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Full text of "A drummer-boy's diary: comprising four years of service with the Second Regiment Minnesota Veteran Volunteers, 1861 to 1865"

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Copyri;.'ht, 1S89, St. Paul Boot: and Statio.nert Coupast. 



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As some apology seems to be necessary for the 
effort herewith made, to add one more vohime 
to the already overcrowded shelf containing the 
nation's literature of the great Civil War, it 
may be well to say a few words in explanation 
of the following pages. I thought that these 
sketches of my memoranda of army life, as seen 
by a boy, would prove enjoyable and profitable 
to my comrades of the Second Minnesota and 
their children ; and I believed that tliey might 
at the same time serve to revive in the minds 
of the veterans themselves long-forgotten, or 
but imperfectly-remembered, scenes and expe- 
riences in camp and field. It was not my origi- 
nal intention to write a connected story, but 
rather to give to my old comrades the contents of 
the diary I kept through our term of service, as 
I have been urgently pressed by so many ohl 
comrades to put it into print. And as no fidl 
and complete hi.-tory of the Second Minnesota 
Ueginicnt has ever been written, it i-^ hoped that 
these recollections of one of its humblest mem- 

i» 6 


bers may serve the purpose of recalling to the 
minds of survivins: comrades the stirring; scenes 
through which they passed, as well as keeping 
alive in coming time the name and memory of 
the or£ranization which deserved so well of its 
country during; the ever-memorable days of now 
more than twenty-seven years ago. With these 
few words of apology and explanation, I here- 
with place the " Drummer-Boy's Diary" in the 
hands of my surviving comrades. 

The illustrations are from the "Recollections 
of a Drummer-Boy," by kind permission of 
Messrs. Ticknor tfe Co., publishers. 


Company K. 
South St. Paul, 1888. .• 

vr.t.' . ;.i ■ ' V- a 

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"Fort Sumter, S. C, April 12, 1861, 3.20 a.m. 
" Sib,— 

"By authority of Brigadier-General Beauregard, com- 
manding the provisional forces of the Confederate States, 
we have the honor to notify you that he will open the 
fire of his batteries on Fort Sun-.ter in one hour from 
this time. We have the honor to be, very respectfully, 
" Your obedient servants, 

■ ; ^^Aide-de-camp. 

'' Captain C.S.A., Aide-de-camp. 
*' ]SIajor Robert Anderson, 

" United States Army, Commanding Fort Sumter." 

All readers of American history will remem- 
ber this famous order of General Beauregard to 
Major Anderson, commander of Fort Sumter, 
and the firing on Fort Sumter by the Confed- 

Without a doubt this issue was expected. It 

at found General Beauregard prepared to 

keep the appointment of his representatives with 

sufiicient punctuality. The hour went slowly by, 

and the batteries were silent. Five anxious min- 


.. I :,''i 

, ^-'H; ■■':, ■■,{, 


utes more were counted, and the dark quiet of 
the night was yet unbroken; but hardly were 
another iive completed, when the flash and the 
dull roar of a mortar came from the battery on 
Sullivan's Island. The unconscious shell went up 
shrieking and wailing along its fiery curve, and 
lingering reUictantly before its downward plunge, 
bui-sting as it fell directly over the doomed for- 

No meteor of more direful portent ever Ht the 
sky ; for this told surely of the beginning of a 
civil war, compared to which all civil wars before 
it were as squabbles in a corner ; a war in which 
millions of men were to be engaged, and which 
was to scatter ruin and want, not only throuo-h 
the country in which it raged, but across the sea, 
among two of the most powerful nations of the 
world; which was to convert half a continent 
into oue great battle-ground, and strew it from 
ea^t to west with the graves of its citizens, 
slaughtered to gratify the base ambition and the 
disappointed pride of a small factious oligarchy 
who ju-^iified themselves in their attempt to de- 
stroy, with the niunstrous assumption of the ric^ht 
of one man to own and use another as his prop- 
erty; but to the e.iger neophytes in war who 
manned the Cliarlv.4..n l)utteries this shell was 
merely the signal for the beginnin- of a bom- 
bardment in which they expected t^o run some 

, , ■■ r;._.r.; 


risk and to gain much glory, for they knew well 
iheir overwhelming superiority, both in numbers 
and in weight of artillery, and they knew how , 
weary, worn, and wasted were their handful of 
opponents with anxiety, watching, and lack of 

They expected, also, that after a few such con- 
tests, enough to show the government and the 
poopfe of the free States that they really meant 
rebellion, they would attain their purposes, and 
l>e in a position to so remodel the map of North 
America as to secure the perpetuation through- 
out the larger part of its temperate climes (which 
was the real object sought by their insurrection) 
of the political and social predominance of the 
slave-holding oligarchy ; so well had politicians 
bvcn able to cau.-e the citizens of the republic to 
misunderstand eacli other I So well had some 
of them deceived themselves, 

The firing of this signal mortar was fitly 
Committed to the hands of Edmund Euffin, 
a Virginian, who had grown gray during his 
untiring efforts to bring about the struggle 
which he then began. The depression which 
followed the bombardment of Fort Sumter was 
but momentary. It did not last a single day. 
Ihe rebound was instantaneous and tremendous. 
In spite of four months' warning, the event 
actually came with all the suddenness of sur- 

I ■ i.-i 


prise. In fact, it was absolutely necessary to 
the arousing of the loyal men of the republic 
from a state of mingled confidence and bewilder- 
ment, which had almost the seeming and all the 
effects of stupor. 

It was to these people, pending this mental 
experience, that President Lincoln addressed a 
proclamation, dated upon the day of firing on 
Fort Sumter. That was Sundav, and on Monday 
morning the President's appeal was distributed 
by telegraph throughout the country. It set 
forth that the laws of the United States had been 
for some time defied in the seven seceded States, 
by combinations too powerful to be dealt with by 
the officers of the law. It called out seventy- 
five thousand of the militia of the several States 
for the purpose of suppressing those combina- 

Governor Alexander Ramsey, of Minnesota, 
immediately visited the President and offered the 
services of one roi^iinent, and the organization was 
commenced. Willis A. Gorman, a prominent 
attorney of Si. Paul, Minn., received a commission 
from the governor ns colonel, and in xVpril the 
First Minnesota Pcciriment was mustered into the 
service of the Tiiltcd States, and June 14 ordered 
to AVasliingtoii, D. C. Soon after the departure 
of the Fir.-t Fwcgirnent the recruiting for the 
Second Ktgiment l.>egan, and in July had its 


quota, and was organized with H. P. Van Cleve 
as colonel, James George as lieutenant-colonel, 
and Simeon Smith, major ; and, after doing post 
duty in the frontier forts, Ripley, Ridgely, Aber- 
crombie, was, in October, 1861, ordered soutli to 
Washington. During this period, of July up to 
August, I had made several attempts to get into • 
the regiment, but, not being over fifteen years of 
age, and small in size, was rejected. But Captain 
J. J. Noah, of Company K, seemed to think •; 
that I would make a drummer, as the company 
was in need of one. I was then taken to the 
office of Mustering-officer Major Nelson, and, 
after being questioned very carefully in regard ^ 
to my age, was not accepted until I should get • 
the consent of my parents. 

On the receipt of this decision I immediately 
walked to St. Paul and broached the subject to 
ray parents, who of course objected, but after ; 
seeins: that I was determined in my idea of be- , 
coming a soldier, my father also took the patriotic • 
fever and we both enlisted in K Company of the • 
Second Regiment, and the happiest day of my 
life, I think, was when I donned my blue uniform 
and received my new drum. Now, at last, after 
so many efforts, I was really a full-fledged drum- 
mer, and going South to do and die for my country 
if need be. 

During the months of August and September 


vfQ did post duty at Fort Snelling and drilled a 
great deal of the time. In October we received 
orders to proceed to Washington to join the army 
on the Potomac. October 14 we embarked on 
steamboats and proceeded down the river to St. 
Paul, where we disembarked at the upper land- 
ing and marched through the city. Here we 
found the streets crowded with people waving 
their handkerchiefs ; the band played^ the flags 
waved, and the boys cheered back, and young 
men brouo;ht their sweethearts in their carriages 
and fell in line with the dusty procession. Even 
the old people became much excited. As we 
passed they gave three cheers for the Union for- 
ever, and stood waving their hats after us until 
we were hid from sight. We found the city ablaze 
with bunting, and so wrought up with excite- 
ment that all thouGfht of work had been given 
Up for that day. As we formed in line and 
marched down the main street towards the river, 
the sidewalks were everywhere crowded with 
people, with boys who wore red, white, and blue 
neckties, and boys who wore fatigue caps ; with 
girls who carried flags, and girls who carried 
flowers ; with women who waved their handker- 
chiefs, and old men who waved their walking- 
sticks, while here and tliere, as we passed along, 
at windows and door-ways were faces red with 
long weeping, for Johnny was ofl* to the war, and 


mavbe mother, sisters, and sweethearts would 
never see him again. Drawn up in line on the 
lower levee, awaiting the steamboat from the up- 
per landing, there was scarcely a man, woman, or 
child in that sfreat crowd around us but had to 
pass up for a last shake of hands, a last good-by, 
and a last " God bless you, boys !" And so, 
amid cheering and hand-shaking and flag-wav- 
ing, the steamboat came floating down the stream, 
and we were off, with the band playing the *' Star- 
Spangled Banner." We proceeded down the 
river to La Crosse, where we were transferred to 
cars, and on the morning of October 16 we ar- 
rived at Chicago, and were quartered in the Wig- 
wam where the convention was held that nomi- 
nated Lincoln for President. After being supplied 
with rations — ctf pork, beans, and coffee — we again 
proceeded on our way, and arrived at Pittsburg, 
l*a., where we were received by a delegation of 
loyal citizens, who escorted us to the Duquesne 
Gray's Hall. Here we found several tables, 
the full length of the hall, loaded down with 
eatables of every description, and were waited on 
by the most beautiful and patriotic young ladies 
of the city. The hospitality of these loyal peo- 
ple will long be remembered by the boys and 
cherished in the memory of Pittsburg. Here 
our orders were countermanded, and instead of 
proceeding to Washiijgton we were to go to Ken- 


tucky and report to General Buell, commander of 
the Department of the Ohio. We took transports, 
and with three lashed together we started on 
our voyage down the Ohio River. We arrived at 
Louisville, Ky., on October 19, and disembarked 
and marched out to the Louisville and Nashville 
Depot. At 5 P.M. we were loaded on flat cars 
with rough board benches and taken out to Leb- 
anon Junction, where we went into bivouac for 
the remainder of the ni!3:ht. Durins: our night's 
ride it rained continually, and, without any pro- 
tection from it, we were pretty well soaked. 
October 20, had tents supplied us, and the officers 
were getting some kind of order out of chaos. 
We remained here at this camp (which, by the 
way, was called Camp Anderson, in honor of 
Major Anderson, of Sumter fame) three weeks 
doing guard and picket duty. Then we were 
ordered to the town of Lebanon, where we con- 
tinued to drill and become more perfect in the 
manual of arms, and, of course, did our share of 
picket and guard duty. Here we found the Xinth 
Ohio Regiment, which had seen service in West 
Virginia, and we looked uj)on them iis veterans; 
also the Fourteenth Ohio, Eighteenth United 
States Infantry, and scattering companies of un- 
organized Iventuc-ky troo['s. Our dress parades 
every evening were viewed by a groat m;iny ladies 
and gentlemen from the adjoining town, and it 


had a great effect in making the hoys try to do 
their best, as each man thought tliat he was the 
particular object of the many young ladies who 
were viewing the parade while lying here in 
oanip at Lebanon. 

We had rumors of all kinds in regard to the 
prospect of a battle. One day we heard that 
Zollicoffer was advancins; towards Lebanon and 
that a battle was expected, while the next brought 
word that he was still in his intrenchraents on the 
Cumberland ; then came a report that he was ad- 
vancing on General Schoepf, who was fortified at 
Somerset, watching his movements, and later we 
heard that he had recrossed the river and was 
on his way to join General Buckner at Bowding 
Green. Each story passed current until the next 
was reported. : - . 

Three weeks of camp-life wore away and we 
received ordei's to hold ourselves in readiness to 
march at any moment. We were inspected by 
General Buell and statf, and on the morning of 
January 1, 1862, we stnick our tents, packed 
our knapsacks, and, with our company property 
securely stowed away inside our army wagons, 
with forty pounds upon our backs, we bade adieu 
to Leljanon and took the road towards Somerset. 
The air Wius ch'ar and warm and the road was in 
excellent condition, but our knapsacks were a 
burden to us, and Ijefore we marched ten miles we 


found Here and there a man dropping out of the 
ranks to lighten his burden. Shirts, socks, 
drawers, and shoes were thrown awav to become 
the lawful property of the first passer-by. We 
stopped at noon by a small stream to fill our can- 
teens and to eat hard-tack, salt pork, and drink 
coffee with a relish that nothinoj but marchins: 
could give us. ■' . 

•A half-hour soon slipped around, and then we 
heard the order " Fall in !" from our colonel, and 
there was a rush and commotion in the ranks. 
Knapsacks were quickly slung, and in a very 
few moments our table was cleared, dishes were 
packed, and we \Yere marching on again. 

We marched until about four o'clock p.ii., 
halting occasionally to fill our canteens and rest 
a few minutes. Atter marching twelve miles we 
turned off tlie road into an open piece of pas- 
ture, the land being skirted on one side by woods 
and on the other by a small stream, which made 
it a desirable camp-ground. 

A squad of men were detailed to provide wood 
for the cook, ^Yhile othoi-s went for straw on which 
to lay our weary binlies to rest. 

Now, we thouglit, the campaign has com- 
menced ; we bolicved tliere was somethinsr to be 
done. It was no Ioniser in the prospective; we 
were re;dly going towards the enemy. True, 
there wa^i only a small force of ustogether, — two 


regiments of infantry and one battery of artil- 
lery, — but we thought that in this movement of 
u small force there were other movements to be 
made that would insure us victory. 

We had great confidence in ourselves and our 
generals, and looked forward to the end of our 
march without a doubt of our complete success. 

Our second day's march left the small vil- 
lage of Campbellsville behind us, and here we 
laid over four days to allow our teams to go back 
to Lebanon for commissary stores and also to take 
back some articles with which we could dispense. 

Our route thus far had been through rough, 
hilly country, with but few good farms. From 
appearances, there was more rain than would 
supply the wants of agriculture. The land was 
nobly covered with timber of a very good quality. 
AVe also passed many good mill-sites, which in 
some spots, particularly New England, would be 
very desirable property. Here they were wholly 
unimproved, partly from the want of means to 
erect mills, but mostly from a lack of energy on 
the part of the settlers. With the right kind 
of inhabitants and proper laws this might be 
made a pleasant country, and with the mildness 
of climate Kentuckv mi^-ht be made to blossom 
as the rose. It is one of the best-watered coun- 
tries in the Union. Besides the Ohio Kiver on 
itd northern boundary, the ^Mississippi on the 


west, and tlie Cumberland and Tennessee run- 
ning through it, it is supplied with numberless 
small creeks, rivulets, and springs which gush 
from everv hill-side. The land alonir the streams 
is very productive and yields large crops of corn 
and hay. The hill-sides, which are too abrupt 
for cultivation, are covered with timber of the 
best quality, and the running streams furnish 
abundant mill-sites for convertins; it into lum- 
ber. Cattle can obt;iin a <2;ood livinsr in the 
woods all winter, and beef, butter, and cheese 
readily command good prices. The land is 
broken. Cultivation is good for the production 
of fruit, while tlie climate is particularly adapted 
to fruit-raisin 2;. Notwitlistandins: all these ad- 
vantages, settlers along the road were reduced to 
great straits, sometimes to obtain a bare subsist- 
ence. Log hou.-es were the rule, and framed were 
the exception. Schwl-liouses languished and ig- 
norance flourished, and the mass of the people 
were but tools in the hands of the educated few. 
There is something seemingly inconsistent in 
this contrast between the advantages of the coun- 
try and the real condition of the jteople. There 
must liave been some powerful agency at w^ork to 
liold so large a tract of country in a state of 
nature, as it were, while other States, with 
poorer soil and a culdr-r climate, had made such 
rapid advance in WLalth and productiveness. 

i ' 


The mind at once finds the cause of this and 
liuman slavery readily solves the problem. This 
domestic institution crippled the energy and 
crushed out the expansive force of the nature of 
the people with whom it came in contact. 

On the morning of January 7 we struck tents 
again and resumed our march. While in camp 
near Campbells ville, we had partly passed from 
autumn to the wintry weather. For the past 
three weeks the weather had been very pleasant 
and bright, clear sky, pleasant sunshine overhead, 
and dry ground under foot. But now a rainy sea- 
son had commenced, and the transportation was 
overladen. Now we marched throucrh mud and 
water, where before we had dust. ^V"e did not 
experience much difficulty from the mud, how- 
ever, we had u good turnpike road to travel on. 
Bii:. on January 8 we left the pike and turned 
off on to a mud road, which was well named, for 
the mud was unfathomable. Companies F and 
K built a temporary bridge over a small creek 
near Columbia, a smart little village forty miles 
from Lebanon, where we found the Fourteenth 
Ohio Kegiment, under command of Colonel 
James B. Steedman. We encamped two miles 
from .the river, where we laid over two days, 
waiting for other troops to join us, as we were 
now approaching the place where the rebels held 
a strong position, and it became us to be on our 


guard. On January 11 we left Camp Columbia, 
and there was no village between us and the host 
of the enemy. The mud was so deep that we 
made but little progress, and halted at two o'clock, 
but six miles from the place we left in the morn- 
ing. Short as the distance was, our teams did not 
reach us until after night had drawn her curtain 
over the busy world, after which our tents were to 
be pitched and our suppers cooked. As a conse- 
quence, it was late in the evening before we satis- 
fied the wants of the inner man and turned our 
attention to our outer individual. Here we took 
a philosophical view of the matter and found that 
our situation miii;ht have been a "-reat deal more 
uncomfortable than it was, for just beyond the 
fence was a battery of artillery, whose wagons had 
not arrived. Therefore they had only hard bread 
to eat and the cannon for shelter. Plavinc; a 
fellow-feeling in our bosoms for fellow-beings in 
distress, we made an extra kettle of coffee and 
shared with them, receiving in exchange the 
warm, heart-felt thanks of the artillery boys. 

On January 10 Company K was ordered into 
the advance, as advance guard. 8ei"geant Mc- 
Donough was told to take ten men and proceed 
about twenty rods in advance of the company, 
which Wcus to be about eighty rods in advance of 
the regiment. I was in his squad, and we were 
again divided into pairs, and kept watch at every 


turn of the road, so that, if we saw a force of the 
enemy, we could immediately let the commander 
know it, and if a body of the enemy should be 
in front of us, we could discover them in season 
to prevent a surprise. We saw no enemy, how- 
ever, worse than the mud, through which we 
had to plod our way, and at night we encamped 
within eight miles of where Zollicofier had a 
force stationed to scour the country and collect 
forage and provisions. AVe had another rest of 
two days waiting for the other regiments to come 


Rain fell incessantly ; and when we again 

struck tents, on the morning of January 15, 
the mud was deeper than ever, and we had a 
vague idea of passing the night in the woods, 
with our wagons containing our tents and pro- 
visions — particularly that greatest of soldiers' 
culinary comforts, our coffee — stalled in a mud- 
hole miles back. This morning our captain, J. 
J. Noah, returned to Louisville, Ky., on sick 
furlough. Several of the boys went with him. 
Lieutenant W. W. Woodbury assumed command 
of the company. We made a long march, and 
at night found ourselves in the wild woods with- 
out food or shelter, and a long distance in ad- 
vance of our wagons, while our pickets were 
I>03ted within two miles of the enemy. We 
had had a heavy rain the night before, and it 

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■ >-• 1 ■ ; 1 1 


had rained at times as we marched. Tlie woods 
and lea\-es were very wet ; we had no axes, but 
must have a fire. Now here was a dilemma. How 
to get a fire started was a question somewhat 
extensively debated by squads of interested per- 
sons. The night bid fair to be still and cooL 
Our clothes were quite damp, our socks as wet 
as thev could be, and our feet achins: with cold. 
- Necessity is the mother of invention, and with 
dull and rusty jack-knives — for there was hardly 
a good one in the company — we fell to work. 
It was a long job, and required much patience to 
hew ofif the dampened surface, and still more to 
obtain the necessarv amount of shavino-s to icrnite 
the wet and soggy wood which we could pick up 
4n the woods. When did a man undertake a job 
in downright earnest that he did not accomplish? 
and after almost an hour of steady labor, we had 
a bright blaze leaping and crackling through a 
generous pile of wood and throwing out a cheer- 
ing light through the dark woods, while our 
shivering bodies absorbed the heat with gratitude, 
which none can appreciate until they have gone 
tlirough the same exposures. As I lay rolled up 
in my blanket, and peeping occasionally into the 
!^ dark background of forest around us, I souG:ht 
for a while to find a definition of the word 
comfort, and to find out if there could be a 
position in which a man could be placed and 


be utterly miserable. While living at Fort 
Snelling we grumbled a great deal about the 
provisions furnished us, -when we had quite a 
lengthy bill of fare, containing not only all the 
necessaries of life but many that might be counted 
luxuries. On arriving in Kentucky, and having 
some of the latter articles cut off, we grumbled 
again, and thought that we were making our 
stomachs suffer martyrdom for the good of the 
cause, but amid all these afflictions we looked 
forward with dread and dismay to the time when 
we should begin our march and have nothing 
but hard-tack, pork, and coffee to eat and drink. 
This, we thought, was the worst we could endure ; 
but now we ^ivould have received our rations of 
hard-tack and pork thankfully ; indeed, we would 
have taken a deal of trouble upon ourselves to 
have procured them in any form. 

Such is human nature. Man, at times, can be 
the most unreasonable of animals, and at othei-s 
the most generous ; but his noble intellectual 
organs and impulses are controlled by the larger 
one of appetite. When a man is found who 
can shake off all such trammels and bring his 
sensual organs under the control of his intel- 
lectual ones, he Ikls accomplished a feat as rare 
as it is commendable. Such were my conclu- 
sions as I lay before the tire drying my clothes,. 
^ for even now, without a supper, I found my sit- 


uation much more comfortable than it had been 
before the fire was kindled, and far preferred it 
to that of the pickets who had no fire and were 
not allowed to build one. As I lay down to 
sleep, musing in this way, I worked myself into 
a state of thankfulness that would not have dis- 
honored tbe Shepherd of Salisbury Plain, and 
fell asleep to be awakened only by the hum of 
life and activity in the morning. 

Next day our teams arrived, and the boys 
were all in good spirits. We unloaded the 
wagons and got the kettles and made some coffee. 
After that we heard the order " Fall in !" from 
our colonel. We filled our haversacks with hard 
bread and commenced our march with our 
clothes still vret from the rain. Marched eleven 
miles, to N\ithin eight miles of Somei-set. 

We encamped in an orchard with a beautiful 
stream running through it, and it made the best 
camping-ground we had had in Kentucky. We 
were in camp at this place t\YO days, Friday and 
Saturday, and now was the time to stand our 
guard and picket duty. Saturday night Com- 
pany A, Captain J. W. Bishop, went on picket, 
and on Sunday morning, January 19, the rebels, 
under General Zollicofior, attacked the Tenth 
Indiana Kegiment, and our regiment was quickly 
ordered to the scone of action. We marched 
about one and a half miles, through deep mud 


;' .- "\'^ 







and rain, to stand support to a battery that wa3 
in a field throwing shells at the enemy. In a 
few minutes our regiment was ordered on to the 
field of battle. "We marelied by the right flank, 
up the main road, then made a left oblique move- 
ment, tlien regimental front, and double-quick 
time until we met the Tenth Indiana. Falling 
back — they having run out of ammunition — our 
reginient charged up to a rail-fence, and here 
occurred a hand-to-hand conflict, the rebels put- 
ting their guns through the fence from one side 
and our boys from the other. The smoke hung 
so close to the ground on account of the rain 
that it was impossible to see each other at times. 
The Ninth Ohio then made a charge along the 
rebel left flank and drove them from their front; 
and then followed one of the worst stampedes, 
I think, that occurred during the vrar. The 
rebels left their commander, General ZoUicofier, 
and Captain Baily Peyton dead on the field. 
The rebel loss was 192 killed, 140 wounded, and 
140 prisoners. Our loss was 39 killed and 207 
wounded. We captured 1200 horses and mules, 
100 large wagons, 2000 muskets, and 16 pieces 
of artillery; also their encampment on the Cum- 
berland Kiver, with all their connnissary stores. 
Our regiment lost 12 killed and 38 wounded. 
The dead were taken from the field and buried 
in one grave at our camp-ground. We marched 


back to camp from the Cumberland Kiver on the 
21st and broke camp on the 22d, taking up our 
line of march to Somerset, Ky., through mud ten 
to twelve inches deep. We encamped one and a 
half miles south of the town, on a barren, bleak 
hill. The night was fearfully cold, and, as our 
teams did not arrive, we were compelled to stand 
by the fire all night to keep from freezing. As 
"VYe had some coflee in our haversacks, it took but 
a short time to have a cup of hot coffee, and 
without anything to eat we felt much more com- 
fortable than before. On the 23d, the weather 
still cold, we marched to the Cumberland River 
to a small town named after the river, where 
there is a saw-mill and a few tenement houses. 
Here we made a permanent camp, and for a 
week our bill of fare consisted of corn-meal mush 
and coffee. The bovs were troubled a 2;reat deal 
with dysentery, but after getting meat and bread 
again they soon recuperated their exhausted 
energies. After three weeks of weary camp- 
life we were ordered to Louisville, Ky., and on 
February 9, 1802, we again broke camp and 
marched through Somerset, the roads still nmddy 
and the weather cold. If we had not been blessed 
with plenty of dry fence-rails, I do not know 
how we C("uld have made ourselves comfortable. 
AVe remained at this camp two days waiting 
for commissary stores. For the last few days 


we were on quarter rations. While on the 
march, James H. Huges, of Company K, rup- 
tured himself, and felt very badly the next 
day. February 11 we resumed our march. 
February 12 it snowed and made the roads still 
more tiresome to travel. On the loth we arrived 
at Crab Orchard, and the roads were no better ; 
but heard from the farmers along the road that 
we would soon strike the turnpike. We were 
now sixty miles from Louisville, and on the 14th 
we moved forward again, with two inches of snow 
on the ground and the air fresh and crisp. We 
marched that day twenty-one miles, and at night 
were compelled to scrape the snow from the 
ground to get a place to put up our tents, but we 
had plenty of straw and wood, and were very 
comfortably fixed. On the loth the sky was 
clear and cloudless, the air a great deal warmer 
than yesterday, but the little snow that laid on 
the ground made it very hard marching. 

Some one started a report that we were to be 
put on a forced march, and this clay's march 
seemed to favor it. We marched tliirty-one 
miles, and arrived at Danville, a beautiful little 
village in the Blue Grass Region of Kentucky, 
at 5 P.M., and went into camp, where we lay 
over the 16th to sisrn for clothinir and shoes. 
On the 17th we broke camp at 6 a.m., and 
marched steadily until 4.30 in the afternoon, 

■jjy.r I • 



arriving at Lebanon (the village we started from 
New Year's day), having made twenty-nine miles. 
Here we left a number of sick and disabled, 
also all unnecessary baggage, such as dress-coats 
and overcoats. We lay at this camp with thou- 
sands of rumors flying around us, some to the 
effect that we were to march to Munfordville; 
another that we were destined on a forced march 
to. Xashville ; and each one created more or less 
excitement. We commenced our march in a 
terrific rain and thunder storm. The water 
came down in torrents, and streams of mud 
and water ran along the turnpike, through 
which we were compelled to wade and plod our 
way ; and we saw that a soldier's life was not so 
fine as we iis school-boys saw it pictured in our 
histories. We marched twenty-one miles, and 
encamped on the Jackson farm, a brother of the 
Jackson who sliot Colonel Ellsworth at Alexan- 
dria, Va. A short time before this a few of our 
boys stopped at this place and asked Jackson 
for some forage for their nuiles. His answer 
was, " Yes, . I will give you some forage, you 

Yankee s b s," and commenced firing 

upon the boys from his front-door. Sergeant 
Reed and Charley All, of Company I, had re- 
volvers with them, a?id they drove the old devil 
into the house, but did not hit him ; but after- 
wards he wa=j arrested and turned over to the 

;.u :-> li 


civil authorities, who, of course, sympathizing 
with the South, acquitted him, and he went 
South and became a general in the rebel army. 
We found his smoke-house well filled with 
choice bacon and hams, and his celhxrs filled to 
overflowins: with all kinds of veoetables and 
preserves, of which we helped ourselves to our 
hearts' content. We found abundance of straw 
and' wood, and here we could say we had a 
picnic. Our clothes were as damp as they 
could possibly be, and the prospects for drying 
them before morning were not very good. The 
rainy weather did not prevent some of the boys 
from hunting up the distilleries, of wdiich there 
were a number in the neighborhood, and they 
came into the tents at night, singing and as jolly 
a.s they could possibly be, with from eight to ten 
canteens full of apple-jack or whiskey hanging 
over their shoulders ; and from the time of their 
arrival until daybreak singing and story-telling 
was the order of the night. With full stomachs 
and a few sore heads on the following day, wo 
bid adieu to the Jackson farm, and felt as though 
we had punished him just half enough. 

