth transportation left us. It was 11 P. M. when we laid down 'neath a placid and beautiful, starry sky. The jests and laughs went round for some time before the hilarious spirits were overcome by sleepiness.

This morning we arose to find four more batteries in position and everything quiet. Aligned our guns forming an obtuse angle, facing the northwest. Two of the batteries have gone to camp. We have had our breakfast. Long strings of citizens, government employees, etc. are winding their way to the front with shovel, pick and wheelbarrow, to throw up earthworks about half a mile in our front. As yet we have but little expectation of fighting but they may come, and it is best to be ready. I am to act as No. 6 and I will try to do my duty as well as possible.

Twilight. The day has gone by quietly, no sound or sight of battle yet. Some thirty transports have arrived from Paducah loaded with General Smith's veterans, amongst them the glorious 8th and 10th Wisconsin. The unanimous desire of all is that they come and give us fight. We are posted on the middle reserve line, and it is doubtful for us whether they could come within our reach, were they to try it. The orders are to move four rods to the right, sleep at our posts and be up at 4 A. M. Corporals Ray and Hill with detachments out of our Battery man two guns of the 10th Ohio on our left. In spite of "war's threatening aspect" we have had to-day a pleasing remembrance of home in the shape of roast turkey and other goodies sent to Milt. for Thanksgiving dinner.


[Pg 279]

Fort Gillem, Tenn., Thursday, Dec. 1. After a refreshing sleep in the open air of heaven, we were again awakened 4 A. M. to wait and watch the batteries. The day is exceedingly hot, more like September than December. We hear of a heavy battle yesterday at Franklin, eighteen miles distant. Reports say, that the enemy were severely punished, but the maneuvering here seems to indicate preparations for fight. Night is again with us after a day of inactivity. With the last rays of the setting sun, a string of mules again came to move us, and we are taken a half mile west, and left near Fort Gillem in disorder. Ordered to sleep as best we can in places of our own choice.


Fort Gillem, Friday, Dec. 2. Slept on boards inside the fort last night, guns outside. A gentle rain fell in the after part of the night, but not enough to penetrate our blankets. All our camp and garrison equipage brought here during the night, and pitched tents this morning. Luckily our stove was saved, and it now gives us comfort. Wet and rainy all day. The fort is garrisoned by 14th Ohio Battery and 10th Tennessee Infantry, a splendid work.

We lay just outside yet. 10th Ohio Battery boys have come back from river, thereby relieving us from their guns. We know nothing definite of Hood and his forces. He is reported to be moving on to Murfreesboro. He has thought it best not to try Nashville, after his signal defeat at Franklin on the 30th. Our foes are fallen back and are now in line of battle about three miles from town. Artillery firing has been distinctly heard this afternoon. Mail received and "Good News from Home"; all well.

1864 Camp at Night

After night I walked out and had a splendid view of our camp in the dark, which is always to me a grand and sublime sight. About a mile and a half from us the advance line string from one hill to another as far as we can see on either side, stretching from water to water, with their countless fires. Would that I had the artist's skill to represent this scene with [Pg 280]its seas of glittering starlike fires. And when I think of the thousands of brave boys that gather around them, patiently awaiting the foe, it becomes sacred to me and fills my soul with reverence to the Supreme Being that holds our destiny in His hands.


Fort Gillem, Saturday, Dec. 3. Our rest was unbroken. The day was very wet and camp muddy. Still we await a general engagement, and active preparations are taken to receive him, [the enemy]. Every hour he delays renders his chances of success more uncertain. Strong forts are going up on every knoll connected by rifle pits thrown up in genuine military order, and all of the citizens are out at work. Government employees arrive and drill daily. The rebel skirmish line is under Fort Negley this afternoon and Hood's movements are still uncertain. A large force has gone up the Cumberland, and if they don't look out, they will be in their rear.

This evening we could see artillery smoke on the left about sundown. Fort Gillem has been worked at all day and is fast approaching completion. Every platform is ready, room for thirteen guns, only six guns in now, but seven outside. Captain Hood is in command of the fort.

And now I cannot close to-day's record without a word of the disgusting influence around us. Our camp is right by a liquor saloon, which is sold indiscriminately. Nearly all of a neighboring regiment are beastly drunk, and with their unearthly yells and maniac demonstrations are making the air hideous. Our own Battery also presents a sad sight. Last night —— was helplessly drunk. To-day our ——. Both good officers when temptation is removed. Oh, why will not our officers put a stop to this demoralization, but on the contrary, a guard is furnished this den of the devil to protect it in its wicked work.


1864 Night Firing

Fort Gillem, Sunday, Dec. 4. It is now 9 A. M. Have had a restless night of it. Scarcely had we closed our eyes to sleep, [Pg 281]ere we were aroused by the orderly, "pack up and get ready to march immediately". Thirty-five men under Lieutenant Simpson going to move some guns somewhere. First Section out as soon as possible. We start under Sergeant Malish with our blankets and haversacks, leaving Sergeant James to come after us with knapsacks and tents. After marching on almost double quick for nearly two hours not knowing exactly where we went, we arrived at a half-finished bastion on the second line near our original camp. Lieutenant Simpson was there, but the guns had not arrived. Three of the boys unable to keep up with us were yet behind, and of course knew not where to find us. Men were appointed to pilot them hither, and the rest laid down at 11 P. M. Had not gotten asleep before we were again called out to unload forty-eight boxes of ammunition and get our knapsacks, the wagons having come. It was now midnight and we saw the flash of artillery firing, followed by the subdued report very frequently. Once more we took our boots off (ordered not to take any more off) and slept.

A very little before this, guns arrived, five twelve-pounders, five arsenals, three to stay here, two to go with Sergeant James a quarter of a mile to the right. Rolled up blankets, slung knapsacks, and started with him. It was dark and chilly, arising suddenly from sleep had chilled me through and I shivered terribly. Still frequent reports of cannon could be heard, but we hardly noticed that. Half past 2 A. M. we again had our blankets unrolled and slept. Half past four, as near as we could guess, I was aroused to take my turn on guard, one hour apiece. Cedar rails were abundant and were used without compunction. I kept very comfortable, meditating on the now dimly flickering camp fires, almost ghastly.

While on post I heard the reveille sounded in an adjoining camp. Men hastily hurried out, officers running to and fro, and they start out on double quick, marching by our sleeping boys. Nothing could be heard but the officers, big and small, [Pg 282]yelling out "Close up, close up, boys, double quick", and such hasty commands, I knew it was a new regiment. Yes, it was the 142nd Indiana. They will get over that yet. Other old regiments followed, but they went still and quietly. When I guessed it was an hour I woke up the next turn, and for the fourth time crawled close to my sleeping bedfellow. The morning sun shone brightly when I again awoke, and I must be up, but ah! how sleepy I felt. Griff has made some tea, and we have had bread and butter for breakfast. Workmen are coming fast to throw up works for us. I have heard no firing yet. We are but half a mile from Fort Gillem. We put up tents, etc.

It is now bedtime. The day has passed wearily, watching the employees grudgingly throw up their works for our guns. Artillery firing has been kept up all day from Fort Negley. We could not hear infantry firing. This is the second line being made very strong, but the works are lined with cedar rails which I don't like at all. It is apt to splinter if struck by artillery.

Every moment of delay lessens Hood's chances of success. This evening mail came in. I received two from brother and sister. I am very sleepy and tired. I hope we will not be disturbed to-night.


Fort Gillem, Monday, Dec. 5. This forenoon a repetition of yesterday. Surrounded by dissatisfied employees who are working on our defenses. They are completed, seven feet high and eight feet thick on top. When settled will be proof against field artillery. The usual amount of firing on our front, shelling working parties. They throw up works within five hundred yards of our line, but never dare to reply to our artillery.

2 P. M. a detachment of the 1st Missouri Artillery relieved us, and we returned to our old camp. Guns are all in the fort. Very pleasant weather. Health is good. The only trouble is we eat up our rations faster than they come.


[Pg 283]

Fort Gillem, Tuesday, Dec. 6. A pleasant day. Nothing startling. Artillery firing and skirmishing as usual. Some of our boys have been to the post line, report the enemy still throwing up works for artillery and infantry. Camp is full of wild rumors about Forrest's venture against Nashville, but it is not reliable. Trains arrived from the North as usual. Wrote to Hannah this afternoon. Captain Hood has received orders to draw horses. This indicates work ahead of us.


Fort Gillem, Wednesday, Dec. 7. Gunboats fired very briskly last night for a while. Washed my clothes this morning. 11 A. M. ordered to prepare to go after horses, eleven men from each platoon to draw eighty-four horses. But we could get only forty-five, being all there were, most of them very good ones. I rode a young colt to camp. Others will take care of them. Happily I am no driver now.

1864 A Moral Problem

Having heard so much of the grand display of new scenery in the new theatre, Griff obtained permission for us to attend. Arrived there before the doors were open. The rush was very great, the street crowded clear across. When the doors opened I was borne on other legs than my own up two flights of stairs. Still the rush carried me on into the gallery which was soon filled to overflowing. Many failed to get admittance. Here we had to wait half an hour for the curtains to rise, which were filled by the most boisterous and rude demonstrations. I did not like it. But when the curtains arose all was silent. The play was the Naiad Queen, or Fairies under the Rhine, a meaningless piece, but the most brilliant and beautiful scenes I have ever seen. Dark grottos with their rocks and caverns inhabited by beautiful fairy-like creatures. Thunder and snaky lightning was wonderfully depicted. Water with boats gliding back and forth, by means of glass. Scenery was truly beautiful. Then came an army of Amazons. The best scene represented the region of bliss, with hollows and fountains, on which was thrown a dazzling light. This is the third time I have [Pg 284]ever visited such scenes. I came to judge for myself, is it right or wrong? Although there are some things connected with these that are exceptional and unadvisable, still I consider it not only an innocent amusement, but instructive, much better for the morals of the young than the saloons, clubs, meetings, etc. Liquor and tobacco fumes are apt to be the chief claim. The only danger is that in the theater will be spent time, which ought to be spent elsewhere.


Fort Gillem, Thursday, Dec. 8. The weather that turned cold last evening is growing colder and colder. It is all we can do to keep warm. Clothing issued and I failed not to secure a great coat and other comforts. Wrote to John. There has been no firing of any consequence to-day. What does it mean, is asked by all. Is the weather too cold to fight, or is Hood gone? The latter seems to be the prevailing opinion in camp.


Fort Gillem, Friday, Dec. 9. It was difficult work to sleep warm last night, and we pitied the poor boys in the front ditches last night without fire or tents, with a foe in front.

As soon as breakfast was over I was detailed to go with Corporal Goodwin after wood. It began sleeting as we started and continued all day. We first went to the wood yard and found that surrounded by more teams than could load all day. Sent us a mile further to the boat landing where we found two barges nearly empty of wood, and about fifty wagons waiting, so we had to go home. I walked back through town, stopped on business, and returned after dinner, quite stiff with sleet, clothes all glazed with it. It is now snowing very fast. Wagons went out and brought in two loads of rails for fire wood.

J. Rogers returned to the Battery. He left us at Cartersville. All quiet on the lines. No mail. Health good.


1864 The Nashville Freeze

Fort Gillem, Saturday, Dec. 10. Froze very hard last night. Two inches of crust on the ground, very slippery and the air is very cold. On guard. Post No. 1 in the front. Ration day. [Pg 285]We only drew 3/4. Things are very short here to-day. We have to buy a great deal. Many of the boys are out of money too. No demonstrations on the line as we know of. Perhaps it is too cold for the boys to fight as they have enough to do to keep warm.


Fort Gillem, Sunday, Dec. 11. To-day was a terrible reminder of old Wisconsin to us. Last night was the coldest night I ever stood on guard. Did not suffer much though on post. Kept up a rapid motion. I could not sleep much, tent too cold, having to sleep on the ground. The day was no warmer. All hands lay close inside with roaring fires in the stoves. Detail sent out this afternoon after more horses. Returned with thirty-nine. We have now eighty-four, all we need, and may expect marching orders next. Evening spent cheerfully reading, with cedar wood plenty in stove. It is freezing very hard out of doors.


Fort Gillem, Monday, Dec. 12. By laying up snug we kept warm last night. This morning the sun came out, and thawed a very little during the day. As notified last night, Griff and I were of the ten to go after wood with Sergeant Dziewanowski. Ate an early breakfast and started out. Reported to Powell's headquarters. He sent us to a piece of wood on Hillsboro Pike, which was once the woodland park of some church, now to be cut down by the artillery. Permission granted by General Thomas. I am not a big chopper, but I chopped "big" for a while. Teams took one load to camp and came back for the others. Returned 2 P. M. Beans and coffee disposed of by appreciative appetites.

All the pikes leading to the front are filled with cavalry, apparently waiting for the cloak of darkness to hide their deeds. We hear of a big fight at Murfreesboro. Rosecrans captured 6,000 prisoners, and is in their rear eight miles from here. Our troops on the front line are under marching orders. Two days' [Pg 286]rations in haversacks, I think. The time is near at hand when Hood will be beautifully, though terribly thrashed for his insolence in thus invading Tennessee, at least I hope so. We are in anticipation of moving too. The "fates" may miss us this time.


Fort Gillem, Tuesday, Dec. 13. On guard. The icy frost that encased everything has been wholly removed, and we can now move around without "slipping up". But it is getting very wet and muddy. Our horses are having a bad time of it. They all grow poor fast without stables. Firing on the picket line is once more heard, at times very briskly. Fort Negley indulged in a few shots this evening. The cavalry have gone into camp inside the line, three divisions of them.

A big mail arrived 4 P. M., the first in five days. I received one from home. It brought commissions to Alba and S. Sweet as second lieutenants in 6th Battery, merited promotion—and ratified by all the boys who will now have two temperate officers at least.


Fort Gillem, Wednesday, Dec. 14. Reveille sounded this morning at 4 A. M. and at daylight the whole Company was marched off on detail except guards. I was on post. They went to unload shakes and poles for stable from a barge. They worked hard all day without any dinner. Returned to eat a hearty supper. Weather very foggy and misty all day. The mud is unfathomable and camp is very disagreeable. It was expected that a general engagement would come off to-day, but Thomas is waiting for more favorable weather, it is reported, to move artillery. Considerable firing from forts. Considerable curiosity manifested as to who will be appointed in the vacancy caused by the promotion of the Sweet boys.


Fort Gillem, Thursday, Dec. 15. Much dissatisfaction was expressed this morning by the Company when —— entered upon the duties of orderly sergeant. This is doing great injustice to [Pg 287]the other sergeants that were his superior in rank, and any of them better qualified, and would receive more respect from the boys, none of whom like ——. The privates of the volunteer army are men of judgment, and will use it in spite of red tape and military discipline. Would it not be much wiser then, to allow them to have a voice in choosing their officers? Certainly they would be easier controlled. First Sergeant Malish is quartermaster sergeant.

1864 Fighting with Confidence

The day has been warm and mild but the mud not much improved. 14th Ohio Battery that were with us here marched at 4 A. M. As expected, heavy fighting has taken place to-day. Only artillery firing and skirmishing in the forenoon, but after dinner the heavy throbs of musketry mingled with the incessant roar of artillery. All the fighting has taken place on our left, near Forts Negley and Sigel about four miles off. And we laid around carelessly while our ears were filled with the terrible death notes of battle. So many times have we listened to it that they have almost ceased to quicken our pulse or awaken serious or earnest thoughts of the hundreds that are swept into eternity, at least of the many hearts that will bleed when the news of this battle reaches them, of the terrible suffering from ghastly wounds and bleeding limbs caused by it. Oh I cannot forget that war is terrible, and I cannot keep my mind from these saddening thoughts while these stern sounds fall upon my ear. Of the result we know nothing, but all accept success as the inevitable result. Before to-morrow morning we may be in the fight.


Fort Gillem, Friday, Dec. 16. Warm and wet night. Mud still increasing, but the battle progressed. Firing commenced at early dawn, and has continued with unabated fury till after dark. We lay quiet and undisturbed. There are nearly enough troops to hold Nashville against Hood's assault left unemployed around the reserve line. Twenty new regiments. It is the common opinion of all the Battery, that it has never listened to [Pg 288]heavier and steadier artillery firing for so long a time. Once in a while the crash of musketry would be louder even than the artillery, and I could but shudder at the thought of how many must be falling in the charge, for they undoubtedly are. Fighting continues to recede. It seemed six miles off last night at sundown, but we have not heard anything definite. In the midst of this noise of the conflict I wrote to John. Detail of twenty men sent through the mud to Major's headquarters this afternoon and marched back again.


Fort Gillem, Saturday, Dec. 17. Rained terribly last night. The torrents filled our ditches and swept through the tent, under—or rather over—our bed, making it decidedly wet. Got up, ate hard-tack, and then laid down and slept, and took "wet sheet pack" bath at once. Griff on guard last night in the fort. Induced the infantry guard to let him carry off lumber enough for bunk under cover of the night, so we need not fear of wet bed any more. All is quiet this morning. The storm is over and the papers tell us of the glorious whipping which Hood received. Fifteen thousand prisoners and 30 cannon the work of yesterday. To-day he is flying demoralized. No excitement manifested over the news because it is only as everyone expected.

All the men that could be spared this morning marched under Captain Hood near Camp Barry and set to work digging post-holes for stables. David Evans and I were given axes and we "butted" poles all the forenoon. Chopped hard, and I was tired by dinner time. Did not go back after dinner. It is mud! muddier! muddiest!


[Pg 289]

Wintering at Nashville

Fort Gillem, Sunday, Dec. 18. Rained all night last night, very warm and oppressive. We lay in our new bunk, a decided improvement on lying on the wet ground. Griff and I visited a squad of 2,800 prisoners this morning, of which Nashville is nearly full. They look as well as any I have ever seen, clothing not as bad as I expected to see. Could not converse with them for the guards. Our little boy with Unions sold out before he reached us, so we have not the details of yesterday's work. Our headquarters are at Franklin. They must be skedaddling very fast. Moved the picket rope as our horses were fast disappearing in the mud, which is beyond grammatical comparison. This morning everybody is all mud from head to foot. We eat it and drink it, and the air we breathe is muddy.


Fort Gillem, Monday, Dec. 19. Last night it rained very heavily again and continued till noon to-day. So furiously did it storm that it poured through our tent wetting everything. Poor me on guard. Afternoon turned very cold and freezing; it looked like snow. This is most disagreeable for camp life such as ours. All day we must move with muddy feet where at night most of the boys are obliged to spread their wet and dirty blankets to sleep.

Last night we received a big mail from Wisconsin. It told us of snow and ice, but there was the cheering fireside, warm room and cozy bed, and I could but long for these comforts once more.

1864 Freeing the Slave

I have been reading aloud the last evenings, Frances Kemble's Journal on a Georgia Plantation. To-night I finished it. How sickening and disgusting is the detail of this sin of slavery, and I thank God that a better day is dawning on the poor wronged African. What are the trials of camp life compared with the great work we are engaged in. I can cheerfully [Pg 290]bear all the discomforts of a soldier's life for the overthrow of the monster evil.


