Pictures and Illustrations.
Colonel William Camm. -- 14th Ill. Inf. Volunteers.
Chronology of William Camm's Life
William Camm, son of Samuel and Jane Camm, was born at Sheffield, England, February 24, 1837, and died November 14, 1906, at Danville, Illinois.
He came to this country with his parents when about four years of age, and lived in Scott and Morgan Counties until the breaking out of the Rebellion, when he joined the Fourteenth Illinois Infantry Volunteers, and was chosen captain of Company "K." Previous to this he had lived on a farm, attending school a few months each winter, until near of age, when he began teaching school, and followed this profession until the beginning of the war.
After six months as captain of Company "K," he was promoted to the position of lieutenant colonel of the Fourteenth Infantry, with which rank he served until the close of the three years enlistment of the regiment and was mustered out June 24, 1864.
Soon afterwards he enlisted as a private in Hancock's Veteran Corps, refusing all bounty; was made a captain and served as provost-marshal at Fort McHenry and around Washington, D. C., until the close of the war, and even remaining in the service until the 20th of September, 1865, when he was finally mustered out of the National service.
September 23, 1862, he was united in marriage with Miss Kittie Mason, of Winchester, Illinois. One child was born to this union and died in infancy, followed by the death of Mrs. Camm, January 24, 1864.
In October, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Nancy New, of Winchester. To this union were born five children.
794Samuel died when three years old; Hattie, Earnest William and Mary.
Colonel Camm's experience in civil life, as well as his observations during the war between the States, led him to study political economy, and before he read or even heard of Henry George's work, he had, as a writer for the local press, advocated a single tax, and that upon land.
In "Progress and Poverty," he found new argument, but practically his own conclusions. Hence he did all that was possible to induce his fellow citizens to read the works of Mr. George.
Colonel Camm devoted much time in drawing and portrait painting in oil. Among his collection is a painting of President Lincoln, which Mr. Camm finished in 1858, from actual sittings by Mr. Lincoln.
When the National Government took over the battleground of Shiloh for a Federal cemetery, Colonel Camm was called upon to make the survey.
The funeral of Colonel Camm took place at the Baptist church in Winchester, Illinois, Friday afternoon, November 16, 1906, under the auspices of the Hesse post, G. A. R., and interment was made in the Winchester cemetery.
Short History of the 14th Illinois Infantry.
This regiment was one of the first Ten Regiments to be called into the service by President Lincoln. Its first Colonel was John M. Palmer, then of Macoupin County.
After being mustered into the United States service at Camp Duncan, Jacksonville, Illinois, May 25, 1861, the companies remained there for drill until the latter part of June, 1861, and then proceeded to Quincy by rail, and thence to Missouri, July 5th, where, in connection with the Sixteenth Illinois Infantry, it did good service in keeping down the spirit of Rebellion.
The rebel force under Martin E. Green was dispersed, and James Green, a United States senator, a fomenter of
795Secession, was captured and paroled. The regiment left Rolla, Missouri, for Jefferson City, accompanying General Fremont on his memorable campaign to Springfield, Missouri, after General Price, then returned and went into winter quarters at Otterville, Missouri.
In the month of February, 1862, the regiment was ordered to Fort Donelson, where it arrived the day subsequent to the surrender; was brigaded with the Fifteenth and Forty-sixth Illinois, and Twenty-fifth Indiana, and assigned to the Second Brigade, and Fourth Division, under Brigadier General Stephen A. Hurlbut. In the meantime Colonel Palmer had been promoted Brigadier General, and Major Hall, Captain of Company "B", had been promoted Colonel and Captain William Camm, of Company "K", was promoted Lieutenant Colonel.
From Fort Donelson the regiment proceeded to Fort Henry, where it embarked on transports and proceeded up the Tennessee River to Pittsburg Landing.
In the sanguinary engagement of Shiloh, when the regiment first smelt powder from the enemy, the lost in killed and wounded was fully one-half the number engaged, the colors, which came out of this bloody conflict with forty-two bullets holes through them, attested fully the gallantry of the command in the memorable struggle. In the grand charge on the evening of April 7th, which was the consummation of that splendid victory over the hosts of rebellion, the Fourteenth Illinois was in advance and was led by Colonel Hall. In the official report of General Veatch, commander of the brigade, in which the Fourteenth was attached, the following language was employed: "Colonel Hall, of the Fourteenth Illinois, led, with his regiment, that gallant charge on Monday evening which drove the enemy beyond our lines and closed the struggle on that memorable day."
The regiment took an active part in the siege of Corinth. Alter the evacuation, it proceeded to Memphis, and then to Bolivar, Tennessee.
On October 4, 1862, the Fourth Division, under Colonel Hurlbut, was ordered to proceed to Corinth, as a "forlorn hope" to relieve the beleaguered garrison of the place; but the gallant Rosecrans, before Corinth was reached, had already severely punished the enemy, and the forlorn hope met the retreating rebels at the village of Metamora, on the Hatchie River. In the glorious victory that followed, eight hours of hard fighting, the Fourteenth well sustained its reputation gained at Shiloh.
The regiment constituted a part of the right wing of Grant's army on its march into northern Mississippi, through Holly Springs to Yacona Patalfa, under the immediate command of the lamented McPherson. Van Dorn having captured Holly Springs, and General Sherman being unable to affect a dislodgement of the rebels from Vicksburg, Grant's army was obliged to retreat, and on the 8th of January, the Fourteenth went into winter quarters at LaFayette, Tennessee.
Early in the spring the command was ordered to Vicksburg, where it took part in the siege of that stronghold, until its final fall, July 4, 1863. Also accompanied the expedition to Jackson, Mississippi taking part in the siege until its evacuation.
In August, proceeding to Natchez, it formed part of the force which marched across the swamps of northeastern Louisiana to Harrisburg, on Wachita River, and captured Fort Beaureguard, where the spring before, the ram, "Queen of the West," had been sunk; it accompanied General Sherman on his Meridian Raid.
After the return of the regiment, a large portion of the regiment re-enlisted as veterans, though its time would have expired in a few months. Returning from the north, where it had been on veteran furlough, it formed a part of the army in the advance on Atlanta. Here the Fourteenth and Fifteenth, ever together since the fall of 1862, and always a part of the "Fighting Fourth Division," sharing of each other's sorrows and joys, weary marches and honorably earned laurels, were
797consolidated into the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Illinois Veteran Battalion.
The battalion was detailed to guard railroads at the rear of Ackworth, Georgia, a most important and dangerous duty, as it was the only route by which General Sherman could supply his immense army with subsistence. Incidentally, they had driven 700 cattle through Tennessee to Chattanooga.
In the month of October, 1864, when the rebel, General Hood made his demonstration against General Sherman's rear, a large number of the battalion were killed and the major part of the balance were taken prisoners and sent to Andersonville prison, to share the fate of the other thousands in that terrible den until the end of the war. Those who escaped capture were mounted and on the Grand March to the Sea, acted as scouts, and were continually in the advance, being the first to drive the rebel pickets into Savannah, Georgia. During the long and weary marches through North and South Carolina, the battalion was on duty day and night, being constantly in the presence of the enemy, gaining notoriety as skirmishers. The battalion was the first to enter Cheraw, South Carolina, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, and also took part in the Battle of Bentonville. After the capitulation of General Johnson, the regiment marched to Washington, D. C., where on the 24th of May, 1865, it took part in the Grand Review of Sherman's army.
It afterwards proceeded by rail and river to Louisville, Kentucky, thence by river to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, thence marched to Fort Kearney, Nebraska, and back, where it was mustered out September 16, 1865, arriving at Springfield, Illinois, a week later, where the regiment received final Payment and discharge.
The aggregate number belonging to this regiment was 1,980, and the number discharged at Fort Leavenworth was 480.
During its four years and four months of arduous service, the regiment marched 4,490 miles, traveled by rail 2,330 miles, and by river 4,490, aggregating, all told, 11,670 miles.
During this time the Fourteenth lost in killed 53, and the number dying from disease was 120. Of this number, seven were killed from Company "K" and 19 died of disease.
In April, 1862, when President Lincoln made his first call for 75,000 volunteers, William Camm was teaching a spring term of school in Exeter. The mail reporting this news reached Exeter early in the morning, by Star route, from Bluffs Station, and Mr. Camm closed his school at once and walked to Winchester, where the people had not yet heard the news, to raise a company; and before night he had succeeded in raising a full company, which afterwards became Company "K" of the Fourteenth, Illinois Infantry, Volunteers.
Following are the names of the officers, privates, recruits and unassigned recruits of Company "K." Three different captains served:
Captains -- William Camm, Winchester; Henry Case, Winchester; Wm. W. Strong, Glasgow.
First Lieutenants -- Wm. N. Shibley, Winchester; Henry Case, Winchester; John B. Kirkman, Winchester.
Second Lieutenants -- William N. Shibley, Winchester; William Mason, Exeter.
Sergeants -- Wm. W. Strong, Glasgow; John Alderson, Exeter; John Kirkman, Winchester; George W. Ebey, Winchester; D. W. Haskell, Exeter.
Corporals -- Fletcher Ebey, Winchester; Michael Rollins, Glasgow; Thos. J. Brant, Winchester; Augustine Shibley, Winchester; William H. Thomas, Winchester; Harry Butts, Winchester; Stephen S. Bruce, Winchester; Jesse W. Burbank, Exeter.
Musicians -- Louis P. Condit, Winchester; John G Loomis, Winchester.
Wagoner -- Andrew Jackson, Exeter.
Privates -- John Asher, Winchester; Bruce Andrews, Glasgow; John G. Bush, Winchester; Hugh Burns, Exeter; John Beard, Exeter; Elijah Bloyd, Exeter; William Bush, Exeter; Lorenzo Brown, Winchester; Simon Claywell, Winchester;
799Jacob Coultehe, Winchester; James H. Coop, Winchester; John Chrisinger, Winchester; Wm. G. Carpenter, Winchester; Benjamin Curry, Exeter; Lorenzo Cobb, Glasgow; Marquis Combs, Exeter; Jas W. Covington, Exeter; Hiram Drew, Winchester; Joseph W. Duff, Exeter; Jethro Deweese, Glasgow; Mahian H. Evans, Winchester; W. H. Edwards, Glasgow; Wm. A. Farrington, Winchester; Isaac Fisher, Exeter; Nicholas Fulks, Exeter; Thomas Galloway, Winchester; Jas. C. Gillham, Exeter; Thomas Henesy, Winchester; John F. Harris, Winchester; Jas C. Howell, Winchester; Charles Henley, Glasgow; Thomas B. Hope, Winchester; D. W. Haskell, Exeter; William Haas, Exeter; Jonathan Johnson, Winchester; John Knapp, Winchester; Byran Lindell, Winchester; Daniel Lasey, Winchester; Moses Langley, Winchester; George Langley, Winchester; Chas. M. Lyman, Winchester; Wm. H. Lyman, Winchester; Thomas Martin, Winchester; Jesse W. Malton, Winchester; Wm. H. Moss, Winchester; William McLoskey, Winchester; John H. McCormick, Exeter; John B. Madden, Exeter; Duncan McArther, Exeter; Frederick North, Exeter; French Peak, Glasgow ; Cyrus Peak, Glasgow; John Platner, Winchester; Sauffen Pitman, Exeter; John W. Rowland, Glasgow; Joseph Robinson, Glasgow; Fred R. Schoman, Glasgow; Jethro Sharp, Glasgow; Charles Stevenson, Exeter; Henry Stall, Winchester; George Seeman, Exeter; James H. Stewart, Exeter; Philip Snow, Winchester; James Scott, Exeter; William H. Sweeney, Exeter; Stephen S. Smith, Exeter; James W. Smith, Glasgow; Isaac W. Tafintar, Winchester; Alexander Taylor, Winchester; William H. True, Winchester; Thomas Teal, Winchester; James Veavers, Winchester; Daniel Wells, Winchester; Wesley Wells, Winchester; Lorenzo Wells, Glasgow; Jabus Warrol, Winchester; John Ward, Glasgow; Daniel Weavers, Winchester; James H. Wilkins, Glasgow; John T. West, Winchester; Frank Wilbur, Exeter; Urval Watt, Winchester.
Recruits -- Hardin Abrahams, Naples; David Auer, Winchester; Oscar M. Brengle, Winchester; Horace Brown, Exeter;
800William Barnard, Manchester; Allen Crisp, Exeter; Samuel Comstock, Exeter; William P. Cobb, Glasgow; Wm. P. Coats, Glasgow; John H. Coats, Glasgow; William Clark Winchester; John H. Cotter, Exeter; Wm. D. Close, Greene Co.; John Depositer, Winchester; Isiah Dusenbury, Naples; H. H. Dix, Naples; Thomas Ebey, Winchester; Julius Eldred, Greene Co.; Geo. W. Fields, Rolla, Mo.; John L. Field, Rolla, Mo.; William Grose, Winchester; Peter Grose, Winchester; Samuel Handback, Glasgow; Clark Howard, Winchester; Chas.F. Harper, Naples; Benjamin Hawks, Glasgow; Lewis B. Hawkins, Winchester; Wm. R. Jennis, Tipton, Mo.; Wm. H. Lawson, Exeter; Samuel Lindsley, Naples; James Linville, Glasgow; Joseph McGleason, Oxville; Theodore Manley, Naples; David Mooney, Exeter; Greenbery Overstreet, Exeter; Henry H. Palmer, Winchester; Robert C. Payne, Naples.; Richard Ridgway, Naples; Wm. Robertson, Glasgow; Robert D. Ray, Glasgow; Wm. B. Smith, Naples; John H. Smith, Winchester; James M. Sap, Winchester; Samuel Sappington, Winchester; Stephen S. Smith, Exeter; James Scott, Winchester; Joseph B. Sellers, Naples; Chas. B. Teal, Winchester; Wm. Tomlinson, Winchester; Wm. M. Ward, Winchester; Alexander Wells, Winchester; Patrick Wood, Winchester; William D. Wilson, Winchester; James Veavers, Winchester.
Unassigned Recruits -- David Anthony, Glasgow; Robert Baker, Shelbyville; James W. Boyd, Litchfield; William Curtis, Winchester; William Cosgrove, Jacksonville; Newton Dennis, Waverly; Joseph Daniels, Jacksonville; John Davis, Jacksonville; Michael Fitzpatrick, Cairo; George Glover, Beardstown; John E. Hamilton, Winchester; Joseph Hedricks, Glasgow; Michael Higgins, Exeter; Lewis Hammock, Taylorville; William Hunt, Alton; Joseph C. Jones, Wilmington; Guilford Judd, Beardstown; James Jackson, Girard; William Lightfoot, Beardstown; Jas. M. Miller, Peoria; Welcome Nochols, Peoria; William Overstreet, Winchester; Roberts Phelps, Beardstown; Daniel Rollins, Peoria; Edwards Record, Litchfield; George Reilly, Jacksonville; James B. Squires,
801Beardstown; Josiah Smith, Winchester; Sidney Sweet, Taylorville; William W. Six, Exeter; Clark Smith, Exeter; Louis Willis, Glasgow; James Wood, Winchester; Alexander Young, Wheatland.
Diary of Colonel William Camm, 1861-1865.
The Fourteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry was first organized as the "Sixth Congressional Regiment," at Camp Duncan on the Morgan County Fair Ground, near Jacksonville, in May, 1861. Its first Colonel was John M. Palmer. It was mustered into State service for thirty days, so as to be in readiness for a call by the President of the United States for more troops. This regiment contained one company from each of ten counties then composing the Sixth Congressional District, as follows:
"A" -- Capt. Wm. H. Thompson, Cass County.
"B" -- Capt. Cyrus Hall, Shelby County.
"C" -- Capt. Augustus Corman, Macoupin County.
"D" -- Capt. Thos. J. Bryant, Greene County.
"E" -- Capt. Amory Johnson, Menard County.
"F" -- Capt. Milton Littlefield, Jersey County.
"G" -- Capt. Lewis Eeiner, Sangamon County.
"H" -- Capt. Andrew Simpson, Christian County.
"I" -- Capt. Jonathan Morris, Morgan County.
"K" -- Capt. William Camm, Scott County.
After being mustered into State service, the rank and file elected regimental officers as follows:
Col. John M. Palmer, of Macoupin County, Lieutenant Colonel, Amory K. Johnson; Major, Jonathan Morris. Wm. A. Scott, First Lieut. of Company "F" was appointed Adjutant, and John F. Nolte was appointed Quartermaster.
Although several of the officers had been soldiers in the war with Mexico, but little was known by them of the forms of service and of military life. The companies were given places in line by putting "A" on the right, "B" on the left,
802"C" on the right, and "D" on the left, so that counting from right to left they read: A, C, E, G, I, K, H, F, D, B, instead of A, F, D, I, C, H, E, K, G, B, as the army regulations required.
This formation was retained for over three years of service. The captains having commissions of same date cast lots for rank, and were posted in line without reference to their rank. Camm drew five, but exchanged with Hall, who had drawn eight.
For some time the Lieutenant and Major wore the wrong stripes. Gold being a more precious metal than silver, it was presumed that a gold leaf on a strap indicated higher rank than a silver leaf. Often the writer drilled his own Colonel in the "School" of the soldier, including the goose step.
The regiment was armed with the old caliber .69 musket altered from flint to percussion locks. The cartridges were round ball with four buckshot on top. "Ball and buck" as it was termed. The tactics were Scott Heavy Infantry.
On the 25th day of May, Captain Pitcher, U. S. A., mustered most of the companies into the United States service. Though they had been 113, rank and file, in the State service, a few days of camp life and drill had so discouraged many of the men that some of the companies, after passing the medical officers, could not muster the minimum number of 88 required in the United States service, and had to be given a week or two to recruit. "K" was the only company with too many men, and its captain connived with the doctors to reduce it to the maximum number, 101. "A" was the only other company mustered in with the maximum number.
Wm. J. Rutledge was commissioned Chaplain, and Benj. F. Stevenson Surgeon, and Dr. Head Assistant Surgeon.
From Camp Duncan the regiment went by rail to Quincy, thence, on the 4th day of July, by steamer to Canton, Missouri, thence by rail, boat and march to various parts of Missouri, till the opening of my journal, which found us at Tipton, on the Mo. P. R. R., in the same State.
October 13, 1861, Tipton, Missouri, I lost the pocket diary I began on entering the service, and with it much that
803would have been interesting if not exciting, as well as instructive.
Rumored last evening that we were to have marched this morning. Where? A soldier should not ask. How? A soldier must find out. We need at least 30 wagons for this regiment and have but 13. After stores of quartermaster headquarters and hospital are loaded, we shall have only five wagons for the tents and cooking utensils of 10 companies of infantry. We stacked tents early. Sec. of War Cameron arrived by train and batteries boomed a salute. What a waste of powder! A Missouri brigade formed on our rear and right, a battery and regiment of cavalry on our rear and left. Lingered till 2-40 P. M., when "fall in" was sounded and we marched south three miles and camped on a rolling prairie, but near a wooded creek.
The Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, Colonel Turner, is on our right front, and Sixth Missouri Infantry, Colonel Bland, on our left front. Reports that Price is intrenching with 20,000 men south of us on Gasconade.
Bright moonlight, and bugles sounding tatoo.
October 14th. Bright day. No forenoon drill. After guard mounting my First Lieutenant, Henry Case, and myself went out of camp for pistol practice. Battalion drill began at 2:30 P. M.
Rumors in abundance, as usual. One that Price was within twelve miles of us last night, but had met Union troops under Lane and Montgomery. Another that McCullough had, by force march, joined Price, and they were now intrenching on the Osage. Still another, that a man named Graham, had been appointed Lieutenant Colonel of our regiment, Vice Johnson promoted Colonel of the Twenty-eighth Illinois Infantry. In time I hope he may prove a good officer.
October 15th. Came down on M. P. railroad to St. Louis. Met Thomas Humble, of Winchester, at the Everett House.
October 17th. Visited some of the temporary forts west of the city with Lieut. John R. Nupleman, who is superintending their location and construction. Also took all Fourteenth
804men from the hospital in the house of refuge. I was there myself some months ago, and my name being still on the roll as an inmate, I had an amusing search for myself before the Dr. told me whom he was looking for.
Returning by rail, I fell in with Admiral Termon, who had been in the French navy since 1805. With him was a young man, Hungarian Lieutenant, whose English was very broken, and limited. Mrs. Fremont had given them a basket of roast chicken, and I got some wine and grapes at the station, and we had a cold dinner on the train.
Finding the Admiral impatient at the slow speed we were making, since he was the bearer of important information to Major General Fremont, I went to the engineer and asked him to get more go out of his machine. He complained that the track and the engine were in bad condition, so to encourage him I climbed on the pilot. We were soon rocking and jumping along at a good speed, but noticing that the box on the forward truck was in bad shape called the engineer from the cab and showed it to him. He got down on his hands and knees as we dashed along, looked under the engine for a minute or two then rising remarked carelessly that "She had been that way for a month," and went back to the cab, while I wished myself back with the Admiral or off the train. As we came out of the west end of the Moro tunnel, in a place where broken and jagged rock reached from the track to the muddy, boiling water of the river on the right, and a perpendicular rock wall on the left we came near having a collision with a down bound train.
At Jefferson City I rejoined my traveling companions. Two young ladies came on the train there and took the next seat in front of the Admiral and myself. This recalling to my mind, I told him what a handsome young woman I had seen at a house I described at Lookout, a station now some distance ahead of us, as the train stopped there when I was on my way down a few days before. The ladies overheard me and one of them looked around whom I instantly recognized as my beauty. I addressed her apologizing frankly for
805talking about people behind their backs, and giving my name. She proved as intelligent as pretty, and a general talk ensued, the old French tar asking about the country, its people and the Civil War. When we slacked for Lookout he said we must see our new friends ashore, and before the cars had really stopped he started. I went with the girls but found the old fellow already on the platform and he helped the ladies down with such dignified and courtly grace that I felt the wind taken out of my sails, and remaining on the car platform lifted my cap and nodded good-bye, while my old rival gave them some cheery but fatherly admonition, uncovered, bowed and bade "my good children" adieu.
When we got back to our seat he patted me on the shoulder and said: "My dear young captain you must make a sequel of this."
I carried Colonel Palmer the orders he had written for me to execute in St. Louis, which were in his own handwriting and reported I had executed all of them I could read.
October 20th, in camp; no incidents.
October 21st, marched at sunrise and are encamped for the night in the woods and grass near Versailles, in Morgan County. A green German from Company "G" stationed near our tent bayonetted a skunk just after dark, and now he and my lieutenant Case and Shibley are trying to neutralize the stench by making the air sulphurous with oaths, and damning the Dutchman to the devil.
October 22nd, made only 15 miles today. The land was rolling with loose stones. The fresh beef that should have been issued last evening did not materialize until after dark tonight. The men swore and grumbled, but half good-naturedly. They are not over the pole-cat episode of last night. There was a light air blowing up the creek and the swearing went to leaward as far as the laughing went to windward. When a German sargeant came to relieve the sentinel the fun began again with "Ack, mein Gott in kimmel!" and there was a sad confusion of Dutch oaths and English interrogatives and invectives. The men have reconsidered the vote to
806hang the "Damn Dutch fool." Lying by the campfire I can hardly see to write. If half the rumors we get about the enemy prove true, a whole lot of us will never see our sweethearts again. I am footsore, but --
Here's a smile for those who hate us,
And whatever skies above us --
Here's a heart for any fate."
October 23rd. Made 18 miles today and reached Cold Camp Creek.
October 24. Marched before sunrise. Crossed the Osage on a military bridge at Warsaw and are camped on its south bank.
October 25th. Did not march till noon and made about eight miles, but they say Missouri miles are measured with a coon-skin and the tail thrown in at every lay. Weather fine and the men improve in marching. Company "K" bought a team to haul their knapsacks with, at Versailles on the 21st, but a few men have taken my advice and are carrying them. I carry one with my clothing, books and bedding besides my sword and pistol, and sometimes two or three of the muskets of tired men, and do not find it hard to keep up. Are about 90 miles west of Rolla and 50 miles north of Springfield. Have but one day's rations left. Palmer is commanding a brigade composed of the 14th, 15th and 42nd Illinois, the 6th Missouri and Rabbs Indiana battery. Am detailed as brigade officer of the day. Mailed letters to father and Kittie this morning.
October 26. Moved at eight A. M. this morning and reached Turkey Creek this noon.
October 27th. Still camped at Turkey Creek.
October 28th. Our wagons went back to Tipton for provisions today. Lieutenant Harley and myself went out a couple of miles from camp and saw something that rubbed a good deal of the gloss off the "pomp and circumstance of glorious war." A woman whose husband was in the Southern army, had been driven with two little children from her home
807by some of our brave (?) soldiers who had not learned the difference between honorable war and criminal marauding. The bureau had been broken open, its contents carried off or trampled in the floor and the whole house robbed and plundered. At first the poor woman was frightened and silent and begged to be allowed to take what she could of the wreck to her mother's not far away. We helped her gather up what she wished and tying them up I helped her on a horse, but the bundle was so large that the reins would not reach over it, so we carried the children and lead the horse to the house. I could stand fire and bear the sight of wounded and mangled, but this cuts.
October 29. Have had roll call every two hours to keep the men in camp and prevent a repetition of yesterday's outrages on defenseless citizens. Ever since we have been here some have straggled out five and six miles. A sargeant from the 6th Missouri left camp last Sunday at 10 A. M. and has not been heard of since.
Cold and windy but no downfall. Put on half rations at noon except beef.
October 30th. At company drill this morning Captain Meade of "E" seemed to have "three sheets to the wind," and so did Mackintosh, out on the left of the line. Meade would yell in his Irish brogue, "Out on the left," "Out on the left there," "Mcintosh, out on the left, I say!" At last he exclaimed in a very loud but disparing tone, "Shall I never see the left of my company again?" The other companies were all at "rest" watching and listening and a roar of laughter followed the Captain's last remark. Meade was a whole-souled, good-natured man who had been in the British army, and he, afterwards, laughed at the incident as heartily as any one.
October 31st. Mustered by Major Harris for pay.
November 1. Ordered to store all tents at division headquarters and to march by day break with working utensils only, as baggage. Letter from Kittie. Sitting on a box by the fire made from beer barrels from the sutler's quarters.
808Dewees and Langly went out with company team this morning and not back yet.
Nov. 2nd. Left Camp Au Revoir on Turkey Creek early with only a few mess pans and camp kettles, besides our knapsacks, arms and ammunitions. Made 22 miles.
November 3rd. Marched so early that I had to delay distributing the medicine, the doctor had given me for the men in the ranks, until it was light enough to see the names on the doses. Near Buffalo, a small village, we halted for dinner. Gen. Hunter commanding our column, having received orders to supersede Fremont at Springfield, hurried forward and we were to follow by a forced march. We bivouaced after dark, but before we could eat we were ordered on the road. It seemed hardly possible to get the men out. I had been laid under a tree hungry, tired and sore, for in addition to my own load, I had carried several muskets during the afternoon but I went down by the fire my own men had kindled kicking over their coffee kettles, urging and cajoling till I got them under arms and in line in the road, but no other officer got his men out for some time afterwards. My 1st Lieutenant, Henry Case, was a lawyer and good orator, while my 2nd Lieutenant, Wm. N. Shibley, was a jovial fellow and full of fun. Both of them rose to the occasion. We soon had the company loudly cheering and between the cheers we heartily jeered the men who were so slow at falling in. At last we started but I shall never forget the night. The country was hilly and the artillery ahead of us would stack up so we had to keep halting and Maj. Morris' voice became very monotonous with his long drawn out "Hault" and "Fo-orwa-ards."
November 4th. Toward morning Col. Palmer came forward and I persuaded him to let them rest an hour or so as men were falling out from hunger and exhaustion and need of sleep; telling him we could easily catch up with the artillery for the poor horses were even worse worn out than the infantry. When the order was given to move again some mischievous soldier had filled Heiner's bugle so that it only
809spluttered. Heiner broke into a volley of savage Dutch-English oaths, which caused our weary soldiers to break out into volley of laughter, and they took to the road even more cheerfully than on the night before.
There was no halt for breakfast, nor for dinner, until about 2 P. M., when some whole quarters of beef just killed were given us. I started to broil a very bloody piece on a stick in the blaze of a freshly kindled fire, but before it got warm through we were ordered to march again, and I ate my beef raw, without bread and the blood running over my hand. A soldier of the 15th Infantry offered me a drink of hot coffee from his blinker, just after we started, and I hastily took a mouthful and swallowed it in agony, and a minute after drew all of the skin from my pallate with my forefinger. During the afternoon while dragging along, Fletcher Condit, my drummer, and John Loomis, my fifer, who were carrying musketoons and forty round each of cartridges began singing "Nellie Moore," and other catchy songs, and this started Company "G" with "Mein Foderland" and other soldier songs. Lieut. Shibley would step up to Haas and others who carried knapsacks, move his hand at the side of the knapsack, and in nasal voice imitate the music of a hurdy-gurdy. He got very heavy on Mr. "Spokeshave," as he miscalled Shakespeare, and would yell in stentorian tones, "A hoss, a hoss, my kingdom for a hoss," adding in a serious tone, "If you can't bring me a hoss bring me a jackass." Then he would roar, "Richard's in the field." Then in a peevish squall, "Well, why in hell don't you put down the bars and let him out!" About 4 P. M., as the colors of the 14th reached to the top of a long slope we were ordered to halt and we threw ourselves down by the road side .
One of my men, James Vevers, a tough and hardy Englishman, who had often boasted that he could out-march "the Captain," dropped on the opposite side of the road. Rising smartly I walked over to him and catching my right foot in my left hand, I jumped the right foot over them, then changing I caught the left foot with my right hand and made the
810reverse jump, and in a tone as cheerful as I could make it under the circumstances, said: "Johnnie, how about that marching?" All the answer I got was in a woe-begone voice "O, Captain, go away from me now!" Just then a band half a mile ahead struck up, and that meant camp. A spare supper of hardtack and bacon. I have just counted the muskets my company stacked -- 81. And I feel proud of the men from Scott County, for I hear that the whole 7th Missouri regiment stacked but 60 odd. Weather good.
November 5th. Resting after our forced march, but many men have not come in yet.
November 6th. Still taking needed rest. Not all stragglers in yet, and we hear of men being found dead, from exhaustion by the road side.
November 7th. Upon investigation I went with Palmer, 14th, and Turner, 15th, and Admiral Termon to inspect some batteries of light or field artillery.
November 8th. In company with Col. Palmer and Lieut. Johnson, Rodecker and Opitz (acting) I went to see the recent battlefield of Wilson's Creek. We were warned that it was dangerous, and smokes west of us, we were told was caused by some burnings the enemy were doing.
November 9th. We were ordered north again today. I am in command of brigade guard tonight.
November 10th. Before daylight, having suggested it to Palmer, I took two reliefs of the brigade guard, equipping part of the men with axes, and pushed ahead to the Pomme de Terre river which we had to wade on our way south, put a crotch bridge over it for the infantry. There was plenty of good young timber standing on the south bank for crotches and stringers, and plenty of drift wood and rails for flooring. It was well light when we got to the river, everything white with frost. The water looked dark and forbidding, and ice had frozen several feet from the shore, and the men hesitated about going into the water, till I jumped into it myself, when they dashed in with a will, and in less than an hour after we reached the stream the bridge was done. I was now in a
811quandery. Soaked to the waists we could not stand about waiting for the troops to come up. With my small force, forty-five men, it was not wise to kindle a fire and attract the attention of the enemy, I had been warned about; so I determined to push on to another stream eight miles ahead and bridge it also, expecting the cavalry advance of Hunter's troops would overtake me. On the way we came by a cabin where a young man and two young women had some roasted chickens, pies and cakes to sell to the troops as they passed.
I asked them what they would take for their whole layout, and after a little consultation they replied, "Five dollars." I had a $5.00 gold piece -- the last cent I had, so handing it to the man, I told my men to divide it as equitably as possible as they could among themselves. Before noon the second stream was bridged for infantry, and I waited in the sunlight for the command to arrive.
Corporal Copeland "B" asked permission to take a few men and try to find something to eat, as they were still hungry, and by this time tired, too. They had had little to eat since the night before, or 18 hours. Being a trustworthy young man I let him go after he promised not to allow any pillaging. The troops camped half a mile before they reached our last bridge, so we had to go back.
During the afternoon some of our cavalry arrested Copeland and his squad for straggling. I went to Col. Palmer and asked him to see Gen. Hunter and ask him to let them go and arrest me instead of them. Col. Palmer went at once. Copeland and his men came in, but I have not been arrested yet.
November 11th. Marched steadily all day. I have not been ordered under arrest yet, but learn that Gen. Hunter, while disapproving of my letting Copeland go out as I did was inclined to compliment me. But Hunter is a regular and I may catch it yet.
November 12th. Another steady march. Our sutler, John Shibley, father of my 2nd lieutenant met us just before noon. Tonight we are camped just south of Buffalo. At dusk quite
812a lot of women came to visit our camp. They were all single but one. Our string band gave us some delicious music, and when the ladies got ready to leave, before tatoo, Palmer told us to show our gallantry by escorting the ladies home and got his own hat. Capt. Littlefield constituted himself master of ceremonies, selected his own and our ladies and left the married woman for the Colonel to escort and carry the baby. When he first realized the situation he exclaimed, "Well, young man, this is a pretty how-de-do." But he took the baby in his arms and toted it like the good, fatherly man he is. My partner was a quiet, sensible sort of a girl of 18.
November 13th. We passed out old camp of Au Revoir at noon and after dinner marched steadily till about 5 P. M.
We have a citizen prisoner tonight who shot a soldier of the 15th as he was resting in the shade of one of the prisoner's apple trees as we went south; he will probably be missing in the morning. I am on brigade duty tonight.
November 14th. Our prisoner was missing this morning. Should not wonder if the officer of the guard, a lieutenant of the 15th, knows more about it than his guard report will show. Got back to Warsaw this afternoon and we camped in northeast of the town.
November 15th. Waiting in camp for baggage train to come.
November 16th. Left Warsaw and reached our old camp on Cold Camp Creek about three P. M. Light rain last night.
November 17th. Reached Haw Creek by noon and stopped to rest. The day was fine and we swung along fairly.
November 18th. Was detailed early this morning to take 30 men and bridge the creek for the infantry. It took us but a few minutes and we were soon enroute, and about three P. M. we camped on a small stream in the rolling prairies. It looks gloomy. Last night I managed to get a tent, but my men have only the shelter of their enamelled blankets. There is a bright fire in front of my tent, and a pretty stream beside of it. We have just had a nice supper of beef steak, fried liver, fried cakes and honey, and good coffee so feel disposed
813to take soldier's life in the field complacently. I'll take a peep at Kittie's picture, and then mend my pants before taps.
November 19th. Got here near our former camp, south of Tipton just before noon.
November 20th. Went to Jefferson City, and there found my box of goods lost since I went to St. Louis.
November 21. We are told that Captain Carnman will be our Lieutenant Colonel. Wrote to father and Kittie. Col. Palmer went to St. Louis today. We are told he is to attempt to get us out of Missouri. It looks stormy this evening. We have few tents and they are poor.
November 22nd. Windy. Though in timber our camp is rather open to the southwest.
November 23rd. Another windy day. Smoke, ashes and dust are very annoying, even in our tents. Sergeant Davis (F) brought over a French copy of the new Testament and gave me a lesson in reading and translation. Our sutler who had stayed with troops below got up today, and is putting his tent close to mine. Walked to Tipton this morning and mailed a letter to Mr. Geo. Watson, and another to the Winchester Democrat. No drilling and little guard duty.
November 24th. Still idle in camp.
November 25th. Company drill in forenoon. Afternoon I took out forty men from (K) to test them at a target. A flour barrel at 180 yards. Used a round ball in our smooth bored muskets, and after firing one volley by company, one by plattoon, then by section and lastly by rounds, by file, or 160 shots in all, there were four holes through the barrel, or about 3% of hits to 97% of misses. However, with such guns and ammunition as we are using that was not bad shooting.