The weather was clear and hot, and as we 
marched and the hot sun poured down upon our 
damp clothes, it caused a steam to arise from the 
rej^iment as if thev were cook in <r. We marched 
fifteen miles and went into camp. February 25 


we marched into Louisville with all the pomp 
and splendor of the grandest army that ever 
existed, knowing that we were the saviors of Ken- 
tucky, and, having gone through our first battle, 
considered ourselves heroes; but what was our 
surprise, while drawn up in line in front of 
the United States Hotel, in the j^resence of 
a bevy of Kentucky's beautiful and patriotic 
daughters, when one stepped forward and, in a 
well-prepared speech, presented our colonel with 
a beautiful silk flag as a token of their apprecia- 
tion of our valor and bravery at Mill Springs 
January 19, 1S62. Inscribed on this beautiful 
banner was as follows : " Mill Springs, January 
19, ISO'2, Second Kegiment Minnesota Volun- 
teers. Presented by the loyal ladies of Louis- 
ville, Ky." Colonel Van Cleve responded in a 
few eloquent remarks, and then presented it to 
Jacobas, our color-bearer, who swore they should 
never be trailed in the dust. At this tlie regiment 
marched ofl' to the tune of " Dixie'' to the boat- 
landing oi; the Ohio River, where our regiment 
and the Xijith Ohio embarked on the lar^e low- 
pressure steamer ''Jacob Strader" and lay at the 
levee until the morning of tlie 2GLh, tlien dropped 
down to Portland and loaded our mules and 
wagons. Then commenced our journey down the 
Ohio to Smithfu'ld, at the mouth of the Cumber- 
land Kiver, up which stream we navigated until 


we came to Fort Donekoii, where General Grant 
captured Buckner and fought that terrible battle. 
Here we had a few hours to look over the battle- 

After a hurried glance at the fort we re- 
embarked and proceeded ou our way up the river 
to Nashville. The water was very high and the 
country for miles around inundated. Houses, 
hay-sfacks, lumber, logs, and debris of all kinds 
were floatinir down the river. We observed a 
barn coming down with fifteen or twenty chickens 
on the roof, and the foragers of the regiment 
tried to devise some means to capture them ; but 
infantrymen are poor sailors, so they lost the 
prize. March 1 we arrived at Nashville, and 
found that Floyd had destroyed the railroad- and 
wao:on-brid2;e over the river and all of the com- 
missary stores. The city looked deserted. There 
were a great many fine buildings, particularly the 
capitol, a very grand and elegant structure, built 
entirely of marble. March 2 we marched south 
of town, and encamped on the Granny White 
Pike Road. We lay at this camp three weeks. 
Our resriment at that time numbered six hun- 
dred, and we spent all our spare time drilling 
and learning the manual of arms. A great 
many of the boys went into town every day on 
pa.sses, visiting the dilferent places of interest 
and amusement. On April 1, 1SG2, we com- 

~"v'l /. 


menced our march southward, and as soon as we 
had taken up our line of march it commenced 
to rain, and continued until we arrived at our 
destination. AVe were without tents or ruhber 
blankets, and the April rains were cold and 
chilling. At night we would stand near the 
fires that we had made from dry fence-rails and 
try to keep warm, but it was impossible. With 
6he cold rain pouring down in torrents, and 
nothing to protect us from it, we would very 
near freeze on one side and cook on the other, 
and the boys were so tired and fatigued that 
they would fall asleep standing up. One or two 
of them did fall into the fire before morning. 
April 7 we heard cannonading in the distance 
and knew that it was Grant at Shiloh. We 
were then aj^prised that we were on the march 
to assist him. As tlie booming of the distant 
guns came to our ears, we forgot our discom- 
fiture, and the excitement caused the boys to 
very nearly double-quick time, but with all our 
hurrv and rusli, we did not icet to the Savannah 
Kiver until tlie Sth, one day after the battle. 
"We were here loaded on transports and packed in 
like sardines with our clothes soaking wet, and 
the cold wind coraiiig down the river seemed to 
chill us to the marrow. About noon we arrived 
at Pittsburg Landing, and what a horrible sight 
met our iraze. Dead men were Ivinir in the 

• i 1.>V7 


mud, mixed up witli sacks of grain and govern- 
ment stores, some lyinir in the water and others 
trampled entirely out of sight in the deep mud. 
This was where the great stampede occurred, 
and no pen can picture the horrors of this part 
of the fieki. We disembarked and marched up 
the hill to Shiloh church, where we went into 
bivouac. Having no shelter of any kind, we 
peeled the bark off the gum-trees, and took half 
of it and laid it on the 2;round and crawled 
under it ; a small place, but it sheltered us from 
the elements. While here I saw the spot where 
General Albert Sidney Johnston, the commander 
of the Confederate army, fell, and where he was 
temporarily buried until his body could be sent 
throu2;h the lines to his friends. The battle-field 
was strewn with the wreck and carnage of war ; 
caissons, dismounted cannon, and dead artillery- 
horses and their dead riders were piled up in 
heaps, and the warm sun caused a stench that 
was almost unbearable. Here and there we could 
see where a wounded soldier had been pinned to 
the ground by a fallen limb of a tree, and the 
shells setting fire to the dry leaves, the poor 
fellows had been burned alive to a crisp. No 
hii^torian can ever depict the horrors of a battle- 
field. The dead lying in every direction and in 
every stage of decomposition. Squads of men 
scattered all over the field di»j:trinir trenches, 




rolling the dead in, and covering them up with 
three or four inches of dirt, only to be washed 
off by the first rain, leaving the bones to be 
picked by the buzzards and crows. Such is the 
terror of war. 

I had frequently seen pictures of battle-fields 
and had often read about them; but the most 
terrible scenes of carnage my boyish imagination 
had ever figured fell far short of the dreadful 
reality, as I beheld it after the great battle of 
Shiloh. It was the evening of the 9th of April, 
1862, when, at the suggestion of a comrade, we 
took our way over broken-down fences and fallen 
timber to look over the battle-field. As we wended 
our way through the troops lying in our front 
the scene presented to our view was one for the 
pencil of a great artist. Scattered irregularly 
were groups of men discussing the battle and its 
results, or relating exciting incidents and ad- 
ventures of the fray. Here one fellow pointing 
out bullet-holes in his coat or cap, or a great rent 
in the sleeve of his blouse, made by a flying piece 
of shell ; there a man laughing as he held up his 
crushed canteen or showed his tobacco-box, with 
a hole in the lid and a bullet among his fine-cut. 
Yonder knots of men frving steak and cookinii 
coffee about the fire or making ready for sleep. 
Before we passed beyond onv front line, evidences 
of the terril)le carnage of the battle environed us 


on all sides ; fresli, hastily-dug graves were there 
with rude head-boards telling the poor fellow's 
name and regiment; yonder a tree, on w^hose 
smooth bark the names of two Confederate gen- 
erals, who fell here in the gallant charge, had 
been carved by some thoiighlful fellow. The trees 
around about were chipped by the bullets and 
stripped almost bare by the leaden hail ; while a 
log house near by in the clearing had been so 
riddled with shot and shell that scarcely a whole 
shingle was left to its roof. i ^f>SO.S<'^ 

But sights more fearful awaited us as we stepped 
out beyond the front line. We picked our way 
carefullv amons; the fallen timber and down the 
slope to the scene of the fearful charge. The 
ground was soaked witli recent rains, and the 
heavy mist which hung like a pall over the field, 
tosrether with the growins; darkness, rendered 
objects but indistinctly visible and all the more 
ghastly. As the eye ranged over so much of the 
field as the shrouding mist would allow us to see, 
we beheld a scene of destruction, terrible, indeed, 
if there ever was one in this wide world. Dis- 
mounted gun-carriages, shattered caissons, knap- 
sacks, haversacks, muskets, l)ayonets, and accou- 
trements scattered ever the field in wildest confu- 
sion. Horses — poor creatures — dead and dying, 
and, worse and most awful of all, dead men by the 
hundreds. A[ost of the Union soldiers had been 

.. 1 'I I 


^ buried already, and tlie pioneers yonder in the 
mist were busily digging trenches for the poor 
fellows in gray. As we passed along we stopped 
to observe how thickly they were lying, here and 
there, like grass before a scythe in summer time. 
How firmly some had grasped their guns, with 
high, defiant look, and how calm were the coun- 
tenances of others in their last solemn sleep. I 
sickened of the dreadful sight and begged my 
comrade to come away, come a^vay. It was too 
awful to look at any more. Even the rudest and 
roughest of us were forced to think of the terrible 
sufiering endured in this place and of the sorrow 
and tears that would be shed araon2: the moun- 
tains of the North and the rice-fields of the far- 
off South. 

In the camp above mentioned we remained 
two days, when our teams arrived with our knap- 
sacks and tents, but we were not to have the 
pleasure of either, jis our regiment was detailed 
to go on picket. On our return, the next day, 
we found our tents pitched one mile south of our 
previous camp, where we remained for four days ; 
tlien we marched south four miles to a camp 
called Gravelly Hill. Here we were supplied 
with wnti'r from a spring strongly impregnated 
with iron, and the bovs liad a verv stronir idea 
that they were improving in health wonderfully 
while they were u^ing it. After another week 


of rest we moved forward two miles in a drenching 
rain, and after preparing our camp were detailed 
for picket duty, with strict instructions not to 
build any fires. As the boys' clothes were soak- 
ing wet, they were in a sorry plight to be out 
all night without fire. In the morning we were 
relieved, and returned to camp, where we found 
our teams with our camp outfits. Here we were 
inspected by General W. T. Sherman, our new 
division commander. 

From here we moved camp a half-mile or a 
mile, then threw up works, stayed a day or two, 
then advanced ei2;htv to one hundred rods, threw 
up more works, and thus gradually approached 
Corinth, Miss. On May 29 we heard heavy ex- 
plosions in the direction of Corinth, and it was 
reported that the rebels were evacuating the city, 
and we advanced into the rebel works and found 
them evacuated. 

The boys felt Ijlue about it, as they had been 
cari*vinfr one hundred rounds of ammunition 
for the last three weeks, expecting a battle 
every day. It was a sight to see them unload- 
ing themselves nnd scattering the ammunition 
over the irround in everv direction. As a cen- 
eral and commander we tiiought Ilallcck was 
a failure : to have one of tlie finest-equipped 
armies of one hundred thousand surrounding a 
sraidl, half-starved, lialf-clad army of forty thou- 


sand, and then to let them escape ! On May 30, 
at 9 P.M., we were ordered to the left, towards 
General Pope, and arrived at 3 a.m. on the 31st, 
and went into bivouac. Orders were issued to 
carry two days' rations in our haversacks and to 
unload all extra ammunition ; but this order 
was unnecessary, as the boys had unloaded with- 
out orders the day before. At 9 a.m. we con- 
tinued our march, and did not halt until 1 A. M., 
June 1, at a deserted rebel camp. We found a 
large quantity of flour, which we soon appropri- 
ated, and cooked it in every way known to the 
soldiers' culinary art. We remained here all 
day and night, and on June 2 we moved south 
one and a half miles and went into camp, where 
we remained one Aveek. On the 9th we marched 
twenty-five miles towards Boonville, passing 
through two deserted towns called Kienzi and 
Danville, and went into camp. We remained 
here three days without tents, but the weather 
was splendid and tents were useless. • 

Here we had more rations issued, and received 
orders to return to Corinth on the loth, where 
we arrived after a few davs' march, with nothiui^ 
to mar the monotony of the trip. We remained 
at Corinth a few days, cleaning up, washing our 
clothes, and doing all necessary repairing. From 
there we moved east six miles and went into camp. 
The men had to dig wells to obtain water, and 


each coni}->any built bake-ovens from clay dug 
Irom the wells, and they proved to be a perfect 
success in every particular. The young apples 
and peaches were now about large enough to 
o^ather for sauce, and the bovs took advanta2;e 
of it. It was laughable to see the different 
dishes they tried to make, and a few of them 
became very ill in consequence of overeating, A 
man named Welsy, of my company, died from 
the effects of eating too much green fruit. After 
twelve days of pleasant camp-life we went on a 
three-days' march to luka, Miss., where the cele- 
brated medicinal springs are located. Arrived 
on June 25, and on the 27th we received our 
pay in jtostal currency, the first we had seen. 
On the night of the 27Lh we marched six miles 
east. On June 2S we marched fifteen miles to 
the Tennessee River. Very hot all day. 29th : 
Still very hot. Marched seven miles to Tus- 
cumbia, Ala. Here we saw the largest spring 
of water on our travels, it being sixty feet across 
where it poured out of the ground and fifteen 
feet deep, and as cold as ice-water. 

We lay here three weeks doing guard duty 
and drilling. Fourtli of July we spent in the 
city, and were addressed by Governor llamsey, 
Generals Fry, Steedman, and McCook. On 
July 27 we left Tuscumbia behind us and took 
up our lino of march for Florence, where w^e re- 

•■) : : J 

40 -4 BE miMEIi- BOY'S DIARY. 

mained two days. From here we went to Athens, 
nine miles distant, arriving at 3 p.m. on the oOth. 
On the following day, the olst, we marched 
sixteen miles and went into camp. It rained 
all night as if the flood-gates of heaven were 

Au2;ust 1 : We marched sixteen miles throu";h 
Eo2;ersville. On Ausfust 2 we marched fourteen 
miles. Our beloved brigade-commander, Kobert 
L. McCook, was waylaid and murdered while 
riding in his ambulance. Not being well, he 
took the benefit of the shade of the cover of the 
ambulance, and a couch to lie upon, and drove 
in advance of the brigade, when the rebel bush- 
whackers waylaid and killed him before we could 
go to his assistance. As a revenge the brigade 
burnt every house within a radius of two miles 
on each side of the road, and slaughtered all the 
stock to be found ; and I heard that several sus- 
picious-looking characters had given up their 
lives also. From here we marched to the small 
village of Dorchester, Tenn., and from there to 
Winchester and through the town to Decherd 
Station, where we remained tliree days, and then 
moved camp about one mile farther east, where 
we found a spring of sparkling, ice-cold water. 

Here wo remained one week, tlieii broke camp, 
marched fourteen miles, and laid out in the rain 
all night. The next day we marched five miles 



to PelLam Gap. Here we remained three days, 
and heard news of the Indian massacre in Min- 
nesota. We were then ordered to take as many 
rations in our havei'sacks as we coukl carry, and 
our teams were to go back to Decherd. We 
marched from liere to a hill on the south side of 
the Gap and remaiiied three days, then received 
orders to prepare for a long march. On Sep- 
tember 3 we arrived at Manchester, Tenn., and 
encamped in the fair-grounds. Continued our 
march next day over dusty roads, with the 
weather very hot. Our camping-grounds had 
been very good, with plenty of wood and an 
abundance of pure spring-water. On Septem])er 
7 we marched through Murfreesboro', and en- 
camped north of the city one mile. We were now 
aware that General Buell had been outgeneralled 
by Lragg, who had an army of fifty thousand 
men marching towards the Oliio Kiver, and was 
to make a raid throuirh the Northern States. It 
would be a race between our army and Bragg's 
to see which should reach Louisville first. At 
this camp several of the boys made a charge on 
a farmer's beehives, and the result was, the sol- 
diei-s were driven from the field. The ap})ear- 
ance of their faces tmd necks was anything but 
enviable; one felluw had both eyes closed. I 
asked him what aiknl him, and his answer was, 
" Toothache : worst case I ever had." 


September 9 : We marched five miles and en- 
camped. Passed through a beautiful country ; 
fine roads and beautiful weather. September 10 : 
We marched twenty-three miles. We were now 
four miles from Nashville. September 11 : 
Marched to Nashville and encamped on the 
Lebanon Pike. Keraained there three days, then 
moved camp near the large fort, where we re- 
ma-ined one week. 

There we received orders to leave all surplus 
baggage and tents, and prepare ourselves for 
marching orders. September 14 flour was issued 
to us, but no salt. The boys were in a very 
ragged condition, as all of the quartermaster's 
stores were' shipped from here before our arrival, 
they expecting that Bragg would take Nashville 
before we should reach it. September 15 : We 
marched twenty-one miles out on the Louisville 
Turnpike. We had no coffee or tea, — using sas- 
safras and pennyroyal as a drink, — and no meat, 
but plenty of flour, of which we made what the 
boys called "dough-gods." This was done by 
mixing flour and water into a dough, wrapping it 
around tlieir ramrods, and baking it before the fire. 
This was not very palatable without salt, but as it 
was all we had, we were of course compelled to eat 
it. The supply of water was short, the streams 
along the roads being all dry, also the wells at 
most of the houses. September 16 we marched 


twentv-two miles. I had no shoes, so I tore 
up mv shirt and wrapped it around my bleeding 
feet, they being so sore that I could not march 
without great pain. 

September 17 : We marched twenty-one miles 
to Bowling Green. The dust in the roads was 
four inches deep, and the clouds that arose were 
suffocating ; but in the afternoon it commenced 
to rain' which cooled the air a little and turned 
the dust into mud. Passed throuo-h Bowlingr 
Green on the 18th, marching nineteen miles to 
within four miles of Cave City. We were now 
near the Mammoth Cave. The 20th we marched 
five miles, one mile north of Cave City. Sejy- 
tember 21 we lay over for a rest, and I supposed 
our generals were watchino* Brasrsr's movements. 
September 22: Moved back to Cave City. 23d : 
Marched from Cave City to Bacon Creek. Sep- 
tember 24 : We marched twenty-four miles to 
Elizabethtown. September 25 : Marched to the 
mouth of Salt River, where it empties into the 
Ohio. Here we found the boys all barefooted, 
and no shoes to be had. My rags were worn out, 
and I had taken the pocket from my blouse 
and wrapped it n round my feet; but as it was 
very thin stuff, I did not expect it would last 
over an hour or so. Here we found a boat-load 
of provisions, but the captain of the boat, being 
afraid to land, had anchored out in the river. 



The boys lined the bank of the river, and begged 
him to throw off some pork and hard-tack. 
Colonel Uiine then appeared and told the boys 
to go back to camp, that rations would soon be 
issued if they would let the boat land. His 
orders had the desired efl'ect, and shortly after 
the boys had dispersed the boat landed, and soon 
afterwards we were furnished with a bountiful 
supply of bacon, hard-tack, and coffee, and we 
ate as only half- famished men can. Only he 
who has marched in the hot sun ten davs, with 
dough and sassafras-tea as a diet, can realize our 

September 20, 9 a.m. : Embarked on steam- 
boats for Louisville, Ky., where we arrived in the 
afternoon and found the whole population out 
on the streets to see us and for the second time 
to c^ive us a roval welcome. Handkerchiefs and 
flags were waving from every window and roof- 
top, cheers and huzzas resounded through the air 
from old men, vromen, and children, who now 
looked upon us as their protectors and defenders 
of their homes. September 27 : In camp all day. 
We were again sup[)lied with an abundance of 
rations. Septeml^er 28 : We had clothing and 
shoes issued to us, of which we were sorely in 
need. Kemaim-d in camp all day. September 
29: Ileceived our lirst pay since our payment 
at luka, Miss. 


October 1 : We marched from Louisville and 
encamped eight miles from Sliepherdsville. The 
TOuntry was destitute of water. None was to be 
had except in pools and puddles along the road, 
which was very warm and putrid. Weather very 
hot and the roads dusty. October 2 : We did 
not move till 4 p.m., when we broke camp and 
marched to Shepherdsville, arriving at 9 p.m. 

October 2> : More clothing issued. Kemained 
in camp all day, and on October 4 we resumed 
our march over the dusty roads ; the weather 
very hot. Crossed the dry bed of Salt Kiver, 
and encamped with an abundance of straw and 
wood, but the usual scarcity of water. Found a 
puddle where we dipped it up with a spoon and 
strained it through our dirty, sweaty handker- 
chiefs. October 5 : Passed througli Bardstown 
and Portland, and encamped at Fredericktown. 

October 6 : Skirmished with the enemy all 
day ; passed through Springfield and encamped 
at Beachfork's Bridge. Plenty of wood and the 
first good water for a week. October 7 : Marched 
eight miles. Squads were detailed to hunt water, 
but all came back discouraged and tired out, 
having found no water except in one well, and 
there were a hundred there waiting for a chance 
to get at it. October 8 : Lay in camp in view 
of the battle-field of Perry ville, but were not 
engaged until 3 p.m., when we were ordered 


forward to support a battery of artillery who 
were engaged. We found that it was not the 
most pleasant place we were ever in, but for- 
tunately we had none killed or wounded. Ke- 
mained on the field all night, and on the fol- 
lowing morning, October 9, we moved a few 
miles to our right and encamped near plenty 
of good water. 

•October 10 : Weather very cloudy and" threat- 
ening rain. We marched southeast all day and 
passed through the village of Perryville. We 
had plenty of provisions, and good water, wood, 
and straw, — everything to make us comfortable. 
October 11 : Cloudy and disagreeable. We heard 
hea\"y cannonading towards Crab Orchard. We 
marched two miles and bivouacked until 9 p.:^L, 
then marched three miles and found three burn- 
ing house-s. It was supposed that some of our 
men, while drunk, set them on fire. We marched 
until 2 A.M. on the 12th, and went into a tem- 
porary camp. At 6 A.ii. we moved forward 
again, making a march of ten miles, and went 
into camp in a grove of hickory- and walnut- 
trees ; good water and plenty of rations. On the 
loth we were ordered to the right of our line, 
and went into cam[) in an open field, slightly 
rolling, making a wry picturesque camp. That 
day we drew throe days' rations. I made a 
note of this, for the reason that I wanted to 

rv >i 


see if rations would be issued again at the ex- 
piration of three days. If not, why not ? This 
ration business had been a serious matter with 
me. I had known the commissary to issue three 
days' rations and make tliem last six. This thing 
would have to be stopped or the government and 
I would have some difficulty to settle ; and, from 
all appearances, I think it would have been set- 
tled- in favor of the government, he being the 
stronger party, and having the advantage. We 
took what we could get, and found that grum- 
blins: did no o-ood. October 14 : We marched 
very rapidly for some cause. The colonel was 
back and forth along the line urging the boys 
forward. We had very few rests ; passed through 
Danville at 9 a.m. and encamped ten miles west 
of it, in an open field, with wood and water near 
by. October 15: Marched sixteen miles; passed 
through Lancaster, two miles from Crab Orchard. 
We lay at this camp three days. Were inspected 
on the 18th by Captain Gilbert, called by some 
General Gilbert. 

October 19, at 4 p.m., we marched four miles 
north of Crab Orchard and went on picket. 
October 20 we were relieved from picket and 
marched twenty-one miles, within tvro miles of 
Danville, resting but tliree times during our 
march. October 21 : ^larched through Danville 
and encamped at Taylor's Creek, a short march 


of sixteen miles. October 22 : Got over twenty 
miles of turnpike, and encamped on the Rolling 
Fork Kiver ; plenty of rails, rations, and water. 
At this camp we remained until the 29th, the 
teams going to Lebanon for supplies and tents. 
We also drew clothing and rations. Marched 
sixteen miles. October 30: The weather and 
roads fine. We marched fourteen miles and 
passed through Campbellsville, encamping eight 
miles south of the village at the forks of the 
Green River. October 31 : Passed through 
Greensburg and encamped ten miles beyond. 
November 1 : Marched sixteen miles to Cave 
City, occupying the same camp-ground we did 
in September. It seemed as if this part of the 
country was doomed to be overrun by soldiers, 
as this was the third time we had been there. 

November 2 ; Marched sixteen miles and en- 
camped in an open field ; plenty of water a half- 
mile distant and plenty of dry rails. The next 
day we left Bowling Green eighteen miles behind 
us, and were fortunate enough to have a good 
camp and plenty of wood and water, where we 
remained until the 7th, and m the mean time 
rations, boots, shoes, and overcoats were issued 
to us. jNIarched twenty miles, parsing througli 
the small village of Franklin, and occupied our 
old canii>-grouud in our race north with Bragg. 
November 8 ; Marched eight miles and encamped 


at Mitchellsville Depot. Got our water for cook- 
ing out of the water-tank of the Louisville and 
Nashville Eailroad. We remained at this camp 
three days, drew six days' rations, and received 
a mail. The boys took advantage of the rest, 
and all wrote letters home to mothers, friends, 
and sweethearts. On November 12 we moved 
forward again, and halted at a tunnel on the 
Louis\'ille and Nashville Railroad, destroyed by 
John Morgan, the rebel bushwhacker. ^Marched 
twelve miles (this was thirty miles from Nash- 
ville). We had a good camp, nicely elevated. 
On tlie 13th squads were detailed to work in 
the tunnel. We remained there ten days, the 
men employed all the time clearing out the tun- 
nel. The weather was very cold and raw. We 
heard every day the distant boom of cannon 
towards Murfreesboro'. At 7.30 p.m., November 
23, we again broke camp and marched twelve 
miles through Gallatin, a small village on the 
railroad. Encamped three miles south. Marched 
all night and bivouacked at 1 a.m., November 21, 
on the bank of the Cumberland River for two 
hours ; at 3 a.m. we moved forward again, stop- 
ping at a small village at 7 a.m. to cook break- 
fast, and at 9 again moved forward. Marched 
five miles more and countermarched, and en- 
camped one and a half miles from the river. 
Marched twenty-three miles. 


November 25 ; Weather cool and cloudy. 
We broke camp at 9 a.m., and inarched five miles 
to Cunningham's Ford, on tlie Cumberland River, 
and encamped in the woods. The timber in this 
section of the country seemed to be most all 
hickory and wahjut, and the trees were very large. 

November 26 : AYeather cool and clear. 
Teams went back to Gallatin for commissary 
stores, and took some of the men who were sick 
to the general hospital. 27th: We heard can- 
nonading in tfe€ fiirection of Lebanon, Tenn. 
Weather still briiiht and clear. 28rh : The men 
chopped wood and had a general cleaning-up in 
camp. 2yth: Mail day. Drew overcoats and 
clothing. We now found out that we were watch- 
ing John Morgan ; we heretofore had an idea 
that he was watching us. 30th: Had inspec- 
tion. We had a terrific rain and wind-storm, 
and limbs of trees Hew throusrh the air to the 
discomfort of all. 

December 1 : Cold, cloudy, and windy. Noth- 
ing transpired worthy of mention. December 
2 to 5 : Nothing occurred to break the monot- 
ony of the camp, except that one of our camp- 
guards built a fire alongside a hollow tree, and 
about three o'clock in the morning it burnt 
through and fell to the earth with a cra.'-h, 
in the stillness of the night making a report 
like a cannon. Colonel George, hearing it, of 

f\ :■! qfiT. 


course thought the rebels were advancing, and 
immediately rushed in front of his tent, half- 
dressed, and with his deep-toned voice shouted, 
'* Fall in ! fall in ! fall iu !" and such a scrambliuir 
to find accoutrements and guns to get into line 
our regiment never experienced before or after. 

I was drummer of the guard, and knew noth- 
ing of it until the regiment had broken ranks and 
gone to their quarters, when I was highly com- 
plimented by the sergeant of the guard for my 
watchfulness. In the evenins; it beiran to snow. 

December 6 : Had company drill. Captain 
AVoodbury returned from Minnesota. He had 
left us very nearly a year before. December 7 : 
AVe heard that Morgan had captured a brigade 
of new troops of ours at Hartsville. It caused 
our colonel to strengthen our picket-line and 
have the men out every morning at four o'clock 
in line of battle. We lav here doinir iruard and 
picket duty until 10 a.m., December 22, when 
we marched twenty-three miles through Gallatin 
again, and encamped at Pilot Knob, where we 
found the rest of our brigade. December 23 : 
We sent out a forage train and had dre.^s parade. 
24th : Called out at 1 a.m. and stood in line 
until three o'clock, then marched to Gallatin, 
remaining there two hours ; then returned to 
camp, had breakfast, and, in the afternoon, had 
dress parade to amuse the boys. 

:> :'i:;:t'i 

f. j" r. 


December 25, — Christmas : A srloomv one for 
us. We had for our dinner a bill of tare con- 
sisting of baked beans, coifee, hard-tack, and 
sow-belly. 20th : Kemaiued in camp ; all quiet. 
27th : Called out at reveille to stack arms on the 
color line. It rained all day, turning cold at 
night and remaining so. 2Sth : Cold and disa- 
greeable ; had inspection ; heard heavy firing 
north of us. 29th : Nothing new occurred. 
Weather fine. December 30 : I was ordered to 
beat long roll at 1 a.m., and remained in position 
until 10 A.ii., expecting a skirmish with the 
Johnnies. While standing in line the boys suf- 
fered a great deal from the cold. The weather 
was cold, and the inactivity of standing so quiet 
made us feel the cold much more than if we had 
been actively engaged. Wc had new clothing 
issued to us that day. December 31 : Weather 
clear and warm. Taking advantage of it, the 
oliicei's had a grand review of the troops and 
general muster, and the boys looked very well 
in their new uni forms. 

January 1, 1803, — New Year: Cold and dis- 
agreeable ; about as quiet a Xew Year's day 
as I had ever seen. Our New Year's dinner 
was not su grand as it miglit have been, but 
then it could have hvxnx a great deal worse. 
We liad plenty of pork, beans, and hard-tack, 
and the sutler had a large stock of delicacies, 


and he who was fortunate enough to possess any 
money could, of course, enlarge his bill of fare 
and live more sumptuously. 