Fort Gillem, Tuesday, Dec. 20. Everything froze up hard last night, and it was very cold. Suffered considerable on post. Griff and I wished to go to town, volunteered to load rations so as to go. Had to wait until late in the afternoon for our team. Drew hard-tack and salt junk. Visited Sanitary Commission rooms, obtained a good supply of reading matter. Bought stationery to write letters and returned to camp. It is turning warmer, rains again.

The papers tell us of the triumphant arrival of our gallant leader Sherman at the coast. Invests Savannah, and we expect to join him sooner or later. Beside this glorious success the utter defeat of his opponent and fellow raider, Hood, is insignificant. "The good time's coming." Eighteen teams out all the afternoon moving batteries.


Entry in Diary, December 20, 1864

Fort Gillem, Wednesday, Dec. 21. More rain last night, cold this morning. Griff attended to the domestic affairs, washed our dirty clothes, etc. In the afternoon I wrote two letters. Snowed and blustered considerable in the afternoon. Camp is very quiet. The ennui of a soldier's life is very heavy these disagreeable days, but we amuse ourselves by reading a great deal aloud. Two thousand five hundred more prisoners brought in to-day and corralled in jail yard.


Fort Gillem, Thursday, Dec. 22. A cold night. This morning everything frozen up hard and dry. Detailed to chop wood this forenoon, cold for my ears and bare hands. All the rest of the day staid close indoors.


1864 Hoping To Join Sherman

Fort Gillem, Friday, Dec. 23. Clear and cold this morning. On guard again. The detail comes around quite often now. The privates' roll is decreasing as the officers' increases. Issued clothing. The topic is, are we included in the late order [Pg 291]ordering all detachments belonging with Sherman to report immediately via New York? Would much like to take the trip, but would rather wait a couple of months.


Fort Gillem, Saturday, Dec. 24. A pleasant night on guard though rather cold. Thawed but little during the day. My health still continues very good. Camp is all hilarity over the good news from all quarters. It gives new hopes of the coming dawn. Father Abraham has called for 300,000 more troops. This is right, says the soldier. It shows no faltering or weakness of resolution on our part, while the Confederacy's brightest lights are wringing their hands in anguish and despondency. But it makes me sad that it once more threatens to deprive my loved parents of their solace and comfort. I pray God that my dear brothers be spared to stay with them in their old age.

It is Christmas Eve, and I am all alone. Dan and Milt have gone to town. Griff is on guard. Nobody to interrupt my quiet meditations, and I can but think of the many happy hearts that now beat in my Northern home, of those surrounded by friends and relatives and the influence of home. It is in striking contrast with our situation here, where time glides by so idly and it seems at times uselessly. I can hardly realize that it is really Christmas time, so associated is winter with snow and frozen ears and good times to me. It is hard to recognize it in this mud and rain with bare, frozen ground for days. But it is not always to be thus. I am as happy in anticipation of hard-tack and salt junk for to-morrow's dinner, as many that count on roast turkey and "fixings". And still many at home are not happy. I can fancy the heavy cloud that hangs over their hearts as they are anxiously awaiting the return of us from the field. Yes, they think of us morn, noon, and eve. May we be true to their memory and return with a clear conscience, unsullied by the vices of camp.


[Pg 292]

Fort Gillem, Sunday, Dec. 25. Christmas. A warm day, misty and muddy. All is quiet. Health very good. 8 A. M. had our regular Sunday morning inspection, after which Griff and I attended church. Were there in time for Sabbath school, went in and listened to the sweet melody "There is a Happy Land", and "Homeward Bound", which sounded very sweetly to my ear. Read the 2nd chapter of Matthew in concert, then went above to listen to a sermon from the 13th and 14th verses of the same chapter. The Calvinistic dogmas preached stronger than I ever listened to from an American pulpit. Did not like it at all.

Returned to feast on Irish potatoes, Uncle Sam's Christmas dinner. Mail received. Brought us news of a dinner having been started us from home. At night Griff and I attempted to while away the remaining hours by sundry attempts at singing, but we retired early, and the third Christmas in the army was gone.


Fort Gillem, Monday, Dec. 26. On detail for wood. Went out to our front line of works. Took the rails comprising the walls of the works that were never needed.

1864 Presents for the "Boys"

Captain Hood and two of the boys with mule wagons went to town early to look for the big box expected. We had just eaten a dinner of coffee and hard-tack when they arrived, and lo! the box, really a huge thing, was there, weighing nearly four hundred pounds. About twenty of the Spring Green boys interested, but all were permitted to taste something "from home". I received thirty lbs. of baked chickens, pies, small and big cakes made by Mary and Esther. Griff and D. also received a lot. The sweetmeats were soon eaten and distributed with little regard to health, and the chickens and nice rolls of butter took the place of our dishes in ammunition boxes. Dishes go under the bed. Such things are sweet to the soldier's unaccustomed palate, and rendered doubly so by the knowledge that they came from home, from the loved ones that are so [Pg 293]anxiously noting our career and awaiting our return. Would that they at home could know the warm though rough thanks bestowed upon the donors. May God bless their thoughtfulness.


Fort Gillem, Tuesday, Dec. 27. A pleasant day. On guard, second relief. Detail off ditching new camp ground. Parker and John Rogers gone to the hospital, both quite sick.

Glorious news from Sherman. He presents Savannah as a Christmas gift to Old Abe, which reminds me of our Christmas dinner, none the less appreciated because a day behind hand. The hard-tack on which we have lived since the first of the month laid to-day untouched, also the "sow belly", as chicken, cake and butter were the dishes. It is the theme of much "music" in camp. Spring Green gets the praise. Sanitary [Commission], the next best thing to a box from home, gave us several onions apiece. May their labors be rewarded. Bridge burned between here and Louisville. No mail.


Nashville, Wednesday, Dec. 28. Struck tents 8 A. M. and moved on the Harding Pike nearer town. I was left behind to load the teams as they returned after camp equipage, boards, etc. Guarded the new camp by 3 P. M. Was agreeably surprised to find them busy at work building quarters, raising their tents. Shakes three feet long furnished to be nailed up and down. I fell in too, and by night we had the tent stretched on a neat wall three feet high. Was quite tired. Our horses are stabled about a quarter of a mile off in government stables, making it very inconvenient for drivers. Griff over with them on guard all day. Ordered to be ready for grand inspection by Major Welker.


Nashville, Thursday, Dec. 29. Last night was bitter cold. Most of us suffered severely, being but poorly fixed, but the sun came out a little this morning, warming us a little. To-day has presented another of those [scenes] that can nowhere be found [Pg 294]outside the soldiers' camp, when everybody is busy acting as his own carpenter, mason, cabinet maker. All have to meet their own wants and busily have we all worked. We have got our bunks up, one above the other. I went to town this afternoon after an additional length of pipe to reach through the tent. Everybody is in good spirits over the good news. Rumors prevalent that we are soon to start for Sherman.


Nashville, Friday, Dec. 30. A warm, misty day, little rain. Found time to-day to write a couple of letters. Mail came in but none for me. Health of all is very good, though great dissatisfaction prevails in regard to rations. Only a little over half rations of hard-tack given us. They call it post rations, not enough to satisfy the appetites of those who have been used to live on fighting rations. "Anywhere but Nashville" is the cry.


Nashville, Saturday, Dec. 31. Surprised to find the ground covered with snow and very cold. Formed with overcoats on at 9:30 A. M. for muster for pay. Hope we will get it soon. Boys all very flat. "Busted". I commence a New Year with a light heart and a lighter locker. On guard. Luckily on the guns, so I did not have to go to the stables. So the last thing I did in 1864 was to stand guard, and the first thing in 1865. Trust it is not going to be so always.

Another year has rolled past and joined the many gone before in the vistas of the past. Its glorious deeds of valor and achievements, its scenes of anguish and bloodshed, of wrong and oppression, are subjects for the future historian. Its ever varying scenes and emotions are indelibly impressed upon my mind, which death alone can efface. The snow has clothed the earth in a lovely mantle of white as though to hide the sad past, and offer a clear page for me in the coming year. Let me then look forward with hope and determination to keep in the path of virtue and right, striving to improve the blessings [Pg 295]and privileges offered me, so that when 1865 closes I need not look back with regret at the year spent.


1865 On Guard in the Snow

Nashville, Sunday, Jan. 1, 1865. New Year's morning dawned bitter cold. I suffered terribly on guard last night. A heavy impenetrable mist, such as I have nowhere seen except in Nashville, enveloped the earth till 9 A. M. freezing in icy down upon everything. When I came off post I looked more like some ghostly spectre in white than a soldier in blue. Rations very short in camp, but we had a big New Year's dinner of soft bread and butter, pies and Spring Green cake of Miss Spencer's make. This evening I received a letter from my faithful brother John. He wrote in the midst of the festivities of a Christmas visit.


Nashville, Monday, Jan. 2. Weather is growing warmer, the snow melting and it is growing very muddy. All the talk is about "going to Sherman". Preparatory orders are issued and we expect to start within two weeks. Lieutenant Simpson left us to-day, gone to artillery headquarters as ordnance officer. He is a good officer but lacks energy. He goes with the best wishes of the boys.


Nashville, Tuesday, Jan. 3. A quiet day. Weather much warmer. Probabilities of going to Sherman lessening. General Thomas has protested against our leaving. Put up harness racks this afternoon. Big mail bringing me several papers, reading matter for the evening. Our new lieutenants mustered. Corporals Goodwin and Proctor made sergeants to fill their vacancies. T. C. Jackson and W. B. Jacobs, veterans, made corporals. All worthy appointments.


Nashville, Wednesday, Jan. 4. A very mild day. Camp is getting muddy again. Chopping wood all the forenoon. Relieved this afternoon by an extra duty squad who failed to turn out to roll call this morning. Estimated for clothing. Don't [Pg 296]know what the news is, got no money to buy a paper. A large back mail received, having been to Savannah and back. Amongst it I was very "tickled" to find my long-looked-for socks and gloves, so nicely knit, with a billet in each bearing the love of the maker. They make me truly warm by thinking of whence they came.


Nashville, Thursday, Jan. 5. Froze a little last night. Very muddy to-day. On guard, same old story in camp. Getting monotonous. Received a letter from Thomas and from an old Battery chum. Drew soft bread rations, a pleasant change. Clothing issued. Captain Hood got a grand military problem through his brain to-day by changing sergeants, placing ranking ones on the right of each section. Rather a fine addition to army regulations I think. This took Sergeant James away from us to 1st Platoon. Dan Goodwin takes his place. 2nd Platoon hates to see him go. Our new "non-coms" appeared in stripes.


Nashville, Friday, Jan. 6. Disagreeable and rainy night. On guard. Wet slushy day. Spent it pleasantly writing and reading Ballou's Monthly, received from Sanitary Commission. A little difficulty occurred in camp to-day. Quartermaster Malish visited stables. Found B. Reynolds refusing duty as guard. Ordered Dziewanowski, sergeant of the guard, to "tie him up" which he refused to do. It was reported to Captain Hood and ended in reducing "Coly" to the ranks, appointing Corporal Hutchinson sergeant of the 3rd Platoon, Ed Hayes corporal.


Nashville, Saturday, Jan. 7. Turned cold last night. Snowed and blew wickedly. The day seemed very long to me. Did hope to get a letter to-day, but was disappointed. The theme of discussion in camp is the reduction of "Coly". He was a favorite of the boys, and as he lost his position by favoring one of our number, we can but sympathize with him. He is an ambitious young man, but got entangled in "red tape" and fell. [Pg 297]This is the second reduction since I have been in the Battery, more noticed because unfrequent. Health good. Ate our last bit of butter for supper. We must now forget home luxuries once more. The bread rations hold out well. So far so good.


Nashville, Sunday, Jan. 8. Froze very hard last night. Inspection 8:30 A. M. As soon as Griff was relieved from guard, 9 A. M., we started to church by permission. Listened to a very good sermon from a Christian Commission agent in M. E. Church.

Reached camp 2 P. M. Nobody at home, and we spent a very pensive afternoon, or at least I did. Many of our best men are coming down with the diarrhea. Parker of the next tent was very sick all day. Such things make me sad. But when the mail came bringing me that ever encouraging sheet from John, my spirits somewhat revived, and I found much to be thankful for. My health is unimpaired. Why should I pine? I will not.


Nashville, Monday, Jan. 9. Rain, rain!—all day without cessation. Was on detail all the forenoon chopping wood. Got quite wet and felt unwell. Symptoms of dumb ague.


Nashville, Tuesday, Jan. 10. On guard. Stood about sixty rods from camp on a pile of shakes in a cold disagreeable rain, the wind blowing furiously. I still feel very bad, unfit to stand guard but will try to stand now that I have commenced it.


1865 "Shaking"

Nashville, Saturday, Jan. 14. Sickness has prevented me from writing the last three days. Wednesday morning while on post from 3 to 5 A. M. I was taken with violent chills and ague, continuing nearly the two hours I was on. Every muscle and sinew in me was wracked, while I stood in a driving wind and freezing rain. Never did I suffer so much from "shaking" but I did not call for relief till my time was up. It was with difficulty that I staggered to my bunk where a furious fever set in and raged very high. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday [Pg 298]part of the time delirious, but I was the object of all the care that could be bestowed on me under the circumstances, Cousin Griffith filling as nearly as he could the place of mother and sister. Last evening the fever left me. Bathed and felt somewhat refreshed. Spent a very restless night, my whole muscular system seemed charged with pain, but this morning it eased off, and I find myself thickly covered with feverish looking pimples. They say it is "fever rash." Doctor came 9 A. M., looked dubious about something, but left with the injunction to "go slow". About 10 A. M. I dressed and wrote a short letter home. I feel very weak, but the pain has all left me.


Nashville, Sunday, Jan. 15. Felt pretty smart this morning. Up and ate quite a breakfast. The eruptions much larger, feel a little sore. Doctor came to see me after dinner and has pronounced it a case of varioloid. Ordered us to keep the boys all out of the tent, and my tent-mates to go and be vaccinated. I was much surprised at the announcement, as I was not conscious of ever being exposed, and even yet a little incredulous, but if this is smallpox I can stand it. While I have been sick, our nice lot of horses have been turned over, also all of the harness, and it is said we are to draw muskets soon to do guard duty in town.


Nashville, Monday, Jan. 16. In camp. I still feel pretty well. My throat is very sore. Postules begin to fill and turn white, guess it is smallpox. I am ordered to the smallpox hospital, and am now awaiting the ambulance. I must leave everything, as I could bring nothing away. I feel sorry to leave the boys but would not stay to spread the contagion among them. So, dear Journal, I must bid you good-bye until I return. God grant that it may not be long. I anticipate but a short siege, am astonished to find it so easy thus far. Adieu.


[Pg 299]

1865 In Hospital

Nashville, Monday, Feb. 6. Back in camp. Mr. Journal, I have returned after just three weeks' absence and now hasten to resume my story. As the sun was setting in the west the ambulance came for me. Wrapped in a single blanket, I left my old comrades while they were drawing muskets and making a great noise over it. I was ushered into ward 7 with its long row of low cots, most of them occupied by men with very sore looking faces, but I had seen too many such to allow my heart to sink. I was clothed in hospital clothes and tucked into bed, where I lay for twelve days. In a few days the postules filled up, raised very large and were very painful. As I lay every inch of me seemed as though on fire. The doctor would come (a kind-hearted man) and call it "a very pretty case", the postules being very large and thick too. I suffered no internal pain, but for a while the external agony was very great, and I longed for a cool drink of water, but was denied it.

About the 23rd my face was swollen so as to completely close my eyes and exclude the light of day for about twenty-four hours, which with matter and heat, I feared, would affect them, and in vain did I plead with the nurse to bathe them with a little water, until the doctor came next morning, which was a priceless relief. When they began to dry I recovered very fast. By keeping strict discipline on my finger nails, I was soon covered with scabs large enough for an alligator, and in due time [they] shelled off in my bed. The weather now was very cold and I suffered some in spite of half a dozen blankets. No visitors were allowed, but Griffith (kind soul, can I ever forget him) came often to the gate bringing my mail and written comments from himself, which I was permitted to answer. By keeping a lead pencil under my pillow, wrote several letters thus, home, contrary to orders, but I knew their anxiety.

Saturday, the 28th 3 P. M. the doctor pronounced me able to get up and my clothes were brought to me. I was astonished to find myself so weak. A few minutes after, two soldiers were [Pg 300]announced at the gate with a message for me, and I staggered out to see Griff and D. Evans, which did me much good, but I had to return very soon. I gained now very fast, notwithstanding a bad cold. Monday, tent-mate Dan brought in with same malady.

Tuesday, I was sent to convalescent ward to make room for the influx. Over 500 patients in now. From 8 to 12 die daily. I was put on guard first night, six hours at a stretch to guard Rebs. Had the same every night. I began to get very lonesome soon. Had to fight terribly with the blues, much more than when in bed, and to-day, in answer to urgent request and Captain's application, Doctor let me off. Took a bath, a new suit of clothes, and here I am. Feel quite weak, but happy to be once more amongst my comrades. Hospital life is not the life for me. Very grateful am I that I have recovered so well. Will be marked considerably, but who cares for that?


Nashville, Tuesday, Feb. 7. The ground is covered with two inches of snow and everything frozen hard, very cold. Feel very well except a severe cold that has been on me for a week. Our boys are doing guard duty with muskets in town, that they drew the day I left. Twelve men go to town every day. They do it with ill grace. Half of them return to camp ere their tour is half out.


Nashville, Wednesday, Feb. 8. Weather still continues cold. Orderly asked me to-day if I was fit for duty. I told him I was too weak for much duty, but would do all I could. Feel quite bad to-night. Bones and head ache, could eat but little supper. Wrote several letters.


Nashville, Thursday, Feb. 9. No warmer; feel no better. Received a letter from the Valley with the sad, sad news that my dear mother had again been very sick. But thank kind Providence she was improving. I pray that she may be wholly restored ere this.


[Pg 301]

Nashville, Friday, Feb. 10. Last night I had another visit from that evil genius that seems to hover over my very existence, the ague. I shook briskly for about an hour and a half, but it was not followed by a very heavy fever. Got up to breakfast. Found that Keeler had called my name for supernumerary guard. I did not feel able for duty, but as the boys have such heavy duty on every other day, I could not refuse to do all I could, so I went and drew me a musket and turned out to guard-mount. Oh! how ferocious I did look with my brass plates and fixed bayonet. Griff gone to town on guard. The mail has just brought me a letter from John which says Mother is improving, but yet suffering severely.


1865 A Young Recruit

Nashville, Saturday, Feb. 11. Felt very well this morning. Heard yesterday that Benj. Hughes formerly of Spring Green, was a member of Co. E., 44th Wisconsin Infantry. Sergeant Hutchinson going there on pass, David Evans and I went along. Found the camp on College Hill three miles off. With little difficulty I spied him building a chimney. When last I saw him he was just big enough for a cow boy, but in the last four years he had goaded nature along to satisfy his patriotism so as to serve his country. Yet he was very small, but round, tough, seventeen years old. He looked much pleased to meet us, and returned with us to camp to see the rest of the boys. After dinner Griff and I visited smallpox hospital. Heard from D. J. D. but could not see him. He is yet in bed.