November 26th. Rumor that we are to winter here. Clouds threaten rain or snow. This evening some one let a gun go off in the woods and minnie ball tent, but no one was hurt as the force of the shot was about spent. No drill today. This is the idlest camp we have had.
November 27th. Though we turned out at four this morning under a clear sky, with a biting northwest wind, we only
814made 7 or 8 miles near Syracuse, where it was feared an attempt would be made to break the railroad. I am officer of the day. General Palmer -- he is now Brigadier -- and at once sent for me. As I was officer of the day, I supposed it was some instructions he wanted to give me, but when I entered the tent he answered my salute by handing me an official envelope, saying it contained a commission for myself as Lieutenant Colonel of the 14th Illinois Infantry and that he desired me to take command of the regiment in the morning. I was that surprised that I think I forgot even to thank him, though I did express my regret at being jumped over Major Morris, my senior in years and in military service. He replied to the effect that the good of the service was above all personal consideration. As I was leaving his tent he called me back and handed me a commission for 2nd Lieutenant Opitz, who had been only acting lieutenant, and on duty with me.
It was a pleasant duty for me to take it to him, and it made Charley happy. For my father's and Kittie's sake I am pleased with unexpected promotion, especially as it was without any asking. But I am not 25 years of age yet, and over five years under the age prescribed for a field officer. There has been much striving for the place by other officers of the regiment, including Case, my 1st lieutenant, and I would rather that the appointment had come and assignment to another regiment. I am trying to write by a dim campfire. In passing about the camp in the dark, I heard many remarks of officers and men, some evincing disappointment and dissatisfaction, but most of what I overheard was encouraging. I shall take command and do my duty as well as I know it.
November 28th. I assumed command and moved to headquarters tent this morning. General Palmer gave me the sword, or rather saber, he had worn, as he would need one of another style. At nine A. M. we marched east, but after a mile or two were turned back to our camp of last night near Syracuse and I held my first dress parade. The men
815turned out with unusual promptness, and seemed neater than usual. After the final salute by the officers most of them congratulated me warmly.
November 29th. At nine A. M. we marched east and camped a little after noon on a wooded creek a mile or more northeast of the town of Tipton. I have apprised father and the country girl who is to be my wife, if I am spared, of my promotion. This the greatest pleasure it affords me, for with it comes added responsibility and duties.
November 30th. Wrote to Mr. Watson.
December 1st. Quietly laid in camp after forenoon drill. Rode out with skirmish line to second the bugle signals. When "Rally on Battalion" was sounded, I let my horse run as the men raced back, and while at high speed came upon a deep, wide gully. My horse cleared it with a long leap, slid for some distance and then I could not tell what happened. It was in plain sight of the battalion and I was told the horse turned a complete sommerset. I found myself upon one knee and one foot on the left side of my horse's head, my right hand grasping the rein near the bit, and my saber dangling from my wrist by the sword knot. The horse was down on his hind quarters, but we were both up in an instant, I sprang into the saddle and got in before the skirmishers did. Everybody was astonished that neither man or horse were the worse for the trouble.
December 2nd. Got out of my tent before reveille this morning. From my tent could look over my own and other regiments on the lower lands, where most of the men were without tents, and lay in bunches under enamels and heavy fall of pure, white snow. The last ringing notes hardly died on the frosty air before hundreds of men had carefully thrown back their covering, sitting up and getting their shoes from under their knapsacks, which had served as pillows, began to put them on. But I noticed that about half of the soldiers got out their pipes and lit them before ever getting their shoes.
The smoldering camp fires were soon kindled, jokes began to fly and I thought what a lot of pity the folks at home were wasting on the poor soldiers. It is amusing to see the make-shifts in such a camp, where tents can be had, two faced together, a pit dug in the middle to keep a fire in and a trench covered with flat stones and earth carries the smoke outside to a rough chimney of stones, or old barrels. There is such a pit in my own tent and it is such a cheer and comfort these nights. Lieutenant Nolte, my quartermaster got in after I closed my journal last night and reported that he had his requisitions for new clothing, tents and cooking utensils filled. Many of us are still using the old quilts given us at Camp Duncan by the citizens of Morgan County. A paymaster called to say that all who were not paid for October would be paid day after tomorrow.
December 3rd. Paymaster Major Mitchell came today. At an oyster supper I gave to my officers in Tipton tonight, I met a niece of Missouri's rebel governor, Claib Jackson, whom I had met here in a similar occasion, previous to our march to Springfield. Miss Cuttle is good looking, very sharp witted, and I think strongly "Secesh." I placed Lieutenant Hartley under arrest this morning for being absent without leave, giving him the liberty of the square in Tipton.
December 4th. Morning drill. Went hunting with General Palmer, but got no game.
December 5th. Non-commission staff not paid yet. Called on Colonel Turner and went to Tipton before noon. Have permission to visit home, but it would be a bad example for me to set and I shall not go.
December 6th. I have no uniform for my rank and it occasioned an amusing incident today. Having nothing to do I jumped my horse woman fashion, but with nothing on him but a halter, and rode to the creek to water. In passing before the sentinel of the 42nd Illinois, whose colonel is a regular, the soldier promptly faced onward at the middle of his beat, starting to present arms, then dropping his piece to shoulder about half gave the line officer's salute, then
817feined for present again. By this time I had passed him. He turned to two of my own men and I overheard him ask, "Who in the hell is that fellow anyhow?"
December 7th. Only skirmish drill after noon.
December 8th. Marched about 8 A. M. Roads muddy in places. Palmer refused to camp in the low ground General Davis had selected and we are on high ground east of the Mamine River. Burbank of Exeter, Ill., the tallest man in the regiment, who was discharged for disability last summer came back to re-enter service today. Sergeant Major Frank Fox started for Jacksonville this morning, and I have appointed Peden, Company "B," in his place pro tem. Pickled pork instead of beef was issued this afternoon, and of course the quartermaster received many left handed blessings. Wrote to Kittie tonight.
December 9th. Colonel Webb of the 42nd Illinois Infantry is the officer, who as a captain in the U. S. A., was in command of the infantry on board the steam ship "Star of the West" sent to reinforce Fort Sumpter in Charleston harbor when hostilities began. This morning General Palmer sent for Colonel Webb and myself and instructed us to examine the ground General Davis had selected for our winter camp, saying that upon our report would depend his own action in occupying the ground or refusing to do so.
We went at once. Palmer and Dr. Dewey (my surgeon), since Dr. Stephenson was called away, went part of the way, but left the colonel and myself to examine and to make an uninfluenced report.
We found a low river bottom, and large pond in it and liable in case of heavy rains, to overflow. Webb was very emphatic and though he seemed to be a quiet, affable man, his language in condemnation of the site had more force than eloquence about it. There was no trouble in making my own decision, and I expressed my surprise to Webb, that regular officers should have made such a selection. Palmer at once sent in a refusal to occupy the condemned site. There is much
818feeling in regard to the matter as it is understood that Davis insisted upon our going to it.
December 10th. This morning General Pope intervened and gave us a camp site on the opposite, of west side of the river, near Otterville. I rode over it this evening and reported it satisfactory to General Palmer. There is plenty of water and plenty of stone for fire places, but we shall have to haul wood, if we stay there long.
December 11th. Got Company (B) over on the new camp ground, and got my regiment camp laid out.
December 12th. At the new camp I worked a fatigue of 200 men with 40 axes cutting timber. 60 spades, 10 axes and 25 picks baring stone, digging sinks and cleaning ground, with 20 wagons hauling firewood.
December 13th. Moved over the river and worked at camp.
December 14th. I am outpost officer and commanding ten companies from the 1st division.
December 15th. Winter quarters! Whew! We marched before daylight and reached Sedalia.
December 16th. Marched ten miles west of Sedalia, and camped in a rolling prairie, but near a stream.
December 17th. Quietly laying in camp. Lieutenant John R. Mulheman, a graduate of a military or polytechnical school in Switzerland, was practicing some details at intrenching and throwing lunettes. About dark the sentinels reported a horseman moving around the camp beyond them. Taking several good shots from Company (K), I went out with them. While cautiously going through a dried pond, where there was some low brush, I saw him and pointed him out to John Asher, who had a new U. S. rifled musket, cal. .69 and minie ball. Asher looked at the figure against the sky, on a ridge beyond us, but offering me his gun, asked me to shoot. Taking careful aim, considering the little light there was, I fired. After the crack of the piece we seemed to hear the minnie sing a long way and strike something with a
819thwack. We pushed forward, but after a long search found nothing.
December 18. Mulheman still fortifying. Weather fine. While at the mess chest at supper, Asher and two or three other men, whom I had allowed to go out armed to look for the man I shot last night, returned and reported that I hit him -- a center shot -- and, but noticing fun in their faces, I only laughed at them. It seemed that we had "skied" a chimney nearly a mile away, but I had hit it centrally, though a little higher than a man's head.
December 19th. Marched back to Sedalia today and camped in the woods north of town. Palmer is offended at Pope ordering him back, and declares in a certain contingency, he will march or order me to meet the enemy, before daylight. He ordered me at dusk to inspect arms, and I directed each company to form in its own street. Company "A" was armed with English rifles captured on the Fairplay with grey rebel uniform our men are now wearing. The caps, too, are English, and have no rim like our "hats." Parmenters piece was loaded and though I shook the ramrod in the barrel I did not find out the gun was loaded, and when I pulled the trigger it went off, and I found the bayonette shank in my hand and the butt of the rifle driven into the ground. Stout buckskin gloves were torn to pieces, and my hands were so numbed that I called an officer to handle the pieces while I walked along and looked on.
December 20th. Last night before tatoo I found out we were likely to have a quiet night, and as I have worn my clothes and belt so much night and day lately, I stripped to the skin and turned in. About midnight there was a row at the camp guard and snatching a naked sabre I ran, as naked as the saber I carried, to the post, more than 100 yards against a cold northwest wind and sharp sleet, settled the racket and came back to my blankets in a glow, and slept well till reveille and daylight. I found General Palmer waiting at the mess chest (he can't quit my cook, Dollison Junior) and told him my adventure
820during the night, but complained that my jaws felt stiff and queer. Picking a pickle off the table he asked me to taste it. It locked my jaws and the general told me I must go to some house until I got well of the mumps. I turned my regiment over to Major Morris and came to the Virginia hotel. Here I find a Mr. Griffiths, at whose house I had called while on a scout from Rennick, at Middle Grove last summer. He was trying to find and recover some of his stock, the rebels had driven off. The smell of whiskey and tobacco in the bar room, the only office in the house, sickened me. General McKinstry is here.
December 21st. I became so nauseated last night in the smoke and stench that when I started upstairs, I fell insensible on the stairs, and lay there I do not know how long. I remember some fellow running onto me, falling and bruising himself, and calling me "G. D. G. D. drunken hell hound," but I did not answer him.
When I got to my room in the attic, I found a man in it. He wanted to know if I had ever had the itch. I replied by asking if he had ever had the mumps? "My God," he exclaimed, "I wish I had said nothing." Feel better this morning.
December 22nd. Cavalry 400 strong captured more than double their number in rebs with their wagons and stores. I saw some of the wounded taken from ambulances yesterday. Our loss was light. I came to Otterville by rail this morning and bore dispatches to General Pope. Walked to his headquarters through the snow and wind. Found him alone. When he opened the door I delivered the despatches, but refused his invitation to enter, saying I had the mumps, but he insisted, shaking hands and set me a chair near a bright fire and was kindly sympathetic and attentive.
My men do not wish me to go to the hospital at Tipton, but to remain near them as they are now at winter camp near Otterville.
Fletcher Condit, my drummer in "K," says he has found me a good family to stay with. Before leaving Sedalia I met
821Messrs. James Watt, Galloway and Uncle Geo. Ebey, who had brought over a ton of presents in the way of eatables and clothing from Winchester, Ill., to Company "K." They have sons in that company. Sent an order releasing Lieutenant Hartley.
Condit led me to Mr. Duncan's. It is a pleasant family though "sesesh," especially the daughter; very pretty ladies, but they are very pleasant and sociable.
December 23rd. Spent the day quietly at Mr. Duncan's. A young man, a rebel, wounded at Wilson's creek, and since paroled, spent some time with me.
December 24th. General Palmer and Messrs. Watt, Galoway and Ebey called to see me. Next to the respect and affection of my comrades, I feel that of their parents. My windows are open and I can hear the bands playing merrily in camp.
England seems likely to form an alliance with the Southern Confederacy, since a U. S. Man-of-war took the rebel emissaries, Mason and Slidell, from the British steamer Trent. If such a misfortune befalls it shall be said there was one Briton who would not blacken the name of his native land, nor blunt his own conscience by fighting for slavery. Little of life may be left to me but, living or dead, I want my name to be written among those who strove or died for the uplifting of their fellow man.
I am not what the churchmen calls orthodox, but I know there is good and there is its counterpart, evil; let me choose the good and eschew the evil. True religion means something to be practiced rather than to be professed. I can Pray with Pope:
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, O, teach my heart
To find the better way."
December 25th. Visited the camp. General Palmer set out his new mess chest, and company "K" set it out with
822some of the good things they had gotten from home. Some of the soldiers had killed a deer and we had a set out for a king. The regiment band came to my boarding place this evening, and we had an enjoyable time.
Was told that I should be made a colonel but I am too young and inexperienced for that rank. We need a regular for a colonel. General Pope and General Patterson called while I was at General Palmers.
December 26th. Confined to my room at Mr. Duncans. Read Lalla Rook. The Peri at the gate of heaven is the tenderest thing in human language. How I long for my pencils and easel again.
December 27th. Visited in camp all day but returned to Mr. Duncan's tonight.
December 28th. Moved to camp for good today and assumed command. Dr. Geo. T. Allen is with me.
December 29th. Colonel Bland of the 6th Missouri was absent today and I was a brigadier commander for once, being the ranking officer present. Held general inspection at 10 A. M. New clothes were issued while I was out of camp and we are rid of Confederate gray for the men. We are all "Boys in Blue" now.
December 30-31. Nothing noteworthy.
January 1st, 1862. Generals Pope and Rensler reviewed us this morning. Palmer called in the afternoon to express his satisfaction with the clean and soldierly appearance of the 14th at review today.
January 2nd. Officers drill this morning. Cold, cloudy and sleeting. Sergeant Major Fox reported for duty.
General Pope desiring to weed out all incompetent officers, issued an order to regimental commanders to report all such officers before a board he had appointed. Not wishing to be invidious, I reported all of my officers, including myself and from what I hear the board will be swamped, as the other colonels have followed my example.
January 3rd. Pope also issued an order requiring colonels to play corporals and post at least two reliefs of
823their camp guards every twenty-four hours. I posted three tonight, at 5-7 and 9. Night stormy.
January 4th. Nothing but camp routine and bad weather.
January 5th. While at breakfast this morning Lieutenant Eastham (C) came into the tent and angrily charged the assistant surgeon, Dr. Kersting, with killing one of his men, as he did not promptly obey me when I ordered him to stop quarreling with the doctor, who was at mess with me, I ordered him under arrest and to bring his sword to my tent after breakfast. Meantime, I found out that Kersting, a new assignment, was in the habit of using morphine, so I returned Eastham his sword and ordered Kersting to report to Tipton and telegraph Allen, the brigade surgeon to see me.
January 6th. In a melee this evening between "H" and "K," Bloyd "K" was cut with a hatchet over the left eye. Mckinzie and Stevens "H" were arrested. It was fine enough to hold dress parade this evening at sunset. Since we camped here, Chittenden of "B" has published a paper in camp called the "Skirmisher," and has given diagrams of some battalion maneuvers of my own which the battalion makes finely.
January 8th. Some of my officers are wireworking for the colonelcy of the regiment. They held a meeting last night and this morning they sent me a petition to order an election, by the privates for a colonel. As the meeting from which the petition eminated, I ignored it, but called a meeting for the same purpose this evening. Went to an oyster supper at Colonel Bland's but sent a note to the officials meeting saying I would not embarrass them with my presence. Got sheet-iron warming stoves for my men.
January 9th. The officers meeting dropped the colonelcy matter last night, but to please them I ordered an election, they to select the time and judges, but the successful candidate to have a majority of the whole.
January 10th. Election going on but I have purposely avoided interfering as I would rather have the governor appoint a regular army officer.
January 11th. Election finished this morning but no choice made. Major Hall, 2nd Cavalry and formerly captain of Company "B" 14th, has a small majority over any other candidate.
January 12th. Last night the officers met on the colonelcy question again but failed to agree. I think the appointment has already been made, and so keep aloff.
January 13th. Bitterly cold. Dr. Geo. Dewey came back to us. Officers meet again tonight.
January 14th. Served on board survey with Colonel Stevenson, 7th Mo. and Major Hinds, 24th Indiana.
January 15th. Received from Col. Thos. J. Turner, 15th Ill., temporarily commanding our brigade, a note from Adjt. Gen. Fuller at Springfield, Ill. Addressed to Brig. Gen. Palmer asking the date of his commission as a general, as the governor wished to date my own commission as a colonel of the 14th the same date. I took it to General Palmer at once, asking that my commission as a colonel be withdrawn, and if he would not recommend a regular, to recommend Major Hall, 2nd Illinois Cavalry, for the appointment. He asked me if my favoring a regular had not made me unpopular with the officers of my own regiment. I told him it had, but to me it was a question of military efficiency, and not at all of popularity. He said a regular was out of the question, thought I made a mistake in declining the colonelcy, but promised to consider Hall. I told him that I expected to ask for a transfer to the regular army, if I got only the rank of lieutenant, and left him.
January 16th. Under orders I detailed Captain Cornman (C) Captain Smith, "B," Lieutenants Eastham and Hamilton "C" and one hundred men to go to Duroc, on Osage river to rescue and bring in a Union family there. It is snowy and cold to start on foot for a point forty miles away.
January 17th. Captain Meacham's leave of absence expired today, but I hear he is at Tipton. Uncle "Silas" our old colored servant, also got back from Jacksonville.
January 18th. Dr. Allen went back to Tipton today. The 14th has had a hard time with Surgeon Stevenson and his assistants. Head was called to Springfield to be examined by the medical board and I am told, failed to pass. Dr. Allen with Dr. Dewey replaced them. Allen was detailed for bridge duty and Kersting came in his stead, a nice well educated man, but a dope. Now I have Dewey, a good man, and Henry K. Palmer, his hospital steward is an able assistant.
The Serg. Maj. Fox made a detail of two of the hardest cases from each company, and for a practical joke ordered them to report to Chaplain Rutledge, at Capt. Bryant's tent, for prayer. I found it out in time to have stopped it, and ought to have done so, but the Chaplain has been so long absent, and I can hardly understand by whose leave, that there is a good deal of feeling in the regiment against him, and I thought it a real merited rebuke. He was surprised and invited them in, and I hear them singing now, and a little while ago I could hear Rutledge earnestly exhorting them.
January 19th. Nothing but camp routine. Fletcher Condit has smallpox. Has been sick some days. The Doctor was not sure but we put him in a tent apart from the camp, and I detailed W. W. Edwards, of "K", an immune to wait on him. When Dr. Warriner, a medical inspector from Washington, was here some days ago, I took him to see Condit. He was not sure of smallpox, but warned me not to visit the tent, as I had been doing, and he vaccinated me, but it does not seem to have taken, though I have not been vaccinated since I was a child in England. I have no uneasiness for the men, for they were vaccinated at Camp Duncan.
January 20th. We are doing as little as possible, except to make the men as comfortable as the weather and circumstances will permit.
January 21st. Condit, my drummer boy, is dead. How often I have marched to the music he made, and several times, when I was sick, I was the subject of his watchful care, night as well as day. He was the adopted son of Uncle Geo.
826Ebey, who especially placed him in my care. I cannot send the body home on account of the disease. Captains Cornman and Smith got in all safe and were successful. They crossed the Osage on the ice.
January 22nd. About 10 A. M. we laid poor Fletcher Condit away, in a grave on the hill behind our camp and inside the south flank of Fort Laurine. Dismissing the firing squad after three volleys over the open grave, I staid to see it filled and rounded up.
January 23d. The body of Private Adkinson was sent north today. As the detail from his company (F) bore the body out I ordered three blanks from one of the two brass sixes that have been attached to this regiment since last spring.
January 24th. Commenced paying the men today. The paymaster is quartered with me.
January 25th. Paymaster still with us.
January 26th. Paymaster wanted to get rid of a bag of three cent pieces, so I took them as part of my pay since we are going to be short of small change. The money was in $5.00 and $10.00 treasury notes. Captain Pope sent me ten copies of the army regulations for the captains. Hitherto we have had one copy for the adjutant and one for the quartermaster.
January 27th. I have been posting the guard according to orders. My own orders were that after posting the 9 P. M. relief, the Corporal should march the old relief through the quarters and put out all lights he found, but not to parley with or speak to the occupants of the tents he entered to extinguish lights. I posted the relief tonight, borrowing a hat and coat. Most of the lights were put out as they heard us coming, but I had to enter several tents, and was recognized in none. Invariably I found the men playing poker and using the three-cent pieces I had gotten for them for antes or chips. In one tent the game seemed to be just closing, and a lot of chips were in sight, nobody looked up, but one man held up his hand and said, imploringly: "Oh, Corporal, just a minute"
827I put the light out at once. If lighted again, the occupants of the tent would have spent the rest of the night in the guard house.
January 28th. The trenches about the fort are full of water, and that is now frozen hard.
January 29th. Very cold. I detailed Lieuts. Poteel (B), Simmons (F), Sarjt. Carnman (E), Kitzmiller (C), Ebey (K) and Private Dutch (A) as recruiting officers to go to their respective counties in Illinois. The hard marches, bad weather and exposure has cost us many men.
January 30th. Lieut. Case goes to be Major in the Second Cal., in the place of Hall, promoted to the Colonelcy of this regiment. Since I refused it. Last night I could hear the ice breaking and grinding in the river close to my tent.
January 31st. Nothing worthy of note.
February 1st. Camp routine duty.
February 2nd. Am in command of the Second Brigade today on account of absence and sickness of senior officers. Visited General Palmer. Sleeting and snowing tonight.
February 3d. Fine day; not very cold.
February 4th. Regiment worked in the trenches here for the last time. General Palmer came from Otterville to dine with me. In the evening, accompanied by the Lieutenants Bodeckor (A) and Johnson, Second Gun Battery, I rode to a party at Mr. Gard's, five miles south. We found several young ladies there for a party, but a young man came in hurriediy, causing a flurry. Mr. Gard advised us to leave at once, as there was imminent danger, and to take an old road away from the road we had come, and get to camp as quickly as possible. The road was overhung by branches loaded with ice, but we got in safely about 10 P. M. Two 24s and one 32 pdr. came tonight for the fort.
February 5th, Major Morris, Captain Meacham and Lieutenant Shibley went home on sick leave this morning.
February 6th. We are getting ready to move tomorrow.
February 7th. We marched this morning at 8. Very cold, but clear, and the men stepped briskly. General Alvin
828P. Hovey is commanding the brigade. Camped east of Syracuse, where we saw the body of a soldier who had frozen to death while drunk.
February 8th. Made a fine march and camped in a hollow where the Fourteenth halted for dinner one day last October, while marching to Tipton. Coming through we swung into columns of companies in the wide street, the bands playing in quick time. The Fourteenth looked splendidly as the columns swung along in perfect time.
February 9th. Very fine, and we made another fine march. The roads seemed to dry as it thawed. This is far better than marching in dust under a boiling sun. We are camped near Mt. Lookout.
February 10th. I wanted to call on Bedford, my Lookout beauty, and misfortune favored me, for as we started my horse fell and tore off a shoe. Of course I had to have it replaced at the village, and while that was being done, I had a pleasant chat with the young lady. We are camped about a mile west of Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri. Company (D) did not have a commissioned officer tonight; they are in the city contrary to the post ordered read to the battallion before it stacked arms.
February 11th. Arrest Captain Bryant for disobedience of orders and going to a hotel in town for the night, leaving his company in camp without a commissioned officer.
February 12th. In camp. Hall was to meet us here.
February 13th. Nolte's resignation as Lieutenant and Quartermaster accepted. Went to the town during the forenoon, and as I was riding out of camp I met General Hovey, who asked me how soon I could get my regiment to the depot to take the cars for St. Louis. I replied, 1 P. M.. It was 11 A. M. then. When I gave the orders in camp everybody was elated. A hurried dinner was eaten, and before 1 o'clock was loaded on the train. We waited until after night, when an engine was attached to our train. After another long wait I found that the headlight on the engine had been broken, and as the night was dark and growing darker, the engine
829was afraid to pull out. Ascertaining how far the track would be clear ahead of us, I ordered the engineer to pull out, telling him I had only soldiers on board, meaning men whose duty it was to risk their lives. But a half drunken soldier standing near, straightened up, saluted and said, "Colonel, there are some horses in the back car. I ordered all aboard, and got up into the cab with the engineer and fireman.
February 14th. It was nearly 5 A. M. when we pulled out from Jefferson City. We ran at a good rate of speed, though we could not see ahead any great distance, and often nothing but the sparks coming out of the smokestack. Snow came with daylight, and cold wind. I had provided with a good lunch, and shared it with the cab mates. Before night we were on board the Continental at the wharf in St. Louis. From the depot I sent the troops to the steamer, and as I was galloping in the blinding storm, my horse sprang over a small carriage and some little ones which I was afterwards told was Tom Thumb, his wife and another dwarf.
February 14th. Colonel Hall came on board this morning without straps. When I saluted him he shook hands warmly, saying that he had refused to accept the Colonelcy till he could see me. He then asked me formally if it was my desire that he should become Colonel of my regiment. I replied that it was, that next to a regular, I had asked his appointment. Then said he, I accept. He put on his straps, and I turned the command over to him. Our men suffered with cold and we could not keep whisky from them till I found out it was thrown in canteens from boats moving alongside.
Went to the theatre this evening, but was hardly interred, my thoughts being too much with the men on our cold boat.
The drummer of Company (C) fell overboard about 11 o'clock last night, but came up on a cake of ice and was saved. But the doctor and myself worked with him a long time before he came too.
Another fell overboard this morning, but was also saved.
February 15th. We swung out after midnight and with
830a great deal of heavy chain hung over the bows, one of the largest on western waters, our boat trembled and shook as she crashed her way through the heavy floating of ice. I was up early and out on the hurricane deck when we came to where a jam was forming. The pilot saw a low place, and with the Captain's consent, jammed the steamer through. General Hurlbut is on board. Mulheman got his commission as Lieutenant today.
February 16th. Got to Cairo during the night. The weather turned warmer and our string band made music in the cabin. Fort Henry has surrendered and boat with rebel General Tilghman and some of his officers on boat, is lying near us. They are fine looking men. The Ironclad Cincinnati and Essex are lying here. I boarded the latter and went through the gun room. The heavy cannon made it look grim, but it seemed clean and comfortable.
February 17th. Reached Paducah about noon, and Fort Donelson near night. We met steamers loaded with provisions, as we came, as the place had surrendered. The dead still unburied, and the wounded laid out on the mud, snow and rain. My men helped to carry a large number on board the Diamond and lay them on both sides of the cabin. One poor fellow said he was hungry, and I went to the cook and got light biscuits or muffins for him. One hip had been badly torn, apparently with a piece of shell. I asked him if his wounds gave him pain, and he said, "Yes, but the worst pain is here," laying his hand over his heart. "I have a wife and two little children at home."
Before he began talking to a wounded comrade by his side, sighed, looked longingly at the bread, so he broke it in two and shared a morsel with his fellow in suffering. Some were dying, but some thinking the worst was over, were inclined to be jocular; inquiry would be made, and often reply to "How's your bullet hole, Jim," or some such equally familiar remark. The gunboat, Louisville, lies on our starboard side.
February 18th. The Fourteenth did not land till afternoon. Hurlbut directed me to ride out and look the land
831with reference to putting out pickets. While so doing, I got close to a boy who was chopping wood before he saw me. "Sonny," said I, "are you sesesh or friendly Ingins." He looked surprised and puzzled. He hesitated, and then in a frightened tone drawled out, "We don't like to say anything about the war now." Our camp is on a tongue of low land between the river and the creek, which emptied just below. River is high and still rising. I went over that part of the battlefield, near where Pillow tried to break through Grant's lines and where the most carnage was wrought. The ground is full of sink holes that afforded shelter, for everything but shell or falling timber. Into these the wounded had crawled, and here the surgeons had worked. Many were strewn with the wreck of battle, knapsacks, haversacks, army clothes and dead men. Our loss in killed is now reckoned at 400, and the enemy at half that number, but going over the field without counting, I think the loss was greater in killed than that on both sides than this estimate. On this part of the field the rebels lost most. The dead, or many of them, are badly contorted. One poor fellow had fallen across a fire and was burned in two. Citizens, some of them women, were searching for relatives among the dead. I found the body of what looked like a pretty girl quietly sleeping. The pale face was turned up, the rain had combed the auburn hair back from a high, smooth forehead, and washed all the blood from the hole where a bullet had gone through the temple, the corner of an envelope showed at the half opened coat breast, and I pulled it out and then read the enclosed letter. It was in a beautiful hand. A letter from a mother to her son, urging him to be a good soldier, to do his duty without fear, not to drink, or swear and if those he fought against fell into his hands, to be kind to them. I replaced the letter over the cold heart, more than one tear dropping on the body as I did so, but I could not help thinking how much better it would have been if such a mother had taught her handsome son to revere human freedom and justice, even for the negroes above selfish interest, and the ownership of slaves, for he evidently belonged to what in the south is called "The quality."
A Lieutenant from our gunboats came up, a jolly jacktar of a fellow, calling to me when yards away, "Colonel you put your mark on these fellows and put it on them good" "Yes," I replied, "but we call ourselves Christians, and we pretend to be civilized, yet glory in such work as this." Somewhere in human policy there is a great wrong. I hope that we have found it and that I am helping to blot it out -- Slavery!
February 19th. Captain Carnman and myself rode over the battlefield and the enemies' works. How soon one grows calloused to the sight of mangled and contorted human bodies. We are only clods at best, clods to be broken.
The works are extensive and seem to be unfinished. Where exposed to the fire of the gunboats they are torn up considerably. Besides small arms and stores, we have captured about forty cannon, a few of them heavy ones. It is a dreary looking rainy day, and I have laid on my cot a good part of it, wondering what sort of a riddle humanity is, and where the glory comes into such scenes as I have just witnessed.
February 20th. The river is rising, so that our camp is in danger, and the Steamer Hannibal took us off. Governors Carlin and Yates came up last night. We have no way of cooking on board this boat. Captains Smith and Meade have rejoined the regiment. The boat landed us on a high bank under the bluff on the east side of the river, and at dark the Fourteenth landed. Rode out several miles, but beyond timber growths I had not been accustomed to, saw nothing interesting.
February 21st. We heard that Grant had been made a Major General. That Price had been made a prisoner and that there was a rising in New Orleans in favor of the Union.
February 22d. Rode with Lieutenant Colonel Garber and Sergeant Major Fox to Bellwood and spent the evening with a worthy young lady, Miss Lee. It was dark as we rode through the woods to camp, but we got through the pickets without trouble. One of Colonel G's holster pistols went off
833when his horse shook himself. He did not have the hammer on the safety pin but on the cap.
February 23d. Plenty of "grapevine" telegrams. We are in a sunny nook, with high hills to the north, and open view across the river to the south.
February 24th. Am twenty-five years of age. Been engaged to Kittie just one year.
February 25th. Had good illustrations that "truth is stranger than fiction." We have seen nothing of the enemy, nor heard nothing of them. On the north side of the river, except that a wounded officer, the Lieutenant Colonel of the Fourteenth Tennessee Infantry, lay at a house not far away, so I rode down some miles outside the lines. Soon after turning back, and as my horse was drinking at a stream, a squad of thirty or more rebel cavalry came down the long hill before me. I saw it was foolish to try to fight or to escape them, so I let my horse finish drinking, while pretending to take little notice of them. My coat was a light blue jeans, for camp wear and without the regulation straps. It was lined with red and lapel turned back, but the bugle on my hat had Fourteenth Illinois inside the circle. The Johnnies halted as I rose out of the stream, meeting them. There was a very young and pleasant looking Lieutenant, with a Sergeant by his side, in front of the squad. He saluted me when I got within eight or ten paces of them, but did not challenge. I returned the salute, trying to look as unconcerned as possible, but without checking horse. They parted files and I rode through, pretending hardly to notice them, though knew I was an object of their scrutiny, and my heart was beating so loudly I was sure they would hear it. I never looked behind me till the top of the hill was between me and them, but not so that I could not see over it, they were still halted and glances showed every man turned in his saddle and watching me.
Then I unfastened my holster and ran my hand through my sword knot ready for a running fight if they followed. On top of the hill and outside of the picket line was a house, the owner of which came out and asked if I had not seen
834the cavalry, and when I said "Yes," he exclaimed, "Why, ain't you a Union officer?" I answered in the affirmative, but he dropped that subject and asked if a doctor could be found in camp, for two sick children. I told him I would be back with a doctor at once, but recalled what had just passed I told him I should expect immunity and come without guard or arms. Leaving my arms, I went back with the Assistant Surgeon. Beside the man of the house, we found his wife and her sister and the two children. Their mother had left her home in Dover, the town inside the works at Fort Donelson, before the battle, and was anxious to know if it had been destroyed. From her description of the house and its location, I was able to tell her, it was being used as a temporary hospital for our wounded and would not probably be hurt. The doctor diagnosed the case as measles, and left medicine for the little, sweet innocent whose father had been sent down the river a prisoner in our hands. While the doctor was at the bedside, I stood with my back to a door opening leading into another room, with one hand behind me. I felt some soft fingers touch my hand, and put a paper in it. A quick glance showed me a dark-eyed young woman, but she was seen by none but myself. I put the note in the breast of my coat, over my belt, till I got into my tent, not even letting them know I received anything. It was a hastily scratched note, saying she was a Union girl, and had something important to tell me, but must avoid letting the people of the house know, that she had any communication with me, as they were rebels. And she asked me to destroy her note as soon as read. As I tore it in bits the bugle sounded. The General and Steamer were in mid stream, coming to our side to take us to the fort. We are now snug in the quarters confederates had built for the garrison. They show signs of shot and shell.
February 26th. Rode into town and later conducted officers' drill. Sketched the works where the confederate battery covered the approach from down the river. Obtained seventy Enfield and ninety-three Austrian rifle muskets, to replace as many of our smooth bore muskets.
The string band came to my quarters in the evening and we had a musical treat.
February 27th. Quietly resting in quarters.
February 28th. Still idle in quarters. Some I have told that handling a gun by rule would make the fire more accurate, and some of the soldiers were anxious, to try out the latter with me. Back of the quarters is a sheet of water a hundred yards wide with clean stemmed white oaks, and I proposed that each man be given a tree to fire at and that we were to fire at will for five minutes. The pieces were to be picked up at random, each man to handle his gun at his own pleasure, and the man getting the most balls in his tree to be the winner. This was agreed to, and I lined up with several of the best shots in the regiment. Knowing the powder we were using to be poor, I had several other soldiers standing by the squad with loaded guns to instantly replace choked pieces, at the command, "Commence firing." It was lively popping, and before the five minutes expired, several guns choked and were replaced. I worked as nearly like an automaton or machine as I could in loading, aiming and firing; pulling the trigger almost the instant the butt came to shoulder, and got eight balls in my tree, to my nearest competitor's seven.
March 1st, 1862. A beautiful day. At dress parade the silk flag presented by the ladies of Winchester, Ill., at the Methodist church the day we left there, was accepted and used by the regiment in place of the national colors furnished on requisition, which was made of very poor silk and had already faded badly.