That night I was drummer of the guard, and I 
had been thinking that this thing was coming 
pretty often. I got but very few evenings to 
spend with my comrades of the company, but wiis 
compelled to remain with the guard at the guard- 
house every other niirht. It would have been 
much easier if the regiment had had its full 
amount of drummers, and it would have been 
much more pleasant ; but, as it was, Vandyke and 
I were the only ones left out of the eleven drum- 
mers that left Minnesota in 'Gl, and, of course, 
had to do the entire guard duty. While sitting 
in the guard-tent I figured up the miles we had 
marched in 1862, taken from a daily account I 
kept, as follows : January, 101 miles ; Febru- 
ary, 149 ; March, 52 ; April, 158 ; May, 36 ; 
June, 129 ; July, 39 ; August, 101 ; September, 
258 ; October, 343 ; November, 98 ; December, 
29 ; total, 1493 miles for the year. January 2 : 
Weather pleasant, a clear sky, and warm sun- 
shine ; remained at company quarters all day. 
Very quiet in camp. January 3 : Cold rain fell 
during; the ni;i;ht, and a cold, raw wind blew all 
day. AVe received the Xashvillc Union, which 
gave an account of the battle of Mutfreesboro'. 

January 4: Four negroes were captured in 

■rt:i -■! 


the night committing depredations ; were hand- 
cuffed and shackled, and phiced under guard. 
The wind was blowing a gale at the rate of one 
hundred miles an hour. K Company detailed 
for picket at night. January 5 : Weatlier fine. 
Had battalion drill. We didn't 2;et many fine 
days that were not taken advantage of by drill- 
ing and dress parade, but then we knew it was 
all for the best. 

January 6 : Kained, — were compelled to re- 
main in the tents all day. January 7 : Cold, 
disagreeable, and stormy. K Company on picket 
at night. Keceived our first mail for three 
weeks. January 8 : Rain, snow, and hail all 
together made it more interesting. Such weather 
as this knocked all the enthusiasm out of trvins; 
to be a hero, and the most of us were about sick 
of the hero business. January 9 : Rained all 
day and night: no wind, but a steady downpour 
of water. January 10 : Still raining, keeping us 
in the tents most of the time. Could not do 
much cooking outside, so we had to put up with 
cold, raw, salt pork, hard-tack, and water. 

January 11 : Clear and bright. Had gen- 
eral inspection and dress parade. January 12: 
Weather fine. In order to change the pro- 
gramme of daily events, we had battalion drill 
and grand review. Received a large mail. Janu- 
ary 13 : At one o'clock in the morning we struck 

i .:; '[■ 


tents and marched out on the Nashville Pike 
fifteen miles and encamped in an open field, with 
plenty of wood and water, a half-mile distant 
from our former camp. January 14 : Marched 
back to Gallatin. Lay along the roads most of 
the day, and arrived at camp at twelve o'clock 
midnight, and pitched tents while the rain and 
hail were coming down in torrents. January 15 : 
Remained in camp all day. 

January 16 : Rained and hailed up to 11 a.m., 
then turned into snow and continued all night, 
until the morning of the 17th ; then it cleared up 
and the sun came out bright, but with a strong, 
cold wind. An extra heavy picket was sent out 
that night, I being detailed as drummer of the 

Sunday, January 18 : Warm and pleasant. 
Inspection of arms. Quartermaster issued boots 
and drawers, and the balance of the day the 
boys wandered around the woods hunting rab- 
bits and gathering walnuts. January 19 : Cold, 
uncomfortable winds blew all night and con- 
tinued all day. At 4 a.m. beat the long roll, 
and thought we were to have a repetition of 
Mill Springs. This was our first anniversary, 
and the weather was <lisagreeable. We stacked 
arms on the color-line, and broke ranks. Janu- 
arv 20: Rainin<j: and mistv. We were without 
rations, and again we heard grumbling on all 


sides about the inefficiency of our general officers 
in letting us martyrs do without our regular 
rations a few days.^ Signed for clothing. Janu- 
ary 21 : Cold and cloudy. The boys amused 
themselves by chopping wood, and in the after- 
noon Colonel Bishop ordered the entire camp 
policed. January 22 : Cloudy and cold. Our 
regiment sent no pickets out. A large mail 
arrived at 4 p.m. If there was one thing that 
the soldier delighted in, it was to watch the regi- 
mental postmaster distribute the mail to the first 
sergeants of the difierent companies and to eagerly 
scan each package to see if there was some com- 
munication for him from some dear one at home ; 
and if, unfortunately, there was none for him, 
it was sad to see the look of envy he gave those 
who were more fortunate and had received papers 
and letters from home ; but after the owner of a 
paper had got through with it, the entire com- 
.pany would read it. 

January 23 : Cold, raw wind, but a bright, 
clear sky. Kemained in camp all day. A few 
of the regiment left for the hospital at Xashville. 

Saturday, January 24: Cloudy and cool. 
"We were reviewed by General Ilosecrans. 

Sunday, January 25 : Regimental inspection 
at 10 A.M. Sent out four companies on picket 
duty. A darky came into camp and reported 
that he knew where there was a large quantity 


of lard buried, and that we should come with 
him and he would apprise us of its whereabouts. 
The commanding officers concluded to send out a 
detail the next day to see what truth there was in 
his assertions. January 26: Lieutenant-Colonel 
Bishop, with Companies A, B, F, and I, were sent 
out with four wagons across the Cumberland River 
to get the lard the darky reported as being 
buri'ed ; and about 7.30 p.m. they returned with 
twenty-five barrels, leaving seventy-three barrels 
at the river bank to be sent to Nashville by flat- 
boat. January 27 : The pioneer corps loaded the 
lard on a barge and took it down the Cumberland 
Biver to Nashville. We had a snow-storm that 
day, but not as heavy as we generally had in 
Minnesota. January 28 : Orders were given to 
be ready to march at 4 p.ii., but were counter- 

January 29 : Bright, clear, and dry, but cold. 
We were loaded on the cars at Gallatin and went 
to Nashville, and marched out on the Nashville 
and Chattanooga Bailroad, and found our brigade. 
Januarv 30 : Weather fine. At 12 m. we marched 
ten miles to Stone Biver, and encamped on a 
hill with plenty of wood and water. January 
31 : Marched six miles and halted, and went 
into camp, and received orders to be prepared 
to march all night, but orders were counter- 


February 1 : Rained all day. Marched 
eleven miles and encamped on the Wilson Pike. 
February 2 : Marched ten miles to Mill Creek 
and went into camp. Very poor water, but 
plenty of cedar rails. February 3 : In camp all 
day, brushing and cleaning up. February 4: 
Four companies went out foraging, and in the 
afternoon returned with eight wagon-loads of 
potatoes. From the 5th to the 14tli we lay in 
camp, and about all we did was draw our rations, 
cook, eat, and do guard duty. February 15 : 
Cloudy. Lieutenant Lovilla H. Holmes, of 
Company H, with sixteen men, routed a com- 
pany of rebel cavalry which they met while out 
foraging. The report in camp was that they 
killed and wounded sixteen of the rebels, and 
two of the Company II boys received slight 
wounds. February IG : K Company went out 
fora2;ino:. Weather in the moruins; clear and cool, 
and in the afternoon it commenced to rain, and 
continued all night. While sitting in the tent, 
Christian Kersamair, of my company, had been 
using a twelve-pound elongated shell for an anvil 
to do some repairing on his knapsack, and, after 
gettinoj throu2;h with it, he f^ave it a srentle kick 
and rolh^d it out of the tent. It rolled down 
into the lire in front of the tent, and in a few 
moments an explosion occurred that awoke the 
whole camp. It scattered the lire in such a 


shape that it was impossible to find a coal or a 
stick of the wood that had been there, and, most 
wonderful to say, no one was hurt. Our tent 
was covered an inch thick with ashes and dirt, 
and pieces of the shell flew all over the camp. 
February 17 : Wilbur F. Little returned to the 
regiment from the hospital. Rained all day. 
From the 18th to jMarch 3 we spent our time in 
battalion and regimental drill, repairing the 
bridge over the creek, and washing. That day 
we broke camp and marched fifteen miles to 
Triune, Tenn., and captured four rebel ofiicers. 

March 4: Skirmished all day. Captured 
sixty-two prisoners and three hundred horses 
and mules. Marched nine miles. March 5 : 
Marched eighteen miles to Chapel Hill, and 
drove the rebels out of town. Marched back 
six miles and encamped on a low flat, with 
plenty of good water and plenty of wood. 

Friday, jMarcli 6 : Kainy and cloudy. Sent 
teams back for rations. Marched twelve miles 
and went into camp at Triune. Rations arrived 
at 10 p M. ]\Iarch 7 : Cloudy and rainy. 
Moved camp back of Triune. Teams came up 
with tents, and we were soon made comfortable, 
starch 8 : Cloudy and cool. Regiment went 
to work building fortifications. Company K 
went out foraging. Heavy firing in direction of 
Harpeth Creek. The regiment was ordered out, 


but did not get into action. The first East 
Tennessee Cavalry, Colonel Jim Brownlow, 
reported rebel cavalry trying to cross the creek, 
but he, -with his regiment, prevented them. 
Ever}'tliing quiet up to the 13th, when we were 
ordered to Harpeth Creek to work on the bridge^ 
Saturday, March 14 : Returned to camp. Sun- 
day, March 15 : Inspection of arms. Rumor 
in camp that Vicksburg had surrendered, and 
that the rebels were marching to reinforce Bragg 
in our front. 

From the 16th to the 25th nothing occurred 
to enliven us or break the monotony of camp- 
life, except the arrival of the paymaster on the 
19th, which always seemed to lighten our 
troubles. On the 25th, our regiment and the 
Ninth Ohio marched out three miles with the 
expectation of meeting some bands of rebel cav- 
alry who were scouring the country for forage, 
but were not successful in finding them. 26th : 
The regiment went out foraging to General 
Stearns's plantation, and came back with an 
abundance of corn-fodder and corn. I was com- 
pelled to remain in camp all day on account of 
dysentery, with which I had been suffering for 
some time. This was the first time that I had 
been al)sent from the regiment since I became 
a member. 27th : Weather ])leasant up to 12 M., 
then cummeuced to rain and continued all night. 


Sent my pay, which amounted to fourteen dollars, 
to my mother. 28th : Warm and pleasant. We 
drummed a fellow belonging to the Thirty-fifth 
Ohio out of camp for theft. 29th: Kegimeut 
received new Enfield rifies, and the boys felt that 
they were better armed than ever. March 30 : 
Light fall of snow, which made it very muddy 
and disagreeable in camp. March 31 : Colo- 
nel James George arrived from Minnesota and 
looked hale and hearty. Teams arrived from 
Nashville with supplies. 

April 1 : Went out twelve miles to Harpeth 
Creek after foras-e. 2d : Called out at 4 a.m. 
in line of battle. ]\Iarched two miles and re- 
turned at 12 Jii. April 3 : Warm and pleasant. 
Marched sixteen miles to tlie Murfreesboro' Pike 
and repaired the road. April 4 : Returned to 

At Triune, not having any cook, we took turns 
at cooking. In the mess to which I belonged there 
was a fellow by the name of Stalcup, who was one 
of the irreatest 2:ormandizers I ever saw ; but if 
there was any one thing he was fonder of than 
another, it was chicken gizzards. That day it was 
my turn to cook for the mess. Stalcup " cramped" 
a big fat chicken, killed it, and then tokl me to 
cook it for tho-Jaoys, but to be sure and save the 
gizzard for hiui ; and I {)roniised him I would. 
I dressed the bird, cut it up, and put it into the 


kettle to cook, but, not being an expert at cook- 
ing, I forgot to cut the gizzard open, turn it 
inside out, and cleanse it from all its foreign 
substances, but simply put it in whole to cook. 
At noon I pronounced the dinner ready, and 
Stalcup was on hand and yearning for his giz- 
zard. He plunged his fork into the dish, and, 
taking out the gizzard, he opened his monstrous 
mouth and took it in one mouthful. But shortly 
afterwards he began to curse like a sea captain, 
as he spit about half a pint of gravel stones out 
of his mouth, and said to me, " You're a fine 
cook, ain't you?" The boys laughed so to see 
Stalcup take turns at spitting and swearing, that 
they could hardly eat their dinner. The next 
time I cook a chicken, you bet, I will not forget 
to dissect the gizzard. 

April 5 : Grand review and general muster. 
Troops made a fnie appearance. 6th : Warm 
and pleasant. Orders to march the following 
day. 7th : Warm. At 1 a.m. we marched out 
to Eagleville with the expectation of capturing 
a reiriment of rebels. After surroundina: the 
town we found ihey had been apprised of our 
approach and had fled. April 8 : We received 
our band instruments from Cincinnati, Ohio. 
April 9 : Warm and pleasant. We heard heavy 
cannonading in the direction of Franklin. April 
10: Kegiment went out to a plantation owned 


by a rebel named Guinn, and loaded the wagons 
with hay and corn-fodder. 

April 11 : Warm until 6 v.^i. Commenced 
to rain and continued through the night. Up to 
the 15th of the month we had done nothing but 
drill and guard and picket duty, and during 
that time it rained off and on every other day. 
April 16 : Kegiment went to Nashville to guard 
a supply train. Encamped near the outskirts of 
the city. Marvin Emery returned to the regi- 
ment that day. April 17: Marched back to camp 
and signed the pay-rolL April 18 : Received 
four months' pay, amounting to forty-eight dol- 
lars. 22d and 23d : Warm and pleasant. Ke- 
mained in camp all day. 24th : regiment went 
foraging. Marched sixteen miles. 25th : K. G. 
Khoades, of Company E, took the leadership 
of the band, and practised for the first time. I 
held the prominent position of snare-drummer. 
2Gth : Company G, which had been doing provost 
duty in Triune, returned to the regiment. From 
that time to April 30 we enjoyed camp-life won- 
derfully, with good health, plenty of rations, 
and drilling enough to give us an appetite. 
Nice weather and evervthinj:r conducive to good 

i\[ay 1 : We had the little dog-tents issued to 
us. They were quite a novelty, and made a 
wonderful difference in the movement of the 


army, as each man carried his half of the tent, 
and it made considerable difference in the number 
of teams required to haul the large vredge-tents 
heretofore used. 2d : Had brigade drill, and 
built arbors over our little tents. 

Sunday, ^Nlay 3 : Rain fell in the forenoon ; 
had inspection. 4tli to the 14th : Had brigade 
drill every day and dress parade in the eveuing, 
which took up most of our time. During the 
month of May we worked on the breastworks, 
and drilled every afternoon, under our new bri- 
gade commander, General Brannan. 

June 1 : Grand review. Marched steadily for 
three hours. 2d : Went out foraoins:. Marched 
twenty-five miles. Sent all of our surplus bag- 
gage back to Luverne. Second Brigade joined 
us. 3d : Drill and dress parade. 4th : Weather 
fine. During the day had division drill under 
command of General Granger. During the drill 
we heard heavy artillery firing in the direction 
of Franklin, and before we left the drill-ground 
we had orders to proceed to camp and prepare 
for marching orders. At 7 p.m., with rain pour- 
ing down in torrents and with two days' ra- 
tions in our haversacks, we started for Franklin. 
Marched all niglit through deep mud and in 
darkness such as we had never seen before. It 
was impossible to see the men marching in front 
of us, except when the lightning would fiash ; 


then it would blind us so that it was impossible 
to see for a few minutes afterwards. Arrived 
at Franklin at 4 a.m. 5th : Hot. Remained 
in the road ail day, and towards evening we 
went into camp. 6th : AYe marched back to 
Triune, and a more tired lot of boys it would 
have been hard to find. 7th : Sabbath. Major 
Burkhardt, of the First East Tennessee Cavahy, 
was captured, but made his escape, and was back 
in camp. He said there were a few of the boys 
still in the hands of the rebels. 

From June 8 to the 24th we had one con- 
tinuous order, — regimental drill in the forenoon, 
brigade and skirmish drill in the afternoon, and 
in the evening dress parade. The men liad long 
wished for the campaign to commence, as steady 
drilling had become very monotonous. We re- 
ceived the order with joy to break camp at 7 
A.M. and prepare for an aggressive campaign. 
With three days' rations in our havei-sacks, we 
left Triune and marched south seventeen miles. 
25th : Marched all day on the Shelby ville Pike, 
and skirmished with the Confederates. Our en- 
tire march was eleven miles. 

June 26 : Rainy and disagreeable. Drove the 
rebels through Hoover's Gap. 27th: ^larched 
twenty miles to the small village of ^lanches- 
ter. Encamped in an abandoned cotton-field. 
28th: Warm and pleasant. Marched six miles; 

€ 6* 


skirmishing in our front all day. 29th : Rainy 
and disa2:reeable. Our reo;iment on the skirmish- 
line. One of the Company I boys shot a rebel 
courier who was carrying despatches. After 
beins: shot, and knowins; that he would be taken 
prisoner, he tore the despatches into hundreds of 
small bits, so tliat it was impossible to put them 
together again to read. 30th : Lay quietly in 
camp. Second Brigade skirmishing. 

July 1 : Hot and sultry. We marched into 
Tullahoma and captured two hundred prisoners ; 
and at this place the boys were very fortunate 
to find a large quantity of tobacco, of wliich 
they supplied themselves with enough to last 
them a Ions; time. Marched seven miles. 

July 2 : Hot and dusty. We marched eight 
miles and were compelled to fight every inch of 
our way with our skirmish-line. 

July 3 : Marched ten miles and crossed Elk 
River, a wide and very rapid stream. We 
liad no pontoons, and therefore were compelled 
to stretch a strong rope over the river and use 
it as a support. With one hand the troops held 
on to the rope, and with the other held their 
accoutrements and guns up out of the water. 
In some places the water was very deep, and, 
of coun-e, ?ome would go under for a few seconds ; 
but we all arrived safe on the south bank, with 
our clothes more or less wet. Sandiu, one of the 


band, swam over several times with some of the 
boys' instruments and tlie bass drum, and fortu- 
nately brouglit everything over in good shape. 

Saturday, July 4 : My seventeenth birthday. 
A salute of one hundred guns "was fired, — not 
on account of my birthday, but the birth of the 
republic. Marched four miles out on the Hills- 
boro' Koad. 5th : Kainy all day. 6th and 7th : 
Humors in camp of the capture of Lee with 
twenty-five hundred prisoners and one hundred 
and ten cannon. 

July 8 : Keceived the news that General Pem- 
berton had surrendered to Grant on the 4th. 
His entire army and the city of Yicksburg 
capitulated. Marched two miles to the front 
and encamped. On the 17th we received the 
news of John ^Moriran's raid into Indiana and 
Ohio. ISth: We broke camp at 7 a.m. and 
marched seven miles to "Winchester, encamping 
near a ravine, where there were twenty-five 
sparkling ice-cold springs that flowed from under 
the hill, forming a beautiful stream of water. 
We lay in the shade most of the time, near by, 
during the heat of the day, and did our reading 
and writing. 19th : Very hot. Had inspection 
of arms and dress parade. 20th : Regiment 
paidotr. I received $44.75. 21st: AVarm. The 
sutler had supplied a great many of the boys 
with liquor, and they were feeling pretty good. 


22(1 : Good news from Ohio. We heard that 
John Morgan had been captured. 23d and 24th : 
Very quiet in camp. The band serenaded Colo- 
nel Yanderveer, of the Thirty-fifth Ohio, our 
brigade commander. 

July 25 : Warm and pleasant. After dress 
parade we serenaded Lieutenant-Colonel Bishop, 
who left us on a short leave of absence to re- 
turn to Minnesota, and our wish was that the trip 
might be the means of improving his health, as 
he had worked hard to n]ake the regiment gain 
the reputation it had. The colonel was regarded 
as one of the finest disciplinarians in the army, 
and we therefore felt proud of him and wished 
him bon voyage. ^ ■ 

July 26 : Had general inspection. Colonel 
Bishop started north. 27th : Sam Gould, of K 
Company, a deserter, was brought back to the 
regiment from Indiana, where he had been found 
by a United States marshal. We serenaded the 
Second Minnesota Battery, and were most roy- 
ally treated by the boys. We lay at Winchester 
until August IG, putting in our spare time in 
rej^imental and brii^-ade drilL 

While there we were visited by several clergy- 
men, who held religious services in the difierent 
cam[>s, and they wore well attended by the men. 
One, particularly, always drew large crowds, the 
Rev. Mr. Boyntou, of Ohio, the father of Major 


Boynton, of the Thirty-fifth Ohio Kegiment. 
We wished he could have stayed ^yith us ahvays, 
as he was a very good, kind, and pious man, and 
I thought he would be the means of improving 
the moral character of our men. After a long 
spell of camp-life, we again received with joy 
the order for a forward movement, and on the 
16th we broke camp at 4 a.m. and marched five 
miles' and went into camp. AYe found plenty of 
corn and vegetables, and the change from our 
regular government rations to green stuff was 
very acceptable to the boys. 

August 17 : Marched five miles and encamped 
at the foot of the Cumberland Mountains. We 
had plenty of corn and green beans. 18th : 
Weather hot. Marched up the mountain six miles 
and encamped on the site of the Southern Epis- 
copal University. Nothing had been built ex- 
cept the foundation, wdiich was very massive, and 
showed that the structure that was to go on its 
top was intended to be very grand. Before the 
war. General Polk, now of the rebel army, was 
an Episcopal bishop, and for several yenrs had 
been collecting money in the North to complete 
this structure. 

Auirust 19 : Hot and sultrv. Marched down 
the mountain sixteen miles into the Sccpiat- 
chie valley, where we found plenty of peaches, 
apples, corn, and an abundance of clear, cool 


water, which we appreciated, as we had had no 
water since the morning before. 20th : Warm 
and pleasant. Remained in camp all day. Our 
diet now consisted mostly of fruit. 21st : Hot 
and sultry all day. Marched to the Tennessee 
River, where we went into camp. The rebel 
pickets were on one side of the river and ours 
on the other, and they were holding conversation 
widi each other. The general topic was about 
the war. 22d : Hot and sultry. No rations 
in camp, and the fruit had all been gathered 
in that vicinitv, so it looked rather dubious. 
Went out forao'ino; and 2i;ot a few vams. Thev 
did well to till up on, but had no substance. 
In a very short time after satisfying our appe- 
tites we would feel hungry a^ain. 23d: Went 
foraging again, and were fortunate enough to find 
a few apples and sweet-potatoes, and found an 
Illinois boy who had captured a hog, of which 
I bought a fore-quarter for thirty-five cents. 
After arriving in camp my messmates and I had 
a banquet fit for a king. 24th : Hot and depre.-s- 
iu"-. Heard distant boominir of artillerv on our 
right. 2'jth: Still oppressively hot during the 
day. We heard the rumbling of cannon in the 
distance. 2Ctli : News of the fall of Sumter and 
Wagner reached c;imp, and the boys felt jubilant. 
27th : All quiet on the Tennessee. Teams hauled 
timber to construct rafts to iloat the army over 


i ■ji 

1 . /.i 


the river. Weather a little cooler. 28th : Warm 
and pleasant. Large crews of men worked on 
the rafts. 29th : Warm, with a cool breeze. 
Several of us hoys took a stroll up the high 
mountain in our rear, and after a long and tire- 
some walk we found ourselves on the summit, and 
the view that met our gaze was something grand. 
At our feet stretched for miles away like a thread 
the Tennessee Kiver, winding its way at the foot 
of the mountains until it dropped out of sight, 
as it seemed, into some hidden valley. 

August 30 : Warm and pleasant. Crossed 
the Tennessee River on the rafts that the boys 
had been making during the last few days, and 
encamped in a dense forest four miles from the 
Georsfia line. 31st : Warm. The bovs were all 
down at the river the most of the day, bathing 
and washing up their clothes. Our foragers 
had been very successful. They came in by the 
dozens, loaded down with sweet-potatoes, pump- 
kins, and fresh pork. Our teams had as yet not 
crossed the river. 

September 1 : Weather pleasant and warm. 
At 2 P.M. we broke camp and marched three 
miles south to the foot of the mountains and 
encamped. We found plenty of forage, such as 
green corn and sweet-potatoes. We were still 
near the Tennessee Kiver. We lay here until 
the morninsr of the oth. Orders were issued 


..!•■■ // 


prohibiting tlie men from bathing after 10 a.m., 
as some of the men had been taken sick, and 
the regimental surgeon said that they had over- 
done themselves in the water during the hottest 
part of the day ; therefore the order. 

September 5: Exceedingly hot and sultry. 
AVe marched seven miles to the foot of the 
Smoky Mountains and encamped in an aban- 
doned cotton-field, and were compelled to go back 
two miles to Nickerjack Cave to procure water 
for culinary purposes. This cave is quite a 
curiosity. At one time the Confederate gov- 
ernment had a large crew of negroes working 
in the cave, digging salt for the use of the Con- 
federacy. 6th : Marched five miles to the top 
of the mountain, and encamped near the coal- 
pit=?. In tlie evening, a wild, reckless fellow, 
named Baxter, started one of the coal-cars down 
an inclined track, about a mile long and very 
steep, and when it got very near where the track 
started at a level, it ran into an old mule, which 
had done duty for many years hauling the cars 
out of the mine, and mangled it horribly. The 
car flew to pieces, and one of the wheels was 
found embedded in a jack-pine-tree at a height 
of twenty-five feet, and the balance of the car 
was sirewn around within a radius of one hun- 
dred and fifty feet. 7th : Hot, dusty, and very 
bultry. Marched twelve miles towards Trenton, 


Ga. Heard heavy cannonading in the direction 
of Chattanoo2;a. 

September 8 : Weather still remained very 
hot. The band serenaded General Van Cleve. 
The general was then in command of a division 
in Crittenden's corps. The men and of&cers 
of our regiment held him in great respect and 
veneration. The sutler of an Ohio regiment ar- 
rived from Huntsville with a large amount of 
beer, and there was a perfect stream of soldiei-s 
going and coming with canteens to have them 
filled. He was very Hberal (the sutler, I mean). 
He charged the boys fifty cents a quart or a 
canteenful. There was a certain class who would 
have paid one dollar, if that had been the price, 
— although we did not see any drunken men. 

September 9 : Very hot and dusty. We re- 
ceived orders to march the next day with two 
days' rations and knapsacks. We were very 
short of rations. We had not had a bean or any 
salt pork issued to us for a month, and with those 
articles cut off from the soldiers' bill of fare life 
was not worth living, and patriotism and love 
of countr}' mu-^t take second place. 

September 10: Weather continued very hot 
and the roads very dusty. We broke camp 
at 7 A.M. and marched twelve miles down the 
Trenton Valley, our advance coming up to the 
division in the lead. We encamped near a 


small stream of dirty water. At this point the 
road leads up tlie mountain. Our drinking- 
water had to be procured one mile up the moun- 

September 11 : Still very hot and sultry, but 
the niirhts were cool and refreshinir. We marched 
nine miles alons; the base of the mountains and 
encamped in a beautiful piece of timber, where 
we found plenty of sweet-corn and green beans, 
of which we made succotash, and we found that, 
even witliout pork, it made a very relishable dish 
for a hungry man. 

September 12 : With very dusty roads and 
hot weather we marched twenty-five miles to the 
position where General Xegley's division was 
engaged with the rebels and was driven back, 
and were ordered out on a reconnoissance to the 
front, six miles, and at night returned to camp. 
Marched that day thirty-seven miles. 

Sunday, September 13 : Ordei*s were issued to 
Ix' ready to move at any moment with two days' 
oxked rations in our haversacks. These orders 
wt.'re unnecessary, as we had nothing to cook. 
We were fortunate, however, to find, a short dis- 
tance from camp, an orchard with the trees 
1« 'ailed down with peaches and apples, of which 
we .-trip{»('d overy tree. 

Monday, September 14: We broke camp at 
7 A.M. and marched about two miles, when we 


received orders to retura to camp, where we 
stayed the remainder of the day. 
■ September 15 : Hot and sultry. Marched 
five miles and encamped near a grist-mill, where 
we remained until the following morning. 16th : 
Without any excitement we were formed into 
line and stacked arms, and remained to await the 
enemy ; but at sundown we saw none worse than 
the 'heat. We then broke ranks and proceeded 
to make ourselves comfortable for the night. 

September 17 : Very hot and sultiy. The 
rebel cavalry made a charge on our wagon train, 
and if our regiment had not been ordered back 
as soon as it was, they would have captured 
our entire supply and ammunition train. On 
our arrival we found a few of the supply wagons 
plundered, but no serious damage done, their time 
being too short. 18th: Eemained in camp all 
day until 7 p.m., when we broke camp, and were 
on the road all night. We marched eight miles. 
We could plainly see the camp-fires of the rebel 
army on our right as we marched eastward. 
The air was. cool, and at times, when we stopped, 
which was very often, we would build fires to 
warm by, and, the line being so long, we were 
continually in smoke the whole night, and our 
eyes felt very sore from the effects of it. 19th : 
Hot and dusty. At daybreak, as we marched 
along, we saw troops falling into line on the 


right of tlie road ; the artillery was unlimbered, 
the gunners stood to their guns, and every 
thing had the aj>pearanee of a battle. We 
marched along the rear of the line until we 
reached the left wing of the army, where we 
piled up our knapsacks, formed in line, marched 
to the front, and deployed skirmishers. "We 
advanced but a short distance in the woods, 
which was a pine forest, before we came upon the 
rebel skirmish-line. We heard on our right the 
heavy roll of musketry and the terrible thunder 
of the artillery, and it came nearer and nearer, 
until, in less time than it takes to describe it, we 
were ensraired with Brasriii's arm v. The terrible 
carna2;e continued at intervals all dav. At nisfht 
we heard, from all over the field, tlie cry of the 
wounded for water and help, and the ambu- 
lance corps were doing all in their power to bring 
all the wounded into our lines. The night was 
cool, with a heavy frost, and the water was very 
scarce. We lay on our arms all night, and on 
Sunday, the 20th, the battle was renewed with 
terrible slausfhtcr on both sides. Towards noon 
we heard that Chittenden's and McCook's corps, 
on our right, had been driven back, and all that 
wa.s left on the field, to hold in check the entire 
rebel army, was our cor2')3, — Thomas's Four- 
teenth. We held the enemy back until evening, 
in spite of his desperate assaults, and after dark 







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we retired to Kossville. Here General Thomas 
posted Negley's right, stretching to the Dry 
Valley Koad, Brannan's (our) division in reserve 
to Reynolds's riirht and rear, while McCook's 
corps extended from Dry Valley nearly to Chat- 
tanooga Creek. Bragg's army was too tired and 
too sadly worsted to attempt to follow on the 
night of the 20tli. On the 21st a fe^\ straggling 
shots were directed against our army at Ross- 
ville. Thomas felt that he could not hold his 
position there against the Confederate army. 
Orders were received at 6 p.m. on the 21st, and 
by seven o'clock the next morning our army 
was withdrawn, without opposition from the 
enemy. This ended the battle of Chickamauga. 
Though retiring from the field, our army had 
succeeded in shutting; the rebels out of Cliatta- 

Our corps fought bravely and retired in good 
order after having for two days held every posi- 
tion taken, even after the disaster on our right 
on the 20Lh. While we held the battle-field we 
repulsed every assault of the enemy, and with- 
drew only when our ammunition and supplies 
had given out, aud it had become certain that 
the field could not be held for another day. The 
Folitarv advantaire which the enemv Imd to show 
was his final possession of tlie battle-field. Our 
regiment's loss was unknown to me nt tliat time. 