Nashville, Sunday, Feb. 12. Very cold to-day again. Had inspection of arms at 8:30. On supernumerary guard again. Wrote John. No mail. Another report afloat that we are to march or prepare for the field. Hope it is so.


Nashville, Monday, Feb. 13. Quite a cold night, fair day. Mounted the usual number of guards for town, but were agreeably surprised in about an hour to see them return, having been relieved by infantry guards. Bully news for us. It is known [Pg 302]now that we are to equip for the field as horse artillery. Drilled two hours after dinner with muskets, then carried them up to headquarters and turned them over without a sigh. So they are gone. Gone to those that delight to use them, and we are once more in our natural element, "walking musket company" no more.


Nashville, Tuesday, Feb. 14. Day commenced cold and gray. About noon it commenced raining very heavy and continued till night. All quiet in camp. We are to draw full equipment here except horses. Report to Chattanooga for them, where we are to be held in the active reserve. No mail. Wrote a letter in the afternoon. I am steadily improving. Have a ravenous appetite, which I find difficult to control. Have plenty of the good bread and butter with the onion pickles from home. I eat no meat and feel better for it. Thankful should I be for a home that sends me such things.


Nashville, Wednesday, Feb. 15. A damp, rainy day. On guard, third relief. Very busy all day turning over condemned stores, and drew new equipments. Ten pair spurs, whips, scarlet blankets, and to-morrow we draw harness and sixty-four McElellar's saddles for cannon. General Barry, chief of artillery of Military Division of Mississippi is in town. Very anxious to get us started. Promised Captain to give him plenty of men from infantry regiments when needed. Good! New life and animation seems to be infused into camp with the prospect of once more being a Battery, worthy the name of one, ready to fight or to march. All anxious for the spring campaign. But great dissatisfaction exists because the paymaster stays off so long. Officers and men are all without money. D. Evans and I visited smallpox hospital. Were sorry to find Dan abed yet. Saw his nurse who said Dan had had a "back set." I fear he grows disheartened and lonesome, and when the spirit sinks it is hard for nature to do her healing work.


[Pg 303]

1865 Smallpox Epidemic

Nashville, Thursday, Feb. 16. Cleared up and the day closed very beautifully. Harness and saddles, etc. drawn. Captain Hood reported ready to go, and sure enough, a little after dusk the word came to move early in the morning, report at Chattanooga Depot for transportation. All hands are packing up, getting ready for the morrow. I wrote a letter to T. L. Visited smallpox hospital again to-day. Found poor Dan in bed yet. Our fears are many in regard to him. He is apt to get discouraged. Griff and Dave have gone with his knapsack to the Soldiers' Home to keep it there until he comes out. R. Randolph has been taken with the same disease. I must now close and retire to rest for to-morrow's work.


Nashville, Friday, Feb. 17. Very stormy night, and this morning was blowing and raining, but military orders must be obeyed. The teams commenced early with their work, hauling down the guns, boxes, etc. After dinner "strike tents" was given and we were soon out of doors. We have boxed our stove and keg of pickled onions, expect to take them along. We are now lying in the Chattanooga Depot, 3 P. M., awaiting transportation, expect to get off 6 P. M. A night's journey is ahead of us. I am far from hearty, but feel confident that I can weather it through.

While we were busily preparing to go to the front, M. Tennant and our tent-mate Milt. Hungerford started home on a furlough. May they have a happy visit of it.


Garrisoning Chattanooga

Chattanooga, Saturday, Feb. 18. About 4 P. M. yesterday afternoon our cars were brought up at Nashville and the depot hands set to work. They loaded on all our things in a short time, and we got aboard for a ride of 150 miles on open cars between the guns. But a soldier is full of expedients. We cleared off a small space, made down our beds, and then spread [Pg 304]the tarpaulin over the pole of the limber, making a traveling shebang in no time, and now ready to start. After the usual amount of switching and hooting by the boys (the whiskey being at work in the brains of several of the boys in spite of no money) we started off in the second Section of the 6 P. M. train. We took a farewell look at Nashville by twilight, then crawled into our house to avoid the chilly air that was growing cold fast, to take all the sleep possible, tucked in snugly, three in a bed. And we were soon warm as toast, but I will not attempt to describe how we rattled and bumped like corn in a popper on that old flat car, running over the roughest road in America without any brakesmen.

In spite of the reported bumping I slept much of the time. Passed through the big tunnel, over the mountains without my knowing it. But I was glad to crawl out at the first dawn. Found us at Bass, 105 miles from Nashville. Seven more and we stopped thirty minutes at Stevenson. It was very cold. Washed at the Soldiers' Home and luckily went in with a squad under Sergeant Proctor to take breakfast, which did me a power of good, especially the hot coffee (getting old fogy). The remainder of the journey without event.

Rounded the point of Old Lookout handsomely 12 M. and soon found ourselves once more in the Hawk's Nest 3 P. M. Got to the "dumping off" place, and by dark we were in camp on a pretty knoll east of town. Stove up, fire in it and all hands merry as a lark. How jolly a life does the soldier lead.


Chattanooga, Sunday, Feb. 19. A most beautiful day has passed. It seems as though we have been suddenly transferred from midwinter to beautiful summer. The sun shone in its softest mood, everybody outdoors to bask in its rays, content to enjoy it alone. We are camped opposite the old city cemetery. Many of both sexes have been paying their visit to the dead, some to satisfy idle curiosity, others to view once more [Pg 305]the spot where lies some home idol. It is in a shocking state of repair, and bore sad evidence of the ravage of war, fences all gone, graves overrun, marble slabs misplaced and marble monuments broken. The soldiers have even been carrying off the tombstones of the dead to be used in their quarters. Thoughtless sacrilege. We have had a guard on all day to prevent such proceedings by order of the pro[vost] marshal.

The soft twilight was too pleasant to lie still, so D. Evans, who has come to stay with us, Griff, and myself started off for a walk. On our way the peal of the church bell fell on our ears, calling us thither, but we found the house overflowing. Returned to camp. Boys sang sweet home music till taps, and lights put out.


Chattanooga, Monday, Feb. 20. Another enchanting day and great exuberance of spirits is to be seen in camp, ball and other active outdoor amusements being the order of the day. On guard. Do not have to stand till night, watching mules, etc. We are surrounded by artillery camps, batteries that have laid here all winter. Have beautiful camps and excellent houses (not shebangs) to live in. Much more attention is paid to the soldiers than at Nashville, all seem happy at the change. The fever of example is wonderful. Our officers have already absorbed the spirit of other batteries, and require everything done according to "military", or in camp slang, "put on style". Right, a good sign of discipline. Lieutenant Silsby, formerly my old teacher, came to see us. Looking well, glad to see him.


1865 Tracts Versus Literature

Chattanooga, Tuesday, Feb. 21. Threatening clouds to be found this morning instead of the beautiful sunshine, and the day promised to be a long and lonesome one as we had nothing to read at all. So I obtained a pass to go and see if the Christian and Sanitary Commissions could do something toward relieving us from this really pressing need, and as my mission was made known and I started, I was greeted with a dozen different [Pg 306]voices with "Jenk, bring me something interesting to read." I first visited the Christian Commission rooms. Here I made my errand known and the clerk immediately threw piles of papers down from the well-loaded shelves with "make your selection", but my heart failed me. Here was nothing but the American Messenger, M. E. Advocate, Sunday School papers, etc. in abundance. It was with an effort that I choked down my indignation, for I knew they were furnished by men who hoped they would do good, but really, I could not admire their judgment. We are not a lot of little children with minds too narrow to contemplate anything deeper than these small "stories with a moral." I would not take any of them to camp for I knew too well how my comrades were in the habit of using such. Most of them have no particular religious convictions, but all have an intellectual turn and are hungering for something to satisfy it.

With some hopes I again sought the Sanitary [Commission] rooms. I stated how we were situated and asked the gentlemanly agent for magazines. "Certainly"—and he brought down from the shelves a pile of dusty magazines which consisted by count of twelve Genius of Christianity, three or four years old, one Christian Luminary of '58, quite a variety. Made my selection and started home with one Pittsburg Advocate, one Genius of Christianity, one Christian Luminary, and two tracts, disappointed in being obliged to disappoint others. But we cannot expect much here.

Found on my return a Christian Enquirer, and a Madison State Journal from T. L., which I devoured with avidity. No letters yet. The 6th Badger boys have been playing ball with our next neighbors, Buckeyes, this afternoon. We beat them three games out of four.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, Feb. 22. The rain has not yet come but it still threatens, cloudy. A detail is put at clearing off a new camp ground, where Hospital No. 2 is now. Axes [Pg 307]sharpened, etc. To-morrow they say we begin to put up permanent quarters. In the afternoon on wood detail. Went three miles to Mission Ridge, got wood. To-day is the anniversary of Washington's birthday, and a grand salute was fired in honor, 12 M. Commenced from Old Lookout, followed by all the principal forts. A big pile of mail received to-day, none for me.


1865 Camping in the Rain

Chattanooga, Thursday, Feb. 23. Rain! rain! all night and all day without intermission, very heavy, wind driving it through our tents which are getting old, making it very disagreeable in quarters as well as out. Passed the day closely around the stove, cracking jokes and telling camp stories. At night carried sawdust in sacks to make our bed dry, and rolled in. Who cares if it rains.


Chattanooga, Friday, Feb. 24. The rain ceased but it remained cloudy and damp. Morning spent in attending to the domestic department, washing, etc. Mail came, bringing me four splendid letters, one from my old father in the good old Welsh tongue. I prize it above all others. Detail made to go and begin to get out timber for quarters. Estimates made for clothing, all required to draw full uniform. Three loads of troops passed toward Knoxville. Enemy reported threatening that place.


Chattanooga, Saturday, Feb. 25. Found our tent collapsed this morning by the big winds and heavy rains, which did not stop to let us stake it up, but kept on raining all day in a most furious manner, relieved by violent flashes of lightning and thunder. Everybody kept in doors, where they became somewhat soaked.


Chattanooga, Sunday, Feb. 26. A bright, beautiful day, affording us an opportunity to dry our clothes and blankets. On guard, second relief. Had to stay in camp. Griff went to [Pg 308]church. The day passed quickly. Read Christian Enquirer which the mail brought me, and wrote to John. In the beautiful twilight the boys turned out to enjoy athletic sports, jumping, running, etc. All apparently as merry as though a sorrow they knew not, a picture for the weeping ones at home.


Chattanooga, Monday, Feb. 27. A pleasant day, quite hot midday. Sergeant Hutchinson and twelve men gone to Mission Ridge to chop timber for quarters. The remainder of the Company clearing off our new camping ground most of the day. I was exempted, being on guard. One hundred and twenty new sabres for the guards and a load of quartermaster and ordnance stores drawn. Griff having sold our sugar, it falls upon me to invest it in bread to lengthen our rations. Lieutenant Sweet gave an order on Sanitary Commission for ten rations which I obtained at six cents per ration, cheap, plenty of bread now. No mail for me. Troubled considerably with rheumatism.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, Feb. 28. A fine day. Company formed 12 M. in best clothes for muster and inspection by regular inspecting officer. Quite strict as to the appearance of the men. Orderly Sergeant —— called the muster roll while he looked on. Here as elsewhere showed his incompetency, and the Company was heartily ashamed of him. Detail gone to the hills, returned loaded with stakes which they had gobbled.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, March 1. Cloudy and looks like rain, but we moved camp and by night we were all fixed. Our pleasant camp commands a splendid view of the Tennessee River both above and below, which is now very high. It used to be occupied by general hospital. Teams out all day again.


Chattanooga, Thursday, March 2. Rained fine and constant all night and all day, but we are dry and comfortable in our bed of sawdust. Read Tennyson's new poem Enoch Arden this [Pg 309]forenoon, and think it one of the finest poems I have ever read in English. Wrote to T. L. and read an old Atlantic Monthly in the afternoon. No mail for me.


Chattanooga, Friday, March 3. On guard. Very wet day. Rained all day and night. Mail arrived with a letter from T. L. All very well with the exception of dear mother. She still is suffering severely. How much longer can her frail nature withstand it? It is hard to give her up here and never more to see her loving face. Must she go without welcoming her Jenk's return? But still I feel it would be better for her to leave her troubles and sufferings, and go to the land where her treasures are, there to enjoy endless day.


Chattanooga, Saturday, March 4. Heavy thunder and lightning last night, with the rain pouring down while I was walking my muddy beat. To-day it cleared up a little. Heavy detail after timber. Another to work in camp hewing logs. Policed camp in the afternoon. This is the day on which Abraham Lincoln is to be inaugurated. President for the second time. After four years tempestuous sailing 'mid terrible breakers he has carried the good old ship of state through. May his second voyage know more sunshine, and be as successful as before. News is meager. Rumors of the evacuation of Richmond and Petersburg follow up the confirmation of the fall of the rebellious Charleston.


1865 The "Higher Law"

Chattanooga, Sunday, March 5. A most beautiful day, too good to lay in camp. Attended church. Joined the Bible class in chapel of Christian Commission, where we had a spirited discussion as to whether we are ever justifiable in disobeying the divine law in order to conform with the law of the land. Most took the old Abolitionist view of it. After class listened to good sermon. Text, "What is Man", by one of the agents. Met Lieutenant Silsby, very sociably inclined. Returned to [Pg 310]camp to enjoy a soldier's dinner. Wrote to John and read a sermon of H. W. Beecher, much better than the delivered one.


Chattanooga, Monday, March 6. Quite cold and windy. Health is excellent. Sergeant Hutchinson and five men left this morning to go to the hills, and stay a week chopping timber for quarters and stables. Busy in camp also, hewing logs and putting them up. One completed, six logs high, and 12 x 18 feet. Myself and two others sent with axes to Major Mendenhall, commanding reserve artillery, to chop his fire wood. Worked about an hour and were relieved.

There is but one source of discontent in camp, and that is short rations. Bread does not near hold out, although I think that we get the prescribed rations full. A day's rations is always eaten in two meals, and as all are out of money to buy extra, it is severely felt. I urgently recommend to Congress that it speedily rectify the mistake they made when they reduced the soldiers' rations and raised his pay. But our mess have plenty by selling sugar which we do not need and buy bread stuff. Griff got a peck of meal to-day.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, March 7. A gray, cheerless day, and my feelings were very much the same. Somehow or other a feeling of sadness and seriousness settled upon me, that in spite of all my efforts I could not shake. I am very severely troubled with such, and feel as though I ought not to, but I suppose the great cause is the non-arrival of mail, none having come in since Friday.

Bridges swept off north of Stevenson by the flood which is making sad work here also. The Tennessee has risen above its high and rocky banks, and throws its watery arm clear around Chattanooga, leaving us on an island. Inhabitants on the banks have to flee to the hills for safety. Where a week ago we could see four extensive saw mills erected and used by the government, throwing out thousands of feet of lumber and shingles per day, is now one watery waste, a turbid torrent rolling with [Pg 311]relentless fury to form with the mighty Father of Waters. Work is plenty in camp. Policed ground for stables this afternoon, etc.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, March 8. Another dark day with considerable rain but not enough to keep us within doors. Have been shoveling hard all day leveling off stable grounds, and am tired. Will say "no mail" and then good-night.


Chattanooga, Thursday, March 9. Weather unsettled. On guard, second relief. Health very good, but there are no trains from the North yet to cheer the drooping spirits. After guard-mounting, the camp assembly sounded and the whole Company put to work. Kept at it all day, some putting up houses, others setting posts for stables.


Chattanooga, Friday, March 10. Last night, 8 P. M., I was relieved in heavy rain. At midnight I entered my tent white with snow, and this morning 6 A. M. pinched through with cold, everything frozen hard and very cold, but the sun soon warmed us up a little. Griffith gone off on guard to Major's headquarters, the others on duty. I alone had nothing to do all day, and I had some trouble to amuse myself without mail.

1865 Thoughts of the Future

The forenoon I passed reading an excellent volume entitled The Hills of the Shatmuck a story in which the characters were noted for high purposes and aims and pure moral interest, a rare exception among novels, but the book was finished and all the afternoon was given to thinking and day dreaming. I too once, like "Winthrop," longed to pluck the precious fruits of knowledge and prepare myself for something high and ennobling. But the time that I once wished to be spent in the school room and among books, I have freely devoted to my country. But he, in spite of obstacles, kept his aim towards the desired point, and accomplished it nobly. Cannot I too learn much that is to be learned, and is there not a niche somewhere in this free country that I may occupy yet with profit to [Pg 312]myself and others? "I'll not give up! No grim despair shall ever forge a chain for me." And I'll try to do my best though humble it may be.


Chattanooga, Saturday, March 11. 8 A. M. Assembly sounded and our work apportioned out, I among the digging squad. Worked all day quite hard, but I was not tired at night for the line was opened, and our mail came 10 A. M. with seven big letters for me, so many that I could hardly find time to read them. Mother is much better, John writes. Clothing has been issued, the prices of which have gone up wonderfully. Had to don a jacket to the tune of $9.00 or more. We have also pup tents in the Quartermaster's tents.


Chattanooga, Sunday, March 12. A very pleasant day. Inspection 9 A. M. Company complimented by Captain Hood for their good looks, after which Griff and I went to church together. Post Chaplain preached tolerably well. Afternoon wrote three letters. Read Chadwick's sermon on "The Great Amendment" in the Christian Enquirer, very good. J. Parker returned this morning from home where he had been on sick furlough; as fat as butter. Was hailed with delight. He is a favorite with all. Randolph also came in from smallpox hospital at Nashville; reports Dan Davis ready to come, but poor Uncle Benson died about the 20th ult. a kind Christian man, leaves a wife and large family. Before I left there I wrote several letters for him, and he gave me his pocket book to keep and I have it yet. Must try some way to get it to his wife.

Military discipline took one of the sudden jerks in our camp to-day that is so peculiar in the volunteer army. Like a wild colt, it makes a fretful start, kicking the harness and getting over the traces. Two men tied to the gun, another walking with the guard.


Chattanooga, Monday, March 13. A very beautiful day. On guard. Company on duty as usual. Troops and provisions being [Pg 313]forwarded to Nashville at a rapid rate, and it looks much like business on hand. Ordered to prepare to receive fifty men to-morrow. They are to be transferred from the 3rd Wisconsin Battery. It has been cut for the 6th and 8th. That is what we want now. Come on, horses, and let us march.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, March 14. Coming off guard, I was exempt from work, therefore went to town on pass, General Thomas's special headquarters train having just brought him in from Nashville. Called on Lieutenant Silsby while returning, but he was not at home. Dan J. Davis came in about noon. Very glad to see him, looks very well with scarcely a trace of smallpox. There are five in the tent now, and we must keep very still for want of room.