March 2d. A rainy, chilly day. Many steamers loaded with troops passing up the river today. Several furloughed men, including Lieutenant Rodecker, rejoined the Fourteenth today.
March 3d. Allison B. Cheney, Company "B" Thirtieth Illinois Infantry, called today and brought me an Illinois Journal, sent by Maria Massey, a mutual friend.
March 4th. Though there are several skiffs in the bay behind our quarters, I have had no chance to go over the river to see the Union girl who had something important to tell me. The gunboats watch the river so closely that it would be folly to make the attempt to cross during a light night. I have no doubt the river is being closely watched by the enemy during the day, as we have no troops on the north shore. I would risk the heavy drift in the swollen stream, if it would only come a dark night.
March 5th. March to Fort Henry today. Road in bad condition. Went on board the Uncle Sam, this morning with Company "B". Turned in their muskets and got Enfield rifles with sword bayonets for them. I sent Captain Smith back with his men to rejoin the regiment, while I staid to exchange invoices and receipts with the ordinance officer, and when done with him, I found my regiment had marched, and I took to the road alone. By some mishap, I took the wrong road and passed near Bells Furnace, and came towards evening to a camp of some Kentucky Union troops, east of and in sight of Fort Henry. There I learned that no troops had passed there during the day. I had nothing to eat and being very hungry, I went to a farm house and told them my trouble. Some boiled bacon, beans and corn bread were set out, and being seasoned like the Lacedemonian's black broth, with hunger, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A negro also lead my horse to the stable and fed it. My host was a secessionist, but hospitable and courteous. A married daughter, whose husband had been sent down the river, a military prisoner, had, with two or three little children, returned to her father's house for shelter.
Having learned we are not the ruffianly savages she had been told we were, she inquired anxiously about the fate that awaited her husband, and was grateful when I assured her he would be well treated, if well behaved and did not try to escape. The farmer seemed surprised that I should think of taking to the road just as it was getting dusk and urged me not to risk it, as he said there were several bunches of
837Southern cavalry about, but I insisted and he gave me some directions how to reach the road he thought the troops were coming on. I had a silver half dollar in my pocket -- all the money I had, and I had pressed him to get him to take it. I told him he was likely to pass very hard times with his own family and his grandchildren on his hands, so he took it, but again he tried to persuade me not to think of leaving till my troops came up. It was growing dark and a flurry of snow falling as I left him. The road lead me down into a wood hollow near a stream. A house soon appeared on my left, the wide open windows and the light from within showed me, on the right side of the road, a bunch of wagons, and on the side of one I saw "14." All the U. S. wagons of the Fourteenth Illinois had sunk with the steamer Economy, and we appropriated some captured wagons at Donelson, and these wagons were like them. I checked my horse and began to look for a camp of infantry, but just at that moment some one moved the light in the house so as to show "Miss." instead of "Ill." on the wagon side. I rode cautiously by, crossing the stream and following the road down the left bank, wishing I had not acted a fool. Presently I came to where the road turned to the left up the hill, through the woods, but on a low gate, or set of draw-bars, at the turn, I made out the outline of a man, and saluted him, and he returned my "Good evening." I talked cautiously to him, trying to find out where the "Lincoln" soldiers were camped. But he suddenly asked me is I was not a Union officer. My hand slipped into my holster as I answered, "Yes." "Better get out of this quick," he said, "for they have just gone up the hill." I replied that I was after them, and started up the hill. "They will get you shore," he said, as I rode away. "Whether he was white or black I could not tell.
I felt sure I could scatter the cavalry if I ran on them, by giving orders, as if I had men with me, and commenced firing myself. At the top of the hill I found what seemed to be a thicket of young growth. I got into a cornfield on one side, gathered an arm full of corn for my horse, and started
838into the thicket to lay down for the night, as my blankets were strapped to my saddle. There was not a star to be seen and I might be groping out of the way badly. In trying to get into the thicket, I chanced upon an old road, and before I turned from it I saw a fire apparently a mile away -- soon another -- a hundred. Throwing the corn away, I remounted and soon came to a stream, and upon the opposite side were tents, but it all seemed strange to me. There was a soldier on duty in front of the tents, but I could not make out his uniform. I had passed no picket or outer guard and was thoroughly puzzled. Just then a tall man with a candle in his hand came in front of the nearest tent, but I did not recognize my own Hollander hostler till he called to some one, "Wonder where the Colonel is tonight. "Here," I cried, and soon was the center of a group of enquiring officers and soldiers.
The report of my evening adventure, coupled with my statement that the road was not long practicable with wagons brought an order for me to guide the column into Fort Henry.
March 6th, 1862. The first rising ground we crossed gave me a view of the first pine forest I and many of my comrades had ever seen. It was southwest of us and about a mile away. It was a novel sight, the tall, towering trees, with their dark, green foliage contrastedly beautifully with the bare, brushy growth and snow-clad hills around us, and an ashen sky above and beyond. It made me wish to exchange my sword for pallette and pencils. Trying at one point to find a better route for wagons, I came to a few young, scattering pines, and broke the top out of the first one I came to. We are now in the rebel cabins. Met Dr. Edgar soon after we got in, looking about the fort I climbed in through an embrasure where a heavy Dolhgren gun had burst during the fight. The britch was blown off nearly half way back of the trunions, and the muzzle tilted up at an angle of 45 degrees. It was reported to have killed more than its own crew, and no doubt hastened the surrender. On each side of the bursted gun was a handsome shaded 32 pdr., with my own patronymic in heavy relief around their muzzles, and I was told they had
839been recently made at Richmond by a man named Camm. I have heard my father tell of one of our family who went there from Sheffield, England, my own birthplace, a generation or two ago.
March 7th. Was sent back to Fort Donelson today and took the road I first came in on. Snow all gone, but very muddy, sunny and spring-like -- birds singing everywhere.
March 8th. Marched four miles up the east bank through hills and mud to Kirkman's Landing. The hollows were so deep and steep, the sun could hardly shine to the bottom, except where the mouth of the hollow had a southern exposure. I stood on the bursted Dolhgren today at the fort. It had eleven guns all pointing down the river. Our shot and shell seemed to have done little damage and it struck me that the defender could have held out longer had they been accustomed to receiving cannon fire.
March 9th. Still at Kirkman's Landing, waiting for boats to come up.
March 10th. Colonel Hall sick and I am in command. Rainy this morning. Boarded D. A. January and started up river. We are now lying ashore, wooding and getting supper. Pannie Bullitt along side with Twenty-fourth Indiana Infantry on board.
March 11th. This morning found us at a railroad bridge which our gunboats had destroyed. It was a beautiful hazy May-like morning, and I never expect to see a grander sight than presented itself when we swung out into midstream and lead the fleet. The Hastings, with Hurlbut on board, the new Uncle Sam, Conewago, Alex Scott and many others. Dense volumes of smoke rolled to the sky, and decks were dark with blue-coated soldiers. Bright brass cannon glittered on the fore deck, where the batteries were loaded, and the bands played their most soul-stirring airs. There was danger of shot from the shore, especially to the leading vessels, so I relieved the pilot at the wheel and steered for several hours. We took twenty-seven refugees, or Union men on board, as they reported squads of the enemy on both banks. Lead a battalion ashore but found no enemy.
March 12th. After sailing all night we reached Savannah; at 9 A. M. we tied up to the west shore where the boats are crowded for a mile, and sometimes four and five deep. There are also many vessels on the town side. Enemy said to be in force above. Rode out in a cain brake, my first, this afternoon.
March 13th. Moved upstream a little. Prospect for rain. The river is beautiful tonight with the many bright lights on either shore, and so many reflected will-o-the-wisps dancing over the water.
March 14th. A dreary, rainy day and I have not been well. We have to use the muddy river water for drinking and cooking and the river is very full. We crossed back and forth several times and a few steamers moved up a little ways. There must be something above and near us. Lieut. Eastham came up on the White Cloud today -- wrote to Mr. Watson.
March 15th. Still near Savannah and nobly waiting for gunboats to pass ahead and feel of somebody's pulse for us. Began a letter to Kittie.
March 17th. Still hugging the shore. Several men fell from steamer today and were drowned. Must have found some corn juice and got on too much top hamper.
March 18th. We moved upstream a little ways.
March 19th. Got to Pittsburg Landing and camped on the bluff close to the river.
March 20th. Marched half a mile or so west and camped on the south side of a corn and cotton field, but in the woods.
March 21st. Our location is a pleasant one but the weather is the reverse. Chilly, wet and cloudy. I fixed up a soldier's jacket for rough duty. I have two jeans suits but so nearly agree in color that it would be dangerous for me to wear them, and my parade suit would soon be unfit for such occasions, in such weather and work as this.
March 22nd. Cold and cloudy. We had battalion drill in the afternoon. Out riding I found some holly trees and brought in some branches.
March 23rd. We are twelve miles from the north line of the State of Mississippi and eighteen from Corinth. The crossing of the Memphis and Charleston and the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, where the enemy are reported very strong and waiting for us.
March 24th. Was detailed just after landing by Gen. Hurlbut, and today took my place as president of a general Court Martial. A young fellow just passed my 25th birthday, I felt ashamed to occupy the head of the table, when a gray headed, grizzly old soldier like Major Goddard of the 15th Illinois took his seat at my right hand as next in rank. Would gladly have given my place to him. Had battalion drill in the evening. Got a letter from Fannie Massey and one from "Harty," her little brother, one of my Diamond Grove scholars.
March 25th. Presided at the Court Martial all day. Answered letter received yesterday.
March 26th. Finished on case today at the Court Martial.
March 27th. Got through with another case today. The citizen, at whose house we are holding the Court Martial, took me aside and after making me promise never to divulge the name of my informant, said that there was two guns and several hundred soldiers, Confederates, at the fork of the Purdy road, about five miles out, and that they had been there several days. He introduced his brother, who had just come in, and who confirmed, he having seen them there this morning. Both expressed strong fear that we soon would be driven away from here. I went to Hurlbut at once. He asked what I thought best to do, and I replied, "Attack them at daybreak in the morning.
He asked if I would do it and I said I would if he would give me four strong companies. He then told me to report ready to go out about dusk this evening. I found him sitting on a log in his shirt sleeves, some distance north of his headquarters, and before I got near him he called to me to go back, saying they have no use for soldiers here.
When I got to him and asked what the trouble was he said Sherman would not let him go. We finished Sabberton's case.
March 28th. We had our first case remanded and began the case, "Dirthick's," over again. After noon I rode around Sherman's guard, at a bridge on the Purdy road and two or three miles out. I found some Iowa soldiers trying their Endfields out at a mark. Said they had been out considerably farther but saw nothing. I cautioned them about the enemy and rode through the woods to a ford on Owl creek in front of Oglesby's right, where I had been to bathe several times. While bathing, two soldiers came in with a rabbit and a couple of squirrels they had shot. I told them I had seen no pickets. Neither had they.
We must have some queer Generals, with the enemy in force only eighteen miles away.
March 29th. Finished Dirthick's case and then adjourned till Monday. Went fishing, but had no luck. Col. Hall took four companies on board the American for a short expedition up the river, but is not back yet. Took another bath at the ford on Oglesby's right front.
March 30th. General inspection and parade, and letter from Lizzie Frost. Answered it.
March 31st. We had but one case today and though we took it up late, almost finished it.
April 1st. Fine day, woods growing green. Took up Drew's case today, but adjourned it until tomorrow morning, for him to obtain counsel. Took Randal's case, a parallel case, in the interval. Another expedition went up the river today. Maj. Cook finished paying the regiment today. Wrote to Col. Porter, 24th Infantry, Illinois U. S.
April 2d. Review this morning.
April 3d. Disposed of Drew's case and also that of Hubner, alias Stroinski. Weather beautiful. Writing to father.
April 4th. Stroinski's case continued. There was some fighting on Sherman 's right. We were hurried out for a mile or so, but came back without getting into action. Soldiers think we shall be attacked.
April 5th. Took up the case of Vanderwater, Chaplain, 32nd Illinois. We hear that our loss last night was one major, one lieutenant and eight privates killed. Some skirmishing this morning. Though there was a heavy shower between midnight and morning, the day has been clear. Adjourned Court Martial about 4 P. M. with V's case unfinished.
April 6th. Began with a bright, beautiful morning. The trees were budding, the birds were singing, but none of us dreamed what a dark and bloody ending the day would have. It was a morning for doves to coo and lambs to gamble on. As we saw it last that evening -- a great red globe of blood.
About 8 A. M. as we were preparing for our usual Sunday morning inspection, some of the soldiers still had their pieces apart for cleaning, and the officers in their best uniform on were waiting for the proper signal to form when the harsh sound of irregular firing was heard to the southwest.
There was a hurried rush to the color line, as the sharp quick notes of the bugle rang out, "There they come," "I told you so," "That's them," were the common expressions. Still on my horse I watched the men running into line, as they had been instructed to do, in case of sudden alarm, instead of forming in their company streets. Every face was a study just then, and the common expression was one of anxious eagerness.
A staff officer galloped up to Col. Hall, told him that we were attacked and that we should march to the front at once. The battalion was faced to the right and the men stepped off, with unusual briskness. Here something happened that I did not like. Two of the commission's staff gathered up some coats and blouses that had no marks of rank on them, and then had the officers exchange their strapped coats for these. I refused, told them I was proud of my straps, that the regulation required that we should even wear epaulets on a march where there was likely to be a fight. That in the confusion of battle I should need them, more than anywhere else, and that I would die with them on if I have to die.
By the time we got to Hurlbut's headquarters, the firing had settled into a steady roar, the cannon sounding the deeper notes. The 14 lead and I rode ahead to clear the road of the wreck of the front lines and camps that was now meeting us. In forcing one wagon over a bank and out of the road where it was in danger of turning over, I noticed a wounded soldier on the hastily loaded baggage and stopped the driver. The wounded man had lost a leg above the knee and someone had twisted a handkerchief around the knee to stop the flow of blood. He stuck the stump, with shattered bone sticking out almost into my face, and in a strong voice that I could hear above the din in front, said, "Give them hell for that Col." The nearer we got to the front, the greater the eagerness to get there. The earth was shaking now, for many whole batteries were now in full play, but above the diapason of the cannon, and the soprano of the small arms, we could hear the trebble of the rebel yell as the storm came towards us. We hurried west by the Purdy road till we came to an open field on our left, which we had used for a drill parade and reviewing ground, and here the bullets began to whiz by. Chaplain William J. Rutledge was riding by my side and I admonished him to go to the rear and get ready to succor the wounded. At the same time I handed him my pocket book, which contained several hundred dollars, asking him to send it to my father should I be killed.
Just beyond the northwest corner of the open field we went into line south of the Purdy road and facing southwest with a battery of five steel Wiard guns and one brass howitzer, or carrinade, in front of our right wing, the 14 Ohio, which we were ordered to support. The line was ordered to lie down, leaving the mounted officers to pick off. The Colonel and Major came to the right behind the smoke of our battery, so I passed to the left and in going by the colors noticed that Fletcher Ebey, who carried the national flag, was on his knees trying to look over the rising ground in front. I ordered him down, but a bullet through the heart laid him dead and bleeding on his flag. Lieut. Opitz was sitting on a stump in front
845of the line, and while ? - ? - ? - ? messing the tobacco in his pipe, a ball struck him in the end of the nose and cut the top of an ear off as it came out. I could see the Jonnies running from tree to tree, and popping away at us as they came. They had driven everything before them so far, and seemed to think they could drive us, too.
The battery was belching like a volcano, but only seemed to attract the fire of the enemy's guns, and the rush of heavy shot and the head splitting crack of bursting shell all about us were added to the still increasing roar. The sturdy twigs of a Jack oak caught in my joleband, but my fingers hardly touched it before a shot with a mocking hiss cut it off between my fingers and my face.
I heard the notes of a bugle in front, and saw the enemy's skirmishers rallying on battalion and could see their closed line rushing forward through the timber. But I saw a tall sergeant double shot the brass cannon and facing the enemy's charging line, a lone fire when it was but a few yards away. Our men were ordered up but did not fire till the enemy were at short range. What followed no man could well describe, till the rebels were repulsed. I saw our handsome orderly of Company "G" fall with blood spurting from both temples. Color Sergeant, John E. Kirkman rolled the body of his dead comrade off the national colors and rose with both flags in his hands; and as he did so a shot passed through folds of the stars and stripes, cutting a gap in the staff, and then passing through Kirkman's cap, grazing his head.
The enemy were checked but were very stubborn, and we murdered each other down at close range. Our brigade commander, Gen. Jas. C. Veach, rode down the line and I asked him to turn us loose with the bayonet. "No, no," he said, you would lose every man." My horse was struck behind the saddle and lunged among the men, so that I let him go, and throwing myself in front of the colors, tried to get the men to charge, but between us was a struggling mass of wild and wounded battery horses, many of them harnessed to the dead, and I could not get them started. But I got far enough
846forward to see a Confederate officer trying to lead his men onto our line. I covered him with my pistol, but he was behaving so bravely that I hesitated in firing. He pointed me out to a black bearded soldier on his left and as the piece covered me, a quite and not unpleasant feeling flashed over me and I let the point of my saber drop on the ground. I seemed to hear the bullet hiss and in an instant I was a bundle of tense nerves. The officer dropped where he stood, the soldier started to run behind a tent, loading as he ran, but he threw his gun over his head and fell backwards. I got behind our line again and I was stepping over a wounded soldier, a shot caught the scabbard of my sabre and the fleshy part of my thigh. At that instant I met Captain Simpson and Lieutenant Shibley, both with their hands on a thigh. Blood was running through Shibley's fingers, and Simpson's other hand was mangled.
New troops seemed to have come against us. The 15th, on our right with Ellis and Goddard both killed, gave way. Our right wing followed. Hall dashed up with the orders, "Back, back." There was a heavy body of the enemy coming down Purdy road, and after going down the road 100 paces we formed across the road. Among the last men to come back to the line was Sergeant John Mackey, of Company "C," a clean, well dressed soldier, almost a dandy. Tears were running over his cheeks and he was exhorting his comrades to die upon the line, rather than to break again. I have since heard of the scenes of panic and cowardice that was seen about the landing and along the river, but out at the front I saw many examples of daring, of soldierly courage and daring that will swell my heart and moisten my eyes when my head is gray, should I live so long.
There was a lull of the battle in front but not to our left and rear. Now and then the Union cheers could be heard alternating with the rebel yell. We opened a gap in the 14th to let some heavy field guns play up the road, while others severed our left. Before our hot rifles and muskets could cool, the enemy came on again, and the fight became fiercer
847than ever. Noble Stout of Company "H" whom the men used to make sport of on account of his innocent simplicity, soon came to me exclaiming, "O, Colonel, I'm shot," and showed me a wound in the breast, or stomach rather. I pointed to the root of a tree some storm had blown down, and, afterward stepping over to him, noticed the pale face, closed eyes and livid parted lips, and I supposed him dead. But the burial party tells me they did not find the body.
Corporal Dan Wells of Company "K" ran to me holding up a musket the stock of which was dangling about by only a tang screw. He screamed, "That is the fourth gun smashed in my hand since I have fired. What in hell shall I do?" I pointed to the piece on the ground. Dan threw his broken gun down pettishly and I soon saw him blazing away. Near at hand stood Hankins, blood spurting from his breast at every inspiration, as he loaded and fired till a shot struck him in the chin and went through the neck killing him.
Up the road through a rift in the smoke I saw a Confederate officer mounted in front of their colors, waving a bright sword, leading his men on, but before the smoke hid them again, officer, horse and color all went down. In answer to the roar of the heavy field pieces firing through our line. As I started across the road Lieutenant Smith of "G" caught me by the collar and jerked me back, yelling, "Colonel for God sake --" the heavy guns drowned his voice, and a shell burst so close to our heads that Smith let go of me and staggered, while I fell half paralyzed.
On the south side of the road I found Company "B" among some jack or swinging oaks. Captain Smith and Lieutenant Poteet were both down with bad wounds, and Lieutenant John Wright had a ball through one arm, raking from wrist to elbow, while the men were many of them down, but all able to fight were still fighting. I cannot realize yet that we held this line over twenty minutes, but I am told we held it much longer. And men say the guns got so hot the powder seemed to melt when poured into them.
Again the right gave away and Taylor's battery seemed
848to be taken. On the left the yells sounded ominously and the firing seemed going towards the landing. Again we were thrown back and in more disorder than at the first break Catching Color Sergeant Kirkman we ran past the men and in a little hollow faced about and called on the men to rally on the colors. Hall and Morris were both afield and doing all in their power to stop the men. Again the soldiers rallied and the remnant of the regiment was ready for our foes.
But they did not come and after waiting for some time Hall directed me to hurry to our camp and bring out the camp guard. Several of the men in hospital asked to go out among them. My old friend from boyhood, Frederick North, with 25 or 30 fresh men I soon found the regiment, which had moved and was in a better position, but under a fire of sharp-shooters, whose firing was well directed and very close. Our skirmishers held them at bay, and their batteries on our front seemed to have learned the cost of trying to drive us by a front attack, as they had never been able to do so yet, and had been able to force us back only by getting around our flank.
The battalion lay under the brow of a steep hill on the west side of Tilghman's branch. Here our guns cooled and we got a new supply of ammunition. There was only a skirmish fire on our right and front, but to the left in the direction of Prentice's division the battle still made a loud over-powering road. Strandage was struck on the head and fell senseless but gripped the colors so that it took several men to take the staff out of his hands.
After an hour or two we moved across the hollow and took a position south of the camp of the 15th Illinois and facing west. A Confederate regiment dressed in blue soon occupied what we had left, and we were subjected to such a hot cross fire of sharp-shooters that our line was ordered lie down.
The mounted officers with Veatch and his staff took shelter in the thicker timber to the rear. To our right lay the 25th Indiana and Major Footer was pacing back and forth at the feet of his men.
I was pacing behind the 14th and we met at the adjoining flank of two regiments. "Your men are begging you to take shelter and so are mine," said Foster. "Would there be any impropriety in our doing so?" I replied that there would not if we could do so, without losing sight of the ground in our front; but that there was nothing behind my line that would protect me from both directions, left and front, and that he had two large trees at the middle of his line that would cover him from both directions. He went to them after calling my attention to a large tree to my left but before I got to it a shot struck my sabre, knocking it nearly out of my hand, and just as I reached it another cut the side of the tree, throwing bark in my face, so I continued to walk until the firing ceased. There was a regiment or two of McClernand 's command moved onto our right, and faced northwest. Meantime the rebel regiment in blue, 18 La. had moved north down the hollow and turned east up a branch that ran down between the camps of the 14th and 15th and then dashed up the slope to the south, with loud yell square in the face of McClernand's men, and in front of two 30 pdr. parrots. The Jonnies seemed to have surprised themselves, and the yell was soon taken out of them, but they right faced and went off in such good order that a shell from one of the parrotts cut the same thigh off a file of four, and then cut a file closer -- a sergeant nearly in two.
Hardly had the smoke lifted when a heavy body of rebel cavalry charged us. But infantry and guns on the right, without forming squares, drove them back, and the firing on our right and front ceased entirely. To our left heavy fighting was still going on, and a staff officer came to ask for some infantry to bring in some guns. Company "K" of the 14th was sent. We charged our front and faced south over the camp of the 35th Iowa, in front of Hurlbert's headquarters, and men were sent to pull the tripods out and let the Sibley tents fall. Two or three of these men from Company "B" snatched some cans from the suttler's store and threw themselves down behind some bales of hay, to eat what they had
850found, but a shell struck one of the bales, burst in it and the raiders ran for their places in the line, but one of them a German, dashed a can of tomatoes he had just opened into the shattered bale and yelled, "G-t-t m theart-illgy." "Why did you let them scare you from your tomatoes, Bechtil?" asked some of his comrades. "Vant no-t m-hoss feed mixed with mine timers," savagely replied Fred. Veatch pointing to the south side he feared for the worst, and it was but a little time till the firing there began to die out.
Again the Confederates charged us on our right, rushing down through some woods and brush. As our fire quartered their lines a few shots sent them back faster than they came, but one of their color bearers stood till all had left him, and with a couple of men I tried to catch him. When he got to the brush he threw his staff over, and dragging the flag on the ground got away.
Anxious for my Winchester comrades I remained in front with three or four men, and soon found that a Confederate sharp-shooter was trying to cultivate my acquaintance. I pointed him out to Serj. Peden of "B" and they soon were exchanging shots. Peden was behind a small tree, the rebel was behind a large tree but would drop on his knee and fire over a stump, so ran to P. and I told him to draw over the top of the stump, and when he saw the rebel drop on his knees to aim, then fire. Peden tried it and his foe sprang up and fell over backwards. I saw the body afterwards and an Enfield rifle ball had struck him between the eyes. Soon Capt Strong of "K" came in with two guns which it was attempted to get into position, but the fire suddenly became too hot. I had ordered Strong to hurry to the regiment and with my few skirmishers I tried to save the guns which had but two horses left to the piece. One gun was unmaned and left, and I ran to help a tall artillery man hook the other up, but as we stooped over the stock trail the soldier fell dead across it and one of the horses fell and the driver ran away. For a moment I was dazed but Sarj. Peden grabbed me by the shoulder and shouted, "Run, Colonel, run." A glance showed me a line of
851gray Just halting a few yards away. P. faced them, aimed and fired, and in an instant the air seemed full of bullets. I ran sidewise, fearing a shot on the back, but both of us got out without a scratch, or a thread cut. In the hollow north of Hurlbut's headquarters, I found several hundred men and a few line officers of different regiments. As I got among them a young soldier ran against me and I heard a bullet "thug" against him, his head fell upon my shoulder and I caught but one word, "mother." I threw my arms around him and laid him down, then begged the men around me to line up and fight. It was sharp but short; they must have been fresh troops, and had not been under close fire before. I told the men to rejoin their regiments or others as quickly as possible, and then tried to find my own regiment, and it had moved while I was out in front. I soon found Veatch, who said that we should be struck heavily very soon, and he directed me to stay with an Ohio regiment that was under the command of an old gray-headed Lieutenant Colonel, until the shock was over. It, too, was short; the enemy seemed to have learned that if they could not drive us at the first rush it was folly to stay within range of our buck and ball. From this point our camp was in sight, and being very thirsty, I went down to the spring used by the 14th and 15th, but found a rebel soldier, one of the 18th La. laid full length, spread out and arms downward in the water. I pulled the body out and turned it over and was surprised to find that he had several bright colored woolen shirts on, evidently intended to resist bullets, but one had struck him in the breast and passed through clothing and body.
Recollecting that there was a canteen of water buried in my tent, I went there and got my first drink since breakfast. Coming out of my tent, I stopped to reconnoiter, for I was now between the lines, a cloud of white smoke puffed up in the timber south of the camp, and a charge of canister hissed about me. Several holes were made through the tent and a large tree at the door was struck.
I made a polite bow and walked east. On our line I found
852a battery in position and as I passed by it a mounted man had his bullocks cut off and the horse's back broken. Another horse was disemboweled by a shell, and several gunners killed or wounded.
I found that Buell's troops were crossing and met the 36th Ind. marching out to the front. My regiment was on the right of the siege guns and near the landing. A soldier had found my horse and brought it to me. It was tame enough now. The shot behind the saddle had torn the shabrach, but hardly cut its back to the bone. I told Capt. Strong to call the roll of Company "K" and give me a list for publication. While I have been writing the list has been handed to me. Capt. Strong, 2nd Lieut. Mason, Serj. Alderson and Kirkman, Corps. Cobb, Haas and Stahl, Privates Asher, Auer, Carpenter, Combs, Covington, Gurry, Duff, Farrington, Hanley, Howell, Langley, Martin, North, Roland, True, Watt and Weaver.
Again the battle was opened afresh, but for a time nothing was used but cannon; the sun looked like a ball of fire as it went out of sight, and the clouds of powder smoke hastened the gloaming. The scene was grand but fearful and the thunder terrific. We could see the red flashes of our own and the enemy's guns, and shells burst all about us. One could not help wondering how man or living thing could escape wounds or death.
The men were ordered to lie down, but branches and splinters of trees and shells found them. I saw one cannon shot that seemed to jump out of the ground and quicker than thought it cut the top out of the bush my hungry horse was biting at, brushed the canteen between my arm and body a mangled a soldier sitting on a log a hundred feet or so behind me. For the first time that day we had a continuous line There was no chance to flank us and of the men who bore the brunt of the day there was none left in the ranks that would not have died on the line.
The Confederates attacked from the southwest, the worst point they could have chosen, for it forced them to cross a
853hollow that opened into the river and expose them to the fire of the gun boats, Tyier and Connestoge. Their batteries ceased firing as their infantry came to the front, but the guns opened again when their charges were repulsed. After three desperate rushes they withdrew and our three siege pieces, "Abe Lincoln," "Jesse K. Dubois" and "Dick Yates," roared the last notes of Sunday's battle.
Now, we had time to think. I was tired and hungry, and my thigh swelling and painful. Everything seemed very unpleasant but very real, and very far from exciting or romantic. We had been whipped; all our camp and stores were in the hands of the enemy, but Moore's lines came to me:
But lightnings show'd the distant hill,
Where those who lost that dreadful day
Stood few and faint but fearless still,
The soldier's hope, the Patriot's zeal,
Forever dimm'd, forever crost --
O! who can say what hero's feel,
When all but life and honour's lost?"
After dark while posting guards near the rebel sentinels I caught an old darky, the servant of a Confederate Captain, and as the old fellow was communicative, I took him to General Grant in person. Once, with a few guards, I thought I had caught a rebel General and his staff, but it turned out to be Gen. Buell. My regiment moved towards the front while I was on this duty, and when I rejoined it we were told to lie down and get what rest we could. I found my heavy double blankets and heavy poncha behind my saddle, and invited Gen. Veatch, who had nothing of the kind, to lie down with me, and I was soon in a weasel sleep.
During the day the General had been hit in the foot with a piece of shell, and after he fell into a doze he moaned and moved so that I could not rest, so I slipped out of my blankets but took the poncha. Finding my Adjutant shivering we hunkered down with our backs together, resting each a
854shoulder against a log, and drew the poncha over our heads as it began to rain. The night was dark and all through the woods we could hear the groans of wounded men begging for help, but we felt that the fight was not over yet, and our own suffering was nearly as bad as those of the wounded. Nevertheless it was saddening to hear them. Every few minutes a heavy shell from the gun boats went screaming over us and burst in the enemy's lines. Thus the night past.
April 7th, 1862, dawned on some weary, hungry yet hopeful soldiers. Veatch took me to the 15th and put me in command for the day. Its rank had been sadly thinned and it had lost not only its field officers, Ellis and Goddard, but so many of its line officers, that Sergeants were in command of two or three companies.
I began to recruit at once with stray or straggling men. As the sun rose the roar of the second day's battle begun, and a few minutes after the first gun the din became continuous.
In less than an hour we could hear the cheers over the thunder that told which way the tide was turning. We were held in reserves in the second line, and missles of all kinds fell about us. I warned the men to take advantage of all the cover the ground afforded. Finding a rebel paper I was soon absorbed in it after dismounting and getting a seat on a log in front of the regiment, so as to become almost oblivious to the shots that threw dirt and bark about. After waiting for some time I was ordered to push forward to a certain point, and knowing a short route by an old road I led the regiment by the flank, the double files filling it. We soon met a wounded Buckeye, using a stout stick he had picked up in the woods for a crutch. He looked like an overgrown lad of eighteen, but he held one leg bent at the knee while the foot dangled about and blood dripped from his toes. Hobbling out of our way he leaned against a sappling, shifted a bloody sock to his left hand, and with his red hand gave me the military salute. It touched me as no courtesy had ever done, and I returned it with my sabre as though I was passing in the presence of a reviewing officer. "Throw that bloody sock away, Comrade,
855the Surgeon will take that foot off and you won't need but one sock," I said. "Why, Colonel," he replied in a cheery tone, "it will fit the other foot." "Don't it hurt you?" I asked. "Not any worse than it ought to, Colonel," he replied, in a still more cheerful response. The men gave him a volley of jocular compliments as they passed. When we came to open woods I received an order to advance at double-quick so I threw the regiment front into line, which though it gave a greater exposure, it rendered a raking shot less dangerous. My horse stumbled over a headless dead body in gray, and fell with one knee in the upturned skull, covering the leg with brains. Noticing a pond, or sink hole, full of water, and down timber in front of the two companies I gave the orders for avoiding obstacles. Capt. Clark and Lieut. Kenyon made the movement as if on the drill ground, and not on loaded land and under fire.
Before getting to the front we were halted once more. I found that the 14th was to my left, though hardly to be seen through the woods. Again I warned the men and officers to get all of the shelter from the shot that they could. One of the captains had a handkerchief tied around his wrist and I noticed a peculiar expression on his face. Upon examining his wounds, which he had received twenty-four hours before, I found that a shot had passed through the wrist joint. He had served in the British army in India, and he asked to be allowed to stay till the battle was over, but I told him we could not afford to lose a good soldier by neglecting his wounds, and ordered him to the rear, but with leave to return, with the Surgeon's permission, after his wounds had been dressed. He saluted and turned reluctantly to the rear.
(Later. He never returned. I was told that gangrene set in after three amputations, and he died.)
The front line is a cheerful place in battle compared with the second, when exposed to all of that comes through the first as it did here. The shell all bursted, if it bursted at all, before it got to us, but the pieces dropped everywhere. I dismounted once and noticed the brains on my horse's leg,
856and was wiping them off with a handful of dead and wet leaves, when also I noticed that human hair had caught in nails of my shoes.
It must have been near noon when an order came to advance in quick time, then double quick, and finally, the run. Seeing something unusual ahead I galloped forward and found under a tree ten or a dozen gray haired, gray bearded Confederates dead and laid in a circle with their feet towards the trunk. As the line swept up I gave the order for avoiding obstacles again, and left the bodies untrodden. Before we reached the Purdy road, the pace was slackened to quick time and direction changed to half left. As we passed through the woods between the road and review ground, a man on a gray horse and wearing citizen clothes was trying to hide behind a large tree from the Rebs in sight beyond the field. He claimed to be the correspondent of the N. Y. Herald, but I made him get out of the way of my men. (Note. -- This was the fellow that divided Grant's bodyguard into four parts, and had the General make the last charge.)
As we came out on the open ground Grant and his staff crossed our front, the General shouting something to me that I did not catch, but Gen. Webster riding to my side pointed over the field and shouted, "Forward, Forward." I could see gray uniforms and brass cannon. My men were warm and still breathing hard, but I felt that the quicker we reached those guns the fewer men I should lose, so I quickened the pace.
Still the enemy did not fire. Glancing to the left I saw the 14th, a little behind, but some distance away, racing for the guns. Grant was just entering the timber behind the left of the 14th. We were now more than half way down the field, and I felt sure the officer in charge of the guns in front knew his business, that he had loaded with canister, perhaps double-shotted, intended to fire richochet and -- the great puffs of smoke hid the guns, the ground was torn in our front, and the air, for an instant, seemed filled with whizzing shot, the men were lifted back and my horse seemed to be lifted off the
857ground. But luckily for us, the guns had been pointed a little too low, the shot struck the ground too soon, and most of it went over the infantry, and as I was the only mounted man with the regiment and did not get touched, we were lucky indeed. The men answered the wave of my sabre with a loud hurrah, and rushed forward faster than before, and I thought for once we should see what bayonets were made for, but the caissons had already been turned, the guns were hooked up and off they went, while we were twenty yards away.
But instantly we halted and I ordered the file fire and our bullets got to them if our bayonets could not.