An inspection of our company was had on the 
morning of the 21st, when every man was ac- 
counted for. 

September 22d: Our band was detailed to 
the hospital to assist the nurses in taking care of 
the wounded. We found the different wards 
filled, and the wounded still coming in. The 
large business blocks on the main street were 
used for hospital purposes. AVe succeeded in 
keeping the men of our regiment all together on 
one floor. They occupied five large rooms, and 
it was heart-rending to see the poor fellows as 
they were brought in, shot and mangled in every 
possible way. Every few moments we had to 
take one out who had died, and put him in the 
dead-house, where he would remain until there 
was a wagon-load. Then tliey were wrapped up 
in their blankets and eight to ten buried in one 
hole; but after the rush was over, each had a 
separate grave. We remained at the hospital 
until September 25, when we were ordered to 
return to the regiment, which in tlie mean time 
had been busily engaged in building breast- 
works to protect themselves from the enemy's 
artillery fire. We were very short of rations, 
with no prospect of an increase. 

During my stay in the liospital, which was 
filled with sick and wounded, some ladies from 
the North visited them daily, bringing with them 










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* l—tflll I ••" 



delicacies of every kind, and did all they could 
to cheer and comfort the suffering. On one 
occasion, a pretty miss of sixteen, who came 
down with her mother, was distributing reading- 
matter and speaking gentle words of encourage- 
ment to those around. She overheard a soldier 
exclaim, " Oh, my Lord !" Stepping up to his 
bedside to rebuke him for profanity, she re- 
marked, " Didn't I hear you call upon the name 
of the Lord ? I am one of His daughters. Is 
there anything I can do for you ?" 

Looking up in her bright face, he replied, " I 
don't know but what there is." Kaising his 
eyes to hers, and extending his hand, he said, 
" Please ask Him to make me His son-in-law." 

September 26 : Regiment worked all day on 
the intrenclmients. 

We remained in camp, with nothing to break 
the monotony of camp-life except the continual 
firing of the pickets and an occasional shell from 
the rebel batteries, until Sunday, October 4, when 
Major Davis left us to return to his home in 
Maysville, Ky. The major received a slight 
wound in the head at Chickamauga, and we 
wished him a safe journey and a speedy return 
to us, as he was well liked in the regiment. 

October 5 : Considerable heavy cannonading. 
Paul Cavitzal, of Company F, was btruck in the 
back with a fragment of shell while lying down 


behind the "works, and we had little hope of his 
recovery. Up to the 9th there had been every 
day more or less skirmishing on the picket-line, 
and the artillery were shelling each other to 
amuse themselves. There were very few casu- 
alties. An election for State officers occurred 
that day. 

October 10, 11, 12 : Rainy and cloudy. We 
were out of rations and it looked very blue. AVe 
could make ourselves comfortable and protect 
ourselves from the elements, but to go without 
our regular rations always threw a gloom over 
the camp. 

I found that an empty stomach caused con- 
siderable grumbling and fault-finding, while, if 
the men had all they wanted to satisfy their 
appetites, they wore generally happy. 

Tuesdav, October 13 : Rained all dav. Peter- 
son, of Company C, died in the hospital from 
the effects of a wound received on the picket-line 
a few days before. 

October 14 to the 20th we remained in camp 
witli nothing to create any excitement. T\''e 
moved back of the general hospitals, and had a 
high and commanding position and a most excel- 
lent camp. From the 20tli to the 30th we did 
nothing but j>irket and guard duty, and were 
very short of rations. I was suffering with dys- 
entery, and found that most of the men were in 


the same condition. We had had no bread of 
any description for three days. 

Saturday, October 31 : The Johnnies on Look- 
out Mountain tried to shell our camp, but did 
not succeed in reaching us. 

Sunday, November 1 : We had general muster 
and drill. 

November 2 : Weather warmer than it had 
been for some time. The rebs on Lookout 
Mountain threw a shell, and it passed over our 
camp and struck one of the hospital buildings, 
passed through the roof, down between two cots 
occupied by wounded men, and into the ground, 
but fortunately did not explode, or it might have 
been more serious. 

On November 3 we (I mean our squad, which 
consisted of Billy Wagner, — whom we called Jas- 
per Green, for short, — Tibbits, Vandyke, and 
myself) accomplished a feat which in after years 
seemed incredible, and I know a great many 
will doubt it, but, nevertheless, it is a fact. 

We were sitting in our tent and talking the 
matter over in regard to the scarcity of rations, 
and as we debated the question the conversation 
drifted to what we would have our mothers cook 
for us if we were home; and, after mentioning 
most everything our minds could think of, we 
had our appetites sharpened up to such a state 
that our mouths would water every time one of 
. f 


ns would give a description of some dainty or 
toothsome viand. Finally, Jasper, the only one 
who had any money, offered to go down near the 
Tennessee Kiver, where the division quarter- 
master was having some cattle slaughtered for the 
hospitals, and try to buy some meat. 

I procured an order from the regimental sur- 
geon, and, armed with that, Jasper proceeded to 
get 'the meat. In the short space of an hour, to 
our great joy, we espied Jasper at a distance 
coming with a large chunk of meat on his back, 
and were still more overjoyed when we found 
that he had succeeded in procuring twenty-four 
pounds, which cost him four dollars and eighty 
cents. We immediately got a large camp-kettle 
and put in the entire piece, without salt, because 
we had none, covered it with water, and put 
it over the fire to boil ; and the four of us sat 
around that kettle and watched until the meat 
was pronounced done. Now comes the story. 
We four, half-starved, half-famished men, drank 
all the broth from that beef and ate every morsel 
of the meat, without bread or anything as a side 
dish. I had an idea that some of us would get 
sick, but I lived over the night to write this in 
my diar}^ for future reflection. 

Gilbert Jackson, of the band, was lying veiy 
low at the hospital with diphtheria. 

From November 3 to the 15th we had been 


on quarter rations, and putting in all of our 
spare time working on the forts in front of our 

November 16 : Colonel George left us to go 
back to Minnesota, never to return to us, and 
the men as a unit ^Yere sorry to see him go ; but 
we had Lieutenant-Colonel Bishop in command, 
and we knew that when he once had entire 
control of the regiment he would make a model 
body of men out of it. 

November 17 : Cold, raw wind and cloudy all 
day. Regiment went on picket. 

November 18 and 19 : Cold, cloudy, and dis- 
asrreeable. ■ . 


November 20: Great activity in camp. The 
men were working; with double crews on the 
forts. We had orders to be ready to march the 
next day at 4 a.m. with one hundred rounds of 
ammunition. Gilbert Jackson of K Company 

November 21 : Rained all day. The men 
were still crowding the work on the forts. AVe 
noticed that the rebs on Lookout Mountain were 
also making preparations for an attack. 

November 22 : Warm and pleasant. We buried 
Jackson. Had orders to be prepared to march 
on the morrow with two days' cooked rations 
and gum blankets. 

November 23 : We marched at o p.m. out to 


the picket-line and formed line of battle, and 
were instructed not to build any fires. The 
night was very cold, and I, having no stockings 
or drawers (and I know the boys were all in 
the same fix), sufiered a great deal before day- 

Tuesday, jS'ovember 24 : "Were still in line in 
front. We could plainly see General Hooker's 
troop's charging up the side of Lookout Moun- 
tain. The heavy clouds which all day had en- 
veloped the mountain's summit, and thus to some 
extent favored Plooker's movements, had gradu- 
ally settled into the valley, veihng it at times 
completely from view. ' Thus the battle of the 
afternoon was literally '-a battle above the 
clouds." The enemy was repulsed, driven back 
from the last [)Osition w^here he could make a 
stand, and hurled over the rocky heights down 
the valley. By this time the darkness upon the 
mountain rendered farther progress extremely 
dangerous, and Hooker's troops encamped for 
the night on the slopes, which they so gallantly 
won. Lookout Mountain had been captured, 
and before morning the stars and stripes waved 
from its peak. The enemy had abandoned his 
encampment, leaving behind him, in the hurry 
of his ilight, all his camp and garrison equipage. 

November 25: Thanksgiving Day. We re- 
mained in hue until 2 p.m., when we moved to 


our left one mile and halted to await orders. In 
the mean time, we took advantage of the time 
by cooking a kettle of coffee and eating a little 
lunch, as, from all appearances, we knew that 
in a short time we would be engaged. At 4 p.m. , 
we were called into line, and Colonel Bishop in- 
structed the line officers that our regiment was 
to lead the brigade, and that the moment the 
comm'and was sfiven to advance thev should de- 
ploy their men as skirmishers, which would save 
a great many from the enemy's batteries. From 
the position we occupied we could see every move- 
ment of the enemy in the first and second line 
of works, and they were watching every move 
we made. We stood in line patiently waiting 
for the signal to advance. We had not long to 
wait, however, for at 4.30 p.m., from a signal- ■ 
sun at Orchard Knob, the entire armv moved 
as one man (our regiment as deployed covering 
the front of our brigade) towards the first line 
of works, which we soon reached, and drove the 
rebels out. 

Before we reached the first line of works we 
crossed an open piece of ground, and as we left our 
cover of trees and entered this piece of ground the 
top of the ridge was one sheet of fianie and smoke 
from the enemy's batteries, and the grape tore up 
the ground around us ; but the troops being de- 
ployed as they were, there were very few casual- 


ties. After taking the first line of works, the 
troops followed the fleeing rebels up the ridge 
and charged over the second line of works. 
Here our regiment captured a rebel battery. 
After the capture of this line we had but little 
fighting. The rebel army was routed and fled 
towards Taylor's Gap in great disorder. We 
bivouacked on the battle-field for the night, and 
felt that under General Grant we had regained 
what we had lost under General Eosecrans. The 
loss to the regiment was killed, 10; wounded, 
9 : total, 19. 

On the morning of the 26th we gathered arms 
and accoutrements, piled them up, buried the 
dead, and marched eight miles south in pursuit 
of the retreating army of Bragg. 

November 27 : Marched fifteen miles to Einsr- 
gold, Ga. Skirmished all day, capturing twelve 
pieces of artillery. The Seventh Ohio charged 
into Taylor's Gap, and their lo^^fs was fearful. It 
was reported that out of fourteen ofiicers they 
lost six killed and seven wounded. 

November 28: Destroyed the railroad track 
and flour-mill. Weather cold, with sleet and 
rain. 29th : We marched back to camp, twenty- 
three miles. 30th : Cold, with wind blowing all 
day. We were still without .-^toekimrs or under- 
clothing. Had four days' half-rations issued; no 


December 1 : AVe had a grand review. Gen- 
erals Grant, Thomas, Hunter, and Reynolds, and 
a score of brigadier-generals were present. After 
the review Colonel Bishop had inspection of 
regiment; everything but our clothing was in- 
spected. It was getting to be a serious matter 
with us. We had not changed clothing for a 
month or more ; and the men were getting filthy 
and Were covered with vermin. We thought 
that we were accomplishing quite a feat to sus- 
tain ourselves with the small quantity of rations 
that were issued to us, without feeding myriads 
of gray-backs, but we had to remain in this 
condition until we had clothing issued to us ; and 
when that would occur God only knew. 

December 2 : Warm and pleasant. Sent some 
letters home. 3d: Cool and clear; and it made 
us hug the little fires that we were fortunate 
enough to find sufficient fuel to build. 

December 4 : Baruett, of K Company, who 
was wounded at Missionary Ridge, was buried 
at 4 We received the welcome tidings that 
we were to be supplied ^vith full rations and a 
supply of clothing in a few days. I went down 
into the city of Chattanooga and purchased a 
pair of cotton socks, for which I paid one dol- 
lar ; one package of envelopes, fifty cents; one 
package of writing-paper (twenty-four sheets), 
fifty cents. I saw one of cur boys buy a five- 

^!/ < 


pound package of Lynchburg Killikinick smok- 
ing tobacco, for which he paid six dollars. Now, 
comparing this with the then gold basis, he 
paid fourteen dollars and ten cents for his five 
pounds of tobacco. I think the government 
treated us shamefully. They promised to pay 
us thirteen dollars per month ; but we had to 
pay for everything we bought on a gold basis, 
which really brought our wages down to a frac- 
tion over five dollars a month. The bondholder 
got his interest and principal in gold, — why 
should not we ? Yes, why not ? — that was the 
question. And another thing that hurt was, that 
our command ins; generals would allow men to 
come into the lines with goods and charge ex- 
orbitant prices for everything they sold, — and 
still this thing went on. Now there is no ques- 
tion but this thins; could have been remedied if 
it had been looked into by the ofiicers. 

December 5 : Cold, rainy, and misty. "We 
received a large mail, and of course some papers. 
We could lie in our tents, under the blankets, 
and read and pass the time. But we had no 
rest; the gray-backs kept us moving, and we 
were compelled to take off our shirts and pants, 
and sit naked while we skirmished through the 
above garments and killed all we could find ; 
after which we would have peace for a short time 
at least. 



A very interesting affair occurred that day 
which furnished considerable amusement to the 
boys. Wag, or Jasper, in his endeavors to clear 
his clothes of the pests, caught an unusually large 
and vrell-fed gray-back, which he held up be- 
tween his thumb and forefinger, and said, " I'll 
bet one hundred dollars that this louse can beat 
any louse that any man can catch in the tent." 
About this time I had caught a very large, long, 
rangy fellow of the razor-back species, who looked 
as if he had speed in him. So I at once accepted 
his bet. Now, the question was, how would we 
get them to run ? This matter was soon settled. 
"We took one of our tin plates and held it over 
the fire until it was very warm, and at a given 
signal dropped our racers on the hot plate. 
Wag's jumped the track before lie got half way 
over, and mine went over the entire width of 
the plate, winning the stakes and the entire gate 
receipts. This was the first time on record where 
a gray-back was known to have paid his board. 
After the race I had a kindly feeling for him, 
but was compelled to sacrifice him with the rest. 

December 7 : I and a few of the boys ascended 
Lookout Mountain, and the scenery from the 
summit was something grand. It would be im- 
possible for me to give a description of the 
grandeur, so we will pass it by and leave it for 

the pencil of the artist. We drew clothing and 



rations, and to have a warm pair of stockings 
and good underclotliins: asrain made us feel glo- 
rious ; but we were still on half-rations of meat 
and coffee. No bread as yet, although we lived 
in great hopes and faith ; but they were poor 
substitutes for bread. 

From December 8 to the 11th there was noth- 
ing important occurred in camp, except the reg- 
ular routine of our daily guard-mount and picket 

Our regiment went out to the Chickamauga 
battle-field to bury the dead, who had lain there 
for nearly three months. The following rations 
were issued before we went : half-rations of pork; 
quarter-rations of coffee and sugar. 

December 13 : We returned to camp. We 
heard a gi'eat deal of talk of re-enlisting in the 
veteran service. The recruiting was then in 

December 14 : A few more of the boys joined 
the veterans. The thirty days' furlough that was 
held out as an inducement had the effect to bring 
in a good many. 

December 15 : Major Davis returned to the 
regiment, and appeared to be in excellent health. 
IGth, 17th, ISth : The recruiting went merrily 
ou. The boys said that if they enlisted and 
went home, the prospect of starving would be 
considerably less. 


December 19 : I finally concluded that I would 
re-enlist for another three years. I was still 
suffering with chronic dysentery, with no hope 
of getting better if I remained down there ; but 
I thought if I got north, with proper food and 
good medical attendance, I would recuperate 
quickly. Crane, of Company F, died that day 
of dysentery. 

December 20 : Company I re-enlisted in a 
body. The matter of re-enlisting I had consid- 
ered very seriously, and really thought that 
I, in justice to myself, should return home, 
enter some good school, and obtain an education. 
Havins: left school for the war at a little over 
fifteen years of age, my education had since been 
neglected. At this stage of life I felt the want 
of an education more than ever. I knew that 
when the war was ended the country would be 
flooded with men of the disbanded army, and 
that a o-reat immiirration would soon follow the 
declaration of peace, and all would want employ- 
ment ; of course I would have to stand my chances 
with the rest, and with an education I would have 
an advantage over the common run of wage- 

December 21 : The boys were veteranizuig fa^t. 
It would not be lonir before there would be enouuh 
to be considered a regiment ; then there would 
be an exodus for Minnesota. The weather re- 



mained cold and disagreeable and fuel was very 
scarce. The teams brought wood from the north 
side of the Tennessee River. 

December 22 : Company F veteranized to-day. 
Weather cold. We were again on half-rations. It 
looked to me as though the j^owers that be were 
trying to starve us into re-enlisting. 

December 28 : Christian Kerseraier, of K 
Cofnpany, died of wounds received at Missionary 
Kidge. The boys in the regiment all remembered 
the little, short, fat, chunky German, who always 
carried a very large, well-packed knapsack and a 
very large haversack, and was never seen with 
out a pipe in his mouth. He received a flesh- 
wound in the thigh, Ijut he gave up hope, and at 
last dropped off without a struggle or pain. 

Good-by, Cliristian ! You were a good, faith- 
ful, and obedient soldier. God will surely give 
you your reward in heaven. 

■' ' .. ." Clo30 around him, hearts of pri'Jo ; 
Press near him side by side ; 

Our Father is not alone. 
For the Iloly Right you died, 
And Christ, the crucified, 

"Waits to welcome His own." 

December 24: All quiet in camp. The re- 
enli.-ting continued. The camp reminded one of 
an old-fashioned political caucus, the way the 


boys stood around in knots trying to convince 
others that it was all for the best for them to re- 
enlist; and some of them, to prove their argu- 
ment, re-enlisted themselves. 

December 25 : Christmas : but how dark, how 
cold and dreary. How dismal everything Wios in 
camp. The band boys had all re-enlisted except 
Wagner and I, and we now made up our minds 
not te remain out; the others had used every 
endeavor to coax us in, so we at last consented, 
and were mustered in for another three years. 

December 26 : A cold, dark, rainy, misty day. 
We were compelled to remain in the tents all 
day, under the blankets, to keep comfortable. 

December 27 : Weather still disagreeable. 
We tore the floors and the wood-work out of the 
forts we were so long in building, and used it 
for fuel. Received a lar£re mail. 

December 28 : Weatlier somewhat warmer. 
The officers were making out our discharge-papers 
and pay-rolls. 29th : The warmest day we had 
had for some time. We had full rations of soft 
bread issued to us. I had always said that once 
we were re-enlisted there would be an improve- 
ment in our rations ; and it had come true. The 
officers were making arrangements for those of 
the regiment who did not re-cnlist. I was told 
that they would be assigned to the other regi- 
ments until our return from Minnesota, when 


they would again rejoin the regiment and remain 
until the expiration of their term of service. 

December 30 : Warm and pleasant. We signed 
fifteen rolls of every description : some for back 
bounty, some for clothing, and some for j)ay. 
The Ninth Ohio marclied to Charleston, Tenn., 
as an escort to a wagon-train. The Seventy- 
ninth Pennsylvania Volunteei'S had dress parade, 
and' the evolutions were all remarkably fine. 
Our regiment were spectators. Our ofiicers were 
l)usily engaged on our muster-out rolls, so we 
had no parade. 

December 31 : Cold, cloudy, rainy, and very 
disagreeable. We patiently waited for our pav 
and orders to go home, as the time drew neai 
for our departure for the Korth. It seemed cruel 
for the boys who had not re-enlisted to be com- 
pelled to remain behind, but in a short time they 
would return home for good. 

This being the last day of the year 1863, I 
figured up the distances of our marches, which 
amounted to nine hundred and seventy-one miles. 
The loss in killed and wounded and those who 
had died of sickness had been lieavy that yciir. 
One more year of such casualties would wipe the 
rt'i^iment out of existence. ^ly company (K), 
atkr tiie battle of Missionary Kidge, had but six 
men for duty ; not one commissioned ofiicer. 
The company was in command of Sergeant T. 

•< \"t:>'''^:^ ijj 


H. Pendergast, with Corporal Nobles as tlie only 
non-commissioned officer to assist, with four pri- 
vates. The company was then assigned as color- 
guard, until some better arrangement could be 

Such are the horrors of war : to-day we are well, 
hearty, and cheerful, with bright, happy, and fond 
hopes of a safe return to our homes and families ; 
when 'the morrow may bring death, desolation, 
and all the terrors of war upon us, and leave our 
bones bleachins: on some battle-field. 

As this was the closing night of the year, we 
prayed to Him who doeth all things well, our 
heavenly Father, that this wicked and fearful 
war might soon end, and the two entire armies be 
with their dearly loved ones at their peaceful and 
happy homes. 

Friday, January 1, 1864 : The weather was 
very cold. A strong north wind was blowing, 
which seemed to freeze the marrow in our bones. 
AVe were only half clad, having no undercloth- 
ing; and, there being no wood with which to 
build fires, we were compelled to be active and 
on the move all the time to keep warm, or go into 
the tents and lie between the blankets, which a 
great many did, and I found it the most comfort- 
able place. It was reported in camp that we 
were to be paid off ou the morrow. 

Saturday, January 2 : A much more pleasant 


day. "We succeeded in procuring sufficient wood 
to keep a comfortable fire in the little fireplace in 
our tent, with Vandyke, Wagner, Tibbits, and I 
in front of it. Our shiverius; bodies absorbed 
all the heat that came from it with gratitude, and 
we found ourselves much more comfortable than 
we had been the day before. We did not receive 
our pay as it had been reported we would. An 
error in Captain Woodbury's pay-roll was the 
cause of the delay. 

January 3 : Weather cold and cloudy, with 
flurries of snow through the day. We received 
our pay, mine amounting to two hundred and 
six dollars, father's to one hundred and seventy- 
nine dollars. At 3 p.m. we were marched in 
squads to division head-quarters and mustered 
out of service, and immediately mustered into 
the veteran volunteer service for three more 
years. We lay in camp here until the morning 
of January 8 making preparations for our home- 
ward journey. Our mules had been dying very 
fast for want of food and of the cold, and the 
camp was full of sick men suffering with chronic 
dysentery. As we broke camp that morning and 
marched to the steamboat landinir we haileil the 
order with jov, knowing that soon we would be 
in the laud of plenty and our suffering would 
be ended for at least the length of our furlough. 

January 8 : We embarked on two Tennessee 


River steamboats, the "Dunbar" and the "Kinirs- 
ton," and proceeded down the river to Bridge- 
port, Ala., where we arrived at 3 p.m., and were 
loaded in box cars, and remained in the yards 
until 11 P.M. without fire; but here we found a 
government b^ikery, where we purchased wheat 
bread, and therefore did not suffer much from 
hunger. We rode all night and arrived at Nash- 
ville at 12 M., January 9, and marched to the 
ZoUicoffer building, a large block six stories high, 
which was in an unfinished condition. It was 
under construction when the war broke out, and 
its owner took up arms in defence of the South, 
and was killed at Mill Springs, Ky., and therefore 
the building remained in the condition he left it. 

January 10 : At p.m. we moved our quarters 
to a vacated female seminary, where we found 
the rest of the regiment, wdiom we left at Bridge- 
port, awaiting transportation. 

January 11 : We received j^asses for the day 

to go into the city, where we saw thousands of 

soldiers on their wav home on veteran furlouiih, 

and who, like us, were awaiting transportation. 

Among the novelties we saw here were the ladies, 

of which we had seen very few since our long 

and tiresome marches through the South. As 

they passed us on the streets, we were com2">elled 

to stop and gaze after them as if they were 


X ^ 9 


January 12 : We were still iu the city await- 
ing cars. The Fifty-eighth New York Regi- 
ment moved into the building we were in, and 
we found tliera a very tough lot. They were 
also on their road home. 

Four of our band decided to have what a sol- 
dier would call a good square meal. AVe pro- 
ceeded to find a restaurant which was capable of 
filKng the bill. A fter a short time we espied the 
sign " Donagana Restaurant." Mr. Rhoades, 
our leader, remarked that the name indicated a 
first-class establishment, which was, of course, not 
any too good for us. After a few moments of hur- 
ried consultation, we decided to invest in a break- 
fiist, and we also decided that it should consist 
of fried pork, sausage, potatoes, and buckwheat 
cakes. In sin2:le file we marched into the res- 
taurant and circled around one of the tables. 
The party consisted of R. G. Riioades, Chas. 
Chamberlain, Wm. Wugner, and myself. We 
took our seats and patiently waited until a waiter 
should come and take our order. After a few 
moments a ilark.y came to our table, and the 
order was given for pork sausage, fried potatoes, 
and buckwheat cakes for four. The sausages 
were served on a large platter, and the potatoes 
and buckwheat cakes in two deep di-^hcs. In 
less time than it takes me to write it the dishes 
were empty, and the darky dropped a card in 


the middle of the table marked " $3.00." Each 
one of us looked at the other with consteruatiori 
depicted on our countenances ; but Rhoades, not 
dismayed, ordered the plates refilled, which was 
soon done. The darky picked up the eight- 
doUar card and in its place dropped one for 
fifteen dollars. That broke the camel's back, 
but not our appetites. We got up from that 
table with a hungry stomach and a much lighter 
pocket-book, and I for one shall always keep 
that name in remembrance, — " Donagana Res- 

January 14 : We left these quarters and 
marched to the Louisville and Nashville Depot, 
where we were loaded into box cars, and pro- 
ceeded to Louisville, Ky., at 7 p.m. The weather 
was very cold, and most of the boys were suffer- 
ing with colds, contracted while sleeping in the 
houses at Nashville. We arrived at Louisville 
at 12 M., January 15, and marched to the No. 
1 Military Barracks, where we were supplied 
with pork, hard-tack, and coffee. After supply- 
ing the wants of the inner man, part of the 
reiriment was sent to the Soldiers' Home for the 

January 16 : We lay over and the boys were 
scattered through the city. In the evening a 
number of the regiment went to the theatre. 

January 17 : Weather warm and pleasant. 

. .'.uii 


The regiment marched through the streets of 
Louisville ; and I know Colonel Bishop must have 
felt proud, as the regiment never looked finer nor 
marched better, nor did the band ever play better, 
than on this occasion. Every man thought it 
was his duty to make as splendid an appearance 
as possible, for we took great pride in our colonel, 
and he in us. The old veterans had not foro'ot- 
ten the reception we received at the hands of the 
fair ladies of Louisville in 18(32, when they pre- 
sented us with the beautiful banner that still 
waved over the re2;inient as we marched throusrh 
the streets of that beautiful city. We marched 
to the ordnance building and turned over our 
guns and accoutrements preparatory to our de- 
parture for home. 

Monday, January 18 : We crossed the Ohio 
River to New Albany, Ind., in the morning, and 
remained in the railroad yards all day. The 
weather was cold, with snow, sleet, and rain. At 
6 P.M. we embarked on cars for IMichiiran Citv, 
Ind. We were fortunate enough to have passen- 
ger coaches, something we had not had since we 
left Chattanooga. 

January 19 : We were still on the road, sixty 
miles from New Albany. The railroad company 
had no wood for fuel, and the water-tanks were 
all more or less frozen up. The engines died 
out on the road every twenty-five or thirty miles. 


After dragging along at a snail's pace for some 
time we arrived at Crawfordsville, where we were 
received by a delegation of ladies, who supplied 
us with coffee and lunch. While here the band 
wa^ stationed in the depot and discoursed national 
airs, while the boys ate their lunch and flirted 
with the young girls. But all good things 
have an end. The command "Fall in!" was 
heard, and soon the tall form of Colonel Bishop 
was seen forming the regiment into position to 
board the cars, and three cheers were given for 
the ladies of Crawfordsville. While we were 
taking our seats in the cars, the ladies on the 
platform sang " Rally round the flag, boys," 
which sounded fliinter and fainter, until it was 
drowned to the ear in the noise of the swiftly- 
rushino; train. " Good-by, ladies ; may God bless 

you ! 