1865 Logging

Chattanooga, Wednesday, March 15. A little rain last night. Health very good. David E. and myself volunteered to go out to the hills to load logs for a change. Took our dinner along so as to reload the teams in the afternoon. We crossed the first ridge where the Army of the Cumberland once won immortal fame. Had to lift hard on the logs and then we had to wait for the return of the teams. We wandered over the hills and came to a house filled with children. Could not tell what they lived on. Borrowed a cup and ate our dinner by a pretty little brook. Long ago I would have called it romantic, but romance has long ago "played out."

General Thomas inspected the camp and post yesterday. To-day he has gone to Knoxville. 4th Army Corps is passing on railroad. This is his only veteran force, but recruits are coming thick and heavy.


Chattanooga, Thursday, March 16. Rained furiously last night and blew a hurricane. Several of the tents blown down to-day. I was detailed to go to the hills (I ought not to have volunteered to go yesterday) with three men to load three post teams with logs. Road very wet and muddy, and when we got [Pg 314]there we were hardly able to lift the logs, as we were very small men. Coming back, upset one wagon in a puddle many feet deep. Another wagon broke the tongue and we left it. Reached camp 2 P. M. very hungry and very dirty. Some of the reserve batteries have marching orders to report at Washington.


Chattanooga, Friday, March 17. A very pleasant day. Feel excellent. Keeler missed my name for guard this morning but found me in time to go to the woods. A citizen carpenter with help from the Company is at work on the stables. Spring is opening. To-day I saw the first flowers of the season. They grew way up Missionary Ridge.

I must not forget to say that twenty-six men from the 8th Wisconsin Battery arrived here this morning with description lists of about as many more, some of them in N. C., others on detached duty. Captain Hood has been to see General Brewer about it. He refuses to receipt for men not to be had. Captain of the 8th sent all of his one-year men and those whose term of service is about out, relieving the veterans of the 3rd. Hood asks to send all the 8th men back and receive the 3rd. They are a good-looking lot of men. Among them one orderly, two sergeants and a corporal.


Chattanooga, Saturday, March 18. A very beautiful spring day, and I did not go out to the hills, but have been on duty all day, scoring in the forenoon and nailing shakes on the houses in the afternoon. Quit early and policed camp nicely for Sunday. We have got three shelters covered and three more ready. The new men have been put on duty and seem well satisfied with the change.


Chattanooga, Sunday, March 19. A beautiful day. Had full inspection at 8 A. M. Company makes good appearance now. Attended church and Bible class, and the afternoon passed by very quiet and pleasant, writing, reading, and thinking. No mail.


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Chattanooga, Monday, March 20. Did not sleep much last night owing to a terrible toothache. This morning orderly wanted me to go to the woods again to pilot the teams there. Helped load sixteen logs. One wagon capsized. Reached camp 3 P. M. hungry and quite tired. Found Milt H., Marden and Reed just from furlough. Look as fresh as recruits.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, March 21. Health good. All runs smooth in camp. No startling news. All hands have been working all day. I was under Simonds. Put up the logs of one shanty in the morning, roofed another one in the afternoon. No mail.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, March 22. A very windy day, dust flying, water rising. On guard, first relief. Mail came in the morning but did not bring any from home. All hands busy. The homesick ones of the Company are anxious to know whether they are to be counted in on the next batch of furloughs. Five to go, and I know of some forty-five applications. Benoit and R. Dye are due from last time. Gymnasium pole has been put up to-day, and the muscular systems will be developed.


Chattanooga, Thursday, March 23. Quite a pleasant night to stand guard in last night, but to-day it has blustered very disagreeably, filling our eyes with dust. Did not work to-day.


Chattanooga, Friday, March 24. Wind still continues. Health good. Mail brought me this morning my long-looked-for letters from home. On detail under Sergeant Goodwin all day siding up the stables. George T. Hill started home on sick furlough this morning. Poor man, he has been running down for the last four months. R. Grey's and Bancroft's furloughs returned approved. They start to-morrow. Two returned disapproved.

1865 Camp Gardening

Major Mendenhall is starting a garden for the reserve artillery. Sergeant Hutchinson is detailed to take charge of it. He is to have one man from forty-three different batteries to [Pg 316]help him. He is to till about seven acres of land. Sergeant Proctor relieves him in the woods, this being queer work for soldiers.


Chattanooga, Saturday, March 25. Night quite cold, day is pleasant. Bunks are being put up in the new houses to-day. Many of the boys have moved in. I did not do much to-day but read State Journal received from home. Griff has gone to cooking instead of Bob Grey. Sorry for it, I fear he will work himself sick again. Five trains passed to-day loaded with from twenty to thirty ambulances apiece, each one with the triangle of the 4th Corps painted on its side. They go to Knoxville and look ominous.


Chattanooga, Sunday, March 26. A pretty spring day. On guard as supernumerary. Had preaching by one of the Christian Commission agents, 10 A. M. Wrote letters in the afternoon but received none. I think I feel a little lonesome to-night.


Chattanooga, Monday, March 27. Two men took sick on guard last night, so I had to stand four hours. Our sick list is increasing a little, three men off duty from sore eyes. Fixed up our bunks in the forenoon, in the afternoon was detailed "daubing." We moved into our new home after supper. Six bunks put up each end of the house, which is 12 x 18 ft., but there are but fourteen in ours yet. Bunks made of shakes, no boards given us. Griff and I occupy the middle berth.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, March 28. Last night when darkness spread her protecting veil over us, Griff, D. Evans and myself started out and appropriated some of Uncle Sam's lumber for Uncle Sam's benefit, or at least his boys. Returned with enough to make our bunks. Makes no difference where we got them. Cloudy and rained a little this forenoon. On duty all day with Sergeant Goodwin covering stables. Somewhat tired. Have caught a bad cold, mouth and throat sore. Sergeant James and [Pg 317]Van Brocklin taken sick very sudden about 4 P. M. James will not live long if no change takes place.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, March 29. Rained last night. Feel no better with my cold. Sergeant James some better this morning. All the men not on duty ordered out to police the country round. Was out with the crowd in the forenoon. Cleared and leveled off the ground in our front, forty rods around. This afternoon detailed with the house builders, put up the logs for Captain's house. Rained heavy toward evening. Houses shed rain well.


Chattanooga, Thursday, March 30. No rest for the wicked, for the present at least. Was on the inevitable detail as usual working on Captain's house. I and another man sawed out the door hole and corner blocks in the forenoon, roofed it and fixed ready to move into it in the afternoon. Rained till I was wet through before quitting time. Feel tired and somewhat sick from my cold. Dye finally reported from furlough, six days behind time. David Carpenter also joined us, having been relieved from duty at 3rd Division, 15th Army Corps headquarters. He left the good old command at Pocataligo, and came via Savannah and New York. News is splendid all around, would like to have a little from home though.


Chattanooga, Friday, March 31. Felt much better after a good night's rest. A very cold morning for this season. Notified by Corporal Ray to get my breakfast early and go out to the hill to chop and load logs. Gone all day. I found four letters when I returned, and in them I was surprised to find the familiar faces of Sisters Mary and Ellen. Look as they used to three years ago. I assigned them a prominent place in my album, which is a precious treasure to me.


1865 "April Fool"

Chattanooga, Saturday, April 1. This is "All Fools Day" as I was very forcibly reminded this morning by a cutting "April Fool." Many besides myself were victimized in camp. [Pg 318]But there was no April Fool about the morning detail, and I must come on. Nailed shakes on the stables till dinner. After dinner, stable detail was not called out, but left to police camp. I staid indoors and wrote two letters which I ought to have done before, but could not find the time. Lieutenant Sweet's house finished to-day and they have moved in. Rumors of leaving are already afloat, generally the case when once we become comfortably established. Good news and plenty of it.


Chattanooga, Sunday, April 2. A beautiful sunny day. On guard, but by virtue of a little blacking on my boots or something else, appointed orderly for the day, which is an easy thing. Carried down the mail and brought a little back. Had all the rest of the day to myself, which I passed very pleasantly reading and writing. At evening I felt there was much happiness in this life if one is disposed to receive it.


Victory

1865 "Richmond Is Taken"

Chattanooga, Monday, April 3. Richmond is taken. Victory! Victory!! Victory!!! After three years of long, anxious and prayerful waiting for this crowning news, it at last comes with the verifying signatures of A. Lincoln, U. S. Grant and E. M. Stanton. It reached camp in the shape of an extra about 2 P. M. in but a few hours after it was known in Washington. And when it came I was hardly able to receive it, and I still could but fear of a contradiction that hithertofore has been so painful. Its effect on the camp was curious, each one moving briskly aglow with animation. Organized cheers is played out amongst old soldiers, but the broken, wild Indian-like whoops that pierced the air nearly all the afternoon would almost be considered terrific by "tame people". At 6 P. M. one hundred guns were fired from the surrounding hills. Each boom called forth a hearty response from the many tented hills and hollows of Chattanooga, and seemed to crush the last lingering doubt [Pg 319]in every bosom. Who will dare doubt that the end is to be glorious?


Chattanooga, Tuesday, April 4. The morning Gazette gives nothing but a confirmation of yesterday's news. The day is pleasant and men to work the engine of war are still being transported Knoxville-ward. Lee now will look for a green spot in a Confederate oasis in which to rest his weary limbs, I suppose. It aint East Tennessee, Sir.

This afternoon orders came to draw horses and we thought of marching ahead, but were withdrawn, military usage. Some in camp are already discussing when they will get home by virtue of the "end of the war". One-year men think we will all be home by July. Some veterans think "New Year's about the time." I wish they could all go when I go, but there is much to do yet, ere harmony and peace can be restored, and the soldier must do it.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, April 5. After reading the morning Gazette to find the painful "no news", when we knew there were armies in commotion, the details came, and my lot was to police in front of batteries with thirty others, post teams hauling. Worked all day but nobody hurt himself. The mail has been very short for two or three days.


Chattanooga, Thursday, April 6. Very rainy and wet. No duty till noon when orders came to draw horses immediately, so to-night we have one hundred and forty-five horses in our new stables. Rather a poor quality all through. Much curiosity is manifested by some as to what and where they are to be. Drivers are anxious to receive the best teams. They will not be apportioned till to-morrow.


Chattanooga, Friday, April 7. A very heavy rain fell all last night, accompanied with vivid lightning and heavy thunder, which scared our sentinel on the guns off his beat, piteously [Pg 320]imploring the corporal in tears to relieve him if he had any sympathy for him, which is the cause of some merriment in camp this morning.

The forenoon spent in dividing horses to the different platoons. Afternoon they were assigned to the men. Our teams are composed of good horses, but the cannoneers' horses are the leavings, and a very poor-looking set. We drew them by lot, and I drew a bony plug, not yet of age, I should judge. Corporal Parish has assigned me to No. 3 on the gun. My duty will be to "tend the vent." I would rather have another number as it is a heavy responsibility in action.


Chattanooga, Saturday, April 8. A nice sunny day. Everything looks very pretty, the little birds chirping a merry welcome to spring. On guard. Received two letters. Artificers busy painting carriages of the Battery. Ordered to have an inspection by Major Mendenhall as soon as ready. Orders have been received to consolidate the 3rd Battery entire with the 6th Battery. Men looked for daily. 8th boys are afraid they will have to go back.

Another big batch of news to-day. Phil Sheridan has whipped Lee himself, capturing eight generals. Hopes to compel surrender, but I think he is too confident. Some in camp go so far as to prophesy a formidable movement of 6th Battery on Madison, Wisconsin, soon.


1865 "John Brown" and "Dixie"

Chattanooga, Sunday, April 9. Notwithstanding a night as delightful as could be imagined, to-day it rained nearly all day most desolately. Had to ride to the river to water twice, got well soaked every time. We have to go over a mile on account of steep banks. Wrote home. In the evening the spirit moved all in our house and we had singing in variety, good old orthodox hymns mixed in with "John Brown" and "Dixie" most irreverently. It seems to relieve the spirits, but I do not know but it is wicked.


[Pg 321]

Chattanooga, Monday, April 10. Wet and muddy day, but no one knew it for we had such good news. 11 A. M. a bit of paper no bigger than my hands was distributed with the words

"Lee has surrendered his army on terms which I dictated."
U. S. Grant.

It was enough.

1 P. M. the cannons spoke in thunder tones. Two hundred guns fired in rapid succession, around us on all sides, which mingled with the huzzahs of troops, reminded me very forcibly of more stirring scenes which I have witnessed. God grant that we may know no more such. How the thought of peace and tranquility throbs in each soldier's breast when he thinks of the home and associates he left so reluctantly to follow the path of duty, soon to be restored to him. No wonder his spirits should be exuberant, aye, even intoxicated with delight. But pen and paper is altogether too tame on such occasions. I'll write no more.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, April 11. Lee has no doubt surrendered! but it did not stop detailing in camp. I was one of the lucky ones to report to the Inspector General (a man from each Battery) 8 A. M. And we went to work on a miniature "Dutch gap canal", two large ponds of stagnant water lying between the camps were to be drained and carried off to the river. And by supper time we had the satisfaction of knowing that it was not a failure like Butler's, but carried off ague and diarrhea with a rush. Am a little tired but do not regret the labor bestowed.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, April 12. Another of the many rainy days that we have to experience in this country, a continuous stream poured down all day. Had to water the horses twice, doing which I got thoroughly soaked each time, but it would not be military to change.

Received letters from home stating they had their wheat all [Pg 322]in. Here the trees are not in leaf yet, although spring has opened six weeks ago. What little farming is done here goes on very leisurely, while Wisconsin gives the husbandman but a short season, and he must go at it with a rush. So give me the cold regions, that demand energy, in preference to the balmy South that cultivates sluggish habits after all. This is a great cause of the backwardness of Southern agriculture. As long as the one-horse shovel-plow, made out of a crooked stick works, why should they ask for better, they think. But the day of reformation is at hand. Progression has vindicated her rights by the bloody hand of war.


Chattanooga, Thursday, April 13. A sunny day, but Chattanooga is sick with its nature element, viz mud, thick and thin, wherever we go. On duty all day. Did not work hard. Took our horses out grazing, outside the picket this afternoon. Rather small picking. Gathered a beautiful bouquet of delicate spring flowers, violets, forget-me-nots, sweet williams, etc. I wish I could carry them to mother's sick room. Track out of order somewhere. No mail. Six men from the works reported to Captain Hood, formerly 3rd Battery men.


Chattanooga, Friday, April 14. On guard once more, and eight hours more of the rebellion to be trod out by night. The day is very pleasant. Grazed my horses and Griff's as usual. Men are scarce to take care of all the horses. Those not on duty drilled an hour, foot drill, in the morning.

12 M. Another salute of two hundred guns fired in commemoration of raising aloft the stars and stripes on the ruined walls of Sumter, where four years ago to-day the heroic Anderson was obliged to pull it down by the traitorous crew. To him is the glory of replacing the good old ensign over that work that now lies in ruins, the fate of all treason. The soldier heart swells with the same emotion as now stirs the bosom of our noble President and great Beecher. God bless them and our Country.


[Pg 323]

1865 Stern Thoughts

Chattanooga, Saturday, April 15. 'Tis night, a beautiful day has just closed. But alas! a dark pall hangs over our camp. The soldier mourns the loss of the noblest American of the day. President Abraham Lincoln has fallen by the hands of a traitorous assassin. 2 P. M. we started out to graze, each and all light-hearted and merry. But lo! while out near the foot of Mission Ridge, the stars and stripes over Fort Creighton were seen to descend to half-mast, and the news reached us as if by magic of the fall of our noble president. A gloom was cast upon every one, and silently we returned to camp, still hoping for a contradiction. But it was too true. The scene that followed was one very seldom seen in the tented field. But a soldier is not, as many think, wholly void of feeling. All regarded the loss of him as of a near and dear relative. Terrible were the oaths and imprecations uttered through clenched teeth against the vile perpetrators. The black flag of extermination would be hailed with joy by the soldiers this moment as a just retaliation. Never before did I feel in favor of such measures, but now I think they deserve no other. The "extra" containing the short account of the occurrence has gone the rounds, read in each shanty. Traitors everywhere will rejoice over this, the crowned heads of Europe will greet it with joy, but their joy will come to grief. Republican principles will vindicate their superiority, and pass through this trial wiser and better for the tribulations they undergo.


Chattanooga, Sunday, April 16. A very pleasant day. As we rode to water this morning, Chattanooga wore a very solemn aspect. The whole town was draped in mourning, flags tied with black, and white crepe exhibited in all parts of the town, while the 100-pounder Parrotts high up on Cameron Hill fired half-hour guns from 5 A. M. till 6 P. M. The gloom of yesterday still hangs over the camp.

Papers sought for in vain this morning. Hon. W. H. Seward reported in a critical condition. I tremble lest we be deprived [Pg 324]of his services also, when his great mind and ripe experience are most needed. Andrew Johnson is to-day President of the United States. A nation in tears looks towards him to-day for direction and guidance. God grant him power and wisdom to discharge the trust placed upon him. I doubt not the man's motives, but I fear that he has not the moral stability required. If he will not set aside the public interest to follow party prejudices and personal interest, I trust all will be well. One thing I feel a trust in, and that is our armies are still led by the same brave and dauntless leaders that "will conquer or die."

Grazed in the afternoon. Wrote a letter home. Sad news of the death of Robert Banks reached us last night. Died in Hospital No. 1 yesterday. Another void in a Northern home never to be filled on earth. A. Trunkhill taken to the hospital late last evening very sick. No mail yet, railroad out of repair. Trains promised to-morrow. The Tennessee River flooding again for the sixth time this season.


Chattanooga, Monday, April 17. Splendid weather. Good appetite. Harness and saddles unboxed and issued out this morning. Hitched up and went out to drill. Captain Nicklin, inspector-general, was on the ground. Drilled three batteries together. Brigade drill for two hours, did very well. Noon by the time we reached camp. To-morrow we are to have monthly inspection, everything being "slicked up" in preparation. A comrade took out my horse to graze, so I had time to write to sister Hannah. No mail yet.


1865 Drilling

Chattanooga, Tuesday, April 18. Prepared for inspection early. Moved out at 8 A. M. Formed west of the National Cemetery, a mile from camp, four batteries out. After a close inspection by the Inspector and Major, Captain Nicklin mounted his horse, and put us through brigade drill for two hours, sharply much of the time on a trot. Our Battery was on the flank, consequently had to "git" often. I like horse artillery well on drill. 'Tis fun to ride a good horse through the maneuvers. [Pg 325]"Coly" took a team to-day and I am restored to my old position of No. 6, which I like the best of any. In the afternoon, Inspector visited camp and quarters, so the thing is over for this month.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, April 19. A very hot sultry day. Drilled from 8 to 9, battery drill. Returned to camp to receive a bouncing mail, four letters for me, better than a furlough. News is still very uncertain and exciting. Mobile and Johnston both reported to be captured, but it needs confirmation.


Chattanooga, Thursday, April 20. A fine day. Spring is fast giving way to summer. The trees are clothed in full-grown vegetation, and towering Lookout with its surrounding hills, that a little while ago were sear and brown, are now in living green.