During the dash at the guns I had felt that elation that lifts men above the fear of wounds or death, but I wondered if, when the shock came, would they follow, or would my men leave me to ride on to the guns alone? They followed, all but the few poor fellows who were struck, and I felt as if I should like to bring them all now. I had some trouble to stop the firing, when only scattering wounded Jonnies were in sight. I got in front of them but they were hot and excited with the charge; they fired in front of my horse and behind him, when I got before them and shook my sabre in their faces, and even struck at the back of their bayonets, but a young lieutenant of the 28th Illinois who was commanding one of the companies, spread out his arms, pushing their guns aside, crying, "Cease firing, Cease firing," and so stopped them. The 14th came and while we were letting the men breathe and cool off, a soldier pulled a tall but frightened confederate from under a log bridge, and while he lay on the ground begging for his life -- he had been told that we killed our prisoners -- a soldier with a canteen full of water mixed with gin, to give the wounded, stepped astride of the prostrate man, exclaiming, "Now, damn you, I am going to shoot you in the neck," forced the mouth of the canteen between the poor fellow's lips and made him take a drink.
There was a wonderful revelation of feeling. The Jonnie sprang to his feet, praising his captors, and there was some hearty hand-shaking done amid roars of laughter. Some distance
858on front among the dead and wounded lay what looked like a dead bear. Curiosity prompted me to ride to it and see, and I found a poor wounded man on his face with his knees doubled under him. His back humped up, shivering and moaning. Dismounting I seized one shoulder and pulled him over. He, too, begged me to spare his life, though it seemed to me that his sands were nearly run down. "When I knelt, raising his head and gave him a drink, he gave me a steady look as though a grateful light had dawned on his dying brain. The son of a Surgeon, McEthson, a boy of 15 or 16, who had been following us all day with bandages and medicine, came up. He examined the wound, poured a white powder from a small vial, gave me a significant look, and at my nod put the powder on the wounded man's tongue, and washed it down by giving him another swallow of water from my canteen. His clothing was open and there was a bullet hole near his navel. We pulled his clothing together, his eyes closed and I laid him down and left him.
(Note. -- This man recovered. He had noticed my rank and letters on my cap, and after the war tried to find me in Jacksonville, Illinois.)
No orders came to us. Hall and I counseled and then he moved south while I moved southwest, as we could hear troops in both directions; but whether friends or foes we did not know.
I soon came to a hollow through which a creek ran and across it in my left front was a field and some log buildings. From one of these, shots began to come. I halted, ordered guides on the line, and dressed up, while a couple of sharp-shooters in a stable loft tried to hit me, till I sent a couple of rifle men up the creek to dislodge them. It was only a few minutes work, though I thought only one of them got away. While wondering what to do next there came from a spur behind the hill, and square on my right flank at close range, a regiment of Confederates in line. I felt badly caught, but before I could issue the order, "Eight Turn and Charge," a bugle on the hill close to the Confederates' left sounded the
859quick, sharp notes of "Commence firing." The glance I got showed a line of red breeches, Witlich's 22nd Indiana Zouaves, I am told, but the smoke covered them from sight. The rebs, worse surprised than I was, broke in confusion and ran without firing. Just then a battery opened behind my left and not far away, and I knew the 14th was in that direction. I faced to the left and hurried east up a side hollow. The battery was in an open field just east of some thick timber and brush and were firing north, but at what I could not see.
The smoke drifted towards and hid us. Here Hall joined me and as I was scolding the men for dodging like a lot of geese, when you shy a stick over them, as the shot passed so close over their heads. Hall and myself were passing a bush covered with vines, when a naughty shot cut through the bush and passed close to our heads. We both bent to our saddle bows, while some of the men yelled, "Don't dodge." Hall exclaimed, pettishly, "I can't help it." So I told the men to dodge till they got used to it. At the moment I saw we were just in the right position, so I gave the order, "By the right flank and Charge." Hall rode off and I threw myself in front of the men and started for the guns. They seemed to only just have seen us and ceased firing at once, but left me only three guns and one or two caissons. I reached the guns before the men did, but wet, red clay had been rammed in them and a rat tail had been driven into the vent of one, but the others were spiked with the rammers of old U. S. horse pistols which had been sawed off at the jaws. At the foot of the hill beyond the guns, a Confederate was walking and though he had a very bright musket on his shoulder, he made no attempt to use it or get away.
I ran on down the hill and when ordered to throw down his piece he landed it on the ground as though he was glad to get rid of it." What regiment do you belong to?" I asked. "Seventh Arkansas," he replied. "Where is your regiment?" I asked. "Up there in the brakes, and it will give you hell in about a minute." Just then a staff officer rode
860up and said I was going too far and that Gen. Wood ordered me to go back. I replied that Gen. Wood was not my commander and that I would receive an order through the proper channel only. I told him to take my prisoner, so he made "Arkansas" get up behind him.
My regiment got to us at that moment but I pushed them into the brush and halted till I could find the 7th Arkansas.
I could not see it but had hardly looked over that low spur in front till a couple of field pieces saluted me with canister. Ordering the men to lie down I saw the guns were on a bluff bank beyond a stream, not more than two hundred yards away. Their fire was well directed and the spiteful shot found several of my men as they hugged the ground. Lieut. Allen, a sturdy young Englishman, asked me to turn him loose upon the guns, and upon receiving my consent, he and his men sprang forward, deploying as skirmishers as they went, and from the timber in the narrow bottom, I could hear Allen's gruff voice:
"When a white rag flies out of one of them damned brass candle-sticks jump for a tree." The gunners seemed to have exhausted their canister and began to fire short fuse shells. Allen's men had gotten almost to the stream and were thinning out the brave gunners piteously, when I got a preemptory order to fall back at once. I had to ride after Allen to get him back and in returning one of his men was passing me, a tall, young fellow who was putting a long tailed cavalry overcoat on -- when a shell struck a dead tree just over our heads, bursting as it struck. The fellow's heels flew up and he fell flat on his face beside my horse, but raised himself on all fours. "Are you hit?" I asked. "No, by G -- , Colonel, and not a'going to be if I can help it." He screamed as he darted towards the battalion, his long coat-tail streaming out behind him.
Allen came in grumbling because he was not allowed to get the guns. We were soon over the hill, but Jonnies were like the old woman, they got in the last word.
It seemed to me a great mistake was made here, for
861though many of our men had missed four meals and one night rest, they were so elated they would have pushed the enemy into a complete rout had they been allowed to press them.
Slowly we came back to camp through scenes of wreck and slaughter, that I could not describe.
Something rose in my throat when we got to the camp of the 15th, and I tried to compliment the men on their behavior. I gave the order, "Right face," "Arms port," "Break ranks." Then the men cheering wildly rushed around me, but I could not speak and spurring through them I galloped away to my quarters.
What a pity it is that men do not use reason instead of rifles, and common sense instead of cannon.
April 10th, 1862. We are quiet in camp, as the dead have been buried and most of the wounded sent away. I noticed that much of the cartridges used by the Confederates was marked, "Ebey Brothers and Co., London."
April 11th. We are quiet in camp with wet, cool weather. Company "K" lost in killed, Color Sergeant Ebey, and Privates Hankins, Harris, McCormick and Teal. Wounded, Lieut. Shibley, Andrews, Chrissinger, Deweese, Lyndale, Langley, Moss, Pitman, Ridgway, Scott, Bloyd, Claywell and Tomlinson.
April 12th. Still quiet in camp.
April 13th. This evening the prayer ordered by the Secretary of War was recited before our regiment and a Rev. Mr. White is now preaching in our camp. I have just written to Gen. Palmer.
April 14th. Governor Yates arrived on the Black Hawk this morning, the first steamer the 14th ever shipped on. I called on the Governor on board, and visited other boats. The sights, sounds and smells on some of them is terrible. Some of our Illinois relatives and friends came up with them. Dr. Brengle and George Ebey, Fletcher's father. The Governor called on us this evening. I have had camp diarrhea for some weeks, and wearing my sword belt and heavy sabre through the battle seems to have hurt me.
April 15th. I took Mr. Ebey where his son fell. The blood still showed on the ground. Over the spot the father repeated what he had told me at his own home, when he gave a dinner in my honor, after his boys had enlisted. "Colonel I will give my last son, my last dollar, and my own life to put down this rebellion."
His son, George, a Lieutenant in the 28th Illinois, got an ugly wound in the breast, and Lieut. Kirkpatrick of the 28th, his brother-in-law, was killed. As we came away he brought a wild ground willow pulled out of the blood of his son to carry home to plant.
I showed him where five "Pellicans" were killed by a single parrott shell and after a long search we found a piece of the shell which he will take home with the willow. When the battle was over, several of the officer's tents in the 15th were tenantless and I used them for hospitals for wounded Confederates of the 18th La. These men speak French, but in a negro patois, and I have to take an interpreter along when going the rounds with the doctor to visit them. They have now been sent down the river.
April 23rd, 1862. I have been so sick since the 14th as to be unable to write. Inflammation of the bowels was so severe and painful that it seemed as though death would be a welcome relief. Dr. Brengle claimed me as a special patient and to him I perhaps owe my life. James Vevers of "K" took John Loomis' place as nurse and has kept my tent very clean and ornamented with wild flowers. Gen. Palmer, who is now at Hamburg Landing up the river, came to see his old regiment today. He pressed me to go back with him and go under Dr. Allen's care, as Dr. Brengle has gone home, but I felt too weak and faint to do so.
Note. "At the battle of Shiloh, 7,882 Union soldiers were killed and wounded, and of this number nearly 400 were from Illinois. To the honor of the State be it said that within twenty-four hours after the battle was fought, our first war Governor, the grand old humanitarian, Richard Yates the
863First, chartered a steamboat and with surgeons, medical supplies and nurses was on his way to the scene of carnage.
One week later he arrived and the dreadful havoc of war was plainly to be seen. Dead bodies waiting to be buried, some in the ground but only partially covered. Hundreds were lying where they had fallen, their wounds still undressed, and hundreds were dying from disease induced by nervous prostration and exposure. "Within a few hours the boat was filled with those most seriously wounded and started on its homeward way. Again and again the trip was made until more than one thousand wounded soldiers were brought to northern hospitals, within reach of friends.
‘We must not let our brave boys suffer, they must not think they are forgotten, we must follow them wherever they go and at whatever cost. They must have needed supplies and receive messages of love and encouragement from their dear ones at home.’
In this way Gov. Yates maintained the morale of the Union army. Friends of the soldier everywhere appreciated this effort, and from the east to the Illinois Governor came this message:
The echoes of our joys,
The prayers that springs from every breast,
God bless you, Illinois."
Note. "The records of the Adjutant General's office at Washington show that in the War of the Rebellion the enlisted men numbered 2,779,309; of these, 618,511 were 22 years of age or over; 1,151,483 were 18 years of age or under; 104,987 were under 15 years of age and 26 were 10 years of age.
The population of Illinois in 1860 was 1,711,592 and she furnished to the nation 259,092 soldiers in the field."
"Out of the roll of that mighty host had Illinois only given Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant she would have been contributing mightily to the cause, but following this
864in Generals came Generals John Pope, John A. McClernand John A. Logan, John M. Palmer, Richard J. Oglesby, John M. Schofield, Stephen A. Hurlbut, Wesley Merritt, Benjamin H. Grierson, Giles A. Smith and James Harrison Wilson."
Make the past thy future story,
On and on to greater glory,
April 28th, 1862. On the 24th I felt able to ride to Gen. Palmer's Headquarters. I found Adj. Scott in his tent in a thick, young woods. I had been told that the flowers of the South had no scent and the birds no song, but the tent was sweetly odorous with flowers and outside the birds seemed to be trying to see which could sing loudest and sweetest. This morning I started to follow Gen. Palmer, who had started to move towards Corinth.
May 1st, 1862. Have neglected my journal for a day or two, but nothing unusual has occurred in the meantime. Yesterday I visited the 14th and found it quite a ride around the line of investment. The regiment had moved forwards since I left it a few days ago. Today we moved to a point only a few miles west of Corinth, on Chester Creek. In sight on the south is a heavy pine forest. I begin to feel quite hearty again.
May 2nd. Camp was moved nearer Corinth, or near Chambers Creek today. While Gen. Palmer, Col. Worthington of Iowa, Lieut. Childs and myself were riding back from the cavalry picket and before we had reached the line of infantry pickets, a sharp-shooter took a pop at us. The shot passed just behind Col. W. and Gen. P., who were in front, and struck in the hillside to our left. I took a squad of infantry to hunt the fellow up, but he gave us the slip. "We are close to the line of Tispemmgo Co., Miss.
May 4th. Posted the pickets on the right front this morning. After an early dinner we started out with Pains division to make a reconnaissance towards Farmington.
865palmer's brigade leading. We passed west into a bottom with an open field on our right, woods on our left and halted 100 yards before we came to a small stream, where the dismounted cavalry pickets were posted.
I carried the order to Captain Forbes to advance his carbineers as skirmishers, and when I got back to the column, found the 16th Illinois in front. The men were standing at ease, but as silent as the day, which seemed too calm and beautiful to be desecrated with blood-shed and strife. One could have almost have heard a pin drop as we waited for the firing to begin. Soon a carbine cracked, then a hoarse rattling of carbines and Enfields, and loud orders of officers. We were off in a moment, the infantry in quick time, but Palmer and his staff galloped right into the fight. After crossing the stream the road lead into some undergrowth across an open spot, the farther side of which three companies of Marmaduke's Confederate regulars were posted, with sentinels in front. As we rode into the open ground, our carbineers with their breech-loaders were rapping around the Confederates and decimating them at very close range. In the open was a stump from behind which a very young Confederate soldier tried to shoot one of our men as he rushed by, but the carbine laid the poor boy dead. The Confederates surrendered at once, but a rebel sergeant trying to escape was pursued, by one of our infantry sergeants who had rushed into the melee. The Jonney not heeding the "halt," our man fired breaking the rebel's arm just below the shoulder. The wounded man dropped his gun and reeled, but our man throwing up his bayonet passed one arm about his body and lead him back.
Between us and the creek the road was obstructed with fallen trees, but the 44th Illinois came in on double quick to clear the way, while our skirmishers kept ahead of them. While we were waiting, Palmer noticed a dead boy and had a soldier throw a blanket over the corpse. It was but a short time till we pushed through to the foot of the hills beyond, and the 8th, 10th, 16th and 27th Illinois were soon ready to
866advance again. The Confederates were in some stables or log buildings in our front and a log house on a hill to our left, but a bush on a fence row hid us from them.
Palmer ordered me to start out some infantry that lay in the thick brush behind our left, but the gray haired captain found in command declared, it would be suicide to get in the open and be exposed to the cross fire from house and stable. I thought it would be a useless loss of life to get such men out, and so reported to Palmer.
Turning to the 8th Illinois he asked all who were willing to drive the Jonnies out of the building to advance one step. The whole regiment stepped forward. Turning to Company "A" he told the Captain to deploy his men. Promptly the young officer gave his orders and like a piece of machinery the groups of four spread out from the line and at "Deploy" dashed forward. General Palmer was so carried away that he rolled off his horse and ran after the charging men. No attention was paid to the house and both it and the stable were quickly buried in smoke, blinding the aim of the men defending them. Telling the staff to watch me and then for some one to come in my place if I was hit, I rode through the blindage and turned up the hill after the general. A moment later Lieutenant Childs, who had come up as I left rode after me. I turned in the saddle to order him back, one knee pushing against the horse and bending to the shabrack, when a bullet from the front ripped through the saddle cover, just grazing my knee. Palmer was nearly at the top of the hill, when I got to him, waving his sword and cheering the men on.
But in a moment later the rebels ran away, except the killed and wounded. Those at the house also leaving as they were in danger of being cut off. Just as we reached the opening beyond the stable a battery opened on us with shell and our men tumbled into gullies and holes that would have been laughable but for the ugly shells. General Palmer hurried back to his staff and I stayed to hold the line. In a short time a battery came up and went into position on the brow of the hill, retiring the caissons low enough to shelter them
867from sight of the enemy guns. I sat near them and noticed the riders trying to employ their minds by righting the harness, petting and talking to the horses as they faced the fire. The gunners had plenty to do, and most of the shells passed on before bursting. While the artillery duel was going on the infantry pushed on and into a large grove ahead, and other of our batteries went into action south of the grove.
Soon another battery on our side opened and a very lively and roaring time was had. As the rammer on one of our guns was being turned and while at an angle of 45 degrees, a shell seemed to burst on the elevated end of it and completely unmanned the gun, killing or crippling every one of them. One man from the piece passed near us and Surgeon Allen called him to examine the soldier's shattered wrist, and then told him to go to the rear.
Palmer noticed this and twitted the doctor upon not finding a chance to whittle on the wounded man.
Among the mounted orderlies, was an old English dragoon, whom I had more than once laughed at because he took offense if anyone made a remark derogatory, of which several times he had remarked that enemies were using heavy field artillery, and while we waited here a cannon shot struck a large cottonwood a little higher than our heads. "There," exclaimed the old soldier, "didn't I tell you they were using something heavier than six pounders?" It became apparent that the enemies guns were getting the advantage, so the infantry was advanced to charge. Palmer for some reason mistrusted one of his colonels, and ordered me to keep near the colors of the regiment, and if necessary to take command of it. As we went over the open field, exposed to the soles of our shoes, one of the captains to encourage his men gave them a stirring and patriotic 4th of July speech as I ever had the good fortune to hear.
Our guns ceased firing and the enemy changed from shell to canister but they could not check the infantry, and before we got to the guns the enemy deserted them. Now we saw why our guns had failed to silence these -- they were in
868a road, the east bank of which, was just high enough for them to fire over, while our own were wholly exposed. Here another young soldier of the enemy lay dying with his hip torn open by a piece of shell. Palmer talked pittingly to him while Dr. Allen was doing what he could for him. South towards the junction of the Memphis & Charleston with the Mobile & Ohio we could see our cavalry dashing, but in the woods in our front we could hear the enemy advancing, evidently in heavy force. At this junction a staff officer from General Pope brought us an order to retire at once, saying that we were provoking a general engagement, which the general wished to avoid.
Retiring through some of the enemy's camps, the men found two hogs roasted, in clay ovens -- just nicely done. In the deserted knapsacks were found hundreds of pairs of winter gloves. There was but one road over Chamber's creek, the one we had cleared as we came, and we had to wait on the hill for the artillery and other troops to retire, before we got a chance. Palmer, feeling himself unwell, left instructions for me to bring the brigade in, and after dark we bivouaced before we got to camp, as it was understood the enemy intended to force us back.
I found Palmer sitting by a camp fire with an ambulance instead of a tent. He seemed dejected and spoke severely of employing "children" as soldiers, referring to the two boys he had seen killed. I tried to rally him by asking why he spoiled that fine oath he was getting off, as I joined him on the hillside in front of the stables we were storming. "I am not in the habit of swearing," he replied, "but I thought such an occasion as that would justify considerable emphasis and I -- look here," and he showed me the cropped hair over his temple where a bullet had cut off one of his curls.
May 5, 1862. I posted the picket again this morning over the same ground as yesterday. Re-occupied our camp today as the enemy showed no signs of advancing. Rainy and dull
May 6th. I was made a good deal of fun of yesterday for losing a whole company of infantry. It seems a company
869I had posted in reserve on a long mound in Chamber's creek bottom had been surrounded by water during the night. I rode towards the ford this morning but found the road cut away before I got to the ford and while I was studying the situation a mounted orderly with a large white envelope in his belt, rode up and said he would show me how to get by, but that I should have to swim the main stream. He started into the water and I tried to stop him, for I could tell by the way it boiled that he was making a mistake. "I crossed not an hour ago, Colonel," -- and just then he went out of sight. His horse was a stout swimmer, and he was soon out but as crest-fallen as he was wet. I tried to get to my regiment today but got a bad wetting in trying to cross a stream, and then had to turn back. The lost company did not get off its, island until 2 P. M.
May 7th. A beautiful May day. Palmer asked me to his tent to hear him read a long letter he had written to Mr. Lincoln, urging him to enlist negro troops. He asked me to remain until after the heavy reconnaissance tomorrow.
May 8th, 1862. We crossed Chambers Creek this morning at the same ford as on the 4th. Palmer's brigade took the right and passed through a long strip of open fields, others passed through the timber on our left. I was put in charge of a squad of cavalry to watch our right front and flank. After reaching the woods we rested all day. As night came on Palmer found that the troops on his right had retired, but having received no orders he determined to go back on his own responsibility. Here an unexpected difficulty occurred. Early in the day a company of the 42nd Illinois under an English captain, with one Polish and one Hungarian lieutenant, had been ordered to advance and watch the front. No staff officer had been sent to post it and it took a long time to find it. Verdon, in the absence of orders, had prepared to fight, though nearly surrounded, when Lieutenant Childs found him. I was watching with my horsemen on the right and so close to the enemy I could hear them talking, and distinctly catch every order given. There was much under-brush
870and the growing darkness, kept them from getting entirely around our right. When I came in and reported the general said the enemy had already passed his left and he told me to ride as fast as I could up the hollow, through the field where we had come down in the morning. Leaving my squad with the staff, I went alone. After riding a mile and a half I came to where a lane crossed my course. On my right was a house and peach orchard, where I heard troops. Palmer had told me to be cautious, so I stopped to listen. There seemed to be quite a body of men and I thought cavalry, from the clanking of sabres and spurs, but I had hardly checked my horse when I heard some one say, as if reporting to an officer, "The Yanks have all gone." Putting one hand in the ammunition pouch on my saddle, I laid low over the pommel and cautiously crossed the road, then putting spurs to my horse, soon overtook a brigade and stopped them, then rode back to meet the general and report. It was midnight when we got back to camp, but without loss.
All afternoon the enemy had been using a gun that fired a long bolt, made of iron, but though it whizzed spitefully, and struck trees, there seemed to be nothing about it and no one was hurt.
May 9th. This morning I left Palmer, and after some difficulty found my regiment in the afternoon.
May 10th. Today we moved forward two miles. Wearing my heavy sabre and riding so much has made my bowels worse. Passing a log house in the woods, I asked for a drink of water. A woman pointed to a gourd.
May 11th. The field officers of the 46th being absent, and there being some symptoms of mutiny, Hurlbert, this morning, placed the "D - m Regular," as he called me to some of the officers of that regiment, in command. I went to it after guard mounting and tried to get at the source of their trouble. The officers said it would throw the fat in the fire and be dangerous to make any arrest.
Having found the individual who seemed to be at the bottom of the trouble, I drew up charges and specifications
871but told no one what I proposed to do. At dress parade in the evening when the adjutant reported the troops in formation I drew my sabre, brought the battalion to order arms and then ordered them to stand fast. Walking down in front of and close to the ranks, I looked every man in the face until I found what I took to be a fearless non-commissioned officer and two soldierly looking privates, sending them to the front and centre, then going to my station and in a voice that the whole regiment could hear, I ordered the corporal to arrest a certain man in the regiment and bring him to me. When he was brought in front of me I ordered his accoutrements to be taken off, directing his captain to detail a man to receive them and then ordered the corporal to report his prisoner at brigade headquarters. Waiting till the squad was clear of the front, I went on with the parade. So I have not heard a murmur.
May 12th. We advanced about a mile today.
May 13th. Made another short advance. I am still quite unwell, both stomach and bowels still troubling and the discoloration and soreness from my bullet bruise not all gone, and I would ask for sick leave but heavy fighting may occur any day, or even hour, so I cannot think of it.
May 15th. Still another advance. Haleck seems to be drawing his line so as to give the rebels time to reflect, and perhaps avoid bloodshed. The firing on the long picket line is now almost continuous. Who knows but that the Confederates have evacuated Corinth, and that this firing is only a blind to the movement. Our camp is in a pretty grove of black oaks, but in front are breastworks and rifle-pits. The regiments form in line now in the morning before daylight.
May 16th. Maj. Domblazer reported for duty and rejoined the Fourteenth Illinois. Weather fine. I saw some tervis trees, the first I have noticed, today. Old fields exhausted under slave labor, and are overgrown with broom sedge and look, through the dark, green woods, like ripe harvest fields in Illinois. There is everywhere a great profusion
872of blackberry blossoms. On our right and front the pickets keep popping away.
May 17th. Quite a skirmish on the picket line this evening. The Fourteenth has a full set of field officers, this means plenty of picket duty for myself.
May 18th. On picket all day. Lieutenant Colonels and Majors take the place of brigadiers on the picket line, commanding division pickets.
May 19th. Rested today, and tonight the Fourteenth is supporting a battery, and laying on our arms near Russell's home.
May 20th. It was 2 P. M. before we were relieved and returned to camp, where we rationed and rested.
May 21st. We advanced to where the pickets were yesterday, but worked under fire.
May 22d. Visited General Palmer in General Pope's camp today.
May 23d. Division field officer again today. An extra force was given me to shove the rebels back, and we shoved them in the liveliest kind of style. After forming my line under cover of woods, I had a soldier tear down a very high fence in front so that my horse could jump it, then I gave the order to advance on the run, and the way the long line went over the open field was exciting and inspiring. The part of the field I rode through had some dead trees, and if the rebs had been as successful in hitting my men as they were in hitting those trees, my losses would have been greater. It is raining tonight and looking very stormy.
May 24th. Slept under a tree in the rain last night, with the main reserve. About midnight I received an order to send three men into the enemy's line to return before daylight. There was plenty of volunteers from the main reserve, and selecting three men. They were all back before daylight and all brought something. One, a rebel overcoat, one, a sergeant's sword, one, a knapsack, in which we found an order of Beauregarde's touching an order by General Butler, in New Orleans, containing something about the treatment
873of women on the street. I feel better this evening, but fear it is rather the effects of sedative medicine than of good health.
May 25th, 1862. Just one year ago today since we entered the service of the United States. What a year of changes and exciting scenes and adventures it has been to most of us.
Rode with Captain Corman to the Forty-ninth Illinois. Colonel Morrison in Ross brigade, McClernand's division. Threatening rain again.
Had a light mail today, and only one letter for myself, and that from neither sweetheart nor home. What a wonderful and stupid nonsense the newspapers give us. They are a nuisance, destroying important facts, announcing the death of Colonel this and Captain that, and confusing the record of the times with hasty and false statements.
May 26th. Returned the horse I drew yesterday, he was a fine looking bay, but a natural pacer, not the pacer for an army nag. The usual picket firing till afternoon, when there was a heavy cannonading to our left, but we knew nothing of its purpose or its results.
May 27th. When we first came up to the enemy, they were so close that they kept us under fire in spite of our skirmisher. The battalions were drawn up just where the engineers wished to have the breastworks. The guides placed close to the front rank, and order to stick their bayonets in the ground to mark the trench lines. The battalions were ordered several paces to the rear. Half the men stacked arms and dug with their accoutrements on, the other half standing to arms and all field officers remaining mounted. Bullets threw dirt in the faces of the men as they worked, and at one time the enemy, with loud yells and rapid advance, drove our skirmishers back toward us. But I galloped along, urging them forward, and they soon took the screach out of the rebs and drove them so far that the men in the trenches were in no immediate danger. The halves changed every fifteen minutes, and when at the spades they worked like
874trojans, so that in an incredibly short space of time, in spite of the hot sunshine, we had the heaviest works we have yet thrown up.
A tall, loud-voiced prisoner was brought in, as the men quit work, and he entered through an embrasure for a field gun. He stopped, looked over the works and exclaimed, "Well, the Lordy, Gody, tain't two hours since you'ens drove us off'n this ridge, while it would taken us all of two months to hew down this."
The way the men laughed at and joked him for this compliment seemed to make him feel that he had fallen among jovial friends rather than enemies.
The men, for pastime, have since sodded the works, splitting the sod with knives, and the rains have made them fresh and green. Our tents have been put up a few yards behind them. For some days an officer and some soldiers who have been shipbuilders and sailors, have been putting up a pole, or mast, with a view of looking into the enemy's works. A tall, straight tree on high ground close to the breastworks, was trimmed and stout cross-trees rigged on it. Through these a tall, tapering tree, or spar was run and stoutly clamped in the top of the spar was a pulley and a stout new rope run through it double to the ground, where a short, stout stick was tied in one end for a man to sit on astride the rope. A lieutenant of Hurlbut's staff was sent to make the first ascent at 9 A. M. He had been chosen because he was a small, light man, but told me before starting that he dreaded getting so high above the ground. So I tied a lashing to the rope and around his body, so that, as I told him, he could not fall out if he became dizzy and weak. But, really, as I did not tell him, to keep his body from falling if the rebel pickets wounded him, as I felt sure they would, when be rose above the tree tops. He hugged the lower mast till he came to the cross-ties; there he could go through, and was afraid to swing out and clear them, so he called to the men to let him down. Then, taking me aside, declared he could not go up, and wanted to know what he had better do? I offered to
875take his place. He put his field glass over my shoulder, tied me to the rope as I had tied him, and pressed my hand warmly as they stood clear for me to rise. I must confess I was afraid, not of the height but of the exposure. I let the men haul me from the ground, the tapering top mast bent with weight, and the men hauling below so that I went clear of the crossing. Once above the trees I looked anxiously for puff of powder smoke, but saw only an emptiness of tree-tops till the eye caught the fallen timber and chevaux-de-frise in front of the rebel works. The pulley creaked but I think the Jonnies never saw me. When near the truck, the mast was near enough for me to put my legs around, and when my head got to it I gave the signal to stop hauling. While I was studying the enemies' works through the glass, men below got axes and the staff lieutenant got out his pencil and note book, as I directed. I then had the men blaze trees outside our works and number them, in the direction of camps, guns and buildings, the officers noting the descriptions and distances I gave.
Dr. Simpson, of Morgan County, Ill., is with the 14th as volunteer surgeon, and had been asking to be taken out to the picket line to see how the ugly work was done, of which he got so much in the hospital. After warning him of the great danger and requiring him to put on a gray shirt instead of a white one, I took him out just after noon when the line was comparatively quiet. He was surprised after we got into a hollow, just behind our line, when I told him we were not a hundred yards from the enemy.
After duly cautioning him I told him to crawl to a soldier who lay at the root of a tree, and to implicitly follow the soldier's advice. I crawled to the next man on the right and lay watching the doctor and his companion. I noticed that the doctor and soldier got to peering about with more curiosity than discretion. And very soon my man whispered to look ahead. Not fifty yards from us a venturesome Jonny had crawled out of a branch or gully, on the hillside and was crawling on all four's to a tree, where he could get a quartering shot at the doctor or the soldier who was with him,
876and seemed to think a tangle of vines and brush hid him from our direction. My companion looked me in the eye. I nodded, he dropped his head on the cheek-piece of his Enfield and fired. The reb humped his back up and slowly and stiffly rolled over down hill. "Yank," called another rebel picket "What have you done?" "Sent another damn gray back to hell," was his loud respond. Then there were curses and jokes and bits of blunt advice from both sides while rifles cracked and bullets whizzed and struck about. I motioned the doctor to slip down the hill and when we met in the hollow, he wanted to know what my man had seen to shoot at. I told him he had killed a confederate who would soon have killed a doctor or a soldier, who had been trying to see too much. The doctor was a Scotchman with the courage of his race. But he declared if he got back to camp with a whole skin he would gladly stay there. Just before sundown with the light from the west head again, and after dark, when I could best observe camp-fires I made the third trip to the truck. In descending the last time, just after I had swung out from the spar, I stopped going down. Several questions to those below evicted no reply, and reaching for the line I found it slack. Then I knew there was something wrong above. I ordered the men to hold the line tight and to wait for orders. I was 20 feet or more below the pulleys, and could not reach the mast, but by swinging caught it and climbed to the top. The rope had got out of the wheel and was jammed between it and the block so tightly that I had to cling to the spar, with my legs alone, while using both hands to free clear the line.
I hauled up the stick, got onto it and lowered myself a few feet before calling to the men; then I kept both rise and fall in my hands to guard against another slip. William Standage of Co. "I," who was wounded at Shiloh, came to the regiment this evening and was at once made a color sergeant.
May 28th, 1862. Being the only man who had seen the ground in our front, I was ordered to guide the brigade to the edge of the fallen timber in front of the rebel works, from
877which point to charge and carry them by storm. While at breakfast the quartermaster, Nolte, asked Major Morris to make him a present of "Sorrell," the major's favorite horse, telling him that he could not ride through the fallen timber and assured him that the chances were 20 to 1 that he, the Major, would not get out alive, and he included myself in this very comfortable assurance, but Morris said if he got plugged he wanted "Sorrell" put on a good pasture near Waverly, Illinois, not to be saddled again and to be well kept for what he had done.
This cheerful bantering sound was interrupted by the roar of a land explosion in Corinth, which set us to wondering what had happened. After breakfast we fell in, and in starting to drive in the Confederate line, I had to go to the right of our line, next to Sherman's division. There was an open field in front next to our extreme right, and the Jonnies having relieved their fresh men were very wicked, especially from some new pine log houses that were southwest of us. A couple of field guns soon set the houses on fire, and then a long line of Confederates came at us over the field yelling, as usual, as they charged. As our fellows rushed into the fence corners they dropped on their knees and fired by resting their guns on the rails.
The Jonnies were commanded by a brave man on a gray horse. "Shoot, the man on the horse;" -- and in a minute he went down. I saw some of his men receive him in their arms as he fell, then their whole line broke and run back to the woods. To the left our pickets rushed forward, driving everything on the jump. A rebel officer had fallen asleep in a booth of branches. He came out of his tent rubbing his eyes and giving orders to our men, who were now rushing past him. Seeing his mistake, he politely lifted his hat and exclaimed, "Beg your pardon, gentlemen, I have made a mistake." He was a tall, handsome fellow, dressed in a neat, gray uniform, with clean, white, old-fashioned ruffled shirt on. He did not seem at all disconcerted by his sudden capture.
The enemy's pickets seemed to know our purpose. At
878my suggestion the regiments advanced right in front at full distance to be guided by the 14th. Col. Hall was present but said I had better take charge of the battalion, as it was to govern the movement of the whole brigade. From the mast lookout I had noticed a young tree with a heavy top had stood out by itself in the edge of the fallen timber, and I directed the right guide to lead for that tree. When the right of the 14th had gotten near the brow of the hill, I gave the order to halt and then by companies forward into line. When just as the left of each company was breaking for the right, half wheel, a heavy gun in the enemy's works sent a charge of grape or canister through the top of the lone tree, raking our line from left to right. The 14th lost several men by it, but the men came into line as if on drill, and were ordered to lie down. Our guns did not reply and the enemy remained silent. When I went to report the brigade in position, I found Hurlbut then also, and he directed me, before reporting to Hall for regimental duty, to ride to Gen. Thomas and tell him that Beauregarde had vacated Corinth, and Halleck ordered that he halt till further orders. He also told me to tell Gen. Oglesby about the evacuation of Corinth, if I saw him. As I was galloping behind the 14th, I saw a man laying at the foot of a tree, and wheeling my horse I found it was Color Sergeant Standage. He had torn his clothes loose at the waist and was holding one hand on his hip, blood was running through his fingers. To my query he replied, in a discouraged tone, "O, Colonel, I've got my long furlough this time. (Note. -- Standage recovered and I told the story in a church at his funeral February 22nd, 1902.)
I found Gen. Thomas with his regiment in double column advancing in echelon close to the line of fallen timber. On my way back I came across Gen. Oglesby and his staff, and gave him the message from Hurlbut, when he made the woods almost smell of sulphur cursing Halleck for letting "that damn rebel swamp fox, Beauregarde, get away." I found the 14th with skirmishers advanced to the edge of the field between our position and the Confederate chevaux-de-frise
879but everything was quiet. Hour after hour we waited for orders but none came and the suspense was trying.
Between 2 and 3 P. M. a loud yelling came from the south side of the field in our front, and a long line of the enemy came rushing towards us. Field officers sprang into their saddles and our skirmishers began a lively fusilade. Ordered to bring them forwards, I found it difficult to do so, as the men felt that they could drive them back without the help of the battalion. I did get them half way back, when to our surprise, and still more of theirs, a battery of Sherman's men posted half way down the west side of the field, but hidden in the woods, opened an Enfielding fire of canister, and they ran away in confusion. I thought the dash they made at our picket line in the morning a foolish waste of human life, but this was still worse.