Thursday, January 21 : We arrived at Michi- 
o-an Citv, and were transferred to the Chicago 
road, arriving at Chicago at 6 a.m. on the 22d. 
Had breakfast at tlie Soldiers' Home, and im- 
mediately proceeded on our journey to La Crosse, 
Wis., where we arrived at 3 p.m. and were quar- 
tered in Turner's Hall. At 9 p.m. we were 
loaded into covered sleighs, and crossed the Mis- 
sissippi lliver on our road to Minnesota. We 
arrived at Winona at G a.m., January 23, and 
were furnished with a steaming-hot breakfast by 





the ladies of the place. After breakfast the band 
performed a few selections, when we again re- 
sumed our journey. We passed through all of 
the little river towns along the road, and every- 
where were greeted with great enthusiasm. 
■ We arrived at St. Paul on January 24, and 
proceeded to the International Hotel, where we 
were furnished with an elegant dinner, a compli- 
ment we, having travelled all day in the cold, 
heartily appreciated. After dinner I proceeded 
home to surprise mother, and, as it was dark in 
the house, she must needs call for a lamp and 
hold it up close to my face and look me over 
from head to foot, while she was saying to her- 
self, " God bless you, my boy !" Although I 
knew that my name had not been forgotten in 
the evening prayer all tlie while I was away, 
yet not once, perhaps, in all that time had 
mother's voice been so choked in utterance as 
now, as, with her heart overflowing, she gave 
thanks for my safe return. When I lay down 
that niglit in a clean white bed, for the first time 
in two anrl a half years, I thanked God for my 
safe arrival. 

On January 25 the men received their fur- 
loughs, and each departed his separate way liome, 
some to see their wivts, some their mothers, and 
others tlieir sweethearts. I hoped tliat all wouhl 
receive a heiirty welcome, and their stay at home 


be filled with pleasure and eiijoyiiient. Who could 
tell, after our return to the South again, who of 
U3 would live to come back, and whose bones 
might remain to bleach on Southern battle-fields? 

From January 26 to February 26, the weather 
had been cold and disagreeable. I had spent my 
furlough visiting friends in the country and at 
home with brother Joe, and was again anxious 
to do mditary duty. At 9 a.m. I marched to 
Fort Snelling and reported to Colonel Bishop 
for duty. 

Kemained at the fort until the 29tli, when we 
were invited to a banquet and ball at the Wins- 
low House, given by the people of St. Anthony. 
The regiment marched up in a body, and feasted, 
sung, and danced all night, and at 7 a.m., March 
1, w^e enjoyed a hearty breakfast, after which we 
made preparations for our return to the fort. We 
formed in line with the band playing and the 
ladies cheering, and amid the many fiirewells 
and " God bless you, boys !" we marched back 
to Fort Snelling. During the 2d we made pre- 
parations for our departure to the South. 

March 3 : Companies I, F, C, G, and K were 
loaded on common lumber-wagons and proceeded 
to St. Paul. On our way South, we heard that 
Cliarlcs Chamberlain, our bass-drummer, had 
l)roken his leg, and would be compelled to re- 
main in Minnesota for some time. 


March 4 : Companies D, A, B, E, and H were 
furnished the same transportation as the rest of 
the resriment, and also started for the South. 
The band, with the recruits and head-quarters 
staff, remained. 

March 7 : The band and head-quarters stajS* 
were loaded in omnibuses, and at St. Paul were 
transferred to Concord coaches, and proceeded 
down the river through the towns of Hastings, 
Kedwing, Wabasha, and Reed's Landing. I was 
so unfortunate as to lose my cap, and was com- 
pelled to ride sixty miles bareheaded, the result 
being a terrible cold. 

March 8 : We arrived at Winona, and were 
the guests of tlie Ladies' Sanitary and Christian 
Association, who insisted that Colonel Bishop 
should let the band remain with tliem over night, 
to give a concert at the court-house for the bene- 
fit of the association. The colonel at first de- 
clined, but he could not stand the pleading of 
so nianv ladies, so he fiuallv consented, with the 
understandiuo; that thev should take srood care 
of US, and send us along in the morning, all of 
which they faithfully promised to do, after which 
the colonel proceeded on his way towards La 
Crosse. In the eveninir v,-c 2:ave an instrumental 
concert at the court-house, wliich was packed to 
overflowing. We were quartered in pairs in the 
finest homes, and taken care of so kindly that 



the recollection thereof shall always be one of the 
bright spots in our memory, and we will always 
say, " God bless the ladies of Winona !" 

Wednesday, March 9 : We were not fortunate 
enough to get covered coaches, so we were com- 
pelled to take an open conveyance, with a mule 
and a horse as propelling power, which, with the 
disagreeable snow and sleet and the muddy roads, 
made our progress very slow indeed. Another 
calamity stared us in the face. We should have 
arrived at La Crosse that night, where we would 
have been supplied with rations and shelter. 
Now we were travelling on our own hook., as it 
were. While the boys had been on furlough 
they had spent their little money with a lavish 
hand, and I am not far out of the way when I say 
the entire party could not have produced ten dol- 
lars. The night was cold, and supper and shel- 
ter we must have. Arriving at a stage-stopping 
place, we made our wants known, and explained to 
the landlord our financial condition. He kindly 
told us that if we had had money lie would not 
have kept us, but, being in this condition, he 
would make us a shake-down on the floor and 
provide food for us, the best he had, and that 
when we received our first pay we could pay 
him ; all of which we faiihfiilly promised to (^^^y. 

On ]\furcli 10, after eating a hearty breakfist 
and again thanking our kind host, we proceeded 

n:^-. ir-yiMii ..'T.V 


on our way to La Crescent, where we arrived at 
noon. We were again compelled to make known 
to the landlord our poverty-stricken condition, 
and, after making him promises of good faith 
in our intention of paying him, we were told 
to go into the dining-room and get our din- 
ner, and if we ever thought it worth paying for 
we could' send it to him. He said that in case 
any of the boys should get killed or die, he 
would have no claim against their estates. I 
thought to myself, if that man only knew what 
a good, honest, kind-hearted lot of boys he had 
entertained he would never have worried for his 
pay. The first remark Mr. Ehoades, our leader, 
made after leaving the house was, " Boys, this 
man and the one who sheltered us last night 
shall be paid out of our first month's pay, and I 
will see that they get it, and I will risk my life 
on that." 

After leaving the hotel, we were told that we 
could not cross the river, as the ice was moving. 
Not to be frustrated in our design, we found a 
couple of boats, but no oars. This was soon 
remedied. We tore off a few fence-boards, and 
soon had two sets of oars, after which we em- 
barked in our boats and safely crossed the 
river to La Crosse, where we found the regiment. 
Colonel George had joined and taken command. 
We were quartered in the Westcott House for 


the few hours we were to remain. A couple of 
our regiment got into a quarrel, and one of them, 
named Brown, of Company D, was terribly cut 
up, and was not expected to live. 

March 11 : At 3 a.m. we were again put into 
cars and went as far as Minnesota Junction, where 
we were unloaded, and remained on the plat- 
form of the depot until noon. We then pro- 
ceeded to Chicago, where we arrived at 7.30 a.m. 

March 12 : AVe were quartered in the Soldiers' 
Home, where we found everytliing in A No. 1 
order, and were furnished with plenty of good 
food. AVe remained here until 8 p.m., when 
we received orders to proceed to the Central De- 
pot. Here we found tliat the railroad company 
had made arranaiements to send us on South in 
cattle-cars, but Colonel George remonstrated, and 
told them they were compelled to furnish fir;rt- 
class accommodations, and that was what he was 
going to have. Four cars were furnished, and 
Companies F, K. G, and I, with the band, pro- 
ceeded on their journey, while the rest of the 
regiment remained in charge of Captain Dona- 
hower, to follow on as soon as proper transporta- 
tion was furnished. 

Sundav, March 13 : Lav over at ^liehiiian Citv 
to clear away a wreck ahead of us. On Monday, 
March 14, at 3 a.m., we continued our journey, 
and arrived at Indianapolis for breakfast at the 


108 ^ DumnfEE-BOY's diary. 

Soldiers' Home. After returning to the depot, we 
found that the railroad company had unloaded 
our baggage, taken the passenger-coaches away, 
and supplied us with cattle-cars again. We 
were compelled to get into them and continue 
our trip. The band and head-quarters staff 
were more fortunate. We had a nice coach. We 
arrived at Louisville at 10 p.m., and were quar- 
tered in an old dilapidated rookery without doors 
or windows, and here we were supposed to make 
ourselves comfortable. 

Through the kindness of Mark Hendricks, a 
railroad agent, who came through from Minne- 
sota with us, we were furnished a dinner at the 
United States Hotel, 

March 16 : Captain Donahower arrived witli 
the rest of the regiment, and were assigned 
quarters with us. The Sixty-first Ohio Kegiment 
started home on their veteran furlousrh. We 
lay here until the ISth, when we again took 
transportation for Nasliville. Arrived at Edge- 
field at 4 A.M., March 19, and found that the 
railroad tracks were blocked with trains ready 
to pull out for the North with troops on their 
furlough, homeward bound. Seeing that it was 
impossible to proceed by cars, we disembarked 
and marched over the river, through Nashville, 
to the outskirts of the city, and awaited in bivouac 
while the ofiicers procured quarters for us. At G 


P.M. we marched back into the city and were quar- 
tered in a church, where we were very comforta- 
ble. We remaind here until March 23, drilling 
the recruits in the manual of arms and march- 
ino-. We drew five days' rations and marched 
out of the city four miles, on the Murfreesboro' 
Pike, and encamped near a fine spring of ice- 
cold water. We found plenty of good cedar 
raifs, and what does a soldier delight in more 
than to have plenty of cedar rails to build his 
camp-fires with? We here received our new 
tents, and felt that we were again in active cam- 
paign. I knew that after a few days' marching 
we°would feel better, our appetites would be 
keener, and we would be more healthful all 

March 24 : Reveille at 5 a.m., and at 7 a.m. 
we broke camp and marched towards Luverne. 
Passed through the town, and encamped three 
miles south. A great many of the recruits were 
suffering with galled feet. We marched twelve 
miles and encamped near a clear stream of water, 
where the boys took advantage of the situa- 
tion and went in bathing, after which we felt 
considerably refreshed. 

T^rareh 25 : Weather cloudy, with rain. We 
marched fourteen miles to ^^lurfreesboro', and 
encamped on the "Ready" plantation, the owner 
beinjr the father-in-law of the rebel John M<u- 




gaD, where there was plenty of wood and water. 
We found General Van Cleve here looking very 
hale and hearty. 

We remained here until the 28th, when we 
broke camp and marched twelve miles. The 
roads were very dusty and the wind blew a 
hurricane; but towards evening it clouded up 
and rained a little during the night. 29th : 
Weather cloudy. Koads in good condition. We 
marched fourteen miles to Shelbyville and en- 
camped on Duck River, on an old rebel camp- 

March 30 : Weather warm and pleasant. We 
marched eleven miles and encamped near a beau- 
tiful spring, with plenty of wood. We heard 
that three rebel oHicers had passed through here 
northward bound. What their intentions were 
was a mystery. 

March 31 : Marched nine and a half miles to 
TuUahoma and encamped two miles south, where 
we found plenty of wood and water. 

April 1 : Cloudy, rainy, and disagreeable. 
We marched fourteen miles to Decherd. This 
way a hard day's march. It was not the dis- 
tance, but the way we were marched. Colonel 
(Jeorge made stretches of from four to five 
miltjs before he called a rest for the men. They 
were heavily loaded with all their new clothing 
and blankets, which made it very tiresome with- 


out rest every two or three miles. At tlie end 
of the day's march, with the roads in very bad 
condition in consequence of the rain, the men 
were all played out. 

April 2 : Overcast, but pleasant. Marched nine 
miles over the mountains into Stevenson's Valley. 
Edmund Garrison, of our regiment, was sent ahead 
to Chattanooga, he being unable to keep up with 
the 'command, having taken sick while marching. 
April 3 : We marched but a short distance, — 
five miles. Our teams delayed us. We were now 
travelling on the railroad track. 

April 4: We marched on the track fifteen 
miles, within one and a holf miles of Stevenson, 
Ala., and went into camp. 

April 5 : We marched to Stevenson, where we 
found General Le Due, of Hastings, ^linn., for- 
merly of the First Minnesota Eegiment, who had 
cliarge of all the military stores there. He in- 
formed :Mike Allen, of Company I, that if he 
could get the consent of Colonel George he 
would give the regiment a barrel of whiskey. 
The cofonel gave his consent, with instructions 
that if a man should get drunk he would be 
severely punished. With these instructions, 
Allen returned to Le Due, who at once had the 
head knocked out of a barrel and distributed 
the whiskey to the boys. Very few of them 
showed any signs of intoxication. After a short 


Stay with General Le Due, we continued our 
march, arriving at Chattanooga at 10 p.m., and 
were quartered in the Soldiers' Home for the 

April 6 : We had breakfast at the Home, after 
which we marched out to Chattanooga Creek. 
We drew clothing and a complete supply of 
camp equipage and rations. General Brannan 
made the camp a visit, and congratulated us 
on our safe arrival to the front again. We re- 
mained at this camp until the 9th, when we 
marched out on the Kinggold Road, and passed 
over the Missionary Kidge battle-ground. En- 
camped on Chickamauga Creek in a cedar grove. 

April 10: We marched nine miles to King- 
gold, Ga., where we found those of our regiment 
who had not re-enlisted. The troops seemed 
to be in good spirits, and were ready for active 

April 11 : Weather pleasant and warm all 
day. We worked on our tents and policed the 
camp-ground. At 6 p.m. we had our first dress 
parade for three months. The Thirty-fifth Ohio 
Band serenaded our officers after parade, and 
invited them over to the court-house to a min- 
strel show they were giving every night. K. D. 
Chase, one of the band-boys, was taken very ill 
that day, and we hoped for his speedy recovery, 
as he was too good a boy to lose or lie sick long. 


April 12 : Overcast and rainy ; remained in 
camp all day. 

April 13 : Warm and pleasant. Martin Smith 
returned from Minnesota, where he had been lying 
sick with the smallpox. We remained in this 
camp until May 6, drilling and doing guard duty. 
We had been out on several reconnoissances, 
but with no results. Now things looked as 
though there was something to be done. 

May 7 : With three days' rations in our haver- 
sacks and three in our wagons, we marched east- 
ward six miles. The Fourth Corps had been 
skirmishing with the rebels all day. 8th : ex- 
ceedingly hot. We advanced one mile, reformed 
our line, and faced in a different direction, — more 
towards Buzzards' Koost. 

May 9 : We moved our line more to the right. 
Skirmished with the rebels all day, until it be- 
came so dark that both sides withdrew for the 
night. The Confederates had a very strong 
position on the high bluffs on each side of the 

May 10 : Weather rainy and disagreeable. 
The advance was still skirmishins; with the rebs. 
During the night they had taken several pieces 
of artiUery up on the mountain, with which they 
were making it very interesting for our boys. 

May 11: Weather overcast and very windy. 

We remained in camp all day. Had orders to 
A 10* 




be prepared to marcli next morning at three 
o'clock with the utmost care and as Kttle noise 
as possible. 

May 12 : We marched according to orders to 
Snake Creek Gap, a distance of twenty miles, 
where we found McPhersou heavily intrenched. 
The roads were in a deplorable condition, but after 
getting into the Gap they were much better. 

May 13: We received orders to leave our 
knapsacks and prepare for a forced march. We 
heard heavy cannonading in the direction of 
Buzzards' Koosc. 

May 14: Cannonading still continued to the 
east of us. We started at 5 a.m., but after 
marching: a short distance we halted and re- 
mained over night. On the morning of May 
15 we formed line of battle. 

May IG : Warm and pleasant. The rebels 
evacuated Buzzards' Roost. Our men captured 
five hundred wa2;ons and all of the rebel killed 
and wounded. Our division moved through to 
Calhoun, towards Kesaca. 

^lay 17 : Marched twenty-five miles. 18th : 
Weather fine. Marched seven miles through 
Adairsville. The country we passed through was 
very fine, and many fine homes were to be seen 
along our route. 

May 19: Weather hot. Passed through 
Kingston, Ga., a beautiful and picturesque little 



village. Drove the rebels four miles south of 
town, where they made a stand. Marched thir- 
teen miles. 

May 20: Hot and sultry. Keport in camp 
that the enemv were advancins; on us from the 
southeast, but it turned out to be General R. W. 
Johnson's division of our corps. 

iMay 21 : Tlie Ninth Ohio returned home, 
having served their three years, and were to 
be mustered out of the service. The separation 
was a sad one, as the i>[inth and our regiment 
had been together for nearly three years. We 
had stood shoulder to shoulder in all of our 
battles and skirmishes, marched together day 
and night, sulfered all the hardships together, 
and shared the pleasures alike ; and now to sepa- 
rate forever seemed impossible. Nevertheless, it 
was true. We wished them God speed, and that 
they might live long to enjoy the fruits of their 
battles and marches. 

May 22 : Very hot and dusty. We marched 
twelve miles southwest ; forded the Etowah River. 
It was a laughable sight to see the boys slip on 
the boulders at the bottom of the river and go 
under, and sret such a duckins; that evervthinir 
they had would be soaking wet. Nothing more 
serious than a fj;ood wettinsi occurred to anv of 
thom. There were a great many stragglers that 
day ; more than on any previous day's march. 


May 24 : Still very hot. The array marched 
at daybreak. Our brigade was left to guard the 
supply train. Colonel Bishop issued strict orders 
that no person should leave camp under any 
consideration, or severe punishment was in store 
for them. 

May 25 : Still in camp. During the day the 
weather wiis hot, but at 5 p.m. it commenced to 
rain'and continued all night. We heard heavy 
cannonading in front. 

May 26 : Overcast but pleasant. "We marched 
all day over a very hilly country, and were com- 
pelled to assist the teams with the wagons up 
the hills. We stopped at noon to cook dinner 
and feed the teams, after which we proceeded on 
our march. We accomplished a great deal of 
work, but little marching. We made but ten 

May 27 : Very hot. We remained in camp 
until one o'clock, then moved camp one mile. 
I had the painful experience of being stung by 
a scorpion. I really suffered more from fright 
than from the sting. Billy Wagner, whom we 
CiUled " Jasper Green," took considerable pains 
to get all the fun out of it he could. After going 
into camp, Jasper had just finished a " dough- 
god," and was preparing to sit down on the 
ground to eat it. Suddenly we heard a scream, 
and on looking in the direction it came from, we 


saw Jasper holding up his hand with a scorpion 
hanging to it. Now came my turn to laugh. I 
informed Jasper that a scorpion was never known 
to Hve long after stinging a Dutchman, and my 
assertion proved true ; and I hope he had con- 
siderable consolation from it. The dry leaves 
were full of the venomous little devils. We did 
not sleep much at night on account of them. 

May 23 : We marched two miles south to 
guard a train. We encamped in an open field. 
Heavy skirmishing in front. 

May 29 : We marched back to the rear five 
miles. A general chan2;e of all the line. 30th 
to 31st : Weather hot. Remained in camp. 

June 1 : Hot. Marched to the front and en- 
camped. Heavy firing on the skirmish-line. 2d : 
Rainy all day. Were placed in position in line 
of battle and commenced to build breastworks. 
Worked all night. 3d: Cloudy. Balls flying 
over camp from the picket-line. 4th : Cloudy 
and rainy all day. The rebs tried to drive our 
pickets in but did not succeed. Two boys of 
the One Hundred and Thirteenth Ohio, of the 
Second Division, were wounded. 

June 5 : Tiie enemy evacuated their works 
and moved to our left. A Company C boy was 
wounded and captured. Gtli : Weather very hut, 
— in fact, the hottest we ever experienced. We 
marched northeast all day, and made but four 


miles, — a mistake of General Palmer's. 7tli: 
Very hot in the fore part of the day. In the 
afteraoon we had a refreshing shower. jMoved 
camp half a mile. Humor in camp that General 
Lee had re-enforced General Johnston with fifty 
thousand men. 8th : Cloudy and rainy. AYe 
remained in camp all day. Clias. Chamberlain, 
of F Company, was sent back to Bridgeport, 
Ala., to relieve Sergeant A. H. Keed, of K Com- 
pany, who had charge of the regimental prop- 
erty. Chamberlain's leg gave him a great deal 
of trouble, and he was not able to walk. 9th : In 
camp. 10th : Cloudy and rainy. Marched four 
miles. Found the enemy intrenching very rap- 
idly. Our artillery played on them most of the 
afternoon. Formed line of battle and encamped 
for the nicrht. 


June 11 : Disa^jreeable and rainv. Marched 
two miles and remained five hours. Moved at 
3 P.M. one mile to the right and encamped. 

June 12: Rainy and cloudy. Remained in 
camp all day. The front line built breastworks. 
Disi^rin"; becomes almost an instinct with the ex- 

Co O 

perienced soldier. It was surprising how rapidly 
men in tlie field threw up fortifications, how the 
work progressed, and what immense results were 
accouiplished by a body of troops in a single 
night. Two armies would fight in the open 
field one evening, and by the next morning both 


would be strongly iiitrenclied behiud rifle-pits 
and breastworks, which it would cost either side 
much blood to storm and take. If spades and 
picks were not at hand when there was need of 
fortifications, bayonets, tin-cups, plates, and even 
jack-knives v>'ere pressed into service until better 
tools arrived; and every man worked like a 

Jane 13 : Weather clearing up. If we had 
good weather, we would be far in advance in our 
movements. 14th : Warm and pleasant. Ad- 
vanced half a mile towards Kenesaw Mountain 
and built works. 

June 15: Advanced another mile and built 
more earthworks. We had a rumor in camp 
that Lieutenant-General Polk, C.S.iV., had been 
killed in front of our corps. IGth : Rebels 
massed on our front, but our artillery did such 
effective work among them that they soon fell 
back in disorder. A rebel deserter confirmed 
the statement of the death of General Polk. 

June 17 : Cloudy. Advanced one mile and 
built breastworks in an open field, in open 
sight of the enemy. The mud in the fields 
was six inches deep. Lieutenant Jones, of Com- 
pany B, was killed. 10th : Painy and disagree- 
able. M. Y. Barber, of K Company, was shot 
through the bowels, and Lieutenant Puthcrford, 
of F Company, was shot in the arm while the 

::.':■.-:','■'(' '<:>.;* ■/'■[■^-^Py i)t'< 


regiment was moving to the right to take a new 

June 20: The artillery on both sides were 
keeping up a continuous roar. Our boys, with 
about forty pieces in our front, were centring the 
fire on Kenesaw Mountain, and the Johnnies were 
making us keep behind our w^orks also. A shell, 
which was thrown from the top of Kenesaw, 
dropped about tw^o feet from Tom McGu ire's 
tent, of Company D, while he was inside sleep- 
ing. It worked its way underneath him and 
exploded, throwing him and tent eight or ten 
feet in the air. Strange to say, Tom was more 
scared than hurt. 

June 22: Weather very hot. The rebs shelled 
our camp all day, but fortunately no one was hurt. 
In the evenino: vre had orders to move to the 
right. The niirht beins; clear and not a cloud in 
the sky, and a full moon shining, it would have 
been very easy for the rebels on Kenesaw to see 
the glistening of our guns as we marched in 
the rear of our works. So Colonel Bishop gave 
orders to carry the gun-barrels down and under 
the overcoats or blankets, and to make no noise. 
We thus made the march of nearly a mile right 
under the guns of Kenesaw in silence and safety. 
But the commander of the troops wo were to 
relieve made so much noise in getting his men 
awake and into line as to attract the enemy's 


■■' I- 'a L'l^iiT?: 


attention, and he opened a big gun on us while 
standing exposed and waiting for the breastworks 
to be vacated. The flash of the gun was like 
the full moon, and an instant later the big shell 
burst at the head of the regiment and killed our 
sergeant-major and terribly wounded four other 
men of Company F, — Thornton Harris, Ains- 
worth, Laviscount, and jMattin. Colonel Bishop 
promptly advanced the regiment into the breast- 
works while the troops relieved got out of the 
way without any more ceremony. Sergeant- 
Major Wheeler was one of the non-veterans, and 
had he lived three hours longer would have gone 
with the others to the rear for his discharge. The 
enemy kept up the cannonade for several hours, 
but did not injure any more men in our regi- 

June 23 : Colonel George and our seventy 
non-veterans left us for Chattanooga, where they 
were mustered out, their three years having 

June 24 : We heard very heavy artillery firing 
from both sides, but we were so well protected 
by our works that we had no casualties. 

June 25: One of our shells struck a rebel 
caisson on our front and exploded it. At the 
sight of this, our boys sent up cheer after cheer, 
until the rebels drove us under cover again. 
From June 25 until July 3 we lay in the works 

y 11 



in front of Kenesaw Mountain, and during this 
time there had been an unceasing roar of 
artillery. Davis's division charged dearborn's 
division of the rebel army, with heavy loss. 
The weatlier had been very liot for two weeks. 
We received eighty-four drafted men from Min- 
nesota. On July 3 the Confederates evacuated 
their works in our front, and as soon as it was 
discovered w^e were ordered in pursuit. We fol- 
lowed them eight miles, and on July 4 were 
ordered back to Marietta as provost guard. W^e 
marched five miles and encamped on Ex-Gov- 
ernor McDonald's place. This was the eighteenth 
anniversary of my birthday. We remained at 
this camp until the morning of July 13, when 
Tve returned to the division in front of Atlanta. 

July 14 : In camp and everything quiet. We 
received another batch of ninety-eight conscripts. 
The w^eather was fearfully hot. 

July 15 : We marched back to Marietta and 
went into camp in a grove of locust-trees in the 
heart of the city. 16th : General Bishop took 
command of the post, and Colonel Uline acted 
as provost marshal. We were living very well, 
with plenty of rations, and the country was full 
of blackljcrries. It was Frederick the Great, 
I believe, who said that "an army, like a ser- 
pent, goes on its belly," which was but another 
way of saying that, if you want men to fight 


well you must feed them well. Of provisions 
Uncle Sam usually gave us a sufficiency, but 
the table had little variety and fewer delica- 
cies. On first entering the service the drawing 
of our rations was not a small undertaking, for 
there were nearly a hundred of us in the com- 
pany, and it took a considerable weight of 
bread and pork to feed a hundred hungry 
stomachs. But after we had been in the field 
a year or two the call, " Fall in for your hard- 
tack !" was leisurely responded to by only about 
a dozen men, — lean, sinewy, hungry-looking fel- 
lows, each with his haversack in hand. They 
would squat around a gum blanket, spread on 
the ground, on v/hich was a small heap of sugar,- 
another of coffee, another of rice, maybe, which 
the corporal was dealing out by successive spoon- 
fuls. They held open their little black bags to 
receive their portion, while near by lay a small 
piece of pork or beef, or possibly a small amount 
of desiccated vegetables. Much depended, of 
course, on the cooking of the provisions fur- 
nished us. At first we tried a company cook, 
but we soon learned the saying of Miles Stand- 
ish, — " If you wish a thing to be done well you 
must do it yourself; if not, you muse leave it to 
others." This applies to cooking quite as well as 
to courting. We, therefore, soon dispensed with 
our cook, although scarcely any of us knew how 


to cook as mucli as a cup of coffee. Wlien we 
took the field, a keen appetite, aided by that 
*' necessity" which is ever the mother of inven- 
tion, soon taught us how to make bean soup and 
hard-tack, — prepared " hard-tack." It is a ques- 
tion I have much debated with mvself, while 
writing this diary, whether this chapter should 
not be entitled " hard-tack," as this article of 
diSt was the o-rand staff of life to the bovs in 
blue. It would seem that but little could be 
said of the culinary art in camj) without involv- 
ing some mention of hard-tack at almost every 
turn. If you take a hard-tack in your hand, 
you will find it somewhat heavier than an ordi- 
nary biscuit, but if vou will reduce it to a 
fine powder you will find that it will absorb 
considerably more water than an equal weight 
of wheat flour; showing that in making hard- 
tack the chief object in view was to stow away 
the greatest amount of nourishment in the small- 
est amount of space. I also observed that hard- 
tack was very hard. This I attributed to its great 
age, for there was a common belief among the 
boys that our hard-tack had been baked long 
before the beirinnins: of the Christian era. This 
opinion was based upon the fact that the letters 
" B.C." were stntuped on many, if not, indeed, 
all the cracker-boxes. To be sure, there were 
some wiseacres who shook their heads and 


maiutamed that tliese mysterious letters were the 
initials of the name of some army contractor 
or inspector of supplies; but the belief was 
widespread and deep-seated that they were with- 
out a doubt intended to set forth the era in 
which our bread had been baked. 

Our hard-tack were very hard. We couh] 
scarcely break them with our teetli. Some we 
coUld scarcely fracture with our fist. Still, as 
I have said, there was an immense amount of 
nourishment stowed away in them, as we soon 
discovered when once we had learned the secret 
of getting at it. It required some experience and 
no little hunger to enable one to appreciate hard- 
tack rightly, and it demanded no small amount of 
inventive genius to understand how to cook hard- 
tack as they ought to be cooked. If I remember 
correctly, in our section of the army we had fif- 
teen ditierent ways of preparing them. In other 
parts, I understood, they had discovered one or 
two ways more, but with us fifteen was the limit 
of the culinary art. When this article of diet 
was on board, on the march they were usually 
not cooked at ail, but eaten in the raw state. In 
order, however, to make them somewhat more 
palatable, a thin slice of nice fat pork was cut 
down and laid on the cracker, and a spoonful of 
good brown sugar put on toj) of the pork, and 
we had a dish lit for a soldier. Of course, the 



tit. C; 

M i 'J^i 


pork was raw and had just come out of the 
pickle. When we halted for cofiPee we some- 
times had fricasseed hard-tack, prepared by 
toasting them before the hot coals, thus making 
them soft and spongy. 

If there was time for frying, we either dropped 
them into the fat in the dry state and did them 
brown to a turn, or soaked them in cold water 
and then fried them, or pounded them to a pow- 
der, mixed this with boiled rice, and made grid- 
dle-cakes and honey, — minus the honey. 