Drilled an hour on the guns this morning, grazed all the afternoon. R. Grey returned yesterday from a furlough. Takes Griff's place in the cook house, which relieves me from the care of his horses. On guard mount, guard in the evening instead of morning now.


Chattanooga, Friday, April 21. The day has passed, lowering and threatening, however rained but little. Stood my guard very pleasantly. Got off from going foraging. Relieved at night. To-morrow morning on duty; this way they get six hours more duty out of us every guard day. M. L. Bancroft and F. Benoit returned from furlough. Captain Hood is quite sick.


Chattanooga, Saturday, April 22. The weather has taken an unaccountable cold turn, fire is comfortable all day. Drilled an hour on the gun this morning. Lieutenant Jenawein appeared in camp this morning direct from the old 15th Army Corps. He left them at Goldsboro, N. C. He has been acting as ordnance officer for the artillery of the Corps. Looks well with his first-lieutenant straps on. He is now our ranking lieutenant.

[Pg 326]

George Hill who left us three weeks ago, a mere skeleton, on sick furlough, has returned fat and plump. What a place Wisconsin must be. War news is very uncertain. Johnston's army and Mobile are still in the "bag," but I guess they'll soon come out of it.


Chattanooga, Sunday, April 23. Cold night but warm midday. Wrote my usual letters, read, etc. Grazing in the afternoon took up most of the time. No danger of ennui at present. Health very good.


Chattanooga, Monday, April 24. Heavy hoar frost on the ground this morning. Drilled in mounted detachments this morning by Lieutenant A. Sweet. It is quite pleasant, the horses learn almost as fast as the men. Everything passed off very pleasantly. Harmony in the Company to-day as well as every other day. Brotherly kindness exists amongst all, still and quietly.

But the contrast between officers and privates is sickening, and I grieve to write it. —— returned with six months' pay, thereby establishing a whiskey fund. —— I understand, has placed him under arrest in a fit of intoxication, I suppose. He seeks consolation in the "flowing bowl." —— was reported in his quarters a little dryer Saturday. After supper ——, ——, with our —— and a neighboring lieutenant staggered into camp beastly drunk, an open insult to the boys whom they command. Words ran high amongst them and a drunken brawl was imminent while the boys flocked around to see the "example set." My feelings were those of indignation. Here was our —— and two —— in the depth of drunken degradation in broad daylight. I longed to see an officer ride through camp who despised such things, and at once relieve us from such disgrace. But, Oh, where is there an officer that is not a similar slave? Echo answers where? But I am proud of our exceptions. We have two officers who hold such things in proper disgust. They are Men.


[Pg 327]

1865 Work Goes On

Chattanooga, Tuesday, April 25. A very pleasant day. Health good. No mail for me. Although General Thomas has stopped all great building and work of all kinds, we are still kept at it. The right wing of the stable is enlarged and roofed. Have been "shaking" all day. Did a good day's work.

4th Army Corps returned from Knoxville, nothing for them to do there. Every train from there is alive with noisy Yankees. Some think they go to Texas to do their last work. Five batteries of the reserve, they say, to go with them. Considerable speculation as to whether we are to go along or not. I don't care.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, April 26. A hot day. Lieutenant A. Sweet took the Battery out to drill this morning, first time he ever acted in that capacity, but he is a thorough tactician, and is at home at any post. Had an interesting drill. All gave him due attention. —— relieved from arrest, the whiskey having worked off ——'s brain, and he resumes his old position. I guess he has not yet been mustered as first lieutenant. A very pleasant day. Health very good.


Chattanooga, Thursday, April 27. Battery drill from 7 to 8 A. M. Mail came in. Received three letters. Grazed in the afternoon. Picket officer would not allow us to go out of sight of his picket line. Forty guerrillas seen in the vicinity this morning. I guess it is a scare. Went on guard at sunset, first relief.


Chattanooga, Friday, April 28. I have just finished treading out another eight hours of this rebellion. Scoured my sabre and turned it over to the orderly so my successor can have it. Most of the boys are on duty, some are white-washing the stables, others policing, and I find more quiet to write than usual. Our quarters are full of boisterous soldiers generally—sixteen makes a great noise. Have written to T. L. and must cease this [Pg 328]scribble to enjoy a short space of quiet inaction, for I am in a happy, lazy mood.

By the way, our gallant old leader, General Sherman, has committed a grave mistake in dealing with his crafty foe, Johnston. Already the ravenous editors are pouncing upon him to tear him by piecemeal, but the soldiers are slow to censure one whom they respect so much. I for one doubt not his sincerity for a single moment. But, great in magnanimity himself, he placed far too much confidence in the honor of his enemy. General Grant goes forward. All will soon be right again. Booth has been shot by his pursuers, thereby cheating hemp of its dues.


Chattanooga, Saturday, April 29. It has been raining at times all day and last night. Went to town on pass this morning, got a paper containing the cheering news of Johnston's surrender of all troops east of Chattahoochee River. Hurrah! Hurrah! Everybody feels very good, but we have become accustomed to good news, it does not call forth much demonstration.


Chattanooga, Sunday, April 30. A cool, windy day. This is the last day of the month, consequently muster day. Mustering officer, Lieutenant Dutch, arrived 12 M. Lieutenant A. Sweet commanded the company, Hood yet unfit for duty. After inspecting our uniforms, we were soon given another credit of two months on Uncle Sam's account. He now owes us eight months' pay, and I think will not pay us till he gives us a final settlement.

All is life and hilarity in our camp, and grape-vine rumors are plenty. General Steedman has gone to Dalton to receive the surrender of rebel General Wofford and his command. Kirby Smith I think will soon "hang up the fiddle". Considerable of the '62 excitement prevails. They say orders are issued to muster us out immediately. I do not credit it yet, and am for my own self not anxious, but am willing to bide my time or wait till "we all go home together." Yet I must admit that my heart [Pg 329]beats quicker and my breath comes faster as I think of returning to "Home, sweet home."


Chattanooga, Monday, May 1. May Day, and I begin another book in good health and splendid spirits. Went out on brigade drill this morning 8 A. M. Four horse batteries drilled under Major Mendenhall, our chief. Maneuvered on the nice green flat south of Fort Phelps. The loud voices of command and the clamor of the bugles, attracted many spectators. The drill passed off pleasantly and instructive. The 6th Battery under Lieutenant Sweet did as well as the best. Reached camp by dinner time.

1865 Getting Relics

Never was our camp fuller of grape-vine rumors than now, and I never knew soldiers under greater excitement. The vague orders of the War Department in relation to reducing expenses and mustering out the army, gives all the ground of believing in a speedy discharge, consequently a hundred different speculations exist. I don't feel any peculiar exhilaration, but like the rest, I cannot stay long in a place but go about to hear and talk. Ed Hayes and I procured a section of the mine laid in bottom of the Tennessee River to Bridgeport during Bragg's siege, this afternoon. Quite a curiosity.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, May 2. The sun arose in all its majesty, promising a splendid day. After breakfast Landen and George Spencer were going on top of Lookout. They had a pass for three, and invited me to go along. Having a great desire to visit, I was soon before the officer of the day, thence to Captain Hood, and the request granted. With a loaf of bread and tin cup in my haversack, we started.

Delayed till 8 A. M. waiting for pass to go through picket lines. Two miles brisk walking brought us to the base of the mountain which looked much more formidable there than from camp. We made the ascent on the military road which has been blasted and macadamized by Uncle Sam. It ran zigzag along the east slope of the hill, and not too steep to drive a team quite readily. [Pg 330]Patiently we trudged along around massive piles of eternal rocks and past beautiful rustic springs of pure cold water, gushing from solid rocks, partly fixed by the hand of man for the accommodation of man and beast. The road was lined on both sides with heavy foliage of living green, with an occasional opening, through which we could look back on the map-like plat of Chattanooga, with its well-laid camps, and cool our heated brows with the cool refreshing breezes.

Up and up we go, ever and anon we pass a notice by the engineer, giving the elevation above the Tennessee and the distance up to the top. For over two hours we tugged upwards, our enthusiasm somewhat abated by the fatigue, but finally we reached the summit. A sentinel with white gloves and glistening brass, a "true regular" demanded to see our pass. We were now two miles or more from the point which overlooks the town. Here was quite a town called Summer Town with a large tavern, stables, etc. Evidently this was once a great pleasure resort in the summer season for the aristocracy. Here were also extensive hospital buildings erected by the U. S., accommodating I should judge, over 5,000 sick. Also the camp of the Regular Brigade quartered here for over a year.

But time was precious and we pushed on toward the west side of the mountain which is about a mile and a half across, through a heavy growth of timber with a beautiful variety of wild flowers. Before noon we stood on the grounds where Hooker and his men won immortal fame in November, 1863. Directly beneath us we could see the remains of the camp in Lookout Valley. On the further side of the valley was a train of cars leaving Sequatchie Station, looking very diminutive like a child's plaything. On the parapet we walked around the craggy points towards the Point, passing several heavy lines of rebel earthworks. 'Tis astounding how men could ever fight on such precipitous rocks. By a most lovely spring gushing over the very brink we seated ourselves in the refreshing shade of a sycamore, and ate our dinner with keen relish.

[Pg 331]

1865 Lookout

Now we stood on the veritable point, 1600 feet above high water mark of the Tennessee, 200 feet straight down the rocks. The scene from this place was the grandest I have ever seen, and may be the most extensive I may ever see again. Chattanooga looked very regular and flat, Mission Ridge dwindled down to an apparent flat, and miles beyond it was but one flat ocean of green timber. Off to the east the eye could distinguish four distinct ranges of mountains beyond the Mission Ridge, the last being the obscure Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, undoubtedly sixty miles distant. To the northeast the view was much further, nothing to intercept the vision as far as the naked eye could reach. We could look over into Western Virginia and East Tennessee, and imagine all kinds of things of the human beings scattered along. To the west and north the eye had not as wide a range, the Cumberland Mountains being as high, if not higher, but could easily see Alabama in that way. Five different states of our now almost happy Union from one place. Watered by the creek-like Tennessee River, which made a double slant, to the foot of the mountain, leaving the point of land on the opposite side in the exact shape of a huge foot, hence the name "Moccasin Point", where Thomas's batteries were so hotly engaged with Lookout during Bragg's siege.

Here we found a photograph gallery erected on the jut of a rock—takes pictures of objects on an adjoining point, $6.00 per dozen. He has many very beautiful plates of the mountain scenery, prominent among them is the Lula Falls and Lake about six miles south of the summit; but one day's furlough would not grant us the pleasure of visiting it, so we commenced the descent in the nearest direction, which appeared but a short distance. For a while we went directly downward through the seam in the rock, then by aid of trees and shrubs we kept up with ourselves. Down, down we went, but yet no bottom, often obliged to rest. An hour's walk brought us to the bottom [Pg 332]and thankful for it. We wended our way to camp, tired but well satisfied with our excursion.

We reached camp by 5 P. M. Found everything quiet. Nobody mustered out as yet but much talk of it. 18th Ohio Battery and brigade of infantry taken to Dalton to-day by Steedman. I understand he has made several attempts at negotiations with rebel General Wofford, but failed. He is now to resort to strenuous measures.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, May 3. Went on guard last night at sunset, acting as corporal of the guard. Was on duty from 12 P. M. to 12 M. more fatiguing I think than to stand on post. Went to town this afternoon. Found the town guarded exclusively by negro troops, white troops retired this morning. They must intend to dispense with some of us soon. My health is good. News is sought with great eagerness. There are but few cents of money in camp, and one paper often goes into every shanty.


Chattanooga, Thursday, May 4. A very hot, sultry day. Another battery drill this morning under Lieutenant Sweet. Still the excitement runs high. Grape-vine telegraph is very productive. Every hour through the day has its "special items." Bets run high, with stakes mostly "something good to eat" after the "muster out." The situation is yet unclouded, and I can see nothing to prevent us from being sent home soon. Bathed in the Tennessee River in the evening, drilled on the gun after supper. Looks like rain, hope it will and cool the air.


Chattanooga, Friday, May 5. No rain to cool the terrible air or lay the dust, which flies in heavy clouds, reminding one very vividly of old Spring Green prairie. Have been very busy all day, could not find time to write a letter. 7 A. M. went out for brigade drill by Major Mendenhall, but he did not come, so we had an interesting drill of our own. A. Sweet is [Pg 333]bringing the Company up to its old Rienzi standard in drilling. Great strife among the detachments, both trying to come into battery first. Second piece is ready first every time. Returned to camp by 11, another hour in column to water and back.

1865 A Neighborly "Lift"

After dinner went out to Mission Ridge after wood, two wagons and four men. At the picket post our gallant driver took up two of the fair ones, who after enjoying their quid of tobacco silently for a mile or so, said the ride "holped 'em right smart." Drilled two hours after supper. Ration day. Drew two days' rations of bread and three of hard-tack, no more soft bread to be issued. They want us to eat the surplus hard-tack. This is considered significant.


Chattanooga, Saturday, May 6. No rain yet to settle the dust, which has been flying in blinding clouds all day, very hot and sultry. Policed camp and stables this afternoon instead of drill. "What is the news" is yet the cry, and stray bits of rumors are caught and devoured with avidity.


Chattanooga, Sunday, May 7. A very hot day, still dusty. Had the usual morning inspection. Grazed in the afternoon. Camp more quiet than it has been for some days. Wrote a letter to John and Hannah. Mounted guard at retreat, as corporal this time again, Hayes sick. Found nice patch of ripe strawberries to-day.


Chattanooga, Monday, May 8. The cooling rain drops have been falling in a refreshing shower all day. Have done my guard duty once more. How many more times must I go on before I will be relieved from this machine life? Will my mind ever be allowed to dictate the movements of the body again? I hope so. I have received an interesting letter from my old bunk mate, Evie. Have written him two full sheets in return.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, May 9. Very much pleasanter after yesterday's rain. Drilled to-day in camp twice. No orders disposing of us poor "critters" received yet, although much [Pg 334]expected. Great dissatisfaction exists among the veterans in regard to the government mustering out all the sick soldiers, recruits, etc. except the veterans. It is not right, I think. They came out first and have been the means of bringing about this happy end, and they should be the first to receive the reward, I think. We have been eating hard-tack for the last two days, and I find myself suffering from the change. My system, weakened from living on inadequate food, is not vigorous enough to digest it, hence the return of diarrhea.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, May 10. Went out on battery drill this morning, afterwards to water. When I reached camp felt quite unwell, bowels very painful. Drilled at noon, heavy fever followed it.


Chattanooga, Thursday, May 11. Feel much better than yesterday afternoon, although weak yet. Yesterday afternoon had a severe fever, and my whole frame ached sorely. Ate no supper. Bathed in the evening and perspired freely. Bowels are yet very sore, but fever is gone. Griff made a cup of gruel for my breakfast. Did not go to sick call, hence on duty, were it not for Goodwin's kindness. But I have no desire to be subjected to the doctor's barbarous cure-all. Cantharides blister is his universal remedy for everything. Drew soft bread to-day again, which is a little better, and by doing all I can to help nature I expect to be all right again. I have had only one of my accustomed spells, when my system becomes prostrated by hard usage, but I have a wonderful vitality, and it soon rallies again to its accustomed standard. I hope to keep all right until I bid adieu to soldiering.


Chattanooga, Friday, May 12. We derive comfort around our camp stove with a roaring fire this morning, but about noon it grew hot enough for comfort. Feel better, but have no appetite for the coarse rations we receive. No drill this morning. Lieutenant Sweet and several others gone to Lookout [Pg 335]mounted. Also five on foot, some out of the guard list, which brings me on No. 1 post, third relief of guard to-night. I am not fit to go on, but will try it, as none are excused save those who report to the doctor. Ex-rebel Wofford surrendered 8000 men at Kingston, Ga., to-day to Brigadier General Judah. So it goes on.


Chattanooga, Saturday, May 13. Very pleasant night to stand guard. Sun very hot to-day. No. 1 post is most exposed. Have to walk the beat with military precision on the park. I am no worse, but feel better. Headache has left me. Received a letter from home; wrote one to sister Jane. She is now teaching school, a child when I left. Thus have I been standing still while others have been acquiring knowledge for the last three years, but I regret not the sacrifice. Ellen's [school] commences next Monday. Truly do I belong to an enterprising family.


Chattanooga, Sunday, May 14. A calm and quiet Sabbath has passed, and we have had much of the time for ourselves, no grazing, etc. Wrote home and to sister Hannah. I am troubled much in regard to her, have not received any letter from her for over two weeks and I fear she is sick again. Her ambition is too much for a frail nature.

1865 Justice for Davis

2 P. M. a special dispatch brought into camp stating that Old Jeff and crew has been taken finally. It is official and no doubt true. The arch traitor is at last brought to justice. What will be done with him? I trust the law will be vindicated in its full extent.


Chattanooga, Monday, May 15. Reveille sounded at 4 A. M. Harnessed and saddled up before feeding, ate an early breakfast and started out for brigade drill, five horse batteries on the ground by 6 A. M. Major Mendenhall drilled us for nearly two hours. The morning being cool, it passed off very pleasantly, and we returned to camp feeling better for the exercise. [Pg 336]Remainder of the forenoon appeared long. Grazed in the afternoon and had an interesting game of chess with Ed. Hayes. No news, but many wild reports. Amongst the most exciting is that Jeff Davis is to pass through to-night.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, May 16. Captain Hood took us out to battery drill early, but came back in an hour. Orders received to graze but twice a week, which is agreeably received by the boys. Notwithstanding, went out this afternoon, went to the hills. Will Holmes and I got into an orchard, had all the ripe cherries we wanted to eat, also some nice strawberries.

When we returned, we found a large squad of rebs having come in, and they were corralled near the church where General Judah was paroling them. After roll call Griff and I went down to view the last "row of shad." They were a portion of Brig. Gen. B. J. Hill's Cavalry Division, quartered in a barn. He sent several squads to other points nearer to their homes to be paroled. He came in person with them, some 150 Tennessee and Kentucky men. The officers kept horses and side arms. Many of them support a great deal of gold lace with an air of defiance. Privates are the same squalid, low-foreheaded, long-haired, unintelligent specimens of humanity. As all the others, look a little crestfallen, but strange to say many of them thought they were not whipped, but "reckoned they mote be arter a while". Poor ignorance.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, May 17. Reveille sounded very early every morning now. Begin to feel very well, think I can grind hard-tack enough to keep the system going for a while. Nothing to read or do, so procured a pass to see if I could not find some reading matter in town.

1865 A Dashing Prisoner

Found Chattanooga literally filled with "gray backs" riding to and fro at will. About two hundred came in this morning, a portion of Hardee's Corps, the picked escort of Old Jeff. They followed him to Washington, Ga., when he took it alone with a few friends, and left them to go and receive their paroles, [Pg 337]which they received at Atlanta, Ga. Many of them were quite splendidly dressed, having the finest uniforms I have ever seen with them. I talked with many of them in a friendly strain, astonished to find them so ignorant of the history of the last year. But most of them are heartily tired of war, and say they are willing to bide the will of the United States, but fear Andy Johnson's severity. One poor fellow in a sad strain said he "was going to the place where his home once was, but God knows where it is now, I have not heard from any of them for ten months." They were commanded by one of the most desperate, wild-looking colonels I have ever seen, a fair representation of the pictures we see of brigand chiefs or buccaneers. He wore a large, warm, home-made cloak, plaited around the waist like an old fashioned wammus, hanging clear to his heels, and a coarse white hat with a brim a foot wide, and greasy hair below the shoulders. About evening six hundred more came in.