We received orders at last to intrench after nightfall, and had to dig by candle light. We lay on our guns all night and at daylight put head logs on the works we had thrown up. Just before we were relieved a deer jumped over the breast works and struck among the 14th men who caught and killed it.
My horse broke loose last night and when caught my large holster Colt's was gone. Gen Hurlbut hearing of it, sent me one of his own -- navy size, silver mounted and of the latest pattern.
Moved our camp half a mile forward and are inside the rebel works this evening. They are extensive, well engineered and executed. It would have been a bloody job to have stormed them had the Jonnies fought as well as they usually do. They blew up their magazines and destroyed or carried off nearly all government property.
May 31st, 1862. Weather fine. I am on duty as field officer but found time to write a long letter to Kittie. Cannonading beyond Corinth, but by whom, or for what, we do not know. A week ago while on picket, a Jonny saluted me with a heavy load of buckshot, from an old Enfield Queen Ann musket, and hit my new horse in the corona of the right foot behind, but it seems to be healing without laming him. I
880had to shoot one of my horses, a nice bay gelding, after Shiloh on account of tetanus from a shot in the corona of the left fore foot -- a buckshot or pistol-ball.
June 1st, 1862. I visited Corinth today. It is or was the nicest southern town I have seen, but the depot, the public storehouses and workshops were either burned or blown up
June 2nd. We had battalion drill this morning at 8 the first since the battle of Shiloh. At 3 P. M. we marched to help Sherman drive the enemy from the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. We carried two days' rations, and camped in pitchy darkness last night.
June 3rd. This morning we found that we had stopped in a deserted Confederate camp. It had rained heavily towards morning and water ran about us in torrent. Luckily I had hit upon a spot where a tent had stood, and the trenches kept most of the water off of me. We marched four or five miles west on the M. & C. R. R.
June 4th. This morning I had a long round in cavalry scouting. We found no enemy but some friends in the shape of fine, ripe dewberries, and a profusion of them in an old field.
I saw one man plowing corn with three of his slave wenches. Their horses' collars were made of plaited corn shucks and two pieces of wood were placed under the back bands to prevent scalding. It seemed a queer rig-out to an Illinois farmer boy. During the afternoon the Major Adjutant and myself went to the dewberry patch which we had found in the morning. As there was great danger of Guerillas one watched while two picked, having hidden our horses in a thicket. As I was watching I noticed a newly laid gap in a brush and vine-covered fence, and soon heard what I took to be a squad of cavalry coming behind this cover. Giving the agreed signal of alarm to my comrades, I ran to the gap, cocked my revolver, and fixed myself to put in the first shot, but to my surprise a cow jumped through the gap, followed closely by a white-wooled darky. I threw up my gun while he threw up his hands, exclaiming, "Lord a-massy, doan
881shoot, doan shoot!" Then with wide open eyes he stood in mute silence regarding me in astonishment. "Uncle," I said, "I am a Yankee, don't you see my horns?"; then turning my back to him, "Don't you see my tail?" The old man took off his hat and bowed and said, "Dares one ting this nigger can't git tru his wool," running the fingers of his right hand through his curls, "My massy is a confed sojer and he jus say they whip you all to pieces, ever time they meet u'ins."
"Well, Uncle," I explained, "you see your massy has lied to you."
"Yas, yas, and you'ns jes keep comin' and comin'." The old fellow got very garrulous but he admitted that "critter-men" were all about there and we decided that discretion was the better part of valor and rode to camp.
June 4th. Rode out to the Tuscumbia River, two miles. It is a yellow, muddy stream, hardly as large as the Mauvaisterre at Jacksonville, Illinois. I brought back to camp a Confederate prisoner. He had an ugly wound in his face, hardly healed, and which he received at Chamber's Creek before Corinth, the day we captured the three companies of the 3rd Confederate, of which he was a member. He seemed to think the war hopeless for them. "What did you first think of us?" I asked. "That you were mostly Dutch and that you would die as soon as you got out of reach of lager beer." "But you don't think so now?" "No, by G - d, I guess we don't," was his sympathetic respond. Two little gray lizzards have become tame in my tent, so they will take crumbs from my fingers. I never saw common house flies quite so thick.
June 6th, 1862. Am field officer today. The paymaster is with us. I sent $400 by Capt. Simpson to deposit with Rosencranz, St. Louis, and $60 to Warner, Chewer & Co. for a mess chest.
Shibley redeemed my due bill on himself. Greatly needing fresh meat and knowing of a flock of sheep, held for Confederates use, the Major and myself went on horseback and the Chaplain in an ambulance. We soon found the sheep, 400 of them, and the Major knocked over several and the Chaplain
882bled them and helped to load them in the ambulance. We had to pass Hurlbut's headquarters in a sunken road, and he "was sitting where he could look down on our load. "Hello, "what have you got there?" he demanded, "Sanitary provisions," I replied and the Major called the General's cook and the Chaplain hawled him out a whole mutton. "Humph," remarked the General as we drove on. We got one at the 14th headquarters and sent the rest to the hospital.
June 7th, Maj. Morris, Lieut. Bruner of Veatche's staff, and myself went this afternoon to the Tuscumbia river to fish. We found a strong guard and fatigue party was building a bridge over the river. The channel was against the foot of the hill, on the north side, but on the south side there was a bottom with tall timber, but low cane, and in this was some lagoons where we proposed to fish, as the river was still muddy. The officer in charge of the guard tried to persuade us from going beyond his picket, saying the enemy were hiding in the cane, but being armed with good revolvers and all three being fair shots, we went till we found a promising place, a quarter of a mile or more outside of the bridge picket. The Major nor myself wore neither vest or coat, and had on gray shirts. A heavy log stuck over the water and the Major being ready first, walked out near the end and began fishing. I followed, leaving Bruner, who was in the dark blue, from head to foot, tying his line to a pole near a tree. My hook was hardly out before two caps snapped in the cane, and an instant later a gun went off, the bullet grazing the top of Bruner's cap, and lodging in the tree. All three broke for the east as the shot came from the west. The Major and Lieutenant dropped their fishing tackle, but I took mine with me, and in twenty or thirty steps dropped down under a tree and watched under it till I got hook and line in my pocket. I lay watching until I began to feel very lonely, till I heard a low voice, that I knew, some distance behind me in the cane. Cautiously leaving my cover, I soon found my companions and we held a short consultation. We all agreed our best plan was to get to the river, but while Bruner would not venture
883an opinion, the Major was positive the river was in the opposite direction from what I pointed out. And positively refused to go with us. Delay was dangerous, so the Major with tears running down his cheeks shook hands with us and with a tremulous voice bade us good bye, and then started south while the Lieutenant and myself hurried north, quickly finding the river, and Bruner hurried back, overtook the Major, whom he found moving cautiously through the cane, and brought him back. We soon found a drift to cross on, and taking to the woods got back to our horses.
I noticed large cypress trees grew about the sloughs and many cypress "knees" grew in the water.
June 8th, I visited in camp today, feeding my pet lizzards and reading.
June 9th, another quiet and restful day. I believe I could write something very useful for the volunteer or inexperienced soldiers. When I was at Camp Duncan, Henesey, one of my men who had served in the regular army asked permission to speak freely with me. He complimented on my address and proficiency, but said I was too familiar with my men. I now understand all he meant.
Men here are only big children, and the more you indulge them the more indulgence they want. The idea seems to be that a volunteer, even after he has taken the oath of obedience, can, in some measure, continue volunteering every day and for every duty. There is but one course for an officer to pursue, and it has no alternative. Be strict, but be just in hardships or danger, sacrifice your own comfort or safety for the humblest man under your command. Considering the manner in which these troops were raised our army is disciplined and effective, but transfer our officers to regulars and they would soon demoralize the army. The system of electing officers has brought the tricks and schemes of intriguing politicians into the army.
June 10th. After a hot dusty march of ten or twelve miles we got to the Hatchie river, near its confluence with the Tuscumbia. We have plenty of good water here, the best we
884have found since leaving Missouri. Though there is considerable pine the land looks good and lays well. We have only 13 six mule wagons to the regiment, and are now ordered to carry ten days rations and supplies and two hundred rounds of ammunition to the man, and are expected to carry our camp and garrison equipment, when the wagons will hardly carry the rations and forage. Do the generals expect us to perform miracles?
June 11th. Bridge over the Hatchie finished but no orders to move. Am field officer today. Climbed a tall magnolia near the Hatchie and cut my name and rank in the bark of the trunk, while using the tree for a lookout. Just as I was going to bed the countersign came and my escort having been sent to quarters, I mounted and carried it over my long line alone. Company "K" was stationed at a mill down the Hatchie, a mile or so from Poehontas but it was such a balmy, bright moonlight night that in spite of the danger and need of sleep, I enjoyed the long ride. The foliage was heavy, a long festoon of vines hung from many of the tallest trees. It was enough to entrance an artist. Though alone I was not lonely.
June 12th. During the forenoon preparations were made to load our wagons to the best advantage. We marched at noon and now are camped near the Muddy, and west of the Hatchie. Supped by invitation of a citizen named Robinson. Another citizen by the name of Bryant made me a present of a M. & C. R. R. fifty cent script as a curiosity and a momento of the times.
June 13th. Marched 12 or 15 miles through heat, dust and sand. With wagons and artillery ahead of us it was "Halt", and "Forward" every few minutes till the patience and physical endurance of our infantry were nearly worn out. Unless there had been danger of surprise or sudden attack, it would have been far better to have halted the infantry for half or even an hour at a time. It was after dark when we bivouacked and the most vexations job trying to find water. Many a tired soldier will lie down tonight without cover, water or food.
We seemed to have gotten out of the pine though a few miles south of us, we are told, it struck west nearly to the Mississippi River. Water seems to be poor and scarce here. There was a union meeting at a church a mile or two back on the road. In this section there seems to be a strong Union sentiment, and the people seem very intelligent and respectable.
Wolf river or Neshoba Hatchie just west of us at Grand Junction is the last stream of any size; it is reported that we shall find for 50 miles. The only dependence for water will be from bored wells.
June 14th. Our camp is 10 or 15 miles east of Grand Junction. We rest today, on Spring creek.
June 15th. We marched at 5 a. m. The dust was choking and the guns got so hot I think a piece of meat laid across one would have fried. The country was rolling and reminded me of that about Concord, Morgan County, Ill. But the soil was poor and sandy and poorly watered, and seemed to suffer from drouth. The people seemed friendly and greeted us in a most cordial manner. We got here about noon and as I had given my horse to a sore footed soldier, I took a much needed bath in a cool stream, a branch of wolf river and then lay most deliciously at ease on a buffalo robe in front of my tent, when the Sargeant Major, Archie McConnell, called us to dinner, we found the coffee had been forgotten, so we went back to our lounging till that was prepared.
We are about three miles east of Grand Junction. Am on ticket for the night as field officer. A laughable though annoying thing happened just as we stopped here. Before unsaddling, I was directed to ride up stream to see how the and lay. After passing through the camps a fence across the stream forced me on the hill at the left. Here I stopped to contemplate the animated scenes below. There were thousands of soldiers in sight, drinking at the stream or carrying water back to the fires. Songs and jokes could be heard everywhere in the throng below. But as I turned in the saddle to move on below my eyes caught sight most
886disgustingly, for I had drank heartily myself from the stream below the fence. Turning my horse about I pointed to the stream where the fence crossed it and shouted, "Camp ahoy there's a dead mule in that water gap and you're getting the soup." Then I had to laugh, the songs and jokes suddenly changed to lurid oaths and the loudest and most emphatic profanity. Thousands of kettles and canteens and hundreds of soldiers ran to see for themselves, thinking I might be playing a joke on them, but a glance at the bloated carcass, covered with millions of flies satisfied them instantly.
June 16th. This morning I was not relieved, as we expected to march every minute. It was late, almost sundown, we started to march for Holly Springs, Miss.
June 17th. Marched nearly all night. We lay down and rested from 11 till 2. I had been on duty the night before and had little or no sleep, and last night when I was unstrapping my blankets from the cantle of the saddle, my head dropped on the horse, and I was almost asleep on my feet. We slacked girths but did not unsaddle or unharness. I noticed the horses especially in the artillery, sighing as they stood asleep attached to the guns. About noon we camped on a hill about north of and in plain sight of the town.
June 18th. Holly Springs is noted for being the most aristocratic town in the state of Mississippi. It looks something like Jacksonville, Ill. But the rolling hills around it are old worn out fields that can hardly be recuperated in the next one hundred and fifty years. Slavery seems to be physical as well as a social curse. We have but two tents, one for the Adjutant with Col. Hall, Major Morrison and Chaplain Rutledge using the other. I am sleeping out with the soldiers. The fields between this camp and the town if planted at all, show nothing but corn and cotton. The rows crook around the hills to prevent washing. The residences of the planters are built with some taste, but their appearance is marred by unsightly negro quarters. The rain last night laid the dust We burned a bridge over on the M. & W. B. B. with little loss and then turned north.
June 19th. About midnight we stacked arms and laid down in the road till near day break, and at 2 p. m. camped near Grand Junction. A bullet caught and ripped open my boot top over the cap of my left knee, but it did not pain me at all today, though the patalla and side of the knee joint got quite a bruise.
June 20th. Drawing rations and making preparations for the march to Memphis. Some of the people here refused our treasury notes, but accept any kind of Confederate shim-plasters with readiness. The result is they are badly imposed upon, for some parties in St. Louis supply our men with immitations of Confederate script and bills at $1.00 on the $100.00. David Wilson, the old doctor's son arrived today from Winchester, a recruit for company "K." He brought me likenesses of Kittie, her brother Robert and sister Fannie. I have recovered the large revolver taken out of the holster at Corinth.
June 21st. Foraging today as we are short on provisions. I got 1,200 lbs. of meal at Smith mills today. I wanted to pay the old colored miller for a sack of meal I took for myself, but, he refused good U. S. money, saying, "Marsh Smiff would not have that kind of money," so I gave him some southern money I had intended to keep as curiosities, telling him it was no account. He rammed it down in a pocket that reached nearly to his knees, saying, "It's what they gibes me massy." I went to the mill again this evening as it was running on Confederate corn, but the 25th Ind. had gotten ahead of me. I had almost forgotten a rather exciting adventure I had at the same mill this morning. On duty all night, I took two cavalry men and rode down a long, straight lane towards the mills. We had gotten to where a cypress swamp lay on our right, when a lot of reb cavalry men rode in and commenced hitching about the mill, which was on the opposite side of the river from us. Under such circumstances a man thinks quickly. Some willows had hidden us from the enemy, but to start back up the lane would expose us, and they could hit us or overtake us if we ran. There was a cradle knoll, or mound
888over which the road ran in front of us, so hastily instructing my men how to act, I rode to the top of the knoll drew my sabre swung it around my head, calling loudly for men to come on, and spurred for the bridge between us and the rebs. My men drew their sabres, waving them as they came on, at full gallop, and yelling like Indians. The rebs were panic stricken and broke for the swamps west of the mills, without stopping to count us. Just as we reached the bridge the last Jonney went out of sight, and we wheeled about and ran the other way at the top of our speed.
The old miller told me this evening that the "South'uns" never came back but that the meal I got was for them. I have not told in camp for fear of a repremand for going so far with only two men.
June 22nd, 1862. We made an early start and passed through LaGrange, Tenn. Camped near Wolf river, on a ridge among pine trees with a cypress swamp below the camp. Catalpa grows wild here. This village seems tidy for southern, where negro shanty and bungalows are generally mixed with the better houses.
I met Col. Bland of the 6th Mo. Infantry at a citizens house. In addition to the trees we have growing wild in Illinois, here they have pine, cypress, arborvitae, holly, Catalpa, mimosa, magnolia, beech, chestnut, poplar, chestnut-oak, black and sweet gum, besides several varieties I cannot name. Huckleberries are plentiful, dew berries and blackberries superabundant. The first mimosa was at Lamar, Miss., on our march to Holly Springs, and was in full bloom.
June 23rd. Idle in camp all day.
June 24th. We were to have marched at 3:30 this morning, but the order was countermanded. We moved the camp to a hillside northwest of La Grange, and where we have plenty of good water. I tried fishing in Wolf river today but caught nothing. The streams and even swamps here have surprisingly cool water in them. This stream is moderately clear; in some places 12 or 15 feet deep, but badly obstructed with fallen timber. Along its banks are lagoons filled with
889cypress knees. We hear that Beauregarde has attacked Pope and our troops at Corinth have gone to the scene of action.
June 25th. A sultry day in camp, but the men seem remarkable healthy. This evening we were warned that Price, Van Dorn and Breckenridge are advancing. We can not raise 6,000 effective men in this division. And if Sherman is not near enough to take a hand we are likely to have a tough scrimmage. The men seem willing, however to meet any odds. We are under arms and everything jacked up for a run for a fight. Dark and close without any air stirring.
June 26th. We lay in line and on our arms last night with several alarms. I am on duty as field officer today, and have a sharp watch to the south, but have neither seen nor heard any signs of the enemy.
June 27th. Now we are told that Price, Van Dorn & Co. are intrenching at Holly Springs, pressing slaves for laborers or as some say, for soldiers. A man of Company F who escaped came in this evening and reported the first train out of Memphis for this point with a large mail had been captured, and burned by the rebs.
June 28th. We are not setting a Napoleonic example for our men, for while it was raining this morning, the field and staff breakfasted around a nice mess chest, in a good tent with a fly over it, while the soldiers, without shelter, and with less cooking utensiles than they actually need, have to do as they can. Yesterday I practiced swimming with my clothes on. A young soldier was sporting in the water like a mermaid, when I asked his Lieutenant, Stewart, 46th Ill., if that man had been shot as his marks on the body indicated. Stewart had the soldier come to me. I found a large ball had entered near the naval, and three buck shot in the belly, and all came out at the back, but without striking bones.
In swimming some horses, I found the Major's sorrell an exception. He would go to the bottom then spring half way out of the water and strike so wildly that it was dangerous with him. After several trials I had to give him up.
Near us was a fish trap, that not only caught the fish but
890put them in a box. Got a letter from Kittie, father and brother Barnard this evening. Communication with Columbus is now open and mail trains start north this evening. I am detailed on Regimental court martial.
June 29th. After being engaged at Court Martial nearly all day, I went to the river and took a good bath. An ugly looking thunder storm is threatening. The roar of thunder is almost continuous.
June 30th. The storm that threatened us last night broke up before it reached us. Lieut. Peden, who was raised in Tennessee, says the atmospherical phenomena of this part of the Lord's truck-patch would fool the man that made the thunder. Wrote resignations for Lieut. Ward and Shibley. Mustered for pay this forenoon. Postponed court martial and marched at 2 p. m. A light rain was falling, the air cool and the men eager for a whack at the Jonnies. And though we had to wait till Sherman's column coming down from Moscow, passed ahead of us, we reached Lamar and bivouaced after dark.
July 1st. At day light we marched briskly and soon reached Coldwater, four miles north of Holly Springs, of which we got possession without a fight. The Confederates seem to have had the wire edge taken off of them or "Pap Price" is trying his Missouri tactics in Mississippi. Trying to run us down, he running in front. One year ago tonight the officers of the 14th attended a ball given by the ladies of Quincy, Ill.
July 2nd. We lay in camp quietly all day till this evening when an alarm hurried us into line. A year ago, took "K" from Quincy to keep the 4th of July in Winchester What a year of wonderful experience! -- to all who have lived through it.
July 3rd. A party of our officers riding out today were ambushed and several were killed and wounded. I lay quietly in camp until after the heat of the day when with four companies of infantry and half a troop of cavalry, I went foraging and brought in 1,400 lbs. of bacon and 20 sheep, besides
891the wagon feed boxes full of sweet Potatoes. We drove the sheep in a pen and a few soldiers went in with knives and, standing outside, a soldier with a sheep held in each hand and a knife in his mouth grunted at me, I jumped the fence, took the knife out of his mouth and cut the throat of both sheep.
The other men seeming to think that was the game straggled their captures to me and in less time than it takes to write it, I had killed most of the sheep we got. I allow no irregular foraging and searched the men in line when we got to camp, but I now am told they smuggled some chickens in.
July 4th. Just one year since we were in Winchester, and since I saw Kittie. Rusticated quietly in camp all day. The rebs must have been keeping the fourth too, since they did not disturb us.
July 5th. After dinner the 14th was ordered to march towards Lamar to meet and bring in a supply train coming down from La Grange, and which the enemy were trying to head off and capture. About four or five miles out in the middle of the afternoon, Hall escorted the mule teams with half the regiment back to camp, leaving five companies with myself to bring in the horses or cavalry train. The heat was excessive and I had the horses unharnessed, watered, fed and groomed. On the plantation of a rebel quartermaster a thrasher was running, and a number of mules were being used about it. These I seized and put in places of horses I had to abandon, as some seemed to be dying. About sunset I started and at once saw the enemy's cavalry ahead of me a mile or so. Disposing of a couple of companies to guard the slowly moving train I pushed forward with the other three to drive the rebs off before the wagons got under fire. But the Jonnies did not seem to like this arrangement and got away. I approached the woods with sharpshooters out, but we never got shot. Slowly and painfully the tired train horses toiled along through the dark while the soldiers boosted the wagons up the hill. Some of the poor brutes died after falling in the woods. Then we would take off the harness and pull the carcass out of the way and put in a captured mule from those
892I had reserved for such an exigency. We got to camp about midnight. Found three letters from home waiting for me
July 6th, 1862. Rested till 3 P. M., when we marched back over the road we passed twice over yesterday, and reached Lamar at dark.
July 7th. Marched this morning and stopped for noon at the bridge near La Grange, then re-occupied our old camp. Got five letters and copy of Harper's Weekly.
July 8th. Visited the city twice. Made application for leave of absence. Conflicting rumors from Richmond.
July 9th. In camp and inactive.
July 10th. Sick in camp.
July 11th. The regiment voted on a new Constitution for the State of Illinois, but if the vote of this regiment indicates the vote of the State, the Constitution of 1848 will not be set aside for some time to come. Fifty-seven for and 232 against the Constitution submitted. Many did not vote.
July 12th. My bowels better today. All quiet.
July 13th. While cool this morning I rode a couple of miles to gather blackberries. We never see them in such profusion in Illinois.
Spent most of the day reading Hallock's Military Art and Science. He says two regulars can be kept in the field at no more expense than one volunteer or militiaman. This reckless wastefulness would lead, from what I have seen, one to believe, he was close to the truth. On our muster and pay rolls I notice that the clothing account of the men who have served as regulars is generally underdrawn. This is especially true in Company "G," where nearly all of the men served in the German army. And not a company in this army can come out as well dressed as "G" can, when occasion requires.
Our men never were healthier, though. For more than a month they have had no shelter, or only booths made out of branches.
There is an inpromptu prayer meeting behind out tent tonight. Another wagon train started to Memphis for supplies this afternoon.
July 14th. On court martial duty again. Rebel cavalry attacked one of our foraging trains four miles below La-Grange, but was beaten off. Our pickets strengthened tonight.
July 15th. Court martial adjourned sine die. Drilled battalion on dress parade this evening.
July 16th. Packed to move all day.
July 17th. Reached Moscow this evening. Military strategy is no doubt a wonderful thing, but there is no question about it being wonderfully annoying to the strategized soldiers -- the pawns of the chess-board of war.
July 18th. This morning some of our men shamefully looted some of the stores, but afterwards this breach of discipline seemed almost justified when in one, at least, they found some of our military clothing that had been stolen from the Memphis train, plundered and destroyed by rebel guerrillas at this place some days ago. Camped at night at Wolf River, near Lafayette, Tenn.
July 19th, 1862, Marched to Germantown.
July 20th. Lying eight to ten miles east of Memphis.
July 21st. Marched early this morning and reached Memphis in scorching heat. The intention of passing through the city with colors flying and bands to the front had to be abandoned. The 14th leading straggled in, route step, down the gutter on the shady side of Main Street, and then had to stop to cool. Some citizens waited on us with water in front of their residences. One lady asked me to dismount and come in, and she gave me water, clean towels to wash and wipe my face and neck.
Indeed it was all a reverse of the spitefulness and insult we had been told to expect. Small British flags, or shields, were shown at some business places. We camped on the huge east bank of the Mississippi River, in shady woods, about one mile south of Fort Pickering.
July 22nd. Bathing and resting today.
July 23rd. Rode to city today. Had a melainotype taken and sent it to Kittie.
July 24th. Am field officer today. Weather beautiful. My picket line runs from the river east to the ford over the Nocannah on the Horn Lake road.
July 25th. Rested till evening, when Col. Gresham, Maj. Morris, Lieut. Brunner and several other officers and myself went to the theatre in Memphis.
July 26th. Quiet in Bibouac. The men have no tents. Quartermaster marked new grounds for us east of that we now occupy.
July 27th. Moved to new and better ground this morning. Took some prisoners to the provost this morning. Am picket and field officer tonight.
July 28th. Relieved this morning. Then rested and slept till evening, when I rode into the city.
July 29th. Quietly in camp. Rained this evening.
July 30th. Confined to the camp.
July 31st. Same as yesterday. This is dull soldiering.
August 1st. Field officer again. This is better than lying in camp, but necessitates so much night riding and loss of sleep.
August 2nd. After being relieved yesterday I went scouting beyond the Nonconnah, to the city in the evening.
August 3rd. Another idle day in camp. It seems that Capt. Bryant and Littlefield had preferred some sort of charges against me, but Gen. Hurlbut burned them while making some pointed if not to say profane remarks. No officer here can do his duty without incurring the enmity of such men.
August 4th. Twice in the city today.
August 5th. The officer we always welcome came to camp today. The Paymaster. Isn't it queer that those who get the highest pay quibble most about anything that seems to be against them.
What is there in the conditions under which we live that makes some men, so many, love money more than country?
August 6th. On picket all day. By invitation I took supper at Mr. Wildburger's, a Switzer, who lives near the right of the picket line, overlooking the river. Several pleasant, intelligent ladies were present. He showed me an oil painting, the subject being a nude corpse which he claimed was a costly Rembrandt. It looked old and had the dark Rembrandt background. Tonight while galloping out of the city, Lieut, Brunner, of Veaches staff, did not hear, or would not hear, the "Halt" and was shot dead.
The private soldier may not have so much discretion, but he has more arbitrary power than a Major General.
August 7th, 1862. Maj. Rainer of the 15th Illinois relieved me this morning, and then I was ordered on duty to the city.
August 8th. Served on regimental court martial today. Letter from home telling me my brother, Barnard, was sworn into the service on the second inst. Adj. McKnight has gone home. Wonder where such leaves of absence are obtained? Mine hasn't yet been heard from. Some time ago I employed a stout young negro, a black Apollo, Jas. Washington, who had run away from a rebel wagon train, where his master had sent him as a teamster, as my hostler. Jim was an exhorter and knew nearly all the whole of the new Testament by note, but could neither read nor write. The first request he made was for a spelling book, and I got him a Webster's elementary. After blacking my boots in the evening he would sit near my cot, while I pronounced the syllables till now, only three weeks, he reads fairly well. Since we came here, Col. Hall hired for a cook, a yellow girl, a slave seamstress, who ran away from her mistress at Horn Lake. This morning James followed me about for some time and finally in a sheepishly way asked to let him get married to our headquarter cook. Of course, I said yes, and handed him my pocketbook containing more than $100, and gave him a pass to the city to buy him an outfit. Before noon he was back, dressed in a neat suit of black, with white shirt, new hat and shoes, and looked every inch a fine, straight, square-shouldered
896gem'em of color. Only $25 of my money was gone. I overheard something about having "Col. Camm give the bride away," so after dinner when Chaplain Rutledge had the couple come to headquarters for the ceremony, I made it convenient to be off in the hospital. The soldiers crowded about, shook hands with groom and bride, though not one offered to kiss her, and then I came up affecting surprise and disappointment that they had been in such a hurry with the ceremony.
August 9th. Lacking witnesses we did not try a case today. My application for leave of absence made on the 8th came back today, not granted.
August 10th. Though Sunday there was no inspection, parade or church services. This is a sort of prison life, though under a fine sky and with glorious woods about.
August 11th. Disposed of cases of Leonard and Boldman. Letter from Judge Moses, Gov. Yates' secretary.
August 13th. Got a canvass on an oval stretcher in the city today to paint a likeness chiaroscuro of myself for the home folks.
August 14th. At some drawing nearly all the morning. The court martial disposed of one case today.
August 15th. I spent a good part of the day reading Napier's Peninsular War. The court martial did not meet this afternoon, and will not until Monday morning. We had a heavy rain last night, but the evening is beautiful, bright and pleasantly cool.
August 16th. In the city painting all day, and got over the canvas once. The likeness is good, but as a picture, it is too dark and cold.
August 17th. Idle in camp most of the day, but called on Col. Turner of the 15th Illinois, who got back to his regiment today.
The wives of Maj. Morris, Capt. Meacham and Lieut. Coe arrived by the steamer Rowena on the 15th. Weather beautiful.
August 18th. Sick today.
August 19th. No better.
August 20th. Still laid up.
August 21st. Feel a little better today. If I could be nursed by tender hands at home there would be a chance of permanent improvement, but going on just as soon as I can wear my belt throws me back again.
August 22nd. Painted all day and with success for a sick man. Summoned as a witness in Lieut. Williams' case tomorrow.
August 23rd. Idle and quiet in camp.
August 24th. Another day of inaction.
August 25th. I have still Napier's Peninsular War. Want of witnesses make our court martial proceeding drag. Weather fine.
August 26th. I am incurring the enemity of some of my fellow officers but can not help it. I am told that a copy of a paper from Col. Hall's own town, Shelbyville, in which there was a communication from a soldier in Company "B," saying that if the 14th was superior in drill and discipline to most volunteer regiments the credit was due to Col. Camm. Hall has not mentioned the matter to me, but I know he must feel it. This morning something else happened that was even worse. For some days one or two battalions have drilled in regimental maneuvers on a field east of Veatch's headquarters, every morning before the heat of the day, the General himself turning out to witness the drills. This morning I started to division headquarters so as to avoid the heat, as I am far from well. Passing Gen. Veatch's quarters, the General asked me to wait until after drill, as Hall was to bring out the 14th. Knowing that our court martial was not likely to sit I consented, and when the troops came I rode with Veatch. Hall put the battalion through a few of the similar maneuvers and then began to repeat them. Veatch sent his Adjt. Capt. Fox to tell the Colonel to vary his maneuvers more. Hall galloped to where I was sitting with the General and asked me to handle the battalion for him as he felt poorly. I reminded him that on account of ill health, I
898had been excused from wearing a sword, but the Colonel handed me his own and as I rode forward the men, who were standing at ease, but who were eager to acquit themselves creditably before so many spectators, broke into cheers. Of course, they intended to compliment me, but I felt for Hall, whom I liked, and who was my own choice for Colonel of the regiment, and was myself rather pained than pleased. Sharply I called to "Attention" and then put them through the most difficult maneuvers, at quick and double quick, passing instantly from one movement to another, until the sweat was running down their faces, and Veatch sent an officer to say that was enough. It was my only chance to punish them for putting me in such an awkward and unpleasant position.
When I returned Hall asked Veatch to convey his compliments to the line for the proficiency they had shown.
As I came back from division headquarters, Veatch called me in and congratulated me on the cheers the men gave me this morning.
I wish I had frankly told him my predicament. If Hall would only speak I would tell him my real feelings, but as it now stands I can only let matters take their course.
We drilled again this evening. Col. Hall's wife came yesterday and he is now out of camp, leaving me in command.
August 27th. Drilled again today. Got marching orders.
August 28th, 1862. Marched at daybreak, on the plank or pigeon roost road, southeast towards Holly Springs, but stopped at the Nonconnap bridge six miles from Memphis. Only my own regiment and one battery came out. I put out flankers and a citizen coming towards the city with a wagon load of peaches, stopped when he got the first glimpse of us, and then catching sight of the flankers he turned about, put his horses on the run, and as some planks were out of the road his hindgate jolted out and his peaches, of the large, dark Indian variety, were scattered for a mile or two, much to the enjoyment of my men.
We stacked arms on the north side of the road on the
899hill but in plain sight of and at short range from the bridge. But we kept accoutrements on. A citizen learning that I was sick brought me some nice chicken and broth, for which I was heartily prepared and thankful. About the middle of the afternoon one of my men came running through the woods in our rear saying the rebels cavalry were upon us. Quicker than I can write it, my men were in line behind the arms stacked, and I gave the orders to take arms, the pieces being already loaded. The battery, too, was quickly manned and the guns turned to action in the rear. But riding to our front I saw it was some of our cavalry halting in the woods to rest and the men having no coats on, my men seeing their gray shirts, had mistakened them for gray backs. After dark I moved my regiment to the south side of the road and had them lay down under arms but in line.
Previously while there was light enough I had the battery trained on the bridge, with friction primers in and the lanyards laid on the stock trails. All fire and lights being out I lay behind my line, with the Sergeant Major on one side of me and the Adjutant on the other and Sentinel over us.
August 29th. The enemy I had been warned of did not come last night. After midnight the Sentinel roused me and I could hear cavalry coming. The Adjutant General went one way and the Sergeant Major the other, and rising a moment afterwards to go to the battery, although I had hardly heard a sound in the dark woods, I found my men all standing like a wall. Anxiously listening I heard the Sentinel at the bridge, in a firm voice, order, "Halt," "Dismount and give the countersign." Then came, "All right, pass on." It was a dark, quiet night but under such circumstance, a man finds it exciting enough.
The incoming officer reported our front clear, so we slept till daybreak.
August 30th. Came back to camp today, or rather this evening.
August 31st. Muster and pay rolls signed today. Adjutant and Surgeon Stevenson returned from Illinois today. It
900seems I have offended again, though unwillingly. I met Stevenson at the Provost Marshal's office, the day he left to see his sick wife who was thought to he near death. The same day being on court martial duty at headquarters when the Division Sergeant gave me a verbal order to give Stevenson, and when I told him that my surgeon had that day started for Illinois, the doctor with a good deal of profanity told me that Dr. S. had no leave and that he would have him dismissed for absence without leave. When I came to camp I told Maj. Morris and explained my regret at the occurrence and since then I have done what I could with Hurlburt and Veatch to save Stevenson. But it seems he is in righ dudgeon about it, though has not and probably will not say anything to me. Had I known that he was going without leave I should never have let the cat out at division headquarters, for I do not blame him under such circumstances.
September 1st. No court. I rode to Memphis and back.
September 2nd. Had an annoying, though rather funny thing happen today.
Chaplain Rutledge and myself went to the river for a swim this afternoon. We crossed the stream north of our camp on a log, near its mouth, undressed, left our clothing near the river, and walked to Fort Pickering up the river. On the way we came to a crowd of cavalry soldiers and the Sarg. said to me there was one of my men drunk and very anxious to fight everybody, or anybody. The crowd opened to let me in and I found Javus Worrall, Co. "K," very drunk and very pugnacious. "There is the Colonel," shouted a soldier. W. turned, came to attention and respectfully saluted we, though so far as having any insignia of rank about me -- I was entirely naked. I didn't speak but signed him to follow me and when we got to where the Chaplain was waiting, I told Worrall where our clothing was and ordered him to sit by it till we swam down to him.
Saluting again, he started promptly but not very steadily. The Chaplain seemed surprised. "You don't expect that drunken fellow to do as you have directed, Colonel." "I do,"
901was my reply, "He is obedient and faithful, even when drunk." "We soon jumped into the river, swam out into the current and began to swim leisurely down stream. There was a water insect, however, that stung us sharply now and then, and we put in a little more vim in our strokes till just above the head of President's Island we pulled ashore.