When, as was generally the case on a march, 
our hard-tack w^as broken into small pieces in our 
haversacks, we soaked these in water and fried 
them in pork fat, stirring well and seasoning 
with salt and pepper, thus making what was 
commonly called a " hell-fired stew." But the 
great triumph of the culinary art in camp, to my 
mind, was " hard-tack pudding." This was made 
by placing the biscuit in a stout canvas bag, and 
pounding bag and contents with a club on a log 
until the biscuits were reduced to a fine powder ; 
then we added a little wheat flour, if we had it, 
— the more the better, — and made a stiff dough, 
which we next rolled out on a cracker-box lid, 
like a pie-crust ; theu we covered this all over with 
a preparation of stewed dried a[)ples, dropping 
in here and there a raisin or two just for '' Auld 
Lang Syne's" sake, rolled and wrapped it in 

; ; r 

< iVC^i'ilC. 


a cloth, boiled it for an hour or so, and ate it 
\vith wine sauce. The wine was usually omitted 
and huns^er inserted in its stead. Thus we saw 
what truly vast and unsuspected possibilities 
resided in this innocent-looking, three and a half 
inch square hard-tack. Three made a meal and 
nine were a ration, and this was what fought the 
battles for the Union. 

The army hard-tack had but one rival, and 
that was the army bean, — a small, white, round- 
ish soup-bean. It was quite innocent-looking, as 
was its inseparable companion, the hard-tack, 
and, like it, was possessed of possibilities which 
the uninitiated would never suspect. 

It was not so plastic an edible as the hard-tack ; 
nor susceptible of so wide a range of use, but 
the one 2;reat dish which mioiit be made of it 


was so pre-eminently excellent that it threw 
''Hell fired stew" and "Hard-tack pudding" 
quite into the shade. This was baked beans. 
No doubt bean-soup is very good, as it is also 
very common. But, oh, baked beans ! I had 
heard of the dish before, but never had remotely 
imaarined what toothsome deliirhts lurked in the 
recesses of a camp-kettle of beans, baked after 
the orthodox, backwoods fashion, until one day 
Bill Hunter, of K Company, whose home was in 
the lumber regions, where the dish had no doubt 
been first invented, said to me, " Come around to 

■)' ^VC ■: .i'j ,'.; ' "i 

»-l:Ii,ii;j U ■■'i:l 'V O^i i«' M 


our tent to-morrow morning ; we're going to have 
baked beans for breakfast. If you will walk 
around to the lower end of our company tent 
street with me, I will show you how we bake 
beans up in the country I came from." 

It was about three o'clock in the afternoon, 
and the boys were already busy. They had an 
enormous camp-kettle about two-thirds full of 
parboiled beans. Near by they had dug a hole 
in the ground about three feet square and two 
deep, in and on top of which a great fire was to 
be made about dusk, so as to get the hole thor- 
oughly heated and full of red-hot coals by the 
time tattoo sounded. Into this hole the camp- 
kettle was then set, with several pounds of fat 
pork on top of the beans, and securely covered 
with an inverted mess-pan. It was sunk into 
the red hot coals, by which it was completely 
concealed, and was left there all night to bake, 
one of the camp-guards throwing a log on the 
fire from time to time to keep matters going. 

Early the next morning some one shook me 
roughly as I lay sleeping soundly in mv tent : 
"Get up, Billy! breakfast is ready. Come to 
our tent. If you never ate baked beans before, 
you never ate anything worth eating." I found 
three or four of the boys seated around the camp- 
kettle, each with a tin plate on his knee and a 
spoon in his hand, doing their very best to es- 


tablisli the truth of the old adage, " The proof 
of the padding is in the eating." Now, it is a 
far more difficult matter to describe the expe- 
rience of the palate than of either the eye or the 
ear, and therefore I shall not attempt to tell how 
very good baked beans are. 

The only trouble with a camp-kettle full of 
the delicious food was that it was sfone too soon. 
Where did it get to, anyhow ? It was something 
like ]Mike Dalton's quart of drink, — an irrational 
quantity, because it was too much for one and 
too little for two. 

Still, too much of a good thing is too much, 
and one might get quite too much of beans (ex- 
cept in the state above described) ; however, I 
resolved, then and there, that if I should be for- 
tunate enough to return home with good health, 
I would, if I ever had any, teach my children to 
sing the refrain to the tune sometimes called 
" Aunt Rhody," and to pull up sharp on the last 

word, — 

" Beans for breakfast, 
Beans for dinner, 
Beans for supper. 
Beans, hearts^ bkvns !" 

July 17 : Very hot. There was considerable 
dissatisfiction amoni;- the band boys. They 
thought that Colonel Bishop was not treating 
them exactly right by compelling them to do 



police duty. Tliej said that the time occupied 
in cleaning up the camp ought to be put in bj 
practising, and there was some talk of them re- 
turning to their companies. The colonel in re- 
turn said that the entire regiment was on picket 
and guard duty every day, and the men must 
have rest ; therefore the band, having no guard 
duty to do and no dress parades, should at least 
help out by doing police duty every afternoon 
to relieve the men who had been on duty all 
night. We concluded not to go back to our 

July 18 to 23 : We remained in camp doing 
police duty, but no rehearsing. We heard that 
General McPherson had been killed in front of 

Sunday, July 24 : xVttended church in a body 
in the morning. Dress parade in the eveninf^ 
On the 2oth, at 11 a.m., the regiment went to 
Chattanooga as guard to eleven hundred prison- 
ers. 2Gth and 27th : Very quiet in camp, as the 
regiment was still absent. We heard the distant 
boom of cannon at Atlanta all day, which re- 
luinded us that there must be considerable activity 
in front. We knew that with Sherman in com- 
mand the army was not liable to fall asleep or lie 

July 2S: Regiment returned from Chatta- 
nooga. Band serenaded General Joe Hooker. 


He departed for AYashington the next day 
under orders to report to the commander-in- 
chief. AVe remained in Marietta until xViigust 
19, and enjoyed ourselves as we did not expect 
to again. 

Considering that the troops in the front had 
been under fire every day, while we were com- 
paratively out of all danger, we had made some 
considerable improvement among our drafted 
men in drilling and the manual of arms. The 
regiment was in splendid condition, and vrere 
prepared to undertake and make a vigorous 
campaign against the enemy. On the 19th we 
marched twelve miles to the Chattahoochee Kiver 
and encamped. ■ • 

August 20 : Marched fourteen miles in front 
of Athinia and joined the brigade in the breast- 
works. The rebel breastworks were about one 
hundred yards distant, and the men were in 
plain sight. 

Sunday, August 21 : Warm and pleasant. 
We remained in camp with everything quiet 
alonir the lino. Durinir the dav we heard the 
distant boom of artillery on our extreme left 
wing. AVe had lain in the trenches in front of 
Atlanta, under fire every day, from the 22d to 
the 2oth, when we got orders to march at twelve 
o'clock raidnisfht. 

August 26 : We broke camp at the hour named, 

132 ^ DRmniER-BOY'S DIARY. 

under orders to marcli as quietly as possible, and 
not to make any unnecessary noise. The officers 
sent all of their extra ba2;2;a2;e to the rear. 27th : 
Weather very hot. We marched seven miles 
and countermarched, then halted and built breast- 
works. The enemy was following us. We lay 
in the edge of a piece of timber. We could dis- 
tinctlv see their was^ons, and dense clouds of dust 
ros^ over the woods as the rebel troops marched 

Sunday, August 28 : We marclied at 5.30 a.m. 
southward in the direction of the Macon and 
Atlanta Eaiiroad and encamped six miles north 
of it. 

Au2;ust 29 : The Second Division of our 
corps destroyed a portion of the Montgomery 
and Atlanta Railroad. oOtli : Very hot. We 
marched eleven miles. We were now south of 
Atlanta, and expected an engagement every day. 
ThiuQ-s were iookins; as thou2;h Sherman was 
getting tlie enemy cornered. 31st: Weather 
very hot. We marched to the front and drove 
the Confederates over the railroad. Heavy can- 
nonadino; on our risfht. 

Si;pteml)er 1 : Weather very hot. About 4 
P.M. General Davis assaulted the enemy's lines in 
our front, sweeping all before him and capturing 
the greater part of Goven's brigade, including 
its commander. The troops on our right had 


»l: 1 

:r: L 


been heavily engaged ; and thus ended the battle 
of Jonesboro'. 

At 2 A.M. on the morning of September 2 the 
sound of heavy cannonading was heard from the 
direction of Atlanta, twenty miles distant, indi- 
cating the evacuation of that place by General 
Hood. Without regarding these tokens, Sher- 
man pressed on the next morning in pursuit of 
Hafdee, but found it impossible to intercept his 

We heard that the Twentieth Corps (Slocum's) 
had entered Atlanta and was in possession. Our 
corps remained and buried the dead and took 
care of the wounded, 

' September 3 : AVeather fine until midnight, 
when it commenced to rain and continued through 
the night and during the next day. We could 
still hear the boom of artillery in front. We 
remained here until the 7th, when we marched 
nine miles in the direction of Atlanta and en- 
camped in a large cotton-tleld. 

September 8: We marched nine miles, within 

two miles of Alhmta. We found that the rebels 

had this place very heavily fortified. 0th : 

Weather fine. Went to town on a pass. The 

destruction in the city was terrible. Our shells 

played havoc in tlie principal ]):irt of tlie city, 

and it was riddled up fearfully.- 10th : Weather 

hot. Remained in camp all day. We heard 



the joyful tidings of the death of John Morgan, 
the rebel guerilla. From September 11 to Oc- 
tober 3 we remained in this camp and had bat- 
talion and regimental drill every day. 

On the loth of September, E. G. Rhoades 
started for Cincinnati, to purchase a new set of 
band instruments. He had a twenty-days' fur- 
lough. We heard all sorts of rumors, — that 
Hood was in our rear marching into N.ashville, 
and a2;ain that he was marchinsr on to Louis- 
ville ; and each one created more or less excite- 
ment, until the next was reported. 

October 1 : Colonel Bishop left us for Minne- 
sota with a requisition from General Thomas for 
men to fill up the regiment, leaving Lieutenant- 
Colonel Uline in command. 

On October 3 we broke camp and marched 
eight miles towards the Chattahoochee River, 
and lay over in the woods all night, the rain 
pouring down in torrents. 

October 4 : At daybreak, wet and hungry, we 
resumed our march. We accomplished ten miles 
and crossed the Chattahoochee River. There 
were a great many stragglei-s, the men having 
had no rest at night ; and the intense heat 
caused them to become weary and tired. 

October 5 : W^eather overcast and cloudy. 
Marched fifteen miles, to Kenesaw Mountain, 
and went into camp at 9 p.m. It ruined all night. 


October 6 : Rainy and disagreeable all fore- 
noon, but in the afternoon it turned out clear 
and warm. Marched six miles. We had had no 
meat for four days, and the usual amount of 
grrumblinof was heard on all sides. 

October 7 : Weather pleasant. Our division 
was ordered to reconnoitre north of Lost Moun- 
tain. K Company skirmished with the John- 
nies a short time during the day. We marched 
fifteen miles. 

October 8 : Cold and windy. Lay in camp 
until 4 P.M., then marched towards Ackwortli, 
eifrht miles. We here sfot our first news of the 
battle of Altoona. < 

October 9 : We remained in camp all day. 
Weather very cold. We tried to ruminate in 
our minds what the matter was. Last month 
we were fighting facing south ; now we had the 
rebel army between us and Nashville, and again 
faced back north. We could not conceive what 
was the matter with Sliermau ? 

October 10 : Remained in camp until 4 p.m., 
then broke camp and marched all night, passing 
over the battle-field of Altoona Heights. Here wc 
found the Fourth Minnesota Regiment, who took 
a conspicuous part in the fight. We stopped 
for a short time and drank a cup of coffee, which 
the boys of the Fourth made for us, f)r wliich 
we returned our heart-felt thanks. We resumed 

;. V hloO :- 


our march until daylight, having marched fifteen 

October 11 : Weather fine. We marched thir- 
teen miles to Kingston, Ga., and went into 

October 13 : Very hot. Remained in camp 
during the heat of the day, and at 7 p.m. broke 
camp and were on the road all night, making 
only ten miles. 

October 14: Weather cool.. We marched 
twenty miles to Kesaca and encamped on the 
Etowah Kiver. 

October 15 : Weather pleasant. We marched 
eight miles, climbed the Kocky-Faced Mountain, 
and encamped on top. IGth : Weather very 
pleasant. We marched down the north side of 
the mountain, through Snake Creek Gap, and 
encamped near Taylor's Ridge. 17th : Lay in 
camp all day, and sent back extra baggage. 
18th : Weather pleasant. iMarched sixteen miles, 
passing over Taylor's Ridge. 19th : Weather 
pleasant. We crossed tlie Chattanooga River. 
Marched eight miles. 20th : Weather pleasant. 
Passed through Somerville and encamped near 
Gailsville, Ga., on the Coosa River. 21st : 
Weather pleasant. Remained in camp until 3 
P.M., after which our brigade was ordered to 
Gailsville for duty. 22d : Very cool all day. 
Men were detailed to run the grist-mill, to grind 

;><Il ■'<. 


corn for meal ; and others to repair the bridge 
over the Coosa River. 

Sunday, October 23 : Weather pleasant. Re- 
mained in camp, repairing our clothing and doing 
some washing. 

October 24: Weather warm and pleasant. I 

went out foraging and had quite a little adventure. 

About ten o'clock I found myself about six miles 

from camp, on the Coosa River, and, seeing some 

citrons in a field close to the river bank, I went 

to look at them. I was examining one of them 

when I heard the reports of two guns and the 

zip, zip of the bullets close to me. On looking 

over the river I saw two rebel cavalrymen near a 

corn-fodder stack, and it took me but a moment 

to make myself scarce in that locality. About 

sixty yards distant was a deep ravine, which was 

covered with a canebrake. Towards this I made 

my way in double-quick time. In the mean time 

they fired two more shots, which whistled in close 

proximity. After reaching the cover of the 

ravine I followed it up to the head and came out 

in a farm-yard, where I found four boys of the 

Eighty-third Illinois. To them I related my 

adventure, and they proposed to go back and 

stir the rebs up a little. I went back the route 

I had taken in my retreat, and as we reached 

the brow of the ravine, we saw that two more 

men had joined the foriner two that fired at me. 




My comrades had repeating rifles, and tliey im- 
mediately opened up on them ; but, being so 
excited, they fired wikh We had tlie satisfaction, 
however, of seeing them mount their horses and 
gallop away, while my friends continued to grind 
out shot after shot at them, while I, unarmed, was 
a quiet spectator of the fusilade. The Johnnies 
showed some very fine generalship in their retreat. 
While our boys were firing at them they kept the 
fodder-stack between themselves and us, which 
saved them from being killed. 

October 25 : Weather fine. A large foraging 
party was sent out, and returned late in the even- 
ing with plenty of pork, beef, and corn-meal. 
2Gth and 27t]i : It rained most of the time, which 
kept the boys in their little shelter-tents. 

Immediately in front of our camp was the 
head-quarters of General Sherman, whom we 
saw at all hours of the dav and niirht, marchins: 
back and forth in front of his teut, with his head 
bowed, chin on his breast, and his arms locked 
behind him. That night he made the rounds all 
night with the guard in front of his tent, occa- 
sionally stopping in front of the fire to talk a 
moment with him, then resuming his steady 
march. I had no doubt but that he was plan- 
ning some campaign that would surprise the 

October 28: Weather clear and cool. As 


expected, we received orders to marcli the next 
dny at 4 a.m. 

October 29 : Weather pleasant. "We moved at 
the appointed time, and marched south all day. 
Made twenty miles and encamped. 

October 30 : Weather cool. We marched six 
miles to E,ome, Ga., and encamped on the Ooste- 
naula Kiver. I received my new drum from 
Cincinnati, and was much pleased with it, and 
determined to make it lively for the boys. 

October 31 : Warm and pleasant. We were 
mustered for pay. Received a large mail for the 

November 1 : Pleasant and warm. We had 
orders to wash up all blankets and clothing. In 
the afternoon we received two months' pay. 

November 2 : Cold rain all day. We marched 
thirteen miles to Kingston, Ga., where we ex- 
pected to find Khoades, and were mucli disap- 
pointed in finding that he had not arrived. 3d : 
Raining all day. Rhoades, our band-master, ar- 
rived with the new instruments. 4tli : Raw, cold 
wind. The boys tried their new instruments and 
were highly pleased with them. 5th : Cold 
and cloudy. Ripley and ^lart. Smith arrived 
from Chattanooga. Gth : Rainy and disagree- 
able. Lay in the tents all day. 7th : We made 
our first appearance with our new silver instru- 
ments and created quite a furor. 


November 8 : This was election-day for Presi- 
dent, the proudest day of my life. I was eigh- 
teen years and four months old, and cast my 
firet ballot, which was for Abraham Lincoln. 
Our company cast thirty-five ballots, all for 
Lincoln. The McClellan men v,ere scarce in 
our reiriment. 


November 9 : Cool and disagreeable. On the 
11th, Colonel Bishop rejoined us with eighty- 
eight recruits, which were immediately distrib- 
uted to the several companies. 12tli: Weather 
pleasant. Marched sixteen miles. 

Sunday, November 13 : Marched eighteen 
miles and tore up three miles of the Atlanta 
and Chattanooga Jlailroad. 14th: Marched 
twenty-five miles from Big Shanty to Chatta- 
hoochee River. 

November 15: "Weather cloudy, but warm 
and pleasant. Marched nine miles to Atlanta, 
and at night we destroyed the city by fire. A 
grand and awful spectacle it presented to the 
beholder. By order, the chief engineer had 
destroyed by powder and fire all the store- 
houses, depot-buildings, and machine-shops. 
The heaven was one expanse of lurid fire ; the 
air was filled with tlvinir burning; cinders. 
Buildings, covering two hundred acres were in 
ruins or in flames ; every instant there was the 
sharp detonation of the smothered, booming 


sound of exploding shells and powder concealed 
in the buildings, and then the sparks and flames 
would shoot up into the black and red roof, 
scattering cinders far and wide. 

These were the machine-shops where had 
been forged and cast the rebel cannon, shot, and 
shells that had carried death to many a brave 
defender of our nation's honor. 

The' warehouses had been the receptacles of 
munitions of war, stored there to be used for our 

This city, next to Richmond, furnished more 
material for prosecuting the war than any other 
in the South. 

A bri2;ade of Massachusetts soldiers were the 
only troops then left in the town ; they were the 
last to leave it. That night I heard tlie really 
fine band of the Thirty-third ^Massachusetts 
playing " John Brown's soul goes marching on" 
by the light of the burning building. I never 
heard that noble anthem when it was so grand, 
so solemn, and so inspiring. 

November 16 : Warm and pleasant. We 
marched sixteen miles towards Augusta, Ga., 
tlirough a country that seemed to have raised 
nothing but cotton. It looked worn out; the 
fences were down and the buihlings in a more 
or less dilapidated condition. 17th: Hot. We 
marched eighteen miles. Destroyed a large 

."••'^Ct !^"'( 

■:t; -M-ytiz 

«^J♦ .,.,. 

/ IJ 


142 ^ ^I'' UMMER-B Y'S DIA RY. 

section of the Atlanta and Augusta Eailroad. 
Passed through a much finer country than on 
the previous day. 

November 18 : AVarm. Our division tore up 
several miles of railroad. Passed throusfh the 
village of Covington, Ga. 19th : Kainy and 
cloudy all day. Marched t^Yelve miles. 20th : 
Weather tine. Marched throu2;h some very 
beautiful country, leaving fifteen miles behind 
us. 21st : Marched steadily all day until 10 
P.M., covering twenty miles. Weather warm 
and pleasant. The army foraged on the country 
durins: our march. To this end each brio;ade 
commander oriianized a 2:ood and sufficient foras;- 
ing party, — we called them " Bummers," — under 
the command of one or more discreet officers, 
who gathered near the route travelled corn or 
forage of any kind, meat of all kinds, vegeta- 
bles, corn-meal, or whatever was needed by the 
command. Preserves and sweet-meats were also 
not refused. Their aim was at all times to 
keep in the wagon-trains at least ten days' ra- 
tions for the command and three davs' forasfe. 
Soldiers were ordered not to enter the dwell- 
ings of the inhabitants or commit any tresj^ass. 
During a halt or while in camp we were per- 
mitted to gather turnips, sweet-potatoes, yams, 
and- other vegetables, and drive in to our camps 
all stock we found. To the re^iular foracjinsr 

. >■",- . ' ' f ' '' '.11 


parties was intrusted the gathering of provi- 
sions and forage at any distance from the road 

November 21 : Marched twenty miles, en- 
camping at midniglit. 22d : Warm and pleas- 
ant. Marched fifteen miles. 23d : Marched ten 
miles to Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia. 
A few days before our arrival at Milledgeville 
the State Legislature, then assembled at the cap- 
itol, had hurriedly absconded on hearing of 
Sherman's approach. The panic seemed to have 
spread to the citizens, and the trains out of Mil- 
ledgeville were crowded to overflowing ; and at 
the most extravagant prices. Private vehicles 
were pressed into service by the fugitives. Only 
a few of us entered the citv. The magazines, 
arsenals, depots, factories, and storehouses con- 
taining property belonging to the Confederate 
government were burned; also some seventeen 
hundred bales of cotton. Private dwellings were 
respected, and no instance occurred of pillage 
or of insult to the people. General Sherman 
occupied the executive mansion of Governor 
Brown, who had not waited to receive the com- 
pliments of his distinguished visitor, but had 
removed his furniture, taking good care, the 
darkies say, to ship even his cabbage. 

November 2-1 : Tiie army moved over the 
Oconee River. Our division remained as rear 


if,r > 


guard. Weather warm during the day, but the 
nights were very cold. 

November 25 : Left the city at 9 a.m. Burnt 
the bridge over the river at this place. Marched 
sixteen miles, crossing the Oconee River. We 
lost poor Simmers, the drummer of Company G, 
during the night. The poor fellow, being unable 
to keep up, lay down somewhere along the road, 
and was captured by the cavalry that were fol- 
lowing us up. I took his blanket and drum to 
relieve him, but he was too flitigued to follow, 
saying to me, " Oh, let me rest ; let me sleep a 
short time, then I will follow on." I tried to 
keep him under my eye all the time, but he 
finally eluded me, and when we again stopped for 
a short rest he was not to be found, and by that 
time was most likely a prisoner. I pitied the 
poor fellow. I was afraid he would never live to 
return home. 

November 26 : Warm and pleasant. Marched 
sixteen miles, passing through Sandersyille. 
27th: During the day it was very warm, but 
the nights were very cold. We crossed the 
Ogeechee Kiver, having marched sixteen miles. 
28th: Weather pleasant. We marched six 
miles, recrossing the Ogeechee, and destroyed 
the small village of Louisville, Ga. 29th: 
Weather warm and pleasant. Remained in 
camp all day. oOth : Very hot. Heavy firing 


in front. We moved camp a short distance to 
the front. 

December 1 : Skirmished with the rebs all 
day, driving them six miles. 2d : Weather very 
hot. We marched twelve miles, skirmishing 
most of the day. 3d : Marched eight miles, 
being compelled to skirmish every foot we 
gained. Destroyed some railroad. Sunday, 
December 4: We acted as support to General 
Kilpatrick's division of cavalry, who drove the 
enemy through Swainsboro'. Marched twenty 
miles. 5th : After having marched eastward 
for two days, we turned and marched due south 
eighteen miles through a poor sandy country. 
6th: Marched fifteen miles through heavy, 
dense forests, some trees towering up 'to a 
height of a hundred feet. 7th: Disagreeable 
and cold rain all day. Marched fourteen miles. 
8th : Hot. Marched twenty miles. 9th : Warm 
and pleasant. Marched eight miles. Did con- 
siderable skirmishing;. One man in K Com- 
pany was -^v^ounded. 10th : Pleasant. We 
marched six miles, destroying some of the 
Charleston and Savannah Railroad. 

Sunday, December 10 : We marched but two 
miles, stopping to tear up a small section of rail- 
road. We also attempted to destroy a trestle- 
work that led over the rice- fields to the Savan- 
nah River, but a rebel gunboat made it too 

a k li 



unpleasant for us, so we had to give up that job. 
Here is where we first saw the process of thresh- 
ing, hulUng, and cleaning rice, a mill being close 
to where we were at work. 

Colonel Bishop gave orders that the men 
should not leave or go one hundred yards from 
the stacks, as it was expected that the woods 
in the near vicinity was a cover for the rebel 
cavalry, who had been following us, gobbling up 
our stragglers wJio had wandered too far away 
from the main body. 

Not thinking that this order included me, and 
not having to work on the railroad track, I 
thou"rht I would 2:0 out on a little forajring; 
expedition of my own while the regiment was 
destrovins: the railroad. 

I went about a mile and a half, and came to a 
very fine plantation, where the white folks had 
all run off, leaving nobody at home but an old 
negro couple, and I was the first Union soldier 
they had seen. After I told them that they 
were now free and could go where they wished, 
and that I was one of " ]Massa Lincum's" soldiers, 
their joy knew no bounds. Nothing was too 
good for me; but knowing that my time was 
necessarily short, I told them I wanted some- 
thing to eat. The old darky proceeded to the 
garden and dug about a peck of yams, and the 
old lady went to the barn and got me about two 

u ''■■■:'■■ !''C' ■ '5 

i.'.\'\ v-'/.i 


I in IiiO 



dozen eggs. She also gave me a piece of bacou. 
I thanked them kindly and started back to the 
camp. In passing by the barn, I noticed two 
nice fat cows, and said to myself, " If Sam Bow- 
ler only had them to kill for the regiment!" 
Sam was our commis.tary. 

In a short time I arrived in si";ht of the resri- 
ment, and carefully looked up and down the line 
to see that the colonel was nowhere near. Xot 
seeing him, I marched up to about where our left 
flank would be and tried to get around on the 
other side of the track where the band boys were ; 
but what was my surprise when I ran right onto 
the colonel, sitting down behind a pile of railroad- 
ties. I came up to within ten feet of him. 

He looked at nie and saw that I had a rubber 
blanket over my shoulder with something in it, 
and asked, " Wliat have you got in your blanket ?'' 
I answered, " Potatoes." " AVhat have you got 
in your handkerchief?" " Eggs," I replied. 
"Where did you get them?" he again asked. 
*' Oh," said I, *' about two hundred yards from 
here." "Is that so?" said he. "That's so," 
said I. "About two hundred yards from here?" 
he remarked. I answered with a nice little " Yes, 
sir," and commenced to tell hhn about the two 
nice fat cows that I had seen, hoping he wouM 
forget about the potiitoes and eggs, but he didn't 
forget worth a cent. 



He told nie he would talk " coays" a little later, 
and ordered me to put my potatoes and eggs on 
the ground, and go do\Yn on the railroad and 
go to work tearing up the track. I never got 
humpbacked from the amount of work I did. I 
principally kept one eye on the colonel and the 
other on the potatoes and eggs. 

It was not long before the colonel's cook (Place, 
I think his name was) came along and gathered 
up the aforesaid articles. I knew the colonel 
did not know anything about it ; of course not. 
Colonels don't eat eggs. I did considerable 
talking to Place about it ; but he took them all 
the same, saying, " I can't see potatoes and eggs 
lying around loose, when I know the colonel is 
just sufiering with hunger." Well, that was 
the last I saw of the eggs and yams. 

We encamped close by for the night, and it 
commenced to rain, with thunder and lightning. 

Anybody who has been in the South knows 
that it is dark at such times. I had just got 
nicely curled up in my blanket, in my shelter- 
tent, when the colonel's orderly came to me and 
said, " The colonel wants to see you." Throwing 
my poncho over my head, I proceeded to the 
colonel's tent, thinking, probably, he had some 
difficult military problem he wanted xue to solve. 
But consternation was depicted on my counte- 
nance when he asked me if I had not told him 


during the day that I knew where there were 
two nice fat cows. I drawled out a mighty long 
" Yes, sir," after which he said, " You will now 
report to Lieutenant McCoy, who is officer of the 
day, and he will take two men besides yourself 
and bring those cows into camp, and turn them 
over to Bowler, and tell him to have them killed 
and issued to the men in the morning, after 
which you will report to me again." 

I bid the colonel good-night, and, in the dark- 
ness and rain, hunted up the guard-tent. I 
found Lieutenant McCoy, gave him my orders, 
and jjot a jrood damnins: from him for tellins: the 
colonel about the cows. AVe fmallv srot started, 
and I, as the guide, directed them through the 
dense pine forest the best I knew how, having 
been over the road but once before myself. For- 
tunately, I found the plantation all right, also 
the cows, but we had no ropes. Xow here was 
a quandary. We had no lantern, and how were 
we to lead the cows back to camp? In feeling 
around in the dark, I found an old harness and 
took the lines out of it, and with these we led 
them back to camp, but before we got there a sad 
calamity befell me. 

Surrounding the plantation was a wide and 
deep diicli, over which a bridge was made t») raise 
and lower whenever in use. In going over this, 

the cow I was leading, being wild, started and 


I" ' ,^ 

'a A: ■' " 



ran diagonally across the bridge, and it being so 
dark that it was impossible to see your hand 
before you, every vivid flash of lightning would 
so blind us that for a few moments we were, as it 
seemed, in inky darkness. 

As the cow ran she dragged me along; but 
I hung on to her like grim death, and ran off 
the bridge, falling into the ditch, down at least 
eight feet. I clung to the bank or side of the 
ditch the best I could, it being soft and slimy 
from the rain, until my comrades helped me out. 
The leather strap with which the cow was tied 
was wet and slippery, and, of course, I could not 
hold her. The other cow was held by one of 
the other boys, who was fortunate enough not to 
faU off the bridge. She continued to bellow, 
which kept the one which got loose from getting- 
far away from us. In a short time we had 
caught her again, and succeeded in arriving in 
camp without any further mishap. 