Silver and gold is quite plenty. Dealers in town are reaping a harvest. Scrip is useless, a newsboy hesitating to sell a paper for $100.00 of it.


Chattanooga, Thursday, May 18. Yesterday's rain continued all day to-day with slight interruptions. Groomed "Old Gray" which is about all I did. A little before noon we turned out to see a battalion of the 13th Tennessee. They march by in their grey. Still they come, thicker and faster and more of them.

5 P. M. Rebel General Williams marched in at the head of the 1st, 2nd, and 9th Kentucky, the 1st Brigade of Wheeler's Cavalry. They rode good horses. At the bridge a line of blue flanked them on either side. They rode along with downcast eye and clouded brow, officers each having three or four revolvers strapped to themselves, as they were allowed to retain side-arms. Undoubtedly most of them were transferred from the privates' belts before coming in. The surplus ones were thrown into the river they say. And these were the men that [Pg 338]had for four years made themselves notorious by their heinous deeds, now allowed all civility. I fear they are tame from policy, and not from principles, and will yet give us trouble.

On guard at 7 P. M., No. 1, third relief, so I must retire in order to get up at 11 P. M.


Awaiting Discharge

Chattanooga, Friday, May 19. Rainy and disagreeable. Was wet all day from 5 to 7. I was on post during one of the most sublime and terrific rain storms I have ever witnessed. Two clouds of pitchy darkness swept down upon us from different directions, enveloping all the surrounding hills and meeting over Chattanooga. Poured rain in torrents with thunder and lightning playing high carnival right in our midst. My poncho was poor defense against such a storm, and I was thoroughly wetted. Feel quite unwell, and will go to bed though it is not dark.


Chattanooga, Saturday, May 20. Last night I again suffered from chill and very heavy fever, a type of the ague which seems to be a part of my nature. Whatever jars my vital power is certain to bring on ague. Suffered considerable pain under my right shoulder, experiencing some difficulty to breathe at times, a slight attack of pleurisy, I think. Did not arise until breakfast time, did my duty the remainder of the day. No mail yet to speak of, five days' now due.

New excitement in camp caused by a new batch of rumors, substance of which is that we are to take muskets and go into these forts instead of the 1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery who are going home, they being but one-year men.


Chattanooga, Sunday, May 21. A very pleasant day and I feel pretty well. Inspection at 9 A. M., Lieut. A. Sweet in charge. Much surprised to hear that Captain Hood has tendered [Pg 339]his resignation, and it has been returned accepted. Expects to leave soon for home. Waited anxiously for the arrival of the mail this morning, but was sadly disappointed. Wrote two long letters notwithstanding, before dinner, one to brother John, my ever faithful weekly correspondent, the other to Sister Hannah at Albion. Have not received a word from her this month. I fear she has overtaxed herself again by arduous study.

1865 The National Cemetery

After dinner Griff and I took a walk to the National Cemetery. Oh, lovely but sacred spot to him who loves the cause of freedom. It is an enclosure of about sixty acres, surrounded by a substantial stone fence in a circular form, it being a sloping hill. The ground is divided off into circular sections, walks macadamized, graves sodded over, and flowers and trees, cultivated, graves systematically arranged in rows. Here lie thousands of the brave defenders of their country's flag, a few with neatly-carved marble slabs bearing name and regiment, but most of them were only identified by a rough, pine board fast decaying, and in a few more months nothing will be left to mark the place where the honored ashes lie. Could the people North who have friends lying here but know that the government is doing all in its power to make this beautiful and permanent would they not at once see that a marble slab would be placed over the earthly remains of those dear ones that are gone before? I believe so. Here were many of the Chickamauga heroes, and those who fell in the memorable battles of Mission Ridge and Chattanooga. Amongst them I noticed a large number of our brave comrades of the 3rd Division, 15th Army Corps, who fell in the fearful vortex of the battle on Tunnel Hill. Here also we found a neatly-printed board, marking the resting place of Robert Banks, who a few weeks ago was full of hilarity amongst us; and lately, I suppose, the last of poor Uncle Marden has been consigned to rest in the lovely spot, the most attractive cemetery I have seen under government [control.] But we could not find his name. Long [Pg 340]we searched for the grave of my old schoolmate, Amandus Silsby, who died from wounds received at Kenesaw, but could not find it.


Chattanooga, Monday, May 22. Heavy rains last night. Fair day. Reveille sounded before four. Were on the drill ground before 6 A. M. for brigade drill, but the ground being so wet, we were sent back without drilling any. Three of us with two hatchets reported at Captain Nicklin's headquarters for duty; he sent us on top of his house to fix the roof where it was leaking very badly on wife's carpets. We were no mechanics and I fear did the job very poorly. This is the way they find work for us to do, now that there is nobody to fight. Very convenient, I suppose they think.

After noon went out to the hills grazing. The cherries in the orchard were in fine condition, nice and ripe. Several of us enjoyed a rare treat, left many behind because we could not eat them all. Haywood of our tent gone to the hospital quite sick. Just left home and is downhearted.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, May 23. Hot day, feel very well. Morning papers tell us the road is washed away, and no mail expected for two or three days. We'll get all the more when it does come, I guess.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, May 24. On guard last night on post No. 3. Battery went on brigade drill under Lieutenant Sweet, who is now in command of the Battery. Hood is a citizen and preparing to go away. Jenawein has received his first-lieutenant appointment, but refuses the seniority. The sickness increasing very rapidly. Diarrhea prevalent.


Chattanooga, Thursday, May 25. Drilled two hours in battery drill, and when we returned, received a large mail which was long looked for. I received two which assured me that all was well.

[Pg 341]

After dinner M. U. Hungerford and myself procured a pass, and started to visit the U. S. rolling mill about at mile and a half distant. On our way we ascended Cameron Hill, an elevation about 400 feet above the river. The river side being very steep, an interesting view is to be seen from here. Three large steamships on this side, eight steamboats lying up for repairs over on the docks. Beyond the river cultivated fields look very beautiful. On these hills are three large reservoirs of the Chattanooga water works into which the water is pumped by steam, and carried by its own weight down into the town. Also a large magazine 200 feet long which will be used long after peace is established. On the crown of the hill is a grim-looking war-dog, a 100-pounder Parrott weighing 7,286 pounds, 6.4 inch caliber, maintained on wrought iron carriage, manned by the 1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery. The guard anxiously inquired if we were not ordered to relieve them so they could go home. Poor fellows!

1865 One of Uncle Sam's Factories

Now we descended the western slope, and soon found ourselves approaching the center of attraction. The fires were down in most of the furnaces, the workmen at work relining them, but the sight was an interesting one to me, and we could easily trace the process clear through. Old bent-up rails were cut into pieces by a mammoth pair of shears, bundled together, thrown into the furnace, and rolled out into plates six inches wide, half an inch thick. This was cut into pieces about four feet long, six of them put together, heated, and after putting them through four different rolls, came out as a rail for the steam horse of progression to run upon. Two mammoth saws sawed off the ends, leaving it thirty feet long. It was astonishing to find how little human force was needed in the prosecution of this great work. The engine is encased in a glass house, and as nicely polished as parlor furniture. A dreary rain came up, and we got partially wet before reaching camp, which we did in time, and fell in for afternoon drill.


[Pg 342]

Chattanooga, Friday, May 26. Health good. Battery drill from 6 A. M. to 8 A. M., only three cannoneers in second detachment. A big mail when we returned, though none for Jenk. Ambulance went up to the artillery garden this morning and returned with the first fruits of "Charlie's" work, viz. a copious supply of lettuce and mustard salad for dinner and supper, a very rare treat, and highly appreciated. Did us more good than all the medicine in the dispensary.

1865 A Rebel Orchard

Grazing in the afternoon. Went near the hill, a party of about a dozen. Knowing where the nice ripe cherries grew, started for the orchard; but behold, we were confronted by a lanky specimen of the refined chivalry, much excited, repeating the orchard was his and threatening to call his safeguard if we did not leave. We told him to bring him on and we would respect him, but he could not. Boasted of protection papers of Thomas, Steedman and many others in his pockets, but could produce only a few old Gazettes. We talked the man crazy. He used many insulting terms under the license of old age, but we, provoked by his attempts to deceive us, made for the cherries and filled ourselves with the rarest of his cherries, but left more than he ever can use, twenty-five acres of them. When we were satisfied, he returned with an old torn piece of paper of Rosecrans's times. We of course respected it and left. He threatened to follow us in and report us, [and] mounted his mule for it. Two or three of the boys staid behind and convinced the old rebel that prudence was the better part of valor, so he staid at home, I guess. It is raining this evening severely.


Chattanooga, Saturday, May 27. It is cool enough to appreciate the fire in our "wee" stove until breakfast. Then it grew hot, while we drilled two hours in the morning. Camp thoroughly policed, I delegated to cook our mustard greens for dinner. Had a fine mess, at least it appeared to be well relished. Heard from sister Jane in her new capacity. She appears [Pg 343]to like it well. She writes an interesting letter and will make her mark in the world if she lives.

Captain Hood is busily at work on his final returns. I understand that he will come out all right. Lieutenant Sweet our young and grave commander now is gathering up much of the useless ordnance and quartermaster stores lying around, preparatory to turning them over.


Chattanooga, Sunday, May 28. On guard since last night. Wrote three letters to-day between times, think I have done well. Preaching in camp this morning. Our officers attended as well as nearly all the men, a striking evidence of the force of example when shown by those whom we respect. Received a short letter from John, sorry that he thought my speedy arrival home so certain as to warrant its brevity.

After dinner Capt. T. R. Hood took an affectionate leave of the Company with which he has been connected ever since its first organization. He left for home to resume the duties of a civilian. He first visited each man in his quarters. With tearful eyes he shook hands. He goes with many kind regards from those he once commanded.


Chattanooga, Monday, May 29. Early breakfast this morning. On drill ground by 6 A. M. Brigade drill of five horse batteries. All passed off well. Grazed in the afternoon. Did not go out to the cherry orchard. Orders awaiting our return to police camp thoroughly, as somebody is expected by the morning train to inspect us. Everything still. "Grape vine" quiet. Corporal J. S. Vedder starts for Nashville as clerk to headquarters D. C. One from each battery in the reserve. Health is not above par, though not sick. Feel dull, but am yet able to crush considerable hard-tack.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, May 30. Up bright and early, policed around the stables, "blacked boots" and brushed up our brass, etc. But no inspection came, so all of this is in vain. Cool day, [Pg 344]did but little. Drew a day's rations of soft bread, which is getting to be a rarity. The cry of "paymaster coming" is again raised in camp. Our sutler gone to Nashville for a supply of goods on the strength of it. Several hundred dismounted men of Wilson's Cavalry Corps and of 1st Wisconsin came in on the evening train. The entire command is expected here to-morrow. They have seen much work lately.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, May 31. Had a pleasant drill with the Battery this morning. No mail, but much grape-vine news via "picket rope line", but we have not started for home yet. Drew the "last" forage for the 10th time. Drilled an hour and a half over some dismantled pieces. Bathed in the Tennessee in the evening.


Chattanooga, Thursday, June 1. This day is appointed by the President of the United States as a day of mourning for our honored Lincoln. All business stopped in town. Nothing only heavy duty to be done in camp, consequently we had little to do.

After dinner, hearing that Wilson's Cavalry were moving through town, I obtained permission to leave camp. Being anxious to see the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry and find Johnny Evans if possible. Reached there as the 2nd Division was moving up Market Street. They presented a rich scene for Harper's Illustrated, nearly the whole company were astride mules of all sizes and descriptions, the men having but a small portion of the blue on. Anyone would take them for the Confederate States Army. The majority dressed throughout in coarse dirty grey, and often a pair of faded shoulder straps could be seen resting on the shoulders of one in rebel grey and gilt. Then came the negroes, pack mules, carrying anything from a frying pan to a condemned ordnance. Vehicles of chivalric origin drawn by horseflesh, minus the flesh, in silver-mounted harness, and driven by the veritable "peculiar institutions", for whom our Southern brethren buckled on their armor. It needed but Jeff in crinoline [Pg 345]bringing up the rear, to show the last of the said chivalry. McCook's Division in which is 1st Wisconsin Cavalry was behind. After waiting long I found that they were not coming in to-night so I started home, but not until hearing from one of his comrades that Johnny was all right and well.

To-night I am on another eight hours tread, not to break the rebellion, but my time of serving.


1865 A Christian Commission Flirtation

Chattanooga, Friday, June 2. Friday morning drilled with Battery for two hours. Very hot indeed. Big mail came in. I received three letters, one of them from Miss Sue J. B. of Ohio, of which I must write before it gets later. About a month ago I obtained a Ladies' Repository with some other magazines from the Christian Commission, on which was written a note with the above address annexed. Thought it no more than justice to thank the donor, and assure her that their efforts were duly appreciated by the soldier. Contrary to my expectations I received an answer requesting a reply, which of course I complied with at some length, giving personal description. And so here comes two sheets to-day. I think she is a "Methodist sister" in the habit of itinerating with her brother, a minister. She forgot to give her age, notwithstanding I gave her mine, consequently I infer she is an old maid. Not very highly accomplished in letter writing, but a good composer and a fine use of language, and a vivid conception of the beautiful. Seems to have received a very favorable impression of me. I did not attempt it. I have revolutionized her ideas.


Chattanooga, Saturday, June 3. A hot day for drill in the morning. 1st Division Cavalry Corps lying in camp near Mission Ridge. David Evans went outside and brought in Johnny Evans, looking very fleshy and healthy, natural as ever, but much larger. He staid with us all day. Went home late in the evening. He has seen the elephant, although only in for one year service. I think it has improved him, instilled some wholesome ideas in his mind. Policed camp as usual. No orders for mustering [Pg 346]out any of us yet. Rations are very objectionable these days, and cause much dissatisfaction as circumstances do not demand such living. But it will not be long.


Chattanooga, Sunday, June 4. Inspection 8 A. M. after which Griffith having a pass for three men to pass through the lines, D. J. D. and myself started out. Went by the 1st Cavalry camp which was about three miles down the valley, found Johnny and started forth along the ridge. Found many ripe blackberries and had all we wanted of ripe cherries from the "old man's" orchard. Then we climbed the memorable ridge and followed the summit of Tunnel Hill. Then retraced our steps to camp. Passed Charlie's artillery garden. Looks well, everything kept for the benefit of the shoulder straps of the reserve, though. The privates for whose benefit they claim to have started it, are forgotten. Left Johnny at the picket post, he to his command and we to ours. Reached camp by 5 P. M. somewhat tired but well satisfied with the ramble of the day. Cannot write to John, though. I am sorry.


Chattanooga, Monday, June 5. All well. No drill. Orders from Mendenhall to graze from 9 A. M. till 5 P. M., an idea which is preposterous, as the horses would scatter over the whole state if not held. J. G. Simpson, officer of the day. His watch ran slow while in camp, and then it went a-whirring. Started out about 10 A. M., dinner in haversack, crossed the ridge, turned out in a delightful nook among the hills, shady and cool, ate our hard-tack by the cooling spring, and returned to camp by 2 P. M. Drew clothing. Hope it is the last time for me. Wrote two long letters. Am tired.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, June 6. A short foot drill in the morning. On guard at night. Has been an awful hot day. A good deal of "muster-out talk." Lieutenant Simpson received a captain's commission this morning. No one dissatisfied.


[Pg 347]

Chattanooga, Wednesday, June 7. Rained a very little last night but not enough to settle the dust. Battery went out to drill, I was on post at the time. Johnny Evans called to bid good-bye, they started for Nashville to-day. Very sultry in midday. I was allowed to sit in the shade and watch the guns, an accommodation seldom granted by officers.


Chattanooga, Thursday, June 8. A very hot day. Health very good. Nothing new, one way or another. Received a letter from Thomas which he called "last." Expects me home in a few days. All those whose terms of service expire prior to October 1, are being mustered out at this post except artillery reserve. We are treated with silent contempt or provoking indifference, at least no orders touching us appear.


1865 An Explosion

Chattanooga, Friday, June 9. This afternoon a terrible explosion and fire broke out in town about 1 P. M. The large building on the levee, filled with artillery ammunition, took fire from an engine standing by. The reports of bursting shell were heard continuously, and flames and smoke rolled up with great fearfulness. I went down in time to see giant flames envelop 400 feet of warehouses, filled with forage and rations, while the explosions of ammunition, with the fact that a still larger arsenal laid adjacent, liable to blow up at any moment, caused great consternation among the citizens, women and children fleeing in dismay. But the military were cool and on the ground. Guards spread all over town taking in all within their reach to work on the fire engines. Assembly sounded in all the camp, and the reserve artillery, as indeed all others needed, marched down en masse. I followed the 6th. We reached the river bank, one engine playing on one end of the military bridge, which was in imminent danger of taking fire, another working on the roof of the brick arsenal containing 750,000 tons of small ammunition. Strings of men passing buckets. We were double quicked under the fiery breath of the burning machine by Alby Sweet, and set to work on the double-decker water engine. We were playing [Pg 348]on the arsenal not five rods distant, the heat so great that the water was dried before it ran off. Had the wind wavered a little, nothing could have saved it, and with all probability most of us would have been hurled into eternity. But luckily we were saved, notwithstanding the shells were still exploding over us. No one was hurt.

And now I come to another sorrowful page in my diary. When the imminent danger was over and the flames somewhat checked, some officers, prompted by the devil or some other demon, ordered whiskey barrels rolled out, and the heads knocked in around the engines. And oh, what a change. The strong arms of men working in sober earnestness were stopped by the deadly fires of poisonous drugs termed whiskey, the air rent with yells and oaths, fit only for pandemonium. This to me was heartsickening, and as soon as we could evade the guards, Milt. Hungerford and myself came to camp.

About 5 P. M. the others came, but oh, what a sight. Eight or ten raving maniacs. They were not habitual drunkards, many of them heretofore strictly temperate, but under the excitement and heat lost their discretion. Ah! what pain it would have given the loving mother to see her son, her pride, the youth of the family, staggering through our camp in this condition or filled with madness. What chagrin to the loving maiden to see her idol as I did to-night. What agony in the heart of the wife it would awaken to see the husband of her bosom and the father of her children, who but a few months ago only left home with the vow of fidelity to principle and home upon his lips, reeling along or being carried an insensible lump to his bed. Oh, ye Christian churches and temperance lodges, how have thy members disgraced thee to-day. Really, my faith in human nature becomes somewhat shaken by such scenes.

Late in the evening another explosion took place among the ruins. A fragment struck John Stewart in the head. Our Battery kept away.