There was Jab. sitting by our clothing and patiently waiting for us. While we were dressing I wondered how we would get Jab. over the log. It was a mile around to the bridge and the creek was full of soft mud, or river sediment that would swallow a man alive the moment he got into it. The Chaplain's mind was working on the same problem, for he asked me in an undertone how we were going to get "Jab. over?" I said get over yourself and leave Jab. to me. While the Chaplain got over I explained to Jab. that when I got over I would hold my hat. I started leisurely over and had gotten little over half way over when he dashed over, pushing me off into the mud, eight feet or more, but landing safely himself. The Chaplain almost shrieked as he saw me go down, but I caught the roots of a tree and only a little above the waist, and with help I was soon out, and the Chaplain laughing at me most irreverently. Meanwhile Jab. was nearly at the top of a steep bank hanging to a sappling and calling "Come on, Col., come on." Then losing his holt rolled down hill like a log and went face down and arms spread wide out into the mire. Grabbing a swing vine with one hand I was in the mud almost as quick as he was, and had him by the collar and the Chaplain with a passing soldier pulled him out. He had gone in with his mouth open and the poor fellow was strangled. Turning his head to one side I stuck a stick in his teeth, with my finger cleaned out the thickest mud and then dashed it clean with a cup or two of cold water which a passing soldier had with him. Jab. was a sight and seemed sobered and begged to be left until we could send some of his mess mates for him. I was not much better looking myself, and the Chaplain had a good deal of fun introducing me to some of my own officers when we got to camp.
September 3rd. Fine but warm today. Drilled twice. A Mulatto contraband came to our picket on the Horn Lake road.
She was a young woman about 18 years of age with a babe at her breast. She was running away from her master. She said she had been chased with dogs, blood hounds. Her dress was torn off to her knees, and her feet and legs lascerated and bleeding. She looked famished, but when a soldier gave her a loaf of nice baker's bread, she tore it open and tried first to feed her child, then she ate ravenously herself, exciting the pity of the roughest soldier. What brutes slavery makes of men? We hear that Pope and Buell have had success in several engagements.
September 4th. The ladies in this country seem addicted to the use of snuff, or dipping as they term it, rubbing on their teeth with a brush made by chewing the end of soft, green wood.
At the picket reserve on the horn lake road a carriage with a negro driver, with a planter and his wife on the seat, wanted to pass out. Captain Smith politely asked them to get out and be searched. The husband himself cheerfully complied, telling the captain he had himself been a soldier. The lady sat still. "I regret it lady, but I must ask you to step down," said Smith, bluntly. The lady colored a deep red in the face but remained seated. "I am sorry to have to insist," said the captain in a sterner voice, and appealingly turned to the husband. Get out Martha, or the man will have to pull you out," said the husband. She obeyed and quite a parcel dropped under her dress. The captain snatched it up thinking he had captured a lot of quinine, or some other valuable prize, but the husband laughed and said, "She dips, Captain, she dips."
The Captain motioned the blushing woman back into the carriage and then sheepishly handed the lady her snuff.
Grapevine telegrams tell today of serious reverses in Kentucky and on the Potomac.
September 5th. There is one family here that I shall regret leaving, Judge L. and daughter who live near our camp. The Judge plays the violin and his daughter the piano. At my suggestion the Judge put a glass sounding post in his fiddle, and Miss L. glass blocks under her piano. Both were pleased with the experience. It is a treat to spend an evening with them. While we have been here the men and I suspect some of the officers have been playing some merry jokes on some of the field officers. The trick was to hire a fine carriage and three or four of the pretty and fast bona robas, make a ceremonious call some fine afternoon on the officers at their quarters. Some of the victims of such visits were in bad temper, but Hall took it good naturedly, and laughed so heartily that I think the jokers, feel that they have fooled their money away. As yet I have not received such a left-handed compliment, and shall not now, as we march to Brownsville at 3 o'clock in the morning. Wives are being hustled home and spare baggage disposed of. My best horse that got a buck shot in the corona of his hind foot got so lame, and showed such strong signs of sloughing the hoof, that I turned him back to the government.
I ought to go to the hospital, but as we are likely to go into action, I want to share the danger with my brave fellows.
September 6th. Though ordered for three a. m. we did not get the final order to move till noon. At first the dust was choking and it was close and smothering, till a heavy thunder storm broke upon us and then the mud was harder to march in than the dust had been.
The lightning even before the storm near reached us was fearful and the thunder deafening and incessant. The soldiers covered their bright arms with gum or rubber blankets and marched through it all, though luckily we were facing the east when the rain coming from the west struck us in torrents. Before the rain and when the lightning seemed to be burning the top of the trees, I was riding beside Company "K" when a short, stout soldier of "I", who had gotten behind was sweating and blowing, trying to get to his place again. His
904gun, very bright, lay over his shoulder exposed, and just as he was passing a tall soldier of "K" said in a warning tone "Cover up yer gun, lightning will strike you." The sweltering soldier looked up into his comrade's face and blurted "Dam your old soul to H., you are so cross grained, crusty it wouldn't kill you if it did strike you." On the account of his looks and temper, the tall man's nick name -- every soldier had one -- was old Crusty, and awful as it seemed at the moment, there was a good deal of merriment at this passage of words.
It had cleared by the time we had reached Cypress Creek, 18 miles from our camp at Memphis. My tent was put up in a nice place but surrounded with cane. I got John Goodyear, our Sutler's grandson to help me through a cane brake to the creek, for I was weak and exhausted, but after a good bath and a rub with a rough towel, I felt greatly refreshed and slept soundly, though unable to eat. We are near the Loosa Hatchie.
September 7th, 1862. Remained in camp as our enemy are shifting and our course will be changed.
September 8th. We are to stay here till morning. Sprinkling.
September 9th. Sick in ambulance. Water bad from the rain.
September 10th. Camped on Muddy, two miles from Hatchie, and ten from Brownsville. They took me out of the ambulance and laid me on my buffalo robe by a log. Major Morris came and knelt down, and I could tell by his tone and manner that he felt some anxiety about me. He was not out of my hearing on the other side of the log when he left me till he met Dr. Stephenson, and said, "Doctor, Camm is going to die." "Yes," reported the doctor, I know it, but I cannot help it." Then came, and examining me, speaking kindly, but I knew that he regarded me as hopeless. So as soon as he had gone I sent for writing material, and lying there, wrote a resignation on account of bad health, and asked its prompt acceptance. It came back to me in fifteen minutes
905from General Hurlburt with a request for me to withdraw it and he would make an order sending me north.
September 11th. Showery. I feel no pain but weak and tired, and this cloudy, wet weather is the reverse of cheering. The division has moved back about two miles to a better crossing of the Hatchie.
September 12th. Still wet and cloudy. The doctor must be giving me something that keeps me easy but in some stupor. We moved to a stream on the road to Bolivar about twelve miles from the Muddy. I am told that two companies of the 2nd Illinois cavalry reached our camp during the night of the 11th with orders changing our destination.
September 13th. This evening we camped on a stream two miles west of Bolivar. I feel strong and can take a little hardtack in coffee.
September 14th. Came to Bolivar this morning, and General Hurlburt gave me, not a leave, but an order to go north, but to return in twenty days. They put me on a train and I got to Jackson, Tenn. After leaving at 5:30 P. M., I found a sick Captain of the 10th Illinois infantry and another officer of the same regiment, both under the care of the Captain's brother, a doctor, at the hotel, and we all went into the same room, the doctor prescribing for myself while I did what I could for the others, the Captain not being expected to live.
September 15th. Spent a sleepless night helping with my sick, and fighting mosquitos. I feel a good deal worse. Troops are being hurried to the front and the signs are that Corinth is being evacuated.
September 16th. Got to Columbus this afternoon, transient train. The doctor could not get a pass for his sick brother, and his patient from the provost marshal, and I anticipated trouble there myself. I rested awhile and then Goodyear, my attendant and soldier, who knew me, helped me to the provost martial's office, and just as we got in the doctor entered, and I could see he was much perturbed. In an authoritative way I asked if he got his patient on the boat
906yet; he said he had not and, was going to explain, but I sharply reproved him for being so slow, and told him if he did not attend to business better he would soon have to apply for a pass for a stiff or two. The provost stared at me and then wrote the pass without a word. While he was doing this I noticed a comfortable armed chair inside the waiting room and I opened the gate and sat down in it. When he had finished the doctor's pass, I offered my order and told him to write one for myself and attendant. He did not take the order out, but respectfully asked my name and destination. He wrote the pass, and we went on board the "City of Alton." Captain Mitchell, who had his family with him, Mrs. Mitchell moved her room and gave me her state room, and everything was done to make me comfortable. The doctor came then to thank me for rescuing them at Columbus and to prescribe for me again.
September 17th. Got to Cairo at midnight and lay on the depot platform till 3 A. M. when a train brought us north.
September 18th. Reached Jacksonville, where I found my brother Barnard a corporal in Co. "D," 101 Ill. Inft. With him I went to Camp Duncan, got a pass and he got me home about dark. My sister Emily being there on a visit, my father had all his children at the table once more.
September 19th. Came down to Scott County and spent the evening with Kittie.
September 20th. Though without pain I felt weak and drowsy last night. Kittie and her mother had me lie upon a lounge where I fell asleep, and found myself there this morning with much strengthened. Kittie and I visited at Mr. News, my old boarding place, while teaching school here a year ago last winter.
September 21st. Hearing that Chaplain Rutledge had come north and was to lecture at the Methodist Church this evening, Kittie and I attended. The Chaplain was very entertaining in his views and reminiscences, and among many other things told the audience, a very large one, how the Lieutenant Colonel of his regiment displayed such proficiency in the use
907of a revolver in a gang of sheep in the woods west of Corinth, and his facetious remarks caused a good deal of merriment at my expense. I had been invited into the pulpit and was called up after the chaplain sat down. It was a trial to me for I was not accustomed to public speaking, and to my embarrassment was added the fact that I rose before an audience composed largely of the fathers, mothers, wives, children, brothers and sisters of the men I had led to the battlefield, many of whom I had seen fall; but the hearty and approving reception gave me when I rose made me feel as I did at Shiloh, when I ordered break ranks to the 15th Illinois. But I managed to start and when I felt at ease, I did not forget the Chaplain, and told them, among other accomplishments, how exceedingly handy he was at loading dead sheep, in an ambulance. The laugh that followed was at his expense. Before I left the church I felt well repaid for all the hardships and dangers through which I had passed. On the road home my sweetheart said she wished she could visit me should I be sick or wounded after my return to the field. I told her if it was her wish we might be married at once.
She said it was her wish to be and so it was arranged.
September 22, 1862. This morning I asked the consent of Kittie's parents, Charles and Elizabeth Mason, which they readily gave, and the arrangements were made for a quiet wedding the next day.
September 23d. Went to Winchester, procured a marriage license and the services of a minister. This evening I was married to Maria Mason, "Kittie," by Rev. Wm. McAlfresh. Only a few were present -- Kittie, father and mother, her brother Robert, sister Fannie, Maggie, Mary and Lizzie, her uncle, Robert Searth, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. F. New, and my old chum, Geo. Hurd.
September 23rd. My wife and self visited kin folks and friends.
September 30th. I have skipped entries in my journal for several days. Meanwhile we visited at my father's, and went to Waverly, and spent a night with Maj. Morris, who
908had come home injured by a fall from a horse. Returned to my father's. Wife and self went to Jacksonville, where I changed my bank deposit into her name. Bought her a large pocket-book to keep her marriage certificate and other papers in. I also put $190 in it for her present use, and bought her the first dress stuff, calico, at Scott's store, 40 cents per yard, war prices. Rode home, with a storm from the west threatening.
October 1st, 1862. Before breakfast I discovered that I had lost the pocket-book, and mounted at once and rode through mud and water to Jacksonville without finding it. But on my way back my eyes caught something the wheels of a vehicle carrying a new wedded couple (the groom, Jas. C. Gillham) and one of my men -- had turned up, and out of curiosity I dismounted and picked it up. After knocking the mud off of it I found to my surprise and pleasure it was the object of my search, the lost pocket-book.
(Note. March 1st, 1902. I have this pocket-book yet, with the wheel mark still on it.)
October 2d. Made preparations for returning to my regiment.
October 3d. My wife and father bade me good-bye as I stepped, on the train at Jacksonville. It seems to me there are some things that it takes more fortitude and courage to bear and face manfully than the hardships and dangers of a soldier's life in the field.
October 4th. Got to Cairo this morning and took the "City of Alton" for Columbus, where I caught a south-bound train and reached Jackson, Tenn., at 3 P. M. Here General Grant told me that my division had marched from Bolivar, and he directed me to remain at Jackson till further orders.
October 5th. A bright Sunday, but we could hear cannons booming to the south-west. And that a train carrying the 76th Ill. was going south that afternoon. I got permission from General Grant to go with them, and was joined by Dr. Slaughter, surgeon, 53rd Ind. While waiting on board for the train to start, sitting by an open window, I noticed a
909soldier sitting on some lumber with his back towards me. There was something about the figure that I cannot describe, that made me think of an old schoolmate, though I had never seen him in uniform and did not know that he was in the service. But leaning out of the window, I called to him, and mutual recognition was instant. It was William Campbell, one of my earliest schoolmates, but now a comrade in the 124th Ill. Inft. "I have never been in battle," he said, "and was listening at the cannonading, its ugly music." "I have been in battle," was my reply, "and I fear my regiment is in that one without me. It is fearful music, but if my men have to dance to it, I wish I could be with them." It was 8 P. M. when we got to Bolivar, where we heard news of heavy fighting by the 4th division -- "The Fighting Fourth," as it is called, and Ross' brigade had already hurried on to reinforce Hurlburt. I could not find my horse, and Dr. Slaughter was in the same predicament, but we found a couple of starved horses tied in the woods of the Quartermaster's office, which we allowed to eat while we fixed up a couple of old castaway saddles and bridles, which we fixed up with old pieces of rope, and in an hour we were off on our rock-a-bone steeds. I had my sabre and pistol with me, and the Doctor had a six-inch Colt. It was a very moonlight night, and we struck out for a twenty-five mile ride, guessing at the road, as we only knew the direction from the firing in the afternoon. We overtook Ross about midnight. He tried to persuade us not to pass him, but failing, he sent a cavalryman from his escort with us.
October 6th, 1862. After passing Ross last night, we had no incident until about 3 P. M., when we came to a well-traveled road and a house that I had seen before, I was certain. We halted at the gate, and I went in to make inquiries. There seemed to be no dogs about the place till I knocked, when there appeared to be a whole pack in the hall. I put my face to a side light and a woman in her night clothes came to the door to my left, the dogs instantly being silent. The woman sprang across the hall, opened the opposite door,
910and in a subdued voice, hoarse from fright, she exclaimed "Yanks"! the Yanks have come!" There was a great clatter of boots, spurs and arms, and I could hear them going out of the back of the house. Whipping out my sabre I started around to head them off, but it flashed in my mind that I was playing the fool with only a "frog sticker" in my hand, so ran to my horse and got my pistol, which I had taken off my belt and tied with the holster to the saddle, and running back, reached the rear of the house as the last man plunged off the fence in the black shadow of the woods. I ran back to my comrades, who wanted to go and meet Ross, but I told them we would institute an advance guard and go on. Mounting, I rode twenty or thirty yards ahead of my comrades. The road turned to the right around the woods, where the men from the house had gone. We heard them moving, but they did not interrupt or follow us. We rode in this way, silently, for some time, when I called to the Doctor to ride up to me. Pointing to the east, I said, day must be breaking, but before the Doctor could reply, a loud, firm, "Halt" came from under the shadow of a tree ahead of us. The cavalry man wheeled quickly. "Wheel and git," but I ordered, "Halt." Then the formal challenge came, "Who comes there?" "Friends," I answered. "Advance one and give the countersign." I stuck my pistol between my right leg and the saddle, so that with my arm hanging naturally, my fingers engaged the trigger. He neglected to order "dismount," probably seeing my uniform in the partial light, but I could not see him till I got in the shadow. He received the countersign from the saddle with his carbine "aport." I cocked my revolver without allowing it to click, as I leant forward. When he gave me the "all right," I showed him my pistol, corrected him for not making me dismount, and directed him to call an officer, to whom I gave the parole. We got a very brief account of the battle the day before, and soon passed a large log meeting house, where we could hear the cries and groans of the wounded as we passed.
It was barely daylight when I found the 14th, where I
911was the subject of congratulations, and got many versions of the Battle of Hatchie. Price has been repulsed in his attack on Corinth. Hearing that Hurlburt had been sent to intercept his retreat, sent part of two brigades, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas troops to hold Hurlburt in check until he could cross the Hatchie with the bulk of his troops and train.
Our troops first met the enemy two miles east of the Hatchie, and drove them back to the Metamora bridge, where they made a stubborn stand. The 14th captured a Texas regiment and the 53rd Ind. took a Tennessee battery of four guns on the west side of the river, when at that stage Gen. O. C. Ord appeared and assumed command. His first move was to order the 3rd Brigade over the bridge, and to turn to the right, getting them in a position where they were helpless, though exposed to the fire of the enemy's guns on the hill. At this moment Ord got a bullet through one of his legs and returned the command to Gen. Hurlburt, who promptly ordered the 2nd Brigade over and to turn to the left. The 14th led, beating the wreck of the 3rd brigade back with the butts of their guns. Silversparre's battery dashed up, and by some oversight galloped up and stopping across the road in front of the 14th, luckily finding no enemy at the top of the hill, where he went into position, and opening on the flank of the enemy's guns, ended the fight. Price had destroyed the bridges on the Tuscumbia, behind him, driving back our cavalry, that tried to stop him at the upper crossing of the Hatchie, and effected his escape, though with heavy loss in front of our division. I was proud of the conduct of Hall and the 14th.
October 7th, 1862. I reported for duty as soon as I cached camp last night, but had lost two nights' sleep, and ridden all night the last one, and had been eighteen hours without food. I was allowed today and tonight for recuperation. It seems the prisoners were of a Texas regiment and captured by my own men. Our division has spent the day picking up arms and clearing up the wreck of the battle,
912burying the dead and so on. Went down the Hatchie and climbed the magnolia, where in the bark of which I cut my name and rank on the 10th of June last, but some rebel had been up there in the meantime, and in rather neater letters than my own he had carved under it, "Nigger Thief." I had a hearty laugh when I saw it, for from my standpoint it was like a compliment, for I would rather have the negroes free than live by licking the sweat from their brows.
October 8th. After I had been asleep several hours last night, I was awakened and asked to ride towards the Tuscumbia, as it was not sure that a picket had been posted there. I went alone, as it was a very bright moonlight night. I found no picket, and rode back through woods so silent and lonely it made my flesh creep, when I found a large timber wolf was keeping me company on my left side. He would slip quickly across the bright streaks of moonlight and stop in the shadows of the tall pines to watch me. He was so spectre-like that I drew my gun to shoot, but thought it would be foolish to do so, as I should certainly raise the camp, and might draw the attention of some lurking enemy. This morning we started back to Bolivar. The 14th went down on this side of the river and crossed on the bridge of the railroad that had been burned, all but me, I stripped and swam the horses of the mounted officers across, one at a time, swimming back as soon as a horse struck ground and going ashore with the last one. We passed through Pocahontas and stopped for noon at Middleton. Here I got a good dinner as I never took one before. By some mismanagement, matches were lacking, and I told the cook, a negro man, to go to a house I pointed out, where smoke was issuing from the chimney, and borrow some fire. He soon came back greatly outraged, complaining that the man of the house not only refused him, but abused him. I went to the house at once, followed by the Adjutant and Sergeant Major, as well as the cook. I found the fellow standing in the doorway with a shoulder against one, facing one and hand against the other. He looked anything but pleasant and gave me no salutation, so
913I gave none, and pushed his arm out of the way and entered, followed by the others. I told the negro to help himself to fire and noticed a table apparently set with a white tablecloth thrown over all. I stepped to one end with the Adjutant to the other, then we threw off the covering and found a well-set table with plenty of good, though cold victuals. Without a word, three of us sat down and helped ourselves. Colonel Hall, missing us, came over to see what the trouble was. He, too, entered without salutation or ceremony. "Ha, ha," he exclaimed with a broad smile. "You young gentlemen seem to be helping yourself," and at once took a chair and sat, too. The bread was out, so I went to the cupboard and found only some cold cornpones, asking them if they had plenty of the seasoning the Lacedaemonian used with his black broth.
The business part of the city seemed to be all in one large frame block across the street and farther west, and while we were still at the table fire broke out in the store block. This quickly thawed out our unwilling host, who found his tongue and begged that we would spare the town. We did all we could to do so, and I fancy the fellow thought we were not barbarians after all. Hall, after a too brief examination, had two men tied to a wagon tail to march under guard for starting the fire. But it was caused by a soldier turning about too carelessly with his gun across his shoulder, his bayonet knocking down and breaking some bottles in a deserted drug store, the acid or chemicals at once driving all out with their fumes and starting the blaze. Some of the witnesses told me how it happened. I then interceded with Hall and got the prisoners released. We reached Porter's Creek and camped for the night. Later we moved and got to our old camp.
October 9th, 1862. I took the train today and got my baggage at Jackson and returned in time to have a good bath in the Hatchie river. Being at Jackson today reminded me of an incident that happened just before I got through on my way down from home. At Cairo a gentleman had placed a lady in my charge, the wife of Major Whipple, of the 2nd Illinois cavalry, and as the regiment was camped north of the
914town, the train stopped there in a low cut. I started down to help my charge off of the car, but before I had gotten off the lowest step, I was seized by several cavalry soldiers, carried up the bank into a camp, and held up on the shoulders of my captors while my name was proclaimed by them. Hats were swung amid vociferous cheers, and I was thoroughly bewildered, taking off my hat and asking for explanations.
They put me on the ground, saying they were some of the refugees I had taken on board as we went up the Tennessee river to Fort Donelson and were now Federal soldiers, in Stoke's regiment, 2nd Tennessee cavalry. Just then I heard the boom of cannon, and broke away from handshaking and ran for the train, which was waiting for me. I pointed as I ran in the direction of the cannonading, but many spoke at once, and I could catch only something about the "Fourth Division," the "Fighting Fourth," which made me the more eager to get on. The last I saw of Mrs. Whipple, she was standing on the car platform, looking at me in a way that I could not tell whether she was shocked or only amused.
October 10th. A cold rain today. Overlooked my baggage and got things in shape for camp life again.
October 11th. Cold, cloudy and windy, but we had battalion drill this afternoon. Maj. Morris, Capt. Bryant and Simpson have all resigned and are at home. I am without horse or saddle and Colonel Hall has loaned me both till I can get a new outfit. Sutler Shibley sold mine while I was away and is looking out for a new mount for me now.
October 12th, 1862. A beautiful Sabbath day. I am on duty as field officer. Tonight we had a bright fire at the reserve near which I lay and read in a "Life of General Havelock."
October 13th. Out at night and ate freely of fresh chestnuts and "nigger beans," or cowpeas. I do not feel well today. Hurlburt takes command of the district with headquarters at Jackson.
October 14th. A beautiful day. News of Bragg's defeat by Buell. How strange it must seem to them old "West Point
915classmates and army associates to be pitted against each other in actual war.
October 15th. Broke the regiment into two battalions and drilled them in brigade movement, also in loading and firing, kneeling in close ranks, and in passing one battalion through the other at double-quick, by undoubling files. General McPherson was present and was greatly pleased at the precision and speed of the men in every movement. The whole battallion moved like machinery, even when I gave the command with a bugle and at a distance.
October 16th. Looking over cavalry and artillery tactics and drilling by Casey's Infantry. Beautiful Indian summer weather. My brother B. writes that his regiment is doing guard duty at Cairo. Got a letter from my wife this morning. The first from Mrs. William Camm. A wife can put tender confidence in a letter that a sweetheart cannot.
October 17th. I was started out in the direction of Grand Junction, with 140 wagons, foraging for corn. I sent forty wagons to the left behind the cavalry, pickets, but took the rest to a plantation eight miles from the Junction, where I had been warned that Price and Villepigue were stationed with 11,000 men, and having but one hundred rifles and twenty sabres with me. I had the infantry sling their pieces and help the foragers gather while I took the cavalry nearer the Junction and watched till the wagons were loaded and started for camp. It was anxious vigil for myself for some time before a similar party with a strong cavalry guard had been attacked much nearer Bolivar on this road with a loss of Lieut. Col. Hogg and several men.
As we passed in returning, I went to the house to see that receipts were given for the corn. I found a lady, a Mrs. White, if I got the name right, in charge, but she said our receipts were worthless to them, because they were conditioned on proof of loyalty, and they were southerners. Several young ladies were standing about her, and I asked her if they were her daughters. She said they were. How do you know but one of these girls will marry a Union officer. That would be
916proof enough of her loyalty, and you could assign the receipt, I suggested. The lady looked surprised, blushed, bowed and said, "Colonel, I thank you for the suggestion. I will accept the receipt. Cakes and wine were at once ordered, but I was too anxious about my train to tarry long, and after hastily partaking of the proffered refreshments, I galloped off. The lady asking me as I left, to call again and bring her some newspapers. At a wayside store on the road, four elderly men stopped me, saying they knew me by reputation, as I had forbidden and suppressed foraging, and the reports they gave of the gentlemanly conduct of our men was very gratifying. Got safely to camp, but was reprimanded by the division commander for going so closely to the enemy. As we came in a soldier of my cavalry escort showed me where Col. Hogg was killed, and described the circumstances.
October 18th. Was on duty again today and moved the picket line out on the left and center of the brigade, which kept me in the saddle all day. At Gen. Veatch's tent this evening, I was formally introduced to Maj. Gen. J. D. McPherson.
October 19th, 1862. For the first time in a month our regiment had Sunday general inspection. Went to church at Bolivar this evening.
October 20th. There was a call meeting of the council of administration today. On account of some complaint against Shibley, our sutler was turned off. Letter from Dr. Dewey today.
October 21st. Council of administration appointed E. Slocum, of Shelbyville, Ill., as sutler today. As a member of the council, I am suspicious of the party's interest in this change. Weather still fine.
October 22d. Fourteen recruits got to the regiment today. Hall went to Jackson, and may go to St. Louis. Why?
October 23d. Wrote to my wife. Visited the cemetery, the most beautiful one I have ever seen.
October 24th. Rumored that Price will attack us here. Probably a blind for him to retreat under, for if he does not
917move at his own accord, he will have to do so at McPherson's pleasure. Bode around the picket line before afternoon drill.
October 25th. Forenoon battalion drill. Cold, cloudy and a high north wind till noon, when it began to sleet and increased to a fixed snow storm by night. Sunny south seems about played out. I am now seated by an under-ground fireplace in my tent, such as we used in Missouri last winter.
October 26th. Cold but clear. Our general seems to think that Price may attack, and have commenced field works in our front today. I placed Lieuts. Ward, Smith and Coe under arrest for absence without leave from parade this afternoon, but upon investigation, I released them, but they refused to receive their swords. I drew today a map or plat of the picket line of the 2nd Brigade for Maj. Gen. McPherson.
October 27th. Dedicated the plat made yesterday for General Veatch today. General order 154 War department, read at dress parade this afternoon. Still clear and cold.
October 28th. Quite a number of orders received today. A Mr. McNeil, residing here, a relative of President James K. Polk, tells an amusing story of General Logan's men. He saw the soldier in the garden, sitting on a sweet potato ridge, energetically digging sweet potatoes with a sword bayonet. McNeil walked beside the man, who did not take the slightest notice of his presence. After waiting a minute, he said to the soldier, "Is this the way you are going to convert us into good Union men?" The man never looked up, but as he transferred a fine potato to his haversack, blurted, "No, by God, this is the way we dig taters."
October 29th. Weather beautiful. Nothing worthy of mention.
October 30th. During last night our old sutler, John Shibley, arrived from Winchester, bringing me a letter and some medicine from my wife. Had brigade drill or evolutions of the line by breaking regiments into two battalions.
October 31st. Grand review today. Was proud of the
918appearance of the 14th generally. General McPherson said that West Point could not beat it.
November 1st. Mustered the regiment today. I hear that Captain Nolte has been made Major of this regiment.
November 2d. To be ready to move at daylight. Have ordered Lieuts. Ward, Smith and Coe to duty.
November 3d. Little after sunrise and made twelve miles at a brisk pace. The 14th seemed to have doubled in numbers since last summer, and not a single man got into the ambulance. The 76th Illinois infantry, Col. Busey, has been assigned to our brigade in place of the 25th Indiana, so that the 2nd Brigade is now composed of the 14th, 15th, 46th and 76th, all Illinois regiments. The 103rd Illinois is a fine looking body of men. Bivouaced early in the afternoon in a level green field with a bright blue sky over and the men were made jolly by receiving ham from the quartermaster. The men seem to have adapted the Lycurgian law of morals -- no wrong to steal if you don't get caught at it. Some soldiers were playing cards on a knapsack, in front of where I was sitting, and a ham was laid close to the group; another soldier came to them, and after joking awhile, drew off his coat, stretched and yawned, letting his coat drop over the ham, and making some remark about having to help his mess, picked up the coat and the ham with it. Getting out of sight before the players missed their meat, but when they did miss it the decalogue got badly cracked.
About the same time a company from the 41st Illinois, going on picket, halted on a road that passed the right of Company "A." A mess in "A" had hung a skillet and ham in a bush close to the road and were telling the 41st how cleverly they had "cramped" a barrel of whisky out of the quartermaster's store tent in the 16th. When the picket moved on the mess found their ham and skillet both gone. Fearing the ridicule of their comrades, they tried to keep jolly and mum at the same time, but it got to my ears in less than half an hour.
November 4th. Marched early and are now bivouaced
919on the same ground we occupied last June and July. Grant and Lacey, of "K", either gave themselves up or were captured by the enemy today. Some cavalry ahead of the 14th, which lead the infantry, fired the woods and made it hot, smoky marching for us. Much fencing and other property of citizens was destroyed by the fire, and our division commander, McKean, now was very angry on account of this vandalism. Price has gone to Holly Springs, but our pickets are kept busy by being in touch with the enemy,
As we marched through LaGrange, three young ladies waved secessh aprons at us, as we passed a house in the west part of town, but the men only laughed and joked at them. After supper an Orderly Sergeant from the 46th Illinois, whose jokes and jollity have earned him the soubriquet of "Disorderly Bob," got a pass for himself and two companions to go to town to call on the young ladies.
November 5th. Rested in camp today. Colonel Hall rejoined us late this evening.
November 6th, 1862. Hall assumed command of the regiment this morning. The 14th and 76th reconnoitered towards Moscow today. The 14th lead and I rode in advance with four or five mounted men. At a point where the road turned south at the west side of some timber which we were passing through, I saw some horses tied about a house in a field in front of us. I sent some riflemen to the rear of the house and then led the mounted men at full speed around to the front of the house, then through an open gate up to it. No one tried to escape by the front, but there seemed to be something going on behind the house, so I jumped from my horse and ran behind it, pistol in hand. I found a Confederate soldier bending forward to go through a garden fence, from which a young woman was tearing the pickets with her left hand while her right hand was on the soldier's back to push him through as soon as he had gotten the gap large enough. Just at that instant two of my riflemen came through the garden, and she found I had come upon their rear. The poor girl threw up her hands, imploring us not to shoot, while tears
920streamed down her cheeks. As she turned quickly to me I was startled too, for she seemed the very double in face figure and complexion of the woman I had recently married, and I frankly told her so. "But who is this?" pointing to the Confederate, a Sergeant. "He's -- your brother?" "No. he's -- he's -- Oh, please don't hurt him," and her face went from white to red. "Colonel," said the soldier, saluting, "we're promised to be married." I gave each a hand shake, assuring the young woman that not a hair of her lover's head should be hurt, and led them both into the house, the girl mingling her thanks with sobs. I sent our hospital steward into a bedroom to examine a wound he complained of. The steward reported the wound would disable the man for months, so I wrote a parole on the back leaf torn out of a Bible, and he took the oath and signed it. He had just gotten back from his regiment and the horses I had seen belonged to soldiers who had gathered to see him and to get news from their own relatives in the Confederate army. All shook hands with me warmly, especially the young lady, as I left, and I felt like kissing her for my wife's sake.
November 7th. Weather cloudy and cold all day but clear tonight.
November 8th. "We marched early this morning and in the evening camped on the hill at Lamar, Mississippi. We had some fighting and captured 100 prisoners. Our cavalry went south as far as Goldwater. This morning several of the 14th line officers made me a present of a copy of Hallock's Manual of Midwifery," saying it might prove very useful to a young and inexperienced married man. I accepted it with thanks.
(Note -- Sent it to my wife and passed it to my second wife. Peculiar circumstances compelled me to attend her six times, and this book proved a blessing, March 7, 1902.)
The book was found in the yard of a house, which the rebels looted yesterday morning, before we drove them away.
We started back at 4 P. M. but reached our former camp at LaGrange. Cars came through from Bolivar last night.
November 9th. One year ago today we left Springfield, Missouri, for Tipton.
November 10th. Returned today. Colonel Hall presented me with a horse.
November 11th. Another day of rest and quiet.
November 12th. Nothing in the way of duty. Lieutenant Shibley's resignation came back today, approved and he starts for Winchester tomorrow. Etched my name and rank on my sword today. Its a light blade with artillery hilt and pistol.
November 13th. On picket with seven companies of infantry.
November 14th. A bright beautiful day but we have lain still expecting to be ordered out. General Veatch ordered to some other command today.
November 15th. Drew a captured horse out of the coral. He is a black full blooded English hunter. Was captured in the fight on the 8th inst. at Lamar, and was jammed in one shoulder, which makes him slightly lame. He is a very bold jumper but remarkably easy to sit -- easy as a rocking chair.
November 16th. Went to an Episcopalian church. The minister prayed for Jeff Davis and the success of the Confederacy, and a staff officer present arrested him. I thought this action foolish and officious, for as Napoleon said, "The Lord is always on the side of the heaviest battalion. We left the church and went to Burnap's battery -- half a dozen of us. Burnap knocked in the head of a barrel of commissary and passed "forty-rod" around in tin cups. About the time all were getting mellow except myself -- I avoided swallowing any of the stuff -- the provost marshal came with an invitation to dinner -- a turkey dinner, at a citizen's house just north of town. After delivering this message the provost imbibed with the freedom that made up for his lateness at the barrel. By the time we got to the main street leading west a racing mood had struck the crowd and lining up they tore down the street.
As we passed General Grant's headquarters I saw Mrs. Grant and the children staring at the John Gilpin cavalade.
922Meeting a Major General and his staff they had to get out of the road. Then came a lot of battery horses being led to water. These, too, had to get out of the way and were almost stampeded. Many people were just going from church and they stared at the wild racers. Even the sentinel stood open mouthed at the madcaps. I had hard work to keep in sight of them till they got to the house. We had to wait a couple of hours for dinner, and the host himself sucked freely of the canteen. No ladies were present at the table; indeed, I saw none about the house, negroes being cooks and waiters. How to control without becoming antagonized was my problem, for now other officers, and some of them ranking me had joined us at the house. I was soon the only one not full of liquor, and it required tact and patience, a queer mixture of joviality, and dignity to keep command.
An elderly negro was assigned me as a waiter by the host who was nearly past helping me. The waiter soon had an understanding with me, and when the toasts were drank, I sipped and the instant the glass reached the table, my waiter reached under my elbow and replaced my full glass with an empty one. Once an officer called attention to my sitting, my glass full, but while trying to get attention an empty glass had been put in its place, and he stared at me as though I was a magician. Twice a quarrel started and then I became peremptory, and successfully maintained control. Before we left the table however, an order came with a large envelope for the field officer of the day, but I took it as though it were for myself, and rising at the table, I apologized to the host for leaving him so hastily, thanking him politely for his kind and lavish entertainment, then holding up the envelope said, "Gentlemen, with all good soldiers it is duty before pleasure! Post promptly. Then the episode of Ardemes was snatched over again and there was --
As the officer of the day mounted I handed him the order saying, "Here, colonel, is something for you, too." He snatched it and tore away to the west, going through his own
923picket line, so that the men gave chase and caught him. The Brigade Adjutant lost his bearings, lost his course and into the brush but landed at headquarters, though badly scratched up, and I had to go and intercede for him after getting to camp. There was several others who fared no better. I had taken the Sergeant Major with me and as we started to camp I told him to ride slowly as I was drunk. He ridiculed the idea but I told him the host had made me sip whiskey with my victuals and a few minutes in the sun gave me double vision. Once at my tent I told the hostler, Peter Fullinger, to draw the curtains and let no one come in. There were four letters from my wife but the lines seemed to mix and I could not read them. Stripped to shirt sleeves I laid down and the minute I got down a message came that Colonel Hall was unwell and desired me to hold the parade. Here was a dilemma. But I had my wits if not my vision, so dressing myself even to sword, sash and white gloves before emerging from the tent I called the bugler and ordered him to sound the assembly, then before the regiment had formed I had planted myself. There seemed to be two regiments, two troops beat off, and when the officer came to the front and centre for the final salute, I simply returned it and directed the adjutant to dismiss the parade. I took the arm of a young captain and walked to my quarters without exciting the slighest notice that I had one sheet to the wind.