I then proceeded to notify Sam Bowler, who 
by this time was sleeping soundly in his tent. 
After waking him up and giving him the colo- 
nel's orders, I received another cursing and 
damning for telling the colonel about the cows. 
I waited to see that Sam got up, and then turned 
our stock over to him. Afterwards, according to 
orders, I reported to Colonel Bishop, and "^in- 
formed him that we had returned with the cows. 


The colonel being in bed, rose to a sitting 
posture and remarked, " Hereafter, when I give 
the regiment an order, I want you to undei'stand 
that it includes you as well as any other member 
of the re2;iment : and sendinar you after the cows 
you may consider a punishment for your offence." 
He bid me good-night, and then said, " Go and 
tell Bowler to give you a piece of the liver." 

I fliought at the time that the eggs and yams 
didn't set well on his stomach, or that they had 
a bad effect on his liver. " All right, colonel." 

When I gave Bowler the colonel's order about 
the liver, he said, *' Young fellow, you just skip to 
your tent. The cows Aain't got no liver. These 
Aare Confederate cows. Nothing ])ut good 
Union cows 'ave liver. So, now, you skip. 
You got no business to tell the colonel about 
those cows, Aand get me Aout Aov ray good warm 
bed to kill 'em." I saw that my worthy En- 
glish friend was in no mood to talk any more. 

Before retirinc; I took ofi' all mv wet clothes 
and put on some dry ones, and soon forgot my 
troubles in a sound and refreshing sleep, only to 
be awakened on the mornin<2; of the 12th bv the 
distant boom of artillery in the direction of the 
coast, which continued off and un all day. 

The 13th was warm and pleasant. ^Ve 
marched southwest seven miles, and heard 
heavy firing in the direction of Savannah. 


14tli : Pleasant and warm. Kemained in camp 
all day. We were very short of rations. 

December 15 : Moved camp about half a mile 
towards Savannah. We are now living on plain 
rice, without salt. We first chopped a trough- 
like hole in a log, then laid the heads of the rice- 
sheaves in it, and with a club threshed the grains 
out; then we rubbed the kernels between our 
hanrds to clear it of hulls ; after which we used 
our lungs for a fanning mill, placing the rice, 
hulls, sand, and all, in a tin plate and blowing 
until we had it free from hulls ; but the sand 
still remained, and, like the rice, sunk to the 
bottom and could not be cleaned out ; so we had 
to cook the rice with the sand in it. 

In eating it we dared not chew it, but swal- 
lowed it whole. By doing so we did not feel 
the grit until we got through, then, after rinsing 
the mouth, we soon forgot that we had been fill- 
ing up on sand mixed with a little rice. 

December IG : Warm and pleasant. The 
brigade went out foraging for a three-days' trip. 
The band remained in camp. 11th to IStli: 
Quiet in camp. Regiment still absent. lUth : 
Still comfortably warm. The regiment returned 
at 4 P.M. very much fatigued. They brought 
their wagons back all well loaded with forage. 
20th : Warm and pleasant. Remained in camp. 
Nothing transpired worthy of note. 


December 21 : Warm. Hardee evacuated 
Savannah, leaving all of his artillery, amounting 
to one hundred and twenty pieces, and seventeen 
hundred bales of cotton. 

December 22 : Weather cold, witli a strong, 
cutting wind from the coast. We marched six 
miles to within one mile of Savannah and went 
into camp. 

DtTcember 23 : AVeather clear and cold. Went 
and took a view of the city, and was surprised to 
see such a beautiful place. The streets were all 
very wide, particularly Bull Street, which had a 
beautiful little park at the crossing of every 
street. It had three walks the full length of the 
street, — one down through the middle, that 
passed through the parks, and one on each side. 
Live-oak-trees shaded the entire street and 
parks. I noticed in one of the parks a beautiful 
statue erected to the memory of Count Pulaski, 
who fell mortallv wounded at the sie^-e of this 
place, October 9, 1779. The residence portion 
of the city had some very fine and tasty build- 
ings. The churches and public buildings were 
also of very tine architecture. Everything in 
the city indicated wealth and refinement. 

December 24 : Rather warmer. As rations 
were yet very scarce, we were informed that a 
short distance below Savannah were several large 
oyster-beds. A detail of men and two teamd 


■went down to see if it was possible to procure 
enough for a Christmas dinner for the regiment. 

On their return we found they had succeeded 
in filling one wagon-box; but they were of a 
very inferior quality. The natives called them 
the " cluster oyster." There were two to five in 
one bunch, and hard to get out. So our Christ- 
mas dinner did not consist of turkey with oyster 
filling and cranberry sauce. 

What a glorious camp-fire we had that Christ- 
mas eve of 1864 ! It makes me rub my hands 
together to think of it. The nights were getting 
cold and frosty, so that it was impossible to sleep 
under our little shelter-tents with comfort ; and 
so, half the night was spent around the blazing 
fires in front of our tents. 

I always took care that there should be a 
blazing good fire for our little squad, anyhow. 
My duties were light and left me time, which I 
found I could spend with pleasure in swinging 
an axe. Hickory and white-oak saplings were 
my favorites, and I had them piled up as high as 
my head on Wooden fire-doirs. What a dorious 
crackle we had by midnight! 

We could go out to the fire at any time of 
night we pleased (and we were pretty sure to go 
out three or four times a night, for it was too 
cold to sleep in the tent more than an hour at a 
stretch), and we would always find half a dozen 

®M'i! -'■■'. '■':■/■ -.i.-f •;7^m;'J, 

. :. -J ! 

■■vs."«?'jir«'' WL' T BM'>;. *^!^"»gry-^ 

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• V. 




. ,tfc ,_r •■■^nfrMf'^-'' •^'^■****"'*'*i^'^<^^ 



of the boys sitting about the fire-logs, smoking 
their pipes, telling yarns, or singing snatches of 
old songs. 

Rhoades, Eipley, Chase, and Chamberlain were 
all good singers.. I hoped that we migiit live to 
recall those weird nisfht-scenes of armv-life, — 
the blazing fires, the groups of s-warthy men that 
gathered about them in the darkness of the 
forests, where the lights and shadows danced and 
played all night long, and the rows of little 
white tents covered with frost. It looked quite 
poetical in the retrospect, but I fear it was some- 
times prosy enough in the reality. 

"' If you fellows would stop your everlasting 
arsruino; there, and iro out and brin^r in some 
wood, it would be a good deal better ; for if we 
don't have a big camp-fire to-night we'll freeze 
in this snow-storm." 

So saying, Kelsey Chase threw down the butt- 
end of a pine-sapling, which he had been half- 
draaijins:, half-carrvins; out of the woods in which 
we were encamped, and, axe in hand, fell to work 
with a will. 

There wa-, indeed, some need to follow Kelsey^s 
advice, for it was snowing fast and was getting 
bitterly cold, the wind coming straight ofi' the 
coast, which v/as but a few miles south of the 

It was Christmas eve, and here we were with 


no protection but our little shelter-tents pitched on 
the hard, frozen ground. It was hard to be home- 
less at this merry season of the year, when folks up 
North were having such happy times, wasn't it ? 
But it was wonderful how elastic the spirits of 
our soldiers were, and how jolly they could be 
under tlie most adverse circumstances. 

Chamberlain spoke: " Well, Chase, you hadn't 
any business to put me out of the mess. That 
was a mean trick, any way you take it." 

" If we hadn't put you out of our mess, you'd 
have eaten up all the rations that were issued to 
the three of us. You are an awful glutton," 
chimed in Brunner. 

" Say, boys ! I move we organize ourselves 
into a court and try this case," said Billy Sibley. 
" They've been arguing and arguing about this 
thing the whole day, and it's time to take it up and 
put an end to it. The case is, — let's see, — what'll 
we call it ? I'm not very good at this legal lingo ; 
but I suppose if we call it a ' motion to quash a 
writ of ejectment,' or something of that sort, 
we'll be within the lines of the law. Let me now 
state the case: Chamberlain versus Brunner and 
ChiLse. These three, all members of the Second 
Minnesota, after having lived, messed, and so- 
journed together peaceably for a year or more, have 
had of late some disagreement, quarrel, squabble, 
fracas, or general tearing-out. The result, of 


whicli said disagreement, quarrel, sqiinbble, etc., 
etc., has been that the hereinbefore Chamberhiin 
has been thro^Yn out of the raess and left to the 
cold charities of the camp ; and he, the said 
Chamberlain, now lodges a due and formal com- 
plaint before this honorable court, presently 
sitting on this pile of pine brush, and humbly 
prays and petitions reinstatement in his just 
rights and claims, sine qua non, e pluribus unum, 
'pro bono publico ! Silence in the court !" 

To organize ourselves into a court of jivstice 
was a matter of a few moments. Vandyke 
was declared the judge, Wesley Stewart and 
Mart Smith associates. A jury of six men, good 
and true, was speedily empanelled. Attorneys, 
sheriff, and clerk were a2:)pointed, and in less 
time than it takes to narrate it we were seated 
on piles of pine brush, around a roaring camp- 
fire, with snow falling fast, trying the celebrated 
case of " Chamberlain versus Erunner and 
Chase." And a world of merriment we had out 
of it, you may well believe. 

When the jury, after having retired for a few 
moments behind a |)ine-tree, brouglit in a ver- 
dict for the plaintiff, it was full one o'clock on 
Christmas morning, and we began to drop off to 
sleep, some rolling tliemselve- up in their 
blankets and overcoats and lying down, Indian- 
fashion, feet to the fire, while others crept off to 

' •! 


their cold shelter-tents under the snow-laden 
pine-trees for what poor rest they could find, 
jocularly wishing each other a " Merry Christ- 
mas !" 

December 25 : Cold and windy. Snow still 
on the ground ; but in the afternoon it warmed 
up and commenced to melt, and by night the 
ground was entirely clear of snow, leaving the 
ground very muddy. The camp was very quiet. 
The boys were standing in groups around the 
fire and discu-sins: the menu of the Christmas 



December 26 : Cool and cloudy. Keceived 
orders to prepare for grand review the next day ; 
otherwise nothins; new occurred. 27th : Weather 
warm and pleasant. We marched to the city 
and passed in review before General W. T. 
Sherman. Regiment returned to camp at 2.30 
P.M., and immediately went on picket. 28th : 
Cold and rainy and very disagreeable. We 
were compelled to remain in our shelter-tents 
all day. 20th : Warm and pleasant. Rumor 
in camp that General Lee had surrendered to 
General Grant. 

December 30: Pleasant. The boys were en- 
gaged in building little log huts, and were put- 
ting in llreplaces and making improvements, 
as if they were going to put in the remainder of 
their term of service here. 


December 31 : Weather cold and wind v. 
Kemained in camp and tried to make ourselves 
as comfortable as possible. Since January 1, 
1864, we liad travelled two thousand six hun- 
dred and eighty-nine miles. 

January 1, 1865 : Cold, cloudy, and dreary. 
A long, lank, lean Georgian came into camp, 
and espied Bob Bailey, our hospital steward, 
who 'was rather a diminutive fellow, weighing 
about ninety or a hundred pounds. After look- 
ing him all over, he finally approached him, re- 
marking, — 

"What did they bring you down here for?" 

" Oh !" replied" Bob, " to kill all the Confed- 
erates I should come across." 

"They did? Well, did you ever kill any- 
body ?" 

" Oh, yes," said Bob, " lots of 'em, — lots of 
'em, sir." 

" You don't tell me !" said the Georgian ; 
" and, if I might be pert enough to ask, how do 
you generally kill them?" 

"Well," replied Bob, "I never Hke to tell, 
because bragging is not in my line ; but I will 
tell you. You see, I never liked this thing of 
shooting people. It seemed to me a barbarous 
business ; and, besides, I was a kind of Quaker, 
and had conscientious scruples about bearing 
arras. And so, when the war broke out and I 

A i: 10 


found I'd have to enter the army, maybe, 
■whetlier I wanted to or not, I enlisted and got in 
as pill dis2)enser, thinking in that position I 
wouldn't have to kill anybody with a gun, but 
with blue mass I couldn't help it. But I found 
that even a hospital steward had to take a hand 
at killing people; and the principal way I took 
for it wa5 this : I always manai^ed to have a 2;ood 
swift horse, and as soon as things would begin to 
look like fighting and the big guns would b<?gin 
to boom, why, I'd clap spurs to my horse and 
make for the rear as fast as ever I could. And 
then when your people would come after me, 
they never could catch me; they'd always get 
out of breath trying to keep up to me ; and in 
that way I've killed hundreds and hundreds of 
your people, sir, — thousands of them, — and all 
without powder or ball. They couldn't catch 
me, and always died for the want of breath 
trying to get hold of me." 

" Well," the Georgian remarked, " for a small 
man, vou are the bi2:2;est liar I ever saw." 

January 2 : "Warm and pleasant. Moved camp 
half a mile nearer the city. Cleared off the rub- 
bish and wood from the camp-ground prepar- 
atory to estal:)lisliing a new camp. 

Januarv 3 : The whole reajiment were busily 
engaged chopping logs and pohs with which to 
erect their little huts. I sprained my back, 


and was unable to move. The surgeon gave me 
some liniment, but it did no good. 

From January 4 to the loth we remained at 
this camp, drilling and doing camp and police 
duty. Every other day we visited the city. 
One evening as a few of the boys were returning 
from the theatre, I being among them, we passed 
a fine residence, where there were some ladies in 
the second-story window, singing the " Bonny 
Blue Flag" and "Maryland, My Maryland." 
"We stopped and listened a few moments, and 
when they got through, we commenced and sung 
that grand old anthem, the " Star-Spangled 

I don't think there ever was such a surprise 
in that house before. I don't think the " Star- 
Spangled Banner" ever sounded grander or 
sweeter than it did that night in the still, dark 
streets of Savannah, sung by the boys in blue. 
They raised the window and requested us to sing 
the " Red, White, and Blue," and tlie ladies ac- 
companied us. They thanked us, bid us good- 
night, and invited us to come down some even- 
ing and repeat the programme. 

January 15 : ^Nloved camp to tlie Grand Cen- 
tral Depot. The regiment was quartered in the 
main building, and tiie head-quarters and band 
occupied the oIHces. We liad very comfortable 
quarters. We remained here doing provost duty 

I 14* - 


^ until January 19, when we were relieved by tlie 
:^ Nineteenth New Hampshire Kegiment. 

January 20 : We marched eight miles and 
joined the brigade. Our bugler, Sandine, had 
been on a toot for some time and was left behind. 
Colonel Bishop had made several inquiries in re- 
gard to his absence. The colonel knew his fail- 
ings, and a reprimand when he returned would 
ber the extent of his punishment. We lay here 
until the 25tli, and it rained during most of the 
time. The rivers were very high and the low 
lands all more or less flooded, and if the soil were 
anything but sand it would be impossible to move 
the array, as the roads would be impassable. We 
marched that day nine miles to Springfield and 

January 27 : Warm and cloudy. We marched 
two miles on the Sister's Ferry Koad. 2Sth : 
Warm and pleasant. We marched ten miles 
north to Milhin and Savannah Railroad and 

Januarv 29 ; Sandine succeeded in reachins; 
the regiment, and gave the colonel as an excuse 
for hLs absence that he had followed some troops 
that were crossing the Savannah River on pon- 
toons at Savauuali, and, after marching with 
them one day, he found that it was part of some 
other corps. He then retraced his steps to Sa- 
vannah, where he found that his regiment had 



gone north on tlie Sister's Ferry Road. After a 
week's absence he was considerahlv disfisrured, 
but still able to bring out the clarion notes from 
his bugle, and was all right again after the " com- 
missary" had worked out of him. 

January 30: AYeather warm and pleasant. 
The foragers returned to camp with forty-seven 
head of fine cattle. 

January 31 : Everything quiet in camp. The 
pontoniers were laying pontoons across the river ; 
the water being so high, they bad considerable 
difficulty in completing the bridge. 

February 1 to 5 : Remained here, waiting 
for the completion of the pontoons. On the 3d, 
General Kilpatrick crossed over into South Car- 
olina with his division of cavalry, and as he went 
onto the bridge he remarked to one of the offi- 
cei-s standing near, " There will be d — n little 
left for you boys to destroy after I have passed 
through that hell-hole of secession," pointing to 
the opposite shore. 

On February 5 we marched with unfurled 
flags, men cheering, and singing "Tramp, 
tramp," etc., cros.-ing the Savannah River into 
South Carolina. Our army did not lack entlui- 
siasm, and the prospect of a march through 
South Carolina was one that was exceedingly 

The general feeling of the North towards 

164 ^ DRmrMER- BOY'S DIARY. 

Charleston may be inferred from General Hal- 
leek's suggestion to Sherman, — '' Should you cap- 
ture Charleston, I hope that by accident the 
place may be destroyed ; and if a little salt be 
sown on its site, it may prevent the growth of 
future crops of nullification and secession." 

Poor South Carolina ! She was sandwiched 
in between two States who looked upon her as 
the original source of their past madness and 
their present trouble. 

February 6 : We were building cordurov 
roads for the teams to follow us, and we made 
but slow progress. We encamped at night in a 
burr-oak grove. The soil so far had been very 
sandy. 7th : Rainy and cloudy. We marched 
nine miles, parsing through Robinson ville to the 
xiugusta Turnpike. 

Wednesday, February S: Warm and verv 
wmdy. We marched eleven miles. The whole 
army was burning with the insatiable desire to 
wreak vengeance on South Carolina. I almost 
trembled at her fate, but felt that she deserved 
all that seemed in store for her. 

February 9 : Warm and pleasant. Marched 
twenty miles and destroyed all the houses, barns, 
and fences on our route. 

February 10: :Marched twenty-five miles to 
Barnwell Court-House, the county seat, where 
we found that General Kilpatrick, who was in 


advance of us, had destroyed the greater part of 
the city. 

February 11 : We marched at 6 a.m., and the 
small portion of the town that Kilpatrick left 
intact was destroyed by our division. AVe 
marched twelve miles. The weather was warm 
and pleasant. Bright sunshine overhead all 

February 12 : Marched twelve miles. De- 
stroved six miles of the Ausrusta and Charleston 
Railroad, and encamped at 9 p.m. 13th : AYe 
marched eia;ht miles to the South Edisto River 
and encam[ted. The men were all more or less 
worn out. AVe had some pretty heavy marching 
that week. 14th : Raine 1 all day. Marched 
sixteen miles. Crossed the South and North 
Edisto Rivers. Encamped on the north bank 
of the North Edisto. loth : Our brigade was 
detailed for rear guard, and we w^ere required to 
repair the roads as we advanced. The wagons 
were stuck all along the roads for miles. 
Marched but ten miles. ItJth : Marched sixteen 
miles. Passed throuirh Lexin2;ton Court-House. 
The troops destroyed every house along the 

February 17: Cold and cloudy. AVe lay 
along the roads all day waiting for the troops 
ahead of us to cross the Saluda River, and at 
7.30 P.M. we commenced to move. AA^e crossed 


n ' ' '■ 


the Saluda, a very swift and muddy stream. 
The fences and buildings, the entire length of 
our day's march, were burning, and the smoke 
very nearly suffocated us. We marched that 
day but eight miles. 

February IS : Worked on the roads all day, 
repairing them, so that the artillery and supply- 
trains could follow. 

, Sabbath, February 19 : Xot a cloud in the 
sky, and so warm and pleasant. This was truly 
God's day, and we were engaged in the hellish 
work of destroying and burning property. We 
crossed the Broad Pviver and destroyed the vil- 
lage of Alston, the junction of the Columbia and 
Greenville and Columbia and Charleston Kail- 
roads. Here we found considerable rolling-stock, 
which we run out on a trestle-work, and when 
we marched away the trestle-work and cars 
were one mass of flames. We marched ten 

February 20 : Passed through a fine farming 
country, with plenty of forage, plenty of meat 
and yams, and we lived on the top shelf. 

February 21 : Weather could not be better. 
We marched twenty miles through a beautiful 
country and encamped at night at Winnsboro'. 
We were at noon in the section where General 
Francis Marion, of Revolutionary fame, a cele- 
brated partisan ofiicer, who warred against tlie 


British and Tones in South Carolina and Geor- 
gia, feasted tlie British officer on roast potatoes. 
For a dish he utilized a piece of bark. 

February 22 : Marched t\Yelve miles and de- 
stroyed four miles of the Columbia and Bich- 
mond Railroad. The weather was warm and 
pleasant, similar to our Minnesota May. 23d : 
Marched southeast on the Camden Boad fifteen 
miles and encamped in the dense pine forests. 
24th : Bained all day. Lay in camp waiting for 
the pontoniers to lay a bridge over Wateree 
Biver. 25th : Ordered to cross the river. We 
marched to the river with the expectation of 
crossing, but the flood had broken the bridge, 
and portions of it had floated down the stream. 
We were compelled to remain here until it was 
again repaired. Weather rainy and cloudy. 
2(Jth : Bained all day. We remained in camp 
until 7 P.M. ; then, with pitch-pine knots burn- 
ing for torches, we crossed the pontoons to the 
east bank. 

February 27 : Cloudy and misty. We marched 
ten miles and encamped. We marched usually 
four abreast, but made no effort to keep step ; 
for UKirching in that way, though good enough 
for a mile or so, or on dress parade, would soon 
become intolerable if kept u[) for any length of 
time or any great distance. 

In " rout steps" each man picked his way, 


selecting his steps at his pleasure, and carrying 
or shifting his arms at his convenience. Even 
then, marching is no easy matter, especially 
when it is raining, and you are marching over a 
clay soil, — and it did seem to us that the soil 
about the Wateree River was the toughest and 
most slippery clay in the world, at least in the 
roads that wound, serpent-like, around the hills, 
among which we were marching, where, as we 
all knew, many a poor mule, during our march, 
had stuck and had to be literally pulled out 
or left to die in his tracks, after the harness had 
been ripped off his back. 

February 28 : Worked all day with the wagon- 
trains. They were stuck in the mud all along 
the road, for we made but eleven miles. We 
were very short of rations, and were living on 
what is called the ." nigger-pea." 

March 1 : We marched twelve miles. The 
roads were fdled with broken fence-rails for the 
entire length of our march, some lying length- 
wise, others crosswise, and others with their ends 
sticking u}) from two to four feet. Through this 
we were compelled to march. The afternoon 
wore on, night set in, and we began to wonder, 
in all our sim}»licity, whether Sherman expected 
us to march all night as well as all day. 

To make matters still worse, as night fell, 
dark and drizzling, we left the main road and 


came out on the high ground of those regions ; 
and if we never before knew what South Car- 
oHua mud was like, we knew it then. It was not 
only knee-deep, but so sticky that when we set 
one foot down we could scarcely pull the other 

TVe had a little darky along with us on this 
march who had an experience which was quite 
provoking to him, as it was amusing to us. The 
darky's name was Bill. Other name he had 
none, except "Shorty," which had been given 
him by the boys because of his remarkable short 
stature. Althou2;li he was strouo; as a man and 
quite as old featured, he was, nevertheless, so 
dwarfed in size that the name " Shorty" seemed 
to become him better than his original name. 

Well, " Shorty" had been employed by one of 
the officers as cook, or, as seemed more likely on 
the present occasion, as a sort of pack-mule, for 
the officer, having an eye to comfort on' the 
march, had loaded the poor darky with a pack 
of blankets, tent, pans, kettles, and general cam[> 
equipage, so large and bulky that it is no exag- 
geration to say that " Shorty's" pack was quite 
as larcje as himself. All alonjr it had been a 
wonder to us how he had managed to pull 
throu2:h so far with all those bi«r bundles on his 

o o 

back ; but, with strength far beyond his size, he 

had trudged doggedly on in the rear of the regi- 
n 15 

170 't dru:jmer-boy's diary. 

.raent, over hill and through field, until we came 
at nightfall out on the main road again. Then, 
like many other pack-mules, he stuck fast in tlie 
raud, so that, puff and pull as he might, he could 
not pull either f>ot out, and had to be dragged 
out bv two men, to the srreat merriment of all 
who in the 2;rowin(r darkness were aware of 
his misfortune. 

•At lensjth it became so dark that no one was 
able to see an inch before his face. Torches 
were then lighted ; then we forded a creek ; 
and on and on we went, till at len^rth we were 
allowed to halt and fall out on either side of the 
road into a last-year's corn-field to make fire and 
cook coffee. 

To make a fire was a comparatively easy 
matter, notwithstaudimr the rain. Some one 
or other always had matches, and there were 
plenty of pitch-pine knots at hand, which were 
dry enough wdien split open with a hatchet or 
an axe. In a few moments the fence around the 
corn-field was carried off rail by rail, and every- 
where was hoard the sound of axes and hatchets, 
the premonitory symptoms of roaring camp-fires, 
which were soon everywhere blazing along the 

March 2 : Kained all day. We marched 
twenty miles. The roads were in a horrible 
condition, and we lay in the woods all night in 

• SI r.Kv; via if ^^:lf:L!l f-'J.' 


our wet clothes, as it rained all night. We hud 
but the clothes which were on our backs, and of 
course could not change, so matters were mighty 
uncomfortable until daylight of the 3d, which 
brought us no comfort. The rain continued all 
day. ^\^ith a cup of coff2e and a few black peas 
for breakfiist, we continued our march north- 
ward. \Ye passed over twenty-one miles of 
Sou^h Carolina territory, and our camp at niglit 
was a repetition of the night before. We were 
cold, wet, and hungry. 

March 4 : Still rainy. The roads were very 
muddy and soft. There was at least twelve 
inches of mud underfoot. We marched fourteen 
miles and crossed over the line into North Car- 

Sunday, ]\Iarch 5 : Weather clear and warm ; 
I hoped that the rainy season had passed. We 
marched eight miles to the Great Pedee River 
and encamped. We were sunburnt and covered 
with dirt, so that a swim in the river would be 
refreshins: indeed. 

Having learned from one of the officers that 
the intention evidently was to remain where we 
were until the entire corps should come up, and 
that we should probably cross the river at, or 
somewhere near, that point, we resolved to risk 
it. So, over a corn-field we started, at a good 
pace, Billy Wagner — or, by the way, " Jasper" — 

I ' ■ 1,, ' ' . •' ':. 


and I. We had not gone far when we dis- 
covered a mule tied up, in a chimp of bushes, 
with a rope. And this long-eared animal, as 
Gothic as Bonaparte in his style of architecture, 
we decided, after a solemn council of war, to de- 
clare contraband, and forthwith we impressed 
him into service, intending to return him, after 
our bath, on our return to camp. Untying the 
mule from the bush, we mounted, " Jasper" in 
front and I on behind, each armed wicli a switch, 
and we rode alons: 2;avlv enousrh, w^ith our feet 
danfrlins: amonjr the corn-stalks. 

For a while all went well. We fell to talking 
about tlie direction we had come since leavinir 
camp, and " Jasper," who was usually good au- 
thority on matters geographical and astronomical 
on the march (he was knovs-n in the company as 
"the compass"), confessed to me as we rode on 
that he had been somewhat " turned about." As 
for me, I thought that w^as the most awful 
countrv to <ret " turned about" in I ever saw. 

" Whoa, dar ! Whoa, dar ! Whar you gwine 
wid dat dar mule o' mine? Whoa, ' Ginger' I" 

The mule stopped stock still as we caught 
sight of the blad: head and face of a darky boy 
peering forth from the door of a tobacco-house 
that we were passing. Possibly he was the 
owner of the plantation now, and the mule 
" Ginger" might be his only live stock. 

','.:\- ii'.. '/ h'h'i i 


" Where are we going, Sam ? AVliy, we're 
going on to Raleigh !" 

" On ter E-aleidi ! And wid dat dar mule 0' 
mine? 'Chir to goodness, soclgers, can't git 
along widout dat mule. Better git off 'n dat dar 

*• Whip liira up, ' Jasper* !" shouted I. 

''Come up! Get along, Beauregard!" shouted 
" Jas-per." 

And we both laid on quite lustily, hut never 
an inch would, that miserable mule budge from 
the position he had taken on hearing the darky's 
voice. All of a sudden, and as if a mine had 
been sprung under our feet, there was such a 
strikins; out of heels and such an uncomfortable 
elevation in the rear, the angle of which was 
increased, that at last, with an enormous spring, 
"Jasper" and I were sent flying olf into the 

"Yi! yi! yi ! Didn' I say better git off'n 
dat dar mule 0' mine? Yi ! yi ! yi !" 

Laughing as heartily as the darky at our mis- 
adventure, we felt that it would be safer to make 
for the river afoot. We had a glorious plunge 
in the waters of the Pedee, and returned to tlie 
reiriment at sundown, j^i'eatlv refreshed and a 
iiood deal cleaner. 

March : Warm and ple;isant. We were 

compelled to lie over here to bridge the river. 


•!■'*•:■. ^!,, 

7; ■» .■' :i ;. 1 n;' v ' '- 

t rrr/ I, .7-^ 


"We heard very heavy explosions down the river, 
in the direction of Cheraw, S. C. The pon- 
toniers worked all night, and by the morning of 
March 7 the bridge was completed. We crossed 
at 7 AM., and marched sixteen miles. 8th: 
Kained all day. Marched twenty-five miles. 

March 9 : Marched eighteen miles. It rained 
all day. This was a terrible day's march. The 
rpads were so muddy and our clothes so wet that 
it was almost impossible to march, and I was so 
tired at night that I could barely write, and had 
partly made up my mind to give up keeping a 
diary. After getting into camp on a day's 
march like this I was too tired to write much. 

March 10: Marched five miles and went into 
camp to wait for the rest of the army to close up. 
Weather fair and clear, but the roads were still 
very heavy. 