[Pg 349]

Chattanooga, Saturday, June 10. A cloudy sultry day. In vain did we await the coming of a cool refreshing shower which would settle the dust and make us all feel younger; "nary" a drop fell. Drew forage. On duty loading hay in the afternoon. Camp policed, etc. The exciting scenes of yesterday have furnished the subject of conversation to-day and happily "grape-vine" is forgotten. The inebriated look very sheepish and ashamed to-day. Well they might. Seven thousand bales of hay were destroyed yesterday. $250,000 to $500,000 of property destroyed in all. Eight lives lost. One woman broke both arms, many soldiers wounded.


1865 The Soldier and Reviews

Chattanooga, Sunday, June 11. Sultry and oppressive weather. Rain still keeps at a distance. The day has passed very quietly. It was with difficulty that I managed to scribble a sheet to Sister Hannah. Read several old numbers of Cincinnati Commercial giving glowing accounts of the grand reviews at Washington, a brilliant thing I have no doubt, but I rather think unpleasant to the soldier. If the lookers-on thought of how the soldier boy would return to camp to munch his "hard-tack" and "sow belly" notwithstanding he has finished up the rebellion, while the pleased spectator returned to his hot biscuit and et ceteras—fewer flowers and more good eating, I say.


Chattanooga, Monday, June 12. On guard since last night. Sat quietly in the shade and listened tamely to the wild reports flying, although nobody, except a few yearlings, believed any of them. It is amusing to see what keen interest the arrival of an orderly or the sight of an official envelope excites amongst us. The fact of it is, one day of "muster-out talk" and idleness with apparent uselessness to the government, will create more homesickness than a year of war and active service.

Orders directing us to clean harness, etc., preparatory to turning over. Inspection announced at 2 P. M. Camp swept, clothes brushed and buttons polished, then it was postponed to 6:30 P. M. Rained, but it stopped long enough to be inspected by Captain [Pg 350]Nicklin, assistant inspector general, known better in camp as "Jack o' Clubs", not liked too well.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, June 13. Rained a refreshing shower through the night and I slept very sound. Several squads out blackberrying. They are getting ripe. I forgot to tell you that we had blackberry pie last night. One-year men and we '62 recruits are getting wrathy. The orders that reach all other commands except the reserve ought to take us, we think, mustering out all men where term of service expires prior to October 1. One of our boys saw the General to-day. But who cares. I am not so badly excited over this matter, but that I can rest well.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, June 14. Another very hot day. No drill of any kind. The other batteries go out every morning. Our officers are very easy on the boys at present. 6th Battery has changed commanders again. Simpson was mustered in this morning as captain and Jenawein as first lieutenant. This leaves a vacancy for second lieutenant soon to be filled by ——, I suppose. If he will be appointed it will cause much dissatisfaction among the men for he is not liked in the least. No "grape-vine" excitement to-day. What is to happen?


Chattanooga, Thursday, June 15. Breakfast passed as usual. Charlie Pickard and myself procured a blackberry pass, and armed each with a tin pail, set out while it was yet cool, and we walked fast. We followed the old Georgia Railroad out into Chickamauga Valley, passed the vineyard which we tugged through on the 25th of November, 1863, under the rebel fire. The scene looked very natural, but the houses used as hospitals close by are burnt down, fences repaired and crops growing. Here we conversed with a negro, once a slave but now a free man. When "Massa run, aha," he staid behind, and has forty acres of good corn planted and cultivated by himself for his own benefit. We saw many others industriously engaged for the welfare [Pg 351]of self and family. What better proof need we have than this that the negro will support himself.

1865 Religion in the Mountains

Here we found plenty of berries, but not many of them ripe yet, so we marched on, struck Chickamauga Creek, followed it about half a mile to the ferry, when cries and shrieks fell upon our ears, evidently a woman in great agony. Our minds were readily carried back to the time when such cries were often extorted from the poor slaves by the cruel hand of the master. And could it be possible that such a scene was being enacted in this valley now under the very eye of the power that had abolished it? It seemed incredible, yet we feared it, and we hastily turned our steps in the direction of the sound. As we approached, it still became more hideous and different voices could be discerned. Up high on the hill we at last discovered the place whence the noise proceeded, from a rough log negro hut. Passing a neat white house about fifty rods below the shanty, we were informed of the cause by a woman unconcernedly smoking her pipe. She "reckoned they were shouting up there". A little suspecting the cause, yet we were bent on investigation. We met a young woman on the way with long, flowing disheveled hair, looking very much excited.

Charley asked "What's the row up there?"

"An old 'oman 'fessed 'ligion this morn'".

Now we are at the door, and such a sight I never saw before. Here two large negro women and two young white girls, 16 and 17 years old about, from all appearances raving maniacs, still screeching, yelling, jumping, hugging, dancing, crying, shaking hands, and uttering incoherent sentences, foaming at the mouth, with perspiration rolling down their cheeks in streams. No cessation, but each making as much noise as though a dagger was at their hearts. The spell appeared to be partially broken upon one of the girls seeing us. She stopped, looked at us with a mesmeric glare for a few minutes, then shrunk sheepishly into a corner, where she remained quietly until her sister (I suppose) returned to her from covering the negro woman, and commenced [Pg 352]violent demonstrations, such as bumping her head against the wall, etc. until both soon moved.

We looked on thus for over half an hour. I was filled with amazement and sometimes provoked to laughter. I had heard of such excitement in revival meetings where enthusiastic preachers and brethren were at work, working up the imagination of the victim. But to find it in such a sequestered place with but four solitary women was such as I never dreamt of. The superstitious character and education of the negro caused me to wonder less at them than the white girls, which looked awful. But when I remembered the unconcern of the people in the white house, I concluded it was nothing strange after all for these ignorant people (for I consider it nothing but ignorance of the true standard of the human soul).

A revival is going on there, it seems, and the old woman said God had been allowing her to go on in her "devilment" for a long time, but this morning "Jesus stood right squar' in her way and she found him right in the chair," and then again she started. The girls I suppose came to see her and were taken with the influence. I felt it my duty to do what I could to restore these poor creatures to their senses, and believe if I had entered the room and spoken firmly to them in earnest, the spell would be broken and the excitement quieted.

But modesty prevented me from making the experiment, and we went on in quest of berries. Found plenty of beautiful ones in a field adjoining, and we soon filled our pails and started for camp in another direction. The shouting which we heard a mile away at first, still continued while we were within hearing. Reached camp before 2 P. M. tired and very warm, having walked at least fourteen miles, well pleased with our success at berrying. Told our story of the revivalists in camp, which caused much amusement. I shall always consider it as one of the greatest psychological phenomena.


1865 Blackberries Once More

Chattanooga, Friday, June 16. Rained heavy last night. Called out at 4 A. M. to harness up before breakfast. Out to [Pg 353]drill immediately afterwards. Captain Simpson put us through the maneuvers for the first time, drilled us accurately with mechanical precision, but he is not loud enough, will never make a good drill master, but will do. Feasted on blackberry pie and sauce from yesterday's picking. On guard to-night. Oh, dear!


Chattanooga, Saturday, June 17. Another battery drill this morning; did not go out, being on post. Awful hot. My weekly letters from home have ceased their coming, owing to their expectations of my arrival home. This is making a bad matter worse. Two men received sick furloughs, start to-morrow.


Chattanooga, Sunday, June 18. To-day has passed like a hundred others which I have endeavored to note down in my diary. How can I find anything to individualize this day from others, the same mechanical duties, the same lazy nothing to do. The evening closes over us into night quietly. The very atmosphere seems an earnest voice. Discussion is not heard nor the merry laugh of the jester. The soldiers group together under the arbor in front of the quarters, conversing in an undertone of services rendered, hardships endured, and of brave comrades who are no more. With a thoughtful sigh for home and friends I close the book.


Chattanooga, Monday, June 19. Grazing day. Started out 8 A. M., crossed the ridge and way out to Chickamauga. Grazed horses on our way back. Made a flank movement on a magnificent patch of dewberries and blackberries. Ordered by our superior officer to "go in". We tied our horses and fulfilled our orders to the letter. Those who had buckets, filled them, those who didn't, did better, staid there an hour. I ate long after berries had ceased to be a luxury. Reached camp 2 P. M. 20th Indiana Battery Heavy Artillery turned their guns over to-day. Has the good work begun?


[Pg 354]

Chattanooga, Tuesday, June 20. Drill early. Returned to get four letters, one from sister Jane, tugging bravely on amidst her sixty-four pupils. The next from Hannah, jubilant at the immediate prospect of relief from her confinement. Third from J. L. Bugs are threatening crops, too bad. Fourth, from Miss B. of Ohio, the "J" in her name converted to "Jones". Judges I am a "literary gentleman", declares she looks with more anxiety for my letters than any other, ha! ha! Keep calm, keep calm!

On duty drawing forage. Topic of the day, 20th Indiana Battery going home, guns and horses, etc. turned over. This is looked upon as an opening for the reserve, it being a '62 organization, but it was sent for directly from the State. Other batteries cleaning up harness, etc.


Chattanooga, Wednesday, June 21. Griff, D. Evans and myself have contracted for a two days' pass from Captain Simpson. I was excused from guard last night, and this morning 7 A. M., after morning drill, we started out on a bold pedestrian excursion to Lookout Mountain and Lula Lake. Two days' rations of hard-tack and sugar and cup in haversack was all equipage taken along. The "King of Day" came down upon us in full force, but nothing daunted we scaled the point in its precipitous and direct route. Pantingly we reached the photograph gallery and rested. Seized with a sudden desire to carry off some memento of our excursion, we seated ourselves on the cliff and had ourselves taken, by the sun. Carried off our plate picture for $6.50, and on to Lula through Summer Town, and camp of the "Butterfly Brigade" who were all out drilling in their white gloves.

1865 Mountain Scenery

Our tramp along the summit of the mountain was a pleasant walk of about eight miles, slightly undulated and timbered with a stunted growth of oaks, with an occasional house and patch of corn. Here as everywhere, enterprising Uncle Sam has his saw mills, shingle machines, etc. But here abruptly amid rocky [Pg 355]scenes, craggy cliffs, we came to a precipice, and beneath us was Lula Lake. A wooden flight of stairs led us down about forty-five feet and on a level with this lake, which was certainly a diminutive thing, but a thing of great loveliness in its wild beauty. My pen is altogether too tame to give an adequate description of this romantic mountain scenery. The lake consists of a circular basin about thirty yards in diameter hollowed out of the solid rock which rises forty to eighty feet around the wall carved by the skillful hand of nature. The water rushes in at the top, down in a cascade at an angle of forty-five degrees. The margin is solid rock. There lay a frail raft by the shore on which we each in our turn circumnavigated the lake, causing the swallows in the rocks to fly away in consternation at this abrupt entrance on their solitude. This spot seemed to have a sweet solitude, and I almost wished myself an Indian to live and die amidst such scenery.

Climbing the rocks on the south of the stream we worked our way down to the Lula Falls, several hundred yards below. We found the declivity thickly covered with a rich growth of laurel, and fine specimens of huckleberries, which were ripe and nice. We picked our cans full as we went. After climbing down a great many breakneck places we reached the foot of the falls which in beauty is equal, if not superior, to the Lake. It consists of a tiny stream falling from a shelf eighty feet high, perpendicularly dropping over solid rock. In its descent it is broken into a white sheet of spray. We slaked our thirst and mashed our berries in sugar, and ate our dinner with a keen relish. Before leaving, desiring to experience the sensation, we stripped and took a huge shower bath by placing ourselves under the spout. Found the sensation more romantic than pleasant. It fell too hard, but made us clean.

The water continued in an eastward direction, and we reasoned that by following it we would come out into Chattanooga Valley and off Lookout Mountain. For a distance of about two miles, we followed this rocky chasm. On either side towering cliffs [Pg 356]reared their heads a hundred feet above us, while we clambered over massive piles of stone, jumping across crevices, crawled and slid, etc., making our locomotion in a very odd way, the creek half the time whirling unseen beneath the rocks. This was hard work, and our shirts were wringing with sweat, yet all enjoyed it, at least I did.

But by climbing a little raise we at last found ourselves in quiet Chattanooga Valley, ten miles from town, and about 4 P. M., seated 'neath the trees, we picked blackberries. Made sauce for supper again, then walked leisurely toward camp. This valley is good land and well settled. We saw good fields of corn, etc. but little signs of war. The people are the same ignorant, illiterate class. These people seem to have no idea as to distances whatever, showing their general ignorance forcibly. A woman told us "it was a heap o' distance" to Chattanooga; "A right smart ways" to dry valley; "A good chance" to the next house; "Only a bit" to the spring. As night drew on we felt our fatigue and we sought shelter. Asked one man for the privilege of lying down on his porch out of the dew, but he said he "never made a practice of keeping no one", so we concluded to bivouac with a small squad of negro soldiers who were out logging. Having traveled at least fifteen miles we could rest anywhere.


Chattanooga, Thursday, June 22. Daylight found us snoring away in a most ridiculous condition, wallowing in the sand around the negroes' fire, but I had a good night's rest. We pulled out early, breakfasted on blackberries, hard-tack and cold water from the spring, then made for camp. It was very hot before we reached it, by 9 A. M. Tired indeed, but of the many excursions of the kind I have participated in, I never enjoyed one better.

But things had changed wonderfully while we were gone. Camp in an uproar. Before I entered the tent, a two-months' furlough was thrust in my face, of one of our boys disapproved [Pg 357]at Thomas's headquarters, because it is said light artillery would soon be mustered out. This they thought was convincing evidence that we are homeward bound. Yesterday's mail brought Keeler's commission as second lieutenant, and before night he was mustered in. To-day he wears the straps in all his dignity, officer of the day. Can't touch him with a ten foot pole. Quartermaster Sergeant Malish promoted to first sergeant, Hiram James quartermaster sergeant and M. Dziewanowski reinstated as first gun sergeant. The latter gives much satisfaction. Lieutenant Waite and his remnant of the 3rd Wisconsin Battery reported here this morning to be consolidated on orders dated in May. Owing to recent orders Captain Simpson will not receive them. They have gone into "pup tents."


Chattanooga, Friday, June 23. After a good night's rest, I feel very tired yet. It will take some time to get over the effects of that tramp. Some batteries are cleaning up ordnance, etc. The reserve is gradually dissolving. The command will undoubtedly go home together when it goes at all. Assistant Inspector General —— inspected all our condemned goods, knapsacks and Company property.


Chattanooga, Saturday, June 24. A dull, quiet morning until 9 A. M. when I was ordered to the guard house for duty. Three of us reported there. We were to guard prisoners to work on the road leading to water. Kanouse took them out two hours before noon; reported at camp for dinner. After dinner laid in guard house all day. Relieved at night by officer of the day, having done nothing. No great stir.


1865 Last Sunday in Camp

Chattanooga, Sunday, June 25. Another Sabbath has been added to the long list of those passed in a soldier's camp, in the same listless, irreverent way. But now that I am once more on the eve of a change, my mind is more reconciled to camp. In contrast, many times during the day have I thought [Pg 358]of my home which I have never seen. Fancy has a wide range to build my ideal home, and then place the inmates who are anxiously waiting for Jenk's return. Wrote a letter to John and that is all.


Homeward Bound

Chattanooga, Monday, June 26. That for which we have so long waited, for which so many hard words have been uttered because of its long delay, for which so many officers have been roughly abused for its being withheld—We are ordered to the States. To be mustered out. Hurrah!! Hurrah!!!

Boys went out grazing as usual this morning. 9 A. M. here comes an orderly which set the Captain a-jumping, Lieutenants a-crowing and privates run wild. In less time than it takes to write, all hands, cooks and negroes included, were at work cleaning off the guns so that they will be received by ordnance officers. Water, brush and rags and every available cleanser used until they would pass. Boys came in with horses at noon and another stock of good feelings passed around. Afternoon well spent in cleaning, counting and gathering harness and other stores. Commence turning them over to-morrow. Never since we last threw up works in front of the enemy, did the boys work with such a will. All past grievances forgotten in pleasant anticipations of the future.


Chattanooga, Tuesday, June 27. Daylight found us in our boots and stirring. 7:30 A. M. the Battery moved out followed by battery wagons, forge and four wagon loads of ordnance. I on detail along. Ordnance officer ready to receive us. Lieutenant A. Sweet superintended the counting of everything by the clerk, which is a very tedious job. Captain Simpson disposed of ammunition. I was on duty with Lieutenant Sweet and rode fast and heavy as orderly for him, bringing reports, [Pg 359]etc. to and from camp. To-night everything is gone except the horses, which will be turned over to-morrow.

Great anxiety is expressed by all to reach home by the Fourth of July, which at present looks very probable. Camp looks forlorn and disorganized, everything upside down, boxes being made to be carried by express, knapsacks packed as though there was no time to do it to-morrow, but nobody notices it. All of the reserve are under home orders to-day. Fortune smiled on us this time in being first; aye, it laughed outright upon us. But, dear Journal, I cannot write, I feel too good.


The Development of a Soldier
Jenkin Lloyd Jones
Enlisted Aug. 14, 1862; At Memphis 1863; Mustered out July 18, 1865.

1865 Going Home

Chattanooga, Wednesday, June 28. It is evening and the great work of turning over is accomplished in spite of lazy quartermaster. Through the unceasing efforts of our officers we are here on the depot platform ready to take the 4 A. M. train for "Home, Sweet Home." Left our old camp at 6 P. M. in high glee, and departed with hearty demonstrations for the Old Guard House where we all suffered from military agony. Captain Nicklin, inspector general, who has often been abused and everybody else received his portion of "big injun tigers", etc. But I must go to sleep.


Chattanooga, Thursday, June 29. Aroused from our out-of-doors slumbers by the familiar notes of the old bugle at 3 A. M. Washed, and got aboard, and started 4 A. M. exactly. Ran very quietly and on time to Decherd, Tenn., which we reached by 12 M. Here we changed engines. Took an engineer unscrupulous and drunk, who ran the train at a dangerous rate between stations, then stopping for time and getting more whiskey. At times we traveled at the rate of thirty-five miles to the hour over a very poor track, in spite of the remonstrance of our officer. The conductor persisted in allowing him to draw us through.

1865 A Final Tragedy

Stopped to wood up. Many of the boys got off to pick blackberries which were very plenty. At the instant the signal was given to start, the drunken brute threw full power on the engine [Pg 360]starting up with great suddenness, and we were soon under full headway. Poor Frank King was on the ladder between the cars, and he lost his hold and fell on the rails, the forward trucks of the car I was on, passing over his lower extremities. The shuddering cries of the wounded man pierced the ears of all on board, and one and all strove to stop the train, but the engineer instead increased his power. Not until the boys locked the brakes so tight that his drive wheels flew over on the rail, did he stop, and then he made a mad effort to proceed, which resulted in breaking loose towards the forward end of the train.

Swift feet carried men back to where the unfortunate man lay. An engineer of the southern train was bathing his temples with water and endeavoring to stay the flow of blood, but he was gone beyond the power of human skill, his legs badly crushed and spine injured so that he died in a few moments without uttering an audible word. The train was backed up and the corpse put into a vacant car with his bereaved brother Fred, and we proceeded in the same reckless manner. The boys by this time were filled with just indignation, and at Murfreesboro, as the now perfect demon rushed into the nearest saloon to imbibe once more of the "devil's beverage", he was surrounded by a crowd, rushed out of doors and handled roughly, pistols were presented, and his life was in jeopardy, when he said "that he did not care if he killed every d——."