November 17th. Nolte's commission came today.
November 18th. Field officer in picket all day.
November 19th. Rained last night. Lieutenant Eastham Company "C" having tendered his resignation because he was opposed to the Proclamation of Emancipation, was dismissed from the service and went home today.
November 20th. On picket with the regiment today. Received a letter from John Moses, Governor Yates secretary, in which he tells me I am to be recommended for a colonelcy as soon as the governor returns from Washington.
November 21st. Weather delightful. Nothing unsual.
November 22nd. Another fine but uneventful day in camp. Cars run west as far as Moscow now.
November 23rd. Talk of the "pomp and glorious circumstances of war," but I got a glimpse of it today at the review of our brigade. The day was beautiful, the field well chosen and after saluting and riding along side General McPherson where I could see the whole line it was inspiring indeed. The men looked so healthy, were in their best rig, and moved like parts of a perfect machine. Their bright arms glittering and colors gently waving, while the bauds played their choicest airs. The general complimented my regiment as it passed in review.
November 24th. Veatch is sick and going home. Captain Meacham dismissed from the service for absence without leave. This is more than he merited too -- too severe.
November 25th. Commanded a large foraging party which went south of Wolf river. Had no trouble.
November 26th. A quiet day without incident worthy of note.
November 27th. Packed some clothing to send home to my wife, putting it in care of Henry K. Palmer, General Palmer's half brother, who is our hospital steward. Called to see General Veatch this evening.
November 28th. Marched early to intersection of Ball's bridge and Holly Springs road, where we laid till afternoon, when we pushed on late to beyond Lamar.
November 29th. Other troops getting on our road we had to jam our way through, but made, after all, a fast march to this point, Coldwater. The 101st passed us but I did not see my brother. It was 8 P. M. when we camped just east of Holly Springs.
November 30th. Marched at 8 A. M. My regiment led the infantry, but our cavalry was fighting close in front, so close that now and then shells whizzed about us, but luckily hitting none of my men. We are now in a large deserted rebel camp, five miles north of the Talla-hatchie. The 101st is about one mile in our rear, but my brother B. is with me.
925Some firing in front still. Weather warm and cloudy. The place is called Waterford, or Lumpkins, Miss,
December 1st. Weather cold and cloudy, after a heavy rain last night. The men have Sibley tents now. Wm. Campbell of the 124th Illinois and an old school mate is with me. A little firing in front today.
December 2nd. Cold, cloudy and rainy. My brother rejoined his regiment today.
December 3rd. Lieutenant Coe, who we left at Bolivar, Tenn., joined us today. Weather a delightful contrast with yesterday, so warm and bright. The 101st returned to Holly Springs. Our fare has changed and we seem to be living off the fat of the land.
December 4th. Cloudy. Nothing worthy of further note.
December 5th. Rained hard nearly all night, but most of the day was clear, though cold. Read in Cicero's Orations all day.
December 6th. A clear sunny day. Sent out a foraging party which brought in 13 hogs, gutted with the hair on, one sheep and 10 goats. When the meat had been unloaded at the quartermaster's tent, they made a rush for them and overpowered the quarter guard; snatched my sabre and ran hatless and beltless between the fire line and the men's quarters and succeeded in making the riders return the hogs they were dragging away. The men made me still suspicious by their smiles and the quartermaster sergeant reported one hog still missing. Something told me it was in Company "K" and I started to search their quarters. The first tent I came to was a wedge tent, where the company's negro cooks were quartered. One was a big, broad shouldered fellow known as "Gunboat," the other a smaller and older man. I found Gunboat laid under blankets, and what I took to be the other cook beyond him. Gunboat was shivering and shaking, his. teeth chattering together. "Hello, here what's the matter with you," I asked, "O, o-o! I got-ot ye-ager -- mas-sy," stammered the negro. "Whose that," I demanded, pointing
926to the covered figure beyond him. "Oh -- he-he got the ag-e-re too," shivered Gunboat. I passed on and searched every tent in the company, and though I was not in regulation rig for such a ceremony, the men of each tent turned out giving me a formal salute, but my search was in vain. Before I had been ten minutes in my tent the whole regiment was laughing so heartily that I knew it would greatly aid in the digestion of their supper, and so took a hearty laugh myself. (Note -- Several years afterwards I learned that the "other fellow" I took to be a negro was the hog I was looking for.)
December 7th, 1862. Another fine day. All quiet in our camp for we hear that there was a battle at Grenada yesterday, in which our forces were victorious.
December 8th. Still fine, only rumors in camp.
December 9th. Fine weather still. Moved nearly a mile today to a better camping ground. Captain Strong commanding a foraging party today brought in 13 fat hogs.
December 10th. Beautiful day. Detailed to post a new picket line from the stream we were camped on south and west across the Abbeyville to the Panola road. Finished a nice fire place in my tent.
December 11th. Yesterday we crossed the Tallahatchie passed through Abbeville and camped seven or eight miles from Oxford. Several hundred prisoners passed us, a sorry looking lot of men, with but few exceptions. As we were marching today Sergeant Huber of Company "A" told me he was going to move to this country to live when the war was over. "Why?" I asked. "They are going to build so many homes, colonel. Don't you see they have the chimneys built already." Nearly all the farm houses had been burnt and the old fashioned heavy chimneys were all that was left standing.
December 12th. Came through Oxford and after a brisk but tiring march we camped near a little village called Yacona, or Yacona Pataffa (Indian for oak fruit). Back to the Tallahatchie where the rebels have thrown up earth works,
927the country is rolling and rather bluffy, but well timbered, especially with black oak.
December 13th. Quiet in camp. We hear that Fredericksburg is taken and our troops have crossed the Rappahumock.
December 14th. Moved my camp a little to get more room.
December 15th. Moved my own quarters today. Cold and wet.
December 16th. A fine day. Had battalion drill in afternoon.
December 17th. Fine again. Went to testify in Lieutenant Coe's case before a court of inquiry, but court, adjourned till 9 A. M. tomorrow.
December 18th. Was examined before court today.
December 19th. We hear of fighting at Jackson, Tenn.
December 20th. Was detailed on a court of inquiry with Brigadier General Smith at General Logan's tent, to inquire into conduct of a Captain in the 31st Illinois, who was captured by the rebels at Fort Donelson. We are on very short rations and when I got to my tent, I asked if the train had got in but was told that it had not.
"Has Lieutenant Williams got in from Quinby's division?" He had not. I turned my horse close to a yellow turkey, which Shafer, the cook, had tied to the tent guys and was feeding for our Christmas dinner, dismounted, drew my sabre and reached under my horse, clipped the turkey's head off. Shafer looked hurt but his own hunger appeased the wrath and our mess had fried turkey for supper and breakfast.
December 21st. It was 8 P. M. when we got through with the inquiry and I went to General McPherson for the parole and countersign, which he gave me, but said my division had moved during the day, and as the country was full of guerillas, I must not pass the pickets till morning, so I came back to sleep with Logan's engineer officer.
December 22nd. Logan had us all at breakfast about 2 A. M. He began to speak flatteringly of this country, but
928changed the temper and tenor of his remarks till he declared he would bum every damned house in it if he had command of it a couple of days.
It was about 3 and we were all mounted when I heard an officer report all pickets in. Meantime I had learned in what direction the 4th division was, so I rode away from the assembled staff of McPherson and Logan and took to the woods alone.
I heard there was a probability of sharp fighting and knowing the "Fighting Fourth Division" would be the most likely to see the hottest fun, was anxious to get to my men. Soon I reached a planters house which I recognized as having seen while on picket duty. East of the house was a row of a dozen negro cabins and bright light came out of the open door of the one farthest from the road. Throwing the snaffle rein over a fence stake I stepped to the door. A young negro woman of splendid figure, a black Hebe, was standing naked before the fire, and when I struck the door jam with butt of my sabre hilt, she was startled, looked at me an instant, trying to hide her nakedness with a small garment she held in her hand and excitedly exclaimed, "Unkle Jake out dor he tell you." As I turned from the door a white wooled negro ran to me out of the darkness exclaiming in a frightened undertone, "Massa, Massa, dey jus lef yere an air comin' right back, dey git yo sho." Instead of answering my question he seized me by the arm and pushed me to the fence praying as he did so.
He boosted me over the fence, threw the reins over the horse's neck, and almost lifted me into the saddle. Then I asked him where the Federal soldiers were, but before he could answer there was a flash and a crack across the corner of the field in the direction from which I had come, and a shot buzzed over my head. I turned away leaving the old negro praying in an agonized voice. Not wishing to attract attention by the clatter of my horses hoofs, I rode away slowly. I could hear the horsemen galloping up and call for some one to come out, but they came no further.
929I was not much alarmed for I knew the chances were ten to one if they followed me and I should turn on them and begin firing and giving orders as though I had men with me, they would scamper.
After riding for some time a bright fire shown in the road, and a well known figure, Lieutenant John R. Kirkman, of Company "K," 14th Illinois passed between me and the light. He was just retiring from picket and was surprised when I rode up. The division was already on the march towards Oxford when we rejoined it, after daylight.
December 23rd. We bivouaced south of Abbeville last night and remained here while our train had gone forward. Cloudy and looks like rain.
December 24th. It was noon before we marched but after dark we stopped, in an open cotton field half a mile from woods and water. Rode to the river to water my horse and carried several fence rails back, across the pummel of my saddle to make a fire for supper. The country to me today reminded me of that between Ft. Donelson and Ft. Henry, but the timber seemed to be almost exclusively black oak, fine, straight trees though not so very large.
December 25th, 1862. Moved about one and a half miles to a better camp, but it was nearly midnight before my tent and baggage were moved.
December 26th. On picket with my regiment. It rained and the ground is very broken. In the bottom of the washes and gullies there is quick sand.
December 27th. It was still raining when we were relieved this morning, but it cleared up later in the day. We are on half rations.
December 28th. A beautiful day. This morning we had troop at reveille for the first time. The regulation requires this when in an enemies country, but we have never practiced it. If seems that Van Dorn captured Holly Springs, and our stores there hence our turning back from an attempt to capture Vicksburg, in the rear, and hence also, to our short rations. One division marched for Lafayette today. Write
930to my wife and father tonight, as our first mail, for some time goes out in the morning. At dusk this evening I called attention to 12 fires of burning buildings, and the woods prevented us from seeing to the west. Talk about civilized warfare. War turns men back towards savagery.
December 29th. Rumors that Richmond is taken and negotiations for peace going. Dr. Stephenson absent without leave since yesterday. Lieutenant Colonel Price paid me a long visit. He is planning a raid with mounted men under Colonel Grierson. I strongly advised the use of pack animals instead of wagons. Weather fine.
December 30th. A train passed down the railroad this morning early. Rained during the night and is still warm.
December 31st. Mustered this morning. In the afternoon we were reviewed by General Lauman, our new division commander.
January 1st, 1863. The brigade band got to my tent about one A. M. and I went out in my shirt only -- more democratic than conventional. My regiment went on picket under Major Nolte while I was making up the muster roll. Just as I was signing them a pet goat that had been kept around the tent for some time, sprang with his muddy feet into the middle of them making holes through several of them. I carried capricornus to a block and with one stroke of the axe decapitated him. We shall now have fat kid by way of variety and to fill out our scant rations.
January 2nd. Received a letter from my brother B. stating the four companies of the 101st not captured would like to be attached to some command so they would not be left in scattered posts on railroads. I went to McPherson at once and asked that they be attached to the 14th. He promptly assented and asked me their letters. I could give him "D" only, so he led me to the telegraph tent. We found the operator laid up on an old sofa reading a novel and when the general told him to ask Holly Springs what the letters were he reached, without rising, to the ticker, which stood on a
931cracker box by his side, called the station, made the inquiry, and got an answer while the general and I stood at the door of the tent. I could not help thinking how badly the wire beat the military carrier.
January 3d, 1863. Rained steadily nearly all day and tonight. Have hardly half rations for a day, and with rain pouring down, streams flooded and still getting larger while the mud is getting deeper, it is not a cheerful prospect here. The 109th Illinois is under arrest for threatening treason.
A Cincinnati Gazette gives a gloomy picture of the war in the east. Later -- provisions have come. A dark night and the rain pouring down.
January 4th. Climatically this is a country of contrasts, for today is clear, clear, sunny and serene. Our detail for picket tomorrow is cancelled by an order to march at 9 in the morning.
January 5th. On the account of First Lieutenant Peden being unwell, but wishing to remain on picket, asked me for the loan of a horse, and I let him have the black hunter. During that night, some of the men, for a joke on Peden -- New Year's -- cut the horse's tail off up to the stub. This morning, the 14th led the troops out and I rode the hunter. As we passed the brigade band it struck up, "I'll bet my money on the bob-tailed horse, if somebody'll bet on the gray." I took off my hat in acknowledgement of the salute, and not only my own regiment but the 15th and 46th took off their hats and cheered. We got to Holly Springs and camped about sundown. Fine all day but cloudy tonight.
January 6th. By special detail I posted the pickets all around the town. General McPherson sent for me this evening, and after complimenting upon the manner in which I had posted, and the map of the line I had sent him, said he was opposed to disturbing pickets by visiting them at night, unless sent for to give fresh instructions, and he excused me from all but call duty, until after reveille. Brother is with me tonight.
January 7th. Moved my regiment camp to better grounds today, and am now on the northwest side of the town, on Pigeon Roost road to Memphis.
January 8th. Wet, cold and cloudy. Just the reverse of yesterday. Sent two officers and 105 men to guard a train to Waterford. The enemy's cavalry seem to be following close after us.
January 9th. Companies "D", "G", "H", and "K" not captured in Van Dorn's raid on this town of the 101st Illinois, have been assigned to my command, this giving me fourteen companies. The men have already christened it "Camm's Brigade."
I rode with brother to see these companies at their posts on the railroad north of the town this afternoon. Coming back after dark, the town seemed well afire, and the prospect is that by midnight will be burning red. Some of the treachery of its citizens is getting red hot punishment.
January 10th. We struck tents this morning, but lay at this place till after dark, when the 4th Division went to Coldwater. I was to hold the railroad until the last trains pulled out, and as the enemy were likely to press us hard, I sent Companies "I" and "B" of the 14th over to the railroad to reinforce the four companies of the 101st already there. But I sent the baggage of all of the 14th around by the wagon road, with the eight companies of the 14th, under Major Nolte. In the evening I joined the battalion on the railroad. While waiting at the block house just north of the depot, Lieut Gray proposed that we go to a house where the women had hidden and saved him during Van Dorn's raid, and get supper. I found two very pleasant ladies, one single, but the husband of the other was with the rebels, whose carbines and rifles we could hear as they were trying to drive the 26th Illinois through the town. I nursed the baby on my lap while the ladies got supper, while all chatted as cheerfully as though no war was near. After rejoining the men, we waited for some time before the last train passed out, and the 26th Illinois had taken to the road north of the town, then we followed
933the railroad, picking up the two other companies of the 101st, and after passing the camp of the 90th Illinois, Colonel O. Meara, I turned to the right, left the railroad and stopped to let the soldiers rest till daylight.
January 11th, 1863. There was an old school house half full of Nigger Beans," and my men who had carried a few camp kettles, began boiling them soon after midnight, and had a treat for breakfast. I found myself on ground I had posted pickets on last summer. At daybreak we could hear reveille sounded on Cold Water, and I started the two 14th companies in that direction, to join the regiment before it marched.
January 12th. At sunrise I lead the four companies across country to join the column on the march. Our early regiments had been enlisted without any bounties whatever, but those formed in 1862 had received $40 per man bounty. They were hardly so amenable to discipline when they reached the field, as the older soldiers were, looting and pillaging more, so the veterans had nicknamed the new troops, "Forty Dollar Men."
When we stopped to eat and rest at noon, the officers of the 101st asked me to prevent the 14th from applying this "Forty Dollar Men" to them, as far as I could. I told them I had anticipated their wishes and there would be no trouble of this kind. We joined the 14th near Hudsonsville, the point I had aimed at, and about sundown we reached Moscow.
January 12th still. Rested today while the cavalry is feeling over the country for the enemy, who are reported to be threatening the railroad between here and Memphis, with 6,000 men.
January 13th. We marched west of Lafayette about twelve miles today, and after getting in the neighborhood of Lafayette we turned back. We camped near a Mr. McLean's, who claimed to be a brother of Judge McLean, after whom a county in Illinois was named. They were having a birthday supper, and I went by invitation, as soon as I could get off duty. After supper one of the daughters went to the back
934door, and whistled as though calling the dogs, and twenty-five or thirty picaninnies came tumbling into the hall, from five to ten years old. When the music struck up the young woman clapped her hands as a signal, and the little blacks danced in perfect time. It certainly was a strange sight.
January 14th. We came back to near Moscow today through torrents of rain. The 101st companies were armed with a heavy brass-banded Russian musket, calibre .72, and as the enemy were reported to be near us in forces, we loaded. But some of the officers had reported that the charges were getting wet, and that they had no ball screws, so I halted and tried to fire them, but after three snaps got but little over half the pieces discharged.
We came to a stream that seemed too deep and swift for the men to wade, but close by lay two long and partly hewn timbers. So I bade them shove them over the bank towards the opposite shore. Before the ends reached it the timbers balanced, and I said to some of the men to make a running jump and lift the timbers over, but the men stared at me as though I ordered them to do the impossible. Being already on foot, as I gave my horse to a sick soldier, I stepped back a few paces, picked up my sabre and cleared the deepest water, but went nearly to my armpits in the muddy water. I was surprised, but did my best not to show it, landed the timbers, which made a narrow but good bridge for the men.
January 15th, 1863. Rained all night and snowed all the daytime. Though we are close to the south line of Tennessee, we are wet, muddy and uncomfortable. Got a letter from Madam Simon, France, inquiring about her son in company "G", 14th Illinois. I had $10.00 worth of green three-cent stamps on me yesterday, and dried them on newspaper today, but they look pale and the mucilage is all washed off. A miserable dark, windy night. I pity the boys on picket.
January 16th. An old negro, one of the camp cooks, was found dead behind my tent this morning. Evidently he had fallen in trying to climb a fence, and chilled and drowsy, had
935lain there and died. There was no coroner's jury. A hole was dug beside him and he was rolled in and covered.
"Only a poor contraband gone to his rest."
We had a hard march today through snow, water and mud with some ice. It makes one think of Napoleon's retreat from the Russian Moscow.
January 17th. After waiting most of the day, we came to a point about one mile south of Lafayette and bivouaced in the snow. It is creditable to our men to have obeyed orders with such alacrity and to have borne such hardships with cheerfulness.
January 18th. We now occupy the ground recently left by the 20th Ohio. I am once more comfortable again. Companies "A", "E", "F" and "D" are at Grisson's Bridge, about four miles east. "C", "G", "I" and "B" are at Lafayette Station, so I have only "H" and "K" of the 14th, and the four companies of the 101st with me at this time. I burned a deserted house that had been used as a pest house close to our tent.
January 19th. Wagons got in from Moscow this evening without provisions -- why not send them here by rail? Raining and very muddy, and I have kept in the tent all day, as every one else has who was not on duty.
January 20th. Still bad weather and we avoid all unnecessary outdoor exposure, though the enemy are reported watching us, we are under no anxiety.
January 21st -- Cloudy but no downfall. Went to Major Nolte's camp at Grisson's bridge to try Wm. Wilson, of "F", charged with insubordination. Found him guilty and sentenced him to forfeit one month's pay and close confinement for eight days.
January 22d. Clear this evening. There was a large but distant fire to the west of us tonight, which must be on or near water, judging from the reflection on the sky.
January 23d. I made the first return from the 14th of ordinance stores while we were last upon the Tallahatchie, and today have been reading and urging upon my officers
936closer attention of the requirements of the army regulations in accounting for government property. Moved my tent today and am now nicely fixed and am very comfortable Capt. Meade got back today, but is not able for duty and says he will resign.
Camp near La Fayette, Tenn.,
January 24th, 1863.
Col. John Moses,
Dear Sir, --
I have just been musing over the dark prospects of our country; for that they are dark it would be silly now to deny, and I feel like sharing my thoughts with some one bound with me in the common brotherhood of patriotism. I choose yourself because your position makes you necessarily acquainted with the politics, the hopes and dangers of the times, and I beg that you will write to me of any spirit of cheer or prospects of coming sunshine, if any you see, for I must confess that I have some gloomy forebodings of coming trials, while every incentive of duty, manliness and interest bind me to my adopted country, the north and freedom in its only true and pure sense.
If any idea that may suggest strike you as worthy of note you are at liberty to publish it or refer to whom you see fit.
I said our prospects were gloomy and I meant it. What can be more gloomy either to the patriot or philanthropist than to see a prosperous and thriving people, a great country, such as ours was, just setting an example of just and liberal government to the world, plunged into the ruinous vortex of civil war, maming her bright prospects, her still brighter example and endangering her very existence?
We commenced this war for an idea! Have you thought or dreamed that we are fighting now for our very existence as a free and independent people? It was not because that
937the principle of republicanism was wrong, was derogative of the rights of man that these troubles were brought upon us. It was because America gave guarantee in her constitution and tolerated upon her soil the blighting, blackest curse of mankind.
The history of the past which she affected to study pointed to the ruin of nations in a darker age, but in a spirit of avarice in an hour of ignorance and infatuation she was sold to the demon of slavery, that is the source of war, there our efforts should be aimed and only in its extinction can we have peace. But this is not the depth of our gloom. The spirit of avarice is, fear, turning the means intended to be used in putting down rebellion to its own selfish and sordid ends, and that spirit of blindness infatuation is breeding treason at home, while weakness, waste and incompetency have characterized the war.
As a soldier it would ill become me to declaim against my superiors, but as a citizen I have the right to judge for myself and express my honest convictions, and as both a soldier and a citizen it would still worse become me to pass imbecility or injustice to my country's vital interest without note or condemnation. I have the right to ask and say why the war has been conducted in the west as it has. Why since last spring or summer at least have our military operations in this department been conducted on a false base? I will answer that question myself by asking two or three more.
Why did a Gen'd. Com. a department order that cotton should be sold by citizens at 25cts a pound and specify in what money it should be paid for, who should buy and reserve to himself or a board of his appointment the right of giving permits? Why after the opening of railroad lines into the enemies country were the trains loaded with cotton and negroes and run sometimes to the exclusion of sick soldiers and detriment to the forwarding of supplies? Why for example was more than one division, after having struck tents and loaded their baggage in foul weather, with fouler roads, kept waiting from morning till dark to keep the enemy out of Holly
938Springs till the last train had left on the 10th of January? I was on the railroad that day with six companies of infantry and after dark rode into the town as the rear guard was leaving on the main road and had you been with me it would be easy to guess why.
Why a few days ago at a station but a few yards from my tent did a General commanding a division by force of arms compel a Government railroad to attach two cars filled with sick soldiers to a cotton train going to Memphis? Why was a heavy column of all arms pushed down to Yacona Patoffa depending for supplies and subsistence upon a single line of rail to the rear running several hundred miles through a country infested by guerillas and guarded mostly by raw and inexperienced troops, then when it had to retreat, why did it linger on the Tallahatchie from the 25th of December to the 5th of January, the men on half rations and sometimes when the last morsel was eaten their commanders knew not where or when they would obtain food for their exposed and hard worked soldiers; and still again why did we linger from the 5th to the 10th at Holly Springs -- that is one division where some of the soldiers were necessarily kept on duty for 12 hours, or more, you can guess.
I said that the base of our last operation was false. If we had a base at all it was a railroad that was not then open, for it cannot be said that the Mississippi was our base, and that we were operating on a line parallel to it, for we had no communication with it sufficient to afford us permanent supplies, except at a point very far to the rear, and then they had to be carried over a single dubious line.
It was false for if for nothing more the Mississippi was a far better, if not the only true base of our military operations in the West, whether you contemplate to move west or eastward.
If you will get a map and give me your patience and attention we will make a campaign together and since neither of us are Major Generals no one need fear that our plans will be adopted or executed.
The Mississippi river is our base, as it can neither be damned or cut. Memphis is our central depot of supplies, with Columbus on the left and Vicksburg, which must be taken, and could have been far more easily taken last spring -- this will be our depot on the right, as Natchez, Baton Rouge belong to another department, whose commander, by the way, we must acquaint with our plans, and keep a ready communication with that he may watch and guard our flank.
A very heavy column must now be pushed eastward from Vicksburg to Jackson, at which point we strike the first parallel, the Tenn. and New Orleans railroad. Garrisons of new troops under old officers must be left at the principal points on the river. The gun boats with small bodies of mounted troops posted in fortifications at convenient distances must watch and guard the western shore. We will suppose the roads from Columbus and Memphis to be open to Grand Junction and Corinth and also the road from Memphis to Grenada, as that affords a line between our central depot and a point nearly equidistant between Grand Junction and Holly Springs and will neatly facilitate the occupying and holding of the first parallel. This line, Tenn. and New Orleans R. R. being reached and occupied, the railroad lines being opened we must now prevent any and everything being passed over that is not for the army, and then scour the whole country between this line and our base and as far to the front as possible -- ridding it of guerrillas and suspected citizens, and by way of a hint burning every gin, gin house and cotton plant.
This having been accomplished the column that has rested at Jackson, Mississippi, must be moved towards Meridian and part of the garrisons on the river must be thrown on the first parallel and mounted mules will be best -- so that the whole country can be scoured with speed and ease. Simultaneously with the advance of the troops from Jackson, a lighter column should head south from Corinth. The commander of the department from the South should take steps to reach and guard our right and the commander of the army
940of the Centre our left. Thus the converging columns would press towards Mobile, with little chance of being checked for the enemy could bring its forces to bear upon no one column without being threatened on his flank by another, while the very heart of rebeldom would lie under our bayonets, and if reverses should come here it would be dangerous for the foe to attempt to follow an advantage. All this time the army of the East would be left free to keep all quiet on the Potomac if it could do no more.
But enough of this, we cannot put our campaign through. I have said that waste had characterized the war. Aside from the wholesale speculation for which the army may have been used the expenditures for supplies and arms have been enormous. Hallock in his "Elements of Military Science" calculates that in the war of 1812 and all our late wars, it cost as much to keep one volunteer equipt and in the field as it did to keep three regulars and in this war if we with a ratio of one to four shall do as well as I anticipate. Pushed into the field immediately after their organization into regiments, nine-tenths of the colonels had not experience or military knowledge of a lance corporal when he has just mastered the goose step. From the regiment that I command today not a solitary property return has ever been given by any officer of the Regiment, the Quartermaster excepted, and though the property issued to them upon the requisition was for the most part, I have no doubt, duly issued to the man, yet the amount was enormous, the men were allowed to waste adlibitum and the officers cannot tell what they have issued or where or when or to whom it was issued.
That was not because they are inclined to defame the government, but because they lacked the necessary knowledge of their duties and responsibilities.
"In time of peace prepare for war," is a very wise saying that we have not heeded and while we possess men and means we sadly neglected to acquire the knowledge of using them. If through the lack of military knowledge and the consequent non-execution of many important military duties,
941the waste of means has been so great, -- what of the sacrifices of men, of life and blood, for military knowledge is absolutely necessary to economy in both.
In conclusion I have one idea to suggest. Our army is daily becoming more demoralized by desertions, which instead of being severely and summarily punished is hardly, often not punished at all.
Could not our state constitution or laws be amended so that any officer or soldier belonging to the army of the United States who shall desert, be dismissed, by sentence of a court martial, dishonorably discharged by order of the President of the United States or a Major General commanding department, or shall knowingly accept an illicit or informal discharge shall be forever denied the right of suffrage, subject to an act of the legislature where any such person is judged to have reduced himself.
This is due to the faithful soldiers of Illinois, and while it would inflict proper punishment upon past offenders, would at once check the growing evil.
L. Col. 14th Illinois Infantry.
January 24th. Still raining, and we are confined to our camps. The Adjt.'s clerk is a soldier from "E" named Chas. Allen, who served ten years in a regiment of the British Cold Stream Guards, an Englishman and a fine writer, but given to drinking. About midnight last night the. major reported him dead or dying, and showed me a very small vial from which he had taken poison. I had the body brought into my own tent and sent for Sergeant Stephenson. The flesh was very dark and the man apparently dead. Stephenson said he had given him a small vial of solution of strychnine, cautioning him to take very small doses, but the man had taken so much the case was hopeless. After a long effort to revive him. Allen, the doctor, gave him up and we wrapped the body in a blanket and laid if on one side of the tent till morning. When Peter Fallinger, my hostler, had built the fire in my tent this morning,
942before daylight, he pulled the blanket off the man's face and said, "Cholly's getting white again." I sent for the doctor again, and we soon had Allen on his feet, and he has been at his desk nearly all day writing, as usual.
January 25th, 1863. Warm and wet. Went to Grissom Creek today by train.
January 26th. Cold and wet. Sent to Washington for blank returns and instructions today.
January 27th. We hear of the enemy at several points about us. Our cavalry struck them near Mt. Pleasant, a few miles south-east of us, and also near Collinsville. We are throwing up earth works here.
January 28th. Nothing worthy of record.
January 29th. Nothing important. Old Reuter, the Dutch wagoner, let his six-mule team run away this morning, but he stuck to the saddle, and though they ran all over the camp and among the tents, not a tent-pin was knocked over nor a guy-rope broken. But there was much profanity on the part of Reuter and jokes and laughter on the part of the men. After midnight the Adjutant brought to my bed an order from Colonel Hall, brigade commander, requiring that the troops form in line at daybreak and keep accoutrements on till after daybreak. I directed the Adjutant not to disturb the men as we held troop at daylight and I could then give the order to keep accoutrements on. Before daybreak Hall and his staff rode up to my tent, where they found me ready and waiting. Hall asked if I had given his order to my men. I said I had not, and before I could explain, he ordered me under arrest and galloped off. We'll see who comes out of this best!
January 30th. A fine day, and as Nolte is in command, I have no responsibility. Paymaster has been here and it will be a couple of days before we are paid.
January 31st. Am not well today. Too little exercise. Paymaster Pope lined our pockets this morning. Mulheman, our Quartermaster, leaves tomorrow to be Adjutant for
943General Palmer, with rank of Captain. Palmer has been nominated for Major General.
February 1st, 1863. I regretted parting with Mulheman, for he has always been an efficient and faithful officer. He received a military education in Switzerland. Came down by train to Memphis, bought a silver watch at Fort Clarkson's, on Main street. Put up at Warsham House.
February 2nd. Returned to Lafayette today. Cloudy and cold.
February 3rd. Fine, cool day. Although hanging about, the enemy are not risking attack. Wrote to my father to have some heavy, rough camp clothing sent to me.
February 4th. Quite unwell this morning, but feel better tonight. It is snowing and looks more like Labrador than Tennessee. I heard more about the intrigue to head me off from the Colonelcy, if Hall is made Brigadier. I have seen my mistake in refusing the Colonelcy after my commission had been made out while we were in Missouri. I am disgusted with such tricks, but shall not stoop to notice them. Hall is not promoted yet.
February 5th, 1863. Indoors all day. New clothing for the men has come. Ground still covered with snow, and it is growing colder.
February 6th. Froze last night, and this morning was clear and bright and ground in good sleighing condition. As no charges had been preferred, I went to Brig. Headquarters to demand my sword. I found General McPherson there and he took me aside to ask about my arrest. After I told him he directed Hall to return my sword, and in his mild way reprimanded Hall for arresting me, saying I was the only regimental commander under him who held troops. Hall, by way of apology made some explanation about his hasty conduct, saying he had forgotten I had anticipated his order. Major Nolte went to Memphis.
February 7th. A fine thawing day. I have been drawing and maping the works here for McPherson. Sent a foraging
944party out to Mount Pleasant, which returned safely and successfully, with both hogs and sweet potatoes.
February 8th. Another fine day. I got a long letter from my wife. It is rumored that Port Hudson is taken.
February 9th. Weather soft and warm. Nolte got back from Memphis. All quiet in camp.
February 10th. The 101st left us for Memphis today. Maj. Nolte returned to the battalion at Grisson's Creek. Rainy.
February 11th. Weather fine, bright and spring like.
February 12th. A heavy storm this morning.
February 13th. A beautiful day. Quiet in my tent all day, but this evening I attended a meeting at Brigade headquarters held for the purpose of drafting a memorial to Illinois Legislature.
February 14th. A rainy day. Division quarter master Clark brought our new regimental colors from Memphis, also some pistol cartridges for myself.
February 15th. Rode to the battalion at Garrison Creek calling at Mr. McLean on the way. Got a parcel of tracts from American Temperance Union.
February 16th. This morning I took five companies out to Mount Pleasant, where we were told a number of the enemy were stationed. I had fifty mounted men with me. After quietly surrounding the village I dashed into it but found only a frightened young school teacher, a lady and a lot of children. I went into the house and talked to the lady and pupils, assuring them they had nothing to fear from my soldiers. It seems some Missouri Regiment, previously, had behaved roughly in the place.
February 17th. The officers of the brigade met and passed a series of resolutions drafted by Col. Dornblazer of the 46th Illinois. I learned from my brother that the four companies of the 101st that have just left us have gone to Vicksburg. Raining.
February 18th. Drawing most of the day. Reported that one of our foraging parties was captured near Moscow.
February 19th. Very windy, 15th Ill. went to Colliersville this afternoon.
February 20th. Another soft spring-like day. The band is serenading tonight.
February 21st. The 76th went out on a foraging guard this morning and has been stopped at McDowels Mills by high water two miles southeast of camp. My wagons all got in camp but two.
February 22nd. As this is Washington's birthday our battery fired a national salute, using some discarded ammunition and shot guns. Orval M. Watt of "K" had a bright red blanket, and I promised if he would wrap it on a tree half a mile or more in front of the guns, he could take the best pair of blankets I had should it be hit, He did so. I told Capt. Bolton to put his best gunner on it. The blanket was torn to ribbons by the second shell, and I lost my blankets. Letters from my father and from my father-in-law today. Cold and cloudy.
February 23rd. A beautiful day. Ordered a board of examiners to select candidates for promotion.
February 24th. Changeable, as the weather is, the fine days seem to come oftener than the bad ones, and I am feeling as well as the day is fine. It is a bright moon light night and the band is playing so sweetly, I can't help feeling happy and contented with life as I find it.
February 25th. A wet cold day with a great deal of lightening and thunder. The examination board met but transacted no business. Spent part of the day with McCauley's 11th volumn, History of England.
February 26th. Went to Grisson Creek and tried Sergeant Huber of Company "A", then commenced Phelps' case.
February 27th. Weather fine and warm. Went to Grisson Creek to finish Phelps case.
February 28th. Mustered the 14th today, and got a letter from my wife.
March 1st, 1863. Another charming day. Busy with the muster roll. Quartermaster Horace Stewart got his commission
946as 1st Lieut. and Quartermaster of the 14th Ill. this evening.
March 2nd. Still fine. Busy writing. No newspapers.
March 3rd. And another fine day. March has come in like a lamb. My muster roll was ready to send to Washington, but the post boy forgot them.