March 11 : Marched thirteen miles, to Fayette- 
ville, N. C, where we found an abundance of 
flour, meal, bacon, molasses, coffee, and tobacco, 
and lived on the best the counti-v afforded. 

Sabbath, March 12 : Lay in camp. Every- 
thing was quiet. The tug-boat " Donaldson" 
arrived at Fayetteville from Wilmington with 
news from Generals Terry and Schoficld and 
returned the same day with despatches from 

March 13 and 14 were passed by us in Fayette- 

1 T .' « !■ 


ville. The arsenal and tlie macliinery, wnich 
had formerly belonged to the Harper's Ferry 
arsenal, were completely destroyed. Every 
building was knocked down and burned, and 
every piece of machinery broken up and utterly 

March 15 : Rainy. General Bishop had 
orders to destroy a large cotton-mill near our 
camp. The poor people in the neighborhood, 
who had always worked there, begged to liave it 
saved, as it was their only means of support. 
Five companies remained as rear guard and to 
destroy the mill and one other building that 
was left. The other five companies moved over 
the Cape Fear Kiver. We marched six miles 
and encamped. IGth : Cloudy and windy, with 
rain. We m(3ved along very slowly, making but 
four miles before going into camp. 

March 17: "St. Patrick's day." In honor of 
the Irishmen of the regiment, the band on the 
march played nothing but the air of " St. Pat- 
rick's Day in the Morning." We marched four 
miles, crossing the Black River, and encamped 
on the north bank. 

Sunday, ^larch 19 : Weather fine. The roads 
were much better now. The soil was sandy, and 
absorbed the water as fast as it fell, leaving the 
roads in good condition. 

March 20: Were relieved as rear guard and 



ordered to the front. The Fourteenth and 
Twentieth Corps, under Slocum, fought the 
battle of Bentonville. Two men of our regiment 
were wounded. We remained on the field until 
dark, then fell back in the rear of the second 
line of our works, and bivouacked. Marched 
ten miles. 21st : Rained all day. Lay in camp. 
Orders to prepare to march at a moment's warn- 
ing. 22d : Broke camp at 7 A.ii., but did not 
move until 4 p.m. ; then marched ten miles be- 
tween that time and 7 p.m. We had nothing to 
eat, neither bread nor meat. 23d : Windy and 
disagreeable. Crossed the Neuse Kiver, marched 
to Goldsboro', and were reviewed by Generals 
Sherman, Sloeum, Howard, and Schofield. 
Marched ei2;hteen miles. 

March 24 : Windy but warm. Band sere- 
naded the Eighth Minnesota and Colonel 
Thomas, also Captain Cilley, who was now on 
General Schofield's staff. 25th : Warm and 
windv. The re^riraent was ordered out six miles 
from camp, to guard a grist-mill that our men 
were runnins;, irrindinir meal for tlie soldiers. 

March 2G to tlie 31st: We had drilled twice a 
day and in the evening had dress parade, and, 
of cour-e, had to do our share of guard and 
picket duty, which did not give us much time 
for amusement. A member of the Seventeenth 
New York Cavalry was to be shot that day by 




order of General Shermau. The poor fellow 
who was to suffer the highest penalty of military 
law was, I was informed, a New York man. 
The crime for which he was to give his life was 
rape, committed on an old lady. On that bright 
spring morning orders came to the effect tliat 
the whole division of which he was a member 
was to turn out at one o'clock to witness the 
execufion of the sentence. I need hardly say 
that this was most unwelcome news. No- 
body wished to see so sad a sight. Some of the 
men begged to be excused from attending, and 
others could not be found when their drums beat 
the " assembly ;" for none could well endure, as 
they said, '' to see a man shot down like a dog." 
However, in condescension to this altogether 
natural and humane aversion to the sheddins; of 
blood, and in order to render the task as endur- 
able as possible, the customary practice was ob- 
served. On the morninir of the execution an 
officer, who had been appointed for the jnirpose, 
took a number of rifles, some twelve or fourteen 
in number, and loaded all of them carefully with 
powder and ball except one, which was loaded 
with powder only. He then mixed the guns so 
thoroughly that he himself could scarcely tell 
which guns were loaded with ball and which one 
was not. Another officer then distributed the 
guns to the men, not one of whom could be at all 




certain whether his particular gun contained a 
ball or not, and all of them could avail them- 
selves of tlie full benefit of the doubt in the case. 
At the appointed hour the division marched out 
and took position in a large field, or clearing, 
surrounded on all sides by pine woods. They 
were drawn up so as to occupy three sides of a 
great hollow square, two ranks deep, facing in- 
ward, the fourth side of the square (where I 
could see a grave had been recently dug) being 
left open for the execution. 

Scarcely were the troops well in position, when 
there came to my ears, wafted by the sighing 
spring wind, the mournful notes of the " Dead 
^larcli." Looking av/ay in the direction whence 
the music came, I could see a long procession 
marching sadly and slowly to the measured 
stroke of the mufiled drum. First came the 
band, playing the dirge ; next the squad of ex- 
ecutioners; then a pine coffin carried by four 
men ; then the prisoner himself, dressed in his 
fatigue uniform, and marching in the midst of 
four guards ; then a number of men under arrest 
for various offences, who had been brought out 
for the sake of the moral effect it was hoped this 
spectacle might have upon them. Last of all 
came a stronir 2;uard. 

When the procession had come up to the place 
where the division was ibrnied, and had reached 


the open side of the hollow square, it wheeled 
to the left, inside of the line, from the right to 
the left, the band still playing the dirge. The 
line was long and the step was slow, and it 
seemed as if they would never get to the other 
end. But at last, after havino; solemnly trav- 
ersed the entire lensrth of the three sides of the 
hollow square, the procession came to the open 
side of it, opposite to the point from which it had 
started. The escort wheeled off. The prisoner 
was placed before his coffin, which was set down 
in front of the grave. The squad of twelve men 
who were to shoot the unfortunate man took 
position some twelve yards from the grave, 
faci[ig the prisoner, and a chaplain stepped out 
from the group of division officers near by, and 
prayed with and for the poor fellow a long, long 
time. Then tlie bugle sounded. The prisoner, 
standing proudly erect before his grave, had his 
eves bandaired, and calmlv folded his arms across 
his brea>!t The ItiiLrle sounded asjain. The 
officer in charge of the squad stepped forward ; 
then I heard the command, given as cahuly 
as if on drill, "IJeady! Aim!" then, drown- 
ins; out the third command, "Fire!" came a 
flash of smoke and a loud report. The surgeons 
ran up to the spot. The bands and drum-cor[vs 
of the division struck up a quick step as the 
division faced to the right and marched po^st 




tlie grave, in order that in the dead form of its 
occupant they might all see that the doom of the 
perpetration of such a crime was death. It was a 
sad sight. A^ the troops moved along, I could 
see many a rough fellow, from whom you would 
hardly have expected any sign of pity, pretend- 
ing to be adjusting his cap so as to screen his 
eyes firom the glare of the western sun, and 
furtively drawing his hand across his face and 
dashing away the tears that could not be kept 
from trickling down the bronzed and weather- 
beaten cheek. As they marched off the field I 
could not help being sensible of the harsh con- 
trast between the lively music to which their 
feet were keeping time and the fearfully solemn 
scene I had just witnessed. The transition from 
the " Dead March" to the quick step was quite 
too sudden. A deep solemnity pervaded the 
ranks as they marched homeward across the 
open field and into the sombre pine woods 
beyond, thinking, I suppose, as they went of the 
poor fellow's home somewhere among the pleas- 
ant hills of New York State, and of the sad and 
heavy hearts there would be there when it was 
known that he had paid the extreme penalty of 
the law. 

April 1 : AVarm and pleasant. The band 
played at C(jr[is liead-quarters at 3 p.m., and at 
six o'clock we had dress parade. 2d : Warm, 

..:>V.r,V Tr 

' ^■ 

hK .'. •■.;ii'' i^'::}l,:'(' 


with a clear, bright sky. Remained in camp 
all day. 3d : Cold and cloudy. Major Uline 
arrived with a number of recruits from Minne- 

April 4: Cloudy and windy. We serenaded 
the Fourth Minnesota Kegiment; also brigade 
head-quarters. AVe stayed here, at Goldsboro', 
until the morning of April 10, when we broke 
camp' and marched northward twelve miles. 
The Second Division of our corps skirmished 
with the Confederates all day. It rained all 
day, and at 10 p.jl. it was still raining. 

April 11 : Cloudy, but pleasant. We were 
confronted by the rebels all day ; but our bri- 
gade drove them steadily back to Smith field, 
where we went into camp. 

April 12 : We marched twelve miles to Clay- 
ton, X. C, and crossed the Xeuse River. The 
lieutenant-governor of the State came to General 
Sherman on a flag-of-truce mission, I understood, 
to surrender the capital of the State, Raleigh, so 
there should be no destruction of property. 

April 13 : Rained all forenoon, but turned 
out nice in the afternoon. We marched fifteen 
miles to Raleigh, and found it a very handsome 
city. We encamjKxl near the Insane Asylum, 
in the south }'art of the city. 

April 14 : Very hot. We marched fourteen 
miles to Jones's Cross-roads. 



April 15 : Cloudy and rainy. Our brigade 
was scattered along the roads with the wagon- 
train, lifting them out of the mud and making 
roads. Marched five miles to Chapel Hill Col- 

April 16 : Warm and pleasant. We marched 
five miles and went into camp. Nothing worthy 
of note occurred. 

'April 17: Hot. Remained in camp. Rumors 
that Johnston had surrendered ; but before night 
we were informed that there was no truth in it. 

Tuesday, April 18 : Weather pleasant. We 
heard the sad news of the assassination of Presi- 
dent Lincoln. After all of our victories and 
successful campaigns, and just at the eve of 
peace, we had lost our commander-in-chief, our 
much-loved " Old x\.be." The dark pall of sor- 
row hung over the army that day. In all his- 
tory there never was a national sorrow to be 
compared to this. Literally, the whole army 
wept. Thousands there were who would will- 
ingly have received the fatal bullet in their 
own hearts, if thereby they could have saved 
the life of our precious leader. 

Perished? "Who ^vas it said 
Our loader Las pas.sed away? 

Dead ? Our Presidonl dead ? 
He has not died lor a day. 


Ye winds that move over the mighty places of 
the AYest chant the requiem. Yes, comrades, 
behokl the martyr whose blood, as so many 
articulate words, pleads for fidelity, for law, for 

April 19 : Warm and pleasant. The death 
of the President was the main topic of conversa- 
tion. In what way to account for it I know not, 
but so'it is, that soldiers always have been, and, I 
suppose, always will be, merry-hearted fellows, 
and full of good spirits. One would naturally 
suppose that, having so much to do witli hard- 
ship and danger every day, they would be sober 
and serious above the sfeneralitv of men. But 
such was by no means the case with our regi- 
ment. In camp, on the march, nay, even in the 
solemn hour of battle, there was ever and anon 
a laugh passing down the line, or some sport 
going on inside of the tents. Seldom was there 
wanting some one, noted for Ids powers of story- 
telling, to beguile the weary hours about the 
eamj>-fire in front of our shelters, or out among 
the i)ines on picket. Few companies could be 
found without some native-born wag or wit, 
whose comical songs or quaint remarks kept the 
boys in good humor, while at the same time 
each and all, aecordinir to the measure of their 
several capacities, were given to playing practi- 
cal jokes of one kintl or other for the general 

'.••«> ?'r^' // 

. t. 


enlivenment of tlie camp. So the gloom of 
the President's assassination ^Yas gradually for- 

We remained at this camp until April 27. 
The weather had been warm at times, and hot at 
others, but, take it as a whole, it had been what 
would be called June weather in Minnesota. 

About 2 A.M. we heard on our left heavv can- 
no«ading and the rumbling sound of musketry. 
We were called out in line of battle and re- 
mained in this po^:^ition until sunrise. In the 
mean time, the thunder of artillery came nearer 
and nearer, and the troops were getting nervous, 
for we were expecting our last great battle 
with Johnston. Suddenly we espied an officer, 
mounted on a large, fine, white horse, with hat 
off and waving it over his head, dashing along 
the line crying, " Johnston has surrendered ! 
Johnston has surrendered, and peace is de- 
clared !" At the announcement of this, cheer 
upon cheer went up. Artillerymen loaded and 
fired their gnus with fixed ammunition as fast as 
they could. The infantry soon followed suit, 
and such a roar of musketry and artillery, 
cheering and hurrahing, will never be heard 

April 23: Warm and pleasant. With joyful 
feelings of the news of peace, we broke camp and 
marched northward ten miles and encamped. 


We met on our marcli the straggling troo})S of 
General Lee's army who had surrendered to 
Grant and were returning South to their homes, 
while we were on the same road going North to 
be disbanded. Our boys and the Confederates 
exchanged jokes as we passed each other. One 
of our boys said, — 

"Well Johnnie, we've got you at last, — 
knock€d out as it were !" 

" Oh, yes," replied Johnnie, " but we gave you 
the best we had in the shop ; and another thing, 
we know when we've got enough. We're no 
hogs. We would have been home long ago if 
you had let us." 

One poor fellow I was talking to remarked, — 

'•' I reckon Sherman didn't leave us any homes 
to go to. What are we poor fellows going to do, 
going back into our country without a dollar in 
our pocket, our homes destroyed, stock driven 
away, and our families scattered, God only 
knows where ? Oh, war ! it is horrible ! horri- 
ble !" And the poor fellow cried like a child. 

April 29 : Warm and pleasant. We marched 
ten miles to Holly Springs, and got into camp at 
one o'clock in the afternoon. We turned over to 
the proper otlicials all of our government stores, 
such as extra arms and ammunition, to be stored 
here until otherwise disposed of by the govern- 



— ,}^:<.i :jf: y\r- 



Sunday, April 30 : Peace and happiness 
reigned over tlie land. The song-birds in the. 
woods seemed to know it. The weather could 
not be finer, — balmy and pleasant ; the roads 
were in excellent condition. We marched six- 
teen miles and crossed Tar River, where we 
halted to jorepare dinner, after which we 
marched five miles, and encamped three miles 
south of Oxford Court-IIouse, N. C. ^ye 
marched in all twenty-four miles. 

May 2 : Warm. Marched three miles, through 
Oxford, then fourteen miles to Williamsburg, and 
five miles north, and encamped for the night; 
altogether twenty-two miles. 

May 3 : Warm, with clear, bright sky. 
Marched fifteen miles and crossed the Koanoke 
River, over the North Carolina line, into Vir- 

May 4 : Marched twenty-five miles, crossed 
the Meherrin River, and encamped on the north 

May 5 : AVeather hot. Several of our men 
were sun-struck. We passed through Lunen- 
burg and Nottoway Court-House, marching 
twenty-three miles in all. 

May 6 : Hot and sultry. Crossed the Appo- 
mattox River. Marched twenty-seven miles to 
within three' miles of Richmond, two miles 
south of the James River. We remained here 


■'. *'J I. . .; ... _'i.. j: i"i-jj 

/; i. v.i^ 

■.<; --M 


until the morninc; of the 10th. In the mean 
time, we were allowed passes to go into Kich- 
mond. The greater part of the city having been 
destroyed by fire by General Ewell, of the Con- 
federate armv, the 2;raud streets and avenues 
were strewn with debris and plunder of every 
description. An old gentleman told me that 
Caj^dtol Square seemed to be the safest place 
from 'the conflaa-ration, and it was covered over 
with piles of furniture dragged from burning 
buildinirs : anions: which were huddled together 
women and children, whose only homes were 
now beneath the open sky. Among the beauti- 
ful statues that adorned Capitol Square I noticed 
those of Patrick Henry, ]Madison, Jefferson, 
Henry Clay, and an equestrian statue of Wash- 
ington. I visited the State ca2)itol, the residence 
of Jeff. Davis, and also that of General Lee, after 
which we examined Libby Prison and Castle 
Thunder, of which I made no mention in my 
diary. I knew that after the war historians 
would write it up and give a more vivid descrip- 
tion of its horrors than I in my humble way 
could expect to do. 

Mav 11: Mnrched thou2;h ^Manchester, across 
the James Piver, on through Piclimond, and 
were reviewed by General Sherman and our 
corps commanders. ]Marched twenty-one miles. 

May 12: Very hot. Marched twelve miles, 

'''i- ' ■:•': 

)•" ■:■ :VK.; 



through Hauover Court-House, across the 
Pamunkey River, and encamped. 

May 13 : Warm. jMarched twenty-miles. 
Crossed the Kappahaunoek at Ellis's Ford, and 
encamped near a large brick house in the edge 
of the timber. This was the gold-mining dis- 
trict of Virginia : but, from appearances, I 
should judge, if there had remaiued any gold, 
the Confederate government would have worked 
the mine to assist them in their lost cause. 

May 14 : Marched fourteen miles and en- 
camped four miles west of the battle-field of the 
"Wilderness ; the country seemed to be unin- 
habited. The few buildings that remained and 
were saved from the torch, sliot, and shell were 
vacant and in a dilapidated condition. It would 
take many years to replace and reconstruct what 
Vir2;iuia had lost duriuir this wicked and cruel 

May 15 : Hot. AYe marched eighteen miles, 
crossed the Rapidan at Cedar Mountain, and en- 

May IG:. Marched fifteen miles, forded the 
Rapidan again, and made preparations to encamp, 
but were ordered on five miles farther north. 

^lay 17 : iMarched seventeen miles, forded 
Bull-Run Creek, and encamped. The weather 
was very hot and oppressive. 

May 18: Weather continued hot. Passed 

"1 ■/* 



tbroLigli Centreville and Fairfax Court-House, 
and enciimped on part of the estate of K. E. 

May 19 : Marched eight miles, passed the 
Lee mansion, which is said to have been erected 
in early colonial days, and encamped on Arling- 
ton Heisfhts, in si2:ht of Washinsrton. 

May 20 : It seemed as if tlie dry, hot weather 
had ended, after our long and dusty march, for 
the rain came down in torrents, and we were 
compelled to sit in our little shelter-tents all 

May 21 : Still raining ; the camp was muddy 
and everything looked dismal and disagreeable. 
A sutler came into camp and made things a 
little lively. 

May 22 : AYeathcr very hot. Had rumors in 
camp that recruits and drafted men were to be 
immediately discharired, and the veterans were 
to be organized into a veteran corj^s and sent to 
Mexico. We were not prepared for anything 
like this. The rebellion was ended and now we 
thou2;ht the irovcrnment should send us home ; 
and if they had some other project in view, why 
not try to build up an army out of the disbanded 
troops of both Sliernian's and Grant's two great 
armies. I thought that in about a month after 
disbandment there would be thousands who would 
gladly go into an adventure of that kind. 



May 23 : The Army of the Potomac was re- 
viewed. Now that the record of blood was 
written, and the scene of four years' carnage was 
ended, the soldiers were returning to their 
homes ; and as they passed through the streets 
they were welcomed back with grateful shouts, 
— their banners tattered, and their arms and 
uniforms battle-soiled. Many an absent one 
^Hs mourned; and the fresh faces which went 
forth to defend their country returned now, worn 
with the hardships of war ; but they had faith- 
fully served their country, and their steps were 
justly proud as they marched in triumph 
throu^'h the streets of AVashington receivinsr the 
plaudits of a grateful nation. 

May 24: The armies of Grant and Sherman, 
who had shared in the last struggle, as they 
passed through "Washington, marshalled in re- 
view over two hundred thousand strong, making 
a grand spectacle. They were assembled in one 
body for the first time. They were gathered 
together from every battle-field of the Union, 
from the Ohio to New Orleans, from New Or- 
leans to Charleston, from Charleston to the 

Those who looked upon this spectacle were 
reminded of the first stages of the war, when 
the national capital was threatened and wheu 
the first recruits rushed to its rescue. They 

;t, .'i;iyii-. 

t):iyr , {lUu'C'J 1 ■ I 


looked upon a living, moving demonstration of 
the fact that treason in a republic could be sub- 
dued, though every rebel leader, from Davis 
and Stephens down to the most petty dema- 
gogue of the South, had prophesied to the con- 

There was something to mar the triumph. 
A general who had marched and fouoht his 
arm\'from Chattanooga, through the fortifications 
of Atlanta, to the sea, thence to Goldsboro' and 
Washinsfton, still felt the wrono- which had been 
studiously thrust upon him by some officers of 
the ojovernment. Sherman could not shake 
hands with Halleck. We also grievously missed 
the presence of Lincoln, who had called us to 
conflict, and whom we had always looked upon 
as a father and friend. 

But may we not believe that Lincoln, though 
withdrawn from earth, looked down upon this 
sublime spectacle ? Did he not, as one of our 
poets imagined, marshal another host, composed 
of those who, like him, had been victims of this 
Civil War, and who participated in this last 
grand review. 

We marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, on 
which every house was beautifully decorated, 
with bunting, streamers, and flags flying from 
every window and house-top. The 2)eople wore 
wild with enthusiasm. With one accord the 

I J > !" 

A 'i 

1 .. • ■ . . - : * ■/. 

l>t;,i ;^V .i.-i'lv, !,vi»; 


nation turned towards its armies and showered 
its blessings upon tlieni. 

We passed through Washington, over George- 
town Heights, to the aqueduct, tlirough whicli 
we marched to the south shore of the Potomac 
to our camp. Our march in review was twelve 

May 25 : Weather warm and pleasant. Broke 
(famp at 8 a.m., and marched across the long 
bridge over the Potomac, through Washington, 
and encamped two miles north of the city. We 
remained at this camp until June 14. In the 
mean time, regiment after regiment had gone 
home and been dischar2;ed. I had taken in all 
the sights in and about Washington City, such 
as the Capitol, Treasury Building, White House, 
Smithsonian Institution, Patent-Office, and Navy- 
Yard. I went down the Potomac to Mount Ver- 
non and visited the tomb of Washington, and 
spent half a day looking over those beautiful 

June 14 : It had been for the last two or three 
weeks hot and dry, not enough moisture to lay 
the dust ; but as we were about to start for the 
West, loaded on open coal-cai*s with rough board 
benches for seats, the rain poured down in tor- 

June 15 : Passed through Plarper's Ferry, 
Martinsburg, and Cumberland. At the last- 


named place we stopped for a short time to get 
coffee, pork, and beans, which were furnished by 
the citizens. Tlie coffee was in barrels, nice and 
hot. We soon satisfied our appetites, and again, 
in our muddy and filthy cars, proceeded on our 
way. It would be well to say something about 
these cars. They were made to haul coal in ; 
had sides from eighteen inches to two feet high, 
and wel'e perfectly water-tight. After the hard 
rain of the previous day and night there was in 
the neighborhood of six inches of dirty black 
water in each car, in which our feet hung soak- 
ing. When the train ascended a grade, the 
water would come back with a rush and dash 
over the rear end of the car, and vice versa when 
we went down irrade. After arrivino; at Cum- 
berland we procured axes and knocked out a few 
boards from the bottom of the cars ; after which 
we had a little more comfort. 

This was one of the rare cases where we trav- 
elled by land and water at the same time. 

On the afternoon of the 16th we arrived at 
Parkersburg, W. Ya., and went into camp near 
an oil refinery, where we lay until 11.30 on the 
17th, when we embarked on transports and pro- 
ceeded down the Ohio Eiver. ISth : Still on 
the river, enjoying ourselves the best we knew 
how. 19th : Arrived at Louisville, Ky., and 
marched out on the Munfordville Pike, where 

I n 17 


we went into camp. We remained at Louisville 
until July 11. In the mean time, \Ye had done 
no duty of any kind, except occasionally a dre?s 
parade. The following order was read on parade, 
which fully set at rest all the rumors that we 
were to do s-urrison dutv in the South for another 
year: .-■ 

" ITead-Quarters Fourteenth Army Corps, 
* " Louisville, Ky., July 9, lStj5. 

" J. AV. Bishop: 

" I have the honor to enclose to you a copy of 
the order relieving your regiment from the 
corps, and directing you to report it at Fort 

" Until the time of separation came none 
knew how stronir were the attachments fjrmed 
in OLU' months and years of associations in hard- 
ships and dangers as soldiers. Plis relations to 
the officers and men of the Second jNIinnesota 
have always been a matter of pride and satisfac- 
tion to the corps commander, and from no regi- 
ment in the corps will he part with a deeper re- 

" He thanks one and all of the members of 
the organization for the constancy and devo- 
tion which have always marked their attention 
to the duties and re(piirement3 of soldiers in 
camp and on the march, as well as on the field 
of action. 



" He congratulates you that your labors, hard- 
sliips, and dangers are over, and that, witli a 
country restored to peace and prosperity, partly 
through your exertions and sacrifices, you return 
once more to your homes. 

"jSTone have a better record for discipline and 
drill and all the minutiiie of soldierly conduct as 
well as uniform ^'allantrv on every field of action 
in which they have been engaged than the 
Second Minnesota ; and your State owes you 
thanks for the umibrmly faithful manner in 
which you have performed your share of the 
task allotted to the soldiers of the Union. 
" Very Kespectfully, 

" Your Most Obedient Servant, 

A. C. McClueg, 
''Brevet Colonel, A.A.G., and Chief of Staf." 

Tuesday July 11 : We crossed the Ohio River 
to Jefiersonville, and took transportation on the 
Michigan Central Eaih-oad for Chicago, where 
we arrived on the evenins: of the 13th. Ke- 
maiued over niijrht, and on the morninc; of tiie 
14th proceeded on our way over the Chicago and 
Xorth-Western llaih'oad to La Crosse, where we 
arrived on the 15th, and were immediatt-ly 
marched on V>()ard the steamer '' ^rcLcllan," 
and proceeded up tlie Mississi{)pi Iliver. As we 
came around the bend below St. i*aul, ou the 



if! ;i[uu! ■:■.'- 

r •7!)1 ijo ,' fl'vifiv/ 

> .A 

i 'ii .V /'. !; 'lit' J 


morning of the 16tli, we saw great crowds of 
people on the levee who were waiting to wel- 
come us. 

At last we landed, amid booming of cannon 
and the cheering of multitudes of people. Bells 
were rung, people paraded the streets, to wel- 
come us home, and everybody was glad beyond 
a possibility of expression. 

'And among the joyful thousands all over the 
land, the " Boys in Blue" were probably the 
gladdest of all; for the war was over, and 
" Johnnv came marching; home" to see the sjirl 
he had left behind him. AYe marched up Third 
Street to Wabashan Street, thence to the State 
capitol, where we partook of a bounteous colla- 
tion, to which we did ample justice. One old 
darky, who was passing coffee around, remarked, 
" Dem sodjers dar must be done gone starved, 
dat's sartin. Nebber seen secli hungry men 
in all my basvn days, — ncbber !" 

After dinner we marched to the upper land- 
inc; and acrain boarded the steamboat, and started 
for Fort Snelling, where we remained, awaiting 
our pay and discharges, which were completed 
on Thursday, July 20. 

We were then disbanded and said the last 
"good-by" to our comrades in arms, the great 
majority of whom we would never, in all proba- 
bility, see again. And a more hearty, rough- 

hi-//.' '- 

i\K ,Tjy ;. ,..'/ ll.f) '>. ' ■' .' ; [|i-: 



and-ready, affectionate good-by there never was 
in all this wide world. Songs were sung, hands 
were shaken, or rather rung, many a loud, 
hearty " God bless you, old fellow !" resounded, 
and many were the toasts and the healths that 
were drunk before the men parted for good. 

It was midniglit when the last camp-fire of 
the old Second Minnesota Regiment broke up. 
" Got5d-by, boys ; good-by ! God bless you old 
fellow!" was shouted again and again, as by com- 
panies or in squads we were off for our different 
homes, some of us bound north, some east, some 
west, but, thank God! all bound for "Home, 
sweet Home !" 


Oh, faii-est land beneath the sun, 
A golden glory fills the air, 

And drives the battle vapor dim 
Away from hills and valleys fair. 

The cannon's throbbing notes are still ; 

We hear no more the rifle's crack ; 
And blackly dotting all the hiil, 

"We see no army's bloody track. 

The drums are hushed, the air is still 
Of all the direful sounds of war ; 

And peace is hleuding on the hill, 
And sends the greeting smile afar. 


j'.'ui ':. /ufiiii .nctin 



( TO i-.->;nii<i 


The b^ttlo-flags are furled away, 
No more to flutter in the light; 

What need have we of them to-day? 
The wrong lies prone before the nght. 

No more along the throbbing wires 
Come bitter tidings of the fray; 

But on the hills the victor s fires 

Light up the dawti of freedom's day. 

Oh, nation long the starless night ; 

But now, along the clearing sky, 
The morning breaks with peaceful light, 

And sees the battle's shadows die. 

In this glad hour, join heart and hand; 

No blot should mar this golden day, 
Or cast a shadow o'er the laud, 

From which the night has passed away 

Send upward through the listening air 
One universal psalm of praise ; 

To heaven and Him, who reigneth there. 
Our grateful hearts to-day Ave raise. 

And while we chant tlie victory hymn 
A thought steals in upon our souls ; 

And, s})ite of all, our eyes grow dim, 
And voices lose their slern control. 

"We think of those who died that they 
Might make the nation great and free: 

They won the '' Peace" we know to-day, 
This grand and blessed liberty. 

.yd i-i 

. 1 1 

..; -M »o-'. I .' r. 


.7^:',,-.^ {>■•. 

ill. -"ji 


Fame -u-rites to-day upon our rolls 
The deeds that raake our land sublime; 

And chaiit a requiem for their souls, 
Of those whose names belong to time, 

Give us thy benediction, peace ; 

Drop blessings on our chastened land ; 
From Xorth to South, and West to East' 

Walk thou with freedom hand in hand. 




-^ (/O v^^":? 

.c-a ..HT