Captain Simpson and Lieutenant Sturges of Battery E, 1st Ohio, telegraphed to Nashville the facts, and demanded another engineer of the conductor, but he refused, so Sergeant Dziewanowski and three or four others of our boys rode on the engine to watch him. Ran very well to Lavergne, fifteen miles from Nashville, when he discovered his boiler was almost dry, water all gone. Watered and he was obliged to run the engine alone to pump the water into the boiler. Ran down the track a mile and a half, and came back under all the speed he could raise. Without letting up struck the train, mashing [Pg 361]in the forward cars, and knocking everybody in the train down nearly. By this time two pistols were fired at the villain, and a stone struck him on the head. He rushed on for Nashville, his fireman leaving him to his fate. After some delay another engine hitched on to us and we proceeded with caution. Five miles from town we found his engine on the road, he having taken himself to the woods. Reached depot by 10 P. M. and slept in the depot.


Louisville Depot, Nashville, Friday, June 30. Before dawn this morning Davie Evans and myself were aroused from a heavy sleep to go and watch the corpse of F. King. The body lay in an old freight car covered with coarse sacks. By it sat his brother Fred, the only mourner, writing the sad tidings to their dear ones, whose hearts are bounding in anticipation of the joyful meeting. Oh, how uncertain are human joys. One moment of time often turns the brightest picture into a painful blank. 9 A. M. we started in search of a coffin. Returned at 10:30 A. M. with a rough board one, and the undertaker took charge of it; his brother even, not allowed to see the cold clay close over him.

In the meantime the Company had gone into the exchange barracks a mile distant. Faint for want of breakfast we followed and procured a good substantial meal, which answered for both breakfast and dinner. Captain Simpson reported as ordered to General Thomas. Received instructions to return the detached men to their command. The 3rd to proceed with us to the States; the 8th boys must go back to Murfreesboro, a disappointment to them. Transportation procured. We expect to leave for Louisville 7:50 P. M. The 1st Illinois and Battery E, 1st Ohio, to go along. All are much pleased with our good luck in getting off so soon. Nashville is the same as ever, a low-down, demoralized hole.


Soldiers' Home, Louisville, Ky., Saturday, July 1. 7 A. M. We have completed another ride in the dark, of 183 miles. [Pg 362]Rode in second-class passenger cars, very crowded, and no sleep. Have had a splendid breakfast (for soldiers) at the Soldiers' Home. Served in a manner which reminds us very forcibly that we are nearing civilization. Officers are working for the boys handsomely, will try to get us off 5 A. M. This hall is a musical one just now; four of the batteries, light artillery—all going home.


Kokomo, Ind., Sunday, July 2. Crossed the Ohio River yesterday about noon, into "God's country" as the boys call it. Said assertion was rendered true, having a good dinner at the Soldiers' Home. But when they put us in cattle cars two hours late, to go North, the spirit dampened. Started at 2 P. M. northward, an extra train, made slow time.

Now we travel through a country never darkened with slavery and rebellion. The contrast was very great. I almost imagined I was transferred into the Elysian fields of mythology. The fields teemed with golden harvest, grain nearly all cut, droves of cattle grazed in rich pastures of tame grass, pretty little children could be seen gathered around district school-houses, and sweet girls appeared in neat calicoes with "nary" a "swab" in their mouths. Above all, we were welcomed. White handkerchiefs are waved enthusiastically from every house and hamlet, stars and stripes were thrown out triumphantly to the breeze as we passed along, each demonstration drawing forth ringing response from the joyous soldier boys. At Henryville an entire school of young ladies turned out to welcome the "extra" train with soldiers, the building being draped with a large flag. At Seymour a great arch had been erected over the railway on which was inscribed "Welcome Home, Brave Soldiers."

Night soon overtook us now. It was 10 P. M. when we arrived, sleepy and well shaken, at Indianapolis, of which we knew no more than to hastily jump into another string of dirty box cars, and rush on through broken slumbers to Kokomo [Pg 363]Junction, where we arrived 5 A. M. Are now waiting for an engine down from Chicago to take us up.


Soldiers' Rest, Chicago, Monday, July 3. We left Kokomo 8 A. M. and had a very pleasant ride through a beautiful country teeming with good crops, etc. The same cordial welcome shown as yesterday. Reached this place 5 P. M. last evening and marched through crowds of inhabitants out to see "the boys coming home", with a bright new flag proudly floating in the breeze, to the Soldiers' Rest where we were furnished a splendid supper by the fair ones of Chicago. Slept where we might. I rested on depot platform. Have had another good breakfast, and am impatiently waiting 9 A. M. when the train leaves for Madison, Wisconsin. Captain Simpson has telegraphed for permission to let the boys go home and spend the Fourth.


Home At Last

1865 Home

After almost three years' absence, I found my valley home at dusk on the third of July, 1865. And what a happy union it was. Father, mother, sisters and brothers, all together. The circle unbroken during the terrible three years that had rolled over us since I parted to try my fate in a soldiers' camp. The bitter tears of anguish then, were replaced by those of unbounded joy. All the hardships and privations of my campaign were amply repaid at this joyful union.

But three years had brought a change here as well as upon me. The locks of my aged father were considerably whiter than when I left. Mother I was rejoiced to find looking so well. That frail casket which I feared so much could never see this happy day on earth, has retained its vitality to a wonderful extent. Thomas, John, Margaret, Mary, Hannah and Ellen were the same in appearance as when I left, but Jane had grown from a school girl to the full proportions of a woman, [Pg 364]and I scarcely could recognize her. The little boys are grown and much changed, but yet the same.

And this is not all the change. I left them without a place to call home, but found them situated in a lovely location, a pleasant house and expanding fields, for which I felt very thankful. But there was no time left for such thoughts that evening. Among other kindnesses I had bread and milk.


Spring Green, Tuesday, July 4. A happy day to the happy family. Fourteen of us filled the old family wagon and crossed the river to Spring Green where I met several of my Battery chums. A pleasant picnic passed off here for the benefit of the soldier boys. It was great gratification to know that our old friends welcomed us home so cordially. I read the Declaration of Independence and Reverend Phillips addressed.


Madison, Thursday, July 6. In accordance to orders I reported at Madison in company with Sister Mary and Brother John. Found an officer with great difficulty and was told that I was not needed until the 11th.


Mazomanie, Wis., Monday, July 10. Another family load of us attended the Equescurriculum [circus] at Mazomanie, intending to go into Madison in the evening, but word was sent that they don't want us till the 13th.


Spring Green, Thursday, July 13. Have been on a two days' visit amongst my old associates of Spring Green. Was to go in to Madison from there for my discharge, but they are not ready now till Monday. So it goes. I am going into the harvest field to work.


Madison, Monday, July 17. According to orders the 6th Battery was once more together in Madison by 2 P. M. anxious for the final action which places each upon an equality with the other. But disappointment appears to be the rule; to-morrow, 10 A. M., is the time.


6th Wisconsin Battery Reunion—Richland Center, Wis., Aug. 27, 1897

[Pg 365]

1865 Mustered Out

Madison, Tuesday, July 18. The rolls have returned with Lieutenant Colonel Giddings' (mustering officer) signature annexed, and the military tie which bound us together as the 6th Battery has ceased to exist.

10 A. M. we assembled once more and in the yard in front of Captain Simpson's office, in the city of Madison, signed the final pay rolls, and received the much-coveted scrip "Discharge", bearing date of July 18. "Mustered out of United States service on the 3rd of July". It was not an hour of noisy demonstration, but happiness too sweet for utterance prevails, the emotion of thankfulness filling the dullest breast, "Free! Free!" was the exclamation of many as they became possessors of the prizes.

But to me it brought many dark and serious thoughts to mind. Yes, free, but for the first time in my life I am my only dictator as to what course to pursue. Have arrived at age with life's issue fairly before me, and undecided what course to pursue. Inclination and duty seem strangely at variance. The importance of such questions is almost oppressive. But I must strive to attain the highest good that lies in my power. The dictates of conscience shall be my guide. To-night I retrace my steps to my quiet valley home. The many tender ties which bind me to my comrades of the march, battle and camp, are more than likely forever broken on this earth. And the diary which I have kept unbroken is hereby ended with the end of my service, having lived two years and eleven months in the service of my country. Three of the best years of my life have been lost to self-instruction, and the plans and hopes of my childhood have been ruthlessly toppled down, but the time has not been lost. I have no regrets for the way it has been spent. My prayer is that the remainder of my life may be as usefully spent. So, dear Diary, good-bye!

Jenk. Ll. Jones.


[Pg 366]

Amount of Pay Received in United States Army
1862.
Aug. 28Advance bounty at Madison$25.00
Aug. 28Premium4.00
1863.
Feb.   Pay to 1st Nov. '62 at Memphis33.87
May   Pay to 1st Mch. '63 at Millikens Bend52.00
June   Pay to 1st May '63 at Vicksburg26.00
July   Pay to 1st July '63 at Vicksburg26.00
Sept. 17Pay to 1st Sept. '63 at Glendale26.00
Dec. 2Pay to 1st Nov. '63 at Chattanooga13.15
1864.
Feb. 19Pay to 1st Jan. '64, at Huntsville26.00
May 24Pay to 1st May '64, at Huntsville52.00
Aug. 5Pay to 1st July '64, at Etowah32.00
Nov. 6Pay to 1st Sept. '64, at Etowah32.00
1865.
July 22Final pay and bounty to 18th of July, 1865256.95
Total amt. rec'd for service for 2 yrs. 11 months and 4 days$604.97
Amount of Pay Sent Home
1862.
Aug. 23Advance bounty at Madison$15.00
1863.
Feb.   From Memphis25.00
May   From Millikens Bend45.00
June   From rear Vicksburg20.00
July   From Vicksburg20.00
Sept. 27From Glendale20.00
Dec. 2From Chattanooga15.00
1864.
Feb. 19From Huntsville20.00
May 26From Huntsville40.00
Aug. 5From Etowah20.00
Nov.   From Nashville25.00
1865.
July 22Final payment at Madison180.00
Total amount sent$445.00

[Pg 367]

Clothing Drawn
1862.
Aug. 261 blanket$2.24
Aug. 272 pair drawers1.42
Aug. 271 cap.57
Aug. 271 infantry blouse
Aug. 271 canteen.32
Aug. 271 knapsack3.78
Aug. 271 haversack.39
Sept. 281 shirt.90
Oct. 131 pair pants3.87
Oct. 131 jacket5.17
Oct. 131 hat2.05
Oct. 161 overcoat7.62
Nov. 101 blanket2.24
Nov. 141 shirt.90
Nov. 221 pair socks.24
Nov. 301 shirt (starched).90
1863.
Jan. 141 pair pants3.87
Jan. 141 cap.57
Jan. 141 canteen.30
Feb. 41 pair of socks
Feb. 241 pair boots (sewed)
June 51 poncho
Oct. 221 haversack.48
Oct. 251 knit shirt1.30
Oct. 251 pair pants4.60
Dec. 162 pair drawers1.80
Dec. 161 hat1.65
1864.
Feb. 171 cap.58
Feb. 171 pair boots (pegged)2.12
Feb. 171 shirt1.53
Apl. 121 pair pants (inf.)2.40
Apl. 121 blouse3.12
June 91 shirt1.53
Aug. 91 hat1.80
Aug. 91 pair shoes1.64
Sept. 101 pair pants4.15
Sept. 102 shirts3.12
Sept. 101 blanket3.60
Nov. 121 pair boots3.25
Dec. 81 pair pants3.15
Dec. 82 pair drawers2.00
Dec. 81 great coat10.55
1865.
Feb. 61 blanket in hospital3.60
Mar. 111 jacket9.25
Mar. 111 poncho5.90
May 10[Pg 368]1 blouse4.80
June 51 pair boots4.00
June 51 shirt2.32
June 51 pair pants5.90
1865 Prices
Price List of Army Clothing from March 3, 1865
Fatigue caps$1.00
Hats2.25
Shirts2.32
Drawers1.60
Socks.48
Boots4.00
Gt. coat14.50
Blankets7.00
Painted ponchos3.00
Rubber ponchos5.90
Jackets9.25
Artillery pants5.90
Blouse4.80
Cross cannon.02

[Pg 369]

INDEX


Transcriber's Notes

Annotations in square brackets [] were in the original printed document, not added in transcription.

The author frequently puts the closing punctuation for double quotes outside of the closing quote, rather than inside (though not always). In any case, I left them as is.

Usually "viz" is not treated as an abbreviation, and does not have a period after it.

Spelling variants where there was no obviously preferred choice were left as is. These include "ax" and "axe;" "base ball" and "base-ball;" "battlefield" and "battle-field;" "beach" and "beech," the tree; "chuckluck" and "chuck-luck;" "crowbait" and "crow-bait;" "Dearborn" and "Dearburn," who are clearly the same person; "De Golyer" and "DeGolyer," again, the same person; "enroute" and "en route;" "gray" and "grey;" "homelike" and "home-like;" "huckleberries" and "huckle-berries;" "infrequent" and "unfrequent;" "jayhawking" and "jay-hawking;" "LaFayette," "Lafayette" and "La Fayette;" "leveling" and "levelling;" "lifelike" and "life-like;" "muscadines" and "muskatines;" "'neath" and "neath;" "nosebags" and "nose-bags;" "outdoors" and "out-doors;" "outpost" and "out-post;" "Quarter-Master" and "Quartermaster;" "sharpshooter" and "sharp-shooter," along with similar derivatives; "travelled" and "traveled," as well as "travelling" and "traveling;" "warehouse" and "ware-house."

Changed "3d" to "3rd" on page 5: "The 3rd Section."

Changed "day-light" to "daylight" on page 8: "it was nearly daylight."

Changed "guerillas" to "guerrillas" on page 14: "party of guerrillas."

Changed "road-side" to "roadside" on page 17: "on the roadside."

Page 24 had a repeated line of text, and apparently a dropped line, or lines. I inserted an ellipsis where the error was, removing the extra line, which was "leaving the train of hard-tack to take care of itself. The train". This line appears earlier on the same page.

Changed "breast-works" to "breastworks" on page 26: "Infantry building breastworks."

Changed "harbour" to "harbor", and "enemys" to "enemies" on page 36: "that harbor the enemies."

Changed "reimbark" to "reembark" on page 37: "Ordered to reembark."

Changed "small-pox" to "smallpox" on page 42: "two cases of smallpox."

Changed "ecstacy" to "ecstasy" on page 77: "in ecstasy too great."

Changed "nigth" to "night" on page 86: "It rained nearly all night."

Changed "today" to "to-day" on page 90: "Feel first rate to-day."

Changed "opporunity" to "opportunity" on page 92: "gave me an opportunity."

Changed "she-bang" to "shebang" on page 98: 'comfortable in our "shebang".'

On page 107, a sentence begins "J ——". Probably this should be either "J. ——" or "J——". I couldn't tell which, though, so I left it as is.

Removed extra comma after "guns" on page 112: "light guns had been shipped."

Changed "drill-master" to "drillmaster" on page 114: "not as good a drillmaster."

Inserted a comma on page 115 after "E. W. E.": "E. W. E., B. F. Blake and myself."

Changed "Decater" to "Decatur" on page 122: "Nashville and Decatur R. R."

Changed "a-foot" to "afoot" on page 142: "hobbling back afoot."

Removed extra period after "C" on page 153: "C—— put on a day's extra duty."

Changed "Tattoo" to "Tatoo" on page 154, for consistency with other usage: "Tatoo 9 P. M."

Changed "fire-places" to "fireplaces" on page 155: "fireplaces doing good service."

Changed "foot-sore" to "footsore" on page 157: "tired and footsore."

Changed "then" to "than" on page 161: "than ——."

Inserted period at end of sentence on page 169: "by General * * *."

Changed "Chirstian" to "Christian" on page 176: "the Christian Enquirer."

Changed "inflamation" to "inflammation" on page 186: "inflammation of the lungs."

Changed "slaugter" to "slaughter" on page 210: "the slaughter is terrible."

Inserted missing period at end of sentence on page 219: "Green peas for dinner."

Changed "pretentions" to "pretensions" on page 229: "a place of some pretensions."

Added period at end of sentence on page 230: "Eyes could not wish for more."

Changed "Everthing" to "Everything" on page 235: "Everything passed off smoothly."

Changed "headquaters" to "headquarters" on page 239: "report at Division headquarters."

Changed "court-martialled" to "court-martialed" on page 245: "court-martialed by Division court."

Changed "stationary" to "stationery" on page 263: "a lot of stationery."

Removed extra comma after "raw" on page 266: "very cold raw day."

Changed "everthing" to "everything" on page 273: "an abundance of everything."

Changed "higly" to "highly" on page 276: "it was highly interesting."

Inserted period after "Tenn" on page 279: "Fort Gillem, Tenn., Thursday, Dec. 1."

Added missing period at the end of sentence on page 284: "Froze very hard last night."

Changed "coralled" to "corralled" on page 290: "corralled in jail yard."

Changed "Calvanistic" to "Calvinistic" on page 292: "Calvinistic dogmas."

Changed "dissappointed" to "disappointed" on page 296: "but was disappointed."

Changed "mornng" to "morning" on page 326: "on the gun this morning."

Changed "coralled" to "corralled" on page 336: "they were corralled."

Changed "brethern" to "brethren" on page 344: "our Southern brethren."

Changed "6.30" to "6:30" on page 349: "postponed to 6:30 P. M."

Changed "magnificient" to "magnificent" on page 353: "magnificent patch of dewberries."

Changed "Mc Pherson" to "McPherson" on page 370: "McPherson, 233."

Changed comma to semi-colon on page 372: "reported evacuated, 124;".

Removed period after "Miss" on page 372: "Calkins, Miss ——."

Changed comma to semi-colon on page 375: "Helena, 39;".

Changed "Jesse" to "Jessie" on page 377: "Fremont, Jessie, Story of the Guard."

Changed "Miliikens" to "Millikens" on page 377: "at Millikens Bend, 46."

Inserted comma after "Peter" on page 378: "Green, Peter, under arrest, 178;".

Changed "Hawks" to "Hawk's" on page 378: "Hawk's Nest (Tenn.)."

Inserted comma after "Hood" on page 379: "Hood, Capt. Thomas R."

Changed semi-colon to comma on page 383: "1st Cavalry, 337;".

Changed comma to period on page 383: "Lafayette (Tenn.)".

Changed comma to period on page 383: "King, Franklin, death of, 360, 361."

Inserted initial double quote on line on page 388: '"Pocahontas," Mississippi steamboat.'

Changed reference for Raymond (Miss.) on page 388 from "546-556" to "54-55."

Changed "ordinance" to "ordnance" on page 391: "ordnance officer, 295;".

Removed period after "Miss" on page 392: "Spencer, Miss ——."






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