March 4th. Clear and cool. Sent Companies "H" and "K" to Grisson Creek, as Nolte is threatened with a force stronger than his. Received the clothing order from Jacksonville, through my father.
March 5th. Lieut. Wright, Sarg. Major Durkee and Sarg. Campbell started for Illinois today.
March 6th. Warm and showery. Went to bid McLean's family good bye, as it seems we are likely to move tomorrow. Sarg. Warchester of "D" is acting Sargeant Major.
March 7th. Not likely to move for several days. Stormy tonight.
March 8th. A cold, damp day. Reports are to embark before long, but whether for Nashville or Vicksburg is not settled.
March 9th. The first brigade passed going west. My companies from Grisson Creek here. March at 6 in the morning.
March 10th. Cold and windy. Paid today. The brigade has marched but I am to hold this place with the 14th till morning and then move west.
March 11th. Left Lafayette at sunrise and made 20 miles before sun down. Weather fine.
March 12th. Got to Memphis before noon and are now encamped on the north side near Wolf river. Received a box by express from my wife.
March 13th. A beautiful day. We are to wait, it seems, an order to ship and go south. Visited at Gen. Veatch's quarters this morning.
March 14th. Another fine day. Called at both Veatch's and Lauman's headquarters, and then wrote to my wife to come down at once as we may be here for some time. Found
947an unoccupied block house about a quarter of a mile from my camp which will make a good place to confine some of my incorrigible drunkards. Fine spun theories are out of place here, and drunkenness must be treated, if not as a crime, at least as a misdemeanor.
March 15th, 1863. Cloudy but no rain. Busy with camp duties.
March 16th. We were reviewed today by our old division commander, Gen. Hurlbut, at Lauman's headquarters.
March 17th. Drew new arms and accountrements today, to replace all that were damaged. Challenged the 41st Ill. to a competitive drill at Lauman's quarters. The men behaved splendidly at battalion drill this afternoon.
March 18th. Challenge to the 41st conditionally accepted and to take place at Lauman's headquarters next Tuesday at 2 p. m.
March 19th. Tried several cases today. Dr. Casey of Winchester, and a brother of Maj. Gen. Casey, U. S. A., called upon me today, or rather this evening.
March 20th. Twice at the Ordinance Office, but got only such pieces as had no bayonetts to the shop.
Went on board the steamer Memphis and the City Belle, both just in from St. Louis, to see if my wife had come, but was disappointed.
March 21st. Still no rain. The woods are getting green. Saw the 46th and 53rd on drill and parade. We have an order that indicates a heavy attack upon us here, and I have sent for more cartridges tonight.
March 22nd. Sprinkled enough to slake the dust today. Messrs. James Watt and Geo. Ebey, who have sons, both from Winchester, are here. Arrived today to see the boys.
March 23rd. We are ready for the drill tomorrow.
March 24th. A wet, cold day and our drill postponed until day after tomorrow.
March 25th. -- Clear and cold. Looked anxiously for Kittie but she did not come.
March 26th. The drill took place this afternoon, under a blue sky and on fine ground. Col............. of the 11th Michigan Cavalry, an old English soldier, Maj. Eddie, 15th regular, and Capt. Eddy, U. S. A. and Post Quartermaster were the judges. But we have not received their decision yet. I think the 41st won but St. Col. Nale was hardly fair, as I am told he brought only his best men and furnished them with white gloves, and brought them out with empty cartridge boxes, and they made a fine appearance, which took the Englishman's eye. I took out every man not already on duty, had no gloves, but I had 40 rounds of cartridges in every box, and could have gone directly from the drill field into action. Nale halted after every manuever while I passed from one movement to another, even on double quick, without halt or check. Nale drew new clothing, while I had my men brush up the old uniform.
March 27th. Had an oyster supper at Madam Vincent's this evening. A thunder storm just coming on and we shall have to go out and slacken guy ropes as soon as they get wet, before they draw up the tent pins.
March 28th. Division review was postponed today on account of threatening weather.
March 29th. Cold and cloudy. Little news from any quarter.
March 30th. Bright but cold, nothing important.
March 31st. Still cold but fine. All quiet on the Mississippi.
April 1st, 1863. Maj. Nolte and myself, by invitation, took supper at Mr. Leith's near our camp, and where I have engaged board and room for my wife when she comes.
Weather fine and warm. The judges decided after mature deliberation in favor of the 41st, on the competitive drill. But I am told Maj. Eddy and Capt. Eddy thought the 14th was superior in movement and maneuvers.
April 2nd, 1863. Warm and fine. We had division review on the Pigeon roost road.
April 3rd. Fine but cold again. I am invited to stay with Mr. Leith tonight.
April 4th. Commanders of regiments and batteries met with Gen. Lauman to receive Adj. Gen. Thomas, from Washington, this evening, but he failed to get there, so we are to go back at 8 a. m. tomorrow.
April 5th. Gen. Thomas met us this morning and each officer was formally introduced to him. By letter I learn that my wife is to start down on the 9th.
April 6th. Another fine day. Something seems evident, but our news comes by grape vine dispatches.
April 7th. We were to have drilled with the 53rd Illinois at Lauman's headquarters this afternoon, but my regiment was on picket. Met with pitiful case in the city this evening.
April 8th. We had a dashing drill at Lauman's headquarters this afternoon. The men showed such promptness, percision and vim. Rumors of disaster to our men in arms in the east afloat.
April 9th, 1862. Maj. Nolte's wife came this morning. Nothing from my own wife yet.
April 10th. Another warm day. Capt. Opiz's resignation came last night. Accepted. I placed A. Peden under arrest this morning for being absent without leave.
April 11th. Rainy today. Made a special Muster roll. Saw Mary tonight, poor girl.
April 12th. Dr. Skilling arrived from Winchester this evening, and staid with me tonight. My wife will probably be down tomorrow.
April 13th. Kittie got here this evening. She came down on the Chancellor with Gov. Yates. St. Garland's wife was with her, both in charge of Corp. Gale of Co. "C", 28th Ill. Infantry. I ought to be a happy fellow. No one has a better right.
April 14th. A wet day and cool. Have been mostly in the house with Kittie. Nothing new or important.
April 15th, A beautiful day. I was in the city, also had battalion drill.
April 16th. Another fine day. Kittie had our pictures taken today, from which to commence a painting.
Col. Hall got back. His wife, son and Capt. Smith's sister came with him.
April 17th. Another fine day. The mosquitoes are getting very bad. More so in the house than in camp.
April 18th. We were paid today. Storming tonight.
April 19th. A delightful day, I have been in my room most of the day. Mrs. Nolte and Kittie took supper in camp this evening.
April 20th. Today was very warm. We drilled in front of Gen. Lauman's headquarters. Got back at dusk.
April 21st. In Bivouac. Fine morning. Marched on the road and are now six miles out, bound for Coldwater. Left the wife in camp.
April 22nd. Hernande, De Soto Co., Miss. We reached this place at 10 a. m. Marched over the fair grounds. The ampitheatre is much like the one at Camp Duncan at Jacksonville, where our regiment was organized.
April 23rd. Camped near State Line, Mississippi. I went on a scout with 100 men from the 14th and 46th Illinois Infantries. Joined the retiring column at Hernando and are now camped near Cane creek.
April 24th. Memphis, Tenn. We reached this at 10 P. M. in a heavy shower. Fine and clear this evening.
April 25th. Laid off a new camp around the woods today.
April 26th. A wet, quiet day. Indoors all the while.
April 27th. Moved my camp a short distance north of the Reileigh road so my tent is but a few steps from the house. Corp. Cox married a Miss Morehead today.
April 28th. A fine day but nothing of importance occurred. I tried a large number of cases and imposed fines in every case.
April 29th. I have been painting part of the day. A neighbor of my father's arrived this afternoon and brought the likenesses of my Aunt Mary and two cousins.
April 30th. Mustered nine companies of the 14th today, "F" being away. Visited Ft. Pickering this evening with
951my wife, also the Major and his wife. This was fast day, but like all other of God's days to me.
May 1st. I was in town twice today. We have had no drill or parade. The Major and myself were at Gen. Lauman's this evening to see the 15th and 41st drill.
May 2nd. We were to have met the 28th Illinois Infantry at Gen. Sherman's this evening, but it rained so we did not go.
My portraits are progressing finely.
May 3rd. We had parade and preaching in our camp this evening.
May 4th. I arrested two citizens today for aiding deserters.
May 5th. Nothing of importance today. Co. "F" returned this morning. Was mustered and paid this afternoon.
May 6th. It has been unusually cold today with a drizzly shower now and then from the northwest.
May 7th. Another cold day. Did not send my muster roll to Washington until this evening. Stirring and good news from Gen. Hooker on the Rappahannock.
May 8th. A cheering day. There are rumors of a reverse on the Rappahannock.
May 9th. A May Party at Mr. Leath's today. I have just finished my picture. We are under orders for Milliken's.
May 10th. We hear tonight that Richmond is ours. That it was occupied by Gen. Stoneman, who received reinforcements by York river. All are jubilant in camp.
May 11th. This evening at 5 the enlisted men of the 14th presented Gen. Veatch with a sword. The affair passed off pleasantly.
May 12th. No order to go on board yet. But we shall probably get it in the morning. I sent my stallion to Capt. Burr this afternoon.
May 13th. Steamer City Belle. My wife sailed north on the City of Alton and I came south on the City Belle. A heavy fog has made us tie up for the night on an island, 11-15.
May 14th. We are lying with two gunboats for our protection,
952since the 76th Illinois was fired into about a mile above.
May 15th. Young's Point, La. We arrived this evening after dark. Saw my brother this morning on the "Rattler" but did not speak to him. The Belle crazy, even though at that we arrived without accident, and are now in fighting trim.
May 16th. We disembarked about noon and are camped near the levy in open ground. Blackberries in abundance.
May 17th, 1863. Went to look at the batteries in Vicksburg today. Wrote several letters.
May 18th. We marched down through swamps, over corduroy roads yesterday. I saw Spanish moss growing on the trees for the first time today. They were hanging heavy with it.
They are firing slowly at Vicksburg.
May 19th. Grand Gulf, Miss. We came down on the J. W. Chesman today. There is a report that Vicksburg is taken. There is a regiment of negroes here, also Collins line Steamer Arizona.
May 20th. Chickasaw Landing, Miss. We left last night on the Empire City at 11 o'clock, and up the Yazoo on the Fannie Bulloch. We guarded 4,000 rebel prisoners tonight.
May 21st. Hains Bluff. Marched towards Vicksburg this morning but turned back and are now in the winter quarters of Co. "G" 1st Mississippi Light Artillery.
May 22nd. A boy, E. H. Turnbull, a private in the battery that was quartered here, was brought in today. The men are finding quantities of hidden army plunder.
May 23rd. Still here. There was a terrific fight on the lines this morning but have not heard what results.
May 24th. Marched this morning and are now encamped near Sherman's Division.
May 26th. Through the carelessness or ignorance of the picket officers the 46th lost 107 men and seven officers taken on the line by a sally of the garrison last night. We are on the line today, having relieved the 15th -- were shelled.
May 27th. We were shelled by our own gunboats this
953morning. Both our Division and Brigade commanders show a lack of tact and forethought and energy that unfits them to command. Their actions fail to show an exercise of common sense.
May 28th. Moved our camp back a mile or two this evening. Went on picket again. Have no tents or baggage and I have not a change of clothes.
May 29th. When I got in from the line this morning there was a large mail for us. Received a letter written from Holly Springs last spring by my brother.
May 30th. We go on picket again today. My headquarters are made of a magnolia tree. We relieved the 46th Illinois.
May 31st. Our bivouac were again moved to nearly its former position. Wonderful strategy. We are under a set of old grandmothers.
June 1st. We are going on picket again today. The guards are relieved in the heat of the day for some reason, thoughtfulness, perhaps.
June 2nd. Was relieved from picket this morning. All comparatively quiet.
June 3rd. Have been on picket all day. There is considerable firing, very heavy on our right and still going on.
Mail today but I got nothing.
June 4th. Was relieved from picket this morning and have been dozing in camp all day. Part of our transportation from Grand Gulf has come up. Heavy guns are being Put in position against the city.
June 5th. Moved our camp into a deep hollow, forward and a few hundred yards to the right. Trunk came this evening.
June 6th. This morning a shell from Young's Point came over into our lines but hurt no one. Company "D" man hurt.
June 7th. On picket all day. Received a letter from my wife, the first since she went home.
June 8th. Was in the saddle the greater part of the day though relieved early this morning.
June 9th. But six Companies went on picket this morning from the 14th and I have remained in camp all day.
June 10th. It has stormed nearly all day and still threatening. Last night the Confederates tried to break out but the pickets drove them back.
June 11th. Went on Signal Hill this morning and had a finer view of the vicinity of Vicksburg than ever before. There is sharp firing on the line this evening.
June 12th. A bright day. Capt. Williams and Maj. Nolte started north today. Firing heavy. Climbed the magnolia on Signal Hill this morning.
June 13th. Sharp firing on the line and a shell or two close to the camp but no one hurt. Copeland received a commission as Captain of Company "A" this morning.
June 14th. Another fine day. Maj. Herron's troops moved up on the left today. My regiment has been on picket today. No mail for some days but we look for it tomorrow.
June 15th. We moved up the hollow a few paces to the right of our position yesterday. Everything very quiet tonight. Four deserters came in this morning and they say that each had two ounces of bacon and bread made of corn and peas.
June 16th. Have lain quiet in camp. Rained this evening. Sent off retained muster roll by next mail.
June 17th. On picket today and advanced the line near rebel works. Considerable shelling tonight. We cut a trench so as to enter the valley in front unperceived. It was near midnight when the cut was finished, without accident.
June 18th. Tonight I shall work at the cut made last night, since it is not quite deep enough. Was forced to let my working party go to their reef, since the firing and shelling was so sharp from the right.
June 19th. Finished our cut off this evening by making a blindage and working by daylight.
June 20th. The cannonading today did not amount to much. Corp. Keys of Company "F" was killed by a musket shot on the picket line.
June 21st. All seems quiet today, though a soldier of the 76th was wounded severely if not mortally on the picket line. Our division has at last gotten one heavy gun up but we have no ammunition for it. Why?
June 22nd. Went on trench duty about dark and was captured near midnight --
July 4th, 1863. Having been taken prisoner June 22nd by a sally patrol and kept until last night. The place was surrendered this morning and I rode through it this evening.
July 5th. I was at General Grant's headquarters and am now in the sick camp near Sherman's division.
The division has marched towards Jackson and I will probably go north today or tomorrow. (Note, being paroled he would have to wait to be exchanged.)
July 6th. On board the White Cloud. Came on board this afternoon. Will sail at 8 P. M.
July 7th. Were coaling till 4 this morning and have made but slow progress. Now near Grand Junction.
July 8th, 1863. Reached White river about 6 P. M.
July 9th. Reached Helena at 7 A. M. Memphis at midnight.
July 10th. Dined at Mr. Leath's. Sailed at 6 P. M.
July 11th. We have passed Island No. 10 and are nearing Columbus. Col. Pool of the 12th Wisconsin and Capt. See of Milwaukee got off at Cairo.
July 12th. Aboard the City of Alton. Have steamed slowly since leaving Cairo. Scenery growing better as we go north.
July 13th. St. Louis, Mo. Got here last evening about 5 and went to the theatre. Stopped at the Everett House.
July 14th. I am once again in dear old Sucker State, Alton, Illinois. Have just seen Mrs. Allen. Leave by the morning train.
July 15th. Left Alton this morning. Found father at Jacksonville and wife at home.
July 16th. Remained at Jacksonville all day. It is very dry and weather cold for the time of year.
July 17th. I went to Jacksonville with my wife and brother Henry, sister Lizzie, and brought out my trunk.
July 18th. Have been shooting part of the day and spent the rest quietly at home.
July 19th. Went to church twice and spent the rest of the day at home.
July 20th. Father and brother Henry started to Macon County to look for a farm today. I am alone on the place so far as men folks are concerned. Went to town and commenced painting father's buggy.
July 21st. Painted the buggy this morning and visited Mr. Samuel Woods this afternoon.
July 22nd. Employed part of the day painting the buggy.
July 23rd. I learn that Gen. Lauman has been removed and Brig. Gen. Alvin Hoover appointed to the 4th Division.
July 24th. Went to town this morning and on the way back was caught in a heavy rain storm.
July 25th. Near Winchester. Came down in the forenoon. Dined at Mr. Watson's and called on Wm. New this evening.
July 26th. Attended in the M. E. church in the morning and rested at my father-in-law's in the afternoon.
July 27th. Visited Mr. W. and some other friends today, was at Mr. Otley's this evening.
July 28th. Spent the forenoon and dined at Mr. Robert Frost's. Am now at Mr. Robert Searth's.
July 29th. Spent the afternoon at Mr. Mason's.
July 30th. Rained this forenoon. Went to Mr. Charles Frost's to stay all night. Called on Mr. Garland.
July 31st. Went to town with Uncle Robert and remained all day.
August 1st. Returned from Robert Searth's this morning and went blackberrying near Manchester.
August 2nd. Went to gather some wild grapes in the fields this morning. This evening we go to John Watson's with the intention of going to father's tomorrow.
August 3rd. Spent the day at Mr. William New's.
August 4th. Spent the day with Mr. Barker.
August 5th. This morning we called at Loyd Eddy's and spent the evening at Wm. Mason's.
August 6th. Came from Uncle Will's this morning and afternoon went blackberrying.
August 7th, 1863. Went to Merritt's to have our photographs retaken. Called on old Aunt Mary Coultas and dined at Judge Moses, and returned by way of Robert Searth's.
August 8th. Went to gather wild grapes.
August 9th. Got to father's about 1 o'clock after leaving Mr. Watson's at 8 A. M; Went to singing this afternoon.
August 10th. Been at home all day writing a system for the diffusion of military knowledge. Commenced a picture.
August 11th. Went to Jacksonville with my step-mother this morning and this evening went out shooting and killed ten rabbits.
August 12th. Went to Sabbath school celebration today. Have felt blue and sober all day.
August 13th. Stayed at home all day painting.
August 14th. Went with Mr. Rennals and father to look at a farm, northeast of Waverly, belonging to a Mr. Butler.
August 15th. Stayed at home all day.
August 16th. Went to the Baptist church this afternoon. Prof. Turner and Mr. Gillette, Superintendent of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, dined at father's today. Weather very warm.
August 17th. Went to see John Fry this afternoon. Wrote an outline for maintainance of an armed force to present to the government.
August 18th. Went shooting in afternoon. Fair luck.
August 19th. Went to a dinner at Mr. Tunnels to reception given to returned soldiers.
August 20th. Came to Jacksonville this morning with Kittie. Dined at Mr. Lax, supper at Bannels and are tonight at E. Lambert's.
August 21st. Painted most of the day and went shooting with Philip Coffman.
August 22nd. Went to Jacksonville today. Dined at E. Lambert's and visited Prof. Turner. Deposited $1,000 at Ayers bank.
August 23rd. Stayed at home all day.
August 24th. Preparing to start to Benton Barracks.
August 25th. St. Louis, Mo. Left home this morning at sunrise. Had an interview with Gov. Yates at Springfield and reached here at 9:30 P. M.
August 26th. Reported to Col. Bonneville this morning, was assigned to No. 8 AM quarters, all to myself. Found several acquaintances from the 46th Illinois here.
August 27th. Went to town this morning and this afternoon cleaned up my room and begun a picture.
August 28th. Have been painting nearly all day. The weather is unusually cold for the season.
August 29th. Went to the city this evening as my picture was too green to paint on.
August 30th. Have been in my room nearly all day, weather cool but fine.
August 31st. Painted nearly all day. Worked a very pretty sky in a landscape.
September 1st. Went to the city with Lieu. Reed of the 46th Illinois. Received an introduction to Noxone Strauss. an artist, with whom we dined.
September 2nd. Got out of the city between 10 and 11. No word from home or wife since leaving.
September 4th, 1863. Have painted all day and made fine progress in the picture "La Terry," copied from a colored French lithograph.
September 5th. Went to town this morning with Capt.
959Wm. Teach. Was empowered as Garrison Court Martial and tried in case.
September 6th. Have been in my room most of the day. Feel as though a spell of bilious fever was in store for me.
September 7th. Finished my "La Terry" this morning and this afternoon tried five cases, having Lieu. Reid for clerk.
September 8th. Tried one case today and wrote to Maj. Williams to get me a recommendation from Generals Veatch and Hurlbut to enable me to go before a Board for the purpose of getting a Commission to handle colored troops.
September 9th. I was paid today by Maj. Lamed. Met Capt. Sutherland and sent for my wife, also purchased a Ballard rifle.
September 10th. Sent $25.00 to Mrs. Nolte, $25.00 to Schaffer and wrote Mrs. Allen. Went to the city with Lieu. Reid this afternoon by 5th street.
September 11th. I moved my things to the back south room of No. 6, keeping my old room for Court Martial. Went to the city twice today.
September 12th. Went to the city this morning and made a few purchases. Paid Watson $10.00 this evening in account of my board, also sent $10.00 to my father-in-law, in case my wife should not get the $20.00 mailed to her the 9th.
September 13th. In my room nearly all day. Weather good.
September 14th. Went to the city this evening.
September 15th. Went to the city again this evening but my wife did not arrive. Am disappointed.
September 16th. Heard in the city that my wife will be there by next packet on Illinois River.
September 17th. I was much disappointed at not finding my wife at the packet this morning. Have received orders to arm and equip for the field.
September 18th. A cold, clear day. Called on Capt. Southerland this evening. Rec'd Maj. Mitchell $5 on an old subscription never filled.
September 19th. Went to the city again this afternoon but did not find a packet in from the Illinois river.
September 20th. The Nellie Rodgers did not get in till 8 P. M. I left my bed at Everetts and slept with Kittie on board the Nellie.
September 21st. We came to camp this morning after breakfast at the Christy House. Was out with Kittie this evening shooting at a mark with my Ballard rifle.
September 22nd. Visited the Monitor Ozark this morning with Mrs. Reid and Kittie. It is one year this evening since we were married.
September 23rd. Have been in quarters all day, almost finished the "Ivy Clad Ruins" this afternoon.
September 24th. We received the declaration of exchange today, and shall leave in a few days.
September 25th. Went to the city this evening after painting all the forenoon. Received a conditionary letter this evening from Sar. Ewing, to which I replied.
September 26th. Went to the city this afternoon and met Capt. Southerland. Bought a large leather trunk.
September 27th, 1863. A fine and quiet day. The men of the 17th Wisconsin Inf. left today. We shall probably get away the latter part of the week.
September 28th. Finished a picture for Mrs. Graham this morning. Went to the city this afternoon. Packed part of my things.
September 29th. My wife left on the La Salle for Harris Landing this afternoon. Have been busy looking after the men who are to go down with me.
September 30th. Steamer Welcome. Came on board today at 4 p. m. in the rain, and after dark dropped down below the levee, and will remain here till morning.
October 1st. Left St. Louis this morning after day light and have made but slow time. Have tied up for the night some distance below Cape Girardeau. Passed Chester H. Reneview and St. Mary's on the Illinois shore.
October 2nd. Reached Cairo this evening, and after
961about three hours started out with a large number of passengers.
October 3rd. We have been on a sand bar nearly all day, and were bothered by the Mate going with several others to get a spur. Anchor after dark.
October 4th. We made fair headway, passed Ft. Pillow near sundown and anchored some distance below for the night.
October 5th. We reached Memphis about noon. I got a day's rations, but after waiting till near sundown. I hiked out leaving the ammunition and one man -- 8,000 rounds, and a Sergeant of the 14th Wisconsin.
October 6th. Drew 4,000 rounds of cartridges at Helena this morning, where we arrived about 7 a. m. Made fair headway, wooded once or twice.
October 7th. We have made good way today. It is after dark and we have just taken on 16 cords of wood. Cool but fine.
October 8th. We got to Vicksburg a little after noon, and sailed with fair way, passing the Indianola after dark.
October 9th. Reached Natches, Miss., at 10 a. m. Anchored mid stream. Found all in fine spirits and well.
October 10th. I have felt badly all day but this evening the boys gathered, without my knowledge, called me out and made me feel once more at home. Forwarded my report to Adj. Gen. Newby today.
October 11th. Was down in Brown's garden near Natches, "Under the Hill," -- the most beautiful I have ever seen. Held the parade this evening for the first time for several months. Dined with Capt. Strong and lady.
October 12th. A fine day. I was placed under arrest today by direction of Gen. Crocker -- for what I do not know.
October 13th. All quiet and well. Gen. Crocker denies ordering or directing my arrest, and promises prompt action in my behalf. All parties against me are Free Masons and that has weight.
October 14th. A cold cloudy day. I was drawing and
962writing most of the day, finished with a couple of games of chess.
October 15th. Quiet in camp all day. Weather fine.
October 16th. Have had a quiet, happy day, and have witten a long letter to my wife. Write to her usually every other day. The enemy are reported to have occupied Washington, six miles out, with Cavalry last night.
October 17th. Commenced Robert Dale Owen's "Footfalls on the Boundary of Mother World." Weather fine.
October 18th, 1863. Have had a quiet fine day. The heavy rain last night slackened the dust. Wrote a long letter to Mr. New.
October 19th. I got the charges preferred against me by Col. Hall today, and had my limits extended to the division.
October 20th. Got a letter from my father today, the first mail since I got here. Have chosen Dr. Blades, Serg. 76th Ill. Inf., as my counsel.
October 21st. Have been out riding twice today, and have commenced preparing for my trial. Making map and written statements for my counsel.
(Note. -- From here on until the 23rd of December the diary is written in code, so we do not know how the trial proceeded or what the result was, but it appears that Col. Camm returned up the river, stopping from time to time, at various places, and December 23rd left St. Louis, Mo., for home. He says, "I came around this way as it only cost half as much as via Decatur.")
December 24th. Got off at Alexander instead of Orleans, but got home about 10 p. m., and found a merry party. My sister was married at four in the afternoon.
December 24th. Near Winchester, came down with Mr. Watson and got to my wife before dark.
December 26th. A wet day and I stayed quiet in the house all day.
December 27th. Went to Mr. New's for dinner. Wet and muddy.
963December 28th, Jacksonville. Came from Manchester by rail with Richard Mason, taking him to the hospital at Springfield.
December 29th. Got to Orleans about 8 p. m. and found Henry and Evan waiting for me with a wagon.
December 30th. Walked in from home (to Jacksonville) and am now stopping at Mr. Rannals. Went to the prayer meeting at the Presbyterian church and gallanted Carrie home.
December 31st. Near Winchester. Joined W. and B. Mason at the depot in Jacksonville at 12 m., and after a tiresome walk in a deep snow against a bleak northwester, I got here safe and sound.
A year ago today we were camped in the Tallahatchie.
(Note. -- At this date the diary discontinues and we have nothing more until January 1st, 1865, thus leaving the whole of 1864 out. During this time a child was born and died in infancy, and the mother, Kittie, also died January 24th, 1864. In June, 1864, all of the original 3-year men of the 14th came to the expiration of their term, and all who did not re-enlist were mustered out at Springfield, Ill., June 24th, 1864. Those who re-enlisted became a part of the 14th and 15th Ill. infantry, reorganized, and what was formerly "K" company became "F" company in the reorganization. Col. Cyrus Hall continued as Colonel, and Thos. J. Weisner as Captain of Company "F." The continued adventures of the 14th are given in detail by William Smith in his book "On Wheels and How I Came There.")
(Note. -- Col. Camm continues the diary.)
January 1st, 1865, Cliffburne Barracks, Washington, D. C. I staid in the quarters all day. Only two companies raised for the corps yet, and they are very poorly quartered and fed, though within sight of the Capitol of the United States. Bedsacks have no straw in them and the rations not more than one-third the regulation, but there is very little grumbling. The men are the best as a body that I have ever seen together. I weigh 152 pounds and height 5 ft. 9 inches.
January 2nd. We moved the second company today and I am quartered with the Captain, Sherman, of the formerly 25th Ill. Vol.
January 3rd, 1865. I got a pass this morning and went into the city. Visited the White House, the War Department and Patent office. Went to Ford's Theatre and heard Edwin Forest. Put up for the night at Kirkwoods'. Lieut. Williams notified me this evening that I had been chosen to organize the 3rd Company. Was examined by Col. Gyffe, camp commander, preparitory to going before the Board.
January 5th. Was ordered to take charge of the Company today.
January 6th. Went to Gen. Hancock's headquarters with my application for an examination this morning.
January 9th. We had drill this forenoon. An agent of the U. S. Sanitary Commission has been at work in my room all day.
January 10th. I spoke in a temperance meeting today, and wrote to Fannie.
January 11th. Went to the city this forenoon and called at Gen. Hancock's headquarters where I learned that my application had been returned and marked an extraordinary case and should be attended to.
January 13th. A quiet day in camp. Company "A" and "B" received Springfield rifles today and drew straw this evening for bedding.
January 17th. We had a salute of 200 guns this morning in honor of the capture of Fort Fisher. Company "C" was mustered today. I have a pass into the city stamped by the Provost Marshal, good till February 1st.
January 19th. All quiet in camp today. I went to Gen Hancock's headquarters to deliver an application I made to be appointed and assigned to Company "C".
January 22nd. I have just listened to a sermon by Mr. Channing in the Senate Chamber, and am now writing on the sill of the window looking upon the dome. The minister asserted that this had never been a Christian Republic because
965of slavery. He suggested the idea of organizing emmigration to reclaim the South after the war.
Went to the Navy Yard bridge with three soldiers. The ground is covered with ice.
January 23rd. Sloppy, foggy and cloudy, and everything coated with ice. Visited the Smithsonian Institute.
January 27th. Have been in doors all day and am. unwell, headache and no appetite. Weather very cold.
February 6th. Passes refused again this morning. It is outrageous that good soldiers should thus be dealt with because others are at fault. Went to town today to meet Col. Fox who was to see Secretary of War for me, but missed him. Yet met Gen. Palmer looking for me. He introduced me to Maj. Gen. Hancock and promised me promotion.
February 8th. Col. Bird told me he had seen Gen. Hancock and that I was to go before the Board.
February 12th. We were inspected today, and miserable cold it was. The wind at time blew almost a gale and the snow is blinding, it blows so.
February 14th. Staid quiet in camp all day. There was a dress parade. No letters, no news. It is said the Col. ordered and had two drummer boys flogged today for absence without leave.
February 19th. Worked on my design all day. Aught to have mentioned a dream Lieut. Jas. Dugan had two nights in succession. He dreamed that two men came to him for a pass, which he refused as he thought they wanted to desert -- he pointed them out and they have since deserted.
February 20th. Worked on my drawing today and got it dead colored. Got a letter yesterday and one today from -- Charleston is ours and Sherman victorious, -- Hurray!
Feb. 21st. All quiet in camp. I heard today that I had been appointed Captain in the 1st Vet. Corps U. S. Vol.
February 22nd. Received my appointment today and accepted it.
February 23rd. Went to the city today and turned my government bounty over to Capt. Keteltas, A. P. M., and tonight
966issued 40 muskets to Company "H", which I am to command.
February 25th. Went to the city this morning and was measured for a uniform, also selected a sword.
February 26th. I inspected Company "H" this morning and paraded in the evening. Received an order from Gen. Hancock ordering me to report to Col. Bird, who assigned me to duty in Company "H".
March 3rd, 1865. Harper's Ferry, Virginia. We arrived here early and camped about three miles out towards Charleston in the Shenandoah Valley.
March 5th. Camp Hancock. Rearranged our camp today. We can get a partial view of the Battle ground of Antietam from the top of Bollivar Hights.
March 9. Had a chimney built to our tent today. No. drill. Got four letters, one from Fannie, God bless her. Commenced making out my descriptive book.
March 13th. Went on picket this morning and took a bath in the Shenandoah.
March 14th. Came off picket this morning. A man in company "C" shot himself with his own musket this morning.
March 18th. Went to Harper's Ferry this morning and got a money order package containing $280 by express from my father. Tonight we have 10 days rations and are in marching order. Will move on a reconnaissance tomorrow.
March 20th, Hillsboro, Virginia. We left our camp early this morning and crossed the Shennandoah by a pontoon bridge at Harper's Ferry. We captured four rebs here. I took a bath in Katochkin creek.
March 25th. After much marching we returned to Camp Hancock at dusk, marching 20 miles today. Tired and foot sore.
March 27th. Frank Wilber, formerly of the 14th, Company "K" called to see me this afternoon. He is a member of "F".
967April 3rd, Near Berryville, Virginia. Good news this morning. Petersburg and Richmond are ours. Lee badly whipped.
April 4th, Winchester, Virginia. Arrived here about 4 p. m. We have taken the winter quarters of the 133rd New York. By the papers it appears there has been very heavy fighting at Richmond.
April 5th. Capture of Richmond confirmed and Gen. Lee with 40,000 men has surrendered.
April 9th. Midnight, surrender of Lee assured, night free, cannons roaring, drums beating, -- Hurrah! for freedom, right and victory -- Hurrah!
April 10th, 200 guns were fired about noon today. Bands playing and all jolly to-night -- the war seems indeed over.
April 11th. A quiet day in camp, with plenty of noise out of doors. Tonight a most enthusiastic meeting in the M. E. church. A poem I wrote yesterday was recited there.
April 15th. The news of the murder of President Lincoln came today. What a true example of Southern chivalry this murder is!
April 17th, 1865. Wrote to my mother-in-law today. The President is dead.
April 18th. Maj. Gen. Hancock reviewed us today, though the morning was dull, I've had a beautiful evening. Mobile is taken and Johnson is about to surrender.
April 19th. Nothing doing today because of the death and burial of the President.
April 20th. Went to Stevenson's depot today to get before the Board for examination. Was examined by Maj. Gen. John B. Brooks, but it was short and not very strict, any of the Sergeants might have given it. The regiment was inspected by Gen. Neal. He complimented me on my company books and papers.
April 29th. Gen. Johnson has surrendered to Sherman and peace is here. General order No. 77 published today
968looks to the immediate mustering out of all volunteer troops by the 1st of June.
May 22nd, Geesboro Point, D. C. I saw the review of the army of the Potomac today. A grand affair. I appealed at several Government institutions for a seat but was refused. This exclusiveness used to be in our favor at the front line or in the trenches before Corinth or Vicksburg. Brigadiers were devilish scarce and Major General scarcer. It may have been for the best but for one who has served in the field ever since the war broke out it is very galling.
May 23rd. Went to see the Grand Review of Sherman's army today. Saw my brother, brother-in-law and many friends. Also the 14th and 15th Ill. Inf., but they have been filled up and are not at all the same. Our western troops are larger, stouter men than the eastern troops. The difference in size is especially noticeable.
June 1st, Camp Stoneman. A close warm day. It has been appointed for a day of fasting and prayer by the president. I spent the evening fishing in the Potomac, but with no luck -- beautiful on the water.
I am thinking seriously of resigning, but will wait a while yet.
Note from the Editor.
Note. -- It seems that during the following months Captain Camm moved about with his command to a number of camps. Was in Fredericksburg, at the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Fort McHenry, but mostly at Camp Stoneman, which was almost within Washington, D. C., until the 20th of September when he was finally mustered out and paid in full. Starting on his journey home, the 21st, stopping at numerous places along the route, particularly in Indiana, and finally arrived at home at his father's near Jacksonville, October 3rd.
It might be added that this diary has been taken from a number of note books, written in ink of various colors, and much of it by pencil. It appears that Col. Camm had a code all his own, and he often substituted that at instances where,
969for some reason, he did not care for the thought to be interpreted. Some of the writing was bad from inconveniences of the place or position for writing, some of it hardly decipherable, some words left out and some meanings not quite clear. The original spelling has been followed.
If the effort to help preserve this diary for Scott County historical purposes proves a benefit I shall be pleased indeed -- F. H.